Boulder, Colorado Travel + Another Friend Met

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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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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Piña Colada Smoothie Recipe

Piña colada smoothie is my current favourite. It’s a subtle flavour and very creamy. The coconut milk has healthy fats which are satisfying so it’s a good choice for breakfast. I posted a picture on Instagram the other day of my piña colada smoothie, here is the recipe for it!

Recipe

Ingredients

Makes about 3 servings.

  • 1 can of pineapple + the juice from it.
  • 1 medium-large banana
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup coconut yoghurt. Vanilla can also be used.
  • Toasted shredded coconut for topping
  • Granola or other toppings of choice

Instruction:

Put everything in a blender and blend until the pineapple looks like it’s all smooth. I put mine in the freezer for a bit before eating or use a frozen banana to get an ice-cream like texture. If you prefer more of a coconut taste, because it is quite subtle, more coconut milk can be added. The coconut on top really brings it out.

What’s your favourite summer smoothie? Would you like to see more food posts?

P.S. It’s Peri

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School Mistakes Were Made

My school of choice starts admissions in May (fingers crossed for acceptance!!) so in mid-March, just before spring break, I emailed the admissions office to double check that everything was OK for applying. I highly recommend doing this, especially if you’re homeschooled, to ensure you have everything you need for the application process. Admissions wrote back and said that I would need to take the required courses for Kinesiology through an Ontario high school in order to be considered for admissions. In retrospect, this makes complete sense and they had said that in the requirements, but I assumed that it was just the school saying it was easier for them if you go to public school for grade 12. They want everyone to be evaluated as fairly as possible, so having homeschool applicants take at least the required courses through a public school takes everyone to a level playing field.

In order to be considered for Fall 2018, I had to submit progress grades within 2 weeks (hence the short hiatus) of having emailed the school. This meant that taking these required courses at a public school was not an option for the time crunch. So, I enrolled in an online public school that allows students to work at their own pace. In future posts, I will talk more about the experience of switching to an online public school. Progress grades were submitted within the short time limits and currently, I’m working on fully finishing the courses!

Some points if I were to do this again/tips

  • Email admissions early! About as soon as you apply, that way you have plenty of time to do whatever else may be required.
  • They only required 4 courses in the final year to be taken with a public school, so you do not need a whole year’s course load at a public school. Other schools may be different, though. I only double checked with my #1 school choice.
  • It was actually a benefit having a time crunch because it forced me to get lots of schoolwork done. Good motivation.
  • The first term of grade 12 can be homeschool courses (I would take things relating to the required public school courses because there would be less pressure initially and more time to fully learn concepts) and the second term can be public school courses.
  • Even though it’s been stressful, overall it’s not too bad. The more I work for this the better it will feel once it’s over and hopefully once they accept.

 

 

P.S. It’s Peri

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Clean Skin Makeup Review

I always try to find natural makeup products (usually free of parabens and talc) but it can be hard to find things reasonably priced, that are the right colour and natural. My go-to natural makeup brand is Physician’s Formula but since it’s been winter in Canada FOREVER and I haven’t been outside, most of their skin products are not pale enough for me. So I ventured out to try new products and I’m very happy with what I got!

The products

I find skin makeup quite confusing, do I want powder, BB cream, tinted moisturizer, foundation or just concealer? I decided to try powdered foundation because I had read it’s great for sensitive skin and I like the ability to build it up for more coverage without looking cakey, but having the options of it not being heavy for days when I don’t need a lot of coverage. And I also got a concealer to cover dark circles, pimples or any other blemish.

Powdered Foundation

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Loose Powder, Translucent Light, 0.49 Ounce

This powdered foundation is honestly magical. You tap a little bit of the powder into the cap and use a big fluffy brush to distribute it all over your face. Then after the first layer, you can add another layer to places where you want extra coverage. With just a little bit of product, it covers so well. It doesn’t feel like you’re wearing makeup at all and it also doesn’t come off while sweating. Both concealer and the foundation have lasted hard workouts and looked better than any other skin product I’ve used. The only downside is that if you apply it and you’re wearing a dark colour it might become a little powdery. But that’s not too bad for the benefits of this product! Before applying, cover your face in moisturizer and wait for it to absorb in, then that way the powder has something to stick to and you get the hydrating of moisturizer.

Concealer

Marcelle Cc Concealer + Corrector, Light To Medium, 3.5g

The concealer I often find is too yellow or orange toned for me but this one is a great fit! The coverage is also very good and it can be added on top of the powdered foundation for maximum coverage and a flawless look. Marcelle products are on the higher end of drugstore but definitely worth it for natural products that are gentle on sensitive skin.

Do you have a favourite natural cosmetics brand?

P.S. It’s Peri

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Purchase products:

I Met An Online Friend And It Wasn’t Creepy + Niagara Falls Travel

This accidentally got posted on Tuesday, but I was busy and had forgotten to fill it in (AWKWARD) so now it’s the legit post! Sorry, about that! Now on to the actual post.

Homeschooling and online friends

Often with homeschooling, people are concerned about socializing and how it is done when kids are not in a traditional school. (you can read my post where I talk more about socializing here!) Just because it’s not the traditional way doesn’t mean we don’t make friends. We make friends everywhere from homeschool groups to communities classes, one just has to be creative.

A big source of friendships for me has been online. It allows for a broad range of friends and people around the world who you can interact with at any time (or not interact with if you don’t feel like it!) as opposed to if they were friends from school who you would just see during school hours or when you hang out after. This is good for homeschoolers, too, since they can interact during the day. I will definitely talk more about online friendships in the future, but for now, this is on meeting one of my close friends for the first time!

How we met online and meeting IRL

We met each other in 2016 (I think??) on a game and the first day she invited me to join in on a Skype call with a few others from the game to chat while we played. A little while later I created a group of a bunch of people that I liked and wanted to get to know better and since then we’ve had many calls where we do things like try to recreate makeup looks, watch movies (usually Disney Channel classics that I haven’t seen because I failed at Disney Channel watching besides Phineas and Ferb), cook or sometimes just talk. From calling and the amount of time spent together we had gotten to know each other for awhile before the meeting, just needed to get that in so it doesn’t sound too creepy. We found out we didn’t live too far away from each other and decided we would plan a trip to Niagara Falls together on my birthday!

  Niagara Falls has an amusement park where for a pretty good price (about $30) you get tickets to 6 attractions, which were a lot of fun. It’s a good idea to have something to do when meeting so it doesn’t become too boring or awkward, plus it’s in a public area for safety.

We found each other and took pictures right away and got some food before starting with the attractions. It would seem like meeting someone for the first time in person after years of knowing each other would be weird, but it felt pretty normal besides that fact that we were in an amusement park.

The first attraction we did was the Movieland Wax Museum, quite creepy to be honest, but fun to take pictures with all of the celebrities. There was a haunted hallway (I’m not actually sure what it was but it was like a haunted house as part of the museum) that we walked through and I was absolutely terrified and screamed like crazy when there was a loud noise. We tried to get out fast. Next was Ghost Blasters which was built into The Great Canadian Midway. It sort of reminded me of the Buzz Lightyear ride at Disneyworld only in 3D. I did not win at that and also jumped at anything that was coming towards me in 3D. I have the best of nerves. After that, we rode the Wild West Coaster, which is a 3D movie in special chairs that make it feel like a roller coaster. With the Fun Pass, you get arcade tickets so we played there and won 2 matching bracelets (which we both ended up losing).

There is a giant Ferris wheel over the falls also included in the pass. It provides good photo opportunities of The Falls.

Next on the pass was glow in the dark mini golf which was very fun and a 6D zombie ride similar to the coaster but with lasers shooting the zombies. After we had finished the pass we walked down to the falls then got tea before heading off. All in all a very fun and memorable birthday.

Have you met any online friends before? Have you been to Niagara Falls before?

P.S. It’s Peri

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18 Notes To Myself For My 18th Birthday

Tomorrow is my 18th birthday (the Internet keeps pointing out how it’s Aries season, also my fourth Friday The 13th birthday) since that is often considered the start of adulthood this post will be on a note to my future self going through adult life, mixed with “things I’ve learnt so far”.

To Peri

  1. Be friendly! People are always way less friendly than you’re expecting and it’s nice to see people who are genuinely friendly.
  2. Consistently doing things to work towards goals is key and makes them easier to achieve. Make working towards goals part of your everyday habits.
  3. Tea solves all problems, also smoothies.
  4. And good music. Even if it’s what might be considered weird.
  5. Hard workouts are satisfying and it also correlates with doing small steps towards goals everyday.
  6. Always push yourself because you’re always better than you think.
  7. Draw lots!
  8. And take picture to savour every beautiful things in the moment.
  9. Pet cuddles are great but cats might try to kill you haha.
  10. Fairy lights need to be everywhere possible.
  11. Reading isn’t too bad if you’re reading something you enjoy.
  12. Drink lots of water then drink even more because you’re probably not hydrated enough.
  13. To pre-teen Peri, you didn’t make it through without acting like a teenager at all.
  14. But also, 18 doesn’t magically make you an adult.
  15. Doing schoolwork is better than being bored. And nothing good comes from procrastinating.
  16. The outdoors is your friend but mosquitoes aren’t. Otherwise it’s fine.
  17. Good clothes make you very happy.
  18. And always do your best.

This post felt very cheesy. 😂 I’m curious, do you all like having big birthday celebrations or do you keep it lowkey? What kinda of things do you do for your birthday?

P.S. It’s Peri

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