Category Archives: travel

SBC: Days 5 and 6

I’ve decided that I’m definitely giving myself a pass on the blog every day thing on days that I work a double shift.    Something about 14 straight hours at work makes me feel pretty entitled to taking a pass on pretty much everything else that day.

5) Top five highlights from summer

1. Bali.  Duh.


2.  Weekly roadtrips to visit someone awesome.

3.  Sunday morning yoga in the park.


4.  Cottage visits with amazing friends.

5.  Realizing I can pop up into headstand every.single.time.I.try now (this used to feel soooo unachievable)


6) Six things about fall you’re looking forward to

1.  A trip out east to visit one of my dearest friends.

2.  Starting to work with my very first private yoga client – so exciting!

3.  Hikes through High Park with Kaylee.

4.  Mocassins.  Boots.  Warm socks.  I loooooove being barefoot most of all, but something about fall footwear makes me super happy.

5.  Crisp fall nights.

6.  Cozy comfort foods.  Soups, stews, roasted veggies, pumpkin everything.


Epic Fail

^ That’s all that comes to mind when I think about my grand plans to actually update over here.  

I have simultaneously no excuse and every excuse.  I got home from Bali and jumped right back into life head first: working 50+ erratic hours a week, catching up with friends and family, trying to carve out a bit of time to teach, training for a half marathon (maybe), maintaining my personal yoga practice, keeping up with the house, the dog….life in general.  

I’m not complaining.  My life is very full and I love it, but I do want to make a conscious effort to be present in this space.

So in that vein, I’m taking on a challenge.  Gracie from girl meets life put together a September Blogging Challenge and I’m going to join in!  I think part of my problem is that blogging isn’t part of my daily routine.  And since it’s supposed to take 21 days to create a habit, hopefully this 30 day challenge will really cement it for me.


Since I’m already a day behind (old habits die hard….??), I’ll do days 1 and 2 now.

1) Your goal(s) for the month of September

Well, first one is to actually complete this challenge! 

Like I mentioned, I’m sort of training for a half marathon.  By sort of, I mean that I’m hoping to continue training.  I have a long history of running-related injuries, yet I still can’t seem to let it go.  Call me a masochist, but I’m dead set on keeping running in my life.  Next weekend I’m running the Longboat Toronto Island 10k, and I’m hoping to finish in under 50 mins and (more importantly) injury-free.

Yoga-related, I’d like to get back to a longer daily practice.  On busy days, I’ve been doing 15 mins of sun salutations and random stuff and calling it a day.  While this is better than nothing….it’s not great.  And it doesn’t make me happy.  Time on the mat is so precious to me, and really helps my mental state.  Even if it means waking up earlier (which is so painful for me), I’ll spend more time on my practice.  Also, I need to figure out how I’m going to extend my Sunday morning yoga in the park into the colder months.  My (tiny) group of yogis make me really happy and I look forward to it all week, so I definitely want to make it a year-round thing.

Lastly, I want to sneak in a little trip before hockey season starts.  Not because I’m a diehard fan, but because the restaurant I work in gets infinitely more busy during the season, and I need to check-out and get myself mentally prepared for a few days before it hits.

2) Something you’re proud of accomplishing recently

Am I still allowed to say completing my teacher training? It’s been two months, but I’m still riding high on that.

I’m also proud of myself for really being there for some very important people in my life who are going through some tough things.

And on a more trivial note, I’ve been consistently making all my own almond milk and coconut milk yogurt, which has been a longtime goal.


See you tomorrow for day 3!


Jailhouse cuisine

Don’t be mistaken – I am definitely NOT likening my amazing month of YTT to being in prison. I am (very) willingly here of my own free will and loving it.

We are fortunate to have a great restaurant that takes care of our meals for us, but I looooove cooking and baking and generally just getting creative in the kitchen. My roommate is the same way. So we’ve been working with the rather limited resources of our villa’s kitchen to create snacks and treats (please don’t tell our teacher about the amount of treats).

Grocery stores essentially don’t exist here, so food-making also involves a certain degree of swiping ingredients. This is where the “jailhouse cuisine” thing comes in. Anyone read/seen Orange is the New Black? It totally reminds me of the prisoners coming up with these prison specialties with the few items they can buy from the dispensary and steal from the cafeteria then cobble together with little more than a microwave. We have a stove top instead of a microwave, but you get the idea.

So far, we’ve made an awesome hummus (it took over an hour), vanilla-infused cocobiotic (think kombucha, but with coconut water instead of tea), and oh-so-much raw vegan chocolate. The chocolate has morphed from a basic coconut oil, cacao and chia seeds to peanut-butter-dipped-chocolate-covered-frozen-banana-bites and almond butter cups made in an ice cube tray. You heard.

Anyway, if you’re ever dying for chocolate and only have some basic pantry ingredients, a bowl, a freezer, and 2 minutes plus some waiting time, you’re in luck. And technically, none of these ingredients are bad for you. They’re all even in the superfoods family. You probably just shouldn’t eat the whole thing in one sitting.

All the measurements are really approximate because ummm I don’t have any measuring tools. But you can eyeball it.

Super Easy Raw Vegan Chocolate
1 cup organic cold-pressed coconut oil
4 heaping tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 tbsp vanilla or chocolate or chai (do the chai!) protein powder (this acts as a sweetener)
Chopped raw almonds, raisins or whatever else you can pick out of the breakfast granola
1 pod worth of vanilla seeds
Pinch of sea salt

Make sure your coconut oil is liquid. This happens at above 21•, which is always in Bali. Stir in everything else, making sure to get any lumps of cacao smoothed out. Taste. A lot. Put the whole bowl in the freezer. In about 15 minutes it will be hard enough to roughly chop into pieces and devour.

5 days in

I can’t believe I’m already on day 5! That’s 1/6th of the way done. For all you math whizzes, that’s 17%! What!!

If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you need to. Because I can’t tell you how gorgeous it is here. And I still can’t seem to upload photos. Bali is beautiful in general, but the resort (resort doesn’t feel like the right word, because it’s not like the ones you think of in the Caribbean) is insanely so. It’s an eco-resort, so designed to be as natural and sustainable as possible. Every villa is a bit different and actually each owned by an individual family. The villas are open. Not open concept. Open. As in not 4 walls. There’s a full roof and floor and some half walls, but any little bit of nature that wants to come in can. Lizards, bees, frogs, even monkeys! We haven’t had any monkey visitors yet and I hope it stays that way. Apparently they aren’t very friendly. My shower is in the garden. My villa-mate’s toilet is in another garden. It sounds a bit strange but it’s actually amazing.

Every morning we have a practice for 2 hours, then breakfast, then a workshop for 3 hours. In the afternoons we get a bit of free time to study. Or more often, hang out in the pool or the ocean. Soooo necessary because it is HOT here! Another 2 hour practice in the evening, followed by dinner and a very early bedtime.

I don’t know how much I’ll get into details about classes or workshops on here right now. But tomorrow I have to teach my first sequence to the group so that’s exciting/nerve-racking! Just a round of sun salutations, but I’m not very good at speaking in front of groups. I’m really shy and I get embarrassed ridiculously easily. Then I blush, then I get more embarrassed. It’s a vicious cycle. One of the things that I’m actually hoping to take away from this month is more self-assuredness. Probably a pretty necessary quality if I actually want to make a real go of this teaching thing!

Today roomie and I started a cleanse. One week. Just juices, smoothies, teas and a whoooole lot of water. I’ve done cleanses in the past, but never when I’ve been asking my body to not only practice yoga for at least 4, if not 7, hours a day. When it’s 35 degrees. Although I do still feel like I’m taking a break right now. Working in a restaurant is a pretty physically demanding job. I’m often on my feet running around for 14 straight hours, so this should be a piece of cake, right?

Today’s the day!

It’s hard to put into words what I’m feeling today. In just a few hours I’ll be checking in to my teacher training, and as I sit in this cafe waiting for the boat to take me back to the mainland from the Gili islands, I’m experiencing every emotion you might expect.

Excitement. Sooooo much excitement. This is what I’ve been waiting for, working for, and looking forward to for a very long time.

Joy. Sheer joy at the thought of spending the next month of my life doing something that brings me so many good vibes.

Sadness. I’ve been enjoying my travels so much, I’m not sure I’m quite ready for them to end. And I miss life back in Toronto already, and I’m barely a quarter of the way through the time I’ll be away.

Trepidation. What if I’m not “good enough”? I know that’s a very un-yoga thing to say, and anytime I have a friend going to a class for the first time I tell them that there’s no “being good at” yoga. But seriously, what if I’m not good?! I was always teacher’s pet, top of the class and my inner child doesn’t know how to be at peace with anything else. And what if I don’t have friends? The other kids don’t like me? I get lost? It seriously feels like the first day at a new school. What will I wear??

And then the more serious concerns: what if I don’t love it like I think I will? What if I’ve put so much of myself into this and I realize it’s not for me? What happens then?

I’m trying hard to focus on the happy emotions, and not let the nerves get the best of me. Because nerves aren’t a bad thing. They let you know that you’re on the edge of something big, something potentially shattering and amazing and life-changing, good and bad and everything in between. Next time I check in, I’ll officially be a yoga teacher in training. And that’s pretty awesome.

safe and sound

After a rather tumultuous nearly 40 (yes, 40) hours of travelling, I finally landed at Denpasar Airport in Bali. I could not have been more excited to see my destination!
I hardly slept the night before – or the night before that for that matter – and I’m terrible at sleeping on crowded planes. Fortunately (?) in all the chaos of missed connections and extra flights, I wound up on an overnight from Seoul to Singapore that was nearly empty and had an entire row of 4 seats to myself to stretch out and sleep for a glorious 3 hours. Needless to say, my first night in Bali was a bit of a write off as I passed out for about 15 hours.
After the first night spent near the airport I headed to Uluwatu, an area famous for its namesake temple and its surfing. The beaches are beautiful! Photos don’t seem to want to upload over this not-so-fast wifi connection, so you’ll just have to take my word for it until I can get a faster connection (hopefully this won’t be in July when I’m back in Toronto!) or you can check out my Instagram where I’ve managed to get a few photos up.
I stayed at a really lovely spot called Bombora Surf Camp with nice clean rooms and a gorgeous outdoor common area for lounging and swimming. Immediately in front of Bombora I was so pleased to find a restaurant called Buddha Soul that had lots of vegetarian options, and just vegetables in general! Anyone with a restricted diet who’s travelled in less developed countries knows it can be a challenge to eat healthy, so this was such a treat!
I spent some time exploring the different beaches, and doing lots of reading to finish up the required books for YTT! Reading is always better when you’re laying out in the sun near the ocean or a pool.
Last night I went to Uluwatu temple for sunset and to watch a Balinese Kecak and Fire Dance. It’s a traditional performance involving a choir of 70 men who go into a state of trance to channel deities, then use performers as a medium to convey a story. The dance is done every night at sunset and I was fortunate to have a beautiful night for it.
Today I was up early (6am seems to be what my body has settled on the past 3 days) for a morning yoga practice, and am preparing to leave the beach for Ubud, Bali’s cultural centre. If anyone has read Eat, Pray, Love, this is where the “love” portion was set. There’s a yoga studio very close to where I’m staying and I’m excited to practice in a class for the first time in over a week. Solo practices can be beautiful but there’s something to be said for moving and breathing in unison.
Time to pack my enormous backpack
(seriously, it feels like it’s as big as I am) and head into the city! Ill try to check in again from Ubud!



(Well, actually, today.  Less than 9 hours from now.)

I’ll be on a plane to start my journey to Bali.

To say my anxiety level is through the roof might be an understatement.  I’m all packed.  The fridge is empty.  House is clean and ready for my wonderful friend to temporarily move in.  I’m as ready as I can possibly be.  And I still can’t calm down.

I’ve been pacing around.  Picking this up, putting it over there. Wiping the counter one more time.  Reorganizing the books in my carry-on.  The idea of getting any sleep tonight is long gone.

I had a lovely day today.  It’s been a lovely week, really.  I visited with family and dear friends.  Said my “see you soon”s to loved ones.  Almost all of them.  There are still things unsaid, unfinished conversations, that I will try desperately not to allow to consume my thoughts (and surely fail at this).  I’m trying hard to feel settled and remember that things are exactly the way they should be, the way they need to be, right at this moment.

It’s hard to say goodbye, even if it’s just for a short 6 weeks.  Because 6 weeks IS short.  This amazing experience will be over before I know it.  And I’ll be wondering what I was ever so nervous about.

I’m hoping to update at least once a week while I’m away.

And guys?  Leave me comments.  Or write me emails.  Please?  Because it’s not really fair that you’ll get this little peak into what I’m up to and I’ll be left wondering about all of you.