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Real life vs. internet life?

One thing I’ve come to really dislike about social media is the trend to portray a ‘perfect’ life. You have those on Instagram taking 20 selfies to get that pose just right… which is then edited beyond recognition with filters.  Maybe it’s just the people I come across my own age but everyone seems to depict this ‘I’m in school, but have the time to eat out and go to concerts every weekend, spend glamorous summers at my fantastic internship all the while jetting off on a foreign adventure’ lifestyle. There is such a false-ness about it all.

However isn’t this now the draw of social media with likes of twitter, instagram, youtube and tumblr? Unlike Facebook, where there is only so much you can fake around people you actually know, on these sites you can create a completely different persona. You can become your very own pinterest board come to life! But really what is the point of it all? To instigate jealousy? Not to show your vulnerabilities?

I have a friend who after graduating last year, immediately got a job offer at a start up in NYC. From what I have seen, her social media is filled with pictures of herself going to restaurants and boutiques while jetting off every couple of weeks to visit her boyfriend in san francisco. However recently we ran into each other and I was given a fuller picture. In reality: she walks an hour to work since she can’t afford transportation, she constantly has to work overtime which she isn’t paid for and her boss is an egomanical tyrant. Nothing you would suspect from the image portrayed on social media.

Now I understand that no one wants to be the person constantly whining and complaining on social media. For one thing there can be negative ramifications, we’ve seen how people have lost their jobs for an insensitive tweet or an incriminating Facebook post. However at what point are you portraying an unrealistic version of yourself? I’ll admit that I felt both jealous and self-concious; what was I doing wrong? Why didn’t I have the time or resources to live like everyone else (seemingly) was. Was the problem with those who portrayed this false opulent lifestyle or was it with myself for taking these social media interactions as a literal representation of someones life instead of just a sampling of positive highlights?

Later that day I opened up about some stressors I was facing to a close friend. It’s unclear whether consciously or unconsciously but I had internalized all of my anxiety in an attempt to exude a certain image. Again the question was why? To keep people at arms length? To keep my fears a secret? Although she didn’t have a crystal ball to look into the future and let me know everything was going to work out, just talking about my worries and letting myself be vulnerable helped much more than I had expected.

Untitled?

I know, I know. Blog hiatuses have become more repetitious than a gregorian chant…. yes, I do know that was a weird reference…. no, I don’t know why it came to mind. Rather than lengthy excuses let’s (attempt) to reduce the overall rambling of this post and get down to the meat so to speak. As I edge closer and closer to the end of my student years I’m starting to feel that quintessential ‘quarter life crisis,’ – now don’t worry this isn’t going to be some self indulgent ‘isn’t life so hard’ type of post, however in my stress over the unknown I’ve started to crave more simplicity.

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while (and if anyone has kept up with the constant hiatus I salute you!), this isn’t a new concept for me. I’ve been decluttering certain aspects of my life since April of 2012; on a side note is it weird that I remember that moment in time so clearly? I can’t remember what I wore last week or what I ate two nights ago but somehow that moment this moment remains etched in my mind. What was that moment exactly? Well, to be honest its more of a feeling. The feeling of being overwhelmed by possessions – in my case this was makeup. If you type in the search term makeup collection onto youtube, you might feel like you’re watching a mini episode of hoarders instead. Mind you my collection wasn’t nearly that bad, honestly it was probably 1/10th the size of the average youtube video. Nonetheless I was overwhelmed and needed to take control back in an aspect of my life that I embarrassingly had let fly off the rails. Fast forward 2 years later and I find myself craving that same simplicity in all aspects of my life.

Now I don’t mean to turn this into an essay or thesis, but this is the direction I want this blog take. What that direction is exactly is something I haven’t quite figured out, more so this is just one girl’s minimalism journey. I’m not about to turn into an extreme minimalist and live out of a suitcase or par all my possessions down to 100 items but there is something soothing about less – less stuff, less tightly packed, more empty space.

 

Less stuff, less stress.

Film: Man of Steel

Let me start off by saying that I am a big Superman fan. Now i’m not claiming to have read all the comic books or anything but Superman is the one superhero that I feel like I grew up on. I travelled a lot growing up and might I add that I have a very large extended family. Many of my cousins were about 10+ years older than me so whenever we would visit a relative there was little around to entertain me. Since many of my cousins were males  comic books seemed to be a consistency that I would find from house to house. It just so happened that the first couple of comics that I read were Superman ones, and so started my lifelong sentiment with the franchise. This worked out well for my parents, as I mentioned earlier we travelled a lot when I was a kid and you could find a comic book (especially the popular DC and Marvels) in any country, add the fact that my entertainment of choice was reading and they were practically giddy.

I remember one summer in India I was bored out of mind. I was too young to go anywhere exciting on my own and my parents would rather chat with relatives, add the fact that there was maybe 1 english channel on tv and you have got a very unenthused child. One day I came across Lois and Clark, it was in english so I was automatically a viewer but again it was Superman so there was another layer of intrigue. With consistent marathons and frequent air time I’m pretty sure I watched the majority of the series that summer. Flash forward a few years later and I’ve hooked on Smallville and have a box set of the Christopher Reeve Superman Quartet. I’ve read a couple more comics in both the Superman and Justice League series, and have watched the animated series of each. Clearly I grew up watching Superman.

Anyways enough with that lengthy intro lets get on with the review! I decided to add that tidbit in to demonstrate that I may be a bit harsher of a critic compared to someone who is less invested in the franchise. Having already been largely disappointed with the 2006 Superman Returns I had high hopes…especially after learning that Christopher Nolan (one of my favourite directors) was a producer. Unfortunately I once again was largely disappointed.

Directed by Zach Snyder and written by David S. Goyer, the film stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams and Michael Shannon as Kal-El/Clark Kent, Lois Lane and General Zod. Russel Crowe, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane round out the cast portraying Jor-El, Jonathan Kent and Martha Kent respectively. Personally I thought the casting in this film was fantastic. Every actor was perfect for their part, while I may have been a bit underwhelmed by Michael Shannon, the rest of the cast was so expertly picked it more than makes up for it. The cinematography was beautiful. There was a quintessential ‘darkness’ to the film that I’ve come to associate with the newer DC releases. By that I mean that the settings showed a lot of murkiness in the sky with muted colours. I see this as almost metaphorical, by not using the punchy vibrant primary colours the film is given more of a realness that separates itself from the idealism surrounding these iconic superheros. Lighting aside there was a lot of great direction in this film. I distinctly remember this one moment within the first 15 minutes of the movie where Henry Cavill is emerging from the water looking for some clothes to borrow and there is a beautifully captured moment of leaves trembling and whisking away in the wind. Its a very minute detail but something that was so small but brilliant that I almost couldn’t contain my excitement for the rest of the movie to take place. Combine that with the subtle references to the comic (such as when Clark wants to beat up the vile drunk at the diner but instead takes out his anger…elsewhere) or Christopher Reeve movies and I was a fan grinning from ear to ear.

For me the real let down of this film was the script. It just seemed messy and in great need of editing. I understand and completely respect taking artistic license and changing aspects of the story but there were numerous moments where I felt that the change made less sense and the scene would have been stronger with the original pacing. Contrastingly the dialogue came across as rushed and poorly written. Entire conversations and one liners came across as cheesy and stale. I think its a testament to the ability of the actors in that they were still able to give convincing performances in spite of the poor writing. Another annoyance was the both the amount and the length of the fight scenes. While of course necessary to a superhero movie, It felt as though 1/3 of the film was made up of fight scenes! While I loved that Man of Steel spent a of time on Superman’s past and on his struggles while growing up, It didn’t feel like there was enough character development to feel invested enough to warrant their extravagance. Not surprisingly I’ve already heard talks of a sequel, I’m too invested in the franchise to not watch it however I wouldn’t give Man of Steel a recommedation. Wait for it to come out on dvd or netflix, unfortunately this superhero movie is getting a pass.

Film: Monsters University

A sequel 10 years in the making. This has almost become a trend with Pixar, first with the release of Toy Story 3 and now Monsters University. While I’m sure the long awaited release dates have more to do with the difficulties of animation, this is a very smart movie in my opinion. Kids who grew up watching and loving the prequels (myself included) feel a sense of nostalgia and join the legions of young children and families in a crowded movie theater. Add to that the nostalgic themes of growing up and going to university and ‘the feels’ (as tumblr folk would say) are definitely there.

To cut to the chase I loved this movie. While in that confusing realm of a prequel- sequel, this movie did not disappoint. Unlike many other sequels, the storyline worked both as an individual and as a unit. The plot was strong enough to hold the movie on its own for those who hadn’t seen Monsters Inc. but there were enough subtle references to the original so both films were cohesive. I love films with a lot of heart, and this one is very reminiscent of the Disney movies I grew up watching as a kid. A timeless movie that isn’t littered with pop culture references to stay relevant but instead focuses on a common theme of not feeling good enough and trying  your hardest but still not quite measuring up.

The film features the same director as the previous monsters movie with John Goodman and Billy Crystal reprising their roles of James Sullivan (Sully) and Mike Wizouski. I loved the Greek community that existed within Monsters University, while both cheeky and fun it remained functional in moving the plot along. This is something that I’ve really come to admire about Pixar movies, they tend to be strong tight stories without the excessive filler adding unnecessary run time. I really don’t have much to say about the film without giving too much of the plot away. However I will say that I loved how the film emphasized working hard to reach your dreams, it seems that nowadays everyone is looking for the easy way out or the job that requires the least amount of work. Its nice to see a children’s film show characters who aren’t handed everything but instead have to work hard to measure up.

Nail of the Day

OPIMy Private Jet 

Decided to go for a bit of a darker nail color this week. I tend to wear mostly pastel or brighter colors in the summer but for some reason I’ve had the urge to go darker. I was initially leaning towards a black polish but since I’m visiting my parents for the long weekend (and my mother hates black polish) this one would have to do. This is the re-formulated version of My Private Jet. I’ve heard that the original was much more holographic but had a terrible formulation. I don’t own the origional so unfortunately I can’t compare the two. This polish is smooth and easy to apply. I tend to apply 3 coats with all of my OPI polishes but you could probably get away with two

Bag Lust

I don’t know what’s come over me today but I can’t stop window shopping (side note can it still be called window shopping if its online?) bags! After perusing brand after brand I somehow found my way to the Roots online shop. Now every Canadian loves their signature Roots sweatpants but I for one had never thought much of their leather accessories….boy was I mistaken! The bags are a simple elegance and for the quality (100% leather!) are at a very affordable price point. You better believe that I will be heading up my nearest Roots store to see some of these in person!

Village Satchel Tribe
a great casual bag, I’m obsessed with the look of this leather. A beautiful aged patina look. Perfect for casual errands, a light hike or a small travel bag.

Small Grace Bag Tribe

another bag in this gorgeous leather tone. Albeit the crossbody (which I happen to love) this would be a great work bag. Its less casual than the Village Satchel Tribe in its shape which lends itself well to a more formal setting.

Vintage Bag Tribe Leather Strap/ Side Saddle Tribe

Can’t decide between the two! Another great casual errands bag, perfect for heading out to the grocery store or the mall where all you need are a few essentials…have I mentioned enough how much I love the tone of this leather?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annie Bag Box

And last but not least the big one. I will almost be running to the nearest freestanding Roots store to see this bag in person. I love the fringe detailing and the subtle accordion fold out, much less pronounced when compared to the infamous celine luggage tote which I actually prefer. My only gripe is the silver hardware but I’ve already fallen head over heals for this bag. AND it has a crossbody strap, I mean really could it be more perfect!?

Nail of the Day

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Revlon – Red Hot Tamale

Essence – Nude It

Essie – Beyond Cozy

Here’s the manicure I’ve been sporting for the last couple days. At first I wasn’t sure but the more I wear it the more its grown on me! Red Hot Tamale is the perfect summer red shade, a true tomato red. I love the combination between the red and the more grey-toned taupe! I really wanted to use both colours and polka dots seemed like the easiest option. This is my first time wearing the Essie shade (previously featured in this haul post), and I can easily see myself pairing this with many other colours. Its the perfect almost silver- toned gold with a strong, dense, glitter shimmer throughout. Formula was great on all of these polishes!