Musings #4 | #PersonalBest

I’ve never been the most athletic person (literally anyone that went to elementary or high school with me can attest to that) and I’ve never really been the biggest fan of working out. That said, since starting university, as I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve been going to the gym semi-regularly…and I’m actually enjoying it.

My friends and I try and go to the gym at least once a week, and those are days I always look forward to. I actually like going to the gym and working out for forty-five minutes to an hour. This is something I never thought would be possible, and yet here we are. I look forward to going to the gym.

As with everything else in my life though, I can’t workout without listening to music. When it comes to going to the gym, I need songs that are going to motivate me, that are going to get me pumped up, and that make me feel powerful when I listen to them. My Workout playlist is exactly that: it’s a collection of songs by badass women that make me feel badass and powerful while I’m working out.

I’ve spent a lot of time putting this playlist together. I opted to make it an all female, girl power type thing. When I workout, I want to feel good about myself, and I want to feel powerful, and I feel like there is no better way to feel confident and badass than by listening to strong, confident, badass women. This playlist is packed to brim with awesome females like P!nk, Beyonce, Shakira, Taylor Swift, etc. Every time I listen to these incredible ladies, I feel a hundred times more powerful and so it only makes sense that, when I wanna work out, these are the ladies I wanna listen to.

Listed below are just some of the songs featured in my workout playlist, and they’re some of my absolute favourites. They’re songs that pump me up, that motivate me, that make me feel super badass and that I can’t help singing and dancing along to pretty much every time I’m hanging out alone in my room listening to them. Without further ado, here is my Workout Playlist…

My Workout Playlist

Havana, Camilla Cabello

Waka Waka, Shakira

U + Ur Hand, P!nk

Sexy Den A Mutha, Cheryl Cole

IDGAF, Dua Lipa

Since U Been Gone, Kelly Clarkson

I’m Legit, Nicki Minaj (ft. Ciara)

Look What You Made Me Do, Taylor Swift

Sorry Not Sorry, Demi Lovato

Do What U Want, Lady Gaga (ft. Christina Aguilera)

There you have it – my workout playlist. If you’re interested in giving it a listen to during your next workout you can find it on Apple Music and on Spotify (there are a few differences in song selection on these two playlists; certain songs available to me on Apple Music are not available on Spotify, so there are some extra songs there that are not featured on the Apple playlist).

I hope you enjoyed this week’s piece. I’m always looking for new songs to listen to, and I’m constantly updating these playlists, so if you have any suggestions for songs I should add, let me know in the comments or on twitter or Facebook (links can be found in the sidebar).

I’m wishing you all a fantastic week, and I can’t wait to see you back here next week! Until then, much love 🙂

Brittany xo


Things I Love about Autumn

The leaves changing colour

The sound of leaves crunching beneath my feet as I walk

The return of the salted caramel mocha at Starbucks

Time to break out my sweaters, boots and scarves

The cool, rainy days

The abundance of pumpkin pie in every grocery store and market

Halloween films on Disney Channel (the Halloweentown series will forever be my favourite film series ever)

The Good Witch films play almost every weekend on W Network

Perfect time for weekend movie marathons and afternoons spent baking sweet treats like cookies and pies and cakes


Comfy socks can be found anywhere and everywhere

Candles. Just straight up candle season

Listening to Taylor Swift’s Red album on repeat

The maroon / hunter green / mustard yellow colour combinations that fill my wardrobe

Foggy mornings and chilly evenings

The countdown to Christmas really begins (and I can start getting in the spirit without being judged because it’s still 30 degrees outside)

Thanksgiving dinner with my family

Autumn is probably my second favourite time of year (second only to Christmas, of course) and I eagerly anticipate its arrival basically from the moment winter ends and spring begins. Everything about the fall just makes me so happy – the cooler weather, the yummy food that accompanies the holidays, the cozy atmosphere that seems to inhabit every place you go. I just absolutely love autumn, and I’m so happy to see it (finally) arriving here in Canada.

I hope you’ve all had a lovely last few weeks. I apologize for my absence, but life kind of caught up with me and I had to prioritize some things over others. I’m sorry that meant disappearing for a little while on here. I’m gonna do my best not to vanish too regularly, but I’m afraid that for the next few weeks, posts might become a little more sporadic. I’ll do my best to keep posts relegated to Sundays, but there might be the odd mid-week post thrown in if I find the opportunity to sit down and write for you lovely lot.

I hope you all have a fantastic week ahead of you, and I hope I’ll see you all back here again next week (fingers crossed). Until then, much love and appreciation

Brittany xo

Someday Summary | September 24, 2017

Estée Lalonde published a video a year ago yesterday entitled Personal Best // Health + Fitness Update. In the video, she talks about some of the “trends” she’s noticed on social media regarding, primarily, women’s fitness and how it is often focused more so on how a person looks rather than their actual health. As a result of what she was seeing, she decided to take it upon herself to use her social media presence to kind of promote the other aspects of fitness and exercise that she thinks were being overlooked and underrepresented.

Estée went in with the intentions of retraining herself to live a healthier lifestyle, and she decided to document it and share her “journey” with her viewers and her followers. She came up with #PersonalBest because, as she basically says, that’s what matters at the end of the day – that you do YOUR BEST! I really like this idea and it’s something that I’ve been trying to work into my life to help me get on track to being the healthiest and the happiest I can possibly be.

Last month, I opened up about my mental health and what I call my “bad brain days”. Since publishing that post, it has become a goal of mine to work towards seeing less of those days and more of my “better brain days”. Publishing that piece was kind of me putting out into the universe that I’m ready to make some lifestyle changes, and that I’m ready to whip myself into shape.

I’m striving towards my #PersonalBest, and I’m loving it so far. I’ve started going to the gym with my friends and after working out for even just an hour or so, I feel a thousand time better. I feel energized and recharged. I can feel the stress and the negativity kind of melt away, and I feel myself slowly returning to some semblance of the person I so badly want to be. I’m also starting to eat better; I’m drinking a lot of smoothies, and a whole lot of water, and I’m eating a lot of fruit. Plus, I’m trying to push myself to eat breakfast in the mornings rather than pushing myself to go without. Already, I see massive changes in myself, and I am so excited.

I love that Estée introduced the #PersonalBest idea, and I’m really excited to really start taking part in it myself. I think it’s a really great way to motivate yourself to make some beneficial lifestyle changes; you’re just focusing on doing what you can do, not pushing yourself to try and achieve things that are beyond the limits and capabilities of you and your body. It’s all about doing what’s best for you and just improving the life you’re living. And I love it.

I hope you’ve all had a lovely week and an even lovelier weekend. I know that I’ve had a pretty good one myself (though my bank account might differ in opinion there) and I’m really excited to see what’s gonna come my way this week. I wish you luck as we enter into the last week of September, and I look forward to writing to you all next week. Until then, much love 🙂

Brittany xo

The Autumn Tag

Autumn is easily, without a second thought or a hesitation, my favourite season of the year…well, aside from Christmas season, that is. I just love everything about the fall: the weather, the style, the food. There is something just so cozy and comforting about the arrival of the fall season (possibly the realization that it’s finally acceptable for me to dawn a thick woollen sweater everyday) and I can’t wait for it to get here every year.

Today, I thought I’d take some time and show my appreciation for my favourite season of the year by participating in a little tag that I stumbled across over on Lotte’s Beauty Box. I thought it was a nice little piece to fill out and a great opportunity to share some of my favourite things about the upcoming fall season. So, without further ado, here it is – The Autumn Tag!

1. What signifies the start of Autumn for you?

There’s that change in the weather, where you feel like you need a thick sweater or a light jacket when you step out in the morning, but by the afternoon it’s too hot for either one. That’s what signifies the start of autumn for me. That little shift in the weather, letting us all know that it’s on its way.

2. What is your favourite Fall scent?

The scent of pumpkin pie is probably my favourite fall scent. Pie, in general, is probably my favourite dessert, and my whole world lights up once fall hits and I know it’s pumpkin pie season. Every time I smell a pumpkin pie, I always think of trips to Costco with my dad where we’d by the huge pumpkin pies, and how we’d basically eat them all to ourselves. It’s a scent that makes me feel like a kid again, and that always seems to bring me home.

3. What is your favourite Autumn colour?

I love all of the darker tones that you see once fall start creeping its way in. I love the burgundy and the forest greens, the dark oranges and the mustard yellows. I think my absolute favourite though would have to be mustard yellow, though.

4. What is your favourite Fall drink?

I love hot chocolate once the weather starts to cool down. It’s simple and it’s classic and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and childlike on the inside every time I have it.

5. What TV show, new or old, are you looking forward to this Fall?

I’m really looking forward to a lot of shows this fall. Of course I’m excited about the new season of Law & Order: SVU (season 19, here we come) and I’m excited to see the new Star Trek series, but I’m also really looking forward to the return of Will & Grace. It’s one of my absolute favourite shows and I’m so happy it’s coming back. I can’t wait to see what kind of silly shenanigans Jack, Karen, Will and Grace get up to in the new season, and I really hope it lives up to the excitement that I’ve hardly been containing in my heart.

6. What is your favourite Fall fashion trend?

Ankle boots, thick wollen scarves, tights, cardigans – the list is endless. Just genuinely love general fall fashion. It’s always super comfy and super cozy and always looks super cute.

7. What is your favourite frugal Autumn activity?

Honestly, I love just spending a chilly night inside, curled up with a good book or a movie (or Star Trek: The Next Generation) and a soft blanket, maybe a cup or two of hot chocolate. Just a simple, cozy night in, all by myself.

8. What is your favourite makeup look come autumnal weather? 

I love darker shades of lipstick – the really deep reds and the plum purples and so on – and I love when fall comes around because you see more of those colours on display wherever you go. I’m also a fan of the classic smokey eye, and I always think that the smokey eye paired with a darker lip is a classic fall make-up look. I just love it!

So there it is, The Autumn Tag. I had lot of fun filling this one out, honestly. Even though it’s on the shorter side and it’s a really simple one, I enjoyed coming up with my answers and reflecting on all the things I love about the upcoming season.

Obviously, I wasn’t tagged by anyone to complete this particular tag, but I would like to tag you lovely people reading my contribution to it. If you are interested in answering those questions up there, then I invite you to do so, and I would love to read your responses so please feel free to tag me in them so that I can check them out.

I hope you all have had a lovely weekend. I’m personally recovering from an unexpected viral infection that left me a bit incapacitated for a few days. I’m really looking forward to easing myself back into my normal routine and getting back to normal as this week goes on.

I hope you all have a fantastic week ahead of you, and that you enjoy the last few days of summer before the fall season officially begins. I can’t wait to write to you all again next week. Until then, much love 🙂

Brittany xo

Doing It! by Hannah Witton | Book Review

Figuring out how to build and maintain healthy relationships – with your family, friends, romantically and with yourself – is a crucial part of being a teen. It’s not easy though, particularly in a digital age where information and advice are so forthcoming it can be hard to know who or what to believe or trust. Porn is everywhere, sexting is the norm and messages about body image are highly mixed. Hannah combats this by tackling subjects ranging from masturbation and puberty to slut shaming and consent in an accessible, relatable and extremely honest way. She is unembarrassed about bringing little-discussed topics into the open, and as such empowers teens to have the confidence to conduct relationships on their terms, and in a way that they feel comfortable with. (source)

I went to a Catholic high school and, to be completely honest with you, the SRE (or Sex and Relationship Education) I received was less than adequate. To be brutally honest with you, I think it was awful. It was sexist, it was uninformative, and at times, it felt more like a scare tactic that anything actually useful. I remember leaving religion (because that’s where we have tolerant about this kind of stuff) having more questions that answers, and feeling more uncomfortable with the concept of sex and relationships than I had going in.

There are a lot of things that don’t get discussed in SRE in a Catholic school. Topics like the various sexual orientations never got much farther than gay/lesbian (we could briefly touch on bisexuality if we were lucky, but that wasn’t very often). The subject go gender identity never came up in my classes, and the lack of serious conversation about things like consent and rape culture and the impact of sex/slut shaming is appalling. I’m constantly frustrated with the state of my SRE experience, and it’s sad that I’ve had to seek out accurate and useful information on my own, outside of school. I’m very lucky, though, since I’ve found people like Hannah Within to fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge.

I’ve been watching Hannah Witton’s videos on YouTube for quite a while now. You might remember that, a while ago, I actually included her in my Inspiring Women series. She is one of my favourite YouTubers, and I was super excited when she announced that she was writing a book. I know there is a lot of, for lack of a better word, controversy regarding YouTuber books, but I tend to try and ignore that stuff. I try and focus primarily on the body of work itself. I like to trust people when they say they’ve been working hard on something, and when they demonstrate excitement and pride in what they’ve come up with.

I eagerly anticipated the release (and my long overdue purchase) of Hannah’s book, Doing It!: Let’s Talk about Sex. As an avid viewer of her sex-and-relationship-related videos, I was interested to see what her voice would translate to on paper, and I was excited to see what subjects she would tackle and how she would approach some of the touchier ones. I’m happy to say that I was not disappointed. Doing It! is pretty much a standard Hannah Within video in book form…and it is wonderful!

Doing It! is honest, and covers a lot of the information I know I always felt was lacking in my high school SRE curriculum. And it’s all very positive. Hannah doesn’t talk about sex the way we’re so used to hearing it – she doesn’t try to scare her readers by explaining STIs in gruesome detail (which is what my SRE teacher often did) and she doesn’t discuss subjects such as porn or fetishes in a negative way like what we’ve kind of become used to experiencing. She addresses every aspect of sex and relationships in a very open, very comfortable and other positive way. She doesn’t shed judgement through her writing, and she in fact encourages acceptance of different people’s different sexual experiences. The tone of the book is, in my opinion, a stark contrast to how we’re used to approaching the topic of sex, and it is so refreshing.

Hannah’s voice comes through brilliantly in her writing. Reading her book, for me, felt like sitting there and watching one or two of her videos. It was easy, it was light, and most importantly, it was comfortable. She doesn’t come across as “preachy” or as though she is lecturing her readers about the dangers of STIs or the importance of consent (both of which are things she tackles in the book, and both I think she does in a wonderful way). This book feels like having conversation with an older sister, or with a really good friend, which is exactly what Hannah was going for. I never once felt uncomfortable reading this book, and I think that’s a really important thing to note.

This book is many things: it is inclusive (several sections of the book feature submissions from experts in certain sex/relationship-related fields and from some of Hannah’s friends, and it features firsthand accounts of certain subjects; there is also pieces about various gender identities and sexualities, and the different experiences for guys and gals), it is informative, and it is honest. Hannah shares a number of personal stories and experiences throughout the book that add to that tone of comfort and support. This book is everything I could have wanted and I think it serves as a really great resource for others like me that feel their school’s SRE curriculum failed them or neglected to address things it should have.

This is probably one of my favourite books that I’ve read so far this year, and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. I will not stop recommending this book. Seriously, go to book depository and order a copy for yourself. I promise you that you will not be disappointed. I know I wasn’t.

A Love Letter to my Friends

For the past week, I’ve been struggling to find the words to say all the things I’ve been wanting to say. Actually, I’ve been struggling for months trying to find the right words for this piece. I’ve written and rewritten draft after draft. I’ve come up with concept after concept. I’ve planned and I’ve planned. In the end, I’ve just kind of given up trying to find the “right” words and I’m just going to settle for the ones that come the closest…

I’m never good at dealing with goodbyes, nor am I all that great at dealing with changes. Today marks a lot of little goodbyes, and a pretty big life change. I’m moving today. I’m officially moving on to start university, and while I’m very excited for this new chapter in my life, I can’t help the melancholy feeling that seems to encompass me.

The hardest part about this whole new experience isn’t leaving home (though I’m heartbroken to be leaving my mom all on her own), and it’s not being on my own in a new city (though that is rather daunting). No, none of those are what I consider to be the hardest part. For me, the hardest part of this whole new experience has to be leaving my friends.

My friends, as I’m sure I’ve said before, are some of the most important people in my life. They’re the people that I turn to whenever I need a shoulder to cry on, or someone to make me laugh until my stomach hurts. They’re the people I turn to when I’m in need of advice and encouragement, or when I just need to vent and talk about whatever’s on my mind. They’re the people that keep me grounded, from getting my head stuck on some cloud. My friends are (as cliche as it sounds) the family that I’ve chosen and created for myself.

I read an article recently wherein the writer compared high school friendships to life rafts in an ocean – that metaphorical ocean being high school. There was a particular part of the article that really stuck out to me; the writer drew a comparison between their “permanent friend” and a lighthouse: “[they] were more like my lighthouse. Always one step ahead with [their] feet planted firmly on the ground, [they] lit my way through the final years of high school and gave me a view from above when I forgot where I came from”. I really liked this idea. I thought it pretty much sums up exactly how i feel when I think about my friends. My friends are my lighthouses: they’re the people that guide me home when I’ve gotten lost, that keep me safe and on the right path, that I can always look out for when I need someone to talk to. My friends are my lighthouses, and I’d be beyond lost without them.

I don’t think I tell my friends nearly as often as I should just how much I love and appreciate them. I don’t think I make it clear to them just how grateful I am for each and every one of them, and all the things they have brought to my life. Right now, I’d like to take some time and say just that. I just want to take some time and remind my friends just how much they mean to me.

Thank you to each and every one of you for being there to help me when I fall. There are times wherein I don’t know if I’d have been able to pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again. I’m so incredibly grateful for each and every time one or more of you have been there to help me get back up on my feet once more.

Thank you to each and every one of you for always being able to put a smile on my face. You all seem to know just what to say at the right time to cheer me up, and I can never say thank you enough for every time you’ve done it.

Thank you to each and every one of you for being tough on me when you’ve had to be. Thank you for pushing me to be the best version of myself…and then pushing me to be even better. Who knows where I’d be had it not been for any and all of you encouraging me, motivating me, and reminding me just what I am capable of. I owe much of my success to you lovely lot.

Thank you to each and every one of you for staying. Thank you for accepting all my quirks and flaws, and all the baggage that I come with, and for sticking by me regardless. I’m not exactly used to people accepting me for who I am, and I promise you that it means more to me than I will ever be able to express in words.

Thank you to each and every one of you for being my people. Thank you for being my lighthouses and my life rafts. Thank you for being some of my greatest influences and inspirations. Thank you for being the people that you are, and for loving me for the person that I am.

I’m so incredibly thankful for the fact that you’re all in my life, and that I’ve gotten to watch all of you grow and become the amazing people you are today. I’m so glad I’ve had the chance to see all of you achieve amazing feats, and succeed in the things you’re most passionate about. I’m so glad I get to be a part of your lives – that you’ve let me be a part of your lives – so that I can see you all do the amazing things that you’re destined to do.

I know that distance and separation place a great strain on friendships, but I vow that I won’t let that strain cause an end to some of the most important relationships in my life. I promise to always be a friend that any of you can turn to. I may not be able to be there physically, but I’m always a phone call or a text message away. I promise to continue to support and encourage each and every one of you. I promise to do everything in my power to consistently be the friend each and every one of you deserves and needs. I promise to do everything in my power to repay all of the love and support and guidance you have all provided for me.

I love my friends, and slowly saying goodbye to them over the course of this summer has been the hardest thing in the world. I don’t know what I’m going to do without them being right there beside me each and every day. It’s gonna take a lot of getting used to, no question, but at the end of the day, I know that the friends I have aren’t going anywhere. I know that when I come home for holidays, they’re all just a text message or a phone call away.

I hope you all enjoyed this week’s piece. It was a tougher one for me to write, but one that I’ve really enjoyed putting together. I’ve wanted to write a “love letter” to my friends for a good long while, and I felt like right now was kind of the perfect time to do it.

I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend. To those of you for whom school is about to start (for those like myself) I wish you luck, and I hope you’re just as excited as I am. It’s an exciting new journey, and it’s one that I know I’m looking forward to.

I look forward to writing again soon. Until then, I send you much love and many well wishes 🙂

Brittany xo

The Self Love Tag | #PersonalBest

The last time I wrote, I opened up about my mental health in a way I’ve never really done before. To be completely honest, it was a very freeing thing to do; being so open and candid about how I feel felt really great. It took this weight off my chest that I’d been struggling with for so long. It also has given me the chance to open a whole new dialogue that I’ve been itching to explore, but that I wasn’t quite sure how to approach.

The concept of self-love is one that I’ve wanted to talk about basically since I started writing this blog, but I was never entirely sure how to approach the topic since I’ve struggled with the concept personally for so long. Opening up a couple weeks ago about my “bad brain days” has kind of pushed me to consider my “self love journey” and the concept as a whole. As a result, I think I’ve finally figured out how I can approach the subject.

I’m still quite a long ways from full on loving myself, but I’m starting on that journey and, as a result, I’ve decided to kind of chronicle my endeavours. I’m going to kind of track and record my progress on here, and share my experiences, my lessons and my achievements with all you lovely people reading. It’s definitely not going to be an easy task – that journey self-acceptance and self-love is never an easy one – but I’m looking forward to the challenge and to all the good that will come from it.

Today, I’ve decided to start my self-love journey with a little tag. I found this particular tag on Hello, Steph (which is an incredible blog that I highly recommend you check out and show some love to whenever you get the chance) and I immediately knew that it was kind of a perfect follow up to last week’s piece. I think it’s a great introduction to the topic of self-love, and it was a fun little piece to put together. I hope you enjoy it!


1. What is something that is getting you down at the moment?

I’m gonna be completely honest with you: there are a lot of things that are currently getting me down. The fact that I move in literally a week, the fact that my friends and I are gonna so far apart, the fact that I can’t seem to shake those pesky bad brain days – they’re all things that are kind of getting me down right now.

2. What is something that makes you happy?

There are a lot of things that make me happy, to be honest (and if you’re curious, I’ve written two posts in the past all about the things that make me happy, which you can find here and here, if you’re curious). At the present moment, I guess the thing that is actively making me happiest is probably Star Trek. I’m nearly finished the original series (*immediately starts crying at the thought*) and I’ve really been enjoying it. Amidst whatever it is that’s happening in my brain, and all the stuff that’s happening in the world, Star Trek serves as a really great escape and just makes me feel good. I’m very excited to start The Next Generation, probably some time this week.

3. Name 3 guilty pleasures.

I just want to clarify that I personally detest the term “guilty pleasure”. In my opinion, you should never feel guilty about something that makes you happy, or that makes you feel good. Embrace the joy that that thing brings to you. Please don’t feel guilty about any of them! Anyways, to answers the actual question…

1) Chocolate. I have a major weakness for chocolate. Any will-power I have goes out the window the second I find out there is chocolate in my house.

2) Online window shopping. I spend way too much time on sites like Boohoo and Anthropologie for my own good, looking at all the things I definetely can’t afford.

3) Ghost Whisperer. I used to be obsessed with this show back when it was airing, and I swear that any time I see reruns being played, I will drop everything to sit down and watch the show. Melinda and Jim were my original relationship goals #sorrynotsorry

4. What is something about yourself that you would like to improve on?

If I’m completely honest, there are a lot of things about myself that I’d like to improve on.  I’d like to be more active and to eat healthier (things I’ve slowly been working towards), I’d like to be quieter and listen more closely to what’s going on around me, I’d like to be more present and to actively participate in the moment more, etc.

If I had to choose one single thing that I’d like to improve on, though, I’d probably have to say that I wish I was a better friend. As hard as I try to be the best friend I can possibly be, I know that sometimes I fall short. I know that sometimes I’m still too wrapped up in myself. I know that sometimes I don’t say what my friends need to hear. I know that sometimes, even though I try to give every single one of my friendships 110%, sometimes I fall short, and it’s something I’d really like to be better at. I’d really like to be a better friend.

5. When was the last time you belly laughed?

Probably on Friday. One of my good friends came over, and she and I were just talking, and she’s one of those people that just constantly makes me laugh and smile.

6. What is your biggest insecurity and fear?

As much as I hate to admit it, I’m scared of being alone. I’m scared of my friends moving on, and all of us losing touch. I’m scared of not having the people I love and rely on being there when I need them. I’m scared of being alone.

7. Name a song that always cheers you up when you’re down.

Come on Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners is probably my go-to pick-me-up song every time. Every time I hear it, I think of the scene from The Perks of being a Wallflower, where Sam and Patrick perform “the livingroom routine” at the school dance. It just makes me so happy. Step by Step by New Kids on the Block is another one that never ceases to make me get up and dance, regardless of how down I might be feeling.

8. Name 3 things you like about yourself.

1) My eyes. I really believe that saying, “The eyes are the windows to the soul”, and I think you can tell a lot about a person’s feelings and thoughts by looking in their eyes. I like to think my eyes always convey what I’m feeling inside.

2) My baking skills are pretty good, if I do say so myself. I make a mean triple chocolate cookie when I want to.

3) How excited I get about even the littlest of things. I love feeling that rush of excitment that kind of floods my system when I learn a new fact about my favourite show, or when my favourite auther is putting out a new book, or something like that.

9. What is an achievement that has made you proud of yourself this year?

An achievement that made me feel really good about myself so far this year was receiving a Medal of Merit at graduation for Citizenship, Character and Faculty Endorsement. That moment made me feel like I’d done some good, and that people had recognized how much work I put into everything I did. It was really validating.

10. Tell us your happiest memory.

There was this one afternoon, years and years ago, when my dad and I were both hungry. My dad didn’t really feel like making anything, and I was still a little too young to try and make anything myself, so we decided to get in the car and get something. My dad drove to this one little grocery store downtown, and we went inside to the ready-to-go meals area, and we picked up some fried chicken and french fries, and then we went back outside to our car. My dad opened up the back (the trunk) and we just sat down in the trunk and had a picnic in the parking lot. That’s one of my favourite childhood memories, and one of my favourite memories of my dad.

I hope you’ve all had a lovely past few weeks. I’m sorry I didn’t write last week, but I decided to extend my vacation just a little bit longer. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t working, though! I have lots of exciting new content coming your way in the next few weeks, and I’m very excited to share all of it with you lovely lot, so please keep and eye on this space.

I hope you all have a great week, and that you enjoy these final summer days before getting back into the routine of school and real life. I can’t wait to see you right back here next week. Until then, much love 🙂

Brittany xo

“Bad Brain Days”

More often than I’d really like to admit, I have days where I just don’t feel like myself no matter how hard I try. There are days where I’m just in a not-so-lovely place and I can’t seem to get myself out. There are days where I just suddenly feel like the weight of the world is sitting on my chest, and I’m powerless to get it off. I once compared my feelings on days like these to drowning, because that’s the only way I can really describe it. I feel like I’m drowning and no amount of kicking can get me to the surface.

I often refer to these days as my “bad brain days”. They’re days where all I want is to curl up in a ball in my bed, sleep for ten years (not literally, but figuratively) and just ignore everyone and everything. I hate these days. I hate feeling so awful. I hate sitting there, thinking about all the things I think are wrong with me, or that I think others think are wrong with me. I hate thinking about all the things I need to get done, but that I have no energy to actually complete. I hate my bad brain days.

Recently, I’ve noticed my bad brain days have become more frequent. More often than not, I’m waking up stuck in one of these ruts. I’ll spend days curled up on my couch, not really doing anything, trying to figure out a way to get out of my own head. I do everything I possibly can to cheer myself up and “wake myself up”: I put on my favourite happy songs and dance around my kitchen for a while, I put on a movie like Ella Enchanted or Star Trek to perk myself up, I sit down with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate for a little while. These solutions often work for a little while, but somehow, the drowning feeling tends to return just as quickly as it had fled.

Sometimes, a bad brain day will spring itself upon me suddenly. The other day, for instance, one just hit me in the middle of my driving lesson. I couldn’t stop crying no matter how hard I tried, no matter how many times my instructor told me that I needed to control my emotions. I spent the rest of the day stuck in an off mood. Nothing could shake it – not even a super cheesy bowl of pasta and a black cherry Pop Shope Pop.

Not everyday is like this. I have what I call “better brain days”. I have days where the drowning feeling kind of fades, and I can feel myself returning to some kind of normalacy. I can feel the weight lifting from my chest, air filling my lungs. These are the days I cling to. These are afternoons spent with good friends, the late nights spent reading a really good book. They’re the morning spent drafting new blog posts, coming with video ideas, writing new poems. My better brain days are the ones spent dancing around my kitchen to Come On Eileen and Step By Step, twirling around in pretty dresses, and singing at the top of my lungs. These days don’t come around as often as they used to, but when they do, I hold onto them for dear life. They’re what keep me grounded when the bad days come back around.

I don’t have a lot of answers about my bad brain days. I don’t have any long lasting solutions to keep them at bay. I don’t have any control on their frequency or their severity. I just know that they happen. They happen a lot. I know that they’re debilitating at their worst, frustrating at their best. I know I wish they’d go away, but I also know they’re just a part of who I am.

The purpose of this post was, in all honesty, to get this kind of off my chest. I’ve been watching a lot of videos recently about people opening up about their mental health and their emotional health, and it all really got me thinking about my own mental/emotional health situation. Seeing people that I really look up to and respect open up about their struggles with different things kind of inspired me to open up about mine and share my story.

To any of you reading this that struggle with issues of your own, whether they’re similar to mine or totally different, I want you to know that (as cliche as it sounds) you’re not alone. So many of us are dealing with different issues and they all affect us in different ways. We all struggle. We all have days where we want to hide away and just shut down. It’s important, though, that we don’t struggle and suffer in silence. It’s important to reach out to people we trust – parents and/or family members, friends, colleagues, etc. – and talk about how we’re feeling and what we’re going through. It’s important to ask for help when it’s needed, and to accept the help we’re offered.

I hope you all have a fantastic week ahead of you. I’m spending my week at the beach with some good books and some really great company 🙂

I look forward to writing to you all again next week. Until then, much love 🙂

Brittany xo.

Fictional Females that have Shaped Me

I’ve always found myself getting attatched to certain characters. It didn’t matter waht book I was reading, what movie or tv show I was watching, I always found certain characters that I was just drawn to. Growing up, the characters that I latched onto often became characters that I looked up to. They were people that I would admire and respect, that I would look to as role models of sorts.

As a result, there are a lot of characters in the world that I could say had some role in shaping the person I am. Today, I decided to take the time to write about some of the characters that I think have had the most impact/influence on me, and that I continue to look up to and respect today.

The three characters I selected today are three characters that have taught me a lot over the years. They’ve taught me to persevere, to believe in myself and my abilities, to see the good in the world even in the darkest of moments. They’re women that taught me to be the best version of myself, that push me to be the best version of myself. Without further ado, here are three fictional females that have shaped me into the person I am today…

Elle Woods (Legally Blonde)

As silly as it might sound, I owe a lot of who I am today to this particular movie. This fall, I’m heading to university with the goal of someday making it to law school (Harvard, if I’m lucky, though I’ll settle for Columbia if I have to). I want to be a prosecutor. I want to make a difference in this world – make it a better place and seek justice for those who have been wronged. I want to someday work for the United Nations, specifically for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (also known as simply UN Women). These are the goals I am working towards. These are the goals that I once had people telling me I wouldn’t be able to achieve.

Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) has been an inspiration to me for a good chunk of my life. She’s a character I’ve also looked up to, and who I’ve tried very hard to emulate. She’s a character who, like me, was told she wasn’t smart enough and wasn’t good enough to do what it was she wanted to do. Every thought she was this silly girl with a love for shoes and the colour pink. She often felt like the whole world was against her, telling her she wouldn’t be able to do it – she wouldn’t be able to get into Harvard, she wouldn’t be a good lawyer, she wouldn’t be anything. And guess what? She proved every single one of those people wrong.

Elle took every insult and put down and proved every single one of her adversaries wrong. She worked her butt off to get what she wanted. And she succeeded. She didn’t let those people win. She didn’t fall into their traps. She persevered, and in the end, she showed everyone just what she was capable of. And in the process, she remained true to herself. She remained compassionate, optimistic, and open minded. She gave people the benefit of the doubt. She gave people second chances. She forgave the people that tried to knock her down.

It is because of Elle Woods that I want to be a lawyer – that I believe I can and will be a lawyer. It is because of her that, when some of my best friends told I wouldn’t be able to do it, I shrugged my shoulders and carried on. Because I know what I’m capable of, and that’s all that matters. She reminded me that as long as I stay true to who I am, and I believe in myself and my capabilities, I’ll be able to do whatever I decided to put my mind to.

Angela Montenegro (Bones)

Bones is a show that I am sad to say I did not appreciate enough when it was on. Looking at it in retrospect, it was the first television show that I watched wherein I remember seeing a variety of strong, complex, well written female characters. It’s the first show I remember featuring an openly bisexual character, and that dealt with that character in a respectful and positive way. It was the first show I remember watching where it felt like the women were in charge – because they were. Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor) was head of the Forensic Division at the Jeffersonian. Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) is the best forensic anthropologist in the world, and she is the character depicted as being more rational and more detatched from the cases (a role typically reserved for the male counterpart). The women were the ones calling the shots.

In a show full of incredible women being incredible, there is one that always kind of stuck out to me: Angela Montenegro. Angela (Michaela Conlin) is a woman who is surrounded by death all day long, and yet she still does everything in her power to see the best in people and the beauty of the world. She is woman that draws facial reconstructions with smiles, giving them back their humanity and their identity after whatever it is they’ve experienced. She is considered “the heart of the operation”, bringing light into an otherwise dark environment. She brings compassion and kindness into an otherwise cold environment.

Angela taught me to see the beauty that exists even in the darkest of places. She reminded me that the world isn’t an entirely terrible place – that there is good hidden amongst the not-so-good. She reminded me that even when we were are constantly faced with unplesant scenarios, we can find joy and we can find love. We just have to be willing to find it. Sometimes, we have to be willing to make it for ourselves.

Brooke Davis (One Tree Hill)

In my opinon, it’s not very often that one of those overdramatic teen dramas (like The O.C and Gossip Girl and so on and so forth) have characters that are super well written the whole way through. It’s not very often that one of these shows has a character that demonstrates real depth and complexity and growth over the course of the series. One Tree Hill, to me, is the exception to this “rule”.

This series showcases a number of characters that go through great developmental changes, there is one character in particular that I’ve always admired. Brooke Davis is the character that I think went through the greatest changes, and that I have always kind of looked up to as a result.

Brooke (Sophia Bush) is a profoundly awesome character. She is a character who is unapollegetically herself, who embraces her sexuality, and who isn’t afraid to tell people what she thinks and/or what she feels. She’s a woman who has, much like Elle Woods, had to overcome people telling her she isn’t good enough, and that she won’t be able to acheieve the things she wants to acheieve. She has had to overcome people putting her down and putting her last. She had to deal with having a mother that didn’t support her, didn’t believe in her, didn’t encourage her to do the things she wanted to do.

Brooke Davis is a character – a woman – that stands for what she believes in, that knows her own worth, and that doesn’t take no for an answer. She’s a character that was so incredibly selfless, and loving, and kind. She constantly looked out for her friends and for her family. She is the character that showed me how to overcome my insecurities and my self-esteem issues, and turn those things into my strengths. She reminded me that it was okay to be vulnerable, and she showed me how to perservere and be a survivor. Watching Brooke’s development over the course of the series, I learned to be a better version of myself.

So, who are some of the fictional females (or males) that played a role in shaping you into the person you are today? Feel free to let me know in the comment section right here on the blog, or reach out to me on twitter, instagram or facebook (links in the sidebar). If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more like it in the future, again, let me know.

I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend, and I hope this next week treats you well. I look forward to seeing you right back here next week. Until then, much love xx

Brittany 🙂

Book Review | Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama. Before long, the “ungettable” Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn’t wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner, and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. Her father is deeply unimpressed. But after Scott sells his first novel, This Side of Paradise, to Scribner’s, Zelda optimistically boards a train north, to marry him in the vestry of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and take the rest as it comes.

What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined attention and success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time. Everyone wants to meet the dashing young author of the scandalous novel—and his witty, perhaps even more scandalous wife. Zelda bobs her hair, adopts daring new fashions, and revels in this wild new world. Each place they go becomes a playground: New York City, Long Island, Hollywood, Paris, and the French Riviera—where they join the endless party of the glamorous, sometimes doomed Lost Generation that includes Ernest Hemingway, Sara and Gerald Murphy, and Gertrude Stein.

Everything seems new and possible. Troubles, at first, seem to fade like morning mist. But not even Jay Gatsby’s parties go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous—sometimes infamous—husband? How can she forge her own identity while fighting her demons and Scott’s, too? With brilliant insight and imagination, Therese Anne Fowler brings us Zelda’s irresistible story as she herself might have told it. (source)

I’ve noticed over the past couple of years that my taste in “literature” has been changing quite substantially. Where I was once interested (and quite infatuated) with the love stories of Nicholas Sparks and the goings on of Rosewood, Pennsylvania and the Pretty Little Liars that live there, I find myself now preferring historical fiction and biographies. I find myself drawn towards more complex storylines, more adult content (and I don’t mean that in an explicit sense, as some have come to assume when I’ve used that particular phrasing in the past). I suppose that is something that comes along with growing up – your tastes change, and they evolve, and you find yourself drawn to things you once never saw yourself ever selecting.

I’ve always been a fan of the historical fiction genre. My love affair with the genre actually began when I was in fourth grade: I read a book called The Nine Days Queen by Karleen Bradford which chronicled the rise and subsequent fall of Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for only nine days before being convicted of treason. I read that book and I became fascinated. Historical fiction introduced me to people and stories I might not have become acquainted with otherwise. This particular genre has opened my eyes to “watershed moments” I may not have even paid attention to, and given me different points of view from which I can look at significant events and significant people.

More recently, I’ve become quite interested in biographies and memoirs. Almost every time I enter my favourite second hand bookshop in my hometown, I immediately move towards the biography/memoir section, and I begin scanning the shelves for books about the people that fascinate me. I scan in search for books about Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, about Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I’ve become fascinated by learning about these people, about their lives, and about who they were off screen and behind the scenes. Biographies have become this way for me to look at the people whom I admire and respect, and have allowed me to see them from more than one angle.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler takes these two beloved genres for which I am a devoted reader, and matches them up, producing a story that is sad, and beautiful, and tragic (yes, I am referencing a Taylor Swift song, I just couldn’t resist). Z takes these two larger than life individuals, Zelda Sayre and her beloved F. Scott Fitzgerald, and shares their story from the perspective of the one who’s voice is never really heard. It gives Zelda the opportunity to tell her side of the story, and tell that world what was going on behind closed doors with the infamous Fitzgeralds.

The novel chronicles the relationship between Zelda and Scott, highlighting the good times as well as showcasing the bad. It shows the quick rise of the relationship – their first meeting and their quick-blooming love affair – and their steep and steady decline – Scott’s relationship with alcohol and the couple’s relationship with one Mr Ernest Hemingway. The novel provides a window into the Fitzgerald’s world, allowing readers to understand every temptation and every challenge and every consequence and reward these people faced as they went about trying to create a life and a legacy for themselves.

I cannot guarantee that this book is 100% accurate (unfortunately I haven’t yet been able to get my hands on many biographies about Zelda just yet) or that it provides a broad and comprehensive enough scope, but I do think that it is a good introduction to the Jazz Age’s golden couple. The time and energy that the author put into collecting and displaying her research is evident. Fowler did a tremendous job making Zelda a three-dimensional “character” and provided a really strong, passionate voice for one of the most fascinating people in the history of literature (in my opinion). This novel serves as the foundation upon which a reader can go on and seek out more information about this incredibly fascinating woman, and about the relationship that has come to sort of represent the glitz and the glamour of the 1920s.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I can say without a doubt it has found a place amongst my all time favourites. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald was very much a treat (as well as a heartbreak) to read. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone seeking out an interesting summer (or any time) read, a glimpse into the Jazz Age, or an brilliant piece of biographical fiction.