• Hello! I'm a freelance fashion writer, editor, and digital media consultant. Here, you'll find my portfolio, projects and personal obsessions, as well as a healthy dose of shoes and sparkly things. You can read more about me here.
  • Latest Musings

    Saint Agatha


    I am not a religious person, but I believe in Saint Agatha.


    I learned of her shortly after I was diagnosed with breast cancer from a dear friend’s father, an older gentleman who hails from southern Italy. Saint Agatha is the Patron Saint of Breast Cancer patients and her story, as he shared it, goes something like this:


    Agatha of Sicily was born in the third century and from her very early years, gave herself (and her virginity) wholly to a life of prayer and service to God. The Governor of Sicily, Quintianus, was enamoured. In an attempt to get her to betray her beliefs and force her into marrying him, he had Agatha arrested and imprisoned.


    She wouldn’t break.


    Enraged by her refusal to submit, the Governor ordered Agatha to be tortured: she was hooked to an iron rack, whipped, and burned with torches.


    Agatha endured it all with a calm strength and, it’s said, head held high.


    So, as a final desperate act, Quintianus commanded that her breasts be cut off. It’s why you often see Agatha depicted in religious art with her breasts on a plate. She remains a powerful intercessor when people suffer from fires, sexual assault and is a symbol of protection for women who are in danger.


    Agatha’s backstory is horrific, but even for its barbarism, hardly unfamiliar. Like a biblical version of “nevertheless, she persisted,” it’s just another example of a powerful man attempting to prevent and punish a woman for speaking her mind.


    In 2017, I felt that silencing, viscerally.


    Cancer treatment has a way of silencing you. It’s a routine that requires you to be pliant and agreeable, no matter how much it hurts. Submitting to have a generous portion of your breast removed and the rest of it burned to a black crisp with rounds of radiation are just par for the course.


    Add to it a divorce, and the wounding letters threatening to take away my home, my bank account and my medical insurance unless I agreed to my ex’s terms. He wasn’t my torturer and I definitely was no saint, but ya, you could say it rang familiar.


    So it was that I came to wear a gold coin necklace bearing Saint Agatha’s image. I custom designed it with the loveliest Charlotte Piché, the creative force behind Deux Lions Jewelry. She immediately understood the symbolism behind the piece and, I believe, put her whole goldsmith mastery into handcrafting it. That Agatha is also the patron saint of jewellers I think only adds to the synergy.


    Besides being intimidatingly gorgeous and cool, Charlotte also has the biggest heart: She’s offered to add Saint Agatha to Deux Lions Jewelry’s permanent e-commerce collection — with a portion of the proceeds going to Rethink Breast Cancer.


    The Saint Agatha pendant isn’t a Catholic thing, a religious thing, or even really a spiritual thing. It’s a symbol of every woman who ever felt their message minimized, and, I hope, recognition for all those who raised their voices and displayed the courage to fight. Breast cancer or not, it’s a celebration of women persisting, surviving and loving themselves beyond their circumstances.


    Theologian and author Nadia Bolz–Weber was quoted in Glennon Doyle Melton’s book, Love Warrior with this:


    “When you’ve worked through it all behind the scenes and you’ve gotten a chance to mine your pain for gold — then you can offer it to the world as a gift. When your pain is fresh, we share it with our little crew of people, not with Facebook. But when we’re ready to present what we’ve learned to the world as a gift, when the wounds are sufficiently scarred over and we’ve figured out how our personal pain and experience speaks to universal pain and experience — when we can say, this is about me but, not really. Really, this is about us — then we are ready to offer it to the world.”


    I hope you come to love Agatha as much as I do.




    There are very few good things that come with being diagnosed with Breast Cancer, but one of the few bright spots over this entire journey was being included in a television spot to promote the CIBC Run for the Cure, Canada’s largest single-day event to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. The entire cast was made up of ‘real’ people who’ve been personally impacted by BC. I ‘play’ the woman who gets emotional realizing the weight of her situation, but then finds quickly finds her strength to soldier on. Not a stretch, obvs. I’ve been in this situation countless times.

    Regardless, I’m incredibly proud, humbled and honoured to have been asked to take part. You can check the spot above.




    The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” –Albert Einstein



    I normally don’t write about topics beyond fashion and style on this blog but felt somewhat compelled this time around. Over the past few months I’ve been thinking a lot about regrets – my own, others’, how they can positively or negatively affect you, and even whether you should carry them in the first place.


    Let me put this in context: I was having lunch with a friend/colleague the other day, someone I’ve known for a few years now and had hired for various jobs in the past. She’s smart, stylish, talented and an all-round lovely person so I was rather looking forward to sitting down together, especially after we had said we would so many times before and just never found the time to make it happen.


    And so it was that I went to meet said friend who unfortunately, managed to show up almost 15 minutes late (something this perennially-late person would never begrudge). But as we were catching up I could see how distracted she seemed. There was a lot of checking her phone for messages, rushing through the meal, requesting the bill before dishes were cleared, asking questions whose responses were heard but not listened.


    I guess that was the part that bothered me the most. You can tell when someone’s not really listening or attentive to what you have to say, and not seeing the person you are. It’s subtle and somewhat indescribable, but you know it’s there. And it’s awful.


    Listen, I completely appreciate how frantic, rushed, and overscheduled people. These days everything seems to happen at once and everything is urgent All. The. Time. That said, there’s a fine line between being ‘crazy busy’ and embracing it as your identity. The oft-uttered phrase, “I’m so busy,” is delivered as a simultaneous lament and brag—one to be interpreted as both “I wish I could cut back” and “I’m in such high demand.”


    Perhaps due to Instagram’s FOMO-inducing feed, smart phones making us available to everyone around the clock, and the Internet’s ever-looming #ICYMI culture, the feeling of having too much to do and not enough time to do it is epidemic. But with it an unspoken competition has arisen: Whoever does the most stuff wins. It’s obnoxious and nauseating and it’s why I made the decision last year not to utter it anymore.


    I’m trying to get in the habit of being mindful of moments. I’m learning to slow down, to put 100% focus on whatever it is that I’m doing, to not multitask as much and, when I’m with someone, to truly be engaged with them.


    If I’m being honest with myself, I’m less annoyed by the fact that this friend acted in this manner as much as I could see and recall how often I did it to others. It’s a regret I have (one of many I would add to the list) and I wish I could get her to see and understand it in her own right. Not to get too Oprah on you but all people really want is to be seen. It’s not a lot to ask. And regardless of whether you’re friends, acquaintances or colleagues, as a person – as a human being that is wired for connection – it seems to me is the very least you can give.




    Aya McMillan The Style Guide


    Afiya Francisco of The Style House is an editor whom I’ve had the good fortune to know for several years now. She’s smart and stylish but more importantly, she’s one of those people that radiates love and light and a real authentic warmth. She’s also drop dead gorgeous. So I was stoked to hear she was launching an online magazine and wanted to include yours truly in it. The whole issue is themed on minimalism so I went for looks that whispered (think Theory and Club Monaco) whilst maintaining my love of shine and glitter in the form of accessories and bijoux.


    I kinda loved this portrait shot that photographer Anna Lisa Sang snapped of me, which is saying something since I generally loathe having my photo. As for the other pics, a note to self though:  wearing suede culottes one size too big will actually make me look like a blimp. Alas… you can check out the full guide here.


    “They’ve done studies where they’ve written ‘hate’ on water and the molecules in the water have changed. But if you write ‘love’ on the jar that the water is in, the molecules change [differently]. Don’t ask me how or what, but it’s just a reality. There’s power in that word. I think that we put on clothes every single day to express ourselves and I just want people to be able to express themselves in a very stylish yet comfortable and unique way. And whether they know it or not, they’re expressing love.” – Ellen DeGeneres via Women’s Wear Daily