No Harm Is Done

No Harm Is Done


Gratitude – week 2


Back with the gratitude. I’ve been tuning up my frame at the body shop. By body shop I mean pole dancing for fitness. So to recap this past week, I am grateful for: 

8: pole fitness and the fact that I just got the move called – the flatline 

9: the Fabfitfun box. Look it up! #fabfitfun

10: so grateful for downtime, and hanging with this feline, all thanks to our housekeeper, Zulena

11: dinner with Helen and Gabe. Yes he is cooking with goggles. Yes the kitchen got that smoky from the roast chicken 

12: rain boots that are also snow boots

13: getting to do super cool stuff, like see films, go onset, and other behind the scenes fun – because my wife has a kick ass job and it is an all-around dynamo 

Note: she even makes time for yoga after a full day at work

14: so very grateful that I am still inspired to paint and do art 

What are you grateful for this week? Today? Every day?

Shannon Passero – style and heart


Over the Christmas break, my mom encouraged my wife and I to check out a store owned by a woman who is as inspiring as her store is beautiful. Not only does Shannon Passero feature original clothing lines by the designer herself, but she includes beautiful imported goods, luxury local edibles, and art gallery space for local talent; what really struck me, on top of the beautifully curated collection, is that Ms. Passero regularly offers grants in support of female designers. Giving back to the community and helping to mentor up and coming female artisans/artists/designers sets a precedent for a successful businesses; supporting local and growing local talent is something I can get behind.

Take a look at the beautiful wares and confections on offer.  Located in Thorold, Ontario, The Post Office is quite literally in an old post office building and blends the vibe of anthropology with the one of a kind art and craft show.

We are so excited to decorate our tree next year with the beautiful hand-painted globes from Thailand, and embroidered, beaded elephants and hearts in an array of festive colors. We will definitely be back in the New year, in search of sweet gifts.

Is there a store in your area that you can’t resist, or a business owner is contributing to your community? Let me know in the comments!

One of a Kind Christmas Show


If you can get to the #ooak2016 #ooak_toronto go check out the beautiful jewellery and sleek new booth at @wfdjewellery Breanne is so talented. I thoroughly enjoyed working the show with her and seeing people react to her work with much love. 

Breanne is so down to earth and works so hard as an entrepreneur, artist and a mom. That’s her smiling face, below, just a few days in to a long haul show. The OOAK is open from November 24- December 4. You can see more details here: website

Breanne’s jewellery is so striking. Check it out for yourself at her online store. Stay tuned over the next few days for my pics and picks for favourite artisans from this years 2016 One of a Kind Show. 

Tell me, what are you buying this holiday for the people on your list? Or as a treat for yourself? 

Sintra in the Mist, Lisbon and Experimental Film – Portugal day 12


It started with croissants and coffee, then an Uber ride to Sintra with a driver who knows the small town, Itumbiara, where I used to live in Brazil, and a ride into the fog-dipped town of Sintra. It was drizzling when we got there and amazing to see what a difference an hour could make, as the fog lifted. Parts of the town had art spaces, deliberately, while others were a little magical all on their own. 

Sunshine and amazing views. 

We took a tuk tuk up to the summit to see Pena Palace and saw a lookout point where all three of Sintra’s castles are visible at once. 

Lots of great, derelict buildings infuse Sintra with a spooky quality. Our guide, Rita, told us she doesn’t go up the mountain at night; Sintra has more than a few ghost stories and legends. 

Taking a break at Lawrence’s Hotel. We also made sure we tried Sintra’s famed pastries, queijadas and travesseiros. Back in Lisbon, after a short train ride we had fig and prosciutto pizza before catching some local art and film.

Cats Amore. Stop Motion by Martha Colburn. At Cais de Sodre. A play on word and reference to the sexy and sordid past of the neighbourhood. A sexual confessional was set up on site. And while ‘Perils of War’ played, people had seven minutes to unburden themselves. Martha introduced some of her lighter films… Which also had trauma and dismemberment, couched in environmental commentary. ‘Fear the vampire’ and ‘my secret shame’ rounded out the program. (Experimental films by Martha Colburn at Cais de Sodre.)

Flying pigs and a world of canned fish. Art in progress at Wozen Studio Gallery. 

Our second last night ended at Tosca Taverna for olives and wine.

Hurricane Bianca world premiere 

Art, Indulge

What’s better than queens, queers and some outstanding cameos from Margaret Cho, Alan Cumming, RuPaul and Rachel Dratch? Not a damn thing. Seeing the premiere of Hurricane Bianca, a campy, colourful revenge comedy was second only to rubbing elbows with the star herself, and some gorgeously glam local folks and celebrity imports. Larger than life, Bianca Del Rio, travelling with her entourage, swept in like a veritable force of nature and she was on. Megawatt. Just an arm’s length away. Above, my wife poses on the carpet with Bianca.

While part of me was thrilled and awed just to see her (and to learn that she is just as witty and biting as she is on tv), the other part remained relieved that I flew under her radar, because one highlight of the film was the scathing shade she throws. And man, does she have an arm.
The premise: Del Rio goes undercover as a high school science teacher, schooling the hicks and homophobes, all while navigating the world of romance and friendship. I discretely reveled in the vicarious joy of her scathing one-liners, leveraged against some very very mean girls. Have I secretly wished I could say similar things to bigots and twerps? My lips are sealed.

An unexpected highlight for me: seeing Xanthippe from The Unbreakable Kimmi Schmidt! She is in Toronto, doing the circuit, for her film, First Girl I Loved, which played in the festival. Make it your mission to check out next year’s festival!   

Alice in Wonderland and A Woman of No Importance at the Shaw Festival. 


Yesterday I took 46 students to see two shows at the shaw festival where we were treated to magical stage transformations.  In Alice and A Woman of No Importance, by Wilde, the creativity and tech skills of the stage design were mesmerizing. Here, the mad hatter tea table is waiting up in the rafters (fly gallery) to make its entrance, while the stage crew sets the stage for the matinee. Sharing the space, as a repertory company, means that the plays themselves are beautiful, but so is the finely tuned orchestration of sets and props, completely changing over like a colourful game of scenic Tetris; one play moves into the spaces left by another as it is disassembled and tucked away.   my students loved seeing it all come together, going backstage, into wardrobe and below the stage to see the trap doors and effects. 
Lunch was also a highlight in the picturesque old village, with perfect weather! Our first production was a beautifully rendered Wilde play with stunning costumes, set in 1951… But relevant enough to rile up my classes. Our post-show chat with the assistant director let the kids pour out their questions. 

 Between shows, Carlotta’s gelato, dinner with my mum and dad, wood oven pizza and time in the sunshine… Deserve top billing. 

Curiouser and curiouser,… The festival’s new production of Alice wa divisive, but highly original. It has some of the most genius tech I’ve ever seen. Venture down the rabbit hole! You may be quite surprised by how childlike and full of wonder a day of theatre can make you feel.   

New York City, Day 3 (the long-time-coming update)


Our third day started with a craving for New York bagels. We went to a mom and pop shop. Heaven in a carb. Then lattes and walking around in the brisk air. It was unseasonably mild; perfect for strolling outdoors. MOMA was our destination.

I loved seeing Frida Khalo and the accompanying mirror where you could be her companion piece. Basquiat, Klimt, Picasso, and all my faves from art class. It was great spending the day revisiting pieces I’d only ever seen in textbooks, or haven’t seen since high school! Fur tea cups, absurdism, modern iconography, and historical digital technology (like a walkman or discman), gay pride flags as modern symbols…

I loved the video installments, the live electric violin in the sound space and the up-close and personal views of my favourite artists. Klimt always makes my heart rev.

We had a yummy lunch of soup and cheeses (and wine) at the terrace. Al had eleven compliments on her hair and we got recognized from last night’s red carpet. Only in New York?!…  I also loved that in NYC (of all places) on several occasions total strangers called us ‘stylish’. ‘We’re from Canada,’ we giggled. IMG_1929

Relics of times gone by. If you consider how few young students know why the ‘save’ icon is shaped as it is, the reason for these exhibits is sad, but charming. We are moving so quickly that we don’t remember where we’ve been.

The ‘Department of Health’ photo (below) of an overflowing cubicle. What a perfect visual paradox. And Jackson Pollock.

After the museum we met up with one of my most favourite people, a Canadian expat who is now a New York City girl. We went for a night on the town, a show at the comedy cellar, a ride on the subway, drinks at a few fancy bars and hotels.

What could be better than a bite of the Big Apple with the most wonderful company?

Just one more day to go 🙂


A Sitdown with Wedding Photographer, Kate O’Connor of Sweetheart Empire

Love, style, Wedding

Just a week after my own article, about how wonderful it was to work with Kate O’Connor, a fabulous photographer, for our wedding images, the venue where we were married (Berkeley Church) contacted Kate to interview her; they also asked to feature our photos on their own blog.


They asked:

When approaching this lovely Berkeley Church wedding what were your considerations and aspirations?

I have three goals for every wedding:

  1. To see my subjects for who they truly are – loving, amazing humans taking a leap of faith;
  2. To make sure they feel comfortable, so that they can be themselves and enjoy themselves;
  3. To capture the wedding day FEELS with love and realness – both how people are feeling (emotionally), and the atmosphere of the day overall.

I wanted the brides and their folks to look back at the images and remember how it felt that day – the anticipation, the emotions, and of course the immense loving energy that happens when you are in a room surrounded by your loved ones.berkeley-church-toronto-wedding-ceremoney-weddin-alter.jpgberkeley-church-toronto-wedding-wedding-pritraits.jpgtoronto-weding-berkeley-church-toronto-venue.jpg

For the whole article, follow the link here.