Posts Written On July 23, 2012

Happy Birthday to @thisBella_HDY

A very special happy birthday to our Toronto Editor Bella Mumba!  Bella is the sweetest, kindest and nicest person I have ever met. She is always thoughtful and loving and always always put others before herself. You bring so much joy to everyone around you and you are the living definition of vivacious! Well Bella, today is your day!

There is no one more daring, beautiful and incredible as you.

The world is your oyster so happy shucking 🙂

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Messy No More with @MarcyMckenna

Finally, there is a brand new solution for the annoying hair appliance disorganization in the bathroom. I am the queen of spreading my products out everywhere and having cords plugged in but in the sink and so on. I think every girl has tried to figure out a solution to this problem.

The Style and Go Hair Care Valet is an electrical hair care cabinet – it allows you to use your hair appliances from the same place that you store them. This is a cool and pretty way to make sure you will never misplace your curling iron again! Also this will probably save you a lot of time and arguments with your husband, boyfriend or roommate you share your bathroom with!

Gone are the days of unsightly cords, hair dryers, and curling irons cluttering bathroom counters, tucked into towel bars and occupying valuable drawer and cabinet space. With The Style & Go, all of your electrical
appliances are housed inside an attractive wall-mounted cabinet that eliminates the need to unplug styling tools, wait for them to cool off and then wrap them up before shoving them into overstuffed drawers and cabinets.

Instead, fit them neatly into their mounting devices, flip off the single switch, close the door and you’re off.

The Style and Go comes in white, black and espresso. What a great idea! You can see more about the Style and Go and its inventor at http://marcymckenna.com

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Canadian Child Rapper @LilJaxe

It was three years ago that Robyn Zeldin’s then-10-year-old son came home from summer camp and declared he wanted to be a rapper. It’s a path that might make some protective parents feel a bit uneasy, but it was music to Zeldin’s ears.
That’s because Robyn’s son, Jake, suffers from a stutter so severe that it can be a struggle to get through more than a few words at a time. The transformative discovery of that summer-camp stint, however, was that Jake’s speech impediment fades entirely when he raps.

In the intervening years, Jake has cultivated both his rap skills and an impressive array of contacts in the hip-hop world eager to see him succeed. But beyond the Toronto native’s burgeoning career, his mom is thrilled by the drastic change she’s seen in his overall demeanor.

Jake — who raps as Lil JaXe, the switched-up letter representing his “X-factor” — is uncommonly ebullient and upbeat for a teen, never mind a teen enduring a difficult speech disability. Fresh-faced with short blond hair that swoops across his forehead and stylishly dressed in high-end streetwear, he certainly has the look of an aspiring teen-pop star. http://www.liljaxe.com/

But he’s been dogged by severe speech problems as long as he’s been able to talk. The condition has long made him a target of bullies at his Toronto school.

“Kids at school have teased me, even teachers have teased me about it,” he says, still barely letting his eager smile fade from his face.

He loves freestyling, but comes back to common themes often, particularly one of resilience in the face of doubt.

When he cheerfully agrees to toss off some raps in person — and it’s truly amazing to watch someone who has such trouble speaking immediately segue into smooth, rapid-fire rhyming — he intersperses fun, frivolous material with lines hinting at his struggle, such as: “I’ve been bullied all my life, even by teachers once or twice/ Hard to live life to the fullest when you’re hit by haters’ bullets.”

YouTube videos of his rapping have combined for well over a one million views, including a collaboration with Montreal pop-R&B crooner Karl Wolf that has drawn more than 230,000 clicks. He’s also going to be featured on a children’s compilation called “Pacha’s Pajamas,” an environmentalism-themed hip-hop record that features contributions from rap luminaries Mos Def and Talib Kweli.

And Jake has a talent beyond rapping — he’s shown a knack for getting behind the scenes to meet the legends he looks up to. Over the years, he’s managed to charm his way to meeting the likes of Busta Rhymes, Katy Perry, Far East Movement and 25-year-old Toronto hip-hop superstar Drake, who has become a friend (a video of Jake rapping for his hero backstage after a concert in December has been viewed more than 200,000 times, too).

Pascal van Lieshout, a professor in the department of speech-language pathology at the University of Toronto, says several factors could explain why Jake is so fluid when rapping but not speaking.

The rhythmic nature of the music helps. So does the predictable quality of the words, as stutterers can find reading aloud easier than spontaneous speech. And the breathing patterns in rapping or singing are different than in speech, which also helps.

“Whenever a person who stutters takes on activities that help them regain some fluency and confidence, I think that’s always a good thing to do,” he said.

“I wanna get my story out there and get the message out that we can do it. Anything we want. And we can’t let one small thing, like a disability, get in between our dreams.”

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