10 Things I Learned in 2016

  1. Every person is fighting a battle you know nothing about. This is an old phrase that was never more relevant to me than this year. Case in point, I got to know a girl this year who always made me feel like crap. Someone who is prettier, skinnier, smarter and all around just… more. I got to know her, expecting not to like her on the basis that I’m jealous of her. Not only do I really like her as a person, but I realized she has to deal with her own deep insecurities. Turns out, we’re all pretty similar in that regard.
  2. You can’t measure your own success by comparing it to others’. Facebook is a black hole of life updates and passive aggressive-ness. Every single time I went on and saw that someone I knew got a job/got published/was in a relationship/was just looking a lot more successful than me, I would get a little jealous and a little sad. That says a lot about my own insecurities, but it’s also common to compare yourself to the people around you. The problem is, when we see everyone’s highlight reel on social media, we think it reflects negatively on ourselves. Firstly, just be happy for others when they find success. Secondly, work on your own shit instead of complaining that other people are getting somewhere.
  3. It’s okay to be scared. In 2016, I graduated from university and moved to a new city. I was excited, but I tried not to let on too much on how I was also terrified. I was so scared to move and to not be a student for the first time in my life. And you know what? It’s totally okay that I was scared. It’s a pretty natural response, and you shouldn’t ignore it.
  4. There are going to be times when you’re alone, and that’s also okay. I have very few friends in Toronto. I don’t get out very much, and I find myself doing most things alone. And that’s fine. There are going to be times when you aren’t surrounded by your friends. It’s part of moving on and changing.
  5. It’s so important to get to know yourself. To reiterate my last point, I’ve spent a lot of time alone in the latter part of this year. I’ve become comfortable with myself, and have gotten to know the current version of me a bit better. I think doing this is a big step in actually being able to like myself.
  6. That boy is literally not worth it. Whatever it is. If you’re pining, angry, hurt or confused, the dude’s probably not worth the trouble.
  7. You will not land in the perfect job right away. Despite what most movies/Facebook will lead you to believe, it’s pretty hard out there for everyone. It’s hard to find a good apartment. It’s hard to find a decent job. It’s incredibly hard to find a decent job you like. You need to keep putting yourself out there, working crappy jobs and fielding rejections left and right. I’m told one day it’ll all pay off.
  8. You need to take care of your skin. I MEAN IT. Moisturize, drink water, wear sunscreen and be kind to your face, goddammit.
  9. No one cares what you’re doing at the gym. Honestly. No one is looking at you. Don’t feel embarrassed, don’t feel like you’re not allowed to take up space. Just do what you gotta do.
  10. “Adulting” is not a thing. Everyone you know is just trying to figure out how to get by in this life, no matter how old they are or what job they’re in. We’re all just figuring it out.

Latest Faves: Midsummer Edition

Sometimes, I un-ironically like things. Sometimes, those things are related to fashion and beauty. Sometimes I assume absolute strangers will care about those things, so I list them on the internet.

Monthly favourites are a common topic for bloggers and YouTubers and I thought, maybe I should do that too. Why not capitalize on someone else’s idea???

However, since I’m only putting out one blog post a week, for the sake of not getting repetitive, I’d like to do posts about my latest faves every once in a while, kind of a “what I’ve liked in the past few months” type of thing.

This is clearly a well-thought out plan.

I’m calling this episode of latest faves the “midsummer edition.” It is definitely past the official midsummer time and I have no excuse other than I liked how it sounded. Generally, the way this will work is I’ll sort everything I mention into three groups: fashion, beauty and assorted.

Fashion

Rompers

What an extremely vague favourite I have given you to start with. I posted a picture on Instagram a few weeks back about how rompers are the only thing I can wear in extreme heat, other than absolutely nothing at all. There’s something about the ease in dressing, with the coolness of a dress and the freedom in wearing shorts. And it is true, if you see me around town on a very hot day (basically every day in Toronto, RIP), then chances are I’m in any one of these rompers.

Aritzia romper

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H&M romper (similar)

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Urban Outfitters romper (similar)

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Vintage 80s Sweater

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I met my friend Sam for lunch at the El Furniture Warehouse on Queen St. earlier in July. We drank, ate, got sunburnt and decided, after all of those things, to pop into Tribal Rhythm Vintage to have a poke around. Now, I don’t go vintage shopping nearly as much as I would like to. Part of that is because of time, because I really like to hunt for the good vintage stuff. The other part is laziness, which can also be linked to the previous statement. While I was in Tribal, I found this French tennis player meets vintage English private school kid sweater and I loved it. It’s a bit weird I liked it so much, because I’m not the preppiest dresser, but something about it made me so down to have it in my wardrobe. I’ve loved having this around to chuck on when it’s slightly cooler in the evenings, throwing around some “I’m vaguely European” vibes. I don’t know when those became vibes I want to put out into the world, but here we are.

Aritzia Monterey Bralette

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It’s a bit weird to have underwear as a favourite, so all I’ll say about this is I love it and have it in two colours. It’s comfortable, beautiful and works well under most of my wardrobe. The last time I wore a proper padded bra was back in the Spring. Once you go bralette, you really don’t want to go back.

Block Heel Sandals by Seychelles

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The 90s are it right now. Chokers are everywhere, space buns are popping up on Instagram and block heel shoes are coming back. These sandals I found at Heel Boy aren’t as 90s as the jelly shoes, but the thick straps and block heel made me think of The Craft and I was sold. I’m really not a big sandal person — I like to wear sneakers and boots all the time — but these were a great middle ground for me.

Similar

Quay Australia Sunglasses

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The perfect summer sunglasses. Colourful, round without making my already-round face look like a beach ball and reflective, so people never know when you’re staring at them. These sunglasses were a bit of a gamble because I bought them online, and you never know how a pair will look on you. In this case, however, the gamble paid off very nicely.

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Beauty

Colourpop Blush in Birthday Suit

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Colourpop products are amazing. With the price point, quality and ever-growing product list, my only complaint is that the prices are in American, and the exchange rate doesn’t become real until the credit card bill. (I cry.) I wanted a pretty pink shade I could dab on to give myself a fresh-faced flush, and this dude delivers. I love how this shade looks with my skin tone and I really like how subtly you can apply it. Obviously for super pink cheeks, you could always build up the colour, but I like the soft spot of blush. It’s as though I just finished a round of skiing in the Alps. Or whatever.

MAC Lip Pencil in Spice

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Hand to God, every single time I wear this lip liner, someone compliments me on it. It’s the prettiest brown shade that wears flawlessly on its own. This is one of the things I love about MAC liners – they’re creamy enough that you could wear them without lipstick no problem. I first picked up this colour to use as a linear for Persistence, but found wearing it on its own gave me a more dark mauve-brown tone, if that makes any sense at all. It’s that 90s inspired, summer neutral lip. Get into it.

MAC Lightful C Tinted Cream

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Fun fact: I do not like wearing foundation in the summer because I sweat. That’s just the truth. I do, however, love wearing sunscreen because my sensitivity to sunburn is too real. Enter this tinted face cream. Given the name this is probably obvious, but it applies just like a moisturizer and has very light coverage. I don’t necessarily need heavy coverage, so I wear it in place of foundation and set it with a powder. If you’re looking for much heavier coverage, this would also make a great primer, especially with the added SPF 30. Sunscreen that shit.

Assorted

Stranger Things

Believe the hype about Stranger Things. It’s wonderful. I loved the story, the characters, the way it was shot and I am obsessed with the soundtrack. Gimme all that 80s synth action. This is a spoiler-free zone, so I’ll just say that the show made me feel really nostalgic about being 12 years old but also made me rethink so many things about life, science and my own existence.

The Black Tapes  

I’ve talked about this podcast before on Snapchat and how it has made me scared of everything. I’m one of those people who absolutely should not get involved with anything horror-related because I scare really easily. And yet. This podcast isn’t straight-up horror, but it’s so suspenseful and contains some pretty harrowing moments. It’s a mockumentary podcast, following a journalist investigating unsolved paranormal cases. It’s really good. So good, in fact, that the last time I listened to it I was so engrossed I missed my subway stop.

Arkells: Morning Report (Released Singles)

Here’s the thing about this band: I always have their albums on non-stop during the summer. There’s something about Arkells and these dog days for me that just works. The full album will be released on August 5th, just a couple of days after this blog post will go up. I can tell you right now I’m going to love it for two reasons: 1) I’ve been pretty consistent with enjoying everything this band puts out and 2) I’m already in love with the first tracks they’ve released as singles. Drake’s Dad and Private School are, in particular, some supremely decent jams.