Disney Must-Do's: Epcot

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When I was younger, I was never really big on Epcot. It didn't really have a lot to offer for a six-year-old, so my family kind of just looked past it on the first few visits. But, as I got older, I started to realize the charm - and beauty - of Epcot and now it's become my favourite park in all of Walt Disney World. No visit to the parks is complete without a trip to Epcot. In fact, most trips, I visit Epcot more than once! I love all this park stands for and there is so much that it offers for guests. Here are my Epcot must-do's for a Disney vacation! 

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Ride Spaceship Earth. This is unequivocally the number one must-do at Epcot for me. Spaceship Earth is easily my fav Disney World attraction (ever since they retired my beloved Great Movie Ride #rip). There's nothing I love more than plopping down in my backwards-and-forwards moving Time Machine and going for a spin through history with my bff Dame Judi Dench. This gem is quite literally located inside that beautiful geodesic sphere at centre stage in the park - it's what you probably know as the giant golf ball. My dad fondly refers to this as a 'good nap ride' but don't let that fool you! It's great. Trust me.

Have a bite to eat at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in France pavilion. The France pavilion has many incredible places to eat. But my personal favourite quick-service meal in Epcot actually resides in the back of the France pavilion, at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie. This little bistro-style quick service is constantly packed with hungry parkgoers but never fear, the line is quick moving and WORTH. IT. I actually dream about the Croissant Jambon Fromage, which is ham, cheese, and bechamel inside a croissant. Yummmm!! 

Pop into Mouse GearsOh, look, a Disney shop. Are you surprised? Probably not. This is one of the bigger shops in the parks and it's got a ton of stuff to browse through. Along with the typical sections - adult apparel, children's apparel, toys, stationary, books, movies, candy, homeware, etc. - it also has a great Epcot-themed area where they've been selling Epcot 35th Anniversary merch for the past year. 90% of my Disney merch collection has been purchased at Mouse Gears. It's not a trip to Epcot unless I've spent 15 minutes standing in the homeware section of this shop, trying to convince my boyfriend that we need another Disney mug. 

Visit my home countryOf course, I have to visit the Canada pavilion whenever I take a trip out to Epcot. It's my duty as a Canadian! But no, in all seriousness, I always try to make a quick stop at the Canadian pavilion, as it's lovely to see what sort of merch they've got in there and it's always nice to have a chat with the cast members (all the cast members in each pavilion are native to that country). Once, we went in and spoke a CM who was from our old neighbourhood! They also have a book where you can sign your name and what province you come from. We've been doing it for years and it's always fun to see where the other visitors are traveling from!

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Take a trip around the worldI think I'd be remiss if I didn't list taking a stroll around World Showcase as one of my must-do's. It's so cool to see all the different countries represented and to be able to experience some of what each of the countries has to offer. I love poking around in each of the pavilions just to see what's been recently added and also to admire the beautiful areas. There are some serious photo ops for any photography lovers, or just anyone looking for a good selfie spot! Some of my favourite places to take photos are Canada (that's where the picture above is from!), France, Morocco, and United Kingdom. I always like to look for the less-travelled path and see where it takes me - and what photos ops it offers! 

What are your Epcot must-do's?

Felicia x

Waves: Summer Playlist

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Windows down, volume up. It's nearly summertime y'all! 

I love summer. The days are longer, the sun is warmer, and everyone just seems to be in a better mood to be honest. Most of my summer is spent by the beach, as I'm constantly in Orlando. And one of the best beach pastimes is listening to music! So, as you probably expected, I have curated a special summer-themed playlist for just the occasion. :)

Listen to my summer playlist below! 

Felicia x

Why I Took A Break From University

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I had always heard about gap years, through old high school Facebook friends, YouTubers, and bloggers who spoke about their fabulous years off, travelling or finding themselves. It had never been something that had really crossed my mind, up until I found myself at a point where there was really no option for me other than to take a gap year myself. 

I started university in 2016, just a couple weeks after turning eighteen years old. At the time, everything seemed to be coming up roses for me. My boyfriend and I would be attending the same university, my dream school, where I would be studying Social Work, which seemed like a good idea at the time at least. My boyfriend and I would be bussing in together, which wasn't so bad because I could read (or nap) on the drive. I was learning to drive, I'd made a bunch of amazing friends, and I was loving the university. 

Everything seemed to be picture perfect. At least, it did from the outside. 

Somewhere around Christmas time during my first year, I woke up one morning and realized I hated my program. I wasn't enjoying any of the Social Sciences geared courses and I absolutely knew that I was not the kind of person who could handle the stress that came along with a job in Social Work. I suddenly realized that all this time, I'd been lying to myself. I had wanted to be an English major forever but after years of people telling me it was a bad idea, I just gave up on it and decided that I loved Social Work instead because it was what was considered a "practical" job. Good idea, right? This is what happens when you force seventeen-year-olds into choosing their futures. 

After days of talking it over with my parents and my boyfriend, and countless e-mails to academic advisors and English department heads, I was transferring into the English & Cultural Studies program. Well, technically transferring. I wouldn't be officially in the program until the spring when every first year applied for their majors. In spring, I was accepted into the English & Cultural Studies program and everything seemed to be finally settling into place. 

But it wasn't. My first year was, let's say, turbulent. Around the beginning of the second term, I realized that my anxiety was starting to get bad again. Being me, I did what seemed like the best option: hide my anxiety from my friends, family, and loved ones, and continue on with life like nothing was happening. In reality, people were starting to suspect that something was wrong - but it seemed like it was mostly a fear of moving, as we were moving house around the time that second term was finishing up. But it wasn't. Halfway through second term, I started skipping classes, for no other reason than I was petrified to walk inside. I would sit in my favourite study spot on campus and stare at my phone, counting down the minutes until a specific class or, worse, my English tutorial. Sometimes, I'd get up and walk to class, only to make it halfway and give up. But eventually, I stopped trying at all. I'd tell my boyfriend that I was busy in class, meanwhile I was really working on essays on my laptop on the opposite side of campus. 

By the very end of term, it was increasingly obvious that something was wrong. My parents went away on holiday in April, near the end of the school year, and my boyfriend came to stay with me. I would drive us to the bus stop so we could bus to school every day. But the very first day, I drove to the station and told my boyfriend I couldn't go with him. I dropped him off, went home, and got back into bed. The next day, it was the same thing. I went to exactly one class all week, for five minutes, just to pick up a graded essay. The majority of the week, I just laid in bed and watched Thirteen Reasons Why. Miraculously, my grades didn't founder. I actually finished the term with an overall cumulative average of 8.2 which was insane for someone who not only didn't go to most classes but also thought she was going to fail her Linguistics course. Honestly, things would have probably gone on just fine if that were all. Except it wasn't. I took one English course, in second term, to allow me entrance into the program. And I finished with a C+. For me, that was a death sentence. I cried for hours, despite the fact that most people I know in uni have had more than one C marks before. But it hit me hard. I sat on that all summer long and, probably, that's part of the reason why second year went so badly.

That summer, as a whole, was horrible. My anxiety had reached an all-time high and I was miserable. I never left the house, I had countless panic attacks, and most of all, I was terrified about going back to school in the fall. As September came closer, my anxiety got worse. But nevertheless, I started classes up in September, hoping for the best. Luckily, this year, I had moved closer to school and had my license, so get there was easier as I could now drive. Unluckily, I was unable to even get in the car to drive. My mum (God bless her soul) drove my boyfriend - who was now living with us - and I to school every day. I went to classes (mostly) and acted like things were better. We started looking into my school's mental health services and quickly realized that it was not going to be an easy process. But I started seeing a professional for my mental health for the first time in six years (let that sink in). And I was doing fairly well in my classes. 

Until, one day, I sat in my kitchen with my mom and boyfriend, sobbing because I just couldn't understand what my History professor wanted from an essay. There was entire booklet of instructions and none of it made sense. Every time I tried to start writing, I wrote something awful, nothing near my usual quality of writing. After spending about four hours working together with my mom, I sent in my essay. And that was the first time we seriously talked about me leaving school. But it wasn't until my mom dropped me off for an English lecture and I called her ten minutes later, sobbing, asking for her to come pick me up, that we decided it was probably necessary. I dropped out of all my classes for both terms in the middle of October, after coming home from Reading Week break in Florida. 

Taking a year off was the hardest but best thing I've ever done for myself. At first, I really hated it. I felt like I was missing out on everything, like I was being left behind while all my friends went on with their lives. I hated that I was going to still be a second year when my friends were third years. But eventually, I realized that it was necessary. And most importantly, I realized that I was putting so much unnecessary pressure on going to university, that it was becoming a chore to me. It wasn't something I enjoyed anymore. I had spent my whole life building everything up to four years and a degree on a piece of paper, that I had never really stopped to think about what I really wanted. I do want to be a student, I do want a degree - but frankly, it isn't the be all and end all of my life. I want to be a writer. I want to write books. Do I need a degree for that? No. Anyone can become a writer, if they have the passion for it. But I want a degree, for myself. I enjoy being a student; I enjoy learning and reading and hearing what other people think. Realizing that made university so much less daunting and actually exciting. 

I'm not saying that taking a year-off is a necessity for everyone or that it will magically cure your problems if you do it. But for me, it was the best decision I've ever made. And it just goes to show that frankly, you don't need to decide what to do with your life when you're seventeen, or eighteen, or even nineteen. Hell, I'm almost twenty and I'm still figuring things out. You have your whole life in front of you, and it's not worth it to spend your life stressing about doing everything the "right" way. 

Until next time!

Felicia x

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How to Plan a Walt Disney World Vacation

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Hello everybody!

So as you probably already know by following my blog and Insta, I'm majorly into Disney. Shocker, right? I've been visiting the park for awhile now and I feel like I've gotten pretty comfortable with the whole planning process. In fact, a lot of people I know message me to ask for tips on booking their own trips to the parks. So, I thought it might be fun and helpful to post a how-to on the planning process. Fair warning: there's a lot to cover, so this post is going to be pretty meaty and lengthy. 

So, first things first...

Get familiar with the parks

The first thing you'll want to do before taking any steps in the planning process is become acquainted with all the Walt Disney World has to offer. I'll try my best to keep this short and sweet!

Walt Disney World is comprised of 4 major theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. With a base ticket (more on that later), you can enter any one of these four parks. This is where all the rides, characters, and general excitement is, so you'll definitely want to take time to explore each park!

They also have two on-site water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. These are not accessible with a base ticket, so be wary of that. Both are equipped with water slides (tame and thrilling), pools, and lazy rivers. 

Another key feature of WDW is their massive dining and entertainment complex, Disney Springs. Originally Downtown Disney, in the past few years, it's undergone a huge reimagining and has become one of my favourite places in the Walt Disney World resort. It's jam-packed with amazing restaurants, bars, stores, live entertainment, bowling, movie theatres, and so much more. You could never get bored there!

Disney also has a number of other entertainment features, such as mini-golf, golf, boating, horseback riding, water sports, and the ESPN Wide World of Sports. 

When to go

As you can probably imagine, Disney World can get hella busy. You've essentially got two options, as there are two "seasons": busy season and off-season. 

Busy Season

Busy season has the heavier crowds and primarily consists of the days or weeks that sit around major holidays. Columbus Day, U.S. Thanksgiving, Spring Break, Easter, Christmas, New Years' and July 4th are all extremely busy times to visit the parks. At these times, you can expect wait times from 50 to 100+ minutes, depending on the popularity of a ride. Also, the parks are generally more crowded. 

Off-season

Don't fret! There is also an off-season. Basically, in the off-season, you can expect less of a wait on rides (usually 20 to 50 minutes, sometimes higher) and it's far less crowded around the parks. The best times to go if you're looking for lighter crowds are the end of August to mid-September (as the kids will have gone back to school in Florida and most of the U.S.) and May.

You can easily find crowd charts for the parks in a quick Google search, but I'll link one down below as well!

It's also worth factoring in the weather when making a decision. Summer is the craziest time for weather; it is extremely hot (I'm talking 90-110 degrees F) and also the end of the summer is hurricane season, which makes for lots of rainy days. 

Special events

A bonus of attending the parks during busy season is that you have the chance to experience some really awesome special events that Disney hosts. There are two types of these events: free festivals and ticketed events. 

Free Festivals

The three major free festivals for parkgoers are held at Epcot annually. The first is the International Festival of the Arts (January - February), which is a newer festival that showcases the work of Disney artists around the park and also celebrates many famous paintings from different countries. The second is the International Flower and Garden Festival (February - May) which boasts a number of topiaries featuring classic Disney characters and it is utterly beautiful. They also feature many outdoor kitchens which offer delicious food and beverages! And last but not least is the International Food and Wine Festival (August - November) which is a celebration of different cultural dishes from around the world. The food is phenomenal and not to be missed. 

Ticketed Events

There are two major ticketed events held in Walt Disney World. Ticketed events require visitors to purchase an additional ticket outside of the park entrance ticket. These extra tickets allow you into the parks for these events which take place after regular park hours - they close the park early on select nights for the people partaking in the event. 

These two major ticketed events are Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Both are held at the Magic Kingdom on select nights throughout the holiday seasons. They're both really awesome, as they have their own special fireworks, parades, and nighttime shows. And the Not So Scary Halloween Party even has trick-or-treating! How cool is that??

Where to stay

This is a pretty big decision for anyone visiting the parks. I'll just run through some basic things to note when you're deciding on whether to stay on- or off-property. 

On-property

Staying on-property means staying in any one of the Walt Disney World resort hotels. These hotels are organized into three tiers: value, moderate, and deluxe (with value being the cheapest, and deluxe being the priciest). Staying on-property is inarguably the most convenient option, as the hotels are literally minutes away from the theme parks and they offer free transportation to all the on-property venues. Also, they offer free transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport, which is a huge bonus. You also get some extra magic by staying on-property, like having the option to add a Disney Dining Plan, attend park Extra Magic Hours, and book FastPasses 60 days in advance. Of course, all of that will cost you - it gets pretty pricey, especially adding on top of that the cost of flights and park tickets. 

Off-property

With off-property, you obviously lose the accessibility, but with that you shave off some of the cost as well. There are literally hundreds of hotel options in Central Florida with many different ranges in pricing, especially in the touristy International Drive area. If you're planning on doing a few days at Disney but also spending some time at the other attractions in Orlando, then staying on International Drive would be beneficial as it's right in the middle of it all. You can also stay in a vacation home rental which is great for big families and groups that want to stay together without paying the cost of a Disney suite or villa. However, you do still have to factor in travel time (it's a bit of a jaunt from Disney), car rental prices, and parking fees (at Disney alone, you'll be paying $22 to park per day). 

Purchasing tickets

The lowest level of park ticket you can purchase is the Magic Your Way Base ticket. It is literally a basic entrance ticket, meaning that you can enter one of the four theme parks at a time for the set number of days on the ticket. For example, if you visit Magic Kingdom on the first day of your trip, you can come and go as you please, but you cannot travel to another theme park on that same day. Just Magic Kingdom. This is the most inexpensive option, for that reason.

In order to visit another park on the same day, you'll need to purchase a Magic Your Way Park Hopper option. This is an add-on to the base ticket which allows you to go from one park to another in the same day. For instance, if you start your day off at Magic Kingdom and then decide midday to go to Epcot, you can do that. You can even visit all four parks in one day, if you're up for the challenge! But of course, it will cost you more. 

Additionally, you can add on the Water Parks Fun and More option, which also allows you to visit Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. This also use to include Disney Quest, but that no longer exists!

Lastly, you can purchase a Walt Disney World annual pass. There are two options, Disney Platinum Plus Pass and Disney Platinum Pass. The main difference is that the Plus allows you entrance to the golf course, the water parks, and the ESPN Wide World of Sports in addition to the four theme parks, whereas the regular pass only allows you to go to the theme parks. Both give you discounts on select dining and merch. 

How long to visit

If this is your first visit to WDW and you plan on only visit the Disney parks, I'd suggest staying for anywhere between five to seven days. It sounds like a very long time, but there is so much to see and do at Disney that you'll be grateful for it. Plus, it allows you to see everything at your own speed and eliminate that rushed feeling. It's also good for if you want to see things outside of the WDW resort, like Universal Studios Orlando or Cocoa Beach (which is about an hour out from Disney). 

Planning FastPasses

What is a FastPass, you might ask? Well, lemme tell you. (That was so cheesy haha). FastPasses are free tickets that you can get that essentially allow you to virtually reserve a place in line for rides. You just pick a ride and a time (they work in hour-long increments), then schedule it. When your time comes, you just pop over to the ride and jump into the FastPass line. For example, if you've booked a 5 o'clock FastPass for Jungle Cruise, you can get in the FastPass line for Jungle Cruise at any point between 5 and 6 o'clock. The FastPass lines are generally shorter and quicker than the standby lines. You're given three FastPass selections for the day BUT once you've used them up, or your last FastPass for the day has expired, you can book one at a time in that same day. Pretty cool, right? It makes getting on more popular rides like Flight of Passage so much easier. You can book these online or on the My Disney Experience app 30 or 60 days in advance (depending on whether you're staying on-property) or at the in-park kiosks. But FastPasses go quick, so make sure to do this asap!

My Disney Experience app + MagicBands

These are two fairly new additions to the parks in the last few years and they've become pretty much integral to the WDW experience, so I'll quickly explain them both.

MagicBands

MagicBands have become the new way of entering and getting around the Disney parks. Your pass is linked to this rubber wristband, which means you can enter the park by tapping your band to a reader and placing your finger on a fingerprint scanner. It's so much easier than fumbling with your wallet to get a card out. They also can be used to present your FastPass by tapping a reader at the rides, as it's linked to your My Disney Experience app. For on-property guests, you can also link your credit card to the MagicBand to make paying for dining and merch a breeze. 

My Disney Experience app

This is an app that you can download onto your phone and use in the parks with the free Disney World wifi connection. It has everything you could ever imagine on it - park maps, ride wait times, FastPasses, dining reservations, room check-ins, park passes, and more. It's like a tool kit for your stay in the parks. Personally, I'd highly recommend getting it before you travel to the parks as it'll make your life so much simpler. 

Helpful websites

Well, that's all for now! If you're still a bit lost or looking for more info, you can follow these useful links for more explanations. 

"So, you're overwhelmed, huh? See if this helps." (WDW Prep School) 

"The ideal Disney World planning timeline (and what to do if you're short on time)" (WDW Prep School)

"Orlando Crowd Calendar" (Undercover Tourist)

The Disney Parks Mom Panel

Walt Disney World Official Site

My Disney Experience

I hope you guys found this post helpful. Thanks for reading!

Felicia x

Items in Photo:
Millennial Pink MagicBand [x]
LIFE Inside the Disney Parks: The Happiest Places on Earth [x]
Millennial Pink Mouse Ears [available in-store only]

 

Beauty + Skincare Haul

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Seeing as I forgot to post on Wednesday (I'm on vacay time *shrugs*), I thought I'd sneak in a lil special post today to make up for it! 

Ever since I've arrived in Florida, which was only just under a week ago, I have visited Target twice. Twice. Let me repeat that for those who didn't hear. T W I C E. I'll also disclose that there is no Target under 30 mins away. So it's a trek. But it's worth it. 

I love shopping in the U.S. as there are so many things here that we can't get in Canada (or things that are cheaper there than back home...) so it's like a totally different experience. I love poking around the beauty departments of different stores, checking out what sorts of things they've got in stock that we don't have back home or stuff that we just don't see a lot of. With that comes a lot of splurging, I'll be honest. So, from my over-excessive purchasing, I thought I'd do a bit of a haul post of the beauty and skincare items that I've picked up over the last few days! 

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The first few things I purchased came from, you guessed it, Target. My beloved. 

E.l.f. Cosmetics Contour Brush [x] - Having a little look around the e.l.f. display at Target, I found that they have a lot more brushes available in store than we typically get at my small town drugstore back home. So, I treated myself to this snazzy contour brush which was only $6 usd. I love me a good, inexpensive e.l.f. brush and this was just the sort of thing I needed. 

E.l.f. Cosmetics Eyelash Curler [x] - This eyelash curler was only $2 usd!!!! Can you believe that? I knew that I needed a new eyelash curler and was dreading buying one because I didn't want to spend the $10 on one (I know, I can be weirdly frugal sometimes). But at just $2, there was no buyer's remorse here! 

E.l.f. Cosmetics Eyebrow Kit in Medium [x] - Of course, I had to repurchase this fab eyebrow kit. I've talked about this over, and over again. I'd started to run out of this just before I arrived in Florida, so I definitely had to go pick this up. The kit costs $3 usd.

E.l.f. Cosmetics Kabuki Face Brush [x] - I've always wanted a kabuki brush, but had never come across one I liked and couldn't be bothered to order one online from e.l.f., so seeing this at Target made my day! I love how multi-purposeful this brush is, and also how compact it is as well. This brush cost $5.49 usd.

NYX Matte Bronzer in Medium [x] - I was in the market for a new bronzer, one of a darker shade, now that I'll be getting a tan (hopefully soon). This one is just lovely. It's a matte bronzer, which is perfect as shimmer would not look great mixed with sweat which is pretty inevitable in Florida. This bronzer set me back $6.29 usd. 

Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter in Molten Gold [x] - I picked this highlighter up sort of on a whim, after briefly hearing someone rave about it on Twitter. I've already used it and I actually LOVE it!! It's so vibrant and gorgeous. I feel like a sun goddess whenever I wear it hahaha. This bad boy cost $7.49 usd.

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The second, and last stop, I made for purchases was at Ulta Beauty, the American cosmetics shop. 

Not Your Mother's She's A Tease Volumizing Hairspray [x] - I've already purchased this a few times before - as I'm sure you remember, I've raved about Not Your Mother's products time and time again. I was in desperate need of a hairspray after facing the horror of humidity once again, so I picked up this lovely hairspray which cost $7 usd. 

Formula 10.0.6 Keep Your Cool Skin-Calming Gel Mask [x] - A few weeks ago, I saw a girl post her skincare routine on Twitter and she included a handful of Formula 10.0.6 products. Seeing how lovely her skin was, I definitely had to try this brand out! This was the first thing I picked up - a lovely coconut and cucumber gel mask. I looked at some of the peel-off masks, but frankly, they sort of scare me, lol. This mask cost $7 usd.

Formula 10.0.6 P.M. Perfector [x]The other Formula 10.0.6 item I picked up was the P.M. Perfector. I really wanted to find a new nighttime face cream, so I thought I'd try this one. It's got blackcurrant and licorice in it (??) which is kind of odd but I'm hoping it's not too bizarre of a scent! This nighttime cream set me back $9 usd. 

And that's all for now! I'm very excited to try out all these lovely bits of skincare and beauty products, and I'm hoping they live up to my expectations! 

What new products have you guys tried recently?

Felicia x

 

June TBR

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Y'all, I can't stop reading.

I don't know what it is, but there's something about being in Florida that makes me read more. Is it the feeling of being relaxed? Maybe there's something in the water here. I don't know. But what I do know is that before even writing up this TBR post, I've already flown through the first two books on this list... in just four days. Yikes. 

Seeing as I've gone ahead and read two of these books, I figured I'd better get on with posting this TBR post. Though, I should probably say, this is likely not going to be all the books I'm reading this month. If I'm already 2 books in within the first week of June, I'm thinking that it'll only get worse from here!

Here are (some of) the books I'll be reading in June...

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch by Alison Arngrim - Following my trend of Little House on the Prairie obsessions (which you can read about in last month's favourites post), I just had to get my hands on this memoir by the actress who brought the show's most delightful villain, Nellie Oleson, to life - Alison Arngrim. Just by reading the title and seeing the cover of this book, I knew I'd be in for a treat. Like, come on. "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch". Who wouldn't be interested?! 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - I've been a big fan of Rainbow Rowell for a while now after reading "Eleanor and Park" and "Attachments" earlier this year. I think Rainbow is a fantastic author for both YA and adult fic but I especially loved how she brought her characters to life in "Eleanor and Park", making them believable as real-life teenagers. I never was interested in "Fangirl" for some reason (never quite put my finger on it), but decided to pick this up on a whim after hearing for the 1,000th time how good it supposedly is. 

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell - So, admittedly, this was a last min addition. After I finished "Fangirl" the other day (yes, I read that long ass book in a couple days), I decided I needed to get my hands on "Carry On". If you're not familiar, "Fangirl" is essentially about a girl who writes fanfiction about a fictional novel series, "Simon Snow". "Carry On" is a spinoff, about the characters of "Simon Snow". Confused yet? Anyway, I'm very excited to read this as I've learned to never doubt the awesomeness of Rainbow Rowell. 

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig - I'm very, very interested in this book. Think the movie "About Time", except this time around it's a 40-something-year-old man who, thanks to a rare condition, has been alive for centuries. As in, he's walked alongside some of the great historical figures. So, of course, he teaches history. But he meets a woman who seems very interested in him - which is a problem, as falling in love is strictly prohibited in his world. What's a guy to do? I can't wait to find out. 

What are you guys reading in June?

Felicia x

Summer Haircare Routine

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Summer is a lovely season. It's the time for sun, and warmth, and having a good time. But because of all these things, it's also the time to be super careful about your hair. Although summer is great, it's no friend to your hair. There's humidity, sun, heat, and not to mention harsh pool chemicals. So in the past few summers, I've created a summer haircare routine that really works for my hair to make sure that there's no damage done to my hair! 

Vibrant Sexy Hair Colour Lock Shampoo + Conditioner [x]I've been using this shampoo/conditioner set for a few months now and I absolutely love them both. The shampoo leaves my hair and scalp super clean, but doesn't strip the colour from my hair at all and even keeps my hair very moisturized. The shampoo and conditioner both have a very light rose-scent that's quite lovely and not too overpowering! I love how it makes my hair feel and how it protects my colour from the sun as well as other damage.

Not Your Mother's Smooth Moves Frizz Control Hair Cream [x]I have a huge problem with humidity during the summer - my hair goes crazy after about 5 seconds of being out in the humidity. And with spending so much time in Florida, it's even worse. But this coconut-scented cream is soo helpful. I just run a bit of this into my wet hair after showering, just before I blow-dry my hair, and it makes a world of difference. It keeps the frizz at bay, even on the most humid of days. 

TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Leave-In Conditioner [x]I've been using this bad boy for a very, very, very long time. Every couple washes I'll use this and it honestly is one of the best products for blonde-dyed hair. Like the Smooth Moves hair cream, I just put this into my hair when it's wet and let it do it's magic. I've had blonde highlights a few times over the years and using this product has really made the blonde less brassy and more vibrant, even. And I know I keep commenting on the smells of these products - but this one has the most incredible scent EVER. 

TRESemmé Climate Control Hair Mousse [x]. I love this mousse so much. It's honestly my go-to hair product for summer humidity. It keeps your hairdo locked into shape and controls frizz without making your hair feel hard and helmet-like - I'm sure we've all been there before. Actually, this product protects your hair against more than just humidity - it also protects against UV rays (a MUST in summer), wind, and static, which is pretty cool honestly. For anyone with unruly, frizz-prone hair, this is an awesome product and I seriously recommend it. 

So, those are my go-to haircare products! I pretty much use only these products throughout the summer, sometimes throwing in a couple others here and there, but this is basically it. 

What products are in your summer haircare routine?

Felicia x

May Book Reviews

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Hello everyone! It's June!! I'm so excited y'all. But also um wow?! It's already like halfway through the year. Can you even believe it? I can't, obviously. 

These past few days have been nuts but I'm happy to say.. I'm officially in Florida!!! And I'm happy to be here. Honestly, travelling was so easy this time around and we had no delays or issues with our flight, so it was all in all a great trip south and now I get to spend time in my fav place on earth! Bring on all the Disney! 

But first things first. May is over, and you know what that means. Monthly book reviews! This month I read one of my favourite books of the year yet and so I'm very excited to share my thoughts with you guys today. 

To read last month's reviews, click here

This month I read: THE ALICE NETWORK (KATE QUINN), THE IMMORTALISTS (CHLOE BENJAMIN), and LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT (BECKY ALBERTALLI). 

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THE ALICE NETWORK by KATE QUINN [4 stars]

"What did it matter if something scared you, when it simply had to be done?"

The Alice Network is all about a young - and pregnant - American socialite who enlists the help of an ex-spy and a Scotsman with violent tendencies to assist her in finding her cousin, Rose, who disappeared during World War II. 

I'm a sucker for books set during the two World Wars. The first half of the 20th century is one of my favourite periods of history and historical-fiction set in that era always has me hooked. But at first, I wasn't sure I would like this one. I was finding it sort of difficult to get myself totally immersed in the story. Although I love a good dual narrative, I was finding each chapter pretty short, so it felt a bit like whiplash going from one story to the next. But I got into the flow of it just after the first thirty or so pages, and considering this book is a whopping 494-pages, it's no big thing.

I have to say, out of the two stories, I preferred the 1915 one over the 1947. I think that Eve was a total bad-ass and she went through some crazy stuff in her lifetime. From the moment that her character was introduced, I was wrapped up in her story. I wanted to know all about what had made her the way she was. But Charlie kind of came into the story "fresh" so-to-speak. Aside from her being pregnant out of marriage, she didn't have a huge backstory that made me all that invested in her story. The way I saw it, this was Eve's story, and Charlie was more there to help the plot move along. 

Oh, and Kate Quinn knows her shit, you guys. She's a graduate of Boston University, with a Bachelor's and a Master's in Classical Voice, so you can bet that this book is chockfull of details. 

The one thing that really irked me about this book - and I do mean really irked me - was that there was a handful of cringe-y words or terms that kept being repeated throughout the novel. Like over, and over, and over. For example, Eve calling Charlie a "Yank" or Charlie referring to her unborn child as "Little Problem" or worse, "L.P." I don't know why but it was really driving me up the wall, haha. Don't get me wrong! It wasn't enough to make me dislike the book at all. But I thought it was worth mentioning. 

All in all, this was a really good book! I loved it. If you're looking for an incredible, fast-paced novel about bad-ass ladies during the two World Wars, this is perfect for you. The women in this novel are seriously inspiring and the female friendships are so important. It's also worth noting that the 1915 story is actually based on real-life! The Alice Network was real and it was led by Louise de Bettignies, aka Lili. Kate Quinn actually explains the inspiration for the novel at the end of the book so if you pick this up to read, definitely look out for that! It's such a remarkable story, an unsung heroes sort of tale, and I just adored it. 

Also, Reese Witherspoon included this in her book club a while back! How cool is that? If you want to read what Reese had to say about this book, you can go to her online book club site here

Trigger warnings: Death/dying, abortion, violence

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THE IMMORTALISTS by CHLOE BENJAMIN [3.5 stars]

"But I think magic holds the world together. It's dark matter; it's the glue of reality; the putty that fills the holes between everything we know to be true. And it takes magic to reveal how inadequate reality is." 

The Immortalists is a fictional drama that picks up in 1969 in New York City, as the four Gold children visit a fortune teller who claims to be able to tell you the day of your death. The rest of the novel shows how each child copes with their supposed fates.

Let me start off by saying it was a total pain trying to find this book. It was completely sold out at my local Indigo, thirty minutes away (which I didn't even find out until my second trip out) and then I finally found it at another store about an hour away from home. Can't beat country living, folks. Needless to say, I was very anxious to read this. 

First and foremost, I thought that the concept of this story was extremely interesting. I loved that the author toyed with the idea of fate and free will by showing these young adults growing up with these looming prophecies and then deciding individually how it would affect their lives. This novel absolutely asks a lot of questions about life, destiny, and the power of the mind. I thought that the exploration of these topics was really well done. 

As for the stories, if I'm honest, I much preferred the first two - Simon and Klara - over the latter two - Daniel and Varya. I thought that Simon's story was particularly interesting because a) it showed the gay scene of San Francisco in the 70s and 80s and how Simon fit into it, and b) it was kind of the kicking off point for the rest of the story, as the three other characters were largely affected by his story. 

The reason I didn't rate this higher was simply that despite having a very intriguing concept, the actual story itself was sort of lacklustre in my opinion. I found that certain parts just didn't grip my attention like others, and I was a bit bored at times. Overall, it was quite good. I just don't know if this was really the book for me. 

Trigger warnings: suicide, death/dying

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LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT by BECKY ALBERTALLI [3 stars]

"I swear, people can't wrap their minds around the concept of a fat girl who doesn't diet. Is it hard to believe I might actually like my body?"

Leah on the Offbeat is a young adults novel set in the same universe as Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. It picks up about a year after the end of the first book and follows the characters through their final year of high school, told in the perspective of Leah Burke. The majority of the novel deals with her sexuality and how it affects both her school and personal lives. 

As you probably remember, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was a huge hit with me. I absolutely adored the novel, and the characters, and frankly everything else about it. And I wanted to like this book, too. I really did. But I just couldn't bring myself to. 

In Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, we didn't really get too close of a look at the personalities of the secondary characters because obvs it was all about Simon, his struggles with his sexuality, and his super adorable quest for finding his true love. Despite that, I liked Leah enough. I thought she was a complex character, and a take-no-shit kinda gal, which I respected. Unfortunately, when it came to Leah on the Offbeat, I just didn't like Leah Burke at all. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm an extremely empathetic reader. I find the best in even the worst of characters. But I don't know. Leah was just mean. She treated most of the characters really badly. Especially her mom - and for what reason? For being happy? For finding love? Her mom was so supportive and caring, despite the fact that they were struggling financially and that she had to work all the time. But Leah treated her badly and I couldn't stand for that. 

I can't say much about the romantic storyline without giving too much away. All I will say is that I wasn't so much of a fan. One of the things that made me really like Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was how authentic it was - I really believed that these characters could be real-life teenagers walking around in Georgia, living their lives. I didn't feel that with Leah on the Offbeat. It seemed like too much of it was staged, so-to-speak. A lot of this seemed to picture-perfect like it followed too many cliches too closely, y'know? It read like a fanfiction, which wasn't what I'd been expecting at all.

Honestly, this would have probably been a better book if I hadn't read it after Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I found myself comparing this to that a lot whilst reading and that made it less enjoyable for me. HOWEVER, it is a great book for teens who are dealing with their own sexuality, as this book features a female bi-sexual main character!! Which is super important. I wanna stress that the actual storyline was really quite cute, I'm just super bitter about this book not living up to Simon for me. 


Well, that's all for this month! I'll be posting my June TBR later this week. Hope you had a great weekend!

Felicia x

What's In My Carry-On Bag?

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Raise your hand if you're a chronic over-packer (*raises hand*). It has taken me nearly twenty years to actually be able to figure out what should and shouldn't go into my carry-on. Over the years I've constantly found myself packing way too much or, on the flip side, not packing everything I need and forgetting important things. So I always make myself a check-list to follow beforehand of what I need to remember to pack. And I thought that this time, as I'm packing my carry-on for my airplane journey this week, I'd share it all with you to help you with your own future packing! 

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Essentials. This basically consists of all the things I absolutely need in order to travel. My passport, boarding pass, Nexus card, and any documents relating to where I'm staying, like booking confirmation. I keep all of it tucked away in my Spartina snap wallet [similar - x] so that nothing gets misplaced and I don't have to go rummaging through my bag looking for things. This is the first thing that goes into my bag and I can't stop myself from checking that I have it like a billion times.

Makeup. I keep the majority of my makeup tucked away in my checked luggage, but I do keep a few things in my carry-on luggage just in case. The very most essential beauty-related item I keep in my carry-on is a lip balm because, as I'm sure you know, it gets super dry on planes. My personal fav lip balm for flights is the e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Kiss Balm, as it is super moisturizing and also adds a bit of colour! I also bring on a small bottle of hand lotion as well as a lipstick for after the flight.

Hand sanitizer. As in any other public place, airports are full of germs and people who have colds. In the past, I've found that I catch most of my colds from airplanes as they are pretty confined spaces. So I tend to be more cautious now than before. I usually bring on a small 1oz bottle of Purell sanitizer with me in my carry-on to pop on before I eat or after I get on the plane so that I don't have to worry about what I've touched or anything. Although it won't help with the germs travelling in the air, it does ease my worries a bit!

Electronics. Of course, I never go on an airplane without some sort of electronic. Typically I bring my cell phone (obvs), my laptop, chargers for both, and a pair of headphones. I especially make sure to have headphones with me, because the constant sound of the engines gets pretty annoying after awhile and sometimes I need to just tune everything out. I usually will download a few episodes of my fav tv show onto iTunes or Netflix, and then watch them once I get onto the plane!

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Book. It would be very unlike me to not bring a book with me when I travel, especially considering I bring a book with me literally everywhere I go! Even on shorter flights, like the two and a half flight to Florida, I find that reading is the perfect distraction from everything going on. On my last flight in February, I read three-quarters of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. So it's safe to say that I can't be without one of my beloved novels on these types of journeys!

Journal. I've been journaling for a very long time since I was about 7 or 8 years old. Not only do I think that it's good for self-reflecting, but I think it's a great way to document some of your favourite memories to look back on later! Of course, some of the memories I most want to remember are from when I travel so I always make sure to tuck my journal into my carry-on before I head out the door. Currently, I'm using this brown leather journal from Pier 1 Imports to jot down my memories in. 

Medications. When I travel, my anxiety tends to go through the roof and that typically translates into a number of different symptoms - stomach aches, headaches, etc. So when I travel, I take this little blue plastic container with a couple pills inside just in case I have any issues whilst travelling. I also take a travel sickness pill for if I get uneasy on the flight. 

Sweater. Airplanes can either be extremely warm or extremely cold. But when it's cold, I always seem to forget a sweater. So here's my little reminder for you guys to always bring a sweater with you on plane journeys! Even if it's warm outside, it could be cold on the plane. I typically bring a cardigan as it's not too bulky and it's easy to put on/remove. 

Gum. It's extremely unlikely that you'd ever catch me on a flight without gum. If I do forget to pack it in my carry-on, you best believe that the first thing I do when I'm past the security checkpoint is head to the duty free shop for a pack of mint gum. The last time I forgot about gum, I found out they don't carry gum at the Orlando airport (or at least they didn't a few years ago). My favourite gum is the 5 Cobalt one. Not only does it help with your ears popping, but it also freshens your breath and is good for managing anxiety - at least for me. 

What are your must-haves for your carry-on bag?

Felicia x

May Favourites

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Hello everyone!

It's the end of May, which means that it's time for a monthly favourites wrap-up. I do love me a good favourites post, as it's so much fun to chat about what I've been loving this month and sharing it all with you guys! There's been a few things that I've really enjoyed lately, mostly music as this month was great for new music releases, but I've also got a couple beauty-related items in there for good measure! 

Without further ado, let's get right to business. 

TRESemmé Repair + Protect 7 Pre-Styling Spray [x] - I purchased this bad boy at my local drugstore at the beginning of the month on sale for like 2 bucks. What a deal, considering this product is actually pretty awesome! I love it because a) it's a heat protectant for when I use heat tools on my hair which is a must, and b) it makes my hair feel great afterwards! I'm seriously loving it. 

Choetech Qi Certified T511 Wireless Charger Pad [x] - I've always wanted one of these wireless chargers, ever since I bought the iPhone 8+ last year, but I always assumed they were all super expensive. That is, until my bf bought an 8+ earlier this month and found this charger on Amazon. It's so cool!! All you've got to do is plug the usb into the pad and into a charger brick, then place your iPhone on it. It works with any iPhone 8/8+/X with a small case. And it was only $20!! 

E.l.f. Cosmetics "Everyday Smoky" Palette [x] - Last month, I mentioned that I'd been loving the e.l.f. Cosmetics "Mad for Matte" palette, but this month I've found myself reaching more for the Everyday Smoky version. Although I haven't had a reason to go full-on smoky this month, I've been using the darker brown shades from this palette as well as the lighter shimmer shades to create everyday brown smoky looks, and I just love how it's been turning out! This palette is so easy to use and the shadows are very blendable. 

Little House on the Prairie [x] - If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I’m sure you’ve probably noticed that I’m pretty obsessed with the tv show Little House on the Prairie. I was a huge fan when I was a kid and my mum recently gifted me the entire series on iTunes, so I’ve been watching it religiously over the past month. Watching it back is giving me major nostalgic feelings about my childhood and making me remember how I used to sit in my basement with my grandma watching it for hours on end. Obviously a lot of it is historically inaccurate and the show itself is pretty outdated, but it’s definitely a fun show to watch nonetheless!

John Mayer, “New Light” - New John mayer music... YESSSS. I so wasn’t expecting him to release new music this month and it was a very happy surprise to have this pop up onto Spotify. This song is very different from his usual stuff, more disco-y honestly, but I’m definitely into it. Also, do yourself a favour and check out his music video for this song. You won’t be disappointed. 

Florence + the Machine, “Hunger” - I’ve been into Florence + the Machine since I was in high school and every time she releases a new song, I’m never disappointed. Hunger is such a powerful and amazing song, especially with Florence Welsh’s voice. I love turning this up whilst I’m driving around town!!  

Shawn Mendes’s new album - In case you hadn’t heard, Shawn Mendes recently dropped his third studio album this month on the 25th. And - as expected - it’s pure gold. I love his new mature sound and think that he really outdid himself on this album. It’s incredible to think that a boy from Pickering who just played guitar on Vine could come so far! Some of my fav songs off this album are “Nervous”, “Lost in Japan”, “Where Were You in the Morning?” and “Fallin’ All In You”. 

Well, that’s all for May! What have you guys been loving this past month? 

Felicia x

Bookish Problems: Hardcover vs. Paperback

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Ahh the age old question. Which is better: hardcover or paperback books? Every time I browse my local bookshop, I come to this question. Which edition should I go for? Honestly, it's one of the toughest book-related decisions a gal has to make! When it really boils down to it, there's a bunch of things I consider when I'm choosing between the two. So today, I thought I'd talk about a few of the advantages of either type of book!

Paperback

Compact & easily portable - Of course, the first thing I'd have to say in favour of paperbacks is that they are far easier to travel around with. Being the sort of person who constantly has a book in their purse whilst on-the-go, I can tell you from first-hand experience that it is much easier to tote around a paperback than a hardcover. Not only is it far thinner but it's also a lot lighter because of the thin binding. 

Cheaper - Paperbacks are typically a lot cheaper than hardcovers. When I go into a bookstore, chances are I'm going to pick out a paperback book that costs $15-$18, rather than a hardcover that costs $23-$26. Buying paperbacks makes it cheaper to buy more books at once, instead of having a heart attack over buying just one book - and being someone who reads very quickly, that's hugely important to me. 

Easier to hold - I can never find a comfortable way to hold a hardcover book!! No matter how I position my hand, I either get tired or am in pain after five minutes. Paperbacks are definitely far easier to bend back and forth, as well as get a good grip on. I can easily hold it with one hand and then I have a free hand to hold my coffee which I very much enjoy. 

No dust jackets - Don't get me wrong. Dust jackets do make for a lovely addition to hardcovers. But my god, are they a pain in the ass. Most of the time, I end up just taking the thing off and then it's a matter of keeping track of the jacket whilst also making sure that it doesn't get damaged. With paperbacks, you have nothing to be worried about as it's all attached. 

Hardcover

Released first - Often, paperback editions aren't released until a year after the initial book release, as it brings in more profit for people to purchase hardcover books. This means that if you're really dying to read a book, you're probably gonna cough up the 25 or so bucks to read it as soon as possible. I don't do this so often, but the majority of the hardcovers I own are because I couldn't force myself to wait a year for the paperback. 

Sturdier -  If you've ever tried to carry around a paperback book in your purse or backpack before, then I'm sure you know how easily paperbacks can be damaged. The binding cracks, the pages get crinkled, and worst of all, the cover bends *shudder*. Hardcovers are really durable, as the cover is extremely sturdy and acts as a protective layering around the pages of the book.

Looks good on shelves - I think we can all agree that hardcover books look so good on bookshelves. I think it's something about how thick they are and also that they sort of remind us of the old-fashioned impressive look of bookcases. Although I don't have a ton of hardcovers (I'm cheap y'all), I do love looking at the ones I do have sitting up on my shelf. They're gorg!! 

Personally, all considered, I much prefer paperbacks over hardcovers. Not only just for the price - although that is a pretty big part of it, if I'm honest. For me, the lighter the book the better, as I really don't have the energy to be lugging around a massive, heavy book all day long, wherever I go! 

Which do you guys prefer: hardcover or paperback?

Felicia x


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My Top 10 Favourite Animated Disney Films

Disney, as you already may have noticed, is hugely important to me. Growing up, not only did I frequently visit Disney World, but I was also a massive fan of the Disney animated films, as most of us were. I spent my childhood days hunkered down in front of my tube tv (remember those?) with one of my many Disney vhs tapes in the vcr. There was nothing I enjoyed more than hearing that static-y noise of the tv powering on and then having the Walt Disney Entertainment opening pop up on the screen. 

Even as an adult, Disney films are my favourite. I think there's nothing cosier than sitting down on the sofa with some treats and a big blanket, watching a good ol' Disney film.

Today, I thought I'd share with you guys my top 10 favourite new and old animated Disney films!

1. Beauty and the Beast
2. Tangled
3. Hunchback of Notre Dame
4. Frozen
5. Moana
6. Lilo and Stitch
7. Sleeping Beauty
8. Aladdin
9. Peter Pan
10. Lady and the Tramp 

What are your favourite Disney animated films?

Felicia x

If We Were Having Coffee

I've seen a bunch of bloggers doing posts called If We Were Having Coffee over the last few months, where they do a bit of a life update in more of a chatty way, and I decided that I needed to try it out for myself! I think that blog posts can be a very one-way street sometimes, but these sorts of posts kind of make it feel more like a couple of friends sat together chatting about life - over a cup of coffee, of course. 

So, grab yourself a cup of coffee, tea, hot cocoa, or whatever you'd like, and let's jump in!

If we were having coffee... I'd likely be having an iced caramel macchiato from Starbucks. It's one of my favourite iced coffee drinks for summer, well that and the iced white chocolate mocha. I've recently had my very first iced caramel macchiato of the season (by recently, I mean today) and it was heavenly. I love my iced coffee y'all.

If we were having coffee... I'd tell you about how my boyfriend has gone home to live with his parents for the summer, while he works in Toronto. It's been super weird not having him around much this month as he's only been able to visit once so far. It really goes to show how quickly you get used to having someone around all the time. Luckily, I'll get to see him again this weekend, then in July and August for our vacations together!

If we were having coffee... I'd tell you that it was recently my one-year anniversary of living in my new house. We officially moved in on May 5th, 2017. Can you believe it? It's been a whole year! It's been a total whirlwind of a year, especially since the first half of it was spent moving in and organizing things to feel like home. I can honestly say now that this place feels 100% like home to me. I love this house, this neighbourhood, and especially this town.

If we were having coffee... I'd tell you that I'm getting very excited for my trip to Orlando, as it not only means that I get to be in my favourite place in the world but also I get to spend a lot more time reading. I get the majority of my reading done by the beach or by the pool, where I have very little distraction. Am I the only one? 

If we were having coffee... I'd tell you that this past weekend was Victoria Day here in Canada! If you don't know, we have been celebrating Queen Victoria's birthday here for a very, very long time, and it's considered a statutory holiday for us, meaning that we get a day off for it. My town actually did it's first ever annual fireworks display for the holiday last Sunday which was a lot of fun! It's definitely a new tradition for us, for sure. 

If we were having coffee... I'd brag a little bit about how I fixed my iPad, which hasn't been working for the last year and a half. I was so fed up that I was starting to even look at buying a new one (mine's about 8 years old, so it was justified). The biggest issue, among others, was that I wasn't able to log into my Apple ID which obviously controls like everything. I finally realized that it was because somehow the date was wrong on my iPad, so it was messing everything else up. I was quite proud of myself for figuring it out, as I'm literally the least technologically savvy person in the world. 

If we were having coffee... I'd tell you that I've been having the worst time trying to force myself to pack for Florida. I don't know why, but packing is such a chore for me. My dad is leaving before my mum and I, as he's driving the car down, so I have a bunch of stuff to send with him but I just can't be bothered to pack them. The possibility of me forgetting things grows greater with every passing day, haha.

What have you guys been up to lately?

Felicia x

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What to Consider Before Getting Bangs

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Hello, everybody!

Today, I thought I would do a little post talking about bangs - what to take into account if you're considering getting them for yourself, and if they're worth it in the long run! I've had my bangs now for some time, about a year and a half, so I'd say I've got a pretty good idea of what it's like to live with them!

Why I got bangs...

I had bangs for most of my life growing up. I had them all up to grade three when I finally decided to grow them out. I mulled over the pros and cons of cutting my bangs for what seemed like ages before I actually did it. I started playing with the idea back in 2014 but didn't actually do it until the end of 2016. There were a few concerns I had going into it, particularly that the bangs would be ridiculous on my very short forehead but I ended up getting them for two main reasons: 1) I wanted to do something different to my appearance going into uni, and 2) I have a lot of baby hairs that I hate so getting bangs would hide that, haha.

But, of course, there are a lot of different things I didn't actually expect going into it, that I wish I'd have known before I got my bangs...


You will have to get them trimmed often

This is probably the most crucial thing to having a polish bang look, but it's also something that you really should be aware of before getting bangs. If you're not willing to or don't have the time for getting regular bang trims, then you may want to reconsider. Hair grows fast, and bangs grow even faster (okay so maybe that's not a fact, but I swear it seems like it). At least every 3 or 4 weeks, you'll probably find yourself at the salon, especially if you have a small forehead like moi. You can always cut your own bangs at home, with the proper hair-cutting scissors which you can pick up at your local Ulta. But luckily, bang trims only cost $5 at most salons. 

It's a serious commitment

Bangs do not grow out nicely or easily. They are very uncooperative. Take this from someone who spent the entire third grade with a dozen bobby pins creating ridges in her skull. Once you cut those bangs in the front of your face, that's the way they want to grow, and they are not easily persuaded. So growing them out and pushing them to the side of your face is no easy feat. So, it probably wouldn't be worth it to get bangs if you only want them for a little while. I mean, look at Zooey Deschanel. She's had those bad boys for like two decades. 

Even if your skin is clear now, you'll probably break out anyway

This was something I'd heard many warnings about prior to cutting my hair and I wish I'd taken them more seriously. If you, like me, are reading this and thinking, "I don't typically break out/I have very manageable skin, so it won't be any problem", don't be fooled. Having hair plastered to your forehead 24/7, especially in the humid summer months, is acne's bff. Your forehead will probably break out in little bumps. Of course, there are ways to manage the breakouts and even prevent them sometimes, but it's definitely annoying.

Air-drying is essentially impossible

If you're a fan of air-drying your hair or if you use heatless tools/methods to style your hair, bangs might not be for you. Letting your bangs air-dry is a hot mess. They will end up sitting wonky on your head, drying in whichever direction they please, and do not even get me started on if you have curly hair (like me). And in the end, bangs look best when they've been straightened at least a smidge - it just helps them sit nicely. So if you're not into using heat, or if you just can't be bothered to blow dry and straighten your hair after every wash (first of all, I feel you girl), then you probably should steer away from the #banglife!

They get greasy FAST

No one can prepare you for how quickly your bangs get greasy. It's unreal. Sometimes I feel like in the morning, they're fresh and beautiful, but by mid-day, I look like I haven't showered in a week. This is especially worse if you have a habit of playing with your bangs, which is what I've unfortunately taken to in the past year. Either you have to wash your hair way more often or you wash your bangs in the sink. You gotta do whatcha gotta go. 


So, are they worth it?

Obviously, this isn't a one-size-fits-all sort of thing at all. If you've read all of these things and think that it sounds like your own personal hell, then I'd strongly urge against it. These bad boys are super high maintenance and once you make the chop, there's no going back. Well, at least, not for some time. Ultimately, if you're looking for a cute, classic hairstyle and you're up for trying something risky, then I'd definitely recommend getting bangs! One thing I'd recommend though is asking your stylist what she thinks, as she'll know what suits your face shape and such. But in the end, hair is hair. It will grow back, so why not switch it up a little? 

Do you have bangs? What do you think of them?

Felicia x

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 live 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