Walking on Lake Ontario – Free Toronto Weekend Adventure

Do you ever do something awesome and then immediately feel like you should have had it on your curated bucket list? It’s probably not an every day occurrence, a random enjoyable experience can sneak up on you and you just know that it was bucket list worthy.

This sort of experience happened to us last week (and by us I mean: me, the husband, and the dog).

It was another day of going to the dog park with our pup. We decided to forgo our normal winter area and check our the Cherry Beach dog park since it was above freezing and parking is free. When we got there, we realized the lake was FROZEN SOLID. Not only that but people were walking on the ice… with their dogs!

We had heard tell of this before, but we’re not necessarily all that familiar with winter. In my mind ice = danger. I think of scenes with near death experiences from Its a Wonderful Life, Little Women, The Chronicles Of Narnia, etc. However, how could we pass up a chance to walk on a Great Lake?? & with our dog??

When we stepped our onto the ice I went into oscillating states of happiness and pure fear. Eventually the fear went away and I was able to really take in how amazing this happen stance opportunity was. I could tell that walking on the lake was kind of normal to other people there, but it was honestly something that I would have never known that I wanted to do until I did it. It was beautiful, natural, and a lot of fun!

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Bumper Car Trauma| The Bachelor Recap| Arie Week 2

My name is Forrest and I’m a procrastinator and a hopeless consumer of all Bachelor franchises. I’m writing a weekly blog devoted to each episode — a project that I was hesitant to start because I feel like Youtube videos are a better platform for such thing… but alas that is simply not my cup of tea. A Bachelor blog it is!

Week 2: 

I think I went into this week expecting more drama or more crazy. The episode itself was a little uneventful, but we still got to meet some very interesting ladies who already seem like bright and colourful rainbows in comparisons to Arie’s beigy-ness. The second episode is a great teller for how I think the rest of the season will go: Arie = not interesting. Most Women = not that interested.

Becca K: Oneonone date

Am I the only one who does not remember this girl from the first night? I knew there were two Becca’s & half of the world’s population of Lauren’s, but I simply did not have a memory of her that stood out. 

Becca’s date started with a motorcycle ride (a feat way too dangerous for Krystal). They arrived at a seaside mansion with a ready-set seafood buffet (the lobsters though). She then met Rachel Zoe and got to play dress up with some gorgeous designer dresses. She genuinely looked like she was having fun, but Arie merely sat and watched her joy. They later sat and watched the ocean and she got a kiss from the kissing bandit. I’m in awe of the material opulence but my brain is yawning around 9:12 pm.

Becca walked away with several dresses (of which Arie bought), some Louboutins, and diamond earrings. I don’t know much about the Gossip Girl brands, but looking at her carrying all of the bags after the date I knew that it was all EXPENSIVE and IMPRESSIVE.

I felt nearly sympathetic for Becca on this date. While we all know that she received an enviable amount of wonderful gifts, this seemed like a trophy wife sort of date to me. I needed more substance rather than merely a dumping of cash. Becca seems to know her worth, and self worth does not = x amount of cash. I want to see Arie validate these women in more ways and now the bar is raised even higher for him.

Krystal: Oneonone date

While watching Krystal’s date, I was CRINGING. They went to SCOTTSDALE,AZ (Arie’s hometown) and walked through his empty highschool. Arie alluded that he barely made it through high school, which means this place is of little importance to him and simply a waste of time. Krystal smiled through the bulk of it and complimented the deserted halls with her mysteriously raspy voice (why is it so raspy?! I need answers!).

Then they went to Arie’s “house” that had the most boring decorations I have ever seen. This has to be a set home because how could a person live somewhere that looks like the decor equivalent of oatmeal? They watched weird home movies and Krystal still continued smiling. I would have been begging to go home by this point. 

Krystal then went to meet Arie’s family. I don’t think I like the show doing the surprise hometown dates two Bachelor seasons in a row. Raven did so well meeting Nick’s family, but it still seemed like it was more forced than actual hometowns. Arie’s family seemed really happy for him to come home, and Krystal gave them a little interrogation on their own successful marriage. She took the conversation seriously, which I think is a good sign of her intentions. Later, she tells Arie that her family life is very different. Her vulnerability is exactly what everyone needs to do on one-on-one dates. She was obviously scared and also very honest. Even though I wanted to dislike Krystal on the date, I really couldn’t complain about her…. yet.

Group Date: 

I feel like I could sum up this date in 2 words: Bumpercar Trauma. 

The girls head to a demolition derby, which actually looked immensely fun and dangerous. My friends and I would jump off of cliffs into the river when we were in college. We always got such adrenaline rushes and felt like gods. I’m guessing the derby feels the same way.

Bibiana’s need to smash things was REAL, because you know these girls are ready to do anything after being cooped up without books, music, or television for a week. In fact, everyone seemed pretty excited except for Annaleise. I felt for her tears initially, because I thought she had been in a car accident. Turns out, she is scarred from a bumper car accident from her childhood. WHAT. ABC must be deliriously desperate at this point because not only do they give this problem tons of attention, but they also create a “cut scene” of bumper car footage. The cheesy level I needed was exceeded beyond belief. Sienne and Tia shine during the derby, as well as Brittany T. (who went so hard she was injured).

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The end of the group date began to test my patience. Chelsea makes me want to avoid suburbia forever, because her crazy eyes are the type that watch you go to the mailbox through her designer shades after she slips Kaltene bars into the snack bags that she made for other mom’s at her bi-weekly spin class.

Any time Chelsea talks, I’m waiting for her to say something that will land her in the role of the villain. On this date, she was very adamant about letting Arie know she had a child; which, is all well and good except she made it seem like it aligned her with his past love. Here’s the formula I see Chelsea creating: Arie loved Emily. Emily has kid. I have kid. Therefore Arie loves me. It is crazy, but it just might work.

Becka M also stood out to me because her and Arie have obvious chemistry. Their kiss had so much spark! Her fur jacket also made me want a fur jacket.

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Bibana begins to feel the pressure on the group date. I have always wondered why we don’t see the Bachelor or Bachelorette interact with everyone  on these group dates, and it turns out that it just can’t happen. There are too many girls at this stage, and you have to be quite aggressive to get your time. Bibiana plans on stepping up after this and I’m ready to see her give it her all!

Sienne stood out on this group date because she is 1) gorgeous and 2) ARTICULATE. I love seeing contestants look the Bachelor in the eye, and Sienne did so with such confidence and grace. She knows what she wants. She also tells Arie that she went to Yale, which is impressive for the show. I already thing she may be too good for Arie. Arie is also impressed and gives her the group date rose.

Cocktail party: 

The cocktail party was one huge eye roll for me. Arie kisses nearly everyone; Becka M claims to be no drama mid-kiss; and Krystal interrupts women twice even though she already has a rose. One of the women she interrupted was Bibana who was on the verge of a melt down most the night as she was trying to get time with Arie. When she finally gets time, she doesn’t know what to say and then Krystal barges in. As much as I wanted to see her succeed, I was more okay with her sticking up for herself as she failed to connect with Arie. Though her time was short, Bibs did tell Krystal that she did not want to be interrupted and then later called Krystal out for being fake. Krystal seemed clingy for asking for so much time, and I think what Bibiana told her was on other girls’ minds: “check yourself before you check on other people”.

The Rose Ceremony:

These actually happen?! YES!

Many girls did not get time with Arie, and many a girl who did looked nervous in this ceremony. I especially noticed that Tia looked particularly uneasy (which made me nervous because I want her to stick around!) In the end, Arie sent home 3 girls who I can’t even remember.

Here’s what google tells me:

Valerie, Lauren G., & Jenny (who was upset to leave her friends).

Right now I have about 4 front runners and they all are the women who have had the most screen time: Becca, Becca, Krystal, Sienne.

I’m hoping this next week brings some real connections and also some real conversations about what the women see in Arie besides his “pillow lips”.

Friday Favourites – Eggs, Oils, + More

  1. Jaime Oliver’s Youtube Channel: I have fallen in love with cooking since August of 2017. I find such joy in taking time to follow recipes and enjoying the results. Jaime’s Youtube channel is like the easiest to follow cookbook. I love the guest appearances and also the way he incorporates easy ingredients. His egg video(s) astound me. So many new ways to cook one of my favourite foods!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jzm2kExgIPc

2 . The CINNAMON ROLES THAT DON’T PROVE YOUR WORTH

The realness of this post gave me CHILLS. If you feel like you’re trapped in a patriarchal and misogynist cyclone, give this a read.

3. Essential Oils

How am I so late to this game? I have never doubted the effectiveness or MAGIC of oils, but I never knew where to start. My MIL gifted us a diffuser and small oils kit and I have been so pleased with how they have added to our home in a positive way. My current favourite combo is Eucalptus + Lavender. What oils should I get next?

4. PC Butternut Squash Soup

The President’s Choice brand (Canadian brand) has some of my favorite foods to pick up from the grocery store. Their soups are incredible and my new fave is definitely the boxed Squash soup. It’s extra creamy with a little kick.

5. Blogilates New YEAR challenge

I’ve been loving Casey’s Pop Pilates videos for a couple of months and I love this calendar to reset your fitness life for the New Year. All of the workouts can be done in under 30 minutes and always leave me sore!

3 Last Minute Thanksgiving Side Dishes

 

Last MinuteWe always spend Thanksgiving with my husband’s side of the family. For them, Thanksgiving is the time when all of the relatives travel from across the country to stay together for three non-stop and CRAZY days. The first time I attended it was almost like an initiation into the family ritual of pure and delightful chaos.

Nothing is planned and everything is a go-with-the-flow sort of feel. Its definitely not how I normally do things (I plan things down to the hour, heck to the minute), but Thanksgiving with our family is the time to put the planner away and just let things happen. Of course, the laissez-faire attitude can lead to some last minute recipes and adjustments to the Thanksgiving feasts. If your family is like ours, it is always nice to have a few good back up recipes if you need them.

What do you mean there’s not a green bean dish? Oh, I don’t really like mashed potatoes… Is there a vegan option?

We’ve got you covered.

Here are my husband and I’s tried and true recipes (mostly from other blogs!) for when things just need a little stability. I hope you enjoy!

Green Bean Casserole Just Like Mom Used to Make 

No lie, one year I made this casserole for my husband instead of a birthday cake because he loves it so much. This is a fool-proof recipe that only requires basic pantry items. If there’s no green bean casserole on the menu, why not give this one a go? The mushroom soup can be easily substituted by Cream of Chicken.

Vegan Smashed Potatoes (You HAVE to try these)

Angela’s blog is one of my favourites because most of her recipes are very accessible. The smashed potatoes have the best texture, and her avocado aioli is also delicious. You could easily substitute the aioli with Sriracha too for a little extra kick and a little saved time. (PS, you will want to snack on these even after dinner is over!)

Warm Mexican Corn Salad (Great for WW)

Bailey’s instagram is inspirational and I love learning healthy tips from her. The recipe on her blog was exciting to make because I knew I would love it. The ingredient list is basically all of my favourite foods. Don’t skimp on the feta for this recipe!

 

 

Fall Must Haves and Must Do’s

Is there anyone who can resist the warm and cozy calling of the Autumnal season? The world becomes a sea of burnt orange and crimson hues, over run with pumpkin spice, and covered in flannel.

I love fall because it always makes me feel extra productive. I start school, I do a lot of cleaning, I go on fall themed excursions, and I always have a great “changing of the wardrobe” (when I switch my closet over to a more winter based system).

This post is acting like a fall shopping list, bucket list, and also fall favorites that I personally never shut up about between September and November. Let’s go.

1. Mules

 

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These are the fall version of your favorite summer slides. There are so many styles to choose from and also a variety of price range for these trendy shoes – however, since they are a trend I like to find the best bang for my buck. I found a few different styles of mules for under $30 at Urban Planet. I can’t wait to style the black leather pair with some denim and a classy top. Find them here.

2. Davids Tea

David’s has one of the best tea selections for seasonal blends. Their fall selection is slowly being released and I was so excited to see an old favorite: Blueberry Muffin. Don’t knock it til you try it, and keep your eyes peeled for their pumpkin teas because they are equally delicious. My tea trick: mix and match blends!

3. Dad hats

While I love a good wide brimmed hat for fall and winter, I love the dad hats of summer. Why can’t they be a fall item too? Some of my favourite hat shops are on Etsy, and they have some many quirky and fun designs that I just can’t say no to. I currently have my eye on this little number from 999spyglass:

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I also love the patch trend that’s happening right now and I found some patched hats that are super cute from WildFlower and Co on Etsy. Look at how many options there are!

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4. Pumpkin Pancakes

One of the best parts of fall is trying new recipes. I’ve been scouring pinterest for yummy breakfast ideas and I came across this masterpiece: APPLE PIE PANCAKES WITH VANILLA SYRUP 

Averie Cooks is the genius behind these, and I have a feeling I’ll be thanking her for blessing me with this glorious combination of flavours.

I can’t wait for the first crisp morning of fall and to treat myself with these delicious looking pancakes.

5. Fall Wreath

Is there anything more welcoming than a wreath with a pumpkin on it? I think not. I’ve never made a wreath before, but I’m looking forward to trying it out and personalizing it to my own taste. Here are my inspiration pieces so far.

 

6. Vegan Stew (the perfect fall recipe)

Last year I discovered the “Oh She Glows” blog and cookbook. While I am not vegan nor vegetarian, I love trying new recipes and adding more vegetables into my diet. My husband and I fell HARD for this Stew the first time we tried it. First off, it incorporates sweet potatoes and squash (the perfect fall ingredients); then it is combined with a  cozy blend of spices; and finally it is topped off with red lentils to make you feel nice and full. We eat this recipe without the rice and we add a little bit of lime to it for a punch of citrus.

All of Angela’s (the woman behind the blog) recipes are easy to work with, even if you are not vegan. I often sub the vegan oils for ones that I already have and tweak wherever is necessary so I can use what I already have on hand. In any case, I have never tried a recipe from Oh She Glows with the result of disappointment. So far they have all been tasty and delicious!

7. Dark Lips

They day is coming when the dark lip can be an every day lip. I’m mainly looking forward to wearing a plummy lipstick because of Veronica Lodge from Riverdale. If you haven’t watched Riverdale, you are missing out. It’s a cool blend of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars with a little dash of Cole Sprouse.

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Anyways, Veronica’s bold lip is simply inspirational. Since the show is sponsored by Covergirl, it was very easy for viewers to guess Veronica’s go-to colour: Marroon Meow by Katy Perry for Covergirl. Once I found the shade, I bought it within 24 hours. Now, I can’t wait to channel my inner River Vixen.

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8. Apple picking

Something that I have NEVER done in the fall is go to a legit orchard. While I like apples, it has always been more of a tradition for me to go to a pumpkin patch. Then I saw Carly’s post from last fall and I have made a solemn vow to forget the pumpkins and finally make my way to the orchard for a fun fall day.

Easter Dresses 2017

Easter dresses

 

Having an Easter dress is a tradition that I grew up with as a kid. Even when we hit hard times, we would still go to K-Mart and pick out something special for Easter to wear to church. I’ve been looking around for the perfect Easter dress for this year.I’m the type of girl who doesn’t get sad about window shopping. Instead, I get inspired and genuinely happy just looking at clothes and it makes me even happier to think about sharing them with someone who will buy an item I’ve picked out and love it. So here are my Easter picks for this year!

  1. If I were to invest in a dress this year, the Old Navy dress would be perfect for my budget. I love the bright yellow paired with the delicate lace details. I think the fit and flair cut is one that would be flattering on several figures. Plus, it is a dress that you can wear with a cardigan and I’m all about that cardi life. Buy it here.
  2. Francesca’s is my go to store for adult-ish type clothes (any one age 18-35?). All of their dresses make me want to hide my student loans under a rug and look fabulous forever. I found this hot-pink dress and realized it comes in about 12 different colours and is only $20.00! Its a steal! Get it while you can! Here.
  3. The short sleeve blue dress screamed “classy” whenever I saw it. How cute would it look with brown wedges and pearls? Eep! Just take my money! I like to peruse through boutique websites and Red Dress Boutique is one of my favorites. They can be a little pricey, but all of their clothes are super trendy and good quality too. It is a decent price, coming to $34.00. But it here.
  4. Finally I have my splurge item and of course its from J Crew (factory). You have been living under a rock if you have not seen this perfectly polka-dotted dress. I feel like nothing could go wrong to anyone wearing this dress. Again, I would pair it with some brown wedges, a slim belt, and some pearls for Easter. To justify the price ($93.00), this dress  would be one that I would wear for several different occasions. I can see myself wearing it with a denim jacket and converse; with sandals and a straw hat; with adidas and my favorite baseball cap; with birkenstocks with a ribbon in my hair. Basically we all need this dress like Opera needs to give us a new car. Buy it here.

And that’s it! I hope you all have a great Easter and remember the reason why we dress up in the first place (Jesus!). I always felt torn buying a new dress for Easter, but I know now that the happiness of the celebration is shown culturally through fashion. People want to wear their best and I’ve come to terms with that. It doesn’t change the season if you don’t get a new dress, and you can have fun re-styling what you already have!

Whether you go to church every Sunday, only on Easter and Christmas, or not at all, I truly wish you a great season of happiness, joy, and hope.

White Rabbit Prints: My New Store!

So… I’ve started a new project — White Rabbit CA. This is my new Etsy shop with all things Disney.I wanted to go with pretty, feminine, delicate designs withe powerful words from influential Disney female characters

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I’ve branched out to include some of my favorite quotes that bring me joy, but I still try to keeip following the same floral and “pretty” aesthetic. Here’s my absolute favorite:

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But…this blog is not entirely about the shop, but why I started it.

I’ve been juggling a lot of things lately. Every thing that came my way I tried to handle the best I could, but often times it was without a smile. I like to think that I am generally a positive “zip-a-dee-doo-da” person and I felt myself slipping into a bad place — where I felt like I did not deserve to be happy. Without going into too much detail, I came to the point where I knew that it was time to find something new to do with  my mind, my hands, and my heart that would give me an outlet to remind myself what I am capable of.

The same thing happened the first winter in Canada. I got Oliver (the cutest orphan puppy ever who is now an 80 pound fuzz ball of love).

The second winter I started my Youtube channel. It went okay, and I liked making videos… but I no longer have the technology or the time to commit to my perfectionistic ways. It was taking me hours to import and export videos. That is not counting the time it took to film and edit. It makes me sad that I can’t keep up the schedule to maintain the channel of my dreams, but I had to accept that this outlet was less feasible as time went on.

This winter… I started my Etsy shop: White Rabbit CA. When I was younger, I was always on the look out for white rabbits — they are the guides to Wonderland! Even when I didn’t see any white rabbits, I was hopeful and would look for little rabbit prints  to hopefully guide me to where they were hiding. As a kid I knew that you had to try hard to find what you believed in, even if you couldn’t see it. The white rabbit is my symbol for belief, hope, and wonder.

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I create designs based on some of my favorite Disney quotes and characters, upload them to Etsy, and then if anyone orders them I send them to the printers and the printers sends them to the customer. It actually took a lot of research to find the avenues to open a shop with very little financial risk, but I did it. So now I’m selling my little pieces of happiness hoping to bring a little bit of happiness too.

This list of things that I start during the winter months may seem like I find something for the moment and quit. Perhaps that’s the case. But I feel like a hobby is the one area where you are allowed to move on whenever it is not serving you any more. That is what I struggled with as I started my new store. Was I giving up and quitting something that others had supported me on? Would they be disappointed? What would I say when people asked me about YT? What about my YT community who I subscribed to and who subscribed to me? These are questions I’ll have to continue to answer, but for right now, I’m happy doing something new and that’s okay.

If you are interested in learning more about starting a small shop, feel free to DM me on Instagram! White Rabbit Prints OR Forrest_Dear