A Sleepover with a View: Niagara Falls, ON

Wow, its been a busy two weeks over here! First, there was a family getaway to Niagara Falls, followed by a girls trip to Cuba, and ending with what should be (fingers crossed) our second-last move for a handful of years to come. I know, I know, tough month.

I can't wait to recap it all for you, but first, we'll start at the beginning with our little family getaway to Niagara Falls, Ontario. Or, as I like to refer to it, our sleepover with a view.

A Sleepover with a View in Niagara Falls, Ontario

As previously mentioned, the start of daycare and end of maternity leave are fast approaching. As in days away. Cue the waterworks.

To celebrate, we decided we were in need of a little getaway. Just the three of us. 

We chose Niagara Falls, Ontario - the perfect distance from Toronto for an overnight, family-friendly trip. Even in the middle of winter. 

A Sleepover with a View in Niagara Falls, Ontario

We stayed at the Radisson Hotel & Suites Fallsview, in a room overlooking the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of the border.  The hotel is a short walk from many of Niagara's attractions, restaurants, Fallsview Casino and the spectacular Falls themselves. 

The hotel also had an indoor pool, which eventually was the perfect way to wind down our adventure-filled day. 

A Sleepover with a View in Niagara Falls, Ontario
A Sleepover with a View in Niagara Falls, Ontario

The day was filled with visiting a few of Niagara Parks' great attractions - Journey Behind the Falls, the Floral Showhouse and the Butterfly Conservatory.

The Niagara Parks Wonder Pass is a great option to explore these attractions and save money while doing so, whether you're visiting the Falls for one day, two or even more.

A Sleepover with a View in Niagara Falls, Ontario
A Sleepover with a View in Niagara Falls, Ontario

Aside from the photos and memories, a souvenir to remember Morley's first visit to Niagara Falls was definitely needed. We made a pitstop at Souvenir Citya 15,000 square feet plaza that has become one of Niagara Falls’ largest free tourist attractions and features a vast selection of Niagara Falls and Canadian-themed souvenirs and gifts.  

A Sleepover with a View in Niagara Falls, Ontario

We had a delicious dinner at Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse, where we dined liked a king, queen and princess on a variety of tasty meats and sides. 

After our bellies were full, we took a walk down by the Falls to see the new Falls Illumination, the new new energy-efficient LED illumination system. Every evening beginning at dusk, Niagara Falls is transformed into an incredible, multi-coloured water and light masterpiece. These lights work to create a breathtaking view not to be missed.  

A Sleepover with a View in Niagara Falls, Ontario
A Sleepover with a View in Niagara Falls, Ontario

After a good night's rest and a big breakfast, our last stop of the trip was to Bird Kingdom, the world’s largest free-flying indoor aviary. Morley loved watching the exotic colourful birds fly freely in the multi-level rainforest. She even got to meet a few, including one that sang to her. We were so impressed! She loves animals, which makes this animal-loving mama very happy. 

A Sleepover with a View in Niagara Falls, Ontario

While we would have loved to check out the other attractions Niagara Falls has to offer, such as the infamous Clifton Hill, it was quickly approaching nap time. So, to the car it was. That was ok with us because we also didn't want to get stuck in the dreaded rush hour traffic on the way back into Toronto.

Most people associate visiting the Falls with the summer months, but I highly recommend checking it out during the winter.  There were no big lines or crowds to battle, and, at times, we were the only ones walking down the street. The majority of attractions and restaurants are still open, and as it is their slow season, most will thank you for stopping in.  That being said, be sure to check ahead before your winter visit, just to be safe.

A BIG thank you to Radisson Fallsview, Niagara Parks, Niagara Falls Tourism and Souvenir City for making Morley's first visit to the Falls a huge success and creating lasting memories for my family!


Where we stayed in Niagara Falls:

6733 Fallsview Blvd  //  905-356-1944

Where we ate in Niagara Falls:

6361 Fallsview Blvd  //  905-353-7187
Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 5:00-10:00pm; Friday 5:00-11:00pm; Saturday, 4:30-11:00pm

Where we visited in Niagara Falls:

6650 Niagara Pkwy  //  905-354-1551
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 9:00-6:00pm

7145 Niagara Pkwy  //  (905) 354-1721
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 9:30-5:00pm 

2565 Niagara Pkwy  //  (905) 358-0025
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10:00-5:00pm

 4199 River Rd  //  866-344-0985
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 9:00-5:00pm

5651 River Road // 905-356-8888
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 9:30-5:00pm

*Hours, contact information and admission prices subject to change.


Have you ever been to Niagara Falls? What was your favourite place to visit? I'd love to hear!

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Exploring the Wonder of Niagara Falls

The countdown is officially on for Morley to start daycare and for me to head back to work. It's crazy to believe that 10 months have already passed.

To celebrate, we decided we were in need of a little getaway. Just the three of us. 


A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass

Living in Toronto, there are many quick getaways at our finger tips. A short 1.5 hour drive down the highway, Niagara Falls, Ontario is the perfect one-day or overnight trip option for those that live in,  around or are just visiting the big city of Toronto. 

Whether you are traveling with family, friends or even solo, Niagara Falls has something to do for everyone. While the Niagara Region may be known for its award-winning wineries, vast network of hiking trails along the Niagara Escarpment and the Falls themselves, it is filled with adventure and activities all year long, making it the perfect mid-winter celebratory getaway for my little family. 

A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass

This trip, I wanted something that was unlike anything we'd ever done before in Niagara Falls, but also something that family-friendly. For us, the answer was Niagara Park's Wonder Pass.

Having lived in the Niagara Region for a year during grad school, I was familiar with Niagara Parks. However, I had no idea that Parks also ran many of the great attractions in and around the Falls area, offering a "passport"-type adventure pass to visit them. 

The Niagara Parks Wonder Pass is a great option whether you're visiting the Falls for one day, two or even more. At just $22.95 CAD+tax per adult (*subject to change), the Pass saves you money while offering one time admission to the Park's all-season attractions - Journey Behind the Falls, the Butterfly Conservatory and Niagara’s Fury - plus over $75 in bonus coupons to use during your stay. No car? No problem. It also includes 2-days access to the WEGO bus system, which connects major hotels in Niagara Falls to Niagara Parks.

Take a look at how we explored Niagara Falls with the Niagara Parks Wonder Pass:

Journey Behind the Falls

Journey Behind the Falls allows you to venture deep below and behind the heart of Niagara, and stand in the mist where the mighty Horseshoe Falls tumbles from 13 storeys above! You'll experience the awesome spectacle of one-fifth of the world's freshwater crashing down to the basin below.

This was definitely my favourite part of the Wonder Pass. You really can't get a feel for the amount of water and power rushing over the Falls until you step behind them. 

During the winter months, they close the outdoor viewing platform (for obvious reasons), but there is still plenty to see from the covered areas. The good thing about experiencing this attraction in winter? You don't get wet!


A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass
A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass
A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass

Please note, strollers are not normally permitted in this attraction. We were granted special permission since it was especially quiet on our visit.

Butterfly Conservatory

This magical attraction features over 2,000 colourful tropical butterflies floating freely among lush, exotic blossoms and greenery. Paths wind through the rainforest setting, past a pond and waterfall and the Emergence window, where butterflies leave their pupae and prepare to take their first flight!

We spent quite a bit of time at the Butterfly Conservatory. Mostly because Morley slept through half of it, and of course woke up just as we were leaving. We knew she would love to watch the butterflies, so once she was awake, we ended up going through again. 

We're glad we did. Her little giggles as she watched them flying, her shrieks and grunts as she yelled at them laying on the greenery and her delayed reactions as they flew past her face were all priceless. 


A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass
A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass
A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass

Niagara's Fury

Niagara's Fury allows you to discover the ancient story of Niagara Falls, through a 360 degree, multi-sensory experience. Located in the same area as the Journey Behind the Falls, Niagara's Fury is a “4D” Universal Studios-style attraction, to help you fully understand how the Falls were formed and their true power. 

In lieu of this attraction being closed for maintenance during our visit, we were offered passes to the IMAX. While I would have loved to take in this attraction, we didn't think Morley would, so we opted out. 


Floral Showhouse

This Wonder Pass add-on option displays collections or orchids, succulents and other tropical plant species throughout the year, with special floral shows that reflect the changing seasons. Colourful tropical birds fly throughout the greenery to make you truly feel like you are in a lush jungle.

Visiting a greenhouse like this one is not something we would normally do, so taking some time to walk through and enjoy the beautiful spring display was a nice change of pace. And Morley loved watching the birds.


A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass
A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass

Falls Illumination

This past December, the bi-national Niagara Falls Illumination Board unveiled its new energy-efficient LED illumination system in Niagara Falls. The new lighting system provides more than twice the previous lighting levels, programmable lighting and a wider spectrum of colour, offering both new and returning visitors an entirely new way to experience Niagara Falls at night.

After dinner, we ended the day with a walk along the falls to view the new Falls IlluminationEvery evening beginning at dusk, Niagara Falls is transformed into an incredible, multi-coloured water and light masterpiece. These lights work to create a breathtaking view not to be missed.  


A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass
A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass


Niagara Park's Wonder Pass was definitely the perfectly family-friendly way to see the Falls. It was a busy day, but a fun one. I think Morley agreed.

A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass

Visiting Niagara Falls in the Winter

While most people associate visiting the Falls with the summer months, I highly recommend checking it out during the winter.  There were no big lines or even crowds to battle. At times, we were the only ones walking down the street. The majority of attractions and restaurants are still open, and as it is their slow season, most will thank you for stopping in.  That being said, be sure to check ahead before your winter visit, just to be safe.


About Niagara Parks

Since its establishment in 1885, Niagara Parks has remained a self-financed agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport, entrusted to preserve and protect the land surrounding Niagara Falls and the Niagara River. The Agency offers visitors the opportunity to authentically experience and interpret the 56 kilometre Niagara River corridor through the sprawling parklands, natural attractions, locally-sourced culinary offerings, celebrated golf courses and restored heritage sites.

Planning a trip to Niagara Falls? Let Niagara Parks help with their online trip plannerFor more info on the Niagara Parks Wonder Pass, visit Niagara Parks website.



Have you been to Niagara Falls? What was your favourite thing to do or see? I'd love to hear!


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Note: This post was made possible by Niagara Parks. I did receive products and/or compensation in exchange for my honest review, however, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you Niagara Parks for creating lasting memories for my family!

Cabin Fever Cures for Tiny Tots


While I would much prefer to be outside with the little one, sometimes the indoors calls. Like during the cold, dark months of winter.  Or, as it has been lately, the rainy days of winter.

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that during the winter months, I often feel trapped. And when we're trapped inside, both Morley and I tend to both go a bit loopy. Cabin fever is real my friends, even at just 10 months old. 

Luckily, we can escape it and create a totally enjoyable time indoors for the both of us.

Beat the Boredom with these Infant and Toddler Cabin Fever Cures

From baby to toddler, little ones are entertained by the simplest things and don't need some fancy, expensive toy or gadget to keep them occupied.

Today, I am collaborating with my friend Kate from Emmett's ABCs to bring you our favourite indoor activities to help cure cabin fever. 

Check out my three favourite boredom busters to keep the little one occupied and myself sane during the winter months:

Cabin Fever Boredom Busters for Your Little One


Make a Mess with Baby-Safe Paint


Painting is such a fun activity for young children. Not only does it allow them to express their creativity (yes, even at 7 months old), but it’s also fun! Sure, it can make a mess, which can equal stress for us adults. But for baby, messy is good. Messy play stimulates the senses, allowing baby to explore different colours and textures. It also helps develop hand and eye coordination and fine motor skills. What may look like a mess to you, is actually a learning experience for your child. So, roll up your sleeves and have some fun!

Check out this recipe for baby-safe paint, made with ingredients found in your kitchen.


Important notes: Any finger paint that you use for young children must be non-toxic by mouth and non-irritating to the skin.  If your child is allergic or intolerant to any food substances in this recipe, please do not use this paint. These paints are not to be eaten, but if tasted, are safe for baby. And I promise you, there will be tasting. Please do not leave your child unattended while doing this activity.


Get Active with a Dance Party


There really is nothing cuter than a little one shaking their booty. So why not let out that extra energy with a dance party? There are so many different play lists that are great for a baby/toddler dance party, just make sure to pick something with a good beat. Language appropriate lyrics are also important for the babe that is soaking in everything and anything going on around them. Our favourite playlist on Google Play Music is Disney Sing-a-Long, Morley loves the upbeat music, the songs are family-friendly and it brings back some good memories from mom's childhood. (Side note, isn't it crazy how you can remember every single lyric from a song you used to sing almost twenty years ago?!). Occasionally we'll also throw on some Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake or Rihanna to switch things ups.

On the flip side, listening to certain music can also help baby calm down. We love listening to Johnny Cash and similar more mellow play lists when it's nap time.



Build a Felt Sensory Wall


This past Christmas, I made Morley her own felt Christmas tree with ornaments that she could rip off and put back on, in hopes that she would stay from the real decorations. Safe to day, it was a hit! You can create a felt sensory wall regardless of the time of year, and they don't need to be fancy! A sensory wall not only helps to develop their fine motor skills by adding and removing pieces, it can also help baby learn numbers, shapes, colours and patterns!

This tutorial is super easy, and require minimum materials.



For more ways to beat cabin fever with your little one, check out these ideas from my friend Kate and her son Emmett over at Emmett's ABCs.


What are you tips for beating cabin fever? I'd love to hear!


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Keeping Baby Warm in Winter


Here in southern Ontario, the weather this winter has been anything but text book. One day we are blanketed in snow and the next it has rained and there's nothing but green grass. Scary, bizarre and confusing are just a few words to describe it.

For me, one of the confusing things about this winter’s weather is how to keep baby warm. It's hard enough to know if baby is warm and comfortable on days when the temperature is consistently cold, but when you have days with huge temperature swings, like as of late, things get even more challenging. 

With Morley being born the last day of winter 2016, when the snow had already vanished, learning how to dress her properly was not something we really had to do. This winter has definitely been a learning experience.

Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter

We love getting outside with Morley any chance we get. During the winter months, we tend to go a little stir crazy staying inside, so a walk is something we look forward to. 

One of our favourite winter activities when we visit my parents is a walk down to the beach, even in the winter.  And, despite the snow, our visit over Christmas break was no exception. It just meant that we had to make sure baby was fully prepared, from head to toe.

Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter
Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter
Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter

From the house to the car, on a walk and everything in between, there are many things to consider to keeping baby warm during the winter months. This is how we keep Morley happy, healthy and comfortable.

Keeping Baby Warm in the Car

Never put your baby in a car seat wearing a winter coat! I know, this is something that I struggle with too. Won't baby be cold? The answer is, no. 

Bulky coats, sweaters and bunting bags that baby wears or that attach to the car seat are considered a big no no in the car. Why? A thick layer between baby and the car seat strap can compress in a crash, increasing a baby's risk of injury. 

If you are worried baby will be cold, here are some things you can do:
  • Warm up your car before getting in
  • Carry them out to the car wearing a jacket but remove before you buckle them in
  • Dress baby in a thin, long-sleeve layer and tuck a blanket around her after she's buckled in
  • Leave an extra blanket in the car, just in case you need more than one to wrap around baby
  • Use their coat as a blanket by putting their arms into it backwards
  • Once you arrive at your destination, take your child out of the car seat first and then put on their jacket

Keeping Baby Warm While Outside

Since babies lose heat more rapidly than adults do, a good rule of thumb is to dress your child in one more layer than you would wear in the same conditions. So, if you are out for a walk in a long-sleeve and winter jacket, add one more layer for baby. 

When on a walk with the stroller, an attachable "sleeping bag" is a must for us. We love this JJ Cole Polar BundleMe Slate - it features an extendable bottom that grows with your child, for use from 0-4 years of age. A soft thermaplush interior and cozy hood maximize heat retention. Some days, it makes me want to curl up in the stroller with her.

Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter
Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter

If baby is too small to be in the stroller without the carseat, then try something like the JJ Cole Car Seat CoverMade of weather-resistant nylon and soft fleece. Its blanket-style design eliminates the need for bulky jackets while the zippered flap provides a custom fit to grow with your baby.

Adding a weather shield, such as the BOB Revolution Single Weather Shield for our stroller, will help protect your baby's delicate skin from windburn and precipitation. They are also available in a sun shield version, such as the BOB Revolution Sun Shield, to protect baby against the harmful UV rays.  The shields are easy to install on the stroller, and when not in use, fold up for easy storage. 

Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter

When not bundled up in the stroller, like playing in the snow, the rules for dress should be the same as for any cold weather, but with a big emphasis on staying dry. A water-resistant snowsuit with attached feet (if baby is not yet walking) or a water-resistant snowsuit with boots (if baby is walking) are a must. Top it off with water-resistant mittens and a hat. 

Also consider adding sunscreen and sunglasses to your list, since the sun's rays reflect off snow and can be harmful to baby's skin.


Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter

As always, use your best judgement when outside with baby during the winter months. Watch for signs of hypothermia, such as blue lips, shivering, or an unusually pale appearance to the nose or ears and take them inside to warm up at the first sign of discomfort. Also pay close attention to signs of overheating, such as sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, and rapid breathing are all signs of overheating, and know when you need to remove a layer of clothing. 

Outfitting a kid of any age for winter weather can be a hassle and often a fight, but it shouldn’t prevent you or your little one from experiencing the winter weather.

Keeping baby warm, but comfortable, is the key to an enjoyable winter outside with baby.

Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter


How do you keep baby warm and comfortable in the winter months? Do you have any tips and tricks? I'd love to hear!


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*This post contains affiliate links, at no additional cost to you. Purchasing through these links helps support To & Fro.

5 Things You Need to Know to Optimize Images for SEO


One of my big blogging goals for 2017 is to nail SEO, to bring more traffic to To & Fro. I've taken course after course and read article after article on the topic, and must admit, it hurts my head. There is just so much to know. While I am still slowly wrapping my head around SEO and its importance, I am making small gains in optimizing my content. 

I don't often share blogging tips on To & Fro, but I do want to share a recent SEO success of mine. It is my hope that the steps I used for my post, will also help others that are currently battling those three little letters. Thanks to a few extra steps before I hit publish, I was able to optimize both my content and my images for SEO, and as a result, have this post rank on Google, be pinned multiple times per day on Pinterest and continue to hold the highest number of page views of any post on To & Fro. To me, that's a success worth sharing.

How to Optimize Images for SEO

What is SEO and why is it so important? 

While Search Engine Optimization may seem like a big fancy phrase, its explanation is simple -  optimized, targeted content. 

Regardless of what your site provides, the majority of web traffic is driven by major search engines, such as Google. These search engines provide targeted traffic, or people looking for what you offer. However, in order to drive this traffic, your site needs to have good SEO. If a search engine can't find your site, you will miss out on incredible opportunities to drive traffic and increase readership. With the proper research and execution of keywords, you can create search engine and user-friendly content to drive more traffic. 

Bottom line: If you have good SEO, it will make your website visible on search engines, increasing your exposure and audience and making you an online influencer. Which I'm pretty sure is every blogger's goal.

How to Optimize Images for SEO

Images are a vital part of creating quality, engaging content online. Not only are your keywords important for your website's SEO, images are also a large piece of the SEO puzzle. Not a lot of people realize that images generate a TON of traffic from image-based search engines, such as Google Images. 

Images are a strong visual component to any webpage, so just like the body of your post, you also want to make sure they too are optimized properly to drive more traffic to your site. 

Luckily, optimizing images for SEO is easier than you think, once you know what to do.

Optimize your blog images for SEO w/ these helpful tips! 
Click to tweet. 

Here is what you need to know.

5 Things You Need to Know to Optimize Images for SEO


For the sake of this post, we're going to use the above mentioned SEO optimization success story as an example.   I am currently using Blogger as my platform, so the examples given will be in Blogger (sorry WordPressers!). 

Image relevance

First and foremost, use images relevant to what your content is about. For example, if you're talking about how to take your own silhouette maternity photos, you don't want a photo of a parrot. Instead you want photos of what you're writing about, such as camera equipment, setup, silhouette photos, etc. 

Not only will this help in search engines, but it will also help when you go to share your post on social media, or when someone else shares you post on social media, such as Pinterest.

Image size

Image size is a crucial factor for reader experience. You want a webpage that is pretty to look at, but also quick to load. If the photos on your page take a long time to load, chances are readers won't be sticking around. Make sure the image size is as small as possible, without compromising the image quality. In other words, you don't want a huge image but you also don't want one that is fuzzy or grainy.

Similar to relevancy, you want a mixture of vertical and horizontal photos in your post. For example, when pinned on Pinterest, vertical images appear larger and often receive more views that pinned horizontal photos.

File type

Make sure your images are in a file type supported by your website. The most common are jpeg and png files. 

File name

The average digital camera assigns a numeric file name to each image you take, such as "DSC0001.jpg"However, like in the text of your post, keywords are just as important when naming an image. Avoid using default names, as they do not provide any information about the image, what it contains or how it might be used

How to Optimize Images for SEO

Instead, using descriptive file names with keywords separated by hyphens (-). This will help Google locate and rank your image.  Also think about how potential visitors search for things online. What naming patterns do they use when they search? 

Example: While I am including the above photo in this SEO post, naming it "image-seo-optimization.jpg" makes no sense as it does not describe what the photo is about. A better name would be "maternity-silhouette.jpg", which describes the photo perfectly. 

If you want to see the importance of the file name in action, pick a topic and do a search in Google. View the images that rank in Google Images - they almost always have the keyword you searched for in their file name.

Alt Text

When you see a silhouette maternity photo, chances are you're instantly going to recognize what's going on in the picture. Problem is, search engines do not have the same recognition capabilities  Instead, they rely on something called "alt text". You must help them understand the image through this alt text, or text alternative. 

Alt text is probably the most important image optimization factor. A good practice is to keep them short, but descriptive, and to also include keywords for that specific post. 

Here's how to add alt text to your image in Blogger:

1. Right click on your image to bring up this blue tool bar. Click on "Properties".

How to Optimize Images for SEO

2. Clicking on "Properties" will open this Image Properties window. In the "alt text" line, add your keywords.  For the sake of this post, my alt text was the title, which seemed to be very effective and which I continue to do for a lot of my post images.

How to Optimize Images for SEO

So you've written your post, inserted your images and considered the above tips. Before you hit publish, make sure to ask yourself these six important questions.

When it comes to SEO, ask yourself these 5 questions before you hit publish:

  1. Are your images and keywords relevant to your brand, and this specific post?
  2. Did you properly execute keyword research to optimize information and images?
  3. Is your information useful and helpful?
  4. Is your content easily readable?
  5. Is this page answering the question being asked?

The bottom line is that if you take the time crafting the perfect post, make sure you don't forget about the images. Like in my example above, sometimes taking the few extra minutes to make sure your images are optimized, really does make all the difference between a post getting buried and a post being seen. 

Interested in learning more? Check out my SEO tips for recipe posts


Do you have any additional tips for optimizing SEO? I'd love to hear!


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Note: This post originally appeared on To & Fro in January 2015 and has since been updated.

How I Plan to Use My Free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass

Celebrate Canada 150 with FREE admission for the entire year to the many Parks Canada places that call this beautiful country home!

How I Plan to Use My Free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass - Bruce Peninsula National Park

Did you hear the news? In 2017, Parks Canada is inviting all Canadians and visitors from around the world to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary at our national treasures from coast to coast to coast. 

To mark this special year, they’re offering FREE admission to all Parks Canada locations in 2017!  This Discovery Pass gives you unlimited free opportunities to enjoy the National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites that call this beautiful country home.


How I Plan to Use My Free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass - Bruce Peninsula National Park

We received our Discovery Pass in the mail the other day, and the planning has already begun.

So, how will we take advantage?

In a perfect world, we would quit our jobs, load up the car and head across Canada, checking National Park after National Park off the list.  But, in reality, there’s jobs, a house, school and those dreaded things called bills.

While they’re won’t be an epic National Park road trip in our near future, we are fortunate enough to have one of the best National Parks (in my opinion at least) located just minutes down the road from our family cottage.  

It is a place that I have visited almost every summer for the past 30 years, one that Steve has visited for over 10 years now and one that little miss Morley had the pleasure of meeting this past summer for the very first time. 

Bruce Peninsula National Park is how we will be using our FREE 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass.

Morley, my sister in law and I at the Bruce Peninsula National Park lookout tower, located at the Visitor's Centre. Photo taken Summer 2016.
How I Plan to Use My Free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass - Bruce Peninsula National Park

Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with FREE admission to Parks Canada places in 2017!

I’m usually pretty hesitant to share the special place known as the Bruce. As one of my favourite places in the world, I feel pretty protective of it. 

Over the years, it has gone from a hidden gem to, well, a popular tourist destination with visitors from all over flocking to enjoy.  It’s safe to say, it is not the same quiet place I remember growing up as a kid. 

But, at the same time, it is a special place, and one worth sharing.

How I Plan to Use My Free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass - Bruce Peninsula National Park
How I Plan to Use My Free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass - Bruce Peninsula National Park
How I Plan to Use My Free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass - Bruce Peninsula National Park
How I Plan to Use My Free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass - Bruce Peninsula National Park
How I Plan to Use My Free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass - Bruce Peninsula National Park
How I Plan to Use My Free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass - Bruce Peninsula National Park
How I Plan to Use My Free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass - Bruce Peninsula National Park

A hidden gem in southern Ontario, Bruce Peninsula National Park has so much to offer. From hiking a section of the famous Bruce Trail and swimming, kayaking and canoeing through the crystal clear waters of Georgian Bay, to camping amongst the birch and cedar trees and viewing wildlife galore, Bruce Peninsula National Park has something for explorers of all ages.

See also: Plunging into the Deep of Fathom Five National Marine Park


Check out @BrucePNP, the hidden gem in the @ParksCanada places! #Canada150

Want to see Canada’s National Parks for yourself? It’s not too late! Get your FREE 2017 Discovery Pass HERE. Be sure to check the Parks Canada website for important information and rules regarding the free 2017 Discovery Pass. 

How I Plan to Use My Free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass - Bruce Peninsula National Park

Why visit Parks Canada places?


Canada’s National Parks are a country-wide system of representative natural areas of significance. By law, they are protected for public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment, while being maintained in an unimpaired state for future generations. National Parks have existed in Canada for well over a century. Currently, Parks Canada manages 46 National Parks, four National Marine Conservation Areas, 168 National Historic Sites, and one National Landmark. These wild places, located in every province and territory, range from mountains and plains, to boreal forests and tundra, to lakes and glaciers, and much more, and protect the habitats, wildlife and ecosystem diversity representative of - and sometime unique to - the natural regions within Canada.

National parks are among Canada's - and the world's - natural jewels. So, whether you’re looking for adventure, fun for the whole family, or a break from the everyday, Parks Canada has countless unique experiences to suit your needs. And they are just waiting to be explored by YOU!



Did you get your 2017 Discovery Pass? How will you use it? What is your favourite Parks Canada place? I'd love to hear!


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