Special Sephora Visit

Good Morning, folks!  Today’s going to be a two-hander as I’ve been a bit busy this week PACKING for my move that is TOMORROW!  There should still be a post up tomorrow, but just in case…here’s one now and another one later on!  Woo!  I’ve re-done the schedule again, so again, just stick with me till I get it all consistent.  I bet it doesn’t even make a difference to you but whatever hey thanks for reading!

Yesterday we took my mom to Sephora for a Makeup “Makeover” or an employee did her makeup all nice and she got to buy a few products that she liked.

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This was a birthday gift from a few months ago and now was the first time our schedules all allowed for it to happen!  We had such a lovely time, but as she was getting her makeup did my sister and I paroused Sephora (who needs an excuse to do that) and here are a few things I’m lusting after (not buying) right now!

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Sephora is so overwhelming sometimes, and so I ended up just getting a “tester size” (it really is a Travel size but lets be real, BB creams shouldn’t come in extremely small packages, amirite?) Smashbox product, because I’m beginning to love Smashbox more and more everyday.  I hear their Primer is good too!

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At the end of our visit my mom looked beautiful (as always) and my sister and I had a great time with her!  So great to have had this experience!  Lots of love!

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xx Jess

Easy Meditation DIY

I must disclaim this post by saying that I am not a meditation teacher and I currently do not have a laptop at home.  These two facts, although unrelated, are related inside of my head.  First, this post is based off of my experiences with meditation and ways I think would be good to start if you’ve never done it before or find it boring.  Second, my new laptop should be coming in today, but that means there will be a small delay in posts as I adjust to the new settings.  Thank you.

Happy Monday everyone!  What a day to be bright and happy, just kidding, its foggy and cold outside, but that’s fine because I did meditation this morning (and have a bright and happy coffee sitting at my side!).  Meditation?  You may be asking why I get up fifteen minutes earlier than my alarm every morning to meditate, the answer is BECAUSE MEDITATING IS AWESOME!  Wel, its alright, and admittedly I don’t wake up every single day to do it, but it has definitely changed the way that I am in the morning, and that is a great thing.

So where do you start?  I was taught mindfulness before dedicated meditation, and I think that you can do mindfulness on your own, without a “guide” as some people are more comfortable meditating with a guided purpose.  Here’s how I started practicing mindfulness in my daily routine!

The first step is to make time for your practice.  This can be as easy as committing yourself to practice on your walk to school.  Mindfulness is as easy as that–it can take as long or as short as you’d like, it works with your schedule.  So find a time that works for you, when you’d otherwise be worrying or distracted by other things.  I usually used walking to school or work and then in the shower at night, because those are two mind-crazy times for me.

Next, I would focus your breathing on a body part.  This is probably the strangest sentence you’ve ever read, trust me, I know.  It is a totally worth it thing to do if you ask me.  When it comes to meditation part of the issue is focusing on something, and a lot of people assume it is a “blank mind” that you are going for.  Mindfulness is, like yoga, noticing the fluctuations of the mind, so focusing your breath, the in and out, on a body part (I always use my nose, focusing on how it passed through it, some people use their heart, chest, etc.)  and then allowing that to be your anchor.

So, once you have an anchor you can begin to focus on your breathing other than your thoughts.  This is a huge and hard step.  This does not mean SILENCE YOUR MIND as some people assume meditation and mindfulness to be, this means that when you find yourself off in your thoughts after focusing for a minute, as is natural, you gently pull yourself back to your anchor.  In my case I start thinkin’ about my nose again.  This “gentle pulling back” was explained to me as a “non judgemental” action, but a gentle nudge to re-assert mindfulness back into my day.

So, for example, I used to walk to school listening to Eric Clapton, and along with the bass line I would match my breathing and focus on the air passing through my nose.  After about a minute it was normal (and still is normal after I’ve been doing this for four years) to start thinking about the class that I was about to have, or the lunch I had brought and which microwave I was going to heat it up in, and once I would remember that this was “Mindfulness Time” then I would revert my attention back to my breathing, back to my anchor and after doing this a few times the stress of the day would melt away slowly.

That would be my best DIY Mindfulness Meditation practice if you are just starting out, because it can be short, and it can be useful, and it can be what you make it.  The best tip to know about meditation is that it does take time to get used to, and it takes effort, you can’t half ass meditation, you’re in or you’re out, but I promise you that if you start you’ll never go back, it is that beneficial.

Let me know what you think of Mindfulness and if you have any meditation tips for me!

xx Jess

Meeting Deadlines

I’ve worried so much about something that is due, creatively, in the next week, and I have only….25% of it done, but I am seriously trusting it will get done.  Will it be tonight or the night before its due?  Who knows, but I FINALLY understand what everyone has mentioned about needing the pressure of a looming deadline in order to get things done.  The pressure, the pressure of one week left!  That’s what has been driving me to write and be creative lately.

The thing about writing that I have come to realize is that there doesn’t always necessarily need to be a good idea or an epiphany in order to write something valuable, there just needs to be the need to do so.  I am finding it hard approaching blogs this week because I have so much going on, but my ability to continue to approach them, write them and get them out will motivate me this weekend to pre-write a few and save the time I would spend writing these writing my creative application due next week. One week from right now I will be done that application, and it is sort of daunting.

How do you write?  Is there something strange about your technique?  I tend to write solely on the computer unless it is a forming, brainstorming idea, but then there comes a time where I usually just dictate a monologue to myself over and over, rolling the words around in my mouth, until they make sense or lack it, and it all comes together from there.  I think I just need to have a good long conversation with myself to get this dialogue I’m trying to write going.

Its funny too because the project that I am working on at work right now has me explaining how to create to people who have probably never done such a thing before, and I feel like I should probably practice wha tI preach.  Try out some of the writing prompts that I suggest to people, instead of expecting the words to just come.  I wouldn’t call what I have Writer’s Block, I would just say I don’t have the mental space to write everything I want down right now.

But the pressure, the pressure is rising I can feel it.

I don’t exactly feel my usual anxiety if a project wasn’t finished and due the next day, I would usually be panicking and scrambling, and I am confused as to why.  It could be because I have been out of the academic realm for so long that that “pressure” evades my consciousness for the time being…Or, the more likely choice, I have just had so much going on right now that the idea of creative writing has completely been forgotten, and now that it has been brought up again it is more of an exciting task than a chore and THAT is how writing should be.

Happy Friday friends, I hope you have a great weekend and I hope if you’re like me and trying to get writing that you do!  Good writing to you all and to all a good day!

xx Jess

Zeus

A while back I came across this band courtesy of a dressing room playlist for pre show on a show I was working on in university, and the Rolling Stone had the entire Zeus album available for a stream. This band honestly sounds straight out of 1975, post-BeFleetwood Mac, Rolling Stones, Hendrix, it is reminiscent of Almost Famous with the Stilwater hair band-mentality, and above all it is damn good music. This song came on my shuffle playlist at work and I think I listened to it four or five times in a row. Check out some of their other songs like “Are You Gonna Waste My Time,” that are a bit more old school classic rock, this one is a bit more modern, a bit hip, I don’t know its just good.

There is something amazing about a band that is TORONTO-BRED and PERFECTLY INDECIPHERABLE from a band from…forty years ago? Its just. Great.

Enjoy, and easy listening folks.

xx Jess

Planning: Finding Comfort in Spontaneity

Oh friends, it is that time in my life where I must pack up my belongings and head out of the room I’ve grown to call home for the past year (and beyond but consistently for the past year) and it is daunting.  One thing that I’ve written about profusely is the fact that I tend to plan my entire life out and do, admittedly, find comfort and also insanity in this act.  I enjoy it, I strive for order in my life, and I honestly will get up and out of bed after being there for a while to make a lis tof things to do a week from then.  It’s just how my brain works.

However, and this is a BIG however, pertaining to this big move that is less than two weeks away, I have made one list, and the things on that list get done, but aren’t planned into my days, and now with the last weekend of my at-home existence looming, I am realizing that I have been comfortable with the fact that I am not organized for the move.

What is this feeling?

I am feeling good about saving those little tidbits until the alst minute or even until the day of.  I feel grown up in a way that I’ve never felt before.  Maybe when I get to my apartment I’ll need to nip to Home Sense and pick up a pair of lamps.  Maybe I’ll even need to grab some shampoo or soap, dish soap!  What about dish soap!  Previously I’ve planned my moves to a T, but if I’m honest I’m in need of a big change, bigger than spending four months in a different continent with the promise of coming back; this time there’s no promise, no deadline, and it feels…right.

So, as I enter into the last week of being at home, my last week to pack, I pledge to make as little lists as possible and do what I need to to get it done.  I don’t have much time the rest of this week to pack so leave it to the weekend, it’ll get done, it needs to.  I feel as though I’m not stressed because I trust and truly believe that it will get done, there will be time, I trust myself enough for that.

And that is a cool thing.

xx Jess

Work In Style

Hello friends!  I’ve been changing around the blog theme lately and haven’t landed on one that I really like yet, stick with me!  I’ll figure out what I prefer eventually!  In the meantime, I have started working full-time and have been (for the most part) in an office space where looking professional is pretty important.  I do tend to have most of my meetings on the phone, but being around other professionals does inspire me to get up and at ’em with style daily.  As for today, I have gone with a green silk dress with a scarf and braid, and if I’m honest I only wear makeup if I’m having an in-person meeting.  this is just my preference because the eye makeup bothers my eyes when I’m on the computer all the time.IMG_20150405_115045

I love prints, I love tights, and I love heels or boots.  I love nice jewelry, and I love trying out things with my hair.  Best Working Style staple?  Lipstick.  A little bit of foundation and a bit of lipstick goes a long way when it comes to looking clean, awake, and ready to get things done!

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I always trust that my productivity will be better if I feel good in what I’m wearing as well.  We all have those days where the track pants come on and the coffee brews and productivity is at its best, but for me that only happens once in a blue moon.  I tend to work my best when I am in an outfit I love, out of my house, and around other people who can see that I am working.

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I always looking to Pinterest.com for inspiration in pretty much every outfit that I wear, but especially for work-appropriate outfits.    If I get enough Likes on this blog post maybe I’ll create a pinterest for Cosy Notebook that we can share ideas about what to wear.  I never pin anything right now, but if people would be interested in what inspires me then I could definitely be persuaded.

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If you have any ideas or inspiration for work outfits hit me up!  I love fashion blogs that pertain to a theme like that, or link me your pinterest!

Best dressing, friends!

xx Jess

The Healing Power of a Cup of Coffee

Good morning friends and happy Monday!  I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend!  I had quite the busy one, working on a play with some great friends.  One thing I’ve come to appreciate (which I think many people do appreciate very much) is a good moment in the morning with a cup of coffee.  This weekend was proof of that, waking up first thing and basking in sunshine and good conversation with a nice coffee.  This morning I stopped in at Startbucks (in my defense I’d rather be at the local coffee shops but none of them are open before I get to work…or are on my way…and it was raining) and with my “Grande” I feel a whirl of refreshment.

This is the kind of refreshing that usually accompanies a cup of tea or coffee for me on a regular basis.  Despite it being the first bright and early morning of the week I now feel at ease.  After my morning meditation (which I would love to do with a tea but am trying to work myself up to being able to drink lots of water or anything that early but it wasn’t happening today) and now this cup of coffee I believe that my heart, mind and body is ready to be productive and tackle the day!

I say the “Healing Power” of Coffee (yes, CAPITAL C!) because there is something in this culture that we associate with Monday morning that is so apprehensive.  I didn’t sleep well last night because, I kid you not, I was worrying about what to wear in the rain today.  Needless to say, I went to bed with the intention of a half hour yoga practice this morning and woke up with the capacity of a ten minute meditation instead, but there is something so simple about the healing powers of meditation that are only enhanced by drinking something warm to follow it up.  I feel my heart at ease and my body literally “warming” up, which is good on this rainy day.

Coffee encourages me to be social, it encourages me to be productive, it takes away the headache of a long or potentially stressful day.  It escapes me of my anxiety and apprehension of the elusive “Monday,” and the best of all: it tastes great.

If you’re feeling blue today grab a cup of coffee, take a deep breath, and think that things could be a lot worse.

xx Jess

Hair

I know very little about the upkeep and stylings of hair.  I tend to air dry after shampoo and conditioner, and I’ve never coloured or done anything drastic to my hair.  My haircut that happened yesterday was my first in many months, and it was needed.  It feels much healthier and lighter, ready for spring.  I am not the kind of person to really spend too much time worrying about my hair, it just needs to…exist.

So post-haircuts I tend to just embrace it, and enjoy it.  Is it long enough to braid? Check.  Long enough for a ponytail?  Yup.  I’ll worry about the shape and anything else tomorrow, today is just about going with the flow.

I think that’s what I’m going to take with me as a token into this rehearsal weekend (beginning tonight at Lonestar for margaritas and fajitas, the best way to start a galpal weekend full of theatre and good people); I am going to go with the flow, relax, elt it go.  Things happen everyday without any prevention, without any control applied, and we can’t do anything to change them, so we have to just go with it, what else is there to do?  No sense worrying, no sense crying or bothering others.

Just going about my days, minimal worry minimal stress, shucking all of the heavy bits of my life (for the weekend at least) and that’s what that haircut did for me yesterday.

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xx Jess

The Sun on my Face

After work today I popped in my audiobook (Wild by Cheryl Strade? Straid? It’s an audiobook how do you spell her last name? I’ve only ever heard her say it..alright moving on) and walked to a local market to pick up some home made, whole wheat pizza dough. While crossing the street on my first few moments outside I recognised the weird feeling hitting my face…it was…the sun? Warmth? And it was wonderful. There is something so simple and pure about the moment that winter exits and it is warm enough for you to feel the sun on your legs (Canadian things?) and sit out on a patio to enjoy a coffee/cocktail/good book/good company. There is something so desired about this weather, and its funny that I’ve spent two days on the blog chatting about how happy I am about the sun, but I think its really profound in my life today for a number of reasons.

The huge, impending move that is NEARLY TWO WEEKS AWAY, the big changes, the uncertainty again that I had thought I had gotten over… And the unpredictability of the weather. I think that noticing the weather lately has been….really one of the most stable things in my life. The most reliable thing I can lean on, that there wil be weather, that it will reflect the world aroundme, and reminds me that I am just a small little person in the grand scheme of all of the people in the world, the cosmos, and I’ve lost sight of how this relates to you.

I think its important to look outside once in a while and remember that…blogs are hardly tangible, I can’t see the blog without the help of something else, but the sun hits my face, and I can feel the warmth, and it happens outdoors, and the sun rises and sets everyday. The sun remains reasonably stable, and with that I will trust that its going to rise again tomorrow.

End of weird, hippie, sun salutation/worshiping rant, and promising to stray away from the weather tomorrow!

xx Jess