Travel Diary: West Village Detroit

Here's something to do, when the weather is nice and the living is (fairly) easy: head to Detroit.


A great gel top coat

I'm really late to the top coat game, and I am sorry for that. My poor manicures! I hate admitting this but I never really gave much thought to a clear coat on top on my nails. I would just paint my nails with whatever polish and hope for the best, thinking another layer of paint would be fine later on in the week. (Or i'd use a top coat that wasn't very good and end up taking my nail colour off a day later.)

Boy how wrong I was. Not only does a good top coat improve the colour and shine of your manicure, it also makes it last a really long time with very little to minimal chipping.  If you don't already own a top coat for nails- even to paint over a nude manicure- here's a really great top coat that will keep your polish looking fresh:

Essie Gel Setter Top coat
I wanted to spend a bit of time testing this top coat out before recommending it to anyone, not because it's expensive but because I wasn't sure it would work.

It's because I've purchased coloured gel nail polish pots before only to be really disappointed in drying time, texture, etc. so I had partial hopes for this one.  Essie gel setter top coat is a clear "gel-ish"  coat that you place over your nails without lamps or other fancy gadgets, and surprisingly it does exactly what it says it does. Set your nails.

I tested this top coat throughout Black Friday weekend, while doing store stock, and minor visual changes- and these facts might not mean much to you but if you've ever worked in retail you know how hard it is to keep nails that aren't acrylic or heavy duty looking nice and polished- and it held up really well.

Just apply one/two coats over any nail polish colour and you're good to go. I've read peoples reviews saying this topcoat takes a while to dry but I don't think so. I'm super impatient when it comes to drying nails (so much I hardly want to paint them) and I've had no problems with it.
 Of course it will chip eventually, it isn’t a salon gel but for how little it does chip on the regular- well, that’s ok for me.

It’s given me the confidence to start wearing colours on my nails again!

And i've been singing the praises of the Essie Gel setter top coat ever since. Even customers have asked about my shiny, nice nails and I tell them- it's the Essie!. 


Travel Diary: Sarnia

If you’ve been following me for a little while now you’ll know that D and I like to do little weekend trips here and there to places that aren’t very far from home.
One place we’ve been to before was Sarnia, when it was warm and sunny and there were food trucks under the Blue Water Bridge.  We hadn’t been in the winter though, so we thought why not and headed up there a few weekends ago.


Rising Strong

How are you doing this Wednesday? Good I hope. I've been enjoying my little break from blogging but wanted to jump in here quick and ask you : Have you heard of Brene Brown? She's the author of the book Rising Strong, and I cannot get enough of her insights.

My friend introduced her to me a while ago in a coffee shop over photo editing, and I looked up a few TED talks of hers interested in her ideas about trust and vulnerability.

Recently, I listened to her interview with Elizabeth Gilbert on Magic Lessons and creativity and how fear plays a big role in creating and art and I thought- yes. Yes this I feel big time.

If you haven't already listened to it i'll leave the link for you here.

I'm contemplating getting Rising Strong, but not until i've finished the whole mess of books waiting to be read!

Rising strong is a fascinating topic. And once you dig deeper into the idea of shame and vulnerability, it's crazy to see how many times these two little buggers get in the way of living a courageous, creative, life.


A creative Pause

I've decided to take a little breather from blogging this month, just a short interlude. I'm finding that my creativity is lacking a bit, and though you probably think that blogging would eliminate this problem- for me it doesn't, it only makes it stronger. Having a small sense of urgency to post and create almost forces the creative process instead of encouraging it naturally.

So i've devoted January to a creative exploration without the pressure to post.

And by doing this i'm sure i'll have a lot of neat things to share come Feb. I may pop in once in a while here but for the most part, for this month you will find me on Instagram.


Things from 2015

2016 will be a great year, I can feel it in my bones. There are years that ask questions and years that answer Zora Neal Hurston said, so in that vein, maybe 2016 will be a year for clarity.

As we enter into a new clean year, free of blemishes and marks I thought I would compile a list. A list of things i've discovered and learned in 2015. It's nice to feel like you've accomplished something, no matter how small; it's nice to clear the clutter from the previous year, finally let go of the mistakes that haunted you, and move on.

Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn't know before you learned it. Forgive yourself and get going. 

Things I discovered:
- not everything needs to be social media-ized
- take care of your room, it reflects your mind
- diffuse a difficult person with kindness; it works every.single.time.
- learn to cook simple dishes
- less clothing is better
- saving your money is addictive and worth your while
- collect memories
- express exactly how you feel, but do it kindly (see #3)
- no one cares how smart you are until you use that smart for something good
- don't be proud in how much you know; everyone is a novice sometime in their life
- never stop learning
- drink water everyday (!!!)
- lean not on your own understanding

(photo by D.Pilic)



Happy New Year! We've made it! Hope your New Years was enjoyable no matter if you went to a party or stayed at home and ate a whole Hawaiian pizza while playing Mario Maker. I got together with a few friends and had a great time.

What I really want to ask though is how do you feel about NY resolutions? Are you a steadfast rule keeper, do you bend them slightly, do you forgo them altogether come February?

Apparently, in the US, 45% of Americans make resolutions with 47% of those being self improvement related, but only 8% of those people are successful in keeping their resolution. Eek! I'm sure this isn't far off in Canada.

That means almost all of the people who made a resolution this past week won't be able to keep it going past a few months.

And you know what, that might look like failure on paper, but that's ok I think.

Not in the sense that it's ok these people are failures and that it's cool and trendy to make big claims and fail, or that you or I couldn't hold on to our ideal selves and so bahumbug! to resolutions.

Instead I think just like any change, it takes time and patience and practice and effort. And it's easy to make unrealistic resolutions amidst all the pomp and circumstance of the new year season and end up really failing hard. That's ok. You can try again.

If you decided to practice more writing this new year and have only written two little paragraphs all January, don't worry.  That's two more than last year and better you write two more slowly than 100 bad paragraphs that amount to nothing for you. Or you wanted to practice yoga and it took 4 days to do one video. That's ok.

We can start fresh every single day, that's the beauty of redemption. It's overflowing.

I'll admit i'm not a fan of New Year's Resolutions. If I feel I want to change something I'll start the process right away no matter the day or moment.

So for whatever you decided to change (or not to) if you take a while getting the wheels going don't worry, you can always start fresh and try again tomorrow.

Accept where you are and go from there.