Monday, 23 January 2012

OM my god.

in accordance with the resolutions i have made and with it being january and all, a good place for a fresh start (or so the masses tell me) i have decided to really dive in with a health kick.

shocking. i know.

while my diet has always been a relatively clean, simple and healthy one, i have kicked it up a notch and revamped it!

bonjour copious amounts of green tea; my favourites being of course from Davids Tea with the christmas blend of elf help and the january super detox concoction of splash taking the lead here at the moment.
with 2 new water bottles, my H20 intake is also at an all time high.
yes, of course i need to make more frequent trips to the wash room, but my skin, hair and nails have honestly never looked healthier.

so yes, as far as liquid upgrades, im at an all time high.

i have adopted spaghetti squash as my go to pasta replacement plan.
do i love pasta?
madly. deliriously. my god do i love pasta.
though through, well, more error than trial, i am sad to report that pasta is not a friend to the dieter.
so ciao alfredo, hello tomatoes on vegetable starch replacement.

le sigh.

HOWEVER.

yes, taking care of your body through the foods that you eat is not only helpful, but also essential in a journey to a more slender physique, there is also that other component.

exercise.

i can admit it... now... that i am lazy.

there.
i said it.

its not easy to admit, but it is true.
ive never been a gym bunny, and being a blond has led to that wretched red skin flare up post work out rather than the desired sweat-glow.
acknowledging this means nothing though.
without any sort of physical activity life adjustment i was going to be and always remain of the less toned variety of person.

so, by happy karma filled coincidence, my yoga studio of choice inspire yoga had aligned itself with me and my hope for a more trim look.
enter the 30 day challenge.
30 days of yoga.
every day.

the cost of the 30 days was $99 for unlimited yoga during that time. and as luck would have it, a cheque in the mail arrived the day before the challenge began for $98.
it had to be sign.
so i did my part and signed up.

i am now on day 15 of the yoga challenge.
through the larger intake of water, the more critical eye that i am casting over my diet, and sweating my ass off in 47 degree heat for an hour with a daily yoga session, in 2 weeks i have lost 6lbs.

i dont feel more tired, i feel energised.
i feel excited and proud that i have committed to this and am thus far succeeding, despite some days just wanting to stay at home.

i am half way through and i see small changes that excite me! and i dont just mean changes in diet or weight, i mean changes in a life style!

i will report back on day 30 as to the success or failure of this attempt of being a 30 day yogi.

OM my god.

... what have i gotten myself into?

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

the revisit.

the saying goes "when life give you lemons, make lemonade!"
well i have to say, this past year has been quite the series of both... lemons and lemonade. as boyfriend (and the great dude) says, strikes and gutters.
but i guess that is life!
frustrating. amazing. upsetting. uplifting... it is a mix of everything.
but this isnt going to be the big new years blog.
its not going to be terribly detailed im afraid.
this is a revisit.
after a hiatus, much thought and much happenings, i decided that in order to go forwards i needed to go back.
my very first blog involved a pretty hefty list of resolutions.
first of all - i have since decided that i dont love the term resolution. i prefer goal.
i dont want to resolve to do something, i want to actively work to pursue something... as a goal!
secondly - some of these are in good shape, others.... well others are still a goal.

so 4 months later, lets go back together.
here are my goals. here are my hopes.
i am not adding or getting rid of anything! they are what they are!

the list1. observe more, say less
2. be patient
3. stress less
4. sleep less
5. sweat more
6. travel where you want to go
7. run!
8. take initiative
9. complain less
10. make more plans
11. be positive!
12. be green
13. be ideal weight this year, if not now then it will never happen
2012 is the year
14. don't look too far into the future
15. be happy

on NYE this year, as the countdown came to an end and a kiss was had, boyfriend looked at me and said "this is our year"
2012 is going to be a big year. its going to be our year. its going to be my year.

this is another fresh start, january 2012. i will keep you posted as i actively work towards these goals and start making this my year.

the blogging hiatus is over! HUZZAH!
glad to be back at ye olde computer.

i am so excited to see where this year brings me. but a la goal #14... i am not looking too far into the future.

Friday, 11 November 2011

DIY VS DDIY

to do it yourself, or dont do it yourself.
that is the question.

DIY projects have so much appeal, so much pizazz!
i've always considered myself to be a little crafty. i feel such a great sense of satisfaction when putting my energy towards something creative.

also, of course, i long for one of these types of convos:
"oh my god! i love your ___!"
"oh gee thanks, i totally made _____ myself!"
"no way! you are a goddess of handi-crafts and creativity."

now thanks to the internet and sites like http://www.etsy.com/, the DIYers of the world are having their hay day. if you like to spend your time and energy into building a craft this is YOUR time! its the day, the era of the DIYers.

while i was away in california, i stumbled across some excellent DIY colour block moccasins thanks to the fabulous ladies at http://www.honestlywtf.com/ and since then have had not only an obsession with the site, but also with the idea of creating my own said mocs.
as i have said once upon a time i am the proud owner of 4 pairs of these delightful, comfortable shoes (ps  just found out the boyfriend is not a fan... go figure.) and was totally ok with sacrificing one pair to the arts gods.

as a recap from an earlier blog:
my inspiration: http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-color-block-moccasins/

arent they excellent?!
THIS is how you do a DIY project. these ladies have it down. i would highly recommend checking out their site for other brill ideas.

so, being rightly inspired i decided to take the plunge. i grabbed ye olde mocs, headed out to michaels for some fabric paint and started the process of revamping... out with the old in with the new!

i decided to use my oldest and most faithful pair of mocs, the classic browns. and while i was perusing the section of fabric paints i had originally thought that i would want to use the adorable pastel green as the wtf gals had... but then i wanted to do gold. but then... i decided on hot pink.
hot pink?
what was i thinking?!
definitely not a regular colour for me, but i decided to follow my gut and try it out.

so here is the process:

so step 1: remove laces from clean mocs.
mine are especially ghetto so yes, they are clean, but sadly will always have that *ahem* vintagely chic dirt look about them.

then choose the foxy colour of your choice. as we know, i went with the foxiest of them all... hot pink.

here are the results:

voila!

im a little torn.
do i like these? i think so... right?
they actually photograph lovely. i love the contrast between the brown and the pink, especially while the leaves are still down and that rich brown all over the ground.

but up close to me they just look like a diy project... and im not sure im down with that.
i can see brush strokes and after coats and coats of paint i can see brown.

but on the other hand they just look so neat!
i love colour block! i love a pop of colour!

so this is what i propose. i am going to wear them out a few times and see what the public has to say.
will i get some side eye glances? will people ask what i was thinking?
OR will they be met with mad applause and acceptance?!
only time will tell. i am going to wear them a few more times over the course of the month of november and report back in december.
and i will answer the question, at least as far as mocs go: DIY vs DDIY

until then, i have a few more DIY projects up my sleeve. next up: chalk board wine glasses!

let the poll begin!
shoes out and about day one: today.

Friday, 4 November 2011

what to expect when youre expecting

this is not a tale of pregnancy.
this phrase is extremely relevant for an adventure i had this past weekend.
my adventure to fort mcmurray.

the feeling is very hard to describe when you are first going to a place that you have never seen knowing that within the next few months it will be your home.

the way most people do it is visit a place, fall in love, vow to move there and then
a) never do and live thinking about the place they fell in love with then never moved to [not to be specific but oh i dont know... for example some place beautiful and romantic like say france]
b) end up living there after having had a moving or wonderful or generally a great reason to move [like say a job... in france?]

my situation is different.

long term (6 years!) boyfriend moves to remote northern location.
"girlfriend, when your work contract is done will you move to said remote northern location with me?"
"... yes. where are we going?"
"fort mcmurray."
"say again?"

unlike some, i know where this place is.
having worked at a bar in edmonton at one point, this particular albertan frontier town was on my radar.
fort mcmurray has a reputation for three things:
1. alcohol
2. cocaine
3. prostitutes
... not really my thing.
knowing these things, knowing that my life was headed in that direction i did what any sensible girl would do: PANIC research.

this plan, however, turned up many dead ends.
fort mcmurrays situation is not helped in any way thanks to its uninformative website. research was a task that to be honest, just got too boring and difficult to continue.
putting the search on the back burner, things move forward pretty quickly.

early september everything is put into high gear.
brilliant boyfriend moves, i begin my 6 week tour along the west coast of north america.
internet in hotels is spotty, boyfriend is immersed in work.
communication is not at an all time high to say the least.

the common story that i hear from boyfriend whenever chats are available is this: do not believe the stories. do not get stuck on the stereotypes. this place is amazing. you will like it here. i promise.

... interesting.

the 6 weeks of this lag of tour comes to an end.
i have fallen in love with b.c... kelowna in particular.
i am now on a course due north to see what is to be my new home town.

with baited breath i board the plane. yvr -ymm. a small plane. an empty plane.

i will spare you the mush details of my reunion with boyfriend at the airport and tell you this:
you can never expect what you do not know.
first hand accounts do nothing.
a truckers opinion at a bar is skewed.
you can never know what to expect when you are expecting.

i expected to hate. to endure. to have a stiff upper lip.
i hoped to be optimistic. positive. hopeful.

forget everything you have heard about this town. about how it is a hole or the place where hope goes to die. forget the stories of a friends friend or your co-workers brother who lived there and hated it.
forget it.

here is what i saw:


i was struck by an incredible sense of potential and of endless possibilities.
to live in a place like this is an adventure, and yes im sure i will have some hard times and frustrations and the whole 9 yards of emotion, but having been to the place i had heard so many negative things about i am still shocked at how excited i am to explore this part of the great white north.

the ups and downs will be documented, but here we are. 8 months out before the move.
i am getting excited to go live in the forest.

who woulda thought?

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

how to: spend 6 hours on your nails

tired of the same ol' thing on the tv?
eyes too strained to enjoy the company of a good book or even a magazine?
have many hours to spend but nothing to do and nowhere to go?

well do i ever have the solution for you!

last night i found myself in this very situation.
a girl can only watch so many crime shows while staying in a hotel room ya know, so it was time to turn the tv off for a night.
looking at  my royal blue nails i had a flash of inspiration; during my days using stumble upon, i had come across an idea for nail art that seemed like i would never have the time to fiddle with. well! as luck would have it, i did have time to fiddle with it!

enter water marble for nails.
as seen here: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/18BZdL/heynicenails.com/post/2766491113
this technique looks beautiful, but also seems like the type of thing that could not only be messy, but extraordinarily frustrating.

despite my reservations on the project, last night i decided to attempt the technique.

step 1: gather your materials


for this i gathered the only nail polishes that i have on the road with me me. classic, excellent essie to the rescue again.
so for these nails, you need a base coat. i went with the blue because i was already wearing it.
logic.
you also need a cup with room temperature water, a stir stick or tooth pick and if youre not in a hotel room, i would say tape or something to go around your nails so you dont waste a bottle of nail polish remover like i did cleaning up... but we will get to that later.

step 2: drop nail polish into water, swirl with stir stick/tooth pick to create a pattern



this is the nail polish in the cup pre-swirl. but this is the first step of the process anyways!
here is the problem with this step while travelling: i was dumb.
i used one of the hotels glasses instead of the paper ones they provide for coffee... thus ruining and subsequently hiding all evidence of said glass cup.
i eventually used the paper one, also ripped it in half to make it easier, which it did because....

step 3: dip your fingers
in a slight angle you have to set your fingers in the design that you most like in your swirl of polish. you have to do this pretty quickly because the polish water becomes a film that just causes a big mess.
and so this is the part where having tape around your nail would be ideal because my hands ended up looking a little something like this:



so it looks neat for sure.
but omg is it messy!
though clean up and everything i ended up having to redo so many of these by nicking the nail with polish remover. on top of everything else, it is so hard to get nail polish of of your hands!
and can you believe at this point, this is what success looked like.

step 4: reevaluate.
you've come this far.
you re not happy with the results.
do you leave it? move on? fully aware of the time and tears that's gone into this only for a sub par set of nails?
NO!
you re-do what needs to be redone.

i even came up with a quick fix - before the nail polish is dry after the dip, take a damp tissue and get rid of the excess nail polish! it makes clean up with straight up removed better.
i tried fiddling with different techniques and patterns and in the end, as a first attempt, it was worth it.

step 5: enjoy the mess
yes. you will make a mess.
this is a piece of art, not a project!
there is a reason they call this trend "nail art"
after literally 6 hours of trying this, here is my space:



and finally...
step 6: basque.
enjoy the fruits of your labour, even if its not the prettiest, enjoy that you spent time on yourself with just yourself... or a friend. but you took time to just do something for you.

here is what my end results look like:


the edges are rough and it needs some cleaning up around the sides, but all in all i would call this attempt a success.


so upon reflection:
would i do this again? probably not. it took a lot of time and a lot of nail polish and a lot of nail polish remover.
that being said, it might be better when i have all of the necessary materials at hand and now that i have a better idea of what it is like it might move faster.
i would also do this in a ventilated room.
or in a room with a window.
i might have killed some brain cells working on this project and am in desperate need to get out and have some fresh air in my lungs.

i did enjoy having some me time, and if even one stranger compliments the end result, i will feel validated.

good luck with your DIY if you choose to turn your nails into a piece of art too.

Friday, 21 October 2011

peachland

the place is as dreamy as its name.

peachland is part of the okanagan region and is lakeside to the brilliantly lovely okanagan lake.
its a quiet little town that would so easily be overlooked by just driving by, but a quick jaunt over to the left hand side of of hwy 97 brings you to the picturesque little town.




i met with my cousin shayne, local resident of this brilliant little town, and while under the weather, said cousin still made my hike up pincushion trail- the steepest hike in peachland.

well, it was beaut.
truly it was.
we arrived to our lookout point at dusk and the sky was a cottony pink and blue.
having not been totally well this vertical hike winded me to say the least, but luckily, the view from the top made it all worth it.

and so, here are the fruits of my labour; the view in all its glory:



these photos on the whole are on the darker side, but they are all totally representative of what peachland is all about.
mountains, water, sunset.
happiness.

i am truly going to miss the okanagan, but stay tuned for next weeks adventures in van city where i am going to explore the following:
fashion
food
drinks.

i have 6 nights in the big city and plan to take full advantage, starting back to the basics with doing my nails with some nail art tomorrow night and possibly a delicious basil gimlet.
... actually, why wait?
to the bar!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

accidental protestor

i love BC.
so much.

as i explore kelowna and prepare to head back to vancouver in a few short days i cant help but fall deeper and deeper in love with this glorious province.
at the same time, im in a bit of a bind. i am truly enjoying life here, and yet, it is not in the cards for me to move here.
as the days slowly pass by i find myself closer to the day where i will inevitably be moving to fort mcmurray, alberta.
i dont know what it looks like, or what to expect. i hear different accounts of what its like up there all the time, and so in my mind it is now a kelowna clone. a clone-a.
(im so funny.)
in a week i will be visiting my future home for the first time. with any luck, there will be no snow and the weather wont be bone chilling and i can find some similarities between this place i have come to adore and the place which i will soon be calling home.

until then though! BC! ooooh mountains and lakes... you are infectious! how can i cure myself of you?!
my time here started off in vancouver and my first weekend i decided to explore the sights and sounds of downtown.
i took the sky train.
brilliant.
 i can use my bberry while i travel! convenient.
my adventure on this above ground subway brought me right downtown to the city centre.
suddenly i heard something.
calls and shouts. the voices of many sounding like white noise.
i followed it, of course.

occupy vancouver.

aaaah yes!
i should have known.
it was occupy the world day with protests from stockholm to toronto to vancouver.
the first world occupants coming together to protest first world problems.

this was my very first protest! hooray!


people had something to say about everything and anything!
there were 5,000 people gathered in front of the art gallery, ready to share their feelings on how injust this world is.

my thoughts:
protesting, especially peaceful, is an excellent way to be heard... or is it? i cant really decide to be honest. is being a part of a mass, especially one that is basically now just a trendy mass, the best way to get a message across?
i have my doubts. 

my take-aways:
protests are an excellent place for taking photos.


i saw that mob mentality can happen pretty fast.
a big group people who are all looking for an outlet, its interesting.

i was accidentally a part of the global movement of occupy the world which got me to thinking: is there something i believed in enough to have me mobilize? to have me march, rain or shine, to sleep in a tent for days in protest?
... i dont know.

i may not agree with what people protest over sometimes, but being a part of this, even if i was just an accidental protestor, made me really thankful that there are people in this world who would do these things, and who are ready to stand up and share their hope for a better world.

so i guess final thought:
kudos occupy the world.