Life Update~

A general update on how life has been lately….

Work is excellent, as always. I’m so lucky to work with such a fabulous boss, excellent customers and clothes I love wearing! Probably my fav thing is the fact that it’s a local store and my boss has lived here his whole life – thus, he understands why sales are slow during certain months. [Unlike my last job, where we constantly faced threats from our big-city DM & head office about low sales. It’s not like we could physically force people inside the mall during a blizzard. Geez.]

However, I’m currently looking for a second job in town to fill up my evenings. I’m used to working 44 hours a week. I can’t help it.

I created a budget for myself a few months ago. I used the 50/30/20 rule I found online somewhere but flipped it to suit my needs. I spend 50% of my paycheque on essentials, 30% goes into savings, and the remaining 20% can be used for ‘fun’ stuff. I started out by taking my essentials out in cash and dividing it into envelopes to be used each week; ie., $30 for the guinea pigs’ veggies every week [$60 a paycheque]. After a while I got used to it and I’ve since scrapped the envelopes.

I’ve also implemented a few money-saving tactics. My most exciting idea was to get a library card! I’ve read pretty much every book on my shelf and sold or donated nearly two hundred books last year. I decided it was time to get some new books so I headed to my fav online used bookstore and started filling up my cart. Then a few days later I decided on a whim to check if the library in town had any of the books I wanted…..and they had nearly every single one! The only books they don’t carry are witch books but that’s fine by me because I’d like to have them in a physical collection. I had over twenty-five books in my cart for a hundred bucks before getting my library card. I was able to take out six books for FREE with my card and have since edited my cart to just the witch books.

I’m attempting [per usual] to sort out my wardrobe and get started on a capsule wardrobe. This concept used to freak me out. I mean, having ONLY fifty items ALL YEAR ROUND? Excuse you, I live in Canada. The temps go from -40 in the winter and +30 in the summer. There are certain items I require each season, y’know? But then I discovered seasonal capsule wardrobes which are more my speed.

Of course, I can’t find a checklist online for a winter capsule wardrobe which would make things so much easier for me.

My pets are the same as usual~ I’ve decided I am at my limit of guinea pigs [ten] and won’t be bringing any more into rescue unless they desperately require it. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it before but I dedicate my time to taking in guinea pigs who have been neglected whether intentionally or unintentionally. Many of the guinea pigs that come to me are over-stressed from moving houses over and over again as people realize they don’t have the time to care for a guinea pig, or from living with over-zealous roommates who beat them up. I rehabilitate them, re-socialize them, and sometimes, if required, nurse them back to health. Then they stay with me until the end of their days.

Spiritually speaking, I’m looking forward to making bigger, better magick this year. I’m experimenting with a few new products to sell on my FB page, the Faolan Girl, and I’m hoping I’ll be invited to participate in the Mind Body Spirit Fair again this year. Last November I was invited to a sacred circle dance hosted by my soul-sister, Esmé, where I led one small part of the ritual. Afterwards I got to talking with Es, April & Roberta [two new friends] about all things witchy. Turns out Esmé has been mulling over the idea of a witchy school and wanted to ask me to help teach a class on magickal herbalism! I’m really hoping that gets rolling this year.

Well. I think we’re all caught up now.
Fao.

Reigniting my self-care practice

Self-care is such a difficult concept for me. Like, I’m taking care??? Of myself? It always takes me a while to get comfortable with the idea that I deserve me-time. And then, of course, I let my self-care be pushed aside by my incessant drive to work and do things for everyone around me.

Self-care is important for everyone, but for me it’s especially helpful in managing my chronic pain and depression.

Here are a few things that I have been or will be incorporating into my self-care practice.

No more pain pills. This was an incredibly daunting decision that was not easy to make…but I have now been pill-free since October 22nd. I was experiencing some unpleasant side effects from the pills my doctor recommended I take for my chronic pain. I decided I’d be able to self-manage my pain, identify my triggers and assess my pain levels better if I wasn’t drugged up all the time so I quit cold turkey.

Now I can tell immediately when I’m pushing my body past its limits and I can take action. I also have a clearer head and less fatigue.

Natural healing for my migraines. My migraines are hereditary so I can’t tell if the killer migraines I’ve been experiencing lately are normal or from the pill withdrawal. Regardless, I can’t (/won’t) take anything for them now. A customer recommended the Headache Relief Kit from Saje Natural Wellness. I’ve used EOs for my migraines before so I was more than willing to try the kit out.

The kit comes with a roll-on bottle, a pen that can be dabbed directly on the scalp, and an anti-stress mist. My migraines aren’t triggered by stress so I don’t use the mist often. The pen, however, is a literal life-saver. I like that I can use it to target certain spots on my head and it isn’t greasy. I also loovee the handy little kit everything comes in. These products relieve my migraines in as little as half an hour.

Use my bath bombs instead of hoarding them. Idk why I always do this?! Why would I spend seven bucks on a bath bomb if I didn’t intend to use it?! Ugh. Now I use a bath bomb every time I have a bath. I usually mix in Epsom salts as well for pain relief.

I love bath bombs that turn the water nice colours. Lush is my go-to and some of my favourites are Lord of Misrule, Sunnyside and Twilight.

Splurge on super-cozy socks. I hate having cold toes. This winter I discovered how amazing Kodiak socks are now that I’m willing to spend a bit more. I can’t report on durability and longevity yet as I’ve only had an assortment of these socks for a month, but they really are so cozy!

Stay hydrated. Yet another thing I’m bad at. I read somewhere that when your lips are dry, you should reach for your water bottle first, so I’ve been making an effort to do so. I carry my water bottle everywhere and refill it the second I’m done. I did use an app at first but it was too much pressure, so now I just go by how I feel.


Journaling. This is rather daunting for me as I stopped keeping a journal seven years ago. I don’t necessarily mean journaling as a way to work through my issues; I’d also like to look back on my life. I have several beautiful journals that are yet to be written in. I’m sure one of them will do the trick!

Read. All too often I get sucked into the rabbit hole that is the internet. I love reading and I have the books to prove it. I’m going to read whenever I catch myself clicking between the same internet tabs over and over. I ended up getting a library card once I realized our library has been updated and carries so many great books now!

~

Pretty basic but remember, I’m just getting into the swing of things! Perhaps I can make an updated post in a few months =)

How do you practice self-care?


My Haul from the Gem & Mineral Show

This post is a thousand years late.

In August, I went to a gem & mineral show that was held in my tiny town. The place was PACKED, surprisingly! I went with my sis and niece, bought a few goodies and left….then went back with my mom to buy even more goodies 😂 I ended up spending close to a hundred bucks there!

We do have a metaphysical store in town that carries a great selection of tumbled gemstones and a few pricier items~ but this gem show had so many lovely items. It was held by a family-owned gem store a few towns over. I hope I can visit their physical location soon!

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I was lucky enough to win this Thunder Bay amethyst on their Facebook page 😍 Thunder Bay, Ontario is home to the most beautiful amethysts and this stone came from one of their mines. Amethyst is my power stone and even when I’m not using it in my magickal workings, I’ll still have every variation of it littered around me.

Amethyst is excellent for increasing spiritual awareness, repelling negativity and bringing in alll the good stuff.

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Gemstone hearts! Left is an incredible moss agate and right is bloodstone. I was really drawn to bloodstone in August. Bloodstone is used for strength and stress relief.

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A close-up of my moss agate. Moss agate is good for cultivating friendships. I also place a tumbled moss agate in all of my herb pots to encourage growth.

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Duo black quartz point from Arkansas. I carried these all around the show, then went to put them back….but two guys were standing in front of the black quartz display, and I knew I’d be upset if I put this back and they grabbed it, ha ha!

Black quartz is a powerful tool for purifying and repelling negativity. It also balances all chakras.

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Septarian! This powerful healing stone is good for muscle spasms and general well-being.

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I bought the tiniest bottle of peacock ore chips for no reason other than the fact that I like tiny things 😂

Peacock ore – also known as bornite – is the ultimate witch’s stone. It heals, brings clarity & wisdom, aligns your chakras, and adds an extra boost to all spellwork.

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K2 Jasper [left] and blue kyanite [right]. My kyanite is forever disappearing on me.

K2 Jasper is a relatively new stone that helps open the third eye chakra and bring insight to its user.

All colours of kyanite help align the chakras~ blue kyanite in particular also helps with dream recall, honesty, and opening yourself to spiritual thoughts.

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Little baby spheres! The left is rose quartz and the right, which is the size of a marble, is a glittery amethyst. I would like to get a larger sphere eventually but my other sphere, opalite, is also the size of a marble so I figured they’d match.

Rose quartz is the universal stone of love.

Amethyst was mentioned above. It’s also good for dreams and peacefulness!

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This is Maggie, who can’t keep her inquisitive nose out of my crystals.

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My beautiful astrophyllite palm stone! I put this stone down the first time, and then bought it two hours later. [It has since gone on a walkabout. I hope it returns soon.]

Astrophyllite is a beautiful, mysterious stone that allows you to explore your inner mysteries.

~

I also purchased a few tumbled dalmatian stones [they were a fundraiser for a dog rescue], blue aqua obsidian, obsidian arrowheads for my lil bro and I [hardcore Game of Thrones fans], and tumbled shungite. I wish I had taken a photo of the shungite because now I can’t tell it apart from my nuumite 😂

I do have a fair amount of tumbled gemstones purchased from the local metaphysical store, as well as a few raw pieces…would anyone be interested in seeing a post on the rest of my crystal collection?

xo,
Fao

Autumn Bucket List

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🍁 Experiment with pumpkin recipes.

🍁 Light Fall candles.

🍁 Have a bonfire.

🍁 Have a family game night.

🍁 Arm-knit a scarf.

🍁 Incorporate fall leaves in a craft.

🍁 Go on a nature walk.

🍁 Go on a drive through the country.

🍁 Make an autumn reading list.

🍁 Make an autumn centerpiece.

🍁 Go on a picnic.

🍁 Harvest rosehips and juniper berries.

🍁 Toast pumpkin seeds.

🍁 Collect and press leaves.

🍂🍂🍂

Fao

September’s Full Moon Goals

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Back at it with my Full Moon Goals! I had a very brief stint where I tried out New Moon Intentions as well, but not all of my achievements center around the metaphysical! I find it easier to benchmark my goals using the Full Moon as well as add a few decidedly non-witchy goals.

My goals for September’s Full Moon…

⭐️ Use the full moon’s energy to release what no longer serves me and make a solid plan for moving forward. I’ve been struggling with this decision for months, and doing plenty of magickal work to help me out. I’m not quite ready to make it ‘official’ but I know this moon will make things a little easier.

⭐️ Take a good, hard look at the material possessions I want or already have and decide if they bring me joy/serve a purpose OR if I have them just to impress somebody. I read about this somewhere and it really made me think. I bought an Instax Mini years ago when they first came out, and it still works. But a while ago I decided I wanted one of the fancy new purple ones….for no reason other than it’s purple and fancy. It’s time to rework my shopping list and go thrugh my possessions!

⭐️ Read 12 books by the end of the month. Eventually I’d like to rearrange my bookshelf and pull out all the books I haven’t read yet. But in general, reading 12 books is my main goal. Currently reading ‘Time of the Witches’ by Anna Myers.

⭐️ Add the finishing touched to my Samhain kits and start selling them! Ooh, I’m so excited. I’ve been kinda slacking on the witchy retail front lately~ the last product I created for The Faolan Girl was a set of chakra kits back in May.

⭐️ Stick to my budget this paycheque. Yes, I finally sat down and wrote out a budget for myself. It makes sense and you’d think I could’ve stuck to it the first time around…..but I spent 80 bucks on witchy suppplies, bought a new Tarot deck, and spent my last twenty bucks on a set of runes 😂😂😂

I think that’s enough goals for now 👍

xo,

Fao

My September Reading List

I know, we’re already halfway through September. Shush.

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My 2016 Reading Challenge is coming along nicely! As you can see, I just finished Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series. This month’s reading selection is decidedly spooky in honour of my favourite season.

The Farm by Emily McKay. Yupp, more vampires! This book [first in a trilogy, I believe] is about a plague of vampire-like creatures that have swept across the United States. The teenagers have all been rounded up and shipped to ‘Farms’, where they’ll supposedly be kept safe until their 18th birthdays. The book’s main character decides to break out with her autistic twin. Anyway. Super good.

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr. Dark faeries. ’nuff said.

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs. I’m not entirely sure if this is the last book in the Peculiar Children series? Or if it never ends? But I’m super excited to read it. In case you’ve been living around a rock, these books are about a group of children who have abilities that make them ‘peculiar’.

I’m also trying to make my way through the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan, as I do every autumn, but I seem to have lost every book between Book 2 and Book 7….hmm.

xo,
Fao

Summer 2016

 

Ah, summer. Summer has been pretty much nonexistent for the last five years for me, thanks to working in retail. Thankfully, my new retail job is a bit more lenient! This summer I wasn’t working 44 hours a week, six days a week, holidays included, and nor was I deficient in any nutrients that caused the entire left side of my body to go numb. (Shoutout to summer 2015!)

Unfortunately, the summer student we hired to work weekends ended up joining a volleyball team that trained every Saturday. My sister and niece live in the next town and only visit every weekend, so I didn’t get to do as much stuff as I would’ve liked to with my niece.

Here are the highlights of my Summer 2016…

Solstice Soul Sisters Retreat – June 17th – June 19th

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I was invited to present a workshop on magickal herbalism at a lovely retreat in a private cabin. I brought my sister along with me and we decided we’d camp in a tent since we haven’t camped in years.

The retreat was so lovely and I left feeling a sense of unity and sisterhood with every woman who participated! Nothing beats early morning yoga alongside the water, tea leaf readings in my own private gazebo, dishes of amazingly yummy food and all the laughter and memories shared with my sisterhood.

Winnipeg Zoo – June 25th

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On a rare Saturday off, I went to the zoo in the city with my niece, my bestie and her daughter. After the zoo we went for lunch and then we went to Build-A-Bear. I’ll be honest….that’s probably the last outing I will ever take with my bestie’s kid. But at least my niece had fun, behaved and made herself a very nice bear that she promptly named ‘Twilight Sparkle’.

Coney Island Beach – July 3rd

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We somehow lucked out on this day and went to the beach when all the tourists were elsewhere! My niece is a fish and loved playing in the water. We made her into a mermaid with sand, and I did Tarot readings on the beach.

Steinbach shopping trip – July 4th

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My mother and I both had this day off, so we decided to go on a shopping trip in Steinbach, Manitoba. I hadn’t been here in years and I was so surprised by how far they’ve come! (It’s a predominantly Mennonite community~ I remember the struggle years ago for them to bring in a liquor store.) We visited a few locally owned shops, including a scrapbooking shop that I fell in love with, and had the best lunch at a coffee shop. It was also ridiculously hot this day D= I finally got a new pair of Converse in ‘black cherry’.

[This is the only photo I got of our day. Seriously. BUT LOOK AT OUR DELICIOUS LUNCH.]

Watched the Perseids – August 11th

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My bestie and I watch the Perseids meteor shower every year. Unfortunately, soon after sunset the clouds started rolling in! We managed to see a few meteors before calling it a night.

Gem & Mineral Show – August 13th

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Probably one of the best days of my summer! A rock shop from a few towns over came to host a show. I won a Thunder Bay Amethyst on their FB page so they brought it to the show for me to pick up, and I managed to spend close to a hundred dollars on crystals 😂 I got a bunch of beauties that I’ve been coveting for a long time~ black quartz, septarian, bismuth, etc…

Dryden Fair – August 27th

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I managed to get the last three Saturdays of August off. On the 27th, we headed to my sister’s town to see the fair! The fair here in town is literally just a fair, with mechancial rides and a petting zoo. But in Dryden, which is a bit more rural, they also have a horse show, animals from the 4H club and vendors! My niece loved going on the rides and I loved seeing the chickens. The only photo I took is from when we had breakfast at Kokum’s Bannock Shack.

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All in all, I guess it was a fun summer! I would’ve liked to go to the beach more [not that I swim], but maybe next year. I also spent plenty of time outside with my piggies and in the woods, and I’ve been making an effort to get my niece outside as well! We still have a few nice days left that I’ve been using to get everything set for winter. Gotta cover up the holes Yao dug by the pear tree, insulate the bottom of the barn, get my bales of hay for winter, pull out my riding boots, etc…..

xo,
Fao.