Wednesday, July 13, 2022
Monday, May 16, 2022
2021 has been a difficult year. And difficult is so much of an understatement. But, while it might seem easier, therapeutic even, to complain about the year that damn near brought me to my knees, I’ll take a rain check for now. What I will say however is that 2021 was one big (albeit painful) lesson. One realization that was particularly hard to digest was the fact that most of the time; I am my own worst enemy. I discovered that I am the only one holding myself back from living the life that I want to live. Yes, that was a bitter pill to swallow but; it was also a necessary one.
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Make up has always been my safe space. There is nothing I don't love about it. So needless to say when the time came for @Foyin's #7days7faces I was ecstatic to take part. It's not a new concept, but up to now something has been holding me back from participating. That something was performance anxiety. On the previous occasions I have seen the most amazing work, not only from Foyin, but also from everyone taking part. To be frank, I was worried I would suck.
Nevertheless, I decided that this would be the time I finally participate. I was beyond excited. With my skin moisturized and my make up brushes washed, I planned my look for the first challenge: BRONZED UP. I wanted to do something that I would not do on a normal day. I wanted the look to be fun and creative. So I armed myself with tons of cream and powder bronzer and, much to my son's amusement, this is what I came up with.
The sad part is that I got really sick and couldn't participate in the other challenges. There were a few that I was rather eager to interpret , but I got to live vicariously through the other participants. The internet can be a cruel place but this concept, the whole idea, was the exact opposite. It felt like a celebration of sorts, It goes without saying, sick or not sick, I will be going the extra mile to participate in the next one. Please enjoy some pictures from the only challenge I managed. For me, out of 1 out of 7 was good enough.
I would love to participate in a few more make up challenges this year. Are there any challenges you participate in without hesitation? I would love to here from you.
TILL LATER, LAUREN!
Sunday, April 24, 2022
Why am I always tired? As an adult, this is a question I frequently ask myself. No amount of sleep or self care can take the feeling away. Am I doing something wrong? I have been struggling to feel at least somewhat human over the last two years. I feel like the pandemic has taken everything from me, but I have personally been facing a bigger pandemic: I have no boundaries.
As a mom, being a caretaker comes naturally, but I feel my issue goes back even further than that. As the oldest sibling, I was always making sure my brother was taken care of. This is just what older siblings do. As soon as said sibling grows up or can take care of themselves, you kind of just latch onto someone new to take care of. My problem is that I don't stop. If I don't take care of somebody, I need to take care of something. In other words, doing nothing really doesn't sit well with me. I am not sure how many of you can relate, but I feel really guilty whenever I find myself with nothing to do or simply just resting. This has been coming back to bite me in the ass lately. Like I said, I am always tired.
The last few weeks I have really been trying to be a little more selfish in terms of how I allocate my time, and how much of it I spend taking care of myself. Something needs to change drastically. I will probably always feel the urge to take care of the people I love no matter how old they are, but I need to dial it back a bit before my cup runs empty.
How I am going to do this? I am not sure. So I hope you were not expecting some sort of resolution in this post. I just needed to admit, out loud and on paper, that I lack boundaries. I am aware of that now. The next few weeks I going to actively look for ways to pour back into myself. Whatever that looks like.
TILL LATER, LAUREN!
Sunday, March 13, 2022
I felt every single possible feeling one can feel with this book. To say I was not prepared for the emotions would be an understatement. With that being said, I would like to mention that the book contains scenes of abuse and sexual assault. If this topic is triggering for you, please do not keep reading.
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
I love books that become series. Especially if I really enjoyed the book. My new favourite thing to do is to check whether a series I want to watch has a book by the same name or not . Yes I know, I need to get out more. I was delighted to discover that this was the case with "One of us is Lying". From start to finish this book captured me, so much so that I decided to completely abandon the series in fear of it spoiling the book.
Disclaimer: This book review may contain spoilers so if you wish to avoid them, do not keep reading. Otherwise, let's dive in. All views in this post are my own.
FIVE STUDENTS WALK INTO DETENTION. ONLY FOUR LEAVE ALIVE.
Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.
Sports star Cooper only knows what he's doing in the baseball diamond.
Bad boy Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.
Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.
And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, wont ever talk about any of them again.
He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it's no accident. All of them are suspects.
Everyone has secrets, right?
What really matters is how far you'll go to protect them.
Although the book was published a while back, May 2017 to be exact, I only discovered it recently and I think it definitely deservers a review. Young adult fiction is slowly starting to become one of my favourite genres.
So by now you have probably gathered that this is a teenage thriller of sorts. I was not too excited about that being an adult and all, but I was pleasantly surprised. Although a bulk of the story is set at Bayview High school, their is nothing childish about the dialogue. I could relate to and understand the actions of the characters. They were all dealing with situations that most of us can still relate to and I found myself wondering a handful of times how I would react in that moment.
My favourite character was Nate. Even though he had an amazingly difficult childhood, and still has to deal with demons of his past everyday, there is a softness to him. I enjoyed seeing how the relationship between him and Bronwyn developed because they were such polar opposites. There were so many issues that were discussed in the book that I wish was exposed to as a teenager. I was certainly triggered by the role social media plays in everyone's life in the book. Things that did not seem so bad at first were amplified by this gossip site that Simon ran and the consequences were dire.
I had my suspicions about who the killer was (although I doubted that with every chapter), but I never could have predicted that ending. I loved seeing how events from the past were all tied together. Overall, I am really happy I gave this book a chance. I have given up on the series because it differs so much from the idea I had in my head. I suppose that is not such a bad thing, but because I like the book so much, I would like keep it the way I had it in my thoughts.
I realise this book review might differ from the ones you normally read or might not seem as formal but, since I'm new to doing book reviews , I really wanted it to sound like I was just chatting to a friend. I look forward to doing many more in the future. What are you currently reading?
Friday, February 18, 2022
Friday, January 28, 2022
Friday, January 21, 2022
Hi everyone and welcome to my first tag post for 2022. Tag posts are my favourite posts to do because you really get a sense of who the person behind the blogger is. Today's post is all about fangirling. The dictionary describes fangirling as "a female fan behaving in an obsessive of overexcited ". To be frank, I have always thought of fangirling as a negative thing. Being a little unhinged if you will. But, this post is quite the opposite in fact.
I was recently tagged by K Rashell from Diary of an Unbreakable Soul to do this post and I was delighted. Let me tell you a little about the tag first. In this case a fangirl approach to life is about purposely sharing the things that bring you joy in life and being unapologetic about it. The Be Unapologetically You movement, created by fellow blogger Izzy Matias, aims to celebrate the things that make you inexplicably cheerful. Without reason and without question. It's literally about being your own biggest fan and bettering yourself. There are seven questions in this tag ,but before I get into that let me explain the rules.
- Use the Be Unapologetically You banner in your post. It can be the feaured image or not. That part is up to you.
- Include the link to this blogging tag (https://www.izzymatias.com/be-unapologetically-you ) in your post .
- Answer the 7 questions in the tag.
- Nominate 5-10 bloggers, link to their blogs and tag them on social media to notify them.
- Have fun!
Let's get into the questions.
- Introduce yourself and your blog while sharing one trivia about you that not many people know. My name is Lauren Vogel and I have been blogging over here at Cool Kids Only Blog for a few years now. My blog is basically anything that comes to mind but I do keep up with books, fashion and beauty quite a bit. One thing people might not know about me is that love singing and I think I am pretty decent at it.
- What topics do you love geeking out about that you would say are topics that give you bliss?Do you blog about them? Why or why not? If not, would you like to blog about them one time? Fashion and beauty are definitely my favourite things to geek out about. I have loved fashion magazines ever since I was a child and whenever I get to read or blog about it I am at my happiest. My blog covers both fashion and beauty apart from the lifestyle posts.
- Would you say you are living life by being unapologetically you? Why or why not? If not, what would your life look like if you were unafraid to share more about the things that make you happy? I haven't always been unapologetically myself, but lately I have been intentional about living my truth. If I was unafraid to share the things that make me happy I would be a full time blogger with a quaint little book shop. I would spend my days creating the content I love and sharing it without reservation.
- Permission to geek out and be unapologetically you: share with us one thing you fangirl over and how you became a fan of it. It can be anything. Your love for soy candles, a band or an underrated film. Like I mentioned before, I am the biggest fan of fashion. From streetstyle to haute couture. I used to make these fashion scrap books when I was younger where I would cut out pictures from magazines and paste them. As an adult I'm still inspired by this. However, now it's evolved to my social media as well. So I would say I still completely fangirl over those fashion scrap books.
- What do you love most about being a fan? Just the sense of belonging somewhere or having a bond with someone because of a common interest. This is how we make most friends and enjoying the same things keep those bonds strong.
- Share a fun or unforgettable fan experience. The closest I have come to an unforgettable fan experience is a celeb interacting with me on social media. I haven't met anyone famous yet, but there is still lots of time.
Friday, January 14, 2022
I have let myself go. And I don't just mean in a physical way. For too long I have let my mind tell me things about myself that were simply not true. I started to inwardly criticize every inch of my body, but I never made an effort to change anything about my appearance. I can't even blame having a baby because the kid is eleven years old. Fashion used to be my happy place. There was a time when I was so confident that I could pull off anything. A time when I really enjoyed getting dressed and exploring new trends.
Over the last few years that feeling just disappeared and there is a multitude of reasons for that. Because my mental health was declining, I spent more time indoors. Pair that with a job that took almost all my time and all I wanted to do in my spare time was rest. Needless to say I put on extra weight. Now don't get me wrong, the fact that I put on weight was not the issue. The issue was that I didn't like my body at all. I loathed getting dressed just as much as I disliked exercise. Naturally, when I did go out, I would be on the receiving end of a few snide remarks. That made me want to go into hibernation and never return. At first I thought I could use those remarks to fuel my passion to get fit. That feeling was rather short-lived and the hatred for my body grew stronger. The problem with doing things to prove to other people is that they become your main focus.
Here I was trying to prove to everyone that I could get back to looking good (by society standards) and resenting my body for not complying. I was a disaster. I can't pinpoint exactly what triggered the change, but a few months ago I decided to be kinder to myself. After two years of living through a pandemic, the things and opinions that seemed important once, suddenly didn't. I started be more aware of the dialogue I was having with myself. If I could not be decent towards myself, how did I expect anyone else to be? I started eating better and my son became my work out buddy. We have started doing not-so-strenuous workouts 5 days a week and I thank God for him. Half of the time I am laughing so much that I forget how much I used to despise any kind of movement. I am also more conscious about what I put into my body. I'm not dieting, but everyday I crave healthy food more and more. And of course I reward myself for making these changes because even just starting was difficult.
The biggest change I have made so far is my mindset. It struck me one day that what people thought of my was not currency. I could not buy anything with anyone's approval and even if I did have it, it certainly did not add any value to my life. Sadly, most of the time the people trying to bring you down (whether on purpose or not) are those closest to you and I have had to start avoiding certain people as well. Listen, you can't control how people view you or how much they respect you ,but you can control what you allow and what you expose yourself to. In time, perhaps negative comments will not bother me, but for now my healing process is still in it's infancy and needs to be protected and nurtured .
This year is a year of completely demolishing every single harmful habit and rebuilding. From the ground up. It's a year of showing myself the same grace that I show others. It's a year of knowing that I too deserve kindness and goodness. It's the year of HELL yes!
TILL LATER, LAUREN!
Sunday, November 28, 2021
Scouring the internet and reading other blogs and magazines helped me discover beauty hacks that has made my life easier. As you grow older your beauty needs and preferences will no doubt change but, looking put together will always be in style. In this post I'd like share some of my favourite and most treasured beauty tips.
* Fill in your brows
I have never considered filling in my brows before reading about it on beauty blogs. It gave my face a whole new look. I tried powder but, a pencil is definitely better for me. Groomed brows frame the eyes and makes a huge difference to any face.
*Wear a primer
Like I have said in my previous post, I have never found primer to be much of a necessity but, after discovering a few cult favourites I don't go without it. Not only does it make your foundation look a million times better but, some primers you can even wear without foundation and look amazing.
*Invest in a good foundation
Nothing is worse than a foundation that's either the wrong shade or one that does not give proper coverage. You might have to spend a little extra time and money in order to find a suitable foundation but, it will be worth it. Also, make sure you put foundation on your neck too. You dont want to be walking around like it's your face with someone else's neck.
*Put your dry shampoo on the night before
I have made this mistake many times. Putting dry shampoo on in the morning and heading out. My hair would end up looking all powdery and dull. Now I make sure I put it on the night before so the product has enough time to work. This doesn't happen with all dry shampoos but, I would rather not take the chance.
*Wear lipstick when you can
I used to be the girl that never wore lipstick. Now, I own way too many to even excuse. I have so many shades and it perks up my mood and face even when I'm not wearing other make up. Lipstick is a confidence booster.
What are some of your go to beauty hacks? The ones that you swear by and pass on every chance that you get. Do share them with me. I would love to hear from you.
TILL LATER, LAUREN!
* I do not take credit for the images in this post
Monday, November 22, 2021
I've started following a lot more book bloggers over the last few months and I must admit that I have been enjoying their posts thoroughly. So much so, that I have decided to do a few book reviews of my own. I have been reading for as long as I can remember and, as you can imagine, by now I have got quite the book collection. Needless to say, I was not sure where to begin with my reviews. Do I start with new books or do I review the ones that I have enjoyed reading the most? The latter won and I figured I could always work my way up to my new books or alternate between the two. In today's post I will reviewing one of my favourite short stories AWKWARD IN PRINT by Rachel Rhodes.
PLOT..."Hollywood megastar, Jojo Hudson has a secret. One that, if ever revealed, could destroy her reputation, her career and her engagement to billionaire, Alex Masters. Fortunately the only person who knows the truth has been absent for over six years.
Unfortunately, now he is back.
When Ace walks back into her life, threatening to reveal her scandalous secret to the world, Jojo finds herself in an impossible situation- succumb to Ace's blackmail or lose Alex?
Or, defy Ace and lose everything?
As her life enters a frenetic downward spiral, Jojo must find a way to turn the tables on her old flame, all the while fighting the same law of attraction which landed her in trouble in the first place."
Let me tell you I was pleasantly suprised by this book from start to finish. It was well written, witty and had me wanting to finish it in one sitting. The book was filled with both angst and humour which made for a really easy read. The character of Jojo was relatable and down to earth even though she is a famous movie star.
There were several elements that made me want to keep reading. I have been known to abandon books halfway if I was bored. The friendship between Jojo and her bestie, Jude, was one of them. It seemed really genuine and honest. I loved seeing how the friendship developed over the course of the book and how they navigated some really embarrassing incidents. Although it is short story, a ton of characters are introduced but, they all fit into the narrative seamlessly. I was never confused or distracted.
The biggest shocker for me was Ace and the type of person he eventually ended up being. Without giving away too much, let's just say you wouldn't have been able to guess the ending even if you tried. At the end of each chapter I literally could not wait to dive into the next.
Overall, I would definitely recommend the book. The chapters are short and easy to keep track of and you come to genuinely be interested in the characters. I loved how quickly the story develops. Lastly, I was fascinated by the idea that no matter how famous you are, life can always humble you.
What are you currently reading?
TILL LATER, LAUREN!
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
These last few weeks have been a lot for me. I've been going through some changes. Some growing pains that I was initially so excited about. These changes were going to make life as it was better for me. Was I thankful? Of course! But somehow I didn't anticipate just how the change would impact my mental health. I thrive when I am on a routine and, whenever that routine is disturbed, I spiral. That's why I make lists, I don't like last minute plans and I am very particular about how I spend my days.
Ultimately, I felt like I was being a little ungrateful. Maybe I was. This amazing thing just happened to my family and I was grumpy and struggling to adjust. I didn't want to be ungrateful but, somehow I could not control these feelings. That's just it. I needed to feel exactly what I was feeling and acknowledge that it was there to stay. I needed to understand the reason behind my feelings. You see, for the last couple of years I have been advocating really hard for being positive in every situation. That was for my own benefit. Whenever I feel myself slipping back into that abyss of depression I immediately break out the old bag of happy tricks. I "self care" the feeling away until it is nothing but a memory.
Lately, that hasn't been working quite as brilliantly as it used to. This was not one of those emotions I could not cover up with gratitude lists and motivational quotes. This required me to get honest and uncomfortable. It would seem that I needed to switch up my form of self care again. Now I am not saying that keeping a positive mind about situations is no longer helping but, in this instance it wasn't the best solution for me.
I didn't want to simply get over it. I wanted to get through and never re-visit the feeling again. I felt like I was well within my rights for wanting to wallow in my sorrows for a bit. As long as you do not let it consume your life, feel what you need to feel. Do not pay attention to people saying that your problems are minor in comparison to others. This year alone has been more than any of us bargained for so I say you don't need to get over it. Not right away anyway .
I've taken the last few days to really filter through what I was actually feeling and it turns out I wasn't ungrateful. I was just scared of the change. I have been forced into making changes for the last two years and it had taken its toll on me. After admitting that I wasn't sure I wanted more changes, I could start to embrace it. I'm taking it one day at a time but, I'm really happy that I was able to be honest with myself. Do you need to have the same awkward conversation with yourself?
TILL LATER, LAUREN!