With a sheet draped over my lap, I anxiously wrung my hands and texted a friend while I waited in the colposcopy procedure room, naked from the waist down. Six months of doctor’s appointments, six months of stress and anxiety and uncertainty, and I was finally going to see and understand what the fresh hell was wrong with my cervix.
I can all but hear my partner’s exasperated sigh as I reach for the lamp to turn out the light. I’ll make the same I look better in the dark! joke for the umpteenth time and I’ll know that he doesn’t understand why I’m so hung up on my body even now, several months into our relationship.
By any standard, I’m in pretty good shape. My partner has never made me feel self-conscious, but he doesn’t have to: the stretch marks and loose skin from my pregnancy have already done their damage.
For as long as I can remember, I've been really interested in beauty and style and I've totally been guilty of some less-than-awesome practices - from too tight jeans (ouch!) to peeling my gel polish off (yikes!). Frighteningly, many women are risking their health for the sake of "being pretty" with dangerous habits, like restricting food intake to fit into a dress for an event. Bad habits are a lot like belly buttons in that we all have them, and the following list of bad beauty habits is by no means exhaustive.
T’is the season of too little time and too much to do, which means many of us are currently somewhere between “Do I have time to wash my hair?”, “Will there be food there?”, and “Where the hell are my pants?”. Or at least I am. Whatev.
The Holidays are practically synonymous with dressing up and parties, but for those of us hoping to spend a little less on ourselves and a little more on our loved ones, finding festive frocks and party-ready looks in our closets can seem daunting.
Chances are, hidden behind the facade of “I’m well, thanks,” is a grown-ass woman desperately wanting to scream "I JUST NEED A NAP." I know this to be true because, like you, I feel like I’m in a perpetual state of tiredness.
If you have a look through your wardrobe today, would you find any pieces that still have the sales tags on or a bunch of items you’ve bought but never actually worn? Have you fallen victim to impulse buys or emotional overspending? (Retail therapy: it’s totally a thing.)
As a self-professed shopaholic, deal-seeker, and fashionista, I could never try to deny the number of times I’ve purchased something I really didn’t need - or even truly love - because it was a great deal or I just felt like I had to buy something.
If you’ve ever stood, staring at the clothes hanging in your closet and wondered What am I going to wear?, you are not alone. Whether you’re heading to work, hitting the mall or taking the kids to yet another sporting practice, this four-step outfit is perfect in its ease and stylishness and it absolutely screams “autumn".
I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: A great pair of jeans is one of the hardest things to shop for, falling closely behind “bathing suits” and “bras”. Very closely. Shopping for jeans is an activity that requires energy and a lot of positivity.
I mean, it starts out OK: you walk into the store ready to find jeans that fit and flatter like a supermodel.
Thick, long, curled eyelashes are a beauty want most women I know can attest to. I mean, who doesn’t want gorgeous eyelashes?
I used to have my eyelashes tinted every three weeks taking my naturally long, blonde lashes to a rich black so they’d be visible without mascara - which was great except that they still didn’t pop without a coat or two of volumizing mascara. After months of debate and research, I took the plunge and made an appointment to have eyelash extensions done - and I’ve been going back every six weeks for fills.
There are no two ways about it: leggings are comfortable, easy to move in, and take 10 seconds to put on. Ask any mother and she’ll tell you that bending, squatting, lunging, and reaching are all part of the day-to-day which means comfortable, no-fuss clothes are key. But leggings are not pants… until now.
Figuring out what the heck to pack in lunches, making dinnertime decisions, and stocking up on grab-and-go breakfasts happens to be a top priority in many homes, including my own. See also: packing lunches suck. It's a fact that mealtime prep can be a messy, time-consuming business.
If you’d told me 10 years ago that I would be a single mother with an online dating profile, I would have called bullshit and laughed at you. But here we are.
And, you guys, dating is not what it used to be.
NOT KIDDING: This spring, I was lying in bed re-watching Season 5 of Downton Abbey (SPOILER ALERT: it was the episode where Cousin Rose is asked on a dinner date) and simultaneously received a SnapChat from a guy I had exchanged a few texts with.
Most women I know (including myself) often swap out our heels for cute flats or funky sneakers to give our feet a break. Unfortunately, just because they’re flat doesn’t mean a heel-free shoe is better for your feet - in fact, they can do just as much damage.
Babies require a lot of gear to go out, even for a few hours, meaning a quality diaper bag is an investment every new mummy needs to make. When preparing for my son's birth, I decided not to listen to the ladies who'd told me to invest in a great, classic bag and instead reached for a cheap bag with a childish print which I had to replace within a few months. Why? For one, it fell apart. Then there was the fact it had almost no pockets. And of course, it wasn't very stylish so I didn't like carrying it.
Whether the mountain you’re tackling is made of laundry or earth, the reality for most moms is that it always feels like there's never enough time in the day to do it all. Yoga class, kids’ swimming lessons, date night, coffee with the girls...something eventually has to give. I think you'll agree that when you’re tight on time, the thing that sometimes gives is haircare because it can be tough to squeeze in a shampoo and blow dry. I think you would also agree that having great post-baby hair is also a challenge.
Like most parents, I’m always looking for ways I can stretch my hard-earned dollars just a little further. With a fast-growing son and my penchant for pretty things, staying stylish on a frugal budget can be a challenge. One of my favourite ways to keep our clothing costs down is by shopping second-hand whenever possible.
Right now, he loves his mommy and his pet cat, red Converse sneakers and anything that has an engine. Before we go to bed at night, he sometimes tells me that when he grows up, he wants to be a daddy and other times he tells me he wants to be a firefighter or a paleontologist. I love dreaming about the things he will be one day. I can’t wait to see who he becomes and what he does in life.
When it comes to getting dressed, most of us would like to look tall and thin — even if we’re a little on the shorter side of things. The good news is that a long, lean silhouette isn’t just for the Giseles of the world thanks to a few little dressing tricks that I promise won’t add any time to your morning routine... and not one of them includes an uncomfortable pair of high heels.
I don’t know when or why, but somewhere along the line we all thought that it was perfectly acceptable to comment on or question others on the shape and size of their bodies. More often than not, we don’t question a person - we comment, behind closed doors or in hushed voices to our friends: God, she gained weight hasn’t she?
I’ve been part of the problem. I know I have. And I’ve vowed to stop.