8 THINGS TO DO IN PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

During Spring of this year, Shaun and I began tinkering around with the idea of going on vacation in the
Summer and we were all over the map as to where we wanted our destination to be. We thought of everything
from Vegas to anywhere else hot when Shaun brought up Prince Edward Island, Canada. Our brainstorming got to an abrupt halt because there wasn’t much more to think about – we’ve always wanted to see more of Canada so why not go now?

I absolutely loved PEI – from the colourful buildings right down to their crisp french fries, it was a place I’m so glad we got to experience together. Our trip ended up being more than just PEI, but more of that to come later. For now, I’ve outlined 8 things you need to do if you ever go to Prince Edward Island (and trust me, they won’t disappoint)! It’s a long post today so grab your beverage now…and maybe some snacks too, there’s a lot of food pictures coming your way!

The Brickhouse

This place was recommended to us before we left and we just so happened to stumble upon it our first night there (which we didn’t even realize at first, lol). The food was amazing and I would definitely pass on the recommendation. It was cute and intimate with a modern vibe, and had the prettiest little lights strung outside their building connecting to the building across the street. Shaun got a caesar, myself a wine, and then we got a crab cake app, because PEI. For our mains, Shaun got a crab mac n’ cheese which looked and tasted absolutely incredible and I had super fresh salmon with quinoa but wish I got what Shaun got lol (am I the only one who does that)?! We finished our meals rather quickly because we were starving but definitely enjoyed our time there. I wanted to go back and try their burgers because that’s what was actually recommended to us but never had the chance to. The Brickhouse was located on a side street that you wouldn’t necessarily think to go down, but glad it caught our eye and gave it a go. Two thumbs up from us, we loved it and you definitely would too!

Cows Ice Cream

When we saw the first Cows location right when we got off the Confederation Bridge, I (embarrassingly) freaked out a little. Those who provided us with recommendations of places to try almost always mentioned Cows ice cream and with good reason. This was the freshest ice cream I’ve ever had – ever. When we ventured down to the harbour front one day, we decided ice cream would be a good idea so we went into Cows to give it a go. We had barely finished paying before it began to melt all over us. Insta pic? Forget it, lol. The ice cream was so fresh that my hands looked like I was a two-year-old having ice cream for the first time. Prince Edward Island has nine locations of Cows ice cream and the cutest gift shops within them, as well. They had so many flavours that you really couldn’t go wrong with any of them. The first time we had Cows I had Birthday Cake and on our last night I had Strawberry. If you go to PEI and only choose one of these eight things to do, it’s a hard decision but I’ll keep the recommendations going and say that Cows ice cream is a must.

University of Prince Edward Island

This spot might not be for everyone but Shaun and I love visiting post-secondary institutions when we’re somewhere new, so UPEI was a must on our list. The campus was about a 5 minute drive from downtown Charlottetown and was quite cute, to say the least. A relatively small campus compared to what we were used to at York but it had loads of green grass and historic buildings. Most of the buildings were closed though probably because of Summer but we were determined to find an open one and eventually we did. We love walking into buildings, finding a lecture hall, and writing messages on the boards, lol. It’s probably super weird to some people but for us it’s kinda become our norm. The lecture halls were stunning and had comfy seating too, just in case you were curious. While we walked around outside we came across a beautiful clock tower and of course, a yellow student centre building. The campus was beautiful but I just wish more buildings were open for us to see, however we enjoyed walking around them nonetheless.

Cavendish Beach

You want a beach with a (better) view? Go to Cavendish Beach and you can thank me later. When we were first walking up to the beach and crossing the small wooden bridge, we were blown away by how beautiful it was and we hadn’t even seen a fraction of it yet. This beach had soft, red sand, and clean blue water. It was a busy beach, yet seemingly peaceful at the same time. We decided to walk the extra bit to not be in the crowds of families and it was a decision well made because we found our own little section by the burrows where we laid our towels down for the day. Now if lying on your towel staring away at the beautiful, endless skyline isn’t enough for you, you can look to the right and see stunning red cliffs with waves hitting against the bottom of the shore. Absolutely beautiful. When I envisioned going to the East Coast, red cliffs is what I pictured but I couldn’t have dreamed a better visual and Canada had quickly proven itself to be one stunning country. You can actually walk a trail to get to the tops of the cliffs which is what we did the next day. We spent the day lounging on our towels and going for a swim when we got too hot – it was a perfect beach day in my opinion. When it came time to leave, we passed by families putting final touches on their sand castles/communities and it touched a special place in my heart. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of Summers where we would go to Bronte Creek and build endless sandcastles and communities just like the ones we saw and seeing this in Cavendish just made my heart smile; it was a nice reminder of home. Beaches are my favourite, and this one had just the views I was looking for.

Anne of Green Gables Museum

Right in the heart of Cavendish (not far from Cavendish Beach either) is the famous, Anne of Green Gables Museum. If you’re in PEI, I feel like this is a Canadian must. The views leading up to the museum were breath taking and just how you would imagine PEI to look. Adding to the beautiful scenery, the museum holds quite the experience, as well. There’s an old house (which is the house of the Anne of Green Gables author’s uncle), which show cased intact rooms with plenty of history to read about. That was probably the first time I’ve ever seen Shaun actually interested in reading something and at one point I was waiting on him to move on with the tour. Outside the house were massive fields with hay rolls and the freshest Eastern air you could imagine. For a day filled with site seeing, this was a very relaxing venture and probably one of my favourite spots in PEI that we went to.

New Glasgow Lobster Suppers

Do you want to experience the freshest, most mouth watering lobster ever? Then this restaurant is where you should go. Also located in Cavendish, PEI, New Glasgow isn’t just a dinner, it’s an island experience. If you do plan to go here, I suggest going before your stomach begins to grumble because there was definitely a line up when we got there that just seemed to keep growing. Right when you enter the restaurant, you pick what you’d like to eat, pay, and grab some drinks in the waiting area. We were lucky to have a young man in the waiting area play the piano so we enjoyed some music as we waited while sipping our drinks. Once you’re brought to your table you’re handed lobster bibs (which I’ve always wanted to wear, lol) and you begin diving into your plate. Dinner itself was incredible and we were beyond full by the time dessert came around that we actually passed on it, lol. The lobster was so fresh and the potatoes cooked just right that this was a dinner fit for a PEI visit.

Sandspit Amusement Park

Looking to have some good ol’fashioned carnival fun? Make sure to visit Sandspit Amusement Park where you’ll find a ferris wheel, some go-kart racing, a great mini golf course, and so much more. We love going to these any chance we get, so for us it was an obvious date night. We bought some tickets and went go-karting and then did bumper cars after that. We also did a round of golf which was so much fun. I had Shaun the entire game so in my eyes, I technically won 😉 Sandspit was a super cute spot and I’d love to go back one day when we have kids.

Dave’s Lobster

The. Best. Lunch. I’ve ever had. Period. We found this little gem after our visit to the Anne of Green Gables Museum which is located right in the boardwalk area. I got a lobster roll and Shaun fish tacos and we ate them so flippin’ fast. The best and freshest lobsters (and I’m aware I keep saying each lobster meal was the best thing ever) but it’s true. If you’re looking for a cheap lunch option though, beware because it was anything but that. We each got our lobster main, a small bag of chips, and two waters and our bill was over $50, however no joke, it was worth every penny. Plus, it was the cutest little place with a blue, red, and white ocean vibe inside and out and had cute lobster traps for decorations with crisp white picnic tables outside.

*Bonus Place* Confederation House

This is where Canada was signed, sealed, and delivered (maybe not delivered, but you know what I mean). This was the spot where the founding Canadian father’s signed to make Canada a country! Super cool, to say the least. We unfortunately didn’t get the opportunity to venture inside because it was under construction but I could only imagine what it would look and feel like to be inside there. In the heart of downtown Charlottetown, this should definitely be a destination stop for every Canadian.

Prince Edward Island was absolutely stunning and we’ll definitely go back to visit one day. We had such good weather as well that it allowed us to thoroughly enjoy all the island had to offer during our time there. I also loved that we were able to explore our beautiful country during it’s 150th year – it felt like it made the trip a little more special although that was unintentionally planned on our part. I’d recommend PEI to anyone and everyone because every Canadian should experience the PEI vibes once in their lifetime.

VEGAN FOR A WEEK

We’re big documentary watchers on Netflix – we’ll watch them no problem. Before we lived together, we would go to Shoppers Drug Mart, grab snacks for the night, and lay in Shaun’s bed watching anything that caught our eye.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, it was Saturday night and we stayed in to have a chill evening at home. With Shaun on the big couch and me on my little one, we came across a documentary called, “What the Health”. We like and appreciate good health/food related docs so figured we would give it a try.

Five minutes into it though, I began recalling that I had already seen the film in one of my university classes and remembered it being good so we kept on watching. Little did we know that this documentary alone would have such an impact on our week to come…

I don’t want to give too much of it away in case any of you plan on giving it a go, but it was ridiculously eye opening for us. I kind of laughed at myself because of how much it affected us now compared to how it didn’t do anything for me the first time I watched it in school. The doc is from the point of view of a young man who began searching different ways to live a healthy lifestyle but quickly realized that the information he was coming across wasn’t necessarily coming from “credible sources”. He found that major health organizations, such as the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and the American Diabetes Association are being sponsored by Subway, Dominos, Pizza, Mars, and Nestle to name a few. Right off the bat you know there’s a lot wrong with that picture even if you don’t dig into it further.

While we were watching it, we began to realize just how badly we’ve been eating. The documentary had a lot of biology in it (disclaimer, I’m a bio nerd) and we learned what eating meat and dairy do to the physiology of your body. We watched clips of how eating meat affects your arteries almost instantaneously and we couldn’t believe it.

So, without going into more detail, we finished watching it and sat on our couches completely lost for words. We were astonished to learn that what we had grown up thinking certain things were “healthy” to learning that maybe they weren’t so much after all, and it was in those short minutes after the film that we decided to try and go vegan.

Our first encounter of trying to switch to veganism was going to Starbucks. Shaun got a latte with soy milk and I had a macchiato with soy as well and our first impressions was that they actually weren’t that bad. We both felt that making the change to soy or almond milk would be one of the easier things to do and it was. We went about our errands for the day, gave each of our parents a visit (told them our thoughts of the doc and the change we were going to make to our diet), and then went grocery shopping. First stop was Longos where we picked up a bunch of fruits and veggies, veggie burgers, and of course, some vegan cookies and ice cream. We didn’t meal plan, just grabbed some essentials and made our way back home. This was our first error and because of not planning ahead, we didn’t prep for a successful journey. We went in blind – we didn’t properly plan out our meals and what we’d be having everyday for both lunches and dinners. Because this was also the week before we were leaving for our PEI road trip, we didn’t want to buy large quantities of things for them to go bad. Needless to say though, we were pumped to go home and give it all a try. Right after we got home, we realized there was a local organic shop across from our condo so we walked over to pick up some vegan cheese and bread for our burgers.

Once we were home for the day and settled in, we obviously went straight for the ice cream and then later that night we had some stir fry for dinner – it was your typical dish but without chicken or steak. The meal was delicious and we packed our leftovers for work the next day.

Come Monday at work, we didn’t feel the change too much as we had our lunches packed and a bunch of fruits and snacks to get us through the day. However, Monday evening was when Hangry Alex kicked in. Mondays are long days at work for me in general and by the time I got home, I was straight up starving. Our plan for dinner was to cook up the veggie burgers, have corn on the cob, and salad. There were four veggie patties so we each had one plain and then one with vegan cheddar cheese on it. When we finally sat down to start eating, it came to an abrupt stop once we bit into the burgers – they were awful and there was no denying it. Our “plan” going into this was to be realistic about the new foods we were going to be trying and simply stated, if we didn’t like it, we weren’t going to eat it. So with the veggie burgers being a no-go I got sad and didn’t know what else to do besides thoroughly enjoy my corn. At that point, Shaun told me to go over and cuddle with him to help me with my mood, so I did. Once I felt a little better, I began making us banana and strawberry smoothies, which were absolutely delicious. So with one banana, a handful of strawberries, a dash of almond milk, we our first vegan dinner was an absolute fail.

From Monday onward, we cut dairy and meat out of our meals completely and went mostly off of plant based meals and almond milk. This is where I feel like we could have planned better. At moments, I was completely thrown off as to what to make for dinner some nights, but we managed. Going into this vegan journey though, we knew it was going to be a trial run to see what we thought and if it was something we think we could do. We also wanted to do more research about the plant-based lifestyle and not just go solely off of a Netflix documentary.

We discussed this topic a lot that week; what we could do differently, other new things to try, and most importantly, if this lifestyle was for us. At the end of the week, we landed on the decision that going completely vegan wasn’t going to be something we could maintain so we came to the conclusion of doing our best to cut out dairy and eat meat once or twice a week compared to everyday like we were used to. This alone is an adjustment for us, but also manageable, attainable, and overall, just more realistic.

We’re both looking forward to feeling better in our skin and looking forward to giving our bodies a little cleanse from the processed foods we’ve been eating all this time. I know we definitely want to look more into meals that are plant-based and maybe take some vitamins along the way, but I’m pretty happy with our decision.

I applaud anyone who can switch 100% to veganism because that one week for us was definitely a challenge. To anyone looking on making the switch to a plant-based diet, I highly suggest and encourage you to do your research and plan accordingly. It’ll help from the Hangry mood swings, I promise.

Have you watched the documentary, What the Health? What were your thoughts after seeing everything?

TOTALLY ZEN AT ZENBAR

Pretty Pink Sparkles received compensation for this experience, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Imagine walking into a serine atmosphere and all of a sudden your shoulders become less tense, your heart rate slows a little, and you feel an over all sense of peace. That’s how I felt when I walked into Zenbar.

Zenbar is a natural healing studio located in South Oakville, literally minutes away from our condo. When we first moved into the area, I noticed its big gold lettering right away and it obviously sparked my curiosity. However it wasn’t until when Shaun and I were gearing up to head home from our PEI roadie (post coming soon, I promise), that I thought what better way to end our vacation than with a spa visit before heading back to work. So that’s just what I did! The owner of Zenbar, Carrie, was an absolute pleasure to speak with and she set me up with the best of the best in her studio. She was beyond accommodating to my schedule and didn’t bat an eye when I needed to reschedule from pulling my back. I went in for their Oxygeneo facial and a pod treatment and OH.MY.GOODNESS!

I’ll shyly admit that this was my first facial ever but boy, did they ever set the bar high (pun intended). Although I’m new to the facial team, I’m no stranger to spas and the atmosphere inside Zenbar was in fact, pretty zen. Right when I walked in I was greeted by two lovely ladies who were more than happy to show me the change rooms and where I could store my belongings. I was given flip flops and what I assure you was the softest, comfiest robe I’ve ever worn. After getting decked out in my gear, I was walked over to their lounge where I sipped on water and filled out some paper work. Not long after, Amber my practitioner came in to get me. She took me to the room and went over what she’d be doing and what the experience would feel like. She also asked me about my skin care routine and put the warmer on in the bed for me so the sheets were nice and toasty for when I slid in.

Before she proceeded, Amber explained that people typically fall asleep during the blissful 60 minutes and admittedly so, for a bit there I was one of them. As she began, I noticed right away that her hands were those of a facial goddess. Her hands were super soft and her movements around my face were flawless. She massaged circles around my eyes and that alone was quite an experience. It was such an amazing feeling and who would have thought how much stress you carry in your face?! Below is a description from their website about what my facial entailed:

The Oxygeneo machine combines an oxygen facial, a mineral infusion, and a completely sterile form of microdermabrasion into ONE treatment. You can expect softer, brighter, and smoother skin immediately following your visit.

The benefits of this facial are incredible and leave your skin plumped and hydrated, it revitalizes a dull complexion, firms the skin, and tightens pores, just to name a few. Throughout the facial, she applied three different types of masks and spent a fair amount of time exfoliating my face with the microdermabrasion wand, concentrating on my problematic spots I told her about. She also did some extractions on my face which I was happy to leave behind. The whole facial felt amazing and all I kept thinking was, “how have I never done this before?!” Also, just a side note – the face towels she used to wipe the masks off were unbelievably warm. You know when spas typically put warm towels on you but they get cold after about 10 seconds…these didn’t. The towels stayed warm the whole time they were on my face and it was such a nice feeling to not have them go cold. Just a small thing I noticed and treasured. Once Amber finished applying the masks and wiped my face clean, she proceeded with an arm and hand massage because your facial doesn’t end with just your face. I hold a lot (and I mean a lot) of tension between my pointer fingers and thumbs and when Amber was massaging my hands she noticed and spent some extra time on those areas, even going back to them once she finished with my arms. I appreciated this and mentally thanked her for it.

This Oxygeno facial was absolutely incredible, so I can only imagine that their other five facial options are just as incredible as this one was. But as my appointment came to an end, Amber guided me back to the lounge area where I waited for my second treatment of the day, the Alpha Pod. This was quite the experience and something I was totally pumped to try. The Alpha Pod kind of looks like a tanning bed but in the shape of a rocket and I chose to do the detox treatment.

The Alpha Pod provides holistic, whole-body treatments to relax, cleanse, balance, and detoxify. In this healing environment the body is simultaneously treated using LED Light, infrared heat, sound therapy, aromatherapy, ionized air, vibration massage and oxygen therapy. The comprehensive body treatments include treatment for weight loss, skin improvement, pain relief, sleep/insomnia, energy, immune boost and over all health and wellbeing.

Amber met me back in the room to give me the ins and outs of the pod and the different things it can do (which are so many that I definitely lost count)! Once she left, I stripped down, hopped in, and pressed the button to begin my 30 minute LED treatment. My first thought was that I should have brought my earbuds to listen to some music but that thought was quickly dismissed once I let my body relax and let my mind melt away. The pod got bright, so I made sure to protect my eyes with the complimentary eye protector that was neatly placed on a towel when I entered the room. With the temperature getting warm, I began to sweat. The pod allows the body to excrete 15-20% of the toxins from your body compared to a typical sauna which only excretes 3-5% of toxins. Although I didn’t physically feel a difference in my body after my treatment (other than being toasty warm and further relaxed), I loved knowing that I was able to come out healthier than before I went in.

Once my 30 minutes was complete, I slowly got up and put my robe back on. I felt amazing and so relaxed that I didn’t want to leave. But I eventually made my way back to the change rooms where I returned my robe and flip flops. Before getting ready to walk out the door, I took a look around at some of their other rooms. Zenbar has a salt cave where intimate yoga classes and meditation take place which was amazing to read about on their website. Zenbar is an all-in-one type of experience and you could spend hours upon hours there with all they have to offer. Not to mention that they also do mani and pedis.

Upon leaving the studio, I had a couple errands to run before I could go home and continue relaxing. No lie, when I was cashing out at a store, the lady behind the counter told me I had a lovely face. I smiled and said it was all Zenbar’s doing, lol. I’ve never had someone compliment me on my face before so it just goes to show you how great my skin looked after I left. I also had a co-worker reach out to me about my experience a few days after and said she was going to book the same facial I had done because it sounded so amazing.

For all I experienced that day, I would definitely go back! Everything from the friendly and personable staff, to the comfy robe, right down to the facial compliments, Zenbar exceeded my expectations and then some! If you’re ever in Oakville or just looking for a new spa to try, I highly recommend this one!

Until next time, happy healing and relaxing!

How to Pack for A Road Trip

Thinking of taking a road trip but don’t know where to begin when it comes to packing? Not to worry, Shaun and I have quite a few roadies under our belt that I think I’ve nailed the packing situation part now. Everyone has their own unique way of packing with a wide range of things they consider crucial to bring with them, but this post covers the basics that you’ll definitely need and will hopefully help you the next time you’re packing for your (road) trip.

First things first, you need to decide who’s car your taking (if you’re travelling with another person) because that will determine the type of luggage you both bring. On all our road trips, we’ve always taken Shaun’s cars, which have had good size trunks and spacious back seats to store the extra stuff we always bring. Once you’ve determined whose car you’ll be taking, you can then determine your luggage situation.

For this road trip we’ve decided to take a luggage and some backpacks each since we have the room and we’ll be bringing more things compared to other trips we’ve taken. Our luggages will carry our clothes, shoes, and things like that where we will take our small bags to carry toiletries, laptops, books, and anything else we’ll need readily accessible.

Packing for a trip can be quite the process and to some, kind of daunting. Personally, I don’t mind it because it just means I’m that much closer to my destination. To make the task a little easier for myself, I create a list about a week or two before I know I’ll be zipping up my luggage and use the time to slowly think of all the things I’ll need. Once I’ve complied my list, I map out (no pun intended there with our road trip map 😉 ) how many nights and days I’ll be gone for. Following that, I multiply the items I’ll need accordingly and dive into the process when I have a day to do so. Below is how I break down my packing situation by category. For this trip, we’re gone for 10 nights and 11 days so I’ll be sure to pack a little of everything.

Toiletries

Toothbrush/toothpaste/floss

Moisturizer/toner/face cleanser

Deodorant/perfume/sun screen/bug repellent

Contacts/contact solution/razor/shaving cream

Make up bag/make up brushes

Clothes

Socks/underwears/bras/set of PJs

T-shirts/long sleeves/sweater/beach shirts

Shorts/jeans/leggings/sweat pants

Dresses/dinner wear

Bathing suits/towel/bathing suit wrap/hiking tops & bottoms

Shoes

Runners/heels or wedges/sandals/flip flops

Electronics

Phone/phone charger/headphones

Camera/camera charger/extra battery

Lap top/lap top charger

Fit Bit/Fit Bit charger

Miscellaneous

Hats/umbrella

Journal/books

Advil/hand cream

Snacks/water bottles/coffee mugs

Important Things

Wallet/passport/car keys/money

Car cables/first aid kit/car registration

So if I’ve made my list right, that’s everything I’ll need! Packing is so time consuming but I’d rather be safe than sorry and not forget anything and like to think of everything ahead of time. However, one thing that Shaun and I have grown to appreciate when travelling through Canada is that if you do happen to forget something, it won’t be that difficult to replace. And further to that point, if you don’t want to take out a chunk of money to be carrying around and worrying about, you can always visit a local ATM and take money out as you need it (we did this in Vancouver and it was the best feeling ever).

We seriously couldn’t be more ready to go on this trip – think of all that amazing sea food! If you’re interested in our journey to the East Coast and want to follow along, look up the hashtag #PPSxMAWxPEI on Instagram to see where we stop along the way and all the beautiful pictures of our trip destination. We’ll both be posting pictures using that hashtag and would love to see you there.

9 days to go, people!

My First Event as A New Blogger

This post is loooooong over due but better late than never, I guess? It’s funny how much I missed writing my posts after taking some unintended time off. But anyways, let’s get back to it!

Back in June I went to my very first Blogger event. I was invited by my love at first post, fellow Blogger, Dee. We became instant Insta friends and she asked me if I wanted to go with her. I was literally freaking out that she had reached out/thought of me to go with her and was trying so hard to play it cool, lol. I always heard of people becoming friends through Instagram but never really thought it would happen to me. But low and behold, we bought our tickets and counted down the days (or at least I did) until we could meet and I could really experience the Blogger life.

We met downtown and walked to the event. I was in awe right away with the location that The Monday Girls picked because it was just stunning on the outside. Dee and I were in the middle of finding out where to go when we just so happened to stumble into Emma, another fellow Blogger also looking to go to the event. I don’t even think we introduced ourselves to each other at this point, we were just eyeing down where to get in. We also just so happened to walk in with one of the guest speakers – I felt pretty snazzy about that, not gonna lie.

Once we walked into the venue, I was freaking out internally. I just couldn’t believe I was there – this was something completely out of the norm for me and unlike anything I’ve ever done before. Not to mention, I was going with a friend who I literally just met. I was out of my comfort zone and it felt so good! I was also pretty thankful for Dee because it could have been weird, but it wasn’t and she was awesome. After we were introduced to the Monday Girl crew (who were the fabulous girls hosting the event), we made our way to the bar. Dee and I both bought $14 drinks (which was a first and last on my behalf) and enjoyed it ever so slowly as the three of us chatted about our blogs and got to know each other. I couldn’t stop smiling the entire time, I was just loving every single bit of it. As we were chatting though, I was also scanning the room to see if there was anyone else I could recognize from Instagram when I happened to come across Bri and Vicki. Now, you want to talk about being intimidated or nervous? Because this was my moment. I followed them both on Instagram and Twitter and had been reading their blogs but it was weird to finally see them in person. And not to mention, I’m still a new Blogger and they seemed pretty experienced so I was a definitely a little shy, lol. But we made the connection and chatted – they were even better in person! It felt so nice to put faces to names.

And so after our small chats were had and amazing flower wall pictures taken, the guest speakers got ready to do their thing.We sat at the back, where we were closest to the amazing food spread and EPIC chocolate chip cookies and listened to what the girls had to say. But back to the cookies for a second, I’m not kidding when I say that this was the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had in my life. For a moment I actually zoned out of the what the speakers were saying so I could message Shaun and tell him I was sorry that he couldn’t experience the cookie with me. Seriously, it was all kinds of amazing gooey and I had to stop myself from being “the girl who ate all the cookies”.  Zoning back in though, it was kind of hard to hear the speakers at some moments, but because I read up on each of them beforehand, just sitting before them was enough inspiration, seriously.

The Monday Girl crew also did some giveaways which my girl, Dee and newly met Vicki happened to win! Right before the giveaway, Dee actually whispered to me how much she wanted the t-shirt and when she won I was so happy for her, lol. There’s nothing like a cute, free, tee! And so after all the buzzing around and chatting, we got our goodie bags and said our goodbyes. I was pretty content by the end of it all and it felt good to have stepped out of my bubble.

          

But the night didn’t end there. Dee and I wondered around Toronto after it all looking for pizza and talking about the Blogger world as we knew it. As much as I love talking to my friends and family about my new found Blogging world, it was so nice to chat all things Instagram and girl things with Dee. She gave me some tips and told me about some awesome Bloggers to follow – I appreciated it all. We also took a walk into the Fairmont Royal York because why not. We never did end up getting pizza before we called it a night, but pizza or no pizza, it was a perfect end to an already perfect first Blogger event.

As excited as I was about this event, I was super nervous for it. Like I said earlier, I was definitely out of comfort zone, but it was so nice to go out there and meet new people and just chat. My super shy and awkward moments definitely made an appearance, but if this event is a taste of what I’ve gotten myself into, I’m 100% okay with that!

Thanks again to the Monday Girls for hosting, this new Blogger is hooked!

That Father-Daughter Bond

As I grow up, I’ve been more and more aware of how much my Dad’s personality is part of who I am. If you know my Dad at all, you know he’s a joker and big kid at heart. We’re very similar, my Dad and I and I didn’t realize this until just recently, to be honest.

Growing up people would always ask me, “Oh my God, you’re Dad is hilarious, how do you deal with him?!” and I would laugh and shrug, replying that most of the time we zone him out, lol. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve appreciated my Dad’s humour and ability to make those around him laugh until their cheeks hurt or have tears streaming down their face because of a new story he’s told. The man has the ability to make an entire room zone in on what he’s saying and make people miss his presence when he’s not there.

My memories of my Dad and I when I was growing up revolve a lot around hockey. I remember when I told him I wanted to play – he looked so pumped and I remember him being excited when we went looking for equipment for me. He told me what each piece was for, and was the only person who I’d allow to tie my skates. He had that job for every practice and game up until I was in grade ten or eleven (don’t judge, he tied them just right, and no one came close to how he tied them). Not to mention that he was always on the bench as a coach and was at every single game and practice he could be at.

During practices, he skated behind me to make sure I wasn’t just out for a leisure skate, and would often partner with me during drills to make it more tough. He would also take me aside during “free time” to make me practice my shooting on the boards. I actually used to hate doing this because I just wanted to skate around but I now have a killer wrist shot and I believe it’s because of the time he spent with me to make sure my shot was one worth mentioning. He also used to make me practice my form when I was skating and I have to say that is my strongest skill as a hockey player and probably due of all the laps we would race together.

We never had that mushy, father-daughter relationship but I always loved what we did have. We laughed and joked around, but when I needed him to be there, he was. Going through high school and beyond, I would bring home my boyfriends and he was always polite but never very friendly with them – sometimes wouldn’t even shake their hand, lol. But when Shaun came around I saw a different side to my Dad. Whether he’ll admit it or not, I can see how much he loves Shaun and how much he loves joking around with him. And although a lot of their playing around usually has to deal with making fun of me, I’ll take it just because it’s so cute to see them giggling together.

Always the joker of the family, he never fails to make us laugh or make you realize that family is everything. Thanks for all the hard work you put into making the boys and I happy and giving us opportunities to make memories.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Daddy’s out there, but especially mine. I know you miss me even though you tell Shaun he can keep me and not to give me back.

Our First Year as Roomies

June 14, 2017 marks exactly one year since Shaun and I began living together, and what a year it’s been. There have been so many amazing memories that we created while being together in our condo, but those definitely didn’t come without the curve balls and challenges. I don’t think either of us were expecting it to be all peachy everyday, but what I think came as a surprise to both of us was just how much we would learn about each other. Shout out to all those people who said we would learn so many new things about the other to which I would respond with a giggle and judgemental thought of, “thanks, but we’re well aware of each other after 6.5 years down”. Ha. Ha. Ha. Joke was on me.

Although, despite the waves, this last year has been our best year yet. We challenged each other, comforted one another, and pushed new buttons we didn’t even know existed. But that isn’t to say we had yelling matches of “I hate you” or “you fucking suck”, that’s not our style per se, but we’ve definitely had our turns of sleeping on the couch and just being straight up angry with the other, lol. But in all honesty, I think I can speak for both of us when I say that this past year we just grew closer together, and I’m not even sure I know how to describe that progress or the feeling of it. We dreamed about living together for so many years that I think now that it’s happened we’re both just kinda grateful.

Over the past 6 years, we’ve experienced so many things together; and so many things that we were excited to bring into our home to start our own routines and traditions. This past Christmas Eve for example, we got home from my aunt’s house pretty late but we were so excited it was finally Christmas and we were able to exchange gifts in our own home that we stayed up until 4am that evening having our own Christmas together, just us two. We were so tired by the end of it, but it was a special moment for us (although I’m not looking to make 2am gift exchanges a thing in our house, lol). But it was these small things that gave us some happy “first home” memories together.

So, with it being our 1 year anniversary of living together, I thought it would be a cute idea for Shaun and I to list off some of our annoyances of each other but also some of the new things we’ve learned and love about each other. I’ll let Shaun go first…

Things that she does that are annoying

• gets upset when I sleep in, treating it like it directly impacted her day in a negative way

• illogical way she fills the dishwasher (although sometimes it’s good for a laugh and she has gotten better)

• there’s a certain hypocrisy when it comes to how she wants things put away, yet her things sometimes be all over the place

• she refuses to do some things (certain chores), yet won’t accept it if I say the same

• decorating is basically decided by what she wants to see – she can say that’s not the case, but we both know it is

Things that she does that I love

♥ she’ll just go take care of certain things if they need to get done and won’t make hold it against me

♥ she gets so excited when she finds cute things to add to our home to make it more homely for us

♥ she’s always open to me having my friends over, even if it’s at the cost of her not having plans for the night

♥ she leaves me little notes (some longer than others) – whether to keep me posted on what she’s doing or just to let me know she loves me

♥ she keeps me in check with better eating habits, keeping things tidy, and having respect for our home

♥ she makes sure to think of my family too, when we’re thinking about who to invite over or what our plans may be for the weekend

♥ she helps make sure I stop collecting clutter (and it’s actually helped me be better with getting rid of unnecessary things)

♥ she values my opinion enough to at least ask for it, even if she already knows what she wants the answer to be

♥ she doesn’t always make us watch what she wants and is good about sharing the screen and picking her battles for the remote

♥ she’ll come home with treats for me, even when they weren’t what she went out for and I didn’t even have to ask

Annnnd my turn…

Things that he does that are annoying

• tags, receipts, empty boxes of all sorts…they’re guaranteed to sit in a random spot until I find them to throw out

• he leaves his shoes in front of the front door and in front of the sliding door to the balcony (although he has gotten better)

• his timing is impeccable for when we’re getting ready to leave…”Oh, wait, let me clean and reorganize my side of the closet”

• when we’re cooking together, he has the strongest requests to do things a certain way

• he literally sniffs everything, and no matter the smell, always proceeds with, “Did you fart?”

Things that he does that I love

♥ he always saves me the last few cookies in the cupboard because he knows I’ll go back and eat them later

♥ when I have long days at work or just a bad day in general, he makes dinner for the night so I can come home and relax

♥ when I have to get up at 4:30am for work the next day, he always offers to sleep on the couch so his snoring doesn’t wake me

♥ there’s always milk in the fridge because he knows I don’t adult if I don’t have breakfast

♥ when I’m being a needy girlfriend, he lets me hug him in the kitchen for an eternity and gives me kisses while dinner cooks

♥ he’ll take the initiative to clean when I’m not home

♥ the dishwasher is his thing…mostly because I’m bad at it, but he’s usually the one to load and unload

♥ he has never asked me to wash or fold his clothes – he does all that himself. I can count on one hand the times I did it for him

♥ he lets me take over his shelves in the bathroom and doesn’t get mad about it

♥ when he plays Xbox, he sometimes mutes the commentary so I can listen to music instead of NHL17

I absolutely loved doing this little exercise with Shaun; when we read each other’s lists we laughed and said, “That’s true” to pretty much each point the other had, lol. There were some growing pains this year, but nothing that didn’t make us laugh.

It’s been such an amazing and fun year and I can’t wait for it to keep coming. We’ve finally been able to wake up to each other and spend our Sundays being lazy in our own home, there’s nothing that makes me more happy.

Happy 607 Day, Baby!

How I Clean My Makeup Brushes

I don’t think any of us clean our brushes as often as we should – I know I’m guilty of it on many occasions but it isn’t something we should completely ignore. Think of how dirty the brushes get after each use and all we keep doing is reapplying them to our face and better yet, our eye lids. All that bacteria on them…no bueno.

It occurred to me one night that at one point I actually didn’t know we had to wash our brushes and on that note, how to even begin cleaning them. Once I had this thought in my head, it was all I could think about. So naturally, I did what any other girl would do and turned to Pinterest. I begun to research and pin (yes, Pinterest is now considered my “research”) all the different ways to clean my brushes and Beauty Blender. I’ve used numerous cleaning products specifically for brush cleaning but found that out of all the cleansers and such, the way I do it now works best for my little friends and I.

But before you begin to think that I clean my brushes after every use, hold your horses because I don’t. Ain’t no one got time for that let’s be honest, and I unfortunately don’t have an endless supply of brushes either to just “swap” the dirty with the new (although that is one of my small goals in life, lol). So I try to wash my brushes after they’ve had about 3 uses. I feel that for the makeup I use and the little amount that I do, that’s a decent frame. Side note though, I wash my foundation and Beauty Blender after every use, but for all other brushes, once I’ve reached the three use limit, I set time aside to wash them out. Now, what do I use? I use good ol’ dish soap! I personally like Dawn and I make sure that I use the antibacterial one because, well, that’s what we want out. But before I just used Dawn, I did a combo of 2 parts dish soap and 1 part vegetable oil. I kept seeing on Pinterest that it helped keep your bristles soft, but I usually alternate when I use the dish soap and oil, kinda just depends on how I’m feeling that day. Either way though, your brushes come out squeaky clean!

Here’s my brush cleaning process: I get a kitchen plate and begin pouring out the soap in the middle. I give them each a luscious swirl into the soap and place them on the side of the plate. Once they’ve all been dunked and swirled, I like to leave them for about an hour or so to let the antibacterial thing do it’s work. Once time has passed, I begin rinsing them out. This is the most time-consuming part. You want to make sure that all the soap is out of the brushes so that you’re not applying dirt and soap to your face. I used to be afraid to be aggressive with my brushes but over the years I’ve gotten over that feeling and swirl them around until all the suds are gone. The brush will still maintain its shape as long as you dry it that way. Finally, once you begin to see the water run clear with no more soap coming out, the brush is good to be dried. I do this process to to all the brushes, including the BB, and let them dry over night.

Side note: I used to leave them on the kitchen counter but that was driving Shaun nuts so I’ve happily let them dry in the bathroom, lol.

And that’s it! Back in the cupboard they go, ready for the next few rounds. I’ve also heard of people using shampoo to help clean them but I’ve never tried that one although I’m super curious to but just keep forgetting.

How do you clean your brushes, any tips or tricks to share? Maybe I’ll do an update using the shampoo and let you guys know!

Long Weekend Spring Cleaning

Ladies and gentlemen, how about this looooong weekend we finally have! This past week was a wee-bit stressful so I’m happy to finally put my feet up.

These next three days are going to be filled with a little Spring cleaning, some blog planning and Buddy making, and all kinds of chilling out and relaxing in between, and let me tell you, I am pumped.

As much as I don’t mind cleaning though, I definitely don’t want to spend my entire weekend doing just that, but it’s got to get done and heck, who else is going to do it? *Cue in James, our imaginary cook, cleaner, and all-around, go to person to help us adult – where are you, James? We need you!

The condo has been a little neglected lately because of all things life that have been happening around us. I just can’t seem to keep up and at the end of the day, who wants to come home from work and clean?! I can’t be the only one who has cleaning as the last thing on their list and come the weekends, I just want to enjoy my days off and put my feet up. James, seriously, where you at?

But here we are fresh into the weekend with James nowhere in sight, having to do a full-on cleaning spree because it just needs to happen. Just to let you in on how badly it needs to be done, my hockey equipment has been sitting on the balcony since February – Oops!

Now, I actually don’t mind cleaning. Even when I lived at my parents’ I had a routine and didn’t mind dusting away, so long as the sun was shining (I don’t clean on gloomy days, lol.) Once I’m up and finished my breakfast, I throw my hair up, change into some sweats, and press shuffle on my playlist. I also like to clean alone – I feel like it’s easier when there’s no one in the way and I can just do things how I’d like. If I had it my way, I’d ship Shaun out for the morning while I cleaned and he came home with apple pie or something, lol. I-deal.

But before I get started though, I like to tidy up anything hanging around like jackets, books, or lap tops and put them in their designated areas. I hate trying to clean and having to stop along the way because I have to put items away. Once that’s all done, I dive right in. Again, I don’t mind cleaning as long as the sun is out and I can play my music – I’ll get it all done and be even happier once it’s finished. I am seriously my mother’s child.

As for cleaning out my closet, that’s a whole other job in itself and for another weekend to be honest, but if you’re looking to tackle the inner walls of your closet this weekend, check out my new favourite Blogger, Speaking Dee, and her post on some awesome tips and tricks to get your closet looking Spring ready!

You know you’re an adult when the feeling of your home being freshly cleaned gives you so much joy. Since moving in together, Shaun and I love having a clean and tidy place we call home. We love having everything in place while we sip our teas (now coffee thanks to our new Nespresso machine) and start up our computers to get some work done together. Clean home, clean mind.

And of course, it’s not complete without some fresh blooms to top it all off.

What are your long weekend plans? Anything on the go for you?

Things I Learned from My Mom

Happy Mother’s Day to all those hard working Mommy’s out there; thanks for all you do and all the love you give us!

Growing up, I defiantly had my battles with my mom with some uglier than others but after getting out of the teenage spat years we’ve grown to be friends (but moving out definitely helped, am I right, Mom?) Some mothers and daughters are friends from the beginning but between arguments of cleaning my room and just random annoyances of one another, we bloomed a little later and I’m ok with that.

In grade 5 I never understood why my mom made me practice my timetables when I had a pencil that had them on it, or why she would draw endless circles on blank paper to draw different times on each when I had a digital watch; I thought my mom was out to get me, seriously. She knew I hated both math and telling time and I thought she did those things for her own sick amusement, lol. Buuut looking back, I now see a mom who after a long day would sit for hours on end trying to put in extra hours of learning time for her daughter. Now that I’m older and on my own, I see that she only wanted the best for me, always. Below I outlined 5 things that my mom taught me that I didn’t realize until I turned 28.

Be Humble, Be Kind, Be Thoughtful

Since I can remember, my mom has always taught my brothers and I to be nice people; treat others the way you’d like to be treated. We were raised with always saying please and thank you and to apologize to others when it was due. As hard as it is to teach three kids their manners and to grow up to be decent human beings, I think she (and my dad) did pretty good, if I do say so myself. Being a nice person isn’t always easy, but she made sure we knew how to be one.

Work Hard, Even If You Think You Can’t

My mom has always been the hardest worker I know, hands down. She has taught me that if you want something, you need to work for it, and you need to work hard. Everything that I have is because she’s shown me how to get it; how to earn what you want out of life. She once told me, “You want to be the boss’s boss’s boss”, and that was never lost on me, and frankly it’s still something I think of every now and then. From the moment I was old enough to realize, I knew my mom worked her butt off to provide opportunities for my brothers and I when we were growing up, and I’m very thankful for that now. To describe her as a hard worker is a pure understatement, she’s a tank, lol.

People Come, People Go

You know the saying, “Mom’s know best”? I didn’t realize its full effects until I grew up and moved out. I’ve reflected on the things she used to say to me about old friends and boyfriends and it’s funny how she just knew the ones that were good for me and the ones that weren’t. Of course back in the day I thought she was clueless about my life, but turns out she was right…as always. She would tell me which friends were “trouble” and which boyfriends were “nice but not the one”. I used to hate that she would say those things but it’s funny how moms know these things before you even blink. Side note, she tells everyone that when I met Shaun and he picked me up at my parents’ house for our first date, umbrella in hand to walk me to the car, she knew I found a gem.

Clean House, Clean Mind

If anyone knows my mom knows that she’s a clean freak – she’s like some kind of robot that just sees dust and gets grumpy if it’s not taken care of (sorry mom, you know it’s true though, lol). But growing up with always tidying the house (and sometimes at the dumbest times like 8am on Saturday morning) it seems as though I’ve adopted the lifestyle and followed suit. Although I don’t clean at 8am on Saturday mornings because Shaun would absolutely kill me, I do try my best to keep our home neat and tidy (which I’ve also come to learn is a never ending battle and near impossible sometimes). But growing up with that kind of mentality allows me to have a clean and clear mind when other things need to get done. Have you ever tried taking care of your To Do list while the house is upside down? It’s impossible, or at least it is for my mom and I, lol.

Always Choose to See the Best In Others

My mom has always been the type of person to give others the benefit of the doubt, to always try and see their better side. I like knowing that I do that too and that she taught me that. Seeing the good in people is never a bad thing and allows you to be an optimistic individual rather than pessimistic. Also, not for nothing, but why choose to see people’s imperfections when you can see them for all their good? My mom showed my brothers and I that no one is perfect, so choose to see their better side.

Now all of this isn’t to say that my Dad didn’t do anything of importance or teach us any lessons, but you know, it’s Mother’s Day, lol. The list of things my mom has taught me goes well beyond the number 5, but these are the ones that stuck out and reflect who my mom is. She’s always been there for me, even in my most stubborn of ways to help me move forward, and for that, I’m always grateful.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mommy’s out there, but especially mine. Thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do, I love you. ?????