A Weekend in Vancouver

Boy oh boy did I have a fun weekend in Vancouver! It’s always lovely to go back to the city I love and once lived in and experience it’s wonderful qualities. Thankfully the weather cooperated which made everything even more enjoyable. I did pretty well in the picture taking this weekend so I thought I’d share a little photo diary!

My flight was delayed quite a bit and a small town airport doesn’t exactly have a lot of stimulating things to do so, selfie.

My parents and I spent the first day of my visit in their storage locker looking for old photos and other random things. I finally found the photos of my BF and I when we were 4. We went to the same day-care as youngsters and when I (re) met him in high school I would often look at those photos and swear it was him. He didn’t quite believe me until he finally saw the photos. It’s undeniably him – he looks the same. Adorable, but the same!

Later that night, I caught up with my friend Sara and we enjoyed some beverages and chats in her boxed up apartment!

Over the next couple of days, my Mom and I spent the afternoons shopping. We went to what felt like every garden store and nursery in Vancouver, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. One of my favourite things to do with my Momma on Mother’s Day weekend.

This nursery had bunnies, chickens, goats – you name it! This is only 1 of MANY bunny pictures on my phone. You’re lucky.

The parents and I ate a ridiculous amount of oysters at Rodney’s Oyster Bar for Appie Hour. *Mouth starts watering*

We started Mother’s Day off with coffee in my Mom’s garden. See, now the garden stores make sense! Such a beautiful little garden in the city. Love it!

I left Monday afternoon but not before I got some sushi in me. It’s a crime to leave Vancouver without sushi consumption. A CRIME!

I truly had such an awesome weekend with my parents and friends. It was a great kick off to a fantastic summer. We are off to the Banff Wine Festival next weekend so stay tuned for a fun post full of red teeth!

Have an awesome weekend.

xo Ali

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#100happydays: update

Happy Ali!

60 days of happy posts are done and only 40 more to go. I can’t believe 2 months have passed since starting this social media adventure – 2 MONTHS! A bit scary how fast time seems to go, tell me I’m not alone in this!?

The first 30 days were “tough” (I’ve put quotations marks because come on, we all know taking instagram photos isn’t tough. War, starvation, natural disasters = tough. NOT instas!)

I digress. While I’m obsessed with Instagram, I’ve never posted a ton. Once, maybe twice a day if I’m feeling snappy, but I’ve often been okay with just creeping – er – getting inspiration. It was a challenge to take a picture everyday never mind one that represented a happy moment.

Now, sitting here typing this, I look forward to each moment of every day as I wonder which moment I’m going to share with the world. I feel happier and more present in my day to day life. I take each day as it comes and focus on the next hour, not the next month, which I have a bad habit of doing.

So thank you, 100 Happy Days, for pushing me to be more present in each hour of everyday I live here on this earth. So what if it’s through technology, whatever works, right?!

xo Ali

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Why YouTube?

…Because why not?

Really though, I’ve been watching various YouTube channels for about 5 years now. I joined YouTube in 2009 so I could subscribe to 2 channels that I watched all the time: Phillip DeFranco, humour and current events, and JulieG713, beauty and fashion. Two very different YouTubers but I enjoy their videos immensely even to this day. I found great comfort in watching YouTubers when I first moved to Vancouver with a friend of mine. The new and challenging city had me curled up in bed with my laptop most nights. So, after all these years and the different places I’ve lived, I’m still watching. In fact, I’ve watched some of these channels grow into full-fledged businesses and full-time jobs and it’s been one of the neatest things to see people’s hopes and dreams come to fruition.

I didn’t start actually uploading videos until about 2 years ago. I was scared and nervous I didn’t have anything to share. But as life went on and neat things were happening to me, I thought why not just start small and see what happens? I’ve now been consistently uploading videos for about a year and have a bit of a schedule too. Once I got over the fear of no one watching, I realized that it didn’t even matter if no one watched because I enjoy the process so much. I love having the memories of these videos for my loved ones to see and I love the fact that it makes me happy. I won’t lie, I’m still having trouble figuring out the theme of my channel and maybe one day I’ll come up with a grand plan for it, but for now I’m cool with the vlogs, the book chats, the anything goes chats, and the occasional beauty video, because I’m girl and I like that stuff.

So if you do follow along already, thank you, if you don’t, find me at xo Ali, if you’ve watched and hated what you saw and made fun of me, then good riddance because xo Ali is about spreading love and kindness around our little world and no, it’s not cool to be rude, so quit it.

Below is my April Favourites video. Hope you enjoy! If you do, why not subscribe and maybe leave a cheeky little comment while you’re there.

xo Ali

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Links ‘N Drinks

Something I can get down with…

Happy Friday! This weekend we are hosting close friends from out of town and all 4 of us are taking a little road trip across the border to Montana. While we have no real set plans, I’m looking forward to a change of scenery.

I hope this instalment of Links ‘N Drinks gets you excited for spring and warmer weather (please come soon).

The Drink:

This Watermelon Rum Mash sounds incredibly delicious and especially easy, which means fun!

The Links:

Have an incredible weekend and I’ll see you back here on Tuesday! Yes, you heard me, I’m trying a schedule. We’ll see how it goes. ;)

xo Ali

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All About Perspective

A friend recently shared via Facebook and it really hit home for me. GO READ IT!

Though our circumstances of why we moved to our respective homes are a bit different, I couldn’t help but relate to every single thing she wrote. I live in a small town and I work in a community of 500, so coming from Vancouver was a little bit of a shock to say the least. I came here with two very full suitcases to “give it a try,” and while it hasn’t always been easy, it’s totally been worth it. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my loved ones and I’ve been challenged through work and my personal life. Moving here and being thrown into uncomfortable (for me) situations and taught me to take a bit more control over my emotions – I’m what you’d call “A Crier.”

I’ve been challenged to find happiness and satisfaction in activities I’ve never done before and I will say that’s probably been the hardest part of this whole life change. I came from Vancouver, a place where you could find everything and anything to do 24/7. Here, I have to rush to the drugstore before it closes at 6 otherwise I’m SOL. I’ve had to learn to plan eeeeeeverything. Going into the city? MUST BUY ALL THE THINGS! So while I may not be able to do everything I love to do, I’ve learned to love the things I’m able to do. Thank goodness for blogging, YouTube, and social media!

Mostly though, this move has taught me that life can’t be planned and things seem to happen at the right time – they can’t be rushed. Who knows how long we will be here for?! As hard as it is to be away from my family, I’ve got to have a little faith that things will work out, no matter how much they seem like they won’t.

So I hope this article finds you well if you are in a situation that isn’t ideal or your 1st choice.

xo Ali

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Earth Day

Thank you, Earth, for allowing me to experience life in a beautiful place. By giving me life, I gave you my promise to love and support you until the day I get buried in you. You’re beautiful, weird, and a bit scary right now – don’t worry, we’re working on it. But despite all of that, I want to learn all about you and those beautiful, weird, and scary places you possess.


xo Ali

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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 at Banff Ave Brewing.

Such a beautiful drive through Kootenay National Park.

I think I have this…

I hope you have a lovely weekend!


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