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Monday, August 29, 2016

Things I Will Never Give Up



There are some things I just never see myself giving up. Like ever. Or at least, the foreseeable future. And you may agree to disagree on these things, but me? GIVE ME ALL OF THEM FOREVER AND EVER AMEN.

Statement Necklaces
Hate all you want but this trend will never, EVER die with me. I love them and still collect them. My taste in statement necklaces has evolved, but my love for big chunky jewelry will never die.

Older Perfume Scents
I may have been wearing them for decades, but I still love Viva La Juicy and Light Blue perfumes. Yes, I get it, they are SO 2002, but I don't care. They are my signature scents. Bahhh.

Delivery Pizza
Yes, I know it's healthier to make your own and frozen take & bake is probably better for you too. But there's nothing like a Domino's Pan pepperoni with extra cheese. NOTHING.

Crazy Socks
I love fun socks. Bright and colorful? Yes! Hot pink with baby penguins? Absolutely. My Little Pony socks with real yarn hair? I'll take 3 pairs. I'll never outgrow my love of fun and crazy socks.

Wild Nail Polish
I love unusual colors and glitter. You will probably never see me wearing OPI's Bubble Bath...not that I don't like the color, but it's too plain.

What about you? What are some things you will never give up?



Friday, August 26, 2016

The Best of Banff in 4 Days



We are back from our awesome trip to Banff, Alberta. If I could summarize it in one word it would be "wow". We traveled much of the day Friday and Wednesday so really we had 4 full days to get a lot done.

We didn't do EVERYTHING (gotta save some stuff for future trips, duh!) but we did do a lot in 4 days. Our pace was slightly rabid so if you are more of a low-key and slow paced vacationer, take this post with a grain of salt. :)

Full Day 1 



No matter what you do in Banff, you absolutely MUST go to Sunshine Meadows. This was my favorite hike of the entire trip. It offered stunning views of the Rockies, gorgeous wildflower meadows and great hiking. The hikes were challenging but not impossible. We did the Rock Island Lake Trail and the Grizzly/Laryx Lake Trail for a total of about 8 miles. It was tough and I had blisters (more from hiking shoes that hadn't been properly broken in) but it was totally worth it. 

We took the gondola up to the chair lift and then the chair lift up to the drop off point near Standish Viewpoint. The gondola to the chair lift was worth the extra cost. Trust me. I think we would still be hiking up the mountain if we hadn't sprung for the gondola trip up. And it was an amazing way to get a birds-eye view of local flora and fauna. 

Sunshine Meadows does have a cafe (Trapper Bill's or something like that) at the gondola exit but we opted to pack our own food and eat on some of the picnic tables around the drop off point. Sunshine Meadows is also right on the Great Divide between Alberta and British Columbia. That was cool to see!  

After Sunshine Meadows we decided to walk around the historic Fairmont Banff Springs hotel and then go see a couple of viewpoints around town. Check out Surprise Corner for great views of the hotel from across the Bow River and Bow River Falls. 

Full Day 2


After waking up to pretty stiff muscles, we opted for a no-hiking day. We started with renting a canoe from the Banff Canoe Club and canoeing down the Bow River. The views from the river were stunning and the water (like most of the glacier-fed water in the area) was a gorgeous turquoise color. We could actually see through to the bottom of the river which may or may not have slightly freaked me out. 

After a morning of canoeing, we decided to check out the Banff Gondola (Sulphur Mountain Gondola). This was also well worth the money. We took it to the top of Sulphur Mountain and were rewarded with great views of Banff and the surrounding mountain ranges. A short walk on the pathways took us up to the cosmic ray and weather observatory. These were walkways but there were a lot of steps and you're basically walking up to the top of a mountain. You've been warned. :) We saw some native wildlife in the form of prairie dogs, squirrels, a chipmunk looking thing and mountain goats. There was a whole herd of mountain goats and they were really cool to see up close! 

Full Day 3 


On our full day 3 (actual day 4) we had more typical Banff weather of chilly and rainy. The high was in the low-mid 50s all day. We decided to use the weather and my still-blistered feet as an excuse to do some driving. We headed out to the Icefields Parkway and did some sightseeing. The Icefields Parkway basically goes North so we watched the outside temperature drop to as low as 2 degrees (Celsius). We stopped at Bow Lake (top left), Peyto Lake (top right) and Herbert Lake. On the "hike" (paved uphill walk for maybe a half mile or so) to Peyto Lake it started snowing. Yes, snowing in August. And this native Southerner was absolutely delighted at it. Though the foggy weather blocked some of the mountain views, we still got some great photos of the water. (which, let's be honest, is why people drive up there!) Peyto Lake is about an hour from Banff. We drop up to Peyto and worked our way back to Banff from there. 

We had lunch in Lake Louise at Bill Peyto's Cafe, which is actually located in the Lake Louise International Hostel. Don't let that dissuade you. This little local gem was PERFECT. Though it's summer, it was chilly and rainy so M had the Alberta chili for lunch and it was amazing!

On the way back to Banff we decided to drive the Bow Valley Parkway for fun and saw a bear! It was the perfect (and only) way I'd want to see one. Close enough to get pictures but within the safety of a vehicle. We didn't disturb him and he didn't bother us. Although the campers in the tent less than 100 feet away might have been a little more nervous...

Full Day 4


Day 4 (full day 5) was the day I'd really been waiting for. It was still a bit cloudy but not raining and not quite as cold. We headed up to Lake Louise pretty early in the morning (left Banff at 8 am) to try and beat the crowds to Moraine. Moraine Lake was the place I was most excited about seeing and one of the most photographed places in all of the Banff area. The colors of the lakes and river vary depending on the amount of snow and glacier rock flour that flows into it. Moraine promised to be one of the most "blue" and it didn't disappoint. 

We did the Moraine Rock Pile "trail" (really more of just a pathway to climb the pile) to the top and the view almost took my breath away. No really. Just to prove here's a full size shot of Moraine from the top of the Rock Pile. 


I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful sight in my life. We spent some time up there taking pictures and just taking in the view. Then we descended the rock pile and took a few more shots from the ground, which made the water appear darker blue. 

We then ventured to the famous Lake Louise to do some hiking. Lake Louise (pictured as the more aqua lake above) is huge! It was gorgeous as well and provided some great photo ops along the lakeshore trail. Our intentions to do the Lake Agnes tea house hike were changed when there was another grizzly sighting. Um...no thanks. I'll just leave that for our next trip. :)

We ended this day with a quick pass by Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake which are both closer to Banff. They were absolutely stunning as well! 


I'd love to do a recap post of all the things I learned about Canada during our vacation but I'll save that for later. We can't wait to go back to Banff and do some of the things we didn't have a chance to do the first time. Banff is AWESOME! You can see our travel journey by searching the hashtag #bamfsdobanff on Instagram. Yes, yes, hashtag game is strong. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Last-Minute Trip and Life Things

-one-
I promise this will be the last time you hear about Banff until we are actually back from Banff. I won't be around much next week...though I may try to do a photo post later in the week.

The weather is shaping up to be fantastic! I was as little worried that it would rain the entire time...and it's entirely possible that it still might, but this is what they are calling for as of now.



-two-
I've discovered that I fall into one of two categories...chronic OVER packer or chronic UNDER packer. Usually when I travel on shorter trips or business trips I tend to way over pack. However, history tells me that for longer vacations or international trips I've got a tendency to under pack. I'm trying to remedy this by making lots of lists but I found myself cutting a few items from my list because they felt redundant.  I'll report on how this trip fared in the packing arena upon my return.

-three-
To my knowledge, I've not ever been more stressed out before a vacation than I am now. A combination of work and life stress has made me worry that taking a week-long hiatus from work might not have been the best idea. BUT...it's not enough to keep me from going. Why does ALL THE STRESS pile up right before vacation?

-four-
You may have seen that I posted about the silicone wedding bands we purchased for our trip and also just for active life in general on Instagram. With both of us doing 9Round now, it made the most sense to invest. M wasn't wearing his ring to workout and sometimes was having to remove it at work when he's using machinery so the silicone options just worked better for times we don't want to ruin our real ones.

The problem is, I'm obsessed with mine. I want to wear them all the time because they are so comfortable. No more scratching things with my diamonds! :) I bought a three-pack off Amazon from Thunderfit and I have teal, pink and black. We are definitely taking ours to Banff (since the majority of our activities will be hiking related) and I may just opt to only wear that and not wear my wedding set at all. Is that bad?


Well, that's about it until next week. Have a great rest of the week and weekend, friends!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Things That Make Me Rage (Travel Edition)


There are fewer things in the world that incite more rage within my soul than traveling with idiots. No, not the traveling companions that may be with me, but the other morons out there traveling that lack common courtesy, human decency and manners.

These are the things that make me rage when I travel.

The Hurry Up and Waits
Masterchef wait waiting praying pray

Y'all know who I'm talking about. The people that are hell-bent and determined to be the first to board the plane, the first to stand up to exit the plane and the first to check their bags, but in reality EVERY PART OF FLYING is a hurry up and wait game. So why stress yourself out being the first to get up as soon as the plane lands? Guess, what? You're still going to have to wait for all of first class to exit so chillax and wait your turn. RAGE.

The Drunks
drunk

This is the worst when flying. You can smell the alcohol on people as they stand in front or behind you in line and they reek of alcohol. Like, if you really are that nervous of a flyer, go to your doc and get a medication to help with it. Self-medicating with alcohol is just sloppy. And you stink! RAGE! Which brings me to my next point...

The Stinkers
The Late Late Show with James Corden grossed out stank face stink face james corden

Maybe you think your perfume smells really good? Maybe you just roofed a house before you rode in an non air conditioned cab to the airport. If you stink, your fellow passengers are going to loathe being in close quarters with you. For God's sake, please take a shower and withhold strong scented perfumes and colognes at least until you are out of the airport. RAGE!

The Constant Talkers
parks and recreation talk leslie knope ron swanson annoying

This one is not so much enraging as it is tiring. We don't need to have an entire conversation for the next 2 hours. It's okay to have a polite hello, how are you and then be quiet.

The Manspreaders
Team Coco conan obrien manspreading

Listen, guys, if my 6'5" husband can fly without manspreading all over the place, so can you. Keep your arms and legs within your general area...unless you are first class. But then you'd never be next to me so do whatever you want.





Monday, August 8, 2016

Olympics Opening Ceremony Best & Worst Dressed

The opening  ceremonies were a bit bleh for me this year, honestly. But I loved seeing all the interesting outfits in the parade of nations. Here are some of the best and worst...

BEST DRESSED

Australia
Man, these green and white pinstriped jackets with green piping just did it for me. I could have done without the scarf but overall this was my favorite look! 

India
I love the smart blazer with the sari fabric under on the women. It's modern interpretation and I was digging it! 

Brazil
I love these cute dresses and the hats! Totally what I pictured for Brazil.

USA
Call me biased, but these were the best uniforms I've seen on a US team in a long time. The striped shirts and the oxford shoes are killer! They looked so sharp! 

Cameroon
This was such a striking look in the parade and they looked unified yet still unique. 

WORST DRESSED

Croatia
What were they thinking? It reminds me of a 1980s windsuit. Ugh.

Canada
Oh Canada. (See what I did there?) The jackets were boxy and the weird zipper thing on the side was gross. 

Sweden
Normally, one of my standard favorites in terms of uniforms, this year was a flop. Maybe they just aren't used to warm weather?

Germany
WHAT THE HECK. I have no words. Jackets, leggings, pencil skirts in the worst colors. SIGH.

What did you think? Which were your faves?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Splurge Vs. Steal: T-Shirt Dress

One of these outfits costs around $100 and the other a whopping $1400. Can you guess which is the "splurge" and which is the "steal"?


splurge v steal t shirt dress

splurge v steal t shirt dress by aprilanne147 featuring trapeze dresses

The outfit on the left is the "steal" at only $101 total. Namebrands and luxury items like a Gucci watch bring the splurge outfit's total to $1403. This goes to show that with a little effort and a thrifty outlook you can copy the best fashion looks for much, much less! 

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Day I Peed Myself (and Other Things That Went Wrong)



I'm convinced my life is a series of unrelated comical and ridiculous events. Read on for additional proof for my theory. And if you are grossed out by average bodily functions and mishaps or #tmi, then don't keep reading. You've been warned! 

A few weeks ago I went to the lady doctor for an annual check up. (I told you, TMI.) The day before when they called to confirm they said it was an annual physical. I corrected the girl on the phone and told her it was a lady exam (but used the correct terminology, of course). She said no problem, she'd make the edit in my file for the next day.

My appointment was in the afternoon around 2. Knowing that I would have to pee in a cup, I withheld peeing ALL DAY. I'm anxious about not...you know...producing enough...and sometimes I get stage fright with stuff like that so I decided to make sure I would be okay and abstained from peeing all morning.

Big mistake.

So, you know the typical doc appointment they let you put your stuff down then take you to the pee bathroom and give you the cup and instructions and junk? Well that happened. Only, once I got in to the bathroom the full force of my horrible decision to not pee all day became an immediate and urgent issue. Commence me struggling to go through the "pre-pee" routine and position everything appropriately before my bladder exploded. It's important to note that my overwhelming urge to relieve my bladder pressure clearly affected my thinking.

I assumed the position and began to pee and realized after about 2 seconds that I WAS HOLDING THE PEE CUP UPSIDE DOWN. So the pee was bouncing off the cup and flooding the bathroom.* All I could do was scramble to position the cup correctly to get an adequate amount because there was no way I was stopping Niagara Falls there. No stinking way.

I managed to get enough of a "sample" (which is also a huge source of anxiety for me...do I fill it to the top and look like an overachiever? Or fill it halfway? What if it's not enough?) and set the cup off to the side. I proceeded to spend the next 10 minutes drying myself off and sopping up the bathroom floor. After occupying the pee bathroom for at least 15 minute I finally got dressed in my pee-stained clothing (Thank GOD I had on black pants) and made my way back to the examination room.

You may think that is the end of my story. But, you would be sorely mistaken. After the nurse came in she instructed me to strip down and put on the required apron thing and blanket thing and all the parts that come with an exam. But the doctor clearly wasn't informed I was there for that. She walked in a did a quick bug-eyed look before she recovered. Coming in and seeing your patient quasi naked (but covered of course) on the table is probably a little jolt if you weren't prepared for it. Especially when you look like a mini Beluga whale in whiteness. Apparently ol' sister sledge from the front desk that called me the day before forgot to note in my file it was a gyno exam and not a sports-type physical.

So after reassuring the doctor that I wasn't a freak exhibitionist and that I did, indeed, schedule the appropriate appointment, everything else went along swimmingly...

...until they figured out I hadn't had a tetanus shot in about 15 years. So I walked out of the doctor's office that day a few test tubes of blood lighter, with a very sore TdaP shot arm and reeking of pee. It was a GREAT day. Happy Monday! Hope your day is better than this one. :)

*Not flooding but definitely spraying on the bathroom floor. I come from a family of over-exaggerators.

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