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).

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An adult-onesie. DON’T JUDGE ME.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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!

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  • 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!

Taking my weekend to new heights

Hey there, Happy Monday!

Remember that time I went on a heli-tour of the Rockies? I did it again this past weekend, but this time I flew with Rockies Heli Canada!

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As someone who lives and works within a tourism industry, I’ve been exposed to a lot of sights and activities within Canmore-Kananaskis-Banff and I’m convinced a heli-tour is THE ultimate adventure.  The only downside is, it’s expensive. But  so worth it.   (Groupon is a great way to save on Rocky Mountain tours!)

Our thirty minute flight path took us soaring into the heart of Kananaskis Country, along the Continental Divide and through various mountain ranges before looping  through Canmore and tracing the Kananaskis River back to the heliport.   Our pilot was a wealth of information, providing us with history and stories about the area, in addition to pointing out some of the best hiking trails and access points in the Rockies.

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It’s difficult to describe just how awe-inspiring Kananaskis Country is from a birds eye view.
Experiencing the mountains from a significantly elevated perspective (ha!) takes my love for the Rockies to an entirely different level.     I don’t think it’s possible for the #mountainmagic to EVER wear off. Depending on the time of year, or even the time of day, there’s always something new to see and explore.

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Mount Allen + Nakiska Ski Resort, which was host to the 1988 Winter Olympics!

 

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What a day!  I’m going to file this one under, ‘I wish I could be friends with me’.

Last week, I mentioned I was going to a ‘yoga-thing’ with Glenn. I’m slightly disappointed to report that it wasn’t as wild as I thought it would be. Basically, everyone sat in a circle reciting Hindu mantras while I observed. I had no idea what was happening or what anyone was saying. Not that it mattered, or like anyone was judging, but I felt out of place and weird.   Afterwards, everyone branched off into their own little groups for spiritual discussions on life, love, the universe, etc. and I felt even more awkward so I left. Haha. #yogafail

Another ‘yoga thing’ I did last week was a class focused on inversions. So fun! Look at Glenn.

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Laughing headstands. Yoga with friends is the best.

I’ll leave you with this. Love love.

adventure

 What is the funnest/touristy thing you’ve ever done? I’d say ziplining in Mexico is pretty high on my list. Helicoptering around the Rockies is still #1.

What is your favorite yoga pose? I love anything hip-opening.

Lately: Yoga Philosophy, Stomach Woes & Christmas Gift Ideas

So this is what my Friday night is going to look like:

“Hello Beautiful Branches of the Tree,

I trust this email finds you all well on this gorgeous November afternoon. I want to invite you all to a Havan (fire ceremony) on *Friday, November 14*. Good friend and teacher, Shivani will be leading this ceremony and will have just gotten off a plane from two weeks in India.  She will be stoked with Shakti and most certainly will have lots to share.  We will be outside for about an hour chanting and making offerings to the fire, collectively raising our vibrations.

Namaste.”

Yogis, fire and burning stuff? How could I possibly decline an invitation like this?! I can’t wait to report back on my experience and perspective.  I’ve been in the process of deepening my yoga practice by learning more about the philosophy and spiritual aspect, rather than *just* the physical. Glenn is taking me to meet his yogi friends since I have none. Yet.

I feel like I should be mad that it’s -50C (or something like that) right now, but it’s so beautiful I can’t wipe the smile off my face. It also helps that I bought a Canadian winter jacket to keep me toasty. Now I just need to find myself some warm yet reasonably priced boots and I’ll be set! Canadian friends: Do you have any brand recommendations for me? I’m leaning towards Columbia or  Sorel. {They’ll be used primarily for snowshoeing and walking around town.}

winter

Have you ever tried to quit coffee? Or at least scale back your consumption as I’m currently doing? OH MAN. I don’t have an addictive personality in the slightest, but I must say, this is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done.  I’ve been experiencing stomach issues for a little while (primarily heartburn, a sense of fullness, decreased appetite) and I’m confident some simple dietary changes will reign things in fairly quickly.

In the mornings, I’ve been drinking warm lemon water to stimulate digestive enzyme and HCL production in addition to promoting alkalinity within my body. It’s definitely helping, but  the problem is, I’ve been missing the sense of mental clarity and focus that comes with a morning caffeine buzz. I tried to band-aid it by drinking a Starbucks green tea almond milk latte and now I have heartburn AND Type 2 diabetes.

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I’ve noticed sugar is probably THE worst trigger for my stomach woes. Never again!  Have I ever told you I’m a huge wimp when it comes to sugar? It literally makes me start bouncing off the walls, then I get a headache and want to sleep.

I hope my sister doesn’t get mad at me for posting our family online, but I cannot stop laughing at  my nephew’s reaction to eating carrots for the first time.  I do the exact same thing when I accidentally eat raw onion. “HOLD UP. AH WHAT IS IT! GET IT OUT OF MY MOUTH IMMEDIATELY.”

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In case you’re wondering what I’d like for Christmas, behold:

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Buy Me Brunch. Tacos. Did I design this?

If you’re looking for a great hostess/Christmas gift idea:   Thymes Frasier Fir candles.  I don’t know how they’ve managed to make a product that smells exactly like the forest, but oh wow. Whoa. Mind is blown.   And I would know. Wait. Why am I not just opening a window?

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How was your week? What are you up to this weekend?

Have you had to deal with stomach/GI issues? Any natural remedies to share?

Have you started Christmas shopping? 

I’m in love!

Hi, friends!

How ya doin?  I hope you had a nice day off in lieu of Remembrance/Veterans Day.   It’s basically winter in the Rockies now and I don’t hate it.  (?!)

The snow-capped peaks and pine trees dusted with fresh powder make it seem as though I’m in a magical winter wonderland, so I can’t complain. (I’m sure I’ll retract that statement in a couple months, haha.)

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You know it’s going to be a good day when it begins with  toasted spelt bread + Justin’s maple almond butter.

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OH GOD YES. How can something so simple be so freakin good? Ah!

I used my day off to hit the gym, complete errands, go to a Drs appointment…

…..and order two lunch entrees for myself  at Communitea.  (I was hungry from my morning workout!)

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1. The Mega Fresh Bowl (I’m head over heels in love with this salad!): spinach, sprouts, beets, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, peppers, quinoa, hummus, pumpkin seeds, smoked salmon and garlic avocado dressing. I am such a delight to be around right now – I stink. Why do I always tell you I’m garlicky after eating garlic? <— Best ever.

2. Minestrone soup with rice crackers

3. Matcha almond milk latte + this awesome book

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If you like travel & adventure with a side of spirituality books, I highly recommend this one. It’s essentially the man version of Eat Pray Love. Have you read Eat Pray Love? Of course you have!   I think it’s pretty cool the author of Through Dust and Darkness resides in Canmore and I’m thisclose to cyber-stalking  him to ask if we can be friends.  Is that weird? Probably, but I don’t mind.

I have a new addition to add to the  self-timer mishaps collection. Except this time I wanted to see what I looked like doing a pull-up.   First, I sat there wondering why the self-timer countdown wasn’t starting. It was because I was taking several manual shots of myself in this flattering pose. Amazing.

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Next up, a burst of me doing absolutely nothing. You’re welcome.

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Is this a pull up? Please say yes.

Last but not least, I’M IN LOVE AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS: Choklat. Calgary. Custom made to order truffles, fudgey brownies, cookies, hot chocolate…

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Just go. You can thank me later.  That brownie though. We shared some good times together. I need to go back this weekend and order 43 truffles for myself.

Which strength moves do you love and hate? Love: anything that isn’t a pull up.

Are you more of a chocolatey or fruity dessert person?  (Don’t say fruit)

 

Blogger Q&A: I Wish I Had More Time For…

Happy, happy (almost) Friday! How was your week?

I’m switching things up on LMG today with a fun survey I found in a magazine recently. When it comes to the healthy-living blog community, I feel like we all know each others eating and exercise habits but rarely get into the soul-centered stuff.  I hope this serves as a way to get to know me better. Beyond the green smoothies, running and mountain-climbing.

Here we go!

My proudest moment…

Is happening right now! Watching my dreams come to fruition is indescribable.  Everything is unfolding beautifully and I couldn’t be happier.

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I wish I had more time for…

Travel, adventures, cooking, running, yoga, hiking, writing and working on my blog. My life is already filled with the things I love, but I want more, more, MORE. I’m insatiable.

When Amanda visited, she asked, “Why do you call it adventures?!”
My explanation was, “THIS IS HOW WE TALK IN THE MOUNTAINS. Everything is an adventure!” Real talk.  Case in point:  as I was writing this, I got a message from a friend describing his Saturday plans… “Well, she wanted to go on adventure, but I’m working”.

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The last time I laughed really hard was…

I’m usually always laughing about something, but on Sam’s birthday, we spotted a sign in our neighborhood implementing a  “Quiet Zone from 11pm – 7am” to which her friend Troy started calling about to people, “Shh! This is a quiet zone!” HAHAHA. Why am I the only one laughing about this.

My favorite quotes…

I have so many!

  • “Only illusions need defense because of their weakness” & “Illusions are investments. They will last as long as you value them.” – A Course in Miracles
  • “The Universe always responds. Especially when it’s a deep ask from your heart” – Mastin Kipp
  • “Your desires are a vortex of truth” – Danielle LaPorte
  • “If you are to retain guilt, as the ego insists, you cannot be you. You cannot escape from what you are. Can God learn how to not be God?” – A Course in Miracles

I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about…

“I have to pee”
“Omg I’m hungry!” <– this usually only happens if I’ve run the evening before. #RUNGER

I wish I was better at…

Verbally articulating my thoughts, opinions and emotions. I get so worried about ‘saying the right thing’ that I have a tendency to shut down and say nothing. Unless it’s something light-hearted or funny, I don’t hold back at all.

My favorite moment of the day…

When I crawl into bed with a book. Or when I get home from work and take my pants off.  <– YES. I HATE WEARING PANTS.

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My perfect day would be… 

Waking up in a tropical paradise to the sound of the shore break. I’d run a few barefoot miles along the beach as the sun rose, then grab a surfboard and paddle out to catch a few waves before breakfast. Afterwards, I’d assemble a plate of local fruit and coffee to enjoy on the beach. The rest of the afternoon would be spent napping, eating snacks and reading on the beach while taking periodic dips in the ocean to cool off.   My perfect day would be rounded out by sharing a fantastic home-cooked meal, wine and great conversation with a very nice looking man. (HAHA) Underneath a galaxy of stars and coconut palms and amidst lush jungle.   Perfect, right?

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(source)

Your turn! Pick any of the above and answer ‘em in the comments. I love getting to know all of you better!

I hope you have a great weekend! <3

WIAW: Lately!

I made it! To the WIAW party, that is. I’ve accepted the fact that I’m never going to remember to photograph an entire days worth of eats, so I’m featuring an overview of my favourite meals and snacks from the past few days. Sound good? Good! (Like you have a choice.)

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But first – let’s talk fitness. I haven’t discussed running or lady muscle things lately. That’s because I only ran once last week (1 mile warm up + 3 miles at an 8:01 average- yay!). Afterwards, I took the pug for a walk/bonding sesh. Sam, I’m sorry I didn’t put his harness on but it was too confusing and he was squirming.

Self-timer fail.

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Puglet. I think we had a nice time together! His leash matches my compression sleeves. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I was able to wear shorts at the end of October.

In other fitness  news, I’ve been hitting the gym 3x a week to do weights… kind of. When this moment was captured, I was “supposed” to be working on my arms and shoulders, but decided sitting in a squat position and stretching my hips to be more fulfilling. Oh man, it felt good and I need to sit like that more often. Like right now, BRB.

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Onto the food!

I ate so many delightful things last weekend.

On Halloween morning, Sam made us pumpkin pancakes + maple syrup. This is what living with a fellow healthy living blogger is like. #pumpkin

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Pre-Banff lunch: a mega bowl from Communitea. Mixed greens, cabbage, bean sprouts, beets, carrots, peppers, sprouts, smoked salmon, avocado, nuts & seeds with a garlicky tahini dressing. I absolutely adore this healthy-option cafe in Canmore!

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This meal at Grapes in the Fairmont Banff Springs was so fun –  THE ULTIMATE snack plate. They offer a sharing-style menu and we selected sourdough bread, venison & duck pate, two types of cheese, pumpkin soup, warmed olives and venison salami.

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Late night room-service nachos. Oh yes I did. Because… nachos. For the record, nachos at 1am and then trying to sleep after is NOT a good idea. But it is. I don’t know, I’m so confused! #FatFluential

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An enhanced continental breakfast was included with the room. I felt extremely full and five months pregnant after the previous nights nacho feast so I stuck with fruit and smoked salmon since I knew I wouldn’t be eating for a while.

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Falafel Salad from Nourish Bistro – my favourite Banff restaurant!

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420 Burger, Yam & Leek soup

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Ginger, lemon & apple shot

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Vegan breakfast wrap + breakfast dessert cupcakes – another Communitea favorite!

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BIG salads featuring mixed greens, shredded beets, cucumber, strawberries, pomegranate, avocado, nuts & seeds and chicken.

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Pre-Doctor’s appointment snack. Kombucha + NUD ‘cookies’ they’re made with banana, coconut, sesame and spirulina. Amanda, you could eat these because they’re nut-free!

And lastly, a small grocery haul from the health food store.

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Local spelt bread, vegenaise, beet dip, tempeh burgers, bananas, rice crackers, black beans & swiss chard.

That’s all I have for today.

What have you been eating lately? Top 3 current favs?

Favorite kombucha flavour? Gingerberry!

Weekending in the Rockies

Hi, Happy Monday! How was your Halloween weekend?

I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate than at a castle in the Rockies, the Fairmont Banff Springs.

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After checking into the resort, I kicked back and enjoyed a glass of wine accompanied by a world-class view of the Bow Valley.  We were upgraded to a Fairmont Gold experience which gave us access to a private check in, concierge, lounge with complimentary snacks, evening appetizers, breakfast and beverages.

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{Now, before you go thinking I’m all fancy or living a life of luxury, let me explain: I work within the hospitality industry and have access to discounted rates. Holla.}

For Halloween, the hotel featured a haunted house – they did a fantastic job! I was legit terrified and hid behind my friend the entire time.  I’ve developed post-traumatic stress disorder as a result, so I’d say it was a success.

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After a light dinner, we headed to the Willow Streams Spa  to enjoy the hot mineral and plunge pools. It was an incredibly blissful evening! FYI: A regular day pass to the spa is $70, but is reduced to $30 after 7pm.  Three days later, my skin still feels soft and renewed from the mineral therapy.

The remainder of the weekend was comprised of:

-The Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival. Presenting a collection of world-wide adventure-based films and lectures, the films we took in featured night-skiing, rock climbing, Arctic surfing, ultra trail running and Yellowstone National Park bison. (The bison film made me sad!)  If I have some free time this week, I’d like to go check out more films in the evening as it’s a nine day event.

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-A gondola ride up Sulfur Mountain in Banff.  I haven’t done anything overly ‘touristy’ since living here. I prefer avoiding the crowds and creating my own adventures, but this was absolutely worth it. I didn’t mind sharing the view of the Bow Valley with dozens of people.

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I bought a peppermint tea to keep me warm on the way up. Check this out:

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Neat!

-A trip to the Book Cafe in Canmore. Some new titles ended up coming home with us. Fall and winter is the season for hibernating in bed with a stack of books, yes?  I started Adultery last night and I’m already halfway through it. Paulo Coelho is one of my favorite authors – his work feeds my soul.

I’m currently in the midst of reading four books. I prefer to have some brain food, soul food and a garbage, mindless read on the go at all times.

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I’m looking forward to diving into Through Dust and Darkness and Lost & Found – both are by Canmore authors!

What are you currently reading? Or what’s the last ‘good read’ you’d recommend? I’m working through the Steve Jobs bio, When God Was a Rabbit, The Dark Witch (lol) and Adultery.

Tell me about your Halloween weekend! Did you develop a sugar-induced high/coma? What did you dress up as?  I ate a lot of cheese, bread, nachos and wine. Does that count? I also dressed up as my friend, but it’s only funny to us, so I’m not going to elaborate.

What’s the nicest hotel you’ve stayed in?   Koa Kea Hotel & Resort in Kauai -It’s a spectacular boutique luxury resort on the sunny south shore of the island.

This is how I am in real life

Hi!

It’s hard to believe Halloween is THIS weekend. Ah! Where has the time gone? Normally I’m ALL ABOUT Halloween (by far my favorite holiday) but now that I’m living in a condo-resort in the forest, I have a hard time getting into the mood. I won’t get any trick-or-treaters and have no plans to attend a party or club. What’s a {mountain} girl to do?

That being said, I wanted to do SOMETHING fun, so I arranged a special getaway for Friday night.  I’m going to spend the night in a haunted castle! 

Actually, it’s the Fairmont Banff Springs, a five-star castle-esque resort in the Rockies, BUT it’s rumored to be haunted. Conde Nast Traveler recently posted this piece on ’10 Creepy Haunted Hotels Around The World’ and it made the list!

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Once I check in, I’m not leaving the hotel room unless it’s to use the spa or embark on a ghost-hunt. Get this – there’s a 40,000 square foot facility featuring assorted mineral hot pools, gym, an outdoor hot pool, etc. I’m BEYOND excited! I’ve been using this years vacation days to take mini-trips and adventures in and around the mountains. It’s nice to have long weekend excursions to look forward to instead of one long stretch of vacation.

Moving along…

That time my boss asked me to assist  him with removing old photos from his digital frame…
and I updated it to include pictures of my friends and me along with all of my favorite foods. Tacos, pizza, sushi, ice cream, hummus, peanut butter and avocados. I hope he loves it!

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Once upon a time, the boss and I had this conversation:

Me: “Remember when I didn’t work here? Do you miss those days?”
Boss: “Immensely. IMMENSELY.”

<3

And this,
Boss: “WHO ARE YOU?”
Me: “I don’t know – NOT STEVE JOBS!”  (Lol. Whoa, that one came out of nowhere)
Boss: “You can’t even figure out why you’re on Earth, how am I supposed to know?”

<3 <3

Or, my personal favorite (I will always treasure this sweet, sweet memory!)

Me: “Are you going to miss me when I’m in Vancouver?”
Boss: “No. When you come back, I’m going to miss that time you were in Vancouver”

<3 <3 <3

Have you ever tried a Beaver Tail? Sam and I sampled one the other night. Neither of us were in a dessert mood, but we took a couple bites anyways because you just don’t say no to fried dough dusted in cinnamon, sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

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They have some insane looking combos, such as a chocolate-peanut butter spread topped with Reese’s Pieces (WANT), Oreo, and I can’t remember what else.

One of the things Sam has requested I teach her is how to take running selfies. It actually requires a lot of patience (which I lack) and learning how to time your sprint (which I haven’t figured out). Sam, you’re welcome.  More often than not, I run past my phone before the countdown has completed, or sometimes I surprise myself with gems like this:

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or this. Ew look at my finger!

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or photos like this that COULD be decent if it wasn’t for faulty camera-positioning. I look like an angel though, right?

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#HLBProblems. Word.

Tell me about your upcoming Halloween plans! Are you dressing up? Going out? Fav Halloween candy?  I hate candy corn so much.

What’s the last Healthy Living Blogger problem you encountered?   The time I tried to nut-proof my life when Amanda visited.

Ps. I just re-read this blog post and I think I mouthed WTF at least three times. This is exactly how I am in real life though. All over the place.

#MountainGirl Birthday Adventures!

If I had to sum up Sam’s birthday in one photo, it would be this:

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The two of us accidentally fell into a dozen cupcakes after coming home from Banff. Amanda was kind enough to bring nut-free cupcakes from Edmonton and this is how we showed our appreciation. (Confession time: I stuck my finger in a few of them and ate the frosting BEFORE Sam even got to them. I’m the bestest friend in the world.)

Sam posted a full birthday weekend recap. No point in me telling the same story. 

Our night could also be summed up with with this:

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Apple cider vinegar shots! Just kidding… it was Cabo Wabo. Only the best tequila for the birthday girl. We put the healthy-living on hold for the evening. 

Or this:

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Our two friends joined in on the blogger birthday festivities. I’m fairly certain we suggested they start a blog on what it’s like to hang out with HLBloggers. Ha! 

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I don’t know what to say about this other than we found a tiny pile of lonely snow on a street  corner and decided Sam needed to hold it?

AND THIS:

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BIG SMILES. I had so much fun with these ladies! My real-life impression of Amanda is that she gives the best hugs, is quite tall (I’m 5’5) and is just like blog-Amanda.   I don’t think I stopped smiling and laughing the entire night.  I’m thankful our peanut-infused household didn’t kill her.

Saturday was a bit more  laid back. We spent the morning lounging around drinking coffee and tea while I excitedly pointed out all of the things I want to eat from the Thug Kitchen cookbook.

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Poor Atti was fatigued from our late night.

The next leg of our adventure-journey took us to Troll Falls in Kananaskis. This is one of my favourite places to go wandering in the woods. You can climb up behind the falls and continue into the forest where there are at least seven additional waterfalls to explore.

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Sam and me taking in the view of the Bow Valley.

The remainder of the weekend included eating tacos in Banff, another birthday celebration and Gone Girl. Have you seen it yet? I thought they did a great job with the movie!

Wait. Before I go, lets take a moment to appreciate this guacamole and salsa we ate at Magpie & Stump.

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This is one of my new-to-me favourite restaurants. Good food, great restaurant vibe, tequila and guac. Those are the only things I need to be happy.  We played a fun game of tequila roulette where you order a round  and one unfortunate amigo gets a habanero-infused shot. It was me. :(

My reaction was, “It tastes like burning!!!”

Do you like tequila? Yes you do, you’ve just been drinking bad stuff. This is a Patron/Cabo Wabo/Don Julio household.

How did you celebrate your last birthday?  

Highlight of your weekend?