I want to invite all you bloggers out there to take part in a Recycle + Upcycle Challenge! It’s easy: at least once a week, try to post about something you own that is vintage or second-hand. This could be clothing, jewelry, dishes, furniture, decorations, books, you name it! Be creative! Share why you love it and spread the word! While I was a student in university, I had the chance to work at 3 vintage stores and assist with several pop-up shops, so I will be sharing some experience I learned along the way.
I like to keep things positive, so rather than lecture you about what fast fashion is doing to the planet, here are some advantages of owning vintage or second hand things: -Quality: whether it’s leather, silk, porcelain, wood… it all used to be made BETTER. Materials were locally-sourced, workers were skilled in their trade and got paid decent wages to make things with care. -Style: yeah it’s fun to follow the trend, but don’t you want to stand out of the crowd every once in a while? Find a piece that shows character and personality. People who get noticed are usually those who are not afraid of being different. You’ll often find great items that are classic anyway. -Price: on a budget? Thrift store’s got you covered. -Guilt-free: you just saved something from being in a landfill for the next 200 years! You are awesome!
**The featured image above: I’m wearing my favourite plaid shirt, which my mom used to wear. Don’t ask why I’m doing lunges. Photo credit: Dara Jade Moats.
I drew the image above as a reaction to something that left a nagging feeling in the back of my head.
Last week, I was shopping at a bookstore downtown when I came across the print below. While it is beautiful and quickly got my attention, I’m just tired of seeing the same body type over and over in fashion illustration, and fashion altogether. I am not into thin-shaming in any way, and I don’t discriminate against any size. It’s just that less than 5% of women have the body type that is constantly being shoved in our faces. I think I speak for all of us when I say we’ve seen enough thigh gaps for a lifetime. I’d like it if women of all shapes and ethnicities could be represented (and this is coming from a white woman who usually fits in a size small, not that it should matter). Show me the diversity that I see in the city everyday. Show me that women of all walks of life can be included in what we define as beautiful. Then maybe when we hear phrases like “Just love your body”, we can actually give it a try.
So many of us can be really critical of the way we look, trying to fit into someone else’s idea of beauty, even when it’s not physiologically possible.
Your body is amazing. It does so much for you, and the least you can do for it is to stop judging it. Be kind to yourself. (At least for today).
My hands feel extra fancy these days with the combination gold half moons + Tiffany blue on my nails. The colours conveniently divert my eyes from the dry winter skin that only some warm weather will eventually cure. Thanks to these French manicure adhesives that a roommate gave me, the process was easy. Easy like Sunday morning.
You will need:
-a solid colour nail polish
-a metallic nail polish
–Sally Hansen French Manicure Kit adhesives (although if you have binder protectors lying around, those will do the trick)
-base coat (optional)
1) Start by applying the base coat. Follow with 2 thin coats of solid nail polish, letting each dry really well in between and after.
2) When you think your nails are dry, do a test-try on one nail with an adhesive: apply it check if the polish comes off when you peel it.
3) Good to go? Then add adhesives just below midway on your nails. Gently press into the sides to ensure a clean line. (I tend to reuse mine, that’s why some have paint on them).
4) Paint a thin coat of metallic polish, starting from your nail bed going upwards (it’s ok if some gets on the adhesive)
5) When dry, carefully remove adhesives and marvel at your hands! This pretty antique dish that I keep jewelry in is what led to the inspiration. Nail colours are Revlon Gold Coin (cheap!) and Nicole by OPI My Lifesaver.
In case you haven’t heard my whining, I’m in need of a bag. A nice, sturdy, everyday bag that I can wear with anything. Something with both a crossbody and a shoulder strap and big enough to fit a novel, 6 lipsticks and an exploding George Costanza wallet. Preferably locally made and within a budget. Well I found something that responds to all my needs, and I’m sharing it with you: Bookhou.
I’ve bought one of these pouches below at a craft fair and it’s super practical! I put all my purse contents in it, (the ones that are usually floating around my bag, like lip bam, gum, hair pins, etc.) and if I feel like wearing a different purse, I just need to transfer the pouch. Saves me time from rummaging and forgetting something I might need, like a pen. Lucky folks living in Toronto even have an official Bookhou store. Maybe worth a roadtrip?
All images taken from the company’s website. Not sponsored in any way, just stuff I genuinely love.
I’ve always had a slight obsession with galaxy prints and images of constellations… Basically anything celestial. It probably has something to do with my early teenage fascination with astrology and the supernatural. And that astronomy class I took in college. And that John Cusack movie where he romantically points out the constellation Cassiopeia.
Whatever it was, it’s not going away anytime soon. Which is why when I first heard of Slow Factory, my mind was blown. Slow Factory is a company based in Brooklyn, which uses open data satellite images from NASA and prints them onto scarves. They have several beautiful nebulas, as well as new collections, which are emblazoned with images of Mars and cities by night from up above. Most recently, they have sweatshirts featuring Le Petit Prince on the Comet.
They use both silk and silk-cotton blends and all scarves are made in Italy. To top it off, they include in their mission to support human rights and partner with NGOs. They’re doing things right every step of the way.
I received my scarf a few weeks ago and I couldn’t be happier! I wish it weren’t so cold out so that I could wear it already. For now, I’ll just wear it around the house.
The top image is a watercolour illustration that I made inspired by the galaxy scarf I purchased. The photo of the model wearing the scarf is via the company’s website. You can have a look at their collections here.
Alright northerners, we’ve reached the homestretch of winter. If you’re like most people I talk to, your skin has taken a beating from the evil tag team known as cold wind and dry indoor air. As someone who’s skin is both sensitive and dry, winter just turns me into one giant pasty flake. Going outside is sometimes so painful on my face that I’m tempted to get one of those full-coverage ski masks, or bank robber masks if you prefer. But after living through so many winters, I’ve finally nailed down a routine formula that keeps things under control: I’ve embraced oils. There’s still a few cold weeks ahead, so here are my top all-natural favourite oils that might help your skin survive the rest of the season:
Rose-hip oil: This one is my new favourite face oil. I love how it quickly absorbs into my skin, plus it helps beat eczema or any type of dermatitis. If my face is feeling particularly dry, I’ll spray some Avene Thermal Water spray first and follow with some rose-hip oil. I like doing this especially before I leave the house (it’s like Chapstick for my face!) and before bed. It is on the pricy side, but a little goes a long way.
Jojoba oil: this oil is known to have the same PH level as our skin. I prefer in on my legs after shaving. Also helps prevent frostbite and doesn’t get too greasy.
Coconut oil: I know, you’ve heard so much about it. But here’s a trick to avoid drying makeup removers: coconut oil moisturizes while cleaning and removing makeup. I also put it on my eyelashes at night because it’s supposed to strengthen them help them grow. Not sure if this works, but after years of abusing my eyelashes with heavy mascaras and eyelash curlers, I’ll give it a try.
I love Pinterest. As a person who works best with visuals, it’s an ideal way to track and categorize my interests.
I took a step away from it awhile ago, because I noticed I was spending much more time looking up things I wanted to do/read/bake/craft rather than actually doing them. The same way I sometimes spend an hour browsing through Netflix and adding films to my list rather than settling on something and watching it. I’m not sure how, but doing things I was supposed to enjoy just added up became another to-do list, and I wasn’t getting excited about it.
So here’s a little step towards the doing. These nails were one of the first things I pinned when I started using pinterest years ago, and this week I decided it was time (also my nail polish collection had time to grow and I finally had similar colours). Kind of superficial, and yes they clash with almost every outfit, but hey, I can’t help but feel happy every time I look at my hands.
Silver band and crown ring from these guys. I love everything they make!
Vintage brass ring and watch. Nail polish (top to bottom): Nicole by OPI My Lifesaver, Etsy Pink About It, Etsy Lilacism, Etsy Tart Deco.
A few weeks ago during a yoga class, I found myself distracted by this tall bronze goddess practicing next to me. She must have been 5’ 9”, fresh back from a trip down south, with full eyebrows and strong limbs.
When I peeked over at her hands, I noticed she had the coolest manicure: black nails with blue evil eyes drawn on each fingernail. She accentuated her hands with tons of silver rings, many of which were adorned with turquoise gemstones. Her dark tan just made everything pop. I’ve never had nail art done before, since I usually do my nails myself and don’t really have the patience or the skill. But the next time I get a professional manicure, I might just have to try this out.
The above image is a visual rendition I attempted with watercolours (it came out pretty messy, I know). It definitely doesn’t do her justice, but I hope you get the idea.