On To New Adventures

The past two summers (and the start of this summer) I have worked at Talbot Trail Golf Club. I am very sad to say that yesterday was my last day working at Talbot Trail Golf Club and I am moving on to a new adventure with Ontario Parks. I am absolutely blessed to have made many new friends and “family” members during the time I worked there. I have grown in many different ways, gaining new strengths (and learning my many weaknesses), developing a new appreciation for bartenders and cooks, and trying to make people smile on a daily basis. I will forever be in debt to my coworkers as they have not only taught me many different skills, but life lessons that I will never forget. Each and every single one of the people I worked with share a bond that I’m sure will last a very long time. I’m grateful that three years ago I was given the chance to work at a course that means so much to my family, and it is with a very sad and heavy heart that I am leaving.

Today I am making the 15 hour drive to Fushimi Lake Provincial Park where I will work for the remainder of the summer. I am very excited that I get to return to the Park where I worked my first summer job and spend the summer with my sister Ivy.

Thank you to everyone for their love and support the past few days, it has meant so much.

Love,

My Summer Favorites

Hey everyone! The sun is shining and because today is going to feel like 95F I thought I would share some of my summer favorites with you!

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Product descriptions counter clockwise:

  1. Chacos – Last year I bought my first pair of Chaco sandals and I fell in love immediately. Not only are they super cute but they provide custom support for every type of foot, including high arch support for feet like mine! I have started spreading the word about these sandals because they will keep your feet happy all year long! You can buy sandals like mine here!
  2. Hawaiian Tropic – This is my favorite brand of sunscreen and suntanning products because it smells great and doesn’t leave your skin super greasy!
  3. Yeti 30oz Rambler Tumbler – Ivy and Declan became obsessed with Yeti’s in the past year, so I took the plunge and bought one for myself! This is not your typical cup, which explains the hefty price tag. This tumbler keeps my ice cubes without melting so my drinks are never watered down, perfect for my pink lemonade! To see more colors or to buy yourself a tumbler click here!
  4. Hair ties – I always have some extra hair ties with me in the summer especially because we have a jeep! I made these ribbon hair ties out of some headbands!
  5. High waisted bikini bottoms – High waisted bikini have started making their comeback and this year the trend will continue. I picked up these bottoms while shopping in Toronto at the Gap!
  6. Sunnies – Because I just got contacts I can finally buy nonprescription sunglasses! Big and bold are in this year so keep an eye out for some cute specs you can add to your accessory closet! I picked up these sunnies at my local winners!
  7. Floppy Hat – This floppy hat is not only super cute but it was only $5 at Target! Hats are not only the perfect way to cover up beach hair, but they are a good sun protector!
  8. A good summer book – I have read The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han every summer since I started high school. I recommend this to every girl who needs a quick and fun read for the beach! Click here to pick up a copy!

So there you have it, the things you won’t see me without this summer! I hope you’re all enjoying the weather as much as I am and wishing you a fabulous week!

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Summer Thrifting

The other day, my Mom came home and told me she bought some patio furniture at a garage sale. I just gave a “oh” nod and walked away, mainly because I thought it was going to be old ugly junk. The next morning when I woke up and went outside, I saw the coolest, vintage patio furniture sitting in our driveway. I couldn’t believe my Mom had only paid $35 bucks and walked away with some pretty sweet additions for our porch.

I love summer and I love patio season even more. I love waking up and sitting on the porch drinking my tea, or watching the sunset in the evening. Something old does not mean it is junk. This summer I challenge you to embrace other peoples old things and turn them into your “new”. Thrifting is so easy, plus its almost always cheap, and who knows you could find your next “it” piece. I encourage you to stop at a yard sale or your local thrift store and I can almost guarantee you’ll have fun and maybe some laughs!

I fell in love with vintage clothing when I was in grade 8 and it brings me joy to find old and rare pieces that I can make mine. The best part is, the chances of you seeing someone in the exact same vintage piece on the same day you’re wearing it is extremely rare. Find joy in finding the unique pieces that represent who you are, because hardly ever do people talk about the jeans you bought at Abercrombie.

Love,

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The Traveling Girls

I have some pretty amazing friends that do amazing things on a daily basis. I’ve been friends with some of these girls since I was five and some I met on my first day of university. Almost all of my girlfriends are older than me, so once they left for university and other adventures we made a pact to get together at least once a year, even if it is only for a few hours. This summer more than a few of my girlfriends are going on adventures of a lifetime; some are off visiting new countries and others are working around the globe. My beautiful girlfriends have agreed to share their experiences with you and I could not be more excited to be able to feature this segment on my blog which I will be calling The Traveling Girls! Once a week starting in June, I will be featuring one of my friends adventures on the blog! I am beyond grateful to have met each and one of these beautiful women and the fact that I get to live vicariously through them is even more special.

I hope that each and every one of their words inspires you as they inspire me on a daily basis.

Love always,

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Three Turned to Two

In my house summer starts when our jobs begin. Well summer has officially commenced in our house even if it is cold/rainy outside. For the past few weeks I have been working part time at the Golf Course because the weather has not been cooperating and rain = no golf. We are hoping that in a few days everything dries up and stays dry for the rest of the summer! Today Ivy and Dad left for up north a 15 hour drive into northern Ontario. Ivy is going to be the Park Warden at Fushimi Lake Provincial Park and the whole family is super proud of her!

These past few weeks have been super stressful, between working and trying to figure out what I am going to do about school. I will hopefully be able to book my flights soon for Barbados and then I will have my official departure date! Even though York is still on strike, I am still allowed to go on exchange which is a major blessing. I spent this past weekend by myself as Mom, Dad, Ivy and Elle went to visit Trent University’s open house. While they were in Peterborough, I was watching the house and dogs. On Saturday, I went into Windsor to see Gramma and Grampa and we went out for fish and chips. The rest of my weekend was spent cleaning, watching Netflix and eating way too much popcorn and ice cream.

I’m sorry that I haven’t written much lately but as you can see nothing very exciting has been happening! Hopefully some good news will come soon and believe me you’ll be the first to know!

I hope you all have an amazing week… only three days until Friday and a long weekend!

Love,

Libbey

Windsor Star Reader Letter

Today is day 63 of the York University Strike and let me tell you it isn’t fun. And I’m mad for obvious reasons. The other day I decided to write a letter to the editor of the Windsor Star about the strike and yesterday they published it. You can click on the link to read it on their website or keep scrolling and read it below!

Reader Letter: Strike at York University costing students

Two years ago I was an excited Grade 12 student who had just accepted an offer to my dream school: Glendon College – York University. Little did I know that my dream school would soon become my worst nightmare.

At the beginning of March 2018, I was counting down the days until I was officially finished my second year of school, but on March 5 everything came to a halt when CUPE 3903 — the union representing teaching assistants, contract faculty and graduate assistants — went on strike.

Though some classes continued, mine were cancelled and I returned home with high hopes that a deal would be made within a few days. It is now two months later and there is no end in sight. Though York University claims to have the interest of their 50,000 students at heart, many of us have been left in the dark.

Only a few weeks ago, I was accepted for an exchange through York International to the University of West Indies – Cave Hill campus in Barbados. Though York University is now offering a tuition credit, which allows students to drop out of their current classes and retake them by the end of winter semester 2019 without repaying tuition, this is not an option for me or any other future exchange students. If I decide to drop my courses now, I will not be compensated in my fourth year, meaning I will have to pay full tuition again in order to finish classes that I already started.

I work extremely hard during the summer months to pay for my schooling in Toronto and frankly I am worried that I made a poor investment in my education. Not only will it cost me thousands of more dollars but thousands of more hours than I bargained for.

Libbey Jean Dresser, Wheatley

Back In The Big City

I haven’t been in Toronto for two months and I’m not going to lie, I missed the city lifestyle. Hopping on the subway whenever I want, walking to stores in Uptown Yonge and obviously going to my Starbucks.

I came back to TO on Friday to pack up most of my dorm stuff and to see my friends one last time before I go on exchange. I waited a little late to book my train back home, so the best deal I could get was for Tuesday and honestly I’m happy that I have a few days alone here! On Saturday, I met up with my friend Sabrina and we went shopping in Scarborough. It was really nice to catch up seeing as though we haven’t seen each other in so long.

The weather has been absolutely beautiful since I got here, so I’ve tried to take advantage of it as much as possible. On Sunday I took a long walk to Uptown Yonge, which is an area with a bunch of outdoor shopping and restaurants. Let’s just say that I definitely got my shopping fix in which was much needed!

Today, I am finishing packing up what I can from my room and spending more time outside! I’m currently sitting in my Starbucks drinking tea and I couldn’t be happier. I’m coming back to the city Saturday night with Mom, Elle and Ivy because Elle has her final India presentation on Sunday. It’s getting harder saying goodbye to my friends knowing that I won’t be seeing them until September 2019, but I am already super excited to leave for Barbados.

I hope that everyone has a great week and that you’re taking advantage of this beautiful weather!

Love,

Libbey Jean

 

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The Legendary B229a

Coconuts About Cuba

Less than 2 weeks ago I got a call from my Gramma asking if I wanted to go to Cuba with her, my aunts and cousins. Obviously I said yes.

I packed what I had of my summer clothes in Wheatley (most of them are in Toronto in my dorm room) and we got on a plane in Windsor and headed to Cayo Coco, Cuba. We arrived at Meliá Jardines Del Rey Tuesday evening where it was still very hot. I have only been to one all inclusive before (last year in Mazatlan, Mexico), but this resort was a new experience. It was MASSIVE. We were pretty lucky to get rooms in Bungalow 22 which was close to the pool, beach and the lobby.

Wednesday was Casey (my cousin’s) birthday. We spent the entire day by the pool and man was it hot. I have never been anywhere this late in the year and I was not expecting such a difference in temperature, but with a UV index of 11+ it was a new type of heat for me. So needless to say the first day, I fried. After that we all learned to limit our time in the sun and in the shade, with an exception for the last day when we all tried to get as dark as possible before coming home LOL! That night we had a very nice dinner at an a la carte restaurant and the whole restaurant sang happy birthday including a little mariachi band!

The week went by extremely fast, with us spending most of our days at the beach. Normally I do not like swimming in the ocean when I cannot see what could be touching my feet or leg, but in Cuba the water is crystal clear. Throughout the day it seemed to turn even more shades of turquoise and blue that you didn’t even know existed. We made friends with a bartender and he instantly became our cabana boy checking on us at least once every 20 minutes. The beach was definitely our favourite part and I am super excited that I will be living on the same Sea in just a few months in Barbados!

We all had an amazing time and came back 10 shades darker than when we left. We shared a lot of laughs and a lot of new inside jokes will be shared for years to come. Now it’s back to reality except for me. My university is still on strike so I am not doing much until the Golf Course opens up. I have to go up to Toronto soon, to pack up my dorm room and hopefully see my friends one last time before I leave on exchange.

Below are some of my favourite pictures from vacation, hope you enjoy.

Love always,

Libbey Jean

Strike, Strike, Strike

In case you didn’t hear, my university is on strike. Today is day 16 and let me tell you it is as stressful as ever. Seeing as though I don’t have school, I decided to come home and make good use of my time. I have been very busy hanging out with Gramma and Mom, doing things that I didn’t have a chance to during reading week and Christmas vacation.

I came home on the 5th and stayed at my Gramma’s for the entire week seeing as though Elle was in India and Mom and Dad were working. Gramma and I had several fun adventures including going to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). I haven’t been there since I was a little kid, so it was extremley fun to go back!

The next week Mom was off for March Break, so Gramma, Mom and I went to Caesars Windsor for a few nights to relax five star style. It was really fun to stay in a hotel even if Gramma’s house was only five minutes away. Mom and I went to the States when our mini-vacation was over and the rest of the week we relaxed. On Sunday, Mom, Ivy and I went to Toronto to pick up Elle from the airport. She had an amazing time in India and I am trying to convince her to write a little something for all of you!

So far this week has been nothing exciting, just praying that my school will come to an agreement with the union so we can finish this year. As long as it is over by April 2, I should finish on time, but anything over 4 weeks means I’m going to be continuing school in the summer. I am going to be finding out more about my exchange in the next few weeks so I will share as soon as I find out anything! I am getting super excited already even if I dont leave for another 5 months.

I hope you have a great rest of your week!

Libbey

(p.s. I know that my blog doesn’t look like it normally does and I am very sorry for the inconvience. My website is run through WordPress.com and they are working with headquarters to fix the issue as soon as possible. Thanks, Libbey)

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Goodbye Toronto!

In January I got accepted to go on exchange to France. Now you are probably all thinking, Oh My Goodness! She’s going back on exchange… that’s awesome! Well sorry to break it to ya, but not exactly. You see the thing is that I didn’t just apply to go to France.

Last summer I was joking around with a few of my co-workers that I was going to go and live in Barbados. Because my Mom also worked at the Golf Course she quickly found out what I was planning and shut my plans down. Fast forward to November when I am trying to figure out my life (which by the way still has not happened) and I realized that the chances that I would be put into a University in Paris were very slim, like very. Not because I don’t have good marks or references but because my university likes sending English and French majors to Paris, not Political Science students. I needed to find a back up plan and fast because the application deadline was creeping up on me.

Then in January I got accepted into Paris (and the surrounding area). ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! So I accepted the offer. Meanwhile I was still waiting to hear back from my other application. So I waited, and waited, and waited. And a few days ago it finally it came.

I am very excited to announce that I will yet again be an exchange student but this time at the University of West Indies – Cave Hill Campus in Barbados. I will be continuing my education there in a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and French. Obviously this is a little different as I am currently obtaining a Bachelor of Arts and I will also be a senior because university is only 3 years in Barbados.

I just want to thank everyone for being extremely supportive in my decision, especially my parents. (Oh just so you know, once my Mom and Dad realized that I would be taking half of my courses in French and the other half in English they loved the idea of me going to another country). 30 degrees all year round sounds pretty good to me!

And so the Blonde Traveler is on the move yet again.

Love,

Libbey Jean