animal instincts

lean back

head to toe look by le chateau

snakeskin leggings and ankle strap pumps

You all know by now how much I love animal print, I pretty much wear it the first chance I get… that said I was jumping for joy over this entire outfit!  First up, the tee- I mean seriously how dope is this tiger graphic?   I’m loving the face, rather than just the print, it reminds me of the Givinchy dog tee.  Patent snakeskin leggings and platform pumps give it some extra kick –  I was a little hesitant to pair the snakeskin shoes and leggings together, but I just loved it too much to resist.  I wore this for a debauchery-filled girls night out on 17th avenue, an over-size envelope clutch and simple silver accessories finish this edgy look.   The panther bangle is a treasure brought back from punta cana, it broke when I got home (he swore it was real silver!) but fortunately for me, I have the worlds best grandfather, and he fixed it for me.

We are still having a lovely time together in Denmark.  Today, after 5 years since last seeing her, I am finally reunited with the beautiful Andrea!  We went for a walk along the beach tonight and talked as though no time has passed at all –  I wish we could see each other more often, but I love that we can keep up with each other through blogging!  Being here reminds me again and again how important family is, and how lucky I am to have such an amazing family around me.  Last night at dinner my great-uncle sang a tribute to his lost wife (my grandfather’s sister) and to the family he married into.  It moved me to tears as I felt so grateful to know that I am surrounded by the kind of love that spans generations.  That is what family is meant to be, and that is what we are.

xo, aiyanajane

on instagram @aiyanajanee

 

spring on the prairie

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As much as I love the city, the country is where my heart is… it’s home.  Alberta is a harsh place, but every spring the land is carpeted in crocus flowers and for a week or two, and the hillside is tinted lavender.  Crocus represent everything the prairie means to me- they are a perfect juxtaposition of soft beauty and hard reality.  They push through the dead grass and bloom in tufts of lilac, short stems covered in a fine fuzz to ward off the spring snows. They are the first brief sign of life after an exhausting winter.  Its May and we’ve had nearly 7 months of snow and cold, so the sight of purple flowers and blue skies is so welcome.  Most importantly, the crocus remind me of my grandmother, who embodies so many of the same characteristics- soft and strong, beautiful and resilient  I took these photo’s for her, she wanted to share the subtle beauty of the prairie with our family in Denmark.

Yesterday I talked about how I believe that something good will always come around to make up for the bad.  Sometimes it might take a while, but the key is to keep pushing and hold fast to the belief that hard times will lead to greater rewards.  Like the crocus, you must push through last years waste and grow strong and beautiful.  We like to fool ourselves into believing that life get’s easier, but the reality is life is a constant challenge.  If we could just accept that life will always require hard work, we might be much happier and achieve much more.

There is a quote by Scottish writer Ian Maclaren  “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”  Our lives and struggles, of course, are relative- but no matter what is going on in your life – how lucky or blessed you may be otherwise, when we fall on hard times it feels as though our whole world is coming down around us.  What you must remember is the one thing we can be certain of – life goes on and the world is not quite so fragile as to fall apart on the whims of our emotions. Work hard, keep pushing, and keep moving forward – life doesn’t allow you to go back.

My grandparents, as I have mentioned before, are two of the most important people in my life, and its because they’ve taught me so much over the years. My grandfather, more than anyone I know, is the living embodiment of finding the joy in hard work.  I feel sad when people are hesitant to spend time with their grandparents, or with seniors.  Youth so often makes us impatient, we don’t want to wait for them to remember the point of their story when we have our iPhone’s in hand to entertain us with instant-updates from the latest celebrity scandal, but their generation grew up during a time when technological distractions weren’t available, and so instead they had to look at the real world, as a result, they kinda know a lot about it.  My grandmother loves the crocus for what they represent, that life will carry on being beautiful, even in the harshest conditions and if only for a brief moment in time.  We can learn so much if we only take the time.

Shortly after I took these, my grandmother called me with the greatest news ever.  Her and my grandfather are feeling well enough to travel, and are planning to visit their family in Denmark… and they’ve asked me to come along.  COULD I BE ANY MORE EXCITED?!  I visited DK once before in 2008 after graduating high school, this time we leave right after I graduate from college! I finish classes at the end of May, then we watch my youngest brother graduate high school and are on the next flight out-  May is going to be so exciting!  I can’t wait to spend a week relaxing and eating all the delicious European food! Mostly I am excited to see my beautiful cousin Andrea, who normally I just stalk on her blog.

Spring on the prairie is all about new life and new beginnings.  We have lots of cute little calves running around, including the Highland cows in the photos above – bringing a little bit of my Scottish side to Alberta. (Mom’s Scottish, Dad’s Danish). Its so nice to finally see LIFE again on the prairie after a long frozen winter,  I am getting so excited for summer!  One more month of the tough life – work and school, then I graduate (and little bro!) and fly to Europe.  By the time I return it will be June and full blown summer here in Calgary, with Stampede just around the corner.  I can’t wait for more summer style posts- my favourite bloggers are all from LA where its an eternal summer.. I’ve mentioned before how different my style would be if I wasn’t hindered half the year by cold temperatures! Back to style posts tomorrow, today I just wanted to share the other half of my life! Thanks for reading babes!

xo, aiyanajane

Check out  www.rosebudsburningwater.wordpress.com

instaUPDATE

Hello lovelies,

I’m sorry to be such a bad blogger, but I must confess all week long I’ve been feeling horribly negative.  Its not so much that I feel negative about myself or my life, more so that I sometimes just feel so overwhelmingly crushed by all the wrongs in the world, and I find myself depressed wondering how humanity can ever make up for the damage we’ve done.  So rather that do anything creative this week essentially when  I haven’t been at my practicum (which is going great by the way!) or in school, I’ve been moping, reading or hanging out with Cedric Diggory. Sometimes I just need time away from the cold outside world, so while 50 bunny pictures isn’t that exciting, unfortunatly its all I could manage this week. I’ve been exhausted with all the moving and changes in the last several months, and I just need a bit of a break!

I read somewhere that January 21st is supposedly the most depressing day of the year. Although it is actually the turning point in winter and the days are now getting longer, a study said that many people feel their most depressed at this time of the year, once the glitz and glamour of the holidays is gone, you’ve likely reneged on your new years resolution, and truly its just to damn cold outside to not be miserable! I hope the rest of you have not been suffering from SADD that way I have lately.. I cannot wait for summer, the days right now are too short to even have daylight to shoot outfit photos after work!

 The days are getting longer now, its getting lighter, summer is coming… try to stay positive even in the middle of a deep freeze. In the meantime, close your eyes and think of the ocean.

in an attempt to stay positive and start the day off right, i changed my alarm… so far i still loathe getting out of bed in the morning.

wake up to positive messages

sometimes i just lie in bed for hours thinkin bout stuff

 JANUARY 18, 2013

ERNST V. ENCANA, ERCB, ALBERTA ENVIRONMENTernst v. encana

my grandma has been sending me regular updates via ipad from  sunny mexico! mexico grandpa old mani managed to organize my closet and finish my laundry, CEDRIC HELPED OUT A LOT.organized closet cute bunny

back to bed – home from my first day of practicum!first day of practicum, legal assistant

i was doing homework but someone had other plans..Cedric distracting me with kisses

we snuggle lots, everybunny needs some bunny to love!bunny and girl, bed, best friends

current reading material – quite a mix of literature books to read,; tricks ellen hopkins, how to be an american house wife, margaret dilloway, something fierce carmen aguirre, its the crude dude, linda mcquaig

CHIN UP BUTTERCUP! still trying to beat my bad mood and insomnia, ignore the massive bags under my eyes!CEDRIC made a new friend Mr. Platypus (he hates me)cedric and the platypus living in calgary sometimes you just feel so sick of winter..

AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FO DAT!

aint nobody got time fo dat, scraping icy windsheilds

xo, A

goodbye 2012

I really meant to have a NYE post for you lovely readers, but my the holidays turned out to be a great deal busier than I anticipated and I didn’t get it together.. whoops!

This year I have found myself focused so entirely on the importance of family, and so rather than blog and take outfit photos I was spending time with my grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, my brothers, my parents and my friends- the family I choose. The closest my little atheist heart comes to believing in God is when I think about how lucky I am to have such an amazing family. I  am so blessed to have such a supportive, loving group of people at my back, I could never have made it through 2012 without their help.

This was a very difficult year for me, one I have to say I am happy to see the end of.  I was reading my cousins blog, and she posted ” Remember! Every year must end with the feeling that you never had such a good year.” A lovely sentiment to be sure, but sometimes years go by where things just seem to be going badly despite your best efforts.

That positive attitude however, seems to be a distinctly Danish trait from my personal observations. I am so glad to have that Danish heritage behind me, my grandparents came to Canada after they were married to raise their family. The Danish have been ranked as the “happiest” people on earth, but I doubt they are any happier than any other first world countries, it is the cultural attitude that the Danes have that makes the difference, a strong belief in the value of hard work and a positive attitude. I’ve learned so much from my Grandparents, and feel still that there are so many stories left to hear, that I would much rather spend my time with them than primping, shooting, editing and posting. They have always instilled in us the importance of being happy with what you have. As I write this there is Rice Pudding on the stove upstairs and my Grandparents are due to be here any minute.

This year I have felt within me an urgency to be with my family, thinking back I wonder if everything that happened was only to bring me closer to them. 2012 was NOT a banner year for me, and no amount of my Danish heritage can put a positive spin on it.

First I was laid off, then weeks later I discovered my (ex)boyfriend of nearly 5 years had been extensively browsing the craigslist personals section. Jobless, suddenly single and homeless, I moved back to my parents farm. It was lovely to be home in the countryside and I spent as much of those early summer weeks swimming and riding. Then on July 15, 2012, a week before my champagne birthday, I was riding a friends somewhat unruly mount when she reared over and landed on me, crushing me beneath her and fracturing my pelvis in two places. I was bedridden for weeks, and unable to go to school in September as had been my original plan. Since breaking my pelvis I’ve suffered a streak of minor injuries, it seems excessive and I am hoping for a respite. I had an eye infection, dislocated my knee, a painting fell pointy side down and landed on my forehead (you can still see the dent!), I also accidentally gave myself a black eye and most recently, I fell down my stairs and popped the bursa sack in my elbow. I’ve been joking with my family and friends that I only had to make it to the end of 2012 and my accident streak might end, I hope that proves to be the truth! Once I was healed enough, I went back to working at the Rosebud Theatre, and found a legal administrative assistant program at a different school, Robertson College, that started in November.

This year as I said, has been full of challenges but it is the attitude with which we face our struggles that will define our happiness. I’ve been back in Calgary for a couple months now, so being home over the holidays was a welcome change of pace. Though so many things went “wrong” for me, I feel that without those obstacles I would never have found the strength in myself to overcome them. The greatest obstacle is not physical, but emotional, and to the detriment of your heart some times you find out who people really are.  In 2012 I had to let go of a few people who I loved deeply because I finally realized their treatment was not reflective of my treatment of them. As the year comes to a close I look at myself from where I was last year and cannot help but feel pride, because throughout the difficulties, despite sometimes feeling like it was completely hopeless I am the happiest now that I have ever been.

We accept the love we think we deserve.

in 2012 I finally realized I deserve to be loved and treated with dignity and respect. It seems so obvious but “love” is not always true even if spoken aloud with a great many assurances. Words, I believe, are the most powerful tool man has but so often we forget their power, and too often is the truth drowned out by other voices. Love loses its value when people forget that without respect, love is as empty as their words.

This year, for all my trials, I am fortunate to have finally realized my personal value. To those who value themselves, it seems obvious, but there are many who feel worthless, an existence without purpose or love is empty. Questioning the point of your own existence can be a dark path to wander down, but when you find the light, the reason for your search and your purpose,then suddenly the darkness is nothing. It is not the dark we fear, it is the unknown. As a young adult there is so much left unknown, and an immense pressure it put on young people to figure out what to do with their lives, when I graduated high-school I was entirely in the dark, and being asked by every adult what my life plan was was about the least helpful thing of all time. The years I spent after school- working for a company that threw me under the bus as soon as it became convenient, living with a boyfriend who treated me like his personal servant, hiding in the city from the people who would ask me what I wanted to do with my life. I needed those years, those experiences, those revelations- that painful realization that love is not always enough, before I could find the truth in my own heart.

The most important thing to remember, is that without those you love you have nothing. Often over the Christmas holidays I find myself disgusted with our consumer based culture- hoards of people trampling one another on boxing day to save a few dollars. Materialism, consumerism, selfishness and thoughtlessness drive the economy along while family falls to the wayside. Love and family, not material things, are the most important part of life. Part of the urgency I feel to be with my family stems from confronting the impossible- my grandparents both have Cancer. It makes me sad when I speak with people for whom visiting their grandparents is a chore, because for me it has always been one of the greatest joys in my life. How can I think of my personal vanity when I am facing the reality of their mortality? They will be my first priority always, and I find myself wishing for more time. More time to blog, more time to spend with them, with my friends, or family, more time for me, for doing nothing, for doing everything. Time is a fickle thing, moving forward in leaps and bounds- perfect moments that last forever and the rush of time lost in the menial monotony of the day to day.

One thing is certain, every second that goes by is a moment of your life you will never get back. As the last seconds of 2012 tick away I find comfort in the belief that though 2013 will undoubtedly bring with it a whole new series of challenges, each one will be another opportunity for growth, a catalyst for change and an opportunity for something new and better. The new year represents new hope, and it is my hope that each of you may find your purpose, a lightness within your soul that allows you to shine. Every life has darkness in it, if you find yourself feeling as though nothing has changed, as though you are stuck in a hopeless place that seems inescapable, search within your heart and make the changes that will make you happy. As individuals we control our fates, and though we should try to strive to be decent, in our failings we must have empathy for others. Remember that a single kind word can make the difference in someones day, and a single hurtful slur can shatter a heart. Your words have power, your heart has the truth, your mind has value and it is up to you to find your voice.

I wish you peace and love in 2013

xo, aiyana

Still thankful.

I have been feeling like I’ve been failing to post regularly enough here. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for all the naps I want to take, cake I want to eat, yoga I want to do and animals I want to snuggle. Then I have to do other stuff too like laundry and work and all those other mundane things life seems to force us into. And I need to find the time to post. This would be easier if I didn’t insist on being so wordy but c’est la vie!

Lately I’ve been thinking so much about the future and what I want to do with my life. I know I was supposed to have figured this all out by the end of high school but I didn’t quite have it together enough at that point to have any clue of what I wanted. I wasn’t even 18 yet I was supposed to have a 20 year plan? How?!

Instead of rushing into school I rushed out of small town life and into work in the city. I needed that time to find myself as a person, to figure out what I needed from life in order to be happy and come up with a realistic way to achieve those goals. So now that I have my 20 year plan, I just have to put it into action! I won’t bore you with the details but continuing to blog and write is a big part of the plan. (As is the hobbit house, which I will have someday!)

These last few weeks I’ve been really busy lately kicking the plan into gear. I’ve been working on lots of DIY projects, (see sneak peeks on instagram) which I’m excited to announce are available in the Gift Shop if you’re ever at the Rosebud Theatre! I recommend you come if you are ever in the area, and I’m not just saying that because I work there, it’s a beautiful town, the food is amazing and the shows are always well put on. Tuesday’s with Morrie is playing now (based on the book by Mitch Albom) and it has a great deal of wisdom worth sharing. I highly recommend reading the book if you can’t make it to the show!

One quote in particular resonates-

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays With Morrie

I want to devote my life to the things that matter. To me, and to the world. It’s part of the reason I run this blog, it’s important for me to create (even if its mediocre) to share (even if no one really cares) and to love what I do! If I could live in my hobbit house and read and write all day, then my life would be full of love. Because what I love most isn’t the things in the world, it is the world; the sky, the rain, the sun, the stars, the sound of wind through trees, of water over stones. Take the time to appreciate these things that are so often taken for granted. Be present in your life, feel the moment you are in, focus.

I’ve been taking my own advice and that’s why I haven’t been able I focus on posting- family comes first. My grandparents have needed support these last few months and it’s my number one priority to be there when I can. Yesterday they got a new puppy (if you follow me on instagram @aiyanajanee you already know) and its the cutest thing ever! I honestly cannot explain how important they are to me, or how thankful I am for all that they do and all that they are. Part of the reason I want the hobbit house so badly is because of my family. Our home, our farm, my grandfathers park- the history of our family is intertwined with this land and I do not want to lose that.

That brings me to the other reason I’ve been distracted from posting. I’ve been working with my mom on her fracking presentation. She (we) will be at Augustana University in Camrose November 2&3 2012 to speak about fracking and the devastating environmental effects it has; effects my family experienced first hand and that are being repeated all over the world.
I know most people don’t read this blog to listen to warnings of environmental doom but I really wish they did. What I find most frustrating about living in Alberta is the absolute apathy most people feel about the oil and gas industry. Most people are unwilling to believe or unable to see that there is a very real threat here. It’s highly possibly this land will become uninhabitable due to the repercussions from unchecked drilling. When I look around and see the dots of wells all over the countryside all I can think is what a god damn shame. If you have even the slightest interest (or just Eco-guilt) then I urge you to look into it more, starting here

Finally the rest of my time has gone into practicing with my dad. I supposed another reason I have to enjoy fall is it means that once harvest is over he has a bit of time to spend on things other than farming! My dad and I butt-heads all the time but it’s because we share so many traits- it would be funny if it wasn’t so annoying! One place we come together without argument is in making music. He likes to pretend that he’s no good but my father is a talented musician! We’re hoping to play a set sometime mid November, I’ll be sure to keep you posted!

So thats my excuse for not posting.. Too busy snuggling mini-dachshund puppies with my grandparents, saving the planet with my mom and singing the blues with my dad. Family first. Sorry ladies and gents!
Xo,a

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