First and foremost, something I’ve posted to social media but not to WordPress, The Australian Red Cross is accepting donations from around the world. If you would like to donate to help those affected by the devastation of the ongoing wildfires in Australia, please click here.
If you do not have the means to donate, I would strongly encourage anyone who reads this to inform themselves as to what is happening in Australia and the reactions (or lack thereof) the Australian government has had. Australia has one of the most, if not the most, unique and diverse ecosystems on earth with hundreds of species who call it home that exist nowhere else on earth. Everyone should be aware of what is happening, what has been lost and what is at stake.
If you’re in Australia and have been affected by these fires, or not, my heart goes out to you. I come from an area of Canada that deals with forest fires annually and I know the heart-wrenching horrors that is watching the world burn up around you… and we don’t even have Koalas to worry about.
Okay, so where to start…
The house is quiet, for a few minutes at least. Insert casual Vee.
It is the first week of the new year (and new decade) and everyone who lives in my house has been sick. Really fucking sick. I’ve been taking them to the hospital to get IVs because they’re just that sick. It has made for a lot of long days and even longer nights. Let me tell you this – cleaning up someone else’s puke is no joke. I’ve always had a respect for doctors and nurses, but when I go through week’s like this week has been, I respect them so much more.
Today, I decided that I needed to do something for myself, so I went for a massage. I told the masseuse, a woman, that I was there to get the knots worked out of my lower back. (I’ve been dealing with some serious tension in my lower back as of late and I thought a massage might help) Her response? Lathering her hands in fucking oil and then running them through my hair. Did I want a head massage? No. Did she try to persist after I told her to stop? Abso-fucking-lutely. There aren’t a lot of things in this world that make me really, truly angry… but when I have clean hair you best not fuck that up.
I was relaxed up until that point. Actual smoke started spewing from my orifices. We had a very frank discussion about what it means to listen to a customer when they make a request of you and my angry voice came out. My angry voice RARELY comes out…
Sadly, that wasn’t the only time the angry voice came out today.
I decided that it would be smart to carry my open laptop, a glass of water and a plate of dinner downstairs at one time. Yeah, that didn’t end well for me. Thank goodness I have one of the most indestructible computers of all time, but I had some very choice words for myself after that happened.
‘You’re such a fucking idiot.’
‘This is why you can’t have nice things.’
I really hope that I’m not the only person in the world to yell at myself when I do stupid things. Also, there’s really no saving your dinner when the dogs run over to start licking food off the floor at the bottom of the stairs. So… protein bars it is?
Today’s score is: World – 2, Vee – 0.
In other news, I don’t think I’ve ever done this, but here’s a song that I really love:
This band is a favourite of mine. I’ve never heard a song of their’s I didn’t like. They’re a Canadian band and they actually had a song (Knocking at the Door) become a bit of a sport anthem in the past couple of years. It was used for the NHL playoffs, NBA Finals, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the World Cup, the Olympics, and so on and so forth. They’re not so much Indie anymore, but I still love them dearly and have fond memories of their incredible shows in dark, dingy pubs across this country.
Also, here’s a book that I really love:
If you’ve ever felt like you just don’t fit anywhere in this world, like you’re misunderstood and you’d be better off on your own, away from every one and every thing dragging you down, this book is for you. I’ve read this book probably… 30 times at this point. Each time I read it I get something new from it.
Alright, I think that’s all for now. I can hear my name being called from upstairs…
I have renewed my WordPress subscription for twelve more months, so I guess it’s time for me to get a whole lot more creative. Also, I would like to be a whole lot more thoughtful with respect to the things that I say with my blog moving forward.
The career series is still coming. It’s something I very much have my heart set on doing. I got a little tied up with the whole situation wit my cousin and her son, then there was a baby here for ten days… not sleeping. Needless to say, It was a few weeks that seemed to fly by, but also somehow, last a lifetime. If I told you I was going to email you, that email will still be coming.
*If anyone remembers my post about my cousin’s son, there is a familial match, so we are grateful for that blessing and hopeful for the prospects that brings for her son’s health.
They really hurt. Sometimes words have the power to swing faster, hit harder and deliver a stunning blow stronger than any raised fists.
People think that they know everything about you based on what little they hear and they judge. People always judge.
My skin is getting increasingly thinner by the day and I’m having a harder and harder time dealing with the things that people say.
The other day, I was told that I’m abusive. I was told that I, the person who goes out of her way to make anyone and everyone happy no matter what it does to my state of being, am abusive.
I’ve been told that I’m lazy, stupid, jarringly out-of-touch with reality. I’ve been told that I don’t want a job because I’d rather sponge off my family than actually work. Trust me, I have heard it all.
And it bothers me. As much as I’d like to say that the words of other people don’t bug me, they do. It hurts to hear people who say they love you, say those things to you. It hurts to hear people who really don’t know you, say those things to you.
Sometimes I’ll say something. Sometimes I’ll fight back, stand up for myself, remind people to use their words wisely because the things they say can and will affect the people they say them to. But, a lot of times, I won’t. People think that’s me being a pushover. But really, it’s me understanding lot of times nothing I say will change their minds. Nothing that I could possibly say, no matter how calmed and reasoned or loud and intimidating I could say it, would make a damn difference.
When people make up their minds, most of the time logic has nothing to do with it. A lot of times, they think what they think and that’s the bottom line. And to those in this world who feel it’s appropriate to voice their judgments, put their harsh words on display, nothing is really going to change that.
Whether your mind is made up, or there’s room for change, all I ask of people is that they think about the things they’re saying before they say them.
Because words hurt.
And you haven’t the foggiest idea the power your words can hold over someone.
*Please note that I am not trying to single out any one particular person in this post. This is not an individual problem, this is a societal problem. We all need to be aware of it and we all need to do better.The above photo was just one I took from google. I googled “PR Unboxing” and this was one of the first photos that came up.Honestly though, there are hundreds of images on google and videos on YouTube just like this.
In recent years, the effects of Fast Fashion on our earth has really come to light. With newscasts, documentary series’, hundreds of youtube videos and books on the subject, we’re becoming an educated society on something that is extremely harmful.
Even so, there are still hundreds, if not thousands, of people on youtube, using their influence to post ‘hauls’ on a daily basis. These hauls showcase clothes that are new and trendy for this season and they’ll likely get worn once(if that) and stay in the back of their massive closet screaming over-consumption from the depths of the untidyness.
We know the issues, we know the environmental impact, and we still do it anyway.
Something that people don’t talk about as often, if at all, however, is fast makeup. And honestly, THIS IS A PROBLEM.
If you walk into any drugstore this time of year, browse the aisles of Sephora or Ulta, Nordstrom or any other store that sells cosmetics, you’re going to be bombarded with ‘Special’ and ‘Limited Edition’ sets and individual pieces of makeup that are ‘only here for the holiday season’. A lot of the products aren’t even new, they’re just packaged together in a ‘Limited Edition Set’. And even if they are limited edition, don’t buy them anyway. What are you going to enjoy them for a couple of months and then never get to buy or see them every again?
Thing is, the exact same thing is going to happen for Valentine’s Day, for Spring Break, for Summer, and so on and so forth. It’s a cycle. Companies release ‘Limited Edition’ makeup at various points throughout the year, convincing consumers to purchase these items because they’re a hot commodity due to their ‘Limited Edition’ status, and what we wind up with is hundreds, if not thousands, if not millions of females(and men) around the world with more makeup than could ever possibly used.
The Youtube ‘Beauty Community’ is a perfect example of this. ‘Beauty Gurus’ as they’re reffered to, have entire rooms of their home dedicated to the collection and hoarding of makeup. Makeup they might try once, makeup they’ll never wear, makeup that is still in it’s store protected packaging because they have so damn much they’ll never get to it, makeup they’ve only swatched once and lots and lots and LOTS of makeup that is expired.
Because, that’s right, makeup does expire.
Every time I look at a Beauty Guru’s makeup room, I can’t help but wonder just how much of it has expired.
And please don’t be fooled into thinking that this is just the Beauty Gurus of youtube who have rooms like this. Women and men all over the world have entire rooms dedicated to their makeup collections who you won’t ever see in a youtube video.
It’s a problem.
Why does any one person need 50 eye shadow palettes? Actually, why does any one person need five eye shadow palettes? You only have two eyes. How often are you possibly using all five of them?
Why does any one person need a ‘highlighter collection’? How many highlighters could you possibly put on your face at one time? How many highlighters in that drawer of yours aren’t even being touched but are just being kept for clout, or because it looks pretty to have a collection?
The problem here isn’t just the makeup and it’s not just on the hook of the individual consumers. It’s at the fault of companies as well.
A certain beauty influencer just released a collection of highlighters as a part of her ‘Cosmetic Line’. You might recollect that she’s the same person this year who sold her YouTube audience hairy, moldy, scratchy lipsticks and never refunded people for their purchases. Well, this collection of highlighters she released, there’s 18 highlighters and three brushes all being sold at egregious costs. Just as makeup companies do, she’s released a PR package, sent to all of the richest, most popular beauty gurus (who definitely don’t need anymore highlighters and who absolutely have the money to afford them) to review on their channels and give her HYPE.
The thing that really pisses me off is, this PR package she’s sending out, it’s 90 percent packaging and 10 percent product. Not only that, but it’s filled with glitter and plastic, cardboard and polystyrene. The entire mixture of the package is going to make it difficult, if not impossible, to recycle.
*Tidbit – For those of you who aren’t aware, in order for things to be recycled, they need to be broken down into like pieces. So, for example, pop bottles have to have their caps and labels removed before they can be recycled. They can’t just be thrown into the recycling compactor together as there are three separate materials to a pop bottle. It simply isn’t recyclable unless it’s separated into its components.
Trying to recycle that package, someone would need to painstakingly remove all of the glitter, separate out the plastic from the cardboard, the polystyrene from the ribbons, etc… etc…
Now, this package is just one example of thousands upon thousands of PR packages being sent out, by companies, to these wealthy Youtubers, actresses, actors and people of Influence as a means to try and sway us to buy their products. And all of these packages, they’re problems. Not only are they packages of products that we likely all already have in our makeup collection, but they’re packaged in such a way that I’m lead to believe there’s no chance the materials will get recycled.
Companies are increasingly releasing vast amounts of limited edition products, and products that aren’t labeled as limited edition but that they still don’t intend to sell long term. They’re trying to stay hip, top of the market and on consumers minds at all times. In the process, they’re creating an environmental impact that we just can’t come back from.
A pressed powder alone contains a cotton puff, mirror, plastic casing, metal pan, the makeup and ink. Could it be recycled? Sure. Is it going to take a hell of a lot of work to separate and break down those materials for recycling? Absolutely.
I don’t want to make people feel guilty about purchasing makeup. I love makeup. I love wearing makeup. I just want people to be aware about their makeup purchasing options, so they can make smarter decisions.
So how can you make smarter decisions when purchasing makeup?
Don’t purchase limited edition products. When you do, you’re supporting a piece of the industry that is wasteful, harmful to the environment and that’s sole purpose is to gain as much money as possible as quickly as possible. Companies are trying to dupe you out of your money.
Purchase products that are regular staples to the makeup shelves. Something like the Maybelline ‘Fit Me’ concealer has been on makeup shelves around the world for years, is a staple product for anyone’s makeup and comes with minimal packaging.
Stop purchasing products made by beauty influencers. They’re not interested in the environment. They’re not interested in you. They’re interested in lining their pockets. These products are brought to market in enough of a quantity to make them millions and then are never to be heard of or seen again. I have nothing against the game, nor the hustle, but unless they’re going to start showing their products are being made in an environmentally conscious manner with environmentally conscious packaging then they’re only adding to the problem big cosmetic companies have created.
Don’t purchase makeup products with egregious packaging. You can tell when you look at the shelves in stores that certain products have way more packaging than necessary. Play by the rule that if the packaging is not necessary for sale, the product isn’t necessary for your use.
Consider only purchasing one or two of a product. You don’t need five foundations, or eye shadow pallets or lipsticks. If everyone cuts down on their individual consumption, sales might go down overall and the companies might take a hint as to their production schedules.
If you see something that’s unnecessary or egregious on shelves, tell the company. It’s true, one person’s word to a multi-million dollar company might not have a lot of sway. But, if we all come forward with comments about egregious packaging, unnecessary products or straight up stupid marketing, then maybe the companies will listen.
Bring up these suggestions to your friends in a positive manner. A lot of times when you talk about things like this with friends, they can take offense to it or feel attacked. I know that it’s not always easy to find the right medium to have these conversations, but they’re important conversations to have. The more we make people aware of the problems with fast makeup, the more of a chance we have to limit it.
If you are a beauty guru or beauty influencer, stop accepting PR unless the company can prove the package is minimal or recyclable. I know that it sounds crazy, turning down free things. But, do you really need it to start with? Yeah, it might be cool to have but when these PR packages are being sent by companies, they’re a huge part of the problem. Send them a message. Let them know that unless they change their ways, you’re not going to promote, or use, their products.
I really think that it’s time we all start having more conversations about the harm of fast makeup on our environment.
If we can all collectively agree of the harms that fast fashion brings, I bet people could easily see just how harsh the fast makeup industry is on our environment, and our wallets (for that matter).
I had such a good time writing the last post like this that I’ve decided I might do it more often. Though I still don’t like ‘AF’, so I need to come up with a new title. We’ll call that a work in progress.
After a week of feeling as though I really just wasn’t going to survive (yes, I am extremely over-dramatic when I am sick), I am finally starting to feel somewhat/relatively human again. I’m not 100%, but I can feel myself getting better, and that’s what’s important.
The sweet and wonderful Hilary from SereneLuna Blog sent me the kindest early birthday card/present and it absolutely brightened my spirits this week. There’s something about a hand written letter/note that will just never go out of style in my heart. It’s timeless, it’s so thoughtful and it really makes you (in this case me) feel as though someone genuinely cares. I think that’s why I really appreciate thoughtful birthday cards. Does anyone else keep their birthday cards? I keep mine. Is that weird?
I’ve been on the hunt for a ‘natural’ deodorant for a couple years now. And yes, I fully understand the dichotomy that ‘natural’ deodorants present. I think the biggest struggle that I am having in this search is that the majority of deodorants marketed as ‘natural’ are ingredient based in essential oils. I happen to be wildly allergic to most essential oils and using these products often causes me to get blistery rashes. So how does one find a ‘natural’ deodorant without any essential oils in it?
There’s been a growing narrative in Canada about a divided country, as the ‘Wexit’ movement gets propagated in the media and is gaining steam. Meanwhile, more and more multi-million dollar corporations have collected their tax-cuts from the Alberta government and are fleeing. Jason Kenney is running the narrative that this is ‘Trudeau’s fault’, ignoring the very basic fact that trickle-down economics don’t work. Trickle-down economics have never worked. The rich stay rich by hoarding their riches. They don’t invest it into their employees and the economy through sponsorship and infrastructure, they lock it in bank accounts in far off lands that have limited laws with respect to banking.
Following in the footsteps of his idol, the holier than thou Trump of Donald Senior, Jason Kenney handed out a corporate tax cut earlier this year promising the public this was a smart move for a better Alberta and that this would benefit everyone. And, as the corporations have subsequently taken their money and run, the Wexit movement now has more than 40,000 members on their online platform. Interesting…
It didn’t work when Donald Trump did it. It hasn’t ever worked for any government before and we all knew that it wasn’t going to work for Jason Kenney, but he did it anyway. He sold the public on a bill of goods that was built on pillars of salt and sand, meanwhile silencing anyone who dared remind him that trickle-down economics don’t work.
Now, I know that politics can get rather boring for people to follow at times, so I relate this to pop culture. Remember this fact: the rich get rich by hoarding their riches.
Kylie Jenner has recently been named the youngest self-made billionaire ever. Kylie, along with the rest of the Kardashian family, has a slew of employees who work for her. In her home, in her office, in the factories making the cosmetics that she sells. It’s widely reported that each and every one of her employees make minimum wage. It’s also been claimed by the employees who make Kylie Cosmetics that they’re not even provided with the basic safety equipment and working environment to help them properly do their jobs. According to the employees they’re paid only minimum wage, the bare legal minimum that Kylie has to pay them, not provided health insurance, and can at times, work upwards of twelve hours or more on a single shift during peak ‘launches’ for the line. All while only wearing a hear net and safety goggles.
The laboratory that Jenner uses is the same lab that Colour Pop cosmetics uses. And, it’s worth noting that these claims have also been made about Colour Pop Cosmetics as an employer. (Please note these claims of the factory and working conditions have not been verified through what I would consider… “media sources” for lack of better terminology. They’re Indeed reviews, youtube videos of ‘Why I quit working for Kylie’ and so on)
Why does Kylie only pay her employees the bare minimum wage legally required of her in the state of California? Simply put, would she be the youngest self made billionaire had she given them raises? Would she be the youngest self made billionaire had she offered any form of health insurance, chosen to upgrade the factory which her cosmetics are produced, offered employees more safety equipment to do their jobs? Likely not. Rich people stay rich by hoarding their riches.
Now I’m not hating here. I’m simply stating the facts as they relate to politics and they relate popular culture. What the girl has done is created a relatively average product, found the bare minimum it could possibly cost her to produce it and used ‘her brand’ to price it at a markup so high that in just a few short years she’s become a billionaire. She actually sounds pretty intelligent to me. But, she also reminds me of the very important point that trickle-down economics don’t work. In politics, in business, in Alberta, in life in general, it’s human nature to hoard our riches. Therefore, it really doesn’t matter who is in charge, the Oil Industry is still dying and Alberta is still in denial. Okay, I’ve talked about this for farrrrrr too long.
It’s raining outside. Pouring, actually. Consequently the downpour outside my window mimics the downpour in my head. Too many thoughts, too little time. I am a shallow heart with a wandering mind who is presently second guessing anything and everything that I possibly can. I’ll be 31 soon. It’s time to get my life together. I wonder what that looks like.
There are talented people all across WordPress and every other bogging platform that exists. Talented people who have a lot to share with the world, who struggle to get anyone to read their words or see their content. Why? Because they struggle to position and market their blog among the other 75 million blogs that exist in this world.
If you’re writing for a hobby, writing to keep a diary online instead of in a journal, this likely won’t matter to you at all. But if you’re on WordPress because you want to make friends and meet like-minded people, share your talents and show your skills then you need to market your blog. You have to.
While the odd person may stumble upon your blog, resonate with what you have to share and stick around from then on, the ‘accidentally finding you’ tactic is certainly not going to garner the audience you desire.
Someone that always understood marketing far better than most people on this planet is Steve Jobs. If you’ve ever heard the man speak, you know. He gets it. He knows how to turn a brand into a necessity, to a lifestyle and a feeling of belonging.
Your blog is your brand and if you want to garner an audience using your brand, you need to turn it into a necessity, a lifestyle and a place for people to find their belonging.
One of my favourite speeches from Steve Jobs can be seen here:
In the video, Jobs explains that the core value of Apple is the belief that people can change the world and that those who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world are the ones that do.
Using their slogan ‘Think Different’, Jobs explains that Apple’s desire was not to create a phone for you to make phone calls, Apple’s desire was to create a phone that makes your life better, easier, more organized. Apple’s desire was to create a computer that allowed your brain to think differently about how to do things, about what your computer can do for you and about how you can change the world from the stroke of a keyboard.
Steve Jobs was a brilliant man, one of the most brilliant of our time. In ‘thinking different’ he categorically used his ‘think different’ platform to catapult a run of the mill company to be a world, industry and technological leader. He did this because he knew he wasn’t marketing a computer. He knew that when he was marketing the life the computer could give you. He knew that he was marketing how much easier his phone would make your day.
How does this relate to blogging? Well, I’ll ask you this… in marketing your blog, do you market it as a blog, or, a community? Is it a place for you to write or a place for thoughts to change minds and learn new oulooks/perspctives? Is your blog a blog or is your blog a home for the lost, the found and the just won’t give up? Are you giving something to your readers, or merely just taking their time? Remember, Nike doesn’t sell shoes, Nike sells the idea of who you can become when you wear their shoes. If you’re selling your blog as a blog, you need to take Steve Jobs’ advice and think different. Thing bigger. Don’t market your blog as a blog. Market your blog as a home. As a place for people to come to remember they’re not alone in this world. Market your words as a means to help those who you’ve not yet met.
What does your blog bring to the table that no one else has? That no one else does? With millions of people hitting ‘Publish’ on their posts each and every day, what about your posts is should keep people coming around? What is your commodity? I don’t mean this in a condescending way, I mean this to get you thinking.
#MillennialLifeCrisis markets in honesty and understanding. The good, the bad, the ugly, the afraid to share with the world thoughts that you only keep to yourself honesty. You will find that here. People know that if they come to this community, they will hear my truths and they can feel safe to share their’s.
Some of my favourite blogs to read are those that market in travel. Not tourism, but travel (because there’s a very distinct difference). I love reading about those people who walk off the beaten path and really go to a country to learn and share the very core living culture within a place. Rebecca Goes Rendezvous does this really well.
Other blogs that I find myself gravitating towards are those who have no fear in telling their opinions with respect to real and important subject matter that a lot of people are often too afraid to talk about… too afraid to share opinions on, because they don’t want to start an argument. I like the people who aren’t afraid to share those thoughts, even if it might start an argument, because they know that they can turn it into a thoughtful and informative discussion. Filosofa’s Word does this really well.
These are both my own personal likes, though. And everyone likes something different, so please don’t take these two suggestions as the only subjects that matter.
If you really want to take your blog to the next level, and really want to have people pay attention to what you have to share, think different. Ask yourself where your blog should be positioned and make it happen. Position your blog and then market it.
90% of bloggers marketing:
“Hi my name is Sarah, please check out my blog!”
10% of bloggers effectively marketing their blog:
“Remember a time when you were moved to tears by a piece you read on someone else’s blog? Or were inspired to take action in a certain area of your life?
This is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I read a post a few weeks back in which the blogger asked: if you quit blogging, who would miss you? It got me thinking about blogging, yes, but it also got me thinking about my life in general.
Please don’t take this the wrong way, this is not a cry for help. I’ve always just thought of myself as a person who would have no issues just… running away and never coming back. Kind of like how my grandfather moved away from his family, came to Canada on his own and made his own life here, never to return to his home country.
I’ve always wondered what it would be like… to just, relocate. Maybe find an exotic locale somewhere on the globe and build myself a soft spot to land.
Would anyone miss me? I’m not sure. I think my mom might, but I also think that she might get over it after a while.
I’m well aware that I’m incredibly blessed in being born Canadian and that I do live in one of the best, most evolved, most prosperous countries on earth. My reason for leaving would not be because I don’t like it here. Instead, my reason for leaving would be to start over.
There’s a book that I love, Into the Wild, in which the main character gives up everything he’s ever known in an effort to start over, in search of his true happiness.
One of the quotes from the book, it really resonates with me.
The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
Sometimes I think about giving it all up. Chasing an endlessly changing horizon and hoping for a new and different sun.
If you’ve ever considered it, could you do it? Could you give up everything? Some can, some can’t! Some just don’t have the ability. But if you gave up everything for a chance to start over, in a new place, with an endlessly changing horizon, who would miss you?