Tuesday, 5 January 2016

New Year's Notes

And so it is 2016. Happy New Year, everyone!

I rang in my new year with a box of tissues, a bottle of Nyquil, and the CTV Atlantic countdown in the living room of my partner's house. He, despite feeling perfectly well, went to bed at 11. Hmph. I didn't exactly plan on spending half of my vacation feeling like death warmed over, so I ended up wasting (ugh) my days in Halifax. Fortunately, I spent my Christmas gift cards while still visiting my parents, so it's not like I ended up stranded back in northern New Brunswick with a bunch of useless gift cards (for those not in the know, Sephora Canada gift cards cannot be used online. Let's fix that, Sephora). 

No one bought tinsel this year. Alas.

I also didn't plan on taking a small blogging break, but so it happened. It was nice to abandon my responsibilities (I didn't even do laundry) for ten days, and eat and drink and eat and drink and eat and drink. There were a few other things in there, like spending time with family, decorating the tree, making food, watching hockey (World Juniors and the Spengler Cup; yearly traditions), and generally relaxing. 

I didn't totally abandon beauty while on vacation, though.

Sephora x Hakuhodo Kusabi

I bought the Kotsubu, the small teardrop pointed highlighter brush during the sale in November and fell in love. I've never tried any other Japanese brushes - and with the exchange rates these days, I won't be any time soon - but these feel like brushing a cloud on my face. And they're reasonably accessible. Win. 

With my Christmas gift cards in hand, I braved the Sephora in Dieppe on the 27th (in New Brunswick, Boxing Day is also a statutory holiday so the big shopping day is actually the 27th) and got my hands on the Kusabi, which is the wedge sloping powder brush. I was using an EcoTools powder brush to put on my setting powder, but this is much, much, much softer. And heavenly. And luxurious. I'm very slowly replacing all of my cheaper brushes with nicer ones, and having a beautiful, soft brush as one of my hardest working brushes is really nice. Plus I used my gift cards on something that I will actually use.

Femme Fatale The First Northern Witch

Sadly, I don't have a picture of this on my nails, but there are dozens of swatches out there and in fact, I don't think it's available any more, because it was a spring LE and I picked it up way, way, way after the fact - with a refill purchase of my Shiro finishing powder at the end of November. It's a lot more of a neutral grey than I thought it would be, but I still really like it. It's described as "A pale grey crelly with orange overlay, golden flakies and sterling silver sparks." While the orange overlay wasn't super apparent to me, the golden flakies and the silver sparks made it feel fun but dignified. As in I would not be embarrassed to be caught in a meeting at work wearing this one. 

I did wear it most of my holiday time, since I forgot nail polish remover and had to wait till I headed to Halifax to borrow some from my SIL. My mother hasn't worn nail polish since I was in high school, and then, once wore clear polish after going to the spa with her friends. Since I moved out, it means a dearth of beauty products in the house. It wore very well for about a week, before chipping a bit. On the tenth day it chipped horribly and I finally took it off. 

Pressed flower earrings

In the mid-2000s (I want to say 2006?), my mom bought me a beautiful pair of earrings, with the tiniest pressed flowers in them. They were beautiful. I wore them all the time.

So of course, when I went to the Netherlands the summer I was 16, I left my earring case, containing many pairs of lovely earrings, including these ones, in the hotel room in Amsterdam and never saw them again.

I think my mother was more disappointed than I was. 

Fast-forward to Christmas 2015, my mother managed to track down a pair of lovely pressed flower earrings, similar to the old, though a pair of studs instead of small dangly ones. When I opened them and thanked my mother, she said "The ones you lost were nicer, but I had to grab these when I saw them."



The most amusingly festive pair. I did get normal ones too.

One of the signs of being older is that you actually ask for socks for Christmas. I asked for socks for Christmas. I got ten pairs. Yessssss.


I got a Chapters gift card, so I did what any responsible book addict would do: spent it all on one trip after carefully wandering the store and reading the backs of dozens of books. I picked up a collection of essays and short stories called The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan, and The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. I haven't read a ton of fantasy lately, but this one caught my eye. 

I spent my December reading Christmas stories when I did bother to read: Hogfather by Terry Pratchett and  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens are my last two reads of 2015, bringing the total of books to 65. It's actually a bit more than that - I didn't bother recording my lazy rereads, which started up again in force once I moved. When I'm stressed or anxious, I tend to return to some very old, loved books that are easy for me to read and I don't feel compelled to stay up all night reading or follow the wave of emotions that a new story brings. I spent part of December rereading the Little House books because they describe a lot of food, and December is a time for food. 

I'm not sure what I'm going to do book-wise this year. Review a book a month, maybe? I'd like to spend more time doing in-depth discussions about books. I'm part of a virtual book club that gets going this month, too, so that will be fun too. But there will be books. 

I have a feeling my free time will be snuggled under a blanket this winter, so I may as well read. Shovelling sucks.


  1. That final line is killer. Agreed! And it looks like you had an awesome holiday and those are great purchases/gifts.

    My reading mojo is finally back, so I'm hoping to inhale books this winter. I loved the Little House series but never wanted to revisit it until you mentioned the food aspect, lol. Maybe you can write in depth reviews of the most powerful books but continue the short summaries with lesser reads.

    1. I'm still mulling it over, but that's an idea.

      The books aren't terribly interesting as an adult, but they do talk a lot about food and harvesting and so that part was really interesting.


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