Saturday, December 3, 2011

No Touchy, Touchy.

Annabel is cute. I mean, really cute. And I'm not just saying that because I'm her mom. But even if she wasn't, I'm pretty sure we would still get harangued by baby-touchers. That's you folks out there who are overcome with an overwhelming urge to cuddle all the wee ones you come across. Or at the very least, tickle their feet. This is the strange phenomenon that happens whenever I take Annabel anywhere. We are perpetually accosted by peeps who fall all over themselves trying to win a smile from the little miss. And it's as though they believe they have a RIGHT to pat my baby. (Seriously, more people ask for permission to pet my dog than my baby!) But babes deserve their personal space just like the rest of us. I explore this topic in the latest issue of Swerve to remind everyone that the next time you see a baby and are inclined to wave your finger in her face, remember it's only okay if the baby (and her parents) are also okay with it!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Contest Winner Announced!

Thanks to everyone who entered my travel contest to win a free night at any Delta hotel or resort across Canada. (Apologies to those who suffered technical difficulties while trying to enter. Argh.)

Photo from
There were many fabulous entries; choosing a winner was a challenge. But in the end, I tip my hat to Rebecca Lesser. Her cute and quaint entry about her accidental find in Paris made me want to head back to the City of Light straight away. Shout-outs also go to Allan Casey (Burma, wow!) and Rida (What kind of secrets? Do tell!).

Truly, it was lovely to read about your memorable travel experiences. They got my travel buds salivating and I've now got some new spots to hit. Thanks again, and here's to travel!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why Can't We Just Get Along?

Last summer, I experienced an unfortunate road-rage incident where an ignoramus decided to hit me with some racist bravado. Was I pissed? Damn straight I was. So what did I do? Well, I do what I do about most things. I wrote about it. And it's a pretty good piece if I do say so myself. (See my story in Swerve magazine.)

But as you'll see from the story, I wish I had done more. It reminded me of a discussion I had long ago with a friend over a beverage at a seedy old pub. We were talking about racism for some reason and decided that it should be our life's mission to try to end it, and promote peace and love instead. (And no, we weren't drunk, just young and yet-to-be jaded.) He thought we should buy a big old van, and paint one side white and one side black, then write the slogan, "Why can't we just get along?" down the side. And I heartily suggested that we would drive it around with a megaphone spreading our message through beat-boxing and shouting.

Well, we never did get that van, but I have still always considered myself a vigilante of sorts regarding racism. I let my guard down briefly, but have no fear, I am back on full alert.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Enter to Win a Night at Any Delta Hotel

In 2009, I had a lovely stay at Saskatoon's majestic Delta Bessborough

Thanks for reading about all my travel antics and whatnot. I've been to so many amazing places and done many fabulous things around the world, and am so lucky to get to share those experiences with you.

Now I'd like to hear about yours! Share your favourite place to travel and why, or your favourite travel experience on this blog, and you could win one FREE night at ANY Delta Hotel or Resort across the country!

All you have to do to enter is share your thoughts in my comments section below or if you're feeling a bit shy, email me at setocolleen(at) Easy, peasy, right? And you should follow my blog too, if you haven't already!

Plus, check out the Delta Difference contest on Facebook for the chance to win a grand prize, valued at $1,295. Both contests close November 23, 2011, so enter today! Thanks to Delta Hotels and Resorts for this fantastic prize!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gait Crasher

Photo courtesy of Vicky Chester, UNB

I recently interviewed University of New Brunswick professor Vicky Chester about her gait research, in particular her volunteer work to help kids with cerebral palsy. There's some amazing work being done to help these kids with their mobility issues. It's always refreshing to do a story featuring do-gooders of the world. Check out the piece on

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Finalist for Top Canadian Travel Story Award

Just wanted to share some good news. Found out from fellow travel writer Alyssa Schwartz yesterday that my On the Trail story in Prairies North magazine is a finalist for Top Canadian Travel Story at the the Canadian Tourism Commission's 2011 GoMedia Awards. Though I didn't win, it is genuinely nice to be a finalist. Just look at how happy the other nominees were at the Emmys when Melissa McCarthy won!
Alyssa is at this year's GoMedia event, and saw my story posted on the finalists board. BTW, GoMedia is an annual marketplace for travel writers to connect with tourism professionals from across Canada. I typically attend every year, but missed it last year due to a preggo belly and this year because I'm not yet ready or organized enough to leave Miss Annabel for that many days (never mind that she's still on the boob).
Anyhow, this news has me pumped for next year!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

She's Gone Country

Bing loving life in Bragg

I was taking a walk with the babe through our lovely hamlet of Bragg Creek yesterday. Though there are leaves on the ground, the sun was shining and it was practically sweltering. Gotta love hot weather in September! This summer marks our fifth year since moving from the city to the rural life.

I really wasn't sure this country living thing was for me, but despite its challenges, I honestly love it. There's just a feeling of R&R that you don't get in the city. I could never turn "off" living in the city. I'd go to work and as soon as I finished there, I'd rush around doing all sorts of errands for home. It was never ending.

Now, when I get home, I'm home and that's it. It's like a sanctuary from the frantic city. Sure, there's stuff to be done around the house (a lot more maintenance in fact than our city homes ever needed), but it's not the kind of thing that you need to do every day. Most days, we'll just sit and enjoy being in nature or take a walk to the river with the dog or grab an ice cream at the local shop.

Anyhoo, I wrote about making the city/country transition for Avenue. Have a boo.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Living la Vida Mountain

With the babe coming up on a year old, I'm definitely getting itchy feet to travel. We've stuck mostly close to home for a whack of reasons, but I'm bound and determined to hit the road again soon.
Photo by Kathy Breidon

In the meantime, staying close to home hasn't meant that we haven't done any exploring. Check out my latest piece in Avenue magazine about Canmore, a mere 40 minutes from my place in Bragg Creek, but it really does feel like you're getting away when you're out there. Maybe it's because the mountains are so "in your face" that it's impossible not to just take a breather and appreciate the beautiful mountain-scapes we are spoiled with. Whatever it is, I like it.

Ah, mountain living!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cheese Monster!

Okay, this video has nothing to do with anything that I've written, but it's so hilarious and cute that I just had to share it. My sweet little Annabel has decided that she loves cheese. So, whenever we take the cheese out of the fridge she starts freaking out. Both Jason and I also love cheese so she does come by it honestly. I just didn't think she'd be this mad over it this early! Here's a clip of the Little Cheese Monster in action!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Look Sharp!

Chopping up a storm at Knifewear with a $900 knife.

Someone recently asked me where to buy a good knife. Memories of Knifewear and all the research I did for a knife-buying service story for City Palate magazine a couple of years ago came flooding back. So I responded by asking them if they first knew how to buy a good knife. I thought I'd repost the piece for my knife-buying friend and for any others who might be in the market. Happy shopping and chopping!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My National Geographic Book Debut

It's finally here! My book debut! Okay, it's not really MY book per se, but I did contribute the sections for Banff and Jasper National Parks for the most recent version of National Geographic's Guide to the National Parks of Canada. So I can take some credit. It's been in the works for several months (and I thought magazines worked far ahead!) so it was exciting to see the final product. It's slick people! Pick up your copy today.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Getting Back on the Wagon

I've totally fallen off the wagon in terms of getting fit. Or correction, I never really got on the wagon to begin with. I purchased some workout DVDs since it's too hard to get to the gym and find a sitter. But, I made a fatal error. Sadly, I was wooed by a dancing workout DVD by a Dancing with the Stars "star" . I tried it out and it was embarrassingly bad. I mean, how can I get serious about getting fit trying to dance a "sexy rumba"? Not gonna happen.

So I'm going to try again, this time with tae-bo workout DVDs. That should be a better workout. At least, it better be. I'm also going to heed the advice of Edmonton Oiler player Jason Strudwick who I interviewed for Apple magazine. He and figure skater Jamie Salé share their tips for living healthy. Good advice. Now can I follow it...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Delinquent blogging...

I must apologize for my delinquent blogging on this here site. It's really terrible, I know. While I'm on maternity leave, I fear this may continue to be the case.

But, for those of you who follow Alberta magazines, I'm blogging somewhat regularly for the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, so I invite you to check out their site at

I promise to get blogging here in the near future! Thanks for your patience.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Stoking the Fire

I cannot believe that it's already the end of January. Time flies. One good thing about that is, I can't wait for winter to be over given the extremely frigid Alberta weather we've been having! I mean really, -20 as a high is downright depressing. We've just had a brief reprieve but as I look outside and see the flakes falling and the thermostat dropping, I know we're in for yet another deep freeze.

That means staying indoors and cozying by the fireplace. It's also a good opportunity to stoke the flames of love, if you will. Timely, since my daughter is approaching four months old and I can finally entertain the idea of sex without simultaneously reliving childbirth (sexy, I know). Valentine's Day is also coming up--a good excuse to rekindle the romance, at least as best as new parents can.

With romance in mind, have a read about a couple I interviewed about their wedding day for Avenue Edmonton. People find love in all sorts of places, and I love writing love stories. And it's true what they say. You discover a whole new kind of love when you become a parent. But I was surprised to find that my love for my hubby has also evolved watching him as a proud papa. Can you feel the love or what? Okay, okay, enough fromage. I'm grossing myself out. Until next time...