Tag Archives: blog

Do What You’re Afraid Of

I live by this. You do not know what you are capable of until you start pushing your limits. What scares you? For me, it’s that feeling you get when you fall. It’s not necessarily a heights thing; it’s me imagining every single possible scene which results in my death. As a kid, I never thought twice about it. I never built up a tolerance to being up high, so naturally, when I decided to randomly try cliff jumping two summers ago, you can imagine what it was like.

It took me what felt like an eternity, but I jumped twice off of the smallest cliff at the lake that year. I did it twice because I needed to prove to myself that if I could do it once, I could do it again. Can’t say it felt any better the second time.

When I look back on my life, I like to remember the times I have pushed myself to do the things that scare me, in some way, shape, or form. It’s how I’ve chosen to think. I motivate myself with small goals so I can achieve bigger ones. I’ve always been a part of a sport since I was little; from gymnastics, to ice skating, to soccer. Not all of them were successes either. I quit cross country — I have the biggest respect for those that were able to run fast and for long periods of time. Running never made me happy — it made me puke. But maybe it’s just because I get more satisfaction being in a team sport.

When I moved to White Rock, I saw it as an opportunity to try a new sport: hockey! I already knew how to ice skate, so how hard could this be? Apparently very hard. I fell every five seconds the minute I stepped onto the ice. Hockey skates are VERY different from figure skates. By the end of tryouts, I was crying in the car telling my mom that I don’t want to play hockey anymore. She told me to try again. The next day of tryouts yielded the same results. I thought this was going to be another cross country incident. 

It was so much more than that. It was just a team playing for fun, and I have to admit that my first year of hockey was probably the most fun. My teammates and coach were patient with me and helped me whenever they could. I scored goals. I learned to skate faster. The most rewarding part about the whole season was that my coach, at his end-of-the-year speech, included naming me the Most Improved Player. He said he picked me first because I kept getting up every time I fell. You don’t have to take his word for it — try it yourself. If you keep persisting in the things you love, it turns to passion. Other people can see that passion and more importantly, the progress you make when you keep at it.

I remind myself of this as I decided to try some new stuff this year. I learned how to snowboard, and this summer I decided to try mountain biking and test my mid-air obstacle course skills at Wildplay. Snowboarding has become a new obsessive passion I’m sure I’ll rant about later. Mountain biking was extremely out of my zone. I managed to fall into the only mud puddle on the entire mountain, and left bruised and sore like never before. I got the hang of it a little bit near the end of the day, and I’d try it again, but I can’t say it’s a newfound passion I’ll be going out of my way to do.

Wildplay was a whole different story. It challenged me physically and mentally. It sucks when 10 year olds are swinging around 50 feet in the air, unafraid of the heights they are at and you’re a 21 year old university student who lifts heavy weights once in a while but can’t get across the easiest Wildplay levels without wanting to cry every minute. You best believe we decided to do the last extra extreme level too. Either way, I found that over time, I became so focused on trying to get across the obstacles, the height I was at became more of a background. I wouldn’t recommend this to the faint-hearted, but I would go again. Is this a metaphor to future life obstacles? I can’t even be sure. But I know one thing. Be ready to sweat, and most of all, be ready to be outside your comfort zone.

You Know It’s An Issue When…

The rise of social media has brought with it an increase in connectivity; facilitating networking, socializing, and communication of information. I, for the most part, have only ever benefitted from this improvement in accessibility; thanks to social media such as Facebook and Snapchat, I have been able to maintain and develop relationships across the country […]

Some Quick Changes

Dio reviewed my blog last week and after taking his words into consideration, I’ve attempted to make some changes to my blog. He spotted some very specific flaws and I appreciate his efforts. He noted that at the very top left, there is a tab which brings up a submenu that gives the option to direct the reader to the “about” page of the website. He found it a little redundant because there is already an about section on the dropdown menu and I completely agree. With high hopes of making my site better, I have to say that I struggled a bit when trying to remove the about page from the submenu. I only wanted to remove one or the other but I ended up removing the about page from both locations. Since I don’t think that is a very big concern, I will keep experimenting with WordPress and its function throughout the weeks. Another concern that Dio had was that my website lacked social media integration. To be honest, I’ve tried inputting my social media icons during the first few weeks but I just wasn’t satisfied with how they were awkwardly placed on my blog and unless I do some sick coding, I think that was all I had to work with. I do agree with Dio that since my blog is about traveling and lifestyle, pictures from other platforms would really compliment my blog. After reading about that, I quickly made the change even though the placements were still awkward but at least I still have some social media integration. The only place that I found that wasn’t too awkward was at the bottom. I know it’s not the best placement because it doesn’t stand out to readers but I guess it can be like a little bonus/surprise for those who are able to find the icon!

Writer’s block

I’m feeling very stuck. Usually when I’m sad, or down, I’ve been able to put pen to paper, so to speak, and write my feelings away. Every time I sit down to write, though, I seem to draw up a blank. Or I write pages and pages of nonsense that won’t serve anyone to read. Therapeutic for me to get out, perhaps, but I think it might have people far too concerned for my sanity than they need to be.

So here I sit, thinking about all the things I would say if I could, what I would talk about. I’d talk about how I’m not very happy right now. I’m feeling stuck in my writing, but I think it’s because I’m stuck in my life. I feel like at this moment there is no room for any forward motion for me right now, and that is not a state that I enjoy being in. I’m a planner, I like to work toward goals, have plans of action, have dreams. I feel like those have come to a halt for the moment and my body, my brain, which are conditioned to be moving forward have stopped like feet in freshly poured cement.

There’s an end to some of this, there has to be or I would entirely lose my mind. I’ve figured out what I have the power to change and have taken action to change them. That just needs time. A few months and that part of my life will be moving again.

Some parts won’t though. Some parts will probably be up in the air for a very long time. I’m not sure how long I can manage to make that work without cracking. Most of the time it seems beyond worth it. What’s a matter of a couple of years in the grand scheme of life? Won’t I look back on this time and remember how silly and small I felt, and be so glad that I waited? But another part of me, the part that wins over on sad grey days like this one, make me think that there may never be a conclusion. I don’t know how to deal with this but I do know that it’s far too soon to make any kind of decision yet, so here I sit, my brain a flurry of strange and scary and exciting and wonderful thoughts, and nothing to channel this energy into.

There’s no right answer. I get a lot of disapproving stares and words of concern. I get support and knowing nods. But they don’t know. They aren’t there for every whispered secret, every slow dance, every small act of kindness. They don’t see how nobody else has ever known me so well.

I just want to fly above my life for a little bit. It’s too much for me right now.

Fall Baking

One of my favourite things about fall is the food it brings.  Thanksgiving is always filled with good food, from mashed potatoes, to pumpkin pie, and my personal favourite – cookies.  Although I’m not a huge fan of drinking tea, I’d seen this recipe for chai tea flavoured cookies and they looked too good not to try.  The recipe I used can be found here.  After many busy days back to back of work, and school, I finally had a day off so I decided to make them.

Even before baking, the dough smelled so good and just captured the season of fall in one scent.  After twelve minutes in the oven, they were done and tasted so good!  I would definitely recommend trying this recipe if you like cinnamon.  The taste reminded me of the spices used in apple pie.   They are  delicious fresh out of the oven!

Product Review: First Aid Beauty Coconut Primer

Product Review

The Product: First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer

Rating: 4.3

Skin Type: Dry as the Sahara Desert

Primer is one of the essentials in the world of makeup. It protects your skin, provides a base for your foundation, and assists with keeping your makeup in place for the duration of the day. There are tons of primers out there too, so finding the right one can be really challenging. It’s not always the primer you’re first handed, or the one matching your foundations brand, or the bestseller. But when you find it, the right primer can revolutionize your makeup routine.

I initially used the same primer until the day it expired. It worked pretty well for me, but I was also too afraid to deviate from what was working. But then it finally expired. I could tell because my skin went ballistic and it smelled real funny. Off to Sephora! I explained my skin type, past debacles, and fears to the ever patient Sephora sales person and she whisked me out of color and over to skin care. Behold: we had arrived at First Aid Beauty, my trusty skin care brand. After a full run down of pros and cons, a swatch, and a few comparisons, I decided to jump in with the new First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer.

Having such dry skin, a moisturizing primer seems to be a logical plan. But I had had an unfortunate run in with a moisturizing primer which had led to greasy foundation and a less then matte finish to say the least. So I was apprehensive. My old primer was not moisturizing, which displeased my skin greatly, but did result in bulletproof foundation.

The first time I put the FAB Coconut Primer on I was immediately pleased. The smell was delightful and it was soothing to my skin. In the past, applying my primer had meant gearing up for a dried out face. But just applying the primer, I noticed an almost instant change in my skin. The tone evened out, my skin became a bit more glowy, and the redness calmed down. While this was a good start though, the real test was yet to come.

After letting it set, I began applying my foundation. Joy and celebration! My beloved foundation was applying evenly, blending smoothly, and still looked how I excepted. I love my foundation so this was an exciting moment for me. As the rest of my routine progressed everything went off without a hitch. The finished product was definitely up to snuff. There was a visible difference between the finish of my old and new primers, but sticking it out seemed like a good option, for the sake of my skin.

Over the course of the day, my makeup stayed in place quite well. As is to be expected, my eyeliner smudged under my eyes a bit but I don’t fault my primer for that. Where we receive the small deduction here is my face did get a bit shiny. This has never been a problem for me before. However, this is probably because I have been constantly drying my skin out with products which are not suited to it. Would it be more ideal if I could avoid getting shiny AND stay moisturized? Of course. But I’m taking this as a win for now.

This product review comes on the heels of purchasing the product so I will come back farther down the line with an update for you. As of now, I’m quite happy. My skin is doing markedly better then usual, my makeup still looks as kickass as ever, and I smell nice to boot. Have you ever tried this primer? What did you think? Give it a try if you haven’t! I’m certainly enjoying it!

Leave a comment below!

Yours Truly,

Meera C.

The post Product Review: First Aid Beauty Coconut Primer appeared first on Beauty As Art.

Toronto, Ontario

Summer 2017, I met up with my best friend in Toronto. We went to this Thai restaurant called PAI. When we first went in through those door, there were steps to go downstairs. It was a busy restaurant with people waiting inside and outside. The lighting was a bit dim so be careful of your steps. Don’t “judge a book by its cover”, the food was delicious!

We ordered the Khao Soi (top left), Kung tawt sa-moon prai (Garlic Shrimp) (top right), and Chef Nuit Pad Thai (bottom right). The food was amazing. The curry from the Khao Soi went so well with rice too.

When you order your food you get to pick the spicy level. We didn’t know what to expect, we either order mild or medium but I think we could’ve definitely went a lot higher because I couldn’t taste the spicy level. But keep in mind, I enjoy eating spicy food. When I go to Toronto again, I will definitely make a trip to PAI again. There were still a lot of things on the menu I would like to try.

PAI
ADDRESS: 18 Duncan St, Toronto, ON M5H 3G8
PHONE: +1 416-901-4724
WEBSITE: http://www.paitoronto.com/

Peer Review #2

MY MIND’S MADE UP Apologies, I’m probably going to start off every peer review with some sort of pun. The blog under review for this week is Make Up Your Mind, by JordanAnne. Now, in Travis Gertz’s article, “Design Machines: How to Survive in the Digital Apocalypse”, he mentions the two sides to design: UI […]

Process Post 4

A blog is nothing without its audience. I spend my time creating makeup looks, taking pictures, and typing out my thoughts on it all to create content for other people to enjoy and learn from. The beauty of an audience for Beauty As Art is my content will grow and change as I do. My makeup style and looks never remain the same. I rarely wear the same look more then once, meaning I have a nearly endless supply of content brewing in my own imagination. As I age, my style will continue evolving as I do. The best part about this is I will be able to carry an audience with me into the future. As we all grow together they can continue consuming my content because it will be forever changing. The fluid nature of this content will also help my audience grow over time because new styles, products, inspirations, and so on will attract new people.

When I picture my audience as of now, I mainly imagine people who want to change their relationship with makeup for the better, want inspiration for new looks, information on different products, or maybe even learn some new techniques. Makeup isn’t limited to any one type of person. Not by gender, age, race, or anything else. While currently my type of makeup may be suited for people in my age range, I think anyone can take inspiration from the looks and adapt them to be uniquely their own. I don’t want to cultivate an audience who feels I am telling them what they are and are not allowed to do. I hope to provide a little inspiration and information for them to work with. This is a place of creativity for anyone to venture into who is willing. The information is not limited to any one group.

I’ve just been being me as best as I can through this semi frantic typing on my computer. Whoever wishes to enter is welcome. I am as true to myself as possible in my writing. I’ve tried to design a blog which is blatantly honest from the moment you open it about what you’re getting yourself into. Both in my design and writing I’ve tried to say: this is me. Because that is the true heart of Beauty As Art.

Yours Truly,

Meera C.

Road to Tokyo

[WHAT’S IN STORE] The road to Tokyo begins in Spain — in Tenerife, the largest of the seven Canary Islands, to be exact. Here, the 10th Junior World Karate Championships will take place from October 25th-29th, and the best of this next generation will begin to rise. It is my goal, of course, to be […]

Peer Review: Motorcycles and Stuff

Motorcycles and Stuff

Blog Link: http://motorcyclesandstuff.ca/blog/

 

If you’re new to the world of motorcycles and hoping to become more knowledgeable about bikes, gear, and riding, you should take a look at Motorcycles and Stuff. This blog has been put together by a fellow publishing student. Upon arrival to the blog, it’s hard to miss what it’s about. Motorcycles are without a doubt the center of everything. The brightness of the green of the title has definitely helped with the readability of on the front page. However, on the sidebar, the bright yellow writing over the collage of motorcycle photos is challenging to read. The bright yellow also clashes with the orangey gold title bars on the side. Matching the two yellows could help with continuity and readability.

The menu is organized well. It makes navigating to the different types of posts easy and the lettering stands out well against the background. As the blog continues to grow however, these sections will become more cluttered. It may be worth adding drop down sections to the menu with subsections to assist with organization. Organizing these subsections through different categories makes the process pretty simple. The font of the menu is consistent with the blog posts content, however it seems a little out of place when looking at it with just the title and sidebar. It may be worth examining some new fonts to help with the appearance of the front page.

From what I’ve observed, it appears as if each blog post appears on the front page with an excerpt as they are published. When you scroll down the front page you can see every post which has been put out. This is a little overwhelming. It’s also hard to tell as a potential consumer of motorcycle oriented content what is specifically motorcycle oriented and what is posiel oriented. Siphoning posiel content away from the home page will help declutter the front, make a viewers first impression more brand focused, and separate posiel and branded content.

When reading through the About section of this blog, the author has done a fantastic job setting up what this blog will be about. It seems like the perfect place for a newcomer to the world of motorcycles to get a foothold. Connecting to the author is slightly challenging though. The small personal details given are enough to make you intrigued by the author, but the author declines to even give a name. The opinion pieces are harder to feel connected to without a sense of who is behind the computer.

Overall, Motorcycles and Stuff is setting an excellent foundation for being a focused blog, centered around the world of motorcycles. It’s well suited to motorcycle newbies and makes the intentions of the pieces clear. I look forward to reading more from this blog and to see how it continues developing.

Yours Truly,

Meera C.

Preface

Welcome!

I want to start off by sharing a hilarious conversation with you all. The other day, I showed my roommate this blog I’ve just created and asked him to comment on the design and theme. He joked, only yoga-moms would choose this kind of topic to write on their blog.

 

Apparently, I’m not a mom neither I do yoga. But hey! You don’t need to necessarily be a mom that does yoga in order to work on your personal wellness, right?

 

There are several, what I call ‘pillars’ that work side by side to build up one’s wellness. Some say there are seven pillars, other say there are eight. These concepts are more or less the same, no matter which one you choose the ultimate goal is to strengthen each pillar to improve your well-being.

 

Pillars of Wellness

The Venn Diagram I found on Pinterest illustrates the seven ‘pillars’ I chose to work on. In future blog posts, I would like to elaborate on these concepts, starting with the Physical Pillar next week.

Last but not least, my question for you today

Which pillar do you think you are weakest among the other ones?

Leave a comment below 🙂

ka-ra-tay?

[WHAT IS KARATE?] Now then, you might be wondering what there is to karate beyond breaking bricks and boards. There are many misconceptions surrounding karate, particularly karate as a sport. Martial arts in general are just not your mainstream North American sports; you don’t see their tournaments televised on Sportsnet or their athletes advertised by […]

Process Post 3

I don’t think I ever considered how much work goes into making a website look professional. I sort of assumed the default settings were it! But having taken some time to examine a few sites which are successful, it’s clear how content is not the only aspect drawing the audience in. The design elements we’re working on is not necessarily my forte. I am very content focused. When thinking up my concept for my blog the main thing on my mind was the content I would be putting out; what sort of posts, how to make it consistent, how to make it unique from the other beauty blogs around, how to stay true to myself, etc. I gave zero thought to the actual design of the blog itself.

However, learning more about the amount of effort creators put in when designing a blog which is unique and professional has helped me begin brainstorming changes I hope to start implementing in order to help my blog develop into its own unique experience. There are two main changes I hope to make for the homepage moving into the coming week. One is to start adding photos to my header which will randomize each time you visit the site. My hope is these photos will correspond with different looks found throughout the site, so there will be more photos as more content appears revolving specifically around the Beauty As Art brand. The other is the font for the text under the main header. I am still undecided about what I will be changing it too but I’m not happy with it yet. As far as blog posts themselves go, I am happy with design thus far. My main critique revolves around the actual format of the content. I would like to implement better indentation and spacing to assist with readability, especially when listing products and application techniques. Though these changes are small, I think making them will benefit the design of my blog in a noticeable way.

Design is not my forte though. I am more content oriented overall. I would welcome any feedback into how to continue developing the design of my blog so it can better feature the content I am trying to create.

Yours Truly,

Meera C.

LA DRIVING MADNESS

Continuing on with my LA series, I’ll be writing about my driving experience in this post. I already knew what I was getting into since I was the only one who could drive for the trip. Being the only one with a full license meant that I was the driver for all six days and it also meant that I had to remain calm and collected while driving even when I was lowkey panicking. And props to my best friends for being my human GPS and giving me enough time to prepare for my next turn or exit from a highway. But there was also this time when they told me to stay on the farthest left lane and then make a right turn moments after. Luckily we were all still alive after cutting 3 lanes without stopping. And all that was said after was, “Oops, did I say left? I meant right lane…haha…”.

Driving in LA to me was quite an experience, and to be honest, it was pretty scary. I can easily say that driving in LA is one of my accomplishments in life just because it was so damn stressful. And I can most definitely not forget about the traffic in LA. It’s insane but luckily, cars still move forward when they are in traffic and they’re not glued to one spot for a long time. I guess I can say that driving in LA has taught me how to be patient and how to contain my inner road rage.

I remember this one time we took an exit that was one too early and it was a road to a mysterious place, and Google Maps told us to make a u-turn. You know you’ve messed up when Google Maps tell you to u-turn. But we managed to turn. And it was epic. It was late at night too, no lights leading up to the mysterious place and my headlights were the only source of light. My friend in the backseat even woke up from her nap to witness the most epic u-turn. In the moment of the turn, everything seemed to stop, it was like our life was in slow motion and once I successfully made the u-turn, everything was back to normal. And we moved on to our next epic moment.

At least my epic driving got us to places… so here are some pictures from our trip!

Left: Disneyland Log Ride, Center: Griffith Observatory, Right: LACMA

Writing and keeping up with blogging

Now that I am 4 weeks into having this blog, I start to realize why I struggle writing blogposts here. On the bright side, it helps me understand myself better and think about what I want people to know and how much I would want […]

Process Post 1

I forgot my password. I can’t be the only one who constantly does this. Apparently I already had a WordPress account, so both my emails come up for username. When I changed the old password for the old account, I tried to use it for the new account. 3 tries later and I’m locked out. I wish I wasn’t so forgetful, but there’s so many passwords to so many accounts nowadays.

Once I can get back into my account, I’ve spent quite some time trying to make it look the way I want. I get a little frustrated changing certain aspects of the theme just because I’ve never dealt with html code before. The CSS program is pretty easy to use, but I’ve never used anything like this before. Let’s just say it’s been an adventure. One in which involves many how-to youtube videos and google searches.

Ideally, it’d be nice to have the background something a little more to do with health and fitness. Something not too cliche, yet represents the website a little more. The current ram skull background is light and simple, as I can’t seem to figure out how to change the text colour yet, but over the next couple days it would be nice to play with different backgrounds a bit more.

For every post, I’d like to use my own photos. I’ve started an Instagram account to help me do this. My goals for both the Instagram and the blog are to get out and take my own photos and edit them — the blog would support the story and purpose for each picture, and Instagram will aid with me taking and editing the pictures more often.

I would like my widgets/menus to be more on the right side of the page, but I’m still learning how to do that. I would also like to maybe change the “Finding Balance” title and the hooker underneath either with different colours and/or fonts.

I have a couple friends who do blogs as well, so I was trying to get a little inspiration from their websites. There’s Ashley’s, (https://ashleyogilvie.com/2017/07/18/my-mom-calls-it-eden/), and Noelle’s, (http://noellekathleenjones.com/dig/under-the-guise-of-the-chill-girl/), both of whom have created an amazing voice with their writings and it is such an inspiration for me to do the same with mine.

With my blog, I would like to capture and enhance my own online presence and voice. I would like to hail students of any kind, and really anyone interested in health. Just to start a discussion on what works for people and what doesn’t really entices me and I think having that conversation and space for people is really important. As my voice and posts develop, I hope it’ll reflect these things!

Peer Review

Michelle Wong’s CONCEPT

CAN’T GO W[R]ONG.

Excuse the terrible pun, but WOW. Michelle’s website  literally made me say “damn.” I openly admit that I am incredibly impressed with the professionalism of her site. Maybe I was expecting that everyone else in the class would be first-timers with WordPress or blogging like I am… No, I remember it being mentioned in class discussions that we had some avid bloggers already. Regardless. Michelle’s experience is evident.

Aesthetic. If I were to describe Michelle’s blog in one word, it would be aesthetic. The all-caps, the sans-serifs, the desaturated colour scheme, the white space all work together to create a cohesive look that pairs well with the blog’s overarching theme.

Something I particularly like about the layout of her website is that she included an About blurb in the sidebar on the right of the page. With the blog and her most recent posts being the first thing you land on when visiting the site, I found it added a more personal and welcoming touch; this way, while you get straight to the content and what the blog is all about, you feel like you’re being greeted by Michelle herself.

In his talk “What Is Publication?”, Matthew Stadler notes that part of being a publisher is being a good host. By including a picture of herself in the sidebar, I think that Michelle does a good job in being a host, not just by having a friendly tone in her posts, but by being present as you click through the site. It makes it feel like you’re getting to know her on a more personal level as you read; taking away the dissociative anonymity and invisibility that John Suler defines in The Online Disinhibition Effect.

Looking more closely at the content of Concept, it’s evident that Michelle has put a lot of thought into her blog. I enjoy the introductions of each blog post — they act as great hooks, without being too obviously “hooky”, if that makes any sense. The introductions are informative on what the post topic is (as an intro should be), but is written in a casual way that is relatable and thusly inviting to continue reading.

The categorization within the blog shows focus and again, emphasizes the amount of planning Michelle has done. As the reader, I find it a nice touch that Michelle has allowed me to filter the content to whichever topic it is that I am interested in. Realizing that not all visitors may be interested in all of the different topics she writes about once again shows her compassion as a host.

It is clear that Michelle already has a coherent online identity built up from her time instagramming and working on her Wong Collective. I think it will be interesting to see this transition from a very photo-based, minimal word medium to a word-focused medium, but I have no doubts that Michelle will be as successful here on wongconcept.com as she is on Instagram.

Process Post #3

WHO AM I, WHAT AM I?

I am definitely struggling. The fact that I’m up at 2:35am is proof of that.

It feels as though I’ve lost my voice, or that I’m in that infant stage of trying to learn to talk. Better yet, I feel like I do when I’m trying to speak to my best friends (who are from Quebec) en français; I know (or at least I think I know) the story that I want to tell, but I don’t quite know how to spit it out. In a nutshell, that’s how I feel about blogging.

It’s funny to me though — I don’t plan for the blog to be the main attraction of my website. Despite that section being more or less the only part of my site that currently has any content, I have a Projects section in the menu, ready and waiting to showcase my design work. The end goal, for me, is for my website to be my professional portfolio. Hence the decision to keep my name as the title. After a lot of back and forth-ing in my planning, I decided that the blog will merely be a feature of my portfolio, a kind-of extension to my About page. Meant to capture my personality, life experiences, and demonstrate my communication skills, Rise & Grind would be a way for potential employers (and other visitors, of course) to get to know me in greater depth, and to (hopefully) be inspired or gain some insight from the tidbits I share.

As I noted above, the blog is the only part of my website that contains content — and it doesn’t have much content at that. I have been struggling, without a doubt, on how to present myself. Or, not how exactly, but more what it is I’m publishing. I’m comfortable and happy with the type of voice I’ve put forth so far; casual and friendly, yet not necessarily in an unprofessional way. I’m trying to present the truest self that I can to the world, but as John Suler questions in The Psychology of Cyberspace, what is the True Self? In my not-yet-published second blog post, I want to address what karate is. But it has literally taken me over a week to figure out what exactly I wanted to explain, and it’s only [right] now as I’m reflecting on my week of frustration, that I am finally making a clear decision.

My debate had been on how personal to make this explanatory post (and the whole blog, really). Thinking about Rise & Grind and what kind of audience might read this, I kept shying away from making it an overly personal story. I didn’t want this to turn into my autobiography — who was going to read that? So I began writing in a more detached fashion, but soon felt like I was writing a history paper. Um, yeah. No thanks. But I became stuck.

Re-explaining my vision anew here in this process post has helped me to refocus however. I stopped telling myself that no one was going to be interested in what I was saying, and instead I asked myself again, what is my goal with this website? What is it that I want to share with the world? And really, what I want to share is who I am — and who I am includes my personality, my profession, and my passions. So Rise & Grind will be about me. It will tell the story of how I rise to the occasion and grind away to better myself a little more each day. It will be for me to work on expressing myself and to become comfortable with that self-expression.

I’m excited now. I feel like I have my attention back.

Process Post 2

Beauty As Art is live! So far we’ve had very few bumps in the road. The biggest problem so far was getting the right theme. The first one I chose was aesthetically pleasing, however when trying to use it I encountered many coding errors. Blog posts were appearing in full where they were not meant to, photos on the homepage were aligning incorrectly, and so on. After consulting with my TA, we decided the best course of action was to simply pick a new theme. After sorting through what seemed like one hundred themes, I finally landed on a new one and I like it even better then my original. Now that we’ve solved the theme struggle, I’ve been able to properly format it to my liking. The upper section of the homepage is a photo with the title and motto of the blog. I wanted it to be obvious what viewers were getting into. I chose a close up, striking image because it fits with them brand I am creating around my online self and my style. Below you will find the most recent few blog posts to go up, with the exception of process posts. Process posts go straight into their own area but can be easily accessed through the menu. Speaking of which, the menu can be found in the upper left of the homepage. Posiel work is split between the process posts tab and the reflections tab. The reflections are often reflections on something from class, integrated into the concept of the blog. The makeup tab drops down. Currently, it only drops down to looks, but I am planning to incorporate product reviews, makeup look of the week, technique posts, and maybe more! Then there is obviously the about page and the home page tabs. Overall, the layout is quite simple. All posts appear in most recently posted order so it’s easy for readers to keep up to date with the latest posts. I’ve linked my public beauty instagram to this blog and attached a direct link to the menu as well. With the blog and instagram being mutually linked on either side, it will help draw in readers/followers. The two platforms work extremely well together for this type of blog because shared photos of the looks are the best way to attract readers to the blog to learn about it. I’m excited about the way the blog is shaping up and am interested to see how it continues evolving!

Yours Truly,

Meera C.

A Throwback to Spring Break

This past spring break, I attended a school trip to Europe.  We visited four unique cities – Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, London.  Looking back, the twelve day trip seemed to fly by!  Here are a couple of my favorite moments in each city:

Amsterdam:

Our trip started with Amsterdam – a charming crooked house city with tons of history.  After a full day of travelling, we finally arrived and met our tour guide at the airport.  One step out of the airport was all it took for the jet lag to completely vanish.  That first day was surreal; we got to see everything from a cheese factory to the oldest windmill in Amsterdam!  Our next two days in the city were just as amazing.  Here is my list of things to see (and do) in Amsterdam:

  1.  Take a Canal Tour (You get to hear about the history of the city)
  2.  Visit the Anne Frank House
  3.  Eat Stroopwafels (A sugary treat that is the perfect mix of cookie and waffle)
  4.  Shop at Primark (Too bad we don’t have them here in Canada!)

 

Brussels:

We only spent one day in Brussels, but we saw and did so much.  Our first stop was the Red Star Line Museum.  Here, we got to read stories about those to traveled to Canada by ship in the late 1800s.  They even had a database in which you could search a relative’s name and see their travel documents.  After an informative trip to the museum, we headed out to see Antwerp City.  We had free time for lunch, so my friends and I visited a restaurant called Poule & Poulette.  The way the tables were set up was so unique, and unlike anything I’ve ever seen in Vancouver.  The setup was similar to a bunk bed, but instead of a bed, there were tables stacked on top of each other.  This definitely made for a memorable meal.  Then, we headed in to Brussels where we saw a gourmet chocolate shop, and tasted some of the best waffles I’ve ever had!  Here is a list of things I loved the most about Belgium:

  1.  Seeing how they made chocolate
  2. Walking the (almost) empty streets of Antwerp
  3.  Seeing all the buildings in the Grand Place lit up at night

 

Paris:

After seeing Vimy Ridge, we were off to Paris!  Our hotel was a few metro stops away from city centre,  where we quickly realised how fast paced the environment was.  Even the metro doors move faster than the sky trains in Vancouver!  At one point, my group got off on the opposite side of the train than the rest of our school.  We panicked for a minute, but it soon turned to laughter.  Then, we went to Sacré-Cœur and saw the cathedral.  I was able to practice my french by ordering crêpes that night.  The next day, we went to The Lourve, The Eiffel Tower, and shopped on the Champs-Élysées.  Overall, I felt this city deserved more time than what we had.  It is definitely on my list of places to revisit!  Here are a few new foods I tried while in Paris:

  1. Gratin de Pomme de Terre  (a heavenly potato, and cheese lasagna like dish)
  2. Oxtail Bourguignon (a hearty stew with oxtail, carrots and mushrooms)
  3. Macarons (commonly confused with macaroons, but unlike macaroons, these are sandwich cookies.  Mine were from Ladurée, a bakery famous for their macarons, and rightfully so!)

 

London:

Out of all the places we saw, London was definitely the one most similar to Vancouver.  On our first day,  we got to ride on The London eye.  It was amazing to see a preview of the city we were about to explore.   Over the next few days, we were able to see, The Tower of London, Windsor Castle, The city of Bath, and The Natural History museum.  My friends and I had a laugh after seeing the Natural History Museum (the 6th one on the trip), as all we really saw were the cafes and gift shops inside.  Europe definitely has a lot of museums!  Although we spent the most time in London, the four days passed quickly and we were soon back at the airport ready to go home.  I will never forget London as these souvenirs I picked up will always remind me of the time I spent there:

  1. A grey Oxford Crewneck (this is the comfiest sweatshirt I’ve ever owned)
  2. A luggage sticker (a thumbs up, with the UK Flag pattern)
  3. A keychain of Big Ben

 

From the moment I landed in Europe to the moment I left, I had an amazing time.  The fact that I was able to go with my friends made it even better.  The moments we had there have bonded us forever.  This was a trip that taught me so much. not only about the world and its many cultures, but also about myself.  The many months working to save for this trip were definitely worth the experience I had.  A bientôt l’Europe!  If you’d like to see a few more of my trip photos, click here.

 

 

Strangers & A Stranger

I grew up in a post-Communist country where ideologies, beliefs and traditions have not really changed ever since the great USSR collapsed. That includes how people interact with each other on daily basis. Well, if they are strangers, actually. Imagine walking down the street (on […]