Friday, 29 June 2012

Weekend Warm-Up : June 29

This weekend it's our long weekend here in Canada. It's Canada Day!
Happy Canada Day!

As you can see from the picture above... it's raining in Vancouver again. A look at the positive though, it's supposed to get sunny (and stay sunny) by next weekend. Finally!

There's a festival that goes on every year in our community called "Golden Spike Days" and we usually don't make it to it because of other obligations with family or friends' Canada Day parties. This year though we were all ready to head down to the festival and have a couple drinks and then walk back to our place to watch the fireworks from our patio. It looks like we will just have to throw our own little celebration inside and hopefully the weather is clear enough for us to still watch the fireworks from our patio. We are on the 18th floor so shouldn't be too much of a problem (crossing fingers!).

Any plans for the long weekend or just the normal weekend?

  • If it was hot out and I needed a Margarita, this Margarita would definitely do!

  • This isn't a new product from Nike but I'm itching to get it lately. Who doesn't love a game of tag too?!?

  • This Vlog from Gabrielle Bernstein really made me think this week. I pondered what I might be trying to control in my life. Let go and enjoy some surprises in life.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, 28 June 2012

Why Do I Blog?

I'm currently attending "Blogging Your Way" e-course (highly recommend) and our homework this week was to do a blog post on : what blogging means to you, why you blog in the first place?

Blogging means to me: A Starting Point.

I have been reading blogs for years now and always wanted to start my own but I didn't know what to blog about. In the last few years I have really searched to find what my passions are and what naturally comes to me. I've found that my passion is Health & Wellness and spreading positivity in any way. I wanted to use my blog as a starting point to building a community of like minded women who care about their wellbeing and want to live each day in a positive light. I want to meet new individuals from across the world and share experiences and knowledge. I would love to collaborate with different people that are outside of my existing community. I also wanted to use this blog as starting point in helping women (&men) create a healthy life.

I want to use this blog as a way for me to get out my comfort zone. A way to push my boundaries. Sharing my opinions/thoughts and speaking out loud for all to judge or accept is a huge accomplishment on it's on for me. I also wanted blogging to be a way to push me and learn more about digital photography (another passion of mine).

This blog will also document my journey from becoming a Health Coach to opening our Health Retreat - B&B in the Caribbean. I love that I can share this journey with other people and have their support when times may get rough and of course sharing all the EXCITING times too!

I've learned alot so far on Blogging Your Way but what really stands out to me is learning the etiquette when blogging and how to deal with the different personalities. I also have loved learning about creating a brand.

Thanks to all the teachers at Blogging Your Way!
I've really enjoyed the teachers and the community of fellow students (waving hello!)

I look forward to staying in touch with them all.


Monday, 25 June 2012

Top 10: Bucket List for the Summer of 2012

I don't want this summer to pass me by again! 

Weekend getaway to Napa Valley

So when I saw this post at Inspired Coast, I couldn't resist and had to do my own bucket list for the summer. So many times the Fall season hits me with a thud and I realize I didn't accomplish everything I had thought about doing only because I had forgotten about them. This time.. it's here on the blog for all to see if I've done it or not.

Last Updated on 07/31/12
So here is my Top 10: Bucket List for the Summer of 2012  :

  1. Kayak or Canoe in the Port Moody inlet and along the coast of downtown Vancouver. We are hoping to take the dog with us - cross your fingers please.
  2. Watch a movie at the Twilight Drive-In. It's one set price and you get 3 movies! Can't beat that.
  3. Taking a day for myself to really dive in to my photography. Start the day by watching some lessons and then head out to try them. CHECK
  4. Run 60 minutes every morning for 10 consecutive days. I'm currently doing 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. I want to bump it up.
  5. Travel (somewhere) for a long weekend. Vegas? Northern California? Osoyoos? Oregon? Ideas welcome.
  6. Start brushing up on my Spanish with my boyfriend. We are going to need to learn Spanish as it will be the main language where we want to have our Health Retreat - B&B.
  7. Start school becoming a Health Coach - big one for me! CHECK
  8. Watch the fireworks at English Bay - Vancouver's annual fireworks competition. CHECK
  9. Take a bike ride around Stanley Park
  10. Hike up the local mountain and have a picnic at the top.

Bring it on Summer! I'm ready for you this time.

Any plans for the summer?


    Friday, 22 June 2012

    Weekend Warm-Up

    Happy Weekend!

    Crazy, did this week ever go by quick?! Don't get me wrong... not complaining at all. This weekend we have plans for a birthday dinner tonight and I've been craving these sushi cones from there. They are not your typical sushi cone. We asked the waitress last time what makes them so different because we tried making them with rice paper once before and it just didn't taste the same. The secret wrapping ingredient - soy paper! Now we have to go search for it.

    My pups and mom are coming over for a visit on Sunday. I've really missed my dogs lately (the Bernese mountain dogs). My mom took over looking after them when I moved into my condo recently. We have my boyfriends dog, Keena but I just miss my Big Fluffy Bears!
    Oh! and we are going to make some Paella. I'm thinking of doing a blog post on this recipe as my boyfriend makes a crazy paella dish! Mmmm drooling already.

    Here's some interesting tidbits for the weekend:

    Blueberry, Strawberry and Jicama Salsa - perfect for the beginning of summer.

    Have you heard about Tough Mudder? It's happening in Vancouver/Whistler this weekend. It's crazy and I think I might make this a future goal.

    Job well done! Congrats to the people of one of my favourite sites, The Everygirl. They made the Forbes Top 10 sites to follow for Millennial Women.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


    Wednesday, 20 June 2012

    First Day of Summer - Happy Summer Solstice

    Happy Happy Happy First Day of Summer!

    Spain - Next Summer
     It's the first day of summer and proclaimed by experts to be the happiest day of the year.
    "Dr. Cliff Arnall, formerly a lecturer at Cardiff University, devised this happiness formula -- O + (N x S) + Cpm/T + He -- to calculate the year's best day.
    It sounds complicated, but it actually is quite simple to work out. Here's how he figured that today radiates maximum happiness: The value of being outdoors (O) is added to nature (N) multiplied by social interaction (S), plus childhood summer memories (Cpm) divided by the temperature (T) and added to the excitement felt on a holiday (He). When all of this is tallied up, today's the number one occasion for peak happiness."
    WooHooo! is all I can say. I'm so happy that summer is finally here. Having more time in the evenings to get outside excites me incredibly. We don't have too many plans for the summer months... yet. In October or November we are going to go on a sunny destination vacation. That means we can enjoy our summer months sticking around Vancouver and enjoying the beaches here.

    Cheers to the first day of Summer!
    Hmm maybe a nice glass of rose wine will be in order for this evening. My favourite: Dirty Laundry - Hush


    Tuesday, 19 June 2012

    Healthy Food Substitutes - Choices

    Did you know we make an average of 35,000 choices a day ?!
    Substitute Sugar Sauces with Fresh Salsa on Fish & Meat

    With all that running through your head no wonder we it's difficult making healthy choices. Sometimes a simple decision though can have a tremendous affect your health. One decision that we should all strive to do everyday because it's so simple, is making simple food substitutions. The amount of calories, fat and sugar you can save from your body is incredible and with only one simple swap. I know it can be difficult sometimes when your in a rush, trying to figure out a meal but compared to having to an extra 30 minutes of cardio to burn off that unnecessary intake... hmm I'll go for stopping and thinking!

    Here are a few of the simple food substitutions that I find easy to integrate into my daily diet:

    • Instead of using rice as a side or in a recipe, I like to use Quinoa as my substitute. I find that quinoa takes on the same texture as rice and it also has the same type of flavor. It's easy to use just like rice. The Quinoa Queen has some great recipes on her blog. I'll be posting my quinoa "Fried Rice" dish soon.

    • Salad dressings can be a killer to your diet. A healthy easy alternative to the store bought is Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, a touch of Dijon mustard and seasoning (try to avoid salt). I make a batch each week and store it in a recycled bottle in the fridge. This makes it easy just like the store bought salad dressings minus the unwanted additives.

    • Greek yogurt is a great substitute. You can use it to substitute sour cream in recipes which has the same taste and texture. I like to substitute the store bought fruit yogurts with Greek yogurt. I just add some cut up fruit and if I'm craving something a little sweeter I will add a teaspoon of "no sugar added" jam to it. This way I am controlling what is in my yogurt.

    • I'm not a huuuge fan of chips (more of a sweets girl) but instead of reaching for something processed and deep fried a great alternative is Kale Chips. Ok.. hear me out - they actually taste good! Surprising, I know but give them try. Michelle over at Find Your Balance has a great recipe for Chili Lime Kale Chips. I like to just bake them with olive oil sprinkled on top, a dash of sea salt and sesame seeds sprinkled over.

    What food substitutes do you use/make? I always love hearing about different ones so please leave me a comment below if you've got one you would like to share.


    Friday, 15 June 2012

    This Weeks Wind-Up

    Father's day this weekend. Happy Dad Day to all those fathers!

    I actually don't have my dad in my life anymore and always take the time each year to think about how my mom took the responsibility of not only being my mom but being my dad to me too. Now being older I see how much she had to take on being a single parent. My grandfather has also been a great father figure to me and so "Happy Father's Day Gramps".

    Father's day got me thinking about exercising with family. This morning on my way into work I saw a mother and daughter going for run and thought it was great. Last week I also saw a father taking his young daughter out for a run through the trails and was impressed that he was starting his daughter off on the right mentality towards exercise. I love exercising with my mom. It's a great way to interact while it benefits your health. Next time your family wants to meet up for coffee or food why not suggest going for a walk first or even grab a coffee and walk. It's amazing how easy conversation becomes while you are moving.

    • Mistakes you may be making in your fitness class

    • This pizza looks incredible for a summer time meal. It's made with whole wheat dough too.

    • New Blog Book is coming out by OhJoy!

     Have a wonderful weekend!


    Thursday, 14 June 2012

    Let's Be Real & Authentic: Dreams & All

    So lately I've been thinking about my blog and how it wasn't sitting right for me. It felt like I was trying to be someone else. There were lots of elements I believed in but it wasn't coming from my soul. As you might have noticed I changed my subtitle of the blog from "Holistic Life Coach" to "Health & Wellness". I decided that being a "health coach" was more my style then anything else. I love to give advice on life and overwell being but I have a passion for Health & Fitness more than anything and want to help people change their lives for the better.
    I'm planning to start school to become a health coach at the Institute for Integrated Nutrition beginning in July or September. I'm super excited to start this as I had originally found this program 3 years ago and at that time didn't know if it was the right thing for me. I've tried many different avenues (career wise) in these past 3 years and found that my true passion is to help people with their health and wellness. Help them create new habits in the way they think and approach life (positivity). I believe positive thinking is a major factor in helping people stick with their new diet & exercise routine and new way of life. My idea is that it's done through:   Diet - Exercise - Positivity - Attraction. I want people to create new habits that stick around with ease in their life.

    What do I plan on doing with this? :
    My plan is to start coaching people 6 months from now. I already have the knowledge but I would love to have the credentials to ensure people feel comfortable coming to me for help/guidance. Eventually I would love to start taking on one on one consultations with people on the Internet and in person. Creating a health and wellness PLAN personalize for them. I'd be there for them every step of the way, giving them all the support they need.

    Now the big DREAM:
    This is something that has been uneasy to bring up in the past because it meant I had to vulnerable with people and let them know the "real" me and be open to judgement. Now who really wants to be judged?! The thing is though... I'm ready now!

    My partner (boyfriend) and I have decided that we would like to open a Health & Wellness Retreat - B&B in the Caribbean. Clients would be able to spend some of their time that they have off work (vacation time), resetting their life from unhealthy to healthy. They will be able to create new healthy habits which they can then implement back at home. I would be helping them create the plan in the beginning and teaching them each day while they are there on how to improve their health & wellness and fitness (mind, body,soul).

    Guest Room {via}
     My boyfriend is an amazing cook and will be going to school to learn more skills. At the retreat he will offer cooking courses on healthy cooking. It will be great to show people how you can take an unhealthy recipe and make a few changes/substitutions and it can still taste good! The basics of healthy cooking will be offered too.

    The retreat offers rest & relaxation too - it is your vacation/holiday after all! Enjoy the sand, sun and beaches aaaand maybe some wine ;)
    Check out my Pinterest board : Health Retreat- B&B on how I envision it so far

    Phew! That felt good to get out. The exact details may change a bit in the future - you just never know but the main goal/idea will stay the same. We've already started making changes in our life for this to happen. It's a super exciting time now that we have a dream out there in front of us.

    What do you think of our dreams and goals? Would you go to a health & wellness retreat in the Caribbean?

    -Michelle xo

    Wednesday, 13 June 2012

    MIA - House for Sale

    Hello ?
    Sorry I've been MIA for a bit. We are in the midst of helping my boyfriends parents sell their home privately (house on the river - will be sold quickly) and we are buying a townhouse at the same time. Lots going on!
    Over the weekend we were able to take an hour out of cleaning and get outside. It was nice to get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors. We headed up the mountain to Buntzen Lake where there are some trails that go along the edge of the water. All the berries are ripening and you have to keep your eye out for bears. At times that can get a little uneasy! Keena (one of our dogs) always helps us with her nose up high, ready for anything.

    Has life been pretty hectic for you? I've heard lots of people talking lately about how they have a million different things going on. I guess it's time to do some prioritisation.


    Friday, 8 June 2012

    This Weeks Wind-up

    What's the plans for this weekend?
    Where's the sunshine?!

    It's been rainy and gloomy here in Vancouver for a week now. It's actually pretty unusual for this time of year. We are getting out of the house tonight and going to head to a local restaurant to have some appies and drinks. For me, it's a must to get out for dinner once a week. We live on the outside border of Vancouver and there isn't alot of variety in the restuarants. We (bf & I) always debate moving downtown as we both miss going out more often. Although we know it will save us TONS of money for the future/dreams of ours. Have to remember to look at the bigger picture!

    I'm coming into the second weekend of the e-course "Blogging Your Way" and I am loving all the incredible blogs out there. Lots of online blog reading for me coming up! It's been great meeting everyone who's taking the course too.

    • Another reason why you should read the ingredients on anything that is packaged to eat. Take a look at the fine print on this one. Broken down it's clear to see there's nothing nutritional about it.

    • I love all flowers! My aunts a florist and I think I picked up the bug from her. Here's a great new series on the meaning behind different flowers.

    • Having a weak moment and need some great comfort food but want to still stay healthy? I'm trying out this cheesy QUINOA casserole this weekend. Mmmm hope it turns out good!

    Have a wonderful weekend!


    Thursday, 7 June 2012

    A Look @ Positve Affirmations

    Affirmation: the assertion that something exists or is true.

    "What you believe is what you become"
    Source: Love To B - Inspirational Design

    Affirmations are a great way to control the thinking that goes on in your mind. To be in control of your thinking creates a better, positive surrounding for yourself. An affirmation is simply to make a statement that you believe with all your energy to be true. Affirmations can create a positive state of mind and keep you in the present moment. Affirmations can bring you courage, strength and empowerment. I choose to say my affirmations 3 times in my head as it feels more solid to me this way.

     I love to use affirmations while I am:

    Going for my morning run: It's a great way to set the pace for the day.
    •  Example: "Today is filled with opportunity. Everywhere I look I can see it, and I trust my intuition to follow where it leads". Simple and meaningful: "I am Grateful for today!" or "Things always work out well for me".

    Driving in my car anywhere: A nice reminder to stay alert and safe.
    • Example: I will arrive on time, safely and secure to my destination.

    Eating: Helps to bring consciousness to what your eating and how you are eating.
    • Example: "I choose foods that are nutritious to my health" or "With every bite I take my body receives all the proper nutrients".

    Working: A great way to help work run smoothly.
    • Example: "Fresh creative ideas are coming to me every day" or "I choose to give my best 100% of the time".

    Exercising: Keeps you moving and motivates you to push yourself a little farther or harder.
    • Example: "I have an abundance of energy to exercise and feel healthy" and "I am getting stronger everyday".

    Laying down before Bed: Creates a calmness and relaxation before you fall asleep.
    • Example: "I wake up each morning on time, refreshed and with energy, ready to begin the day" or "Everything in life happens with perfect timing".

    Do you use affirmations? Are they daily or when you need that boost of confident, positive energy?


    Monday, 4 June 2012

    Monday: off on the right foot: Getting Back on Track

    Where do you need to get back on track in your life?

    Tomorrow is a new day to start over!

    With my recent offbeat week and spending the whole weekend house cleaning where I choose to eat nothing of the healthy kind, it's time for ME to get back on track. After eating processed foods in the last few days my body has given me a huge signal, "that's enough, thanks!". My mood has turned sour and my body looks a little, let's say..... puffed out.

    Here's some tips of how to get back on track health/food wise:

    1. Accept that you were off your plan for a bit and now move on (no pitty party invites put out)
    2. Start slow. Think about each meal and have it planned in your head. Going back to the basics and reviewing your diet plan can help you stay on course. Planning your meals also helps you avoid the last minute "I don't know what to eat.... snacks look good" that leave you unfulfilled and still hungry.
    3. Remind yourself of how good it felt when your body was living off of clean food. Yes that ice cream cone dipped in chocolate may look really good right now and may take that edge off of your sour mood but I bet the feeling of being clean and lean feels 10 times better. 
    4. One step at a time and soon it will all just be natural habits again.
    5. Water, water, and some more water. Remember that water is a huge part of being healthy and can help clear out any of those lingering toxins. Nasty buggers.

    How do you get back on track? Any tips?


    Friday, 1 June 2012

    This Weeks Wind-up - Interesting Start to June

    my oh my....
    2am fire alarm evacuation
    This has been quite the... interesting week. Monday started off great and then I think there was something in the air because I wasn't the only one all this week who's workouts failed. The strange thing is that I did not even make a concious decision to not work out in the morning, it was all by accident. My alarm clock even failed twice to wake me up (or I didn't hear it - my mistake).

    Wednesday night there was a disturbing incident in our community with a man being shot. This is not a common occurance around our area and really made everyone feel a little uneasy. 

    That brings us to TGIF... and it started off with alarms/sirens/flashing lights. The fire alarm in our condo building was set off at 2am and everyone filed nicely outside into the misty rain (the kind where it soaks you). Even our dog didn't want anything to do with being outside, which is quite rare. After a while we were let back in and I tried to lay down for some more sleep but was unsuccessful. At least I was able to get up for a run - positive side!

    So this afternoon I think I will take a little siesta.....

    • I'm a huge breakfast lover and would love to make a health version of French Toast. This French Toast looks simple and delicious for a weekend morning.

    • Imagine having a Glowing Driveway?? It would look amazing at a Cottage/Summer house.

    • Even though June started out with a bang/alarms/flashing lights, here's something to celebrate - check out this awesome contest  from Vega that starts today - @VegaTeam - #GetEnergized and win! Sounds like a win win situation to me.

    • Wouldn't you love to escape to this coast this summer?

    P.S - I was going to post some more blog posts this week but as you could tell.... some things got in the way. No excuses next week ;)

    Have a wonderful weekend!
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