Photo Journal Entry: Pool Day!

Trying to enjoy the warm (aka hot!) summer days because all too soon (hopefully soon) summer will be over. So I decided to spend the day at the pool yesterday…

20130828-173518.jpg the sun high over head…

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A pool #selfie

20130828-173950.jpg while enjoying the view & working on my tan…

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Flipagram my new addiction!!

Absolutely in love with Flipagram!! I have previously written about how collages give photos more weight; by grouping them with similarly themed photos your vision becomes more clear to the viewer. See this post here on collages. Flipagram allows you to do a video montage with photos from your camera roll or Instagram account & what’s a montage but a moving collage that lets you use even more photos!! Plus as a bonus you get to pair it with music! (Which if you know me, gives me another opportunity to tie in the theme… Now 15 secs is not usually long enough to hear the lyrics, but the songs I pick link in some way to my montage subject)

Some of my favourites:

(a hashtag I started with a couple friends forcing us to make yummy weekend breakfasts)

Thoughts on LOVE: I love all that you will be and everything you are….

It is only as I get older (& wiser?…) that I realize that the portions of your heart that you give away to young love comes at a price. Your first love is where you give your all, where you lose the innocence, the naiveté of your thoughts about love, and the reality of life kicks in. When you are young you do crazy, silly, stupid, dumb… insert adjective here… things for love. But it is also a time of fun, of soaring heights and days floating on cloud 9. The trick is to keep/find that love as you get older and the challenges of life get harder.

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It is important to feel gratitude in your relationship, to appreciate what it adds to your life. This is valid for plutonic, familial & romantic love. And as I get older I am able to recognize the value that each relationship has on the experience that is my life, how it shapes and molds the vessel that my soul uses to drift on the waves of time.

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I saw this quote downtown the other day, and I was struck by how true it was. Those whom you really love, never really leave your life, no matter the time & distance, because the act of loving them has changed you, and you would not be who you are without their effect on your life.

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(That is my friend Howie who died too young, and my grandpa Orv, the guy with the white hair, who unfortunately passed before we could have an adult relationship)
Some people you love easily, where loving them is like breathing… natural, instantaneous, & subconscious. And similar to breathing in meditation, when you focus your attention on loving them it deepens. Bringing your conscious mind to recognize what your heart already knows, that these people are worthy of love and that they will bring beauty to your life. Something in their spirit calls to you and you know that you have met a similar soul… birds of a feather flock together & all that. There is not a day that I don’t miss the wonderful men that are no longer in my life.

20130825-001152.jpg(The cutest kids book ever, hopefully one day I have my own curly haired bundle of joy to read it too)
These men loved me as I am, all of my quirks, my faults, & my successes. I felt safe to be myself in their presence and this translated into a self-confidence that bubbled over into my every day life. Being loved like that is special and priceless.

Confessions of a curly haired girl pt. 4 – the DO NOT TOUCH method

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So I touched upon my do not touch (sorry couldn’t help myself) curly hair method the other day in a previous blog post. The above pic is a before & after, plus the product I’ve been loving for volume & texture. Top left two pics are my hair after a day of air drying, they still look tight & wet, & are slightly hard to the touch. I spray the beach spray on my hair and then scrunch the curls to give them volume. If the curls are looking a bit frizzy at the ends then I will scrunch them using a conditioning spray. Just to give you an idea of my daily curl process. Hope you are all having a good hair day!!

Good Food, Good Mood

No matter what else is going on in my life, my love affair with food continues. Trying to channel my energy into healthy eating. Stress eating has been happening lately, but I try and make sure to keep healthy food around me and available.

I find that packing a healthy lunch is key to healthy eating, when I cheat during the day, that night becomes a free for all. My lunches lately have been looking like this…

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Which has been encouraging plates like this at home…

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I have been lucky to find some great fruit last couple weeks. Yummy berries, champagne grapes, & apricots.

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The trick to my healthy lunches?…

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Make them at the same time as dinner! Saves on prep time & clean up! What are some of your tricks???

Confessions of a curly haired girl pt. 3 : New Faves & Must Haves

So every now and then I do a blog post about hair… as a curly haired girl I have spent my whole life trying to learn what works best with my curls. And I feel that when something works, I have to share it with the world, because who knows how many curly haired people out there are needing advice.
My current 3 hair products that are in high rotation at the moment.

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And I don’t use the word rotation lightly, I find that I have to switch my hair products every so often (every couple of months roughly) because it seems that my hair gets used to the product & the product stops giving me good curls. Now I don’t know if this is because of buildup or what, not being a scientist, I don’t really care about the reason, I just note it so that I take the right actions.

The first step to my routine is a curly hair milk or lotion – I like the first step to be very rich in moisture. This first layer is closest to the follicle (obviously) so I want it to be moisturizing to give my hair lots of softness. At the moment I’ve been loving Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk (their curl lotion is good too, and it’s a bit thinner so it won’t weigh fine hair down). It’s got a great scent and I find it makes my hair really soft! (I’ve been using the Coconut & Hibiscus foaming bath & shower wash as well so my whole body smells very tropical when I get out of the shower!).

Second step is usual a curl product that acts more like a gel, usually clear (so it doesn’t look like conditioner) and as it dries it gives my hair a wet curled look. You could you use an actual gel for this step, but I find that curl products can give you the same effect without all the drying alcohol. I’ve been loving my new purchase of Catwalk Curls Rock Curl Amplifier. But I have to say that I’ve tried this product before & did not like it then. Just proving that my hair is a fickle mistress and can change her mind regarding a product at any time! After this step the key is to NOT TOUCH your hair. I like this product to air dry – the curls will stay tight together as opposed to frizzy. I usually wait til it’s bone dry before I fluff my hair. This is usually late morning. But if I’m going out in the evening, I’ll leave my hair this way all day & just fluff it before I go out. I used to use argan oil to fluff my hair, but I’ve been recently been using a beach spray to give my hair a bit more texture which is helping to give me extra volume.

Last but not least, my arsenal would not be complete without a conditioning spray. I use this when fluffing has gone to far & crossed over into frizziness. Or if I notice a curl is frizzing up as it dries. I simply re-wet the offending curl with the conditioning spray and let it air dry again. At the moment I’ve been using Uncle Funky’s Daughter Thirsty Curl Leave In Conditioner Spray. It has a very pleasant smell and the sprayer gives a good misting to hair that needs extra moisture.

Now my curls are not like everyone else’s curls, so my advice is not gospel, you will have to go through trial & error. But hopefully my advice gives you a starting point. Somewhere to begin, or maybe gives you a thought about how to make your current routine better!

Beauty item I currently can’t live without:

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The Original Beauty Blender, purchased at Sephora (the mecca of beauty – the place I can’t help but be addicted to!!!!)
It’s shape makes it fantastic for blending my makeup around my eyes. I have dark circles around my eyes (made more prominent by lack of sleep… which happens often, &/or sickness) and I have to use under eye make up daily to look well rested. The conical end allows you to blend right at the corner of the eye, and it’s egg shape lets you almost roll out the make up to blend. This item works great with the new under eye concealer team that I bought (at Sephora as well… same day actually).

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I use Sephora’s Lasting & Perfecting Corrector (double ended cream pen – big end for under eye, small end for covering spots) on the inner corner of the eye, where I find the circles darkest and hardest to conceal (top right box of pic) then blend that out with the blender. Then I use Sephora’s Smoothing & Brightening Concealer on the rest of under eye area (bottom right box of pic) which I blend out to corner of eye and a bit on to the lid itself. & Voila! 8 hours of sleep… who needs you?!

What are your beauty must haves? I’m always on the hunt for that next best thing so don’t be too shy to share!

Saying good bye to bread…

Starting on Monday, I’ll be giving up bread & wheat. So as a kind of last supper, or should I say breakfast (since that’s when I crave toast the most!) I decided to make corn flake coated French toast.

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I’ve been reading a lot of symptoms of being celiac, and I have to admit that they sound a lot like me. Plus my mother has been on a wheat free kick ever since she read “Wheat Belly” lol. She has seen some improvement since cutting out wheat so I’m down to try it too. I’m going to miss bread; rolls, biscuits, croissants, Danishes, toast, baguette… You name it I love it. But I’m getting heavier, & having digestive issues so maybe it’s time I approach my diet from a mature logical view point as opposed to the “want” mentality.
Because this was my last good bye, I didn’t think store bought syrup was appropriate. I cooked some frozen strawberries in Canadian maple syrup which I drizzled on top. Then a yummy avocado tomato side salad with a lemon tarragon dressing.
My breakfasts won’t be the same without bread, but I know that they will still be yummy regardless.

Fresh plates, fresh start

I have been painting my plates with fresh ingredients, hoping to get back to the healthy “high” that I was on before. I miss my farmers market, can’t wait for the fall. Then the good local produce reappears.
I’ve been making due with imported produce, organic when I can find it.

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Salads for dinner…

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Salads for breakfast! Nothing says a weekend breakfast/brunch like a ton of different fresh yummy nibbles. Love having extra time to make my plate full & pretty. Really enjoying the big white squares that my mom gave me, allows the food to really pop. Wish I lived somewhere where changing home furnishings was easy. I’d redecorate every season, changing colours & focal points often to keep a fresh vibe to my home. At least I can “decorate” my plates with beautiful fresh food!! Hope I can achieve my health goals in the near future.