sedona and the grand canyon

1/28/16


it is late at night here, and we just got back from sedona and the grand canyon. i have so many pictures that i am in the process of editing, but probably won't get them posted until this weekend. but i wanted to preview everything with this shot (my favourite, taken by my dad). this was taken at a starbucks patio in sedona, and this view is to die for! wish i had more time to explore. xo

my first time hiking: pinnacle peak

1/27/16



today i went on my very first hike ever! we went over to pinnacle peak courtesy of our resort and spent a couple hours walking up two mountains! i was so proud of myself for being able to do it - it was way harder than i was expecting. but i had a ton of fun and wish there were places close to home that i could hike, it's actually a form of exercise that i find fun!

it was also the perfect day for it weather wise. the skies were clear and the weather was just warm enough to enjoy being out it, but not too warm when we got to the tough parts of the trail. 

also, i'm so excited to be going to the grand canyon tomorrow!!! i can't wait to take 1000 pictures and see one of the wonders of the world. 

food obsessed

1/27/16


one of my very favourite things about coming down to the states is the food! there are so many different things here that we don't have in canada and i just want to try them all! my favourite thing i've had so far is this talenti gelato in the chocolate chip cookie dough flavour. i may or may not have eaten 2 pints already.... it's addicting! i've also been loving the baby goldfish and anything trader joe's. i wish we had this kind of stuff up north, although i guess it wouldn't be a novelty anymore if that was the case ;).

my first time getting a massage

1/24/16


so i decided to splurge on this vacation and booked myself in for a massage at the hotel spa. i had never had a massage before, and never really been to a spa for a fancy treatment before so i was excited, but also really nervous for today.

when i first got to the spa someone greeted me and gave me a short tour of the facilities and showed me to my locker which had a robe and sandals waiting for me. i got changed into my swim suit and robe and went to the sauna. it was crazy hot so i was only in there for about ten minutes. after that i went back to the jacuzzi room and read magazines until my appointment time. i then went upstairs and got prepped for my hot stone massage! the massage itself was so nice and relaxing! i left feeling so relaxed and would jump at the next opportunity to do this again. i think it will definitely be one of the highlights of trip, so glad i was finally able to check this off my "bucket list".

desert botanical gardens

1/23/16


today we went and visited the desert botanical gardens in phoenix. i was so excited to check it out because of the cool pictures i had seen online and it did not disappoint. it also happened to be dog day which the humane society hosted!! there were hundreds of dogs everywhere covering most of the trails. there were all sorts of different breeds and it definitely made the experience 10000x better. (it also made me miss my own puppies too). the whole morning was a lot of fun and everyone was glad to have gone! now off to the next adventure...

we made it to arizona!

1/21/16


we just made it arizona and i couldn't be happier! our resort is really cool, i can't get over how many cacti there are here. and the fact that we can just walk outside with no winter coats or boots is amazing! we are going to in-n-out burger tonight for dinner and i am really looking forward to that. if it's anything like shake shack it might just eat there exclusively this week ;). 

i'm excited to share more pictures with you guys. i'm also working on a vlog, so if that turns out i'll definitely share that here. 

happy thursday everyone!

a little bit of spring

1/20/16


well winter has officially arrived here, so i thought what better time to buy some bright flowers. although in my opinion any time is a good time for flowers, but anyways.

i got these last week and i am impressed with how long they've lasted. and i think they make my apartment feel 100x happier.

also i leave for arizona tomorrow, how crazy is that!!??!!!! i cannot wait to get there and do some exploring, and i'm even more excited to share it with you guys. can't wait!

evenings

1/19/16


one of my goals for 2016 was to develop a morning routine. i am the worst for sleeping in way too late and then rushing to get out the door on time. which means mornings are usually really hectic and i can never get what i want done. and sleeping in so late is really unproductive for me.

so at first i tried to set my alarm earlier, hoping that forcing myself to get up early would solve all the problems. but i found myself more often then not shutting off my alarm and going back to sleep for another few hours, which made that plan a bust.

recently however i've been focusing more on my evening routine - and that has miraculously helped a lot with mornings. it takes me a really long time to unwind and fall asleep, so my evening routine is about 4-5 hours long depending on the night, which i know sounds really long but that's what work for me. so here is a breakdown of what an average night for me has looked like recently:

7:00 pm - clean up dinner, tidy up apartment.

7:30 pm - check social media (facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, etc.)

8:00 pm - check emails, upcoming appointments, things that have to be done for the next day.

8:30 pm - shower, change into pyjamas

9:00 pm - make tea, watch t.v (i've been watching nashville and the bachelor lately)

11:00 pm - lockup apartment and go into bedroom

11:15 pm - last quick check of social media on my phone, set alarm for morning

11:30 pm - sleep

i find that this kind of timeframe works well for me because it allows me to go over everything thats happened during the day and prep for the next day. having time to relax and do things i like doing like watching t.v. without and checking social media helps me wind down and makes falling asleep a lot easier (sometimes if i don't go over things before i try to sleep i spend hours lying awake thinking about anything and everything- seriously, the other night i found myself googling "ontario dachshund rescue clubs" at 3am....). i've also been making a big effort to stop watching t.v. in my room (i am the worst for that!), so this kind of schedule works for me :).

and by doing this in the evening i am able to fall asleep a lot faster and sleep better. i can actually get myself out of bed when my alarm goes off and i'm feeling better rested when i get up, which is huge for me!

i hope you guys find this helpful if you struggle with sleep or getting up in the mornings. hope your week is going well :) talk to you guys soon.

xo liz

a constellation of blemishes

1/18/16


ok, so i never really had problems with my skin until i started university. ever since then it has been a rollercoaster with some good days, and lots of not so good days. right now i'm in the "not so good" phase and found what looks like a constellation of blemishes on my cheeks. please tell me i am not the only person who gets these weird patterns every now and again? it always happens to me, these weird groups of three appear on my face every now again. and they take forever to go away.  

i know it's such a small thing to get worked up about and there are so many bigger problems to face. but seriously face, can you like get it together?! 

my favourite curry recipe

1/18/16


if you had asked me 5 years ago to eat curry i would never have thought about it. i used to be such a picky eater (and probably still am) but i've been trying really hard to broaden my horizons when it comes to food. 

i made this curry the other night and i love it! it's so easy to make and i can usually get 4-5 meals out of one batch for myself. i thought i would share the recipe for those who are looking to try new things too! hope you enjoy :) 

recipe originally found here from the messy baker.

Matar Paneer
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Indian
Prep / inactive time:  
Cook / active time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 2 to 4
 
This quick-cook curry is on the table by the time the rice cooks. It features peas and paneer, an Indian cheese, in a spiced tomato base.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 large onions, minced
  • 2 Tbsp garlic, grated
  • 2 Tbsp gingerroot, grated
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup paneer, cubed
  • 2 cups peas, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ cup cream
Instructions
  1. Heat a non-stick skillet over high. Add oil then onions, and sauté until dark golden brown.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cumin seeds and cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Reduce the heat to low, add the garam masala, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, turmeric, and salt, and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the paneer and cook another 5 minutes.
  6. Add the peas, yogurt and cream. Cook 2 to 4 minutes or until the peas are just cooked.
  7. Sprinkled with fresh cilantro (optional). Serve immediately.

new camera lens

1/12/16


on sunday i finally decided to buy a new lens i had been looking at for a couple of months!! i got the nikon 50mm 1.4 lens, and i love it! these are a couple of some of the first shots i took with the camera and i can't wait to take many more.

i've been trying to read up on camera tips and tricks to help me really figure out how to properly use my dslr. hopefully i'll be a camera expert in no time.

spooky foggy mornings

1/11/16


on saturday i woke up early to go out for breakfast with a friend and when i looked outside it looked like a scene from a horror movie. the fog was insane! i'm so glad i grabbed my camera and took a few pictures of what my view looked like from my apartment. i feel like i'm living in mystic falls or forks and that vampires are right around the corner.... ok maybe that's just me and my vampire obsession ;). but seriously it was so spooky!

ahhh

1/8/16


i promised myself that i would blog everyday mon-fri and i almost missed today's post! but luckily there are still 34 minutes left of today... just enough time to crank out one last post for the week.

i cannot believe the first week back at school (and work) is over. it totally flew by! but it was great to get back in the swing of things and i really am excited to see what this semester has in store. i ended off the week with a movie night with my youngest sister. we dragged my mattress into the living room and watched about time on netflix. we snacked on sour watermelons and put face masks on half through. and then we watched some of the shaytard family vlogs and it was the best night! definitely the best way to end the week :)

i hope everyone else had a great first week back in their normal routines, and that you all have a great weekend! talk to you again on monday.

getting sick and two weeks until arizona

1/7/16


ugh you guys, i have been thinking the last couple of weeks as i watched all of my friends catch a super nasty cold that i was so lucky not to have gotten sick at all so far this winter. and just like that i think i jinxed it because my throat is killing me!!!! and i just woke up with a pounding headache and fever. karma sucks. so i'll be trying to clear that up asap. in other news i am two weeks away from my arizona trip!!! i can't wait for this next adventure! :)

pilates!

1/6/16


good morning! 

i wanted to write a little bit about pilates. i signed up for individual classes in the fall and have been loving it!! i had been wanting to try it for a while and finally got the chance when a spot opened up with an instructor i know through my chiropractor's office. 

i was so excited to start out, but a little nervous too because i didn't totally know what to expect. well it's been a few months now and every session i have more and more fun! my instructor is awesome and i'm starting to feel stronger already. i always love trying new things and am so happy to find something that i genuinely enjoy doing - it makes working out so much easier when you actually like what you do. 

so that been what i've been trying out recently. just wanted to write a quick post to update you guys on what i do every wednesday morning. and hooray, we are halfway through the work week! the first week back after holidays always seems a bit brutal so i am definitely looking forward to the weekend. 

talk to you tomorrow, 

xo liz

outfit of the day

1/5/16

scarf: wilfrid (similar| sweater: halogen (similar) | jeans: old navy (similar| boots: sam edelman

hello friends! 

this is my attempt at an outfit of the day picture.... it's really hard though when you don't have a lot of room in your apartment and have to do it by yourself. but sometimes it's fun to give it a try. 

i got these boots a few weeks ago and while they were perfect during the early winter now that we actually have snow i've found that they are really slippery, which makes for an awkward walk to class. but i really like the leopard pattern so i might try to tough it out a little longer. 

hope everyone is having a good tuesday. 

xo liz 

an honest thought on going back to school

1/4/16


well, the day has finally come for school to start up again. i have mixed feelings about the whole thing. as much as i love school and starting a new semester, i've found school to be really challenging this year and i've had a hard time genuinely enjoying it. i'm taking less courses this semester so i'm hoping that the lighter course load helps, but do you ever have moments where you question if you're doing the right thing? i've been feeling that a lot when it comes to school. but let's hope the semester goes well and i'm excited to see what comes my way this term!

in other news, these are few picture from my morning/afternoon. eating some lunch and catching up on pinterest, and trying to take a selfie and then realizing i had my eyes closed. but then realized that it perfectly sums up that all i want to do is sleep today. staying up late and early classes do not mix.