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

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

Hello, 2017

Happy New Year! Can you believe it's already 2017?! I still think sometimes that 2010 was a couple years ago... Time really does go by so quickly. Though we are already a few days into the year, I thought I'd whip up a post reflecting on 2016 and looking forward to 2017.

Despite all of the devastating moments of the past 12 months (Bowie, whyyyyy?!?!), would I say that 2016 was an awful year? Probably not. While I do think the past year will be remembered for it's tragedies, I do want to cling onto some of the better parts of 2016.

I attended prom, graduated high school, spent the entire summer in Orlando, saw a bunch of my fave singers in concert, spent TWO WHOLE WEEKS on a cruise with my boyfriend and family, shared a plane home with Shawn Mendes, started uni (!!!!), and made some amazing new friends. There was so much for me to grateful for in 2016 that I would like to think that focusing on it all might help to alleviate the sadness that came out of the year.

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I can't wait for this new year, to see what it has to offer. In 2017, so many exciting things are happening. I'll be finishing up my first year of university, declaring my major, visiting New York City, spending another summer in Orlando, and much more. I began my year on the sofa in my Orlando vacation home watching Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with my family, as I do every year.My nine-day vacation was so needed after finals week at the end of December. It was the perfect way to relax and reboot myself for the new term ahead of me. Although I didn't get to do all of the holiday-related activities that Orlando has to offer (notably, the tragically discontinued Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights), I did visit the beautifully decorated Magic Kingdom and saw all it had to offer, including my favourite part: the Christmas parade!!

I think that, as cheesy as it may sound, the crap that happened last year might actually have made the clean slate of a new year even more appreciated, and I hope that this year can be made so much better. This year, I plan to be more "in the moment", to blog more, to enjoy everything to the fullest. I hope everyone had a safe and lovely New Years Eve, and that 2017 is wonderful for everyone!

 

Senior Prom & High School Graduation

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Good afternoon everyone! Finally, nearly a month after grad, I have recuperated from June, which was the busiest month of the year yet. Wrapping up my senior year of high school was incredibly exhausting, with two in-class exams and one formal exam on top of final projects, my end-of-year dance recital, graduation and a line-up of birthdays to celebrate. But I powered through and now I'm sitting back, soaking up the sun...ahhh....

Now that I've got more time on my hands, I've been downloading the pictures off my camera from everything I've been up to, and I came across the lovely pictures taken before my prom and at my graduation so I thought that I'd share them all with you.

My prom was really great and I think what made it special was the crowd of people I went with,  especially my strikingly handsome date. I was planning on doing a make-up look post for my prom make-up, but I completely ran out of time - I opted for a rose gold eye to accent my rose gold jewelry, with a subtle rose-coloured matte lip.

A few weeks later was my graduation, which was probably the most daunting of all my events at the end of the school year, but it was also really great once I went through it all. All my hard work this past year - the late nights spent studying, the times I had to turn down times to hang with friends to do homework, and full weekends spent putting together countless projects and essays - finally was rewarded as I was given my Ontario Secondary School Diploma and was given a certificate naming me an Ontario Scholar, putting me on the honour roll with an overall average of 88%.

High school was a roller coaster journey and I was so lucky that with hard work and determination, I went from getting a 70% average in grade ten to a nearly 90% average in grade 12. I can only hope that I can continue onto university with the same success that I had in my high school years.