Autumn Photography

Thursday, November 9

It's been too long since I've been able to post anything on here. I've just written the GRE (I've mentioned this in previous posts) and hopefully my scores are high enough that I won't need to write it again (fingers are crossed!) 
Meanwhile I've been able to snap a few autumn shots in between my studying sessions over the last two months. I wanted to write a quick post sharing some of my favourites! 
Hopefully I'll be back into the swing of things soon! Until then, here are some photos! 

Cheers to Twenty-Four

Wednesday, October 11

Now that all of the birthday festivities have ended, I've had some time to think about my twenty-third year of life. How I ended up where I am, and what I hope to achieve in the coming years. Have I matured? Am I a better person? What am I doing with my life?

Not quite a quarter life crisis (not just yet, anyway), more of a reflection. I thought I would take a little bit of time to write about things so that when I look back, I can remember how twenty-three felt. 


Life inevitably tossed me around. I was on what I thought was a kiddy ride but soon turned out to be one of those thrill-seeker rollercoasters where you think you'll manage okay but as soon as the ride starts you pass out.

Needless to say, I was unprepared. Unprepared but so grateful for the experience.

I started my twenty third year out without a job, a recently graduated university student with nowhere to go. That soon turned into three part time jobs before Christmas and a plan to apply to a university far away. After the Christmas holidays I left one of the part time jobs to work full time hours between the other two positions I held. Life was full of work and hoping I would get accepted to university.

Spring was exciting,  I had a phone interview to the university I applied to, and Noah and I bought our first car. The day that the car was officially ours, I also found out I had been accepted. We had just spent our savings on this vehicle and now we had to start all over again for the move (that should have been our first red flag, but nonetheless, I'm glad we went through with it). 

I was excited when we moved away that I would be able to finally cross some things off of my 30 before 30 bucket list. There was both moving out of my parents home and moving to a new place as well as continuing my education, all of which would have all been crossed off the list should we have stayed.

I also would have been miserable.  

There comes a time in life where you have to make choices that aren't easy decisions. I could have stayed in Ontario and completed the degree living in a terrible mental state, or I could move back home, reevaluate my choices (and inevitably feel like a failure for the first little while) and be mentally stable.
Ultimately my mental health was just not worth jeopardizing.

I've always been a strong advocate for looking after your mental health. It is very important to make sure you are taking really good care of it, because you will experience a lot more negative things in life if you have poor mental health.

In this particular instance, I needed to make sure that I was also being an advocate for my own mental health, and that is something that I found really difficult to come to terms with. That feeling of failure really loomed over me for a while. Luckily, that has passed and I am forever grateful for the support that I have received from those around me. I was really worried that my decision to move back home would be met with disappointment and misunderstanding. Not one of my family members showed that response. All were glad I was happy and safe, and interested to hear what my next step in life would be. I was so glad I got to spend my birthday with my family, with the ones who mean the most to me. 

October is my favourite month of the year. Yes, it harbours my birthday at the beginning, and one of my favourite holidays at the end (any other 'Halloweenies' out there?!) but there is something about the autumn season that makes my heart swell with happiness. It's this time of the year that really gets me inspired. I love all the vibrant colours (burgundy is my favourite colour), the chilly temperature (sweater weather), and the activities that happen throughout this season (pumpkin picking and carving, corn mazes, thanksgiving). I can't help but be reenergized during this time of the year, and I really think that is helping me to understand that everything happens for a reason and I am meant to be here. To be home.

As of my first week being twenty-four I have mostly been studying for the GRE (Graduate Record Examination - an entrance exam to many universities). I hope to do well on the test in a month and be able to apply to universities for the 2018-2019 school year. We shall see in the coming weeks how things will settle out. My test date and the deadlines are quite close together so I am trying to stay optimistic that I'll be properly prepared. Should things not go to plan, I am prepared to wait a year. I have learned that success isn't measured through one life decision, or one wrong choice, and I can keep trying. Life won't end with one bad test result.

Life happens. Life goes on.

Twenty three was a year of trying new things and learning that it's okay if things don't turn out the way you planned.  I hope that twenty four will treat me just as well.

So cheers twenty-three, thanks for the life lessons, and also to twenty-four. May the year be filled with new experiences, ideas, and lessons, and endless love and support.

Failure | Motivational Monday

Monday, September 18

It's been a while since I've written a motivational Monday post. It feels good to bring this back. Writing these posts are very calming for me and help me see things in a different light. Also, I feel like I need to write this, not only for myself, but for others who may be feeling the same way. 

I was originally planning on writing something about moving and how to adjust to being far away from home. However, sometimes things don't work out, and thats ok. 

To make a long and complicated story short, I withdrew from the program that I was attending, Noah and I packed up our bags and moved back home. There were many underlying reasons for our decision, but ultimately we were unhappy being so far away from home. 

While we are both feeling better now, and know we made the right choice to come home, the feeling that we failed is still there. It took me a while to really understand and come to terms with the fact that it was not a failure, but an attempt that did not work - and that the two are not equal. 

Just because this life choice didn't work does not mean that I won't keep trying. I will continue with my education in the future. I have just learned that I should look for a program closer to home. Half way across the country will not work, I am too much of a homebody. I will keep trying. Even if the next time doesn't work either, I won't give up.  

I wanted to write about this topic because it has been on my mind lately. I don't want to forget that sometimes things go wrong, and that's okay. Don't give up and keep your head high. Sometimes we think that giving up, or failing, or even retracing our steps are bad things, but they aren't. That is how life works. There are highs and there are lows, and you need to take them as they come. Trust your gut feelings. Your intuition will help you make the right decisions when times are tough. 

It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks or says, because it isn't their decision. You have one life to live, and you shouldn't waste your time thinking every attempt is a failure. 

You are just learning the ways that don't work. 

Visiting Quebec City

Saturday, September 16

2017 was the first time in my almost twenty-four years of life that I have visited Quebec City. We stayed in Levis, Quebec and took the ferry across the river so that I could see just how beautiful the city was from the other side of the river. It did not disappoint. As soon as we got off the ferry and started walking through the streets I was in love. There were cobblestone walkways and brick buildings with art covering the whole side (I have included a picture down below of one of the buildings). There were cute little boutique shops and restaurants and decorations and string lights everywhere. It was like an old little European town had found its way to Canada. 

We walked around exploring for the whole day taking in the views, shops, and general atmosphere. We ate breakfast at a restaurant near Le Ch√Ęteau Frontenac, the giant hotel that you can see coming across on the ferry. We had gorgeous weather that day and we were able to eat outside and enjoy the beautiful views. Everything was just so pretty. I could have taken a picture at every turn but that would have taken up all the room on my camera, and it would have taken up all of Noah's patience with me - and he needed those for all the hills we had to walk up, I complained a lot.

This is one of my favourite places that I've explored. I love the small town feel; it reminds me Beauty and the Beast when Belle is walking down her village and singing with her head stuck in her favourite book - at a one point I was hoping there would be a fountain with some sheep nearby just for my own satisfaction, but alas that did not happen. Maybe someday when I return to Quebec City I will bring along a Belle costume. 
Until then, here are some photos that I took of beautiful Quebec City: 

Have you ever been to Quebec City? What is your favourite part or what would you like to do there?

New Warby Parker Eyewear Collection

Tuesday, September 12

When I was younger I always wanted glasses because I thought it would make me look smarter, and (although I wouldn't admit it to anyone) I thought they would make me smarter too. Unfortunately for my younger self, I never needed glasses and I had to get my smarts somewhere other than through a pair of specs. 

The longing I had for glasses never left even as I grew older. I remember going through school and having friends with glasses and asking to try them on to see how I would look, and hoping that they would magically make my eyesight even better so that I could tell my parents that I needed to get glasses (which never happened). I went through high school wanting glasses, to no avail of my great eyesight, but fear not five-year-old Amanda, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

In 2015 I was in my third year of university and I was in a math course with Noah (my partner). We were taking notes from the projector which was quite far away and very bright (If I say projector I'm sure you get the idea). I asked Noah so many times what numbers I was supposed to be writing down that he insisted that my eyesight needed to be checked out because I should be able to see all the numbers clearly. 

So, I booked an appointment and youbetcha -  Noah was right - I walked out with a prescription for some glasses. Now, as you could imagine, my five-year-old self was ecstatic that I was finally able to have a pair of glasses that would be tailored to my eyes. However, what I didn't realize was the volume of glasses there were to try on in the store and just how frustrating it was to keep trying on pair after pair. I think I spent over an hour in the store trying different frames on and I didn't even pick a pair that day. I needed to come back after I thought some of the choices through to be sure I was picking the right pair. 

I later spent the evening shopping online to see if there were any places that I could find frames that I might like more than the ones I found in the store. It was then that I came across Warby Parker. I fell in love with their frames and thought that there were a lot of options that suited my particular style, and so I was interested in learning if I would be able to try on, or even purchase frames online. Unfortunately, for me, when I was searching for the perfect pair of glasses they were not located anywhere near my little nook of Eastern Canada and it just wasn't possible to get my hands on their lovely frames. I ended up going back to the store and picking mediocre frames because I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for in the store.

Flash forward to 2017: Technology has advanced. (Woo!) Warby Parker now have an app that you can use to get your hands on some glasses that you might fancy, even if you're unable to make it in to one of their stores. (Currently there are still only 2 in Canada) 
I would have been so happy if this was around when I was searching for my first pair of glasses. It was so disheartening seeing beautiful glasses online that I just didn't have access to. I would hate for someone else to go through the same ordeal.

What is even better is that Warby Parker are releasing a new collection of eyewear that are absolutely stunning. I thought after sharing my personal story about getting glasses (and how I could have benefited from better technology) that I would share a few photos of some of the new Warby Parker collection and what I, personally, would wear with each pair. Most of the frames are very versatile and can be matched with many styles and personalities! I just picked two regular eyewear and two sunglasses out of the range, but there are many other options to choose from on their website.

I included the name of each pair in the new collection that I used in case you want to head over to take a better look.

For the Becker eyewear I thought that there was enough colour on the frames that the rest of the outfit could be neutral. I love this shade of blue for glasses because it's not too bright and obnoxious but it also gives you a bit more funk or personality. 
(Links: Sweater, Leggings, Shoes)

The Logan eyewear can literally be worn with anything. The fact that the frames are black make this pair so easy to dress up or down. I chose to style them with a cozy fall outfit. I enjoy mixing colours that may not necessarily go together and so it helps when you have glasses that aren't too loud or colourful to balance out the other colourful items that you may be wearing. 
(Links: Sweater, jeans, shoes)

I really liked the look of the Tansley sunglasses because they are a very easy to wear, neutral shade. I also really enjoy the shape of these glasses a lot. I like how the bridge of the nose is gold as it really complements the rosy shade of pink. I chose a dress and jean jacket to pair with these sunglasses because when I saw them I just kept thinking of summer nights when it's just a little chilly but the sun it still shining and everyone is having a great time around a BBQ. 
(Links: Jacket, dress, shoes)

Last, but certainly not least: Hadley. I actually saved this pair until the end because they are my favourite out of the whole collection. I just feel like these are so beautiful and stylish. I think you could pair them with just about anything and they would look amazing. I chose to pair the sunglass with a pair of slim jeans, cute fall booties, a white shirt (to show off the rest of that summer tan) and a  fall cardigan. 
(Links: Cardigan, shirt, jeans, shoes)

Which pair from the new collection is your favourite and how would you style an outfit with them?