21 March 2014

Happy...erm, WinSpring?

Ah, Spring is here.  The skies are blue and the...

Yeah...um.  Nope!

Today we were greeted with wind chills in the -20s and temps in the single digits.  I have to say...I admire winter...she sure is persistent!

Thus, I am crowning this beautiful season of transition as WinSpring.  That magical time between winter and spring where you can veer from sweaters-only to five layers on within the span of twelve hours.  Welcome, WinSpring!

In other news...

In less than a week I am off to Bali for my yoga teacher training program.
I will be on the ground halfway around the world for a little over five weeks.
The first four will be spent in the training and the last week will be spent with my love - relaxing after the intense study and dedication of the program.

I am excited.
I am nervous.
I am ready to start this next chapter of my life.

Lucky for me, I've had a lot of great support.  Not least of which has been from The Yoga Loft here in Moose Jaw.  They are even featuring me on their blog as I write about my experience in the teacher training.  If you are interested in reading more, you can check it out here.  

Other support has come from family and friends and I can't thank the people in my life enough for all the love and listening and guidance they have provided over the last year as I worked through some tough decisions and made some leaps into the unknown.  

This whole idea of doing what you love and are passionate about is somewhat radical for me.  It doesn't mean having a steady pay check or 9 to 5 schedule.  It doesn't mean I'll be guaranteed work or benefits.  What it does guarantee is that I will be happier, that I can be with Dave and that I can share my passion with a community of people and in spaces that are inspiring and fulfilling.  It means I have more control over what my days look like and how I schedule my time.  It means possibility.  It means taking a chance.  It means trusting myself enough to know that this step is worth it.

I am planning on enjoying this ride!

Watch this for a taste of Ubud, Bali.

10 March 2014

Weekend in Winnipeg

Winnipeg sometimes gets a bad rap around Canada.
It is not-so-fondly referred to as "Winterpeg" due to the extreme cold temperatures and oodles of snow Mother Nature gifts to the city streets each year.
During the warmer months, there are swarms of black flies that eat you alive.
In addition, the city itself isn't all that pretty to look at.

That being said, we kind of love it there!

When Dave and I first started dating, Winnipeg was one place we met as I could fly there pretty cheap from Chicago and he could do the six-hour drive from Moose Jaw.  
We had a lovely weekend a little over four years ago.
We visited Saint Boniface and ate at Fude.  
Dave also did one of the most romantic things for me while we were there...he got us tickets to go see the new Star Trek movie at the IMAX theatre in town.

He's mine, people!

We decided to head out to Winnipeg over the weekend for a little break from the Moose Jaw winter and also to see some friends that live out there.

It was great.

We noshed on amazing vegan burgers at Boon Burger.
We had great Ethiopian food at Kokeb.
We wandered around the market and winter festival sites at The Forks and drove around the French Quarter.
We had more deliciousness in burger form at Market Burger.
We had brunch and lattes at Stella's and fabulous tea at Thom Bargen.

Um, as you can see...there was a lot of foodie-ness involved.

That equals an awesome weekend away.

I hope you had a lovely weekend as well!

05 March 2014

The Never-Ending Winter (of our discontent)

Ah...Mother Nature.  You sure are angry...and you have every right to be so with our polluting your rivers, streams and lakes, ripping out your forests and clogging your skies with smog.  I can't say I blame you for giving us a smack-down this winter.  We deserve it.  

But, also know that some of us are trying to do better by you!  :-)

Winter brings with it cabin fever and the various ways people attempt to combat it.  Among them are watching marathons of shows online (I mean you, Parenthood) and going outside even when you shouldn't.  It means board games and candles burning over long conversations.  It also means getting...the...heck...out...of...town.

A couple of weeks ago, Dave and I did just that.  We went to one of our favourite haunts in Canada...the lovely mountain town of Canmore.  We love it there (in case you've missed any of my previous posts on the matter).  We took a week to be outdoors in the mountains in weather that didn't make our faces hurt because of how cold the air was.  We snowshoed and I tried cross-country skiing for the first time (read: FAIL) at the Canmore Nordic Centre.  We drank tea at our standby Communitea, at tented an event regarding outdoor winter safety and ate awesomeness at the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company.  We spent time with friends in nearby Calgary and envisioned what a quiet little life in the mountains would be like.

The following weekend, we decided to follow up our adventures in Canmore with an overnight escape to Saskatoon.  Not only to get out of town, but also to celebrate Dave's birthday.  While Canmore greeted us with sunny skies, snow and temps just above or just below freezing, Saskatoon blasted us with -50C wind chills and a desire to do nothing but stoke our cabin fever even more.  We did our best by getting out and enjoying some great pub grub at the Yard & Flagon, downed a couple of great pints at Winston's English Pub & Grill, visited the year-round farmer's market and had a lovely brunch at the hot place in town - The Hollows.  Hey, when it's cold outside...we eat!  Gotta add layers somehow!

Speaking of layers, some of you might be wondering how we cope with the extreme cold up here.  Layers, layers, layers.  And more layers.  Here's my, ahem, style guide to coping with the cold.

A Great Toque  
Preferably one that covers your ears.  Dave is currently sporting an Arcteryx Toque I gifted him for Christmas and I routinely sport a double-layer thermal that once belonged to my dad.

Warm and Weatherproof Boots
Dave gets military issued boots that regularly do the trick, but when we are hiking, he is now sporting his birthday present on his feet...the amazing Zamberlan Vioz GT Gore-Tex trekking boot.  High and dry.  When out and about on my daily routines, I am wearing Tofino Sorels (yes...Tofino!).  Cozy, warm and very dry.  

Warm, Insulated, Windproof Coats
I love the gift I got for moving north.  A Patagonia Tres Parka.  It has been a lifesaver on many a cold night.  It's got a double-layer system with their waterproofing and wind-resistance built in.  It also includes a detachable hood.  I love it.  Dave is wearing an older double-layer system from Columbia he's had for years.  We are looking into an Arcteryx system in the future for him.

That's your outerwear.  Of course there are always the things you can't see like fleece-lined tights and leggings (read:  AWESOME) and heavy duty socks.  I have a collection of scarves appropriate for any occasion.

At the end of the day, though...it's all about keeping yourself warm!

Here's to hoping your winter weather keeps you in a cozy spirit and entices you to make some more hot chocolate.  You should check out this link for yummy goodness inspiration.