Sunday, May 31, 2015

Summer Scrapbook Saturday #3

Yes, I'm late. We're over it. The way this post looks is that I have been doing nothing but eating all week. And for the most part, that's what I did. All the major events of the week have been centered around food. Remember when I said I was starting to work out? I have dropped that (typical), and maybe I should really consider starting again after a week like this!

 (moving left to right, top to bottom)

1. On Saturday, I walked a dog for the first time in my whole life. This is great because everyone knows I'm afraid of dogs. It is in all of my bio's everywhere. And I did it. It was a significant event in my life.

2. My sister and I spent the night at a family friend's place. We spent hours playing Catchphrase, and it was hilarious. I am now carrying around my personal Catchphrase in my purse just in case some other group of people wants to play it.

3. MMmmmm Sunday morning breakfast. It was amazing. Joan makes us the best breakfasts. And coffee of course.

4. Sunday night, Sarah, Chris, Demi, and I decided to go out for late night apps. Yay for nachos and bruschetta! Except, the boys decided not to eat and we were so peeved at that. But it was the perfect night to sit outside on the patio, and these people make me so happy!

5. Monday night, I hung out with the same group of people. We dropped Chris off at the train station, and Demi, Sarah, and I went out for pizza. There is a small pizza place near my school that has the greatest student deals. I had never been, so they decided to take me. Apparently, they have pictures of their customers on the wall. And my goal before I leave is to get on that wall!

6. Friday night, Sarah came over for a chill girl's night. It was just what the both of us needed. We had a looooooong talk about boys (obviously), and watched a great movie. It was a perfect night.

7. Wednesday night, I went out for coffee with a couple friends. We had the most incredible conversation, and I think I changed my friend's life. It's amazing to have people who can carry on a deep conversation.

8. On Tuesday, I went to Marlee's and we made triple caramel cupcakes. Recipe found here. Boy, these were incredible. We had not baked in a while, so it was great to get back into it with her!

9. Yes, more cupcakes. I've been doing a different part of my job, and someone's birthday was on Thursday. We decided to have a potluck and invite management. It was a lot of fun, and everyone stuck around to eat for a while. I love my job.

10. My Saturday was busy! I have a friend who is getting married in August, and I went to her bridal shower on Saturday! It was outside, and I totally got burned, but it was a lovely afternoon gathering!

Nail Polish of the Week: I really wish I had taken this picture in the daytime in better lighting. And when my nails weren't chipped and messy. This is probably my favourite nail polish so far. It's from the Carrie Underwood line of Nicole by OPI and called Southern Charm. I think it is the perfect neutral for my skin tone. It's been a while since I wish really obsessed with my nails, and this broke the streak!


There was my week! I don't have as many things planned for this week, but maybe some last minute events will pop up!

-Daniella

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Summer Scrapbook Saturday #2

This week in summary: sleeping. A lot. I am hesitant to admit that I'm the kind of person who doesn't get up unless they have to. I have finally caught up on all my emails, and that's important but makes no significant dent in the universe. We're cool with it. I did end up getting out a few times, but I forgot to take pictures of the actual events! I wanted to start this as an incentive to start recording my life a little more. I'll keep working at it guys!


(from top left down then right)

1. I had to rearrange this collage to make the space bigger for this picture. Anyone who knows me at all know that #grilledcheesefriday is my thing. I have people Snapchatting me or texting me when they make grilled cheese. And this week, I made the BEST grilled cheese so far. It's pizza grilled cheese. I adapted a recipe from here and I'm drooling right now just thinking about it. I also hung out with a friend who came to town for the weekend, but I forgot to take a picture.
2. Remember last week when I said I had a friend who always has juice? This is it. Plus, we always drink out of jars there. This was my Sunday, and it was just so relaxing.
3. Yes, this picture is horrifying. Monday was a holiday in Canada, and my friend had a holiday/birthday barbeque. She also has a Ronald MacDonald head in her basement. I mean, that's a party right there.
4. Wednesday was chill. I recently got a new notebook for blogging, and I spent the day organizing some notes for future blog posts. When my sister came home, we had a little crackers and cheese snack and kept working together.
5. Tuesday was spent editing my book review. I also went to go see Pitch Perfect 2 with Marlee (again, forgot the picture)! I'll be honest, I did not like it as much as the first one. I found myself kind of disappointed.
6. I have no explanation for this. My sister and I goofed off and took a ton of pictures Sunday night. This is our essence.
7. On Thursday, Brianne and I made homemade Skor bars from this recipe. Needless to say, there are none left at this point. This is a very easy snack to make. It takes longer to heat the oven than it does to make the actual snack!
8. This is my favourite picture of the week. On Saturday, a couple friends came over for my dad's homemade pizza (the best anyone has ever had). It was a great night with some good people. I also went downtown for some drinks on a patio with Sarah. We had a great night, and it was a beautiful evening to be sitting outside.

Next week, I'm starting work, so I'll have a few more things to do. And I really want to put a bigger effort into hanging out with my friends. Have a great week!

-Daniella

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Book Review- The Balance Project by Susie Orman Schnall

So I am back with another book review. I’m reviewing this book for NetGalley, a website that offers books to be reviewed that have yet to be published. I am a little behind on this review, and ­The Balance Project by Susie Orman Schnall came out on April 28. Because this book review is for more of a formal setting, I have decided to change up my style. I mean, I actually took notes on this one. There are highlights on those notes to make this post the best post ever. Let me know what you think.

The Balance Project takes on the topic of women having it all in the work force (hence: balance). I actually wrote a blog post on a similar topics last year. The novel certainly does take on some really good points about dreams and what it means to have it all. It also outlines family and how that is incorporated into a busy working life. There were points that I found could be insulting to women in the workforce, but most of those issues were resolved in the end. The novel is from the point of view of Lucy Cooper, but her boss Katherine Whitney is placed as her foil (there’s my English degree peeking out there). It was an interesting way to place the story, and it drew me in.
I ended up really like the narration in the story. It does not fall under the category of my favourite books, but you end up really hearing the voice of the characters. I think the best way to describe it is relatable. All the conversations mimic the way people actually talk, so it was an easy read, and it built the characters up effectively. The novel does end up being predictable by the end, so that was disappointing, but the inciting action made it like a mystery that forced me to carry on.
 
[source]
 
The overall tone of the novel seemed a lot like The Devil Wears Prada. Granted, I have never read the book, but I have seen the movie and that was all I could think about for the first 2/3 of the book. A couple of my pet peeves are a change of fonts when a handwritten note comes into play, and, as of recent, texting conversations within a novel. This book had both, and that irked me. The cliché small town family and the predictability made me roll my eyes. The novel had a lot of interviews that Katherine (the boss) was participating in, and the author always added Lucy’s comments of analysis in between the interview. That made me feel like I could not think for myself. I also found the inciting action took too long to happen, and that the author tried too hard to make chapters end on a cliff hanger.
Due to the nature of the narration, I was able to feel a connection to the main character Lucy Cooper right away, and I feel strongly about her actions. To be honest, she bothers me. Does this woman not have a backbone? The whole novel she knows exactly what she wants but doesn’t know how to get it. She needs validation to make any decision on every level of her life, and that bothers me so much! When she actual makes a decision for herself, I am so proud of her, but she often goes back on what she says and seems wishy-washy. There is, however, something to be said about her being human. Going back to my point about being relatable, yes, Lucy is relatable because it can be difficult to fully believe in decisions that change your entire life. I just like my heroines to have a stronger backbone. I would like Lucy a lot more if she actually owned up to her decisions.
Overall, the story was intriguing, but the writing itself was not the best. There are feminist issues at hand, and I am not well versed enough to comment directly on those. However, the question at hand was the ability to maintain a balanced lifestyle, and it made me question what that really means. For a rating, I give the writing a 2, and the story itself a 4 because I could not stop reading. So that averages out to  a 3/5. Not a bad book by any means. It’s an easy read, and the characters are set up wonderfully.
Let me know if you read it yourself!
-Daniella

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Summer Scrapbook Saturday #1

I have not posted in over a week and the explanation is that I got stuck. Last summer, I essentially dropped out of the blog-o-sphere, and I do not want that to happen this summer. So where do I go from here? The outfit posts (last one here) were my weekend vice, but I'm not out and about as much. I wanted to go for the weekly Pinterest Challenge, but I can't make a commitment like that. Then, I started thinking about the next four months and how time with my friends and family is fleeting. So now, as the title suggests, I will be taking more pictures of my everyday life and putting together a weekly collage of my adventures (or mis-adventures). I've seen other bloggers do a weekly Instagram roundup, but this is more personal. It will be perfect for remembering this summer.
 

(moving from the top left, left to right)

1. My best friend Marlee and I had a wonderful girl's night. We got our Raspberry Swirl drink idea from Julieverse, but we just kind of poured it all in. I do not have much of that Malibu left, and I started with a full bottle! What else are girl's nights for?
2. Quote of the week: "THIS YARD IS LIKE THE WILD FRIKIN' KINGDOM" -my mom. So my mother loves animals. We've had some interesting wildlife turn up in our yard, and we were visited by a pair of ducks this week. This is a picture of my mom chasing ducks.
3. On Tuesday night, a good friend of mine invited me out to karaoke night at a local pub. I've never been to karaoke, and it was a BLAST! I got to reconnect with a friend I have not seen in a while, and I actually sang. Songs of the night: Drops of Jupiter and Love is An Open Door. Brilliant. This picture is a laugh attack Sarah was having when we got back.
4. The necessary greasy breakfast after a night out. Sarah is kind enough to always make us pancakes and hashbrowns after we go out. And she always has juice. Bonus.
5. Friday night, my sister and I convinced my parents to take us bowling. We hadn't done a family activity in a while, and this was so much fun. I think we were the loudest ones there, and I don't even care.
6. I started attempting to work out this week. My sister is all about the healthy stuff, so she wrote out this plan for me. So far......not so good. I worked out three days in a row and couldn't move on the fourth day. Aaaaand I haven't gone back yet, but I will.
7. Well this cannot be a better example of juxtaposition because yes, I had ice cream the week I started working out. Anyway, the night we went bowling, my parents told us the losers buy the ice cream. I have been bowling a few times this year and I am not very good. But for some reason, I got lucky this time. I did NOT lose! And my sister and I beat my parents by two points! It was a great night, and I'm glad that I actually won. My friends will never believe it.

Nail Polish of the Week- I figured as long as I'm doing my nails, I may as well add them in. This is Chinchilly by Essie. I really, really like this colour, and I got a lot of compliments on it. It is a grey neutral tone, but in certain lighting, it has a purple undertone. Very pretty.


In Other News- I don't know if this will be a regular part of this post, but I needed some way to tell you that I made a Facebook page! I figured it was the right time, and now I can get to know some of you a little better. So check it out, give it a like, comment, and feel free to shoot me a message! I also updated all my link underneath my picture on the right sidebar, so get out all my social media if you feel so inclined.

Have a great week everyone!

-Daniella
 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

What It Means To Be Pretty

When do girls first learn that being pretty matters? Where does the pressure to be pretty come from? Is there a difference between pretty and beautiful? What makes you feel beautiful? What advice do you have for girls who don’t feel pretty? These are the questions posed by Buzzfeed’s video titled “What It Means to Be Pretty” (watch it below). These days, everyone has something to say on this topic, and that’s because no matter who you are, you have had an experience with “pretty.” This includes all ages, genders, races, and classes. Every woman at some point or another has felt pressure to be pretty. In this video, the women share their experiences. Of course, most of what they were saying spoke to me. And why? Because pretty has power.


I distinctly remember in elementary school when I first felt the pressure to be pretty. To me, it meant the boys only liked pretty girls and no guys liked me, so I was not pretty. That is something that has carried into my adult life. However, I have always felt a sense of beauty. I always had a grasp on who I am as a person. I can see my own strengths and I value them. I can easily define myself in terms of beauty. I can tell you how I love to make other people feel good. I can tell you how much I appreciate my friends and let them know. I can tell you that I shine so I can be the light in other people’s lives. That is easy for me. It matters to me. And it matters to other people. But for some reason, beauty doesn’t matter as much. Beauty is an easy thing to grasp, but pretty is not. I cannot sit here and explain to you the exact reason why pretty people have more power in our culture. For me, it still has to do with boys. Looks wise, I do not consider myself to be above average, but I know I am an attractive person. Pretty? I don’t know. But I look at other girls who have the dates and the boyfriends and I see them as prettier than me. I personally never felt validated until this past year when guys showed interest in me for the first time when guys showed interest in me for the first time.  Why should that be okay?
This is me feeling very beautiful.
via Instagram
 
I honestly can’t answer my own question. But I want to answer a different one. What advice do you have for girls who don’t feel pretty? My advice is that you should focus on your own beauty. The right people (even guys) will value that. This year, I was in counselling and my counsellor went through breathing exercises at the beginning of our session. One of the things she said during this time is to “connect with the strengths and resources that lie within you.” In our last session, she asked me what those strengths were. I am good with my words. I know that words have an effect on people, and I can phrase things in ways that make my friends feel good. I can articulate my problems in ways that solve issues quicker. I have a big heart. This is a blessing and a curse, but I openly love so many people. I hold people close to my heart, and everyone has a place. People see that and are drawn to it. I have maturity. This has carried me through so many social situations. I have been able to see the overall perspective and take the higher road. I have been the bigger person, and knowing that makes me feel good about myself. It also leads me to live my life without regrets.
Recognizing and valuing my strengths has given me a clear sense of my own beauty, and I invite you to search yourself and connect to your own.

-Daniella


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Pinterest Challenge- Blueberry Lime Smoothie

Yes, I am doing a Pinterest Challenge post on Saturday. I've decided to make a few changes for the summer months. I need some new hobbies for the summer, so I decided to use Pinterest and do something every week. I have a schedule written down for the kind of stuff I'm going to be completing. These posts will now take place on Saturdays with the exception of the last Saturday of the month when I will be doing my outfit posts. I intend to keep posting every Tuesday. I have a book review coming up as well as another product review, so this will be a good month!

My sister has been loving smoothies lately, and I decided to take one on for breakfast! I was a little hesitant at the whole blueberry and lime thing, but it was actually REALLY good. It's zesty and refreshing. Perfect for the warmer weather I've been seeing here! I got the recipe from Julian the Thinker, and I changed the recipe a little bit. The blueberries I used were huge, and I needed to add more milk. I also replaced lime juice with lime oil, which is more potent, but it added the most amazing flavour.

Ingredients

- 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 drops lime oil
- 3 tbsp. honey (depending on how sweet you want it)


All you have to do is add all the ingredients into a blender and mix! You may need to add more milk depending on how well the mixture blends. My mom suggested this may be a good mix for a girl's night if you take out the yogurt and add some rum. Sounds good to me!


Sip up! This stuff is good!

-Daniella