The Upside to Confinement

Who would have thought it would come to this?  And now we are all in it together- even though we must keep apart.  Can it be that this confinement due to Covid-19 can actually bring us back to a newfound quality-time? We shall not be defeated!

Here are some ideas for how this Montreal girl spends her time:

  • Exercise. It doesn’t have to be something too strenuous (unless you want it to be).   I started taking long walks on a more regular basis.  This helps with the cabin fever and to refresh my mind.  Try taking a different route than usual and start observing the nature around you with more intent- it’s beautiful. Or- my favourite…dance to some 80’s fab music!
  • Cooking! Oh how cooking releases my stress, I can’t say enough about this!  Comfort food and the whole process- I’m loving it.  Why not cook up a recipe that you’ve been dying to make?
Check out the Highlights over at my Instgram feed @lucybertoldi under Yummy and Yummy 2 for tasty recipes
  • Start journaling.  This can be in written form, art, or other.  I make art.  Can anything be more cathartic?  The whole creative process keeps you in the moment (which weirdly enough makes time fly!).  I do mixed media art on canvas but also a lot of journaling.  If you’re interested on seeing more just head on over to my Instagram: @mtl.diva.art

Art heals

  • Meditate- keep your faith.  In the same lines with journaling or making art- try some meditating.  For some this could be in form of prayer, yoga, or whatever other form you get into.  This helps us refocus, regenerate and ultimately brings us inner strength- leading to hope and positivity!
  • DIY’s and projects!  Why not work on some of the things that always get set aside because of no time- can’t use that excuse right now!  Revamp your stuff and feel a self of renewal and accomplishment.  This is probably my favourite thing to do lol!  But projects can also be cleaning out something (like your closet!) …which btw, can also be cathartic!!
  • Sit down with a good book you’ve been longing to read! A bit of quiet time to indulge in the topics you want to learn more about.  Researching new things can be so much fun to help open your horizon for your present job, career, sport or hobby.
Adorned in Dreams, by Elizabeth Wilson is a fashion historian’s dream for real.

Click on link below to watch a clip of my review of Illustration Now! Fashion by, Julius Wiedermann Taschen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2dP8zuPSHI&feature=youtu.be
  • On these same lines, on your own (or with those you’re cooped up with!)- maybe watch a movie (or finish a Netflix series- or start one!) And why not play a game of sorts: cards, monopoly, backgammon…
  • Pamper yourself.  Take the time to finally indulge (without a darn schedule to follow!).  I think I will finally start trying those 12 different masks I have piling up in my try and review bin!
  • Heart-to-heart time with those you love (at home with you- or through Skype, messenger…). What better time to tell those you love how much you care for them?  This could be a good time for those talks you’ve been setting aside for ‘the right time’.
  • Lastly, try to remain positive, thankful and appreciative.  So difficult to do- but certainly doable!  Look at all the positive things you can actually do within this confinement period.  We’ve been geared up to always be on the go-go-go that we’ve forgotten how to stop, be still and appreciate.  Maybe a forced situation such as this one, just maybe, can bring light upon the things that are good around us.  For once we don’t have to say: I don’t have time.

#Confessionoftheday: Reminding myself that the sun always rises. Working hard on not letting anyone or anything take away my joy. A constant battle well worth the fight.

Stay Safe

10 Reasons Why Montreal Women Look So Stylish

Don’t want to brag here…but there is some truth to what you’ve probably already heard…Montreal ladies have great style.  I honestly don’t think it’s an overworked or overdone thing on our part.  What is certain though is that we want to look fabulous…all the time.

People always comment on how they Love Montreal fashion. I hear it all the time; whether it’s while at work (tourists from the rest of Canada or the US- and Europe…).  And, when I’m the one traveling in the rest of Canada- I feel the stares!  Is it that we are over-dressed?  Or do we really look that different (style-wise)?  Even on a regular dressed-down day, people visiting me have commented and asked:  How is it that women here always look so put together? Uhmm…what?!  Well, ok, we’ll take it…but hey, we know when we’re not looking our best (who knew that wasn’t so bad at all to some on the outside loll!).

When I used to work as Fashion Stylist for the largest department store here in Montreal, it was mandatory that I assist all the Product Knowledge sessions with reps from the different clothing lines.  It struck me that they would ALL say that the orders shipped out to Montreal were different form the rest of Canada!  How so?

Montreal orders were made up of more outlandish colours, patterns and styles.  Nothing was standard.  We were not so big on neutrals- unless they were staple high quality items (or black!); otherwise for the trendier, evening, cocktail and even work attire:  unique colours, patterns and styles came here first and always did better in sales.  Montreal women wanted originality in their wardrobes.  They wanted to stand out fashionably.  And- this was also true for cosmetics, skincare, nails, hair and accessories.

One day I just might do an in-depth study on this.  But right now, purely for your interest, I’ll just go with my personal and professional Styling experience to give you an ‘in’ on what, I guess you could say, sets us apart.  Here goes!

  • Fashion Does Not equal Style- We have a very discerning eye for detail. Two women can buy the exact same top or dress and wear it in completely different ways (just because we’re thinking that the last thing we want is to bump into someone who’s wearing the same clothes), so we need to change it up (think accessories, make-up or hairdo).  The way we style it will make all the difference.  So we don’t care as much for the fashion as we do for the style and in the details.
  • We don’t buy something just because it’s designer or prestigious. We buy because it looks amazing on us (whether it’s an evening gown or basic underwear!).  We are not defined by labels.  In fact, we avoid them as much as possible unless it’s  a plus factor (ethical, local…) to something that already looks terrific.
  • We Don’t shop for our age. We shop for the look that best represents how we feel and that we want to portray.  We emphasize our assets without hiding what we like least.  So, what ends up happening is that, that which we like least, becomes completely unnoticeable.
  • The outlet we shop from is of no importance to us. The piece of clothing that we fall in love with (coz that’s what usually happens with us- more on that in the next point) So-It can be found in designer boutique, retail chain, second-hand shops, vintage, thrift, passed-me down, while traveling, or sometimes, online.  Brand loyalty is not necessarily a thing with us- unless you nail it for us every time.  We are a challenge for designers and businesses alike.  Heads up:  Give us a reason to stay.
  • When we purchase- it’s because we are completely in love with it- Price is the least of the determining factors. Meaning:  if we leave the place without it, we know we will regret it.  We will obsess about it.  We will go back and get it. (And when price really is the road block, we will hunt for something similar to pull off the look in mind!).
  • Montreal women actually wear what they shop. Whether this is an outrageous colour or out of the ordinary pattern- if we bought it, means we loved it- so we’re wearing it.  We keep our stuff – think quality- think sustainable here.
  • There’s no such thing as spending too much on hair, skincare, cosmetics, NAILS. Montreal women know that if those aren’t put together, you can wear Chanel and look like hell.  Hair is our Number One accessory.
  • Montreal women don’t wait on each other to start a trend. First one to wear it gets the applause.  You wanna be that girl.  And from there, we edge our sisters on to go ahead and take the look a step further in their own way! It’s all about originality and that Ahh! effect.
  • You can never be too overdressed or be wearing too much makeup- or your hair overdone. Why?  Well because even if it takes you tons of products to achieve one look, it’s got to turn out looking effortless and on-point.  So that could never look overdone (even if your daily look is a dramatic smokey eye with statement black eyeliner).  Enjoy!
  • We mean what we wear. Purpose is key.  Styling is intentional.  The intention for how we’ll wear the item was set the day we got it, even if things might change along the way.  We wear the clothes- they don’t wear us.  We own our style and feel comfortable in whatever setting we choose to wear it.  I think this last point is key: We just do our own thing!  I think you’ll recognize that in our stride😉

So that was the scoop, ladies!  So what do you think?  Is this stylish Montreal women really a thing? Do you recognize these traits in Montreal Women?  How do you approach style?  And- if you are a Montreal Woman, how accurate is this for you?

You just know- I gotta know loll!

Here’s a short clip of my look the other evening for a friendly going-away party at a restaurant. If you like the look- you can also follow me on the liketoknow.it app. http://www.liketoknow.it/lucybertoldi

#Confessionoftheday: Montreal women love fashion- in fact we Adore following the trends via runways, magazines- you name it.  We’re just Big on adapting and somewhat reinventing it!

Fashionable DIY Styling- A Must!

Shopping scenario…

Me:  “Wow…do you know in how many ways I could transform this outfit?”

My husband: “Why do you always have to do that? Can’t you just buy the thing and just wear it as is?

Me: “Why would I do that?  It would just look like everybody else’s who’s buying this same outfit.  No.”

Husband: “OK but if you don’t like it the way it is now- why buy it in the first place?

Me:  “Well I love the fabric, the color, the fit and all the possibilities! I just don’t like the length, the collar, the sleeves…oh and maybe I’d change the buttons too.

Husband rolls his eyes:  “Here we go again…

This is typical for me when it comes to shopping or styling!  And even if I don’t transform it- I end up wearing the garment in the least imaginable way it was meant to be worn!

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You might be wondering why don’t I just go out there and buy some fabric and create from scratch?  Well…I really love transforming garments- DIY’s are my thing.  Now, there’s a more important aspect to all this madness.  I strongly believe that we can all do our part in Sustainability- and if that means conserving, refashioning, re-purposing, recreating, thrifting, swapping and DIY- I’m there!

And this is a definite trend my Darlings!  I was especially thrilled with the recent Margiella show for Fall 2020- whose Designer, John Galliano created a new line: Recicla.

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He is upcycling and restoring and basically DIYing older collections and also creating from recycled materials, Vintage and second hand!  He, and I quote, called it “Restorative”  See article and slideshow Here.  Fast fashion is getting the boot.

I get it and I’m so on board.  Creating is everything, and for me art and fashion are one.  So I see styling as the natural consequence of both art and fashion.   ‘Styling it My Way’, here I come!  Don’t be afraid to try it.  You’ll get such a sense of satisfaction knowing that you’ve created something tailor-made and that’s also good for the planet.

Don’t know how to sew?  No problem- most stuff you can get away with just cropping- or even better; just glue it!  I honestly think that Fabri- Tac glue is the invention of the century lol!  Use it for hems, pleats, putting together seams and so much more.

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You’re no expert?  We all think that.  The trick is to just start slowly and watch lots of YouTube videos to get ideas and inspiration.  And, you can always contact me as well- I’ll gladly support you and show you what I can.  This re-fashioning thing is really earning momentum.  In fact, I can say that I’ve converted a good percentage of my clients into letting me re-style, re-fashion or re-purpose their wardrobe.  It feels great- looks new and costs so much less than anything they purchase new.  I’d probably have them transform it anyway!  Oh- and do I mention once again how good it is for the planet to conserve rather than dispose?

In another post I’ll share how thrifting is the other part of this DIY equation.  But for now, let me just show you a few of my own fashion DIY’s.

The time I changed the buttons and added leatherette sleeves to my jacket (plus a belt!):

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This too short, too tight dress

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 turned into these two tops:

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I added ruffles to these pants which were not long enough:

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These sleeves were too tight and so uncomfortable- so I added a strip of leftover black knit fabric:

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I removed this skirt’s lining and transformed it into 3 different wearable outfits:

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I slit the hems of these pants and added a ruffled fabric right off the collar of a jacket I’m gonna re-purpose later;)

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And the Kimono I created!  Without sewing- not one stitch!

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Check out my two clips below to catch a glimpse of how I did this.  You can see more by going to my Instagram feed @lucybertoldi and look at my DIY highlight.

#Confessionoftheday: I’m warning you…this is highly addictive.

Are You Dopamine Dressing?

A few years ago I stumbled upon this amazing article on Dopamine dressing.  But it wasn’t until recently that I was reminded of it after seeing two Instagram bloggers I follow (@alwaysafashionparade and @girlwithbellsandwhistles ) bring up this topic.

So here I am wanting to share this with you ladies as well!  Basically, dopamine dressing or styling is all about how clothes make you feel- and in this case- mostly in a happy way.  There’s a lot of research on how wearing color can boost your mood and why it is that we choose certain colors over others.

In the case of dopamine dressing, it’s all about how good, lucky, hopeful (you get the gist) you feel when you wear a certain outfit (hence the superstitious wear of the lucky this-or that).  But there’s clear evidence that the clothes you wear can have a certain effect on your mood.  I wouldn’t limit this happy feeling to only wearing colorful clothing though…as some of us can be flying high just by wearing black!

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So it’s really about yourself and the importance you place on particular pieces from your closet.  In fact, it may also be the reaction you get from others when seeing you dressed in a certain attire.  Take for instance some feisty logo on a tee you love to wear…when you’re walking around you don’t necessarily focus on that logo, right? But it can be the smile that lights up the person who crosses your path that has you smiling right back at them.  And, there’s nothing like a smile to change your mood.

Which leads me to asking; who doesn’t want a feel good hormone in their life?  If it’s as easy as just getting dressed up for happiness, then why not give this a try?  Take a good look at what’s in your closet- guaranteed you’ll find special moment outfits (good or bad); lucky sweaters; first date shoes; promotion dress…

Lastly, when you’re out shopping, let this be a new determining factor for purchase.  Ask yourself not only how good you look in it- but also, how does it make you feel? Do you feel comfortable?  Does it make you feel glamorous, artistic, young (fill in the blanks for what you aspire)…and ultimately- does it make you feel happy?

Sometimes it’s good not to over-analyze and just go with the feel.  It may probably turn out that these are the pieces that will live the longest in your closet (and in your life!).

#Confessionoftheday: Was my all-time dreary mood all of January’s fault?  Come to think of it…I did very little dopamine dressing.  Hmm, time to change things up for February!

Dopamine dressing 1

For more outfit ideas and inspiration, be sure to follow me on Instagram: @lucybertoldi

Why (not ‘What’) Are You Wearing…?

Doors are symbolic to me.  Whether it’s in real life or in dreams, I always get some sort of message or feeling when I see doors.  I took this photo several weeks ago and yet it only speaks to me today.  New beginnings, new things, are coming my way.  Like we’ve heard before; when one door closes- another one opens.

So today, this is still a styling post, but with much more meaning to it.  I’m to let what has passed, be at rest and in peace…and look ahead to what more, life has to offer.  I’m to not look behind in grief, but rather be graciously thankful for that past that is now allowing me to go forward.

I wasn’t thinking such thoughts when I took this picture; it’s only now that I was browsing through which pics to post, that it spoke to me this way.  Grieving is a personal process, but when you feel you get a strong message that you alone can interpret, then it’s something real that you can’t just set aside.

My message came in strong for me and I just love the way this pic has such a ready-to-go feel.  It’s a happy and ready photo.  Styling is a passion and so is fashion- but it is way for me.  There’s always something behind what you choose to wear and what pics you choose to post.  I really believe styling up is a creative outlet and a form of expression.

Today I encourage you to look back at some of your photos and see what you can read from them just by how you styled up your outfit- or where the pic was taken.  Everything is pre-conceived; even when you just throw on ‘any old thing’.  It has meaning- and basically, by wearing; you’re expressing.

Which outfit styling photos of yours speak out to you?

#confessionoftheday: My dad (95), who recently passed away during the holidays this year, would not want me to put my life on hold.  He would want me to move forward and lunge…after all, it’s from him that I’ve inherited my strong will and perseverance.  Thanks Papa.

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I support sustainable fashion and wearing and re-styling what’s already in your closet;  Thrifted vintage Givenchy.

Leave a Trail and Make your Mark: A word about Fragrance…

Don’t be a prey…Leave a trace of your scent…not for them to track you down; but for them to follow the leader -Lucy Bertoldi   (Did I just write that? I love it! Repeat this and Tag me!)  

Nothing can leave more of a lasting impression than a woman’s fragrance. Your signature fragrance is an extension of yourself- as much as the way you carry yourself the tone of your voice, the way you dress, the way you smile or stare.  So it’s important to get this right since you only get one chance to make a first (or lasting) impression.

IMG_1299_Facetune_23-03-2019-17-58-43( Me about to start to start my shift- ready to make a good impression lol!)

And when you find that one fragrance that works for you, you’ll notice how those around you will also love the way you smell and will also tell you they know it’s you just by the trace you leave.  Scent is a powerful thing.  It can bring back memories, transport you and even make you feel a certain way depending on the circumstance.  Choose your fragrance well.

Since I am also in the Fragrance world as part of my work, I often  hear women tell me they want to try something new because they can’t smell their fragrance anymore.  This is normal!  When a fragrance suits you, it becomes part of you.  Your subconscious registers it and it no longer needs to constantly recognise it!  Trust that what you loved still smells wonderful.  It’s only when you can actually smell it and you find the scent different and unpleasant that you should reconsider.

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But, as women, we are entitled to our choices (and to change our mind as we please) -so I know many of us like to try different perfumes and that’s ok! Since we do feel differently depending on seasons, times of our lives, hormones- name it.  Yet, I’m convinced that when you’ve found the One, you always somehow find your way back.  It’s a feeling.

Personally,  I have my One-go-to, and I stick to the brand but often change it up depending on the seasons or occasions- but they are all from the same Maison.  For those who know me, it’s no surprise that I’m a loyal Chanel girl.  I find it so much easier to switch it up within the line.  After all,  the compositions are based on similar notes and florals- so I’m naturally attracted.

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If you are on the hunt for your personal signature fragrance, try looking within the same line you already are accustomed to buying,  More often than not, you will be sure to find a fragrance that  varies while still remaining pleasurable and exciting to you.

What’s your favourite fragrance?  How do you switch it up?

#confessionoftheday: I often spray two different Chanel fragrances to create my very own personal signature. (Did you know you can do that with Chanel fragrances? Yes you can!)

Part 2 of Your Life… Are You an Empty Nester?

Middleage Divas…Welcome to Part 2 of your life. This is what I call the part of life where almost all the kids have grown and have either moved out for school, or to be on their own, or for marriage…

I’m not quite the empty nester yet; my eldest daughters got married last year but since I still have 3 kids at home, the next two are seemingly very close to leaving the nest. So, the exiting part I’m kinda getting used to, or rather expecting. And perhaps I’m not quite phased about this because I never really imagined my husband and I ever being on our own.

With 5 children, there’s always been a full house. And, the fact that we had our last at 40, I simply never even thought about living in an ‘empty’ house. It often feels like that little one will be with us forever. So, my darlings, the real thing I never even thought about or imagined was…being an empty nester.

Where has time flown? My youngest is still only 17. And by the time she moves out, I’ll probably be at the grandma stage from at least one of my four other children. But this one is my baby. So this is what is drumming on my mind and soul- when she leaves the house one day- that will truly be the end of this act for me.

Did I think she would be a baby forever? Yes I did. Of course she’s not leaving anytime soon- but still, I don’t think I’ll ever be prepared. This one has been around for my better part of my parenting years. I love all my children equally, yet sometimes I feel I was granted a second chance to do things a bit different. With my first four – all were very close in age, and I was much younger myself. Life was more hectic and what I did for one, I did for all. With my last, she had the stage pretty much to herself. Maybe she had it a bit easier and better- Not that she would agree of course…when you’re 17 you don’t realize any of this. So right now I feel quite grateful that I still have a few more years of this fantastic time. But I know it won’t be for long…

It’s all bittersweet and part of life. So as I realize this, I find it all the more important that women over 50 find something meaningful to call their own. Personally I don’t believe I’ll ever find anything more important than the raising of my kids; the citizens of tomorrow’s world. And yet! Maybe this is the time to rethink our paths. All that devotion and care taking took first place and consequently, many of our personal passions we learned to simply forget or closet away somewhere.

Today, I do feel wiser, more assertive, more spiritual, more carefree and more accepting of myself. I like to believe that all those years of mothering paved the way for this. This is the new me. Darlings, there’s so much we put on the back-burner (because of love and devotion!)- And now we get a second chance! So let’s get out there and live our dreams – big or small- the time is right! And that’s the best part…TIME- we finally have some! So, take up a course, catch up on your reading, make art, travel, start up a business, volunteer, exercise, become a chef- the sky’s the limit!

And, dear Darlings, if like me, you still have a young one at a home, then all the more reason for getting a start in planning ahead. Hopefully, by being prepared, when we hug and kiss her as we send her off one day, that dreadful lump we fear so much will be that much easier to swallow. It might just help make things seem a little less empty. We can do this. Let nothing or no one stop you. Remember: If God is for us, who can be against us? Rom.8:31

#confessionoftheday: letting go is the hardest part for my mommy heart

 

Are you an Empty Nester yet? If not…are you prepared?

Over 50? Dressing Up For Winter Goes For Your Skin Too..

So you’re bundling up for the cold. Mitts, hat and scarf, heavy coat, boots- all set…but what about your skin? Are you preparing your gorgeous face for our cold winters? Moisturizing and prepping is most important at any age but even more so in your 50’s and up. By middle age our skin loses it’s souplesse, hydration and resistance to harsh temperatures, the sun and pollution. Time to protect my Darlings!

Because you’ve asked- I deliver! Here’s my skincare regimen that I am completely devoted to:

Mornings:

1-Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam. This adds such radiance to my skin.

2-La Lotion by Supreme- Sublimage by Chanel. Restores my Ph balance and honestly feels like a gentle layer of pre-hydration.

3-Shiseido Ultimume Power Infusing Concentrate. This one I cannot live without. It’s a pre-serum that prepares my skin to literally soak up the following serums and creams I apply. It seems to activate them to work even more effectively.

4- Le Lift Firming- Anti-Wrinkle Serum. Because I am a firm believer of the technology and research behind this product. I see the firmness results and I love it. (Shiseido’s Future Solution X is also a contender- although I’ve only used a sample and loved it!! But at 200$ more than Le Lift…they’ll have to really convince me it’s that much better than Chanel’s).

5- Hydrabeauty Serum by Chanel. Because I need that extra layer of penetrating hydration! Keeping me moist and dewy all day long.

6- Finally my moisturizer: I ALTERNATE between Sublimage La Creme / Le Lift Smoothing and Firming Rich cream/ or Shiseido Bio Performance Liftdynamic Cream. But, truth be told, Sublimage is the ultimate in moisturizing for me. It works on all areas needed. I love the feel and the way makeup applies so well after this cream.

Le Lift is my go to when I need that extra targeted pick-me-up in terms of firmness and wrinkle control.

And Shiseido’s Bio Performance is so rich that this one is a total indulgence for me when I want another layer of luscious creamy protection.

For my eyes:

1- Shiseido Ultimume Power Infusing Eye Concentrate

2- Sublimage La Creme Yeux

AND, just before applying my makeup: Sunscreen of course! I can easily become a creature of habit…and that’s what’s happened with this sunscreen- been using it forever!! Clinique!

Nighttime Routine:

1-Bioderma eau micellaire– To remove my makeup (French Divas swear by this- and so do I!)

2-La Mousse Crème Nettoyante, Chanel; A deliciously foamy yet gentle face wash.

Then I proceed with Step 2 and 3 of my morning routine

3- And now for my Favourite Serum in the world: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair.

4- Shiseido’s Benefiance Wrinkle Resist24 Night Emulsion. I love the feel of this moisturizer/ Lotion!!

Eyes:

Again: Sublimage Creme Yeux

I also dabble with other sample creams and I love masks as well. But the only mask I truly adore- and will indulge in about once a week (maybe more in the winter): Sublimage Masque.. It just feels like an extra loaded moisturizer. I sleep with it and feel gorgeous in the morning.

This may sound extensive, but it actually only takes me about 10 to 15 min at MOST. And with another 10 min of makeup…I’m done! What’s that L’Oreal commercial…Because I’m worth it!

What is your Skincare routine?  

#Confessionoftheday: Boy am I thankful$$$$ I work in the beauty industry and that my youngest works for Pharmaprix!!

The Unfashionable Side of Christmas…

Has the Christmas hustle and bustle caught up with you yet- or are you ready and as cool as can be? I think that organisation is key, that’s for sure. But more than that, is to have a serene and organised state of mind.  To be at peace that “all is well”.

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For years I’ve always regretted missing out on the true spirit and fun of Christmas due to over-fussing and detailing everything…it kinda took the whole joy out of the season. In fact, it came to be that right about November my anxiety level would go up. I stressed right up to Christmas Eve. And then, like every other year before that, by Christmas morning I felt a huge sense of relief and that’s when I started enjoying myself. I didn’t like this pattern. AT ALL.

Why did it have to be that way? I mean with so many Christmas parties, get-togethers and festivities around me-all fun stuff-so, why the anxiety? It all boiled down to preparations and the fear of forgetting something or just not getting it all done on time. And after all had passed I regretted the fact that I had missed out on so much due to all of the anxiety.

Well since then, I’ve changed a few things. My way of shopping has been reduced and narrowed down to Black Friday week. I’ve swallowed the pill that if I’m gonna be amongst a hectic crowd to shop, it may as well be way before Christmas- and done!

As far as food preparations go; My list is done a couple of weeks ahead and one week prior, the groceries get done. I start cooking a few side dishes 2 days before up until the very day. And my table is also set a few days before. Done. Ahhh! All this spread out organisation helps me breathe and gives me time to enjoy the Christmas season and what it’s really about.

Through better organisation, I’ve understood that Christmas is not about giving in the whole material kind of way. I’ve known this forever I think…but when have I really given it much thought? Giving means giving of oneself- and that my darlings means to offer your time and love to those you care about. Taking that extra time to sit and talk, to celebrate and yes, give thanks.

Had I forgotten the real reason why my family and I celebrate this time of year? It’s a special festivity that was given to me by my faith. Yes, that’s a very unfashionable thing to say these days- but it’s just the way it is. I didn’t write history… Christmas was given to us through the birth of Jesus. It’s because of Him and through Him that all this began. So why all the anxiety?

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Because honestly, we slowly shut out our faith by giving it less and less time. It just all became about “stuff” and more “stuff”. Don’t get me wrong! I love the glitz and glamour that all the festivities bring. And I’ll be the first to try to set a top notch dinner table and dress up the house (and let’s not forget my wardrobe for this time of year darlings!). But, all that is but a side note to the real deal.

I’ve grown of the mindset and heart that I’m doing it in someone’s honour; while I help keep tradition alive. I’m preparing a big hearty feast fit for a King, for my family and I, to celebrate Christ’s birthday. After all that He’s given us- this is the least I can do! This has given it such a deeper meaning for me. With this comes the realisation of the importance to keep my family rooted to our faith. I’m pretty sure all this has to do with the fact that I am getting older- and that one day soon I hope to have grandchildren. And with that, I believe it is my duty to teach them about our faith and traditions. Otherwise, what is the point to Christmas?

If there is no deeper meaning to Christmas; just non-stop spending…who are we doing it for? Just to make the economy roll? I doubt this is the key to happiness and fulfilment- and the spirit of love and giving for that matter. (Just look at people’s faces and attitude next time you’re in a mall during the holiday season). No, I’ve decided that for my life, it’s gonna be different.

Organisation early on is key if you want to make time for volunteering, maybe going to a Christmas concert, or choir, and Church Services…certainly beneficial is some breathing time to pray and give thanks (call it meditating if you want!). Personally I’m really looking forward to visiting and receiving…And of course- precious time with the famiglia! It may not be the way for you- but for me, this is what I choose. I’m content and fulfilled with keeping my faith first especially during this time of year.

On that note my darlings, I pray you keep the faith and have yourself a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays- hoping yours are filled with much love, health and joy!

Oh! And of course, once you’ve made time for the real deep down important stuff, please do take the time to be ever so fashionable during this Merry time!

Blessings!

#confessionoftheday: so what if some of the laundry stays bunched up in the dryer for awhile…at least it’s out of sight.

IMG_20181217_191756A.M.D.G.

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