Understanding British Slang

British Slang

We may speak the same language, have the same woman on our currency, and both include ‘u’ in our spellings of colour, flavour and neighbour. But when it comes to slang and idioms, Canadians and Brits might as well be speaking foreign languages.

Before my trip to London, my understanding of British slang was quite minimal. It consisted of “bloody hell”, “bollocks”, and “wanker”, all the classiest of terms for this girl. I even started to use the phrase “havin a laff aint’cha?” after watching Ricky Gervais’ short-lived but highly entertaining television series ‘Extras’. But I was curious to learn more (and maybe ones that would make my mother proud) so one afternoon I was hanging out with my friends Alison, Mitch, and Hayley who schooled me in the art of British slang and idioms. Read more »

Categories: England | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Parks, Pubs and Plaques: A First-Timer’s Visit to London

London, England

My favourite spot in London was walking up Regent Street from Piccadilly Circus.

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to visit London. I mean it has everything I love in a big city; great public transportation, multiculturalism, interesting architecture, street art, distinct neighbourhoods, green spaces, and an array of food choices.

I was really excited to visit London. Hunky British accents aside, England is the country that brought us The Beatles and The Spice Girls, popularized fish and chips and perfected the true ‘pub experience’, where the Royal Family plays a prominent role in the country, and literary legends such as Sherlock Holmes and James Bond still appear in pop culture today. Oh, and I almost forgot Harry Potter and those iconic red double-decker buses!

Now I can finally say I’ve jumped the ‘pond’! Read more »

Categories: England | Tags: | 8 Comments

Henry’s Camera Giveaway!

HenrysCamera

It’s no secret that I love photography and videography. Just take a quick peak around the site or check out my Instagram feed and you’ll see what I mean. I’m always looking for ways to improve my craft and push the creativity levels.

Every year for my birthday I always treat myself to a new ‘toy’ and my go-to place is Henry’s, Canada’s largest photographic and digital retailer. The staff are extremely knowledgeable, helpful and friendly.

Last fall I was eyeing the 50mm 1.4f Canon lens to add to my kit. I wasn’t sure how I would like it, so I decided to rent it from Henry’s for a photoshoot I was doing with some friends. That’s right, Henry’s rents out a lot of their photography equipment, including lenses, DLSR and Video cameras, lighting, backgrounds, and even scanners and projectors. For a weekend rental it only set me back $22.50, a small investment to see whether or not it was worth purchasing the lens. Playing around with the lens for the weekend was exactly what I needed and later that week I ended up purchasing the lens.

Read more »

Categories: Uncategorized | 15 Comments

May Travel Plans

FlyingIt’s a dreary, rainy morning in Toronto today and while I’d rather be back in bed tucked under my duvet and catching up on some much needed sleep, there’s just too much to do! It seems that’s been the phrase these past few months (it’s crazy busy!) and hence why things have been quiet here on the site. It’s amazing what a difference a year makes. This time last year I was jobless, unmotivated, and overall in a dark place. Fast-forward a few seasons and things have been much different (and busier) since September 2013.

The biggest change was that I got a job, woo! I was working in the RTA School of Media program at Ryerson University. I was leading workshops and tutorials on all things media related; audio, studio, single-camera shooting, editing software, digital media, and on-air performance techniques. No two days were alike and I loved the creative energy that greeted me every time I walked in the door. Read more »

Categories: Belgium, England | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Video: Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Things to see in TorontoI arrived at the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada around 6pm on a Friday feeling exhausted from the week. I was gassed from a busier than usual week at work, and side projects and events every night of the week. As I walked into the bright, airy atrium and thought about the shoot ahead, I really didn’t know if I had the energy to give it the attention I knew it would deserve. I love aquariums. My favourite one is the Busan Aquarium in South Korea. I had been looking forward to this visit all week, so I knew I had to muster up the energy from somewhere. So my friend, Natalie, and I checked our coats, grabbed our media passes and dove right in, so to speak. Read more »

Categories: Canada, Videos | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Costs: New Zealand

Natural attractions in New Zealand

The impressive Franz Josef Glacier wedged between the mountains.

The windows of your car are rolled down, the tunes are pumping and you’re traveling at your own pace. There’s nothing quite like a good road trip and New Zealand is one of the best countries in the world to do it. Kiwis themselves know this. If you talk to any of them, they’ll recount childhood memories of their families packing up and hitting the road for weeks at a time.

Aside from the obvious benefits of having full control of your itinerary, New Zealand seems to have been designed for road trips with stunning landscapes at every twist and turn, well maintained and signed roadways, and a wide range of accommodation styles, from free Department of Conservation (DOC) campsites to high end hotels, to fit anyone’s budget. Through our research, Tristan and I found that it would be most cost-effective to rent a campervan and travel around the country ourselves. We prefer to do things on our own and love an epic road trip, so we were extremely excited about this adventure. Read more »

Categories: New Zealand, Travel Costs | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Hacking the Travel System, An Interview With Matt Bailey

Travel Hacking

Travel hacking doesn’t have to be stressful or confusing thanks to Matt Bailey of Canadian Free Flyers.

Many people tend to look at travel as a luxury, one that requires a lot of money. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve found myself thinking this exact same way from time to time. But what I’ve come to realize over the years is that it doesn’t have to be as expensive as one thinks and there are a number of ways to save money before and during your travels. Reducing your overall costs are one thing, but what if I said that you could be earning free flights and accommodations just by going about your everyday life? It’s true!

Recently, I came across this concept called ‘travel hacking’ and found there’s a whole subculture of travelers who have discovered ways to score free trips just by using their everyday spending habits to their advantage. I wanted to learn more about this practice, so I contacted one of my fellow Canadian Travel Bloggers, Matt Bailey, to explain what ‘travel hacking’ means and how his site Canadian Free Flyers has been providing its members incredible deals and travel opportunities since 2012. Read more »

Categories: Interviews, Tips | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A Video Review of 2013, One Second a Day

There were a lot of beautiful sunsets to admire in 2013.

There were a lot of beautiful sunsets to admire in 2013.

At the end of 2012 I decided to take on my largest video project; recording every day of 2013 and compiling a recap video when the year was over. The concept wasn’t new and in fact I was inspired by a video titled This is What Madeline Did in 2011 to create my own “one-second-a-day” video.

I was initially drawn to the challenges it would take to create a video of this scope. Could I really remember to film something every day? What if there wasn’t anything interesting to record one day? But ultimately I was most interested in what the final product would show. The first month was difficult especially because I was lugging around my DSLR with me everywhere I went. But once I got an iPhone in February, things became a lot easier to record. Read more »

Categories: Thoughts, Videos | Tags: , , | 17 Comments

Costa Rica: The Highlights

Rainforests in Costa Rica

The view of Turrialba Volcano from my hike in La Marta Rainforest.

One word: Amazing.

My one-week visit to Costa Rica was that in every way. Amazing! With every turn in the road, meal we ate, new activity we tried, and information we learned about the country, amazing was the only way we could describe it.

It’s been a while since a country has won me over so quickly. Just 2 days of being on Costa Rican soil I was Skyping with Tristan and proclaiming that I’d found the next place we would live in. A big proclamation indeed.

Ok, I realize I need to rewind here a bit before my giddy inner 12-year old brain farts all over the page in an incoherent mess.

At the beginning of December, myself and my travel blogging amiga Cristina traveled down to Costa Rica as part of the Tourism Board’s ‘Happiness Campaign’. The intent was simple, find happiness in Costa Rica. But even before departing I knew this would be an easy feat. Read more »

Categories: Costa Rica, Photos | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

Video: Top 5 Things To Do in Toronto For The Holidays

What to do in Toronto.

Toronto City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square illuminated and decorated for the holidays.

The holidays are one of my favourite times of the year. Between the decorations, parties, food and drink indulgences, and cheerful tunes playing everywhere I turn, I love the feelings that the holidays bring. It was just last year that I was reconnecting with the holidays after being abroad for 3 years. But now with this years’ holiday season already upon us, I’m more excited than ever to celebrate them.

I’ve jumped right into the swing of things this time around. So much so, I set out to find and put together a video of the top 5 things to do in Toronto for the holidays. It’s no easy feat to choose just 5. Everyone has their specific traditions and interests but after consulting with a number of my fellow Torontonians, and including a bit of my own personal biased opinions (I’ll be honest!), I feel these top 5 are guaranteed to get you into the holiday spirit here in the city.

So which activities made the list? Check them out below! Read more »

Categories: Canada, Videos | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment