Summer Essentials

Hello all, as a second post this fine summer I thought I would take you through my summer essentials! Also if you notice I didn’t write down spf or sunglasses that cause I feel like these are implied and actual essentials. These are my “essentials” like you don’t need them but they are nice have yah know?

Burt’s Bees Lip gloss crayons: These bad boys are AMAZING. I work in a very casual office and I feel like these are the perfect thing for my casual work style. YES I still do the bold matte lip and sometimes even a liquid lip to spice things up but these are a great everyday thing to slap on and not worry about fussing with my lip line 😉

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Mom jeans: oh yes you read that right. I have discovered that shorts are just not my thing. I like soft shorts and FINALLY found pairs that were long enough whilst on my European journey. BUT I am no longer afraid to say: I love jeans. Specifically mom jeans. I have four pairs. They go with everything, crop tops, tank tops, t shirts, buttons up. ALL THE THINGS.

Lip balm: also a winter essential, really a year round essential. A good lip balm is where its at if you wear lots of lipstick.

Dry Shampoo. This is a life saver. My hair gets super greasy, so I like to dry shampoo before I style it in the morning, even if it is freshly washed from the night before cause it doesn’t get as greasy near the end of the day.

Cream eyeshadows. I do like to wear eyeshadow everyday, but sometimes I find powders can be a bit too much if I’m sweating like a mamajama. I like to do the one eyeshadow look during the summer. Especially since I do work everyday and sometimes the morning is limited and it’s a time crunch. A one swipe and your done is one of the easiest things that make you look like you spent forever on your eyes.

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Highlighter. UGH my bae (and I don’t use that world lightly), my boo, my muse. They just add a glowniess that you see in the magazines. They are also widely available. If you are on a tight budget, the elf baked highlighters are a great option, as well as anything from wet’n’wild or the essence pure nude highlighter. If you want to foray into the high scale at the drugstore I love the physicians formula shimmer strips and thanks to my wonderful Aunt I also enjoy The Balm Mary Luminizer which gives you that J’Lo glow.

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Some good reading material. Now, as many of you know one  of my new years resolutions was to start reading more. But, alas because of such a busy school I did not exactly get to that. But, through work we had this huge book sale and I attained 10 new books that I want to read all of this summer. Currently I’m reading “Somewhere in France” by Jennifer Robson. A cheesy romance novel set in World War One but nonetheless has been an good read so far.

Having fun and enjoying the lazy days. Not a material essential but an essential for me. My school year last year was busy, with work, class, council, and my training schedule its often hard to find time for yourself. The summer is a time to recuperate and do things that you otherwise may not have not during the year. For me, its not having to rush while I’m running errands, cause I’m not rushing back to homework or readings.  Its also being able to go running after work and not feel the need to rush myself because I have no homework and very little duties to do other than wash my dishes.

A Wee Running Update

Well folks, its been a hot minute since I have written on here about running. Well, in March, March 4th to be exact I got injured. The outer part of my foot was so sore I could hardly put weight on it. I waited a week, ran again, re-injured my foot even more. I waited another week, ran again and re-injured it again. At this point I could hardly walk. I was hobbling around like a potato and rubbing my foot on a golf ball twice a day, stretching and foam rolling. Which thank goodness cured my injury but at this point I knew it was time for new runners. But as one would guess this happened at an optimal point in my life, exams were coming, I got a cold, one week turned into three, by the time I got new runners it was time to prep for Europe and to be honest I was slightly demotivated as I knew the first run would be a wee challenging, to say the least.

Alas, after my European adventure and a week of the post travel cold and jetlag I got back on the horse (or the sidewalk I should say). WELL my allergies are angry as it is, my lungs are angry that I have allergies, and my bowels are getting used to a healthy diet again so yah know. The first run wasn’t bad but it wasn’t awesome either.

Now, when I had the injury I did workout. I did upper body strength, endurance workouts and body weight training. BUT nothing compares to the motion of running for my lungs. Running is one of those sports that to me is hard. Its harder than doing a 3 and half minute free skate, its harder than synchro, and its hard to stay motivated because there are literally no external consequences. You are literally the only person who knows you didn’t run.

Its hard. That is what I will say. My lungs are the type that MUST at least twice a week run so they don’t lose full ability to run at their fullest capacity. As you may or may not know,  running has a totally different effect on my lungs than biking, circuit training and the 30,000 steps we did a day in Europe!

My first week back and up to now have honestly been really hard. Little did I know, after reading some Pinterest blogs, that running in the heat can take your body weeks to get used to. So I don’t feel too bad that my time has slowed down by a full minute.

I have now started a new Nike running plan on my sophisticated app because frankly, its pretty boring to the same monotonous run day after day so these include benchmarks, recovery runs, and long runs. Ah exciting times I lead in my life. It’s the little thing folks. I hope everyone has enjoyed this fun update and stays tuned for some more.

ps. featured image is my new mode of running transportation the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 runners in the fitting shade of blue

 

What I Learned about Myself Travelling to Europe for the First Time

recently had the wonderful opportunity to go to Europe for 8 days. It was a whirlwind trip, full of amazing sights, being extremely tired, some good French fries and creating art in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

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Jardin Du Luxembourg

The thing about travelling long haul for the first time is you never know what to expect. I went with a tour group which was fantastic, because had I not I would not have gotten to experience art in Paris, to experience Versailles, or to experience the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. We also went to perfume museum in France where to say the least I was in heaven, we saw a pick pocketer get taken down outside of the Notre Dame and I got to experience the streets of Amsterdam (and by golly I loved it there, kind of want to move there now). This trip was by far an adventure, it was jam packed like the Amazing Race, from tulip gardens to Vimy Ridge to the extremely overpriced mall in Paris I feel as though I got a wonderful tourist experience that I signed up for.

I cannot describe how the vibe of countries change, Europe is a different place, there is no concept of time, all of the buildings are stunning and people are so fashionable. I think my favourite moment was seeing the women on their bikes in Amsterdam wearing their straight out of a magazine clothing and just riding along without a care in the world.

 

However, I wanted to tell you a few things I learned about myself during this trip.

I like to have a single room. Plain and simple. Nothing further needs to be stated.

I love touristy things but I also love free time. Versailles was amazing, tours are my jam, but I also like to wander. Since our trip was tightly planned (which I am a personal fan of) there wasn’t a whole ton of free time. However, one of my favourite places was Flanders, Belgium. We got some gelato, and I had some time to myself so I got to wander and go shopping, pick some makeup you cannot get here in the Canadas.

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Essence stand in Flanders. LIKE HOW

I like Canadian plumbing. Not going to lie folks, we encountered some pretty sketchy washrooms. And I mean sketchy. Like the toilet seats aren’t big enough and their toilets also don’t fill up? And they smell odd, kind of like when you haven’t flushed your toilet in awhile but all the time.  This doesn’t speak for everywhere we went, but it was an interesting aspect of culture shock I didn’t think I would have. However, this was a small price to pay for such a wonderful adventure.

I want to travel more. Aye there’s the rub. I want to travel but travelling costs money? Okay, so here is what I learned. My bank account is almost empty, there are hidden costs in travelling so OVER BUDGET for things like food, drinks, bathrooms (be sure to have small change on you cause most public washrooms, at least in Paris, cost money to use). BUT despite my bank account being almost empty my heart couldn’t be more full. Its cheesy, but its true.

Amsterdam is a definitely a place I want to go back to. On my travel wish list is London, Scotland and Budapest! Hmmm perhaps the next trip 😉 Where do you want to travel next?

Skin care

Hello all. Now this is a bit of a different post for me. Usually I dabble in things unrelated to my actual beauty routine such as fitness, feminism and old lady posts. But I thought I would make a post on my skin care routine. I recently went home, back to northern Ontario where my skin FREAKED OUT. I mean I have never had acne…like ever. A spot here or there. I am blessed with my grandma’s skin (I swear I’ve never seen a spot on her face in all my years of seeing her). But this past time at home of which I brought most of my normal skin care, my skin was just breaking out left, right and center. I wasn’t doing much differently, I was eating pretty much the same way I usually do but it’s a vacation, I think I deserved a few butter tarts to my name. Now, the north is a different beast and our water is different then it is in Southern Ontario, which I think had a lot to do with the state of my skin. I any case I thought I would take you through my normal skin care routine and what I do to maintain a rather clear complexion.

TEA TREE OIL PRODUCTS. I can’t shout this enough. Even when I don’t have blemishes, my Tea Tree oil scrub from the Body Shop has saved my skin along with the “let the good times roll” face cleanser from Lush. Don’t let the tag: “for blemished skin” scare you dry skinned gals. I use this pretty much every day I wear makeup as I like to do the double cleanse.  The combination of the lush exfoliatant and the scrub after a long day just cleanses my skin beautifully after I have used my cleansing oil to take off my makeup (which admittedly I wear pretty much every day other than weekends). As for the spot treatment for those pesky ones I recommend the grease lightening treatment from lush. Even if I feel some breakout action coming one I will put it on that area and WAH BAM clear the next day.

MASKS. Well folks, I used to think masks were a sham. I don’t know, I was like “who has time for this” but by golly I started using them and my skin life changed.  When I returned from Northern Ontario I decided to use by Red Algae L’Oreal clay mask. I bought this mask because of all the hype in the YouTube sphere and have used it a couple times but honestly never noticed a visible difference other than that fact that my face felt super clean and purified afterward. I have this mask since October and never once have I noticed such a huge difference as I did when I used it the night I got back to school. It just took out the gunk from my t-zone.

OIL. Rose. Argan. Coconut. Get that oil, get it. I have dry skin. I started using oil based products and my skin just loves it.

A different morning than night routine. In the morning I use the Burt’s Bees brightening day cleanser, the aloe vera toner from the Body Shop, and the Desert Essence moisturizing cream. That’s it. Plain and Simple. NOW the night routine is a whole other story- starts with Burt’s Bee’s cleansing oil, the Squeaky clean tea tree scrub, Let the Good Times Roll face cleanser, sometimes a mask, a rose water toner, and then a night cream infused with some sort of oil, along with an eye cream. YES its long and yes folks I do it every. Single. Night. I love it. It’s a ritual. I encourage you all to find your own skin ritual.

Hobbies

I love having hobbies. And no the habitual things such as running or going to the gym, like a real true hobby your grandparents might do. These are activities that a person does during their leisure time.

Leisure time and university don’t usually mix. To be quite honest, I do understand this sentiment. I see so many people I know that just study and go to school and work and do leadership activities or go out with friends but don’t have hobbies and I often hear people saying they don’t have time. I do all of these things, but I still love leaving room for hobbies. Now, I totally understand not having time. With social media and television and environmental factors they all make it difficult to sit down and start a hobby.

My current hobby is crochet, I fricken love it. I’m not the best at it, but I’m always improving. So why might a 21 year old young women be doing such a hobby? Well crochet is something that is so easy once you get the hang of it and then you can create some amazing, original pieces that you can wear outside of your house. I am not going to lie when I first began crocheting it was so difficult, my first couple of projects were a sight for sorry eyes.

What can a hobby teach you? Well patience, it’s a new skill that you are probably going to be completely unfamiliar with. It is something that can become a passion and it can become anything you want it to be. A hobby can be a great de-stressor from life. I love to crochet because I can get carried away for hours on end and at the end have something amazing, handmade that I can wear.

How does one discover a hobby? First, don’t do what I did. I got what I thought I needed, yarn and three bigger hooks. Little did I know, the yarn I bought was too dark for a beginner and the hooks were too big. Make sure you specifically search the hobby for a beginner make sure you don’t go into thinking it will be easy and also prepare for frustration. Frustration is good, hobbies will teach you how to overcome this and also teach you patience because learning a hobby is not a race, it’s a journey.

The New Year is upon us

2017 is upon us. I have never believed in resolutions which are defined by the firm decision to do or not to do something. But I just feel like this world can hold a negative connotation because for so many people resolutions can be very stringent and taking something away from yourself.  So this year instead of making strict resolutions (not that I usually do) I’m making some goals (I guess that can be seen as the same thing).

Goals:

Read more books. I have been on screens way too often this year. I watch TV, YouTube, type all of my notes, am constantly researching for school, many of my readings are online and I’m on social media not only personally for my extracurricular activities because that is just how organizations and clubs communicate now a days. It’s a great way of course to stay in touch and make sure everyone knows but I would LOVE to read for pleasure this year. Even if its just 30 minutes a day.

Another goal, FaceTime my best friend for once. I am always telling her I will FaceTime then it just doesn’t happen. I forget or she forgets or I just revert to my introverted ways and text her instead.

Be better at not making impulse purchases. Do you really need that wet n wild palette? Sure its only 3.99 but in the grand scheme of things do you really need that? Also that 3.99 adds up.  I guess I could say this year 2017 just focus on things I need, like a well fitting beige bra because I don’t own one. Or a pair of black jeans to wear to council events and more casual job interviews. I have been quite good this year with not making impulsive  purchases but sometimes you have that moment of weakness in shoppers drug mart and you total ends up being $50 and you question everything.

Use up ALL of my makeup. I know, so many of you who know me personally know that makeup is my muse. I love blushes, lipsticks, eyeshadows, highlighters, you name it I love it. I shall admit, I may have bought a bit too much makeup in first semester, a blush here and there, a lip stick or extremely affordable eyeshadow palette at Loblaws this “treat yo self” mentality I took a bit too far. This goal directly ties into to the above goal.

Wash my dishes on the nightly. I have been sticking to this quite well but sometimes I forget and then wake up to a sink full of them and I have that instant, well dammit I still have to do these today.

Wake up earlier, yes this is a rather granny like thing to do (stay tuned for a post on this granny life of mine) but also go to bed earlier. I have been finding then when I’m  at home away from university, I go to bed much later than I usually do at school albeit I am currently on holidays. I want to be in bed by 11 and wake up by 8 because I really would love to get things done in the morning. I have been pretty good with this throughout this first semester at school so I’m hoping to keep that up.

I think that instead of people depriving themselves of something in the new year, like the typical “eat less junk food” I would say just focus of adding something positive to your life, even if its just a small positive thought per day or complimenting a stranger, or smiling more or eating an apple a day or making an active effort to hold doors for people, anything really that you think that will have a positive impact on your life.

De-Stressing During Exams

HELLO HUMANS. I have seen on social media several people several stressing over exams and studying at all hours, and worrying about their marks so I wanted to do a blog post outlining a few ways that you can destress.

Find a hobby that is actually fun. No don’t go to the gym if that doesn’t make you happy like people tell you to do, try something else. Try colouring, trying reading a book (and a gasp because who reads for pleasure nowadays), or just try  a new fun makeup look! My personal fave hobby is the art of the crochet, currently I’m making a toque with a pompom. My other hobby is pool but you know since I don’t have a pool table the art of crochet will do.

Take a step away from studying. Okay, I get it many folks study ALL DAY for like 8 hours and need certain grades to get into certain programs. I mean if it works for you then by all means continue doing you but for me I find I do better on exams if I don’t study all day leading up to the days of the exam and all day before. Yes I am in a different, more concept based program, but I find that studying 2-3 hours a day and planning out which lectures I want to study makes me retain the knowledge better. So I suggest (obviously I’m not a professional) to take a step back from studying and also to take a look at the bigger picture. YES grades matter for many programs, but when you are older, and in an actual career its not going to matter if you got a 65 in a class, what is going to matter is that you actually learned something that you can apply to your future.

FaceTime your pet. Okay so not everyone has a pet they can FaceTime, some of you might be pet-less, others might have a pet at school with them (lucky butts).   But I find that FaceTiming my wee Buttons is so amazing, because her very virtual presence puts me at ease and I JUST LOVE HER SO MUCH. Again another picture of my cat.

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Have a pamper night. I’m not going lie I have recently gotten very into face masks. I used to think they were a sham but honestly they are so relaxing. I did an at home facial recently and it was the best damn decision I made all week. I recently got the Freeman Dead Sea Minerals Anti-stress mask that is an amazing refreshing mask!

And remember fellow students, exams are not representative of your intelligence and your worth, you can get through this.

The Last two Melons

Well folks, the 8 week plan is officially done. This does not however mean that I am done running, but just that for once I actually completed a real running plan!

For the last two weeks I decided to exclusively run outside, it is better and it goes by way faster then when you are running on the treadmill sweating from your elbows.

I have improved my time per mile, continued to train my lungs and improved my overall running skills. I do need a pair of shoes for the winter-rainy months here in London because well my current shoes are the flyknit zoom agility and they have holes all up in them (which is great but not so much for the rainy London weather).

One thing I also noticed was that I stopped making excuses for why I couldn’t go, instead I would say “well since I have two essays due this week I will just to do 2 miles instead of 3” which might not sound like a lot but to me its shorter and allowed me the time I needed to complete my school work.

While time management is a challenge for some, for me figure skating taught me everything I needed to know about managing school, leadership activities, and exercising and at one point working! Since I am serious about my future career there is no time for excuses, YES sometimes life gets in the way and its totally okay to not exercise the days you planned, so I have come to accept that some days I won’t be able to get in a run because there are only so many hours in the day.  I also noticed that patience is a virtue, maybe it is because I am older and more in tune with myself, but I stopped competing and comparing myself to other people and just ran for me and to improve myself!

I hope you are all having a wondering December so far!

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This week was a busy one, a disappointing one (you all know what I’m talking about) and a beautiful one for my growth as a runner.

I loathed running back in the day, and I’m talking the amount of distain that you might dislike cauliflower or the word moist. But now, I’m kind of seeing the appeal…kind of.

Monday. Well today is generally a pretty easy day school wise. But I did have a paper to finish and dishes to do, but for some reason I was having a good morning and this run was pretty good. Nothing to exciting. The gym wasn’t actually too hot, probably because it was warm outside so they decided to turn off the heat.

Wednesday. Oh Wednesday, oh post American election day. I had a meeting between my morning and afternoon class and didn’t bring enough food to school and there was a damper on the day because of the events happing the U.S. It also suddenly got colder (not freezing as people from the GTA think) but any change in weather affects my lungs. With all of these circumstances I didn’t have the most positive run. the gym was incredibly hot, I started sweating as soon as I walked up the stairs to the treadmill and was just overall not in good mindset. I almost quit at 30 minutes but thought I would continue for the whole time.

Friday. I decided to run outside this day. I had played laser tag the night before and had a wonderful time and we also had a rad feminist mixer. Both outings I ate wheat which I did at my own risk fully knowing that I had to run the next day. But it was great. I was so surprised at the relative ease that my feet hit the pavement and the fact that my lungs weren’t nearly as sore as they usually are when I got outside in the North. Of course, my lungs were still a bit sore because the cold will do that you. I explored some back streets where I had never been before and to be quite honest I was a lot faster than I am when on the treadmill. I may have to start running outside on a permanent basis from here on out (we’ll see) but I rather enjoy it so much more then staring at the same tree from my treadmill at the gym. I also enjoy not sweating as just getting to the treadmill so that’s always a plus.

If you have a case of the Sundays here is picture of my kitty to make you feel better:img_4567

Week 5

So week five has come and gone. I started this week excited that it was FINALLY going to be November! Which means many assignments, upcoming finals but also one of two of my favourite things; Christmas decorating and finding the PERFECT gift for my loved ones.

Monday , Halloween. Yes I’m 90 and did not go out for Halloween because I was baking cookies and watching parks and rec. I had a decent run, it was quite a long run and also a really hot one. I’m not sure why Western’s gym is so hot and why they don’t turn on the ceiling fans but omg I was sweating from my fricken elbows folks.

Wednesday, yes we are finally in November. I cannot describe how exciting it is that this month is here. Sure, I have some assignments due to be completely honest I don’t let what marks I may or may not get impede my daily schedule. I used to make excuses as to why I couldn’t workout like “oh I have readings” or “oh I have a paper I need to start”. However, I’m trying to make running into habit that will help me with my future career. A habit much like one of the most relaxing parts of my day, doing my makeup. Anyway, this run was refreshingly short, but also kind of frustrating. My Nike app wasn’t working and my headphones had also broke so that was really frustrating, but alas I pushed through and finished.

Ah Saturday. I changed my day because I had quite a few things to do on Friday and an event at night, which was seeing Ivan Coyote speak about their experiences as trans person and was all around fabulous. Saturday was a warm day! I know…its November. There was some beautiful fall weather with 9-10 degrees for a few days then the weather just decided to go back to being what people call “nice”. Which I don’t fully disagree with, but I also would love to not be sweaty every time I wear a sweater, because I’m all about turtle necks so please weather I’m just asking for a bit of fall!  Anyway, this was a decent run, a few hurdles, the gym was so hot that I was having a hard time just because literally every part of me was pouring with sweat and there was absolutely no air flow. I finished and went home. I plan to start running outdoors at some point, so I look forward to the day when there is some sort of breeze!

Despite the hurdles, I am really happy that I have been keeping up this three days a week running schedule. I understand that for many people this may not seem like much but for me and running this is a lot. I used to run maybe once a week or month, and just give up. But it feels good to be sticking with a schedule and really being disciplined. I am also working on adding two days a week of strength rather then just one! Have a fabulous week and I do hope you also find a good sale on Werther’s soft chew caramels because they are the best.