Happy New Year everyone!
I hope that this year proves to be prosperous and glorious for you. As we settle into this new year, I couldn’t help but think about the things that I have, the things that I’m thankful for, and the experiences that I intend to have in my lifetime. And I thought, why not share some of the things that I have, the things that I’m grateful for, and the things that I will have (in a roundabout way) with you? You guys are interested, right? So, sit down, grab a glass of wine or a cup of apple cider (both are equally yummy), get some popcorn (and a ketchup shaker from Kernels if you dare), and read on…
Seriously, hope is life sustaining. Life can be rough as hell sometimes (believe me, I’ve been there and bought the t-shirt on tough times and tough circumstances), but what gets you through life is having hope (and even faith) that things will eventually get better. They just have to, right? Things can’t be bad forever, and things are always changing (that’s the ebb and flow of life). There is always the possibility of a series of circumstances coming along to change your life for the better. And just think, especially when things go really sour in your life, the only way to go is up. So, dear readers please have hope; keep it alive, let it have wings, and let it keep you going, because it will.
2. A high-end lipstick (or two, or three)…
This may be trivial, controversial, or both. But guess what? I’m a woman who believes in the power of a good quality lipstick. Nothing performs for me like NARS, YSL, and Shiseido do (although I admit there is still Tom Ford and Chanel to try), and I honestly believe that you get what you paid for. There is something about the staying power, the colour pay-off, and the feeling of wearing a high-end lipstick that drugstore lipsticks can’t compete with. I think if you know someone who hasn’t tried a high-end lipstick, and you have, you should buy them one just because. The joy of introducing someone to luxury lipstick is not a feeling to be missed.
3. Love (of self and of others)…
I believe that love is the most powerful force of all. I also believe that, in spite of any difficult circumstances, love conquers all. Love can conquer insecurity, separation, arguments…you name it. So when I talk about love, I focus on two loves: love of self and love of others. The most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself. Even as a twin, I came into this world as an individual (and in spite of all the meaningful and important relationships I have had and will have) I’ll eventually leave this world alone. So it is all the more reason to love yourself and others as hard as you can while you’re here. To love anyone else fully you have to love yourself first. To be able to truly give yourself to anyone you have to know that you are worth giving. And when you know that you are worth everything in the world, you have so much love to give other people. Selfless and unconditional love is an important and powerful thing to give to someone else. It means that you love them, with all their mistakes, and in spite of any grievances you might have against them. It means you love them knowing that you are not perfect either, but just as your worth loving, so are they.
4. A skincare routine …
For me, this is an important one. No matter how clear your skin is, you need a routine to keep it as fresh as can be. As you grow older skin changes (for better or for worse), and you have to move with it – anticipating those changes and using products accordingly. Do I buy my skincare on a budget? Yes and no. Some things (like eye creams and serums) I buy as much as I can afford because the eyes and the texture of your skin show the wears and tears of age the most. I’m trying to hold down the fort, for my face and hell for my body too, for as long as humanly possible. So yes, I have a routine that works for me because I’ve got to.
5. A hair care routine + an established hairstyle (which you admit to yourself might change)….
I have a routine more than I have products that I’m dedicated to using. Since I went natural (in September 2010) my hair has grown in thickness before length, and my curl pattern has changed as the curls have grown out. This has made things pretty complicated for me, as I tried to sort out which brands would work, and some hair lines that I liked getting cancelled (Garnier Triple Nutrition I’m looking at you) didn’t help either. I know that I will only use a sulfate-free shampoo or cleanser, a sulfate and hopefully paraben free conditioner, a leave-in conditioner, an oil, a cream or a butter, a spray to perk up my curls between washes, and lots of hair masks (Garnier’s hair masks seems to work for me).
6. A capsule wardrobe for work and play…
When it comes to style, I know what I like: bright colours, black, grey, prints, fitted and sometimes flowy, and a classic shape. When your curvy, you don’t experiment much with shapes (because when I’ve done that in the past it has just blown up in my face), and you don’t do what everyone else is doing. As much as I love watching runway, and as much as the sight of a strangely shaped something piques my interest, I go for what works best for me. I recently cleaned out my closet (getting rid of stuff that I’d outgrown – in terms of style) bought new stuff, and kept the old stuff that works and will still work in the years to come. I still have one more shop to do (for spring arrivals – a season which I used to shuffle through with summer and fall things) and then I’m done (aside from a few peices here and there). Putting together a wardrobe isn’t nearly as stressful as some people say it is (especially when you come armed with a plan).
7. A super-expensive something…
This is totally frivolous but I don’t care. I think everyone should have something worth a lot in their wardrobe. Save up for years if you have to, but do it. I got mine on sale (so, although I didn’t pay a seemingly ridiculous amount of money for it, I did pay for it). I love the hell out of my Rudsak trench coat: its always in style, and when I look at it, I think “damn Trenchie, you look good, don’t you?”
8. Ambition and dreams
Dreaming is for the true visionary. When you can, you should have goals you want to achieve, and you should also spend some time everyday reflecting on them and thinking about how wonderful it will be when they become a part of your life. In doing so, you are taking the first steps towards making your dreams a reality. I’m someone who writes down my goals and ambitions (not to harken in a new year but to keep myself focused on what realties and circumstances I want in my life, for now and in the near future). I find that focusing on my dreams and goals is so liberating and powerful because it means that I’m really investing in myself.
9. A friend who doesn’t judge you or compete with you
Good friends are your biggest cheerleaders. They want the best for you – always. They will actively ask you if you’re feeling good, and they want to know if you feel like things are getting better (or worse) in your life. They stick by you when shit hits the fan, and they don’t judge you if you were the shit that hit the fan. They love and care for you, and they are someone you can always count on, like a solid foundation, cheering you on. You only need a handful of these true friends (who are more like family) but your lucky if you have many more than that.
If you don’t believe in yourself then who will believe in you? Confidence is at the root of all success. Even if you’ve been turned down a million times (and believe me, we all have) you still know that your shit smells like roses, and you know that you have a lot to offer anybody or any damn thing there is. When you walk into a room, with that kind of confidence, its undeniable. You can’t turn away from it, and you want it for yourself (if you don’t already have it). And because its something that takes time to develop. Truly, it is something you want to get in touch with and develop everyday.
What are some of your should haves?