Tips for Maximizing Uni Life

As Rochelle and I are starting our third year at university, we have picked up some valuable tips along the way which have had a big impact on our overall university experience. Everything from the best ways to save money to how to get a boost in those grades, I got you covered. Today I would like to share some tips to inspire you to continue reaching for them gold stars this school year with the same enthusiasm as you started it. Let’s dig in!

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Textbooks


Your tuition is already quite pricy I assume but the price of textbooks also exceeds your monthly spending budget. What should you do? What I have found from experience is that you can definitely save a few bucks by either sharing the cost of the textbook with a friend (Rochelle and I have done this for French grammar books), reading it from course reserves (borrowing from the library), or simply finding an upper year that is willing to sell you their copy. The total of my textbooks was supposed to be around $300 and I paid only $50. How you may ask? Most textbooks are already in your school library so why not take it out for a short term loan?

Office Hours


Although this is usually the first tip that every alumni, website, YouTuber, whomever suggests, I cannot stress the importance of it. Getting to know your professor is not only a valuable way to learn more about the course in a personable way but you get to ask those pending questions that you couldn’t during the lecture. At the start of the school year, I mark up when I’m planning to see the professor which is usually the 3rd week of classes to introduce myself and ask generic questions about the course. This way when a big assignment rolls around, your professor is familiar with you and your interests.

 

 

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Study Abroad


Rochelle and I have been planning to go abroad together since grade 10. A lot has changed since then wether it be the countries we want to see or the programs we wish to take. However, experience dictates that we should let go of the conventional ways of thinking and have some fun in our university years. School and marks are crucial but why not combine both and have a wonderful learning experience of living in a foreign country. We are excited for what’s to come.

Student Business Card


This one is new for me and I learned about this unconventional way to step outside the box from one of the most helpful channels on YouTube: The Intern Queen! When you are networking, its much easier and let alone more professional to whip out your business card and offer it to whomever you are conversing with rather than scramble to write out your email on a piece of paper. I just purchased a batch from Vistaprint, 250 cards for $9.99 (shipping ain’t free though so look out for those coupons).

Get Involved


I tend to overexert myself by wanting to take part in everything from the newspaper to activist groups to free campus classes but I have since learned to pick and choose. Find your interests and I guarantee there is a group for that. Not only are you making meaningful friendships and connections but you are also creating an impact in your student community. If this hasn’t convinced you yet, then think of this as an opportunity to populate your resume. I also am looking to make room for meditation and yoga classes offered on campus for free as well as college offered food events (aka free pancakes) and the gym facilities/ dance classrooms. I use the mentally, “Well I paid for that.”

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Events, the Classy Way


One of the best parts about university or college would be the freedom to go out. Now while partying is fun and a memorable experience, I am also talking about academic events. Come out to public lectures or alumni hosted events to get to know persons who have landed their dream jobs in your field. Not only do you make use of those business cards you’ve invested into but you also learn about the multitude of ways that people like you have gone about landing a dream job or getting accepted into an upper study program. Plus free refreshments, now come on.

LinkedIn and Resumes


Yes, I will admit that I am still trying to reach the All Star status on LinkedIn and I update it ASAP. However, this is all good habits that prepare you for your career and make you stand out. Having a nicely polished resume and great online presence is a must. LinkedIn is not Facebook so feel free to connect with people you admire, shoot them a message and learn how they landed their dream positions. As for the resume, you are already paying so much for your schooling, take advantage of the free resume and cover letter editing workshops to get yours up to date.

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Staying on Track


First things first, to prevent disorganization and unnecessary stress, the minute you get your syllabus, mark those assignments and tests in your calendar. That way you see everything in a larger picture and can plan ahead. Next, go ahead and make that daily scheudule. Although every day might be slightly different, it doesn’t hurt to scheudule in study breaks, free time, and work.

Jobs, Make it Rain


I always found that I needed a job to afford luxuries like going out and a physical activity like dance classes to keep me from burning out and to keep happy. I love dance, I have been doing it professionally from the age of 5. Now with 6-8h of dancing a week, I feel withdrawal and the onset of a grumpy mood whenever I miss a practise. Its important to get those energy levels up, to get the adrenaline going as you exercise. While a job allows me to feel like I’m contributing positively not only to my community but at the same time I don’t complain about #PoorUniversityProblems. While those are the case, I like to treat myself to an occasional trip for drinks with friends too and come on, we all have to learn to do some #adulting.

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Its okay not to be okay (see what I did there)


When you are surrounded by competitive peers and goal oriented persons in your program, its easy to feel like you don’t have a plan, that you are less accomplished then someone else, or that you are not doing enough. Raising my hand right now because I am so guilty of this. You never have to take the conventional route to get where you want such as high school, university, job. The options you have are boundless so remember not to get caught up in the competition and the academics. Do what works for you and trust that gut feeling.


At this point I think you burned out just reading this tips but I hope that you found them useful. Let me know in the comments if you learned anything new in this post and share your advice with me as well.

Question for you: How do you like to help out in your community?

~Kisses, Kvitka~

 

 

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Part I. Travel Solo and like a Pro

Solo travel isn’t as hard as it seems. I am by no means an expert. But after travelling to Europe for the first time and then spending a week alone in London and hiking in Switzerland, I would love to make the case for travelling solo.

There’s such a stigma against solo travel. When I told people about my trip reactions ranged from, “why would you do something so stupid?” to “Umm, I’d be terrified if I were you!”. My family was surprisingly fine with it. A few close friends were very supportive. But the rest were simply wondering why I wasn’t bringing someone along.

I read How to Travel the World on $50 a Day and Matt Kepnes is so inspirational I simply had to try his advice! So what if there wasn’t anyone able to travel with me? The fact that I’m a short young woman should not be a barrier to my desire to see the world. So I researched my tickets, did some really bad math and managed to score cheap tickets to London and from Geneva. I read a bunch of travel books in the months leading up to the trip and I wrote down must-see destinations.

Weirdly I simply wasn’t scared of travelling alone. This was probably because the trip didn’t feel real until the week I had to leave. Even though I researched so much, I wasn’t really prepared. My biggest advice would be to buy packing cubes and a selfie stick while keeping your luggage to a minimum. You want to be able to bring back souvenirs and also be able to lug it up a cobble stone hill to a castle you didn’t realise you were staying at (fact: this actually happened to me).

Google Maps is a godsend. It was the only reason I managed to go anywhere during my trip. You can now save offline maps and then place stars on your destinations so that you can point your phone at the star and follow the blue dot to your destination. So I saved offline maps of each city I wanted to visit and put stars on each spot I needed to see and off I went!

If you want to see a country or state or province no matter how far or close, just do it! Seriously! Nothing is holding you back except your fears. You don’t have to do a month long trip or a year long one. I did a two week one and I saw each city I visited in depth. Since I’m still on my vacation high, I’ll be sharing my tips on getting around and seeing as much as possible in London and Switzerland in three separate posts. So stay tuned for some major travel posts coming your way!


Until next time,

Rochelle

We’ve Missed You!

And we are back! Rochelle and I have had a wonderful two weeks to travel around Spain, England, and Switzerland. It was the right dose of relaxation after a hectic summer and a busy school year to come. It felt amazing to wake up to a to do list that consisted of discovering a new city, reading up on the news back home/ keeping in touch with our families and maybe journaling a little bit.

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This summer, after A Lipstick Trilogy’s one year anniversary, the two of us also took time away from blogging to find inspiration and learn ways we could improve our blog and make it stand out (we also had two jobs each as well as summer school and unfortunately blogging took a step aside). However, while traveling, we both agreed that the one thing on our minds (mind you, popping up constantly at that) was, “Oh this is a wonderland blogging opportunity, and so is this, oh and this too!” We missed blogging and have decided to come back stronger and better!

Some changes coming soon:
– Blog posts 2-3 times a week
– More posts about our experiences, travels, and events
– Updates to layout and design
– Greater social media presence and increased connectivity with readers

We are excited to have you continue on this journey with us. For now, stay tuned for a future post and we’re sending you lots of hugs and kisses.

Kvitka and Rochelle

Types of Pokemon Goers + Questions


Although I was going to be a “hipster” and avoid the “Pokemon Go” craze, I decided to cave in and download it onto my iPhone anyways. Although it crashed on me the minute I logged in, I am determined to learn the ropes ASAP. I haven’t experienced this app addiction yet but it reminds me of the time “Flappy Bird” made the news globally and I am little hesitant to try “Pokemon Go” for this exact reason. However, I will stop being Debby Downer and instead entertain you with some hilarious types of Pokemon Goers (which I have personally encountered).

#1 The Lost Boyfriend: this one is still my favourite. While waiting in line at a small convenience store I can tell that the couple in front of me is “pokemoning” its way towards the cash register. Long story short, the disappearing boyfriend made his way into a park 5 minutes away from the store while his girlfriend frantically searched for him. It was not a happy phone convo.

#2 The Lost and Found: while at work, I cannot help but notice the small crowds gathering around High Park. With phones in all sorts of contortionist positions, it is hilarious watching people stare at their phones while navigating in circles and triangles around trees and bushes.

#3 Presidential Palace: Yes Indonesia, yes to banning workers in your presidential palace from playing “Pokemon Go” during working hours. Hmm, drafting laws and policies or looking for Pokemon?


Skepticism


Alright but in all seriousness, I have some questions about “Pokemon Go.”Pardom moi but I might be going on a rant here. I will have to be a bummer after all but I am wondering about the way that our GPS is being tracked. With cameras installed and location identification on, this is a global phenomenon that tracks the where abouts of every individual logged into the game. Although it is cool to see Pokemon pop up in a real life environment (believe me, I used to be obsessed in elementary school), what is the information tracked about us being used for and by whom?

Now let’s address the lack of interaction between people. Although “Pokemon Go” is getting people outside and moving, I also have not seen so many people blindly starring into their phones and avoiding social interaction. Now what about safety concerns as people are bound to be less cognizant of their surroundings, leading to accidents or walking into restricted areas in search of Pokemon. Honestly “DON’T POKEMON AND DRIVE/WALK” should be a thing.

If you have any questions of your own or answers to mine along with hilarious stories about your “Pokemon Go” adventures, leave them in the comments. We would love to hear your thoughts! 

~Kisses, Kvitka~

Movie Review: “The Secret Life of Pets”

I like to say that until about a year ago, my taste in movies was limited to chic-flics and an occasional “odd” (for me at least) movie that was nominated for an Oscar. However, I have since changed my ways to branch out and give other genres a try. I mean, I watched “The Revenant,” where a man gets inside a horse so I think I can take on anything. If you have movie recommendations you think would challenge me, leave them in the comments below. This time, I went back to my primitive movie tastes and decided to watch “The Secret Life of Pets” with my family. Here are my thoughts.


THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, from left: Chloe (voice: Lake Bell), Sweetpea, Norman, Mel (back, voice:

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, from left: Chloe (voice: Lake Bell), Sweetpea, Norman, Mel (back, voice: Bobby Moynihan), Tiberius (back, voice: Albert Brooks), Buddy (voice: Hannibal Buress), Gidget (voice: Jenny Slate), 2016. © Universal

The animation, “The Secret Life of Pets” starts off with an enchanting friendship between a pet owner and her dog Max who lives day and night to play fetch and hang out with his owner. Little did he know that a new dog, a rescue will be making it onto a scene to test their friendship. Alright that sounded a little dramatic but nevertheless, Max and his new “brother” Duke begin an epic adventure after Max is deserted by Duke in the dumpsters. Despite the immediate conflict between the two, they had to work together to overcome the wreath of the mighty revolutionary, Snowball. Like all happy endings go, can you blame me for loving them, the two, or rather, the three of them lived happily ever after.


LT Ratings: Overall rating: 9.5/10 | Tear Dropper: 3/10 | Comedy: 9/10 | Action: 7.5/10 |  Animation: 10/10 |  Adventure: 8/10 | Must watch/ Average/ Pass: Must watch


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Alright, now that the spoiler alert is done, here are my thoughts on the new favourite animation on the block. If you are looking for a great relaxing film, forget it! You will be cracking up throughout and I can almost guarantee a six pack walking out of that theater. But all jokes aside, Kevin Hart (Snowball) is amazing with his impersonations while the jokes in general were refreshing and on point (not your casual fart jokes 24/7).

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Of  course the main lesson to walk away with is the power of friendship, cooperation, and most importantly not judging books by their covers. Let’s throw determination into the bucket as well as Gidget was not only a cute furry ball of cuteness but also a brave protagonist that was determined to rescue Max from the benevolent revolutionary anti-pets squad headed by Snowball.

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I promise that if you are a pet owner, this movie will be right up your alley as there is bound to be at least one of the characters that matches the personality of your lovely creature. For me it was the cat Chloe that is startlingly similar to my cat Kitsuniya. The sass and hidden charm were all there, let alone the looks.

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, from left: Max (voice: Louis C.K.), Duke (voice: Eric Stonestreet), Katie

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, from left: Max (voice: Louis C.K.), Duke (voice: Eric Stonestreet), Katie (voice: Ellie Kemper), 2016.

Now I only took one silly issue with the animation and it was the fact that being a cat lover, of course cats had to be partially the antagonists and the lazy, sneaky characters. I will have you know that cats are amazing, always there to cuddle and stay calm and collected when you have one of those crazy busy weeks. Therefore, cats definitely needed more love.

Do you think you will be giving “The Secret Life of Pets” a try? Have I convinced you to watch it? Let me know if you like it or love it in the comments below.

BTW: Have you checked out our giveaway? Details linked in the previous two posts. Today is the last day to enter to win an assortment of Travel Essentials for your vacation.

~Kisses, Kvitka~

**All the photos are not ours and were taken by the Illumination Presents
movie "The Secret Life of Pets." The photos were taken from the Cineplex
Odeon webpage at: http://www.cineplex.com/Movie/the-secret-life-of-pets/Photos
(© 2015 Universal Studios).

5 Ways to Travel Better + GIVEAWAY!

“Travel is so cliché”, said no one ever. Everyone wants to travel! Everybody wants to experience different cultures or see amazing views or watch the sun set on that stunning Galapagos beach. But not everyone ends up travelling. Why? Because it’s expensive. They’re not wrong. Travel is really expensive. Flights, hotel rooms, food–it all adds up and all that money you’ve put toward that Volkswagon has suddenly disappeared. But I’ve been researching travelling for the past two months since I decided to hit up London and Switzerland with a short detour to Italy, for 2 whole weeks at the end of August. And I decided to compile my own (and several other people’s) wisdom so that you, loyal readers, can stop saying no to your dreams.


1. Google Flights: It’s the best thing on the planet. Seriously. Stop booking through travel agencies because you’re paying for commission and while you might think you’re getting a good deal, you’re really getting an easy deal. Instead, look up Flights on Google which compiles every airline flight, price and travel time. I booked my one way trip to London for $362 CAD and my trip out of Geneva for $450 CAD. Spending about $812 for flights to Europe feels pretty fantastic. I did book three months in advance which does play a big role in costs!

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2. Booking.com: I don’t normally like promoting sites but I planned all my hotel rooms through Booking.com this year. They have free cancellation option and a great interface for users. They also offer hotels, hostels, guest rooms etc, and free breakfast options. I’ve compared direct hotel prices vs. Booking.com vs. Travelocity and was surprised that Booking.com won simply because they’re honest about their prices and they’re really cheap. Their customer service is pretty great too!

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3. Deutsch Bahn: Travelling to Europe? Get this app! It’s a German train schedule app but it eerily accurate about train schedule across the continent and show prices, precise timings and maps. Plus it’s in English and the app is really easy to use to map out your spur of the moment trip. A must have!

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4. Couchsurfing: A fantastic way to stay in countries for free! And you’ll make amazing friends most of the time. Or so I’ve heard from numerous sources. I’m testing this app out this summer in Switzerland with a friend. In theory, this sounds sightly scary but mostly cool because it’s such a good way to save money and meet locals!

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5. Uber: A huge must in my book simply because cabs are sometimes expensive and if you’re stuck in a new country with no cash or a stolen wallet and need to get to your hotel room/embassy, Uber swoops in to save the day. You get a driver by paying through the app so you don’t need cash in hand and won’t get ripped off when you don’t know the local language! Plus it ends up being cheaper than regular cabs. Trust me, get the app because it may end up saving your bacon.

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I highly recommend Nomadic Matt’s blog because that’s where I ended up with all my research. I even signed up for his mailing list because that’s how amazing his tips are! I also advice that you spend time researching everything because there are so many ways you can save money. Hotels vs. hostels, Couchsurfing vs. Airbnb, etc. is all personal preference in my opinion. Do your research, travel smart and you’ll end up travelling more. Hope you find these tips helpful! Read on for our GIVEAWAY.


Now is your chance to win some of these essentials to make sure you are covered for your next getaway! To win an assortment of Travel Essentials we ask that you follow @lipsticktrilogy and @always_kaye on Instagram and answer the question posted on our Instagram page in the caption. This week will be dedicated only to travel related posts on Instagram and the blog. To qualify, you must be a Greater Toronto Area resident and can meet up with us in the downtown core, TO to claim your prize. This us NOT a sponsored giveaway and all the items were purchased by us and Kaye. The deadline is Wednesday, July 13th and the winner will be announced shortly afterwards. We hope you enjoy this week as much as we will enjoy hearing from you!

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Until next time, 

Rochelle

Don’t Forget These Essentials + Giveaway

Summer is in full swing which also means its travel season! Rochelle and I have already pre-booked our flights to get away before school starts again. Although we wont be travelling together, we enjoy sharing tips and tricks for efficient packing, affordable flights, and things to see and do in our country of choice. As for this week, this is no regular old travel post as we’ve collaborated with Always Kaye to bring an array of awesome travel related posts and Giveaway some of these Travel Essentials to our readers! Keep reading to find out more.


Its no secret that packing is a hit or miss situation. That feeling of “I’m sure I forgot something” is an internal alarm and most of the time, the intuition is true. There are a few key items that I always forget to pack last minute yet they make a big difference. Check your suitcases if you are missing these items.

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Now is your chance to win some of these essentials to make sure you are covered for your next getaway! To win an assortment of Travel Essentials we ask that you follow @lipsticktrilogy and @always_kaye on Instagram and answer the question posted on our Instagram page in the caption. This week will be dedicated only to travel related posts on Instagram and the blog. To qualify, you must be a Greater Toronto Area resident and can meet up with us in the downtown core, TO to claim your prize. This us NOT a sponsored giveaway and all the items were purchased by us and Kaye. The deadline is Wednesday, July 13th and the winner will be announced shortly afterwards. We hope you enjoy this week as much as we will enjoy hearing from you!

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~Kisses, Kvitka~

Our Journey Thus Far & Giveaway

A Lipstick Trilogy hit its one year anniversary last month and we think it’s been an absolutely amazing journey so far. We started blogging on a whim last year at a random Starbucks. We came up with the theme we wanted to go for and the social media aspect of it but what we didn’t expect is how much the blog would change and takeover our lives. So today, we wanted to post a reflection on how far we think our blog has come.

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Before this blog, I was already blogging for my own blog, BooksDecoded. When I say ‘blogging’ I really mean, ‘barely blogging’. Writing every single week and keeping up with the schedule you set for yourself is extremely difficult. You don’t realize how hard it is to make time for personal activities until you try to fit blogging into a schedule filled with school, work, friends and volunteer work.

It’s intense and without Kvitka, I doubt I would’ve kept up with the blog. Blogging with a partner really gives you someone to whom you’re held accountable. It makes you work harder, be a bit more competitive/creative and makes it more enjoyable. And plus, we’re a fabulous team!

Blogging ultimately changed how I function. I constantly pull out my camera to photograph everything in sight in case it’s ‘blog worthy’. Friends constantly reference our blog and I love the phrase “Hey, so I was reading your blog yesterday and it’s actually so cool!”. It also makes me go to events and I’ve taken up new hobbies like learning a bunch of languages. Our blog has also taught me to be more social, which has led to an amazing year of fun and creativity. I’ve loved collaborating with other bloggers and exploring different venues through which we can express ourselves best.

And I’m absolutely certain that without the blog, I would never have had the courage to try a solo Europe trip this summer. I love our blog for being the best creative outlet where I can relax and write whatever I want, whenever I want.

Kvitka:


When Rochelle and I started A Lipstick Trilogy, the idea of blogging was still a little raw in my mind. Yet, I knew that this was something that I’d want to commit to for sure. It was at that Starbucks that we made a pact: we would know if blogging was for us if we could stick to it for a year. And here we are! After not blogging for 2 weeks and instead writing content for other outlets, it made me realize just how much I appreciate being an independent writer, blogger, and photographer.

Taking a look back at the days where we posted twice a day on bloggie and three times a day on Instagram, I’m thinking “damnnn” but it is exactly that commitment that I wish to continue bringing to the blog as it grows. Aside from earning extra cool points from friends and family for starting a blog, it has become more than a hobby, its a passion.

Rochelle and I have been on so many adventures and it is fantastic to have an outlet where to capture those memories we’ve made together. We have been to Elle Canada events and made mini local trips to cafes, national parks, and fashion shows. More importantly, I like the aspect of being able to write from anywhere in the world. So far this has been a blissful journey and to be 100%, this would not have happened if I didn’t have Rochelle to do this with not only because you are held accountable to the other person but rather because its amazing to know that you have a bestie that literally reads your mind. I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for us.


GIVEAWAY! As a thank you to our loyal readers and followers on Instagram, we’re collaborating with Always Kaye to giveaway a surprise of Travel Essentials! This entire week is dedicated to travel and we’ll be asking all of you travel questions on Instagram which you must answer in the comment section and follow @lipsticktrilogy and @always_kaye in order to qualify. The giveaway is sadly only for GTA residents and can only be awarded to those who can meet up with us in the downtown core, TO. The deadline is Tuesday, July 12th and the winner will be announced shortly afterwards. We hope you enjoy this week as much as we will enjoy hearing from you!

💋 Kvitka & Rochelle

Road Trip Adventure & Essentials

Happy Canada Day to all of our lovely Canadian readers! As the long weekend is approaching, Rochelle and I celebrated the holiday with a girls trip to Scarborough Bluffs. With the sun out, this is the perfect time to hit the road in search of an adventure. Today I’d like to share with you some tips on planning a perfect day road trip and share some sneak peek moments of our own.

The most important part of the trip was choosing a destination. We went with Scarborough Bluffs to enjoy the views, hiking, and of course laying out in the sun with a picnic. Making the right decision to drive when the rush hour subsided saved us an extra hour!!! Despite the dangerous cliffs, the adrenaline was really kicking in when we decided it was a great idea to try and take a super steep hiking route towards the shoreline.

A lesson to take away from our adventures at the Bluffs was to wear simple, athletic attire with open toed hiking shoes and lots of grip. Of course sun screen would of come in handy considering that Kvitka could camouflage next to a lobster at the end of the day.

The highlight of the day was discovering the beach! Despite freezing cold water that paralyzed our ankles and sand so hot that left us racing towards the grassy area, we enjoyed the hidden gem nevertheless. With free parking (yes please) and healthy snacks, the only thing left to do was a nice long walk along the beach.

Snacks for a picnic:

  • Croissants with gem
  • Crackers and cheese
  • Iced tea lemonade
  • Fruits and veggies with dip
  • Trail mix
  • Chips and cookies

Don’t forget to pack:

  • Sunscreen
  • Blanket
  • Cap and sunglasses
  • Water and comfy clothes

We hope you have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your road trip! We had a blast planning the trip and we hope you do as well.

~Kisses, Kvitka~

Journals, apps & emojis

I’ve definitely heard of apps that serve as diaries for those on the go. But I’ve never been the sort of girl to keep a diary. I mean, I tried when I was eight but gave up when all I wrote was “Dear Diary, I fell down today. Goodnight!”: Fascinating stuff obviously.  When I found out about diary apps I thought I’d give one of those a try. Old habits die hard and I ended up using it for three days before deleting it.

Last week I discovered Daylio. Don’t worry, this isn’t a sponsored blog post. I just think it’s a super cute and easy way to track your mood and replaces a regular diary. I feel like keeping track of mood swings, behavior and recognizing patterns in activity that lead to positive and negative behavior is key to recognising yourself.

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This app super simple: click an emoji to show your mood and then click other emojis to show what you’ve done throughout the day. Slowly you’ll build up a graph that shows how what you’ve done has affected you mood and maybe this will help you lead a happier and healthier lifestyle!
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There’s still something to be said for pen and paper and the process of keeping a diary. But for those looking for a quick and easy way to keep a diary, I recommend you check out Daylio (or other similar apps)!


Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried keeping a diary and what your thoughts are on emoji diary apps ☺


Until next time,
Rochelle

Love, Nina: a touching find!

I’ve been trying to explore new tv shows recently. From Peaky Blinders to Mad Men I’ve been experimenting to find a favorite. And two weeks, I finally discovered Love, Nina. The show is based off a book (now on my to-read list) by Nina Stibbe. It’a directed by ever popular Nick Hornby and stars Helena Bonham Carter and Faye Marsay, who plays Nina (she’s also in GOT!)

I simply HAD to write about this show because even though there’s only five episodes out, it is such a touching, quirky, funny and lovely show. Leave it to the British to make sarcastic, strange nannies the central and beloved characters.

Nina is no Mary Poppins but she shines in her own way. She walks the streets, grocery stores and gardens with bare feet. She wear her shoes indoors. She makes delicious meals that are constantly questioned by their famous neighbour (author Malcolm Tanner). And she’s in charge of two foul mouthed boys with a football obsession. Plus, she’s only 20!

There’s also a love interest, misunderstandings and some pretty great British humour. Helena Bonham Carter finally plays a regular human being and excels at it. It’s all set in the 80’s so you do get mentions of nuclear war and fabulous outfits appropriate for the time period!

Does that make you want to watch the show yet? I certainly hope so because everything I just described combines to make a unique show for which I have great hope. I actually wait eagerly wait for each new episode to come out which is quite rare for me.

Give it a try. Let me know if you live it or if you hate it and think I’m a weirdo for loving it!


Until next time,
Rochelle

Partying hard with Elle VIP

So last night was basically fabulous! Kvitka and I spent the night with Elle magazine drinking Girl’s Night Out wine and eating eating some of the best cupcakes and macarons. I had so much fun which is why this post is basically a recap of the night. I apologize if it causes pangs of jealousy! 😉

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Kvitka and I dressed up in our favorite summer dresses and headed over to the event. Unsurprisingly, we got lost. But this time it wasn’t entirely our fault because Elle had taken down the event from their website leading to us panicking and taking a random streetcar.

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We were the luckiest pair of bloggers in Toronto because we ran into strangers who were also headed to the event! We got to the show in time and made really awesome friends on the way!

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The fashion show actually took place in a church–the swankiest and most designer rustic church I’ve ever seen (even the washrooms were fancy!). An open bar with a variety of appetizers promised a fantastic evening from the get go.

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We lined up for photos, getting our hair and nails done, drinking chardonnay and eating macarons while watching beautiful models coast the runway.

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Like I said, it wasn’t half bad. I learnt how to create gorgeous beach curls which I’ll definitely be trying out this weekend. Thanks Redken stylists!

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We ended the night with a huge gift bag fully of $100 worth of goodies like wine bottles, rice crispy squares and Smashbox makeup.image

The bag broke, that’s how heavy it was. I was especially impressed by the Polysporin blister pads Elle added to the gift bags because by the end of the night, our feet were in agony. They seriously thought of everything!

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The efficiency, niceness of the staff and the stunning location made it a great night for everyone which is a huge checkmark in my book.
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If you do see an Elle event near you I highly recommend going because it’s a fun event to network at and it’s a nice excuse to dress up for the night!


Until next time,
Rochelle

5 Free or Cheap Things To Do in Toronto- June

Fika Cafe Review

Rochelle and I have recently visited the Fika cafe in Kensington Market and it has quickly grown to be a favourite. You can call it love at first sight almost. We had amazing company and of course our cafe expert Rachel (you can check out her gorgeous Instagram @cafecatalogue) has recommended this place to us. Aside from getting our photos done, together for the first time, we had a blast catching up with our friends. Here is a quick overview of Fika and maybe you can make time to visit this cozy cafe too.


LT Rating: Food: 8/10 | Atmosphere: 10/10 Decor: 10/10 | Seating wait time: 7.5/10 | Meal wait time: 10/10 | Prices: $$ | Must go, Average, Poor review: Must go  


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Atmosphere- 28 Kensington Ave. 


If you enjoy cute shops to photograph, this is the place for you. Aside from an open concept layout, bright colours, and cozy seating, I cannot begin to describe the wall of books. On the opposite wall, you are free to draw with chalk or sit down in the little nooks to read. There is a comfortable outdoor patio with a hammock and a couch in the front yard. With fresh flowers on every table, this is definitely a very laid back, relaxing atmosphere.

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Menu- $$


Although the food can get a tinge pricy, borderline, I really enjoyed my breakfast sandwich. You can never go wrong with bacon, eggs, and lots of butter. Some of my friends opted for salad options and avocado toast which was definitely envied. Iced coffee is a must, especially because the cup is not filled with ice half way (you know what I’m talking about). Being a cafe, the pastries and drink menu was plentiful with prices ranging on average at $4-6.

I would like to hear from you:
Have you been to Fika? Will you be paying it a visit?

~Kisses, Kvitka~

Cocktails at Cold Tea

A few weeks ago we decided to spend Friday night at Cold Tea, an obscure little bar in the depths of Kensington Market that is quite popular with those in the know. After reading the small number of reviews on Google and finding no hours of operation on their Twitter page (they don’t have a website), we decided to take the jump and visit anyways. And what a time we had!


LT Rating: Food: 10/10 | Atmosphere: 8/10 Decor: 10/10 | Seating wait time: 10/10 | Meal wait time: 8/10 | Prices: $$$ | Must go, Average, Poor review: Must go


To give you a visual, Kensington Mall is a small shop with kitschy clothes and cool looking thingummybobs being sold. We entered the small shop and walked all the way to the back of the white tiled corridor up to a door with a lit red light over it. It was very dramatic and a little sketchy. The atmosphere of sketchiness didn’t decrease as we entered a dimly lit area selling Dim Sum of all things, but the floor tiles were lovely!

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And then we finally entered the actual bar. Cold Tea, despite it’s strange entrance its actually quite a hipster bar. The bottle lined shelves, to the wooden chairs and candle lit aesthetic is gorgeous. To say nothing of the teal coloured walls and the ‘VS’ statement wall. I personally loved the atmosphere and if though the bar was dimly lit, the patio was very bright and a huge contrast to the bar itself.

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The service was extremely prompt. And the detail and attention the barpeople gave to each cocktail was phenomenal. I had a regular gin fizz while my friends tried their famous mojitos, apple Jacks and a Singapore Slingy which was just delicious. One friend didn’t know what to get and simply asked for “something fruity”. The barpeople specialize in creating drinks according to what people feel like having which I think is really cool. They know their craft! The drinks were unfortunately pricey at $12 per cocktail. I finished off the experience with a pork bun which I thought was pretty fantastic for $3.

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Overall, I highly enjoyed the experience. They were open at 6 on a Friday night which is nice for those finishing up a 9 to 5. The only minus was that they only accepted cash so I had to use a little ATM. I recommend keeping that in mind when heading to Cold Tea. I highly recommend trying out the place if only for the strange but fun experience.

Until next time,
Rochelle