Hike With Friends

Took my first hike of the season a couple of days ago with my friends and it was lovely! This is my favorite time of the year because the temperature is so perfect. The sun is out and the skies are clear, but it’s not sticky-hot like the middle of July. I was kind of shocked when I got home and saw that I had a sunburn on my face! I guess I only have myself to blame for lying directly in the sun at the top of the mountain…oops! Anyways, it’s a sign of summer and that makes me very, very happy.

climbing through some rocks…

  

We tried geocaching which was kind of interesting, but discovered that we needed the pay for an upgrade on the app for the full experience 😦

snacks are essential

^^Not sure what’s going on in this picture but I kind of love it

We brought  a picnic lunch to eat at the top of the mountain… We were so hungry!!

Somebody painted this on the rock beside the trail.  I love how it adds color to the forest!

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BC, Canada

My family and I just got back from the most amazing holiday! We spent spring break on the slopes at Big White, in British Colombia, Canada. The conditions were great up there, with fresh snow almost everyday, and a base of 300cm!!! It was so nice to spend time with my extended family, and explore a new ski resort!  We stayed at Sundance Hotel, where we had our own condo with two bedrooms and a small kitchen. The hotel had a games room and an outdoor pool, with a slide. Although the pool was heated, it was still pretty chilly so I stuck to the hot tub for most of the time! It was often quite foggy, but on a clear day we had the most spectacular mountain view from the hot tub, which was the most relaxing way to end the day. There were plenty of activities happening at the resort, and we tried to take advantage of as many of them as we could! A highlight of the trip was going to the snow tubing park, and spinning down the hills with all of my cousins. The resort also offers snowshoeing, ice skating, and snowmobile rental, but the week went by quickly, and we didn’t have the chance to try everything out. My little cousin, who’s the biggest animal lover, went for a dog sled ride, and had the time of her life! Here are a few photos from the trip…

 

Sweet view from the plane to Vancouver!


There was an INSANE amount of snow, and I thought it looked like something out of a painting when it was piled up on the rooftops!

Another pretty sight…

 

 

First day of skiing!

 

All 20 of us!


View from the condo…

                                                                                                                                                                                                Tubing…

 

This was the coolest ice tower that people were climbing, with special boots and tools!

 

Toronto Adventure!

This weekend, I took a trip up to Toronto to see some friends and hang out with my family. Toronto is probably one of my favourite cities, and I have a blast every time I go! Unfortunately, part of the subway line shut down, which got in the way of some of my plans, but I still managed to have a super fun time! The weather was just above zero degrees Celsius, and the snow was almost all gone. I could definitely feel spring in the air! Here are a few pictures from the weekend…

  
I loved exploring Toronto with these gals! My cousin Sadie is on the far left, and my cousin Emma is on the far right. We were laughing about this picture afterwards, because we didn’t choose the best background, but I love the photo nonetheless. 
 

Milkshake stop! We were SO done with Winter, we decided to grab some cold drinks to welcome the warmer weather.  We went to Franks, close to Kensington Market, and it was super delicious! They also make all kinds of hotdogs with cool toppings, so definately check it out if you’re in the city!

  
Kensington! The market is filled with unique stores and vintage shops. There was also a place serving chicken and waffles, which I’ve never tried, but I think I will next time I’m in Kensington. We thought this setup was pretty funny, 10 points if you can spot my eye peeking out creepily….
 

  
One of my favourite things about Toronto is all of the cute coffee shops! Each one is so unique and special! Unfortunately, we had a busy day, so we couldn’t sit down to eat, but we brought delicious tea and pastires with us in the car. Yummmm….

  


The weather was beautiful and the sky was gorgeous! I haven’t seen a good sunny day like this for a while!
   

Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s day. I have an extra long weekend, so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to do some baking. This recipe makes one loaf of warm banana bread with delicious chunks of chocolate. Is your mouth watering yet?

  Ingredients:                                                                                                                                                              

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups flour

2 beaten eggs

3 mashed bananas

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup chocolate chunks

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream butter, sugar, and eggs
  3. In separate bowl, mix baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour
  4. Add dry ingredients with wet ingredients
  5.  Add buttermilk, and vanilla
  6. Fold in bananas, and chocolate chunks
  7.  Pour mixture into small loaf pan, and bake for 45-50 minutes

20 Before 20: My bucket list

  

Recently, I put together a “short-term” bucket list of things that I want to accomplish and experience before I turn 20. I had loads of fun putting it together, and it has gotten me really excited for the next few years of my life. I think having a bucket list is great because it gives you things to look forward to and it forces you to determine what kind of life you want to create for yourself. By having unique experiences, you will become a more well-rounded person, and people will love talking with you and hearing about your fun times! I decide to do a “20 before 20” list because it seems more approachable than a regular bucket list. I got a ton of inspiration from Pinterest, so definitely check that out for more ideas!

1. Get my driver’s license: In 3 months, I will turn 16 and I cannot be more excited to start driving. It brings a whole new level of independance, freedom, and responsibility….which I know I am ready to handle!

2. Participate in a colour run: A friend of mine did one, and LOVED it, so I really want to try it out for myself. It’s a really awesome idea for people who don’t feel motivated to excercise beacuse the race is plenty of fun all the way to the finish line.

3. Go camping with friends: I’ve never been crazy about camping, but I think it would be a very special bonding experience with my gals, and definitely something we would remember forever.

4. Get a summer job that I enjoy: Summer is a great opportunity to make a few extra bucks, but it is also supposed to be a time for relaxation and fun, so I want my first summer job to be positive and memorable one.

5.  Speak another language: I’ve always taken French in school, and this year I am also taking Spanish. I want to make sure that even after school, I keep up with these languages, and not forget everything I learned! Hopefully, it will make me more comfortable travelling in non-English speaking countries.

6.  Write in a journal: I used to write in a journal every day, but somehow it has escaped my routine. I really enjoy writing with no purpose, and not having to consider what other people will think of my work. I would like to incorporate lots of creativity into my journal, and make it something that will be fun to look back at in years to come!

7. Meet someone famous: My fangirling side may be getting out of control just a little tiny bit…but I do think it would be a crazy, and inspiring experience to meet someone who I have looked up to for a long time.

8. Travel with my best friend: Travelling can be a hard one to put on a “before 20” bucket list. I’m not expecting to travel the world next year, (I’d be down though) but I think it would be a blast to hop on a train or bus with my friend and explore a new city for a day or two.

9. Drive in movie: I’ve actaully already checked this one off! Last summer, I saw “Inside Out” at the drive in. It was a magical experience and an adorable movie, and I totally need to do this again…and again…and again.

10. Stargazing: Of course, I have seen stars before, but I’m talking about having THE BEST STARGAZING SESSION EVER!! I think it would be super cool to put some air-beds out on a clear night, and fall asleep under the stars.

11. Make more time for myself: I guess this is more of a resolution than a bucket list item, but I think it’s important nonetheless. I feel more confident and better about myself when I make time for self-care and healthy living.

12. Swim at night: Night-swimming is so much fun and definitely something that I want to do a lot more of before I’m 20. This would be super fun to combine with number 10!

13. Grow my blog: This has been a dream of mine for a little while now, and 2016 is finally the year that I’m making it happen! I’m not expecting to have millions of views by the end of the year, but I want to give it my all, and hope to make some progress!

14. Discover great music: I’m slowly morphing out of my “preteen bubblegum-pop” stage and enjoying a wider variety of genres and artists. I’m always open and enthusiastic towards new tunes, so let me know what you’ve been listening to these days!

15. Master hair-braiding: I’ve never been the best with complex hairstyles, and my naturally curly hair doesn’t allow me to do anything too extreme. My little cousins have beautiful long hair, and I would love to be able to do something for them, as long as they are willing to be my patient models!

16. Water park: In these chilly months, I can’t stop dreaming of sun, cold drinks, and water parks! I can be a bit of a chicken when it comes to the really tall slides, so I’ll have to bring my friends along to get me out of my comfort zone. That’s what bucket lists are all about, right?

17. Hot air balloon: Speaking about getting out of my comfort zone, I’ve decided that a hot air balloon ride would be terrifying, but overall the coolest experience ever!

18. Stay fit: I’ve just started going to the gym regularly, and it has been so beneficial. I genuinely look forward to that part of my day, and I love the sense of community there is at my gym. This is something I want to continue through my teenage years, and for the rest of my life!

19. Send a message in a bottle: I saw this on someone’s “bucket list” board on Pinterest. Right away, I loved the idea, and I’m so excited to try this next time I’m by the ocean. I mean, how cool would it be to receive one??

20. Make my room the coziest place in the world: This is pretty self-explanatory, and it is very high on my priority list haha. I’m talking about dozens and dozens of blankets, pillows, candles, and Christmas lights.

DIY Valentines

It may feel like Christmas was just yesterday, but I can’t help getting excited for February 14! I got inspired to do this DIY from browsing through Pinterest, (where I find pretty much everything!) I thought it was adorable and a super sweet gift to give a loved one on Valentine’s day…here it is!



 

What you’ll need: 

Brown construction paper

-Heart-shaped chocolates

-Pencil/ Black pen

-Scissors

-Tape

Step one: Sketch out some cute creatures on the brown paper. I chose to do a bunny, a bear, and a monkey. It’s totally ok if your drawings aren’t perfect, (mine certainly aren’t.)

Step two: Carefully cut out your animals. I doubled up my paper so that I got six instead of three!

Step three: Place a loop of tape on the “heart” of each animal, right in between their arms.

Step four: Place one chocolate heart on top of the tape loop for each animal.

Step five: Place a second loop of tape on top of the heart for each animal.

Step six: Fold both arms over the heart, as if the animal is giving itself a hug. And your done! These guys are really fun to make, and a yummy gift for Valentine’s day. Enjoy!!

New Years Resolutions: How to develop new habits

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Everyone has ideas of how to make themselves a better person. Sometimes we need to ditch old habits and sometimes we need to build new ones. The New Year is a great time to make a positive change in the way you live, so that you can become a happier and healthier person for the months ahead. Here are some goal-setting tips and ideas to inspire your New Years resolutions.

 

  1. Be realistic: Many people set high standards for themselves when making resolutions. They aren’t necessarily impossible, but they may be far-fetched or extremely demanding and time consuming. Often, when they realize that their goals aren’t realistic, they get intimidated and forget the goal entirely! Set attainable goals for yourself so they seem more approachable and easy enough to achieve.
  2. Make monthly goals: Studies have shown that it takes 21 days to develop a habit. Consider setting simple monthly goals instead of a  major resolution at the start of the year. This means 12 improvements made to your life instead of one!
  3. It’s OK to change your goals: It is easy to become to “destination-oriented” when making resolutions. It’s always acceptable to improve, tweak or even ditch a goal. People’s values and aspirations can change, and sometimes your goals must change with them. Before making any major changes, try to remember why you set the goal in the first place, and why you want to make a change, so that you won’t have any regrets about your decision later on.
  4. Write it down: Write your resolution somewhere where you will see it everyday. This way it will always be in your mind, and you can make progress towards it every day.
  5. Tell people your goal: Your friends and family can be great motivation for you when working towards a goal. They will check in with you and make sure you are on the right track. Maybe you will even inspire them to work towards the same goal!
  6. Remember why you set the goal: Every time you feel like giving up, remember why you set the goal in the first place. For example, if you feel like skipping a workout, think about how you wanted to improve your health and self- confidence at the start of the year.
  7. Find a mentor: Find someone who is really good at what you are working towards being good at. You can seek advice, feedback, encouragement and inspiration from them along your journey. Make sure you are able to identify exactly what you admire about them so you are able to focus on that specific thing.

Christmas 2015

As the holiday season continues, I wanted to share these pictures from my Christmas and Christmas Eve. My Christmas Eve was spent baking cookies and preparing for the next two days. The weather was several degrees warmer than usual, so my family took a walk, and fed some hungry chickadees!  For dinner, we had tourtiere, salad, and vegetable soup. We then got into cozy flannels, onesies, and Christmas pjs, sang some carols, and reminisced about past Christmases. Christmas morning was full of excitement as we opened presents and ate a delicious breakfast. We relaxed for the rest of the day, and then went to my grandmother’s house, where we opened more gifts, and enjoyed a turkey dinner. I hope everyone enjoyed the past few days as much as I did!

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Merry Christmas Eve everybody! Today I have a quick and simple hot chocolate recipe to share with you in hopes that you can serve it to your family tonight and throughout the holidays. For the base, I use almond milk because I love the flavor it gives the drink, but you can use regular milk or soy milk as an alternative. This recipe serves one person, so make sure to adjust depending on your number of guests.

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Ingredients

1 cup almond milk

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

1 Tbsp sugar

1 drop peppermint extract

crushed candy canes, marshmallows (optional toppings)

Steps

Whisk together milk, cocoa powder, sugar, and peppermint extract in a small pot.

Heat mixture over the stove on medium heat until it bubbles . Whisk occasionally.

Serve in mugs or latte glasses and add toppings if desired.