December 31, 2013

Ringing in the New Year

Another year is almost over now, a new one to begin.  But before you start the countdown lets remember where we have been.
2013 was full of happy and sad moments and some down right tough moments.
Lets hope 2014 is kind to us all.
Whoever you are surround by, I hope its where you want to be.
May there be someone special to kiss when the clock strikes 12.

And now it's time for one last bow
Like all your other selves
Eleven's hour is over now
The clock is striking twelve's.
By Eric Ritchie Junior

December 23, 2013

What Christmas means to me

   Christmas means

Spending time with the ones I love
Thinking about the happiness of others
Making the time to help others
Celebrating all the great things in our lives
Taking time to enjoy the little things
My moms home made goodies
Drinking peppermint hot chocolate
Singing along to Christmas music
Sitting around the fireplace playing boardgames
Watching the snow fall outside
The smell of cinnamon and cloves
Mulled wine

"Christmas is not as much about opening presents as opening our hearts."
Janice Maeditere

December 19, 2013

Snow day

This is currently what it looks outside, needless to say I'm not going anywhere today. You couldn't pay me enough to step outside in this, especially after being in the hot tropical temps of Queensland, Australia. Today is a lazy day, I have given myself permission to relax, watch movies and knit.
I am happy to report that I am now on my second scarf. Its going to be super wide and long so I can completely wrap myself up in it when I do have to venture out into the below zero temperatures this winter is determined to bring this way.

What do you get up to on your lazy days?

December 18, 2013

Wanderlust Wednesday - The Redwoods, California

The Redwoods, California

California is on the bucket list especially going to see these redwoods, for some reason I am super curious as to how it smells. Anyone ever been there?

December 16, 2013

Things I've been afraid to publish

A few days ago Kym from Travel Babbles wrote this lovely post. She threw caution to the wind and let it all out. I must say it was amazing to see how open she was being, to often we decide to take the easier path and post the good things in our lives. The fun parts, exciting news and life's good moments. What about the rest, the bad moments, dark days and all the ugly business that comes with adult life.

I have been struggling myself these last 6 months but haven't wanted to share this. I didn't want to be negative. I also didn't want to be judged or for you to pity me. Kym suggested that we all open up, be brave enough to say exactly what is on our mind. So be kind, don't judge me to much and remember that we all have dark days.

1) I feel like Jason and I are cursed. Since returning from Australia we have had so much bad luck.

2) Its exhausting trying to be positive all the time. I let myself wallow in self pity for two days and I felt so much better afterwards.

3) I get anxiety when I think about settling down. I love Jason and want to be with him for the rest of my life, but the thought of staying in one place for more then a couple of years is depressing to me. Jason is so great and is always open to going anywhere with me. I need to learn to somehow get over this anxiety so we can both have the life we want.

4) I had a panic attack when I had to sign a three year contract for my phone. How am I suppose to sign on for a mortgage.

5) When I got sick and ended up in the hospital in July I lost at least ten pounds. Ever since I have been struggling to gain it all back, I can't afford to lose any weight. But I feel like I can't talk about my struggles with gaining weight because everyone will think I'm bragging about being smaller. I'm not, I just want to be healthy.

6) We are currently living with Jason's parents. As much as I am grateful that they are allowing us to live with them until we save up for our own place I hate living in a small town. It was fine when it was warm out but now that its winter I am going stir crazy.

7) Jason work on a rig, meaning he works away for two weeks and comes home for one. But due to unforeseen circumstances its been just over three weeks since we have seen each other. He also might not make it home for Christmas or even New Years depending on when they need him and how they schedule things.

8) I am lonely. Since leaving for Australia May 2012 Jason and I have spent pretty much everyday together, so this separation is extremely hard. I don't mind spending time by myself, in fact I relish it most days, but living in a small town where I don't know anyone and Jason being away is really not ideal.

9) I'm trying to figure out what I want to do with myself next year. Apart from a few classes I would like to take I have no idea. Compared to everyone else that talks about their amazing careers I feel like I am so behind.

Ok. Well I feel much better getting that out in the open. Life is not all bad, there are a lot of negative feelings in the above post and seeing them all in one place is overpowering. But since I usually only share the good I guess its far to have all the bad here to.

Anything you have been to afraid to publish? Now is the time to share. I promise I won't judge.

December 13, 2013

How to survive winter

Only a few people I know actually prefer winter to summer. Most of us cringe as the temperatures start to drop, dreading the day when we have to get up an extra 20 minutes earlier just so we can scrap off our car and warm it up before driving to work. Unfortunately winter is just a fact of life for most of us around the world who aren't lucky enough to live in a tropical climate. This is my first winter in all most two years, to say I am struggling would be an understatement. Instead of moping around for the next 4 months I have come up with a list of little things to do to make me smile.

5 tips to surviving winter

1) Get moving. I know that its extremely hard to make yourself go outside when its cold, but I promise you will feel good if you get your butt off the couch and workout. My favourite is hot yoga. I find hot yoga is the perfect remedy to cold winter days. By the time I leave an hour later I am in a great mood, I have sweated out all my negative thoughts and am ready to embrace what the day has to offer.

2) Stock up on vitamin D. Its not a nice feeling, waking up to go to work its dark, drive home from work its dark. I feel so much better during these short days when I take a lot of vitamin D during the day. It makes a huge difference in my day to day mood.

3) Start a few hobbies. Instead of spending hours in front of the tv, how about trying something new. Knitting, quilting, jewelry making. Imagine how many neat homemade gifts you could make in the months that its to cold to spend anytime outside. You will feel a since of accomplishment and have lots to show off to your friends.

4) Stock up on all your favourite holiday drinks. Hot chocolate, baileys, pumpkin spice, gingerbread, my list could go on. Nothing says cozy like a hot drink and a good book. If you have a fireplace even better. I could spend hours in front of a fireplace reading.

5) When its a total blizzard outside, cozy up with your other half. Turn on a movie, order some takeout and shutout the rest of the world. We all need a little down time. I love spending a Sunday cuddled up on the couch, a stack of movies ready to watch and an endless supply of coffee and baileys.

What do you love to do during those cold winter months?

December 12, 2013

This little lighthouse

Anyone else have a slight curiosity regarding lighthouses? no, just me then. Well when we moved to Nova Scotia I had thought I would be seeing lighthouses everywhere, but no, thats not the case. The first one I spotted was during out trip to Louisbourg. This one was located in its own little spot of countryside, trails heading this way and that promising you adventure.

When I was little, I always thought it would be neat to live in a lighthouse. To look out at the endless ocean at night, The light reflecting off of the water. Now I realize that that would have been a whole lot of work, all those stairs to walk up and down, really not ideal.

December 11, 2013

Wanderlust Wednesday - Tibet

The rock hewn temple on Mt. Kailasa Tibet

Tibet has long been on my wanderlust bucket list. One of the many places I still want to see. I have never been to a temple before. One has old as this has a lot of history I'm sure. 
Have you ever been to a temple before? what was your favourite part.

December 10, 2013

Usiage Ban Falls

I have a not so secret love of waterfalls. Ever since we moved to Nova Scotia I have been begging Jason to find me a many waterfalls as possible that we could go and explore. Usiage Ban Falls is located about 10 mins outside of Baddeck. Its a big of a hike to get to the falls.

It was a beautiful brisk fall day, no one else was around making it extremely peaceful. It took us almost three hours to walk up to the falls and all the way back around. We took our time, trying to make the most out of one of the few nice days left.

 We decided that the woods kind of reminded us of the Pans Labyrinth movie, which immediately had me a bit freaked out. I was convinced we were going to start seeing all kinds of weird things appear out of no where.

 Of course Jason wanted to climb up and get a closer look. I didn't know how I was going to drag him all the way back out if he fell. I really have no upper body strength.

December 9, 2013

Winter hobbies

As the nights get longer and the days colder winter is truly here. I find myself spending more and more time inside. Instead of watching to much bad tv I have decided to take up a few hobbies, the first being knitting. Now I remember learning how to knit when I was younger but it never really stuck. For some reason I have a strong desire to sit and spend hours knitting different creations. Courtesy of pinterest I have found a ton of patterns that I want to make. First I have to re-learn the basics so I am sticking to scarves at the moment.

Do you have any great patterns to share? What are your favourite winter hobbies?

December 6, 2013

Pumpkin Spice syrup recipe

As we head into the holiday season I start to crave all the warm and cozy food and drinks. One of my favourites and something I wait for every year for Starbucks to bring out is the pumpkin spice latte. Now going to Starbucks everyday sure adds up and really isn't budget friendly, but I always want to take advantage of the fact that they only keep this drink out for a limited time. This year I have a strict budget which really doesn't allow me to order these to often, so instead I decided to try and make the syrup at home so I could add it to my coffee whenever.

I decided to use the recipe from A Beautiful Mess which you can find here. They have all kinds of great recipes for every season.

You will need:

2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon or 4-5 cinnamon sticks 
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
a scant 1/2 teaspoon cloves 
4 heaping tablespoons pumpkin puree 

Combine all ingredients in a pot and stir over medium heat allowing the sugar time to dissolve. Let it continue to simmer for about 5-6 mins but be sure it doesn't start to boil. Strain the mixture to remove any unwanted chunks. Store in a container of your choosing. I put mine in a couple of mason jars and store it in the fridge. Its great to have on hand if I decide I want to add a bit of flavour to my morning latte.

If I really fill like going all out I add a bit of whip cream and some cinnamon sprinkled on top. Such a treat on a cold, dreary winter day.

December 5, 2013

Fortress of Louisbourg part two

I took far to many pictures to stick them all in one post so I thought I better split them up. I had a lot of fun wandering around all these buildings and reading all the little note cards about each artifact that had been found. So much history took place in this area that sometimes I swear I could feel the presence of spirits. Creepy I know. Jason took full advantage of this and managed to scare me a few times.

Apart from the constant fear of invasion I think it would have been a very charming place to live. The fortress prospered with all the fishing and trading that was taking place. The surrounding area is beautiful with hiking paths all around and view points looking out into the ocean.

The town of Louisbourg is a tiny little fishing village with a few boutique stores and restaurants. I am sure in the summer time it can be packed so I was really glad we decided to wait until the fall to go.

December 4, 2013

Wanderlust Wednesday - Banff, Alberta

Banff, Alberta

On a good day you could see the mountains from where I use to live in Calgary. It was one of the benefits of living there. Far away the mountains provide a great view. Up close they are breathtaking. Before we left for Australia, Jason and I took a few trips to the mountains to wander around and enjoy the holiday spirit of Banff and Canmore. 

December 3, 2013

Fortress of Louisbourg

The Fortress of Louisbourg is a National Historic Site of Canada located in Louisbourg, Cape Breton.  The original settlement was built by the French in 1713. The fortress was attacked twice by the British before being completely destroyed in the 1760's. Jason and I choose to spend our anniversary on October 16th touring around Louisbourg. As a kid I loved school field trips to any historical site so when I looked up this place I thought it would be perfect for a day trip. The weather was perfect and all the leaves had the beautiful fall colours.

After September it is considered off-season which means tickets were half price. Plus the entire time we were there, there was about 10 people in total so it was extremely peaceful and we took out time in each building really soaking up the atmosphere.

December 2, 2013

PopBasic Rubi collection

            A while ago I entered a giveaway that the lovely Vanisha over at Vanisha's Life in Australia and PopBasic were hosting. I absolutely love all the collections that PopBasic have come out with so I was thrilled to learn that I had won the Rubi collection.

                             popbasic ruby collection

The dress is a soft material and is so cozy. My favourite thing about this collection is the necklace. It dresses up anything that you pair it with and I instantly feel put together. This outfit is quickly becoming my go to when I want something quick but fashionable to go out in.

If you interested in learning more about PopBasic and their collections, head on over here.
I am really excited to see what they come out with for their next collection.

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