Bumper Car Trauma| The Bachelor Recap| Arie Week 2

My name is Forrest and I’m a procrastinator and a hopeless consumer of all Bachelor franchises. I’m writing a weekly blog devoted to each episode — a project that I was hesitant to start because I feel like Youtube videos are a better platform for such thing… but alas that is simply not my cup of tea. A Bachelor blog it is!

Week 2: 

I think I went into this week expecting more drama or more crazy. The episode itself was a little uneventful, but we still got to meet some very interesting ladies who already seem like bright and colourful rainbows in comparisons to Arie’s beigy-ness. The second episode is a great teller for how I think the rest of the season will go: Arie = not interesting. Most Women = not that interested.

Becca K: Oneonone date

Am I the only one who does not remember this girl from the first night? I knew there were two Becca’s & half of the world’s population of Lauren’s, but I simply did not have a memory of her that stood out. 

Becca’s date started with a motorcycle ride (a feat way too dangerous for Krystal). They arrived at a seaside mansion with a ready-set seafood buffet (the lobsters though). She then met Rachel Zoe and got to play dress up with some gorgeous designer dresses. She genuinely looked like she was having fun, but Arie merely sat and watched her joy. They later sat and watched the ocean and she got a kiss from the kissing bandit. I’m in awe of the material opulence but my brain is yawning around 9:12 pm.

Becca walked away with several dresses (of which Arie bought), some Louboutins, and diamond earrings. I don’t know much about the Gossip Girl brands, but looking at her carrying all of the bags after the date I knew that it was all EXPENSIVE and IMPRESSIVE.

I felt nearly sympathetic for Becca on this date. While we all know that she received an enviable amount of wonderful gifts, this seemed like a trophy wife sort of date to me. I needed more substance rather than merely a dumping of cash. Becca seems to know her worth, and self worth does not = x amount of cash. I want to see Arie validate these women in more ways and now the bar is raised even higher for him.

Krystal: Oneonone date

While watching Krystal’s date, I was CRINGING. They went to SCOTTSDALE,AZ (Arie’s hometown) and walked through his empty highschool. Arie alluded that he barely made it through high school, which means this place is of little importance to him and simply a waste of time. Krystal smiled through the bulk of it and complimented the deserted halls with her mysteriously raspy voice (why is it so raspy?! I need answers!).

Then they went to Arie’s “house” that had the most boring decorations I have ever seen. This has to be a set home because how could a person live somewhere that looks like the decor equivalent of oatmeal? They watched weird home movies and Krystal still continued smiling. I would have been begging to go home by this point. 

Krystal then went to meet Arie’s family. I don’t think I like the show doing the surprise hometown dates two Bachelor seasons in a row. Raven did so well meeting Nick’s family, but it still seemed like it was more forced than actual hometowns. Arie’s family seemed really happy for him to come home, and Krystal gave them a little interrogation on their own successful marriage. She took the conversation seriously, which I think is a good sign of her intentions. Later, she tells Arie that her family life is very different. Her vulnerability is exactly what everyone needs to do on one-on-one dates. She was obviously scared and also very honest. Even though I wanted to dislike Krystal on the date, I really couldn’t complain about her…. yet.

Group Date: 

I feel like I could sum up this date in 2 words: Bumpercar Trauma. 

The girls head to a demolition derby, which actually looked immensely fun and dangerous. My friends and I would jump off of cliffs into the river when we were in college. We always got such adrenaline rushes and felt like gods. I’m guessing the derby feels the same way.

Bibiana’s need to smash things was REAL, because you know these girls are ready to do anything after being cooped up without books, music, or television for a week. In fact, everyone seemed pretty excited except for Annaleise. I felt for her tears initially, because I thought she had been in a car accident. Turns out, she is scarred from a bumper car accident from her childhood. WHAT. ABC must be deliriously desperate at this point because not only do they give this problem tons of attention, but they also create a “cut scene” of bumper car footage. The cheesy level I needed was exceeded beyond belief. Sienne and Tia shine during the derby, as well as Brittany T. (who went so hard she was injured).

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The end of the group date began to test my patience. Chelsea makes me want to avoid suburbia forever, because her crazy eyes are the type that watch you go to the mailbox through her designer shades after she slips Kaltene bars into the snack bags that she made for other mom’s at her bi-weekly spin class.

Any time Chelsea talks, I’m waiting for her to say something that will land her in the role of the villain. On this date, she was very adamant about letting Arie know she had a child; which, is all well and good except she made it seem like it aligned her with his past love. Here’s the formula I see Chelsea creating: Arie loved Emily. Emily has kid. I have kid. Therefore Arie loves me. It is crazy, but it just might work.

Becka M also stood out to me because her and Arie have obvious chemistry. Their kiss had so much spark! Her fur jacket also made me want a fur jacket.

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Bibana begins to feel the pressure on the group date. I have always wondered why we don’t see the Bachelor or Bachelorette interact with everyone  on these group dates, and it turns out that it just can’t happen. There are too many girls at this stage, and you have to be quite aggressive to get your time. Bibiana plans on stepping up after this and I’m ready to see her give it her all!

Sienne stood out on this group date because she is 1) gorgeous and 2) ARTICULATE. I love seeing contestants look the Bachelor in the eye, and Sienne did so with such confidence and grace. She knows what she wants. She also tells Arie that she went to Yale, which is impressive for the show. I already thing she may be too good for Arie. Arie is also impressed and gives her the group date rose.

Cocktail party: 

The cocktail party was one huge eye roll for me. Arie kisses nearly everyone; Becka M claims to be no drama mid-kiss; and Krystal interrupts women twice even though she already has a rose. One of the women she interrupted was Bibana who was on the verge of a melt down most the night as she was trying to get time with Arie. When she finally gets time, she doesn’t know what to say and then Krystal barges in. As much as I wanted to see her succeed, I was more okay with her sticking up for herself as she failed to connect with Arie. Though her time was short, Bibs did tell Krystal that she did not want to be interrupted and then later called Krystal out for being fake. Krystal seemed clingy for asking for so much time, and I think what Bibiana told her was on other girls’ minds: “check yourself before you check on other people”.

The Rose Ceremony:

These actually happen?! YES!

Many girls did not get time with Arie, and many a girl who did looked nervous in this ceremony. I especially noticed that Tia looked particularly uneasy (which made me nervous because I want her to stick around!) In the end, Arie sent home 3 girls who I can’t even remember.

Here’s what google tells me:

Valerie, Lauren G., & Jenny (who was upset to leave her friends).

Right now I have about 4 front runners and they all are the women who have had the most screen time: Becca, Becca, Krystal, Sienne.

I’m hoping this next week brings some real connections and also some real conversations about what the women see in Arie besides his “pillow lips”.

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Friday Favourites – Eggs, Oils, + More

  1. Jaime Oliver’s Youtube Channel: I have fallen in love with cooking since August of 2017. I find such joy in taking time to follow recipes and enjoying the results. Jaime’s Youtube channel is like the easiest to follow cookbook. I love the guest appearances and also the way he incorporates easy ingredients. His egg video(s) astound me. So many new ways to cook one of my favourite foods!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jzm2kExgIPc

2 . The CINNAMON ROLES THAT DON’T PROVE YOUR WORTH

The realness of this post gave me CHILLS. If you feel like you’re trapped in a patriarchal and misogynist cyclone, give this a read.

3. Essential Oils

How am I so late to this game? I have never doubted the effectiveness or MAGIC of oils, but I never knew where to start. My MIL gifted us a diffuser and small oils kit and I have been so pleased with how they have added to our home in a positive way. My current favourite combo is Eucalptus + Lavender. What oils should I get next?

4. PC Butternut Squash Soup

The President’s Choice brand (Canadian brand) has some of my favorite foods to pick up from the grocery store. Their soups are incredible and my new fave is definitely the boxed Squash soup. It’s extra creamy with a little kick.

5. Blogilates New YEAR challenge

I’ve been loving Casey’s Pop Pilates videos for a couple of months and I love this calendar to reset your fitness life for the New Year. All of the workouts can be done in under 30 minutes and always leave me sore!

Winter Pinks + Perfect Neutral Layering Vest

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I am one of the many people who tend to get really sad and gloomy during the winter time. I don’t wan to say that I have SAD, but I do usually opt to sit in front of my happy light for a little extra time at breakfast when I know that I’m facing a cold and miserable day without sun. When I first moved to Toronto I did a giant closet purge, and before I knew it I was left with only greys, blacks, and navys. While I love a good neutral colour, I realized that I missed my bright yellows, merry reds, and happy pastels. I’m slowly incorporating these hues back into my wardrobe and layering them with neutrals rather than being a neutral blob.

My mom gave me this perfect layering vest for Christmas and it is so soft! I usually wear an XS at Old Navy, but the Small actually fits really nicely. Consider sizing up if you are usually in between sizes.

My sister gifted me the holy grail of shoes – Pink Adidas. I literally didn’t even need to break these shoes in because they are MADE FOR MY FEET. I have high arches and long toes (weird), so sometimes shoes are just not shaped for my feet. These are perfect and I love that the colour is so delicate and unexpected. These shoes will be worn a lot in the winter months (when I’m not braving snowy sidewalks) and even more in the spring and summer time.

TOP: URBAN PLANET (OLD)

JEANS: DELIAS (SO YOU KNOW THEY ARE OLD)

LIPS: Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat “Pillow Talk” (You need this in your life)

Does adding pops of colour to your winter wardrobe combat the winter blues? I think it it is working so far!

Best Disney Trip Ever + New Park Photos

Many people that know me also know that I love Disney.  It is a weird obsession since I am also very anti-capitalism and somewhat of a Marxist (there I said it). I love Disney for the story telling and fantasy elements. There is something that connects us as humans and I believe it has a lot to do with how we connect ourselves to non-human elements such as magic, mermaids, and fairies. We love thinking of the impossible and dreaming of the future, and if that is what makes us more human and likeable then why would I push against it? When you are in Disney World, you are prone to become a blind consumer, but you also have a chance to shrug off worries and indulge your imagination (and your tummy).

When my family goes to Disney it is a working vacation. While there are times for relaxing, we push ourselves to experience as much of each park as possible. This last trip was especially difficult because we were all so tired from our every day lives (we all work pretty long hours). We did not see fireworks one time because by 7pm we were ready to take a real break before the next day started. Even though the crowds were chaotic and there was a chance that my husband and I got a touch of food poisoning, it was still the best trip that we have had in a very long time. Here are some of the highlights from our trip that hopefully you can enjoy too:

  1. Tower of Terror Video Tower Of Terror is one of my favorite rides, and now Disney uploads a video of your time on the ride! It will be on your photo pass for purchase and it is so fun to rewatch! I didn’t purchase mine…. but I did screen record it.
  2. Toy Story PicturesThe Toy Story area has some really cute places for pictures, my favorite being under this vintage sign. It makes me so excited for the Toy Story Land expansion!
  3. Pandora at NightPandora is the obvious draw to Animal Kingdom now and while most of the crowd headed there, we waited until dusk to visit. Seeing the land slowly light up was magical. Definitely go at sunset to catch the transition!
  4. Kona Cafe (Best Dessert!)We rarely stay on Disney property, which means we rarely explore the wonderful restaurants at the Disney resorts. This time I made it a priority to visit Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Village. The big draw is their breakfast, however their dessert was AMAZING. My Passion Fruit Coconut Mousse was so light and fruity. The best part was the portion. It was the perfect size after a big meal.
  5. Celebrating ButtonsWe we’re celebrating my sister’s graduation and also my 4th wedding anniversary so we decided to go by guest services and get some buttons. So many cast members congratulated us! Many people say you get free food and fast passes (which we didn’t), however it did make it feel even more like a celebration when cast members would say a kind congrats.
  6. Relaxing at EpcotOur last stop on the trip was at Epcot and it was such a slower pace than the other parks. Walking around World Showcase was just the remedy I needed after days of non-stop action. As usual, we at Tokyo Dining in Japan and the sushi was unbelievable. We love the interactions with cast members from different countries, so we made sure to talk to many in every country. Mikey in GB was the nicest and we could have talked with him all day.
  7. Christmas Decorations and ShowsSorry for the low res photos, but I had to include the Magic Kingdom Christmas tree and the Candlelight Processional at Epcot. We saw Chandra Wilson during the show and I cried because I was so happy.
  8. Behind the Seeds TourThis is a walking tour of Living with the Land. It was a gift for my parents and they LOVED it. I don’t have photos, but they highly recommend it!
  9. Making the best of the Weather in Animal Kingdom We has a cold spell on our AK day and we decided to take silly pictures on rides and get extra snacks. It’s little things like this that kept us from falling into the downward spiral that is apt to happen on any vacation. We saw many unhappy families and it was all the more important for us to keep good attitudes and not let the cold bother us.
  10. Visa Card Holder Photo Spot If you or a family member have a Disney Visa Credit card you can find the secret photo spot in Hollywood Studios and Epcot. There’s no line and it’s a surprise character depending on the day you visit. We met Kylo Ren (I was so sure it was going to be Rey) and it was so fun! Waiting for characters isn’t my jam, so walking right into a room with Kylo was my type of meet and greet (even though he was super intimidating).

That’s everything! It was a great trip and I hope to hear your favorite parts about Disney in a comment below!

New Year – New Goals // 2018 Resolutions

2017 was the first year that I actually set resolutions and stuck to a few of them. I made a note on my iPhone and revisited it constantly in order to get more motivation. I slacked on the fitness schedule and the reading for pleasure goals that I set for myself; HOWEVER, last year I also set the goal of drinking more water and eating MORE vegetables and learning to cook with veggies and I KILLED it.

I learned so many vegetarian and vegan recipes that I incorporate into my weekly menu and genuinely love. I also carried a water container with me nearly every day and  balanced by coffee intake with my water intake (drinking 1 cup coffee = have to drink 4 cups water). Both my gut health and skin health have changed drastically because of these two small changes.

This year I have more goals and resolutions that the last, but I am willing to stick to them after my mild success from last year.

Here is my list!

Spend time with friends and family – this goal is mainly set because I am getting into studying for exams and writing my dissertation. I tend to go full dark no stars in the most unsocial of ways, and I want to make sure that my loved ones do not feel neglected or like I am putting them really far down on my priority list. Quality time is one of my main love languages, and I want to focus on planning that quality time rather than waiting on it to happen.

  1. Take initiative to make phone calls and Marco Polo calls (new favorite video app)
  2. Make date nights 2x a month and take advantage of NEW places to eat
  3. More game nights with friends
  4. 30 minute walk with Ollie every day

Travel – travel is something that I LUST for but cannot afford. I have these dreams of going on 2 week escape trips to the Swiss Alps or the streets of India; however, those big beautiful places will have to wait. This year I’m focusing on continental travel and my main goals are to visit Chicago and Boston. I would like to also start planning a trip to Scotland for 2019. I’ll be pinning a bunch of ideas on my travel board on Pinterest.

 Create 5 recipes – cooking has become my de-stresser activity. I love creating new flavors and experimenting, but I never write down any of my successful dishes and rarely remember how I made them. This year I want to focus on taking time to finely tune some of the recipes that I throw together often, but have yet to perfect. I would also LOVE to create the perfect martini for my household. Everyone has their own taste in what makes a good martini, and I want to make one that has a twist that is unique to me and my husband. Stay tuned!

Budget apps – I hate online banking. I despise it for no apparent reason and sometimes its embarassing to admit that I literally do not touch our finances if I do not have to. I like to think that I am a budgeter, but the gospel truth is that I simply spend what I have to and rarely splurge. That is NOT budgeting. I’m looking into apps that track your spending and also help you to save. Hopefully this helps me to begin taking care of my finances a little better. Have any suggestions? Leave a comment!

Volunteer – I have always had an excuse to not volunteer: I’m too busy. It turns out that several organizations, including ones at my own church, only need 2 hours per week and its very schedule oriented. This is time that I take to watch Netflix or literally do nothing at all. That changes this year. On December 23rd I sent an application into my local UN and I also have some plans to volunteer with cultural institutional promotions in Toronto too.

Take a self defence course Do I even need to explain this one?

Decorate Bedroom – Right now my bedroom feels so old and drab. It is not cozy in the least bit. Rest is very important to me, but there are points where I feel stifled when I’m trying to relax in a space that seems impossible to relax in. I would love to rethink the aesthetic of the space and also try to keep it more clean throughout the week.

Instagram master – I truly admire anyone who has a clean and polished instagram feed.  I love the idea of having a theme, but I never have enough patience to really work for it. This year I want to focus on creating a theme every season and sticking to it. I know that this takes time to create content and edit it and I am willing to do it for the gram. 

Blogilates – This is a goal that is coming from my routine at the end of 2017. I started watching Cassey Ho on Youtube and I love her channel. Her workouts are simple and short, but I can easily stack them if I have a free 30 minutes. Her recipes are also very delicious and I love trying her easy lunch options! I normally do videos, but she also has a ton of blogilates graphics that are easy workouts too. My goal is to do her 28 day challenge in  January and then workout for 30 minutes every other day with her videos and graphics. It is free and you can do it at home, so why not?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mixed Textures – Chenille Under $15

I’m a very tactile person and always have been. When I was younger my parents would tell me to put my hands in my pockets at stores, museums, the produce section (the list goes on) because I LOVE to touch. The recent emergence of soft fabrics, velvet camis, and silk pants have made me SO HAPPY but also so broke. This chenille sweater I found at Kohls and it’s as soft as a golden retriever puppy chasing a roll of triple ply. The texture is unique and easy to pair with your favorite wool coat, leather jacket, or silk scarf!

I paired it with this chic grey coat from Zara for a monochromatic look and my favorite knee high leather boots.

Sweater here

Coat here (similar)

Headband: @raritybycasey (Instagram)

Boots: old Vince Camuto

Prepping for Disney World When its Busy as HECK (week after Christmas,Spring Break, Summer)

Going to Disney World the Week after Christmas is one of the most daunting, frustrating, rewarding, and high energy things I have every done. My family and I can really only go together during this week due to super busy schedules and living in different countries, but we have turned it into a yearly ritual for nearly 5 years now. We have learned A LOT of tips, tricks, do’s and don’ts about visiting WDW during this chaotic period, and I wanted to share them with you… just in case you need extra assurance that it will indeed be worth it (believe me, it will). If you are going in March or Summer then these may be good tips for you too!

  • Minimize number of bags

    • As you would expect, Disney is very vigilant in checking all guests with bags. I like this policy, but it can really sap the amount of time you have when the park first opens.
    • For example, if you are a family of 4, then try packing 2 bags instead of 4 and taking turns carrying them.
    • Always have all pockets and pouches open when you go through bag check. They will ask to see inside every nook and cranny of the bag. And make sure to say Thank you!
  • Stay all day

  • If you have kids this may not be an option. Having a mid day nap is NECESSARY for kids and sometimes adults too whenever tensions are running high (in both good and bad ways) for such a long amount of time. However,  if you do leave the park (even park hopping) there is a good chance you will not be able to get back in if it reaches the max capacity. This rarely happens, but if you are visiting during a peak day (like New Years Eve for instance), it may be a good idea to stay put and find a rest area where you and your family can take a chance to just chill together. See below for rest area ideas!
  • Fastpasses

  • Did you know that Magic bands can be purchased and used even if you are not staying on the Disney property? Well, they can! You can purchase them online and link them to your tickets 24 hours before you arrive at WDW. The magic band is your key to setting up fast passes and easy entry onto rides. Here’s the rides I recommend to use FP for in the different parks:
  • Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain. Less Thrills but just as fun: Buzz Lightyear Ranger Spin, Dumbo, Teacups or Haunted Mansion 
  • Hollywood Studios: Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, or Rockin Rollercoaster, Star Wars

  • Animal Kingdom: Safari, Flight of Passage, Everest 
  • Epcot: Soarin or Test Track, Spaceship Earth, Mission Space
  • Take Advantage of Rest Areas 

    • The parks are fully of areas to chill and relax, even during the most hectic of times! Here’s some of my favorite places to rest my feet and regroup with the fam:
      • Magic Kingdom:Rapunzel Tower and Tangled Restrooms – a great rest stop that includes phone charging stations! You can relax and take in the view of the floating lanterns and even look for Pascal(s) in the little creek!
      • Hollywood Studios: Sunset Showcase – this is a hidden GEM. It is air conditioned. There are restrooms. There is seating. And sometimes there are characters inside having an awesome dance party! Located behind Rockin Roller Coaster.
      • Animal Kingdom: Rafiki’s Planet Watch – while this is an attraction, I find that it is very low key. I love animals, and this is your chance to hear about all of the love they get at Disney!
        • Dinoland – Don’t let all of the bright colors, sounds, and hulabaloo fool you. Dinoland has a few tables and chairs to sit and relax! The carnival atmostphere is not the most relaxing, but if you’re just looking for a place to gather your family or your thoughts, this may be just the place.
      • Epcot:Canada Vision: the Canada pavilion is GORGEOUS. Take a walk back to see the water falls and don’t miss the showing of Canada vision -a panoramic display of all that Canada has to offer (it’s one of my favorite hidden spots!)
        • Bridge in Venice, Italy: This is a great place to stop and eat some gelato. The bridge has a great view of spaceship earth and it is so relaxing to stop and take in the world showcase from this vantage point.
        • Porch at Tapan Edo: this porch has a special place in my heart. It is in this place that my husband (on his first visit to Disney), told me that he actually liked it. I was afraid he would hate all of Disney World around the busy season (he doesn’t like crowds), but we took time to rest and center ourselves in Japan.  This place is also great for viewing the fireworks!
  • Portable Phone chargers 

    • Data and Phones are the essential tool for navigating Disney world. Between checking the WDW app, taking pictures, and keeping in touch with your party, your phone battery will probably want to give up before it is time for fireworks. Packing 2 portable chargers is a game changer and assures that no one will get a low battery notification. Disney also sells portable charger sticks in the parks that you can exchange repeatedly. Use up all the charge in your stick? Just go get a new one! It’s pretty genius, but the chargers do cost about $30 each (which is more than one you could get in the dollar section at Target).
  • Take time to look at Decorations

    • Disney always has special decorations around the holidays, and though you will be astounded when y seem pretty amazing at first glance it is easy to forget to stop and appreciate them as you travel throughout the parks.
    • During the rest of the year: Epcot’s festivals (The Food and Wine festival in the fall and the Flower and Garden festival in the spring) also have amazing decorations. Don’t let them pass you by!
  • Weather 

    • While we all associate Disney with sunshine, it can be pretty unpredictable. If you are going in the winter, never assume it will be WARM. One year we were in near triple digit weather, and the next it was almost below freezing before noon! Always check to see if there is a cold front coming through or if it is likely to rain before heading to the parks! Packing an extra jacket, poncho, and pair of pants can really save you on spending extra money if there is a sudden change in weather.
  • Don’t Miss the Holiday Shows:

    • Have you seen the Cinderella castle at night around the holidays? It is fantastic. The fireworks show around Christmas and New Years is extra special because the castle is extremely festive and makes for a great picturesque moment to top off your day at MK. You MUST stay for the show and to see the castle in all of its glory.
    • Jingle Bell Jingle BAM! at Hollywood Studios is a very sweet and festive show. It is very geared around Christmas, and I have heard rumors that they make it snow! I have never been to the show myself and regret it since it has such a great reputation in the Disney community.

That’s it! I hope that this helps to alleviate any potential stress of visiting Disney when it is very crowded. It is still magical when you have to share it with extra people, and I hope that reading these tips helps you to experience the magic to the fullest!