Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015

2015 was a strange year... It started out as the worst possible beginning of a year and turned into one of the best years of my life. I laughed, cried, ran (a lot), ate (a lot), spent days without sleep, or slept 15 hours straight, and accomplished so many things I will never forget.

Well, January didn't start out too great. I got cheated on on New Year's Eve, then I started my last and toughest semester of university, started training for the Berlin Half Marathon and ranted about boys being stupid.

The highlight of this month was filming my party movie for my filmmaking class. It was tough, but a hell of a lot of fun! The final product is full of goofs and hilarious continuity errors, but the shoot brought me closer to many of my classmates and I made some great friends!

March was absolutely insane. Because I was leaving to Germany, I needed to finish all my school work 2 weeks early. This meant four 10+ page papers in German and film projects all due at the same time. I honestly did not sleep for about four days straight trying to complete all these projects. I threw a fit on my way home from the airport when I couldn't get on a flight the first day (and the second day). Finally, I got to Germany, and ran the Berlin Half Marathon!

April started off in Germany. It was such a wonderful adventure! I even got a tattoo! I wrote my last exams ever... It was slightly unreal.

In May, I ran my fastest half marathon ever!

A lot of things happened in June! I celebrated my 21st birthday, two days later I graduated from university, I ran another amazing half marathon, then injured my knee at a fun run...!

The best part of July? Folk Fest. I also went camping twice with friends, I ran Mud Hero and Dirty Donkey once my knee finally healed!

August was a crazy month. I was working 9-5 at the museum, then 5-midnight at the restaurant almost every day, then also on the weekends. My days off were very limited... and my sleep? Even more limited!

Another busy month for me. I worked my butt off, I ran a little, and spent a lot of time dressing up in medieval costumes in the Magna Carta exhibit at the museum.

In terms of work, October slowed down for me, which meant blogging picked up! I ran yet another half-marathon, voted for the first time and made some GoPro videos. Then, for Halloween? I became a mermaid! I also reached 200 posts!

November was a month of fitness: 30 Day Squat Challenge, November Project, Dodgeball, and my 5th half marathon of the year!

This last month has been a whirlwind. I spent 5 days in Montreal with my family, then started preparing my move to Germany.

It's been a crazy year, and I'm grateful for every minute of it, for every person I've met, for all those still in my life, and for all the opportunities I've been given. It's been an amazing and unforgettable year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Retiring the Work Shoes

I just finished my last day of work today... I LEAVE IN 6 DAYS!

I've been working at the museum for 16 months and I worked at Beachcomber for over 6 months. It's been a crazy adventure, and my shoes are definitely the proof of that.

After clocking out today, it finally hit me. I'm leaving! I'm about to throw these shoes in the garbage and move on.... I know they're just shoes, but shoes have a way of marking certain milestones in our lives. They go and see everything you do, travel with you...

Maybe I'm just getting sentimental. Either way, good riddance!

Monday, December 28, 2015


About a month ago, I got myself a Fitbit. It's basically an all-in-one watch.... I've needed a watch for a while and thought this one could be really useful, especially with all the running I do!

I decided to get the Charge HR. This one has a heart rate monitor on top of the pedometer and watch setting. It also tracks your sleep, distance walked, active minutes, calories burned and even how many floors you've climbed! The battery also lasts about 3-4 days, so you rarely have to worry about charging it, or worrying about it dying halfway through a run. The only downside is that it's not waterproof....
On the app can set goals, see your progress, track how much water you drink or what you eat, track your weight loss, even indicate which arm you have it on! (You can also set a silent, vibrate alarm so you don't have to wake up your partner when you go running at an ungodly hour.) As for setting weight loss goals, you can customize your weight loss progress, depending on how much you want to lose and how fast, then the app will help you figure out how much of a calorie deficiency you need without you having to calculate it all yourself (I can't math to save my life so this is super useful!)
So far, I really love this thing and would definitely recommend it to anyone. It's definitely giving me the motivation to walk the extra 5 minutes to get my 10,000 footsteps or those few extra calories.

What's your favourite fitness tracker?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Potluck with the Beach Crew

Monday, almost all of the staff of the restaurant I work at got together to celebrate Christmas. I had only been working there since May and I can honestly say that this is one of the rare workplaces that makes you feel welcome instantly. I almost felt like family. The people made the job bearable, maybe even enjoyable.
Jello shots for everyone!

We decided to have a sort of formal potluck. Everyone dressed up, brought food, drinks and desserts. There was an endless amount of seriously delicious food! It was incredible. We also decided that instead of having a secret santa, which could get complicated with the amount of people there (we were over 20, I think), that we would do a liquor draw. Whoever was participating had a budget of about $25, and brought alcohol, then we drew numbers and you could either pick a mystery bottle, or steal from someone else.

Later, half of us played board games (and drank) and the rest ate some more and partied. To be honest, I'm not quite sure what the other half did... I was really into a solid game of Ticket to Ride!
I'm on the left... Just out of the frame

It was a really fun night! It was great to be with everyone one last time. I'm really going to miss the Beach Crew! It was an awesome summer with you guys and thank you for making me feel part of the family. <3

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Clothes Swap

A clothes swap may just be the girlies thing I've ever been a part of. A bunch of girls get together, we bring clothes we don't wear anymore, but them in a giant pile and we look through the clothes and pick out what we like. It's like shopping for free! While we shop, we talk, we drink, we eat and just have a great ol' girlie time!

A couple weeks ago, I hosted a clothes swap. I needed to get rid of the clothes I'm not bringing with me, so I'll be less tempted to overpack. In total, we were five girls and we had a ridiculous amount of clothes in our pile. We all came away with 3-4 pieces we liked, and the rest we donated to a women's shelter here in Winnipeg.

It was a lot of fun to get to catch up with friends and it felt great to give to the less fortunate, especially in a time of giving but also of consumption. We spend so much money on other people for Christmas gifts, so maybe this way, someone will get a new dress for Christmas. In total, we donated 13 bags full of clothes! 

Oh, and all the coats and sweaters we collected will go to the Syrian refugees that have just arrived. God knows they'll need them.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Oh, my God. Star Wars! (no spoilers, I promise!)

I went to see the movie yesterday and I had a ridiculous smile on my face the entire time. It may not be as amazing as the original trilogy (nothing ever will be), but J.J. Abrams did a fantastic job on The Force Awakens. The movie parallels A New Hope and many objects and lines make appearances and cameos throughout the movie, which are subtle enough that people who have never seen Star Wars won't notice, or won't need to watch the original movies to understand the plot of this one, and the fans of the movies will pick up on.

The movie has a brand new storyline, but uses the perfect amount of technology and humour so you don't feel like the movie makers are showing off the new technology (aka the sleek mirror-ships in Episodes 1-3) and adding ridiculous characters like Jar Jar Binks.

Your heart skips a beat when you see Han Solo, Chewbacca and company appear on screen for the first time, bringing back all these characters and memories to surface. When I heard they were going to bring them back into this movie, at first I was like "yeah right, this is going to be like The Hobbit and it's going to be stupid," but they did a pretty great job at tying it all together, like J.J. Abrams did with Star Trek.

Final verdict? GO SEE STAR WARS!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Introducing: Wander(lost) Blog!

Since I will be travelling for the next year, I decided to document my travels, adventures and all kinds of tips and tricks along the way. I wanted to dedicate an entire blog of its own to my travels. Of course, so of the posts will be published on here as well, but not all. There will be maps, advice, a mascot, and all kinds of pictures as I make my way around the UK and in Germany, as well as anywhere else I end up visiting in the next year, and beyond. I will also include tips and tricks from previous travels, so look out for all that!

Without further ado.... may I introduce my new blog: Wander(lost)!

The title comes from the word "wanderlust" and the famous Tolkien quote: "Not all those who wander are lost." The german line underneath means "You are crazy, my child! You must go to Berlin!" It's a quote from Austrian composer Franz von Suppé, and it seems to work so well with my travel plans!

I've added the direct link in the menu bar of this blog, to make it easier to access and will keep posting updates on Facebook, so make sure to like the Wander(lost) page on Facebook!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Winter Jacket

Yesterday, December 16th, the snow finally came! It snowed all night and all day, and now Winnipeg is covered in a beautiful blanket of shimmering snow. That means, it's time to take the jacket out of hiding.

Last year, I finally invested in a new winter jacket. A good winter jacket in Winnipeg is vital, and the difference between freezing to death at the bus stop and only freezing a little bit. I shopped around for a long time before I finally settle on a Firefly jacket. I had one for years and it was a great jacket. It's a  little bit of a cheaper brand, at least compared to Columbia or The North Face, but it's just as good! What I hadn't like about the old one was that it was a two part jacket. This one, is a one-piece and it's oh so warm. I wasn't cold a single time last winter!

My favourite part of the jacket is the storm sleeves. They are built-in sleeves with thumb holes so the wind doesn't run up my arms. Genius! On top of that, on the left arm, there's this patch that opens where you can put your ski pass or ID. Sort of makes me feel like I'm Buzz Lightyear!

The best part of the jacket, the thing that keeps it so warm is the shiny reflective material on the back and under the arms. This material helps concentrate your body heat so you keep yourself warm. If you get too hot, though, there are zippers under the armpits so you can cool down a bit and let some of that heat out.

There are also pockets everywhere. Everywhere! Needless to say, even if I wish it would have been brown or black, it's an awesome jacket.
Bella Lulu Ink Blog