Sunday, 11 June 2017

21



Exactly 1 week ago, I turned 21. 

I'm more comfortable with 21 than I was with 20. Like, I feel 21. But I didnt feel 20 when I turned 20. I low-key freaked out when I turned 20 and chopped off all my hair and bought expensive make up (which is still in my bathroom drawer, mostly unused) in order to feel older. 

I mean, I done those things when I turned 21 too but that's more speaking to my spending habits than the disappointing thought of how old I am (and how little I know). 

For fucks sake, I am 21 and I still don't do my own laundry. And it is 100% because I don't know how to work a washing machine. 

I can cook though -- just not beef, chicken, fish (excluding fish fingers) and rice. 
I can make a mean stir fry! ... But only with instant noodles because I haven't really mastered actual noodles yet. 

It's okay though. If this birthday taught me anything, it's that I have nothing but time. A whole year has passed since the last one and I still haven't learned these things. I have however watched all of The Mindy Project, Drop Dead Diva and Gossip Girl. 

I'll get around to doing the more important things next year. Or maybe when I turn 23? 

I think by 26 I should be a complete adult. That gives me 5 years to be lazy! Okay, well, 4 years, I guess. And by that time I will be living on my own and I will have a degree. I'll be absolutely fineee.

The moral of the story is that things will continue to happen, whether you stress about them or not. So if they're gonna happen anyway, what's the point in trying to plan every last detail? Bcause you'll just end up freaking out when things don't happen according to it. We should just let the things happen, and plan what to do at the time. 

Damn. 

If only I took my own advice. 



Photo above via here

Monday, 15 May 2017

TRAVEL: Abbotsford Tulip Festival






Happy May, everyone!

Life has been busy lately. Our house got sold after a week of it being on the market. I also dropped my summer classes at university, after deciding to go to Europe with my family. We leave on June 30th -- and I will come back in early January to continue school.

Well, at least that's the plan right now. 

Anyway, that isn't what this post is about.

I went to the Abbotsford Tulip Festival last week. Thank god the weather was good the day we went, because the days leading up to it (and everyday after) the weather has been pretty shit. 

To be honest, the festival is a bit overrated. Basically, you're pay $10 for instagram pictures. I don't know why I expected more? It's literally tulips in a field.

I mean, I did get some nice pictures, sure. But was it worth the drive and the money I paid to get them? Maaaaybe not.

Monday, 10 April 2017

I'm Writing This Instead of Studying



I have a final worth half of my final mark on Tuesday. Right now, I should be trying to memorize Aristotle's thoughts on democracy and identify the similarities between Marx and Rousseau's opinions on the sources of inequality.

But, instead, I am sat on the couch writing this instead. What even is "this"? I'm going to get personal with you. I'm going to fill you in on what has been happening with me lately.

So, on the 18th of April, my house will go on the market. My family is moving back to Europe, I'm sure I've mentioned it before. They're moving to France.

I got a new job to save up money for when I move out. Which will happen in July. I'm in my third year of university, so I still have about 4 semesters to do.

I work in a really hipster cafe. It's family-owned and the countertops are all wood and they serve vegan food. I love it, it's so freaking fun. I am also hoping that in a couple months I will start training as a barista, which has been something I have always wanted to work as. "Always" being since I was about 16 and found out Starbucks baristas make $12/hour and get benefits.

I've planned ahead. I've got my job, and I'm trying to find places to rent.

I've tried to act relaxed about everything that is happening. When people ask me what I'm going to do, I calmly reply, "I'm going to move out, maybe visit them at Christmas."

It sounds really easy and simple when I put it that way. In reality, I'm fucking scared. I'm not ready to move out -- but I'm also not ready to leave Canada. And above all, I am just so used to putting things off for "future Iona to deal with." But the future is not a year away anymore. My family are actually moving in 3 and a half months.

I have three and a half months to figure out how to live alone. How often do I have to buy bread? How much is internet? I have no clue.

This blog post wasn't intended to give me any answers, I just wanted to write my thoughts. I mean, I could buy a diary like most people do but I have this blog so why not write it all here. Oh, and I can add pictures when I write on a blog, so that's a plus.

Friday, 31 March 2017

MONTHLY ROUND-UP: March

Happy March.

There's still snow here in Vancouver. Winter ended on March 20th, Canada. Normally by this time, the weather is beginning to brighten up. It doesn't look like it will be anytime soon, though. We'll go a few days with no snow then it starts again. 


March was an okay month. It was a busy month.

I wrote three papers in the space of a week -- one of them being a group paper. I hate group projects. One of my members just never showed up. Didn't give us any work or message us at all, really, until the night before when he asked me to send him the paper so he could edit it and add his part. How about fuck off? His name wasn't on the project.

I also started a second job... and tried to quit a job but it didn't quite work out. So, I now have two jobs and attend university full-time. Why am I doing this to myself, you may ask? Well... I am coming to the realization that I am a push-over, and I am also easily persuaded. I did try to quit my job, genuinely. I printed out my notice and gave it to my manager two weeks before I was supposed to finish. Then, towards the end of the second week, she asked me if I could stay for one shift a month. So I said yes. I feel bad. She's always been so nice to me.

I also passed my driving test! Finally. I can drive! Not that I've done it much. We are a one-car family, so I'm third on the seniority list...

We also celebrated my parent's 9th wedding anniversary on March 1st. Fun fact: I need to use spell-check every time I type that word. I cannot spell it for the life of me.

All in all, it was an eventful month. April will be super chill, I have finals in the first couple weeks and then nothing. My summer classes don't start until May (I think?). I want to try and go out downtown sometime and, who knows, maybe I'll get a blog post out of it.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

9 Ways to Cheer Yourself Up



Hi everyone,

This post is sorta personal and different from what I normally write (I might delete it later too) but I wanted to write it anyway. 

I guess you could say 2016 was a bit of a rough year for me. Since 2014, I have been told by two doctors and about three psychologists that what I am experiencing is depression and anxiety. It ebbed and flowed between 2014 and 2015, but in 2016 it was pretty persistent.

I've done a lot of counselling classes, both individual and group stuff. I gave up being vegetarian, despite being a dedicated one for about two years. I also tried to incorporate working out into my daily routine, and trying to create new coping mechanisms to help me on my bad days. Today, I wanted to share them, ranked by what helped me most, to try and help anyone else who maybe is in my position, or anyone just having an off day.


1. Have a hot bath or shower.

2. Cry. Let it out because it feels so good.

3. Have a list of positive affirmations and say them to yourself in the mirror — or write a list of things you are proud of to remind yourself.

4. Write down how you're feeling — or draw it, if writing isn't your thing. We once done this in a therapy class at university and, even though my picture looked like a 5-year-old drew it, expressing myself in a different way felt pretty good.

5. Sing in the shower because everyone sings well in the shower.

6. Phone or even Skype someone who cares about you, and who you care about. 

7. Go through your closet and throw out (or donate) clothes you never wear. This always makes me feel like a new person.

8. Go for a walk. Skip around a forest all alone. You may feel a bit stupid doing it but it might make you laugh at yourself, too.

9. Take yourself out on a date. Get coffee or window-shop, but try not to let shopping become your coping mechanism (which I sort of did, not a good idea).

Friday, 10 February 2017

RECIPE: Almond & Strawberry Oatmeal



Hi everyone,

I hope February is treating you all well. Today, I wanted to share a recipe because I haven't done that in a while. My next recipe post will hopefully be a baking type of thing. I used to bake a lot, but sorta lost the motivation earlier in 2016 and then I didn't really bake that whole year... Oops.

Anyway, I want to try and bake/cook more things, so in the coming weeks I will be uploading more complicated/adventurous recipe posts.

Almond & Strawberry Oatmeal
Ingredients
1/2 cup oats
1 cup of almond milk
1 tbsp almond meal/almond flour
2 tbsp maple syrup
almond granola
strawberries (to top)

Method
1. Heat the almond milk (or any type of milk you want) and oats in a pot on the stovetop.
2. Once the oats are soft, add in the maple syrup and the almond meal to make it even more almond-flavoured.
3. Then, put the oatmeal in a bowl and top it off with granola, some brown sugar, and strawberries.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

This Week, Happiness Was...


Skipping a lecture to nap

Getting through a tutorial presentation with only one pause (and being able to answer everyones' questions about it afterwards

Splurging $5 for a hot chocolate and it becoming my new favourite drink

Hanging out with my best friend on a day I was feeling really down

Wandering around the bookstore and looking at all the knick-knacks

Leaving a midterm and actually feeling pretty good about it

Spending Friday with my favourite brother (... unless Milo is reading this, because then you're my favourite)

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

MONTHLY ROUND-UP: January

Honestly, January was a tough month for me. There's a few things that have been happening with me since I started university, and I've gotten worse at both ignoring it and hiding it in the past few months. So, through December and January, I have been attempting to deal with everything in a healthier way -- i.e. asking (the right) people for help. I've heard it works wonders. 
Anyway, this post will be about the happier things I was doing throughout January.




Beginning my newest semester of university on the 4th
Dropping one of my classes after the first lecture :)))
Celebrating my sister's 18th birthday on the 12th
Joining a Thursday yoga class at uni
Staying inside on friday the 13th
Visiting my boyfriend's house every week
Meeting up with high school friends on the 24th
Eating lots of pho, to stop any sickness before it starts
Declaring my major... or at least trying to
Piercing my ears (... and my belly button) on the 28th

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

TRAVEL: The South of France

Hi again everyone!

I hope January is treating you all well. Here in Canada, it's still snowing. We had a cold winter, I think it was the snowiest in twenty years or something.

Anyways, this post isn't about the snow but it's about that time I went to the South of France. Yeah, nbd. Actually it was a big deal, it's the south of France, god dammit.






We went to a town/commune called St-Cyprien, which is in the Dordogne department. This is the area my parents want to move so we were sorta going to see what life is like there. My parents ended up not loving St-Cyprien as much as they thought they would. In their words, "there's too many English people."

The picture above is where we stayed. The south of France is actually exactly how you'd picture it. Lots of green, every house has the blue wooden shutters, and there's not a cloud in the sky. At least, that's how it was the whole time we were there in August. 






There was a market every Wednesday. Maybe a strange day, but it's France.

So, we would make it down to the market and buy random baked good and olives and eat them that day. I think my parents really liked that -- you know, the idea of buying things and eating it that day. You can do that here in Canada, sure, but it isn't the same as walking to the local boulangerie and buying a couple baguettes that were made just a few hours before.








The weather in France was amazing when we were there. It was high thirties everyday.

The heat resulted in my brothers and sister getting the most perfect, bronze tan. Me and my sister, Orla, on the other hand, came back as pale as we were when we left.

Milo, Coco and Enzo had a great time. They escaped the arguments over driving, directions, where to eat, etc. All they knew was the pool in the garden. Oh, and Orangina, which they tried for the first time in Paris and drank daily for the rest of the holiday.







Tuesday, 17 January 2017

TRAVEL: Paris & the Louvre

Happy 2017, everyone!

Long time no typey-type.

I went to France this summer and thought I would share some pictures from that, because I don't really have anywhere else to put them! But like actually... These are nice pictures and all, but why do I always take so many pictures when I'm on holiday? I don't know. It's not like I'll come back and share holiday pics with my family because they were literally there. Oh well. I will share them with everyone reading this instead.

Okay, so we arrived on the 18th of August. Such a long flight. It was a direct flight with a 2-year old. I got the lone 7th chair which was a couple rows away from my family -- but a crying baby can still be heard everywhere on the plane.

So although everyone looks happy, please know that we all wanted to kill each other!!




After taking the metro from the airport to the Arc de Triomphe, we walked around looking for free wifi to find the address of our apartment. There's actually a lot of free wifi in Paris, just look for McDonald's (or anywhere that sells food -- or anything tbh) and you're good.

So we found the address and walked to our apartment, which was somewhere in the 16th arrondissement. It took us about 20 minutes to walk, but without bags/tired children, it would take you only about 12 minutes.

Our place was very central. I guess everything is central in Paris, because the metro goes everywhere. Well, as a tourist I think it goes everywhere, I'm not sure how the Parisians feel about it.





These are pictures from our walk and also afterwards when we decided to go out for lunch. Well. When I say lunch I mean a very late dinner. We got to our apartment and all showered and fell asleep for about four hours.

People are always out in Paris. It isn't as intense as Italy (where dinner starts at around 8 p.m.) but people are always eating or just sitting in cafes and stuff.

Eating is a bigger event. It isn't just going in, getting full, then leaving. People take their time with pretty much everything. It's a very calm way of living. No wonder my parents want to move there, haha!








We went to the Louvre on the second (or third?) day.

Turns out I only have about four pictures from the Louvre. I thought I remembered taking so many pictures, but I must have been mixing up the Louvre with the Palace of Versailles... wow, that sentence made me sound so privileged.

Here are the last pictures of my time in Paris. We only spent about four days there, because we then headed down to the south of France for the next three weeks!

Enjoy I will share the other pictures too! Now those ones are nice. When you leave the city, the world becomes so much more colourful. Paris is very brown.



Rue de Rivoli, Paris

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