23 November 2014

A Little Love Note from Bali

'Tis the season for tinsel, mashed potatoes, hot chocolate and...

young coconuts, tank tops and flip-flops.

I'm back in Bali!  While I am sorely and deeply missing the snow and cold of Winnipeg (seriously, I'm not kidding), it is a certain kind of wonderful to not be freezing constantly and having to wear five layers all day (and that is while I am in the house).  

I am living in Ubud for another month while I assist on a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training with the School of Sacred Arts.  It is a fantastic gig and so great to be back in this town, diving back into my old haunts and reconnecting with this beautiful and mystical island.  I've already been here two weeks and I have two more to go...

The days are full with asana (physical yoga practices), lectures, coordination of students and supplies and meditation.  I am so fortunate to be connected to his yoga community and am looking forward to remaining invested and involved.  I'm a lucky gal!

My hearts go out to those in New York who are sitting under all the snow...I am sending warmer vibes (minus the flooding) your way.

03 November 2014

Nature Wonderland

Dave and I love getting out of the city when we can.  Over the past weekend, we met some awesome people in our building and one of them mentioned that we might enjoy Birds Hill Provincial Park, just outside of Winnipeg.

So, we went and it was fabulous!  I can tell this will be our new escape plan when we need a little respite from the hustle and bustle of the cars, buses, trucks, buildings and other things the city offers up on a daily basis. 

We walked, talked and held hands.  
We watched little birds swoop around us and took in the setting sun.  

We appreciated the big prairie sky we found ourselves under.  
We appreciated having this little space of nature to enjoy whenever we desire.  

And...most of all...we appreciated how lucky we are.

17 October 2014

Our Little Neighbourhood

Dave and I are a little over a month into our new home of Winnipeg and I'm excited to report that we couldn't have found a lovelier part of the city to live in.

Our home is in Osborne Village and, as Winnipeg Tourism put it..."Boho and artsy meet kitsch and cool in the community of Osborne Village—recently named ‘Canada’s Greatest Neighbourhood’ by the Canadian Institute of Planners."

We live in "Canada's Greatest Neighbourhood!"  Too cool.  

We have bakeries, mom and pop shops, pubs, restaurants, parks, the Assiniboine River, Legislature, and events galore, all within walking distance.

Here are few places we've checked out over the past month....

Munson Park
A gorgeous little gem that hugs the river and speaks to my heart.  We often go for walks in the evening and it has become a staple that we walk through it.  We saw it in the summer when we came for our house-hunting trip and I fell in love with its towering trees, dazzling flowers and cozy little pathways.  As summer turned to fall, it delivered an array of reds and yellows that stunned and lured you into the next season.

We just went to this neighbourhood pub the other night.  Awesome space with incredible woodwork inside, the friendliest bartender I've ever met and just an overall awesome vibe.  They have special on until 7 and Dave and I quickly realized we would be coming back much more often!

A hidden little tapas joint off the main road of Osborne.  We celebrated our anniversary with dinner here a few weeks ago, noshing on patatas bravas, a cheese plate and some absolutely incredible fried beets.  The wait was long, so if you are planning on heading over - get there early!  The atmosphere is dark and cozy, perfect for long winter's nights when snow is blanketing the ground outside.

So, if you come to visit, just know there will be plenty of things and places for us to do and see!

13 October 2014

Happy Thanksgiving...Love, Canada


Ah, yes...it's that time of year when most of the leaves are off the trees, the weather is turning much cooler and school is back in session for the majority of the students in the area.  That also means it's time for one of my favourite holidays...Thanksgiving!

As an American living in Canada, I feel lucky that I get to celebrate not one, but TWO Thanksgiving holidays in a year.  I just love it...the gathering of people you love, some great food you don't make every day of the year and just time to reflect on how lucky we truly are in this life.

This Thanksgiving, we were fortunate enough to be invited over to the home of our friends, K and M.    We had a good time catching up, playing games (I finally learned what all the hype over the game Settlers is about) and noshing on some great food!  We brought over a salad, this fantastic vegan pumpkin loaf and a vegan stuffing inspired by this recipe.  

In addition, Dave and I took some time this weekend to volunteer over at Winnipeg Harvest for their annual Share the Thanks event.  We sorted cans and boxes of food and bagged up "food kits" for distribution.  We met some great people and it was a fantastic way to spend a Saturday.

Because I will be in Bali for the U.S. Thanksgiving, I really wanted to make the most of the holiday here in Canada...and we did!

Here are a few observations about Canadian and U.S. Thanksgivings...

  • Thanksgiving in French is L'Action de grĂ¢ce.  
  • There are four provinces where Thanksgiving is an optional holiday, not a statutory one...New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador
  • There are parades
  • The first Thanksgiving can be traced back to 1578 with Sir Martin Frobisher's voyage to the Northwest Passage
  • It wasn't until 1957 that Thanksgiving was given an official day of the second Monday in October.  Prior to that, the day for Thanksgiving was flexible
  • There is turkey, squash, pumpkin and all the fixings that go along with the Thanksgiving dinner
  • There doesn't seem to be a strong connection between Thanksgiving and the kick-off of the "holiday season" as there is in the United States
  • There is football
United States
  • Thanksgiving is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November
  • In 1863, it became a federal holiday
  • The first Thanksgiving can be traced back to 1621 after the first harvest of Pilgrims in the New World
  • There are parades
  • There is football
  • It wasn't until 1939, with pressure from the President and department stores (including Macy's) that Thanksgiving was officially moved to the fourth Thursday of November in order to expand the Christmas shopping season
  • There is turkey, squash, pumpkin and all the fixings that go along with the Thanksgiving dinner
  • A turkey is pardoned by the President
If you are in Canada or in the United States...or anywhere in the world for that matter, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.  

12 September 2014

First Weekend in Winnipeg

Last weekend was our first "official" weekend in Winnipeg (I don't count the weekend before of unpacking and moving).  We had a great time!

On Saturday, we went with friends of ours to a festival downtown near Legislature called ManyFest.  It was chock-a-block full of people, food trucks and performances.  They had tons of great things for kids to do and they even featured a couple of runs over the course of the weekend.

It was a gorgeous night for it...the sky was blue and everyone was soaking in the final weekend of summer!

On Sunday, I traveled to Fort Whyte Alive for Prairie Yogi Magazine's Prairie Love Festival.  I was volunteering my time and met some amazing yogis while I was there!  I also had the chance to catch up with a few yogis from Moose Jaw who made the trip to Winnipeg for the Festival.  There were DJs, yoga venues, a speakers venue and lots of gorgeous scenery as well.

Fort Whyte Alive is an outdoor paradise just on the edge of Winnipeg.  They hold classes to teach you about canning and preserving, talks to educate folks on nature-related topics, harvest meals to celebrate the Farm they have on site, canoeing in the summer and much more!  I can't wait for Dave and I to explore this little gem further!

05 September 2014

Dear Winnipeg...

Dear Winnipeg:

So, it's no surprise to you that you weren't really our first choice for our next moving destination (I'm sure you've overheard us).  If anything, we wanted to drive our U-Haul in the opposite direction...toward the ocean and mountains and general awesomeness of the West.

That being said, I fully expect to enjoy you, Winnipeg.  I'm going to take advantage and celebrate all that you have to offer.  Every street festival, every outdoor adventure, every snowflake and raindrop and ray of sunshine.

Because...here's the thing.  We make the place.  I learned that growing up - moving from one place to the next.  A lot of people might laugh (or shudder) at the thought of you Winnipeg, but I'm walking into you with open arms and a big goofy grin on my face because you are where I am and I am where you are.  

So, instead of locking my door and closing the curtains on my window, I am going to embrace you like a long-lost family member and make the absolute best of things here.  I am going to love on our little living space and take long walks along the Assiniboine River.  I am going to meet new people and explore the different neighbourhoods.  I am going to approach you like I want to approach every new adventure..with excitement and energy and an adventurous spirit.

Because...you deserve it, Winnipeg.  

Hi, Winnipeg.  I'm Heather...I'm looking forward to getting to know you better.

With adventure in my heart...

02 September 2014

Au revoir, Moose Jaw! Bonjour, Winnipeg!

On the road again...

So, remember all those plans I had to take on Moose Jaw like a tourist before Dave and I headed out across the Prairies to our new home in Winnipeg.

Yeah...that didn't happen.  Taking pictures of murals didn't happen.  The Western Development Museum didn't happen.  A dinner at The Little Red Market Cafe didn't happen.  


What DID happen was awesome.  Time spent with friends that are family to us in Moose Jaw.  And, lots of it.  A swim and soak in the mineral waters at Temple Gardens, long walks under the big sky and a continuation of our minimizing in preparation for our move to our tiny little abode.

It was wonderful and sad and lovely and just perfect.  We really couldn't have asked for anything more.  

That is kind of the wonderful thing about "see you laters" as opposed to straight-up "goodbyes."  There doesn't have to be the last-minute cramming for your departure.  You KNOW you will return and there is something ultimately comforting in that.

Things I am going to miss most about living in Moose Jaw:

Having our wonderful friends nearby.
That sky.  Seriously...they don't call it "The Land of the Living Skies" for no reason.
The yoga community.
Walks and runs through Wakamow Valley.
The first snowfall (usually in October).
Main Street during the holidays.
Coffee at 23 Main Street.
Walks through Crescent Park.
Hikes at Buffalo Pound.
Being only 7 hours from the Canadian Rockies by car.
The big tree that I could see from our upstairs office window in the house.
Our garage - for those cold winter mornings.

Things I am looking forward to while living in Winnipeg:

Exploring Manitoba!
A new yoga community to discover.
Long runs along the Assiniboine River.
Walking everywhere and not always needing a car to get to something exciting.
Exploring a new city.
There is a MEC within walking distance of our place!
Having amazing friends nearby.
Having a parking spot in the city with electricity so our battery doesn't die in the cold winter.
City Farmer's Markets.
Living in a 585 sq. ft. space with my love and seeing if tiny home living is for us.

We are jumping in...both feet...ready to go!