My 3 Favourite Summertime Beverages

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Summer is right around the corner. Can you feel it? I love summer, if you hadn't already noticed. I am definitely a warm weather gal. So, I am definitely soaking up all of this sun right now. 

This season is full of backyard barbecues, get-togethers with your gal pals, and summer holidays like Independence Day and Canada Day. So, there's always a perfect opportunity to make yourself a delicious summer cocktail - even if it's just to chill in your backyard with a good book. Heaven knows thats what I'll be doing.

I've been getting into mixology lately and, if I do say so myself, I've been getting pretty good at it. So I thought that today, I'd share with you guys my 3 favourite mixed drinks for the summer season, and their recipes!

BLUEBERRY FIZZ

This first drink is inspired by a drink that I love at Jack Astor's. I love blueberry and this is the perfect sweet fizzy drink. 

You'll need: Vodka, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Blue Curacao, and Sprite

First, add 3 shots of vodka, 2 shots of lemon juice, and 1 splash of simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake it all up until it's nicely mixed, then pour into a tall glass with fresh ice. Then, add 1 shot of blue Curacao (make sure you do this at the end, after mixing, or else you won't have a cool blue colour!) and top it off with a bit of Sprite. 

RASPBERRY VODKA LEMONADE

If you're a fan of lemonade - like myself - then this is definitely a must-try!

You'll need: Raspberries, Sugar, Smirnoff Raspberry vodka (or regular vodka), and Lemonade

The very first thing you should do is add 5 raspberries into a cocktail shaker, with a teaspoon of sugar, and using a fork, just mix it all up together until the raspberries are more liquid than solid. Once you've done that, add 1 and 1/2 shots of raspberry vodka (or regular vodka) and 4 shots of lemonade. Shake it all up, and the pour over ice into a glass. 

TEQUILA SUNRISE

This is definitely the strongest of the three drinks, so I'd be more cautious with this one.

You'll need: Tequila, Orange Juice, and Grenadine

This is super simple to make. First, add 2 shots of tequila and 4 shots of orange juice into a cocktail shaker. Shake that up, and then pour into a glass over ice. Then, add 1/2 shot of grenadine into the glass, to add that funky red colour. And voila! If you want to dilute it, make it a little less strong, then you can add a bit more OJ to this recipe but be sure to do that before the grenadine, or else it will ruin the visual effect! Also, for fun, you can add a few maraschino cherries in there. 

And that's that! I hope you guys enjoyed this post. If you try out any of these recipes, let me know what you thought in the comments. Also, the pink and blue mason jar mugs I used for the pictures were $3 a piece at Zehrs! So, if you leave nearby a Zehrs, definitely check those out cause they are super cute and so inexpensive.

Although it goes without saying, please be very careful when drinking - be responsible, and never ever drink and drive! 

What are your favourite summer time drinks?

Felicia x


Welcome to the New Blog

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Hello everyone!

Today is a very exciting day! You've probably noticed that my blog looks extremely different today. If you missed my latest post, last Thursday, then let me fill you in. I've switched platforms! My blog is now officially located at SquareSpace. Making the switch from WordPress was definitely a lot of work, but it was a pretty seamless process which I plan on writing up a post about the transition soon!

As you can see, there's a lot that has changed on this new blog. There are still some minor details to be tweaked over time, but for the most part, you're looking at The New and Improved Bookish Brunette!! How exciting is that? Take a poke around, stay for awhile. I hope you enjoy it!

Moving forward, I'll be going back to posting regularly, as I now have the time and space to do so! My blog schedule will be: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Phew. That's a lot! But I have a lot of posts to make this summer and I definitely want to keep you updated. 

Hope you enjoyed your weekend!

Felicia x

A Small Hiatus...

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Hey guys! So, as you might have noticed, I've been a little bit all over the place lately in terms of keeping to my blogging schedule and posting regularly on social media. It's been a bit of a crazy time lately, so let me fill you guys in.

I started this blog back in 2015. I know, can you believe it? I didn't really start to be serious about it though until the last year or so, but in that time I've become super invested in constantly uploading to and improving my site. In these past few months, I've started to weigh out the options of going full-fledged into this, by starting on a paid plan. About a week ago, you may have noticed that I bought a domain and I'm now officially thebookishbrunette.com (*insert excited dance*)! That was the first step of a major blog overhaul that I am happy to say is about to begin, as I am moving my blog over to Squarespace!

It was a huge decision to transfer my blog to a different platform, trust me. It's been weeks of comparing sites and plans, and reading reviews, and watching YouTube tutorials on designing websites. Ultimately, Squarespace is the best-suited platform for me and my blog. I'm very excited that my blog has a new, permanent home and I can't wait to show you guys the new-and-improved Bookish Brunette!

However, with changing my blog platform, I need to go on a tiny hiatus, so that I can export my blog and transfer my domain and all that fun stuff onto my new site. It won't be too long (I hope *fingers crossed*) but I'll probably be inactive for a few days and I just wanted to keep you guys updated, as well as share the exciting news!

In other news... I've decided to start a YouTube channel!! I'm super nervous and excited about it all tbh. I had a channel once before, where I uploaded a very short and shaky montage sort of video from my graduation cruise on the Carnival Magic a couple years ago (you can still see that here if you want!). But this YouTube channel will focus more on vlogs, which I'll be starting up this summer while I'm in Orlando! I can't wait to get my first video up for you guys to see, and hopefully you guys like it haha. In the meantime, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

So... yeah! That's all for now, I think. I'm so pumped for you to see my new blog and my new YouTube channel. And I think it's going to be a very exciting summer!

Talk to you all very, very soon :)

Felicia x

In Bloom: Spring Playlist

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Hello everybody! So one thing you may not know about me is that I'm sort of obsessed with playlists... And when I say "sort of", I mean I'm absolutely, completely addicted to making playlists. I'm not kidding when I say that I have at least thirty handmade playlists on my Spotify account. I have one for every decade, every month, every season. It's crazy but useful!

Some of my favourite playlists are my seasonal ones. I love making lists of songs that remind me of each season because I don't know about you, but I totally think that certain songs sound more "autumn" than "spring", or more "summer" than "winter". It sounds a bit crazy, but I promise it's not!! (Well, maybe it is, but oh well! haha)

Today, I thought I'd share my Spring playlist with you guys! A lot of these songs actually came from the show Reign, which I watched like a million years ago but I'm still obsessed with the soundtrack and I've been listening to that a lot lately. I'm very into acoustic, almost folky songs during this season. And I've put them all into this little Spotify widget player for you guys (which took me much longer to figure out than I'd care to admit to).

Enjoy!!

Felicia x

May TBR

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Welcome back, everyone!

I've been totally slacking on my reading lately :( I know, I know. I should be making time to read. But with my boyfriend leaving for his summer job and me leaving soon for Florida, I've been spending as much time as possible with him, and my reading has taken a spot on the back burner for awhile.

But now that he's not around, and I've got some free time before I leave, I'm determined to get back on track with my reading! Starting with a TBR for this month!

Here are the books I'll be reading in May...

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The Alice Network by Kate Quinn ~ I purchased this at the end of April and have been slowly making my way through it. It's got a dual-perspective thing going on, which I totally love. It follows the stories of two young women, Eve Gardiner and Charlie St. Clair, taking a stand in the Great War and World War II, respectively.

Good As Gone by Amy Gentry ~ I added this book to my TBR awhile back on a whim as it's been quite some time since I tried a suspenseful novel and this one caught my fancy. It's all about a teenaged daughter who is kidnapped from her bedroom, but then years later, she returns home to her family, safe and sound. But the question is: is she really who she says she is?

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The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin ~ It took me two trips to my local Indigo (with a total of three employees helping) and an hour-long car trip to another store to find this book, so it'd better be worth it! A psychic claims to know what day people will die and tells four children their fates. The book follows how this affects their lives. It sounds pretty interesting and I've heard good things!

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli ~ You may recall a certain novel called Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda? Well, author Becky Albertalli is back with a spin-off of her successful novel, this time focusing on Simon's bff Leah. I'm very excited to read this!! If it's half as good as Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, then I'm in for a treat.

What are you guys reading this month? x

Felicia x

My Long-Term Travel Bucket List

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I've been a traveller since practically the day I was born. By the time I was a year old, I had visited Italy, New York City, and Jamaica. My parents were avid travellers from before I was born - my dad was even a travel agent - and they continued to globe-trot even with their lil baby aka me.

Not surprisingly, I was also bitten by the travel bug, and I've been lucky enough to travel to many places over the years! All in all, I've visited 9 U.S. states, 3 Canadian provinces (including my own ofc), at least 13 Caribbean islands, and 3 European countries.

But even that's just scratching at what the world has to offer. There are so many places that I want to see in the world, so I've created myself an ever-growing bucket list of places I want to go someday!

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MY LONG-TERM TRAVEL BUCKET LIST

1. Travel to Santorini & Mykonos - It's my boyfriend and my dream to visit Greece someday. Every time either of us sees a picture online of somewhere in Greece, we immediately tag the other in it. The two places we most want to visit are Santorini and Mykonos, for their beautiful sights & amazing nightlife!

2. Visit the Amalfi Coast - Technically speaking, I have been here before. But I was a baby so that hardly counts. I need to go back to Italy and see the Amalfi Coast properly.

3. Stay at Disneyland California - I've obviously spent a large chunk of my life in Walt Disney World, but I'm desperate to visit the original park to see where it all began!

4. Vacation in Nice, France - If you've ever seen pictures of the French Riviera, I'm sure you know how beautiful it is and why I'm soo desperate to go there.

5. Go to The Resort at Paws Up - It's super unlikely that I'll ever go here unless I win the lottery or something, but a gal can dream!! Paws Up is a luxury ranch-resort in Montana that's heavenly - it's super secluded and looks like the perfect relaxing vacay spot!

6. Take a Viking river cruise in the Mediterranean - This is probably one of the top things I want to do in my life! Viking river cruises take you to places that regular-sized ships can't get to and it's soo luxurious. Every now and then I just go to the website just to look at the pictures of the boats and the destinations haha

7. See the Christmas decorations in NYC - As you guys will know if you've been here for a while, I've been to NYC a few times. But I've never been during Christmas time which is one of the most beautiful times to go!

8. See the Mona Lisa at the Louvre - Unfortunately, when I went to Paris, we were only there a few days and we didn't have time to go to the Louvre, so I never got to see the Mona Lisa. But hey, now I have a reason to go back!!

9. Visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam - Van Gogh is by far my favourite artists of all-time. So seeing the world's largest collection of his art would be a dream come true.

10. Do the Highclere Castle tour - IF you don't already know, I'm a massive fan of Downton Abbey, so seeing where the series was filmed would be soo cool. Imagine standing in the Crawley's sitting room!!

11. See the Trevi fountain - Of course, when I make my long-awaited return to my relatives' home country Italy one day, for the first time as a non-baby, I will have my Lizzie McGuire moment!! Also, this is kind of a redemption thing for my parents because when they went to Rome, the Trevi fountain had been drained lol

12. Go to Disneyland Paris - Yep, we're back on the Disney thing *shrugs* not sorry!! I've heard a lot of good things about Disneyland Paris and the castle is way cute so ofc I have to make my way over there sometime!

13. Visit the Jane Austen House Museum - I LOVE Jane Austen! Until recently, I didn't even know that there was a Jane Austen museum but I've been taking an online course on her work and they mentioned so obvs now I need to go

14. See the Rainbow Row in Charleston - I've just recently added this one to my list, after seeing someone on Instagram visiting there. It's adorable!! I love me a good pastel-coloured building, so this is very much up my alley. Also, Charleston looks BEAUTIFUL and I still can't believe I've not yet been to the Carolinas

What's on your long-term bucket list? 

Felicia x

Empties

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How is it that I've been writing for this blog for this long and yet I've never made an empties post?? I love reading empties posts by other bloggers. Mostly because I'm nosy af. But hey, who isn't! It's always cool to see what products other bloggers have been using and what they thought of it after using it the whole way through. Soooo today I'm going to do a post of my own!

NEUTROGENA NIGHT CALMING MAKEUP REMOVER CLEANSING TOWELETTES - I've been using Neutrogena's makeup remover wipes for a while now, but this was my first time purchasing the 'night calming' ones. I actually liked them better than the original ones!! They have a really lovely scent, which is supposed to help you sleep but it's debatable whether or not it actually works, haha. Neutrogena is by far my fav brand when it comes to makeup removing wipes as they're really gentle on sensitive skin but clean off makeup really thoroughly. I'll def be buying these again!!

MAYBELLINE BABY SKIN INSTANT PORE ERASER PRIMER - I picked this up on a whim a while back and ended up actually really liking it! It's not something I'd use for heavy duty makeup or if I was trying to make my makeup last for several hours. But for casual, day-to-day use, I think it works pretty well! It definitely made my skin feel really soft and smooth, so that was cool. And the bottle looks so tiny, but it holds a shocking amount of product in there. I kept thinking that it was nearly empty but it held up for a while yet.

MAYBELLINE LASH SENSATIONAL MASCARA - My go-to mascara!! I just picked up a replacement for this bad boy, as I simply cannot be without it. I've been using this for a long time and I talked about it recently in my Holy Grail Beauty Products post (x). I just love it. I'll probably be repurchasing this over and over again for the foreseeable future.

GARNIER MICELLAR WATER FOR OILY SKIN - This has been sitting near-empty in my makeup drawer for wayyyy too long. So it's time to part ways with this. I was really into the Micellar water trend for a while, particularly during the spring and summer seasons of last year. But I don't know, it just doesn't do it for me anymore. I'm over it. Won't be repurchasing this again. Neutrogena wipes have my heart, sorry micellar water!!

What products have you used up entirely? 

Felicia x

Strolling Through Port Dover

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Welcome back loves! The weather has been absolutely gorgeous as of late!! I cannot believe we've finally been having consistently nice days. It's honestly the talk of my town, no joke. Anywhere you go, you can guarantee that somebody is going to bring up how nice the weather has been.

The other day, my mum, my boyfriend, and I decided we would do a little day trip together as my dad was out of town. Port Dover is a very small lakeside town on the northern shore of Lake Erie. My parents took a trip out there last year after we moved into our new house, and they absolutely loved it so I thought that since the weather was nice, I should take a trip down to see what all the fuss is about!!

It's about a forty minute drive down my county's main highway, which literally cuts down the middle of a bunch of towns so we had really lovely views of some cute small towns on the way there.

As soon as we got to Port Dover, I decided I loved it. I'm a huge sucker for small towns (obviously, since I moved to one) and especially local boutiques and cute restaurants. Port Dover is full of them!!! We walked down the main road right by the beach and popped into about a dozen small shops with clothes, soaps, home decor, antiques, basically anything you could think of. I'm obsesseddddddd. I took so many pictures of all the different shops we stopped at, so you guys can also enjoy the literal heaven that is Port Dover.

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It was just so beautiful and it had that really lovely small town feel (a woman came into a shop with her dog and the shop owner told us that he comes to visit her every day and she leaves out water for him omg I'm crying). It was a pretty lovely day to visit, although it was super windy which was not good for the dress I was wearing and the locals saw way more of me than they'd bargained for haha.

On our way back home, we stopped at a little local restaurant, The Argyle Street Grill. I've passed this place about a hundred times before and finally suggested we popped in there for a late lunch. It was soo good, even though I didn't even love my meal haha. My mum and I ordered drinks as my boyfriend was lovely enough to be the DD (thanks babe!!) and they were amazingggg. My mum had the strawberry margarita and I had a spiked raspberry lemonade, which is probably now one of my fav drinks ever. For my entree, I had a small bowl of asiago chicken linguine that was not my fav and a bowl of Caesar salad which was reallyyyy good. It was the perf way to end off the day, and I'll definitely be heading back there for dinner sometime!

What I Wore:
• Polka Dot Wrap Dress (x - out of stock in blue)
• Nine West Crossbody Handbag (x - similar)
• NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Kitten Heels (x)

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Enjoy your week lovelies! 

Felicia x

April Favourites

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Happy May, everyone! I'm sure all of you have heard/seen the "It's Gonna Be May" meme a thousand times in the past few days so I'll spare you guys from having to hear it again. But do know that I'm definitely thinking it right now, haha.

I'm back with another favourites post for you guys!! I've been on a bit of a "no spend" trend this month as I dropped a small fortune on dresses other things the past couple months and now I'm broke af. Soo these are all products that I've already owned for a while, but they have found their way into my regular rotation as of late!

MARC JACOBS HONEY PERFUME - I love this perfume so so so much. I bought this last year while I was in NYC and have been utterly obsessed ever since. But with spring officially arriving this month, I've been getting a lot of use out of this pretty scent. It's described online as being a mix of "nectars of honeysuckle and peach, honey, vanilla, and smooth woods" - it's so lovely.

NYX SOFT MATTE LIP CREAM IN "SAN PAULO" AND "ANTWERP" - These two have been the lipsticks I've reached for most this past month, as I've been loving bright, bold shades for this weather. San Paulo is described as a "plummy pink" whereas Antwerp is a "mid-tone yellow-toned pink"...which is pretty much just a bright pink. They're fairly long-lasting and not at all drying on the lips which makes them the perfect lightweight lippy for a nice spring day!

E.L.F. COSMETICS MAD FOR MATTE EYESHADOW PALETTE - I talked a bit about how much I've been loving this palette in my Spring Makeup Look post (x). This is by far my most used palette of April, followed closely behind by the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette. I feel like burnt orange and brown shades really go with brown eyes - am I crazy, haha?? Anyway, it's been getting a hell of a lot of use lately and I'm sure that'll probably be the case next month as well!!

E.L.F. COSMETICS MAKEUP BRUSHES - I've been really loving E.l.f. brushes this month! They're honestly great brushes, especially for how inexpensive and easily accessible they are. At least 9 times outta 10, when I pop into my local drugstore, I walk out with a new E.l.f. makeup brush haha. Some of my favourites are the Blending Brush, the Blush Brush, the Highlighting Brush, and the Eyeshadow "C" Brush.

What products have you guys been loving this month?! x

Felicia x

Spring Makeup Look

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Hello lovelies!! Things have been crazy lately, which is why I haven't been posting so much. I know that I'm constantly saying "I'm so busy, pls forgive me!!" but honestly, I have been. It's all about finding that balance between life and blogging, y'know?

Spring has been coming around here, slowly but surely. Last week, we were having some lovely weather, like 14C-18C, which is great for spring here. But next week we're apparently set to have some really nice weather, more like 20C to even 26C, which is veryy exciting! I'm hoping to maybe shoot and post a spring lookbook sort of post sometime next week (weather permitting - fingers crossed!), so look out for that!! :)

For now, I thought I'd write up a post talking about my typical spring makeup look.

Jumping right in. I always start off with my eyebrows for some reason haha. I've been using the E.l.f. Cosmetics Eyebrow Kit for about a year now and I'm obsessed. I totally ignore the powder side (lol) and instead use the cream to just fill in the sparse bits of my brows with an angled brush, then I run a spoolie brush through them to disperse the product. The cream is really long-lasting and stays in place, whereas other cream brow products tend to shift on your face which is a no-no.

Next up, I prime my face. I much prefer cream-based primers as opposed to sprays. One of my fav cream primers is the Maybelline FaceStudio Master Prime Blur + Illuminate Face Primer (phew, whatta mouthful). Before I apply any face makeup, I just apply this to my entire face, rubbing it all in until it's absorbed. This one, in particular, makes for a really dewy makeup look, which I love for the spring and summer seasons.

Moving on from face, for now, I move onto eye products. I've been really loving the E.l.f. Cosmetics Mad For Matte Eyeshadow Palette (which is now being called the "Mad for Matte Nude Bloom" palette). I love the warm tones of this palette, especially the burnt-orange shade and the pink-y sort of shades. I take that burnt-orange and blend it into my crease, then blend a bit of the dark brown into the outer v. I finish it all off with that pink shade on my lid. Once I've finished with the shadows, I go for a thin cat-eye with my Revlon Colorstay Skinny Liquid Eyeliner. I used to do cat-eye looks all the time in high school, but stopped for awhile, and now I'm back doing it again I guess! Haha.

While I let my liner dry a bit, I go onto my face. I've been using the Rimmel London 25hr Breathable Foundation for the past couple months, which I reviewed here. I blend that all over my face with a blending sponge - I use the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge - and then I cover up all my spots and such with the Maybelline New York Better Skin Concealer. Once I've finished up with all that, I go in with a bit of bronzer and blush - for bronzer, lately I've been getting a lot of use out of my Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer which I've had for ages, and for blush, I use my fav E.l.f. Cosmetics Candid Coral Blush which I'm sure I've talked about before. After, I brush on some Too Faced Translucent Smoothing Finishing Powder so soften the harshness of my blush and bronzer. And I pop on some E.l.f. Cosmetics Shimmer in Gold on my cheekbones and Cupid's bow.

Going back to my eyes, I like to brush a bit of that orange-y shade from before just under my eyes, with a thin angled brush just to add some depth to the look. Then I go in with an eyelash curler and finish up with a coat of the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara. 

And that's it! Here's the final look...

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(Don't mind my bangs as they seriously need to be trimmed, haha) So there ya have it. Very simple to do, doesn't take very long at all, and it's a bright look for spring!

Happy last day of April y'all! 

Felicia x

April Book Reviews

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Hello everybody! Now, I know it's not quite the end of the month, but as I didn't have a very long TBR for this month, I've already done my reading so I thought, why not post my April Book Reviews post early!

I didn't end up reading the third book on this month's TBR, Match Made in Manhattan by Amanda Stauffer. I started reading but just really didn't enjoy it and I didn't end up finishing it so I won't be reviewing it in this post.

In addition to these books, I did read a couple others, which I'll post individual reviews for sometime soon!

To read last month's review, click here.

This month I read: BOY ERASED (GARRARD CONLEY) and ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE (GAIL HONEYMAN). 

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BOY ERASED - GARRARD CONLEY [4 stars]

"I came to therapy thinking that my sexuality didn't matter, but it turned out that every part of my personality was intimately connected. Cutting one piece damaged the rest." 

Boy Erased is Garrard Conley's true story of his experiences in conversion therapy in the early 2000s. Growing up as the son of a soon-to-be pastor in Arkansas, he hid his sexuality from his family until he got to university when they finally found out and enrolled him in a popular ex-gay program in Tennessee, Love In Action.

Like I said in my April TBR post, I came across this book in a post online, listing off a bunch of must-read non-fiction books. I was dying to read another non-fiction book, as I've read a few that I've loved in the past few months, so I decided to go for this one. And it was def a good choice.

I thought this book was really interesting because Garrard's story is one that could have easily gone untold. He's from a small Southern town, and comes from a fundamentalist family, with a father who is working towards being a pastor, that believes homosexuality from a sin. He went to Love in Action somewhat willingly. Like many others, he could have accepted that conversion therapy was "right" (by his family's/community's/mentor's definitions) and that could've been the end of it. But the fact that he had the strength to go up against it all is what made this book so remarkable.

The stories that Garrard tells of his early adulthood - not just of his time at Love in Action, but also in university - are harrowing and heartbreaking. So many times I had to stop reading for a second because it was just so hard to imagine a nineteen-year-old kid going through what he had to go through. You could see that he had zero support system whatsoever, especially when people started finding out that he was gay. It was very upsetting to read stories of people who once cared about him turning their backs on him just because of his sexuality; as if who he was attracted to had anything to do with the sort of person he is, which it clearly doesn't.

I think the most important aspect of this book was that it shed light on the fact that there are still conversion therapies open and commonly used, even in the United States. Love in Action, the one he attended, only shut down in 2012. From a very quick Google search, only a handful of states have a ban on conversion therapies for minors - the rest allow it, which is something I didn't even think to look up until reading this book. I hope that this book continues to make that a more widely known fact because it's really not ok!!

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ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE - GAIL HONEYMAN [4 stars]

"Some people, weak people, fear solitude. What they fail to understand is that you don't need anyone, you can take care of yourself."  

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is about a young woman living in Glasgow named Eleanor, who lives every day, every week, every month exactly the same. She runs on a specifically planned, solitary daily schedule. Things start to change when an accident brings her and her office IT guys together in friendship. Soon, she is forced to come to grips with a secret she's been keeping from everyone - and from herself.

I really enjoyed this book. In fact, it might just be one of my favourites of the year so far. Eleanor's story is extremely moving; it's one of those "life gets better" sort of books that really warms my heart. From the very beginning of the novel, you can tell that Eleanor isn't a happy person and that something has caused her to be that way. Right off the bat, I was rooting for her to find happiness in her life - she's that sort of character that you just want to have a happy ending.

The writing of this book was particularly interesting because Eleanor is a very eloquent character, so the book was very well-written and included many a descriptive sentence. At first, I had a feeling that it would get sort of distracting to have the narration done like that - however, the sentences actually flowed surprisingly well and I found the writing pretty enjoyable!!

All in all, I wasn't at all prepared for this book - particularly the last half. Honestly, it took me completely by surprise. It was extremely hard to believe that this book was Gail Honeyman's debut novel.... like, I'm still in total shock. I'd love to read more from Gail Honeyman and I would easily recommend this book to basically everyone who likes to read, haha.

Felicia x

YA Novels Every Teen Should Read

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Growing up, I was massively into reading. Ever since I was very very little, I've been most happy whenever I have a book in hand. So, being an avid reader, that meant that the majority of my life lessons came from novels. I learnt a lot from books, and so it's no surprise that there are many books that have over the years become hugely influential in my upbringing.

What's great about novels is that they give a look into the lives of people from many different walks of life; it gives you a real, up-close look into a world that you might not know - which makes you more empathetic and understanding - or show you that you aren't alone in how you're feeling.

These books are some of the major ones that not only got me through high school, but also kind of shaped me into the person I am today. They're, in my opinion, some of the best books for teens to read before leaving high school. So, I thought I'd give a bit of a run-through of what each book is all about, for you guys. Also, I included trigger warnings, where applicable.

PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER - STEPHEN CHBOSKY

Hands down, my favourite young adults novel. I read this when I was a young teenager, probably about 13 or 14 years old. Perks of Being a Wallflower is all about this kid called Charlie who's writing letters about his experiences in freshman year to an anonymously pen-pal. He goes into grade nine, dealing with the aftermath of a number of traumatic events, with no friends, feeling completely lost in the world. Enter two senior students, step-siblings Sam and Patrick, who take him under their wing. It really speaks to teens who feel like outcasts, without playing on that 'math nerd' stereotype that's found so often in YA novels/films. What I like most about this book is how it shows the bookends of high school - on one hand, you have the freshman, who's timid and trying to find their place in high school, and on the other hand, you have the senior, who's basically got their toes at the edge of their future. You can read this book either entering or leaving high school, and you'll still be able to relate to it in some way. It also depicts struggles with mental illness in a very serious way, too. Even if you've seen the film adaptation - especially if you've seen the film adaptation - you should still read this book.

Trigger Warnings: suicide, sexual assault, some violence

SPEAK - LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON

Okay, so the content of this book is extremely harrowing and that's exactly why I've put it on this list. If you're 18 or older, you've probably already read this one before, as it was extremely popular throughout the 2000s. It's all about a teenage girl who busts a summer party just before her freshman year of high school after an unspeakable (literally) incident occurs. She then spends the majority of the year in silence, as she faces rejection and backlash from her peers. Obviously, I won't give away what the incident was, as that's a huge spoiler. But it's definitely not for the faint of heart. The content that Laurie Halse Anderson tackles in this novel is both shocking and real. Speak takes on a number of really difficult topics and is a huge eye-opener.

Trigger Warnings: sexual assault

UNDER ROSE-TAINTED SKIES - LOUISE GORNALL

I only just read this book a couple months back and the first thing I thought of after finishing it was, "I so could've used a book like this when I was in high school." Unfortunately, this book was published long after I graduated - but that won't stop me from encouraging current high schoolers to read it!! Under Rose-Tainted Skies focuses first and foremost on mental health, which unfortunately hasn't been such a common main theme in YA novels in the past. It's also an #ownvoices book, which means that this story of mental illness comes from someone who, herself, suffers from mental illness. I think it's worth mentioning because it really makes the depiction of mental illness more raw and genuine. The main character in this book suffers from agoraphobia and OCD, which leaves her mostly unable to leave her house. She's faced with a bunch of challenges throughout the course of the novel, as she tries to find the path leading her to health. I think mental illness, although it's far more talked about now than even 5 or 6 years ago, is still plagued with stigma, and a lot of people who don't suffer from mental illness don't understand it well. Under Rose-Tainted Skies would be an amazing choice of book for students to read in high school classes (perhaps arguably better than some of the current choices...) as it would be a great conversation-starter.

Trigger Warnings: mental illness, self-harm

SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA - BECKY ALBERTALLI

Betcha saw this one coming!! I'm sure most people know about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, or at least it's film adaptation Love, Simon by now. It's pretty much taking the world by storm and I've gotta say, I'm very happy about that. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is all about a closeted gay teenage boy who is blackmailed by another student after he's discovered anonymously e-mailing another gay student. Obvs, the reason I've included this book on the list isn't because of it's cute, fluffy storyline (although, it is mentionable) but because it features an LGBT main character and the primary storyline is about sexuality and adolescence. There are so many books out there with LGBT characters which deserve wayyy more recognition, but I'm glad to see a story like Simon breaking the barrier and paving the way for more stories like this to come to centre stage so to speak. This book is great because it deals with the anxiety of coming out to your peers and your family which - though I can't speak from experience on - must be a huge fear for LGBT teens worldwide. It gives something for teens to relate to. And for others, it's important because it shows the struggles of LGBT teens from their perspective, which can be really eye-opening to some people. The fact that this has come out as a film is great, too, because it widens the audience to all teens, as opposed to only readers.

Trigger Warnings: bullying, slurs

ELEANOR AND PARK - RAINBOW ROWELL

This is a romance novel unlike most. Although it features the story of first loves and all that, it also touches on difficult, real-life topics. Eleanor and Park is about a "misfit" named Eleanor and an average sort of boy named Park. Eleanor's family lives in a very small house of her mother's partner, where the kids are forced to share a tiny room and the family is exposed to the stepfather's abusive tendencies towards the mother and kids. Although this book is set in the 1980s, it's still very applicable to modern times in terms of the struggles that teens suffer and the experiences they go through. Although I read this as an older teen, there were parts of this that were relatable to me, and I think that the story would resonate with a lot of teens with different backgrounds. Often, YA novels - especially romances - are pigeonholed as light and fluffy, but this is certainly a book to challenge that. Don't get me wrong though, the relationship between Eleanor and Park is very cute and heartwarming!! It just also deals with serious topics, which is really important for teens to be exposed to.

Trigger Warnings: alcohol addiction, child abuse, domestic abuse, bullying

What novels were really influential to you whilst you were growing up? 

Felicia x

5 Holy Grail Beauty Products

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Hello everybody! Today, I thought I'd talk about five of my holy grail beauty products, mostly from drugstore brands. I've been using these products consistently for a very long time, some for a couple years now, and they have never failed me. These are pretty much my all-time favourite products, ones that I use pretty much on a daily basis!

Let's just jump right in then, shall we?

MAYBELLINE LASH SENSATIONAL MASCARA

I've heard many a beauty blogger rave about this bad boy and about a year ago, I decided to give it a shot. At first, I found it quite clumpy and heavy on the lashes, but I find it just takes some getting used to. If you apply it with a light hand, you should easily be able to get a clump-free look! I love this mascara in particular because it separates my lashes (again, light handedness necessary!!) and really darkens them. Personally, length isn't an issue for me as I have very long natural eyelashes, but I've found this makes them appear even longer.

MAYBELLINE SUPERSTAY BETTER SKIN CONCEALER

I've been a die-hard fan of the Better Skin concealer for some time now. I think it's a lovely, lightweight concealer for brightening and also covering up blemishes, without being too harsh and heavy on the skin. What I love best about it, however, is that it's considered safe for sensitive eyes and skin, both of which I have and dealing with them is a nightmare. I've def had far less of an issue with irritated eyes or skin whilst using this!

ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS GLOW KIT

This one is an oldie, but a goodie!! I actually first purchased this original ABH Glow Kit in my senior year of high school, as a bit of a post-exam treat for myself, and I immediately fell in love. I know it was sorta hyped up back when it came out, but it is a lovely product nonetheless. I love the shades in this kit, as they are more gold/pink, which is more up my alley than the white or metallic shades of other palettes. My personal fav is "Dripping in Gold" which I've sadly recently hit pan on :(

COLOURPOP ULTRA SATIN LIP

I love ColourPop. They're by far one of my favourite inexpensive makeup brands of all-time. And $6 is a small price to pay for their incredible liquid lippies. The formula of their Ultra Satin Lip is really quite nice. Personally, I don't find it very drying on the lips, and it's definitely long-lasting. Not to mention the shades are absolutely beautiful!!! I find that they have so many options, which makes this range so versatile.

MAYBELLINE FACESTUDIO MASTER PRIME FACE PRIMER BLUR + ILLUMINATE

This doubles as a highlighting product and a primer, which is pretty cool. If I want just a pop of highlight, I'll just blend in a spot of this on my cheekbones and on my brow bone. But if I want a really dewy overall look, I'll use this as a primer and apply it all over my face, before putting on my foundation. I think it gives the perfect amount of glow for a spring or summer makeup look, so I use this a lot during the summer season!

What are your favourite/holy grail products? 

Felicia x

5 Concerts I Loved + 5 I Want to See

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Hello everybody! One of my most favourite things in the world is going to concerts. People will sometimes say that they can just sit in their own home to listen to music and why should they pay $100+ to listen to it in concert, but I don't agree. There's something about the atmosphere of concerts that is so inexplicably amazing.

So today, I thought I might do a fun, casual sort of post, talking all about concerts - the five best ones that I've to, and five that I'd still love to go to someday! I've been lucky enough to see manyyyy concerts over the years, since my first one back in 2006, and yet there are still many I'd love to see.

5 Concerts I Loved

- the 1975 -

I think it's safe to say that The 1975 was my fav concert of all-time. This concert was a long time coming. I missed out on seeing them not once, but three times - twice in 2014, and then again in May 2016 - before FINALLY getting to see them in November 2016. My boyfriend and I took the Go train into downtown Toronto to see them at the Air Canada Centre which was hectic af but sooo much fun. The 1975 were my fav band in high school and although I didn't see them until I was in uni, it was still really special and they put on an incredible show.

- july talk - 

I actually saw July Talk during Welcome Week in my first year of uni, with my boyfriend and a friend from school. July Talk is one of my fav bands ever (if you don't know them, they're a Canadian alt-rock band) and I'd actually considered buying tickets to their Toronto show in October or November of that year but instead I saw them for free at school - which was obvs a bonus!! Since it was general admission and a pretty intimate venue (it's just a little field behind buildings), we got super close to the stage - in fact, close enough for the lead singer to crowd-surf right above our heads. So, it was one for the books, y'all.

- shawn mendes - 

If you've been around here for awhile, you probably know how much I love Shawn Mendes. I've seen him twice, both in the same year. The first time was at a concert in Universal Studios Orlando which had free entry for annual passholders (aka moi) with my boyfriend and then the second time was in St. Augustine with my mum that summer. Honestly, both concerts were fantastic exceptttttt both times, he was sick with a cold.... What are the odds?! Nevertheless, he was utterly fab and super lively, despite prob feeling like shit haha. Shawn Mendes is an incredible singer - and it helps that he's super cute (if you're reading this, sorry Steven!! haha) - and it was such a blessing that I got to see him. Even if both times it was over a thousand miles from the province we both live in!

- walk the moon -

Walk The Moon was kind of an unplanned, spontaneous thing, as in I hadn't ever really planned to see them live. The story goes that my high school friend and I were really into this Australian band called The Griswolds, and they announced that they were coming to Toronto as the opening act for Walk The Moon. So my friend and I started talking about seeing them, mostly joking, but then we both ended up being dead serious so we bought tickets on a total whim! The concert was at the Danforth Music Hall and since we were only like sixteen at the time, my parents drove us down and picked us up at the end (thanks mom & dad!!). It was a really, really good time - especially because we got to meet The Griswolds in the lobby!!! Def one of the good memories of high school

- ed sheeran - 

When I was fourteen, Ed Sheeran was my favourite singer. In fact, I was positively obsessed. I'm not even exaggerating when I say that all I listened to in grade nine was his "+" album on repeat. Anyway, so when I was fourteen, my then-best friend and I went down to Echo Beach in Toronto to see him and it was incredible. I've since seen Ed Sheeran a couple times (actually, 3 times, but who's counting?) and I've found that he never fails to put on a fantastic performance. He's an extremely talented guy and the fact that he does it all by himself, with just a loop pedal and his guitar, is hella impressive. His last album wasn't really my thing but hopefully on his next album, he'll find his way back to his original sound!

5 Concerts I Want to See

- paul simon - 

Paul Simon is #1 on my list of must-see concerts - but luckily for me, I get to see him this summer!! Paul Simon, oddly enough, has been a fav of mine for a long time, probably since 2013 or so. I really love his Graceland album in particular (my fav song is "Crazy Love, Vol. II" in case you're wondering). This summer, he's going on his Farewell Tour (I'm very emosh about it) and he's not going to all the states, so I'm actually flying to Nashville for a couple days with my mum to see him perform and do some sight-seeing! So that's going to be really awesome.

- john mayer - 

I've basically been in love with John Mayer for the better part of the last decade. I loved his music all throughout middle school, high school, and now uni. I've wanted to see him for ages now but, like The 1975, I just kept missing him. My dream concert would be him and Shawn Mendes together, which would be literal heaven but who knows if it'd ever happen lol

- queen - 

Oh my gosh. I just LOVE Queen. And I'm so dying to see them live. For obvious reasons, I wouldn't be able to see the full band perform, however my parents saw saw the remaining members perform with Adam Lambert a few years back and they said that he really fit with the band - ofc, he's no Freddie Mercury, but then again who is? I'd love to see them live and get a taste of what Queen once was in concert, back when Freddie was in the lead!

- arctic monkeys -

I've wanted to see Arctic Monkeys for ageeees - this seems to be a recurring theme, doesn't it? The last time I had an opportunity was in grade ten but no one would go with me. And then they went on a hiatus, sooo there was no way to see them. They're going on this summer but sadly I won't be in the country when they make their Toronto stop. So, I'll have to just keep on waiting!

- george ezra -

I first heard about George Ezra about a zillion* (*four) years ago, when I visited London and Paris with my family on a summer holiday. I picked up a magazine (I think it was Company) and there was an article about this up-and-coming singer named George Ezra. I got curious so I wrote down his name and when I got home, I downloaded a few of his songs. I just loved his music!! He has such an incredible, deep voice and his songs are super catchy. He plays a lot of feel-good music and I think his concerts would be a really good time!

What concerts have you loved that you've been to? What concerts do you want to see? 

Felicia x

April TBR

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Whew! How far into April we already are. Why is this year going by so fast? Why do I bring this up every time I write a monthly book post? ... Who knows. But I'll prob do it again next month, too haha. Last month, I kind of set myself up for a stressful situation as I planned to read six whole books. Even my motives for doing that are unclear to me. As I have other things on my plate, it's very hard to keep to a schedule like that so I scheduled myself a far lighter load this month.

Here are the books I'll be reading in April...

Boy Erased by Garrard Conley ~ I came across this book on a literature-based Facebook page (maybe it was Bustle Books? Who knows) some time ago. There was a list of must-read non-fiction books that I was scrolling through and this one in particular caught my eye. It's all about a gay man reflecting on a time in his youth when he was forced into conversion therapy by his very religious parents. I fully expect that this is going to be a very difficult read, and it will most definitely break my heart, but I'm eager to read it nevertheless.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman ~ I feel like I might just be the last person on Earth to read this book. People have been just raving about it for ages now and because I'm terribly nosy, I need to hop on board and see what all the fuss is about! I'm actually quite excited about this one, as from the short blurb on Goodreads it sounds like a very interesting read!

Match Made in Manhattan by Amanda Stauffer ~ A chick-lit! A romance! Thank heavens! Goodness, how long it has been since I read something like this. As much as I like to sit with my deep, thought-provoking novels and try to pretend that I'm an ~academic~ (lol, yeah right) I do love me a good romance novel. And dammit, I deserve it! I've read some pretty dark books as of late.

And that's all for April! I quite possibly may read one of my unread Jane Austen books this month, if I have extra time laying around after I've finished these three, but we'll have to see!

Talk soon!

Felicia x

March Book Reviews

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It's that time again!! It's my book reviews of the month post!! Quite frankly, I just love writing up these posts. Sharing my thoughts on books is soo much fun, it's something I could ramble off about for pages and pages (though I'll try not haha).

To read last month's reviews, click here.

This month I read: WHERE'D YOU GO BERNADETTE (MARIA SEMPLE), LEAVE ME (GAYLE FORMAN), SCRAPPY LITTLE NOBODY (ANNA KENDRICK), SO SAD TODAY (MELISSA BRODER), QUIET (SUSAN CAIN), and THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (OSCAR WILDE).

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WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE? - MARIA SEMPLE [2.5 stars]

"Just because it's complicated, just because you think you can't ever know everything about another person, it doesn't mean you can't try."

So you've probably heard about this book already, either because someone you know is reading/has read it (everyone seems to be) or because it's being adapted into a film. Personally, this is a book that I've been hearing a lot of talk about for awhile now. Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a story about a woman with anxiety named Bernadette who, after a series of terrible incidents, disappears from her family, and her daughter, Bee, decides to search for her.

Overall, the book was okay. The epistolary style of the novel was pretty interesting and the writing was quite good. It wasn't so much the actual storytelling of the book that was a problem with me, but rather the storyline...

Let's start with Bernadette Fox, the main character. At first, I liked her - or at least, I liked the idea of her. She is presented as a character with social anxiety - like me - and she struggles deeply with interacting with others. But as the book went on, it turned into a lot of Bernadette putting down all the women around her, aside from her daughter (who was treated like a saint) and basically saying that she was too good to hang out with other mothers from Bernadette's school. Which was... odd.

Things took a turn for the worst as the book went on and Bee's father, Elgin, took on a role as a central character. OH MY GOD, I HATED THIS MAN. He was a bad dude, okay??? He only seems to really realize, or care, that his wife is suffering when it begins to affect his work life. For instance, when his colleagues see his wife asleep in the pharmacy. He talks a lot about how his wife's mental illness negatively affects their daughter, yet it's actually him that's causing the most damage to their daughter's wellbeing. Exhibit A: showing up unannounced at Bee's best friend's birthday dinner and causing a huge scene with his wife. Like, who does that??? Throughout the course of the book, he does a lot of shady stuff that I won't talk about because spoilers. But trust me, he sucked.

Also, mental illness was not dealt with well at all. They called mentally ill people "crazy" (without anyone really saying, "hey that's not cool, don't do that"). Elgin straight-out blames his wife for her mental illness, as if it's her choice. And then it's almost like they just brush social anxiety off as something that can be easily "fixed" when trust me, it's not. It just seemed like mental illness was used as a plot device tbh.

I don't know. All in all, I was pretty disappointed with this book, if I'm honest. And I likely wouldn't recommend this to anyone. It was really hyped up and the hype was all false imo *insert shrugging emoji*

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LEAVE ME - GAYLE FORMAN [3.5 stars]

"She felt almost tearfully grateful to be off the hook, and residually angry because she was always on the hook." 

Leave Me is a modern tale about the struggles of motherhood. Maribeth is a working mother with two young twins, who's desperately trying to juggle her family, her friends, and her worklife - all of which are messy atm. In trying to keep everything together, she has a heart attack and doesn't even notice until she ends up in emergency bypass surgery. With no help from her family or friends, she decides to run away.

So I guess my annoyance of this book really lies with the fact that literally all of this could have been avoided if Maribeth and her husband had just communicated properly, or better yet, gone to marriage counselling. If I can think of an easy solution for the conflict of a book right off the bat, then I don't really get invested in the story, y'know??

At the start, I felt a lot of sympathy for Maribeth. Although times have certainly changed, women - especially working women - still have a really tough gig. And Maribeth is the perf example. She has a job, two young kids, and not much help from her support system (i.e. husband, mother, and best friend who all appear in the book). It did make sense that she ran away.

So she goes off and for awhile, it seems like this a journey of self-discovery or something. But it really isn't. I felt like in the end, not much had changed in her personal life, but she was acting like it had?? There wasn't a lot of character development, either with her or the other characters. And that poor doctor in Pittsburgh got his time wasted, man.

Overall, the novel was quite well-written and pretty enjoyable. The ending, however, left something to be desired, hence why I didn't quite rate it 4 stars.

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SCRAPPY LITTLE NOBODY - ANNA KENDRICK [4 stars]

"I lost a Tony award to Broadway legend Audra McDonald when I was twelve, so I've been a bitter bitch since before my first period." 

This book was quite wonderful. Anna Kendrick's memoir is perhaps one of the best I've read yet. She honestly seems like one of the most genuine celebrities (or at least she can sure act like it) and wow, is she funny.

I seriously just really enjoyed this. She could sure write, for someone who has no mentionable writing experience (and after a quick Google search, it'd appear that she didn't have a ghostwriter, but I may be mistaken?). Her anecdotes were quite funny and sure, she does play the "quirky, cool girl" thing often, but a lot of what she talked about seemed pretty genuine anyway. The essays were fairly short, which is just how I like 'em. I find that in some cases, people can drag on their stories for ages, by no fault of their own - but fortunately, Anna Kendrick didn't fall into that trap.

No matter how she's perceived - some reviewers on Goodreads said she seemed "pretentious" and whatnot - she must be quite ballsy to have put such personal things into a book for the world to see. I respect her immensely for that. Being completely authentic and honest is no easy feat, especially as a celebrity I'd imagine. And she was a good sport about some of the things that'd be pretty embarrassing to talk about!

All in all, this was a witty, fun read. It didn't take long to finish and I did have a few giggles over some of the stories!

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SO SAD TODAY - MELISSA BRODER [DNF]

This book was really not for me. I didn't get very far into it at all before I just gave up. I gave it an honest try, but I just don't think I could've enjoyed it and I didn't want to have to keep forcing myself to pick it up anymore...

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THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY - OSCAR WILDE [3.5 stars]

"Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic." 

I've finally finished this book!! If you've been around here for some time, you may remember my trip to NYC last year where I stopped by The Strand kiosk and picked up a copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray (for quite a small price, I might add). I never got a chance to read it as at the time, I was reading Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and then we moved house and it sat in my bedroom closet for some time before I finally put it in my bookcase. But then stuff got in the way, you know how it is. Anyway, I'm finally now able to give it a review, nearly a year later!

Okay! So, I went into this book with a very different idea of what it would be like then it actually ended up being. I honestly can't remember now what I thought that this book was about before I read it. At this point, I'm so overwhelmed by it all that I can't even register it all haha. Essentially, The Picture of Dorian Gray is a story all about morality, and a young society man who sells his soul in order to be eternally youthful. It's a "Wilde" story y'all (SORRY, I had to).

The first half of this book was rather slow, in my opinion. I kept waiting for there to be some big "wow" moment, which did ultimately come, but not until several chapters into the book. Eventually though, once that moment did come, the rest of the book was quite interesting and it was fairly jam-packed with intense moments.

One of the things that kind of bothered me about this (not terribly, but enough to be considered mentionable) was that there were often very long bits of dialogue. Some dialogue even lasted full pages and they were so long at times that I had to go back to make sure I hadn't missed something, like a change in speaker. Long dialogue like that often loses my attention, if I'm honest.

The writing, however, was very good overall. And the storytelling, once the plot picked up, was extremely interesting. Unfortunately, there isn't much that I can say about the plot without giving a bunch away, however it was definitely a page-turner! I thought it was a good novel, although I wouldn't say that it was particularly my taste or one of my favourite classic novels.

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QUIET - SUSAN CAIN [--]

Because this book deals with so much, I thought that I'd be better of doing a separate review of it at another time so that I can fully delve into my thoughts and opinions on it!! :)

Hope you enjoyed this month's reviews! I'll be posting my April TBR very very soon, so keep an eye out for that! 

Felicia x

My Favourite Brands || Beauty & Fashion

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Hey guys! Today, I thought I'd do a little round-up post of my favourite brands for beauty and fashion items, along with some of my fav items available on their sites - either ones that I own or am just lusting after!

Too Faced

Ohhh how I love Too Faced. Their eye palettes are just divine. I think probably the thing that keeps bringing me back to this brand is the fact that they have so many products with wonderful scents to them - Sweet Peach, Chocolate Bar, and all those lovely bits. So creative!! I've been using their products for quite a few years now and I've found that they've really increased in quality over time and they have far more diverse products than they did back in 2013 when I first started shopping there. My fav product is the Too Faced Natural Love palette, which I use 90% of the time, even if it's just for a shade or two.

PRODUCTS I LOVE: SWEET PEACH / NATURAL LOVE / BETTER THAN SEX

Tarte

I've talked on here before about how much I love Tarte, so I'll keep this short and sweet. I particularly am a fan of their eye and face palettes, which I feel they have a great variety of, and all their products are really good quality, too. Their Amazonian Clay blushes are probably my fav blushes out there, as they have so many different shades and they're very easy to blend out. Although their products are a bit pricier than my very tight budget can allow, I do like to treat myself to a lil something every now and then!

PRODUCTS I LOVE: AMAZONIAN CLAY 12-HR BLUSH / TARTLETTE

Uniqlo

Uniqlo has quickly become one of my favourite brands in the past year or so. For those who aren't familiar, Uniqlo is a Japanese brand of casual attire that has become widely popular in the States, and I think here in Canada, too, in the past few years. I got hooked on the brand because I'd browse their Disney t-shirts at their shop in Disney Springs, and then I started to venture further into the store, to find that the rest of their clothes were ALSO amazing. What are the odds, haha. I've picked up a few things from Uniqlo over time, all of which I love dearly and I wear pretty much all of the time, esp in Florida. They're also a very inexpensive brand which is a bonus, for sure!

PIECES I LOVE: WIDE LEG PANTS / BEAUTY & THE BEAST TEE / MINNIE MOUSE TEE

Zara

Of course, I had to include Zara on here because I just love it! I feel like Zara can sometimes be a hit or miss, as their stores are quite big and have a very wide variety of items, some of which can be a little too ~out there~ for my style. But I find that it helps if you have an idea of what you're looking for going in. I've had a lot of luck lately, particularly at the Disney Springs location haha which is so odd but pretty useful! Their clothes are very stylish and I usually find at least a handful of things that I love whenever I go in.

PIECES I LOVE: LINEN TROUSERS WITH DRAWSTRING / CREPE TROUSERS

Joe Fresh

This is probably a brand that most people wouldn't really consider, or even know of, but in this past year, it's become a fav of mine. I find that they have a lot of lovely casual, or business-casual, style pieces, and the majority of their clothes are quite "girly" which is very much up my alley. Another thing that really draws me to this brand is how often they put their items on sale - only a couple months after a line is released - and the sale prices simply can't be beaten. Since, as I mentioned, I don't have a ton of mony to put towards fashion or beauty lately, I love that I can buy a lot of items there for the price that I could only buy a few for somewhere else!

PIECES I LOVE: PURPLE RAIN BOOT / SUEDE BLOCK HEELS

What are your fav brands for makeup and fashion? 

Felicia x

Spring Cleaning Must-Dos

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Spring has sprung (I've been waiting ages to say that haha). As I mentioned in my last post, spring isn't my most favourite season, however, there are definitely parts of it that I do really enjoy. And one of them is spring cleaning. Don't get me wrong, I usually hate cleaning. I'm the kind of person who either gets super grumpy when I have to clean, or I start cleaning and then end up sitting around all afternoon looking at random stuff I find in the process. But spring to me is the perfect time to hit refresh on your life. Thoroughly cleaning out everything that might have been a bit neglected over the dreary winter months gives me a really awesome feeling and I'm so eager to get started on it all!

To keep myself productive, I've set myself up a to-do list to keep myself on track with what I want to accomplish during the next few months. Without further ado, here is my spring cleaning must-do list!

(1) Declutter my workspace

I tend to get my best work done in an organized environment. Is it just me? Clutter seriously drives me crazy. I'm weirdly specific about how my workspace is set up and I really like it looking ~aesthetically pleasing~ too lol. But when times get super busy, it can be really easy to just get used to putting up with a messy workspace. Now that spring is here and things are winding down, I have much more time to devote to cleaning out the clutter once and for all.

(2) Reorganize my vanity

I have been blissfully ignorant of the fact that my makeup stash is super cluttered and full of crap for a long time. I find myself digging past tubes of mascara far past their expiry dates on a daily basis. My makeup collection is in desperate need of a clean out y'all... So I'm really looking forward to taking the opportunity to go through my makeup and tossing out all those old products that desperately need getting rid of.

(3) Purge my closet

I've needed to do a good purge of my closet for ages now. I last did one around this time last year, just before I moved, but I still held onto a bunch of things I definitely didn't need. There's a lot of clothes in my closet that I kept from my teens that I just wouldn't wear in my twenties. So now is the perfect time to sort through everything and donate the things I don't wear anymore (and toss out the things that are too worn out to pass along). It also gives me the opportunity to upgrade my wardrobe - aka shopping!!

(4) Do a proper top-to-bottom clean of my room

Spring cleaning does, in fact, have the word "cleaning" in it. So, of course, I have to do some proper cleaning. That means vacuuming, dusting, washing the linens, cleaning the windows, etc. Throughout the school year, I've been doing things sporadically, doing one task at a time. But now that I've got some free time, I'll be able to do it all at once which means going into spring with a perfectly fresh start!

(5) Clean the inside and outside of my car

I've been dying to clean the inside of my car basically since the week that I got it. When the weather finally gets nice (whenever that will be...) the first thing I plan on doing is clean my car. Winter wreaked some major friggin' havoc on my poor car. I hate it. It's like everything is coated in snow and slush residue and the exterior is all stained from trudging through mountains of snow. Blegh. I'm soo ready to run my car through the wash and do some major interior cleaning!

Happy Spring Cleaning to all!!

Felicia x

March Favourites

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Hello everybody, and happy beginning of April!! Despite the fact that it's officially been spring for a while now, we're having the most horrid day out today, with blistering wind and snow - I repeat, SNOW... in April. Will the weather ever warm up??!! On a brighter note, I've got a handful of wonderful products to share with you that I was loving throughout March. I'll cut the rambling now, and jump right into it!

TOO FACED SWEET PEACH PALETTE

An oldie, but def a goodie. This past month, I've been really into pink and orange eye looks, so I've been reaching for this bad boy a lot. The shades in this palette are downright fab and so versatile. I've been able to create a bunch of different eye looks, using just this palette, for the past week or so without repeating any! So, I obvs had to give this a mention and perhaps inspire you guys to dig this one out of the bottom of your collection and show it some luv!!

E.L.F COSMETICS "CANDID CORAL" BLUSH

Continuing on with the pink and orange trend... I've been using this blush a LOT recently. It's a beautiful coral shade, which I imagine would be so gorgeous with a tan (if the sun ever does emerge!!). It really compliments my skin tone and I can imagine it would on really anyone's, for that matter. It's so simple and shimmery and beautiful.

EOS ORGANIC VANILLA BEAN LIP BALM

Recently, on a trip out to Costco, I picked up a mega pack of EOS lip balms as my lips have been feeling quite dry and sad lately. I love the scent of vanilla and so it's no surprise at all that this one was my favourite. I've kept this at my bedside this past month, so I can swipe on a coat before bed and it's been really doing wonders for improving my lip dryness!

ESSIE "PEACH SIDE BABE" NAIL POLISH

I recently picked up this gorg shade of Essie nail polish and I'm in love. This peachy, pink is the perf shade for spring. Essie is one of my fav brands of nail polish, second only to OPI. I can't wait to wear this throughout the spring and summer seasons!!

LOVE, SIMON

This month, I went out with my boyfriend on a date to see Love, Simon in theatres. I'm sure almost all of you have heard about this film, but if not, here's the gist - it's a teen rom-com about a boy named Simon who's hiding from everyone that he's gay, but he's secretly anonymously e-mailing another boy in school who's gay. Last month, I reviewed the book this was based on, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, for my blog and I seriously loved it. And honestly, the movie was soo good!! It was a really great adaptation and I'm so happy it exists bc LGBT representation in films is so rare, and this is a great step forward! It was adorable, and sweet, and charming, and funny, and heart-wrenching. Seriously GO SEE THIS MOVIE! :)

What products were you loving in March? 

Felicia x

Room Tour

When I first moved into my new house a year ago, I knew automatically that my favourite room would be my bedroom. In my old house, my bedroom was bigger than what I currently had, but it was awkwardly shaped which made decorating it sorta complicated. But this room is a perfect rectangular shape and the previous owners put in adorable wall stickers and wallpaper so I was very excited to put my personal touch on it. Since I've finally got all my stuff in order, how I like it, I thought I'd share with you guys a lil room tour!!

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My bedding set is a fairly new addition to the room - we actually just bought it a few months ago. My old bedding was starting to get old, plus it was yellow to go with the walls of my old bedroom, but now it didn't work. I went onto Wayfair and for an AMAZING deal, I ordered a 10-piece set that came with sheets, pillowcases, shams, an accent pillow, and a throw. Pretty good, right?? I've also got another accent pillow on there from Disney Parks, which has Minnie and Mickey watching the fireworks and it says "My Happy Place Is With You" which I thought was pretty perfect for my bf and I :)

As a little ~accent~ to the bed, I've got little fairy lights strung at the top of the headboard. I think it's super cute and really makes the room feel cozy! I've also got a strand on the top of my dresser. You can pretty much pick these up at any store nowadays, but I got mine (which are battery-powered and have a timer option) in a pack of like 5 strands for about $15 from Costco which is the best deal I've seen.

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Also on my bed is this cute lil pink tray with a gold pattern on it. I picked this up from Home Sense awhile back for under $20 and it's a lovely addition to the room.

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My dresser is from Ikea (much like the majority of my furniture) and it's got a ton of drawer space which is a blessing when you've got a shit load of clothes and have to share with your bf haha. On top of my dresser, I've got a few things. I have these matching fake white flowers in little copper pots. I also have two boxes - the one on the left is my jewellery box, and the one on the right is my boyfriend's watch box. Please take notice of how his is bigger than mine.... ANYWAY I've also got this absolutely adorable Cinderella pumpkin coach jewelry box that my bf's parents bought me for my 16th birthday!!

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Also I've got this adorbs pic of Steven and I at our senior prom on my dresser :)

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This is a bit of a work in progress.... Buuut I've got this cute photo collage thingy hanging on the wall. What do you call these things? Frankly I haven't the slightest clue. Oh well! Anyway, ideally, this will be a board to showcase all our travels. So far, I've got my 3 fave pics from trips with my bf - one of us in Times Square NYC, one of us in Magic Kingdom (my FAVE pic), and one of us in Epcot. On the right, I've got some polaroids, a ticket to Chicago the Musical, and a ticket to the Johnny Cash Museum. And then other side has the wristbands to the Mickey's Not So Scary Party, a London Tube map, and these cute Star Wars pins of Han Solo and Leia. I love this board and can't wait to update it as time goes on!!

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My bedside table is super minimalistic and uncluttered which is justtttt how I like it. I actually wrote a post on my Bedside Table essentials a few months back, which you can read here. My lamp is...believe it or not....from Walmart!! I was shocked when I saw it and for the price, how could I not pick it up? Ya gurl's on a budget. It looks really sophisticated and I love the rose gold accent. My boyfriend has one on his side because matching is crucial y'all. The table is from Ikea... I keep a book on there, so I can do some reading before bed (which is when I get most of my reading done) and usually a glass of water but that's not in the pic lol.

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My vanity table sits on the far wall, underneath the window. I won't go too much into detail because I plan on doing a vanity tour post in the near-ish future. My vanity is from Ikea (shocker!!) and so is the chair with it. I love how this fits so perfectly below the window cause I have the natural light coming in when I do my makeup in the morning, as the sun rises on this side of the house.

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As for artwork, I have the three pieces above my bed which are from Ikea (I told you everything was from there) and then I've got this lovely little set up in the corner of my room. The Audrey Wall has two collage photos of Audrey Hepburn - the top I bought in Times Square last year on my trip to NYC and the bottom one was a gift from a friend a billion years ago. I loveeeee this area of my room, especially because it sits right beside my vanity.

So, that's my bedroom, as it currently stands. I'd like to do little additions here and there as time goes on, but I have a feeling this is how it's gonna look for awhile yet! Hope you enjoyed this lil sneak peek, behind the blogger sort of post!

Felicia x