Off to NYC

Monday, November 24, 2014

I've got my passport, my sparkly ticket and too many dresses packed, and I'm ready to head to NYC tomorrow morning!! 

This trip has been in the works since my birthday in April and I couldn't be more excited to head to my favourite city with my very favourite person! Corbin and I had such a wonderful time last year, I'm really looking forward to a repeat.

I will be tweeting, instagramming and Facebooking our adventures which will include 3 shows, (Honeymoon In Vegas, Disenchanted and 1 TBD with Side Show and Curious Incident of the Dog at Night Time being high on my list!), an Islanders game, visits with friends, incredible food, the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and some Black Friday shopping! I've been plotting our days for a little while and am stoked for our adventures. It's always a tough balance when you travel, between visiting previously discovered favourite places and making time to explore new ones. I'm hoping this trip has a good balance of both.

There will most certainly be a blog post about the trip when we are back, but in the meantime feel free to follow along on social media. I think there will be a lot of squeals and smiley faces!

Are you planning any Black Friday shopping? How do you balance between old and new places when traveling?

Make Just a Ripple

Monday, November 10, 2014

A couple weeks ago I took the stage for my latest solo show, The Difference a Year Makes at the Flying Beaver Pubaret

The Difference a Year Makes
It was wonderful and therapeutic and empowering to be onstage, doing what I love and talking about the changes I've made over the last year.

The Difference a Year Makes

One of the songs that resonated most deeply in the show was 'She Used to Be Mine' which Sara Bareilles has been writing for the musical adaptation of the movie 'Waitress'. From the first time I heard the song, I knew it would be a perfect fit for the show. "It's not simple to say, most days I don't recognize me..." is all too familiar a feeling. At the end of last year when I was incredibly unhappy in my job and realizing that I wasn't doing the things in my life that I was actually passionate about, I became a fraction of myself. 

The Difference a Year Makes

Leaving that job, realigning my priorities, creating balance, nourishing my body and working actively on the relationships in my life have been a huge part of my transformation this year. It hasn't been sunshine, rainbows and unicorns 24/7, but it has been empowering and all kinds of awesome most of the time. I am living the life I want to live and that's the very best feeling. 

The Difference a Year Makes

"Make just a ripple, come on be brave. This time a ripple, next time a wave! Sometimes you have to start small, climbing the tiniest wall. Maybe you're going to fall, but it's better than not starting at all"

-Everybody Says Don't, Stephen Sondheim

The Difference a Year Makes
I hear that the show spurned some conversations about following one's dreams and focusing on the things that make people the happiest, which is really awesome. For a long time I believed that those things had a place in my life, but fit into a smaller part of my personal 'pie of life'. Pursuing your passions can be scary, but even taking just a small step in that direction can have a HUGE impact on your life. Fear of failure, fear of success, guilt, anxiety and all sorts of other things can stand in our way, but unless you try, you'll never know. 

The Difference a Year Makes

Thanks to everyone who came to the show, sent well wishes, flowers and tweets - I couldn't be more grateful and appreciative. Thanks to the Pubaret for being wonderful hosts once again. Thanks to Giustin for being an incredible musical director and confidante throughout the process of creating the show. And thanks to Corbin for the beautiful photos and ongoing support, encouragement and love. 

Meal Planning Magic

Friday, November 7, 2014

Meal planning is something that I used to be really good at and made a BIG priority for myself. But since I've been living on my own, it's been a task that has dwindled on my list of priorities. Because my schedule can be all over the place, I find it more challenging to set a day to do my grocery shopping and meal prep and then stick to a meal plan when I'm running from worky to Corbin's house to rehearsal and everywhere else! I end up spending more money on take away food than I would like and I come home to a house that doesn't have a tonne of choices in the fridge and pantry.

This week I set out to be more diligent with my meal planning. I set a goal to bring a packed meal to all work shifts and rehearsals and made myself a little meal planner, complete with my schedule for each day. I'm happy to say that I was pretty successful!! I made some delicious meals, saved lots of money and had a great time cooking with Corbin on Monday and Tuesday.

Here are a couple of my favourites from the week!!

gluten free vegan raw taco salad

This taco salad from Choosing Raw was unbelievable!! We loved it so much!! I made the filling with walnuts, lentils and sundried tomatoes and changed up the spices a bit. The guac was incredible and cashew sour cream is one of my very favourite things. We enjoyed this for dinner one night and by lunch the next day I was CRAVING it! I love leftovers!!! We will be making this again. And again. And again.

gluten free vegan veggie bowl
I made these veggie bowls back in March for Corbin's birthday and we were obsessed with the ranch hummus that was on top of them! When I was looking through Pinterest trying to decide what to make for dinner on Tuesday, they popped up and I knew we had to have them again. I think they were even better the second time! We used fresh herbs in the hummus which made it extra green (and extra yummy) and had a handle on how to make the polenta this time around. They were so good! And also provided great leftovers for the next day. There are a lot of components, but with two of us pulling everything together in the kitchen it was actually pretty easy and came together in about 40 minutes.

one bowl gluten free banana bread

For a treat, I decided to try out this One Bowl Gluten Free Banana Bread recipe and it turned out so well! It was really easy, I had most of the ingredients on hand and everyone who tried it really enjoyed it. They were also surprised that it was gluten and dairy free, which is always a good sign! It was just delicious banana bread. I will definitely be making this again! (Actually today, as I want to bring some to my cast for our last rehearsal tomorrow)

I'm really proud that I stuck to my plan this week and had a blast in the kitchen. While my meal planning may not be as structured as it used to be, I can still make it happen if I make it a priority! If you're super and on the go like I am, take the time to get some groceries and make a couple of yummy meals that you can enjoy throughout the week. Your tummy and your wallet will thank you!

What are your best meal planning tips? What was on your meal plan this week??

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