Thinking Out Loud #42

I just made that Thinking Out Loud number up. I’ve only linked up a handful of times, but I’ve lost count so I picked the first number that came to mind.

Happy (almost) Friday! Are you on holidays yet? Do you get any time off this year?

I’m delighted to be joining Amanda’s TOL link up today.  Thanks for hosting, friend! <3 I miss you!

Thinking-Out-Loud

Can we talk about what exactly is going on with mandarin oranges this year? Gone are the days of 484293 oranges in one box. Now you get 6 regular sized oranges… that taste like nothing.

IMG_6115 (1)

I’ve bought at least four boxes this year and they’ve all made me ragey. Anyone else have this problem?

I had to laugh when I glanced at my bedside table last night and realized I can be summed up perfectly by it’s contents.

FullSizeRender (99)

Palm trees, pine scented candles, books (on running, travel and spirituality), a hamsa bracelet and… a stuffed goat.

Thymes Frasier Fir candles are my favorite thing in the world. They smell EXACTLY like the real deal. At $30 a pop they’re a little pricey, but I’ve been burning it almost daily for a month and it still has lots of life left in it!

Last week, I mentioned I was channeling Betty Draper with one of my work dresses

When I showed up to work earlier in the week wearing this, someone sent me a chat link saying, THIS IS YOU. It was a photo of Betty. Hahaha

FullSizeRender (98)

I’m pretty sure Kim Kardashian has this dress, no?  Other people said I looked like a schoolteacher. My friend Cam kept calling me Miss Gregson and telling me he had to go to the bathroom in a high pitched voice.

FullSizeRender (97)

This top/sweater/cape thing?  Olivia Pope!

Along with this dress.

IMG_6164 (1)

I’m sorry for the dark lighting. It’s dark when I wake up and get home. :(  I never thought the day would come that I spend more time in work clothes than I do sweat pants.

I’m obsessed with quotes and am constantly adding them to a Favorites album on my phone.  I feel like when you’re willing to see things differently, the universe speaks to us through other people, wise words, etc. It’s funny how I tend to read things in the moment where I need it most.

Some current favs:

FullSizeRender2

FullSizeRender FullSizeRender (100) FullSizeRender3 FullSizeRender

The soul doesn’t know a thing about deadlines. I LOVE THAT!

I don’t really watch tv. In my free time, I’d rather be in the gym, a yoga studio or reading. That being said, I ALWAYS have time for Vanderpump Rules.

IMG_6131

If I’m going to select ONE tv show to watch, I might as well make it trashy, hey?  Yes Arman, I’m all caught up now.  Last night, I skipped the gym and yoga in favor of sitting in bed watching episode after episode. It was glorious.

What reality shows are you into?

Do you have plans for the holiday? Are you travelling anywhere?

Name 5 things on your bedside table: 

Things bloggers do

Hello, hello!

How’s your week going so far?  I keep forgetting it’s Christmas next week. This year is different in the sense that I’m going to be working through the holiday season and won’t have much time to enjoy the festivities. I’m heading to my parents house after work on Christmas Eve, then I have to be back in the mountains on the 27th to work right through New Years.

Not only that, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas when you’re away from your family, doing your own thing.  I don’t mind it though. And well, MOUNTAINS. Can’t complain about that!

Let’s chat about the weekend!

IMG_5221

Friday

I stayed in, cooked dinner and went to bed at 9pm.  The end. My friend said hanging out with me makes them feel like a 70 year old.

IMG_5977

Roasted chicken, Oh She Glows roasted carrots with corinader-cumin infused tahini; spinach, walnut, apple & goat cheese salad, jalapeno cornbread.

My wine glass was filled with vodka.  #classy

Saturday

Since I knew I was going to be indulging in wine and holiday treats later on, I woke up thinking I should “probably” eat a healthy breakfast. Like a green smoothie or something. Instead, I opted for a sharing a bagel, a cinnamon bun and a goji ball from Rocky Mountain Bagel Co.

IMG_5981

The remainder of the day was spent running errands until the Alberta Bloggers Christmas Party/Meeup/Hashtags thing started.

FullSizeRender (93)

From left to right: Jen, Sam, Lindsay, yours truly :) , Leana, Ange

We’re so cute!! This was my first time meeting everyone (except Sam) and I think we all got along great.  Wanna hear something weird? I discovered Lindsay is related to my boss. HAHAHA. What are the chances!  Her and  I have pretty similar jobs, too!

IMG_5998

Part of our spread: veggies, bread, olive oil & balsamic vinegar, smoked salmon, cheesy cauliflower and labneh wraps.

And 12 bottles of wine, but we only drank 6. As we do.  (I’m not joking)

FullSizeRender (92)

We played this fun game where we all brought two bottles of the same wine, put six in a paper bag then sampled and voted on our favorites. Whoever brought the wine with the most votes got to keep all of the second bottles.

I’m pretty sure I drank 12 glasses of  wine water within the course of the evening. I didn’t want things to get too crazy since we had a group fitness date planned  the following morning.

Sunday

FullSizeRender (94)

Ange suggested we visit One Cycle studio for a spin class to sweat out the demons from the night before. It was by far the fanciest and funnest spin class I’ve attended. It was exactly like going to a rave:  everyone was sweating and drinking electrolyte drinks inside a dark room with disco lights and electronic dance music.  Except we were high on adrenaline instead of illegal drugs.

I felt like I was going to throw up, my forearms were sweating and now my bum is sore. That’s how you can tell you had a great workout.

After class, we went our separate ways so I could get some shopping (and eating) accomplished. I went to my favorite veg restaurant, The Coup and immediately ordered avocado rye toast to start.

FullSizeRender (95)

I was thrilled to discover it was served with a side of chili flakes and fire salt. It’s how I ALWAYS prep avo-toast at home.

In other {exciting} news, Nourish Bistro is offering BREAKFAST soon!  It’s a Christmas miracle. I can’t wait to see what kinds of creative plant-based dishes they’ll come up with.   If you ever visit Banff, you GOTTA dine here! I’ll even come with you! Future blogger meet up, YYC friends?

nourish

What do you think of the current sweat pant trend?  I’ve been eyeing this pair from Roots.  I hate wearing regular pants because my rear end is an XXXL maternity size but the rest of me is small so nothing ever fits well. Unless they’re sweat pants. Or no pants.

sweat pants

Sigh. Such is life.

Did you attend any holiday parties this past weekend? What was the funnest blogger hang out you’ve been to?

Tell me three things on your wish list this year!

Mine: a trip somewhere HOT, a Michael Kors boyfriend watch and a hot yoga pass. Which won’t happen, but if I “had” to create a list, that’s what would be on it. Along with a onesie.

Day in the {Mountain Girl} Life

I realized my blog and Instagram make it seem as though I’m out adventuring in the mountains all day, everyday and that’s not the case.  I want to share what a typical day is like for me. I’m actually pretty boring during the week. In the winter, I prefer working out and quiet nights at home with a stack of books instead of socializing. I definitely become more introverted this time of year.

6am:
Alarm goes off,  lay in bed for a few minutes and think about what I want for breakfast.

6:15
Chug a ton of water while preparing a matcha green tea latte. Go back to bed & drink it while scrolling through my social media streams. I’ve successfully quit early-morning coffee (in favour of warm lemon water and sometimes, tea). It feels so good!  My digestion and skin have improved big time.

FullSizeRender (88)

6:30-7:30
Get ready for work, contemplate if I want oatmeal or a green smoothie. I decide neither and prepare a bowl of plain Greek yogurt, a pear, cinnamon, nutmeg and chia seeds. (Pear + nutmeg go together like PB&J!)

IMG_5818

FullSizeRender (90)

Channeling Betty Draper. One of my favorite work dresses!

7:30-7:40
I can’t decide what I want to do in terms of “fitness” after work. Either gym + pool or gym + hot yoga. I pack my bag with workout gear & a swimsuit to take with me, then set my yoga stuff out in case I decide to head to a late night class. I’m all over the place, but at least I’m prepared and organized!

IMG_5808

7:40-8:10
Drive to work

8:10-9:15
Fire off a few emails & attend a morning meeting

9:15-12
Work. Eat a snack (coffee + a YOGI gingerbread man! My yoga teacher handed them out the other night. SO CUTE.)

IMG_5819

12-12:30
Quickly eat lunch, then head outside for a power walk. I don’t know what’s going on in the Rockies but it’s unusually warm. Two weeks ago it was -30C and snowing. Now it’s 13C and melting.

FullSizeRender

12:30-5

Work, work, work. I don’t have that many interesting details to share. I’m currently working on a few  media projects for 2015 that include YouTube videos, contests, tourist attractions & web content. That’s it – in a nutshell.

5-5:30

GYM TIME!!! I’ve been LOVING my workouts lately.  I did a quick strength training session:
Lower body: weighted squats & lunges
Upper body: bicep curls, tricep dips, mack & rotator raises, A-presses

FullSizeRender (89)

(This is actually a photo from a few days ago. I only take blog content gym selfies when NO ONE IS AROUND TO JUDGE ME… and then I post them on the internet for everyone to judge me.)

5:30-7
Drive home, eat a snack (spoonfuls of PB straight from the jar + half an avocado), change into yoga gear then head to the studio. Oh wait, let me rewind a bit.  I also discovered Sam Skyping with Chelsea and Arman so I joined in on their chat!

IMG_5840

IMG_5841

THEY ARE SO CUTE! Hi, FRIENDS! <3

8-9:15

Hot vinyasa. (With Glenn!) The  studio I attend offers traditional 26 posture (aka Bikram)  and vinyasa classes.  This was Glenns first hot yoga experience and I think he liked it! I don’t know, I’ll have to follow up with him later today to make sure he’s not mad at me.

9:30-10

Get home, shower and crash into bed. I woke up at 1am with a growling stomach and remembered that I was so out of it after yoga, I didn’t eat dinner. Nor was I hungry.  Hahaha.

That’s all. See, I’m boring.

What does your typical work day look like?

What types of activities do you do to stay fit AND SANE in the winter?

Do you ever Skype with other bloggers? Um… that was my first Skype experience. HAHAHA I CAN EXPLAIN: I use FaceTime on my computer to communicate.

Winter Wonderland-ing in Kananaskis. And Pizza.

Oh man, what a fun weekend. From Friday night right through Sunday evening, I didn’t stop moving unless it was to {briefly} sleep or eat.

My Mom gave me an early Christmas gift this year which I’ve already put to use!

IMG_5684

First snowshoeing trip of the season! Yay!!!

It’s hard to despise winter when you live in the mountains. I used to get so depressed and angry when I lived in the city. I was bored, hated driving on icy un-plowed roads and never felt like there was anything to do.  Glenn and I talk about this all the time, but your environment is crucial. Sensitive folks like myself aren’t content with taking an occasional trip to the mountains or a yearly  two week vacation to a tropical paradise.  I don’t want to feel like I need to escape my day to day life, or constantly be counting down the months or days until my next escape.  I tried living like that for years and it felt horrible.

I need to live and breathe it every single day. That’s not too much to ask or want out of life, no?

IMG_5676

Kananaskis Country has over 4000 square km of parks, trails, peaks and valleys to explore. I don’t think I’ll run out of things to do anytime soon.  (And then there’s Banff!)

FullSizeRender (81)

FullSizeRender (83)

Prior to snowshoeing, I took a Bikram yoga class, then headed  into the backcountry for a winter hike. Although snowshoeing is  low impact and doesn’t really “feel” like you’re laboring too hard, you work up a sweat in no time.  According to Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies  and Calgary Fit Frog ,it’s  one of the best off-season cross training sports for runners. It maintains and improves aerobic and cardiovascular endurance in addition to overall strength. The same muscle groups are engaged during snowshoeing and running! Not only that, the calorie expenditure ranges from 400-1000 per hour.  Not that I’m counting, but it’s still pretty cool to put it into perspective.

FullSizeRender (82)

Snowshoeing/hiking poles are great for winter-wonderland sword fights.  #JustSayin #TryItSometime #NoDont #YesDoIt

Since we were running out of daylight hours, we opted for an easy 5km loop around Hogwarth Lakes. Round trip, it took us 1.5 hr.  It was a nice way to round out Sunday afternoon and a great way to prepare ourselves for PIZZA!

FullSizeRender (80)

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co.   Pizza #1’s toppings included  garlic oil, venison sausage, roasted butternut squash, kalamata olives, chili flakes and fresh arugula. Pizza #2 was a simple basil bocconcinni with fresh tomatoes. THUMBS UP.

Rewinding a bit to Saturday…

FullSizeRender (86)

IMG_5670

IMG_5666 (1)

Un-pictured Bodypump (I just wanted you to know), Calgary Zoolights, a burrito and a final farewell to Lauren, who headed back east after spending 7 months in the Rockies.  That’s her boyfriend Nik, who she’s making googley eyes with. They’re such a nice couple and have been together for seven years. It’s cute.

What was the best thing you ate this past weekend? I can’t decide between the burrito or pizza. They were both special, unique and very dear to my heart.

Tell me about your last winter-wonderland adventure! Or upcoming ones…

 

Carb Loading for Christmas

Happy Friday, friends!

Is it just me or has this week flown by?! Part of it probably has to do with using  a mid-week vacation day to get some Christmas shopping and holiday-latte-drinking accomplished.

I generally dislike sugary beverages, but around the holiday season, I’m overcome with the urge to drink peppermint, gingerbread and eggnog infused drinks. They make me feel Christmas-y.  And diabetes-y.

IMG_5545

Candy cane latte. Half sweet. When a barista creates a heart in your cup it means they’re in love with you, right?

It was still too much for me but I liked it.  I’m on a mission to try all of the seasonal lattes from Second Cup. #CarbLoadingForChristmas #DREAMBIG

IMG_5584

Yeah I did. “I hope you’re enjoying your five star hors d’oeuvres” – the accompanying caption to this photo  I sent my friend who was living a life of luxury at a Fairmont property Christmas party. I’ve been craving macaroni and cheese FROM A BOX for weeks and after Wednesday night’s Bodypump class, picked up two boxes of Annie’s.

Ryan and I shared this exchange over dinner.

 

FullSizeRender (78)

This is why we’re friends. Oh he makes me laugh.

I’m going to a Christmas party tonight and this is what I’ve decided on for an outfit. Whaddaya think? It’s very Gwyneth, wouldn’t you agree?  She’s my fashion & hair inspiration and always looks so flawlessly polished.

The skirt has pockets (LOVE) and I’m going to pair it with wedge ankle boots and gold jewelry.

FullSizeRender (79)

If you’re looking for a last minute gift idea for the yogi/spiritual warrior in your life, you can’t really go wrong with mala beads. I’m in love with the “I Am Adventurous” bracelet by Mala Collective.

i am adventurous

adventurous

That’s all I have for today. I hope you have a FANTASTIC weekend!

 Any holiday parties on the agenda this weekend?

What’s your favorite holiday beverage?

I Crave It.

Heeeyyyy!

Happy Monday! How’ve you been? (I hope you had the best Thanksgiving, American friends.)

What do you think of the new blog header? I’ve been saying this for at least two years, but I really need to hire a designer to revamp everything. I know I could probably do it myself (if you can Google it, you can do it) but I honestly don’t have the time, plus I’m confident I’ll break my blog in the process and have to hire someone to fix it. That being said, I’ve been quoted $800+ for a redesign, but when I start thinking of other ways I could spend $800 (hello, endless mountain & travel adventures) I talk myself out of it. #BloggerProbs

I just got home from a fun weekend of visiting family, my best friend and doing fitness-y things. On Saturday morning, I rekindled a love affair with an old flame.

IMG_5422

Bodypump! Oh, how I’ve missed it. The last time I took a class was in February and now my shoulders and legs are so sore it hurts to be alive.

I also went to my old hot yoga studio for a Bikram class, which was such an amazing escape from the -30C windchill outside. I asked my Dad if he wanted to join and he said, “Only if I can lay on the floor the entire time.”

In order for me to stay happy during the winter, I need a regular hot yoga practice in my life. There’s nothing like that Bikram-induced sweat. I crave it.  It always leaves me feeling relaxed, vibrant, energized and hangry. The first time I tried Bikram, I cried, wondering how I was going to get my money back because it was so challenging, uncomfortable and fast paced that I felt like I couldn’t keep up. Blinded by sweat, I kept wiping my face  and remember the teacher saying, “Stop with the petty distractions. Stop wiping your face, or reaching for your water bottle, readjusting your clothes or towel. Your mind is distracting you from your practice. It doesn’t serve you, so why are you doing it?”

At the time, I remember thinking it seemed a little harsh, but once I applied it, I stopped noticing all of those petty little distractions and began applying the concept to everyday life. Cheap drama. Peripheral distractions. Get rid of ‘em. Anyways, the point of this story is that it took me 4-5 classes to begin appreciating  this type of non-fluffy yoga and it’s by far, my favourite type of practice.  Probably because it’s the only one that completely turns my mind off.

Yoga just makes me a better person, overall.

Remember when I used to talk about my BFF Ryan? He’s made a few appearances on LMG over the past year and after 9 months apart, we were finally reunited.

FullSizeRender

We drank wine with my parents then headed out for a bite to eat + cocktails + girl talk. Despite the distance, we’ve managed to talk every day. (He moved to Toronto shortly after I left for Canmore.) It wasn’t even hard to maintain our connection and we picked up right where we left off. Don’t you love friendships like that?   Ryan and I are very happy together. We make each other laugh hysterically and I wish I could be friends with us.

FullSizeRender2
Ahi + avocado = deadly combo 

Also. THIS. HAHAHAHA.

IMG_5461

I think my Mom started stressing out after Ryan said, “Don’t wait up!” as we left the house. Oh Mom.

It’s time to get this week started!

How was your Thanksgiving/weekend?

What fitness classes are you obsessed with? Or are Group-Ex classes your thing?

Yoga preference? 

Super late to the party: I Mustache You Some Questions

THIS THING. I was tagged by Sam, Robyn (<– life idol) and Amanda to partake in this little old survey floating around the HLB world so here goes! Just when I thought I couldn’t talk about myself any more…

1. Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

  • Jo Jo – childhood nickname
  • Jo
  • GREGSON! (said in a WHAT HAVE YOU DONE NOW voice)
  • My coworkers have come up with a million ridiculous nicknames for me too: Peanut, Sunshine, The Girl, Hey You, Ding Dong, Spike (wtf?),  Smiley, Jergana, Jobanana… I could go on and on…
2. Four jobs I have had: – I’m going to share all the  gigs from high school through university
  • Kennel tech & then a manager at a pet store
  • Sales & marketing + admin (ex-family business)
  • Client Services Specialist at a financial company
  • Freelance travel/tourism writer & bloggerI know… all over the place. I went to school for tourism management and marketing and then later, holistic nutrition. My #1 passion has always been tourism/travel but my old life in my previous city wasn’t the place for me to develop a career.

    1526493_10153743528790122_442070917_n

    Old friends/coworkers, December 2013.

3. Four movies I have watched more than once:
  • Almost Famous (my favorite!)
  • Blow
  • Lost in Translation
  • Home Alone & Home Alone 2 (I watch these every Christmas. The second one the best!)
4. Four Books I recommend:
5. Four places I have lived:
  • Lethbridge, AB – hometown
  • Viking, AB – moved there when I was 5
  • Vermilion, AB
  • Canmore, AB (current place of residence)
6. Four Places I have been: I’m gonna go with a city theme, mmkay?
  • Montreal
  • San Francisco
  • Puerto Vallarta
  • Kailua-Kona
7. Four places I would rather be right now:
  • At the beach: surfing, SUP’ing, sunning, reading, drinking margs
  • Hiking or running on a mountain trail
  • Getting a massage
  • In my bed, wearing flannel PJs & reading
8. Four things I don’t eat:
  • Raw onions
  • Tilapia (so, so dirty)
  • BBQ Sauce
  • RIPE, SPECKLY BANANAS! Ugh, I hate them so much.
9. Four of my favourite foods:
  • Burritos, tacos, enchiladas… anything Mexican
  • Guacamole + tortilla chips
  • Sandwiches
  • Dates + almond butter

    FullSizeRender (73)

10. Four TV Shows I watch:
  • Vanderpump Rules
  • Homeland
  • Real Housewives of OC
  • Girls
11. Four things I am looking forward to next year: (There are so many things on my to-do list I don’t know where to start!)
  • Hiking/back country camping trips throughout Banff & Kananaskis
  • The Banff Marathon (I’ll do a half)
  • *Hopefully* traveling to Central America for a surf/yoga trip, which has been on my travel bucket list for years. My ultimate dream is to take several weeks off to backpack around Central & South America.
  • Weekends filled with snowshoeing adventures & snowboarding
12. Four things I am always saying:
  • I know, right?
  • I’m so grossed out right now
  • OH HEY!
  • How’s your day going?
13. Tag 4 people
If you’ve read this consider yourself tagged, too.

What are you looking forward to about next year? 

Great things always begin from the inside

Look what happened on Sunday!

FullSizeRender5

Sam met Lauren. Yay! I knew they’d hit it off:  Not only did they both travel west on solo missions, they’re Ontarians (is that the right word?) and went the to the same university. EVERYONE in the Rockies is either from Ontario, Australia or the Philippines. There’s a handful of other countries mixed in there too, but I’d say that’s the majority.  When meeting new people, conversations usually begin with, “Where are you from?”   (It seems as though I’m the only  Albertan, ha!)

I was eating a sandwich at work the other day when I stopped, looked around, began listening to my colleagues and realized I’m no longer phased by hearing multiple conversations occurring in a variety of languages.  It’s such a cool experience.

IMG_5219

Back to our friend date. We fuelled up at Communitea before heading out to do a bit of Christmas shopping and walking. It was nice to reminisce over the summer Lauren and I shared – I sure miss those days!

Lauren: “I loved how we were always planning our next adventure. It was so cool to wake up in the morning and say, what should we do today? Go to Banff?  Hike? Hang out at the lake?”

It was an incredible summer, indeed. The best summer of my life.

IMG_5220

Look at all of those rainbow plant colours! And my latte! Since cutting way back on coffee, I’ve been on an unsweetened almond milk matcha green tea latte kick. What a douche-y mouthful. I hate that so many words were required to describe it.

I really need to pick up some matcha so I can start making my own lattes. At $5 a pop, this is not financially sustainable.

FullSizeRender6

We spent the remainder of the afternoon walking and chatting about life: everything from who we used to be,  things we’re afraid of, where we’re headed, etc. We tried to describe the effect the mountains have on people.  It’s hard to put the experience into words unless you’ve lived here.  Lauren once said to me, “No matter what happens, as least you have the mountains. They have your back.”  It’s something I remind myself of when faced with a challenging situation or emotions.  The Rockies allow me to feel EVERYTHING: secure, supported, calm, powerful, driven, free, loved, curious, excited…they’re awakening all sorts of things inside me.

IMG_5226

In other news, my weekend travels took me to Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park. It was my first time visiting the canyon and I LOVED it! It’s one of the most popular attractions in Banff and I can see why.

Round trip, the walk to the upper waterfalls took us about an hour. The great thing about visiting in the winter is there’s a lot less people to navigate around and even with the snow, it’s a nice, easy, relaxing walk for all ages and fitness levels.

FullSizeRender

FullSizeRender2

FullSizeRender3

FullSizeRender4

We witnessed climbers getting ready to scale the frozen waterfalls. It reminded me that I forgot to add ice climbing to my winter bucket list.  For some reason, rock climbing scares me, but ice climbing doesn’t. Maybe it’s because the idea of tossing a pick into a frozen waterfall excites me. Although, the thought of me in possession with an ice pick is slightly terrifying. I’m sure there is already a law against it.

Around Halloween, I had to carve a pumpkin at work and my boss said, “I heard you’re in possession of a knife. So I’m leaving. Let me know when you’re done and I’ll come back”
There was a lot of uncertainty and legitimate concerns at the time. ‘Is Joanna going to accidentally injure or kill herself?”  “Is she a threat to the people around her?” “Is she an overall threat to society?” “Is this a good idea?” Yes, yes, yes and no.

What was the best part of your weekend?

Have you ever gone rock or ice climbing? Would you?

Holiday Gift Guide for Adventurous/Active Girls!

I’m thoroughly enjoying seeing everyone’s gift guides this holiday season and I want to play along! I don’t have much shopping to do, but I love learning about new-to-me products and brands, particularly when it comes to fitness and health.

Today I’m sharing a wish list/gift idea guide for adventurous, active {mountain} girls!


north face gloves

North Face Etip Gloves ($45)  I need a pair of good quality, WARM, multi-functional gloves. I tried a pair of these on at an outfitters store and they fit like… a glove. (You don’t say…)

womens tremblant boot

Sorel Tremblant Boots. ($120)  Don’t these look amazingly comfy? Very mountain-chic. I’d like a ‘dressier’ boot that actually has some grip. #CanadianProbs

sorel exploreer boot

Sorel Glacy Explorer Boot (On sale $120) Okay, not the most attractive, but these would be great for snowshoeing, hiking through deep snow and generally just preventing frostbite. HI, SANTA I AM A SIZE 6.5.

borealis

North Face Womens Borealis backpack ($100). For mountain hiking adventures, of course.

run swiftly shirt

Lululemon Run Swifty Tech long sleeved crew. ($68)

iphoto

iPhone telephoto & polarizing lens. ($100) I’m CONSTANTLY using my iphone for mountain landscape shots (for work and personal).

hotyoga

10 Class Pass ($120) to a hot yoga studio. Because a hot retreat does WONDERS for the mind, body and spirit during these long Canadian winters!  My parents gave me one last year and it was by far, my favorite gift. Thanks again, Ma!

 

 

tea

A non-plastic, preferably glass electric  tea kettle ($130, Breville).

Capture

An adult-onesie. DON’T JUDGE ME.

GoPlay_Lure2.0

Yoga mat sling, $32, Manduka I’ve held off on buying a yoga mat carrier because a strap seemed too basic and a duffel bag is too much. This is the perfect balance and I love the storage pocket for things like car keys, debit card, hair elastics, candy….

Stocking Stuffers

PicMonkey Collage

1. NUUN electrolyte tablets, $10
2. Golden Mountain Necklace, $22, etsy
3. White Chocolate Peppermint rooibos tea, $9, Teavana
4. Legendary Coffee Mug, $22, Pendleton

Did you enjoy this? Yes you did.

What’s on your wish list this year? 

I never thought I’d admit this…

I never thought I’d say (or admit!) this, but I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast and actually enjoying it.

FullSizeRender (58)

Remember back in the day when I used to rant about how much I hated oatmeal? Well, times have changed, my friends. I’m trying to stick to bland foods to prevent my stomach from turning into Dante’s inferno.

I cook 1/4 cup of rolled oats, then stir in a scoop of protein powder (I like Vega Sport or North Coast Naturals whey), unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon, chia seeds and maybe a little fruit or almond butter.  This  bowl packs over 30g of protein and keeps me feeling full and satisfied until lunchtime (most mornings).  I just need to start Instagramming my oatmeal and then my #BasicBitch transformation will be complete.

My new favorite healthy grocery store in Calgary is Mrs. Greens Natural Market. It’s like a smaller Whole Foods, complete with salad bar, deli, bakery, juice & smoothie bar.  I tried a Green Detox juice that was filled with kale, cucumber, parsley, lemon, turmeric… actually, I can’t remember what all was in this. Just veggies. No fruit. It tasted verrrrry plant-y.

FullSizeRender (49)

IMG_4777

Have you ever tried these? Don’t! I took one bite and screamed bloody murder afterwards. Maybe a slight exaggeration, but it is so, so gross. It tasted like bitter dust.

Apparently I’m a glutton for punishment, because I tried to eat the Banana Cream  bar as a mid-morning work snack and this was the result:

IMG_4892

Bleh. What nightmares are made of. I’m always so confused when horrible tasting things end up on the food market. I have so many questions. How and why did this happen? Who approved this? Why is it so gross?

On a sweeter note, I’m currently in possession of homemade dark chocolate peanut butter cups. HOLLA. (If I’m  being honest, I still like Reese’s PB cups better.)

PB cup

Moving on. Do you ever create seasonal bucket lists? After an action-packed summer and fall, I’m compiling a collection of winter-based activities to keep me busy and in shape!

winter

  • Snowboard once a week (I need to outfit myself with ALL the gear. Insert the crying emoji)
  • Continue attending (at least) one yoga class per week
  • Focus on strength training and building muscle mass
  • Get a membership at Elevation Place in Canmore to use the rock climbing walls and fitness facilities
  • Experience Zoo Lights at the Calgary Zoo
  • Take a weekend trip to Jasper for snowshoeing/snowboarding/R&R
  • Nighttime ice skating under the stars
  • Nighttime snowshoeing during a full moon
  • Bake Christmas cookies
  • Dog sledding (!!!)
  • Enjoy an outdoor bonfire in the forest
  • Tobogganing (I have a particular hill in mind that is notorious for inflicting minor injuries on people. Hey, did you ever have a GT snowracer?)
  • Board game nights with friends + seasonal cocktails and spiked hot chocolate
  • Overnight trips to visit the closest hot springs in BC: Radium & Golden
  • Read at least two books per month
  • Check out Bikram Yoga studios in Calgary (YYC friends – recommendations?)
  • Take a Barre class, run a 5 or 10k and wine & dine with my Alberta BLENDS! (Jen, Ange, Kaella, Sam, Amanda… who else am I missing?)

I think this is enough to keep me busy well into January. If you have a winter to-do list, I’d love to hear what’s on it!