Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas

I hope you all had a marvelous Christmas. We do not go crazy when it comes to Christmas, we get the kids some of their wants and needs and my husband and I like to surprise each other. We avoid the boxing day sales like the plague and pretend all the shops are closed. It is a shame that we only shut down for one day of the year and most of the times, coffee shops, petrol stations etc are all open, so we like to stay at home and enjoy our gifts and let the kids play with their new toys.

A few days before the big day my husband and I had a treat, kid free for two full days and one night. We went to see The Hobbit at the cinema VIP style and frequented a few eateries too. The kids went with their aunts to the Vancouver Aquarium and a few festive places.

Christmas evening we had a big family gathering which was fun and nice to see everyone in one place. We really enjoyed the calm of it all. Over the weekend we went to see Frozen, it is a great family movie. I had a ladies night out, full of laughter but now we are preping for New Years. We have some yummy treats and vino and we may even have a few films to watch. With the kids we tend to not go anywhere but that is OK with us.

Here are a few marvelous things I received:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

La Senza Lingerie - A Merry Christmas!

Sexy lingerie or any lingerie is a nice to have at Christmas. I thought it would be a nice surprise if I bought this and surprised my husband! Oh yes! 

There are some lovely styles to suit all tastes at La Senza with a great price point too. Here are my purchases, I wanted to buy more but I will wait for the sales.


Back: Bodysuit


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Vintage Make-up

Like I have said before I have hooded eyes and thin lips. It is a bit of a pain getting glamed-up when the latest fashion is winged eyes and big red lips. However, it is not impossible. My top eye lids slope down, a lot, so doing winged eyes is a long affair which requires patience and make-up remover. I mark my eyes on each side with a dot before I even draw them in. I line my eyes using the lower lid opposed to the usual way of the upper lid. I do not stretch the eye at first, I draw the wing-line that I see when my eyes are open then I close the eye and fill in the bits that are not visible when open, so when you do close your eyes, or blink then there is a smooth line. I make a soft line, it looks better to be honest. I will do a tutorial on this at some point if demand is there.

As for my lips, I use a blue toned red lipstick, it is great on pale skin and if your teeth are less than dazzling, blinding white it will help to diminish the stains that red wine, coffee and food create. I first fill in my lips with the lipstick then even out and fill to establish full looking lips I use the lip liner in a circular motion around the outer lips. It will look less harsh than using a line and because lipstick comes off whilst drinking it will look less ridiculous between touch-ups. If you desire a strategically placed beauty spot on the cheek can be a nice touch.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bioderma is in Canada

The much raved about Bioderma is in Canada, yeah! Used by professional make up artists. Highly rated by those who know their make up and are in the industry too.

I am not sure how long it has been in my local pharmacy, I do know you can buy it in stores in the UK, I think April as of this year. I wanted to pop over to France earlier in the year, (I love Paris) and whilst there go and stock up in Bioderma but I was unable to but as luck would have it I needn't have worried. 

The cleanser is amazing, it wipes off make-up no problem and you do not have to wash the cleanser off if you are feeling lazy. I can be very lazy when it comes to taking make up off at night, so this is an added bonus.

Cleanser for sensitive skin

Anti-red moisturizer.

I also bought myself the anti-red moisturizer. It is silky smooth when applied leaving a soft texture. I only bought it today so I can not review it properly but I will post an update in a week or so time. My skin gets dry, red and patchy during the cold season, I was advised this would be great for my sensitive skin.

Bioderma has a number of products that you can check out on their website or go to your local Shoppers Drug Mart there is a good selection to choose from in store.   

I am thrilled that this product has expanded outside of France.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Love Lisa Eldridge Make Up

I LOVE watching Lisa Eldridge's make up tutorials. She makes it easy and simple to copy. My problem is I do not have enough make-up! I know, the shock of it.

Here are a few of my go-to How-To's. I have fair skin, hooded eyes and thin lips. Not really model material am I!?! I don't mind though because Lisa gives me the answers to the beauty industry so -called flaws.

Hooded eye make-up

Thin, uneven lip tutorial.

Red Lips for all.

Not a Lot Blog - Makeup

It has been a while since I have posted about beauty products. To be honest, I have not bought many new items other than a few face masks. I thought it was about time to add something to this blog. It is not a lot but a bit of something.

Face masks. I have yet to try but I have used this brand before and they are nice.

The best ever. I need to get a large size. This was out of Glossybox back when I was in the UK. Love it for the winter on dry skin. By Elizabeth Arden.

I have fine hair. I had it cut into an integrated bob, quite short. This adds volume and it is very good. I am particular about my haircare products. By Marc Anthony.

Natural cleansing lotion. Smells lovely and great on the skin. Can use this on the kids. By Sukin.

Won this in a raffle. Hand cream. Love the smell it is divine. By Upper Canada. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bullying - Talk to Someone

Nothing, NOTHING, infuriates me more than to hear that someone is being bullied. Either some people really have nothing better to do with their time than to pick on someone or they just can't help themselves because they see the other person as a threat and are so insecure themselves or they are looking for power in a sadistic way.

I was bullied, bullied by my so called best friends, to some random nobody I never spoke to at school. Thankfully it never got to the point where I had to be in a fight but there were times when it was close to a punch up. My strength, I was a good talker and it got me out of some tricky situations. The best thing to do is to talk. I did not hesitate in speaking to my mum or a teacher if I knew things were getting bad and making me miserable. On one occasion I had just started high school in England, I was 11 years old, close to 12. I knew high school was full of older kids, it could be scary, I had heard stories. Within weeks I was targeted. I did not know this person, I knew her cousin who was in my year/grade but not the same class, we had both moved from the same primary school to the high school. This is the only thing that connected us. But I did not know the older girl. The weeks went on, as I walked through the corridors I was verbally abused. I was mystified as to why, eventually I got so upset and so worried about going into school I spoke with a older girl I knew, but her advise was a little too scary for me, I was not willing to fight. I spoke to my mum and I said, "If I get into a fight at school it is because I am being bullied and I can't take it much more."  She said, "...speak to your teacher and let him know what is happening. I will contact the school too."

I walked into school and spoke to a few friends who said the best thing to do was to tell a teacher. My form teacher was awesome, Mr Thompson. I went to tell him and I broke down crying. Within 10 minutes the bully told my teacher that I had to walk with her to the headmasters office. He was one scary headmaster, you did not mess around with him. As I walked down the corridor with this girl, suddenly she was my best friend, trying to tell me that it was all a mistake, she did not mean it etc. By this point I had the power, I was pissed that she put me through this situation.

I told my side of the story to the head teacher, I did not hold back. I was excused. What happened next I was unsure but the cousin of the girl told me she heard shouting from the headmaster and she was left in tears. After that she was all smiles. But I could not forgive her. I dismissed her friendship efforts. I got on with my life.

A few years later I was targeted again by someone unknown, but at this point I had an array of friends from all year groups. One of the girls knew who she was and gave me the best advice, "I know this girl, the best thing you can do is confront her, but be prepared to fight'. Holy crap, I don't like fighting, not then nor now. But I got up early for school because I knew she would be there, my friend who gave me the advice said she would meet me but she would not be the one to show her face but stand around the corner should I need help. She showed me where the girl was, and she was with five others, I felt sick- I had not anticipated a group of them. But I had made an effort to get here, I needed to get it dealt with. I found out the kids name and at the bottom of the steps I shouted to her, explained that I did not understand what her problem was, I had not done anything to her since I didn't know her and it was going to end now. I was willing to fight if needed. Nothing happened! What the heck. After that, I never heard a squeak out of her again. Again, I told my mum what I would do should I get into trouble, and she supported me.

Even your own friends can turn on you. in my case it was over a boy I did not even care for but I was a threat and I needed to be out of the picture. I found this out after my so called bestie had dated him and they had split up and now I was allowed to be with the group. 'Fuck off', was my response. I had found my crowd, the ones that I am still good friends with today.

I am a mum with two daughters at elementary school in Canada. My eldest who is 7 years old is already seeing what bullying looks like. I fear for my kids as teenagers. It has changed since I was a girl, I did not have the social media aspect to contend with. However the one thing I ensure we do each and everyday is to talk about the great things that have happened during the day and the not so good. It helps me as a parent to catch things early on and hopefully as they grow they will know that they can come to me or their dad about anything no matter how traumatic. We are not here to judge we are here to protect.

If you are being bullied, TALK TO SOMEONE. This is the most important thing for you to do. Talk to someone who is older, preferably an adult. Your mum is always a good start, but if you prefer a close relative an older cousin perhaps, a teacher; someone you can trust. Your parents won't be angry, they will help you. It doesn't matter what the circumstances, be it an embarrassing situation that was plastered over the social media platforms or daily verbal abuse. You can't go through something like this alone.

Share your stories please, it is good to be heard, you need to be heard.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Books - Anne Frank

Product Details
What an incredible book. A thought provoking read. I will go into more details in a few paragraphs time.

We are currently glamorising the 1940's and 50's but it was anything but, or at least for Europe.. While America were living a normal life perhaps even a glamorous life, (having been through the deep depression of the 30's), Europe was suffering under the Hitler regime. Perhaps this is why the current trend of vintage style is geared towards Hollywood and the beautiful people. Nothing wrong with that, who wants to dwell on the past when it was so traumatic? But we can't forget what happened and you could even say that making this era fashionable again is a way to remember the good as well as remembering those that suffered so that we could have what we have today. 

It's wonderful to see vintage events being held across the UK, War on the Line in Hampshire, Goodwood Revival near Chichester and Vintage Festival in Glasgow, there are so many more. They are educational and fun.

The beauty of the British public, they know how get on with life, through prosperity and austerity. Brits are not easily defeated. Another reason why this era is popular, the austerity which is happening now because of the recession (don't get me started on this), people are making do with what they have or if they need something 'new' they are rummaging through charity shops, getting bargains by purchasing second hand goods, what a way to force people to recycle and reduce consumerism lifestyle we live in today, (of course there are downsides to reduced purchasing on an economic level). People are getting creative. I have even heard of people growing their own food and going to meet-ups where they swap vegetables, jams etc. 

I love to read books of this era, Goodnight Mr Tom, War Horse, Back Home, Just Henry and now Anne Frank. These books appeal to me because they tell a story of challenging times but people also kept their 'chin up' and got on with it. It helps to keep today's difficulties in perspective. Even though we are going through a time of austerity we are not on rations, we have shelter most of us still drive a car, we are not surrounded by bomb sites etc. I know there are other factors and threats looming in today's economic crises, 1. because the world has never been through a global recession before and governments are finding it increasingly difficult to manage but then this post gets into politics and theories and it gets boring. So back to Anne Frank and her diary.

The forward of the book mentions there have been a number of versions that edited out information, names etc but the book which I bought as per the image, is the full version with a few names omitted. I am only a third way through the book but so far it is beautifully written, not many teenagers today could write so fluently, hell, not many adults either. So many things like school friendships, courtships are similar in today's world but the events this 'ordinary' girl lived through are quite extraordinary and unimaginable not one that I would want to live through. A diary which was written to ease boredom and to communicate in a way that she could not with her peers or parents, it starts off as though a story of her everyday life that she confesses, no one would possibly want to read. How wrong she was and she will never know how much this book has affected people. Anne Frank's diary will be passed onto my kids to read when they are ready, infact this book should be read in schools all over.

We can't and should not forget what happened because we do not want events like this happen again.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bikram Friday - Vengeance is Mine

Hmmm! What can I say? Overall this week has sucked, it started off well but it went downhill from Tuesday night during Bikram yoga session. The owner of the studio was there; her session are pretty intense and I am not really ready for that right now, I can imagine it would put most new students off. Anyhow, I went to the session and boy was she pissed. The tone of the room was low and everyone found it hard to keep up during the standing section. We were all out of sync, some went ahead into the postures before she had started to instruct and some did not get into the postures at all, which made her deeply unhappy, I guess. She even accused me of moving into a posture too soon (the problem was that she was asking someone to take a shorter step and I thought she was talking to the class), too much talking from the instructor can be really confusing and off putting when you are concentrating and trying to focus on the words, particularly key words, so off I went into the pose; and she said I was doing it all the time, which was incorrect and I just smiled and thought, "fuck you lady".

She used to teach at another studio where I used to attend, before setting up her own. The difference with the two studios for me is location, cleanliness and the amount of space however the older studio had something the light airy studio does not, great tutors. The problem I am finding is they are too busy talking about their promotions and talking through savasna which is meant to be the time when you meditate and rejuvenate the body. Plus I am finding there is a lack of guidance, the older studio had great staff and they were good at pointing out your mistakes and focused on proper alignment, here I feel most tutors just talk. It is uninspiring. Having said that the older studio does not have the same staff when I used to go, so there will be no need for me to go back but lovely modern yoga studios does not mean the best place to practice.

You may have heard of instructors telling students not to drink during class, internally give them the finger and drink your drink if you need it. When you are in a sweaty heated room and it is hot outside too you need to hydrate. Luckily I have not had the pleasure of teachers who punish you by death should you choose to break their rule because lets face it, what can they do? Throw you out of class? I would like to see them try, the reputation will be such that no one goes back.

Despite my crappy week so far I will continue through until I have lost the weight I want and I would like to get into other types of yoga. I give myself until Christmas.

On a side note, I also had a job interview with a well known yoga company, it did not go too well. The energy and the enthusiasm I was looking for was not at their head office. I felt like I was filled with people of self-importance which I do not expect in the yoga arena at all. I can tell you now, for all the yoga skeptics out there yoga folks are not hippy, tree hugging, loving vegans some have a self-centered inner peace that no one can touch! Hmmm! I want to laugh at this statement but instead I snigger.  I may find myself reevaluating this accusation but for now this is how I feel.

I have been fulfilled with disappointment on many levels this week and I look to a positive future.

Namaste - I suppose.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Lululemon Clothing


Over the years I have bought a number of Lululemon clothing and I have posted some of those items in past posts but these are some I have not mentioned before. Even though they are a few years old they have lasted, stayed in very good shape and I can wear them through the seasons.


Can you name them all?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Bikram Yoga Friday

I am happy to report that I went to yoga two days in a row and I plan to go over the weekend unlike last weekend when I did not go at all, terrible I know. The breaks in between have however helped tremendously. I have found that my body responds well when I return, and I cope much better in class, nonetheless I do intend to go five times a week so that I can loose weight and get more into a routine, very hard to do until the kids go back to school. Even though the yoga center has child care, it is on certain times and late in the evening, if it was during the day time during school holidays I would probably go more often and it also give the kids a break from the home. Regardless, Wednesday night's session was much improved, I can stretch much deeper into the postures which I am thrilled about. I can move up to the front of the class so I can see myself in the mirror and it also motivates me to push harder because newbies tend to watch those at the front since we have been coming more often.

My intention is to sign up to a 30 day challenge as long as I can fit it in with the kids schedule, my needs no longer come first. Having a happy mum, means a happy home so its best that I go ;).


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Books worth reading?


I have a list as long as my arm of books to read but instead of reaching into my pockets I am visiting the library. Knowing what I am like with books, I will read several at a time and get part way through a book and never pick it up again unless it is interesting. 

So, I walked to the self-help section. I have to admit that I am embarrassed going into this self-help section. It really is targeted towards women and the words 'self-help' conjure up needy women looking for away to improve themselves so they can find the perfect suitor. I wish they would re-word it to something like, 'Increase Performance', 'Empowerment'. Thoughts?

The Secret has an eye catching cover but I failed to get through to the second chapter, if there is one, I mean, I am not sure I can spend precious time of my life reading something I find uninformative. Perhaps I have missed the point on this one or I need to read more...Anyway, I may try and pick this one up again or I may just place it into the return slot. 

The Power of A Positive No is very interesting. It is well written, easy to understand language, not blinding the reader with intellectual dialect. It has real stories and details of situations that everyone has been through at some stage, even the author goes through his experience negotiating very difficult situations which many of us never have to go through but it is interesting to hear how saying the right or wrong thing in order to get the answer can make or break a deal. Well worth a read for a housewife to a CEO.

Do It Anyway, I have yet to read this, I have been putting it off, partly because The Power of A Positive No has been more appealing. Ironic really, considering the book is called Do It Anyway - I think.

One book I would like to read but not spend money on is the Happiness Project. The only problem I have with this book and from the reviews I have read, is the author has no financial worries. Most people who want to read self-help books, I believe have some sort of money concerns perhaps mixed up with other emotions, (I am generalizing here, I have no stats to back this up). 

Certainly I look to read these books to improve myself in many ways, or learn some lessons for the work place which includes increasing my financial stability in some form or other. Sadly money does not live on trees and to keep a roof over ones head, money is necessary. Trying to improve oneself is a worth cause to spend time reading books.

Do you have any books that you think are worthy reads?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Bikram Yoga Friday

I was back into yoga this week. I am non of the wiser as to why my back got red and soar but I am glad it has not come back. I have been back to yoga twice this week and I hope to go at least once if not twice over the weekend.

I have made much improvement with my yoga, some of the postures I can get into fully some of them I am close to getting it right. My waistline is visible and my bottom has shrunk which is always a good thing, lol. I do not weigh myself nor use a tape measure I judge it by looking at myself in the mirror and assessing how my clothes fit me. I find it less depressing this way, as we are constantly being bombarded with what weight we should be for our height and what sized clothes we should be in but in reality, our muscle mass may be heavier, our body frames may be smaller, I do not want to put myself into a category where by my body does not suit that perfect size of clothing or weight, besides dress designers labels differ to a varying degree, which I find irritating. I judge it by the way I feel and see myself, it can be quite powerful, we are our own worse critics.

My nutrition has much improved particularly after watching some documentaries on how some foods are processed. I was mortified however to discover that a test tube beef burger may make its way into the food change. Shocked even that someone ate it. Our bodies are not set up for GM foods, they can barely cope with the food that is packaged. I may go into that in more details in a later post but these documentaries I saw on Netflix would alarm many people.

All in all, a good week with yoga and my much improved eating habits.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Goal Setting


Since my last goal setting blog here I have added a few more to the list. The one thing I am struggling with is the career section. Since leaving school as a 16 year old my plans are somewhat different to now, just as well because the industry I had planned to go into was not all that lucrative and some years later a number of independent businesses went out of business because of the change in laws. So off I went to university and studied business and thought I would go into marketing or HR, I tried HR and it was not the area I wanted to be. Now I work in social media which I enjoy but it is not the field I want to be in since I do not find the products interesting what I think I would love to do is social media for a retail company in fashion, interiors, cosmetics or something similar. Products that interest me in turn I can engage the audience with my enthusiasm.

Having been through some recently grueling interviews and then finding the jobs have been put on hold, which is disheartening but I am not to be discouraged because the next interview will be easier and other opportunities will arise which may be the perfect fit. I see this as an opportunity. I have always taken jobs because I need the money opposed to wanting to work for that particular company so perhaps while I have the time and able to look for something of interest to me I can get what it is that I am looking for. Notice how I use interest a lot, I think that says I want to be in a industry that I like.

Now that I have some more free time I am spending it in the library, reading non-fiction books about women in business, negotiation skills, practicing saying no positively. I never thought I would read such books but looking back on it I wish I had read them before I started work after university because there is so much to learn in a job and politics to navigate and frustration to overcome. It is best to know how to handle these situations, as a youngster in the head office of a large retail company, I made many mistakes handled situations naively and got emotional quite easily. That has all changed now, for the better; no one wants to see someone teary when they are getting criticized or angry because things did not go their way. By the way, reading more is one of my goals.

I am also practicing my writing skills, again, this is one of my goals. So that I can structure my work better. I know I go off on tangents and can be erratic and also mix my tenses. Yoga practice is ongoing, I know some Brits think yoga a bit, how can I say it? Spiritual, hockey pockey, vegan eating hippies. It is not like that at all. I can attest it is one of the best exercises I have ever done, I have ran long distance, played hockey, mountain biking etc but this is one of the most challenging in terms of flexibility and strength building, it impacts less on the joints too and feel so relaxed and happy afterwards.

Here is my updated list:

1 Year Plan
Photoshop course
Writing course
Drop a few dress sizes
Eat well
Yoga practice
Ski with family
Have my own creative space
Start retirement plan and leave it alone
Take a vacation
Be in my dream job
Grow a small plot of vegetables

30 Day Yoga Challenge
Grouse Grind

5 Year Plan
Continue with yoga, try something new - Vinyasa yoga
Own my own forever home
Canadian citizenship
Retirement plan in place
Take holidays with family
Grow my own food
60 Day Yoga Challenge

10 Year Plan
Paid off mortgage
Increase retirement fund

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pixi Cosmetics

My recent purchase from Target. I wish I had bought Pixi products sooner, particular at the store in London near Carnaby Street. I was fortunate enough to be passing my Target when I saw the Pixi section, sadly the selection was under-stocked, so I was not able to get all that I wanted however I got a nice surprise when the larger box was on sale for a mere $11, normal retail price $27. It is a neutral palette that can mix and match, I love everything inside it, you can see the contents on my Instagram page. The lovely eye brightener is wonderful and so natural looking you barely notice it is there. It is great when eyes are looking a little red and it also helps to make the eyes look bigger. The foundation is amazing, particularly for summer, again you can barely see it on and the cap at the end is great for concealing dark circles under the eyes. What I really love about Pixi is they use extracts from plants to help to rejuvenate the skin as well as covering up. I suffer a little bit from red sensitive skin so these products do not irritate one bit.

Out of all my cosmetic purchases this is one of the best buys I have ever made and one of the best price points.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Recent Lululemon Purchases

Here are a few purchases I made recently to add to my collection of Lululemon items. I will post my own pictures of my old and new clothing and accessories some point soon. For now, these pictures are from the Lululemon Canadian site.

The Loop it Strap is so handy and easy to navigate on and off the mat. My cheaper alternative strap had velcro fastening and even though it was easy to use I did not like how it attached, you had to be so specific that the velcro matched each end in a certain way. This strap is fantastic, no fuss, nice and thick and a pretty colour too.

Loop It Up Mat Strap
Picture by Lululemon: loop it mat strap

The No Limits Top is so light weight and nice and long that hangs below or on the waist line depending where you want the band to lie. I have the black top with the crimson bra top (it matches the strap above). I love this top for Bikram Yoga, it lies nicely on my hips and does not move throughout the postures so I have no need to worry that it will fall when I am in an inverted pose. It is light enough that it feels like you are barely wearing it and does not stick to you when in a sweaty classroom. It washes lovely and considering I have worn it almost all the time I go to Bikram and I also wash each and every time I have had no problems with it at all. I hope they keep this one because I hope to buy more in the near future. 

No Limits Tank
Picture by Lululemon: No Limits Top

I love my Lululemon purchases. Next purchase I hope to get is The Mat. I need a new one!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bikram Yoga Friday

Ok so I did not stick to my Bikram yoga plan last week but this week I will. Here is my post:

I only went to yoga three times last week but I was doing other exciting things that made it impossible for me to go, however I like to go at least three times if not four when possible. I can tell you now that my body is changing, my waist is appearing and I have shape to my legs, I am also eating a lot better and taking in more water which is a huge shift for me. I love my food but I am eating more bean salads, less take-out food and processed food and eating less red meat.

Unfortunately after a very hot and uncomfortable session on Monday of this week, I was wiped out half way through the session, it was so hot but I pushed myself and did all the poses, I got home and chilled for the night. Next day I woke up with a burning sensation on my back and when I looked in the mirror I noticed a huge rash had appeared across my entire top half of my back but one area was red and soar and looked like I had burnt it. I don't sit for hours in the sun because I burn so easily and prefer to stay pale than look like a lobster therefore I knew I had not burnt my back from sun exposure. The next day was even worse, the skin was going brown from where there was little skin and a it was a little weepy, getting hot and sweaty made the situation worse. On a hot summer day it is hard not to get hot and sweaty. So I chose some cream in the cupboard that is anti-fungal. My thought was that my mat was not clean enough and bacteria could be forming, even though I had cleaned it a few days earlier. I bought some tea tree oil so that I could dilute it and spray on the mat to keep it clean from bacteria. I am hoping this will work, this is what I used to do.

Now I can't go to yoga until it has cleared up which is very disappointing. I may have to get a new mat if it happens again, if its not the mat then the heat from the yoga could be aggravating my skin which has never happened before and I will not be too happy if this is the case.

Has anyone else experienced this before?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Goal Setting Lululemon Style

Some years ago, back in 2009 I set myself 1, 5 and 10 years worth of goals and you can find my list here: Goals. I used the Lululemon plan to help me along the way, you can find a printable sheet on their site. I quite like it since you can have your goals in front of you to see each day.

Yesterday I decided it was time to review my list and see where I am 4 years on. First of all I decided to print off the sheet from the Lululemon site and do an entirely new list. I wanted to see if my ideas, plans had changed in some small or significant way and why my plans had changed. I asked myself: Did I accomplish any of my goals? Did things change in my life that I had to reevaluate my plans? What goals still remain and do I need to change them or stick to them?

I am still working on my goals. It is not easy to start writing them down but once you start with the small things it becomes easier. So here are some of my new goals:

1 Year Plan
Photoshop course
Writing course
Drop a few dress sizes
Eat well
Yoga practice
Ski with family
Have my own creative space
Start retirement plan and leave it alone
Take a vacation
Be in my dream job
Grow a small plot of vegetables

5 Year Plan
Continue with yoga, try something new
Own my own forever home
Canadian citizenship
Retirement plan in place
Take holidays with family
Grow my own food

10 Year Plan
Paid mortgage
Increase retirement fund

I have yet to elaborate and expand on them but you get the idea. I think it is important to share your goals. The support of a community can help towards them. I will work on them more and share a new post soon.

Do you have goals you want to share?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Raincity Vancouver

The weather has just broken, after a wonderful summer and a lovely night out with friends not only did I come home to a sodden kitchen floor from the leaking dishwasher as I took the bins out ready for the morning the rain tapped, tapped on my head. This means only one thing, we are about to have torrential rain but we need it, the whole of July has been hot, hot, hot and the grass is brittle and spiky, not much fun when you want to run around with naked feet. So here it is, the refreshing rain to replenish thirsty greenery and flowers and a much needed break from the heat.

And tonight is the Festival of Lights, where people from over the world come and show off their firework skills to music. Lets hope the drops of rain don't fizzle out the wicks.

I have posted a few pictures of recent events to remember how wonderful the summer period was in Vancouver.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bikram Friday

Since the move I have been a little inconsistent with posting so I hope to get back into a routine again and I am hoping Friday will be my yoga day but that may change to the weekend. For now though, Friday is the day for yoga updates.

It is week three of my yoga practice after the first week was non stop yoga I decided to slow it down to four or five times a week. This is working just find right now but once I am working back in an office and not from home it will probably reduce to three or four times a week. I have to look at it like this, to pay to go to Bikram yoga I need to earn money which means I have to work certain hours and fit in my life around it accordingly.

In three weeks I have had a arm reduction a tummy tuck and a bottom lift without having to spend thousands seeing a Dr and going under the knife. So yes, it can be done if the determination is there. I am amazed by how quickly your body can change and eating habits seem to adjust by craving healthier foods, listening to the body is important.

If you are trying to improve your life by some form of exercise let me know I would love to hear your story.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Greater Vancouver Zoo

The weather has been amazing and even my creamy coloured skin has managed to get a tan. Spending time at the beach, shell hunting, paddling and picnicing. Been to the Greater Vancouver Zoo and watched the big cats being fed. Going to see friends in Squamish (half way between Vancouver and Whistler) and kids playing with neighbours kids. All in all we are having one of the best summers we have ever had without having to spend money in hotels and resorts.

At the zoo we saw the black panther and we even got to handle the birds of prey, the owl I fed was beautiful and even though it looks so large it was so light to hold and my eldest daughter caught a baby kestrel in training. We saw crocodiles, snakes and lizards. Amazing time. The play area and picnic area was fantastic and the whole place is so clean and it is not too big to walk around, which is great when you have little kids. Bikes are available or you could bring your own along.

Sadly the hippos were out of the water by the time were toured the circuit by mini train and the zebras were in the shelter being fed so we did not see them but it gives us something to look forward to the next time we go.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Fun In British Columbia

Where do I start? We have been so busy since we moved out to Vancouver. It is perfectly set up with families in mind and the kids are having a blast. I have had a number of job interviews and more lined up, the kids have been to 4Cats doing amazing art work as shown below. We have been to water parks, to the beach and a planned visit to the zoo. The garden is now usable and we have partly built the 12 foot trampoline. The weather here is beautiful and hot and perfect for days where there is water.

Not sure where the next few weeks will take us but for now we are going to enjoy the moment.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Six Days of Bikram Yoga

I have been going to yoga since Saturday, six full days without a break. This Saturday however I did take the a day off, to be frank I needed a rest day, I felt a little uncomfortable and tired plus these hot days and nights have not helped with restful sleep. Sunday I returned to my practice and it was hot, mighty hot. I am getting more familiar with the instructors so I am noticing the ones who like to crank up the heat, the sympathetic ones and the ones who push you to the limits. My instructor today cranked up the heat and pushed but the energy in the room felt mushy and towards the end I think there was myself and one other who actually did the postures. It helps to have others in the room creating the flow of energy, whether they can do the posture or not is of no consequence but the trying is important, staying in the room is more important, it helps to drive the group to push harder and go beyond their limits but if the energy in the room is lacking then it is good practice to concentrate on yourself and look within you to drive yourself forward.

Not only is Bikram Yoga physical it is mental, some days are better than others no matter how strong you are, how long you have been practicing even the best can fall out of a pose if they are not concentrating or their body says slow down today. That is what I love about Bikram Yoga, no two days are the same, it is not seen as a bad thing if you can't do a pose that day, the only thing that matters is you made it into that hot, sweaty environment and got through the session.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bikram Yoga

A few years ago I practiced Bikram Yoga. It was addictive. It changed my body, I was healthier,  more flexible I felt great. I stopped going due to a move and not having a studio within easy reach. However,  I am 5 minutes away from my local studio, a newly designed, spacious place that has lots of showers, actual lockers, drinking water, hairdryers, childcare facilities and a lounge area. I mention these thing with excitement because my previous place had little communal space, you had to wait to use a shower, there was no safe space to leave your belongings and when it was uber busy finding a spot to get changed was a nuisance. The directors of my new yoga location used to teach at my previous studio so they obviously realised peoples needs and added extras. Fantastic.
So enough about that. This is my journey of practicing yoga in an environment not too dissimilar to a steam room. My reason for this type of yoga, you may ask; I can loose weight fast in this environment,  it clears out unwanted toxins, it exercises the mind and body, it is a healthy way of life, low impact on joints and you get a cardio workout and well as improving flexibility.  One more thing, no two sessions are the same and this is the reason I keep going back for more.

Yesterday was my first day back in the studio after two years of being a coach potato.  I drank lots of water prior to the session, to avoid dehydration during practice and to avoid a pounding headache afterwards,  I should mention, make sure you have Gatorade or some other form of electrolytes to take after the session, it will help to reduce headaches. The headaches will go away after a few session, your body through all the sweating is getting rid of all the toxins which in turn can make your head hurt. I digress, I took ths first session very easy, ensuring I stayed in the room and I tried each pose. I came out of the practice, relieved,  energized yet tired. The best thing about Bikram yoga is you will always have a good nights sleep afterwards.

I will post pictures week by week as I progress. The plan is to practice 4 times a week and sign upto a 30 day challenge.  One thing at a time.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer in Vancouver

Photo: Kitchen Dining room view
View from house. Much improved from a main road opposite a car park.

Time is flying and since we landed we have done so much and spent too much. I have already had two job interviews, have taken kids swimming and a zoo trip is being planned too.

The girls have been signed up to a summer camp at 4Cats Art Studio, my eldest went there before we came back to England, it is a lovely studio but I will talk more about that once they have completed their course. She also has a birthday coming up so we have to plan something for her, which is exciting.

A lot has been happening and there is still more to come and to organise, arrange etc.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Duty Free and Relax

I can finally relax after a very hectic move.

My wonderful duty free purchase, Marc Jacobs, Daisy. It smells so good.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

We have landed in Vancouver

Beautiful British Columbia

The view from our hotel room

Best Maple Syrup ever

After an exhausting move out of the house in the UK we stayed at the at the Premiere Inn for a few nights and we received great customer service and the rooms were nice but the lack of an elevator was a big no, no since we had some very heavy cases to carry up one flight of stairs. We then stayed at the Marriott in Gatwick (the internet was very poor and very expensive and they would not give us a refund), the rooms were decent but smaller than the Premiere and I was not impressed by the quality of customer service at the Marriott and one night cost us the same amount as two nights at the previous hotel. I give Marriott a 4/10 because it is meant to be high quality and with that I expected attentive staff. Since my main job is sourcing hotels I would avoid this for my customers. 

We took the children to the National History Museum to see he dinosaurs and fossils and more importantly T-Rex. It was fantastic and the kids loved it and to spoil them rotten we took them to the Rain Forest Cafe for dinner.

We traveled with Air Transat which in the past has been cheap and horrible and since we were travelling as a family it was the best way cost-wise, but the plane we were in was far superior and surprisingly comfortable. New TV in the back of chairs with lots of channels and games and the kids got a goody bag to keep them occupied plus a snack in it. I was lucky that we had the whole row to ourselves so my little one could stretch out and nap. Well done Air Transat for the vast improvement.

We have been in Vancouver for a few days and we will be moving into our new home tomorrow and we have a new car to collect today. Talking about purchasing a car, well I have never experienced such a rude, obnoxious sales manager in all my life (maybe I should get out more) if you are trying to sell a car as far as I am concerned and my experience has been you should negotiate. Well he thought his negotiation powers were far superior and basically came out to say our offer was ridiculous and his use of aggressive body language and tone was a real turn off. So the poor girl who had taken us on two test drives and spent time with us lost out on commission and the twat-of-a-sales manager lost out altogether. He misjudged us by using intimidation tactics, so we walked out pissed off but feeling satisfied that we did not purchase a vehicle from him.  This was at the Richmond Auto Mall at Volkswagon. So we decided to go somewhere closer to home, dealing with a more pleasant person whom was the Assistant Manager, so none of this middle-man crap and we got an upgrade of the same car, costing us about the same as the Richmond place and a longer 0% interest rate, and the other bonus being that we pick up the car the next day. 

If someone should try and put you down and make you feel inferior, walk away and find someone else who doesn't because you always get a better deal.