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Life+1 a lifestyle and travel blog. My adventures around the world and the moments of bliss in between.

Happy Earth Day

Earth Day just got real at my house. I had this adorable little visitor on my back deck. I'm guessing he had a blonde moment and flew into one of our windows. Don't worry bud. It happens to me all the time.

After cleaning up the most disgusting little mess you've ever seen (I was worried he had lost his innards!), he was still sitting there looking at me. 

Now that's a face begging for a tickle if I've ever seen one!

So we made friends and he climbed up onto my hand. I made him a little nest from an old towel, tried (and failed) to get him off my arm, and left him with a bit of water and food.

Chewie got a few kisses in before we left him to regain his confidence. We both paced by the door for a little while.

After about and hour and a half the little dude took flight. Yay! All is right again on Earth Day.

If you want to see this cuteness in action head over to my Snapchat account (lifeplus1). I took waaay to many snaps! So cute. 

I hope you get the chance to go outside and enjoy the sunshine wherever you are in the world!

3 (more) Inspirational Quotes

When I'm feeling self doubt I often remind myself that there is no age limit or perfect definition tied to success. I find inspiration in the wise words of others. They inspire me to never give up on my daydreams. Who knows, your dreams could be just around the corner...

Leave your favorite inspirational quote in the comments below and don't forget to share this post if it inspires you (handy lil button below). Most of us could use some Monday motivation... ;o)

I hope you all have an inspired day. 

3 Things My Dog Taught Me

It's taken me long enough to figure out what is more important than anything in this life. Love. A lesson taught no better than by our furry companions. Mine, Chewbacca, just happens to have recently turned 3.

So in honor of her third birthday, listen up...

...because here are 3 things my German Shepherd compadre has taught me.

3 Things My Dog Taught Me


1 - Unconditional Love is the Best Kind of Love -

From the worst moments in life, to the very best and every mundane moment in between. Dogs are masters at loving you for who you are, even in moments when you don't love yourself. But please...love yourself. :o)

2 - Live in the Moment, as Often as You Can -

Never take for granted a minute of the life you are so grateful to have each day when you wake up for you never know when it will be over. Chewie reminds me on a daily basis to find happiness and joy in the smallest of things. From the fresh air of a spring morning to the quiet warmth of the sun on my skin. 

You should see her excitement over a perfectly imperfect stick on the ground.

3 - Forgiveness is a Hug for the Soul -

We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. And that's okay. In fact, it's better than okay. It's life. And life is good. Every moment wasted on bitterness is a moment of unhappiness. And who wants to be unhappy? Not me.

Happy Birthday Chewbacca. I love you every moment, unconditionally, just as you are you big fur bag!

What has your furry compadre taught you?
(don't forget to post a photo on my FB wall so I can coo over all of them!)

Video Postcard : Belgium

I took nearly 900 photos on my recent adventures in Europe! I also took a load of short video clips which I've mashed together in a (very) short video tour of Brussels.

The podcast and the vlogging are totally new things to me. While photography is my medium of choice (call me snap happy) I love sharing my life and adventures in other formats as well. 

It's something that gets better with practice. I really wish I had included some clips of myself in here but hey...hindsight eh? Next time I'll make some cameos I promise!

In the meantime, you can catch a glimpse of my slightly (okay significantly) cheesier side over at Snapchat : @lifeplus1.

Leave me your snapchat details below!

Top 4 Hotels : My Favs from Around the World

From a desert oasis to the tropics of the Indian Ocean, I've been so fortunate to have stayed in some amazing hotels over the past few years. As I start planning my next adventure to the deserts and medinas of Morocco, I started reminiscing over some past favorite hotels.

Top 4 Hotels
from Around the World


1. Le Touessrok : Trou D'Eau Douce, Mauritius

There is so much to do and see on the island of Mauritius. Le Touessrok is the perfect jumping off point. The words 'all inclusive' don't often end up in the same sentence as 'amazing food', but not the case here. The restaurants on site are amazing. The pools? Amazing. The spa? Yep, amazing. And the beaches are pristine and you can always find an empty stretch of sand. Plus, floating sun decks off the beach shore...uh-maze-ing. Boatloads of photos here.

Highlights :

  • The most amazing curry restaurant you'll ever encounter.
  • Expansive grounds with easy access to nearby secluded beaches and a timely boat taxi.
  • Numerous pools looking out to the ocean.
  • Givenchy spa!

2. Exeter River Lodge : Sabi Sands, South Africa

There wasn't a single thing about Exeter River Lodge that I didn't love. Not one. The people who work there were truly wonderful, kind and thoughtful. Their stories have stayed with me long after leaving. 

No TVs. Just the African wilds on your back door step, literally...we had monkeys in our outdoor shower and fresh Elephant dung on the sidewalk out front the next morning!

Highlights : 

  • The twice daily game drives.
  • Lovely staff.
  • Food, drinks, setting....pretty much everything.

Read more about our adventures in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

3. Amangiri : Utah, USA

Okay, this one is a bit of a 'cheat'. I didn't get the chance to stay overnight but I visited for the day and thoroughly enjoyed the spa after having a leisurely wander around the spectacular grounds.

Hidden away in the middle of the desert lies the Amangiri oasis. Touted by some as one of the top hotels in the world (which wouldn't surprised me one bit), it's simplicity is stunning.

Highlights :

  • The James Bond-esque architecture.
  • The spa.
  • A truly unique pool carved out of desert rock.

Check out the rest of my day at Amangiri here.

4. Sugar Beach : St Lucia

Nestled between the Grand Pitons with a private beach is definitely a little slice of paradise. Sugar Beach makes up for it's patchy service staff with a brilliantly cool spa in the treetops, stunning scenery and gorgeous rooms.

Don't forget your bug spray though! The mozzies are like flying armies out there.

Highlights :

  • The location.
  • Treetop Spa.
  • Family friendly alternative to Jade Mountain, and arguably just as nice.

Read more about our visits to St Lucia.

 

While each of these hotels were definitely luxurious, but I've also stayed in many, many budget hotels as well. Check back next week for the charm and loveliness of some of my favorite budget hotels. 

In the meantime, what is one of your favorite hotels?

Source photos 1-3 : Pinterest

Easter Recipes

With Easter just around the corner, I thought I'd dig through some old favorite recipeasies. One sweet and one savory. 

Blasphemous Creme Egg Brownie Bites

These are one of my all time favorite spring recipes because they are insanely easy to make (I'm talking semi-homemade here) and sooooo good. If you're not into gooey chocolatey caramel things, then maybe my other favorite recipe would be an egg-cellent choice?...

Leftover Easter Ham & Cheddar Quiche

I LOVE quiche! This recipe solves the 'problem' of what to do with all of that leftover Easter ham. Perfect with a smothering of beans.

What is your favorite springtime recipe? Share it below!

PS - Speaking of sharing, if you'd like to share these recipes you can use the handy lil 'share' button below!

Follow my adventures on Bloglovin'

Belgian Sunset

On our last night in Brussels I witnessed one of the most amazing cotton candy sunsets while strolling through the Grand Palace Square. It was the perfect way to say goodbye to Brussels and start our journey back home. 

We watched the clouds change from brilliant pinks to purples to grey in the foreground of the bluest spring sky. The last bits of sun caught the gold details on the buildings so beautifully. I was in awe.

What is one of the most memorable sunsets you've seen?

The Best (and Worst) of Brussels

Oh Brussels. Where do I begin? Well, you were not quite what I had expected. From the hardest to navigate street system I've yet encountered in Europe, to sunsets that rival the most beautiful tropical islands. I was surprised in many ways.

When it comes to things to do in Brussels, I think it's best broken down into two categories; the best, and worst, bits about Brussels.

Best Bits about Brussels

  • The waffles. So good it deserved it's own post with many, many photos.

  • The beer. Okay, I don't really drink, but my husband does. If you're so inclined, the best selection of Belgian beers can be found at de Bier Temple where many-a-tourists come to pay homage.

  • The CHOCOLATE! Particularly the world renowned Pierre Marcolini. Surprisingly affordable and just as yummy as it was beautiful.

  • The sunsets over the Grand Palace.

  • The architecture. Some of the most ornate, gothic and well preserved buildings I've seen.

 

Worst Bits about Brussels

  • Manneken Pis. One of the 'most famous' tourist attractions trap in the city. Why? I still don't know. It's simply a tiny statue/fountain of a little boy urinating.

  • The Filth. Sadly, you'll want to keep your gaze up at the buildings rather than down on the littered streets.

  • Difficult to navigate. Make sure you're phone is charged up. You're going to need that GPS, every, single, step. It's a maze filled with tiny streets and hard to find, sometimes absent, signs.

Brussels, can I make a suggestion? Perhaps instead of a tiny statue of a little boy urinating , you might choose to construct a statue, heck even a fountain, of that deliciously sinful Belgian chocolate. 

Just sayin'.

Postcards from Mauritius

"Travel is one of the only things you can buy that will make you richer."

One of the things I cherish most in life are travel memories. Their value extends far beyond the any investment made to bring us to those moments that we end up reflecting on for many years to come.

On such place/time for me has always been the beaches of Mauritius. Adrift in the Indian ocean with not a single care in the world.

What are some of your favorite travel memories?

#WaffleDay

Yes, it's true. There IS such thing as Waffle Day. Today I bring to you, the most amazing waffles I've ever laid eyes on; the authentic and the best, Belgian Waffles straight from Brussels. Follow me!

When in Brussels it seems there are multiple 'things' one 'must' do eat. Belgian Chocolate, Belgian Beer, the 'Brussels Mussels (and frites) and...Belgian WAFFLES.

After a fair bit of research, I settled on what was said to be the best waffle in Brussels. Tucked in a side street with a modest storefront is a lil place called Maison Dandoy. That's IF you can find it. It took us 40 minutes to find the place!

By the time we pushed through the doors into the empty store we were nearly sent into a hangry rage when the single shop attendant, who was sweeping the floors, immediately looked down at his watch. Not a good sign.

Fortunately, we had arrived 10 minutes before closing and they had mercy on us (or perhaps they didn't want us to start chewing on their menus) and seated us upstairs in the tearoom. 

Like having the mecca of Belgian waffle restaurants entirely to ourselves with a window seat overlooking the most beautiful church.

But that wasn't even the best part. Oh the choices! I sipped on my cuppa tea while debating between the two main waffle varieties and then the plethora of toppings; fresh whipped creme, caramel, melted chocolate, cooked strawberries, and on and on.

I went for the Liege waffle smothered in melted chocolate with a side of fluffy whipped creme and cooked strawberries.

Waffle heaven.

How do you like your waffles?