Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year in Review

This past year has been quite the doozy. 2013 has been a year of the highest high's and lowest lows. While I've had my fair share of difficulties, it's been one of those years that makes up for the hard times with equally-intense great times. I've finished my degree, celebrated my 2 year anniversary with Mike, welcomed a new puppy to our home, and celebrated tons of fun occasions with friends. The highlight of my year was, without a doubt, being able to see so many of my absolute favourite bands in concert. While I'm grateful for the things I've been lucky to experience this year, I'm so looking forward to a fresh start.

Here is a somewhat quick-ish recap of my past year. I think it's a great opportunity to reflect on the past year just in time for the new one, in the hopes of an even better year!

  • I began my blog (for the first time) in January! I'm glad finally took the step to do something I've been wanting to do for years.
  • My Nonno moved in with us, which was quite the adjustment, while my Nonna spent time in the hospital.
  • I began the second-last semester of my university career.
  • My friends and I had lots of our signature celebrations :)

  • My friends and I celebrated February Flannelfest, which proved to be an amazing time.
  • My rear car window mysteriously shattered. Not cool, rear window. Not cool.
  • I spent a lovely Valentine's Day with Mike

  • We had an Easter egg hunt for the staff at work.
  • I celebrated St. Patrick's Day with my good friends!
  • I worked a whole lot and did tons of homework? March kinda sucked, you guys.

  • I finished up the last full semester of my degree! This included doing a vocal jury for my voice class, which is a pretty big deal for me, and which went pretty well! Hurrah.
  • I received my gold card from Starbucks hehe. My official coffee addict license.
  • Sarah visited and we had a lovely time, and Laura came home from school!

  • We went across the river to celebrate Em's birthday, and had a super fun time.
  • Mike and I celebrated our two year anniversary! Cray.
  • My room got a makeover and re-organization, which included installing a pretty clothes rack!
  • I started implementing a new healthy lifestyle, and started so by going on tons of walks.
  • Mike and I travelled to Toronto. We saw The Staves, who were AMAZING, and had a fun weekend doing various activities around the city! It was an amazing time for sure.

  • I went to Windsor with Mike for a political convention type thing. It was actually really fun!
  • My mom brought our new puppy Maya home!
  • My friends and I had lots of fun bon fires and parties :)

  • I celebrated Canada Day with my good buds
  • I died my hair for the very first time! And it was technically just the bottom half. I'm a chicken. I did like the way it turned out thought!

  • I went on a weekend camping trip with our group of friends and slept in a huge tent all together and drank on the beach and had a great time!
  • I attented a big backyard party/ pig roast/ flip cup tournament with Laur and Erin!
  • I said goodbye to my little love Gio :(
  • My friends surprised me with a birthday cake and early birthday party since everyone would be away for my real one!
  • Mike, Laur, Josh, Mike's sister and cousin, and I went to the Gentlement of the Road festival in Simcoe! It was such an amazing festival, and it was SO GREAT to see so many of my favourite bands! Definitely a highlight of the year.

  • I started the very last class of my university career! That class reminded me how much I love writing and how important it is to me.
  • I had my 22nd birthday and felt incredibly old.
  • Mike had surprised me with tickets to see Iron & Wine in Chicago for my birthday. We went down to Chicago for the last weekend and had theee greatest trip ever.

  • I was obsessed with all things pumpkin. Seriously obsessed, I have an obscene pumpkin candle collection now. And I love it.
  • I went to a Kalle Mattson show with friends from work! We had pumpkin beer and it was really fun :)
  • We got to do a book signing for Lynn Crawford while she was in town. It was a really cool experience! Rare perk of a bookstore job.
  • My Nonno moved out of our house and into a nursing home with my Nonna.
  • I travelled to Thunder Bay with Mike and Mark to visit Laur, Josh, and Embo for Halloween! It was a fantastic time.

  • I started attempts at healthy cooking and it wasn't altogether a failure.
  • I became obsessed with yoga, and discovered it's a form of exercise that really works for me, gives me results, feels amazing, and makes me happy!
  • I started my blog up again after a too-long hiatus, and am really glad I did.
  • Mike and I began going on now-traditional somewhat-weekly bakery visits.

  • I completely finished my BA! And began applications to post-undergrad programs.
  • I went on lots of drives with Alyssa and Nilah and adventured around the city!
  • We went across the river for Mike's birthday.
  • I started an extra job at the university bookstore and now work two bookstore jobs like some sort of super nerd.
  • My friends and I celebrated Christmastime Liquorfest, the most wonderful time of the year!
  • I was so excited to see my friends again, and especially to spend so much quality time with my bestie Lolo!
  • I had a lovely holiday with friends and family :)

Hope you all had a lovely 2013 and that 2014 treats you well! Have a wonderful New Year's Eve!!

December Snapshots

Follow me on Instagram: @angelaremondi

December was a very busy month with lots of ups and downs! While I've experienced my fair share of stress over the past few weeks, I was very very happy to see lots of friends and family who were home for the holidays this month.

  • I finished the very last class of my BA!
  • Mike, Em, Mark and I went across the river for Mike's 22nd birthday and had a blasty blast
  • Alyssa and I went on lots of drives out to the Island and explored. This lighthouse is so pretty!
  • Mike and I have a little Sunday bakery tradition! Delish.
  • Amanda and I went to a fun little show at Cafe Natura
  • My friends and I celebrated our second annual Christmastime Liquorfest!
  • I had such a lovely Christmas with friends and family :)
  • It was so so funzo to see Em and Laur again this month! I don't want them to leave. Boo.
  • We went to yet another Kalle Mattson show and it was fab.

Monday, December 30, 2013

December Haul

At first, I did SO, SO well with avoiding shopping almost ALL month. I only bought a single sweater, and only because I truly fell in love with it and had an event planned to wear it at. That's the way shopping should be, right?

(polka dot peplum sweater: modcloth | elbow patch cardigan: gap | aztec sweater: tj maxx | embellished sweater: smart set)

(scalloped hem dress: modcloth | floral cutout dress: modcloth | floral dress: modcloth)

Fast forward about 3 weeks and there I was, bombarded with amazing sales and fellow-shopaholic-aunts, and it would appear I lost my cool. I bought lots of fun stuff this month, and to be fair, it was all on sale (PLUS the 3 dresses I bought from Modcloth have been in my basket for at least 2 years, and they just went on sale for 50% off). But I am still incredibly ashamed. I should probably make my new year's resolution "STOP SHOPPING YOU FUCKER." And I should write it on my wall so I see it every morning when I awake and it will eventually be engrained in my brain. Sigh.

(bow-back top: urban outfitters | plaid top: tj maxx)

(assortment from tj maxx and urban outfitters)

I've wanted a basic red and navy plaid shirt for so, so long. It is something that is weirdly hard to find. Luckily I found this real pretty Tommy Hilfiger number for real cheap!

Also I have a feeling that posting one's underwear on the internet is at least mildly inappropriate. But I've seen other bloggers do it and errything I got is just so pretty! I should rename this post "Angela justifies her spending habits and blogging behavior."

(lace booties: modcloth | floral flats: modcloth)

Welp, time to clean out my closet to try and sell some old clothes. Wish me luck.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Hometown Show

(dress: modcloth | sweater: forever 21 | earrings: forever 21 | necklace: forever 21 | boots: reitman's}

Last night, my friends and I went to a Kalle Mattson festivus show at Loplops. Kalle Mattson is a singer/ songwriter/ band from our hometown and he is/ they are just great, you guys. Seriously one of my favourite bands. They have been touring all over the place and are actually headed to Europe next, but we are always sure to catch their show when they come back to the Soo. I honestly think I must have seen them upwards of 10 times in the past few years. #fangirling Did I mention they are my age, went to a local high school, and we have lots of mutual friends? #iamahugecreep

They played at Loplops which is easily my favourite bar in the Soo. It is such a cool venue, full of amazing art and uncomfortable seats and too-hip people. This is both intimidating and good for outfit inspiration. Whenever we go to Loplops I end up establishing an awkward balance between dressy and casual. This outfit is probably leaning toward dressy though, I suppose?

I bought this dress from Modcloth during their big sale. It is honestly one of the prettiest dresses I have ever put on my body. This outfit doesn't really do it justice, and I'm excited to wear it in the summer, when the cutouts can be showcased a little bit!

This morning we all went out for our traditional breakfast, and I finally exchanged presents with Em, Laur, and Mike. They all spoiled me a bunch! And Mike got me a beautiful crossbody bag from Roots which I have only been whining about wanting for about 4 years! Best guy.

And now I am going to leave you with a Kalle Mattson video because I feel it's my duty to spread his/their music far and wide.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Boxing Day Shenanigans

(sweater: american eagle | jeans: american eagle | boots: reitman's | earrings: aldo | necklace: forever 21)

I hope you all had a great Christmas and that Santa was good to you! I had a lovely time with family and also had a pretty swell haul this year. My gifts included an iPad and a cardigan with elbow patches so I'm a happy girl!

Yesterday was also my aunt's birthday, so we spent yesterday braving the bridge to do some Boxing Day shopping across the river. We're both addicted to shopping so it was a wonderful time. I was doing so well with my money this month and then Modcloth had a big sale, and TJ Maxx had some sweet deals, and I am once again ashamed of my shopping addiction. One of these days I'll kick it I swear.

Yesterday evening my mom and I went to a holiday party at Erin's house with Laur and a bunch of families from our neighborhood. It was a fun little party with lots of noms! And then in the evening I finally saw Mike since he is home from his trip!

This outfit was the perfect outfit to transition from shopping to a casual holiday party. When I first saw this sweater on the rack, I thought it was incredibly weird. Then I tried it on and that's when our love story began. This sweater is easily one of my favourites, and I have to force myself to not wear it constantly. It's such a flattering and comfortable fit and I love the ruffled hem!

I am rambling now so I will make myself stop. Hope your holidays are just grand!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmastime Liquorfest

(top with gems: h&m | skirt: urban outfitters | tights: h&m | shoes: american eagle | earrings: aldo | bracelets: smart set, american eagle)

This past weekend, my friends and I celebrated our second annual Christmastime Liquorfest. Laura and I got ready for CTLF and attempted to bake together (and burned our baking) at my house, and then Amanda joined us before we met with Em and the boys. Laur and Amanda both borrowed my clothes and looked much better than me when I wear them. I actually love to lend out my clothes though, it makes me feel like my wardrobe is serving some sort of purpose. And that is always a good thing.

The party was such a blasty blast. We turned the classic Grinch movie into a drinking game (by drinking any time they said "Grinch," "Who," "Christmas," and any time the Grinch slithers around the Christmas tree... bad idea), exchanging Yankee Swap presents, drinking #eggies, playing games, and eating excessive amounts of baked goods, cheeseball, and pickles. I love my friends and it was so nice to all get together for the holidays.

(Em, Laura, Amanda and I being a bunch of sillies)

This week has been incredibly busy and I am SO excited for the next two days off. I started a second job this week at the Algoma U bookstore (...so I currently work at two bookstores. I am a nerd). And the Christmas rush at Bookstore #1 has just knocked me off my feet. I've at least had some lovely hang-outs with Laura and Erin. But tonight I plan on wrapping up a bunch of presents, then relaxing on my couch and drinking wine until it tastes good (I really want to be able to drink wine and enjoy it, you guys).

Mike is currently out of town visiting family. This is the first Christmas we aren't spending together which is depressing. But I am using tonight to work on his present before he returns home. Really probably shoulda jumped on all this Christmas business a little earlier ha. I suck.

Hope you are all having an absolutely lovely Christmas eve!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Last Minute Gift Guides

If you're anything like me this year, Christmas shopping hasn't been the first thing on your mind. Sure, you've made note of the Christmas-time shoppers throughout your city. You've absent-mindedly acknowledged gift guides on your favourite blogs. You've joked about completing all of your shopping on Christmas eve. You've picked up a few items here and there and thought "I can just throw this in with their actual present." You've even debated about whether you'll even buy presents this year, you mean old Scrooge. And then you realized in an absolute panic that there are five days until Christmas and you've only accomplished about 25% of your Christmas purchases.

Do not fret, my friend. Actually, no. Now is the time to fret. Fret away. But while you're fretting, have a gander at the gift ideas I've compiled while avoiding any actual productive shopping. Here are some fun ideas, for gals and guys alike. Each present is at least semi-reasonably priced and is sure to generate a smile on the gift receiver's face! They would have made excellent presents had I ordered them in time for the packages to ship. Guess I'll just have to try and find some similar items in our local mall during the next few panicked days!





Thursday, December 19, 2013

When Being a Bitch is the Right Thing

I've been having a lot of stressful issues at work lately, which I have briefly mentioned here and there. Over the past few weeks, things have been building and building to the point that it has moved far beyond my control and I haven't known how to handle the situation.

One of the hardest things about what is going on is knowing the right thing to do. I've always wanted to do the Right Thing, and often for me, that goes hand in hand with caring more about others than myself, and being as kind as I can. It may seem silly, but being kind and friendly and likable has always been something I've striven for. This is not to mention- I hate confrontation, criticism, or stepping on people's toes. I detest cattiness and bitchiness and being dramatic.

But with the issues happening at work, the right thing has been a little more unclear. I've tried so hard to be reasonable, mature, and accept what was happening with gritted teeth. I've tried avoiding confrontation or involving others. I didn't want to be a bitch or cause more issues or drama. I care a lot about my job, so I've just wanted everything to be over as quickly and easily as possible. I believed the right thing to do was to try my best to remain calm, take a deep breath, and wait for the storm to subside.

As a result, my well-being has taken a vicious hit. I have been consumed with the kind of stress that cause me to feel ill and halts sleep. And it wasn't even effective- the drama has escalated to pathetic levels regardless of the pressure I've put on myself to do what is right. Waiting with baited breath has meant letting people walk all over me. Doing what I believed to be right has caused me to feel constantly guilty, jumpy, anxious, nervous, and pressured. This job isn't worth it, no matter how much I love it.

This week, I finally came to realize and accept: sometimes you just need to be a bitch.

Sometimes being nice isn't the right thing. Sometimes you have to play dirty for things to change. And sometimes standing up for yourself means you have to stop caring about others. You have to make some uncomfortable calls and involve the right people- even if it means someone else will get in trouble, even if it means someone will be mad at you.

If you're standing up for yourself- or if you're standing up for those you love, or what you believe in- if those who care about you are worried about you, or if you've tried everything else you could possibly try, then go ahead and be a bitch.

Being a bitch doesn't always mean you’re bitchy.

Sometimes it just means you are taking care of yourself. Sometimes it means you care too much to let other people walk all over you. Sometimes the Right Thing is taking a stand, and sometimes taking a stand gets a little dramatic.

If I have learned anything from the past few weeks, it’s this: sometimes you gotta tie your hair up, forget what people think, stomp on some toes, and bitch it out.

(Image from WeHeartIt)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Day Off Work

(top: smart set | maxi skirt: garage | flats: american eagle | scarf: h&m | belt: forever 21 | bangle: ardene)

I had such a great day off yesterday! Amanda and I went for coffee at Cafe Natura, and I also had this awesome vegan gingerbread muffin. Then we came back to my house so she could try on some of my dresses for my friends' annual Christmas party this weekend. I am SOOO excited for our Christmastime Liquorfest. It is such a fun time and I love getting together with so many of my close friends! EEP YAY.

In the afternoon, Mike, Mark, Em and I went across the river to eat at the Palace. We all shared con queso, and I had a delish veggie fajita, which is pretty much what I eat every time we go there. Also had a pomegranate margarita but gotta say nothing can compare to the caramel apple NOM NOM. The table was super cramped though and I was having a huge issue spilling my food all over myself. Classic. Mike calls this scarf my crumb catcher -_- but I suppose it's convenient I was wearing it yesterday.

I was really proud of myself for finding a way to wear my maxi skirt in the winter! I had to wear leggings underneath, and both Mike and my mom were not impressed that I wasn't wearing boots. But I felt pretty warm and I think it worked out pretty well. I've been wearing jeans and leggings every day lately and sometimes you just need to throw on something a little more exciting! Getting dressed has been difficult for me lately regardless of the weather, and the snow definitely doesn't help things. Winter has just begun and I seriously can't wait for it to be summer already!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ears and Eyes

(chiffon blazer: forever 21 | tank top: american eagle | pants: suzy shier | boots: reitman's | necklace: american eagle | bracelet: ardene)

Sunday night, Amanda and I went to Ears N' Eyes at Cafe Natura after work. It was a show run by one of Amanda's friends, featuring a whole slew of local musicians, while a local artist did a live painting on stage. It was such a cool show, and I'm always so excited when events like this happen in the Soo! It was also awesome to see so much local talent, I'm always so proud to see cool bands from our hometown.

One of the bands was Old Cabin, which is comprised of one guy with various guest artists. And he was seriously AWESOME. I recommend you all go check out his music right this second. His voice was amazing, as were his guitar playing and melodies and lyrics. So essentially everything you would look for in a musical performance.

I hurriedly threw on this outfit after work. In fact I am even wearing my work pants. I'm okay with the way this outfit turned out but I really do hate having to get myself together in our tiny work bathroom. Merp! This chiffon blazer is so simple but pretty, and I love the bird print. I probably have at least 10 different items with bird prints sitting in my closet. And I have been living in these boots! Tall brown boots just seem to go with everything.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Busy Days, Lazy Clothes

(sweater: urban planet | jeans: american eagle | boots: boathouse | scarf: h&m | purse: h&m | locket: forever 21}

This whole week has been an absolute blur. My days have been filled with stress and the hectic rush of the holidays at work. My nights have involved some last minute items for school and applications, lots of late night drives with Alyssa and Nilah, and finally some movies with Mike. This week has just flown by, and it doesn't help that I seem to have developed a temporary case of insomnia. I feel like I need to just to take a sec to myself and reboot. Unfortunately that won't be on the agenda for a while!

Clearly this week has called for some lazy dressing. I've been dressing very simply and cozy lately. It's proven difficult for me to put on an outfit that doesn't involve a wooly sweater, leggings, or a big circle scarf. I wish I could find the ability to wear something interesting, but it's just too hard to think about. I find I'll look forward to a reason to dress up, and then I'm stumped once the time comes. I have a few little fun events coming up this weekend and next and I'm pretty sure I am going to display some major symptoms of wardrobe confusion. Ugh. Wish me luck folks.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Mike's Birthday Celebrations

(top: smart set | jeans: american eagle | pumps: can't remember!)

On Friday night, we celebrated Mike's birthday with a trip across the river with Embo (who is home for Christmas YAHOO) and Mark! We bar hopped and danced obnoxiously and even had shot skis, and it was just a wondrous time. Visiting the States is always the bomb-diggity because the drinks are insanely cheap and so are the cab rides. How do all of you Americans live in the States without taking advantage of the cheap alcohol on a daily basis? Maybe you do. Maybe we're just abnormally sober in Canada.

I became obsessed with this top the minute I saw it. It's such a pretty hunter green, PLUS it's reversible (either a boatneck in the front and deep V in the back, or vice versa) so I mean. How could I not purchase it? I kept my accessories to a minimum because the top itself felt so blingy, but looking at it now, I think I could have thrown some extra jewelry on that outfit. I am also trying to warm myself up to the idea of red lipstick. I love that look so much on others, but have such a hard time committing to wearing bold lipstick. Sigh.

The rest of my weekend has been pretty low key. I had a very rough day of working on Saturday, and then went out driving with some of my good friendies in the evening. I spent all of today catching up on some much-needed sleep and lazy time, and then my mother took me and Mike out for dinner to celebrate his birthday. I don't know how to feel about this upcoming week. It feels very strange to be completely done school. And to not have any assignments for at least 9 months. And to just have to go to work. I don't wanna work I just wanna sleep! Mer!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and are feeling less whiny than me re: this week!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Last Class of My Undergrad

top: h&m | jeans: american eagle | booties: american eagle | earrings: aldo | locket: forever 21

Today was the last class of my undergrad (bet you weren't expecting that from that title at all, were you?). I'm still having a hard time even believing that I'm actually done my undergrad, and my feelings about it are incredibly mixed. It's very bittersweet. I've changed so much since going away for my first year, and since entering the doors of Algoma in my second year. As tough as it was at times, I've learned so much, and not just about what was on the course syllabus. I really loved my professors and courses, and I'm really thankful for the experience. And I am so sorry you have to witness me getting so sentimental. *sob*

I only had one class this semester, and it was actually much more meaningful than I could have realized. It was a creative nonfiction class, and at first I entered the classroom full of eye-rolls, and absolutely dreading the work I would have to do. It ended up being three months of laughing with my four classmates and professor, and of learning how much I enjoy writing and am passionate about it.

And now I've got to move on to bigger and better things. Puke. I've applied to teacher's college and will be applying to grad school for journalism in January. And then I get to decide what to do with my life and whatnot. Ylech. The real world is scary, you guys. I just don't wanna graduate anymore.

On an unrelated note, I'm disappointed that this picture isn't doing my boots justice. They're really cool boots, you guys. They're fringey.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

One Scarf, Two Ways

scarf: smart set | top: smart set | leggings: joe fresh | boots: reitmans | necklace: american eagle | bracelets: assorted, h&m (similar), smart set, american eagle

I made a very important discovery about one of my favourite scarves this morning. As I was getting ready, my scarf was just refusing to sit the way I wanted it to, so I fluffed it about in frustration and threw it over my shoulders and realized it's big enough to be worn as a big fun shawl! I've been obsessed with kimonos, shawls, and everything drapey lately, so I was a little bit excited to construct my own version!

Next time I might just wear this outfit to an actual outing or event or while doing something worth a fun outfit haha. Rather than what I've done today, just running around town on my own to buy presents for Christmas and Mike's birthday, essentially inhaling coffee, and hanging around at home trying to work on an essay (the last essay of my undergrad! Eep!)

how I would normally wear this scarf.. love the buttons on the back of this shirt but still had to go with the shawl!

I've spent the past few days spending some valuable time with new friends from work, and old friends who I don't spend nearly enough time with. I'm always whining and complaining about how I don't have any friends living in the Soo anymore. So this week has been a much-needed reminder that I'm a big liar, and I'm very lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life. Alright I'm done being cheesy now, go on with your day!