• Hello & Welcome

    Welcome to my little corner of the internet.

    This is where I share my life, my passion. Those things that matter to me. Photography. Capturing timeless portraits. Documenting my everyday. Reading. Travelling. Exploring. Life with my husband and our two dogs. There were be many many adorable dog images. Learning new things.

    I am a portrait photographer based in Barrie Ontario and serve Barrie, Borden, Angus, Alliston and Wasaga Beach area. I specialize in captivating timeless photography. This is where I share my portrait sessions.

    I am an avid reader and love sharing a good read. And I love getting book suggestion so if you have read a great book, please let me know so I can add it to the list.

    I love to travel and explore. My adventures exploring and travelling with my husband are shared on this blog. I spent time living in England with her husband and our mini poodle. Click here for the blog documenting my dream life. It is filled with beautiful places and stunning pictures. Be ware. It may induce a case of wanderlust.

    I am obsessed with instagram. Feel free to click on over and check out my feed.

Winter Bucket List

Winter can seem like it lasts FOREVER. Years ago, when I was living in Charlottetown, PE,  I took a few courses at the community school. These courses started in Jan and went until April. For one evening a week for 4 hours my night was filled with fun and learning. I LOVED it and it made the winter go so much faster.

Starting in January my husband’s life is going to get very busy. He is working on his French on his own time, he is doing a course towarrds to his Masters and working full time as well. I have decided to come up with a winter bucket list that gets me out of the house and forces my husband to take a little break here and there and do something besides study and work.

1. Cross-country ski or snow-shoe at least once every 2 weeks.

2. Go to the gym 5 times a week for an hour.

3. Ice skate on the outdoor skating trail near Huntsville.

4. Visit a sugarbush.

5. Go on a sleigh ride.

 

I also have some things on the winter bucket list that are just for me.

 

6. Start Rosetta Stone and DuoLingo for French and do 2 hours a week.

7. Start practicing yoga. I will start with an hour a week.

8. Each month pick a photography book from my book case and read it, study it and do all of the exercises/projects.

9. Continue working on the England blog.

10. Read my way through my winter TBR list.

 

 

Have a fab winter everyone. Have fun and embrace all that winter has to offer. Even if it is a mug of hot chocolate on a frigid day.

~ Jody

Travel Tips

Our time in England is coming to an end. My days are filled with organising piles of stuff – things to go with us on the plan, things for our air shipment and all of the rest that will be shipped in a sea container. I want to make our flight and that long day of travel run as smoothly as possible.

I would love to be one of those chic gals who walks through the airport wearing fashionable clothes and cute high heels, has perfect hair and make-up and a super cute suitcase at my side. In reality, I look more like a pack mule with too many bags, hair and make-up less than perfect and an outfit that is comfortable and not stylish…at all. I will have to work on that for another trip. Right now, I just want to survive a 20 hour day of traveling with my sanity somewhat in place. Here are some of my best travel tips.

 

– Remove sim cards from phones unless you are fine with paying all of those roaming fees.

– Have chargers and power adapters for both the country you are leaving and the country you are traveling to with you. It would suck if we just had our power cords for North America with us and our laptops, e-readers, phones or ipods died before we left England.

– Travel pillows and sleep masks are your best friends. I also wear a large pashmina that I can use as a blanket in a pinch. I always find it cold on planes, especially when I am exhausted.

– Drinks lots and lots of water.

– Slap on a great day or night cream. I have the travel sizes of hand cream, lip gloss and face cream in my purse. This helps me look less like a creature from Night of the Living Dead.

– Have all of the information that you need on your arrival in a handy place. this includes any car rental information, maps to hotels, hotel reservation numbers and important phone numbers. We have travel envelopes containing all of this information, as well as one that contains all of our health insurance information.

– Extra copies of important information. Since Brittany is flying back to Canada, we will have triple “just in case” copies of all of her paperwork, as well as digital copies on each of our computers. We always have photocopies of our passports kept in a different location than our passports.

– For this flight we will be testing out travel socks for the first time.

– Have distractions with you. I usually fly with a book or two. This trip will be different. For the first time I will be flying with my new e-reader. We will be in a hotel for a week in England before we fly and at least a week in Canada before we can move into our new home. I spent some time deciding on the some great reads to get me through this time. I always have a book to read on the plane “just in case”. Just in case I have seen all of the movies or the movies suck. I rarely sleep on planes and spend my time watching movie after movie. But, should I need to read I have my e-reader filled with books at my side. We will each have our laptops, e-readers and iPods with us. Each will be fully charged and ready to go should we need them.

– All of the approved size of liquids that come on the plane with me are already in a baggie. I just have to put them all in the airport bag just before I go through security. It saves time searching through a stuffed bag looking for that travel size hand cream.

 

~ Jody

Our Holiday Bucket List

I cannot believe that Christmas is next week. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN!!!! Each year seems to be going faster than the year before. I remember when I was a child I would plan out how I would spend the days during the holidays. Usually it involved studying (exams were in Januray in NL) and reading. I would like to say that I have changed from that child but not so much. Sigh. I am looking forward to reading. I do have my winter TBR reading list to get through after all. And I will be studying. I LOVE photography so I LOVE studying photography as well. I have a photography book to fnish reading, editing workshops to watch and some shorter photography PDFs to read. This sure makes me sound boring.

I came up with a holiday bucket list to ensure that we did more that read and studied our holidays away. At the moment my husband is reading a text for his Masters course that starts in January. We really are soul mates. But there is more to life than reading and studying so here is our holiday bucket list.

 

 

1. Hanging out in the hot tub.

2. Re-watch The Hobbit 1 & 2 so we can go see the 3rd.

3. Cross- country ski or snow-shoe.

4. Walk in the snow on Christmas Day night.

5. Visit friends.

6. Have friends over for a meal and jin friends at theirs for a meal.

7. Bake and make a gingerbread house.

8. Bake cookies during the day on Christmas eve.

9. Host our annual New Year’s Day Levee at Chez WW.

10. Host an informal get together.

11. Re-watch all of the Star Wars movies (I have not seen the 3 new ones), the Godfather trilogy (I have not seen any of these movies). Watch the last season of Dr Who so we are all caught up for the Dr Who Christmas Day Special. If time permits we will also watch True Blood, Falling Skies and The Walking Dead.

12. Make a snowman.

13. Make snow angels.

14. Have a snowball fight.

This year we decided to have a low key holiday. Our hearts are still broken from losing our beloved Brittany. And in January Andrew will be starting a course towards his Masters degree. He will still be working 10 hours a week on his own time towards improving his French. And he will be working full time. The last few months have be very draining for the both of us and the next year will be insane for Andrew.

Years ago during our first time living in Petawawa we had planned to go to Toronto on Boxing Day and stay there for 5 days. We awoke to an ice storm. We quickly cancelled our trip after trying to chisel the ice off the car for an hour. And that was just so we could open the door. We soon found ourselves with a week and no plans. We curled up under blankets, lounged around in our pjs, ate lots of cookies and treats and watched the first 2 seasons of True Blood. It remains one of my favourite Christmases we have spent together. It was relaxing and fun, a time with no schedule. This year I want to re-create that. I want to live our hectic lives behind and Eat, Drink and Be Merry.

What are your plans during the holidays. Please feel free to share in the comments.

Happy Holidays.

~ Jody xx

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Good Reads

The days are getting shortter and the nights are getting longer. Curling up under a cosy blanket is my fave activity as a chill fills the air. As Christmas gets closer and closer the hustle and bustle of our daily lives increases it is a treat to just still and relax. To just be still and curl up and read a good book. Here are some of my most recent good reads.

 

The Shoemaker’s Wife – Adriana Trigiani. Enza and Cira first meet in the Italian Alps as children. Ciro is banished from his village and he goes to America. Ciro learns the art of shoemaking. Enza also journeys to America. The two finally meet just before Ciro leaves to fight in WWI. The Shoemaker’s Wife is a story of star-crossed lovers and the pursuit of the American dream. This is not the first book I have read by this author and it will not be the last.

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn. I had to read this book before I saw the movie. Which reminds me…I still need to see the movie. This was a great book. It kept me guessing. Nick comes home to find his wife Amy missing. He soon finds himself suspected of her murder. I hated both Amy and Nick. In the end I felt that they deserved each other. Despite that, I love a great thriller and this book does not disappoint. I plan to read the rest of her books in the spring.

Monuments Men- Robert M. Edsel &  Brett Whitter (Contributor).  I am a history buff but I knew nothing about the Monuments Men. During WWII a group of museum directors, curators, and art historians  formed the Monuments Men. Their mission was to recover and save major works of art. They had no vehicles, no supplies and no budget. Most were middle aged. They were not soldiers but often found themselves just behind the front lines. I was shocked to learn how Hitler had a list of the great works of art of Europe that he wanted collected for his own great museum even before the war started. Today these great work of art can once again be seen thanks to the Monuments men.

The Hundred – Foot Journey – Richard C. Morais. Hassan Haji and his family leave their native India and move to the French countryside. His family opens and Indian restaurant across the street from a famous French restaurant. Hassan is drawn to the reasturant’s chef and French cuisine. The Hundred-Foot Journey shows us that embraced different cultures can be very rewarding. I cannot say that this is a great book but I did enjoy it.

Burial Rites – Hannah Kent. It is 1829 in Iceland. Agnes is found guilty of murdering her master. She is sent to live on a remote farm as she awaits her execution. Burial Rites is based on actual events. This novel is as haunting as the Icelandic landscape. Agnes is different than most women and everyone believes that she is a cold-blooded murderess. But as the family and the local priest get to know Agnes they begin to doubt eveything they have heard and wonder if she is innocent. The perfect book for a wintery day.

The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt. I am comflicted about this book. It was a great book but it was painful to read about  theo’s self destructive ways. I struggled through those parts but the ending gave closure and made it all worth while. When Theo is thirteen his mother is killed in a bombing attack. His father does not want him. Theo struggles to overcome guilt, to find his place in the world and to come to terms with the loss of his mother.

 

What are some of your recent good reads? I love hearing what others are reading. Please feel free to share in the commets.

Happy Reading.

~ Jody

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