Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Trip Home...

So, after a week in Vancouver visiting family and friends (a trip as you may know, is an extremely stressful one to plan!), I must say we had the best trip back home yet!  We were able to create a schedule to accomodate our close family and friends and spent a good deal of time with our loved ones.  Everybody's expectations were set - which made for an almost flawless visit! 

On another note, the road trip home is always a long one: exhausted from a week full of visiting here there and everywhere, and dreading returning home - cause well, it means our vacation is drawing to an end.  Well, this trip was even longer! Between Revelstoke and Golden an SUV rolled only 2 cars in front of us.  We did not see what had happend, only the cloud of dust that followed and the crushed remnants of a late model SUV sitting in the middle of the highway.  Ever think life is too short?  See something like that and you'll be reminded.  The RCMP response time was impressive, followed shortly thereafter by ambulance and fire & rescue.  Unsure if the rescued driver will make it, or what kind of shape he was in when they took him away - but I'm praying he is doing ok.

On a lighter note, that stalled our trip by about 2 hours.  Having departed late from Vancouver after the wedding festivities the night before, and being pretty shaken up by the accident, we opted to stop for the night rather than battle the treacherous Rogers Pass.  Right where we were stopped for that 2 hours was a  giant billboard for Kicking Horse Mountain Resort: wanting a comfortable bed, some TLC and a clean place to sleep we opted to venture up the mountain instead of battling the crowds in Golden.  What a treat that gamble proved!  Although it was almost 10pm and the lodges up there do not staff their front desk 24 hrs, we walked into a cozy BnB.  They were not able to accomodate us, but a staff member from the larger lodge was in the BnB pub having a pint!  As luck would have it, he was a jovial fellow and opened up his front desk to get us a room in the Glacier Lodge (they also had a reasonable rate of $144 for a king suite).  Super clean, comfortable resort setting nestled in the heart of the Rockies!  We then headed back to the pub to buy everybody a pint for their fabulous service!  The pub was called "Local Hero Pub" and served up some basic but delicious pub-grub.  We had such a great time we will probably be heading back next month!  Check them out at

Well, back to routine tomorrow! 

Look out YYC - I'm baaacccckkkkk! 


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dining Out in YVR: The Fish House

As many of you have realized, I LOVE food.  Rob and I have become foodies of sorts, and we love the experience of good food, the creativity of it and the wonder of a good chef.

My folks took us out to the Fish House which (as you can probably ascertain from the name of the restaurant) is a seafood restaurant located off of the beach in the heart of Stanley Park.  Location-wise, it certainly doesn't get much more unique that that!  Despite being a party of 6, the restaurant staff were able to accomodate us on the patio which was a lovely treat. 

I had done my homework beforehand and knew about the chef, Karen Barnaby.  I was able to ask the server what working with a female chef was like, and as soon as I showed a knowledge of the chef our server was super enthused to be serving us.  He spent some extra time chatting with us about wine selections and the food - what a treat!

For an appy Rob and I had a couple of oysters - a lovely treat on a summer evening!  I was a tad disappointed that they were not served with a chef's special sauce - just your run of the mill horseradish and cocktail sauce.  My mom munched on a tomato-bocaccini salad that looked marvelous, and according to her tasted just as good.  My sister ordered shrimp spring rolls which I was able to sample - they were deep fried spring rolls, not much to write home about.

For the main course Rob and I shared the Seafood Cornucopia: a beautiful medley of crab legs, lobster tails and sablefish (which we requested in place of the salmon) - unreal meal!  My sister and my gramma shared the chicken, which was reportedly done perfectly. And my folks had the sticky chili sablefish which apparently is the signature dish, and unbelievably delicious!

At the recommendation of our server, Rob and I shared the Okanagan Buttermilk Pie - a dish I would never have picked out on my own.  I am soo glad our server recommended it - it was unlike anything we've had before and was simply YUM!  To finish off the night, our server brought us some complimentary truffles, which were such a delight.

The wine for the night was a chardonnay from the Okanagan: Joie.  Again, suggested by our excellent server, it wasn't too sweet nor too dry - a perfect summer treat!

For menues and more info visit

Last night, a friend took us to a local joint on Commercial called Timbre Restaurant (  This was a super small pub/bistro with a charming ambiance.  The architecture included exposed timbre beams, while the walls featured a smattering of eye catching art. 

The food was pub-inspired with a bistro flare.  For appies we indulged in a tomatoe bruschetta which featured goat cheese (an unusual twist) and we also shared some scallops & prawns done in a garlic butter with a bit of spice - both were very good.

For dinner, I am not one to say no to anything with truffle oil (decadent, I know!) so I feasted on a Wild Mushroom Ravioli which was bathed in a light cream sauce and drizzled with truffle oil - it was a great pick!  Rob had the Oyster Po Boy, which in my opinion had too much tartar sauce (that's all you could taste).  The fries were done in a house blend of spices including tumeric which proved unique and tasty!

Unfortunately, Rob and I both fell ill not too long after dinner - we suspect it was the Po Boy as our friends were fine.  That aside, it was a great time with a friend I hadn't seen in far too long - and the food was tasty!

Tonight, we're off to Las Margaritas - I'll be sure to let you know how that goes!

Until next time,


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sharing Some LOCAL Inspiration

All of this excitement around trying to make myself and my health a priority once again, has gotten me pumped to surround myself with upbeat, positive and active individuals!

How often to we look for people to admire, to be role models in the big blue yonder? So often we look at celebrities and reality specials for solutions on our struggles – of the weight loss variety in particular. How often do we see an episode of “Last 10lb Bootcamp” or “Losing it” – or even a Weight Watchers commercial and search for inspiration there. I’ve got an idea for you: why not look in your own backyard? So many people…normal folks…without personal chefs…without 3 workouts a day for 3 months….people like you and me are doing amazing things in our own city everyday! Ever think to get inspiration, to get advice, to find support there?

Well, I’ve found an amazing amount of inspiration from a ton of people in Calgary – the wild and wonderful world of Twitter is mostly to blame. SO, why not share some of these, so we can all lean on each-other for support!

One of my favorite Twitter discoveries has been Champagne Fitness. I’ve written about Terri a few times. This blonde bombshell realized the power of locals connecting, and created an outdoor bootcamp in honor of her Twitter followers. Filled mostly with “tweoples” this has been a great way to connect with locals who are all striving to add a bit more fitness in their lives. Follow her at or check out her website at – she’s got a Fall bootcamp coming up if you missed out on the summer ass kicking!

What happens when two “fitness fanatics” connect? Find out at – a fabulous idea that came to Terri and her business partner Kim McNeil (follow her at This is an exciting business that fuses fitness, food and travel – ummm yes! (

Besides discovering excellent, enthusiastic and qualified professionals Twitter has proven to be a great vehichle for connecting with other folks who are battling the bulge, or simply getting out and kicking butt! Need workout inspiration? I recommend following some of these awesome Calgarians:

Here’s a list of those I get to workout with twice a week now at Champagne Fitness’ Bootcamp! Be sure to follow these fine folks as they venture through their various workout challenges, and the aches n pains we experience at Bootcamp: (who will be joining us soon!) I was so fortunate as to connect with these 2 girls on twitter, and then meet them at Bootcamp. Both have impressive stories! Most recently, they have both started to run, and are currently training for a half marathon in Las Vegas…now that’s motivation! - Kait has had quite the weight-loss journey and is now super buff! She’s super fun to follow: she’s witty and generally great fun to have on your feed! Lookin for a fun read? Check out her blog at (yes, even the title “No Mo Camel Toe” is a testament to this girl’s great sense of humor!)

Oh, and not to be forgotten are those of the male persuasion – cause it’s not just the ladies out there putting in the good fight! Dave has lost 118lbs to date and is well on his way to reaching his personal goals. Of his success and triumphs, Dave writes:

“A year and a half ago I met MCpl Jody Mitic a Canadian soldier who lost both his lower legs when he stepped on a IED. This motivated me to get going as I was in an accident when I was 18 and due to that have only half a muscle in my leg. I started simply with walking, and working out a few times a week: Jody would motivate me to get going – soon, I started to lose a bit of weight. In December of 2009 I challenged myself to quit drinking and this was when I really started to see it fall off! In only one year and a half I have now lost a total of 110lbs and have a goal of 40 more. II walk 7km 3 to 5 times a week, hit the gym now four days a week, drink a lot of water and treat myself to a good junky meal once a week as a treat.”

Now if that’s not inspirational, I don’t know what is!

Bike enthusiast, Bruce (and bootcamp participant), is another great follow (! Bruce shares his experiences on his bike (including a recent fab trip to Maui) and often tweets about his training: whether it be running or swimming, Bruce is an active Calgarian that’s always on the go!

Also not to be forgotten is Dan, as he trudges through his challenge of following a doctor directed, calorie reduced diet: or check out his blog at

This is just a small smattering of normal people doing amazing things here in Calgary! So when you’re looking for inspiration, or even just for a little support: don’t forget to check out what’s happening in your own backyard…you might be pleasantly surprised!

Have you been inspired? Or maybe found support online? Gotten some awesome advice? Or a great referral? I’d love to hear your stories!

Until next time,


Monday, August 9, 2010

Negative Nelly

Lately, a friend of mine has been exceptionally negative.  I always say "Life is like a mirror, what you put into it is what you'll get out of it."  Negativity breeds negativity, inaction results in no change and an unwillingness to try new things means you'll never discover them.'s the big question: do I bring this matter to the fore-front?  Would you?

*This post has been edited

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Fab Quiet Weekend Away

Rob and I hopped in the car, and ventured West for a bit of quiet time this long weekend. Living in the heart of downtown, on a busy street, sometimes you forget what quiet sounds like - and we find ourselves longing for a bit of it.

We are so fortunate as to have some friends who own a condo in Sparwood (about 20mins East of Fernie) - and who are so generous as to give us the keys to use the space at our leisure.  It's a small place, a quaint condo but it's just what the doctor ordered! 

Sometimes I feel old when we sneak away on these little weekend hideaways.  Many of our friends would rather meet at the pub or party-hardy, we'd rather just tuck away and enjoy some solitude.  We jump at the opportunity to take in some quiet time for reflection, for reading...sometimes for nothing more than that.  Rob and I often indulge in a fab meal or two (we seem to have adapted foody habits) and a few beers or glasses of wine. 

If you haven't been before, I highly recommend venturing out to Island Lake Lodge just a bit of West of downtown Fernie. Aside from the absolutely spectacular backdrop (nestled amongst the Rocky Mountains with a crystal clear lake), the food is something to write home about.  We went for a hike on the grounds first (had to earn our beer afterall!), and then ventured back to the lodge for lunch.  We both sipped on Fernie Pale Ale (the Fernie What the Huck is AWESOME!, hard to hunt it down even in Fernie, but I recommend giving this light brew a try!), the Fernie micro-brewery churns out some truley delicious ales.  For lunch, Rob had the Lodge Burger - a delightful conconction of avocado salsa, black beans...ok, maybe the beer got to me, I can't recall it all but it was amazing! It got served with some smashed fingerling potatoes - YUM! I had a veggie burger made with chick-peas and lentils, bursting with more flavor than can be anticipated in a veggie burger. Even meat-eater Rob was a fan of this dish!  If ever you're in the neighborhood check them out at

Well, now we're back and I must get right back into routine.  Consumed more beer than I would like to admit - but less than I would have 2 weeks ago (that's an improvement right?).  Back to Bootcamp tomorrow - no question Terri's gonna kick our ass back into gear!  All I can say to that is: Bring it on!

Until next time,