Five good decisions from today:
1️⃣ I ordered a 0 calorie tea at Aroma with friends this evening. (And smartly ate before)
2️⃣ I cooked myself a big healthy fish dinner
3️⃣ I saw an apartment tonight (I’m looking to buy), and walked home from it to get my 10k steps in
4️⃣ I skipped the office’s “chicken and waffle” lunch, and got a 230 calorie subway instead
5️⃣ I went to the 6:30am Orangetheory class, which is nearly unheard of for me. 💪🏼
This colourful veggie and fruit display happens every day at 11am in my office. I really have *no excuse* to grab chips or chocolates. 🍏🍎🍐🍊🍋🍌🍉🍇🍓🍈🥝🥥🍍🍑🍒🥦🥕🥒🥑
Let’s talk about today.
1️⃣ I left my workout clothes at home this morning, so I went home after work and somehow didn’t convince myself my couch > working out; I actually changed and still went to Orangetheory! 🍊💪🏼👊🏼 (photos 1 & 2)
2️⃣ My Office is like a 7/11 convenience store, and as I struggle with free food, it’s a constant battle. Today I made good choices at work. Including my selection at a catered lunch meeting (photo 3)
3️⃣ Colleagues told me I seemed well rested and happy after my four day weekend. I think I’m feeling good in my own skin because I know I’m actually trying. Actually doing something. I’ve spent months feeling out of place in my own skin. It’s nice knowing I’m actually taking steps to change something. Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, but I swear it’s doing the same thing every day, wanting to change, but not changing anything that *drives* you insane 😁#arguingwitheinstein 💁♀️
4️⃣ I got my passport renewed today ($210 🙄), and HATE my before, BUT, I’m hoping it’ll one day be a “before.” It’s going to be in my new passport for ten years. I wonder where life will take me in that ten years. (Photo 4)
5️⃣ Over the years of blogging, I’ve come under “fire” for eating dry chicken. Ive always thought this was funny, as I hate dry chicken so...
I’m so hesitant to share this, but I need accountability, so here goes: I started a personal Instagram where I share my ups & downs at the game of weight loss.
Years ago I started a travel Instagram (simply to print my photos), so I’ve added onto it.
From food to exercise to weight, please follow along if you’re interested. I’m also looking for people to support. It’s 33lbs33yearsold
ps. this post may disappear soon! ha
I think money and budgets are what stop a lot of people from exploring new cities, so I thought I’d break this trip down to show you what we spent.
We really tried to keep expenses low, and be smart about what our money went to.
I have no idea if the below numbers are high or low, but I do know that I spent $3,600 last year for ten days in Norway (not including Norway flights, as I got them for free).
Here’s the trip in numbers. But first, two notes:
#1 All numbers in this post are in Canadian dollars.
🇨🇦 ↠ 🇺🇸 To get American dollars, times everything by 0.8
#2 I traveled with Julia, which means the Rental Car and Hotels are double that (as we split them)
What did this include?
Here’s the visual breakdown
Tips n’ Tricks to spending less while traveling
And last, but certainly not least, is the southern bell of a city, Savannah Georgia.
Unforunately we had so little time in this city, that I’m not sure this post will do it justice, and on top of that, we had cloudy weather which makes photos not as vibrant as it actually was.
People told me I’d prefer Savannah to Charleston, but I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, this is one VERY well designed picturesque city, with a huge amount of history, but after a day walking around, I think we had seen all that it had to offer (from a tourist point).
The Spanish moss trees were everywhere and made for some beautiful photos, and in the summer, I image some great shade.
The downtown historic area is a perfect grid with little parkette all over the place. Here’s a screenshot from Google:
The city actually reminded me a lot of historic Boston,
A lot of people told us to eat at the Pink house (below), however as we were on such a tight budget, we didn’t. Although, it was by far the #1 recommendation!
If you find yourself heading to Savannah, be sure to check out their waterfront....
I wondered if someone would mention this!
It confused me too, how the cities felt empty, yet had quite large populations. I eventually realized it’s because in Toronto a lot of people live downtown in the heart of the city, whereas in Texas I think that most people don’t live downtown, but rather live in the suburbs. And those inner suburbs are taken into account by the city’s borders, and thus the populations are large.
Happy to be corrected if this isn’t the case, but I agree, it was odd, as Texas’ cities have very large populations!
I have always wanted to go to Charleston. Actually, I’ve always wanted to retire In Charleston. I know, I know, it’s an odd thing to say, but since I first saw photos of the city, I knew I would love it.
And? I did!
Charleston is a small, coastal city (850,000 people) located on the Atlanta ocean, and is such a romantic, girly-y city, with a photo everywhere you look.
We arrived just after their first (!) snowfall in over 30 years, which was declared a “state of emergency,“ as they had to borrow snow plows from two states north. Regardless, the sun was shining and we got to walk around the quiet, frosted streets to take it all in.
I have a weird obsession with storm drains, and encourage you to take note of them when you’re in new cities.
They’re often quite decorative and have date stamps. I have a secret goal to start a “storm drain” instagram account, as I have so many of these types of photos from all over the world.
Even looking at...
I have officially am terrible at blogging (seriously, how did I used to find so much time to do it?!), but here’s my Texas adventure post!
After New Orleans Julia and I rented a car and headed west to the great state of Texas.
Texas is BIG, and we drove A LOT. Like, a lot. But it was such an educational trip for me. I don’t really remember what I expected from Texas, but it continuously surprised me, and I must admit, it was a bit of a culture shock.
The three cities we wanted to see were Houston, Austin and San Antonio.
If Austin had a large body of water near it, I think I could live there. It was such neat little city, with a really hipster-y vibe.
It also hosts the Texas State capital, which was neat to walk around. Texas has 28.6 million people in it. Canada has 36.2. As we walked around the State Capital I was just amazed by the size of buidling.
We drove around Austin, found ourselves a hike up in the hills, got delivious Mexican food, and chased the spots people had recommended to us.
Nearly everyone suggested we head to the Container Bar area, so one afternoon we did. It was so neat and I’m sure a hustlin’ and bustlin’ place in the...
I knew New Orleans would be a great city, as every person I spoke to who’d been would send me a list of great spots to see, eat, or do, and rarely did anything overlap.
It appeared everything down south was good; they were all right!
Canada celebrated its 150th birthday last year, but New Orleans celebrated its 300th! What a fascinating, unique, historical city New Orleans, Louisiana is!!
We spent the majority of our time in New Orleans simply walking around.
New Orleans’ architecture in and of itself is worth seeing. Ther beautiful vine-covered balconies in the French Quarter, Spanish-inspired buildings, bright colours, and churches made me want to take a photo everywhere I looked.
If you ever find yourself there (or if you have in the past, I’m sure you went) you have to go to Cafe Du Montee.
It’s a New Orleans staple open 24 hours and absolutely worth the wait (although fun fact, we accidentally skipped the huge line as we walked in from a different angle and didn’t see the line!).
The cafe is known for their beignets, a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar. They are DELICIOUS and very cheap.
The cafe even has its own souvenir stores dotted around the city, to give you an idea of how it’s a must.do.
When I think back to 2017, it’ll always be the year I live in Detroit, Michigan. The year I learned to value a less busy life. A life I now aspire for.
I was so nervous to move to Detroit, and just last night at Veronica’s wedding I told a couple they should visit Detroit if they can, and they looked at me with the same horror in their eyes that I once I had. I’ve been fortunate enough to live in six cities around the world (Pretoria, Auckland, London, Melbourne, Toronto, and Detroit) and I have the fondest memories of Detroit. Sometimes I even get home sick for it, and wonder if I should move back, From that first day I made the five hour trip west to Detroit, it was this adventure that only I was a part of.
I met so many incredible people there, ate delicious food, took some of my favourite photos to date, and learned to value a slower pace. The summer before I moved to Toronto there was a stretch where I was busy for 28 days in a row (and keep in mind, I love love love quality netflix/couch time). Detroit showed me the importance of prioritizing my time, and I’ve been really good at doing it since I’ve been back in Toronto.
I traveled a lot this year. More than I set out to travel. I went to Arizona (the Grand Canyon!) with my mom, headed west to Chicago twice, explored...
I’m sitting at the airport right now with a few hours of waiting ahead of me, but none of that matters, as I’m still on a high from the incredible evening that was last night.
Veronica and Pat got married!
Veronica asked me to give a speech at her wedding last night, so I’ll post my speech under the photos, but I am so thankful for this wonderful woman’s presence in my life. Veronica and her now husband, Pat are moving to Vancouver (as of today!) and I will miss her so much. Spontanously getting drinks after work, going for walks, getting our nails done, talking about jobs and life and I during my speech I had to take a moment or two to catch my breath between tears, as it hit me so hard that she’s leaving! But I’m so happy for her, and I’m already looking up flights to visit them.
Congratulations Vee, on becoming a Mrs., and on your next grand adventure with Pat. You made one stunning bride!
Hi everyone, my name is Liz Morris, and for those who don’t...
I’m on my couch right now trying not to let my freshly painted nails get scratched while browsing nothing particular online, and debating whether I should remove my Instagram story (I get self-conscious when I talk in them). It reminded me of this space. That feeling of should I delete it? That feeling I had so many times writing in this space. Weirdly, I miss it. So here I am, popping in.
Christmas 2017 was a quiet one for me. I’m already back home with work a mere nine hours away, but! But until then, here’s a peek into my little red n’ green (and white!) Christmas with my family.
I think I found the trick to Christmas shopping! I went to the mall from 9am to 10am three times last week and it was joyful walking around with no crowds or line-ups. I will forever do this from now on, as it was truly the best to be able to actually pick out things I wanted for friends and family.
The holiday season has also be scattered with seeing friends. I am so thankful to have so many wonderful ladies in my life (plus a work friend/colleague crew I enjoy seeing every day).
I already posted this on my Instagram a few weeks ago, but when I showed a colleague of mine a photo of my Christmasy apartment, he said, “all that work just for you?!”
A few weeks ago I sat down at my kitchen table to do a little crafting. I’ve wanted to make these wedding invitation ornaments for months, and was so excited to finally do it.
What you need:
That’s pretty much it, but if you’re up for a little more crafting you can grab a glue gun, and some ribbon too.
It’s SO EASY to do, and the result is so beautiful, plus they make wonderful gifts.
And then, ta-da! Here’s Courtney’s one (which I gave her last week)
And here’s Veronica’s (which I gave her today).
Talk about meaningful gifts on a budget!
Back in 2016 I wrote my first budget post (here), and since then I’ve been religiously using my simple yet effective budget spreadsheet, along with (from what I’ve read!) many of you!
It’s honestly the easiest way to track your money, and here I am again, sharing it with anyone who is keen to understand where their money goes, wants to save money, or hasn’t yet found a tool that they actually use.
2018 is your year!
Firstly, budgeting is tricky. There is A LOT of information how there with templates and guidelines and holy batman, let me just close my browser, and look into templates and money stuff later on.
It’s overwhelming and easy to look away from your finances. Easier to not call a phone company and fight. Easier not to wait on hold to get an interest rate down. Easier not to take the few minutes a week needed to keep an eye on your money. Easier not to plan. Easier to not open bills.
I know this, because I was once you.
Actually, over the past ten years I’ve probably created ten different budget templates in Excel. And none of them really worked for me before this one.
I would set budget goals way too extreme, quickly break them, and then give up (similar to weight loss, eh?). Then, a few months back when I sat down to create...
The weather outside is frightful (feels like-18C!), but my (Netflix) fire and blogging is so delightful, so please don’t mind me as I spontaneously post a random variety of items that have happened in my life recently
Christmas is a mere 14 days away, and lights and eggnog and merriment are scattered throughout my life.
Below is from a few weeks ago when Ashley, Veronica and I ventured to the Toronto Christmas market. Last year I went for my birthday and LOL, learned that lesson. Don’t go too close to Christmas, because it’s a zoo then!
Christmas parties are underway! Last weekend I had two! One on Friday night and one on Saturday night, and I have another one this coming weekend.
Toronto is decked out this season, and I always take the long way to work or home or to places I need to be to enjoy the pretty lights.
I signed up for Orange Theory! I really should dedicate an entire post to this, but it’s pretty motivating. Last Sunday morning I met up with Casey, Lindsey, and Michelle for a little treadmill and then brunch action.
In a snippet: You wear a heart rate during the class and everyone’s stats are on the screen. There are five heart rate zones, and you want to get into the orange zone. It’s SUPER motivating to push...
Well, my friends, I am single once again.
I now feel like a bit of a fool even mentioning him a mere week ago in this space, but I suppose that’s life and dating; you never know.
Going into this weekend I was feeling pretty good about the relationship I was in, but then whoa, the difference an evening makes.
On Friday evening I finally invited him to join me and my friends at my first Christmas party of the season. It was going to be his first time meeting not only my closest friends, but my Project Sunshine friends, and colleagues.
The evening did not go as I had imagined it would, and the message I sent him Saturday evening nicely sums up why:
In a word I am “disappointed.” And in a word he was “abrasive.”
Abrasive: (of a person or manner) showing little concern for the feelings of others; harsh.
I suppose there were signs over the past few weeks, but no crazy red flags. When I confronted him during the party because I was SO embarrassed, he must have said, “I’m an acquired taste, take it or leave it” ten times. I’ll leave it, thank you very much.
He spilled red wine on the host’s white couch, he fell walking to the bathroom, he walked into the wooden door frame when trying to enter the bathroom,he yell-asked if anyone else had more red wine when he finished his personal bottle, and he was sure to share his strong (very...