New Adventure … Sign Me Up

Helllllllloooooooo!!!!!!! I am very excited to be writing this blog post today because I have some exciting news, well at least I am excited about it!

The past few months have been crazy! I finished my second placement in a grade 4/5/6 three way split class and I had the chance to run my first novel study which was really fun! If you are looking for a quick and good read, I highly suggest Refugee by Alan Gratz. And in between school and work, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do this summer. It’s a very long story, so I’ll just give the short version!

About few weeks ago, I got offered a job (over the phone) with the federal government and I was soooo excited. After waiting a few days to get my written offer, I emailed them and they said that Human Resources is so backed up that they are trying to send it as fast as they can. So I kept waiting until another opportunity kind of fell into my lap and I decided that this new opportunity would be better for me personally and I accepted the offer. What is this offer you might ask?

Well, starting in May I am going to return to Ontario Parks as a Park Warden. For those of you who do not know, I have worked 4 years with Ontario Parks in various roles and in 2019 I became designated as a Park Warden. Last year, I did not go back to Parks and my job was given away. However, because of COVID, Ontario Parks has not been able to train anyone new to become a Park Warden so they were trying to find people who are trained. I got offered three different positions and I am very happy with the Park that I have decided to make my home for 4 months. I will be working at Fairbank Provincial Park near Sudbury, Ontario. So if anyone has some camping adventures planned this summer, pop by and say hi!

For this new adventure, I knew I was going to need to break down and buy a car. For those of you that know me, you know that I have been saving for a car for a while and I actually almost bought a Beetle in the fall, but I am so very glad that I waited. Two weeks ago I bought a 2021 Jeep Compass Trailhawk and I LOVE it!

School is finishing up and I can’t believe how fast my first year flew by, one down one to go! I received an email today about my university giving us the option to do school online next year so it is looking like that is what I will be doing. I am hoping to do my placement with the Windsor Essex school board in the fall and hopefully live with my grandparents for a few months (which my Gramma will tell you would be so much fun).

Other than that nothing much is new, just missing Winners and Homesense.

Love always,

More Life Stories Brought to you by Libbey

Hello and welcome back to the Blonde Traveler, who well, can’t travel! Yesterday I put a poll up on my instagram page (if you want to follow me @mslibbeyjean) asking what everyone wanted to see on the blog. More than 50% of the responses were “More life stories/everyday life”, well I hate to break it to you people but my everyday life is pretty boring right now! But as is most people’s lives right now, so I will try to bring as much excitement to this post as possible.

School is Back

Well back online that is. Last Monday, I started my 2nd semester (out of four so that’s like halfway right? 😉 ) and it was hard to be back at the computer for so long everyday. Thankfully I already knocked out one project and we even had to take a picture of it, so here it is if you would like to see it!

I am supposed to be completing my second placement exactly one month from today, but honestly I have a feeling that I won’t be doing it in person. I’m trying to make the best out of every situation though and no matter if my placement is in class or online I will still be learning a lot!

Four Eyes but More Stylish

A highlight of my Christmas break was going to the eye doctors. Now for people with good vision you may not understand the excitement that I get when after two long years of wearing the same glasses I get to go and get my eyes checked and pick out new glasses. Well no big surprise but my eyes got worse once again, hopefully they will stop getting worse now that I am done growing otherwise but the time I am 50 I will actually be blind. Anyways, this was my first time picking out glasses by myself (without mom or gramma telling me what looks best) soooo fingers crossed that everything looks good when I pick them up Monday.

Also, funny story. The eye doctor asks me if she examine the back of my eye ball but in order to do that she has to put drops in my eye to dilate my pupils. In all my years of going to the eye doctors I have never had this done so I said sure why not?

That was a big mistake.

First my eye doctors was in a grocery store and the florescent lights were somewhat blinding. In addition, I still had to pick out my glasses and this is why I repeat folks I hope they look good, because colours were blending together and my focus was completely off. Once I left the doctors office, my mom had asked me to pick up some groceries and I cannot tell you how on earth I managed doing it. The worst though was when I stepped outside. I kid you not I almost fell over because the sunlight was blinding I felt like a vampire. Not only that… I had to drive home! They should not let you drive after those drops!!! Thankfully Ivy had left a huge pair of sunglasses in the car so I put them on over my actual glasses and drove home to the best of my pupils abilities. I learned my lesson there and next time they want to check out the back of my eyeballs, I’ll take a hard pass.

So What do I do in my Free Time?

You’re probably wondering what I have been up to in the middle of a pandemic in my free time, oh and I should also mention that I live in the middle of a corn field so honestly there wasn’t much to do around here before COVID. When I’m not doing school or at work I have been reading a lot of books, I recently finished Where The Forest Meets the Stars which I finished in three days because it was amazing! I am currently in the middle of 11/22/63 which was suggested to me and so far I am liking it.

I’ve also been watching wayyyyy too much Netflix and Prime. Here are some of the shows that you should add to your must watch list:

Netflix

  • Bridgerton
  • This is Us
  • The Queen’s Gambit
  • The Crown (MY FAVOURITE!!!)
  • Virgin River
  • Lupin (Currently watching)

Prime Video

  • The Wilds

Though the weather has been very miserable lately, I try to get outside even if it’s only for a few minutes when it is nice. Thankfully we live on the lake so if the waves aren’t too bad we can go for walks on the beach, which I hope to do more of in the upcoming months. I can’t believe January is already half done, and that means my birthday month is on the horizon!

Well, I hope you had a few good laughs from my random COVID safe adventures. If you want to hear any other stories or leave a note, comment below I would love to chat!

Love always,

The Year of Me

With less than 20 days left until we ring in the new year (finally, am I right?), I have been thinking a lot about what I want to get out of this upcoming year. 2020 was my year of #NOSHOP and honestly I am pretty proud of myself at how far I came. I no longer am buying just to buy or because something is on sale. Though my goal developed throughout the year I am very happy with the results.

So if you want the break down of the clothing I purchased this year:

  • 2 t-shirts
  • 1 dress
  • 3 blouses
  • 1 vest
  • 3 sweaters
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of black trousers
  • 1 pair of black flats

Now, after typing that I’m thinking wow I actually bought quite a few things. Most of those items were for my placement during school but compared to what I would usually buy in a year this is nothing! I have gotten rid of a lot this year and it made me focus on buying with intention instead of just buying.

The Plan for 2021

This past year I learned a lot about myself whether from good or bad situations. Ultimately, your experiences in life define who you are. This year I want to live for me. I want to dress how I want without caring what others think, I want to do the things that make me happy, I want to just be myself. 2021 is going to be the year of me.

To many of you, this may seem like a simple concept to focus on yourself, but I know that I will have to work hard at this goal. For those of you that have been around since my exchange years, you know that I journaled every single day. That is something that I would like to incorporate into my year of me. If anyone has used a journal brand that they really like let me know!

I am very excited for what this year has in store for me! What are you planning for your New Year’s Resolution? I would love to see your comments below!

Love always,

Where to begin…

I know it has been a long time since I have written when I get logged out of my blogging account and when my Gramma starts asking if I quit my blog. Well here I am. The last two months have in a way gone by so slow and in another flown by, but either way I have been super busy with school and work.

School online sucks

It is so weird not going to class everyday and seeing my professors. I literally googled them so I knew what they looked like so I could match a face to the name. As much as I love the program I am in now (for those of you who are new here, I am in the Faculty of Education at Schulich), it is hard to get motivated to do a class when you are just staring at your computer screen. The past four weeks I was in a physical classroom with grade 4/5/6 students and I had a lot of fun and I learned a lot. I am going to start writing down a list of the things kids say to me because they are pretty hilarious (ex. Are you a kid-adult? Because you aren’t married I could be your matchmaker) and the list goes on.

Classes online start up again next week and I am not looking forward to the Christmas crunch of assignments and tests. Although, I am sure that the next month and a bit will fly by before Christmas vacation!

Bedroom

A few months ago I updated my blog about how I renovated my room but I still wasn’t 100% happy so I made a few more changes. I figured since I am at least going to be home for the next year I should upgrade my bed. So I bought a full sized boxed mattress on Amazon and a new bed from Wayfair and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Already decorated for Christmas

#NOSHOP20

I think that I have finally understood why I wanted to do #NOSHOP20 in the first place. Let me begin by saying that I have bought clothes this year. Not many, but some. However, before this year I used to buy things because they were on sale or cheap, not because I actually liked them. Now when I am in a store, I ask myself, do you really like this? will you wear this often? will this match other pieces in your closet?. These questions have allowed me to drastically reduce the amount of clothing that I buy just because. I am glad that I found a bigger purpose in #NOSHOP20 than just not buying things.

New Season = New Beginnings

Fall is always a big transition for me no matter where I am in the world and sadly this year I am only in Wheatley. However, it is nice to be at home for the first time in a long time and spend time with family whenever I can. This fall season I am trying to appreciate the little things in life more than I normally do; a good book, a long facetime with a friend, a Friday night in. I encourage all of you to do the same and to stay positive no matter what is thrown your way.

Stay safe and happy friends.

Love always,

My Back to School Favourites

With back to school less than a month away I thought I would put together a list of my favourite things that I use throughout the school year. This year school is probably going to look a lot different for most of the students out there with either modified classes or online learning. I was recently sent an email saying that my entire school year is going to be online which is definitely going to be a major adjustment but I am so excited to be starting my schooling in Education. Read more about my favourites below and click the links to shop!

  1. Drinking water everyday is a must, so I don’t leave my house without my S’well bottle! It keeps my water cold all day and they come in some super cute designs, like the one above. Click here to shop!
  2. I found these pens my first year of university and they instantly became my go to. Perfect for writing notes, without any smudging! Click here to shop!
  3. In gradeschool/highschool, I used to hate when teachers would make everyone write things in their agenda. However, in university my planner became my best friend and I carried it around with me everywhere. Planners are a great tool to use to stay on top of readings and assignments so that you never forget anything. Click here to shop the planner I bought this year!
  4. If you don’t already own a diffuser, this is a must buy! I bought my diffuser for living in residence as you can’t have anything burning in your dorm but I still use my diffuser everyday at home. Diffuser’s are a great way to keep your room smelling great along with helping you calm down! This diffuser also plays soothing sounds and changes colours, click here to shop!
  5. This Echo Dot is a great tool to have in any room of your house and easily lets you listen to music, set alarm and ask questions without having to pull out your phone or laptop. Click here to shop!
  6. This is the first year this item is on my back to school list and though I may not be happy about it, I still want everyone to look cute! Face masks seem to be pretty much an essential item of my daily closet now, especially if I am going into schools for my placement this fall. Old Navy has a great selection of masks with a variety of patterns and for a great price. Click here to shop!
  7. These headphones are a bit of a splurge but totally worth it! Airpods are great wireless headphones with a long battery life to get you through your commute to school or gym session. When finishing my last semester online these were a lifesaver, to listen to Zoom classes and to also block out the sounds of my busy house! Click here to shop!
  8. Everyone should treat themselves to a new pair of kicks for the school year, am I right? These New Balance 574’s are my absolute favourite pair of sneakers; they are soooo comfortable and they pair well with any outfit. Click here to shop these sneakers on sale!
  9. A good book bag is essential for school and this Matt&Nat bag is great for carrying all of your books, laptop and other daily supplies. These bags are amazing quality made out of Vegan materials and will make you stand out in class! Click here to shop!

No matter where you are doing your back to school shopping this year be sure to sign up with Rakuten.ca! With thousands of stores every time you shop you get cashback for your purchases. Click this link to sign up and after your first purchase you automatically receive $5!

I hope that no matter what type of schooling you are doing this year you have an amazing year!

Shellac Nails at Home

I always say that when I go and get my nails done I feel so much more put together. Who knew what a little nail polish could do for a girl. Obviously I couldn’t go and get my nails done during lockdown but after going to the salon a hundred times I figured why couldn’t I do shellac nails by myself?

I started looking online for a kit to do shellac at home and after watching many videos and reading a lot of reviews I decided to purchase a kit off of Amazon. Here is the kit I bought below which came with 6 colors and a top and base coat. I paid C$89.99 but the exact same kit I purchase is now only C$78.99 and I think it is worth every penny!

This kit comes with everything you need to give yourself an at home manicure and once you get the hang of it, it’s actually pretty fun! This LED nail light is open at the back which is perfect for pedicures.

Shellac (or gel) polish is different than normal nail polish as you don’t have to apply a lot of it for the color to show. The thinner you apply the polish the less likely it is to chip or peel off!

My latest at home manicure

If you aren’t ready to go back to salons in person or are looking for a more budget friendly way to get your nails done, I highly recommend this kit. Amazon has a ton of different tools and colors on their website and most of them show up at your door the next day.

Tag me in your at home manicures and let me know if you have your own shellac set at home!

The Blonde Traveler Can’t Travel Hence the Silence

I don’t know where to begin this post. I have been trying to write for weeks but I have been struggling to find words to write down. This is not how I (or you probably) expected 2020 to be going. But, we can’t do anything about it so we just have to try to make the best out of a bad situation. At least that’s what I keep telling myself!

Since coming home in March the days seem to be flying by at an impossible speed. Though most of the past few months have been spent inside, a lot has happened.

Graduation

I finally finished my undergraduate degree after a very weird ending to the semester filled with a lot of Zoom meetings and essay writing. I received my degree in the mail a few weeks ago and I was super happy to close another chapter in my education career. I graduated from Glendon College – York University with an International Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with French Specialization with Honors. If that isn’t a mouthful I don’t know what is!

Starting in September I am starting my next chapter at the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University to become a French teacher. I am so excited (I mean counting down the days excited) to be going into a program that I am so passionate about. However, COVID seems to be ruining a lot of things, including the start of my semester. Until at least December, I will be taking my classes and living at home.

Room Renovation

Back when I came home in March you may have seen a post about my clothing reorganization. Well I have continued organizing and I just finished a mini room renovation due to the fact that I am going to be home for a while now. I purchased a new desk chair from Wayfair but I didn’t want it to be too matchy matchy with the rest of my room so I got in a green/gray color and I love it! I also made a bed skirt out of an old painters drop cloth that we had and I am super happy with how it came out. All I have left to do it change out some of my hangers on my clothing rack and then I will be finished! I also am looking into getting some smart light bulbs that connect to my Alexa if anyone has some recommendations!

Nash

For those of you who don’t know my sister Ivy has a puppy named Nash. I am looking after him this summer and I have to say I am a tad bit obsessed with him because he is seriously the cutest thing ever. If you want to check out more cute pictures follow him on Instagram @nashtheminiaustralian

I hope you are all staying safe and having a good summer so far! Keep your eyes open for a new post coming soon about my #noshop20 and thanks for reading ❤

Love always,

She's Back … the Blog and Home

To say my university career has been interesting would be a serious understatement. Last week COVID-19 started to become more active specifically in Toronto. After sitting like a duck for a few days waiting to see what was going to happen with school and work, the city started to shut down. Last Sunday I decided I was going to leave and Tuesday my mom came to get me. I still am trying to manage my emotions; literally scrambling to move everything out of my dorm, saying goodbye to the room that has been my home for 3 years, moving back into my house (a full house I might add). I kinda feel ripped off (insert here Ivy rolling her eyes and telling me to get over it), but it’s true. It’s not how I pictured or wanted my fourth and final year to end.

Needless to say it has been crazy and there is still so much uncertainty not only for me but for the world.

Being at home pretty much 24/7 is a challenge. But I have been trying to make the best of it; I finally had time to update my blog and I am so so happy it has a fresh new look. I also, took on a project of getting rid of my wardrobe and building an open clothes rack. With #noshop20 I figured it would be the perfect time to size down my closet and by actually seeing everything hanging up it made me realize how much stuff I actually have.

In addition to this, I have also reorganized my dresser thanks to Marie Kondo and I can’t describe the feeling of why it has made me more calm about my clothes. It is nice to actually see everything I have instead of dumping out my drawers looking for a shirt.

On the topic of clothes, I did make a purchase this month, one that I have been trying to make since last year. I have been on the hunt for a good quality white t-shirt, one that isn’t see through and I have been trying shirts on for months trying to find one I liked. Well I finally found one at Marshalls for $9.99 and it is the softest thing I own. I didn’t feel guilty about buying it because I actually needed it and I actually wish I would have bought two of them because that’s how much I like it.

The next few weeks are going to be pretty busy writing final essay’s for school (3 x 15 pages yippee). But hey, at least were in quarantine and I don’t have much else to do other than write!

I hope you are all being safe no matter where you are in the world, sending big virtual hugs.

Love always,

#noshop20 February

It’s that time in the month where a #noshop20 update is needed. Last month I posted on the 30th and then on the 31st I made a purchase. Did I feel guilty tapping my credit card at Gap, yes. But do I feel like I have failed my experiment, not really. You see, I am attending several weddings this year and though I have a bunch of nice dresses, I needed to find something a little toned down for the winter months. I bought a velvet jumpsuit for I think $29 which I plan to wear to at least two of the weddings. This experiment is a learning process and sometimes mistakes need to happen in order to learn more.

Anyways, February was a very busy month. And I did not purchase anything. I have tried stuff on in stores, when going out with my mom but in the back of mind I was constantly thinking, do I need this, will I wear this often, does this match other things in my closet. I think one of my main goals in doing this is to not only reduce the amount of stuff I buy, but also to find what I really like and to find pieces that I can wear often because they fit into the style of my closet.

March is going to be a very busy month in terms of the semester (MY FINAL SEMESTER OF UNDERGRAD!!!!) wrapping up and I think it is going to fly by. Usually to give myself a break from school, I will go shopping one day on the weekend, so now I just have to find something else to occupy my time. Thankfully this weekend is going to be beautiful outside so hopefully I can spend my free time out and about.

Thank you all for taking time to read my blog, your support means a lot! If you have any questions or want to see something new on the Blonde Traveler, let me know in the comments.

Love always,

#noshop20 January Update

Well January is coming to an end (finally), so it is time for a #noshop20 update! Oh the joys of trying to remember why I am doing this. Some days it feels like I am punishing myself and then others I am focused on living in experiences and not in items.

For those of you just joining me, my name is Libbey Dresser and this year I will not be shopping. No buying any clothes or shoes for twelve whole months. And if you don’t personally know me, this is a very big deal for me.

January seems to have been the longest month in existence, not because of #noshop20 but rather with getting back into the swing of school, dealing with miserable weather and very impatiently waiting for my vacation in February. Honestly, January has sucked.

For the past month I have been in Toronto, with no plans to visit home until the end of February for a wedding (and some birthday celebrations). The first few weeks of school weren’t busy, so I found myself sitting my room for a few weekends in a row, overthinking things and just being moody because I was alone. The second weekend I was back in the city, I couldn’t take it anymore and I had to get out of my room. So where did I go? Winners.

Now some of you may be thinking ohhh here we go, Libbey already bought something 15 days into January. Well, yes. But, as I stated in a previous post there were going to be some exceptions for my #noshop20. I was given some Winners gift cards for Christmas and I allowed myself to use them during #noshop20. I did buy some practical things, but I also used the card for a pair of leggings and matching top.

Needless to say the gift cards are all gone, so the true test now begins because I have nothing to fall back on. Which is good … I think.

Also, my sisters have been finding my #noshop20 extremely amusing and whenever they can, try to throw it into conversation.

In addition to not shopping I have been trying to be more aware of my wasteful practices. I have been using my reusable plastic ziplock bags when buying bulk items and also trying to bring my reusable mug wherever I go. I think something I am already learning from my #noshop20 is being more aware of my daily practices. I usually get 2/3 teas a day, times 5 days is already like 10 cups that can’t be recycled or reused. No I am not perfect and sometimes I don’t have my reusable cup with me, but you don’t have to be when trying to make a change. Every little bit helps, even if you reduce the amount of garbage you make by 1 or 2 coffee cups a day.

I think February is going to be a walk in the park, mainly because I am going to be so busy getting ready for vacation, going on vacation and then coming home and having a wedding the next weekend. Oh and don’t forget February is my birthday month so it’s bound to be good.

I hope you all have a great month and I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated on #noshop20!

Love always,