Saturday, February 18, 2017

Farmlands Trail ~ PEI National Park

The Farmlands Trail is in the PEI National Park on the North Shore of the island, between Stanhope Beach and Dalvay. Part of this trail used to be the oldest road in the island. 

It's a great trail in all seasons. I had forgotten my snowshoes on that day, but hope to go again soon with them. It was very enjoyable just walking in the snow and the trail was pretty well cleared all along. 

The weather was perfect last weekend for this walk. There are two trails in this area, the Bubbling Springs trail and Farmlands Trail, both are rated as easy. I am hoping to visit this trail again with my snowshoes. 

You can find out more information about this and other PEI National Park trails here.  If you are planning on visiting later this year, the Parks Canada Discovery Pass is free this year, so be sure to get yours! Check out this link for details. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2017 ~ Book Review

Lonely Planet authors, editors, and bloggers shared their current list of must visit places for this year. They shortened the list to 10 countries, 10 regions, and 10 cities from all over the world.

In a nice small format, it is a great inspiration and guide to visit some places in the world that one might not have considered. Lonely Planet often sets the trends!

Canada is listed in the Top 10 Countries! 

It was wonderful to see Canada as the first country mentioned in the top 10 countries section of this guide. Canada is celebrating 150 years in 2017 and there are many celebrations planned all over the country.

Each country, regions, and cities listed is presented with an interesting introduction, an itinerary, unmissable experiences, and best time to visit. I noticed that each country includes several suggestions of places to visit that include different areas, for example in Canada, the writer mentions places on the West Coast as well as in Ontario and Quebec. 

Part of the Top Regions, The Azores in Portugal

The Top 10 Regions is my favourite section. A region in a country could maybe be explored easier than trying to fit in many stops in one country, while at the same time give a little more than visiting one city. 

Bordeaux, France is in the Top 10 Cities ~
My maternal grandparents lived just South of Bordeaux
and I loved visiting this city! 

Along with the 3 top 10 categories, there are four other categories listed under a chapter called "Best of the Rest". Each list has 10 places listed: 

  • Best value destination
  • Family adventure destinations
  • Best new openings
  • Best places to stay
The last section is called Top 5 Travel Trends, which include:
  • micro-distilleries
  • the world is your office 
  • bikepacking
  • be instavidual
  • sustainable travel
These last pages were so interesting. In the "the world is your office" I read about online freelancing, mobile technology and co-working spaces all over the world. This information would be very useful to anyone looking to work while traveling. In "bikepacking" and "sustainable travel", I was inspired to think more deeply about potential future vacations. 

Bikepacking ~ This would be great to do
on Prince Edward Island too (not listed, just my opinion!)

Several of the places listed are not well known yet, some are just starting to see their tourism traffic increase, so 2017 could be a great time to visit them before everyone else finds out! This guide could be a great help in getting inspired for your next adventures and experiences. 

Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2017 can be found at: 

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review from Raincoast Books. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

My Everyday Life ~ January

January, first month of 2017 was filled with great moments! Here are the highlights. 

I started doing daily yoga again and added daily guidance cards. Both were a great routine that I enjoyed a lot. I continue to practice both and hope to keep at it all year long. 

I was super happy to get my very first pair of snowshoes in January! I had been wanting a pair since we moved to the island, almost five years ago. I went out a couple of times before the snow almost all melted. I went for the first time on the Brookvale snowshoe trails while Andre was attending his biathlon practice with the army cadets. I also snowshoed close to home. 

2017 is all about self care for me and having the courage to do what is right for me, so that includes a lot of yoga. I normally don't attend yoga classes outside of my own home practice with Yoga with Adriene. This year, I am trying to do that more often and I started with attending the Dragon Yoga Dance at Moksha Yoga. It was an hour and half class, a mix of Taoist movements and Yin yoga. It was an amazing experience! I loved it. 

Lots of yummy tea and delicious breakfasts in January too! 

Work was a little quieter this month but still great. I really enjoy my job and my walks home after my shifts! 

I tried to make time for reading in January too. I usually read while I am eating breakfast or at night in bed. I finished reading Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I loved reading The Vagina Chronicles by Eve Ensler as part of the Goodreads Our Shared Shelf book club. 

We went with friends to see La La Land. Celeste and I loved it. I've had the soundtrack playing on repeat almost daily. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life ~ Book Review

How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life by Signe Johansen is a true "how to" book about the Danish and Norwegian lifestyle that has received more attention lately in North America. 

Signe, the author of How to Hygge, explains through her family experiences and her personal knowledge of the Nordic culture. As you can see in the photo above, the contents walk us through nature, food, drink, home, sports and active lifestyle, connection with friends and family, and home design. I personally really enjoyed reading about the way of thinking of the Nordic people. related to enjoying an active lifestyle in all seasons, including the winter. It is preferred to be outdoors instead of inside a gym. I completely agree with it! Living in Canada, we experience all seasons and we should all embrace outdoor activities in all weather, besides the most extremes. 

How to Hygge also includes a section with recipes! There are delicious recipes for "fika" which is a Swedish tradition of a simple break with coffee and cake. There are several recipes for meat and fish dishes, salads, desserts, and a section on beverages too. 

I tested two recipes and both were delicious. I chose two vegan recipes but there are many non-vegan ones as well. I am fairly certain these two recipes and probably more will become regular meals in our house. 

The Nordic Winter Salad has kale and roasted sweet potatoes. I could not find any more pomegranates at the grocery store but I did add one avocado, a mix of raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and feta cheese. It was amazingly simple and full of flavour. 

I also made the Coconut Oatmeal Porridge. I love coconut and recently I have been really enjoying warm oatmeal for breakfast. This was recipe won first place at the London Porridge Championships and I can now understand why. It is amazing, full of yummy coconut and adding fresh blueberries, a little more shredded unsweetened coconut, raw pumpkin and sunflower seeds made it a perfect breakfast. 

The Nordics are well known for their beautiful simple home design. The section on home is inspiring me to continue keeping it simple and choose quality with details I love. 

This book is very enjoyable to read and will be useful to anyone that is interested in bringing some "hygge" influence in their lifestyle. Each chapter ends with a recap, bullet points to review and have a quick "at a glance" summary of that particular chapter. 

How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life by Signe Johansen can be found at: 

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review from Raincoast Books. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.