In Malibu

The skies were not so blue the day I visited Malibu.

I giggle whenever I reminisce on my Malibu adventure. A newbie traveller, completely unaware that Malibu is its own city. Wait Malibu isn’t a beach along the LA coast? My mind was blown learning the ever so basic Greater Los Angeles area geography.

I was staying at a Santa Monica hotel and Malibu was a bucket-list destination for me. I assumed putting “Malibu” into my GPS would be a suffice method to get to the beach. I later found out there are multiple beaches in the city of Malibu. Yikes!

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Pre-Malibu picture. I’m devouring a Nutella cannoli from Carlo’s bakery. Damn, that pastry was so freakin’ delicious.

Malibu Pier

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After a 30 minute Uber ride (I literally thought Malibu was a 5 minute drive away), I found myself at the Malibu Pier. I wish I filmed my reaction. The whole pier, and I mean the WHOLE pier was filled with fog.

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Thinking this smog would eventually clear out, I decided to fill my bikini body with some Mexican food – A new obsession I developed while in California. Finding the nearest restaurant – it was literally across the street – I ordered my favourite Mexican dish… Quesadillas!

Feeling stuffer than ever and not giving a damn, I was ready to hit a nearby beach for some sunlight, sand, and to consume those Malibu vibes. Having little knowledge about the Malibu beaches, I basically played Russian roulette with a list of beaches. The winner, El Matador beach.

El Matador

The fog did not clear up. In fact, I’m pretty sure it got worse. I knew I would despise myself if I didn’t at least glance at the beach. So, I gained the confidence (even with my super full stomach) to rip off my outfit and strut down the beach in my cheetah print bikini. Body positivity, no matter what shape, size, colour or ability is everything to me. I wanted to capture a few pictures of myself near the rock formations. They were absolutely breathtaking.


To reflect on my Malibu experience, yes the fog absolutely sucked. But, I wasn’t going to let something so insufficient to ruin my day. The skies weren’t blue, but the views were still as extraordinary as I anticipated. To be given the opportunity to travel to such a naturally beautiful destination was rewarding on its own. Fog, or no fog, I am grateful to have consumed such beauty in Malibu.

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2017 End Of The Year Goals

Most people wait until the new year to set their resolutions. I want to end my 2017 on a positive note. 2017 started off unstable for me. Suffering from cattiness, bullying, anxiety, and depression the first few months, it appeared like this year was going to be quite the rollercoaster. In August, I moved to California. This was a decision that completely changed my life (for the better).

I am the type of person that dwells on the past. When something doesn’t go my way, I reflect and contemplate why that happened. When I fail to accomplish my already unattainable goals, I get saddened. My perspectives on goals have changed recently. Before I begin listing what I expect to accomplish in 2018, here were my senior year goals:

  1. Get a 4.0 GPA both semesters of school
  2. Befriend all my professors – Ask for extra help and recommendation letters
  3. Earn $10,000 in profit through work, other freelancing opportunities, selling pre-loved things to new & welcoming homes, and blogging (a girl can still dream)
  4. Volunteer once a month. It doesn’t matter where, when, or what charity
  5. Buy a sewing machine then learn how to use it

As you can see, only 2/5 of my goals were achieved. And that’s okay! Earning $10,000 in a couple months without having a steady, full-time job is nearly impossible to do. Volunteering while travelling, in cities I’m visiting without proper transportation is difficult. And how did I expect to lug back a sewing machine from California to Toronto?

My senior year wasn’t a complete flop though. On top of befriending all my professors and getting a 4.0 GPA (So happy about this), I progressed in areas of my life I didn’t even realize needed attention.

 My fitness journey & body appreciation

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It took me 21 years to realize the importance of body acceptance and self-love. For once I am FULLY satisfied and appreciative of my petite, 5’2″ stature. Going to the gym regularly has made me realize that strength (both internal and external) is not defined by an individual’s frame. I feel stronger and healthier than ever before and no person, bigger or taller than me, will ever belittle my self-love again.

Now, onto my end of the year and new year goals

2018 All About Me

Sounds a little conceded, I know. But, the second half of 2017 was rewarding because I was centred on my self and my self worth. For once, I lived my life focusing merely on me. I want to continue this in 2018.

  1. That workout grind continues.
    • Instead of achieving a specific body type, I workout to gain mental strength and stability. It helps me clear my mind. If I gain physical strength as well, that is a bonus!
  2. Work, Work, Work
    • As you have probably assumed, California has drained my bank account (I have no regrets though). Since my course load next semester is extremely light, I plan to find a job, or two, or three.
  3. Take a trip
    • A lot of my happiness this year stemmed from travelling. I made a whole blog section on it. I have the travel bug.
  4. Apply to Graduate School
    • I’m taking a year off before I begin my masters. 2018 is the year to apply to my dream schools.
  5. Start a creative initiative
    • Super general, but I want to keep this a secret. I already have an idea of what I would like to do. I think a leadership role producing some creative content will be rewarding for me.

Farm To Fork Festival In Sacramento

I had the best weekend! Blog post done.

Just kidding… My weekend in Sac Town was lively. Can you really blame a girl for wanting to share her happiness with the rest of the world? I don’t think so.

One of my roommates wrote in her journal: “Happy thoughts only.” I think this is an important motto to remember when writing. Even though, I still want to share some of my deeper and more emotional thoughts with you, I want my travel section to remain POSITIVE. Looking back at my travelling adventures, I only want to remember HAPPY THOUGHTS.

Friday Night Lights

This section will be short and sweet (you’ll catch my drift in a bit). A typical Friday night for a bunch of college students was in place. You know the type filled with beers, other drinks, food, music, and more beers. A Sacramento pub called Low Brau has officially become a Nicole favourite. That is where we spent our Friday night. The atmosphere there is homey and fun. It’s just what I like. After a couple of drinks and an incentive to explore, we found ourselves stumbling into a dessert diner. Yes, those apparently exist. Giving us total 1960’s feels, we ordered the most delicious milkshakes and sat for a few hours. What a night!

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Farm To Fork Festival: The Real Fun

Sac Town is apparently America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital (I did not know this). Just like its name, the festival celebrates where the local food comes from. Wearing our comfiest shoes, we spent what seemed like the whole day checking out each local vendor. The free event offered a generous selection of fine food and drinks.

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The Food

Heading to the event, it was our intention to buy lunch there. We would find a vendor that appealed to our tastebuds and purchase lunch from them. But, booths were giving out free samples. And of course, I took each free sample I could get. Cheese, bread, fish tacos, pumpkin pie, cookies, and coffee were handed out for free. After devouring what seemed like my 20th free sample, I was full.

To be fair, we did pay for a fun, interactive wine tasting event held at the festival. California wine really is a marvel.


The culture and community made this event special to me. Back in Toronto, locally grown foods aren’t celebrated or even acknowledged as much. Seeing thousands of people come out to applaud their local food culture was charming and quite inspiring. In a city that is so diverse with national identities, I appreciate the bond the food culture established for the citizens of Sacramento.

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Shift to a Minimalist Lifestyle

I’m a hoarder, collector, and a compulsive buyer.

I buy things for temporary happiness. I keep things because of an emotional attachment to them. I keep buying, buying, and buying because I can never find true happiness in my purchases.

I have an obsession. Not only with the act of shopping itself, but with purchasing things that make me feel prettier, richer, and more stylish than others. Fuck, saying that out loud makes me feel like a bitch. But, it’s true. I would receive an immediate satisfaction upon purchasing things I really didn’t need. That satisfaction quickly fades after I use the products. If I even use the products. I have countless amounts of purchases that are still in the original packaging, still containing the price tags.

I now feel claustrophobic surrounded by all this stuff. I have thousands of articles of clothing on hangers, in drawers, on the floor, and in my luggage, because I have run out of space in my room to put them. I feel overwhelmed being in my own home, looking at all these things.

And I feel sad, sadder than ever, that 21 years and millions of purchases later, I’m still not happy. Materialism has done nothing for me other than put me in extreme debt at such a young age.

I think I’m in that rebellion, fuck normativity phase of my life. Or, I might just be realizing what is actually important to me. Something that very few people can accomplish. I’m realizing that material goods have and can never help me achieve true happiness. I feel the most happy when I’m merely just surrounded with the people I love.  I feel the most satisfied when I’m strolling through nature, taking in the beauty and alignment of an all natural environment.

I’ve decided to make the shift to a minimal life. It will definitely take time to completely change my lifestyle, but this is a challenge I’m ready and willing to take!