October Recap | 2018

October Recap | 2018

Hello friends,

Well, October felt like it came and left in a flash. I actually cannot believe we are already nearing the end of 2018. It feels like just yesterday I was posting my 2018 new years resolutions haha definitely wasn’t yesterday!

October was not nearly as exciting for me as September was. No big events happened and I didn’t try anything too new. School has been getting busier and the assignments are taking longer to complete. A new class actually just started this past week, so that adds even more work to my load (don’t worry it was not a surprise haha we all knew it started half way through the semester). This new class sounds like it could be interesting though, it is based around entrepreneurship, which is something I have always toyed with the idea of. The teacher is a very motivational speaker too – I will keep you updated on whether it turns out to be good or not!

Throughout this semester so far I have realized a few things about myself though. I am not an extremely terrible drawer, just mediocre at best haha and I do not enjoy it what so ever. I would rather be doing data entry then drawing and shading – but you know, now I know! You live and you learn. I have found some of my strengths and also been tested with other areas too.

October brought great fall activities that I haven’t been able to enjoy before though. We had beautiful weather for quite a bit of it and then we crept into the cool and crisp fall weather, which I love. It has rained a lot recently, but we also did get our first snowfall (which is now melted). I did many fall activities and I have realized that visiting a haunted house where the lines are massive is not my idea of a super enjoyable night haha although I am extremely happy we went because it brought me back to the good ol’ days of dating. I felt like we were back in high school – and the hot chocolate at the end to warm me up was the cherry on top of the cake. In October I made my own pumpkin seeds for the first time though and I must say it was quite exciting and delicious!

Anyways to conclude my thoughts, October is over and now we are in November. Not sure how exciting it will be, but I did get my first Christmas ornament of the season today at Costco so that is pretty sweet if I do say so myself.

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How was your October? What was your highlight of the month – mine was taking pictures of the pretty fall leaves before they fell onto the ground where they are now!

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Until next time,

xoxo

Exploring Haunted Houses at Saunders Farm!

Exploring Haunted Houses at Saunders Farm!

Hello friends,

Todays post will be about what I did this past weekend! It was full of fun Halloween festivities – the best kind of festivities at this time of year!

Friday morning I bought tickets for my boyfriend and I to go to Saunders Farm the following night. He had gone there years ago when he was younger and has been talking about it since we moved to Ottawa – so I knew we had to go! To be honest, I wanted to see what all the hype was about. I have only ever been to something like this once when I was in grade 7 with my best friend at the time. It was in Fort McMurray, so it was a lot smaller then Saunders Farm!

Since we arrived at the farm I could see there were so many things to do! Even though I bought night tickets, I made my boyfriend come early because I wanted to do the mazes haha like a little kid. I have no shame – they were the best part in my opinion! They had lots of mazes to pick from too. They ranged from ones for little kids to a very intense, hard, and long one! We ended up having to sneak through a hole to get out because the mazes were closing and we couldn’t find our way out! haha

They also had playgrounds for kids and a massive bouncy thing in the ground for them to jump on – it looked like lots of fun!

The sunset was also beautiful on Saturday night. The colours became more vibrant and intense as it set.

We left the mazes and headed to the scary stuff! The lines were huge so we only had the chance to do 2 things before I was completely frozen because it was around 0 degrees Celcius and we were outside for 3 hours! The first one we went through was called The Coven Witch Trail – it was almost dark by the time we got in and to be honest it was scary. It would have been even better if we had waited until it was fully dark out, but like I said the lines only kept getting longer! The second we went through was called The Barn of Terror. The first one we went through ended right by the entrance to this one so we decided to wait. The line did not look long at first….

As we walked past the hedges and get into the real line we see how long it is. After about 10 minutes of waiting we hit a sign that says 30 minute wait from here. I thought … okay I can do 30 minutes. It ended up being a 1.5 hour wait! Barley moving and freezing because we weren’t moving around. This is what killed my mood – if they know its going to be that long of a wait at least don’t lie on the sign! Anyways, I found The Barn of Terror a bit disappointing in the scare factor, but the makeup and decorations were amazing!

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Once we finished up at the barn, I was frozen! We ended up grabbing some hot chocolate, to warm up my hands, and a few homemade treats to go! As soon as we got in the car, which we forgot where we parked it so finding it was an adventure in itself, we cranked the heat and headed home!

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The next day, Sunday, was pumpkin carving day! I talked my boyfriend into buying a pumpkin when we went grocery shopping – I coaxed him by saying I would cook up the pumpkin seeds! It took us a while to pick out what we wanted to carve into it. Eventually we decided to google pumpkin carving ideas and we came upon a Harry Potter one. We felt like we were in one of the Harry Potter movies while going through those mazes made of hedges, so we thought it was a good fit! And now because I am an artist (LOL) I drew it out. I got to carve the scar and mouth while the boy claimed the eyes.

The pumpkin seeds I roasted were cinnamon brown sugar flavour. To create this master piece you have too:

  1. Pick out seeds & clean them.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a bowl. Then mix in 1.5 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon.
  4. Toss the seeds in the mixture and then spread them out on a lined baking sheet.
  5. Place sheet in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Taking out to flip (or stir around) half way.
  6. Let cool on baking sheet – then eat!

The recipe is so simple and they turned out delicious! Its perfect for a first timer like me!

All in all, we had a great festive weekend. Ending with the best sweet treat ever for this time of year!

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Sorry for the quality of the pictures by the way, they were taken on the iphone!

Have you done anything Halloween related yet this year? Have you been to a haunted house or carved pumpkins?! Let me know in the comments below! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Until next time,

xoxo

Thankful

Thankful

Hello Friends,

I know all of you aren’t Canadian, but this past weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving. This day is a time to share with your friends and family and remember how grateful you are for everything you have in life. Even if you don’t have much.

This year I am thankful for:

  • my family & friends
  • new adventures I was able to experience
  • life changes that are making me grow as an individual
  • my  health & overall wellbeing
  • my brain, which is becoming more impulsive and allowing me to get out of my comfort zone

What are you thankful for? โ™ฅ

Even though you probably think of everything you are grateful for each day subconsciously, it is important to bring these thoughts into reality every now and then. I find if they sit there in the back of your brain and never get said to anyone they become less present in your everyday thoughts. I have been attempting to practice being more thankful in life instead of just being critical and too harsh on everything that is not perfect at the moment. You won’t look back and think that you were wishing for something else in this moment, you will look back and remember all of the memories and people you were grateful to have in your life and the ones who made the most positive impact on your life.

No one cares if you are a few dollars richer or have accomplished a certain list you have for yourself. Your family just loves you and wants you to be happy. Its about time that we all try to spread more love and joy into everyones lives rather then negativity and competition. I guess in saying this, I am thankful that by nature I am not an extremely competitive person.

I hope you all reflect on what you are thankful for today and every other day of your life. Feel free to share them in the comments below to brighten peoples days  ๐Ÿ™‚

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Peaceful afternoon walk in Hog’s Back Park in Ottawa, ON.

If you are Canadian I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. If you’re not Canadian, when do you celebrate Thanksgiving or do you celebrate it at all?!

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Until next time,

xoxo

Picture of the Week #4

Picture of the Week #4

Hello friends,

If you didnโ€™t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want!ย ๐Ÿ™‚ย https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/ย 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!


Here is my picture of the week!

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I love fall – however I love all the seasons. Growing up in Northern Alberta we had summer for a few months, fall for a day, then winter for 9 months, then spring for a day and repeat. As I moved around Canada I have fallen in love with actually being able to appreciate every season for what it brings. With fall comes the amazing colours that I was deprived of as a child. I only ever saw green, yellow and then brown. The red and orange leaves make me all giddy like I am a little kid. I swear every time I drive by leaves that look like this I want to get out and snap a pic – I may just have to start bringing my camera everywhere I go!

Whats your favourite season? ๐Ÿ™‚

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Until next time,

xoxo

Peaceful Mornings in Small Towns

Peaceful Mornings in Small Towns

Hello friends,

Have you ever just woke up one morning and gone for a little wander? I have and that is what this post will be about today.

At the end of August I was visiting my grandparents, parents, etc. at camp. Now I call it camp, but I know most people refer to these places as cottages. I always felt like cottage was too fancy to describe our camp. Camp is a place where we hangout outside, go fishing, swimming, biking, etc. and just have a great time.

This one particular morning I woke up and it was still so foggy and misty out so I decided to grab my camera. I was up pretty early so it was still quiet – all the loud ones were still sleeping. I know my mom was up and in my grandmas camp though because I could see her sitting in her corner spot on the couch with a fresh cup of black coffee – in her words the only way to drink coffee is black or you ruin it. (My dad and I like a wee bit of cream in it though)

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Of course the puppies need to follow me around anytime im doing anything. They are always so curious. This one here is Molly. She is ten and grows random lumps that shrink and increase in size whenever they please. We have gotten them checked out and its nothing to worry about the vet says so don’t be alarmed!

Another fact about Miss Molly here is that she brings her ball everywhere. She has multiple tennis balls and eventually we have to throw them out because she plays with and chews them so much they break. So here she is in her natural habitat watching dad come out of the boat house with her ball of course.

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Eventually I wandered down to the dock. The clouds hung low this morning as I crept through the dewy grass in my moose pyjamas and bright teal gwacks (crocs for normal people – my dad has us all in a habit of calling them gwacks and to be honest it took me a few second to remember their actual name).

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Next I try to get an artsy shot of our 20+ year old boat called Bike. He is the real deal. He has pulled more people behind him then you could ever count. Countless trips back and forth with someone strapped to the wakeboard or waterskis, or trying to hold on for their dear life on the tube whilst being peed on by whomever is on top.

Such a great majestic boat. Anyone, mostly the younger cousins, who come to camp and sees Bike in the water knows that a good time will be had. Cold or hot, rain or shine, Bike the boat will still take you for a ride.

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Now this tree is beautiful. It is hanging right beside the dock. When I was young it did not look like this. The river water has increased for many years now and with that the bank has eroded and has become unstable. It needs to come down in pieces soon because once its in the river it will be much harder to get out!

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The next spot I wandered to in my now grass covered gwacks was in front of my parents property. The water was like glass and if you only look at the reflection it would be hard to tell which way was up or down.

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Now, as I was bent down petting the puppies I noticed some undisturbed blades of grass with water droplets still in tact. So, I decided to attempt for pictures. It was a bit difficult because when you get right low the dogs swarm you with love and puppy morning breath. I was battling the wagging tails away before they knocked the precious droplets to the ground.

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Next I was just playing around with focus and ended up capturing a few pictures I liked. I enjoy how the yellow is so vibrant against the darker morning mist in the background.

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Now by this time I have been wandering around for a while. As I venture back to the boathouse to put my camera away before heading to grandmas for coffee and breakfast, I can see the lost boy (aka my boyfriend) talking to my dad asking where I am. I just look at them and laugh.

The warm cup of coffee fills my cold body with caffeine and then the pancake making commences.

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Until next time,

xoxo

Social Media – A Highlight Reel

Social Media – A Highlight Reel

Lets be honest…

Do your social media pages portray your real life … because I know mine sure don’t.

Everything looks perfect from the outsiders perspective, which can be harmful especially to the younger generation being raised in this social media craze. Now by no means am I saying that I am old, but I did grow up without a cell phone and I was only allowed to use our large desktop computer for my Garfield typing game – oh and thanks to that game and my mom I can type pretty darn good.

I feel like not enough people, including myself, share what is really going on in their lives. We don’t need to share it all, but I feel like we should be able to post some of the harder times and difficult things we overcome without feeling like we are going to be judged by everyone saying that we are just “seeking attention”.

This post came to my mind as I was scrolling through the photos of my best friends wedding that took place this past weekend. In all of the pictures I look relatively happy – even the ones of me with tears in my eyes are happy tears and you can tell that just from the picture. However, a picture I do not have is one of my having an anxiety attack in front of everyone before giving my speech.

Being in the bridal party, you normally sit in a long table at the front of everyone else for dinner. In our case we were actually elevated on a stage, which was decorated beautifully. As soon as I sat down I could not eat. I kept trying too because I did not want to be rude, but I had to stop because if I took one more bite I would throw up. Literally blow salmon chunks on the bride … yup.

I could not control myself and I began bawling with massive tear drops – I kid you not they were the size of large rain drops falling from my eyes. I could not hear anything my best friend was saying to me, nor the bridesmaid to my other side. Life was a blur in that moment and all I could think about was trying to breath. I remember saying to my best friend “Do not follow me to the bathroom, I don’t want to puke on your pretty dress”. I have no clue who was looking at me or what they were thinking. I felt as if I had blacked out; I am surprised I made it down the stairs.

Once I got to the bathroom it took me a while to collect myself – well at least I think it did I can’t remember. When I came out my boyfriend was there because he has seen my anxiety attack face before and knew what was happening. I felt so stupid at the time because I literally could not do anything to stop it and it was all because of a speech I had to say. Not even that I had to say it because she told me I didn’t have to, but I wanted too.

Even afterwards as I was saying the speech tears were welling up in my eyes and my throat was catching. Did everyone there know I was coming down from an attack? No. Is it something I shared with everyone? No.

Why? Because I felt embarrassed.

We should not have to feel embarrassed about things we go through no matter how stupid they may seem to someone who doesn’t understand them. I feel like if we share more about our struggles we can help spread awareness about what someone may be going through and not be so quick to judge.

Anyways, the point of this little post was to say don’t believe everything that you see. If you look at my social media pages I look happy, but behind some smiles there is another side that the viewer does not see. I am sure there are some exceptions, however I feel like most peoples social media is a highlight reel.

Well, these are my late night thoughts for you all today. I should be in bed right now, but I couldn’t help but write. I hope this post enlightened you about the struggles of some and hopefully you can feel like you know more about me. I love connecting with my little family on here. This is not a pity post by any means, just something that has been on my mind for a while that I felt like is very necessary to share in this ever technology consuming world we now live in โค

Until next time,

xoxo

September Recap 2018

September Recap 2018

Hello friends,

September was a crazy month for me! It began in Massey, Ontario while I was on vacation visiting family. Probably one of the best ways for a month to start! haha Relaxing before the craziness that September was.

As you may or may not know, I went back to school this fall. I registered in a completely different program than I am use to taking. It was, and still is, a scary thing to do but I have survived so far! Science is what I am used too, I have a degree in Environmental Science and what I am taking now is a Design Studies Certificate, which is an Arts program! From my experience so far, I am not sure if it is so much that the art world is extremely different from science or if its College that is so different from University. I think I will have a future post on my views of College vs University. I feel like everyone should understand this difference and the benefits of each before choosing where to attend!

So with being back at school after a year off and still working a part time job with doing homework as well, you can say I am as busy as a bee! Its a lot of work but I am actually loving it. I have always loved the world of design and this design studies certificate is really opening my eyes to all the possibilities that are out there for possible future careers. A lot of people think wow why would you ever take this schooling when you already have a science degree? My answer: because you need a well rounded perspective in life to succeed. Having the knowledge in science, but also being able to understand the creative process is something I wish everyone had the chance to learn.

Anyways, enough with the rant. I also began trying new gym classes in September. I went to my first ever pilates class – me and a bunch of older people. To be honest I thought there would be more people my age there! haha Even the beginner pilates class was decently challenging. I also continued to do my hot yoga practices – something I need to put more time into it is just hard with a busy schedule to fit a gym class in at a certain time, but that is no excuse!

The last thing in September that made my month oh so busy was my best friends wedding! I was her maid of honour and man was it a busy time – I couldn’t even imagine how busy she was. Even though weddings take up a lot of time, are expensive, and stressful – I would not have changed anything. The bride was stunning on her special day and her husband was a mazing at the ceremony. I wish them all the best! Now they are in Vegas! Can you say jealous? haha

The beautiful bride and her amazing husband!

The bridesmaids -such a great group of gals!

My dad who was the behind the scenes photographer with his iphone! haha He did a pretty good job!

The beautiful bride seconds before she walked down the isle!

The beautiful bride and I after I bawled my eyes out after saying my maid of honour speech!

Not to worry folks – these are already posted all over social media haha I cannot wait to see the professional ones! We were outside in 0 degrees Celcius for hours taking pictures in these dresses and open toe shoes!

So Alberta has already gotten snow a few times however nothing has really stuck on the ground.ย  To be honest I am happy that we haven’t gotten any in Ontario yet! I am ready for fall, but not snow!

Ill update you guys again on how my October month goes if you’d like. I know school is getting busier – the projects are larger and more time consuming every week and now we have extra events to go to as well as a field trip to a museum in Montreal! I also have so many fall activities I want to do too! There is never enough time.

How was your September month? Did you have any big events that happened? Let me know in the comments below ๐Ÿ™‚

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Until next time,

xoxo

Picture of the Week #3

Picture of the Week #3

Hello friends,

If you didn’t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want! ๐Ÿ™‚ย https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/ย 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!


Here is my picture of the week!

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If you have been following me for a bit now you know I recently moved to Ottawa! This was one of the views I have seen parliament from when I got lost trying to find a walking trail. Have you ever seen the parliament buildings in Ottawa, ON?

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Until next time,

xoxo

The Importance of Bees

The Importance of Bees

Hello friends,

Todays post was inspired by pictures I took at the mer Bleue Bog (click here to see the post). This blog is a place where I mostly share pictures and stories to go along with it, but sometimes I have to throw a few thoughts and more educational posts out there.

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“Hanging on by a thread”

Bees are amazing. We need them to survive. Have you ever thought about that? Without bees we would be non-existent. Yet, still people think that with all of our fancy technology we are untouchable – wrong.

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Bees are the #1 most important pollinator we have on this planet. Honey bees to be exact. One third of your daily food consumed (if you eat fresh produce … which I hope you do) is pollinated! Now I am not trying to say that only bees do this work because there are others like birds, bats, butterflies, etc. but they are #1.

“The gold metal goes to the bees!”

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Honey bees don’t only play a roll in pollinating our food, but also the food for cattle, as well as items such as cotton! They have an amazing work ethic and we could actually learn a lesson or two from them!

They give us amazing natural beauty and feed us, however we are still damaging their environment day in and day out. Not even thinking twice that if we cause too much damage, we can say good bye to them – our main source of pollination.

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Over the past 50 years, the bee population has been declining because we are ruining their ecosystem, which is their only way to eat. Surprise – they don’t do this pollination work just for us. However, the human population keeps growing and consuming more therefore we have more crops that need pollination. Funny how that works eh?

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Another thing to consider is that there are so many pesticides used now, all of these bees are carrying contaminated pollen. These poor bees are intaking pesticides with their food, which is very sad and hopefully pulls at your heart strings a bit. But oh wait? What does that mean for us? If the pollen they are carrying is contaminated with pesticides guess what the food you’re eating is contaminated with? I will let you figure it out.

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For decades and decades now we have known that all these harsh chemicals we have introduced and use in our daily life is harming the environment, yet most people do not think twice about it. Now we 100% know that these chemicals are in our food as well and most people still don’t blink an eye. Insecticides used on crops that these bees go to for food pollute their little bodies and cause premature death. Do you want to eat high doses ofย neurotoxins? Probably not and neither do the bees.

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So, what can you as an individual do to help?

  • Plant bee friendly flowers and keep them clean! This is an easy and safe way for our bee friends to get the food they need without the chemicals. If you volunteer at a local community garden bed, see if they will let you plant some of these flowers and not spray them with pesticides.

It may seem like something small, because it is, but if everyone would plant some of these in their yard or in a pot on your porch it will make a difference. Keeping them free of pesticides is a huge factor as well. If you are feeling a bit frisky too, try to not use any chemicals on your yards at all! Let me know how it goes!

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I know this was a pretty long winded rant about how important bees are and kind of hinting at the stupidity of humans, but if you enjoyed it please give it a like and a share. We need to raise awareness about issues such as our cute bee friends. Leave me a comment too letting me know if you plant flowers already or if you think you will give it a try when summer rolls around again! Thanks for listening ๐Ÿ™‚

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References:

https://www.sustainweb.org/foodfacts/bees_are_important/

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/why-bees-are-important-to-our-planet/

http://www.edhsgreensea.net/Biology/CCD/CCD_Article.docx

Until next time,

xoxo