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My first Winter in Canada is bittersweet, there are good days and there are bad days. For someone who is from a tropical country with a weather that doesn’t go down below 27 degree on normal days; experiencing the opposite is a really big challenge. I knew its not gonna be easy, and unlike other people who are very excited to see snow, I am the one who is very reluctant even from the start. This is the season where I felt the saddest. I didn’t believe it at first when they told me that people get depressed during winter because who would be depressed when all you see is white, right? It’s far from being a sad triggering color. But, just like what they said, wait until you try it yourself. The transition is rough, thus, I get too emotional from spending atleast 5-10 minutes just to put on my winter gear (e.g. coat, boots, gloves, bonnet and scarf) and removing them, walking on icy path with your heavy boots, shivering inside while feeling your hand getting stiff. Too many things to hate because the negative outweighs the positive. Then gradually I stopped hating winter because I knew that it is inevitable so I started adapting and started getting used to the feeling that it slowly become normal, that slowly I started getting the hang of it.

 

As what Vivian Greene said, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” I took this leap of faith so I might as well stand on my own feet while keeping my sanity intact. I started reading about Montreal’s winter activities and made sure that I have time for enjoyment.

 

So join me as I look back on my first Canadian Winter experience.

 

I remembered it crystal clear, the date of the first snow fall, it was November 20, 2016. It was almost midnight, I was looking outside our window thinking how am I gonna go to work the next day; as if the snow would immobilise me. I prepared my winter clothes the night before, feeling anxious as if I’m gonna be slaughtered the next day. Lol.

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This was how it looked like outside, the day after the first snow fall. I thought it was bad, not thinking I would see worse on the coming days.

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And this is how I looked like that day. I look like a new born baby wrapped perfectly to maintain normal body temperature.

 

Le Grand Marche de Noel de Montreal

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Just before Christmas, Montreal have this great Christmas Market in Place des Arts where they turn streets into a fabulous outdoor illuminated village. This runs every December 2 to 24, which gave us time to procastinate if we will go this week or the following week.

 

It was one fine Sunday, first sign of snow has just melted and sun was out so me and my roomates (AJ and Claire) decided to visit Le Grand Marche de Noel for the firt time. This place is ideal for families with small kids because there are giant sculptures of magical toys and animals, fires that crackle, and a little train for children. I, on the other hand may not be a child but felt like a child that day.

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Posed in front of the Traditional wooden store and there are a lot of them like this here, but I liked this one the most coz it’s red.

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When Santa is away, little kids play. AJ and me inside the house of Santa Claus and the Santa Claus office.

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(Outfit Details: H&M bonnet and boots, Ivanka Trump coat, Forever 21 Cardigan, Light in a box leggings, Sfera backpack)

 

Christmas Day in Old Port

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My first Christmas in Montreal is very memorable, I may not have my family with me but I celebrated it with people who are very close to me, my roommates AJ and Claire and my 2 other friends Caryl and Olive. On Christmas day we decided to visit Old Port for a stroll and try ice skating.

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So the plan was for us all to go ice skating, but it turned out that only me and Caryl are the ones interested.

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I’ve always wanted to learn how to ice skate just like how badly I want to learn how to play the piano. I tried to play the piano at this age but my fingers are not in tuned, same as how my legs are not in coordination when I am wearing ice skating shoes. It took me a lot of effort trying to learn how to skate but stopped eventually because I really don’t have the balance, partly because I am scare to fall most of the time. Great that I tried it, but definitely my first and last try of ice skating.

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These girls right here are the sisters I never had. Felt so blessed because I have them.

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Ended Christmas day with a visit to the church in St. Joseph. My life in Canada may be challenging but I still have so many things to be thankful for. I am still blessed in many ways.

 

(Outfit Details: H&M bonnet, Point Zero coat, Zighilli scarf, Forever 21 leggings, Aigle boots, Sfera backpack)

 

La Fete Des Neiges

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La Fete Des Neiges means Festival of Snow. Every late January to early February, Montreal’s Parc Jean-Drapeau turns into a winter wonderland, a childhood delight that features activities for kids as well as for adults. So me and my child-like friends, Olive and Ronna went there on the last day of the event.

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Behind me is the Biosphere, it is an Environment Museum. Based on my research this architectural masterpiece was designed by noted American architect Buckminster Fuller.

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There are a lot of activities to try during La Fete Des Nieges such as tubing, sliding, skating, snowshoeing and zip lining, but we did not try any of it because the line is insanely long. So all we did is to have our photos taken with furry animal friends.

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Before we went home, we dropped by the Montreal Olympic Stadium for a short photo op with this iconic landmark.

 

(Outfit Details: H&M bonnet and scarf, Ivanka Trump coat, Jag jeans, Aigle boots, Sfera backpack)

 

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

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My last winter activity is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

 

“Montréal’s St Patrick’s Parade is famous all over the world and widely considered one of the best. It is the highlight of the Irish Festival with all of Montréal’s Irish organizations taking part. The first parade was held in 1824 and has transformed into an event that all Montréaler’s look forward to regardless of their background. It uniquely celebrates not only all things Irish but all the communities that make up Montréal. After a very long winter it signals to all that spring has finally come.”

http://www.montrealirishparade.com/

 

Now we know! It was truly fun and festive. I enjoyed different floats and costumes of the people during the parade. Photos below are some of my favorites.

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(Outfit Details: Forever 21 scarf, Ivanka Trump coat, Sfera backpack)

 

 

Before winter finally ended, we were surprised by the sudden snow storm. My idea of snow storm is the same with the snow storms that I see on TV where people are being blown away by the strong wind and big snow flakes. In reality, there was no exaggerated wind, it just snowed the whole 3 days and when you step on snowy path, it reaches your knees and worse mid-thigh.

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It is officially Spring here in Canada, and I am more than ready to start this season feeling happier and lighter. Until next Winter Canada!

 

 

 

 

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I finally had the opportunity to style other people and not just myself. I find it really challenging of how I am gonna put thing together, but at the end of the day, I decided to make them look like me. I want them to look like my own reflection of how I style myself. If you haven’t figured that out, I love colorful vibrant things, anything pastel and floral suits my style. I love to accessorize because an outfit without accessories looks too plain and boring for me.

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Models: Teri and Mary
HMUA: Bernie Badillo of IMakeitUp by Bernie Belles
Photographer: Karen Utlang

 

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It’s time for my annual bucket list reveal. I started writing my 2014 bucket list with 38 things that I wanted to do for the year 2014, but when I checked my list, I only completed 10. Oh no! This year is really the happiest year for me but it appears that this is also my not so productive year in terms of completing my bucket list. I guess for the year 2015 I will just be writing things that I believe I will be able to accomplish for the next 12 months.

 

Here are the list of things in my bucket list that I was able to put check marks for 2014.

 

1. Buy flowers for Mama
This is supposed to be a 2013 bucket list that I was not able to do since I am in a long distance relationship with my mother. Last May 2014, she visited me here in Cebu so we could celebrate Mother’s Day together. We went out to dine at her favorite restaurant Pizza Hut (yes, my Mama loves pizza so much), I bought her a Mother’s day black forest cake, red rose from Holland Tulips and treat her to spa for mani and pedi pampering. Mom was so happy, she told me she is grateful I am her daughter. That almost brought me to tears because mom is not an expressive person.

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2. Read 25 books for 2014


This is totally a shame. Out of the 25 books that I promised myself I would read, I only completed 12. Reading is something that I really love doing, but due to my busy schedule, I just can’t find time to read some more. I think I will still aim for 25 books this year. I will not promise but I will do my best.

 

1. A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 2 (Clash of the Kings) – George R.R. Martin
This book is popularly known as Games of Thrones. You might also wonder why I am reading book 2, that is because I already finished reading book 1 back in 2012.

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Favorite quotes:

“People often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it’s served up.”

“I will hurt you for this. I don’t know how yet, but give me time. A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you’ll know the debt is paid.” – Tyrion Lannister to Cersei Lannister.

“When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”

 

2.  A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 3 (Storm of Swords) – George R.R. Martin

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Favorite quotes:

“The greatest fools are ofttimes more clever than the men who laugh at them.”

“Sometimes I think everyone is just pretending to be brave, and none of us really are. Maybe pretending is how you get brave, I don’t know.”

 

3. The Fault in our Stars – John Green

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Favorite quote: “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”

 

4. A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 4 (Feast of the Crows) – George R.R. Martin

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Favorite quotes:

“Words are wind.”

“We all dream of things we cannot have.”

 

5. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

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Favorite quote: “I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.”

 

6. Paper Town – John Green

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Favorite quote: “That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste.”

 

7. A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 5 (Dance with the Dragons) – George R.R. Martin

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Favorite quotes:

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once.”

“I rose too high, loved too hard, dared too much. I tried to grasp a star, overreached, and fell.”

 

8. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
This is one of my favorite psycho books. I love the twist and the plot of the story. This is the first book written by the author and I was so blown away by such talent.

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Favorite quote: “I often don’t say things out loud, even when I should. I contain and compartmentalize to a disturbing degree: In my belly-basement are hundreds of bottles of rage, despair, fear, but you’d never guess from looking at me.”

 

9. If I Stay – Gayle Forman

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Favorite quote: “Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.”

 

10. Looking for Alaska – John Green
This is the 3rd book that I was able to read from John Green, and as I have mentioned on my previous post, of the 3 books this is my favorite because it is more realistic.

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Favorite quote: “Thomas Edison’s last words were ‘It’s very beautiful over there’. I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.”

 

11. Heaven is for Real
When time comes that you are doubting god’s existence, this is my most recommended book for you, because that is what happened to me. Yes, I did doubt if god really exist, if A.) he is really there watching for me, B.) if he knows that his people are struggling and C.) if there will be karma to people who do bad things. For the first 2, I already have the answer that yes he does watch his people from above, as for the 3rd one, I still do not have an answer because I am now beginning to belive that there is no Karma. I used to believe that there is Karma, but now I don’t.

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Favorite quote: “In a boxing match, the fighters absorb some vicious blows because they’re ready for them. And usually, the knockout punch is the one they didn’t see coming.

 

12. Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher
This book is a story about a teen suicide. Here in the Philippines, the rate for suicide is really low unlike in America, Europe and some part of Asia that is disturbingly high. Depression is the main cause for suicide, feeling of hopelessness and feeling of being isolated. There are just things that medication cannot cure, what this people need is acceptance and understanding.

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Favorite quote: “Like driving along a bumpy road and losing control of the steering wheel, tossing you—just a tad—off the road. The wheels kick up some dirt, but you’re able to pull it back. Yet no matter how hard you try to drive straight, something keeps jerking you to the side. You have so little control over anything anymore. And at some point, the struggle becomes too much—too tiring—and you consider letting go. Allowing tragedy… or whatever… to happen.”

 

 

3. Try a new hair do


My hair do for this year is light brown and side sweep bangs.

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4. Eat dinner by the candle light with someone special.


This was in Maya Mexican Restaurant with the love of my life celebrating our monthsary. Thanks for everything laf!

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5. Join and win a contest.


The contest that I joined is a giveaway contest of Zee Lifestyle magazine giving away P5,000.00 worth of gift certificates from Girbaud. I was able to do bags shopping haul with this. Thank you Zee Lifestyle and thank you Girbaud!

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6. Reach out with old friends.


I would really love to see my friends from High School, College and even my friends from previous work, but when you get older your friends will not be readily available to meet for catching up because of work and schedule priorities. I have listed 10 of my close friends that I am dying to see, but I was only able to meet one. I am very happy because this person is no longer living in the Philippines and only came home for Christmas. That is Claire my very close college friend. Thank you for the presents and for squeezing me in to your busy schedule.

 

 

7. Travel Philippines

 

1. Oslob, Cebu.
I’ve created a blog for my travels. To check my Oslob travel blog click here.

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2. Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
To check my Dumaguete travel blog, click here.

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8. Swim with the Whales.


This is one of a kind experience for me. I am so happy I was able to swim with the friendly whales.

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9. Climb a mountain.


The mountain that I would really love to climb is the Osmena Peak, but I was not able to do it on 2014. Hopefully I will be able to do it this year. But there is another mountain that I was able to climb and that is the mountain of Sumilon Island. This is my view from above.

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10. Go see Waterfalls.


This the the most enchanting waterfall I’ve ever seen. This is the Tumalog falls in Oslob.

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I have already created my 2015 bucket list and I am hoping that I will be able to complete this since most of the entries on my 2015 bucket list are the things I was not able to do for 2013 and 2014. Fingers-crossed!

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