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

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

A Lovely Gift Guide

It’s that time of year, and although I might be a bit late to gift guide sharing game, from the urging of friends and family I decided to share my own. Gifts I like are usual more practical things that I feel I need in real life, not just cute fun things I will use once and never touch again. With that being said here’s my round up!

 

First of all I already own a Kylie LipKit from last year and I love it. The formula is really good and her colours are really interesting so as a gift to myself I’ve already ordered a couple colours because whatever, life is too short for boring lips.

Another thing I’ve been lusting after are some fun shoes I can wear on nights out, like these Steve Madden pink sandals or these Athena Alexander mules for the summer, or these Steve Madden pink velvet boots or these Marc Fisher wine boots for the winter, I think they are a fun thing to add into my wardrobe that I will use for a long time.

I have a small leather purse that was my mom’s that I have been using and having slowly been killing it so I would love to replace it. AW by Andrea Wong is a local designer here in Vancouver and her purses are beautiful. And I love supporting local Canadians.

Pajamas are a always a classic Christmas gift and I wear them every night so throwing in a new sleeping shirt or matching set would be swell!

I have seen a lot about eyelash extensions and I’m itching to try them out for myself so I’ve included them in my guide because I think they’re an interesting and unique gift. And I mean if I can avoid wearing makeup some days that would be sweet.

It rains a lot here in Vancouver and the locals wear Blundstones, I’ve heard they’re awesome and waterproof so again I feel as if this is really practical to my life and an item that will last me a long time.

Finally, I am in love with Jord’s wooden watches. They are stunning. I’ve been lusting after this Frankie 35 series one, fingers crossed friends. Anyone who knows me knows I always have a watch on and always know what time it is, so having a beautiful and unique watch like Jord’s on my arm would make an excellent gift.

 

That’s pretty much what I’m asking Santa for this year! What’s on your list?

Love

Lea

The truth about detoxing

Recently I was approached by a company that wanted me to review one of their detoxing teas which is essentially a tea blend that claims to clean your body. Now, let’s have a little chat about what that really means: the trendy version of detoxing these days is a day time tea blend containing herbs that suppress your appetite and nighttime tea blends that are based mainly on senna. If you aren’t familiar with senna it is one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, natural laxative. For those of you lucky enough to not know what a laxative is or have never experienced one let me just tell you it’s quite extreme. It essentially flushes out your intestinal track. To do that to your body either every night or every other night would be devastating to your system. It also would yield short term results and cause possible long term medical issues (i.e. not being able to use your bowels properly from a reliance on senna which would be awful, or worse developing a form of IBS). Basically using these magic 14, 24, 30, etc day long cleanses, who use already fit and skinny models to promote their products, you won’t get lasting debloating and weight loss results. If you want to lose weight and feel less bloated then you need to change your lifestyle, and you can’t expect results over a short period of time. If you want to feel more regular and are searching for ways to kick start you on this journey to feeling like a temple then keep reading. These are a few things that I do as my own natural form of detoxing and keeping my body feeling energized and awesome.

  1. Lemon Juice


Every morning I start my day off with have a lemon squeezed into a cup of hot water. I have seriously noticed how this simple task really energizes me and it really gets my system awake. When you first break your fast from sleeping it can be hard for your body to absorb water right away, so if you start with lemon juice the sugars will be more easily absorbed and then any water drunk after will also actually be used to help hydrate you.

2.  Kale

Kale is great. It is packed with vitamins AND is great if you’re feeling blocked. Healthy colon, healthy life. So maybe this is cheating, but I often blend my kale because eating it raw is a little tough. For me I blend it with apples, spinach, avocado, pinapple and coconut water. It’s great and creamy, and I find that kale is a natural way to keep you moving and grooving.

3. Sweat

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You wanna know a great way to detox? Sweat. Go for a run or a walk or dance or anything that gets you dripping. It will give you a glow, push toxins out of your pores, and help keep you regular.

Your body is a magical thing and will take care of its own detoxing. Your guts know what they are doing, but if you feel stuck or want to feel more like a goddess than try these tips. The best way to really feel your best is honestly to just take care of yourself, sleep regularly, drink lots of water, and eat your vegetables. Gosh I sound like my parents.

Let me know if you have any different tips for detoxing in the comments!

Lea

Dog Days of Summer Inspiration

Welcome to the end of July and the start of August aka where the real summer heat starts to kick in. This is what is called the “Dog Days” which basically means that you can see the constellation Sirius in the sky (the dog star) and it historically always signified the hottest, most humid time of the summer. So with that in mind I have made a little collage of heat survival inspiration, a wishlist if you will, that will help you keep cool, calm, and collected with Sirius reigns over us.
Rosegal Wishlist

 


From bottom to top going counter clockwise we have: Red dressDenim shorts,  Romper,  One piece swimsuit,  One piece swimsuit, Golden sunglasses,  Aviator sunglasses. These are all available on Rosegal.com which is a great option for affordable and trendy clothes.
Pretty much what I think anyone would need while it’s stinking hot outside are some super fun full piece swimsuits because they double as bodysuits that can be worn under shorts and skirts, and to me full pieces have a romantic and classic vibe to them. You will also need some light weight, throw on rompers and dresses because, let’s face it, when it’s hot out I can barely think and will grab anything that is nearby to wear. Pieces with patterns on them make them stand alone better making your job accessorizing way easier because you can just throw on and go. Finally you will always need sunnies, because eye health is important, and because they’re cool. I personally am loving super reflective and lighter coloured glasses right now and it’s summer, why not try them out since they are totally necessary.
What are you vibing on to help you survive the long, hot dog days?
Lea

My Summer Wishlist

This season I really want to challenge normal summer norms like light and flowy fabrics, and outfits favouring a lighter coloured palette. I really love the idea of leather and blacks in the summer the same way I like florals and whites in the winter: I enjoy the contrast with typical conceptions of season appropriate dressing. And I’m difficult so there. I compiled a list of items (all from SheIn by the way) that I feel really capture this harder look that mix a little bit of punk with my love of classic lines and styles, alone with some really fun pieces that together create my ideal summer wardrobe. And since they’re from SheIn they’re super friken afforable, which is always an added bonus for us poor (ex)students.

shein wishlist

From top left clockwise around these are:

Black Tee, Grey Tee, Black Graphic Halter, Rose Knit, Faux Leather Sheath Skirt, Black Structured Skort, Black Faux Leather Structured Backpack, White Sneakers, Black Faux Leather Strappy Backpack, Black Faux Leather Booties, Pink Patterned Skirt, Black High-Rise Shorts.

To me these are all really versatile and easily coordinated into other seasons. Together they would make countless effortlessly cool combos which will definitely give anyone a super fun look for the summer (and beyond!)

What’s on your summer wishlist?

Lea

7 Things You Must See in Florence, Italy

As I have just returned from my glorious tour around Italy I felt it prudent that I create a few round-up posts for all of you telling you all what I loved and what I would recommend others to see and do. Florence is a beautiful city, but it’s a city of interiors. By that I mean, there is more to see on the inside than on the outside. Florence has numerous splendid galleries full of Renaissance beauties such as the Uffizi, the Palatine  Gallery, the Bargello, and the Gallerie dell’Accademie.

1. The Uffizi

If you’re going to Florence to see art then YOU MUST go to the Uffizi. In its’ two floors this gallery houses an impressive collection of priceless works of art. They have everything from Botticelli to Carracci and everyone in between. If  you can get line skip (available with the Firenze Card) you can show up whenever, if not I recommend either getting there right as it opens, or go after 3pm when the gallery starts to slow down.

2. The Palatine Gallery

The Palatine Gallery is located within the Palazzo Pitti (which itself has 5 galleries of different nature to see) and is the second best place to see some good paintings in Florence. Although both it and the Uffizi are old buildings that once were used for different purposes than just galleries, they are both presented in very different ways. The Uffizi is dressed like your standard gallery: each room contains paintings paired together based by artists, time period, or location of origin. But the Palatine Gallery is located in the old ducal and royal rooms of the palace and therefore are displayed betwixt lavish wall coverings and in rooms dressed in their imperial glory. You really get a feel of what it was like to be ridiculously rich and a Medici or a Bonaparte in this gallery (Think Louvre’s Napoleon III rooms but with Raphael and Perugino on the walls).

3. The Bargello and the Accademie

To me these two can be interchangeable depending on what your priorities are. If you are coming to Florence to see the most famous works, then you will probably opt for the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David. Now there is more to see there, but David truly takes the cake and it is a small museum and very crowded and can easily overwhelm even the most crowd friendly person. The Bargello on the other hand is much less busy, but houses an older master (and my personal favourite bronze caster) Donatello. This gallery also houses some great Michelangelo work too, but it does not have the David. I guess this one is really up to you and what you’re more inclined to see. Both galleries are laid out similarly and house similar artists, the only difference is that one has the famous David and the other has less crowds and Donatello.

Another amazing thing to do in Florence is to go to churches. Seeing as it is close to the papacy in Rome and also was home to one of the most rich and most famous powerhouse families, the Medici, expect Florence to have numerous lavish and crazy gorgeous churches and cathedrals such as Santa Maria del Fiore, San Miniato al Monte, Santa Croce, and San Lorenzo Basilica.

4. Santa Maria del Fiore


Or as the locals have lovingly dubbed it, Duomo (means dome). This cathedral, protected by UNESCO, is free to enter, but if you want to do the extra stuff you have to go to the special ticket office and grab a ticket that lets you climb to the cupola (top of the dome), the bell tower, to enter the opera gallery, Santa Reparata crypt, and to enter the Baptistery. This easily can be a whole day of fun. I would recommend going first into the cathedral and tour around the nave and then when you’re on the way to the exit go down into Santa Reparata which is the remains of the ancient remains of the old church that used to be on the same site. After this go line up for the Cupola and wait and wait and wait (if you have the Firenze card you can go into a shorter line, but it’s still like a 45 minute wait). Similar to climbing any tall monument, you need to do it once, but probably only once. With the dome you get to see Brunelleschi’s genius. HISTORY LESSON: the technique of making domes had been lost since antiquity, but Brunelleschi figured out how to make them again in the 1400s. He used a hollow herringbone technique to make the dome strong but light and you get to climb inside the hollow walls, spiraling up to the lantern where you will get a unique view of the city. After the dome go to the Baptistery and marvel at the mosaics and frescoes inside then tour around outside and gaze at the bronze doors depicting the old testament and new testament stories. And if you still have energy go up Giotto’s bell tower and see the opera museum (these last two I did not do, but they are available with the ticket).
5. San Miniato al Monte


To get here you have to go on a crazy gorgeous walk through some of the lesser busy areas of Florence. You pass through the old city wall, climb up by a lavish rose garden, go past a turn off for the Forte Belvedere (which is a cool walk and is a free place to look at Florence), and up more stairs to the Piazza Michelangelo where you see a bronze copy of the David with yet another view of Florence, but don’t stop here climb more stairs up to the glorious San Miniato al Monte! This old church is decorated with beautiful frescoes and has lovely, glittering mosaics above the portals.This is an active monastery and there are monks walking around everywhere. They also have a store where they sell liquor and sweets AND MONK MADE HONEY (tip: they are all weird honeys with strong flavours, be very careful which honey you pick). In the back and sides of the church is a beautiful cemetery which you can walk around and see lovely tombs and crypts that is equal parts macabre and spell-bounding.
6. Santa Croce

Now, you will not be walking through the safest looking area to get here if you are coming from the city center (i.e. Piazza Vecchio) but have no fear, you’ll be fine it is only like a 10 minute walk from Santa Maria del Fiore. This church is home to many famous tombs, so many that it might surprise you. Among the most famous people resting here are Galileo and Michelangelo. It is a lovely church an equally lovely courtyard that gives viewers a happy, uplifting feeling.

7. San Lorenzo Basilica

Medici fans raise your hands! It’s hard to miss the Medici balls which are all over the city of Florence, and they are no more present than here in their favourite church of San Lorenzo. This church is made up of 4 different museums, which means 4 different tickets SO FRIENDS BUY THE FIRENZE CARD, IT WILL BE WORTH IT. Once inside you can see the Library, the old and new sacristy, the Medici Chapel, the crypt and the museum. Honestly, this church is so lavishly decorated (purple porphyry is everywhere, this is an extremely expensive marble like rock only found in Egypt which I’m pretty sure is all used up now) and is home to some of the greatest architectural names, i.e. hey Brunelleschi nice old sacristy! It really helps visitors to understand just how much money those dang Medicis had. I mean, come on. It’s so so so so so so so beautifully decorated that beautiful does not even begin to explain it.

 

My final recommendation, which I have been saying endlessly, is if you’re only in Florence for a short amount of time it is really worth it to buy the Firenze card. It is 72 Euros for 72 hours of fun for over 70 different monuments. I saw everything above and more with the card and was able to skip lines and skip queues. It is worth it!

Let me know what you loved in Florence if you have been there and if you have any different recommendations for me for the next time I visit!

Love,

Lea

My Top 5 Valentine’s Day Movies

There are so many cute things to do on Valentine’s Day like go to dinner, or skating, or whatever being cute doing something cute. But, if you prefer something low key you’re probably home trying to figure out which movie to watch. Let me make that a little bit easier by recommending my favourite 5 mushy movies.

Casablanca (1942)7fcc3e1e-e1bf-4406-9e34-b014f43486df

One of the most iconic love stories, the tale of estranged lovers Rick and Ilsa reunite in Casablanca while fleeing Nazi occupied France. Containing some of the most used catch phrases today, love, guns, planes, and the best trench coats Casablanca is a classic and worth watching.

Must Love Dogs (2005)

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This is probably one of the sweetest, most adorable films I have ever seen. It’s relatable, it’s depressing, it’s funny, it’s everything you want. Sarah is a divorced gal trying to make a go of it in the dating world, the only catch is that whoever she finds must love dogs.

Sliding Doors (1998)

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This movie is so cool. It revolves around a moment in Helen’s life where she makes a small choice. But this small choice causes her life to split into two separate realities.

Shakespeare in Love (1998)

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Most people who grew up in Ontario public schools know this movie because we watched it in like grade 9 or so, but it really is so beautiful. It’s humourous and gutting and perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Tangled (2010)

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Hands down one of the cutest movies I’ve ever seen, and for an added bonus it’s animated. There are songs, animals, evil overbearing fake mothers, and the longest, most dreamiest blonde hair.

 

These are some of my favourite romance movies, all of which are adorable, at times sad, but ultimately so perfect for Valentine’s Day watching.

What are your favourite mushy movies?

Lea

What I’m Thankful For

As all Canadians know, this is our Thanksgiving weekend, so I thought I would share some things that I feel truly blessed to have. The first thing on my list would have to be my incredible family. Every morning when I’m home with them, we sit and have a smoothie and some coffee listening to mom’s favourite Baroque music station. It gives us the illusion of a perfect family. Which we are… Sometimes.

The second thing on my list is related to the first, I am thankful for my parents’ marriage. It never ceases to amaze and inspire me. This August will mark their 30th marriage anniversary which they have been best friends for and continue to love, support, and cherish one another. Those of you who don’t believe in true love need to meet these two. They show me the importance of working on relationships you consider the most important.

The third thing would be the opportunities I have had to travel and to learn and to love. I have great friends, I go to a wonderful school, and I have visited beautiful places. I’m very lucky for what I have and it makes me want to help others one day once I’ve figured life out more.

What are you thankful for?

Happy Turkey!

Lea

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