My Brand Spanken New You Tube Channel

I have been contemplating starting a YouTube channel for quite some time now – and I finally decided to put that thought into action. As much as I love writing about my awesome experiences, I also love telling them! So I figured if I added video blogs to this, then you all get the best of both worlds, not to mention you can really get to know me a lot better. The two blogs will just go hand in hand.

So please do have a little peak at my intro video……

 

I am super excited about this new venture and whats to come. Stayed tuned! And in the mean time, please do Subscribe, Like, Share, or whatever you feel really.

Cheers to being your most awesome self!

Shakey Graves, The Opening Act I Bought A Concert Ticket For

Have you ever in your life bought a concert ticket solely to see the opening act? Well neither had I until Shakey Graves just paid a visit to Calgary. He was here to open for City And Colour, whom also are totally awesome, but for me, they just ain’t Shakey.

You could almost say Shakey Graves was the musical ambiance of my summer last year(2015), he was always there in the background while I was having one of the best summers of my life. I spent it back home up in Northwest Territories, on my home soil, and home turf. I lucked out and had the best room mate EVER, Kyla. I decided to get a room mate just for fun, and it turned out to be better then I could have ever imagined.

Literally all we did was love life, laugh all damn day, listen to Shakey Graves relentlessly, and be awesome. For the whole darn summer. It was just as epic as it sounds – and yes, also a rarety to find people that you do those things so naturally with.

Shakey was there with us from the start of every day, right from the crack of dawn all the at till dusk.

And for dining on the deck.

IMG_5394

Daily wine sessions.

IMG_5393

Yes, I believe we drank more wine then water last summer. Trust me, my liver is reading this and thinking…..’Uh, yah you did. Tisk tisk. Took me awhile to bounce back.


Sorry liver, you really did take it like a rock star, and I did do a herbal liver cleanse just for you after it all.

Shakey was also there with us for our barn party.

IMG_4554

Shakey was even playing in the background when I revived a tired Bee with sugar water.

11427217_10153339985721063_4694045647920348824_n Trust me, I thought the Bee was a goner, but with some good beats and sugar, he sprang back to action.

Shakey was the star of every show. Ok, obviously we switched up the tunes every once and awhile – overkilling anything is never a good thing.

His toe tappin’ beats just made every moment of every situation that much better. By the end of if all we had a mission. A mission to make sure that we get to see Shakey LIVE. Unfortunately Spain beckoned me back last summer before we had a chance to see him. This time around, there was nothing stopping us!

I made sure to get floor seats so we could have the best view possible. Backstage passes would have been awesome, but that can wait for another time.

Excitement was high the day of the concert, almost on the verge of stressful high. As if we thought something may go horribly wrong and we wouldn’t make the show, or perhaps Shakey would come down with laryngitis and lose his voice.

Clearly we had no choice but to turn to wine to calm our nerves.


The view also helped the ol’ nerves immensely.

All went exactly how we anticipated. We got there in one piece, with a bit of a stagger, and the show was a GO.


From the minute he came out and starting singing his sweet songs, we were in AWE.



He was amazing live. Like you know how sometimes you see artist’s live, and they just don’t sound the same as on recording, and it’s a bit of a let down. Well this was the opposite. He sounded even freaken better! Music to our ears. Literally.


He played for nearly an hour, but it just wasn’t long enough. We could have listened to him all damn night. He rocked our little worlds, played all of our fave songs from his ‘And the war came’ album, and brought us straight back to our summer 2015, one of the best of our lives.


He was so good we decided there is no other way then to attend his concert in Texas when he is back there. Nothing like a home turf experience. Not only that, we were gutted he wasn’t selling any shirts at this concert. We want shirts! Well, and backstage passes, but we will settle for shirts.

In case you are wondering, we did totally enjoy the performance by City And Colour after Shakey was done his jam too. We all know they are awesome. But! Buying those tickets to see Shakey Graves, even if it was only an opening act – was worth every darn penny! I love live music and jam sessions, but it’s not so important to me to get to the biggest stars concerts, I appreciate talent from all walks of life. Shakey however was an exception. Oh and wait! Dolly Parton too, she is my childhood idol, she is coming here in September, you better believe I am sticking around Canada for that. Heck yes to being awesome, whatever that may be you- I say do it!

 

A ‘FashionBeautyPurpose’ Event By Studio15

Fashion, women empowerment, humanitarian work and social conscience. They are all things that speak straight to my heart. So does wine, but that’s a whole other story.

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a fashion event here in Calgary put on by an fashion forward online boutique shop based out of New York called Studio 15. The event was held at 80th & Ivory on trendy 17th avenue.

A chic location to showcase some very chic fashion, and yes, in case you were wondering, there was wine there too. Clearly, I had to indulge in a vino. Twist my little wine loving arm why don’t you?!

IMG_5537 7

I love the fun, chic and classy feel of every piece. They are all so versatile and can be worn on an everyday bases, whether you are looking to glam it up, or even just keep it tame – these outfits can suit any occasion. Studio15 has plenty must have pieces for every fashionista that will make sure you are dressed to kill no matter what the occasion.

The FashionBeautyPurpose event was so well put together, and had lots of fun little perks added to it.

There wasn’t solely fashion to be appreciated at the event, you could also see the lovely Kristen to get some Rodan & Fields products, specified to your skin type to get a radiant glow on. Chic fashion and glowing skin obviously compliment each other.

When I learned that the philosophy of Studio 15 was to not only create high quality fashion that is affordable to women from all walks of life, but also to give back by donating a portion of every sale to help fund women entrepreneurs in Uganda in starting their own business – my attention was instantly perked.

Collaborating with Kleos Microfinancing Group, Studio 15 has built a strong endeavor of philanthropy in fashion.

Upon meeting Jia Wertz ,the owner and founder of Studio 15, I was enamored and beyond impressed by her fashion, vision, character, and all that she stands for.

st152

Born in Africa, and growing up in Calgary, now based in New York, she has some very incredible history and experiences.

19

Jia has had a life long love affair with fashion beginning about as soon as she could put one foot in front of the other. She is not only a designer, but a fashion writer and photographer, whom spent 16 very successful years having a career in corporate fashion for well known brands such as Aldo and Bebe.

After an inspiring trip to Gulu, Uganda, along side Kleos where she volunteered in helping local women develop sustainable businesses, Jia decided it was time to break away and begin her own venture, then seeing her vision come to fruition with Studio 15. She loves giving back, just as much as she loves fashion, and her soul wanted to combine the two passions.

Africa has been a large part of my life, I have spend almost 2.5 incredible years of my life in Africa. The first time visiting I completed over a year solo trip from South Africa to Egypt on local buses, and spending a couple of those months in Uganda, I also returned to Africa a second time for another year, it is an extremely special place to me. Africa changed my life forever. So the fact that we shared this, and the love of philanthropy, ignited my fire inside.

Not only did I love this little event, I loved even more learning about Jia, and what Studio15 stands for. Feeling beautiful in my apparel, and sharing the gift of success with other women whom wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity – is a winning combination if you ask me.

As Studio15 would say, ‘Giving back is always in style’.

 Loved Week 6 Of My Orange Theory Fitness Challenge

6 weeks and feeling stronger every day! It’s incredible really. I am loving the changes I am feeling in my body. It is almost like an addiction now. I am happy to report that I set out to do 4 Orange Theory workouts a week during this challenge, and so far I haven’t missed one. If anything, I feel like pushing that up to 5 a week. Yes, you can call me a keener if you want to.

In reality though, Orange Theory does become a part of you. When I leave there I always feel like I am on fire. Your so mentally and physically pumped from the whole experience.

The OT marathon has begun, and I started mine on Saturday. We have the month of April to complete it.  I am in competition with no one but myself.

I am looking forward to pushing myself and seeing how far I get with it, Although there is one more reason I may push myself up to 5 workouts a week this month instead of 4, get those miles! I have never actually done a Marathon, so I truly wouldn’t mind completing one.

How about another challenge while I am on this challenge train?! Sounds good to me.

I started Monday off in Justin’s class at the Creekside location with strong determination and feeling on top of the world.

 Once again, that excitement to get back in there was massive. Right now, I am feeling the best changes ever starting. So that being said, there is no way I want to slow down, I want to see where I can go with this.

It was my first time attending one of Justin’s classes, and as it goes at OT, he is another great trainer!

He was continually on top of providing awesome trainer support to everyone. Not only that, he was a great sport at helping me get material for this here blog. We had a nice chat about how much we love OT too, and how true it is that it does become something you would prefer not to live without. 

Trust me, after first getting into OT in Florida 4 years ago, it was super hard for me to leave OT and head back to Spain. A bit heart wrenching really. So clearly I am over the moon to have it back in my life, and not have to leave it any time soon! Anyone who gets into OT feels the same way, so its always great to be amidst like minded people.

Tuesday I played hooky and didn’t go to OT. Kidding. Tuesday I had to work my butt off and couldn’t make it to OT.

Wednesday I was hauling ass to get to Matt’s class at Royal Oak  Traffic and work held me back. When I thought there was no way I was going to make it, I called in, and the awesome ladies at the front desk told me to still come and get in there(in one piece that is), as they were waiting for me. No was not at option. Now, you see just another reason I love OT so much. They love having you just as much as you love being there.

I got there just in the nick of time. I ran in, put my shoes on as fast as I could, ran past the desk while telling all the ladies how awesome they are, and straight in and on to the treadmill, where I continued to run my little heart out. Happy days! That is until my darn shoe laces came untied once again!!

‘Seriously shoe laces, we talked about you coming untied on the treadmill!’

It was a super busy class that day, and Matt was all business. He was making sure he kept everyone on top form. The class flew by because,

A) I was late, and so that meant straight into action.

B) It was super busy! It was a go, go , go kinda afternoon.

I was so happy that I made it in the end – and grateful to OT Royal Oak for being so accommodating. 

Thursday and it was full force once again in Cam’s class at Royal Oak. Actually we were also graced with Trish’s presence assistant coaching too as it was a fast paced and full session.

It was such an awesome class! We paired up with partners, and spent the class doing rotations between the treadmills, rowers and floor workout. I got teamed up with Khrista, and she was an absolutely awesome partner. If your gonna almost kick the bucket, sometimes it’s better to do it with someone else.

img_9268

She was tons of fun to pair up with and full of team spirit.

 We both pushed ourselves as hard as we possibly could, and finished with massive smiles and lots of sweat(obviously).  Exactly how you should look after an epic workout.

img_9045

You could definitely say that was one tough workout! 

I am growing more and more fond of the rowers. I think in the beginning the rowers were working so many muscles in my body(especially in my shoulders), and seeing as how my body was adapting, rowing was tough for me. Not to mention, some days I am a rock star, and some days my form on them is not on!

This day was no exception, and Cam and Trish kept catching me and correcting my form. It does make a massive difference, and I appreciate every correction I get. That’s the beauty of having trainers there to coach you.

Cam’s classes are always great, and he is full of fab energy that gets people moving.

We had some good laughs trying to get in position for a photo:)

 

In the end we nailed it!

I finished my 6th week off on Saturday in Deanne’s class. It had been awhile since I got to attend one of her classes, she is always happy, and so good at motivating you!  I was tired as heck that day, and was seriously contemplating re-scheduling for Sunday, but when I seen there was a wait list for most of the classes, I figured I best push myself and just go for it. I didn’t want to take the chance of not getting in on Sunday. ‘Come on Petrena, get your ass moving’. Self talk, some of the best conversations I have are with myself.

Once again, those days you really don’t feel like doing it, are always the ones that turn out to be some of the best workouts!

Clearly I found my sweaty zen

Deanne’s class rocked my little Orange Theory going world! I felt ridiculously awesome afterwards, and was pepped right up to tackle the weekend. She rocks! And of course we high fived the heck out of it.  There was just no other way. As per usual. 

I was able to rock all 4 of my work outs last week, and consistently get my splat points in the Orange Zone. Every workout, my body shows me more and more of what it is capable of. Its actually more exciting then anything, where can I take my body and health? The sky is the limit and OT is my ladder.

My measurements have gone down once again after a week of stalling, and it feels great.

Week 5: Chest 36, Waist 36, Hips 40, Arms 10, Legs, 24.5

Week 6: Chest 35, Waist 36, Hips, 39, Arms 9.5, Legs 24

Here are some clips from the week


I can’t even tell you just how much I loved week 6. The best part about this whole 8 week challenge, is that yes it has been challenging, at times, VERY! But its a challenge in an environment that I love, which is what has kept me going. The support you receive at OT, and all the awesome energy, accompanied with the awesome workouts, just keep me going back. If you find something you love doing, then not only is it a challenge, but its also a reward. It’s one of my happy places, that’s for darn sure.

Welcome to week 7!  

 

How To Rock Your First Spin Class

I have always wanted to attend a spin class, and having a long time friend, Michelle, whom I haven’t seen in a few years instructing at Spoke(N)Spin here in Calgary – made for the perfect opportunity for a reunion and a workout.

The studio is quaint, and the space inside is utilized very well. I was amazed at how they fit all the equipment and people in a very comfortable fashion. 


Upon arrival, you get given your special cycling shoes to put on.


They have clips on the bottom, so you can clip onto your bike pedals.

Pretty freaken cool. I was feeling cool anyway. Although, come time to saddle up, I had to fiddle around with mine in the beginning to get them clipped in. 

Let’s do this! 

Of course Michelle being such a fabulous friend, she made me sit in the front row, so I could make an ass out of myself for all to see. Look at the newby!! Kidding.


But, I did try and sit in the back, and she wasn’t having any of it, and did tell me I had to get up there. Fine, fine, I don’t mind being a bit of a spectacle.

Guaranteed I wouldn’t have pushed as hard as I did if I was in the back. So I was actually really thankful she got me up front. Sometimes all you need is that swift kick in the ass.

Show time! The lights go down, the music goes up, and the instructor gets everyone pumped. The music was awesome, and so was Michelle.

There is a knob on the bike that gives and releases tension, and you proceed to go up and down, side to side, following the instructors lead, going for the cycle of a lifetime.

If you close your eyes you can totally pretend you are on some mountain terrain excursion. I myself though, couldn’t close my eyes very much, seeing as how I was still getting used to how to ride this darn bike, I most likely would have ended up seriously injuring myself.

A couple times my shoes un-clipped, and being the classy lady I am, I accidentally said ‘Oops, shit!’ out loud both times. Not to mention, I almost said shit again for saying shit the first time. Man, sometimes you can’t take me anywhere. I had to stay focused to keep portraying the illusion that I knew what I was doing, and also look as though I was naturally rocking it. I am sure once I do it a few more times, I will be rockin it. I have no doubt, practice makes perfect.

My legs were sore as heck already from all my Orange Theory work outs, and pushing through on that bike was not an easy feat. Actually it was tough as nails! To be honest, I never imagined spin class was going to be a hard workout.

Could have fooled me!  And it did, that’s for darn sure.

My legs seriously were just not cooperating as good as they normally would had they hadn’t have been going through my fitness challenge the whole week prior to this class.

I do absolutely love cycling, its one of my favorite sports, and back in Mallorca(Spain), I cycle 30km almost every day. This day however, was like a god send when we moved to the floor. I wasn’t sure how much longer my legs would take it, and I am the type of person that will push until I pretty much collapse. Which would just be fricken embarrassing if you ask me. ‘Oh is the new girl alright?! She doesn’t look alright.’

Excuse me while I peel myself off the floor.

Through it all, no matter how much pain I was feeling, I made sure to maintain a nice sweaty smile. At least I could keep rockin a smile.

They also have straps! I love working out on straps. 

In the end, we got a full body workout, using our own body weight, and finished off with some yoga stretches. Perfect!

Here’s a couple short clips of the sesh.


I broke a massive sweat, and was so stoked to watch my good friend in action. She is a fantastic and motivating instructor, but that goes for her as a person, so I wouldn’t have expected anything less. Oh the joys of checking things off my list in life, and even more so when I enjoyed doing the activity. I can’t wait to attend some more spin classes now and rock the heck out of it.

Spin class, the classy way to get an ass kicking.

 

Why I Signed Up For A Library Card

First of all, intelligence makes people more attractive. Not to mention expanding your mind is cool. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

I love reading, you know, there is nothing like getting lost in a good page turner. As much as I appreciate the functionality of a kindle, the feeling of holding a real book in my hands is something special. There has even been numerous studies done, that have shown reading print helps you retain the information better, and a book is more easy to navigate, as you can very quickly turn flip between pages. Getting away from staring at screens also improves concentration.

Being a writer and blogger, I am staring at a computer screen far more then I would like. It just has become a major part of every day for me – and believe you me, I do feel it! You know those times when you have been staring at the screen so long that your brain starts to feel like mush, and your eyeballs are glued open. At which point you have to peel yourself away from it just to unmush your brain and lubricate your eyeballs. Ahhhh, its like a good stretch.

One of many articles I have read on the subject titled ‘Reading Books Instead of Kindles Can Improve Your Memory, Concentration and Good Looks‘ on a sight Mic.com, that I find very interesting, even stated ‘Reading is sexy and makes you a more empathetic person‘. See, I told yah so.

With so many good scientific backed reasons to pick up a paper print book and take your imagination on a nice excursion – plus its just a personal preference for my own enjoyment purposes, a library card only made sense. I don’t have a personal library at home where I can stack books to the ceilings, and I am on a book reading mission right now. I want to continually expand my mind, and gain more writing skills. So you can call me your everyday book worm. With a library card, not only can I go and be immersed in an environment with like minded people, but I can read my little heart out, and hold as many paper print books as I can take. Oh and another perk that I learned upon signage is that they give you free credit to print things off with every month. Ha! Since I don’t have a printer at home at the moment either, this is just über convenient.

img_7236

Well there you have it. That is why I made the leap, did something new for myself, and went and got a library card. I was excited as heck too, surely I was one of the most excited women they have ever seen over a new card. So on that note, does anyone have any good book recommendations for me?

Being fabulous in my awesome Country. Canada and me.

Soooo, what was supposed to be a brief week pit stop in Canada from my travels to attend a blogging conference outside Toronto, ended up turning into a month of tripsing around and working my arse off.  My life always seems to have me on the go. One way or another I always find myself off on some sort of adventure.  Life is an endless series of random adventures. Well it is if you are open to it. Funny thing, when you are open to things, life presents you with an array of options. One could say, ‘a buffet of options‘. Since I am still free as a little bird to do it all, I figure why the heck not?!

After a week in the Toronto area, the night before I was scheduled to fly back to Spain, I re-routed to Northwest Territories, where I hopped off the plane, grabbed my car(literally) and road tripped like a rock star 15 hours straight to Calgary. How do I do it? Beats the heck out of me. Must be the green juices.

I had important blogging business to attend to. When you are building something, you have to be committed. That’s the only way to see if flourish – and I am all about flourishing.

image1 (5)

Calgary is my fave Canadian city. It’s where I will be spending this winter being awesome, so I am busy establishing myself there. I have lived there previously before my world wide travels ensued, so I have loads of friends there, and it still always feels like home. I am excited to see what luxury living in Calgary is all about. Luxury living in Mallorca is pretty darn sweet.

A trip to the city is never complete without some kick ass catch ups. This beauty of a lady is one friend that I am so lucky to have, never have two people loved life so much when they hang out. Literally we can drink wine all night and basically just talk about how much we love life, while laughing our asses off. Its pretty epic and undeniably refreshing if you ask me. Come join us and drink from our fountain of two pea’s epic-ness, and while we are at it, we can climb the awesome tree. It will be the best day of your life.

image3

Calgary has so much happening, its super vibrant and I find it’s taken on a bit of European feel with it’s cafes, restaurants and urban developments. Which clearly tickles my fancy. Considering my other home happens to be in Europe, none other than Palma de Mallorca, Spain, to be exact. I love having the best of both worlds on my sweet home soil. Makes my little nomadic heart sing a sweet sweet song, in a really off key voice. Not sure you will be lining up for my concerts. Although I am a very good public speaker if you want to come hear me talk about some inspirational life topics and stories.

Once I had my way with Calgary in the classiest fashion ever – it was straight back up to my first home in the NWT, where I ran around barefoot in the bush for my whole childhood. It was time for some snow, bonfires and northern lights action.

image6 image5 image4 image7

Lifelong splendors that never get old for me.

Obviously some catch ups were in order as well.

image1 (6) Friends of all ages. Age is just a number is it not?! Its pretty hard not to love ridiculously cute kids, made by one of my ridiculously awesome life long friends.

I also freaken love the North. Obviously.

It’s not everyday that a person is lucky enough to call three incredible places home. I am good to life, and in return, life is good to me. I am darn grateful, that’s for sure. Not to mention, darn jet leg at times! Good thing I am a seasoned traveler. Not that being a seasoned traveler takes away from jet leg. Just as my hangovers get worse with age, so does my dang jet leg. Those would be the only times I actually feel my age – and possibly look it. I think the seasoned traveler part just helps in the fact that I am used to dealing with jet leg. Its a small price to pay. So is a hangover if its a fantastic bottle of vino.

With these three amazing places, it’s no wonder my blog is Barefoot & High Heeled. From wearing my heels in the cities just like Carrie Bradshaw from the Sex and the City, straight to kicking them off in the nearest forest to bask in the Northern bush atmosphere, just like Pocahontas from Disney. I am proud of my Metis heritage. Perhaps not totally barefoot in the snow though. Nobody wants frostbite now do they. Depends what your into though. Maybe frostbite is your thing. Although I am not opposed to dipping my toes in the snow every now and then. One of my fave things to do in the Northern winter is to have a sauna, and then after sweating your ass off for for awhile, you run outside and jump in the snow. AMAZING!!! Heck yes. Every cell on your skin tingles, you feel alive(and awake) and really, it just feels ridiculously fantastic.

Considering my plan was to spend three months in Spain, it only made sense after spending an extended week turned month home in Canada, to return to Spain for one more month, to make my three months away complete.

My awesome mother decided to drive me to Yellowknife, NWT, where I booked my flight from to return to Spain. We pulled in late(as we do), but that didn’t stop us from finding some live music and a bit of grub before we bid adieu once again.

image2 (2) image4 (1) image3 (1)

When you have chosen to be awesome in life, there ain’t no time for slacking, you just gotta go with the awesome flow, and embrace every awesome opportunity. We happen to be pro’s at that. Like mother, like daughter.

So yes, here I am. You found me. Back in Mallorca, loving life. I am super stoked to get to Calgary in a few weeks, but living in the moment is key. So in the mean time, I am gonna enjoy every moment I have here. Sun, Sand, cycling, vino, restaurants, writing my heart out, and random adventures. Like there is any other way. Here’s to embracing life. Are you coming?

Toronto reunions, beer tasting, and being awesome.

Hello Toronto! At least that’s what I said upon arriving to the big city from Spain last week. Little did I know the reunions and beer tasting about to ensue, leading up to Blissom, a sweet ass blogging/writing conference happening at Blue Mountain Resort(my reason for being in Toronto) – were gonna be as fantastic as I imagined, if not a bit better. Knowing that this conference was something that I couldn’t miss, I just freaken went for it. I booked my tickets from Spain, a hotel room, and hit the bright blue skies. Jet setting across the Atlantic. It’s always a bit sad to leave Mallorca, but my love story of where I call home, belongs to both Canada and Mallorca. I was also darn excited to touch my true home soil. As per always.

After I arrived to the big city, I grabbed my car rental and headed straight to the hotel. Possibly straight was not the best description, as coming from driving on the island roads of Mallorca to the freeways of Toronto – was a bit of a shocker! Let me just say, I needed a day of it to get my barring’s and survive it all. Pinch me please! After which however, I did nothing less then rock that freeway driving.
Now guess who just happened to be waiting for me at the hotel?!

It was none other then my beautiful mother.

IMG_4459

I can’t imagine a face I would be more happy to see at that moment. Seeing your mother’s face always give a sense of home. My mother and myself never get to travel together. Even though it is just Toronto, it was exotic to us, simply because we were there together, and it isn’t the NWT or Alberta. It’s new stomping grounds, that we never stomp on together, on the other side of our rather large country, with wine and laughter waiting to be tapped into.
Literally no jet leg could bring me down from the cloud nine of this awesome occasion, and the vino was flowing from the get go. In reality, we all know it’s not hard to twist my rubber wine loving arm.

Things were of off to a phenomenal beginning(who doesn’t love a happy beginning), and within a very short period of time, it was about to be taken up even higher. Approximately an hour after the festivities began, a long lost travel buddy of mine gracefully arrived. Tanya!

Her and I met and traveled in Panama 10 short ass years go. At least it feels short. It’s amazing how 10 years can feel so short. Isn’t it just?! We had the best times ever, some of the best of my life in fact.

bocas

This was another reunion of epic proportions. One of those beautiful friendships that feel as though no time has passed, as you just pick up exactly where you left off. I was super excited that her and my mother were getting to meet also.
So with the party so far being a massive success, and just when I was thinking ‘Wow, this night is rocking my world, I don’t think it could possibly get better.‘ Long behold, it got better.
A couple hours later, my fabulous aunt flew in from Arizona to join the party.
Three’s a crowd?? Well alright then. How about we make it 4 shall we? We laughed, we sang(maybe I exaggerate a tad), we drank wine, and then right in the middle of it all, my jet leg kicked in – and I passed the freak out pretty much mid laughter. As Tanya’s description was the next day, ‘One minute you were laughing, and the next minute I look over and you were sleeping’. Oops! But I am not surprised, and it’s a pretty entertaining story if you ask me.

Believe me, I gave it my best shot. An 8 hour time change(plus layovers) kicks an awesome women’s ass. No matter how awesome you are. I think I was entitled to be the first one to hit the hay. Beauty sleep is important, and I don’t wanna look my age if I don’t have too. Plus, there ain’t nothin’ quite like laughing yourself to sleep. Sounds pretty therapeutic if you ask me.
The next morning after a hearty ‘let’s soak up last nights wine party’ breakfast, it was time to hit the highway and get going on the next leg of my adventures. Which was, heading to Blue Mountain with my long lost travel buddy accompanying me on yet another travel experience. Although we did get a little side tracked along the way……          As any good travel buddies do.
Creemore, Ontario. A historically set quaint little village. Something like a little postcard. Alright, well I know postcards are pretty much the same size. So I suppose I mean – like your average size, picturesque postcard.

IMG_4466

So dang cute. Seriously. I love anything historical.

IMG_4586 Being an avid cyclist, I was stoked to see this! Every town/city should get some of these bad boys.

Aaaand,

IMG_4776 Every restaurant should have there own garden. That’s the definition of fresh food right there.

I also have a real soft spot for Autumn. The colored leaves added the stunning rustic ambiance to the already antique feel.

IMG_4472

I was loving life. As if that is any different than usual. I was particularly enjoying this experience though.

I was loving life even more when we stopped to take a tour of the local brewery. Creemore Springs.

IMG_4474

They fire brew their beer in an authentic copper kettle, and also use water from the local springs. Talk about fresh brew! For a little town, and a little brewery, they pump out some crisp and tasty brewski!

IMG_4482 IMG_4497 IMG_4520 IMG_4494

The staff were absolutely fantastic. Very knowledgeable and welcoming. The staff that work there, really DO enjoy working there. That was apparent to me from beginning to end, and I am a huge fan of people doing things they love. When I see it, I know something right is being done, and it brings joy directly to the ticker in my chest. Life is too short to not love what your doing. Might I add, there are 80 employee’s at the brewery. That creates opportune employment in the community. Loving it. That’s my stamp of approval. Stamp, stamp, stamp. Stamps all over the show.

IMG_4537 IMG_4542 IMG_4548 IMG_4554 IMG_4560

It’s a small brewery so the tour doesn’t take long. However, for a small place, they do have a broad little array of beers.

IMG_4565 IMG_4532 IMG_4524 IMG_4522

I was quite surprised at the volume of people that were coming and going during our time there. Which I am obviously not doing a good job of depicting in these photos. The establishment itself is fantastic. I must say. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

IMG_4563 IMG_4562 IMG_4561

Let’s not forget to grab a souvenir.

IMG_4491

That was a massively impressive pit stop, but I was happy to finally arrive to Blue Mountain and my hotel.

Ummm, hello big welcoming bed!!

IMG_4575

Sprawling out on this was sure to be exactly what the travel doctor ordered.

Not before Tanya and I went for a good one on one dinner sesh, put on the ol’ laughing pants type catch up. 10 years later, and the only thing that changed is we are not as shiny and sweaty as we were in the hot humid weather. Oh, and maybe I don’t have that sun kissed glow at the moment either…. Darn. Time for a vacay I guess!

IMG_4585
Everything so far on my trip was spectacularly awesome. Better then I expected. I am lucky, and when you love life, it loves you back. I was ready. Ready to attend the most incredible blogging/writing conference I have had the pleasure of attending yet.

Heck yes to being awesome and making the most of every awesome experience. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Tunes, Culture and Community fun at Aboriginal Days.

It was a beauty of a long weekend. On Saturday we headed over to the Hay River Dene Reserve for the Aboriginal Day festivities, to enjoy some cultural fun. It was such a stunning day with loads of sunshine, perfect for the events. It’s so awesome to go and check out these community events, it always ends up being a fabulous little social adventure, and it’s just so nice to see and connect with people out enjoying themselves.

We went straight in to check out the live music that was happening. I love any sort of jam session or live music events, no matter where in the world I am, so this was no different. Having the opportunity to hear some of my favorite local musicians was just another reason I wanted to go to the Aboriginal days. Nothing like some good tunes and local talent to get the ol’ toe tapping going. IMG_5427 After swayin my hips and tappin’ my toes for a bit, we made our way out to get some fresh fire cooked bannock.You can’t go to the reserve and not have Bannock?! It’s a traditional aboriginal staple, and something I grew up on as a child, not to mention – of course they will have the best bannock out here, made by someone who has lifelong experience making it. Celine was a little rockstar! IMG_5455 We had to dig right in, it looked way to darn good; and it was way too darn good! IMG_5433                                            As did everyone else. Just look at that sheer bannock happiness exuding from his face. IMG_5461 Delicious and greasy though(as any good bannock is), but this was not the opportune moment for this dilemma…. IMG_4478 Nope, not when there is no napkins on or near me and no place to wash my hands. Dang, I was a bit greasy, and it made picture taking difficult. Long behold though, there was the lake! The Great Slave Lake to be exact. IMG_4460 And it worked like a water filled lake charm. Back in business. None sticky business that is – No one is a fan of sticky business. It was worth every bite though!

Out back they had some canoe races going on – and one heck of scenic view. IMG_5446 IMG_5442 It needed a basking in. So I did just that. I basked in it, and it was awesome. IMG_5439 I so love the Native paintings and art work, they are absolutely beautiful, I could have easily bought one of those. IMG_5447 However, it was this little stunner of a purse that caught my eye. IMG_5450 It literally reeled me right in and hooked me. I didn’t even think twice about it. When you know, you know. Not only was it beautifully hand crafted, but Georgina the women who made it was a beauty herself. It had Petrena written all over it! IMG_4450 IMG_5500You could see the love that went into it, and I love supporting the locals everywhere I am. It checked all the boxes. The best purchase ever! Well one of them, that’s for darn sure.

We made sure to grab some Zen in the tee-pee while we were out and about as well. When in rome! Or in this case, ‘When on the reserve’. How can you not? IMG_5479

IMG_5481

Every time I went past the bannock table, they were cooking something new on the fire. It was amazing, and all just for anyone and everyone who wanted to enjoy it. That is true community event style. IMG_5465 IMG_5489 It was shaping up to be a pretty awesome day. Got to chat with loads of people, get to know more of the locals, enjoy some local eats and treats, and take home a piece of art that also has cultural history.

Wait! I forget to mention something.

I wouldn’t be me, if I wasn’t forever prepared for anything and a little more. So, obviously I would never leave home without my backstage pass. IMG_4527So I figured I would flash that bad boy and see where it got me. IMG_5498 Yup it worked like a dream. I was right back there with the band. No big deal, it’s just how I roll. IMG_5492 Culture, Community, History, and Art all in one day. Don’t you just love when you find everything your looking for all in one place?

Northwest Territories Kayaking Adventures.

Being outdoors, and kicken it with mother nature – is forever one of the best places to be.  Not to mention the beauty up in Northern Canada is endless. With the sun shining high on this glorious Sunday Funday, and the water flowing ever so beautifully on the Hay River, there was just no other way. This wasn’t a cross road, the sign pointed in one direction, and was clear on what to do. It read, ‘Get your asses into your kayak’s and down the relaxing, and soul soothing river’. 

‘Alrighty then’, we thought. Seeing as how the sign was loud and clear, we suited up in the finest kayaking apparel we could find.

k11

Proceeded to load our kayak’s into the truck.

pk kk

We then hit the road and cruised like rock stars,

k9

Venturing straight to the the starting point where we intended to begin our escapades.

IMG_5170

It was an absolutely incredible day on the water. Even better was that there were NO bugs! The NWT is notorious for the insane amounts of bugs in the summer. Something you never really get used to, you just have no choice but to become accustomed to it – or you would end up hiding out in your shelter all summer. Ummm, no thank you. I would rather suffer a little to enjoy ALOT! This year is off to a pretty darn good not to buggy summer start though, so I am enjoying every minute of it before they take over the show.

Once we got our sweet ass Kayak’s in the water, had a quick team chat(oh, and a good ol’ Canadian beer, drinking locally made products no matter where in the world I am) – we were off to be enchanted with our afternoon excitement of being awesome. No big deal. Why do anything else really?

pkj pj

I never tire of the stunning Northern scenery, and never fail to be totally impressed and engrossed by it all. It’s just so freaken great. It is not uncommon to see wildlife on the sides of the river. Alas, today though, there was none out and about to be admired.

k8 k4 The only thing we forgot this time was to bring some snacks. We were just too dang excited to get on the water. Our stomachs did give each of us a reminder of being forgotten though! Note to self: the next time you go out to for physical adventures, bring some sort of fuel other then beer. Not that it wasn’t darn delicious and refreshing though. However, this kayaking day was just a warm up for some much longer trips. So being prepared will be key.

A few hours and a few team chats later….. k6  And we reached our destination point. Feeling incredible and riding our high from a chart topper of a nature packed afternoon paired with some physical activity, we pulled our kayak’s out of the water, and gave them a nice shady resting place while we waited for a ride to come pick us up.

k10

After just another epic day of loving life, and embracing a beautiful day of endless laughter and being awesome, we took it up to the next level. Or put that cherry on top so to say.

k7

A very palette friendly Canadian Vino, baked Brie, Olives, and Dips – and life couldn’t get much better. That is a pretty fantastic Sunday afternoon with a blissfully beautiful finish if you ask me. It has my stamp of recommendation, that’s for darn sure. Wouldn’t you agree?