For a very long time I was fully honest and confident that the answer to this question was yes. When I was twenty-one and finally had coverage for the braces I was supposed to get when I was 14, I got them because “then no one will want to kiss me, so I definitely won’t fall in love with anyone, and a year from now I will be free to move overseas with nothing holding me back.” It technically worked, but I feel like I’ve been self-sabotaging a LOT longer. I always, always, ALWAYS went to formal events with my girl friends in high school and self professed that I would never want to go with any of the guys (bi me just coming out to play, or me just trying to avoid the disappointment of no one asking?). Even when I did date in university, I always keep people at an arms length because I was convinced I wasn’t in the right place to have that committed kind of relationship. I was open and honest about the temporary nature of the relationship right from the get-go… not usually how people start relationships, right?…
2018 was a big one for me. I graduated, I moved out of my family home, I travelled a ton, I started new jobs, and I met a bunch of new people. I can look back at myself a year ago and see someone who had no idea what the future held, who was unsure of what she wanted to do, and even more unsure of how to achieve the things she knew she wanted. Today I am far less afraid of the unknown, I embrace it and look forward to it and just hope to be lucky enough to get to experience more of it. This year has changed everything about me, from the hair on my head the very essence of my outlook on life. Here’s what happened, maybe after reading you’ll be able to understand why I’ve become such a different person in such a short period of time.
Makeup is one of the hardest things to pack for when you’re traveling. You have to limit yourself to smaller products (if you’re not checking a bag – I never do), and you never want to overpack. Personally, when it comes to makeup and skincare I’d always rather overpack than under pack, but I hate unnecessarily bringing things that I don’t use, it’s just wasted space in my bag! Without further ado, these are the must-haves for a versatile travel-sized makeup bag.
I first got into the blogger scene because I loved reading about and learning about other peoples lives. (I’m super nosy that way) But in all seriousness, it was like getting a chance to meet a Taylor Swift song in person. You felt like you were seeing yourself in the people you were following, and you connected with them in the same way you connect with the lyrics in a T-Swift song after a heartbreak. The personal feel to a blog is something I feel like blogging has lost touch with. Up until now, ArcticSabrina has been pretty bleak on th personal front, apart from a few very sparsely uploaded personal posts, you guys don’t really get to know me. Maybe it’s super vain that I think you might like to, but whatever. At the very least these posts can be little check points in the story of me. My life right now is at a huge crossroads, it’s something I’ve been spending a lot of time working through, thinking about, and talking about, so I thought it would be the perfect time to let you guys in.
Let Blogmas Begin! I thought a nice way to kick off December would be a little bit of inspiration for those of you who aren’t sure how to spend your extra time, or how to get into the holiday spirit! All of these are going to be fairly low-budget because let’s face it, I’m low budget. Here we go:
- GO THRIFTING! Either alone or with a friend, find the most ridiculous and wonderful things for cheap – bonus points if you find a killer holiday sweater.
- Harry Potter Movie Marathon. This is a must for anyone that has more than a few days off. Even if you’ve never seen it, do it. Trust me. Bonus points for lots of snacks, extra points if they’re homemade.
- BETTER YET: Read Harry Potter. Or any other book, I just feel like Harry Potter has a holiday feel to it. My favourite is the Prisoner of Azkaban but you can’t really start in the middle if you haven’t read it before so….. The Philosopher’s Stone it is!
- Make a moodboard about literally anything you want. Holiday party moodboard? Do it. Fashion inspiration moodboard? Get! That! Blogging inspiration board? WONDERFUL IDEA. Mood! Board! It! Up! It’s such a fun way to self reflect AND get crafty. Win, win.
- GO ICE SKATING! Ohhhhh it’s getting wintery up in here now. Ice skating isn’t quite so cheap if you don’t have skates but it’s FUN! Best part of skating: super fun and great work out if you know how to do it AND if you don’t then there’s only super cute and funny times to be had. Bonus points if you know how to play hockey and you scrimmage when you skate (someone do this with me please).
- An hour long (at least) dance party. Alone. In your room. Bonus points if it’s to Taylor Swift’s new album cause that’s where I’m at currently. Seriously, I’m bopping as I type this. I guess bonus points if it’s Christmas music too but I can’t really get down to that. Except Text Me Marry Christmas – ICONIC SONG.
- Go through an old photo album (or your Facebook profile) because SO MANY LAUGHS. This one is for the days you don’t want to leave the house but your brain feels like it will melt if you watch anymore Netflix. Photo albums are simultaneously hilarious and nostalgic and they’ll make you ugly cry and snicker at the same time, and there’s nothing better than that.
- Make yourself the best, most ultimate, rich and luxurious hot chocolate you could possibly have. You’re going to want it so over the top you’re going to question yourself whether you got this baby from Serendipity 3. I’m thinking whippsed cream, I’m thinking marshmallows, I’m thinking peppermint sprinkles, chocolate shavings, a candy cane and stick of cinnamon. TREAT YO SELF, HOLIDAY STYLE.
- Visit your grandparents if they’re still around. If not, spend time writing a letter to someone you love that lives far away. If neither of these apply to you, find a dog and hug it. If you’re not a dog person I don’t know what to tell you ’cause I’ve never seen a cat hug. Just spread some love to people who always love on you and maybe don’t always get alllll the love they deserve back. It makes a difference to them, I promise.
- Girls night with wine and cheese and glitter and gossip. Everyone needs a stupid write off night with their friends every once in awhile – especially after a loooooong semester.
- I for real just scrolled up to make sure I didn’t promise these would be fun (and I didn’t)…ready for it? CLEAN UP! One of the benefits of having a lil extra time is to have time to clean up the clutter and chaos in your life, so if you’re not there yet, here’s your reminder. Clean your room, wash your sheets, throw out things you don’t need anymore, reorganise, revitalise, REINVIGORATE! I’ll be fun now ok.
- Go for a hike with a friend! (Even if they’re furry! Bonus points if they’re furry!) In my case this hike involves snowshoes but usually that just means double the laughs every time one falls off or I fall over. There’s something reeeeally nice about getting outside when it’s snowy and cold and taking in the nature after you’ve been holed up inside for awhile.
- Practice your Christmas/NYE makeup or hair ~look~. I just think it’s fun to play around with makeup, and it’s nice to get the hang of a look that’s a little more ~out there~ than usual. Also it’s fun to get dressed up and feel fancy so do it up! Then take 50 selfies and bask in your own gloriousness, you go. (I just googled if that’s how you spell bask lol)
- Bake some mf christmas cookies. Who cares if you celebrate christmas bc cookies, cookies are for everyone. I’m talking shortbread, I’m talking christmas spices, cookies shaped like trees and snowmen are here for EVERYONE and they are delicious. I’m invisioning biting of the snowman’s head and I’m filled with glee. This is what the holidays are about. My favourite recipe is, you guessed it, Taylor Swift’s Chai Sugar Cookies. I’m coming off like a crazy swiftie aren’t I? This is a side you’ve never seen of me.
- Do a puzzle. That’s right, I’m bringing back puzzles. Listen guys, puzzles are GREAT. I rediscovered this a few years ago when at an impromptu girls night my friends and I decided to do a puzzle and listen to – guess who? – old T-Swift. It was wonderful. I bought a Christmas puzzle and my mom and I are already planning it out – because yes puzzles needed planning. We don’t mess around.
- Go to a Christmas or craft market. Best thing about these is that there’s no pressure to purchase, so you can get a coffee and browse around looking at all the wonderful little things and just take in the ambiance. 10/10 holiday thing to do.
- Bubble bath time – I really want to use a bad word but then I think, what if my little cousins find my blog? What if I become really famous for an unknown reason and then I’m scrutinized for things like this? Anyways. Bubble baths are pretty straight forward, you know what you like. Note: no bubbles are necessary, perhaps a lush bath bomb is more your speed, or a little Epsom salt. You do you, get a lil drink, get a good book (or Netflix show and set that laptop up on your toilet) and relax because it’s December, school is done for now and you have no responsibilities. The world is wonderful.
- For month-long entertainment, go pick up a disposable camera. Haven’t you watched Stranger Things? Retro is in. Seriously these are pretty cheep and they’re fun to have around and pick special moments to document! You can easily play around with film photography and also make funny memories (because people will laugh when you whip yours out).
- Spend some time catching up on your journal (ngl this is more of a personal reminder ha), or if you’re into it, google up some writing prompts and get CREATIVE! I know this isn’t for everyone but I love it. Writing prompts can be great to get them creative juices flowing. I dare you to write something inspired by these prompts (I’m looking @ you Taylor. Write a song about me already).
- Learn all the lyrics to a new song. Bonus points if you do it with a sister/sibling/friend. My sister and I used to sit with a pen and notepad and listen to songs at caterpillar speed, write out the lyrics, and then learn them all. This is how I learned how to sing The Element Song – one of my greater talents, Dan Rad doesn’t have anything on me. Nowadays you can easily Google it but is it just me or is it getting harder to remember lyrics? Am I getting old?? Bonus points if you can play an instrument on there (I’m doing New Years Day on piano. I can’t play piano).
- Take a printed picture you have – sidenote: if you don’t print your pictures, pick your favs and print them out. Okay now take a bigger piece of paper, and get all Tumblr in it. By this I mean create a lil art around the picture, based on the picture. This is a wonderful way to inspire yourself to get artsy. Even if you’re not good at it (like me) it’s fun and you spend time on your own just getting creative and thoughtful and it’s just the best.
- PHOTO SHOOT IT UP! You had to see this coming. Bonus points if you have friends who don’t care and will go out in public and do a photo shoot with you. Extra bonus points if you try it with a film camera. This is just a fun way to push yourself out of your shell – because yes it feels weird for everyone doing it, but once you decide you don’t care and you’d rather just have a good time with your friends and get some cute pictures and memories out of it, no one cares anymore.
- People watch! This can be hard if you live in a smaller town like me, but malls are always bustling around this time of the year so that’s a sure bet. I’d like to get a gooood coffee and just sit and watch society for awhile. You’d be amazed at some of the stuff that goes on out there. Insane.
- Do a Youtube tutorial – but, like, a wild one. Pick something you love – music, makeup, hair, nails, dance, whatever, and find a tutorial of something that looks hectic and awesome, and try it. Dance tutorials seem like a good idea (hoedown throwdown anyone?) but I’m the worst dancer – does it make it any less fun? Not in the slightest. I’m really trying to cut back on how often I use the word fun.
- I CAN’T BELIEVE I MADE IT HERE THANK GOODNESS GRACIOUS! The one you’ve all been waiting for: give it up and spend the day watching Netflix. I’m serious. Take your OTT Serendipity3 hot chocolate, your Taylor Swift chair sugar cookies, and sit your ass (ah! a curse!) in front of the TV for awhile. Lucky for you, tomorrow’s post is a Netflix guide for only the best in Netflix – it’s the worst to flip through there with nothing to watch. The worst.
I did it I really did it! One other thing I’m doing during Blogmas is a daily “Moment Behind the Blog” because I feel like none of you know me me and I want you to! Hi! I’m Sabrina Mara! This is my blog! Welcome! Here’s today’s…
Moment Behind The Blog: Day 1
I’m writing this on November 28 – I just finished one heck of a paper. Background: I’m in my final year of my HBa in History. I love it. It’s horrible and I am such a hecking nerd I genuinely love it. That being said – it’s SO HARD to write about fun things to do when you’re free of school knowing I still have this one HECKIN long paper to write between now and then. FRUSTRATION.
Also – Heckin is officially my replacement word for every swear. Just decided that right now. It’ll be like Eleanor on The Good Place (what’s that?! Wait until tomorrow!)
Your question of the day: Since I was so extra about TSwift in this – what’s your favourite song on reputation?! (Don’t lie, I know you have one).
Hi friends! As you’ll soon see, this past week was my fall “reading week” for university, which means I had an entire week off before midterm exams start next week. The idea is that you spend this week “reading” (aka studying) and then you’re well prepared for exams. Obviously, I, like most others, did not do this. Reading weeks are a godsend right in the middle of term that give you a much deserved break, but like any break it’s so hard to get back into school mode. Even worse, you’re thrown right back into exams. SO! Partly to help move myself back into school mode, and partly to inspire those of you who have lost your school mojo, I’ve decided to compile a list of things to do to help keep you motivated for school!
1. Organization not Procrastination. I’m sure that every single one of you reading this knows that organization and time management are key to success at school so I’m not going to lecture you on it. Instead, I’m going to talk about what to do when you (like me) inevitably fall behind on your organization and time management. A friend of mine has a chart with all the assignments from all of her classes listed chronologically,so she knows what to prioritize. (A great idea, except I never made one). I tend to spend my time procrastinating by trying to organize my school life, by putting all my classes and work schedule and assignment schedules into my phone and day planner. In reality, I really don’t use them all that often, I’m just trying to procrastinate on my actual work while still feeling like I’m doing something productive. DON’T DO THIS! Yes, organization is important, but as long as you make sure you know your due dates, don’t use it as an excuse to procrastinate. Just do your damn work Sabrina.
2. Work Together. This is probably the one thing that helps me most when I’m trying to learn something particularly difficult or write an essay I just can’t seem to finish. It helps so much to have other people from your class, or just other friends who are working on their own stuff, around when you’re trying to get stuff done. You have someone there to give you advice when you get a little lost and someone to give you a little break from studying when you need one. There are definitely times when I need to go to the library alone, if I’m really cramming or just need to focus. For the most part it’s nice to plan out study nights with friends so that you actually make yourself go in and get work done ahead of those last minute cram sessions. It also makes school a lot more fun, and obviously then keeps you motivated to keep going.
3. Stay in School. All I mean for this one is that you force yourself to go to all your classes, and when you’re at school, you stay longer than just those required classes. After class, go to the library or a coffee shop and get a little studying done, or start/finish some of the work you need to do for that class. This just makes your time at school a bit more valuable, I always get tired of school once I get home and take the time off of school and end up doing none of the school work that I have. It also helps your brain adjust to school mode and stay focused on that goal!
4. Bring a Snack! Personally, whenever I’m going to spend a long time at the library and attempt to get some studying done, it motivates me a lot to bring some things along that make me want to be there. For me, it’s snacks. I generally don’t eat junk food or special treats unless I’m cramming in.a last minute assignment or study sesh. It helps to bring tea or coffee and snacks because a. you won’t use that as an excuse to leave, and b. you will feel way more comfortable and settled in at the library. Also, don’t forget headphones. I always listen to classical music, or I just put headphones in with no music just to drown out the background noise of other people.
There you have it! My top 4 go-to tips for those of you who are starting to struggle with school, or are heading back after a break! Let me know in the comments below how you stay motivated for school throughout the year. Thanks for reading!
Check out my latest video: Casual Autumn Makeup Tutorial | ABH Modern Renaissance Palette
This is a weirdly personal post and I feel a little strange sharing it with you. Not because I feel insecure about it but mostly because I’m wondering why anyone should care about my secretive problems? I guess that’s part of the problem. I want to share it with you because as I’ve consulted with various friends throughout the day I’ve noticed that almost all of them have been in this situation, know someone who has, or have considered it.
I’m talking about medicating for illness, specifically mental illness. Because it’s such a new concept that mental illness be treated as an illness, the concept of treating it with medication feels a little foreign. I always told myself should I be diagnosed with something serious like bipolar disorder, that I would medicate. Personally, I suffer from a genetic line of anxiety. I always have, for as long as I can remember, had anxiety. It’s what I see as the drawback of being me. I always see things as being complex with good things and bad things and good things that can be bad and bad things that can be good. Anxiety has always been just a sad side effect of me living my life. I’ve seen counsellors in the past but only when it was really quite imperative that I do so. (i.e. I had a bit of a breakdown). After some councilling I felt SO much better. Just working on it made me feel empowered and in control, even if it didn’t make the anxiety go away. I started pushing through things and it felt so amazing to have gone on a trip anxiety free. Unfortunately it seems to have worn off.
In the past 6 months or so my anxiety has been getting progressively worse. My panic attack triggers seem to being going off at the drop of a hat (not literally) but I’ve been either having just normal nervousness or full blown shaking, sweating, throwing up, panic attacks for hours. I want to see a councillor but my options are limited, I’m going to see what I can do about it but in the meantime, after a particularly jarring episode last week, I decided to go see my doctor. I knew all she could do for me was prescribe my a medication that might help with my anxiety and I honestly thought I was okay with it, but here I am prescription in hand, tears in eyes, wondering if I’m making the right decision.
In all actuality, the medication isn’t that bad. It makes you nauseous for about a week (bad for me- nausea gives me panic attacks) and then numbs the side effects of panic attacks so that you can better deal with them rather than be overwhelmed. But! It needs to be taken every day. And if I want to go off of it, I need to be weaned off. These are normal attributes of any kind of medication so why does it make me feel so uncomfortable?
I think part of it is the stigma. I have always rolled my eyes when people talk about the ‘stigma’ of mental illness because among young people there’s really nothing holding you back. I’m very open about my issues and yet I’ve never met anyone who judged my or scoffed at the concept of being mentally ill. It’s so common that it’s a non-issue. I grew up with parents who were relatively understanding about it and have dealt with it in the best ways they know how. I’ve never really seen or felt the stigma around mental illness until now, and it’s in the last place I thought I’d find it. It’s in me. Me, someone who grew up having panic attacks and depressive episodes, doesn’t want to medicate because for some reason it just feels wrong. Even though I’ve been diagnosed and pre robed by a doctor, I don’t feel like I’ve earned the right to take medication, it seems like the easy way out. Since when did ‘the easy way out’ become a drawback in treating an illness? If there’s an easy way out to my anxiety and a good way to treat it, why am I so reluctant? That’s not to say there aren’t drawbacks to it… I, personally, would much rather treat my mental illness through therapy, I think if I was seeing a counsellor I wouldn’t feel the need to be on medication, but unfortunately they’re just really hard to access. The society we live in, I tell ya. I don’t think I should medicate with drugs without doing therapy, so now I’m at a crossroads. Do I medicate while I’m waiting for the opportunity to see a counsellor, or do I wait until I’ve got a counsellor and then decide from there? The latter seems like the way more reasonable option but I feel like I’ve almost blinded myself on the topic.
People always say “you know what’s best for you”, and generally yes, I do. But in this circumstance, I’m wondering if I’m blinded by my anxiety, thinking in a moment of panic that it’s worse than it is. I’m wondering if I’m blinded by my prejudice against daily medications for things that might not be as bad as I think they are. Honestly, I’m wondering if I’m blinding myself from the reality of my situation. I don’t know how bad my anxiety is, I’m a terrible judge of my own emotional and mental standing. So now what? Honestly, I don’t know.
I hope this wasn’t just one long post about me complaining about my non-problems. I hope maybe some of you can relate to what I’ve said! I always feel like other people have such a better perception of themselves than I have of myself. They always seem to know what’s right for them, and I don’t know what’s right for me even on this extremely personal decision. Strange. Let me know if you want to hear more about this/my anxiety history/what I end up doing/etc. I know a lot of people find comfort in hearing others’ stories about anxiety, it’s comforting to know you’re not the only one!
With that, I hope you’re doing well, and if you have any advice, feel free to share. 🙂