Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Monthly Favourites - June 2017

Someone forgot to tell me it was the end of the month, so I was unprepared for this monthly post. June has flown by. I feel like I just got back from England!  So much has happened this month, and I can thank work for that. The good thing is, I’ve done so much that I had so many ideas for what to share this month! Pluuuuus, stay tuned for my big announcement at the end. I’ve been hinting for so long, and here it is!

1.       Graduation


I did it! I graduated on June 13th! It feels so weird to have a degree and think back on the past four years. The most surreal part was actually seeing that piece of paper with my name on it. I worked so hard, and I nailed it! It’s sad to think that I will not be returning to King’s in the fall. It has been the most amazing home with the most amazing community. I don’t think I’m ever going to find a community like that again.

2.       Sephora Cream Lip Stain


I am obsessed with this stuff. I love a good lip, but I’m also super lazy about it. I was on the hunt for something that will stick on. Thanks to reviews on Influenster, I found myself splurging on this. I do not regret it at all. I have used it for a wedding, nights out, and graduation. It really does stay on all day. Graduation is one of the longest days of university, and I still looked great. I got in the shade Pink Tea because I wanted a nude. I’ll probably go back and get more.

3.       Chapmen’s Tropical Wave Sorbet


If you don’t already know, I have a peanut and nut allergy. Desserts are hard for me. My mom recently came home with this Tropical Wave Sorbet, and it is outstanding. Chapman’s has always been the best brand for ice cream (thank you Chapman’s!), and I am so happy to see that they are expanding to other treats. This is a perfect treat because it is tasty, refreshing, and highly satisfying. I just had a bowl, and I don’t feel like I need any more. Also, if you stick it in a blender and mix it with some Malibu, you have yourself a lovely poolside drink.

4.       Slowly Getting Over My Fear Of Dogs


Have you ever read my social media bios? I’m afraid of dogs. Everyone knows that about me. I don’t hate dogs. I want to like them. I like the idea of having a dog, but I’m scared of them. I’ve been trying to force myself out of this. I dog-sit for a family with an old dog who can’t jump, and that has been helping. Recently, my friend starting fostering two puppies, and I got to hold one! Her name is Cleopatra (Cleo for short), and it was a special moment for me. This may seem like a dumb thing to put on a monthly favourites list, but I am so proud of myself.

5.       I’m Moving to the UK – Again!

This is it – my big announcement. I have no way to describe it, and I don’t have a picture for it. I am going back to the UK for school! In the fall, I will be going to Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales for teacher’s college. I’ve known about this for quite a while (I got accepted on April 1st), but it has been solidified this month. Teaching has been a dream of mine since I was eight years old, and going to Wales to do it is just the cherry on top. It is surreal. I cannot believe how lucky I have been just to have these kinds of opportunities.

There we go! Like I said, June flew by. I’m sure it will be no time at all before I have to pack up my things once again. I’m working as a Pool Manager this summer, so that comes with responsibility and exciting things ahead!

What are some exciting things you did in June?


-Daniella

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pinterest Challenge - June 2017

End of May/beginning of June was busy. I was on the go all the time, so I needed some easy things. I love breakfast, but I also really like the idea of “grab and go.” I have a couple really great breakfast idea and some smoothies because the weather is getting hot!

1.       Blueberry Muffin Smoothie


In an effort to make something yummy as well as healthy when a friend came over, I made this smoothie from Iowa Girl Eats. It was so fantastic. I was slightly thrown off by the lemon zest, but that is what made this smoothie actually taste like a blueberry muffin. Again, this is purely delicious.

2.       Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie


I definitely put way too many strawberries in this, but it was not detrimental to the recipe in any way. Happy Money Saver suggests this recipe as a freeze ahead smoothie with the oats (kind of like overnight oats), but I opted out of that for convenience’s sake. It still worked, and it was creamy and yummy. I don’t think it was anything special, but I liked the additional flavour of the oatmeal.              

3.       Dijon Mustard and Pear Grilled Cheese


This combination from Will Cook for Smiles seems odd but hear me out. The Dijon MAKES this grilled cheese. Honestly, skip the honey. It added only a little sweetness to it, and it made the whole grilled cheese look bad and smell burned. Other than that, the sweetness of the pear and tartness of the mustard is outstanding.

4.       Churro Waffles


My sister was home for a while, so we decided to make breakfast. This was a pretty amazing dish. The link from Cooking Classy is for the actual waffles. The churro idea is at the bottom for alternatives, so we mixed cinnamon and sugar and put it all together. The waffles are good, but they didn’t crisp up in the oven like it said it would. I don’t know if I was using the wrong setting, but that’s alright. Also, sorry about this date stamp. I don't know how to get rid of it on my camera.

5.       Maple Brown Sugar Overnight Oats


This is my favourite thing on this list. I’m warning you right now that it does not look as pretty as it does in this picture. Once you stir it, it just becomes like every other regular goopy oatmeal. I made this twice because I loved it so much. Papa said it was too sweet, but I’m a sweet tooth, so it was perfect for me. I loved the fact that it was made for me, so I just left with a jar in my bag. Perfect for on the go.

Once again, this is all about the food.  I have a couple lifestyle things I want to try out for next month. It should be great!

Daniella                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Brontë Parsonage

Well, we’ve reached the final installment of my England travel series. At this point, I don’t even know what I will be writing about next week. I saved the best for last. I have wanted to go on this trip ever since I took a seminar course on the Brontës. I lucked out because an English friend of mine happened to be in England at the same time as me. We decided to meet up and do this trip together!
Haworth is where the Brontës lived for most of their life. Haworth itself is picture-esque, and we grew more and more excited as we approached the parsonage.


 An incredible amount of care is taken to make sure the parsonage is replicated as close to what it was when the Brontës actually lived there. They have everything down to the wallpaper. It is amazing.


There were a few extremely nerdy parts of this walk through. For example, this blurry picture is their table where an E is carved in the surface. E as in Emily Brontë. As in, Emily Brontë carved this. AH!


A really cool thing we got to take part in was a transcript project. Wuthering Heights is the only novel where the original manuscript wasn’t found. An artist has set up an opportunity for visitors of the parsonage museum to write a line of the novel. Essentially, we’re writing our own transcript.


Another nerdy moment is the handkerchief stained with Anne Brontë’s blood. I realized it’s kind of creepy, but I still became excited about it.


The biggest point on our list was to do the hike up to Wuthering Heights. It’s called Top Withins. The midway point is the Brontë waterfall. The waterfall isn’t all that impressive, but it makes for a great rest stop on this 12km hike up and down the hills.


Finally, we made it. It was so wonderful. Now, there are buildings that match the home in Wuthering Heights more accurately, but once you stand up there, you know that this is the spot Emily Brontë is describing. We sat up there for a long time and read passages from the novel. Every time the wind was mentioned, the wind would pick up. I think Emily Brontë was with us that day.


This was one of the best (and nerdiest) experiences I have ever had. I am so happy to have shared this with a friend. I felt bad for Matt and that fact that he was dragged along, but he liked how enthralled we were. The walk to Top Withins was tough, but so worth it if you’re a Brontë fan. I would highly suggest this trip to anyone who wants to know a little more about the classic British women writers. I’m still happy about it.

What is the nerdiest trip you’ve ever been on?


-Daniella

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Conisbrough Castle and York

I am shmooshing (I made that word up) two trips together since one was small and one lacked pictures. We went to Conisbrough Castle on the way to York, and it was wonderful. York is, of course, my favourite place in the entire world. I can’t wait to share it with you!

Conisbrough Castle


One of my things on my list was to see a castle. I mean, how could you not? I love castles so much. If anyone remembers my Instagram from when I was away, you’ll remember that I kept joking about building my own. I love it.


Conisbrough Castle is not a fully constructed castle anymore. It is in ruins, but it is just as beautiful. It’s on a hill, so the views from the single tower are stunning. The whole experience of the castle is done so well. They had videos that explained the different rooms in the tower. The interpretation boards had cartoons that are great for kids (and people who don’t really have an interest in the history of the castle).


There are also so many nooks and crannies to explore. It was so much fun to wander around. I guess that’s the benefit of having a castle in ruins. This was an amazing half-day excursion. I’m definitely considering getting the Heritage pass when I’m living here in the future just so I can get into as many castles as I want!

York


I honestly don’t have much to tell you about York. Matt works there now, so we did more of a “Matt’s life in York” tour. I love walking around. It’s just so stunning.


The one thing we did differently was visit the Jorvik Viking centre. Now that was a fantastic experience. It’s like a mini roller coaster that brings you around to different scenes that shows Viking life. The most interesting part was the smell. Jorvik prides itself on recreating the smells of Viking times. It’s weird and kind of gross. However, it adds to the experience. It’s certainly a creative look at York’s history.


Other than that, we did go to some historical experience in one of the gates, but it’s not even worth mentioning. It was NOT worth the price, and it was not that informative at all.
It was a casual and easy trip, but just as wonderful as it was the first time I went.


There’s one more travel post done. Three down, one to go! I’ve done this out of order, but I’ve saved the best for last. I cannot wait until you read Saturday’s post!

-Daniella

Sunday, June 4, 2017

My Fitness Journey - Month Two

 I didn’t want to write this. Why? Because I was expecting great things. I was so proud of myself for the things I have done this past month. I stayed on schedule. I did a ton of walking while I was travelling. I expected to lose weight. Yesterday, I got on the scale and discovered that I gained two pounds. After that, I didn’t want to write a post. I felt so strongly about that that I ended up not posting on the usual Saturday. The thing is, I knew I had gained weight. I haven’t been working out at all the past couple of weeks. I also haven’t been eating healthy whatsoever because I haven’t been home. This was all on me.



However, this month wasn’t all a was


te. I’ve had two major fitness wins. One was on a 12km hike I did through the Yorkshire Dales. Google it. It’s all hills. I did a hike like this about a year ago and barely made it through. It was so bad that Matt was actually worrying about if I could make it this time around. I nailed that hike. I struggled just as much as the other two and that wasn’t a lot. The other major win is that I recently did my major distance swim for lifeguarding. Normally, I feel like I’m going to pass out at the end. This time, I did not feel like that. Although I wasn’t particularly fast at these two activities, I knew that my overall health had improved.


MONTH ONE

Weight
224 lbs.
Neck
37.5 cm.
Left Arm
41.5 cm.
Right Arm
43 cm.
Waist
97 cm.
Belly
122.5 cm.
Hips
128 cm.
Left Thigh
78 cm.
Right Thigh
78 cm.
Left Calf
47 cm.
Right Calf
41.5 cm.
MONTH TWO

Weight
226 lbs.
Neck
37.5 cm.
Left Arm
42.5 cm.
Right Arm
40 cm.
Waist
98 cm.
Belly
121 cm.
Hips
132 cm.
Left Thigh
73.5 cm.
Right Thigh
72 cm.
Left Calf
47 cm.
Right Calf
45.5 cm.













I now realize how much losing weight is a mental game. It’s really hard to get yourself in the right mindset. Now, I had one great thing happen. For the most part, my measurements are the same. I’m measuring myself (you’re not supposed to), so a few centimetres here and there probably mean I’ve gone wrong down the line. So there I was measuring myself. I start at the top and go down. Nothing has really changed. I was a little disappointed about my hips but whatever. Then I get to my thighs. I measured twice on both legs to make sure the numbers were accurate. It may be a small difference, but it means that what I’m doing is working. I put together the collage below to see if I can notice a difference. Right now, it’s not much. But if it feels this good to change just a little, it will give me the push I need to keep going.


This month, I’m getting a gym membership. I’m also going to be swimming once my pool opens, and I’ve already picked back up on my healthy eating. I am going to push myself this month. 

-Daniella

P.S. I’m going to try and get better at taking pictures, okay? And sorry about the formatting of the charts - I don't know how to fix it.