A week in paradise. Bali truly is a beautiful place to visit, the nature and culture is something you will never forget. We got a fair amount of sightseeing in before our departure but I can see why people come for weeks or even months! There are a few places I would have liked to see, had time been on our side but I am going to reflect on a few of the things we did get to check out.
Since we had spent over 21 hours on 4 different airplanes to get to Bali, we used our first day to just relax at our villa in the Kuta area. We had breakfast at the hotel and lounged poolside and during the day we went for a stroll around the surrounding blocks to get a feel for the area. We ended up being a lot closer to major shopping and dining that we initially thought, which was a nice surprise.
For our first day of exploring we decided to have a day at Waterbom Park Bali (Asia's best waterpark, if that makes it sound even cooler). Me and Ryan figured we would be the only adults there amongst a bunch of kids but we actually saw more couples that were into their 30's, 40's and 50's there than children! We also travelled to Indonesia right before it hits high season, so to our advantage, we barely had to wait in lines! I really recommend this place for anybody who is into having some fun, my favourite part was most definitely the lazy river. Lives up to it's name as I'm pretty sure we went around it at least 12 times! Unfortunately we didn't have our Gopro with us so we couldn't snap any pictures of the cool slides..
One of the top things I wanted to check out in Bali was the abandoned airplane! You are probably wondering why? I can't explain it, It's just something that I knew I wanted to see. We had a private car and driver rented for the whole day and I'm glad we did because I don't know how we would have gotten to this place without him! It's not in a busy area and taxi's are hard to come by but it's a neat sight to see. If you research this online you'll find out that no one is entirely sure on why the owner brought it here. There are rumours floating around that he wanted to turn it into a bigger tourist attraction / restaurant, others say he was going to convert it into his home. I guess it'll forever be a mystery.
The area that the Uluwatu Temple sits is breathtaking. You are so high up and feel like you're on the edge of the world just looking at endless ocean. We walked around and then sat at the cliffside amphitheatre for a sunset Kecak Fire Dance. Listening to the chanting and the waves crashing against the rock puts you in a trance. It was an amazing experience seeing a traditional dance and performance.
Ubud Monkey Forest. A unique experience that I never thought I would be able to do. The little monkeys are adorable however it's the big ones that made me nervous! There are over 600 monkeys there currently of all ages, they just roam the forest while the public can take a stroll through it and even feed them! (Which we did, obviously). Just remember, these are free roaming monkeys, they are unpredictable so follow the rules posted on signs there and if I can give one piece of advice, do NOT sit under a tall tree without ensuring a monkey isn't up above you somewhere unless you want to get peed on (like I did).
For the second half of our trip we stayed in Seminyak, I ended up liking this area a little better than right in Kuta. One night we decided to treat ourselves, get dressed up and go to the Woobar at the W Hotel. It's not a cheap eat but with a hookah, cocktail and being right on the ocean to watch the sunset, it was so worth it. It get's very busy there so either have a reservation or come early enough before the sunset that everyone hasn't made their way over to the bar yet.
I find it funny that I've been scuba diving before but i've never done snorkelling! We got booked with a tour through our hotel and it ended up being really great value. It included a driver to take us, what ended up being a private speed boat, 2 hrs of snorkelling in 2 locations and a lunch. The current was quite strong so we had to keep checking our surroundings to make sure we weren't floating too far off course. There were so many kinds of fish and we were lucky enough to see a sea turtle float on by!
Tegenungan Waterfall was next on the bucket list of the places we wanted to see. We had limited time to see one but still spent about 2 hours here. It got pretty crowded and the current was quite strong once you were fully submerged in the water but it was so refreshing with the 33 degree weather. Just a warning at this location, there are lots of steep stairs to get back up to the parking lot so take care! On the plus side, there are little stores selling ice cream at the entrance as a reward!
I think Bali is a place everyone should travel to once in their lifetime if they have the chance. If we are to ever find ourselves back there I would love to explore the volcano and the surrounding area as well as check out the rice terraces. If you've been to Bali what was your favourite thing to see?
Where is the next place on your bucket list to travel to?
It's Earth Day! It's 2017, climate change is definitely a thing whether you want to believe it or not. I am all about learning how we can make adjustments to be able to protect the planet we call home.
I know for a lot of people, it can be daunting, there's always new things popping up everyday saying it's bad for the environment. It only makes sense considering the population, technology as well as everyday living is advancing. There are so many ways to lower our emissions but I will share with you some of the most simple and basic ones that are so easy to incorporate into daily living without giving it a second thought breaking it down into different areas of the home (And the ones I use myself!)
|| GET RID OF THE PLASTIC BOTTLE : This is my biggest pet peeve. If you're lucky enough to live in a country or city that has safe drinking water why do you need to invest in bottles. It's proven that most bottles never get recycled. Use a Brita filter or boil the water and then place in the fridge. (Yes, I know heating the water requires energy but it's better than millions of plastic bottles corrupting the oceans or landfills.
|| BUY LOCAL : Support your local community by purchasing foods grown in your country. There will be less emissions going from truck to warehouse, to plane, to truck again and so on. Plus you are supporting the local economy and family businesses by going to the farmers markets.
|| LESS PACKAGING : Try and stay clear of foods that have unneccesary packaging. All it does is end up in the landfill. Try avoid grabbing extra plastic bags to put your produce in by purchasing reusable produce bags that can be placed in the washing machine. This small act can help a lot.
|| UNPLUG EXTRA APPLIANCES : Just because your toaster or kettle aren't being used, it doesn't mean that it isn't using electricity, unplug them unless you use them everyday (this goes for any appliances in your home!)
|| USE THE DISHWASHER ONLY FOR FULL LOADS : This one should make sense, if you need stuff right away, just hand wash.
|| DITCH THE PLASTIC : Use paper cups and plates if you absolutely have to, this way at least they can be recycled and turned into other paper products. Plastic just creates toxic chemicals and doesn't break down like paper does. While you're on this note, purchase reusable bags ! They're sturdier anyways and pay for themselves very fast!
|| RECYCLE : This is a huge one. I purchased a 2 in 1 recycling bin from Home Depot for our kitchen and became familiar with all the recycling symbols and rules for my local city. It's amazing what you start to recycle that you may not have before because you have a proper place for it to go. Also collect your bottles and take them in for a refund, this can be a great option for kids to earn their allowance !
Bathroom & Laundry Room :
|| TURN OFF THE WATER : When you're brushing teeth, gargling mouthwash, turn the tap off. You aren't using that water so it's going to waste. Think, the amount of water you've wasted could've gone to fill up your sink to wash some dishes or be drinking and cooking water.
|| EFFICIENT SHOWER HEAD : When our old shower head started leaking constantly we purchased a new one that is more eco friendly. It has good pressure but uses 20% less water than the average shower head.
|| RECYCLED TOILET PAPER : I started only buying recycled toilet paper and paper towel! So many trees can be saved every year if we all switched to recycled.
|| GREEN CLEANING PRODUCTS : So many companies are starting to come out with cleaners that are safer not only for you and your children but for the environment too. Lots of large name brands use harsh chemicals in their products which isn't safe for you to breathe in but can damage the eco system and the water ways. "Green" cleaning products are just as affordable as all the other products out there!
|| COLD WASHING MACHINE TEMP : When you throw in your clothes to wash, do it on a cold cycle. You use less energy as you are not having to heat the water.
Bedroom & Living Room :
|| BUY SECONDHAND : Everything takes energy, water and other factors to make. Using second hand prevents items being made in excess as well as keeping it out of the landfill for as long as possible. Many people often throw things in the garbage if they're done with it, get in to the habit of donating. It's a great feeling giving back when you can!
|| TURN LIGHTS OFF : The most basic one that we are taught as kids, if you're done in a room, turn the lights off. If you are able to, keep the curtains and blinds open during the day and refrain from turning lights on until the evening when it starts to get dark out.
|| WEAR LAYERS : Instead of constantly changing the temperature for the house and racking up the heating bill, wear more layers or have an extra blanket on the bed at night. It helps to have animals who sleep in your bed for extra warmth :)
|| SWITCH TO LED & CFL : Switch your regular bulbs (once they burn out of course) to LED or CFL bulbs, these types of bulbs can last up to 25 times longer than a regular bulb and uses up to 80% less energy.
There are so many ways to be more eco friendly throughout the house, many I did not list because I could go on forever. Honestly, every little bit helps and I hope this can give anyone looking to be a little bit kinder to the environment, a sense of direction. These common practices are a great start and there's no time like the present time.
In honour of Earth Day, let me know what some of your ECO friendly practices in your house / lifestyle are in the comments.
All photographs in this article were taken by myself, please credit if you use..
I want to share with you all quotes that I like to live by. Some people find them cheesy but I think they can have powerful messages, be something to pick you up when you're feeling down or to inspire you. I'm just going to get straight into it!
I love this Marilyn Monroe quote so much I have it tattooed on my ribs. What you think is an end of the world situation is making room for the fact that something greater is in store for you.
My most important quote I will try my hardest to keep following. This is another thing I have tattooed as after getting diagnosed with MS in 2016, I wanted to get something to remind me to keep smiling no matter what happens (spelt as an MS pun of course).
Love this quote. Go out and explore other cultures, countries, your own city, create experiences and memories you can remember for the rest of your life!
What quotes do you live by or find inspiration from? Let's start a discussion, I'd love to hear some new ones!
As I continue minimizing my physical possessions and just sticking to what I actually need, I realized I should probably declutter my dresser. I watch Property Brothers all the time and other home renovation shows and think "next house we move to we need a bigger closet" or "how awesome would it be to convert a spare bedroom into a dreamy walk-in".
To be more earth friendly and have less stress in my mind, I have decided to only start buying better quality items. Clothes or shoes that last longer, human rights conscious and allowing me to reduce the chance of hundreds of items showing up in the landfill. Yes this means more expensive but realistically it's a better feeling knowing my favourite shirt could last years and it's better for the environment too!
The area that needed most organizing and downsizing was my dresser drawers. I always cram so much into them and never take the time to go through old clothes. I went from having drawers that barely shut and clothes being stored on the top, to everything being tucked away and I have space to spare!
The easiest way to free up space in your drawers is to not have more than you need to.
For Socks : Throw away ones that are missing the pair, even though you're pretty sure you saw the other one in the hamper (after a while, you probably realize It's most likely just the same sock). Socks with thinning spots, stretched ankles or just don't fit your feet, throw out. I always think about how often I wear socks on vacations and in between laundry cycles, I realistically don't need more than 14 pairs and that even seems like a lot, but I like knowing I have socks for 2 weeks travelling!
For Underwear : Chuck any underwear where seams are unravelling, underwear is thinning out, too tight or too loose and ones you don't find comfortable so therefore don't wear. I threw away 18 pairs! It has completely freed up space significantly. When you wear a good pair of comfy undergarments it makes your day just so much better.
For Bras : Throw away ones when the padding in the cup starts to become misshaped, ones where the sides are too tight, the clasps at the back are broken or the wire keeps poking you in the side! I have exactly what I need, a white one and neutral one, a strapless white one and then a couple of different colours. Make sure you have at least one for all kinds of clothing you own. I also am loving bralette's right now! Bonus : They take up no space. I have gone down to 9 bras from 16.
I also was able to clear enough space for all the "extra" items to be in this drawer. The spandex shapers, "chicken cutlet" bra and two pairs of tights.
The middle drawer is where you can keep all your shirts. Left side can be designated for work out tops (like I do), middle for tanks and shirts for layering and then the far right of the drawer you can allocate for regular T-shirts. Any shirt that has a hole, the graphics are peeling or fading (unless that's the look) or threads are pulling, throw it out. I realized I had 4 of the same type of black shirt, which is so unneccesary so I put the extra in a bag for donations.
The bottom drawer, store workout pants/leggings, sweatpants and pyjama's. I donated a few pairs that I no longer wear in each of these categories. I usually just wear t-shirts and sweats to bed but I have matching sleepwear sets for the colder months, they're a little thicker.
If you're looking for a rustic style dresser like this one, it's from Wayfair! Just this dresser alone automatically gets you to free shipping! I have already gotten a couple pieces from Wayfair and I am not disappointed! We love our new furniture.
You can find any kind of drawer organizers, if you don't want any that break the bank I have some from IKEA that work great.
I have been loving decluttering my closet and I am not done yet! There's always more. What do you prefer... A small closet with what you need and look great in, or a closet the size of your bedroom so you can keep adding to your wardrobe?
If you live in Saskatoon like me, you probably assumed winter may be done with since the snow had almost fully disappeared (no? just me?). When the sidewalks are almost all cleared, the roads are dry I find myself speaking encouraging words to the universe :
"You can do it Mr. Sun, the snow is almost gone!"
"Let's not get under the freezing level tonight!"
We got a dump of snow over Saturday night into Sunday morning and during the day, I'm not the biggest fan of snow, although it is beautiful when it sparkles in the sunlight. Evening is a different story, It's the perfect time to relax and snuggle the dogs, they're very important to complete the vibe for the evening. Enjoy the warmth of your home, some snacks and looking at the snow from the inside.
Here's how I have a cozy night in!
Turn on your scent warmer and light a few candles !
Get my new favourite series lined up on Netflix.
Get a cup of tea and a couple of treats to snack on. There may be wine in this cup, however I cannot confirm or deny (you'll never know!)
Thick fuzzy socks and my gypsy style pants from Vietnam.
Last but not least, my "puppers", no night is complete without a snuggle or two!
I love my lazy evenings, there's nothing better!
Nighty Night Tea (one of my faves) : https://well.ca/products/traditional-medicinals-organic_88267.html
Okay, I'm going to get back to my show! How do you relax on a snowy or rainy night?
Christmas Morning 2016, I said yes to marrying the greatest guy and for the rest of the day I was on cloud nine! Once the tears stopped flowing we quickly called all our close friends and family to tell them of the exciting news! After the initial shock subsided I thought to myself "So we're engaged, now what?". What is the next step ?
There are now so many things to think about, date, location, colour scheme, the list goes on. My brain was rushing a million miles an hour about everything. Being almost 8 weeks later, here is what I have accomplished so far and what everyone should do as soon as possible!
|| Get Ring Resized : I went the next day to take my ring in to be sized as it was too big. My proposal ring was a 6 1/2 and I needed a 4 1/4 (he didn't want to take any rings I wear incase I became suspicious) so I needed a new ring as resizing it that much would compromise the structure.
|| Insure The Ring : This is very important, you want to make sure you have coverage for it to be replaced should something happen to it --Knock on Wood--. My ring didn't come with an appraisal at the time of purchase so we had to send out the "new" ring to get this done which took 3 weeks.
|| Pick Up Wedding Magazines / Books : This was to kick things off for me, Start getting some inspiration for dress ideas, bridal party outfits etc. I also finally created a Pinterest Board to save more wedding ideas, but I have it set to a secret board because I want it to be somewhat of a surprise for guests who are also on Pinterest!
|| Go Out To Dinner With Just Us Two To Celebrate : Once family left for the holidays we treated ourselves to a nice dinner out to celebrate us! Our first date night as a newly engaged couple.
|| Buy A Wedding Planning Binder : This is the greatest purchase I have made so far I think in my life! It's from The Knot and It has checklists all set up for you, budget planning pages, appointment keeper, invitation examples and so much more! If you are interested in me doing a review on the one I purchased, let me know!
|| Decide On A Location : At first, this is what stressed me out the most. Between the 2 of us we have family spread across 5 provinces and a few overseas. Over a couple of weeks we looked at pro's and con's of each city and made a definite answer. Once we decided on location, it started to feel even more real.
|| Draft A Guest List : This is important because it will determine the types of venues we look at. Once I have an idea, I look at locations that can host that many people.
|| Finalize Colour Scheme : Pinterest was my best friend during this time. It was pretty much love at first sight for our colour scheme, and I'm the kind of person who likes lots of colours, so it'll all be incorporated in some way.
|| Plan Trip To Shop Venues : I have planned a week to head out to Vancouver to check out ceremony and reception venues. I have spent the last few weeks getting pricing and other info from each place and arranging viewing appointments. It's going to be a busy visit but once location is locked in, it's full steam ahead.
|| Decide On Bridal Party : This takes longer when everyone lives all over the place but we will get to them when the time is right!
|| Dress Shop : I've been binge watching Say Yes to The Dress! Trying to confirm what I do and do not like. I've got an idea in my head of the style and shape of a dress I want. I know that many times you go in thinking you want one thing but realize it doesn't look right so you end up with something completely different.. I have a feeling this will be my fate.
I would say I've made decent progress so far. It seems like it's years away but venues in Vancouver book fast and I need to make sure we can get in! Plus I am looking forward to deciding on a place so it sets the done for decorations and all the other details. Anyone out there with bride wisdom you can pass down to me ?
KUNG HEI FAT CHOI !
It seemed fitting with it being the Lunar New Year on January 28th to do a post on what I miss about living in Hong Kong! It never gets old, seeing the look on people's faces when they say "Wait, you grew up where?".
I am so grateful and blessed to have those experiences and to say I grew up in the greatest city in the world! A majority of the friends on my Facebook are people who I met in HK and I know it's home to all of us no matter where life took us after High School Graduation.
There are so many ways in which my life was so different growing up compared to people I know in Canada. I love sharing stories with my Fiancé, Ryan, about our childhoods because of the different types of memories we each have.
The most popular question I get is "So how was living in Japan?" Has that really changed for anyone? Half the time I ignore the "Japan" part and answer the question anyways because I've had one too many sarcastic comments made after I correct them. But the second most popular question I get is "what was that experience like?" Everyones curious to how my way of life out there was and it's fun for me to share because I take such pride of my time in Hong Kong.
I've been back in Canada for 5 and a half years, which is crazy to me. The time is going by way too fast ! Everyone can agree with me when I say "You can take a person out of Hong Kong but you can't take the Hong Kong out of a person". I know this because my house is decorated like I never left! When we moved into our most recent home I painted a red feature wall and created my HK wall. I know at least 95% of people have the "Lang Kwai Fong" sign, a staple in many dorms and apartments!
My HK island painting from Stanley Market hangs above the TV and year round I have my lantern hanging from the ceiling.
I tell everyone they need to visit Hong Kong at least once in their life. I get homesick all the time, why you ask?
|| The Transit System, hands down the best In the world. You'll never get lost, it's so easy to get around and if you miss a train or a bus one is not far behind. the MTR (underground train) is so clean and easy to figure out where to go. The ferry to take you from Kowloon Island to Hong Kong Island is equivalent to less than a dollar Canadian. The underground world in HK is so advanced you can pretty much get from point A to point B without even going outside, perfect for those stormy days!
|| The Food. There is no shortage of restaurants in the city whether you go for a fancier dinner in Soho or the outdoor food places at Temple Street Night Market. Cheap and delicious. There's something about enjoying a nice cold beer whilst watching people shop the stalls along the street. I also love the little food carts around the city, whether you want dumplings, bubble waffle or squid on a stick, it's an awesome snack on the go!
Garlic Prawns from Cheung Chau.. SO good.
|| The Smells. Whenever we had family come visit us from Canada as a kid, the aromas in the air would make some nauseated, like the Stinky Tofu in Mong Kok! You can tell who is nose blind to the smells and who isn't.
|| The Views. There is no doubt that the views no matter where you are in the city are breathtaking. You could be standing at the viewing deck at The Peak, overlooking HK Island or on the Avenue of Stars in Kowloon there's always something to see. I was lucky enough to live in an apartment that had an unobscured view of HK island from the 77th / 78th floor. Plus it's fun to see people's faces when they hear how high up we lived!
The view from every room in our house, this was the last picture I took with my cheap camera of the view before we moved back to Canada.
|| Convenience. You are never in a place where you can't access anything quickly. I lived above Elements Mall in Tsim Sha Tsui and if I wanted a Mc Donalds ice cream, a starbucks or even wanted to see a late night movie in my Pyjama pants, all I had to do was go down in an elevator and I'm there! Not to mention there was the train station and bus depot there too!
|| Hustle and Bustle. The city is constantly on the go, streets are filled with thousands of people late into the night, Everything is usually open till 11pm-12am. I also like the anonymity of being out and about. Sometimes you just want your peace and quiet which seems impossible with all the street noise, but once you plug in some headphones and jam out to tunes you're in your own little zone.
|| Nightlife. Hong Kong has a fantastic nightlife, whether you're out on a Wednesday evening for wine with friends or in Lang Kwai Fong-Wan Chai for an all nighter, there's never a shortage of places to go. I truly miss the days of buying cheap Smirnoff Ice from the 7/11, downing that and then going to the bar for dancing! The fact that growing up people would start going to the bars at 14 / 15 is comical compared to the strict laws in Canada.
|| Exploring. There is never nothing to see. Whether you want to walk to through the markets scattered all over the city for some cheap shopping with air conditioning water dripping on your from above or you want to go for hikes on the outlying islands. It's amazing when you get out to the mountains you think you're on another planet. It's so peaceful and quiet and it really allows you to disconnect from the busy city. The amount of walking everyone does on a daily, keeps you healthy which is a nice bonus. We loved to just hop on a double decker bus and ride it till the end of the line and back to see all the lights at night.
Veggie and Fruit stall in Kowloon
|| Lights. At 8pm along the harbour (or from our living room) we would watch the light and laser show. Thousands of buildings light up the night sky and during CNY and Christmas, the city goes all out with decorating all the buildings. It really is magical.
|| Travel Opportunities. There are so many options for travel being situated where we were. Getting to other Asian countries for a tropical vacation was easy, cheap and incredible and I am so lucky I was able to see as much as I did!
I find myself constantly reminiscing on old times and scrolling through the thousands of pictures I've taken throughout my years there. If you stuck with me and read till now thank you! Happy Year of the Rooster, I wish you all a healthy, happy and prosperous new year. If you don't already have HK listed on your places to travel, I leave you with a time lapse video that leaves me speechless shot by Krill Neiezhmakov. ENJOY !
I would be shocked if you haven't heard of the term "minimalist", the new lifestyle currently trending. Some people are for it, many are not. I used to think it was just about getting rid of all your stuff, to declutter the home, but it's more than that. When you declutter your space, reside in a moderate size square foot home and live within your means, you not only have less to clean, have lower bills to pay, but we also become more aware of what is going on around us. The Minimalist confirmed what I've been trying to tell myself over the last few months.
We are in a day and age where we are made to think that having more stuff in our homes, in our fridge or the newest model iPhone means that we hold a higher status amongst our peers, that we are happy. Truth is though, none of these things matter. Physical objects shouldn't dictate our happiness, but we let them. Like this documentary states, we get trapped in the mindset of "I hope I can one day be making 150k a year so I can afford X". There was a woman on this documentary who was diagnosed with MS and what she said really related to me. It was right at my time of diagnosis where I officially changed my mind set, greener living, healthier eating, exercising more and living with less and I promised I would do my best to continue down this path. But it shouldn't take a diagnosis or stressful event in our lives to realize we need to take care of ourselves.
I have never been Black Friday shopping because people turn into consumer monsters. Shoving, fighting, yelling, just to get an item that you probably wouldn't have purchased any other time of the year. It's not worth it, I don't need an item that bad! Yeah you can get great deals on items, but that just proves how high products are marked up for retail.
All stores are interested in is money and profit so that's exactly what their marketing is aimed at. Making you feel like you can't live without something so you go and buy it, use it a few times then it sits on a shelf or cupboard for years. I know because I used to be that way. Well no more, I have been going through a lot of our belongings and seeing what we can sell or donate. With the more stuff you own, the easiest option when you're done with it is to just throw it in the garbage, but landfills are overflowing and there are items that could easily be used for many years to come, we need to waste less.
Which brings me to my next point with clothing. Just the other day, we bought a new platform style bed which meant we lost the extra clothing storage underneath that we used to have, throwing us into a panic about where things will now go. I looked in our very small closet and thought, we need more space, but why? We already have all our clothes spread out in every closet of the house (and that's no lie). During this documentary they mentioned Project 333, a way in which you go through your closet and find out what 33 items you'd be able to live off of for 3 months. To me, this is genius and everyone should try! No more are the days where there's a clearance sale at Forever 21 and we go and "stock up" on 6 new maxi dresses because they're cheap so we "might as well, we won't get a better deal anywhere else". Chances are (if you're like me) you already have 5 more maxi dresses at home which get circulated and barely worn and sometimes forgotten. Fast Fashion needs to stop, it's an addiction. It's wasteful for the environment because these clothes are not made with quality in mind and when you buy that $5 T-shirt think of all the factors in making clothes and how much actually goes to the poor men and women making them in a sweat shop. Buy high quality more expensive items that will last much longer and can be mixed and matched to be worn with other clothes. Why own 3 pairs of the same style of shirts just so you don't have to do laundry as often?
I would rather be rich in travel, experiences, memories and relationships than in possessions and I have finally learnt this. I write this as I am waiting for someone to come and purchase some kitchenware I posted online that's been collecting dust for a while. If you think there is no way you could become a minimalist, here are a few tips on how to transition on step at a time that I have implemented :
|| Travel Light : I started doing this when Air Canada started charging $25+ for every bag you check in. You don't need 4 pairs of shorts for a week long vacation, I usually pack for half the time I'm staying and use clothes more than once!
|| Throw It Out : Not everything you don't need! Just things that have holes in it, or is damaged and you won't be able to fix even though you keep it on the chance that "you will make time to repair it". Remember to check if it's something that can be recycled first !
|| Rid Your Space Of Double Items : Why do we need 4 sets of table settings (plates, bowls, cups), Keep enough for the number of people you would entertain at a time. We had two toasters, why? Who the hell knows, donate one! This can be the same for hair appliances (yes ladies, we are all guilty of owning at least two hair curlers or straighteners).
|| Buy Quality over Quantity : I used to be the woman who was proud to say I could buy 6 items for the same price that my fiancé purchases 1! Sounds like a bargainer but in reality I was being sucked in, buying fast fashion over quality, needless to say his stuff lasts a lot longer than mine! This goes for any aspect of life, buy something that will last throughout the years and can still be donated for more years to come! Whether its furniture, toys or clothes.
|| Keep Your Pantry To A Minimum : Of course have enough food so your family doesn't go hungry, but when you see a sale on chips or junk that's "buy 4 for the price of 2" Don't do it. So many times people see a sale and think "i might as well buy this because I will use it eventually" and then sure enough it gets forgotten in the pantry till it's past expiration. Not only does this waste your money but it takes up space.
|| Watch Documentaries or Read : Watch The Minimalists, see that it's not just about getting rid of stuff, there's more to it.
There are trends popping up all the time and not everyone will be on board with the idea. However, this is one that as I come to understand it more and more, it really is a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, not only for my mental and physical health but for the environment too! It gives you more time with the ones you love without the stress of everything around you! What are some ways you're improving your lifestyle? Let me know in the comments below!
I love taking pictures (I'm not a professional but I love being able to have them to look over for years to come). I wanted to be able to not only have the digital copies of them but a printed version in a scrapbook where I could write a little about what went on at that time the picture was snapped.
Since it's almost the end of the year I have been doing a lot of reflecting, on the year, where I'm at in my life and I've got the travel bug in me especially with the -25 we have been experiencing in the prairies. So I thought it would be fun to compile a couple of my favourite pictures I've taken on my travels over the last few years.
This picture was taken in Singapore May 2015. Elephants are such gentle giants, they make me happy!
I will always love this building, It was my home when I lived in Hong Kong. This picture was also taken in January 2016 on a trip back home with my mum. All the way up in the clouds on the 77th/78th floor is where you'd find me overlooking the whole of Hong Kong Island. It was magical!
Niagara Falls May 2016, a popular month for me to travel it seems. This picture I snapped is amazing. I love the water and the mist it's creating plus all the flowers were so bright and beautiful.
Taken ontop of an old Lighthouse in Peurto Vallarta, Mexico. April 2014. I enjoyed the view up there because of all the old homes and buildings all close together, creating a bunch of alleys and side streets.
Lake Agnes Trail in Lake Louise, Alberta August 2016. It's a huge tourist spot to go and it was my first time to experience the scenery but I would 100% go back. It's so peaceful and absolutely breathtaking.
I have been lucky enough to see the Great Wall of China 3 times this photo was taken in September 2014. It's not the greatest quality but it looks very eerie. The fog was quite thick so the wall just disappears into the distance. I am always in awe every time I come here, knowing it spans across such a large distance!
What are some of the places you've travelled to recently, if you snapped a picture that you love, show me! I enjoyed going through some of my pictures and I plan on doing a couple more posts with this kind of theme so stay tuned!
Sometimes when hosting guests for dinner or a girls night, I find myself wracking my brain trying to come up with some yummy treats to snack on. That yummy goodness is Chocolate Barl. This is also a great little gift for family, friends or school teachers and something easy you can make with your kids too!
You're going to need a pot, a heat safe glass bowl that you can sit ontop of the pot, the chocolate and the toppings of your choice. For my bark, I'm keeping it simple and chose sliced almonds and sweetened shredded coconut. I got all of my ingredients in the bulk bins at Superstore.
To start, you'll have to fill up the pot with water placing the glass bowl on top, ensuring the bottom of the glass doesn't come into contact with the water. If it does, you'll have to pour some out. Make sure the bowl doesn't leave open gaps anywhere.
I didn't follow a specific recipe, but pour your milk chocolate chips into the bowl and continue to stir until it's fully melted. You will then pour the chocolate onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or some form of nonstick wrap. Spread out the chocolate, making it as thin or as thick as you desire.
Then it's as easy as sprinkling on a layer of almonds and then the shredded coconut ontop.
I placed the cookie sheet in the fridge for a couple hours to allow it to harden back up, making it easier to break or cut into pieces. All that's left to do is put it out on your table for people to take or wrap it up all pretty for a gift!
There are so many combinations of chocolate you can do and I'm going to list a few :
Peanut butter, crushed peanuts
Mix of milk and white chocolate, crushed oreo
Dried fruits and seeds
This can take you as little as 10 minutes to set it all out on the cookie sheet, a couple hours in the fridge. Even if you have no one coming over, it's still a yummy treat for your Friday night movie at home! What are some of the combo's of ingredients have you done with your chocolate bark? Let me know in the comments below!