Where to Get the Perfect Instagram Shot in Banff, Canada

Last week I spent the entire week in Alberta, Canada exploring Banff National Park, Lake Louise, and bits of Jasper National Park and Yoho National Park. To say this trip was amazing would be an understatement. Anyone who’s been on Instagram in the past year or so has seen the amazing shots of girls in canoe in Lake Louise, or on top of the rock pile at Moraine Lake. We went and found some off the beaten path spots during our trip, but of coarse, had to keep in the oldies but goodies too. If you’re headed to Banff, here’s your insiders guide before you go of where to get the shot. A few I’ve already used on my own Insta feed.

Icefields Parkway– This secluded highway has amazing views since you’re driving straight through the center of the Rockies. We pulled off to the side and would run out to the middle of the street to get these shots. It made it so much fun and the snow-capped mountains with bright blue skies are absolutely stunning. We were kind of on a curve in the road so we made sure we had someone watching behind the photographer to make sure we were being safe. But hey, you do what you got to do to get the shot, am I right?

Waterfowl Lake– We did a lot of research on places to stop and check out along the Icefields Parkway but this was absolutely stunning and we ended up just stumbling upon it. Waterfowl Lake had so many places to take photos, sit on rocks, be on the lake bed. It definitely helped that we were there right at golden hour and the reflection of the mountains was a perfect mirror on the lake. Put this on your list.

Lake Agnus Teahouse– It was a HAUL up, but the views from the top were absolutely amazing. The trailhead begins right at Lake Louise and you hike 4.2 km up. There are rocks, and ice, and it was rough, but once you get to the top, there are views everywhere you turn. The tea house itself is so cute and quaint. The lake at the top is gorgeous and flows down the mountain. If you hike up a little further, on Little Beehive Trail you can see views of Lake Louise and Mirror Lake.

Lake Louise canoes– Pro tip: getting the quintessential cute photo, no life jacket looking like you’re the only one in the canoe shot is not the easiest. Go for a two-person canoe and then you have to row out pretty far. The lake isn’t that small. We did an hour canoe ride with three of us. The views of the glacier and the Fairmont are beyond anything you can imagine.

Lake Moraine– This lake had the best coloring I’ve ever seen. The blue was brighter than even Lake Louise, and when we were there, there were just a few canoes out, but they looked amazing. You can take the short little walk up Rockpile Trail to see the lake from a higher vantage point. It is everything these photos say it is. And then this log. Can we talk about the log? A little slippery but once you out there, it’s defiantly worth it.

Takakkaw Falls– Everything about this place was absolutely astonishing. We were here just as the leaves were starting to change colors, so the drive out to the falls was beautiful in itself. The road is much different than the highway or Icefields Parkway. The road is much smaller and it feels like you are driving through the tress. Once we got there, the small river that the falls lead into was gorgeous. The water was icy blue and there were so many places to get down into the water to get a great shot from a different angel. But what I loved the most about Takakkaw Falls was the view from the top. And this shot from the top of the rock, at the top of the falls was my favorite.

Trader Joe’s Fall Finds

It’s here!!! Some people count down until the day Starbucks releases their Pumpkin Spice Lattes, or the holiday menu in November. I count down until Trader Joe’s bring out their harvest treats. I love pumpkin. I am a believe that you can add pumpkin to anything and I t will taste good. So, this year I super stalked my local Trader Joe’s until someone would give me the release date on all of the pumpkin products.

Last year I thought I did good on stocking up on some of these products but I was all out by the new year so this year. With the long winters we have here in Connecticut. I need my pumpkin coffee 5 months out of the year, but damn is it hard to come by. When I went to my local TJ’s there was only ONE pumpkin coffee left in the tin. I always try to get coffee grounds rather than pods just because it goes so much further. But in this case I had to grab some boxes of pods for back up. Someone behind me even got upset that I took the last one… sorry about it.

The pumpkin bread and muffin mix is another awesome go to. Actually I’m a big fan of their corn muffin mix too. I am not a baker so this is the perfect, easy mix to have one hand for a quick breakfast or to bring to a brunch when you’re in a pinch. And you can always add chocolate chips to the pumpkin mix to make it a little more of a dessert.

Trader Joe’s Greek Yogurts are by far my favorites. Again another quick breakfast idea so I had to pick up a few of these along with some new tries. I’m not sure if this Pumpkin Soup is new or if I’ve just never seen it before but I can’t wait to try that. Something else that I saw for the first time was this Harvest Spice Trek Mix. It looked perfect for my flight tomorrow. I am off to Canada and with a whole day of travel, you know I like to have something in my back pocket to snack on. What are your favorite fall finds at TJ’s?

Friday Five – September

I just noticed, my last Friday Five, I only did four…. What!? What a mess! So this month I am going to have six fabulous spotlights to make up for skipping out on you before.

September may be my favorite month of the year. I love the spring but back and forth weather here in the northeast can be a little much. You know exactly what you’re going to get with September. Sunny and warm days and cooler nights. Perfect firepit and wine on the patio weather. Swoon.

New favorite TV show to binge
Binge watching season is upon us folks! One of my favorite things about the fall and winter is the built in acceptance to stay home on a Friday and Saturday night to watch up on shows from the week, or start a whole new show you haven’t seen before. This month I just caught up on the new Kevin Costner show on Paramount Network, Yellowstone. I am obsessed and cannot recommend it enough, but it defiantly has a specific type of audience. It’s pretty graphic on the violence and sexuality. It also swears a lot so if that’s not your cup of tea I’d opt out. But you can always binge this month’s option for Netflix show, Hart of Dixie. So cute, so happy, and such a good before bedtime watch.

Soaking in the summer nights
September nights are what I live for. Crazy humid days, bring either wild thunderstorms (like tonight) or insane sunsets. Last weekend we had a fire at my friends beach house and the weather was perfect. Then this week I had a midweek glass of wine down at the beach to soak in the amazing sunset that is the month of September. And tonight I’ve been stuck on the coach listening to this crazy rain storm.

Book club book of the month
Its been a while since my A.D.D. was able to give into a good book. I could barely put this one down though. The Couple Next Door was really the first thriller that I truly loved. I love horror movies and thrillers when I watch them, but its always been hard for me to read a thriller. This had so many twists and turns and I really wasn’t sure how it was going to end, even when I had figured out who was the antagonist was.

Me time
My goal for September is to really get back into a routine. It is so easy to let all senses of a routine get pushed aside during the summer, as you can see from my lack of posts this summer. I’ve been scheduling myself a me night once a week. I take my laptop to a local coffee shop, turn on my favorite podcast (hey Straight up with Stassi) and write. This year, I got not one, but two promotions at work, so this fall is about putting myself out there, and diving deeper into my passion projects. And a little bit of people watching once a week doesn’t hurt either.

Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick
These aren’t new to me, but they are perfect for fall. Last year one of my girlfriends introduced me to Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick. Their shades are everything and best of all: they stay put! I can wear these all day and I barely have to reapply. These three are my current favorites (here, here, and here) and perfect for the fall. Because my complexion is so fair, I can’t really get into the dark maroons, browns and purples that scream fall so these are great for the pale skinned girls out there.

Finally getting sleep with the help of Young Living
I’ve officially drank the kool-aid and got myself a Young Living starter kit. If you’ve been on Instagram for even a second, you know that these essential oils are everything right now. I’m not going to lie, I can’t get full on into them. I’m not here to switch up every product in my house, stop buying candles, and say that an oil can fix everything. But for me, it’s fixed my sleep problems for sure. I’ve always had problems sleeping. Whether it’s getting to sleep or staying asleep, it’s been a struggle for a long time. Diffusing Cedarwood, Frankincense, and Lavender has helped so much. I sleep throughout the whole night, I sleep deeper, and I was up feeling rested. I even made a spray to bring with me this week on my trip. If you’re interested, definitely reach out to me, I’d love to talk more oils with you.