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?

Moving + Refreshing My Morning Routine

Friday, August 18

Our move is in full swing now. My room is stuffed to the brim with boxes and we are in the midst of planning the road trip to Ontario! It's crazy to think that in two short weeks we will be packed and hitting the road! 

While this is a crazy and exciting time in our lives, it is also beyond stressful, unorganized, and generally, anxiety provoking. I am finding it difficult with all the sorting, packing, and storing to keep any sort of routines that I once had.  On top of that, once we move in, I will be starting a new degree at an unfamiliar university. Talk about stressful! 
To say that I am excited to move in to our new space and start back up with my familiar routines is an understatement! 

The morning routines I use have always been my favourite time of the day. Sure, it's nice to unwind at the end of a day, but how you begin the day can really set the pace for having an amazing, or terrible day. 

For as long as I can remember I have had two types of morning routines, and today I wanted to talk about each of them and how I plan to bring them back in to my life after my stressful move to Ontario! I will be starting school in September, and therefore these routines will help me prepare mentally for long days of learning!

Routine I: The Quiet, Internalizing Approach

My first type of morning route is the one that I find myself using the most often.
This routine involves grabbing some breakfast. My favourite (although not the most healthy) is to grab a banana, oat, and chocolate chip muffin (Noah's mum's recipe - they're the best!) and sit at the table enjoying it. I find this gives me the most relaxing morning and I am able to mentally prepare myself for the day. I can think of all the things that I need to do for the day, or assignments for the classes that I will have. Generally, it just gives me time to reflect, think, and prepare. I am looking forward to these mornings in the new space because we have a little bar area that separates our kitchen from our living room. When Noah and I first saw the place, that was what we were most excited about. We started looking for bar stools immediately, to find ones that we would both like. I have a feeling this will be a great space to take time for myself in the morning and reflect on things for the day to come. There is even enough space that I can bring out my planner and see what is on my to do list for the day, if I have assignments or readings that need to be done before class! Having that little time to myself really helps me prepare for the day. Generally I'm not one to like alone time, but I do really find it helpful in the morning.

Routine II: The Energizing, Externalizing Approach

This routine is one that I will do if I'm feeling a bit more energized when I wake up.  I may spend a bit more pamper time with this routine, spending some extra time on my hair, putting in more effort picking my outfit, making a big breakfast for myself and Noah, or maybe even spending some time applying a bit of make-up. Whatever it is that I'm putting the extra effort in, the main thing about this routine is music.  Whether it's coming quietly from my phone (if Noah is still sleeping), or connecting it to one of our bluetooth speakers,  music in the morning will get me up dancing, singing, and generally feeling good. Getting endorphins rushing in the morning can be great! It can help you feel more awake, happier, and generally can make the rest of the day a breeze! There are some days when I feel really crappy and the first routine just won't cut it. That is another time when I will put on some music and get ready for the day until I'm feeling better.  If you can't head out the door in a good mood, then it will really impact how the rest of your day is, and that can even rub off on others around you. 

Typically the routine that I chose will depend on how I am feeling when I wake up. If I am feeling refreshed and like I got a good amount of sleep, typically I'll go for routine II. If I didn't get a great sleep, I have something during the day that I find stressful, or I'm trying to be mindful that Noah is still sleeping, I will opt for routine I.

Either way, these routines have kept me going in the morning in the past, and I can't wait to use them again in our new place! They really help me mentally, and physically prepare myself for the day to come! 

What type of morning routine do you have?

Baby Soft Foot Peel Review

Thursday, July 27


I am trying to get back in to the swing of posting. It's been so long since I've been here, and I miss it dearly. Between working my butt off to save money, and packing for my move halfway across the country, I've not had much time to sit down and write. I'm hoping that now that work is winding down I'll have a bit more time to write! 

I tried a foot peel out at the end of June and planned to post a review of it. Time got the better of me, and here I am posting it in July! 

I'm sure you've seen the foot peel craze on the internet somewhere. If not, they are these plastic booties that you wear for an hour and the formula inside them make all the dead skin on your feet peel off in a few days. I love a good skin peel. When I was younger (and even now) I loved to peel the skin from a sunburn. I find it very satisfying. Needless to say, when I saw this time of product all over the internet, I knew I wanted to try it! 

Disclosure, there will be pictures of feet and peeling skin, so if those bother you, I'd avoid this post! 

I found this version at Sephora for $25.00. 

When you open the package all that is included is the plastic booties; the information is all included on the packaging. You are supposed to stick your feet in the booties, tape the tops closed, put on some socks, and wait for roughly 1 hour. (You can wait an hour and a half but I chose not too.) As you can see below, my sister and I have the booties on with some socks. 

The gel stuff inside smelled very fruity (I'm assuming thats from the fruit extracts) and was very slimy. It was the weirdest sensation putting your feet in a plastic bootie full of slime. 
Over the hour that I sat in the booties the gel got colder and colder, which wasn't uncomfortable, just odd. It didn't get tingly or irritated which was good, as I was worried the gel would irritate my sensitive skin!
Finally, after an hour of sitting in the booties the instructions say to wash the gel off your feet and the dead skin will begin peeling in 4-5 days. 

First of all, I knew going in to this that my feet wouldn't peel the first day that I wore the booties. However, this did not stop me from checking immediately after I removed the booties and washed my feet. There was nothing happening. It was a little disappointing since I had just invested the hour waiting for the gel to work its magic! 

The product was true to its word though, nothing starting happening until day 4. The toes and upper part of my foot began peeling but it was very minor. I was hoping for something much more significant. This is what it looked like on day 4.

By day 5 I was getting a little frustrated that nothing was happening. I hopped in the shower and hoped that maybe today would be the day that everything started happening. It was. 

After I got out of the shower I could feel the skin on my feet snagging at the towel when I went to dry my feet and when I went to put my clothes on. Another weird sensation but I was excited to take a look at my feet! This is what I saw when I looked on day 5: 

Most of my upper foot was peeling and finally the heel was starting to peel as well. That was a glorious day for peeling the dead skin off. 

Now my overall opinion of the product: 
I'm not sure if this is safe for your body. To have to wear booties for 1 hour with some gel formula to make the dead skin on your feet peel doesn't seem like the healthiest way to shed dead skin. 

I also wasn't as impressed with the amount of dead skin. I imagined that there would be more, and that it would happen faster. It may just be that I'm an impatient person, though.

Overall I enjoyed the process, but I would not purchase it again for $25.00. 

Would you ever purchase a foot peel?