For my 40th birthday, I received my first IPSY Glam Bag subscription. I love ISPY because I can be clueless when it comes to makeup and skin care regiments. As a preteen and most of my teenage years, I didn't wear much makeup (or none at most days). I feel that I was a tomboy and felt good to dress casually & add a baseball cap, and sometimes when I did feel girly, I loved wearing crop top but I would get shy and cover up with a cardigan.
I love that I can pick and choose my colors and what type of products can be included in my Glam Bag. I discovered my favorite face creams thanks to my subscription with IPSY. The monthly subscription is $12 USD and you have the option to add more products for a great discounted rate.
My favorite items to receive in my Glam Bag are lipsticks & lip-glosses, eye creams, face cleansers, and nail polishes. Last March, in my first IPSY box, I received my favorite face cream that I use in the morning, Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream. The following month, I received my favorite night cream, Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask.
I created a Pinterest board with my favorite glam bags & products I received since March 2020. You can see it here. Happy pinning!
I did this two years ago when I started blogging and I decided to write it again today, a reflection of my year. There's a lot of negativity about 2020, it being the worst year ever, but it's all perspective. I had some difficult moments and some hard days, but nothing worse than I've experienced in the past five years.
Photo 1, my birthday photoshoot
For my 40th birthday, my daughter, Sarah, did my hair and makeup and we went to my old middle school to take a few photos. I love the dress I wore, I broke my favorite shoes (must replace them in 2021), and I adore the photos Sarah captured, I used them often for profile pictures and my blog's bio.
Photo 2, my camera
I've been dreaming and wishing for this camera for a few years and Kirk got it for me in May. It is a beautiful pink Fujifilm X-A5 Mirrorless Camera Kit with XC 15-45mm Lens.
Photo 3, my desk on May 17
It's a reminder to me that I was overwhelmed and I didn't reach out for help. I felt the world was ending (in my personal world) and I did not handle the situation properly and I suffered because of it. I had support afterwards as I was working with my fibromyalgia coach and taking the Fibromyalgia Advisor program. I put my focus onto myself. Things didn't seem so dark afterwards.
Photo 4, 5, 6, Graduation
My three children graduated from high school, middle school, and elementary school (respectively).
Photo 7, Kirk + CeCe
I fell in love with him, again. I don't know how it's even possible but I loved him even more this year. It was amazing that we were able to take a few days in August for an anniversary road trip around southern Ontario. That's when I fell in love, again.
He's such an awesome, understanding partner. He believes in me even when I can't find the light in my darkest times.
Photo 8, CeCe & Kate
Probably the biggest highlight of the year for me, was that I was able to hug my best friend, Kate, for the first time in over 10 years. I missed her so badly and I am grateful that we were able to reunited for an afternoon. Anxious for vaccines to roll out and COVID restrictions to be lifted so I can travel to see her again.
Photo 9, IFCI Grad
It's now hanging on my office wall, my International Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute Fibromyalgia Advisor certificate. Around the time I earned my certification, I started mapping my plan and goals for the next few years to achieve my dream job. It's a longer road but I know it all will be worth the hard work when I am able to display my certifications and diplomas on my wall.
In January this year, on facebook, I created an album called Kirk + CeCe, the first few photos were of Kirk opening an anniversary gift I couldn't wait until March for him to open. I gifted him a LOVEBOOK. I created the book during my school break last December and it was so fun to make a book about how I love Kirk.
I recently added more lovely photos of us together in that facebook album and I started to think back that I had created a website once upon a time for about our wedding. I remember the site had something extra special, a missing piece of our history.
In 2009, I was interviewed by an intern at Offbeat Bride to be a featured story on their website. I was so thrilled that we were being featured. I adore Offbeat Bride book and website, it was so helpful and encouraging to able to connect and relate with other couples who do their own thing instead of "traditional".
We were featured, our interview was posted in May 2009... then I don't know WHEN exactly, but I made a terrible decision to delete my flickr account and restart a new bride flickr account, and since I broke the link from the flickr to the bride tribe, my interview article was deleted. It is 100% my fault this happened. I hurt myself doing this careless thing. I am still upset about it. I believe that I had printed it and posted a copy of the work on my wedding website. As of this date, I do not have the printed copy and I have no access to the website, I typed in the address as I remember it, and I got a webpage that stated "This website is frozen". Then I remembered, that email account I deleted a few years ago, that's the email account that would have had access to that website; AND it would have had the communications for the interview with the intern at Offbeat Bride. Dang.
I guess with inquiring about the website from support of that company, they reactivated the site, and I jumped at the chance to recover the materials and post them to a website (linked to an active and future active email address). I was not able to find a full copy of my Offbeat Bride article but I have the link (not that it's helpful, it just makes me happy that it existed once).
On my website, I had links to things like my personal business page and vendors I used planning my wedding. I found out that someone stole my business platform and my business website. Ouf. I hope they found success in the business I started up and had marketing strategies completed by a friend. At least I had a cute logo and business merch.
I will post the website dedicated to our wedding once it's ready to relaunch. I have more photos to post and have some touch ups to take care of.
At the end of March 1999, just under a month of being together again, we found out I was pregnant. I booked an appointment with my GP and went for bloodwork, at the beginning of April, my GP confirmed that I was pregnant. We were happy and excited, and only shared the news with a few close friends and one family member. A few weeks later, I had an accident where I passed out and hit my head on the bathtub, I was brought to the hospital, the bloodwork taken that night didn't show that I was pregnant, a few days afterwards, I had an ultrasound that showed I was not pregnant anymore. I was heartbroken. I wanted to know what I did wrong. I still think about that time, and how her (I always believed it would have been a girl) birthday (due date was/) would have been November 29. I didn't know until more recently that many women experience miscarriages and pregnancy loss, I guess, it is still a taboo subject. I felt shame, I didn't ever tell my family or Kirk's family.
Kirk and I became a stronger couple and we knew when the time was right again that we could be expecting and we would be wonderful co-parents since we talked about how we wanted to raise our children since the beginning of our relationship.
This year for our anniversary, Kirk offered to take me for a weekend away together. I joked about a road trip that we could do this summer because of quarantine and covid restrictions. He loved the idea and wanted to travel it this summer.
We've been together for 22 years (married for 12 years).
Kirk has been super supportive during the last few years: when my health was bad and through the doctors' appointments, medical tests, blood work, visits to specialists, x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scan, MRI... speaking up for my health when I didn't have the words or the strength to express myself. I know it's been hard for him to see me at my worse, all he wants to do is "fix it" but he can't, and that's his greatest struggle.
He was encouraging when it was decided that I wanted to attend college and work on my future. He was supportive when it was time to step aside from my spring semester; he understood the stresses involved that lead me to put aside my dream to make sure our family would be able to cope with their new lifestyle during the pandemic. Kirk was understanding when it was time for me to focus on my healing and begin my journey IFCI: I started working with a fibromyalgia coach and I was accepted in the Certified Advisor program with IFCI. He is happy that I have a plan to return to school in the fall to continue my education.
I am grateful for our relationship, Kirk is my best friend & my support team when I need him most.
Chantal \shahn~ TAHL\
A devastating beauty with a fiery personality. Part lover, part fighter.
Chantals know how to make it rain. Your life is incomplete if you lack a Chantal. A completely magical girl.
- Urban Dictionary