Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Blogger Recognition Award



The Blogger Recognition Award

Thank you so much to Katie at lifeshelives for nominating Blondedlights for the Blogger Recognition award! It's Such an honor and compliment to know that people are acknowledging and  reading my blog.

How Blondedlights started:
After following other blogs and vlogs for years I started watching people grow and thought "how hard could it be" I then started doing my research about a year ago. I genuinely love talking and networking with people so that side of blogging comes naturally. I also really enjoy the business side to everything. Working in Finance and sales I learned a thing or two that really carried over in this industry. Over all, I started this journey to document my day-to-day life as a creative outlet to connect with other people with similar interest. I am involved with so many networking avenues and people I figured I might as well use that and have a place to share. It has been the most rewarding and uplifting hobby ever. I’m so glad I started this and can't wait to see where all it takes me.

Advice to new bloggers: 
1.Do some research but the sooner you get going the better, your website doesn't have to be perfect. Sure some brands will look for perfection and your traffic numbers but I can say I now know MOST do not. My website and writing are still a work in progress but I learn more every day and get better and better with each post. You should, by all means, try to get your post as perfect as possible and try not to be sloppy with it. I have dramatically grown my following and worked with many brands by winging it and really just going for it. I have made some profits just by pitching and putting myself out there and gained tons of free products just because of my growing following and engagement. Growing your traffic and following is key. Don’t get caught up on all the technical things you need to do. You will get there. There is some truth to faking it until you make it. With all that said do your basics and get going. This was the number one piece of advice my mentors and fellow blogging friends gave me and I still procrastinated. Knowing what I know now it wasn't necessary. Be consistent, likable and connect with people and your followers and everything else will follow. Be open minded as much as possible because trust me you never know.

2.Find your blog tribe:
These people are everything for your blog. Your tribe will act as a support system, they help grow your page, give helpful advice, and it's just nice in general to have that support system and know the struggles of others who have the same goals. Join groups on Facebook to get involved as much as possible. I will be making a post on that later so stay tuned for that information.

3. Focus on Social media:
Grow that baby and actively participate daily. If you want to grow and make a profit you have to treat your blog as a business. Set aside time daily to actively engage and post to your own pages. For me personally, I use Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. I have a Twitter and a Bloglovin account but I think you have to find what works for you and use that. Those three platforms I mentioned work best for me. Pinterest is key once you figure out how to drive traffic to your website.Try tinkering around with tailwind and going from there. That itself is a game changer. Many people skip this step or over look it but this is huge for traffic. There’s so much more but for now, that is my advice for new bloggers. I will be making a new post soon about how to grow and get going. I’m not a professional by any means but I do know how to connect with people and grow pretty quickly on social media. It can be so overwhelming with the information overload out there but take it all one step at a time and enjoy the ride. Moving forward my nominees are below. These women are on my list because they all have something special in my opinion. They are genuine and supportive women that I have grown fond of. Take a gander and see if you find something you like as much as I do.

My blog nominees:
1. daveanderin
2.thebargainbelle
3.mascarainthecity
4.heyjodeblog
5.everythingmeli 
6.vine-living
7.thetrendyvoyager
8.artistbymarissa
9.myanci
10.tailoredtruths
11.samashleigh
12.thetullytales
13.embersbeneathme
14.theblondelaw
15.smalltownglamwy


Rules Of the Awards

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Write a post to show your award
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started
  • Give pieces of advice to new bloggers
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.
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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Three Days in Halifax, NS



While traveling from the coast to coast in Canada one of our last visits was in Halifax, NS for three days. This is one of my favorite places in Canada that I've been to besides Banff, Alberta. They are both equally beautiful in their own way but this area was just so charming I could see myself living there for a bit. My husband has been many times and I'm always so jealous looking at all his pictures, so he finally took me to the East side of Canada. 

 First things first, we stayed at The Delta downtown and it was an easy 5 min walk from all the shops, restaurants, and harbor. 
The weather was warm and chilly all at the same time. It reminded of LA weather just because you never know what it's going to be like outside. It ranged from low 50's at night to 80's during the day. Lunch time usually called for shorts and a tee, maybe a light sweater or a long sleeve shirt but dinner definitely called for a sweater. Bring your jeans and your shorts, sneaks and sandals, maybe even a bikini if you want to get some sun on the water. I didn't get in the water but I'm pretty sure it's freezing from all the warning signs. 

 Let me just say I do enjoy my wine and especially while on vacation so you will likely see my favorite beverage choice in this post.... multiple times.  The East coast has become one of the best winery areas around and they have a new favorite that I'm obsessed with, Benjamin Nova #7 rose. Almost every restaurant and bar we visited had this wine and it seems pretty popular after doing my research. If you happen to try this wine and love it you can bring it back from the duty-free store in the airport but after that, you can't get it in the U.S. We brought one back with us and I'm hoping we can get another bottle on our next trip. If you like blush, rose, or a somewhat sweet wine you should give it a try. 
 

 We arrived around noon at the airport but we were pretty beat from our 6:00 am flight and the three-hour drive from Kincardine, Ontario to Toronto so we took it easy the first day. 

 Our first stop on Day one was lunch at The Gahan House. This turned into a favorite as we visited this place several times. They have the best patio, food and drinks. Everything is on the water outside and this place had front and center view.  After lunch we stopped at the Titanic museum. We took a little nap afterwards then got ready and headed out for dinner at The Stubborn Goat. All the restaurants have great patio seating with flowers everywhere. You should make  reservations if  you want outside seating but Scott and I seemed to get pretty lucky and got great seating every time. We ordered a whole fish which I don't recommend as it had eyes staring at me but Scott seemed to like it. If you are in Canada the Caesars are the thing to have apparently and they are pretty tasty.They are an American spin of Bloody Mary's but a bit tastier. 
 
 

 We also stopped at Lot 6 before heading in for the night. It's a low key/modern restaurant/bar with a really cool vibe on the inside. It looked like more of a younger crowd area. 

 -More on the Titanic History in Halifax 
 
 Halifax has tons of history but they are really known for the boating industry. I have visited one other Titanic museum in Tennessee and I will say this one didn't compare but the difference is this area has all its own history to go with the museum. A lot of the victims were picked up and brought back to this island as well as items found along the way. 121 victims are buried here. There are three big Cemeteries in the area that hold the victims of Titanic. We were lucky enough to have a cab driver who loved history and gave us a great little tour. 
  
 
 Dunbar at Casino Taxi company 
Fairview Lawn Cemetery 
 
 From Wikipedia; 
       In all, four ships recovered 328 bodies and returned with 209 which were unloaded at the Coaling Wharf of the Naval Dockyard in Halifax. The class barriers, so typical of life on board the Titanic, were respected even in death. The bodies of first-class passengers were unloaded in the coffins, second-and third-class passengers in canvas bags, and the crew on open stretchers. 
  Only 59 of the bodies placed in the morgue were shipped out by train to their families. The remaining victims of the Titanic were buried in three Halifax cemeteries between May 1 and June 12, 1912. Nineteen are in the Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery, ten are in the Baron de Hirsch Jewish Cemetery and 121 are in the Fairview Lawn Cemetery. Of these, 42 victims remain unidentified. 
  Most of the gravestones, erected in the fall of 1912 and paid for by the White Star Line, are simple "black granite" blocks. In some cases, however, families, friends or other groups chose to commission a larger and more elaborate gravestone. 
 One hundred and twenty-one victims of the RMS Titanic sinking are interred at Fairview, more than any other cemetery in the world. Most of them are memoralized with small gray granite markers with the name and date of death. Some families paid for larger markers with more inscriptions. The occupants of a third of the graves, however, have never been identified and their markers contain just the date of death and marker number. Surveyor E. W. Christie laid out three long lines of graves in gentle curves following the contours of the sloping site. By co-incidence, the curved shape suggests the outline of the bow of a ship. 
  One of the more well-known Titanic markers is for an unidentified child victim. No one claimed the body, so he was buried with funds provided by sailors of the CS Mackay-Bennett, the cable ship that recovered his body. The marker bears the inscription 'Erected to the memory of an unknown child whose remains were recovered after the disaster of the "Titanic" April 15th, 1912'. In November 2002, the child was identified as 13-month-old Eino Viljami Panula of Finland. Eino, his mother, and four brothers all died in the Titanic disaster. After additional forensic testing, the unknown child was re-identified as 19-month-old Sidney Leslie Goodwin, an English child who perished with his entire family. 
  A grave marked "J. Dawson" gained brief fame following the release of the 1997 film Titanic since the name of Leonardo DiCaprio's character in the film was Jack Dawson. The grave actually belongs to Joseph Dawson, an Irishman who worked in Titanic's boiler room as a coal trimmer. Film director James Cameron has said the character's name was not inspired by the grave. Many filmgoers, moved by the story, left flowers and ticket stubs at Dawson's grave when the film was first released. 
  The Fairview Titanic graves also include the burial place and marker of William Denton Cox, a heroic steward who died while escorting third class passengers to the lifeboats. 
  Twenty-nine other Titanic victims are also buried in Halifax; nineteen in the Roman Catholic Mount Olivet Cemetery and ten in the Jewish Baron de Hirsch Cemetery. 
 
  
 

 Our Second day was spent taking a drive up to Peggy's cove. It's about a 45-minute drive vs the 30-minute drive if you take the scenic coast route which I HIGHLY suggest. This drive reminds me of a movie scene and something from the Hampton's. It's all sailboats on the water, coves, and light houses.  You can look into the tourist rides there and back but they are all day and on a bus. I prefer having my own vehicle and going on my own time.Most of them are around 6 hours long. 
 

 Once you get to the cove there are tons of restaurants and shops to entertain for hours then, of course, the huge light house on the rocks. They also play the bag pipes throughout the day so you really get the Scottish/Irish feel. We stopped for lunch at the Sou Wester and went to the gift shop to get a few items. There are a few great places to go but this place is at the top of the hill with a great view of the water and light house.  
 

 I always get a post card from every place I travel so I had to add this to my collection. If you need gas or a place to shop for other non-tourist items you will have to travel 20 mins or so up the road. We had to get gas and get another sim card for my camera because silly me left mine on my computer and I wasn't going to miss out on my pics for the day. The homes and views only get better the further you drive up the coast. 
 


For dinner, we decided to walk around again and press our luck with restaurants and ended up at another cute patio called The Five Fishermen. I had blackened cod that looked super pretty and was actually very tasty. I always have fries because well fries are life to me. Scott had a tasty dip with crab and avocado. It was pretty yummy. He also had fish for dinner. Most places in this area are seafood based but they do have some other options.  
  
Day Three was spent on the water front and it happened to be Pride day for the parade so we had lunch downtown and waited for the parade to go by. We actually made perfect timing and walked towards the parade, waited five minutes and the prime minister walked right by us.  
 
Justin Trudeau walking in the Pride Parade 

  We moved over to the north side of Halifax where everything is growing and there are tons of cute houses all along the way. We stopped at a cute little restaurant called Willman's Fish and Chips. The owner was there and super friendly.  This was a 30-40 minute walk there. We got a taxi on the way back as the day was pretty warm and all sun. Be sure to pack your sneaks as you will be doing some walking in this city. There are plenty of taxis around but you will want to walk around the water front and downtown to see everything.  
 
 
Willman's Fish and Chips 
 Dinner was spent at- The Gahan House 
I had the chicken curry and rice which was amazing. Scott loves the clam chowder in this area so he had that for almost every meal and then some fish and chips.  
We ended up just walking around and enjoying this little town a bit more and stopping along the way at a super cute pub called The Old Triangle. The atmosphere is right of P.S. love you.  
 I do think we will be visiting Halifax again in our near future. It's one of my favorite places I've ever been. If you are traveling near the east coast I highly recommend it and you won't regret it.  
 
All pictures and opinions are my own.  





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