"Where there is creativity, there is hope." ~ Donna Karan




September Favourites

by - Thursday, February 13, 2020


Favourite photo


After completing a soul-sucking medical errand, I rewarded myself with some fresh lilies for our apartment. The uplifting fragrance they dispersed was just the emotional boost I needed to carry me through another week. I was lucky to grab one of the last bunches reduced to $5, which was a steal for a week of happiness. Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness is very wrong.


Favourite Netflix release


Unbelievable, starring Kaitlyn Dever, Toni Collette, Merritt Wever and Danielle Macdonald, is a crime drama miniseries based on a devastatingly true story about 18-year-old Marie Adler (played by Kaitlyn Dever) who was brutally attacked in her Washington home by a masked intruder and raped at knifepoint. 

During an interview with police, Marie became confused and struggled to recall the specific details of her attack. Police doubted Marie based on the inconsistencies in her story and concluded that she was lying. 

Source: Beth Dubber/Netflix, via www.forbes.com

Feeling intimidated, Marie shut down and was unfairly coerced into admitting she falsified her report. It was at this point in the show I was ready to erupt with rage. As if the abhorrent attack, medical exam, and the harrowing trauma of recounting her story weren’t anguishing enough, imagine not being believed. Imagine being sent to court, charged with filing a false report.

I yelled at my TV screen: YOU STUPID FOOLS! OF COURSE HER STORY IS ALL OVER THE PLACE, SHE’S JUST BEEN THROUGH A HORRIFIC, TRAUMATIC ATTACK AND SHE DOESN’T KNOW WHO TO TRUST ANYMORE. 

In a second investigation, detectives Grace Rusmussen (Tony Collete) and Karen Duvall (Merritt Wever) connected four rapes that took place over 15 months, discovering a serial rapist who committed each assault in a different jurisdiction because he knew police departments rarely communicated with each other on cases.

These two hard working detectives then found this same rapist offending across both states had attacked Marie and the show details how they fought for her justice.

It’s a riveting performance that grips you right from the beginning; I don’t think I’ve ever watched a show that made me wish I could reach into my screen and hug the main character. This show moved me and brought me to tears several times; it broke my heart harder and faster than anything has before. My heart hurts to know that a lot of women don’t have to imagine what this horrendous hardship would be like. 

Source: Beth Dubber/Netflix, via Independant

I really felt for Marie. While I don’t know how it feels to be let down by the justice system, I know what it is like to be left shattered and let down by a system (the health system in my case) and not have people believe you or take you seriously enough. It’s not a hell I would wish on anyone. 

What I loved most about this show was that it genuinely made me feel like Marie was trusting me with her story, and that courage is mind-blowing.

If you’re looking for a heartwarming series to binge watch, this isn’t it. It’s disturbing, uncomfortable and heartrending. But it’s real, raw, honest, and powerful. Ultimately, it’s proof that everyone reacts to trauma differently and that there is no ''right'' way to react to trauma. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. 

Favourite purchase



Kristin Ess The One Signature Shampoo and The One Signature Conditioner, $18.99 each.

After watching Queer Eye, I decided to try Jonathan Van Ness’ recommendation to use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. I’ve used sulfate free products in the past but found they didn’t adequately clean my hair, so I was interested to see how the Kristin Ess range faired.

Hoping to attain Jonathan Van Ness like locks, I’ve been trying out The One Signature Shampoo and Conditioner combo. The celebrity hairstylist’s products launched in Australia back in December 2018 and are available at Priceline. With Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale among fans, I had high hopes for these products. I was expecting unicorn dust.

Source: POPSUGAR 
Who doesn't want hair as gorgeous as this? Also, why do men have better hair than me? It seems unfair.

On first use I found the shampoo wasn’t as high lathering as it claimed and although it smelled great, it left my hair a tangled mess. I often find this to be the case with sulfate free shampoos. The conditioner didn’t wow me either.

After drying, my hair didn’t feel clean enough, and the products left my hair feeling dry. This left me questioning how this shampoo and conditioner could be ''The One'' when everyone has different hair types and needs.

But for some bizarre reason I stuck it out for a few months. After finishing my first bottles I repurchased, just to be sure that this wasn’t the shampoo and conditioner for me.

I’m glad I gave it a second chance.

To my surprise, it seemed they changed the formula several months after its release in Australia. Maybe people were complaining about the lack of lather? Either that or my hair went through an adjustment period. Or I’ve just lost my damn mind, it’s hard to say. I’m giving up on trying to work it out because I’m tired and I have better things to do. All I know is that my hair now loves the stuff.

The shampoo now lives up to its claim of being high lathering; it’s impressive for a sulfate-free shampoo, though you need to double cleanse for maximum lather. It does a better job of cleaning my hair now too, although it will never match the squeaky clean feeling after using sulfate-laden shampoo. But that’s the problem with products containing sulfate — squeaky clean strips the hair of moisture.

The conditioner leaves my hair noticeably softer and after blow drying my hair I feel like I’ve stepped out of a hair salon, which was the feeling I was hoping for when I first purchased these products. Since using these products consistently I’ve found that my hair is less frizzy and holds heat styled waves and curls better.

Styled with Muk Curl Stick.

Better heat styling results was a nice surprise and something I really didn’t expect from switching to this sulfate-free hair care brand. There’s that magical unicorn dust I was looking for.

The fact Kristin has formulated these for daily use is an absolute godsend to me right now as I frequently need to wash my hair due to a suspected hormonal imbalance. My hair is now excessively oily and I experience drenching night sweats which leave me with soaking wet hair. Discovering this brand could not have happened at a better time.

What I love most about this duo is that they smell divine, which is exactly what you want from a luxury hair care brand. My mum asked me what perfume I was wearing recently, and I had to tell her it was my shampoo she could smell because I wasn’t wearing any perfume!

The pros: 

  • Affordable luxury hair care when on sale.
  • Cute packaging.
  • Salon like scent.
  • Perfect amount of lather.
  • Heat styling holds better.
  • Gentle formula safe for everyday use.

The cons:

  • Doesn’t clean hair as well as sulfate laced shampoo. This is to be expected though.
  • Packaging and labelling for shampoos and conditioners are the same across the brand so it’s easy to pick up the wrong thing and come home with a bottle of shampoo when you needed conditioner. I have to make sure I triple check the label before leaving the store.
  • Causes more hair shedding than regular shampoo and conditioners.

Would I purchase again and would I buy it at full price? Absolutely. The pros far outweigh the cons for me. My rating: 4/5


Favourite article

 




As someone who struggles with social anxiety, this article really hits home. It’s such a comforting read and a relief to know there are others who battle the same thoughts and fears. Whenever I find myself in a situation I feel everyone is looking at me and judging me, I do a quick room scan to prove and gently remind myself that people are far too self-absorbed to be critiquing how I look and what I’m saying and doing. Mindfulness is such a helpful tool in managing anxiety.


 

Favourite Scripture


The night before Jesus died on the cross He sat and washed the feet of His disciples’ as they struggled to comprehend the magnitude and inhumane barbarity of what He was about to endure on the cross. He comforted them with the powerful declaration, ''You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.''

I love this promise; it’s one I’ve found exceptionally comforting throughout my journey with chronic pain. I often struggle to comprehend the magnitude of chronic illness and why God has allowed such a devastating upheaval in my life. I find myself regularly asking God Why me? Why do I have to be sick? Why do I have to do this? Why do you allow this suffering to keep mounting? Why won’t you just heal me, God? I think I’ve been sick long enough.

I don’t know what God is doing with my life right now, but one day I will understand why I’ve gone through the trials I have. One day I’ll be able to look back at all of tears, agony, heartbreak, frustration, disappointment, grief and loss, and I’ll find peace in knowing the spiritual significance of this storm.

This promise keeps me going, it helps me to trust that God knows what is best for my life and that His plan and purpose is perfect and that He knows what He is doing, even though it really doesn’t feel like it right now.


Favourite achievement


Making a very crumbly cherry ripe slice for my dad for Father’s Day.




Favourite song


Death By A Thousand Cuts from Taylor Swift’s latest album, Lover


I’ve been enjoying singing along to this album while cleaning our apartment. I especially love belting out the lyrics: I ask the traffic lights if it’ll be alright they say, ''I don’t know''. Maybe I too should try asking random inanimate objects if it’ll be alright? It sounds therapeutic.


Favourite quote


PREACH!



Favourite funny

 

 


Haha, yeah about that…


When I was working in retail, I had an old cranky woman come up and have a go at me because she walked all the way to the back of the store to find what she wanted wasn’t in stock. She pulled out the 'I’m in a lot of pain with arthritis, feel sorry for me’ card and declared publicly, ''You young people do not understand what it’s like to be in pain and have arthritis''.

What the actual hell? Um, yes, yes I do. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, you moron! I know. I know all too well.

Oh, the audacity! The ignorance! In that moment I learnt that there is nothing quite as painful as suppressing a well-deserved eye roll. I politely told her where to shove her ignorance and responded with, ''Kids get arthritis too, it’s not just you.''

What’s with old people thinking they are the only ones on the planet in real pain?

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