March 2, 2015

The Month of March

Emily Dickinson's poem, Part Five: The Single Hound, starts like this:

MARCH is the month of expectation,
The things we do not know

While March can be a month of hope, there is a sense that it will always be this way.

The salted slush comfortable on the ground; cold wind that nips on ears like a puppy that will never be trained; a profound darkness that trails us home at 5 p.m. But soon, light will flood our evenings and stretch out like a baby waking from slumber. We will smile at strangers on city streets, and all that is rotting will bloom green.

Winter will fold its cards, because it no longer has the winning hand. I say goodbye to February; a month of shallow breathing and hibernation. I fling my arm back, wave my floppy hand, but I do not turn my head. No, I keep my eyes forward.

One step at a time, until I feel sunshine.

February 26, 2015

Beauty: The Return of Lip Gloss

I have adult braces.

Although they are Invisalign, which means the trays are clear and plastic, I can't really wear lipstick anymore. Since I got my braces in October, I found that whenever I leave the house with lipstick on, my trays get smeared with colour by the time I get to a party or event.

It's not that big of a deal, but I do feel a bit self-conscious at times, in turn opting out of painting my mouth red, or any colour for that matter.

I've now switched to gloss.

I remember in high school when gloss was "cool" and everyone had different sticky, sparkly shades. Somewhere along the line, we all got sick of getting our hair stuck to our mouths, and swapped it out.

I've managed to find what I deem, adult gloss. Non-sticky versions that hydrate lips, and still give my mouth some shiny attention. It's the upgraded version of your high school crush, who now has a real job, and doesn't wear baggy golf shirts anymore.

Below are my favourite glosses (even if you're not going through a regression, and rocking plastic braces)

1. Fresh Sugar Shine Lip Treatment - This was my first foray into adult lipgloss. This treatment claims to moisturize and protect lips for 6 hours. It comes in a variety of shades, but I prefer clear. ($21)

2. Tarte Lipsurgence Skintuitive Lip Gloss - I got this gloss as a sample at Sephora with my beauty points and became obsessed. It's a universal shade that changes to the natural pink pigment of your own lips. It also has Vitamin E, jojoba seed oil, and smells amazing. ($19)

3. Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil - This gloss glides on smooth with its over sized spongy applicator. Lips are wrapped in a sweet shine, and it usually draws attention when I take it out of my purse. Try the honey shade with plum oil. ($23)

February 24, 2015

New Weekly Mantra - The Crawl

Lately, I've been thinking about crawling.

Baby Kate has recently learned. I watch her zip around the room, and then swivel and sit around in her new location. We're all careful that she doesn't get hurt, or bump her head on coffee table poles, or couch ends. 

Although I learned to crawl many years ago, this month, I had to learn again. There was no one to protect me from the bumps, except that perhaps I needed to slam into a few things before getting to my destination. (And I'm still not there).  

These days, I use my apartment sliding doors to write notes, quotes, To-Do lists, and other things I find inspiring, so when I wake up, I see where I need to be. I've been reading Nymag's "Ask Polly" advice column for awhile now, and this week's mantra comes from it. 

Here it is, as scribbled on my walls. For more Polly, visit Enjoy! x

February 11, 2015

My Top Five Books About Love

Reading about love or heartbreak can be cathartic.

It's validating to know that a fictional character, or a real person has experienced the same pain, or uplifting joy that we feel when we open ourselves up to another person. Just ask my new favourite Instagram account, Hot Dudes Reading.

Whether it's heartache, commitment, marriage, or self-exploration, it's hard to find a novel that doesn't focus on these themes in one way or another. I constantly read about love in all of its capacities, whether I'm in a relationship, newly single, heartbroken, or playing the field. It's a constant learning game, and I find it fascinating.

I don't have many views on Valentine's Day; I can take it or leave it depending on my romantic situation. However, February seems to be the month of love, hence this post.

Below are my top five books for whatever you're feeling!

1. This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage - Author Ann Patchett's collection of essays focuses on her writing career, love for her dog, divorce, and new marriage. My favourite essay, the title of the book, has the simplest advice when it comes to relationships: "Does he make you a better person?"

2. Us: A Novel - For those who loved Nicholls' One Day, his second novel Us, introduces readers to Douglas and Connie, a middle-aged couple who's marriage is on the verge of ending. Connie wants it to end, Douglas does not. They go on a European adventure with their teenage son, Albie hoping to save it.

3. On Love - Alain de Botton's novel is written in short blurbs and describes a relationship from first glance, and idealization to skepticism and intimacy. It's a roller coaster ride, but aren't all relationships?

4. Americanah - This novel, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, is my absolute favourite. While it has more important themes like racial politics, the love story between the main characters, Nigerian students Ifemelu and Obinze will break your heart in the best way possible. My favourite line, "She rested her head against his and felt, for the first time, what she would often feel with him: a self-affection. He made her like herself."

5. Love Poems - Pablo Neruda's mini book of poems, will have you seduced. Apparently he wrote them on the island of Capri for his lover Matilde. I carry this with me when I fly.

February 2, 2015

Weekly Mantra - Don't try to hold on to the wave..

Last week I found myself a wee bit stressed.

Stress is something that can easily be handled, or spiral out of control like a roll of toilet paper a toddler carries around the house. This week's mantra comes from the first page of a book I have, but haven't read, Ali Smith's Artful. I opened the page, and there it was, the answer I needed.

The interesting message in this quote, is that as long as we are here, there will be always be something else that comes along, if we're open and willing to receive it. There will be another opportunity, another love, another bus to catch. We just have to give up trying to control the outcome, and let things be.


January 20, 2015

Weekly Mantra - The Law of Attraction

I remember reading The Secret a long time ago.

What you think about, you bring about, is the most I recall. Thoughts are powerful. They create our worlds, our moods, and our energy without us even knowing it. I recently bought the book, Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don't by Michael J. Losier. It was a short read, but a good refresher on how the mind is our most powerful tool.

I am an over-thinker. Once I get something in my head, it can spiral into a larger narrative, and suddenly I'm dwelling on something that isn't even real. Being aware of my thoughts, and how they affect my current mood and state is always a lesson that I need reminding of. This week's mantra follows the same guidelines. Enjoy!

"Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time. One of the other must dominate. It is your responsibility to make sure that positive emotions constitute the dominating influence of your mind." - Napoleon Hill 

January 14, 2015

The List - The best fashion campaign, new shades, and how to fall in love with anyone

Photo credit left / Warby Parker / right Juergen Teller courtesy of Celine 

1. This made waves all over the web last week, but Joan Didion for Celine is everything. It features a literary icon and an octogenarian, in a campaign generally reserved for neither. Celine can do no wrong. (Photo right)

2. I smiled during this entire video! Young Italian boys were asked to slap a girl, and their response was brilliant. If children can believe in anti-violence (probably through being raised with strong morals) adults have zero excuse.

3. My favourite eye wear company, Warby Parker just launched their spring collection. With eight new shapes and six new colours the possibilities are endless. (Photo left)

4. The Paris publication, Charlie Hebdo has created over 5 million copies of this week's issue in the right of free speech. Je Suis Charlie.

5. My favourite New York Times column, Modern Love had an interesting article this week titled, "To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This." The column explores the idea of falling in love through using a technique by psychologist Arthur Aron. It involves answering 36 questions, and staring into someone's eyes for 4 minutes. While it may seem like a strange premise, the writer really makes her point, and it's one of the best I've read.

January 7, 2015

Weekly Mantra - Feelings We Can Never Get Back

via Pinterest
This week's mantra comes from author Haruki Murakami, and I found it interesting, especially when January seems to be a month of renewal. Enjoy!

"Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back. That’s part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads – at least that’s where I imagine it – there’s a little room where we store those memories. A room like the stacks in this library. And to understand the workings of our own heart we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in awhile, let in fresh air, change the water in the flower vases. In other words, you’ll live forever in your own private library." - Haruki Murakami