Finding my path

I feel like I’ve been neglecting myself over the past few years. Not so much in the sense that I’m not taking care of myself physically or mentally (for the most part), but more in the spiritual/energy sense. It’s like what I once thought was a certainty no longer is. What I once thought was my path, no longer seems to take me to the destination I want to go. The things that have been going on lately, the good things that have been happening to me, have made me re-think and question what and who I am. This sin’t necessarily a bad thing, just unknown and so I feel like I’ve been neglecting myself because I keep trying to avoid asking myself the big questions, the ones with life-changing results.

It seems wise that I should start off by reassuring my readers and saying that I still know who really I am and what I ultimately want out of life, but I’m not sure about how I’m going to get there anymore. I went through a lot of bullshit mentally, physically, and spiritually while I was in Alberta, all of which was focused around my employment. It broke me. It broke my confidence in myself and my abilities. This was all because of poor management where I was working and I know that it wasn’t really anything that I was doing wrong, it couldn’t be because I was doing EVERYTHING I could and some of that had to be right, but nonetheless It made me question what I was trying to do with my life and whether or not I could continue to do it for years to come. I had never, ever, EVER felt like that about myself before and I never want to feel like that again.

The hardest part about it all is that it not just broke my confidence in myself, but crushed my career hopes and dreams. I walked in a strong, idealistic, optimistic extremely hardworking fresh-faced kid and I walked out a crushed, heartbroken, wavering, discouraged, and saddened individual. It’s important to note that all these feelings were ONLY about my career path and future. In my personal life, I walked out of Alberta with amazing friends and experiences that I will cherish forever and would never change for anything. And on that note, I have to say I wouldn’t have made it out as unscathed as I did without those amazing people who stood behind me and stood beside me and supported everything that I did and everything that I am. So a huge thanks to all of them, every one of them!!

While in Alberta I was working as a journalist at two small town newspapers, since moving to Vancouver, I have started a new job at Indigo/Chapters at a mall near my new apartment. I’ve worked there maybe two weeks now. In that time I have already become part of a team that respects each other and encourages everyone to be the best that they can be. I’ve already been given responsibility and appreciated for the work that I do and my work-ethic and customer service. I am coming home tired physically, but mentally I’m happy. It’s a different kind of exhaustion, a kind of state of mind that I used to have when I was in school and working part-time in retail chains back home. I enjoy this kind of work and I know it’s something I’m good at and the nice thing is that other people see that too and value my experience and my attitude, and even more so my opinion. I’m appreciated and I know it. I’m not saying that I need praise and admiration for every little thing at every turn, but It’s so nice to know that someone takes notice for the work and effort you put forth and that they appreciate what you have to offer. It’s such a change from my work-related experiences over the past two years that I’m in awe and dumbfounded because it’s a feeling that is almost foreign to me now, but it’s growing on me again and it’s made me think.

I have always enjoyed working in retail and helping other people find what they need and what they want and helping them walk out with a smile on their face. I like helping others and making other people happy. It makes me happy to make them happy. Yes, I do know that that makes me the quintessential “people-pleaser” but I don’t there is anything wrong with that if I’m happy doing it. In all my years working, that has never been a problem, until Alberta, until I started down a path that I had chosen as my career in writing. It sucked the happy feeling out of me when all I did was try to make other people happy and got nowhere, at least not in the work environment with the management. I was walked over and kicked down, but I’m starting to feel happy again doing something that comes so naturally to me, making others happy and doing everything in my power to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. But now I’m not sure what that means for me and my future.

It’s all made me seriously think about what I want to do with my life and the answer is, I don’t know anymore. I suppose ideally I would love to keep working in the retail sector at the corporate level and being able to use my skills  and education for marketing, communications, writing, social media, and public relations. That would be the best case scenario, especially because of the pay. I mean don’t get me wrong, money isn’t everything, but it sure makes life a lot less stressful when you don’t have to worry about how to pay your bills. Even though I’m happier right now with what I’m doing, I’m really not entirely happy with the paycheck. Vancouver can be quite expensive, but it’s where I want to be right now and I’m loving the city, so i’m happy to try to figure out how to pay for it all, I just wish I was making more money and working corporately in the retail business would allow me that chance. This seems like the best path to take. The question is how long will it take for me to get to that point? Is it feasible to work at the store-front level for the next few years and still get what I want out of life – a social life with entertainment, love, marriage, kids? The answer is yes, of course, people do it all the time, but it’s a lot easier at the management level and then I have to ask myself how long until I can reach that point?

I guess the bottom line to all this is that I’m re-discovering myself and re-evaluating what I want to do with my life. I want to be able to have the kind of life I want, provide for a future family, and support myself while still being happy with what I am doing. I don’t want to feel broken anymore and I want to feel like myself again, like I’m starting to feel like while working at Indigo. I think at this point I just need to see where life takes me and go with what comes my way. Take it one day at a time and constantly keep asking myself the questions that I need to so that I don’t feel like I’m neglecting who I am and what I’ve always wanted to be… someone that does good and feels good while doing it, whatever that “IT” thing is.

Settling a life unsettled

Three and a half months have passed since my last post. I realize this means it’s definitely time for not only a new post, but an overhaul in my blog regime. I’ve been thinking constantly about things to write about but I haven’t done it for a few reasons but namely time, energy, and desire. My life has been pretty unsettled over the past couple of months and I think that it’s finally going to start calming down a bit… or at least I hope so. That’s the life plan at the moment: settling a life unsettled.

Without going into every detail of every day/week/month  since I last wrote, a brief synopsis is definitely called for.

After I returned to Alberta in April a few things happened:

A) I officially decided that Vancouver was where I wanted to be and began the packing process and arrangements for my move. This meant packing up ALL my stuff, finding a moving company that I like for all my stuff, and discussing travel plans with my mom who insisted on coming out and helping me trek across the Rockies and move into a new place in Vancouver.

I am grateful and appreciative that she wanted and was able to do that because we never got that chance when I went to university because I never went away for school. It was just a lot all at once and overwhelming at times, but we had a lot of fun along the way, even if some days there were a few tiffs between us. I love my mom a lot and I’ll always have those 2.5 weeks and now that it’s all done, I only have good memories of the time spent together. Well 90 percent good memories:P Love you mom! ❤

B) I put even more serious effort into the job search process with a focus on anything and everything anywhere in the greater Vancouver area.

C) I also put a major focus on planning my friend’s bachlorette for just before her wedding, for which I was a bridesmaid for. I also helped her finish off some last minute details of the wedding prep.

D) Prior to me moving further west, my former roommate left and went back home about a month before I did and a new roommate moved in shortly after…very stressful but the new guy is pretty chill, so that was good.

E) Probably the biggest issue to tackle though was the fact that I broke my tooth… on a piece of bread with cream cheese:( Yeah I’m THAT person. In all fairness I had broken the same tooth about 13 or 14 years ago but had braces at the time so it didn’t crack all the way through, I wasn’t so lucky this time around. It’s a huge process to get it fixed, but it meant that in the midst of everything else chaotic going on, I had to schedule multiple appointments and find a dental specialist in Edmonton (closest city to where I was) and then Vancouver. It’s not necessarily painful or anything,more annoying and a lengthy process to make it right.

And this was all before the end of June. Oh! and I returned back to Vancouver for another week in June to both continue the job search in person and be here for my friend Jer’s bday. I think that covers basically almost up until the end of June.

So June 22 rolls around, it’s the bachlorette, and that’s when things got really crazy! It was a fun-filled but fast-paced weekend. Burlesque dance lessons, potter painting, dinner, clubbing, staying out till 5:30 am, and that was just one day. By the time we got back to Athabasca we were all exhausted to say the least. But it was well worth it and my friend had a great time:) Then came the final dress fittings and so that meant I was driving back and forth to Cold Lake where my friend had just moved to for her husband’s new job. So a 3-hour drive each way,and once just for an overnight thing.

By now we are approaching July 13, the wedding date. I had to have everything packed up and ready to go before I left for the wedding. I drove back to Cold Lake for July 11 ( three hours). drove all around Cold Lake all weekend for wedding stuff as I was running errands and n the day I was one of the designated wedding party drivers (approx another three to four hours worth of driving). Partied until 2 or 3 a.m. on Saturday and then Sunday, July 14 I left Cold Lake and drove 4.5 hours to Edmonton to pick up my mom at the airport, followed by another 2-hour drive back to Athabasca. This was just the beginning of my epic driving.

We are up to July 15 now when the movers came first thing in the morning… like really first thing. They packed up my stuff and we were on the road before 11 a.m. and drove almost six hours to Jasper. Spent the night in Jasper and then the next day we went horse backing riding, something I have wanted to do with my mom for a long time, and we saw a big canyon and drove up to Jasper Park Lodge. It was really beautiful. The next morning, Wednesday, July 17,we left Jasper and drove to Lake Louise followed by Golden, B.C. and Kelowna, B.C. where we stopped and did an amazing winery/vineyard tour at Mission Hill Vineyards! It was spectacular! By Friday Afternoon we were in Vancouver. By Friday night we were sleeping soundlessly on an Aero bed on the floor of my new apartment.

Saturday, July 20 arrives and we are off to the dentist for a consultation. After that, it was a lot of unpacking, building Ikea furniture and going to Ikea a few times in the next week. Despite all the stuff we were doing to get me settled, we still managed to make a day trip out to Victoria to see my cousin for dinner, whom I haven’t seen in like five years. And we saw the Buchard gardens which were breath-taking! We also got to go see some old family friends in West Vancouver, explore Stanley park a bit, see the aquarium, and find a great mall near me.

Since she left, I’ve been back to the grind, job searching heavily through in-person resume submissions for retail positions and through online job applications. I have to also get my insurance done and transferred which means an out-of-province check on my car is required and I’m aiming to get t done before the end of the  week. Now, my focus is finding a job to be able to pay for this adorable apartment ASAP! I can only hope that I find something by the end of the month, that would be ideal. I just hope things come together now that I’m officially here:)

While I wait for my life to take shape, I at least know I have the support of my friends and family behind me – even if it’s not what my family all want for me and have made that clear, I know they still just want me to be happy. And I already have a house guest set to arrive next week so I’m very excited to show her around too while I also discover new things in my own community:D

Fingers crossed for nothing but good things to come!And more updates regularly, especially so they aren’t this long…promise!

Peace.

P.S. My thoughts and Prayers are with the Huots back home in Ottawa who are going through a lot lately. Love you J, B, H, and C!! ❤

Back in Alberta.. for now.

So I’ve been back in Alberta for just over a week now and it’s been really hard in some ways and in others ways it’s been kinda nice.

I suppose I’ll start off with the good stuff because that’s less complicated to explain. Basically it’s been nice to see all my friends in the Athabasca area again and it’s been nice to be able to sleep in also. That’s about it. Don’t get me wrong, I really think the town I currently live in is beautiful and quaint, but I’m so just ready for a change in so many ways.

Which brings me to the hard stuff.

Since I’ve been back I’ve had to deal with some  issues including getting a cold (again) and some emergency dental work. I somehow managed to break my tooth on a piece of bread with cream cheese on it, and it wasn’t even toasted! I have to go to a specialist in Edmonton in two weeks to get it totally repaired so until then I’m basically on a soft food/liquid diet so I don’t damage it more. The cold doesn’t help either because my head hurts from the blocked sinuses and from the tooth ache. 😦 Just my luck I suppose. It’s not all bad though.. at least the “I can’t really eat anything solid” diet will be good for fitting into my bridesmaid’s dress and actually being able to breathe 😛

On the work related side, I’ve still been trying hard to connect and make my way to Vancouver as soon as possible. It’s been really hard though because being back in the small town with nothing to do and nowhere to go, I feel unproductive because I end up sitting at my dinning room table in my PJ’s most days while trying to do the work. At least when I was in the city I could take my laptop and head to one of the many local coffee shops and get some work done there. That was nice because it demanded that I get up and get dressed. Here, most days I don’t really want to unless I have something specific to do because I have nowhere to go and just sit to get things done, other than my dinning room table. It’s hard to keep focused when other things are so distracting and I don’t have a Starbucks of a Blenz by my side 😛  I know I have to get it all done and keep applying and tweaking my resume and my cover letters to help land me the best job possible, but it has also been hard to focus with the head cold. I hate being sick 😦 Bottom line is I’m trying super hard to get to where I want to be though and even if I don’t feel as productive as I did in Vancouver,Ii know I’m not twiddling my thumbs either. 🙂

The good news is that even tough I haven’t landed a permanent paid position, I’ve been given the opportunity to start doing some volunteer/freelance work for the Vancouver Weekly. I know it’s not all paid, but the nice part is I can do things like album/movie/book reviews remotely while I’m still in Alberta, and it gets my name out there in the area of journalism that I really enjoy. Writing for them means I have the chance to be published in Vancouver and have people start to read and recognize my work. It’s something small but it’s still something and the guys who run it seem really cool so I’m pretty excited ! 🙂

Putting myself out there in terms of writing isn’t the only thing I’m trying to do right now. I’ve been back on the online dating sites in hopes of potentially meeting someone who I can connect with in Vancouver before I move. This way I can try to make new friends and meet new people and maybe I’ll get a connection or a spark along the way. Who knows, right? But it does feel nice to be letting the universe know I’m open.

I guess that wraps things up. I just have to keep reminding myself that I’m only back in Alberta.. for now. 🙂

This girl is on Fire!

Two weeks have come and gone and unfortunately it’s my last day here in Vancouver 😦 I wish I could stay longer but the goal is to come back as soon as possible… and bring all the rest of my stuff with me! 🙂

I’ve had such a wonderful time and I’ve been the happiest I could remember feeling since November. It’s been a long hard road to get to where I am today, emotionally speaking. It’s been a trying year and really made me think about everything that I am, that I want to be, and that I could be. Having had the chance to come to Vancouver and explore the city and meet the amazing people that I have along the way had rejuvenated my spirit and I’m excited about what possibilities lie ahead for me now. I’m still worried and scared about what may never come to pass, but I’m learning to slowly let that go and just enjoy the moment and whatever happens is meant to be.

In my short time here I was able to do so much more networking and meeting people in the industry then I ever had before. I attended the Social Media Awards on March 28 and met some amazing people who have offered to help guide me and give me advice towards my career goals in Vancouver. I was able to set up two official follow-up meetings with Marc and Crystal from the event and both were really supportive and really helpful in so many different ways.

Through Lars, whom I met and Jer’s Seder, I was also able to meet some fantastic people at a business networking event. From that, Marshall connected me with Ricardo from Vancouver Weekly, an alternative and entertainment paper, and we really had some great connections. I hope to be able to contribute to his paper in the near future, even on a volunteer basis if it means getting my name out there and letting people see what I can do. The event Lars invited me to also resulted in a few follow-up emails from people who were all willing to help me out in any way they could. At the event I was also introduced to the lovely Roni who is so sweet and genuine and is such a lovely lady. She took me under her wing and gave me a tour of Stanley park and we had a great dinner together. She’s super sweet and I’m so happy to have met her. None of this would have been possible without Lars inviting me to his regular networking lunch and introducing me to everyone. So a big thanks to Lars and subsequently a big thanks to Marshall and Roni as well!

Sometimes you just know something is meant to be and sometimes you don’t. Barriers block your way but you have to look for the ladder or rope being dropped down by a friend to help you climb over the wall to get to the other side. This is what the past two weeks in Vancouver had done for me, they’ve offered me a rope and a ladder and a glimpse at what could be. Event last night, my final night in Vancouver, Jer and I were walking along English Bay and we met this really nice guy who coincidentally works in my field. It’s funny who sometimes the universe give you a sign.

I know in my heart that I’m ready to move on and forward with my life and I really want to take that chance and make it happen in Vancouver. If I went back east to the Toronto area, I know that I would regret not taking the chance to see what life could offer me here. it might make some other people happy for me to be closer to home, and I would enjoy being closer to my family (once in a while:P), but I know that right now, at this point in my life, Vancouver offers me excitement and adventure and the prospect of good things to come and I really want to take that opportunity and run with it. I want to try something new and different and push my own boundaries. I guess the bottom line is that two weeks in Vancouver have shed a lot of light into my life that I couldn’t see through all the rain clouds before  (hehe, it’s funny because Vancouver is super rainy this time of year 🙂 and I can’t wait to see rainbow on the other side.

So thank you Vancouver for introducing me to so many amazing people and for helping me reconnect with Andrea, Jess, and Daniel as well. I can’t wait to come back and this city better be prepared for my reign of fire! #thisgirlisonfirealiciakeys

Making new friends and exploring the city life again.

So it’s been a few days since I arrived in Vancouver and I have to tell you, it’s been a blast thus far! In the past three days I’ve not only walked what feels like a million miles and my feet hurt so much:(, but I’ve also met some really interesting and awesome people and have had a chance to get together with some old friends. So far I have yet to be disappointed by what Vancouver might have to offer me.

I started off this adventure with a night wandering around the Cambie area and re-discovering the vibrancy that city living means. The next day I was up bright and early and I hit the road running. I found my way down West Broadway to a local Staples where I had a bunch of resumes printed and invested in some personal business cards because I knew I’d be handing out as many as I could that evening at the first annual Social Media Awards (#SMA2013) . Before I could venture down to the amazing Roundhouse Community Centre for the #SMA2013, I began my job hunt by handing out multiple resumes in person to various  local entertainment and lifestyle publications and one Public Relations firm as well.

Throughout the day I met some really lovely people including a woman named Naz at a Royal Bank of Canada branch whom I later ran into at Starbucks and offered to buy me my desired coffee beverage. She was very sweet and I’m thankful for the delicious caffeine.  This was just one of the delightful encounters I made on my journey. Not too long after I met a British gent named Ed who offered to help guide me in the right direction for Granville Island, given that he was heading that way himself. We spoke for a few minutes on the short journey and in case he sees this, I just want to wish him luck and happiness in his retirement plans from his electrical company and thank him again for helping me find my destination. Thanks Naz and Ed, you both made my day!

Once I found my footing on Granville Island, I meandered through the streets seeing the little shops and buskers performing outside. As my stomach began to growl louder, I found myself sitting down at a place called Edible Canada At The Market. It was suggested to me that I indulge in the lunch bowl of coconut and red curry seafood soup, which I devoured due to its deliciousness! It was most definitely awesome! Not too long after I was making my way back to my hotel to rest-up and change before attending the #SMA2013.

When it was time to head to the Roundhouse Community Centre, I found myself in a nervous folie from excitement and anticipation. I arrive early to check the place out and I got to meet Diana and Orane, one of the organizers and a volunteer from the evening’s festivities, who were super sweet and helped point me in the right direction of the key players of the evening. Throughout the evening I met upwards of at least 20 different people from various areas in marketing, communications and social media entrepreneurs. I found myself most definitely in the right place at the right time! Following the awards ceremony, I made my way down to the after party  @HurricaneGrill to enjoy some appetizers and meet some other folks. In the end I spent most of my day smiling, shaking hands, and pitching myself to people, only to have an evening followed by the same scenarios…which was exactly what I wanted! I had a great time at the #SMA2013 and all in all it was a successful and entertaining evening and I hope that I made not only made some great contacts for potential work, but also some new people to call friends from here on out.

With the #SMA2013 ending so late on Thursday, I took the morning off on Friday and slept in. After finally heading out of my hotel room, I found a local coffee shop down the street and proceeded to send out some follow-up emails for people I had met the night before in hopes that I might be able to set up a more formal meeting with any of them while I’m still in the Vancouver area or that they might be able to keep me in mind if they hear something come up. Bottom line, we’ll see what happens.

What made Friday a fabulous day however, was the evening of great food, great laughter, and most definitely great company! Friday evening lent itself to a belated Passover Seder at my friend Jeremie’s apartment in the West End of Vancouver. His parents and sister from back home in Ottawa were in town for the long weekend so I had the chance to see them again too, which was really nice. We had a traditional Seder in a modern way, with adoptive family for everyone all around. Though Jer’s real family was in town, my friends have always been what I like to call my “adoptive family” and I’m thankful that, even though I wasn’t able to be home with my parents, grandparents, and brother for Passover this year, at least I was able to share the table with my other family. That being said, I do miss my real family a lot and I only wish I could have had it both ways.

The boys of the evening! (l-r) Steven, Lars, Jeremie, Charlie, Alex and Josh.

The boys of the evening! (l-r) Steven, Lars, Jeremie, Charlie, Alex and Josh.

In addition to seeing Helene, Brig, and Charlie, through Jeremie’s guest list I was also able to reconnect with some old friends Andrea and Jess whom I haven’t seen in years! It was sooooo nice to see everyone and  it’s exciting to know that if and when I make the move out to Vancouver that I’ll be able to start to get to know these lovely ladies again and hopefully hang out more! The evening wasn’t just about seeing old friends, however, but also connecting with new ones. During the course of the evening, I was also given the chance to meet Steven, Alex, Lars, Leah, and Josh – friend’s of Jeremie and Jess’s boyfriend (Josh). I’m so happy to have met everyone and it was such a fantastic evening! I’d for sure like to hang out with all these people a lot more in the future! Everyone was sooo amazing! I had such a great time! So thank you to everyone in attendance who made the evening a success and brought me lots of happiness!

Ok, So jeremie's photography skills have left something to be desired (it's blurry Jer :P) but here are the lovely ladies from the Seder. Back row (l-r) myself, Brig, Leah. Front row (l-r) Helene, Andrea, Jess.

Ok, So Jeremie’s photography skills have left something to be desired (it’s blurry Jer :P) but here are the lovely ladies from the Seder. Back row (l-r) myself, Brig, Leah. Front row (l-r) Helene, Andrea, Jess.

As for today, I had plans to go see an old family friend but we had to shift things around so I’ll be seeing him and his family on Monday now (meeting the wife and new baby… yay baby therapy!). Given that’s it’s the weekend I intend to head back out on the town and maybe hit up the Gastown area and see what that’s all about! I’ve been told I need to try some seafood in the area.

Hope everyone is having a good long weekend, a Happy Passover and a Happy Easter too!

Peace out. ❤

Vancouver Baby!

Just a quick update ( I’m going to try to update this at least every other day while I’m away):

So I’ve been trying to make this big life decision about moving to Vancouver so in the pursuit of a new adventure and a new career, I’ve made the 1.5-hour plane ride from Edmonton to Vancity in hopes of making some contacts and getting the ball rolling.

I will be attending Vancouver Social Media Awards tomorrow evening (March 28) with the goal of making some awesome new connections and seeing who I can meet that might be able to help guide me in the right direction. As of right now the plan is to do cold-calling and walk-ins during the day, attend the event at night, and see where that leaves me for the next week in terms of plans. if something substantial comes out of the event, then I hope I can set up some interviews while I’m in town, if not I’m just going to continue my walk-in routine every weekday that I’m here and explore the city and visit friends on the weekends. Fingers crossed I meet some people who can help me out tomorrow!

In the meantime, this is my first night in Vancouver and I’ve only been here a few hours but already I feel more revitalized and energized about everything. I have been wandering around the streets for four or five hours and I can’t believe how much I missed city life! Everything is open late here and even on the few streets I walked, there was a definite energy to the people. The city is already growing on me with its vibrancy… then again it could just be the fact that I’ve been living in a small town for over a year and I just miss being able to walk around and actually have things to do 😛 I walked up and down the Cambie Bridge at sunset and so many people were out running and cycling! Oh yeah, and the weather is amazing! I can see the mountains from my hotel room but it’s warm enough that I only had to wear a blazer and t-shirt out at 10 at night.

if given the chance, I think I’m going to like it here.

Dashing through the snow…

Jack Frost has finally come to town!

I can’t tell you how much I love winter. Most people in Canada are split. You either love it or you hate it. Personally, I can’t understand why anyone would hate it.

Lately, it’s been snowing for days on end and I can’t get enough of it. I love how the snow settles on the trees and how it glistens in the sun.  I love how on a warmer day when the snow is falling it just has this magical feeling in the air. But most of all, I love what winter means to me.

Of course there is the annoying aspects of it like scrapping off your car and the occasional treacherous driving conditions, but I like to think of all the positive things that winter brings. For me winter is all about homey comfort foods, big sweaters, and of course winter sports.

Having been raised in a fairly athletic family, I have grown up learning to love winter activities. I love to skate, ski, hike, snowshoes, cross-country ski, and of course toboggan. It’s a part of winter that bring so much joy to so many people who make the effort the put on a few extra layers just to have some fun in the snow. For me winter in Canada is a lifestyle. It’s a part of who I am and a part of what I love. It doesn’t hurt that it’s my birthday season either, but mostly I just love to gear up, snap into my skis and hit a few runs on a hill, especially when it’s snowing. To me that is the epitome of winter – slightly warmer, less windy, but snowy days.

When I’m not hitting the ski hills, I can be found in the kitchen whipping together hearty meals. I love to make stews and soups and casseroles.. especially now that I bought some new casserole dishes!:) There is just something about eating an inviting hot bowl of homemade chicken soup or a big plate of lasagna or homemade Mac and Cheese. Helps to keep everyone warm and our of the cold when you got a deliciously fattening meal in the oven!It’s a nice feeling to be able to make a delicious meal and to be able to share it with good friends and have a few good laughs in the process.

Speaking of laughs, winter is a great time to catch up on all those movies I might have missed during the busy summer months. It’s a perfect time to grab some hot chocolate and my favourite blanket and curl up on the couch alone or with friends and watch a few good movies. Winter is a time to appreciate each other company even more because most likely you aren’t going outside as much so it’s good to keep people close, watch a few movies, and maybe play a board game or two. It’s not just about the hot chocolate either. Winter means ciders and spices in drinks too. Can’t you just picture yourself drinking a hot cranberry or mulberry cider with cinnamon sticks in your favourite mug while you watch the snow fall down?

In the end, people in Canada are lucky because we get a wide range of seasons and even though it might be cold and the roads might be rougher to drive on, winter is such a big part of Canadian living that it’s almost hard not to take it for granted sometimes. So this winter season, I hope everyone gets out their favorites recipes, invites some friends over, and gets outside every once in a while so they too can enjoy a wonderful winter season!