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? ♥
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 🙂
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?!
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)
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Todays post will be a food review – woo! Who doesn’t like hearing about good food possibly near you!
This past Saturday for our treat meal we (myself and the boy) decided to get some donuts. We like to treat ourselves once a week if we are feeling it because throughout the week we work hard, eat relatively clean, and are quite active. Usually it is me asking my boyfriend if he wouldn’t mind donuts for our treat meal but this time he asked me and I was like hell-to-the-yah.
The donut place we decided on is called Maverick’s Donut Company. They have two locations in Ottawa and have very good hours for a donut shop! You can pretty much get them whenever you want. Also, they do have vegan options as well as regular which I think is pretty cool.
As we approached the donuts I thought hmm let me take some pictures so I can give a review to my followers if they are ever in the area and are craving some donuts!
First of all, I think their branding is as cute as can be. I have always loved this teal blue colour and when you mix it with that crisp white it is magical. It draws the eye for sure.
Inside the shop they always have donuts fresh out of the oven and it smells heavenly. They have the little ones or big ones, whichever you please. Now I have never tried the little ones, but one day I will!
Their stock was a bit depleted when we came in because it was like 3 in the afternoon, but there were fresh new flavours right behind them!
Most of the donuts they have are cake donuts, so more dense then the traditional yeast ones. I enjoyed them though! Cake or yeast donut – I will eat it haha
We ended up choosing a box of 6 to try out. We couldn’t just go and only get one or two people!
We tried out their cinnamon bun, peanut butter chocolate, pumpkin spice, m&m, cookies & cream, and maple bacon (respectively listed from left to right, top to bottom row).
I would have to say my favourite was the maple bacon – always loved a good maple donut since I was little. My go to at Tim Hortons was either a vanilla sprinkle donut or maple dipped haha still to this day I will get a maple dip when I go there! Anyways back to the review! I also loved the cinnamon bun one because I love cinnamon. If you are a chocolate and peanut butter lover I would highly recommend trying theirs out – it wasn’t overly rich and the peanut butter topping was so smooth.
All of their flavours taste as they advertise so you know what you are getting! With some flavours too you can pick either vanilla or chocolate for the donut body haha I don’t know how else to say it – you know like the base of the donut.
They were all moist and have a good ratio of topping to dough. In conclusion, I would recommend trying Maverick’s Donut Company out if you are in the area and craving donuts. These delicious circles will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth! Thanks Maverick’s for making my Saturday as sweet as can be!
Do you guys like donuts? If you do whats your favourite flavour?
The Mer Bleue Bog is one of the largest bogs in southern Ontario. This type of landscape is more commonly found in the Arctic than in the Ottawa Valley, but we will take it! It is absolutely beautiful.
The conservation area of Mer Bleue is 33.43 km square, with the most amazing feature being the bog. The vegetation on this bog is vastly different from anywhere else in Ottawa – it is quite noticeable once you arrive!
It was a beautiful sunny Sunday when we went to explore the bog. We actually came across Mer Bleue on a different day while we were eating ice cream and looking up places to walk around Ottawa. We always end up going for walks/hikes in Gatineau, Quebec so it was about time we found more places in Ottawa!
The bog boardwalk was a stunning place to see – such a different feeling than all of our other walks we have been on. The boardwalk is in excellent shape too; people were able to easily push strollers down it.
There were many families at the boardwalk embracing the last few beautiful weeks of summer weather before fall really begins to hit. We are in the stage now where it is sweater weather in the morning, but come the afternoon you’re a sweaty mess!
The boardwalk is 1.2km long and has many information boards along the way to keep you informed about the ecosystem you are exploring. The posters were actually very educational!
In the Mer Bleue area, there are many other walks you can adventure out on as well. We actually went on another walk after this one since this boardwalk took less then an hour.
The amount of cattails in this bog was surreal. It looked as if they went on for miles and miles and never ended. They were definitely taller than me in some areas too!
Our day started out with clear blue skies, but by the time we were done the walk they had clouded over. The type of cloud that still leaves it bright outside but no blue to be seen.
And oh my you guys, I am sorry for all the frogs in my recent posts but they are just everywhere! Everywhere I looked when we were doing the boardwalk I spotted frogs then my boyfriend started spotting them too. No shortage of frogs in Ontario let me tell you that!
Here I actually caught a young frog growing in his life cycle and not fully matured yet. When I took this picture at the bog I did not realize that he was still in the growing stages. It was not until I was at home looking through my pictures I realized that he still had the little tail – too cute 🙂
The last little part of the boardwalk is in the forest near the bog and we came across this old dead tree. The tree was quite large as well. Looking up admiring the size of it we notice the fungus growing around the top of it. Pretty cool too see when the light shines through it.
In conclusion, I would highly recommend checking out this bog if you are in the Ottawa area! It was beautiful – like a little escape/vacation from Ottawa without actually leaving. Great for any age range too; I saw little babies there to an old couple just going for a stroll.
Have you ever been to a bog before? Let me know down in the comments below!
Before I start this story I would just like to say that all the photos used were taken in poor lighting and off my outdated iphone so disregard the quality – I needed some pictures to go along with my story however the tube is so busy and fast paced therefore I did not feel like possibly having my good camera damaged!
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Now back to business!
Since I learned about London when I was young, I knew about the tube. I use to always think it was funny people called their bus the tube – little did I know how different it was from what I originally thought.
I assumed it was the same as busses, as some people do, but it is vastly different from that. Sometimes you are above ground and sometimes you are below! The cabs are large, but get filled up very quickly. My sister (who was teaching in Bristol at the time) told us that the tube was not even busy when we went on it and I thought – wow it must be claustrophobic in here when its rush hour!
Once we got to the station, obviously we had to commence the mission on figuring out what ticket to get. Once it was all sorted we put that little ticket to use and ended up on the other side of these gates! I felt as if I were a local taking the tube and I am so happy we ended up doing this for a day instead of an Uber. (Good job sister telling us it was a must!)
So this was our first glimpse at the inside! Everyone had gotten off and we were the first on. The stop we were at was at the very end of their tracks so it had filled up more as we hit other stops.
We got off after 3 or 4 stops I think to another station where we had to hop onto a different train. It was quite entertaining trying to get to the other train in time so we wouldn’t have to wait for a long time haha the signs helped but there was a lot of people and it was all so new we became overwhelmed! Thankfully my sister was like – dudes its this way haha
Finally we arrived where we needed to be to board the next train. Obviously I had to take the classic mind the gap picture! Because that gap is real let me tell you! If you don’t know where it is or how wide it is you could definitely get your leg stuck in it – ouch!
Within a few minutes the next train arrives and we wait for people to unload but you also have to get on quickly or the doors close! Once we were on we stood for a bit and then as people got off we sat down.
A couple stops after we sat down a lady with a dog came on. This dog was quite well behaved and absolutely loved my sister because she pet it once! Once you pet it, he became your best friend haha she was covered in dog hair for the rest of the day!
The dog was whimpering a bit though because the tube moves at the speed of light! It is extremely fast and loud, especially when you are underground. If you have super sensitive ears I would actually recommend wearing ear plugs! Another thing to keep in mind if you ever do venture onto the tube is give yourself a lot of time to get to the door before your stop. They do not wait for you if you are too slow! My sister would tell us to stand at the door when she knew our stop was the next one so we could get off quickly.
As you can see, the tube was not packed this day, however coming from spacious Canada we all felt like it was! Not sure how you would even be able to get on and off when its busier!
At the end of our tube journey we were all relieved haha we made it to the centre of London! Also, if you are going on a long journey on the tube, make sure you have coins… you have to pay to go pee there! (£0.20 pence (GBP) to go pee = $0.40 cents (CAD)) Very different then what I am use to haha I had to break a bill so I could pee! The escalators to take you up from underground too are extremely steep so hold on – don’t goof around or you may be falling back to the bottom!
Overall, it was an amazing experience and would highly recommend anyone travelling there to try it out! Live like the locals! 🙂
Have you ever taken the tube in London? If so, do you have any crazy/funny experiences to share?! 🙂
Todays post is going to be about my experience seeing Buckingham Palace in a torrential downpour! Not the best way to see it, but it was our only option!
We took the tube to get here which was an experience in itself so I will have a separate blog post on that!
To get to Buckingham Palace from the tube stop we got off at, you had to walk on a path through this massive field. Everyone was in a bit of a rush considering the weather so we made it there in a timely manner! It was incredible walking up to these golden gates – even if we were getting soaked through to the undies! I remember thinking – how in the world am I going to get any pictures in this weather?! I did not want to get my camera wet!
My dad and I went to this little food truck stand and I hid under the foot wide canopy by their service window trying to get some pictures. I got a few, but nothing amazing – I wanted to go get a better view! (Spoiler – you can’t get a great shot of the Buckingham Palace in a torrential downpour)
Here we are now at the front of the palace. I enjoy going to these touristy places however, I don’t like all the people in my pictures! When we arrived at the front of the palace, I thought it was going to be larger to be honest! I was not disappointed or anything though, it was still incredible to see!
When we moved our way closer I noticed all the curtains were drawn – I do understand that for privacy, but it must be pretty dark and gloomy in there! Also, I wonder if they have updated the inside of the palace to have insulation to keep the heat inside? Otherwise it must take a lot of money to heat that place!
There were also guards with machine guns at every door! I knew she would have guards, but for some reason the machine guns surprised me – which they shouldn’t of! haha These guys were loaded with weapons!
Now, this is a funny one. When we were farther away my family was debating whether this guy was real or a doll haha obviously he is real but he never moved an inch so he looked fake! I felt bad for the guy because it was quite cold outside, and he can’t even moved around to warm up! He was also probably getting wet because the rain was blowing around.
I had to zoom up to the front doors because they were gorgeous! Look at all that detail and gold! I could not even imagine how much work it was to make those doors. The architecture of the Buckingham Palace was absolutely stunning.
Even the light posts surrounding the palace had gold accents! So much gold and its all kept in amazing shape too where everything else surrounding it has been grown over with moss.
Now below is the famous London Black Taxi! I heard so much about these and seen them in all the movies filmed in the UK so I wanted to capture one on camera for myself! Everyone in London said they are very overpriced so it is better to uber around or take the tube – so we did just that. However, it was still extremely cool to see them driving around the crazy traffic in London!
Have you ever been to Buckingham Palace or is it on your list of places to see? Let me know in the comments below and add in any cool facts you know about it too!
Todays post is going to be a food review from my time spent in the United Kingdom! I have only done a few of these on my blog, but I should really start doing more because I love trying out new restaurants. People just give me weird looks when I take pictures!
Anyways, todays food review is of a little burger joint called Burger Theory. We went there on our first night in Bristol with my sister and her boyfriend. Obviously they are the ones who suggested it because they live there!
First impressions of this place – it looks pretty cool and like there might be good burgers inside. Now I will just tell you all, growing up in Alberta, Canada I have had many amazing burgers – to this day I don’t think I have had any burgers better then the ones I have had in Alberta.
But back to Burger Theory. I absolutely loved the vibe of this place. The inside was so cute and cozy however all the rustic wood made it feel like you were about to get a good/hardy meal in you.
I absolutely loved the wooden roof and the light fixtures that they chose. I feel as if it complimented the layout of the restaurant and the vibe they were trying to achieve. The atmosphere was incredibly warm and welcoming too.
They had a cool saying written above the arches – in summary, they make most of the food they serve from scratch including their sauces and pickled vegetables – and let me tell you, their homemade ketchup was bomb.
So of course, the first thing you order at a restaurant is a drink. Since I was somewhere new in the world, I wanted to try a local favourite (or at least a restaurant favourite). My sister and the waiter said this rhubarb cider was the drink to get, so I did. I had no clue what to expect since I have never had rhubarb and cider combined before, but it was very refreshing and delicious! Definitely no potent alcohol taste at all – I would recommend trying one if you ever visit the UK and just want a light drink!
By this time, we have ordered and are ravenous. I have drank most of my drink and since I have the smallest bladder in the world I ventured out to find the washroom. Every washroom I encountered on this trip was incredibly tiny, so I kept my eyes peeled for the little door.
Oh also, instead of saying washroom most say toilets, which I actually enjoyed quite a bit haha I felt so British saying toilets instead of washroom.
Anyways! Do you see how tiny this sink is – its one of the largest sinks I saw on this trip. I could almost wash my hands without hitting the sides of it. Most of the sinks I used, you had to wash one hand at a time or you’d make a mess!
Their taps are also different then I am used to. One is hot and the other is cold … so if you want warm water I believe maybe you plug the sink and then wash your hands in there? If anyone knows the reasoning behind the completely separate temperature taps please let me know!
Since everything is so tiny in the UK, they have signs everywhere saying “mind your head” and you really have to pay attention to it because you will hit your head if you don’t duck!
Once I arrived back from my toilet adventure the food was there. All nice and warm ready to be devoured!
The Burger Theory has so many options to choose from, you can basically get whatever kind of burger your little heart desires. I believe I got a bacon cheese burger, which is usually my go to, and it was the best burger I had on my whole trip. I had about three burgers while I was in the UK and its not their strong suit. However, this burger was pretty darn good. My sister, and mom I believe, got the vegan burgers and they also enjoyed them. So this restaurant is great for a range of burger eaters. All are welcome!
We were so stuffed from the meals that we didn’t get desert, which is rare for me, but I think my sister probably told me we could get ice cream or something to get me to leave!
This was in total a great first UK burger experience and I would recommend trying it out if you happen to be strolling past one craving a burger!
We made it. My parents and I got to the United Kingdom from the far away land where maple syrup grows.
We took a taxi from the Heathrow Airport in London, to a small airbnb – more on the outskirts of London. I must say, it was very much what I expected London to look like. If you have ever seen movies based in the United Kingdom they are pretty spot on.
It was extremely terrifying though to be driving on the wrong side of the road – and I will let you know that it didn’t feel any better doing it on day 10 of the trip either! It feels so wrong, just like when someone is walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk! Also, the lanes, oh my gosh, the road lanes are so tiny! They just barley fit the vehicles driving by – it looks like everyone is about to side swipe each other.
Anyways, we finally arrived at the air bnb after my parents and I nearly had a heart attack on the way there! A very nice lady greeted us and showed us around. She also complimented all four of us on our teeth, which we thought was a weird compliment but we took it! I didn’t take any pictures of her air bnb to keep her privacy, but it was lovely!
Everything felt miniature in her house. The kitchen was actually a decent size though compared to other ones we saw. The staircase was extremely narrow, if you didn’t duck half way down too, you’d hit your head! Once we dropped off our bags we decided to head out for a stroll and to grab some dinner.
I quickly noticed that everything was covered in mould or moss! Obviously this is due to their climate, but it was something that I have never noticed anywhere I went before.
My 6’3″ father standing besides an average door in London!
Royal Mail! I guess when you live where the Queen is you have Royal Mail not any old normal mail. No sir.
So, if you think I was exaggerating about the size of the lanes think again. This was actually a pretty common sign I saw in the UK.
There were usually cars parked on both side of these roads too, so you can imagine how tight it is for one car to get through let alone two way traffic! All of our drivers drove very fast, but somehow we managed to make it!
Here is a good example of what most residential roads looked like, as well as, the residential housing. Well, I shouldn’t just say residential because it looked like this everywhere. Little shops were all connected and same with the restaurants. If there were walkways in-between buildings they were tiny!
Next we came across this very old church. The history in London is absolutely amazing. The tombstones dated back a few hundred years. We tried to find the oldest one, but I can’t remember what the date was on it!
The red door was beautifully in tact and stood out from a distance against the dull surrounding colours.
The grass was also very vibrant against the grey sky! There was also flowers everywhere, which brightened the dull day.
Are you a person who gets creeped out by old churches and graveyards or do you enjoy them?
Do you ever just see a picture and go “wow, I would love to go there”? Well, that is exactly how we got here. One day I saw an absolutely stunning aerial photo of the Long Sault Parkway in Ontario and the caption had to do with camping there. So I looked it up, saw it was one hour away from us, tagged my boyfriend in the picture, and boom the next thing I know my boyfriend was like “babe we are going camping next weekend”
Of course I was down to go lay on some dirt for a night, like who wouldn’t be?! I love camping, however I considered this like resort camping. There was no peeing in the bush or attempting to find a flat spot to put your tent on, it was all very nicely groomed and laid out. Most people brought their entire house with them! We always look like the poverty campers with our two man tent hahah anyone else?
So what you see here is the map of the Long Sault Parkway. This is what I saw in the aerial picture, so stunning! I’ve never seen anything like this before, let alone one hour away from where I live! The campground we stayed at was the Woodlands Island Campground, and in my opinion it was the best one there. I would 100% stay on the same island next time.
This was our little spot, and since we went early in the season we didn’t have neighbours! My man did really good at picking our spot when he reserved it because at most we could only have one neighbour and you could park your vehicle there to give yourself some privacy if need be. Each site came with a fire pit and a table, which both came in handy!
Literally ten steps from our tent was this beautiful beach all to ourselves basically. The water was a bit cold for swimming, however the temperature was perfect for laying on the beach and having a little picnic! I had watermelon all cut up and a little bag of chips to bribe my boyfriend to come sit with me haha when the snacks were done though he went back into the shade and set up the tent 🙂
Next we went on a drive (about 11 km I believe is the length of the island chain) across all the islands. This is why I have the opinion of our campground being the best – because it looked the best!
As you will see through these pictures, you drive with water on both sides of you when you aren’t on one of the islands – pretty cool. People were boating and playing around with water toys – looked like a blast!
There was actually a lot of little ducky families too! We saw one where the whole family was in a connected line!
These guys were down there having a time fishing – had a little rainbow umbrella and everything.
And dang, did they ever have the right idea. There is nothing I love more then catching fish, cleaning them a few hours later when you get back to camp, and cooking them up over the fire. Too good! I hope they caught something!
There was a whole bunch of sail boats out bopping around the water as well, and the lushest green forest ever.
When we finished exploring the islands, it was time to cook dinner! So I made a little fire and balanced our grill on a few rocks. My boyfriend got the most amazing steaks from the store and we cooked them perfectly! They were mouthwatering!
We brought a little wine too and had a really nice night. Finished up with s’mores at the end obviously! You cannot camp without s’mores!
Once dinner was over, the sun was setting. We headed back out to sit on the beach and just talk about life and the future. It was so relaxing to just be able to sit in the sand with a mug of wine and talk while the warm sun is setting. My favourite.
Overall, it was an amazing night. It felt like we actually went away on vacation and hadn’t worked in days! I would always suggest camping as a great escape from the city life, its a nice mental break.
Now when I say camping though, I don’t mean in a massive camper with your whole house packed into it haha I love actual camping. Especially when it is more rugged then this. This camping I would call “glamping” – glamorous camping. Still a nice getaway though!
Are you guys tenters or camper people and do you like camping? Let me know in the comments below!