Peacock Wedding Shower

This weekend I hosted a wedding shower for my sister. She has always loved peacocks, so I thought it would be the perfect theme. Apparently unicorns are a much more popular party animal. It was difficult to find peacock related party items, so some creativity was needed to pull this off.

I scowered through the internet to find invitations. Most of the peacock ones I came across were pretty tacky. I finally found some simple and clean looking invites through Minted.com. The invitations are designed by an independent artist and are on recycled paper, which my green realtor sister would approve of!

For decorations we added peacock feathers to floral arrangements. It was tough to find flowers in our colour scheme so we sprayed some of the flowers with turquoise floral spray that my mom picked up from Michaels.

I am not a baking master, but luckily I know some people that are. My sister in-law got really creative and made some mini donuts, cake pops, love cookies, dipped Oreos and cheesecake bombs, all with the peacock theme in mind. If you are interested in her baking, her link is here.

A former dance student made the sugar cookie favours, which were so intricate and eye catching. Each cookie had unique details which made them extra special. You can check out her other amazing creations here.

The cake was made by a former classmate. The edible gum paste feathers and peacock topper were handmade in Poland and can be found on Etsy. I opted for buttercream icing instead of fondant for a change. The cake itself was teal and blue on the inside. If you are interested in Ashley’s cakes you can see more here.

I prepared my favourite kale, goat cheese and berry salad with homemade red wine dressing. It was a huge fail though as I forgot to put it out! I guess in all the commotion it slipped my mind. I plan on eating salad for the next week!

Instead of salad, one lucky guest went home with 689 gummy candies, which was part of a candy guessing game. For a dentist, I sure had a lot of sweets at this party. Hopefully everyone brushed and flossed that night!

For the decor outside, I blew up a bunch of balloons in jewel tone colours, attached them to a wedding arch and topped it off with a 3D love balloon. It took about 100 balloons to fill the arch and I have the blisters on my fingers to prove it! If anyone has a solution to this please let me know!

We also brought out Pricilla the inflatable peacock. I tried to find live peacocks to rent for the party, but there was no such thing in the area so Pricilla came to the rescue! The kids loved playing on her, but she did sustain an injury and will have to be patched up soon.

The shower ended up being a success. So many hours go into something that is over in what seems like an instant. My sister has always been a party girl and loves planning elaborate events, so I wanted to have something special for her. Everyone dressed up in peacock colours, drank sangria and showered my sister with beautiful gifts. If you are here to find inspiration for your peacock shower, please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. Hope this gives you some ideas.

Happy Day,

Kira

Dream Vacation Rental in Nova Scotia, Canada

Who wouldn’t want to be in a living postcard? Atlantic Canada has been on my list for years and this summer I was able to check it off. We wanted to have a true east coast experience and stay in a quintessential coastal home. I scowered through the vacation rental websites and stumbled upon the perfect property through AirBnB.

This oceanfront Cape Cod style home has everything you could dream of for your east coast adventure. It is located in Sea Bright, Nova Scotia, which is a coastal community 25 minutes west of Halifax. It is also a short 15 minute drive to Peggy’s Cove, which is a must see.

The house sits on a peninsula and has ocean views from the front and back. Whoever built this home took advantage of this, as every room has an ocean view. One of my favourite spots was on the bench in the master bedroom, which overlooks the bay. A perfect place to sip a cup of tea in the morning.

The dreamy kitchen in this home is well stocked and absolutely stunning. One of the brightest kitchens I have been in with widows overlooking the ocean on three walls. We cooked most of our meals on the gas stove and found that we had everything we needed to do so.

The kitchen opens up onto the great room, which has a large sectional and gas fireplace with a TV mounted above it. The views from this room are spectacular! A perfect spot to relax after a long day of activities.

There is a cute dining nook just off the living room, which is a great place to eat or play games in the evening.

There are three bedrooms in the home, which are all on their own floor and have their own bathroom. This would be a perfect rental for three couples as each couple would have their own space. One of the bedrooms is like an in law suite. It has it’s own staircase off of the entryway and is situated over the garage.

The master suite encompasses the entire second floor and has a large daybed for children in a common area. There is a laundry room, walk in closet, tanning deck and master bath off of this area as well. Did I mention the free standing bathtub in the master bath? Stunning views!

The real showstopper of this property is the multilevel deck complete with hot tub, outdoor shower, dining set and adirondak chairs. There is a beach area and expansive dock, which are both good places to swim. The water here was surprisingly warm, but refreshing on a hot day. There are lots of boats parked in the bay; none of them ever moved so it is very quiet here.

I couldn’t imagine a more perfect place to stay in Nova Scotia. This house seemed too good to be true when I found it, but I assure you it is the real deal. There was a heat wave while we were there and it was nice to have a home with air conditioning. I have nothing negative to say about this property. The only bad part was having to leave. The house next door is for sale, which is very enticing!

Here is the link to the AirBnB listing for this property:

Oceanfront Oasis

Happy Travels,

Kira

Proud Not Loud: What Makes us Canadian

With Canada Day upon us, I couldn’t help but reflect on what makes this country such a great place to live. I am definitely a proud Canadian, but not one to shout it off a rooftop. We are not loud or boastful when it comes to our patriotism, it just isn’t the way we roll. Instead, we are a humble group of people that are just grateful for being able to enjoy a vast and beautiful landscape.

When we travel, people always greet us with open arms. Our reputation of being a nice and polite group of people precedes us. Now, we don’t want to get too proud about this or we may develop a big head. That would not be very Canadian!

If you come to visit us, you will learn that we are an accepting group of people. We do not discriminate based on colour, religion or sexual orientation. Our country has been built on immigration and continues to welcome those from war torn countries. Because of this, the face of Canada is always evolving. There just isn’t one stereotypical Canadian look.

What attracts people to our country are the freedoms and opportunities. The sky is the limit in terms of how high you want to set the bar for yourself. As a woman, I have taken advantage of every opportunity that has been given to me. I could not imagine things any other way.

Canadians are a caring group of people. We like to open doors for one another, wave when people let us in on the road and pay it forward in the Tim Hortons drive through. We try our best to care for one another through our Universal Healthcare system, assistance programs and the Treaties.

To sum things up about what it is to be Canadian, I can say that we are a proud, polite, caring and accepting group of people. I forgot to mention that we are also resilient given how cold things get in the winter. Can I say that we are cuddly too?! Hope you have a wonderful Canada Day weekend!

Happy Travels,

Kira

Do You Believe in Angels? What Made Me Believe

Do I believe? A question I have asked myself since confirmation class two decades ago. I have always been a bit of a science nerd and felt like I needed proof in order to believe. I remember asking the minister to discuss science and religion, but unfortunately it did not make it into our discussions.

Throughout my life there have been reminders of a higher power. My mom surviving cancer, my dad nearly escaping a drowning incident and the sight of my Opa after he had passed away.

It was not until 4 years ago, with the passing of my Uncle Dennis, that I feel I had gotten proof that angels are amongst us.

My uncle was a talented basketball player during high school and coached throughout his life. His number was 11, which is also known as the number of angels. When he passed, the numbers 11 and 22 (double 11) started popping up in our families lives.

Shortly after his passing, our family travelled to Las Vegas to celebrate an anniversary and this is where it started. My Uncle Dennis would have loved to have been there and he reminded us of his presence through his number. My cousin was given room 11D, 11 kept coming up at the tables, my mom was given 11 cents change when she cashed out and the list goes on. The appearance of this number went beyond coincidence.

At first the number popped up often. At Christmas my mom and I stumbled upon a poem about angels that was stuffed into an advent calendar and sure enough it was in the number 11 slot. All the other slots were empty. Every time I buy a lottery ticket the numbers 11 and 22 appear.

The number started to appear less and less with time, until a year ago when my uncle was inducted into the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame. He would have been so ecstatic about this honour. Sure enough, his number appeared. There was a prize draw at the event and our table won prize 11!

It is occurrences like these that have made me believe in angels. I truly think that my Uncle Dennis is still present in some way. He was our biggest supporter in life and was always there for every recital, competition and graduation. It is no surprise that he is still cheering us on from above.

Have you ever had something like this happen to you? Do you believe in angels?

In Memory of Dennis Alvestad

September 12, 1942 – September 26, 2013

Happy Day,

Kira

A Visit to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Canada celebrated it’s 150th Birthday this past summer. Since it’s birth, there has been an incredible amount of progress within our country. There has also been a lot of struggles, hardships and injustices. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights reminds us of how far we have come and how far we have yet to go.

The museum was constructed in 2008 in Winnipeg, Manitoba; arguably the heart of Canada. The location is fitting, as it sits at the Forks, where the Assiniboine and Red River meet. The area is rich in history and has been used as a trading point and immigration hub for hundreds of years.

This is the first museum in the world to focus solely on human rights and every effort was made to ensure that it was world class. If you visit Winnipeg, it is hard to miss. It truly is a beacon, and while not everyone enjoys the sight of it (much like the Eiffel Tower in Paris), it commands your attention.

The architecture of the building is truly awe inspiring. Some may say that the space is cold and empty, but what it allows for is a clear mind and time for contemplation. Less is more is definitely how I would describe the space. Clean, uncluttered, with beautiful lines and rich natural materials.

The museum spans across 7 levels, which are accessible by gorgeous marble walkways. Each level has a theme that eventually leads up to the top. This is known as the Tower of Hope, which has beautiful views of downtown Winnipeg.

I recommend starting from the bottom and working your way up. The first level is an introduction to human rights with some interactive displays that are meaningful and moving.

The second level contains the temporary exhibits. Two of my favourites were the red dress display, which honours the missing and murdered women of Canada and the gay rights exhibit.

As you move up through the levels there are many issues that are addressed. Everything from women’s rights, the holocaust, residential schools, the environment and the list goes on… You will need at least 3 hours to take everything in. We spent about 5 hours and I still feel like we just scratched the surface.

There are guided tours that you can take for an extra fee (about $5). This allows you to get an in depth look at the displays and the building itself. The tour takes about 2 hours. On the first Wednesday of the month they have free admission and every other Wednesday has a $5 entrance fee. We went on a Saturday and a Wednesday. Saturday was a lot quieter and allowed us to get unobstructed photos.

I could go on and on about the displays and exhibits, but it is best to experience it for yourself. A very relevant place to visit if you are in Winnipeg. It reminded me of the struggles that people face and that we need to be a bit more understanding of one another. Definitely gave me hope for the future as we have come so far. This museum is thought provoking, meaningful and an absolutely beautiful space. So proud that it resides in my hometown of Winnipeg!

If you are interested in visiting the museum there is more information on the CMHR website.

Happy Travels,

Kira

Could You Be More Canadian (Nicer) On Social Media?

It is well known that Canadians are friendly people. Our favourite word is sorry, we eternally wave when people let us in on the road and we pay it forward in the Tim Hortons line. I personally consider myself a friendly Canadian and a conscientious person. So when I see bad behaviour and poor manners on social media, I feel that people could learn a few things from us. Let’s just be a little kinder to one another with these three simple tips;

1. Support One Another

The whole point of social media is to interact with one another. This is my favourite part of it; that we can connect with people from all over the world that we wouldn’t have met otherwise. Social media is not all about you. It is about connecting and engaging with one another and showing your support for the ones you have decided to follow. So show some love and comment a bit more. I am super supportive of people that I know in real life, as I like to see what they are up to. Some of these people have never liked a single post I have put up; and I am not posting pics of my half eaten lunch! This boggles my mind. I think some people post things and then don’t bother to look at anyone else’s. What is the point of that?!? Let’s show some more support and stick around to see what people are doing.

2. Say Thank You

This should be a given, but thank someone when they leave a nice comment by liking their comment or commenting back. I am surprised that a lot of people, especially those with larger accounts don’t do this. I will often go through the list of people that liked my posts, see if I missed some of their content and send back some likes. This might be taking things to an extreme, but like I said I am a contentious Canadian!

3. Don’t Use People to Get Ahead

Some of you may or may not know about the follow/unfollower. This is a person that follows you in hope that you will follow them back. Once you follow them back, they quickly unfollow you and hope you don’t notice. It is a way for this person to build a large following by fooling others into following them. This is my biggest pet peeve on social media. I can see one of these people from a mile away as they usually have about 50k Followers, follow about 1000 and have mediocre (but sometimes good) content. This practice is completely self serving, rude and unethical. If a business does this to me it makes me question their integrity. This really goes against everything that social media is intended for as it is very one sided.

To this date, I have been a victim of the follow/unfollower 1325 times on Instagram! To identify these people I have the Follower App which shows me who has unfollowed, deleted likes and comments etc. No matter how you try and justify follow/unfollowing to yourself, don’t do it! I could have tens of thousands of followers by now if I used this method, but I’d rather maintain my integrity and do things the old fashion way. Just ask yourself, what would a Canadian do?

I hope I have inspired you to be a little more thoughtful on social media. What are some of your pet peeves on social media or the blogger world? I would love to hear your opinions!

Thanks for stopping by,

Kira

Dream Vacation Rental: Paris Perfect

Oh Paris! The city of love, the capital of fashion and the home of the Eiffel Tower. What is not to love?

My husband and I visited last August for our 10 year wedding Anniversary and we wanted to stay somewhere special. We usually rent through VRBO and AirBnB, but I could not find anything great on their sites. Luckily, I stumbled across Paris Perfect, which is a vacation rental company ran by an American couple.

Paris Perfect has apartments in various arrondissements in the city. One of their specialties are rentals in the 7th with Eiffel Tower views. There are many options and price points on their website. It is hard to narrow down which apartment to stay in, as they are all beautiful in their own unique way.

We stayed at the Chatillon, which is on Avenue Charles Floquet, a quiet street just across from the Champ de Mars. This gorgeous apartment has 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, and an abundance of space by European standards.

The apartment was built in the early 1900s after the construction of the Eiffel Tower. The original details of the apartment are stunning. Everything from the chevron wood floors to the impressive white mouldings set the tone for the space.

The owner of Paris Perfect decorates the apartments and she has an amazing eye for detail. This apartment is so chic with the rich purple tones, velvet textiles and gorgeous gold chandeliers. Often when we rent places, the photos are better than reality, but I would have to say the opposite with this apartment. The photos don’t do it justice!

The piece de resistance of this apartment was it’s balcony over looking the Eiffel Tower. We ate breakfast here in the morning and enjoyed the view in the daylight. At night we would sit and watch the tower sparkle with a glass of wine. It felt like we had front row seats to the best show in Paris!

The location of the apartment was excellent for exploring the city. We walked as far as St. Germain des Pres one night and strolled along the Seine River. The city sure was alive at night with people partying in the street and drinking wine along the Seine.

We enjoyed walking to the Rue Cler market to stock up on croissants and other goodies. It was never hard to find our way back to the apartment as the Eiffel Tower was always our landmark. Every outing ended with a stroll through the Champ de Mars. There was usually a sea of people picnicking and admiring the Eiffel Tower.

I could go on and on about this apartment and all the technical details. If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments.

We have vacationed in some beautiful homes throughout our travels, but I have never stayed anywhere quite like this. Truly felt like a fairytale. Hoping you will add this one to your bucket list.

Chatillon Apartment- Paris Perfect

Happy Travels,

Kira