Tarte Cosmetics: New Eyeshadow and Brow Mousse

One of my projects this year is to work on make-up. So far, I’ve covered gel eyeliner, foundation and contouring.

So I made a third Sephora order – gawd, this gets soooo expensive – and ordered a few Tarte products three weeks ago, specifically items that were vegan*. I decided to try them out this evening after reviewing some make-up tutorials.

Eyeshadow: I used this YouTube tutorial from The Beauty Bunny, a cruelty-free make-up blog. From the Tarte eyeshadow palette, I used Sand as the based, Abyss on the side and then Wave in the middle. Generally, this worked out okay but I was a bit heavy-handed with the eyeshadow. I couldn’t help dabbing so much of it; this palette is absolutely stunning!

Brows: I’ve never worked my brows before and for the longest time, I’ve wanted to develop my brow game. A lot of strangers often assume I am much younger than my 33 years, so I’m hoping that this could help somewhat. I must say that I’m glad I didn’t overpluck when I was younger, having been scared by seeing so many bad brows. I reviewed this YouTube tutorial on how to apply the waterproof Amazonial clay brow mousse. I didn’t have any brow wax and used a small amount of foundation to highlight on the brow bone.

I put some gel eyeliner on and here’s the final product:

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this. The brows are much better than I had expected, but I will have to ease up on the eyeshadow for a softer touch. Ultimately, I’d love to have a casual day-to-day look. It will also look much better overall once I add blush and done some contouring too.

*Note that cruelty-free and vegan are not synonymous. Cruelty-free products can still contain beeswax … stupid, I know.

Weekend Update

Just a few updates:

  • Meal-prepping: This has been going pretty well, since starting about 3 weeks ago. I find that this makes food preparation a lot less stressful when I have written out the meals for the week on my chalkboard in the dining room. Interestingly, since we were out of town last weekend, I got lazy and didn’t end up meal-planning. By mid-week, we started eating junk and some bad habits. Back to planning, which will usually happen on Sundays.
  • Make-up: Waiting on my order from Sephora. Will be studying how to do eyeshadow application and how to do the brows. Still trying to find a replacement for the blush though. Future projects include learning how to do falsies.
  • Natural movement: Don’t think I will need a pillow for the rest of my life. Been slacking on the work commute and grocery pick-up though, the past two weeks. No Vibrams yet, but I am considering making an order in the future. Just finished podcast episode #17 of Katy Says.
  • Professional Development: OAME speaker applications are due at the end of November. A professor from Nipissing University who is mentoring me asked if I would like to do a webinar for the NOMA chapter of OAME. I’ve drafted rough notes already, but just need to pick a few images. It will be happened in two weeks.
  • Crocheting: I made a huuuuge haul of vegan acrylic yarn in Rouyn during the Thanksgiving long weekend. Maybe about $50 worth of yarn? Haven’t gotten around to starting anything yet, but would like to make items that I could give for winter solstice / Christmas. Perhaps a blanket or a scarf.
  • Leggings: Waiting on a few new pairs from Guelph-based Sweet Legs. Bought 3 pairs that ranged from $20-25, since I don’t fit into the two from The Jiva Shop anymore. ARGHHHH!!! I hate how painfully slow mail can be in the north!!! I usually don’t think about packages for the first week but then I start getting antsy by the second!

Bright Sun Films: Nara Dreamland

Since going to DisneyWorld back in April 2016, I’ve been interested in the history and the politics around the Disney theme parks. I happened to come across an amazing YouTube channel which reveals some really good stories of and just had to subscribe; I really cannot get enough of Jake William’s Abandoned series!

I shared about one of his videos back in May and have pretty much watched all the videos Jake has put out. The latest video describes Nara Dreamland, which was suppose to be a Disney theme park, but ended up being a replica of Disneyland. Pretty interesting background about this place … I won’t say too much. Enjoy!

Signing Up for An AQ

As I had previously mentioned, I was wondering whether I should register for another Additional Qualification this year. Of course, yes. The school board pays for it.

However, I was wondering whether I should start in November or wait until February. My mom* said, just sign up for November. I put my application in and got accepted yesterday forIntegration of Information & Computer Technology in Instruction – Part 1.

Just paid for my course!

Time to enjoy my long weekend.

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-5-47-56-pm*My mom is pretty smart so I try to listen to her as much as possible. 

Late Night Shopping

Argh. I was suppose to do my before-bed yoga and ended up being sucked into a shopping hole for 2 hours.

I’ve been meaning to get a few more items* since my last purchase. I ended up ordering 3 Tarte products off Sephora*, including this pretty eyeshadow palette! Thankfully all 3 products were vegan. And thankfully, having substituted three classes at work over the past 2 weeks covers the $130 I spent last night, ha!

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*As someone who has worn very little make-up most of my life, it has been a goal this year to get better at it. Last month, I worked on contouring and getting some basics (i.e. brushes, primer). This month, I will be working on brows and eyeshadows.

**Of course, using Ebates to get some additional dollars back!

Looking Ahead: Professional Development

In my school board, once you have worked for 2 years and become full-time permanent, you are entitled to approximately $900 for courses and professional development under a program called “Teacher Improvement Plan.”

Last summer, I used this opportunity to have a credit covered covered and took an in-class Additional Qualification for Senior Math. This was during my vacation, of course, but going to an in-person class at University of Toronto was actually well worth it. The class was small but we had such a great time. It really made me even more passionate as a math teacher and for the first time, I was inspiring and mentoring younger, less-experienced teachers.

I’m trying to decide which AQ to take this year. I chatted with my mom on the phone and told her that I would either get my Senior Geography teachable or Integration of Information & Computer Technology in Instruction – Part 1. She suggested that I focus on my strength; the long-term goal to becoming an expert at #edtech means that I could work towards being a specialist. This could even open up the door of becoming a consultant, since education technology will not be going away any time soon!

On the weekend, I browsed through the Queen’s University website. I’m still trying to decide if I should sign up for the Fall or the Winter session. I guess I still have a month to think about it!


Monthly Goals – Slothy September

About 7 years ago, on another blog, I started writing monthly goals. It was working really well and having Evernote allowed me to update them on any device.

In the past year, Evernote has increased its pricing structure; for people without a paid subscription, you are only allowed to use the app on two mobile devices. While I can’t blame this change entirely, I feel as if I’ve been struggling to keep up with my monthly goals the past year. I’ve noticed that I’ve been transferring goals for multiple months without starting them. Digitizing my goals was great for the past while, but it seems that I’ve taken some bad habits being able to edit my goals so easily.

So I’m switching to paper again. It’s worked well for my lesson plans and I find that I am more accountable when I’ve put pen to paper. When I’ve written something on paper, it’s a lot harder to cheat and fudge my goals.

For now, I’ll still write out all my goals – failed or not – for September, just to remind myself of everything I was suppose to do!!

  • Gold Medal Bodies (0/5): Complete 2-week shoulder opening sequence. I didn’t even try.
  • Foam-rolling and myo regularly (0/5):  Noooope.
  • Go kayaking (0/5): Boyfriend was away for two weeks and when he came back, it was too cold. I don’t have a dry suit to justify going out when it’s 10 Celsius.
Media / Books
  • Books (3/5): Finish up old books – as I had too many going and hate when I don’t finish something. I finally finished Crucial Conversations and The Bedwetter. Also finished up PostSecret. Currently reading Amy Schumer’s book, Lonely Planet Middle East.
  • Learn new crochet stitch (5/5): Learned how to circle stitch. I ended up making two coasters to use at work during a professional development day!
  • Start MOOC ‘Speak Arabic I’m Hours, Not Years!’ (1/5): Planning a trip to Israel and Jordan. Downloaded a free introductory course to Arabic on Udemy. Only watched 3 videos so far.
Professional Development
  • Practice using make-up (5/5):  I’ve been practicing!
  • Play with apps (3/5): Played around with a free trial of GradeCam. Don’t think I need to use it though.
  • Network on Twitter (5/5): I’ve known about #MTBoS for the past year, but I had never participated in a Twitter chat until this month! Even as a noob, I got welcomed very fast and learned how to use TweetDeck on the fly. Also cleaned up my page a bit and linked my professional Instagram account to my Twitter
  • Share blog ideas (5/5): Got my blog shared in the weekly newsletter at school!
  • Close Questrade account (0/5): Biggest slack on this one …. argh.

Getting Things Covered: School Supplies

Earlier this week, I received reimbursement for school supplies (~$1000) that I had picked up over the summer.

While there is no shortage of academic supplies – the cupboards have lots of algebra manipulative, Bohr models and textbooks – I felt that, in my fourth year with this school board, I could finally purchase “not so academic” supplies. These purchases help with the environment of the classroom to reduce stress and to help with better mental health for students; sadly, I feel that these are aspects of the classroom that are often neglected. Some examples include:

  • Yoga mats ($150)
  • Boogie board” tablet* ($40) Specifically for a selective mute student that I work with. You can write on the tablet and then use a button that activates a 3-V battery that wipes the slate clean again. She will be using it to communicate with me when she needs help or has to ask a question.
  • Door mats for shoes (12 x 6 – $80) – Reduces the dirt coming in since I have made it a shoeless classroom this year
  • Foam play mats ($132) – For high traffic areas of our classroom. This keeps our feet warm off the linoleum floor.

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I admit, I looooove shopping and spending money that’s not my own! It’s great that I have such a big budget to work with and don’t have to ask for every item to be pre-approved.

The mats were pre-approved by the principal, of course. I will eventually be starting a yoga club at the elementary school. I’ve bought a couple of yoga DVDs to my mother’s house by Amazon Prime* and she will mail it up to me.

As I go through the list though, I’m also reminded that there are many things I am able to cover on this generous classroom budget. In the south, I’d likely be buying my own:

  • Teacher’s lesson planner ($19)
  • Miracle Bind notebook** ($11)
  • USB memory stick ($5)
  • Japanese washi tape ($13)

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Part of me is writing this post as a reminder for the future. When I transition back to the city, I won’t have a $2200 classroom budget anymore!!! Better enjoy this while it lasts …

*Currently trying out a free trial until October 5th. Wow, my mom got a shipment the next day!
**These are great when your provincial ministry of education decides to change the curriculum every year. The pages are removable and you can reinsert them into another part of the notebook

Finding Your Network

Life has been pretty good. Work is good. Health is good. Diet is good. Family is good. The car is good. The turtle is good. The internet is annoyingly slow, but still good. The first season of Narcos has been good too. My crocheting skills aren’t good yet, but I can live with that.

While I have been doing well, I am coming up to some hard questions in my life – where do I go next? What’s in store for me? Will this be my last year in the north? If so, what will I face next year? And if so, what do I want? And what will get me there?

Needless to say, these questions and the discussion around these questions bring up a myriad of emotions. Some good, some bad. So while life has been good, I am bracing myself for some emotions that don’t necessarily feel so good.

This morning I felt like I was in a slump. It threw me for a loop and I headed into work a little later than usual to emotionally readjust. And I kept thinking, what is it that I so badly miss right now?

I miss my network.

However invisible they are in the day-to-day life, I miss my network IRL*. The people I WhatsApp when I am bored, the people whom I can have a laugh over internet memes with, the people that I chat with every week on Cody or Facebook (oddly, some I have never met in person). They are there and they hold me when I am in pieces. They lift me when I am sad. The affirm that I am of value and I mean something to them, to others, to the world. Their attention, in a gentle and caring way, give me strength. Their friendship and support give me love. Being far away means that sometimes I see them once every few months, or a couple of times a year or every three years. Yet invisible, they are still there.

And I can claim no success or be who I am right now without them. Likely, if you have been reading my blog for a while, you are one of them. And whether you know it or not, you keep me going and driven forward. As much as we all like to say, “I don’t care what others think of me,” we all need affirmation from others. We are social creatures and don’t do well alone. So while a lot of people are always in awe of the fact that I have been in the north, in a very isolated place, for the last 5 years, I could not have done it without my network. I could not have thrived and grown and matured and lived and loved without them.

I don’t really know how to end this post. I guess, on a morning where I am feeling alone, I just want to remind myself that I never really am.

*”In real life”