Checking Out All that Glitters at #GoldRush! – El Dorado in British Columbia!

Action. Adventure. Heartbreak. Upheaval. All of these themes are on display at GoldRush! – El Dorado in British Columbia at the Canadian Museum of History. Created by the Roya BC Museum, Gold Rush displays the transformation of a colony near the Pacific Ocean during the Gold Rush as it broke down the barriers of class and race in the pursuit of golden new beginnings. I got a chance to check o, ut all that glittered at this exhibit to share with you! Gold Rush! will be on display from April 8, 2016, until January 15, 2017.

Reese Speaks Gold Rush Plaque 2 Photo


Visitors can see such items as the Turnagain Nugget, the largest existing gold nugget from British Columbia, as well as more than 280 objects on display from this era! Made up of five linked galleries, Gold Rush! aims to recreate the gold rush, getting visitors up close with the real history of gold in British Columbia.

During my visit to Gold Rush!, there was so much to discover! I was able to learn about this era from the first shouts of excitement over finding gold to it has impacted the histories of many nations all over the world.


Reese Speaks Gold Rush Time Line Display 2 Photo


There are also gold pieces on display from distant lands where gold had been discovered years before that began to spur the search for golden riches in Canada.


Reese Speaks Gold Rush  El Dorado Origins Collage Photo


I then ventured to look at the tools of the trade during the gold rush. It was fun to see that an actual stagecoach that is on loan for this exhibit from the Historic O’Keefe Ranch up close, and all of the items a treasure seeker would use to try and strike it rich.


Reese Speaks Gold Rush Equipement Photo

I thought that Gold Rush! did an excellent job of sharing various integrating interactive methods for its visitors to learn more about this era.  There are screening areas, tablets with added information about certain aspects of the exhibit, and stations where visitors can learn hands-on about this time period and about gold. They were all interesting to take in and to try.

Reese Speaks Gold Rush Interactive Activities Collage Photo

I could not leave out the fashion of this era out this post! I know these pieces were designed over 150 years ago, but to see them in such great condition and still vibrant with colour was a sight to see! I especially loved the dress and parasol outfit. It was hard to shoot, but it was fun to have a snapshot of the time through fashion.


Reese Speaks Gold Rush Fashion Photo


A favourite part of the exhibit was seeing how much I was worth in gold. Based on the price of an ounce of gold, it converts your weight into a dollar amount. Based on my weight that day, I could go on a holiday somewhere or on a fun shopping spree!


Reese Speaks Gold Rush Weight in Gold 2 Photo


There was so much to take in at Gold Rush! Learning how this period shaped Canadian history was a great way to spend a visit at the Canadian Museum of History. Having so many artefacts from this time also brought what I learned more to life. An added bonus was seeing everything that glittered and made out of this precious metal! Gold Rush! is a fantastic exhibit for visitors to experience!


Reese Speaks Gold Rush Gold Items Collage 2 Photo


For more information about GoldRush! – El Dorado in British Columbia, you can connect with the Canadian Museum of History on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram pages!

Disclaimer: I received admission to the Canadian Museum of History to visit GoldRush! – El Dorado in British Columbia exhibit in order to write this review. The views expressed are my own.


Mundane Monday Morning Music: Des’ree – “You Gotta Be”


Mornin’ Readers!

A bit (which means a lot) of inspiration is the order  of the day today. It was an interesting weekend that made me process a lot of things, making me push all of the things on my “to-do list” to today.

I am so happy I have this week’s MMMM pick to give me some guidance and a much needed pick-me-up to my spirit. I’ve selected Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be” to get me back on track for the day and for the week. This song always pops into my life when I need it. It has always given me the strength to accomplish what I needed to do, face up to my fears, and has given me the push to always strive to be better than I was yesterday.

Check out the first verse to see what I mean. It is some of the best advice I have ever heard:

“Listen as your day unfolds, challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears, stand up and be counted
Don’t be ashamed to cry”

This song is like that friend who is always with me in my darkest hours. When it finds me, I am able to breathe again. Almost 20 years later, “You Gotta Be”is still relevant, and is such a great song I have on the soundtrack of my life. I am forever grateful that this song exists.

I hope that “You Gotta Be” gives you the push you need to get up and slay any dragons this mundane Monday morning may put in your path.

Until my next post, Readers!


Birthday Wishes: Making Me a Better Me!

Hey Readers!

Today is my birthday (hooray!)!

Reese Speaks Birthday Pic 2


It’s been a bit crazy since my last post. After the New Year, the kids and I being sick on and off for what seems like an eternity, and keeping up with my day-to-day tasks, it seems as though I can (finally) breathe a bit more and share more posts here!

Now that I have rescheduled my ever-evolving schedule, I am able to see where I can make the time to do little things to make me an even better me from this moment forward.  I guess you can sort of call it a birthday gift to me from me! By setting these goals, I feel as though I am starting a challenge and then building on them as I achieve them. Here are some of the things I am doing or am going to start doing to make me a better me.

Tiger Push-Up, say what?!


Reese Speaks Workout Photo


That is what I said when learning this exercise move. After doing a book review at the beginning of this year, I realized I had to get myself into gear and do what I kept trying to do for the past few years: becoming more active. I took tips from a book for high intensity interval training (HIIT) to start a workout regime so I can get moving and grooving more than just on mundane Monday mornings. It is a series of different workouts to I carved out time to start working out during the week. Now I enjoy my ‘stories’ while I work up a sweat all in the comfort of my living room.

See the pic above? This is all I use to get my butt in gear. Why the card? It is so I can go for a trek to the library and borrow other books and DVDs to work out to. Not a lot is needed to become more active. It is more of a mental game to overcome than a physical one for me. I now am less winded when climbing the hills that lead up to my home with groceries and kids in tow, and I sleep more soundly as well.

Idle hands, my friends…


Reese Speaks Hobbies Photo


I like a challenge, so I decided to try my hand at two new hobbies this year: photography and flower arrangement. I have always admired how people are able to capture fabulous photos of how they view the world, yet for some reason, never got into it. Since having kids and then becoming a blogger, I have also become more of a shutterbug. I love taking pics of almost EVERYTHING we do! I then bit the bullet and got myself a proper camera to become even better at this craft!

As for floral arrangement, it another field I have always wanted to try. Putting flowers into a vase may seem like a simple task to accomplish, but is a whole art to doing it that I want to explore! I also want to learn more about flora and to cultivate more of a green thumb. This know-how will come in handy for the Big Day  my guy and I are planning, so I want to be able to put a few handmade arrangement together to decorate our space.

Cracking spines and dogearing


Reese Speaks Reading Photo


Love the title of this section, huh! 😛 Books have always been a passion of mine! With the arrival of my kids, they have taken a bit of a backseat to diaper changes, breaking up grudge matches and the every day life of a family of five. Now that the kids are a bit more independent, I can finally rekindle my romance with the written word.

From DIY and how-to guides to mythology, myth & symbol and teen fiction, I love getting lost in these amazing worlds of wonder! So far, I have gotten through only three books since the beginning of the year, but my goal is to get through twenty books by the end of the year.

These are just a few things I want to do to make this new chapter of this life a fun and exciting one! There are so many adventures I want to take (and that I want to take you, Readers), and I can’t wait to do it all! As I blow out the candles on my b-day cake, I will be looking forward to the challenges life throws at me, and to overcome it with a smile on my face!



Photo credit: Benson Kua via / CC BY-SA

I hope, whenever you celebrate your special day, that it is the best day of your year as well!

Until my next post, Readers!


Mundane Monday Morning Music: Janelle Monae – “Tightrobe”

Hey Readers!

Spring is here! The sun is out, the snow is almost gone, and life is back to normal since March Break is over. I then took a look at my To-Do List, and saw the mountain of tasks I have to accomplish this week.  ***insert cringing face here***

Inspiration, motivation and funk were definitely needed for a day like today! After a bit of a search this morning, I found all of these traits in Janelle Monae’s “Tightrope.” This song is all about keeping your balance in life no matter what is happening and to focus on you, not world around you. It helped me assess my goals for the day and to make me feel better about me.”Tightrope” has a powerful message combined with an awesome and funky beat. How can you not love this song?

Hopefully, you are able to find balance in your world and to have fun while listening to my MMMM pick “Tightrope” on this mundane Monday morning.

Until my next post, Readers!


Winter Family Adventures in Photos

Hey Readers!

Well, March Break is almost over, and spring is all but here! It was a crazy winter in my neck of the woods. It started late, but when it decided to unleash its fury, we were really snowed in! I thought I would chronicle my family’s winter adventures through a gallery of photos we took over the season!

Christmas! One of my favourite times of the year! We had a blast putting up the tree, decorating the house and getting ready for the Man in Red to arrive!


Reese Speaks Christmas Eve Peanuts Tree Photo

This was the second tree we “put up” this year. I loved it!


Reese Speaks Christmas Eve Stockings Photo


Reese Speaks Christmas Eve Cookies Photo

The Big Guy has a little bit of everything!


Ah, Christmas morning! Our kids couldn’t wait to open their stockings before breakfast and then their gifts after we ate. Santa was good to our kids, and they were playing all day with their toys!


Reese Speaks Christmas Day Stockings Photo


Food is always a HUGE part of our holiday traditions, and my other half made sure we were fed well with his special chicken dish for Christmas Eve and a terrific turkey dinner for Christmas Day!


Reese Speaks Christmas Dinners Photos


With Murphy’s Law at play, the snow came after Christmas! My guy took advantage of our winter wonderland and build a snow fort and a snow hill for our kids to enjoy. We even got the sleds out and tried to get some air time with the little ones on them.


Reese Speaks Snow Play Photo

Their smiles were infectious! I t was hard to keep the camera still for these pics!


Reese Speaks Winter Outdoor Play Collage Photo

I think the faces of my daughters says it all!


My little guy LOVED the winter! He would take any chance he could to be outside and play in the snow, even if it was to help me shovel the driveway. He even learned about the hazardous life snowmen live.


Reese Speaks Cous Winter Fun Collage Photo

My little guy is super helpful!


Oh, the night of the big football game is another favourite part of winter in our home! We got out our projector and watched it on our living room wall as we ate a family favourite for Game Nights: Chicken Nachos! We even dressed up for the night in our jerseys and goofed around. It was a fun night for us all!


Reese Speaks Big Game Collage Photo


There are times during the winter that you just want to stay inside and hide from winter’s frightful fury. There were quite a few nights where we had fun indoors. From a morning sneak attack in bed to a rock out session in our basement, we had a blat without cracking the door open!


Reese Speaks Winter Indoor Bed Photo.jpg


Reese Speaks Drums Collage Photo

This was such a fun night! Maybe we’ll put a band together?

Nature is so beautiful around our home at this time of year. Even though there are no leaves on the trees, the snow and ice take over and create their own breathless magic in our backyard and front yard oasis.

Reese Speaks Winter Nature Collage Photo

These were just some of the adventures my family had during this roller coaster ride of a winter this year! Now that the snow is beginning to recede, I am REALLY looking forward to all of the awesomeness spring has to offer us this year now that the kids are old enough to really start exploring the world around them. Thank you, Winter, for helping our family to create some amazing memories. We will never forget them!

What part of winter puts a smile on your face?

Until my next post, Readers!


Mundane Monday Morning Music: The Beatles – “Got to Get You Into My Life”

Morning Readers!

I have been away fro such a long time! Kids being sick for practically a month kept me away for so long. I knew I couldn’t stay away for another Monday morning without sharing a MMMM song.

It’s a gray day here in my neck of the woods. It is also the last Monday of winter!!!! You have no idea just how exciting this is for me. The snow and ice are beginning to disappear, and warmer weather is ushering out the cold breezes we had this winter. I want to start seeing grass and flowers popping out of the ground and begin to enjoy my backyard more.

Since I want spring and the sun to come back into my world, I thought that The Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” would be a great pick! It’s peppy, upbeat and it’s helping me shoo winter away to make way for spring. I also love this song because my kids love this song of the from The Beatles’ Revolver album and because of the Minions Movie.

So I hope that “Got to Get You Into My Life” lifts the gray skies and bring spring into your mundane Monday morning today! It already has for me!

Until my next post, Readers!


Go Back in Time with Vikings at The Canadian Museum of History!

The Vikings have been putting their mark on various different societies for centuries, and now you can learn all about it! The Museum of Canadian History is showing the exhibit Vikings to help display who this famous group of people were and to set the record straight about certain aspects of their lives while they lived. When asked to visit this exhibit, the history buff in me jumped all over this opportunity. I had studied this group of people while in high school and university because I found them so fascinating, and could not wait to see what this exhibit has in store for me.


Vikings Feature Photo Reese Speaks


Vikings were not the bearded barbarians with horned helmets we have come to think they were through literature and film. Vikings features a beautiful array of interactive displays and 500 amazing artifacts from The Swedish History Museum, with some of these pieces rarely being displayed outside of Sweden. In this acclaimed international exhibition, Vikings shows visitors a fabled Scandinavian culture that was refined, complex and was able to achieve much while they existed.

Once inside of the exhibit, it felt as though I had entered a mythical realm while being in a very modern space. There are prints on the walls of various Scandinavian landscapes to give visitors a feel of where the Vikings lived.


Vikings Scandinavian Landscape Photo Reese Speaks


From there, you are directed towards seeing different aspects of Viking life and what the major groups of people were like with some of the artifacts in display cases found in their graves. Fun fact: women of the Viking Age were on more of an equal level to men than in later times as long as they were not slaves.



It was also fun to see what farm life was like for the Vikings. This exhibit displayed a taste of what it was like in video wall/artifact displays that I thought was done in a clever way. On the other side of this displays was a section, visitors could also touch some of the artifacts such as sheepskin and other materials. My kids really enjoyed getting to be able to sit down and feel for themselves what some of these pieces felt like. They really enjoyed this part of Vikings.

Fashion lovers, rejoice! Besides all of the lovely pieces of jewellery in this exhibit, there is a section where some Viking clothing is featured. My daughter, the mini fashionista she is, spent some time admiring some of the pieces on display.


Vikings Fashion Reese Speaks


Another part of Vikings I found interesting was their interactive touch screen showing how the Vikings believed the world was created. Visitors are able to touch the screen and see the different areas of the world the Vikings lived and the realms where the various Norse gods ruled.


Vikings Touch Screen Collage


I left one of the most important aspects of Viking life, and this exhibit, for last: boats! The Vikings are known for being a sea-faring people. A large part of this exhibit is dedicated to these vessels. From travel to burial, boats were at the heart of Viking life. I loved seeing the rivet display and the row boat for all to see and admire.


Vikings Boat Collage Photo Reese Speaks - Copy


Whether you have a love for history, food, fashion or transportation, Vikings is an exhibit to visit. Audiences of all ages will find something to marvel on their visit back in time, and will be able to take something away from it. Vikings will be at the Canadian Museum of History until April 17, 2016.

For more details about Vikings, you can connect with The Canadian Museum of History on their Facebook and Twitter pages!

Disclaimer: I was compensated admission to the Canadian Museum of History in order to conduct this review. The opinions I shared are all my own.

Mundane Monday Morning Music: Queen – “We Will Rock You”

Morning Readers!

I know, I’m a bit late on my MMMM post, but I had to get it out this week. THE Big Game is only six days away, I had to kick the week off right!

Since it’s a sporty-kind of week, I decided to share a fun song that is one of my favourite warm-up songs. It is Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” Along with it being an awesome song by Queen, it’s the perfect song to get going in the morning, as well as to get pumped up and in the spirit for a big game.

So, I hope that this song gets you revved up for the hectic work week ahead, as well as for one of the biggest sporting events of the year (well, for some any way 😛 ). I’ll have my home ready and my football jersey on the whole day this coming Sunday rockin’ this song all day long!

Until my next post, Readers!


Revive Your Hair with Garnier Whole Blends Green Apple & Green Tea Shampoo and Conditioner!

Hey Readers!

I love pampering myself, and my hair is one part that need a lot of love!  I like using products that will revive my hair since my hair needs moisture to keep it strong and healthy. I was asked to try Garnier Whole Blends Green Apple & Green Tea Shampoo and Conditioner for a few washes to see if it would help to moisturize my hair and to boost its shine. Since I love trying out new products, I stepped up to the challenge!


Garnier Whole Blends Shampoo and Conditioner Photo Reese Speaks 1272016


The smell of this shampoo and conditioner crisp and clean. The smell of the green tea really blends well with that of the green apple so it is a fresh smell without being so overpowering. I was more partial to the smell of the conditioner. It was like smelling a nice apple treat.  I also liked the shape of the bottles as well. They are simple without being too complicated.

The Whole Blends Green Apple & Green Tea Shampoo did a good job of cleansing my hair. It lathered easily when it came in contact with water, and washed out well once I was finished using it so I did not have to spend too much time making sure it was all out of my hair.


Garnier Whole Blends Shampoo Photo Reese Speaks 1272016


The Whole Blends Green Apple & Green Tea Conditioner was a nice treat to help bring moisture back to my hair. I had to use more conditioner than I thought to completely cover my hair well, but it washed out well without too much rinsing.


Garnier Whole Blends Conditioner Photo Reese Speaks 1272016


With some shampoos and conditioners, my hair feels stripped of moisture. After my use, my hair felt soft and nice. After my third use, my hair felt more moisturized and it had more of a sheen than it did before using this one-tow combo. I also like the smell of my hair during and after using these products. After a long day, it is a soothing smell that helps to put my mind at ease, and puts me in the a relaxed frame of mind for the rest of the night.

I liked using Garnier Whole Blends Green Apple & Green Tea Shampoo & Conditioner. The blend of green apple and green tea are a welcoming scent, when used together, they cleanse and strengthen hair, and my hair felt softer and it had a bit more of a sheen after a few uses. I will continue to pamper my hair with both of these products so I will have hair that looks and feels great! If you would like to try a free sample, you can click here to snap one up for yourself!

What scent do you you seek out when buying a shampoo and conditioner?

Disclaimer: Even though I was compensated and provided product for this review, the opinions expressed are my own.