Brilliant Weekend: Run, Yoga, Bliss

Sitting down at my desk, trying to focus on some school work, and all I can think about is how fast this year has flown by. We’re half way through June! And, because my birthday is only a few days away, I’m feeling slightly anxious and concerned that I haven’t accomplished much this year.

A little irrational, I know. But, still. Maybe it’s because I’ve chosen to train for one marathon this year (as opposed to two or more). Or, maybe I’ve been extremely busy with school that it feels like outside tasks/goals/achievements are not front and centre. Honestly, it feels a little funny to not be overwhelmed (yet) with marathon training… I should be trying to enjoy this more! πŸ™‚

YYC Run Crew Sunday Calgary

I’m in the middle – looking good, right? πŸ˜‰

Well, I certainly enjoyed my running adventures this past Sunday with the run crew and friends. After a crazy Saturday workday, it was nice to get up and meet the YYC Run Crew for a 10KM run, which was then followed by 30 minutes of outdoor yoga. Seriously, I need to do yoga outdoors more. I felt so relaxed with a light breeze blowing over me and the sounds of nature (and the city!) in the background. I almost considered napping out there too, but then we followed up the yoga with food and mingling at a local restaurant nearby. This bliss-fest was in celebration of the grand opening of the Lululemon incubator located at the new East Village Junction in Calgary. If you’re in the city you have to check the Junction out – so many great local businesses to support, plus they have outdoor music, yoga, and more going on from Thursday – Sunday every week all summer. (Side note: if you’re looking for a beautiful new cell phone case, check out Alto Collective. Great stuff & awesome customer service, so I just like to pass the message along!)

After a fun Sunday morning, I then spent the afternoon with the bf & fam relaxing in the yard enjoying the sunshine. Maybe a little too much… got a little burn on my nose! And, I procrastinated on school work. But, that’s another story. πŸ˜‰

Saucony Freedom Outdoor Yoga Calgary

Outdoor yoga with the Crew!

As a Bibrave Pro, I received these awesome reflective strips by Brilliant Reflective to try out last week & I need some cool ideas about where to put them. Daylight hours are really long right now, so I don’t see myself running at 4:00 am or 11:00 pm, so I need to get creative!

Also, if you’d like to check them out yourself, you can check out their website,Β Twitter, or InstagramPLUS, if you use code BRP35, you can get 35% off when you order! How sweet is that?!

Brilliant Reflective Strips Bibrave Pro

Tell me: Where would you use the Brilliant Reflective strips?

ps. Thank you Lululemon, YYC Run Crew, and Charbar for an awesome Sunday morning of running, yoga, food, and community!


February Friday Funny

Say that blog post title 5 times fast…


Ok, down to business. Have you ever been called crazy for running? Have people rolled their eyes at you and basically called you insane because you do some kind of fitness activity?

I have. Multiple times.

And, sometimes I agree. But, that doesn’t make it better!

I guess it makes it funny though.

While I often think of myself as crazy during a “lovely” 30+ KM training run, I don’t need to hear you tell me I’m nuts. I think as runners, we already know we’re crazy. But, it’s a special kind of I’ve-got-goals-to-crush kind of crazy. And that’s pretty damn cool.

This goes for runners, cyclists, triathletes, swimmers, fitness freaks, whoever… because I’m betting you’ve been called crazy or nuts or silly for your endeavours at some point.

Despite possibly being seen as nuts, I think we should be proud of ourselves. It’s not east getting up early. It’s not easy working out in -30C (-22F)… in the snow… going up hill… well, you get the idea. So, there are times when we have to find the inspiration inside ourselves. We can’t listen to everyone that tells us we’re nuts… unless that shit motivates you. Then do what you gotta do.

My hope is that we’re inspiring at least 1 person who’s calling us nutty. Maybe they’ll be sitting at home and start to think “that Crystal is nuts, but maybe I’ll try a 15 min jog and see what all the fuss is about”. Hey, it could happen! That’s almost how I got started when I think about it.

Ok, that’s my February Friday Funny rant. Tell me what you think.

Stay nutty out there you fabulous fitness people! πŸ™‚

Found on Pinterest. Made me laugh. ;)

Found on Pinterest. Made me laugh. πŸ˜‰

Have you inspired someone who originally called you crazy for your fitness endeavours?

Where My Goals At?

How bad is it that I don’t have any goals set in stone for 2017 yet?

I don’t make resolutions, but I do like to set some intentions and general guidelines for myself in regards to what I would like to accomplish or stay focused on throughout the year.

So, for some reason, I’m a little behind and trying not to worry too much about it… yet.

This new year actually started off with some less-than-awesome news, but I’m really hoping that the “when a door closes, another door opens” quote will come into play here. So, now that the dust has settled a little, it’s time to start thinking about some goals/intentions that I’d like to keep in mind for 2017.

YogiCrystal Running 2017

Goals, Intentions, Dreams for 2017

~ Get a race schedule figured out. Starting to panic a little here. I have only scheduled in the SeaWheeze Half Marathon (YAY!!!) for August, but as someone who has a long term BQ goal, I obviously need some plans & structure for my race schedule.

~ Continue to do well in school. Stay focused, take it all in, learn lots, build skills, and work on that networking thing. (Introvert alert here!)

~ Have more compassion for myself. I feel like I write this one down every year. Always a work in progress, but I need to have more compassion for myself when times get tough.

~ Work with a great team of likeminded individuals.

~ Cross train more. Yoga. Meditation. Cycling. Ideally I can get a coach at some point to help me with this… not easy on a grad student’s budget! Keep in mind that I need to train smarter. Aim to get faster. PB. πŸ™‚

~ Travel. Find ways to travel for races, but on a good budget. Most likely staying local & in Canada this year. The U.S. dollar hurts. Also, visit family and friends.

~ Read more. This one is hard to do as a grad student because I feel like I should always be reading textbooks and journal articles, but I love novels and need more casual/fun reading in my life. Trying to make more time for this. Same goes for writing, need to get on this blog more! (Side note: this involves actually starting my re-brand… scary stuff.)

~ Run with people more. Tough to find a run crew around work schedules that involve evenings, but I’m going to keep an eye out. This could help with my introvertness and to keep running fun & interesting. Be part of an awesome community offline & on –> Which includes recently being chosen and a Nuun Ambassador! If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you can probably tell that I love Nuun, so this was certainly fun news to receive this month!

~ Breathe. Focus on positivity more. Smile. Have gratitude, write it down.

~ Health. Keep focused on healthy lifestyle. Try to reduce stress. Eat at home more. Cook, try new recipes. Share. Find a mentor. See joy in the experience. Appreciate the little things.

That’s a good start for the year, right?

I’m sure I may add to this as time goes on, but this is what I am starting with. Nothing here really involves tons of pressure and that’s how I operate best. I don’t set resolutions, because if I “fail” I will feel awful. Trying to avoid feeling awful, but I also know I actually need to set some running goals. I have that BQ by 40 dream & I need focus and strength to get there.

Picking myself up from the start of this year and ready to charge on!

Did you set any intentions for 2017? Please share one that stands out for you as really important!Β 

Or, are you like me and haven’t set any goals in stone yet?Β 

2016 Musings and Review

If you’ve been following along my blogging and social media journey, you know that my 2015 closed out with some major life challenges. At the time, I didn’t place a lot of hope on to 2016 purely because I wasn’t in the best state mentally. I decided to try not to put too much pressure on myself and to keep trudging on until I worked through some things. I did what I thought was my best to get through the tough times with a focus on the positive aspects starting 2016 – such as my planned trip to California for my second Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland. Honestly, that trip at the start of the year may have been the biggest thing to pull me through the tough times and the winter blues. After January, 2016 still proved to be a challenging year, but there were definitely some positive aspects that I’m hoping to reflect on now.

Manoa Falls 2016

Pondering life at Manoa Falls πŸ™‚

The rest of winter was mostly mild, so I was able to keep up my running training early 2016 in preparation for my first marathon in May. I ran the Run for L’Arche 21.1K pretty well, followed by the fun Eyeball the Wall 30K. Enjoyed the atmosphere and location of this race – plus, it’s budget conscious and you still get a cool medal!

Once the 30K was done I got locked in for the final weeks of training for the Calgary Marathon. Let me tell you, this wasn’t easy. You might remember my posts on Instagram leading up to the race – both victories and challenges all shared there during training. Overall, the race was an awesome experience and I had a great time, while also learning some things about myself. Β I did not achieve my time goal, but there were some good takeaways from that race. After the marathon, I took it a little easy and tried biking more in the summer which was refreshingly fun. Did some challenging rides with the boyfriend, which boosted my spirits and got me back & focused on running/training for my second marathon – Honolulu!

In the summer I was also very lucky to have a friend join me on my birthday for a fun run just outside of the city – the Millerville 8 Miler. I miss the fun of running with others (Nike 15K in 2015 being one of my fave memories), so I was extremely grateful that Kim joined me. Great atmosphere, fun crowds, and even cinnamon buns on the route for the brave people! In June I also had a quick trip to Toronto for a friend’s wedding and saw some of those runner friends I missed. Great times and I hope to go back soon.

In August, I popped out to Halifax to visit home for a quick trip. I hadn’t been home in the summer since I moved away and it was so lovely. Actually, compared to Calgary, it was hot! And, I loved it! Calgary had a mild winter and a milder summer, so escaping to Halifax for summer and family time was nice.

The start of fall brought on some major changes. I started the first semester of my Masters program and training for the Honolulu Marathon. University and marathon training you ask? Yes, why not! This brought on some new challenges, mostly with time management but I feel I did pretty well. I still have to complete my marathon recap blog post, but the semester did go quite well despite some stress… err, lots of stress. πŸ™‚

December was quite busy with work, finishing up the semester, and travelling to Honolulu for the big race. Somehow I got through it all still smiling and here we are on the first day of 2017 ready to rock with new goals and a new focus. I don’t have my race calendar complete yet, but this year I’m hoping to work on getting faster as a build towards my long term goal of qualifying for Boston. Lots of work to do, but I’m going to give it my best shot.Β 

Overall, 2016 was a steady year with the usual ups & downs, but I did my best to stay focused on the goals in front of me. That’s all we can do in time like these, right?

YogiCrystal New Year

Happy New Year!

2016 Quick Rundown:

– Star Wars Half – California – 1 quick day in San Francisco

– Run for L’Arche 21.1K

– Eyeball the Wall 30K

– Calgary Marathon – first marathon!

– Trip to Toronto

– Millerville 8 Miler on my birthday

– Trip to Halifax

– Dino Dash 10 K – got a PB!!

– Started Masters degree

– Harvest Half 21.1K – DNS, terrible weather, didn’t want to risk getting sick

– Honolulu Marathon – second marathon, got a PB!

– Second year travelling to the Atlantic & Pacific oceans! (Miss the ocean everyday)

– Total KMs ran = 1538 (416 KM more than in 2015!)

How was your 2016? Any big takeaways?

Summer of less run, more bike

Woah, it’s been awhile since my last post.

To be honest, I can’t believe how fast time flies. {Who doesn’t say this?!} Seems like it wasn’t that long ago when I was training for my first full marathon and going through all the emotions involved. All that worry and anxiety is now over and I’m now starting to plan for my second marathon training… Which reminds me, I still need to do a race recap about my first marathon! I haven’t done this yet because for some reason it seems difficult for me to sit down and articulate all of the emotions and memories involved in that race. Part of me can’t even believe it’s finished. Like, did I seriously run that far? Crazy! I wonder if anyone else can relate…

Since the marathon I’ve been on a bit of a break, running less and trying to enjoy other activities. I’ve mostly added cycling into my weekly routine, which has been a fun change. Cycling is a nice challenge, while also being a little easier on my body. I’ve been bike commuting to work more and last Sunday I did a 52 KM ride with the bf all around Calgary. It was tough, but also so much fun! He’s trying to encourage me to ride 100KM… we’ll have to see how that goes!

Post 52K cycling smile!

Post 52K cycling smile!

In all honesty, I’ve been struggling to find my motivation this summer. I’ve been finding it difficult to get up in the morning (even when it’s sunny) and occasionally struggling throughout the day. Usually, the summer months are prime for me to get up early either to workout/run or to just relax with a cup of coffee & a book on the balcony. But, not this year and I’m not sure why. Granted it’s been a very tough past 7+ months for me as I’ve battled with some tough situations and also grief, so I am guessing that some of that comes into play. I’d certainly like to turn this around soon because September is about to get very busy & I’m going to need all the motivation I can get!

Anyone else feeling a summer slump? How do you stay motivated? Got any fall goals? (Eek, I don’t even like writing out the word “fall”… hahaha no rush!)

Looking forward to the road ahead!

Looking forward to the road ahead!

Thinking Out Loud on a Monday

I know, I know… Thinking Out Loud posts are usually scheduled for Thursdays, but I wanted to think ramble out loud today.Β My running motivation has been a little better over the past couple of weeks (life is still in chaos), so I thought it was a good time for an update. πŸ™‚

~ Starting week 3 of training for my first marathon with a rest day today… Ok, I lie. I might go to the gym later to shake out my legs on a stationary bike or something after yesterday’s 14.70KM (9.1 miles) long run. I’ve been a little nervous thinking about my first marathon, but so far training has been good. I can’t let thoughts about how long 42.2KM (26.2 miles) actually is get to me right now. Just focus on this week’s training and do the best I can. Still need to get my head around strength training and the best exercises for me in this case, but I have been doing better with low impact cross training on non-runs days with biking and yoga.

Calgary winter running

Looking at the open road ahead…

~ Been comparing myself to others on social media a little too much lately. Anyone else do this? I don’t know if it’s because my life is in a little bit of chaos right now or if there’s some other reason, but I need to cut it out. We all have our own stories and journeys and I need to keep my focus on mine. It’s tough in this day & age, ya know?

~ Got the opportunity from Fit Approach / Sweat Pink to try the new Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart Bars. They sent 1 chocolate and 1 cinnamon bar, and I’ll be honest… I really only enjoy the chocolate bar (big surprise, right). I have purchased more of them since because I do believe they make a nice quick snack on the go or after a workout. Each bar has 10 grams of protein & 10 grams of omegas, so they make great fuel during any time of the day. If you’d like to try them, Manitoba Harvest is offering 15% off of a box at the checkout with the code hhbarlaunch1015 until March 31, 2016. That’s an awesome deal!

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Bars Saucony

Mmmm chocolate after running πŸ™‚

~ I haven’t even ran my first marathon yet and I signed up for my second! I couldn’t help it… the Honolulu Marathon had a fantastic registration deal going on for the month of January & I just signed up on a whim. My boyfriend convinced me to travel somewhere different for my next racecation than California, so this seemed like a great idea. I’m going to plan and save for this one & hopefully can make it work. So excited though… it looks like an amazing race!! Have you ran Honolulu or travelled there? Tips?

~ As I’ve mentioned, I’m currently going through a major transition period in my life. Some not so great things have happened to me and now I’m in a place of trying to figure out what to do next. I’m trying to make the best of what I have and where I am, but honestly, some days are better than others. I am sure there are many out there who understand and who’ve been through similar situations. I just hope that you can bear with me through it and I’m always thankful for your support. This is seriously such a great community to be around!

Ok, that’s it for my ramblings today. Maybe next time I’ll do it right and schedule it for a Thursday. πŸ™‚ Otherwise, I hope you all have a great week! Stay strong out there! ❀

How’s winter run/fitness/triathlon/etc training going for you so far?

Planned your 2016 race season yet?

Holiday Update

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted and right now I’m trying to do this from my iPhone in a small cafe that offers wifi. Should be fun to see how this post turns out, so please forgive any typos / mistakes. πŸ™‚

Some readers may have seen my tweets or Instagram posts, but if not then I’ll let you know that I’ve been in my hometown of Halifax for the past 2 weeks with no internet access. Sure, I have phone data but I have since gone WAY over that limit. My next bill should be fun.

Anyway, I’ve been here on an unplanned visit for 2 weeks, which I may write more about at another time. Right now it’s still too difficult to write about. But being here with family has certainly helped. Times like this family needs each other, so I’ve been doing the best I can.

Somehow I’ve managed to keep up with my Star Wars Half Marathon training… Mostly. I think I missed a hill workout, but I’m trying not to dwell on all that. Since running is my sanity, it’s a good thing I brought my gear with me on this trip.

I get to spend half of Christmas Day with my family and then I’ll be on a plane back to Calgary to be with my bf’s family. I’m sure you’ve missed my posts and GoPro pics, right? Right?! πŸ˜‰

That’s my update for now, hopefully I didn’t make too many mistakes in this post! Hope everyone has a lovely holiday season and a happy new year!! πŸ™‚

Me Christmas 2015

7 Ways to Turn Your Work Frown Upside Down

Ok, let’s be realistic for a few moments here. Not all of us love our jobs. Some of us are in transition, some of us took what we could get in this economy, and the rest may not know where to take their career next. Either way, there are people out there who don’t enjoy their current roles and aren’t in the position to move just yet. It happens.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’ll say that this post isn’t about getting out of your job and finding another one… this post is about the little things you can do to get through the day while you have to stay in your current position. (Because ‘make the best of it’ isn’t always the best advice, right?)

Trust me, I get it. You can be going along and having a pretty good day and then you have to go to work. Ok, it has to be done. We have bills to pay and experience to build. But, what can you do to keep that smile on your face? What are some things you can do to help you get through this shift?

7 Ways to Turn Your Work Frown Upside Down

1. Have intelligent conversations. Hopefully there are some cool people where you work. If so, seek them out and get to know them better. Spend a few minutes or a lunch break together having great conversations. This can help to pass the time, but also helps to keep your mind fresh and excited for what’s actually out there. If your job isn’t very exciting, intelligent conversations with others act as a great reminder that you’re still a smart, motivated, and engaging person underneath it all.

2. Watch a funny video. Not a whole movie, but a few short funny videos to pick up your mood. Like cat videos? Watch one or two. Comedy? Check out a video on your lunch break (just keep the volume down if the comedian swears a lot πŸ˜‰ ). Maybe even check out an inspirational video or two to help keep your spirits up and to inspire action. {TED Talks are a great place to start!}

3. Research your passion. I’m not telling you to search for a new job while you’re at work, but you can research your interests, passions, and hobbies. During your lunch read articles and blog posts that relate to whatever you’re interested in. This will also help to motivate you when you see others who are just as passionate about what you’re in to. (Not too sure what you’re calling is? Grab a motivational/self-help book for your lunch breaks or check out more inspirational videos to start getting the ideas flowing.)

4. Grow your skills. If you don’t entirely hate your job and if there is the opportunity to do so, take on new tasks or projects in your current role. Find out what else you can take on and then tackle those projects with determination. This will help to build skills for your resume, but also may show your current employer that you are capable of so much more. And you never know, this could lead to a promotion. …. Now, if you are in an awful job and you just can’t fathom the thought of taking on more tasks, I understand. This is an opportunity to take on a project, hobby, or class outside of work. Build those skills, put it on your resume, and start searching! You never know what might come up.

5. Allow yourself a treat. I’m not saying go wild and eat all the cupcakes here, but I do know from experience that depriving myself while working at a cruddy job is not the path to happiness. To help me get through the day I’ll grab a coffee at the start of my shift and I always have dark chocolate on hand. When I’m feeling a lull in my shift, I’ll have a couple of pieces and this helps me to get my brain back on track. Chocolate may not be it for you, so try what makes you happy. Green smoothie? Cookie? Fruit? Latte? I say just do it… but remember that moderation is key here.

6. Go for a walk. Yes! Get up from your desk and walk it out. Walk around the office building or do a little desk yoga. Live somewhere nice or it’s summer where you are? Take your walk outside. NOW. Fresh air and exercise are so refreshing and the time away from your desk helps to break up the day. Gym at your work? Even better! Do a short workout on your lunch break and you’ll be energized for the whole afternoon.

7. Read self-help articles. Read blogs, articles, books, etc. that are self-helpy and motivational. Then, journal. Seriously, get your thoughts down on paper (or online). This will help you get out of your head for a little while, but can also be quite revealing. Maybe you’ll notice patterns in your writing and the sorts of books/articles you’re drawn too. Maybe you’ll get your goals down on paper or start to develop a vision board. Either way, this will help you get through the day and will inadvertently help you start to plan for the future. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, just do it and be amazed at what happens. πŸ™‚


Pic credit -

Pic credit –

Niagara Trip 2014

For the past four years, the boyfriend and I have made a trip (or two) to the Niagara region to check out the local wineries and then eventually make a stop at the Falls. Usually we’ve gone in the fall, which is a beautiful time of year there, but this time he had some work in the area so we went this past Saturday.

It was a beautiful late summer day, just perfect for checking out some wineries and touring around. As usual, the boyfriend is my dedicated and awesome designated driver. We’ve taken a guided tour before, but it can be quite expensive and most of the companies take you to places you’ve already been. So, I become entrusted with the tastings, which I’m not complaining about at all. πŸ˜‰

Our first stop was Forty Creek Distillery, which is a locally made whisky that both of us have enjoyed a few times. It’s actually a favourite of the boyfriend’s, so we finally decided it was time to check it out. We arrived way too early for a tour, so we hung out at the tasting bar and learned about the distillery from the very friendly and helpful guy working the counter. I love when we go to these places and encounter people who seem to really like working there and are passionate about the product. We really learn a lot from these people. I tasted their Barrel Select, Honey Spiced, and a maple whisky liqueur which was amazing. I seriously wanted this stuff to make boozy pancakes… ice cream… deserts… etc. The last whisky I tried was their Confederation Oak reserve, which was incredibly smooth but still filled with lots of flavour. This visit definitely gave me the urge to visit more distilleries in the future!


Aren’t they beautiful?

Next up was a stop at Peninsula Ridge Estates. This winery sits atop a gorgeous piece of land facing rows and rows of grapes and also has a view of downtown Toronto across Lake Ontario. At this winery I tried a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, RosΓ©, and Syrah. These wines were quite nice and subtle, with the Unoaked Inox Chardonnay being my favourite. If you like light reds, then the Syrah Reserve would be a good choice – be sure to add some awesome cheeses to really bring out the flavours. Actually, I almost forgot – I tried their Cabernet Franc Ice Wine and it was amazing. Of course, ice wines are an acquired taste, but ever since I tried my first red a few years ago, I just can’t resist.

Up next was Hidden Bench winery, which was on a beautiful, quiet piece of land in Beamsville. Their patio looked so casual and inviting that I wish we had extra time to be able to sit and enjoy a glass, but I was happy to visit their tasting room instead. The gal working there was very friendly and informative, which I love when I enter a winery. Sometimes wine touring can feel intimidating because you wonder if you’ll be judged about how little or how much you know about wine. So, I love when I go to a place and they are not pretentious. Here I tried the Riesling, Chardonnay, RosΓ©, and Terroir CachΓ© red. The Riesling was dry, crisp, and hardly a hint of sweetness, which I really liked. Also, the Terroir CachΓ© was bold and full of flavour, quite a nice red which will be perfect for comforting fall meals.

Oh Marsanne, how I love thee.

Oh Marsanne, how I love thee.

Lastly, we made a stop at a relatively new winery called KEW. We stopped on a whim and I have to say that it was my favourite visit of the day. The tasting room is set inside a gorgeous old house that you can’t help but love. They also have a beautiful patio with a great view of the vines. Seriously, the best service of the day goes to this place. The gal helping us was friendly and you could really tell her passion for the wines by the information she provided. I enjoyed our conversations with her very much as I was able to take my time tasting their wines. Here I tried the Blanc de Noir sparkling wine, Marsanne Viognier, and Soldier’s Grant red. I found all three of these to be exceptional and full of flavour, but the Marsanne was a phenomenal surprise to me. Since I’m not well versed in wine talk, I can’t properly describe it, but I can tell you that it was delicious and definitely an all year round type of wine. I really enjoyed my experience at this winery and will probably plan to stop by next year to check out what’s new next season.

After our delightful time wine touring, we headed into Niagara Falls where I was left to pass the time while the boyfriend worked. I spent a few hours by the Falls people watching, seeing my first Elvis impersonator, and just listening to the rumble of the water. I will tell you that listening to the Falls is probably one of my favourite things. Such a powerful sound that you can’t help but feel amazed by nature. Of course… that’s if you can hear them over the huge amounts of people. πŸ˜‰ I kid of course, but there seriously were tons and tons of people there Saturday evening and it became a little overwhelming for this introvert. I also checked out the Fallsview Casino for the first time and boy was that place crowded too! I had a great time hanging out in Niagara, but by the time the boyfriend picked me up I was exhausted. A little too much of the crowds, noise, and drunks for me as the night went on. (Am I getting old?!)

Can you hear them now?

Can you hear them now?

Even with the end of the day exhaustion, it was still nice to get out of Toronto for the day. Wine country was peaceful and relaxing, while the city balanced that out with its craziness. Overall, a really nice way to spend a Saturday and a rest day. I now have a little stash of wine for the fall to enjoy… I might just share it with the boyfriend. πŸ™‚

How are you spending your last few summer weekends?

Where’s my creativity?

Do you know what I just realized?

I realized that it’s difficult to create new and engaging (or entertaining) content when you are going through a bit of a rough patch in life. I am aching to be creative, to share more stories and interesting posts with you… but, I’m dealing with some of life’s popular issues and thus I am not so inclined to sit down and write.

Sure, I am *trying* my best to stay positive and keep moving forward, but I’m sure you understand that there are days when you want to hide under the covers and just take a break from reality for a moment. Which, we know is not possible. I can watch a funny movie, take a nap, gab with a friend, do yoga, but in the end I come back to reality and still have my issues to face.

I know I am being vague here, but don’t worry, I’m going to be fine. I am dealing with issues from some of the main corners of life, one being the grand ol’ job search. For the past year I have been working two part-time jobs and since January I realized that I wanted to move on to bigger things. I’d like a more permanent role with more opportunity and, ummm, benefits. Seriously, as a gal approaching her mid-30s, I’m starting to think about how much I would like to have a benefits plan through work. It’s something I haven’t had in awhile, so I think it would be nice.

Anyway, I guess I am saying that I have A LOT on my mind right now, which makes blogging, social media, etc. a bit more challenging. I know lots of people have issues and challenges in their lives, but do they experience a lull in creativity at the same time? I’m sure I could rant or produce posts that are a bit on the negative side when I am having a bad day, but who really wants to read that? My blog is about real life, but not to the point of bringing others down. So, I wanted to share with you what’s up in my life, while also keeping it light hearted. We all have challenging times in our lives, it’s how we deal with them that really matters. Keep it positive, reach out when you need to, and remember to laugh.

How do you spark creativity when going through challenging times?