October 31, 2013

All Hallows Eve

There is something immensely spooky about Halloween that has always stuck with me. Maybe its because I watched far to many scary movies when I was younger and certain things can not be forgotten. My favourite were Beatle Juice and Hocus Pocus. Anyone remember Sara Jessica Parker in Hocus Pocus? Well, she was pretty freaky. Maybe its because we use to dare each other to enter the grave yards late at night and see who could stay in there, all alone the longest. I swear I heard things rustling around right behind me.

How about doing a seance in the middle of said grave yard after seeing it on one to many movies and thinking it would be a good idea. Yup this girl has done that. Or the many scary games you could play guaranteeing you nightmares for weeks. Bloody Mary anyone?

Tonight we have decided to take it easy and stay in. This year we help Jason's mom decorate the house, she likes to go all out. We will be watching all the little kids parade around the neighbourhood and seeing how many poor souls we can scare the crap out of. What are your plans for tonight?

Before I leave you I just wanted to share this amazingly funny video that Jason posted on Facebook the other day. Its just to good to pass up.

October 30, 2013

Wanderlust Wednesday - Glow worm caves New Zealand

Glow worm caves, New Zealand

Isn't this spectacular. Jason and I had planned to take a tour in Australia that had included a chance to check out some glow worm caves but for some reason we never got around to booking it. Sad times. So this is still on the bucket list but maybe when we decide to make a trip to New Zealand we can make sure that we do this first.

October 29, 2013

Pumpkins pumpkins everywhere

Every year Halloween is about three things. The costumes, the candy and of course the pumpkins. When I was younger I loved reaching in and grabbing the ewwy gooey insides. The feeling as it squeezed between my fingers. A whole lot of fun and a whole lot of mess. Carving pumpkins has always been a fun activity year after year and thanks to pinterest I have a ton of new ideas to try out.

So if you haven't all ready, pick up a pumpkin and let the carving begin. Here are a few designs to check out.

What did you carve this year?

October 28, 2013

Gillis Falls Cape Breton

Gillis Falls is about 20 mins away from Sydney Nova Scotia. There are no signs to tell you where to go or that you have arrived. Most people here about them via someone else. Its like a secret sanctuary that only a few know about, or at least I like to think that. You can here the sounds of the water crashing from the side of the road. Letting the sound guide you you wind your way through trees and bushes leading further and further into the dense forest.

There is something so relaxing about the sound of waterfalls, do you agree? I could spent hours sitting here in my own little world listening. Jason immediately wanted to start fishing and actually caught a few, they were to small to keep though.

Since moving to Nova Scotia I have become a bit obsessed with waterfalls and am forever on the hunt for a new one to explore. Know of any good ones?

This little fishing lake wasn't far from the falls and Jason was dying to try out his new fly fishing rod.

I'm not going to lie, I spent most of my time running around trying to catch these cuties while Jason was busy trying out his new fly fishing rod.

We briefly stunned this guy by accident but it was long enough to take a quick picture before he flew off. I am still some what scared of dragonflies from a story my dad use to tell me when I was little. Some things just stay with you I guess.

October 25, 2013

The way travel changes you - Casey from We took the road less travelled

Today I have the lovely Casey from We took the road less travelled chatting about the ways her travel experiences have changed here. Casey is currently living in Germany with her wonderful army husband. I love hearing all about their many adventures and life living as an expat in Germany.

In what ways has traveling the world fundamentally changed me? Or has it at all? Sure, coming home from a fabulous weekend exploring France can alter your perspective for a while, but does a trip like that really change who I am? Or is that spark just the feel-good glow of a weekend exploring Paris? I've spent a lot of time thinking about my life in Germanyand all the traveling I've done since moving here just 2 short years ago. While reminiscing, I've gleaned that I have, indeed, changed because of travel. In some ways, monumentally, in others, just a fraction...but all in all I suppose travel has made me a better, well-rounded individual.
And here's why

1| Travel challenges your attachment to things. 
After spending two weeks living out of a suitcase, rotating through the same 2 pairs of shoes and blue jeans, you realize you're capable of living differently. Most of the time with less that you're used to. Suddenly, that fancy coffee maker you impatiently hover over each morning doesn't seem to matter as much. You adapt, you change, and you learn to love coffee from the hotel lobby or the quirky coffee shop down the street in whatever city you find yourself in that day. While the want for luxuries will still be there (we are only human, after all), with travel you can find happiness in simplicity and are often intrigued by the challenge of making due with a more minimalistic lifestyle. Or a Starbucks-less existence.

2| Travel cultivates a sense of wonder and curiosity. 
There's something about submerging yourself in a unfamiliar place that evokes a curious nature within yourself. Instead of gravitating towards the usual, you find yourself drawn to the unusual...the things you don't often see or experience. Curiosity "kills the cat," as they say, but with travel, it's different. Marveling at the world through curious eyes tends to breed bravery. Bravery to dance in the streets of Barcelona, daringness to try new foods in Thailand, or even courage to ride a donkey up the cobblestone hills of Santorini. Whatever the case may be, traveling gives way to wonder and investigation, and often produces some of the most memorable traveling adventures of your life.

3| Travel tests your relationships. 
There is no truer test of compatibility than traveling with a loved one. Sharing tight quarters and raggedy suitcases, deciding where to eat between two differing palates, deciphering city maps while simultaneously pulling your hair out...all these things not only contribute to learning what kind of person you are, but what kind of person you enjoy being around in the midst of stressful situations. I think all newly engaged couples should embark on a 2 week traveling adventure to really test the bonds of love. I imagine we'd have fewer divorces this way! Luckily, my husband has proved to be the best travel companion in the world, and traveling without him is utterly unbearable at times. It's true what they say, experiencing the world with someone you love, who balances you, just adds to the wonder of traveling.

4| Travel can humble you. 
Recently, I've noticed that there are very few situations in life that are truly awe-inspiring. When I sit down and think about those specific moments in my own life, I realize how lucky I really am. At 26-years-old, I've experienced more while traveling than most people do in their entire lives. I can still remember how small I felt while standing underneath the Eiffel Tower...the overflowing joy I experienced while watching the New Year's Eve fireworks explode over Germany...or how insignificant my problems seemed while standing before the concentration camp gates of Dachau. All of these experiences combined in one giant piece of humble pie make me grateful for the life God has blessed me with.

5| Travel can renew your faith in humanity. 
I had a really crummy job back when I was living stateside. I worked for the government, in a program closely related to welfare, and it jaded me. Watching greedy, apathetic people ride the system, gleaning money away from hardworking taxpayers day in and day out left me with a skewed view of society...one that took moving to a foreign country and experiencing other cultures to realign again. Traveling around the world has opened my eyes to see that people are inherently good. While some don't always make great choices in the life they're living, others can't help the hand they've been dealt. Those that are humble, good-natured, and kind always seem to make themselves known to me while traveling, taking me aback and reminding me that the good and hardworking infinitely outweigh the evil and lackadaisical. Instead of always noticing the negative in people, I've learned to accentuate the positive and love everyone unconditionally.
Never wonder if travel is worth it. 

  Go, see, and explore, my friends. Let the world change you. 

October 24, 2013

Everything pumpkin

October is the month of pumpkins. Everywhere you look you see those giant orange vegetables stacked up in neat piles just begging to be chosen. Pumpkin becomes the main theme of foods, drinks, diy and pretty much anything else you could think of. Lately on pinterest it has been nothing but pumpkins.
Check out this recipe for pumpkin donuts or this one for pumpkin pie smoothy.

But what about the fantastic benefits of pumpkin for your skin, thats right I suggested using this delicious ingredient on your face and heres why:

- Pumpkin is packed full of vitamins such as vitamin A which softens and gently exfoliates skin. Vitamin E for moisture.
- Antioxidants that fight against the signs of ageing and free radicals.
- If you suffer from breakouts or full on acne pumpkin has been known to fight inflammation, reduce excess oil and help prevent further breakouts.

We are currently using pumpkin in several treatments at the spa I work at. I love using it especially during a facial. The results for my clients after only one treatment are amazing. We use pure pumpkin puree as the mask during our facials. You can try it like that or try this homemade mask recipe I found via pinterest.

Have you discovered any delicious pumpkin recipes lately?

October 23, 2013

Wanderlust Wednesday - The rainbow tree

Rainbow Tree

This type of eucalyptus tree grows in the Maui rainforests. As the bark peels away it reveals all kinds of different colours underneath. How neat it would be to see this in real life.

Has anyone every seen anything like this before?

October 22, 2013

boys will be boys

The majority of our time in August was spent on the beach. It was great, especially since Jason hadn't been back home in the summer for all most eight years. We made the most of the great weather and spent most days relaxing on the beach, reading, writing, taking lots of pictures. Occasionally we were joined by his brother and nephew or a few friends.

After swimming, snorkelling and collecting cohags the boys decided to force one person into the sand and create a sculpture around him. It took a couple of hours and this is the result.

Looking at these pictures I can't believe that this was two months ago all ready. Where does the time go.

This is how I spent most of my time. Catching up on my reading and collecting shells.

Jason found these flowers in the water. They must have fallen out of one of the passing boats. I happily accepted them regardless of where they came from.

October 18, 2013

The way travel changes you - Leana from Australiana

Today on the blog I have the beautiful Leana from Australeana talking about how travel has changed her. Leana is a Canadian Expat currently living in Australia. We met when Jason and I were looking for a room to rent while we were in Brisbane. Not only was she a wonderful housemate but she became a great friend. I am so excited for her to be a guest today.

After living in the same part of the world (Ottawa, Ontario area) for my entire 25 years on the planet, I was more than ready for adventure to come my way. I missed having a gap year, didn’t go away to another city for university, and my recent experiences of travel were road trips to Montreal and Toronto. So...when the chance for a massive change came along, well – go big or go home!

At the beginning of January 2009, I boarded a flight in Ottawa that would take me to my new home for the next four years – Brisbane, Australia. I was newly married, and my husband was starting medical school at the University of Queensland. The plan was to complete the four years and head back home after an exciting and memorable experience. Now, almost five years later (living in Adelaide, South Australia) I suppose we should have guessed that we’d fall under Australia’s spell. We both had the amazing opportunity to study in Brisbane and I now have my dream job as a speech pathologist working in the field of rehabilitation and aged care because of this. Careers aren’t the only thing we’ve gained, however. Living in a new country made me really want to get out and explore everything it had to offer. 

I’ve been to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Cairns, and a zillion places in between. I’ve been to remote desert areas and the Queensland outback. I’ve explored some of the world’s best wine regions – the Hunter Valley, the Barossa Valley, and the Clare Valley, just to name a few. I have driven the Great Ocean Road. I spent two months in New Zealand driving around the South Island and undergoing a student placement at a rehabilitation hospital in Auckland. We packed up our Subaru and drove 2000+ kilometres from Brisbane to Adelaide to start a new life, with grown up jobs! Earlier this year we took the same trusty Subaru along the Oodnadatta track, an unsealed outback road. We camped beside natural hot springs, drove to Uluru, and spent a night in an underground hotel in Coober Pedy. There are still countless areas of Australia I’d like to see. 

I’ve been talking about places, but I also need to mention the wonderful people I’ve met along the way: my beloved Australian friends, who have made me feel so welcome and have made this feel like a second home to me. The friends in Brisbane who invited us to spend Christmas and other holidays with their families. The fabulous girlfriends I’ve made, who I know I’ll stay in touch with wherever life takes us. Other Canadians who have made this country their home for a time, one of them being Kayleigh from this blog, who I was lucky enough to live with for a couple of months last year. The new friends here in Adelaide, who have made adjusting to the move much easier than expected. People who have inspired me, who I’ve laughed with, travelled with, and learned from. 

Whatever happens, however long we end up staying in Australia and whatever it is we end up doing next, this experience has changed me indefinitely. I will always want to explore, travel, meet people, learn, grow and enjoy life. Whether it’s camping an hour away from home, or flying across the world, I want to see new places! If we do return to Canada, I want to give my home country the same thorough exploration that I’ve given Australia. There is so much do see and do in every part of the world, and I’ve only just begun.

If you would like to learn more about my travels and life here in Australia, visit my blog Australeana here.

October 16, 2013

Wanderlust Wednesday - Beachy Head

Beachy Head, England

How neat would it be to stand on the edge of this cliff and look out into the clouds. Nothing else surrounding you at all. What peace and freedom you would feel. I imagine myself standing out there screaming at the top of my lungs, just because I could.

PS. Its our 3rd anniversary today, we are off to explore, hike and take lots of pictures. Lets hope this good weather holds for the entire day.

October 14, 2013

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Hope you are spending this fine Monday with the people that you love.
Thanksgiving is a day for comfort food, way to many servings of pumpkin pie, good conversations, being with the people you love and of course remembering all the thinks in your life that you are thankful for.

This holiday season I am thankful for:

- Conversations with far away friends that remind me no matter how far away you are, true friendships will always last.
- A man who always manages to put a smile on my face
- Memories of all the wonderful Thanksgiving meals I have shared with my family
- An amazing apple cider recipe that I found and am dying to try out
- Many cozy nights spent at home watching movies

What are you thankful for?

October 11, 2013

The way travel changes you - Mimi Love and Life in Nicosia

Continuing the new series I started last week. How travel changes us, I decided to invite bloggers from around the world to write about how travel has made an impact on their lives. I am always intrigued how much our surroundings and experiences in different cultures effect us.
Today we have the wonderful Mimi from Love and Life in Nicosia. Head on over to her wonderful blog to learn more here.

When Kayleigh asked me to write something for this series about how travel has changed you, I jumped straight in with both feet. And then I sat down to write and nothing came out......which made me think. Has travel changed me? Until now I had not thought long and hard about the person I was and the person I am. 

But whether you realise it or not, the environment, culture and climate your in at any one time is without a doubt going to have an impact on you. 

I adopted expat status since I moved to Cyprus in 2010, so I am now going to ramble on about the impact of travel/re-location/living in another country. 

I had lived in London my entire life; all 22 years of it. And I was bored of it. But it is my nature to be cautious, organised and calculated and it had never really occurred to me that the future didn’t have to mean staying in London. I think part of the reason for this attitude was due to anxiety; forcing myself out of my comfort zone and into the unknown was pretty daunting. 

But making the leap is just the beginning. And looking back now I think this must have been the turning point. The point where I, to use the over-used expression, found my wings. Proving to myself that, despite being fiercely independent from a young age, I could stand on my own two feet in another country, really brought out a confidence in me that I never knew I had. Ok, I hopped from one island to another with the long term boyfriend, who's family live in Cyprus, so we had a support network, but never-the-less the, I left my family and friends behind for what was effectively the unknown.  

I also saw a weather related change in myself. It is no secret that I hate rain. I like cold and the rare crisp days that London sometimes offered, but mostly the rain just put me in one big bad mood. The sunshine that flooded my system as soon as I stepped off the plane in Cyprus somewhat erased the depression instantly. No matter what you are feeling inside, walking out in the sunshine heals a lot of internal turmoil. I think it's the vitamin d. Although after months of near 40 degree temperatures, I think I am overdosing on the vitamin d and it is having a counter-active effect. 

Embracing another culture so different from your own can be a challenge. No one ever says travelling or relocating is going to be easy. You have to accept the differences and jump into them, soaking up the experiences they will bring. And you have to be prepared to embrace your alone time and develop somewhat of a hard skin; every time I see pictures of friends on Facebook I get a little homesick and almost angry at myself that I am missing out. 

But you make a decision to leave and you have to see it through because as hard as it is, living in another country is an experience that you will never forget. Even if there are many dark days, the long lasting effects on your personal development (which you might not be aware of at the time) are positive beyond belief. 

I have lived and worked in a country so opposite to England for nearly 3 years. My confidence has soared, I have become a more relaxed individual, I have made great friends and I have sort-of learnt a second language. So has travel changed me? Yes, it seems so. 

If you would like to know more about me or my life in Cyprus, head on over here.

October 9, 2013

Wanderlust Wednesday - Prague

Prague, Czech Republic

I have been to Prague before but I would love to go back. I spent about four days exploring the city but it wasn't nearly enough. It would be great to take Jason here and experience it all over again.

October 8, 2013

When life gives you lemons

You make a really strong vodka lemonade and contemplate all the things that seem to be going wrong in life and how to stay positive. I am, most of the time a glass half full kind of person. But lately things seem to be affecting me more then usually and I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders so to speak.

So when I feel like this I embrace it, I allow myself the time to be in this funk. Everyone needs a day, a week or a month to themselves. To get over the negative and make a plan. To except the things that you cannot change, but be grateful for all the good that still remains. I cannot pinpoint exactly one thing that has put me in this mood. Lets just say its a million little things that keep adding up. That I have tried to push down and not think about, they have all just come crashing back to the surface on one particular bad day that I was having and I can no longer ignore them.

It is a week of hiding away from the world. Watching movies and drinking copious amounts of coffee to try and cheer myself up. Snuggling in Jason's arms. Cause even though I don't want to talk about it, he knows exactly what I need.

What do you do to lift yourself out of a funk?

October 7, 2013

Music for your Monday

Monday is my least favourite day, I am sure there are a few of you out there that can say the same. So to get us all relaxed and ready to conquer the rest of the week I created a playlist to listen to.

I hope you enjoy.

October 4, 2013

The way travel changed me - A series

With a new months comes a new series, a topic that I am very passionate about, travel. I think it is inevitable that if your a person such as myself and love to travel, you will find that with each new place you explore you discover a bit more about yourself. Over the next couple of weeks I have asked various bloggers to share their stories about travelling, but first here is my story.

The way travel has changed me

I think that its impossible not to change if you travel. I firmly believe that I would be a completely different person if I hadn't grown up traveling. I grew up in an army family with two sisters. All three of us were born in different Countries and every couple of years we moved to a different place and started our lives all over. Now some of you might think that this must of sucked, but for me it was great. Each place we went to I got to reinvent myself. If I didn't like something about myself or wanted to try something new I was free to do it because no one knew me. I became really good at making new friends and adapting well to new situations. Travel was very much apart of my life even in these early years. I might not have been so adventurous had I not grown up with this lifestyle.

I discovered who I was at a time that I felt so lost. I know it sounds so completely cliche but I learn't who I was and what I wanted out of life through travel. At the age of 22 when I packed up everything and traveled across Europe, I began to see the kind of life I wanted for myself and who I wanted to spend it with. At the age of 26 Jason and I took of for a year to Australia and we were able to create deeper and more meaningful relationship together. You truly find out if your relationship is meant to last when you spend every single day together for a year in a foreign Country. Taking that year off also allowed me to step back and really think about the direction I wanted my career to take.

Steps in the Vatican

I have developed the most wonderful friendships with people that I met along my travels. People I never would have met if I had just stayed in one place. Thanks to social media it is so easy to stay in touch with these friends and continue to make plans to meet up again. Becoming friends with people from all around the world opens you up to all kinds of ways to live your life. Often you meet people that have also chosen the road less taken and you find yourself chatting about places you have been and  swapping tips about where to go next.

I met these two on an Octoberfest tour

I am absolutely fascinated with the world and what it has to offer me. I don't think I will ever quit traveling. My bucket list is never ending and keeps growing every time I read someones post about a new place they went to. I am never happier then when I am exploring a destination, planning a trip or packing up and moving to a new place. Its not always easy, I miss my family like crazy when I am away from them. Sometimes its frustrating to be in a different culture and not fully understand the customs. But I wouldn't trade any of my experiences I have had over the years. I fully embrace both the good and the bad that comes with having a gypsy soul.

I hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about my life.

How has travel changed you?

October 2, 2013

Wanderlust Wednesday - Fingal's sea cave

Fingal's sea cave, Scotland

Lets add this to the list of things to see on a trip to Scotland. I think caves are fascinating so any chance to explore them is great. Look how green the water seems.

October 1, 2013

A taste of fall

Its the first day of October and fall has officially swooped in and taken over. It feels like the seasons changed in a blink. One minute its scorching hot and I spend every minute at the beach, the next I am pulling out those cozy sweaters that were buried deep in my closet.

The leaves have only just started to change colours but its that smell that gives it away, the change in the air. I love fall, its so comforting and cozy. After all the craziness of summer its time to sit back, relax and take time for ourselves.
October is one of my favourite months. Mostly because I can have all the pumpkin spice latte's I want, and believe me I could drink them all day. Its also the month I bring out all the tights and thigh high socks. Anyone else happy that thigh high socks are coming back into fashion, this girl sure is. We also have amazing colours, pumpkins, halloween and thanksgiving.

I have lots of posts planned for October, an exciting new series, a little in site into what life has been like for me lately, things I have planned for the next few months. I might just share my attempts at cooking, if anything turns out that is.

What are your plans for October?

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