Did you know because 2017 marks Canada’s 150th Birthday, Canada has an AMAZING gift for you! If you order a Parks Canada 2017 Discovery Pass before the end of the year, it’s FREE.

FREE PARKS CANADA DISCOVERY PASS

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Parks Canada 2017 Discovery Pass

I paid for mine, so it’s good for two years because like I said, admission for the entire 2017 year to Parks Canada places from coast-to-coast is FREE.

Here’s some Alberta Parks Canada photo inspiration and reasons why you need to order a pass! Everyone needs to visit Banff, Jasper and Elk Island National Parks-EVERYONE.

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Jasper

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Patricia Lake, Jasper, Alberta

 

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Lake Louise, Banff, Alberta

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Around Athabasca Falls, Jasper, Alberta

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My favourite mountain, Mount Edith Cavell in Jasper

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Maligne Canyon, Jasper, Alberta

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Bison at Elk Island National Park, Alberta

And you don’t have to be Canadian to order your free pass either! If you’ve been thinking of visiting Canada, 2017 is the year to do it folks! There will be Canada’s 150th Birthday Celebrations all over the country, pretty much the whole year ’round!

Consider this post as my personal invitation to visit my home…

my beautiful country…

my Canada.

Come and discover us! We don’t disappoint.  🙂

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas filled with hugs, love and yummy food!

Olde English Charm In The Rocky Mountains

Last week we decided to go to Banff for a short visit, because why not? Terry hasn’t had much work lately, which is ok by me. Yeah, less money but, MORE ADVENTURES.

I looked around on Expedia, because I really didn’t feel like paying a lot for a hotel room this time. Heck, we’re still recovering from the College Road Trip #2, so no added financial stress is needed thank you very much. I found great reviews and a great price of $122 for one night at The GeorgeTown Inn in the city of Canmore, which is about a 10 minute drive from Banff.

 The GeorgeTown Inn, Canmore, Alberta

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The GeorgeTown Inn

What a fantastic find! The Georgetown Inn has that little bit of Olde English Charm that’s kind of fun here in Canada. We love that stuff! Canmore was a mining town way back, but when the mines shut down there wasn’t much else for it to survive, that is, until the 1984 Calgary Olympics.  Canmore is now home to the Canadian Nordic Centre where athletes live and train for cross country skiing and other Olympic sports. That Olympics saved the town, and wow…I wish I bought property back then because now it’s a booming mountain town that’s pretty expensive to live in. Gas is at least 10 cents a litre more, and housing is outrageously priced. C’est la vie! At least they have great hotels and inns to stay in, like The Georgetown Inn.

The Georgetown Inn looks like it might be an older property, but is in fact only about 15 years old. So it has all the modern amenities you need with the look and feel of staying in the English countryside.

This is a shot of the patio, it’s so PRETTY!

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The GeorgeTown Inn

And Hellooooooo, there’s an english phone booth here!
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As soon as you walk in the lobby, you know this is gonna be GREAT.

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The GeorgeTown Inn Lobby

Where do you get these English furniture items? I’d like to know, seriously. Is there an Ole English Shop where you can buy these things?

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Our room was so quaint and amazing. As soon as you walk in, you notice that there’s a tea pot with cookies left for you.

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King Bed:

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And a fireplace! How cool is that! Too bad this menopausal lady can’t stand heat, but hey! Still pretty cool!

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The bathroom and tub are pretty nice too!

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The Pub is called The Miners Lamp Pub, and WOW what a great spot to eat!

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They apparently have the best fish and chips EVER, but we arrived too late for dinner. But, we had breakfast there the next morning and it was SO SO GOOD.

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I had the Bacon and Berry pancakes, and YUMMMMMmmmmmm! I couldn’t finish this portion, but even then I was full until 3pm easy.

The Georgetown Inn is a lovely place to stay if you’re visiting the Banff area, and I highly recommend it! The staff were very friendly and very helpful. We will definitely be back soon! In fact, we were talking about taking Marky here when she comes home for Christmas, because she enjoys places like this that have all the little charms of England.

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Plus with views like this, how can you go wrong?

Have you stayed at The Georgetown Inn in Canmore? What other hotels in the Banff/Canmore area are great? Let me know! We are of course scheming and planning another trip, because the mountains are always calling!

Milk Makeup Holographic Stick Supernova is the perfect Highlighter to wear when visiting flowers and butterflies

On the last day of summer 2016, Terry and I decided to go visit the Alberta Devonian Botanic Garden. The Devonian Botanic Garden is Canada’s most northerly botanical garden. It was established in 1959 by the University of Alberta, and is located near the town of Devon which is about a 15 minute drive southwest of Edmonton. We haven’t been there for ages, and had never been there to see what fall looks like. We weren’t disappointed at all!

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Boy, do I love fall. But to be honest it sure arrived pretty early in Edmonton. I think it’s because we had such an early spring. Spring was a good month early this year. I sure hope the early fall doesn’t mean an early winter! I want fall to last a little bit longer please.

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Not a lot of flowers still blooming right now as you can imagine, but I found a few like this last day of summer sunflower.

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LOADS of squirrels running around and getting ready for winter. In fact we witnessed an epic 5 minute squirrel chase/fight which I wish I could have videoed to show you but dang those things run fast!

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A couple of late blooming roses still around too.

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I need this shade in a lipstick:

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My favourite section was the poisonous herb garden because so many cool plants!

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This is the Castor Oil Plant, from which the poison ricin is made from. You know, the one Walter White used to kill Lydia in Breaking Bad. Evil, evil stuff.
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Hemlock is sure cool looking, hey?

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The bright berries of Deadly Nightshade-almost neon red right now.

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I’m not sure about this one, but I think it’s wolfsbane? It’s hard to tell as none are really flowering anymore.

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The Devonian Botanic Garden has an amazing indoor Butterfly Garden that’s full of all kinds of exotic butterflies. It’s SO COOL you guys. I made a new butterfly buddy haha!

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They’re all over the trees!  ALL. OVER.

And there’s also a lot of them flying around looking for some place to land like your head, so I had to take protective measures haha!

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This guy was HUGE and just napping on the ground. He was bigger than my hand that’s for sure.

MILK MAKEUP Holographic Stick Supernova

MILK MAKEUP Holographic Stick Supernova

When we were on the College Road Trip #2, Marky and I discovered the brand Milk Makeup in San Francisco. It’s an edgy, runway to everyday makeup brand that’s natural. So many cool products, meant for quick application that you can take with you and apply on the go. And of course, it’s not available in Canada. WHY Sephora.

One swatch of the Milk Makeup Holographic Stick Supernova and BOOM we both bought one.

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Milk Makeup Holographic Stick Supernova, swatch in sun, swatch indoors

It’s SO pretty. An iridescent lavender that shifts blue-it’s gorgeous and unlike any highlighter I have ever seen before. At first I thought I was too old to wear it, but I was wrong. It matches my hair and looks so pretty when worn with pink blushes. The best way to apply it is to rub some onto your fingers and tap wherever you want to look like you were kissed by a unicorn. And it lasts pretty well too for a cream highlighter. I’ve already told Marky that she needs to order me a backup!

Milk Makeup Holographic Stick Supernova

Milk Makeup Holographic Stick Supernova

And that was my week! Fall, butterflies, and highlighters! Happy Friday all! I’m going to make soup for dinner today! I’m so happy it’s finally cooler! Any fun adventures planned for this weekend? I’m thinking of going to the mountains-maybe. We shall see!

It’s Easter! So Happy Easter! And I need some easy writing prompts to help get me back into the blogging life, so this seemed like a fun one to do. I hope you think it’s fun too! And by all means if you blog as well please do it! I love learning more about my fave bloggers!

50 Things That Make Me Happy

1. Laughing

It’s really the best medicine around I swear. I don’t take life and myself all too seriously, so laughing comes easy to me. And learning to be able to laugh at yourself is the best gift you can give yourself. Especially as you get older!

 

2. Winter

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I hate summer as you all know. I live for the cold. If my nose ain’t feeling cold I’m just not happy. 😛 I’m just hoping it’s not going to be too hot of a summer this year.

3. Music

I listen to music all the time! I love all genres, even some country LOL. Nothing is off limits to me when it comes to music. It’s one of the reasons I love Zumba too-it’s all about the music for me. And I’m so happy to finally have a piano again and be able to play!

4. Road Trips 

I love road trips in the car. Maybe it’s because Terry doesn’t let me drive though HAHA. I get to sit, and look, and just THINK. About nothing. About the cows I see. The grass. It’s kind of therapeutic for me, to not have to think about much. I’m a real worrier, but when I’m a passenger in a car, listening to music and looking at the scenery -it’s just mindless beauty- my brain relaxes and quiets up.

5. The mountains

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I LOVE seeing the Rocky Mountains. They’re just SO big…and makes me feel so small…and that’s just so awesome. Realizing that I’m just this small speck of a thing in some grander, bigger picture… makes me wonder about everything. If you can’t tell, I’ve been wondering  about a lot of things as I’ve aged. I like it.

6. Disneyland 

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My second home? Or wannabe home? I don’t know what it is, but I just like BEING there. Just being in that kid-filled joyous atmosphere makes me SMILE from ear to ear all day long. I need to go back! I can feel that itch coming on!

7. Scented Candles

I love them. Scent is a huge memory trigger for me. BUT…I won’t burn candles when I’m alone. Phobia of mine. My older brother had a friend that died in a house fire because of a candle, so yeah…I fear I’ll forget to blow the damn ocean scent out before going to bed and that would be the last thing I’ve ever smelled. Which meh…ain’t so bad I guess really….#whatawaytogo

8. Online Shopping

More and more I shop online these days. Going to stores and waiting in line is just a big HATE for me now.

9. Rainy days

I. LOVE. RAIN. I know, I’m a freak. I don’t care if I see the sun for days. I prefer not to see it to be honest. I could easily live in a rainy climate for the rest of my days. #whoneedsSunglassesRIGHT

10. Making Soup

My dad was the KING of soup making. He could make the tastiest soups with whatever leftovers he had in his fridge. It’s an art that not many people can live up to. I try to emulate his soupy awesomeness, but I don’t think I’m even close to it to be honest. September 7 marked 4 years since he passed away from Alzheimer’s. I miss him. And his soup.

11. Zumba Baby

I love Zumba. I love dancing. #onceadanceralwaysadancer Although, it’s getting harder for me to get to good Zumba classes. So, I’ve been spinning lately and LOVE it. But I haven’t been to the gym in 2 weeks because of being sick, so kinda’ dreading that first day back. 🙁

12. Truffle Salt

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I’d brush my teeth with truffle salt if I could-someone needs to add Truffle Salt flavouring to toothpaste HA! If they did I swear there’d be no more cavities people. I brought home a truffle mustard from Trader Joe’s when we were in California in January  and am hoarding it at the moment because it’s SO. GOOD.

13.  A good piece of chocolate melting in my mouth

I love chocolate a lot, but it’s more of a sensory experience for me lately. The whole melting in my mouth feeling is so YES. And that’s why I can stop at just one piece and not eat twenty, unlike some people I know.

14. Baking bread

There’s nothing like kneading dough and baking your own bread. Try it!

15. Bacon

The crispier, the better. Even though it’s a deliciousness of cancer causing stuff now. WHY. #screwyoucancer

16. Snoopy T-shirts

I have SO MANY. It’s seriously not normal for an almost 49 year old woman to have so many Snoopy Tees. Do I care? NOPE. #nevergrowingup

17. Monty Python

My older brother BOB introduced me to them, and I’ve been laughing ever since. Even went to see the movie theatre live streamed reunion last year. HUGE fan.

18. Wearing Pyjamas all day long

No explanation needed.

19. A fresh tube of lipstick
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Nothing like that first swipe on your lips, right?

20. Musicals

I think my fave is the classic Singing In the Rain, although I love ALL of them. Rent is another huge fave. The only one I can’t really stand is Les Mis-SORRY….it’s just SO long and Uggh boring….I can’t take it.

21. Burnt roasted marshmallows

Make them catch fire and YUMMM is your reward!

22. Learning New Things.

I love learning. Always have. I was one of those annoying kids that just LOVED school.

23. Water

I love water and drink probably 8 litres a day easy. I have a Soda Stream so I can carbonate it too. I like bubbles in my water. I actually have a fear of being without water too-when we leave the house I carry a bottle in my purse, and always two more(at least) for the car. When we travel it’s the first thing I make sure we get. WATER.

24. Fresh raspberries and ice cream

My in-laws used to have fresh raspberries growing in their backyard, and it’s the best dessert ever to just throw some fresh, ripe raspberries on vanilla ice cream. It’s my fave summer dessert ever. Only thing I can honestly say I like about summer hahaha!

25. Cartoons

Yeah, I still watch cartoons! My daughter is going to be an animator, so DUH! I love cartoons. And BOY do I miss Phineas and Ferb! One of my daughter’s friends has a show coming up called The Loud House and it looks so GOOD, like Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends(my all time fave cartoon) but people version:

26. T-shirts

I hate blouses? And shirts, even though I have a few flannel shirts. Hey, I’m Canadian, and them I can sort of stand.  😀   But, I don’t really like the way shirts feel on my skin with the buttons and collars…EW. I live in tees.

27. Waffles

They rock. I don’t know for some reason I avoid making them, and then when I make them I always say: That wasn’t so bad? And it’s not? But then I don’t make them again for months.

28. Having something to say

No matter who you are, or what you do-we all have something to say. So say it loud and say it proud! It’s important to let your voice be heard. And not let anything COMPROMISE your voice. I’m not letting anything do that to me, ever again. I have something to say! And damn it, Imma’ gonna SAY IT.

29. Apocalyptic movies and books

I have a sick infatuation with how the world will end. It bothers my family a bit for some reason. I don’t know why? I’m not scared of dying I guess, and that’s a frightening thing for them to understand. I like watching end of the world movies, analyzing them, taking notes… on maybe ways to help others survive. But to be honest? When it does happen? I plan to toast the end of the world with a good bottle of Shiraz and smile. Unless it Zombies. Then I plan to keep on living and use my archery skills and kill as many as I can. 😛

30. Boots

I love boots. And thank goodness I live where I can were them for pretty much 6 months of the year, if not longer. I see people wearing boots in LA in September when it’s still 35C there, and I think DUDE YOUR FEET MUST BE SWEATING LIKE CRAZY. I hate sweaty feet and mine are pretty sweaty. #TMI I know

31. NHL Hockey Season

I love watching hockey. All other sports are boring in comparison. Sorry. Hate football. Don’t get it at all it’s so SLOW. My brain can’t take slow sports. LIKE MOVE IT MAN.

32. Sunsets
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I love seeing the colours…it’s an amazing sight and will never tire of it.

33. Hugs

I hug all the time! One of my fave hugs is the one I give to one of my Zumba Instructors-she’s under 5 feet and weighs like 80 pounds-she jumps up and I catch her and lift her up! It’s our hug thing and everyone laughs when they see it, cause it’s the most awesome hug you’ll ever witness  😀

34. Pride & Prejudice Kiera Knightley version

DUDES. I could watch this movie 24/7 I swear. So could Marky I think, since she’s just written her 5th essay in Film History about it hahaha. Seriously she’s written so many about that movie-from art direction to lighting-it’s just got so much GOOD stuff going. And don’t even get me started on the soundtrack it’s my JAM.

35. 80s movies

Sometimes you just need to remember the good, ya’ know what I mean? When teen movies weren’t all about ya’ know. Teens care about other shit too hey?

36. Disney Villains

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Screw the princesses they are lame most of the time…give me a good villain any day! Like Hades in Hercules…or my personal favourite: Yzma in Emperor’s New Groove. And yes, this is hanging in my family room.

37. A good polka

Here’s a great modern version for ya’-Ukrainian SKA!

38.  The song Happy Together by the Turtles

My brother Mark and I used to sing Happy Together all the time. Such a great song.

39. Warm chocoalte pudding

Like homemade stuff in a pot, on the stove all warm and OH SO YUMMY!

40. Long walks

One thing I miss in winter is being able to go for a long walk. It’s not entirely impossible, you just have to dress for it is all-but it’s a lot of work. Call me provincial, but I much prefer walking when there’s no snow and ice on the ground.

41. Chocolate covered strawberries

YUMmmmmm cover all my fruit in chocolate and I’d eat it every night! My hubby will buy them for me whenever he sees them too…he’s the best.

42. My hubby’s dimples

They are adorable!

43. Garlic

I stink of garlic most days I think because I pretty much double the garlic in any recipe hahaha! My parents used to slice raw garlic and put it on top of buttered bread when they felt sick. I haven’t done that. YET. #givemeafewyears

44. Supertramp

It makes me REALLY sad that every band member hates each other now. I friggin’ love every song by them.

45. Buttercream icing that is SMOOTH and not gritty

When it’s done right, it’s RIGHT. Right?

46. Crispy, crispy toast

I like my toast crispy like “shards of ice” as Marky says. Otherwise, it’s just warm bread. I need CRUNCH.

47. A good glass of SHIRAZ... my blogging wine of choice hahaha!
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48. Marky’s Art

I mean, I’m a proud Mama Bear! Here’s her work if you’re interested: http://markyszram.blogspot.ca

49. Being Alone
Truth be told, I am an introvert. A rare one too? I took a personality test on behest of my daughter and apparently I’m the rarest kind of introvert,t although I can’t remember what it was called haha. I really don’t mind being alone, and kind of relish it to be honest. After being out in the world, which can even mean just a Zumba class, I need to recharge and be alone. It’s actually a good thing that my hubby travels a lot for work, because I don’t mind the alone time when he is gone-I look forward to it!

#50. Writing

That’s one of the reasons I blog. I love to write. I do. I am by no means an eloquent writer that’s for damn sure. My written word is pretty much exactly how I speak in person…this blog then?Is like chatting with me. And I want to keep it that way. As I love chatting with all of you!

Tag DONE! And I hope some of you do it as well! Otherwise, tell me in the comments some of your fave things about you!

Hey how you doin’? 😛 After my angry rant of a post I needed to step back and take a deep breath and remember: STUPID PEOPLE will always be around and it’s how you deal with them is the key to keep on truckin’….that and knowing you’ve got an upcoming trip to visit California and Marky! 😀 This has been the longest time in my life that I haven’t seen my daughter! I haven’t seen her since September 4th you guys! That’s like forever for a mama. And I think she misses home too because looky at her homework she posted on Instagram:
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And yeah, it’s kind of silly we’re going next week when she’s coming home Dec.18th for Christmas break, but my Disneyland Annual Pass expires this month so, one more visit! Whether I renew it or not is something to think about…it’s a lot of money, and you have to go at least 4 times a year to make it worth the money. And with our dollar tanking like it’s the 2000s(OMG I swear it’s the 2000s again because I saw Panic At The Disco perform for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade), so I’m not sure how often we’ll go back next year, and that makes me sad.  🙁  You all know how I love California! Oh well, let’s just hope Justin Trudeau can help out, right? Hahaha, he makes me so happy…again…it’s like the 2000s again with the Liberals in power. I love it.

Went back to see the bison at Elk Island National Park! It’s just 20 minutes away for us, so we thought we’d go visit again before the snow started to fly here.

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Had a delicious Saskatoon Berry milkshake too!

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Of course I shared it with Terry because ME:

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Winnie the Pooh is me in cartoon form I swear 😛

And it finally snowed! It sure took a long time! Usually we have snow before Halloween here.

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I love the snow, and I love winter! And when winter comes here it’s usually BOOM. WINTER. No easing into it haha! FULL THROTTLE. As much as I love California, I’d sure miss the cold and snow! #freakIknow

So, I had my yearly neurologist appointment this week and passed with flying colours! #15yearsstrong #nocaneyet I love my MS neurologist-she’s actually from Winnipeg like me and just a couple of years younger than I am. She’s tiny! I’m 5’10 and well…husky LOL, and she weighs about 90 pounds wet at about 5’2″ and it makes me giggle when she does this one test where stand and then close my eyes with my feet right together. I used to start to tip over years ago and she’d try to catch me….and my thoughts always were: Little lady if I go down, you go with me. But…I don’t tip anymore! I don’t have to worry about crushing here anymore HAHA! I’m BETTER now than I was 5 years ago…our bodies and our minds can do amazing things with a positive mind set I tell you! I’m proof.

My neurologist is downtown, which is a good trip from my house, so when we go there we make the most of it! We stopped in to get some dessert at the amazing Duchess Bakery. It’s one of the top ten bakeries in the world, in case you didn’t know…HERE…in EDMONTON…amazes me how lucky we are!

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Duchess Bakery Paris-Brest Hazelnut Pastry

SO yummy…I’m kind of glad I don’t live nearby as I’d be a LOT chubbier that’s for sure!

Then we decided to check out the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton. We haven’t been in YEARS.

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Our Conservatory is really cool and has 4 pyramids that house plants and flowers from different climate zones.

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The pyramids are designed that way so that the snow falls off easily. Thoughtful and Winterproof designing! And it’s neat because it sounds like mini avalanches when the snow slides off, and you can really imagine what a full-fledged one probably sounds like because these mini ones are scary enough!

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The Muttart grows Poinsettias and always has an amazing display of them every year.

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And you can even buy some to take home, like these aqua ones which are so cool:

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Pretty, hey? I don’t know how they get that shade though. I do know that Poinsettia shades are dependent upon how much light they get when growing. My piano teacher, the nun, used to grow them and sell them, and she had these cardboard houses all over the piano room with poinsettias in them. I suspect the blue is because of some blue dye in the water? If you know, tell us!

Too Faced Melted Kisses and Sweet Cheeks set

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Too Faced Melted Kisses and Sweet Cheeks set

This little Too Faced Melted Kisses and Sweet Cheeks($45) set is DARLING….and I think worth it! It’s been one of my favourite holiday makeup items I’ve been lucky to preview.

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Too Faced Melted Kisses and Sweet Cheeks set

I mean, the blushes are tiny, but they’re so pigmented you’d get so much use out of them-I’ve been wearing this Love Hangover blush and the Nude Melted Kisses Liquid Lipstick in Nude a LOT and there’s no dent it it yet. Just a little dip is all you need for these babies!

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Too Faced Love Hangover blush and the Nude Melted Kisses Liquid Lipstick in Nude

Swatchy Time!

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Too Faced Melted Kisses and Sweet Cheeks set

 

And the other shades in the set are just as pretty:

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Too Faced Fig Melted Kisses, Your Love Is King Blush Peony Melted Kisses, Justify My Love Blush

And lip swatchy time! I like the Too Faced Melted Kisses Liquid Lipsticks, although they can be a tad drying. I always prep my lips with a lip balm before wearing them. BOY, they last! If you’re a fan of liquid lipsticks and blush this Too Faced Melted Kisses and Sweet Cheeks set is nice. And hey-you could easily split it up into three gifts/stocking stuffers too!

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Too Faced Melted Kisses Nude, Fig, and Peony

I also wanted to show you how I’ve been wearing eyeliner lately. I’ve got a TRICK you guys, and it’s a good one especially if you have hooded eyes like me.

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So, I don’t do full on liquid eyeliner cat eyes because HELLO…Hooded Eyes dudes(I’m holding my eye really OPEN here hahaha). I’d have to make the liner really thick to show up and sure…sometimes I enjoy that look. Marky does it pretty much every day of her life. But it covers up any eyeshadow on your limited lid space. So, this is what I’ve been doing lately and it works well.

I’ll line my upper waterline with a really good eyeliner like the Urban Decay pencil ones. But I’ll go a little thicker on the outer edge, still just the waterline though…and then SMUDGE IT OUT onto the outer corner of my LID with an angled liner brush…like a tiny cat eye flick…take a look.

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See what I mean? I hope so! There’s NOTHING on my upper lash line…it’s just the outer corners where I drag the eyeliner and smudge it out to LOOK like I’ve got full on eyeliner.

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It’s a gentle flick! But it still gives that lift and the illusion that I’ve got a bit of a cat-eye flick going on without taking up all of my lid space and covering up my eyeshadow.
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Neat huh? I hope I explained it well and you can see from the pictures what I’m talking about? If not, let me know, I’ll try to take more in depth pics…or even a video..GASP…hahaha!

So starts the holiday season! I love winter and Christmas in THEORY…but I honestly don’t really care for all the freakin’ Christmas music. I KNOW…and I’m a musical person! I play the piano, guitar and violin! BUT…I don’t like all the bands and singers doing their version of Christmas SONGS…not the carols… I love Christmas CAROLS…you know, the traditional stuff. But I can’t stand crap like I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus…WHY. And I don’t need to hear Gwen Stefani and everyone else singing it, ya’ know what I mean? #ChristmasMusicGRINCH

Happy Black Friday Shopping! Are you picking up anything today?