Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January Mixtape

Here are some superb songs that have been playing over and over on my January mixtape. I've provided youtube links for each one so you can go give 'em a listen! And don't worry, it will open a new tab. Enjoy!

Go Your Own Way - Lissie (amazing Fleetwood Mac cover)

(Even though I posted this in the last playlist blog, GO DOWNLOAD Imagine Dragon's new album 'Night Visions'. Some of the best music I have heard in a long, long time.)


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Violet


Loss is not something I'm used to, thankfully.

In fact, last May was the first time that I had ever lost someone I loved dearly. I am blessed in so many ways. But recently, life has been a little tough. 

I consider my pets like family members. Last week our beloved goat had to be put down. Six days ago the cat my parents gave me in grade eight went missing in a snowstorm and hasn't returned. Yesterday morning my sweet kitty Violet died tragically right in front of my eyes.

If you read my blog you might remember that I adopted two kittens from the animal shelter in November 2011. I was feeling lonely at home and missed having the animal companionship I was used to. Josh and I decided that a cat would be wonderful for me. Upon arriving at the shelter, I was immediately drawn to the cutest little kittens sitting together in their shared cage. The animal control officer told us they were sisters and have never been separated, and that they'd give us two for the price of one if we took both. So of course, already in love with them, I agreed.

Summer and Violet quickly filled the animal shaped hole in my heart. They were so quirky and loveable and cuddly and hilarious. Summer was the wild one. Always whipping around the house seeing what mischief she could get into. Violet was my baby. She followed me everywhere I went, and whenever I'd sit down on the couch she'd snuggle into my lap and fall asleep. 

Violet was not your typical snotty feline. She was so friendly and curious about new people and animals that came into the house. Whenever I got home from work she'd run to the door and greet me like a dog. 

My cats have always lived indoors. When we moved to the farm, there just wasn't room to keep them inside anymore. Josh and I made a safe place in the barn for them where I could lock them in at night and know they were cozy and warm. However, there was always a constant stress in the back of my mind that they'd get eaten by coyotes or a pile of stacked wood would fall on them… I loved those cats so much and tried to protect them as well as I could.

The other night the temperature dropped well below zero and my mom said I could keep them in their basement for the night. I was so relieved, and cheerfully went out to the barn to retrieve them.

The next morning I went downstairs to put them outside again, but decided to have a cuddle session with Violet first. While Summer played in the heating vents (somehow they had discovered how to get in there) I sat on the floor with Violet in my lap while she purred happily.

Eventually Violet began to get hyper and did a silly little dash around the room- like she's done a million times before. 

Suddenly, Violet picked up speed and ran full tilt into the piano. There was silence for a moment as I stood there in shock, not believing what I had just witnessed. I thought she had knocked herself out. It almost seemed comical.

I won't go into details about what happened next, but exactly one minute later, Violet passed away.

It was horrifying. I was devastated and heartbroken, and extremely traumatized. I sobbed all day. Poor Summer has never been separated from her sister before and hasn't stopped searching the house calling for her since it happened. It was the absolute worst day of my life, and I still can't believe she's gone.

I became very bitter, thinking a cruel joke had been played on me. My cats survived two weeks outside in a barn, and Violet died by hitting a piano? Inside? I'm still upset. I don't know if I will ever truly get over this. I miss that little creature so badly, and my heart is broken.

My mom put it into perspective a little for me. I guess it would have been so much worse if I had found her like that, not knowing what happened. At least I know that five minutes before she died we were cuddling and she was happy. 

The only thing that brings me comfort now is picturing Violet in a better place. I truly believe that somewhere up in heaven there's a content little cat purring on my grandpa's lap.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Wedding Makeup

I had a friend request that I share how I did my makeup for my wedding! First of all, I am in no way a makeup artist. The only reason I did my own makeup was I was scared if someone else did it I would look funny. So after watching a few youtube videos and practising the look a couple times, I thought I'd be fine for the big day.

Anyways, if you're interested, here's how I did it! 


First, I moisturized my face and entire body. I used Olay Quench because it makes your skin shimmer slightly when the sun hits it. I thought that was pretty.
Then I used Revlon Photo Ready concealer and foundation on my face! I chose this brand because I had heard it makes your face look flawless in photos (and in real life).


Next, I used a translucent powder from CoverGirl to set my foundation and concealer. This finishing veil helps keep your makeup fresh and intact all day long.

I added a light coating of Rimmel London Natural Bronzer all over my face with a big brush, then with a smaller brush contoured my cheekbones, the sides of my nose, and my neck and forehead. 

Here's a photo that shows how I highlighted and contoured my face. The highlight I used was actually an eyeshadow from Prestige in the colour C-153 Angel. I can't find a photo of it, but any light shimmery powder should do.

Then I put blush (Rimmel London in the shade Pink Sugar) on the apples of my cheeks. It's a nice dusty rose shade that looks natural.
For my eyes I used the Maybelline Expert Wear eyeshadow pallet in Natural Smokes. I covered my entire eyelid and brow bone in the lightest colour, then did the outer half of the lid in the top right shimmery shade. In the crease I added the darkest brown. Afterwards I went over the inner corner of my eyelid and brow-bone with the same highlighter I used on my face.


Using the Revlon ColorStay eyeliner pencil in Black, I drew winged cat eyeliner on my top lid.

I curled my eyelashes with an eyelash curler, then applied CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion to the top and lower lashes.
 Then, using Ardell Fashion Lashes in Black 105 and Revlon Precision Lash Adhesive, I applied my fake eyelashes. After they were dry I added more mascara.

Finally, for my lips I used MAC lipstick in Honey Love.

And that's it! If you have any questions, post them in the comments below. Everything except the MAC lipstick was bought at a drugstore. Hope this helps someone!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Life Chronicles - Lightening


I’ve always been in awe of people who can tell good stories. Like my dad. When he starts to talk, the room goes silent, and everyone sits in rapture. Story telling has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember... campfires, bedtime stories, sleepover ghost stories with a flashlight creepily illuminating the teller’s face...

So I had this idea. I actually have experienced some pretty intense things in my life, some things, which if I had my family's talent, might make a kick-butt campfire story. So why not tell them in a blog? I’ll probably post one of these babies once a month. 

Sorry if they’re slightly over-dramatically written, I tend to get carried away when I’m excited about something (although I assure you I’m not making anything up). So without further ado, I give you Life Chronicles of Taylor – Part 1; The Time I Was Struck by Lightening. 

It was the summer of 2006. My dad was away on a flight and my mom was volunteering at Camp Crossroads while Leah was a camper. Nicole and I were spending our first week alone at the farm. The days were fine. The nights, on the other hand, were a little terrifying. Put two pre-teens in a lonely house on top of a hill with the closest neighbour being a 10 minute run through fields separated by electric fences, and it’s bound to be a little scary when the sun sets.

My mom had purchased 30 chicks that spring which we were raising for meat. They were free-roaming, but at night we had to put them back inside their coop or coyotes would surely snatch them up. 

One afternoon while I was reading on the couch, the sky became very dark. I stepped outside on the back deck and saw a black, angry cloud rising from Lake Huron. The air was still, the birds were silent, and you could sense the electricity in the air. I knew one of our famous Bruce County storms was on its way.

Nicole and I ran through the house shutting windows, collecting candles, and filling jugs of water. I had the genius idea to throw a massive frozen lasagna in the oven incase the power went out for a long time. Priorities, right?

Finally everything was safe and secure. Nicole and I sat at the window and watched the grey sky turn to black and begin pelting rain and hail. Thunder rumbled quietly at first, then started booming loud enough to shake the glass panes and dishes in the cupboards. 

My heart pounded. I hated thunderstorms, especially when my parents weren't around to rationalize my fear. Nicole, on the other hand, watched with wide-eyed wonderment. "I hope we see a tornado!" I looked at her and scowled.

Suddenly, I had a horrible realization. The chickens! In all the excitement we had forgotten to put them into their coop. My mom had once told me that chickens are dumb enough to drown themselves in a rainstorm by looking at the sky with their beaks open. She had worked so hard to keep them alive thus far that I couldn't let them all die.

Letting my adrenaline guide me outside, Nicole and I ran through the pouring rain to the chicken coop by the forest. Thunder clapped loudly and lightening lit up the sky. Thankfully, half the chickens had figured out how to get inside to safety, but 15 of them were running around in a sopping panic. I flung open the hatch door and we started tossing the chickens inside. 

Then, and to this day I don't know why I did this, but I noticed their water dish was empty and thought it needed to be immediately filled. I guess I was thinking that if the storm got bad enough I wouldn't be able to give them water for a long time. My mom had also told me that chickens need fresh water a couple times a day or they could die. Sensitive little creatures.

I yelled over the storm at Nicole to keep putting them in the coop, then grabbed the dish and took off to fill it. 

We have an outdoor water spout attached to the house. I put one hand on the metal pipe that stuck out of the wall, and with my other hand held the dish in the water stream. I was soaked by this point, and too deliriously focused on finishing my task to care about the lightening hitting the field beside me. 

All of a sudden I felt the worst pain of my life shoot through my entire body. I opened my eyes and realized I had been thrown and was now lying on my back on the lawn. I heard Nicole screaming if I was okay, then helped me up and pulled me inside. 

Apparently lightening had hit the house at the exact moment I was holding onto the pipe and had my other hand in the water. 

My grandparents were staying at the cottage at the time and quickly drove over when they heard what happened. My grandpa was a doctor and told me I was pretty lucky. I wasn't burned, but my arms were numb and hot to the touch, and my wrist had been slightly sprained from the jolt. 

So, other than a wrist that still makes a weird popping sound when I turn it in a circle, I am a lightening survivor! And it makes a sweet story. The end.

PS. A year later my sister Leah was struck at camp when she was in the boathouse leaning against a metal bar and lightening hit the building. They had to take her to the hospital and hook her up to a heart monitor, but she was also okay! And now forever dons the nick-name Lightening Girl.

PPS. My grandma Raymer was also hit by lightening as a girl through the metal step on her porch. So I'm really thinking our family should start buying lottery tickets.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Brad & Leah

Leah and I have been friends since our parents introduced us as babies. We grew up together in Waterloo, and shared so many great memories- from countless horse camps, modern dance lessons, sleepovers, sad horse story movie marathons, kids clubs, cottage and beach trips… we were basically inseparable. 

Now Leah is all grown up and an absolute stunner. When she asked if I could take photos of her and her adorable and talented artist boyfriend, I gladly accepted. Catching up with these two during our shoot was refreshing and much-needed! 

Hope you guys enjoy your photos. Thanks for making my job so easy! XO