Hello, Diary

Dear Diary,

Long ago I decided to blog for many reasons. I wanted to get my thoughts straight, and I wanted to write beautiful things or meaningful things. I wanted to be stronger creatively and produce original work every day. I wanted to touch people with my stories, and I wanted to mean something to someone. I think that’s just it, I’ve always wanted to mean something, to leave an imprint, to provoke, to cause a reaction, and to become a realization. I think I started blogging more for myself to feel meaningful, is all, and now I blog for some other reasons.

I don’t blog to brag. I hope that is evident, even if I blog about making recipes or going places I do not write to brag about my life, there is much to be seen about my life that I do not share on here, and so that part of my life is clung close to my own heart, the things I do write about are hopefully fun and engaging, and you will be inspired to try them too. Most of the things I write about are easilly accessible by people in Canada, and with that I hope that from my blog somene tries something new or different.

Other than that, I now have been writing my blog so that I have something to do. That’s is the most honest sentence I’ve written, I just need something to do. And I’m not ready to make a 365-blog again anytime soon, but I want to write a bit more creatively and I will be hopefully sticking to that once a week. If that’s not your thing then skip it, I won’t be offended. I write prose for others but creatively primarilly for myself, especially poetry, but something about having this wordpress brings me motivation to write. Possibly from the potential of someone seeing it, most likely because I write everything on Microsoft Word and it gives another venue for creation.

What have I learned from blogging this year? That I can write about a ton of different things and I should take risks. I will continue to do this, and take risks on this blog’s behalf. I know that in 2015 I need to take more risks, not saying that that’s a resolution, but it is definitely a need that I am aware of. I need to take some serious risks and stop sitting with the normal, comfortable, I need discomfort to find a way on my own two feet.

So, I’ll leave 2014 with this:

If this past year was not your favourite, let is pass with joy of an ending, if it was a great year for you then be grateful for it and move on with joy for your luck and grace. If you’re worrying for the upcoming year, take one last, comfortable breath in the now and take a risky step into the new, with me, holding my hand, because this is going to be a new adventure for us all, no matter how big or small.

And have a fun, safe and fabulous celebration tonight.

Cheers,

xx Jess

January Playlist

January 24, 1992 I decided to be born. I think I decided it, because I was a week early, and my mom was watching soap operas and eating tomato soup when I decided to jab my foot and come out (not literally, that’s gross) and this means that January is my Birthday month, which means the playlist is going to be done MY WAY with MY SONGS and IN MY FASHION. So, yo, I’m doing it a day early, because I wanted the last post for 2014 to be meatier than a few songs that mean a lot to me that you may or may not listen to (please listen to them).

So, here it goes! These songs mean so much to me, so give them a try!

(Explicit)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p62rfWxs6a8

These are a handful of the songs that when they are played, alone or with people, will touch my heart, inspire me to get going, or get me dancing. Mostly all three.

I win.

xx Jess

NYE Plans, Outfit & Beyond!

Hi friends! I hope you’ve had a fun-filled holiday season so far, I know I’ve been surrounded by good people, good food and good laughes for the past week and am gearing up for the last sha-bang of the holidays which is always the ever-elusive NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY! I am actually hosting this year, which I’ve done in the past but this year is a bit more organised/relaxed/going to be fun better and awesome! So I thought I’d share a bit of my preparations, including my outfit choice and makeup plans (tomorrow is test run day!). Here we go!

First off, this party is going to be hella-cool. Why? Because most of my good friends are putting on fancy dresses and bringing food and alcohol to my home and we are going to dance to Spice Girls, play Cards Against Humanity an Charades, and drink sangria until midnight to which we will TWIST AND SHOUT until we fall asleep at 12:15. This, this is my dream New Year’s. Will it happen? I hope so. I’m making a massive batch of my famous sangria (blog post pending, stay tuned for that!!) and will be making a home-made veggie platter as well as some treats and bobs, there are a bunch of people coming so I expect lots of food so I’d rather provide wee things and then have people bring the rest!

The only thing party related I have left to buy is decorations (other than boring groceries) and after watching @LaurDIY ‘s NYE decoration DIY I have become inspired and am hitting up Target and some other craft supply stores to get some projects going! Here’s Lauren’s video if you would also like to try some of her projects!

As always I am encouraging responsible drinking so a handful of my close friends (who aren’t DD-ing or cabbing home) are staying over at my house! This means a lot of laundry, heater-inspection and BYOB (Bring Your Own Bed) situations are going on as I prep! I have a few extra couches, beds and hide-away beds that are available, and am making the rounds of laundry and pillow/sheets organization. This is just something I do when I host a bunch of people at a party, I think it is considerate of a hostess to make sure that her guests will have clean sheets and comfortable places to sleep!

Next is THE DRESS! I actually ordered the dress in from @Asos a few weeks ago, here is a link if you’re interested for the future! (If you’re coming to the party don’t click on the link it must be a surprise! For everyone else…I wish you were coming to the party but DO click on the link so you can be included too!)

New Look Off the Shoulder Skater Dress

The party is fancier dress because most people who do go out for New Year’s Eve at bars or something (I have in the past) want to be a bit dressier, sparklier, to ring in the new year in style. I personally am in love with this dress because it is a classy black, comfortable fit but also is fancy and glam. I will be matching it with a few key pieces of sparkly jewelry but the mainly accessories with this dress are going to be TIGHTS (to be determined tomorrow, hopefully something sparkly and knee-highed) and MAKEUP, which will be explained below.

As for makeup I’ve been tossing up a few looks. I am about to head to the main makeup mall in my city to see what Sephora and MAC have to offer, and after I spend my entire credit amount there I will be heading to the drugstore to pick up the classic last minute touches. I have decided to go FAKE LASH CRAZY this NYE and will be purchasing my first package of lashes. I’ve seen enough tutorials that I know I will need a test run (tomorrow) so I may do a blog post on that if that goes well (and if it doesn’t maybe a post on anti-fake-lashes!).

I’ve also looked to some of my fave beauty tubers for some inspiration and these two have really struck me as FAB for the party.

@leighannsays has this absolutely bombshell makeup tutorial on the best dang sparkled eyes I’ve ever seen that I would LOVE to try out for the party potentially. Mostly because I have never quite done that dramatic of eyes and it would be neat with the fake lashes to try it out. Either way I will most likely be trying this tomorrow in the test run, but who knows what will actually come of it she does it so perfectly I feel like I’d not be able to do it justice! Here’s the video for your reference!

The next Youtuber (whom I met the other day and she is just AMAZING!) recently posted a Taylor Swift inspired makeup look that I ADORE and would really like to do for New Year’s. Why? The big bold lip. The problem with me lovin’ the bold lipstick is that it doesn’t leave me a lot of creatie space for dramatic eyes, but this T-Swift rendition has the dramatic eyes and the bold lip, which might combine what I’m going for perfectly. @essiebutton knows what she’s talking about when things come together with a bold lip, seriously!

And that is the main look I am going for! Something between these two videos, sparkly jewelry, cute knee-high tights and the hair is till up in the air. I’m hoping to find a good up-do, if anyone has any recomendations I would be ETERNALLY GRATEFUL as I tend to always go for the same thing and by 11:45 its in a ponytail anyway. I’ll be perusing youtube and pinterest for inspiration before the test run tomorrow anyway!

As always, I hope evryone has an amazing evening regardless of what you are doing. I am surrounding myself with close loved friends so that I can bring in the new year with joy and fun, I know a lot of people like to spend it doing their own thing–totally cool, by all means, its your life, but remember that life is short and 2015 bings us closer to everything we’ve ever wanted (why am I so cheesy the last few days??). My cousin and her fiancee were engaged on NYE last year so I wish them a happy ring-aversary, and hope they spend it however they want!

HAPPY EARLY NEW YEAR TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD DAY!

xx Jess

Dressing Yourself

I’ve been picking out my own clothes since I started going to a babysitters, and to be honest I don’t remember which clothes I used to choose per say but I do remember the action of choosing and the freedom and happiness that came from it. Some Christmases I had to wear matching outfits to my younger sister but I never was forced to wear jeans and a shirt if I wanted to wear a dress and tights, it was just a part of my little coming of a person to dress myself, and with this responsibility came knowing what I liked to wear.

I still don’t really know what I like to wear, it’s been like…twenty years of me opening drawers and closets and pulling out outfits upon pieces upon undershirts and belts, to find that I’m not really sure what I like to wear.

So when it comes to hanging out or working from home, which has been my routine lately, I’ve stuck to a pair of leggings or a dress and a cosy sweater that isn’t lumpy but still cosy. If I’m going out with friends its probably a dress (with tights) or leggings with a nicer shirt, and if it’s a date then a bit fancier sometimes or not, really it all depends on how I’m feeling.

This theory, however, goes right out the window when I need to go out to a bar, or to a party, or a family gathering or on a first date or interview or something where I have this predetermined notion that I will be judged while I am out.

I then pile on makeup that I bought and it was expensive so I save for those special occasions, and those dresses that are a bit too fancy to wear elsewhere, and go with that. Sometimes I come a bit too overdressed, sometimes its perfect, and sometimes they just expect it.

“They” referring to my family and friends. Today for example was my dad’s side of the family’s Christmas celebration at my aunt’s house, and ever since I cared what I’ve looked like I have dressed up a little to see this family. This means putting an outfit and makeup together and then acting like it is a normal thing. It isn’t. So today, in a beige cropped knit shirt and a black skirt with red lipstick I galavanted away to my aunt’s. I had a bow in my hair, it is festive! I kept telling myself this in the car. Do I like wearing bows? I feel like every single day is an adventure into finding out what I actually don’t like to wear…

And for once no one made a comment about it being too fancy or not, it seemed to maybe be expected, but more that I’m coming to an age where if I so choose to wear a skirt and a casual top that looks put together but not over the top no one is going to comment on the bold lipstick or the accented bow. It seems that with age our looks are judged rarely to our faces, and for that I am grateful, because I just forget that it happens at all.

I came home stuffed (thanks to the turkey, and pie…) and tired, and went to my room to put pj’s on. For some reason I didn’t want to take my skirt off, because I finally felt comfortable after coming home from a family gathering. I had dressed RIGHT. And that feels so good, let me tell you.

So what have I learned today? That “dressing yourself” is a notion that we all have to take into consideration as a responsibility for ourselves. I talk about style, and knowing that fashion is a part of our lives regardless if you accept/acknowledge in yours or not, but the act of physicall dressing yourself and choosing your clothing is an action that has to fit right for you, and no one else. The sales lay isn’t going to be putting on those size-too-small jeans at six am before school, so if you don’t like wearing them…don’t buy them.

Am I talking into the wind here? Probably. Do I care? No, because today was a cool day. Feeling comfortable in your own skin is a task in itself, let alone feeling comfortable in your own clothes, so choose wisely, and always remember that you’re pretty damn amazing no matter what you wear.

It’s the smile you wear that counts. I’ll stop the cheese now.

G’night.

xx Jess

Resolution Solutions

I’ve been thinking a lot about the looming New Year and the prospect of setting goals and intentions for the upcoming turnover. Is there really a new beginning? And is there a reason for setting new goals at the beginning of each year? I think at every new beginning however subconscious we all set an intention to do better, to be more mindful of our actions. I know a few years ago that I said I would express my love in new ways everyday, which helped me harbour more compassion and awareness of my emotions through out the year.

I’ve decided to set deliberate intentions for myself that are maybe vague but also positive enough to inspire change in my everyday life. I do not feel comfortable sharing every promise to myself with you, but I can shape the process in which I came to a few realizations for 2015.

I want to stop being so productive. What a hilarious generalisation for this post, to say being productive is essential in my life is an understatement, I feel useless if I am unproductive, but I honestly believe if I took the pressure off of myself to constantly be creating things then the motivation, muse and creativity would come more fluidly, without forcing anything. In a variety of ways I’ve decided to give myself the space to be okay with unproductive days, and hold onto the positive feelings I do have when I am productive.

I want to write more. This is clearly connected to my first thought, being that being productive is essential to my happiness, but also that writing is. I want to write something creative everyday, and without being in university I have the time and mental space to do so. I have been trying to finish a webseries for a few months now and only have a few episodes to finish, and I would like to start writing some essays again. I think 2015 is going to be the year of unsolicited non-fiction essays for me. This also means I’m going to have to pick up a few books of compiled essays (DARN MORE READING. JK). My creativity comes in my writing and I want to be able to enjoy the time I have to do so early this upcoming year.

I want to be healthy. This does not mean losing the 20 pounds I’ve been frustrated with for the past six years, or cutting out pasta and bread from my diet, it means that I want to be consistently healthier in every way possible. I’ve started this process in December by jogging nearly every day with workouts and yoga peppered in weekly. I’ve eaten healthier and made better cooking choices, and I’ve given myself space for sleep and meditation, which both have impacyed each other positively. I think the biggest goal I have for 2015 is to have healthier sleep, and I’ll leave it at that.

The last intention I am working on for 2015 is nurturing relationships. A good friend of mine (whom I will be spending NYE with and who will be reading this eventually, HI JUDE!) has asked me for the past few years early on in the year what my “word” for the year would be. I’ve said “Nurturing,” and “positivity,” and I’ve been trying to find a word that will guide me through this upcoming year. Patience comes to mind, because I have very little of it, or commmunication because I could get better at not covering up my feelings to smooth out a situation, but I think my word for 2015 will be Identity. My identity within relationships, with my family, with myself and with my career. I want to maybe not make a name for myself but figure out where that name needs to be, and if I am true to the kind of person I want to be within my relationships.

I encourage everyone to not set unrealistic resolutions this year like “Quit Smoking,” or “Go to the Gym Every Single Day!” but to think like a logical, healthy human, with a compassionate heart, and find some good goals to look towards in 2015. Do you want to be more hopeful and positive? Do you want to change the way you view situations? Do you want to finish Gilmore Girls in a week? these are all quality things to think about it, and in the last few days of 2014 do not forget to look at how far you’ve come! If you made an outrageous resolution last year that failed look at why and try to make changes for the best for your resolutions this year!

And as always, best wishes.

xx Jess

The Last Xmas Hurrah!

Hi friends! I hope you’ve all had a safe and cosy holiday time with family and friends, loved ones, and of course your food! I’ve spent the last few days since I last posted with my family and it has been wonderful. hristmas, I’ve come to understand, does not come from a store, it doesn’t come from gifts, it doesn’t even come from the food you eat or the lights on the tree. It comes from the feeling you get when someone special makes an effort to spend time with you and be with you for the holidays.

So thank you, to the loved ones in my life who have made this holiday cheery and bright for me. And I leave you with a shrot note that I will be writing regular posts starting tomorrow! Back to preparations for New Year’s and resolutions! But for now, I leave you with one last CHRISTMAS HURRAH!

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xx Jess

Skirt Innovation

Do you have a maxi dress in the cutest print but it is hard to wear boots with?  Or possibly impossible?  Well, this past weekend I did something I didn’t realise was even possible with a maxi dress that was an investment, comfortable, and totally appropriate to wear (colour-wise) for the winter season but too thin to wear without extra tights or with clunky boots.  It is a thin, stretchy material that I folded in half and used two safety pins to pin together at the top and tuck into a pair of tights. And wear it as a shorter skirt!

I was weary of wearing this outfit out that night (what is with all of the double words going on in this post? Possibly-impossible?  Weary-wearing? Outfit-out? Who am I, doctor Seuss?) but I did with a coat and boots of course and it reminds me of outfits that my mom wears to work that are business-casual and put together, which was fabulous since I had only wanted a shorter skirt than a maxi skirt for a night out of sangria and good chats!

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I’m sure this really would only work on one-layered, thin materialed skirts, but it is worth trying if there’s a neat printed or coloured maxi that you bought in the summer and want to try wearing this winter!

Good luck and be cute!

xx Jess

Winter’s Evening

I’ve seen many posts, videos, and statuses about friends having special evenings with friends or alone, and in particular videos about “Winter Night Routine” which I find a bit strange, obviously about a pamper night that focuses on skin care and the like. Call me old fashioned, but I don’t want to worry about my skincare routine around the holidays. I stick to what’s gonna get me through, and do a bit of exfoliating and special heavy-duty cream, and wait for January to have a pamper night post-holiday hustle and bustle so that it is worth it.

So for me a winter night routine would be something very boring to some, but very normal and pleasureable for me.

Silent Night   –   The Pentatonix

A warm beverage is made, a holiday movie is picked, Christmas lights are lit on the tree and the curtains are drawn so that I can see the snow or lights outside. Knitting at my side, most of the evening is taken up of silence from me (other than giggling) as I allow myself to be surrounded in joy of the season. Even if I am with people I tend to be quieter around this time just naturally, not sure why, just tend to absorb others around me and their energy.

Before bed I tend to wash with a foaming cleanser and use my Body Shop Night Cream, haha, the skincare is there! I light candles at this point too, at this point its my new Yankee Candle “Red Berry and Cedar” which smells of real pine tree and some tea lights of apple risp varieties around my room. I only let these burn for about a half hour while I wind down before bed. I sometimes put on my Christmas lights that are hung around my room too, but usually do not watch anything Christmasy in order to not be full of energy for bed.

I drink water and try to do some night time stretches, and I open my window for a short period of time around now too, ust to let the cooler air overcome the heating and cool my sheets down. I’d rather be cold for sleeping than warm, that’s a preference thing though.

After I’ve watched an episode or two on Netflix I blow out the candles, put my computer away, close the window and pop my fan on that circulates the air. I’ll take my ipod and do my night time “Loving Kindness” sleep meditation that allows me to wind down and I usually fall asleep with my headphones in, which is an innocent, laugh-inducing quality that I’ve recently squired in my night time routine. Oh, witner, and your annoying changing temperatures that make it hard for me to sleep.

As for the rest I hopefully am sleeping! I’m hoping to use this routine around Christmas Eve in order to actually sleep. I may be nearly 23 but I have yet to sleep a full 8+ hours in anticipation for Christmas morning!

As for nights out during the winter it varies, and come New Yer’s or pre-party time I may do a “special holiday evening” routine, maybe with pictures, which may be a bit more informative. I am just hopefully gearing up for a nice winter evening in tonight in order to recharge (even more!) for the upcoming holiday week!

Best wishes to you this winter on many cosy nights!

xx Jess

Bits and Baubles and Things

I’ve had just a whirlwind start to the day that I’m sort of out of ideas on what to write. I have an entire post written and yet I’d rather talk about something Christmasy or something relevant, but it seems as though today might just be a bleh post because my head is mush. I worry because I’m getting on my bus travels in about an hour and when my head’s like this I usually will pop on an audiobook and then miss every stop/transfer that I need to get to my destination, and when that happens I just get more stressed out and dont know what to do.

I deal with this with candy canes, which is just occurred to me I should grab a few before heading out. I also should get dressed, because after brunch this morning I came home, popped a load of laundry in and a Christmas jumper over top of my skirt and tights in order to just relax and organize my thoughts for a few hours. Today marks the beginning of the busy HOLIDAYS actually beginning, with various plans overlapping and outfits needing planned and things needing wrapped packed and placed, sent, given, it’s all a bit overwhelming even though I’ve been incredibly organized and prepared. I think what bothers me the most about the upcoming few days is that there is still so much uncertainty, which causes me to worry, and when I worry I stop enjoying my time and that’s what this time of year is all about!

I’ve got candles burning and it is just the middle of the day, I’ve got everything packed, just need to grab a bra from my laundry and a new outfit and then head out the door. I quite literally have every single thing planned to the T, making sure that I am ready for the hustle of the season! I haven’t had much time for yoga lately and that has put me a bit off, but I’ve done a lot of meditating and I feel like that alone has allowed me to be zen and relaxed for the most part and enjoying the time I have spent doing holiday-sy things!

I still have a laundry list of films I want to watch and things I want to cook and bake, but at this moment in time I have decided to enjoy the next day as much as I can with the uncertainty, and just relax. Things are done, things could be worse, and things are good.

I hope you all have a safe and happy weekend!

xx Jess