January 2016


The Fountain residence – Anguilla

Warm breezes greet you as you exit the airport in St. Martin, add in a short 20-minute ferry ride and you will reach the white sand beachs and aqua-blue waters of Anguilla — pronounced AN-GWILL-A. We drove (on the left hand side of the road) from Blowing Point, the southern tip  of the island, up the main road to Shoal Bay on the north east side. The road was dotted with small homes, with free range goats and chickens everywhere.  The island is relatively flat, but the roads curved around small hills with beautiful ocean views visible with each turn. Once we reach the main turn off to Shoal Bay, the larger villas and hotels start to appear, followed by a beautiful view of the white sand and amazing blue water.

Fountain residences is located at the southern end of Shoal Bay Beach. There are two complexes, each with beautiful landscaping. The only difference was the view: one had an open ocean view and the other behind it was limited to a pool view. There is a hill to the west that blocks out  the sunset, but we were able to see the waves breaking on the shoal far out in the bay. It’s a short walk down a path to the white sand beach of Shoal Bay.

Our two bedroom unit was clean and furnished nicely with teak and wood trim. The appliances are new and our concierge, Whitney, was a terrific help. She purchased groceries and stocked our fridge for our arrival. Her advice on the best restaurants on the island was excellent. The villa; however, wasn’t truly big enough for six people. We found the sitting area on the deck outside a bit small for all of us, with only four chairs around the dining room table the space was limited. We had to ask the staff for chairs so that all six of us could sit around the table.

The windows lacked screens – this is a pet peeve of mine. I don’t  want to fly south and stay close to the ocean just to shut all the windows and blast the air conditioning. I’m not alone in wanting to have the windows open, but there were too many mosquito’s to do this without screens. This meant we had to leave the screendoors open all night, which made us a bit uncomfortable. It may be a small detail, but towel racks on the outside decks to hang up wet bathing suits are also needed.

The manager of the residences was extremely friendly – giving us access to the barbecue, extra dining chairs, and a free bottle of wine that we enjoyed immensely! The cleaners come everyday and were friendly and kind, providing us with extra towels and frying pans when needed. Given the location close to the beach I suggest they mop the floors daily as the sand fleas tracked in from the beach dotted our legs with bites.

Crocus Bay Beach.
Crocus Bay Beach.

Anguilla is a beach destination. Most of the beaches have restaurants with beach chairs out front. Crocus Hill Beach is by far the best for anyone wanting a calm peaceful swim in a protected bay. Da’Vida restaurant and its neighbouring beach bar occupy most of the beach and their food was exceptional. We stayed and watched the large sail boats come in during the afternoon, and rented some paddle boards to venture around the point to paddle through caves filled with birds. Small manta rays floating under the boat dock entertained the kids for hours.

Unfortunately, the Fountain Residences don’t supply beach chairs, but they suggest you hike to the other end of the beach where there are chairs to rent ($10U.S./day) at the Merriman Beach Bar. I’d recommend they invest in a few chairs and sun umbrellas, as it was impossible for my elderly mother to make the hike all the way down the beach. But, if you like playing in the waves and body surfing – Shoal Bay Beach is the place to go.

Anguilla has art galleries around every corner and a lot of very good restaurants – Cafe De Paris in the west end is a must for chocolate croissants.

We visited and swam at dozens of  perfect white sand beaches, surrounded by aqua-blue water. If it is a beach vacation you are after, Anguilla is the island for you!

Top 10 creative music videos of 2015

Music videos are increasingly pushing boundaries as artists search for new ways to show their creative talent to a massive online audience. 2015 was an interesting year as musicians were careful to create original works of art and not stray from their own personal brands. This forced a lot of artists to think outside of the box. The result: everything from new technology, interactive viewing experiences, and baby dress-up.

Here are the coolest, weirdest and most creative videos of 2015:

David Bowie – Blackstar

David Bowie’s “Blackstar” is a really interesting rendition of his earlier works. Bowie has always been a fascinating performance artist and is renowned for pushing boundaries in his music videos. “Blackstar” removes the rainbows from Bowie’s classic space theme to create something dark that dips into the post-apocalyptic mars —the humans have all left, an astronaut’s skeleton is all that remains. The classic beauty of his performance is still intact; although it seems like Bowie is questioning the inevitable effects of death. The question becomes, is this Bowie’s ode to himself?

FKA twigs – M3LL155X

FKA Twigs is the princess of strange for the year of 2015 and her music video does not disappoint. “M3LL155X” is a compilation of three songs and follows the process of giving birth. The beginning features FKA Twigs as an inflatable doll that a man is sweating over. It is disturbing, mostly because the real head of the artist is inserted into the doll’s body. FK Twigs goes into labour later in the song, and colour runs down her legs when her water breaks. She gives birth in the third track and pulls coloured scarves out of herself. The entire birth sequence then disappears from the storyline and she is left dancing on a runway in the woods. The conclusion  of the video takes away from the concept. Points on creativity though.

Ghost – From The Pinnacle To The Pit

Ghost combines several video formats into one piece, ranging from embedding video clips of classic films to animation sequences. The story of the video, which was directed by Zev Deans, follows a man who obtains great powers from a sorceress. He then proceeds to give the power to the people he encounters. It is filmed in a chrome colour pallet that adds to the contrast between the futuristic animation and old-school black and white movie clips. The “Pinnacle to the Pit” reflects a theme often scene in metal: the destruction of God in favour of a different form of worship. The Occult is classily presented and leaves the audience wanting to headbang and watch a flick from the forties at the same time.

Weird Al Yankovic- Word Crimes

Weird Al Yankovic is a go-to for entertaining and truthful musical parodies. “Word Crimes” takes Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and makes fun of musicians who lack authenticity and intelligence in their song lyrics. This is a very relevant parody piece because earlier in 2015, Thicke was successfully sued by Marvin Gaye for ripping off his original, “Got to Give It Up”. 2015 was an interesting year for musicians who were kept on their toes to avoid copyright infringement.

Bjork- Mouth Mantra

Bjork could have an entire list of creative and strange music videos to herself. “Mouth Mantra” takes the cake. The entirety of the music video consists of the inside of Bjork’s mouth while she sings. The mouth twists and turns in odd directions too, which increases the gross factor but provides an intriguing look into the internal chamber of the human mouth. “Mouth Mantra” reminds the audience of Samuel Beckett’s “Not I”, a theatre performance consisting entirely of a mouth. The use of a single body part in performance art is a timeless exploration of how certain body parts are almost uncomfortable to see up close. Bjork’s use of the inside of the mouth creates a new rendition of this act of theatre and pushes the envelope even farther.

Between the Buried and Me – The Coma Machine

The Coma Machine’s music video weirdly complements the harsh song lyrics. The video begins with a man lying comatose on a bed in what appears to be an abandoned warehouse. The scene changes to a man on the other side of the room who wakes up in a bed. He then wanders around the warehouse, unable to reach his comatose body. The man goes into several rooms and finds his childhood room, a kitchen and a room with photographs floating in the air. He eventually hangs a version of himself and is then able to access his comatose body. The storyline explores the afterlife in a concentrated space, emphasizing that simplicity can create a complex message if done thoughtfully.

Sia – Alive

Sia is a master at creating thought-provoking videos involving children. She continues the trend with her new video, “Alive”, which features a small child doing karate. The video is not as shocking as Chandelier, her ground-breaking video that featured child dancer Maddie Ziegler. “Alive” still provokes an odd disjunction with the lyrical content of the video strongly conflicting with the child. It brings up important questions of the increasingly blurred boundaries between childhood and adulthood, especially as technology becomes more centralized in western society.

Silversun Pickups- Nightlight

“Nightlight” is a great music video directed by Mark Pellington because of the variety of sequences that the band used to create a complex storyline that includes a man with a dog head and a woman with blood on her face. A young woman is featured in several different sexualized settings and becomes entrenched in a nightmare of BDSM-like fantasy. The use of blurred video transitions and regular speech mixed into the song creates a hauntingly beautiful piece that questions the parameters of sexuality — a relevant issue in 2015 and 2016.

Avicii- Waiting for Love

“Waiting for Love” by Avicci is a pretty simple video at first glance, but the band scores massive creative points for employing a new technology that came out in 2015. The Google Jump Series creates an interactive video setting using 16 GoPro cameras situated around the venue. Viewers have the option of moving around the set, obtaining a 360 degree view of a video. Avicci used this new technology in their music video, which created an interesting insider experience.

Miley Cyrus- BB Talk

Miley Cyrus has arguably stolen the show on creative and weird. Waching Cyrus dance in a giant baby costume is not only hilarious, it is downright disturbing. Interestingly, the video alternates between Cyrus speaking and singing about her boyfriend problems, which creates an intimate and relatable setting for viewers. Cyrus sings,“I’ll be honest, it is the super cutey shit”…BB talk is creepin me out”. It is a funny and thoughtful way of directly exposing Cyrus’ child star identity in a satirical and funny way.


Who rules Toronto’s transit? Girls!

Over the past few years subtle changes in the management structure at the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) have amounted to more women and visible minorities placed in key postions within the organization.

Despite the fact that there are not a lot of women wanting to change oil, or do heavy mechanical work, the TTC has, over the past few years, become a place where diversity being brought into the upper management is bringing a cultural change to the organization that is long overdue.

The 10 person TTC executive now  includes three women — the Chief of Staff, the Chief People Officer and the Chief Capital Officer.  This is a dramatic change from the executive just five years ago, which had no women on the executive team.

In the layer below the executive, there is an increasing number of women and ethnic minorities including Head of Stations, ‎Head of Wheel Trans, Head of Recruitment, Director of Employee Relations, and Head of Bus Transportation.

Jody Humble is the Director of Change Management at TTC and her role is to bring about the sort of cultural that CEO, Andy Byford, envisions.  When asked about the changes at TTC, Byford stated, “It is not unusual now, for men to be in the minority at high level, decision-making meetings. At a recent executive sub committee, ‎men, including myself, were outnumbered 4-10. This reflects the increasingly important role that women are taking in the running of the TTC.”

Out of six group station managers 50% are women.

In December, a number of media reports spoke about gender equality within the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). Most writers focused on the fact that women only make up 15 per cent of the transit agency’s workforce. This number came from the TTC’s 2014 Annual Report on Diversity and Human Rights Achievements.

The city/provincial benchmark for female employment within the TTC is set at a lofty 48.7 per cent, a figure the media used to show the abysmal state of gender equality within the transit agency. They argued that women use transit in different ways than men. They take shorter trips, sometimes need to make multiple stops, and are often in caregiver roles which require greater accessibility. If more women were employed by the TTC, they said, more changes would be made to better transit.

However, what these articles failed to touch on is the number of women in positions of power—in senior management.

Before the holidays, we put a call out to both Metrolinx and the TTC to find out about the number of women within the agency that held decision-making roles. A spokesperson for the TTC reported that women make up 26.5 per cent of senior management, while Metrolinx said half of their senior management team positions are held by women.

This is a much greater accomplishment considering the city benchmark for senior management positions is 27.2 per cent.

The reality is that it’s difficult to attract women to the manual and physical jobs required of TTC employees. And even if the agency was able to get more female employees, the jobs they would employ would not be in roles of power. They are not positions that would allow women to make actual change within the agency.

Should the TTC be trying to encourage more women to be a part of their ranks? Absolutely! But, until that happens, Women’s Post will rest easy knowing that women are running the place.

Barbie vs. Lottie: the issue of gendered childrens’ toys

Over the holidays, my daughter received many gifts for Christmas. I was grateful for them and honoured to have love surrounding us. On the other hand, the choice of toys given to her did not inspire a great sense of happiness. Almost every present was pink, directed towards my daughter female status and unequivocally sexist. Toys can be great tools for child play; yet, connecting the meaning behind the toys we give our children needs to be seriously considered.

Most of the time we are given two options: girl toys and boy toys. Girl-oriented toys often emphasize beauty over action and caretaker roles. Purses, dolls, barbies, and play dresses are common examples. Boy toys are more focused on active activities such as building, and they promote a rough and tumble ideology. Toy guns, action figures, and building blocks are typical. Both extremes of gendered toys have detrimental effects on how children associate with their gender and create a sense of self that is enforced by societal rather than individualized values.

Baby dolls or pet animals indicate that little girls should focus on caring for the toy they are given, while barbies place emphasis on the importance of beauty and downgrade other skills. Toys targeted towards boys often challenge cognitive abilities by getting young children to create structures or address problem-solving skills using building blocks. The National Association for the Education of Young Children spoke with Judith Elaine Blakemore, a professor of psychology and associate dean of Arts and Sciences for Faculty Development at Indiana University−Purdue University, who said that gender-typed toys might encourage behaviour that parents may not want associated with their children.

“For girls, this would include a focus on attractiveness and appearance, perhaps leading to a message that this is the most important thing—to look pretty. For boys, the emphasis on violence and aggression (weapons, fighting, and aggression) might be less than desirable in the long run,” she said.

5568057827_a50bdc8c94A 2013 study conducted by the University of Derby says that values embedded into children’s toys and play can affect career choices later on in life. Women are directed towards more caretaker roles whereas men fill the role of the engineer or lawyer. These defining gender gaps cause imbalance in society and initialize in values that are presented to humans at childbirth.

The study also indicated that 81 per cent of parents wanted more gender neutral toys in stores; but there were only limited options available. Pink and blue marketing strategies make money and promote an early sense of consumerist desires through specific ad campaigns directed at children. In simple terms, gender sells.

Toys directed specifically at boys are ideologically harmful as well. Limiting young boys to action toys and promoting the rough and tumble lifestyle excludes more creative and sensitive children, which can open doors to bullying. Boy toys also define action as an essential male skill, which can undermine the progress of academics. The lack of caregiving boy-oriented toys also takes away from an emphasis on playing a compassionate role in a family.

downloadThere are initiatives that have been launched to educate people about the effects of gender-oriented toys. Pinkstinks is a popular campaign in the United Kingdom that advocates against toys that marginalize girls. #caringboys is a twitter feed that allows parents to post photos showing young boys playing with dolls. Several innovative toys that promote gender-positive messages have also crept up on the market, including the crowdfunded Lottie Dolls which have garnered over 12
international awards for being a toy with a positive message. Lottie Dolls have a range of designs, from a robot to the animal protector, allowing girls to play with dolls that have empowered career roles in society.

Women and men have fought for equality for generations. We live in a society that claims gender balance and embraces the dual power of having both women and men involved in career and family-building scenarios. It is only sensible that children’s toys should reflect this hard-fought need for gender equality. Dolls are welcome to stick around, but I have a dream that my daughter can play with a mechanic and mobile Barbie with a realistic waist, who doesn’t wear makeup. Let’s create that, shall we?


How to conquer the New Year’s resolution

It’s the new year, and I’ve already broken down twice. The first is when I realized how much a gym membership would cost me. The second is when I purchased a new phone and it didn’t work to my satisfaction—my emails weren’t there, all of my contacts had disappeared, and my news feeds had to be downloaded again.

It seems silly, doesn’t it, to get so stressed out about such consumerist items. But, it’s not the products themselves that got me worked up. It’s what they represent. My goal to lose weight this year and look amazing for a family wedding was put to an abrupt end when I realized I couldn’t afford to go to the gym. My intention to get more organized was halted when my phone—the device that allows me to remember which meetings I have or  which interviews I have to do—wouldn’t work properly. All of a sudden, I’m looking at myself in the mirror and telling myself “If I can’t get a phone to work or afford to go to the gym, how on earth am I supposed to be the confident, beautiful businesswoman I strive to be in 2016.”

Is this silly? Absolutely. But, I doubt I’m the only one who thinks this way.

At Women’s Post, we’ve already covered why New Year’s Eve sucks, and why we should all avoid the gym. Despite this cynicism, we all find ourselves making resolutions, wanting to be a better person than the year before. A new year brings with it a fresh start, whether or not we believe it’s worth the hassle. So, if we are all going to make New Year’s resolutions anyway, how do we prevent the derailing of these hopes and dreams?

There are a lot of things I could write in this post. I could quote psychologists, nutritionists, and weight loss experts who will all say “be specific” with your new year’s resolutions. They will tell us all to be patient, tell our friends about these plans, take the small wins, be realistic, ect. We hear these statements all the time and yet, studies still show few people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions. So, I’m going to make something up.

This is what I am going to do: Instead of telling myself what I should be doing his year, I’m telling myself what I should not be doing. For example:

I will not tell myself I am anything but beautiful: Do I need/want to lose weight? Yes. But, it’s not going to happen overnight. If I can’t get a gym membership now, that’s fine. Did my favourite pair of jeans rip at the thigh? I will take this opportunity to get better ones. If I struggle with my salad lunches or decide I want to splurge on a chocolate mocha, that’s okay! No matter what it says on the scale, I’m beautiful. And that’s, well, that.

I will not judge my choices once I’ve made them: Too often have I sneaked down to the kitchen, taken out a bowl of ice cream, and looked at my sister in the other room and said “don’t judge me.” When I make a decision, it’s mine. I don’t want to feel regret. The only thing going through my head should be “oh well,” “moving on,” “or “hell yes!” I will not dwell on the past any longer. Life is full of choices and if we spend hours thinking about whether or not we made the right ones…well, we wouldn’t be doing anything else.

I will not shy away from learning something new: It’s time to embrace challenges. If I don’t know how to do something, I won’t get frustrated. I will take a deep breath and figure it out. Whether its trying yoga for the first time, learning how to juggle, or even figuring out a new phone, I can do it. And if I can’t, I won’t be ashamed or afraid to ask for help.

I will not let others get me down: Too often is our self-esteem controlled by statements other people make. When someone makes a comment about my abilities, skills, talents, or personal traits, my response will be “I’m sorry you feel that way.” When an environment becomes poisonous, I will leave the room. I will take deep breaths, do some yoga, or maybe even meditate. I may even fight back. Which ever coping mechanism I decide to use, I promise not to let it effect my confidence.

Will these affirmations work? Who knows. But at least it relieves some of the pressure we are all facing. Ignore the news articles, promotional ads, and messages you get from companies wanting you to buy into their products. Who cares if you lose 30 pounds by bikini season? As cheesy as it is, be happy with who you are. The rest will follow.

Because you are as awesome as you were in 2015, maybe even moreso.

And don’t forget it!


It’s been a crazy year, and we are ready to start another one. How about you?

Despite agreeing to publish an article about why New Year’s sucks yesterday, I have to say that I do look forward to it. The past year has been a year of opportunity and re-branding. We have been working hard to make Women’s Post more accessible through social media. We have dedicated ourselves to sharing intriguing and thought-provoking articles, speaking with and profiling amazing women in business, and providing some fun pieces about fashion and the meaning of beauty.

I would love to hear your thoughts about our wonderful publication. Is there something we’ve done you really enjoyed? Was there something you wish we had written about? Do you have suggestions for how we can improve? Now is the time to share those opinions. We are here to serve our readers — that’s you! — and without feedback, we won’t know what our resolutions should be.

Let us know what you think in the comments below, or email me at

-Katherine DeClerq, Managing Editor of Women’s Post