A Reminder Not to be an Asshole

People I care about keep telling me I should blog about my life updates, and I will soon, but today I need to vent. As I was laying wide awake at midnight last night all worked up about something that was out of my control, my partner told me to write about it. So we’re here.

I saw a quote yesterday, I’ve known it for a long time and always loved it but something about it made me stop yesterday.

Empowered women empower women.

Easy enough right? Wrong. Think about the amount of times you hear about a women ripping another woman down about something that wasn’t her fault. Let’s use the example of when you’re dating a cheating prick. The other woman is not the one you should be mad at, you don’t know her circumstances, be mad at him. She did not set out to hurt you, he did.

Now, that’s not what I’m worked up about. I’m worked up about women tearing each other down when we should be working to build each other up. If I went out to purposefully hurt you, fine, that’s on me – but don’t rip me down, just don’t think of me. It’s so exhausting and so toxic to spend negative energy on people.

IF I DIDN’T SET OUT TO HURT YOU, you being hurt is your choice. That has nothing to do with me, and the idea of spending your energy on tearing me down, shows a lot more about your character than mine. Things will always be complicated, and life isn’t always easy, trust me. Sometimes things hurt, I understand that, but channel that into your own personal growth and change. If you choose to channel your hurt into tearing others down, you’re an asshole.

It’s already hard enough out there as a woman, why would we make it harder for one another when we could be building each other up? I just don’t understand. Maybe you’ve done your damage, and maybe I’m at the end of my road – but everything comes back threefold.

4 Things I wish Someone told me About Microblading

I hate hate hate filling in my eyebrows, so let me tell you, microblading is no joke!

I got my eyebrows done at Avenue 42 in Langley, BC by Mandi, and she was so incredible. She talked to me throughout the entire appointment and had really awesome communication in order to ensure that I was getting the brows I wanted.

I don’t think I need to write you a review, as the before and after photos speak for themselves. So I figured I’d tell you about my experience with microblading including all the details no one warned me about. Below I’ll tell you about my top 4 pieces of information I wish I knew. This all goes along with the shock of crazy eyebrows, itchy eyebrows, no eyebrows and then perfect eyebrows again. You can read all about those parts of the process literally anywhere else online.

Pictured above: before and after of initial appointment

1. Picking a colour is actually a whirlwind

I thought this would be the easy part, I mean, how hard can it be to match a die to your eyebrows? Turns out, a lot harder than I expected. Mandi ended up smearing three final choices of ink on my forehead for us to decide the colour.

2. The numbing is the strangest sensation

I’ve had my fair share of tattoos in my life, but never have I ever had numbing done. That being said I was super appreciative of it for this procedure as I had a lot more anxiety about the main of this than I do about other tattoos. It was so strange because I could feel the sensation of the cuts without any pain.

3. The sound is horrifying

If you thought the sound of tattoo gun was annoying, LET ME TELL YOU be thankful for it. The buzzing of the tattoo gun muffles the sound of the slicing into your flesh which can be heard when using a manual instrument like they use for microblading. I cannot stress enough how uncomfortable the sound of that it.

4. The final tweezing hurts the most

I was so nervous about the pain if the actually tattooing, and nervous that the numbing would wear off half way through and I’d just have to suffer (it didn’t). What I wasn’t expecting was the pain of Mandi plucking a few stray eyebrow hairs to be the most painful part of the entire procedure. I’ve always been a baby when it comes to plucking, waxing and threading – but damn.

They obviously faded over time, but they still looked more full. When I went in for my final touch up, that’s where is all came together and I’m in love with my brows.

Pictured above: Before first appointment, completely healed before touchup and after touchup.

*These services were provided to me free of cost, but all opinions are my own. I honestly cannot speak highly enough of Mandi and my entire experience at Avenue 42.

I Let a Stranger from the Internet Have Complete Control of my Hair

This post is so overdue and I am so ashamed. I waited a while trying to set up a photo shoot to capture my hair, and then I kept putting it off because I didn’t have good photos. Then I realized they weren’t going to happen and I put it off because I was ashamed of how long this took. Which is way worse. I’m so so so sorry.

Back in November, I started chatting with Brodi from Aveda Civello here in Vancouver. I was on the hunt for a new stylist, and she asked me to collaborate with her. She brought me into the salon and she was so warm and welcoming and I knew immediately that I liked her. We talked about my comfort zone, and she snipped off some of my locks for a colour test. We then booked for me to come back in Mid-December for a transformation.

I walked into the salon about a month later having a very vague idea of what was going to happen. I knew we were going orange/red and we were cutting off some length. Otherwise, I had no clue.

I showed up that day looking a MESS (see above). She sat me down and immediately started colouring my hair. I was there for about 4 hours, still having no idea what was happening. It was kind of like the makeovers in What Not to Wear where the stylist elevates the subject to her best self, but she’s terrified. I had this strange sense of trust for this woman who I had briefly met one time. But Brodi talked to me through everything and kept making exciting sounds whenever she checked on my colour which definitely made me feel way less nervous.

Once she washed it out, she started cutting. This part made me way more nervous all over again. I’ve had almost every cut under the sun, but for some reason I was terrified. I had really only trusted a select few people with my hair in my life and the few times I strayed without vetting, I was mortified. But alas, this woman who I hadn’t truly vetted had my hair in her hands and there was nothing I could do.

Once all was said and done, and I saw the finished product I was truly over the moon. The colour is something I would have never chosen for myself, but it has changed my entire life. I HATED warm tones with a passion for most of my life, and then this hair colour happened and everything in my life started turning warm toned (hence the colour change on my Instagram feed and blog – all thanks to Brodi).

I left the salon that day a little unsure of the fringe (as I am every time I get a fringe) but felt like the colour was perfect. Apparently, according to Brodi, I was wrong and I went back about week later to fix some of the colour that I hadn’t noticed was darker, but was costing her sleep. This is the kind of stylist I trust with my hair, the kind who is more concerned about the imperfections than I am.

I trusted a total stranger from the internet with my hair, and I couldn’t be happier.

*disclaimer – these services were provided to me free of charge. That being said, all opinions are my own.

Accidentally Putting Down Roots – 4 Years in Vancouver

Four years. Today is my fourth Vanniversary and I’m ashamed to say I spent the first 3 and a half years trying to leave. Then I did. I then spent 2 months trying to get back, and I’ve spent the last 4 months being absolutely infatuated with my city.

I remember 4 years ago feeling the kind of hope that I had lost up until recently, I also remember calling my mom in tears multiple times since then. I felt this city take me in, chew me up and try to spit me out. I felt myself fighting it for years, trying to find my place. I felt myself giving in and finding a way out. I felt Vancouver win.

Vancouver absolutely did win, but not in the way I thought it had. The city tested me, pushed me and grew me. When I stopped trying to fight it, it gave me community and love. I found my people and my routine, and over the past year this city became my home. I had to leave for a minute to find my way back, but I wouldn’t take back a thing.

I don’t think I’m still falling, I think I hit the ground last year and didn’t even notice. All I know is that now, I’m climbing and I’m on my way back up, and now I’m in control of where I end up. Maybe I’ll jump again, maybe not – we’ll find out.

My heart lives in this city and I’m so blessed to be here. Thanks for the most unreal 4 years, here’s to the next one.

We Need to Take Sexual Crimes More Seriously

Today, I am screaming. Today, I am angry. Today I read this news story about a man pleading guilty to Sexual Interference and not only only getting 3 months in prison, but getting his sentence pushed back so he can finish his semester at the University of Calgary.

2 years ago I pressed charges against my assailant. He plead guilty and got 8 weeks of house arrest.

I. AM. LIVID.

Why do we not take these crimes seriously, why do we let the scum of the earth off the hook for putting such enormous weight on their “victims” (read: survivors)? It is time for this to change. I’m grateful for #metoo and for #timesup, but we need to address this issue as it effects those of us who are not Hollywood stars.

My assailant did not ruin my life, I refuse to give them that power. My assailant killed part of me, sure – but the justice system also killed a part of me. That being said, they both also lit a fire in my soul. A fire that shouts at me to fight for the safety of our children, and to fight to seek real justice. I will forever carry the weight of what happened to me, as will other survivors. That doesn’t mean we can’t make noise, let’s not let them silence us anymore.

3 months of prison is NOT ENOUGH. 8 weeks of house arrest is NOT ENOUGH. Show me how that is equal to a lifetime a psychological imprisonment.

 

2017 was a Record Year

As the year starts to wrap up I can’t help but look back on this year and I’m just at a loss for words. A year ago things looked so different for me, I had different hopes, aspirations and dreams. I was a completely different person and when I look back a year ago, the girl I was feels like such a stranger.

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I was working as a legal assistant at a top national law firm, working towards becoming a paralegal. I hated my career path but I felt like it must be worth it for status, money and the feeling of success. When I lost my job in February it triggered a string of events that there’s no way any one could have predicted.

I began to focus more heavily on my social media, writing more often and producing quality content. I’ve gained almost eight thousand followers this year on Instagram which has offered me countless opportunities. It’s been a wild ride. Throughout this process I was forced to genuinely get to know myself and focus on my passions in life. This lead me not only down my social media path, but also into politics. I started volunteering in February and have now worked two campaigns and feel my path falling into place. Aside from the logical, classic success I have found in this area of my life, I have also found my people. I have so much love for my friends and family within our party and feel so at home having them close by.

I have realized how blessed I am to have such an incredible support network of friends and family and I don’t think I could ever leave them behind.

Aside from all of this, I had a summer of travelling where I spend June in England. I spread my time between the English country-side in North Devon and cities like Exeter and London. Once returning I had a month settled back home in Vancouver before driving across Canada from Vancouver to Charlottetown. You can read about that trip here.

I’ve been back in Vancouver for three months and have fallen in love all over again with the city I call home. It’s not perfect by any stretch, but it’s home and it’s perfect for me.

So thank you all again for the most amazing 2017, every single person reading this is to thank for this and had a part in making this my best year yet.

 

My 2017 Canadian-Made Wishlist

With the holidays just around the corner I’ve compiled a list of my favourite Canadian brands to support this yuletide season. This post is not sponsored or affiliated with any of the brands I speak about below. None of these links are affiliate links and all opinions are 100% my own.

I love to support small businesses and local businesses. Most of these brands I have worked with in the past, and have relationships with their owners, but not all. I genuinely love these products and believe in these companies. I cannot wait to see what these companies come up and out with in 2018!

Local to Vancouver

Bare Skin Bar

I am actually obsessed with these bath bombs, and I promise you I’m not just saying that because I have a giant crush on Cynthia, the owner of this company. These are incredible products made locally in Vancouver by an incredible woman. They’re made with completely Canadian-sourced materials and are made with real ingredients. They don’t have gross, artificial smells, and you won’t find any glitter in these. They do exactly what you want a bath bomb to do, smell amazing and make you skin feel soft AF.

Rocco Wear

I have LOVED Rocco Wear for years! I personally own two of her scarves and a blanket, and have gifted my friends with these scarves in the past. Another amazing woman runs this company and makes everything she sells by hand in her home. The kind of quality you can only expect from handmade knitwear.

REDAVID Hair Care

You guys already know how I feel about REDAVID – but if you missed here, see my full review here. I highly recommend the Orchid Oil line to everyone, especially those with chemically treated hair. I like to put my hair through a lot, so I will continue to reach for my Orchid Oil products.

Elsewhere in Canada

Sewn Designs

Listen, I hate bras. I hate them. But I also have nipples and tend to obey society’s rules and expectations from time to time so I wear bras. I love the Sewn Bralettes because they are comfortable and super cute. I’ve found myself looking for more clothing to buy to better show off my Sewn Bralette. They’re handmade in Calgary and are such high quality.

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Clean Natural Life

Raise your hand if you love essential oils! Yes! Me too! Clean Natural Life sells 100% pure oils, unlike many essential oils out there (seriously, do you research about certain cult favourites – you’d be surprised). This company is run out of Calgary by yet another incredible woman – except this woman is someone I’ve known for over half my life. She sells her products at a fraction of the cost you would find them elsewhere at the same (or better) quality depending on where you shop.

Basd Body Care

Again, this is a company I have written an in depth review on, find it here. I still love this product, especially as the winter has come in I am consistently looking for any product that moisturizes my skin and Basd always comes through for me.

Ask Yo Mother

Ask Yo Mother is a new company to me, but I have been obsessed with their banners. I recently won one at the Gatley opening party and it is quickly becoming my favourite piece. They have a banner for every home, mood and occasion! Anyone would be thrilled to receive one of these this holiday season – they’re just so CUTE.

Reasons I “Ghost” Men on the Internet

Raise your hand if you’ve ever tried online dating! I know I have and let me tell you – it’s terrible.

Many women I’ve talked to have expressed that they tend to lean towards just ghosting men who they don’t feel a connection with and in my past I have taken this option as well. They’ve explained to me that many times when they were upfront about their feelings, the person on the other end didn’t handle it well, they got angry and defensive. I had never tried it, but I figured that was because I hadn’t been in that position for years.

Recently, I decided that maybe I was too mature now to continue ghosting men, and that I should treat them with respect and be honest and upfront with them. Let me tell you exactly how that played out.

He. Went. Off. I was reprimanded for being the 12th in a row, I was reprimanded for my demanding schedule and I was reprimanded for not “giving him a chance”. Let me be very clear: you do not owe ANYONE a chance. If you’re not feeling it, you’re not feeling it and that’s your prerogative. I want my nieces to know that it’s always okay to say no, and not be afraid of it backfiring. I want to live in a world where we can all just be respectful to one another. I want to live in a world where the word “No” is respected and isn’t seen as a word that’s up for debate. Because it’s not, and I’m tired of it being so difficult for people to understand that “No means no”.

How to Have your Best Birthday Yet

It was my 24th birthday this weekend, and while it may not have been the perfect birthday weekend – it was the best birthday I’ve had in years.

I went into it this year with no plans and a not giving a f*** attitude and I wouldn’t change a thing. Here’s what I learned about having the best birthday ever.

1. You have to make your birthday great.

You can’t depend on anyone else to make the day special. Those who love you will absolutely add to the specialness of your birthday, but no one knows what you want better than you do. I bought myself balloons and played the day almost entirely by ear, but it was full of all the things and people that make my heart smile.

2. Keep realistic expectations.

If you go into birthday season like I always have expecting it to be a non-stop party and love shower, you’re going to be let down. Do what you want, when you want but don’t expect it to be anymore than you can actually orchestrate. I kept it simple this year with a brunch, some shopping, a gluten-free bakery trip and dinner with some solid people.

3. Spend it with people you actually like.

Don’t throw a huge rager with strangers you don’t know and people you don’t like. Even it means having brunch with your two best gals and then spending the rest of the day with family or your favourite colleagues, do it. It’s your birthday and you’re allowed to be selfish.

 

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Brunch at Earl’s Test Kitchen in Vancouver, BC – they have so many yummy GF options (not the waffles though)

 

Review – Celebrity Facial at The Skin Girls

First off, I want to start by saying thank you to Jen at The Skin Girls in Vancouver. They treated me to the Celebrity Facial which was such a luxurious and relaxing experience.

 

As soon as I walked in my jaw dropped by how beautifully designed their waiting area was. I filled out a consent form where I alerted them of my gluten allergy, and everything was just easy regarding that.

Once we got into the room they put this futuristic light mask on me. Generally it includes red light as well as blue light. The red light is for anti-aging, which thankfully I don’t need quite yet. Jen opted to just use the blue light on me, which kills acne-causing bacteria – which lord knows I need.

After the light mask was on for about 15 minutes we continued with the rest of the facial. After performing microdermabrasion on my face, which removed all the dead skin cells, Jen used a three-step program on me. The three steps included an activator which helps products permeate the skin, a detoxifier and an oxygenator which helps generate collagen as well and promotes circulation.

After the facial was over, Jen let me look at my microdermabrasion filter, which I was thrilled about because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as seeing all the gunk that comes out of your face. It was disgusting and I loved it.

I left The Skin Girls glowing and feeling like I had a brand new face. I stayed super hydrated all day. I wish I could do this all the time, because no matter how hard I try – I cannot achieve this at home.

I’m super not prepared ever – so I don’t have any before photos, but I do have a couple snaps of my glowy AF skin after. In short, would totally recommend this facial if you’re looking to treat yourself and really love your skin.

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Immediately after the Celebrity Facial at The Skin Girls
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Later that night