Sunday, 20 December 2015

Blogiversary!!!

Greetings!!

Guess what!? It's my Blogiversary! That's right, I've been blogging for three years as of last week :)

This year has been quite eventful blog-wise:

  • I finally bought my own domain - now I'm .com :) OH YEAH! 
  • My reader base expanded according to Google Analytics and that, for me, is awesome!!
  • My blog got a makeover thanks to Noor :) 
  • I finally wrote travel posts which is something I'd love to do more of,
  • My photo skills kind of improved - kind of, even though this post doesn't have one...ooops...
  • I've started writing fiction

Anyway, I was trying to think about what to write for this post and decided to go through my previous Blogiversay posts - the advice in those posts still stand. In fact, I've taken the advice from this post and added to it - experience and all that...

1. Embrace change - Everything changes, people, life, bus routes, everything. Friends move, people get married and some leave your life forever, but that's not the end for you - it's a new chapter and no matter what happens, embrace it and keep going! We can't let these things stop us for long. Of course we have to adjust and that takes time, but don't let it stop you from achieving your goals and dreams. 

2. Learn from criticism - There will always be some one who doesn't like what you do, I can guarantee it. Don't let it get you down. Take note of improvements you can make and seek to imporve yourself. Don't got too bogged down with the criticism, do not let it put you off. Learn from it and keep going. What better way to learn than looking at oneself and making an effort to improve oneself?  

3. Stop comparing yourself to others - You are you, and I am me, why change this? For years I had been comparing myself to others, but I've learnt that you can only work to the best of your ability, look your best and feel your best. We are individuals, a group of collective individuals, and it should be kept that way. We should constantly strive to be better versions of ourselves. You are you and I am me. 

4. Connect with other bloggers - I've discovered that there is a whole world out there, so many great blogs to explore! Join link-ups, share posts and comment on other blogs. Get yourself out there and take a look at what's already out there. There are so many great blog connections, like Twitter chats!

5. Don't give up - Things only become not possible when you stop trying, therefore don't ever, ever, ever, give up. It's the most important piece of advice I have to give, and it's most definaltely universal advice - it can be applied to pretty much everything. :) Still the most important piece of advice I can give you. 

What's your advice and tips? 

Also, on a side note, this will be my last post till next year!! See you on the other siiiiiiide! 

Seasons greetings all and I hope you enjoy your holidays and celebrations :P 

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Saturday, 12 December 2015

If I Came into Money...




Whilst having a super lovely catch up with my friends last week, this question came up:

"What would you do if you came into a lot of money - like A LOT of money"

Actually, that wasn't the question exactly. The actual question was what would you do if you won the lottery but, religiously, I can't play the lottery - it's ok, I'm actually ok with this so please don't worry yourself too much. Therefore I tweaked the question a little. The question is still the same because the focus here isn't on where the money had come from, it's what you'd do once you had it.

What I'd do if I came into a lot of money, for myself, - is what I've always wanted to do and in actual fact, I don't need money to do this. See, my grand master plan, in an ideal world, ultimately, would be to leave - travel the world. I'd work random jobs, meet amazing people and eat way to much food. I'd volunteer along the way and help in any way I can, hopefully teach and write.

That's it. That's what I want to do. Here's the thing, my answer here, doesn't depend on money. What struck me is that, for myself, I wouldn't actually use much of it.

Ok, granted, if I had more money I'd be able to fund further study for myself and buy a house - which I could then rent out whilst I travelled, but that wasn't my first thought when asked this question. My first thought is to do something that doesn't depend on money, something that I can do already. How stupid is that?!

For sure I'd spend the money - I'd give some to family members or buy investments for them (like a house, flat, fund business/study - something that will help them in the long term). I'd help towards that deposit my friend has been working so hard to save, I'd fund study for my friends, help to buy out the flat one lives in so he can have it for himself. I'd help another start a business and complete her studies. I'd donate to charities - build wells, houses, hospitals, bridges and roads. Give to schools and universities, help to build more educational establishments and I'd pour money into research. And then, the rest, I'd put it into my bank account and save it for a rainy day, use a little where I needed it, just dip into it, it'd be my safety net if, for some reason, I ever has to stop working.

And that's it, that's what I'd do. Only I don't really need all of that money to do what I really want do I?

Maybe money isn't always as important as we make it out to be. Yes, it can buy us things and make us feel good, it can be a step in the right direction towards achieving our dreams, but, we should be our own driving forces. We are the root to our own happiness.

You are the root to your happiness.
So let's plant that seed and watch it grow.

What would your answer be? What would you do if you came into a lot of money?

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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Confessions of a Front-Stabbing Friend #2



#2 

Don't you just hate awkward situations? Like when your minding your own business drinking tea and stuffing your face with biscuits when your little brothers friend suddenly wants to know where all the biscuits have gone. Like I just ate them all. Did you not see me in the last fifteen minutes you've been gawking?! Also, that's rude. You should at least close your mouth whilst gawking. Honestly, youth these days!

Ok, so this kid has been sitting in our kitchen for a while now. He appeared when the kettle made the whistling sound to say it's boiled. Our kettle does that for some reason - anyone downstairs can hear it. I offered him tea but he just shook his head a took a seat opposite me. Right, I thought, I'd better carry on like normal then. Lucky for me this kid isn't much of a talker and there was a magazine on the table right beside by breakfast. Handy!

I don't like drinking scalding hot tea and always wait for my tea to cool down, and so, because I didn't fancy toast this morning, I opted for biscuits.

Anyway, the whole time this kid was sat opposite me quietly watching with his mouth open. I'm not really sure what he's staring at because I'm a mess. I'm in my pyjamas and my hair is scare-worthy - seriously sometimes I get scared in the mornings when I catch my reflection - so it can't be me. I've offered him biscuits and tea and there really isn't anything else worth gawking at. But I can't say anything, he's only seven years old! I can't exactly just at say 'what you staring at?!' He might burst into tears! (It's happened before and I really don't want to explain to my mother that I made an seven year old cry...again).

And then, to top it all off, after having said nothing the whole time, he suddenly decides to speak. He has this adorable little voice and it's as if he's finally plucked up the courage to say something. What he does say is this:

"Where have the biscuits gone?"

It's only then that I realised that I've managed to finish the whole pack whilst reading a magazine...oppsie!

Lucky for me my brother ran into the kitchen at that precise moment and skidded to a halt just in time to miss the table. 

  "Why are you here?" He askes his friend, his tone is way too accusatory for my liking but I'm not going to get involved.

  "Do you want to eat something?" He questions further in the same tone.

The kid shakes his head.

  "Then let's GO!" moving his hand in a sweeping motion towards the door, just to be sure the kid knows which way to go.

And with that, the kid sneaks a quick look at me and then the empty biscuit pack and runs out of the kitchen followed by my brother. That is of course after my brother throws me a dirty look as if to say it's all my fault.

Honestly, kids these days!!
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Friday, 20 November 2015

Confessions of a Front-Stabbing Friend #1

#1

It sucks right, this whole 'being a good friend' business. Last week my best friend told me that I don't express my feelings very well. That's nothing new, I knew that already. Ask me how I feel about something and immediately I'll answer 'it's ok', 'I'm ok', 'fine'. They are my three favourite answers. But she's right, these answers don't tell you anything important, heck they don't even mean anything most of the time. They are simply used by me to ward of more questions. I'm an expert at that.

Apparently she doesn't mind this tho, she said at times it's frustrating but eventually I, in my own time, let her know. Anyway, this doesn't really bother me because it's true. Every person is different and I like it that way. How boring would it be if we were all the same? Yuk! What does bother me is that this isn't the first time I've been told this. That's when I start to think that maybe I should go round telling people exactly how I feel. At least that way people know what I'm thinking?!

Only there's one teeny tiny flaw to this plan - if I were to do this, I'd offend a lot of people. Sometimes even I don't like what I'm thinking! What a load of malarky. What I do know is this, if I have a problem, I'll let you know. See, I'm one of those people that would rather say it to your face than behind our back. I'm a front stabbing-friend. That's ok right?!
Keep looking ahead...

What's a front-stabbing friend you ask? Well, I'll explain:

You know that people you don't like stab you in the back, well I believe people who like you do the same, but in the front. Only this time it's in the front because they mean well, they want to stop you from getting hurt. That's what I've been telling myself anyway. How else do you justify telling someone you like something that isn't necessarily very pleasant? But only if it's something they need to know.

So here it is. This is, what I'm calling, the Confessions of a Front-Stabbing Friend. Let's do this! You want feelings, I'll give you feelings. 

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p.s Greeting everyone! Hope you are all well. So I've decided to try something a bit different and what you read above is the start of that. It's pretty much all FICTION - only it may be inspired by a few true events :) I'll let you know. Please do comment with your thoughts!


Friday, 13 November 2015

'Tis the Season!

Greetings!! 

Hope all is well and you haven't missed me too much! (HAH) Also, in case you haven't notice I revamped my About Me page - go and take a look! :) Leave comments and also links for me to read your blog!!

Anyway, it's getting colder, darker, wetter....blah, that doesn't sound good does it! But as the dark gloomy days approach, I thought I' do a post on my they are my favourite, yes, as much as I love summer, autumn and winter are still my favourite. :) Here's why:

<3

The Rain 

I love the rain - both when I'm indoors and when I'm outside. I find comfort in the sound of the rain and love falling asleep to it!

Clothes 

So clothes wise, I wear what I want whenever I want regardless of the season - I'm not kidding, I haven't even put my Birkenstocks away yet!! Also, layering means you can wear summer clothes in the winter! However, winter clothes are still my all time favourite - boots, jumpers, coats, scarfs, hoodies...so comfy!! I love winter colours too. :)

Food

Often when we go out to eat they have a 'winter warmers' menu with foods such as soups...yummy!

Atmosphere/Holidays

This is the time of year for fireworks, drinking hot chocolate and curling up on the sofa watching films. It's the time of year where people get together to either celebrate or for the holiday season and this makes me smile.  I love the festive atmosphere and when people come together!

Also, this time of year seems perfect to have Lord of the Rings marathons!!


Have I sold it to you yet??
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Monday, 19 October 2015

Third Week in Toronto #4

Niagara falls :)

Niagara Falls is something you really must see whilst in Canada - seriously, go see it. It's absolutely beautiful watching nature at work. Who'd have thought falling water could be so spectacular?!

Also, make sure you visit Clifton Hill whilst there - we went to the Nightmares Fear Factory and it was hilarious! You can do it!!!

I had a whole post planned on what we did but I'm going to show you instead!

Niagara on the Lake

The view

Love

Mandatory car photo

Who can say no?

Hard Rock Cafe - taken in a moving car

Magical

Wheel with a view
Overall it was a day filled with fantastic views, shopping, fun, food, laughter, - yes a few mishaps and a bit of shouting - but all in all it was GREAT

Can I go back now please?

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Friday, 9 October 2015

Bloglanders Issue #1

Hi All!!

So this week I'm postponing my Canada blog post because there is something else you should all read! That's right - the first issue of Bloglanders is out!!


Go read it! It has contributions from awesome bloggers (including myself!) and inside are more details on how you can write for the next issue!

Go on, check out it's awesomeness

Also: How amazing is Areeba for coming up with the idea and making the zine!? Go Areeba!!


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Monday, 28 September 2015

Third Week in Toronto #3

Wonderland

Hi All! 

Whilst in Canada, we paid a visit to Canada's Wonderland. I'm told it's the Canadian version of Alton Towers but I can't really tell you if that's true as I'm yet to visit Alton Towers. However, Wonderland was FUN! 

It's an amusement park filled with awesome rides, food places and games. If you like big rides - you'll love it. The park also has a water park which looked AWESOME! Unfortunately we didn't really go fully equipped with our swimming gear so we decided to just walk past the water park. It did look like fun - there were massive slides, people floating about and drifting to their hearts content. 


look at them...hanging!
It's the kind of place that has something for everyone - small and big kids alike. The first ride we went on was a log like ride that spun round and underneath it, there was a small lake. So whilst we were in the line for the ride, we saw that people were getting a little wet, not soaked. So we stayed in the line - a little wet is fine. Little did we know that sitting at the end of the log meant that everything including my pants would be soaked. FYI: if you're Canadian and reading this, when I say pants I meant panties - as in underwear not trousers. We were soaked. Everything. 

Luckily it was a hot day and so we dried off pretty fast as we went on other rides. I wish I had more photos of Wonderland but I was so busy screaming my lungs out on the rides that I didn't get a chance to snap many. It doesn't really help but I can still see it all so clearly in me head!!

Another thing I discovered whilst at Wonderland is that I can scream. Boy can I scream. Usually I'm the type of person that freezes up and stays quiet, but I screamed lots that day. I don't mind rides but I'm not too keen on going upside down - I have issues with gravity forcing me to be very out of me seat and clinging onto the handle bars *shudder*. 

In my last post I wrote about going zip-lining and I let me tell you, it was a walk in the park compared to what I did at Wonderland. I'm not kidding. It's because we did the Extreme Sky Flyer - kind of like a bungee jump - and it was AMAZING!!! Seriously, so much fun. I was very lucky because the lovely people I went with - shout out to my lovely family....Hiiii! - also came with me and so this made it so much more fun!! To view a short clip and hear our screams click here (I say 'our' because there were two of us on at once!) 

Click on the link!

Also, one last thing before I end this post, we ate this Funnel Cake - it was delicious! 

Funnel Cake

Would you go? Have you been? What did you think of it?

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Friday, 18 September 2015

Third Week in Toronto #2

Off we went!
Hi All!

So, anyone who is planning to visit Canada and is wondering what to do should definitely check out Blue Mountain. It is actually beautiful. It was kind of like the Cotswolds and Forest of Dean rolled into one - only it wasn't. Does that even make sense?!

Upon arrival, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I knew it was not in the city and I was told we would go caving and walk, but I, in all honesty, wasn't quite prepared for the scenery. In my defence it was because I hadn't really thought of what to expect and I'd done...hmmm...about no research into this place. Anyway, we got there and had fun!

Firstly before I continue, I would like to mention that there was a roundabout. That's right. A roundabout. This, although it's sad to say, made me quite happy because it was one of the few roundabouts that I saw on my trip. Seriously - I saw hardly any in Toronto. I think that's why when it comes to driving on a roundabout few people actually knew what to do!!

At Blue Mountain there was so much we could have done! A spa, climbing, caving, golf, horse riding, treetop walking, zip lining and the list goes on! There are winter activities too!! We spent the day looking at the caves and then went to the mountain rollercoaster. Oh, and zip lining!!

The caves were actually quite interesting and we even saw one that was a natural refrigerator. It was a hot day and so I spent a few minutes relishing the naturally cold temperature inside this particular cave. Other caves we saw some that were really really deep and others that had tiny openings. All in all, an excellent walk uphill that we then zip lined down!! :)

As for zip lining, it was fun! It wasn't as exciting as some of the other things I did but I didn't find it scary - I got a very good view of everything!!

What I  really did enjoy was the mountain rollercoaster - that was GOOD. What happens is you sit in a cart and get pulled up the mountain. Then they let you go. At this point you have control of how fast you go because there are handles that you hold down to make it go faster. And let me tell you something - I held them all the way down. I was put at the back of my group in the last cart as there was speculation that I'm a slow driver ('tis true at times), and therefore strategically placing me at the end would mean no one in my group would be slowed down. Surprisingly, I was fast! It was all systems go from the minute I went down hill!

In defence of my lovely group members: we had been go karting before and whist they had completed all of their laps around the course, I still had one left - hence the slow driver worries. I had fun despite being slower than the rest and I didn't cause a traffic jam on the course so I wasn't particularly worried about it. Lucky for me I had no objection to being at the back! It was great because on my way up the mountain I saw them all coming down. :)

Look at him all ready to go :)
To end the day, we ate Beavertails and ice ream, had slush and then drove back home after walking through the small village where there were some really pretty shops, including a sweet shop! 

Overall: great day out!

Have you been here or anywhere similar?

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Friday, 11 September 2015

Third Week in Toronto 2015 #1


Hi All!

So the last week of my trip *sadface* went super fast and it was super busy. It involved a lot of late nights that were spent talking and laughing way too much. Sorry to those who may have heard our laughter whilst you were trying to sleep!

Anyway, like I said, it was super busy! We went to the CNE, Blue Mountain, Niagara Falls and in between we did a few other awesome things too. For that reason the last week post will be split into a few posts rather than one. Here goes the first one!!

Night


I'd been told a lot about this event and lucky for us, we were in Canada for the time it was on. Basically its a mahoosive exhibition that has a zillion different things - both Canadian and from around the world - such as food, clothes, food, art, animals, henna, food, home products, food, rides and the list goes on.

Let me tell you something before I begin - having gone to the CNE I now understand why people rave about it so much and look forward to it each year. Let's hope I get to go to a few more!!

We began our day pretty much like any other day and headed towards CNE. Did you know people around the area let you park in their driveway for a small sum of money!? Clever people! I was told that when I see the bridge I'd know we were there and at first I was uncertain as to what they meant exactly, but once we were there I knew.
Day

There were loads of people there and so so so many different things to see. I can't possibly tell you everything because that would mean that we may be here for a good few days! So these are the highlights:








Ice Skating Show

There was an ice skating show that we watched which starred Olympians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. The show was fantastic!














Food

There was a massive food hall and lots and lots of food trucks outside too - the possibilities were endless. They also had some really wacky foods such as deep fried cheesecake, deep-fried red velvet Oreos (which I tasted and they were rather yummy!), Timbit Poutine, Butter Chicken Poutine from The Holy Grill food truck (it was super yummy!!), and also one of my favourites which was a waffle ice cream sandwich. So yes, a lot of food! I ate way too much and I don't regret it one bit.

Deep Fried Red Velvet Oreos 
Rides/Games

We played quite a few games and it was fun! At the time you just want to win and it can be quite competitive. Lucky for us we actually came home with a few prizes including my very own Smurf *happyface*. This was won for me totally unexpectedly by my lovely cousin! Thank you!! Also, I won a Ninja Turtle stuffed toy too, which I gave to my partner in crime, when the lady incorrectly guessed my age. She was one of the only people in my existence so far  to think I was older than I am - normally I get told that I look younger but after having looked at my hands, she decided the opposite. Not sure how I feel but I do have quite rough has so I'll give it to her. Plus I won Ninja Turtle because she guessed wrong! Result!

Stalls

There were so many stalls. Actually 'so many' is an understatement. There were way more. There were halls and areas in halls dedicated to different things such as crafts, food, clothes, make up, shoes, beds, jacuzzis, kitchen products, massage chairs, cat shows and dog shows and these are just a few off the top of my head. There was even a hall full of farm animals!!!

Even though I've missed quite a few things out, I think you get the idea. Have you been to the CNE? How was it?

Overall: CNE was well worth it.

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Friday, 4 September 2015

Second Week in Toronto 2015

My photo skills *chuffed* -ok, so it could use a filter!

Hi All!

How are you? This week has gone so fast and it's nearly over *sadface*. How did it slip away so quickly?! It has been a busy one!! Maybe that's why actually, time always seems to go faster when you are having fun and keeping busy.

So in week two of my trip, we went to Ottawa -the capital of Canada. That's right, the capital. When I think about it in that way I always imagine London. But Ottawa was much quieter than London - sleepy in comparison. We started the day early at the crack of dawn - literally - and off drove off into the sunrise (see what I did there!) all the way to Ottawa. It was a lovely drive, ahem, I slept for most of it. And the ride back come to think of it!

I took this snap when it was gloomy but it soon cleared up!
Once we got there, we visited the Royal Mint - saw where and how money is made! It was interesting! They make so many different coins there!! Then we headed to Parliament for a tour of the place. I love big old buildings and so looking round for me was good. I do have to say, however, it was very similar to the Houses of Parliament in London. Looking round there were so many similarities - the chambers, they way they do things - and because of this I was always comparing the two. The building itself is very beautiful and I loved how they actually kept space for new carvings/art to be put it. It signifies the importance of future generations and thinking of the future which is something that I believe is important!

We also took a bus tour and saw other really interesting sites such as where the Prime Minister lives, museums, some very beautiful and important horses and also the oldest church in Ottawa - The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica. Did you know it's called a 'basilica' because at some point in time, the Pope visited it on a Sunday. Also, the roof is aluminium, not silver!! And of course we went to an outlet for some shopping.

Go Karting at Sunset

Other interesting activities:

  • Go Karting *smiles*
  • Toronto bus tour - I love Toronto!!! Like seriously, it's awesome.  


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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

First Week in Toronto 2015

Hello, how are you all?
Australian Spotted Jelly 

So I was supposed to do this yesterday but, well, I fell asleep. I was asleep before my head even hit the pillow. Seriously - I was tired, like knocked out tired. Since we've been here, we've had rest time but I think yesterday it caught up with me and I was super super tired. Anyway, I'm here now :)

Right. Firsts things first. Our trip so far = :D
I love it!!!
We've done quite a few things and the people here are amazing. People are important wherever you go and it really does make a difference. Here the people are, as I've already mentioned, lovely. 

We've been quite busy since we came and have done a bunch of different things like glow in the dark mini golf, Escape Game, walking around downtown, shopping and also Ripley's Aquarium.

Glow in the Dark Golf
In downtown we walked around as our plans were slightly diverted,but it was still lovely. I love walking and exploring and this way, I got to do both.The Aquarium was awesome!!! I saw a blue lobster and so many other things, octopus, sharks, sting ray, eels, both Dory and Nemo too!! I really enjoyed it :) 

Another thing we did do was go to the IMFDF. May I say before I start to tell you about this, our outfits rocked!! The convention itself, not so much. Like seriously, it was disappointing. We got to the place (thank you to the lovely person who gave us a lift!!) and when we got there we were told to go to a makeshift desk to get our wrist bands. Off we went. The place was rather small and there were about fifteen to twenty stalls (despite what was advertised!). Anyway, they couldn't find us on their list even though we had printed tickets with our names on. So yes, that was the first hurdle. Eventually they couldn't find the person in charge/with more authority so they decided, as we had printed tickets, we could go in -figures huh!

Our Outfits :)
The fashion show was OK but truth be told, I'm not really a fashion-show type of person. We sat and watched the end of one and then decided to explore the stalls. Overall, the whole things was disappointing - the atmosphere was dull and it was not what I was expecting. Pearl Daisy (Amena Kin), a blogger from the UK was also there as were some other bloggers. That was one reason I was there!! I wanted to meet bloggers and other people who shared similar interests to me - you know, since I make things?? Anyway, a makeup blogger did walk past us and I recognised her when she passed us. And that was it.I decided to ask about Pearl Daisy and they told us she had a meet and greet much later in the day but no stall. NO stall!!! So we decided to head home. I did buy two things but other than that, it was disappointing. To make matters worse, I checked my instagram when I got home and Langston Hues (photographer) had been there too!! I missed my chance to meet him! :( 

Fear not readers, it does get better. We shopped, went to the aquarium and played glow in the dark mini golf - awesome. I also did something totally new to me, I played what's called an Escape Game. Basically, we were locked into a place and then, in order to get out, we had to solve clues. It was interesting. I say interesting because it's a game that involves group work and a lot of cooperation. Like seriously, team work. And this meant sometimes I wanted to sit in the corner and wait whilst the group shouted it out because there are often dominating personalities in every group. We, ahem, were told to keep the noise down. Actually, come to think of it, that wasn't the first place we'd been told that!

Yes, wear are a noisy bunch but we still have so much more to do! Have you done any of these things? Did you go to the IMFDF? Have you been to Ripley's? 

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Friday, 21 August 2015

Update: Canada

Toronto!
Greetings All!

So, this is a super quick update post to say...tun tun tun... I'm in Canada! That's right! How COOL is that right?! Everything was really quick and rather sudden and the days before I was very excited - literally I was bobbing up and down with excitement!

Ok, so we have a lot planned and hopefully things will go according to/along the lines of that plan, and I shall blog about it! Woop woop. Don't you just love it when things finally come together?! Especially since this trip has been in the pipelines for so so so long!

Anyway, here's a photo of the CN tower that I took today - actual camera photos won't be uploaded anytime soon so I'll do more on that once I'm home.

How are you all?!

CN Tower -was a bit cloudy but look!

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