It's Been a While

BC Trip 2019

Oh hey there! Happy Tuesday! A lot has been going on, on both the personal and professional fronts since my last blog post in June. I’m {trying} to get back into the swing of things after a two week trip to BC at the beginning of July for one of my best friend’s weddings, some of the trip which is captured in the photos above.

I had so many more photos I wanted to share but I knew you didn’t have time to stick around and see them all :P I think these perfectly sum up some of the magical views we took in and of course, my worlds of food and cows followed me on our travels :) Some of our trip highlights you ask?

  • An encounter with a grizzly bear mama and her 3 ‘teenage’ cubs 50 feet away while hiking on a trail in Bella Coola, BC. Hands down, one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever experienced. You can plan all you want for moments like that about what you would do when you see a bear, but until you’re in the moment, it’s completely different. And no, I didn’t get a photo!!!! (that is the last thing you’re thinking of doing in a moment like that!)

  • After the most beautiful wedding in the mountains (congrats Coll & Luc!), we took a helicopter ride the next day to take in Bella Coola and the pilot just happened to land upon a mountain top where we got out and took in the views! Seriously stunning! The mountain wasn’t named so we appropriately named it after the bride & groom #TremShea. [I also happened to bring a bottle of prosecco with me that we enjoyed atop.. figures that is what I would bring with me right?! ;) ]

  • The 13+ hour drive from Vancouver to Bella Coola was one of the coolest drives - we saw so many different terrains and landscapes, which meant we made so many photo stops along the way. We were also surprised by how many cows and wild horses were just roaming the roads as we got more north which led us to read about Douglas Lake Ranch, the largest privately held cattle ranch in Canada and one of the largest in North, which we think we took in on the way.

  • We took the ferry over from Bella Coola to Vancouver Island and the 10 hour ferry ride was like a marine wildlife tour that we couldn’t have planned better… we saw a pod of orca whales, a school of dolphins and watched a humpback whale jump out of the water. I also devoured Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead from start to finish on the ferry ride ;)

  • We took in the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, BC when we started our trip in Vancouver. We then ended up visiting Whistler for a few days, where we got to see the Olympic rings and had some fun white water rafting. I had so much more fun than I thought I’d have rafting.. thanks to Andrew for pushing me t o do it!

  • I think my favourite view of the entire trip was from the Clayton Falls Recreation Site in Bella Coola (top middle photo). I can’t describe the feeling of taking in water so blue and trees so green and lush. It honestly looked fake and the photos only capture a small part of how beautiful it really was. I really do hope we can get back there one day again.

So, yes, its been hard to get back into the hustle after a completely different way of living for two weeks. They really do take it easier on the west coast. How could you not when you have views like that to experience at any moment?!

If there is one thing this trip reminded me, its that we’re so damn fortunate to live in a country as free, big, beautiful and diverse as Canada. Looking for a place to escape? Try exploring in our very own country, you may be just as surprised as I was, what you’ll discover (or what bear you’ll run into!) #ProudCanadian

Bottle It Up

Bottle It up.png

I’ve recently been on the road for work for what feels like weeks and weeks. When in fact, its only been two weeks of travel. The travelling life is not as glamourous as Instagram makes it out to be. The airport shots of our luggage, the Starbucks coffees, the perfectly manicured nails…. yea, it is far from that. I don’t take for granted the opportunities I’m being afforded with my business and how travelling makes me feel (when there are no snow storms and flight delays/cancellations which has been my travelling life as of late). I really do love travelling. Just the right amount of it.

I get some of my best ideas when I’m travelling. I’m not sure if its because the time on the plane without a phone allows my brain to fully relax. Or because when I travel, I’m taking in new sights and experiences so my brain is on creative overdrive.

In my recent trip to Ottawa, during a snow storm around dinner time, I put on my winter parka and went for a walk and man, despite the blowing snow in my face and the crazy looks I was getting by drivers passing slowly by me, were the ideas ever a swirling around in my head.

I find this too whenever I’m travelling with Andrew down the 401 in our hauls from Guelph to the farm. The long stretch of highway, knowing how far we’re going and how much time I have to just ‘be’ makes me feel at ease. The ideas come rolling out of me when I have time to process my thoughts.

I (finally) have time to read all those open tabs on my laptop, read 100+ pages of a book in one sitting or take in hours of a podcast that I’ve been dying to listen too.

I wish I could bottle up this energy I seem to harness when I’m travelling. I wish I could also bottle up all of these ideas I have floating around in my head since I started my business late last summer. The notes pages I’ve ended up scribbling down are far too many and its not the ideas I come up with that I’m in love with – it’s the action I want to take out of them. I want to actually DO something with all of these ideas I’ve seem to have bottled up.

Anyone else with me?! #BottleUpmyBrain

Side note: this highway photo above is one I snapped from a recent trip to Mont Tremblant with Andrew. MT is one of our most favourite places and this was one of the BEST trips we’ve taken in years. There is just something about those Laurentian mountains that sets our souls on fire and makes us feel at ease. 💕

What Holds Us Back From Being Hungry?

Quebec City

Bonjour! I just returned from a trip to Quebec City, my first time to the capital city! I have to say, I’ve returned filled and fired up. And not just filled with the best pasta, escargot and local craft beer. Filled with gratitude and inspiration from the city, the charming old streets and our rich history.    

Oh, what a place Quebec City was.

I think every Canadian should make a point of visiting the oldest city in Canada to appreciate the architecture of our earliest settlers but also the history of our country. It is a seriously beautiful city with so much to take in – beautiful countryside, too many good things to eat and drink and the feeling you get while walking the quaint streets is a feeling like no other. It feels like you’re in a different place, far away from home. As if you’re across the pond walking down some European street.

It was not hard to be inspired while I was there. Inspired to write more, share more, do more, think more and just be more. As I opened my laptop each morning filled with excitement to write, it reminded me of why I hesitate to write when I’m ‘back at home.’

Why is it that in a foreign place or in the most random of times, we get some of our best ideas and want to openly share them? And then the minute we get home or ‘back to our routine’, we are more reluctant to share that same blog post, tweet or idea?

For years in my job in politics, I learned to watch how every word could be taken. Manipulated, spun, used against me and my boss. It just came with the job, I knew that. Every time I’d thought of blogging for the past number of years, I’ve always wondered if what I said would be taken and spun against me professionally. There was an instance that something was spun against me, but that my friends, is for a whole other blog post.  

So, now that my political days are behind me, it is a weird feeling to know that the only thing that is holding me back is ‘moi.’ There is no consequences to what I want to say now. I can’t get fired. My words won’t affect my boss. I only have me to think about me again and my personal brand. And yet, I still feel like I have to watch what I say because with our digital world, we’re never really sure when/where our words will be used against us. It comes with the territory of using platforms like social media to share our ideas.

I think this notion is why so many people hold back in saying what they want too. They are either:

  1. scared of what others will think of them;

  2. worried how their words or ideas could impact them/their family/their work

  3. feel like what they have to say has no value or that someone else has already said it

How fitting then, that while I was in Quebec City, I watched the movie The Star is Born (which everyone seems to be raving about BTW and I can see why.. go and download the soundtrack!). And how cliché then that while watching the movie and thinking of this notion of why people (like myself!) don’t actually do or say things they want too, that the main character, Jackson Maine aka. Bradley Cooper says the following:

“Look, talent comes everywhere, but having something to say and a way to say it so that people listen to it, that’s a whole other bag. And unless you get out and you try to do it, you’ll never know. That’s just the truth. And there’s one reason we’re supposed to be here is to say something so people want to hear. So you got to grab it, and you don’t apologize, and you don’t worry about why they’re listening, or how long they’re going to be listening for, you just tell them what you want to say.”

So, where do we start and where do we go once we have the courage to finally say something? I don’t know. If I knew the answer to that, I think I’d be retired :P

But the point is to start. I think every self-help book starts with this premise. Start whatever it is that makes you hungry. Its why I’m going to get back into this writing thing and share more on my blog. No, but really, for real this time. I’m hungry again.

The Sunday 7

Oh, Sunday's. 

1. We saw Nelly this past week. Like the rapper. Who say 'Hot in Here.' Yes, it was epic. Like circa 2004 epicness that made my high school-University self sing WAY too loud. It was the best $45 I've spent in a while. It reminded me how we need more of those random nights out with friends that turn out to be the best nights.

2. I have a day in Toronto planned for some work-related things and meet-ups.. a day in the big city sans babe is what my heart needs right now.

3. This tote has my heart swooning. I'm just wondering if it's big enough to hold all of my stuff.. and Blake's stuff :S

4. Now that Spring may be here (the last two weekends have been sunny and made me hopeful here in Guelph!), I'm wondering where the Instagram spring stickers are now?!! Come on #Instagram!

5. If we're talking about Spring, a good ol' 'Spring clean' of the house is necessary. I found this handy list of one item you can do each day for a month to get your place clean super helpful.

6. A place we forget to clean that we use daily? Our smartphones. I used this list to give the iphone a good clean tonight!

7. Talk about a fun-filled week, we celebrated the upcoming nuptials of my girl Mac at The Fancy Design Co with a girls night out. It was wildly fun, I wouldn't expect anything else from our group of friends. A night out with the gals celebrating one of the best people I know was SO needed after a week of Blake being sick with a cold. We had dinner at Gilt in Kitchener and oh yum, was that menu amazing.

{Photo Source}

The Sunday 7

  1. After spending the last 7 days in 25+ degree heat in Jamaica, to say I'm ready for spring is an understatement. I'm just thankful after returning today that we didn't have to dig ourselves out from under snow. Our recent getaway was the reason why I was quiet on social media and boy did it feel good to disconnect. It reminded me that I can function in my own head, away from all the distractions. And when I chose to use my phone or laptop, it was on *my* terms. Such a liberating feeling! I'll be sharing more about our trip on instagram this coming week :)
  2. The only way I'm curing my Caribbean hangover tonight is by watching the Oscars. I love me some red carpet fashion & awards #Oscars90
  3. Back to spring being around the corner, daylight savings time is this coming weekend AND the other sign that spring is close by? All the maple syrup festivals across Ontario are starting to take place including my local hometown Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival this weekend. Can't wait!
  4. It was the best feeling changing my laptop desktop wallpaper calendar to March. Here are some cute ideas for your desktop wallpaper here, here and here.
  5. While on holidays, I finished  Joe Biden's book, "Promise Me, Dad." What a gut wrenching, page turning read it was - so good! I'm now re-reading Simon Sinek's "Start With Why" which I have already dog-eared so many pages.
  6. The only other thing that made coming back from Jamaica somewhat bearable? Getting my Spring issue of Magnolia Journal in the mail... oh, and a Big Mac :P
  7. And just to make my travelling heart feel a bit better about getting back from a much-needed trip like Jamaica? My mind is already wandering, thinking about possibly planning a solo spring trip to somewhere like New York, Chicago or Montreal. Seems like a lot with a young babe but I'm feeling so inspired by travelling #Wanderlust