Just When You Need It

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The last couple of weeks at work had me running near empty. Feeling like I was torn in so many directions, all energy spent. While still keeping up with the fitness routine as a way to barely stay balanced, I felt myself slipping into the abyss of exhaustion and negativity.

Since moving to and starting work in Singapore last year, I had mostly removed counting down to the next holiday because life became more manageable. But isn’t it true that the longer you invest your time in a place, the more work you take on? I’m a bit of a “yes” phase right now, and I’m okay with the saying yes… it’s just more like actual adulting again. So anyway, because the start to the year was more hectic than last – but in different ways – I found myself counting down to the long weekend.

And then it arrived! How glorious! The long weekend and a nice weekend getaway to Langkawi with Brett and a few friends. True be told, we all needed a recharge. Just a couple of days relaxing at the pool bar, reading, eating and enjoying each other’s company.

Grateful to have these opportunities to get away like this, especially with such lovely people.

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I’ve Been Brainwashed

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I have a good friend whose friend says that New York has a way of making you think you can’t live without it. Well that’s definitely true.

New York has brainwashed me. It’s been brainwashing me for the last nine years to think I can’t live without it: its hidden treasures, beauty and all it has to offer. The food and restaurants, the parks, the uniqueness of many places around the city. The running around Central Park and the relaxing to write blog posts in Bryant Park. Walking down a couple of blocks and having the option to eat any kind of food I want at practically any hour. How can I leave it?

Well, I can.

Yes I will miss it, but I will be okay without it. A new adventure awaits in another time zone and place, and I’m excited.

Fourth Decade

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Entering a new decade is quite monumental.

My fourth decade began yesterday on Friday the 13th. No matter, I’ve always thought of 13 as my number anyway. Here’s how the day looked…

An unexpected gift from my husband.

A decent work morning.

Soup dumplings for lunch at Joe’s Shanghai.

A Magnolia cupcake for dessert.

A low-key work afternoon.

Hugs from friends.

Amazing dinner at Saxon + Parole with my near birthday twin and great friends.

A nice glass of wine before heading home to enjoy a restful slumber.

An appreciation of the day and many others ahead. This milestone of a decade is one that I am excited about becoming a participant in. Not that the last decade of my life wasn’t full of adventures, new friendships, rebirths of old ones, relocating, travels, personal and professional growth… I just feel like this decade is going to push me into a new realm of knowing and understanding myself. And others. 🙂

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I Miss You Warmth

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Walking around a little after work today getting some errands done helped me remember that winter will pass, but the walking around did make me miss some things I used to really enjoy long ago and not so long ago… particularly in warmer weather…

… running through the sprinkler

… after-work yoga at Laughing Lotus with Monica

… walking home from yoga in my yoga clothes

… ice cream treats from Dickie-Dee

… riding my bike to Red Rooster/Tags with Joc for our daily slush and donut

… jumping on the trampoline

… the smell of lip smackers

… listening to ’80’s hair bands on repeat

… frequent stops for froyo

… lake time with Jill

… Green Bay Resort in the Okanagan with Joc

… road trips to wherever

… green leaves and blossoms in Central Park

… walking out the front door and walking or running for hours

… patio dining

… long hours of daylight, waking up with the light and going to sleep as the sun goes down in the late evening

Sniff… I can’t wait for warmth.

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Five More Hours

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It’s 7pm on NYE and I could just head to bed and go to sleep.

Brett and I had a nice late afternoon lunch and beer stop at an Aussie place here in Robertson Quay. I was quite impressed with the food and happy to see a Boston vs Detroit hockey game on the TV.

And now we are home… at 7pm on New Year’s Eve. This is not new; we aren’t New Year’s Eve people. But for today we said we’d have a nap and head down to the pool later, hoping to see the fireworks at Marina Bay.

We will see if that actually happens!

Have fun tonight, whatever fun is to you!

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Remember Sunscreen Lady?

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Well in case you don’t, here is the link to my post about Sunscreen Lady… Read, then read on here.

So I walked by Sunscreen Lady yesterday on my way back from Bed, Bath & Beyond with a heavy bag in my hands – another slow cooker actually. I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner for Lisa tomorrow and I wanted to have a second one to cook the stuffing.

I’m walking down 1st Ave, past Financier and I see her – Sunscreen Lady. In her puffy down jacket, with her long stringy hanging out the sides of her hood, her cart in front of her. In her minuscule voice she says “can you get me some lunch from here?”.

Say wha? I keep walking, obviously pursing my lips! And if you read the original Sunscreen Lady post, you know why!

Seriously?

She just asked me, and who knows how many more people, to buy her lunch at Financier. First, it’s not cheap, and second – she obviously doesn’t remember the Starbucks turkey sandwich that someone kindly left on her table at Starbucks no less, and then offered it to me because she didn’t want it… and when I said no thank you she then threw it in the garbage?! Seriously?! And who knows how many times she’s done that!

I don’t know her mental status or her home arrangement, but really? She’s asking me to buy her lunch – not just a coffee, bagel or water, nope – lunch! At Financier! I’m one of those people who often buys food for people on the street because no one should be hungry which you know from my street meat post, but she is just one person I can’t do that for. So I guess she didn’t realize that in fact she was asking the wrong person on Thanksgiving weekend, of all weekends, to buy her lunch.

So anyway, let’s just say that today I’m still slightly aggravated but I know that I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner for a friend, who I know will be thankful!

 

Life Changing Treats

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You heard me.

Life. Changing. Treats.

And by treats, I mean cookies, ice cream, desserts 🙂

Why am I writing about this now, after writing a post yesterday that I signed up for races? Well, because I’ve had some amazingly delicious treats lately. So when you’re out and about in NYC, find these at some point. You can thank me later.

1. The Compost Cookie or Crack Pie – Momofuku Milk Bar (UWS, Midtown West)

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2. Chocolate Walnut cookie – LeVain Bakery (UWS, Harlem, East Hampton)

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3. Maple Bacon Cheesecake – Beauty & Essex (LES) – sorry couldn’t find a pic

4. Salty Pimp – Big Gay Ice Cream Shop (LES, West Village)

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5. Chocolate Salted Caramel doughut – Dough (Brooklyn, Union Square, Smorgasburg)

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6. PB & Jelly cake (and their red velvet is my fave) – Buttercup Bakeshop

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7. Tiramisu mini-cupcake – Baked By Melissa

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I think that’s where I’ll end my list for today. I think I’ve OD’d on sugar just looking at the pictures.

Staying In One Place

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We arrived in Dublin 10 days ago and stayed at the same hotel the whole time. I know many come to Ireland and travel, hopping from medieval town to the next, a couple of nights here and there. I love that idea, I really do. But I also really loved coming back to the same place every night on this trip.

Here’s a list of things I learned about staying in one place in Ireland:

1. I really got to know the place (hotel) you are staying. You get to know the staff, who works when, when they will knock on your door, who gives the towels at the gym, who runs the elevator to the rooftop lounge. I got to try basically all the food at the hotel, which I have none to complain about.

2. I really got to know the neighborhood. The Marker Hotel is new to the Dock area and the Dock area is the newest neighborhood in Dublin. It houses many internet and financial companies, new condos, cafes and hotels. It’s pretty accessible to downtown but really has what you need in the area.

3. I learned to feel content. In July I began to put this into practice when I was in San Diego and continued that content-ness here. Feeling present and content in each experience by doing what locals do – having a morning routine, running routine, activity time and quiet time.

4. I learned that it’s okay not to do everything. Yes we were out everyday exploring, but it wasn’t this sense of crazy rushing around. Okay, so we didn’t make to the Cliffs of Moher because of a poorly planned Saturday, but I’m not sweating it. We went to Galway, Kilkenny and Dundalk, so it’s not like we didn’t see the countryside, cows, sheep, stone walls, rolling hills. Again, this is something I am continuing to learn, and for those of us who are always on the go – this is hard! Learning to be present is hard and takes time to get used to! Planning ahead is inevitable but it’s also nice to not plan sometimes too, letting events happen organically.

5. I learned that I really don’t like eating all the time. I didn’t eat a lot each day, but my body really just wants my veggie and hummus dinner back.

I value my time away, and when you are away, make sure you really enjoy what you are doing – even if it means doing less.

:)

🙂

 

#tbt20 – Edmonton

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Egad. Brett and I are going to Bray’s high school graduation this weekend in Edmonton as I mentioned in a post a few days ago… the first I’ve attended since my own in 1993… I’m interested to see the trend in dresses. Will I see some dresses from the ’93 ahahaha?! I’ll let you know…

So you’d think I’d be tbt-ing about my 1993 grad from WCHS, but I’m actually throwing it back to my Edmonton days in general.

So Brett and I rented a house in Old Strathcona/Mill Creek – which I always equated with some shabbiness. Yes, there’s still some dumpy buildings, but there is a lot of rebuilding and it turns out it’s a great little place. Good location for running in Mill Creek Ravine and walking over to Whyte avenue for lunch, drinks, or just walking.

We ran a nice four mile distance this morning down the ravine and into Rossdale. We actually ran part of our old route when we used to live in the river valley.

We finished running and decided to just keep walking to get coffee. We noticed some different places on Whyte Ave; ones I thought weren’t great like The Tilted Kilt, but there were a few decent changes since I’ve lived here like a couple of new bierhouses. I had fond memories when I saw some of the places I used to frequent in my university days – places like Funky Pickle Pizza, Queen Donair, Elephant & Castle, Fat Franks. There are now the trendy froyo and cupcakes places which I’ve seen my last couple of visits that add some new flavor to Whyte Ave, which I like. We met mom for a nice lunch a Packrat Louie, a restaurant we should have visited more often when we lived here.

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Something I’m looking forward to is going to the Strathcona Farmer’s Market on Saturday to pick up our steaks and veggies for the BBQ on Sunday – after my Community Action 5k Dash of course! I’m trying to get better at taking pictures when I’m here, so stay tuned for more Edmonton.

tbt #11 – Happy Days Coming Soon

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July 1st – 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, …. 1975.

Summer, freedom, sunshine, happiness, smiles, beaches, boats, friends, parties, Canada Day events, fireworks, water falls, bar-be-ques, picnics, love.

No alarm, no thinking, no deadlines, no disingenuous drivel, no mounds of paper, no BS.

Welcome spring 2014, and I look forward to your summer too. 🙂