Saturday, September 3rd, 2016: Now that summer’s at an end, share a list of favorites from the season!
It’s hard to find a blog or YouTube channel that doesn’t do a “favourites” segment to some extent. Sometimes weekly, often monthly or seasonally people will review the products they’ve been using and loving for the duration of time, well, since their previous favourites instalment. I tried my hand at the monthly favourites, making a January 2014 Favourites video and when I found it difficult to keep up with that, mostly because my video uploading track record isn’t great, but also because I found I just don’t use that many products to justify making a whole favourites video every month. So I transitioned to doing thematic favourites and did a Workout Essentials video. But what else? A writing essentials? A scrapbooking essentials? I wasn’t feeling inspired to do any more real niche videos like that.
But then I was inspired by one of my nerdiest of loves: alliteration.
I could do regular/ semi-regular instalments of what I’ve been… loving lately. I feel like my blog would be the best platform for this but I might figure out how to incorporate it into videos somehow as well.
So here it is: my first Loving Lately, for Summer 2016, inspired by the Blogtember 2016 challenge. I guess the benefit of this one is I haven’t done a previous one so a lot of these stretch back way farther than summer 2016!
My family is one of those who drinks a lot of tea. Growing up, we called my little brother “The Tea Granny” because he was often sitting up at the kitchen table with his fleece housecoat on and a mug of tea with some biscuits. When my mom’s family came from Ireland, the dishwasher often went through cycles where it was just completely full of mugs. I didn’t know there were other kinds of tea besides Earl Grey until I was in high school. And while I still (and probably always will) find the taste of Early Grey with milk and sugar comforting, I don’t have it very often. Fast forward to graduating high school, my mom received a basket full of little treats, and among them were a mixture of teabags. She told me to try them, and my favourite was the Kirkland brand of green tea. Random right? But an addiction was born. For the last 5+ years, one of my favourite things is a big mug full of green tea. I’ll fill up my travel mug to take it around with me, or to keep it warm while I’m doing other things. It also spawned my love of Green Tea Frappucinos. Less healthy, but still delicious. It’s such a soothing thing to me now, and always makes me feel better if I have a headache or if my stomach is unsettled after eating. Side note, how cute is this mug? It was a present from my “lobster”, Erica and changes colour!
Out of any fast food restaurant or coffee shop, my number one most consumed item is Tim Hortons Steeped Tea… Double Double, of course (which means two cream and two sugar). I discovered this drink one evening when my neighbour was driving me home from class, as the campus was down the street from his work, and he stopped at Tim Hortons. I didn’t get anything but he gave me a sip of his tea and my world was changed. Right now, there are five empty ones in the garbage bag in my room… That was started just over a week ago. And those are just the ones I finished while in my room. I am slightly out of countrol, but there are worse things. Bonus: the Tim Hortons closest to my house makes the BEST ones.
Okay, the struggle to get this picture was SO real. Do you want to know why? Because I would eat them all before I got the chance to take a picture. And not just once or twice… oops. Those pictured candies are strategically placed so you can’t see how I ripped open the bag like a savage monster to get at them. Needless to say, I friggen love Twizzlers. I don’t really know why because as a kid I never liked them any more than your average candy, but over the last couple years I just can’t get enough! Ironically my addiction started the same summer that I re-read the whole Gone series (READ IT RIGHT NOW IT’S SO SO GOOD) and in Fear, Penny (the evil girl who can control what people see in their mind) tortures one of the kids by making him think there are Red Vines (which we don’t have in Canada but are pretty much the same as Twizzlers) in his arm and he ends up ripping open his skin to get at these Red Vines… which are actually his veins. However gruesome and scarring, it didn’t create decrease my love for Twizzlers like I thought it would. Oh well. Whenever we go camping one of the things on the list are always two bags of Twizzlers (Superstore always has really good fresh ones… although I’m not picky haha) and so even though I eat them year round, it always reminds me of summer.
My A&F denim jacket
To patch the Gilly Hicks shaped hole in my heart, I have been a frequenter of the Abercrombie and Fitch website. Since their rebranding, the style they present is less obnoxious prep school kid and a bit more causal boho. I haven’t been doing much online shopping this year but my most recent online clothing purchase is this denim jacket I got during one of their good sales, so it ended up being about $30. I bought it with the intention of sewing patches on it and putting pins on the collar but when I wore it first, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I call it my “Cory Matthews Jacket” since it’s very reminiscent of the episode where Cory and Toping first say “I Love You” to one another… so good. It’s one of my favourite jackets because it’s light enough where I can shove it in my bag for an extra layer and wear it without overheating but heavy enough where it keeps off the cold breezes. Perfect for a mild summer like we had this year!
AE Denim Vest
Okay, this is my number one summer fashion recommendation/ fave right here. Summer is my least favourite season and I find it the hardest to dress for. I’m a person that going braless is not an option, (and strapless bras are just plain ineffective), I find summer clothing even more limited and disheartening. Enter the denim vest! I picked this up at American Eagle a couple of years ago and I LOVE IT. It is perfect to throw on over top of a tank or sundress to make it look a bit more put together and hide the ol’ bra straps. It turns racerbacks (or other such cuts) into just sleeveless tops. I love that I can get more coverage while adding a cute accessory to my outfit.
Nail Envy & Essie top coat
If you’ve been reading my blogposts over the past couple month you have heard me say over and over how I’ve been (and loving) painting my nails a lot. Nail Envy is a product I discovered while working at a nail salon for three years, and on my last day I bought a bottle of Matte Nail Envy. That was January and it is now all gone (sad face) but I picked up this bottle of the Original formula last week at Nordstrom Rack. They are pretty pricey (about $18+) but if you find them on sale GRAB ONE. I got the first one for $10 and this one for $12 (USD) and I’ve seen them at Winners for around that price as well. I also have a little baby version of the Original formula from a mini OPI set which I plan on combining into this bottle when I’ve used up enough. When I took off my acrylics, my nails were just plain gross. They looked scaley and flakey and dry and were overall just a hot mess. With religious application of Nail Envy… I now have natural nails worth envying for the first time in my life. I use it now as a base coat, and find that it works really well. Even when I don’t have colour on my nails, I almost always have at least one layer of Nail Envy. You can check out OPI’s Nail Envy in Original HERE and the Matte formulation HERE. I didn’t find that I liked one better than the other, but it’s worth noting that the Matte isn’t actually a total matte finish and is still quite shiny. I had never purchased a nail polish top coat before this year. I mostly used the half dried out goopy ones I got as hand-me-downs and then the baby OPI one from the aforementioned set. When that one started drying out and became more of a hassle to apply than it was worth, I picked up this one from Essie at Superstore on a whim. I am SO GLAD that I did because it is a total game changer. It makes my polish dry in a fraction of the time and makes my nails look perfect and shiny, like I’m wearing Gel Polish/ Shellac. Bless. It’s available HERE.
Okay, this is going to sound very first world-y of me but in all seriousness… God bless Netflix. I went through a really tough time earlier this year where I was unable to sleep or eat for several days and was getting sick because of it. Without going too much into it or being too intense, I was having some very damaging thoughts and was unable to get out of my head so I ended up binge watching the heck out of Netflix. I finished Grey’s Anatomy which I had been casually catching up on for a couple years, watched the entirety of Full House, Fuller House, Gilmore Girls, and am now working my way through X-Files (after pausing to watch Stranger Things). I would watch episode after episode until I couldn’t keep my eyes open and then could finally sleep without my thoughts keeping me awake. You know the whole, replacing one habit with another like when people quit smoking by eating sunflower seeds? Well, whenever depression and anxiety were taking over, I knew it was time to occupy my thoughts with something else and that came from Netflix. Focusing on these fictional characters and situations helped me get my mind off of what I was going through and recovery was a whole lot easier when I wasn’t constantly bombarded by those negative thoughts. My mantra for awhile became, fictional or not… if Meredith Grey can get through all that she’s been through, I can make it through today. And I made it through a whole bunch of todays. I am back down to a healthy level of Netflix-ing at five (give or take) episodes a week and as strange as it sounds, I am 100% better today and am thankful to Netflix for the (however small) part it played in my recovery.
Sims 2 is not a favourite exclusive to summer 2016, but reaches back to about 2005. I have a family on there that I started about ten years ago and span six generations and over 350 Sims. This summer I played pretty heavily and got generation six into university. I was very proud haha.
Other than school and camping, I think summer 2016 will be defined by Pokémon Go. I wrote a first impressions and a review if you’d like some more details but it pretty much reigned supreme in my family and definitely made for a fun and memorable summer!
Thanks so much for reading! I hope that you had a great summer and are enjoying the first week of autumn!