Monday 28 February 2022

Part 1: Rocky Mountain Family Getaway Diary & Tips for Your Next Vacation

Morning view from our Airbnb in Canmore.

It's the last day of February and for me this month flew by.  We welcomed a new baby niece, my husband turned 40 and we had a family vacation to the Rocky mountains over the last week.  Although this was not our original vacation plan or the way to ring in my husbands 40th birthday, we enjoyed our time away skiing/snowboarding as a family.  One of the benefits of having older children is that we can finally do this kind of activity without anyone holding anyone back, needing nap times, or ski school, etc. Upon writing this post, I decided to break it up into two different parts, exploring and skiing/snowboarding.    Let's take a look at how we spent the first three days of our vacation.

Part 1- Calgary  

We had to travel by car from Saskatchewan to Calgary which is 6 hours away.  Logan and I chatted, listened to music and started listening to Green Lights by Matthew McConaughey on our trip.  Again a benefit of traveling with teens is that they take care of themselves, reading their own books, listening to their own music and watching downloaded movies on their own devices.  I just brought snacks and water along.

Calgary we shopped at the Chinook Mall which had something for everyone, and much more.  On the shopping front we all ended up scoring some new spring items for ourselves including a dress that I am obsessed with but wont be able to wear really until June, a new bathing suit, and a bright pink sweater to get me through a few more months of cold.  The girls also found a variety of items that they liked and I talked Logan into getting himself a pair of Blundstones, very similar to the ones I own, see here.

I'll shout out the Delta  by Marriott South hotel.  It wasn't glamorous by any means but it was a pefect location to the shopping center, provided clean and comfortable one night stay, a great pool and the gym was more than I expected it to be.   We would definitely stay there again for a one night stop over or shopping trip.

We also hung out with a university friend of mine and her family.  Since she had her first child just prior to the pandemic and her second arrived just a few months ago, I really haven't properly spent anytime with her kiddos.  The came to our hotel to swim, visit and I even had a dance party in the hotel room with a almost 3 year old.  I can't wait to visit and see all the pandemic babies more as things improve and we all become more comfortable seeing one another.  

Part 2 - Canmore & Banff

First off our Airbnb accommodation was PERFECT!  Two bedroom, two awesome bathrooms (key with teenagers), living room, full kitchen and the most wonderful view out the balcony.  Also a great pool with both a kiddie pool and waterslide, as well as our favorite an indoor/outdoor hot tub.  Although there were minor things that I would have improved upon such as having wine glasses in the cupboards, more chairs by the pool as there were maybe 6 at most for the whole complex, we were really happy and pleasantly surprised.  Our host was kind to leave us a chocolate which we all enjoyed and was super responsive to any questions we had.  Logan and I are already looking to book again just the two of us to do some hiking, and we would like to return next winter as a family.  If you ware looking for a place to stay we highly recommend this condo or anything in this building.  Also the restaurant attached, Gradne Kitchen + Bar offered a great menu, family friendly, great service, and reasonably priced; no wonder it has such high ratings on TripAdvisor.  

The first day was extremely cold in the morning, like -38C, so we decided to skip going to the hill and waited until the afternoon to explore Banff.  We didn't take many photos because our hands would freeze as soon as they were out of mitts for too long.

1.  Banff Upper Hot Springs:  Meh.  Honestly cool to do but we wouldn't do it again.  The water was hot and the view was nice but it's was ultimately like a large hot tub.  

2.  Exploring Banff downtown and the little shops was great, and we kept warm by going in and out of stores.  The kids like looking at tourist nick knacks and we all picked something out; I got a new mug for my travel mug collection.  

3.  Beaver Tails were the highlight of our day.  Anya got strawberry cheesecake, Logan and Halie got brownie and I went for Nutella and bananas.  Worth every calorie.

4.  Bow Falls So I desperately wanted to see these "waterfalls".  The kids and Logan braved the cold and walked the 1. 6 km to see it.  it was cold, icy at times, and we only met one person on the trail.  We get there and....... it's not a waterfall but rather a rapid that's very nice to look at.  HAHAHAHAH.  Well at least we walked off an eight of our beaver tail.  

5.  Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.  This is a castle hotel like no other I've ever seen.   We had friends staying there so we went into their incredible pool after a day of skiing.  The luxury is top notch and the view was incredible.  The hotel is huge and tourists are welcome to explore it on foot which I would recommend and wish to do next time.

Honestly there was so much we didn't see and we would like to see in both Banff and Canmore, especially on foot.  Some of the things we want see is Johnston Canyon, hike up Sulphur Mountain, see the Three Sisters reflected on the water at sunrise and endless more hikes to explore. I think we need to go there in the spring, summer or fall to truly enjoy the natural beauty and all it has to offer.  

Next Monday I'll review and give you our opinion on Sunshine vs. Lake Louise for skiing/snowboarding adventures! 

Your turn!  Tell me something good from your February!


Wednesday 16 February 2022

Ageless Style: Ponchos, Puppies and Sweater Dresses

Hello Ageless Style friends and followers.  Welcome to the middle of February!!!!  This month is flying by and I am a-okay with that.  I am sorry that I have been MIA for a week but I ended up kind of taking an unplanned break from lots of things in my day to day life including social media, blogging, rigorous exercise, and daily tasks.  I just hit a wall and allowed myself to ride it out for 5 days, which left me feeling refreshed and excited to reclaim my routine.  So I am back!   

Today I am teaming up with the lovely ladies form the Ageless Style series to show our interpretations of Joanne's, from my Slices of Life blog, prompt of capes & ponchos.  A few weeks ago, Oreo girl went to get a little pampering at the groomers and had a bath and a cut around the face, ears and feet, and we decided to take photos while we were downtown.  It was actually not too cold and perfect for a sweater dress and poncho look.  If you live in milder winters, I think this is the perfect layered look especially for a winter to spring transition outfit.  In all honestly, here its much too cold to be without a wool coat, mittens and a beanie, but come late March, I maybe could pull this off in real time.  I love, the colors in this look, and the white boots made a comeback, see another way to style them here.  This sweater dress is a favorite and so very warm.  It's a heavier blend and perfect for winter dressing up.  The ponchos pastel colors add just the amount of color without taking over the outfit, and letting the jewelry kind of shimmer and shine.  For a more casual poncho style look check here.  

I loved how this  prompt came together and even more glad that I dug out my poncho out of my closet.  It really hasn't been styled much this fall/winter.  Are you still holding on to your poncho, scarves or capes, or do you feel they are out of style these days?  

Make sure to link-up your favorite outfits below and check out all the other ladies and their styles.  Also, next week my family and I are off on a vacation to the mountains.  A much anticipated trip, especially since we ended up canceling our trip to Mexico.  I will not be posting next Monday but I will be back on Monday, Feb. 28th.  Make sure to follow us along on IG!

Shop This Post:

White Boots (sold out; similar from Vero Moda & Aldo)

Sweater Dress (Marshals; similar from Gentle Fawn)

Poncho (Fabfitfun old; similar from Amazon)

Jewelry from Hillberg & Berk

Amy ~ Amy’s Creative Pursuits

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Bo ~ Bo's Bodacious Blog

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Carrie ~ A Simple Lovely Life

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Joanna ~ My Slice of Life


Jodie ~ Jodie’s Touch of Style

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Leslie ~ Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After

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Marsha~ Marsha in the Middle

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Mireille ~ Chez Mireille Fashion Travel Mom

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Rosemary ~ Distinctly Southern Style

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Robin ~ Hello I am 50ish

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Sunday 6 February 2022

Sentence a Day: January 2022

Welcome to my first 2022 Sentence a Day post.  Each month I try to reflect on the month before in some way, such as a Sentence a Day, Currently, Day in a Life or Quarterly Goal Check-In.  Today, I am sharing what the first month of 2022 brought for me and my crew.  Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.  

1st Last morning to read by the tree and drink my coffee.  Although it's always a little bittersweet to put Christmas away, I do want to head back to work with that being put out of my mind.  Until next year.

2nd Best day of vacay.  We finally got a break in the freezing cold and headed skiing/snowboarding to a hill for the day.  Although it was chilly, we braved the cold and enjoyed the day outdoors! 

3rd Last lazy morning of the break was fully enjoyed, and then I moved right into meal prep to survive the week.4th Welcome back to school.  I am actually super excited to see these little monkeys back at school. 

5-9th We literally live in a deep freeze.  Its anywhere between -35 to -50C, so freezing cold which meant I watched a lot of Emily in Paris in the evenings and drank tea to stay warm.10th We have some staff out with COVID which meant that I had to cover and go on a field trip.  It was a blast.  Even though it's still pretty chilly the kids were fantastic! 

11th Finally the freeze has lifted and I went for a run with Amber for the first time in 2022!  Slow and steady.
12th Another day, another field trip.  This time I took the grade 4's bowling!13th A sad, sad day.  We finally cancelled our trip to Mexico.  After much deliberation we just decided we couldn't take the risk of getting stuck there with COVID.  However we are hoping to take the kids to the mountains if the weather is good.14th Another beautiful morning run!15th We celebrated my dad's 65th birthday with a combined party for Halie (birthday to come on Jan. 25th).  Although we choose to cancel our Mexico trip due to high COVID risk, I decided to bring a little beach vibe to a small gathering of family and friends.  I think he had a great time. 

16th Started the day off with a cross country ski, coffee and a walk at the dog park. 
17th My body aches so bad. As soon as I realized this was for sure not in my imagination I took a rapid test.  Negative.  Came home and crashed for an hour and a half.  Woke up aching.  Took a rapid test and BAM positive.  Sigh.

18th I am feeling sick peeps.  Also very guilty for not being at school to help out my collogues. 

19th I feel significantly better today.  Worked and made it through the afternoon without a nap.20th Today I felt so much better I decided to jump on my spin bike and try a peloton workout.  Love, love, love my new purchase!!!!
21st Best Surprise from my BFF.  She sent me a beautiful flower arrangement and absolutely made my day. 


22nd Last day of staying at home.  Thank goodness, I am going crazy.
23rd Let me out I say!!!!  24th Glad to be back at work today. 25th Happy 15th birthday to my girl Halie. 

26th Got my booster shot finally!27th The weather is finally nice once again and we hit the pavement nice and early for our run before work.

28th TGIF.  I decided to post on IG a week of work outfits and it was a super successful post, thanks all who follow along.  Also, I recently tried a new wine The Lost Poet and it was delicious.  Ended the week with a glass of that.  

29th Halies friends birthday.  It was a late night for this lady.30th Dragging all day long.31st Well January ended with a complete blizzard.  Getting home was a challenge but so many others were stranded sleeping in school gyms, with family and friends, and even stores.  Below is a map of all the roads that were considered too dangerous to drive on in our province, so a good chunk of our province.  The next day was basically business as usual.  Our city road crew worked through the night to clear as many roads as possible.  Oh February please end the freezing cold!

Now it's your turn!  Tell me something that's memorable for you and your family from the first month of 2022.