Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Year's Resolution or Should I Say, Reconstitution

The New Year is creeping up on us, and with it, the annual desire to clean the slate and have a fresh start. I've never been big on New Year's resolutions. I'm more of a fan of year-round resolutions. But this year, I find myself looking at the New Year mark as a "ready, set, go" trigger for getting back in shape. I know, I know, how cliche. But truly, pregnancy has done a number to this once happy body. Now it's all , how shall we say, loosey goosey. I really should have been much more appreciative of how low maintenance it was before. Now, I see a hard road ahead, full of crunchies and other strenuous and time-consuming, not to mention boring, abdominal and pelvic exercises. Sigh.

Hence, the reconstitution. Reconstitution of my body that is. Or here's hoping (see above image minus the retro '80s highcut aerobic pantie). In truth, the New Year could really be an excuse for my procrastination to date. But I prefer to keep things on the up side so we'll view it as goalsetting rather than goal-avoiding.

With this newfound focus on my health, it's only fitting that a few of my last assignments before maternity leave were for the Apple, Alberta Health Services' magazine. In it, I interview Olympic Champion Chandra Crawford who had to go through a different kind of reconstitution, recovering from her injuries to compete at the 2010 Olympics. Read about how she makes her health as big a priority as her sport.

Here's to a healthy and happy 2011!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Do Your Best

Well, I'm the proud new momma of Miss Annabel, who has just hit the ripe old age of three weeks. Hence why I've fallen off my blogging (and many other activities such as sleeping and showering). I gotta say, this mothering thing is a lot more challenging than anticipated, largely because I am more sleep deprived than I ever thought possible. (To think that I was worried about the labour--it's laughable now!)

But I'm doing my best because I must. It's what you do when it's for your child. I never really thought the meaning of becoming a parent would be so palpable so early on, but it pretty much kicks in ASAP.

Doing your best is about all you can ask of anyone. And if you truly do perform at your best, then it is almost always enough. And if it isn't, part of doing your best is knowing when to ask for help. Which I am trying to do as well.

Along the same lines of doing your best, Avenue magazine's November issue features the annual Top 40 under 40 (nice segue, I know). I had the pleasure of interviewing Stephanie Raynor-Hohol, one of this year's top 40 who is a single mom and business owner, working hard and doing good. Have a read through on all her do-gooding.

Until next time, which hopefully won't be too far off, but if it is, you now know why...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Going Back to Au Naturel

It's funny. You'd think that being pregnant would be a time when going "au naturel" would make the most sense. And I'm referring to health supplements, not strutting around naked (although I don't judge those who wish to do so). And yet, pregnant women are advised not to take anything herbal or "natural", not because they are necessarily bad for the growing babe, but because there's been no testing of such products on pregnant women.

I recently interviewed a couple of researchers at BCIT who are trying to fill the gap in how effective Natural Health Products (NHPs) really are. Not only do they hope to determine efficacy of NHPs through a holistic approach, but they also plan to see what additional benefits NHPs may have that have not been traditionally explored. You can see my story at Innovation Canada.ca.

Now that I'm in the homestretch (38 weeks pregnant and counting), I'm looking forward to having my babe and also being able to enjoy NHPs again, starting with my soothing herbal teas and essential oils.

I bet some of you are wondering what my take on birthing and going "natural" is. Let's just say I'm keeping an open mind! Here's hoping for an "easy birth"--an oxymoron, I'm told.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wishing for Sunshine (a la Scottsdale)

So we're officially winding down summer although many Albertans would argue that we never had a summer to begin with. This year's summer was one of the most dismal weather-wise that I can remember. But, I have had it pointed out to me that it was the perfect pregnancy summer because apparently scorching heat is the worst for expectant mothers. I can only imagine since there was nary a day that we cracked 20 degrees Celsius. I'm sure my fetus and I could have dealt with just a little more heat.

Thankfully, I can reminisce about my spring trip to Scottsdale--where sunshine and heat are plentiful. We went down for my girlfriend Libby's wedding and of course, I couldn't help but write a story about our Arizona adventures, which published this month in both Avenue Calgary magazine and Avenue Edmonton (page 62).

Four Seasons' stunning pool area

We had a blast wandering through Old Town Scottsdale along with wining and dining at the likes of Talavera at the ultra luxe Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North. That resort is oh-so-lovely, making it easy to sit back, relax and soak up the sun. We also took to the skies in a hot-air balloon ride. And of course, we shopped. Arizona has no shortage of outlet malls!

We can't wait to make our way back. Have a read and see for yourself what Scottsdale has to offer.

Here's hoping we get a balmy autumn...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Walking the Talk

Alberta is a place full of wonderful walks. Being close to the mountains, we tend to head west to hike it out on alpine trails. But there's much to be said for heading south too. Like checking out the treks in the fair city of Lethbridge. That's what I write about in the latest issue of Canadian Geographic's Travel magazine. Have a boo at what's worth hiking in Southern Alberta's biggest hub. Hup, two, three, four!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summertime and the livin's easy...

I cannot believe it's already the third week of July. I feel like summer has only just begun and yet it's almost over.

Summer really is my favourite season. I love it for the weather, of course (when it's cooperating), bare feet, strappy tank tops, capri pants, BBQing, icy drinks dripping with condensation from the heat, taking the dog for walks by the river and watching him freak out when he forgets he can actually swim, driving with all the windows down...oh the list goes on.

Summer is also a great time for reading. I love sitting on the deck, basking in the sun as I catch up on the piles of books and magazines I've collected over the year. In particular, I invite you to pick up the summer issue of Prairies North magazine, where you'll find my 'On the Trail' story. In it, I chronicle my trail riding experience through Saskatchewan's Prince Albert National Park with cowboy/rancher/tour guide Gord Vaadeland. It was my first time spending any real time in the neighbouring province of Sasky and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it and how different it was from what I expected. Everyone thinks of flat plains and grasslands, but SK is actually full of boreal forest and bogs! Yes, bogs!

Anyhow, hope you're all enjoying the sunshine! Here's to summer!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Baby-Free Final Hurrah?

Me and my furry child on our last Okanagan road trip adventure.

With baby on the way, hubby Jason and I have been pondering whether we should take a final trip before we officially become parents. (Sounds a bit ominous, doesn't it?) Realistically, we don't anticipate making any travel plans or what's known as a "babymoon" for a good six months after baby arrives. For me, that's a really long stretch.

So, I'm thinking, yes, we need to plan some twosome getaway time (even though that's likely what got me in this "condition" to begin with!) To be entirely accurate, it would be a threesome--not the kinky kind, but the canine kind, which sounds pretty kinky actually. We would never roadtrip without our furry child, Bing.

As much as I'd like to head back to Maui, one of our favourite spots, especially since Jason got sicker than a dog on the last visit, we haven't budgeted for such a trip nor will I likely be able to fly in a few more weeks' time. [See my Maui stories in up! and on msn.ca if you're thinking about going...lucky bastard.]

That means ROAD TRIP! For us, that typically equates to a jaunt off to the Okanagan, another one of our favourite locations. I was recently in Vernon, checking out the new Sparkling Hill resort. (Stay tuned for my story in up! magazine this September.) So, it'd be fun to head back again and also visit some friends in the Kelowna area. I mean, just look how much fun was had on previous trips as seen in my homemakers.com "Food and Fun in BC's Okanagan Valley" gallery.

Anyhow, the clock is ticking, and as we all know, summer always flies by so I guess I better go plan me a trip!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Baby, Baby, Baby

It's official. I'm five months pregnant. In another five months, I will actually be responsible for another human being. EGAD! Right now, it just looks like I'm working on a stellar beer gut.

Anyhow, pregnancy has led to a number of interesting conversations of late about my career; will I take a full year of mat leave from my job as the Executive Director of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association? Will I return to my job after mat leave? Who will take care of baby if and when I return to work? Will I want to run screaming back to the office after a few weeks? What's a girl to do?

There are no easy answers when it comes to family and work. I have no idea what having a child will really mean to my life, and whether my maternal gene will kick in and I'll love being at home, taking care of baby. Or, whether hubby will need to step up because this momma ain't staying at home, padres.

I've left things open at the moment so that I have options, which puts me in a fairly envious position. Many moms have no choice but to return to work shortly after birthing. Others decide that pregnancy is the time to put their work aside. For those like me, it's one huge gray area. But judging from the talks I've had with many a galpal and colleague lately, this is one stressful decision. And sadly, the decision almost always falls with the woman. So much for equality, right?

I actually explore this whole gender and family politics at work issue in a story I did for Unlimited magazine. It's a tough one, but frankly, I'm thankful that I have the luxury to weigh my options. So, I guess we'll see what the future brings!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day, baby!

Photo: NASA Glenn Research Center (NASA-GRC)

Yes, tomorrow is officially Earth Day, although personally, I really try to treat every day as Earth Day. Sounds hokey, right?

But honestly, it takes little to no effort to do something "green" each and every day to help preserve this lovely planet we call home. I reuse things every chance I get--scrap paper, gift wrap, cards, plastic containers/bags, and then of course I recycle them once they've had more than a few days in the sun. And I do my very best to buy less overall, or buy used. I choose items with less packaging, fewer chemical ingredients and recycled content (even if it costs a bit more!). And I use my dollars to support companies with a social conscience. We really can vote with our pocketbooks, folks!

Okay, enough preaching. Just go do it already. And have a boo at my Earth Day gallery on Msn.ca for ideas on how to keep the Earth beautiful.

Happy Earth Day!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Post-Conference and Rockies' Bliss

Ina and me at the Alberta Magazines Conference

So it's been a fairly crazy month since attending the Olympic Games, then returning to work to put together another edition of the Alberta Magazines Conference, the biggest magazine PD event of its kind in Western Canada. It was another huge success, thanks in large part to the wonderful insights of New York art director extraordinaire, Ina Saltz. So, I was more than happy to help her arrange a trip to the Canadian Rockies to take in our natural splendours in return. And the rest of you can plan your Rockies' trip too with the help of my story on MSN.ca's travel section.

For those of you who attended the conference, here's a recent Alberta Venture piece about how to make the most of the new knowledge and skills you picked up.

Go forth and prosper.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympic Glory, or here's hoping!

Future Olympian Kyle Yoshida and past Olympian Susan Auch carry the torch at Calgary's Oval.

So I'm off on my next adventure already, this time to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver! I'm a huge Olympic buff so I'm very excited, particularly for speed skating events. Especially after witnessing the torch relay at the Calgary Oval when it came through in January.

Though I'm crashing at my dear friend Joanne's this trip, my last visit this past December involved a stay at the lovely Georgian Court Hotel. The recently renovated property has dedicated a whole floor to female travellers. How fab is that? Have a boo in my Calgary Herald article about it. A perfect stay in Vancouver.

Oh, and go, Canada, go!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

12 More Sleeps till Maui!

I am gettin' giddy! Less than two weeks to go until island bliss. This will be like a second Christmas for me, only on a sunny sandy beach instead of a chilly snow-covered yard. I am too excited to sleep! Feeding my frenzy is my story in this month's Avenue magazine, Paradise Found. Truly, that sums up Maui. And I can't wait to get back. Just look at this shot of the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua, Maui. Need I say more?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Maui on Motorcycle

The countdown is officially on for my hubby and me to make our way back to the wonderful island of Maui. We go at the end of January, and while I am anxious about the new airport security fracas (no carry-on?!?), I can't wait to get back and enjoy the Hawaiian island living.

Last time we went, we took the Road to Hana by Harley and it was ridiculously fun. See more in my story for up!, WestJet's inflight magazine. This time, we're hoping for a replay, but given that it will still be rainy season, we'll have to see what's possible.

Regardless, I have no doubt it will be an amazing time. After all, Hawaii has yet to disappoint.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year, New Start!

Well it's officially 2010 and what better way to kick off the New Year than to clear your energy and start fresh. Yes, I said, clear your energy. Energy clearing is part of the whole feng shui discipline for directing the energy in your space and ultimately, your life. Find out more in the story I did a while back for Canwest on the househounting.ca site when I had Geli Hamilton, a feng shui consultant come work her magic at my then new home. Here's to a fabulous new year with positive intentions! Namaste.