2018 Vision Board

I have always been goal oriented. An array of computers, cellphones, notebooks and sticky-notes list my “goals” and “to-do’s.” Some of these have been accomplished while others remain untouched, as evidence of my failed ambitions. I tend to be ambitious, but never follow through. A few nights ago I contemplated how I could change this. My thoughts MUST align with my feelings which MUST align with my actions. Let me explain…

My Thoughts = Those goals and aspirations I think about and strive to accomplish.
My Feelings = I must FEEL these goals already inside of me. If I have a goal to be fit (which I do), I have to already feel myself as a fit person. Any insecurities I have about my body will negatively affect my progress. To succeed, I must already envision my body as one that is fit.
My Actions = This is self-explanatory. I think and I feel and all that is left is to perform my goals.

The first bit of 2018 was an unsteady journey. I have been in an unmotivated and depressed slump ever since I returned from California back in December. My dark moments only put my life into a greater perspective. I created my Vision Board to realign my motivations and ambitions.

The way you think creates your reality for you. Most of my past goals were passive. “This year I will…” is a problematic statement. Using positive AND present affirmations is the only way to ensure that your goals will become a reality. Here are mine:

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This year:
I am my most authentic self
I am building an empire #GirlBoss #BossBitch
I am whole
I am fit
I am moving to New York
I am going to Morocco
I am going to Greece
I am a Vlogger
I am a writer

My daily positive affirmations (my thoughts, feelings, and actions) and the visual representation of my vision board will ensure the success of my ambitions. NONE of these visions have been accomplished yet. No plane tickets have been purchased, no jobs have been landed, no condos have been rented, and no entrepreneurship has begun. But, I am driven and I am attracting these positive experiences and opportunities into my life.  At my Reiki healing treatment yesterday, my Reiki master and friend confirmed that my spirit guides acknowledged that many of these goals will be accomplished.

What is one goal or opportunity you desperately want to accomplish and/or attract this year? How can you alter your thoughts and feelings to attract the best and most rewarding experiences your way?

2018 is going to be a big year for me. I can’t wait to share my stories with you!

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Glossier Haul

This is not a sponsored post.

I have never written a product review before. For the amount of beauty, fashion, and lifestyle products I purchase and consume, it is fairly odd that this is my first review.

It was only a few months ago when I realized Glossier was a cult beauty brand favourite. Having not-so-flawless skin, the “natural” makeup and skincare look associated with Glossier products never really appealed to me UNTIL… the Exfoliating Skin Perfector Solution was released. My face literally houses acne scars from over three years ago. So when I heard that Glossier created a $30.00 (so cheap) acne and scar exfoliator, I absolutely had to try it.

Being a slave to consumerism, I placed an order for not one, but four Glossier products. The Exfoliating Skin Perfector Solution, Cloud Paint in Dusk, Milky Jelly Cleanser, and Lip Gloss. Descriptions of the products will be kept to a minimal (you can read full descriptions on the Glossier website). Instead, I will include the initial reactions I had when trying my new products.

The Packaging

Processed with VSCO with s3 presetEfff-ya, I am such a sucker for cute packaging. Even before opening the box, Glossier won me over with that cheesy smiling face on the tape. Is it just me, or does that smile have four eyes? Damn, they are good.

Processed with VSCO with s3 presetNo way! They gave me stickers. I adore stickers. Before I even opened my package, I was brainstorming where I wanted to put my stickers. On the walls, in my grade 1 sticker book, in my travel journal, on my dog…

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The Products

Processed with VSCO with s3 presetThis face wash feels like every other cleanser I have used, but at the same time completely different. This contradictory conclusion leaves me (and probably all of you) very confused. If I could describe the texture, it basically felt like I was rubbing a milk cleanser on my face. I guess that is why they call it the “milk jelly cleanser.” If there was a milk-type greater than 3%, this would be it. Unlike other cleansers I have used in the past, this one didn’t leave my face feeling stiff, tight and/or statue-like once I was done.

Processed with VSCO with s3 presetOW it f%&$#?@ burns. This solution feels like rubbing alcohol is burning through my face. I keep looking at myself in the mirror to see if my skin is still there. To give this product some credit, the website does state that it “sloughs dead cells away.” This is definitely accurate advertising. After one use my pimples are still prevalent – I wasn’t expecting them dissolve instantly though. My skin does feel refreshed!

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This lipgloss encompasses everything an OG lipgloss does. That illuminating clear shine sparkles off my lips. As Snoop Dogg would say, it is sticky icky icky (even though he was talking about something else lol). I’m going through a Y2K lipgloss phase, so this gloss receives an A+++ from me.

The cloud paint is a lot more liquid-y than I expected. Maybe “gel cream” formula means something different to me than it does to Glossier. Personally, I anticipated a cream formula. Instead, this is very watery. The colour dusk blends in well with my olive-skin tone. If I had clear skin, I think this cloud paint would look a lot better on me.

My dog-son and I are pleased with our purchases.

School Blues

I have so many issues with people who constantly complain about school. And yes, I totally understand coming from a Middle-Upper class, European-Canadian home, I do hold privilege in the education institution. Curriculums have been catered to my upbringing and I recognize the incorrectness in this. 

However, I am a first-generation immigrant and was the first person in my immediate family to graduate high-school and receive a bachelors degree. My family’s lack of education has constantly pushed me to continue mine. 


Catholic school, private school, studying abroad in Italy, university (both in Canada and America), and soon-to-be graduate school… I have been granted an education, IN A FIELD I LOVE, that many people only dream of. I am grateful for this. One day, I will share the knowledge I have obtained with others.

As a journalism and women’s studies student, I am bombarded daily with assignments, essays, and articles to write. Oh and did I mention that I need to stay up-to-date with current event stories from all over the world? This isn’t to devalue any other major, but I complete way more assignments than the average college student.

Sometimes I wish that my programs would consist of only two exams and one major assignment. This is the standard course load I see in a lot of other majors. But, these were the degrees I chose. And, I have no regrets.

I love school. I would chant it from the top of the CN Tower in Toronto if I could. Sure, those late nights writing 20 page papers were brutal at times. But, I’ve been dreading graduating university ever since I was in Preschool. The end came so soon. How, in the matter of months will I be done 2 university degrees? Sure, I can probably prolong my degree. Take a 5th year, mess around and take a bunch of random courses. But, I’m already taking an extra semester I don’t really need. For what? To boost my already high average into a perfect 4.0. Is that really necessary? Nope, not at all.

This isn’t to brag about my knowledge. Everyone is smart in their own way. But, I saw something the other day that completely disheartened me. And it was this…

It’s so easy to claim you hate school when a big assignment is due. School is indeed stressful at times. But, if you’re constantly going to complain about your workload, skip class, or put in the bare minimum… You should not be in school. School, isn’t for everyone.

My issue arises because I acknowledge that school is a privilege. My parents were unable to receive an education because of familial and economic reasons. Though that was over 30 years ago, these inabilities to access education still occur today. Before you complain about hating school, think of all the individuals who were and still are unable to receive the same opportunity you have been given.

People are denied an education because:

  1. They simply cannot afford it
  2. They have familial duties (Usually tied in with economic inability)
  3. There are no education facilities in their local area
  4. They have disabilities & the society does not want to accommodate them
  5. They are a woman (Usually tied to poor sanitation and lack of menstrual accommodations)
  6.  AND MORE

So please, if learning really is a burden for you, either think twice about your position of privilege or simply question whether a higher education is right for you. As I stated previously, school isn’t for everyone.

My First Bit Of Hate Mail

Being an aspiring journalist is hard.

Kind of like being a celebrity, it takes A LOT for a journalist to get noticed in the digital age. As much as I want to sit around at home and write about all my morally correct, feminist views – I know I can’t. Being correct does not get you views; being controversial does.

So I decided to go to the dark side and got a gig as a click-bait journalist… I know, I hate myself too! And it makes me kind of upset that all my profit is coming from stupid, Buzzfeed type articles, instead of articles that actually mean something to me. ANYWAYS, the other day I wrote an article that stirred up a bit of controversy. It was assigned to me by my editor and no, I do not agree with anything that I wrote. It was a challenging article write because it went against ALL my morals. I even made that clear in the introduction of the piece.

Within minutes of this piece getting published, I received SUCH HATE from sooooo many women. I can’t help but feel kind of upset that my morality is being questioned because I agreed to write such a controversial article.

On one hand, I know this article will get me a lot of views because of the questionable content. On the other, I kind of regret writing it. I wish young, aspiring journalists did not have to turn to such extreme measures just to get views and profit for their content.

Orange Is The New Black: Educating or Fantasizing the Criminal Justice System

Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers from Season 4 of Orange is The New Black 

Season 5 of Netflix’s hit series Orange is The New Black (OITNB) will be released this Friday, June 9th. YAY! If you aren’t obsessed with series yet, this upcoming season will definitely hook you in.

I decided to re-watch the whole series to prepare for the new season. Unlike some other shows I watch, OITNB does not centre solely around a comical and/or purely entertainment theme. The series has tackled important social issues, like mental illness, LGBTQ+ rights, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the American Prison system. Not to mention, it has shed light into a variety of crimes, the intent and cause behind the crimes, racial issues, class divides, and sexual orientation and preference.

Even though OITNB does an incredible job combining both drama and social justice into the series, it is still only a TV show. That means that any conflicts within the show might be exaggerated or even made up. Just to attract a larger viewer rating. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean the topics discussed should be taken lightly either. OITNB may be a fictional show, but the social issues that they focus on are very real.

Here are some things we might see in Season 5:

1. RIP Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley)

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Am I the only one still mourning the loss of Poussey????? Not only was she sweet, sensitive, funny, passionate, supportive, cute, the list can go on… BUT, she cared. She cared about her friends, family, strangers, goals, and social issues. AND, her death hit so close to some of the racial inequalities our world is still experiencing. She WAS the symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement on the show. Her final words, “I can’t breathe,” mimicked the exact words of Eric Garner, before he was murdered by police. Garner was racially profiled, suspected of selling single cigarettes (Is this even a crime wtf?), and put into a chokehold until he died by American officers. It was almost unbearable to watch this exact re-occurance take place on OITNB with Poussey.

Based on how Season 4 ended, I think the inmates will finally revolt against the correctional officers!! How this story line will play out, I have no idea.

2. Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Dogget and Charlie Coates

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Pennsatucky is a character I grew to love throughout the seasons. So, it broke my heart to see her sexually assaulted this season by Charlie Coates (The officer seen above). The whole situation was so disheartening and complicated. First, both parties claimed to have liked each other. Coates admitted that he loved Dogget right before he committed the crime. What makes everything worse is that he holds a position of power. The only reason Dogget did not report Coates was because she knew no one would believe her, since she is a prisoner. This misuse of power is absolutely devastating to watch. Dogget might be a prisoner, but she is still a human and should have been treated as such.

Season 4 ended with a passionate kiss between the two (Ugh). Coates told Dogget that he wanted to quit his job, so that he can be romantically involved with her. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what exactly happens with this relationship.

3. Suzanne Warren “Crazy Eyes” and Maureen Kukudio

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Suzanne represents a slew of mentally ill inmates on OITNB. She is an extremely important character because through her, we can see the lack of aid, acceptance, and tolerance given to people with disabilities and illnesses in correctional facilities. How Crazy Eyes and other mentally ill characters are treated by officers is beyond disappointing. When these characters are seen as a liability, they are granted “compassionate releases,” thrown in the psych ward for “their own protection,” or forced upon their friends to take care of them. Poussey was trying to defend Suzanne when she was murdered. If the system had more compassion, knowledge, and programs for mentally ill inmates, like Suzanne, murders like that of Poussey’s could be prevented.

Suzanne and Kukudio are another prison couple that ended on complicated terms in Season 4. Suzanne, after being forced by officers, bet up Maureen to the point where she had to be taken to the medical ward. After trying to suffocate herself, so that she could feel what it’s like “not to breathe,” Suzanne ended up in medical right next to her ex-girlfriend. Will they rekindle their love in the medical ward? Will it be an awkward recovery for the both of them? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Only a few more days until season 5 of Orange Is The New Black is Released on Netflix!

 

 

AGO: Gender Trouble

Alcohol, art, gender equality, and good friends perfectly describes my night at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Every First Thursday of the month, the AGO basically hosts a party after dark, where an older crowd enjoys wonderfully mixed drinks, delicious finger foods, interactive activities, good vibes, and themed artwork. Last night was my first AGO First Thursday, but it definitely will not be my last.

The main exhibit celebrated the influence of Georgia O’Keeffe, who once declared “I am not a woman painter!” As someone who is receiving a Women’s Studies degree, I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Art, whether it be a painting, drawing, poem, song, dance, sculpture, picture, blog post, the list goes on, should not be determined by the gender of its creator. Instead, it should be considered for its merit, influence, and legacy.

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Gendering an art piece, just like gendering an individual, places conventional, gender roles and stereotypes on that thing. These attributed expectations of gender inevitably clasp onto the art work and ultimately guides our understanding of the piece. For example, when we know the given sex and gender of an artist we, even if it’s unintentional, try to understand the piece through that gendered perspective. The same applies to when we view art work through the limited lens of a certain class, [dis]ability, age, race, etc. As a general society we think that viewing an absurd art piece, like a sculpture of a women’s vagina, that was created by a radical feminist woman is “normal” because of her social status and identification. If the same piece was created by a heteronormative, cisgender man, we certainly would be confused and maybe even uncomfortable with the piece.

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I am completely guilty of researching artists and attempting to understand why they created a certain piece. And sometimes, it is necessary to do some research to fully grasp the intended meaning of the work. I often wonder whether their gender, race, class, etc. led to the creation of the piece, but never really appreciated the artwork for being art. What if the artist who made the piece didn’t actually want me to analysis their personal life? Personally, as someone who creates many forms of artwork, I absolute despise it when viewers, readers, and listeners try to analysis my life instead of my art piece.

My observation came directly after bumping into that gorgeous art creature in the above photo. My curious, tipsy self ran up to this individual and without asking any questions just said “You are so beautiful.” Maybe it was because I had a few drinks, but for the first time ever, I did not question the creator of this piece. There was obviously an individual wearing the outfit however, I did not want to know about them. I just stood there, paying attention to all the fine details of this work.

I think “Gender Trouble” successfully completed what it sought out to do. Viewers like me, did not look at the artwork as gendered pieces but instead, appreciated them for being fucking amazing pieces of art. Next time you examine any art piece, take in the actual work first. Understand the time, effort and mindset put into achieving such a beautiful piece. Next, determine your feelings toward the piece, does it make you feel happy, comfortable, awkward, confused, sad, etc. And then, only if you REALLY need to, try to understand the artist. But, when doing so, do not automatically attribute their social status and identity as being the mere reason for the creation of their piece.

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A poem I created from selected lines from a Georgia O’Keefe poem