Another Year

One year ago today I wrote this post about time flying by.  At that point in time my parents had sold our childhood home and were moving into their dream house on the lake, my little brother was graduating from university and the Alaskan days were getting shorter.

In the blink of an eye, another year has passed. Yes, thanks to hockey my years go September to August. Their new house is now a home, my brother has his first "big boy" job and we get to awe at the summer sun setting over Lake Huron.

As we enter a new hockey season (details to come, I promise), looking back, so much has happened in the past year.  Here are some the adventures we had:

 We got engaged! (here)
Steve was named captain. (here)
 Then, he broke his leg (not fun). (here and here)
 We made the painful decision to leave Alaska. (here and here)
 We drove over 4000 miles on the ultimate road trip. (here)
 I visited the cottage for the first time in 3 years. (here)
 We got married! (here)


While the year definitely had it's up and downs, I think we can both say it's been the best year of our lives. 



Oh, this also happened this past year.  Looking back, I can't believe that I forgot to share this the second I put the bottle down. Highlight. of. my. year. (Well, second to getting married of course!)





Totally milk drunk.


Stay tuned for our new adventure!







Take Me to the Beach



I am lying on the hot sand in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Fifty feet from my towel, the Atlantic Ocean dramatically ebbs and flows.  I watch as the water dances up the sand, and then waves goodbye, only to do it over and over and over again.

I am completely mesmerized.  The waves come and they go, and I continue to stare, my mind totally blank.

But then I realize that it's not so much blank as it is happy.  The water has apparently washed away any thoughts of things I need to do or troubles that have been weighing me down.


What is it about that beach?  Why are we drawn to the beach?

"At the beach, life is different.  Time doesn't move hour to hour, but mood to moment.  We live by the currents, plan by the tides and follow the sun." - Unknown

Simply put, life is better at the beach.  The beach is my escapism in so many ways.


... collecting shells

... the critters that call it home

... feeling the sand between my toes

... the way the sun bleaches my hair and causes the nose freckles to make an appearance.

... sunsets

... sunrises


Cheers to beach hair, tan skin, flip flops and sandy toes!


What's your favorite thing about the beach?

Stay tuned next week for more on my trip to the low country.





Image Map

D.C.

Washington, DC has never been on my list of must-visit cities.  It has always intrigued me, but was not a place I'd go out of my way to see.  I always thought it was a big city full of politics, history and people dressed in business suits.  Not exactly my cup of tea. But, during my recent visit, I instantly fell in love with the city.  Proof to never judge a book by its cover, or in this case, a city by what you see in movies.

As I've gotten older, I've enjoyed learning about the history and culture of our country and of our neighbours to the south.  We could have easily spent 3 whole days in Washington, but 1.5 was all we had and we definitely made the best of it.


✓  Visit a Smithsonian Museum.  The Smithsonian Institute is the world's largest museum and research complex and includes 19 museums and galleries, as well as a zoo.  These national treasures cover a wide range of subjects from art to space exploration.  The best things about the Smithsonian is that general admission is FREE!  We chose to explore the Natural History Museum, which has exhibitions on earliest human origins, development of world cultures and ancient and modern animals. Did not disappoint.

✓  Tour the national monuments and memorials. Washington is a city of monuments and memorials, honoring politicians, poets and statements that helped shape the nation.  Although the most famous are situated on the National Mall, you will also find them on many street corners around the city.  Since it may be hard to visit them all by foot, I recommend taking the Big Bus Sightseeing Tour.  Many memorials are open late at night and their illumination makes it a bit more memorable of a time to visit. 

✓  Visit the houses of Government. Explore the US Capitol Building, the White House and even the US Supreme Court to gain a fuller understanding of the division of power within the democratic government. 

✓  Take a walk through Georgetown.  Georgetown is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Washington and once served as a major port and commercial centre during colonial times.  Today the capital's historic waterfront bustles with activity - it is a shopper's paradise and the streets are lined with a variety of different restaurants.   

✓  Check out a local restaurant or bar. If you're ever in DC, I recommend eating at Founding Farmers Restaurant.  It is easily in my top three dining experiences, which means a lot coming from this foodie.  And with a mantra as simple as "quality and natural ingredients", how can you not love it?

And now, some pictures from my visit:

Vietnam War Memorial & Washington Monument.
Lincoln Memorial.
Lincoln Memorial & Washington Monument.
Arlington National Cemetery.
White House Garden.
Smithsonian National History Museum.
Smithsonian National History Museum.
Ford's Theatre, where Lincoln was shot.
US Capitol Building.


Have you ever been to DC? What's your favorite part?


No Cell Phone = Lesson Learned.

My truck died on the way in to lunch with my grandma today.  The truck that I have loved to drive for the past 10 years.  The truck that I felt soooooo cool driving in high school.  I was stranded, cell phoneless (remember I have yet to get a Canadian phone since we moved back), on the side of the road - just me, the fresh produce I had recently bought for dinner that was starting to wilt and the white truck. So, I had to do what people did during the olden days, like before cell phones were around, walk to the closest house and ask to use their phone... to call my dad.  "Sure, but you don't carry a cell phone?" the nice woman asked me. "No," I said, in shame like I owed her an explantation of why I'm too cheap. Luckily I got a hold of my dad, or it could have gotten real awkward.  

Safe to say, I learned two lessons today: 1// dads are lifesavers (especially when they have to work a 12-hour night shift in a few hours) and 2// I think it's time to get my own cell phone. Like yesterday.

Lesson learned.  But hey, at least my produce survived.



Here's to hoping this doesn't foreshadow the rest of the week!

On a side note, Titus says,



Happy Monday (and the last one of summer break)!



My Escape

It was the place that I first discovered my love of the outdoors and this past weekend was my first time back in 3 years. It is my escape, the cottage. No matter what troubles you're facing or what's on your mind, they disappear when you're at the cottage.  It forces you to relax, and I can't complain about that.


Found this book from the 60s.  Love the beginning: "Children are natural explorers.  They have the true explorer's interest in their immediate surroundings as well as in faraway places, and they are eager to know why things are as they are." Amen.

Another escape of mine?  Scuba diving.

My dive buddies (aka my dad and sister) and I spent this past Friday exploring the Fathom Five National Marine Park.  A MUST DIVE for any avid diver, that doesn't mind a bit of cold water.

The water may have been chilly, but like the cottage, once you sink below the surface, you are immersed in a different world, and your troubles dissolve away.


Oh, this also happened this weekend...
1//  Found this gem of a puzzle at the cottage.  Do you think it's a sign? #takemeback #alaska
2//  Relaxation: oak heart & crossword. #cottagelife
3//  Just a couple chickens doing their banking in Tobermory.

My escape is where the sky is void of city lights and it is so dark you can almost reach out and touch the stars, where is so quiet all you can hear is the crackle of the fire, the chirp of the crickets and lapping on the waves on the shore. And, there is nothing better than falling asleep to the sound of the waves.



What's your escape?





DIY // Redneck Wine Glasses


Despite what the caterer may have told us, everyone loved the mason jar idea for our wedding!  And to be a little different than our guests, we had "redneck wine glasses" for the entire wedding party. We had so many compliments and questions where we got them.  While we found ours by chance at the dollar store, they're super simple to make!  Not to mention, considering you can find these types of candle sticks at the dollar store, and most people have old jars laying around the house, making them is much much cheaper than buying them at a novelty store.

What you'll need:
// mason jar (pint size)
// clear candle stick (shorter than the mason jar)
// clear nautical silicone




Note: In order to make your glass dishwasher safe, make sure you have waterproof silicone (~$5 at your local hardware store).  Since we bought our glasses at the dollar store, the glue holding the jar and candle stick together was not waterproof and immediately fell apart when it got wet.  So, I bought clear nautical silicone (made by GE) to make sure those puppies did not come apart.  

Directions:

//  Make sure the bottom of the jar and top of the candle stick are clean and dry.
//  Apply a generous lay of silicone to the top of the stick.  
//  Attach the mason jar.  Make sure it's on there straight!  
//  Allow to dry for at least 12 hours. (Sometimes it may take up to 24 hours.)
//  Once it's dry, fill it with your drink of choice and enjoy :)

We also purchased jar labels (on Amazon) and had gold, silver and copper-colored sharpies on hand so people could write their names on the labels.


Since I'm known for a spill or two, my sister bought me a sippy cup top (like the one below) for my redneck wine glass.  I may have looked a little ridiculous, but at the end of the night the only stains on my dress were grass stains from dancing too hard. Pretty genius invention and worthwhile investment if you ask me.  


[via]



Enjoy your week friends!






I know I'm already married, but I wanted to share this idea, so for this post, I linked up with Chits & Giggles for Wedding Wednesday.

The Fur Babies Take Over

In celebration of Titus' champagne birthday (5 on the 5th, wow time flies), today the blog is being taken over by the two fur babies, Mo and the bday boy himself.

When most people think fur baby, they would most likely think Mo and Titus are dogs.  Well, that's only half right.  Titus is a chihuahua and Mo is a mouse.  Yes, mouse.  I was the girl who had every single small animal when I was younger, and that clearly did not stop past my teenage years. 

No matter how hard Titus tries and Mo taunts, being friends just isn't in their vocabulary. This should be interesting...
Left:  baby Titus // Right: baby Mo
How did you get your name? And do you have any nicknames?

Mo: My birthday is in November and dad was in the process of growing out his moustache in honor of "Movember". // Moses, Mojangles and Jangles.

Titus:  I am small, but mighty. 'Nuff said. Mom and family call me Tityman or Tity.

What is your favorite food?

Mo: It is a common stereotype that mice like cheese.  However, for me, it's all about the peanut butter. Mom and dad give it to me every time I come out of the cage and onto their hand for some weird reason.  It's like they're rewarding me to socialize with them.  I love to socialize so I keep playing along because I can't waste some good p.b.  Banana chips are pretty good too.

Titus: This is a hard one.  Grandma and grandpa spoil me with treats (mom, ear muffs).  I even have my own special treat drawer!  Mom is a bit of a debbie downer when it comes to treats, they have to be "healthy".

What are some of your favorite things?

Mo: Peanut butter, sleeping in my egg carton, head massages, taunting Titus (the dummy doesn't realize I'm untouchable behind these bars), and recently I've really taken to the great outdoors.  

Titus: Sleeping in, running on the beach like I'm David Hasselhof, laying in the sun, moving shoes around the house, belly rubs and car rides.



Some of your least favorite things?

Titus:  Flies (I swear they are conspiring against me), waking up early, photo shoots, too many people in the house (my social anxiety kicks in) and people touching my front paws.  

Mo: Who knew you were so high maintenance Titus? Mine would be cleaning day, not enough tissue and sunflower seeds. 



Any special skills or talents?

Mo: Hmmm, this is a tough one... I can talk and let you know when I want something and I'm really good at sleeping.  One time, grandma thought I was dead because I slept for three days straight.  

Titus: I'd like to say I'm a man of many talents.  First off, I started a dance craze called the "Titus shuffle".  It's all about the back-kick and has been performed on dance floors all over the US and Canada.  I'm also good at rolling over to insinuate I want a belly rub, am an excellent dishwasher precleaner and an even better guard dog.

What is your favorite memory?

Mo: The 12-day road trip home from Alaska.  Who knew Canada was so beautiful?! And the car ride was very calming, made me sleepy.

Titus: The whole 5 years have been pretty epic.  I've been able to travel with mom, visiting places like Pennsylvania (my home state), New York, Niagara Falls and Toronto. Mom said that I couldn't go to Alaska because it's too cold and that I'd be eagle bait.

Last but not least, finish this sentence, "One day I hope to..."

Titus: Rule the world.  Oh, not possible?  Get Mo. Oh, too cruel? Ok ok, since mom's not allowed to get any more dogs, one day I hope to be a big brother to a human smaller than me. I'm a really good big brother, right Mo?

Mo: That baby doesn't stand a chance with you.  cough*attention whore*cough Anyways, one day I hope to bathe in a tub of peanut butter. Its the simple things in life that make me happy.


If animals could talk, these two would be trouble...

Happy 5th birthday to my little man Titus.

Have a good week friends!