Summer Reading List 2018

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Hello everyone!

Work has been keeping me fairly busy this summer, but I’ve been actively trying to pick up a book when I have some free time. Because of that, I thought that I’d share some of the books on my summer reading list with you!

So, here are the books that I’m trying to read this summer:

  • A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollenstonecraft: This has been sitting on my bookshelf for a while, but I think it will be an important read as one of the earlier works of feminist philosophy.
  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton: I’ve started reading this book, which is about high society in New York in the 1870s. My only qualm is it can be hard to follow since it’s an older book, but it’s still interesting so far.
  • Three Challenges to Ethics by James Sterba: I snagged this book from a pile of free books that was hanging around the philosophy department. It looks interesting since it discusses the challenges that environmentalism, feminism, and multicultralism pose to traditional ethics.
  • Vimy: The Battle and Legend by Tim Cook: This book was a birthday present that I got a couple of weeks ago. Since I like learning about anything to do with war history, I’m sure it’ll be a great read.
  • Waiting for First Light by Romeo Dallaire: Dallaire’s writing has always struck me as incredibly powerful, and this book did not disappoint. It’s about his experience with PTSD after coming back from Rwanda, and it’s incredibly eye-opening. Word of warning, it does deal with a lot of heavier topics like suicide, so make sure you’re not putting your own mental health at risk by reading it.

What are you reading this summer? Please drop me a comment so I can justify adding more books to my bookshelf!

-Mel.

Happy Canada Day!

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From the Eastern coast of Canada, I hope all the Canadians following my blog have a great holiday! Take the time to have fun with your close friends and family during this long weekend.

I’ve always felt lucky to live in this country. It’s beautiful from coast to coast, from the oceans to the mountains and prairies. To live in a country that is both rich in natural beauty and contains such diverse people is truly a blessing.

That being said, Canadians have a lot of work ahead of us in the next couple of years. Forming the Canada of the future as a leader on the world stage and as a place where everyone feels accepted will mean putting in the time and effort. We shouldn’t forget our history as well, especially the indigenous peoples that have been here longer than most of us.

I hope you all have a great Canada Day, and celebrate this great place we call home. For the rest of my followers, I hope you have a great Sunday!

-Mel.

 

How To Survive A Long-Distance Relationship

As someone who was previously in a long-term long-distance relationship, I figured I should pass on some of my wisdom about them to people who might be facing one now.

So, here are my tips for surviving a long-distance relationship!

  1. Trust each other. Even if you wholeheartedly trust your partner, long-distance relationships can create moments of doubt. In successful long-distance relationships, you have to have a level of trust and loyalty that goes above all else that is thrown at you.
  2. Take the extra time you have and devote it to yourself. Go do the things that you’ve always wanted to do, develop your hobbies, or spend time with your friends. Just because your significant other isn’t there, doesn’t mean that you have to stop living a fun life. Plus, keeping busy will keep you from obsessively missing them.
  3. Communicate. Make time so that you can both sit down to a weekly Skype or Facetime call to really catch up with one another and hear each other’s voice. Texting and apps like WhatsApp are great for keeping in touch while you’re apart from each other as well.
  4. Have an end date in mind to being apart, so you know where you’re headed long term with your significant other. Or, if you can’t plan a definitive end date, plan a date for when you’ll see or visit each other next.
  5. Send them a gift from time to time. It could be for a special event or just because, but it’s always a sweet thing to do to let them know you’re thinking of them.
  6. Work through the rough patches together. Long-distance relationships aren’t problem free, so having open lines of communication to solve and discuss problems is vital to success in the long run. However, remember that if you’re arguing with your significant other, that sometimes you’ll need to give them space.
  7. Remember that your significant other has a life too. You can’t expect them to be there 24/7, but they should at least be there for when it matters. Especially if they’re working or in university, cut your partner some slack if they’re really busy.
  8. Don’t give into jealousy. It may be easy to envy the relationships of your friends or family, but it won’t improve your long-distance relationship. Remember, you can’t judge the success of your long-distance relationship by the standards of relationships around you.
  9. Don’t cheat on your partner. It is incredibly unfair to the other person, especially if they trust you completely. However, if you do, please let your partner know as soon as possible, since then you can decide whether to carry on the relationship or not.
  10. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page. If you sit down as a couple now and then to discuss and reassess where your relationship is going, it will help you grow together and overcome any problems. As well, if you decide that both of you have changed and want to go down separate paths, it might save you some heartache.
  11. Last but not least, enjoy your time in your long-distance relationship. While they are a challenge and are hard to maintain, there may be a time when you look back on the relationship fondly. And who knows, maybe your long-distance will end because you’ve moved in with the love of your life.

I hope that my advice helped those of you that are in long-distance relationships or about to be in one. If you have any long-distance relationship tips as well, feel free to drop them in the comments!

-Mel.

 

Thank You!

I just wanted to say a brief thank you to all of you who have been following me throughout the May 30 Day Writing Challenge. This one has been my favourite one yet, and I’m glad to see my posts resonating with you.

I also gained a bunch of new followers this month, and I wanted to give them all a shoutout. Welcome to the blog, and I hope you stick around for a while!

I will be taking a brief break from writing, since I need some time to get together some posts and reorganize my blog a little. I’d love to hear your suggestions for posts you’d like to see in the meantime, so please leave any ideas in the comments!

Thank you all for reading, liking, and commenting this last month, it means a lot to me. I hope your month of May was awesome as well, and that this month holds even more good things for you.

I’ll see you in the next post!

-Mel.

Day 31: Your Summer Goals

I have a lot of goals this summer, many of which I’m already working on as part of my list. So, I decided I’d share some of them:

  • Eating healthier (which means all the fruits and veggies!)
  • Start exercising more
  • Drink more water
  • Read some books for pleasure
  • Explore Antigonish and go to the Highland Games
  • Reorganize my blog
  • Learn some more German
  • Pick my top Masters programs
  • Plan some events for the history society this year
  • Make a trip to the beach
  • Make a trip to Halifax (hopefully?)

What are some of your goals for this summer? Let me know in the comments!

-Mel.

Day 30: Five Of Your Favourite Foods

It was almost impossible to choose only five favourite foods, since I eat almost everything. But, without further ado, here are five of my favourite meals!

  1. Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken and Peas: This dish is a staple comfort food for me. It’s super simple to make, and you can always add more veggies like carrots in if you feel like mixing it up.
  2. Sushi: I’m not a fan of the sashimi dishes, but I like sushi overall. I especially like California rolls and spicy tuna rolls.
  3. Quesadillas: This is one of those things that you can easily throw together with a bunch of the leftovers in your fridge and call it a day. I especially like them with guacamole and salsa on the side.
  4. Ham and Scalloped Potatoes: This meal is something I don’t get often, since in my family it’s usually saved for special occasions like Christmas. Honestly, just remembering how good this dish smells right now is getting me hungry…
  5. Chicken/Steak and Roast Potatoes: Both of these meals are staples for summer time and barbecues. It’s especially yummy if you throw sliced onions in with the potatoes when you’re barbecuing them.

What are some of your favourite foods? Let me know in the comments!

-Mel.

Day 29: Your Pets

As I don’t currently have any pets of my own, I decided today I’d post about all the pets I’ve had in the past today.

The first pet I ever had personally was a hamster named French Fry, inherited with the name and all from a friend. He ended up having kids, and my sister and I got to have one of his kids each. We named them Prince and Banana Split, but unfortunately, they didn’t live very long. All three were great starter pets, and they definitely kept us entertained.

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Our family also got a dog shortly before the hamsters, and her name was Jerzy. She was a Newfoundland and Lab mix, and she passed away a few years ago. She was a very caring and empathetic dog, but also expected to be treated as a queen. She liked the snow, swimming, and dragging people on walks in her younger years. You can read more about her in this post.

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The last dog we had was named Jypsie (among other nicknames), and she passed away suddenly this last Christmas. She was adopted, and my family originally got her as a friend to Jerzy in her old age. Jypsie was a giant suck up, great heat warmer for the couch or your bed, and always was in a good mood. She was very good at escaping and was very catlike as well. You can read more about her here.

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Hopefully there are more pets in my future, but for now I’m content with looking after a beta fish for the summer.

What pet(s) do you have, or want to have? Let me know in the comments!

-Mel.

 

Day 28: Favourite Bands or Musicians

If I listed all of my favourite bands and musicians, I think I’d be here for a few days. So, instead, I’m going to share a few of the bands or musicians I’ve been listening to a lot recently.

  • Imagine Dragons: If you want to feel like you live in a dystopian future or just want a catchy tune, this is your band! They also advocate for LGBTQA+ issues, which is a bonus.
  • Echosmith: I really like their music since it’s more acoustic and very soothing. Their songs remind me of long road trips and late summer nights.
  • Panic! At the Disco: This is one of the most recent bands I’ve gotten into. I’m really liking their new songs they just released, as well as some of their older stuff.
  • Peter Hollens: He’s my go to for doing covers of anything from folk songs to Wicked medleys. I usually throw his songs on when I’m studying since they’re pretty soothing.
  • Lindsey Stirling: The best way to describe her songs is a mix of classic violin and dubstep, which is really cool. She’s also a huge nerd, and has covered a lot of things like Lord of the Rings.
  • Ed Sheeran: If you want songs about love, he’s my go to musician. Plus he’s got other catchy songs like Barcelona that’ll always inspire a good mood.
  • Great Big Sea: I’ve adopted this band as I’ve been living out on the East Coast. If you’re ever in need of ceilidh music or need a pick me up, I recommend them.

If you want to see more of what I listen to or what I’m liking in terms of music, you can always check out my blog’s Spotify playlist here.

What are some of your favourite bands or musicians? Let me know in the comments, and I might check them out!

-Mel.

Day 27: A Lesson You’ve Learned

I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned this last year is actively going out of my comfort zone. I’ve always been a more introverted and cautious person, and this year I’ve really been trying to push myself to do new things and meet new people.

Ironically, pushing my boundaries started with two spur of the moment decisions. When I applied to the campus newspaper, I did it on a whim since I was having fun writing this blog. Similarly, I joined the executive of the history society since I was asked randomly by a friend and one of my old professors if I wanted the job. Both decisions pushed me out of my comfort zone with having to recruit people for the society and writing new stories on topics I wasn’t as familiar with. But I wouldn’t change a thing, since I made some great friends and learned a lot about myself along the way.

With school as well, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone with a few of the classes I took this year. It made me realize that I don’t find sociology interesting, and that I never want to become a lawyer. At the same time, I realized that I’m most interested in my classes when I’m able to study security or conflict issues, which has made me consider studying those topics more.

Overall, continuously pushing my limits has been a good lesson to learn this year. I’m sure I’ll continue doing a little bit more outside my comfort zone this next year, and I can’t wait to see what good things come out of that.

What lesson have you learned recently? Drop me a comment!

-Mel.

Day 26: One Of Your Hobbies

Today’s post was a bit hard to make, since my biggest hobby is currently writing, either on here or for my campus newspaper. However, I do two of my hobbies that I’d like to share with you today.

One of my hobbies is drawing. I’ve always had an artistic side, and I’ve experimented over the years with a lot of different forms of art. However, I’ve drawn or doodled since I got interested in cartooning when I was young. These days, I mostly draw in the margins of my notebooks, but I also like sitting down and drawing every now and again. The sketch below is one of the better ones that I’ve done of late, even though you can tell I went over it later on.

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Another one of my hobbies is baking, but only when I have time now. I like getting creative with designs on cakes or cupcakes, and experimenting with flavours. I made the cupcakes below the last time I was home, and I’m really happy with how the swirled blue and white icing came out.

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What are some of your hobbies? Let me know in the comments, and I might check out one of them!

-Mel.