Whether it’s a tight deadline or an unexpectedly massive workload, sometimes your 9-5 can turn into a “9-whenever”. Extended work hours can seriously drain you for days to come. Despite my best efforts, I tend to pull some long hours at work for a variety of reasons, so I’ve had to develop ways to make the schedule a bit more bearable. Try out these tips next time you need to stay late at the office! Continue reading

Lessons from my First Road Trip

Hello from the East Coast! I’m currently on vacation in Sackville, New Brunswick on my first-ever road trip. It’s only been a few days, but I’ve learned a lot already! Here are some of the road trip lessons I’ve learned so far:

Be Flexible…

The prospect of a road trip was initially pretty stressful for me. Planning routes, stops, and excursions was a lot, not to mention having to rely on the weather’s cooperation! I’ve learned over the past couple of days, though, that having an open mind and a flexible schedule makes for a much more relaxing trip. This was especially clear when we realized we accidentally set our Bed & Breakfast check-out a day too early! Rather than panicking and trying to stick to a rigid plan, we took the opportunity to book our extra day in Gaspé to hike in one of its National Parks. I’m looking forward to the (unplanned) adventure!

…But Don’t Expect Flexibility to Come Cheap

That said, if you’re on a tight budget, it will definitely help to have a concrete plan for your trip. Some attractions and restaurants can end up costing a fortune if you’re not careful. For example, we were warned by multiple people about the $46 toll coming back across the Confederation Bridge from PEI. Extra costs like that can blind-side you! Do your research and make a plan to keep your spending on track throughout your road trip.

Take Photos…

Whether you’re printing out your photos for an album or just sharing online, documenting your journeys can be very rewarding. I’ve got a particularly terrible memory, so it’s important to capture some of the key or picturesque moments for the years to come.

…But Not Too Many

It’s great to share your experiences with the world and preserve memories through photos. But if you don’t immerse yourself in them first-hand, you might as well just read about it online! I’ve never been a big photographer on vacations because I prefer to prioritize enjoying the moment as I live it. Be sure to have a balance!

Get Road Trip Advice from the Experts…

There’s a good chance that you know someone who has been to your road trip destination. In our case, we had lots of expertise to tap into amongst our friends and family. These connections can recommend some can’t-miss experiences and hidden gems. If you’re staying in a B&B (or an Airbnb), your hosts can also make some great suggestions beyond what your typical tour guidebooks will review.

…But Do Your Own Thing

The highlight of our first day in the Maritimes was the only activity that wasn’t a recommendation from friends and family. We visited Island Hill Farm after learning about it from a CBC article about farm yoga trending on social media. I was most excited to cuddle baby bunnies:

Road Trip - Baby Bunny at Island Hill Farm

While Joe’s main attraction was making friends with the alpacas:

Road Trip - Alpacas at Island Hill Farm

The more people you have recommending “must-see” destinations, the more overwhelming your planning can get. It’s important to prioritize for your own preferences, not just what your friends and family will like the most on Instagram!

What lessons have you learned on road trips?

Five Simple Choices That Help Me Save Money

Millennials are having a really hard time these days when it comes to finances. Mountains of student debt, underemployment, housing prices through the roof… It’s crazy! And without a clear game plan, a lot of us are struggling to make ends meet and achieve our goals. While it’s not as easy as forgoing avocado toast (for a few decades), every money-saving habit helps to build the foundation for your financial future. For me, the most reliable ways to save money are the ones I don’t even think about. Here are five everyday choices and habits that help me save up. 

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Why You Should Create a Vision Board for Your Goals

Last weekend, I attended a “vision board party” and created my very first vision board. It’s basically a big collage of photos, text, and graphics that symbolize your visions and goals for your life. They’re pretty popular in the self-help and wellness space thanks to The Secret and the so-called “Law of Attraction“. I’ll admit that I was pretty skeptical. First of all, I’m not very artistic (at all). If my school poster projects were any indication, then this was going to be a disaster! Continue reading

5 Reasons You Should Start Gardening in Your Twenties

When it comes to gardening, most people tend to imagine older ladies in large-brimmed hats tending to flowerbeds outside their sprawling suburban homes. (At least, that’s what I think of.) So when my boyfriend and I started a backyard garden during our very first spring out of university, we were met with some surprise. Now that we’re into our third season of growing vegetables, fruits, and herbs, we can’t recommend it highly enough to other twenty-somethings! In fact, it seems that millennial gardeners are becoming a bit of a trend. (Finally, something millennials aren’t killing…) Here are five reasons why gardening in your twenties is a definite must-do. Continue reading

Tim Hortons Tips from an Insider

Happy #Canada150! For those of you not in the know, today is widely celebrated as Canada’s 150th anniversary. Today we celebrate all things Canadian: hockey, poutine, apologizing, and, of course, Tim Hortons. This coffee and donut chain is basically the hallmark of our Canadian identity. You might already know that I work at Tim Hortons Corporate, so it’s no surprise that I’m a Tims superfan. But even before I started at the company two years ago, I was already living that Timmies life. So today, in honour of Canada, I want to share with you some Tim Hortons tips to help you have the best experience next time you pick up your double double. Continue reading

Tone It Up Bikini Series Non-Scale Victories

This is it: the last day of the Tone It Up Bikini Series!

For those of you who haven’t been following my TIU journey, the Bikini Series is an 8-week nutrition and fitness challenge leading up to summer. Daily workouts are a combination of cardio and light strength training. There are free and paid exercise videos, plus self-led session suggestions. Nutrition is guided by the mantra, “Lean, Clean ‘n Green”. Following the final week, there’s a more intense challenge called the 7 Day Slim Down. And you share the whole thing on Instagram to join in on the beachy fun with thousands of other #TIUgirls. Yes, it’s a bit ridiculous. But with all of the hardcore alternatives out there for women looking to get in shape, this is my favourite option. Continue reading

Girlboss The Millennial American Dream

I recently started watching Girlboss on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, it’s the highly fictionalized TV comedy version of Sophia Amoruso’s memoir #GIRLBOSS, detailing the birth and development of her online business, Nasty Gal. I’d heard good things about the series, so I gave it a shot. I wasn’t a huge fan from the outset. The main character was ignorant, naive, self-absorbed, and rebellious almost for the sake of rebellion. Her glaring flaws were kind of the point — she did call her business “Nasty Gal”. My biggest concern, though, was that she was giving ambitious millennial women a bad name. Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers watching the show, my parents included, might actually think we’re all like Sophia. (Rest assured, we definitely are not.)

But somehow I got roped into the hype of watching Sophia’s business take off. In spite of her questionable business practices and personal decisions, I wanted her to succeed. Why did I care so much? We root for the “good guys” because we see ourselves in them. And like every other millennial woman out there, I want my hypothetical, maybe-someday business to succeed too. (Insert girl power playlist here.) Continue reading

Hiking the Nassagaweya Canyon Trail

This weekend, Joe and I took on our greatest hiking challenge yet: the Nassagaweya Canyon Trail. The trail connects Rattlesnake Point and Crawford Lake parks by leading you across the valley between them. The Conservation Halton website lists the trail as 7.2km one way — except you have to go back, too! It’s also the only trail on Halton’s roster with a “Difficult” rating. After all the hiking we’ve done over the past couple of years, and with a beautiful weekend ahead of us, it was time to take the plunge. Continue reading

Why I'm Not Coaching for Beachbody

In the past few months, I’ve done a complete 180 when it comes to healthy living. I started exercising and eating right (for the most part…), and I shared the process on a fitness-focused Instagram account. I noticed it almost right away: these mysterious “virtual fitness coaches” saturating my feed with sweaty selfies and motivational quotes. And it didn’t take long, once my account started to gather a following, for these ladies to start reaching out to me with offers to become a coach myself. They didn’t always mention their employer outright, but I only needed a quick Google search to tell me that these women work for a multi-level marketing company called Beachbody. That’s right, the dreaded “MLM” — what some people refer to as a “pyramid scheme”. Yikes.

But the peppy posts and the promise of a rewarding, engaging, self-propelled career were getting to me. So I did a bit of research. Continue reading