Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Find the Silver Lining

In my beautiful polka dotted planner, at the beginning of each month there’s a motivational quote waiting to greet me when I turn the page. In December, that quote was “find the silver lining.” With all that’s been going on in my life, this quote has fit me perfectly.

It makes me pause in my steps whenever I think about tomorrow being Christmas Day and going through all the motions knowing my grandmother isn’t with us anymore. But she is remembered, and she is loved, and she would want the family to be happy and together.

Christmas carousel decor

Today, though, today I get to look at the silver lining because in less than an hour I’m leaving to pick up my husband from the airport! We’ve been living apart for the past two and a half months due to immigration delays so it’s hard to wipe the smile off my face as our countdown is about to come to an end (well, not a permanent end, but I’ll take what I can get). He’s able to stay for the New Year too, so while I’m somber on one hand, on the other I am so grateful. 

As you take the time to celebrate the holidays, or simply enjoy a few days off from work, I hope you're happy and healthy and your heart is full. 

I hope the glow of soft lights is brightening up your face as you're surrounded by your closest friends and family. 

I hope you go to bed tonight feeling loved and at peace. 

Before the year comes to an end and I go into hibernation holiday mode, I need to say one more thing: thank you. Thank you for all of the support you've shown, engaging with me in the comments even when I wasn't the best at replying, listening to me when I needed to be heard, disagreeing with me yet continuing the conversation... Thank you for showing up every day that you did. I am so grateful.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year. See you in 2015 xo

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Should You Get Eyelash Extensions Before Going on Holidays?

I remember first hearing about eyelash extensions a few years ago and thinking, “So they’re like fake lashes but semi-permanent and I don’t have to wear mascara? I want them.”

I’ve always had eyelash envy. In university I used to wear fake lashes occasionally and have always loved the look of longer and thicker eyelashes. A few years ago in Korea I tested out some eyelash extensions before travelling to southern Taiwan. Since I was planning to spend a few days at the beach, I didn’t want to be thinking about makeup but I didn’t want to go completely bare either. Eyelash extensions are quite popular in Asia and they seemed like the perfect solution. 

At the time I paid $40 for a full set (they were very common in Korea) but in Canada these would cost about $100. 

Should you get eyelash extensions before going on a trip?

The pros and cons of eyelash extensions before travelling

PROS:


1. So pretty! It’s a look that’s enhanced yet natural.

2. Eyelash extensions add a bit of glam without having to put on (and take off! ugh) daily makeup. There’s no need for mascara at all.

3. They’re safe in saltwater and chlorine, even for contact wearers like me!

CONS:


1. It’s an awkward growing out period depending on the length of your natural lash cycle (how long it takes for your eyelashes to naturally fall out). Some salons say extensions will remain for up to 8 weeks, but in my experience, 3-4 weeks before needing a touch up/removal is a lot more realistic.

2. So about those touch ups… Lash extensions can be expensive to maintain if you keep getting them refilled regularly. We’re talking $75 every month!

3. What are the potential negative effects of regular use? I don’t think eyelash extensions have been on the market long enough for us to know. 

So, should you get eyelash extensions before going on a trip?


If it’s a short trip (four weeks or less) and you’d like to enjoy a low-maintenance beauty routine while you’re away, I say sure! Go get those eyelash extensions done if they’re something you’re interested in. Just be aware of how you wipe your eyes when you get out of the ocean, pool, etc. because rubbing your lashes can damage them and break the bond of the glue.

I had my eyelash extensions for two lash cycles and they were cool, but it’s not a service I’d do regularly. Extensions are a lot of maintenance and sometimes it just feels freaking amazing to rub your eyes after a long day. Since I don’t have an abundance of lashes to begin with, I’m also wary of damaging what little I do have. For everyday life, lash extensions aren’t for me, but they sure were pretty while they lasted.

Have you ever thought about getting eyelash extensions before going on a trip (or do you wear them in everyday life)? 

PS: Interested in more makeup posts? Check out Battle of the Mascaras and My Travel Makeup Essentials.

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Monday, December 22, 2014

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Buy Fake Watches

Thinking about buying a knockoff designer watch? Here are three reasons why you should think again.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Buy Fake Watches
Photo via Flickr
This is a sponsored post not written by The Lifestyle Project.

Sometimes a regular outfit can turn into the perfect one just by adding a stylish and beautiful watch. Even though nowadays watches have lost their functional use, mostly because we usually check the time by looking at our phones, watches still have an aesthetic charm. In particular, designer timepieces are still considered splurge-worthy pieces of jewellery, and numerous watch enthusiasts are simply fascinated by these luxury products which they love to collect. 

Regardless if you are a collector or a one-time buyer, you must understand one thing about designer watches: their value lies in the unique watchmaking craft of the brand that makes them.

To avoid getting tricked into buying a replica watch, we should know more about these products and understand why they are such a bad choice for us. As pretty and cheap as they may be, here are three reasons why you should stay away from “fake” watches:

1. THEY’RE CHEAP FOR A REASON


Most luxury watches have an automatic mechanism. This is a must for a high-end timepiece. It is also the most expensive and complicated part of the watch, the part that replica manufacturers cannot correctly clone. They will try, but because of their cheap choice of materials, poor craftsmanship, and lack of expertise in automatic mechanisms, fake watches are unable to maintain good quality, accurate movement. This is why most replica watches do not support essential functions such as the day, date, or chronograph. Furthermore, some fakes stop while you are wearing them or lose time. Not being able to rely on your watch is obviously a huge inconvenience and an easy way to tell that your watch is a fake.

2. REPLICA WATCHES AREN’T GOOD INVESTMENTS


At first, it might feel like you are saving a lot of money by paying a fraction of the price, but once your knockoff breaks after a few weeks or months of wearing it, you instantly change your mind about this. A replica isn’t made to last. It is manufactured using low quality materials and it completely lacks any quality control. The result is an inferior product that breaks very easily. Instead of throwing your money out the window like this, you should consider buying an affordable and stylish watch such as a Hamilton, Michael Kors, Guess, Longines or Tissot, or save up for an authentic Breitling or Omega. 

3. FAKE WATCHES ARE MADE WITH LOW QUALITY MATERIALS


Another thing you must know about replica watches is that these are made with very poor quality materials. The stainless steel is light and less durable than the one used on authentic timepieces. In some cases the links of the bracelet are hollow and this makes the watch feel light and cheap. When you are dealing with a gold color watch, the original model is made from real solid gold whereas the fake one is made from solid stainless steel with gold plating. This gold plating starts to wear off after a month or so and after this happens, there’s no doubt that you’ve got a cheap, knockoff watch sitting on your wrist. 

Fake watches are known for being made of cheap materials and breaking after a short time of use. Indeed, at first they might feel luxurious and similar to the designer classic, but in the long run these knockoff pieces simply aren’t worth it. 

Have you had a bad experience with fake pieces of jewellery before? Waking up to a green ring around your wrist is never fun. Share in the comments below! 

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Monday, December 01, 2014

Why I Decided to Get a Job After I Started Freelancing

Every week when Friday rolls around, I get much too ambitious about how much work I think I can accomplish that weekend. I’m going to clean the bathroom (including the tub!), go on a long walk, write a blog post or two, update my business plan, achieve inbox zero (yeah right) and watch only that one hip documentary that teaches me something so it’s practically educational instead of just bingeing on Netflix, right?

When I realize how easy it would be to check everything off my to do list if I actually just focused and made shit happen, I decide to bribe myself into my weekend of productivity by starting with an incentive of sorts. The documentary on Netflix, naturally.

So here we are emerging on Monday with this blog post being one of the few things I have to show for this weekend (unfortunately going down the TV rabbit hole and all those hours spent watching The Good Wife and analyzing whether Julianna Margulies gets botox don’t seem to count). 

Funny gif: The Good Wife
For the record, this is exceptional eyebrow/forehead movement
Anyway, I’m happy I made myself sit down at a proper desk and get back to blogging. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve last posted here and, if there’s anything I’ve learned as a writer, it’s that it’s much easier to produce content when you’re in the habit of writing daily instead of waiting for the perfect moment of inspiration to strike.   

Last month I mentioned that I started a new job. It’s a seasonal merchandising position that has me working up to 30 hours a week as I wait for my green card for the US to be processed (no update yet). It’s nice to have some guaranteed cash flow during the holiday season, the job isn’t stressful, and I figured it looks good on my immigration application that I was able to land a position so quickly after returning to Canada. It’s important to look employable, right?

I wrapped up my latest freelance project last week and I think that’s the last one I’ll take on for 2014. I want to spend the rest of the year looking introspectively at what I’ve accomplished as a solopreneur and planning where I need to adjust so I build my business in 2015.

At a certain point we can all acknowledge that work is work, but it makes a huge difference in perspective and motivation when I’m doing that work for myself. If I don’t hustle, nobody else will. I love being passionate about what I do, but I need to take some time and plan my next moves. My ultimate goal is to become entirely self-employed (which doesn’t sound as ludicrous in blog world as it seems to in “real life”), but I have a lot of work to do before that happens.

Even though this seasonal position is taking up a solid chunk of my time, it’s also given me the proverbial kick in the pants to continue pursuing all the ideas I have buzzing around in my brain.

Inspirational quote: Don't downgrade your dream
via Rachel Gadiel

And since this blog is the telling of not only my projects but my life as well, I’d be remiss not to mention that from a personal perspective I’m still struggling with moments of grief after losing my grandmother in November. Just as I’m writing this post, The Prayer by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion, the same song that was played during her funeral, came on the radio. For some reason it was followed up by Puff Daddy’s I’ll Be Missing You, which I feel is a private cosmic joke because how can you still be sad when Puff Daddy pre-Diddy is rocking the mic. You can’t, that’s how. 

Sometimes you just have to smile. 
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