It’s March! Made it through February and it’s one step closer to spring. There wasn’t a huge amount of goals completed this month but the ones I did complete were pretty major.
Goals completed this month
Hit 1,000 followers. There are now over 1,000 followers on the blog and it’s crazy! New goal 2,000?! That might be a bit high but it’s going to happen.
Get my own domain and site. The blog move was a little tedious, trying to figure all of the bugs and switching all the links over, but now the blog has a permanent home.
Set up ads. You may have noticed them on the blog, adding them will help with paying for university!
Post more regularly on Instagram. You can see my posts here!
Start the Newsletter back up. It is a work in progress but the sign-up page is back. Sign up for future newsletters here!
Get everything caught up. Somehow I was a term behind in math and several ahead in my other courses?? A side effect of being homeschooled. I finished my last math courses, started the new one and have caught up there. I’m also almost done half of my courses for this year.
It’s not really school related but I finished reading Tom Sawyer which I was reading digitally and kept forgetting about.
Come up with some backup plans in case I do not get into university. I talk about the process here.
A little while ago I started the series Seeking Style about finding your own personal style and basically how I shop for my clothes because it has become a process. The last post in the series was March ( whoops! ) so now I’m bringing it back with more tips! You can check out Seeking Style 1, 2 and 3 here!
Narrow stores down
There are so many clothing stores, so I find it best to narrow down where you will shop to just a few stores so it doesn’t become overwhelming. Figure out if you’re looking for high quality ( more expensive ) or lower quality ( cheap! ) clothing. It’s good to buy high quality for classic pieces you know you’ll wear for awhile and not get bored of or pieces that won’t go out of style, then trendy things can be fun and don’t need to be the highest quality. I get bored of my clothes pretty easily so I tend to buy things that may not be the highest quality but I get enough enjoyment out of them before they wear out.
Shop online for better deals
There are lots of benefits to shopping online, a big one is you can get much better deals! Before shopping online sometimes it’s good to go in person to stores, figure out what sizes work well for you, what stores you’re going to shop at, basically just stake out the place to figure out what you’re going to buy, then find things online that you wish to purchase. Stores will often give you a discount for signing up for their email list, don’t sign up unless you’re going to be buying things soon because the discounts expire! I have several emails and will sometimes sign up again with another email address, that’s probably not really allowed but I need the discounts. You can watch the stores website for sales and combine it with the email discount, too. There are often coupon codes to add to the deals which you can’t get in person. I also like getting packages in the mail and the anticipation for things to arrive. Overall, I just prefer shopping online for clothing.
Do you prefer shopping online or in person for clothes?
More getting things done! Somehow a lot of getting things done has involved home repair and decorating, but it’s become a bit of a hobby for me and it’s so satisfying to see the transformation! Painting is also kind of fun and a good opportunity to turn it into a dance party.
The old dining area colour was a brownish green that wasn’t the happiest or cleanest colour so it was time to update it.
After some Pinterest research on what the best shade of white ( one would think there isn’t a lot of shades of white but there is ) would be, we decided on Alabaster White from Sherwin Williams and luckily they were having a sale so it was perfect timing to buy paint! The new white makes the ceilings seem higher and the whole room bigger overall, plus it really brightens the whole place up. Now it’ll be onto more decorating!
I hear it is SuperBowl this weekend which means good food and a healthier ( my recipe is kind of high in fat so just slightly healthier ) option is hummus. It can be eaten with veg plus it has protein and fibre to satisfy you. And making your own hummus means you get a lot more than in the package, so there’s more to eat.
2 1/4 cup chickpeas
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 table salt
1/4 garlic powder
A splash of lemon juice to taste, I add quite a bit because I like it lemony.
You can use canned chickpeas, but a good thing I found is that it’s cheaper to buy a bag of dried chickpeas and cook them up before you’re going to use them. I put them in a slow cooker filled with water overnight then in the morning they are slightly overcooked but it makes the hummus more smooth. Also, tahini is key to making the hummus taste right, I have tried using olive oil but it alone doesn’t cut it.
Add all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until very smooth, it should almost look like frosting. Then enjoy!
I eat this hummus with everything and pretty much all of the time, it has to be one of my favourite foods and it’s fast and easy to make!
The motivation for doing schoolwork can be so hard, especially during the winter when the days a dreary and the last thing you want to do is school.
Grade 11 vs 12 motivation
Last year, motivation was pretty low around this time of year since it was post-winter break and everything seems dull until spring starts to pop up. This year, I feel pretty highly motivated to get school done, so much so I’ve been getting done a week’s worth of work in a couple days.
Highly motivated in grade 12
I think the motivation to get schoolwork done gets easier when there’s an end in sight and once I’m done this grade it’ll be done for high school. In previous years I have not taken summers off, instead, I took off a few days here and there when I felt like it. That can be very good for when you feel like you really can’t do schoolwork and need a break. But, having a set “I will be done school” point helps to motivate to get to that point. I’m trying to have a combination of both, do as much school as I can while I’m feeling super motivated then taking a few days off ( weekends or days when I’m busy doing other things ) with the end point of whenever all of my courses are finished. The end feels close enough that I’m trying my best to get to that point as soon as I can with still learning everything. The downside of the days when I get lots of schoolwork done is there is sometimes a “crash” day where my brain is mush, that’s when it should be a break or an easier work day. Overall, I’m just looking forward to having all of the work done and that’s motivation enough to keep going.
How do you keep motivated during these dull months?
When it’s dull and gloomy out it can be easy to not be in the best mood. On days that start to feel bad I go to my Bad Day List of things to do when it’s been a bad day and try to turn it around.
The happiness board
The first thing I will do is look at my Happiness board on Pinterest. It’s a lot of reading but I pin everything from nice little things in life ( like tiny soft kitty foreheads, the sound of rain, etc. ) to things that make life better. If there are things I want to be reminded of often, I print them out and put it on my wall or somewhere where I can see it often.
The Bad Day List
This is my list of things to do when the day starts to feel bad.
Write down 10 things that you’re happy exist, no matter how small. And 5 things you’re thankful for at this exact moment. Example – I am sitting inside with a fuzzy blanket when it’s cold and rainy out.
Have some food. Most of the times, I’m just hangry ( does this happen to other people?? ) so getting a bit of food makes life a lot better. It also helps since food releases good chemicals when you eat it. A very good choice is a banana or a bit of chocolate.
Listen to music you like and do a “mind dump” in a journal. This helps to get everything out and good music is very healing.
Make a new playlist or make a calming playlist to help.
Distract yourself! I’m very bad at this, but it’s super important so you don’t wallow. Doing anything will help, watch a TV show, your favourite movie, read something, anything will help. I somehow always end up watching Beyonce dance performances.
Help someone or do something nice for someone else. It makes you feel good to make others happy and it’s just overall very fulfilling.
More sleep!! This just helps everything so much. It’s very important.
Make some change, getting out of routine can help by making things more exciting.
Exercise! Dance, find a workout video on YouTube, go for a walk. Just moving.
What are some things you do to turn a bad day around?
I got braces in the spring of 2016 to correct a bad underbite and crooked teeth. At the time I didn’t think they were that bad but, looking back, it was hard to brush all of the teeth and the top and bottom didn’t even meet up so that couldn’t have been good.
Thankfully, my teeth moved quickly and the whole experience was not as bad as I was expecting since the first orthodontist I went to recommended that I have jaw surgery to fix the underbite but, I went to another orthodontist and they said it could be fixed with braces and elastics.
When they were first put on it didn’t actually hurt that much, I had heard that it was very hard to eat once they were first put on, but I didn’t find that. It was later on that was more painfully. If you take some pain relievers just before your visit it helps so much, eating can still be difficult since the teeth will be delicate, but it does help a lot. Usually, the pain only lasted for 3 days right after the adjustment, at most, so it was durable.
Getting them off!
I ended up having them for 3 months longer than they had predicted but so much time had already been put in, the 3 months did not feel too long. I went in for an appointment the week before to have them double check that everything was good to go to take the braces off. The next week was removal day! They took all of the brackets and wire off in one fell swoop, then the rest of the appointment was spent taking off the glue and polishing. It took a little over an hour but finally, they were done and my teeth free!
It didn’t really sink in until after getting home that they were off, then I was very excited, plus the orthodontist gave me a nice mug and a chocolate bar so I was very happy.
The next day I had to go back to get the retainers which really took down the excitement of nice teeth since they were slightly painful and it meant more appliances on my teeth again. On the bottom row, they put a permanent retainer wire and for both the bottom and top I now have plastic retainers that are like the clear plastic braces.
Since my teeth moved so fast and easily I have to wear the plastic retainers as much as possible to keep everything in place, but it’ll be worth it since most of the effort has already been put in.
Getting braces off is another step to conquering my 2018 goals and I’m so glad they’re off!
I love Pinterest and I’m probably very addicted to it. One of my favourite boards is my house one where I have been saving photos and creating an imaginary dream home that is hopefully not too crazy and more realistic.
Imaginary home tour
Navy blue, shaker style, little houses that look a bit like cottages are my favourite. With a nice big front porch to sit outside on. This colourful porch is a favourite of mine and fairy lights should be added everywhere possible. The more fairy lights the better!
Overgrown gardens filled with roses and hydrangeas remind me of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit, maybe because they’re called English Country Gardens. It gives the place a whimsical feel and since it’s pretty wild there won’t be a lot of gardening work to do! Purple and pink window boxes also add more colour to the house and make it very lush.
I wasn’t aware that I had a very specific door in mind but this is what I keep pinning so this must be the door I like. A brightly painted door to go with the navy exterior and tie in some of the colours in the garden. And it maybe opens up half-way, but wouldn’t it just let in bugs since no one seems to put screens on those types of doors? The details of the house need to be worked out.
A navy blue kitchen to tie in the colour of the exterior and keep the house bright and colourful, with white upper cabinets or open shelves. White subway tile and white or butcher block counters to keep things simple. I haven’t found an eating area or dining room that I love yet but these are close, a few pops of colour with white walls and everything bright.
Some things I know very specifically what I like and others not at all. Living rooms are a good example, I like the white walls with accents from furniture and things to make the style easy to change, simple and personal. For powder rooms, I like round mirrors to contrast the harsh lines of the vanity and the rest of the bathroom and slightly crazy patterned black and white tile, since it’s not a lot of flooring might as well have fun with it.
The whole house appears to be very navy coloured, it’s perfect for bedrooms since it’s a very calm and peaceful colour.
Lots more subway tile! Again lots of colour, fun tile when there’s not a lot needed, and everything else very clean and simple. And clawfoot tubs, of course, since they’re just very cool.
My newest addition to the dream house is a home gym, heated and cooled separately so it could be kept very warm for hot yoga or cold for heavy cardio. And an overgrown backyard with lots of fairy lights!
Follow my home board here! Do you have a realistic dream home? What are some of your favourite home styles?
Changing up hairstyles or colour is a lot of fun. It can be a huge change and make you feel 100x more confident and it makes life a little more exciting by changing up hair. I’ve done purple ends, multicoloured ends, blonde ends and almost ombre, and a few other colours on the ends, but this is the first time I’ve dyed my full hair! It took a lot of YouTube videos and reading about how to DIY your own hair to do these, but definitely worth the research!
Getting to blonde
At the start of 2017, I had the ends of my hair dyed a turquoise that wouldn’t come out, apparently blue toned colours are very long lasting. It took several rounds of bleaching but, eventually, the ends became very white and I kept that for a while as almost an ombre. In the summer I dyed a bit more blonde and decided that I would go fully blonde later on in the fall. The first round of dying all of my hair turned out pretty well, but now I’m changing it to make it even better.
The process and products used
What I’m doing in these steps is taking my yellow-ish platinum blonde to a cooler blonde that will look more natural and re-dying the roots.
I used Argan Oil Powder Lightener from Sally’s Beauty, it doesn’t smell too bad or burn your eyes when it’s in the air so I quite like it, it’s also super strong and lifts colour off nicely. Lightener powder must be mixed with a developer, I used Argan Oil Cream Developer in volume 20. It also doesn’t smell too bad and it goes on very nicely, I just chose 20 because it was in the middle of the volume options but it works really well. I mixed a little bit together and kept adding more powder and cream as I went because if it sits in the bowl for too long it all dries up, then I applied it all over my hair with my hands while wearing rubber gloves. Personally, I find just using my hands works a lot better than the little brushes or combs, you just have to make sure that you’ve massaged the colour in and it is blended nicely.
Then it’s waiting time. I’m really bad at keeping track of how long the bleach has been on for, they recommend 30 minutes, but I ended up leaving it for much longer in order to get all of the colour out and the blonde that I was going for. After it had sat for awhile, I washed it all out and let my hair dry naturally for a bit while I ate lunch, then blow dried it until it was completely dry.
At this point, you can just leave it, but that’s when the blonde has yellow tones to it making it look less natural. So I decided to tone it. Toner is a mix of very light purple, blue or pink-ish dye and a little bleach. When you first apply it, it is white then it changes to the colour you wish to tone your hair after it sits. I used Blond Brilliance Lilac Toner, I let it sit for around 45 minutes to an hour then washed it all out and applied a hair mask.
After bleaching your hair it helps so much to use a hair mask to seal in the colour you apply ( or in this case tone ) and help heal the hair again. I used Inebrya Ice Cream Color Mask Tuttifrutti ( I couldn’t find any links to this so they might not make it anymore?? ) and let it sit for 5 minutes then once my hair was dry it was very soft, so I highly recommend this one! And that’s it for dying my hair! It turned out almost grey at first and after washing my hair for the first time after the toner it settled out to a white-blonde.
Have you DIYed your hair or want to try any fun colours?