How to make the most out of your cottage vacation

  1. Take a nature walk, look for flowers to take pictures of, if you have pets you can bring them along for the adventure but make sure to look out for rattlesnakes, poison ivy, hazardous water or debris and any other danger.
  2.  If there is water, you can go fishing, go swimming, hangout on the dock or by the waterfront. If there are water toys, canoes or boats even better, but I recommend having a buddy when you canoe or boat in case something happens or bad weather rolls in.
  3.  Its fun to go to the book store and pick up a good book. If its warm, read outside on a blanket in a chair or on the deck and if its chilly, you can cozy up in the bedroom, sun room or living space.
  4.  Cottage sunsets are gorgeous there is something about being out where it is quiet and it is absolutely breath-taking when you take in the scenery and colours.
  5. Have tea and coffee in the quirkiest space, the quirkier the cottage, the more inspiration you can draw from the items and surroundings, plus they make for some original and fun content.
  6.  Visit the store in town where they have ice cream, the nearest supply stop often carries ice cream in unique fun flavours. Stock up on candy so you don’t regret it later when you are back in isolation at the cottage. Buy extra candy to share with others because honestly it will make you feel good and it goes a long way with others receiving you in a positive way, it costs little to include others.
  7. While in the wilderness why not try a sage smudge ritual or meditation, find a quiet space to be alone and really focus on healing and clearing your mind. Take in you time. Get solitude.
  8.  Take in the scenery. A green view and the sound of birds is a welcomed change from the city and suburbs and makes for great inspiration if you make a space your away from home office. reading, blogging or working on the computer can really produce creative content.
  9.  Be social, ask the people around you questions, dig around for a fun game or google one on the internet if you have access, even just chatting and catching up is a true pleasure.

Eat and drink, try a new cocktail or recipe and share with your friends and family. It feels so great to have a snack and enjoy a vacation bevy in cozy clothing.

I recommend limiting cellular communication as much as possible unless it’s for a special purpose. Time is much more enjoyable when you spend it undivided with the people you are at the cottage with. Hours and Hours of phone time, Instagram and snap chat really take away from the social vibe and the whole isolation peace and tranquility thing.

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But First… We Brunch

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Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas Street West Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 1G4

My girlfriend and I recently went to The Art Gallery of Ontario for brunch and these are my thoughts on my experience. The space was massive and the tables had a good distance from one another, wine filled the walls making for a great conversation and also gave us something to look at and study. The service was quick and our serve was helpful but very respectful of our privacy and dining experience. The pricing was very fair and we really enjoyed the menu items that we chose to share.

The Art Gallery of Ontario Frank Restaurant is run by Executive Chef Renée Bellefeuille , she brings over 20 years of culinary experience. Bellefeuille has worked at The Drake Hotel, the Consulate General of France in Toronto, and alongside Jamie Kennedy, with whom she worked as Pastry Chef for five years. Bellefeuille is inspired by Indian, Sri Lankan, South American, Mexican, Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. Bellefeuille leads her team in combining global flavours and local ingredients to produce plates that are aesthetically satisfying and pleasing to all the senses.

My girlfriend and I had originally thought about the fix price brunch menu but when we saw how large and fresh the portions were we opted on sharing the following plates

cauliflower steak – vegan
warm date and quinoa salad, spicy cashew sour cream
pea shoots, pomegranate seeds

I can’t say enough about how much we enjoyed the flavours of the vegan plate, the pomegranate seeds added a nice acidity to the spicy cashew sour cream, we loved the texture of the quinoa with the cashew and sprouts.

fresh baked pastries
fresh selection of house-baked pastries and scones, compound butter, jam

The fresh baked pastries were light, buttery and fresh, I really found the croissants to be super flakey and fresh but I was not impressed by the scones. I enjoy a dense scone and found my scone was a bit on the dry side, my friend however disagreed and really liked the scone. It is worth noting that not food was left on either plate.

 

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Agate, History, Healing Power and Fashionable Uses

I have a fond love for that which is beautiful and comes from the natural earth. Agate is mainly found inside volcanic or metamorphic rocks. I wanted to share a bit about agate stone Jewelry and share some specific tips for healing use.

Agate belongs to the Quartz family, the origin of the name is of Sicilian decent, named after the Achates River where it was first discovered.

Each Agate sliver is unique and can contain inclusions from fossilization, stripes or bands, specks or even be of a solid material, the bands form in all of the unique colours in the rainbow spectrum.

Some historians and anthropologists have discovered the following about Agate

Agate was used as healing amulets and used to adorn and decorate the most fashionable Babylonians.

An Agate stone company has been established in Germany since the 15th century, and it is still operating today and are leaders in the stonecutting and polishing industry that is known around the world.

People of Greece, Russia, The Middle Eastern countries, Egypt and Africa have been using Agate for centuries for natural healing and medicinal purposes.

Agate stone is said to stabilize and strengthen our emotional, mental and physical state and is said to bring balance because it vibrates at a lower frequency than other stones in the quartz family due to the fact it accumulates an electric charge due to its voltage and electronic current when in the presence of vibrations.

As a support stone, agate provides strength and inspiration for workers in many fields and for those of us who are influencers exploring creative ventures, it is believed wearing or carrying a piece of agate can free up stagnant clogged energy and help guide our passions and creativity to flow in a stable way.

If you find in your life you are consistently consuming things you do not need, agate can help you to halt that desire, focusing on the stone allows us to recognize and appreciate what we have and be satisfied with it. If you are feeling strongly that you are excessively consuming you may want to wear some agate.

It has been used for many centuries as an amulet for protection for those who travel or are on the go, sometimes people choose to hang them in their automobiles.

Agate brings self- confidence and is suggested to be worn by new mothers to help deal with the baby blues experienced by many women after childbirth.

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BELOW ARE TWO WEBSITES THAT HELPED ME WRITE THIS  POST

Informational site 1

Informational site 2

 

 

A new bloggers thoughts on the dirty side of Instagram

There are things “Influencers” just don’t want any brands to discover, in today’s blog post I share the secrets the knowledge and the dirty side of Influencers and content creators.

I have a small following on instagram, under 1k followers and even smaller amount of followers on my blog, but each and every one of the people who follow me is a real person who has shown genuine interest in my content. I take my authenticity seriously, I hope to grow but I refuse to become what I like to call an Instagram scam. Due to the fact that I have a smaller following, I am able to really study and notice when other people who I thought were the real deal are simply not. I’ve learned that people care more about numbers than anything else.

Brand and Sponsors beware

Brands or Sponsors should predict Return on Investment by clicking through people’s followers and checking their engagements it takes a few minutes but it’s a sure-fire way to gauge someone’s actual influence versus just the number of followers.

Robot Followers

  • signs of robot followers are
  • lots of profiles with no pictures
  • followers who when you actually click on them, are following 5657 people with only 100 following them or they have 2-16 stock photos

I’m not accusing everybody of buying followers , even though I know people do, but I am encouraging people to go through their followers and block and delete and report their bots. As for pr companies and brands, you don’t have to scroll far down on someone’s page to discover the fakes, a few random clicks should give you proof.

Hundred or Thousands of followers over night

One of the most obvious signs of an inauthentic influencer is  hundreds or thousands of followers overnight, people do this because for whatever reason, people like to follow people with big followings so these influencers don’t feel  secure with their numbers so they spike them in hope people will see them as more influential than they are.

People claiming to have authentic growth who really grow because they follow a bunch of people who follow them back and then they unfollow them hoping they wont notice

If you notice someone has a ton of followers and are not following a ton of people and they follow you, they will probably only unfollow you once you follow them and hope you don’t notice.

Some people pay companies to grow a following for them by generating likes and getting follows by following to unfollow using software.

Authentic Influencers beware

If you work hard, gain a true following and have a good reputation I would be mindful of who you choose to engage with and support. It’s a shame to see someone get duped by the insta scams out there. And to those of you with a small authentic following like me don’t let yourself get played by those with large following who are using you to grow their own brand they don’t actually care about you or your brand and don’t deserve your support. If your growing slowly and your following is going up and down be patient and don’t worry, keep being you and it will happen organically over time. A bigger following isn’t always better focus on the authentic content and being real and the people who are worth it will come and send their love.

Thank you to each and every one of you authentic gems who have shown your love and support and followed my instagram and my blog you guys are awesome and are the reason I write.

Folklore and legend behind The Cherry Blossom Tree

I am fortunate to have a beautiful cherry blossom tree in my front yard, a few weeks ago when I picked a blossom off of the tree to bring into my home I thought about how fascinated we all are with them and after seeing so many photographs of the beautiful blossoms I wanted to know more about the legend and story behind the captivating beauty that I was holding on to after seeing these blooms appear over multiple platforms across the interweb. I want to share the Japanese folklore that I was able to research and discover.

Beautiful trees such as the cherry blossom tree, are often a reoccurring supernatural theme in religious folklore, both Shinto and Buddhist religions believe that spirits dwell in old or pretty trees, large ropes are tied to mark spirit trees and it is bad luck to cut down the marked trees unless you wish for a life of misfortune. Spirits are called Kami and the trees are called Kodama.

In Moricka Japan, exists a 400-year-old tree they call the Ishiwari-zakura or stone splitting tree, the tree planted its roots in to a large crack in a rock and it grew so large it split the rock. I love this story because it is a metaphor to plant your roots wherever you wish even if the world says it will be impossible to grow, like the cherry tree which splits the stone, we too can split the mental stones in our mind and take root wherever we set our hearts and minds. Like my blogs philosophy you are a canvas and the world is your gallery never limit yourself by being the rock when you can be the tree.

One beautiful myth is of a wet nurse who loved a child that wasn’t her own so much that she gave her life and also her soul to protect the child and give them life it is said the tree blooms on every anniversary of her death. It is rather beautiful that a human soul can give up a life to save another.

Other things the cherry blossom tree has symbolized are hope for samurai warriors while they were in battle, life and death and the fragility of it all as the trees bloom and shed their blossoms over a very short time and also used to bring good fortune.

My favorite folk-lore legend regarding the cherry blossom tree is the story that follows

A kind old man and his wife lived next to a mean old man and his wife, the kind man and wife had a beautiful white dog named Shiro who always had stones thrown at him by the mean man next door.

One day Shiro started to get really excited and began to dig, the man got down and dug with the dog and they discovered a treasure of gold.

The mean old man saw that his neighbor was striking fortune and asked if he could borrow Shiro to show him where he might also find a treasure of gold, the nice old man sent his dog next door and said find me gold too Shiro began digging in a certain spot the mean old man tied Shiro up and dug in the spot only to find a smelly garbage hole the man was so angry he killed the dog with a blow to the head with his spade.

The kind old man and women were very sad about the loss of their beautiful dog that they planted a pine tree in memory of him, in a few short years the tree grew huge. The woman remembered how much the dog loved rice cakes and suggested that they cut down the pine tree in order to make a mold for the rice cakes. The man was pleasantly surprised when he began to beat down the rice to make a cake and it turned to gold, if course the mean old man next door saw this and said hey neighbor can I borrow your mould so I too can be rich with gold and treasure, as soon as he began to beat down the rice to make a cake it turned into a smelly pile of smelly garbage so he axed the mould and burned it in his fire. The kind old man was so sad when he discovered is precious mould was turned into a pile of ashes so he asked for the ashes and decided to take them home.

Over the winter the kind old man decided to spread the ashes in his garden because all of the trees were bare but as soon as he tossed the ashes, the garden bloomed which attracted a prince whose biggest heart ache was that his own cherry blossom tree had died. The prince came for the old man and took him back to the kingdom, the old man took some of the ashes and tossed them around the garden of the prince. The tree blossomed with the most beautiful flowers and the prince was so happy he showered the nice old man with wealth and gifts and called him Old man who makes trees blossom. The nice old man and his wife lived to their end of days happy and rich.

In this story, the power of love creates miracles. I feel in our own world today love can create miracles. We can learn from both the kind old man and the mean old man, that life is often what you give. The kind old man remained kind and loved his neighbor even when his neighbor was unkind, because that’s who he was in his soul and life rewarded him. People in the world can be cruel and unkind but we must remember to be inspired by the story of the Man Who Made the cherry blossoms grow, he treats people like gold therefor he cultivates gold. As important as the kind man, we can learn a lot from the unkind man because he treats people like garbage and therefore he cultivates garbage.