September was a rough month for us, with Thiago working long hours to meet deadlines, Eli getting regular colds at daycare and myself extra busy at work as well. We didn’t have much time to relax and just enjoy the end of Summer and the wonderful beginning of Fall – my favourite time of the year – but everything worked out in the end. A good thing about listing what I loved each month is that it makes me see that, no matter how hard everything may be, there are always lots of good things happening. So, without further ado, here are the 10 random things I loved the most in September:
“Daydreaming” – Milky Chance and Tash Sultana
I’ve been obsessed with Milky Chance, a German folk duo I listen to nearly every day. I love the rhythm, the voice, the vibe of their songs… everything, so when they launched “Daydreaming” in partnership with Tash Sultana I was sure I’d like it. What I didn’t know was that I’d love it so much! The video clip is so cool, so mellow, and the whole story is just so trippy… the more I watch it/listen to the song, the more I love it! I totally recommend Daydreaming and anything else by Tash Sultana, a crazy talented Aussie musician for whom I’ve developed a major girl crush, and whose work I’m loving to get to know more.
My first Creative Mornings event in Vancouver
I’ve wanted to go to a Creative Mornings event for months, and in September I finally attended my first lecture in Vancouver. It’s a breakfast lecture series for the creative community, free monthly events organized by volunteers in chapters across many cities around the world. The monthly theme is the same for every chapter, and September’s theme was the Muse, the inspiration to create. The presentation was called Knowing your Enneagram, by TJ Dawe, a Vancouver writer, director and dramaturg. He spoke about a personality test that analyzes and defines people in nine distinct personality types, and how knowing and working on your “blindspots” for personality traits can help you become more creative. The whole ideas was so inspiring that I’m now learning more about the Enneagram’s relationship with creativity and planning to attend one of TJ’s workshops.
Speaking of inspiring events, my work sponsored me to attend my first Call to Action Conference on September 25-26 in Vancouver. It was two day of amazing marketing insights and actionable ideas – so inspiring, it felt like a breath of fresh air in my routine! I’m still buzzing with all that I learned and all the things I want to try – and still planning to write a list of my main takeaways of the event, whenever I have some extra time to write! What I know for sure is that, sponsored or not, I’ll be at CTA 2020, it’s a priceless learning experience for marketers, and I’m already looking forward to it!
“Outside Man” with Reggie Yates
Do you know those Netflix shows that always appear as a suggestion for you, but you’ve never cared about taking a second look? That was Outside Man for me, showing unnoticed on my timeline for months until the day I heard a recommendation on Braincast and decided to give it a try. And how glad I am that I did! The documentary series follow British writer-filmmaker Reggie Yates tackling serious issues like white supremacy, gay rights and drug addiction in places like Russia and South Africa, and it’s very interesting because Reggie goes after people and stories with an open mind and heart – as the outside man – and we end up learning a lot about things we knew nearly zero about, like, for example, the fact that there are white slums in South Africa, as you can see on my favourite episode below:
Vans’ toddler shoes
Thiago and I love everything Vans, especially the sneakers, so when we needed to buy a pair for Eli, off to the Vans outlet in Richmond we went. And OMG, I wanted to buy every single pair there – the toddler sneakers are the cutest things ever, and so well-made and comfortable! It was hard to choose just one, but we ended up picking these shark sneakers that are so fun and cute that they make me smile every time I look at them. And the best part is that my baby shark loves them too, doesn’t even try to take them off as he does with every other shoe he owns.
Stop Being Positive and Just Cultivate Neutrality for Existential Cool
I’ve been interested in the Taoist and Zen Buddhist teachings and traditions for years, especially the idea of detachment and cultivating neutrality, understanding that everything is inherently good and bad at the same time. It helps me accept what happens around me without – too much – suffering, and I love reading about it and trying to practice in my daily life. The article Stop Being Positive and Just Cultivate Neutrality for Existential Cool, posted on Quartz, discusses these ideas in a clear and practical way, a perfect example of how to apply these thousand-year-old teachings in our life today, when being positive all the time feels almost mandatory and can even be harmful sometimes.
Raccoon in the wind
Oh, the things we do for food… this poor raccoon knows damn well, bracing Dorian hurricane winds to steal food from this bird feeder in South Carolina. Seriously, this video cracks me up every time… this raccoon is just so chill yet so determined to cling to his goal, love it!
Chicken thighs in the oven with mayo
I hate cooking but I love eating, and unfortunately, if I don’t cook no one else cooks in this household, so I’m always looking for the easiest recipes. Googling “very easy chicken thigh recipe”, I found this Brazilian recipe of chicken thighs with mayo and mustard and it was simply the most delicious chicken I’ve ever prepared. The recipe is in Portuguese, but you basically mix:
- the juice and zest of a lime
- 2 smashed cloves of garlic (I used 5 because garlic is life)
- 2 extra full tablespoons of mayo (I used 3)
- 1 teaspoon of mustard (I used a tablespoon instead)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt and black pepper as your little heart desires
Then spread the mix on 1kg of chicken thighs (I prefer without the skin) and put them in the oven at 190 C/400 F for about 35 minutes. The result is just so delicious that I ate four(!) plates of chicken and white rice! Thiago and Eli loved it too, and I totally recommend it.
Old friends visiting from Brazil
Closing September on a great note, we had our friends Katia and Jorge visiting from Brazil for three days during their trip through Alaska and Canada. They’re my childhood’s bestie Mariana’s parents, whom I met when I was only eight years old. I basically spent half of my childhood and teenage years in their place, as I was an only child and loved spending time with their four kids and all the other kids that were always hanging out in their place. If I go crazy with just one kid at home, can you imagine having like, at least 10 kids messing up your house and eating all your food all the time? Ugh! Yep, saints, so I was happy to have them over, catch up and give back a little of their hospitality so many years later. And as a plus, with all their experience with kids, they were also super helpful when Eli had a cold and was throwing up like Linda Blair in The Exorcist a lot – so good to have an experienced mom around when these things happen, I wonder if/when I’ll ever become one too! haha
Brazilian books for my kid
Mariana happens to be Eli’s godmother too, so she likes spoiling him with gifts whenever she can. I always ask for kids’ books in Portuguese, as it’s so important to me that, despite being born in Canada, Eli learns Portuguese, learns about Brazil and where his roots are. So Mari sent through her parents some awesome Brazilian books for Eli: one with lots of cute illustrations of Portuguese words and three others about Brazilian folklore stories told by Mônica’s Gang, a comic book series we all grew up reading in Brazil. What an adorable present, I hope Eli grows up as interested in our folklore and culture as I hope he will be! <3