Ottawa Day 5 : National Gallery of Canada

We spent the entire day at the museum, through breakfast and lunch, but it still wasn’t enough time to devote more than about 30 seconds to each piece of art. My personal highlights from this trip included the Frontier photography exhibit, the Rideau Chapel, and some of the impressionist pieces. 

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Ottawa Day 4 : Parliament

I was completely in shock that we saw Canada’s Prime Minister during my first visit to the Capital! We had joked about the possibility of seeing him before scheduling our trip but I certainly didn’t expect to actually get to see him. So I can officially say I’ve visited Canada’s capital and seen their Prime Minister before I can say the same about my own country!

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Ottawa Day 3 : Byward Market

After sleeping in a little bit, we got ready and called our Uber into town. We wanted to spend a full day exploring downtown Ottawa, especially the ByWard Market area. I'm not sure why I picked the absolute coldest day of our trip to walk around outside but we made the most of it! It was still pretty snowy in the morning when we arrived at Origin Trade Co. I'd done a lot of research into coffee shops before leaving on our trip and Origin looked too cute to miss.

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Ottawa Days 1-2 : The First Snow

Sunday morning we woke up to a fresh blanket of snow on the ground and the biggest flurries I've ever personally seen! Alex and I were like kids in a candy store and layered some jackets over our PJs and pulled on our boots and gloves to go play in the snow for a while before everyone else woke up. When the rest of the crew woke up we had oatmeal pancakes with some homemade maple syrup. I mean, come on... does it get any more Canadian?

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How to Pack a Winter Carry-On

I always find packing for a winter destination fairly challenging since it is almost always warm where we live in South Carolina and because packing bulkier items forces you to be a bit more strategic in your planning process. I know lots of people are getting ready to head back out of town this holiday season to visit family and friends, so these are my helpful tips for how to pack for a week in just a carry-on bag this winter.

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December 2017 Spotify Playlist

I’ll be the first to admit that the 70° weather has me feeling a bit more like the Grinch than one of Santa’s little helpers but putting on a bit of festive music in the evenings has been improving my mood tremendously! This year I have felt like each holiday has crept up on me without really being able to enjoy the preparation and anticipation so I’m determined to make the Christmas season different! 

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Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is in many ways my favorite holiday. No one expects gifts. There’s no pressure to spend money. We get to spend time with our family and indulge a delicious meal together which is something we don’t get to do all the time. It felt a little strange to be traveling on Thanksgiving day instead of taking part in our normal traditions this year. The past few years as a married couple we’ve woken up to take a walk together (and with the dogs) then cooked a big breakfast and turned on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and the dog shows.

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How to Plan Your Next Vacation

I usually start with Pinterest when I am planning our vacations. It's an easy way to find itineraries from other travel bloggers or must-sees for first-timers in just one click. Once I have an idea of what the highlights in the city are, I turn to other resources to narrow down our interests and find neighboring spots to visit. If you follow me on Pinterest then you know that I am constantly pinning travel inspiration!

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Reading, Watching, and Listening to

I don't currently have a laptop so most of my Internet browsing is done on my cell phone. Our iMac is in our office and it's very rare that I sit down at the desk during the week. What usually ends up happening is that I will save tons of articles to read and videos to watch for later when I have time to spend time on a "real computer" and sort through them all. Here's a roundup of what I've been reading, watching, and listening to over the past couple of weeks broken down by category.

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Abstract Watercolor Painting

To be honest, it's been a looong time since I've painted. It makes me a little bit sad that I don't regularly make time to bust out my watercolors and paint, but I have a lot of other creative outlets to keep me busy. My sister wants a couple of abstract paintings to hang in her room since she's redoing her space to make it feel a bit more adult. I decided that I'd paint them as part of her Christmas gifts. Here's a look at the first one. I'll probably keep the second more of a surprise for her. I can't wait to see them hung in her space! 

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Foodie Guide to Athens

We visited Athens, Georgia for the first time earlier this month and were able to sample some of the local flavors thanks to the great recommendations of friends! Here's our guide of where to eat in Athens if you're visiting! Since we always try to travel as cheaply as possible while also supporting local businesses, these restaurant recommendations won't break the bank!

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October 2017 Spotify Playlist

I'm excited to share my October Spotify playlist with you all today! The temperatures are finally starting to cool down (at least in the mornings and evenings). While I start to switch up my wardrobe for Fall, I also switch up my music. Fall is a time for all things cozy and warm so I wanted to make a playlist that mimicked the way the season feels. This playlist is full of songs that are atmospheric and cinematic, romantic and soulful, piano-driven and a bit more downtempo than my Summer playlists. It's also heavily inspired by the film Baby Driver.

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