Friday, October 30, 2015

DIY Mermaid Costume on a Budget

My family has always been the kind who never bought Halloween costumes. All our costumes have always been handmade, and this year is no different!
I've never really been the "dress up like a Disney Princess" type, but not too long ago I got myself a pair of mermaid leggings on a whim (they were cheap and if I got them they made it that I would get free shipping on my other leggings), and decided to use them for my Halloween costume. On top of the red hair, well it seems easy to just dress up as the Little Mermaid. Since I'm on a pretty tight budget, here's how I made a Halloween costume for under $30!

I got the shells at Michaels and painted them with paint I had at home, then added some glitter and rhinestones like this:
Start with painting the shells...
Final product after the glitter and rhinestones!
After that, it's just a matter of putting it all together!

Leggings: at Lotus Leggings for $16.99
Seashells: at Michaels for $3.50 each
Glitter and rhinestones: at Dollorama for $1.00 each
Bra: at Dollorama for $3.00
Total: $28.99

There you have it!

What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Almost two years ago, we adopted a new cat, Lola at the Humane Society. She was adorable! Always running around, chasing the other cats, always cuddling with us and hiding her face when we tried to hold her. She was always a fierce little kitten, brave, and a little too curious. She was the kind of cat who could catch a bird, while on a leash, who would race down the stairs and almost trip on her way down.  She was the kind of kitten who would literally claw food out of the bowls of other cats so she could have more food, or try to climb the door to get in the house at supper time.

Friday night, we said goodbye to her.

Unlike our two other cats, she never quite understood boundaries or danger. She never understood how to cross the road safely. They are all outdoor cats, but she hadn't learned all that stuff yet. She loved to explore and run across the street to discover new things. Friday night, the curiosity got the best of her. It was raining, it was dark, and she had decided to cross the street. Just like a deer in the headlights, she froze when a car came into view and it hit her. At least that's what I assume happened.

She was two years old.

I have been having a much harder time dealing with her death than I would have expected. I have lost family members and pets before... but it's different this time. I was too young to understand the death of a pet when the last one passed away, and they were very old, so it was expected. This caught us all totally by surprise. One minute she is sitting by the window, cuddling the other cat, and the next, she's just gone.

What bothers me the most is imagining this driver, who undoubtedly heard of felt a "thunk"  or even a shriek and just shrugged and kept going like it was nothing. It's like we think that as drivers or humans, we are above everything and everyone else. We don't have any respect for other living beings. I bet that driver didn't even check to see what they hit.
Thankfully, a woman saw this and brought Lola to the side of the road so she wouldn't get hit even more, giving this poor creature a tiny shred of dignity. She then told our neighbour about what she saw and he came to tell us.

Our two other cats are now roaming the house, confused, trying to find Lola. Even her bowl has disappeared. I wonder if they know, if they understand what happened. I just hope it was quick and painless. I hope she's happy, looking down on the other two, wishing she could play with them.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cardigan Season

Fall and cold weather means more and more layers... which makes me happy! I love wearing sweaters and I definitely have more than I could possibly ever need. I would wear blankets if that was socially acceptable! The closest thing to wearing a blanket would be a cardigan. I recently started wearing more and more of them, and I can't get enough!
Cardigan: Maurices // Shirt: (somewhere in Berlin) // Jeans: Maurices 
Cardigan: Maurices // Shirt: (somewhere in Berlin) // Jeans: Maurices
This is definitely my favourite shirt! I got it at a small boutique in Berlin and immediately fell in love with it.

Cardigan: Garage // Shirt: H&M // Jeans: Maurices

Cardigan: Garage // Shirt: H&M // Jeans: Maurices // Socks: Walmart // Boots: Payless Shoe Warehouse

Monday, October 26, 2015

200th post!

I can't believe I have posted 200 posts already! I started this blog in 2013 and in 2 years, a lot has happened. I have learned so much from blogging, I have grown as a write and all these memories, these silly little things I wrote about are things I can look back on and remember. I'm so glad I started this blog, and I can't wait to keep on writing! I have so many exciting things happening in my life right now that I want to share, and so many things coming up that I will definitely keep blogging for a while still. Now here are some of my favourite posts!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Half-Marathon Time Lapse

Sunday, I ran the WFPS Half-Marathon with my GoPro strapped to my chest. I wanted to film the race so I could re-experience the run, as well as show others what it's like to run 13.1 miles. I encountered a few problems... The first being that the GoPro cameras have terrible battery life. I was only able to film about 40 minutes of the race: the first 30 minutes (5km), about 10 minutes here and there and the last 50 seconds of the race, when I sprinted to the finish line.

I ended up filming the race with a regular setting rather than a Time Lapse, since I knew that the camera would be bouncing around too much for the pictures to be clear. I found this amazing tutorial to turn a video into a time lapse and it worked! I wasn't 100% happy with the results of the time lapse; I thought it was way too fast, so I slowed down the video and it made the video a bit better. Of course, I'm still not quite satisfied with the end results, but I'm still testing out my camera and hopefully the next one will be even better!

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Night Run Time Lapse

I bought myself a Chesty (chest harness) for my GoPro so I could wear it during the half-marathon, but obviously, I wanted to test it out before I wore it while running for over 2 hours, so I went for a night run with my friend and used the time lapse setting.

A time lapse is basically a series of pictures at the interval you choose. A regular video is usually about 24 frames per second, which means there are 24 pictures needed to make 1 second of video. With a time lapse, the camera takes 1 pictures every 1, 5, 10, 30 or 60 seconds (on a GoPro at least), so the video looks more like a stop-motion animation than a regular video. What I didn't realize, was that by wearing the chest harness and running, the camera was moving a lot more than I thought, which meant that my camera was taking pictures every second, capturing all the movements I was making while capturing the light... And we all know what a picture looks like when you move the camera too fast. I was disappointed at first, but then we the right music, it actually kind of turned out to be a pretty cool video!

Monday, October 19, 2015

WFPS Half-Marathon

Yesterday I ran my fourth half-marathon of the year, and my fifth ever! This was the first time I ran the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Half-Marathon, or WFPS Half-Marathon. This race is fundraises for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, which is a really good cause to be running for.
It was the fourth annual WFPS race, so it was awesome that I got to participate!

It was a pretty chilly morning, but all in all, it was a great race! Around mile 4, my ankle starting hurting. I've never had problems with it before, so I still have no idea what's wrong with it. It was just sore, like I had twisted it, except that I hadn't. I kept going and it was fine up until the last 5km, where I had to limp a little and walk more than I had planned to. I also wore my GoPro camera the entire time and filmed part of the race. I will be editing the video and hopefully have it up on Friday, so you'll get to experience the start and finish of a half-marathon first-hand.
I ended up with a time of 2:17:27 which is awesome! My goal was to run between 2:15 and 2:30, so this is perfect!  Right at the finish line, I ran like hell and felt like I was flying! It's the best part of the run when you've been running for over 2 hours and you have that little piece of strength left to sprint to the finish line. It's like all of a sudden your aching legs wake up and have all the energy in the world to run faster than they've even been able to. It's an amazing feeling.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Why I WILL Vote

**Disclaimer: These opinions are entirely my own and are by no means meant to discourage anyone to follow what they believe in. Politics is a touchy subject and I apologize if anyone gets offended as I have tried not to do so.**

Last year, Winnipeg had municipal elections and I wrote a post about why I don't vote. This year, Canada is having federal elections, which means we will be voting for our prime minister AND for the member of parliament who will represent the area of the city in which we live.  This year, I WILL vote.

Last time, I talked about how much I hate politics, that I try to stay away from political conversations and didn't even try to find out when the elections were.
This year, I have been paying a lot closer attention. I still hate politics, but I couldn't help but get curious. Mostly because my coworkers and family are so invested that I started listening to what they were saying, but also because it's a federal election and change needs to happen. There are four parties running and three of them (in my opinion) that have really great plans for Canada and it's a really tough decision to figure out who to vote for, but it's an important choice and I am proud to say that I have been doing my part to make my decision.

I don't believe that our current prime minister has been doing a good job whatsoever:
-He has ruined our economy for his political campaigns
-He has ruined Canada's reputation as Peacekeepers (we went from #1 to #62)
-He does not care about women's rights or equality
-He has openly said that the missing and murdered aboriginal women are not a concern (and d-ue to their lack of jobs)
-He has no plans to help with the global warming problems (and will actually harm it with this oil plans)
-He has created or brought back some very racist laws, one of which actually classifies citizens into two tiers - the "pure-breds" and the "foreigners/immigrants" (C-24) and there's bill C-51, the ant-terrorist act, which violates some of our human rights
-He also believes in the growth of the big companies and making money more than the individuals and the needs of families
-He has also decided to have the election campaign twice as long as the regular 40 days that the candidates normally have, which means these elections have been insufferably long

(Please take note that I have paraphrased these points and that when I say "he," I also mean the Conservative Party of Canada, as the blame can't necessarily be placed on a single individual.)

Those are just a few of the reasons why I don't think our current leader is a good fit for Canada. I have been keeping track with the election news, discussing it at lengths with friends and family and am entirely convinced that this year, of all years, voting matters. I am by no means trying to tell you who to vote for, and will not say who I will vote for, but change needs to happen one way or another, and I now believe that voting is important. Even if you don't vote, you are technically still voting. You give your vote to another person, who you may not even agree with! 

On Monday, October 19th, 2015, I will vote. Will you?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

You Can Never Have Too Much Running Clothes

Back in July, I decided to splurge on some more running clothes! I got myself a good pair of capri tights and a running shirt that has a pretty sweet technology in the fabric. As you can tell, I like to wear really bright colours when I run. Somehow, it always seems to be pink, red or a combination!
This time is no different! My leggings are just as bright, although the shirt isn't!

Shirt: Columbia // Leggings: UnderArmour // Socks: Running Room

I really love this little feature on the leggings.... It has a pocket at the back! This is perfect for my long runs so I can put my keys and they won't jiggle or bother me at all, and I could even put a small granola bar in there (not that I would want to because it's above my butt and all...). Definitely a very handy asset to the leggings! I personally hate when I have stuff bouncing around in my pockets.

Now the shirt. This particular shirt is from Columbia and is part of their Omni-Freeze Zero line. This is technology in the fabric that is activated by sweat or moisture and cools down the fabric. Sounds crazy right? How could sweat make fabric cold? Well it works. I tried a sample of the material at Mud Hero and was flabbergasted at how freaky it is! It seriously gets cold! The wetter the material is, the colder it feels on your skin. Perfect for summer, right?

I may spend a lot of money on running clothes, but they are worth every single penny.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving this year was great! The whole family came over for dinner on Saturday night and we ate way too much. We joked, we talked, we drank and sat by the fire.
Dinner was amazing. Everyone brought something: wild rice, turkey, pumpkin pie, ham, mashed potatoes, salads, cheeses, and lots of wine.

I am so thankful for the people I have in my life... my family, my friends, my coworkers. Without them, my life would be extremely boring! I'm also thankful for my health, my three jobs, the travels I've done this year, and my university degree. I'm so glad I have a roof over my head and with everything happening in Syria and around the world, I am extremely thankful for having been born in this beautiful country.

What are you thankful for?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Brand New Design!

I just changed my entire blog design! I've been wanting to change up my design for quite a while now and finally took the plunge! The design was made by Bella Lulu Ink and it was a very easy template to install with really great instructions. I'm still working out the kinks and figuring out how some of the aspects work, so bear with me! It may be a little less colourful, but it looks cleaner and my writing will be the colourful part!

Some of the new features on the blog:
  • Brand new header
  • Instagram grid at the bottom
  • New "Share to" buttons
  • New profile picture

On the sidebar:

Here's a before and after, just to see the evolution of the blog:

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Harry Potter Party

Did you know that Bloomsbury just came out with an illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone?! Well... the book launch was yesterday!! McNally Robinson decided to host a "Harry Potter Party" at the Winnipeg location to celebrate the launch. It brings back so many memories of all the book launches that we all went to as the Harry Potter series came out. I remember when the last book came out, there was a huge party at Assiniboine Park with music, games, Chocolate Frogs, Wands, Bertie Botts Flavoured Beans, etc. for everyone to enjoy!

There was a live book reading of the Philosopher's Stone - they were literally reading the whole book! People came dressed in costumes and sat in the bookstore listening to the reading, following along with their own copy! There was also butterbeer and little themed pastries.

This book is gorgeous! Here are a few images from the book:

Now excuse me as I go binge-watch the entire Harry Potter series....!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fall=Plaid... Right?

Fall is a beautiful season. The leaves change colours and fall, giving the cold grey concrete a happier glow. It's time when the birds take to the skies in their "V" formations and slowly, the weather grows cold. I love fall. Thanksgiving, Halloween, sweaters, playing in the piles of leaves...
One thing about fall that I've recently fallen in love with all over again? Plaid. I got myself this button-up plaid shirt and it's comfortable and I can't stop wearing it! On top of that? It goes with pretty much anything.
Jacket: Suzy Shier// Shirt: Garage // Jeans: Maurices // Socks: Kodiak // Boots: Payless Shoe Warehouse

This elephant necklace is among my most prized possessions... It was given to me by my host-mom in Germany on my last day there. Not only is it a great souvenir, it also goes with everything. Just like my plaid shirt!

What are some of your favourite fall wears?

Thursday, October 1, 2015


I just got myself a GoPro!! I'm so excited about this, as it's my first video-camera and I already have a lot of ideas for little videos that I want to make. I've been playing with the settings to try and see what it can do, and I made a little video of my daily walk to work to test it out.

So far, I really love this little camera. It's small, compact, easy to use and tough (though I haven't tested that out yet).
This video was a first try and I've learned a lot from it:

I walk with a really heavy step.
As much as I tried to steady the camera and not shake too much as I walked, the video still looked like I was bouncing up and down.... Speeding up the video helped a lot, though.

I'm going to need the chest strap or camera stick if I want to film myself walking or running.
Like I said above, the film was quite shaky from my walking and I plan on filming myself running my next half-marathon, as well as all kinds of adventures I go on in my upcoming trip. It could be as simple as walking down the streets of Dublin! But I need it to be steadier and I refuse to wear a helmet for no reason.

The camera captures sound really really well.
I've always been told that the GoPro doesn't capture sound very well, especially with the case on it, so I wasn't expecting to get any sound on my walk, but, it actually captured the sound coming from my headphones clear enough for me to be able to hear the lyrics of the songs!

The GoPro Studio is pretty easy to use, once you warm up to it.
I'm so used to Final Cut Pro, that using a simpler program was slightly frustrating... but there are some great tutorials in the program and I managed to do exactly what I wanted.

You can connect the camera to your phone! 
The GoPro App let's you see what you're filming or even control the camera like a remote from your phone. Just add WiFi.

More coming soon!
Bella Lulu Ink Blog