Thankful Thursday 16: Breakthrough

Welcome to the sixteenth instalment of my Thankful Thursday series, Breakthrough!

I’m coming back at you on a Friday again. I’m getting into the swing of things slowly but surely before work starts up again and grad school starts up for the first time, both on Tuesday!

This week I’m focusing on gratitude for a breakthrough I had mid-week.

Here’s my Thankful Thursday for the week of August 24 – August 30, 2018!

Things I am thankful for over the past week:

  • I lost my glasses on our trip to NB, and on Friday my new ones arrived and I love them:

Funko HQ!!

  • This place deserves its own subtitle. On Saturday, I drove to Everett, Washington. I went there because it’s the home of Funko HQ, and a friend that I met on Bookstagram and I decided to meet up there! She lives in Seattle, so it was a place in between Seattle and Vancouver for us to get together. It was AMAZING.
The day we were there, you could build your own monster or Freddy funko.
Posing with a life-size Hagrid funko! (And two of the five funko I purchased.)
  • My friend and I also hit up this beautiful coffee shop called Narrative, both before and after our Funko HQ adventure.

Other things I’ve been thankful for this week

  • It’s been a pretty quiet week in terms of doing things or going places. And it’s been nice sometimes, but also pretty dreadful others. Sometimes I get so anxious that I fall into a depression, and that happened to me this week. One thing that helped to start bringing me out of it was following the suggestion of a mental health advocate on Instagram and posting a selfie of myself in the sun.

    I did it, and the supportive response was really amazing.
  • A lot of my quiet time this week involved coffee and reading in the sun, which is pretty much my favourite thing ever.
  • I also took some time to make my cozy space a little neater and more spacious, and I feel like it’s so much better now! I find that living in a small space I have to be really conscious of the things I keep and how I organize and I’m constantly moving things around to make it work better. This also goes along with the tendency my anxiety has to go up incrementally in tandem with the cleanliness/organization level of my space.

  • Finally, pumpkin spice is BACK! And as much as I’m sad to see summer go, autumn is my second-favourite season, and PSLs are my all-time favourite hot drink (but half-sweet, because holy is that syrup ever brain-tinglingly sweet). I’ve had three already. I know, I have a problem. TAKE MY MONEY, STARBUCKS!!!

And finally, the theme for this week, Breakthrough!

This week I have some major gratitude for a breakthrough I’ve made. Since getting back from our trip to NB, I’ve spent a lot of time feeling depressed. Like I said above, when my anxiety gets really bad, it transforms itself into this full-blown depression monster who also has anxiety, and it’s the worst thing ever. I have already started brainstorming a post to tell you all about it. For now, just know that most days in the past couple weeks I’ve been pretty comatose.

On Monday or Tuesday, however, I had a major AHA! moment, and since then I’ve been slowly climbing my way out of that dark hole. My motivation, happiness, purpose, inspiration… everything – I guess you’d call it mojo – is starting to come back. I’m going to write a whole post on this soon. I wanted to share about it now though because it was so meaningful for me this week. I’m really thankful for all the things I was doing in my life even though I felt like shit that helped the breakthrough to happen.

There you have it!

So, that’s my Thankful Thursday list for this week. I hope it inspires you to make your own, and get on that gratitude train!

Peace and love,


Thankful Thursday 15: Movement

Welcome to the fifteenth instalment of my Thankful Thursday series, Movement!

It’s been about a month! For my husband and I, it’s been a month FULL of travel, so I took almost all that time off from blogging. We hit up Seattle for four Blue Jays games, and went to our hometown in New Brunswick to visit friends and family.

Now that I’m back, this week I’m focusing on gratitude for movement.

Here’s my Thankful Thursday for the week of August 17 – August 23, 2018!

Things I am thankful for over the past week:

  • On Friday, our last full day in NB, Andrew and I hosted a BBQ at his parents’ house with a ton of our friends and their kids. Great food, company, and baby cuddles, what more could a girl want?!
  • Our trip back to Vancouver on Saturday went off pretty much without a hitch. Even though it was smoky when we got home, it wasn’t too hot in the apartment, and we slept well and adjusted to the four-hour time change quickly,
  • We grabbed brunch at our favourite weekend haunt Sunday morning – I’m sure that helped us adapt, too!
  • On Monday, I did a whole bunch of major adulting things make me anxious – getting things sorted for the upcoming start of my M.Ed. program, and making phone calls for things like car maintenance, car insurance renewal, and getting my new glasses.
  • I spent a lot of time reading and relaxing.

  • I took the time to enjoy the chalk art that has taken over my home corner of Robson Street recently.

  • And although I really hate the smoke because it’s keeping me cooped up inside, it does make for some eerily cool photos.

    On the way to Starbucks, very close to my home. It felt like walking around in a dystopia that day!
The view from my counsellor’s office. Normally you can see a huge stretch of North Shore mountains. Not so on this day!
An angry, red, smoky sunrise.
Out our apartment window, that crazy, yellow, hazy post-apocalyptic light.

And the theme for this week, Movement!

This week I’ve felt gratitude for the exercise routine I’ve gotten myself into over the last month. I believe I mentioned in my last Thankful Thursday post that I started a new workout program. I’m doing Kayla Itsines’ BBG program using the Sweat app. And it’s doing me a world of good. I knew I wanted to do a body weight exercise-based program to go along with a reduced running schedule as cross-training during the half-marathon off-season (which for me is July through December). I’d seen a few others trying and loving this program, and it was easily accessible for me and reasonably priced ($20 a month, and I can do it at home!).

It has been really smoky here in BC since we got back from vacation. I am so thankful that I’m in the rhythm of doing these workouts, because I’m still getting my body moving even though I can’t run outside now. I’ve always needed to exercise regularly for my mental health. Even though I’ve done the BBG workouts, I’m still feeling antsy because I haven’t been able to go for a run. But I am thankful for the movement I have been able to do! And to get some cardio in this morning I pulled the stationary bike out of the closet to do a little HIIT.

A little more about BBG

I love everything about this program except its name. BBG stands for Bikini Body Guide. Ugh, even typing it out makes me cringe. All bodies are bikini bodies, not just bodies that are as RIDICULOUSLY sculpted as the trainers in the program videos. I have to admit, it would be nice to see someone a bit more average-sized demonstrating the exercises in the app occasionally. I’m not trying to be down on myself, but with the lifestyle that I want I am realistically never going to look like Kayla, and sometimes it makes me feel bad. I’m human.

Anyway, the program is composed of three resistance sessions a week that take 35-40 minutes each. Then, you can do whatever kind of cardio movement you want three times a week. For me, this is running, obviously (or stationary biking this week, due to the smoke). It can be hiking, swimming, walking, biking, whatever. The last part is recovery. One day a week is completely off, and one day you incorporate a stretch and foam roller session. I think this is a really great balance that helps me keep my running legs. And I also get to build muscle and strength to help me do even better next half-marathon season. Plus, it’s structure that works really well for my mental health. It’s gotten me into a really great routine, so it’s easy to motivate myself to do it. And it’s almost daily, so my anxiety levels are partly managed by all that movement.

There you have it!

So, that’s my Thankful Thursday list for this week. I hope it inspires you to make your own, and get on that gratitude train!

Peace and love,


Thankful Thursday 14: Home(body)

Welcome to the fourteenth instalment of my Thankful Thursday series, Home(body)!

This week I’m focusing on gratitude for home and everything it entails: my home city, being home from my vacation, my home (apartment), and as I refer to in my title, my act of being a homebody.

Here’s my Thankful Thursday for the weeks of July 20 – July 26, 2018!

Things I am thankful for over the past week:

  • I had a busy first day back, and it really helped me get over the fatigue of the long drive from Calgary and get back into the swing of things.
  • This past weekend, I participated in the 24in48 Readathon, which I really enjoyed. I ended up reading for 17.5 hours in 48 hours between Friday and Sunday. You can read about my experience on my book blog.

    Starting off the readathon in style on Saturday morning. And I’m still obsessed with my sloth mug.
  • The weekend was also filled with rugby! Friday to Sunday was the Rugby World Cup 7s, so that was on pretty much all day each day.

    My life looked like this for most of the weekend.
  • Andrew and I played golf again at the Stanley Park Pitch & Putt!

    It was a beautiful morning!
  • I had a couple of appointments this week and those often cause me a lot of anxiety but they went well. And now I can breathe a sigh of relief that they’re over!
  • On Monday, I biked the seawall to one of the quieter beaches to sunbathe and read.
It was a beautiful day!
  • My best friend and I went to high tea at Honey & Salt (one of the restaurants at the new Parq casino in Yaletown) and it was delicious. We also walked home and I finally got to see the beautiful umbrella installation near Yaletown-Roundhouse station.
    Not pictured: The two crêpes that were also included.

  • On Wednesday morning, I went for a run and got treated to a beautifully calm sunrise.
  • Wednesday was also my husband and I’s third wedding anniversary, which is always a really happy day.

    Image by Sean McGrath.
  • Andrew is an excellent gift giver, and he usually tries to go super literal with the traditional anniversary gift each year. This year, he told me it was difficult to find “tanned leather hides” (you can Google it), so he went whole hog with a bunch of leather items, themed around our upcoming travel and of course, colour coordinated to our wedding. New, much-needed purse, purple leather manicure kit, portable jewelry case (with a hidden compartment for necklaces), leather pencil-case, teal leather clutch (also much-needed), luggage tags, and bracelets for future Canada days together.
He’s a keeper.
  • Finally, today I started doing a new workout program as part of my half-marathon off-season cross training. It was hard, but I know it was a great workout, so I’m going to keep at it!

And the theme for this week, Home(body)!

This week I’ve felt a really big sense of gratitude for everything that is home to me.


First, I pretty much invariably feel thankful for Vancouver any time I go away. I love to travel, but dang I love my city. Every time I get home to this place, even when I’m sitting in the same place in traffic for twenty minutes because of a road closure (what happened this time), I fall in love all over again.

Home is also a person for me, my husband. Even just being away for a week reminds me of all the reasons why I love him so much. As they say, absence makes the heart grow stronger.

Returning home after being away also makes me remember how much gratitude I have for our little apartment. It’s not new, or modern, and it’s definitely not spacious, but it’s ours. Our personalities are everywhere in this little space, and I’ve spent 8 years curating it into a place that makes me so happy. My book nook. The couch by our window with the view I love so much. My desk. The library. My plant babies. There is so much for me to love about this place, and I need to remind myself of this the next time I scream about needing a dishwasher or not wanting to go down to the basement with the laundry.


Finally, I’m really thankful to be able to be a homebody at this point in my life. I’ve spent most of this week in my apartment. Yes, I’ve exercised outside. I’ve gone to the beach. Hung out with a friend (twice). Had four appointments. Gone out for food with my husband (also twice). I’ve visited friends and their adorable kids. I’ve played golf. But really, I’ve spent at least 90% of my time at my desk, cleaning my apartment, in my bed, on my chair in my reading nook, or on the couch. I’m really trying to take the time to journal, write, read, and think. To spend time just being with myself, and learning and growing. I’m getting cozy. I’m relaxing. It’s definitely been much-needed. And I’m thankful for it.

There you have it!

So, that’s my Thankful Thursday list for this week. I hope it inspires you to make your own, and get on that gratitude train!

Peace and love,


Thankful Thursday 13: Road Trip

Welcome to the thirteenth instalment of my Thankful Thursday series, Road Trip!

This week I’m focusing on gratitude for the road trip to Calgary that I have done annually for the past two years (this is now the third time).

Here’s my Thankful Thursday for the weeks of July 13 – July 19, 2018!

Things I am thankful for over the past week:

  • Early in my visit to Calgary, we went to watch my cousin Ty’s soccer game and I got some time with his family’s dog, Kobe. I just love him!
  • Dad, Sharon, and I went for wing night at their local pub twice, and it was super delicious.
  • I spent almost every afternoon reading and sunbathing in the back yard on a lawn chair, finishing 5.5 books!
  • I got to see everyone in the family at least once, which rarely happens because they’re often travelling in the summer!
  • One of those visits was a fun little trip to Fish Creek with one of my cousins and her two kids! We skipped rocks by the river and sat down for ice cream at Annie’s.

    It was beautiful by the Elbow river, but buggy!
  • On Monday, we went to Waterton Lakes National Park. We intended to go down for canoeing at Cameron Lake, but when we got there it was closed because of bears! Instead, we sat on the beach by the main lake for lunch and then got ice cream at a place called The Big Scoop. It was lovely anyway!
    The view of the lake from the beach.
    My view laying down on the beach looking up.

    Toasted S’mores and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream in a waffle cone from The Big Scoop.
  • We got some more family time (and Kobe time!!) later in the week.

    He’s a little ham!
  • He squeezed between Dad and I on the bench.
    His head was too heavy to hold up apparently, so he laid it on the table.

    Really into the scritches from Sharon.
  • Dad, Sharon, and I got a few runs in, even though it was super super hot! It felt good to be able to move my legs.
  • This beautiful sunset!
  • There’s a new movie theatre out by my parents’ house, and the seats are AMAZING. There’s a button you push and then they recline electrically!

And the theme for this week, Road Trip!

I know this post has pretty much all been about my road trip already, but I have a few things to be thankful for about the road trip specifically.

First, I just really love the drive. It takes me about 11.5 hours (with three quick pee/coffee/snack stops). I take my own lunch and snacks also so that I don’t have to wait a while at Tim’s for food. Most people exclaim various things about my craziness at doing a drive that long all in one day/alone. They also express surprise that I enjoy it, but I really do. I’ve always loved driving (as long as it’s not in heavy traffic). It’s almost meditative for me, but I assure you, I stay focused and safe.

Another thing I love about this long drive is that I pre-load over 100 podcasts into a queue on my phone and plug it in before I get going. As you probably already know from reading my other posts, podcasts are an obsession of mine, and long drives are a great way to get caught up. And if I’m not feeling something, I just skip on ahead using my radio controls!

Finally, if you’re going to do a road trip, the drive between Vancouver and Calgary is one of the best. You get a great rip (if the weather is good) on the Coquihalla Highway, where the limit goes as high as 120km/h. The ride through Glacier National Park and Roger’s Pass is stunning. The mountains and forests are gorgeous and ever-changing. It’s the opposite of boring!

Overall, this year the construction was the least intrusive that I’ve ever seen it. I only had to stop a couple of times, whereas last year I remember sitting and waiting for 15-30 minutes in some places. And the weather was pretty good. Fairly rainy on the way over to Calgary but not so much that it slowed me down, and absolutely beautiful on the way back to Vancouver.

There you have it!

So, that’s my Thankful Thursday list for this week. I hope it inspires you to make your own, and get on that gratitude train!

Peace and love,


Thankful Thursday 11: Taking a Break

Welcome to the eleventh instalment of my Thankful Thursday, Taking a Break!

This week I’m focusing on gratitude for taking a break, I’ve definitely been doing in many areas of my life over the past two weeks. I even skipped a week of posting this series!

Here’s my Thankful Thursday for the weeks of June 22 – July 5, 2018!

Things I am thankful for over the past two weeks:

  • My carbo-loading dinner with Andrew on Saturday evening before the half marathon (pretzel bites with cheesy dip, chicken pot pie with salad, and yam fries).
  • Finishing my half marathon just 40 seconds past 2:30, my goal time due to my hip injury
  • My hip injury being finally COMPLETELY HEALED!
  • The new Panic! at the Disco album, which is really great
  • My two other new favourite songs, Not a Love Song by bülow and by Jocelyn Alice.
  • The amazing teacher book club meeting we had about reading a non-fiction book about a person who inspires us (I read I Am Malala, which I will be reviewing on my book blog in the near future)

    Tom’s contribution was particularly amusing.
  • The fun but exhausting weekend of Provincial Regional Championship (PRC) rugby where I coached the VRU N-E-W U16 girls.
    My U16 girls, and my co-coach, Georgia!
    The U18 team, which I helped coach at practice, who won bronze!

    My two Sentinel girls who made the U18 team, love them so much <3
  • The amount of sleep I’ve gotten over the past few days since work and rugby ended (I slept 10:30-5:30 on Monday night, then went back to bed Tuesday morning at 7:30 and didn’t wake up until 2:30.. bliss).
  • Finally, the amount I’ve read since work ended. I’ve already finished three books this month, and I’m starting another today!

    My happy place.

And the theme for these two weeks, Taking a Break!

Two major areas in my life are taking a huge break this week: work and running.

First, work!

  • The first week covered in this post was the last week of the school year, and aside from invigilating a provincial exam and prepping a modern language educational activity, it was all admin work and prep for next year.
  • I don’t usually realize how much work takes out of me until I take a break. I typically get sick right at the start of the Winter holidays, of Spring Break, and of the Summer holidays. It was really nice to have this transition week from full-out working to more relaxed working, to fully off.
  • I was so tired by Friday that I fell asleep at my desk after arriving at 7:30 (Good thing I technically don’t start work until 8:30! Don’t get me started on traffic, I’ll go on for days.). It was nice to have no other real responsibilities aside from helping set up at the staff end-of-year party which I helped plan as part of the Social Committee.

Second, running!

  • My training for my second (and last) half marathon of 2018 finished up and I ran the race on June 24. The weather was as perfect as could be for the time of year (it did get quite hot toward the end). Along Cornwall Ave, people were on their front lawns spraying us with sprinklers, it was awesome!
  • It was a really great way to end off 6 months of training, and now I’m going into my six month off-season with a couple of weeks of post-race rest and planning for my cross-training months which will see me through December. It’s been nice to give my body a break; half-marathon training is quite intense. I don’t think I could ever do a full marathon.

There you have it!

So, that’s my Thankful Thursday list for this week. I hope it inspires you to make your own, and get on that gratitude train!

Peace and love,