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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!?
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 HotTamaleis 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!
When you get a hankering for something crispy, junky and fried theres little else that can hit the spot. That was exactly my mind set just a couple hours ago, I wanted fried and I wanted it now. Onion rings seemed like the perfect idea, however I decided to make one substitution…bake it! These onion rings definitely hit the spot without the extra oil and saturated fat. That’s not to say that these are something you should be making daily… but when you have that craving why not make it a little bit healthier?
For the batter I had a 3 separate bowl system. The first bowl had flour, the second a combination of buttermilk, flour and egg. While the third had a mixture of breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, dried oregano, chilli flakes and fresh rosemary. These onion rings are simple enough to make: dip onion rounds in flour, drench them in the buttermilk mixture followed by a generous coating of the breadcrumb composite. Bake at 425°F for approximately 15 minutes and you’re finished!
While delicious on their own, these are equally good when dipped in Sriracha sauce. However if you’re feeling a little more adventurous I’m sure these would be fantastic with a chipotle mayo or cream-style dip. Yum!
I’m surprised I haven’t mentioned it on this blog before but for a little over a year I’ve been working on reducing the size of my makeup and skincare collection. Now compared to other bloggers and vloggers, even at its largest my collection was still minuscule by comparison. However something happened in April of 2012, my minuscule collection was starting to overwhelm me to the point where I knew things just had to go. And so began my downsizing process. I did back to back project pan’s followed by an overall project downsize and a purge. I’m almost finished my downsizing process (finally), and have come to the point where I am completely running out of certain categories and can finally buy and replace my finished products.
Now that that little story is complete lets get on with the post :P. I had always been curious about MAC’s mineralized skinfinish naturals, I had heard such great things about the product and the beautiful finish it left on the skin. However I hesitated, both because of the price ($40 CAD including tax) and MAC’s infamous reputation of their face products causing breakouts on those with sensitive skin. However with as my mineral foundation reaching its last leg I needed a replacement and couldn’t get the MAC out of my mind. By the title of this post you know that I went ahead and bit the bullet! Here are some quick pictures of the product.
The shade I purchased was Medium Dark. While in the store, under the bright white lights, Medium Deep looked to be a better colour match. However I’m glad I stuck with my initial instincts, after a quick swatch Medium Dark easily blended into my skin. I’ve had this powder for less than a week and have used it even less than that so I’m not ready to give a review just yet. When people say this powder has light coverage they weren’t kidding, I can barely see this on my skin! I’ve tried this product with 2 types of brushes so far, a rounded powder brush and a flat top brush, I prefer using the flat top brush (not that it really makes a difference in terms of coverage) but will probably try a couple different brushes just to compare any differences. Although this powder gives virtually no coverage it does give a subtle glow to the skin; I’ve received compliments on my skin the few days that I’ve been wearing it. I don’t think the product is breaking me out but I have noticed a couple white spots on my face so I can’t be sure just yet.
Haha this turned out to be a very non-conclusive first impressions post! Anyways be on the look out next week for my next first impressions post (its a concealor!)
As promised on my last Nail of the Day post, here is a quick haul of my recent nail polish purchases. Now I want to preface this post by saying that I haven’t purchased a polish in quite some time now, and that I realize that this is definitely not a normal amount of polish to purchase in such a small time frame. However these are polishes that I’ve had on my to-buy list for quite some time, and by finding them on a sale… I just couldn’t say no. Here is a quick overview of all the polishes I purchased.
Here are my Deborah Lippmann purchases. From top left to right: Cuticle Oil, Good Girl Gone Badand I’m Not Innocent. I have yet to use any of these polishes however I have swatched the two coloured shades on my swatch wheels. Good Girl Gone Bad is a gorgeous polish with a deep magenta base combined with a pink/purple shimmer. This polish dried pretty matte on my swatch wheel, but a top coat provided a smooth glossy finish. I’m Not Innocent is a light slightly-yellow toned nude shade; as I said I have yet to wear the polish however from the swatch this may take the place of ‘my perfect nude polish.’ These polishes were all purchased from nailpolishcanada.com. The site will no longer be carrying the Lippmann brand so polishes are deeply discounted. If you are a Deborah Lippmann fan I would definitely suggest checking out the site!
Next up are two Essie shades. I’ve had each of these polishes on my to-buy list for quite some time now and finally decided to bite the bullet and purchase. Beyond cozy is an interesting polish, in the bottle it pulls more gold however when swatched it is a very finely milled silvery gold. If silver toned gold was a word, this polish would be its most accurate description. This polish is ALL shimmer; surprisingly the formula seems to be quite good; the shimmer is incredibly dense! Topless and Barefoot is another nude shade, this one is darker and more pink-toned compared to the Deborah Lippmann. I’ve wanted this polish for almost a year now, however it never seemed to be in stock at Trade Secrets (where I typically purchase my discontinued polishes). I tend to prefer pink toned nudes against my skintone so I’m anxious to see if this polish will have been worth the wait!
These are the last 3 polishes of my haul. I’ve already done a post on Butter London’s QueenVicso I won’t talk too much about it. This is my first Butter polish and while at first I was a bit unsure; the longer I had it on, the more it grew on me! Revlon Colorstay‘s Top Coathas been my go-to top coat since I purchased it about a year or so ago. The proof that I love it so much is that this bottle is a repurchase! Its extremely rare for me to finish a polish; In all honestly I can probably count the number of polishes that I’ve actually finished! I haven’t tried the matching Base Coat and decided to go ahead and pick one up. I found the Colorstay polishes on an AMAZING deal at saleevent.ca. At $2 a bottle I really couldn’t pass this up, not pictured are the other 2 bottles of top coat that I purchased…yes this is excessive however my rationality was that now I won’t need to buy top coat for the next 3 years 😛 and with shipping costs being $5 flat, I wanted to order enough to make it worth it.