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It’s not too late to see a show at this year’s FRINGEWORLD

Have you had a chance to check out a FRINGEWORLD show yet? With over 700 shows to choose from, there is something for everyone: comedy, cabaret, musicals, circus, music and more. And the good news is – FRINGEWORLD will still be in town for another two weeks.

By a Thread – on at The Girls School

As always, ticket prices are great value so you can enjoy multiple shows in one night out. On the day of the show you can also access RushTix – a special discounted ticket only available on the day of the show. Sometimes you can see shows for up to 70% off the full price ticket! Now that’s a bargain.

After a show, sit back and enjoy the Festival at one of the central hubs like The Woodside Pleasure Garden, Ice Cream Factory or The Girls School where you can enjoy a pumping ambience, food trucks, outdoor bars and free entertainment.

The Girls School

Fringefeed is home of reviews and news and I am excited to be one of the reviewers at this years Festival. If you’re not sure what to see, pop on over to Fringefeed and and read the critics reviews.

Visit Fringefeed to read the critics reviews

I also recommend spontaneously choosing a show to see that you know nothing about – you might be pleasantly surprised!

What’s your favourite show so far at this year’s Festival?

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The best of the 2010s: music, movies, Netflix, books

With 2019 drawing to a close, there’s no better way to celebrate the past decade by taking a trip down memory lane and reminiscing about the music, movies, Netflix series and books that shaped 2010 – 2019. With hundreds to choose from, I have narrowed it down to my favourite 10!

Music

Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran

Ho Hey, The Lumineers

Cheap Thrills, Sia

Formation, Beyonce

Redbone, Childish Gambino

Someone Like You, Adele

Pumped Up Kicks, Foster the People

Somebody That I Used To Know, Gotye

Riptide, Vance Joy

Ocean Eyes, Billie Eilish

Movies

Bridesmaids

12 Years a Slave

Gravity

Black Swan

Interstellar

Guardians of the Galaxy

Dallas Buyers Club

Bohemian Rapsody

A Star Is Born

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri


Books

The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown

Everything is F*cked – A Book About Hope, Mark Manson

Medical Medium, Anthony William

Love Your Sister, Connie & Samuel Johnson

Accidental Feminists, Jane Caro

The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck, Mark Manson

The Good People, Hannah Kent

The Barefoot Investor, Scott Pape

Adultery, Paulo Coelho

The Awakened Woman, Dr Tererai Trent


Netflix

Stranger Things

Dear White People

The Politician

Orange is the New Black

Queer Eye

Bird Box

Living with Yourself

The Good Place

Dead To Me

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman

What are your favourites from the past decade?

Featured

My first yoga retreat

Lady doing a yoga pose overlooking the forest

I first started practicing yoga nearly 12 months ago. I needed something to help me connect with myself and wind down after a stressful day at work. I soon became hooked and tried to make it a part of my daily routine.

But before long the pressures of life had me burning the candle at both ends and my yoga practice forgotten, so I decided it was time for me to take some time out and go on my annual holiday. Usually my holidays are made up of exploring another country and ticking as many things off my bucket list that I can. Although this time, I decided I needed to spend my holiday relaxing. I needed a place where I could spend my days practicing yoga, eating, swimming and reading.

So, I picked up my laptop and started Googling yoga retreat options. I wanted to travel to a county I hadn’t been before, and Cambodia was one of the countries on my bucket list (read my post on Cambodia here).

Cambodia provides an amazing setting to help you delve deeper into your yoga practice with many yoga centres available. I chose Samadhi Yogashala & Wellness Centre in Siem Reap, based at Navutu Dreams Resort & Wellness Retreat, a boutique 4-star resort located on the outskirts of town.

The resort features three outdoor pools surrounded by lush gardens full of palm trees, bougainvillea and frangipani flowers. The ultimate spot to relax!

Classes are run twice a day by accredited yoga instructors. Most classes run for 75 minutes and there are several affordable yoga and wellness packages available that can be uniquely tailored to suit guests. Try the 7 day Yoga Immersion Retreat.

Richard, an Irish expat and Stephanie, a French expat, were my teachers while I was there. Although they both had different teaching styles I connected with both of them and appreciated their shared knowledge of the practice.

I coupled my yoga practice with spa and holistic treatments at the Spa & Wellness Centre to give myself the ultimate self-care. And oh my, what bliss!

The retreat was amazing and enabled me to connect with myself and completely disconnect from technology, work and the stressors of everyday life. 8 days of yoga, spa and holistic treatments left me feeling calm and peaceful. I found more connected and grounded and for the first time in a long time, present.

If you haven’t already, make sure you add a yoga retreat to your bucket list.

Have you been on a yoga retreat? What was your experience?

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My hearty bone broth recipe

Delicious bone broth

Bone broth is delicious, nourishing, and packed with loads of vitamins and minerals. I mainly use it to make a hearty vegetable soup or drink it as a tea however it can be used in an array of recipes or kept in the freezer for future use.

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 24 hours

Ingredients

1.5kg grass-fed beef bones

3 medium carrots

2 medium onions

6 cloves of garlic

3 celery stalks

2 teaspoons peppercorns

4 bay leaves

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 small bunch parsley

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt

2 litres water

Before you start

The ingredients you will need
  • To make bone broth, you can use beef, chicken or fish bones, however I like to use beef. Make sure you get good quality grass-fed bones from your butcher.
  • I make my bone broth in a slow cooker because it is super easy – you literally set and forget.
  • Roasted bones create a richer flavour so before you throw everything into your slow cooker, roast the bones in the oven.
  • Apple cider vinegar plays a role in breakdown of the bones in your broth.

Method

Use a slow cooker to cook your broth
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Place the bones in a single layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 15 minutes on each side.
  3. Roughly chop the vegetables while the bones are roasting.
  4. Add the roasted bones, vegetables, apple cider vinegar, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, parsley and garlic into your slow cooker. Cover completely with water (about 2 litres) and bring to a high simmer.
  5. Once you have a high simmer, set the slow cooker to low and let the broth simmer for 24 hours. Throughout simmering, add more water as needed to keep all the ingredients submerged.
  6. After 24 hours, remove the bones and vegetables. Cool the broth to room temperature before putting in the fridge to set (approximately 2 hours).
  7. Once set, scrape of the top layer of fat and pour into jars.
  8. ENJOY!
Featured

How to travel light this summer holiday

Packing light and still having plenty to wear is a predicament many of us face before we go away on holiday. Although it can seem like an enormous challenge, a minimalist approach to packing will have you more mobile, comfortable and save you money.

Here are my top tips on packing light for your summer holiday without sacrificing style or comfort:

Establish what you are doing on holiday

Firstly, you need to establish exactly what you are doing on holiday. Are you going to be spending hours drinking cocktails by the pool, or are you the adventurous type that plans on hiking mountains and doing yoga? The kind of activities you do you will impact the type of clothes you need to pack so figure out what you will be doing and write a list of what you’ll need to take.

Check the weather

Secondly, check the weather. Even though you are going on a summer holiday, check the weather to make sure you won’t be expecting rainfall or cooler weather. If it is hot during the day, what about if you go out at night? Will there be a drop in temperature? You will need to make sure you have the right clothes to suit the climate of where you are going.

Get a smaller suitcase

It’s a no brainer! A smaller suitcase will reduce the temptation of packing too much and force you to prioritise. You’ll also save on baggage fees and you can easily throw your suitcase on the back of a tuk-tuk or scooter if you’re spending your summer holiday in Southeast Asia.

Pack for one week

A week is a manageable amount of time and you can easily visualise what clothes you will need. If you are travelling for more than one week, than you will need to do laundry (or wash your clothes in the bathroom sink). I recommend bringing a zip-lock bag to separate out your dirty clothes.

Roll your clothes

For cotton or polyester garments, I recommend you roll your clothes. Rolling saves more space than folding and prevents creasing. Rolled clothes work best when packed into a packing cube, otherwise once you go to take your clothes out the first time, they unroll and create a huge mess.

Pack items that you can mix and match

Mix and match your clothing. If the colours coordinate and the pieces are thin enough for layering, you should be able to come up with lots of different combinations. I generally choose pieces in three matching colours so I can mix and match each piece to create multiple outfits for different days.

Add accessories

A few key accessories like jewellery, a hat or scarf can change the look of an entire outfit.

Take three pairs of shoes only

Limit your shoes to only three pairs: A pair of nice flats to wear out, a pair of thongs (flip-flops if you aren’t Australian) and a comfortable sneaker. Wear the bulkiest pair at the airport (usually the sneakers) to save even more space.

Downsize your make-up bag

Take minimal make-up and bring travel size products if you can. The same goes for your toiletries. Most hotels provide a good quality shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion, so try and use these if you can. Pack make-up remover wipes to replace your eye makeup remover, cleaner and cotton pads.

Convert your hard copy books to a tablet or iPad

Tablets are light, compact and can easily fit in your carry-on luggage. With free reading apps like Amazon Kindle, Aldiko Book Reader and Google Play Books you don’t have to worry about your hard copy books taking up so much space.

Have you got any tips on how to travel light?

Featured

Perth’s Best Farmers Markets

Farmers markets are an essential part of any foodie’s weekend and with a large range of markets found in Perth, why not skip the shopping centre cues and buy fresh produce directly from local growers.

Here are some of my favourite markets you should visit this October:

Farmers Market on Manning

This market is dog-friendly, with just as many four-legged friends as humans. There is even a designated seating area for you to sit with your dog, making this the complete family event.

Bring your empty eco-friendly bags and stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, honey and plants while enjoying the local entertainment and stress-free atmosphere that the outdoor market brings.

These markets do get really busy, so I recommend getting in early. There is plenty of free parking and volunteers are there to direct you to avoid a traffic jam.

When: Open 7:30am – 12:30pm every Saturday

Where: George Burnett Park, corner of Manning Road and Elderfield Road, Karawara

Joondalup Growers Market

One of the newest additions to the farmers market scene, Joondalup Growers Market are now held in the beautiful Neil Hawkins Park. Make it a day out for the whole family and bring your picnic rug and have a picnic under the trees, enjoying yummy breakfast foods, hot coffee and freshly squeezed juices.

There’s a playground to entertain the kids or you can take them down to the jetty to go bird watching. There is plenty of free parking within a short walk to the market.

When: Open 8:00am – 12:00pm every Saturday

Where: Located at Neil Hawkins Park. Eastern most end of Boas Avenue

Subi Farmers Market

Subi Farmers Market is one of the oldest and original farmers market in WA and still one of the best. They have got everything you need from fresh fruit and veg, gluten free produce, pastries, meat, flowers and doggy treats! Grab a coffee whilst you listen to talented local entertainers with all proceeds going to Subiaco Primary School.

When: 8am – 12:00pm every Saturday

Where: Located at Subiaco Primary School, 271 Bagot Road Subiaco

Mount Claremont Farmers Market

Mount Claremont Farmers Market is another of the original farmers markets, featuring yummy food, local entertainment and family friendly activities. Whilst a little smaller than Subi Farmers Market, there are over 55 stalls filled with fresh fruit and veg, gourmet foods, hot coffee, freshly squeezed juices, farmstead cheeses, meat, artisan breads, pastries, handmade crafts and natural cleaning products.

The market is run by the Mount Claremont Primary School P&C with all profits going to the School. There is ample parking available for a gold coin donation.

When: Every Saturday 7:30am – 11:30am

Where: Mt Claremont Primary School, 103 Alfred Road, Mount Claremont

Stirling Farmers Market

What the Stirling Farmers Market lacks in size, it makes up for in charm. Meander around the market with a coffee and sample the latest fresh produce from local growers, while listening to the relaxing sounds of the local buskers. The market is a project of the Rotary Club of Karrinyup and has a number of charities and community groups that frequent the market.

When: Every Sunday 7:30am – 11:30am

Where: City of Stirling Administration Building, 25 Cedric St Stirling

Fremantle Markets

The famous Fremantle Markets have been feeding locals since 1897. You can easily spend most of the day here at the busy indoor market, browsing over 150 stalls packed with fresh produce, crafts and gifts. Grab a coffee and soak in the laid back tunes of the talented buskers and check out the local art. Located in the heart of Fremantle, head to one of the nearby pubs or cafes for lunch and soak in the sun.

When: Every Friday 9am – 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am – 6pm

Where: South Terrace and Henderson Street, Fremantle

Kalamunda Farmers Market

Venture out to the beautiful Perth hills and visit Kalamunda Farmers Market.

The market has a huge array of produce including seasonal fruit and veg, meat, free range eggs, bread, freshly squeezed juices, honey, cheeses, cakes, plants and fresh flowers.

They have great entertainment as well as a bouncy castle and children’s activities each week.

When: Every Sunday between 8:00am and 12:00pm

Where: Central Mall, Kalamunda

Bunbury Farmers Market

Ok, I know Bunbury Farmers Market is technically not in Perth, but they are the BEST farmers market in WA so they had to make the list! Plus they are only a 2 hour drive from Perth, so you’d be crazy not to add them to your farmers market bucket list.

Bunbury Farmers Market is open 7 days a week with over 150 local growers represented here. There is an awesome little café where you can get freshly made juices, coffee, pastries, pies, sausage rolls and they have recently opened up a gelato and berry bar!

Wander through the front doors and you are taken on a magical journey through mountains of fresh fruit and veg, dairy products, meat, seafood, fresh flowers, freshly baked breads, gourmet foods, honey and ready-made meals.

You are greeted along the way by staff that encourages you to try the produce before you buy. And just like a visit to Ikea, before you know it, you’ve spent half a day there!

When: Weekdays 7:30am – 6:30pm, Saturdays 7:30am – 5:30pm and Sundays 8:00am – 5:30pm

Where: 2 Vittoria Rd, Glen Iris.

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Cabernet and Canvas

If you want to do something creative, tasty and fun this spring, then get in touch with your inner Picasso or Monet at a Cabernet and Canvas event.

With a paint brush in one hand and a vino (or your preferred drink of choice) in the other, Cabernet and Canvas adds flavour to your typical painting class. The concept was borrowed from the ‘paint and sip’ classes that are pretty popular in the USA and are now taking off in Perth.

I was fortunate enough to experience my first class back in 2014 whilst I was on holiday in Santa Barbara. Nibbles, wine and painting – what more could a girl want! It was a great way to spend an afternoon with your girlfriends and I am excited to learn that it is a now a regular event here in Perth.

My first class in Santa Barbara
The Painted Cabernet, Santa Barbara

Classes are delivered in a local venue, guided by a local artist giving you step by step instruction as you give your best impression of the featured painting – while eating  good pub food, listening to funky tunes and of course, drinking wine.

The featured painting at Cabernet and Canvas, Paul Signac’s ‘The Seine at St Cloud’.

Each class features a different painting. All materials are provided and your ticket includes a $15 voucher to go towards the cost of food and beverages – winning! I attended one of the events at the Wembley Hotel and the featured painting was Paul Signac’s ‘The Seine at St Cloud’. Wow, what a beautiful painting!

Getting familiar with a paint brush

It was exciting to see your painting come together in front of you and whilst I am not the best artist, I did find it rather therapeutic and enjoyed the whole creative process.

The finished product!

You can find a full list of upcoming classes here.

Have you tried a Cabernet and Canvas class? Send me a pic of your painting!

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How to make new friends in your thirties

Growing up on the sitcom Friends, I assumed that part of adulthood was automatically gaining the perfect group of friends who I could share life with, until we were old biddies fighting over a Bingo game in a nursing home!

And it proved true at least for a while, as I had an abundance of friends in my twenties with no shortage of after-work drinks, all-day champagne brunches and girls’ weekends down south.

However, as I moved into my thirties, the number of friends I had to celebrate my latest milestone at work, discuss my relationship issues or go out for a night on the town had slowly diminished.

I knew it was inevitable to grow apart from some of my friends over the years however I didn’t realise how much things would change in my thirties. And now, at 32, I find myself mourning the loss of my once close-knit circle of friends.

Apparently this is pretty common. A recent study suggests that our social circle starts to decline from our mid-twenties, with women losing friends at a much faster rate than men.

So, what changes?

You or your friends couple up

We have all been there – you hang out with your bestie all the time and then they get a significant other and you start seeing them less and less as they start becoming closer to them. Next minute they are engaged and then married. Where does that leave you?

Once people partner up, they naturally focus more of their attention on their partners and less on their friends. And if you don’t have a significant other you can focus your time on you might feel left behind.

Priorities change

The older we get the more responsibilities we have – partners, careers, children. And inherently our social needs take a back seat.

The majority of my friends are married with young children. Don’t get me wrong – I love kids but my idea of a fun activity doesn’t include mothers groups, kid’s playgrounds or Pepper Pig (plus it’s weird to rock up to a mother’s group without a kid!).

And whilst I prefer a day out hiking in the bush, a couple of vinos at a boutique bar or catching the latest Blockbuster, it is hard for my ‘mummy friends’ to do that with me with a young child in tow.

Long distance friendships are hard

An amazing job opportunity or a significant other may be the reason for you or your friend to move away. And let’s face it – long distance relationships take a lot of effort and if both of you aren’t willing to put in the Facetime chats, lengthy emails and phone calls, it’s just not going to work.

You end one sided friendships

As we get older, we cherish our treasured friends – the ones that give as much as they receive from the friendship and we have less time for friends who don’t hold up their end of the friendship.

I had a friendship with someone that spanned over 25 years. I felt it was a one-sided friendship as I was the one that contacted them, initiated plans, celebrated their milestones and supported them in times of need. When I reflected on the 25+ years of friendship, I realised it was one-sided – my friend didn’t really make any effort towards me and I accepted that this friendship had run its course.

Your interests have changed

You might find you drift apart from your current friends because your interests are no longer the same. If you have a family, your time becomes consumed by your partner or children. Or maybe your friends still want to spend nights out drinking and dancing, but you now prefer staying home and watching Netflix. If you no longer share the same interests then you will gradually drift apart.

So, how do you make new friends in your thirties?

Life wouldn’t nearly be as interesting without friends along for the ride and are necessary for emotional health and creating a sense of belonging.

If you find, like me, that your circle of friends is slowly diminishing, you might need to consider making new friends. Add a busy work schedule to the already intimidating task of making friends and it may seem like an impossible task.

But it is possible to make new friends in your thirties – here are some ways to go about it.

Online

Everything is digitalised, so why not make finding new friends just as easy?

There is still a lingering stigma when it comes to meeting friends online. And I for one am still not too sure about trying apps like Bumble BFF, Friender or Hey! Vina.

However, I am interested in Meetup where you can join a local group to meet people or try something new. Think book clubs, running groups, art classes and pub crawls. What better way to get like-minded people all in one place.

Check back here soon – as I am going to sign up to a couple of groups and write a future blog on my experience (wish me luck!).

The workplace

Not only can a work wife make your job more enjoyable, she can also fulfil your social needs. And who said she can’t be your BFF outside of work too?

You share a work culture with your co-workers, so you already have some common ground to start conversations around. Go for coffee or lunch together, organise after work drinks or bribe her with cake!

Reconnect with old friends

I recently reconnected with an old friend. When I say old friend, I mean my BFF in High School, my ride-or-die, my sister from another mister, my bestie who knew me inside and out.

Social media made it possible for us to reconnect and I am so glad that we did. I forgot how much I missed having her in my life and when we caught up it was like nothing had changed.

Have you got any amazing friends who you’ve lost touch with? Perhaps it is about time you reconnected.

Join a club

Joining a club is a great way to connect with people who have similar interests. And don’t just limit yourself to sporting clubs – these days you can join just about anything from language or literature through to video games or Improv clubs. The world is your oyster!

Reach out on social media

Consider yourself a social media queen? Then why not reach out to new friends on it – no really!

If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, chances are you have someone that always comments on your posts or sends you DMs. And if they are interested in what you have to post on social media, then chances are they would be interested in you in real life. So why not try reaching out to them? What have you got to lose!

Have you got any suggestions for making new friends in your thirties?

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Camping Etiquette

From time to time, we all need to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life and reconnect with nature. In my 32 years on this planet, I have never been camping (unless you count sleeping overnight on the beach in swag as camping), so I figured it was about time I gave it a try and escape the stressors of work. I didn’t venture too far from home – heading to Honeymoon Pool Gelcoat.

A swimming hole paradise located on the banks of the Collie River about a 2 hour drive from Perth, Honeymoon Pool Gelcoat is an open campsite where the bushland meets the river and provides a truly unique experience for swimming or kayaking in the crystal-clear water.

Surrounded by peppermint trees and an overstorey of yarri, jarrah and marri eucalypts, there is nothing better than waking up to the gentle sounds of the wind whistling between the trees and the birds blissfully singing their morning song.

Day time included hikes on the many trails surrounding the campsite whist night time involved sitting around the campfire, snug and warm, drinking wine and toasting marshmallows.

However, my tranquil experience was short lived by other campers. While camping styles may differ, there are common etittique rules to follow to make everyone’s experience a spectacular natural wonderland. Some may consider these rules come from experience, but as a first time camper – it seems like common sense to me.

Following these camping etiquette rules on your next camping trip (whether you are a newbie like me or a seasoned professional) not only helps you protect the environment, but they respect fellow campers and ensure everyone has an amazing trip.

Do not walk through other people’s campsites

Walk around them. And teach your children to do the same!

It is considered rude to walk through someone else’s campsite, even if it provides a shortcut to the river. Be respectful of other camper’s space – and yes it is their space as they have most likely booked and paid a fee to camp at the site.

Take your rubbish with you

Firstly, think about what you will need for your camping trip and how you can reduce the amount of rubbish you will create. Bring a few garbage bags with you and drop your rubbish in the bins on your way out of the camp site when you leave.

It is not acceptable to leave your rubbish lying around – not only is it harmful for the environment – it is hazardous to scavenging wildlife as they can become sick or injured from eating it.

Unless you are only going to throw rubbish in the fire that is going to completely burn – do not throw it in the fire pit! Aluminium foil, glass bottles, steel and aluminium cans do not burn. You definitely should not throw things in like plastic, as nobody wants to smell the fumes which are toxic to your health and the environment. Rule of thumb – if it isn’t paper or wood – take it with you!

Control your children

Just because you are on holiday doesn’t mean you can allow your children to create mayhem for everybody else on the campsite. Teach them respect and manners (along with these camping etiquette rules) so that everybody can have an enjoyable time.

If you are taking a baby, remember tents are not sound-proof and sound travels well – especially at night, so if you have a baby that has a tendency to cry all through the night, consider setting up camp a fair distance from other campers. If this is not possible, consider taking your baby camping when they are a little bit older.

Be quiet

Sound travels at night – so late night parties need to be toned down. Most campers have early starts so like to retire early. Be respectful and ensure your partying does not affect others. Generally during the hours of 9:00pm – 6:00am are considered ‘quiet time’.

Camping is usually about getting back to nature – so leave the electronic world behind and spend time in the real one. If you do need to take your devices, be respectful of other campers. If you are listening to music or watching TV – be sure to wear headphones. If you need to use your phone, be sure to turn it to silent. And no alarms! Why not wake up naturally to the beautiful sounds of nature.

Do not steal other people’s firewood (or anything for that matter)

Don’t be a jerk. You shouldn’t steal from anyone at home, and you should definitely not steal from someone while camping. Most paid sites provide firewood for campers to share. If you run out of fire wood then ask your neighbours if you can have some of theirs or call the Ranger and ask if you can pick up more.

If you haven’t booked the site – don’t gate crash.

Camping fees apply to most camp sites in Western Australia’s national parks and contributes to park management, protection of the environment and the development and maintenance of services and facilities. Do the right thing and book and pay for your site. Don’t ruin it for everyone else.

Respect the wildlife

While camping in Western Australia, don’t be surprised if you find yourself in the company of some interesting wildlife. If you see an animal at the campsite or on the trail, let it be and admire from afar.

As cute as they are – do not feed them. Feeding wildlife habituates it and can lead to dependency problems and illness.

Also, make sure you put food away so you do not attract animals to the area – unless you want a visitor in your tent!