Tuesday, May 23, 2017


I’m going to start this off by saying you should be impressed that I kept up with all of my regular postings while I was gone. My original intention for these travel posts was to split things up by week. However, I had a great time. I need to dedicate more posts to match up with that amount of pictures I took! I went to so many places – some new, some old – and I am excited to share everything with you all!

Most of my trip was based in Sheffield. First of all, just look at how pretty it is. I went on a lot of walks with stunning views like this. I got to meet one of Matt’s friends, and we went to a great pub and the guys played pool.

One day, we had a little tourist day and went to Kelham Island. There is a cool Industrial museum there that outlines Sheffield’s history from the beginning of time (pretty much). For anyone who doesn’t know, Sheffield was a major steel city. It was heavily bombed during wars. There was actually a room that had the sounds of airplanes flying over. It was realistic, and I was actually scared. There were some other cool things in there like cars and bicycles that were manufactured in Sheffield.

The most interesting part of the museum was the River Don Engine. It is the most powerful still working steam engine in Britain. There are a couple other ones in different parts of the world (Russia and China maybe?), so it’s lucky that we got to see it. We also got to see it go. I was so surprised at how fast it went. It was a really cool experience.

Matt really enjoyed the museum because he got to learn more of the history of where he’s from. I really enjoyed the experience as well. The museum seems to be out of the way from where we approached it (we took the tram in). There were also volunteers around that were friendly and informative.

If you’ve ever been to Kelham Island Museum, let me know in the comments!


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Pinterest Challenge - May 2017

I forgot how great Pinterest is. I’ve been seriously neglecting the app on my phone, and I miss doing stuff like this. The silly thing is, all of my Pinterest challenge posts tend to lean towards recipes and such. What can I say? I love food. Maybe I’ll start branching out a little more but no promises.

1.       Eggless Cookie Dough For One

This is as incredible as it sounds. The recipe from Community Table is simple and so good. The title of it sounds very sad. Maybe it is but I won’t judge you. Sometimes, you need a little snack to indulge in. I didn’t change anything about this recipe. It tastes so perfect exactly the way it is. It also tastes like cookie dough but without the fear of salmonella. It’s also quick to make which is a bonus for those cravings.

2.       Banana Apple Muffins

I made these for my sister when she was here. I loved this recipe from J Perry Fitness, but she thought it was too plain. The way she put it, “I like my muffins as actual muffins.” This recipe is meant to be healthy, so there is no sugar in it. My mom also thought the combination of banana and apple was odd. I did not use almond flour because of my allergy, or Himalayan salt (because what?), and I opted for normal butter over “grass fed butter.” I’m trying to be healthy, not precocious. I thought it was a great breakfast, but that was not the overall opinion in my family.

3.       Triple Berry Smoothie

Look how fancy I am with my little kiwi garnish! The Pretty Bee website says this is supposed to be immunity-boosting and can act as a remedy when you’re sick. I simply thought it was delicious. I didn’t follow the recipe perfectly. I used the triple berry mix of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries from Costco and put in 1 ½ cups of that. I did add the strawberries and kiwi though. I loved this. It was tart and great for first thing in the morning.

4.       Apple Pie Smoothie

I saw an article on The Greatist floating around Pinterest for the five best smoothies, so I decided to try one. This Apple Pie Smoothie sounded ridiculously appealing. Once again, I did not use almond milk, and I couldn’t find any dates to throw in. It tasted delicious all the same. I never thought about blending apples, but it worked out. I would suggest adding more milk though. By the end of the smoothie, it was kind of chunky and difficult to suck up with a straw.

5.       Vanilla Affogato Dessert

I have simplified the title of this from My Recipes. Out of everything on the list, this is absolute best. Since I can’t have gelato, I used vanilla ice cream. Other than that, this is perfect. It tasted so amazing. The only problem is deciding whether to drink it or eat it with a spoon (Marlee and I did a bit of both). This dessert somehow gets better as it melts. It’s perfect for a girl’s night.

I’ve decided I need to start writing these recipes down. I love all the things I’ve been trying, so I need to save them for later!

Let me know if you have tried any of these pins.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I Am Terrified About My Future - And That's Okay

Life is about change. You can't ignore it. You can't avoid it. As the saying goes, "can't go over it. Can't go under it. Have to go through it." And go through it I have. Recently, life has been a matter of setting myself up for the future. Namely, I finished applying for Teacher's College. I have applied to six different schools in two different countries. Each time I pressed the submit button, I felt like I couldn't breathe. Now my future is in the hands of people I don't know. I'm questioning everything. I've know that I wanted to be a teacher since I was eight years old, but is that enough? Does my passion come across on paper? Have my experiences been enough? Am I good enough for this? Everyone I know tells me I would be a good teacher. Even people I don't know like Aquafitters and random acquaintances have pinpointed the characteristics that would make me a good teacher. However, the people that are deciding my future don't know me. They don't know how much I love teaching. They don't know how much strength and energy I draw from it. Are these institutions going to see that in me?

There's another major element in this. I have applied in two different countries. I have applied in Canada, and I have applied in England. Both of these options have major positives and negatives. Choosing one over another closes doors. It may alter the most important relationships I have in my life. I find myself worried that whatever decision I choose to make will result in some not so pleasant consequences. I know what I want to do. I know what my ideal situation is. In that ideal, I don't have loved ones that are disappointed in me. At the moment, I feel like if I choose to do what I want to do, then I will become a disappointment. I don't know if I can live with that. Both choices will put strain on relationships. Both choices will result in sacrifices. Both choices will result in a period of unhappiness. I'm concerned that the choices I make will alter relationships as I know them. I was listening to a podcast a while ago where Josh Radnor from How I Met Your Mother said something along the lines of "the decisions I make now are all shouldered from the decisions I made at that point in my life." Well, I am at that point in my life. This feels like a lot of pressure.

Here is what I need to remember: I cannot live my life to make other people happy. My loved ones will love me no matter what. I have to worry about one thing at a time. I will become a teacher. It is okay to be scared. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way. For anyone else who is getting ready to graduate, you need to know that you're not alone. I was in a conversation with my dad about this a while ago. He has his own hesitations about what is to come for me. However, he told me this is an exciting time. I have some really cool opportunities ahead of me. I had a friend once who was nervous about going on exchange. I told her it's daunting in the beginning, but all you have to do is put your big girl pants on, take a deep breath, and do it. And that is what I shall do.


P.S. I wrote this in a very difficult time. I am now in a completely different position from where I was when I wrote this. Lesson learned: there is hope. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Lessons Learned - Fourth Year Edition

These are my favourite posts to write, and I haven’t done one since last July. This year has been a difficult one – and not just for me. I managed to pull off some pretty great marks, and I also got into some amazing schools in two different countries. Ultimately, it’s been pretty up and down. I already mentioned my weight problem, but some really great things have come out of it as well. I have no complaints here. I think my experiences have shaped me into a stronger, more mature woman. Here is what I learned this year:

1.       Bullies truly are the ones who have more insecurity – especially in adulthood.

It’s another year that I’m shocked to add bullying to my list. This happened right at the beginning. It was online bullying, and it was done by someone who bases their story on being bullied. The worst part is that this individual has a large presence in my school. They are known and adored all around campus, and I had the unfortunate luck of seeing their true side. However, our grad ball showed me the difference between the two of us. At the end of the night, they were put in a cab by their friends because they couldn’t stand up properly. As for me, I had the most fabulous time with my friends, and while I indulged in multiple glasses of champagne, I can remember everything. There’s a difference here. I am happy with the legacy I have left.

2.       Setbacks are not failures.

This has been something I’m trying to really get into my head. I’ve mentioned it before – I’m not good at routine. When I have a bad day and get off track, I tend to let my entire life fall apart. I come across setbacks like a bad day when I don’t get everything checked off my list and see it as a failure. I need to stop doing that because it holds me back. This is something I’ve learned but not put into place yet. It’s a work in progress.

3.       Eight hours of sleep is a whole new world.
I mentioned this a while ago, and, for a short duration, it actually worked. I was doing so well on eight hours of sleep at night. I was journaling and reading before bed, and I regret the time I let myself stop doing that. There is a significant difference in myself on eight hours of sleep and myself on less than eight hours of sleep. Try it – trust me.

4.       Adjusting to returning home is harder than adjusting to a new country.

This has played a major role in the difficulties this year has brought me. I mentioned this in an earlier post, but it seemed to increase in severity when I got back to something that was supposed to be normal. Life went on without me. I lost some friendships along the way. People had changed. What got me through this was an article from Elite Daily and the most amazing friend who understood exactly what I was going through. Reverse culture shock is a real thing. It’s okay to feel bad about it. It’s okay to struggle. Find your resources, and reach out to people when you can.

5.       Disagreeing with your friends’ decisions doesn’t make you a bad friend.

This has been something that I’ve been struggling with a lot this past year. I think it’s also a major part of growing up. When we all grow up, we start to go in different paths or walk further ahead. That’s not a bad thing, but it leads to thinking things like this. There have been so many times that I see friends doing things I don’t think they should be doing. I always wind up feeling like a bad friend because I challenge them on their decisions. I know that some friends really appreciate that. With others, it’s a mystery. I know that challenging questionable decisions may seem like you’re being a bad friend, but it’s okay to do that. You may be the only one who is causing them to pause. And who knows? Maybe they’ll take your advice later down the road.

6.       Senioritis is a real problem (and a real word, apparently).

Senioritis hit me so hard. I think I was “over” school around Christmas. I don’t think I was caught up at any point this year. I think maybe this was a combination of senioritis and returning from a year abroad. The good thing to realize is that you are not alone. So many people are going through the same thing as you. I had a friend who went the Dominican and had a similar experience as me. She put it like this: “we have seen bigger things. We’ve done bigger things. We’ve realized that the world is so much bigger than us and so much bigger than King’s.” That’s what made this year trudge on. It’s been tough, but, again, you’re not alone.

7.       Alcohol will make any tiny issue seem like a bigger one.

Yes, it took me this long to figure out. The thing to remember about alcohol is that you are not really yourself. I’m never one to cause drama, but I found myself being the centre of drama. When I’m sober, I’m an emotional person. When I’m drunk, that is exaggerated. So I reacted to situations in inappropriate and oversensitive ways. It caused a lot of issues with my friend. Things were said about me when they thought I couldn’t hear them. We turned on each other. There is so much danger in over-drinking in general, and I’ve learned that losing friends should not be one of them.

8.       Good friends can pop up at any time.

This year, I have been truly blessed. I have been brought to the most amazing friends in the world. I connected with my English gang. They are ones that have been my rock in classes we’re all struggling though (cough, Middle English, cough) and the ones who are always there when I’m having a bad day. It’s been the best group, and it absolutely breaks my heart that we have had only one year together as a group. These are ones I’m not willing to let go. I am so lucky to have them in my life.

Well, I can’t believe I’m done. I’ve finished my undergrad. I’m almost at my dream of teacher’s college. I guess another lesson learned is that four years is not really a long time. What I’m really looking forward to is being able to read for pleasure (and reviews, obviously). I have a cool summer coming up with some possible big life changes (again, sorry for not revealing more) at the end. I graduate in June, and I cannot be more excited for the final fling with the friends I hold so near and dear to my heart. The past four years have been amazing. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve grown a lot, and I’ve accomplished a lot. I’m so proud of myself.

What has been your major accomplishment recently?