Tag Archives: photography

Seven years ago…

Seven years ago, I landed in Italy for my very first European trip. It was an amazing trip, with my daughter along, and meeting so many people from the States, and Australia – some are still friends! This was the trip that put the travel bug in me that hasn’t left. I loved Italy – in particular Venice – and I will definitely make it back there again. Some pictures from my trip!

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Seven years ago, many pounds lighter, and loving Italy!
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The Amalfi coast – so beautiful!
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My daughter and I in Pompeii
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Venice ❤
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and of course Rome!

It’s okay to relax

Last night, I decided to break one of my rules of isolation, and had my best friend over for a home cooked meal, some wine, enjoyable conversation and even threw in a game of Tri-Bonds! It was just what we both needed – a night of normalcy during these times.

Pork chops with garlic mushrooms, glazed apples, potato salad and pea and edamame salad. I can only take credit for the pork chops, mushrooms and apples!

I’m off today and tomorrow, so today I took advantage of the beautiful weather and went for a nice long walk, sat in the sun for a bit, and then headed over to a lovely bakery close by for a decadent afternoon treat!

Love the sound of the creek
Sitting on the porch, doing some research and enjoying the amazing sunshine!
A lemon lavender tart with blueberries hidden at the bottom – a perfect afternoon treat! and so yummy!

What do you do to treat yourself on a beautiful relaxing day off?

Chocolate-Mocha Brownie Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon hot coffee
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour (or plain flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt)
  • 1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, (add more if desired)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 2 cookie sheets or baking trays with parchment paper (baking paper).
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, white sugar, butter and vegetable oil. Beat in egg and vanilla until fully incorporated.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir the dry ingredients first before mixing them through the wet ingredients until a dough forms (do not over beat). Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Scoop out 1-2 tablespoonful of dough and place onto prepared baking sheets. Press them down as thick or thin as you want your cookies to come out. 
  • Bake in hot preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will come out soft from the oven but will harden up as they cool. (Be careful not to over bake as they will dry out.)
  • Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Memories of my travelling days

I know one day I will be able to get back out into this world and travel. But tonight, it has been a night of looking back at where I’ve gone, what I’ve done and what I miss the most. As a single mom, I was able to take my kids, each alone, on some pretty awesome trips. And of course, my travels on my own. I wanted to share some of my favourite memories from over the years.

My daughter and I had a special memory of going to New York City in 2008. It was one of the first places on my bucket list and was so excited to go!
My son and I did a road trip down to Nashville and some of the southern States in 2009. I love Nashville!
I moved to Calgary in 2011 and one of the highlights in my 3 years there was to go snowshoeing in Banff. Truly amazing views!
Calgary
My daughter and I headed to Italy in April of 2014, this is Florence.
In 2014, I made a huge move and headed to Prague to get my certificate to teach English. My absolute favourite city in the entire world!! (so far anyway….)
Zizkov, the area that I lived in Prague
After 2 years in Prague, I headed to Changchun China to teach English for a year. While I was not particularly fond of China, these kids took my heart.
The Ice and Snow Festival (biggest in the world) in Harbin, China
Shenyang, China
Before I headed back to Canada from China, I made a 7 week stop in Chile, starting in Santiago
From Santiago, I headed to the ocean, to Valparaiso and Vina del Mar
I headed north to La Serena, and then to Antofagasta
I could not visit Chile without heading to the Atacama desert. Pukara de Quitor, just outside of San Pedro
I ended my 7 week adventure in Arica, Chile, on the southern border of Peru. What a perfect place to end my trip to Chile!
In January 2019, after a year and a half of working, I decided I needed a three week vacation and headed to Spain, Morocco and Portugal on a Trafalgar bus tour. Amazing Seville!
Castle in Spain
My travelling buddy Trip came with me to visit the sites in Spain
Costa del Sol
The last trip I went on was to Canada’s Capital city – Ottawa.

I do miss travelling but I know that, soon, I will be heading out for another adventure. I am hoping to get to Turkey and Greece for a few weeks in the next year. These boots have gone through China and Chile – they will be coming with me wherever I head to next!

Seeing this picture, the song “a Horse with No Name” runs through my head – that was the song that they played on our way back to San Pedro after our tour of Valle de la Luna.

Dreaming on a gloomy day…

It’s a gloomy day here in Canada, and I have been looking back at some of my favourite places that I’ve travelled to, and some new ones that I will be seeing. It’s always a day to share and here are some pictures and memories of mine!

Big Ben and area – London February 2016
Eiffel Tower – July 2016
Harbin China – February 2017
The Andes in Santiago, Chile August 2017
Atacama Desert – September 2017
The beautiful beaches of Arica, Chile – September 2017
Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, – June 2019
Future trip to Angkor Wat Cambodia – aiming for 2022
Victoria Falls, Zambia Africa – 2021 trip

It’s so lovely to look back at memories made, and to dream of future places to see