Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Take Care

Life is crazy. Things happen. People get sick. Like me for example. I came down with a cold, and my focus is not where it should be, so I’m just going to do a quick post today. If you follow me on Twitter, then you may know that I participated in Bell Let's Talk Day on January 28th. In an initiative to start the conversation about mental illness on this day, Bell Canada donates 5 cents for every Tweet, text, or phone call towards mental health research. I learned last year that a research building in Toronto was funded entirely by Bell. This past year, $6 107 538.60 was raised with 122, 150, 772 interactions. I felt so fulfilled after 15 hours of tweeting because I knew I was actually making a difference for a great cause.

The reason I put so much effort into it is because it is something I hold near to me. Both of my grandmothers suffered from depression. I am not ready to share my story yet, but I have been in counselling three times, one including a current biweekly appointment. I have been through this, but I have been unable to share my experience with others. No one talk about it. Why? However, these past few days, I noticed a few people mention “my therapist” in a conversation. There was no big fuss, and no one questioned it. It was so casual in a conversation, and that’s exactly how mental health should be regarded! Instead of making an excuse for why you are missing out because you have counselling, just say you have counselling. I believe that it’s only a big deal if you make it out to be that way.

With that being said, you do not have to be seeing a therapist or counselor to talk about it. As the chapter in my university tells us, 5 in 5 of us have mental health. I am about to have a busy month, and I know from past experience that if I lose focus, then I get overwhelmed and I stop taking care of myself. My mental state goes into a downhill spiral that is neither healthy nor productive. For me, I care of myself by taking a long, hot bath with a magazine or taking a night off to spend with a friend. If you’re in the middle of a busy time and don’t know how to cope with your stresses, talk to the people around you. Ask how they maintain their mental health. Start a conversation.

You are the most important part of your life. You have a light that no one else can give. If you let your light dim, it may be harder to see your path. If you get to the point where your light goes out altogether, it may be harder to get out of the darkness. So please, take care of yourself. Listen to your body. And reach out.


P.S. I decided to post this after midnight because the 25th of February marks my official first year of blogging! Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this process whether is through reading, or active support. I appreciate each of you whole-heartedly.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Winter Ruins Outfits- Product Review

So six more weeks of winter huh? Or four-ish by now. I have my regular outfit posts, but the thing I cannot show you is the multitude of layers I have to wear on top to keep warm. And let me tell you, I have tried to research ways to look cute in the winter. Even my favourite bloggers don’t have the answers for me. People look cute, but then you go outside in ridiculous wind and blowing snow and you realize that a thin jacket with a bare neck and no hat is just not going to cut it. At this point, I have given up. Winter is a patchwork quilt of mittens and scarves, and so out I trek in a puffy coat and actual winter boots. And this super cute headband.

I have a friend who runs her own knitting company based in Montreal, Quebec. Darien Hamedani Knitting offers different types of hats, scarves, headbands, and as of recently, mittens as well. Check out the Facebook page, and you can enquire about the prices. I opted for the headband because I thought it would be the perfect solution for my winter chill. I have been doing my hair for real and instead of covering it up with a hat, the headband keeps my ears warm without ruining my hair. I chose white so it would go with any coloured scarf I decided to wear that day, but I was offered any coloured I wanted. All in all, I have been loving this headband. It feels so good to give to small businesses. I am considering getting a scarf to add to my collection. Everything is very well priced, and knowing it came from someone who values quality it is even better. Plus, it gave my sister and me a great excuse to go into a forest and take pictures.

If you’re looking for well-priced winter accessories to keep warm, I am suggesting checking out Darien’s work. It is of good quality, and it supports small business. It’s a win-win situation!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Copycat the Cool Way #20

I feel like this week went by so quickly. And I'm sitting here on Sunday and I'm trying to figure out how the weekend has gone by so slow! I guess this is the February blahs everyone's dealing with. Plus there's the drudgery of getting through the last week of school before reading week. But here we go for this week.

Tuesday- So maybe this is not the most exciting outfit. But I think the baubled scarf speaks for itself. Disclaimer: I did not realize how uneven the sides of the scarf was. Oh well. I love the scarf from Ash & Dans though. This ended up being the perfect outfit for this day because a classroom that's usually freezing was uncomfortably hot. Things work out sometimes.

Scarf- Forever 21
T shirt- Garage
Jeans- Jessica Simpson

Wednesday- So funny story. I put this jacket on in the morning, but then I decided to take a later bus to school. Somewhere between making that decision and leaving the house, I took the jacket off. I genuinely do not remember doing so and once I got to school, I wondered why I had no jacket on. And this, ladies and gentleman, is why I should not have morning classes. I cut the inspiration from a larger picture on Gurl.

Jacket- Smart Set
Sweater- Target
Jeans- Old Navy
Necklace- Old Navy


Thursday- I loved the simplicity of this outfit. But once again, I stuck with my January obsession and went for the nice lipstick. The original outfit from Breakfast at Yurman's called for a leather jacket. That was my vision as well, but I changed my mind when I was picking this out. I thought a nice addition would be a nice, comfy sweater. And who doesn't love wearing flannel shirts?

Scarf- Garage
Button up- Old Navy
Jeans- Old Navy
Sweater- Bluenotes

Friday- I got this sweater for Christmas, and I wore it in when I was in an airport. That was a mistake because it was way too warm and I didn't want to take it off because I already had so much to carry. But this look from J's Everyday Fashion was a great way to incorporate a little colour in an otherwise bland outfit. Some people love the all black thing, but it is not something I like. My soul is colourful, and I want my dress to reflect that.

Cardigan- Old Navy
T-Shirt- Target
Jeans- Old Navy
Necklace- Old Navy

I had a great week in the end, and it ended with a night out with some amazing friends. That's about it.  I'm about to start getting really busy with school, so I ned to stay ultra-focused and get stuff done. So far so good!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Fake It 'Til You Make It

I am someone who reflects on my life a lot. This is both good and bad. Bad because I realize some sad or upsetting things. Good because I have been able to pull myself out of funks or make a change that was needed. But change is one of those really scary words. It takes guts to realize where your life needs work and put your thoughts to action and it’s intimidating to figure out where to take the first step. I prefer to take small steps in order to reach a bigger goal. Let’s face it, you have probably been in that “I need to change” mindset but then forgotten what you thought was a good idea to change. You get all caught up in the bigger goals without focusing on the smaller things needed to achieve the ultimate goal. My ultimate goal at hand? My love life.

I have a fantastic family, and the most amazing friends. Where I’m lacking is truly the love department. In fact, it is something I am lacking in confidence. It’s all about my history with guys. And what I mean by that is…I have none. I’m okay with that at this point. A relationship is not something I am scrounging for. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. But I want to change my lack of confidence. How do I do that? Fake it ‘til I make it. That motto does not apply to many situations, but I have used it to great success before. For example: you’re upset because you had a fight with a friend but you need to be happy in your work environment. Fake it and it won’t be so hard after a while. Example: You are nervous for a job interview and not sure what to expect. Fake it by dressing really well and you’ll feel more confident. It seems odd, but it works.

So how do I apply this to my day to day situations? There’s a cute guy at a bar/sitting next to me/he’s my waiter. The key is to not give yourself time to think. Let’s face it, we’ve all been in situations where we overthink what we’re going to say and then we talk ourselves out of it. So don’t think. Seize the instant moment when you want to say something.

Example: Cute bartender has been making your drinks “with love” all night (he said it, not me).

What I said: “Hey! I’m Daniella. Thanks for making my drinks and I think you’re really cute.”

Outcome: He blushed and giggled and said thanks. I felt good knowing I made his night.

Example: Waiter has been teasing me because I was driving so I ordered a Shirley Temple.

What I said: “You have a wonderful smile”

Outcome: He smiled that wonderful smile at me, and, once again, I made someone’s night.

Example: Guy sitting next to me in a work zone at school and had laughed at my conversation earlier.

What I said: “I hope we didn’t bother you too much”

Outcome: He joked that he had a midterm and then we talked about sunsets. Also, my friends gave me the “omigod you’re talking to a cute guy and I am so proud of you” look.

So as we can see, I put myself out there. It was scary. But I didn’t die, and I didn’t shrivel up. I’m a chronic blusher, so that’s about all that happened. And really truly honestly, the best thing for me has just been not thinking. I say what I want to say. I’m not about to come up with some wicked opening line. I’m just not that smooth. So I’m myself. I say exactly what I want to say when the feeling strikes me. I wanted to change this part of my life, and I am actively taking the steps needed. Am I feeling more confident? Not yet. But I’m getting there. And who knows? Maybe the next guy I talk to will be the one that asks me out.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Copycat the Cool Way #19

As I promised, this is last week's outfit post. This is usually the point where I reflect on what happened, but last week was a long time ago. I have forgotten all about it. Maybe I just have a bad memory.

Monday- Yes, I actually have a Monday outfit for this last week! I went out to breakfast with a good friend of mine, and I decided to make myself actually look good. Plus, I really wanted to wear this sweater because I mean, it has a zebra on it. There was no inspiration for this outfit, but I loved the way I pulled it together.

Swater- Hudson's Bay Company
Pants- Old Navy

Tuesday- I have to say, these pants are so comfortable. I have been staying at school for an extra four hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays to get some work done, so I am all about dressing as comfortable as possible. The button up I have is one of my favourite. I'm glad the outfit from karlareed on Instagram had a patterned button up, so I could incorporate it into this outfit. If the weather was a little warmer (as in, not winter), I would have worn my beloved Oxfords as well.

Button up- Old Navy
Pants- Old Navy
Sweater- Roots

Wednesday- Again with the leather vest. I just love this thing. I had a similar outfit to this in December that went undocumented. I got this idea from Pinterest, but the link did not bring me to anything. I hate it when that happens. It was cool to be able to wear the shirt I got from Panorama where I was at the beginning of the year. I would also like to point out that these jeans are clearly not my usual cropped jeans. See why regular pants just don't cut it for me?

Shirt- Panorama
Vest- Smart Set
Jeans- Old Navy

Thursday- Like I said, I'm dressing for comfort. I loved the addition of the belt because it dressed up an otherwise simple outfit. The continued addition of the necklace added a little bit of fancy . I find that the simpler outfits get more compliments. It doesn't take a lot of work to dress well. It's all about the accessories that allow an outfit to be a little bit above the usual drudgery of student life. The post from Polyvore is titled "work style," and with the right colour this outfit could certainly do well in a work environment.

Cardigan- Old Navy
Tank top- Old Navy
Leggings- Garage

Friday- I love this outfit because the sweater was so cozy! I tried to do this outfit from the  J. Crew website a few weeks ago, and it did not work out. However, this scarf worked out even better for the copycat. And it made it even more cozy! My favourite. It was also special because the sweater was my dad's, and he gave it to me during the holidays!

Scarf- Jinger
Sweater- Gift
Jeans- Old Navy

So that was my final week of January, I believe that it was this week that I told someone I never repeat outfits. So far so good in 2015 I'd say!


Monday, February 2, 2015

Monthly Favourites- January 2015

You ever have those weekends where you set your alarm to wake up early to get stuff done because you have a busy weekend but then you end up sleeping with your alarm on for an hour? Yeah, me too. My plan was to do the monthly post on Saturday and then the outfit post on Sunday. It's Monday, so clearly that did not work. So the posts this week will go be monthly post on Monday, last week's outfit post on Wednesday, a product review on Friday, and this week's outfit post on Sunday.

But um, let's talk about how January is over. It went by so fast! I feel like I have accomplished very little. But it's been busy because I've had a midterm every week since the second week of school. Not busy I guess, but the work has been so steady. However, I do feel like I'm doing a good job with goal setting (more about that in a bit). Things are really about to pick up at school, and I need to stay on track and stay focused. My birthday is in a couple months, so I'm also in the middle of party planning with my best friend. I cannot wait!

1. Favourite Lush Product

Anyone who knows me knows I love Lush. I have had great success with all the products I have tried. This one has been a particularly helpful one for me. I live in Canada. It's cold here. At the beginning of the month, I was on a ski trip, and the cold mixed with wind can be killer for the lips. Lip Service lip balm from Lush has been fantastic. I got my dad into it as well. I put it on only three times a day, and it keeps my lips luscious (he he) all day. I love it.

2. Favourite Beauty Product

I just got into lipstick. I am obsessed. It adds so much to any outfit.  I have bought only Revlon products so far, and I don't think I want to try anything else! From left to right, the colours are Lovers Coral, Really Red, Black Cherry, and Spicy Cinnamon. My favourite is Spicy Cinnamon. I want to buy more, and I have the perfect plan to do that (read below).

3. Favourite Facial Product

I picked this up as a random buy at a discount store, and I love it so far! I've been using my Sundays as a spa day for myself and I decided to try face masks for fun. This mud mask by Absolute Care has been a good step into this product. I don't know if it's working, but it has made my skin feel so soft and radiant right after. I'm hoping to expand and buy/make more face masks.
4. Favourite Organizational Tool
I jokingly mentioned to my parents that we should reinstate the sticker boars we had as incentive to do chores. They laughed at me, but then I thought that it would be a good idea for me. I'm the kind of person that gets motivation from crossing things off lists and actually seeing my progress. Enter reinvented sticker board. I have white board tape and I decided to make a three-week chart because it takes 21 days to make a habit. As you can see, I have done through 8 days of completing my goals! I've been making small goals, and it has been working so well!
5. Favourite Spa Product
Has anyone seen the infomercial for this type of product? Well, real talk, I have horribly dry feet. Sorry. But I work at a pool and that does not do great things for supple skin. So this product has done wonders for me. It sloughs off the first few layers of skin and makes my heels feel softer. Add some foot cream to my bedtime routine and my feet have been better this month!
What does the next month have in store? Well. Valentine's Day. Ugh. And my mom's birthday (she won't let us forget it). And reading week!
What are you looking forward to?