Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Love of My Life

I can't believe it's already March 30th again, but here we are. Today is my second anniversary with the love of my life, Matt.

It just seems so wild to me that it was two years ago today, when I was still just 17-years-old that we started dating. It seems even wilder that my high school crush has become so unbelievably important in my life.

Looking back over the past two years, it seems like we were really just kids back then and we've grown up and changed so much in the past 731 days (last year was a leap year, after all). I've been so lucky to have the chance to grow up with someone I love so much, and I can't wait to grow up some more and spend the rest of my life with him.

I'm so lucky to have someone who wants to spend so much time with me, and who wants to give me so many opportunities to do new things, and make so many wonderful memories together.

Matt is the person who took me to my first real fair, my first smash up derby, he helped me choose my first apartment, he took me to Niagara Falls for the first time, he's the reason I first took a Greyhound bus, we went together on our first trip out of the country without any parents, he’s taken me on my first and second and every other real date I’ve ever had. I honestly couldn’t even try to put all of those stories and memories here, because I could literally be here forever typing.

He believes in me and he supports me in every decision I make, even if that means changing my mind for the fifth time in an hour. He encourages me to do what I want to do and not to decide based on what I think other people want. He pushes me to try new things, and to do my best in everything I try to do. He shares his worries, fears, triumphs and victories, and the rest of his life with me.

There aren’t enough words in the world to explain how important he is to me, or how I really feel.

He’s changed my life so much in the past two years, and I am so thankful for having had this chance. I never expected to meet someone who would become this important to me while I was in high school, and I never expected that I would have got on a bus and moved myself so far away from where I grew up.

It took a leap of faith, but I am so glad that both of those things happened.

After all, how lucky could I be to have found someone I can spend so much time with and still look forward to the end of our time apart?

I love you so freaking much, Matt.

Happy Second Anniversary.

- Erika Elise

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Dear 16-Year-Old Me

Dear 16-year-old Me,

Your life is going to change more than you could ever expect in the next four years. Some of it will be good, very good, but there will be a lot of bad things too. Some of them will break your heart, and it's going to suck. Don't worry too much though, 20-year-old you is right around the corner with a life better than you could expect.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

This Week in Nail Art: Week 12

This week again I have another quick and simple tutorial for a nail art design that can be done on even short nails. This is an important factor, because I broke another nail this week. It was my thumb, and I filed it down to fix the shape. I cannot for the life of me find my nail clippers, so I've been making do. That means for now. I have four long nails and one short nail on my left hand.

I'm still playing around with that new polish I bought in the States, Sally Hansen Color Therapy in Therapewter. This week it is playing the base again.

This is the final look for today. If you keep scrolling, you'll find the tutorial under the picture!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

TRHTT: Roundabouts and Great Food

When Matt and I were trying to make it to our second hotel along the trip, we were sent around a roundabout in Valparaiso approximately 5 times. And, I swear, every single time we had to go around it, the GPS got louder and angrier, and I wouldn't have been surprised if we had been about to hear "take the first f***ing exit on the roundabout" if we had to go around another time.

But, as we rounded the roundabout for the fifth time, I exclaimed to Matt "WAIT! I see the hotel!".

It turns out, the GPS needed to be updated because the hotel was on the opposite side of where we were being directed, as if the roundabout is a newer addition to the local roads. After our fifteen minutes of driving in circles and wasting gas, we made it into our second hotel. It was the ever so lovely Country Inn and Suites Valparaiso. The hotel was beautiful, and the staff were much friendlier and personable than the staff at our first hotel who we barely saw.

We gathered up our stuff to put in our room, and laid down on the bed to watch some television and relax, while we figured out where we'd go for supper. Originally, I had intended for us to go to Culver's, on the recommendation of some friends (and some strangers on Reddit). And, it was right across the street, too. But, for some reason I just couldn't bring myself to commit to that decision, and we decided to look through some local listings and websites to see what there was.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


It's getting into another wildly busy part of the school year, and I'm getting burnt out. I'm so stressed, tired and hungry, I'm barely getting anything I'm supposed to do done. My college homework is getting done last minute, I'm a lesson behind in my math class (I have to finish lesson 10 tomorrow so I can go see my teacher!), and I haven't been writing much for the blog either. It's making me so anxious and even more stressed!

I promise later this week I will have another post from the Thomas Rhett Home Team Tour series. In fact, to encourage you to come back and believe me, I'll even tell you what it's going to be about: this week's TRHTT post will be about the Industrial Revolution Eatery in Valparaiso, Indiana. It was a spectacular restaurant that Matt chose, and I can rave about it for days!

Today, though, I'm not prepared to write you that long, detailed post about the trip. That series is too important for me to risk not doing it justice, and instead I thought I should share with you something that is relevant to how I feel this week.

I'm going to share my top four stress-busting activities for this week!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

This Week in Nail Art: Simply Nailogical

A few times in the past eleven weeks in This Week in Nail Art, I've mentioned Cristine from Simply Nailogical. She's a Youtuber who posts video tutorials, lessons and challenges for all sorts of nail art and nail care, and she's one of my all time favourites. If you go on my Youtube account, her posts are almost always the top recommended posts for me, although lately I've been falling behind on watching hers.

She's quite theatric, and I know for some people she can be a little much, but it's just too hard for me to to not like her. She's Canadian, and she talks about Canadian products and how it can be difficult to find some common in other countries, too. She's funny, makes her videos silly, and she just doesn't take herself too seriously. Her videos are a great way to get interested in nail art, and learn quite a bit, without feeling too much pressure or intimidation to do things perfectly the first time (or the second or the third...). She is also obsessed with her cats, and has a funny boyfriend who is happy to show up in some of her videos to give her something new, sillier and funnier to post.

I've been working on catching up on her videos, and this week I've decided to share with you ten of my favourite or most informative videos from Cristine's channel Simply Nailogical!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Budget Practice

As I pay off the last bits from our trip, our budget has been on my mind quite a bit. Matt and I are very lucky to live with his parents, as that saves us quite a bit of money, but with my upcoming return to university, we're looking at moving out. Overall, it means we're going to have to look a lot more at our budget.

We're going to suddenly have a huge expenditure; it will also be an expenditure that leads to more expenditures. We're looking in the range of up to $900/month with utilities includes, but we'd be much happier with a lower price. Plus, we will also have to look at a higher tuition cost for me, and an additional new cost of actual groceries. We will also have increased student funding with the new system, and I should be employed this summer, but I am still a firm believer of following a good budget and saving as much as possible.

I've started searching around for some resources, tips and tricks to help us build a better budget. While some of the search results are paid services or apps, and some of the tips and tricks are unhelpful to us, there is a lot of great information.

Today, I'm going to share some of my favourite tips, tricks and resources that I've found so far!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

TRHTT: Science Central

Along our road trip to Illinois, Matt and I did a lot of sightseeing and other touristy things. On our way out of our first hotel, we decided to drive through Fort Wayne, Indiana. While we had planned to do some shopping and walking around, we also wanted to actually go somewhere to do something.

After some time deliberating, we chose to go to Science Central, a science museum in Fort Wayne. It's mostly intended for children, but anyone who's interested in science and technology can have a good time there, and we really had a great time.

I spent a lot of time going to museums as a kid, and that was one of my favourite things to do. I loved learning about different things, whether it was science, social science or anything else. I think that was where I got my love of learning from, and I still love going to new museums. I always learn something new when I go to one.

It cost us $18USD for the two of us to get in, and we spent a few hours inside. The whole building was larger than we expected, and it had a really interesting history.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

TRHTT: Thomas Rhett's Pre-Show

I've decided that rather than moving chronologically through this series, I'm going to break it up between some of the more exciting things and some of the slightly less exciting. Honestly, it was all exciting, but I don't want to be writing for days just about the driving to get there.

Today, I've decided to write about one of the most exciting parts of the whole trip: Thomas Rhett's pre-show and our Star of the Show VIP experience.

The day of the concert, Matt and I had to drive a few hours to our last hotel. We actually drove through Chicago because we had some time, but never stopped because it would have cost us $22USD to park for one hour. It was ridiculous, and traffic was horrible so we kept going. We got to the location of our final hotel early, so we spent a few hours looking around and grabbing lunch before getting ready for the concert. However, that's not what this post is about, and I'll talk more about the rest of that day another time.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Heart Monitor Embarassment

King of Heart Atrial Fibrillation Cardiac Event Monitor

Currently, I am sitting in my chemistry class. It's the first class of the day for me on Mondays, and today it is my only class as my math class was cancelled because the teacher is sick.

We're expecting a big storm tonight/tomorrow, and not very many people are here today, I'm assuming because of it. Tomorrow, we may not even have school at all.

The lack of people today is what is making this all the more awkward.

This morning, I had a cardiac event monitor placed that I will wear for the next fourteen days. It's a King of Hearts Atrial Fibrilliation and cardiac event monitor. It's stuck via a couple of electrodes, and it records on its own or on demand. It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that the damn thing will not stop beeping.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

This Week in Nail Art Week 10

Last week, I told you about the nail polish I bought while I was in the United States. It's that new Sally Hansen Color Therapy polish that has Argan oil in it.

I also told you I'd update you on how long the polish lasted without chipping. The big reveal is: it chipped the day after I wrote the post. A grand three days. That's pretty far from the ten days that they claim it'll last. Although, I've heard that they have a cuticle oil and top coat that you're supposed to use with it as well, and perhaps it would last longer in that case.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Living With Chronic Illness: Another Step Closer

It seems fitting as I sit here sick out of my mind that I write some more about living chronic illness.

After getting home from our trip to the States, Matt and I both started getting that feeling like we were just on the brink of a cold. My school work and test writing has been mediocre for sure. It had been building up all week, and then on Wednesday it just started hitting me. I left school early on Wednesday, and I stayed home on Thursday, in hopes that I would get better again before Friday and the weekend.

Friday, March 10, 2017

TRHTT: Road Trip Day One

Today's post is going to be a summary of our first day of driving and being in the United States!

Matt and I had a goal of leaving by 7:00 am, so that we wouldn't be in a rush to get to our hotel before night fell, and that we'd have a chance to do lots of sight seeing along the way. We made a stop at Tim Hortons before we crossed the border, so we could have some Canadian change, and by the time we were leaving Tim Hortons the clock was just turning over to 7:00 am. It gave me a feeling that our day was going to go well.

We crossed the border in Fort Erie, which was a little bit nerve-wracking just for the fact that neither Matt nor I really had experience with it. As I've mentioned before, this was Matt's first real trip into the United States, and I had never gone without adults. Our border crossing agent was very friendly, and asked us where we were headed and why, but when we told him what concert we were going to he had a very blank look on his face. It didn't seem like anyone had any idea who Thomas Rhett is, which is so bizarre having come from a town where country music was popular. Regardless, we made it over the border with no issues and once we crossed the border I felt a lot less anxious.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

TRHTT: 6 Things Different Between the US and Canada

Welcome to the first official post in my series on our road trip to the Thomas Rhett Home Team Tour!

This trip we took to the United States of America was the first trip Matt has taken outside of Canada since he was a baby, and my first trip to the States since I was fifteen. The last time I went was a quick drive-through to New York City, and then we spent most of our time in the city. I noticed quite a few differences then, but I didn't really look at it how I did this time. And, Matt, having his first ever real trip to the States, kept commenting on all the things he found were different from our life in Canada. 

So, we decided to compile them for you here as a Canadian perspective of what's different between the two countries. For my Canadian readers, you may recognize these differences or maybe it will be an explanation if you've never visited the States. For my American readers, you'll get a chance to see what about your country is new for Canadians who are visiting.

Keep reading to see what we found as differences!

Monday, March 06, 2017

Thomas Rhett's Home Team Tour 2017: Intro and Photo Dump

As promised, today I have an introduction for you on the series of posts I’m about to start from the trip Matt and I took to Illinois.

For those of you who missed it, here’s a general overview of our trip and why we took it:

I am a huge music fan, particularly of country music. My all-time favourite musician is Thomas Rhett. Thomas Rhett is a country-pop singer who is the son of 90s country singer Rhett Akins. Last night, he won the award for Country Musician of the Year at the iHeart Radio awards, and he was nominated for a Grammy for Die a Happy Man, a song he wrote and performed.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

This Week in Nail Art: Vacation Edition

It feels very unusual for me to have had two days go by with no new posts on the blog. Having been in the United States for the past four days has really disrupted my schedule, because I had no data on my cell phone and crappy hotel wifi, and we only got home at 12:30 am today. I'm exhausted and I've been sleeping on and off all day, but I am so incredibly thankful for my trip and so very happy.

It was by far the best trip of my life, and the concert was the best concert I've ever been to. But, I can't divulge all of those details just yet, because this is This Week in Nail Art, not the official beginning of my Thomas Rhett Home Team Tour series. The next few weeks are going to be packed with all sorts of stories pictures and more, but for today I just want to show you the nail polish I wore.

I didn't bring any nail polish with me to the United States, so Matt and I had to buy some. I checked Marshalls and a few other stores, but couldn't find exactly anything that was quite what I was looking for. Eventually, on a brief trip to Target (we don't have those in Canada anymore), I found one that I really liked.

It was only after we got to our third hotel on Friday afternoon to get ready for the concert that I realized that this nail polish is very similar to Nicole by OPI's The Next CEO. Oops.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Mail Call

I may be currently on a trip in the United States, but that doesn't mean that I've forgotten about the blog!

Today's post isn't actually based on something that happened today. Instead, it's based on two things that have come up in the past week. The connection between the two? Mail.

Over the past week, I've got quite a bit of mail. Lots of it was just boring stuff, like school letters or a credit card notification, but I got two very exciting (in comparison) things, too. Keep reading if you want to find out what they are and what I'm doing with them.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Overpacked and Underprepared

I started and finished packing for our trip yesterday afternoon. I had fully intended to start packing much earlier than I did, but as I explained over the past week, time has been getting the best of me. I was lucky enough to get most of this post written yesterday, so it would be ready for you today while we're driving.

I'm a chronic over-packer. It doesn't matter where I'm going or what I'm doing, I'm going to overpack simply for the fact that I'm afraid of forgetting things. It's definitely a part of my anxiety, but I've learned over the years a few ways to make me less anxious about it and more productive.