Niagara Falls: Fear and the Knights in Shining Ponchos

January 16, 2017


Like the stars, there's something about coming face to face with the sea (or in this case a churning lake) that can make you feel incredibly powerless, yet incredibly full of energy all at the same time. Just like the moon's effect on the tides, the rise and fall of the water has a mystical, magnetic ability to hypnotize you, leaving most people with a sensation of either dread or wonder. Danny Castellano once said, "I fear the ocean, out of respect". Upon hearing this, my lighthearted chuckle quickly turned into uneasy laughter, as I suddenly realized how true his words were. It just so happens that of the top three things I fear the most, the fear of the deep sea, is one I've developed after years of watching nature documentaries and reading tales of people getting lost in the open ocean. Over the years, this unease spread to other forces of nature, which include large bodies of water, namely waterfalls. Which brings me to the irony of my trip down south, where I visited a waterfall that draws tourists from near and far, Niagara Falls.







While Niagara Falls isn't remarkably high or majestic-looking, it does have that certain "je ne sais quoi" that often separates the ordinary from the extraordinary. So, I did what any other good tourist would do, I grabbed my camera, swallowed my fear, donned one of the complementary red rain ponchos, and climbed aboard the vessel that was supposed to take me and a whole bunch of strangers deep into the belly of the beast. I positioned myself at the bow of the ship, right next to the bullhorn, and instead of experiencing fear, what I felt instead was a growing sense of connectedness. I suddenly felt connected to all of the adventurers and explorers that I had grown up watching on television, or had spent countless hours reading about. They had stood where I stood, and felt what I felt, not a sense of dread (as I had mistakenly believed) but a mix of anticipation and wonder. That special brew that fueled the explorations of many a braver globetrotter before me and that continues to inspire the new generation, calling their once dormant spirits into action. As we plunged into the mist, I was both elated and relieved, to have gone where I'm sure the adventurers of yore thought to be impossible, and to have managed to dance between two worlds -- or more specifically two borders -- where I've confronted my past and taken control of my future, all at the same time.






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Tropical DIY Sugar Scrub for Moisturised and Smooth Skin

January 06, 2017
moisturizing exfoliator full of ingredients with skin-glowing properties, to help scrub away the dull skin and deposit the nutrients in this place. It smells divine, and the best part is that it simple to make and even easier to use. Click to read more or pin and save for later.


It's winter. Winter means ice skating to Christmas music downtown under the twinkling lights, long knitted scarves, and snowball fights so elaborate it could be a scene in a feature film. Winter also means cold winds so strong they blow right through your bones, noses that drip like leaky faucets, and skin so dry skin that you fear you're turning into Jack Frost himself. I'm usually immune to extremely dry skin, but this winter has proved to be one like no other and therefore doesn't play by the same rules. And since drastic times means drastic measures, I decided to whip up my own moisturising exfoliator, to help scrub away the dull skin and deposit nutrients in its place. It smells divine, and the best part is that it's simple to make and even easier to use.


Ingredients:


  • 1 1/2 tsp of olive oil
  • 10 drops of orange essential oil
  • 20 tsps of sugar
  • 1 tsp of melted cocoa butter (optional)




Steps:


  1. Grab a small container and pour the sugar into it. 
  2. Pour the melted cacao butter*, olive oil and orange essential oil into the sugar, and mix it up until it begins to clump together. Be careful not to mix to much so that it doesn't liquefy.
Note: If you're using cocoa butter -- I personally love it because it makes the scrub smell more tropical -- melt it in the microwave for approximately 50 seconds.

moisturizing exfoliator full of ingredients with skin-glowing properties, to help scrub away the dull skin and deposit the nutrients in this place. It smells divine, and the best part is that it simple to make and even easier to use. Click to read more or pin and save for later.

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~Alexandra



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This Holiday: Fake Fireplaces, Bokeh and Lyrical Blessings

January 02, 2017


I realized this holiday that I didn't need my camera to see Christmas lights in "bokeh". I don't even have to squint, I just have to take off my glasses. The young girl in me was at once excited at this new superpower I had developed and disappointed that it was kind of useless. As the saying goes, He can give, and He can also take(th) away, and as I was allotted this one seemingly meaningless gift, someone who meant very much to me was taken away. 

The holidays suddenly became a mix of cold and warm, in that funny way where the chill of losing someone you love is balanced with the warmth of being surrounded by the heightened kindness of others. A funny feeling, for a very unfunny situation calls for something new. And that's where the seemingly unspecial gift came in handy. While removing my glasses generally leaves me in a blurry world -- as if I was seeing my surroundings through a plastic bubble -- thanks to all the Christmas lights and decor, all I see is light. Generally, where both darkness and light swirl together and become one big blob, I now see constellations. I see a symphony of color, full of reds, blues, greens, yellows and even pink. It now serves as a reminder of what was, what will be and what has always been the connection between loved ones, whether they are there in person, or in spirit. It adds a new meaning to Christmas, and family, and life, because they can all happen in a blink of an eye, and if you're not careful they can pass you by without so much as a nod to tell you they're on their way. 

This holiday was full of cookies with sticky syrup, staring up at Christmas trees way longer than I probably should, long-distance phone calls, studying by a fake fireplace and looking for ways to add or find a bit of Christmas into everything I touched, smelled or heard. Whether that meant going to the orchestra, to hear the timeless rendition of Handel's Messiah, or listening to the soon-to-be timeless mixtape "Merry Christmas Lil' Mama" from Chance the Rapper. It was full of surprises, both good and bad, but in the end I guess that's what the holidays are all about.
















Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


~Alexandra


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@itsalamb