Wednesday, 24 July 2013


...well I'm certainly making a quick dent in my Summer Bucket List. 
Adventure #2: Afternoon at the Cottage

 Close family friends of ours have a quaint cottage on a small lake about an hour outside of the city. We spend many afternoons every summer at this place, but until last weekend I had not been yet this summer. As soon as we arrived, I felt happy, calm and completely relaxed. This place holds many wonderful memories for my family and I.

After his nap, my little sidekick and his parents joined us out at the lake. Just as I grew up here, Hunter has done the same. Every summer we have brought him here and he now walks around as if he owns the place. We hung out on the deck for a while, eating kale chips, drinking coolers and just chatting before Hunter convinced my dad to take him down to the water.

He has Grandpa wrapped around his little finger!

It was really nice to just spend an afternoon with my family. We are usually so busy, coming and going, that we don't get the chance to just relax with one another. Another plus? It was blistering hot and humid in the city, but beautifully sunny and breezy at the cottage. One of the many perks of escaping to the lake.

While relaxing, chatting and eating a delicious barbecue was definitely a great way to spend my day, it was the small walk I took with my big sister and Hunter that I loved most.

It gave my sister and I some time to just talk and reflect on how we were both feeling. Neither of us are looking forward to leaving home, but we know that it is time for us to create our own lives. I may fight with her often, but I will miss her constant presence in my life. This walk was just what I needed to reassure myself that I can still be her little sister, even from miles and miles away.

Plus, who can resist a little boy running down the lane towards you?

All in all, it was a great day.
I will remember it until next summer, when I return to the beloved cottage once again.


Thursday, 18 July 2013


No...I'm not panicking at all. Okay, maybe a bit.

Up until now it seemed so far away, but now there is less than seven weeks until I board that plane. When I woke up this morning, I decided to get myself back on track and ready to start my new chapter of life!
This past year has been really difficult for me, dealing with anxiety, depression and all the tasks that come along with my new adventure. I am beyond proud to say that I have made it through the tunnel!

So, in order to make sure that I do not waste another moment of my summer, I have created a "Summer Bucket List". It is a list of things I want to do, places I want to go and memories I want to create in the next seven weeks. Most are simple things that have become traditions in my family and I refuse to break tradition...ever.

Today was beautiful, so Mom, Hunter and I took advantage of the weather and headed off to the beach. Thankfully, it is only a fifteen minute drive from our house and perfect for a sunny afternoon.

We spent a few hours playing in the sand and swimming in the beautiful water. Hunter had an absolute ball and I am sure he could have stayed there all day. I loved being outdoors and surrounded by trees. These moments are bittersweet, because while they are wonderful they are also the last moments I will spend in Canada for a while. The next time I am home, it will be covered in snow! Instead of dwelling on that (awful) thought, I just soaked up the sun and had a wonderful day.

The beach was not the only productive thing I did today! Last summer I read a book that really motivated me and so I decided to re-read it over the next few weeks. It is called The Everygirl's Guide to Life by Maria Menounos. It is such an amazing book and I'm already finding helpful tips and encouraging words.

Anyone who has been around me over the past three days knows that I tried the military diet (a Pinterest find!), but they also know that I struggled with being tired and even a bit shaky. Clearly, it wasn't the diet for me. So, once I completed the three days and weighed myself (four pounds gone!), I decided to find a different strategy. After doing a bit of research, I have decided to try "Clean Eating". This includes no processed foods, chemicals or anything I cannot pronounce. Today was the start and it went well!

For breakfast, I made a blueberry, egg, oat ensemble and although it is pictured with strawberries, I went with peaches. It was SO good...and clean!

For lunch, I decided on homemade chocolate granola ( It was amazing! After baking it, I paired it with a bit of skim milk and blueberries. I was missing a few ingredients, but substituted with other types of nuts. Also, I have enough for at least three more lunches!

For dinner, we had barbecued chicken, roasted peaches, a blueberry and pecan salad and homemade biscuits. Overall, I ate well today! I'm just hoping I can keep it up!

I have one thing crossed off my Summer Bucket List, but there are many more to go!

Monday, 15 July 2013


"MARRIAGE is not a noun; it's a verb. It isn't something you get. It's something you do. It's the way you love your partner every day."
- Barbara De Angelis

On Saturday, July 13 2013, two beautiful people became husband and wife and I am blessed to call them my friends. I met Mariah nine months ago at work and since then I have spent a lot of time getting to know her and Don, the wonderful man she loves. From the moment we met, they have made me feel right at home in their presence, sharing laughter, lots of food and even more love. I feel privileged to have witnessed their incredible love for one another and thrilled to have been a part of their special day.

Although, I did not get any photos of the ceremony itself (because I was too busy sobbing and smiling while watching them exchange vows), I did manage to capture some of the celebration.

Mariah and Don put so much time and effort into their day and chose beautiful colors. I was amazed at the beauty and detail of the head table. The sparkle and elegance immediately reminded me of Mariah.

When I was hired nine months ago, I was happy to have a second job. I never expected to meet two girls who would support me, love me and continuously make me laugh throughout this past year. It felt a bit surreal to be sitting with Jezzie, watching Mariah get married, but I would not have had it any other way.

One of Mariah`s bridesmaids came all the way from Australia and brought her English friend, Hugo! I was thrilled that he sat at our table and grilled him with quite a few questions. (Thankfully, he was nothing but polite and gave me some tips!) We had a cup of tea together and our table gave him a very good Canadian welcome.

I managed to steal the bride and groom quickly for a photo. They never stopped smiling all day and it warmed my heart to see how perfect the day had turned out for them. (Also...their cake was delicious!)

The party went late into the night and the dance floor was constantly full of people celebrating this married couple. It is hard to believe that after so much planning, their day is over and they are officially husband and wife. Although, I know that the excitement, happiness and love in Don and Mariah`s life is far from over. They will have many more adventures together and I look forward to watching them fall even more in love. Their kindness and commitment to one another is inspiring and I only hope that someday I can have a love story like that of Mariah and Donald.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013


Today was beautiful! There was finally enough of a wind to be able to breathe and while my sister was working, I decided to take advantage of the weather by taking Hunter swimming! Mom, Hunter and I packed up his wagon and walked to the park. At first, he was thrilled to see water, but soon enough spotted the slide and I let him go down once before leading him back into the pool.

When he first stepped into the pool, he was quite timid and walked around for a bit. It wasn't until he watched the older kids that he realized you had to stick your arms in the water. He would crouch down and wave his arms, thinking he was swimming. It was so cute!
He is so tall for his age that the big kids don't realize how young he really is. I had to tell them many times that he's only two and still does not talk yet. Still, he had a blast.

My times spent with Hunter are some of my favorites. He is such a happy, brilliant child and I am so blessed to be his Auntie. He constantly makes me laugh and hugs me just when I need it.
Although it was a nice day, it was still very hot for a toddler. So, after a while we decided to pack up and go home. Of course, at first I got a pout and the beginnings of tears, but then we told him that we were going home to eat supper and that Daddy might possibly visit. Of course, he changed his emotions very quickly and I managed to snap this picture of how he was feeling!

Needless to say, the boy loves his Daddy!

It was a great afternoon and knowing that I only have 55 afternoons left at home makes the time seem even more precious. I have decided to spend the rest of my summer doing things I have always loved and I will definitely take you all with me on each adventure. Before I know it, I'll be on a plane!

Earlier today I was also working very hard on a little secret project...

...this is a little glimpse at the trailer for my YouTube channel ( It's definitely not done, but coming along well and I am so excited for you all to see the finished result!

Friday, 5 July 2013


I know I'm a bit late, seeing as yesterday was America's birthday, but on July 1st we celebrated the birthday of a country that I have always called home...Canada. If we had traveled up to Ottawa we would have celebrated with thousands on Parliament Hill, but in my small Maritime city, we celebrated with our fellow residents in our own (not so little) way!

My mom and I had Hunter for the weekend (as it was also my sister's birthday weekend!) so we decided to join in the festivities. All decked out in Canada's colors, we headed down to the town square for a bit of Canada Day fun!

Considering that they had blocked off one of the city's main streets meant that this was going to be a big day. There were booths upon booths of food, fundraisers and even some activities for the kids. Hunter is still a bit young for all of that, so he sat in his stroller and enjoyed the walk, pointing to every fire truck and becoming very excited.

We went home for some dinner and to put Hunter to bed before settling down to watch our favorite Monday night show: the Bachelorette. About half way through, I decided I really wanted to go to the annual fireworks and so Mom and I packed up and headed down to the river. Each year, the city gathers on either side of the river to watch as fireworks are set off above it. It has been a tradition my entire life.

Although we were quite exhausted, hot and even a little wet from the occasional water droplets, we enjoyed the show. It was short, about ten minutes in length, but beautiful. I had to remind myself several times that this was not the last Canada Day for me as I will be returning home next summer for a visit! 

 So, although I will be gaining some serious British pride over the next few years, I will always be a true Canadian. I have so much love and pride for this beautiful country and I will forever call it home.
Happy Birthday Canada!