May is month to celebrate the coming of summer…

I’d like to think I am pretty spiritual. I find happiness in rituals, I believe in things that can’t be seen, just felt. I like to think about Mother Earth and how she changes the seasons. May 2021 is especially wonderful, because after a winter of lock down in Toronto, Canada, any brightness and colour would easily excite me beyond words. It had been a cold, grey winter lockdown, but with spring finally warming up in this very Northern city, it’s sunny enough to get greenery growing all about. I see flowers blooming, cherry blossoms are on trees, the rains of April have stopped and nature is alive again. A rebirth. Very meaningful to me and joyful.

This particular winter has been very difficult on my mental health as I have posted about in my previous post about weight-loss and gain during the pandemic. Being trapped at home was dark and sunless, as are all winters in Canada…I struggled daily with anxiety and depression. Even now with the change of seasons, I still suffer a bit from a lower mood sometimes, but much less so. I wanted to do a post about celebrating and being thankful for this current pre-summer loveliness that is working hard to cheer me up. Being thankful for connections that can now be made as the weather allows people to go outside and just see, experience, maybe even frolic? I must admit I’ve never frolicked before, but this Spring going into Summer is more a good time than ever to start!

How I Celebrated this May-time Wonder:

I love flowers. I think they always look so beautiful. Flowers add elegance and happiness to anything and/or anyone they decorate and touch. See their work on Mother’s Day, at weddings, funerals, as table decor, patient gifts. Their magic is undeniable. So to celebrate their floral vibrancy I decided to make a simple flower crown and then go outside to model it in photos. I found some cherry blossom trees and could not resist using them as a backdrop for enjoying being in nature and being thankful.

So this is me, modeling my crown. Also modeling this white blouse with ruffle-y sleeves. I think it fit the general mood of May, and it’s themes of rebirth, freedom and enjoyment.

How I Made my Flower Crown:

The crown itself is actually pretty simple to make, First buy some flowers with stems that are delicate enough to wrap. Then grab some floral tape. I got mine from a craft store. Also find a base for the crown. I used a thin headband, but a circular wire, etc…could also work! Then clip off the individual flowers from the bouquet, leaving a stem 1-3 inches long. Then arrange the flowers by colour and shape on the headband, wrapping each stem with the floral tape to the head band in a spiral motion. And Voila; a gorgeous, simple crown that shines with the glory of nature awaits to be worn!

My flowers were a few days old when I made the crown, but a slight wilt makes them look more real. For my eye make-up I wore a vibrant violet shadow, as I was inspired by nature’s colourful florals…

What are some other ways to celebrate the outdoor nature around this time of year? Let me know in the comment section below….

Why biking during a pandemic is beautiful…

So I write about fashion and make up…yes. And I am only interested in that. I will not write about anything else.–NOT! I also write about how to deal with mental and physical health, which is connected to daily life and feeling happy and beautiful…It’s a lifestyle interest, just the way fashion and make-up is also lifestyle interest… So why is biking around where I live, the city of Toronto, a “must-do” for me right now? What does it have to do with the simple lifestyles I promote? It’s important now more than ever, because I heard that as major urban center with the hugest population in the country, Toronto has been in the longest lockdown of any North American city and I believe it. I am just so floored by the year long lockdowns since March 2020, just excluding the small brief windows in the summer months that saw city open up for patio dining and in person shopping. Now that has all been shuttered again until the end of May 2021.

Near the bike/walking path, West Toronto Railpath. It goes along the railway and there is nature and industrial buildings along its path. Here I am in my cute but functional outfit. make up, and hair do!

Boredom is now the norm as it was in the dead of the past Canadian winter. No seeing friends, no dating, no going outside, because it was too cold and everywhere was shut. But a life saver for me this Spring was getting back on my bike; I got transportation without relying on the crowded Toronto transit system. Biking was also an chance to exercise, get fresh air, and just see outdoor sights that were forgotten when I was hibernating in my apartment. Getting to view the cityscape, and the urban wildlife while riding. The sun and wind on my face as I whirled about bike paths and busy main streets. The exercise biking provides helps me stay slim and the mental health it gives me by being me outside and moving. Nothing about being trapped at home and eating was gratifying… Even though that was the message all Ontarians were told to do during lockdown. Gaining weight and feeling old was what the pandemic restrictions were prescribing. That was considered safe, but so much torture as well. But as spring hit Toronto and the weather became sunnier and warmer, out came my bike and all the urban exploring that it would bring.

Dutch braids keep my hair looking good and wispies in place under a bike helmet

Beauty tips for biking:

Getting outside is the most important thing to take from what I’m saying. But hey, I am a beauty blogger so here are my go-to tips for being gorgeous while out and about.

  • Wear sunscreen: the spring time sun is actually pretty fierce as the sun is closer to the earth than before, even though temperatures seem chilly.
  • If desired, minimal make-up is always nice: I have written many articles on no make-up looks. Here’s one of them. But the basic idea is foundation/powder. brows, mascara, and blush…super simple and easy.
  • Stay hydrated. The wind and sun can do a number on the face and skin. Drinking plenty of fluids keeps everything smooth and healthy. I usually pack cold water with a herbal tea bag and let it steep slowly during the ride.
  • Dress appropriately. Pants that are too baggy can get caught in the chains; tight dresses and non flexible wear just restrict movement. Long jackets and skirts are not welcome on bikes. The best thing to do is wear clothing that is semi wind repellant, stretchy, perform functionally and are stylish too. For example; Athletic leggings, bike shorts, rompers, sweatshirts and hoodies, t-shirt and looser jeans (not bell bottoms/flares), a short light jacket, windbreakers….etc…
Urban exploring: In front of the iconic Sterling building. I believe it was a car factory back in the day…now it is the new home of the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art. (another huge interest of mine)

And the most important rule of all? Stay safe! Obey traffic rules, never go too fast, keep an eye on traffic, explore urban spaces safely without trespassing. And watch out for pedestrians (they still own the scenic paths more that cyclists do). The best way to have fun is to do it safely.

My Spring DIY projects!

Spring is a beautiful time to the year.  In pagan beliefs, it is a time for rituals of cleaning, renewal and rebuilding.  With that sentiment, it has seemed to fuel my current DIYs, and this is a douzy of on article with 3 awesome projects for fashion and home that I’d like to share with you all!

#1 Distressed and broken t-shirts

I work at a high end fashion boutique, so when raggedy beat up shirts started showing up at the store and I also saw this look in movies and tv, I wanted to get it.  But I wanted to get it for free.  So of course I would DIY this look, it’s so easy to. Who doesn’t have a t shirt in the drawer that is not getting used these days and could benefit from a make-over?  I used an old graphic tee that I barely wore and after a few tutorials from youtube on how to compose a good distressed pattern, I went out on my own.. and I quite like it. Try it yourself, it is really easy, but I recommend you distress a trial t-shirt you can dispose of first before doing it on the one you want to keep.  It really helps you learn what kind of distressing works and where you want it on the shirt…

I really like what I did on the hip/edge part of the shirt, and the sleeves are pretty cool too. all I need is to fade the graphic a bit more somehow…

#2 Uneven Jean Hem

This trend is a bit more low key.  I have only seen it a few times, and it looks best with healed shoes or backless mule type slip ons or loafers. I like how it’s edgy, and adds just the right amount of street cred to a boring full length jean.  And it’s far from being the pedestrian looking cropped cuffed jean.  To get this look, you break apart the seams carefully with scissors on both sides of the jean leg bottom. Then cut straight across on the front panel, higher than the cut on the back panel.  I distressed the cut edges a bit too. And voila, you have an interesting looking jean hem that you will love to sport on errand days or for just getting out on the street…

Looks good with any kind of heels, chunky or stilettos. I think mules or slide on flats with it would be cool for the summer too.

 

#3 Bunnies from unwanted gloves:

Ever wanted to have a cute plush toy made from things you didn’t think could be cute?  Enter these old gloves I had lying around my house that were not pretty enough to be worn in the winter, or too mismatched from losing the other pair over various winters.  I decided to make stuffed bunnies out of them for Easter. I cut off the thumb, the pinky, and middle finger, leaving just two finger for ears.  Then I sewed up all the holes, and added some leg shapes by cutting a slit at the bottom of the glove for where they would be.  I stuffed the gloves, and added whiskers and a ball tail.  And now I have the cutest stuffed bunnies this side of the world!  I am selling these on Etsy, so if you want one, just make an enquiry!

So cute, and handmade looking. Their appeal is the simplicity of the bunnies and the idea to reuse gloves.

What do you think of my Spring DIYs?  Are they fun and easy enough to inspire your projects?  I love being creative and re-inventing materials to make clothes work better for oneself’s life…