Halloween Fun!

Oh the Samhain is upon us it seems, Halloween is here!  I’ve spent the week working on various parts of the holiday, but the big project was three large pumpkins and my brother and I have never carved them on our own before, so we went to town with them.  In my defense I am BLIND and I was doing the majority of the carving, although my brother did do one entire pumpkin on his own (which is amazing and much better than mine) and I am very happy to have had this week to spend carving, eating, watching the Office and snuggling with my 13-yr-old bud who’s been absent from the hanging out recently due to a new obsession with MineCraft.

Enjoy these photos, taken on my ipad, of our adventures, and I hope everyone has a safe evening!  I plan on making tacos with my bro and Martin and handing out candy while munching on snacks and watching Halloween Simpsons episodes (and hopefully a cheeky Charlie Brown Pumpkin too!).  Sending all my best to you and yours this spooky evening.



IMG_0210 IMG_0207


 IMG_0220 IMG_0215 IMG_0216


xx Jess


November Playlist

It’s that time of the month again, the time where I want to share some music that I feel really gets November. Or maybe I’m crazy. Or maybe I just felt like creating a new playlist for November. If you like any of these options or think that I have somewhat good taste then I’d say crack on.

I just put all of these songs into a playlist on my itunes and flipped through them all. I’m going to be honest with you, I only listen to my itunes when I am doing administrative work-related things like grant applications, emails and the like. I tend to listen to 8tracks “jazz” playlists for writing and cleaning, but I do not really have any jazz recommendations other than to do just that. I find it relaxing and SUCH a mid-autumn, pre-Christmas tone-setter. This playlist does however incorporate some quieter tunes with some beat-driven and classic itunes gems.

If anything I just love this playlist wholly and hope you at least give it a chance! Enjoy!

Postcards from Hell- The Wood Brothers
Foggy Day- Billie Holiday
Misty Mountain Hop- Led Zepplin
My Wandering Days are Over- Belle and Sebastian
Twenty Four Hours- Joy Divison
Neighbours- Band of Horses
Long as I Can See the Light- Creedance Cleerwater Revival
Hymn to Freedom- Oscar Peterson
Clementine- Sarah Jaffe
Live Forever- Oasis

xx Jess

“I Like Attention,” The Difference Between Co-Dependency and Self Worth

I wouldn’t call myself an attention-seeker for a variety of reasons. I am a shy, introverted person upon occasion, and especially in large groups I tend to “entertain” better in smaller groups. It has come to my attention (ha-ha) lately that within certain relationships I crave attention. These certain relationships tend to be the more romantic genre, and through my teenage years I wanted the attention of my romantic partners and only their attention. I take this aspect of my relationship history as a stepping stone to understanding myself and respecting myself, and the only way for me to learn was to know both sides. I would’ve referred to myself as “co-dependent” back then.

Now I trust that I can be alone and still sustain happiness and other relationships. Good for me, right? I still crave attention. I still want to have someone think about me, think about an outing or inviting me somewhere, someone else planning something for my benefit. Is that selfish? Well, no, I have come to think of it as getting what I deserve.

That in itself sounds selfish, hold on.

Growing up I was taught to not rely on a man, woman, or anyone else, to believe in myself, a proud sign in my eighth grade classroom that I keep with me in my memory to this day read “Stand Up for what YOU Believe in Even if You Are Standing Alone!” and that rang a sense of independence into me. Through my elementary years I was told to date lots of boys, travel, and study hard. Great things to learn at that age, and I took that to heart through highschool, I dated a lot of boys, but the things that I was being taught didn’t tell me that I was entitled to some things within relationships.

Like honesty, loyalty, input on any decision making, things that are sort of common sense now, thngs that I would not put up with now in my relationships used to drive me away from my independence when I didn’t think I was entitled to it. I remember a good friend of mine telling me in my later teens that I would date anyone who would give attention to me because I liked the attention and that’s it, it didn’t matter who the guy was, my type of guy was one who would talk to me. That’s incredibly rude to me now, because I value attention, because I want to feel like an equal part in a relationship, but back then those boys weren’t giving me attention to give me an equal part, but for other reasons.

So, as I’ve grown up within my own relationships and my own self, I’ve come to terms with my self worth. I’ve learned to respect myself, and accepted the fact that I do like to have attention. But now I consider having attention in a relationship as being valued, as given the attention I deserve instead of attention that is for a sexual purpose or to serve a boyfriend’s needs. I want attention in all aspects, I want a voice, because I deserve those things.

So, it may seem uncommon or unsavoury to come out and say that I want attention, but its justified for me to want to be valued and get what I deserve in my relationships. There comes a point in your life where you have to acknowledge that although it may seem selfish (in a childish way, in my opinion) to take care of yourself first, but that is essentially what we are here for. Maybe that is a twenty-something-centric mindset, but I believe that we must take care of ourselves sin order to serve others, and that is the best way to get through this crazy, chaotic, ever-changing, strange, confusing, beautiful life that we had no choice but to lead.

Xx Jess

Make Up Talk

Body Shop has a multitude of amazing things that I’ve never found because I’ve been blinded by the overpriced but wonderfully scented body creams. I’ve spent a good amount of time with many a-people trying out different smells, including my brother who has no idea why we bother putting so much effort into cream. Then a good girlfriend mentioned that their lipstick was out-of-this-world good, and although I never tried it (and still have yet to try it what kind of advice-taking friend am I?) I picked up two of their lip-chap blushers which are swipe on instead of brush-applicable, which is weird if you have never tried it but for a low-maintenance makeup enthusiast they are PERFECT.

After many years of being aware of the products it took me until my skin on my face become extremely sensitive to cleansers for me to go in and try out their organic products. I currently have a face moisturizer and a camomile eye makeup remover. These two products working together are a soft and non-invasive alternative to my silly skin, and I am pretty satisfied with them as I’ve used them for the past few months and haven’t had many issues.

The problem is the price. I fin that the people who care about organic products are the young and unemployed, who wants to pay nearly twenty five dollars for a makeup remover? Well, probably the young ladies who spend upwards of one hundred dollars a purchase at Sephor or MAC or any of the other “high end” make up providers, not to mention the forty-dollar bronzer from Chanel or Marc Jacobs (I drool at the thought of rationalising a purchase of any of these expensive products, I just have sephora-brand bronzer…) and still we search for these products that help our skin feel new again. Is make up worth it?

I do not wear make up every day, which is a testament to my low-maintenance nature but also to the fact that I like my face feeling fresh and feeling the air instead of worrying if my powder is flying off. So these naturally-made products appeal to me in the sense that I enjoy the idea that I am not wearing something terrible for my skin. I just am not sure on the quality and therefore cannot make a decision on purchasing maybe a hundred-dollar amount just like in Sephora, where everyone has used the products and they come highly reviewed.

I research every product before buying it, and so I think I am going to go back to the Body Shop (next month, when the money comes in) and slowly work through their organic line and report back with my findings. If they are worth it then I think it would be an easy an exciting way to help our bodies become accustomed to our obsession with beauty and the fundamentals of makeup. Most of their makeup can look like a MAC lipstick or eyeshadow, but if the quality isn’t there then I won’t be spending the money again.

It all comes down to what you can settle on. I love the idea of having fancy makeup but I can’t justify it because I do not wear it enough. Especially for something like mascara which you have to replace every few months. Eyeshadow palettes or bronzer on the other hand are forever for me. Then comes the cleanser and moisturizer: not everyone uses it, but for me it has been life changing. If I miss ONE ay of my skincare routine I break out (bad decisions are reflected on my skin from Saturday to today) and that has completely worked for me. Maybe I’ll do a skincare routine later this week, fi that would be of use to some people, because I honestly swear by it for the health of my skin, and iis why I spend good money on various moisturizers alone just to try out and take care of my face.

I’m not afraid of wrinkles, but I won’t welcome them in willy nilly either.

Xx Jess

The Two Year Long Hunt

While spending a semester in London, England we saw many theatre performances for our classes and my favourite of which was at the National Theatre and called The Last of the Haussmans and after our course was finished the theare professor gave me a copy of the play to take home because I liked it so much.  To be fair she did this with all of the plays we had seen as they came with the playbill and lots of students in our classes used these copies shared amongst ourselves for projects.  I brought home five playbilled scripts joyously proud of the performances I had seen.


Come December of 2012 when I returned home from my semester abroad I unpacked and found that the copy of my beloved Haussmans was nowhere to be found.  I was distraught, and after turning my belongings from the trip upside down I had to return to my university and leave everything at my parents’ house.  I asked my family to search my room for me, and since then I have done complete overhauls of my room thinking it may turn up in a corner or a travel bag that I hadn’t used since the trip.


Eventually I accepted the fact that I had either lost it and not brought it home from England at all or had somehow lost it at home, I am not the kind of person who just loses books though so it was hard for me.  This was the best play I saw in England I was so upset that I couldn’t share that with my theatre professors, peers and even just my family at home.


I have spent two years telling people about this play and looking at my small pile of plays I still have from that semester thinking, hopin’, and wishin’ that it was there to add to my theatre conquests, but no, it was lost.


Today I got out of my pyjamas at four thirty as our work for our theatre project did not require leaving the house and while dressing my mom came in absent mindedly asking if the book in her hand was mine as she had found it in our shared large-sized suitcase.  I snatched it from her and burst into tears.  There, in the large suitcase which hasn’t been used since I went for four months in England, was the book I had searched high and low for.  It is stored outside of my house so this would be why I never would’ve been able to look there.  Ive never been so happy to hold a book in my life.  I hugged her and told her how happy I was and how much this meant to me.  This is definitely a good day.


I keep all of my books, I keep all of the plays that I have read through university, I keep them for a day when I have my own bookshelves upon bookshelves and I can display them, and find them and share them, because I love my books intensely.  I am so over-the-moon about finding my copy of The Last of the Haussmans and if you are at all interested please ask me about it as I would love to chatter on and on about London, travel, and that damn book being back in my life.


xx Jess

Let’s Talk Floral

Is it just a spring passing fashion trend?  Or are flowers the essence of romance?  My girlfriends seem to think that flowers represent a thoughtful expression of intimacy or at least I think that way.  The first flower I ever received from a boy was in seventh grade during an assembly.  He stole a rose from a neighbouring house’s garden, and I still have it.  Since then I keep one flower from each bouqet that I receive, including prom corsages and congratulation flowers.  I’m sentimental (and a hoarder) like that.


While in residence and apartments before my vase-life I would cut my bunches of flowers short and stick them into the multitude of mugs that I own around my room.  Now that I have a vase they usually sit in the kitchen until the work week where they move to my desk.  For the record I cannot wait until I can have a kitchen table of my own to put my own flowers on.


I’m not sure what my favourites are.  I love daisies and sunflowers, but basically anything colourful I love them all.  I wish I could have fresh flowers in my house every week, but that’s expensive and unrealistic.


If you’re looking for something simple as a gift or a thank you,I know that a little flowers go a long way.


Xx Jess

Oscar De La Renta Dreaming…

Now that I’ve gotten my wedding woes out of my system, I thought I would woe about another, different wedding inspiration.  Oscar de la Renta passed away yesterday.  Why does this matter t me?  Well, his gowns were my high fashion life.  I have quite literally fifty ripped pages of Vogue of his gowns, tumblr posts, bookmarked, saved to desktops and I have spent months deciding on a perfect wedding gown “if only it was white!”  from his collections.

Yes, I’ve pictured myself in a flowing Oscar de la Renta gown with gloves on my wedding day.

I’m nowhere near getting married, but every girl pictures a princess-esque day, let it be at a court house, in a red pant suit, with a man or a woman, we all do it, and we picture the people around us but also the dress we are in.  I’ve always known my whole life that I would never be able to afford it, but just knowing that I, again, quite literally have a file folder FULL of Oscar de la Renta gowns for inspiration to bring with me while searching means that the loss of my favourite designer is a huge deal to me.


Not enough to shed tears, but enough to pull out the file folder and sift through the beautiful pages.  I don’t feel like sharing much of them right now but I will add a few that I think are good representations of why I actually love the designer.

They are obviously not my favourites, but they are the bodice shapes, skirt size and flowy-ness and colours that I do enjoy.  I do prefer to have the pictures in my hands though, there isn’t anything better than running your fingers over a de la Renta gown, trust me.


RIP Oscar de la Renta, my inspiration to keep loving fashion and continue to enjoy it.  We lost a bit of style when we lost you.

Xx Jess

Bridal Crop Tops: The Final Frontier?

I’ve seen a lot of things in my time.  I wrote an entire post about exposing our mid drifts for the sake of looking in-style, and to those select women whatever floats your boat.  I have a few crop tops that I exclusively wear with high-waisted things because let’s be real not everyone needs to see my tummy in all of its..uh, glory.  But I was perousing twitter this morning to come across a very depressing topic.


Bridal Crop Tops.


If you must buy couture wedding dresses (lucky you) then you may know that it is a huge market with tons of websites, magazines, designers, consumers, photographers and so many aspects of the industry that remains a bit puzzling.  Over all wedding couture is stunning and overpriced and elegant but extravagent.  You come to expect that from the high fashion industry when you can only afford (almost, kind of, mostly) things from the Gap.  So when I came across the phenomenon known as CROP TOP WEDDING DRESSES I thought to myself, “deary, I think we’ve gone too far.”


I think what did it for me is the obvious fact that having a wedding dress in any capacity is just to exclaim how amazing you are, how far you’ve come in your life, your wealth, especially if this wedding is attended by more than just you and your beloved, and even then it says “I’m the centre of attention,” which sure I mean its your day do what you want, but then comes in fitted dresses, low-cut dresses, which are more acceptable since those types of clothing are well known in mainstream fashion, you see that in movies and on television.  But having something so uh, sacred, like a wedding dress, be cut in half for the sake of showing off an (in my opinion) unnecessary body part just seems to be taking this whole mania a step further than Bridezilla, but into Extravagent Attention-Seeker.


Last night I spent a few hours with the bestest of friends around a few cups of tea and the topic of marriage.  How can we dictate the rules of marriage on anyone?  The concept of marriage changes from culture, country, religion, lifestyle, and yet if someone for example moves back in with their parents with their new husband in North America we scoff.  If I see a photo of a stick-thin model wearing a beautiful couture gown with a crop top I scoff LOUDER.  Who are we to even have an opinion?  Even if you don’t believe in marriage you attend weddings, give gifts, and support.  So who am I to say this phenomenon is kind of silly?


Despite the fact that it TOTALLY IS and I disagree with it WHOLLY.


I guess what it comes down to is that when and if I ever traditionall get married in the socially constructed sense I will not be sporting anyhting extremely show-y, but a white dress a gown a beautiful pristine fabricce thing is in my future, despite my feelings towards the attention-seeking nature, its ingrained in me now.


xx Jess

The Saviour: A Television Fairytale

Once Upon a Time:

Updated Well-Rooted FairyTales for the Modern Badass Princess

During my second year of university I enjoyed an enlightening class about Children’s Literature in which we read a good amount of original stories from which my beloved favourite fairytales of Disney were derived.  My favourite was Beauty and the Beast, BlueBeard and Peter Pan, and learning about the origins, the violence, the sexism and the various versions that have developed over the years has been such a pull for me.  I love the ability interpretation can take on a story, and this brings me to my new favourite show, Once Upon a Time.

It’s been a long journey since I began this show late 2013, and just recently catching up to the televised fourth season this past week, and I want to just say GO WATCH IT instead of telling you the recap,  my favourite characters (Obviously Hook, Belle and Rumplestiltskin to name a few) but I want to suggest that the best part of this show is the ability to interpret villains, storylines, and plotlines and melding them into a melting pot of feminist witches and princesses saving themselves, and throwing a new kick-ass twist to a Damzel searching for her Prince.

Once focuses heavily on family in the original storylines depicted as well as the story of Emma Swan and her own family, and understanding identity within those storylines as well as the original fairytales that are fully developed which most characters are aware of.  They compare themselves to the storybook that essentially defines their subjectivity and their relationship with their own self.  I wish I could seriously go into a Masters of Literature just to compare this show to real literature.  IT is THAT kick ass.

The second season sucked, I admit, it was slow, but the third season picked up with a plotline in Neverland and also an Oz interjection that not only re-ignites the idea of “witch,” but also reaffirms the familial bond within any story.  It is so staged in some places, but in others it subverts the plotlines, challenges character flaws and is of course entertaining.

Maybe it is because I grew up dreaming of meeting my Prince Eric who would defeat the evil stepmother with my pet tiger and we would get married in Belle’s finale gown, but I have always had a soft spot for fairytales.  The princess being hard-headed, driven, and intelligent and in the business of saving herself, all of these things are massive themes within this television show.  The two main villains are a man (Rumplestiltskin, who also doubles as various other villains from stories such as the Crocodile from Peter Pan and the Beast from Beauty and the Beast,) and Regina the evil Queen/Stepmother from Snow White.  Regina is brilliant, cunning, feare and extremely driven.  She runs from true love, trusts her own instincts, and finds her own happiness as a single mother.  Is this not compelling to anyone else?

So if you’re looking for a riveting story about love, family, badass bitches and modern (and ancient) twists on fairytales then I’d check Once Upon a Time out, and give it until the beginning of the third season to pan itself out.  I’ve found myself daydreaming I had a red leather jacket and a pirate pining after me for weeks now.

Xx Jess