My Battle with B

ImageWhen I turned 16 years old, the best thing happened to me. As a teenage girl in her senior year, I found the secret to thinness. I found out that you could eat all the yummy food that you love so much and not gain a single pound. How? You just had to get it out of your system.

It was precisely on February 14th, 10 years ago, when it all started. My dad came home from work and brought lots of chocolate for the whole family. But not just any chocolate. He brought the Belgian seashells chocolate. Considering it as one of my favorite type of sweets, I was beyond excited to finally be able to devour the whole box that was given to me. I was mostly excited because I knew that I wouldn’t have to feel guilty for having eaten them and I also knew that the next morning there would be no sign of it on my tummy.

I lived like this for years. I cannot, however, tell you how many years because I stopped counting after a while. At first, I was happy. I got to eat my favorite chips, my favorite cakes, and whatever junk food you could name. But then, as I continued this torture, I realized I was far from being happy. Did it make me stop? Did this unbearable emotional pain that I was feeling stop me from doing what I was doing? No. Why? I don’t know.

I then signed up for a gym membership. I thought that working out would sculpt my body and that I could finally be happy and embrace what my momma gave me. I was successful. But not for too long. I was working out five times a week, eating as little as I could and saw no results. I was infuriated and I was full of hate. I hated my family, my friends, and the entire world. But most of all, I hated myself. And it was no longer just about my body. It was now everything.

The worst part about all this is that no one ever noticed.

After years of battling this problem, I finally let it out. I started with my sister and then eventually told my friends. I, however, never told my parents (to this day they don’t know). It felt somewhat good to be able to reveal a secret I had been keeping for so long and it felt even better to know that I had the support I needed to fix this.

For a whole year I was healthy. I was exercising moderately and eating reasonably. And when I finally thought I was cured, I fell back to my old habit. Oh how angry I was at myself.

But last year, I made a promise to myself. I promised to love myself and to never hurt my body again. I promised to never give up and to just fight on. I also promised to follow my dreams and become the person I have always wanted to be.  How do I know I won’t fall back down? I just know.

Today, I can finally say that I have found health and happiness. I now exercise, eat clean, “instagram” about it (is that even a verb?). I am successful in school and, ultimately in life. I have the best family, the best friends, and most of all I have the best boyfriend.

The secret is now out. Many of you might ask yourselves, why did I do this and what do I want. I do not want pity. And I definitely do not want anyone feeling sorry for me. Sharing my story with you means more than you can imagine. It means I am no longer ashamed of who I was and who I am, and that I am one-hundred-percent cured. With joy and pride I celebrate my success that I am no longer a bulimic.

I thank you, with all my heart, for having read this blog post. Please do know that bulimia is a serious issue. If you know anyone battling this eating disorder, take action!

Brenda

-XO

Follow me on instagram @brenworld

I’m Blue Da Ba Dee Da Ba Die

Welcome to Winterland!

It has been freezing cold here in Montreal for the past few months. Hence no posts. I just could not get myself out of my tiny cozy warm apartment. It was just unthinkable. How could I have possibly gotten up, gotten dressed, and gone outside to take pictures when the thermometer was showing negative numbers? When I say negative numbers, I do not mean a silly -5. I mean -30 degrees celsius. But today was warmer. Much warmer. Only -20. (Sarcasm maybe?)

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1618002_10152611220026982_101694776_oJacket: Ebay

Sweater: Forever 21

Leggings: Zara

Boots: Zara

Handbag: Michael Kors

Sunnies: RayBan

Brenda

-XO

P.S. Follow me on instagram @brenworld

The Real Grace Remains Hidden

240350 When one walks into an exhibition, regardless of its size and topic, one should be provided with a strong visual narrative. One should be immersed into a fantasy-like world filled with objects, artifacts, or even visual media, and be able to understand the message the exhibition is trying to convey. The objects, which are important non-verbal forms of communication, should be placed in meaningful locations to enhance the exhibition’s story and allow the viewer to experience it fully. Nevertheless, fulfilling such criteria is not always easy. An example of an exhibition that somewhat failed to fulfill its expected purpose is the McCord Museum’s exhibition From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly – Beyond the Icon.

From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly – Beyond the Icon, is an exhibition that sheds light and pays tribute to Grace Kelly, an Academy Award winner, Princess of Monaco, and eternal style icon. Based on the title, a visitor would think s/he would be allowed into her life and learn about who she really was beyond the legacy she left behind. But with expectation comes disappointment. Although the exhibition was carefully planned and organized to illustrate Kelly’s life through some hundred objects – letters, photographs, home videos, fashion designs, and more – it did not quite succeed in revealing something that has not been known before.

The exhibition was organized into several interconnected thematic sections that attemp1369926351780_ORIGINALted to discuss the different facets of Kelly’s life. When visitors walked into the exhibit, they were welcomed by a giant photograph of Kelly accompanied by an abstract, which summarized in three short paragraphs who she was. This was a successful greeting as not everyone might have been entirely familiar with who she was. Hiding behind the photograph was the first room of the exhibition. Overloaded with objects taking up nearly all the space on the walls, one did not know where to look first. While the right side of the wall was crowded with a series of vibrant original film posters of Kelly’s most famous films, the left side held the Italian version of the film poster of The Country Girl (1954) alongside a small projection of the film. Although the walls were eye-catching and representative of Kelly’s Hollywood career, it was the middle of the room that was the most enthralling due to the golden Oscar statue she won for her role in The Country Girl and the Edith Head silk satin light blue gown she wore to receive it.

80ebdd5143e1b867b5caa00b62b2-660x438The next exhibition room showcased Kelly as a style icon by featuring a collection of her personal clothing. From silk dresses to elegant suits to iconic ladylike accessories, visitors got to admire it all. Among the few accessories displayed behind the large glass cabinets, it was the Hermès leather handbag – known also as the Kelly bag – that got most people’s hearts racing. The short white leather gloves positioned right in front of the bag were also attention grabbing, however a text explaining their provenance and meaning would have been helpful. Nevertheless, the individual pieces shown in this part of the exhibition where organized in a way that allowed the visitors to grasp Kelly’s signature look and understand how strong of an identity she had.

Moving on to the next room titled “Falling in Love”, one could slowly start to get to know Kelly, the woman who was so much more than just an icon. Through emotional love letters from her husband and a quote by Kelly stating, “my real life began with my marriage”, it was hardly impossible not to feel fondness and sympathy for this woman. This part of the exhibition also displayed Kelly’s pale pink taffeta civil wedding dress, which she accessorized with matching shoes and a Juliet cap. A big disappointment was the absence of her religious bridal gown designed by MGM fashion designer Helen Rose. Considered as one of the most famous wedding dresses in history, it would have been an exceptional experience to see it on display. But considering the dress was too fragile of an artifact and would have been time-consuming for conservation and quite expensive for management, one is compelled to forgive the McCord (Palmer 2008: 58). What made up for it, however, was the silk black dress with embroidered 3D flowers she wore to the Expo 67’, which gave the exhibition a bit of local flavor. Besides being a devoted wife, Kelly was also a loving mother of three children. This was successfully shown through the poignant home movies and photographs where one could see a truly ordinary woman spending quality time with her loved ones. Thus, having such non-verbal materials added greatly to the understanding of the exhibition (Palmer 2008: 35).

The second to last room was the most visually appealing and dynamically interesting due to the dark purple walls, the big crystal chandeliers, and the costume ball gowns Kelly wore to different events as Princess of Monaco. But although this room was spectacular, it was difficult to understand the transition from seeing Kelly as an adoring wife and mother to suddenly seeing her back as royalty. It seemed that the sole purpose of this section was to emphasize the formal beauty of clothes.

The final room of the exhibition was simple and minimalist, showcasing three large portraits of the natural-looking Kelly and a quote by Victor Hugo. Her mysterious and tragic death was not dwelled on, which left the visitor with a feeling of bewilderment, unsure if s/he got to know the real Grace.

Altogether, the exhibition was rich with an exciting mix of work. The opportunity to see dresses from designers who shaped the fashion history, such as Balenciaga, Chanel, Yves Saint-Laurent, and Dior was astonishing, and reading personal love letters from King Rainier III felt like reading a fairy tale story. Further, the decoration of the interior of the exhibition was simple but effective. The walls were in neutral colors and matched the color-coordinated clothing on display, which worked perfectly as Kelly was known to epitomize the sophisticated yet simple glamour of Fifties Hollywood. But the goal of the McCord Museum was to present Kelly – the woman beyond the icon – and I felt uncertain if this goal had been accomplished. On one hand, we got to experience Kelly as an actress, a style icon, a princess, a wife and mother, but on the other hand it offered nothing new to those already familiar with her. Hence, it still remains unclear who the primary audience for this exhibit was. The exhibition was also too sweet, portraying Kelly’s life as a fairy tale without any obstacles or sorrows. For my part, the true Grace Kelly remained hidden behind the perfection of her image.

Brenda

-XO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Made Oatmeal Cookies

Hello my lovely followers,

photo-49I have a little surprise for you, so I hope you are excited.

So today, after spending hours at the library working on a presentation for my Fashion class, I started craving something sweet. But because I’m a dedicated runner and a clean eater, I refused to go to my university’s Tim Hortons and buy a doughnut. I simply rejected that idea. Thus, I started browsing on Instagram and ran into this recipe of oatmeal cookies. The recipe was so simple and looked so delish that I just had to try it. But because I don’t like “stealing” other people’s recipes, I decided to add a few other ingredients to make it my own.

Here’s the recipe (gives you about 8 cookies):

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 cup of oats
  • 3 squares of dark chocolate cut in small pieces
  • 3 square of white chocolate cut in small pieces
  • a handful of crushed almonds
  • cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Blend everything – except the chocolate squares and almonds – in a blender
  • Once done, stir in the chocolate pieces and the almonds
  • Scoop the cookies on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes
  • Let them cool before savoring them

Bon Appetit!

Brenda

-XO

*If you like my blog, make sure you follow me on instagram @brenworld*

Channeling my Jackie O.

Hello my Fashionistas,

I am so glad to welcome you back on my blog. Today is going to be super fun as I am about to publish a fashion related post.

Yesterday was a gorgeous day here in Montreal and as a study break, I decided to have fun and do a little photo shoot.

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Shirt: Unbranded

Shorts: Forever 21

Stockings: Forever 21

Booties: Zara

Bag: Michael Kors

Watch: Michael Kors

What really made me happy and excited about these photos were the flattering comments I received from my friends, especially those comments comparing me to “a president’s wife” or “Jackie O.”

P.S. The cigarette on the third picture is unlit. I hope you get the point.

Brenda

-XO

*If you like my blog, make sure you follow me on instagram @brenworld*

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes? Yes, please!

photo-46Oh my bloody God! Those pancakes? I don’t even know where to begin.

First of all, let me apologize for not having posted an update since ever. I’ve been wanting to for so long, but you know, sometimes other priorities in life can get in the way. But I’m here now, and I’m ready to rock this post.

So you guys know, at least those who’ve been following my blog, that I ADORE pancakes. The thing that I like the most about them (besides eating them, of course) is the fact that they are so versatile and therefore deliciously amazing with pretty much any topping.

So today, I decided to be a little more creative and opt for cinnamon instead of chocolate. And let me tell you, it was a fantastic choice. So if you ever get bored on the long Thanksgiving weekend, try them out. You won’t be disappointed.

For the pancakes you’ll need:

1/2 cup of oats

1/2 cup of egg whites

1/2 cup of 1% cottage cheese

1tbs of a sweetener of your choice (vanilla extract, agave syrup, stevia…)

a bit of cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Blend everything in a blender
  • Heat your pancake pan and then add a bit of coconut oil
  • Pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto the skillet
  • Allow the pancakes to cook until the under side is golden brown
  • Flip the pancakes until the other side is also golden brown

For the filling you’ll need:

3/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt

1tbs of honey

1 tbs of cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Blend everything in a blender
  • Spread the filling between each pancake layer

When this is done, place apples (cut in little pieces) in a sauce pan, cover them with honey and water, and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Once the apples are tender, serve immediately on top of the pancakes. Et Voila!

Brenda

-XO

I’m Terrible at Goodbyes!

GOODBYE-LOVE-LETTERIt’s that time of the year. Again. Summer is over, and it’s time for me to say goodbye. It’s time for me to leave my hometown Trenčín, my family, and all my friends and go back to Montreal to continue learning about the beauty of films. It doesn’t sound so bad, does it? But wait till you read more.

A year ago, at my sister’s wedding, I met the most beautiful person in this world. He was an average height young man with short blond hair and piercing blue-green eyes. He was looking great in his black tuxedo, but it was his purple short-sleeve shirt that made me notice him. Why? Because it was terrible!

But nothing happened at the wedding. I don’t even think we spoke that day. Mainly because we had never really been introduced, you know. After the wedding, months went by without any contact. Not that I was surprised, after all we were only Facebook friends.

But it was during Christmas, six months after the wedding, that I saw him again. Sitting in a little Trenčín pub sipping a pint of beer with my sister, he walked in with a bunch of guys, along with my brother-in-law. He sat far away from me, but I was still able to gaze at his wonderful smile. That night, however, I was left with a big disappointment. The man I was hoping to finally get to know was emotionally unavailable.

Again, months went by without any contact. I was back in Montreal doing my own thing and he was back in France playing hockey. To be honest, I even stopped thinking about him. But it all changed when one day he updated his relationship status and went from being in a relationship to being single. That’s when I knew I had to act. And I did act. I wrote him a short message. And he wrote back. Little messages turned into long conversations, and long conversations turned into even longer Skype talks. He suddenly became the person I thought about the most.

Our relationship was a virtual relationship, but it was a strong relationship. The person I knew nothing about suddenly became the person I knew everything about. I had never really spoken to that man and I had never even touched him until May 28th.

May 28th was a crucial day for both us. It was the day when he and I were going to meet for the first time. It was the most nerve-racking day of my life, but it was also the most exciting day of my life. It was the day when I was going to meet the love of my life.

Our love story is so long and complex that if I had to write every single detail about it I would have to write a thousand pages. So to make it short and simple, all I got to say is that I am the happiest woman out there. The man who I met a year ago is the most amazing person in this entire world. Not only is he soooo good-looking, but he is also extremely kind and generous. In other words, he is simply wonderful.

This man, the one I’ve been writing about this whole time, is the reason why my good-bye has been so hard this time around. Currently he’s in France playing hockey and I’m about to leave to Montreal to pursue my university studies. Saying good-bye to him has been the hardest thing that I’ve had to overcome in my life.

For the past few days, I’ve been crying so much and I’ve been feeling so down. I have never missed anyone, the way I’m missing him right now. I miss him because I love him. I love him so much that I can no longer imagine my life without him. Although we’ll be far away from each other, I know we’ll be able to make this work. I know this long distance relationship will be extremely hard, but I also know that we’ll make it through, and that one day we’ll finally be together. I know that because I have met the most remarkable man. I have met Tomas Kukucka.

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I love you forever!!!

Brenda

-XO

I Laugh in Flowers

Well hello again my fellow fashionistas!

Today was an amazing day. It was a beautiful 27 degrees in Montreal and a perfect time to take a break from my studies and hangout with my friend Adriana. Not only is she an amazing friend, but she is also a very talented photographer who has agreed to do a photoshoot with me. She found a lovely greenhouse not far from where we live and knew exactly what kind of photos we were going to make.

The photoshoot was a blast and the photos turned out great. Thank you Adrika!

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© Photos by Adriana Vyhnar

Oh Boy

Hello Fashionistas,

IMG_1836I have been blogging about food so much lately that I decided to switch gears a bit. As mentioned in my first post, I am a fashion addict and there is nothing in this world that I love more than fashion. Literally, fashion is all I think about. If someone could look into my brain, s/he would see so much fashion in it that it would probably drive him/her cuckoo.

One of the few questions I get asked so often is: what is your style or what kind of clothes do you like to wear the most? Let me put it this way… I do NOT have a style and I do NOT have a specific type of clothing that I like to wear. I wear anything and everything. One day you will see me in sportswear and the other in a very elegant outfit. The only thing I make sure is that no matter what I wear, I always try to make it my own…

Today, I woke up with a strong urge to do a photoshoot… and I decided to release my inner rockstar. Here’s how it turned out.

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Jacket: Zara

Shirt: Boy London

Shorts: Levi’s

Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell Litas

Hat: American Apparel

Shades: Ray-Ban

Accessories: Michael Kors watch and Aldo rings

Cauliflower Pizza

24276_10152717161495445_1924767457_nAs you all know, I love food. I love experimenting with food and try new and unusual recipes. So as I was googling and doing a bit of research, I stumbled upon the cauliflower pizza crust recipe, which got me super curious. However, I was also a little skeptical as cauliflower is not one of my favorite vegetables out there. But I thought to myself – hey, why not try it?

Ever since I became a fitness junkie and began combining a lot of cardio with bodybuilding, I have found myself craving junk food. It does not happen very often, but when it does I can literally go crazy. But thanks to other fitness enthusiasts, I am able to find healthy alternatives to junk food and still satisfy my lunatic cravings.

Here’s how you make a cauliflower pizza crust:

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium cauliflower head
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of blended feta cheese with mozzarella
  • oregano, salt and pepper

Instructions:

  • Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and rice it in a blender
  • Microwave the riced cauliflower for about 8 minutes
  • Mix the cauliflower with all the other ingredients
  • Press the mixture onto a baking sheet and put it in the oven on 450 degrees for 20 minutes.
  • Once it is baked, remove it from the oven and top your pizza with your favorite ingredients. I spread my pizza with a tablespoon of tomato sauce; added sliced tomatoes, red onions and green bell peppers; and topped it with feta cheese.
  • Put your pizza back in the oven for about 10 minutes.

This cauliflower crust pizza is beyond amazing. And for those cauliflower haters, you do not taste the cauliflower. You taste heaven.

Brenda

-XO