Viewing entries in
Lifestyle

Graduated!!!

graduation

Hello again! 

Yesterday I graduated from university!! I obtained my Bachelor's degree (B.Sc) in Microbiology and Immunology (sounds fun right)!? Honestly, I really loved my graduation ceremony because it left me with wonderful memories regarding my degree. Now, when I think back to these past three years, instead of remembering all the caffein-ridden sleepless nights, the endless lab work and the stressful exams, I will remember this beautiful day where I was awarded a degree for all my hard work. 

This program definitely pushed me to my limits and there were times where I felt as though I couldn't see the "light at the end of the tunnel". However, I am so happy to have gone through it, because not only did I acquire tons of (science) knowledge, but I also feel such a sense of accomplishment. 

 This is the moment I actually got my degree! Is it the most flattering picture? No lol. However, it is a moment that I will truly cherish forever. 

This is the moment I actually got my degree! Is it the most flattering picture? No lol. However, it is a moment that I will truly cherish forever. 

One of the things that made me laugh was that almost everyone was forgetting to bring their tassel over to the other side when we got onstage! We arrive at 1:30 pm to pick up our gowns, but other than lining up, we were given no prior warning to how the day was going to go. We (the graduates) also couldn't see anything happening from backstage (to see what others were doing). So, when I got onstage I was thanking the Dean, and forgot to move my tassel over. Thankfully she did it for me (#lol)! The absolute best part of the day was that my dad was able to give me my diploma! I was especially grateful to have shared this moment with him!   

graduation
graduation

Dress: H&M (I couldn't believe that I found such a great and inexpensive dress at H&M!) Similar from ASOS Shoes: ALDO (On sale too! These are the perfect summer sandals because they are not TOO high, they are neutral, but also have a fun twist!)

Graduation

My little tidbits of advice for people graduating: 

1. Bring a snack (During all that waiting around time, I was starved)

2. Girls, set your makeup. The conditions are constantly changing (indoors, outdoors, in air conditioning, under bright lights onstage, in the sun, etc) so make sure that your makeup will stay in place all day! This means setting powder (high end: Laura Mercier, lower end: Ben Nye Luxury Banana powder) and setting spray (high end: Urban Decay, lower end: NYX)

3. Get some colour. Pictures tend to wash people out, so get a spray tan! 

4. Enjoy it. You worked hard, and you deserve it! 

I wish all my fellow Uni graduates a big congrats and best of luck in the future! 

XO

10 Tips To Surviving Midterms

10 Tips To Surviving Midterms

I really do try to stay on top of my schoolwork throughout the semester. The problem in my program is that we have labs. Along with those labs come lab reports, and no, these types of reports are not your high school or CEGEP-type reports.  The accepted quality of work is close to what you would find on PubMed. However, we are not actually discovering anything (we are simply following instructions), so no one would ever actually get them published. Nonetheless, they take forever. My point is that the "little" assignments that are due weekly take precedence over studying. I now find myself, with 2 exams down, but 4 to go.

So, as much as I have tried to stay on top of my work, midterm week has crept up on me and I find myself in a slight panic (okay maybe not so slight). The first week of midterms always starts off well. I am motivated, I am not yet sleep-deprived and most importantly, I haven’t lost my will to live yet (perhaps a slight exaggeration).

This happens to me every semester, where the second wave of midterms gets pushed aside. Well now the time has come where it is do or die. 

These are my study tips to prepare for those exams. This is my survival guide for people out there like me. If you have prepared long in advance for all your exams, you can stop reading and I hate you. Take your smug, exam-ready face elsewhere…  

My 10 Tips To Surviving Midterms

Caffeine Control

1.  You might want to load up on caffeine, but don’t. If you normally drink zero coffee and start drinking 3 cups per day, you will go into a caffeine frenzy and not be able to concentrate. If you normally drink 3 cups of coffee, then stick to your three cups of coffee. Red Bull is a No-no. It has the equivalent of like 12 cups of coffee. It is poison, so stay away.

Water Intake 

2.  Water is your friend. The most important thing you can do is stay hydrated. Even if you have to pee every hour, drink up people.

Music: Soothing or Distracting?

3.  Listening to music is a double-edged sword. If you know the words to the song you will unconsciously start singing or “actively listening” along. If you can’t listen to pure silence, YouTube “white noise” or “nature study sounds”. You can choose between birds chirping, rain falling, thunderstorms and even a fire crackling. Whatever floats your boat, you can find it on YouTube.

Ditch The Phone 

4.  Do not keep your phone in front of you. The snaps will come in, the Insta notifications will pop up and there will always be a friend who “needs to talk”. You are not a bad friend, but you are pressed for time. Put the phone away and only check it once every hour (take 5 min and check everything at once). The only exception to this is when I need to text my friends a question (or call).

Learn Those Titles

5.  If you have 3 days until your exam and have just started studying, welcome to the club. Here is my trick: learn the PowerPoint titles. Legit just the titles. Once you can see what the main deal is, then go back and learn the subtitles. And so on and so forth until you have completed the PowerPoint. That way, you don’t spend time learning all the details of slide 1 but then run out of time and not even know what is on slide 114.

Get Outdoors 

6.  Take “smoke breaks”. Okay, in no way shape or form am I condoning or promoting smoking, but hear me out. Although I am not, nor have ever been a smoker, some of my friends are. When we would be studying for hours on end, they would ask me if I wanted to join them on their smoke breaks. Let me tell you, it is actually really refreshing to be outside for 10 minutes every few hours. When you are cooped up in a library all day, it can get really stuffy. Breathing in fresh air, while walking outside gave me a little burst of energy. I would then return to the library recharged and ready to keep going.

Examples Are Key

7.  Learn the examples. In my genetics class, the teacher would explain the theory and then give an example. Usually the example is to help you learn, and never something you will find on the actual test. However for this class, the test was practically exclusively the examples! For the final, I learned every single example he gave, and I noticed that it really helped me remember the theory. Because I was able to associate the boring theory with a real-life example, I ended up being able to “memorize” everything in half the time! Now this already may be obvious to everyone else, but personally, this is a new trick that I discovered.

Don't Panic, Ignore Thy Friends 

8.  Don’t panic and don’t ask questions. What I mean by that, is do not talk to your friends. Every time you ask them “Have you studied this yet” and they answer “Oh yeah, weeks ago, it is so easy”. Now you feel even worse than before. So moral of the story, ignore your organized, well prepared friends for the week.

Break-It-Up

9.  Study in time intervals. I either do 40/5, or 50/10. Meaning 40 minutes studying, 5 minutes break. It helps break up the day into little tasks instead of feeling like you have a mountain to tackle.

Get Those Zzz's 

10.  Do not pull all-nighters. It is so tempting, I know, but you need to take at least a 3-hour nap before the exam. You process information while you sleep, so you really need that time to let your mind absorb everything you just learned. 

There you have it, my study tips & tricks. I hope this has helped (even in the smallest way), and that you all ace your midterms.

Lastly, (again) , may the odds be ever in your favor. 

I promise I will get back to fashion, beauty and health next week (exam week has been a little hectic, to say the least). 

xo

You can also check out my other lifestyle-type posts (on those 5 minute study breaks ;) ) 


Vacay Recap

Life according to the Insta’s I didn’t post

Today, January 5th, I sit in class reflecting on the last two weeks. Less than 24 hours ago, I was walking around in a T-shirt, surrounded by beautiful palm trees and sunshine. Now, at 2: 13 pm on a Tuesday, I am sitting in this g-d forsaken chemistry class, and I can’t help but keep drifting back to those happier times. But now, in an attempt to capture the last of those good times, I will recap my vacation instead of listening in class (great start to the semester, I know).

So when I left Montreal, we were having some sort of crazy heat wave. How crazy? Well on Christmas Eve, the outdoor temperature was about 17°C (in my 22 years of living, I have never experienced this before). 

So, I arrived in Florida at around 1 am, and it was party time. My family was waiting for me at the airport, and we basically had a pizza party at 2 am. I had one goal for this vacation: to get through my list of restaurants. I know this sounds crazy, because normal people look forward to sit and relax on the beach. Well call me crazy, but I look forward to hitting up my local favourites all year. #FoodFest2015

The first night I went to my beloved BurgerFi. It’s a Five Guys-type burger chain that is always a must for me. I warn you, this is not a diet-friendly list. 

The next day became a beach day. Now, here’s why I am not fond of the beach: you have to schlep everything you need (chairs, towels, snacks, books, parasol etc) to the car, drive to the beach, carry everything onto the sand, sit there for 3 hours, and then repeat in reverse. Personally, it just seems like a lot of effort. However, this time I had an impromptu photo-shoot, which had some people observing me curiously, but, #DoItForTheBlog. 

That night I went to this amazing Greek restaurant in Fort Lauderdale called Greek Islands Taverna. If you like Greek food, this place is a must (the grilled octopus is to die for). 

The next day we went to one of my absolute favourite lunch spots in Florida. If any of you are Diner’s, Drive-In's and Dives fans, this place was featured on their show. It is called La Camaronera, and it is a little gem of a seafood joint, tucked away deep into Little Havana. I warn you, this is not a glamorous place, and in a little bit of a “sketch” area (like that would stop me!), so best not to get lost around there.

#BathroomsAreForSelfies

Thursday was New Years Eve, and while I didn’t do anything spectacular, I spent it with my family, drinking Costco Margarita mix (surprisingly good) and Champagne. I call that an overall success. 

The next day, I spent the day reading the Mindy Kailing book “Why Not Me” by the pool. If you like The Mindy Project, read her book. I was honestly laughing out loud to the point where an elderly man came up to me asking me how I was so focused on reading in such a loud place. It’s a hilarious page-turner, that’s how. 

The next night, I was going to my aunt’s house for dinner, and took that as an opportunity to play with makeup (you know, because if I mess up, and look like a raccoon/street walker, at least only my family will judge me). I actually got a few compliments on this smokey look, so I think I will post a tutorial about it. 

As the food fest continues, I will let you know my favourite place in all of Miami for pizza. It is called La Dolce Vita (translation, the good life) and their prosciutto and arugula pizza is one for the books.

After stuffing my face with pizza, I wanted to go to the Gulf Stream, a place full of shops and restaurants, to see the annual light show they do with all the Christmas trees. But sadly, on January 3rd they no longer do that… it’s not like I was waiting all year for it or anything.

The last night’s restaurant was the big one. Joe’s Stone Crab is one of South Beach’s most famous restaurants. They are not open all year, and are infamously known for having a minimum 2-hour wait (they don’t take reservations). The first time I attempted this restaurant, I was not prepared for this, so ended up leaving. But this time, I came mentally prepared with my game face on. It was worth it, end of story. Go there and bring cliff bars for the wait if you must, because it has taken the crown for best restaurant of the #FoodFest2015.

I woke up the next morning, packed, took this picture (I may be smiling, but I am crying on the inside), got on the plane, and arrived to -20°C weather. It was rough. I survived. It is now 3:12 pm and I am still not listening to the teacher. Oh well. 

I hope you all had a very relaxing and joyful winter break! Hopefully you will have a more positive and motivating outlook regarding going back to school than I (lol).

My ranking of the restaurants:

1.     Joe’s Stone Crab

2.     La Dolce Vita (pizza)

3.     The Greek Islands Taverna

4.     La Camaronera

5.     BurgerFi

Honourable mention: Chipotle (duh).

Ps. Yes I have noticed that I am doing the same pose in every picture. Long ago I found something that works so I’m running with it (don’t judge lol). 


Holiday Baking


Trying to capture the holiday spirit (and also because there is really NOTHING else to do on Christmas), I baked sugar cookies. I used this recipe, and for the first time in my life followed it to the letter. Let me tell you, I was NOT disappointed. 

 

When they were ready, I was like wow these look really good. Then I remembered, I have a blog now! So I put them on a plate, snapped some pictures and decided I would share them. Let me also add, that they were so good, my stash diminished by about half whilst taking pictures (#NoSelfControl). 

 

 

These are pretty easy to make, and since I didn’t want to spend the ENTIRE break watching Netflix, I figured I would actually accomplish something during the day (lol). The good news is, that once these were done I could return to my Netflix binge watching, but now with some home baked goods. So, if you’re bored, or feeling inspired, try them out! 

 

 - Laetitia 

- Laetitia