Thursday, October 23, 2014

Today's Inspiration

You may feel that holding on to the past is what will keep you safe, but actually holding on is the riskiest choice you can make. Because when you hold on to the past - you erase any chance that you can change. 

Your soul works in the present moment. You are being asked to let go. You are being asked to forgive. You are being asked to find the lesson, change your behavior and let the incredible blessings that this life has in store for you to find you. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Goodbye September !

On September 1st, I was waking up in Reno after Burning Man. Since then, so much has happened. I had some amazing visitors from home (Devon, Joel, Andrew, Jonathon, Fraher), did my first Triathlon, got back into Crossfit, saw so many great live shows (Chvrches, Tovelo, Empire of the Sun to name a few) and I even celebrated a four year anniversary. As with every previous Fall in my life though, it marks a period of enormous change and I certainly see a lot of great (most likely also challenging and unexpected) changes ahead. 

Sarah at Runyon Canyon in late September

Monday, September 29, 2014

Wholefoods on a Budget - 2lb Lunch for $7

After a Saturday Crossfit class, I walked into Wholefoods and realized - I only had $7 in pocket - no debit card, no visa. In most cases, I would've just got a protein bar and walked out BUT I was starving and knew I had no food at home.

So I turned it into a little challenge to get the most (by volume) 'healthy/paleo' food to make for lunch. It also had to be simple because I didn't want to spend too much time cooking when I got home.

After looking around, I picked up three items:

-1lb organic purple sweet potato (about 1 small one) - Price $2.49/lb
-1lb organic + local green beans - Price $2.99/lb
-1 (150g) chicken sausage - Price $6.99/lb

The total came to $6.93, and I walked out of the store with more than 2lb's of food. At home, I baked the yam, sautéed the green beans and fired up the sausage for a cheap, healthy, and filing Wholefoods lunch.

Thanks of reading!


PS - To my Mom who thinks I waste all my money at contraire.

Friday, August 8, 2014

LA - One Year Later

Edge of the world. Photography x Grant Legan

I'll never forget my first time driving along the Santa Monica-Malibu stretch of the PCH with my friends packed in the car as we headed to the beach. “Teenage Dream” came on the radio and I abruptly ended all conversation because a MOMENT was happening. It felt like we were in a music video, and I couldn't help but smile ear to ear in a way I hadn't for months.

----To give you some background, I was coming off a busy few months that I'll just call 'settling in'.-----

But anyway, going back to that November day on the PCH, it struck me that I wasn't smiling ear to ear because of this cliché moment or because I was going to the beach in yes, November, but because for the first time in what felt like a long time, everything suddenly felt easy.

I wasn't trying to live in California anymore - I was doing it.
I wasn't trying to be a digital marketer - I was one and then some.
And despite a less than seamless 'settling in' period - I was actually really happy.

And now, here I am, one year later, still living in LA - doing my best to thrive. I'm still in the same empty apartment but with a roommate I adore and as I sit here writing these words, looking back, it's clear this has been one of the craziest years of my life.  I can’t help but think how wrong those people were when they told me (many years ago) that college is the best four years of your life - instead, it really does just keep getting better. 

This year has been a true adventure from beginning to end and I wanted to use this anniversary as an opportunity to call out my top 10 LA moments (so far):

1. Arriving in LA at night without a working phone, and hopelessly trying to navigate the 405 for the very first time, alone and in TOTAL silence I might add
2. Camping in Joshua Tree with some really great people
3. Throwing an impromptu rain storm pool party in February
4. My first red carpet experience for Romeo + Juliet as I interviewed celebs next to E! and USA Today in the media pit
5. Roadtripping the Sierra Mountains to go snowboarding in the 20+ degree (Celsius) weather
6. Coachella Round II, because #yolo
7. Catalina Island with my main man
8. Tensnake South Central LA Warehouse Party (if you were there, you just know)
9.  THE infamous Bus Party
10. And when Pat surprised me for our anniversary by appearing at my apartment door. I will never forget that.
*11. Okay fine, one more: the Canadian Thanksgiving Champong tournament inspired by the Swiss Chalet Festive Special

So to LA, thank you for a crazy first year. From the traffic, to the abundance of green juice, to that part of DTLA that feels like Mexico City, to WeHo and the West Side, you're a weird place sometimes, but it turns out you were exactly what I needed. So really, thank you. 

For more pictures - check out my Instagram. Das it.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Opinion: Triumph of the City

I've always been fascinated by cities - their history, the people who choose them and why they've evolved so differently.

Right now, I'm reading 'Triumph of the City' by Edward Glaeser, who argues that cities are our greatest invention because they make us richer, smarter, greener, healthier and happier. A bold statement, but a very important one nonetheless.

As someone who has lived in a few different cities in the last five years, this subject matter really hits home and one argument he makes about urban development really struck a chord, and I felt compelled to write about it.

"Perhaps a new forty-story building won't itself house any quirky, less profitable firms, but by providing new space, the building will ease pressure on the rest of the city's real estate.  Price increases in gentrifying older areas will be muted because of new construction. Growth, not height restrictions and a fixed building stock, keeps space affordable and ensures that poorer people and less profitable firms can stay, which helps thriving cities remain successful and diverse.  Height restrictions do increase light, and preservation does protect history, but we shouldn't pretend that these benefits come without a price." 

Here, I don't think Glaeser is arguing that we should neglect a city's history, but instead, he's highlighting that as a citizens of cities, we need to be more open to high rise development - and if not, understand the consequences.

We constantly see opposition to new buildings, especially in historic neighborhoods, but first-hand, I witnessed how just one large scale development project in my old Vancouver neighborhood, is helping to change the face of one of Canada's poorest areas.  i.e., Woodwards in Gastown.

In order for cities to thrive and continue to fulfill their purpose of connecting people and ideas, the local laws need to support the development of affordable housing - and often times, that means through high rise development (even if that means blocking someone's view or taking out an old building).

Those are my two cents but to learn more, check out 'Triumph of the City'.


Monday, April 28, 2014

La Jolla Half Marathon

Back in January, a friend/mentor/cool guy that I know asked me if I wanted to join him for the La Jolla Half MarathonIt was January, so naturally, I had a very optimistic view of how the year would come together. By April, I would be some zenned out superhuman and part-gazel, so, of course I said yes. 

When race day finally arrived, I was part-dazed, mostly confused why I signed up for a race with four massive hills, totaling an elevation gain of almost 1000 feet. Not to mention, I had just spent the previous two weekends partying at Coachella and subsequently racing down the mountains of Whistler. #humblebrag I was kind of exhausted.

But alas, I strapped on my old pair of running shoes, and made my way onto the course with my buddy (who was probably the most color coordinated guy on the track, props Kevin). It was a perfect southern california day, and La Jolla lived up to its reputation, serving huge hills against the most magnificent backdrop. 

This was my 6th half marathon, and not since my very first one 3 years ago, have I experienced both an amazing 'runners high' and the desire to cry during a race.  Here are some highlights: 

-our accommodations in La Jolla, stay here

-my running buddy Kevin, he's a total inspiration and finished 106/5891. Follow him
-mile 6, and the instant 400 foot elevation gain, where I was walking faster than people running #uglycry
-every vista. La Jolla is beautiful (see below)
-seeing the finish line #uglycryparttwo
-finishing in the top 10% 

-eating 20 chicken mcnuggets to myself when it was over

Here are some pics from the event and race day. 

PS - Serving up more realness on Instagram, follow me. 


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 - the year of adventure.

2013 was a big year for me.  I gave up my apartment, quit my job, and moved to a new country.  I ran my first marathon, hiked the west coast trial, and committed myself to a human being (again).

Even before 2013 had started, I pegged it 'the year of change' but as this incredible year comes to a close, I gotta say - thank god.

I do believe that the only constant in life is change itself but in 2013, I meticulously laid out a new direction for myself and went for it.  Lesson learned: following your dreams is not easy but the change that comes with it, is worth it.

That's why I'm sitting here on the last day of 2013 feeling pretty damn good.

So as I look to a new year ahead, I want to say:

To my friends around the world, I love you.
To my family reading this, thank you for the endless support.
And to 2014, which I predict will be 'the year of adventure' (symbolized by the sun) - I can't wait. 

Happy New Years!

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