May + June 2017 Behind the Scenes

Posted on June 30, 2017 under Life

So… we’re already halfway through 2017, and I have a little over two months left in Canada. (One of the things I did in May was book my flight to Glasgow!) Here’s what I’ve been up to since the last time I checked in.

Saw Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling is one of my favourite musicians of all time. She released her sixth album in the spring and it was as glorious as I had hoped. Her folk-inspired music is intimate, haunting, and beautiful. She’s also an incredible performer: understated, mesmerizing, powerful. I’ve loved her music since 2011 and I will take any opportunity to see her live. I truly think she’s one of the most talented living artists. (The first time I saw her, St. Vincent and Cara Delevingne were in attendance, so clearly she’s doing something right.) If you haven’t heard her music, her new album Semper Femina is wonderful, and I Speak Because I Can and A Creature I Don’t Know are tied for first place in my heart.

Got a tattoo

When my grandpa died in September, I knew that my next tattoo would be for him. I spent a long time really thinking it over, for obvious reasons. I remembered a photo my uncle had taken of him kayaking a few years ago and decided that I wanted that image rendered in traditional style. My grandpa was in the merchant marines as a young man and he loved nothing more than being on the water. Even as his health began to decline, he always made it a point to kayak each summer, although it was very difficult for him to get into and out of the boat. He was determined to live his life to the fullest, physical limitations be damned. The picture symbolizes so much about him. I absolutely love how the tattoo turned out and I’m so happy to have my grandpa with me always. (By the way, I’m big on flower symbolism – I have four tattoos that all include flowers – and when I found out that forget-me-nots were his birth flower I squealed at how perfect that was.)

Turned 23

My birthday was on June 19. I managed to wrangle myself a nice little 4-day weekend, which I mostly took pretty easy. My family went out for sushi to celebrate on the Saturday before, and then on my actual birthday I went to the mall to treat myself with birthday money. It was a low-key day, but I also managed to wake up with a summer cold on my birthday, so that’s alright!

Went to my friend’s bachelorette

Two of my good friends are getting married in a few weeks, and one of them had a bachelorette in Toronto which I got to attend. It was super fun and made me so excited for the wedding! I’ve never been to a wedding before, and I can’t wait. It’s in just two weeks now and I’m buzzing with anticipation.

Took the guinea pigs outside

Now that the weather is nice, we’ve been taking Cassius and Wally outside. Since they’re hairless we can only do it when it’s overcast, or they’ll burn. But they just love standing there eating grass like mini cows. Also, Cassius made a new friend…!

And that is what’s up with me!

Books read: 11
Times I woke up at 4am to buy overpriced tickets to see Harry Styles in London: 2
Percent of my soul that loves Lorde’s new album: 100 (Writer In the Dark and Liability, though, am I right?)

March + April 2017 Behind the Scenes

Posted on April 29, 2017 under Life

It’s time for another Behind the Scenes post already! 2017 really is flying by. Last week marked a year since I’ve been back in Toronto, which seems impossible. It’s only a few months now until I’m off to the UK. In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been up to.

Went to driving school

I don’t think I ever actually mentioned this on my blog, but I got my G1 license back in June. The G1 consists solely of a written test, and I have to pass a road test to get my G2 license, which allows me to drive with almost no restrictions. I finally went to driving school in mid-March. Because of my work schedule I had to do a four-day intensive course over public school March break, so about 85% of the people in my class were teenagers. I got 103% in my in-class course! I’ve also been doing driving lessons, and so far so good. It’s a bit nerve-wracking, but I’m managing. Although I’m sure you’ll understand the utter panic I felt when my first lesson involved going forward and reversing up and down the same 20 feet of my street and my second lesson was driving on main streets in downtown Toronto. Prior to my first lesson I had never so much as touched a steering wheel, so when my instructor said we’d be doing main streets for day two I was like, “Excusez-moi?” But I pretty much have regular driving conditions down and I’m not half bad at parallel parking. Driving in the city is a bit nerve-wracking, but I figure if I can do that I can do anything. I’m not ready for my road test yet, but I’m hoping to pass it before I leave for the UK in September.

Went to Montreal

I was just in Montreal at the end of February for a girls’ weekend with my ladies, but I went back again at the end of March so I could see Green Day with my old roommate, Katie. I saw Green Day in 2010 when I was 16 and it was awesome, and Katie and I had been saying forever that we had to go together. I paid $311 for our floor tickets, but it was totally worth it. I’ve been a Green Day fan for half my life and getting to experience it with one of my best friends was a joy! I wish they’d played more of their old stuff since I don’t care about anything they’ve released since American Idiot, but you can’t have it all.

Went to Kentucky

I went on a quick trip to Kentucky at the end of March/beginning of April. I’ve been to Kentucky three times since August 2015, all for memorials for family members, so they’re not exactly the happiest trips. Kentucky really is such a physically beautiful state, though. Not so much politically. Check out what I found at Liquor Barn:

Yes, when I opened the card my jaw literally dropped in the middle of an empty aisle and I ran, hyperventilating, to find my parents to show it to them. Although I have to say I’m not sure if the message or the terrible rendering of Joe Biden is more offensive…

However, I did find a bakery in Berea, KY which bears my name, which was cool:

Got a haircut

My hairdresser needed a hair model last minute, so I agreed to go in and get a few inches lopped off. I’d been debating a cut for awhile, and I’m glad I went for it. My hair is a lot healthier now, and I do enjoy it at this length. Sometimes I miss being able to do high ponytails and buns at the top of my head, but at this point my hair is so damaged that it does a lot better when it’s well above my shoulders.

Hosted a friend in Toronto

At the end of March, I visited Katie in Montreal, and at the end of April she came to see me (and our other friends) in Toronto! She just finished her degree, so she took a quick little trip now that she’s free. It’s a running joke in our lives that even though we’ve known each other for over three years there are no pictures of us together in daylight, and we continued that trend this time around. It was a really nice visit, though, filled with good food and lots of time spent with our friends.

The weather’s been really nice this month, and I have to say that overall March and April were very pleasant months. I don’t want to jinx it, but now that we’re a third of the way through 2017 it’s looking a lot better than 2016. Hopefully the momentum continues!

January + February 2017 Behind the Scenes

Posted on February 28, 2017 under Life

Last year I decided to try doing monthly Behind the Scenes posts and managed to only do one, in January. I thought I’d bring this back and do a post every other month, so here’s what I got up to in January and February!

Saw the Chihuly exhibit at the ROM

My parents have a membership to the ROM, and occasionally if there’s a cool exhibit I’ll accompany them. (Don’t tell anyone, but my student card expires in August, so I get the discount even though I’m not in school right now…) Well, I had to see the Chihuly exhibit, especially after my former roommate Katie visited Toronto and raved about it. It was every bit as spectacular as I hoped it would be. Every section was more incredible than the last. I only wish I had the type of cashflow that would allow me to buy some of his pieces…

Became a skinny pig aunt

My brother and his girlfriend adopted a hairless guinea pig in mid-January. My brother and I both live with our parents, so I get to see baby Cassius (aka Cash, Cashy, Cash Money, Cash for Life, and Cashew Nut) every day. We loved him so much that three weeks later, we added Wally to the mix on February 8. Cassius is about 5-6 months old now and Wally is around 3 months old. They’re ugly and wrinkly and, in my opinon, adorable. (A lot of my friends do not share this opinion…) Cassius loves carrots (and eating in general). Wally loves having his butt rubbed. I love them both. (Also, see the grey scarf Cassius is poking out of? I knit that. It’s actually in the picture on my sidebar.)

Knit a sweater

I learned to knit when I was about 10 and have done it on and off since then. In my time as a knitter, I’ve managed to make several scarves, a lot of stuffed bunnies, a hat, and some baby booties which I’m pretty sure no baby ever wore. (See above re: the scarf I’m wearing in my sidebar picture.) I’ve finished quite a few projects but never made anything really big. In early January I got a bee in my bonnet that I wanted to knit a cobalt blue sweater, so I scoured Ravelry for patterns and finally decided on Flax Light. (I did modify the sleeve length as I always roll my sleeves up to my elbows anyway and didn’t see any sense in spending time knitting them all the way to my wrists.)

It’s not perfect, but for my first sweater I’m really happy with it! I messed up the sleeves (there’s supposed to be a straight panel down the middle and mine comes out at the sides too), I used too big needles on the neck so it’s wider and looser, and there are a few dropped stitches here and there. I also haven’t blocked it yet or sewn up the armpit holes that you can see. However, not only was it my first sweater, it was also my first time using circular or double pointed needles. I really enjoyed the whole process – I find knitting soothing, and it gives me something productive to do when I watch TV. Plus, I have an attention span typical of a millennial and find it hard to just watch TV. Usually I play a game on my phone while binging Netflix series, but now I can do something that I feel good about and solve that attention span problem. Now I’m just trying to decide what to make next!

Got new glasses

Both my frames broke within a month of each other, so I took it as a sign to switch up the style I was wearing. (Most of you probably have no idea what my old glasses looked like anyway because I only post glasses-less pictures here because it shows my makeup better…) I’ve been toying with the idea of getting clear frames, but I wasn’t sure if they would look weird on my face. When I saw the Escapee frames from Eyebuydirect, I fell in love instantly – they still have the trendy clear part, but the black top anchors them to my face. I’ve had a lot of compliments on them and I love them!

Went to Montreal

My friend Anna came to visit from Halifax, and while she was here we went on a little road trip to Montreal to visit my old roommate Katie and her current roommate (and my friend from way back) Bec. There were six of us crammed into my old two-bedroom apartment, but lack of space to move aside, it was a great time. I always love hanging out with all my friends for a few days because it’s nonstop fun. One of my favourite parts of going out with my friends is everyone dragging their makeup into the living room and getting ready together while we listen to an awesome playlist. I have no pictures from our trip because all we did was eat cheese platters during the day and go out until 4am, but you can use your imagination.

Worked

Yes, it’s not glamourous, but it’s reality. I’m coming up on 3 years at my job in May. I’m very comfortable there and love the people I work with. Cosmetics retail isn’t my long term plan, but it’s fun for now. I’ll be happy to get back onto a schedule that’s a little more regular – right now I’m working until midnight three days a week and opening the store two days a week, including weekly Saturday/Sunday clopens. It makes it hard to keep a consistent sleep schedule, but I’m grateful for a fulltime job in an industry that interests me working with people I love! Retail is retail; there’s a lot of cleaning and organizing, a lot of emotional labour, and a lot of annoying or downright shitty customers. It’s the people you work with who can make or break a retail job, and luckily I work with some damn fine people.

Books read: 8.5
Beauty products purchased: 23 (Oh god, that seems like a lot, but I swear most of it is replacements and boring stuff like shampoo!)
Episodes of Glee watched in a stress-filled regression to my 15-year-old self: 83 (and boy do I wish I were joking)