Photographed by: Daniella Guzzo Photography

#whatruwearing – Black Blazer: Winners | Denim Skirt and Graphic T-shirt: Joe Fresh | Sparkle Pumps: Badgley Mischka, The Hudsons Bay | Belt: Betsy Johnson, Winners | Clutch Purse: Florence, Italy | Lipstick: Joe Fresh “Melon”

Some of the best days of my life were spent hanging out with the neighbourhood kids in East Van (you know who you are…).  We often hung out at the park playground, played make-belief, and were super creative and imaginative.  We rode our bikes everywhere and spent our summer days at New Brighton Park Pool.  I can remember playing “Roommates” and pretending to be soap opera actors, complete with fake names (I was Kate Kim Moore…?).  We started a pop singing group and spent hours listening to music by WhitneyMJ, Bon Jovi, Run D.M.C and Beastie Boys; to Elvis, The Everly Brothers, The Beatles and Abba.  We used to write and record our own songs on tape cassetts and preform our stuff during lunch hour at school.  We actually had our own Children’s Television Show on Roger’s Cable (now Shaw TV) because of it… crazy, Right?  I went to Hastings Elementary School and had a wonderfully divers group of friends and amazing teachers.  Gosh, just thinking about this warms my heart and puts a smile on my face!

This week’s shoot brought me right back my old hood and although so much has changed, in my heart and mind, the nostalgia is still alive. It’s funny how there’s such a strong 80’s and 90’s influence in fashion this season which reminds me of my youth — graphic t-shirts, head-to-toe denim, athletic wear and pumped up kicks.  Let’s not forget the hair and makeup, ie. the french braids, side ponytails and the blue and green eye liners and mascaras – HA!  Not to mention the 80’s and 90’s sound in music that we’re hearing these days from bands like Foster the People, Haim and The Killers.

How cool is this graffiti art?  It totally reminds me of a recent TED Talk by Mark Ronson titled “La Di Da (Di)” where he explains that “La di da di” by Slick Rick  and Doug E. Fresh is the fifth most sampled song of all time.  He traces it to  Snoop Dogg, Notorious B.I.G and Miley Cyrus’s music; each sampling it in their own original way.  And all of whom have made a huge impact in popular and hip-hop music.  I’m sooo going to make a crazy awesome mixed tape…ummm, I mean play list! 😉

I had some of the best teachers a kid could ask for.  Aside from my parents and older siblings, my teachers were my life coaches, mentors and encouragers.  They were an integral part of my child development and taught me the important skills that make me who I am today.  In some ways, I guess I’m sampling a little bit of what each of them showed me, and for this, they deserve a HUGE shout out!

Mr. Dransfield –  Was my Grade 3 and 4 music teacher, who influenced me in my love of music, poetry writing, and media and TV production.  Forget the typical children songs, we learned every Neil Diamond song known to man, did spelling in song and memorized poetry like “The Daffodils” by William Wordworth.  It was “School of Rock” meets musical theatre everyday! I remember a few times a year, Mr. D would plan a potluck lunch.  We each had to bring a traditional dish from home and present it to the class, so we could learn about each other’s multicultural background.  RIP, Mr. D! xo

Mrs. Bolene – Was my Grade 5 teacher art teacher.  I’m a kenesthetic learner (I learn by doing), and art became my muse.   I loved her hands and the way she signed her name.  I would practice my signature for hours, in hopes that one day it would be like hers.  And guess what?…oddly enough, it’s very similar!  I remember as a class, we designing a year book and I was most likely to be cast as the lead in the movie “Hairspray”.  Wasn’t that foretelling…

Mrs. Nakamoto – Grade 6 with Mrs. Nakamoto was so fun!  She was super cool!  I loved the way she dressed and how she always popped the collar up on her polo shirts!  She was all about working hard then playing heard, and made you feel so special when she spoke to you.  I remember collecting “Nak-Rid Dollars” currency everytime we did our homeowork.  We would record our earnings in our “bankbooks” and several times a year we could redeem our dollars for cool school supplies, t-shirts and stickers etc., which she had stashed away behind her desk.  Thanks to her, I developed a love for  Japanese food, waaay before there was a sushi restaurant on every block!

Mr. Stella – As the new Grade 7 teacher, he had his work cut out for him.  We probably gave him a hard time, yet he showed us tough love to prepare us for highschool.   I remember that on sunny days, he would move the classroom outside so we could take in the fresh air while we worked on our projects.  He loved taking photos to document our last year in elementary school including school events like Sports Day, Camp Elphinstone and Grade 7 Grad (It’s kind of like what I do on my blog!).  In fact,  years later, Mr. Stella compiled the photos and made DVD’s for each to have as a keep sake.  How thoughtful – Thank you, Mr. Stella, you’re the best!

And on that note… “Ladidaday, have a great Friday!”