Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Is it ok to care about makeup AND politics?

Hey Friends

I'm really missing writing in my blog and talking to people on the internet about makeup and stuff like that. I've even talked to a few of you in person lately about wanting to write more. And I sat down tonight to maybe do a blog post about makeup, or fitness or something like that. But honestly my brain is allll jammed up from school right now and I just can't seem to pull my thoughts together and focus on any one topic. I'm not one to ever force anything, so I figured why not just write a blog about everything I'm thinking about? Cause I have a lot going through my head these days, and some of it has to do with this blog.

As you may or may not know I'm in school full time as a Political Science major. And I often want to write about my experiences as an older student, but part of me is like, who cares? It's not like I'm doing something incredible in school, I'm just an undergrad student. And even though I find the stuff I'm learning in school really fucking interesting, I'm honestly nervous about being annoying if I start talking about it on my blog. I also feel really self concious about voicing my thoughts on political issues over social media. I have an opinion about a lot of things, and the internet gives me and everyone else a platform to speak out, but does that mean that everyone should? Sometimes I feel like I should just keep my mouth shut and leave it to the real journalists.

At the same time, I'm starting to feel weird talking about makeup and beauty stuff. I mean, I'm still pretty superficial. But I spend my days learning about sweatshop labour, and climate change, and murdered indignenous women, and incarceration rates in the US-am I really going to come home and use what little voice I have to talk about lipstick? That doesn't feel quite right either. (Plus as a student I don't have as much money to spend on makeup as I did before. But that's really beside the point here.)

So I'm kind of  in a weird place right now. For one thing, I'm definitely more focused on learning and taking in knowlege than I am on creating new content. But I'm also in an in-between stage I think. The things that I care about most are changing. I've got this inner conflict going on. I don't want to seem like I'm totally vapid, but I also don't know if I want to get up on a soapbox and expect people to listen to me.

As scared as I am to talk about things I really care about, I have this feeling lately that there are plenty of people who care about the world and the things going on around them. There's been a few recent major events that have gotten a  lot of people talking and I hope that we can keep that up. "Giving no fucks" is so last year.

I know this hasn't been the most cohesive post ever. I just finished a really fucking boring statistics based assignment and my brain is pooched. But I wanted to get a post up and let people know where I'm at right now. And not just because I think you're all just dying to hear from me. I actually think that maybe some of you can relate to what I'm going through right now-trying to figure out what really matters to you and what you want to stand for.

And hey, remember a minute ago when I said I didn't feel right posting about lipstick? JUST KIDDING!

My textbooks make a nice stage for my makeup.

The drugstore near me just expanded their Nyx section and now have Butter Lipsticks and Butter Glosses. I don't even usually like lipgloss but this stuff rules. The lipstick is good too-except that it doesn't have a safety seal which is always kind of weird(gotta reach for that one waayyyy in the back). But I can teach you guys how to sanitize makeup-maybe in an upcoming makeup tips post? Cause I'm not ready to give up on all that just yet.

I'm not going to make any promises about blogging more frequently, but I want to. I have a lot of things to say, and maybe one day I'll be brave enough to say them.

As always, thanks for reading.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow | Cruelty Free

The other day I posted a photo on Instagram of my recent Makeup Geek order. But I felt like I wanted to talk about it more, and I have been a huge blog slacker lately, so I thought I'd do a blog post about this very special and exciting purchase. So uh...yeah. Here I am, blogging about it. Man, are my writing skills are rusty, I'll try to pull my act together here.

In my Instagram post I said that I was really pumped to support Makeup Geek. It's such a great company. It was started by a woman named Marlena, who you can watch on YouTube HERE. She makes amazing makeup tutorials, and it's so cool to watch her talk about what it's like to be a businesswoman and build a brand from the ground up. I can't think of any other makeup brand whose founder/CEO is so hands on and really acts as the face of their company. She's amazing.

Makeup Geek is a growing brand, and at this point they are most well known for their eyeshadows. I had said that the brand is "affordable" but what I meant is affordable next to Mac, who they are often compared to for the quality and format of their makeup. I got 15 single shandows and a Z-Palette(which is an empty, magnetized palette) for $103-a similar setup from Mac would be $160. Also, unlike Mac, Makeup Geek is cruelty free, which you may know has become pretty important to me. I am very happy with my purchase.

This is going to sound stupid to anyone who is...a sensible human being... but getting this Z-Palette with the shadows that I picked myself feels like some makeup junkie rite of passage. It's something that I've wanted for a long time, but for whatever reason never took the plunge before.  But now, my eyeshadow collection is complete. Until something else awesome comes out.

Ok, let's look at what I ordered

First I wanted to show you kind of how it was packaged. Each eyeshadow came in a little cardboard envelope printed with a mission statement type thing that I was going to quote to you guys, but I suck and already threw them all out. It was something like, makeup doesn't make you beautiful but it helps you feel as beautiful as you are inside-or some shit like that. And then it said "Love, Marlena"-it was cute. Also I really loved that there was the little card that they actually wrote my name on. It's such a little detail, but I really think that those little details are what make customers feel appreciated, and want to shop with that company again. The Z-Palette came with instructions on how to de-pot makeup to put in the palette, as well as some adhesive metal bits for any makeup that isn't already metal.

Now the eyeshadow
The outside of the Z-Palette
The Inside
A few swatches. Swatching is just weird to me. I can't take it seriously. I know that a good beauty blogger would swatch every colour, but I just can't take any more pictures of eyeshadow on my arm. Trust me when I say that these are high quality, creamy, pigmented shadows. 

I purchased 9 of the shadows in a bundle that is pre-chosen and offered at a slight discount, then I selected 6 additional shadows so that I could fill a medium sized Z-Palette.
The Makeup Geek "Starter Kit"
The ones I chose myself

And at this point, you're probably like...damn, how many photos of eyeshadow does a bitch need?! The answer is just one more. Because for some reason the shadows were showing up more true to colour with iPhone photos than with my nice camera, and I obviously need a photo where I tell you which eyeshadow is which. So this is the last one I swear(or at least the last for this blog entry. It's like posting a selfie though..I got PLENTY more shots that didn't make the cut).

From top left, going left to right: White Lies, Shimma Shimma, Creme Brulee, Barcelona Beach, Unexpected, Vanilla Bean, Glamorous, Prom Night, Drama Queen, Mocha, Beaches & Cream, Peach Smoothie, Cupcake, Cocoa Bear, Corrupt

Like I said, I'm super excited about this purchase. Makeup Geek is a brand I feel really good supporting. I like how the company works, and their product is top quality.

If you guys have any questions about Z-Palettes let me know. I didn't want to ramble on about them too much here, but they are a really cool way to organize your makeup or build your own palettes.

As always, thanks for reading. I don't have a lot of time to blog or make videos now that I'm back in school. It's been stressing me out and I think the stress has prevented me from posting content on either my blog or YouTube. I think the smart thing for me to do right now is choose between the two, and I definitely choose my blog over the videos. So now that I've made that choice I hope to get back to semi regular blogging. I really want to do another "makeup tips" post, so maybe look out for that soon.

Thanks again :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Social Media Weirdness & New Stuff from Sephora

It has been A MINUTE since I wrote in my blog. Partly because September has just been a crazy month-I've had some sort of event every weekend, and I'm back in school, and still working. But another reason is that I'm kind of going through this thing where I'm feeling all weird about social media. I deactivated my Facebook and everything! I just started feeling creeped out by the whole thing, and honestly kind of sick of myself. Does anyone else ever feel like that? Like you have this moment of self awareness...why am I taking a picture of my salad?  Is this status funny enough to post? Are we over selfies or are they still ok? And why am I putting myself out there so people can form some sort of opinion of me and then not speak to me when I see them in real life?

And I get self concious about writing this blog and especially posting about makeup. I worry, is this annoying? Do people think I'm superficial? Does it seem like I'm just trying to copy the people I watch on YouTube? DOES ANYBODY REALLY LIKE ME?!?!?!?!?!

Ok, maybe I'm getting a little carried away in the wave of paranoia, but you get it. Social media in general is kinda weird. Like there's this whole part of you outside of your actual physical self that people can look at at any time and decide what they think of you. I needed a little break. (Not from Instagram though. Heck no. Gotta get those likes!)

But I've been reminded lately why I DO like social media, and I DO like writing in my blog, and I REALLY like talking about makeup. There's been a few times recently where girls I know have started conversations with me about makeup, because they've read my blog and they know I like to talk about it. And I love that. Women wear makeup! Smart women wear makeup! And there's so much makeup out there, I think it's awesome to talk about what's good, and what's not. I'm not trying to get internet famous, I just want to talk about things that people like to talk about. And the best thing ever is when people I know read my shit and talk to me about it in real life.

So maybe I'm making this grand statement about how I don't care what people think of me, and I'm going to put myself out there and hash tag it #onlygodcanjudgeme and #hatersgonhate. Or maybe I just went shopping and I've got some spare time on my hands right now to blog about it. I guess we'll never know.

Either way.....you guys wanna see what I got at Sephora?


Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Retsina

Since I've made the switch to cruelty free makeup, I need to find lipsticks that will fill the void left by Mac. Bite Beauty is a Canadian based, cruelty free company that is quickly gaining a reputation for making great lip products. I have a couple of these lipsticks now and I do really like them. At $28 bucks each,  I won't be buying them as readily as I once purchased Mac lippies(which are $10 cheaper), but they are definitely a high quality product and I would like to get a few more. They are nicely pigmented and they have maybe the smoothest formula of any lipstick I've tried-they almost feel like a chapstick when you put them on.

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipstick in Melted Fig

This is one of those hype products on YouTube that every beauty guru has talked about in the last few months. I would say that I like it, but I don't know if I would buy any other shades. It's a long wearing product, and like many long wear products I found this one really drying on my lips. The colour is beautiful, but I would almost rather reapply every hour than feel like I blasted my lips with a blow dryer. Also it's kind of weird to apply-definitely needs a lip liner and a steady hand.

Too Faced Everything Nice Set

Like any true makeup appreciator(read: addict) I LOVE me a good palette. All the companies are coming out with seasonal, limited edition palettes and sets. For me it was between this one and Urban Decay's  Vice 3. But I bought the Vice 2 palette last year, and I barely use it. This set appealed to me because lately I've been feeling like Too Faced shadows MIGHT actually be better than Urban Decay. Plus this came with more stuff than the Vice 3, which only includes 20 eyeshadows. "Everything Nice" has the same number of shadows, PLUS bronzer, hightlight, 2 blushes and a mini Better Than Sex mascara(plus the more or less useless brushes, and the bag that looks like it should fit the palette but doesn't-the online beauty community is VERY upset about that). I haven't used it much yet, probably because I ABSOLUTELY DID NOT NEED THIS AND I HAVE TOO MUCH MAKEUP(help me). But I like looking at it, so that's something, right? This would make an awesome gift.

Closer shot of just the eyeshadow.

Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows Intensity Eyeshadow in Callisto and Desdemona

I saved the best for last. These eyeshadows are beautiful. I mean, really something unique and special. The shadows can be used dry for a sheer look, or wet for a more intense look, and when you do use them with a wet brush, they look amazing. They are also ridiculously expensive-$33 each. Wait wait wait!!! Hear me out on this.  The first time I wore Desdemona-the purple shade on the right-I got 3 compliments on it from the people I work with pretty much the second I walked in the door. And my coworkers see me in full makeup every day(I have a job where some of my income comes from tips. Gotta wear a lot of makeup to compensate for my small boobs and salty disposition). They think I was born in full clown face-it takes something really different for them to notice my makeup, and this shadow did it. I'm not saying everyone needs to run out and get these, obviously. But if you want something that is really special-whether it's because you're a makeup junkie or you have an event and you want to take your makeup up a notch, these eyeshadows are the shit.

(Note: Nars is one of those companies whose cruelty free status is up for debate. However I have found a couple cruelty free bloggers whose opinions I trust, who use Nars. For now, I choose to accept their opinions on what is cruelty free and what is not).

That's actually not everything I've picked up from Sephora lately, but the rest is just boring repeat purchase  stuff. And while it may be true that only God can judge me, when I step up to the pearly gates, the last thing I'd want him to call me is boring.

Once again, I appreciate that anyone reads my blog, and I especially love it when people I know talk to me about it in real life. Not because I'm looking for praise(although hey, if you've got some, I'll take it). But because I only write about things that I actually like talking about, and I want to talk about it more.

Thank you for reading!
xo Ruth.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cruelty Free Makeup

 Hey Friends!

So I've finally gotten around to filming a video about animal testing and cuelty free makeup. Please watch it HERE! I have been doing research about cruelty free cosmetics for weeks now. Cruelty free makeup is probably the number one thing that people have asked me about since I started putting it out into the world that I am obsessed with makeup. I think my video gives a good overview of the topic in general, as well as covering a bit about my personal views. I wanted to create a blog post as well, just because it was hard to get all the information into one video.

First of all I thought you might want to see the logos that are sometimes found on cruelty free products. There are two main designations that a company can receive to be "certified" cruelty free (although as far as I can tell there aren't actually any regulations on that status). Cruelty free means that the finished product and its' individual ingredients have not been tested on animals. It does NOT mean vegan-a product can be cruelty free but still contain animal by products.

The first designation you might find is the Peta Cruelty free bunny:
[This is totally an aside, but I feel like I need to take a moment to say that I am not a big fan of PETA as an organization. It might be a rant for a different day, but I think they employ some really questionable tactics in doing research and spreading their message. I consulted their website only sparingly in my own research]

The second is the Leaping Bunny Logo
These two labels are pretty good indicators that the product is cruelty free, with two big buts(haha, I said big buts). First, not ALL cruelty free products choose to have either of these labels on their packaging. Second-and this is where it gets really controversial-both PETA and The Leaping Bunny designations can be given to products/brands that are cruelty free themselves, but are owned by parent companies that do test on animals. One well known example of this is Urban Decay. UB is listed on both websites as a cruelty free brand, but it is owned by L'Oreal, which definitely does test on animals.

The cruelty free "community" seems pretty divided on whether or not brands with animal testing parent companies should really be considered cruelty free. One view is that these brands should not be supported by cruelty free consumers, because the profits end up in the hands of a bigger company that does test on animals. The other view is that those smaller cruelty free companies should be supported to show the parent companies that there is a demand for cruelty free products, and maybe make them consider changing their overall policies on animal testing.

I have not fully decided where I sit on that issue. I do know that I HATE seeing people within the cruelty free community attacking one another for not being cruelty free enough, or for not having the same standards of what consitutes cruelty free. I talk about that a bit more in the video. Right now I lean toward thinking that it's ok to support those smaller branches of larger companies and still consider yourself a cruelty free consumer. Think about it this way: if the people who DO care about animal testing refuse to buy Urban Decay products, maybe L'Oreal will decide that they might as well start testing those products on animals, because the people who care aren't buying them anyway. My opinion may change as I do more research, but that's where I stand at the moment.

What I do know for sure is that I am definitely going to be making an effort to support companies that are cruelty free, and avoid companies that test on animals. I didn't go into this research thinking that I would care at all really. But the more I learned, the less I felt I could justify torturing and killing animals for pure vanity. What I learned really honestly upset me and I'm a pretty fucking jaded person. It feels weird to care about something. But look at me, caring enough to write a blog post AND make a video.

I completely respect that this kind of thing is a personal decision. I have NO desire to preach to anyone. I am not going to go into any graphic detail about what is involved in testing cosmetics on animals. All I want to do is provide information for anyone who IS interested, and maybe make people aware that cruelty free makeup is even a thing. I know I never really thought about it before other people suggested it. I am going to leave links at the bottom of this post for anyone who does want to learn more.

For anyone who is thinking about going cruelty free-or even just curious about what cruelty free makeup options there are, I thought I'd share a few of the brands I'm most pumped to find out are cruelty free, and most bummed to discover are not. There's tons of cruelty free options, and for me there's really no reason that I can't make this switch. Although there is one really, awful, heartbreaking discovery. You might want to sit down.....

Brands that are NOT cruelty free

  • MAC- NOOOoooooooooOOOOOOooooooooooOOOooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!! This is easily the one I am most upset about. It has even made me question my resolve on this topic. I love MAC.  But I am trying to think of this as an opportunity to discover new brands. Still. Very upsetting.
  • Stila(who make one of my favourite palettes/eyeshadow)
  • Rimmel(favourite powder)
  • Maybelline(favourite undereye concealer)
  • Revlon(favourite mascara) 
So for me, going cruelty free is going to mean giving up a lot of my favourites.

 Brands that are cruelty free but owned by a company that conducts animal testing

  • Urban Decay
  • Tarte
  • Nyx
  • The Body Shop

 Brands that are fully cruelty free with no parent company that tests on animals:

(Not all of these are on either PETA's or Leaping Bunny's lists. I did my research by consulting with the companies' websites and trying to support their cruelty free claims through at least one other source, and I believe these brands to be fully cruelty free. I am happy to be corrected if any of these brands are not cruelty free.)
  • Too Faced(amazing eyeshadows and lots of other great products)
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills (the QUEEN of eyebrows)
  • Bite Beauty(Canadian company what what)
  • Wet N Wild (best drug store eyeshadow, period)
  • Hourglass Cosmetics (Ambient Lighting powders, look em up)
  • Hard Candy (favourite drugstore blushes!)
  • Makeup Geek! (I just watched a Q & A video with MUG CEO Marlena and she confirms that the brand is cruelty free!!)
  • Arbonne(a coworker tipped me off on this one, I don't know much about this company but I definitely want to check out some of their products)
Like I said, these are just a few. But you get the idea-if you go cruelty free you may be giving up some of your favourite products(I know I am), but there's still so much to choose from.

And obviously, to kick off my new cruelty free makeup consumer status, I had to do at least a little bit of shopping right? Here's a few cruelty free products I picked up, strictly for research purposes.
Too Faced Smokey Eye Palette
Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette-I actually ordered this before I discovered that Tarte was a subsidary of a company that tests on animals. Like I said, still not 100% sure how I feel about that, but here it is anyway.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Ash Blonde/Taupe-of the things I bought, this is the only product that actually bears either of the cruelty free logos. You really have to do your own research to find out what's cruelty free and what is not.
Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Granache-I forogt to take a photo of this before I acutally used it, terrible blogger form.

Here's a few links to the websites I found most helpful:
Humane Society International
Leaping Bunny
My Beauty Bunny
PETA (if you must)

 If you have any questions, suggestions, corrections, insults, whatever, hit me up!
As always, thank you for reading.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Fitness Stuff: Weekly Recap & Next Week's Goals

 If you read my last entry, you know I'm working towards getting myself back into peak shape. This is my first weekly check in. I've been keeping a bit of a running log throughout the week-not every day, just things I thought might be of interest.

Here's how things went down this week:

I realized right away the my gym goal wasn't going to be challenging. Three weights sessions a week is probably about my average-if not actually below average. Anytime I'm trying to push myself, I get a good weights work out 4 or 5 times a week. So I'll definitely set the bar higher next week. The cardio is a bit more of a push. I do cardio almost every time I go to the gym, but it's usually 20 minutes running on the treadmill, sometimes steady state and sometimes sprints. I can do endurance cardio, but I get bored. I just prefer weights. Something got into me today though, and I did 45 minutes of cardio, split 15 minutes running, 20 minutes on a bike and 10 minutes on the elliptical, breaking only to move between machines. I forgot that a good, long cardio session can feel really good sometimes-I always feel super energized after. And since I did 30 minutes yesterday, I've knocked 2 off my goal of 3 30 minute cardio sessions-I think I'll be beating that goal. So yeah, I guess I did set the bar low. But that's good in a way. This is the first week of me tracking all this stuff. Reaching a goal will help motivate me to keep it up.

I also realized that I am terrible at writing down everything I eat. I did record all of yesterday, but today I just sort of kept a mental tally. Oops. I don't want to give up on that yet, so I'm going to try and write down today's and get back on it tomorrow. I do know that I have eaten out the past two nights, and I need to be careful with that. Even though I have stuck to protein/veggies and protein/salad, the meals still had way more oil and salt than I would have used at home. And I may have had a few bites of my boyfriend's less healthy choices. And I also may have had a glass of red wine(really, just one!) with each of those meal. All these little things add up. But then at the same time, both nights I went out and really enjoyed myself, and that's important too. Just something to be aware of if I'm looking to see results.

Got a really good workout in today so I thought I'd share it. I love long gym sessions when I have the luxury of time. Anytime I spend more than an hour working out, I find it very therapeutic-I leave everything on the gym floor.

Here's what I did today:
20 minutes on the elliptical
10 body weight squats to warm up
3 x 10 regular squats(barbell across shoulders/back)
50 jumping jacks
4 x 10 front squats (barbell balanced in front of shoulders)
100 jumping jacks
3x 20 (alternating legs) curtsy lunges
3 x 10 sumo squats (for a total of over 100 squats today!)
15 minutes on treadmill (meaning I've already exceeded my cardio goal for the week)
3x 10 (each leg) donkey kicks (love to finish a legs/glute workout with a small targeted move like this.

Today I did this upper body workout that I found on Pinterest (it's not just for crafty moms!)

If I do this workout again, I'd put the pushups at the beginning, and then follow those up with bench presses. And I would tell the burpees to go fuck themselves, no one likes them.
 I have a tendency to really focus on my shoulders when it comes to upper body, so this was a good switch up.

Reflections on last week's goals: By the end of the week I'd totally smashed my work out goal. I got to the gym 5 times, and exceeded my goals for both weights and cardio. So next week I'm going to aim for about the same. I did set my expectations low on that goal. But that's cool, because like I said it's very motivating to beat a goal. Onward and upward.
I also succeeded in eating breakfast every day. I failed, however, to write down everything I ate. I did it for maybe 2 days. It just feels too much like a punishment or like a restriction. I'm probably not even going to bother with that again. I know if what I'm eating is healthy or not. I think what's more important is planning ahead so that it's easy to make the healthiest choices. Which brings me to....

Next week's goals!!!!

Bring healthy snacks to work and DON'T EAT FRIES- I manage a restaurant that makes the best fries in the whole wide world (I'm hoping my boss is reading this! Seriously, the best fries). I never order fries when I go out, but when they're right in front of me all day I might accidentally eat a few. Oops, and a few more. Especially if I get kind of hungry and I don't have anything else I can easily snack on. So I need to bring some healthy snacks with me that I can reach for when I feel lik grazing on something. Overall I have a good, clean diet. But it's these little things that get in the way of  really be where I want to be physically.

Lift HEAVIER! I'm not a total wimp when it comes to lifting weights. I'm not using any little pink 3 lb Barbie weights that's for sure. But I don't think I really challenge myself either-I usually complete the amount of reps I'm aiming for without reaching failure. This week I'm going to push myself, choose weights that are 5-10lbs heavier than I would usually go for.
Workout Barbie! Were can I get this outfit? Actually, scratch that, this looks straight outta American Apparel

So that's that for now. I'll be back with another entry next week. I've never done something like this before, actually writing out my fitness goals and tracking how I'm doing. So even if these aren't the most interesting blogs, they're actually really useful for me. Thanks for reading, and hope y'all have a great week!

Monday, August 18, 2014

I am my own Fitness Coach

Five months ago my body looked like this:

 My boyfriend had gone away for the whole month of March. I decided to use the time to really focus on my fitness, and get to what I consider my ideal physical shape. Fitness is always a part of my life, but I like to push myself a few times a year to really lean out and muscle up. When I was feeling really good about where I was at(although honestly I'd like to see my abs pop a bit more) I got a friend to come and take pictures. It wasn't so much about vanity as it was a tool for the future, something that I could look at to motivate myself. And also vanity.

Today my body is about as far away from that ideal as I'm willing to let it go.

Shitty  photo, but I'm pretty sure you can see I'm looking a bit softer these days.
  I know, it's not terrible. I'm not saying that I think I'm fat, and I'm not making a comment on anyone else's body. Everyone has their own standards and comfort level when it comes to their physique. Personally I really enjoy the feeling of being lean and muscular. But I believe all shapes and sizes of bodies can be beautiful.

I'm not even bummed that my own body isn't where I ususally like it to be. The main reason I've gone a little soft is a good one. Rather than focusing on fitness, I've spent a lot of my summer enjoying time with friends and loved ones. My social life often falls fairly far down on my list of priorities. I've got work and school, and in my spare time I often forego socializing to be at the gym, or to write in my blog. I'm not anti-social, I just don't always make time for people-and sometimes that ends up bumming me out. So for the last little while, I've been hanging out with people every chance I get. I've eaten lots of pizza and drank many a beer(and a wine, and a vodka), and had a lot of good times. I've still gone to the gym, but I haven't made it my focus. And I don't feel bad about that.

But now that I feel mentally replenished, it's time to focus on what we all know really matters the most: myself. I've got a lot of events coming up in September and I really want to look and feel my best. I know  that if I really stick to my guns I will see positive changes in about 2 weeks. A month from now I could be pretty close to my ideal. But I gotta get cracking now.

I've coached myself through these fitness lulls before. Normally it would just be a mental decision, I wouldn't write anything down. But I've had a really weird summer, and I'm feeling like I need an extra push to get back to going HAM. So I thought I'd use my blog not just to share fitness tips with you guys, but also to keep myself on track over the next little while. I'm going to try to do at least one fitness post a week over the next month, setting goals and tracking my progress as I go.

I think I'll make it like an end of the week thing, where I just make a few notes on each day. But I wanted to start sharing this right away, so here's where I'm at at the start of the week:

Sunday Night

Sunday night I just came up with my goals for the week. I want to make new goals each week, to make sure I'm challenging myself and staying on track. I'm not talking lofty goals here. Just little things to keep me going in the right direction.

Here's what I came up with for this week:

Eat breakfast every day. I usually do eat breakfast, but for some reason lately I haven't been. I know from experience that eating a healthy meal first thing in the morning really sets the tone for the day. I need to get back into the habit.

Write down everything I eat. I've never been one to closely monitor what I'm eating. I mostly just try to sort of plan ahead and make healthy choices. But I could benefit from writing down everything I eat, even for a week or two. I think it could help me idenitfy any bad habits I've let slip into my diet.

Go to the gym at least 4 times and get at least 3 cardio and 3 strength/weights sessions in-this is not really outside of my usual routine, but I've been somewhat inconsistent this summer. Gotta make a point to get to the gym on the regular.


Breakfast: A brown rice cake with almond butter and sliced banana. I'm dealing with minimal groceries at the moment.
Lunch: Chicken Breast with fresh guacamole and kale salad.
The theme of the day is shitty iPhone photos
 Workout: Got a good one in this morning. I did 30 mins running on the treadmill (medium pace, steady state)
Then I did this glutes routine from this month's Oxygen Magazine.

Oxygen is one of my main resources for designing my own workouts. I seriously recommend it to anyone at any fitness level who needs some guidance at the gym. This workout included some variations on moves I do regularly-I do sumo squats all the time, but I'd never done them with a barbell before. It's good to always be switching it up like that. I only used a 40 lb barbell here-I like to play it safe the first time I do any workout. But 40 lbs didn't really challenge me in these moves, so if I do this workout again I'll definitely up the weight.

The glute workout didn't wear me out, so I also decided to work my shoulders today. I did 3 x 10 reps each of shoulder presses, uprights rows and dumbbell front raises.

Anyway, that's my progress report starting out this week. Like I said, I'm going to track my progress here. It could be either really boring or sort of helpful or both. I'm really pumped and ready to give it my all at the gym, and posting about it on my blog will help keep me motivated.

Also, fitness friends, your encouraging words would be appreciated! Or if you want to be like a mean drill sergeant, I would probably be ok with that too. SIR YES SIR!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A few (more) thoughts on Mental Health

Hey Friends-

I know that in the wake of Robin Williams' death, everyone has something to say about depression, suicide and mental health in general. But these are such incredibly important topics, and very close to my heart.  I think everyone who is able to add a voice to the conversation should do so.

I am thankful that I do not know what it feels like to be truly depressed, or to consider taking my own life. But I do know what it's like to feel like you don't have control over your own thoughts and feelings. I've struggled with anxiety for many years. It's not debilitating, but it certainly impedes my enjoyment of life at times. I've seen others struggle with much worse issues than myself, and I have known people who have committed suicide. I can't imagine the depth and duration of the depression that Mr Williams must have felt to make that choice, at that stage of life, having accomplished so much and having touched so many people.

A lot of the conversation I've seen on social media has been urging those who are struggling with mental health issues to reach out and talk to someone. And I absolutely agree that talking about how you're feeling is an important step in managing mental health issues. I know that opening up and discovering that I am not alone in dealing with anxiety has been a great relief to me. I think many people would benefit just from knowing whatever issue they are experiencing is shared with others, that they aren't a freak and that they aren't alone.

It's also really important to encourage people to speak up about the issues that they are deaing with because we need to make everyone aware that mental health issues affect huge numbers of people. We need to talk about these things so that the stigma of mental health issues is erased.

But I also think that it's not just as simple as that. I don't think that Robin Williams just needed to talk to someone. It's not as easy as a good conversation and a hug to put an end these deep rooted issues. Reaching out is an important step in dealing with mental health, but there's a lot more to it. I've talked openly about anxiety, and that has helped. But it doesn't cure me. My anxiety always comes back. I bet a lot of people experience that, especially someone whose depression is so great that it leads to thoughts of suicide. Those thoughts and feelings keep coming back.

 I can't claim to know why Robin Williams or anyone else would come to the devastating decision that death is their best option. Depression and mental illness are things that people cope with  for long periods of time, sometimes their entire lives. Of course, we should encourage them to reach out. But to imply that all they need to do is talk to someone and they'll be ok kind of trivializes their struggle. Depression is real, and it's scary and it runs deep in the psyches of those who it affects. I think that all of us need to go further than just telling people they should talk to someone. We all have a responsibility to look deeper at these issues.We need to really recognize how consuming and isolating a mental illness can be.We need to stop looking at depression as an individual's inability to stabilize their emotions, and start questioning why so many are affected by mental health issues.  We need to question where it comes from and ask what we could do to make things better and brighter.

I tend to think that a lot of our collective depression and anxiety comes from our crazy, stressed out, thousand jolts per minute society, where our self worth is based on how many likes our last photo got on Instagram, and in which everything, including our health and education, is a commodity. I don't care if that sounds like some hippie bullshit. Pour me a bowl of granola, I'm standing by this theory.  Constantly measuring yourself against other people, drowning in debt just to feel like you're keeping up, and generally feeling like nothing is ever enough can't be good for anybody. No fucking way.

The Dalai Lama, whose words I have found helpful in times of need.

 Obviously that's just one suggestion as to why people experience depression. But the pressure to always have and achieve and to be more, and the constant comparison to others could help explain why someone who had everything could feel that it still wasn't enough.

Whatever the cause, clinical depression and other mental health issues are not the result of someone having a crummy day and needing a pep talk. Depression doesn't just lay on the surface of a person's mind like a thin veil waiting to be pulled away, revealing the true happiness underneath. It goes much deeper than that, and affects every aspect of a person's life. It is something that is incredibly hard to overcome. For some it becomes impossible.

I'm not sure what the call to action is here. But I do know that action is necessary, and the responsibility to act can't be placed solely on the shoulders of the people who already bear the heaviest load. Maybe we need more funding, more access to programs for those suffering with mental health issues. Maybe instead of waiting for someone who is suicidal to make the decision to talk to someone or ask for help, the rest of us need to work harder at getting messages of hope and support to them.

Today I am making a donation to the Canadian Mental Health Association. I am not sharing this with you to make myself seem like a great person. Making a donation is literally the least I can do. I just want to express how personally important mental health issues are to me.  I hope that I can find ways to do more to help others overcome their issues, and to eradicate the stigma associated with mental health issues.

If you want to learn more please visit:The Canadian Mental Health Association Website

Thank you for reading.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Getting Older: It's happening.

I have never been someone to worry too much about getting older. All through my 20's I've heard people the same age as me complain that they feel like they're getting old, and I've always thought it was so stupid. If you feel old in your 20's, it's gonna be a long ride sweetie. I don't even think I realized that I wasn't a teenager until I was about 25. But I turned 29 in April, and lately I can't stop thinking about that next big milestone that's coming up over the horizon. 30. Thirty. Holy fuck I'm going to be 30. I can't believe this is happning to me.


 I keep telling myself don't think about it, it's not here yet, you're still 29. But 29 is like a joke year-you're not really part of the twenty-somethings anymore. When I tell people who are older than me my age they give me a knowing smile with raised eyebrows and say "Ah. Twenty-Nine". No one did that when I was 28! And people who are younger than I am just look scared. Twenty-nine should be called pre-thirty. So even though I'm kind of dreading it, I also feel like, ok, I get it. I'm gonna be thirty. Let's just get this over with.

I'm not even sure what I'm worried about. I've pretty much gotten over that whole "what the fuck am I doing with my life" thing that plagued me for at least a few years in my twenties. I think everybody feels like sometimes, and people get weirded out if they're not where they thought they would be at a certain age. But at some point I realized that I'm just living my life and trying my best and making some good decisions and some bad ones and hopefully learning something. Just like everybody else. I've got a great family, a boyfriend who is my best friend, and a few other people who have my back when I need them. I've got a diploma, a job I've been very proud of, and with this blog I've found a fufilling creative outlet. I've been on a few trips and had a lot of great times in general. I mean I'm not 100% killing it at life, but I'm not totally blowing it either. I feel like I'm approximately where I should be, and I don't feel like I missed out on anything in my 20s.

So what's my problem then? I think part of it is just the fear of the unknown. I don't know how to be A Woman In Her Thirties. I have a lot of questions.Most have to do with my wardrobe. Like, am I going to have to stop wearing short shorts? And I think that points to a major issue is here: Pure Vanity. I do not want to get old and ugly. I know, I'm probably a bad person for saything that but it's how I feel. I'm no beauty queen, but with enough makeup (usually about 2 pounds) I've been able to work with what I got. Is it all about to go to shit?  Am I going to have to start relying on my personality? Oh dear.

And there's a sense of loss with reaching the end of my twenties. All  jokes aside, I don't really feel old at all. I wouldn't even say that I don't feel young. But I do feel like I'm not part of "the youth" anymore. I hear Bruno Mars's song "Young, Wild Girls" and I don't feel like it's about me. When I was 26 I went to Vegas with a group of girls and had a pretty crazy time. Since then I always pictured going back and replicating the experince.  But now I'm starting to think that when I do go back(which I will) it won't be quite like that. I mean it would still be super fun, but I think that even just a few years later I wouldn't have the same feeling of wreckless abandon I had then. Especially the way my hangovers go these days-I'd go buck wild the first day and be done-zo for the rest of the trip.

But despite some fear, and a little bit of sadnss, I'm ultimately looking forward to turning 30. Ok, maybe I'm not looking forward to the actual day I hit the big 3-0. With 8 months to go, I've already enlisted a friend to come over on my birthday and hold me while I cry. But I am looking forward to my 30s. The past decade, as fun as it has been, was pretty turbulent. I feel like in the past year or two I've gotten my feet firmly on the ground. I have a better sense of what I want for myself. And most importantly, I've begun to feel pretty confident about taking action and doing the things I really want to do. My twenties have been all about having a great time, and I feel like I appreciated being young and a little bit wild. I won't look back on those times and wish I'd done anything differently. But I think my thirties are going to be where I find out what really matters to me, and I'm going to put my energy into that. I feel confident in myself in a way that has nothing to do with my hair or my makeup.

So I think it's going to be ok. I'm gonna rock my 30's. And when I start to feel like the beginning of that decade signifies the end of ever feeling attractive, I'll repeat one of my personal mantras over and over in my head:

"Look to the Aniston." (PS. This works in many situations, especially breakups. I mean, it can't be worse than THAT right? And she survived just fine.)

She gives me hope. Thirteen years after "The One Where They All Turn 30", she's still killing it. As long as I make millions of dollars and have access to all the best cosmetic procedures and can buy thousand dollar eye cream with diamonds in it or some shit like that, getting older is going to be juuuussst peachy.

Thanks for reading xo

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I went to Europe and learned about myself. How Cliché

I have always despised how travel seems to make people really pretentious. You know, your ex boyfriend goes to Korea to teach English, your good friend from high school spends a summer at an organic fig farm in Australia(only slightly fictional examples), and they come back way more annoying than you remember. "Oh Ruth," they say "You need to travel. You just don't know what the world has to offer!" Like they're so much better than me.  Like I'm small and stupid for not wanting to live out of backpack for months on end, or wear Birkenstocks, or eat endless amounts of noodles and weird fish. Every time I hear someone rave about how their travels have changed their perspective or taught them sooooo much about life, I satisfy my superiority complex by thinking that I don't need to go anywhere else to find myself. I'm intelligent enough to figure my shit out from home. A line from the show Daria plays in my head: "Life sucks no matter what, so don't be fooled by location changes."

The truth is, Birkenstocks are kind of in style this summer, and I've always been jealous of people who feel free to go somewhere else for an extended period of time. I mean the kind of jealousy where I never actually want to do it. I'm a homebody. It's not that I've never been anywhere-I'm just more of a "trips" person. A weekend in New York or Montreal, a week in Vancouver, or to my parent's cottage in Nova Scotia. A girl's trip to Vegas, Barbados. That's my kind of travel. I like my comfort zone. I like the people I know. I like doing laundry whenever I want, and eating lean protein and vegetables that I cooked in my own kitchen. And ok, I can totally see why well traveled people might think I'm sheltered and not very worldly, but I'm cool with that.

Thankfully I have a friend who can talk me into doing anything and going anywhere. Last month, she got me to step as far out of that comfort zone as I've been so far. We went to Europe for two weeks, just the two of us-one week each in Spain and Portugal. And yes, I know that's about the bare minimal time anyone from North America spends in Europe, and no, we didn't stray from the major cities (other than one day in Portugal on a private car tour). But I'm the kind of gal who spends Saturday nights at home re-reading Chuck Klosterman books and writing in a blog. So two weeks in Europe was a big deal for me. And now I get to be one of those super annoying people who goes on a trip, reevalulates life and feels the need to tell everyone about it. Because of course, I had an amazing experience and came home with my own set of revelations.

My first lesson started within an hour of landing in Spain, when we discovered that our baggage had been left behind on the layover in Dublin. To make me feel worse, I had recorded a YouTube video before I left Canada, showing what I planned to pack in my carry on. In that video I stated that I might pack a change of clothes, but probably not because I trusted the airline to get my luggage to Barcelona. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Fuck. So I had the clothes I wore for the long flight over, a pair of sweatpants in case it was cold on the plane, 2 pairs of extra underwear, and no makeup. Not even my eyebrow powder. Nothing. If you even kind of know me, you're probably thinking that I had some sort of meltdown. That's certainly what I would have predicted. But it turns out, I actually dealt with it ok. I didn't even cry. I just sort of felt like...well....this is happening. I went out and explored the city that first day in dirty clothes and absolutely no makeup. And I enjoyed it. I couldn't believe that I was the furthest away I'd ever been from home and all I had was a large tote bag full of books and magazines(which were apparently more important than toiletries). I was basically overcome with joy when our luggage was delivered to us around dinnertime on the second day. But I'm proud of how unexpectedly well I handled the whole situation, especially not being able to fill in my eyebrows. I learned that I can deal.

The moment we were reunited with our luggage
One of the books I had in my sparesly-packed tote bag was Stephen King's "On Writing", which is sort of half memoir, half instructional book. I love Stephen King, and I love writing so it seemed like a good choice. I always bring books with my when I go anywhere. Books make me feel comfortable, and give me something to do while nursing a hangover-which is what I was doing while reading this particular book, lying on the futon in our shabby rented apartment in Lisbon. I guess it's kind of a cop-out to say that I got any of my "travel" lessons while reading a book, lying on a couch, which I could have been doing at home. But I wasn't at home, I was in Portugal. Which automatically makes anything I did there more important.

Anyway, in the book, King encourages the reader (and hopeful writer) to write what is true to them. I know, he writes fiction, so it seems odd advice. I don't feel like getting into explaining it, just read the book if you want to get all his advice. But I started thinking about what feels true to me. And one thing that came to the front of my mind is that I am sick of writing and talking about makeup. Writing about makeup was never my plan-it just sort of happened. It's easy to talk about, it's non-controversial. It got me into the habit of writing, and then making videos on YouTube. But it's not what I really care about. I have other things to say, I have ideas and opinions.So if y'all don't mind I may switch gears with my blog. I'd like to step out of my comfort zone in a different way, and start writing about my opinions on current events, issues and politics. As one of my favourite lines in On Writing states (pg 148); "If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway."

On the topic of politics, one of the biggest things I realized while I was away is that I am ready to go back to school full time to finish my degree in Political Science. My journey through post-secondary education is a long blog post for another time. I've been putting off finishing my degree for any number of reasons, and I had been thinking that once again this September I'd work full time time and maybe take a class or two as I had done the previous year. But within days of arriving in Spain, and without putting much direct thought into the whole thing, I came to the realization that if I am going to finish my degree, now is the time. I have a lot of issues with university as an institution, but on a personal level I enjoy the time I spend taking classes. We'll see how long that attitude lasts now that I'm registered full time for the year. But it's happening, and I think it will at the very least give me some interesting things to write about.

That's not everything I learned about myself while I was away. I also discovered that I don't like anchovies, I feel kind of awkward around topless women at the beach, and I can't party like I'm 21 anymore. Or even like I'm 28. It was an amazing trip, and I'd love to tell you every detail about it. But I know how fucking boring it is to listen to other people's travel stories, so I'm going to leave it at that. Here's a photo. I hear they're worth a thousand words.

Cabo de Roca-The Westernmost point of Europe

I've been totally lazy on the blogging for a while now-like months. I think I was just feeling a bit lost and uninspired. Now that I've decided to take a new direction, and gotten through the post vacation depression (it was really rough this time), and moving into a new apartment I hope to get back to writing more frequently. As always, I really appreciate that you've taken the time to read this. If you have any exciting suggestions for future blog posts that might be more "issues" related, please let me know.

Oh, and if you really just want to hear about makeup, don't worry. Once summer is over and I can actually wear makeup without it melting off my face I'm sure I'll find my interests in all things superficial renewed.

As they say in Barcelona.....Goodbye!
(Because they speak English. We're the only ones too lazy to learn another language)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

What I Think About at the Gym

I had one of those days today where I just fucking losing it mentally over a few insignificant things and a few things I made up in my head because I don't have any real problems. I don't get anxiety like that as much as I used to but it happens. I felt like I needed to do something to really let go of some stress. I decided that what I needed was to have a really good workout. Last night it was wine. Everything in moderation.

I don't usually get to go to the gym without some time constraint-I go in with a plan, and try to have an efficienct workout with enough time to go home and put on my face before work. Tonight I didn't have anywhere else to be. I just went to the gym with a lot of pent up nervous energy and did whatever my body felt like doing. And I think since I didn't feel rushed, or maybe just because I had a lot on my mind, I found my thoughts wandering. I just let my mind relax while my body did all the hard work, I really thought about a lot of shit. And I was like, you know who would find this really interesting? Probably no one. So that's why I'm writing about it in my blog.

On my walk to the gym I obviously had to pick a power song to pump me for the whole ordeal. I like to show up at the gym ready to do this. Today I needed something to make me feel like I'm awesome at life. I picked Human Nature by Madonna. It's hard to feel pathetic when you say the words "I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me"-which is actually totally irrelevant to anything that's going on in my life right now, but damn, that's a good line.

I got to the gym and I started out pretty easy, "running" on the elliptical. I usually do more intense cardio. But I had picked up a copy of Bust Magazine with Dolly Parton on the cover, and while I don't usually condone reading at the gym, I kind of wanted to at least flip through it. If you don't already read that magazine you totally should. This month's issue features an interview with Taryn Manning from Orange is the New Black, an article about how to help a friend in an abusive relationship, and lots more including the cover story on Dolly.

I was "that person" taking a photo at the gym

Once I'd skimmed through and decided which articles I wanted to read later,  I moved over to the free weight area. I work out in the women's only section in my gym. But I've noticed lately the men have found a loophole by participating in group glasses in the studio that's attached to the ladies section. There was a guy there tonight, and I couldn't help but feel like he was totally cheating the system. But then I thought some more and I was like, whoa, maybe I'M the one who's being a sexist pig here. I'm assuming he's just there to look at the women working out, but maybe he just really loves this Bodyjam class. I made sure to make eye contact with him as he was leaving, and just hoped he felt weirder than I did.

So I was at the weights and I saw a kettlebell and decided to try some of the "swings" that have been recommened to me. After the first two I decided I LOVE kettlebell swings, and did 3 sets of ten. Then I did some various squats and lunges, skipping rope in between to keep my heart rate up.

After that I decided to do some more cardio. Honestly, I don't ususally do so much(I focus more on weights), but today I just really  needed to get rid of a lot of energy.
  ****CHEESY MOMENT ALERT**** I truly feel like you can turn negative energy into positive energy through physical activity. And I was feeling a lot of negative energy today. So I got on the treadmill and obviously had to pick out some theme music for this part of the workout. I chose 808s and Heartbreaks. And as I ran at a medium pace at a slight incline to "Love Lockdown" I thought about how Kanye's discography has been like, super relevant to a lot of things that I've gone through. I'd rather overthink my relationship with pop music than worry about what the fuck I'm doing with my life you know?

By that point I was starting to wind down but I felt like I still needed to push myself a little bit more. I was pretty sure I could get through a few sets of reverse lunges off a bench.

Oh. No I could not. I got through about five on one side. Ok, four. I lowered my expectations(of myself) and did some body weight curtsy lunges and side lunges instead. I finished off with some yoga poses. At least I think they were yoga poses. I've never actually gone to a yoga class, so I might have made them up. I really wanted to do a headstand but I was pretty sure I'd look like too much of a weirdo, so I opted against it.

I finished my workout, and in the harsh light of the changeroom I could see that my skin looks terrible, probably due to how unneccessarily stressed out I have made myself recently. I tried not to let my mild case of adult acne ruin the good vibe I was on. Sometimes you just need to let little things go.

A lot of the time I go to the gym and only think about my workout. But today I was reminded that working out your body can be so therapeautic for you mind. I get so stressed out about so many external factors, but when I go to the gym it's just me. And there's something about challenging yourself physically that lets you relax mentally. I got to the gym feeling like a basket case, and left feeling great, in part thanks to Madonna and Dolly Parton. And Kanye. Don't ever forget Kanye.

I hope you all had a great day. I leave you with this:

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I Let Myself Go

Ok, if you read the title, maybe you're picturing me 50 lbs heavier, laying on the couch with a bag of Doritos in one hand and a tub of Ben and Jerry's in the other. And while the temptation to give up on my fitness, eat everything in sight, and go for a spot on a TLC special about obesity defintiely creeps up on me occasionally, that's not what I'm talking about right now.

I have let myself go. But in a healthy way. I've let myself go of the feeling that I always need to be pushing myself forward. I've let myself go of the constant pressure I feel to be good at everything all the time. I think it's probably temporary-I've always been pretty "Type A"-but right now, I'm giving myself a break.

The past year of my life has been crazy. I work a pretty demanding full time job, and I was going to school part time from September to May. I kept up my fitness routine. I also dedicated a lot of time and effort to starting up this blog, and my YouTube channel. And while both have been somewhat neglected lately, I know that creating this content is a huge source of fufillment for me, and I look forward to writing and filming more. But for 8 months, my life was almost unmanageable. I'd wake up, go to work, go to class, come home and write a blog, go to sleep, go to the gym, film a video, go to work, come home and do homework, go to sleep, go to work-on and on, never taking a real day off, rarely even having an hour to just chill out. And I liked it. I like being busy. But even the most ambitious, motivated people sometimes need to slow down, and rest, recuperate, and gather inspiration and energy to take them through the next challenge and onto the next level. I needed some time to slow down and take stock.

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I want to write this blog and make YouTube videos. As more people have seen or heard about the whole Ruth and Glory thing, I've been asked lots of questions "What do you want to do with that?" "Are you looking for advertisers?" "Do you know how hard it is to make money on YouTube?" I think these questions have kind of scared me. Or at least they've made me think...what do I want from this? I felt pressure to push out more content so that maybe I can get more views and seem more professional. But the more I put pressure on myself to write blog entries at regular intervals, the less I feel like writing at all. And after putting myself through some unnecessary stress about what I should be doing, or what other people expect, I realized-the reason I started this blog, and the reason I started my YouTube channel is simply because I wanted to. And once I realized that, I decided that's the only reason that I will ever put work into them.

My Instagram profile says " I don't do anything that I don't want to do"-that doesn't mean that I don't do anything that's hard or unpleasant. For example, in my job, I want to do the things that are professional and that make business run smoothly-even if it's hard work for me. But I don't force myself to do anything, and this blog will be no different, ever. I absolutely love and value the connections that "Ruth and Glory" has allowed me to make. I think that reaching out to other people is one of the most meaningful things you can do to better your own life and better others as well. I love people(that's why I actually like working in customer service). And that aspect of having an online presence definitely drives me to keep writing, and to make my online content better for whoever is kind enough to read/watch it. But I don't have any financial motives or thoughts of gaining notoriety in anything I do under the Ruth and Glory name. I do it because I love doing it. I have lots of stress in my life, and I remember now that this is something I started to help relieve my stress, not add to it.

Do you ever feel like this? I know so many people who are insanely busy. They're multitalented, balancing jobs and school and side projects, and it's awesome and I'm so proud of everyone I know who is taking care of business like a boss. But sometimes I think it's really healthy to give yourself a break. Is there something you could relax about for a little bit, if only to remind yourself why that thing was important to you in the first place? Taking a break doesn't negate everything you have accomplished-it allows you to gain the strength to get out there and accomplish something new, maybe with a stronger sense of purpose.

I know this is like, an overly emotional type of post. But I've been feeling bad lately. I've been feeling like I need to apologize for not writing regularly, or apologize in my YouTube videos for not having a full face of makeup or for having shitty hair. But you know what, I'm not trying to be a fucking beauty guru and I don't owe anyone an apology, so you can run and tell that, homeboy! (Ah, there's the good old Ruth). I'm doing all this because I want to and because I love doing it, and I'm glad I let myself go so that I could realize that.

Lisa Simpson, living the dream

Thank you so much for reading! xoxoxox

PS. A new video will be up on my YouTube channel tomorrow! I look like a sweaty mess, and IDGAF

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Best Book I'll Never Read Again

I think I've really put it out there that I love makeup. A lot of my friends, acquaintances and even sometimes strangers ask me for advice about makeup. So I think that if I had to give one piece of advice that could help everyone, I'd tell them that if you're gonna be the kind of girl that posts an Instagram photo of every new Mac lipstick you buy (guilty), people are probably going to think you're a superifical moron. So you should go ahead and read a book every once in a while, so when people mockingly ask you how much money you spend on makeup, you can hit them back like, "I don't know, how much Kafka have you read?"

(You don't have to mention that you read and loved the whole Shopoholic series too).

I  had a love of reading long before I had a love for makeup. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that I was an ugly adololescent and really had to lean wits and intelligence to get through in life for a while there. I know, just awful. And while I have since learned to pluck my eyebrows, I still try to get a good book in as often as I can. I own a ton of books. They're the first thing I want to unpack when I move, and I keep them prominently displayed in my living room. Partially because of this thing that pops up my facebook feed every few months:
Oh I got books.
Shit, if I want to get any action I better put my books where people can see them. But also just because I really like looking at them.

I've read a lot of books in my life. But there is one that stands out as the book that most personally affected me, that I might call my favourite book. But that I'm not sure I'd ever want to read again. That book is Helter Skelter.

Helter Skelter is the true story of the murders committed by the Manson family. It was writted by Vincent Bugliosi, who was the prosecutor in the 1970 trial of Charles Manson. It is the most terrifying book that I have ever read.

I wouldn't say that I'm a big true crime fan. But this book is nothing like the sensational, superfical paperbacks you find at the airport or a drugstore. I have never read a book like this-it is well written, and thorough. I thought that I knew about Charles Manson before I read it, but there is far more to learn about him and the horrible crimes committed by his followers. Bugliosi does an amazing job of transporting you into the time that the crimes took place-the late 60's, at the end of the Flower Power movement. As I read it, I felt deeply emotionally effected. This book scared me. And I don't mean it was a little spooky. I mean, it really got to me in a deep way and affected my mental well being. I had nightmares and had to take breaks from reading it. It got me really thinking about deep shit-there was just way more to this story than I ever expected.

When I read Helter Skelter, I became kind of obsessed with learning as much as I possibly could about Manson, the Manson Family(who lived with Manson in a commune type of setting), and their victims. And I know I'm not the only person who has felt that way upon reading the book. The more I read, the more I wanted to understand how a group of very young, supposed hippies could be driven to viciously murder people they had never met. I watched tons of YouTube videos of interviews with the victim's family members, Manson followers, and Manson himself. For some reason I became especially fixated on Susan Atkins aka Sadie Mae Glutz-aged 21 when she participated in the Manson murders-including the killing of eight and a half months pregnant Sharon Tate. There's a haunting interview with Atkins soon after being found guilty of murder and sent to prison for life, in which she seems completely detatched from the crimes. In later interviews she claims to have found God and to be deeply remorseful for her crimes. That made me think about something I had never thought of before. God or not, how do you live with that kind of remorse, if you really feel it? The interviews with her are incredibly disturbing.

There are people who see Charles Manson as some sort of hero. I'm not on that bandwagon. But I am certainly fascinated with him, and horrifed with his ability to manipulate weak minded people. And I think that's what scared me the most about reading this book. In some way, I understood how it all happened. I understood how a charismatic leader with access to a lot of drugs could lead young, lost people to believe whatever he wanted them to believe. It scared me because I identified with the thought of wanting to belong to something outside of society, and I could see how the offer of that would be attractive to people who felt that they didn't have a place. I think that's the most sickening part about this book. On some level, you can identify with everyone involved, even if you don't want to. It really reminded me that killers don't wear labels, monsters come in all forms, the world is chaotic and completely out of our control.

I do recommend this book. It's not just another true crime book that is easily forgotten. I can almost guarantee that if you read this book, it will get into your brain and stay there awhile. It made me think about some things that I maybe didn't want to think about-but I think it's good to get uncomfortable like that sometimes. Because these things really happened, and as awful as they may be, the story deserves to be told. I might recommend that you keep a light read handy for when you finish it though-your brain might need a little break. I usually like to go back to my favourite books and read them over again. This one, I'm not sure I'll ever do that. But it stays on my bookshelf, beside my Hunter S. Thompsons and Bukowskis. My observations show that those are the books most likely to get- and keep- a man interested. If anyone wanted to know. You're welcome ladies.

As always, thank you for reading.

Sharon Tate

Monday, April 28, 2014

Insomnia Sucks.

People who can fall asleep easily don't get it. The most common respone I get when I tell people I have a hard time falling asleep is "That's so weird-I LOVE sleep!" Yeah, fuck you, I love sleep too. I just can't get any. I posted on my Facebook earlier today that I couldn't sleep last night because I was thinking too much about writing a blog post about not being able to sleep-that was only half true. I couldn't sleep anyway, and the thought of writing a blog post about it only occurred to me after about three hours of laying in bed hoping that I would pass out soon. After trying all the sleep techniques that have failed me for years, I gave up trying to get a good night's rest and plotted out an essay about how insomnia affects me. Of course, now I'm too exhausted to really remember any of it. Fuck.

I've never been a good sleeper, even as a baby, which my parents remind me of at most family gatherings. It comes and goes, but generally my inability to fall asleep has followed me all the way to adulthood. It's extremely frustrating, because I can never really pinpoint a cause, and I definitely haven't found a remedy (aside from getting black out drunk. That works every time, but has some negative repercussions in waking life). I can be dead-tired, I can spend all day thinking about nothing else other than getting into bed and sleeping-and then I get there and boom. Wide awake. Sometimes it happens when I'm stressed out(which is often), but sometimes it happens when everything is going great. A lot of the time I get into bed and my mind just starts racing. But then sometimes nothing is going on in my brain and I just. Can't. Fucking. Sleep.

I've tried different things to ease my insomnia, with varying degrees of success. I try not to drink caffeine for hours before I go to bed. I'll turn off my computer and read a book, or even just lay there and try to like, think calm thoughts or some crap. I'm physically active, which is supposed to be good for sleep. And sometimes I can fall asleep-I even have weeks at a time where I get decent sleep. But really on those nights that I'm having trouble falling asleep, nothing seems to help. Last night I got into bed-tired-at 12:30, and I didn't fall asleep until 4:30. And when it gets that bad it becomes a cycle, because on so little sleep, the only way I can make it through the next day is with loads of caffeine that then makes it hard to asleep the next night. And it just fucks up everything-my mood, my appetite, my abilitiy to even somewhat pretend that I'm a normal functional human being.

Since I started writing this blog and making YouTube videos, I have found at least some solace in making attempts to actually write down and remember some of the many thoughts that circle through my brain when I can't sleep. Because I do sometimes think of things that seem pretty smart to me at 3 o'clock on a Tuesday morning.  But even that's hard. I know some people get super productive at night time-but not me. I might not be able to sleep, but I usually also don't feel like getting out of bed to do anything. Or even doing anything while I'm laying there. All I want to do is sleep, and I can't, and it sucks.

Ok this is probably the most whiney blog post I've ever written. But I know I'm not alone in this problem, so I thought I'd just put it out there and maybe a few people can commiserate. I honestly intended to do a more in depth post about how insomnia affects me, but I'm too tired so fuck it. Thanks for reading.

Not my exact problem, but maybe this will be what keeps me up tonight.

PS. I'm sorry for saying for saying Fuck You at the beginning of this post. I'm just really, really tired, and really, really jealous of people who can sleep. But I didn't mean that. Let's make up. BFFs.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Deep Thoughts on my Favourite Destiny's Child Songs

For those of you who don't know, I have been a busy lady the past year. I work full time, go to school part time, and try my best to keep up this blog and now my YouTube channel. I try to make time to work out, and of course I have a full household of two cats and one tarantula to worry about-sometimes it gets to be a bit much and lately the blog has been the casuality. For the last couple months I have been eagerly awaiting the day in the end of April when I would write my final exam in my class and finally have some extra time to write, and really put the effort I want to towards this thing. I had grand visions of finishing the course and immediately putting a ton of work into my blog, hoping to turn out my online magnum opus by mid-May at the latest.

So far it hasn't turned out quite that way. I handed in my final paper weeks ago, and wrote my exam last week. And I think that the very moment I raised my hand for the exam proctor to take away my booklet of bullshit answers with a few key vocabulary terms thrown in, all cognitive ability vacated my brain. Like just shat out my ear. Taking with it of course everything I learned in the class, and my drive to write about lipstick and Romanian deadlifts. I've been in a near vegetative state the last few days, only able to lay in bed watching YouTube and eating Easter chocolate, occasionally getting up to do some squats and lunges so I don't lose all muscle function as well. When I look back on this time, I will think of it as the Great Crash of 2014.

But I'm ready to wipe the drool off my face and get back at it. I really do hope to write and film a lot over the summer. I love writing this blog, and I got WAY more shit to say. But since I am still just recovering from my mental collapse, I am going to have to start out pretty slow and fluffy. Like a  baby bunny that hasn't learned to hop yet.

(Note :I was gonna remove that weird bunny analogy, but I felt it was good evidence of my weakened mental state)

Like I said, I have been watching a lot of YouTube the last couple days. And I ain't been watching no political documentaries. It's been a steady flow of makeup tutorials and music videos for songs I might like to dance to sometime this summer. And that's obviously  gonna include Beyonce. But don't worry, I know we've passed the point where it's ok to keep talking about The Visual Album. We gotta pretend we're over it, for a few months at least. But that's ok. We've got 4 Destiny's Child (5 if you count the Christmas Album) and 4 other Bey solo albums to talk about, so let's get the conversation started.

Everyone has shit to say about our girls. Are the feminist? Are they perpetuating gender stereotypes? Are they positive role models? And how did Michelle get there? I probably don't have anything new to add, but I also don't get tired of DC, so I'm just going to get right in to telling you my thoughts on my favourite songs, and hope that the rest of you are as devoted fans as I am.

And I promise, I've been drinking my Kombucha and I started reading a new self help book, so hopefully soon I'll be writing about something with a little more substance. Like facial hair bleaching or something. Look out.

Alright, let's get this dance paryt/trip down memory lane started. Here's what I think about 5 of my favourite Destiny's Child songs/music videos.

 1. No No No Part 2- Destiny's Child is one of the few musical acts that I can remember liking since the moment the first single dropped. This is the only song from the original lineup that made the cut-sorry Letoya, and Latavia, it's nothing personal. I remember finding out that the girls were like 16 or 17 when this came out and just being like...my life blows. Kind of the same way that we still feel about Beyonce today. But I loved this song, and I still do. I even memorized Wyclef's rap part. Yeah, I do that. If you ever hear me rap, you will know that I truly love you. Or that I'm very drunk.
Favourite Line: What's the problem baby, never had a girl like I?

2. Lose My Breath- This is one of my main struttin' songs. You know, those songs that you put on your when you're walking somewhere and you want to feel like the boss. I think this video was made during at the height of the terrible Tina Knowles costume design era. Those burgundy pirate looking suits are what the fuuuuuuuuug. But you also get to see Ghetto B here, rocking low slung baggy jeans and Tims, ooh girl. And Kelly really gets down with some wild dance moves. Michelle is there too.
 Favourite Line: You don't have no business in this, here's your papers baby you are dismissed 
(actually this is probably my favourite line in any DC song ever)


3. Soldier-This is my #1 all time favourite Destiny's Child track. This is the girls doing what they do best-making us want boyfriends who sell drugs and buy us things with the profits. This video also features T.I and a very young Lil Wayne. And scary looking dogs. And very pregnant Solange. And Beyonce in overalls. and Kelly in full length fur. And Michelle is there too.
Favourite Line: The whole song.

4. Girl-This song starts to show the other side of what Destiny's Child, and later Beyonce, is all about. Rather than just talking about how men are dogs, this song is an ode to female friendship. Girls being there for each other when their men acting up. Sometimes I listen to it when I'm sad, and it makes me feel like Beyonce is actually really there for me. It's not pathetic. No it's not.
Favourite Line: I'm your girl, you're my girl, we your girls, and don't you know that we love you

5. Cater 2 U- Ok people don't like this song. It's all about a woman serving her man, and critics think it's way too much about traditional gender roles. But I love it, and I saved it for last for a reason. Take a look at the other 4 songs. They're all about what a woman wants from a man, or about men being dogs. That's what most of DC's songs are about. So you can't look at this song and get mad about it without looking at their entire discography-which you should be reviewing on a regular basis. If there was a guy who had a bunch of songs about fucking hoes, and then they had one really romantic song we'd be like aww that one song is so sweet. So yeah, after a long day of selling drugs and buying you gifts, it's nice for you to cater to your man. Or even if he just like, works at a bank and is really good to you, once in a while you can take care of him too. Michelle looks incredibly uncomfortable in this video. Like how did I get here, and why am I naked? Next to Beyonce!?? 
Favourite Line: Whatever you desire, I'll supply ya

Alright that's all I got for now. I mean, I could go on at length about Destiny's Child, there's so many sub-topics. But this fluffy bunny post really took a lot of effort for me. I'm warming it up though, and I have a lot of ideas for upcoming posts. Hope everyone is well, and if there's anything you think I should write about let me know.  Thanks for reading.