There’s a new flower fest in town and it’s the Cultus Lake Flower Fest!Read More
I was asked by Tourism Abbotsford as part of their #EatPlayLoveAbby campaign to share some of my favourite spots in Abbotsford and I decided I wanted to check out some new places so off I went to Tuscan Garden Lavender Farms!
I had first learned about the farm through Instagram and I very quickly realized that "I MUST GO HERE." It's settled in the Mount Lehman area of Abbotsford and is a short 15 minute drive from the downtown core.
This summer they are hosting open house dates on July 22nd and August 19th. You can shop their apothecary store where you'll find all-natural soap and lavender products (made on the property) as well as some delicious lavender treats (ie. Honey Lavender ice cream from Rain Or Shine Ice Cream in Vancouver which is made from lavender from the gardens here!) The gardens are open to the public but only by appointment.
Neckerchief: American Eagle
Romper: Old Navy (last year)
It's a wonderful space with the nicest owners and I highly recommend checking it out on your next visit to Abbotsford!
Ps. I made a little vlog from the visit down below!
Photography by Sara Wittig
I live for these summer nights where swimming in a lake at 8pm is normal. I had never been to Hicks Lake before and it was the perfect place to go for a swim and hang out with my family.
And I made a video (below) with my family of us living out our mermaid dreams.
What's your favorite part about summer?
Photos by Tori Hackett
Lately I've been thinking a lot about places I visited when I was young and how I would love to visit them again now. It's been years since I've been to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, BC, and I knew my friend, Carolyn, would be up for a little outdoor excursion. I, being the farthest thing from outdoorsy, felt that Carolyn would be ideal for this adventure as she is VERY outdoorsy and loves to tread the path less travelled (and I just followed her because I could see if that path was safe or not. I swear I'm a good friend.)
It's about a 5-10 minute "hike" from the parking lot to the lighthouse so it wasn't too bad. (I was, however, hurting the next day because exercise is also not my jam and my thighs were screaming in torment as if to say "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO US?! THIS IS NOT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SIT ON THE COUCH ALL DAY!") But for the average person, it is a walk in the park (pun intended).
I'm not sure why but when we got there at around 3:30pm, there was a sign on the gate at the lighthouse saying it was closed but it gave no reason. This might be something I look up in the future as it may have been because of the season? Nonetheless, we got some amazing views by climbing up some rocks. Carolyn's idea, not mine ;)
We love the ocean.
I'm normally freaked out by heights but this didn't bother me one bit.
I wish I lived closer to the ocean.
It was an incredible day spent with an equally incredible friend and I couldn't have asked for a better day out in nature (even if my legs still feel like they want to fall off).
I filmed a little "quote-unquote" vlog from our day so have a look! I would really like to do more videos but I'm not sure if you guys would like that or not? Leave a comment below if that's something you would like to see more of!
I've never been the type of person to get scared or depressed about getting older. I love being able to look back and see how I've changed as a person (or how my Instagram theme has changed) and how I can move forward in this next year of my life. I love my birthday because it means being able to spend time with my family (and I like the presents). This year, my family and I celebrated by visiting Vancouver for the day.
I love comfort food. It's my jam. My university roommates can testify to the fact that I can survive on chicken strips alone. So when it came time to find a new restaurant to try for my birthday lunch, I chose Peckinpah in Gastown. "Carolina Style BBQ" sounded PERFECT. I enjoyed a fried chicken with creamed corn and hush puppies. You know, health food.
One of my favourite pieces of public art in Gastown.
We ventured off in the downpour to our next destination!
This umbrella makes me feel like a lady.
Destination: The BLOEDEL CONSERVATORY in Queen Elizabeth Park
I loved that it looked like something out of Tomorrowland in Disneyland.
The conservatory is actually a super affordable day out if you are looking for something to do in Vancouver.
Photos by Tori Hackett
I was pretty much in awe the entire time.
You can pick up a guide (by donation) when you come in and it has all the labels for the flora and fauna life in the conservatory.
For those visiting in Winter, I recommend wearing something light because it is WARM in this place. I did not realize this and felt immediately like I was Randy from A Christmas Story. I could, however, put my arms down.
Tori took some GORGEOUS photos of a few of the over 200 birds that live in the conservatory. (My photos did not do them justice.) These two parrots were sisters. Probably talking about how ridiculous I was for cooing at them like an idiot.
Photos by Tori Hackett
I have a feeling 27 will be great.
Do you have any birthday traditions? Leave a comment below!
Sometimes my job means hopping on a ferry for a whirlwind day trip to Victoria to check out an Art Fair. It also meant I got to visit with my good friend, Delaney!
Living in the valley means braving the cold wind outside to enjoy the ocean. It was worth it.
Selfies happened. Are we surprised?
A lovely older couple from Nova Scotia stopped my selfie-taking to ask if they could take my photo for me to which I happily obliged. We then went on to talk about how wonderful the east coast was and how much I miss it. I'm really grateful for my extrovert-ness sometimes because you can meet the most interesting people sometimes that way.
After checking out the art fair, I zipped into the city to meet Delaney at her castle. Yes, you read that right. Delaney works in a castle. Craigdarroch Castle to be exact. (Well she doesn't work in this castle in particular anymore but instead she works at Hatley Castle, the sister castle to Craigdarroch). Basically she is a queen.
She had to lock the place up so while I waited, I had run of the castle. It was immensely fun and I couldn't help but dream of one day living in such a grand home.
Fun fact: Craigdarroch is actually a "bonanza castle" which basically means they were "massive houses built for entrepreneurs who became wealthy during the industrial age." - About the Castle
After Delaney secured the castle from any foreign invaders like buses filled with tourists, we went and had dinner at a Victoria fave of mine, Pagliaccis! If you ever find yourself in Victoria and are craving the best pasta in the world, that's your spot.
After stuffing our faces with ALL THE PASTA, we made our way to Dallas Road to walk along the breakwater.
Long walks and chats with friends are the best. Especially with the perfect ocean views.
During this nice walk we talked Teen Wolf, why I needed to watch it, life, how alarmed we were when the sea lion barked at us, blogging, Delaney's future big move to Nova Scotia, and how much we wished we saw each other more.
Continuing the theme where I pose for photos without actually looking at the camera. As you do.
It was a quick little trip but I was so grateful for the QT with my pal.
Sometimes you meet friends that you just know you'll have in your life forever. That's how I feel about my pal Delaney. We met in university and I've cherished her friendship since.
I also had the pleasure of getting to know her guy (and now husband), Curtis. He is the kindest soul and you can tell he's head-over-heels in love with Delaney.
This September, I was so thrilled to be invited to Penticton to witness their wedding and to be a sort of pseudo-dj.
The rehearsal was beautiful and I could tell I was going to be all emosh the next day.
These vineyards were gorgeous and I liked my outfit that day therefore, Tori was conscripted to take my photo.
The wedding was held in the most beautiful winery, Bench 1775 in Naramata.
I laughed, cried, and laughed some more. The ceremony was perfect. And I didn't screw up the music so I was especially happy about that.
Brooke, one of the best people you will ever meet. We met in Greece when we both attended a field school study for university. I knew we would be good friends when I heard her quote Home Alone 2 with "This is Peter McAlilster, the FAAAATHER". And I was right. We ended up being roomies and have stayed pals ever since.
My stunning sister, Tori and roadtrip-buddy extraordinaire. Also, she was my hero because I was incredibly sick on the way home and she drove me back to the comfort of my bed. We also made the executive decision to purchase 4 copies of Disney's Greatest Hits for the drive home because the only CD's I had were Nelly Furtado's Loose and Superchick, a Christian Pop band from the 2000s.
"I believe I can FLLLYYYYY" - My dress
The most STUNNING bride, Delaney. Seriously. How can I achieve this level of babe-ness?!
Sparklers to end the night and send the bride and groom off!
When you look up "happiness" in the dictionary, this is what you'll see.
Thank you to Brooke for hosting Tori and I for the weekend and to Delaney and Curtis for having us be a part of their very special day! I'll cherish the memories forever.
What better excuse to visit Victoria than to attend a dear friend's Bridal Shower?
Delaney is one of the kindest, most hilarious souls you will ever meet. We met one fateful day when we both were attending an Art History Club meeting at The University of Victoria when Delaney graciously commented on my boots and asked where I got them. Little did she know I would talk her ear off and the rest is history.
ps. Delaney y u so cute.
This woman makes me cackle like no other. Seriously. She also has a heart of gold and will do anything for her friends. She even makes a great honorary bridesmaid when you invite her as your plus one to your sister's wedding.
pps. you should check out her blog The Little Coast because it is amazing. She's amazing. You'll be amazing once you read it.
I even had the absolute pleasure of meeting some new friends, Natalie and Carly!
The next day, Tori and I went to Craigdarroch Castle to visit Delaney at work!
Delaney is a Floor Supervisor at the castle so she gave us an extra special behind-the-scenes tour. Ps. Fun Fact: Craigdarroch Castle is actually a Bonanza Castle instead of just a castle which means they were "massive houses built for entrepreneurs who became wealthy during the industrial age." Check out their website for more history about the castle!
I live here now.
When I used to live in Victoria, I would frequently pop in to my FAVOURITE jewelry shop Violette Boutique. If you are ever in Victoria, you should really go in a take a look at all the amazing gems. It's like walking into a dream. A dream where you spend a lot of money.
Tori and I then ventured over to Fisherman's Wharf for some lunch and to creep on the adorable colourful houseboats!
I loved taking the water taxis!
Made a wish. Can't tell you though.
What you can't see is me scowling at the child who started to walk up the hill to photobomb my photo.
It was a spiritual moment.
And so ended our whirlwind weekend in Victoria with me passive-agressively talking loudly trying to wake this guy up in hopes he would move to a quieter spot on the ferry so I could use the outlet to charge my dying phone.
I can't wait to reunite with Delaney when I go to her wedding next month!
What's your favourite spot to visit in Victoria? Leave a comment below with your suggestions!
Photo cred for basically all photos of myself by my amazing sister Tori Hackett. Thank you for only slightly rolling your eyes every time (there were lots) I asked you to take my photo. I LOVE YOU.