Books · Magical Life · Reviews

Reading Corner – September 2017

I haven’t been able to read much as of late but this past month I was finally able to finish something.

Everyday Witchcraft: Making Time for Spirit in a Too-Busy World by Deborah Blake

Everyday Witchcraft - Deborah Blake

Living a life where I have a day job, work on this blog, and have the side hustle of book editing through Fiverr; it is difficult to create the time to put aside for my own spirituality. When I picked up this book, I had heard about Deborah Blake and read her articles in different pagan magazines.

The focus of this book is connecting with Spirit in even the most mundane of moments, and has an entire sections on creating 5 minute mini rituals that are easy to incorporate in the day, as well as ways to incorporate magick in your cleaning tasks, and connecting with you chosen Diety regularly. In the final section of the book, she includes a list of amazing Wiccan and Witchcraft books to continue from from the classics of Raymond Buckland and Scott Cunningham to more modern books by Christopher Penzack.

I really enjoyed reading this book and have even put little tabs in it for the sections I want to incorporate more in my life to hopefully bring some balance back. It has amazing tips for taking the steps to make you life more magickal and helps keep it from seeming so daunting a task.

One of the main things that I’m going to begin incorporating into my life is connecting with a Diety. The steps she includes in this section from Chapter 2 are things I know that I am able to do in the small moments of stillness I have within my day. Things as simple as trying to just talk in the morning when I’m drinking my coffee will help me create a connection again, as I have been feeling a little lost as of late, as I used to talk to Diety all the time.

I felt like this book was something I needed at this point of time, to try to help me come back into focus as to who I am and what I want to be.

What have you finished reading this month that has really spoken to you? Please let me know in the comments below, so I can check it out!

Jess

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Beauty · Product Reviews · Project Pan

Largest Project Pan Ever – Summer 2017 Update

If you’ve read my last post, it’s has been quite some time since I last posted and update for my project pan. Even though I haven’t posted any updates on here, it doesn’t mean I have stopped doing the project altogether. I have still been panning products and fortunately I have finished 10 in the last 4 months.

Items Finished In May:

 

Treseme Beautiful Volume Shampoo and Conditoner Sample packs (2 sets)

I did receive these through Influenster and it took me a while to actually get to them. The concept of doing you conditioner first sounds interesting but didn’t work for how I normally wash my hair. On the other hand, it did bring a lot of volume to my hair.

Bath & Body Works Body Wash in Sea Island Cotton

As always, this is my winter scent and my goal was to finish this product by the beginning of summer, and thankfully I was. I love this scent but I’m not going to purchase any more bath products for a while.

Suave Professionals Natural Infusion Anti-Breakage Shampoo (Travel Size)

With Suave shampoos, I never really see any difference in my hair. During this time I was still having a lot of fall-out and breakage in my hair but I feel that it had more to do with my health at the time rather than the shampoo.

 

Items Finished In June:

Maybelline Fit Me! Matte & Poreless Foundation in 112

This was a very light coverage foundation, which is nice for days where I want to cover up a little bit of my acne scarring but I am a full coverage kind of girl. I didn’t like that I had to apply so many layers to get the coverage I want that my skin looked cakey. Unfortunately this shade had too much yellow in it for me and did oxidize to be even more yellow, which is a recurring problem for me trying to find foundations, on top of the fact that it didn’t even last a few hours against my oily skin.

Be a Bombshell! Tinted Lip Balm in French Kiss

I had received this in an IPSY bag a long time ago, and I hate it so much. This shade is horrible for people with fair complexions like me as it is very very frosty but on top of that it feels waxy and leave a white residue on your lips that you have to wash off.

Village Naturals Aches & Pains Shower Wash

I really do love this brand, and it sucks that I can’t find it in my local Target anymore. This shower wash has a bit of a citrus/mint scent to it, and it also leave a slight cooling sensation on the skin. I used it the most when my joints started hurting from a physically exhausting day. I miss the scent and feel of it.

 

Items Finished In July:

Simple Moisturizer

So the big thing about this brand is that it meant to be sensitive skin friendly, but this was not. It smelled like mildewed clothing and actually had a burning sensation when I would apply it. I’ve essentially given up on this brand that I used to love after this.

Bath & Body Works Body Cream in Sweet Pea

The first to go down so far out of what’s left of my Sweet Pea B&BW stash. Still love it, and how the formula of the body cream feels as it absorbs into the skin.

 

Items Finished In August:

Pixi by Petra Mini Brow Trio

This was another item I received in an IPSY bag a long while ago. I had to find a variety of ways to use it since it was three different colors. I used the large taupe shade to set my eye primer and the medium brown shade for my crease, since they were both too light for my brows. The shade I did use for my brows just took forever to use. The powder itself applied fine and blended well.

NYX Butter Lipstick in Little Susie

I loved applying this extremely creamy lipstick. This is actually one of NYX’s more pigmented lipsticks and I have really enjoyed the application. This shade of hot pink worked well for my skin tone and surprised me with how much I liked it since I normally don’t go towards hot pink shades. I can’t wait to try out more colors after I finish the rest of my lipsticks.

 

So what have you finished panning over the summer? What are your goals for the rest of the year? At the moment I hope by the end of the year I can finish at least some skin care products .

Also, how do you feel about having a seasonal update rather than a monthly update? The post will be longer for a seasonal one but it will also give me more time to get products done. Please let me know what you think in the comments below.

See you soon!

Jess

Books · Reviews

Reading Corner – May 2017

In the month of May, I had a couple of lofty goals. I wanted to finish at least two books, and try to do a Reading Marathon, but that obviously didn’t happen. Usually I don’t create a Reading Corner post unless I actually have read something and finished it but I did still want to keep you updated. I’m still trying to read when I can, and this last month I ended up stumbling for a little bit. I had a lot going on that last week but I’m hoping that with June I’ll be getting back into the swing of things. In the meantime, I am working on a new list of books I want to read, and trying to get back into literature analysis (yes, I do that for fun) like I used to. If you have suggestions of your favorite books, please let me know in the comments below.

See you soon,

Jess

Reviews

13 Reasons Why – A Depression Sufferer’s Review

13 Reasons Why has become a small Netflix phenomenon resulting in memes flying everywhere. Even if you haven’t watched it I bet you have seen the “This is your tape…” memes on your Facebook.

I personally have mixed feelings when it comes 13 Reasons. As a person who has suffered from depression and suicidal urges their whole life, I feel like if I didn’t put in my input on it then the whole point of the show becomes useless. I just wanted to wait for my head to get straight before I did. Honestly, I had to stop multiple times watching the show as well as when I write this because it’s difficult for me.

Show Summary

The show itself is based off of the book 13 Reasons Why written by Jay Asher, and can actually be found in the Teen Fiction section of your local bookstore. The show and the story take place in the aftermath of a teen girl, Hannah, committing suicide and left behind a series of tapes about her “reasons” for doing it. The tapes are then given to each person on them to be listened to. Once they have completed the tapes, they pass it on to the next person. We follow Clay as he goes through his turn of listening to the tapes and what he goes through with them. All during this, Hannah’s parents are in the midst of suing the high school. The season ends with Hannah’s parents having the tapes and the teens on them are beginning the testimonies.

It’s The Little Things

There are a couple of things that I feel like people missed when watching the show:

  1. The time stamp on the video testimonies are for a future date in our time and gives us a possibility that Hannah hasn’t killed herself yet. It shows us that the events in the show didn’t have to happen.
  2. For a small moment, during one of the times it shows Hannah’s parents fighting, they mention that Hannah has dealt with bullying before in her previous school and that it was one of the reasons why they moved. It’s mentioned one time and then never referred to again so if you don’t pay attention, you miss it.

Both of these moments give us the thought that none of these event’s had to happen at all, but also gives us a bit of a fatalistic view of things. If Hannah stayed at her old school, she may have still gone down this same path because of how everything was handled.

What They Got Right

After giving it a lot of thought there were a couple things I feel like they approached correctly, but also a lot of moments where they got the show completely wrong.

What they did get right only involved Hannah and her actions. For one, how she acts around her parents even to the last day. She acts like everything is fine and there is nothing bad going on in front of them, even though she is absolutely falling apart. Some sufferers of depression create a mask of being okay in front of family members because they feel shame for their depression, or can feel like they would be a burden to them. This can especially be from the fact that Hannah knows that one of the reasons they moved was because of her and they are so worried about the store she doesn’t want to add one more thing to their worries.

Secondly, through the tapes Hannah is essentially blaming these people for her depression and suicidal thoughts. In some stages of depression, it can be shown that a person will have this “It’s your fault that I’m like this.” view point. They can be dealing with the anger and frustration as well as feeling of they aren’t in control.

Where They Went Wrong

I feel like they got a lot of things wrong that can actually become damaging to people, particularly teens, who are dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts in a way that might prevent them from going to get help. What they did wrong in the show is where I almost felt like rage quitting. These things can be really damaging for people watching the show who suffer from mental illness, or are family members of those who are.

The biggest problem I had, was how they portrayed as going to get help as useless. The counselor and his actions when Hannah comes to his office are troubling. Schools just like other workplaces have a cell phone policy when it comes to their staff, normally cell phones are not to be used during school hours unless it is an actual emergency. The fact that he brought his phone out during a session with a student could get him in a lot of trouble. On top of that how he handled Hannah’s conversation with him, was bothersome. He was too distracted to listen to her and instead of trying to dig deeper and try to help her he blows her off and tells her to get over it. Hannah is obviously telling him that something is wrong and giving him signs that she might hurt herself, and in most states he would be obligated by school policy to notify the authorities if she mentioned such things, but the fact that he didn’t pay attention was troublesome.

With her  parents they didn’t try to encourage her to go to therapy after dealing with the bullying before but instead think that just getting away is enough. Clay’s parents also referenced that he has gone to therapy before, but after he is showing warning signs that they notice, they don’t push him much to go back. They just say “We need to do this together” or “Do you need us to call your therapist” but don’t really make an effort outside of that to get him to go.

How Skye portrays self-harm is a stereotype that has been circulating around for a while. The thought that self-harm is better than killing yourself  because committing suicide is for cowards. This can create the idea that self-harm is okay when it really isn’t. I did appreciate that they showed multiple forms of self-harm, including alcohol abuse, more than just cutting yourself, but the moment that they did show it it comes to perpetuate a stereotype. They had an opportunity to address it but they didn’t.

Finally, the part that bothered me the most,  Hannah’s suicide. Part of the reason why I had such a hard time watching this is that it made me relive the times I have tried to kill myself. There were a couple of times where during the scene I had to pause and walk away for a moment. When I did finally feel up to watching it all the way through I looked at the details of how she did it. She chose to be in old clothes, filled the bathtub, then slit her wrists. That seems like a lot of thought into something she says she just decided to do. Something that I see that they missed is when she cutting into herself, there could have been a moment where she kind of had a clarity. I can’t say that many people who have fully committed suicide have had this moment, but many people who have attempted that I have talked to did experience it. A moment of “Oh shit” and fear setting in. Why did we feel this? Because death is terrifying even to those who think they are ready. By doing the scene without that moment in the show created a dramatic and almost romanticized veil over Hannah’s death.

This is not even mentioning the fact that how Hannah’s death is portrayed along with the tapes as a suicide with the intent on revenge and not that someone needed help and we didn’t pay attention. In a way this blows out the validity of Hannah being shown to have mental health problems. It instead shows it in a way of, “I’m telling everyone your secrets and I can’t face the consequences if I’m dead.” as well as, “You killed me.” and not “I decided to do this because I felt like it was my only option.”

Final Thoughts

In my final opinion on this, though Selena Gomez is a self-proclaimed mental health advocate, I feel like she as well as everyone involved very much missed the mark on this show. I understand the fact that it is meant to be a conversation starter and it has achieved as that, but the valid points that many people from mental health sufferers to mental health professionals have against the show have been frequently blown off by the people involved with the show. They had a major opportunity to change the narrative of how mental health is addressed in the media and they failed, horribly. They could have had the chance to bring the topic of how teens are often shown to go through multiple phases of depression without showing signs and that there are ways to get help. They could have taken the time to show having a mental health professional in school is important to help the students. Hell, they could have said that helplines need more funding to encourage others to call and be able to handle the load. Instead they added a little 40 minute commentary as a completely separate thing on Netflix about how this was Selena’s sort of pet project.


I hope that if you have lasted long enough to read through this post, that if you suffer from depression, suicidal thoughts, or other mental health conditions that you know you are not alone in your struggle even if you feel that way. Getting help isn’t easy but it is important. Reach out to family, friends, or even your doctor. If you feel like that isn’t an option there are hundreds of help lines of strangers with their whole job is to listen to you and help you. Feeling this way doesn’t make you less. Just because you feel broken doesn’t mean you can’t mend.

And for people who have family members that are going through this, pay more attention and listen to them. Help them get help, and get informed. Their are multiple books on depression, as well as informative websites. Take a step with them and let them know that their problems are valid. Continue to encourage that they receive professional help.

And don’t forget. I love you.

Jess

Beauty · My Story · Product Reviews · Project Pan · Reviews

Largest Project Pan Ever 2017 Update 1

largest-project-pan_update

I can’t believe we are already a month into 2017! As always the days of winter go by faster than you can expect and I’m honestly unprepared for spring to get here.

As you saw in my post last month on my Project Panning Goals for 2017, I have about 88 products left to use in my Largest Project Pan Ever. Most of these products are full sized with a sample every now and then, so this part of the project pan is going to get harder.

So far this month, I have only used up/decluttered 10 products. Most of these products are things that I would repurchase again after the project is over, or will have to repurchase because they are the last of a certain type that I have. I hope that you project pans are going better than mine, and please leave me updates in the comments! Continue reading “Largest Project Pan Ever 2017 Update 1”

Books

Reading Goals for 2017

This past year I haven’t read as many books as I normally try to. Usually I finish one a month, but this past year has been insane for everyone, and that has prevented me from enjoying reading. Because of that I didn’t reach my goal for 2016 of having a current reading list of 0.

For 2017, I want that to be my main goal again. I want to get back into reading 12 books a year, because reading is an activity that brings me joy just like writing does. At the moment my current reading list is half of my goal so I want to start there and finish them first before I start anything else.

I’m also going to use some of the habits I had when I was pushing myself to read as many books as I could in a year. For example, my reading marathons on Instagram. On my days off from work, if I’m not working on my blog, I’ll just read one book until I either finish it or my eyes get so tired that my reading glasses aren’t enough.

Also I’m going to be on a no buy for books, just like I am for makeup with my Project Pan. So even though I do visits to Barnes and Noble to see my friends, I am not allowed to buy any. It does also help that Sunshine and I are trying to let go of a lot of our books anyway to make room for the ones we would actually enjoy.

I am still going to be doing the monthly Reading Corner posts at the end of each month to check in and see what I’ve finished and review it. Hopefully there will be more than one book on there, but I’m not going to push it.

So let’s see if I can really finish 12 books in 2017!

What are your reading goals for the year? Let me know in the comments below! Also add me on Instagram to follow what books I’m reading right now.

Beauty · Project Pan · Reviews

Largest Project Pan Ever! Update 1

largest-project-pan_update

Last month I announced that I was going to do, what I believe to be, the largest project pan ever, which includes 143 items in total. No time limit, just pushing to get them done.

Now that a month has gone by, I have gone through almost all of my samples and have begun to make a dent into the full sized products that I have. Already, I am finding samples that I would purchase full sizes of and full sized items that I wouldn’t purchase again. But, if I’ve learned anything so far, it’s that it is a pain to find the right moisturizer.

Wanna keep an eye on how I’m doing? Follow me on Instagram using the hashtag #largestprojectpanever!

Read more to see how my luck has gone so far.

Continue reading “Largest Project Pan Ever! Update 1”

Books · Reviews

Reading Corner: September 2016

Reading Corner_Template

It’s finally October! That means it’s time for more spooky themed books! Though I’m excited to start new books, I didn’t get to read through as many as I wanted to last month. Unfortunately, I was only able to read through one book last month, but this was because I needed to finish a blanket for a baby that is actually being born as I’m writing this. Check out what I read in September below! Continue reading “Reading Corner: September 2016”