Listen To This & Read That

Hey there lovelies!

Fall has finally hit Toronto in full force. The leaves are changing colour, the air is brisk and cool. My sundresses have been put away and replaced with sweaters, and pumpkins and halloween decorations are on every porch.

October (one of my favourite months) always comes around to give me a place to slow down and enjoy. Sure, it also marks the beginning of midterms and crazy stress, but somehow, in the midst of all that, there is some inherent soothing quality to fall. While tackling a pile of readings this Saturday night (lively I know), I made some tea, lit a candle and let the ambiance and the beautiful foliage outside, carry me through my work.

It was calming. Restorative in a sense, and everyone needs that once in a while, especially if another round of midterms are heading your way.

As the seasons change, my music taste generally changes with them. Fall is obviously no exception. My iTunes playlists shift from upbeat pop, to more subdued blues and indie tunes, melodies that mirror the changing colours and brisk winds of October. Today I thought I’d share some of my favourite autumn tunes with you, as well as a couple books I’ve read recently and really liked!

Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

Written by the author of Eat, Pray, Love. this book was quite a treat. It was quite thought provoking and made me question a lot of habits I posses in relation to my own creativity, which is something I value deeply. If you’re a creative person (and Gilbert affirms that we all are), this enthralling read is perfect for you!

Paris To The Moon – Adam Gopnik

This book is essentially a compilation of articles written while Gopnik (an American writer) was living in Paris with his wife and young son. It is full of delightful accounts of living in, arguably, the most romantic city in Europe, and the trials or raising a child away from the world you were raised in yourself. My favourite parts of the book were always stories of Gopnik’s young son Luke, and the mischief he got up to in the Luxembourg Gardens.

My Autumn Playlist

  1. Noisy Sunday – Patrick Watson
  2. Turn Into The Noise – Patrick Watson
  3. Don’t Be a Fool – Shawn Mendes
  4. Ruin – Shawn Mendes
  5. Mercy – Shawn Mendes
  6. River – Leon Bridges
  7. I’m Not The Only One – Sam Smith
  8. If You Ever Want To Be In Love – James Bay
  9. Sound & Colour – Alabama Shakes
  10. Don’t Wanna Fight – Alabama Shakes
  11. Lua – Bright Eyes
  12. An Evening I Will Not Forget – Dermot Kennedy

So, I know this was a little bit of a random post…a weird little journey, but books and music have always been important to me and I cannot deny the power of good music in hard times (aka midterms).

If you (like me) are in the middle of a hellish stint of midterms, I just want you to remember to take care of yourself! Eat well, shower, exercise and take time for yourself during this crazy time. No exam is ever worth sacrificing your own wellbeing!

Hope you guys are all having an amazing week!

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Beat The Summer Heat

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August is arguably one of the best and worst months of the year. It’s still summer (read: extremely hot) but the promise of fall is on the horizon. School hasn’t started for real, but back-to-school shopping is in full swing, and there is still enough time for adventuring and lazing around before going back to real life.

Here in Portugal it’s pretty darn hot (like 40 degrees celsius everyday) so going outside is often a total no-no! It does get sort of boring being cooped up all day because of the intense oven-like heat, but I’ve figured out a few fool proof ways to a) beat the heat, and b) beat the boredom! So, here are five things to do on (really) hot summer days.

Make Fancy Ice Cream

To many, ice cream looks like one of those things you need professional equipment to whip out, but my friends, that just isn’t true! Making your own delicious chocolate or pistachio ice cream (or whatever your little heart desires) is actually way easier than that! All you need is a cake pan, simple ingredients, and a freezer!

My friend Alex and I made some delicious mocha almond fudge ice cream back in June, and not only was it super easy, but it came out better than like, any ice cream I’ve had before!

If you get really excited with your homemade ice cream, why not set up a sundae station and invite your pals over for a fancy ice cream sundae party? Here are some great recipes to try (you might have trouble picking just one)!

Read A Good Book

In this age of Facebook and Instagram, books sometimes fly under the radar. Still, I don’t think anything is more satisfying than opening a new book and sitting in a comfy spot to read it.

Getting yourself lost in crazy adventures and romances is the perfect way to forget how disgustingly hot it is outside, and will give you a chance to relax and enjoy some coveted me time!

Here are some books I’ve worked through this summer if you need some inspiration!

Craft Something

I can’t lie, I’m obsessed with crafts. If I could live in Michaels, I probably would, but as it is now, I’ll have to settle with spending crazy amounts of money on beads and embroidery floss.

Crafting is the perfect thing to do on a hot summer day. You can do it with your best friend or with your mom and siblings, and not only is it fun to loose yourself in a project, but you’ll come out the other side with a totally brag worthy piece you made all yourself!

Here are a few projects I’m dying to try, the tough part is picking one to start with.

Write Letter To Your Friends

Nobody seems to send letters anymore and that sucks, because getting mail is among one of the most satisfying feelings ever!

Whenever I come to Portugal in the summer I make it a mission to write to as many of my friends as possible, and this year I ended up writing 13 letters! It was tough to write them all, but I was so excited to send them off and get a response!

Even if your friends haven’t gone away, or they live with you, it’s a fun idea to write a little letter and pop it in the mail to surprise them.

Pack a Picnic and Explore

Yes, going in to the heat was exactly what we were avoiding, but seriously, picnics are the best (even when it’s super hot). Pack up your favourite snacks and some treats, call up your Besties, and head to the park or the water (if you’re lucky enough to be near it)!

Picnics are a great way to pend quality time with your favourite people, and lets be honest, are great photo ops! Find some shade and relax in nature with good food and even better company!

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Those are some of my favourite ways to beat the heat, but what do you do when it’s just too hot?

Hope you’re all enjoying this gorgeous day!

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