Sing them a song you feel deep in your heart
Sing it with everything that you are
Sing ‘til your voice echoes all through the room
Pick a good one but whatever you do
Sing brave                 
~Brandon Heath

I love the whole story behind this song-how Brandon’s mom tells him to just sing for show and tell when he couldn’t find anything cool in his room to bring to show his class. Do they still do show and tell in preschool? I remember Marky did! One of my fave memories about her also involves show and tell, and her bringing a picture of GLORIA ESTEFAN for show & tell one week. Yeah…you read that right. What can I say…she liked her music back then too…  😀   And as an adult, my first instinct was to say no no NO child...you must not bring a picture of Gloria Estefan…you’ll look… WEIRD.

But? I didn’t listen to my inner adult voice… I think it’s because I have a hard time BEING an adult to be honest, even now. I tend to ignore that inner adult voice most of the time. So… I let her do it. She brought Gloria. AND?! All of her little friends were intrigued actually. A lot of them went home and asked their parents to listen to some Gloria Estefan that night…Come on, shake your body baby, do the conga…I know you can’t control yourself any longer  😛

I let her be brave…be herself! And? It ended up being awesome.

Being brave is HARD. Really hard. Especially as you grow up. Most of us are taught from an early age to muffle that inner US. And I’m sorry, but that always makes you second guess who you are- your WHOLE DANG LIFE. I know it did for me. My mama, bless her lovely soul, was really good at quieting creative Tracy, unless it was about piano. That was ok for her for some reason?! Although, it was a strict, Royal Conservatory Piano…exams and only classical music…nothing was all that FUN and creative about it for me to be honest, especially as I got up there to grade 10. I ended up quitting before finishing my grade 10. The biggest reason why I quit? Was that if I told her that I wanted to be a music teacher, or something musical for a career, wasn’t gonna cut it for her. I had to do something SCIENCE to get a good job in her eyes and make her proud, even though she loved me playing the piano. There was no way in hell I was gonna be able to make a life out of that I was told every day.  🙁  And don’t get me wrong, as I love science and chemistry…but you know, I sometimes wonder IF I COULD HAVE DONE MUSIC INSTEAD.  🙁

So, That Gloria Estefan Incident made me NEVER stop my kid from doing something she wanted to do…to stop her from being herself…from being brave and… CREATIVE. I didn’t want her to also wonder at age 48- WHAT IF.

And she never WILL. ‘Cause she’s doing it at Mickey’s College, being brave every day, creating what she sees in her head. And I think that’s amazing. She’s wanted to do this since she was about 8 years old! I remember parents from her elementary school telling us that her dream of working in cartoons and for Disney was a pipe dream and that we shouldn’t encourage her. PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT. #winning

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A layout design

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Life drawing-

 

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Character Designs

And you know what?  In my old age and as my New Year’s Resolution for 2016,  I am going to try to be brave, and do stuff that’s out of my comfort zone, like write about the stuff I think about, because I don’t think it’s too late for me…for anyone…to grow creatively, and be a better person.

SING BRAVE. You can be brave how ever you choose to! Maybe you want to take up running! Or maybe you’ve been too shy to take a Zumba class? Don’t be! I was scared for the longest time, but once I finally did try it, I haven’t looked back! Or maybe you want to learn how to build a chair? I know I do! Maybe you just want to talk to someone that you’ve lost touch with. Or maybe it’s just about going to the dentist, hey Gaelle?  😉  Maybe it’s wearing a bright red lipstick while you’re out and about getting groceries! Or maybe wearing a purple eyeshadow is brave for you! Or maybe you’re fighting a serious illness… the bravest fight. KEEP BEING BRAVE AND FIGHT MY FRIEND. You can do it. 

All I’m trying to say is…since the New Year is coming fast upon us, and a lot of us start thinking about making changes in our lives… BE BRAVE… in whatever you do…or have to do. And don’t let anyone hold you back. Ever. Be YOU. The bravest, bestest you! Because that? Is what BEING REALLY BRAVE is all about.

SING BRAVE my friends.

HUGZ,

My New Year’s Resolution is to be brave as much as possible from now on. To try and do something I’m a little scared of, or don’t want to do, or just too tired to try. When I do something brave, I will post it on twitter or instagram with the hashtag #singbrave  so JOIN ME! I’ve decided to do this in honour of my friend Noella Joy Eve, who lost her brave battle against breast cancer. She never gave up and was brave, right to the end. I can only hope to be as brave as she was.
Rest in peace lovely. 

What brave thing are you going to do today? Share it please!

I saw this Short and Sweet Tag on my good friend Melissa @Kiss&MakeupBeautyBlog and loved it! So I’mma’ gonna do it because it’s FRIDAY WOOHOO and MARKY IS COMING HOME TODAY YOU GUYS!

 

So Stupid… shopping anywhere right now….seriously I hate this time of year. I just want to get some dang milk and it takes me half a day.

Even more stupid… when I’m waiting to pay for my dang milk, and some jerk is not agreeing with the price of the oranges he’s getting. WHY. WHY.

Best Day EverI’ve already talked about this one so, yeah I won’t do it again, but you can reread my thoughts on that topic right HERE.

On replay…The Nightmare Before Christmas. You know I remember when this first came out and I was WTF IS THIS DISNEY…but now? I can play it over and over again and I love it. I think I can sing almost all of it now! This is Halloween, This is Halloween…  😀

 

Totally loving…making all kinds of rice bowls!

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Rice bowl topped with ground beef, tomatoes, green onions, red peppers, chipotle dressing

It’s hard to feed just ME, so lately I’ve been throwing food on top of rice and calling it dinner. It works for me! At least it’s not takeout, right?

Never would have thought…I’d enjoy drinking BLACK COFFEE, but the Starbucks in Downtown Disney has Clover Coffee, and MAN OH MAN… it’s so good and not bitter? I wish there was a machine here in my area.

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Clover

Really enjoying…essences right now! I didn’t get the whole essence thing when they first came out, but boy, now that I’ve tried some that really work I am hooked people!

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Some Essence Waters I’m Loving

These two are pretty awesome ones that I picked up in California. And I also love the MIYU Beauty one that I reviewed yesterday. They’re all fantastic at adding a burst of moisture to just cleansed skin that I can’t live without now. I’ll do a more in-depth review of these two moisture morsels soon I promise.

Terrified of…High Blood Pressure? When I was at my yearly Neurologist appointment, she said my BP was high? And scared the crap outta’ me? So I went to my doc, and he said NO, you are FINE. My mama had high BP, so it’s something that scares me and I don[t want any part of it! It’s why I exercise almost every day.

HATE…that our Canadian Dollar is doing so poorly right now! Makes having a daughter going to a US College that more expensive…

Love the weather when… it’s cold and snowy! My favourite time of year is right now! I’m a January Baby, so sometimes I wonder if loving the winter and cold is just an automatic YES for us weirdos born in winter hahaha!

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Hoar Frost

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Best age…is there one? I don’t think so. Just like I don’t believe in the whole Best Day thing too. You make your life what it is my friends…every day, every year can be the best one ever, hey? BE HAPPY. That’s what’s the best.

Regretting…making Marky do math HAHAHA…honestly the poor kid…she was horrible at it, and I’d have to tutor every night and MAN it was so frustrating to teach her! But I made her complete grade 11 level…just in case she needed it….and SHE DOESN’T in Disney’s college so I REGRET PUSHING HER to do something she’d never have to use.

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No time for…cleaning?!! Baking?!! I’m so behind on everything and Marky is coming home today. I haven’t dusted or cleaned her room since she left late August. Gonna make Terry do it today because I CAN.  😛

Always hungry for…toast. Seriously, toast rules dudes. And my Zumba Buddy who is Dutch/German got me these and I didn’t think toast could get any better, but I was wrong hahaha!

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Chocolate Sprinkles for toast!

Always ready to travel to…DISNEYLAND and CALIFORNIA of course! Easy answer. Going back in January actually. The American Border dudes always hassle Marky a bit, so we like to be there for her to say YA we be the parents here so…step off jerks. >:(

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Disneyland

So disgusting…pickled herring BLECHHHHHhhhh…it’s a Ukrainian Christmas traditional food and I just can’t!

Pushing myself to… do more moving around! I do Zumba as you know, but I want to move even more. I got a new FitBit and I love it. I am moving more because of it!

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Really want to…Go to Iceland!

Kind of missing… my mama. She died at this time of year, so I have a hard time getting into the whole Christmas Spirit thing. When someone you love so dearly dies at this time of year, you kind of realize that Christmas is really just another day on the calendar.

Dancing to…my favourite Zumba Song is Megan Trainor’s Better When I’m Dancing! It makes me smile every time!

Happy Friday everyone! And one more thing:

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Are you all ready for Christmas? We aren’t at all! Tree still isn’t up yet haha! Although, we don’t really put a whole lot of pressure on the whole Christmas thing. It’s more about spending some quality family time together for us! And that’s what we are gonna aim to do!

Listen up, I got a question here?
Would anybody miss you if you disappeared?
Well your life is the song that you sing,
And the whole wide world is listening!
Well the answer to the question is,
You were created, your life is a gift and
The lights are shining on you today- You got something to say!

~Matthew West, Something to Say

I’ve been SO so tired this past week… sorry I haven’t posted much. Hiking in Jasper was awesome believe me…

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Maligne Canyon, Jasper AB

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Maligne Canyon, Jasper AB

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Maligne Canyon, Jasper AB

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Maligne Canyon, Jasper AB

 

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Maligne Canyon, Jasper AB

 

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Post hike face-just sunscreen and no blush-that redness is evidence of the hike haha!

But man, it kicked my chubby BUTT. Well, maybe not so much my chubby butt, because I’m pretty fit for a fat girl, thank you very much  😛  …But my MS legs dudes…they are my NEMESIS. I HATE THEM. They get tired really easily when I overdo it. I’ve been recovering from the Maligne Canyon Hike since I got back and today is the first day I feel half ok again. HALF mind you…yet I made my ass go to Zumba this AM because I was tired of being TIRED. It’s just a NO LIKEY for Tracy.

I sometimes forget I have Multiple Sclerosis?!!! Yeah I know that’s weird…but it’s true. Most days I am fine. FINE. And then I try to do things like that hike and my body says HELLOOO mother-effer…forGOT you have a disease HEYYyyyy? 

It’s been 15 Years since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. FIFTEEN YEARS YOU GUYS. My actual diagnosis day was September 15, 2000. And back then it was a probable diagnosis…you had to have another relapse to PROVE you had the disease to get on the expensive meds that were available then. And well, you all know how I HATE to disappoint hahaha… :P…and so in October I had another Multiple Sclerosis attack..which changed my diagnosis to DEFINITE Multiple Sclerosis and I was OK’d to go on a medicine of my choice. Yeah, you get to CHOOSE when the medicine costs a lot of money. It’s like they fight for your insurance money-kind of hilarious to be honest. November 1, 2000 a nurse came over to my house to teach me how to inject myself every day with the medicine I chose to take -for the rest of my life.

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO…..WOW.

I truly forgot about how long I’ve been dealing with Multiple Sclerosis, until the Nurse that comes along with my expensive meds checked in on me a couple of weeks ago, and reminded me of that little tidbit. Yeah, when you pay $1800/month for meds you get a personal nurse that emails you and asks you if you need anything…go figure, hey?  😛

And you know what? It was a good thing she emailed me and reminded me of my anniversary. Because I’m truly a lucky ducky compared to a lot of others with MS. #NoCaneYet #15YearsStrong   She called me an inspiration? And wanted to know what kept me going strong, taking my meds all these years?!

And, I had to think about that to be honest. It wasn’t an easy answer for me actually, because I don’t take my meds regularly-which is supposed to be every day-anymore. Hey, 15 years of needles…HURTS….I’m sorry…I just can’t every day lately..but I try 5/7, well maybe more like 4/7 …3/7 ???!! days to prick myself and grin and bear it. It’s a sub-cutaneous injection and I don’t use my arms anymore…haven’t for about 7 years now. When you cry because of the pain your meds cause, you tend to SKIP that hurty part…no more arms dudes. I also happen to have the curse of lipoatrophy-a rare side effect from the meds and needles. It means just what you think it means-the subQ layers of fat get attacked and eaten away…which would be ok if it was nice and even of a fat attack. It’d be like free liposuctions HAHAHA! Instead, I’m left with holes and dents in my thighs and abdomen. It’s not pretty, that’s for sure. So when people complain about stretch marks and crap? I’m sorry, you have NO. IDEA. I don’t wear shorts anymore. I can’t…I have HUGE dents in my thighs that look…well, scary.  🙁

But, I don’t care? Because those dents in my body are what partly keeps me walking. It’s worth the defect! #fairtrade

And so? I think I need to TALK about it. Talk about Multiple Sclerosis. About my disease. And my mindset. Because honestly? I think that has had a BIG part in how I’ve managed my disease.

When I was diagnosed with MS, I didn’t see it as a SENTENCE as to what my life was going to become. My neurologist, bless her, was quite matter of the fact when telling me what MIGHT happen…like waking up one morning not being able to see..or walk. HA. Being blind one AM in my future was slightly disconcerting though, I’m not gonna lie. But, she also said she had patients well into their 70s that were still walking and doing fine?

AND RIGHT THERE AND THEN I DECIDED THAT WAS GONNA BE ME TOO.

As soon as I was diagnosed, I went to a Support Group held by the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada to learn about the monster, because dang it-I hate surprises. I wanted to KNOW. EVERYTHING. What could and couldn’t happen to me. And it was weird? Because most of the others there had been diagnosed 5-10 years ago and FINALLY decided to learn something about MS. They all told me how they admired me for going so soon…it was a month after finding out for me…and hitting Multiple Sclerosis head on. Most of them ignored it at first, until it was too late for them.

I don’t follow any “diet” for MS…I mean c’mon seriously…how can what I eat contribute to the demylenation of my myelin sheath?

Like screw off…don’t come on here and tell me how your 5th aunt removed beat MS by eating turnips every day. I’ll find you and kick you in the nards I SWEAR. It’s BULL. SHITE.

What’s done it for me? A few things I think, and exercise is one. Even though I’m not as slim as I was pre-diagnosis, I believe it helps me a lot. Why? It helps with STRESS. And I swear, stress is a HUGE and major problem not just for Multiple Sclerosis, but also for other diseases as well. I remember my neurologist telling me that keeping stress levels low was beneficial to my disease progression, and I took that to heart. I really did. And exercise helps keep me calm. I can’t do anything too strenuous these days, but even just a nice walk is enough to make me feel so much better and helps me destress.

Also, I don’t wear my disease on my shoulder…I don’t play the Multiple Sclerosis Card every chance I get. Believe me, it’s tempting some days. But like I said, I don’t think of myself as being sick, so it just doesn’t come to mind most days unless I’m feeling extra exhausted. And even then, I don’t use my disease as an excuse? EVER.

I BUCK UP…like my Zumba BFF Annette says I do. Yup. BUCK. UP.

I could sit around and feel sorry for myself and believe me, this week I did, LORDY. And this morning in bed when the alarm went off, I really did not want to get up to go to Zumba. But, I did. Because why NOT. I had no reason to not go. Yeah, legs were still felling tired, but so what. I know they’ll never feel all PERFECT. So, what else was my excuse to not go? I couldn’t think of anything else. So, I bucked up, got up, and went. And it was FUN. And I feel better for going.

And the last thing that helps me deal… is LAUGHING. Finding the funny in my day. I’m a weird bird! You all know it, don’t you? 😉  Marky knows it and has told me so-nothing like your kid calling you WEIRD hahaha! She’s been with me in the car when I drive and road rage sets in…and then…I’ll say something like F$$K BUS..yeah, I’ve said that…like a noun…and when I do??!! I LAUGH SO HARD AT MYSELF, and so does everyone else around me. Laughing is another way to deal with stress. And I love laughing. A lot!

I wish I could say there was some magic pill, some magic turnip(not sure why I’m on about turnips in this post, I do love eating them haha) that has helped me stay well all these 15 years of living with MS. But, I can’t tell you that’s the case.

What I do know? Is that it’s all about how your mind sees your cross in life. We all have our crosses. And not one is worth more than another’s? I mean what’s hard for you, is hard for YOU. BUT, it’s how you deal with setbacks…that’s the key. You can either melt into a puddle and give up…or, BUCK. UP.

It’s your choice. And, if I can do it? You can too. Here’s to another 15 years of walking without a cane! ‘Cause oh YEAH, that’s what I’mma gonna do. You can count on it.   😀 ‘Cause I got SOMETHING TO SAY. 😀 😀

 

HUGZ,

Today is the greatest
Day I’ve ever known
Can’t wait for tomorrow,
I might not have that long
I’ll tear my heart out
Before I get out

~Wilamette Stone version of the Smashing Pumpkins song, Today

I’ve been sick the last few days, and therefore not doing much. And I’m by myself too. So, that means I can watch whatever movie comes on with no whining from Terry HAHA! Seriously, he’d watch the movie I, Robot every day if it were on 😛 I love my hubby, and I love Will Smith, but that movie is not one of my faves by the guy. Gimme I Am Legend any day, or Pursuit of Happyness-those are Will Smith GOLD movies.
Anyways, yesterday I happened to catch the movie If I Stay, based off of a YA novel that I guess is much loved. If you’ve never read the book or seen the (kinda’sappy) movie, I’ll fill you in. It’s about Mia, who happens to be a talented young cellist, that feels out of place in her rock n’ roll family. She meets the love of her life, Adam who is also hugely talented and in an up and coming rock band. Mia decides to apply to Juilliard, but that puts a real damper on her relationship with Adam. One snowy day, her and her family get in a car wreck, and Mia ends up in a coma, and of course, has an out of body experience(otherwise that’d be the end of the book/movie lol). She loses everyone in her immediate family while in the coma(mom, dad, and little brother) and has to decide whether she wants to live and fight on, or…well,  join her family and die.

Yeah. I know. Sappy. Predictable stuff to be honest. It wasn’t great, and it wasn’t bad. Just something to keep me from falling asleep with this cold I’ve been battling.

And then, this scene happened:

AND I WAS IN TEARS YOU GUYS.

As she narrates the scene, Mia describes what she finally realizes was the Happiest Day Of Her Life. And that got me thinking about what was mine?! I started thinking, and sure…the old cliché ones came up….getting married, the birth of Marky….

But to be honest? I can’t really say those days were the happiest ever…I mean to me, the happiest day ever would mean a day of pure and utter smiles, bliss… and both of those days, weren’t all smiles and giggles, lets get real. Can a wedding day really be without any worry? ‘Cause mine wasn’t. My mother had really bad arthritis, so the morning of my wedding I had to drive her to the ER so she could get a cortisone shot in her knee so that she could walk relatively pain-free the rest of the day. SIGH. And that’s just ONE example of wedding day troubles for me…I could go on, but eh…you get it I think.

And I don’t know, giving birth for me was a two-day, REALLY painful affair-when I say I was happy, it was because she finally was OUT of my body and it was all over 😛

Nope. Those memories weren’t it. Which made me start thinking again…I know…I shouldn’t think so much. It really is a curse.

Can you REALLY label a day…ONE DAY…to be the Happiest Day Of Your Life? Can you?

I can think of moments where I was REALLY HAPPY. Like the moment Marky said her first word…MOON…as she pointed to a picture in a book I was reading to her…The New Year’s Eve where Terry and I stayed up all night talking about LIFE…our plans….When my worried mama grabbed me a couple of hours before my brother’s wedding to ask me to put some makeup on her, because she was feeling less than glamorous next to the in-laws(who were WAY over the top for a wedding my god-never seen so many sequins on old ladies in my life)….My dad telling little Marky he LOVED her…which changed him… and from then on he never had any problem telling me, or any of us kids that he loved us too…Marky finding out she got into CalARTS wow, I still remember sitting on my bed, eyes closed HOPING YES while she checked on the computer…the first time I was able to run a mile without stopping…How every wedding and dance in my youth I attended and the first polka I danced was with my brother Mark…as soon as the song would start, he’d be there in front of me-it was our tradition, and we’d smile the WHOLE dance…it was so much fun whirling around with my brother…we were REALLY good dancers you guys…bonfires at the beach and singing with my friends all the old, traditional Ukrainian folk songs…

Moments of pure happy. I have loads of them! But to say that a day, ONE day, is the happiest day of my life? Not sure I can think of one, whole, day.

Is that weird? Is it? Am I some kind of freak here? Am I over thinking this? Please. Tell me if I am. I need to know!

SO. What this happy day wondering has done, is make me realize that I haven’t been all that happy lately. Like Mia says in that clip-her parents had a scene, her boyfriend Adam had a scene, and she was alone with her cello, and until that moment…she finally felt part of something, and that made her happy. Weirdly enough, I feel just like that. BAZINGA, right on the mark exactly how I feel lately. Marky is gone at college, Terry still gets to leave and go to work…and then there’s me. Left here. By myself. No scene of my own to feel a part of. And sure, there’s blogging. That’s a scene I guess. But, even in that I feel not so much a part of lately. I’m not one of the bloggers that gets most of the new releases sent to me. And honestly, I don’t care about that…most of the makeup these days is SHITE to be honest. Pffft…most of my happy moments do NOT deal with makeup and stuff, so that wouldn’t make me happy anyways. I have some up and coming things that are kind of exciting though, and I’m really proud to be a part of. That makes me kind of happy I guess?! Yeah. Maybe the problem is that I’ve lost touch with NOTICING those moments…seeing the little things that can make me feel happy.

So….I’ve decided that every day from now on, I’m going to find the happy in every day. Find something, DO something that makes me HAPPY. Even if it’s just looking at the sunset! I love looking at the sky lately for some reason, maybe it’s an aging thing, I don’t know.

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But there’s a certain point in the evening when the light is just…PERFECTION, and you can see everything so clearly. And you have no doubts about what you’re looking at. Is that HAPPY?! Maybe. One thing I’m gonna do that’s gonna bring back the happy for me, is finally get myself a piano again. I really miss music in my life! I miss it a lot. This movie also really made me realize that as well, damn YA novel, teen-pull-at-your-heart-strings-movie…lol. Music was a big part of my life growing up, and I need it back now. I’m sure of that.

I urge you to find the HAPPY in every day as well…to not dwell on the things that bother you. I’m so guilty of doing this, focusing on the one thing in my day that annoyed the F$$K outta’ me. I want to stop it.  In the end, as this movie/book finally says…it really doesn’t matter? Does it?

It’s the HAPPY that does. So, let’s TRY to be HAPPY. Every. Day.

HUGZ,

 Tell me the things that make you happy!

 

After last week’s emotional post about my friend, I decided I needed a break. An Adventure! To take my mind off all the horrible stuff going on around me. I love going to the mountains here in Alberta. Heck, if I could afford it, I’d move there in a heart beat. I wish I could. I really do. So, that’s where we went.

And so, I’m gonna spam you again with all the beautiful scenery I experienced last week in Banff. #lovealberta

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Banff Alberta Overpasses

 

This is something I’ve never showed you before. Canada Parks built these overpasses for the animals to help them cross the highways. It’s a seamless forest-y walkway for them, and I think they work actually! You hardly ever see any roadkill in Banff National Park anymore.

We didn’t spend a lot of time in Banff this trip because we really wanted to see Lake Louise this time.

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Lake Louise, Alberta

 

And yup. It’s probably one of the prettiest spots on Earth. She doesn’t disappoint. Get ready for the money shot.

Lake Louise, Alberta

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Lake Louise, Alberta

 

Lake Louise is an alpine lake, and is known for its sparkling blue-green waters. It’s situated at the base of glaciers as you can see.

Lake Level view!

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Lake Louise, Alberta

 

I’m sorry, I just couldn’t stop snapping pictures! I could just sit there for hours staring and thinking.

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Lake Louise, Alberta

 

Here’s a view to the left. I did turn my head and look around hahaha!

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Lake Louise, Alberta

 

This is a time I wish every picture came with a smell-o-vision button. The air up there is so CLEAN. So fresh. And you can pick out every single scent that’s there-pine? Wild flowers? Greenery? It’s surreal, and so hard to explain?! I wish I could do it justice, but I don’t think any words can really tell you what it smells like there. You just have to come and smell and see for yourselves!

Moraine Lake, Alberta:

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Moraine Lake, Alberta

 

This gorgeous lake view used to be on the back of our old $20 bills.

Moraine Lake, Alberta

Moraine Lake, Alberta

Moraine Lake is a lot bluer than Lake Louise, and there’s a science-y time reason for that!

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Moraine Lake, Alberta

 

SO blue.

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Moraine Lake, Alberta

 

I regret not buying this amazing toilet paper holder in Banff. I swear you can buy the weirdest/most amazing things there.

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I couldn’t get Terry on board with it for some reason HAHA. He couldn’t see my decorating vision! Can you?

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Found a stocking stuffer for Marky. It’s her favourite word I swear.

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Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Nurturing Body Washing Cream

 

And a little beauty bonus for you! It’s so DRY in Calgary and Banff. I thought it was dry up here in Edmonton, but every time I go down south and to the mountains my legs get SO ITCHY that I can’t stop scratching like a buffoon. This Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Nurturing Body Washing Cream saved me from scratching my legs off. It’s really thick and lathers nicely into the softest foamy foam ever. It smells very shea buttery too-nice and gentle. But it doesn’t leave your skin greasy feeling at all for something so moisturizing. It cleanses really well too! I love it, and from now on it’s coming with me on any trips for sure. Perfect for this near menopause gal who can’t stand body butters!

You just can’t beat Alberta skies I’m telling you. Nope. No way. No how.

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And that was my little adventure last week! I hope to have many more adventures to show you. You see, my hubby was laid off at the end of July, and forced to take early retirement. It was a bit of a shock to us, but he only wanted to work until Marky was finished college anyways. He has been still working though for Sportsnet Productions, but as a freelancer. At first we thought maybe he should get a full-time staff position and then we started to REALLY think about it. WHY. Freelance work is the way to go for him right now, so he can enjoy life for a change. It was a scary decision for us-since he’s the only bread winner in the family. But, life is short. And we want to enjoy what time we’ve got left here! Having sick friends really makes you think about what you want to do with what little time you’ve got left here. And we want to have some fun adventures together!

I promise to get back to blogging about beauty this week! I have quite a bit of things I’ve been loving to show you-specifically skincare. And also some decluttering posts too! YUP. Lots of stuff coming at you, so be prepared!

HUGS everyone! Have you been on any fun adventures lately?

                                            I am the one with big mistakes
                                            Big regrets and bigger breaks
                                             Than I ever care to confess
                                          Oh but, You’re the one who looks at me
                                              And sees what I was meant to be
                                             More than just a beautiful mess   

                                                        -Matthew West

I’m at the age where…well…there’s no other way of putting it…my friends are dropping like flies. Yeah…I mean DYING. Cancer, mainly. And anybody around my age that’s dying??!! Is just WRONG.

Last week I found out my friend is battling cancer for the second time…and I’m gobsmacked. Last time she was given a bill of clean health. This time it sounds bad. It’s spread to her liver and lungs now. And to me that’s just bad, bad, news, and doctors have given her one year to live. Of course she’s fighting like the Ukrainian rebel she is…and I hope?! REALLY HOPE?!! SHE WINS.

And to be honest? Why I am telling you all this? Well, we had our daughters just a few months apart. So, her daughter? Is the same as age as Marky. And that fact? MAKES ME REALLY SAD. REALLY. SAD.

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Marky is the redhead, in case you didn’t know hahaha-the other beauty is her BFF Amber. They’re amazing together, so talented. And will RUE THE ANIMATION WORLD SOON JUST WATCH.

 

To imagine not experiencing the rest of my Marky’s life? Her graduating college? Getting a job? Getting married maybe? Being one of the few, YET talented females to FIGHT to get her cartoon idea into a a show on TV? Or FILM even? I can’t. I WON’T. I just WON’T.

I’m not blogging about this because I’m scared of dying. I’m at peace with that. I’m not scared of dying. I’m a Ukrainian Orthodox for cripes sake, so my beliefs tell me I’m gonna end up explaining to my mama up in heaven why I didn’t do…you know what? I’m pretty sure my mama is cool with my life, now that I really think about it. Because she was pretty cool for a lady who went through so MUCH crap in her life. But I AM scared of not seeing my daughter become who I KNOW she’ll become. And that, makes me so sad for my friend…I’m sure she’d LOVE to be able to see her daughter become whomever she was meant to be too. And she should be ABLE TO. It shouldn’t be a question. It should be MANDATORY.

Life. Is. Not. Fair. We all know this, sort of…until something really hits you close to home and you realize how true this stupid saying is.

What’s my point? I don’t really know anymore. I think I just needed to talk about it. Because there’s nothing that can be done, except of course…pray. And if you do pray, then by all means please, add my friend Noella in those nightly prayers of yours(yes, she was born on Christmas eve so that’s why she was named Noella). She’d appreciate it very much. As would I.

I think I just really wanted to say how much I love all of you. Really, I do. I’ve met so many AMAZING people through blogging. Some I’ve even REALLY met in person. PR people too HAHAHA! AND WE’VE HUGGED. Hugging is my ultimate connection to someone- I’m an actual Professional Hugger-I actually have a certificate somewhere in the mess that is my house. My brother and I? ALWAYS HUGGED. EVERYONE. And for some people, it was/is hard to accept that hug …but they grew/grow to LIKE it, accept it. My family HUGGED. Always did. And so, I continue to hug people I’ve met/meet.

You know why I hug? Why Huggers Hug? Because we want to keep you in our hearts.

But regardless of having met you in person or not-all of you are just so special to me. All of those whom I’ve talked to because of this silly blog. And, hugging in person is not always possible these days. WE’VE VIRTUALLY HUGGED THEN, HEY. And shared so many laughs! So many good friends I have through blogging! And you need to know, REALLY NEED TO KNOW- how special you are to everyone around you, and to me as well.

You. Are. Everything.

~Tracy xoxo

Let’s talk about STUFF. Stuff I’m liking? Beauty and other STUFF…you know STUFF. Because stuff is LIFE, right? Or is LIFE stuff? Guess it depends what side of the stuff you live on  😛

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I’ve been skipping Zumba for the last week and a half, because my fave instructor took holidays. And hey…that’s all cool, ’cause I mean she’s a person and has to live outside of Zumba…but UGGGGH…I hate Zumba subs. You get used to an instructor’s style and choreography BIG time…a sub is just Zumba FAIL for me. So instead of taking a Zumba class I’ll regret, I choose to go for a good, brisk over an hour walk with the hubby and avoid Zumba disappointment. Zumba disappointment can sting you for YEARS people. 😛 Ok, ok…maybe weeks, but it FEELS like years I swear! I love going for a walk on the trails by our house. We usually go for about 7.5 km and it feels good!
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Wild raspberries grow along our walking trail, which amazes me! They’re so SMALL compared to what you buy in store! WHAT is up with THAT?! Are grocery store raspberries mutants? Still doesn’t stop people from collecting these tiny morsels haha! We always see people foraging for berries on our walks.

I got a new mascara, Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara in Black Honey. MAN, I wish Clinique would just drop the whole CHUBBY, FATTENING SCHTICK. It kind of sickens me to be honest…but not enough yet to ignore them, but keep it up dudes…TRY ME. My chubby ass DON’T care what brand I put on my face since it’s around 3 feet away…  😀  😀

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Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara in Black Honey

The mascara wand is your typical plastic many-sized bristles that seems to be the norm these days. I actually don’t mind the brush so much as the formula…it’s REALLY wet. And I’m usually a HUGE fan of Clinique mascara formulas, so this one is like a huge WTF moment for me. Not that I hate it…it’s just really wet, and the brush is all sloppy and covered in so much mascara that it scares me. I have to wipe off a LOT of product on a kleenex before going to my eye, and I kind of hate when I have to do that with a mascara. I feel like I’m wasting so much product.

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Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara in Black Honey

Here’s a skin SWATCHY TIME of the shade:

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Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara in Black Honey

NICE, right? But eh-it’s not really all that FATTENING..and I’m a fat girl, so TRUST ME…I know fat when I see it!

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Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara in Black Honey

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Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara in Black Honey

Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara in Black Honey is ok? But it’s not WOW. It gives great separation and length to my lashes, but it’s nothing to get all excited about. The colour is what saves it for me. I adore the shade. Clinique could write BLACK HONEY on friggin’ toilet paper and I’d be all over it like a bad cold. Black Honey was my first “grown-up lipstick” so I always have a tube in my my purse because 1: NOSTALGIA, and 2: It’s the lipstick they used on Liv Tyler for Arwen in LOTR(Lord Of The Rings in case you aren’t all up with the abbreviations) and…HELLOooooo- who doesn’t want Arwen Lips? Anyways, Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara in Black Honey will probably get loads better for me as the tube dries up a bit…I like my mascaras at a certain wetness level…which is about 3 weeks in for wet ones like this.

I wasn’t going to buy these Two Faced Love Flush Long-Lasting 16-Hour Blushes($32), but Marky really wanted one, so like a good mama, I ordered one for her…and one for me…you know… for BLUSH SCIENCE… 😛

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Two Faced Love Flush Long-Lasting 16-Hour Blushes in Love Hangover, How Deep Is Your Love

Everybody keeps raving about the packaging on these, and I don’t get why? Is it the bunny imprint? The heart shape? So what? Wow, jaded beauty junkie or what, hey?  😀

Swatchy Time!

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Two Faced Love Flush Long-Lasting 16-Hour Blushes in Love Hangover, How Deep Is Your Love

They’re both basically the same shade, a watermelon pink, just one is more shiny than the other. Marky likes shiny EVERYTHING, while old me prefers things to be not so shiny these days. But WOW. These are some seriously pigmented blushes! A little too much for us pale folks here at Beauty Reflections!

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Too Faced How Deep Is Your Love

I’m wearing How Deep Is Your Love in that pic, and I’m telling you it was a barely DIP and then a hand brush before this puppy went onto my chubby cheeks. These blushes are truly made for darker skin tones than mine, which is about NC15 on a good day lately…sunscreen works! I’m so pale right now in the middle of summer and LOVE it. Hard to find a foundation that matches well lately…and it’s weirdly invigorating and making me feel all YOUNG again!  Anyways, the 16-hour wear time is full of SHITE…these are pretty average wearing for a blush I find…a good 8 hours and fading happens after that. Then again, maybe if I could actually wear MORE than a smidgen on my pale face in one go…well, that might make a difference in wear time. MAYBE. The shades are really pretty though! I like Too Faced Blushes.

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Roast beef, caramelized onions, and a tiny bit of blue cheese quesadilla drizzled with some Nonna Pia’s balsamic glaze is SO GOOD. I got this flavour and the plain one-at Costco, but I’ve seen them sold at grocery stores as well. WORTH IT. Makes your sandwiches an experience!

LOOKY AT THIS BEAST OF A MACHINE!
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Yup! I gotta a SNOWBLOWER! It was a cheap, used buy …but I’m so freaking excited for the snow to really start to fly here and USE it! I call it HUSQY (Husqvarna Snow Blower is the brand) for short…and I love him like the son I never had… 😛

A lot of you really liked my Instagram Post of my Grilled Lemon-Basil Tofu Burgers.

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There were so GOOD! And here’s the link to the recipe. Safe to say it’s a new dinner staple at our house. I’m trying to incorporate more meatless yums here, so if you have any recipes, lead me to them! I used to be a vegetarian when I was in my 20s, but I can’t commit fully to it now, being anemic and all. But I do want to eat less meat and more veggies. Goals. Gotta have them, right?

Last day of July can you believe it? Happy Friday everyone! And Happy Long Weekend my fellow Canadians! What stuff have you been liking lately?