Missed Autumn

Missed Autumn

Hello friends,

Welcome to 2020! I hope your year has started of fantastic! We (Nugget and myself) have been a bit slow rolling with the new year and the new starts and all, hence why this is my first post.

This year I decided to not make any resolutions. I know, oh my what? No resolutions?

Yes, no resolutions for this gal. Instead I have decided to create a few goals for myself regarding ideas I have been wanting to work towards for a while now, just never dedicated enough time, energy or research into. I am quite excited and beginning to get into a decent groove over this last week. I always feel there is an extreme amount of pressure regarding the fresh start and resolutions, so I will be keeping mine to myself and quietly hustle away. Obviously, if any major goals get achieved I will write a post to keep you all in the loop of my life!

Even though I didn’t post really at all last year, I still feel like the family we have created here is a close one and I am excited to share my 2020 with you all and grow this family!

So to start the new year off simple, I have put together a few photos from one of my fall drives to the more “Northern” part of Ontario. I hope you enjoy them! It was a very gloomy fall day so keep that in mind, raining on and off as well!

So in closing out, I am going to make it a priority to post on here at least once a week this year. That is a goal I will share with you guys ๐Ÿ™‚

How has your new year started out? Do you have any resolutions or goals you would like to share with me? Tell me down in the comments below! Let’s start the new year with positive vibes together!

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

Autumn in Ottawa 2018

Autumn in Ottawa 2018

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! ๐Ÿ™‚ https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/ 

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


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Todays post is mostly based around the pictures you’ll see! Fall is quickly coming to an end here in Canada so I have been snooping around everywhere in Ottawa to try and find the best fall pictures.

Ontario has beautiful fall colours:

* Red

*Orange

*Yellow

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The places I have found to be stunning my first autumn in Ottawa, ON are:

*Major’s Hill Park

*Hog’s Back Park

*Mer Bleue Conservation Area

Out of those three I feel like Hog’s Back has been my favourite. I think I have gone back three times just to play around with my camera settings – its so relaxing to me. I completely lose track of time.

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Two things I love are being submerged in nature and taking pictures. I find fall weather is the perfect time to do these two things. Its not too hot or cold yet and the colours are so vibrant. Like yes don’t get me wrong I love the vibrant greens in the summer, but there is just something about the beautiful fall colours that grabs my attention.

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I kind of blame my mom for my love of fall colours. She always talks about mustard yellow and burgundy, which are now probably two of my favourite colours to find in nature as well as wear! haha But one of my favourite colours that will never change is a beautiful teal blue ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyways, enough talk about colours haha just enjoy the pictures!

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The leaves are quickly falling off the trees here. Soon we will be left with large brown twigs until the beautiful blanket of snow covers everything. I wish fall lasted longer – always have. However, we hit our first morning of below zero weather today and I would be lying if I said it didn’t get me thinking about Christmas already! I know I know, too soon!!

Do you have vibrant fall colours where you live? Let me know in the comments below! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Until next time,

xoxo

Our First Fall Activity! | Apple Picking

Our First Fall Activity! | Apple Picking

Hello friends,

Todays post will be about my boyfriend and I’s first fall activity thatย he actually brought to my attention… I know eh, what boy brings up fall activities! In all fairness to him, it was a client at his work who told him about it so I won’t go too hard on him!

First Fall Activity of 2018: Apple Picking!

 

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The place we ended up going to was called Log Cabin Orchard. It was only about a 25 minute drive from our apartment at the South end of Ottawa, ON. As we were getting closer to the location, we noticed all these cars lined up along the side of the road. I thought wow this must be a pretty good spot to get some apples!

The first thing you do when you arrive is figure out which driveway to go into! Hint: its the one by the big sign. Then you wander down it and if you are anything like me you stop and take a million pictures of their cute little cabin! (star of my picture of the week last week – click here to see!) Once we made it down, we wandered into the cabin from the back door. That is where you pick out what size of bag you want to fill up with apples and pay for it before you go out picking! They also had a food/drink area outside the cabin where they were selling fresh apple cider and churros!

As you make your way into the orchard area, they also have a little petting zoo for the kids. Even though it was mostly for the kids we checked it out too … always a kid at heart!

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The older man who owns this orchard tells you that you can walk in and follow the orange cones to the trees that are ready to be picked or you can take the tractor ride in! We chose to walk for a bit of exercise on our relaxing/lazier day, but that tractor ride sure looked like fun! Well at least all the kids looked like they were having a good time ๐Ÿ˜€

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The orchard was absolutely beautiful. Everywhere you looked the trees were lush with all types of apples. It was a very hot and humid day, however when the clouds covered for a bit it was a nice break from the direct sunlight!

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So, I have never been apple picking before but it sure was fun! This is the view you get when you arrive at the trees you’re allowed to pick from. Its amazing how straight the lines of trees are! The first apples we picked were Macintosh. We filled up half our bag with these ones. They were hanging low enough on the trees that you could still reach them – although the ones up higher were bigger!

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Next, we scampered across to the other size where the Lobos were. Now the lower apples were picked over here so they had ladders set up so we could reach the higher ones! And yes, the ladders were the old school wooden ones – very cool.

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It was a bit sketchy climbing up those ladders though because they weren’t the most stable! The apples were calling my name though so we went up anyways – sorry parents! haha we got our apples in one piece I promise!

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Photo credits go to the boy – he took over the camera whilst I was picking!

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We ended up with our bag full right to the top and had a lot of fun doing it! Now we had to walk back to the car with this heavy bag of apples in the +30C heat – safe to say I has a sweat stash going on and the boy was kind enough to point it out.

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In conclusion, I would highly recommend going out and picking some apples this fall! It is a very fun activity to do with yourself, a friend or even the whole family! I know I will be going out picking apples every fall from now on!

Also, the best part about it is that you get to take home and eat these delicious apples! We still have a few left but I have been having one or two everyday!

Have you ever been apple picking before? If you haven’t, would you go try it now? Let me know in the comments below!

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Until next time,

xoxo

Picture of the Week #2

Picture of the Week #2

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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Location: Log Cabin Orchard

To be honest I truly love this little cabin – you will have to wait and see the story behind it in an upcoming post!

What is your first thought when you see this picture? Tell me a little story in the comments below! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Until next time,

xoxo

Strawberry Picking | Ottawa 2018

Strawberry Picking | Ottawa 2018

Hello friends,

This past Saturday my boyfriend and I did one of the best things you can do in the summer, especially if you live in Ontario – pick fresh strawberries.

Now I don’t know how many of you have ever done this before, but it is fantastic. If you have never tried a fresh, farm picked strawberry what are you doing with yourself?!

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Shouldiceย (click here to get to their website) was the farm we went too. I believe they have three locations in Ottawa, Ontario. Their strawberries were delicious, so I would recommend trying there farm, although I haven’t tried any of the other farms yet to compare!

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When we turned in there was this little Canadian sign saying drive through to the strawberries! So we did exactly that. As we rolled up I was getting very excited haha I felt like a little kid at my grandparents camp again.

Honestly, I don’t know why more adults don’t do this! It is great and youthful!

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At the end of it my boyfriend actually told me he was happy I made him go and we both thought it was a cute little date idea! So ladies and gents, there you go, dating advice from me: bring your lady or man to a hot field on a +35 degree day and make them bend over, drip sweat and pick berries without squishing them! If you want to make them work even more, tell them you’re picking clean – no stems!

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We ended up just getting a small basket because we assumed it took a long time to fill and lets be honest, my boyfriend is quite pasty for the hot sun! However, it took no time at all to fill. These little plants were loaded I tell you.

Some may say, well why would you pay that much for strawberries when you have to pick them yourself? The answer is simple; because they are incredibly delicious, easy to pick, and actually a very good price for the massive amount that you get!

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At the beginning of each row there were orange flags. The two girls who you pay told us to pick a row and move the flag with you as you go. This way they know what rows have been picked and how far down you went! I thought this was a very clever idea since I actually never thought about how they kept track of that before!

So if you had any questions, no its not a free for all, trample the berries and pick sporadically! Its very well maintained and kept track of.

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Quite a few people were out while we were, but we chose a row farther down to enjoy our time out there rather then rubbing butts with our neighbour while bending to grab a berry!

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I don’t even think these pictures do them justice. They were so good!

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Once our basket was full we headed out of the field and to the car. We overheard the girls saying they will be open for a few more weeks, so if you are in the mood to go I would go soon! Once the berries are gone, picking season if over!

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Its safe to say that we ate these for dessert on Saturday night. Almost the whole container too! They are so sweet – like natures candy.

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Have you ever been strawberry picking? If you haven’t I highly recommend you go! It is a great activity for all ages and it is an awesome way to support local farmers!

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Until next time,

xoxo

Christmas Blessings | 2017

Christmas Blessings | 2017

Hello friends,

Todays post will be about all the many things I feel blessed for. Christmas is absolutely my favourite time of the year, even though it is snowy and cold outside! I got the post idea from Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride, click here for her post!

I thought to myself as I was reading her post, wow this is such a great idea to write about around Christmas time. I feel like so many people say what they are thankful for around thanksgiving, but during Christmas everyone is so busy it is easy to forget what it is really about. Now I love Christmas lights and decorations so I can get distracted by those around this time of the year, but it really is not about any of that. And believe it or not, Christmas is not about gifts either. However, I understand that giving gifts is a way of showing love towards another person, but we cannot get caught up in them!

Christmas is truly about being around your family and celebrating life and love and the joy that this season brings. So without any more delay, here are some of the things I feel very blessed to have in my life:

I feel very blessed to have my amazing family, boyfriend & friends in my life …

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My lovely older sister ๐Ÿ™‚

My man ๐Ÿ˜‰

My friends ๐Ÿ™‚

My parents of course!ย 

And you can’t forget about the fur babies too!

I feel very blessed to be in such good health

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And for the roof over my head at night and food in my belly.

I feel very blessed to be surrounded by the beauty of the rockies just an hour away

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And all of the wildlife I have been able to see my entire life.

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I feel so blessed that I have been able to travel even though I am so young and just starting out.

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I hope you enjoyed this little post and let me know in the comments below what you feel blessed for this Christmas year. Also, some of these pictures may not be the best quality, but that is not what this post is really about ๐Ÿ™‚

Until next time,

xoxo

Bourgeau Lake/Harvey Pass | Banff, AB Canada Pt. 2

Bourgeau Lake/Harvey Pass | Banff, AB Canada Pt. 2

Hello friends,

Todays post is a continuation of part one! If you haven’t read it yet, click here! ๐Ÿ™‚

So we are now done our beautiful lunch, which was fruit, muffins, and peanut butter & honey sandwiches (so good!), and we are starting up to Harvey Pass! At this point I was exhausted, but I wanted to do it because of the views and pictures I could get haha

From Bourgeau Lake, it is about a 2.2 km slightly harder hike to Harvey Pass. This path leads to magnificent views.

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Already the mountains are so beautiful. I have literally never been this high on a mountain before. We were so close to the top!

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So you see that greyish rocky “path” … yeah that is what we hiked up. Let me tell you there was no path, we literally scrambled up rocks! Very loose rocks to say the least. I am so happy we had hiking poles because they helped soo much! Especially on the way down. You think they would help more on the way up, however it was very easy to slide on the way down and if you put your poles in front of you it helps a lot!

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There is Bourgeau Lake where we ate lunch at! I actually could not believe how much farther up we hiked after the huge hike we did just to get to the lake!

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Oh my gosh, this was the coolest part of the entire day I would have to say! Can you spot what is on top of the mountain?! It’s big horn sheep! There was quite a few of them up there, we could not believe that we actually saw them!

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And this is the farthest we got on Harvey’s Pass. You can continue around the lake and up further, but we were exhausted and had a long hike back. We also wanted to get back to the car before dark and our hour drive home!

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It was also so unbelievably windy at this point in the hike! I could not imagine going up higher on this mountain. We would have gotten blown off! It was so windy that it was hard to hear each other talk.

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Literally soooo close to the top of the mountain! ๐Ÿ™‚

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My man trying to see the sheep. We could see them better in my camera then in his binoculars!

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Still could not put my camera down even on the way back! I was in awe this entire hike….besides the fact that my legs were actually dying.

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I looove glacial water. So beautiful.

This was a picture we took at the highest point we hiked, you can see how windy it was because of my hair and he is wearing his hat strap! haha Well I hope you enjoyed our hike! I would definitely recommend doing it even though it was a challenge, because I have been to the rockies a million times, but I have never seen sights like these before ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you guys enjoy living vicariously through my pictures! Would you continue to Harvey Pass or just stop at Bourgeau Lake?

Until next time,

xoxo

Bourgeau Lake/Harvey Pass | Banff, AB Canada Pt. 1

Bourgeau Lake/Harvey Pass | Banff, AB Canada Pt. 1

Hello friends,

Todays post will be about the Bourgeau Lake/Harvey Pass hike in Banff, Alberta Canada! We did this back in the summer when it was beautiful out with no snow! Although, right now in Calgary there is not any snow because we have had quite a few warm days. This makes me sad because I love snow at this time of the year! Trying to get all festive and everything! But anyways, lets get back on topic!

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Beautiful waterfalls on the hike to the lake!

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This hike is 7.2 km one way and a 6 hour round trip. Its a steady uphill hike that leads to Bourgeau Lake, which is absolutely stunning by the way! You hike through very lush forests and beautiful flower filled fields with gorgeous views surrounding you the entire time. Bourgeau Lake is the closest subalpine lake to the town of Banff.

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The glacially carved amphitheater provides a breath taking view of the lake. There are boulders right by the lake too which is where we ate lunch! For quite a hard hike there was lots of people there when we went!

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Some people stop at Bourgeau Lake, but we decided to continue up to Harvey Pass. The hike to Harvey Pass will be in my next post so make sure to subscribe to hear about it next!

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We also made a little friend at lunch time! I actually could not believe that we saw these guys on literally every hike we did this summer!

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Have you ever been to Banff?

Until next time,

xoxo