1. A picture’s worth 1,000 words.
2. Booking a Christmas/New Year’s adventure to Ixtapa. It was a splurge, but this girl needs some sun and the holidays lounging by an infinity pool sounds a to better than chilling in Calgary or Vancouver (sorry family).
3. Hanging out with Lana around a rip roaring real fireplace at the Post Hotel. There are far worse ways to spend an evening.
4. Noel nog in my morning coffee. Just makes the pain of waking that little bit more tolerable.
5. Just belting out Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” pretty much all the time. Can’t get that track out of my head.
6. A Tour de 17th Avenue night with Ruthie. Our neighbourhood has a pretty fun little cocktail scene going on these days.
7. Signing papers. 2015 is going to be a big one.
8. Those rare moments when things feel just like the old days, but better, since we know what we know now.
9. Discovering that all the Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay holiday specials are online on food network.com. There’s just something soothing about a British guys cooking a ham while you’re drifting off to sleep.
10. Festive Saturday adventures in Banff with two of the most interesting ladies. Certainly don’t get out to the mountains nearly enough, but twice in one week ain’t bad.
1. Adventures at Azuridge with the lovely Lana. Sometimes “work” is a little bit too much fun.
2. Standup comedy shows. Entertaining even without alcohol consumption, that’s impressive.
3. The “my face hurts” feeling that follows the show.
4. The Clotted Cleaver from, you guessed it, Cleaver. Rich and I wandered in for a nightcap last week after another tasty feast at Anju and I decided on a little dessert in liquid form. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
5. Free stuff. I mean, who doesn’t love free stuff, really?
6. Holiday nog is back on the shelves people! I’m actually pretty late to the party this year, but I have officially bought my first bottle of boggy goodness. I will likely take my first sip momentarily.
7. The perfectly sized, perfectly sweetened (as in not too much) paleo chocolate cakes at Cafe Eurphoria. Just delightful!
8. Striking those really long matches. Call me a pyro, but I definitely feel a strange twinge of joy at how easily those babies burst into flame. It’s a weird one, I know, but I like it.
9. Double workout days. It’s been quite a while since I’ve doubled down. Feels good…and it means I get to eat a lot. Not even kidding. I workout so I can pig out.
10. Broccoli cravings. They come out of nowhere and they mean business.
1. Illustrations of myself. They really never get old. Well done, Julie Mclaughlin. Well done.
2. The 10th anniversary issue of Swerve from which that illustration is from. Reading through creator and original editor, Shelley Youngblut, and the genius, Kevin Brooker’s, thoughts about the last 10 years actually had me tearing up. And looking through all the covers and stories I had a hand in during my six years made me so proud to have been a part of it.
3. The return of pomegranate arils to the grocery store. So. Much. Time. Saved!
4. That moment when I was re-raching my deadlift weight and something knocked one end upwards, triggering a domino effect of every single barbell tumbling down onto my forearms. Luckily it was the second last exercise of the night so the endorphins saved me from much much pain, but the way it played out in slow motion in my head (and the super intense bruised I now have) are both pretty hilarious.
5. This fun little winter fitness segment I did this past weekend on Global.
6. Curry. I don’t know what’s going on, but I just can’t get enough of it these days.
7. Catching up with the whole team at the Swerve anniversary party. Too much wine and too many good peeps is the recipe for one of the worst hangovers on record, but it was worth it. Sort of.
8. Intriguing, intriguing offers from overseas.
9. Adventures in the Costco liquor store. I didn’t think we had them here!? The only time I’ve ever been is in Cabo and frankly, that place is AWESOME. Legit Champagne for $28.00? My favourite Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc for $15? Ummm, yah, don’t mind if I do. Totally going to taste my way through all the Kirkland offerings….once I can fathom the thought of alcohol again (read: item seven).
10. Tales of my pal Maria’s “eccentric” British parents. I was beside myself crying/laughing as she recounted a few of the incidence of her youth. There are some people in this world who you just need to meet. Her father, mother and step-mother are now on that list for me. They also need their own reality show. For reals.
1. Ridiculously good brunches at Ox & Angela. Sangria in the afternoon makes the world go round.
2. Small glimpses of my former beast mode workout self coming back. There’s just something about kicking your own ass alone in the gym that makes it feel like an even bigger accomplishment.
3. When you open a new container of protein and the scoop is on top. It really is the little things in life.
5. Staying conscious through meditation. Small victories, people. Small victories.
6. The moment when, you don’t for the life of you remember buying new winter boots last year, but you go into the closet to grab your grubby old ones and there’s a shiny new pair waiting!
7. Very, very random Halloween events that end at Duckys.
8. Going through my old makeup bags (I was a beauty editor for a while there….so yes, there are multiple bags) and finding forgotten gems. I’ve been wanting to try Revlon’s Vixen lipstick lately and as it happens, I already own it.
9. Contributor pages. It’s so weird to be the one answering the questions!
10. Grabbing an old coat from the closet and finding a $10 bill in the pocket. That’s really is just the sweetest.
1. It’s funny cause it’s true.
2. Absolutely psychotic and totally unexplainable dreams. Usually there’s like some thread of something I can connect to my real life that makes sense for the wackiness that occurs unconsciously, but lately things have just been batsh*t cray.
3. The cauliflower mash from The Main Dish. I lose my mind every single time.
4. Days worth getting dressed up for.
5. Successful online glasses shopping. I had serious doubts about selecting frames online and punching in a prescription, but I think I like my Zenni optical finds even more than the pair I bought in person. Very good lesson learned.
6. Malcolm Gladwell. Considering my degree is in media and pop cultural studies I’m not entirely sure how I avoided reading any of his work in my earlier years, but thanks to an excellent birthday gift (thanks, Seb!) I’m juts dug into Blink for the first time and am loving it.
7. Total curve balls. The Universe is a humorous character.
8. Ridiculously generous gifts from my new friends at Poppy Barley. I shall show you what I speak of once they arrive, but let’s just say they are of the badass black leather variety.
9. Conversations overheard at the coffee shop. I just love people (well, that’s not entirely true). Their conversations are just so friggin random sometimes. And yes, I am the girl sitting behind you at Starbucks with earbuds in listening to every word you say.
10. Chili ginger bok choy. I’m just making this heads at a time now and devouring it. Should I be concerned?
1. Nostalgic scenes from my back alley. Pretty sure I used to have that very same tricycle.
2. The urge to bake. It always seems like so much effort to make muffins (it’s really not when you do it the way I do), but these pumpkin spices babies are so worth it.
3. Taking the time to schedule in catchups with my buds. There really are a lot of unused hours in most of my days, so it was so pleasant to have coffee (ok, mostly just stay sitting in the same spot at Starbucks where I had been working for the previous four hours) with Richard AND Karen in the same day. Not long enough visits, they never are, but that’s a good day right there.
4. Positive feedback. I had the pleasure of checking out Orange Theory Fitness last week for a feature I’m working on for the Herald and I have to say it was a very refreshing workout experience from what I’m used to. Fitness nerds like myself are going to love this place. You can see exactly how hard you are working, exactly what areas may need improvement and when you’re kicking ass the instructor takes note and tells you so. I just wish there was one closer to my hood cause I would be all over this as my cardio option.
5. That moment when you get home from a night out really wishing you had stopped to get something sinful to eat and your remember there’s a taco in your dang purse! I literally squealed with joy.
6. Stepping out of that comfort zone and trying something new. It’s a lovely place, but it has been well established that nothing ever grows there.
7. Brunches that turn into dinner and a random outing to a Salt & Peppa concert. Screw you New York Times, go ahead and classify me as an asshole, but I love brunch.
8. Crazy out of the blue unexpected offers that could possibly flip your whole life plan on its head.
9. Oversized sweaters and moccasins. Pants are overrated.
10. Extremely random Friday night adventures. Sometimes you just need to party with strangers, yo.