Travel Tuesday: The Algarve, Portugal

Is it really after four already?!? This day has been crazy, sorry for such a late post. For today’s Travel Tuesday post I am going to show you some photos from my trip to the Algarve region of Portugal this past summer. We stayed in the town of Albufeira for just under two weeks and had an incredible time.

Albufeira has a few different parts to it. There is the old town with it’s pretty cobbled streets lined with restaurants, bars, cafes and shops; the lively nightlife in São João; Albufeira marina with its sugar candy coloured apartments and last but not least the lovely, sandy beaches.

What I loved about Portugal is that it took my favourite aspects of travel and combined them into one great destination. The beaches were idyllic, with white sand, crystal clear water, and immense rock formations adding to your visual delights. The quaint towns were walkable, with restaurants, lounges and cafes scattering the cobblestone streets. The food…man oh man, I could do a whole post on the food. I love seafood, a lot. I ate so much while I was there from mussels to clams to tuna and more. I also tried one of their local specialties chicken piri piri, which is basically chicken with a very spicy marinade. Everything was super affordable which was great too. That’s one of the things I love about Europe, how you can sit at a restaurant order great food and lots of drinks and still leave after hours with a bill under a hundred Euros. That doesn’t happen at home. Portuguese was nearly impossible to speak for me. I tried, but it just didn’t work, so I appreciate the locals being more than helpful speaking English.

Another thing I loved about the Algarve was the weather. If you are taking a vacation and pretty much want to guarantee good weather go to the Algarve. With over 3,000 hours of sun a year the Algarve has a mild climate making it an ideal holiday destination all year round. It also gets very little rain (although we did have rain one day) and gets very hot in the summer (like 30 to 40 degrees). Perfect for a beach vacation! If you have any questions about the Algarve, let me know. It was a great vacation, I highly recommend it!

Photo of the Day

It’s cold today. I think Mother Nature is laughing at us and thinking “Do you really think I’m going to let you off that easy?” I hate the cold. I want to feel a warm sea breeze messing up my hair and to lick the salty ocean off my lips. I want to be somewhere warm and sunny. I want to be in this photo; running up the dock, ready to do a cannon ball and splash as high as I can.

Travel Tuesday: Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

Bonjour mon amis! Happy Travel Tuesday. As I mentioned in a previous post, Paris has far too many wonderful aspects to fit everything into one blog post so I am slowing breaking down my three trips there into multiple posts. Today I am going to tell you about the Jardin du Luxembourg. The Jardin du Luxembourg is the second largest public park in Paris and is located in the 6th arrondissement. It is a beautiful park, which makes you feel like you are no longer in the heart of Paris, rather, that you are on a French estate, in the countryside. I am assuming that that is precisely what Marie de Medici intended when she commisoned it in 1611. Marie was the widow of Henry IV and the regent for the King Louis XIII. She decided that she wanted to build a palace in imitation of the Pitti Palace in her native Florence.

She commissioned Salomon de Brosse to build the palace and a fountain, which still exists (the the photo of the Medici Fountain below). In 1612 she planted 2,000 elm trees, and directed a series of gardeners, most notably Tommaso Francini, to build a park in the style she had known as a child in Florence.

Today the palace in home to the French Senate and the park is open to the public. Children can often be found racing motor sailboats in the fountains, or running around in the grass. People come to sunbathe in the chairs surrounding the water, or to picnic in the grass amongst the statues. It’s a wonderful retreat after being immersed in the city all day. We stopped by a little shop on our way in and bought a box of decadent macaroons and a bottle of champagne to enjoy as the late afternoon sun shone down on us. It was a perfect Parisian moment, the kind that you need to savour so you can remember it when you’re back in your office, typing away at home. If only everyday consisted of macaroons and champagne in a Parisian park.

Friday Roundup

 Happy Friday, and if you’re here in Edmonton like me, welcome back to winter. Lots of snow out there this morning. Because of how nice this winter has been, I’m much less jaded and can see the beauty in a fluffy snowfall, it makes everything so pretty. Let me tell you however, I cannot wait for summer. I miss my sundresses and wedges! I’m in a class all weekend, so I’m not really looking forward to my weekend unfortunately, I’m moping over the fact that I’m not going to sleep past 7 a.m. for 12 days. I love my sleep. Oh well, hopefully I’ll be smarter after this weekend hahaha. Here are my favourite pins this week:

Favourite photo:

Best breakfast idea for your weekend:

Blissful vacation spot:

Favourite flower (peonie):

Favourite shoe (Ralph Lauren):



Travel Tuesday: Cancun, Mexico

I went to Cancun with my boyfriend back in 2008 during Reading Week (Canadian Spring Break). The consistent 30 degrees Celsius temps were a very welcome break from February in Canada! We stayed at the Grande Oasis Hotel which we thought was great. We upgraded to an ocean front room, with is 100% worth it to me. There’s nothing like coming back to your room at the end of the day and having a few drinks watching the sunset over the ocean. We did the club thing two nights we were there; however we’re not really clubby people. Coco Bongo was insane—I think I was inside for like 30 minutes before I started having a panic attack from the crowds. It was so full we couldn’t even get to the exit, a kind security guard took pity on me and let us leave through an emergency exit. If the building wasn’t so crowded I think I would have loved Coco Bongo, but it was just way, way too much for me hahaha.

The ocean was great, that beautiful turquoise colour that makes you dream of vacation. We took a few excursions too, and those were fun. I don’t think I would go back to Cancun again, not because it isn’t good, but because I think I’d rather go a bit further out of the city into the Mayan Riviera, where the scene is less focused on clubs and shopping. That’s a little more up my alley!

Friday Roundup

Long weekend baby! At least for those of you in Alberta. I am really looking forward to this weekend. Sleeping in, late breakfast, good coffee. Saturday is going to be a great day. I’m going to the afternoon session of WineFest and then the Alberta Ballet’s presentation of Cinderella. Can’t wait! Here are a few things I’ve pinned lately.

Coolest mani

Cutest picture

                                                                                                                                          Weekend breakfast idea


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Favourite bag








Best photo

The things I love … on Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day everyone! I’m a mushy person, so I love any excuse to show the love. This day isn’t just for couples, it’s a day to show the love to you friends, family and pets too! Here are some of the many things I love about this day:






























Travel Tuesday: Cinque Terre, Italy

Italy is such a diverse country in terms of landscape. You have ancient cities, rolling hillsides and villages built high in the cliffs. Cinque Terre is in the Italian Riviera in the Liguria region of Italy. “The Five Lands” is composed of five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I’ve been to Cinque Terre twice now, once in 2006 and once in 2010. What I love about these five villages is that they are quite literally a breath of fresh air. It is so refreshing to visit them after going to a few larger European cities, such as Rome.

A walking trail, known as Sentiero Azzurro (“Light Blue Trail”), connects all five villages. I’ve never done all five hikes in one day, rather split the hike into two separate days. The trail from Riomaggiore to Manarola is called the Via Dell’Amore (“Love Walk”) and is the easiest walk, as it is all paved and fairly flat. The stretch from Manarola to Corniglia is also easy to hike, although the main trail into Corniglia finishes with a climb of 368 stairs, and on a hot day, man oh man it feels like a lot more!

Cinque Terre is built on cliffsides along the ocean and the mountainsides are heavily terraced and are used to cultivate grapes and olives. The grapes of the Cinque Terre are used to produce two locally made wines. The eponymous Cinque Terre and the Sciachetrà are both made using Bosco, Albarola, and Vermentino grapes. Both wines are produced by the Cooperative Agricoltura di Cinque Terre (“Cinque Terre Agricultural Cooperative”), located between Manarola and Volastra. Other DOC producers are Forlini-Capellini, Walter de Batté, Buranco, Arrigoni. I’ve tried a few of these wines, and their quite good, and seriously, the local wine is dirt cheap, you can buy a bottle for about three Euros, it’s cheaper than buying water! This area, and the region of Liguria, as a whole, is known for pesto, and it is soooo good. I had an amazing meal sitting on the rocks watching the sun set over the cliffs. I bought a pesto pizza from the local pizzeria and a bottle of wine and had the perfect picnic. Best part, the whole meal probably cost about eight Euros. Can’t beat that!

Friday Roundup

Thank god it’s Friday, I thought it would never come! This has been a very long week for me. I’ve been crazy busy at work, which means of course, that I also got a wicked cold. I feel like I’m running on fumes right now, but if I can make it till 6 pm today, then I’m free and clear. So, with that, here are my favourite Pinterest finds for the week:

Prettiest photo:

Best relaxing vacation:

Best brunch idea:







Cutest housewarming/hostess gift:












Favourite dinner: