Anxiety

Anxiety is tricky. It’s a hidden sickness, often hiding even from those who have it. I will think “this is great, I’ve completely learned how to effectively manage my anxiety levels and I never have issues anymore.” Then I have a panic attack, crash for two days, and have to pick myself back up again.

I confuse people. I’m easily social and clearly enjoy the company of others, and yet only have a few close friends that I open up to. I’m outgoing and often speak up in a crowd, and yet the act of doing so can flood me with embarrassment for hours afterward. I often act without thinking to the point where outsiders classify me as an extrovert, then I isolate and am hopelessly introspective for weeks at a time. My own anxiety turns my personality into a series of contradictions that make it difficult to sustain the relationships needed for personal or professional development.

Dating is laughable. I have a stubborn independent streak that attracts mature independent men, but if things get serious I drive them away with what seems to be a jealous, insecure edge. I’m neither jealous nor insecure, but my hours of thinking cause thoughts to spin in my head to the point where I need to say them out loud. I ask about a girl you added on Facebook, not because I care that you’re friends with some girl, but because the thought will spin around and come to the forefront of my brain about 20 times in a minute and it seems to be a casual conversation topic to my over-active mind.

There are many self-diagnosed anxiety disorders floating around our society right now. There are a lot of people who thrive off of the attention that being sick can get them, and mental disorders conveniently lack physical proof. Because of this, there is also a lot of skepticism if one claims to have an anxiety disorder. When my anxiety levels build, I am always aware of it. In my head, I tell myself to tell someone. Explain that I need time to go and calm down, explain why I am acting differently. Instead, I am so afraid of eye-rolling and judgement that I pretend I’m ok, even when it is obvious that I am not. I’m already prone to isolating myself, prone to pushing away help in situations where I should accept it. It doesn’t help that anxiety will make me think I am always disliked, even by those I know enjoy my company. When I actually have a panic attack, I’m terrified. It feels like I’m dying. Before I knew what they were, I honestly believed I was going to die. My only focus should be on recovering from the attack. Instead, I focus on making sure that no one will find out that I had a panic attack that day.

It’s not all bad. The same force that keeps me thinking that I’m not doing enough, that I’m not good enough, also pushes me to succeed. My motivation and drive are off the charts. My current career also stems from my anxiety – I have a skill to see 4 or 5 possible pathways where others only see one, just because of my natural tendency to over-think. Friends rely on me for advice and insight into moral matters, because they know I spend so many hours of my life just…thinking.

Remember there is strength in admitting weakness. Remember it is always ok to accept help when you need it, and to give yourself a break from personal condemnation when you fall down. Remember to let go of shame and move forward. Remember that you always have permission to love yourself. Recovery isn’t an uphill path, and your symptoms will likely be exacerbated while you are young and trying to find your path, or through periods of great stress in your life.

The world is still beautiful, and you will find happiness.

 

 

 

What I ate Wednesday: Comfort Food Edition

     Every time I’ve done one of these posts, I’ve done light, healthy food. That is my preferred style of eating, and it makes my body feel and look its’ best. However, there are some days where I workout quite heavily, it’s cold outside, I’m in a hurry…and I just need easy, heavy, comfort food. So I thought I would show you one healthy-ish way to get through one of those days!

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This is one of those weeks where I had the luxury of knowing in advance that I would be busy and in a hurry, so you will notice a lot of my food was planned in advance and prepared. This first picture is my on-the-go breakfast! I have a whole bunch of hard boiled eggs in my fridge, and this morning I just pulled one out, peeled it, cut it in half, and lightly sprinkled with salt and red pepper flakes. I also did have an orange just to even out the fruit to protein intake, but I ate it before I took a picture.

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Alright, I know…this isn’t the most artistic of shots. Really though…how do you make a burrito artistic? This is on of many healthy freezer burritos that I keep in my freezer at all times. If I want to take one for lunch, I just pull it out of the freezer, microwave it for 30 seconds, and stick it in a container (I also usually wrap it with plastic wrap, just to prevent any mess). Inside of it is some scrambled eggs, beans, salsa, and cheese. Perfect fast comfort food, without all the calories of McDonald’s!

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And these were my snacks for the day! Strawberries, salt and vinegar rice chips, and some dark chocolate (because chocolate.).

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Lastly, my dinner. This was also made at the beginning of the week. Chili lasts so well in the fridge, is so filling, and so yummy, that it’s often a go-to for busy weeks for me! I did want to try to make a slightly healthier version though, so I doubled the vegetables and beans, halved the meat, and used ground turkey instead of ground beef. It tastes and feels great!

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Fashion Friday Outfit of the Day! – Summer in Winter

So the other day I decided it was time to spend one of the three Garage gift cards that I got for Christmas, and I headed down to Garage! It was difficult to hold myself back…I always want to buy everything in the store…but I am so happy with what I got! The t-shirt is striped, and darker around the neck and sleeves. It was on sale for only 14 dollars and may be one of the softest things I have ever put on my body. Also, despite being high-necked, it actually looks good around my chest! I think that’s just because it has so much give…it doesn’t try to strap me down.

Now I want to take a moment to talk about the shorts. Traditionally, I dread buying shorts and resent them all summer. Shorts do not look good on me. I have a larger stomach, ridiculously small hips, then quite large thighs. I can rock my body in skirts or long pants, but shorts are not my thing. Last summer I lived in light soft pants, just to avoid the shorts dilemma. Then recently, Garage released these shorts called festival shorts. They are tight around the waist, and then flare out (kind of like a fit and flare skirt). They aren’t ridiculously baggy, but they don’t hug my thighs either. Basically, they look sexy on me, which is something I have never been able to say about a pair of shorts before!

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What I got in New York

The week before Christmas, I was lucky enough to go with my family to New York City, where we stayed close to the public library and had plenty of adventures. New York at Christmas time is absolutely beautiful. I loved strolling around, shopping at Christmas markets, and seeing all the pretty displays and decorations. I did have a budget for shopping, and I wanted to show you my purchases! I pictured this post being full of clothes and beauty supplies, but as it turns out, it is almost completely art! However, I love art, and I am not complaining.

This is my one big non-art purchase. It is a Kate Spade passport holder. It’s navy, which matches my big travel purse and my passport! On the outside, in gold, it says “anything to declare?” On the inside, there are two folders on the left that are labelled for your passport and boarding pass. There is a zippered compartment behind these folders. On the other side, there are a ton of card slots, including an ID card slot, and a non-zippered compartment behind the card slots. On the back, there is another little compartment. I love this, and have wanted this for so so long. I got it from the flagship Kate Spade New York store, which was a four story experience in itself. Even if you don’t want to buy anything there, if you are in New York, you should go check it out. It’s incredibly cool.

All of these images were from the same artist who was located in the Christmas market by the public library in the park where I was staying. She is an incredibly girl, who was around my age! I had great conversations with her and with her mother. Here is a link to her page if you would like to go and check her out! She makes phone cases, prints, calendars, etc. She also does custom work if you contact her!

These two works were from another booth in the Grand Central Station Christmas Market. I love them…and I loved that whole booth. I could have spent months worth of money right there.

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This was from yet another booth in the Grand Central Station Christmas Market. It’s a little darker than my other art, but I really love the message.

IMG_1678We managed to see two musicals while we were there. Wicked was one, and Les Mis was the other. Outside of Wicked, a man was selling these posters. He said that back when the play first came out, he went to the cast when they got out and got them to sign a whole bunch of these. Therefore, this is the actual original casts signatures! Totally awesome, and a great memory to have.

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I did get one Christmas sweater. This is my third Christmas sweater ever, and I love it. One of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite movies, and very high quality and cozy!

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This is a gorgeous necklace I got from a booth in a Christmas market in New York. They sold very geometric, plain jewelry, which I am really into right now!

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2015 Favourites!

I know I’m a little late posting this, but I got a lot of beauty items for Christmas, so I wanted to make sure the hype had died down and I wasn’t just using my favourite items from Christmas as my favourite items for the year. 2015 was an amazing year for me, and it really opened up new doors in my makeup and beauty routines. I love a lot of my discoveries through the year, and I hope my discoveries can help you with your own beauty journeys.

FAVOURITE PALETTE 

My favourite palette of the year was in fact a Christmas addition to my collection. This Hourglass Ambient Lighting edit is sadly no longer available, but the Ambient Lighting Palette still is, and you can get the rest of the shades in here individually. I’ve never tried out any of hourglass’s products before, and experimenting with this has been amazing. It’s so subtle and natural, but so stunning at the same time. I love this, and I’ve heard Hourglass products last a really long time, so I look forward to using this years into the future.

FAVOURITE SCENT

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My favourite scent has been my favourite scent since high-school. This is the Indian Night Jasmine scent by the Body Shop. They also have it in lotions and body washes and such, but the body spray is my favourite. It’s very everyday (although you can wear it on nice outings), and I always get compliments when I’m wearing it! They’ve also recently redone the packaging, and it’s gorgeous, so I encourage you to go and have a look!

FAVOURITE BRONZER

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I actually experimented with different bronzers this year for once, but nothing beats this one. This is the Hoola Benefit Bronzer. It’s matte and soft and natural and gorgeous. What really sells it for me is that, while you can layer it on and make it as dark as you like, it is naturally a very light bronzer, which is perfect on my lighter skin.

FAVOURITE LIPSTICK

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This has been my favourite lipstick all year, as you can tell by the condition of the container. I wear it almost everyday, despite a rather wide selection of lipsticks I have now. It goes with everything, and it’s stunning in my face, while also being low-impact. It lasts all day, and is actually quite hydrating. I can’t actually tell what colour it is anymore, as the packaging is so worn, but I THINK it’s Rimmel London Colour Rush Sunkissed.

FAVOURITE MOISTURIZER

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Clinique is one of my favourite skincare companies of all time. My skin is really low maintenance…in fact, loading it with all sorts of products makes it break out. I usually moisturize once every few days, a bit more often in the winter. What I like about Clinique is that their stuff lasts a long time, isn’t crazy expensive, is light on the skin, actually works, is quick drying, and unscented. This moisturizer is the Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief by Clinique, and I couldn’t be happier with it. My skin has never felt softer, and I really haven’t even made a dent in the volume.

FAVOURITE BODY BUTTER/BODY SCRUB

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I decided to combine these categories due to the fact that these are the same company, same scent, but different products. These are on the pricier side, but they are so worth it. They are the Lalicious Sugar Kiss Sugar Scrub and the Lalicious Sugar Kiss Body Butter. They make several different scents, but this scent is Sugar Kiss and it smells like warm vanilla, which is so me. These feel like luxury on your skin, and make an immediate noticeable difference. The body scrub is sugar based and is packed with coconut oil. The body butter is thick and creamy without feeling heavy. These are my dream combination and I’m using them sparingly as I’m so worried about running out quickly!

FAVOURITE PURSE

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I got this Kate Spade purse in August, so it’s not currently available on their site, but I really wanted to talk about it. It was a gift for my birthday, and everything about it is perfect. It’s envelope style, it’s a gorgeous shade of blue, and it’s just the right size for a casual outing. I can’t fit my big wallet into it, but that’s only because I truly have a monster wallet. I need a smaller going out wallet. Anyway, I love this purse, and while I currently am lucky enough to have a large selection of purses, this is my go-to.

FAVOURITE CONCEALER

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I have gone on a journey with concealers this year. I used to be all about the benefit concealers, but their heavy one started feeling too heavy on my face, and their lighter one just wasn’t very good. I also tried a L’Oreal one, but I really didn’t like that either. I picked this up in Sephora on a whim, and I can finally say that I love my concealer. This is the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer. It’s light, it’s brightening, and it full of moisture.

FAVOURITE EYESHADOW

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What? I can pick a favourite eyeshadow? I know, I know…they are my favourite makeup item, I have a dozen different palettes plus a lot of individual shades…it was hard. This one has taken a shining front seat for me this year though. It’s the Yves Rocher Loose Pearls Eyeshadow in Pink. It is messy, and a bit more work to apply, but for bright, illuminating eyeshadow effects YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS. What I do is I tip some on the back of my hand, then use a small eyeshadow brush to apply it all over the lid and just under the eye. I apply quite a bit, and it’s the only colour I use. It looks stunning.

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What I ate Wednesday

Today was a really light day for eating. I’m still recovering from the holidays, and I’m not feeling all that well, so I didn’t snack and my meals were not that big. They were still healthy and delicious, but it is a lot less than I would usually eat, just as a disclaimer.

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My day started how it always starts…porridge and tea. I really don’t know how I would get through the winter without porridge mornings. The porridge was made with half a cup of oats, water, almond milk, and honey. Once it was done cooking, I sprinkled cinnamon on top, then through some random berries and half a banana on over that. The tea was green tea, and I also had a big glass of water with the meal.

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My lunch looks so small! It was really yummy though. It’s just a piece of toast with Avocado mushed on top. I also sprinkled some red pepper flakes on that, and squeezed lime juice over it all. I did also have a hard boiled egg, but it is not in the picture, because I ate it really fast.

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My dinner is so colourful! I stopped making stir-fries about two years ago, and now for the life of me I can’t remember why. They are super fast and easy to make, they require no special grocery shopping, and they are packed with nutrition! This stir fry has broccoli, garlic, onion, mushrooms, purple cabbage, carrots, and egg noodles in it. For the sauce, I just mixed together about a tablespoon of soy sauce with a tablespoon of honey. Super easy, but really flavorful.

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What I got for Christmas 2015

Christmas was remarkable this year. I got to celebrate it with my cousins for the first time in years, as well as my Aunt and my mum and my brother. I was so lucky to be surrounded by family and good food and warmth. There was one sad note to it…it was my very first Christmas without my old dog. He used to get so excited at Christmas time. One year, he found his own gift under the tree and unwrapped it himself while we were eating!

I was also lucky this year in getting some amazing gifts from my family. Some are really interesting beauty items that I wanted all year, and some are complete surprises! Either way, they were all clearly bought with my exact wants and needs in mind, so I thought I would share them all with you!

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This first one actually wasn’t a Christmas gift. I bought it for myself the day after Christmas! It was only 6 dollars, and I thought it was so cute, I just had to. I’m not a huge believer in boxing day shopping, but I just happened upon this when out and about, and there’s no harm in one little purchase!

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This was an actual gift. This is the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. I got 5 individual masks in my stocking. I’ve been interested in this mask all year, so I put it on my Christmas list and Santa delivered! It’s a very intense mask, and I find it takes quite a bit of scrubbing to get off, now that I’ve tried it. However, the results are worth it. My face feels like a newborn baby’s.

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These gorgeous eye-shadow brushes are too wonderful to describe! I haven’t used any of my other eye-shadow brushes since receiving these. Number 3 is the all over shadow brush and Number 4 is the crease brush. They make so many different looks so effortlessly, it’s really transformed my makeup routine.

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This is the Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush. If you have never heard of it, listen close. This is the best thing you could do for your face when applying foundation. It doesn’t matter whether it’s powder foundation or liquid, this brush does it all. If you’re really in love with your beauty blender or some other method of applying foundation, that’s fine. I haven’t tried a beauty blender yet, I can’t judge. Use this then for setting powder. Or you could easily use it to apply some beautiful bronzer. Just use it…it’s the softest thing I have ever put near my skin, and everything it applies turns out incredibly flawless.

This was on every makeup enthusiast’s wishlist this year. Every single one. Not many got them though, as they sold out within two weeks. That of course naturally made me assume that I didn’t get one. There was no way. But as it turns out, my mother came through. I got the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit for Christmas!!!! I’m so overwhelmed by this I haven’t even started using it. I know I’m going to be using it so much this year though. I can’t wait to test it out!

This Tartlette Palette was on my Christmas list this year for two reasons. Firstly, I had heard lots of raving reviews about it, and second, I lack matte eye-shadows. Now I have lots! I love the natural browns and pinks in this palette and the pigments are so beautiful. They apply so so easily and so beautifully and I am so grateful to my aunt for getting me this.

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This perfume I have been in love with all year. It’s the Kate Spade Walk on Air perfume. Every time I’m in a Kate Spade, I always almost buy it, then talk myself out of it at the last minute. Most of my scents are body sprays and lotions, not expensive perfumes. Most days those do just fine, but when I’m going out, or going to a nice event, I sometimes want to be wearing something a little more high end. This is my new go-to for times like that.

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This was from one of my cousins, and wasn’t on any wishlist of mine. This particular cousin is a 13 year old boy with a nose for scent though, and he picked me up a Body Shop set of the most beautiful mango scent I have ever smelled. The set came with a body butter, a body scrub, and a body wash. I am actually almost through the butter and scrub, and the body wash has become my new go-to in the shower.

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This is a Kate Spade Commuter Bag! The black is very toned down, which is unusual for me, but I really appreciate that in a professional commuter bag, especially because I like to play up colours in other aspects of my professional outfits. I think it will be my new go-to school bag, but I may still have to bring a backpack on days where I have a lot of textbooks and binders to tow around with me. This bag will last me years though. The material is so soft and so high quality that I can easily see this still being my main work bag 10 years down the road.

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I won’t go over every bathbomb, bubble bath, and bath melt that I got from Lush, because I got a LOT. This should satisfy my obsession for a good long time. Believe it or not, this photo actually shows less than the total amount I got, as I had already used 2-3 by the time I took this photo!

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This is a Kate Spade Elephant Bangle. I love it…it’s gold and sparkly, which suits me perfectly! I’ve already been wearing it a lot, but it will probably mostly wait until spring or summer, as I don’t tend to wear bracelets with long sleeves that often. Either way, I love elephants, I love sparkles, and I love gold!

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This was my gift from my brother. It was something that was on my list last year, although I didn’t get it, but this year I didn’t put it on my list, as I had so many beauty item wants. It was a really pleasant surprise, and I can’t wait to start decorating my walls with Polaroids!

 

Lastly, I received three lipsticks from Santa. From left to right, I got:

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture in colour 28 – Rose Boheme

Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Sheer Candy in colour 08 – Iced Plum

Tom Ford in Bruised Plum

I have been using all of these colours obsessively since I got them, especially the Tom Ford colour. My latest manicure even matches the Tom Ford colour perfectly!

And that is everything I got for Christmas. I left out a few things that wouldn’t really interest people reading this blog, but that I still loved. A few books, a picture of my old dog, etc. I loved everything I got, and I feel really blessed and happy headed into this new year!

If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like and subscribe. If you would like to see more of me, feel free to check out my Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter! I also run a YouTube Channel where I vlog everyday! xoxo ❤