Taking a Break from Camera's While Staycationing

It’s 6:32 am, I’m wide awake with my coffee made and downloading footage from a client shoot this weekend. After taking a much-needed staycation last week, I’m feeling refreshed, EXCITED  and inspired to get back to work. Craving routine and getting back to achieving my goals. For the past 2 weeks, I’ve had friends and family from back east visiting. My future sister-in-law, Anna-Sarah, along with my bestie Allison and her BF, Nick. 

We planned it so they could in town at the same time so Bobo and I could take the week off and get as much exploring done as possible with everyone. We rented an Airbnb in Gibsons. We walked around town, visited a brewery, swam in Porpoise Bay (Okay, maybe I just went into the water to my knees lol), hiked Pender Hill, swam in Ruby Lake and went stand up paddle boarding in Gibsons. I brought all my camera gear but surprisingly wasn’t in the mood to capture every moment like I normally am. I got a couple of drone shots on top of the Pender Hill and a few GoPro shots in the water, but other than that I found myself unplugged and enjoying the time with friends & family. Maybe the lack of blue skies due to smoke left me feeling uninspired. I've also noticed over the past few months I've been using a DSLR less and less to take photos. Maybe because I find the iPhone 7 Plus photo quality pretty damn good that I don’t feel the need to lug around multiple cameras. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is it felt nice to take a break from it all, even if it meant I’m not going to have an epic vacation video. LOL

I found out this weekend my App is expected to be done by September 1st. AHHHHH! Guys, that is literally TWO WEEKS AWAY. 😐  I was dreaming of the app all of last night and everything I need to do before it launches. Hence why I jumped out of bed this morning to start working. I still have film work to wrap up, want to get done before diving into being 100% focussed on the app. This week I’m going to be sharing a post on how I’m building the app, if you haven’t already, please subscribe to my newsletter so you never miss a post 😉. 

Road Trip Down the Oregon Coast

In May my Mom, Aunt & I road tripped down to the Oregon Coast.  The last time I stayed on the coast I think it was only for 3 nights. I knew we'd want to take our time to see more & get lots of footage at each spot so we were there for 4 nights. Even with the extra day, it felt like we were on the go the whole time. Not much relaxing, we did see A LOT though....so worth bypassing the daytime naps. LOL. We stayed 2 nights in Seaside, Oregon (a 15-minute drive north of Cannon Beach) and then 2 nights in Lincoln City. I wanted to book us in at Cannon Beach & Oceanside but everything was booked up! We did waste a good 3-4 hours on the way down from Seaside to Lincoln City visiting the Tillamook Forrest. I looked it up online and thought I saw some cool viewpoints from the tops of mountains --- WITH CARS IN THE PHOTO -- so was under the impression we could get a rewarding view without the hike. When we showed up to the visitor center they didn't know what I was talking about. It was still a beautiful drive through the forest, but won't be going back there to visit unless I have time to hike. 

Cities, Beaches & Parks We Visited

Seaside, Oregon
Ecola State Park
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Oswald West State Park
Cape Kiwanda State Park
Lincoln City, Oregon
Multnomah Falls

A highlight of the trip was definitely spotting some whales from shore. No matter how hard I attempted to capture them on the drone, I couldn't. They were going so bloody fast and I just wasn't able to spot them on the drone. Not to mention the batteries only last 20 minutes and about 15 minutes into flight on a fully charged battery a beeping noise will starting alerting you that the battery is low. This was slightly stressful, especially when we were a couple hundred meters up from sea level on a cliff and the beeping started and the drone was about 10ft from the water. :| Another highlight: Campfires on the beach! The perfect way to unwind, watch the sunset and enjoy a beverage or 5. 

 

 

Starting a New Chapter

Hiiii friends!! I'm super stoked to share my next career move with you...I'm now self employed! If you know me, this shouldn't be too surprising since I've been running my business while working full time for years now. I've never given myself the chance to take the plunge and see where the business could go if I put 100% of my efforts in. It was a tough decision to leave my job at Nurse Next Door, especially because I was doing work that I love...filmmaking!  

I did a post a couple months ago about how I've been amping up my side business. For the past 3 months, besides when my mom was in town, I have been working 7 days a week to get this business off the ground. I've never put so much effort it something. While I thought it was sustainable to work two jobs, in the end I just got burnt out. I'm in the position now where I have enough work lined up to keep me going so one weekend after listening to the #AskGaryVee book and shit tonne of Gary Vaynerchuk podcasts, I had the confidence to make the decision of leaving my job to give my business the chance it deserves. 

So, today is day 1. Since I love to document the crap out of everything I'm going go to share the ups and downs of what it's like to make the switch from employee to business owner. I'll be pumping out wayyyy more content on here, so if you're not following me on Instagram or Facebook and want to receive updates on new posts, follow & like me page below :) 

 

 

The Side Hustle

I remember selling Costco candy & lemonade outside of my house as a child. As soon as I was old enough, I got a paper route. After that came countless part-time jobs. All through my career while working a full-time job, I've always been doing photography & filmmaking client work on the side. Am I a workaholic? In the earlier years it was to supplement my income, because we all know living in Vancouver ain't cheap, especially if you're living solo. 

I'm at a point in my career where I don't need to do client work on the side to supplement my income. I'm living with my boyfriend and my salary is good. I've been asking myself, "Why do I have this urge to keep growing my business?". Well, let me tell you why the hustle just got more real...

Okay, so as a reminder this is in my "personal" blog category, so it's about to get real personal. Back in February, I got the chilling news that my Dad had a stroke. I flew back to Ontario immediately. 2 weeks after my dad's stroke, he passed. It was awful. I had never experienced a close loss like this before. The first couple of weeks back in Vancouver were very hard. I was checked out. I didn't want to do anything. I still haven't fully gotten back into old lifestyle routines but I'm getting there day by day. 

My dad's stroke came as a surprise. He did have some blood clotting issues in the past, but nobody ever expected this to happen. When you experience losing somebody close to you, it gives you a new perspective on life. Super cliche, I know. But quotes like "life is short" & "live every day like it's your last" have more meaning for me now. 

Okay, so what does this have to do with my business? I'd be lying if I didn't think this before, but after my dad passing the "FUCK IT, LET'S DO THIS!" motto is on repeat. My business has been on the back burner my whole career and it's time that I put the effort into it if I want it to grow & give it the chance it deserves. I will continue to work full time and do this on evenings & weekends. I've been hustling hard for the past 3 weekends and you know what? It feels fucking fabulous!!!

My Aerial Stock Footage Store is OPEN!

I've owned my drone for almost a year now and LOVE IT. If you follow me on social media I'm sure you've noticed that I take it pretty much everywhere with me. My library of shots is getting substantial and I'm tired of hogging the footage to myself when other businesses could be utilitizing them! 

I've sold some footage through traditional stock sites and it's been okay however they charge tripple what I'm charging and the creator only receives a small percentage of  the profits. Hence why I'm opening my own stock store, to cut out the middle man! 

I'll continually be adding footage the more I shoot. If you'd like to stay current on what's being added please subscribe to my newsletter below which will have video marketing tips, recent work & new stock footage! 

My first wedding film!

Mariko and Brent. These two trusted me to have them as a guinea pig on one of the most important days of their lives. I found Mariko & Brent by putting an ad on craigslists asking if an upcoming bridge & groom would allow me to film their wedding. I had experience filming, but had never filmed a wedding before. I met up with them for coffee, we clicked & the rest if history! lol.

I remember being SO nervous leading up to their wedding day. I didn't want to miss anything. I also wanted do my best to work WITH the photographer and not compete for getting "the shot". Communicating with the photographer ahead time and letting her know the shots I'd like to get and when helped with this. I had my super talented friend, Katherine, come out to second shoot. Katherine, if you're reading this, thank you for putting up with this ball of anxiety on that day. I promise if you help me again, it will be a lot more chill! 

With more weddings under my belt I feel WAY more confinement. It's not that I wasn't confident in my abilities to film, it was the worry of missing a moment or getting in people's way. Now with more experience on the workflow of the day, I'm more familiar with what to expect and I'm more relaxed when filming. 

My love for wedding filmmaking definitely came to fruition in post production. Editing about 2 hours worth of decent shots down into a couple of minutes was overwhelming at first. Once I found those gem shots and really built out the story, I caught myself crying at times reliving the couple tell their vows! I KNOW HOW CHEESY IS THAT? After sending the film to Mariko & Brent and hearing how much they loved it, it really validated my love for wedding filmmaking even more. 

"Sarah was amazing to work with! Throughout the planning process and during our wedding day, Sarah's professionalism and organization left us feeling confident and at ease with her ability to produce an amazing video. Our video captures our love story so perfectly, incorporating speeches that capture memories from those we love. Choosing Sarah and her team to film our wedding was one of the best decisions we made!! Thank you!" - Mariko & Brent
 

101 Million Reasons Why You Need Promote Your Brand Videos on Facebook and NOT Youtube or Vimeo.

A HUGE pet peeve of mine is when I see a brand put thousands of marketing dollars, time & resources towards a video campaign and then they publish it on either Youtube or Vimeo. BARF. As far as I'm concerned, unless you posting videos for internal communications there is no need to be using Vimeo anymore. #SORRYNOTSORRY but Facebook has done some incredible upgrades to their native Facebook player over the years. Not to mention when you post a vimeo link you have to leave Facebook to watch it....who's got time for that!? Seriously though, our attention spans are so short that generally if the video isn't autoplaying in front of our eyes, it will be scrolled past. I have messaged people who are promoting a cool video on Facebook but through youtube/vimeo to tell them to upload to Facebook. 

For the past 7 years I've been working in marketing making videos. I've been creating branded content from concept, to editing to publishing. Since adding social media to my role at Nurse Next Door I've gained a new perspective on how the videos perform. The results are pretty incredible y'all! Here are the 101...okay, 15 million reasons why you should be focussing your efforts on Facebook video instead of Youtube/Vimeo. 

  1. REACH REACH REACH. Did I say reach? When I go through the social media pages that I manage and organize the posts by how much reach & engagement they got, guess which type of post comes up top? 9/10 posts are videos consistently across all the pages I manage. Yep, there's stats behind why video is trending, because it works!
  2. Auto-Plays in feeds & grabs your followers attention. Vimeo & Youtube do not do this. 
  3. Since Facebook does favour it's own native player to 3rd party players (Youtube & Vimeo) it will place your video in more feeds than if you uploaded a youtube or vimeo link. 
  4. Captions. Since 80% of people watch videos WITHOUT sound, captions have become imperative to tell your full story. Instead of manually inserting captions in the video edit itself, you can upload a SRT file directly to Facebook. This is a game changer for people like me that make way too many typo's and grammatical errors. Saves me from exporting the video multiple times. I use a service called Rev.com and they caption the video files only $1 per minute of video with an extremely fast turnaround time (usually a couple of hours). 
  5. EMOTION. This isn't necessarily just for Facebook but video is a great opportunity to connect with your clients on an emotional level. A picture can tell a thousand words....but video...1 billion words at least ;)
  6. Custom thumbnails Option
  7. A "Video View" Facebook ad promotion is only 1-2 cents per view AND you can still add a click through link. This is significantly cheaper than running a "traffic" campaign objective. Great brand awareness for CHEAP. 
  8. Let your followers HEAR your tone - literally. 
  9. Shares! Think back to the last 3 items you shared on Facebook. Were they links or videos? Maybe I have a slight addiction to baby animal videos *yes I'm THAT girl* but most of the curated stuff I'm seeing from my friends are videos. Unilad & The Dodo have literally taken over my feed and I'm okay with that! LOL
  10. Embedding Capabilities 
  11. Square videos have more real estate on peoples' screen when they're on Facebook. Since the majority of people are on mobile these days I've tailored my video ratios. 16x9 is beautiful ratio, but gotta take advance of that screen space!
  12. You can directly advertise your Facebook videos to Instagram as long as they're under 1 minute in length. 
  13. You can get very detailed with who you want to target the video with through FB advertising. For example, I can target my wedding film ad to somebody who got engaged in the last 6 months and has an interest in dog rescue and likes the page "Destination BC" (Hi dream client! lol)
  14. The video Facebook ads can now appears in articles outside of Facebook. 
  15. Option to retarget people with a video who have visited your website by using Facebook pixel. You can also retarget people that have watched a certain percentage of your other videos. 

OKAY, maybe there is one disadvantage to Facebook video. The search function seriously blows. I've seen some pretty random videos and when I go back to search for them I can never find them. That is why I always post videos to both Facebook & Youtube. I upload to youtube as a back up for SEO purposes. 

Galiano Island // VIDEO

I'm a little late to the game in posting this footage but better late then never, right?! Bobo, Jack and I went to Galiano for the first time back in February for the Family Day long weekend. The weather was glorious and I can't wait to go back and explore more in the summer! Below is the breakdown of where we went and the Airbnb that we stayed in! Claim your $50 Airbnb credit here.

1- Bodega Ridge Hike

2- Montague Harbour Provincial Park

3- Bellhouse Provincial Park

4- Airbnb (Trish was an amazing host!)

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Plant Based Burrito Bowl topped with Lime, Avocado & Cilantro sauce && Mango Salsa // Gluten, Dairy & Meat Free

I used to make a meat & dairy version of this with ground turkey, cheese & sour cream. The new plant-based version is pretty delicious too and very filling. Ingredients (serves 2) 1 Large sweet potato 1 Onion 1 Can of corn 2 Cloves of garlic 1 Can of black beans 2 Medium sized tomatoes 2 Servings of rice 1 Cup of spinach 2 Tablespoons of Mango Salsa

Sauce: 1 Avacado Some cilantro 2 Juices limes

First thing first, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees, peel the sweet potato and chop into little chunks. Throw into oven. Yes...THROW IT IN! (jk). Oh, and don't forget to add a little bit of olive oil to the potatoes. Now, let's get that rice started so that can also be cooking as you prepare the rest of the veggies. Next chop the onions, tomatoes, and garlic. Throw into a frying pan along with the rinsed beans and corn. While this is cooking chop up the spinach and make the sauce. I use my food processor to blend together the sauce. Once everything is cooked place into a bowl, add some salsa and cover with sauce.

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First Step Towards Minimalism: Purging the Closet!

Ahhh, what a glorious feeling it is to purge the closet and begin my journey to a minimalist lifestyle! Since I can remember I have been guilty of making impulse purchases for clothes I don't need and subscribing to the latest trends. And since I have the "worry" gene I tend to never travel light and have accepted the nickname "crazy bag lady" because I always overpack in case I have that "what if" moment of needing something. I'm hoping to change this mentality in 2017. I've already started and it feels AMAZING. I went out on boxing day with my Mom and only bought one pair of leggings because my old ones had a hole in them. Historically, as a bargain hunter, boxing day was my thing. I remember getting up at 5am some years to go to the Eaton Center with my mom and my friend Danielle and blowing whatever money I had saved or gotten over Christmas on what? I don't even remember

After watching "Minimalism The Documentary" by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus it really opened my eyes to my bad spending habits and how unnecessary they are. Do these items actually bring me/others happiness? Could I invest my money better? After donating half of the clothes in my closet I really hope to eliminate/limit the number of items coming in. Although I can't pack my entire closet into one suitcase, it does feel liberating to have a closet full of clothes I actually wear. Waking up in the mornings is a lot more enjoyable. I'm going to do research on clothing brands that make their clothes sustainably and will share with you once I find them! The impact that the fashion industry has on the environment is NOT GOOD and I'm just beginning to learn this.

Experiences Instead of Gifts for Christmas

I started my 2017 resolution at the beginning of December in an effort to be more present with family and friends and to lead a more minimalist life instead of a material one. Instead of giving gifts this year I CREATED EXPERIENCES. Bobo and I have everything we need (not to sound snooty or rude), but we are constantly trying to declutter our place and we’re in the position that if we need something, we can buy it ourselves. I want to SPEND TIME with family and friends. THAT is what matters. The older I get the more I realize how ridiculous it is to buy material gifts for people because you NEED to buy them a gift. How many gifts that you get do you actually use? Mine usually collect dust. (The more I write this out the more I sound like a grinch, but moving on….haha.) Before the 2016 holidays, I emailed my family and said “Instead of spending $50 on secret Santa gifts for each other, why not spend that money on a meal and a fun activity?" We went ax throwing and it was amazing. Instead of Bobo and I buying gifts for each other we put money towards flights home to see family & going to festive events in Vancouver before we left like Enchant & Capilano suspension bridge. I made this film to show what spending money on experiences instead of material items would look like over the holidays. Would you consider doing this next year with your family? I KNOW THIS SOUNDS CHEESY - but I felt so emotional while editing this! I'm so grateful to have such amazing family and friends, Love you guys! (even if you I didn't get a chance to get a film clip of you to include in this video) 

Arizona Road Trip | Phoenix, Sedona, Page, Grand Canyon & Vegas

My mom spent 6 nights on the road adventuring through Arizona in October and it was AWESOME! We flew into Phoenix and did a one-way car rental to Vegas.

CAR RENTAL TIP: We saved 40% on our car rental by renting from outside the airport. I'm not sure if this is with all airports or just ones in Arizona or the United Stated but we managed to drop the rate from $830 to $470. I seriously almost had a heart attack when they told me the total when we arrived at Enterprise in the airport. How did it go to $40/day to over $800?! AIRPORT TAX, that's how. We took an uber to an enterprise location 1km away from the airport and the price dropped by almost 50%.

Phoenix

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SEDONA

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HORSESHOE BEND

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ANTELOPE CANYON

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PAGE

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GRAND CANYON

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CLEVELAND DAM

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Spicy Peanut Veggie Noodle Bowl

This recipe is quick, healthy and most importantly delicious! I found the recipe on Pinterest and made a few modifications along the way. RECIPE serves 2

  • 2 carrots, grated
  • half a zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cups of spinach (I chop mine up finely)
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 2 bunches of rice noodles

SAUCE

  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons of crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon of soy chilli sauce

Boil a pot of water and cook rice noodles. In a frying pan, saute the onions, zucchini, and peas. While this is cooking blend the sauce ingredients in your blender of choice. Drain the noodles and distribute between two bowls. Add the raw spinach, carrots, and fried onions zucchini & peas. Top with sauce.

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The 6 Benefits of Adopting a Dog

I've been meaning to make this post for a few months but for whatever reason I never got around to it. 6.5 years ago I moved to Vancouver and unfortunately and had to leave my two little yorkies behind (RIP Molly & Nellie). Bringing the yorkies out weren't an option because I was renting in buildings that were never pet friendly and to be frank I wasn't at a time in my life where I could have handled the responsibility. Fast forward to fall of 2015 and Jacky-Poo came into my life! I know this sounds so cliche but the little scruff ball brings so much joy to my life. There is nothing better than coming home to a dog with a wagging tale jumping to get your attention because he's so happy to see you!

6 Reasons to #AdoptDontShop

  1. You're saving a dogs life and for this reason alone, the dog will love you more and you're basically a hero. Yes, I'm calling myself a hero. I'm pretty sure Jack has imprinted on me because I was the one who picked him up from the shelter and he spent 6 hours on my lap while I drove back to Vancouver.
  2.  You can adopt a dog that is already house trained.
  3. Adopting is wayyyy cheaper than buying from a breeder. While breeders range from $700 - $1500+ you can adopt a dog for as little as $200 (depending which rescue you go to)
  4. You have an idea of what the dogs personality is like because the rescue/ shelter will assess their behaviour.
  5. Petfinder.com is a centralized system where all rescues & shelters list available dogs making it easy for you to search location, breed, sex, etc!
  6. Okay, I left this one to #6 because it's a pretty shallow reason....but you know how ALL PUPPIES ARE CUTE? Obviously, a baby of anything is cute for gods sake. When you're adopting an adult dog you already know what it looks like fully grown so you can guaranteed it meets your standards.

I'd highly recommend adopting from Adams County Pet Rescue in Washington, even if you're a Vancourite. (See why in this post on adopting Jack.)

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Why I've Gone Plant Based & 3 Major Impacts It's Had

"Everything in moderation” my mom said after I told her I was now eating a plant-based diet. Sarah doesn’t do moderation, I’m either on one end of the spectrum or the other, resulting in zero balance. (Not trying to convert anyone to go plant-based here, just sharing my story on why I chose to go plant based :D )

On May 1st Bobo and I had come home from a trip from the Sunshine Coast. We took Jack to several beaches before getting on the ferry and he was a muddy mess, so when we got back to New Westminster we took him to Royal City Paws Centre self-wash dog station. In the reception area, there was a scale there and out of curiosity Bobo and I weighed ourselves since we’re never around scales. I was the heaviest I had ever been. I usually don’t focus much on the number on the scale but combine that with how tight all my clothes were, my low energy and the lack of self-confidence I felt the need for a change. I’m usually a pretty healthy eater but had been on a bit of a binger since my trip to Vegas in April, so it wasn’t too surprising. I’m telling you, it’s a slippery slope for Sarah.

That Sunday night after getting unpacked I decided to watch the documentaries “Forks Over Knives” and “Cowspiracy” on Netflix back to back. While “Forks Over Knives” focuses on the health impacts of humans eating meat & dairy, “Cowspiracy” focuses on the environmental impact of animal agriculture. The two were very eye opening. The clip below was (was delete the extra way)the “final straw” for me if you will:

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOP_cMcaIYU[/embedyt]


 

I can’t say that these documentaries would have had the same impact had I watched them on different days and I hadn’t felt like I was at absolute low with my health/weight that day. Since that day I have been mostly plant-based. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve had a few Doritos chips here and there but 95% of the time I’m eating grains, veggies, fruit & nuts!  I’m pretty proud and to be honest surprised this has lasted 2 months. I have no idea if this will last another week let alone a lifetime, I’m just taking it day by day trying to be creative with recipes and hopefully not shoving my views down other people’s throats too much, haha. Though….may I recommend watching those documentaries? (trailers at the bottom of this article) lol.

So far I've noticed THREE MAJOR CHANGES:

  • My sleeps have been IMPECCABLE. I wake up feeling ready to start the day. I've never been one to jump out of bed in the mornings....maybe I'm exaggerating a little here... but it has definitely been easier to get up in the mornings and I don't feel groggy.
  • My skin is the clearest it's ever been. I've always noticed vegans have GLOWING skin and although mine isn't at a "glowing" point just yet, I get blemishes significantly less now.
  • MORE ENERGY!!! No explanation needed.

Biggest Challenge so far:

Eating out is a bitch, unless you're going to some East Van vegetarian hipster joint. So far my most memorable eating out experience was at the Keg for a friends birthday. I actually love the Keg and usually go any time I'm home with the family and on my birthday. MMMM....Steak. I know it was my choice to go plant based and going to a steak house in retrospect wouldn't provide a plethora of dish options for plant-based eaters. My dinner consisted of a pathetic side dish of unseasoned steamed veggies (mostly green beans) with a side of fries. BLAHHH. My food was SO boring compared to the delicious steaks everybody else was eating (boo-hoo, right Sarah?). The struggle is real folks.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZb-35oV_7E[/embedyt] [embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nV04zyfLyN4[/embedyt]

Saltery Bay

Can I just tell you that I am having SO MUCH FUN with my new drone? I've never been so excited to edit footage before in my life! Last weekend Bobo, Jack and I travelled a hop, skip and jump over to Saltery Bay Provincial campground, just south of Powell River. We had it booked from Friday-Sunday but since it was raining on the Friday, we couldn't leave until Bobo was done work AND we had to take two ferries we decided to just get an early start on Saturday morning. When I booked the campsite I thought it was just north of Gibsons and not two ferries away....oops! haha. It was a long an expensive trip for camping for 1 night but....was still worth it (HASHTAG NO REGRETS)! If you're thinking of heading to Saltery Bay area, I would highly recommend at least a two night stay to make the trip worth while. Check out the video and all the locations featured in the video below :) [fbvideo link="https://www.facebook.com/bolandiablog/videos/10153512603371607/" width="800" height="449" onlyvideo="1"]

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Saltery Bay Campground | Map | Make a ReservationBeach of Sunshine Coast Highway (beside oceanside resort) | Map 

Skookumchuck Narrows | Map

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Don Bosch Park on Ruby Lake (not featured in video) | Map

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Joffre Lakes Hike & Nairn Falls Camping

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If you're popping by my blog to check hear about the conditions of the trail for Joffre lakes with the snow because you're interested in doing it, I have two pieces of advice for you: 1. DO IT 2. BRING BOOTS OR SHOES WITH GRIP. I did the hike my nike runners with zero grip and was either skiing down in my runners or bailing, exactly 14 times on the way on the way down to be precise (surprisingly no bruising today, weeooooop!). It took us 4 hours round trip to get to upper Joffre lake which was still 90% frozen over. We passed a few people on the way up who warned us about the lake and they had fallen in (to their knees), so just be careful on how far out you go out, it was really warm up top so the snow is melting fast. If you plan to hike this only once this year I'd recommend doing it later in the season is you want to see the Kool-Aid blue water. The snow is stunning but that glacier water is something else. If y

Squamish Hike | First Peak, The Chief

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Not sure why, but whenever I hiked the chief in the past I always bypassed the first peak and went to either the second or third peak. I wasn't sure if my dog Jack could handle the obstacles required to get to second and third peak so played it safe and did the first peak. As you can see, the views are just as incredible. :)

Alder Flats Hike in Golden Ears Provincial Park

I did this hike towards the end of February. Ever since discovering the beauties of Allouette Lake in the summer I've been eager to explore the trails in Golden Ears. The hike is about 11km and took us roughly 5 hours. As you can see in the photos there was some snow up top so dressing accordingly. If you have hiking boots I'd recommend those over wearing running shoes. :)

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