On that 2020 insight

Surprise, surprise: it’s New Year’s Eve and here I am again, writing a post after months of silence.

I’m not sure what it is about the New Year that gets me thinking I can reinvent myself, change myself, better myself, as if I’m not already living a life I’m proud of. I also get this weird itch to clean everything I can see. For example, today I swept under my bed for the first time since I moved into this place (it was wild). I also have plans to go through and refold everything, audit my knickknacks, and really become a minimalist. It’s not even like I don’t love things the way they are, but there’s something soothing about resetting everything at the dawn of a New Year.

I have also been in deep reflection about what I learned this year and how I’m ready to use this knowledge to move forward. My biggest lesson this past year was that I need to learn patience and mindfulness. I cannot rush into rage or frustration. That reaction isn’t sustainable; taking a breath and processing what is happening and how it’s effecting me should be my first step.

This coming year I want to release myself from my self-loathing tendencies. I have outgrown them and they no longer serve me. I will not judge my past self for turning to tearing myself down, instead I will learn to comfort myself and bring myself up. I also want to learn how to sew my own clothes, and how to cook better, and how to eat more locally and to eat what is in season. I really want to challenge myself to do these things this year because putting time into myself teaches me that I’m worth the time.

This year I want to be more caring to myself and to others, and I really want to own my actions to help ease my anxiety. Being honest and taking responsibility will be at the forefront of everything I do.

It’s wild to think how much I have grown in the past decade: I learned to drive, graduated high school and university, I have loved, gotten hurt, hurt others, I learned a lot about my sexuality, I’ve made some of the most amazing friends, and maintaining an amazing relationship with my mother, sister, and father. I’m really lucky to be able to live in my dream city with the most incredible support group around me.

Congrats, gang. We made it to a new decade and a new year. Let’s crush it.

xo

Lea

Learning how to ask for help

Asking for help is garbage. It is the literal worst because A. I am an adult and B. I should be able to do things on my own and the fact that I can’t makes me want to scream and sink into the deepest pits of despair.

Because I am an adult and that is what adults do. Duh.

I can analyze and cross-analyse why I feel this way, but I think the easiest and probably most ludicrous way I can explain it is through the game Catan. The point of Catan is to build colonies on a plot of land along with other players who you can trade with and steal from and such in the hopes of winning the game. But when I play I always try to create a self-sufficient colony that doesn’t need outside help. We make do and survive off our own means. And yes: I almost always lose. Because in life, much like in Catan, you need to work with others to achieve your goals.

If I’m being honest this desire to be independent stems from a deep-seated fear that I am not enough. That I’m not smart enough, healthy enough, interesting enough, and not good enough. And by needing help I am proving to myself that I am not able to solve my problems from whatever I have within myself which to me constitutes as a failure.

Now, I am aware this is not true, and I acknowledge that having the privileged to ask for help is indeed a privilege that not everyone has access to and that I should be grateful and thankful to have the connections I do and the opportunities I do. But getting over this feeling of inadequacy takes time and it is incredibly frustrating.

I have always craved the acceptance and affirmation from other people. Especially when I was younger I would find myself looking to others to validate personal things in my life. And then I moved. I moved so far away from home and i was hard and I just started getting so worked up over not knowing how to do everyday things. Like guys, why did I never learn how to work with the CRA or banks in school? Where was the course where you are taught how to adult?! This sudden change made my desire to be capable and successful on my own flourish: a modern day Michelangelo if you will.

The best part about this weird thing I do is that if it’s about someone else I am a champion of seeking and getting the help you need. I am a strong believer in getting the help you need especially with mental health. But I am more patient and loving towards others than I am towards myself, and that is something I am working on. Alas it seems my hamartia is my pride.

Paradigm shifts take time: growing, learning, and healing take time. And getting the help you need is a gift that I am learning to embrace.

With all my love as always,

Lea

Happy Belated Birthday, Sailor Moon

This past Saturday, June 30th, was my girl Sailor Moon’s birthday and to celebrate I wanted to do a little something special and share a couple of the things I found most impactful about the show and franchise. Growing up in the 90s I was exposed to a lot of cartoons (little did I know that this young exposure would become a lifelong passion of mine). Looking back at what I watched most religiously I am often inspired by shows like Cyber Six, Pokemon, Gargoyles, and of course Sailor Moon. These cartoons gave me a glimpse into these other worlds that were often a refuge for me. Looking back at everything I watched I remember Sailor Moon being the show that left the biggest impact. It wasn’t just the catchy theme song or the stunning animation, it was the risks the show took and the characters created that really stuck with me.

Sailor Moon really taught me was that you don’t have to be good at everything to save the world. More plainly put: you don’t have to be the best to be a good person, a quality that is perhaps the most important. Sailor Moon, known as Serena while I was a young girl watching the televised dubs and later as Usagi watching the show in its original context with subtitles, is a character that is both badass and hilarious. Apart from fight evil by moonlight Serena/Usagi is pretty much a classic teen: tired, hungry, lazy, not the best at math. She doesn’t necessarily scream “Hey I am here to save the day look at how great I am”. That’s because her strength of character is so much more important. It isn’t her brains or her brawns that make Sailor Moon so inspiring, it’s her heart. She gives a shit about people and about her planet. She is courageous, kind, and thoughtful towards friends and foes alike.  She taught me that you don’t have to be the best, or the smartest, or the most athletic to save the world: all you needed was kindness and a good heart. But she didn’t work alone and the friends she did work with had qualities that made them dynamic and inspiring all on their own. The fact that all the members of the Sailor Scouts had complimentary skills and qualities lead them to be a successful team of fighters and friends was impactful. Being a team unit instead of individuals crusading to save the world alone fostered my love of team work because to me the best and most successful times in your life are often when you’re supporting and being supported by others.

There’s so much more I could say about my love for this franchise, but I want to keep it short and sweet. Sometimes shows we watch as children do not age well, but I feel as though Sailor Moon really does transcend from then to now. If you haven’t watched it I encourage you to give it a try, the franchise just released a reboot series, Sailor Moon Crystal, a couple years ago and it’s really hecking good.

Here’s to you, Usagi! Thank you for being the realest!

xo

Lea

How to wear mesh this holiday season

Mesh is one of my favourite things right now. It adds such an interesting dimension into your. It’s lightweight enough for layering and it provides a dynamic element when used to provide extra coverage. Don’t feel comfortable in spaghetti straps? Mesh top under. Want to wear a slip dress or any summer dress or jumpsuit in winter? Mesh top under. It’s so versatile so why not adapt it for the holidays?

The first way I use mesh in under a velvet slip dress with tights and heeled boots. I really love this look because for me I get to play with wearing a more fun dress without feeling too revealing. I also feel like the mesh turtleneck adds a level of grunge to this look which is something I am super into right now. I don’t really take myself too seriously so for this look, or any for that matter, I would throw my beloved Christmas cardigan on top for laughs and because it’s December and it’s cold. To complete the more edgy look I really recommend using boots that have some hardware on them or some metal elements.

The second way I use mesh is with a looser, white mesh mock turtle. I find this style of mesh has a more fishnet kind of feel which is really fun to play with. You can wear it over a white cami, but I just wore it over a white bralette. To offset the bareness of the mesh I paired it with fuller wide leg dress pants and some very classic beige pumps. I am really into mixing really classic and classy elements with grungier or edgy pieces because I really love the contrast it creates. You could throw that Christmas cardigan over this look as well because again it is still December and it is still cold!

I hope these tips helped you with your up coming holiday plans, and realistically if these looks fail there is always the holiday onesie!

xo

Lea

Taking your Summer favourites into Fall: part 3

Welcome to the this and final installation of “Taking your Summer favourites into Fall”! I think the unsung heroes of any successful Fall wardrobe would be denim and turtlenecks! If there is ever a time to dress denim heavy it would definitely unquestionably be in the Fall. Not only is denim pretty cozy, but it contrasts so nicely with the fire coloured leaves. As for turtlenecks, and honestly any collar, they add warmth and a vibe that says I’m warm and cute. Here are two different looks incorporating these ideas that denim and turtlenecks/collars.

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I paired two different denim tones with a rusty red mock-turtleneck here to give a little more of a casual, grungy feel which is so fun to do in Autumn.

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And here I went with a lighter denim jacket over a Fall coloured dress with tights and black boots. It’s just girly enough for me to handle!

I hope these two tips help you extend the life of your clothes further into the year!

Much love,

Lea

 

What I Learned After a Year in Vancouver

So it looks like I’ve officially been in Vancouver for a year now and man what a year it has been. Now this isn’t the first time I’ve moved away from home, but this past year marked the first time I’ve been more than a two-hour drive away from my family. I feel like being so far away made me feel like more of an adult for some weird reason. I guess perhaps because I couldn’t just take my laundry to my parents or call asking them to come help me fix something I have been forced into unchartered waters of ~adulthood~. I have learned a lot this past year and I thought I would share some of my wisdom with you all so bear with me.

First of all I learned that when something says “Hand Wash” HAND WASH IT. Viscose will shrink and you will cry when your favourite little outfit is ruined. Actually I’ve learned a lot about laundry that you’d have thought I would have just learned in university. Not being a student shockingly changes how much you care about the quality of your clothes. SHOCKINGLY your boss might not find you rolling into work in sweats at 8:30am as cute as your prof/classmates might have. Learn to love washing in cold and laying out to dry. Your clothes will love you and your hydro bill will shrink (your clothes won’t though).

Secondly, Vancouver you are clique-y. I was warned about this before I got here and thought nothing of it. I’m fun, kind, and loud who wouldn’t wanna be my best friend?! A lot you actually. I learned that you can’t go into relationships at 100kms an hour: relationships take time and you can’t force all your weird on people right away because it can be a lot to handle. Learning this made me a better person. It made me understand that people have boundaries and it made me take a deep long look inward at my own boundaries. The nice thing about Vancouver being clique-y is that once you’re in, you’re in for life.

Thirdly, forget about owning anything ever. Vancouver’s market bubble is too high and renting is cool. Possessions tie you down anyway, and you’re a free spirit. Who needs credit, or equity, or anything.

Fourth, when in doubt complain about the weather! Vancouver has the weirdest weather and everyone here is always unhappy with it.

“It’s raining!”

“It’s hot and everything is on fire”

“There are cherry blossoms everywhere URG”

Trust me, it’s an easy topic of conversation if you ever get stuck and don’t know what to say.

Finally, I’ve learned that once you get a taste for seeing the mountains you can’t get away. They are captivating in every way. The west coast is stunning and there is so much to explore. Also everything I considered steep before I moved feels like a mole hill now in comparison.

It’s been a pretty crazy year out here, but I can honestly say I feel like I made the right choice. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

with love,

Lea

It’s all in the details

My mother used to tell me when I was a little girl that less was more. She felt this was necessary to remind me, at age 5, as I piled on dresses, skirts, socks, and pretty much anything I could layer onto my little body. To reinforce this idea that perhaps “simple pictures are best” I remember reading that all the chicest women of France took off one accessory before leaving the house. This concept of being choosy with that I adorn myself with led me to be very detail oriented with my furnishings. It is for this reason that I am in love with Jord wood watches. They are beautifully designed and intricately made, and they have such a charming earthy feel to them that makes these watches truly unique. I really love the Frankie 35 Series (the one I’m wearing) because the face is a little smaller than some of their other collections, and as someone with baby wrists having a smaller face is necessary. The earthy tons of Jord’s watches I find really compliment the winter since it’s such a pale and dull season. The rich and warm colours of their watches bring a little hint of summer to any outfit making it a detail not to be missed. I’m not sure if the simple lesson that less is more was meant by my parents to teach me about accessorizing, but regardless it’s made so easy and chic with these watches! If you’re as obsessed with Jord as I am, check out my giveaway with them! There’s a link at the bottom of this post.

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My watch, the Frankie 35 Series, is available here.

Follow this link to enter for a chance to win your own Jord wood watch. All entrants get a $25 discount code simply by entering the contest too. Let me know in the comments how you would style your watch if you won!

Love,

Lea


Luxury Wooden Watch
//www.woodwatches.com/widget-article/lovelylea

My StyleWe Closet Essentials

I love building my wardrobe so that I feel it has longevity, and StyleWe helps me do that. Their website is filled with affordable pieces to help any young woman prepare for her future with smart and beautiful pieces. This post has been a long time coming because I have been working on my closet for a while, it actually has helped me with budgeting too. Basically I made a list of all the things I thought I would need in my closet for the next 5 or more years and have slowly been checking things off the list. And it protects my budget too because I am only buying things that are on my list. So when StyleWe reached out about doing a little collaboration with me I was overjoyed because here was the perfect avenue to get some pieces checked off my list and to share what I considered some of the easiest and most versatile pieces.

For me two of the most versatile pieces you can have in your wardrobe are a striped shirt and a v-neck sweater. They yield endless possibilities: date night, office wear, hanging out, running errands, even brunch. They literally can be worn countless ways and are so simple to add into any wardrobe. Here is how I styled them for a more casual look and a formal look.

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You can shop the v-neck sweater here and the stripped tee here.

What do you think about these two pieces from StyleWe? Let me know in the comments!

Love,

Lea

How I fixed my skin

Hey there friends! Today I thought we would talk about skin. For a long time I have struggled with my skin, but not necessarily in the conventional ways. I never had acne, I never had oily skin, nor have I had overly dry skin: what I do have is sensitive skin that is prone to rashes, and small under the skin bumps that aren’t quite pimples. So sure, I never had “bad” skin, but the skin I have has given me my own set of annoyances. But after high school most of my skin bumps seemed to sort themselves out. Unfortunately on break during university when I would go home, my skin would break out in rashes. It happened for a few years and were endlessly frustrating, but I found my cure (thank you hydro-cortisone) and moved on. More recently I stopped taking birth control because the progestins and the hormones really were not right for me (this is a long story, I tried countless different forms which either resulted in manic behavior or very depressed behavior). Ultimately it was clear it wasn’t for me so I stopped, but what I wasn’t expecting was for how it would affect my skin! Out of nowhere I started breaking out and having uneven skin tones, like super blotchy cheeks and like pimples. I mean, COME ON! I’m in my twenties, I’m not some puberty newbie, why me world why me! I had to figure out something to do to fix my skin because wallowing in my sadness wasn’t getting me anywhere. So after many trials and errors I finally have my routine that works perfectly for me.

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I try to wash my face morning and night with Just Natural Skincare’s acne soap. But I also try to give my face a day off from everything: washing, makeup, everything. So once a week I just don’t wash my face, I might add moisturizer, but I have found it’s been good to give my skin a break every now and then. Anyway, on a face washing day after I use a toner to help remove any left over dirt, right now I’m using Clinic’s classic purple toner because I had it on hand, but I am on the market for a new toner. In the morning my next step is to use Ole Henriksen’s Vitamin C Serum followed by Caudalie’s Premier Cru eye cream to try to tame my puffy eyes. Finally every morning I put on a moisterizer with SPF in it, right now I’m using one by Clinic which is nice, but again I am on the market to try something with more protection.

At night after toning I used Ole Henriksen’s Invigorating Night Treatment followed by Caudalie’s eye cream and topped off with Ole Henriksen’s Sheer Transformation cream. (Pro tip: get the Sephora 3 little wonders bundle to try the three Ole Henriksen products I use, it’s pretty affordable and an easy way to try them.) Finally if my skin feels dry, it is almost winter after all, I throw on a little of Josie Maran’s Argan oil.

This has been working really well for me right now, but it’s also important to know that your skin changes with you and that what works one year might not work the next. Listen to skin! And drink more water!

What are you using that you love? Let me know!

Love,

Lea

Welcoming in the New Year

Hey friends! So it’s been a while. I really have not been great at time management since I’ve been adjusting to life here in BC, but no more excuses! New Year new me, right?! And because it’s now 2017 I’ve been thinking that I should get to having some resolutions because why not. Tis the season.

RESOLUTION ONE:

Spend more time unattached to my phone. Yes I might miss my mom’s call, but I can call her back. There’s something so special about being present in the moment with those around you instead of tied to your cellular device. Sorry Rogers, but face to face surpasses Facetime.

RESOLUTION TWO:

I want to save more money which means no more buying dumb stuff. No more buying my lunches out. No. No more. Hungry Guys is great, but I have the technology to make salads at home. I want to be able to afford trips and memories so I have to learn to prioritize.

RESOLUTION THREE:

Educate myself on cool things like music history, movie history, and random pieces of time. I really want to learn more about Bonnie and Clyde so that will be my first stop closely followed by the feudal age of Japan and the imperial age of China. As a student of the past you really can’t stop learning, history is made every day!

And of course I want to post more, not necessarily for you, but for me. Writing gives me a special time to reflect, to think, and to create (and to use the Oxford Comma) so I definitely want to keep this up.

I hope you all have an amazing 2017 and as Hannah Montana said “Life’s what you make it so let’s make it right!”

Love,

Lea