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

Chit-Chat Update

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Hello lovelies! As I'm writing this, it is 8 o'clock on a Monday morning and I'm awake, which is something that hasn't occurred in a very long time, possibly not since high school. Typically, when it's up to me, like it is today, I'm in bed until at least ten o'clock, sometimes even noon when my boyfriend has to come upstairs and drag my sorry ass out of bed. Yes, he even does the 'pull the covers off me and yank me by the legs' bit. I'm NOT a morning person. But for some reason, I've been up since seven and oddly enough.... now don't quote me on this.... but I'm enjoying it!! I've got my coffee, I've done some reading, and I'm ready to get on with my day.

With all this free time to sit and stare out the window from my fav chair and ~think~, it occurred to me for the first time that I have not written a Friday Thoughts post in uhhhh ages. Hell, I can't even remember the last time I posted one?? As it turns out, my life isn't especially exciting and I can't justify posting weekly updates anymore. Only so many ways you can say, 'This week, I drank a lot of coffee and read a bunch of books'. Sooooo instead, I thought that today I'd do a bit of a chit-chatty post to update you all with what's been going on with my life recently. So grab a cup of coffee or tea, and get cozy!

My family has been busy as ever with booking our triad of mini vacays for the summer. Lately, it's been all talk about flights, and hotel bookings, and all that jazz. As usual, we'll be spending the summer in our vacation home in Florida, but we like to take one or two - or three!!! - little trips while we're down there. When in Rome, am I right??? As a travel agent, my dad gets pretty awesome hotel rates for my family, so we like to take advantage of that. My mum and I are actually the ones starting off with our own short mother-daughter trip to Nashville in June. I love Nashville. Have ever since I first visited last summer. But this time is going to be even more special because I'll be seeing the great Paul Simon perform on his farewell tour - a literal once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I cannot wait for that. And then in August, my whole family, including my bf, are doing a two-part trip for my 20th birthday. We'll be starting off with a stay at Walt Disney World's Port Orleans French Quarter resort for a few days, over my birthday. My bf and I loved our staycation there last summer so much that we decided to return again, this time with my parents! After that, we'll be off to Miami to spend a few days at my fav, the Grand Beach Hotel which is right by the ocean. I stayed there in 2014 and fell in love. I'm sooooo ready to get back there and just soak in the sun for a few days!!

The Oscar's are coming up very soon, as you probably know. For the first time like ever, I've been trying to watch as many nominated films as I can before the awards air. This year, I'll actually watch the Oscar's with an opinion instead of rooting for films because I like the actors in it. So far, I've watched Lady Bird and I, Tonya, which were both at the top of my must-see list. I quite liked them both, although I'd probably be more likely to watch I, Tonya again, than Lady Bird. I thought Allison Janney was FANTASTIC in it. Though I mayyyy be biased. She is one of my fav actresses, after all.

February is my bf's birthday month and on the 24th, he turned 20!!! We celebrated at home, watching films and having some pizza - his idea of a perfect evening, which got ZERO complaints outta me. He got full discretion of movie selections, so he chose Hercules and The Fate of the Furious which I just bought him for Christmas. We ended the night with an Oreo Blizzard bday cake from Dairy Queen - his fav - and the finale episode of The Office (which I had serious FEELINGS about, ok!?!?). I can't believe he's already in his twenties. Whereas I'm still in my teens. How strange is that? I've still got 6 months till I catch up to him!

I've been listening to Taylor Swift's Red album a lot lately. Unlike basically the entire world, I'm not into her new album. Don't hate me!!! But god, do I love Red. My returning obsession started when I was doing a reorg of my bookcase the other day - I had the vinyl of Red on in the background. I'm loving it just as much as I did when it first came out when I was in high school. So I'll prob be listening to that for the next, like, three months haha

My boyfriend and I have been working on a special project of sorts lately. It sounds SO bizarre, but we've been working on collecting Disney film dvd's.... For our future kid. Right??? It's so weird. I'm buying dvd's for a person that won't even exist for, like, ten years. It's not as weird as collecting baby clothes, which I've been told is too weird and that I'm not allowed to do that (lol). But it's still pretty high up there. My parents did it for me before I was born, with Disney VHS tapes. And I got to thinking - with Disney putting their movies away in the vault so often, who knows when the classics will come out again?? What if my kid doesn't see The Little Mermaid or Hercules all because I left things up to chance?? As a Disney fanatic, I ain't letting that happen. So, with that in mind, we've just ordered The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Lilo & Stitch, Moana, and Tangled. It's gunna take a long time to get them all, but I'm willing to wait and I'm so glad we thought of it!! No kid of mine is growing up without access to all the Disney films their heart desires!!

Well, that's all for now. I certainly think I've rambled on long enough, don't ya think? These past couple months have been busy, but I have a sneaky suspicion that things won't be slowing down anytime soon. Hope all is well for you guys!!!

Felicia x

Valentine's Day Makeup

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Happy Valentine's Day to all! I know that a lot of people see today as being ~super tacky~. Which is so understandable. I'm totally against the traditional "guy gives his girlfriend flowers and chocolates and a diamond necklace bc it's the 14th day of the 2nd month" Valentine's Day. Blegh. Not my style, and not my boyfriend's either. I look at today as more of an opportunity to take a step back from the craziness of your day-to-day life and remember to show some love & appreciation to those in your life who deserve it! My boyfriend and I didn't do our usual for Valentine's Day this year - which is dinner or a movie - because my boyfriend has midterms tomorrow. Instead, we did a card exchange and a very small prezzie exchange (he got me a little stuffed dog and I surprised him with 8 strategically placed funny Valentine's cards throughout the house). It's a chill night for us!

Buuuuut, I will always take any excuse to do a rosy eye look and Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity for that! So I thought I'd share my look today with you guys. :)

Products

  • Too Faced Natural Love Palette - Honey Butter as a base, Makeup & Chill in the crease, Honeymoon on the lid
  • Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation
  • Maybelline Super Stay Better Skin Concealer + Corrector
  • Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
  • Tarte Blush Bazaar Palette - Dainty
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit That Glow - Sunburst
  • Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint - Delish
  • E.l.f. Cosmetics Eyebrow Kit - Medium

How did you guys celebrate Valentine's Day?

Felicia x

What's In My Handbag? | 2018

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As I recently received a new handbag for Christmas, which I've been using on a day-to-day basis, I thought I was due for a "What's in my Bag" update. I've posted two of these in the past, one in 2015 and one in 2017.

Handbag: My handbag is by Kate Spade. It's a rich, wine-coloured medium sized bag with two short straps and one detachable shoulder strap. I always like having a long shoulder strap on handbags, as I find it easier to manage when I'm out shopping. The outside of the bag has a perforated floral print, with a zip-top closure, and the interior has two slide pockets and one zippered pocket.

Purse: My purse actually is the matching wallet for my handbag. My parents gifted it to me for Christmas, as they knew my boyfriend had bought me the handbag. It folds down the centre and has a button closure. It is extremely functional. It has 13 credit card slots, as well as a window slot, 4 slots for cash, and a zipper on the back for loose change. Inside the purse, I've got the essentials - my credit card, debit card, driver's license, OHIP health insurance card, Social Insurance card, and CAA card - as well as some rewards cards, like my DocuPet card, Scene rewards cards, Starbucks card, and Air Miles card. I've also got my student ID card tucked into one of my cash slots.

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Glasses: I've got two pairs of glasses in my purse. My proper glasses, which are Ralph Lauren and are kept inside a hard case, and my sunglasses, which are prescription Ray Ban and are kept in a softer case.

Coffee cosy: The idea of a coffee cosy may sound so odd/useless to some people (including my dad haha) but I frankly think it's terribly cute. In case you don't know, coffee cosies are little knitted sleeves you put around your coffee cup so you don't have to directly hold a scalding cup. Mine's created by Catherine Mason and it says, "I Drink Coffee Like A Gilmore" - a very true statement.

Hand sanitizer: Hand sanitizer is essential, especially during the winter cold/flu season. I always keep a small bottle of Purell hand sanitizer in my bag. I always make sure to apply some when I'm out and about, especially when I'm about to eat anything.

Gum: I've currently got two types of gum in my bag haha. I've got a pack of Excel White Bubblemint gum, which has been a favourite of mine for a long time (it was even included in my 2015 handbag post). I also have a pack of 5 Spearmint gum in there, as I find that chewing super-minty gum can help calm down my anxiety.

Lipstick: I literally always have at the very least one tube of lipstick in my bag. Sometimes I've got like 6 in there at a time haha. Currently, I've got the L'Oreal Paris Collection Exclusive in Blake's Red and a mini tube of Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in Birthday Suit.

Keychain: Before, I kept so many things dangling on my keychain, it was a mess haha. Now I've only got a few things: my key fob (no key, as my car is push-to-start), my two house keys, and a cute matching accessory of Minnie Mouse, which my boyfriend has the Mickey Mouse one of. All of these things are hanging on the end bit of my university lanyard.

What have you got in your handbag?

Felicia x

Friday Thoughts: Harry Potter + Snow

Happy Friday to you all! Another Friday... jeez, before we all know it, it will be Christmas Eve. Who's excited for Christmas!? I know I am. Seeing all of the Blogmas posts from blogs I follow has only amplified my excitement. Maybe I'll have to partake in Blogmas next year....? We'll have to wait and see! But, for now, here's my weekly update for you.

  • I've started to re-read the Harry Potter series! I'm not really sure why, but I suddenly got into a very Harry Potter mood this week. I watched the first and then the final films last night, and today I've been lounging around in my Ron Weasley sweater, reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I'm already onto Chamber of Secrets lol
  • A few weeks back, on Black Friday weekend, I ordered two vinyl records from Urban Outfitters as there was a ridiculous sale on records (something like "buy one, get one 50% off"). SO I ordered the Moulin Rouge and the 500 Days of Summer soundtracks. Flash forward to this week, they still hadn't sent a shipping confirmation or anything so I started to panic. Then they said 500 Days of Summer was back-ordered. So Moulin Rouge unexpectedly arrived yesterday afternoon. And today, 500 Days of Summer arrived... along with another copy of Moulin Rouge hahaha, so I guess I have two copies now??
  • Exam season is upon us! I get lucky every time, being an English major who takes a lot of online classes and classes that prefer final papers over exams - I only get two or three exams per term. But my boyfriend isn't so blessed. He has two exams tomorrow, one mid-day and then the other at night. So tomorrow will be a sucky day for him :(
  • There is snow expected for tomorrow and I could not be any more excited. I love the first good snowfall of the season. I've been eagerly awaiting our first snowfall for weeks now, after a fifteen-min snow tease last month. My family thinks I'm nuts (they're not snow lovers). I don't even really like snow. I just like it in December, but once Christmas is over, I'm like bye. 
  • I'm getting very excited for my trip to Florida. We live Christmas day, as usual, and I can't wait to see all that Disney has in store for this magical Christmas season. I truly believe that Disney wins when it comes to holiday decor. I just love to see all their decorations - I promise to share it all with you guys!

Felicia x

November Favourites

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Hello everybody! As it we are now in the first official week of December, I've got a November favourites post for you all today.

The very first thing that I've been loving this month, which is a very new addition to my beauty product collection, is the L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Extraordinary Clay Shampoo. I've been loving this shampoo. In the winter time, my scalp gets very dried out, which gets only worse with product use. I've been on the hunt lately for scalp-friendly shampoos and came across this in the shop the other day. The idea here is that this shampoo deep-cleanses your roots so that your scalp doesn't get oily which as a result stops you from overwashing which dries out your hair. I did find that this shampoo kept its promises for me and my scalp definitely felt cleaner post-use than it did after using other shampoos. I'd also like to mention that this is the first shampoo that left my hair tangle-free post-wash, which I love.

I recently picked up the Essie "With the Band" Nail Polish at my local drugstore. I love a classic red nail but I wanted something that strayed a bit from the typical bright red shade I use. Which is exactly what "With the Band" is. It's hard for me to describe the shade exactly so I looked at the site and they describe it as a toasted spice burgundy, which I believe is the best description of it. I love this colour so so much. It's beautiful and personally, I think it compliments my skin tone nicely. The one thing I will say, which I find with all Essie nail polishes, is that it requires a top coat in order to keep it from chipping off. It does chip quite easily, so you'd need to be cautious of that.

The next item is one I mentioned in a Friday Thoughts post awhile back: the e.l.f. Aqua Beauty Molten Liquid Eyeshadow in "Rose Gold". I was kinda skeptical at first at how well this product would work but I was genuinely so amazed. It feels very strange to apply, as it's essentially a lip gloss tube and applicator that you put on your eyes.... But the result is lovely. It's a very shimmery, beautiful pinky shade. I find it looks particularly nice as a final touch to a pink/berry eye look. I look forward to experimenting more with this bad boy and seeing what other looks I can create with it.

It's kind of odd that I haven't mentioned this product already before, as I've been using it for a couple months now and I've even had to repurchase it already. It's the Maybelline New York Better Skin Concealer. I've had a few bad experiences with cakey concealers prior to this one (I'm shuddering just thinking about them haha) so when I came across this one and tried it out, I was so relieved. It does an incredible job of hiding undereye circles, as well as masking the horrid acne scarring I've been trying to hide for a while now. It's very easy to blend and it doesn't come off looking very pale or cakey.

I know I've already mentioned this product in a post this month and I'm sure I'll mention it again after this, but I just had to include the Lush Sleepy Lotion in my favourites post. I know this is known to be a hit-or-miss product, but it was a definite hit for me. I have horrible re-occurring insomnia, especially lately - I'm talking staying up until three, four, even five o'clock in the morning because I can't sleep. I've tried a bunch of different things including Melatonin, different pillows, darker room, reading before bed, etc. Some have worked better than others, but this lotion has made a major improvement to the dilemma. On top of its magical sleep-inducing qualities, it has a lovely yet subtle scent and it is very hydrating on the skin which is an added bonus especially for the winter months upon us.

Another product I've mentioned recently that was worth re-mentioning is the Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief Room Spray. As you may or may not know, I do suffer from anxiety and that majorly impacts a lot of areas of my life but specifically my sleeping patterns. I've found that spritzing this spray in my room, above my bed where I'll definitely catch a whiff of it, has really helped my anxiety lately. It calms me down enough that I can actually have a chance at falling asleep (this is the part where the Sleepy lotion takes over!). At first, I was a bit iffy on the eucalyptus and spearmint scent, but I've actually come to really like it. I also have a candle of the same brand and scent that I love just as much as this spray.

Steering away from beauty-related favourites, the last thing I've been loving this month is the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack. 500 Days of Summer has one of my favourite soundtracks of all time. It has songs by Hall and Oates, The Smiths, Simon and Garfunkel.... all some of my favourite bands. There's not one song on the soundtrack that I don't enjoy. I've been listening to it often this month and I've been loving it so much that I actually purchased it on vinyl this week! I cannot wait to receive the record in the mail :) My favourite song off the album has probably got to be "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" by The Smiths because it's one of my all-time favourite songs.

What have you guys been loving this month?

Felicia x

Friday Thoughts: Twinkling Lights

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Welcome back, everyone! So sorry I missed posting yesterday. I got so caught up in a million things I've been doing lately, that it totally slipped my mind that it was Thursday! But, it's Friday, and that means it's time for a weekly update.

  • My house has been full of Christmas spirit and excitement as we prepare for our big Christmas party next weekend. There is so much more work put into throwing a party than it may appear from the eyes of a guest! Despite all the hard work, I can't wait to have all of our friends and family over to celebrate the upcoming holiday season.
  • We took part in our very first town Christmas celebration on Thursday. Every year, the town we've moved to throws this event called Light Up Night, where everyone gathers in the park and sings carols, then at 7pm they flick a switch and light up a bunch of Christmas lights. It was so much fun. Everyone was so genuinely happy to be there together. The decorations were adorable. There were even volunteers handing out Tim Horton's hot chocolate for free, which was so thoughtful. I'm so happy to be living in this town. Walking down the main street, past windows of Christmas decorations, made me really grateful for this move. I can absolutely see myself living here for a very long time and also raising a family here.
  • My mum and I started watching Mindhunter on Netflix, and so far I'm really enjoying it. We're only a couple episodes in so far but it's super intense and absolutely fascinating. My mum and I are huge true crime nuts, so to see the characters interact with actors portraying real criminals is so interesting to watch.
  • I've been loving how many Christmas films they've been playing on television lately!! I'm getting sooo excited. It's a month till Christmas after all!!
  • I received a book in the mail this week!! I always love when packages come earlier than expected, and this one came about a week early. It's called My True Love Gave to Me and it's a collection of 12 holiday-themed short stories by a bunch of YA authors, including some of my favourites like Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins. So far, I'm absolutely loving it!!

That's all for this week. Have a fab weekend!!

Felicia x

Friday Thoughts: Films and Winter Hand Soaps

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Hello, hello, hello everybody! I have no idea how we've reached yet another Friday.  Anyway, I'm not complaining, as another weekend is upon us - woo!! But before I can begin to celebrate the weekend (aka sleep), here's my weekly Friday Thoughts update for you all!

  • Earlier this week, my family, boyfriend, and I saw Murder on the Orient Express at our nearest movie theatre (which is actually forty mins away haha). We all absolutely loved it! Kenneth Branagh did a fantastic job in this film, as did the rest of the cast. I was seriously impressed with the filmography, the storyline, and the acting of the film. I can't wait for it to be released on DVD.
  • I went a little bit Bath & Body Works crazy this week... My boyfriend had offered to buy me a few hand soaps, as we were running out of the last bunch we'd purchased a few months ago. But they had a huge "buy 10 for $25" promotion, and my boyfriend never ignores a good deal sooo..... guess who has 10 new wintery scented hand soaps??? Haha
  • Finally, the world and I are starting to synchronize in preparing for Christmas. The buses in Hamilton are starting to read "Seasons Greetings/Merry Christmas", I went to a mall tree lighting, and my town has put up a ton of lights and decorations for our big holiday celebration next week. I don't feel so ahead of myself anymore!
  • My boyfriend kindly bought me an adorable 12-pair set of Christmas-themed socks off Amazon and gifted it to me on Monday. Choosing which Christmas socks to wear is a big deal to me now... Never thought I'd say that lol
  • I watched 500 Days of Summer for the first time in, like, four years. I forgot how much I loved it. The "You Make My Dreams Come True" scene puts me in the best mood - it honestly has me giggling out loud, especially when he sees his "reflection" in the car and it's Harrison Ford lmao.
  • We've nearly finished decorating the house for Christmas! We have two trees left to trim (yup, two) and then all we have left to do is wait for the holidays!! Eeeeee I'm so excited - can you tell? Haha
  • On Tuesday, my family popped into our favourite store at the mall in Hamilton: Cinema. Cinema is a dvd shop - one of the last, might I add - that has sooo many movies and especially ones you'd never think of. We bought a three-movie pack that had in it Love Actually, Holiday Inn, and The Family Man.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Felicia x

Bedside Essentials

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I'm a total night owl. Waking up in the morning for me is absolute hell, but that's probably because I'm up until 3-4am the night before. It takes soo much to get me to fall asleep at a decent time so when I find out I have to be up super early the next morning, I have a whole system to coax me to sleep. With this comes a collection of products/items that I cannot live without, which permanently reside on my bedside table.

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A book

If I'm having trouble falling asleep, one of the only things that can help me get tired. (On the other hand, I also sometimes stay up all night to finish a book... but anyway). Currently, I'm reading All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven at night. I can only read young adults novels at night. I find any other genre keeps me wired, as I'm too enthralled in the novel.

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Nighttime Face Cream

Nighttime skincare is so important as I'm sure you know and I'm sure I've said about a billion times. I have been using the e.l.f Nourishing Night Cream since the beginning of the summer and it feels so lovely on. The scent is also very relaxing which def helps me calm down at night.

Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief Room Spray

This is more aimed towards stress/anxiety, but I find it is also very soothing and useful for the issue of insomnia. You just spray two bursts of this in your room, perhaps over your bedding, and let it work it's magic. It seriously does wonders for me.

Lush Sleepy Lotion

This is a new purchase for me but it definitely deserves to be on this list. I've only used it once but I'm already super impressed. You've probably heard already heard of this lovely product and the rave reviews it's gotten from people with insomnia, anxiety, and chronic illnesses. It works so quickly to help you sleep naturally. Not to mention it makes your skin feel so freaking soft. Thank you, Lush!!

What essentials do you keep close to your bed?

Felicia x

Friday Thoughts: Busy, Busy, Busy

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Happy (sorta) Friday everybody! I know, it's technically Saturday by the time I publish this post and I'm so sorry for it. I'm also terribly sorry for the lack of a post yesterday. Seems I've been far busier this week than I imagined I'd be. But, as they say, better late than never! Without further ado, here is my weekly update.

  • This week, I saw The Holiday for the very first time and I immediately wondered, "Why the hell have I not watched this before?!". I am a total sucker for young Jude Law and Kate Winslet is one of my fave actresses, so it was a perfect film for me. I will definitely be adding it to my Christmas film repertoire.
  • After many weeks of barely reading, I finally felt the first urge in a long time to dive into a novel and I read an entire novel in less than 24 hours. It felt soo good. The book in question was Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, a beloved author of mine. It was so witty and spectacular and adorable. Just the thing to get me out of my reading funk.
  • I had never considered the idea of a liquid eyeshadow before, save for the creamy-liquid eyeshadow I owned when I was a young girl (I think it was Mary-Kate and Ashley brand?). But when I stumbled upon the e.l.f. Aqua Beauty Molten Liquid Eyeshadow at the beginning of this week, I had to give it a go. Liquid eyeshadow? Bizarre, right? But I actually kind of love it? It is ridiculously easy to apply, cutting down my eyeshadow application time to a bare minimum which I love. Plus, the rose gold shade is gorgeous. And it's super inexpensive. Total win.
  • Finally, after a long time of disappointment, one of my favourite Christmas songs was re-released on Spotify and it was the greatest surprise ever. In case you're wondering, it's the Sleeping At Last cover of the Love Actually classic, "Christmas Is All Around". It's the kind of song that makes me want to drink peppermint hot cocoa in front of a fire, with the Christmas tree lit and garland hanging from all over.
  • NaNoWriMo is not going as planned... I'm desperately behind in terms of my daily word count goal and it doesn't appear that I'll be able to meet the deadline. But somehow I'm not disappointed? I feel like this challenge has given me the opportunity to really get serious with my writing, so at least something is coming out of it.
  • The holiday season is upon us! And with it, the busiest time of year for me. Starting Monday, I'm entering a crazy busy schedule. It seems that every few days, I've got plans. Town events, family activities, movies to see (more on that), company coming over, etcetera etcetera etcetera... I'll barely have time to catch my breath!
  • Speaking of movies, I have quite the line-up of movies to see in theatres during the next couple months. Murder on the Orient Express, The Man Who Invented Christmas, Love Actually, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I'm jam-packed with movies but I am sooooooo excited for it all. I love seeing films in the theatre. It's such a fun feeling.

Hopefully, despite my busy schedule next week, I'll be able to stick to my blog post and get out 3 proper posts. I wish you all a very lovely weekend and will see you back here on Tuesday :)

Song of the week: Midnight Train - Sam Smith

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Things I Love About Christmas

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If you hadn't already guessed it, I am one of those people who goes into full-on Christmas mode as soon as the clock strikes 12am on November 1st. I love Christmas. My excitement starts early as in Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving in October, and so our next holiday after Halloween is Christmas. This is genuinely, 100% my favourite holiday and I find there is so much to love about Christmas. In the interest of pumping myself up even more for the season, and getting all other Christmas-lovers excited, here are seven things that I love about the Christmas holidays.

The Return of the Red Lip

During September/October, I tend to put my red-lip obsession on the back burner and focus more on autumn lip colours: berries, burgundies, etc. But with Christmas around the corner, that means I can bring back out my reds and rock the classic look I love so much.

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Decorating

I think my favourite time of the weeks leading up to Christmas is the decorating. My mum and I are restricted to putting up our tree at the very end of November by my dad, so we spend all of November (and admittedly, October) buying decorations and planning out how we envision our decorations in our home for the holidays. We've got a closet under the stairs full of boxes of decorations, and a Pinterest board full of ideas - we're ready to go!!

Baking

I recently tried my hand at baking my favourite autumn dessert, apple crumble, and discovered an interest in it that I didn't know I had. This year, I'm very excited to bake Christmas treats with my mum for our family, friends, and our party in December. Some of my fave Christmas treats are gingerbread cookies and chocolate fudge... yummm..... I'm getting hungry now!

Buying and Wrapping Gifts

As stressful as I find buying gifts for my loved ones (and trust me, I do find it very stressful), I love it. There's something so amazing about finding the perfect gift for a family member or your boyfriend. I love buying gifts for everyone and once I've got everything bought, I go into crazy wrapping mode - it's serious business for me! And then, it's total agony waiting because all I wanna do is give the gifts out to everyone! Haha

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The Toronto Christmas Market

Last year, I visited the Toronto Christmas Market for the very first time and I fell completely in love with it (despite my toes being frozen afterwards). For those who have never been to or heard of the market, it is held in Toronto's Distillery District which is a pedestrian-only area where an old whiskey distillery once sat in the 19th century. The whole area gets decorated for Christmas, they put on shows, and they have a massive Christmas tree at the entrance. It's so fun to walk around and take photos of everything. I cannot wait to go again this year.

Christmas Music

I can't tell you how much I love Christmas music. As soon as November 1st, I'm playing Christmas tunes in the car, while I'm doing my makeup in the morning, basically any chance I get. I even have Michael Buble's Christmas album on vinyl - which by the way is amazingggg. I love to sing-along to the classics and the newer versions by some of my favourite artists.

Holiday Films

Some of my most favourite movies are Christmas themed. Love Actually, White Christmas, Elf... to name a few. My mum and I love to watch these films in November and December every year (sometimes in July, too, but shh that's a secret). We can practically quote the entire Love Actually film. I mean, who doesn't love watching Hugh Grant and Colin Firth???

What gets you excited for Christmas?

Felicia x

Friday Thoughts: Sunrises & Daily Walks

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Hello everybody! TGIF! It’s Friday, which means another Friday Thoughts post.

  • Ever since I’ve moved, I’ve really noticed the difference between sunrises/sunsets in the city and in the countryside, since my town is surrounded by rural area. I'm often getting up for classes at unbelievably early hours of the morning, and seeing sunrises, like the one in this post's header photo, really makes it worthwhile.
  • Lately, my mum and I have been taking my dog on a daily walk, and I've been enjoying it immensely. I love walking around my neighbourhood as we're still technically newbies and I'm not yet totally familiar with the area. There are so many beautiful homes around us and I love seeing them all decorated for Halloween.
  • This weekend is going to be a busy one for my family. Saturday my boyfriend and I are going out with friends for drinks, and then Sunday my family is going to see Kingsman 2 in theatres. Plus, my bf and I have a pumpkin to carve, some last min decorations to put up, and some chores to do. I'm tired just thinking of it! But luckily, it's all fun stuff, aside from the chores.
  • I really have to stop watching Tangled and Moana 24/7, but I also cannot stop myself from watching Tangled and Moana 24/7. It's an addiction!! I just love them both terribly, and they're the best pick-me-up films ever.
  • My family decided that since we've moved into a more spacious home this year, we want to throw a Christmas party for our friends this year and I'm so excited. I love party planning and although it's well over a month away, I've already started saving recipes and ideas on Pinterest (you can follow me there if you want, the link to my profile is at the bottom haha) 
  • I've been super into playing games on my phone lately, which isn't really something I've done a lot of since I was in high school. But I discovered Pictionary and Fight List which you can play against friends or random opponents, and I love playing them both. Whenever I'm bored I basically alternate between the two!
  • I'm so excited for Halloween next week. It's gunna be the first year in awhile that my parents will be home as they usual travel around this time of the year. So my parents, my boyfriend, and I are gunna stay in, watch some Halloween films, and hand-out candy. It will be a great evening!

Hope you all have an amazing weekend!

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Friday Thoughts

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Hello everyone! Lately, I've been trying to think of a way to have weekly updates here on my blog, to keep everyone up to date with my crazy, hectic life. So, I thought maybe posting little thoughts/updates every Friday might be a good way to do so, without babbling on forever and totally boring you all since I tend to do that (haha no lie). Without further ado, here is a mini look into my life as of late!

  • I've been driving around a lot recently - to class, to my boyfriend's classes, to the grocery shop, to Starbucks (which is a trek, might I add). But with all this driving, I've found that I've been really enjoying being in the car, especially on my own, which is something I totally didn't expect to happen!
  • Hey, why is it that the closest Starbucks is literally 20 mins away?? There are a ton of perks to living in a small town, but having no Starbucks nearby is not one of them. There are two Tim Horton's within five blocks, but no Starbucks. Sad Felicia.
  • I've been really into The Office lately. I know, I know, I'm sooooo behind on this one (didn't it end in like 2011 or something??? who knows) but my boyfriend and I started watching it casually in September and now we're already halfway through season three. We literally watch it every night when we go up to bed. I'm not even ashamed lol.
  • The weather here in Ontario has been so odd lately. I constantly find myself standing at the front door, thinking, Do I need a sweater? Yeah, definitely, it's 9 degrees. Maybe I should grab a coat as well, as I get quite chilly? Well, no it's going to be 22 degrees in an hour-and-a-half. So maybe I'll just blast the heat in the car and turn on the seat warmers and the steering wheel warmer??? Gah! So frustrating.
  • I know we haven't even gotten to Halloween yet, and that it's just around the corner, but lately I've been in such a Christmasy mood. All I want to do is douse the whole house in tinsel and listen to Michael Buble's Christmas album on repeat. Is that odd? Probably. (I'm actually listening to my Christmas playlist right now but shhh don't tell anyone)
  • This morning I woke up at 6:50 and had to drive my boyfriend to his 7:30 lecture, and when I came home I took a 3-HOUR NAP and now I'm feeling groggy and awful. So the moral of the story is, don't fall into the nap trap, it will only make you feel so much worse ugh
  • A couple days ago, I found a wasp in my bathroom, behind the shades. I've not likely mentioned it here before, but I have this horrible irrational fear of wasps/bees after being stung in grade 9, so finding this little intruder in my bathroom was terrifying hahaha but at least my boyfriend and my dad got a kick out of my reaction
  • I am so unbelievably excited for the Bath & Body Works winter holiday range to come out!! I've received a few emails lately of them releasing a few holiday candles here and there, and it's only made me more excited for what's yet to come. Right now they've got a Buy 3, Get 3 Free sale going on in Canada and I'm so tempted. Though, if I buy any more candles, my family may disown me. Space in our candle cabinet is getting pretty tight...
  • My boyfriend and my mum have gotten me really into Star Wars in the past year. So much so that as soon as the trailer for The Last Jedi dropped, I was watching it. Never thought I'd say that.

NYC: Travelling, Fifth Avenue + Times Square

Hello everyone, and welcome to the first of my New York City vacation posts! Be prepared for a veryyyy wordy post ahead.

My four-day vacation started on Friday (April 28th), although we didn't actually arrive in New York City until the 29th. On Friday evening, my parents, my boyfriend, and myself drove from my boyfriend's house to the Genesee Grande Hotel in Syracuse, New York. We decided to stay there overnight because we didn't want to do the 7-hour drive all in one go on Saturday, and then feel too tired to do anything that afternoon. The hotel was quite nice considering how inexpensive it was, and we really enjoyed our stay there for a rest before our long weekend. I didn't get any pictures of the hotel though because I was too tired and it simply slipped my mind.

In the morning, we left the hotel around 9am and headed a few blocks away to try out a breakfast diner called Modern Malt. Getting there from the hotel was fairly straightforward, our only confusion was that there was a Modern Malt bakery a few stores down from the actual restaurant, so we were sidetracked but the people working at the bakery were kind enough to point us in the right direction!

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The restaurant itself is quite new, established only a few years ago. The interior was very hip and colourful, with cute little details in the design (i.e. clipboards instead of receipt folders, glass jars holding gumballs and lollipops by the door). You could tell the atmosphere was very relaxed, as the waiters didn't seem to be prepared for the speedy service we were hoping for, but we were hustling to get on the road ASAP. Our waitress was very nice, and came around for a few coffee refills, which was nice. I ordered plain waffles (pictured below) which came with a blob of butter, a blob of whipped cream, and a sprinkle of icing sugar over top. They were so delicious! So fluffy, I was in heaven. My boyfriend had pancakes, my mum had eggs, and my dad had a breakfast poutine - and we were all pretty pleased with our meals. Once we were done, it was time to hit the road! FullSizeRender-2

After a four hour drive, we were finally in New York City! As we neared the city, the traffic became far denser and people became way more impatient haha. We were booked at the Executive Hotel Le Soleil NYC, which is located in the Fashion District. It's pretty close to Times Square and is an easy walk to most major attractions in the city, which is a major plus especially since our trip was so short. When we arrived, I was dying of heat, as I wore a uni tshirt and black leggings for the car ride and it was a beautiful 31 degrees Celsius in New York. Fortunately, after a little wait, we got up to our room and we were able to change before heading out to start exploring the city. Our room was pretty spacious, a good size for the four of us with a room for my parents and a room my boyfriend and I, separated by a bathroom and vanity area. I really liked the vanity, as it was brightly lit and had a huge mirror.

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Right after changing into more weather-appropriate attire, we all headed out of our hotel and down the street to Fifth Avenue. Our hotel was located on 36th street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, so it was a very short walk to Fifth Avenue. From there, we headed north, popping into stores like Sephora, Adidas, and Banana Republic. Along the way we saw some beautiful buildings, such as the New York Public Library, which I was very excited about (book nerd here). I bought a few things, which I'll make a post about later on when I've got everything gathered together.

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Also on Fifth Avenue, we stopped at Tiffany & Co. to recreate one of the most iconic scenes in cinema (and my personal favourite): Audrey Hepburn standing outside of Tiffany's with a coffee in one hand and a Danish in the other, clad in a black gown and massive sunglasses. I thought it would be fun to mimic her pose, and it totally was!

By the time we got through Fifth Avenue and hit the edge of Central Park, it was well past five o'clock and we were starved as we had only had coffee since breakfast at ten o'clock. So, we headed down Seventh Avenue, towards Times Square, and ended up at a diner we ate at back in 2010, called Lindy's. Seven years ago, we came here for dessert, as they boast their 'World Famous Cheesecake', but this time we decided to try the entrees as well. The menu consisted mostly of sandwiches, and as I'm not a huge sandwich fan, I opted for the appetizer-size chicken tenders and a side of onion rings. The onion rings weren't my favourite, but I did enjoy the chicken tenders. And, of course, we had to have the famous cheesecake. My boyfriend doesn't like cheesecake, so my parents and I shared a slice of plain cheesecake with strawberry toppings. It was SO good, and massive too.

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Afterwards, we headed down to Times Square for the first time of the trip. I always love visiting Times Square, it's so vibrant and exciting. Always something happening everywhere you turn. We climbed up the red stairs that cover the TKTS booth and I got some really good pictures, including the ones below of the full area, my boyfriend and I, and the New Years' Eve Ball with the 2017 sign.

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On our way out of Times Square, we passed by a pop-up stand for the Strand Bookstore - the full-size shop being on my to-do list, I insisted we stopped for a moment to browse the mini collection of books and bookish items they had on display. They had a pretty wide variety of novels, from contemporary novels to The Handmaid's Tale, which got me extremely excited for the actual shop! Also, we checked out the MASSIVE Disney Store in Times Square because, hello, it's Disney. I was not disappointed in the slightest.

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After a very long day, we headed back to our hotel to relax for a bit before going to bed and getting ready for the next day of NYC fun ahead of us!

If you're interested in more, follow this link to hear about Day 2 in NYC.

What's In My Handbag? | 2017

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I can't believe that it's been two full years since I last uploaded a "what's in my bag" post! So much has changed since 2015. Especially since there have been a ton of changes in my lifestyle since I was sixteen/seventeen years old. I think that now is as good as time as any to do a refresher post!

The Bag

Currently, I am using a black Kate Spade bowling-style bag. I bought it a couple years ago in a massive Fourth of July sale at Kate Spade and I still use it often. It's got gold hardware and a long strap, as well as two shorter straps at the top. I typically use the longer strap as I can just toss it over my shoulder and go on my way without being restricted in movement or anything. It carries quite a bit, which is a lot coming from me because I am typically a big handbag kinda gal and this one leans more to the smaller side in my opinion. It has three interior pockets, one with a zipper and two without, which is perfect for me. Although I usually like to have dividers in my purses so that I can separate stuff into sections, I quite like the open space of this as I'm able to fit a ton more things inside. 

Contents

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Being an English major, it's probably no surprise to anyone that I always (and I do mean always) have a book in my handbag. As of late, that book has been The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides. I basically pull this out whenever I'm alone in a waiting room, or on public transportation, or anything like that. I also like to carry around this mini journal with a pen, so that if I have anything I need to jot down like blog post ideas or novel ideas, I can get it down on paper before I forget!

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One of the biggest changes from my 2015 post to this one is that I now have to carry around glasses! About a year ago, I was persuaded by my boyfriend to go and have an eye exam for the first time in many, many years which resulted in me getting glasses. Then, last fall, I got my g1 license - and later, my g2 - which states that it's illegal for me to drive without my prescription glasses... Sooo now I have to carry around my eyeglasses and my prescription sunglasses. 

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I also like to carry around a little makeup bag full of beauty and hygiene related products. Wherever I go, I must have my Blistex Lip Medex lip balm which I've been using regularly since 2015. It's a life saver, honestly. My lips would not forgive me if I didn't apply this balm as often as I do. I also carry like 3 lipsticks with me at any given time (because, you know, one is just not enough). Currently, I have the NYX Lip Lingerie, Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour, and the L'Oreal Matte Liquid Lipstick in my bag. Lastly, I bring a hand lotion such as my current Bath & Body Works Paris Amour lotion and a hand sanitizer. 

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Last, but certainly not least, is my wallet. Again, Kate Spade and black with gold embellishments. The inside is very cluttered (hence why it's not pictured), but it is separated into 3 sections, with a zippered pouch in the middle. Currently, inside my wallet are: receipts, some cash, my credit card, my debit card, a Cineplex Scene Rewards card, my CAA membership card, a coupon for McDonalds McFlurries, change, my student ID and bus pass, my Presto Go pass, my driver's license, my Ontario Health Insurance card, my Starbucks card, and a polaroid photo of my boyfriend.

What do you carry in your handbag?

Felicia x

The Anatomy of a Handbag

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A handbag is a woman's best friend, but it's also a woman's worst enemy. Think of a handbag like a toolbox. It has everything you need right there at your fingertips. But, if you have too many useless bolts and screwdrivers, it will become a cluttered disaster. You know what I'm saying: the Cluttered Handbag from Hell. Trust me, we've all been there.

Recently, I decided to clean out my own handbag and organize with only what I think is a "necessity". So, here's a quick peek into my bag, to give you an idea of what you should really have in your bag.

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The Handbag: My handbag is a medium-sized top handle purse from Louis Vuitton. It's a zip-up, all black with gold hardware. It also has a black, removable shoulder strap in case you aren't a fan of top handles. For me, it's the perfect size because it fits nicely on my shoulder - though, I mostly hold it on my arm (bent-elbow style). The interior is light brown and, like the exterior, has a pattern of the LV logo. It's spacious and has two compartments - one larger, one smaller - for a cell phone or other small items, like pens or lip glosses.

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Make-up Bag: It is always a good idea to keep a small bag of your crucial make-up products tucked in your bag, just in case of emergency. In my bag, I've included:

- Covergirl Bombshell Volume by Lashblast mascara

- Lip Medex Blistex lip balm

- Geurlain lipstick in 143 Rouge Automatique

- SolTerre lotion (aka hotel hand lotion)

- travel sized container of Tums Freshers

- a small container of Aleve pills

- a few bobby pins

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Gum & Mints: I always like to keep a package of gum and a bottle of mint Tic Tacs in my purse, just in case I feel a little less than minty and I need to freshen up my breath. Currently, my favourite gum is Excel White in Bubblemint flavour. It's a great mix of mint and bubblegum.

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Wallet: I think it goes without saying that you should keep your wallet in your purse. A lot of people don't think of carrying their wallet around with them everywhere, especially if they aren't going to shop anywhere or if they don't have a driver's license (obviously you have to bring your driver's license everywhere if you're driving). But it's just a good idea to keep your wallet on you in case you run into trouble and have an emergency on your hands. In my wallet, I usually keep about $30 in cash, my debit card, my OHIP card (which, as a citizen of Ontario, is crucial for me to recieve any kind of medical attention), my student I.D. card, my Starbucks rewards card and any reward cards I have for any stores (i.e. American Eagle's 'aerewards' card).

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Sunglasses: It is so important for everyone to wear sunglasses outside. The sun does so much damage to your eyes and especially in the summer, you should take care of your eyes with a cute pair of sunnies. It's also probably a good idea to keep your sunglasses in a case in your purse, so that your sunglasses don't get crushed by everything else.

Hopefully this little blog post helped some of you out! If anyone thinks of any other helpful tips or anything else that should be included, just let everyone else know! Thanks for readng, Happy handbag organizing!!