30 Random Acts of Kindness

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 27-12-2013

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This has been a whirl wind year for me. From having some serious health issues to buying a home with my boyfriend and moving out for the first time 2013 has been full of huge life changes. Thankfully things are settling down for me now.

This year I turned the big 29! I sure don’t feel 29. I decided before I turn 30 I would do 30 random acts of kindness after my 29th birthday to journey into my 30’s in a positive way. (thanks to pinterest for this wonderful inspiration).

Here I can chronicle my random acts of kindness.

1. I started off with snow shoveling ¾ of our new subdivision when we had our first major snow fall. I started with just shoveling our driveway, and then together with a lovely neighbor the two of us cleared all the sidewalks, most of the roads, and many drive way entrances. (yes I was partly doing it so I could get to work easier but it was also above and beyond what I needed to do to get to work). I received many thank yous and one neighbor was so grateful they even later dropped off treats to my home.

2. Giving Gifts to Strangers

This Christmas I decided to give two of our new neighbors whom I had never met Christmas gifts, just because. They were very pleasantly surprised. That made me happy.

I have 28 more random acts of kindness to do before I turn 30, but I’m certain I’ll have many more opportunities to do helpful random kind things for strangers this year. I look forward to it!

The 2012 Festival of Trees

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 27-11-2012

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I can’t believe it’s less then one month till Christmas time! Where has the year gone? It feels like it was just summer a couple weeks ago.

This year once again I decided to decorate a tree for the Vancouver Island University Festival of Trees.  Since my chocolate themed tree in 2011 was pretty popular I decided to make another chocolate tree for the festival. This year I called my tree “Chocolate Heaven“. I wanted to make a completely different style of chocolate tree then my previous one so I changed my color scheme. I went with burgundy and gold with red accents for my tree colors. I loaded my tree up with a lot of chocolate! I admit my tree this year wasn’t was glamorous as my 2011 tree but it was much more delicious. Hopefully a true chocolate lover takes home this tree at the end of the festival.

All the trees get raffled off this year (for the cheap price of $2.00 per raffle ticket). Sounds like a bargain to me!

Here is my chocolate themed tree

And other favorites from decorating day

The 2011 Festival of Trees

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 13-11-2011

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This year once again I decided to decorate a tree for the local festival of trees. I chose to do a chocolate themed tree which I called “Cocoa Christmas” which featured edible chocolates including Godiva chocolate bars, Godiva chocolate covered strawberries, Toblerone chocolates and Lindt chocolate balls. It was difficult to not eat my ornaments but I managed. Here is my tree at the festival.

And here are some of the other trees.

First off “Hark the Bark” a dog themed tree. One of my favourites.

Another favorite “Diamond in the Ruff”. I just love dog and cat themed trees : ).

A very pretty tree that I like “Vintage Chic Boutique”.

More trees from the festival

I love Christmas and it’s always fun to into the spirit decorating at the Festival of trees. How do you get into the Christmas spirit?

Cocoa Christmas

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 10-11-2011

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This year I decided to decorate a tree again for the Festival of Tree’s in Nanaimo which supports student scholarships and awards at the university I attended (Vancouver Island University).

This time I chose to do a chocolate themed tree. I called my tree “Cocoa Christmas”. It features many edible delectable chocolates. Yes it was hard for this chocoholic to hold back and not eat the decorations, but I did. 😛

All of the trees are either auctioned off in a silent auction or given away in raffles (I won’t know which way my tree is given away until after the festival since I have had previous trees some raffled and others auctioned).

Here are some photos of my yummy tree. I’ll have some festival photos once I decorate my tree at the festival in a couple days.

October in Orlando

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 16-10-2011

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Just over a week ago my boyfriend Tyler and I returned from a lovely vacation in Orlando Florida. This was the first time either of us had ever visited Florida. I am head over heals in love with the climate and weather in Orlando. I love the heat SOOOO much, and the humidity too. It was very humid there (much more so then our most humid days here in BC) but the humidity felt different. It didn’t feel like that sticky hotness we get here in BC. It was a really comfortable heat. The humidity was also my best friend. At home I suffer from allergy (mainly environmental) and sinus issues most of the time, and in Orlando it was as if all of my health issues related to that were completely gone.

The only thing that I didn’t care for in Orlando was the water (for drinking or even showering). That is one thing that makes living in BC much for desirable for me.

Our trip was my birthday gift to my boyfriend Tyler so I did all the planning and paid for a majority it too. Our flights to Orlando were lovely but when we got to our hotel things became much less lovely. I had booked The Ramada International Drive for our trip, but upon arriving there, I was very shocked when it didn’t come anywhere come to what the photos online looked like. I knew it wasn’t a resort, but it was a dump. In the morning I called Disney and they were able to get us a room at one of there moderately priced resorts within just a few hours of calling. We took a taxi there, and from then on out trip was just lovely.

We stayed at Disney’s Coronado Spring’s Resort. From the moment we arrived literally everything was magical. We had a lovely lake view room, but all of this resort was exceptionally beautiful. There were actually hardly any kids there which made it an very nice and peaceful place to stay. It does seem like this Disney resort might be more couple friendly then kid friendly.

Here are some photos of our resort.

view from our room balcony

a message in the clouds above our resort. Maybe a marriage proposal

These little lizards were everywhere!

We visited Disney World and Universal Studios while in Orlando, but could have spend even more time even at these attractions. Unfortunately Tyler and I both got sick with bad colds while on our trip so we didn’t do that much on the last few days, but that was okay with me, because being sick in such a beautiful and warm humid place is a pretty pleasant experience (compared with being at home anyways).

Here are some photos from Disney World and Universal Studios

Me with some monkeys in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Tyler with the Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Lego Dragon in Down town Disney

Tyler and I with the train to Hogwarts (from Harry Potter) at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure

Hogwarts (from Harry Potter)

I loved our trip and hope to go back to Orlando (and maybe the Florida Key’s) one day.
I love you Orlando 🙂

My 20 lb Weight Loss Journey

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 03-07-2011

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College and university wrecked havoc on my body, and caused me to gain over 20 lbs. I’m 5 foot 4 and after 5 years of college/university my weight was a sad 165 lbs. Yes I was overweight a state I never wanted to be in. It was always my greatest fear when I quit gymnastics at age 15 that one day I would get fat ( I had a stunning gymnast body through out my kid and teen years).

Back in 2000 at age 15 weight 125 lbs

For the last 3.5 years I have been trying to loose the 20 + lbs that I gained while in nursing school. While I did lose a little weight here and there over the past few years, I always gained it back, until this year. Since January I have lost 20 lbs and kept it off (for 6 + months). My current weight is 145 lbs (a much nicer number).

Summer 2008 a photo I cringe at. I'm somewhere between 160 and 165 lbs here (cringe)..

July 2011 at 145 lbs.

I didn’t plan on 2011 being my year to finally lose the weight that I have wanted to lose for years, but things just ended up happening that way. Early in the year I had some stress from my dog’s health issues and shortly after that month or so of stress, I went to work a night shift (working with 2 sick coworkers) and was sick myself before the 12 hour night was over. My illness lasted over a full month. Although I didn’t loose much weight being sick I did realize the importance of eating enough healthy food (I hadn’t been eating too much when I was stressed with my dogs health issues I ate roughly half of my usual portion sizes for a month). Being so sick for so long I was eating heaps of healthy food and no junk. I was doing everything possible to try to boost my immune system and get well. Eventually my healthy eating, rest and antibiotics kicked in and I finally got well (sometime mid March). From January to March I lost roughly 14-15 lbs.

Since I had lost a fair bit of weight I wanted to continue with the trend (in a more healthy way), so I continued with the no junk food diet, and eventually I lost 5 more lbs.

I should mention that I have a HUGE sweet tooth. I didn’t totally deprive myself of sweets to become healthy or lose weight, but I did instead replace my desserts (cookies, cakes, chocolates,  (which I use to eat almost every night after dinner), with fruits (berries peaches, watermelon) which satisfied my cravings for sweets and gave me more vitamins that boosted my immune system.

Even before I lost any weight in 2011 I had decided this year I wanted to start consistently exercising more ( I exercised  on and off before 2011 but not consistently). I had kept track of all my workouts in 2010 and from that information I decided that doing 8 workouts consistently (every month) should be something that I could do. So far this year I have maintained my 8 workout/month goal and even surpassed it a couple of months of this year. My workouts can consist of anything from walks, jogs, runs, conditioning (sit-ups, wall handstands, leg lifts, arm weight exercises, and various stretches).

I have learned a lot about weight loss and health from my weight loss this year. I have learned that portion size makes a HUGE difference in both maintaining weight and losing weight. However restricting portions too much can lead to a lowered immune system which is more susceptible to illness. Consistent amounts of exercise makes maintaining a healthy weight much easier (then inconsistent amounts). Eating little to no junk food (I have let myself eat a little bit more sweets such as chocolate in the last few weeks) and instead eating fruit strengthens the immune system greatly.

I’m hoping to lose another 5-10 lbs this year before Tyler and I go to Florida in October, because I’m sure that our trip will cause me to pack on a few more pounds. I’m very happy with my current weight though, and hopefully it will be my new forever weight (or several pounds lower).

What is your weight loss story?

Our Christmas Tree

Filed Under (Personal, Uncategorized) by Lisa on 10-12-2010

I love Christmas. Everything about it, from the food, to the decorations, gift giving, and the festivities. I always look forward to decorating the tree. This year our tree is an artificial slim tree. Since moving into a much smaller house just over a year ago, it was only appropriate to get a smaller tree.

Here is a lovely tree, and some of  my favorite decorations.

A little gingerbread man. I made him when I was a little girl in school. I'm not sure how he lost his leg.

My dog Sasha when she was a puppy. Her first Christmas meeting Santa.

A Christmas mouse

My dog Sasha when was middle aged.

Pretty pointsetta

Colorful snowflake

Pasta wreath

Musical bear

Croched snowflake, made by my mom many years ago

Moccasins of unknown orgin

Pretty gold ball

2010 Festival of Trees

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 13-11-2010

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This year I decided once again to decorate a tree for the local Festival of Tree’s. The Festival of Tree’s supports student awards in the form of scholarships, and bursaries at the university I attended (Vancouver Island University).  The theme this year was “A West Coast Christmas”. I decided to make a nautical tree which I called “A Sailor’s Christmas”, for the festival.

Here is my tree.

(The distant view of my bright blue and white themed tree)

My tree with it’s neighbor “A Teddy Bear’s Christmas”.

Here are some of the other beautiful and unique trees from the festival.

This was my favorite tree. It was a tree about succeeding with disabilities.  It is unique and beautiful on so many levels. Here are a few of it’s many decorations.

Another one of my favorites a pretty nautical tree!

2010 Goals

Filed Under (Personal, Uncategorized) by Lisa on 01-01-2010

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2010 blog image

Happy New year everyone!

Well I didn’t make any resolutions on New Years eve, so I decided to make some goals this year instead.

I didn’t do too well with my personal goals for 2009. I made progress on all of them, but unfortunately didn’t complete any of them.

This year I am taking a totally new approach to my goals. Instead of making personal goals, I am making food goals.

Since it’s the year 2010, I thought I would revolve most of my goals around the number 10.  Here are my ambitions for this year in no particular order.

Make 10 varieties of breads, rolls, or buns from scratch (without a bread machine)

I have never made home made bread before (other then pizza crust). I use to make bread all the time years ago when we had a bread maker, but we don’t have one anymore, so I’m going to do it the old fashioned way.

Experiment with 10 new types of salad

Make 10 new varieties of soup

Make 10 new recipes with shrimp or prawns

Try 10 new muffin recipes

Bake 10 new varieties of cookies

2010 should be a yummy year. Wish me luck.

What are your goals for this year?

2009 Festival of Trees

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 18-12-2009

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This year my mom and I decided to design a tree together for the local festival of trees. This event is a fundraiser for student scholarships at the university (VIU) I attended.Here are some photos from decorating day. Enjoy.

Below our tree “Peace on Earth” with it’s neighbor “A Liberace Tribute Tree”.





Other trees in the festival and some of their unique decorations.