Enduring Towards The Finish


Lately, I have been thrilled to tell people, that I actually have a life; stuff I need to get done and things I must attend to. For along time all I could say was ‘well I keep busy.’ Long term illness is like that – do you realize how much time you actually spend doing your job and/or taking care of your kids. I had read somewhere that it would take 17 things to do to actually replace the amount of things the average person does at work. For this reason I think you lose a lot of your identity when you are not out working on whatever is you work on; hence, a lot of your identity comes from your job. The first two questions you are asked when you meet someone are what is your name and what/where do you work?

I have not been able to go back to work yet but I find that I am keeping busier and busier. So busy that about the time I am finally able to rest I just drop, like there is no energy left inside me and this is taking into consideration the fact that I can barely work part time and others can do full time. So the big things in my life are finishing up my Residential Design Certificate – right now a drawing course on architectural design, writing for Flurt magazine, doing yoga, and planning out the two 15-20 page documents I will need to get into a Master’s in Creative Writing for next July. I am ambitious but I know somehow I will get done what needs to get done.

What is the problem you do not foresee when you are completing your goals? The hard and often repetitative work it takes to get to where you need to be. In writing, in art, and in life things take a lot of reworking to get to a presentable never mind exceptional, state. Take for instance, my drawing course. I used to be quite a talented artist but it has been 4 or 5 years since I have drawn much. I am finding I have to relearn old methods and that objects I am drawing do not exactly turn out the way they used to, or the way I want them to. For example, when doing a self portrait the amount of time one must spend blending, drawing, redrawing, switching pencils, and erasing etc. for each part of the face is phenomenal. The detail it takes you from the point you first sketch out a basic face until it is finished is a lot of work. Maybe I just did not notice before but this is just about the way everything is in life – rechecking and refining any work you do into perfection. Writing is like this as well, continually spellchecking, rewording, checking grammar, erasing sentences, reading aloud, leaving something be so you can better rewrite it – all of that takes time. So I have really been recognizing how much work goes into projects and goals lately. Kudos to you who work hard, to get your work to that finished product, it is not an easy thing to do.

I believe for so long I have just refused to do things and have not had the stamina to complete things when they get to hard; endurance is a key factor in life. How long can you push through the reworking stage, what is your patience, for enduring onto the end. Maybe this speaks for life in general. I was reading some post on Facebook that said meeting the right person to spend your life with was not the problem. Everyone can make it through that lovey-dovey pink clouds phase that is not the problem. The real work comes when you commit to a person and work through and put up with those quirks that were once endearing, annoying habits, having nothing to say to each other, getting upset at each other (etc.) that is what endurance is needed for. The post on Facebook ended by saying that God brings different people into our lives for different reasons but we must decide how long they stay and what those reasons are. Who will we endure for?

Getting back to what I was saying – it is good to have goals and things to achieve and if you are like me you are goal driven. Maybe finding that right person in your life is one of those goals. But what we must accept is that whatever we do in life it is going to take reworking, refitting, and reforming. We must adjust to our surroundings and to whatever we face next; life is not static and we cannot just stand still, unless it is a method of moving forward.

So I hope you achieve your dreams in the coming months and have the strength within you to succeed. If I’ve learned anything it is that what seems to break you, will make you stronger once you gone through it.

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Vanity, Vanity…a Bikini Wax?


Like many girls I like to take care of myself. I love wearing makeup, trying different face creams, and eye shadows. I like to look good for myself and for others. Is this vanity? To some degree, but mostly I just enjoy my beauty routine and I think it is a necessary part of life. It is important to look good because people judge you on how you look for things such as jobs, social events, and even going to school. Beauty rituals and taking care of yourself can even make you have better self esteem.

Now people have all different kinds of beliefs when they are taking care of themselves. Some questions one may ask about beauty is how much is too much time to put into how you look? How much time is not enough? How much is just the right amount of time for your schedule and life? Some people wish they could take less time taking care of themselves and some people wish they could take more. There are also fortunate and unfortunate parts about a beauty routines. It is fun to try different make up and hairstyles but it is not so fun when it comes to hair removal and skin issues.

I guess what bothers me about beauty is when you start to judge others on why they would get different beauty products or procedures. Since taking care of yourself often makes a person feel better, I especially do not care for these judgment calls because they effect women’s self-esteem. What is important to you may not be important to other people, but you may have a perfectly valid reason for a certain way you take care of your own body. You may feel that somethings are worth your money to spend on beauty and not on others.

For instance, I have a friend who does not ‘get’ bikini waxing in any shape or form; she just thinks it’s vanity. That is her own opinion on taking care ‘down there’ and lets just say I do not agree. It is something I have been doing since high school and believe it’s not only important to making you feel good even though nobody can see it when you are walking around, but also just important because your boyfriend or husband likes it, or maybe because you just feel better, cleaner for instance with a bikini wax. But I think it is up to women in general to decide how they feel about bikini waxing and other beauty procedures and if they want to get them done. In this day and age some ‘grooming’ down there is expected but to what to degree, that depends on you and who you are with – and not just your boyfriend or husband. For instance, for wearing many swim suites you have to do at least a little waxing or shaving, Please have the courtesy to do that! But I guess what I am getting to today is: I was mad at this friend after getting my first Brazilian bikini wax and her judging me – calling me vain because of it.

It was extremely painful and I do not know that I would do it again. But the point being is it was my choice and not for my friend to judge especially since she would never get one. She was calling me judgemental for saying it was something girls do now-a-days (most I know do) and rebuking me for getting one just like those girls. It really is just the norm now these days, nothing special. Wax or shave do whatever you want but the point is take care of yourself, however – it is your choice. Just as it my choice get a bikini wax it is my friend’s choice not to get one.

But this got me to thinking, how times change, and that how we take care of ourselves differs from how people took care of themselves in the 1920’s, 1970’s etc. It’s true, beauty rituals change but I think there needs to be understanding across generations what beauty rituals people do in whatever age that they do them, and it is always a women’s choice. It is no more vain to get a bikini wax then it is to shave, then it is to use depilatory creams, or get laser treatments on that area. It is no more vain then cutting and dying the hair on your head. Like it or not some vanity is part of our society, and I think it’s a good attribute in this case, not a bad attribute.

We do not need to look perfect but we do need to love ourselves and others enough to take care of our bodies. Plus, it is not 1890, please believe me – beauty rituals are not the same and because they have changed does not make them anymore vain then any beauty ritual was in anytime throughout history.

Beauty is something I love about being a girl, I am partial to it. So I hope you do not judge anybody in there beauty rituals bad or good, and if you feel that you have to comment about it; be nice about it. You have no right to call someone vain, you do not live in their life, and you do not feel how they feel, you have not taken ‘ a walk in their heels.’ Beauty is more than skin deep, its emotional, and psychological; it is a powerful thing that does not effect us or others just physically or visually.

A Body Builder in A Makeup Add and Women Are Still Making Less Money then Men


Here are my most recent Flurt articles. As I said, in my previous blog, the rough drafts were a bit sloppy but my editor has fixed them up nicely. Enjoy reading!

A Body Builder in a Makeup Ad

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/01/a-body-builder-in-a-makeup-ad/

The Gender Gap

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/01/the-gender-gap-yes-women-are-still-making-less-than-men/

You are Getting Sloppy!


ImageYour Getting Sloppy! That is what I told myself after reading the published versions of my last two articles, and the copies of the articles I actually submitted, I have always been a good writer. After getting a copy of my transcripts from my BA in English 5 years back I was proud to look at my marks and see mostly marks ranging from B+ to A+ with the odd B only, in my third and fourth year university English and History courses. I am gathering things together to apply for a MFA in Creative Writing, and probably such as most people applying for their Master’s degree, think ‘I’m a good writer, I’m a shoe in.’

The problem with that is well those were my university marks from 5 years ago. And the articles, I have been handing in I think I have this idea in the back of my mind that ‘the editor will just fix it!’ But there is a certain pride that comes with having work that is mostly left unchanged, where major editing does not need to occur and then you can say: yes this is truly my work. But I get this feeling when something I write needs to be changed to much, that it does not feel like it is all my work in the final version. That is sloppy work on my part! I should be checking my writing for clarity and flow, how easy it is to read before I submit it. Maybe that means I need to leave it for a few hours or even over night before I email it in.

You see I have forgotten things in the few years I have been away from writing in school, to the point I came back to it 2 or 3 years later. For example, it is better to paraphrase then give big block quotations and only use certain words for a quote if you need to. For example, instead of quoting more than three lines of quotes I might just give part of the line from Emily Dickinson’s poem about a bird coming “down the walk.”

The other problem I am seeing, is that quoting and researching things in journalism or communications is quite different than in English or History. Paraphrasing is the name of the game and often you do not need to use quotation marks around words. You also only need to mention the name of a website/article you use in an article; there is no works cited. Also, your source of references might be quite different instead of using doctoral sources you would just paraphase/quote from what someone related to your article has said to you or paraphrase from another article related to your article. What works as a reliable article to paraphrase from, I am not quite sure? Any journalism/communications majors out there? I could use the name of guide to help me with this. Do you guys use MLA or APA or what’s your reference style? Any general advice would be great.

My point, though, is not knowing the right way to paraphrase, quote, and cite can make your work sloppy. So I am afraid, that when I apply for this Master’s I will use incorrect sources. In fact, I am even more scared what I will do without sources? I am a creative person but I find I usually need something to draw ideas or inspiration from. I can write non-fiction from past experiences or the experiences of others but coming up with fiction could be a problem. How big does my imagination have to be? It has been said “write about what you know” so I guess that might mean a short story, a love story in the basic form most romance type novels are written. I have some idea as I took the Romance course in university; we actually had to read a 1950’s (or before) Harlequin, it was quite interesting actually, what is considered sexy and scandalous in the perfect romance world back then and now. Not that I do not read a whole swack of other type books but I go through phases where all I want to read are these easy non- thinking books, which now I am thinking, may not be so easy if you actually have to put one together and you do not want it to be just as a Harlequin Romance (no offense to those who like or write).

But I cannot be sloppy! I am learning again to check and re-check my work. I have forgotten how many times this must be done and how in the end, you are still never even sure if your work is good enough, and this is just writing articles.I am writing a couple articles actually for the magazine, not the online edition, so I am a bit nervous, these have to be good! Not just stuff that flows out of my head such as most of my articles often tend to be. All my articles need to be well researched, easy to read, and with a personal touch; it is that personal touch too I must remember. The writing has to sound like you, in your words, not just like notes you took from a website or class.

So, I best get to work, no being lazy. It is easy to be sloppy in writing, in life. Sometimes you just need a little wake up call to up the anti; improve yourself, and learn a couple things you never knew before. And I apologize if this is sloppy…

Pinterest Fashion Winter/Spring


Well, it goes without saying that I like many a person have become addicted to pinterest; a great way to kill an hour, go on pinterest pick a subject and pin your favorites. Or go to all your favorite websites and pin your ‘must have’ pieces for the coming spring. One of the things I love about pinterest is the fact that I have discovered so many other websites and blogs through pinterest, often that I have bought stuff or pinned stuff off of. Today I just wanted to show you some of my favorite fashion pins of late, and trends I see emerging or have seen emerging in the last while:

Exotic Bazaar  <3<3<3

Chunky Jewelry – it doesn’t always work with every outfit but with a plane shirt/dress a definite must to make your outfit pop. I love pearls they are so classic so I have chosen this chunky pearl necklace. And below a lovely mint green necklace that I have in fact, bought for myself off a great website called Pree Brulee which is going to have a fashion line soon. I also got a belt and cool ring. Everything is reasonably priced and so sweet and pretty.

Ocean Treasure Necklace

I LOVE this

Long Dresses- well since last summer we have seen the emergence of these lovely long dresses. I recently ordered a beautiful black one off of http://www.modcloth.com for the summer but what I love about this one is a.) it’s navy and has a chevron patterned skirt – two things that are very in b.) the way the top and bottom half are different so if you are bigger on top and smaller on the bottom (triangle shaped) this would give you a lovely silhouette

black lace pj pantsTerani

Lace – as you may have already noticed lace is in like nuts, whether it be in pj pants or evening dresses. I love the elegance of lace pj pants, plus they are pretty sexy. Also, the beautiful beading and laceyness of the evening dress with the triangle neckline is gorgeous – also you’ll notice it is in everyone’s favorite color navy.

ZAD Beautiful Set of 3 Peacock Feather Print Bangle Bracelet Set Gold ToneTurquoise and Silver Bracelets.

Cuffs- also very fashionable and being worn by every girl like crazy. I love the peacock feathers on the gold cuffs to the right – peacock feathers being another big theme in fashion – and the lovely turquoise bracelets to my right are divine.

Miz Mooz Amelia Boot (Black)Jimmy Choo - -AnoukGC SHOES Rosanna

The perfect shoes!!! Well as women we need many and for many different occasions. Since, it’s winter up here in Canada the boots to me are the perfect boots to wear out and about, going to school, at work, and pretty much anywhere. The heel height is sensible and so is black leather. As for the green pumps – lovely to wear to work for a little pop of that sea green that is in, or wear out at night with the perfect dress; the little flats are just right for a little glitz for shoes you can walk in yet shoes that could dress up a little skirt as it becomes nicer.

Diane von Furstenberg Illene Crepe Blazer - ShopBAZAARPink please!!

One word – MAGENTA – the perfect bright and stunning color to make any outfit stand out in blazers, boots, or whatever you want to where it in. I personally, love this color and think everyone needs a little boldness in their wardrobe once and a while!

Yves Saint Laurent | Leather and stretch-wool crepe dressCute date outfitLovin this Little Black Dress $129Sassy & Classy

As always we need the perfect LBD in lace, leather, satin or whatever material you like. Perfect for an evening out or to throw a blazer over in the day time. They are out their this winter/spring in all cuts, shapes, and lengths so finding the perfect one should not be too hard at all.

Simple and classyThis dress is gorgeous.Mint long sleeve dressThat dress + that color

Along with your LBD you will also need your little mint dress (LMD). The LMD also comes in a unique variety of lengths, styles,shapes, and sizes. It is not as fancy as LBD but a good day time option for the girl on the go who wants to look pretty!

Simply fab!RED dress !Miu Miu pumps in redandriana

Something Red – Like Magenta, red can provide that pop in your wardrobe. Here we have examples of dresses in shoes particularly, in a more apple red. But you can wear a red blazer, a red bra, red pants, a red shirt, anything red will bring that flash of elegance, especially with a little gold jewelry as demonstrated by Carry Underwood’s classy red dress.

Anyways, those are some of my favorite trends found hiding on the fashion board of pinterest. I’m sure all you gorgeous ladies out their have found them out for yourself but just in case I’m glad you took a look at my blog.

Take care,

Something Changing in the Air


There is something changing inside me, a gradual drift from what I was before. It is not a huge change but I do think my prayer to have more of the path before me revealed has been granted; or atleast a possibility has arisen. I have decided to apply for a Masters in Creative Writing at UBC starting July 2014. I am so excited by the fact that I maybe even would have applied for this coming July, but alas, applications closed at the end of November.
It is a difficult program to get into and I will only be attending classes online but their is an optional residency every July for 10 days. Because of my health I will only be able to complete 2 of the 6 credit classes a year, so the program will take me 6 years to complete. Maybe I will become healthier in that time and be able to take on 2 courses at once. In this program I can focus on one major area which I believe will be non fiction but I also will need to take courses in 2 other areas such as fiction, poetry, children’s writing, or drama writing. I am thinking fiction and children’s writing but maybe poetry. It will be difficult to get into and difficult to stay in this program as I must keep a B+ average. So I am praying and crossing my fingers that when I am able to apply this July I get in and that I have the tenacity to make it through the MFA program. It just feels right.

All this Interior Decorating I am taking is good because it’s portable knowledge that I can take with me. But since I have been writing articles for Flurt I have realized where my true talents lie, where I will be able to possibly make a career from, and where physically I will not be able to withstand a career ie. interior design. I still plan to finish Interior Decorating as I am in the 3rd last course of the program – Architectural Design. I am excited for it since it is a drawing course but I still want to be done the program! I have Lighting and CAD after this semester so will be done by the end of next December, at which time I am planning to take one or maybe 2 U of A writing courses in magazine writing and editing hopefully; a good lead into creative writing I think. Should a MFA in creative writing not work out, my second preference will be Comparative Literature at the U of Alberta. So maybe I will apply for both. But I will tell you, UBC and other Canadian universities I have inquired about have all replied back to me; the U of A has yet to.

So some real opportunities opening up for me despite other difficulties in life. For this year I will finish my 2 possible interior design courses and concentrate on my Herbal Magic Diet to lose another 14 lbs to my goal weight of 165. So far that is proving difficult – but I hope to be more disciplined in the next semester, since Christmas has passed and I can get out for walks more and do more yoga as spring appears. 12 lbs down already I can do more!

As for my New Years resolution to shop less, still getting packages I bought before January 1. And I bought cozy sheets and a Lululemon top. BAD AMANDA! So since, January 10th I have been good and will continue to not buy unnecessary items, clothes, shoes, jewelry, and decorative items for my room. I went crazy once I put that limit on myself… Should have gradually stopped the spending. But if I can go cold turkey for 2 weeks to start I think I can do it for longer, it is just starting out. As for the every year fitness goal, have done yoga 3 times this week so yeah!

Anyways, stay tuned for more Flurt articles and feel free to share with me your New Years resolutions and things you are hoping to achieve in life.

Miley’s New Sexualized Image and Street Style: Korinda Kostiw


Here are two more articles for your enjoyment today. One article, on Miley Cyrus and her new sexualized image and the other a street style piece on my friend Korinda.

Miley Cyrus Sexy New Style:

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/01/is-miley-surrendering-to-sexism-or-embracing-her-sexuality/

Street Style: Korinda Kostiw

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/01/street-style-korinda-kostiw/

As always, thanks for reading!

Lena Dunham – Should Young Starlets be Bashful About their Success and Entering the Corporate World


Happy January 2013, to start the year a couple more articles I have written for Flurt. An article on Lena Dunham, her new self help book proposal, and whether she should be bashful about her fame. Also, an article I have written on my personal perspective and things to do while entering a job in the corporate world. I am no longer their but perhaps, my experience in years gone by will aid other people.

Lena Dunham

http://www.flurtsite.com/2012/12/lena-dunhams-self-help-book/

Entering the Corporate World

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/01/the-beginning-of-your-corporate-journey/

Thanks for reading!

10 things I am grateful for this past year!


Seeing as it is still close to New Years I thought it would be neat to make a list of things I am thankful for this past year, 2012. They are in no particular order:

1. My family-who does not care that I often do not have the patience to listen to them at certain times in the day and say nothing when I am too sick to do anything but lie on the couch that day. They make me feel useful even though I am sometimes useless.

2. My friends, who except me just the way I am. Even though I am not the busy energetic person I used to be, they still make the effort to invite me out, come to events I have planned, and they do not mind when I can only stay for three or four hours or that I need a ride home because I medically, cannot drive. They listen to everything I have to say and appreciate that I listen and respond in kind.

3. My dog, if you are going to be stuck at home half the time you need a dog to cuddle and love you just because. What’s more I have an interesting dog who likes few people (especially with curly hair – she doesn’t like poodle’s either), barks at everyone who passes the house, scares the FedEx and Canada Post people, and sits on me like she thinks she’s a lap dog.

4.For online shopping – I have discovered a whole discounted world of shopping with greater selection and websites to every kind of interesting thing you could need or want. As much as this has become something I need to control it has made Christmas and Birthday shopping easier. I have bought or researched unique items for myself and the important people in my life.

5. WordPress – the decision to write blogs has led me back into something I love – writing! This in turn has led me to writing articles for Flurt magazine weekly, and to researching Master’s programs for 2014. I hope to write more articles for Flurt and other magazines in the future.

6. For my residential interior’s program – I have 3 courses to go and have realized this is something I cannot do the rest of my life. It has led me to greater understanding of homes and decorating them; I understand that it entails a type of precision I will never have and taught me how to further organize my life. I will finish the program, but it will not bee my career of choice.

7. For Herbal Magic – although I have been stuck at 180 lbs for a couple months I have lost 11 lbs and learned how to eat a diet with small food proportions and be completely full. I feel healthier, my clothes fit better, and I never feel that gross stuffed feeling. I am confident I can lose another 10-15 lbs the remainder of this year.

8. For my boyfriend, even though we have a long distance relationship most of the time I am that more excited to see him when he is in town. When I freak out he tells me it’s okay and not to worry, he does not get mad at me. And when I tell him something’s bothering me he listens and adjusts. I am comfortable around him and he is hot! Despite our ups and downs he is the longest relationship I have ever had.

9. For my iPhone and iPad – which organize my life, and help me to remember all the activities I need to do. I can budget, take notes, write articles, jot down ideas, schedule appointments and even schedule rest time. I can read books on them, surf the Internet, and print off my iPhone/iPad. Best of all they both fit in my purse.

10. For God and all the people with more wisdom then I who have taught me that you can survive through sickness and tragedy; that people can handle more then they think and in turn help other people deal with their problems. They have taught me that I can adjust from the life I thought I wanted, to the one I have; that I am extremely blessed and stronger despite my failings; and that there are more people in this world that have things worse than I despite my health issues.

These are what I am thankful for in 2013, how about you?