Sunday, 28 April 2013


I just read three amazing books since I've been home and I am so in the mood to gush but no one around here (my fam) will listen! :( If I can even get one word out about my books, their eyes instantly glaze over and I know they aren't really listening to a word I say! It's so very frustrating!

Especially when I'm just bursting at the seams with excitement and nervousness and anticipation and all those other feelings you get when you finish a really good book! Love? Does love count? Is is possible to be in love with a book? Cause if so I totally am!

You guys don't mind, do you? I'll do my best not to give away any spoilers (but it will be hard).

So first I read Also Known As by Robin Benway

It's about a girl with a natural gift of safe-cracking who is raised as an international spy. She receives her first individual assignment which involves going to high school for the first time and befriending a totally cute guy! Check out the Goodreads link above for more info! I love spy books! Who doesn't? There is something so appealing about being a spy. The secrets, the gadgets, the elusiveness, and the overall bad ass-ness! I loved the main character, Maggie. She was witty and sarcastic, basically the perfect combination for a teen spy. The plot was good, however found it was just missing that little ... oomph! which is all that's keeping me from giving it a five on five stars. It's still a very good book, and if you love espionage, I suggest you pick it up!

Next on my list is a biggie! I'd been waiting until I finished school to read it so I could fully enjoy it by reading it all in one sitting! OMG, I just cannot wait to gush about this book: Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter!

I thought it couldn't get any better than Heist Society. And then I was sure nothing could beat Uncommon Criminals. But Ally Carter has outdone herself, yet again, with Perfect Scoundrels. It's amazing, nail-bitting, heart-crushing, beautiful, and just ... perfect! All at the same time. Ally Carter, how do you create such works of art? I guess if I had to choose between being a spy and being a thief, I would choose thief. As long as I was a good thief, like Kat. I don't know if I can talk about this book much more without giving too much away, but I will say this. One thing I loved loved loved LOVED, was the development of the Kat-Hale relationship in this book. In the other two books, I just felt it was an awkward, I like you, you like me kind of this but there is much more focus on the two in instalment. If you haven't read this series, DO IT. And if by some wrong, twist of fate, you have never even touched an Ally Cater book, DO IT NOW. And then read the Gallagher Girls series. :)

What can I say about The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead other than it was AWESOME!

It was just so... GAH! And then OMG! But the ending, oh the ending! It was so perfect. Except then... askjklsdjlkhg! All I can say is if you love books that are action packed and suspenseful with some romance thrown in for good measure, you'll love the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. The Indigo Spell is the third book in this series, but even before that, there was another series called Vampire Academy which if you have not read, you absolutely have to. I know you are probably thinking it's a risk because so many vampire books turn out to be flops or just way to complicated to follow, but this one is not like that at all! I promise! 

In other news, I still have not unpacked (yikes!) and I got a job (yay!). I start tomorrow and I'm kinda really nervous! Wish me luck!

-Dare :)

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Dare's Tips For Surviving First Year

Well guys, I have completed my first year of university, and I lived to tell the tale! To say it was a challenge would be an understatement. Don't get me wrong! I had some great times this year and I can honestly tell you it was a great experience! But... there were some struggles and some difficulties that I had to overcome. I hope that I haven't scared you in previous posts by complaining about how hard university is. I'm just a very dramatic person! In retrospect, your university/college experience will be whatever you make of it. Here are some helpful tips I have learned along the way that will help you to make the best of time in your first year of post-secondary education. 

1) Stay in residence your first year. I know this is a personal decision that could take in many different factors, but I highly recommend you stay in residence your first year. Most of the friends I made were on my floor. It's different for every person, but I think that as long as you make an effort to be friendly and welcoming, other people will too, and your bound to make friends! Just remember, everyone there is as nervous as you are about making friends. 

I admit that there were times when I hated living in residence. It was small and crowded, and I had to share a 5-stall, 3-shower co-ed bathroom with 28 other people but when I look back, I wouldn't have met all the people I did if I wasn't in residence.

2) Participate in orientation/frosh activities. This is a biggie. Whether or not you decide to stay in residence, you absolutely have to participate in orientation week. Because a) it is your first opportunity to explore the campus and know your way around, b) it's another good way to make friends (especially if you are not living in residence), and c) it's your time to show your school spirit! 

Lots of schools pride themselves on their school spirit and traditions. I nearly lost my voice during my frosh week from cheering so much. There were football games, a carnival, coverall painting, concerts, dances, rolling in the dirt, and free stuff. Can't forget about the free stuff!

3) Stay organized. Okay, we're on to the educational stuff now. Things can get pretty hectic with classes and it can overwhelm you very easily. Get an agenda or a day planner where you can write things down like test dates and assignments (Proffs might not tell you these exact dates in class, so be sure to check the class's website frequently). On top of that, be organized with your notes. If you have neat handwriting, keep organized notebooks/binders. If not (or if you simply prefer it), use your laptop and have specific folders for each class. And remember to write the date on every note! 

4) Don't freak out if you don't like a class. This was difficult for me to accept, but it's okay to switch classes. Look at me! I'm switching to a completely different program! If it's too late in the year to switch, that's okay too. You can stick it out for the rest of the class and take something different next year. 

5) Be educated on your meal-plan. Meal plans are complicated. There are so many different rules and restrictions, that it can sometimes be easy to mess up and be out of meals for the week! Ooops! I even knew some people who had used up all their meals for the year way before school ended. It really depends on how your school does meal plans, but I recommend getting the biggest meal plan option offered, even if you don't think you're going to eat that much.

6) Scope out the places to eat on campus. On the topic of food, it's a good idea to check out all the cafeterias and restaurants that will take your meal card. I went over half the year without discovering this amazing salad bar that I absolutely loved, and I'm kicking myself for not taking full advantage of that.

7) Explore the library. So I know that many of you are probably like me and consider the public library a second home. However, school libraries can be very intimidating. I highly recommend you do a little exploring and find a room in the library that suits you, and spend a little time after class everyday, or even every second day, doing some work in the library. This will get to comfortable with the atmosphere and you'll get a ton of work done. Even if you think you can work in your room, trust me, you wont. The internet is way to appealing.

8) Get comfortable with the gym. Even if you're not an exercise person (like I wasn't), become one (like I did). I'm serious. The gym is a great way to blow off stress and even if you hate exercising, you feel great afterwards (I speak from experience). The gym became my happy place because it was somewhere I could go where I wasn't technically procrastinating because it was healthy... but I technically wasn't doing work either. A good compromise. 

If you're interested, the gym at your school will most likely offer some great fitness classes and programs. I got involved in one called Turbo Kick, which is basically the love child of kick boxing and dance. These are a really fun way to hang out with your friends and to get a great work out too!

9) Don't forget to take some "Me Time". This may seem like an overused cliche, but I'm serious. In the hustle and bustle of a fast-paced university life, you can easily forget to take care of yourself too. Take some time to read, watch a movie, go for ice cream, or paint your nails every once in a while. Don't procrastinate and leave your work to the last minutes, but don't get to caught up in it either. Take a breather to de-stress your life and do something for your self. It's a mental health thing.

10) Don't panic. It's easy to freak out if you get a bad grade, but don't worry about it too much because it's not the end of the world. Just make the necessary improvements to do better next time. Something I really regret about this past year is that I spent most of it worrying. Learn from my mistakes!

I hope this gives you guys a little bit of an idea about what university/college is like (if you haven't already experienced it for yourself yet) and I really hope you find these tips useful. Just remember it's a learning experience and I time for you to grow as a person. I'm not trying to be one of those people who tell you "This is where you'll find yourself/your place in life" cause the truth is, you may not. I sure didn't! What I'm trying to tell you is to make the most of your university/college experience and to enjoy it. If you put the effort in, your sure to have a great time!

-Dare :)

Monday, 22 April 2013


So there are a few things I need to scramble together in today's post, so hang tight and please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times!

Numero Uno: You may have noticed by now, but this is a different font. Yes, this is Helvetica. Why did I change my font, you may be asking. Well, because everyone gets bored of Times New Roman some times! (And, truthfully, because I finally figured out what all the buttons do at the top when I was fiddling around trying to fix that stupid white box that appeared in my last post.)

Dos: A BIG BIG hug to everyone who wished my luck on my physics exam! It really helped. Also, I have a new lucky sweater to go along with my lucky socks. 

Tres: For my job interview which is on thursday, I need to have a two minute speech prepared on any topic I like so they can evaluate my public speaking skills. OMG! I need your help deciding what to write about. I need to be something I'm passionate about so I can do a good job but these are the only things I'm passionate about:

- Good books
- Jennifer Lawrence
- Disney movies
- Harry Potter
- Hating Twilight

But um, which of those is going to impress my possible future-employers??? Although, once in grade eleven, I wrote a kick-ass essay on why Harry Potter is Better than Twilight. And I got a really good mark on it too! Plus my teacher hadn't read either series so wasn't biased at all. Proudest moment of my life... no big deal. 

Cuatro: I have been meaning to tell you this for a while, but somehow it just slipped my mind completely until now! I have an Instagram!!! This is where I post my amateur photography like:

If you also have an IG you can follow me @if_i_dare and I will follow you back if you post your username in the comments below! :) 

Cinco: Contrary to what you might believe based on my wonderful counting skills, I don't speak a lick of spanish! :P

Whatever 'six' is in spanish: I thought you might like to know, but the whole time I was writing this post, I had Fergalicious playing in my head. You at the beginning when the rapper guy goes "Uno, dos, tres, cuatro!" and then the song starts playing? Yeah... I'm not weird at all.

Love you all!

- Dare

Saturday, 20 April 2013

In the Lime Light

Another award!? Oh my goodness you guys, I really am starting to feel like Jennifer Lawrence!

This award is called the Shine On Award and I'd like to give a HUGE thank you to Jessica from Written Paintings! :) Go check out her blog! It's amazing!

*Link back to the person who nominated you
*Post the badge on your blog
*Answer the questions posed.
*Nominate five bloggers who shine a light on your day and notify them.
*Issue some questions you'd like them to answer.
Step 1: Answer Questions

1. Do you ever listen to music that's not in English?
Does the french part of Lady Marmalade count?

2. Do you watch anime, or would you be willing to give it a chance?
I used to watch Pokemon and Sailor Moon like, hardcore.

3. What's your Favorite TV show, Anime, or Cartoon?
Phineas and Ferb, hands down, the awesomest show ever.

4. Do you ever read poetry?
Yeah, I love some good poetry. But nothing fluffy, it should have depth and meaning.

5. What are your thoughts on Pokémon?
(see question 2)

6. Do you own a/multiple gaming devices, and if so, which ones?
My first video game device I got was a Game Boy Advance. Then I got a DS but when my brother's broke, I gave him mine. And then he broke mine...

7. Is it possible that we could be in the Matrix or a similar program of control?

Step 2: Nominations

Caroline Eliza Fashion and Beauty
Helena from In a Few Nutshells

Step 3: My Questions for the Nominees

1. If a movie was being made of your life and you could choose the actor/actress to play you, who would you choose and why?
2. What is your favourite dessert?
3. If there were a holiday in your honor what would it celebrate?
4. You are planning the most awesome dinner party of your life. Which 3 celebrities/historical figures (past or present) would you add to your guest list to keep the dinner talk interesting?
5. If you could live anywhere for one year, all expenses paid, where would you live?

-Have Fun!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Liebster Award 2.0

Oh wow! I have been nominated for Liebster award again! I am honoured you guys! I feel like Jennifer Lawrence right now, seriously.

She's so awesome. My number one girl crush. Without a doubt.

Right, back on topic!

So I was actually nominated by two people for this award so I decided to go ahead and do them both at the same time. So bear with me, this may be a long post. Plus, I'm going to cheat a bit, because I don't know if you noticed, but eleven is a rather large number!

First off, I'd like to thank Treskie from Occasional Randomness and Becky in Blue from Teen Reviews for nominating me for this wonderful award! I highly recommend you check out their blogs because they are AWESOME!

Now I post 11 random facts about myself: (Be warned, I'm slightly over-tired and hyped up on caffeine)

1. I always type 'myslef' instead of 'myself' by accident and have to go back and fix it. Every time.

2. I'm listening to some good old Xtina right now. And rocking out. "Sweet, sugar candyman!"

3. I have a physics exam tomorrow.

4. I'm going to fail it.

5. In an attempt to pass, I will be wearing my lucky socks, my lucky necklace, and my friend's lucky necklace.

6. Yes, I have lucky socks. But don't worry, I wash them.

7. Is it number eleven yet?

8. I got a job interview today! It's for this historical landmark in my town and if I get the job, I get to wear and "Period Costume".

9. No, a "period costume" is not hair up, hair up, all-grey sweat suit complete with ice cream and Midol. It basically means I get to dress like Anne of Green Gables.

10. Speaking of Anne of Green Gables, I finally finished reading Pride and Prejudice!

11. Now that I think about it, those two things don't have much in common. But, well... whatever.

On two part two!

First I will answer the questions from Becky in Blue:

1)      If you were trapped on a desert island what 3 things would you take and why?
A book - gotta have something to do to pass the time.
My journal - I don't go anywhere without it.
Sunscreen - Don't want to get a burn!

2)     What is the most beautiful song you have ever heard and why?
Feels Like Home - by Chantal Kreviazuk. This song has a very personal backstory for me. When I was in grade eleven, me and twenty other students went to live in the Domincan Republic with local families for a week and we brought donations that we spent all year fundraising. This was our theme song for the trip. It was an irreplaceable, eye-opening experience and I can't listen to this song anymore without crying.

3)     What would you say your best feature/personality trait is?
Tricky. I don't think I can't find anything that really stands out :P

4)     Who/what is your biggest inspiration and why?
Meg Cabot - reading Code Name Cassandra for the first time inspired me to become an author. Plus, she originally went to school for illustration, not writing, and is still very successful.

5)     What do you want to be when you’re older?
An author. 

6)     What’s your favourite chocolate bar?
Any dark chocolate!

7)     Would you rather be rich or happy and why?
Happy, because then I'd be rich with happiness and is there any better way to be?

8)     What’s your favourite quote?
So many hard questions! How do I just pick one? 
"If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” C.S. Lewis

9)     What was the best moment of your life so far and why?
I don't think I've had any yet :( Oh well, must mean there's plenty in store for me!

10)  If you could go back to an era of history where would you go and why?
The 1920's. Flappers, speakeasies, the glitz, the glamour! Need I say more?

11)   What’s your favourite thing in your wardrobe and why?
My flapper dress. See above.

And now I will answer the questions from Treskie:

1.) What brand of computer are you using? 
Macbook Air :) 

2.) If you go outside, take the first star on your right and then go straight on 'til morning, where will you end up?

3.) How would you handle a pickpocket?
I'd pickpocket him/her right back. Like Kat in Uncommon Criminals. 

4.) Do you like cowboys-- meaning cowboys from the Old West. 
I've never really had a thing for cowboys. Unless you count Jesse from the Mediator series by Meg Cabot (but he'd probably be offended if you did).

5.) Do you know what the "big blue" looks like?
I'm not sure...

6.) What's you're 'go to' style for your hair?

7.) Have you ever wanted to be a voice for a character in an animated Disney movie?
OH MY GOODNESS YES! Can you say dream job!?

8.) What's the first thing you think when someone says, "Let's get down to business"?

FAVOURITE MOVIE EVER! I AM NOT KIDDING YOU! SORRY (NOT SORRY) FOR THE CAPS!  One time, I made a list of disney princes based on their hotness and overall awesomeness. Shang trumped all the other guys. I would probably marry him.

9.) What do you say when someone sneezes?
Bless you. (Unfortunately, I'm boring like that.)

10.) What's your favorite smell?
Vanilla. But real vanilla, not that chemically fake stuff.

11.) Why do you think girls find British boys more attractive than American boys?

I think it has to do with the accent. Personally, if they were a nice guy, I wouldn't care how their voice sounds or where they come from!

PHEW! That was tough! 

Now for the fun part! I tag people and ask THEM eleven questions!

The Human Guidebook
Danny from Blue Bells and Owls
Time is Passing
Bella Rose from To Say Nothing of Reality

Question Time!

1) What is your typical Starbucks/Tim Hortons/any other coffee shop order?
2) What's the weather like where you are right now?
3) Who is your number one celebrity girl crush?
4) Do you have any lucky items? If so what are they?
5) If you could marry a Disney prince/character who would it be and why?
6) If you could have either Anne Shirley's or Elizabeth Bennet's life, whose would you choose and why?
7) If you were given a boat, what would you name it? Why?
8) If you hosted a talk show, what would it be about?
9) What is the weirdest food you've eaten?
10) Is the glass half empty, or half full? What's in the glass?
11) 2%, 1%, skim, or (gag!) whole milk?


P.S. Wish me luck tomorrow on my exam! I'm going to need it :S

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Land of the Undead

Hello friends!

Today I write to you from... The Land of The Undead!

Duh duh .... duh!

(I hope that was as dramatic for you as it was for me.)

Okay, so maybe it's the fact that I've been up past 3 am every night for the past week, or maybe the stress from exams is starting to take a toll on my mental stability, but I'm really starting to feel like a zombie. And looking around the library at 10:00 at night, I can tell I'm not the only one.

The Land of the Undead, otherwise known as the library, is currently housing a number of students zombies who looks as though they are going to fall asleep on their keyboards, and a few of them actually have.

Instead of braaaaaains, we are all like "coffeeeeeee!"

... although maybe brains might be more helpful when trying to pass exams? I wonder if I can get them anywhere with my meal card?

Ok, to the point!

What I really wanted to show you was this: 

Dove did this amazing beauty campaign to show just how much women underestimate their beauty. It's absolutely eye opening to realize just how much of a difference a change of perspective can make. What really struck me is that you can be so hung up on one minor detail about your self that you don't like, maybe you think your nose is to big, or you have too many freckles, but other people don't notice that. They see your smile, and your eyes, or the little dimples on your cheeks. So why worry about it so much?

Now, if I sat here trying to teach you how to have a good self image, I would be the first to call myself a hypocrite. I know that a good self esteem is very hard to obtain. I struggle with body issues everyday. But I think this video may have put me a step in the right direction. I highly recommend you take a look.

Now, I have heard the critics, and yes I understand where they are coming from when they say "You are more than just beautiful." This is true, but you don't need to hate on this campaign for it. Dove wasn't saying that physical beauty is all that maters. They were trying to give women everywhere a self esteem boost, so that they could begin to view themselves more positively. Everyone deserves to know that they are beautiful, inside and out. Because that's what's true.

- Dare

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Harry Potter Room and It's Illustrious Magical Powers

Hello all! Just thought I'd give you all a quick update (at midnight nonetheless) on the current state of my sanity!

Honestly though? It's hanging on. By a thread. But by some force of sheer will power I did not know I had, I'm getting through it.

Sometimes I wonder though...

Like, why is that I could barely keep my eyes open long enough to integrate a differential equation this afternoon, but now that it's midnight, I'm bouncing off the walls like "Sleep? Who needs sleep? Ooh, I want hot chocolate! Let's watch the Lizzie Bennet Diaries again, cause it's not like I've seen them a hundred times already!"

... and I don't even like hot chocolate.

But here I am, sipping luke warm, watery hot chocolate, informing you once again, just how weird I am. As if you needed any further proof!

I will now let you know the secret to my miraculous strength. You're going to like this.

The library.

I know! Who would have thought?!

Okay, but it's not just any library. They call it the "Harry Potter Room". Unofficially, of course. But it is great. I know this because I've practically been living in it the past week.

The minute you step through the heavy oak doors, you can tell this room dates back to the birth of my precious school. Tall, stuffed bookshelves line the perimeter, surrounding the rows of antique, wooden desks. The desks are sectioned into individual cubbies and equipped with their own lamps. Candelabras hang on the walls, and although they have long since been replaced by lightbulbs and plastic candles, the effect is still appreciated. Magnificent stained glass windows reach up to the high ceilings, letting in just enough natural light to cast a dim atmosphere.

It was strange but the environment is just so different from anywhere else. You really feel like you have stepped into a different time. And goodness, I can actually work in there! I get so much accomplished and the time flies. It's like there is actually a spell cast on this room. One that can turn even the biggest procrastinator into an over achiever!

I'm kicking myself for not having discovered this room sooner! I mean, everyone on campus talks about it, but I never had the guts to actually test out it's magical properties myself.

Don't get me wrong, I love normal libraries (my own mother is a librarian - no late fees for me!) but school libraries can be intimidating. Out of the four libraries my school has, I'd only been in two and it was very difficult not to run away screaming. I just couldn't get any work done in them. They were too modern and the lighting was too bright.

So thank goodness for the Harry Potter Room. If you're looking for me, that's where I'll be. (Please bring coffee!)

- Dare!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

April Showers Bring May Flowers

It's April? Already?

Since when did that happen?

I guess I should be excited that it's April because that mean I only have one week of school left! And then ... exams. And then ... SUMMER! Which technically just means I have to find a full time job that hires students for only four months (read: impossible) asap or my mother will kill me.

Exams. Yikes. I will warn you, within the next month, I may go temporarily insane. Okay... temporarily more insane than usual... My mental breakdowns are already becoming more frequent.

Sorry for being so MIA again. I've actually been going through a pretty though time right now. I'm just so overwhelmed that I've been getting anxiety attacks even just thinking about everything that needs to be done. It doesn't help that my self esteem is in a dip and my one friend who I actually can talk to about things like this is just as busy as me so we don't get any time to hang out. Hence, the fact that I'm spending most of my time alone in my room.

I called my mom yesterday to talk about my schedule and she started reading off the symptoms of depression from some website. I'm serious. She thinks I need counselling.

But despite me mother's lack of faith in my mental stability, talking to her did heighten my spirits slightly :)

Plus I have you guys! You always make me smile :D

Ok, so since it's already April, and I've been such an absentee blogger for the most of it, I guess I should tell you how my last week has been!

April Things:

1. I'm currently reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. To say I'm obsessed may be a slight understatement.

2. Ever since I came back from reading week I haven't been able to stomach even the thought of eating cafeteria food. Recently, my friend introduced me to the wonders of The Grill and Pita Pit (both of which are on my meal plan so I don't have to spend $$). The Grill makes the best salads in the whole world (or at least on campus) and I always get the same thing: small salad with grilled chicken, goat cheese, carrots, red peppers, dried cranberries, walnuts and maple dressing. So goooood! I've practically had one for dinner every single night.

3. Lately I've been craving smoothies, like, all the time. Last week I went on a full on hunt all over campus for a smoothie because the booster juice was closed! :(

4. 25 Things to Make You Smile  Number 4 literally made me cry.

5. I've been watching this show Psych and I absolutely love it! It's so funny!

6. Peanut Butter and Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter, a.k.a. Heaven in a Jar. It's like my two favourite foods combined! I think I'm addicted to it.

7. If there was ever a song to perfectly describe my life at the moment, this would be it.
That's all for now!
Hopefully I wont be so MIA from now on!

- Dare