New dawn, New day, New post

It’s been awhile since I wrote you last, huh folks? Seems like only 8 months ago that it was January and I was writing to you all stating that I was gonna pick up my keyboard again and let this creative project flourish. And in true Leandra fashion I put it off. This is not a personal judgement, however, it’s simply the truth: I needed time to figure out what I even was passionate about. For years it felt like I was floating out of my body experiencing life second hand. A big part of this was me not being honest to myself and not being myself.  I have been really struggling with what I wanted to write about because what I used to write about, aka fashion, no longer feels like me.

What feels like me is learning how to do things myself, learning how to live cleaner, learning how to fix things while still being the most accident prone human alive. What feels like me is being uncomfortable and trying new things to push myself to be more uncomfortable and empower myself to learn more everyday. What feels like me is seeking a life that is lived lovely

As I approach my three year anniversary living in Vancouver I feel it is now that I come to you refreshed, revitalized, and ready to bring a little joy with every post. To celebrate this renaissance I commissioned my friend Sofia Solis Bautista, @sofiadidit on Instagram, to create me a new logo and I couldn’t be happier with it.  I mean seriously!! It’s gorgeous!!

It’s a new dawn, a new day, and a new intention, friends,  and I’m feeling good.

Much love,

Lea

Checking In

New posts two weeks in a row? Who am I?! Shockingly that is not a rhetorical question because I really do not have an answer to that. Like, yeah okay, I know I’m Leandra, but that is pretty much it. So how do I resolve this personal crisis? The only way I know how: trying a bunch of new things to see what sticks.

I have a pretty terrible fear of messing up and of not succeeding, and while they are perfectly valid and reasonable fears, they really do limit me and my ability to grow. A friend of mine told me that the only way to get over that was to make as many mistakes as I can, to get my feet wet and try a variety of activities because I won’t know unless I try. So here I am, trying new things. But don’t worry, friendos, I will keep you in the loop about what worked, what didn’t, what I learned etc. You know, wholesome fun for the whole family stuff.

This weekend I tried painting with some watercolours and it wasn’t terrible. I grew up painting, but was never especially great at it so I stopped doing it. But a few months ago a friend of mine got me into doing painting nights with her and it was fun. The same friend gave me my own set of watercolours for my birthday a few weeks ago and I thought “heck it, let’s give it a go” and you know, friends, it wasn’t that bad. I had some records on, the sun was out, I found this experience almost meditative.

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I had really written something off because I didn’t feel that I was good at it and that frustrated me. Not that I’m saying I’m a master at it or even that good now, but I found myself just painting to paint not to please anyone or reach any goal and it was nice. It was nice to do something just to do it. Sometimes you’ve just gotta slow down and paint some flowers, you know?

I can’t wait to fill you all in on my next endeavor, so until then with lots of love I remain you fave purple haired princess perfectly poised at her PC penning this for you, my peeps.

Much love as always,

Lea

So I Dyed My Hair Purple

So I dyed my hair purple.

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Which is no surprise for those of you who are my friends and have my on social media, but for those of you who don’t then I guess the proverbial cat is out of the proverbial bag. I guess I wanted to make a little defense for it, and I might as well post it here as it’s been forever since I’ve written anything for my blog (sorry, blog!) and because, like for all things in my life, I feel that I have to justify it (but we can unpack that later).

So why did I dye my hair purple? Honestly because I wanted to. I won’t lie; there may have been a few drinks involved for the first installment of ‘Fun Colours in Leandra’s Hair’, but when I touched it up to the full, deep purple it is now, I was stone cold sober and I knew this is what I wanted.

If I’m being more honest, it was because I feel as though I am in a creative rut. All my life I have prided myself on being artistic and on finding ways to express and channel my creativity: dance, theatre, photography… heck, even making random things with my hands. There have been so many ways I have lost count. But as of late I have found myself restless and angry and incredibly frustrated that I cannot put a name to what I want to create next. I have the essence of it I THINK in my head, but articulating it? That’s a nope. In fact, articulating anything these past few months has been really hard. My mind is mush; I lose my train of thought if could get one together in the first place. My tongue is heavy in my mouth; I stutter and lose words, and all I hear in my ears is static. I haven’t really felt like myself, but even if I did I’m not really sure I would be able to recognize who that is anymore. So I dyed my hair purple to show myself I am creative. I guess maybe that sounds a little stupid or naïve, but I needed a push and having hair that I can’t ignore whenever I catch my reflection is a push towards figuring out who I am, who I want to be, how I want to be, etc. Classic quarter life crisis stuff, which oddly enough leads to ….

My last and possibly MOST honest reason for dying my hair purple: I felt old. Hello, my name is Leandra and I just turned 24 and I feel so incredibly old. NOW BEFORE ANY OF YOU GIVE ME THE “you’re so young, 24 is not that old, why when I was your age,” save it. I know. A part of me knows I am being whack, but another part of me felt like my time to do stupid, impulsive things was running out so I seized the opportunity to do something spontaneous. The last time I had crazy coloured hair I was around 18 or 19 and I loved it, but I did not love my life and a few situations I found myself in, so to escape that I took it out on my hair. It was fuchsia, blue, purple, a little green, orange, baby pink; I think I hit almost every colour at one point or another. Not all of these colours were great (a lot looked horrible) but it was a way of expressing myself and forcing myself to accept my mistakes and to not take myself too seriously. And man, do I take myself too seriously. I am so hard on myself and I expect the best of myself, and recently this has become a bit of a problem. I have always wanted to be the best or the prettiest or the nicest or the anything-est because I have always wanted to have the feeling of ‘I am enough’, but it’s always evaded me, and with this awful sense that my time is running out, I just wanted to feel something. So I dyed my hair purple. Maybe that doesn’t make sense to some of you, maybe it does (at this point I’m not even sure it makes sense to me), and I know I don’t actually need to justify anything so I guess it doesn’t really matter in the end.

I know it doesn’t matter because I am happy with my decision. So yeah, I dyed my hair purple because I wanted to, because it makes me feel creative, and because I’m ready to figure out who I am, and purple spoke to me. Life is too short to justify every decision I make, even though I’m (clearly) still learning to be okay with this.

I hope you’ve enjoyed me rationalizing something that I’ve wanted to do and I hope you all feel better about doing something that you really want to do, WITHIN REASON. At the end of the day if you’re happy, if you’re fulfilled, and if you’re safe, then that’s all that matters.

 

Much love as always,

Lea

 

3 Annoying Habits to Adopt

I’m the first to admit that I am very lazy when it comes to keeping my room clean. I never used to think much about it either: so what, it’s just a room does it really matter how clean it is? I thought that until one day a friend of mine told me that the state of one’s room is a direct reflection of the state of one’s mind meaning messy room= messy mind. This may sound a little hooey, but when I have a cleaner room I feel more relaxed and at ease while when my room is a disaster I get irritated and annoyed very easily. Whether or not these feelings are in my head I think it is definitely prudent to adopt a few cleaning habits to help with everyday life. At least these have been helping me so maybe they’ll help you.

  1. Put your clothes away every night

I’m not joking. Those socks you just took off and have lying on the floor? Put them in the laundry hamper you animal. It’s so annoying putting away your clothes after a long day of work, but the next morning when you wake up and your jeans are folded and there’s no laundry lying about on the floor trust me you’ll feel so much better.

2.  Put your beauty products away in their homes when you’re finished with them

Whether you keep your stuff in a bag or laid out in a drawer, make sure that there’s a place for everything and that everything goes into its place. Your bathroom will look cleaner, you won’t run the risk of knocking something  onto the floor, and you’ll be able to find everything the next time you want it because it will be in its home. Honestly it’s a win-win.

3. Make your bed 

I have actually talked about this before, but making your bed in the morning just makes your room feel cleaner and more organized. And who doesn’t love coming home to a bed that is made and not a huge mess? I’m a pretty volatile sleeper and I toss and turn all night so rearranging my sheets so that they look fresh makes a huge difference in my room. 

With all of these little habits the theme is that if things are organized and tidy you will be less stressed out not only trying to find what you need, but also you’ll feel more at ease in your own space. I used to be one of those people who claimed that in my mess there was order, but it was a lie: I just made my mess messier hunting for my things. I have a bad memory so if things are where they usually are I won’t feel as panicked trying to find them. Obviously these won’t work for everyone nor do I think this will ultimately cure anyone of stress or anxiety, but they helped me calm down a bit so if they help anyone else find some zen then that’s awesome. 
Much love, pumpkins!

Lea

How to make your summer staples fall ready

Now that it’s officially fall it’s officially time to put away your summer disposition, but that doesn’t mean you have to put away your summer staples away. I have been playing around with a few of my favourite pieces from this past season and have found that they can in fact translate into great autumn pieces. All you need are darker colours, richer fabrics, and layers.

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These white pants were a huge hit for me this past summer and I was a little nervous about wearing them after labour day, but I have never really played by the rules so I wore them anyway. Since they were such a light, airy fabric and colour I felt it would become more autumn by pairing it with leather boots, a darker tee and my go to bomber. With heavier fabrics and textures, and with strategic layers (hello cute coat season) you can make any summer pant, dress, or shorts fall ready.

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Speaking of shorts, I found that I could only really wear them on warmer, sunnier days just because I get cold easily. These pink shorts came in handy this summer and I felt like if I put them with a sultry knit they would easily translate into a fall piece. This v neck sweater is actually super fuzzy and cozy, and since it’s dark it adds such a nice contrast to the lightness of the shorts. Paired with loafers and some hard metal these pink shorts can easily become autumn favourites.

Basically anything you really loved in the summer can still be loved in the fall so long as you add your fall pieces to them to make them heavier. With richer fabrics, warm textures, and layers you can play up the summery lightness of your warmer weather faves while still making them fall appropriate. It’s science.

Let me know how you’re creating longevity for your summer clothes in the comments!

Much love,

Lea

The transitions of life

Transitions are hard and they will always be hard no matter what age or what stage you’re in. Transitions are hard. Recently I have been able to experience the transition from student to graduate and let me tell you it feels so weird. After being in school since I was 4 having the freedom to go any direction is truly overwhelming. But stages and changes aren’t unique to my age, they follow you throughout life. Things are constantly changing and moving nothing really ever settles which is both humbling and exhilarating.

Things change, people change, time changes, but you know what doesn’t have to change? Your outlook on life. I find if you expect nothing, but embrace goodness and happiness you will be better off. If you realize you can’t do everything, but do what you can well and so that you can be proud of it you will be happier and feel fulfilled. And finally if you can understand what you can and cannot change and only focus your energy on what you can change then you will worry less and find peace. These are the lessons my parents taught me and I want to pass them along to all of you. Embrace kindness, but don’t expect it; something worth doing is worth doing well; only spend time on things in your control.

Life is also full of philosophical people like me who love to chat about nothing and everything, but hey who doesn’t?

Love,

Lea

For the love of white shorts

I don’t think that there are shorts that I feel are more vital than white ones. Most people I think would go for denim as their most important shorts, but I truly feel as though white ones are the quintessential shorts to have. They’re light, airy, and bright: pretty much just make you feel fancy. I find that white clothing in general is so nice because it just feels clean. It can be worn with any colour and in any season which makes it the most versatile colour for clothing in anyone’s closet. Also, if you’re wearing white shorts your legs will look more tanned which is so nice considering the summer sun is fading.

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My top is my mom’s and my shorts are from Zara.

So now that you know how I feel, how do you feel about white shorts?

Love,

Lea

 

School’s Out … Forever?

No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks. But actually.

This is my first year not going back to school and it feels so weird. So incredibly weird. A lot of my friends are already back at school or going back soon and I feel mildly left out, but strangely relieved. I have been in school forever and now that I have graduated and have a degree I have nothing but open doors even though it doesn’t feel like that all the time. It’s definitely different because I feel like I have so much freedom and so many possibilities as to what my next step should be, that I almost feel crippled by it. The vastness of the unknown seriously has been harshing on my mellow all summer, and now that it is the fall I have decided to end my break from real life. After graduating in the spring I gave myself the summer to figure out what I wanted to do moving forward, but I think it kind of back fired. All summer I just felt like I was under the weight of uncertainty and this weight scared me and made me question every choice I have made thus far in my life. I think having the time to be with my family and to be with myself was needed because I really learned that I am not one to handle idle time well, but it was also good because I really got to connect with the ones I love the most.

But now it’s back to real life. For some it’s back to school, but for me it’s back to real life and back to figuring out my path. As weird as it is to not be gearing up with textbooks and school supplies, it is also incredibly freeing. After months of feeling heavy I finally feel light and ready for the next phase whatever that may be.

Stay tuned friends, you never know what is lying just around the corner.

Love,

Lea

Just Natural Products

I have been questing for natural, cruelty free products for my hair and skin because it really aligns with my personal beliefs. I really do not like animal testing and I am incredibly saddened by how many products and brands I have used in the past rely on both animal testing and harsh chemicals. So when I found Just Natural Skincare Products online I was smitten with their values, which align with mine, and with their reviews. They so graciously sent me a few different products that I have been using for about three weeks and I have to say I am really impressed.


I tried their adult acne soap, their anti aging lotion, and their dry hair oil treatment.

First of all, I have been experiencing some frustrating pimple flare ups and I have been trying like everything to get rid of them. I have never really had bad skin so when I get pimples, especially those pesky few pimples that like to live permanently on my forehead. Before Natural Skincare Products I was using an acne cleanser that was rich in benzoyl peroxide in it which made my skin really dry and also did not really give me the results I was after. But, Natural Skincare Products acne soap actually worked wonders. It isn’t that drying, which is pretty crazy for a bar of soap, and it really cleared up my skin. It worked way better than anything else I have tried. I use it morning and night, and after I work out and need to clean extra oil and sweat off my face.

Secondly the anti aging skin cream is so moisturizing and not oily at all. I’m not entirely sure if it is getting rid of any fine lines, but I do know that my complexion is really bright since I have started using the moisturizer. I use it all over my face, neck, and hands mostly at night or whenever my face is feeling dry and like it needs a little tlc (I wear a moisturizer with SPF in the morning).

Lastly the dry hair treatment is amazing. I have used Moroccan oils before in my hair so I had an idea as to how to use it. With oils you only need a little bit because too much with make your hair super oily which sort of defeats the point of using it to help dry hair because over washing your hair will make it super dry. Anyway, you only really need a little bit. Natural Skincare Product’s dry treatment oil smells amazing and it really has improved my split ends. I use it generally just at night, 3 or 4 pumps into my hand and work it into the ends of my hair. I also do it before I wash my hair to help add a little moisture before washing. The ends of my hair are a disaster because I use a lot of heat products on it, but the oil has helped to soften, untangle, and repair damage.

All in all, if you’re looking to try some natural products that are made with ingredients that are not harmful to both your body and the environment then give Just Natural Skincare Products a try. Don’t underestimate the power of natural products!

What are some of your favourite natural products?

Love,

Lea

Peplums and Rosegal

Remember how I said there was a top from Rosegal that I got that I absolutely loved? Well here it is! I don’t usually wear peplum tops, but I adore this one. It’s a style I have always wanted to try. Another nice thing about it is that it looked exactly like it’s photo on the Rosegal website.

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The top (available here) is really versatile. Peplums can be worn a little dressier, like here with a skirt, or casually with jeans or tight shorts. Also the stripes of this shirt are incredibly fun.

So I learned that I shouldn’t write places off based on one experience alone. Rosegal does have some really cute things, but like all online stores do be cautious and check the sizing guide thoroughly!

Love,

Lea

Ps Check out Rosegal on Instagram and Facebook!