Mar 12, 2011

6 Friends, 1 Dog and a Pretty Lake

January 30, 2011

Location: Thetis Lake, Victoria, BC
Trail: Lower Thetis Lake Trail and connected to Upper Thetis Lake Trail
Distance: est. 4.5 km
Weather: Partly cloudy and mild (a beautiful spring day in January- gotta love Victoria!)

Third hike and our numbers are climbing!  Each week we seem to gain 2 people; I love it!  At this rate I would assume by March we'd have a whole caravan of Sunday Hikers.  (Since I'm writing this in March, my predictions were not correct.  We've maxed out at 6, but there's still time!)
Thetis Lake is very pretty and only 20 minutes outside of Victoria.  We drove to the lake to get out of the city and escape to the woods. We quickly realized that we were not alone in this great idea, everyone else in Victoria had left the city too and met us at the lake.  Note to self: Thetis Lake is not a great place to escape to when one is yearning to be alone.  Once we started our hike I felt as though we were in some kind of wilderness procession.  We were getting shuffled down the path with people surrounding us in all directions and dogs running through our legs; not to mention being on the constant look-out for puppy poop.  Maybe I'm being dramatic (it's been known to happen), but the purpose of Sunday hikes was to escape the hustle bustle of the city not just relocate it all to the woods.  In an attempt to ditch the crowds we strayed off Lower Thetis Lake Trail and connected with Upper Thetis Lake.  It was much quieter.
Thetis Lake is beautiful, and Gracie (our dog) loved the water, but perhaps Sunday is not the best day to stay so close to the city if you're looking for some peace and quiet.

Mar 10, 2011

Gowlland Tod take 2

January 23, 2011

Location: Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, Victoria, BC
Trail: Lower Jocelyn Loop
Distance: est. 5 km
Weather: Foggy, Chilly, Damp, Serene (very technical weather description)

quick disclaimer: I know that I am weeks (maybe month(s)) behind on posting our hikes, but I am determined to catch up.  On this particular Sunday in January, myself and three of my closest friends entered the dewy forest of Gowlland Tod Provincial Park.  It was magical!  (and a bit cold) but mostly magical!  Like a scene from Sleepy Hollow, the ghostly moss hung off of the trees and the colours were a mixture of rich browns and greens.
I would highly recommend this park to anyone who likes to venture outdoors.  There are many trails that cater to all abilities.  You can choose from a walk along the ocean to a walk in the woods.  Best of all the park is only 30 min. outside of the city.

(click for more info on one of my favourite trees!)

Scott, camouflaged among the moss.

The four of us, shrouded in all of the misty glory.

I stumbled upon a great blog while I was looking for more information on moss: Vancouver Island Big Trees.  As an avid tree-hugger, I love seeing others committed to the safe-keeping of Big Trees!

Mar 1, 2011

The Beginning of a Life Long Romance

This Just In!  I am officially certified!  Certified in what?  Yoga!  Our love affair just got elevated to the next level.  I thought I would take this week's blog to pay homage to the beautiful community of Yogis and Yoginis that I feel blessed to be a part of here in Victoria.
My love affair with Yoga began with a fling.  It was hot and sweaty and left me feeling elated- not to mention  it helped with my flexibility.  In 2007 I began practicing Bikram Yoga.  At the time, Bikram was just what I needed, quiet, hot, strong, hard- a "take no prisoners" kind of work-out, both for the body and the mind.  Bikram stoked the fire and I wanted to learn more.
In 2009 I began practicing Restorative Yoga at Hemma Yoga in beautiful Moss St. village.  It was the yin to all the yang energy that Bikram produced and it ultimately led me to Moksana Yoga where I completed my Teacher Training in Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga.
So now, I find myself at the beginning, once again, as I start a new chapter: the adventures of a 20-something Yoga Teacher.  Beginnings are scary of course, but, as in Yoga, the answer may be "just breathe."

Teaching Ventures:
Starting this Thursday, March 3, I will be teaching my first continuous Yoga class at the University of Victoria.  Classes will be every Thursday with the exception of Mar. 17 and are FREE to all students at UVIC!  Classes are accessible to all abilities and bodies.
Where: Vertigo Lounge, The SUB, UVIC
When: 6pm-7pm
Cost: Free!

I will also be teaching community classes at Moksana Yoga.
When: April 13, 12pm-1pm, and April 24, 4:30pm-5:45pm
Cost: $7

Love Much!

Feb 16, 2011

Love is all You Need (well almost)

This Valentine's Day I sent messages out to many of my friends throughout the day, doing my part to spread the Love.  The responses were varied.  I got a few that read "You too," some "Thanks!," and a couple of "Love yous."  But among my favourites were "Gross" and "Happy artificial, consumerist, heterosexist day to U too!"  This got me thinking: Have I been duped?  Have I bought into the idea that to show your love you must buy chocolate, candy and gifts to express it just because today has been proclaimed Valentine's day?!

Then, with a deep breath I let it go.  Today will not be the consumerist Hallmark version of Lovers' Day, I proclaimed (to myself).  Instead, today, like everyother day, is an opportunity to show the people I love that they are loved. 
I sent e-cards, made phone calls, spent time with my man (swimming and cooking) and at the end of the day was filled with Gratitude. I am a lucky lady leading a life full of love! 

Scott sent me an e-card.  If this doesn't say Love I don't know what does:

At the risk of becoming overly sappy, I hope on Valentine's Day, and everyday, you get to feel the love!

Love Much!

Feb 8, 2011

Folk Remedies for every Ailment!

I feel like I have so much I want to say!  But my enthusiasm is being dampened by a runny nose and fiery-feeling throat.  Dare I say, I might be getting a cold.  Following the advice of my beautiful mother, an avid believer in the Law of Attraction, I keep repeating to myself, "I want perfect health."
While waiting for my perfect health to manifest itself, I went to my Internet source for natural healing remedies.  Perhaps one of my favourite websites ever, EARTH CLINIC!  The website calls itself a "treasure chest" of home remedies, and I can attest to that!  You will find everything here, anything from a Sore Throat, what I am presently grappling with, to allergies to .... Eyelash loss?!  Really, if you're suffering from it, so is someone else in the world and that someone has posted their ideas, trials and successes with healing it.
My favourite part about it is the element of sharing.  It is a community in the most literal sense.  People sharing what they know about what works and what doesn't work for them.  Just good old fashioned (and modern) folk remedies and a common interest in health and well being.
Can you tell I like this sort of stuff??!

So, back to my cold :(  I am about to whip up a concoction (now that my partner's out for the evening- it is very potent! ).  You probably don't want to do much kissing after a few glasses of this baby!

In a soup pot on the stove I boil:
  • water
  • freshly grated ginger
  • fresh garlic
  • fresh lemon
  • cayenne pepper 
  • maple syrup
Add as much ginger, garlic and cayenne that you can manage to drink.  Cayenne is high in Vitamins A, C, B complex, Calcium and Potassium (read more about it here).

This drink, combined with a lot of Cold FX, Elderberry Capsules, Vitamin C and Echinacea, is my go-to cure for a sore throat and cold.  According to Earth Clinic, Kayla from Dallas, Tx likes it too!

Love Much!!


Feb 7, 2011

The first hike to begin all hikes

Sunday, January 16.

Location:  Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, Victoria, BC
Trail: Mackenzie Bight Trail
Distance: estimated 6 km
Weather: Rainy, Sunny, Mild, Damp

Gowlland Tod is beautiful!  Breathtaking views of the ocean, steep hills, bubbling streams, forests covered in moss.  It was damp and a bit chilly but Scott led me through a jogging warm-up that had me laughing and sweating in no time.
I've included some pictures!  If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend this park!  So much so, that we went back with friends the following Sunday :)
We saw a rainbow on our way to the park!

We reached the ocean!



My Life as a Beginner

Today began like any other day.  I woke up to the soft sound of unending rain, went to school for a breezy day of classes, and was about to catch a bus home when I was stopped by an invitation from a girlfriend for a mid-day glass of wine.  Inspired by my friend's new enthusiasm for blogging (check out her blog at, and a cheap glass of Red, I decided that today would be the day I started my blog.
I have thought about blogging in the past, but somehow it always ended up at the bottom of a never-ending to-do list.  Today was different. 
I have decided to approach this blog as a beginner.  One of my teachers once told me to live each day with a beginner's mind:  Leave behind what you think you already know about what you are about to do, say, learn.  As a beginner, everything becomes an adventure.  An experiment.  A new experience. 

My first project for "Beginner at Heart" is to share and chart the adventures of a new tradition.  Feeling trapped by the vast amounts of rain that seem to never end on the West Coast, my partner, Scott, and I decided that no amount of water would stop us from getting outside.  On a rainy Sunday afternoon we borrowed a car from my very generous folks, and drove to the nearest forest to go wandering. It was so refreshing we decided to proclaim it as a new tradition.  Come hell or highwater, we would go hiking every Sunday, extending the invitation to our friends or sometimes keeping it just for us.  Check out 'Sunday Hikes" for pictures and trails from our west coast adventures!

Love Much!