October 24, 2014
by Sam
26 Comments

Five Things Friday 10/24/14.

Happy birthday to meeeeee!

Birthday (img source)

I’ll be celebrating with Amanda and Jo tonight – I can’t wait!

But since it’s also Friday…

Five Things Friday

Let’s Five Things Friday, shall we?

5 Things I’ve Eaten Lately:

1. Seitan Larb from Veg Out.

Seitan Larb

Chef-friend and I went to Veg Out (a vegan restaurant in London) shortly before the move. This was a Thai-style salad with minced seitan, lemongrass, chilis, mint and peanuts. It was super refreshing!

2. Seafood Linguini from Fellini Koolini’s.

Seafood Linguini

Another ‘final week in London’ meal. My family and a few friends had a little going away dinner before I left at Fellini’s, which is probably my favourite Italian restaurant in the city. This had shrimp, scallops and lobster – so good.

3. BBQ chicken, corn and peas, sweet potato fries, and a roll.

Chicken Dinner

My last dinner at home with family and friends before the move!

4. Sushi!

Sushi

As you probably saw on Jo‘s post, my dad took us out for sushi at Chef Studio Japan in Canmore. Definitely a fabulous introduction to Canmore restaurants – it was awesome.

5. Chicken drumsticks with roasted red potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

Chicken Dinner

My first real ‘meal’ I cooked for myself in my new home that wasn’t eggs or a smoothie. Good to know that I’m still capable of turning on an oven.

5 Things Happening Lately:

1. This is the welcome package that Jo had for me when I got here Saturday:

Welcome Gift

Do you think she knows me or something? She’s awesome.

2. When we put our entire nut butter collection together, this is what we had (as shown on my Instagram):

Nut Butters

We’re a healthy living blogger cliche. 

3. Umm, did I mention it’s my birthday? (yup). I’ve been telling people all year that I’m going to have some sort of breakdown on my 25th birthday of the “ohmygod I got old I have to start wearing anti-wrinkle cream and I can’t claim early 20’s anymore!!!!”

I’m writing this Thursday afternoon, so we’ll see how that goes.

25th Birthday

(img source)

4. This cracks me up every single time I get home.

Pug

HE LOOKS SO SAD. 

5. I really want to learn to rock climb. I’ve done indoor walls a few times, but I want to get into it a little more seriously and take it outside next summer.

Elevation Place

This should help, right? This is Elevation Place, a gym/climbing gym/aquatic centre in Canmore. I think I need to join.

5 Things I Pinned This Week:

1.Gotta keep reminding myself about this in the weeks to come.

Hard

2. Something that I’m currently learning!

Moving On

3. That’s the goal.

Adventurous

4. They do!

Good Things Take Time

5. And the drool-worthy dessert of the week: Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Bars via Recipe Girl.

Cheesecake Bars

Yup, I could go for one of those right about now. Birthday dessert?

But that’s for me – have a good one!

<— Plans this weekend?

<— How many nut butter jars do you have kicking around?

<— Have you ever been rock climbing?

October 23, 2014
by Sam
63 Comments

How I Was Led to the Mountains.

Hi! Happy Thursday! How’s your week been going?

Something that I’ve failed to mention with all the other exciting things happening lately – this is my birthday week! I turn 25 tomorrow. So I get to experience my first birthday in the mountains right away. I’ll be celebrating in Banff and Amanda’s coming down, so needless to say, I can’t wait!

So now that we all know that I’m living in Canmore with Jo, I want to talk a little bit about how I ended up making the decision to come here.

I should start off by saying that I am a Type A personality to the core. I obsess over details, I plan everything in advance, and if things don’t go the way I plan them, I start to lose my shit. If you asked me 6-8 months ago where my life would be in 5 years, I could have told you exactly what I pictured happening. Engaged or married to my then-boyfriend. Maybe a baby and a house by then, but at least a plan to get those two things underway. Graduated and working in London, Ontario, where I’ve been most of my life. For years, I had been watching my friends and family grow up, settle down, buy houses and start families. So I figured that was where my life was going.

But as much as I didn’t want to admit it to myself, I was unhappy, and been been for a while. I was trying to put myself into the mold of what I should be, rather than what was right for me. I had been holding onto things that weren’t right, simply because I was afraid of what would happen without them. I had been ignoring my gut instincts about this ‘life plan’ of mine for ages, to the point where it felt like I was suffocating.  I had started talking to friends about my unhappiness, but I wasn’t at the point yet where I could follow through with what I needed to do.

Worrying (img source)

Finally, in a fit of insomnia, I found myself pounding out an email to Jo in the middle of the night about how I had been feeling. I knew I had a connection with her and she felt like the right person to turn to. And she basically told me exactly what I needed to hear – that it was ok. It was ok that I was feeling the way I did, and it was ok to really follow my heart and my gut instincts and to make the necessary changes. At that point I mentioned to her that I had been thinking about coming out West to look for work, which she encouraged and we started throwing around the idea of me staying with her.

After my conversation with her and some other close friends, I knew what I needed to do in order to really be happy and discover my authentic self.

I ended my relationship. I defended my thesis (both of those happened in the same week, by the way) and finished up school. I moved back into my parents and lived in a camping trailer in their garage (seriously).

I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders – I was free to really discover myself.

I still couldn’t shake the idea of moving out West – the thought was constantly in the back of my head. But quite honestly, I was terrified to make that change. I found myself looking inward and asking the Universe for guidance.

A few days later, I was driving to a friends house, looking for my turn on the left side of the street. Inexplicably, my eyes were drawn to the right and I found myself staring directly at one of the street signs.

Calgary Street.

Later that night, I went in to my parent’s room to use their TV. It was the first time I had even looked at it since I had moved back home. I turned it on, and noticed what channel it was turned to:

The Calgary News.

Basically, I had been asking for my sign, and the Universe was sending them my way. So, Jo and I turned the idea of me moving in into a solid plan, and I worked out with my parents how I was going to get here. I’m not quite in Calgary, but I’m 45 minutes away, which I think is what was supposed to happen. Once I was set in my decision to move, everything fell into place surprisingly easily. 

And now, here I am.

Mountains

I’d be lying if I said this move was easy for me. Moving there goes far beyond leaving my comfort zone – it’s leaving it 4000 kilometres behind. Leaving behind family and friends is a scary thing. Even knowing that my intuition was telling me I was making the right move, I had so many questions.

What if I hate it?

What if I can’t find a job?

What if I don’t meet people or make friends easily?

What if I don’t fit in?

Basically, there was a lot of fear holding me back and tripping me up. My ego (yes, I’ve been reading a lot of Gabrielle Bernstein lately) was trying to keep me stuck in my fear and rooted in one place.

Timing

But I decided to face those fears, abandon any sense of ‘plan’ that I had in the past, and head to the mountains.  

And this is where I need to be right now. I’m here to grow as a person, to get some new life experiences, and truly discover my authentic self. I’m here to learn how to put plans aside and embrace life as it comes to me.

I Must Go Spotted in the window at a store in downtown Canmore. I may have to go back for it.

Once again, thank you for all the support in this journey!

Have a good one!

<— What’s the biggest life change you’ve ever made?

<— Do you struggle with following your intuition?

<— Have you ever noticed a ‘sign’ after you’ve been hoping for one?

October 22, 2014
by Sam
49 Comments

WIAW: Road Trip Edition.

Hey, remember when I used to do WIAW on a regular basis?

WIAW

So those kinda fell by the wayside for…pretty much the last month. Sorry about that! I kept forgetting or was too lazy to photograph an entire day of eats, so I kept skipping it. But I know that you guys get curious about what someone else eats in a day, so I’m going to bring it back. Although today is just a collection of eats from the road trip, as opposed to the traditional “everything I ate in a day” format. I will get back to those though!

So I will say that we didn’t pay attention to where we were eating at ALL. There was a lot of diner food, continental breakfasts, fast food, and convenience store snacks. But I feel like that’s just part of the road trip experience, isn’t it?

(and I didn’t include everything we ate – just a few selections!)

So…road trip food!

Breakfasts:

Pumpkin Pie Parfait

 

The BFF sent me off on the car ride with pumpkin pie parfait – pumpkin, vanilla Greek yogurt, and granola. All done up in a fancy mason jar. Delicious and pretty.

Full Breakfast

We grabbed a full breakfast from the cafe at Mount Rushmore – eggs, bacon, hash browns, and a biscuit with gravy. This is where I learned that I don’t actually like the white gravy that traditionally comes with biscuits and gravy so I wasted a perfectly good biscuit.

Oatmeal

Apparently, I was starting to miss ‘real food’ because I was stupidly excited when the hotel we stayed at Friday night had packets of plain oatmeal included in their breakfast. 2 packets + peanut butter and jam did the trick.

Lunches:

Burger King Salad

While I will eat fast food when the situation calls for it, I am super picky about it – and Burger King doesn’t fall onto my list of ‘good’ fast food places. So I picked up their apple, cranberry and chicken salad with bleu cheese and honey mustard dressing. Weirdly enough, it was pretty tasty.

And apparently that’s the only lunch picture I got – but to be fair, we usually snacked through lunch.

Dinners:

Prime Rib

The first night we stopped at a Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner. It was my first time there and it was pretty good! This + bread and salad.

Subway Salad

Subway salad with chicken and avocado eaten in a hotel room at 9 pm. Plus a shot of my feet, apparently.

Salmon Dinner

Salmon dinner at a diner somewhere in Montana. After a day of car snacks, I was super excited to get a real meal in me.

Car snacks:

Sunchips, nuts, turkey jerky

Sunchips, mixed nuts, and turkey jerky.

Beef Jerky

Beef jerky. Basically, my blood was half sodium for a few days.

Twizzlers

Twizzlers. They seem like an appropriate road trip choice.

Quest Bars

Quest bars. I had a stash with me that I worked my way through.

Chocolate Bar

One night, my dad mentioned that we needed dessert so he grabbed us chocolate bars from a gas station. I wasn’t mad about it.

So there you have it! For a road trip, I think we did pretty well. Although I was really excited to have a kitchen again – I’ve missed cooking!

Have a good one!

<— If fast food is the only option, what would you go for?

<— What car snacks do you like to have on road trips?

<— Twizzlers, yay or nay? Favourite candy? I’m more of a chocolate person, but Swedish Berries are pretty awesome.