England Trip (London, Southampton, Guernsey)

In June I went on a 2 week trip around the British Isles starting with England!

London

We spent 2 days in London before boarding the cruise ship (more on this later!) to adjust to the time zone and explore London.

Food eaten, places visited and what I did

  • Flew into Heathrow Airport and took the Heathrow Express into London close to the Gresham Hotel where we stayed for 2 nights. The Express took us to Paddington Station which was beautiful and hard to get around. We couldn’t figure out how to get out of the station for the longest time.
  • Ate at Pret a Manger for the first time which is the best place. We need them in Canada. They have prepared, healthy foods that you can just grab and eat. And good coffee!
  • Walked around Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens. Saw The Peter Pan Statue and Italian Gardens. Beautiful gardens, lots of people walking around, dogs kept jumping in the Italian Garden fountain (??), chairs were set out for people to sunbathe in. It was quite a nice place and I could walk around there for a while.
  • After walking around, we had dinner at a little cafe down the road from the hotel. I had an omelette and salad since after travelling I wanted something not too fancy.
  • The next day we were surprised with an English Breakfast at the hotel, then headed out on the Hop On, Hop Off tour.
  • We saw all the major landmarks of London (Big Ben though it was being renovated, London Eye, Parliment, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London etc.) and got off of the bus at Buckingham, Trafalgar Square/National Gallery, and Tower of London to go on a cruise down the Thames. It was a long day but we saw so much and it was crazy to take in.
  • Ate at Pret (of course) and had dinner at a little Greek restaurant close to the hotel. They surprised us with fruit after dinner. A day full of surprise food.

Tips

  • The Hop on, Hop Off tour is great. We rode the full route through once to see everything and decide where we wanted to get off. They sometimes come with extras, like this one had the Thames River cruise included.
  • The tap water was pretty gross. I brought a water bottle filter and you could still taste it. So hydrate lots when you can and bottled water is probably better.
  • The Galleries admission was free but special exhibits were more.

Photojournal

Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens

Peter Pan Statue in Kensington Gardens
Paddington Station

I accidentally took a photo of this guy but it looks very purposeful. 
Piccadilly Circus 
Parliament and the River Thames
Tower of London
Cleopatra’s Needle
Buckingham Palace, the Queen was in that day. 

The National Gallery

Southampton & Guernsey

In order to board the cruise ship, we had to meet at the airport and then take a bus down to Southampton. The first full day we spent in St. Peter Port, Guernsey.

Places visited and what I did

  • We only drove around Southampton a bit, but it was a cute city. There were ancient ruins of the Town Wall built in with the more modern parts of the city. The city has a rich history since it is a port. It was where the Titanic departed, not comforting when you’re about to board a cruise ship.
  • Most of the day was spent waiting to board the ship, then exploring the ship and unpacking once our luggage arrived.
  • The next morning we boarded tenders to take us into St. Peter Port. It is the definition of quaint. The town is colourful and looks straight out of a painting.
  • We took a bus from the port, through the island and to the Little Chapel. The Chapel is made up of bits of old broken china and shells. It sits in a pretty garden up a hill. You can go downstairs in the chapel so it’s almost two levels? There are many little alters in the chapel.
  • We went back to the ship where it was the first formal night. We had dinner (which I forgot to take pictures of, so I forgot what I ate that night) and saw a show onboard.

Tips

  • Always be prepared for rain! Even if it says it’s not going to rain, it probably will because it’s Britain. Luckily we were very fortunate and it only sprinkled a little rain. It was still cooler outside than in Canada at the same time of year so I would’ve dressed more warmly if I had known.

Photojournal

The cruise ship in Southampton 
The Little Chapel in Guernsey

Next up on the trip will be Ireland!

P.S. It’s Peri

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Coconut Chia Pudding Recipe

Chia pudding used to slightly scare me because the look of it reminds me of fish eggs. But after attempting to make chia pudding a few weeks ago (you might have seen on Instagram) I was sold and it’s now one of my favourite breakfasts!

Chia seeds have a ridiculous amount of fibre, high in protein and if not using cow’s milk it is a vegan snack/breakfast. After trying some recipes and experiments I have found coconut milk is the best for flavour and texture.

Recipe

Ingredients

1/3 cup chia seeds. The GreatValue Walmart brand is the cheapest I can find.

1 400 mL (13.5 oz) can of coconut milk.

Sweetener to taste also depends on the topping. I used 1/2 tablespoon of honey.

Toppings. I have used macerated peaches, blueberries, strawberries & raspberries. Toasted coconut is always a good choice as well. I also added granola.

Directions

Mix coconut milk with the seeds until all of the seeds have been soaked. Then let sit. I usually make this after dinner then it’s a great thick texture when I wake up in the morning. So over 12 hours. But it also seems to work after sitting in the fridge for about 4-5 hours. Add toppings and enjoy!

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Peach with toasted coconut on top.

Mixed berries, topped with granola and toasted coconut.

 

Have you ever had chia pudding? What’s your favourite flavour?

 

P.S. It’s Peri

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I’m Back, Again

Hello! I am back once again from another hiatus. Exams are finished, trips have been taken and there is about 1 month until university starts.

I forgot to take any videos on the trip around the British Isles, so no YouTube video on that. But there will be posts on finishing up high school and homeschooling, travel, and food (of course!).

P.S. This photo is of Loch Ness.

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Boulder, Colorado Travel

If you’ve noticed I’ve been a little M.I.A on the blog this is the explanation why. I’ve been in Colorado and it’s time for the second (read the first travel-ish post here!) travel post here! I’m still a newbie for writing travel so eventually, it’ll find its grove.

Travelling

I haven’t been on a plane in 9 years and was a little too freaked out by the fact that I was flying (and it wasn’t a pleasant flight in general then) to actually appreciate how cool airports and flying are. Airports early in the morning are especially cool because it’s very quiet and people are sleeping on benches and reality feels altered. And with flying, YOU ARE IN THE SKY!! That’s crazy.

Sunrise over the runway while waiting for my flight. Featuring somebody’s juice bottle in the window??

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Food eaten, places visited and what I did

Between the 9 days (I think?) of travel, I have been to Toronto, Denver and Boulder. Also between the 9-ish days, food was eaten, things were done or not done at all I did lay on the floor staring at the ceiling for a bit. So I will condense it all down into points to avoid this post going on forever.

  • Stayed in an Airbnb. Benefits of this are that we had a kitchen, (didn’t have to eat out every meal), felt more local and had a backyard which seemed to be a lure to wild animals and a random poodle.
  • Went up Flagstaff Mountain. The mountains are just *there* and they’re beautiful. It makes you feel very small when something so big exists. Travelling up the mountain was slightly terrifying because heights, but spectacular to see the views from so high up.
  • Walked down Pearl Street Mall, ate at Locale,  Next Door and had coffee at The Cup. I didn’t take pictures of any of the food somehow. But I took pictures of basically everything else. Pearl Street Mall had many performers and always had lots of people wandering through.
  • Everything is organic, everyone rides bikes (legitimately bikes EVERYWHERE), the city is super pedestrian friendly. This was good so one doesn’t require a car while staying there. It’s stereotypically hippie and healthy and it’s kind of funny. This might be why National Geographic called Boulder the Happiest City in the USA. 
  • I was able to meet another one of my online friends on this trip which was exciting and another accomplishment! It’s one of my goals to visit as many of my friends as possible.
  • The weather was super dry compared to Canada. Which was nice but also not. Not nice because felt a bit like a dried up raisin and nice because it didn’t feel so hot out since there was pretty much no humidity.
  • Ran on trails through the mountains which was super peaceful and meditative.
  • Also enjoyed Amercian things like Dunkin Donuts (I hadn’t had a doughnut in 5 years), Cheez-its, Target and discount shopping. I impulse bought dresses at H&M. If you’ve read my Summer Clothes Haul you know I like H&M but the one in the US is even cheaper and has more selection.

Photo journal

Visiting poodle.
Overlooking Boulder from Flagstaff Mountain.

Pearl Street Mall.
View from The Cup cafe.
Latte from The Cup because latte art makes me very happy.

All photos and videos were shot with my iPhone 6 S. Photos were edited in VSCO.

First vlog (ish) video!

Should I make more Youtube videos? Would you like to see vlogs of future travels and other things?

P.S. It’s Peri

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May Goals Completed

May was the last month of serious school time constraints so those were the major goals. Over the summer the goals will be much less time-dependent.

Goals completed this month

Blog

  • Continue to monetize the blog. There will be posts on how I am working on monetizing the blog in the future!
  • Have over 1,000 followers. There are currently about 1,200. Very exciting!

School

  • Finish the current courses. Finally finished them :’)
  • Hear back from the university on my application. You can read about the school’s response here!
  • Get ready for finals and complete as soon as possible. Currently working on studying for the finals, but have to wait to complete the tests.

Fitness

  • Start lifting. It’s so satisfying to lift and now my favourite workout. My current weightlifting routine is Ashley Conrad’s 21 Day Clutch but only the lifting part.
  • Begin running outside. It’s so different?! It’s not my favourite but it’s good to get outside and fresh air and enjoy the weather.
  • More yoga!! I HAVE NOT BEEN STRETCHING. But now that it’s warmer it’s much easier to stretch since muscles are not constantly cold.

Fun and random

  • Make a summer bucket list so I won’t be too bored. The Summer Bucket List can be found here!
  • Start drawing more. I have drawn twice (I think???) but that’s much more than before so I’m looking forward to drawing more and improving my technique.

 

This is also the 100th post on the blog!! Thank you for following everyone!

P.S It’s Peri

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Summer 2018 Bucket List / Goals

Now that the weather is warmer and school is just about finished it’s time for a summer bucket list! I’m always lost as to what to do when there’s no school so the summer bucket list is the most important season of bucket lists.

Summer 2018 bucket list

These are a few of things I’m hoping to do this summer:

  • Eat meals outdoors and enjoy the weather.
  • Roast marshmallows over the fire pit and make s’mores. I’ve actually already done this!
  • Enjoy the outdoors more. Go for walks, sit outside, take pictures of nature, bike rides.
  • Eat summer foods. Salads, fresh food from the garden, fresh fruit from the farmers’ market, homemade popsicles (a future recipe post?!), gazpacho. This is making me hungry.
  • Make a summer playlist.
  • Travel. There are two trips I’m going on. Guess where?
  • Pick some flowers to bring inside.
  • Redecorate my room.
  • Enjoy the free time, work on art and other things.
  • Make iced herbal teas.
  • Do yoga or meditation outside at least once.
  • Have a sleepover.
  • Help out in the garden.
  • Go to the park.
  • Read more.

Goals

The goals are the less fun, more important things I would like to accomplish over the summer.

  • Finish all of my finals. The number one thing!
  • Get my drivers license and practice driving.
  • Clear out unwanted stuff.
  • Prepare for next school year by pre-studying to make sure I didn’t forget things.
  • Keep blogging up and hit 1,500 (maybe 2,000?) followers!

What are some of the things on your summer bucket list or summer goals you’d like to complete?

P.S. It’s Peri

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Accepted!!

After a few setbacks and much work, I was accepted into my top choice university!!

Finding out

University Number 1 only did admissions throughout the month of May. So, I was expecting to have to wait towards the end of the month or at least later on to hear back from the school. The first day of May I didn’t even check the application centre. But, the next morning I did and it read that there was an offer of admission! I thought that the school would have emailed right away, but they ended up sending an email more than a week later so I was glad I checked the application centre. Later on, the sent a letter in the mail letting me know as well as a handwritten letter from the academic advisor welcoming me to the school.

I revoked my applications to the other two schools and accepted this offer. Along with the offer of admission I was also awarded a scholarship for high marks, which will further help my goal of I  debt free.

I’m so relieved that the school accepted and that they accepted early on so the suspense was finally over. Also, that I get a backpack for school for the first time.

What now?

Just because I was accepted it does not mean I’m done!  The first step is to finish the coursework with marks that align with the admission offer conditions. Step 2, write the final exams for the courses. More on the experience of this later, after I actually take the exams! Exams will have to be graded and sent back to me before the school’s document deadline. Currently, I am working on studying and preparing for the finals, then I will be done!

Because of choosing to live at home during university there is less to prepare for, which is also much less stressful!

P.S. It’s Peri

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Liebster Award Number 2

I was nominated for The Liebster Award by Brad and just now getting around to the questions!

The rules:

  • Acknowledge the blog that gave you the award – send them some love!
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
  • Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their achievement.
  • Give them 11 questions to answer.
  • Give 11 random facts about yourself.

Brad’s questions:

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BLOGGING? 

I have been blogging since December 2016! So, almost a year and a half.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS FROM NOW?

Hopefully graduating from university.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?

Usually, I get kind of lost as to what to do when I have spare time. I like trying to learn different types of dance, running, lifting, or drawing! Those are my favourite things to do.

HOW MANY COUNTRIES HAVE YOU VISITED?

I’m not entirely sure about this one. I believe 4. Canada, The United States, The Caribbean Islands and Mexico. More to come, though!!

DO YOU ENJOY SPORTS? IF SO, WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE?

I haven’t played that many sports but hope to try some and find one that I like soon! Besides dance, of course. That would be my favourite.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL?

Biology!

WHAT IS ONE BLOGGING TIP YOU HAVE FOR FELLOW BLOGGERS?

Be friendly and supportive of other bloggers. It builds the community, helps you get more views, you can make new friends and reading other people’s blogs is often pretty inspiring.

WHAT GOALS DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUR LIFE?

There are so many! I am going to be kind of cheesy and say to help others.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE DRINK?

Tea or coffee. Spiced teas are my favourite and just plain black coffee.

HOW MANY SIBLINGS DO YOU HAVE?

I have one sibling.

DO YOU PREFER PURCHASING THINGS ONLINE OR FROM A STORE?

Online for sure! I talk about purchasing clothes online vs in person in a post here.

My nominees

 

My questions

  • What is the most recent photo you’ve taken?
  • What is your favourite word?
  • Have you ever met anyone famous?
  • If you could live in any country, what would it be?
  • If you could time travel, what era would you go to?
  • Favourite TV series?
  • If you could give a TED talk, what would it be about?

 

Thank you for the nomination again, these were good questions!

P.S. It’s Peri

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Homeschool Vs Online Public School, My Experience

A little while ago I mentioned that I started online public school (read the post here!). At first, I was very unsure as to how I would find public school courses since I’ve never taken any before.

The online school curriculum

I enrolled in the four courses required for my application to the university, advanced functions, biology, chemistry and physics. Previously, I had just finished the homeschool chemistry course I was taking, had completed a bio course 2 years ago and taken similar math last year. This definitely helped out in the public school courses for 2 reasons. One – I still had my notes from previous courses and two – the concepts weren’t foreign to me. It was basically review for a lot of topics.

To be completely honest, I don’t know how people who hadn’t had previous experience in the same topics would get through the course. The textbooks were not always as informative as I would have liked, but luckily there are opportunities to research elsewhere.

Grading and assignments

The biggest things I’ve gotten out of this experience is that showing your work with attention to detail while making the assignments look clean and easy to read are very important! This allows teachers to see where you have gone wrong if there is a mistake and also overall makes it easier to grade. Being homeschooled, sometimes that attention to detail can be overlooked. I’m glad that I’ve learnt this now before entering university.

Receiving feedback and actual number grades were quite satisfying. Usually, in my homeschool curriculum, I learn subjects until I am confident in my knowledge and until mastery. Because of this, I didn’t really have any number grades. If it wasn’t 100%, I didn’t move on. So, it was interesting first, to see where I compared to public school kids (homeschool problems, always afraid you have completely messed up and can’t compare to public school courses!) and to receive quantitative grades. Thankfully, I have done quite well and was told that the grades I was receiving were above provincial average. I’m very relieved!

Deadlines

There are two different deadline topics to talk about, one having deadlines for turning work in and two, having an overall coursework deadline.

Being homeschooled, there hasn’t been many deadlines to get assignments and things finished. The online school I have been using does not impose deadlines either, besides the overall course deadline of 10 months. In order to complete all four courses in time, I had to set my own deadlines. I completed a few units and figured out about how much time it took me, then made a very fancy (not at all!) schedule to check off which lessons and units had been completed.

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A very dark picture of my very fancy school schedule. 

I also put the predicted days of when I would submit work into my phone calendar to ensure I was on track.

Without the short deadline for having mid-terms and final marks in, I would never be motivated enough to actually finish these courses. With the deadlines, it has taken me 9 weeks to complete all the coursework (should be finished all courses by tomorrow). The deadlines have been a great source of motivation and it hasn’t felt terribly overworked.

Since I am about to finish all of the coursework, I will have more posts on taking the final exam and other school things coming up soon!

Also be sure to vote on my Instagram story (link to my Instagram here!) about future post topics you would like to see! Voting only lasts for 24 hours.

P.S. It’s Peri

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My Favourite Yellow Cake + Icing Recipe

Yellow cake is so simple, yet there are many different recipes. It seems like a baker should have a favourite classic yellow cake recipe. After years (maybe that’s an exaggeration, but not really) of trying different cake recipes this has been my favourite by far!

Recipe

It is originally from Ana Olsen. Link to the recipe here.

Ingredients

3/4 cup unsalted butter. I used salted and it turns out fine.

1 1/3 cup sugar

3 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 cup cake and pastry flour. In this recipe, I remove 2 tbsp out of each 1 cup of flour and replace it with 2 tbsp of cornstarch. For the 1/2 cup I only replace 1 tbsp. This is an alternative to the cake and pastry flour combination.

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour 2 8-inch cake pans. Parchment paper can also be used to cover the cake pans.

Beat butter and sugar on high in an electric mixer until nice and fluffy. Then add one egg in at a time beating between each addition. After the eggs, add in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Starting with the dry ingredients, add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately into the butter and sugar mixture. Beat well between additions.

Once the batter has been well mixed, pour evenly into 2 cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Mine tend to be ready at 25.

Icing

This is by far the best icing recipe I have found. It was originally from C. Taylor on Genius Kitchen here.

Recipe

The only adjustment I usually do is to use whipping cream instead of milk. In this case, I will usually put in more cream until the frosting is very light and fluffy. This also tones down the intense sweetness a little.

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened

3 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp milk. Or about 2 tbsp whipping cream, until icing looks fluffy

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

For chocolate icing, add 1/4 cup cocoa powder.

Instructions

Beat butter on high in an electric mixer until it appears to have gone very white. The fluffier the better. I let it beat for awhile here then a lot more later on.

Add in sugar, milk, vanilla and salt. Beat even more, stopping to scrape down walls of the bowl. Continue to beat until very fluffy. If making chocolate icing, add in cocoa powder and beat some more. Frost cake once it is cool and enjoy!

What is your favourite flavour of cake?

P.S. It’s Peri

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