Summer Favourites Wrap-Up

I love writing ‘favourites’ posts.

To me, it really harkens back to the good ol’ days of blogging and of YouTube as well, which were really formative of my love of beauty and fashion (and blogging!) in my teen years. I remember so vividly logging onto my computer and reading or watching Zoella’s ‘Monthly Favourites’ posts. I always looked forward to my favourite bloggers posting these sort of round-ups, partly for inspiration but mostly out of sheer curiosity - ‘cause, hey, that’s the real reason why read blogs, isn’t it? Let’s just be honest here lol.

‘Monthly favourites’ posts just aren’t for me, sadly. However much I love to read them, I can’t write them. I just don’t have the funds to go off and buy/try out new products every month to make a monthly round-up interesting at all. Frankly, my day-to-day life just isn’t fascinating enough. I’ve made a few feeble attempts in the past, but gave up soon after. No one fancies hearing me babble on each and every month that my favourite Starbucks drink is still Caramel Macchiatos, that I’ve been re-watching New Girl for the 5th time, or that I’ve been using the same two ride or die lipsticks I’ve alternated between for the past 4 years.

This is all a really long-winded way of saying that I’ve decided to stretch out the ‘monthly favourites’ concept into something more manageable - seasonal favourites! For every season, I’ll chat about my favourite beauty products, T.V. shows, music, and books. I think it’s a rather nice way to finish up one season and transition into the next. And today, I thought I’d start off with the latest season: summer!

~ Beauty ~

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP WORTH THE HYPE MASCARA ($8.00)

I have found what might just be the greatest drugstore mascara and I shall never look back. For me, finding a mascara that suits me and does what I want it to do is quite the challenge. I have naturally long eyelashes. Very, very long eyelashes. Therefore, lengthening mascaras aren’t much of a necessity for me. I much prefer to have something that’s going to darken and fill my lashes to give that fluttery effect, rather than the ‘falsies’ look. I like a natural eyelash look and not a lot of drugstore mascaras give that. Enter NYX’s Worth the Hype. This waterproof mascara is extremely buildable and very natural-looking if you want just a thin coat. It’s perfect for everyday use or for special occasions, and because of that waterproof element, I feel comfortable wearing it everywhere, even to the Disney parks. This was great for the summer heat (and Florida rain) and I will probably carry it into the autumn season with me.

E.L.F. COSMETICS BEAUTIFULLY BARE SHEER TINT FINISHING POWDER ($6.00)

Alright, guys. I’m about to admit to a possibly criminal beauty blunder… Before this summer, I rarely used finishing powder. I never found the urge or need to wear it! I’m not sure why, as I do own a couple drugstore powders but it just wasn’t something I used in my daily routine. The closest I came to using powder was the Too Faced Peach Blur powder, which I used more for the ‘blurring’ effect than anything else. But then, after suffering with the same oily, gross makeup for the first month of summer, I decided enough was enough and went out to buy a new powder. I have seen the light. This E.l.f. powder was done wonders to my makeup, primarily by keeping it in place while protecting from the sweat and other elements of the summer months. I highly recommend this product for a cheap, but effective finishing powder - for summer or not!

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~ T.V. ~

1) THE HANDMAID’S TALE (Seasons 1-3)

I don’t know why it took me so long to watch this show! I read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood in 2017, around the time that the show aired, but because I didn’t have Hulu at the time, I wasn’t able to watch it. So I sort gave it up. FINALLY this summer, my mum and I binge-watched this show just in time for the premiere of the third season, which we also watched together. If you don’t already know, The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian show all about the U.S. after a radical group has overthrown the government and installed their own dictatorship which subjugates the citizens - primarily the women. Fertile women become ‘handmaids’ who are forced against their will to conceive children for the wealthy older couples that run the state. It’s extremely disturbing, especially considering the direction we are going in today with women’s rights. It is such a good show and I highly recommend it to everyone.

2) DERRY GIRLS (Seasons 1-2)

WHY DOES THIS SHOW ONLY HAVE, LIKE, 6 EPISODES PER SEASON?! I stumbled across this on Netflix because it was recommended to me and the trailer kept playing whenever I logged onto my profile. And then, on Facebook, a bunch of compilation videos of scenes from this show kept popping up and I thought they were hilarious. So I convinced my mum to try this show with me and I LOVE it. It’s all about a group of teenaged girls and one boy who attend an all-girls Catholic school in Northern Ireland during the Troubles in the ‘90s. While the show portrays a very tense political and social climate, it’s very light-hearted and so funny. The main characters are so authentic and hilarious, and get into the most bizarre situations.

3) SCHITT’S CREEK (Seasons 1-4)

Despite never really hearing much about it prior to this year, Schitt’s Creek has easily become one of my favourite shows this year. Filmed (and possibly set?) in Canada, the show follows a family of four - Johnny Rose, Moira Rose, and their two grown kids, Alexis and David - as they lose all their morning and forced to live in a very small town they bought as a joke years ago: Schitt’s Creek. The show is full of eccentric but loveable characters. Even though I started off watching this show to laugh at the antics of this spoiled family - and especially of Moira, the most high-strung character of all time - I actually grew to love these characters and the show has progressed into a feel-good t.v. show to me! Although creators Eugene and Dan Levy (who play Johnny and David) haven’t revealed where the show is set, I’m convinced it’s in Ontario and not only because it reminds me a bit of my town haha.

~ Music ~

1) LEWIS CAPALDI, “DIVINELY UNINSPIRED TO A HELLISH EXTENT”

I have been loving Lewis Capaldi, not just this summer but these past few months was when my obsession with his music really took off. And I don’t use the word obsession lightly at all. I simply adore Lewis Capaldi’s music. His voice is incredible!! His album, Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, was released in the spring of this year and it’s been the most played music in my library ever since. Lewis Capaldi can do a ballad like no other, and I stand by that statement. My current favs off this album are “Hold Me While You Wait” and “Headspace”.

2) TAYLOR SWIFT, “LOVER”

Okay, so I have to admit, this one really shocked me. I used to be a Taylor Swift fan way back when, all the way up to her “Red” days in the early 2010s when I was in high school. I was a huge fan, bought all her albums, went to a few of her concerts, the whole shebang. But her sound changed a lot afterwards and I just fell out of love with her music. But then this summer, “Lover” came out and I was surprised with how much I loved a lot of the music on this album!! There’s a very real connection with this album to some of her earlier ones, but there’s still a fresh sound to it. My current favs off this album are “I Forgot That You Existed” (which just might be my ultimate favourite song atm) and “Lover”.

3) LIZZO, “CUZ I LOVE YOU”

I was late to the game when it comes to loving Lizzo. For a while, I saw that ‘dna test’ meme on Twitter but didn’t really know where it came from and didn’t bother to find out. That is, until this summer, when I started hearing her music on the radio. OMG I LOVE HER. I love her music and all of the positivity she spreads through her lyrics. In my experience, it is impossible to listen to Lizzo and feel bad about yourself. There’s no room for a lack of confidence when you’ve got Lizzo playing. My current favs are “Good As Hell” and “Truth Hurts”.

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~ Books ~

1) MY PLAIN JANE - Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

These three women listed above are just phenomenal authors. I simply adore their writing. If you don’t remember or you haven’t been here long enough, last year I read My Lady Jane by this magnificent trio and adored it. It was all about Lady Jane, or Queen Jane, or the Nine Days’ Queen, and her very tragic story. But these ladies flipped the story on it’s head, added a bit of a magical element, and turned it into something wildly better than reality. This time, they tackled the marvellous Brontë classic, Jane Eyre, and once again, they added some supernatural elements to make it a compelling and worthwhile retelling. The humour is always on point in these novels and the characters are so interesting to read about. I can’t wait for the third Lady Janie novel and the future Mary trilogy!

2) THE VICTORIAN AND THE ROMANTIC - Nell Stevens

I’m sure I’ve said it a few times before, but I’ve really been trying to broaden my horizons when it comes to reading. In the past year, a large part of that has consisted of me branching out into the nonfiction genre. I really love nonfiction, particularly memoirs. So I obviously wanted to read this memoir, The Victorian and the Romantic, which was all about a young struggling academic who finds herself relating more and more to a Victorian era writer, Elizabeth Gaskell. I found myself really in a Victorian mood this past year and then once I listened to a Charlotte Brontë podcast which talked about the controversial biography written by Elizabeth Gaskell, I was even more excited to read this. I think this was an interesting, insightful memoir and perfect for a summer read.

3) THE FAMILIARS - Stacey Halls

Ahhh, witchcraft. What a crazy part of history. But what’s crazier was this novel about the Witch Trials of 1612, which young noblewoman Fleetwood Shuttleworth found herself smack dab in the middle of after trying to save her pregnancy. The Familiars was a really remarkable novel. I loved how it showed the maliciousness of the Trials and how sexist they were. I loved the story and the characters, and it was especially wonderful to read as it was set in the time period I had just finished studying in my last term of the school year!


What were some of your favourites this summer?

Felicia x

Waves: Summer Playlist

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

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

You can listen to my summer playlist below in the widget!

Felicia x


~*~

Let’s Go Surfing - The Drums

Cheap Thrills - Sia

Miss You - Gabrielle Aplin

Paradise - George Ezra

The Wire - HAIM

Wildfire - John Mayer

Campfire - Satellite Stories

Coming Over (filous Remix) - James Hershey

Breezeblocks - alt-J

Anna Sun - WALK THE MOON

Left Hand Free - alt-J

Daylight - Matt and Kim

Florida Kilos - Lana Del Rey

VCR (Matthew Dear Remix) - The xx

Knocking At The Door - Arkells

Fireproof - Coleman Hell

Wish I Knew You - The Revitalists

~*~


My 3 Favourite Summertime Beverages

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Summer is right around the corner. Can you feel it? I love summer, if you hadn't already noticed. I am definitely a warm weather gal. So, I am definitely soaking up all of this sun right now. 

This season is full of backyard barbecues, get-togethers with your gal pals, and summer holidays like Independence Day and Canada Day. So, there's always a perfect opportunity to make yourself a delicious summer cocktail - even if it's just to chill in your backyard with a good book. Heaven knows thats what I'll be doing.

I've been getting into mixology lately and, if I do say so myself, I've been getting pretty good at it. So I thought that today, I'd share with you guys my 3 favourite mixed drinks for the summer season, and their recipes!

BLUEBERRY FIZZ

This first drink is inspired by a drink that I love at Jack Astor's. I love blueberry and this is the perfect sweet fizzy drink. 

You'll need: Vodka, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Blue Curacao, and Sprite

First, add 3 shots of vodka, 2 shots of lemon juice, and 1 splash of simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake it all up until it's nicely mixed, then pour into a tall glass with fresh ice. Then, add 1 shot of blue Curacao (make sure you do this at the end, after mixing, or else you won't have a cool blue colour!) and top it off with a bit of Sprite. 

RASPBERRY VODKA LEMONADE

If you're a fan of lemonade - like myself - then this is definitely a must-try!

You'll need: Raspberries, Sugar, Smirnoff Raspberry vodka (or regular vodka), and Lemonade

The very first thing you should do is add 5 raspberries into a cocktail shaker, with a teaspoon of sugar, and using a fork, just mix it all up together until the raspberries are more liquid than solid. Once you've done that, add 1 and 1/2 shots of raspberry vodka (or regular vodka) and 4 shots of lemonade. Shake it all up, and the pour over ice into a glass. 

TEQUILA SUNRISE

This is definitely the strongest of the three drinks, so I'd be more cautious with this one.

You'll need: Tequila, Orange Juice, and Grenadine

This is super simple to make. First, add 2 shots of tequila and 4 shots of orange juice into a cocktail shaker. Shake that up, and then pour into a glass over ice. Then, add 1/2 shot of grenadine into the glass, to add that funky red colour. And voila! If you want to dilute it, make it a little less strong, then you can add a bit more OJ to this recipe but be sure to do that before the grenadine, or else it will ruin the visual effect! Also, for fun, you can add a few maraschino cherries in there. 

And that's that! I hope you guys enjoyed this post. If you try out any of these recipes, let me know what you thought in the comments. Also, the pink and blue mason jar mugs I used for the pictures were $3 a piece at Zehrs! So, if you live nearby a Zehrs, definitely check those out cause they are super cute and so inexpensive.

Although it goes without saying, please be very careful when drinking - be responsible, and never ever drink and drive! 

What are your favourite summer time drinks?

Felicia x


A Caribbean Adventure

As my first week of university has now come and gone, I look behind me at the summer that's gone by and realise just how great the past months were. My two-month-long holiday - which started in the final days of June in Memphis, Tennessee - went by so quickly that it seems like a distant, albeit amazing memory. In all of the whirlwind months in the sun, I lost track of time and neglected this blog, despite making a promise to myself to get back to regularly uploading posts. But when it comes down to it, there is, in my opinion, no better way to refresh my blog than with a picture-post (and short video) documenting my favourite part of my summer: the two-week Caribbean cruise that wrapped up my travels.

I've been on around 15 cruises in the twelve years since I took my first one, but this one made a case for being my favourite. The Carnival Magic lived up to the name and was enchanting the entire fourteen days that my family and Steven's family were aboard her. It's a been quite some time since I have taken a two-week cruise and despite being a frequent (and long-time) cruiser, there were still some ports on the itinerary I had yet to visit which made it exciting for everyone in our group.

To add to the fun, I celebrated my eighteenth birthday mid-way through the two weeks. At the stroke of midnight the entire bar sang me "Happy Birthday", the chorus lead by the bartenders behind the counter. Then on the way back to the cabin, I was approached by the cruise director, Good Reverend Dr. E (whom my family has become close with over past cruises) who had remembered to wish me a happy birthday. Those are just two of the ways that Carnival crew members go above and beyond to make a cruise special for you, which is why my family keep coming back to the same cruise line over and over again after all these years. Carnival doesn't just treat you like guests; they treat you like family, which makes the line so beloved to my family.

Over the course of the two weeks, Steven and I worked together to collect as many videos of our memories as we could, using a GoPro for a large portion of it. Now that summer has come to an end, I've put little bits of our film footage into a short video for a keepsake of our travels to share with friends, family and all of you. It was a tremendously exciting and adventurous two weeks, and I hope to be able to cruise again soon!

https://youtu.be/bHXX-Gr3EIw