cait +tiff


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T / happy monday /

Photo Credit: Lucie Rie.

Sorry for the inconsistent posts, guys.  Apparently, I really liked being on vacation.  And that 13 course meal.  So in addition to getting back to it, doing all the burpees (see: 13 course meal) and shooting all the things like brand spanking new babies.  Which (so weird), is what I haven’t really been doing for the past month.  The break was nice.  I missed my cammy cam.  So I’m back at it and looking for all the inspiration.

Thank goodness for the guys at The Creator Class.  I’m so visiting when I’m back in Toronto.  I’m in search of doing some new things.  Hopefully they’ll show up on le blog soon.  In the meantime, at least I can be aspirational. Zahra Saleki is amazing.  She’s an Iranian-Canadian photographer who actually makes real all those visions she has in your mind.  Something actually I need to start doing. I hope this gives us all some hope and drive to create.  


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Out of Office-ish

chaing mai

Hi guys. Tiffany is in Chaing Mai this week, eating everything that Cait would like to be eating, and apparently going hog wild in fabric stalls in the markets. Cait is having a hard time containing her jealousy while typing in third person.

While Tiff is traveling, I am trying to keep up blog stuff, and I am not always great at it. You may have noticed in the past few months, we have taken something of a summer break from the blog. It might just be an excuse to be lazy, but we both genuinely want to keep the content on this thing valuable, and not just content for the sake of it. If we are particularly uninspired, we choose not to publish anything, because the blog is a reflection of things we are passionate about, and not of things we feel obligated to do.

So forgive the gaps in our timeline, and if you need a little more C+T in your life, follow along on our Instagram pages, @caitandtiff, @tiff.tsang, @infinitiff, and @caitdeck. Tiff is better at posting all the pretty things, which is lucky for you, because you don’t really want photos of me in sweaty pilates clothes and my sad attempts at healthy eating. Literally no one cares about my fitness journey.

Have a great Wednesday x

And the photo is by Tiffany Tsang, of course.


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humpjump

Photo Credit: Bri Hammond.

Hi team, hope your week is going well. Tiff is getting all the things done so she can get the heck out of dodge. Cait has turned her apartment into what is either a giant mood board, or a colorful attempt at solving a conspiracy theory. Not totally sure which one it is yet.

Basically me at NYFW.  If I ever wound up there.

This comes out this weekend in the US, and I am going to sit around with some tissues and do it.

My future life in Munich, right?

This whole show.

I am an It-superfan.  Therefore this.

I am NOT an It superfan, or even a fan of any kind. Therefore, this.

Anti-social extrovert.  My social life in three words.

All the colors, all in one place.

Such great words for the identity politics debate.

After a week of eating everything in sight, I just want simple, delicious food like this.

 


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C / A Year

ne and yen

Photo by Tiffany Tsang

It’s been a year and some change since I left Cambodia. I had a thousand reasons to leave, and I am so glad I did, but when September 3rd passed last week, I felt sad. Like a weird kind of empty sad, that caught me by surprise. I didn’t really get it, I had made those choices for myself, I had pushed hard in the right direction, and threw myself willingly into the relative free-fall of the last year. I am happier than I have been in a very long time, and yet, there was sadness?

With the help of an ugly cry and a very understanding set of ears to listen to me work through it, I realized that change, no matter what size or direction, is an adjustment. My life looks completely different now than it did a year ago, and I wouldn’t have ever imagined the amount of luck, love, and understanding that has come my way in the last year. But there is still something that feels like a mourning, for the past life, and a community that I miss dearly.

I am under the impression that change is a good thing, which I realize isn’t a particularly unique point of view. But because it leads itself so well to cliche, I often forget the gravity of change, and how long it takes my brain to catch up with my body. This time last year I was bouncing from couch to couch across the US, and I would’t be in my now-house for another 3 months. Change is weird and awkward and painful, but always, always important.

It’s nearly impossible for me avoid dipping into some version of self-help prose after a year of meditation, therapy, yoga, Brene Brown, and green juice, so I won’t even try. My impatience with the impact of change is the only thing about it that doesn’t surprise me. In true form, I just want to get through it and get on with things, but I am doing my best to quiet that spazzy voice just a little bit, and let those feelings come and go.

Overshare complete.

caitsig


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T / unsolicited TIFF

Photo Credit: Haubitz + Zoche.

Okay, it’s that time of year again.  Whether you like it or not.  At this point, I’m surprised I don’t have a gambling addiction.  Last year’s winning pony was Moonlight.  This year, my bets are on a Norwegian psycho-sexual drama.  The festival started last week, so I’m a little late on this year’s selection.  But here goes…



So about that Norwegian psycho-sexual thriller.  It’s called Thelma.  Which I initially thought was going to be a family drama set in Oklahoma.  Nope.  Instead it’s Scandi-minimalist possibly sci-fi nuts things.  I just can’t wait.



When I first went through TIFF’s programme this year, I was really disappointed to see that it’s larger budget played it a little too safe.  Meaning: historical and very white (there are more than two WWII movies and too many period pieces), and where it wasn’t so white, it was Denzel Washington.  Enter Guillermo Del Toro to save the day.  I like a little bit of whimsy and this is not unlike when he dropped Pan’s Labyrinth at the festival over a decade ago.  The Shape of Water is all childlike in its wonder and the trailer is just gorgeous.  Also: Octavia Spencer.



Call Me By Your Name is sumptuous in its coming of age sexuality.  It says summer love all over it and who doesn’t enjoy Americans in a slow simmering affair?  Get me to Aix en Provence, stat.



I’m always looking for new narratives from voices that we don’t always get to hear from.  My small size foreign film selection this year comes by way of the Philippines, whose culture is not so indistinct from our own in the West.  When I lived in Manila, I couldn’t get over how familiar it was.  But when you step outside your affluent enclave, you couldn’t be further from the truth of what’s really happening in Duterte’s Philippines.  And perhaps that’s what makes Dark Is the Night so terrifying: that I can see it happening in all of my backyards.



This year’s Midnight Madness programme at TIFF veers towards the ridiculous.  Which I love.  But I’m also a fan of the classical horror film set in a haunted house and involving children.  Enter The Lodgers. It had me at “Shirley Jackson-esque.”  Cursed, orphaned twins in a haunted house.  I just saw It last night so naturally I’m picking this one.


I’m playing it terribly safe this year with my TIFF picks.  But maybe it’s because I’m looking to getaway from everything that’s happening around the world.  I even hear there’s a meteorite coming at us.  So perhaps my TIFF picks are a little more skewed towards the fantastic this year.  But if you’re interested in a variety of perspectives on the world, check out the TIFF master list.  I guarantee you’ll find something that will be exactly what you’re looking for.  By the way, I’ve also got a tiny little Greta Gerwig feature in my crosshairs and I couldn’t be a proud Asian-Canadian if I didn’t also tell you about Mina Shum’s latest.


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T / a little activism

I think the best forms of activism are the most subversive ones.  They require a little creativity an maybe a paintbrush.  They’re the ones that happen overnight or under your feet, and when they get released, it roars louder than the tweet that got the ball rolling in the first place.  And aren’t big wide walls just asking for it in the first place?  So when I was in San Francisco this past spring, my partner really wanted to check out Clarion Alley in the Mission District.  It’s a community in a city where the voice of increasing social inequality and the fight against gentrification and the whitewashing of neighbourhoods is really taking hold.  Where better to smack some sense into your compadres than on their commute?  I’m always so incredibly impressed by the people who can synthesize their feelings into beautiful acts of activism.  And social media these days means that these messages can get spread far and wide.  Just look at all of the responses to the tragedy of DACA just hours after its announcement.

What a week it’s been, right?  The world is on it’s toes and the anxiety and anger are bubbling towards something.  Good I hope.  So I thought I’d share some snaps I took of Clarion Alley today.  And I hope the dreamers, the creators and those most seriously affected by this week’s everything get a wall of their own.



All photos by Tiffany Tsang. Please request permission for use.  Cait+Tiff are not liable for paint stains on your new jeans.


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humpjump

Artwork Credit: Hillary Bird

Tiff is trying to stay afloat.  Because apparently Mother Nature wants to go all Kevin Costner. Cait is trying to figure out what it means to “go all Kevin Costner.” Possible theories: 1. Wear baseball pants, be charming, and deliver fantastic monologues. 2. Have life flooded by rain and global warming, make raft and disappoint movie-goers. 3. Build it, and they will come. Thoughts? Cait is hoping it’s the last one.

These amazing jeans are about to be released!

And Cait is going to the pop up in New York tomorrow. WOOOOOOO.

Reader comments haven’t died!  They can be really good!

Are you following Bri? These adventures in Italy are making me so jealous.

The thing I’d love to get started in.

Seriously? Are we here? Do I think this might work? Kinda?

Avocado toast.  Let’s shout, murmur and really get into it.

Need some color inspiration? Me too. Check Stockholm fashion week.

A must read if you’re a blogger or wanting to get into it.

Why is everything she makes so good right now?

 


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C / hi again

itsok

Photo via DesignLoveFest

Hey there, it’s been a little while since I have written anything. Can I blame Mercury in retrograde? I am not 100% sure what that means, but people always say it when things are feeling off. I think the planets are going the wrong way? Something about the moon? My spirit animal is in the wrong orbit? I am honestly not making fun of it, I just don’t understand how it works, and I want to blame my problems on it.

Tonight, I am sitting on a couch in New York, with not that much more to say. I have to buy a dress for a fancy wedding this weekend, and I can’t make a damn decision. Can the planets handle that too?

caitsig


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T / happy monday / a little luxury

Photo Credit: Samantha Wong

Okay.  We’ll start blogging more regularly again.  I promise.  I also promise to post a little bit more on that intersection of design, activism, and beauty.  But right now, I think we all just need to breathe.  And it appears that this little act is a luxury.  We’re getting hit from all directions these days.  From mother nature too.  It’s been tougher to write about the beautiful produced things this summer.  But at the end of the day, how would we get on in this world if we didn’t support creatives?  That’s why I wanted to share these little videos today.  About tackling these breathing problems that we’re having lately.  In two different ways.  I hope you get what I mean.  And I hope you simultaneously find the community we need and that room to breathe.

The Epidemic of Loneliness – A Passion Project from Douglas Alberts on Vimeo.

Gui Martinez: A Short Film and Photo Essay from poweredby.tokyo on Vimeo.

PS – According to Facebook, Cait and I became friends exactly five years ago today.  This makes me excessively happy right now.


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T / bangkok love song

It’s become a tradition now.  Tiff gets new contract.  Then Emily says I’m coming to Bangkok.  Tiff immediately says I’M COMING (because having a new contract allows for flights of fancy).  Tiff gets the heck out of dodge.

But first, a little bit about Emily (read her stuff here! and here).  We met by chance outside the offices of this big organization in Phnom Penh nearly six years ago.  We share the same birthday and at the time of our meeting one friend, which quickly ballooned to 28.  Emily is also the one who introduced me to Cait.  And there was that infamous roll of Hello Kitty duct tape from Target involved.  And now we have this blog and amazing friendship and all these things I hold so dearly.  So now you get it.  She’s gorgeous.  The conversation, brunch, gin and wine are in constant flow.  We both love Emily.

And now about Bangkok.  It’s got to be my favourite city in Asia.  With the class and familiarity of Hong Kong (but without the prices, or my relatives), and the kids are so incredibly hip.  The culture is homegrown and authentically Thai.  It is so easy to get around (Uber and GrabTaxi are your apps to get) – and there are trains!  I’ve written about it before.  I’m writing about it again.  The place is delicious.  This time I hung out around the downtown center.  Here are some of my faves.


Start at The Commons.  You could in theory have all of your meals here. In my case, I actually did, over a 24 hours period.  With Em not getting in till the following morning, I landed, based myself in the super central and perfect Thong Lor neighbourhood, and went on to have dinner, drink, big breakfast and coffee as lunch (because if you’re a Thai barista that just invented a thing called Banacotta – why not) all at the best concept to have ever been developed.  Imagine if all the best restaurants in the city decided to open a small stand at a hawker center.  Then bring a few great designers, air conditioning, a great community vibe and you have The Commons.

Any trip to Roast requires two coffees. The special one you need to wait for (because it features cubes of espresso that will slowly melt into that ice cold cream). And the one you need now.

You can actually have coffee as your lunch here. Because you’re probably so full from all the other meals. But also because the crazy baristas at Roots decided to put banana panacotta in your iced latte.

Then Em arrived and we needed food.  Specifically Thai.  Thanks to our Bangkok expert, Jane, we were well armed with recommendations.  I originally thought Err was Jane’s way of saying that she was thinking.  It’s actually a really great rustic-style Thai restaurant down an alley near the Chaophraya River.  You feel every flavour.  Not because there’s a massive chilli in there.  The drinks are curated and so well designed around Thai ingredients.  I’m craving Issan sausage and green curry as I type.

Toby’s is where you might order 1.5 dishes.

Yet another Jane recommendation!  This one I had squirrelled away in one of our communication channels (there are at least 4).  When I found it, Toby’s on Sukhumvit 38 instantly became a brunch objective.  Because that’s apparently how I view food.  With our limited time together, every meal and drink had to be quality.  So that pumpkin scramble with smoked salmon had to be followed up by a ricotta toast topped with figs and dill.


Emily and I have fond memories of sunset balcony hangouts over G&Ts.  So naturally I made us attempt to drink every single gin concoction that was part of Bangkok’s Gin Jubilee earlier this year.  We only made it to two. But The Bamboo Bar at the Mandarin Oriental was by far the most memorable.  Just LOOK AT THIS PLACE.  It’s gorgeous in that colonial way you might feel ever so slightly bad about adoring.  Also – where’s Ernest Hemingway?


Cait’s written about JJ market (sorry – Chatuchak).  So I don’t need to add to the poetic waxing.  But this is where you can find one of our favourite bag companies, TA.THA.TA (hi Kivi!) and all the treasures, which in my case were cacti and succulents.

Some JJ tips.  It gets HOT.  Bring a big shopping bag because you’ll unexpectedly wind up with a bunch of tiny things.


I usually don’t go for the tourist sites in Bangkok.  But Jim Thompson has always stoked my conspiracy theory tendencies.  Not only did the guy helped reinvigorate and bring the Thai silk weaving traditions to the West, but he also went missing while “going for a walk” in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia in 1967.  So when Emily made the suggestion, I gave an enthusiastic YES and then went on to tell her all of my Cold War conspiracy theories (sorry Em).  But mysteries aside, the Jim Thompson House is a gorgeous museum of a very cool period in Bangkok’s history. His house is a traditional masterpiece that remains in sumptuous green despite being in the heart of Bangkok.  Also there’s a bunch of pretty silk on sale.


All photos by Tiffany Tsang. Please request permission to use. Cait+Tiff are not liable for a costly Bangkok habit.