LD&L: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Zac Efron has come a long way from the halls of East High… This Netflix film follows the evolution of Ted Bundy and his relationship with Liz Kloepfer. I’ve mentioned before in the LD&L section that I’m not normally one to go for super scary content, but… Zac Efron. Realistically, this was more of a movie with extremely creepy concepts as opposed to feeling like you can’t sleep for a week after watching it.

The Review:

I have to say, Zac Efron surprised me in this one. There were some moments where you really saw an “extremely wicked, shockingly evil and vile” look in his eyes. The story was an interesting take on the famous serial killer’s story; less about his individual victims, more from the perspective of his one true love with Liz. The story maintained the alarmingly easy charm of Bundy and how he smoothly lured his victims with ease. I liked that the movie made it very clear which State and year they were focusing on when Bundy attacked. This made it easy to follow the story, the tragedies, and the personal evolution of not only Ted himself, but also his long-time girlfriend Liz.

Rating: 4.5/5

Let’s Chat:

I’m so excited that summer is just around the corner. I need some sunshine in my life! As you can see by this section, I do love my coffee and tea, but I wouldn’t mind switching it up to a patio drink every once and a while.
I’m happy Instagram is an outlet for us to chat about what I want to put out on the blog, but also what you want to see. Here were some suggestions:

  1. How I style my hair. Though not as long anymore, I would love to put out hair content. Perhaps places you can still donate hair would be a good post?
  2. More travel – yes, yes, yes. Even if it’s a mini-road trip this summer, you can bet more travel posts are in the works.
  3. More books, more movies. Every week I look forward to a lazy Sunday where I can unwind by putting out an LD&L post. I’m so happy you are all loving this sections as much as me!

What’s Coming on the Blog?

  1. Well, we’ve tackled every inch of the UK except one country… Wales. I’m working on some content to complete the whole United Kingdom on the blog.
  2. I know I’ve been slacking in one particular section. Outfits. First outfit post coming soon: 3 ways to wear a white bodysuit this spring. Keep an eye out for the post this week! Here’s a little sneak-peak:

Let me know in the comments what content you want to see. How are you liking the blog so far? Talk to you guys next week!

5 Pubs to Visit in Dublin

If you want to live like the locals, you can count on visiting a handful of pubs. Dinner, dancing, drinks, live music – Dublin pubs sure know how to create a fun and welcoming atmosphere. Though I wish I could have stayed much longer, here is a short list of pubs I visited in Dublin. Have a read, plan a trip, and grab a Guinness. Sláinte!

O’Neill’s

Recommended by our hostel, O’Neill’s was a short walk from Temple Bar. It had live Irish dancers, live Irish music, good food, and an overall lively atmosphere. This pub, perhaps caters more to the tourists than the locals, but nonetheless, I had such a fun time! The Irish dancers and musicians did a great job of including the crowd and they provided consistent entertainment while we ate our food. I will never not be happy singing Galway Girl by Steve Earle. If you’re not one for standing around, you may want to go earlier in order to get a seat. This place gets crowded fast because of it’s authentic Irish acts.

http://www.oneillspubdublin.com/

Con’s

Okay, I’ll admit it… Con’s is not actually located in Dublin, but for my fellow Directioner’s and Niall Horan lovers, it’s a quick train ride away. Located in Mullingar, Con’s is a pub frequented by locals. If you want a true Irish pub feel away from the novelty of Temple Bar, Con’s is a great choice. The food was delicious, and it was a very relaxed vibe in the pub. I would go again just for their potato leak soup and Irish soda bread. My teenage dreams were officially accomplished (RIP 1D).

The Auld Dubliner

In the words of my friend Carly, “you know a pub has to be good when they spell words the ancient way”. Again, another pub with good food, live entertainment, and most importantly – my favourite cider. I was disappointed to find out they don’t sell “Orchard Thieves” here in Canada. If you prefer cider to beer, be sure to mix up the classic “Bulmer’s” with Orchard Thieves if they have it on tap. The Auld Dubliner is in Temple Bar and easy to find among the cobble stone streets.

https://aulddubliner.ie/

Temple Bar

Temple Bar Pub is one of those “when in Rome” – or rather, when in Dublin – moments. In the center of Temple Bar, Temple Bar Pub is a high volume area of tourists. More live traditional Irish music, statues in the middle of the tables, but it lacks one thing: locals. You find many, if any, locals in this pub. We stopped in for one drink to see what this pub was about, but not one person we spoke to was Irish and the drinks are much more expensive. I’m glad we went, and it certainly can’t hurt to pop in to see for yourself given the location of this pub.

https://www.thetemplebarpub.com/

The Guinness Storehouse

I added the Storehouse to this list, because what better place to try a Guinness than the Guinness store itself? This was one of my favourite experiences in Dublin. The tour provided us with two pints (half-pint Hop House, half-pint Guinness Dark, and one pint of Guinness). You learn the in’s and out’s of how the famous Irish stout beer is made including the ingredients, advertising/ marketing, and of course, lessons on how to properly pour a pint of Guinness. Yes, the whole 119.5 second process is necessary! Coming from a non-beer drinker, this experience is a must. Dare I say I actually enjoyed the taste? We had a chance to shop the gift center and I scored the comfiest sweater of life with the Guinness logo. What an experience this was!

https://www.guinness-storehouse.com/en

I loved Dublin and I can’t wait to go back someday if not for my family history, the trad tunes and fresh pies. More pubs will be on the list of things to do. What are some of your suggestions if you’ve been to Dublin?

LD&L: Lilac Girls

One of my favourite types of books to read are historical fiction novels. My sister would disagree, but even I think she would love this one! I follow another blogger who suggested this read, so naturally, I had to go out and buy it that day. While in the book store, I had to control myself not to pick up one of everything. Who else knows that all-too-familiar feeling?

The Review: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Lilac Girls was a book that held my interest from the first few pages in. I’m a sucker for novels that feature more than one person’s story at a time; Lilac Girls was no exception. Martha Hall Kelly was able to portray the story lines in a way that were not confusing at all. I know some people who are hesitant to reach for books set up in this way because they really have to think about what’s going one, who connects to who, and what time your in. This book presented the characters in a way that made you excited to keep reading. As the reader, you didn’t want to go too long before being reintroduced to the other characters. When you were reading about Kasia, you were excited to get to Caroline. When reading about Caroline, you were wondering about Herta. This was genius and very well executed.

This historical fiction focuses on the lives of three women during WWII – each with very different roles and representations. I truly loved this book. If I can walk away from a book having learned something, it automatically deserves a 5/5 star rating. This book has it all – compelling characters, intriguing story lines, and researched based writing to back up her facts. This novel quickly climbed to one of my favourite books ever read.

Rating: 5/5

What’s coming on the blog?

As mentioned in my last LD&L post, I’d love to get some more travel posts out. One will be coming next week, so keep an eye out for something Irish!

What’s new with me?

May has been quite a busy month for me! I launched my blog (and am having so much fun creating these posts) and celebrated my 25th birthday. This has borderline turned into a “birthday month”… oops! The weather is finally starting to cooperate a little more which means…wedding season is here! To kick it off, I’m helping my friend Emily “day-of-coordinate” an event. How do you guys prepare for wedding season? Let me know all your tips and tricks in the comments below or on any of my social media links!

I’d love to know what you all think of Lilac Girls if you get a chance to read it. I hope you like it as much as I did. Bye bye bye (cue Justin Timberlake, it’s gonna be (a busy) May), for now. xxoo

How I Spent My 25th Birthday at the Elmwood Spa

I did it… I joined the quarter-century club (cue tears). I decided to get a small group of friends together and celebrate by pampering ourselves with a half-spa day at the Elmood in Toronto. Here is how I distracted myself from being “ahead by a (quarter) century” (RIP Gord Downie).

In the heart of downtown Toronto, you’ll find this relaxing day spa. It is extremely accessible, only a few streets away from Dundas. For a first time visitor, I had no issue finding the spa.

Our check in at the front desk was seamless and the staff were very welcoming. I, of course, had to snap a picture with the showcased windows of cages and cherry blossoms. Nice touch, Elmwood.

You’re given an itinerary upon check-in the stay on track with your treatments. This came in handy – it’s easy to see how you can lose track of time in a spa atmosphere (#namaste).

First up was lunch, and it was fantastic. Not exactly sure what I was expecting, but the food was very good! It’s hard to go wrong with a 3 course meal experience. If you spend a certain amount, it is included in your package.

My friends let slip that we were there for my birthday and the staff put a personalized touch to my dessert with a candle. Eating lunch and quite literally spending half a day in a robe was already enough of a dream come true, but I made a wish of course. Speaking of these robes, I may have tripped about 45 times – one size fits all robes are not for for short people. That was the hardest part about my day. Well, that and not falling asleep from being so relaxed.

We selected the “Serenity Retreat Package” which included: lunch, water therapy (the steam room took my breath away, literally, but so worth it), manicure, and pedicure. All the elements were so fun and truly an all-round experience. Food, drinks, and being pampered with friends; what’s not to love about that?

Going once was just not enough… Where are your favourite spas? I think I need to create a list of ones to attend. Strictly for research purposes. My birthday was a success and the Elmwood Spa was the perfect venue. Thank you for such a fun experience!

LD&L: You

Welcome back to the lazy days and lattes section! I type this as I’m finishing up my late-morning latte, how fitting! This week, I’ve decided to feature the first book entry for my fellow readers.

Feature: “You” by Caroline Kepnes

Rating: 3.5/5

Whether you read the book or watched the Netflix show, I’m sure most people have hopped on the bandwagon to discover this story. I’m not normally one for “scary” books, and I also do not normally watch the show before reading the book… Netflix reeled me into the crazy life of Joe Goldberg, and the oh-so-naive Beck. Seriously girl, you live in NYC – get some curtains.

I was browsing a local bookstore (oh God…) and found the novel along with it’s sequel, “Hidden Bodies”. Have any of you read the second? I’m quite intrigued… I might have to put it on my list. The show stayed pretty true to the representation of the characters in the book, though I will never see Daniel Humphrey in the same light ever again. Well done Penn Badgley, well done. I thought reading it from Joe’s (the stalker) perspective made the story so much more ominous and eerie. Though not always a story I wanted to read before bed, it was an easy read and hooks you from page one.

Rating for me came in at 3.5/5 stars. I don’t necessarily think it’s quite that low, but not a full 4 either. I loved the story, and did thoroughly enjoy reading this novel. Why the reluctant rating for a great story? Some parts of the book I found myself comparing the story line to the one portrayed by the Netflix show (this is why I read the book first…shame on me); I found myself favouring the show at times based on how situations were presented, played out. It felt as though the show was more realistic, more creepy, and more sinister, and let’s face it… when you sign yourself up to read a thriller this is what we expect. I found myself wanting to read those scenes in the book that just never came or were written a little different. Not necessarily a bad thing, but my own observation.

What’s coming on the blog?

First of all, I owe a big thank you to everyone who has checked out my content so far! I hope you’re enjoying it, I know I’m having so much fun creating it. Here’s what’s coming…

1. Travel posts from Ireland. I’m thinking of starting off with Dublin. We can get into the smaller towns in a different set of posts – believe me, I’m not short of content for that magical place!

2. A Lifestyle post on Spa Days! I went to my first Spa in Toronto to celebrate my birthday with some close friends. The experience was fabulous and spa’s are certainly not in short supply of #aesthetic.

3. Outfits…I know this content has not yet been explored, but I was thinking of doing an affordable mini-haul for the first post. I’ve seen so many bloggers share their Amazon finds, and I have to say I’m intrigued to know for myself how the quality of the clothes translates.

4. LD&D: more movies, more books. If you have book suggestions especially, I would love to know what to keep an eye out for!

What do you want on the blog?

Let me know of anything you would like to see on the blog in the comments below! Lifestyle, travel, more lazy day content and inspiration? Let me know on any of the social media link or shoot me an email with some suggestions.

5 Inexpensive Things To Do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh stole my heart the moment I heard the bagpipes play…which was right away thanks to the street performers. I found Edinburgh to be quite inexpensive for travelers looking to experience Scotland’s capital city. Here is a list of inexpensive/ free things I did while in Edinburgh.

Arthur’s Seat

You will definitely need to break out your walking shoes for this adventure. This hike was reasonably achievable to finish coming from someone who doesn’t partake in a ton of hiking trails (note to self: do more hiking trails). Going up the mountain is something I will recommend to anyone willing and able. Being just a short distance from The Royal Mile, Arthur’s Seat is very manageable to get to and completely free to climb up. The views of the city from the top are fantastic, but I have to say… Arthur, you could have made the seat a little more comfortable.

Palace of Holyroodhouse

Okay… So this activity is not free, however, if you pair up the above hike with a tour of Holyroodhouse, it makes for a full day and costs only £15. I thought the Palace was beautiful and grand. Truthfully, it was a perfectly planned out day: Hollyroodhouse, Arthur’s Seat, lunch break, Scottish Pub Crawl. To go from the venue of the Queen’s Garden Party to the bars of Edinburgh is quite the stretch, but one I would do again in no time. Speaking of pubs, if you’re staying at a hostel (Castle Rock was stellar), check to see if they arrange pub crawls so you can go with a group. We met so many fun people that night and had such a good time.

Edinburgh Castle

Another perk to staying at a hostel so central in the city is that you are in walking distance to major highlights like Edinburgh Castle! For around £13, you can discover a lot at this landmark. It was one “attraction” I walked away feeling I had got my money’s worth. I found the layout of this castle was very well done. This castle was one of my favorites – the information, the views, how centralized the location was – it was all great. Did I mention this castle was the view from out hostel room? It was quite literally steps away from us. When you find good cheap, clean accommodations be sure to book right away. You never know, there could be a rugby tournament and you’ll be scrambling to find somewhere to stay… oh wait… The story has a happy ending, we managed to get a room, but not quite as cheap is an understatement! #CastleRock4ever

University of Edinburgh

This section of the University, referred to as “Old College”, was absolutely mesmerizing. If I could go back in time and apply to uni here, I would strongly consider it. If it’s wrong to pick a school based on it’s building, then I don’t want to be right. I mean just look at that stone work! We discovered this tucked away gem just by walking through the city. Again, completely free, but I believe there is an option for a guided tour which may or may not be conducted for a fee.

Scott Monument

Speaking of architecture… The Scott Monument takes the cake for eye-catching buildings in Edinburgh. The Gothic feel given to this building draws people in and the view from the top gets them to stay. This attraction cost about £8 and worth every penny in order to maintain the upkeep of this Victorian Era building. Upon entry, you climb up 287 steps on on a spiral staircase. As you could guess by the peak, each step closer to the top means a smaller area to walk through. Once you’re up and think to yourself, thank God I made it up 287 steps, the views speak for itself. Above is my favourite picture from the top – I spy with my little eye, Edinburgh Castle. The contract of old and new in Edinburgh was one of my favourtie takeaways. I can confidently say I will 1000% be coming back here.

I did not want to leave this city, mainly because of the amazing experiences, but also because my bank account took a little hit back in London. I got a little travel happy. Edinburgh, as mentioned, was full of amazing experiences that cost little to no money at all. I walked away from Edinburgh wanting to come back ASAP. ASAP hasn’t come soon enough!

Introducing: Lazy Days & Lattes

Feature: Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (1 & 2)

There is nothing I love more than getting cozy at home by curling up with a blanket(s), hot drink(s), and watching a movie(s). In my world, all three items are often the plural versions. Let’s break this blog section down… Each post will highlight a movie/ tv show/ book as inspiration for what to what to watch, read, and drink. Using the suggested feature as a guide for your lazy day, the post itself will keep readers up to date with things I have planned for the blog. I’d love to interact in this section, so be sure to reach out via the social media links scattered around my pages. Ask questions, spark convo topics – I’d love to hear from you! I decided adding #lazydays&lattes would be a fun segment to really connect with my readers and attract more readers to the blog. I couldn’t think of a better way to do this than surrounding myself with the things I love and sharing them with you. After all, who doesn’t love unwinding after a long week? For me, I’ve accepted the fact that this means Netflix binge-ing (#sorrynotsorry) and hoarding excessive amounts of things to make me feel exceptionally comfortable (#reallynotsorry). So… grab a drink, pile on the blankets, hit play and…of course let me know what you think!

Feature number one is a little throwback, and you know I couldn’t stop at just the first one. Double-feature days are my favourite kind of days. I have officially moved Greece even further up my travel list (thanks Lena Kaligaris). As if her character needed a backdrop like Santorini to make us even more jealous of Alexis Bledel’s stunning blue eyes, right?

Don’t underestimate the second movie friends, it’s 100% underrated. The characters, the story line, the laughs and tears; this sequel has it all. Once again… Greece makes a few appearances and once again the Sisterhood had me online shopping for blue/white clothing and browsing airline websites. Not to mention, who doesn’t love a little Blake Lively pre-GG? These movies are the perfect fit for girls-night in. I certainly watched my fair share of these travelling pants with my rommies at uni.

I hope this new section excites you as much as me! I can’t wait to hand-pick all the wonderful movies/books/shows to share with the blog. Until next time friends! Speaking of Greece…has anyone been? What should I add to my list? Can’t wait to hear from you.