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? 

Happy Friday everyone! How was your week? Mine was pretty fabulous, for the most part! The only glitch in my week was this abomination:

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NOT an April Fool’s Joke!

 

Happy April, right? Ugh. And it’s been chilly ever since the snow fell on April 1st, so it’s STILL on the ground. I hope it goes away soon!

Last weekend I was bored and by myself, so I finally decided to start watching Downton Abbey on Netflix.

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OBSESSED. Why haven’t I been watching this the whole time?!! I’m fascinated with these snobby aristocrats and servants. Do you watch it? I’m kinda sad they’ve announced that the 6th season will be the last.

Monique is one of my dearest and oldest friends, and she and her partner Mike keep sending me more photos of Buster the cat. They also got a buddy for Buster! Meet Charlie!

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Buster is not amused

Buster is not amused. 😛

HAHA that FACE Buster makes-CRACKS ME UP every time! Actually, he doesn’t mind Charlie and puts up with his antics. Even Buster needs a buddy! 😛

I finally, FINALLY got my hands on NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anna!

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NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anna

 

I’ve been searching for Anna for months I tell ya’. Every counter around me and in Calgary was always sold out. So, when I saw it pop up back in stock on TheBay.com I ordered it! And FYI, you can now order Burberry Cosmetics and MAC from The Bay as well, which can be dangerous haha!

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NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anna

 

I love it! It’s everything I was hoping it’d be-the perfect smoky rose lipstick! So wearable and would flatter a lot of skin tones for sure. If you happen to spot it, scoop it up! I can’t say enough good things about the NARS Audacious formula: one swipe opaque pigmentation, smooth, comfortable to wear, lasts forever and wears off beautifully!

Make Up Forever came out with a new mascara and it’s really, really good! This is one of the BEST mascaras I’ve tried in a long, long time!

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Make Up Forever Smoky Stretch Lengthening and Defining Mascara

 

Make Up Forever Smoky Stretch Lengthening and Defining Mascara($28) is formulated with a Flex Control Complex, which lengthens lashes and giving them definition and separation at the same time.

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Make Up Forever Smoky Stretch Lengthening and Defining Mascara

The plastic comb brush is designed to grip lashes at their base and comb through each and every lash. And yup, it sure does! And it feels good too! It doesn’t hurt like other spiky mascaras wands.

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Make Up Forever Smoky Stretch Lengthening and Defining Mascara

Make Up Forever Smoky Stretch Lengthening and Defining Mascara is the mascara I was wearing in my last post about the Givenchy Le Rouge-à-Porter lipstick where a couple of you commented about my lashes. This is why they looked so good!

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Make Up Forever Smoky Stretch Lengthening and Defining Mascara

Make Up Forever Smoky Stretch Lengthening and Defining Mascara gives my lashes amazing length and separation. It’s a perfect formula for me, just wet enough so that I can keep building up layers, but doesn’t take long to dry. It doesn’t flake or smudge and stays put all day. It’s a really great mascara and I highly recommend it!

Marky posted her portfolio online if you’d like to see my kid’s awesome work! She’s still waiting to hear if she got an internship, so keep your fingers crossed for her!

And oh yeah! HAVE A HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE! I hope The Easter Bunny brings you lots of this:

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AND that basket full of lipsticks we talked about the other day!

How was YOUR week? Did you do anything fun? Finally get your hands on a makeup item you’ve been stalking for months? 😛 Or something that made you smile? 🙂  Any plans for Easter?