Collective Haul

Hey guys! The other day I did a bit of shopping on my day off, and I filmed a little haul to show you guys what I got! Enjoy :)

Items mentioned:
Chapters: “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” notebook, $10.50
Sephora: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Rosé, $26
Lush: Avobath Bomb, $6.35
Shoppers Drugmart: Balea Exfoliating Face Wipes, $6.99 on sale
Bic Minitronic lighters, $3.49
Revlon Colourburst Laquer Balm in 135 Provocateur, $12.49
Revlon Colourburst Balm Stain in 001 Honey, $12.49
Brandy Melville: Grey crop top, $19
*Prices are in Canadian dollars

XO Simytoe

Reflections: My First Job

Hey guys! So today I want to write about something that has been a huge part of my life for the past 3 months: my job. Back in the beginning of May I started my first ever job, working full-time in a greenhouse. Since then I’ve been working 5 days a week, 40-45 hour weeks, doing things like watering plants, cleaning plants, pricing plants, moving plants, and providing customer service to people who want to buy plants. I’m not actually interested in gardening or plants, but I thought that working in a greenhouse would be an interesting summer job. Also they hired me before I had the chance to apply anywhere else.

In retrospect, maybe I should’ve gone for something a little less demanding for my first ever paying job. Going from never having worked a day in my life, to suddenly working 45 hours a week doing a physically and mentally demanding job was really, really tough. Just the act of being on my feet for 8-10 hours a day was difficult – paired with having to adjust to a new setting and new people, learning how to work with plants, and learning about the different kinds of plants we carried, it was exhausting. In the first few weeks that I worked, I would run out of energy by 2pm, and then would spend the last 3-4 hours of my shift just trying to complete my tasks without falling asleep. I’d then commute home, eat dinner, take a quick shower, and crawl into bed, too exhausted to do anything else. It was rough.

I think that working in a physically demanding job in a completely new-to-me field would have been difficult at any time, but I think that it being my first job made things harder. I had never had coworkers or a supervisor before, I wasn’t used to being told what to do all of the time, I wasn’t used to workplace dynamics, I didn’t know how paychecks worked, and I was constantly terrified that I was going to get fired for every little thing that I did wrong. Eventually I came to realize that if I overwatered a certain plant, or staked a plant wrong, that the worst thing that was going to happen was that I’d get told off, but the feeling of inadequacy and not being good enough stayed with me until recently.

About a week after I had begun working, my boss called me up into her office, and told me that she wasn’t sure if I was suited for working in a greenhouse. She said that everyone in the greenhouse liked me, but she just didn’t think that it was the right kind of job for me. I told her that I understood that I was a bit slower at everything than everyone else, but that I thought that with a little bit more time to learn things, I would settle into the job and get faster and better. She suggested that I keep working through the May 24 weekend (when the greenhouse would start to get really busy) and then see how things were going after that. On the way home from work that day I thought that maybe my boss was right, and that I should take the opportunity to quit the tough, demanding job in a field that I wasn’t even interested in, and spend my summer doing something that I would enjoy better.

As you can probably guess, I ended up staying. I skyped with my parents that evening, who told me that quitting would be a terrible idea. Their reasons were that a) leaving a job after working there for less than two weeks would look terrible on my resume, b) I needed to suck it up and get used to the idea that I’m not going to love all of my jobs, and c) getting full-time work experience was really important. I didn’t really like the things that they told me, and although the idea of spending my summer doing something fun and exciting that didn’t involve waking up at 7am every morning to work in a greenhouse was tempting, I eventually came around. Also, I felt like quitting would mean that I had failed at my first ever job, and I hate failing. So I made the decision to not quit, and strangely enough, work became a lot better after that.

If you’ll remember from earlier in the post, I was offered the job at the greenhouse before I had the chance to apply at any other jobs. You see, last summer, I had been in Toronto for 2 months, and had applied at the greenhouse then, but they didn’t need anyone at the time, so they told me to reapply for the next summer. So this year, in March, I reached out to my current boss, asking if they were still interested in hiring me, and she said that they were. The whole process of getting the job was fairly easy then, so I didn’t have much need to contemplate whether I actually wanted to work at a greenhouse, or what working at a greenhouse would entail. My mental ‘this is what you should do’ checklist told me that I needed a summer job, so I got one, no questions asked. So almost getting fired was the first time I had really thought about whether or not I wanted to work at the greenhouse, and after I had decided that yes, I did want to work here, I started enjoying work a lot more. Funny how mindset can change everything.

Anyways, May 24 weekend passed, I got better at my job, and my boss never even asked if I wanted to stay or not. Over the weeks, I learned how to do all of the tasks that I was asked to do, I became more familiar with the plants that I worked with, I began to be able to actually help customers when they had questions, and I stopped being so darn exhausted all of the time. I was able to help the new girl who was hired, I started getting more responsibilities, and I began to feel more confident about my abilities to not fail at my job. I thought that I was finally settled into my job, and that things were as good as they were gonna get. But then I discovered the joy of coworkers.

I’ve always known that my coworkers and supervisors are really nice, non-yelling, pleasant people to be around, but only recently have I realized that my relationships with them don’t have to be strictly professional, and really started talking to them. I guess when I started working, I never talked to my coworkers about anything other than work because I didn’t want to seem unprofessional or like a slacker, and on breaks and lunches I was always reading a book. I’m also an introvert, so new people are always a bit scary to me, and I’m not very good at having conversations with strangers. I mean, I would make small talk with coworkers sometimes, but I didn’t think it was appropriate to joke around a lot, or to waste time talking instead of working, so I kept to myself most of the time. But as I settled in to my job and let myself relax a bit more, and as the greenhouse got a bit less busy, it became a bit easier for me to interact with my coworkers in a less formal manner.

There was also a company bbq in mid-July, which was a great opportunity to get to know some of the people who work in other parts of the garden centre a bit better. At the garden centre, the different departments are fairly segregated, so I don’t see much of the people who work in the tree nursery, or in the yard, or in deliveries, so it was nice to actually meet all of the people that I would randomly see sometimes around work. I’ve also bonded with a few of the cashiers over the cute contractors who come in, and have begun to hang out with them outside of work too. Overall, I think that work is so much more interesting, fun, and engaging when I can talk to and joke around with my coworkers. I think back to when I used to exclude myself from discussions that my coworkers would have, and cringe. Why couldn’t I have figured this out sooner? Oh well, at least I know now.

The past 3.5 months have been crazy intense, and I’ve learned so, so much, not only about working and plants, but also about myself and life in general. Although I still don’t see myself going into a plant-related field, I think that a lot of the things I’ve learned will be useful in the future – from what a peony is, to how to ask for days off, to how waking up at 5:30am to work a 10 hour shift is something that I’m capable of doing, and everything inbetween. I even feel a bit sad when I think about how I only have one week left of working there before I move onto a new chapter of my life. It’s funny how much can change in a few months.

Yikes this is a long post, but I hope you guys enjoyed reading about my first-job adventures and all of the things I’ve been through in the past few months. In the comments, I want you to tell me how my first-job experience compares to yours!

XO Simytoe

 

Nature Adventures

Hey guys! The other week, my friend came up to visit me and we went on a little walk through a local park with my new camera, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite pictures with you guys! Enjoy :)

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XO Simytoe

Tag: The Fashionista Award

Hey guys! The other day the lovely MissJessAmy nominated me for the Fashionista Award tag, so that’s what I’m doing today! You can check out her post here. This tag includes 10 questions, so let’s get started!

1. What motivated you to start blogging?

Last summer I discovered the world of youtube and blogging, and I thought that being a youtuber or blogger would be really cool and fun. I also was looking for a way to get back into writing, so I decided to start a blog and see how I liked it!

2. Favourite movies?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy are my favourite movies of all times, but I also really like Now You See Me, Schindler’s List, and Salt.

3. What is your dream career?

I think that right now, my dream career is author. I’ve always loved writing, but writing books for a career isn’t really a stable, dependable job, so I’ve never really actually considered it as an option.

4. Top wishlist items right now?

To be honest, I don’t know if I actually have anything that I really want right now… I just bought myself a new camera that I had wanted for a long time, and most of my energy is geared towards getting rid of stuff right now, not getting more! 

5. Favourite television shows?

Sherlock, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Agents of Shield, and Pretty Little Liars.

6. What stores do you find yourself shopping at the most?

Right now, most of my shopping is for groceries, but when I’m shopping for clothes or beauty, I like H&M, Garage, Bath & Body Works, and Aerie.

7. Favourite fashion designers?

I actually don’t really follow fashion collections or designers very much… so I don’t really have a favourite!

8. Describe your dream vacation

I think that my dream vacation would be staying in a castle somewhere in Europe for a week with a few of my best friends. I love castles so much and it’s my dream to live in one (not a very realistic dream, I know) so it would be really cool to stay in one. And then during the days we would go on little day trips to local towns, eating yummy foods and learning about the local history. We would also go on nature hikes and take lots of pictures. 

9. What are your goals for your blog?

Right now, my goals are to write about things that I want to write about, as often as I can.

10. If you had the opportunity to interview a celebrity, who would it be? 

Hm. I think I would either choose Benedict Cumberbatch, Matt Smith, or Natalie Dormer, because they’re all phenomenal actors whom I respect a lot. Or One Direction, because let’s be real, meeting them would kind of be the best thing ever.

So there are my answers to the 10 questions! Now on to my nominees:

 Kate’s Beauty Book

Blissfully Brunette

Kiz Loves 

High Street Spy

A London Blonde

I hope you girls have fun with this tag! And if you want to do this tag but I haven’t nominated you, then feel free to do it and comment a link to your post so I can see it!

XO Simytoe

Thoughts About the Future

So remember that post that I wrote about how I miss photography and writing? Remember how I said that I used to write as a way to figure out my emotions? Well it’s about 5 minutes after I posted that, and I’m feeling like I need to figure out my emotions right now. I feel like my life for the past year has been full of so much change. The whole university thing, moving to Toronto, living by myself, getting a job, everything. And I’ve just been going with the flow, adapting to the changes like I usually do, not really noticing. But going back through my old flickr and thinking about where I was in my life all those years ago has really made me think about who I’ve become and how different my life is now. It’s a little scary.

For the past little while, whenever I think about my future, I can see two very different futures, in both of which I’d be happy. The first is a life where I’m a model, or a blogger, or a youtuber, who has a big online presence and does glamorous things and travels all over the world. In this life I live in a cute little studio apartment in Toronto or London, with a cat, and I wear makeup and do my hair most days and overall look cute. In this life I work hard, but I love my work, and my work inspires and challenges me. In this life I go shopping and drink starbucks and wear heels and have a lot of twitter followers. In this life I am happy.

And then the second possible future, which is oh so very different. In this future I am a fiction writer, and spend my days curled up at my computer, putting all of these story ideas in my head onto paper. In this life I live on a farm with horses and cats and a husband who loves me very much. In this life I enjoy visiting the city and drinking starbucks but prefer being outside in nature and not relying on materialistic things to make me happy. In this life I read books instead of going on social media, and maybe I still have my blog, but I don’t care about follower counts or site views. In this life I travel to visit historical places that interest me, and I don’t try hard to look good on most days. In this life I am happy.

See? Two very different futures, two very different Simones. But when I think of those futures, they’re still far away from the present. And until tonight, my idea of the near future was just one future. In this near future, I finish my summer job in mid-August, and fly off to the UK in mid-September. In this life I decide to give YouTube a try, and I vlog my trip to the UK. In this life I make videos and write blog posts and share all of my life experiences online. In this life I live and work in the UK for some time, trying out a few different jobs and travelling and learning about myself. In this life I am happy.

But then tonight, something happened that made me not want this future anymore. I don’t know what or how or why anything that has happened today has brought about this change, but I don’t like it and I don’t know if it is going to stay. I just feel like suddenly I don’t care about making youtube videos or being famous on the internet or being a vlogger or anything. I just want to get back into writing and photography and somehow those two things are related? Maybe I’m just freaking out about change and would rather fall back on the familiar mediums of words and pictures rather than delving into the unknown world of video. But maybe this is my brain’s way of saying ‘don’t let these outside influences tell you what you should do. listen to yourself and your passions’. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and everything will be fine. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow more confused than ever.

I think I liked it better when I didn’t have feelings that I need to write down to figure out.

I’m going to schedule this post for a week from now, because I just posted that other post 15 minutes ago, and just in case I decide that I don’t want to post this.

XO Simytoe

I miss writing and photography

So, I’ve just spent the past half hour or so going through my old flickr account, looking at all of the pictures I posted there and reading the descriptions. This was an account that I used from late 2010 to 2012, so it’s been a while. It’s crazy to think back to all of the things that I was going through at that time in my life, and how much has changed since then. The stuff that I wrote there were so deep and honest and I’m honestly so surprised that I posted it on the internet. Flash forward to now, when I write about beauty products and cute outfits. I don’t want to say that I’ve backtracked, or become worse or anything, but I think that I do miss writing about my feelings like I used to.

In the past few years I’ve been too busy with school/sports/friends/life that I guess I’ve kind of stopped writing and taking pictures as much. Although maybe it’s more truthful to say that I’ve replaced diary-like writing with school papers and tweets, and I’ve replaced photoshoots with selfies. But going through my flickr has made me really miss doing those things. I used to love going around my house and just taking pictures of flowers and cats and anything that caught my eye. Then I began playing with the self-timer function on my camera, and doing photoshoots with myself at home. Then I began doing photoshoots where I would plan an outfit and a setting and spend a few hours getting the right shot. Then I just kind of stopped. My camera stopped working so well, and the batteries died really quickly. Photography became a chore rather than a hobby.

And writing? I guess I’ve never really stopped writing, I’ve just gone through different writing phases in my life. In middle school I tried my hand at fiction and forum based roleplaying. In early highschool I wrote deep things on my flickr pictures. In later highschool I wrote essays and poems, I did NaNoWriMo, and the deep things that I wrote never made it to the internet. And for the last year, I’ve had this blog. I’ve let myself fall into the habit of not writing anything deep or meaningful. Or maybe I’ve just been a lot happier, and haven’t had the need to figure out my emotions by writing them down. Who knows.

But I think now that I have my new camera, and now that I’m going to push myself to write more candid, deep, honest blog posts on here, things will change. Here’s to hoping.

I’m not going to link my flickr account, as I think some of those pictures & writing would be better off forgotten, but instead I’ll post some pictures that I’ve taken over the years.

One of the hundreds of pictures that I took of flowers/nature around my house. Taken on June 21, 2009

One of the hundreds of pictures that I took of flowers/nature around my house. Taken on June 21, 2009

A little mirror shot taken at my friend's cottage on July 10th, 2009

A little mirror shot taken at my friend’s cottage on July 10th, 2009

My old cat, Simba. Taken July 20, 2009

My old cat, Simba. Taken July 20, 2009

I also had a thing with taking pictures of my eyes... Taken on January 2nd, 2010

I also had a thing with taking pictures of my eyes… Taken on January 2nd, 2010

Taken on November 6th, 2010, after I had spent the day painting my friend's room with her.

Taken on November 6th, 2010, after I had spent the day painting my friend’s room with her.

From my first real 'photoshoot' where I got all dressed up and everything. To this day, this photoshoot is one of the best I've ever done, and there are so many pictures from that day that I really like. Taken on April 1st, 2011.

From my first real ‘photoshoot’ where I got all dressed up and everything. To this day, this photoshoot is one of the best I’ve ever done, and there are so many pictures from that day that I really like. Taken on April 1st, 2011.

From my second real photoshoot, inspired by Kesha's 'We R Who We R'.  Taken April 8th, 2011.

From my second real photoshoot, inspired by Kesha’s ‘We R Who We R’. Taken April 8th, 2011.

For a picture on flickr about my 6 favourite outfits at the time. Taken on June 7th 2011.

For a picture on flickr about my 6 favourite outfits at the time. Taken on June 7th 2011.

This was a photoshoot where I was randomly inspired by cotton candy and decided to hop on my bike with my camera, and take pictures of myself wearing blue & pink. Taken on September 11th, 2011.

This was a photoshoot where I was randomly inspired by cotton candy and decided to take pictures of myself wearing blue & pink. Taken on September 11th, 2011.

In grade 11 I took a photography class with my best friend and finally got to take pictures of other people. Taken November 16th, 2011.

In grade 11 I took a photography class with my best friend and finally got to take pictures of other people. Taken November 16th, 2011.

Just another photoshoot at my local golf course. Taken March 25th, 2012.

Just another photoshoot at my local golf course. Taken March 25th, 2012.

This is from a cute little photoshoot with my best friend Molly. Taken August 8th, 2012.

This is from a cute little photoshoot with my best friend Molly. Taken August 8th, 2012.

Can you tell that I started to switch from photoshoots by myself to photoshoots with others? This was from a photoshoot with two of my best friends. Taken October 20th, 2012.

Can you tell that I started to switch from photoshoots by myself to photoshoots with others? This was from a photoshoot with two of my best friends. Taken October 20th, 2012.

I took an art class in grade 12 and for my surrealism project I wanted to do something like this, so I did an impromptu photoshoot in my room to show my teacher what I was thinking of. Taken November 7th, 2012.

I took an art class in grade 12 and for my surrealism project I wanted to do something like this, so I did an impromptu photoshoot in my room to show my teacher what I was thinking of doing. Taken November 7th, 2012.

Random little selfie from a day where I decided to take some pictures, mostly of my cats though. Taken February 11th, 2013.

Random little selfie from a day where I decided to take some pictures, mostly of my cats though. Taken February 11th, 2013.

This picture with my aunt's adorable dog is from the first photoshoot that I did for this blog! Taken August 1st, 2013.

This picture with my aunt’s adorable dog is from the first photoshoot that I did for this blog! Taken August 1st, 2013.

Another shot from a photoshoot for my blog! This one was for my 5WTW: Chiffon Shirt post. Taken on March 21st, 2014.

Another shot from a photoshoot for my blog! This one was for my 5WTW: Chiffon Shirt post. Taken on March 21st, 2014.

Flash forward to the first day I tried out my new camera, on July 4th, 2014.

Flash forward to the first day I tried out my new camera, on July 4th, 2014.

XO Simytoe

Day at the beach / Playing with my new camera

Hey guys! So on Wednesday evening I took the bus to visit my best friend Megan for my days off, and despite the weather being a little cloudy and windy, we (along with Megan’s housemate) ended up going to the beach on Thursday! It ended up being a really lovely day, and since I had brought my new camera with me (it’s a Canon EOS 700D / T5i) I had the chance to play with it a little bit with some pretty models and nice scenery. I thought I’d share some of my favourite pictures with you guys, so enjoy :)

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Talk to you soon!

XO Simytoe

Some blog changes

Hey guys! For the past little while I’ve been feeling a little stuck with my blog. I’ve been pretty good with uploading twice a week, but writing blog posts has become a bit of a chore. I still enjoy being a part of the blogging community and interacting with other bloggers, but I feel like I’m a bit lost when it comes to what kind of content I want to be putting out. I do enjoy writing about beauty and fashion but I’ve realised that I don’t want to limit myself to those things. I started this blog last year as a way for me to get more practise writing, to write more consistently, and to have a place to write about things that I want.

So in keeping with these goals, there are going to be a few small changes on my blog. Instead of having two set days to upload posts, I’m going to set myself the goal of sitting down 2-3 times a week to just write whatever I want. At first I wanted to aim for posting something everyday, but I feel like that would be too much while working full time. I’m sure I’ll still post things like monthly favourites, hauls, and the like, but I think there’ll be more variety in my posts.

I also am getting more interested in making videos. I’ve now filmed, edited, and uploaded 4 videos for my blog (which you can check out at youtube.com/simytoe) and I’ve loved it! Plus I just bought myself a new camera, so you can expect some more video posts coming your way!

I hope you guys are okay with me making these changes, but I think that writing what I want to write instead of what I think others will want to read will culminate in better quality content.

XO Simytoe

5 Fav: Footwear

Hey guys! So the other week I started a new series on my blog called ‘5 Fav’ with my first post 5 Fav Handbags and now I’m back with my 5 Fav Footwear! I decided to make a video instead of just posting pictures for something different, so enjoy :)

I hope you like these video posts and if you do make sure to like or leave a comment so that I know!

XO Simytoe

 

A long story & a short list

Hey guys! Story time:

I have always, for as long as I can remember, loved notebooks. Notebooks, journals, notepads; little ones, big ones, sparkly ones, pretty ones, new ones, old ones. As a kid, there were fewer material possessions that I enjoyed more than notebooks and pockets. I guess you could say that I collected notebooks. Not like I had a collection of hundreds of notebooks or anything, but I think there are about 20-30 notebooks back in my parents house. Which doesn’t include the 13 that I brought with me to school. And yes, I did just count all of the notebooks in my room.

I guess it makes sense that someone who loves writing and who loves writing things down and who loves making lists would also love notebooks. I also like being organized and neat, so of course I can’t just have one notebook for everything, no, I need separate notebooks for different things. I have one for my budget, one for my more creative things, one for things related to a story that I haven’t touched for over a year, one for exercise related things (that I barely use), one for everyday use, and a bunch of empty ones. Anyways, my point is that I have a lot of notebooks in my life that, at various points in my life, I have written different things in. Out of the 13 that I have with me, there are about 4 that I use on a regular basis, two of which are little spiral bound notebooks that I got in France a few years ago. I like French notebooks because they’re lined differently – for example, these ones have graph-paper-like pages.

So I have a grey little grid notebook, and a blue one. Up until it ran out of pages a few months ago, I used my grey notebook for almost everything. To do lists, packing lists, notes from phone calls, blog post ideas, phone numbers, reminders, everything went into this little notebook. And then it ran out of pages. Which wasn’t a huge deal, because I had finished school by then and didn’t need to write so many things down, and I use my phone for most lists now. But today, when I went to plan out some outfits for my next 5WTW post (which will be coming in the next few weeks!), I decided that my phone would not do for this list, and thus I needed a notebook. So I grabbed my blue little grid notebook, which, as you can guess, originally had a different purpose than a catch-all for day to day use.

This little notebook had served a few different purposes. Back when I was in highschool I kept this notebook by my bedside, so it carries many of my late night thoughts or little rants that I would write while sitting on my bed. It also was where I wrote short progress reports for myself when I was participating in 2012 NaNoWriMo, to keep motivated. But the first 5 or so pages of this notebook are full of things that I’m thankful for. I guess, for some reason, in October 2012 I was inspired to write a daily list of 5 things that I was thankful for that day. I’m not sure what made me do this, or why I only did it between October 7th-21st, but it was interesting to stumble upon now, a year and a half later.

Wow that turned out to be a long story in what was meant to be a blog post of a list of 5 things, oops! But anyways, as a tribute to 17 year old me and the random project she did in October 2012, here is a list of 5 things that I’m thankful for today.

1. I am thankful that I am not working today. Days off are one of my favourite things because I have the time and energy to work on things that make me happy and that I do for myself, like writing & filming for my blog, figuring out my plans for next year, and watching tv.
2. I am thankful that I decided to take some time off from school. I’m still on all of the facebook groups for my program at school, and whenever I get notifications of people asking to switch their timetables around, or about paying enrolment fees, or about what electives to take next year, I just feel so happy and relieved that I’m not having to think about any of those things. Also I’m so, so, so excited for my trip to the UK in the fall! Props to past-me for making the tough, scary decision to drop out of school.
3. I am thankful that it’s summertime. When I went up to campus earlier today I went out in just shorts and a tank top because it was so warm out! I love the feeling of the sun on my skin (with sunscreen on, don’t worry) and the warm breeze that come with the summertime.
4. I am thankful that my camera cooperated today. A few weeks ago I tried filming a video for my blog but had a lot of difficulties with my camera draining batteries within less than 5 minutes of filming. But today I started charging my batteries as soon as I woke up, and miraculously one set of batteries lasted me the entire time that I was filming! Hooray!
5. I am thankful for my disappearing TARDIS mug. My brother got me a Doctor Who (one of my favourite tv shows) themed mug for my birthday last September, and it makes me so happy every time I use it. It has a TARDIS on one side of the mug that, when the mug is filled with hot liquid, disappears, only to reappear on the other side of the mug in a different setting. It’s magical and so cool and it makes drinking my tea 100% more awesome.

Well, there’s 5 things that I’m thankful for today, and a little story about why I decided to write about that today! I hope you’re all having a lovely day :)

XO Simytoe