The end of an era…

It could very well be the end of an era in my life.

I am changing and clearly so are my interests and hobbies.  One particular interest and hobby has been on the back burner for months now and it has recently occurred to me that I may just not be all that into it anymore.  Feels strange but sadly, is true.

I am referring to my dear old friend YouTube.  I have blogged about this in the past as I do recall my interest beginning to fade some time ago, but then it returned for a short time.  These days it seems as though my desire to even go on Youtube has severely dwindled.

I found YouTube at a time in my life when I was very lonely and in search of some, or any connection to people… Nice people… I found Kandee Johnson who immediately became my new role model.  I watched her videos day and in day out, I often stayed up all night watching tutorials and reading her blog(s).  It wasn’t long before I decided I too wanted to join the “broadcast yourself” party.  I started my channel and have since made over 100 videos.

It took me more time, energy, money, tears and frustration then I could have ever imagined to produce, edit, and upload videos.  And out of all the things I quit in my life, for some reason I refused to quit this.  I have learned and immense amount over the past 5+ years and for that I am grateful.  I have also met and conversed with a lot of amazing people which is magic in itself.  YouTube was there when no one else was.  When I was depressed, lonely, and not sleeping, YouTube was my friend.  No matter what time of day or what time of year I could sign in and see my online friends.  I could escape my own reality 4-10 minutes at a time.

There was also a point in my life where I really felt I had something to offer the YouTube community.  I had knowledge and things I wanted to share.  These days I do not feel as though I have much to offer the YT community nor do I care to share.

I have always loved to write and type.  I don’t so much love seeing myself and hearing my voice with video.  It gives me too much of an oppurtunity to pick myself apart.  I have however discovered that photography (and blogging) not only interests me more but makes me feel better then seeing myself and hearing myself.

I am still kind of lonely, depressed, and in search of human connection but I don’t feel the insatiable pull to YT that I once did.  I am behind in my subscriptions and have been for months now.  I have my own videos waiting to be edited but I just can’t be bothered to edit them.  I have comments on my channel that I am lazy to respond to (sorry guys!).  I am sad that my heart is no longer into filming, editing, uploading and watching but it is what it is.

It is the end of an era, but perhaps it is also the birth of a new one.  One where I live in the moment and stop picking myself apart.  One where I love myself enough to put myself and my feelings first.  YT is a wonderful platform and will always have a place in my heart but I feel now more then ever that it is not for me.  I respect and appreciate my fellow subscribers and channel owners as you were there for me when I needed you most.  But for now I must go, take a break, have a breather.

For now all of my videos have been privatized so that only I may view them.  Oddly enough I actually pre-wrote this blog months ago and the recent hubbub surrounding YT has only solidified my feelings.  Sometimes I feel like whipping out my camera and starting again but most times I decide not to.  That may change in the coming months, who knows? One day I just may jump start ye-ole channel but today is not that day.

Today I work on my blog… and not overthinking my YT “channel”.

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Nano Brows

I got Nano-ed.

It was intense.

But so worth it.

In case you are not aware let me catch you up…

I suffered from “Bad Brows” and “REALLY Bad Brows” after over 15 years of over-plucking.  I managed to grow them back ONCE, about 7 years ago, but after trying to grow them back again from 2013-2016 I realized that inevitably I had done irreversible damage.  They were not growing back.  Not only were they not growing back but I was stuck with MINIMAL natural brows to work with, not to mention the sheer asymmetry of them.

Makeup was fun the first few years.  The “freedom” to change my brow shape, shade, and overall look was very appealing to me.  In the recent years this has felt more like a chore and became more and more necessary if I desired some eyebrows on my face.  It began to make me more and more self conscience about my face, I felt that my lack of brows and/or my waning eyebrow application skills were making me less attractive then I needed to be.  For the most part super thin 90’s brows are NOT attractive.

I had heard of Eyebrow Tattooing many times but I was always very wary of getting a “standard tattoo” on my face.  I also wanted to make sure that I got the best possible brows for my buck and as much as I wanted nice eyebrows I just didn’t trust anyone to do them for me.

I just learned about Microblading a little over a year ago.  My boyfriend’s sister had gone to a Brow Place and though she did not get Microblading, the results were astounding.  Her eyebrows were and are beautiful, I couldn’t stop looking at them.  I wanted them.  I needed them.

I found the Brow Place she went to on Instagram and I learned that her Brow Artist does Mircoblading.  I did not know what that was but after some scrolling and reading I quickly came to the conclusion that it was just what I needed. Since EVERY SINGLE PICTURE was spot on, every eyebrow this girl touches became beautiful, I HAD to have her help me fix my terrible eyebrows.  I felt like she really knows what a perfect, natural brow looks like and that I could trust her fully with my face.

Click here for more information about Microblading.

I wasted very little time contacting this amazing Brow Wizard and before I knew it [6 months later… she is so good I had to wait which was hard but totally fine] I got Microbladed.  It was well worth every minute of waiting and every penny I saved and invested into my face (if memory serves me correctly it was $500 CAD for entire procedure).

Click here to read about my Microblading experience.

Fast forward to 6 months later.  Scrolling good ole Instagram I see that my Eyebrow Artist has a new semi-permenant eyebrow technique and tool that is like Microblading but BETTER.

NANO BROW.

Nano Brows use ultra-sharp nano needles to deposit pigment under the skin.  It also, as far as I have read, is a deeper pigment deposit then Microblading thus is lasts longer (up to 5 years vs 1-3 which can also mean less scar tissue because you don’t need to touch them up as often or at all).  Nano needles are more precise and can actually mimic the look of real hair on the skin.  Since my Microblading was already starting to fade and actually ended up more warm in colour then what I was hoping for I immediately decided that this was to be my next investment.

I thought about it for awhile before making an appointment.  I knew I wanted them but I didn’t know if I could afford them anytime soon.  To my pleasant surprise, because I had Microblading done when I did I was able to take advantage of a promo that my Brow Artist was offering.  It was too good of a deal and way affordable for me.  It was a sign.

So. Long story made a little less longer, I booked.

I had them done yesterday.  Almost exactly 24 hours ago to be exact (1:30-ish pm).  I was actually more nervous about then I thought.  Luckily I took a preventative-ativan before I even left the house, it kept me nice and calm while I waited 15-20 minutes for the numbing cream to take affect.  I was more then fairly warned that it would be painful and I have many tattoos so I knew what kind of pain I was in for.  Some parts were worse then others and it LITERALLY felt like my face was getting tattooed.  I don’t know if the numbing cream worked or not *but* PHEW, that was intense.  There were times I was thinking “it’s okay, it’s not that bad.  Breath.” And other times I was just thinking “ow, ow, ow, OW, ow, ow,ow, OW, OW, OW”.

On the upside it went fast.  It was over in about 1 hour.

As soon as I looked in the mirror I knew it had all been worth it.  My nerves, the drive, the OW factor.  My eyebrows are even better then I ever pictured them to be.

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This photo was taken towards the end of the procedure.

Luckily because of the numbing cream they did not hurt afterwards.  I put on my big sunglasses and a/c and drove for over an hour to get home, happy and proud of myself for doing this for myself.  In the past I would have not only felt that I did not deserve such a service and I was afraid of the drive (into a city I don’t often go to, very busy, I used to find it intimidating).  These days I do feel that I deserve this.  I did it strictly for me and my self esteem.  I needed this to make myself feel better about my outer appearance.  In a lot of ways I am starting over [in life] and feeling less depressed about my outer appearance will help me to pursue my future; school, a new job, whatever it may be.  I have been able to make the trip with no hiccups, in a mini-van no less [the one thing I never wanted to drive], and it isn’t nearly as scary as I would have once thought.  I drove by myself to the city, parked and paid for parking in the city, and took myself to my appointment in the city, all with more confidence and less fear then ever before.

Another step completed in becoming the “new and improved” me.

Now I must muster through the healing process.  Today my eyebrows feel kind of heavy and tired, much like when I had my first Microblading application.  Their not overly tender though I am avoiding touching them at all and I plan to wear my hair back all week.  This afternoon I dabbed them with a lukewarm, damp washcloth and then applied coconut oil.  I washed my face simply by wiping it with a warm washcloth (avoiding my brows!).  I pat dry with a towel and applied some moisturizer, again, avoiding my brows.  I usually use a toner but I skipped it today.  Hec, I might skip it all week.  I cannot get my brows wet for a couple of days nor can I expose them to sunlight or excessive sweat.  And no face sleeping! VERY HARD for me.  But so far so good.

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BEFORE Nano Brow (Microblading done 8 months ago).
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AFTER Nano Brow (mind the blood, I was waiting for her to come and apply aquaphor).
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AFTER both Brows. They were a little tender.

I was told I may NOT need a touch up but if I feel that I need one that it is included in the price if done within 6-8 weeks.  I hope to not need the touch up but if I think I might I will pursue it after healing.  I should know in 2 weeks or so.

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My aftercare instructions.

I can’t wait for 9 days from now when I will see the final appearance of my new Nano Brows.  Doesn’t seem too long to wait though and my Brow Artist told me that healing is easier and/or faster with Nano Brows.  I suppose I will find out over the next 7-10 days.

I have managed to film some clips and I hope to film a few more for a Nano Brow Vlog video that will be available on my YouTube Channel  [hopefully] within the week.

I could not be happier with my overall experience with Microblading and Nano Brow.  I am so happy in fact that I would like to look into learning how to do it.  Again, time will tell.  This week it’s all about healing 🙂

New Holy Grail Face wash + trying to tame my Mane

Taking care of oneself is essential.  Self care is a huge part of taking care of oneself.  Personally, I enjoy bathing and bathing-related products including skin care and hair care.

Having these items and using these items makes me feel good, even if only for a short period of time.  A nice new shampoo and conditioner combo and/or face care products make me happy.  My most recent “self care” purchase was small but mighty.

I purchased OgX’s “Quenching Coconut Curls” shampoo and conditioner as well as Soap & Glory’s Face Soap and Clarity 3-in-1 Daily Detox Vitamin C Facial Wash.  Both were items that so happened to catch my eye the night before on good ole’ Pinterest.  And, in my defence I have been looking for something to tame my waves/curly/frizzy hair as well as a new face wash that would not dry my skin out too much but that also would not make my face feel as though it had not been washed.  All of these products seemed pretty promising and had a lot of great reviews so the next morning I got up and walked to my local Shoppers Drug Mart to find my new inspiration to shower.

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If nothing else, I have found my new favourite holy-grail face wash.  I LOVE this face wash SO MUCH, I am so happy now that I walked around the Cosmetics aisle a good 4x trying to find Soap & Glory.  It retails for about $22.00 CAD which is not bad considering the amount you get.  It is a pretty generous helping of face wash that will last because you only need a pea-sized amount to get a good lather going.  It smells fantastic (to me) and I thoroughly enjoy washing my face every morning and night with this product.

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Good for all skin types and is actually NOT a soap but a complexion-friendly, non drying foaming facial wash.  It smells great and leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed but not tight, dry, or irritated.  It has caused me zero breakouts (which is something short of a miracle) and actually helped heal some spots that I was battling.   It also has “polishing micro beads” which is a nice little exfoliating bonus.  I give this face wash a solid 5 lipsticks out of 5.

5 out of 5 lipsticks_iDiV

It is definitely my new favourite and something I will hands down repurchase more than once.

 

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This shampoo and conditioner is lovely but in all honesty did not WOW me like the face wash did.  It smells amazing (if your into coconut) but it did not tame my waves/frizz nearly as much as I had hoped it would.  It is possible that I was just expecting entirely too much out of this product.  I like it but I don’t love it.  I am also not as hip on coconut as I once was which is no fault of the product.  I like it enough to continue using it and I want to try more from this line in the future.  For me the price point was a little high at $12.99 each (and wouldn’t you know a few days after I made this purchase this whole line of products went on sale for @$6.99, just my luck).  All said and done I would give this shampoo and conditioner 3 lipsticks out of 5.

3 lipsticks out of 5_iDiV2

It’s good but it’s not great and for the price (when it is not on sale), I feel that I can get more bang for my buck at Sally Beauty, namely with the 180 Pro line, if I am being completely honest.

Granted I was a smidge disappointed with the frizz-taming abilities of my new shampoo and conditioner, the face wash alone has me so pleased that it’s kind of okay.  I actually kind of have the urge to go buy like, 5 to put away.

Bullet Journaling

A recent Dollar Store trip inspired me to start a Bullet Journal.  See my Dollarma Haul here.

It was light a light bulb went off in my head.  It makes perfect sense.  I love to write things down, make lists, and keep track of, well, just about everything.  Instead of having strictly a “journal” to write summaries of my days and feelings I would rather have one big book of everything.  Also, since I love notebooks and pens it gives me a good use for the ones I have and it inspires me to buy more (lol).

The first day I journaled, I looked up ideas on Pinterest and jotted them down for future reference, along with my own page ideas.  I looked over different designs people have made for their journal elements, became slightly overwhelmed at one point, and decided to just do it my own way.  As it stands now I have full 2 sheet spreads for each day.  I have the date written in full (Wednesday, May 17, 2017), and ultimately each day consists of 3 lists:

  • To-do
  • What I ate Today
  • What I did Today

Under To-do I write down any appointments, chores, or errands that need to be done.  Some I write ahead of time to keep on top of things such as laundry or that therapy appointment I go to twice a month.  Other things just pop up as I go about my day and I write them down.  When something does get done I mark it with a checkmark.  Things that I don’t get to I either cross out completely or make a note that I didn’t do it (if it is something that needs to be done i.e. an important phone call… I hate talking on the phone).

Under What I ate Today I like to try to keep a list of what I have consumed.  I don’t keep caloric score by any means but I do like to log what I am eating and how much I am (or am not) consuming of this or that.  I keep track of how many coffees and teas I take in because I do find that more then one coffee makes me anxious by evening.

What I did Today is where I do summarize my day but in short, quick, bullet form.  No long winded explanations needed.  For that I have my actual journal (currently sitting unused but available nonetheless).

In between these spreads I leave a blank spread for whatever other list I might feel the need to make.  Or in case I need more room for daily jot-downs.

I am finding Bullet Journaling to be somewhat of a therapeutic activity.  I can escape into my own little world of planning and brainstorming.  It is helping me to organize myself and my thoughts… and keep track of what the hec I am doing with my 2 google accounts … (still frustrated if you read my last post).  I want to get another one that fits in my purse so I can write out blogs or blog ideas when they come to me (instead of thinking oh I will do that AS SOON AS I GET HOME… inevitably forget and now I have a backlog of over 20 blogs I want to write – not a bad thing per say- overwhelming though).

I am still using the Erin Condren planner I bought almost a year ago, but, truth be told, I was actually using that as a bit of a bullet journal all along.  In fact, I have been bullet journaling most of my life and did not even realize it! As always I am late to the party but I am indeed here and enjoying it anyways.  Even on days when I don’t feel like doing anything I can at least feel like I am organized.  I can also look back at all the days and weeks that I did actually fulfil tasks and run errands and not only pat myself on the back but also reassure myself that I again, will be happy and busy.

So far (in the 2 or so weeks that I have been [actively] bullet journaling), I have been able to clear the “clutter in my head” and focus on what I really want, need, and desire out of life.  I have rekindled an old hobby (which is painting).  And I have come to the decision that I need to move.  Again.

This is not to say that I would not have some to these conclusions without the journaling, I am sure I would have gotten there… eventually.  I just feel that through making lists, planning days, brainstorming, and really just taking time to think, I am taking notice of things and I am realizing I want to change them.

Trying eBay again … heaven help me…

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So.  Trying this eBay thing.  Again.

I have sold on eBay in the past and I have become discouraged.  People don’t seem to realize what they are buying [at times], and some will try to get something for nothing.

I like to sell new items I have purchased and don’t want but I also sell a lot of previously used, second hand or vintage items.  I keep my things very clean and organized, each item was either hoped-to-be-loved or previously-loved and cared for.  Some people seem to think that I am a factory of brand new “vintage” or “used” items”.  I am selling things, literally, from my closet.

I have had a lot of fantastic customers on both eBay and Etsy in the past but it’s the one or two true a-hole ones that really frosted my flakes the last time I did this.  One woman tried to get something for free and another complained about an odour from a VINTAGE 80’s Coach purse that cost her a whole $10.00 (minus shipping costs).  I paid 8x that amount when I first bought that bag on Etsy, it has always had a smell but its leather and age, not smoke as she so stated in the feedback area.  It was in excellent condition with no signs of misuse, stains, or even wear or tear.  I know you can’t please everyone but it literally made me cry when a review was left stating the purse smelled so bad that she could not even use it.  It’s a beautiful purse and [after shipping costs] I pretty much gave it away.

For some insane reason I am at it again.  Trying to sell some purses and clothes on eBay.  Heaven help me.  I want so desperately to downsize my stuff.  I simply have too much stuff.  I have entirely too many purses, most of which I do not use anymore.  I have lots of clothes I do not wear.  I have leftover handmade and vintage pieces from my Etsy shop I could throw up for auction.  So far I only have 3 items up for sale but it’s a start.  I am trying to be really careful so as to not screw myself in shipping.  I always undercharge because I want to give my customers a deal but I have learned that is not a good idea at all.  Now that I have shipped out various items to various parts of the world I know a lot better.  I also promise that if your shipping ends up being less than originally quoted that I will refund the difference immediately after shipping.  No one else does that (that I have seen).  Granted, it’s not often it happens but when it does I like to give back.

I am trying to save money to move (AGAIN) so I need all the help I can get and if I can lighten my load along the way that’s awesome.

I suppose my point in all of this is I’m back on eBay, I am excited but I am also very nervous.  It can be really fun but it also has the ability to make me break down in tears, frustration, and a hatred for online retail, or retail at all.  I am not asking for pity or for you to even shop on my eBay.

I am asking you to realize that when you buy off of Etsy or eBay or any other handmade/vintage/pre-owned site, you are [usually] buying from a person or a small company.  That person and/or small company has put a lot of thought and effort into their shop, taking photos, writing descriptions, and offering you something you like and want.  If you want brand-new out-of-the-factory quality then buy it brand new and out-of-the-factory.

A huge thank you to those of you who do shop smart and those of you that have been so wonderful that you make selling a pleasure.

For now, I wish you happy shopping.  Let’s hope eBay doesn’t make me cry…again… I will [try] to keep you posted (pun intended!).

Wish me luck and STaY GRooVY my friends!

 

Shop my eBay

To My Dearest Followers

I wish to sincerely thank each and every one of you for following my blog.  Every new follow makes my day and I appreciate it so very much more then you can ever know or that I can ever thank you for.  You inspire me in so many ways. I hope that this is the beginning of a long and lovely friendship.

I must apologize for my occasional slowness in answering comments, each and every one touches my heart and again, I must thank you all for your kindness and acceptance.  I must also apologize for my occasional absence.  Sometimes my depression and anxiety keeps me from doing what I love and allows me to constantly question and judge myself. Fear not, I will always be back [unless otherwise stated].

I have so many blog post ideas and plans that it almost overwhelms me at times but I genuinely look forward to creating more.  And I plan on creating more.  The more EMDR I complete the more unified I feel and it makes me want to pursue and create a life I love.

I hope you are all here for the ride and I look forward to everything the future holds for us.

I wish you all the best and most positive vibes!

Take care of yourselves and as always, STaY GRooVY!

My New Favourite Shampoo & Conditioner

I recently purchased Garnier’s Whole Blends Shampoo and Conditioner in “Honey Treasures”.  I am a HUGE fan of honey and honey flavoured or scented things.  I walked by this in the store and it caught my eye, I literally stopped and backed up a few steps to go back and inspect.

whole blends 1

To my delight this product line claimed to “heal and protect” and that is something my hair can ALWAYS use.  Healing and protection. PRO.

This product also claims to be paraben free and made with natural extracts.  Never a bad thing.  Another PRO.

Made with Royal Jelly, Honey, and Propolis Extract – most of which I am really not familiar with the exception of the honey… but sounds good and smells UH-MAZE-ING.  I could literally wash my whole self with this scent and then spritz some on for fun – if there was a spritz-on scent available.  There is not.

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It lathers really well and leaves my hair feeling clean but not overly dried out like most drugstore shampoos do [that are not for severely dry or damaged hair].  The scent is just lovely jubilee.  I really cannot get enough.  It was quite literally the deciding factor.  The conditioner is rich and creamy, it is not one of those run-right-out-of-your-hands-I’m-so-thin conditioners (I’m looking AT YOU Tresemee!).  It left my hair feeling soft in and out of the shower.  I let my hair air dry for the most part and some of my natural wavy curls came poking through.  More PROS.

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One last PRO – It was only $4.99 (CDN/ea.) and with my Shoppers Optimum Points I used I pretty much got these products for free (thank you Shoppers Optimum Card!!! LOVE that thing).

I plan to continue using this and I would like to pick up the deep conditioning mask as well.  I feel this is something I would repurchase in the future, especially if I see it on sale (I loves to nab a good sale!).

One small note, I did find that though these products are supposedly “paraben free”, my dyed-black [areas of my] hair did bleed in the shower.  Now for me personally this is a bit of a PRO.  I knew going in to this endeavour (of buying a more affordable shampoo and conditioner) that there was this possibility and I am ok with that.  I want my dyed black hair to fade out a bit, I find it just a little too harsh too close to my pale pale face.  I think in the future I would prefer black tips instead.  And now I am getting slightly off topic…

All in all I would rate this line a solid 4 out of 5 lipsticks for it’s price point, quality, and amazing scent.

4 lipsticks out of 5_iDiV2

 

It loses a lipstick point for it’s potential risk to dyed hair because even though I like it I don’t know how far it will go in terms of rinsing away colour.