A year of single.

So when I said this blog would become personal, here's an example of how. Beware, this'll be a long post. 

About a year ago, I became single for the first time in almost 7 years. Since the age of 16, I had both a year-long relationship, and when that crumbled, jumped into a 5 and 1/2 year long relationship with my most recent ex-boyfriend.

When we broke up, my biggest fear was:
What am I going to do with my life? How do you be single? 

I had "grown up" in the 7 years that I was in relationships. I went from my sweet-16 up until my very last semester of University. I went through lots of personal growth with someone there to turn to, someone to be with. Which is why I expected the transition to single-hood to be very difficult.

We ended the lease on our apartment and I moved back home with my family. They gave me any love and support I needed. I spent almost two weeks with my amazing cousin who kept my mind off of boys. I started spending more and more time with my best friend, and finally saw her more than once every couple of months. I rekindled relationships and started spending time with some people who have turned into amazing friends over the year.

I started to realize that being single wasn't so bad.

But then I was shocked by a reaction I recently had. A couple weeks ago, I ran into someone who I hadn't seen in years. We started talking and she asked who I was seeing - not if I was seeing someone. I admit to having felt a little embarrassed that I wasn't in a relationship, or even dating anyone. Everyone she knows, and nearly everyone that I know, is.  

It gave that evil part inside of me the chance to whisper:  
It's because you're weird, ugly, not good enough

But then I realized there's nothing to be embarrassed about. Being single is just as normal as being in a relationship,  and means nothing more than you haven't found the right person yet. I feel like I am finally beginning to figure out who I am and who I want to be. That's the most important thing in life. I haven't felt stress like I used to - mostly because I'm only taking care of myself. I don't make decisions based on anyone else but me.

Being single isn't the pain I thought it would be. I've begun to love myself, appreciate the alone times, and think about me and what I truly want.

It's just another way of life. Something to be embraced, enjoyed and celebrated.
And I'm finally figuring out how to do it.

Cozy wrap sweater.

Sweater: Zellers
Tee & belt: Forever 21
Jeggings: Dynamite
Socks: H&M
Boots: Payless

When the world around me starts to look dead, I can't think of anything better than a cozy wrap sweater to snuggle into. 

Winter is coming.
Update: Winter has come. It's been snowing. Gross.

Adventures in Watertown.

This weekend I went cross-border shopping in Watertown with a friend of mine. I took some random snapshots of the day and some of the fun things we found.

As a Canadian, there are certain things that excited me. Most of the American readers of this blog would likely find these less-than-thrilling...

I went to the Olive Garden. For the first time ever, after enduring years of commercials featuring tasty pasta dishes. It lived up to the expectations! Breaded mozza sticks? Best food of life. Highlight of the day, by far.

I went to Big Lots and bought some peeps for $1. Firstly, it's awesome there's a store called Big Lots. Secondly, I bought lots of things for $1 here.  Thirdly, I just ate all these peeps right now. 
Also I found myself some Vanilla Coke. Why the heck did this comeback not make it up to Canada?!

"Hefty Hefty Hefty"... We don't have this brand in Canada, and I always laugh at how ridiculous these commercials are. And then I found a cereal called Koo-kies. Probably the best cereal ever. Probably a guarantee for diabetes.  But I'm sure it tastes incredible!

Parking for a horse & buggy. Never ever seen this before. And the stoplights and signs hang on wires! This begs the question... what happens when it's windy? How are you supposed to know the left-turn lane from the go-straight lane? Do they ever move? Please, someone enlighten me. I am curious!

Apparently Walmart holds "the only way to crown your throne": Toilet Tattoos <-- most random/weird/hilarious find of the day. And I am officially a Max-inista! 

Fur vest.

Fur Vest: The Bay (Material Girl)
Blouse: The Bay (Dex)
Denim: American Eagle
Boots: Call it Spring

I finally have myself a fur vest. 


Mini book review: The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy: 500 pages of this-is-slow-wait-omg-woah

If you didn't catch that, it meant that the first half of the book was very slow, and very hard to get into. The second half, however, made my decision to continue reading well worth it.

A slow beginning was necessary to introduce the various main characters in the novel (yeah, there were like 10 of 'em). You spend the first half learning each of their personalities and their typical daily lives. Writing in the first person, from each character's point of view, made me feel like I really, truly knew them - even though this is why the story took so long to develop. Once I finally got into the drama, I was hooked. When the book ended, I felt sad. I had become connected to the characters.

Either way, I love her writing is. The setting, characters, emotions and everything are so well articulated you feel as though you're a part of the story. And what awes me most about some authors, evident in this book, is their ability to understand so many different types of people and write from their different perspectives. How do they do this? I will never know.

So here's the deal. J.K. Rowling is a talented writer. I mean, she created her own world in the Harry Potter series. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and forced myself to not give up on this book. I'm glad I didn't.

But then again, I'm easily satisfied...

Have you read the book? What did you think?

Never let your fear decide your fate.

Is there anything better than coming across a song with inspiring lyrics? One of my favourite lines recently has been:
"Never let your fear decide your fate."
Awolnation - Kill Your Heroes

Many of us have a tendency to live life cautiously. We don't like taking risks. We fear failure. We are intimidated by new experiences. We are scared to live outside of our comfort zone. 

I'm one of these people. I recognize it. And I know it probably holds me back.

But it's in back of my mind. I think about how I need to start taking steps to change this perspective. Life is too short to let fear rule my decisions. I need to take more chances and make more mistakes, learning lessons along the way. It's the only way to truly experience life.

The hardest part? Taking the first step.

Do you identify with this, or do you take chances often?

Natural waves.

Outfit post coming up soon with this ensemble!

My hair is naturally wavy, but over the last year I've become addicted to blowdrying it straight.
So much, in fact, that I've lost a lot of my natural wave. My hair is definitely angry with me.

I miss my natural curl, but it's hard to air-dry your hair when its below 0 and being wet = freezing. Next best thing? My diffuser.

I've been using my diffuser a couple times a week to help enhance any curls, and it's been working pretty well so far.  We shall see if this works to bring my waves back :)

Any tips on how to enhance natural wave/curls? I'm taking notes.

Playing with sticks.

I come outside and find some of the animals obsessing over sticks.
As happy as can be.

I sometimes wonder what it'd be like to have such simple minds? Where your sole thought for a solid 5 minutes is "kill that stick".

Muffins. What a hard life it must be for them.

p.s. New blog layout! This one took all weekend to make, so if you want to know what I did this weekend, you're looking at it!

p.p.s. I have new buttons in case you'd like to grab 'em! If you need a different size let me know :)

Some changes.

I never knew when this day would come, but a couple weeks ago it hit me...
I'm not enjoying this anymore. 

I love blogging, but I feel like this blog has turned into something I am not. I'm not all about outfit posts and clothes. I can't afford to shop all the time and follow all the latest trends that I'd like to. I feel like I've been constantly battling with myself about how to keep my blog creative without buying new things all the time. I know it's not fair because I really don't need new clothes to keep this blog fun, but I feel like I've dug myself a hole and I can't get out of it.

I'm not giving up on blogging - no, that's not what's happening. I'm just going to be making some changes:

The content. Yes, you will see OOTD posts - I can't give up on those entirely, but they will only be outfits that I love I won't force myself to post just for the sake of posting.

This blog will be much more about me, what inspires me, and things I've been enjoying. Fashion and especially otherwise.

You'll get a better look at my thoughts, feelings and life.

The look will change soon. New content, new feel, new design.

I will no longer post every day. My rigid schedule has started to get in the way of my happiness. Time to step back a little bit and enjoy it.

I understand if these changes don't interest you. This new phase will probably take a much more personal look into my life, and I get it if that's not what you're here for. But for those of you who want to stick around, you are all wonderful and I am grateful that you're willing to take this journey with me.

Please bare with me as I go through the challenges of this transition. I promise I'll be back soon :)

I'm off visiting...

Today I'm over at Sarah's blog, Coming Unstitched. She's got some people guest-posting while she's away on her honeymoon! She got married on my birthday, which mean's we're connected in a very special way ;) Sort of... 

Come over and visit! In the spirit of her wedding, I'm talking about the clothes I'm pretty much married to :)

The dress.

So I know a number of you wanted to see my birthday dress. Sorry for iPhone quality photos, but that's all we had:

Why this dress? Because every single other one I tried on sucked. And this one had studs. Anything that makes me feel bad-ass is good in my books - if you don't remember, I discussed it in this post
But it was pretty perfect. I tried to explain to a friend what I was looking for, which was: a dress that was fun but not too crazy, sexy but not "I'm a hoe", pretty but not too girly, said "let's party" but not "all I do is party". Somehow this dress was able to meet all criteria! 

And here's a picture of some of my bffs for good measure:

And now I'm going to say that I've decided to take a short break from the blogging world. Not that I don't love you all, but I'm feeling a little burnt out. I'll make a short stop in on Friday because I'll be guest-posting for someone special, but otherwise I won't be back 'til Monday.

Hope you all have a wonderful week filled with more motivation than I seem to have right now!

A weekend to celebrate.

 Blue Harbour men's plaid top; Old Navy vest; Garage leggings; Sirens boots

Tomorrow is my birthday! There's nothing better than having a birthday on a Saturday. I can do whatever I want all day. It's pretty great that work won't be getting in the way of my happiness!

Tonight my parents are taking me out for dinner and then tomorrow I'm headed for dinner with some friends + a little partying. Duh. I finally found my birthday dress so I'll make sure to take pictures and show you all. It was one of those moments where I put on the dress and it was perfect. That doesn't happen often, so I'm excited to wear it!

Reflecting back on 22, I went through more changes in my life than I had for years. Some of them wonderful, others not-so-wonderful, and some blessings in disguise. Either way, I think 23 is going to be a good year filled with more "ups" :) I can just feel it. Feeling, you better not be wrong...

No words.

Forever 21 plaid top; American Eagle pants; Mom's old sweater; Old Navy scarf; Giant Tiger moccasins

Sometimes I sit here to write a post and no words come.
Like today.
I guess that's okay, we all go through it.

Work-Style Wednesday

Forever 21 tee, skirt, tights, belt, necklace; Urban Behaviour sweater; Call it Spring heels

Way back when I was more organized, I used to do Work Style Wednesday posts. Well, today is Wednesday and I've got a "work" outfit for y'all. I figured I'd bring it back for another week.

I just got these cream tights - I am in love! I'm so pasty so I wasn't sure how they'd look, but I almost look tanned! Just kidding. That's impossible. I love how classic this outfit is, and that I got all these pieces (but the cardi) at Forever 21. That store has a bad rep with some people. I mean, about 25% of the clothes are overly trendy, 50% is super poor quality, but there are hidden jems! Like this skirt for instance. Best $11 spent. And this belt? $2.50. I love deals, so naturally F21 can be heaven to me...

Happy Hump Day!

Blazers, boots and books.

Dynamite blazer; Joe Fresh top; Forever 21 necklace; American Eagle pants

Generally, I like reading. Except when I come across a book that I just can't get into. I'm currently reading The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling and it's been taking forever to finish. I think I'm on page 130 of 4 bazillion. Well not quite that, but you get the point. I just can't get into it. I have all these other books on my shelf begging to be read and I refuse to pick up another until this one's finished.

Has anyone else read/attempted to read The Casual Vacancy? Did you like it? Anyone else have the same problem I'm having?!

On another note, I never wear this pink shirt. It's a fun pop of colour. I should wear it more. Also this blazer. And I luuuurve these boots. K done now.

The downside of fall.

Old Navy vest; Dynamite top and pants; Forever 21 belt; Payless boots

The beginning of fall is all wonderful. Leaves change colours and litter the ground, the cooling temps allow us to finally break out our pants without sweating, and the golden sun casts its glow on everything.

Then November hits, and with it comes all the downsides of fall: the frost on your windshield in the mornings, getting into work while it's still dark out, freezing without a jacket, and constant overcast and/or rain.

While I love fall, this is about when I start wishing for summer to come back. Winter, I don't mind if we skip you this year. Let's just go straight to summer puh-leaaaaase. I miss my sunshine and warmth. I admit I am a sad excuse for a Canadian when it comes to weather. I should have been born in the tropics.

Happy Monday!

Let the celebration begin!

Tommy Hilfiger top; American Eagle jeans; Payless boots

It's finally November. You know what that means? It's my birthday month. And because I didn't get to celebrate my birthday last year (final semester of school, had a 4-day long simulation project over my birthday weekend), I'm making sure I enjoy turning another year older this year.

My birthday isn't actually until next Saturday, but a friend of mine will be away on vaca during the festivities so we're meeting at a cake shop in Ottawa for dinner tonight. Yup, cake for dinner. And you know what? I'm not going to feel one bit guilty about it because it's birthday cake. That's right. I'll be justifying lots of things because of my birthday.. Like my birthday dress I bought to celebrate in. And the birthday earrings that went with it. And ... maybe I should quit while I'm ahead...

Have a wonderful weekend lovelies! TGIF!

Polka-dot sweater.

Forever 21 sweater; Winners pants; Giant Tiger moccasins 

This sweater is my new favourite. Why? Well, it's got polka dots for one. Secondly, it's actually thick enough that I don't need a second sweater on top of it. Thirdly, it has buttons up the back like a backwards cardigan. I tried to take a photo but it didn't turn out well. I'll try again next time.

Last night I got to hand out Halloween candy. When I was younger, my house used to get 80-100 kids trick-or-treating. This year? 20. That's it. The downside? I feel like I'm living in a retirement community. The upside? I get all this candy to myself. Oh wait, maybe that's a downside...

Did you get trick-or-treaters?