The 1975 live in Toronto

Twenty saw The 1975 in Toronto on May 6. After spending the day in Toronto, shopping and eating and whatnot, my twenty-something friend and I went to our hotel to drink a little and get silly enough to apply temporary tattoos before marching over to the show.

The crowd was absolutely awesome.  We stood at stage left, up front.  Thankfully everyone around us was singing and dancing and having as incredible of a time as we were.  After the first song or so, Matty spoke into the mic directing everyone to take two steps back because he could see people being crushed at the front of the stage.  We all waited a few moments before he spoke again: “Fuck it, do what you want.” Nobody moved. I guess nobody really minded being crushed when they knew they were in for an awesome show.

It was bloody brilliant.  Bought a tshirt, and rocked some fake tats like a boss; people actually asked what our knuckle tattoos (from Tattly) said, and my pal what was on her back.  It was hilariously fun.

1975

Planning family visits…

It gives me great joy to be able to plan visits for friends and family that visit Canada.

 

This past month my husband’s aunt, uncle and 13 year old cousin visited us from Mexico.  It was going to be a whirlwind trip as they arrived on Saturday night and left the next Saturday morning.  To keep us all organized and now what to expect from one day to the next, here’s what I prepared before they arrived.  We spent our time in our hometown of London, then went to Toronto, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls.  Every two days I emailed them these itineraries so they could get excited about the days ahead.  I enjoy brainstorming and researching restaurants, stores and touristy and not-so-touristy sites for our visitors to experience.  This time around I wanted to highlight Canada’s multicultural flair – at least in the food department.  So each meal we had was from a different country.  We had Polish, Thai, Lebanese, Canadian, British, and Japanese.

Miraculously, for the most part we were able to follow the plans I made.  It was a (delicious and exhausting) success.  Phew.  ImageImageImage

Finding what you’re good at…

We’ve all heard that expression “Do what you love” and the one that your work shouldn’t feel like work. Easier said than done, right?

do what you love

I’ve been struggling a lot with this lately.  I’ve become more aware of time, energy, and my happiness (and my husband’s).  I’ve been more aware of the importance of goal setting.  Which makes me think –  What do I really like to do? What passions me?  What would I love to do every day? Do I see myself doing what I’m currently doing for the rest of my life?  I’ve been teaching for 7 years.  It’s time for a change.

So what I’ve come up with after months of reflection and asking those who know me very well is that I’m an excellent planner.  It seems so natural and innate in me that I have glossed over this skill many times.  Sometimes it’s difficult to answer questions about yourself without seeing yourself from our outsider’s perspective.  It’s difficult to take a step back from yourself.

I love planning trips for my husband and myself.  I love planning our relatives and friends visits from abroad.  And parties – New Year’s Eve parties have become a tradition at our house until we decided spending Christmas in Mexico City and Acapulco may be a tad bit better than dealing with a Canadian winter.

I planned our wedding in Mexico while in Canada.  No, not your typical destination wedding, but a real Mexico City traditional Mexican wedding, and we brought 17 people with me from Canada (on two separate flights) and Norway.  I planned a week of tourist activities for my guests along with transportation, hotel, and food.  The ultimate compliment I heard was “This was a once in a life time experience”.  One day I should blog about our week long festivities.

I’m definitely a logistics person.  I know this has something to do with my personality too. I took a Myer’s-Briggs type assessment  once and the results showed that yes, indeed I am a planner.  So much so that if you give me an idea I’ve already see the end result and the different possible ways it could unravel.  Let me tell you, it’s a curse and a blessing.  Ask my husband, the dreamer.

This year I’m planning the following fun excursions:

a cottage weekend

2nd visit to NYC!

trip to Italy, Spain, and Austria

my Norwegian friends 1st visit to Canada

and I’ve been asked by a friend to plan her annual client appreciation conference. This will be mega cool.  Can’t wait to share more details about this here.

but the biggest thing I need to plan and sort is my life goals.  I think about this daily, but I haven’t put my thoughts on paper or onto a vision board.  It’s always more fun to plan a trip, a party or help someone is their problem, forever forgetting my own life needs some direction.  My discovery of the joy of pursuing planning whether it be logistics or event planning has set the wheels in motion. What’s the next step?

 

 

 

 

Fitness: Twenty’s way

Let me start by saying that I am very impressed by and proud of Thirty’s discipline; I truly wish I could be as healthy and clean of an eater as she is..  Not to say that I’m completely terrible when it comes to eating.  I find that I eat much better when I am regularly (or semi-regularly) exercising, so I’ve been trying to get back into working out as of late.

I do not have a gym membership, so my workouts take place in my living room.  I love Tracy Anderson because her clients have amazing bodies, and, although people are quick to call her ways crazy and dumb, I do think she knows what she’s doing.  Sure, the workouts are a little boring.. but all I need to do is look at pictures of Gwyneth Paltrow, or Shakira or someone and my motivation is renewed.  Some of the moves/exercises seem wacky, but the soreness I experience is the same sort of muscle pain I recall from when I took ballet classes.  Tracy targets your individual muscles and muscle groups by her inventive movements in order to get the results I would have gotten from weeks/months of repeated ballet exercises that didn’t specifically target those muscles.  It’s like she’s taking the “dance” out of ballet and just messing with the muscles you want to work for a dancer’s body.

 

I know people say she’s not a real trainer, and that her meal plans and exercises aren’t legitimate; but I think she knows what she’s doing when it comes to body transformations.

Another favourite of mine is Jillian Michaels.  Lately, I’ve been doing the 3o Day Shred (though, not daily).  You don’t need a lot of space to do this workout video, and honestly I feel brutal after doing it.  I’m generally a sweaty exerciser, and Jillian makes me s-w-e-a-t.  I did the 30 Day Shred probably 2 years ago, straight through for 30 days and had awesome results, so I know it works for me.  A bonus is that it’s only 20-30 minutes, and I don’t get bored with it because Jillian really pushes you; unlike Tracy Anderson’s Metamorphosis that has 30 minutes of exercises with another hour or so of cardio, and you’re sort of on your own for most of it.

Staying motivated…

Since January I have been on a clean eating roll.  I have already eaten healthy and following the clean eating fundamentals, but after spending Christmas in Mexico with my foodie in-laws, I decided I needed to step up my game.

I think I lasted 4 weeks without eating any sugar besides fruit for breakfast and post-workout.  I couldn’t believe it.  It was much easier than I expected.  If I can do it, anyone can do it.  I’ve been maintaining my success and sporadic sugar treats. I have steadily been losing 1 lb a week (except for a few weeks where I fell off the wagon).

On a day to day basis I don’t have any issues with eating well.  It’s the social situations that cause me to cave.  Trying to avoid the bread basket at a restaurant, eating food off my husband’s plate when we’re out (sweet potato fries and slices of pizza!), or avoiding bowls of sweets and chips during game night with our friends = D I S A S T E R.

After said disasters, I usually feel so bad.

Last week was one of those weeks.  I ate my meals every 3 hours, and they were all on point, but the week involved the baby shower I threw at my house, leftover cupcake post-baby shower, my mom’s birthday dinner at a buffet, a friend’s birthday and a work event that involved jujubes and chocolate covered almonds.  It was a jam packed week, and my will power got the best of me.

I can be organized with my meals, get every workout in, but sometimes my mind just works on its on and I stuff myself without thinking.  But after, I come back better and stronger back on track.

To get myself back on track I’ve started taking photos of everything I eat and every night make a collage to keep me motivated.  This works as a reminder for myself to now blow my progress, to see how far I’ve come, and to see that, yes, I am eating alot and having great success.

On Tuesday, for example, I trained my legs in the morning which means more more carbohydrates are included in my meals for the day.  Each meal in the photo below is healthy – yes, even the cupcakes!

leg day meals

I know Twenty doesn’t think about any of this food stuff and works out a little in her apartment to Tracy Anderson dvds.  Sometimes she rolls her eyes at me when I start talking food and workouts, and she’s definitely always the first one to jokingly suggest eating at McDonald’s or buying a cinnabon while at the mall.  However, she’s the taller and skinnier sister.  I had the same mentality in my Twenty’s – I worked out rarely and ate anything.  That’s probably why I gained 20lbs while living in Mexico for two years.  I lost the weight quickly when I started working out doing BodyPump, Step, and Cycling classes and paying closer attention to calories.  It wasn’t until my late twenties before my wedding day that I discovered weight training and clean eating and lost 10 pounds.  I was hooked.

I’m looking forward to where saying no to sugar will take me.

 

Flamenco Love

Just over 10 years ago I took Flamenco dancing lessons while studying abroad in Granada, Spain.  I still have my Flamenco shoes in my closet eternally waiting for Flamenco lessons to become available in London, ON, Canada.  It’s been a long wait that continues.  Last night I was able to attend a Flamenco show put on my 4 musicians and dancers who study Flamenco in Sevilla, Spain.  This was my husband’s first time seeing such a spectacle and a great prelude to what he’ll see when we go back to visit Granada in August.   The event was very small; I counted a maximum 50 people.  It was a powerful and intimate performance.  At intermission my husband turned to me with “What do you think?” and I must admit it was great, but after living in Granada (the birthplace of Flamenco) and seeing real gypsies and Flamenco artists perform with the Alhambra in the background – I’ve been pretty spoiled.  Last night I was reminded of my love for Flamenco and the got the push to start planning my August vacation to Italy, Spain, and Austria.

 

 photo(2)

This women was the tallest and most blonde Flamenco dance I have ever see.  It was impossible to take in her movement with my glance.

 

photo

I could not stop staring at the guitarists shoes.  They were black healed Flamenco shoes.  Like this:

Boots-for-men-in-leather-with-nails

They were perfectly worn in, scuffed, and reinforced and looked like they had been dance through and stomped millions of nights.  I may need to investigate this more.