Thursday, April 30, 2015

Monthly Favourites- April 2015

April has been a month of accomplishments. I have officially finished half of my undergrad, I stayed sane during exam time, I got over mono, and I sent in my full application for Leeds! Most of the month has been based around exams thought. All of them were spread out, but I officially finished on Tuesday. I was thankful to have a spread out schedule, but boy, was I glad to be done! A spread out schedule is similar to a slow death. Agonizing. But here are my monthly favourites!

1. Favourite School Tool





































Binder clips. I have been using these to organize my notes for a few years now. Another good school tip: save your notes. You never know when they could become useful in the future. I got this colourful clips from the dollar store, and I have used them over and over. They are just so handy.

2. Favourite DVD Collection







































Apparently, I also loved this last April as well. But alas, here I am again 9 seasons in and loving it once again. This show cannot get old. It always makes me smile. I once went to a friend's apartment, and we had both had a stressful day, so we watched Friends because it is a feel good show. That is all. You cannot go wrong with Friends.

3. Favourite Beauty Product





































Sally Hansen Insta-Dry top coat has been amazing to me. I'm the kind of person that just can't wait long enough after painting my nails and they always get ruined. And we cannot forget about the marks your blankets leave after sleeping. This top coat has decreased drying time by a lot. It brings my nails to a tacky texture, so as long as I take it easy, I'm good to go. I love this stuff!

4. Favourite TV Show

[source]














If you don't watch Grace Helbig on YoutTube, you need to reconsider your habits. This woman has done so much in a short amount of time. There's a podcast, a movie, a book, and best of all: a TV show! Marlee and I have been getting together weekly to have some girly drinks and watch it. I pretty much live Tweet it every week, so come join me next Friday! Watch The Grace Show Friday nights on E! following The Soup!

5. Favourite Moment





































So I chopped my hair off. I had been thinking about this since the end of grade 12, but then I got really serious about it. And so, on the 15th, I just did it. It's the most impulsive thing I have ever done, and I am so happy about it. I have thin hair, so the length was just not working out for me anymore. If your hair is long, it doesn't matter of your hair is thin. I cannot describe how incredible it feels. I needed to do this. It's me, and I cannot wait to really show it off!

For May, I'm looking forward to relaxing, hanging out with some friends, and starting a new part of my job.

-Daniella

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Lessons Learned- 2nd Year Edition

So here I am a few hours after my final exam, and man, I am happy. The sense of relief I felt at the end was amazing because I have been studying like crazy, but I can honestly say this has been the best year of my life. I have learned so much about myself. And so, similarly to my summer edition of lessons learned, I have reflected on my year and come up with the things I have learned this year.

1.       Drama will persist throughout your life.

I find it hard to know where to start in describing this. For an awful three months, I lost a friend. This is someone that I had grown very close to in a few short months. This was someone I could see becoming a best friend. And due to a miscommunication, we lost each other. I’ve realized that one is never above drama. I thought I was beyond arguments over menial things after high school, and I was wrong. But let me tell you, it’s not the end of the world. The good thing about adult fights is everyone is more mature. Maybe not in the heat of the moment, but if you keep a good head and make the right moves, then everything is going to work out.

2.       Never have arguments over text.

And how do you think misunderstand from #1 came about? Texting. Everyone and their mom will tell you about the dangers of technology when it comes to relationships. It says a lot about your character if you choose to deal with issues in person and bring everything out into the open, especially if it involves a third party.

3.       It’s okay to be someone different.

A year ago, I would have kicked myself for the person I am today. This year, I started going out to bars (I’m legal, don’t worry), and kissing guys. This is not who I thought I was going to be, and for a while, I really struggled with that. Then I realized that maybe this has been me all along. University has been a place where I can actually be myself: my REAL self that likes to go out every so often and is actually considered desirable. High school was just not the right place for me to be this person. It’s okay to change!
 
This is how I feel about this year.
[source]

4.       Take your shoes off.

I have a friend who wears slippers at school all. The. Time. And for a while, I thought she was crazy. Then one day, I had all my stuff from sleeping over at a friend’s place, and I decided to get comfy. And it was one of my favourite days this year. Your school is your school. It’s a second home. So act like it. Take your shoes off. Bring a blanket for long days in the library. Wear your slippers. Trust me.

5.       Be thankful for everyone.

It may have been the lack of sleep or overstudying, but I went through a friend’s Instagram today, and I started bawling. I just became so overwhelmingly thankful to have her in my life. This was the friend I lost for a while. Since the fight, we have become closer than ever. She is the person I go to for everything, and she always knows exactly what to say even when I’m ranting. They say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Well, she was gone, and now that I have her back, I see how lucky am I to have her. Don’t let something catastrophic make you realize the value of the people around you.

6.       Don’t forget your roots.

This has been a recent revelation. I made friends with a good group of girls in first year. The group dwindled, but three of us are left. I consider them the base to my university life. However, we have all grown apart slightly this year. It happens, and it will continue to happen when we are going down our separate paths, but I urge you all not to forget where you are coming from. This includes your family as well. Never forget who made you who you are today.

7.       Get involved.

I cannot stress this enough. If you’re starting university this coming fall, or going back for your last year, it is never too late to get involed. I think the biggest reason this year was the best is because I was on the soph team. I have been a part of the greatest group of people ever assembled, and it is so rewarding. I’ve met the best people, and I continue to spread my branches out to connect with their friends and then their friends. It’s a connection of so many amazing people that fill my life with so much joy.

8.       Wear comfortable shoes out.

So I started to go to bars for real this year, and I learned something very quickly: heels suck. The bar my friends and I frequent is very casual, so Converse shoes totally work, but I suggest you invest in some shoes that are actually comfortable. I have booties that are heeled, but since the heel is thick, it does not hurt my feet as much. Your feet will thank me later.

9.       Know your limits.

This is incredibly important. I’m talking drinking and romantic encounters. Make sure you know where you are comfortable. And always remember that IT IS OKAY TO SAY NO. If you say no and the person walks away, they were not worth your time, TRUST ME. And when it comes to drinking, only you know best. Don’t feel the need to drink like the people around you. Listen to your body. Look for the signs it tells you when it’s at the right level. If you do that, you can narrow down the perfect limit to what you drink before you go out, and then not have to spend a ton at the bar.
 
[source]

10.   Learn how to make drinks.

This came from a girl’s night with Marlee, but I carried it over into my other friend groups. I stay at my friend’s apartment all the time, and they always make me breakfast and pay for the cabs back. I started repaying them by making them drinks. And they LOVE it! Plus, I hear it looks impressive to anyone.

11.   Find a system that works.

This is not from experience. I’m awful at finding a good jam and sticking to it. I need to take my own advice here. It takes some work to learn what keeps you motivated, but it’s worth it in the end.

12.   Be open to new ideas of learning.

High school had me thinking there was only one way to write a paper or complete a project and if I have learned anything, it is that that is so wrong. The amount of times I have had to change my style of learning or writing in the past two years is ridiculous. I wrote papers in three different styles this year. I started highlighting textbooks (it hurts me though) and that really paid off. I started typing up textbook readings which made it go by so much faster when it came to studying. Don’t get stuck in a box. Experiment.

13.   Bullies will exist in all walks of life.

Similar to #1, I’m sad to say this is true. Without getting much into it, there was a girl in three of my classes that was mean to me. That sounds so juvenile, but there is no better way to explain it. I had no idea that adults set out to make each other feel tiny. It’s a horrible feeling, and I cried multiple times over it. The thing about bullies is that it is no reflection on you. The way they act towards you is for some reason they made up in their heads. For example, this girl saw me as a threat because I spoke in class just as much as her. She talked about me all the time to one of my friends. As of today, I never have to see her again, and I am going to go straight to deleting her off all my social media. Bully be gone!

I just had a realization that my next exam will take place in England! I cannot wait to see what I can learn overseas!

What was the most important thing you learned this year?

-Daniella

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Copycat the Cool Way #28

Whoops, I chopped my hair off. I will explain a little more about it on the 30th in my monthly favourites, but it has been the best decision I've made in a long time! At this point, I am 4 exams down, 1 to go. I've spent lots of time studying, and so far I think I've been doing well. Other than that, I've had an amazing week with friends. It's odd that I'm meeting so many new people now when it's the end of the year and people are going home and I'm leaving in September.

Wednesday- This outfit was from an Etsy ad. I liked the addition of the statement necklace. It was good for writing an exam because the t-shirt underneath was comfortable. Last year, I was on the hunt for a real denim vest like the one in the inspiration picture, but I ended up find this sleeveless shirt instead. It has come in hand many times.

T-shirt- Target
Sleeveless Shirt- Smart Set
Jeans- Old Navy
Necklace- Old Navy
























Thursday- This was a major study day. I was at school from after dinner until 4am, so I knew I needed something very comfortable. The simple look from an ad from Swoon Boutique had the perfect solution. Plus, scarves are the perfect way to elevate an outfit, and it takes no time at all!

Cardigan- Old Navy
Tank top- Old Navy
Jeans- Old Navy
Scarf- Garage




















Friday- I was thinking about using this outfit for an night out to the bar, but it ended up being a good idea for school. I took the idea from Quarter Life Closet and I added the bling of a long necklace. There's something about feeling good on an exam day that has a fantastic affect when you write the actual exam.

Vest- Smart Set
T-shirt- Garage
Jeans- Old Navy
Necklace- Old Navy
























Nails of the Week- I have owned Mint Candy Apple by Essie for a while now, but I have not tried it. I think it's one of the more popular colours (don't quote me on that), but just like I felt with the week I tried Romper Room, I'm not a fan of how light it is.




















Nails of the Week #2- I ended up painting my nails again halfway through the week because I was just not a fan of Mint Candy Apple. Ate Berries in the Canaries by OPI is one of my favourite colours ever. This picture is not the greatest because of the glare, but when it dries, it has hints of a deeper pink that's almost purple.

 
Due to the fact that I will not be out in public wearing real outfits for the next four months, I will be changing my schedule around a little bit. I will be doing Pinterest challenge posts on Saturdays, and the outfit posts will be changing to the last Saturday of the month.
 
-Daniella

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Book Review- The Virgins by Pamela Erens

The fact that I wrote my last book review a month ago and I managed to get this one written at this time is considered an accomplishment. I’m in the middle of reading a new book, and I’ve come up with a new system for book reviews that I’m feeling confident about which is good because it will help me give you a few more facts on the novels. Anyway, this book was really not my favourite. My mom and I had a discussion about it after, and we were left unsatisfied with a lot of the details in the book. I typically like a different narration, but the third party character narration was unnecessary. There was too much flipping back and forth, and with less flipping, it could have been more mysterious. Here are the quotes I liked though:

1.       She was afraid during her childhood and tried nothing, and now she wants to discover she is not really a coward (16). 

A lot of this novel is about personal growth and young adult exploration. I mean, the book is called The Virgins. In this case, Aviva is overcoming her childhood fears and attempting to grow into a newfound adulthood. It is difficult to change yourself based on your mistakes from the past. Adulthood is such a scary time. I’ve been starting to realize what kind of people aren’t going to fit into my life. In the past, I’ve kept people in my life longer than I should have and that affected me in negative ways. Letting go is scary.  

2.       But now that she’s right in front of me, I feel the pull (27). 

You know when you imagine how a scenario is going to play out when you have feelings for someone? This is a lot of what I imagine a scenario to be. This is that spark between two people that is almost tangible.  

3.       She has become visible (31). 

Of course, this revelation comes about after a makeover, but the idea behind this is inspiring. It’s a moment of personal growth where Aviva finds herself. She finally comes into her own and feels comfortable in her own skin. It’s a feeling we all have at some point in our lives when we feel important for the first time. 

4.       I want to not know myself anymore (35).  

In context, this is a very sexual scene in the book. However, the essence remains. For me, this is passion. And passion is a paradox because you lose yourself in something that makes up a substantial part of your soul.  

5.       She feels herself being put together by him piece by piece (46). 

In our lowest points, I think we’re all looking for someone to help us piece ourselves back together. Maybe it’s a friend or a sister or a romance. Whoever it is, they’re important. 

6.       I hope to meet the right listener one day, the one I can unburden myself to (92). 

This is an issue I’ve been thinking about this year. I’m in a place in my life where people around me are running and I’m just trying to figure out how to deal with being behind. Behind is lonely. I don’t have a lot of people that understand me. This “right listener” is someone I need in my life. I was discussing this with my counsellor and she asked if I want to change any of my relationships. The truth is, no. I need someone new in my life.   

7.       The others think it is a smile of knowledge, the silence of wisdom, and leave her be (170). 

This book is also about outside appearances. Look up Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson. It’s a short poem that matches the theme of the book. We all judge others, but most of the time, we never get to see beyond the surface. Just a thought.
Overall? Not a great book. I could relate to many part of this novel, but would not read it again. Therefore, I give this book 2/5 stars. This book was a solid okay for me.

-Daniella

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Copycat the Cool Way #27

This has been a week of long study hours. However, it's been great to get out of the house to get my stuff done. I find that living by a schedule that gets me out of the house keeps me motivated. Two exams down, three to go!

Tuesday- I think I need to add a denim dress to my wardrobe. I tried to do the denim shirt, but it just doesn't do the same thing as Stephi LaReine's outfit does it? It was raining when I came home, so I couldn't wear my shoes upstairs, but I wore my favourite Oxfords with it. They make me happy.

Necklace- Aldo
Button up- Old Navy
Leggings- Old Navy



Tuesday- I had a day in the library, and I wanted to be comfy and look good. So thanks to inspiration from Polyvore, I was able to do that. These pants are honestly amazing and more comfortable than they look. But here's the thing: turns out all the carbon copy people are wearing denim jackets these days. I need to rethink one of my favourite jackets for a while.
 
Jacket- Old Navy
T-Shirt- Roots
Pants- Old Navy
Oxfords- The Bay
 

Wednesday- And for my second day in the library, I went with some comfortable pants and loose shirt. And my oxfords of course. Because I'm obsessed with them. I had a different plan originally, but it was too Coachella for my taste. I decided to adapt a look from LA Chic and Cool and I liked the look. It was more comfortable than it looks. Since the weather's getting warmer, I'm dusting my sunglasses off!
 
T-shirt- Garage
Pants- Old Navy
Shoes- The Bay
Thursday- This was my own interpretation from WhoWhatWear. Instead of a leather jacket, I opted for a cardigan. I love the flowy cardigan over a simple tank top. Plus, warm weather means sunglasses! This was great for a day of errands and some studying at school. Comfortable, and looks great!

Cardigan- Reitmans
Tank top- Garage
Jeans- Old Navy
Shoes- Old Navy

















































Nails of the Week- This is a perfect pink. It is Sweet Daisy from the Carrie Underwood line from Nicole by OPI. What a mouthful to say! It was a lot brighter than it looked in the bottle, and I liked it even more!

 






















-Daniella

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pinterest Challenge- DIY Honey Face Mask

I had a face mask in my January favourites, and I have been loving them ever since. I have a bunch of DIY face masks on a Pinterest board, and I decided to try one for this month's Pinterest Challenge. I used a recipe from Indian Beauty Spot. The pin said it was acne clearing, but the website was not very clear, and I did some additional research. Honey has moisturizing and antibacterial qualities, so it should clear up scars and make my skin oh so smooth. Nutmeg also clears scars and brighten skin. Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

Ingredients:

- 3 tbsp. honey
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon


1. My mom's really into "designer honey" as my dad calls it, so the honey is organic (don't know if that makes a difference).
2. Add 3 tablespoons of honey.
3. Add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
4. Add 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.
5. Stir the ingredients together.


Real talk: this mixture is sticky and burns when it goes in your nose (example: picture #1). It is also very drippy. I had to use a towel to catch everything as seen in picture #2. Did I like this mask? Not really. It made my skin feel softer, but I didn't see any noticeable changes. I also tried this on my back which is my trouble zone. Some of my spots were less inflamed, but again, I did not see much difference. Maybe it would have been more helpful if there had been repetitive use, but I'm in exams right now and don't have time for that. I think I'll be sticking with the clay mask for a while.

-Daniella

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Copycat the Cool Way #26

I had another outfit for this week, but things have just not been going my way in the past half hour. I broke a jar, spilled a vase of flowers (pause to take my wet socks off), and the additional outfit mysteriously disappeared off my phone. I was already in my sweatpants at that point, so I gave up. Let's just say I owe you one. I finished off my classes this week, and as my friend pointed out to me, it was my last class at that school for a year. Weird thought, but I'm still in the high anticipation mode for England. In other news, the outfit posts will become shorter this month, but I intend to carry them out until next month when I will not be going out as much. On another note, the thought of the week is that my hair is getting rather long, but it does not matter because my hair is too thin for length to be substantial. I just wanted to put that out there.

Tuesday- Okay. Here's the thing. This is from someone's Tumblr, but it turns out they switched sites. NOW, they have a redirect link, but they spelled address "adress" and I have an issue with that, so go find them yourself. Anyway, the morning was really nice and then it got cold and I had to pretend I wasn't freezing. Loved the outfit though. I wore it with tan booties just like the picture, so this was a success.

Jacket- Smart Set
T-shirt- Target
Plaid button up- Old Navy
Jeans- Old Navy
























Wednesday- I feel like it's been a while since I've used Seersucker & Saddles as inspiration for an outfit. I have a sweater like the one she's wearing, but I decided to go a different way with one I got for Christmas. Good thing it included the scarf because this shirt is a cowl neck and it goes a little too low for comfort.

Scarf- Garage
Sweater- Bench
Jeans- Old Navy
Boots- Sears
























Nails of the Week- I think spring colours are my favourite when it comes to nail polish. You can go bright or neutral. Play Date by Essie was a fun colour, and it was perfect for Easter!





















- Daniella

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How to be Successful

It’s April. That means school is wrapping up, and exams are starting. It’s the final stretch. I need to keep my head in the game more than ever if I want to end this year successful. On page 30 of Glamour’s November 2014 issue, there is an article about women in technology. The women interviewed shared their tips on how to be successful, and some of the quotes stood out to me, so I want to integrate their ideas into what I believe are the tools one needs to get to top. Being successful could mean anything to you. There’s a general sense of accomplishment in a successful life, getting the promotion at your job, or getting that A on your final paper. Whatever it means to you, I hope you find these tips useful.

1.       Be yourself.
 
I mentioned this way back in my tips for school post, but I need to reiterate it. As Ishani Mukherjee says in the Glamour article, “there’s nothing like kicking ass and doing yourself proud.” When you look back on your achievements, you will feel much better if you put yourself into every step of the process rather than a carbon copy of what you think everyone is looking for. You cannot expect things to be easier by following someone else’s rules when it’s easier to make up your own. It’s not the easiest route to take, but you can consider it a personal success if you were yourself throughout your journey. 

2.       Have passion.

[source]
I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I find that passion is one of the best qualities in people. I admire people with passion, and there’s something about watching the twinkle in someone’s eye when they’re talking about something they deeply care about. If you put passion into what you do, others will see it. Of course, not everything will spark passion, but as long as you keep a general outlook with passion in mind, you’re golden. Maggie Mallon says “let the quality of work speak for itself,” and when you’re passionate about your work, it will emanate through to the people that matter.

3.        Focus on the end goal.

I find that a lot of people lose sight of their end goal when they find the steps to get there become menial. The thing is, every step you take is getting you where you need to go. Cindi Leive adds her own career tidbit by saying “take the job that needs doing and kill it.” In context, doing the small things in a big way for an internship will make you stand out. In a more general sense, put all you can be into everything you do, because it’s all towards a larger cause. For example, yes, research is the worst part of an essay, but the quality you put into it will get you one step close to an A. 

4.       It’s okay to mess up.

News flash: you’re human. It happens. I once pulled an all-nighter in high school to finish a huge project because I realized I did the wrong research. And that’s okay. I realized my mistake, and I did what I could to fix it. Lesson learned: re-read everything before you move on to another step. You’re going to make a mistake at some point in that journey towards your end goal. And you know, you're probably going to make more than one. It does not define who you are. It’s where you go from there that determines your worth as a student, employee, person...whatever! 


5.       Know when to ask for help.
 
So maybe this comes after the previous step. You’ve made a mistake, and you don’t know how to fix it. So ask. Ask your boss, your co-worker, your mom. Or maybe you just plain don’t know at all. I’ve had many friends call me to ask about formatting for an essay or to edit their work. The people around you are resources. Sometimes, you can’t do it on your own, and realizing that makes you a strong person. 
 
6.       You are the most important.
 
I also said this in my tips for school post, but once again, I think this is important. As a student, I need my time to do my own things. I can’t keep up with the go go go and expect to come out 100% on the other side. School is draining. That is why it is so important to take care of yourself. You have to keep in tune with your mental and physical health. I’m at this point right now where I’m feeling better, but I had to give up a late night movie with my friends because my body can’t physically handle late nights right now. It’s a sacrifice to make because I need to take care of myself. It’s your life, so make sure you come first. 

7.       Keep a good perspective.
 
[source]
Similarly to #4, there will be setbacks. Things may not go your way, your path may be blocked, or you may fall down altogether. These moments are the ultimate test on you as a person. By keeping a good perspective, you allow yourself to see past the little things (even if they seem big at the moment), and focus on the bigger picture. Keep that end goal in mind. You can get past it. 

8.       Surround yourself with good people.

I would consider myself a successful person, and a huge part of that is because of the people I am with on a daily basis. I wrote a post about the importance of friendship a while back, and all that stuff still rings true. But I’m not just talking about friendship here. Surround yourself with not only people that will raise you up, but people you admire. If you think the woman or man who works next to you has killer work ethic, ask them what their motivation is and learn from them. If you surround yourself with people who share a common goal, you give yourself the opportunity to grow with them and learn from them.
Of course, this list is a result of only 20 years of learning. I have so much more to learn and so much more life to lead. Hopefully you got something out of this. Everyone has what it takes to be successful. It’s just a matter of how to get there.

-Daniella

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Copycat the Cool Way #25

I have been so on the ball with taking pictures of these outfits this week. I'm sadly back to the not so great quality of my phone, but we'll roll with it. I have only three outfits this week because Friday was a holiday for the Easter weekend. It was a good week though. I'm back to routine and I'm taking lots of naps (medically rationalized of course), so things have been wonderful! I got to go out for lunch with my friends on Wednesday and I feel so fulfilled from it! It's sad that everything's winding down, and I won't see them as much this summer. And of course, I won't be here next year. This is why I'm taking every opportunity to hang out with them right now! There's a lesson in there.

Tuesday- So I check the weather the night before and it's supposed to be a few degrees. I wake up in the morning and it's a winter wonderland. By the time I leave school, it's more than a few degrees and I'm in my winter coat. I mean......the weather is messed up. Anyway, I wanted a very simple outfit, and I went with inspiration from J's Everyday Fashion. I love peasant tops because they are still elegant while being simple.

Shirt- Old Navy
Tank top- Old Navy
Jeans- Old Navy
Necklace- American Apparel































































Wednesday- When I saw this picture from Lolobu, I instantly thought of this shirt. I wore my purple converse with this outfit because I'm trying to edge spring on. It was significantly better than Tuesday's weather though! I curled my hair in the most carefree way, and I think it really matched the overall style of the outfit.


Shirt- Roots
Sweater- ???
Jeans- Old Navy































































Thursday- I've used this outfit from Look Amazing before to go out to bars. It works really well for a casual night out. The necklace adds a cool pop to the outfit. You just need to add the right shoes. Spring rain was in the forecast, so I was wearing black rainboots.

T-Shirt- Target
Jeans- Old Navy
Necklace- Garage

















































Nails of the Week- I decided to go with a pastel, Easter colour this week, and I went with Romper Room by Essie. Honest thoughts: I didn't like it very much. When I really like a colour, I'm obsessed with looking at my nails. This one didn't do it for me. I think it's too light. But it would be really pretty with nail art!



















I'm looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend with my family. I do need to start working on catching up on school work and planning a study schedule though. Not looking forward to that. Anyway, happy Easter if you celebrate it!

-Daniella