Volunteering, Community and Connection in Tanzania

Giving back and supporting others – that’s what makes the world go round. In fact, I forgot just how much immersing myself in a different culture, giving back and working alongside the people sets my soul on fire. The sharing of energies in these situations amazing.

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While in Tanzania I took part in a volunteer project with UGO Travel For Change and we partnered with The Dare Women’s Foundation. It has been so many years since I partook in a group trip. Yet the values of UGO Travel For Change spoke to my core, so it was a no brainer to go on this adventure with them. Plus the group of women(and one guy) on this trip fit together like a perfect puzzle. It was amazing how much we all complimented each other as a group. I would for sure join UGO again.

The Dare Women’s Foundation does incredible work in Tanzania. It is an NGO working to empower Tanzanian women and girls, with a focus on rural areas, through poverty alleviation, social justice, economic empowerment, and gender equality.

The foundation had a piece of land donated to them, and with it, they plan on building a home where women who need shelter can live, heal and work on building a sustainable future. We came to help build them a fence to enclose their property.

I love hands-on work. There is something so satisfying about getting dirty and doing physical labour. Especially when you are doing it alongside an amazing community of locals. It was very hot, and that took to get used to, but the sweatiness just added to the whole experience. This is literally where the term ‘sweat hot mess’ is very fitting.

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Every day the mama’s would come and out of nowhere they would build fires on the ground and whip up the most incredible meals. I mean unbelievable meals. Makes me think I need to step up my game next time I am camping.

Song and dance accompanied all the tasks and even the bus rides. There was always singing going on. It always amazes me how the people in Africa truly know how to enjoy life. Making the most of every day and every moment.

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I would have to say the cement was the hardest part of the work. First, we had to mix it on the ground and then we had to carry it in buckets to the fence where we then poured into the ground to create the cement base. Most of the buckets didn’t have proper handles so that would be why I would say it was the hardest. It was more so just painful for the hands.

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The baby goats made my day – every day! The neighbours were kind enough to let us use their outhouse for the duration of the project and on their little property; they had cows, goats and chickens. I had no idea that playing with baby goats is one of my absolute favourite things to do in life. Now I know.

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Before we finished the project, we each planted a tree on the property. The significance being we leave a piece of us that will grow and be something beautiful when we return.

On our final day, we had a farewell party. All the mamas came as well as the construction guys for lunch and a little ceremony so we could thank them for all of their amazing hospitality. We all pitched in to prepare the food with as much love as they used to prepare all of our food.

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We sang we ate, we danced, and we said our heartfelt ‘see you again’ to each other.

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It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. It encompassed so many of my passions all in one and it ignited this massive desire to incorporate more of this into my life once again. It is a good reminder we should always take the time to do something we love, whatever lights us up, even if it is just something brief, as that light we gain from it will overflow to all areas of our life.

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The more you give the more you get, and I am starting 2019 off full of gratitude. It is about more than just giving back. On the deeper side, it is about community and connection on a global scale.

Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro -The Trek That Changed My Life

A physical, mental, emotional and spiritual journey that will change your life.

Walking up a mountain. No big deal right?
At least one would think it was no big deal until you find yourself immersed in it all and in a very different reality.

Mount Kilimanjaro has been on my bucket list since I first laid eyes on it when I was doing my solo trip across Africa with my portable massage table. I knew I would one day be back to conquer it, I just didn’t know when. Then the opportunity arose recently in my life, years after my solo trip across the continent and it was suddenly time.

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We chose the 7-day trek up the Machame route. Not the most difficult route, but absolutely one of the most challenging.

From day 1 we were amongst some of the most incredible scenery.

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We began at the lush rain forest, and as we progressively got higher in altitude the vegetation continually changed. The landscape and beauty were spectacular every day.

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I was totally blown away by the porters running up and down the mountain with very heavy loads. We would leave camp they would pack up and run ahead of us to make sure everything was ready for our arrival.

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Blown away, and incredibly grateful. That is not an easy job.
We had some long days in the beginning with a duration of 6 – 7 hours hikes, as we got higher the hikes got shorter yet more intense particularly due to the altitude.

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We always had snacks and warm drinks waiting for us when we reached our next camp.

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It is about around day 3 that most people start to feel the effects of the altitude. I made sure to have all of my natural supplements and remedies with me in order to prevent altitude sickness as much as possible. As we get higher our blood begins to thicken which in turns starts to make us ill. So I had plenty of natural things in my little health kit that helps to thin the blood. It all worked so well, I had my moments, but really nothing too bad at all.

Altitude sickness comes in waves. At one point you can feel totally fine, then suddenly you feel awful, and then shortly after that you feel fine again. It is like a roller coaster ride all in itself.

The most important things are – rest and water.

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We chose the absolute best company to guide us. They are called Safari to Summit, and they continually went above and beyond for us on the daily. Our safety and health were number one, and the food blew us away every day.

Literally, the chef also known as ‘the stomach engineer’ prepared our meals in a tent on a propane stove, and the things he would produce were what dreams were made of on a cold, strenuous journey up Kilimanjaro. No matter the elevation, the food was always on point.

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Summit night was tough. My lips were cracked, my body feeling the pressure, and my mind having to keep strong. We started our last leg of the journey at 11pm. It was dark, cold, and where the real challenge was about to begin.

About an hour in is when I started to feel the altitude. There were some that were vomiting, others with severe headaches and body aches. For myself when it would pummel me like a crashing wave, it would come on as tight pressure in my chest and body making it very difficult to breathe along with vertigo that would make it hard to focus as well as giving me the feeling I was about to fall down the mountain. It was extremely tough, to say the least. I had to stop a couple times to even out and give myself a pep talk. I shed a few tears and asked my body if it could go on. It said yes. So onward I marched.

As we got higher the weather became more brutal. It was blizzarding and so cold that even with two pairs of gloves and two pairs of socks plus hand and feet warmers, I was still so cold my fingers and toes were burning with the icy bite of frost. Pushing through the last few hours was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my whole life.

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Having an incredible team of support absolutely helped make the success of this possible. At times I was the support and at other times I was receiving the support. This time I joined a group trip with UGO Travel for Change, and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

This accomplishment put so many things into perspective for me. I found a drive in myself that is so much bigger than I ever thought before. I can clearly see I am capable of so much more.

The journey down the mountain was split between two days, and I will say aside from the summit the trek down was the hardest. It was rough and my knees almost couldn’t take it. I was ready to throw in the towel and say I couldn’t go on. It was so painful. Although clearly, that wasn’t an option. How in the heck else was I going to get down?
On the last morning of the trek, we were treated to a farewell song and dance by the guides and crew. They were so amazing and what a high vibe way to say goodbye.

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My knees were swollen for days after and I could barely walk. Going down is no joke. This adventure turned out to be more than just a physical challenge. It was physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

I had so much support to help me achieve this incredible feat. I had the intention to fly this flag at the summit to show my gratitude to all those who supported me in so many ways. However, I never expected this to be as difficult as it was, nor with such extreme weather conditions. My time at the summit was so short as it was unbearable and my flag was in my bag that one of the porters took to carry when the altitude was nearly doing me in. I still flew my flag with nothing less than overflowing gratitude when I returned to base camp, and it was with us all at the top.

Metaphorically speaking, here is what I learned about life from this amazing experience – having been crashed on by waves of altitude/challenges along the way, having to stop and shed some tears a few times, check in with myself and have strong self talk to keep going onward and upward to finally reach the top. The summit. Where I shed more tears, this time of joy. It showed me that in life when we are climbing our mountains, building our success and working to achieve greatness, it will not always be easy, the hardships will come in waves, and we may cry a few times along the way. Yet if we can keep our eye on our goal, our mindset strong while being gentle on ourselves through the hardships, we can do anything and everything that we set our mind to. Ending up at the exact destination we were reaching for or somewhere even better.

Northwest Territories – The Land That Lures You

There are some places in this world that hold special places in our hearts. A place that heals us, rejuvenates us and sets us free. These places seem to hold an energizing power over us like none other. Perhaps it is because we match the vibration of the land. Or, perhaps it has been such a part of our life that it seems to be engrained in our being.

In the essence of it all, one of those magical places is the Northwest Territories. The land where I roamed as a child and where I grew into a woman.

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With vast seemingly untouched forests, a multitude of serene lakes, rivers, a surprising amount of waterfalls, and an abundance of wildlife – you will be amazed and wowed at every turn.

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It is the land of the midnight sun in the summers and has a sky of colourful Northern lights that will dance for you all winter long. A splendour that makes the cold and dark winters more bearable and inviting.

The sunsets will pull you into a trance that will take you straight into a glistening stary night. You will be treated to endless shooting stars whizzing through the sky.

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When you stand amongst the trees with the wind gently breezing by, you will be surrounded and cradled by the healing energy and interconnectedness of it all. The sounds will soothe your soul.

This land is filled with the rich traditions of our ancestors and the spirits of the animals.

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The pulsing of the land will fill you, penetrate your cells, and lure you to a place that feels so much like home in a dream that you often dream.

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Northwest Territories is the land the sings the song of your soul.

Forever Young – The Art Of Getting Better With Age

Here I sit at 35 years young, and if I have learned one thing about ageing in my time being alive, it’s absolutely that ageing is an art just like a fine wine. We can choose to embrace it or we can resist it. Although I will say, the path of least resistance is far more rewarding.

I don’t mean resisting it in a way of doing things to assist our skin in maintaining it’s young youthful appearance. Let’s be real here, a ladies gotta keep a youthful glow on. I mean more in the resisting the fact that time will keep on ticking and there really isn’t anything we can do about that.

Instead of dreading it, it is about embracing it.

To me, every year that passes just means that I have had another incredible opportunity to live, and being alive today means that I still have this amazing opportunity to adventure the heck out of life. That means through the good, the bad, and the ugly times. It is all about where you put your focus. It is possible to see the positive in every situation.

My laugh lines show that I have lived a happy life full of joy. I have laughed so hard that I was slapping the table and no sound was actually coming out anymore on numerous occasions. Those are the best moments. Laughter is the best medicine.

That being said, a sure fire way to look younger no matter what age you are is to be happy. It makes one look radiant. To be truly happy we need to make sure we are letting go of any sort of resentment and grudges. If we choose to hold resentment and always point the finger at others for our problems, that means we are playing the victim in life, and that right there will age a person. The first place harbouring negative feelings shows up is in our faces. Instantly making us look a bit more haggard. Those negative feelings if not released will then begin to take form inside our bodies as ‘dis-ease;’ and illness.

If you feel wronged by someone, or as though someone is not good in your life, it is so much healthier to just forgive them, forgive yourself, send them high vibrations, and wish only good things for them. You get what you give in life. Life is just too short to waste it on low vibrational stuff.

Make cleaning out the clutter of your life a consistent thing. Clutter weighs you down holds you back and ultimately ages you. This goes for materials and people. You become who you surround yourself with, so choose wisely.

Let’s not forget also that a little self-care goes a long way.

That means taking some time for yourself as part of your lifestyle choice.

Some of my favourite self-care practices that don’t take a lot of time or money are –

  • Reading
  • Being in nature
  • Dry skin brushing
  • A rose petal bubble bath
  • An at home facial
  • Working out
  • Meditation
  • Listening to music
  • Writing
  • Colouring or painting

It is truly just about doing what makes you feel good. Small steps accumulate to big rewards. When you feel good you are a magnet for miracles and shine out high vibe energy to the world. Plus, when you give and give to others without also giving to yourself, you become drained, and it is impossible to give from an empty cup.

That brings me to another point. Make sure to eat healthy and whole foods. You are what you eat. Think of it this way, the more vibrant, colourful and fresh food you eat – the more colourful and vibrant you will be. I am not one to eat a certain way. I eat a variety of things but I love veggie smoothies. I will say though, I am very mindful of where my food comes from and the life it lived.

Thoughts become things, and the more you think beautiful thoughts and tell yourself beautiful things, the more you will transform into beauty. No matter what shape, size, age or ethnicity one is if they are full of wonderful thoughts and energy you can’t help but take notice. They just exude beauty.

Of course, we must remember to take care of our skin! Nourish it, love it, protect it, supplement so the cells renew and restore themselves. I love doing things as naturally as possible. So for me, it is a great skincare line, top of the line supplements and nutrients, whole healthy and healing foods, and I would even throw in some micro-needling – if that is your thing.

All in all, love life and it will love you back. Age is just a number and life is an absolute gift, so stop and smell the flowers as often as possible. Art is beautiful and so is your age.

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Loving My Liver In October

Our livers are so incredibly important. It is the largest solid organ in our body which means it has one of the largest jobs in the body also. It actually has over 500 tasks to carry out in our bodies. Being classified as part of the digestive system it has the job of assisting with detoxification, bile production, protein synthesis, and the chemicals needed to digest food. Just to name a few.

As our health and emotions are very much linked, in Chinese medicine the liver is where we store anger. So if you are feeling overly angry, or if alcohol brings anger out of you, if your feeling lost and bitter, chances are your liver is taxed and is in need of some cleansing support.

When the liver is balanced and healthy we are able to move freely because of the liver’s responsibilities of governing the smooth flow of Qi in the appropriate directions.

The liver is actually the only organ that can regenerate itself.

Possible Symptoms of Liver Stagnation & Imbalance

  • frustration, depression or repressed anger
  • abdominal bloating
  • women – pre-menstrual tension, depression, irritability, distension of the breasts
  • belching, bitter taste in the mouth, sour regurgitation, nausea, vomiting, heartburn
  • diarrhea
  • contraction and/or spasms in the muscles, impaired extension/flexion, numbness of the limbs, muscle cramps, tremors
  • dark, dry or cracked nails
  • blurred vision, a feeling of dryness or grit in the eyes
  • bloodshot, painful or burning sensation in the eyes
  • irritability, outbursts of anger, red face, dizziness, tinnitus, headaches
  • lack of direction in life, feeling of being stuck

Interestingly enough, in the past year, I have been getting dry eyes quite often. I was putting it down to different lighting and possibly just being tired. After I got biofeedback done, it came back telling me my liver was in need of some cleansing. I also had iridology done and my eyes also said the same thing. As our livers flow straight to our eyes, it turns out the dry eyes were a symptom of my liver asking for some extra TLC.

Knowledge is power, and once you know the root cause of your symptoms you can then take inspired action towards healing. Not to mention it is far better to catch things before it is really a thing.

So my liver loving and cleansing regime are as follows

I am eating as alkaline as possible, avoiding – wheat, dairy, sugar, gluten and yeast. Plus making lots of green smoothies, drinking beet juice as this is very cleansing for the liver. I am eating Potassium rich food like sweet potato and banana as well, and eating lots of probiotic-rich foods.

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My supplement regime consists of – 

Milk thistle – it is known as the ‘king’ of detoxifying herbs.

It helps to remove heavy metals, environmental pollutants, prescription medication, and alcohol from the liver. While also promoting cell regeneration.

Hepa Plus – a gentle detox supplement from Usana. Hepa has a small amount of milk thistle, as well as turmeric and other great liver support additions.

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Usana’s products are the highest rated supplements in the world and the only ones in the world that have the cell signalling technology, which means their products have the codes of our cells imprinted in them and when you take them they unlock your cells so the product goes straight in and promotes cell communication and renewal.

Daily Multivitamins – It is important to make sure you are getting all the nutrition your body needs, as when it is properly fueled it will clean itself out more efficiently. I again use Usana’s multivitamin as it is the highest rated in the world for quality and has the cell signalling technology.

Probiotics – As the liver is part of our digestive system it is important to get the good bacteria in our gut, probiotics assist in getting rid of bad bacteria and help boost our immune system.

I am drinking a couple cups of dandelion tea a day as it is chalked full of loads of vitamins and minerals, and it is a natural diuretic so it helps the liver flush and quickly eliminate toxins.

Sipping on bone broth has also been in there. It is rich in the amino acid glycine which helps aid in liver detoxification.

Tumeric is also a staple in my diet in general and especially now to aid in the liver cleanse. There is turmeric in my Hepa plus pills, yet I still add it to food when possible and I love making one of my favourite hot cocoa drinks.

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All you need for this is almond milk(or your milk of choice, I would say stay away from dairy though), cocoa powder, turmeric a bit of pepper and honey or stevia for sweetness. Healthy, healing and delicious!

I have also ordered a coffee enema kit. I have never actually done this, yet I have been reading a lot about it and how amazing it is for cleansing your liver. So I figured why not?! I never thought I would see myself putting coffee anywhere else but in my mouth. Should be interesting! I will keep you posted.

I am just over a week into my liver cleansing, and I am already feeling the benefits. My dry eyes have stopped, my digestion is better, even my cravings have gone down and I am much more clear minded and feeling sharp. I have experienced a bit of acne on my face and back, yet when you are cleaning out your body, things like that are to be expected.

It is a well-known fact that when garbage leaves our body, it can be much worse than when it went in. I know too many people who start a cleanse or detox and start feeling really bad, so they think the cleanse is bad. When really it is your body cleaning out the junk and if you can push through that, the high vibe energy surge and mental clarity that will come afterward will be well worth the little bit of suffering.

With winter and holiday season in full swing, it is extra important to give our livers more love than usual. In addition, the cleaner and healthier we keep out insides, the brighter and younger we look on the outside.

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That is why I am taking this whole month and loving my liver in October. Don’t forget – if you love your body, it will love you back.

The Must-See Sights When Fall Makes A Brief Appearance In Calgary

Fall is such a spectacular time of year. With the leaves changing to hues of yellow, orange and red. The cooler crisp temperatures meaning more layers of style – which is always exciting. Plus Calgary’s skyline looks pretty picturesque from all of its colourful angles.

The only problem with fall is that it is far too short. It always feels that no sooner does it arrive, does it then finish. I make it a point to always be very mindful to get out and take it all in while I can. Especially being in Calgary, and knowing potentially fall will literally only make a peek-a-boo appearance.

The great thing about the city of Calgary is there are plenty of stunning spots to enjoy. It is so easy to take a leisurely stroll in the various areas of the city only to find yourself to get lost in it all and have suddenly spent the better portion of the day basking in its ambiance.

It is also very easy to take a couple short drives in a day to enjoy plenty of Calgary’s breathtaking beauty all in one go.

A great place to start is up at Cresent Heights. The view is spectacular.

You can park your car there for up to two hours, and then, take the stairs down, cross the bridge over the Bow River, where I highly suggest you stop for a moment to appreciate its beauty.

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Then you can head straight into Prince’s Island Park.

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I absolutely love Prince’s Island Park.

It has such various charming factors to it, and when you are strolling through you suddenly no longer feel you are in the middle of a city. Rather you are transferred to a magical little naturistic getaway.

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The architectural masterpiece the Peace Bridge is a short walk through Prince’s Island Park.

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It was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Perhaps the fact that he is Spanish makes me a bit bias as to my grand appreciation for it. Spain is my other home.

That aside, it is a nice bridge to meander across.

While you are admiring bridges here in the city. It is also an easy and short trip to East Village, where there is another unique bridge surrounded by bike paths for you to cross.

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Climbing mountains and crossing bridges, that is what we do in life. Metaphorically speaking.

So go on then, what are you waiting for? Cross a few bridges in Calgary. You will not be disappointed.

From there it truly is only proper that you end the adventures by putting a cherry on top of your sightseeing day.

Or perhaps I should say a saddle. I mean this is Cowtown we are talking about.

Just another short jaunt from East village you will find yourself in the historic area of Inglewood. Where you will also easily find Scotsman’s Hill.

Here you get an unbelievable view of the Saddledome and Stampede Park, not to mention another angle to the shimmery city line.

The feeling up there is lush and serene. A whole mix of incredible things.

This is an extraordinary day of fall sights to take in, in Calgary. Believe me, it was a feast for the eyes the whole time.

Now let’s get back to the point about taking it in while you can. While it lasts. Within 24 hours of this day, winter arrived. With bountiful and colourful leaves still on the trees and fall begging to stay around longer. The snow just couldn’t resist flying.

It is amazing, in two days we experienced two seasons. Mother nature just loves pulling fast ones on everyone here in Calgary.

What can I say? Rain or shine, fall or winter – this city is a stunner.

9 Round – My Newest Workout Addiction

Happy endorphins, a good detoxing sweat, working your muscles, torching fat and getting your blood pumping. That is what a good workout is all about.

No matter where I am in the world, I love working out and keeping my body happy and healthy. We only have one body, and I intend to keep on adventuring the heck out of life, so my main source of transportation needs to be in tip-top shape.

I recently joined 9 Round at the Varsity location here in Calgary, Alberta. It is all about kickboxing, and up until this point in my life I had never done kickboxing, and I do love trying new things.

The best part is, is that it is only a 30-minute workout. Don’t let that fool you though, it is tough. You will get your butt kicked.

Every day the workout changes so you never plateau, the staff are phenomenal at this location(which is why I chose this location), and as per the name, you do 9 rounds, and each round is 3 minutes.

You can also wear a heart rate monitor to track that you stay in the fat burning zone, so you will then also know you will get the afterburn where your body will continue to burn extra calories after your workout.

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It is amazing how long 3 minutes can feel when you are pushing through some of the exercises.

Another realization I had was that I never knew that kicking and punching a bag could be so much fun! Seriously if you are feeling any sort of stress, then this is the best way to get rid of it. It is so satisfying.

Before you get going you have to get geared up.

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I feel so cool and badass when I have all my gear on.

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It’s the simple things in life really. Like wearing a pair of boxing gloves.

There have been days since starting that I have not been able to walk the day after. Which is awesome! And because you are having so much fun doing it you don’t really notice how hard you are working.

So many people get these incredible results from doing this workout, I am excited to see what my progress will look like.

Yes! To awesome gyms and always striving to be a better YOU today than yesterday.

Diaries Of A Road Trip From Alberta To Utah

Cruising down the open road of adventure with the tunes blasting is one of the most soul-soothing places to be.

I have done one road trip in the United States prior to this one, and it was from Texas to Arizona. I had such an incredible time that I knew right then I would be embarking on some more adventures on the USA highways. There is a lot to see, and I really dislike missing out on things in life. It is kind of a pet peeve.

This time around the trip began in Calgary, Alberta and finished in Salt Lake City, Utah. Aside from the smoke from the forest fires, the conditions were pretty amazing.

Before even departing from Canada the sights were pretty pristine. First stop was at Lundbreck Falls near to Pincher Creek in Southern Alberta. The Crownest river flows right over into the canyon below to create these small but mighty falls.

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It is a great opportunity to take a swim or simply kick your shoes off and dip your toes in for a nice refresher before hitting the highway again. There is also a campground in the area if you feel like sticking around for a while.

From there it is not a long drive before you reach the US/Canada border. Even though I am a world traveller, the excitement of crossing a border into a new country gets me every time. The appeal just never wears off.

So yes, I was excited! To say the least. It was as if I was off on my first adventure once again.

Hello Montana!

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Now let me tell you about our initial experience with Montana.

It started off really exciting. Not long into our time there we came across this very interesting historical spot. It was a stunning spot. Minus the smoke.

Then, we drove, and drove, and drove some more. We saw plenty of prairie land. As the day was turning into night and we had driven for hours, plus we were hungry, we pulled into a place called Great Falls. It was about 9 pm, and everything was closed. There was barely any people or vehicles, yet there were loads of police patrolling around. It was a bit eery, so we left. Perhaps it is actually very amazing and we just arrived there at a quiet time. Something I am not sure I will ever be back figure out.

From there we drove on to Helen the capital of Montana. We figured surely it is the capital city so there would be lots going on there…. Alas, it was also deadsville. There was nobody around, most things were shut, there were not even lights on in houses and it was only 11pm. All we could find open was a Mcdonalds, so that is what we settled for as our stomachs were gnawing away at us.

Just outside of Helen we found a roadside turnout which is where we decided to sleep for the night. Thank goodness for having a jeep with a back seat that folds down.

Would have been a little more comfortable if I had of remembered a foamy.

We hit the road bright an early at 6 am and let me tell you, we were not in prairie land anymore.

Lining the highways were rocky hills, looking totally majestic and awe-inspiring. It was pitch black the night before and all we could see was the fluorescent markers on the road.

What a pleasant surprise in the morning to see what we were amidst. The landscape changed from the rocky hills to tree blanketed mountains.

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Suddenly you could see people fly fishing in the river, and the magic of Montana was taking over. I was worried there for a bit.

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The fact that Yellowstone National Park was so close, and the opportunity to enter yet another state on this adventure, we clearly had no choice yet to take another detour. So off to Wyoming it was!

I had never researched Yellowstone National Park or seen photos, or even knew what to expect what-so-ever. I knew I had definitely heard of it and I was totally looking forward to the spontaneous adventure.

Once again, I was blown away.

The best part is, is when you go into something with no expectations, then there is no room for a letdown, and only room to be amazed.

From the minute we entered the park, it was a smorgasbord of the mother natures finest offerings. My jaw had to be picked up off of the floor a few times.

The Paint Pots are especially memorable. Throughout the whole park there are several dispersed collections of geothermal features which is an expression of Yellowstone’s volcanism, of which the paint pots are most popular. They are like nothing I have ever seen before. I actually didn’t even know things like this existed prior to this visit.

No two features are exactly alike, and they range from those that have a lot of water(hot springs and geysers), and those that have a limited amount of water(mud pots and fumaroles).

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There is a beautifully built path so you can walk along and take in all of the majestic power and incredible beauty of this amazing display.

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We arrived early in the day and the parking lot was already full! It is a popular spot, which is something to keep in mind.

From there you can take another short drive to Yellowstone Lake, which is the largest body of water in Yellowstone National Park. It is a perfect location to just sit and take in the sights, or dip your toes in the water for a little refresher.

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What a treat that little pit stop in Yellowstone National Park was!

From there it was a short cruise to Idaho, where you can take a moment to appreciate Idaho Falls.

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Another very unique destination where there are waterfalls that were created by a diversion dam for a hydroelectric power project.

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They are quite long and very different from any waterfalls I have ever seen.

The cherry on top of this spectacular road trip cake was cruising around Salt Lake City on scooters. Not only was I blown away at how clean and tranquil the city felt, but I was also super excited to see these little joy rides.

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This seriously rocked my world. I had no idea I would have so much fun burning around on these.

The coolest part was that you use an app to rent them, and you just pick them up and leave them anywhere and everywhere. There are no particular spots for them. So if you are walking along and suddenly realize you need to get somewhere, or you no longer feel like walking, you just sign on on your app and take off.

Road tripping in the United States just continually proves to be epic time and time again. It is hard not to anticipate the next one.

Say yes to adventure! You never know where it will lead you.

Takakkaw Waterfalls And The Whiskey Jack Wilderness Hostel

Solo adventures in pristine destinations. That is a win-win if you ask me. There is nothing like being disconnected from the world, and totally immersed and connected to nature. That is where ultimate recharging happens. High heeled in the city and barefoot in the bush.

Plus taking myself on the best ‘me time’ dates ever is just what I do.

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I have been ever so grateful to have experienced a few various wilderness hostels this summer. It has been on my bucket list for years and this year I made it happen.

Recently I made my way to Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park. These falls are some of the highest in Canada, and their remote and lush location simply adds to their magical majestic splendor.

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They are only a summer destination as the road to visit them is closed in the winter.

Located in perfect view and a short hiking distance to the waterfalls is The Whiskey Jack Hostel.

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It is a wilderness hostel where you get basic and very comfortable accommodations.

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There is no cell phone reception, triple decker bunk beds, a kitchen with a propane stove and refrigeration, and there are even toilets and showers in the rooms, which is a big luxury as the other wilderness hostels I stayed at only had outhouses on offer.

 

I absolutely love the tranquility of being in nature, and being totally in the moment doing nothing other then recharging with natures endless abundance of energy.

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The beds were actually super comfy, and truly nothing could beat that view. I sat there in the evening with me tea, and in the morning with my coffee.

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Of course I also did spend a lot of time barefoot connecting with the earth. Yet there were also a lot of slugs.

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It was like a little slug mine field, which means watching my step while I was running around barefoot took some careful placement. I wasn’t really interested in experiencing what it would feel like to squish a slug with my barefoot. Not only that, they seemed so happy doing there little missions, I would have not wanted to abruptly end that for one of them.

Right from The Whiskey Jack hostel there are plenty of trails to hike, there are also plenty of wilderness campsites located in various spots throughout the forest in the area. Another activity I want to return to enjoy.

Hiking up to the Takakkaw Falls is so amazing and so easy from the hostel.

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You can feel the power and energy pulsating all around you. There is the Yoho glacier very near by.

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To the left in the distance behind the trees is the Yoho Glacier

From that the glacier river that flows past the waterfalls.

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As you walk the path just over the bridge towards the waterfalls the surroundings turn so lush. It is impossible to not feast your eyes on the beautiful shades of green. Within moments on that path you will begin to feel the mist from the falls. Refreshing and cold, it is a spectacular feeling.

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Getting up close and personal is extremely accessible. No matter what your fitness level it, the hike is so easy, and you literally just walk right up to the base of the falls.

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That right there is where the ultimate surge of energy comes. Just when you thought the energy could not be any higher, you feel the pure boundless energy right at the base.

This whole experience left me feeling on top of the world, and full of over flowing recharged energy. My vibrations have been soaring ever since.

If you have not already been, I highly suggest getting yourself to Takakkaw falls, booking into the wilderness hostel or pitching a tent, turning off your cell phone as it ain’t going to work anyway, and recharging your awesome energy in one of the most energetically abundant places I have ever had the privilege to experience.

A Day At The Derby – Packwood Grand

Derby’s and the idea of a derby just totally exudes class. At least to me, that is. I always see photos of my friends in England attending various derby’s and it has always seemed so appealing to me. The hats(fascinators), the dresses, the bubbly. After all, my blog wouldn’t be ‘Barefoot & High Heeled’ if I never donned some heels every now and then. I do love a reason to dress up!

Here in Calgary, Alberta, there is a yearly derby that began approximately 5 years ago. It is called Packwood Grand and is held at the Century Downs Racetrack & Casino. A classy event such as this in Calgary?! My attention was peaked a few years ago when I first caught wind of it. So, on the radar, it went!

This year as I am in Calgary, the time had come to attend.

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Of course, VIP was the only way to go, and so was taking the coach straight from downtown to the event.

Yes, I can honestly say, that is the first time in my life I have been on a bus that was totally full of people in their classy derby attire.

Upon arrival, it was all about the red carpet. There were a few different backdrops to choose from, and it felt fabulous to get our poses on.

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After the red carpet, we strolled across the track over to the VIP section where it was all about Veuve champagne, horse betting, and appreciating the endless amazing fashion.

The sun was beaming down, yet it did not feel unbearably hot, which was amazing! There would not have been anything worse than having all my hard work melt off of me in the scorching sun. The sweaty, shiny look – super attractive.

It was an afternoon event, from 1 – 6pm and the whole afternoon flew by! It was way too much fun. Mingling, laughing, sipping on classy cocktails and doing a bit of dabbling in some bets while gentlemen in their charming suits smoked cigars. It was as though I was transported to a totally different time and place.

I absolutely have a new found love for attending Derby’s. I was very impressed with Packwood Grand and if I happen to be in Calgary next year, you can bet I will attend this event again.