The Say Blog

Friday, October 28, 2016

What does beauty mean to me?

Two weeks ago I was asked if I would be part of a transformation within a transformation.

Let me clarify...

I have been through a massive life and body transformation.

This video highlights the inner transformation part of my story...
as well as an outer transformation.
Yes, a make-over!
A glamour shoot!
(do not confuse this with the kind of "glamour shots" you did at the mall in 1995)

"When people ask for my story, I wish I could rip my heart from my chest and hand it over. There's just so much. There's so many layers. So I share it bit by bit. Pieces of my heart, fractions of my story. All creating one beautiful life that is so flawed and yet so joy filled."

I truly spoke from the heart on this.
It was one take, answering questions and sharing what I felt I want my message to be about.




I hope you watch and enjoy it, and share it if you like, too!


VIDEO - Amotion Films
HAIR & MAKE-UP - Rachel Jones, B Pretty

Monday, April 25, 2016

What do you want others to read, when they read your story?

Those words, that question.

At church this week our pastor asked that question.

My pen was rapidly writing the question down so I could capture it before I lost it. It struck me to my core.

What DO I want others to read, when they read my story?

You see, as far as my public appearance goes, which in most cases can be social media, I share all the good things. I share funny moments, and positivity and accomplishments. 

Problem is, I've left a lot of blanks. I know you've noticed. I'm sorry.

I have a hard time when people write vague things, to engage attention or questions - for me that's not the case, it's just so much more than that. 
I'm not being vague without purpose - I have little ears that are listening, I have little eyes that are watching. I'm a mother, first and foremost.

The struggle lies in leaving blanks. People will want to write the story for you. They will want to assume, and fill in those blanks. I need to let them. It will pain me, I will scream inside, but I will let them, because it's not necessary to do otherwise. I would love to satisfy everyone with answers, and be the open book I always tend to be. However, my priority is not to appease others. My priority is to focus on GOOD. 

At the end of this life, my children, my loves, they will see and know a story. The story will be one of kindness and courageousness. It will be of triumph, and of faith. 
It will be of love. 

So let this be vague, let this be full of blanks. I'm not gonna worry about it, I'm gonna just let good things flow, let positivity reign.

photo credit - Summerlee Photography (@twosumms on IG)
lash extensions - Organic Tan Guelph (@organictanguelph on IG)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Makeup bag staples

When I was a pre-teen super awesome girl, my parents wouldn't let me and my sister wear makeup. They told us we could wait until we were 16, along with dating. 

(you may comment and publicly shame them now for this if you'd like, it really was harsh and cruel punishment)

At 13, radically dropping the "pre" from my "teen", my parents began to bend the rules.

We were allowed mascara.

I also was permitted to date a boy 
(because he was just the nicest, and shared my joy for gummy bears - and funny story that I will now fit between the brackets? We dated for 1.5 years and my parents were SUPER sad when we broke I had taken away their only son).

Back to the mascara. 
Okay, so mascara - thats it.
I freaking manipulated the flip out of that mascara. 
It turned into shadow, liner and mascara.
I was a hot mess.

I loved makeup. I loved how you could quite literally look 100 different ways at the stroke of a brush.


You can also really suck at it and make a lot of mistakes.

I have probably made all of them
(kudos to those to stuck by me when I was probably horrifyingly embarrassing to be around)

As time goes on, and the internet becomes more wise, I find myself venturing into new techniques, products and actually stepping outside of the drug store.

I LOVE drug store cosmetics, and in many ways I think you can absolutely always pull off everything you need from a drug store. What I've learned however, is that its not always the best investment.

I wore drug store foundation for years, it did it's job. I probably spent $15 a bottle every 2 months. Then I switched to Mac, for $32 and it lasted for 7 months. Do the math. I had a better product, and was using less of it.

I've found this with a few things now, and ones I find worthy of the investment.

Today I wanted to show you my favourite staple products. Ones that have earned their keep.

#1 Liquid Eyeliner - Loreal Lineur Intense

Just a heads up, there's TWO DIFFERENT Lineur Intense by Loreal. 
Get the felt tip kind.
For the love of everything - get the felt tip.

Probably my most asked about product. "How do you do your winged eyeliner?" and let me tell you, this is the only one I can use...anything else is again, a hot mess.

So, it's a firm but flexible felt tip, so you have so much control, but can still get that little wing at the end. Maybe a bit of a learning curve but MUCH easier than a brush.

#2 Shadowbox Eyeshadow Primer

So, I have super oily eyelids...for some reason. 
Eyeshadow always creases on me, no matter what. 
I work two jobs and need my makeup to last from day to night. 
This stuff came recommended by a girl who does roller derby at night and found it lasted through her sweat. Since I'm a mom of 3, working 2 jobs - I'm basically in roller derby. Is how I take it.
It works, guys.
It holds my eyeshadow from day to crease. It's like glue. I don't even get it. 

#3 Mac Studio Fix Foundation in NW15

I'm super fair, and I actually started on this in the summertime and was slightly tanned when being color matched. BUT, I use this year round now. YES, it's a shade off, but I do my best to blend it well. WHY? because the yellow/tan tones in it cuts my redness incredibly.
Besides the color - I love this foundation for a few reasons. 
I apply using a WET (yes, WET! well, squeeze out the water first) Beauty Blender, or comparative, sponge. Dab into the foundation, which mine is usually on the back of my hand, and bounce the sponge all over your face, applying evenly in a splotching method. Then blend. 
I set it with a no-color powder (Essence cosmetics All About Matt for like, $5)

#4 Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick - Bare it All

There's nothing extraodinary about this lipstick. But, it's my go-to. It's the perfect nude with no orange tones. Since I play up my eyes often, I like the lips to be nude, and this does the trick!

#5 Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, Medium Brown

Okay, so its not cheap...and it doesn't last more than maybe 2 months...but it's the best I've found. If you have a good dupe, I'd love to know about it. 

The always sharp pencil gives the best lines. It's easy to use and the color is perfect. I go medium brown (formerly medium ash)

So that's that - I'm hoping I can share more soon - so shoot me questions! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The F Word

In my house, the word FAT is a swear word. My kids actually believe it's the "F" word at this point in life, and to be honest, I think it's a worst word than the actual F word.

There is such a battle in weight loss between wanting to NOT be fat, needing fat, eating fat (good ones), past pain of being called fat, and FEELING FAT.

I hate that word.

One of my greatest parts of this journey has been relearning everything to do with body and food. Creating a healthy balance, and being very aware of what an imbalance means. Over eating is an eating disorder, under eating is an eating disorder. Healthy living is a balance. Words like FAT just mess with my whole jive.

My goal as a mother is to change the perspective that my kids hear and learn. We don't talk about my weight loss. I'll say things like "I'm not going to eat that because it's not good for my body" or "I'm exercising so I can be strong". They don't hear me say my weight, my size, or even talk about how how I'm trying to achieve anything.

When they see photos of me before they'll comment things like "you looked different, your hair, your clothes" but they've never mentioned that I look fat, or even use the non-swearing-in-my-house word, overweight. Not once. My hope is that through creating good conversations about body image, health and the balance, they will have a greater understanding on how to treat their own bodies!

...But then some boys at school called my daughter the F word.

I was devastated.

Because I knew.
I knew EXACTLY what was going to happen.
These words, in her 7 year old little heart, were going to burn themselves into her. Into the fibre of her very being. These words would follow her for years.

I know, because I had it happen to me too.

When I was in the 7th grade, my family and I went on a vacation to Florida. On that trip I got some new clothes and shoes, and when returning back to school was so excited to wear them. For sake of a pretty stellar visual of my rocking 12 year old self - here is the rundown... My pants were high waisted pale purple chords, my shoes were jellies, my top was a short sleeve crushed velvet short top that was a matching purple with large daisies on it. My pants lined up with the bottom of my shirt and I wasn't showing any stomach, but when at my locker I raised my arms to put a binder away and THE CUTEST BOY IN SCHOOL (in my opinion) poked my side and said "had a few burgers on your vacation did you?".

Do you think I just have a fantastic memory? or do you think that maybe, just maybe, that entire moment is burned into my being?


Back to my daughter. Within two days, she asked me if she could not wear snow pants because they "made her legs look big". I saw her checking out her body in the mirror and poking away at it, squeezing her thighs, and asking why they looked big when she sat down.

I'm reeling at this point.

I can't take away those words from her, but I can only try to have life giving conversations with her, have her know she's loved and created oh-so-perfectly, and teach her a healthy lifestyle. Which btw - I don't do for her body type, or so she fits a mould, but so that she IS healthy, and so that she doesn't struggle with self control and mindless eating like I did. I need to lead by example. I'm now seeing that my health and my journey - it has witnesses that are very impressionable. I can only hope and pray that they learn good things from me and through me. That the F word remains a swear word, and they never repeat it to themselves in a mirror.

We need to stop the cycle with our bodies, with our children, with each other.

Trim the fat of the word FAT, if you will...from negative fat talk, from fat talk at all, and striving not for weight loss, but striving for health - with a side effect of weight loss.

...and love the freaking crap out of our children enough to teach them good habits, and not just easy ones. I struggle so much with this. But like Drew Carey said "eating crappy food isn't a reward, it's a punishment" maybe that should apply to feeding loved ones, too.

Photos taken Spring 2015 by Summerlee Photography

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Let's talk about food, baby

This is a difficult subject to just jump into and adapt and change and not feel completely adverse effects or deprivity from your favorite meals, past times, traditions, snacks, comforts etc.

Food is all around us.
like the force.
lol sorry, expect some star wars blurt outs as we go, it's just in me.

For most people, when you struggle with addiction you remove that item from your life. Drugs or alcohol, relationships, and you learn to live without it.

But food? we need to learn to live WITH it. It's a partnership. It's a need.  Your addictions have to change and adapt to new ways and forms. But you can't eliminate it. Food is a part of our everyday existance.

If you're like me, it can consume thoughts, it can feel like you're powerless to it. That one bite may not be enough, you may be 20 bites in and feeling like you can't stop. It's not just about learning to eat the RIGHT things, it's a full take back of control.

This is where its very much about your MIND.

There was a point early on in my journey in which I was at a family event and there was all of my favorite foods and I stood there staring and the inner battle began of "Oh, it's just one day" and "I haven't had this in forever, when will I have my aunts best dish again?" and so on. But, then instead I looked at that food and adjusted my mind. I started telling myself "you don't need it" and "that will slow down your progress" "that food is a road block to your success".
Then I walked away.

Suddenly I began to feel it. I began to feel that control. IT WAS NOT EASY, but I was DOING IT.
I was saying no to food. The wrong foods at least. The over indulging foods. The foods that weren't here to partner with my body, foods that wouldn't fuel me but drag me down.

It was losing it's power and grip on me.

Let me get something incredibly straight here...

It doesn't get better.

Those inner voices? that addiciton? for me has not gone away.

I've just learned how to say no, how to cope with temptations, how to make wiser choices.

My MIND has learned. My BODY has followed.

If you think for one moment that I don't walk past donuts and dream of eating an entire tray of them, you're kidding yourself. Will I? heck no. It's a road block to my success. Not only that, but as I have cleaned up my eating habits, my body no longer likes it when I reintroduce crap. Even if it's gloriously sprinkle covered crap.

In life we make choices. We choose good people to be friends, we guide our children to make wise decisions, we budget our spending, we have responsibilities that we choose to take care of.

Your body is one of the biggest responsibilities of your life. How you treat it, feed it, care for it - it changes your relationships with everything else too.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

This is the end, and the beginning.

I have a rather unfortunate birthday. At least I like to think so. It's New Years Eve. Selfishly I just want my own freaking day, but apparently the world likes celebrating a new year more than my birthday so I'll huff and puff my way into 2016.
Juuuuust kidding. Kinda, sorta.

I'm internally a 5 year old who just wants her day.
But, last year I turned 30 and decided I don't like birthdays anymore anyways.
So, humpf.

This year I turn 31 and although I do it begrudgingly, I reflect back on so much amazing things in the last year.

And thats where my birthday kinda rocks. I celebrate a new year like every one else, and it's a new ME year too. I age with the world. Kinda, sorta.

I'm super fortunate to have a really awesome photographer friend, Lydia from Summerlee Photography who would not let my birthday just pass without some fun involved. 
Some, cake smash fun.

I see what you just thought there. NOT COOL, MAN.

Not that kind of adult.

I meant, like not a BABY TURNING ONE, but a grown woman turning 31. Who maybe wants to eat cake with her hands because she is on a pretty strict diet and cake is not in the diet...ok? glad we settled that one.

(for shame, by the way)

So for my very first blog post, lets turn over a new leaf. Lets say goodbye to 2015 together, lets say hello to 2016, a new blog, being a year older, and growing all the same.

Now forgive my narcassistic overposting of how amazing these photos turned out, in a $10 thrifted dress. 
Ok, thanks 
(happy birthday to me from you for bearing with me)

In all seriousness, it's taken me a really long time to want a photo of myself. Shame the selfie all you like, I say celebrate it. Love yourself. Feel beautiful. Celebrate the moments you think "dang girl, I look good". Self love should always be celebrated.

I don't make resolutions for New Years, but I DO love the feeling of a beginning, being on the brink of something hopefully wonderful.
And I seriously wish I had a more sophisticated palate for wines so I could say things like how "everything gets better with age, like wine!" while sipping on a 2015 malbec. 

Man, this is really a random first blog. 
Meh. That's me.

Oh, and Happy New Year!
To new beginnings...


Credits & Details
TAN - Organic Tan
HAIR - Bethany @ This Little Salon
PHOTOS - Summerlee Photography(aka @TwoSumms on IG)

MAKEUP - lipstick Jacha in Shocking Pink, foundation Mac Studio Fix NW15, Eyeshadow Naked 2, Eyebrows Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Medium Brown, Bronzer/Blush/Highlighter Physicians Formula, Eyeliner Loreal Lineur Intense in felt tip.
and takes a dang village to make me look like this.

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