Tag Archives: women



Now to be honest, AJ is someone I have been admiring on instagram for a while. She is honest and transparent in her posts; she goes deep when sharing her inner musings. Her personal style comes across in her photography and writing and it transcends faith, introspection, and authentic glee for life and community!

AJ is originally from Calgary, but moved to Toronto in the last year to pursue her dreams & study culinary, food styling and photography. This month’s Women’s day blog series has been mostly Q&A’s so to switch it up, I asked her to share a little insight about her journey since moving to Toronto.


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We chose to feature AJ because of her incredible eye for photographs. Too often I read her creative projects, like #40conversations project, and they articulate thoughts that resonate so well, I can only imagine that they would be point of reflection for many of our readers.

Just like…

A photo posted by Alexa Fernando (@ajfernando) on Mar 9, 2015 at 1:56pm PDT

“Okay, I’ll show you what I mean. On one end is what we know and on another end is what we don’t know. In the middle there’s this grey area. That’s where ideas come from and where you’ll find the building blocks required for innovation.” – Omar, MD/PhD, Day 17 Have you ever been in those situations where someone’s explaining something and you’re nodding your head in agreement but you actually don’t get it because it’s nowhere near your field? Next time that happens, don’t be afraid to admit your ignorance and just ask. Omar is in the business of text mining and to help me understand better he grabs a sheet of napkin and draws on it while explaining his point. It was a nice gesture because as a creative, having that visual was all I needed to get it. People are willing to put an extra effort, sharing what they know, as long as you are willing to learn as well. So meet them halfway! There is that grey area after all.


“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” Since I missed a conversation on Day 19, thought I’d share another one from a different day. I saw this quote scribbled on Aya’s notebook and started our conversation by reading it out loud to her. It really resonated with me cause although I had just started my project (I was on Day 5) I knew already that it would be something that I would want to do for the rest of my life. Those life/inspirational quotes you post may get redundant to some but don’t let that hold you back from sharing. The little things you do matter. Somewhere out there it might just be that push that someone needs in their day or that simple reminder that he/she is doing okay. #40conversationsproject #lessonsfrompeople To coincide with this post, I’ve left some prints with handwritten quotes at @650cafe. Just say hi to Stef (maybe start a conversation with him!) and mention my name/instagram and he’ll let you choose from the set.


“I think one of the biggest realizations I’ve had since moving to Toronto is that the world does not revolve around me. There are far greater things at work and if I want to make a difference especially in a city like Toronto then I have to stand on my own feet and make it happen. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I should stand out—I only need to stand up. After all, I am just a [small] piece of the entire picture. We all have a part to play and who I am as an individual is made up of all the people around me. Whether we know each other or not, I’ve learned that each person that I encounter has a significant role and influence in my life: I am because you are.” – ALEXA


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Thanks for reading, are you liking the series guys? If you enjoyed this please comment below or share it! Do let us know if you are liking what you see.

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Jo is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle photographer. She takes us on journeys to exotic places and tells compelling stories through her photographs at ‘CandidsbyJo’.

We met a year ago at the Food Bloggers Connect conference in London.  I watched her stealthily capture moments throughout the weekend One particular thing stood out; her ability to warm up to anyone and engage them. Jo has a bubbly, warm, and up-beat personality.

We chose to feature Jo not only because her photos are damn-nice, but we can identify with her strength.  It’s exciting, crazy, and breath-taking to move across the pond, re-acculturate, and find your feet while chasing your dreams.  As part of her feature, she’s given us a taste of her travels at a cheese producer in Portugal.



Where are you from originally and what is your educational background?

I grew up in Boston also I got my undergrad and post grad degrees in Communications & Business there.

Why London, if you weren’t in London where would you be?

I was in a three year long distance relationship with a Brit and realized one of us has to cross the pond. I made the leap and am really glad I did! if I weren’t in London I’d love to work in New Zealand for a year.

How did you transition into food & travel photography?

I started a personal project in 2012 where I took a photo each day for a whole year. My end goal was improve my photography but the project also led me down an unexpected path towards specifically food & travel. I haven’t looked back since!

What have been a few things that you can attribute your growth in the industry to; is it practice, networks, training, assisting?

Practice is definitely key, especially for people like me who learn through trial and error. Once I started shooting often enough I began to pay attention to light and how to work with it for a style specific to me. Networking in person and on social media has been helpful in raising awareness of my work too.

How has your creativity evolved?

Once I started becoming comfortable with my style (which took a long time) it was really easy to expand from there. I gradually evolved from beautiful bright food photos to ones that incorporates a darker tone and shadows.

What can you suggest to empower other women out there?

As women, we are often the ones who hold ourselves back.  I think it’s necessary to recognise that pattern when it happens and push through it. It’s helpful to have a good support system both personally and professionally.

You say you know the secret of making a mean Old Fashioned?

Muddle really well! 🙂

Last one, what’s your favourite place to eat in London? (you can give us five, it’s hard to pick)

My list is continually changing since there are so many wonderful options in London! I’m a big fan of Restaurant Story, Duck & Waffle, Kanada-ya, Sushi Tetsu and Dishoom. They have all been consistently wonderful.


Thanks for reading, If you enjoyed this please comment below or share it! Sharing is caring.

Queijo-Serra-da-Estrela-cheese-production-photo-3 Queijo-Serra-da-Estrela-cheese-photo

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Calgary, Dublin

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’s DAY Features #repicturewomen

Because the world needs you to change it. – Lean In.org


This Sunday is International Women’s Day and to celebrate, I have selected a few creative risk-takers, who I’ve met through food, to share about what they do and how they stay motivated!  I hope this will empower others to take leaps and encourage authentic individualism. Rethink the identity of women in our daily interactions; in leadership, at work, online, and at home.


Feminism has been prominent in the media and policy space lately.  From the UN to Getty images, this must mean we are taking notice that social change needs to happen.  My image of a strong woman used to be a girl playing sports or demonstrating masculine qualities like being strong, but that is changing. We, (men & women) perpetuate these ideas but we need to break these stereotypes.
(3-months ago I wrote about it -here-)


I am really excited to share this with you and hope that you will check back throughout the month for the features of these diverse international women from around the world!  – FIRST Post is Sunday, 8th of March!

Empower, Encourage, Accompany

Empower – feel the capacity to achieve what you want to accomplish
Encourage – lend support  to keep someone going
Accompany – be the company present in someone else’s struggle.

thx lads & dolls, don’t forget to follow on twitter & drop us a note below!

ALSO, Saveur is taking nominations for blog nominations! I would love love love it, if you’d take 30 secs to nominate us!


Click here:

Enter the URL of your favorite blog:==>www.lovemesaysfood.com

(pick a category you wish, multiple entries are allowed!)

Are you nominating your site? choose *
No, this is another site

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Hey, we need to talk. (no, Ghomeshi’s face is not here)

Image: MTV

Image: MTV

I like to keep things pretty light-hearted on LovemesaysFood, but if the my modus operandi is Live to love and love to eat, it’s pretty important to love the people in your lives and in your communities. In this specific instance, I am talking about the women in your life.

There are two recent events that have, together, made me think I should say this; they are the UN speech and campaign for feminism ‘He for She’, and Jian Gomeshi’s public statement. Part of me wondered if I wanted to give his name or even the cause any more fuel, because in a way that may be exactly what the PR statement was meant to do. But, I can’t worry about that, instead I can say that this can be situation that sheds light on the unfortunate state of our reality as far as assault goes, and as far as women go. No, I’m not a man-hater, in fact, I really like the company of both women and men haha.

I can throw a bunch of stats at you, to explain how few of the assaults or harassments are reported. I mean if ever there was anything less reported than say, foodborne illness, it would probably be assault on women. But let’s just look at how the system can be better, and how we can all be better at supporting and empowering the people around us. Having the knowledge of the problem is one thing, but changing behaviour is another.

Below is an article from the Toronto Star, which describes a few misconceptions about assault.  In my mind, it does not even have to be violent and/or sexual.

Take-away: the reason these acts are so underreported is, (let’s pretend her name is ‘she’), SHE

a) rationalises & trivialises the situation. ie) “oh, well i’m sure it’s ok, I was just in a bad place at a bad time”

b) isn’t empowered to say something because people think she’s joking or lying,

c) feels nothing will come of it.  — What can come of it? If anything, at least the statistics will be better reported and understood to fix  the problem!

d) feels at fault or it would give her a bad name

Lucy DeCoutere, a popular Canadian actress, said in her interview that she spoke with some friends [and she means pretty smart people] about sharing her experience and the response more often than not was ‘you’re joking’ or just overall dissuasion.

As women, it’s one thing to feel ‘strong and empowered’ to have skills or do a job, but when it comes to this subject, I would go so far as to say this is a human right that you should feel safe and in control of what happens to your body no matter the situation.  I’d like to just wrap up by summarising the myths here and also quote the regulations, for HE or SHE, who feel like there is any confusion in the interpretation on the law.  Maybe we need an anonymous online reporting system, well, someone thought of that.  But just talk to the ladies in your lives and don’t use the words of that ‘jilted ex-girlfriend’…. please?.

Myth No. 1: Women lie about sexual assault.
Myth No. 2: The victim provoked the assault.
Myth No. 3: Real victims call the cops immediately.
Myth No. 4: Rapists are dangerous strangers.
Myth No. 5: Rape is rare.

If you’d like to share your thoughts or opinions about this issue – please comment below, or email me at vania[at]lovemesaysfood.com

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