Road Trip: Canmore & Banff

When I realized we had an obligation free weekend, I decided we should try and get away for a couple of nights to relax a little and relaxing we did! We left for Canmore Saturday after work and were hoping to get there in good time until we realized we couldn’t find the keys to the place we were staying. Someone (me) left them in someone’s purse (mine) that was used around Christmas holidays and packed away. OOPSIE! But we got there eventually, so it’s all good… right Stevey?

We were looking for some food FAST once we arrived and stumbled upon this Brazilian BBQ place that has been in Canmore for a little while, but we’ve never tried. It was AMAZING. I’ve never been to a Brazilian BBQ place so everything was new to me and I can’t comment on authenticity because well, I’ve never been to Brazil. All I know is that the food was amazing and Steve and I couldn’t contain our excitement about the place. Have you been? You should go! Oh, you want to go together? OKAY!

The weekend was full of eating, drinking, shopping, and walking around enjoying the beautiful spring weather. We played board games until late at night (still upset about losing scrabble – sorry Mom), watched movies,  and chatted. It was truly a lovely weekend away and a great start to a busy spring and summer season.

While the landscape was incredibly similar to where we live, there’s something about just leaving the everyday that allows me to think and relax and figure it out, so to speak. Below are a few photos of our adventure!

Enjoying a pint and pretzels and Banff Ave Brewing

Enjoying a pint and pretzels at Banff Ave Brewing.

Such a beautiful drive.

Such a beautiful drive through Kootenay National Park.

Something I can get down with...

I think I have this…

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

xoAli

 

Since Moving to the Mountains

Since moving to the mountains I…

  1. Have become a golfer. (see photo) Pro tip: beer helps numb the pain of your inability to hit the darn thing.
  2. Am buying more organic and local products than one needs.
  3. Have realized that I have very conflicted views about eating animal products. More on this later.
  4. Have not become a snowboarder. This was supposed to be my year.
  5. Am reading less than I thought I would. This makes me SAD, pals. SAD.
  6. Am truly interested in learning how to fish. It seems pretty relaxing!
  7. Am dressing more and more androgynous and I fear that I will never go back to skirts and dresses.
  8. Won’t buy shoes without any grip so as to be able to get up the mountains I live amongst.
  9. Don’t know how to wear heels anymore. SO impractical, guys. Like, really.
  10. Play wildlife boardgames that are both fun and educational with friends.
  11. Have built up a fun library of boardgames. COOL.
  12. Have realized my friends are either online or are animals. Also COOL.
  13. Wave at every stranger that walks, drives, bikes past me. Introverted me HATES this one.
  14. Find great joy in blogging and YouTube and all social media.
  15. Have learned just a little bit more about myself and that’s alright with me.
I actually almost got a hole in one on this Par 3!

I actually almost got a hole in one on this Par 3!

xo Ali

PS. A whoooole lot of new videos are up on my YouTube channel, including March Favourites, my channel trailer, and a Kobo E Reader Review and Book Haul. 

Spring Fever

If you’re in a similar part of the world as me and a fan of warmth, then I’m sure you are OVER winter and dreaming of spring and summer. I have forgotten what I look like without a wool coat on and I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen my arms in a t-shirt in what feels like years. I’m forcing outfits and footwear that just don’t work yet, Ali! It’s still cold.

So instead of crying about it I’ve turned to Pinterest searches to find inspiration for apartment patios. The interior of our place is essentially done and because we can’t really make any structural changes, I’ve got to turn my decorating attention to our patio. I’m actually really excited about making it a space where dinners and chats will go well into the evening. Below is a collection of some photos that include many elements I hope to recreate for our little space!

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The rugs make it flow seamlessly and I love the pop of colour of the pots.

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My idea of the perfect summer night. Here. Wine. Good friends. Great laughs.

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That cat looks preeeetty comfortable. Love the big pots and bushy plants.

a3c1b80adc9aa6045b834576b4aa55b1Candles – lanterns – fire!

Ahh.. summer. It’ll be here soon enough! Have a fabulous day.

xo Ali

*Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4

#100happydays

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A couple of weeks ago now I saw the #100HappyDays movement on Twitter via one of my many girl crushes at the moment, Emmy Rossum.

It’s simple really: post a photo of something that made you happy each day for 100 days in a row. It can really be anything! Your morning coffee, a loved one, flowers – anything. I thought it’d be pretty easy to find at least one thing that made me happy that day and snap a photo, but it’s really not just posting a picture. It’s about reflecting on something that truly makes you smile and sometimes this is truly a challenge because some days just suck and the last thing I want to do is reflect on my crappy day and figure out what sucked the least.

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My advice is to challenge a couple friends, choose your own hashtag and just have fun with it! It’s a really neat way to diary your day and even better is the fact that it’s on Social Media – hashtag city y’all! Use the main hashtag if you want to go public or create your own! Check out my 16 #100happydays photos on my Instagram!

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This was Day 9 – off to family dinner and the end of a great weekend!

What makes me happy today? New videos up on my YouTube channel – yay! Thank you to those who watch my face and read my blog – it means more than you know.

Have a fantastic week!

xo Ali

 

Zucchini Crust Pizza

Why in the WORLD have I only just discovered vegetable-crusted pizza recipes? I started seeing different variations of this recipe pop up on Pinterest a few months ago and then my Mom sent me recipe of cauliflower pizza crust and so I knew I had to get on this band-wagon. That was until I bought the Moosewood Cookbook a month ago and discovered that, like most things, Zucchini crusted pizza has been around since at least 1977 when the cookbook was published. Well, I’ll be!

I digress…

I’m not going to lie to you, there is no comparison to the real thing because pizza is life and if I could eat it all the time I would, but I can’t, because my ass. Don’t go into this thing thinking it’s going to be like delicious, cheesy, crusty, greasy za. However, this is a GREAT alternative and a really pleasant experience once you realize that 2 hours after the fact you aren’t curled up on the couch holding your stomach because you’re lactose intolerant and you “decided to live a little.”

I highly, HIGHLY recommend the Moosewood Cookbook but if you’re looking for a recipe right away, I used this one and it worked perfectly.

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The ingredients. Woah, wine… how’d you sneak in there!

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The crust pre-oven.

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The delicious, finished product. The perfect size for one (the bf has been away for work for a while).

For my toppings I used tomato paste as the sauce, and then piled on a whole tomato, sautéed mushrooms, onion and garlic, basil and fresh mozzarella (but only a bit because of the thing I just told you about). It was a really yummy treat and 100% vegetarian.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes! Hope you have a great week.

xo Ali

PS. New video! The “TMI Tag!” No, you don’t need to know all of this about me. :)

Editing Yourself.

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Have you ever posted something on Social Media that you immediately regret due to the instantaneous, angry replies from your friends and/or followers?

I tend to hold back from these types of posts as I’ve never been much of a s*** disturber, so when I do post something that I care about or was thought provoking or maybe just good for a laugh in the afternoon, I often get frustrated with the comments.

This got me thinking about how much of my life revolves around Social Media and how I present myself on the many channels available. Because Social Media is a huge part of my day job, I find it really contradictory to my beliefs in the power of Social Media to private my accounts. The point is to connect, to inspire, to empower – so why censor ourselves?

Even though that little lock icon isn’t on any of my pages, I certainly do privatize some thoughts and edit everything I put out there because the simple fact is that everybody is watching – woah, a bit creepy actually!

Here a few rules that I’ve created for myself when it comes to my brand and the person I want to be online:

  1. Don’t swear: I am certainly guilty of this on occasion and I’m trying to get better, but just try to keep it clean!
  2. Angry? Sad? Frustrated? WAIT! STOP! Save that tweet to drafts and revisit that puppy later. I’m super sad that Gilmore Girls is no longer too, but there’s no reason to tweet about it 100 times.
  3. Don’t drink & Post: You’re out with your pals, you’ve had a few too many pints and you want to share it with the world. Instagram the 3 of you having a laugh and then put the phone away. No one needs to know you can’t finish your Denny’s breakfast at 2:30am because you can’t lift up your head long enough to shove that pancake in your mouth.
  4. Don’t react to negative posts! Someone saying something about you or someone you know? Don’t say anything publicly. If it’s a really hurtful comment, call or text them.
  5. Watch the sarcasm – know your audience! Again, guilty. Sometimes sarcasm just doesn’t translate, especially to certain age group.
  6. Don’t post anything you aren’t willing to have a real, face-to-face conversation about. Girl, don’t hide behind those QWERTY keys – stand up for what you believe in!
  7. BE YOU! And if being you means a selfish, bigoted, jerk… then maybe click that lock button!

Have a wonderful day.

xo Ali

Photo from here.

Monday.

I’ve never been a “Case of the Mondays” person, but for some reason, today is different. After a weekend away in Calgary and what felt like weeks of -37 *C (w/ the windchill) weather, I am so ready for summer and weekends spent at the beach.

So, instead of paragraphs of negativity, I thought I’d re-post something adorable I saw on Twitter this morning from one of my favourite British comedians/actors, Stephen Fry:

Baby Otters

RT @EarthPix: Baby Otters pic.twitter.com/EupU6jGp4z – I know, cute overload, but honestly, who can resist? (via @pettore)

— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) March 3, 2014

Here’s something else to put your week into perspective and make it the best yet. Thank you, Erin, for posting this!

You’re welcome and don’t forget to SMILE today! Life is beautiful. I hope you have a fabulous week.

xo Ali