August Favourites

August has been a very busy month filled with lots of fun adventures. I am so grateful for everything that has happened this month. This summer has been so much fun and I'm so sad it has come to an end. I'm now entering my last year of high the time flies. I've enjoyed a lot of things in August so I am sharing them with you today. I hope you enjoy scrolling through! 


I am so happy that I found this Nyx HD Finishing Face Powder in Translucent. I have really oily skin and it's so hard to find anything that works to reduce the shine on my face. This works like a charm. I bought the translucent shade and since I have darker skin I really just hope these powders don't make me look like a ghost. That is not the case for this one at all. My skin tone stays the same and I stay matte for hours. Really impressed and definitely check this out if you have combination/oily skin. 

I saw this Nyx #thisiseverything Lip Oil on their website and I was really curious to try it and see if it works. Ever since I was 9 my lips cannot go without lip balm for more than 5 minutes without getting so dry and uncomfortable. I have to put on lip balm as soon as I wash my face and before I put on any type of lip product. This oil has actually replaced my lip balm. It's so amazing. I was expecting to be more of an oily consistency but it's actually thicker and more like a super moisturizing lip balm. It hasn't irritated my lips like other lip products do and my lips feel so conditioned. I'll definitely be stocking up on this for the cold weather that's fast approaching. 


Fifth Harmony's new self-titled album is so different and edgier than their previous albums--in a good way. As usual their songs are super catchy after one listen and have you playing them on repeat. My favourite songs from this album are: He Like That, Messy, and Deliver (gives me Ariana Grande vibes).

I have been loving to listen to Billie Eilish's album don't smile at me because it is so soothing and she has such a unique voice. My favourite songs from this album are: ocean eyes, idontwannabeyouanymore, and watch.

I was just scrolling through YouTube looking for new music and I stumbled upon LANY and I just love their music. I've been really obsessed with their song current location because it's exactly the type of music I like and it's so simple and catchy. 

I have been obsessed with Harry Styles' self-titled album this whole month. I was never a Directioner and I really only liked a few of One Direction's songs. This album is completely different from the pop music he's done before. This is a blend of alternative and rock and I am so onbaord with his new style. This genre fits his voice so well. I'm really impressed. My favourite songs off this album are: Carolina, Sweet Creature, Kiwi, Woman, Two Ghosts, and Ever Since New York.

I've been watching The Bold Type and I heard this song playing and just had to find out what it was called. The song is Hurts So Good by Astrid S. I just love to sing along to this song even though I can't hit the high notes (lol). I know I've said this for every song I've mentioned so far but this song is extremely catchy and addictive. Check it out!

I heard this song in a Jess and Gabe video and I just fell in love with it. It's so catchy (I'm sorry I really can't think of another word). It's called I Like Me Better by Lauv. 


I have just been hunting for more teen movies to watch because I've watched so many at this point that there is nothing left. I haven't watched 10 Things I Hate About You (until now) so I decided to give it a go. This movie has definitley made my top ten favourite movies list. This is movie is about a new student Cameron who is smitten with Bianca and, in order to get around her father's strict rules on dating, attempts to get bad boy Patrick to date Bianca's ill-tempered sister, Kat. I'm probably going to watch this moive a thousand more times like I do with all my favourite movies.

I have watched most of Nicholas Sparks' movies but I had yet to watch The Choice. This movie is about Travis Shaw, who is a ladies' man and thinks a serious relationship would cramp his easygoing lifestyle. Gabby Holland is a feisty medical student who's preparing to settle down with her long-term boyfriend. Fate brings the two together as Gabby moves next door to Travis, sparking an irresistible attraction that upends both of their lives. As their bond grows, the unlikely couple must decide how far they're willing to go to keep the hope of love alive. As with all Nicholas Sparks movies this was emotionally draining. I really liked both the main characters even though I wasn't the biggest fan of how they got together. But despite that it was a really good movie. I recommend this for anyone who loves romance and drama. 

I watched the first 10 minutes of this movie when it first came out in 2010 (I was 10 years old). I realized that I never even finished it to see what happened in the end. Since it was one of the last Nicholas Sparks movies I had left to catch up on I decided to give it a chance. The Last Song is about a troubled teenager as she reconnects with her estranged father and falls in love during a summer in a quiet Southern United States beach town. This was a beautiful movie and it was so nice to see how Miley Cyrus and liam Hemsworth fell in love for the first time. Great movie for romantics like myself. 

I hope you enjoyed today's post. I've been loving a lot of music this month which is why it took up most of this post. Anyways, I hope I gave you some good recommendations. Have a wonderful day and a wonderful week. See you soon with a new post. 

love xena

My Travels: St. Martin/St. Maarten

On the Plane

Waiting to board

June/July Favourites

Uh oh! July is over?! The summer months are moving way too fast. I have just been enjoying summer and going out doing fun activites. I can't believe in a month's time all the fun will be over. But, let's not think about that just yet. It's still in the future. Anyways, these past two months have been lots of fun (expect exams) and I have lots of things to discuss. So, if you are interested in finding out the movies, shows, books, and music I've been enjoying, then keep reading! 

Movie Favourites

Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny.

Wonder Woman was absolutely in-cred-i-ble. There aren't enough words to describe how amazing this movie was. This has been one of the best cinematic expereinces I've had in a while. Gal Gadot was perfect as Wonder Woman and I can't wait for more Wonder Woman movies! If you haven't watched this already, you MUST!

Relax and De-stress

Hello there! Today's post is all about ways to reduce stress and letting yourself relax. I was just thinking about how stressed out I was getting because of all my school assingments and exams. I wanted to compile a list of a few things that help me when I feel stressed. I hope you feel these helpful and comment your recommendations for stress relievers down below! 

Music is probably the thing I turn to most when I want to de-stress. It's so easy to just put on your favourite song and get caught up in the music and feel immediately relaxed. I love listening to instrumental music when I read because lyrics can get confusing and I get easily distracted. I love Sway, Sway by Heinali because it just instantly calms me. I find it's simplicity so soothing. Constantly hitting the replay button! 

Tea is the most relaxing beverage besides hot chocolate. It starts your day, settles your stomach, can energize you as well as make you sleepy. Tea has so many benefits and I love drinking it every morning. In the past months or so I've been leaning towards Birthday Cake Tea by David's Tea. If you are from Canada then you know that David's Tea is basically like Teavana. They sell all different kinds of teas; the possibilities are endless! Birthday Cake Tea tastes exactly how it sounds. It's not overly sweet and is the perfect way to start the morning and end the day. 

Something I love to do on Fridays or on the weekend is to put on a face mask. It feels so refreshing and makes my skin so soft and clean. I was trying to find good masks for acne since I tend to breakout on my face. I kept seeing Lush Mask of Magnaminty Face and Body Mask being recommended so I wanted to try it. Lush is a handmade cosmetics store that sells everything from shower gels to lotions to makeup. They use natural ingredients which is why I really like this brand. I've purchased from Lush in the past and have been very impressed and satisfied with their products. The Mask of Magnaminty is very refreshing (minty in the title) and I feel squeaky clean after I'm done. It makes my skin so soft and really helps with breakouts. Try this if you struggle with breakouts or want a nice face mask! Putting on a mask is so relaxing because you keep your face still and it make you feel so clean. For me, feeling clean is the best solution to feeling stressed. 

I love to freshen my room and breathe in warm and inviting smells, especially while I'm reading. Candles are so relaxing because their glow creates a calming atmosphere and there are so many different scents to choose from. I've purchased so many candles this month (oopsie) but I've been leaning towards Berry Waffle Cone by Bath and Body Works the most. The notes in this candle are Sweet Summer Berries, Golden Waffle Cone, Creamy Vanilla. Doesn't that sound delicious? It smells incredible. The throw is so strong it fills up small rooms like mine in a few minutes and are also great for larger rooms. 

Something I want to start doing more of is yoga and guided meditation. I've tried both of them previously and enjoyed them. I created a playlist of yoga and guided meditation videos to assist me since I do not know many yoga poes besides child's pose and downward dog. I really look forward to practicing yoga especially so I know how to do the different poses without watching videos. I recommend trying yoga and guided meditaion at home since it is very grounding, relieves stress, and calms your body. 

In my Winter Esssentials post I talked about the Fireplace Channel. Since it is summer I decided to choose the Sunset Channel which is another favourite of mine. It is so relaxing to hear the the birds, the wind, the waves crashing on the shore and feeling like you're on the beach. I love taking a nap and listening to this in the background. If you have Rogers it is on channel 206. 

I hope you enjoyed today's post and found these tips useful. Have a great day and wonderful weekend! See you soon with a new post.

love xena

My Co-op Experience at Novotel North York

At the end of September I started my co-op experience at Novotel North York. I was very nervous as it was my first time ever being in a workplace setting. I've known I wanted to work in the hospitality industry since Grade 10 and I was hoping this opportunity would give me some insight as to what I could expect in the future. I'm really happy that I got this experience and learned about the operations of the hotel that I did not know before. I'm really lucky because I got to expereince working with Alex Nurse (Accounts Receivable/Payroll Administrator) and Alena Miatlushka and Jason Abirafeh (HR Managers). Below are some pictures of the hotel and my  co-op experience at Novotel.

This is a picture of one of the executive rooms in the hotel. I've visited all the different types of rooms: standard, executive, and superior. A lot of the rooms have been renovated recently and they look very nice and modern. The layout of the rooms make them look very spacious and the view from the balcony is also nice, especially as you go higher up. My favourite feature of the rooms are the lighting on the headboards which are a very nice touch and perfect for reading!

Setting up the Novotel booth. 

Alena, Joseph, and Me.

A few weeks after I started co-op at Novotel, my supervisor Alex Nurse (Accounts Receivable/Payroll Administrator) invited me to go with him, Alena Miatlushka (HR Manager) and Joseph Mercado (Food & Beverage Manager) to Humber College for their job fair. I had a really great time and I broke out of my shell a bit more as I talked to college students about Novotel and how to apply. Above are the job applications I created for the college students to complete. 

The picture above is my work area in the Sales and Administration office. This is
 where I sorted, organized, and filed audit packs and invoices, worked on commissions, spreadsheets, as well as sent faxes and made photocopies. 

I also worked in the HR office with the HR Manager (Alena Miatlushka and Jason Abirafeh) where I filed
 documents and certificates into employee folders. 

The Sales and Administartion team and I took a group picture together on my last day at Novotel 😔 
Left to right: Bridget, Violetta, Alla, Michael, Zorica, Me, Denisa, and Jason.

Lastly is a picture of Michael Singer (General Manager) and I. I received a certificate for
 my completion of 220 hours and a gift bag from my supervisor Alex and
 the rest of the team. 

I had a wonderful co-op experience at Novotel North York and I learned a lot whilst I was there. If co-op is available to you I highly recommend doing it as it really helps you to get an idea of what the workforce is like. Also, Novotel is a great place to do co-op if you are interested in the hospitality industry like myself. 

I hope you enjoyed today's post! It was a little different but I really wanted to share this expereince with you all. I hope you have a great day and a great week ahead. I'll see you soon with a new post!

love xena

Books I Want To Read This Summer

Hello everyone! Now that it's summertime there's more free time to read! I have a lot of books I want to read this summer and hope to finish. Most likely I won't finish most of these because I have a lot of stuff to do and I'm a mood-reader. With that said, I still like to make a reading list to give myself an idea of the books I want to finish soon. I hope you enjoy today's post and get some ideas for your own summer reading list. If you want a little challenge I recommend trying this reading list by POPSUGAR. Anyways, let's get into the books I hope to read this summer. 

I have been meaning to read Amy and Roger's Epic Detour since 2014 and I STILL HAVEN'T READ IT. In the summer I really love to read contemporaries which you will notice is a trend throughout this post. I've read every book by Morgan Matson except this one which is her first. She always adds little interactive things into her books like playlists, emails, etc. It really makes the reading experience even better and it makes me so excited to read this book.

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

I talked about Lucky in Love in my Most Anticipated Books of 2017 and it's almost here!!! I seriously love Kasie West's books and have read all of her contemporaries. It comes out July 25, 2017 and I can't wait. Her books are super adorable and perfect books to finish in one-sitting.  

Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment - She wins!
In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.
Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?
With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

I also talked about By Your Side by Kasie West in my Most Anticipated Books of 2017. It came out back in late January and I never read it. I'm probably going to read it this summer or save it for the 2017-2018 school year because Kasie's books are quick pick-me-ups and perfect for when I need a light-hearted read.

  When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.
Only he doesn’t come. No one does.
Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn at first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

I have heard nothing but incredible things about The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. It's a hate-to-love story set in the workplace and is supposedly hilarious. I'm really looking forward to reading this. It sounds like the perfect beach read!

Nemesis (n.)
 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.
Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

I have heard about Nevernight by Jay Kristoff on Goodreads a lot since the sequel, Godsgrave, is coming out later this year. It sounds kick butt and incredibly epic. I'm really looking forward to reading this and hopefully I like it so I can read the sequel when it comes out. 

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father's failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father's former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.
Now, a sixteen year old Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic - the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her with the Church's halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the only thing she desires.

Well, this is something I'm very sad to say but I've never actually read any of the Harry Potter books or watched any of the flims. The only books I wanted to read when I was younger were Geronimo Stilton and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I really want to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and finish the rest of the series this year. I hope to finish it before Christmas break so I can spend that break watching all the films. So cozy!

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

I have read two other Jennifer L. Armentrout novels before and I really love the way she writes, especially the romance. I have heard great things about The Problem With Forever with most people saying it's their favourite book. I really hope I enjoy it just as much (I think I will). It sounds like it's full of drama, romance, and heart-break. I can't wait!

Growing up, Mallory Dodge learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime. Now, after years of homeschooling, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at a public high school. But she never imagined she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.
It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet soon it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory must make a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants and the truths that need to be heard.

I have read almost all of the books from the Shadowhunter Chronicles except for Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare. I love these books so much and this book follows Simon, one of the main characters from The Mortal Instruments, and the events that take place after City of Heavenly Fire. This book is a collection of 10 short stories and each story begins with a comic illustration by Cassandra Jean! I can't wait to read this as I need to read something by Cassandra Clare after finishing Lord of Shadows which made me so emotional. 

Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. The events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. Whomever this new Simon might be.
But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. At least Simon’s trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.
Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. Written by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman, these moving and hilarious short stories are perfect for the fan who just can’t get enough of the Shadowhunters. 

I read The Lightning Thief last year and The Sea of Monsters earlier this year and still haven't finished the rest of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. I really hope to finish the rest of the series as they are short books and I really enjoy them. Rick Riordan has written so many sequels and spin-offs for this series and I really want to catch up on them. I hope to finish The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian this summer. 

Anyways, that wraps up this post. I know it's a lot of books but it's good to have goals! I hope you have a great day today and come up with your own summer reading list. Leave you list below! I'll see you soon.

love xena

Weekly Favourites #7

Happy Summer Everyone! School's out now so I have more free time to blog. I am so excited for this summer because I'm going to be busy—but the good kind of busy! Anyways, I have a few favourites this week that I would love to share with you. So if you are interested in finding out, then keep reading! 

#1 This book. THIS. BOOK. I died after reading this. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare is the second instalment in The Dark Artifices series. The first book in this series is Lady Midnight which I read last year. I thought Lady Midnight was absolutely incredible and her best book to date. That is until I read Lord of Shadows. It blew Lady Midnight right out of the water. If you have read and enjoyed The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series then you need to read this. It is an urban fantasy series that takes place in Los Angeles five years after the events that took place in The Mortal Instruments. The main characters were actually minor characters who made an appearance in City of Heavenly Fire. The characters are Shadowhunters, which are humans born with angel blood who slay demons and protect mundanes (humans). Every book Cassandra Clare writes is better than the previous one and Lord of Shadows is no exception. I was so emotional after reading it because THAT ENDING. I have so many theories for the next book, The Queen of Air and Darkness. Unfortunately, I have to wait TWO YEARS until its release. If you haven't read ANY of the Shadowhunter Chronicles then that's definitely something you should do this summer. I promise you will not regret it. 


Speaking of the Shadowhunter Chronicles...I bought The Official Mortal Instruments Colouring Book!! I saw Cassandra Clare talking about it on her social media and was immediately obsessed. The drawings in here are gorgeously detailed and made by Cassandra Jean, who is a freelance illustartpr and comic artist. She works alongside Cassandra Clare and draws the characters from her books. I love how there are quotes on the left side which correspond with the drawing of the scene on the right side. I honestly can't wait to colour this book. I've been watching some colouring book tutorials by Sendaria13 and it has made me so inspired. I need to get Prismacolor Premier® Soft Core Coloured Pencil Set 72 pack because they are very blendable and will work great for this colouring book. I highly recommend getting a colouring book as a fun activity this summer. 


My mom recently bought me The Body Shop Early-Harvest Raspberry Body Butter and Shower Gel because they were on sale. Last year I fell in love with the scent when I bought the Eau de Toilette. This range is perfect for summer and smells like you've been picking berries all day. I highly recommend you check out this scent and The Body Shop in general. It's one of the best body care stores ever. 


I love this show so much. It is such a great comedy about girl power and doing what you love. Girlboss is a Netflix original about Sophia, who discovers a passion for fashion and becomes an unlikely businesswoman in the process. As her business grows, she learns to navigate being her own boss and owning her own company. This show is very loosely based on the true story of Nasty Gal Founder, Sophia Amoruso who wrote #girlboss back in 2015. Britt Robertson plays the character of Sophia and this role suits her so well. I have been watching Britt Robertson since she was in Life Unexpected (which is a great show by the way) and since then she's been in so many great movies. I'm so glad she landed this roll because she is rocking it. I highly recommend if you need a little laugh and a little inspriation. 


Lorde's album, Melodrama just recently came out on June 16, 2017 and I love it. I talked about Green Light in another post and since then she has had two more singles: Sober and Perfect Places. I am soooo obsessed with both of them, especially Sober. The whole album is just so amazing. I have so many favourites it's hard to decide. I can't even describe her new style but I absolutely love Lorde and I am so happy for her comeback. 


I have been obsessed with Dua Lipa's music since last year after hearing Be The One, Last Dance, New Love and then months later Hotter than Hell. Since then she has released many more singles from her self titled album as well as collaborations with Martin Garrix and Sean Paul. After pushing back her debut album, IT'S FINALLY HERE! AND. I. AM. OBSESSED. I feel like I've said that word in this post so much but I really am. The whole album is so good but the ones I recommend the most including the ones I mentioned earlier are Garden, New Rules (which is going to be her next single!!), and Genesis (the acoustic version is also so beautiful). I highly recommend you check out her music. She's incredibly talented and deserves even more fans. 


I have loved Lady Antebellum's music since I heard Need You Now and Just A Kiss. After taking a year break, they are back with their new album, Heart Break, and I love it. My favourite songs on the album are You Look GoodHeart Break, Somebody Else's Heart, Big Love In A Small Town, and Home.

Thank you for reading today's post! I hope you have a great week filled with lots of fun. Have a great day!

love xena

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