Winter Skincare Routine

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Winter is a total bitch for your skin, eh?? It's only mid-February and I'm so ready for winter to be over. I don't care what Punxsutawney Phil says - this week, it's gonna be double digits in southern Ontario and I'm taking that as a sign of early spring. Unfortunately, that's more than likely a blip and I'm sure we'll be back to the regularly scheduled winter mayhem any day now. With that in mind, I thought I'd share my Canadian winter-proof skincare routine to help you guys get through this terrible cold.

STEP 1: CLEANSER

I've been recently using the Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser which I discovered in Florida and have since fallen into a serious love affair with. I'm not even exaggerating when I say that it made MAJOR improvements to the overall quality of my skin in like three days. After even one use, my skin is glowing. It's hella good.

STEP 2: TONER

Lately, I've been getting good use out of the Olay Oil Minimizing Clean Toner. I've had issues before with toners being too harsh and doing damage to my ever-so-sensitive skin, but this one is really gentle and doesn't cause any irritation in the slightest. What I really like about it is that it has witch hazel in it, which is a great remedy for acne. I just put a bit of this on a cotton pad and swipe it all over my face after cleansing.

STEP 3: MOISTURIZER

For moisturizer, I've been using the Nivea Nourishing Day Cream during these cold winter months. It's very hydrating and as it's pretty thick in consistency, it's much better to use in the winter as opposed to the summer when you need your skin to be able to breathe in the heat. It has really done battle with the dryness that I usually struggle with during the winter and for that, I've been extremely grateful!!!

EXTRA STEP: FACE MASK

Using a face mask in the winter is crucial. It gets all the dead dry skin out of your skin so that it's not clogging up your pores, and also really refreshes your skin. I've personally been loving the Origins Out of Trouble 10 Minute Mask to Rescue Problem Skin, which I received as a gift this Christmas. I have never come across a face mask so nourishing and cleansing before. Use this a couple times a week during the winter and you'll def see your skin looking amazing in no time!

Here's hoping for a very early spring!

Felicia x

A Bit of Change...

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Soo as you may or may not have noticed, there's been a bit of an adjustment to my blog. The Coffee Chatter is no more. I'd like to introduce you all to Bookish Brunette.

I've made quite a few changes to my blog name over the years. I've been The Toronto Girl, and then when that didn't suit me anymore, I became The Coffee Chatter. But it never really felt quite right. I've humming and hawing over this for months and months and months. And then it hit me. I love books. Something with books or literature in the title would surely suit me best.

And so, Bookish Brunette was born.

This feels right. I think that, honestly, this is my forever blog title. I've already secured Instagram and Twitter usernames, and I'm ready to fully commit to my blog. Woohoo!

So, I'm excited to embark on this ~new~ journey with all of you!

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Friday Thoughts: My First Car

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Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you've all had a lovely week. It's been a bit of a surreal, crazy week for me. Between everything, especially with trying to get back into the regular swing of things, I haven't been able to devote much time to my blog - hence the missed post on Monday. Hopefully (fingers crossed!) things will be much less jam-packed next week!

  • My boyfriend and I finally pummelled through the last few episodes of Riverdale on Monday night, so now we're fully caught up (minus the mid-season premiere). I'm def interested to see where they go with this storyline for the rest of season 2.
  • My online order from Joe Fresh came in earlier this week and I've been so pumped about that. I love Joe Fresh, as the clothes are very feminine and classic, which is very much my style. Unfortunately, the items I bought - this shirt and this dress - are too light for this season, so I won't be able to wear them until the spring.
  • I'm becoming way too obsessed with purchasing books. I seriously end up at Indigo at least twice a week. I'm not even done my TBR for January, and I've already bought two books for February haha
  • It would be wrong of me not to share my most exciting news of the week... I GOT MY FIRST CAR! It was an absolutely amazingly generous gift from my parents. On Tuesday night, they went out for a "bank meeting" (aka buying my car) and came home with the news. I spent the week picking up some essentials to put in the car and tonight (Friday night), I picked her up. She's a slightly used 2017 Kia Soul EX+, in a dark grey colour. I've affectionately named her Maggie and I'm in love.

Felicia x

Friday Thoughts: Getting Back into Things...

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Hi everybody! As lovely as my holidays were, it's definitely nice to be back to blogging on a regular schedule. And to end off my first week back to blogging is my Friday Thoughts post!

  • Monday was an absolutely crazy day. My family and I walked outside of our house to find rushing water throughout the entire garage. It looked as though we'd had a gas leak. We went into full-on panic mode - grabbed the dog, called 911, and ran across the street. One hour and two firetrucks later, we found out it was actually a water pipe that had burst and was mixing with gas that was leaking from a can my dad uses to fill the snowblower. It was so terrifying but thankfully it wasn't anything in the end.

  • This dreary weather has already begun to get me down... I'm so eager for spring weather. Thankfully, we've had a huge bout of rain and warm-ish weather which has melted most of the snow. This summer-lovin' gal is soo over winter.

  • I've been recently binge-watching The Royals with my boyfriend and mum, and New Girl on my own. I had started to watch The Royals awhile back but then forgot about it. We've finally nearly gotten caught up. But I've been especially into New Girl. I love Zooey Deschanel, and especially love her as Jess Day.

  • On Wednesday, I got a chance to go out and have brunch with my very close friend who I have not seen in well over a month. It was so lovely to catch-up over my favourite breakfast, eggs benedict. I always love reuniting with friends, especially when I haven't seen them in forever!

  • My mum got a chance to rummage through my grandma's old photo albums this week whilst visiting her in Hamilton. She took some pics of the best ones, and that night we took a trip down memory lane, where I realised from photos like this one that I've got the same hairdo now as I did when I was a kid lol

Lil me

Lil me

Well, that's it for this week. I hope you all have a marvellous weekend!

Lots of love

Felicia x

Books I Read in 2017

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As the year has finished and I've wrapped up my 2017 reading challenge, I thought I'd share the books I read this past year, including my ratings of them. I always love seeing what other people have read, and how they liked the books they read, so I wanted to share my reading log with you guys, in case any of you are nosy like me!

1. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell ~ 4 stars

2. Someday Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham ~ 4 stars

3. Klee Wyck by Emily Carr ~ 3 stars

4. Generals Die in Bed by Charles Yale Harrison ~ 3 stars

5. Animal Farm by George Orwell ~ 4 stars

6. The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes ~ 4 stars

7. Endgame by Samuel Beckett ~ 3 stars

8. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote ~ 4 stars

9. July's People by Nadine Gordimer ~ 2 stars

10. The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides ~ 4 stars

11. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood ~ 5 stars

12. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon ~ 4 stars

13. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty ~ 4 stars

14. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins ~ 4 stars

15. The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin ~ 3 stars

16. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins ~ 4 stars

17. London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton ~ 3 stars

18. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven ~ 3 stars

19. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell ~ 5 stars

So, there you have it! The good and the bad of 2017. I love looking back on things like this, seeing everything laid out like this in a list. Some of my favourite books this year were AttachmentsEleanor and ParkSomeday Someday Maybe, and The Handmaid's Tale.

Also, please enjoy my photo above of my bookshelf of favourite books, featuring my adorbs Lorelai Gilmore Funko Pop, haha.

What were your favourite books of 2017?

Felicia x

Holiday Catch-Up

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Hello everyone! How are you all doing today? I'm currently writing to you from the comfort of my sofa in Florida, where it is drizzly and freezing outside - not the sort of weather I was hoping as my send off. I'm also feeling quite poorly, as I've got a sore throat and a wicked earache today. But since today is my last day of vacay, I thought it'd be a good opportunity to catch you all up on what I've been up to on my Christmas/New Year's break in a journal-style post.

My vacation started on Christmas Day. My family did our usual Christmas morning thing - waking up early, having egg sandwiches for breaky, then opening presents. Then we cleaned up quick and hustled on over Mississauga, where we spent an hour hanging out with some of Steven's family. It's always nice that we get to see them on Christmas, before we head off for the holidays.

Around noon-ish, we said our goodbyes and headed to Buffalo, New York to catch our flight. We normally fly out of Buffalo as it's a) cheaper and b) way easier than travelling from Pearson Airport. This year, we flew with Jet Blue which was a god sent cause they have those little tv screens on the back of the seats that play tv shows and films. I was thrilled to find out that they were playing The Santa Clause on Freeform as I hate flying (despite years of air travel experience) and it was a nice distraction for my anxiety.

When we got to Florida, we had our second part of our Christmas tradition - more prezzies and a screening of The Polar Express. A perfect ending to a wonderful Christmas.

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On Boxing Day, we headed over to Disney's Grand Floridian resort - aka my favourite Disney hotel - for brunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe. I absolutely love the Cafe. The eggs benedict is very yummmmm. I always love walking around the Grand Floridian and 'oohing' and 'awing' over the wedding pavilion! We spent the afternoon monorail resort hopping so we could see all of the Christmas decorations. I love to see all the trees and especially the Grand Floridian life-size gingerbread house.

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We also popped into Disney Springs to see the Christmas Tree Trail!

Of course, we made a trip to Magic Kingdom on our trip. It was the first chilly night of the trip, but still, it was bearable. Gave me an excuse to wear my favourite holiday Olaf sweatshirt, with my new Christmas Mickey ears. We got to ride Haunted Mansion and Jungle Cruise - which was Christmas decorated and they called it Jingle Cruise which was GREAT. And no Magic Kingdom trip is complete without watching the Happily Ever After fireworks on Main Street with a Starbucks coffee in hand!

Unfortunately, my anxiety popped in to visit on the night I was supposed to be going to Epcot - my favourite Disney park - and I had to have a stay-in night instead. Boo :(

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But the next day, I made it out to Hollywood Studios for the evening and we had a ton of fun despite freezing our asses off!!!! It was about 14 degrees Celsius which is super cold for Florida and I was wearing a t-shirt, a cardigan, and jeans - yet I was frozen. I ended up buying a super cute Stormtrooper sweater AND a Minnie & Mickey Mouse blanket which I wrapped around me. We pretty much just walked around, had some coffee, and then watched the Star Wars fireworks show - which was soooo cool. Every time I saw Leia, I pretty much cried.

New Year's Eve was spent the way it always is for my family. A big dinner at home, a round of Cards Against Humanity, and watching Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve when the ball dropped. Usually, we get to play Cards Against Humanity outside in our backyard but it was like 9 degrees out this year so we had to stay indoors which was kind of a bummer. But we made the best of it! On New Year's Day, my parents went out for dinner with their good friend who lives in Orlando, as they do every year. My boyfriend and I stayed in, ordered some pizza, and watched Riverdale in our pjs. The perfect night!

Now I'm at the end of my trip. Sad :( Today, I was lucky enough to get to pop out to go to Books A Million, where they were having a 'buy 2 get the third free' sale. I was in literal heaven. I was on a book buying break for all of December because of Christmas coming up. So now that I'm free of that, I'm ready to buy every book in sight! I purchased The Girls by Emma Cline, My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella, and Paris for One & Other Stories by Jojo Moyes. I'm already forty pages into The Girls!

I hope everyone had an incredible holiday break! I'll be back to my regular scheduling of posts by next week.

Felicia x

2018 Goals

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I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions. I feel like every year, we create these expectations for ourselves that we make ourselves feel horrible for when we don't stick with them. However, I definitely believe in writing out a few things I'd like to try to accomplish with the span of the year. For me, goal-setting can be really beneficial to my overall success so, here are the goals I'm setting for myself this year.

Create - and stick to - a TBR list

Oddly enough, considering how often I read and how much I enjoy it, I've never actually prepared a proper TBR list. Weird, right? I'm the kind of person to buy a new book I want to read, then put it on my evergrowing pile of unread books and reread the Harry Potter series for the billionth time instead. But not this year. I've already gone ahead and created my first-draft TBR list - which I'm sure will be added to once my favourite authors start to release new novels!

Declutter my wardrobe

It's time. It's time to say goodbye to the fraying, stretched-out pair of jeans I wear way too often and should've tossed months ago. It's time to part ways with the terribly worn out sweater I've owned since I was fourteen. I always hate to go through my wardrobe and declutter, as I hold onto everything because of sentimental value. But since I moved, my closet space is a third of what I used to have and now I have to share the space with my boyfriend - so it's time. Luckily, there are some things that I don't need that are still in good shape that someone else might need that I will be donating.

Reading challenge

This year, I'm challenging myself to read 50 books. Yes, you read that right. Fifty. Five zero. It seems crazy, I know, but I think I can do it! Goodreads allows you to set a goal and then once you record the books you've finished on the app or site, they add that book to your goal. I did this reading challenge for the first time last year and exceeded my goal of 17 with ease. This year, I'm up for a real challenge.

Rediscovering my creativity

This last year was a bit of a dud for me when it comes to writing. I had my heart set on making major progress on my novel, but it never happened. I was feeling a complete lack of inspiration. So, this year, I'm ready for a new creativity boost. I am convinced that comes from broadening my horizons. That means new spaces for writing, new adventures, and new experiences.

Respect the skin

The first half of last year, I did not stick to a skincare routine at all. I treated my skin like crap, if I'm honest. I finally started to treat my skin with some respect in the last few months of 2017 and I could almost immediately see the difference - my acne was disappearing and my stubborn acne scars have almost vanished. I've definitely learned my lesson. I'm carrying this skincare routine on over to 2018 and sticking to it for good.

1 Second Everyday

I am a big fan of the 1 Second Everyday app. I think it's a really cool idea. If you've never heard of it, it's an app where you take a one-second-long video every day and then you can put the videos into a compilation - pretty explanatory, right? I first heard of it from Zoella on Twitter about a year ago (who has since posted a video from 1 Second Everyday to show her year of being twenty-six). I'm determined to post a second every day for the entire year!

Focus on my health

I have the worst immune system. Ever. It's honestly awful. I've always had a poor immune system and this year, I'm going to be taking steps towards improving my that as well as my overall health. It's time to def get my health into check!

Happy New Year's to all!

Felicia x

Reflecting on 2017

Happy New Year everybody!!

2017 is officially behind us. Hasta la vista! My final year of being a teen is gone. Yikes.

Every year, as a new year is upon me, I like to reflect on the past year. It's always good to reflect on the good times, even the bad ones, before you move on. I thought I'd share some of my favourite and some of my not-so-favourite moments of 2017 with you guys!

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Moving House

The first half of this year was a total whirlwind. It was full of moving boxes, tape guns, and bubble wrap as my family prepared to move out of the home I grew up in. The move was a huge adjustment. Moving from your childhood home is rough, I can definitely say that with certainty haha. I was pretty uneasy about the idea of leaving my house, my hometown, and the life I was so familiar with. But, in the end, moving away was an amazing decision for myself and for my family. It introduced me to a town that I absolutely adore! And I’m so in love with my house. It’s been a crazy, exciting experience all around.

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New York City

New York City. Wow. It’s one of my favourite cities in the whole world. Back in 2009, I visited for the first time and fell head over heels in love with the city. And ever since my last trip in 2010, I’ve been dying to return. This spring, my family finally booked another trip back but this time, we brought along my boyfriend, a NYC newbie! I was so thrilled to be back in New York City, especially since I’d be seeing the city with my boyfriend and seeing him experience the Big Apple for the very first time! Fun Fact: When I was about 12 or 13, I actually looked into attending NYU because I was so obsessed with the idea of living in the city! (Spoiler alert: it’s a lot of money lol)

Read about my travels: here, here, here, and here

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Nashville

One of the highlights of the year was definitely our visit to Nashville! I’d never been to Nashville before and neither had my mum, and although we were only in the city for a day, it was wonderful! For me, visiting the Johnny Cash Museum was a dream come true (in fact, it was why we chose to do this quick trip into Music City). I love Johnny Cash and June Carter - their music is basically the soundtrack to my life these days. Getting to learn more about the Man in Black and the love of his life was so incredible and one of my favourite things I’ve ever gotten to do!

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Disney World

Of course, Disney has been a huge part of my year, just like it has been every other year! I think my love for Disney grew even larger this year. If that’s even possible! I have a newfound admiration for the parks, the resort, and all things Disney-related. This is probably partially because for the first time in nearly a decade, I got to stay on-property at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter! It was mine and my boyfriend’s first-ever trip alone together as a couple which was so exciting. It was loads of fun to show him around as his family never stayed on property and together, we got to experience all the things about staying at the resorts that I loved so much as a kid. We’re already saving up for our trip in 2018!

Friends & Family

This year, my relationships with my friends and family have become so much closer and so important to me. When you’re struggling with mental illness, as I have been, it can be so hard to keep up with everyone you love as you’re constantly feeling blah. But my friends have been so amazing this past year. They’re the kind of friends you know will be with you through thick and thin - you always know they’re by your side, no matter what. I’m so grateful for everyone, but especially my parents and my boyfriend. I honestly don’t know what the hell I’d do without them!

I am so eager to see what 2018 has in store for me. I'm not a firm believer in resolutions - in fact, I hardly believe in them at all - but I definitely have a few things I'm going to hold myself to in the new year, which I look forward to sharing with you all!

I hope you all have a very fun, very safe New Year's Eve. I'll talk to you very soon!!

Felicia x

What I Got For Christmas (+ Life Update)

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Hello everybody! Merry Christmas to you! I hope that you all had a wonderful day yesterday with your family and your loved ones. I love to read other people's 'What I Got for Christmas' posts. I don't know about you, but there's something so lovely about hearing people so excited to share what they were gifted. I know that some people find these posts to be braggy, but I don't think that at all. I love haul posts, and why should these kind of posts be any different? I def don't want to come off as a 'show off' or anything. I am genuinely so grateful for everything that everyone gifted me. I have the most generous, kind, giving family and boyfriend ever - not to brag or anything haha. If you're as nosy as I am about what others receive for Christmas, then keep reading to hear about some of the things I was gifted this holiday season!

Kate Spade Cameron Street Perforated Large Lanemy boyfriend gifted me this beautiful red-wine-coloured Kate Spade purse. I'm in love! It's the perfect size for day-to-day outings (shopping, going out for coffee, etc.) and I love that it has a shoulder strap. I especially love the perforated rose decal on the purse's exterior. My parents also gifted me the matching wallet so now I feel very put together when I'm out and about!

Soap and Glory The Righteous ButterI mentioned my love for The Righteous Butter back in my September Favourites post. I won't go too much into this one since I've already done so in my favourites post. My parents slipped this into my stocking this year and I was so jazzed when I found it in there! Haha. I already have a tub of this, but I asked for another so that I wouldn't run out anytime soon.

Funko PopsI got a ton of Funko Pops this Christmas. I've been making a list of them that I want to collect for months now and I've already got a whole set-up planned out in my head, so I'm glad to finally have some to get started with! I received Belle (Beauty and the Beast 2017), Maui (Moana),Dale Cooper (Twin Peaks), Lorelai Gilmore(Gilmore Girls), Rory Gilmore(Gilmore Girls), and Sookie St. James(Gilmore Girls). I have a lot of organizing to do!

Juniper BooksIf you've never heard of Juniper Books before, you're missing out. Juniper sells custom books and collections - essentially hardcover books with beautiful front covers and dust jackets. I fell in love with them earlier this year and received a bunch from my boyfriend for my birthday. But this holiday, my parents bought me three Charles Dickens books - Great Expectations, Bleak House, and A Tale of Two Cities from the Make Your Own Literary Classics set.

Origins Out of Trouble 10 Minute Mask to Rescue Problem SkinI am very very very excited to use this product! I have heard really good things about this face mask and Origins as a brand. You may know through previous posts that I have been having some pretty substantial issues with my skin as of late.... in short, my skin and I are not simpatico at the moment. Hopefully, this mask comes to the rescue!

Too Faced Peach Blur Translucent Smoothing Finishing PowderI just love Too Faced's peach products. Don't we all? The Sweet Peach palette is something I constantly reach for in my makeup drawer, and now I'm excited to add this powder to my collection. I've already used this a couple of times and I absolutely love it.

I cannot describe how grateful I am for everything I received this year. My parents have always been very generous with their gift-giving and I am so glad that I'm old enough to give back to them every Christmas season - with gifts bigger than 'DIY soup in a jar' (yup, my parents received that about 11 years ago - be jelly).

On another note, I thought I'd quickly update all of you on what's going on in my little world. Posts are going to be more disorganized for the next couple weeks as I am currently on vacay with my parents and my boyfriend in Orlando, Florida! I'm trying to write out some posts while I have a free moment, but obviously, it's been go-go-go ever since we touched down in Orlando on Christmas and I can't keep up like I usually can. I will write up some posts on what I've gotten up to and hopefully upload those soon... It's moments like these that make me wonder if I should start posting again on my YouTube channel.....

I'll def see you guys before the New Year but until then, have a wonderful holiday break!

P.S. I'd love to hear what you guys got for Christmas! Lemme know in the comments :)

Felicia x

Friday Thoughts: Pre-Christmas Mayhem

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I'm so very sorry that this post is up late! I'd meant to have it out last night but it just wasn't meant to be. I've had such a crazy week, I just ran out of time! But better late than never, I always say!

  • Christmas is so close!! Good gracious. December goes by in the blink of an eye, doesn't it? I feel like I've a million things left to do. Christmas time seems to be largely about being busy for me haha

  • I've finally seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi!! The four of us (my parents, my bf, and I) went out to see it at the VIP theatre on Tuesday because tickets were super cheap and we love to have a ~special~ drink with our film haha. Leading up to seeing this film, we rewatched the original 3 films plus The Force Awakens, so we were pumped. Despite mixed reviews, we all really really enjoyed it! I thought they did a good job at staying true to the Star Wars storyline, without seeming so repetitive. I also liked that there were some humorous bits, like the first bit of the film (I won't say what it was for the sake of those who haven't seen it yet!).

  • My boyfriend and I had a lovely dinner with his parents to celebrate Christmas in the middle of this past week. We decided to meet at a restaurant about 40 mins away from my house and exchange gifts. We had a great time, and I was very spoiled by Steven's parents as they gifted me a super cute Roots poncho with a huge loose turtleneck (which I love) and a pair of adorable slipper booties!

  • I'm loving the snow. As I've mentioned, I'm all for a white Christmas. I had a bit of a worry at the beginning/middle of this week as the snow completely melted away. Like, I'm talking most of the snow was gone. I was so bummed out, I was hoping for a miracle at that point. And then it happened! Thursday night, the snow came and there is now a fresh blanket of beautiful white snow on my town. I'm major heart-eyes right now.

  • My grandma came by later in the week to celebrate Christmas with my family, which was so nice as we haven't seen her as often now that she no longer lives with us. Since my boyfriend had to leave the next day to spend the weekend at home with his own family, we decided to exchange our gifts on that night - and my parents were so lovely as they did not only a stocking for me but also one for my boyfriend to carry on one of my favourite traditions to us. Some of my favourite bits from the stocking were the Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy in 'Milkshake', the heavenly Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter, and afelt pennantwith my university name on it, which I've always wanted. My boyfriend spoiled me rotten this year - he gifted me a beautiful wine-coloured Kate Spade purse and a Beauty and the Beast 2017 Soundtrack Vinyl Record which made me legit emotional lol

I hope you all have a marvellous Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! I'll speak to you all very very soon! Happy holidays :)

Felicia x

Christmas Q&A

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Hello everybody! It's the week of Christmas!!!!! Who's excited? (Me! Me! I am!). Since I'm getting in the festive mood, as I'm sure you all are, I thought I would do a few Christmas-themed posts for you guys this week, starting off with a Christmas Q&A. I found a few Christmas related questionnaires online, picked out some of my favourite questions, and decided to answer them for you all.

1. Have you ever had a white Christmas? 

Yes! I live in Canada, so more often than not do we have snow on Christmas day. Always makes me sad when there's no snow... Luckily, this year, we've got plenty!

2. Peeking at gifts or being surprised? 

I hate the thought of seeing my gifts before Christmas. I was never the type of kid to go looking for my presents before they'd been wrapped, let alone go so far as to unwrap them secretly.

3. Show an old Christmas photo. 

My dad and i, christmas day

My dad and i, christmas day

4. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve? 

Yep, I do! My family has dinner at my grandfather's house on Christmas Eve, so I receive a couple presents from relatives. Then, back at home, I open two gifts: one, a gift of my choosing, and the other a pair of new pyjamas. It's a family tradition!

5. What is your all-time favourite holiday food/sweet treat? 

Ahhh this is so difficult. I've always loved fudge. My grandma used to make it every year, back when she hosted Christmas, and oh my god I just loved it.

6. If you could be in any Christmas movie, what would it be? 

I'd say the nineties version of Miracle on 34th Street - so long as I got to be with Dylan McDermott in the end. Hahaha.

7. Candy canes or gingerbread men? 

Candy canes. I'm addicted to peppermint!!

8. What's your favourite Christmas song? 

Probably would have to be 'Last Christmas' by Wham!.

9. Do you like to wear a bold lip for Christmas or keep it neutral with a pretty nude? 

I'm def all for the red lip at Christmas!!

10. What's your favourite present you've ever received for Christmas? 

It's a toss-up. The most exciting present I ever received was tickets to my very first concert to see Hilary Duff when I was in the second grade. But the best gift was my dog, whom I love very dearly.

11. What's the best part of Christmas for you? 

For me, the best part of Christmas is being with my family, decorating the house, and just spending quality time together. I feel like Christmas really brings families together, which is something that's so important to me as my family is the most important thing to me.

12. When you were younger, what gift did you always act for that you never received? 

I never had one I repeatedly asked for, as far as I know. But if I ever asked my parents for something a little too pricey, and they said they wouldn't buy it for me, apparently my go-to answer was, "Well, I'll just ask Santa - he'll get it for me!". Hahaha. I was always thinking.

Feel free to answer these questions on your own blogs - I'd love to see your answers!

Felicia x

Friday Thoughts: Love Actually + Approaching Holidays

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Happy Friday everyone, welcome back! Hope you've all had a fabulous week. This week has been chock-full and so exciting, I'm excited to share it with you all!

  • I hate road closures whilst driving. Detours make me so uneasy - I just don't like not knowing where I'm going. I had to drive my bf to his exam on Saturday and I pulled up to the main road I take to school to find it was closed all weekend. So, I followed the detour, whilst screaming. I genuinely had a moment of panic like "oh my god my bf is going to miss his exam" - despite the fact that we were like two hours ahead of schedule. I basically looked like this:
  • We got our first real snowfall of the season!! I've been dying for a good snowfall for like ages (I even mentioned this in last week's Friday Thoughts). It's been so lovely to drive around and see that thick blanket of snow on the ground and on rooftops. It was the good, fluffy kind of snow, too.
  • My mum and I had a girls' night out on Monday evening to see Love Actually play at the VIP movie theatre in Burloak. At first, I was worried we may not even make it, as there was a ton of traffic due to the snow. But all was well. It was a great evening of laughter and a few fun drinks.
  • CHRISTMAS IS NEXT WEEKEND!!! WHAT?? Next week is gonna be crazy busy. My boyfriend and I've got exams to finish up, we're seeing Star Wars: The Last Jedi in theatres (any Star Wars fans out there?), we're having dinner with my bf's parents, and we're having dinner with my parents and grandma. My boyfriend goes home Friday for his own family Christmas celebrations and then Sunday is Christmas eve!!! Time's going by so quick. Hopefully, I'll have a moment of peace to fill you guys in on how it all goes.
  • Did anyone catch Harry Styles on tv being particularly cute whilst filling in for James Corden on his talk-show?? I watched a bit online afterwards. Nearly six years since I first was introduced to One Direction, and I still find Harry so adorable.

Have a great weekend everybody! Hopefully, you all have a relaxing weekend ahead of ya :)

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

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

Must-See Christmas Films

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I have a little bit of an obsession with films. In fact, my whole family does. We have a four-drawer case filled with dvds, both in our home in Canada and in our vacation home in Florida. I fully believe that a film can drastically improve your mood. For instance, if I'm feeling ill, watching a Disney film always lifts my spirits. If I'm feeling sad, Bridget Jones's Diary does wonders. Hell, if I'm already in a good mood, Mamma Mia can always put me in an even better mood. So, it probably comes as no surprise that I love Christmas films more than anything. Here are some of my favourite Christmas films to help inspire you to have a cozy evening featuring a film and a mug of hot cocoa (with whipped cream and sprinkles, of course).

LOVE ACTUALLY

The ultimate Christmas rom-com. It's got it all: comic relief, falling in love, heartache, losing a loved one, and friendship. Plus, a totally awesome star-studded cast featuring my favourite British actor ever, Colin Firth. Colin Firth makes everything a billion times better, no matter what.

THE HOLIDAY

Though I've only just seen this for the first time recently, it deserves to be on the list just the same. As I've said, I am a sucker for Jude Law and I only love him even more now that I've seen this film. If you've ever wanted to just spontaneously run away from your life, you'll totally love this film. It's simply adorable.

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1994)

This is probably my favourite Christmas film. I seriously cannot go through the holiday season without watching Miracle on 34th Street at least twice. I love everything about it. The storyline, the characters, the outfits, Dylan McDermott... Haha no but seriously, it's such a cute story, with one of the happiest endings of all Christmas films.

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (2000)

How can you not love this film? It's a classic story, revamped with borderline inappropriate humour and an amazing cast including the very great Christine Baranski. The fact that so many of the Grinch's lines were ad-libbed by Jim Carrey only makes it that much better. And I cannot get over how cute Max is, tbh.

WHITE CHRISTMAS

This old-fashioned Christmas film is too good not to love. I'm a love a good movie-musical and a big production, so this really does it for me. Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby singing duets together is exactly what a Christmas film needs. And oh my god those costumes!!! Major heart-eyes.

THE SANTA CLAUSE TRILOGY

Okay... maybe just Santa Clause and Santa Clause 2 (sorry, but the third film just isn't my cup of tea). I love these films. I think the concept is so interesting - some average guy has to suddenly become Santa?? Plus, the second film is just so charming - it's definitely my favourite of the three. I love the odd characters and the comedy of it all.

What are your favourite Christmas films?

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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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.