At Home Teeth Whitening: Does it Work?

At Home Teeth Whitening: Does it Work?

Happy 2018 Friends! I hope you all had a great holiday season:).  I can’t believe the new year is here! It’s been crazy over here this past month (understatement) with work, home renos, holiday get-togethers, and oh yeah, a baby to take care of!  All I’m saying is thank goodness online shopping exists!

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Honestly, the internet has been my best friend since having Amel.  I’m finding more and more that every minute of the day counts, which is why I have been doing as much as I can from the comfort of my own home. Paying bills, Holiday shopping, and Grocery shopping (this one especially)!

Recently, I discovered an AT HOME teeth whitening system from Smile Brilliant that I am just in love with.  I had been meaning to whiten my teeth in time for all of the holiday parties and events, but getting out to see my dentist was a mission. So when I found out I could order a kit online, do my own teeth impressions at home, and then send them in for custom whitening trays, I was like “where do I sign up?!”.  It was so great.  I did my impressions the night I received my kit.  At first, I was worried I would mess it up somehow, but the kit was super easy! In case I did mess it up somehow though, there was backup ;).

After I finished my impressions I sent them back in the prepaid envelope. My custom trays came soon after and you bet I started immediately! LOL.

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To whiten was simple. Run a thin bead of whitening paste from the syringe along the front of the tray, put the tray over your teeth, then go about your day.  You can whiten anywhere from 45 min to 3 hours.  I usually left my trays in for about an hour and a half while I did other errands around the house and played with Amel :P.  Getting what I needed to be done was another reason why I loved Smile Brilliant.  Anything I could get done while whitening, made me a multitasking queen in my books!

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Another feature of the whitening kit was Smile Brilliant’s Desensitizing gel. I was calling this stuff liquid gold while I was whitening.  My teeth are super sensitive which made me nervous to start whitening.  However, this gel really helped to significantly minimize the sensitivity pain after each treatment.

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All in all, my experience with Smile Brilliant was a great one:).  Besides having an awesome product, their customer service is also top notch.  Below you can see my results, before and after.

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Want to WIN a free whitening kit of your own?! Click the link below to enter. Contest open to USA, UK, Australia, and Canadian residents only.

Contest ends Monday, January 8, 2018, at 11:59pm.

Giveaway link: www.smilebrilliant.com/g/ohsomona

Want to purchase your Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening Kit now?!  Use the promo code ” ohsomona120 ” to receive $20 off your trays!  Let me know your thoughts and results in the comments below! 🙂

 

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Stripes, Denim, & NEW ORDER COFFEE – DETROIT

Stripes, Denim, & NEW ORDER COFFEE – DETROIT

Happy Tuesday everyone!! Hope you all had a nice weekend :).  How was your Black Friday shopping?!  I totally shopped Black Friday from home this year… but I don’t know, was it me, or were the sales this year just not that great? I was keeping my eye on some things we wanted to get for the kitchen… but of course, everything BUT what we needed was on sale! I did, however, have some good luck at Chapters Indigo! Oh my, I just found the most perfect gifts.  I’ll share them along with others later this week as ill be posting a few holiday gift guides!

Anywho, why don’t we jump right on into this post?  A couple nights before this style shoot, my girl Vicki messaged me about this new coffee spot she found, New Order Coffee.  All I have to say is “good eye girl!!” I mean how awesome is this place?! It is just gleaming with sunlight, loads of room, fun decor, and great coffee.  We walked in and ordered … to be exact… ” the most photogenic coffee you have! ” LOL. This was the smores latte. We also ordered the Crunch Berry Krispie, and just saying, is there anyone who wants to bring me ten right now?!?!  Oh my gosh it was so good, I’m kind of upset right now because I was full the day we shot, so I didn’t get to finish mine…. now I want it and I wish I didn’t leave a single morsel behind!  Grrr does anyone else ever do that?!? Don’t laugh at me if I am haha!

So let’s talk outfit.  I have always been a sucker for a denim skirt that checks off all the right criteria.  Softer fabric that moves, good wash, perfect length and shape.  I just love the way this one fits at the waist and flares out enough to be cute/casual. Ya I just made that up, but that’s how I feel about my skirt.  Cute Casual 😎.  Let me explain what I mean.  A full pencil skirt would just be uncomfortable to wear daily and a full flare would just be too much  (at least for me), to wear daily.  This is just in the middle. Cute Casual. Lol.

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Well anyway, your going to semi not like me very much, but this skirt is no longer sold.  I got it at Joe Fresh Last year.  It was one of those things I bought but for whatever reason never wore.  Then one day I found it in my closet and had a closet epiphany.  I was like ” WHY DONT I EVER WEAR THIS?!?!?! ” So now, I’m wearing it 😂😎.

But dont you worry! I’ve linked a few others I have recently come across that I equally love, if not more. 🙂  (Linked at the end of this post).

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This striped shirt is from H and M and I seriously have 3.  It’s like always wanting to have a fresh white tee, but for me, a striped tee.

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This jacket. If you’re ever going to invest in a classic, do a well-fitted camel coat. This one is by Babaton from Aritzia. You can easily wear it casually day to day, or throw it over your shoulders with your evening look. I’ve linked a similar Babaton coat below.

Denim Skirt 1 / Denim Skirt 2 / Denim Skirt 3 / Striped Long Sleeve / Tights / Boots / Coat

I hope you guys enjoyed reading! If you get a chance to check out New Order Coffee, let me know!:)

Have a great week!

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5 Podcasts for the Modern Girl Boss

5 Podcasts for the Modern Girl Boss

Being a new mom (for a lack of better words) has completely changed my life.  Of course for the better❤ ! But being an organized & planning super freak, this new lifestyle was something I could have never prepared for…even though I thought I was.  I remember all of the activities I was planning for post pregnancy, and all of the new goals I was setting for myself and my home.  I was absolutely certain I was going to do them all without any troubles or hesitation.  🙋🏻 Raise your hand if pre parenthood you said to yourself “I’ll never be late for an appointment because of my baby/kids”. Really, I didn’t foresee any troubles to be honest.  Oh was I in for a rude awakening.  I remember our first event since having Amel, we were ready to head out the door on time, until we had a diaper explosion! Haha annnndd cue the late mommy.  Add this goal with the Rest of my goals to keep up with my work, start new projects and hobbies, and so much more.  I was feeling pretty lazy to be honest.  I couldn’t figure out what it was that I was doing wrong! Why did it feel like I couldn’t get anything done?!  Obviously being a new mommy is like two full time jobs all in itself.  But like I said, being so crazy busy before to suddenly taking ten years to tackle one item on my todo list was getting to me🤦🏻‍♀️.

I started to think about different ways I could multitask when Mike gave me the idea about podcasts.  I’ve known about them for years but never really listened to them.  Little did I know there was this whole little world in the podcasts section of iTunes and my mind was blown😱.  I started listening and realizing “hey, I could listen to these all day!”. Just like that, lazy feeling, gone.

Okay, not that easily, but it was definitely a start in the right direction.  Listening to these podcasts along with other methods of organization is what worked for me (we can talk about those other methods later 😉).  The greatest thing these podcasts helped me understand , along with the caring reminders from my loving friends and family, was that life is short. Cliché I know, but it’s true.  Listen to the ones in life that tell you this….their right!  That project you want to start,  the recipe you want to try, or the laundry you have to do will still be there!! No really, the laundry will still be there! So don’t sweat it.

The second thing I loved about these podcasts is how they made me feel like I was learning sooooo much!  Really I am!  It’s definitely filling that void of always keeping busy and having to be multitasking as much as possible.  I think being a true entrepreneur and girl boss is to constantly stay current and keep learning, and this is one step in the right direction 🙂 .

Okay, enough of the background story.  Let’s dive into it:

1200x630bbThe Simple Sophisticate

“The simple sophisticate is someone who prefers quality over quantity, sensible living over mindless consumption, personal style instead of trendy fashions, has an insatiable curiosity for life’s endless questions and a desire to live a truly fulfilling life rather than being led around by the nose.

Inspired by her lifestyle blog The Simply Luxurious Life, Shannon Ables (the original Simple Sophisticate) shares with listeners tips on how to live a refined life on an everyday income. From achieving your goals, preparing a memorable meal, creating a capsule wardrobe, traveling the world (Francophiles tune in as Paris is a favorite destination), and living life to the fullest without breaking the bank, living well is really quite simple.”

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“Say YES to the things that matter most to us and NO to the rest. It’s a great philosophy …but what does this look like in real life? Making time for our favorites—travel, creative work, loving our people, and good self-care—means saying no to the good and YES! to the great. Tsh Oxenreider chats with co-hosts Kendra Adachi, Stephanie Langford, Erin Loechner, and Haley Stewart about how to make this work in the day-to-day.”

downloadElise Gets Crafty

“small business knowledge & thoughts on goal-setting, motivation and creativity.”

 

 

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“PRIV Talks is a boss babe driven podcast brought to you from the hard working, wine loving girls of Privilege Clothing (@styleforthepriv). Ready to spill all the details on what it’s really like to work in the fashion industry, the PRIV Babes aren’t holding back when it comes to the ups and downs of building a brand in the digital age. Get ready to laugh, be inspired and relate to all chaos as they interview fellow boss babes and share their stories of success, struggle and all the behind-the-scenes reality that keeps it interesting…”

obK1pTiaBeing Boss

“Being boss is owning who you are and making things happen. Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon believe in building a business you love, making bank, and being unapologetically who you are 100% of the time. They have a combined experience and expertise in branding and coaching small online businesses to be more boss in work and life by focusing on “boss” mindsets, habits & routines, tools, tactics & strategies, blended with a little bit of hustle. And they interview other bosses such as Brene Brown, Marie Forleo, Ramit Sethi, Danielle LaPorte, Tara Gentile, and more!”

I hope you all enjoy listening to these podcasts as much as I do!  Let me know how you like them and if there are any you recommend think I give a listen to!

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DIY Belle Sleeve Top

DIY Belle Sleeve Top

Hey all!  Today I am sharing a DIY that has been on my todo list for about 43984573 years … no joke.  Do you ever write something in your planner and you don’t get to it so you move it up to the next week.  Which is fine, but I moved this project up to the next week about a thousand times!!  So you can imagine my excitement now as I sit here, FINALLY sharing this project with you!! Lol!

The belle sleeve top has been a staple this year and will continue to be this coming fall and onwards.  Today I am showing you a super quick and easy tutorial on how to take a basic shirt and turn it into a beautiful belle sleeve.

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I’ve linked all the details to the items in this outfit, or the like over here

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It is best to read all of the instructions prior to starting

  1. first you are going to want to get your fabric.  I was using a black shirt so I decided to use this dark grey and white print fabric.  You don’t necessarily have to go out and buy fabric.  You can also recycle an old item of clothing if that works too!
  2. Once you have the fabric you would like to use, cut a 2 large circles out of it, and then another in the middle of these circles.  To do this I just traced over a large mixing bowl and for the inner circle I traced over a cup.  My mixing bowl was 12 inches in diameter and the cup was 3.  If you don’t have access to a large round object, you can also tie a string to a piece of chalk at the desired length you would like.  Then hold the string down in the middle with your finger, then trace a circle using your other hand and the chalk.
  3. To determine the size of the circle is really up to you. A larger circle will equal to a large more dramatic belle sleeve.  Where a small circle will turn to be more of a frill like sleeve.  It is really up to you and your preference.
  4. Once you have cut out your circle, you will need to cut the circle within it.  If you notice, I placed my inner circle a little off centred of my large circle.  This will allow the sleeve to drape slightly longer in the back.  If you wish to have it even all the way around, place the inner circle directly in the middle.
  5. To figure out the size of your inner circle, measure the circumference of the sleeve opening of the top you will be attaching this to.  I used a cup to measure my inner circle.  It was slightly bigger than the opening of my shirt but that is okay and I will tell you why soon.

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6. If your shirt fabric or circle fabric as a lot of stretch to it, you will want to attach an iron on interfacing to it prior to sewing.  This way the fabric stays in place while             sewing it and it doesn’t go all wonky on you.

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7. Next is the fun part! To prep your sleeve for sewing.  Lay it flat and fold your circle in half, bringing it towards the sleeve like shown above.  I have my fabric inside out because I would like the print to peak from the inside of the sleeve instead of being so bold on the outside of the sleeve.

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8. Next, match the edges of the sleeve with the circle and pin into place.  If you have designed your circle to be off centre, be sure the longer side of the circle is pinned to the back of your sleeve.

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9. Start sewing the sleeve.  Make sure you are sewing with the sleeve inside out so when you are finished, your seams are hidden on the inside of the garment.  Start your stitching in the middle of the top of the sleeve, sewing until you reach the stitching of the original sleeve about half way through.

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10. Next, starting where you last began ( the middle of the top of the sleeve), sew the other half of the circle stopping at the same spot you previously ended the last stitch.

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11.  Remember when I said my inner circle opening was slightly larger than my sleeve opening?  This is why.  With the left over fabric (as shown below), press down evenly to make a pleat in the fabric (more pics below).

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12.  Once you have your pleat, finish by sewing across it, joining your stitches on either side and attaching the circle completely to the sleeve.  Then trim your remaining strings, repeat these steps for the other sleeve, and your done!!

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I hope you all enjoyed this DIY and I can’t wait to see the designs you guys come up with!  Share them with me using the hashtag #ohsomonaDIY or in the comments below!  Stay tuned for more Fashion DIY projects! Also, a big thank you to Vicki Bartel for her amazing job capturing the images of the final outfit.

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Embroidery Hack

Embroidery Hack

Hey everyone 🙂 so this post is about 2 weeks overdue (#momlife) lol. Sorry! I promise though you will love it! It’s an awesome and versatile DIY that makes for a nice little weekend project or even a fun project with the kiddos 😊.

I’ve been looking for fun artwork for the walls of playroom lately but I didn’t want to spend a fortune.  I want the room to be able to grow with Amel, her family, and her friends so I want to be able to change aspects of the room (like some of the artwork) to reflect this.   So while walking around the fabric store recently, I came across the embroidery hoops.  I thought “ooo wouldn’t be cool to do some embroidery?”  One problem, that would take me too long, aaannnd I’m not entirely sure I even know how…  Then I thought of this DIY 🙂  Instructions Below.

You will need:

  • Embroidery cloth
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Scissors
  • Thick paper or cardboard
  • Acrylic paint
  • Pencil
  • Paint brushes
  • Glue gun

Optional:

  • Embroidery thread
  • Beads
  • Hand sewing needle

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  1.  Lay your hoop over one layer of the fabric and cut out a square about 2 inches around the hoop.
  2.  Separate the hoops by turning the screw knob at the top of the hoop.
  3.  Lay the cut piece of fabric over the inner circle of the hoop.

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4) Lay the outer circle of the hoop over top.  Do not worry about tightening the fabric until the circle is on completely.  The fabric will naturally tighten while you put the hoops together and you can also pull at the fabric’s sides once the loop is on (prior to tightening the knob at the top).

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5) Once the fabric is fitted around the hoop, tighten the screw at the top.  Be careful not to over tighten.

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6) Next, draw out your design.  I did a few plants and pineapples because let’s be honest, real world gardening and I do not mix. Lol.  But you can draw whatever you would like:)

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7) Once you have finished sketching you can go ahead and paint!  I found mixing the paint with the tiniest bit of water helped to get nice smooth lines while drawing on the fabric.

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Thats it!  Once it has dried

Chickpea Curry

Chickpea Curry

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope your week is off to a good start :).  I’ve been trying something new this week where I go to sleep early and wake up super early to attempt to add more hours to my day… Let’s just say, my energy level right now feels like it should be Friday already… and its not 😭 LOL.  On the plus side, this easy chickpea curry has been my new best friend in the kitchen.  It’s quick and simple to make and the recipe can be altered in so many different ways.  It also tastes great (if not better) the next day after the flavours have marinated.  So making lots and keeping it for left overs is okay in my books!

For this recipe you will need:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil (or vegetable)
  • 1 large onion
  • 4-5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp red chilli flakes (add more for extra spice)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1 large potato
  • 2 x 400g canned chickpeas
  • 1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 x 946ml carton vegetable or chicken stock (low sodium)
  • 2 cups Basmati or Jasmine rice – on the side (totally optional. Follow cooking directions on package)

This recipe feeds 6.

*Tip- pre measure all of your spices in a small cup.  This way its quicker to add them into the pot in one shot.

*If you want to be a little bad and add some richness to the curry, at the very end once the curry is done cooking, add a tablespoon of butter and stir it in until it has dissolved.

I’ve repeated this recipe and instructions at the end as well, incase you wanted to skip the pictures and head right to the nitty gritty.

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Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Start by breaking apart the head of cauliflower into bite size pieces and spreading them across a baking sheet.  Add a drizzle of avocado oil over the cauliflower, and lightly sprinkle salt and pepper.  Place in the oven and let roast for 15 min or until golden brown.

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In a large pot on medium heat, add the oil and diced onions and sauté until almost translucent.  Add your mushrooms, garlic, and spices and stir.  To prevent the spices from sticking, do not be shy to add a table spoon of water as you go.

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Once everything is combined, add your vegetable or chicken stock, small diced potatoes, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and cauliflower to the pot.  Let it boil for 5 min, then turn down to simmer.

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Let simmer for 20 min or until potatoes and chickpeas are very soft.  Once finished, if you would like to thicken the curry, remove from the heat and add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch (dissolved in cold water) to your pot.  Thats it! You can eat this curry on its own in a bowl or served over rice or quinoa.  Feel free to add or take away vegetables to the recipe as well! It’s super versatile.

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Thats it!  I put together this recipe because Mike and I have been looking for more meatless meal options to try and cut down on the amount of meat we eat.  However, if you are feeling like chicken or beef, just add some pre cooked in the simmer stage of the recipe.

Let  me know how you like it!

-Mona 🙂

Chickpea Curry

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp avacado oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion yellow
  • 4-5 mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1.5 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp dry thyme
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 large potato
  • salt to taste
  • 2 400g canned chickpeas
  • 1 400g diced tomato
  • 1 946ml carton vegetable stock Beef stock to substitute
  • 2 cups Basmati or Jasmine Rice Cook according to package

Instructions

  1. Directions:

    Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Start by breaking apart the head of cauliflower into bite-size pieces and spreading them across a baking sheet. Add a drizzle of avocado oil over the cauliflower, and lightly sprinkle salt and pepper. Place in the oven and let roast for 15 min or until golden brown.

    In a large pot on medium heat, add the oil and diced onions and sauté until almost translucent. Add your mushrooms, garlic, and spices and stir. To prevent the spices from sticking, do not be shy to add a tablespoon of water as you go.

    Once everything is combined, add your vegetable or chicken stock, small diced potatoes, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and cauliflower to the pot. Let it boil for 5 min, then turn down to simmer.

    Let simmer for 20 min or until potatoes and chickpeas are very soft. Once finished, if you would like to thicken the curry, remove from the heat and add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch (dissolved in cold water) to your pot. That's it! You can eat this curry on its own in a bowl or serve over rice or quinoa. Feel free to add or take away vegetables to the recipe as well! It’s super versatile.*Tip- pre-measure all of your spices in a small cup. This way it's quicker to add them to the pot in one shot.

Recipe Notes

Pre-measure all of your spices in a small cup.  This way it's quicker to add them into the pot in one shot.

If you want to be a little bad and add some richness to the curry, at the very end once the curry is done cooking, add a tablespoon of butter and stir it in until it has dissolved.

 

 

 

The Creatives – Jesmyne Wallace

The Creatives – Jesmyne Wallace
Happy Tuesday everyone!! I am beyond excited to be starting this little series.   Lately I’ve been thinking about all of the wonderful creative people we have here in Windsor.  I thought “wouldn’t it be great if there was some sort of directory for all these creatives?!?”.  Then I thought of this little series 🙂 .  I wanted to create a fun space where if you needed a hand letterer for a project lets say, you could find them here. Between the delicious recipes and DIY, I will post about a creative I have interviewed with some examples of their work, and how you can reach them:).  I hope this is something you will all enjoy!
To start off this series I’m starting with a super talented gal!  Jesmyne is a free lance illustrator. You can currently find some of her work at Bungalow Home Decor on Maiden Lane in Windsor.  She is amazing at what she does!  Below you can read here ten question interview :
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1) How long have you been an illustrator?

I’ve been a graphic designer and illustrator for about 4 years. I don’t see being a designer and an illustrator as two separate parts of myself. I know they complement each other.

2) What is one art supply you always have on hand? 
I always have a notebook and col-erase. I am a digital artist so I do most of my work on the computer. Of course, I never start a design without thumbnails and sketches.
3) What inspires you? 
It might be cliche but everything inspires me. I’m based out of Walkerville so all I have to do is leave the house. Sometimes going for a walk is all I need.
Though I do like to go into interior design shops. I’ll look at a particular piece of furniture and wonder what would look good with it. I think about what I would want in my home and hopefully, others feel the same way.
4) How do you overcome a creative block?
Creative blocks suck. They happen to everyone, not just people in the creative field. When you’re up against a deadline it can be daunting. The client is counting on you to deliver your best. All you can do is pick up your pencil and draw. Then keep drawing. You’ll hate a lot of what you at first but keep pushing throw it. I try not to be too hard on myself.
5) What has been your favourite project to date? 
I don’t know if I can pin down my favourite project. However, 2 months ago I started selling prints at the Bungalow on Maiden Lane. Every month I create a new gallery wall for the display. It really gives me creative freedom. Each piece can stand alone but together, it works perfectly. I look forward to putting the next month’s gallery together. I really love Maiden Lane and I’m glad I get to be a tiny part of it.
6) What is something you can’t live without? (doesn’t have to be art related)
Cheese is the first thing that pops in my head and the lake a close second. But what I should say is my family. I have a one-year-old who is a little weirdo, and I love him so very much. My partner is incredibly supportive. He gets the ups and downs of being a freelancer. It has long hours and the work day never really ends but he is there for me. We have an amazing little family and I’ve been terribly lucky.
7) What made you decide to become a freelance illustrator?
At first being a freelancer wasn’t a decision. I was lucky enough to be hired at a marketing agency right out of college it was a great learning experience. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. After about a year, there were layoffs and I was left without a job. Graphic design is a competitive field there are a lot of talented designers all trying to get into the same agencies. So I started taking jobs as I got them. I made a lot of mistakes when I first started, the biggest was undervaluing my work. With time I got smarter about the business end and I became more confident. Freelance is not for the faint of heart. It’s a lot of hard work. Though hard work has never scared me.
8) What are some of your favourite books?
I love reading. Here’s a short list of my favourite books; The Last Letter of Alphabet, Great Expectations, Outlander, The Keep, and my favourite is Of Human Bondage. Of Human Bondage is an amazing novel. It follows the life of a boy named Philip as he becomes a man. Every time I read it I get something new out of it. I couldn’t recommend it more.
9) Do you listen to music while working? If so, what kind of playlist do you have going?
I’m sure everyone says it but, I listen to everything. Techno swing, French pop artists, traditional Nordic music (my sons favourite).
I do have albums that I listen to more than others. I listen to Cage the Elephant – Melophobia. Anything from Monsters and Men I could listen to all day.
At the moment I listen to Lazy Masquerade quite a bit. It’s a youtube channel devoted to telling scary stories. Of course, I can’t listen to it too much before bed.
10)What is a fun fact that others may not know about you?
People are usually surprised when they find my Instagram page and learn I’m an illustrator. Other than that I’m not sure.
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If your interested in purchasing some of Jesmyne’s pieces, you can pick them up at Bungalow Home decor in Windsor or if you had a different project in mind you can contact her personally:) (contact info below). Currently I’m working on a little something special for the house with her and I can’t wait to share it with you guys!!
Jesmyne Wallace
Jesmyne@gmail.com
-Mona 🙂