The Dream Teams October Favourites!

With the holidays swiftly approaching, I am starting to think about great, sustainable items for my friends and family this holiday season. Over the years buying items with true meaning and purpose to them has become extremely important to me and there are so many incredible businesses to support now, more than ever! I hope some of these favorites from myself and the team can inspire some thoughtful gifting this year.

Elestory Face Mask

Although these masks are made in the US and not local to me specifically, I was drawn to the beautiful patterns and story behind each one of their pieces. Elestory produces high quality clothing and although their masks are more expensive than some, their seamstresses located in the San Francisco Bay Area are all paid a living wage and their mission to produce locally is close to my heart. These are the most comfortable, well fitting and beautiful masks I have come across. In a time where wearing a mask is our reality, I am happy to not only support a small business, but wear something that makes me happy! So obviously I also got this cobalt cheetah one for Daragh and I as well!    

The Rachel Hollis Podcast with Matthew McConaughey

Okay, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this episode and to be honest, I haven’t been listening to Rachel as much as I used to. Her early podcast episodes REALLY hit home for me a year or two ago, but I was ready for some new content and motivational mentors. But this episode is FIRE, you have to listen to it. McConaughey has some really great insight, not only about his new book, but life in general, living through hard times, including the current pandemic, etc. One of the major takeaways was his idea of “anticipation fatigue”; essentially the idea of fatiguing far before you reach your goal because of endless worrying and anxiety around reaching your goal. It was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me, and he went on to talk about setting goals or benchmarks further out so if you reach it before you planned, it feels that much better. Hollis and McConaughey spoke about this in relation to COVID and the ‘year 2020’ and it was eye opening. Give it a listen!

Allbirds

This isn’t a new fav of mine, but I was recently reminded of my favorite kicks while listening to How I Built This with Guy Raz (one of my favorites from last month) and Guy interviewed the two founders of Allbirds. Their story is utterly fascinating and through listening to it, I realize I own a pair from their very first launch, which was a make or break product launch to see if a wool sneaker would actually fly in the marketplace. Dave saw them in an advertisement (which I now know they spent everything they had on this campaign) and ordered them for me- I had never heard of the brand but quickly fell in love with the simple, classic and comfortable design. This company is leading the pack with sustainable design and vision, Allbirds have a sole made out of sugarcane foam and fabric shoe spun out of New Zealand Marino Wool making their shoes Carbon Neutral! What’s more impressive is their founders vision to make all of this technology available to everyone- its not a trade secret, and they encourage others to make smarter decisions for the planet too. These are officially on my Christmas Wish List- hello new favorite office shoe!     

As per usual, October has flown by quickly; with the seasons and world-changing rapidly, it is hard to not get wrapped up in everything and find time to slow down. I hope you are staying safe, slow and inspired as we go into the winter months; here are my October faves that have helped me remain slow and inspired:

THE CUT | Podcast

After a long hiatus, the podcast, The Cut, is back, and I couldn't be happier… I have already binge listened to their most recent season and impatiently waiting for them to release their next episode. The Cut was born from the New York magazine. The podcast is a Vox Media Podcast Network production that explores cultures, style, sex, politics and more; this year, they focus on finding optimism in 2020 while learning how to navigate through the year. The newest season is hosted by Avery Trufelman, and the lead producer is B.A. Parker, who has produced some of my favourite podcasts like Invisibilia and Heavy Weight. The Cut features a rotating cast of Cut writers and editors throughout each episode, allowing the show to have a diverse group of perspectives and stories. What I love about The Cut is that it is easy to listen to, and they discuss topics that I don't always hear about. They also give you both sides of the story by interviewing experts. This podcast is like hanging out with some of your closest friends to talk about what is going on in the world. To check out the show, click here; to check out The Cut's platform, click here.

JONATHAN MAJORS | Actor

I recently have watched a handful of films with Jonathan Majors, his first debut film, Last Black Man in San Francisco, was launched through Kickstarter and was captivating, cinematically pleasing and moving. The storyline showed the relationship of a platonic friendship of two male characters who supported each other through tough times, something you don't see a lot. Majors has also starred in Da 5 Bloods, another great movie by Spike Lee and most recently was in Lovecraft, which was partially produced by Jordan Peele. I can't wait to watch this show; the trailer looks great. Why we love him - Majors is fighting against the norm of Hollywood roles by bringing purposeful characters to life and by being the Black hero he needed when he was younger. I'm so excited to see what Majors does next; he is definitely one to watch. To check out GQ's detailed write up about Majors, click here, to read more about him on his IMDB page here.

THE BEST WE COULD DO BY THI BUI | Graphic Novel

I recently read this graphic novel for the book club I am a part of. We all rated it a 5/5, which is the highest rating we have given any of the books we have read; this is also the first graphic novel we have read. The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui is a beautifully illustrated and moving story that follows Thi's family journey and how they immigrated from Vietnam to America. This originally went to school for art and spent many years learning how to create the images for her family's story. This graphic novel was illustrated and written by Thi and talks about how we are all trying our best, given the circumstances we are in. 

Spice Jar Labels by Make Room With Zahra

We haven’t begun to build out our kitchen, but we do have a plan: seamless countertops and open shelving. For this reason, I have been super selective with everything from our butter dish to our spice jars. Make Room With Zahra is Toronto based and offers incredibly chic labels (and home goods) for an amazing price! I chose the Modern Spice labels and was able to provide a list of exactly what herbs and spices I wanted to have printed. The application process was super simple, and Zahra provided a step by step sheet with tips and tricks to ensure proper application. The spice jars look so like pretty (and expensive) candles now, and I cant wait to see them displayed in our kitchen. Who knew you could elevate a simple spice jar?? 

Social Cues by Cage the Elephant

This album is about a year old. It has been favourite all along but for some reason, even more so this month. This album is unlike any of Cage The Elephants' previous releases, and it is collectively one of my favourites. I won't be doing an album break down because I won't do it justice, but I will leave you with a few of my favourite tracks!

Skin and Bones (all time favourite)
Black Madonna
Social Cues
Night Running

Pistachio Spread

I am currently obsessed. OBSESSED. With pistachio spread. Drizzled on acorn squash, on toast with fig jam or just straight out of the jar. Here's the problem, it's so expensive! I currently have a jar stashed where no one else can find it, and I plan to use it sparingly, but if anyone wants to share a recipe or a supplier, that would be great!

Hamilton The Musical

It's been hard to attend any shows this year, and I officially miss going to the Theatre. Grateful for the excellent digital content that comes out. We spent a lot of time this month watching musicals, we have now watched Hamilton 3 time, and the soundtrack is frequently found on repeat in our home. Aside from Hamilton, we have also watched the Phantom of the Opera and Newsies. I am positive that by the end of the year, we will know the Hamilton script verbatim. If you have not had a chance to watch it yet, I highly recommend it!

Cha's Coconut milk

I am always looking for the perfect ingredients that lend well to our South Asian Coastal cuisine. Cha's coconut milk does not disappoint! It is hands down the best coconut milk aside from making it yourself, a rather cumbersome process. Cha Organics, a Montreal based company, donates 1% of all Cha's Organics coconut milk and cream sales to protect Sri Lanka's wild elephants. That's a double win in my books, and they have my repeat patronage for sure. It is also a great dairy-free alternative for chai! Perfect for this fleeting autumn weather.

Beyond the Trees by Adam Shoalts

After our last camping trip at the beginning of the month, we decided that camping was done this year. How would I get my dose of adventure? Enter Adam Shoalts, explorer-in-Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Beyond the trees follows Adams 4,000 km solo canoe Journey across Canada's arctic in 2017, a 4-month adventure full of highs, lows and scares. Set against the vast untouched wilderness of the North!

Leave a comment