A Herd of Elk in Banff | AB, Canada 2017

A Herd of Elk in Banff | AB, Canada 2017

Hello friends,

I am sitting here today in a coffee shop staring at my screensaver on my laptop. It is of the herd of elk my boyfriend and I spotted in Banff! This was on our very first morning there and it was incredible.

All throughout growing up I have seen so much wildlife. I was very fortunate to grow up on the greenbelt in Fort McMurray, AB (back when the city was still quite small) where we got to see a variety of wildlife through our kitchen window. It came to a point where my dad would say “Girls! Come down here there are deer in the backyard!” and we were like ya ya we know haha Its the same thing for the Northern Lights; I never realized that most people don’t ever see them in their life. We would get out of the old purple safari van coming home from gymnastics late at night and see the Northern Lights before we went inside the house! So casual and common for us!

Anyways, back to the elk! Like you would have read in one of my latest posts (linked here if you haven’t read it), we got up early to drive to Canmore so I could take pictures of the sunrise, but sadly it was snowing out and the sky was pure white all day. So we went driving around. On our way driving to Two Jack Lake we saw a car pulled over and we were trying to see if they were looking at wildlife, however we couldn’t see any so we just kept going. Now on the way back though, that same vehicle was parked there! They were probably parked there for 20 mins or so. And now I understood why! haha There was a herd of elk back in the trees all lying down and sleeping! It was so adorable and surreal to see!

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So of course I was like “pull over pull over pull over!!” and the boyfriend obliged and did so ๐Ÿ™‚

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And voila! I got these pictures that you see! I am oh so happy I had my new lens with me or else these would not have turned out as good. Because if you know anything about wildlife, you need to give them their space. Now as a photographer, sometimes that is very difficult to do because you are so fascinated with everything and want all the pictures at every different angle possible. However,ย  I was respectful to them and left lots of room.

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Now I will tell you about this carload of people though… they were not too smart. So first of all, they had iphones as their cameras, which is all fine and dandy but the zoom is quite .. well shitty to say the least ๐Ÿ™‚ So this lady got out with her little iphone and was walking towards this massive herd of elk, like so close I was actually scared for her! The herd was in the bush right, so we can only see however many they want us to see. There was probably so many more further back in the bush too.

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One of my favourite pictures

Now in Banff, if you ever go, you will be one of these touristy people and maybe not from Canada too. Banff has so many tourists from all over the world who have no clue how to act with these very large animals. Which is more so sad for the animals then the idiot people. But I will just give you some advice if you are ever in this situation, go ahead and take pictures if you want but give them their space. Never go sticking an iphone in their face because you don’t know how they are going to react!

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Anyways, I got back into the car and my hands were frozen so I had to sit on them and let them warm up before I checked if I got any decent pictures haha and I did so I was like okay babe we can go now. And he was like “no, I want to see how this plays out” haha talking about the iphone tourist!

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But we did not end up staying, I made him leave eventually. After this adventure we went into town and got small gloves I could wear while taking pictures in -25 degrees because holy cow do your hands ever freeze! And I can’t wear my big knitted mitts when I take pictures or else I will hit every button on the camera.

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This was the main little part of the herd that was showing themselves in the more open coverage.

I felt so lucky to have been able to see these beautiful animals in their natural state. If you ever do go to Banff and you go for a drive I guarantee you will see some animals so have your camera ready.

Have you guys ever been to Banff or seen elk where you live? I would love to know in the comments!

Until next time,

xoxo

The Grizzly House Review| Banff, AB 2017

The Grizzly House Review| Banff, AB 2017

Hello friends,

Today’s post will be a review of The Grizzly House in Banff, Alberta Canada! The Grizzly House is a famous fondue restaurant in Banff. Ever since I was young I knew what it was but never went there! There is a rustic/casual atmosphere welcoming to both families or couples.

My boyfriend and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary while we were in Banff for New Years and he made us reservations at The Grizzly House! Now our reservation was for 8 o’clock or something so very late after a long day of snowboarding out in the cold! However, it was definitely a cool experience and I recommend it to all who visit Banff!

I will say however it is a more expensive dinner. If you want the fondue meal (which we did obviously..duh) there are a few options that you can pick from. It is a four course meal where you have options for every course! For the fondue dinner option, at least 2 or more people have to be ordering it.

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This was what I chose for my first course. It was their french onion soup. Now, before this meal I have never tried this kind of soup, but I always heard of it. And I will be honest I thought it was something completely different! haha I was expecting this creamy delicious onion soup … it was nothing of the sort. Well, kind of kidding. It was pretty good! The flavour was awesome, but those chunks on top were bread and I am not the biggest fan of soggy bread in my soup (same goes for soggy crackers .. ew!). Underneath there was more of a broth with caramelized onions in it, which i did enjoy!

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Here is a flat lay of the table when we got our soup. We had our wine, which was delicious! I ended up ordering the same one on New Years haha it was a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand. They gave us each a million forks, which lets be honest, who knows what fork is for what! Not me! So I just guessed haha still had one left over at the end so I probably did it wrong.

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Anyways now we are onto round 2!ย  I mean course 2 .. oops! When I get a four course meal it almost feels like I am doing different battle rounds with the food.. which one will defeat me?! We will not know until my stomach says “No More!”… spoiler: this time I made it to the end ๐Ÿ˜‰

So back on topic, we ordered the cheese fondue. Very good choice I must say. It was made with some type of red wine and came with nice fresh bread to dip in it! It also came with fully caramelized garlic cloves. The waiter said that if we like garlic we could add a few and smoosh them around… we added them all! haha SO good!

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Next came out the main course … all the meat! Sorry vegans hahah (aka my sista)

So for the meat course, there were 6ย  different ones you could choose from depending on what meat you wanted/how many oz you wanted in total. I ended up getting the Hunter Fondue Dinner which had buffalo, wild boar and venison (my favourite) and my boyfriend got the biggest, and most expensive, plate of course, which was the Exotic Fondue Dinner. It included buffalo, venison, shark, kangaroo, alligator, frog legs, and rattlesnake. It was suppose to come with ostrich, but they were out so he got kangaroo instead!ย  So much food, but very cool to try!

I didn’t get a picture with the hot rock (what we cooked the meat on) fully loaded because I was starving and it got the best of me…next time I will do better! haha To cook the meat you can choose either the hot rock or hot oil. The hot rock is what they recommend though and it was more appealing to me since I am not a huge fan of very oily food!

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With the meat came four different sauces: onion bacon, spicy tomato, horseradish dijon, honey garlic, and teriyaki abbe! The listing goes from right to left with the teriyaki abbe in the middle. My boyfriend was most excited for the horseradish one and the teriyaki abbe got me! My least favourite was the spicy tomato, but all still good! Definitely tried everyone as should you if you ever go ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

Next we move onto desert. And yes yes I know the restaurant is for the cool meat and everything, but honestly the chocolate fondue at the end was so utterly amazing!! It was a melted toblerone bar!

 

 

To dip in this delicious melted goodness was strawberries, banana, melon, orange, apple, and wafer chunks. Personally the strawberry and wafers were my favourite to dip! I set one wafer piece aside till I was done with everything else to dip so I could finish with my favourite haha does anyone else do that? We tried to finish all of the chocolate because it was so good but we simply couldn’t.

By the time we finished up with this we were so full! I tried to pace myself throughout the meal, but its quite hard when everything is so good!

The tables that they had were pretty cool too because they were all made of old corks put in this coating to hold it all together. Very neat!

Rating: 8/10

Yes I know some of you may be shocked..”why only an 8?!” First of all, the restaurant was freezing cold, I ate with my coat on for most of the meal. Not sure if the heat wasn’t working, but damn when its -28 outside you need heat! So that made the meal less pleasant. There are also these phones placed all around the restaurant that ring and you can answer them and I guess talk to another table? So that is kind of cool, but also annoying to have phones ringing all throughout the meal. Lastly, I am not a huge fan of cooking my own food when I go out to eat. It was a kind of cool experience, but I wasn’t quite sure how to cook some of it so I ended up with a few raw pieces that I couldn’t eat. Once they see that you have no more meat on the hot rock they take it away, so I could not even throw it back on!

Besides those few not amazing things, the rest was great! I would recommend to try it out if you are ever in the area and want a more expensive/unique dinning experience. Like both of the fondue’s were amazing, the cheese and chocolate, and they are a fondue restaurant so they nailed that!

Let me know if you have any questions about the restaurant and I will do my best to answer them! Also a question for all of you, have you ever been to The Grizzly House? If so, how was your experience? I would love to know! Also, if there are any other cool fondue restaurants you’ve been to!

P.S sorry for the iphone quality pictures, we were on a fancy date so I didn’t wanna bring out the big gun!

Until next time,

xoxo

17 Things 2017 Taught Me

17 Things 2017 Taught Me

Hello friends,

In today’s post I will be sharing a few things that I have learnt in 2017. This year was an interesting one to say the least. Some things did not go as planned, both a mix of better than expected and worse, but none the less it’s all life lessons.

  1. There are many stepping stones in life.ย Your first job won’t be your last, so just be grateful that you are employed.
  2. Everything takes time.ย You can’t rush anything in life. I can’t rush into an amazing environmental career just like I can’t make this blog blow up in a day. You need to work hard towards what you want and in time you will get there.
  3. Saying no is harder then saying yes.ย We have all been in situations where you don’t want to say yes, but saying no feels impossible. Well its not, so next time you want to say no try it out.
  4. Its okay to do things that scare you. Breaking out of your comfort zone is scary but amazing. It will do wonders for you. If I never broke out of mine, I would not have this blog today or be able to share it on facebook for my family to see.
  5. When in doubt listen to your little voice inside you, it probably knows what its talking about. Unless you have anxiety like me, then sometimes you have to ignore it and go grab experiences by the …. well you know ๐Ÿ™‚
  6. Less friends = more.ย  I have never had a large friend group and I don’t need one. I love having a few close friends who are truly there for me.
  7. Don’t be afraid to do things by yourself.ย  This year I have really started to do this and it was challenging at first (and still is sometimes). I go exploring for pictures by myself and also edit/write in coffee shops alone. Now I am growing to love me time.
  8. You’ll grow as a person every year.ย  Its okay.
  9. Don’t judge people. Everyone around you has a story that you have no clue about.
  10. You are stronger than you think.ย Until you are pushed, you will never truly be able to know what you can handle.
  11. Don’t waste your energy on things you can’t control.ย  This is something I need to work on.
  12. Stop overthinking every little thing about your life.ย  Another biggie I need to work on, I have over thought way to much about my life so far. I am young and need to chill out.
  13. There are unlimited things to learn in life.ย  You are never to old to learn!
  14. Listen to your elders even if you just met them, they have some life experience that you don’t.ย  I have met some very intelligent people this year that have come into my life for one conversation and let me tell you, some things they have told me have stuck.
  15. You will never have your life perfectly worked out so just relax and enjoy the ride.ย  Go with the flow! Life is not perfect and neither are you!
  16. If you aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves you will never lose your shirt. (Love ya dad)
  17. Believe in yourself. It does not mater if everyone else believes in you, if you don’t, nothing will happen.

 

Let me know if any of these resonate with you and if there are any other things you have learnt in 2017 that we can add to the list! Leave them in the comments below ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you all learnt at least one thing in 2017 and that you can use it to improve in 2018!

Until next time,

xoxo

Merry Christmas! | 2017

Merry Christmas! | 2017

Merry Christmas friends!

I hope your day was full of family, friends, food & cheer!

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This was our first Christmas together. We got a tree and decorations from Canadian Tire (the most Canadian store ever besides The Real Canadian Superstore hahaha which is where we get our groceries from #CanadianAF) and then my mom bought me a few beautiful flowers for it as well and brought up a few decorations that she had set aside for me. We got our stockings from Walmart #onabudget and then we were all set!

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A close up of our tree! We went with a more rustic/gold theme but I know with more years to come, my tree will look more like my moms…just a whole bunch of ornaments that have memoriesย  behind them ๐Ÿ™‚ Honestly, I cannot wait for those days even though I know my OCD will not like it!

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This morning I made homemade cinnamon buns! My first time ever and they were delicious! (you can even ask my boyfriend…he ate 2!)

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Fresh out of the oven, I lathered on homemade cream cheese frosting. Best Decision Ever!

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And breakfast was served! Not nutritious what so ever, but its Christmas! If you aren’t stuffed full of sugary sweets by 10 am you did something wrong!

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Once we were done breakfast and presents I went and got ready. It was our first Christmas without our parents (going home to see them on Christmas break from school) so my boss asked us if we wanted to come over form Christmas dinner. We said yes, of course! She has a lovely family and who could say no to great company on Christmas! This was also my first Christmas where I ate dinner in real clothes! Normally I am in my pj’s all day!

Dinner was at 1 pm and we stayed until 4:30 pm or so. Now we have just been hanging out in our pj’s all night and having some wine (well wine for me … beer for the boy) and watching The Office. One of the greatest shows of all time, so you should definitely check it out, its on Netflix! I eventually went and took a relaxing bath and then Jacob got to play his video game like a little child ๐Ÿ™‚

Now I am writing this to you my friends because I wanted to share my Christmas with you and wish you a blessed one as well. I hope you have enjoyed time with loved ones and your tummies are full of good food! Let me know how your day went if you want in the comments below, I would love to hear about what you got up too!

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Merry Christmas! You will hear from me again before the new year don’t you worry!

P.S I love you mom and dad, see you soon โค

Until next time,

xoxo

On the Hunt for Christmas Lights! | 2017

On the Hunt for Christmas Lights! | 2017

Hello friends,

So last night I went on an adventure to find Christmas lights. Firstly, because I love looking at them and secondly, because I have not done a post with pictures in a little bit! I ran out of pictures from previous trips we went on in the summer and with working two jobs, it is hard to find time to go out and get pictures. However, last night I got my lazy butt up and got some pictures for you guys!

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Now let me just say, I have never really done night pictures before so don’t judge me too harshly. Over time, and with a lot more practice, they will look better I promise!

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Most of these pictures are from a community called Legacy in Calgary. I thought they did a pretty good job with their display. Although the other side of the road had lights too but they were not lit up .. so I am not sure what happened there!

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The next few pictures I was trying to get artsy, but I have not quite mastered that yet! haha

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I am pretty sure in the next picture there are three elves and a present, but because of the trees in the background it is kind of hard to tell!

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This gazebo was so beautiful and I actually came across it by mistake! I was trying to get back to the main road, but instead I turned the wrong way and drove up to this! So of course I got out and explored a bit. It was lit up so nicely right in the centre of all these houses!

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Do you guys drive around at Christmas time looking at lights and trying to find the best ones? Maybe grab a hot chocolate or two? Let me know in the comments below! ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Bison Paddock Loop Road | Waterton, AB

Bison Paddock Loop Road | Waterton, AB

Hello friends,

Todays post will be about a fun adventure we had on the way to Waterton! When we left this morning we had no idea that Bison Paddock Loop Road existed, but we saw a sign and thought meh why not…and I am glad we took the extra half hour and did it!

If you haven’t read the first part of this story click here to get caught up before you continue reading this post! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Bison….we saw bison! Now for many people, this would probably be their first time ever seeing a large bison in person, however for me it wasn’t. This was still a very exciting experience though!

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So this bison loop was probably a 20 minute drive or so because you need to go slow. We also stopped a few times when we saw them!

So when you get there you literally just drive right in and the bison are just hanging out inside these gates! At first we did not see any for quite some time and we were pretty frustrated I would say. Taking time from actually being in Waterton to do the drive and not see any bison…little did we know that around the next corner we would see this guy!

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Now there was a sign that said “DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR VEHICLE”…. do you think I listened? No .. I did not because I learnt from my mom that breaking rules is fun! Just kidding … but at the same time not really.

My boyfriend was not too impressed when I made him stop and I got out of the car so I could take better pictures, but I didn’t care! They were no where near me…but I am not saying break the rules if you go. I just had to for better pictures!

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This lonely guy was beautiful.

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When we were approaching the end I saw a whole bunch of them, but my boyfriend wouldn’t let me out of the car… so I knelt on the seat and stuck my body out of the window ahaha

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I also obviously had to capture this cutie because look at his fur! He is all spotted and stripy!

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Just too cute ๐Ÿ™‚

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Let me know if you would take an extra half hour and do this little drive if you were going to Waterton! Or have you already done it and seen any bison while you were there? I would definitely say it is worth the little bit of extra time driving because you might just see something cool!

Until next time,

xoxo

Remembrance Day 2017

Remembrance Day 2017

Hello friends,

Today’s post will be different then my normal trip pictures with a little explanation. As you should all know, November 11th is Remembrance Day. I have been raised to appreciate and respect the purpose of today, as I hope all of you reading do.

Remembrance Day commemorates all those who have died in armed conflicts, particularly in and since World War I. November 11th marks the day that World War One ended. At 11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month back in 1918. At 11 am on November 11th, we stop what we are doing and take two minutes of silence in respect to these amazing men and women who have served.

Since I was born, I have been to a ceremony on this day and I am very happy I was raised to respect these men and women so much. I would not have wanted it any other way. I am so grateful for how my parents raised me.

I do not know how many of you reading this actually know what Remembrance Day is, but I hope this gave you an idea of why it is so important. Without those brave men and women fighting, this world would be a different place. If nothing else, today I hope you take two minutes of silence at 11 am today out of respect.

Lest we forgetย 

Exploring Calgary for the First Time!

Exploring Calgary for the First Time!

Hello friends,

Todays post will be about my first time exploring downtown Calgary. This post is the exploration half of my most recent post about the Peace Bridge!

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I have never lived in a large city before moving here in May, and let me tell you it is so different from anywhere I have lived before. The buildings downtown are huge and full of windows and still every time we drive downtown it amazes me. This was the area that I parked at when I headed to explore the Peace Bridge. I made sure to use the full time that I paid for since parking in downtown Calgary is not cheap!

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This bird was cawing so loud it was crazy. It took me a while to find where the sound was coming from since he was hidden behind a tree, but I found him!

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They had beautiful hanging baskets in front of a very expensive looking apartment building that was right along the walkway…I don’t even want to know how much they pay per month there! I love when cities put up nice hanging baskets. I find it adds a nice touch to any area of town. Also, it adds some nature back into a city full of cement! When I was younger we called Calgary the cement jungle haha

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This little spot I found was so peaceful and cute. You could sit there for hours just staring at the beautiful scenery around you. This was along the trail I was walking on!

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Peace bridge was so busy when I went there, however I did still manage to get some pictures with no people in them so I call that a success! Let me know if you guys would enjoy more behind the scenes of getting the main pictures and I would be happy to do some of those posts in the future!

Until next time,

xoxo