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Wow! What a month it has been! December was probably one of the most eventful months I’ve had so far, so I thought a little life update would be a good idea before I embark on a new journey (aka starting an internship and moving to the south shore of Montreal again).
I haven’t traveled much in December because it was finals season for me and I had a ton of assignments to complete before the end of my semester abroad (about 10,000 words in total… yikes). However, I did manage to sneak in one last destination… and it turned out to be one of my favorite trips of 2017. My friend and I planned to go to Edinburgh for four days in mid-December, and it was absolutely amazing. I do plan on writing a complete travel guide to Edinburgh and Scotland, so I’ll just say this: if you get the opportunity to go, PLEASE do! For us, it was right around Christmas time, so the city was all decorated for Christmas (and let’s not forget the Christmas market! It was really great.).
Returning back home to Canada
My semester abroad in the UK ended on December 12, and I flew back home to Montreal on December 18. I just can’t believe that it’s already over. Don’t get me wrong, I love being back in Canada with my friends and family, but I will miss Europe and the opportunity to travel to a new place every weekend.
Since I’ve been back, I’ve been catching up with friends and family, but I’ve also gone back to work at the library. My bank account has really suffered these past few months, so now I’m really focusing on saving money for my next adventure. 😉
I don’t want to write too much about the experience because I do plan on writing many blog posts about it in the future, but it was one of the best experiences of my life. If you are wondering whether you should include a semester abroad to your college experience, PLEASE DO. Yes, you will miss your loved ones for a little while, but you will learn things about yourself that you would never have known if you had stayed back home (or at least, that’s what happened for me). You’ll become more open-minded and independent, you’ll meet new people and explore new places. You will be put in situations that will force you to get out of your shell and that will make you grow as a person. Bottom line, you should just do it if you get the opportunity!
As it was December, it also meant that it was right around Christmas time. I didn’t have that many parties to attend during the holiday season, but I did have a nice Christmas. I saw my two BFFs on the 22nd and we had sushi at our favorite sushi place. We also exchanged gifts and both of my friends seemed pretty happy with the gifts I got them from England.
On the 25th, my family exchanged gifts (would you like to see a post about what I got for Christmas?) and we saw my dad’s side of the family. I obviously ate way too much, but the food was so good, it was hard not to. On the 26th, the party was on my mom’s side of the family. This year, the party was hosted at home, and my mom made fondue. It was probably my favorite part of the holiday season. I got to see my godmother and godfather, and I bounded with my godmother in a way that I never had before. I don’t know if it’s that I’m getting older or if we just get along better now, but talking to her was probably the best part of my night.
I know things have been pretty silent in December on the blog, and for that, I am really sorry. Like I said, I was pretty busy with assignments at the beginning of December, then we headed to Edinburgh for a few days, and then we came back home and I had to pack before I left England to come back to Canada. I did have some time off after I returned from England, but the holiday season started and things just got very busy. I do plan on trying to be more consistent and keeping up with my Monday-Friday schedule in 2018. I’ll try to write posts ahead of time and schedule everything in advance so I don’t go through a silent period like I just did. (Let’s hope it actually happens, haha) I have been very active on Instagram though!
Talking about 2018… I have already set my goals and started planning for Q1 (like every blogger and their mother). As I mentioned in Monday’s post, things will start taking a new turn on the blog, so hopefully you are as excited about the new content as I am! You can read all about my transition and the new direction here, in case you missed it! January will be packed with travel and study abroad posts, but I will also be including other lifestyle posts every now and then. If there’s anything specific you would like to see in Q1, let me know! Nothing is set in stone yet and it’s never too late to ask. 🙂
One thing I want to focus on in Q1 is building my email list. I have been pretty good at it this past year, but I’d like to reach 1,000 subscribers in 2018. I will be creating more content upgrades and freebies for my resources library, so if there’s anything you’d like to see, let me know! You can join the squad and sign up for my email list here if you want to!
One thing I’ve been trying to do since I’ve been back home is read more books! I did buy a few books while abroad and I received a few for Christmas, so I need to clear my TBR.
As of now, here’s what I’ve read:
- I See London I See France by Sarah Mlynowski – 4 stars. If you need travel inspiration and books about finding yourself in college, this book is perfect for you! You can read my complete review on Goodreads here.
- Turtles All The Way Down by John Green – 3 stars. I really tried to like this book, but I just couldn’t get into it. I couldn’t relate to the main character, and that really ruined the experience for me. But if you want to read more books about mental health, this one is great! You can read my complete review on Goodreads here.
- Heartless by Marissa Meyer – 3.5 stars. Fans of Alice in Wonderland, this book is for you! You can read my complete review on Goodreads here.
Movies & TV shows
As I was leaving the UK that month, I wanted to make sure to finish everything that I had started so I wouldn’t be stuck in the middle of a TV show that wasn’t available in Canada. So I finished Teen Wolf… or almost. They only had season 6A on Netflix, so that’s where I am at. I only have 6B left to watch, so I’ll try to finish that in January!
I also finished That 70s Show, and I’m glad it’s now over. Season 8 was just a mess, with two of the main characters being gone (but thankfully returning for the last episode). It is a good show, but it should just have ended with season 7, imo.
When I got back home, I needed a new TV show to watch, so I started The Crown. I’ve only watched the first episode so far… and I’m not that impressed. I know it has received a lot of praise, but so far I just couldn’t get into. I have been told that it gets better after a few episodes though, so I’ll watch one or two more to see if it’s worth watching or not.
I needed a comedy show to unwind after work, so I also continued my rewatch of The Mindy Project that I had initiated earlier this year. I had initially stopped mid-season 4, but I have now finished season 5 as well. I only have the sixth and final season to watch.
Movie-wise, I watched A Christmas Prince on Netflix and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was! I was expecting something cringe-worthy, and while it was cheesy, it wasn’t overly corny. On my flight back home I was also able to watch two very good movies, Inside Out and Home Again, and one that I did not really enjoy – Girls Trip. The latter seemed promising, but I was utterly disappointed. I just couldn’t get into the story. Maybe I’m not too much into that kind of humor, but I just didn’t think it was all that funny.
One of the things that came out of my reader survey is that you wanted to see me talk about my favorites more often. I do share my favorite books and tv shows, but I think you guys want to see more than that. So I’m adding a new section to my life updates! I’ll be sharing a few of my favorites of the moment, whether that is beauty products, fashion items, or blog posts, with links so you can shop them for yourself. Sounds good? Let’s get started!
- I got this cute Manna Retro water bottle with a donut print on it from my sister for Christmas, and I’ve been completely obsessed with it ever since. Sadly, I can’t find it online… 🙁 I’ve looked everywhere, but I just couldn’t find the exact same one anywhere.
- I recently discovered In Search of Sheila’s blog and I fell in love! This girl’s advice on blogging is always spot on, and she has SO many helpful tips and resources! I liked what I read so much that I went ahead and bought her ebook!
- I asked for the Shawn Mendes Signature perfume for Christmas and I was so happy when I found it under the tree! It smells super fresh and the bottle is adorable! It’s for both men and women, so the scent is not too strong.
- While I was in the UK, I became obsessed with popcorn. It became my go-to snack, and I kept buying it. The brand that I loved in the UK (Metcalfe Charity popcorn) isn’t available in Canada (that I know of), so I tried the Skinny Pop Popcorn instead and OMG I’m in love. We bought the big bag at Costco, and now I even got my family addicted! 😉
What has been going on in your life lately? What books have you been reading? What shows and movies have you watched recently? What are your favorite items of the moments?