My friend Alex and I chose this small island country on a whim. We’d wanted a relatively inexpensive flight out of London in November, to a place with sunshine that we’d both never been. Somehow, we lucked out and ended up in beautiful Malta! We didn’t want to be overly researched beforehand, so we looked up the basics and decided to just explore. There is so much to see and do and learn. Malta is rich in history and fun facts (which, Alex and I love), and parts of it are so preserved that you feel transported back to medieval times. Everywhere you go, it’s a photographer’s dream. I left feeling completely creatively inspired and grateful for the experience.
This tiny European treasure absolutely captured our hearts. I cannot wait to share more about Malta with you, it’s a place that you should absolutely see for yourself! For now, here it is through my lens.
Before you start calling me moneybags (which would be a terrible nickname, btw, please don’t get any ideas LOL), I am off to Europe this week because I scored the most epic flight deal of all time. I still don’t even know if I believe that it’s real. I’ve saved all the screenshots of the booking just in case I get to the airport and they try to say it’s not valid.
Back in August, Alex texted me about a YVR Deal that came through. She ended up booking a trip over some random days in November and suggested that I do the same. I had never even considered impulse buying airline tickets before, but when the deal is THAT good, how could I not? Couldn’t manage to secure the exact dates that she did, but I ended up with roundtrip Vancouver to Dublin on British Airways for $288. That’s right, $288. Booked it and decided to figure out the rest later.
Same old Seattle? Think again, Bellevue is where it’s at!
Driving across the border to neighbouring Washington has always felt familiar. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, the Evergreen State has the comforts of home, but with an American twist. Despite my love for the area, I realized that I really haven’t explored much beyond downtown Seattle, The Gorge in George, and the views along the never ending I-5 en route to Portland. It’s now top of my local travel list to explore beautiful Washington and discover new gems, like Bellevue!
A few weeks back, my BFF Jessica and I embarked on a girl’s weekend in Bellevue. It was her first time away from her baby overnight and it was just so special for both of us to be able to wine and dine, kid-free. We simply fell in love with the area and I’m already planning to return in December. You’ll find out why at the end of the post, but in the meantime, here are our top 5 reasons to visit Bellevue, WA. If you’d like, I’ve also put together a free printable Bellevue Travel Guide
1. The Shopping Is Incredible
Even though Vancouver is just a few hours away, being across the border means access to shops that we don’t have at home. I had great luck at Nordstrom Rack, as you do, and always love getting the chance to check out Macy’s, The Container Store, and World Market. We had a spectacular time at The Shops at The Bravern. It’s something you absolutely have to experience if you’re in Bellevue, such a gorgeous way to browse your favourite luxury brands.
This is the story of our first trip to Chicago, Illinois.
Adam’s youngest brother, Ben, and his fiancé Anya were in a long distance relationship for, well, ever. In fact, it isn’t since their Michigan days (M Go Blue!) that they’ve really been in the same place for an extended period of time. Which, is really crazy when I think about that timeline. It has been so inspiring watching them stay patient and supportive while they each pursue their dreams. And after so much waiting, they have finally settled down in the same zip code. In the same apartment! Of course we’d still see them when they’d come to Vancouver, or we’ve met up on family trips over the years, but it wasn’t until we were planning Chicago, that Adam and I realized we’d not paid them a real visit for quite a few years. This trip was bound to be massive amounts of fun.
The flights there were very easy. We left on a Thursday morning and flew West Jet to Calgary and then on to Chicago, with a late afternoon arrival. And since it was rush hour, Ben suggested we take the train into the city, which was a hundred percent the better option. We got off at a downtown stop and caught a ten minute cab to their Streeterville apartment. Which is probably the most amazing apartment I’ve ever step foot in! Their elevator doesn’t even have buttons, you just scan your fob and it takes you to your floor…technology is crazy! Anya has gorgeous design taste, so the place was immaculately decorated and the golden evening light was pouring through the floor to ceiling window, and just when I thought it was all too perfect, the doorbell rang and it was a freaking Lou Malnatis Pizza delivery guy! Those 2 had the genius idea for us to enjoy our inaugural deep dish pizza experience on the patio, with bubbly to celebrate us all finally hanging out in Chicago. Talk about a warm welcome! Anya ordered a thin crust as well, and I have to say that I actually preferred it. I am happy we tried deep dish though, wouldn’t have been the same otherwise.