Top 7 Instagram Spots in Quebec City๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

A List, how to, Travel

Quebec City, Canada.๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

It is such a beautiful place, full of French style architecture, cobblestone streets and gorgeous buildings and views around every corner!

Also, Quebec is where I went on my most recent trip, surprise!

Since I got so many pictures on this trip, I thought I would share, in my opinion, the Top 7 Instagram Spots in Quebec City!

1. Gare du Palais

Address: 450 Rue de la Gare du Palais

This train station is, simply put, beautiful. Whether on the inside, outside or in the garden surrounding it, you are sure to find a photo opportunity worthy of gramming!๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป The lobby is open even to nonticket holders who aren’t taking the train, so explore to your heart’s content! There is even an adorable little cafe you can enjoy. Also, don’t forget to check out the ceilings inside!

2. J.A. Moisan

Address: 699 Rue Saint Jean

When you’re in Quebec and you’re staying in Quebec for an extended period of time, you’re going to need groceries, and what cooler place to get them than at the oldest grocery store in North America?

This old timey store has a general store feel to it with its dark polished woods, nice displays and not to mention, all the delicious jams, cheeses, breads and desserts you could ever want! Stop here not only for your staples, but snap a few pictures as well!

3. Fairmont Chateau Frontenac

Address: 1 Rue des Carrieres

If you walk through the walls that surround Old Quebec, you can’t miss this hotel! It is a 5 star hotel perched up on a hill in the historic section of Quebec and is, coincidentally, the most photographed hotel in the world!

You will see many people snapping pictures with this castle like hotel looming in the background, but I’ll share another location from which you can get the perfect view of it for your pictures!

4. Pierre Dugua De Mons Terrace

Address: Parc de Champs de Bataille Avenue

This is one of the most stunning pictures we got on this trip! This terrace is really part of a park, which has terrific views of Quebec and Chateau Frontenac, without all the tourists and buses crowding into your pictures!

We just managed to catch this before the sunset. A lot of people were taking pictures on the grassy knoll above this, but I thought this bench not only looked like a more natural place to sit, but it just drew me in and looked like a great location for a photo!

5. Rue du Petit Champlain

Address: 61 Rue du Petit Champlain

This is a street that is not short on views! To access it, you actually come through a square where a lot of the cruise ships dock and let off passengers, so depending on when you go, there may be tons of tourists, or none at all. Around a few corners, you will find these stairs, where you can capture many buildings and an atmosphere at once.

You will also see the Furnicular, or small train that goes sideways up the mountain, which is very cool, and several touristy shops and restaurants. When taking pictures at this location though, be courteous. Don’t block the middle of the stairs, step off to the side, like I did in this picture. You still get the view, but don’t cause an obnoxious traffic jam!

6. Montmorency Falls

Address: 5300 Boulevard Saint Anne

Now for this one, you will have to have a car or take the bus, but I can help you out! After a week, we pretty much nailed the Canadian transit system, so here goes! (Honestly, the bus is a better bet, but if you insist on going to the falls by car, there is a $12 parking fee.) I would get a 1 day RTC bus pass, which can be purchased at the pharmacy chain called Brunet for around $17.20.

Directions to the Falls:

1. Get on the 800 green bus going to Beauport.

2. Ride until the very end. Literally, the end. The bus should just stop, but push the button if needed to signal that you want to get off. You will know you are there when you see a gas station called Couche Tard. No, I’m not kidding. ๐Ÿ˜‚ After much curiosity, we looked it up and it means “night owl”, not someone who watches way too much Netflix.

3. You can cut through the woods, or walk until you pass a red schoolhouse on the left, and then you should see the way to the falls.

Montmorency is great because it is FREE!๐ŸŽ‰ It is also 100 feet taller than Niagara. You can get some great pictures from the viewing platforms or the suspension bridge that hangs right over the falls! For the brave souls, you can also stand at the bottom and get sprayed like we did. ๐Ÿ˜‚

7. Rue d’Aigullion OR Rue Richeliu

Now please don’t hate me, but I don’t have the exact address for these colorful houses because they were so close to the VRBO apartment we rented(more on that later!๐Ÿ˜‰), but I believe it was one of the above streets. It runs parallel with Rue Saint Jean, where we were staying, and we just happened to find them!

They were beautiful and pretty much anyone’s dream. At the time I had this picture taken, there was a dumpster, but with some careful body placement and photoshop, I was able to remove it!๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

Honestly, you can’t go wrong with taking pictures anywhere in Quebec! It is a beautiful place and these were just a few of my favorites! If you come here, you have to stay in the Old Quebec area or mainly, Upper Quebec.(The town is split into two levels with many stairs you can take to get to either level.) It has such an amazing charm and not to mention, places to eat! Look for that list soon!๐Ÿ‘€

If you are a couple going on a romantic trip, I would highly recommend this loft we stayed in around Old Quebec! It was perfect for just my husband and I and had a bathroom, little kitchen and breakfast nook, and bed! All the essentials in a little studio floor plan and easy walking distance to everything!

Above are a few of my own pictures of the space! It was easily accessed, the host was excellent at communicating and not to mention, it is such a cute little place and honestly very Instagrammable itself!โค๏ธ

We loved exploring Quebec! If you haven’t gone, you should make it your next fall trip destination! If you have been, I want to know, what were some of your favorite sites and things to do around the city?

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5 Ways to Make Your Dreams a Reality

how to, Life

If only life were as easy as a Disney movie.๐ŸŽฅ๐Ÿฟ

Well, I take that back. A lot of Disney movies have one or both parents missing or dead and some pretty bad stuff can happen in them, but what I mean is…Disney movies are typically full of characters that are dreamers.

You all should know the plot and formula by now, if you’ve watched any amount of them. The main character has a dream to do something or be something and…they usually end up doing it. Sometimes, they might need a push or something or someone else in the plot pushes them forward, but the point is, they usually achieve whatever their “dream” is.

Now, it isn’t always easy, but I think in our culture today, we associate dreams as being easy. It’s easy to dream and fantasize…but not so easy to take action steps to get us to our dreams.

I’m not saying I’ve lived out every single one of my dreams, but I have gone to Italy, something I’d only dreamed about doing before. The other day, I was watching an Indiana Jones movie that was set in Venice for part of it and I couldn’t believe that I had actually been there! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

So, here are 5 practical tips for how you can take action steps and get closer to making your dreams a reality!

1. Don’t set so lofty a goal.

Dreams are big for a reason, but sometimes–we can dream too big. You should always aspire to something, but start small. For example, I would love to travel the entire world, but I instead made a more realistic goal: to go to Italy for 17 days. And you know what? I did it! Start with smaller goals and work up to your big ones! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

2. Always be working to better yourself and learn things.

No Instagram success was built overnight. No CEO of a Fortune 500 company sat down at that desk after just turning one measly application in. The truth is, it takes hard work.

If you aren’t getting better, you’re usually getting worse or just…staying average.

For example, I’ve wanted to get better at social media lately. This has resulted in me reading up on everything to do with the subject. I’ve also wanted to invest more in my Instagram photography, so I’ve been looking at cameras. Read all the books you can, research and study because nothing happens by accident or overnight.

3. Make a list of things you can do each day or each week.

I don’t know if you’re like me, but if I don’t make lists, I’m prone to forget things! It’s not natural to constantly be working on the same thing or to remember everything you’ve been mentally digesting, so make yourself lists. 5 Action Steps To Start My Own Blog. 5 Things to Do To Improve My Photography. 5 Ways to Save up for My Next Out of Country Trip.

When you write things down, you not only sort of will them into existence, but you make them more concrete. You hold yourself accountable. You make lists for the grocery store and that stuff is all gone by the end of the month! Why not invest in yourself and your personal skills and dreams by making a list to help you achieve those dreams?!

4. Stop looking sideways.

I REPEAT—with a bullhorn and with emphatic tone—–STOP LOOKING AT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING!

Okay, you can. To an extent. But do not get sucked into the trap of comparison. Instead of saying, “I wish I had what she has.” or “She makes doing what I want to do look so easy!” say, “What can I learn from this person?”

I’m going to use Instagram as an example because it has been on my mind lately, but I used to look at other travel bloggers and hate myself. It wasn’t until I realized that these stylized images are just that—stylized. They are literally only a fraction of a second of those people’s days and lives!

Instead of comparing myself to that fraction of a second, I attacked my own battle plan. I looked at what I could do to change my own feed. How could it be better? How could I get better at taking pictures and telling a story? Think of positive things and positive things will come!

5. Never give up.

It’s easy to give up, but dreams aren’t achieved easily. Think how much better your dream will taste and be when you actually GET IT.

So, get out there.

Stop making excuses.

Stop looking at everyone else.

And focus on YOU.

The going will be tough and you will have naysayers. Put in your earplugs and blinders and get to it.

How I Became a Girl Boss ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿพ

Pets

It’s hard to really pinpoint when things changed for me. Looking back from where I am now, I can hardly believe what I get to do for a living. I am continually amazed and blessed by all the opportunities that have come my way.

What’s my job, you might ask?

I’m a petsitter.

But I wasn’t always.

I actually used to be a chef. Before that, I scooped ice cream, waited tables and was even a hostess at one point. I basically worked every position in a restaurant…except maybe bar tending or managing. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ When I was a chef, I was used to always being caked in flower, having to clean grease traps and putting up with the public’s every order.

There are parts of kitchens that I miss. The rush. Filling orders. Getting to use really cool knives and carrying them in a fancy knife roll. (You wanna see my knife collection? ๐Ÿ˜‚ It’s best if you say that in the accent of The Butcher from Gangs of New York.) There are also parts I didn’t like–like aforementioned grease trap, people who don’t know the difference between medium and medium well—if you say medium, there’s a touch of pink, don’t care if you’re from Minnesota or Arkansas, that is what that term means—and weird hours.

But ANYways, back to the topic at hand. How did I become self employed? How did I get such a cool job of watching pets for people?

Honestly? It was a happy accident.

I’ve always loved animals. I had always grown up with them, taken care of them and just loved being around them. When people didn’t understand those unspoken feelings I had when I was upset, my pets always did. My dogs would always lick my tears off my face, crawl up into bed and lay down next to me until I dozed off and the very next day, they would follow me around, wagging their tails and just wanting to be loved. Isn’t that what we all want? To be loved?

After a few years in restaurants, 5-7, I was burnt out. I had been going to college and…that didn’t pan out either. I just didn’t care about any of it. And when I don’t care about something, there’s no hope.

I quit college, where I was going to get a culinary degree. I quit cooking and started working as a hostess. Still, working in a restaurant, but not having to get burnt by fryer oil or having to crouch behind a cooler to sneak a bite of food because in that business, if you don’t smoke, you don’t get a break.

I went from job to job for a while after that. I tried working in an office. That really wasn’t for me. It was a mold, water, fire and suicide remediation cleanup business. I got a lunch break and I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself.

From there, I worked at a salon as a receptionist and then I was back in restaurants again, working in a bakery and icing cakes and feeling dejected.

I then started up a petsitting page on Facebook. I had been doing it on the side up until that point and had been wanting to get more serious about it. I posted every day or every other day and I started getting calls and messages.

The rest, as they say, is history. Now, I watch people’s pets while they are gone and get paid to do it. I stay in 3,000 square foot homes sometimes, homes with pools, homes with incredible views, and watch pets and take care of them.

This weekend, I got to watch a farm with 6 dogs, 2 cats, 3 burros, 2 miniature ponies and 5 goats! And yes, 2 of them were fainting goats, but they did not faint for me this weekend! ๐Ÿ˜‚

I honestly have to pinch myself sometimes. I cannot believe that this is my life and that this is my job. I know it’s cheesy, but now I really know what people mean when they say, “Do what you love.” I love my job.

I am so glad that I get to do something meaningful and not slough off to a job I hate every day! Every day is honestly an adventure—sometimes I don’t know where I’ll be next, who I’ll meet. My job has also given me free time to focus on blogging, YouTube and social media, whatnot. And for that I’m grateful! I generally have more time to spend with my family and my grandparents, which is very important to me.

I have even been able to plan this trip to Italy with my grandfather, going over to his house a lot of days when I have finished checking on pets.

There is such a freedom and a peace now in my heart and I thank God for that. I am so glad that I get to wake up each day and have an actual purpose. Things make sense now.

When I look back at those years that I saw as wasted in restaurants and in college, I guess it makes sense now. It took me going through all of that…to get to where I am now. โœŒ๐Ÿป

\\ B u f o r d ย H i g h w a y // Atlanta’s Asian Mecca

Food, Travel

ย  I’m baaaaackkkk! ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป

My cousin Rachel & I went on a short weekend trip to Atlanta. I’ve been to Atlanta several times since it’s relatively close, but this trip was different. The past times I’ve come, it’s been for my husband’s work conference, a thrifting trip my family took us on where we went to all the best Goodwills (SO much fun! โค๏ธ), or a loooong time ago when we came and went to The Coca Cola Factory and to a Braves game.

This trip, Rachel and I set out to explore the Asian communities in Atlanta, in particular, the areas on Buford Highway near Duluth where so many restaurants, stores and karaoke bars are prevalent. We have both always loved anything Asian, but especially the culture, traditions and the food. ๐Ÿฑ

So, here are some of the best things we found on our adventures!

Umma’s House Korean Restaurant
75 5th Street NW, Atlanta, GA, 30308

Umma’s, a restaurant specializing in Korean & Japanese fare, is located in downtown Atlanta, close to the Georgia Tech campus and center. For that reason, they had great deals on food for cheap. The bento box I got was only $7! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I had leftovers and it was so good.

Umma’s also serves authentic Bubble Tea, which is very hard to find in my hometown of Knoxville. Rachel got a Strawberry Smoothie Bubble Tea and I got a Green Tea Iced Latte Bubble Tea. I love matcha. ๐Ÿ˜ป Definitely check this place out! But find closer parking than we did! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Or you can always use Uber! We did for the first time and actually ended up riding with someone who works for Uber Corporate! Our $5 ride back to the car + talking to him and our driver was worth it!

Han Il Kwan Korean
5458 Buford Highway NE
Atlanta, GA 30340

Han Il Kwan, a rather ordinary looking Korean Restaurant located next to the Mighty Tidy Carwash on Buford Highway, was anything but!

Again, I was astonished by the huge portions some of these places had! Maybe also because I didn’t have my husband to help me eat my meals, I always had leftovers! ๐Ÿ˜‚

I tried Bibimbap for the first time here and it was delicious. Filled with rice, noodles, bean curd, egg, spinach, carrots, tofu, cucumber and more, it was brought to me on a sizzling platter. Rachel got one of their soup specials, which was extra spicy ๐ŸŒถ, and it came with kimchi and more in little dishes to try. My meal was right at or under $10. Just don’t make the faux pas I did and mix your rice in if you get Bibimbap. The owner came over and told me,”You’re supposed to mix in the rice!” ๐Ÿ˜‚

In my defense, it was too pretty to mess up!

Sweet Hut Bakery & Cafe
5150 Buford Highway NE
Atlanta, GA 30340


To check out an Asian cafe, head to Sweet Hut Bakery on Buford Highway. It was a little chaotic and busy, but they serve Asian desserts as well as more traditional American ones. We tried Strawberry Milk Tea ๐Ÿ“ there and Taro, a dessert I had never tried before, but was very good!

K-Pop Store
5953 Buford Highway NE
Doraville, GA, 30340

Now, for retail, you have to check out one of the few K-Pop stores they have in Atlanta! My cousin Rachel adores anything Korean and K-Pop, so we went to this little store in Doraville and were not disappointed.

They had everything from posters, cds, booklets, pictures, keychains, stickers, lights, paper dolls, apparel, everything. The next closest thing would be going to any of these K-Pop groups’ concerts, that would be the only other way you would see that much cool merchandise. I got stickers from a group called Red Velvet and we both got some Korean facial masks to try! (The chopsticks are some ivory ones I picked up at an Asian supermarket because I’d really been wanting some. I got 10 pairs for $2!)


Here is the blueberry facial mask in action. I felt like Iron Man. ๐Ÿ˜‚

All in all, it was a very fun, cultural trip! It’s the next best thing to actually going to an Asian country, which I am hoping to do someday. (After my trip to Italy! ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น)

Atlanta has every kind of Asian culture represented, from Malaysian, Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Indian, Korean to so many more! If you love Asian culture like we do, we would highly reccomend you check out Buford Highway near Doraville and Duluth on the outskirts of Atlanta!


P.S. Also, I’d like to give a shoutout to the VRBO we stayed in near Candler Park and Little Five Points! The owner Scott was amazing and it was so convenient and close to everything.

\ \ H e l e n, G e o r g i a / /

Life, Travel

ย  Seeing is believing. Some places are just so weird and unbelievable that you have to see them in person. Helen, Georgia is one of those places. I decided that it needed an entry all of its own! ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿป๐ŸŒฒ

If you were looking at these pictures and didn’t know any better, you would think you were looking at the perfect, quintessential German town, but this village with Bavarian charm is right in the middle of the mountains in Northern Georgia. I think, personally, it’s a lot like Gatlinburg, a mountain town in Sevierville and in my own backyard, just if it had German influences.

This town is close to a lot of hiking trails, rivers where you can go tubing and plenty of other activities. Downtown itself, a tiny little Main Street, is full of hotels, B&B’s, German restaurants and some tourist trap souvenir shops. There are a few more authentic shops close to the beer garden near the main square, fortunately, that sell some German snacks and little kitschy souvenirs and pottery, which are a little better than your standard airbrushed tees and marijuana bottle openers you find in the usual tourist crap stores. ๐Ÿ™„

You will also be surprised to know that there are quite a few German people who own shops in this town and even live near by. I guess it surprised me because it’s a knock off of Germany and if I had to choose between Real Germany and Fake Germany, Real Germany would win every time. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Seeing little mock European towns like this makes me appreciate the people who loved a place like Germany so much that they brought it to them, and at the same time, it makes me want to visit the real, authentic thing.

So, if you find yourself in Northern Georgia, definitely stop by Helen! It is everything I like in a road trip pit stop: Bizarre, unique and interesting!

{ crochet serape+blue jeans & booties } OOTD

thrifting

Two posts in one day! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป I had the time so I thought, why not?!

The serape in this picture is one I found at a thrift store in Clinton for $2.99! It’s not something I would normally pick out for myself…when I first picked it up, I thought it might be a tree skirt or something. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But no, it was in the clothes!



It’s handmade and crocheted and I fell in love with the colors, which remind me of the sky. I also loved how breezy it is since it has no sleeves. I imagined myself wearing it with jeans or shorts over a tank top for an effortless look. It would be good right now in the spring and even as a transitional piece going into fall later in the year.


Like I said, not normally something I would ever pick out for myself, but I like it! It’s cozy, handmade, blue—my favorite color ๐Ÿ’™— and gives a threadworn, down home sort of look. Plus, I like the tassels on the end! What do you all think?

Do you all have something handmade in your closet? If so, what is it?

P.S. 233 followers! How amazing are you all?! I’ve enjoyed the new follows and checking out some of your all’s blogs too!