Tuesday, December 29, 2015

An Open Letter to the Ones Who Missed Out

Dear Ones­­­ Who Missed Out,
              You have crushed me. You have made me feel completely worthless. You have made me feel like I was never meant to be happy. You have made me cry countless times. You have made me stay in my bed at night cradling my broken heart. You have made me think that I’m not good enough. You have convinced me that I’m not pretty enough. You have made me feel like no one would ever want to fight for me. You have made me think you were the best I was going to get. You made me believe that you were the only one I deserved. But the thing is, you were so wrong to do that.


[source]
              I am none of that, but I want to thank you. In crushing me, you helped me build myself back up with experience. In making me unhappy, you helped me find happiness within myself. In making me cry, you helped me grow stronger. In cradling my broken heart, I have restructured it so others like you will never hurt it again. In making me think I’m not good enough, you’ve made me realize my own worth. In making me feel like I’m not pretty, I’ve learned to appreciate my flaws. In not fighting for me, I learned to fight for myself. I now realize you were never the best for me. I now know I deserve so much more than the likes of you. I am happier without you. So thank you. Because of you, I have become a better person. Because of you, it made me ready for someone I do deserve.

              You have missed out. I would never hesitate to show my appreciation for someone I would have cared about. I would do whatever I could to make you happy. I would have listened to everything you said and remembered the littlest details. I would have taken the time to be a part of your interests. I would have been so proud of your accomplishments. I would have accepted all parts of you. Someone else is lucky enough to be in this position now. Someone else saw what you didn’t. Someone else appreciates everything I am. And so, I am proud to say that YOU are the one suffering the loss.

Sincerely,
The One that Got Away

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Perfect Holiday Movie Checklist

Well friends, Christmas has passed, and I'm going to be honest: I was not in the Christmas spirit whatsoever. It has been difficult to be away from my family and friends. I missed out on treasured traditions and family time. Most people would have been rushing around to do their shopping and probably ranting about their encounters on Facebook. This time of year, it is of the utmost importance to take the time to relax and watch the adored Christmas movies. For me, it was a good reminder of the Christmas season and the bustle around it. The people at Casper have created my perfect Christmas movie list as an incentive to stay in bed and relax. You don't need to ask me twice! Also, so be sure to check out their Twitter page. You won't regret it - it's highly humorous.
 
 
 
1. An Outrageously Comfortable Mattress
Let me tell you, a comfortable mattress is an amazing thing to find. I miss my bed from home. It has the best mattress. My bed in my university accommodation is a solid okay. I have slept in a few different beds in my time here, and I've realized just how important it is to have a comfortable mattress. Better mattress, better sleep. If you're going to be spending time in bed for a movie night, you want the ideal mattress that puts you in the mood to cuddle up and let all your stresses go.

2. The Perfect Pile of Pillows
The picture below includes the quilt my mom made me for England. She finished it in the airport the day I was leaving. When I got to England, I bought myself to comfiest pillows I could buy. On movie nights, I make myself a nest with piles of pillows and my quilt. Similar to the mattress, this element of a movie night tends to put you in the mood to cuddle up and relax.

3. Holiday PJs
A family tradition we have is Christmas PJs every year. I have so many collected from over the years. This year, my mom bought me some anyway. I, however, chose to curl up in my onesie because nothing beats the comfort of a onesie. It always reminds me of a big hug and makes me feel extra cozy. However, it's always a little odd to walk about the flat in a onesie for the first time.



4. Cocoa
I love hot chocolate. I would say it's one of my favourite parts of winter, but I genuinely drink it all year. It always feels so good when it warms your belly, and it's different than coffee or tea. It purely feels like an indulgence. I'm guessing if you like hot chocolate, you don't mind sugar. If you don't mind extra sugar and like candy canes, then I have the trick for you. HOT CHOCOLATE HACK: put a candy cane in your hot chocolate. Let it melt and you have made yourself a mint hot chocolate. It's one of the best things I have made myself.

5. A Big Plate of Cookies
Usually, I set myself up with a plate of cookies to snack on. At home, we made at least five different types of cookies. This year, I made two batches of fudge for a meet-the-family situation. The night before I left for my Christmas destination, I brought some of the extra fudge into my room and had a lovely evening snacking on my homemade fudge. I missed the cookies, but the fudge was incredible.

6. The Polar Express
The Polar Express is my all time favourite holiday movie. I started watching it every Christmas Eve by myself when my family was napping before Christmas mass. I love everything about it. The music gives me goosebumps, the animation is fabulous, and the plot is entirely feel-good. I missed out on watching it this year and watched the third Star Wars instead (Christmas-y, I know), but nonetheless, this is my favourite film.

So there it is: my holiday movie night essentials. If I could have one more addition, it would be someone to cuddle with. As someone wise once said "winter's a good time to stay in and cuddle."

What makes a perfect holiday movie night for you?

-Daniella

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Lessons Learned: Becoming an Adult Version

I’m back. My life is different, and I’m not surprised that I’ve taken so long to get myself back into blogging. But nonetheless, here I am, and I have lessons to share! The thing is, I’ve been away from home for exactly 83 days now (yes, I’m keeping track), and I have been exploring a brand new version of myself. That new version is adult Daniella. Legally, I am an adult, but I don’t feel that way at all. I feel like I’m in this weird purgatory between teenager and adulthood. I now realize that the adult feeling isn’t going to hit me like a tonne of bricks. It’s going to be a process made up a small “adulting” moments. So in my 83 days in Leeds, this is what I have learned about being an adult so far.

1.       Getting lost is the best way to find your way.

I could get into this meaning in an analytical sense, but I mean this quite literally. A few weekends ago, I went on a weekend trip to Bath with my friends. We were on a walking tour of the city, and they actually ended up leaving me because they got bored. I had no idea where to go, so I wandered my way around for three hours. And by wander, I mean I was lost, and I loved it. Later on, I met up with my friends, and I ended up knowing exactly where we were meeting the group for dinner because of my wanderings. So, in getting lost, I found exactly where I needed to be.

2.       Finding ways to deal with your emotions is going to change throughout your life.

Hard days are going to hit you in every walk of life. The thing about moving away from everyone you love is that you can no longer heavily rely on those people to keep you going. All the people in my life have a specific role, and at the beginning of my time here, I found myself lost without them. Years ago, journaling used to be my way to cope with issues, and I’ve shifted to writing once again. Without my support group close to me, I now find myself writing page after page on my tough days just so I can vent. It wasn’t until recently that I started relying on my writing again, and it has become a crucial daily ritual.

3.       It’s okay to be a different person.

I know I have mentioned this in previous posts, but it still rings true. I’m the kind of person who feels guilty for changing who I am. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that IT IS OKAY TO CHANGE. Change is not a bad thing. I’m not compromising my morals in any way. I’m growing into myself. Being away from home has allowed me to reach my full potential and push past the boundaries I have set for myself. I’m constantly reminding myself that changing is part of becoming an adult.

4.       It’s okay to not be homesick.

Now this is a point that makes me feel guilty quite often. The thing is, this experience has been in the works for six years. I am living my dream. However, I spent the past few months waiting for that wave of homesickness to hit me. The truth is, it hasn’t, and that’s okay. That’s how I know that I am exactly where I need to be. Things are going well here. School is great, I’m thriving in my seminars, my friends are amazing, and everything has fallen into place. Does that mean I don’t miss people? Not at all! Ideally, I want everyone to come here. But I’m so happy here, and it’s okay to not feel homesick because I’ve made myself a new home right here.
 
London, England via Instagram

5.       Cooking is an amazing way to impress both yourself and other people.

So here’s something new: I can cook. I know I can bake well, but I’ve never really experimented with cooking because I’ve never had to do it. My mom armed me with a handful of recipes, so with that and the help of trusty Pinterest, I figured out how to cook. I can make a great spaghetti sauce, do my own interpretation of garlic parmesan chicken, and I’m incredibly satisfied about making my favourite dish of fettucine alfredo. You get an incredible sense of pride from doing your own cooking. Plus, all my flatmates are impressed with what I can do. I’m not the simple pasta and jars of sauce like they are. And I’m a strong believer that everything tastes better if you make it yourself.

6.       Learning how to maneuver unfamiliar transportation and read maps are important life skills. 

I will never stop being thankful that my mother taught me how to read a map. I was in London a couple weeks ago, and my travel companions were – and let me be direct here – directionally challenged. I was the youngest one there, and I was telling them how to get places. I figured out the tube, I knew the landmarks, and I used the maps. So there I was in big ol’ London, and I found a new sense of confidence. I also have this irrational fear of new transportation, and on this trip, I took the train to London by myself for the first time. I was terrified and anxious and my heart was beating so fast, but I knew once I did it, I would be fine. That trip was a big turnaround for me.

7.       Booking trips and hotels is surprisingly satisfying.

I am going to Amsterdam for Christmas, and I’ve been looking into going to York for New Year’s. I also booked a couple small trips earlier, and altogether, it’s such a freeing feeling. It’s a new freedom to do what you want. I’ve had many adult moments just sitting there at my computer looking at prices of flights versus buses or mapping out the cheapest hotels to where the city centre is. I love it, and I want to do more of it when I get back to Canada!

Every time I have an “adult moment,” I feel a sense of pride, and I always share it with my parents. Growing up is a long process, and the little moments like these matter. These items have been after only two and half months of being away from home, so I cannot wait to see what else is in store for the rest of the year.

-Daniella

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Monthly Favourites- September 2015

I knew it was going to take a while for me to settle in and get to a routine. That being said, I completely could have written a couple posts ahead of time to make sure you all weren't left in the dust. But we're over it. Aaaaaand guess who got sick again while being in Leeds for ONE WEEK. This girl! Much like my situation in March, I also had another hospital visit. So a couple of these have to do with that. But here we go!

1. Neck Pillow


I'm one of those people who is out as soon as we're off. I had two flight to Leeds, and I slept the entire second flight. As soon as we were in the air, I was asleep, and I didn't wake up until the plane hit the ground. My dad, knowing this about me, decided to buy me a neck pillow because let's face it, sleeping upright takes a toll on your neck. Newsflash: life changer. I'm not kidding. I have never slept more comfortably on transportation.

2. Leeds

I love it here. I LOVE it here. It is so beautiful, and I can't believe I am lucky enough to be here for the next 8 months. The buildings are amazing. The sidewalks are amazing (although I need to start counting how many times a day I trip). The people are amazing. I took this picture during an early morning walk to the Post Office. I am trying not to look like a tourist while I'm here, so the pictures have been minimal so far. But oh well. I feel so at home here. It is incredible.

3. My Parents


I don't know where to start. My parents have been through so much this month. My sister and I both left for university. My sister is a couple hours away, and I'm across an ocean. I couldn't possibly understand how hard that is on them. On top of that, I get sick and have to go to the hospital ten days after I arrive. I had a breakdown at the hospital after a painful procedure that became less about the pain and more about the fact that I didn't have my parents with me. But they woke up at four in the morning and stayed in contact with me all day. I could not tell you how thankful I am for their support. I love them, I miss them, and I am so appreciative of the way they raised me.

4. Secret pH Balanced baby powder Deodorant


My hospital visit in Leeds ended up being my first overnight experience. I was ill prepared. My roommates are amazing and managed to bring me some of my stuff but it's so hard to remember everything you need. Like deodorant for the next day. But this stuff is so good that it managed to last into the next day . Grace Helbig on YouTube is a huge fan of deodorant and has some in all the places you could possibly put it like your car or purse . I really should have taken that hint a while ago. I know I have written about other Secret deodorant before, and I really am a huge fan of the brand. It works people.

5. Solid Food


So I'm dealing with acute tonsillitis. Which means there has not been a lot of room in my mouth to eat. It was horrible. I couldn't talk or swallow without a lot of pain. And now, I am so thankful for solid food. My roommates parents (the sweetest people ever) bought me these cheesy scones, and I had one with soup today. Also, cheese. Obviously. But here's a funny story: I keep forgetting that there still isn't a lot of room in my mouth. I keep taking normal sized bites and finding myself unable to swallow all of it because of these swollen tonsils.

So this month wasn't planned out well. I usually have my list going on a whiteboard in my room, but I'm not quite in Canada now am I? We'll see how this is going to work out in the next little while. I have a book review coming up for this Saturday, and I'm not too sure where to go from there. No worries, I will figure it out!

-Daniella

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Head vs. Heart

“But he gave me butterflies,” she whispered. And she was right; he did at one point. If it were up to her, they would be in the same position. He would be kissing her nose, and she would be running her hands through his hair. They would wake up groggy because they are not morning people. He would make her coffee even when he doesn’t drink it himself. She would laugh at his jokes knowing he just wanted to fill silence. In her mind, he was it. He would have loved her dad. He would have fallen in love with her passion.

The reality hits her once in a while; she wasn’t good enough. The butterflies that once inhabited her innards are gone, but they left a ring of dirt. With their absence went the memory. His voice no longer lingers. His exact words no longer wander and worm their way through her mind. All that remains is the memory of his touch: his caressing her hair, his lips on hers, his arms pulling her closer. She doesn’t know why he is still on her mind. She doesn’t know why she can’t get over him. On the outside, she’s holding on to something that isn’t there. On the inside, she’s holding on to the way he made her feel.
[source]
“Get up,” I tell her. “Get up, it’s all going to be okay. I understand how you’re feeling, but it’s time to move on. I know you’re fantasizing about meeting him again, but it may not happen the way you want it to. You need to face that reality. Get out there and meet other people. I know he’s not going to be the last one of his kind because I know that’s what you think. You deserve someone who’s going to put you first the first time. If you hold on to him, you’re going to miss the next guy who is going to knock on your door. Please, get up.”
She is not easily persuaded.
“You deserve better,” I plead.
“But he gave me butterflies,” my heart replies.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Monthly Favourites- August 2015

Here's something I learned about myself: If I'm not in school, I'm taking a vacation from literally everything. I find it so hard to keep track of writing and posting. But at least I kept track of my monthly favourites. I'm really not too sure where I see this blog going this year seeing as I'm moving to England in about a week, but I'll keep you posted. Anyway, here was my month:

1. Smartfood

I don't know why, but I have been just craving Smartfood all month. I promise, I do share it with others. At the same time, I also admit that a majority of work lunches have been comprised of Smartfood and some kind of fruit. I mean, I love cheese. We all know that about me. So it's natural that cheesy popcorn is one of my favourite snacks.

2. Any.do


[source]


This is an app that has saved my life. I can't remember where I heard about this, but I know I got it off of a blog. I am one of those people that likes making lists. I feel good about crossing things off on lists. This app is exactly that. It has helped me time and time again when it comes to prioritizing. I can add reminders, rearrange the lists, and schedule activities months in advance. When you have completed a task, you cross the list off and it actually crosses off. It's brilliant. I used this during school for a while, deleted it, then got it back this summer when I realized I needed some serious help. It is now crunch time for my exchange, and I have been using it like crazy to get everything sorted out.

3. Lush Ocean Salt Body Scrub




I mentioned last month that I has some serious dry skin. This has been a combat for it. Ocean Salt from Lush smells divine, and works like a charm. I am using it every day, and things have been working out great. I have been pairing it with Vanilla Dee-Light, but don't get excited because it is no longer being sold. Every time I go in there, they ask me if I'm sad that it's discontinued, and I'm honestly thinking "yes, now can you please stop reminding me about my heartbreak?" The thing is, it is so hard to find a moisturizer that is both light and nut free. Hopefully Ocean Salt will stick around for a while.
 
4. Starbucks Rewards
 
 
I have an addiction. And it's not even to Starbucks. It is to the Starbucks rewards program. Every time you make a purchase with your registered card, you get a gold star. When you get to 30 stars, you get a gold card. It's the ultimate incentive. I have become obsessed. My goal is to make it to 30 stars before I leave. And it's actually completely possible.
 
5. Pandora
 
 
This one is embarrassing. I have a Pandora bracelet, and it is gorgeous. I've had a lot of life events, so it's pretty full at this point. But that's not why it's a monthly favourite. I work in the sun six out of seven days a week, and I wear a watch. And now.....watch tan. Major watch tan. I have been wearing my bracelet to disguise it. I say disguise because it doesn't really cover it up, but it hides it enough so people aren't blinded by the white line on my wrist. Lifeguard problems....
 
I'm not too sure what my favourites say about the kind of month I had. However, I am looking forward to this coming month. Life is about to change in a major way, and I cannot be more ready. But this summer has been the best summer yet. I've been very social, made new friends, connected with old ones, and loved it all the way through. How was your summer?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Lessons Learned: Friend Breakup Edition

So my life is changing. In less than a month, I’m heading to England. And as the summer is coming to a close, I have been through a lot. I think this has been my most social summer yet. But when that comes around, so does some drama. As I have mentioned in a previous lessons learned, drama is a thing you just cannot escape no matter how mature you are. It is not easy to deal with. I’ve been through it this summer. I’m sure you read the title: friend breakup. It happens. And here’s what I learned:

1.       You shouldn’t feel obligated to keep someone in your life.

We’re going to call this friend Taylor because it’s gender neutral. Taylor told me a while ago that they consider me one of their best friends. We were hanging out all the time. They called me when they needed to talk about their life, and took me out when we both needed some time to chill out. When it comes down to it, Taylor was not making me happy. Despite Taylor considering me a best friend, I simply could not continue a friendship that was not reaping mutual benefits. Taylor was far from my best friend.

2.       Believe someone when they show you who they are the first time.

Original orator: Maya Angelou. Echo: my mom. Taylor was always telling me they are not a good person. I would always try to convince them of otherwise. And I think in the process, I managed to convince myself. I overlooked the moments that proved Taylor’s point because I wanted them to be a better person. Please don’t do that to yourself. Taylor was right; they are not a good person, and I should have believed that from the beginning. Perhaps the first time could be a fluke, but when the same behaviour continues, red flags must be raised.

3.       It’s a bad sign when you are ashamed to be friends with someone.
My breaking point with Taylor was when they met Sarah. Taylor managed to be insulting, rude, and insensitive within one conversation. I will admit that I allowed Taylor to get away with comments towards me that I would not allow anyone else to get away with when it was just the two of us. When we were with Sarah, I got a different perspective. I was unsettled by Taylor’s behaviour. There was no way I could continue the friendship if I felt the need to explain our friendship to others. Other friends should see why they hold a place in your heart.

Friend breakups suck, but it happens.
[source]
4.       You shouldn’t have to change who you are to be friends with someone.

This is something I realized when Taylor met Sarah. When Taylor dropped us off, I apologized and promised Sarah that she never had to see Taylor again (which is messed up in itself). But Sarah turned to me and said “I think that relationship tells more about you as a person than it does for him.” Which, essentially, means “you are a strong person for constantly dealing with that.” And that just should not happen. Changing yourself for your friends can be a good thing; adapting to meet the needs of your friends is normal. But when you find yourself annoyed and arguing and babysitting, then perhaps you need to reconsider what the friendship is doing for you.

5.       You should never feel angry after every hangout.

I am not the kind of person who gets angry easily, and I came home after every hangout with Taylor with a burning anger. It started with frustration and grew to a more serious emotion. This is not something I needed in my life. Friends should not be evoking something like that in your life. Anger is a destructive emotion, and I could not tell you where it could have ended up had I chosen to keep Taylor in my life.

6.       Being a good friend requires having a good friend.

What I mean by this is that friendship is a two way street. I learned so much about Taylor. I know about their past, and their plans for the future, and figured out their flaws. It seemed like every hangout ended up Taylor reveling over something I has discovered about them. I listened. I was always listening. I knew what made them tick. And we never brushed the surface with me. We once met up with a mutual friend, and she and I got into a serious conversation about our mothers. Taylor had no idea about how many issue I was having with my mom at the time because we never got to talk about me. Someone told me there gets to a point in an uneven relationship where the one giving finally gives up unless they got something back. And the truth is, I don’t know it Taylor would ever have the capability of being a friend to me like I was to them.
 
Learn from every ex-friend.
[source]

7.       The last impressions are just as important as the first.

As I said, I hit a breaking point. I did not - and strongly advise against – acting immediately. I waited a week or so before I contacted Taylor. The truth was, I had come to care about them. So I told them I wish I could still be a positive influence in their life, but I simply could not tolerate the way they treated me. Taylor tried to blame the situation on me. They claimed it was because we were “not compatible” rather than taking the responsibility for it themselves. Taylor’s final words to me were negative words against Sarah. Taylor’s final text to me was telling me that our conversation was on speaker. And so, dear Taylor, good luck trying to be my friend in the future, for that last memory is burned into my mind.

When it comes down to it, you really do need to surround yourself with the best people. Friends who raise you up and make you happy are of the utmost importance to your personal success. When you introduce your friends to other friends, it should be obvious as to why they hold merit in your life. I have a friend Deanna who is a ray of sunshine. Everyone is incredibly happy to be around her. A school friend of mine recently met her, and I got a text telling me how wonderful she is. And that’s how all your friends should be. People who bring you down are not worth any of your precious time. I know it’s not easy to let go of people, but sometimes, it needs to be done.

What is the best lesson you have learned from a friend breakup?
-Daniella

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Monthly Favourites- July 2015

The amount of times I have changed my mind about what my favourites were over the course of the month is ridiculous. This was a month of work, work, work. As I mentioned, I have finally decided to get my life in order, but the rest of the month was all about swimming lessons. I ended up having a split shift where all I was doing was teaching. I'll admit that I am one of the only ones, but I prefer teaching over guarding any day. Everyone thinks I'm crazy.

1. La-Roche Posay Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 60


So I'm a lifeguard. I'm in the sun all day. And I HATE sunscreen. I hate the greasiness, and I hate the way it makes my skin breakout. However, this sunscreen for my face has changed the game. I got this stuff a couple years ago as a free sample in one of the small tester kits, and I was sold. I've been using it ever since, so the label is so worn out.This has a matte finish, and it feels so good. You only need a small amount to cover your whole face. And it works. I have yet to get a burn. Please don't forget your sunscreen!

2. The Movies


I'm not usually one to go to the movies a lot, but I ended up seeing three this month. The first was Inside Out. I loved it, but a movie has never made me more emotional. There was one part where I wanted to bawl, but I had to keep it in, and I was shaking. Then I came home and talked to my mom about it, and I sobbing uncontrollably. But I actually strongly suggest this movie. I also went to see Minions. My best friend and I are ultimate fans of the minions. We made a last minute decision to go see it, and boy, it was great. Also suggested: buying the 3D Minion goggles. Last night, I went to see Trainwreck with some staff members. It was cute but also hilarious. Even the boys liked it.

3. Starbucks



I have been going to Starbucks so much this month. It's too easy to pick up a coffee when it's on the way. I've also been meeting friends there quite often. My orders: caramel cafe misto if I want it warm, caramel cold brew coffee if I want it cold, and if I'm looking for a treat then I go for the S'mores Frappuccino or a Mocha Frappuccino.

4. Relish



This is kind of weird to have on my list, but it is barbeque season. Relish was never something I had growing up because my parents don't like it. But we got this guy in a pack of three for an end of year barbeque my sister had, and I have been putting it on my hamburgers and hot dogs like crazy. I love it!

5. Notebooks


I don't know how this started, but I started throwing notebook into the bags I carry around. They have surprisingly come in handy. I take notes of important emails, write out song lyrics for parodies (which is relevant to my life), brainstorm ideas for work, and anything else. I'm one of the those people that geeks out over pretty notebooks. I was in the dollar store a while ago, and I really wanted to get some more notebooks, but I realized that I need to finish these first. Proud moment of self restraint of the month!

I think this month was all about the social engagements. I already know right now that a lot of August is going to be how to recover from a month in chlorine and sun. I see Lush in my future.

What have you been loving this month?

-Daniella

Saturday, July 25, 2015

There's Something You Should Know


My sister is the most important person in my life. We have a weird relationship.

I have grilled cheese every Friday. If we have lunch on a Friday, I’m expecting grilled cheese.
If you make me watch a scary movie, you’ll have to sleep with me for a week, and the light will stay on.
I hate the smell of oranges. If you offer me an orange, I’m probably going to ask you to peel it for me.
I enjoy naps. It is my personal opinion that three naps a day is the perfect amount.
I am pretty much an expert on cheese. I can identity types just by eating them.
I have a happy vein. When I get over-excited, it pops out on my forehead.


It takes a lot to get me truly angry. If I’m angry, you really screwed up.
I was bullied by exclusion in elementary school. As a result, I often feel out of place in social groups.
I’ve been blamed for issues in my household. I often feel guilty for no reason.
I am direct, so I will never beat around the bush. I will call you out, and people don’t like that.
I am highly emotional. My highs are extremely high, and my lows are extremely low.
I am not willing to waste my time. I have no hesitation to cut people out if they don’t treat me well.
I empathetic. Sometimes, I get worn out caring about other people’s problems when they don’t. 

I know the value of good people. If you’re in my life, I will tell you how thankful I am to have you.
I am going to care about you so much. I will show you that as often as I can.
I am an incredibly passionate person. I will go to all ends for something I’m passionate about.
I have a big heart. I will love you completely.
I give everything I have to everything I do. I’m not content with less than 100%.
I live my life without regrets. I choose to learn from everything I do.
I surround myself with the best possible people. I want to be uplifted and do that same for them.
 
-Daniella

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

My Reason to Restart

This is a longer version of what I wrote two weeks ago. As an update from then: I have cleaned my room. And that was today, so that barely counts. I had a spur of motivation today and took control. As my floor become more and more visible, I came to a realization: I'm an adult and I need to start acting like one. I have grown so much this past year, and it's about time that the rest of my life catches up. I'm moving to a new continent by myself in less than two months. Time to be an adult. I'm not going to bore you with my huge game plan to accomplish this. Just let me tell you how this will affect you.

The gateway to adulthood is ahead.

This blog started as a way for me to put some creativity out there. Since then, I think I've lost that. I am more me than I've ever been, but this blog has not been a reflection of that. I'm not looking forward to writing anymore. It feels like a chore because nothing is truly original anymore. So things are about to change. I'll still be posting on Tuesdays and Saturdays. But I'm about to put a lot more me out there. I have so many ideas written down, and I'm going to start sharing them. When a creative moment strikes, you'll see my creativity. I'm going to continue with book reviews and monthly favourites because I love writing those, and they feel more like me. I may throw in a Pinterest Challenge or product review when the mood strikes, but for the most part, you're going to get a good hold of what my voice exactly is.

I know I've written like this before. Realistically, the organization thing is not going to happen the way I want it to. But making this blog more like me is something I can easily get behind. It's something I can stick to because the ideas I want to write about are the things I'm passionate about. I know readers like personal blogs, so this is going to be more about my perspective. Wait for Saturday and give me a chance to show you what I have to offer.

-Daniella

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pinterest Challenge- Birthday Cake Truffles

Here's my dessert plight: my family hates sweets. I know. I don't understand how I'm related to any of them. I adore desserts. The thing about this treat was that I made it for a work birthday party. And it was amazing. Everyone loved it. And just look at them. They are a thing of beauty. This is the second time I've made truffles, and there is one thing I don't understand: how on earth do the people who make these make them so perfect? Chef in Training nailed the look, and I really don't get it. If anyone has a tip to dipping truffles, let me know.
 
 

 
Ingredients:
 
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup yellow cake mix
- milk
- sprinkles
- white chocolate for dipping
 
 
1. Mix the butter, sugar, vanilla, flour, salt, and cake mix together. 
2. Add as much milk is needed to mix everything together.
3. Mix until it reaches a sticky consistency.
4. Add sprinkles into the dough and mix.
5. Scoop the dough into little balls and place into the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
6. Dip the dough into melted white chocolate an add sprinkles to the top.
 
Warning: white chocolate has a low burning rate. Melt in 30 second intervals only and stir.
 
Make sure you stick these in the freezer or fridge until you serve them. I loved these truffles. They were a great way to celebrate a birthday. I just really need to get this dipping thing down.
 
Do you have any tricks to make dipping a little easier?
 
-Daniella

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Summer Scrapbook Saturday #9

I have a day missing. I cannot, for the life of me, remember what I did on Monday. I also went out for ice cream on Thursday with Marlee, but I completely forgot to take a picture. In hindsight, I probably could have used a picture from one of the other times I went out for ice cream. I've been doing that a lot recently. But what else is summer for?

 
 
 
(left to right)
 
1. On Monday, I met up my best friend Julia for our classic date: Starbucks and Indigo. We hadn't seen each other for a while and had a lot to catch up on. We had coffee first and wandered around Indigo for a while. I went in with the mission to get Mamrie Hart's book. I came out with a new journal specifically for England and new note cards. It was all necessary.
 
2. Summer is rough on the skin. I haven't been following my regular skin routine because I'm in the pool for about six hours a day. Because of the sun and chlorine and sunscreen, my skin has become so dry. It feels like it's going to fall off my face. Friday night, I did a moisturizing face mask. Sheet masks are really creepy on your face, but this one felt so good after the long week.
 
3. I had made a red velvet cake on Saturday night, and I spent Sunday night in my backyard enjoying a slice. It was a relaxing way to spend the evening.
 
4. Saturday night was a wine night with a couple friends. A lot of wine was had. It was a wonderful night. We had a classy dinner, and it was amazing to be with the girls.
 
5. I went out for coffee with an old co-worker on Wednesday. We always have a good chat. I love that fact that we can always get together every few months and just catch up. My job is a great place to make friends and keep relationships.
 
So how was your week?
 
-Daniella

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I Suck at Organization


I have a confession. Organization/cleanliness is my worst trait. Why? Because I am neither organized nor clean. I can fake it very well. In my professional and scholarly lives, I pull everything off. I am always on time. The only time I ever handed essays in late was when I got mono. But the organization lacks in my social and personal life. I am always late for social engagements. I always say that time is my worst math. When I’m getting ready, I misjudge how long it will take to do so. My emails are constantly backed up. I often write blog posts the day of. And, as I look around at the disaster zone of my room, I have this awful feeling bubbling up in the pit of my stomach. I need to pull it together.

I love the idea of organization. Sometimes, I’ll find a new technique, and I’ll stick to it for a week or so, but sooner or later, it all falls apart again. I could not tell you how many times I’ve had moments of inspiration and watching it all crumble around. However, I love the idea of organization. I was in Indigo today geeking out over the agendas and organization notepads. I WANT to be organized. I think I need to accept the fact that I’m never going to be naturally organized. It’s going to take effort. I’m going to have to wake up every day and force myself to do something. That being said, there is no way I am going to change overnight. I’m taking this in bunny hops.
My Kate Spade agenda is an amazing organizational tool.

I am arming myself with my trusted Kate Spade agenda and white board. My aim is to do one small thing a day. Unfortunately, I’m going to need to tackle some larger things before I fix my life. Lists are what will get me by. What are my goals? Totally control over my social life. Organization in my personal life. Planning in my online life. I want to feel cleaner in my life overall. So this summer is my organizational journey. In an attempt to further my growth as a young adult, I am setting myself up for success. I need to do this for me. I deserve to have a positive space around me. And if anyone has any tips, let me know. I am desperate.
-Daniella

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Summer Scrapbok Saturday #8

Apologies for a day late post. Yesterday was crazy, and I was running around all day. You'll hear about it next week. I started work this past week, and I am just feeling tired. I'm doing early mornings (early by my definition), and I have a split shift, and I'm still trying to get out and do things, so my body needs a sleep break.


(moving left to right, top then bottom)

1. There have been so many festivities surrounding my sister's graduation. This is the last one, I swear! Last Saturday, we had a tea party and gave her the presents. She's going into kinesiology this coming fall, and a friend of mine suggested that I buy her a textbook or a book about bones for her. It was great idea, and she absolutely loved it!

2. Sunday night was my Aunt's last night with us. We decided to have a movie night, so we set up downstairs with chips and popcorn and Root Beer. We watched Julie and Julia which is an awesome feel good movie.

3. I started work on Monday. I had to do some preparation for the water aerobics class I teach. So far so good. I'm not into exercising AT ALL, but I am now being forced to do it. I have a short bike ride to work, and I've been biking it twice a day. I'm already feeling stronger.

4. This is my friend Deanna. We eat together, and I love her dearly. We got together for a bit because she left for a month. I'm incredibly sad, but she is doing an exchange and will have an amazing time! And, as she pointed out, I'm leaving for longer.

5. Tuesday night, I went to Sarah's to hang out. Then another friend called to see if I wanted to get coffee. He got to meet Sarah, and I had a great coffee drink.

6. Wednesday was Canada Day. I had plans to go downtown and watch fireworks, but my friend cancelled on me. My mom made a great meals complete with cake and strawberries! It was delicious!

7. I also had plans on Thursday that were cancelled. Instead, I decided to hang out and do a face mask. It ended up being the most relaxing night for me.

8. Friday was a staff party. It was supposed to be a large party, but it ended up being a chill night with the bunch of us drinking on the porch. It was a great night to relax and hang out with my staff members.

I'm not too sure what is in store for this coming week. My goal is to hang out with some friends this week. I'm hoping to be busy. Aaaaaand I really need to clean my room.

-Daniella

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Monthly Favourites- June 2015

Bad quality photos alert. Someone (who may or may not be me) forgot that this was the last day of the month. So I rushed to get some pictures done. Forgive me. I can describe this past month in one word: busy. Weekdays were dedicated to promo team, and weekends were dedicated to recertifications for lifeguarding. I have been unable to sleep in for a few weeks, and I am feeling it in my bones. However, it has been a rewarding month. Promo team is one of my favourite parts to my job. So let's see some other favourites.

1. Microsoft Surface 2



I have my computer back. Due to an unfortunate dropping (it wasn't me for once), I have not had this since my birthday. I love the Surface 2. I have found it very easy to use, and technology does not come easy to me. It has been extremely helpful for blogging, and all my setting are saved permanently. It has been brilliant. Since having it back, I have been more productive with it.

2. Coffee


As I said, I have been busy. On top of that, I am not a morning person at all. Coffee has been my lifeline all month. I have a Nespresso machine at home, and this picture is how I make my fancy coffee. I can honestly say I got through the month due to coffee. I'm not picky. Starbucks and Tim Hortons were frequented throughout the month as well.

3. Subway

[source]
The amount of times I have been to Subway in the past month is ridiculous. It has been a huge promo thing. We have memorized each other's orders. We look forward to lunch with Subway. I think we went at least twice a week. We always joke around and say Subway should have sponsored us. The more I write about this, the more I crave it.

4. SacconeJolys


I have been completely obsessed with watching the SacconeJoly vlogs on YouTube. They have been recording their lives for five years, and just reached 1 millions subscribers. The two kids are the most adorable. I have seen their youngest, Eduardo, learn to walk, and seen Emilia in her ballet class. The daily videos are certainly a bit longer, but I absolutely love watching them.

5. Revlon Nail Files


One of my biggest pet peeves is bad looking nails. Back when I did my nails during the year, I was always repainting because I hate the look of chipped nails. During the summer, the pool completely destroys nail polish. There's no sense in trying, but I always keep my nails looking good. I like short nails during the summer, so I'm constantly filing them down and keeping them in good condition. The Revlon nail files have been the best. I keep one on every floor of the house just in case I need one. I love the rough texture because I think it does a better job.

There was my month! In July, I have a family wedding, and I will be working a lot. I'm still trying to get out and about as much as I can when I have the time, but I also had an interview for a second job last week. Things could get even crazier!

-Daniella

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Summer Scrapbook Saturday #7

I'm exhausted. That's all I have to see. I've taken pictures of some specific things, but this week has really been all about work. I've been working and training and running all over the place. I'm the kind of person who really likes to sleep in once a week. The absence is noticeable in my life. Other than that, I took some selfies.


(left to right)

1. My sister graduated on Thursday! Brianne and I made a deal that we never have to go to each other's graduations. But Wednesday night, my parents took her out for a fancy dinner downtown. So we got all dolled up and went out! The food was to die for.

2. I have two weddings to attend this summer, and my mom and I went out to look for a dress. I found the most adorable dress. It's very 50s housewife, but I absolutely love it. I promise to post pictures.

3. This picture makes no sense without explanation. Monday night, there was a huge storm. I ended up sleeping on my sister's floor that night because she's afraid of storms and needed her big sister for comfort.

4. Sunday was father's day! We had a fantastic meal outside, and we gave our dad the gifts. It was a lovely evening for the best man I know.

5. Brianne just finished exams this week, and I had helped her study on Saturday night. We wanted to spend some time together, so I kept her focused and helped her study!

6. Emma is a good friend of mine from work. Friday night, we had an interview for a possible second job. We have made a habit out of going for ice cream and catching up after we do things together. We always have a great time together, and I am so glad we met this year.

7. Promo team finished up on Tuesday. It was a great year, and I had the greatest time. Tuesday night, we celebrated. This is a result of the night. That and face planting into pizza.

Work officially starts this coming Monday, and I am anxious to see what all my hours work out to be. I do not know how busy I am going to be for the next little while.

-Daniella

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I Am #AERIEREAL

Here’s a shocker for everyone reading this: I am not skinny. Summer is here, and I know this can be a vulnerable for those who don’t have “bikini bodies.” And I get it, I really do. There are times when I have wanted to cover up or stay wrapped in a towel. But that’s no way to have fun in the summer. My weight and body is something I have come to accept. I love myself just as it is. This is not easy, especially when there are so many images that invite me to think otherwise. A rare case of a brand offering support for girls who are not perfect is Aerie’s No Touchup Campaign. I can’t remember when it was launched, but I was extremely happy to see models just as they are in their ads.


[source]
This is a good step in the right direction when it comes to positive body image. Girls can come to accept freckles, body rolls, and tattoos. Aerie primarily sells bras, underwear, and swimwear. Let’s face it, even the best of us don’t always feel comfortable mostly naked. By seeing models embracing their bodies the way they are, more of us can actually picture ourselves in the same getup and smiling the same way. However, this campaign has raised one issue in my mind. These models are still perfect versions of themselves. I want to see me up there in an ad. I want to see someone whose thighs clap for them when they run up the stairs. I want to see stretch marks from girls who prefer going out for ice cream as opposed to going for a run. I want to see someone who is not skinny because I strongly believe that ads can persuade the world to see beauty in every woman.

Body image is a difficult subject to write about. I want to leave you on one note. Healthy does not mean skinny. Not every skinny person is healthy and not every not-so-skinny person is unhealthy. Healthy means in good physical or mental condition. To me, "healthy" has more to do with being happy. So I'm healthy and I'm beautiful. If media’s not going to appreciate your body, it may be time for you to start.

-Daniella

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Summer Scrapbook Saturday #6

I can honestly say at this point that all my weeks are blurring together. I took all my pictures this week, but I am having the worst time figuring out what I actually. Which was apparently not a lot. The weekend was fun though!


(left to right)

1. Last Saturday was my sister's birthday! We had celebrated the previous week with the family, but her boyfriend came over to hang out with us. I'm really good friends with him, so we all had great fun. Brianne had a great night as well.

2. Sunday was a staff outing to Canada's Wonderland! I have never had a good time a theme park. My mom is having of heights, my dad gets nauseous after a few rides, and my sister is terrified of roller coasters. I went with high school friends on a band trip once, but they ended up leaving me and took all my stuff. This picture I took was to send a friend to show him how wet it was. The good thing about going to theme parks on a rainy day is that no one else is there. So the wet hair was worth it.

3. I'm still visiting schools for promo team, and we had our first library presentation, and it brought back so many memories from elementary school. It wasn't the best time of my life, but I loved reading, so the library was a good place for me to be.

4. Friday night, I edited my friend's roommate's paper. That may not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but it's something I actually enjoy doing. I'm not getting an English major for nothing!

5. Wednesday night, my friend Emma wanted to catch me up on some drama in her life. So of course, McFlurrys were necessary.

6. Thursday, I was tired, but I wanted some me time. I ate some Teddy Grahams, made myself a Bailey's hot chocolate, and watched YouTube videos.

I forgot to take a picture, but I went to see San Andreas on Tuesday with a couple friends. It was a great movie, and I strongly suggest it.

I don't have any significant plans for this upcoming week, but we'll see how things turn out!

-Daniella

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Why is Popularity Important?

There are certain things in life that we all come across. I’ve previously written about my experience with pretty, and I have since thought about something else we all experience. Popularity. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of popular is “of or relating to the general public; suitable to the majority; frequently encountered or widely accepted.” To be honest, I don’t see how that ties into what makes people popular. It is my personal belief that popularity should not be a thing. It is interconnected with being cool, and I just don’t see why that holds such a strong value in society. If we’re looking at school settings in particular, we see distinct groups that are placed above others. Again, I’m going to question why that is. Why must there be a social ladder that dictates how social interactions are meant to be carried out, especially when the definition of popular changes as you grow up.

[source]

I have never been popular. I’ve seen what it takes to be popular, and I was just never it. In elementary school, the popular people got permission slips from their parents to be able to go out for lunch. The popular people went to Mini Mart after school. The popular people had the coolest snack (Dunkaroos anyone?). My elementary school experience can be summed up with the final grade 8 trip: no one wanted to room with me, and the teachers called all the girls into a room to convince the rest of the girls to give up one night of the trip with their friends so I had someone to stay with. In high school, the popular people slept around. The popular people drank every weekend. The popular people could not be missed because everyone knew what they had done the previous weekend. As for me, I didn’t start drinking until university. In university, I’m seeing a role reversal. The popular people are widely known and well liked. The popular people are good people. As a soph, I got my first glimpse of popularity. I will admit that a soph complex does exist, and popularity is exploited in some ways. But for the most part, popularity in university has more to do with being respected as a person.
So with all this in mind, where does that leave me? Confused, to start. If the parameters of popularity are under constant change, than what is it really? How does it apply to people? We’re obsessed with the social ladder, but why does it have to exist at all? What is the point of popularity? Does it hold merit that can be cashed in for a prize in the end? I don’t think so. The truth is, I have no answers. I have questions, and concerns, and nowhere to go. What is your stance on popularity? Were you popular growing up?
-Daniella
P.S. One of my posts is going to be featured on The Blogger Collective tomorrow (June 19), so go check it out!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Summer Scrapbook Saturday #5

Yeah, everything's been late this past week. I have been the worst at planning all week. It happens. All in all, it's been a good week. All my activities have been all over the place. A couple of the days were just taken over by sleeping after work. I had a full week, and it was exhausting.

(left to right)

1. On Thursday night, the promotions team decided to have a few (or more) drinks. We went to the classic patio bar downtown, and let me tell you, they have great nachos. That's kind of it. We all learned a lot about each other, and it was a fun time.

2. Whoever didn't like the High School Musical franchise (even if it was just for Zac Efron) has something wrong with them. Marlee and I decided to watch all three movies this summer, and we made it to the second movie! It was obviously amazing. And fun fact: a co-worker was driving me home yesterday, and he totally played the slow song that Zac and Gabriella sang when they broke up.

3. My sister's birthday was this past Saturday, but my dad was out of town, so we had her birthday dinner on Sunday night. Cake is a great thing in the world, but my mom made carrot cake with raisins. I don't like raisins.

4. My promo team made a Starbucks run on Friday, and I genuinely don't know how the guy decided my name was spelled. I wanted to put this in because Friday was HORRIBLE for promo team. Our morning school was perfection. We refer back to it all the time when discussion perfection. As for the afternoon, it can be summed up by one event: we asked a question and as a response, a kid farted. Enough said.

5. Saturday night, my sister and I played a riveting game of Spit while we Skyped a friend of mine. It was hilarious.

6. Thursday afternoon, promo team went to the beach. It was supposed to be sunny, but it was all overcast and kind of chilly. Nevertheless, we had a blast. It's all about the company you keep.

As I said, Tuesday and Wednesday were sleepy days. I also spent some time writing Tuesday's blog post. I'd like to think I'm getting better at taking pictures, but I'm definitely not.

-Daniella