5 Awesome Ways to Always be Learning

Sep
27th

always-learning

Expand Your Digi Knowledge at Brainstation

For those of you in Toronto (or Vancouver or New York for that matter), BrainStation is a haven for learning new skills in the digital sphere. From intensive courses on web development and digital marketing, to weekend sessions on UX and Lunch & Learns with local bawses, BrainStation has a lil’ something for everyone. I recently enrolled in the 10-week Intro to Web Development course so I would never have to pay someone to fix my site again. Hard? You bet your ass. Worth it? Hells yes. I can’t remember the last time I felt so confused. But that confusion was immediately followed by utter joy and satisfaction each time I figured out how to write a new piece of code. If you’re keen to know if BrainStation is right for you, head to one of their monthly Block Party nights to network and connect with other creatives in the community.

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Learn a new Skill with Skillshare

Oh Skillshare – how I love you. One of my favourite sites on the entire interwebs, Skillshare is a video-course platform that allows experts to teach their skills to thirsty members. The site currently has over 900 classes, with experts teaching anything from How To Brew An Amazing Cup of Coffee to Getting Started with E-mail Marketing to The First Steps of Hand Lettering. They offer plenty of free courses, which are great to give you an idea of the quality and structure, but also to get you hooked – because I guarantee if you’re as knowledge hungry as me, you’ll be gettin’ dat Premium membership ASAP ($96 USD for the year, which I think is TOTALLY worth it because you get unlimited courses and can download them for offline viewing).

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Two Islands Weekend: The Best Summer Camp For Adults

Sep
20th

two-islands-9
If there are three things I learned this past summer, it’s this:

1) There is such a thing as drinking too much wine in one night.

2) You’re never too old to go to camp.

The first lesson was one I’d actually learned many summers ago (and never seem to actually learn from), but the second happened as we crept into September and I headed up north to take part in Two Islands Weekend, an annual camp getaway for adults that included bunkbeds, booze and Beyonce dance classes. Yep, the spirit of Queen Bey was alive and well up north that weekend. Which brings me to my third lesson learned this summer:

3) There’s nothing less sexy than awkwardly dancing to Beyonce on stage in front of 250 strangers…

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two-islands
I was a camp veteran, having spent my summers getting dirty while building forts, telling ghost stories around campfires and diving into rivers to find clay. My friend Meghan, however, was a camp newbie, asking question after question on the ride up: ‘What are the cabins like?’ ‘Are the bathrooms outhouses?’ ‘Where do you eat meals?’ ‘What do people wear?’ ‘Is the water okay to drink?’ She was more curious than anything, never having spent summers bathing in the lake or trudging to the mess hall in PJs for breakfast.

As we pulled up to Camp Timberlane, the secluded property a few hours north of Toronto where we would spend the next two nights, all the nostaligia came flooding back. The energetic counsellors greeting us as we arrived, the fresh scent of cedar and pine, the campers lugging their sleeping gear in garbage bags – it was just like the old days. Only this time, we were welcomed with a stiff drink and a group of eager adults all ready to let loose. YAS.

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9 Photography Tips from Toronto Instagram Foodies

Sep
16th

trl-foodie-insta-jenn-bartoli

Pay attention to the surface as much as the plate.

@jennbartoli

“Surfaces are one of the most important parts of an excellent food photo. I have a marble pastry board at home which I love to use when I shoot – it’s just visually interesting enough to add a little something to photos without taking away from the main event. Plus, it’s easy to clean and is the perfect backdrop to scatter crumbs or bits of food, which always makes photos feel lived-in and real.”

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Six Times Your Parents Were Right About Money

Sep
11th

td-canada-trust

If there’s one thing that freelancing has taught me, it’s how to manage my money.

I mean sure, growing up my parents always fed me the standard wisdoms (‘Always pay off your credit card before it’s due,’…. ‘Put away a chunk of your paycheque each month’… blah blah). But who really listens to their parents in their 20s? When I first started earning money after school, I was just so happy that I was no longer on a student budget, so whenever I got paid, I took care of my bills and just spent the rest. And when I bought my first designer bag, I knew there was no going back. I loved the finer things in life, even if those came at a cost – good food, good wine, good hair. Because… YOLO. Sure I could save that cash like my parents recommended, but c’mon, what fun is that?

Well, turns out, they were actually right (don’t tell them I said that). As I quit my well-paid full-time job to launch This Renegade Love, I no longer had that steady income flowing in. I quickly had to go back to all those things my parents harped on about for years, creating a budget and saving heavily for when work was scarce.

Truth is, I’m not the only one learning how to pay dem bills from my parents – I got in touch with the team at TD Canada Trust to chat about money and millennials, and a recent survey shows that two-thirds of young Canadians find the financial advice they get from their parents to be beneficial (who knew?!). And although advice from the parental unit can be super useful, TD is helping millennials actually turn those pearls of wisdom into achievable goals (and offering up innovative tools like the MySpend app).

So what kind of advice are they offering up? Here are six times your parents were actually right about money…

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