Drink Up

DSCN0168know I don’t drink enough water. I never really have. I’m often a tad bit thirsty. Not gasping for water, just a little in need. And I know this is past the point when you should have been drinking more water…I’ve known this for a long time. I just never really did anything about it.

I know drinking enough water is important for a multitude of reasons, with keeping one’s body and brain running more smoothly right at the top of the list. Even though I get it (you need it, yes, yes) and have even done cursory research about the importance of drinking water (thanks WebMD!), I continue to struggle with drinking good ol’ plain water, especially when I’m not already thirsty. And I probably always will (to a certain extent).

Side note: As I’ve mentioned before I’m a big tea drinker. I knew that my tea habit fulfilled some of my daily liquid intake…but I was under the impression (from my GP) that I was doing my body a disservice and really contributing to dehydration with the amount of tea I drink! Not true! I just googled how tea/coffee affects dehydration and liquid intake and realized that what my doctor told me was outdated information. She told me that I needed to drink more (much more) water to make up for the amount of tea I consume. I believe she said something along the lines of that I needed to drink 1.5 to 2 times more water than the amount of caffeinated drink consumed. I’ve just read that this is a myth that has been debunked! (with legitimate research.) Wahoo! And a friend of mine, a registered dietitian corroborated what I’d read. Happy days. Seriously though, this has literally made my evening!

Now don’t get my wrong, I recognize tea doesn’t make up for water intake and I still need to up that game. I’m not going to nix my water bottle toting, nor my aim to drink a few bottles of the tried and true H2O a day, but I’ll certainly feel less guilty for my fav daily habit.

One major thing I’ve found has helped me increase my water intake is using glass or stainless steel water bottles (instead of plastic). Not finding water overly palatable on a good day, plasticy-tasting water did absolutely nothing to encourage me to down a few mouthfuls of water here and there. It just tasted “blech” and not refreshing at all (which we all know we want water to be). Changing out the bottle was a simple, but surprisingly effective fix.

Now my forays into water bottles has not been as smooth as one would assume. First off, I tried a glass water bottle with no silicone sleeve. Bad idea (as you might expect). I busted it in my purse and ended up with (more than a few) cuts on my hands trying to save my wallet (and other odds and ends) from being waterlogged. Now I use a pretty little bottle from Lifefactory (I use the 9oz one, because I’m cheap like that). No breakage, even though I’ve certainly bumped it around a bit. A friend purchased the larger stainless steel bottle for me, from the FlyLady website. It’s insulated and I like that it is larger for when I’m out and about.

Any other tips and tricks for sneaking water into the day? I’m working on it, but I still have a ways to go…

Many thanks for reading,
Joey

Crafty…Makeup?

DSCN0155 (2)I enjoy a good crafting session…however, some conditions must be met in order for true crafty happiness to prevail in my books. The craft must be both easy and satisfying. The crafting not too serious or snooze-worthy.

Typically my type of crafting is a group affair, with copious glasses of wine consumed all round. I truly enjoy the social aspect of creating something with others (and laughing at mishaps and missteps) and not taking ourselves too seriously.

Making bracelets was a fail for me, much too finicky; whereas, making my own eyeshadow palette was a supreme success (in my books at least). Although this was a solo crafting affair, I greatly enjoyed the results. Fun, pretty, and useful…a worthy trio.

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I purchased my “palette” from a card company called Cavallini & Co via Amazon.ca. Cavallini makes stationary, with a vintage feel, which come in handy little tins. I purchased postcards, stickers, and holiday cards…mainly for the tins; however, since I’m a frugal sort, I made sure to choose items which I could use (in addition to the tins).

I’d viewed a few DIY palette videos on YouTube and had had a hankering to make my own, personal, and in my mind epic, palette of my very own. Hence the pretty tins. Basically, I bought some cheap magnets (one large and then some small squares) with adhesive and went to town on my pre-made palettes with my trusty straightening iron (to loosen the glue). I also added a few of my single Pure Anada shadows and Yaby which already fit nicely into magnetized palettes.

Unfortunately I cracked a number of the shadows in my Sonia Kashuk Eye On Neutral Matte and Shimmer palettes, I think in my haste I was not careful enough. Luckily, I have good ol’ googling skills, so I looked up how to fix cracked makeup with rubbing alcohol. I think they turned out reasonably well. Not perfect, but good enough for me. I fortunately managed to leave a few Annabelle eyeshadows unscathed.

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I’m pretty happy with the overall result. Like I said, fun, pretty, and useful. I’m already thinking of what to do with my other Cavallini tins…

Many thanks for reading,
Joey

Pacifica Mascara

Mascara Pacifica sideI don’t think I had overly sensitive eyes before I switched to cruelty free. Maybe I did, I just didn’t realize it. Probably. Now that I’ve made the switch and because I’m a little older (and possibly wiser) I feel like I’m just more aware of what I put on my face and pay more attention to reactions and whatnot.

Anyway, I’ve had a hard time with mascara because my eyes have reacted to a number of the ones I’ve tried. And that sucks, because I’m on a budget and I hate (hate) wasting money. I find it supremely irritating when I’ve spent cash on a product that is unusable for me. I’m frugal, what can I say?

The Pacifica mascaras have been lovely though. No irritation and I like the look of both, even though they are quite different. The Stellar Gaze mascara creates more “oomph” on my lashes, with more volume and length; while I feel the Aquarian Gaze makes my lashes a little longer, but there isn’t has much volume. It’s a more natural look.

I’d have to say I prefer the look of the SG, but I’ve been wearing the AG more often. I get some flaking and smudging with the SG and little to none with the AG. I’m assuming this is the case due to the AG being water-resistant. I actually find the AG to be almost water proof. It’s not horrible to get off with oil cleansers; regular cleansers I have a hard time removing it. A really hard time. The pulling and wiping much too hard type of hard time.

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I don’t love the wand of the SG; it’s a more typical mascara wand, but it’s very large and a little unwieldy. I tend to get a lot of mascara on my lids, which then necessitates clean-up. And I’m the type of dawdles in the morning, but then realizes I have to rush to make it to work in a reasonably acceptable time. Yah, no time for clean-ups. The wand of the AG is silicone, which I don’t typically love, but there’s less mess and clean up. Which is a bonus in the morning.

So, overall, I like them pretty equally, but use them for different reasons. When I’m working I prefer the AG, as I find it wears better for my work day. My days are unpredictable (I work with two- to five-year olds) and I often end up with random things (I’ll leave it at that) on my face. However, for evenings out and on the weekends I prefer to wear the SG as I like the look better. If I had a desk job, I’d probably go with SG, but alas, I do not.

Although I like these, I’m still looking for the perfect “all rounder,” with no flaking, smudging, a sensitive formula, and big beautiful lashes…that’s not a big ask, is it? (Ha! Obviously I know it is, I imagine I’ll be looking for a long while). But I’m happily hunting.

Many thanks for reading,
Joey

Mint-ea

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Smell is a sense to which I’ve always had a particular attachment.

I’m one of those people who loves the smell of my favourite places. The smell of marram grass at the beach is something I greatly look forward to every time I go to the beach. I don’t really go for the swimming, I go for the smells.

So, it’s probably not surprising to read that I’m pretty into perfumes (and scents in general). When I was younger, I used to love going to the perfume counter at The Bay and having a good ol’ sniff. I’d smell until I couldn’t smell any longer. The Body Shop was also a dear favourite, with it’s apothecary-like selection of oils and lotions (and potions).

A few years ago I discovered etsy and I fell hard. The choices, the choices! A million perfume oils which I could peruse at my leisure. Early into my etsy dabbling, I discovered a lovely brand called Firebird Bath & Body when I was looking for a tea-based scent. I believe I ordered a sample package of three trials which included the following: ginger tea, peach tea, and black tea and mint. At first, I loved the ginger tea, with its warmth and spiciness…but then soon tired of the strength. Then I went on a kick with the peach tea…but then eventually tired of the sweetness. Of the three, I was least excited about the black tea and mint. It seemed a little dull and soft. At the time.

Now the mint scent has been a firm favourite for a number of years. It’s sweet, but mainly fresh. Slightly warm, but still cool at the same time. I really have no idea how to describe it. I just know it’s lovely and one of my all time favourite smells. Here’s how the site describes it:

Crisp, iced black tea, steeped with fresh mint leaves and sweetened with a little sugar. Refreshing, cooling, the perfect antidote to a hot summers day. But unlike a straight mint scent this isn’t icy and bracing. On the skin the tea notes lend a subtle warmth and a hint of citrus comes out, adding depth and complexity. If you like the idea of a mint perfume but don’t want to go around smelling like a candy cane or a cough drop- this is for you.

I can attest that you don’t smell like a cough drop. Just sweet minty goodness. I hope she never stops selling this…ever. Really, never.

Many thanks for reading,
Joey

Lippy Lippy Shake

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Hurraw lip balms make my heart sing.

I’m sure I slather on lip balm much too often, lick my lips a great deal, and don’t drink nearly enough water. Obviously, I need a great lip balm. A great lip balm that doesn’t have a waxy feel. I hate the feeling of thick balms that feel a mile high or noticeably move around when you press your lips together. Ick. Blech.

Hurraw balms are lovely, utterly lovely. They glide on well, have beautiful flavours, and are reasonably affordable. The only fault I can name is that they are not always the easiest to find in my middle-sized Canadian city. I’ve randomly found a few places which sell them, much to my delight (and to the detriment of my bank account. I buy more than a few at a time). I literally squeal when I find these little gems…without a care as to who can hear (a reasonable feat, seeing as I’m still the sort to become embarrassed in public by any number of trivial things).

Seriously though, root beer lip balm. Root beer. Sign. Me. Up.

Many thanks for reading,
Joey

Tea for Me

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Oh the joys of a cup of tea! This lovely brown liquid is a staple in my (mainly) simple and humble existence. Multiple cups a day are ingested (much to the detriment of my previously white teeth). Tea has become a routine part of my life which brings comfort and a sense of stillness, stained teeth is worth it. The heat warming my hands reminds me to take in the moment, while the taste brings happiness to my heart. It’s a simple joy.

Although I drink tea daily, mornings on the weekends are a special “tea time” as I have much more time to do a whole lot of not much. As an aside, I’m most definitely not a person who needs to be busy all the time; quite the contrary. I enjoy my down time fiercely.

My favourite tea is called Tippy South Cloud and I think it is beautiful. I don’t know anything fancy about tea; I just know what I like. And this is it.

I’m a strong tea drinker, straight up, with no milk or sugar. At times, I’ve forgotten about my tea steeping for extended periods of time and then proceeded to drink the strong, bitter brew. Tippy South Cloud is fantastic as it does not become bitter, no matter how long I steep.

The Tao of Tea site lists the flavour notes as having a “full-bodied texture” with a “smooth and light smokiness similar to roasted potatoes.” I never quite get when beverages (including wine) are compared to seemingly unrelated foods (e.g., citrus or berry notes); however, I can kind of see how a “roasted-ness” to this tea fits well, as it is warm, comforting, and homey. I just plain love it.

On a side note, I went for professional development which focused on providing “trauma informed care.” Some PD sticks with you, some does not. This will stick. Awareness of other’s struggles (or even the possibility of struggles) has reminded me that sometimes a little kindness and thoughtfulness can make a huge difference. And it’s also made me hold more fiercely to simple joys in my life.

Many thanks for reading,
Joey

Two Favourites

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What better way to start a new endeavour than on a positive note? Hence, here are a few of my favourite things.

Cocoon Apothecary Argan Oil Moisturizing Serum: I was late to the whole “oil on your face” business. Oils for oily skin. Nope, not for me. However, as I became more (and more and more) interested in purchasing cruelty free options, I inevitably came across some lovely blogs focusing primarily on natural and “green” skincare and products. Many of which extolled the virtues of oils in facial care. I tried a few and had a few misses. And found a wonderfully simple oil which works for me. The Cocoon Apothecary argan oil ticks more than a few boxes: reasonable price, multi-purpose, readily (enough) available, and just plain works well for my face.

Badger Unscented Beauty Balm: Winter in Canada is usually cold. Winter on the prairies is always dry. As I’ve aged, I’ve noticed a need for more nourishment for my face. I always had a little tightness after washing; moisturizer always remedied this in the past. Not so anymore in my mid-thirties. Also, I’d found my face would get dry patches occasionally. Stubborn dry patches. This Badger balm cleared them up nicely. It also seemed to lessen some random irritations on my face. The irritations almost felt like hives (itchy), but were also persistent (lasting a number of days).

Oh, the joys of the Canadian winter!

Many thanks for reading,
Joey