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

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

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

Surviving rain season

Surprise! It rains a lot here in Vancouver. But just because it rains doesn’t mean you have to look like a waterproof creature! Heck no, friends! One of my favourite things about the fall is that I can wear my big, waterproof boots. They really help to toughen up regularly girly outfits which I love. Whether it’s with dresses, jeans, or culottes, bigger boots are multifunctional enough to yield comfort, water resistance, and style. And there are so many options out on the market now that there really is no reason for you to be walking around with wet socks. I have also found that having a raincoat that has a double zipper has been really helpful. I have zip the bottom half of my jacket up a bit so that walking or sitting on the train during my commute is easier and less restrictive. But, undone jackets are still my favourite.

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I hope you have found these tips helpful, and I hope your feet are no longer soaked from the rain! Remember: there is no shame in being practically dressed for the weather!

much love,

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

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

Oops I did it again

Hello friends!

It seems I let my life get the best of me which resulted in me abandoning my blog for a few months. But I’m back and I’m feeling refreshed. To be honest not a whole lot has happened in my life since I last posted I have just been crazy busy with work. I was feeling burnt out and tired so I switched to being part-time for a little bit to give me more free time to do things I enjoy like running, blogging, and going on adventures.

Speaking of adventures my friend and I went out of the city yesterday and explored the Abbostford tulip festival and it was stunning. We spent the day walking down rows upon rows of tulips with the sun and a little rain with us. It was amazing escaping from the sounds of construction and road rage to spend a day with a bunch of flowers and great company.

So from now on do expect more regular posts from me! Sorry for the radio silence, friends, from now on I am back!

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

The perks of learning your colours

And no I don’t mean ROY-G-BIV, I mean the colours you look best in. Fashion is fun and means you can wear anything that makes you feel good, but if you’re looking to get pieces that you can use to build your forever wardrobe then you should probably know what colours you look good in. Everyone has at least one colour that they look bomb in and everyone has at least one colour they look awful in. For me it’s mustard/dull gold and emerald green. They make me look seriously gross so I stay away from them. But I look great in a dusty rose, in warm caramel, and in pinks, purples, and blues. Figuring out your colours has to do with many factors: your skin tone, if you have pink or yellow undertones, the colour of your hair and eyes also influence what you’ll look best in. But knowing your colours can help you make sure you always look your best.

The easiest way, and the most common way of identifying your colous is by season so I’ve found some great swatches to show you what each season looks like to help you figure out what your colours are. Now you don’t have to love all the options nor do you have to wear them, but it’s an easy system for remembering and could come in handy when you’re investing in some more substantial pieces.

Winter

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Winters are typically those who look better in jewel tones and cooler tones, think Christmas trees dressed up with gems. Winter is a darker time with a smaller portion of the day with sun, so anything that touches sun is extra rich to make the sunshine count. People who are winters look great in these darker colours, but also look great in rich crimson, and luscious violet, and deep green.

Spring

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Springs are those who look best in pastels and lighter, softer colours. Similar to Easter colours, those who are springs are usually those who look best in colours that look fresh, like fresh buds on trees, early tulips and light daffodils. Colours that are a little muted, not in a faded way, just in an early way if that makes sense.

Summer

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Summers are those who look best in bright, saturated colours. This swatch I found doesn’t really do it justice. Think fresh cut grass, watermelon, beach towels, deep water, and wild flowers. Everything that makes you think of hot, sunny places.

Autumn

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Autumns look best in rich colour, like those you would see in a dying farmer’s field or on a crisp fall drive. People who look best in Autumn colours, like burgundy, camel, and olive green, tend to look the best pictured in a field of wheat or in a pumpkin patch. Their colours are those of the start of hibernation, of the end of summer, and of the start of a new beginning (first day of school anyone?).

If you need more inspiration try looking up seasonal colour palettes on pinterest! That’s where I found these beauties!

Personally I am a mix between autumn and winter. It’s not a perfect science, but it is a classic method for figuring out what looks best on you!

Let me know what you think below!

Love,

Lea