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Day 346: The Rebel Mama Hotline – What’s Up with IG Filters?

This week I was a guest on the Rebel Mama Hotline podcast where I talked about Instagram filters. I love these ladies, their group is the one for ‘mom group’ dropouts, the badass, rebellious women out there like us. They’ve also got two books The Rebel Mama’s Handbook for (Cool) Moms and Get Your $hit Together: The Rebel Mama’s Handbook for Financially Empowered Moms.

I started creating IG filters about 2 years ago using a free program from Facebook called Spark AR. I made a beauty filter called LoLo Lash, inspired by my bff, Lauren O’Neil. I drew the lashes in Procreate with Apple pencil using a face mesh rentering then created the filter in Spark AR and added skin smoothing.

This filter has 2.2M impressions, 99% of them are women aged 25-35. I understand this is (prob?) the biggest demo on IG but it also goes to show who is using beauty filters the most. In this ep of The Rebel Mama Hotline, we talk about how filters can create unrealistic beauty standards especially when the filter drastically changes your face shape.

People are now going to beauty clinics with a filtered image of themselves saying ‘can you make me look more like this?’. I have a filter on this post from Day 341 and deff thought about how botox or filler could enhance my face to make it more like this ‘pretty’ filter. One of my filters that is just the smoothing effect bumped way up (Smooth AF) has almost 400K impressions. I often use filters and other beauty filters, I like the way they look, the creativeness of them, and a lot of them hide when you look tired…or feel old.

Tap the play button below to listen to a snippet of the podcast or hit play below the phone to hear the whole 20 min episode. There are a few great experts including someone who worked at Snapchat and a doctor talking about the effect filters have on body image.

Listen to the whole ep below!

Day 345: Stop and Stare At It

I turned right from our walkway to the path and heard the loudspeaker with messages about wearing a mask in both English and French. The rail path is extra busy today at magic hour with the air at a warm 5 degrees. Everyone keeps their distance, some people smile. I’m in my own world listening to classical music, taking in every detail, dressed in all black with a fur coat. It was my second walk of the day, I love getting fresh air. In an effort to avoid other humans I zig-zag the streets, taking breaks to walk on the road just avoid people on the sidewalk. This practice would have been so rude two years ago but it’s common now.

I didn’t bring my phone because despite being home all day, I seem to have let it die. I’ve got music and route tracking on my watch so I’m blissfully disconnected from wifi & LTE. Out of reach, on DND.

The sun is so beautiful setting over Dupont, I always stop and stare at it.

This week I’m feeling more content than I have in a while. Have been getting 8hrs sleep pretty consistently for about 3 weeks and although I’m still tired, my body and mind are rested. Drinking less and working out more also help. I track everything these days on my watch or phone; sleep, meditation, breathing, steps, stairs, workouts, period, heart rate, oxygen, fasting, and when to water my plants.

In other news, I’ve noticed I’m consistent with updating the blog for a few days, but if I skip a day, I skip a few days and batch update before my fear of forgetting kicks in. I take photos every day in an attempt to keep more memories and often upload them to a draft so I don’t get too behind.

It’s hard to believe we are almost at one year from our first lockdown and the start of how this whole thing changed our lives forever.

What a time to be alive.

Photos were from my first walk of the day.

Day 344: My Things and Thoughts

Since Friday (Day 341), Sean has been up at the cottage solo and I’ve been home alone. It’s actually been really nice for both of us to have the time and space to be alone and do our own things. He loves being up at the cottage, chopping trees with the chainsaw, doing woodsy things. I love being home with my things and thoughts. I had such a relaxing weekend and felt refreshed and ready to start the day today.

After work, I had A&W with April and it was so nice to laugh together. I decided to get ready for bed nice and early after a bath and a full face care routine. I’m still working my way through  Younger on Prime and have been REALLY enjoying going to bed early.

In other news, I re-pierced my own nose today. I had this piercing for AGES but took it out a couple of years ago. I also have a septum piercing in the middle cartilage of my nose but rarely show it. This little stud is barely noticeable and I like it. I’m dying to get a new tattoo and might buy a stick poke kit. I did a tiny one at the start of the pandemic but want to try something more artistic and professional.

343: Sunday Self-Love

After a great sleep, I woke up energized and motivated. I ran 5k as part of Amy Shio‘s birthday run challenge in Nike Run Club. I am so grateful for her inspiring me to run since January 2020. Running has changed my life and I look forward to it now!

In the afternoon, I got through another season of  Younger while making white bean soup w/ cilantro & jalapeño and a fabulous quiche with leftover roast vegetables. Around magic hour I went for a nice long walk, it was brisk but refreshing. I had a full day of doing things that make me happy! Had some soup for dinner, a nice bath, a face mask, and went to bed early. ? Nothing quite like some Sunday self-love!


342: Watching Trains and People

Absolutely love that Saturday sun, it feels so nice. Natalie and Chloe (her dog!) came to my neighbourhood for a distanced walk today. We walked the neighbourhood and sat on the wooden platforms, watching trains and people as they walked by.

Before meeting up, I’d been so lazy, eating snacks, and nearly wasted the whole day. I slept in till 8:30 (late for me!), took a slow morning, did some things around the house, finished some work, and watched a few more eps of Younger on Prime.

In other news, last night I watched Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar and IT WAS HILARIOUS. Highly recommend! Earlier this week I won an Instagram contest for a free code to watch it from the ladies at Auburn Lane. THANK YOU!

Day 341: Fresh & Happy

Woke up feeling fresh & happy it was Friday! Sean left for the cottage after dropping Em to school, she’s with her mum for the next week and I’m home alone. ?

I had such a great workday today. In my afternoon meeting, we were chatting about branded products and it was a great opportunity to show some I’ve made over the years. I pulled out the stickers, note cards, and of course, the pillows I had made years ago. We all had a good laugh!

Sending you good vibes today for a nice restful weekend. Get outside, feel the sun on your face, call a friend, support a local restaurant.

Do something, do nothing, do whatever makes you happy!

Day 340: Finding Hope

Went for a walk this morning and wowwweeee it was brisk. Decided to take take a different route and pick up a coffee somewhere in the neighbourhood. As I turned onto Dupont, I noticed a cafe with this big heart out front. Finding hope. ?

The coffee was good. I shared a laugh with the barista. Such a simple interaction but it set a good vibe for my day.

It made me think about mum and when my sister and I were very little. As an immigrant to Canada with no family here, she didn’t know many people at first. Mum used to go into shops just to talk to shopkeepers just to have conversations. I can just see her kind face and warm smile lighting up conversations and charming people with her accent.

Remember, a smile and short conversation can really turn someone’s day around, even your own. We need connection more than ever these days, call a friend, smile at a stranger. We’ll get through this. xo

Day 339: Self-Reflection

A meeting was canceleled this afternoon so I decided to take advantage of the time and go for a walk. It was so nice and sunny today, cold, but sunny. I did about 10km and by the time I got home, was freezing and tired. I’ve really been trying to get outside for a walk each day despite feeling kinda lazy. I haven’t been running much the last month as I am terrified of slipping on ice after my injury. I really can’t wait until winter is OVER.

In other news, have you watched the Free Britney documentary ‘Framing Britney Spears‘? It’s good, will leave you feeling sad/angry about her life and how she’s been treated. I’ve always loved Britney, my sister and I went to her concert as teenagers, the first big show we ever saw!

Hope your week is going well!

338: There’s a Match

Today one of my work friends and I came on the call and we were dressed the same! We were both wearing a bright yellow sweater, almost identical. It was cute.

I originally posted this on Instagram Stories as a video but then saved it, reuploaded it to IG, added animated text in Stories, saved it, then converted it to a gif. I am smiling to myself at how good the text goes with my words, it’s not perfect but it ends at the same time. So simple, a good feeling, I love when there’s a match.

Highly recommend putting on bright yellow if you need some sunshine in your day.

Day 337: Family Day 2020

These photos were taken last year on Family Day. Michelle and I went on a big walk and decided to stop into Allan Gardens to feel the warm air and smell the flowers. We both kinda forgot it was Family Day it it was busier than usual, filled with families, couples, and the same idea.

I was looking back on old photos and it really made me miss going places and doing things. Going on a walk with your BFF, stopping into planty places, grabbing a cocktail, shopping. Y’know, the things we used to do.

Finding this third wave of the lockdown much harder than before. I have less energy than I’ve ever had in my life. My temper is short, my emotions are high, and I’m not nearly as active as before the panny. Winter is always a hard time but without the normal things we used to do to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder, it’s so much heavier.

I guess the other thing making it hard it we really have no idea how long this will last. I’m really looking forward to spring, the snow melting, patios opening, and being able to hang out in the park. Even if we have to wear masks for another 365 days, at least we won’t be in a Stay At Home Order.

Sending you love, we’ll get through this. Only a few weeks until spring. ☀️

Day 336: Happy Valentines Day!

I’m at home today and Sean is at the cottage with Emily. He sent me the most special surprise…

We had a lovely Valentine’s dinner on Thursday night and shared gifts then watched some Netflix. He got me a rose bush plant instead of flowers and as a plant mama, it was the perfect present!

I don’t share too much about Sean here but he is so wonderful! We first met over in 2009 and I couldn’t imagine my life without him. He makes me laugh every single day and supports me in everything I do. I’m so grateful for him in my life.


Day 333: Push Through It

Today I woke up determined to leave the cottage, take a package to the post office, and go to town. I hadn’t left the cottage in 5 days and tbh, I was starting to get cabin fever. It’s lovely being in the woods but there’s part of me that loves seeing people and doing things. Even something as simple as going to the grocery or Dollerama feels like an event these days.

After cleaning off the car for 20min in the freezing cold, I got in the truck to leave the driveway. It did not go as planned. I got stuck in the snow and was frustrated. I came back inside, threw off my coat and had a bit of a meltdown. I thought I left my phone in the car so had to go back outside. I took a few deep breaths and decided to give it another go with the truck. I took a good look at the snow, planned the route, and made it. I’m glad I pushed through it! I drove to town in the sun, singing along to the radio. It felt so good!

When I got back to the cottage I went for a walk with a neighbour on the road. It was our first time meeting and we had a nice distance walk through the woods. It was such a beautiful day and we turned to face the sun, feeling its warm embrace on our faces.

Lesson of the day, sometimes you just have to push through it to find the sun.

Day 332: Things do not change; we change.

I was thinking that something needed to change and hey, when in stressful times, why not change your hair?! ? Change is good my friends!

Added some pink to my hair with a temp colour from L’Oreal I got on Amazon. I tried this one once before but it was too pink so I decided to add some conditioner before applying and it turned out a nice, light, strawberry blonde.

I don’t remember ever having roots this long but adding a temp colour was always my go-to for between colourings. I like how this makes the roots less noticeable. I reckon it will rinse out in 2-3 washes but given the certain situation, it’s gonna be much longer before I get my hair done. Today’s Covid update is that the Greater Toronto Area will remain in lockdown until the 22nd of February.

I know I look tired, I am tired! I’ve been trying to get 8hrs sleep every night but it doesn’t matter how much I get, I can’t escape this tired feeling. I miss doing things and going places, seeing people, having plans. Things are getting better but it’s going to be weeks before we’re out of lockdown and months before things resemble the ‘normal’ we used to know.

Feeling a bit better today but could also have a breakdown at any minute.

In other news, only 38 days until the first day of spring.

Things do not change; we change.

Henry David Thoreau