This is London: Get Wild!

retreat1The word ‘retreat’ conjures up images of yoga on white sandy beaches, tropical resorts, and the sun setting behind the ocean. And as glorious and soul-boosting as that sounds, time and money mean it’s not something most of us can indulge in very regularly.

Enter She is Wild.

Every two months my gorgeous friend Jayne Rusby, kundalini yoga teacher, qoya instructor, and all-around mojo rejuvenator, hosts an urban retreat right in London.

On International Women’s Day I had the extreme pleasure of sharing space with 40 other women at Jayne’s most recent retreat, which was all about ‘Inspiring Change.’

retreat-collageWalking into the beautiful studio space, expect Jayne to greet you with a hug and a glass of green juice and get ready for a day of connecting, sharing, delicious food, yoga, meditation, all-you-can-drink herbal tea, dancing, and delicious, delicious chocolate.

In Jayne’s words, “The She is Wild Urban Retreat is all about placing yourself at the centre of your world and giving yourself permission to put you first. We’re talking about what you eat, how you move your body & kissing goodbye to the bullshit voices in your head. This is not about self-improvement. This is about self-acceptance. This is about recognizing that you are strong & wild at heart. Accepting that you are raw in some ways and polished like gold in others.”

We spent the day stretching, moving, meditating, looking at how transformation is taking place in our own lives and how to embrace it, sharing, eating, laughing, and dancing.

retreat2I walked away at the end of the day feeling deeply recharged. Utterly relaxed, but buzzing with vibrancy and positive energy. I felt motivated to start tackling some big changes in my own life.

These retreats are perfect for you if you’re drawn to ideas about self-love and spirituality, but start to cringe when things get a little too whoo-whoo.

How often do we get to dedicate an entire day to love ourselves and sharing space with open-minded women doing the same?

She is Wild offers the rare opportunity to connect with a group of women who are looking to get in touch with themselves and grow, but also aren’t afraid to drop an f-bomb or break into a full-on belly laugh. In other words, this isn’t your typical ‘goddess retreat.’ Yes, it’s spiritual. Yes, there’s chanting. But more importantly, it’s a space to show up and be completely authentic. Unabashedly you. Wildly and truly yourself. And be embraced for it.

retreat-foodThe next She is Wild retreat is taking place on 10th May and is all about deep relaxation. Not only will you spend the day relaxing but Jayne will be teaching techniques for bringing  this peaceful state of mind into our day-to-day lives. The cost for the entire day is only £60 and considering that includes juice, all-you-can-drink tea, snacks, a meal, yoga, a fun goodie bag, and a whole lot more, I think it’s a pretty bangin’ deal. You can sign up over here – and be sure to tell her I sent you. ;)

With wild love,

All photos, except for the second one, are by Arabella Shelbourne.

The Expat Diaries: Transatlantic Accents

Today’s Expat Diaries post is a little bit different. Depending on who I talk to, they seem to be amused by how Canadian I sound or by how much of a British lilt I’m adopting. Have a listen and see what you think…

I filmed this video in May 2012 if you want to watch it for comparison.

Be sure to share a link in the comments if you’ve done the accent meme yourself. If you want to, you can find the words and questions here.

And let me know, can you discern any noticeable differences in my accent?

To transatlantic accents & international adventure,

The Birthday List: Get a new stamp in my passport.

dublin001I think this item will be on my birthday list every year. Or at the very least, ‘visit somewhere I’ve never been.’ There’s nothing that energizes and inspires me quite like visiting a new place.

When one of my best friend’s Jazz mentioned she was planning to come to London for a visit and would I want to spend a weekend in Dublin with her, I thought briefly about the damage it would do to my bank account and then jumped onboard.

We traipsed around London for a few days with another Canadian pal, went to see Matilda in the west end, sipped expensive cocktails, ate decadent breakfast foods at 2 in the afternoon, and slept three-across in my double bed (oh, the glamour!)

And although we only had a few short days in Dublin, it was enough to fall completely in love with Ireland and see many of the gorgeous sites this vibrant city has to offer.

dublin06dublin002dublin11We stayed at Parkway B & B, a no frills guest house that’s clean and comfortable, with very friendly staff.

Time and time again I was taken with how friendly the Irish people we met were. They were all so proud of their country and eager that we really enjoy our time in Dublin – which we certainly did.

On our first evening we set out for dinner and pints of Guinness in Temple Bar, but were quickly overwhelmed by how full of tourists it was. We ventured off in search of a more authentic pub experience and found the Ginger Man – where they serve a house beer charmingly called “Writer’s Block” and the bartenders were full of banter and tips on how to make the most of our limited time in the city.

Taking the free walking tour on our second day was a great way to see most of the major attractions and learn more about the city’s history. Afterwards, we visited Merrion Square to see the Oscar Wilde tribute and then managed to book it to the old Jameson distillery for the last tour of the day (where we became certified Jameson whisky tasters, ha!) We spent the evening drinking too much cider, playing a hilarious game called “Name three things,” and dancing until the wee hours of the morning.

Before I knew it, it was my final day in Dublin. We took the train to Dun Laoghaire for a walk by the seaside before I had to say good-bye to Jazz and catch my plane back to London. It was a fun and exhausting and completely amazing trip full of so much giggling. And it’s totally given me the itch to see more of Ireland. Perhaps that will have to be on next year’s list…

To belly laughs & colourful shorelines,

An MLP-inspired Hair Makeover with TONI&GUY

hairI thought I’d write a quick post to show you my new do. It’s very My Little Pony, don’t you think?

When TONI&GUY invited me in for a complimentary appointment, I jumped on the chance. I hadn’t lightened my roots since before Christmas and I was hoping to switch up the colour for spring. I was dreaming of bright, peachy pinks but my hair had other plans.

My stylist, Nana works at the Wigmore Street location and is an absolute pro. She was meticulous about her work and explained what she was doing along the way. So when she told me the green wasn’t going to come out without putting my hair at serious risk of snapping, I trusted her advice.

IMG_3217Instead she refreshed the mint and went over the newly lightened areas with a soft lavender. It’ll probably be one more appointment before the purple is one even tone, but those are the things you have to accept when dying your hair, especially with pastels. Your hair won’t always react to products the way it think it will and some colours don’t come out easily, so you’ll be stuck with them for longer than you planned or be forced to cover them up with something darker.

It’s not what I had planned, but it’s fun to have something a bit different for spring and I love pulling my hair back to show soft, whimsical pops of lilac.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my hair recently, so I thought I’d compile an FAQ post. If there’s anything you’d like to know, leave a comment or drop me an email.


Tattoo Talk: A Recap

tattoos1 tattoos2You may have noticed, I took a month off from the Tattoo Talk series. I’m currently working on exciting new plans for this blog and wanted to figure out where it fits into the future of The Laughing Medusa. It’s surprising how much work it is to coordinate and post an interview series, but I really enjoy doing it and I heard from many of you that it’s a feature you look forward to and that it’s even made a few of your think differently about tattoos.

Before I post new interviews or articles, I thought it would be fun to provide a guide to all of the Tattoo Talk posts we’ve had already, in case you’re a new reader or missed some along the way.

We’ve had interviews with…

Tattooists Harriet Hapgood, Vicky Morgan, Dominique Holmes, Jake Schroeder, Rachel Baldwin, Jean-Philippe Burton, Grace Neutral, and Rebecca Vincent,

Tattoo collectors Ebba Cronstedt, Roxanne Hay, Lynsay Neil, Laura Mazurek, Sarah Morgan, Alice Snape, ReeRee Rockette, Lisa Walton, Alli Woods Frederick, Cazz, Emma Deer, Lauren, Kate, Julie Kesti, and Yael.

Even a laser tattoo removal technician.

tattoos3 tattoos4There was a Valentine’s Day Gift Guide and a Christmas Gift Guide for the tattooed and their fans, and last year I made tattoo-themed chocolates.

We chatted about tattoo books and magazines that are worth reading, and which lady tattooers you should be following on Instagram.

I posted the work of Angelique Houtkamp and Peter Aurisch.

I shared some of my favourite quotes on the art of tattooing.

And back when I used to write mostly about my own tattoos, I wrote about my first time & getting tattooed at a kitchen table. I got a teacup tattoo & a tiny feather. I shared the start of my first large piece & inspiration boards for tea tattoos, wordy art, & my flower sleeve.

And now I’d really like your input: what do you think of the Tattoo Talk feature? If you think it should stick around, are there any tattoo-related questions you’d like answered? Any article topics you’d like covered? Anyone you’d particularly like to see interviewed? I really value your feedback and would love it if you’d leave a comment or drop me an email letting me know.

To fuchsia hearts & inky roses,