22, 22, 22, 23

"Take time each day to reflect"
This is something I used to live by. But 22 -I did not take my own advice. I took little to no time to reflect on what the fckkkk I was doing. I made decisions without thinking, I fought hard without realizing, and I was trying to stay steady while my mind was in shambles.  22 was a year of laughter, fighting, extreme behaviours and uncertainty. I was uncertain about my job, my career path, my relationship, and my whereabouts. I tried to convince myself I wanted something, that deep down I knew wasn't true. I tried to romanticize something that was toxic. Constantly trying to reassure someone who will never ever be reassured. I have a bad habit of compromising in places that I know are not healthy. I learned again from this, as I always do. Time tells all, and this worked in my favour. I cut ties with more than one person who were so close to me at one time, and moved on.

Travelling to Edmonton, Jasper, Montreal & Florida, I spent a lot of time in airports. Reading #girlboss, having glasses of wine on my flights and just enjoying the ride. Unlike my old ways of journaling, making a list of goals to accomplish and reflecting on the trip I had just had. I started to lose touch with what kept me grounded and inspired.

I have this part inside of me that is career orientated, focused and driven, and then this other part of me that is looking for excitement, carefree thrill, adventure and inspiration. A lot of pressure is put in both areas and I need to realize that this is OK. It is so ok, and probably normal for anyone who is 22. As long as balance consists. There is more to life then work, and there is more to life then love. It's when there is too much of one or the other that I lose control, maintain distracted and get off track.

My grandmother was in and out of the hospital all year. This took a giant emotional toll on me. No boy has ever made me feel so emotionally drained as I did leaving the Regional Hospital every night in the dark. Hoping that she would be ok, and that wouldn't be the last time I saw her. It was really really hard to drive away each time. But thankfully after a long year, she's in good health, out of the hospital, and safe.

Other than the intensity of making something work that clearly shouldn't have, my job I didn't feel absolutely fulfilled in, and a million trips to the hospital,  22 was a great year for my career. My blog reached over 100,000 views, I started taking my social media presence seriously and have been working with brands internationally. Katie & I really started to take AKA DECOR, from nothing to something, something really really special. We got our first shipment of fabric in the mail and did not look back. We built an entire company. I can't even believe this, and how far we've come. I now know how to seek manufacturing, product development, pitch, sell, accounting, business numbers, sales tax, HST accounts, lawyers, lead meetings, collaborate and compromise. And own a legit company. In 1 year we went from not existing, to selling Canadian made products with my artwork & photography in stores in Saint John, Fredericton, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax. Our team grew from 2 to 4, and the momentum is not slowing down.

I realized having a boss was not for me, and that I really needed to spend my life working towards being my own boss and running my own show. I am now able to sustain my living by creating. Creating images and creating artwork. I am now consistently shipping my artwork across Canada and the United States. This is something I dreamed of happening, and it's actually happening.

I had a lot of media attention from people like Huddle.Today, Dulcedo Management, Alex Vautour & Pmai Brand. My photography work was featured on ETalk, Fashion Magazine, MTV, & Flare Magazine. This was all incredible and I needed the reassurance that I was still on the right path. But the biggest accomplishment of being 22 was having my name, alongside a photo I took for my good friend & Canadian designer, Cassandra Burrell in Vogue Magazine. -This makes me so happy I could cry. I think we both cried.

It was a weird year and looking back, I learned a lot. I learned that instead of spending time and regret and making a big deal out of losing someone or something, is a waste of time.  Cry & keep going. "Life goes on, with or without you" -and it does. No matter who. I don't waste time in these areas. I learned how to be happy in my hometown without constantly wishing I was somewhere else. I learned how to "chill", breathe and live in the now.  I learned that millennials are really onto something and that collaborating with this generation is exactly what to do, because we're up next.

Cheers to 22, I'll miss u.

Hello 23, nice to see you.

Stay hungry, stay foolish 

^^^ balance



Labour Day Weekend

Labour Day Weekend, known to my family as: Marty Party. My family takes this weekend very seriously, we don't waste holidays around here. Every year it's a tradition for all of us to gather together and drink as much as we can over the long weekend. From day beers to kayaking, to bonfires, reminiscing and singing. Endless support and good advice, laughing and telling stories about the past and all the memories that have taken place in this beautiful spot all through our childhood. Here's a little peek into the afternoon at Mari-Oaks. xx 

Photo by: Cat Lohnes 


I'll be real. This isn't an easy one to write. I live my life pretty publicly and wouldn't change it for the world. It's amazing to have such support. It means sharing awesome things and experiences, but it also means sharing the really, really shitty ones too. This next month was supposed to bring a lot of changes, new things and a big move to Alberta. I quit my job and I can't deny that I was over the moon excited about this and have been working towards this for a while now. Long story short, life happened. This is no longer my route. I'm sad, angry and a little bit lost right now, but also can't help but look at the positives. I need to keep in mind that I'm only 22. Sometimes you have to let people go and focus on yourself. This part drives me more then anything. I believe in loyalty and staying loyal to yourself when things get tough. So I'm putting myself first and taking the reins even more then before. I remember falling asleep a few weeks ago, so excited for what was happening recently, and feeling so lucky that I had my life together, feeling nothing but positivity and happiness. But, it comes in waves. Just like that, things can change. You have to take a minute, bawl your face off, bounce back & regroup. Independence isn't something I'll give up easily and it's scary to know someone who cared so deeply for you, can flip a switch in no time at all. When someone shows you their true colours, believe them the first time. I feel good to have such a strong, solid life, friends and family. These are the people with unconditional love, keep em close, they're here to stay.

I'll also admit it sucks to have made a huge announcement and have it backfire beyond my control. So hopefully this spreads like wildfire like the original moving post did. Good news is -I'll be in Saint John for a little while longer while I figure out my next move. All of the shoots I wasn't able to book in the fall, I am now able to do, and all the family I was about to be missing, I am so happy to be around, and the momentum with this working life, lets keep it moving.