2018: A Year in Review

Can you believe that it’s almost 2019?! We’re just hours away by now and it’s completely blowing my mind. It will never not be weird to me how we an go from being in one year to being in the next in just the blink of an eye. Crazy stuff!!

For my last post of 2018, I thought I’d finish off with a review of my favourite memories of 2018! A lot has happened this past year… In some ways, it’s been simultaneously a not-so-great and a great year. But no matter what, I think it’s always good to look back on the past year and see what you’ve accomplished!

Attachment-1-3.jpeg

JANUARY

Happy New Year!! We started our year off with a bit of a blip, as we had a near-crisis where we thought that there was a gas leak in our house/garage. We called the fire dept and stood outside for over an hour, just to find out it was a false alarm! Shortly afterwards was one of my favourite memories of 2018 however, as it was when I got my first car!! I’m sure you’ve heard this all before, but in case you haven’t, it’s a used grey Kia Soul which I call Maggie (obvs, after Maggie Smith).

Attachment-2-3.jpeg

FEBRUARY

In late January/early February, my mum and I snuck away for a ~super secret~ girls trip to Orlando. At the time, no one outside my family knew that I wasn’t in uni so we kept it very discreet. Our trip was soo much fun and it was really cool seeing the Festival of the Arts at Epcot, as I’d never seen that before!! Also in February, Steven turned 20 which was really really exciting!

Attachment-3-2.jpeg

MARCH

Please look at this adorable picture of my pup sleeping in front of a fireplace omg. March was spent putting major work into my blog as this was around the time that I decided I wanted to take blogging more seriously. I was looking into different hosts, weighing out my options, and was starting to delve into social media more! This was also the month that my boyfriend bought his very first car!

Attachment-4-1.jpeg

APRIL

April, things were starting to warm up (slowly, but surely). My boyfriend and I headed to our uni for an end of year celebration with our really good friends, who I hadn’t seen in ages because I hadn’t been in school. It was such a great time - albeit a tad freezing!! (This is such a bad photo I KNOW)

Attachment-1-3-1.jpeg

MAY

As school was over for my boyfriend in late April and we had a month to spare before I left for Florida, we decided to spend some time exploring the south-western area of Ontario where my town is. We visited Ancaster, Port Dover, and Niagara-on-the-Lake. It was so much fun and I absolutely recommend acting like a tourist in your own town because you won’t know what you’re missing until you do!

Attachment-2-3-1.jpeg

JUNE

June is when my family and I left for our summer trip to Orlando. Although I was still having a hard time with my anxiety in the summer, June was a lot of fun and we got to do quite a few things. My mum celebrated her birthday at the end of the month and we all had dinner at Be Our Guest to celebrate!

Attachment-3-2-1.jpeg

JULY

The month started off with a road trip down to Orlando with my mum. I’ve never been huge on long-haul drives but we did get to go through Tennessee which is my fav state and it was as beautiful as ever! We also celebrated my dad’s birthday and my boyfriend came down to visit - I was so happy to see him, and the four of us go to see my beloved Sam Smith in concert (he was incredible, that man’s got TALENT).

Attachment-4-2.jpeg

AUGUST

In August, my boyfriend, parents, and I went on a staycation to Walt Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter! We had such an amazing time and for the first time in a while, my anxiety was actually at a manageable level so that made the whole trip that much more enjoyable. I also celebrated my 20th birthday in Disney! You can read all about that vacation here.

SEPTEMBER

September marked one of the momentous events of the year: my big return to university. I was so nervous to go back to school, but luckily the transition went quite smoothly! If you haven’t heard about my decision to take a year off university, you can read about that here. My boyfriend and I also celebrated our five-year anniversary, for which he gifted me a beautiful Belle promise ring!

Attachment-2-4.jpeg

OCTOBER

October brought one of my favourite of our annual traditions and that is our trip to Disney where we do the Food & Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!! These are two of my all-time favourite events in Disney World and I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to spend them with my boyfriend these last few years. This year, we dressed up as Mary Poppins and Bert in honour of Mary Poppins Returns coming out this year!

NOVEMBER

November signalled the beginning of stressful/busy times. Fortunately, at the end of the month, we did get to do some of our favourite Christmas traditions like our town’s Light Up Night (which Steven sadly wasn’t able to attend) and Santa Claus Parade. Mostly, we spent the month preparing for the upcoming exam season which was especially stressful for me this year as a) it was the first time I’d be writing exams since spring 2017 and b) it was my first time studying for exams whilst living with my boyfriend, which makes for a very different study atmosphere.

Attachment-4-3.jpeg

DECEMBER

December has been the busiest month of all this year. We made a few trips out to Mississauga to visit Steven’s family, hosted my family’s annual Christmas party, wrote exams (I had two; Steven had four), and tried to keep ourselves sane with the mix of school pressure and upcoming holiday season. It was also the most triumphant month for my anxiety as I was told by my therapist that we would start cutting back on my appointments and I also did a number of anxiety-inducing things that went really really well!!


This year, ultimately, started off really crappy, but ended up turning into a really successful second-half of the year. Although I had a rough time, I proved to myself that with a bit of help I could overcome all my struggles and actually find what I wanted from life and how to get it, which was so so important. Hopefully, next year will all around be a better year than 2018 and I’m really looking forward to seeing what it has in store for me!

Felicia x

Blogmas 2018 Day Six: Things I Love About the Holidays

I think it probably goes without saying that Christmas is my favourite holiday. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved the excitement of Christmas. And not even just of Christmas morning - but also of the month or so leading up to Christmas. Everything changes at Christmas time, like entering a completely different universe. Today, I thought I’d talk about a few of my favourite things related to the Christmas season. Since I could go on and on about this for probably the rest of December, I’m going to limit myself to just 5 of my favourite things.

DECORATING THE HOUSE

Christmas decorations are quite possibly one of the main things about Christmas that I love, for two reasons. First off, I love Christmas decorations because I just love to look at them. Ever since my family moved into our new house, we’ve been gifted with more spaces that are available for decorating. One of my favourite places is the front window, which is massive and looks out onto my court so when we put up our Christmas tree, you can see the lights through the window at nighttime and it’s absolutely magical. I love Christmas trees, villages, stockings, candles, garland, lights - oh I love me some Christmas lights. But the other thing I love about decorations is actually decorating. My family has always taken decorating very seriously and we consider it a family task. Since my boyfriend moved in a couple years ago, he’s become a part of the tradition which makes it even more exciting! Together we trim the trees with Christmas music and a glass of wine and have a ton of laughs. It’s so much fun and possibly one of the best traditions of the season.

SPENDING TIME WITH FAMILY

For many people, Christmas entails seeing their extended family (which can be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending!). For me, however, I don’t really have a close extended family, so Christmas is mainly for myself and my parents. We’re already a close-knit group but at Christmas time, we make sure to put our work or school or just generally busy lives aside to focus on spending time together and enjoying the season, whether that means trimming the tree or watching a Christmas film together. The Christmas season is extremely busy for everyone, especially because it means final exam season for me again now that I’m back in uni. But we have a very strict schedule of traditions that we make sure to stick to so that we don’t forget to put the stress aside and just enjoy Christmas together as a family!

SEEING FRIENDS

This is actually one of my new favourite things about Christmas! Last year, my family hosted our very first Christmas party. Our last house was actually bigger than our current home but it was more closed off where this new one is open-concept. So we’ve got a lot more space available for hosting parties. Since we live so far from a lot of our friends now, it’s nice that we get to invite everyone over to celebrate the holidays with! I always love introducing my friends to each other and having them all together as it’s so lovely to see everyone I care about getting to know one another!

BUYING GIFTS FOR LOVED ONES

This one’s sort of a double-edged sword for me. I love buying gifts for my loved ones, but I also find it incredibly stressful as I’m the sort of person that agonizes for weeks whether a gift is good enough or not. However at the end of the day, I love the joy of finding the perfect gift for my friends, family or my bf. And there’s really nothing I love more than watching them open up their gifts on Christmas. It’s so lovely to see someone get excited over their gift!!

FESTIVE SWEETS AND TREATS

There are so many Christmas treats that I absolutely love. My mum has always been really into baking, so she gets really into the Christmas baking spirit when December rolls around. The past couple years I’ve started to help her out and learn a few of her ~secret~ recipes! I love baking gingerbread cookies so so so much as they are my fav Christmas baked goods. But I also like other special treats such as Starbucks holiday drinks (esp the Caramel Brulee Latte!!!). I’m also really big on chocolate in the holiday season, particularly the Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark and on Christmas, I always get a Gerry’s chocolate orange from my parents :)

What are your favourite things about Christmas?

Felicia x

To view a list of all my Blogmas posts, click here.

20 Years

I'm twenty years old y'all!! I know, it's a shock to me as well. I recently had my birthday on the 20th of August. Two whole decades of my life have officially gone by. I know to a lot of people that seems like nothing, but to me, it's completely mind-blowing that I'm now in my twenties. It's been a long time coming, since my friends are already 20! 

I was stuck wondering what sort of post I should write up for my 20th birthday. A '20 things I've learned in 20 years' post? Or a birthday tag, maybe? I really couldn't decide. But I remembered a post I saw a while back where someone had reflected on what they'd learned since their last birthday. I thought I'd do a bit of that, but also mix in a few things I've learned through my life as a whole. 

So kick back, relax, grab yourself a snack. Maybe get yourself a fancy drink - it is my champagne birthday, after all! 

A reason, a season, or a lifetime

I'm sure you've heard the saying that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I know it's super cliche, but it is true. In twenty years, I've come across people from every category. And honestly, sometimes it can be pretty hard to determine who is who. Some of the people I thought were 'lifetimes' ended up being 'reasons'. In some cases, it was someone who was in my life for a short time that impacted my life positively; and others, it was negative. But the lessons I've learned from those not-so-great relationships have moulded me into the person I am today and I've learned to be grateful for that, instead of just fixating on how things could've gone better.

Mental illness doesn't make you 'weak'

This was a lesson that took me so long to learn. Despite being completely supportive of other people's mental health, I have always been really hard and unsympathetic towards my own. In the early years of dealing with my anxiety, I had someone say that I was 'weak' for suffering from mental illness, whereas those who don't suffer are 'strong'. As if strong people can somehow fight off mental illness...? It was obviously completely ignorant and plain wrong to say. But being a young teen, it really took a toll on me. Mental illness doesn't make anybody weak. In fact, people who suffer from mental illness are some of the strongest people out there. As much as I hate dealing with anxiety, it has definitely made me a stronger person over the years. 

Friends who stick around during tough times are the ones who'll last forever

I've been through a lot of ups and downs in my life. Like, a lot, a lot. In that, I really came to realize who my true friends are and not only that, but just generally who I wanted to be in my life. Friends should make your life better, not worse. That was something I had a hard time coming to grips with. I'm the kind of person who hates to rock the boat. But there were just certain toxic relationships in my life I had no choice but to step away from, for my own happiness. With that being said, there've been friendships that have really bettered me and my life as a whole. I saw something online awhile ago that said something like, friends you've just met in uni know you better than friends you've known your entire life. And honestly, it couldn't be more true for me. The friends I've made in uni are incredible and those friendships have been life-changing. 

Don't let anyone deter you from going after your dreams

Let me say it again, just in case you didn't hear me... DON'T LET ANYONE DETER YOU FROM GOING AFTER YOUR DREAMS. I don't care what your dream is - doctor, psychologist, beekeeper, car mechanic. Anything. If it's what you want to do with your life and you know it'll make you happy, then do it. So what if someone says that chances are you won't make it in your career field? The only way to know is to try. You've got a long life ahead of you, especially when you're 17 or 18 and leaving secondary school. Don't go on a career path that makes you miserable just to make you other people happy. Take it from someone who's been there; it's so not worth it and you'll definitely regret it later. 

Hope you're all having an amazing week!

Felicia x

What's In My Disney Theme Park Bag?

IMG_3983.jpeg

Packing a bag for a day at the Disney theme parks can be a pretty daunting task. But over the years, I've brought it down to a few simple things that I always have to have on me when I'm headed to parks! Today I thought I'd go through the staples of what I pack for a day at the parks, especially as I've got a WDW staycation coming up very very soon and I'm getting into the Disney spirit! 

Without further ado, here's what I pack in my Disney theme park bag...

IMG_3985.jpeg

Wallet

First and foremost, I always make sure to have my wallet on me. You always want to make sure to have your Credit/Debit cards and some US currency. I also will have my Disney annual pass for parking and discounts, and my Starbucks Rewards card for if I want to get a coffee while I'm at Disney!

Lipstick + Balm

I always keep lip balm on me no matter what, as I have dry and chapped lips. But if you know anything about me, you probably know I always have a lipstick on me too. At Disney, I usually carry my Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour in Seduction as it's a very neutral pink.

Sun + Eyeglasses

Because I have prescription glasses, I make sure to bring them along with me as I never know when I'll need those - for driving or for rides. I also ALWAYS bring along sunglasses because it is the Sunshine State after all. Protect your eyes y'all!

IMG_3987.jpeg

Sanitizer + Meds

As Disney is a theme park and many people pass through, I always have hand sanitizer on me and make sure to use it whenever I'm about to eat. I also bring an assortment of basic meds with me, like Aleve, Midol, and Pepcid for emergencies.

Keys

Of course, I always have to bring my keys with me to the parks. How else will I get home?! My keys fit in perfectly at the parks as they're very Disney-fied - I've got a Minnie keychain (my bf has the matching Mickey) and a rose gold Cinderella castle keychain!

IMG_3989.jpeg

Gum

Be warned: Disney World does NOT sell gum! This is a long-standing tradition, to deter people from leaving gum all over the ground and messing with the parks. If you always like to have gum, like me, bring your own and be courteous please!

IMG_3990.jpeg

Magicband

Although this isn't technically inside my park bag, I always bring a Magicband with me. It's become a total life saver for me these past few years. I always use it for park entrance and Fastpass returns.

Minnie Ears

Of course, I have to bring along my ears!! Where would I be without these bad boys? I have a whole collection of ears that I alternate between, but you can almost always guarantee that there's a pair in my bag or on my head!

IMG_3992.jpeg

Minnie Backpack

If I'm in the parks for a long time, like a full day, I'll use this Minnie Mouse backpack from Disney instead of my purse - it just disperses weight better on my back and shoulders, and is easier to tote around for long periods of time.

What do you pack in your Disney park bag?

Felicia x

Get To Know Me in 30 Questions

me france .jpg

Hello everyone! 

It's been some time since I've done a sit-down, chat about me sort of post. And I realized that a lot has changed in the last while - since my last "get to know me" post, I've switched platforms and gained 500+ followers on Instagram (!!!). Which means there's a ton of you that are new(ish) to the blog and might not know me as well as some older readers. So, today I thought I'd do a little 30-questions questionnaire to give you guys a bit of a look at the gal behind the blog! 

Without further ado...

1. What is your middle name? I haven't actually got a middle name! My first name is Felicia-Rene, which is plenty. 

2. What is your favourite colour? It changes pretty frequently.. Lately, I've been loving millennial pink (who hasn't?). But I also love maroon which is luckily one of my school colours. 

3. Who was your first best friend? I had a best friend in junior kindergarten named Brianne. We used to hang out in my basement and put on play make-up all the time, haha

4. How tall are you? 5'4", which is on the shorter side. It's pretty odd, as my parents are both fairly tall so I don't know where my height comes from! 

5. Cats or dogs? Dogs, dogs, dogs. I'm allergic to cats, so there's that, but I also prefer pups because of how playful they are. 

6. Funniest moment throughout school? Oh god, honestly, I couldn't remember just one. A lot of my best high school memories include my boyfriend, even before we were dating. He always used to give our mean math teacher a hard time which was pretty hilarious. He sat in the back corner, in between a desk and a cabinet, and constantly made smart comments at the teacher. 

7. How many countries have you visited? I've visited U.S.A., England, France, and a number of Caribbean islands! But there are so many more countries I'd love to visit someday.

8. Are you in/gone to college? Yep, I'm currently attending McMaster University, where I'm studying English and Cultural Studies. I started back in 2016 and as I mentioned in a blog post, I recently took a year off so it won't be awhile until I graduate! 

9. What was your favourite/worst subject in high school? My favourite subject in school was, obviously, English, and my worst subject was math. I was pretty decent in math up until high school, but I had a bad teacher two years in a row and it was game over after that. I can hardly do simple math anymore, haha.

10. What is your favourite drink? I'd have to say strawberry or raspberry lemonade! So delish :) 

11. What is your favourite animal? I have two! Dogs and giraffes.

12. What is your favourite perfume? Recently, my favourite perfume has been the Marc Jacobs Honey scent. It's so lovely and not too over-powering, which I definitely prefer. 

13. Tea or coffee? Coffee, always! I've tried on several occasions to drink tea and have failed. I just can't bring myself to like it! 

14. What would you (or have you) name your children? I have a couple names stashed away in my mind but I'm super paranoid about talking about them, because I'm worried that it'll give people ideas! If you've ever seen Friends, you get where I'm coming from!

15. What sports do you play/have you played? Zero, zilch, nada. Sports and I do not make a good team (haha sports pun). I did, however, do a week-long soccer camp with my friends in elementary school and I spent the week crushing on a guy in the camp. When it came to playing actual games, I sat down in the middle of the field and picked dandelions lol

16. What is your favourite book? Ohh please don't make me choose! I have a ton. "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath, "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen, "Under Rose-Tainted Skies" by Louise Gornall, "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell... The list goes on and on.

17. Who are some of your favourite bloggers/YouTubers? For bloggers, I love Amber Fillerup, Kait Killebrew, and Poppy Deyes. But for YouTubers (which, by the way, I love YouTube), I always enjoy watching Cole & Sav, Jess Conte, TheTimTracker, and Madelaine Pestch!

18. What is your favourite movie? If you've been following my blog for awhile, then you probably already know this: it's Moulin Rouge. I loved it as a kid and was re-introduced to it when I started high school. It was even the first movie that my boyfriend and I watched together when we hung out together for the first time as a couple. 

19. Are you single or taken? I can happily say that I am taken! I've been in a relationship with the loveliest man on earth since 2013. 

20. What's your current hair colour? Currently, it's dark brown with blonde highlights.

21. What is your favourite season? As much as I love summer, with the hot weather and the beach and the sun, I am partial to autumn. It's such a beautiful season with all the lovely foliage and everything is so crisp and heavenly!!!

22. Favourite memory from childhood? Basically, all my memories from Disney World but also from this resort called Sherkston Shores in Ontario. My family used to visit often and I loved it so much. We used to make s'mores and sit by the fire and go mini-golfing. I'd love to go back!

23. Do you speak any different languages and how well? I speak some French. Very little or, as the French say, un petit peu. I took French in school for 8 years but it obviously didn't stick. I can say basic things and know enough to get by, but that's all. 

24. Do you have any siblings? Nope, I'm an only child. 

25. How would you describe your fashion sense? Honestly, it's a bit of everything, but mostly very "feminine" and somewhat retro-inspired. Big mid-length skirts are my fav! 

26. What is your favourite restaurant? Okay, everyone always judges me so hard for this, but my favourite restaurant in Canada is called "Jack Astor's". They sell the best nachos ever and I always get the asiago chicken bowties because they are the closest thing to heaven. They also have the best alcoholic drinks ever! As for American restaurants, my fav is Shake Shack bc I'm a burger fanatic. 

27. What are some of your favourite tv shows? I have a billion, honestly. My favourites right now are Gilmore Girls, Downton Abbey, Brooklyn 99, and New Girl. But I also always love me a good throwback sitcom - Friends, Frasier, Will & Grace, Golden Girls to name a few. 

28. PC or Mac? Mac, for sure. My entire life exists on Apple and iCloud. 

29. What phone do you have? I have an iPhone 8+ in gold! 

30. Tell us one of your bad habits. Ugh one of my worst habits is playing with my hair. I can't stop touching my hair! A lot of the time, I'll be wrapping a piece of my hair or bangs around my finger and I don't even notice it. It's a major nervous habit for me. 

That's all for now! Thanks for following me and my life on my blog and social media. It's nice to get to know you guys! If you want to keep up with my day-to-day life, you can follow my Instagram or Twitter

Love you all lots. 

Felicia x

Why I Took A Break From University

IMG_2638.jpeg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time!

Felicia x

why i decided to take a break from uni.jpg

If We Were Having Coffee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What have you guys been up to lately?

Felicia x

Follow me on Bloglovin'

Welcome to the New Blog

IMG_2314.jpg

Hello everyone!

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

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

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

Hope you enjoyed your weekend!

Felicia x

A Small Hiatus...

img_2151.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talk to you all very, very soon :)

Felicia x

In Bloom: Spring Playlist

img_2131.jpeg

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

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

Today, I thought I'd share my Spring playlist with you guys! I've put them all into this little Spotify widget player for you guys to listen to (which took me much longer to figure out than I'd care to admit to).

Enjoy!!

Felicia x


*~*

Bloom - The Paper Kites

First Day Of My Life - Bright Eyes

Boardwalks - Little May

Green Eyes - Coldplay

Come To Me - The Goo Goo Dolls

Little Darling - Lewis Watson

Love On The Weekend - John Mayer

To Whom It May Concern - The Civil Wars

Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop - Landon Pigg

Flowers In Your Hair - The Lumineers

Big Parade - The Lumineers

Free Fallin’ - John Mayer

Home - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

King and Lionheart - Of Monsters and Men

All We Ever Knew - The Head and the Heart

Dear Marie - John Mayer

The Girl - City and Colour

Girl You’re Alright - Paul Otten

Begin Again - Taylor Swift

*~*


5 Concerts I Loved + 5 I Want to See

img_1753.jpeg

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

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

5 Concerts I Loved

- the 1975 -

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

- july talk - 

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

- shawn mendes - 

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

- walk the moon -

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

- ed sheeran - 

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

5 Concerts I Want to See

- paul simon - 

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

- john mayer - 

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

- queen - 

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

- arctic monkeys -

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

- george ezra -

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

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

Felicia x

That Time I Nearly Didn't Graduate High School

img_1409-1.jpeg

Yep, you read that right. And it's not clickbait or anything. This is the actual story of how I quite literally nearly did not graduate from high school. This is a pretty lengthy story, so I'd suggest grabbing a cup of tea or coffee or hot cocoa (yum) and getting cozy. Comfy? Okay, let's do this.

Basically, this has a longgg backstory, so bear with me for a sec.

So my high school was a bit of a shit show when it came to course selection. And by that I mean that course selection was less of selecting the courses you would take the following year, and more of listing off the courses that you had hoped to take and then praying that you would be able to take it. They should've named the whole process something more fitting, like "Course Lottery". There was not a single year, save for grade nine, that I got into all the classes I had planned for. And not because the classes were full, or because I didn't have the prerequisites or whatever. Nope. It was because the classes I wanted to take kept getting the axe. Literally, at least five classes I had selected were dropped during my four years of high school.

It was the same thing every year. I'd get called down to the office at the end of the school year, weeks after sending in my course selection, and I'd come to a conference room full of other unlucky students, sheets of course outlines strewn across the table, and a few guidance counsellors there to inform me that, yet again, the courses I'd chosen for the following year were no longer available. Imagine my reaction when I walked in one year and had them say, "You've got it the worst out of anybody - three of your courses have been dropped. That's a new record!". Three out of eight courses in one year had to be replaced. I should've received a gold medal for Unluckiest Student of All Time. I spent a half an hour trying to decide on courses while every single person in the room stared at me sympathetically.

Forcing me to choose new courses in a limited amount of time without my parents there to consult on it was kind of a death sentence. It usually ended with disastrous outcomes, like taking grade eleven Chemistry, after failing the chemistry unit of my grade ten Science course. However, the real prize winner was grade twelve, when I was called in individually to my guidance counsellor's office to choose a new course. She basically informed me that I had two options: 1) to take a course at my school, out of the few available courses: gym (no), chemistry (GOD NO), and exercise science (was she even trying??), or 2) to take a course online, through another school district. Wait. I could do that??? Apparently! The world was my oyster - well, at least, Ontario was. So she showed me a bunch of courses that I could take and, feeling the pressure, I decided on Philosophy. Did I want to take Philosophy? No. Did I have any idea what Philosophy was even about? No x2. But hey, it wasn't gym. My guidance counsellor got in contact with the other school, which was in London, Ontario, and set up for me to take this class online. I got a login and a website URL and I was sent off to figure it out on my own. What could go wrong?

The course itself was surprisingly fine. I wasn't about to become the next Socrates or Descartes, but I did get a 90% in the end so I felt pretty good about myself. I had a few issues with the teacher, who claimed that I didn't hand things in when I had proof that I did, but it was sorted out eventually. I started to suspect that something fishy was going on when I realized that my grade for the course hadn't shown up on my midterm report card. I went to the office to tell them and they assured me that they received the mark but it wouldn't show up until my final report card. Okay, sure. They just reminded to come to them to make sure they'd received my mark at the end of the semester. So that's exactly what I did. And they said they got the mark and all was well.

Flash forward to graduation. I had this weird feeling all day. Yeah, I was anxious because I had to stand up in front of all the kids I went to high school with on a stage, in high heels, which is a disaster just waiting to happen. But there was this weird feeling, too, that I couldn't explain. Our graduation was held at a performing arts centre in the downtown area of our city. When all the students arrived, we were guided upstairs to this really big room which was used as a makeshift dressing room, where we would receive and dress in our caps and gowns. They had these long fold-out tables where staff were handing out packages according to our names. Basically, you got your cap, gown, and a little cue card which had your name on it. On the back of the card, it stated whether or not you were an Honours student and if you had any extra awards. When you went up to cross the stage to get your diploma, you'd hand the card to the announcer and they would say your name and awards. Pretty simple, right? So I get my little graduation set and join my friends to start getting ready. All my friends are talking excitedly about the awards they'd received, so I look at my own card. And there's nothing there. All it says is my name. I just kept flipping over, back and front, praying to god that I missed something. But nope. At this point, I'm panicking, hoping this some sort of a joke or something. I turned to one of my friends and said, "There's nothing on my card - no Honours or anything" to which they replied, "Well you clearly just didn't get Honours." So, peeved that the assumption was that I didn't get the grades and that this wasn't a mistake, I just said, "Uh, I finished with an 89%. I definitely got Honours." I was horrified and embarrassed because now I was the only one in my group who didn't have Honours and no one even though I got it in the first place. I worked my ass off in grade twelve. What was going on???

We were piled up into the theatre a bit later, where we sat in alphabetical order by last name until our row was called to line-up to cross the stage. My group was eventually called and we went to cross. I handed my card to the announcer and as they called out just my name, I gritted my teeth and tried not to cry. After a minute or so, they brought us out to the lobby to collect our ~real~ diploma (opposed to the fake one that they give you on stage) and the picture of our graduating class. I got my folder and headed back to my chair. As soon as I sat down and looked at the folder, I knew. I didn't even have to open it to be absolutely sure that there was no diploma in there. Just a thin sheet of paper. I sat there for the rest of the ceremony, trying to act cool in front of my friends, all the while trying to hold down a panic attack. To add insult to injury, they tossed their caps while I was outside, not getting my diploma. As the ceremony came to an end, my parents - who were sitting a few rows up, diagonally from me - turned around and gave me a thumbs up, as if to say "You did it!". I just looked back and shook my head.

You can tell by my face that i'm not impressed lol

You can tell by my face that i'm not impressed lol

When the ceremony was over, the students exited first, followed by the parents. I got out into the lobby and the first person I saw was my boyfriend. He walked up, all happy, and I just kept shaking my head, saying over and over, "I need my parents. I need to see my parents." So my parents come out, along with my boyfriend's parents, and as soon as I saw them, I burst into tears. Right there, in the lobby at my graduation, in front of all my high school classmates. I just kept saying, "I didn't graduate." So they're all confused like wtf of course you graduated. I handed my dad the folder and was like, "It isn't in there. Please look for me. I can't look at it." So he took out the sheet of paper which basically said, "Congratulations on graduating from ---- Secondary School. You technically graduated and all, but we're going to hold onto your diploma until you send us proof that you completed your online Philosophy course." I swear to god, I have never seen my dad so pissed off in my life. He stormed off, looking for my principal, while my mum and my boyfriend's mum tried to comfort me. I refused to take any pictures for a long time, as I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, standing in front of everyone sobbing (not that anyone actually noticed). But then all of a sudden, I just wiped my tears and said, "Okay, let's do this." My boyfriend and I took a bunch of pictures together and you'd never be able to tell that I'd been sobbing five seconds before. #talent

img_7091.jpg

In the end, my dad gave my principal a LOT of shit for it. They tried to blame it all on me at first, saying that by taking an online course in another district, it was my responsibility to make sure that my school got the grades. Which would've been a fair point, had I not done exactly that months prior to graduation. They had even confirmed that the school had the grade in their system. So they apologized and said my dad could come in the next day to get my report card, my diploma, and my Ontario Scholars honours diploma. What killed me the most though was the fact that instead of getting in touch with me beforehand, and saying that they hadn't yet received the mark, they decided to instead let me fake graduate and make it all way more convoluted. Cause that makes sense????

In the end, I graduated with an 89% and I was an Honours student, and all was sorted out. And it's something to look back on and laugh about now because it was so perfectly ironic that my school had to do just one last crazy thing to me before I graduated. But it's still pretty disappointing that I didn't get the satisfaction of standing on stage in front of all my peers, with someone announcing that I got Honours. It's like there was nothing to show for all that hard work that I'd done - isn't that what graduation is for???

So that's the story of how I nearly didn't graduate! Super stressful day but a helluva story now, haha. I don't do a lot of these storytime sorts of posts - or any at all - but I hope you enjoyed it!! Let me know in the comments if you want more posts like this :)

Felicia x

16Personalities Test + Results

16personalities.png

Back in high school, there were two half-courses that we were required to take in order to graduate: Civics and Careers. Civics was all about going over the basic knowledge of the Canadian government. Whereas Careers was all about preparing us for the workforce - like teaching us how to put together a resume, how to do a job interview, etc. One of the assignments in our Careers class was the 16Personalities online test, which is based on the Myers-Briggs personality test. Learning about our personality type was supposed to help us determine what career path is best for us. Did it help? Prob not but oh well. Being like 15 years old, I never wrote down which personality type I was because I didn't really care all that much about it. But since then, I got curious about what category I fall into so I recently decided to take the 16Personalities test again and I decided that I'd do a little post of my experience and results. Not sure if this is the kinda thing you guys are into, but I thought that it was pretty cool to find out my personality type and what it all meant!

So without further ado...

THE TEST

16personalities1
16personalities1

The test itself is a short multiple-choice format. The front page of the test gives a quick run-down of the "rules". Of course, they want you to answer the questions as honestly and accurately as possible. As it says, the test takes under 12 minutes so it's pretty quick and the questions are quite straightforward. It took me around 7-8 minutes to do this, but then again I'm quite quick when it comes to reading.

16personalities2.png

For each question, you get 7 multiple choice options, ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree and everything in-between. They do advise you to avoid clicking 'neutral' too much as it will obviously not give you a very accurate result. The questions are mostly about your work ethic, how you react in certain situations/problems, and how you socialize with others, as well as if you're more logical or creative - the whole left or right brain thing. I was only stumped on a few of the questions, but for the most part, my answers tended to fall on the far ends of the spectrum (either strongly agree or disagree).

THE RESULTS

The results are obvs the most interesting part of the test, so I'll just jump right into it!

16personalities3.png

My personality type, as it says, is INFJ-T, or "Advocate". On the results page, it gives a breakdown of how you rank in each category. In every category, I clearly never fall somewhere in between - I always am more on one side than the other. I ranked:

MIND - 82% Introverted / 18% Extroverted ENERGY - 67% Intuitive / 33% Observant NATURE - 12% Thinking / 88% Feeling TACTICS - 81% Judging / 19% Prospecting IDENTITY - 8% Assertive / 92% Turbulent

I was not at all surprised that it says that I'm far more introverted than I am extroverted - in fact, I'm more surprised that the extroverted side was so high. Though I wasn't surprised with the result for Identity, it's pretty crazy how I'm so far on one side than the other - I barely am "assertive" at all. But if you knew me well, you'd know that it's hardly a shock that it didn't find me assertive at all haha

16personalities4.png

What's really cool about the 16Personalities site is not only do they give you that breakdown, but you can also click a button to reveal more information about your specific personality type. So you get a really good idea of what your personality type is!

According to this, my "role" (what determines my goals, interests, and preferred activities) is Diplomat and my "strategy" (how I approach everyday situations and achieve my goals) is constant improvement - which sounds quite like me. The Advocate personality is apparently quite rare - less than 1% of the population!!! - and I'm not sure if that's good??

One of the traits of Advocates is helping others, which is something we as a group strongly believe is important. It says, "Advocates tend to see helping others as their purpose in life, but while people with this personality type can be found engaging rescue efforts and doing charity work, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all." That is very much me. It goes on to say that Advocates are very creative and have strong opinions that we fight for. We also easily connect with other people, however, our Introverted side makes us have to spend more time recharging, away from others.

The site also tells you some famous people who share the Advocate personality type!! According to this site, I share a personality type with Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Alanis Morissette (fellow Canadian gal!), Jimmy Carter, Nicole Kidman, Goethe, and Morgan Freeman. Those are some pretty good people to share a personality type with imo. It also tells me some fictional characters I share the type with which is really fun - Jon Snow (Game of Thrones), James Wilson (House M.D.), Aragorn (The Lord of the Rings), Galadriel (The Lord of the Rings), Michael Scofield (Prison Break), Rose Dewitt Bukater (Titanic), Desmond Hume (Lost) and Aramis (The Three Musketeers). I don't know any of those characters except for Rose, but I LOVE Rose so I'll take it lol

Some of my strengths are: creative, insightful, inspiring and convincing, decisive, determined and passionate, and altruistic. Some of my weaknesses are: sensitive, extremely private, perfectionistic, always need to have a cause, and can burn out easily. I def agree with a lot of those, especially that I'm a perfectionist.

It goes on for pages about my personality type, but really the rest is more about relationships and friendships and other personal stuff that's less interesting. Personally, I love doing personality tests and anything that can give some insight into why people are the way that they are. I think it's really helpful to understand who you are and what your place in this world is. I would def recommend doing this test if you're interested in this sorta thing. It's by far the most thorough, in-depth test I've come across online yet.

I hope you enjoyed my little rambly post. I'd love to hear about your personality types so if you've done the test before, leave me a comment below!

Felicia x

Why I Love Disney So Much

img_6427.jpeg

Whenever I tell anyone that I'm going to Disney World again, I get the same reply:

"Don't you want to try something new for a change?"

img_1632.jpg

A lot of people just can't understand why my family wants to spend so much of our time in a place that was made for kids. We spend about four months in Orlando, per year, and we visit the parks at least 4 times a week. That's a whole lotta Disney.

From the first time that I visited Disney, I was hooked. The minute I saw Cinderella's castle, that was pretty much it for me. For a little girl who dreamed of being a Disney princess, I was in my own personal heaven. On the last day of every trip, the ever-so-dramatic child I was, I used to stand on Main Street and cry because I literally could not imagine spending even a day away from Disney World.

But what's so special about an amusement park? I hear you asking.

Well, lemme tell ya.

At Disney, there are no boundaries between grown-ups and kids. I love that. Can you, as an adult, buy a Mickey-shaped balloon and then skip around the Magic Kingdom with an ice cream in your hand?? Hell yea, you can!! You can do whatever you want! The parks were actually made for everyone - not just for kids. The parks are constantly being improved and added to, to keep every trip interesting and it's like a different park every time. And all in all, it's like experiencing all the films from my childhood in real life. It couldn't get any cooler than that!!

img_1634.jpg
img_1629.jpg
img_1628.jpeg

Back when my bf first came to Disney with my family in 2014 (peep those two throwback pics!!), he was what you'd call a "casual Disney fan" - he'd been to the parks before but he didn't know too much about it and wouldn't consider himself a megafan or anything. But it didn't take long at all for him to get hooked. Four years later, he's an annual passholder and a friggin' Disney expert, I must say.

Visiting Disney has become such an important part of our lives together. And bonding over our love for the parks has honestly brought us so much closer in our relationship. I love that we can go to the parks and just be able to have fun together. So many of our greatest memories have happened in Disney. And whether it's running around the Magic Kingdom in Halloween costumes, or singing along with the fireworks music, or riding our fav rides - it's just so much more fun because we get to do it together!

So why do I love Disney so much?

It just never gets old, honestly. Like, no matter how many times I see the Happily Ever After fireworks, the part with the floating lanterns always makes me emotional. And the sight of Spaceship Earth at night is still photo-worthy after hundreds of visits and photos. I even still get that excited feeling in my stomach whenever I pull up to the Magic Kingdom station on the monorail. It doesn't matter how many times I go - the magic is always there for me. And it's so amazing to me that I get to see kids and adults see the magic for themselves for the first time.

At the end of the day, in Disney World you can be whoever you want to be. You can be a kid, or a princess, or a superhero, or a pirate, or a galactic warrior. Disney is the place for dreaming and for releasing your imagination. As Jiminy Cricket says, "If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme."

So, yeah I could go somewhere else... But I think I'll stick to Disney World for now. :)

img_1635.jpg

If you wanna keep up-to-date with my many Disney World shenanigans, you can follow my Disney Instagram here.

Felicia x

5 Popular Books I Didn't Like

img_1626.jpg

I have always been a very ambitious reader. I will try mostly anything, especially books that have been well-received. And when I was younger, I was quick to jump on the bandwagon and read anything that had any hype surrounding it at the time - even if it didn't particularly strike my interest. Which has unsurprisingly lead to a lot of flops. However as a reader, and a writer as well, it's important to read books that you don't particularly love, because it helps you determine what books you want to read and what books you want to write, as well. Today, I'm going to share with you all a few of the books I've not really enjoyed reading over the years!

PAPER TOWNS by JOHN GREEN

I was so let down by this book. Before this, I'd read The Fault In Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, also by John Green, and although I didn't love either, I liked them both perfectly fine. But Paper Towns really didn't work for me. I thought the whole storyline was a little one-dimensional and pretty unrealistic. A boy is in love with a girl, does anything for said girl - including but not limited to taking revenge on her enemies - and then goes chasing her across the nation. And then the ending??? I also noticed that John Green was starting to have this trend in his novels of having a quirky but beautiful female lead with a ~unique~ name - which was, in this case, Margo Roth Spiegelman. The only thing I really liked about this book was the fact that it was set in Orlando, if I'm honest.

CITY OF BONES by CASSANDRA CLARE

So I made the somewhat fatal mistake of buying a four-book collection of The Moral Instruments several years ago, which were all the books available in the series at the time. I didn't even make it through the first book.... I just didn't enjoy it at all. I'm not usually one for fantasy novels anyway so I'm not sure what drew me towards this book except for maybe my friends were reading it at the time?? It was just kind of boring to me and didn't really grip me like other books do. It has since spawned a film adaptation and then later a television series, but after giving the film adaptation a try, I gave up the entire franchise cold turkey.

THE NOTEBOOK by NICHOLAS SPARKS

I so badly wanted to enjoy this book. I truly did. I tried reading it a couple of times, but I just couldn't force myself to like it. You probably already know from my previous book-related posts that I really hate saying that the film was better, but in this case... The film was so much better than the book. Sorry, Nicholas Sparks. I think what really irked me was the timeline of the book. If you've seen the film before, the book is like skipping the first half of the film right to the part where Allie goes to see Noah after he builds the house. They do flashbacks here and there to explain their teen romance, but that just didn't work for me. There was nothing that made me care about these two ex-lovers finding their way back to each other. There was no romantic build-up whatsoever. Nicholas Sparks just plops you down into the middle of a story without any direction.

TWILIGHT by STEPHANIE MEYER

Sigh. Twilight. There has been a decade-long debate on whether or not this series is any good. Back in the day, I'd fight to my last breath that this was the best book series EVER - but I was only 9 years old when I first read it. When I re-read the first book for the first time as a teenager, I was about 13 years old, and I couldn't believe that I'd ever enjoyed Twilight. For starters, Bella Swan is quite possibly the least animated character of all time (seriously, someone check for a pulse). The writing was simultaneously boring and over-the-top, with such lines as, "I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him". The purple prose was soo distracting. And the overall "romance" between Edward and Bella was so NOT something to idolize.

(NOTE: I've discovered a website that destructs the novel and analyzes it, and it is just wonderful. You can check that out here if you're interested.)

DIVERGENT by VERONICA ROTH

Another very popular YA series, and another let-down for me. When I started to read theDivergent series as part of my eighth grade curriculum, I was already over the whole "post-apocalyptic" trend. I'm sure you all remember those few years where every popular film or book was set in a futuristic dystopia. By grade eight, I'd already read the Hunger Games series and determined it wasn't really doing it for me, so Divergent and Insurgent - I didn't read the third book - didn't capture my interest at all. It wasn't so much a problem with the actually writing, it was more my own personal taste that made me dislike the series.

What books have you read that you didn't like or finish? 

Felicia x

#THROWBACK: My First Disney Trip

global-warming.png

Hello my loves! Today I just realized, out of the blue, that I have been visiting Disney World now for fourteen whole years. Where has the time gone!? I cannot believe that Disney has been a part of my life for so long now. Over the years, it has not only become one of my favourite places in the world, but my second home. So I thought I'd share with you all some of my favourite photos and memories from my very first trip!

img_1606.jpeg
img_1607.jpeg
img_1609.jpeg
img_1610.jpeg
img_1608.jpeg

My first ever trip was in 2004. Not long before we'd left, I'd actually had surgery to clip a piece of my upper gum that was attached to the inside of my lip. And the day before I left was my sixth birthday. Soooo this trip was a v big deal to me.

On our first trip, we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, which is right next to - you guessed it - the Animal Kingdom park and has an amazing view of animals walking around just outside your hotel room! We also stayed there in 2006. We later stayed at Coronado Springs in 2008, and Port Orleans French Quarter in 2009, 2011, and more recently in 2017.

These pictures are some of my absolute faves from my trip. Unfortunately, as I was so young, I only remember certain things that happened on the trip. One of the things I remember so clearly though was when the picture of Belle and I was taken - they had cancelled a show at the castle so they brought the princesses out for photos. Belle has always been my favourite princess and I was SOOO flippin' excited to meet her. I seriously cannot wait to be able to watch my own kids meet their favourite characters and to see them be as excited as I once was!!

So many things have changed since 2004 - it's so weird to look back on all these pictures and see not only myself as a kid, but also a ton of attractions that are no longer at the parks! A lot of my beloved rides and shows have gone onto the great beyond and they'll be greatly missed by me and probs many others forever. #rip y'all

Have any of you guys been to Disney World? I'd love to hear about your first trip! 

Felicia x

Chit-Chat Update

img_1477.jpg

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

January Favourites

img_1188.jpg

It's the end of January which means another monthly favourites post!!! I love writing these sorts of posts. I think it would be lovely if my favourites posts could introduce any of you to a new product or music or tv show or whatever. That'd be wonderful :) Well, anyway, here we go with my January favs!!

TOO FACED PEACH BLUR TRANSLUCENT SMOOTHING FINISHING POWDER

I really have been loving the Peach Blur lately. Different from a setting powder - which obvs sets your makeup - finishing powder smooths out your makeup to make it look more evened out. I usually use it when I'm going for a no-makeup makeup look as it makes my skin look fresh and bright.

NOT YOUR MOTHER'S SMOOTH MOVES FRIZZ CONTROL

This one was crucial for me when I was in Florida at the beginning of the month. Honestly, it was a lifesaver. I just squeeze a toonie-sized amount into my palm and work it into my hair when it's wet. It does wonders for frizziness. I find that my hair dries more evenly, and it's much easier to just blow-dry it and go.

NIVEA NOURISHING DAY CREAM

I have recently switched to my winter skincare routine, and with that comes the need for a different moisturizer. Previously, I was using the Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer. It was doing exactly what I wanted it to. But, the salicylic acid in the moisturizer mixed with the cold air was drying out my skin, so I thought I'd go with something a bit more heavy duty. This day cream has so far been really doing the trick!

TARTE LIMITED-EDITION BLUSH BAZAAR PALETTE

This was actually a Christmas gift from my parents. In the past month, I've been getting a lot of use out of it and I really like it. As it has 10 different shades - some dark, some light, some shimmery, some matte. I love the selection and how simple the blushes are to apply. It's the perfect thing to bring on holiday, as it's easily transportable and it gives me a lot of options. I love 'Angelic' and 'Authentic' the most.

INDIGO MAGNETIC BOOKMARKS

Up until very recently, I have been using the receipt of my book purchase as the bookmark for whatever book I'm reading. So, when I went out to buy the books from my January reading list, my mum insisted that I finally bought myself a bookmark. I ended up finding a pack of magnetic bookmarks with really cute designs and sayings on them. They're really cool - you just clamp the magnetic around the page that you're currently reading and it sticks there without leaving a dent or falling out at all. I'm a huge fan so far and would definitely recommend picking these up if you're an on-the-go reader like I am!

That's a wrap on January! What have you guys been loving this month?

Felicia x

Friday Thoughts: My First Car

img_1131.jpeg

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...

img_1078-1.jpeg

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