Inspired by: Andria Lew & the Evoke Passion Project

January 29, 2016

Originally posted by Nadia Elkharadly via Addicted Magazine

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This week’s inspirational individual is my dear friend, travel guru and conscious entrepeneur Andria Lew of the Evoke Passion Project.

A former real estate and business professional, Lew dramatically changed her life a few years ago in pursuit of a new purpose: to journey through life while learning who she truly is, and to help others do the same. An avid lover of the conscious festival concept and a budding member of the global conscious community, Lew wanted to share her learnings with others, so that their lives could be positively impacted just as hers was. And so the Evoke Passion project was born.

Founded earlier this year, the Evoke Passion Project is a new travel and tourism company that combines a carefully selected conscious festival, an expertly curated suite of personal development activities and a perfectly planned travel experience, with the aim to gift education to children in developing countries.  For the first edition of the project, Andria selected the Envision Festival (February 25th to 29th, 2016) in beautiful Uvita, Costa Rica, where travellers can dance until sunrise, participate in personal and spiritual development workshops, and treat their bodies to healthy food and the practice of yoga . Once the festival is over the trip shifts into retreat mode with 4 additional days (February 29th to March 3th) in Jaco and Santa Teresa, where the health and wellness journey continues guided by a team of experts in their fields, and Andria herself. The trip also features an optional 3 day extension that gives travellers a chance to explore the volcano and waterfalls of beautiful Arenal as well. And the best part? You can choose to pay the full amount of your trip, and have $500 donated in your name to the school building project OR, you can raise up to $1000 through the CHANGE HEROES fundraising platform, which will be deducted off the cost of your trip. Lew’s goal is to build 1000 schools that can educated 1 million children with the funds raised from this first trip.

For her passion to change lives through higher consciousness and charity, Andria is truly inspiration. Learn more about her below, and consider evoking your own passion through her incredible project.

Who inspires you?

My idol without question is Craig Kielburger, the founder of a Canadian organization called Free the Children. He became a child activist at 12 years old while fighting against child labour in India and South East Asia. Even at such a young age the potency of his voice of passion resonates with both children and political leaders alike. He inspires children that they can make a difference, enabling them to use their voices for good and for change.

What piece of advice would you give to someone trying to do what you do, or trying to follow their own dreams?

Get very clear on what those dreams are and everyday take baby steps in that direction. The more steps you take towards your dream the more momentum you will build and one day you will wake up in a reality you can’t help but be proud of. Be proud of every small step you take and know how lucky you are to have the opportunity to do something you love.

How do you manage to do it all?

I don’t, I prioritize and try not to be hard on myself and remember why I do what I do. When I became aligned with a greater purpose, loved ones and believers have stepped up and supported me with my vision. It’s as if they could see into my head and are now helping co-create a beautiful project that allows others to shift from within. Ultimately when we heal ourselves first while giving back to the world, the world around us becomes just a reflection and we are the creators of our own reality.

If you had one wish to help make the world a better place, what would it be?

I wish everyone the freedom of coming from a place of unconditional love instead of fear. Fear stops us from living from the voice of our higher self, following our dreams and loving ourselves fully. We all deserve to live the life our full potential is capable of.

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If you could pick one charitable organization to ask our readers to donate to or volunteer with, which would it be?

I would ask readers to give to the charity that resonates with them the most. Pick your preferred charity and ask a friend to donate or volunteer with you. Know that 50% of all money donated to charities is because a friend had asked another. We are all made from greatness and we can create change everyday. Travel with snack bars in your car just in case you see a homeless person or smile at someone who looks sad. The only moment we have is right now, so love every second and find gratitude for all of life’s moments.

Bookings for the first Evoke Passion Project are currently available but with only 20 spots available this exlusive travel experience will fill up fast. You can find the full itinerary, pricing and more information on their website.

Take a chance, and create that change you’ve been aching for. It’s time to live with purpose, and travel with passion. Join the Evoke Passion Project today.

Instagram:
@evokepassionproject
@champagne_hippee

The Beautiful Life

January 28, 2016

Because sometimes we cannot escape in real life, we must do it in our minds… a little visual aid from a glorious trip to Turks & Caicos back in 2013 – when I was pregnant, sober, and enjoying the last moments of leisurely freedom and alone time with my man and a solid crew of friends. We stayed at the gorgeous, and private Villa Bella Vita and ran down our days on the pristine beaches, in the warm crystal clear ocean, and on the property itself where midnight pool swims and home cooked meals were abundant.. (did I mention one of our friends is a chef?! Winning). The pace in T&C is calmer, quieter and slower than anywhere I’ve ever been and because so much of it is left untouched (and has barely any American visitors), it’s a getaway unlike any other. Looking back on this trip today and grateful for such beautiful memories.
xx A
www.flickr.com/aleksjassem/albums

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ONE & DONE

January 28, 2016
on  The Rebel Mama

You know, I wasn’t gonna go there and post a rant about how I would like everyone to kindly STFU and mind their own business… But I will.

Alright, I’ll attempt to take a “softer” stab at it

The thing is, my guy & I were never the couple that was planning for a big family in a newly developed neighbourhood with a two car garage. We literally got together while we were throwing parties (our *job* at the time) and that’s how our life organically rolled out. One party at a time.

285377_10152520653205707_1382805237_nOur calendars were filled with social events, parties, travel plans and all kinds of interesting things with interesting people. Naturally, we weren’t too eager to toss in the towel. Even just the thought of ONE baby was a decision we came to after lots of talks and it basically boiled down to, “Let’s try. If it works out, we have a kid. If it doesn’t, we tried and we move on.” No pressure.

Turns out I’m fertile as fuck and got knocked up on the first go of being scandalously unsafe. Nine months later, we welcomed our boy Oscar and it’s been a whirlwind of many ups and a few downs in between. Although motherhood didn’t start out as an easy adjustment for me, with time I became comfortable in my new mama skin and found my own way to raise this little man of mine. And now we feel complete.

Except for when people (friends, family, STRANGERS) candidly drop their opinions at our feet like a FedEx package. (It’s almost worse than the first time around; as if it’s a well known obligation!)

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“You can’t just have one!” they gasp.

“He’s going to be weird. Only children are weird.”

“Who is he going to play with? Who will he have when you’re gone?”

“That’s selfish. You’re only thinking of yourself!”

“It’ll be harder for you later…”

I hear you, but STEP OFF.
(This is coming from someone who HAS a sibling and loves her very much)

Is it not enough that mothers feel guilt for literally anything and everything already? Why add to the pile? Hell, I feel guilty when I go to work and miss out on an afternoon of hanging with my boy. Don’t make it miserable for me with added anxiety.

Hearing about what I should and shouldn’t do just makes me feel shitty, and in most cases resentful too. So what’s the point? Shouldn’t we be more invested in making sure every mother feels supported, whether they have one child or five? A mother is a mother is a mother.

For now, for us, three is the magic number where we feel comfortable and can manage; and although it’s not by blood, we are also lucky enough to have some amazing friends who ARE family and our kids are already growing up together.

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As parents we question our decisions regardless, so I suppose it comes down to acceptance, sticking to your guns and not letting folks get the best of you. Sure it’s frustrating to have to battle it out on the regular, but I’m more interested in loving myself and my family so I’ll go ahead and build a “screw your bullshit” shield around us for the time being and focus on more important things.

For those that unintentionally pose those questions (I know you do it from a good place MOM), just think of how your words may affect someone and potentially add doubt to their life or (worse) make them do something they don’t want to just to make those around them happy.

And you know what? When I want your advice on going from one to two, I promise, I’ll ask.

Until then, ZIP IT. Zip it good.

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And Now For Some Awesome Reasons to Have One Child:

– It’s about $250,000 cheaper than having two
– You can fit in one row on a plane
– You don’t have to go to a Disney All Inclusive
– You won’t have to waddle through another pregnancy
– Or sleep train
– Your kid may become more independent
– And get into enjoying alone time (paramount!)
– Plus they can choose their own family (winning)
– You won’t need a school bus sized car to get around
– You can stay in your downtown row house like a boss
– You’ll undoubtedly be more productive in life / work
– You won’t spend the day breaking up fights, resulting in more sanity
– And have more time for sex (like fun sex, not the reproductive kind)
– You can always be really present, cause there’s noone else busting in like KoolAid
– You can retain some sort of calm in your life
– And on the flip side, embrace your inner child and join the adventure

In summary – less negative vibes, more positive vibes.
Let’s stop breaking balls and get back to life.

xx A

Connect @aleksjassem on Twitter & Instagram

A Message For Humanity

January 4, 2016

Resos

January 4, 2016

Alright… I’m not hard up into making resolutions each year, but after being inspired by The Rebel Mama Resolutions, I’ve jotted down some general notes of improvement (and scheduled a reminder into my phone to read this once a week for the rest of the year – or until they become habits… )

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So here we go, in 2016 I will –

  • Be confident in who I am and who I want to be.
  • Listen closely to my inside voice and follow its lead.
  • Pay attention to the universe and its words.
  • Quiet my mind once a day through meditation.
  • Accept, forgive and grow from each challenge.
  • Reflect often.
  • Spend more undistracted time with my child. (bye IG)
  • Push myself and my passions.
  • Drink water. By itself.
  • If all else fails, drinks water. Frozen water. Surrounded by vodka.

Cheers to a beautiful year and doing everything with love. At least trying to. Hope you will join me on the journey! x A

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Currently addicted to …

December 29, 2015

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… 27 year old French Singer & Song Writer Héloïse Letissier.

Pillowtalk // via The BPM Festival

December 29, 2015

to be  fair, my husband found this. but I’m putting it here so we don’t lose it. haven’t heard something so great in a long while… enjoy! x

Part of the Crew Love familia, Pillowtalk features live vocals, fluid synth work, and dexterous guitar skills. A unique performance not-to-be-missed at The BPM Festival 2016, PillowTalk have the latest edition of The BPM Festival Podcast until they bring the beach vibes to Canibal Royal for Crew Love on January 11. 

 

Toscana

December 20, 2015

Been feeling nostalgic / romantic about travel… missing the world and all it’s wonder. It got me rummaging through photos and feeling especially connected to the time we spent in Tuscany – when I was five months pregnant, time moved quietly slow, the air smelled of rosemary, and red wine was part of prenatal care.

“The Tuscans have the faculty of making much of common things & converting small occasions into great pleasures.” ~ Henry James, Writer

Beauty in simplicity.

More photos here:
www.flickr.com/photos/aleksjassem

 

 

Rebel Mama // Side by Side

November 3, 2015

There’s two sides to a Rebel Mama ~ The Mother: full time problem solver, constant source of comfort, sleepless warrior. And the Rebel: Always true to her own self and constantly aspiring to create.. to grow.. to learn. She pushes herself forward and lifts up those around her.

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In my new photo project (that I am forcing myself to make time for) I will photograph fellow rebel mamas living in two places at once. My goal is to one day show them side by side in some kick ass gallery (for the wine alone). Or at the very least, print them for the ladies who inspire me every day.

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Dear Kelly –

Thank you for being so open, and on a last minute creative whim, my first subject.

You’re a balanced soul that I look to as guidance to regulate my own life. Balance (in motherhood, life and work) is tough and you remind me to quiet my mind every day and be present in life. To focus and be still in a very hurried world.
I have no doubt Charley will have a good head on her (relaxed) shoulders.

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Lastly, I asked Kelly what being a Rebel Mama means to her.
“As we all know, being a first time mom can be an overwhelming and emotional time. Being a part of the Rebel Mama community is so special because these are women who are doing their best to be well rounded and balanced (a life long search!) in the world of mommy hood and well, everything else us women do.
It’s a hilarious and feel good community full of fun and strong women who build each other up, who can laugh at their parental “mistakes” and refrain from judgment (because we all know that not one of us has all the answers!).”

Flying Solo

October 28, 2015

A little something I threw together on a flight. Because I had time.

Let me start off by saying that I’m a big advocate of travelling with your kids and exposing them to the world. After all, it’s one of the best ways to gain perspective.

But, as I adjust my cushy seat and sip on my wine in a flight to London (not Ontario…) I assure you that travelling sans bebe is a good kind of healthy.

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For starters, I haven’t moved in two hours. And I ate a FULL meal, watched a foreign movie WITH subtitles, and read TWO articles in one of the three magazines I plan to sift through. Insane.

What I would have otherwise been doing is likely chasing my toddler down the aisle and apologizing to everyone along the way.

So here we are – embarking on a short, yet marvellous trip to see the Queen (otherwise known as one of our very best friends Morgan) and his family. I plan to wine, dine and enjoy this time.

*Disclaimer: Don’t kid yourselves – I started missing him in the cab on the way to the airport and have zoomed in on his angel face on my phone about five times now.

But for now, I’ll enjoy this blissful getaway with hubby and the adult time it will grant us. Cheers to overpriced restaurants, late nights, and no noodles on the floor to clean up.

Below – some quick phone snaps from London – real ones are coming.
When I have time to download them… #backtoreality 

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Just a typically beautiful, quiet street in Kensignton. 

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A pot of sunflowers on a cafe patio. Because eating on cold patios here is so chic obv.

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An Ai WeiWei installation at the Royal Academy of Art.

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The bar at the New Hoxton Hotel in Holborn.

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The Caviar House Seafood Bar at Harrod’s. 

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Pretty little English things at Portobello Market.

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Heading up to the bathroom pods at Sketch. 

I promise to add a Full List of To Do’s to this post as well in the case you’d like to follow in our fancy footsteps.
Just mind the gap darling.


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