self-preservation

When I am feeling down, I am usually quite good at recognizing that I need to slow down, get off the internet, organize myself a bit more, and engage in some self-care. I routinely refuse to get the gel-nail pedicure at my wonderful little nail salon because I actually don't want it to last longer. When my nail polish starts to chip, I know it's time for me to get a weird chair massage (seriously the part of the chair that "massages" my butt feels so wrong), a new colour on my toes, and to zone out for a bit. 

Self-care can take the form of many things and for me, routine and order is one of them. I also like some good old retail therapy, and a giant bowl of popcorn and red wine for dinner. Sharing and making other people happy is also a form of self-care for me.

In that vein, here you go: some of my most recent favourite things to help on days when you need a little pick-me-up.

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1. The Blackbird Potpie at BlackBird Cafe. This single serving potpie is made with a creamy mushroom filling and served with a delicious tomato chutney. I like to get it with the House Kale and Spinach salad. It is my comfort food right now. And the coffee at Blackbird is fabulous too, and as of this week, the staff know my order and have officially granted me "Regular" status!

Comfort food is good for the soul.

Comfort food is good for the soul.

2. BAMBOO BED SHEETS. (That's it, just get some. Seriously!) The ones we have are from one of my favourite local boutiques, My Filosophy,  and I don't know why we waited so long to get them. 

only downside is it is so hard to get out of bed now!

only downside is it is so hard to get out of bed now!

3. This new lipgloss from Lipstick Queen. Don't let the Elphaba green sparkle fool you. This stuff is all kinds of witchy and wonderful and goes on green and within about 20 seconds changes colour according to the body temperature and PH of your lips. Mine goes a nice natural pink colour and really, who couldn't use a little bit of magic in their day?!

Available at Lux Beauty Boutique. 

Available at Lux Beauty Boutique

4. I am reading the MaddAddam trilogy from Margaret Atwood and have fallen in love with her writing all over again (it's been far too many years since I first read The Handmaid's Tale). ORYX & CRAKE was phenomenal, and I have just started The Year of the Flood. Get your summer reading on and pick up all three books from your favourite bookstore or get on the wait list for a copy at your local library!

5. I know you probably have a long queue of shows to watch piling up on your Netflix List, but if you like the female prison drama genre (and OOOOwheeeeee do we ever have to talk about OITNB Season 4 another time), you'll need to add one more. This one is a Canadian production called Unité 9 and is set in a women's prison based on the real one in Joliette, Quebec. The show does have subtitles, so you can totally follow along even if you aren't a little Frenchie like me. The acting is wonderful, the character development superb, and I can't get enough of it right now. 

6. Hair products. It's what happens when you finally take the plunge and say to your stylist. "OK, just cut it all off!" I have been a Kevin Murphy user for a few years now and love that these products are eco-friendly, free of all the bad things and do the job they are supposed to do. The two products pictured below are my go-to duo for keeping my fabulous new coif, coiffed! Oh, and you only need a tiny bit of each - as with all KM products, a little goes a long way!

These should last me at least one year.

These should last me at least one year.

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The world is a nasty place right now, and we have much work to do to clean it up and make it better. And we will. I truly believe that. But we can't do any of that if we don't take care of ourselves first. Like the amazing poet and activist Audre Lorde said, self-care is in and of itself an act of political warfare. 

Do what you must to preserve yourselves people. 

So you can get up and fight the good fight again tomorrow. 

With new polish on our toes, a good meal in our bellies, and pretty pink lips.

Much love,

Natasha~