Thursday

A Makeup Confession - Help!

 
  

I have a confession.

 
An embarrassing truth about myself.
 
 
Are you ready?
 
 
I have never gone beyond the drugstore to purchase skin care products or makeup, ever in my whole entire life. There, I said it.
 
 
The makeup that fills the Huggies Baby Wipe container on my vanity consists of drugstore products, and drugstore products only.You heard me right. My concealers, blush, bronzer and mascara which cost me a whopping $10 or less is kept in a recycled baby wipe container. Can you say glamorous? I'm not saying these products are shit, it's just that within a few hours of wear, I feel the need to reapply and I think I can do better than that.


I am writing this post because it's time I spread my wings and fly away from Shoppers Drugmart. It's time I see what professional, promising products are out there, and it's time I spend a little more money on myself. I am worth it. I deserve it. 
 
 
Here's the deal. It's September and as much as I love this time of year, it means my beachy blonde hair has lost it's shine and my tan is fading by the minute. I once thought the answer to end-of-summer depressies was visiting my hair stylist for a new cut and color, but not long after the drastic makeover I realize I made a mistake. It's not my hair I need to change, it's my face!The new cut and color may have been nice for the first couple of weeks, but my skin is still dull and I look tired 100% of the time, even with makeup.
 
 
Without makeup? Let's not even go there.
 
 
"Are you feeling sick, hunny?"
 
"I'm fine, just not wearing any makeup."


So before I'm out with the old and in with the new, I'd like to hear from you.
 
  
Where do you buy your makeup? What products do you consider splurge worthy? I booked a consultation and application with Sephora. Good choice? I honestly wouldn't know. I'm hoping to leave Sephora with a few basics that give me the look I want from the moment I apply it, until the moment I wipe it off. I need a lesson on appropriate colors, the proper order in which to apply each product, and what brushes to use. I have a lot of ground to cover, I don't even know how to contour or create a smokey eye. Come to think of it, I can't tell you the last time I wore eye shadow.

Should I consider lightening my brows?  With my hair a natural medium blonde and my brows almost black, lightening my brows has always been tempting. Would it soften my face? Would my hair color appear more natural? I'm scared, and dying my hair a darker shade is not an option right now.


Do you follow any makeup tutorial blogs? Product reviews and application tutorials, link me to some of your favorites!


XO


Stay tuned for my Sephora experience and makeup haul.
 
 
 

Tuesday

Goodnight Moon



The head of our bed fits perfectly in the bay window of our ground level bedroom, and I'm lying on my belly looking out at the night. The windows on each side of me are open and the breeze is cool and refreshing on my face, reminding me that summer is almost over. I don't mind.
I close my eyes to inhale a deep breath of the fresh air and I feel as though I am outside, unprotected by these four walls. The hair on my arms stand with a chill as I feel a sense of vulnerability and fear, fear that maybe I am too close, too exposed. Only one large pane of glass and two window screens separate me from the wild animals that are lurking beyond the tree line and the dark mysterious woods.
Then suddenly my warmth returns with a sense of calm. I am safe here. I am safe with him.
To my right, my husband is sleeping, unaware of my current state of awe. His chest rises and falls, rises and falls, and I take a second to thank God for him.
The mattress supports our bodies as they sink deeper and deeper into relaxation preparing for a nights rest, and the covers are weightless but warm, softly shielding us from the cool September night.
There isn't a cloud in sight.
The sky is an odd, unfamiliar shade of blue. It's bright, despite the time, and the stars are sparkling like diamonds as far as the eye can see.
The light of the Harvest moon brightens the long dirt road below that would otherwise be dark and uninviting, but there are no cars to travel it anymore tonight. It's too late. I am the only one awake.
The trees are still as the breeze is so gentle it can't shake them.
The rolling hills in the distance are black like perfectly painted silhouettes on a blue canvas.
There isn't a noise to be heard, not a peep, not a squeak or a howl. It's like we're the only ones left on this earth, and I'm not at all afraid.
I am ready to close my eyes and dream...

Rachel Emmilee

Friday

 

I never minded the end of summer. I have always looked forward to it, actually. Clearly it's not my favorite season. As a young girl when the days were getting shorter and the breeze was getting cooler, most people were taking advantage of those last few beach days while I was happily preparing myself for the start of a new school year. After a free flowing summer I welcomed structure, deadlines and routine. I loved the feeling of a fresh start, being in a new classroom with a new teacher, having new subjects to study and crisp, untouched notepads. Was there anything better than writing on the first page of a brand new notepad? I'd buy new school supplies and organize it all neatly in my backpack, I'd color code my day planner with new highlighters, and I would make a list of things to do differently to have a better year than the last. I'd even get a new hair cut.

I'm in my late twenties now and not much has changed. Although I'm not going back to school in September, I am still anxiously awaiting the end of August for the much needed change of pace. I already have my list of goals set, although many of them are from last years list that were never crossed off. I'm already searching for the perfect dark brown to dye my hair, and I'm pinning exercise routines that I'll enjoy doing because it's no longer blistering hot outside. I'm looking forward to conferences and workshops that will keep me motivated and more involved at work, and at the end of my week having plenty of time to relax so I can go back to work feeling rested. To spend a Saturday baking, to have time to put my heart and soul into a fabulous meal for my husband, to sip a cup of tea under a blanket as a fire cracks in the stove... I am so excited.
 
 
Are you ready for the leaves to fall, or do you wish summer could last forever?
 
 
Rachel Emmilee

Thursday




Around this time of year, many of our friends and family come from away to take in the beauty and excitement our little town has to offer. They are home for a limited time, so the pressure is on to see everyone and spend quality time with them. I dare say, the rush is on. Our community festival has come and gone and for seven straight days there was never a dull moment. But festival or not, this time of year is when our Tuesday nights are just as exciting as a Saturday, when Keith's Light are our main source of hydration and when there's no such thing as dinner for two. This is when our only time spent at home is when we're scrambling to prepare for company, scrambling to get out the door again, or falling into bed after a long night out.
 
It's all good, right? I can't complain, or at least I shouldn't. I love meeting my friends on the beach and having reasons to dress up and get out of the house. After all, it was a long cold winter here on Cape Breton and I can recall crying for days when the sun would shine and we'd have lots to do, and two or three episodes of Big Brother waiting for a rainy day.

Well, that time has finally come and I have to admit it's hard to keep up. Between juggling places to be and people to see, late nights and early mornings, I neglect some things that are really important. I neglect myself, I skimp on sleep, I choose wine over water and eat more junk food than real, wholesome food. I mean, if I eat another hamburger, hotdog or sausage I may turn into one. Too many times I've silenced the little voice inside my head that begged me to stay in, and I've gone out only to yawn in everyone's face and watch the clock for a good time to leave. I wake up tired with no energy to tackle the day or to put my best food forward at work, because yes, of course I still have to work. And finally, we come home to mow the lawn, pull weeds, water flowers and tidy the the deck furniture but fail to sit down and enjoy the view...
 
On Sunday, after a whirlwind of a week, we drew the curtains and blocked out the sun. We were worn out, sunburnt and dehydrated. We binged-watched Netflix in bed and took a break only to make homemade pancakes and go for a swim. I napped twice throughout the afternoon, and by 7:30pm I was out for the night. I realized at this rate, summer will be over and I'll be struggling to remember what we had done. How many meaningful conversations did I have without a thumping bass in the background? How many moments did I sink into my lawn chair and cherish my surroundings? How many books did I read? How often did I enjoy some alone time to write? So from now on, I have to slow down and re-evaluate what is important to me this summer. I  have a bucket list to tackle, and time is running out...

Rachel Emmilee
XO

Wednesday

"This media we call social is anything but, when we open our computers it's our doors we shut..."


 
This video was such an eye opener for me. I am so bad for clutching onto my phone for fear of missing a message or a notification. I scroll through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram more times a day than I can count. I have full conversations with friends through texts, when, with just a little effort I could be spending time with them and physically laughing out loud. I am always so anxious to share my pictures online rather than absorb the moment that I'm in. I put conversations on hold as I'm filtering, sharing and checking back for 'likes' as if it really matters that people know what I'm doing or where I am at. As if it really matters if they approve. My phone has found a place on my counter as I cook, near the table as we eat, and on my nightstand as I sleep.


I'm going to challenge myself to be less present in the social media world and more present in the real world. I have way too many books to read, too many places to be, too many things to see, and so many people in my life who deserve my undivided attention.
 
 
Yesterday I took a step in the right direction by putting my phone where I couldn't see or hear it as soon as I walked in the door. I was home with my husband and didn't need to be a part of the group texts or watch the snap chats that were blowing up my phone. I wasn't expecting it to be so extremely difficult to cut myself off from the friends who were trying to connect with me; for just those few hours between coming home from work and going to bed, I felt as though I was missing something. Maybe I'll just look at my phone real quick... I wonder what the girls are doing... What if something is wrong? This feeling only confirmed that I am way too dependant on that little device and I desperately need to get a grip, because surely, if there was anything wrong I wouldn't be informed by a snap chat.


I took it a step further today. I deleted the social media apps from my iPhone because I don't need to check Facebook, Twitter or Instagram a hundred times throughout my work day, while I'm driving in the car with G, or when I'm meeting friends to hang out. I even asked G to do the same so I couldn't so easily get my fix using his phone, and I have yet to reply to the thirty-seven text messages I received last night. Thirty-seven messages and get this, not one of them was urgent or pertinent to my well-being.


I can't deny that I truly love how social media is a window into my life and the lives of friends and family near and far. It's connected me with people I'd never connect with otherwise, and it allows me to keep family and friends in the know. I can't deny that I truly love the random text messages I get from my husband throughout the day or the fact that just a few texts amongst friends can plan a date in less than five minutes. And yes, I'll admit to getting a certain thrill out of sharing a photo of an impressive meal I've created... But there needs to be balance, everything in moderation, right?


Going forward, taking baby steps, I'll keep my apps installed on my tablet only. This is limiting me to only having access in the evenings when I'm home in my WiFi zone. Hopefully, even then I won't feel the need to check in so often. As for my Blog, being that it's never consumed my time or energy to the point of neglecting anyone else, and being that it's my escape from routine, a therapeutic outlet to express myself and a tool that's helped me grow as a person, I don't feel it's something I need to part with. However, like everything else, I will sign in when I'm not taking time away from something or someone important. I'll find a place to set my phone when I'm home to relax, and I'll find other ways to cure boredom when I'm sitting in a waiting room or trying to fall asleep. I'll keep my phone in my purse on outings, and although I will still snap a few pictures, the new me won't make sharing those photos an immediate priority.


Ultimately, I don't want to be a dumb person using a smart phone. I want to learn, explore and grow as a person from experience. I want to connect with people and be present, and I want the same for my future children. I don't want them to miss out on opportunities to meet new people, experience something new or witness something special. I don't want to read the fifty ways to achieve happiness when I can figure it out myself.

All I have to do is look up.
 
 
Rachel Emmilee
XO

Celebrating 2 Years Married With...




sunshine * a trip to the city * day drinking * quality time with friends * waterfront hot dogs * late night ice cream * an afternoon spent picnicking on citadel hill * strolling along spring garden road * chocolate covered coffee beans * poutine * bbq * a relaxing massage * a king sized bed * patio drinks * coffee and word puzzles in bed * our first swim in the ocean this summer * a day spent on the beach * lots of love





Using Activated Charcoal To Whiten Teeth



If you came here looking for shocking before and after photos of my teeth, you'll be disappointed to learn that there aren't any. I didn't feel comfortable zooming up on my mouth and taking a photo prior to brushing let alone sharing it with the entire world, but believe me I did see results. What would I have to gain by lying?

I stumbled upon a link via Pinterest that said using Activated Charcoal can quickly and safely whiten your teeth. Curious, I dug a little deeper and found hundreds of before and after photos (most of which were modified beyond belief) and several testimonials that boast amazing results. See, I'm one of those gals who is constantly looking for ways to whiten my teeth at home. I've tried everything the drugstore could offer, like the whitening rinse, toothpastes, whitening strips and whitening mouth guard applications - not to mention umpteen home remedies. What I didn't try is giving up drinking coffee or red wine, so I'm not really doing myself any favours now am I?

So is Activated Charcoal and why will it whiten your teeth? Well, it's a substance that acts as a block against unwanted toxins by preventing them from absorbing into your system and eventually flushing them out. It's most commonly used to treat cases of poisonings and overdosing, and can reduce upset stomach and diarrhea. All those nasty unwanted toxins attract and bind to the charcoal instead of pumping through your bloodstream, and make their way out of your body. Most gas masks and water filters contain Activated Charcoal as do many beauty and teeth whitening products, and it can also draw out the sting or itch from a bug bite. It's said to whiten your nails if you work it into your manicure, and if that's not enough, it can treat pimples and other impurities if used in a face mask. Still not buying it? If it can filter the air, our water, and draw toxins and chemicals out of our body, why couldn't it do the same for our skin and teeth?

I had to see for myself. I followed the steps below and I'm happy to say, I absolutely saw a difference. My husband even noticed my teeth were brighter! I wouldn't go as far as saying my teeth are turbo white, but I can certainly see that surface stains from coffee and wine were brushed away and my mouth felt fresh and cleaner than ever before. I'd call that an effective teeth whitening method, wouldn't you?

Using Activated Charcoal To Whiten Your Teeth

  • Purchase a bottle of Activated Charcoal capsules at your Pharmacy or Natural Food Store. $18.
  • Floss your teeth.
  • Break 2-3 capsules on a clean surface, preferably in a disposable rinsing cup.
  • Wet your toothbrush and then dab it in the Activated Charcoal.
  • Gently brush for five minutes covering fronts, backs and sides of your teeth. Dip your brush often to get a good concentrated amount of charcoal in your mouth.
  • In this case, DO NOT SWALLOW. You can and should swish the charcoal and saliva around to cleanse your entire mouth, but we want those toxins out not in.
  • Don't be alarmed by the mess this will make on your sink, counter top and face. It will appear black and messy in your mouth and you will be tempted to rinse right away, but don't worry, it will not stain!
  • After five minutes of brushing, start to dilute with water by rinsing your brush and mouth several times.
  • Finally, apply toothpaste to your brush and brush like you regularly would until all traces of black disappear and your mouth is clean. This should take just a few minutes.
  • Repeat this process every few days or as often as you wish, as it is not harmful to your teeth or gums.
I hope you have the same results!

Rachel Emmilee
XO


*This is not guaranteed to work for all people. The effectiveness of this teeth whitening method depends greatly on the current health and state of your teeth. Seek professional guidance if you are concerned of risks involved with using Activated Charcoal, especially if you are pregnant or currently on antibiotics or medication.*

Summer 2014 - Bucket List


This past weekend while sipping cold Somersby Ciders and enjoying our view, I put together a summertime bucket list. I hope to tick each and every item off this list before the end of August, but if all I can manage to do is what you see in this picture, I'd be fine with that.
 
 
* Relax on the beach as often as possible. Pack a lunch, drink cold beers, listen to summer classics and soak up the sun.
 
* Eat and drink on a patio whenever there is an option to do so.
 
* Relax in a hammock.

* Try Sushi for the first time.
 
* Go camping with my girlfriends.
 
* Be a regular at our local Farmer's Market.
 
* Make my own iced coffee.
 
* Say yes to being outside, walking, exploring and relaxing with my feet up. On week days especially, I need to learn how to shake the tiredness I feel after work and remember that house work can wait...
 
* Go on a spontaneous road trip with G, no real plan of where we're going or what we're going to do, but time to do it.
 
* Play a game of soft ball.

* Take advantage of having a clothes line, get in the habit of hanging clothes out to dry.
 
* Watch the sun come up.
 
* Make a new friend.
 
* Spend an afternoon skipping and playing hopscotch with my niece, and teaching the kiddies fun games I used to play outside.
 
* Play a game of beach volleyball.
 
* Buy new sneakers and break them in.
 
* Spend the night in an open field, sleeping on the back of a truck with lots of pillows, blankets and citronella candles. Just me and G, a sky full of stars and our favorite playlist.
 
* Watch fireworks light up a night sky.

* Spend the day at Magic Cove (A local paradise)
 
* Hit up as many community festivals as possible.
 
* Stop at yard sales and flea markets.

* Plan a picnic.
 
* Skinny dip. You'd think this would be easy considering we own a pool, but believe it or not, I did not skinny dip once last year.
 
* Arrange a photo shoot with my hubby.
 
* Go hiking.

* Stand under a waterfall.
 

My List of Awesome

  • Looking through your basket of Tasimo discs for a coffee and just when you think you're all out, you flip a disc right side up and there it is. One last coffee.
  • When you eye an item in the grocery store you needed but forgot to put on your list.
  • Crawling into a perfectly made bed... Even better, a bed made with sheets and blankets fresh out of the dyer.
  • When your new Scentsy bars arrive in the mail.
  • When you open the dishwasher to unload the clean dishes but someone got there first.
  • When you enjoy a book so much that you flip back through the last few pages to make sure you didn't miss anything.
  • The day after you house clean when you can sit and relax and not feel overwhelmed with things that need to be done.
  • The few minutes in the morning when you can quietly admire the person sleeping next to you  before they wake up.
  • Being handed a cup of coffee just the way you like it, without even having to ask. 
  • ... Or being handed that cup of coffee before you can even get out of bed.
  • ... Or enjoying that cup of coffee in bed.
  • The feeling you get after you rearrange the furniture and d├ęcor in a room and like the new arrangement more than the old. 
  • Waking up knowing it's pay day.
  • When you get a notification from your eLibrary telling you the book you've been waiting to read is finally available for you to borrow.
  • The taste of a cold beer after you've worked hard outside.
  • ... Or the taste of a cold beer, period.
  • When you realize you have hours of your favorite TV shows recorded on your PVR. 
  • When your employer thanks you and tells you you're doing a good job.  
 
 
 

Friday

Married only two years and already having a problem in the bedroom...



In the early years of our relationship we always had a television in our bedroom. Together we either lived in a noisy city or a shared home, so the television not only drowned out unwanted noise, but more importantly (although I find it hard to understand) it helped G fall asleep. All of his life he had a television in his room and to this day he insists that listening to it distracts him from his busy mind and puts him to sleep. In those days, convinced there was no changing this weird lifelong habit of his, I learned to live with the noise and flashing lights in the wee hours of the night...

Then a couple of years ago I realized I needed to nip this issue in the bud. Not only was it beginning to drive me insane, but a television in the bedroom has proven to have negative affects on a marriage and I wanted no part of that. And so, I took matters into my own hands when we were given a fresh start in a new home by setting up our room without a television, making it as cozy and relaxing as possible. My hope was that a new space would mean new ways and believe it or not, it worked...

For an entire year our bedroom was a peaceful hideaway for sleeping, relaxing and of course the obvious. Like it should be, it was a quiet space where we were forced to pay attention to only each other and focus on rest. The sound of silence was beyond relaxing. The crickets, the thunder and rain, the howling animals in the distance... Who needs nature music when you live in the country? I finally got what I wanted and the surprising part of it all? G managed just fine. We could never, ever go back to the way things were...

Then one lazy Saturday morning, this idiot decided it would be fun to hook up the television for a one-day-only movie marathon in bed. Now fast forward a year... The damn television is still perched on top of our dresser and depriving me of a good night sleep! What was I thinking? I mean, who gives a recovering alcoholic a beer? He's right back to his old ways and I only have myself to blame!

In his defense it's not always on and it doesn't take away from the obvious... yet. But it sure does take away from my beauty sleep, and that's not going to fly with me much longer! It never fails that I'm waiting until he's snoring before I can turn everything off and finally relax. I feel I have tried everything. I have asked to have it removed from the room and I have preached that if he went without it before he can do it again. I've even threatened to remove it without warning, but knew that would only result in me dragging him off the couch every single night. I have tried ear plugs, and an eye mask and even a power off timer but nothing seems to work.

Help!
 
Can you offer any advice?