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After a few glasses of wine each, we stumble through the night in the direction of the train station, laughing boisterously all the while. My best friend leads the way, she knows this part of town better than I do. The street lamps cast shadows across our path, providing just enough light to make you aware of how very dark it is. 

Without warning a medium sized figure races across the sidewalk. Startled by the movement, we stop, looking around for source of our racing hearts. The silence is nothing short of eerie. My skin crawls as I lock eyes with beady yellow pair in the tree above my head. I turn and run.

—                                                                                  —                                                                                             —

I enjoy the night time because it is calm. Quiet. I can roam where ever I please without threat of harm or imprisonment. Tonight, I am enjoying the shelter of some greenery when I hear footsteps, shuffling. Are these the feet of friend or foe? Then the sound of a sharp and shrill cackle erupts to my left. I am so frightened I cannot think rationally. I dart out from under my shelter and race to higher ground. The blissful silence returns. I watch the creatures, below me they are frozen, only their eyes are moving frantically from left to right. A pale face turns up to meet my gaze before they flee into the night. 

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Growing Up Is Hard: “We’re looking for someone with a little more experience”

I am just going to take a moment to tell you a little bit about my career journey & aspirations.

The Beginning

For a very long time I imagined that I would attempt to make a career out of performance. A lovely dream but that is all it was, a virtually unattainable dream. Not to worry, I still get my fair share of recreational performance opportunities with choir. While I had decided not to pursue the life of a starving artist, I couldn’t let go of the idea of working in and around the arts. I loved to share with people about the value of the arts. So how could I make a job out of that? Go in to artistic administration, that’s how! Upon completing my undergraduate degree I enrolled in a post-graduate program that specialized in what is called “arts management”. I spent a year studying volunteer management, marketing, communications, finance, board relations, fund raising, event coordination, and more, all in relation to the artistic industry in Canada. My program also included an internship. Here I learned so many practical, on hand skills. I really felt prepared to enter the work force when I finished the program.

The Middle

The good thing about working in the arts is that not very many people are in the field. The bad thing about working in the arts is that there are even less jobs than people. Still, I managed to secure myself a comfortable entry level position in the fund raising department of an opera company.Fund raising, or development (the fancy word for fund raising), is one area that always seems to need more people. Because the fund raisers bring in the money and the arts will always need more money. I’d like to clarify that by fund raiser I do not mean that I knock on peoples doors and ask for spare change, no, I work in an office and manage the accounts of people who donate on an annual basis. There’s more to it than that but I don’t want to get too complicated as it’s not the point. The point is that I am learning a lot, I’m gaining experience and I do enjoy my job. BUT this is just the starting point, this isn’t my be all, end all. I have come to discover that I love, and I mean LOVE event planning and coordination. Events are a very special aspect of fund raising. Events are risky because you have to put money into them and hope that you will raise enough money to cover your expenses and still turn a profit. But that is also what makes them so exciting! Mostly I enjoy the act of seeing something through, beginning to end. It starts with the planning, then to the inception, then the day-of coordination, and its all to raise money for something that I am super passionate about, the arts! I suppose I could be any type of event planner but I like the idea of doing things for a worthy cause.

The Unfinished Ending

In my office there are two women who make up the Events team. One of them, the secondary, is about take a year long maternity leave. So I decided to apply for her contract. In one sense taking a contract when I have a full time position is kind of dumb, because in a year I’d be unemployed. But it was a risk I decided to take because the experience would be worth it. So I spiffed up my resume and completed an interview. All in all I think it went well. However, I didn’t get the job. Not a huge deal, as I still have my full time position, but it was still rather disappointing. Mostly I was bothered by the reason they gave me, “We’re looking for someone with a little more experience”. I find this reason absolutely infuriating. I’m not saying its a bad reason, it is just so wildly frustrating! How am I to gain experience if no one will hire me for the job which will give me experience? It is a cruel cycle. Sure, this is just one hiccup on my journey to success, there will be other opportunities and you can bet that I will be first in line to take them. I know that perseverance and hard work will win out in the end, but that doesn’t make the pill any easier to swallow today.

Bad Omens

Do you believe in bad omens? You know,  shapes in the tea leaves, recurring imagery, a sign that something bad is going to happen? Not sure? Me neither. In many respects I think its silly to read into things but I also studied English lit… I quite literally got a degree for finding and trying to make sense of signs and symbols hidden within a pieces literature. However, omens are different than reading in between the lines. According to good ol’ Wikipedia (a totally reliable source, obviously), an omen is a phenomenon that is believed to foretell the future, often signifying the advent of change. When I think of a bad omen my thoughts fly to the grim in Harry Potter.

“The giant, spectral dog that haunts churchyards! My dear boy, it is an omen—the worst omen—of death!”

~ Professor Trelawney, The Prisoner of Askaban

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Harry first sees the grim outside of number 4 Privet Drive, then again in divination class, in his tea leaves. The grim is described as a large, jet black dog. The story goes that soon after seeing the grim, you die! It’s all very dramatic. Hermione, ever the logical thinker, points out that the grim may not actually be an omen of death but rather a cause of death. “They see the grim and die of fright”, she says.

Recently I had two encounters that gave me that jittery bad omen feeling. The first was a dead baby bird. I happened upon it while walking to work. From far away it looked like a very large wad of chewed up gum, you see it had no feathers and was all pink. But no, as I got closer I realized that it was in fact the tiny body of a dead baby bird. In order to get into my office I had to walk over it… It really gave me the creeps. If that wasn’t enough, the very next morning, again on my way to work, I came across a dead mouse. But not just any dead mouse, this one was laying in a large pool of blood! It looked like the beginning of a cop tv show. Seriously, it looked like this mouse had been stabbed and left for dead, right in the middle of the side walk! Mouse murder! I’ve been having trouble getting the images of the little dead creatures out of my head.

What does it mean?! Are these omens, trying to send me a message? I’ve done some base level googling and dead birds and mice are not on the average bad omen chart. Also, nothing bad has happened to me since then. So perhaps Hermione is right, maybe there is no such thing as bad omens but instead we are totally irrational people who read way to much into perfectly regular things. All I know is I don’t want to see another little dead animal for a very, very long time.

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Have you ever encountered a bad omen?! Share in the comments!

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Liebster Award

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I am thrilled to share that I have been nominated for the Liebster Award! This is one of those awards that allows small scale bloggers to recognize one another. It is a way to say “hey! I like what you’re doing! Keep it up!”. This award could not have come at a better time for me. Recently, I’ve been worried that my posts have become stagnant or boring. Perhaps this is because I’m feeling a bit underwhelmed by life at the moment. I’m being sucked into the monotony of working life and it makes for very bland writing, I’m afraid. But this nomination has reminded me that there are people out there who do enjoy my stories, just as much as I enjoy theirs.

There a few rules to accepting and passing on a nomination. See the rules below:

1. Thank the person/people who nominated you by providing a link to their blog in your post.

2. Give 11 random facts about yourself.

3. Answer the 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.

4. Nominated 5 – 11 other bloggers.

5. Ask your nominees 11 questions of your own.

Here goes nothing!


Thank you Millie Thom

Thank you so much, Millie Thom, for nominating me but more importantly for believing in my writing. It is so nice to receive your comments and know that you have taken the time to read and reflect on what I have written. I love reading your short stories, they are always so clever and very often include exciting plot twists. If someone else had nominated me your blog would have been at the top of my list. Keep it up. 🙂


11 Random Facts About Alex

1. My favourite Potter film and my favourite book are different. Obviously I love the series 225278id1g_HP7_27x40_1Sheet.inddas a whole but certain books/movies will always stick out for me. When it comes to the books the third one, The Prisoner of Askaban, will always be my number one favourite. I think this is when the books started to take a darker turn, I also enjoyed the time turner aspect, but most importantly, it was the first Potter book  that I read on my own. Interestingly enough the third movie was one of my least favourites. When it comes to the films I strongly believe that the last two, Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2 are the best of them all. These two stayed most true to the book (in my opinion) and the special effects were spectacular. 

2. Sleeping in on a Saturday morning is one of life’s most simple pleasures. Some people think it is a waste of the day, I think it is time well spent in a cozy place. It is especially wonderful if the person you love is snuggled up next to you.

3. When I was a child I collected porcelain fairies and I named each and every one of them. My collection isn’t huge but it sure is beautiful. Currently they live on a shelf at my parents house as I’m not really sure where to put them in my house right now.

4. I love dogs. But I am so allergic to them. This allergy only became apparent in the last few years. Long haired dogs are worse than short hair dogs. Mostly my skin gets itchy but it can make my throat feel tight and make my eyes red as well. So I can’t touch them without allergy meds but I can admire from afar.

188443_4588573557_9570_n5. When I was a kid, my family drove down Florida every year to a town called Okeechobee. My grandparents had a trailer in a park there. Some of my best childhood memories come from here. Like  when my sister and I used to pretend we were mermaids and the shallow end of the pool was where we kept our treasure. My name was diamond and hers was Morgan.

6. I am a terrible speller. My grammar isn’t too great either. It’s embarrassing because I am actually quite smart, I hold a degree in English lit. and I read all the time…

7. When I was 12 I begged my dad to join a hockey team. Not because I liked hockey, but rather because I was jealous that my sister got praise every week for “hustling during that great game”. No one says “way to hustle” after a choir concert. So I tortured myself by playing hockey for two years but it was so worth it to hear those golden words.

8. I am pretty sure that all of my teeth are sweet teeth… By this I mean I really really really like sugar.

9. I love being the friend that people turn to for advice. I’m not even sure that my advice is actually all that great. I think I just really like the feeling of listening and helping the people I care about.

10. One of my favourite parts about traveling is eating. I know that sounds greedy but I think you can learn so much about a culture when you try their signature dish. If I could travel the world with a tour based entirely around food and wine I would be a very happy woman.

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3 Generations of Flo.

11. My middle name is Florence. It is also my mum’s middle name, my grandmothther’s first name and my great-grandmothers middle name. If I give my future daughter the middle name Florence (assuming I have a daughter) it will be the 5th generation of Florence in my family.


11 Questions From Millie Thom

1. What are the main types of posts you write and what type of blogs do you enjoy reading yourself?

I write a little bit of everything. Fitness, recipes, creative writing, feminism, travel, ect. Really I just write about the goings-on of my life and all the things that I have floating around in my head. I suppose that would technically classify this as a  lifestyle blog. In many ways being free to write about whatever is a good thing, it means I appeal to a lot of people and there is lots of room for creativity. However, I also think it can be confusing for my readers. There is no rhyme or reason to my posting so it might be difficult to follow along if your interested in a specific type of post only. Naturally, I read a wide variety of blogs as well. Fitness, recipes, creative writing, feminism, travel, ect.

2. Do you have a particular time of day when you do your blogging and how often do you generally aim to post?

Usually I blog on my lunch break at work. I guess while I’m working (depending on the task) my mind wanders and I think “Oh that would be a good post!”. So I jot it down for later. I like to post 3 to 4 times a week but it often depends on my schedule. If it’s super busy I’ll skip the blog and work through lunch. Or if I’ve had a super dull week I won’t post anything.

3. Have you a particular genre you like to read or watch on TV/movies, and are there any genres that you would avoid at all costs?

When it come to books I am trying to be open to anything but I am particularly drawn to dystopian fiction, fantasy and mystery-thrillers. Usually these genres are pretty fast-paced but also very descriptive. I hate it when books move slowly. As for TV, I love cop dramas. No joke, I watch an absurd amount of TV about fictional cops. Castle, Brooklyn-Nine Nine, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Criminal Minds… the list goes on. The genre that I avoid at all costs is horror. I can’t stand gore and stupid teens who walk into haunted houses. I like a real puzzle of a mystery not scary.

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4. What would be your ideal holiday destination? (e.g. are you a sunshine-and-beach kind of person or a sightseer, a sports-driven holiday-seeker, or what?)

This is a tough question! I think it really depends on the time of year. In the spring and summer I am a sightseer. I want to absorb all of the history and culture and art and food. Museums, restaurants, historical sites. You name it, I want to check it out. However, in the winter I am a beach bum. When its cold at home all I want to do is soak up the sun. I wouldn’t say no to an active day trip, like hiking or snorkeling but I strongly believe that all vacations should have some relaxing down time. Check out my Travel page for more details on where I’ve been and where I want to go.

5. What is your biggest goal in life at the moment?

I guess my biggest life goal at the moment is to be successful. Which is so vague that it isn’t really a goal. My whole life I have been working towards graduating and finding a job and now I’ve done that and I’m not quite sure what the next step looks like just yet. So I’m taking things day by day. Right now success looks like paying off my student loans and really supporting myself for the first time. But in a few years success might have an entirely different definition. Who knows!

6. What is your favourite type of music? Do you have any favourite performer(s)?

I love indie folk music and I also have a soft spot for upbeat, fun pop music. Becuase I like two different genres, I obviously have two favourite performers. The first is Mumford & Sons. Just last week I wrote a post about how much I love them as musicians and artists and my thoughts on their new album. I also love Taylor Swift. I won’t even try to explain myself. I just love her. Super exciting news! I am seeing both Mumford & Tswift in concert this year!!!

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7. Do you have a favourite musical instrument and do you play anything yourself?

Well I am a singer and I consider the voice to be one of the most impressive instruments out there because…  your whole body is the instrument… Let that sink in for a moment. I can also play chords on the piano, which means I can accompany myself if I want to sing. I have a guitar, again I can play enough chords to sing along. And in elementary school I played the clarinet, very, very poorly.

8. To what extent are you influenced by fashion in your choice of clothes?

I’m currently in a place where I’m not too sure what my fashion identity is. I prefer to be comfortable so if I could wear loose fitted sweaters and jeans all the time I would. But that isn’t acceptable in the real world. So I’m trying to figure out what “professional” Alex looks like. I try to use pinterest as inspiration but high fashion just isn’t me, I like to keep things simple.

9. Describe your ideal meal/venue for a meal on a special occasion or night out.

The whole Tapas meal has become super popular in Toronto and I am definitely on board. Tapas originated from Spanish cuisine, similar to appetizers in that they are small and share-able. Now people are creating Tapas menus for all sorts of foods. Tapas is an easy way to try a little bit of everything. Therefore it is the perfect type of meal for a night out. As they say, sharing is caring.

10. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?

A singer! For real, my dream was always to be a pop star. It is rather typical. I think above all else I just wanted to opportunity to stand on a stage and sing and then hear an entire audience of people singing along with me. I can only imagine how amazing that feels. Or hearing your song on the radio for the first time! The thought gives me chills. Sadly, I think my days of making it as a pop star are long past. Oh well, thats what Karaoke night is for!

11. Now the biggie: What do you think of ‘Game of Thrones’ (book or TV series)? This seems to be a popular discussion point at the moment!

I read the first book, I found it to be super confusing and difficult to follow. There are a million and one characters and quite a lot of detail. I have the first 4 books so I plan to revisit them one day when I have the time but other than that I haven’t got much of an opinion on the topic..


Now For My Nominations

  1. Slow Motion Smile – Fitness
  2. Sarah Eats Boston – Food
  3. Here We Are – Travel
  4. The Tipsy Runner – Fitness
  5. Pint Sized Fiction – Creative Writing
  6. Very Rach – Lifestyle
  7. Inspired For Business – Inspirational
  8. Blissful Britt – Lifestyle
  9. Phoenix Grey – Creative Writing
  10. Discovering Rachet – Humor, Lifestyle
  11. Clintington on Film – Humor, Film

**Note: The point of these nominations is to help other small blogs like my own grow by sharing audiences. Two of the blogs noted above have pretty big followings already but I decided to put them on my nomination list because I just love what they are doing & I want them to know about it!


11 Questions For The Nominees

1. What are the main types of posts you write and what type of blogs do you enjoy reading yourself?

2. Who is your hero? Why?

3. What is your proudest accomplishment in life so far?

4. What is your biggest struggle right now?

5. What advice would you give to a large group of people?

6. What was the last movie you saw? What did you think?

7. If you had 1 week to travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

8. Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? And why?

9. What song would you sing at Karaoke? Why?

10. What is the best gift you have ever received? Explain.

11. Which celebrity would play you in the movie about your life?


That’s a wrap on my Liebster Award! I hope all my nominees enjoy answering my questions! Can’t wait to read!

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The aftermath of achieving a goal

Back in January I decided that I needed to set myself some goals because I strongly believe that if you don’t have a goal then you aren’t going anywhere. I never want to be complacent in life. Happy with the now, for sure! But settling for the same routine day in and day out just doesn’t work for me.

Recently I achieved my fitness goal of running a 5k race. It was an incredibly exciting experience and I am still so proud of myself for all the hard work I put in. I was concerned that after I was successful I would become lazy so I preemptively signed up for another 5k in early June. Smart thinking, Alex!

Except for lazy Alex has way more influence than smart thinker Alex. Even though I know I’ve got this other race coming up I haven’t been working out nearly as much as I was before the first 5k. Why? Why have I become a lazy butt?

I have a theory. 

I have become lazy, despite my upcoming race, because I’ve already done it once. It is no longer an impossible thing that I must overcome. It is now something that I’ve done so it should be no problem to do it again. Right? WRONG. I know this. I am aware that being in shape is something you must continue to work at. There is no stopping once you achieve your goal weight because as soon as you stop your goal weight slips away from you again. Constant vigilance! I think that’s why people struggle with exercise and fitness. It is a never ending activity.

So I am taking this moment to set a new fitness goal. Hopefully by writing it down for all of the internet to see I will be able to get my butt back in gear. I ran my first 5k in 33 minutes. So my goal for the next 5k is to run it in 30 minutes!

As they say, time is money!

http://fuelrunning.com/running/motivational-running-quotes-to-help-you-push-through
http://fuelrunning.com/running/motivational-running-quotes-to-help-you-push-through

♫♩ A Musical Review & A Love Story ♥

Everyone has a favourite band. A favourite song. A favourite quote.  For me all of those things come from the same source. Mumford & Sons. The band, in my opinion, can do no wrong. They are flawless, in every sense of the word. There are a number of reasons why I love Mumford. First and foremost, they are spectacular musicians, song writers and performers. You can see, hear and feel the passion that goes into making their music. Secondly, Mumford is the reason I met Lucas.

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You see Lucas and I actually went to the same high school, two years apart (for the record, I am older). We had mutual acquaintances, I had heard his name a few times in passing but we never crossed really paths. In August of 2013  I went with a group of friends to see Mumford play at the Gentlemen of the Road  traveling concert festival. The festival was essentially two days jam packed with live musical acts with Mumford as the closing act on the Saturday night.

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The venue was about 2 and a half hours west of Toronto. I was traveling and camping with a group of 4 girls. Myself, Karin, Sam and Alicia. When we arrived on the Friday afternoon we went straight to setting up camp. That was easier said than done. Do you know how many poles come with a camping tent? So many! Since it was going to take us a while to set up Sam decided to call in reinforcements. Two of her friends from high school who were also at the show for the weekend, Lucas and his buddy Taylor.

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No joke, as they wandered over to our tent disaster I looked at Lucas and thought “who is he? He is very cute. I must know him.” Luckily the feeling was mutual. The rest of the weekend kind of went by in a whirlwind of music, beer, sunshine, dancing and laughing.

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Photo by Samantha Gatez

When I think back on that weekend I feel like Lucas and I were inseparable. I think he was by my side from the moment I met him to the end of the weekend when we had to drive home again. But somehow we managed to avoid having a picture taken together. The whole weekend was almost too perfect. If someone had told me that the whole thing was a dream I would have believed them.

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Photo by Samantha Gatez

I think there is something magical about music, especially live music, that brings people together. In a lot of ways Lucas and I are major opposites. He is a free-spirited, spur of the moment kind of person. I am meticulous planner and goody-two-shoes. I like to think that we have influenced each other for the better. He has helped me to relax and enjoy the moment and I think I have helped him to find a stronger sense of direction in terms of his goals and such. But I honestly don’t know if we would have had that connection, that spark, if we had met anywhere other than at a concert.

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Photo by Samantha Gatez

So you see, I feel as though Mumford & Sons brought Lucas and I together. Naturally I was devastated when they announced their hiatus in September of  2013. They had just given me an amazing weekend, an connected me with an amazing person and all I wanted to do from that moment on was go see Mumford play live music, with Lucas at my side.

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Photo by Samantha Gatez

After a very long year and a half they have finally made their way back onto the music scene with their brand new album, Wilder Mind, released on May 4th.

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At first I was really nervous about this new album. In their time off Mumford ditched the banjo, which they were essentially famous for, in favour of a more classic rock inspired sound. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some classic rock, but to me Mumford is synonymous with indie, and rock isn’t indie. The first single dropped from the album was titled Believe. I’ll be honest, on first listen it felt like Coldplay and I was confused. It was a great song but it didn’t sound like the band I knew and loved. So when the new album finally came out I was expecting to be “meh” about it.

Oh! How happy I am to say that I was wrong! I’m not sure exactly how to explain this but I’ll try my best. There are a number of good songs on the album, there are a number of great songs, and there are a few just okay songs. But as a whole, as one piece, from beginning to end, listened to in the order they intended it is perfect. The album tells a story, the songs compliment each other, the music ebbs and flows through the entire work. While the banjo is noticeably not present the music still feels like Mumford in the vocals, the orchestral background music and in the lyrics. I beg of you, please do not listen to this album on shuffle. Hear it how Mumford intended it to be heard.

I think Mumford and Sons successfully accomplished what Taylor Swift also accomplished with the release of her most recent album 1989. Both Mumford and Swift managed to change their sound without compromising their music or betraying their loyal fan base. I feel that they were able to do so because they made a strong, confident 180. Instead of writing songs, they curated entire albums. And that, I feel, is what makes all the difference. It is a magic that we are lacking today. Because of iTunes we have the “luxury” of picking and choosing songs, rather than listening to entire albums. So a lot of artists make a few great singles and really poor albums. Although with the renewed popularity of vinyl records this is hopefully going to change.

If you haven’t had the chance to check out Wilder Mind, do it now! And if you have, what did you think?! Share in the comments!

Tourists Guide to the World: Bol, Croatia Edition

Last summer while I was in Italy we decided to take a short stop in Croatia. A vacation within a vacation, if you will.

According to Wikipedia, “Croatia is located in Central and Southeast Europe, bordering Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the southeast, Montenegro to the southeast, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest and Slovenia to the northwest. Croatia’s Adriatic Sea coast contains more than a thousand islands.”

We were staying on one of these many islands. The Island of Brac. Getting there was a bit of a mission though. First, we flew from Rome into Split. Then we went from the airport to the harbor, which was about an hour away by bus. Once we got to the harbor we had some time to kill as it was about 4 hours until the next departure to Brac. We wandered around, ate some food and basked in the Mediterranean sunshine. Eventually we were able to board the ferry and experience what we thought was the final leg of our journey. The ferry took us directly to the city we were staying in, a beach town called Bol.

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We had rented a small apartment for two nights and three days for this visit. The instructions indicated that we were to check in at the welcome desk upon arrival. The booking came with a map, it all seemed pretty straight forward.

We were wrong.

See, when you get off the ferry there are no signs, no kiosks, nothing. And the map we had was not particularly accurate. The way we read it we assumed that the check in place was north east to where we were. So we followed the roads up and over, up and over, up and over. Then we realized we were not at all in the right place. So we walked south west. Down and over, down and over, down and over. Keep in mind we did all of this with luggage. And Bol is not flat, in fact it seemed like the whole city sat on the side of a very steep hill.

After an hour and a half of sweaty wandering we found the check in! As it turns out if we had walked left instead of right off the harbor we would have found it pretty quickly… Live and learn.

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Once we were settled into our apartment it was dinner time. We had an amazing sea food dinner at a restaurant near by. I wish I could remember what it was called. The mussels were cooked in a white wine sauce and they were unbelievable! If you love sea food, visit Croatia.

The next two days were spent on the beach. Bol is super cool because the beach is shaped like a point. Check out the picture below to see what I mean.

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Another really neat thing about the beach in Bol. There is no sand, it is all little pebbles, smoothed over by the sea water. If you bunched up the pebbles properly under your towel you could make a very comfortable chair. Walking on the pebbles was a tad challenging but mostly because they pebbles got so hot in the sun. By the end of the second day I was a pebble walking pro.

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The beach was stunning. Seriously, I’ve never seen water so blue. So clear. So clean. It was sunny and hot and just wonderful. I enjoyed the sun so much that I got heat stroke on the second day. Although, I don’t recommend doing that…

Lucas and I had planned to check out the night life but I was running a fever so that didn’t happen. But my sister also visited Croatia last summer. She went to a different island and enjoyed a lot of dancing and pool partying. So whether or not your looking for a relaxing get-away or a raging beach adventure. I would definitely recommend Croatia.

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Thoughts I had while running my first ever 5k

“Wow, there are a lot of people here…”

“Holy shit I was not expecting this many people!”

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“Is that a 10 year old? Wait, Is that a 5 year old? Why are there so many children here?”

“Go? Oh go! Alright! Lets do this!

“…I guess when there are this many people all packed together it’s slow at the start”

“Oh look, there’s Lucas! Should I wave? Smile? Wink? Alight awkward nervous smile it is.”

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“Man I am so lucky, he is the best! It is 8 am and he is here cheering me on. I love Lucas. I should remember to tell him that later.”

“alright, now we are moving! Focus Alex! Lets start with a light jog. Start steady, finish strong.”

“Did another child just ran past me? Why are these children so fit?” Am I going to be beaten by a 10 year old? Probably. Gawd that’s pathetic.”

“Shut up, brain! The kids don’t matter. This is about you. Focus. Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth. One. Two. One. Two.”

“Hey look! 2k down! Only 3 to go! Easy peasy!

“Me and this girl in white have been beside each other for a while now. She has a good pace. I’m gonna stick with her. She doesn’t know it but she is my running buddy.”

“3k and girl in white is picking up the pace. You are right running buddy, we can totally push ourselves a little harder now.”

“Do I see water in the distance?! Omgsh I do! An excuse to slow down, thank goodness!”

“ew. This is Gatorade.”

“Oh no! The girl in white is way ahead now! I guess taking a moment to walk now would be okay. So long girl in white…”

“Actually, NO! I am fine! My breathing is okay. My muscles are okay. But I’m fine! In fact I am great! There is only 1k left! I’m coming for ya girl in white!”

“Sup girl”

“omg! I can see the finish line! Omg omg omg! I am so close! I ran the whole time! and now I am almost at the finish! This is amazing!”

“20 steps and I am over the finish line! Finish strong Alex! You can do this!”

IMG_6388“Oh my goodness! I really did it! I just ran 5k!”

“Hi Lucas! Oh my gosh he is so adorable! Look at me, I did it!”

“Oh there is the girl in white! I must thank her for motivating me to keep running the whole time!”

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“So nice to meet you, Shilpa! It’s your first run too?! Well you were amazing! Wait, I motivated you?! You motivated me! Let’s take a picture!”

“Free bananas? Why yes, I would love a banana!”

“Ahhhhh! I am so proud of myself!”

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“33 minutes?! My time was only 33 minutes! That is so much better than I had expected!

“A medal?! I get a medal?! I’ve never had a medal before! Check me out!”

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“That was awesome! I can’t wait for the next one! Go me!”

Kitchen Experiment: Roasted Veggie Medley

A few weeks ago I shared that I had been doing some cooking! Regular readers will know that this is a scary thing for me. But I also shared that my last two Kitchen Experiments were successful! Wooo! I had also promised to share the recipes! So today I am sharing my Roasted Veggie Medley Recipe.

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I’ve only got the one picture (I’m no food blogger after all) but my oh my it does look yummy doesn’t it?! And it’s healthy too! This dish is a great side dish for any meal.

Roasted Veggie Medley

Original Recipe by Alex Folkes

Ingredients

Note: There aren’t exact measurements for this recipe. The “measurements” below fed 5 people and provided left overs. But make adjustments as you see fit. 

Two medium to large sized sweet potatoes

4 or 5 large carrots

2 large handfuls of green beans

Extra virgin Olive Oil (EVO)

1/4 cup of Veggie Broth

Spices: basil, rosemary, cinnamon, salt and pepper

Instructions

1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees

2. Peel and chop the sweet potato and carrots into cubes. Put into casserole oven dish.

3. Wash green beans, remove the end and put into casserole dish.

4. Coat veggies with EVO.

5. Shake spices over veggies. Distribute evenly. Amount of spices used is dependent on personal taste. I used more basil and cinnamon than rosemary. And I just used salt and pepper to taste.

6. Pour the veggie broth into the mixture and stir. Just make sure all your veggies have some oil and spices on them. Then cover with tin foil and pop in the oven for 40 – 50 minutes. When the sweet potatoes are soft it is good to go!

Enjoy!

~ 24 on the 24th~

I am so lucky! Seriously! I have the most AMAZING friends! I cannot stress enough how grateful I am to have such wonderful people in my life. I’ve come to believe that it is incredibly important to take the time to recognize and acknowledge the special people in your life. Whether you see them on a day-to-day basis or if your time together is few and far between. Be sure to take the time to tell them how much you value them. If you are looking for a sign, THIS IS IT!

Anyway, why all the sap? Well this past weekend, about a month after my actual birth date, I finally celebrated with a Birthday Party. And having all my friends from all my various walks of like in the same place was simply wonderful. People drove into the suburbs from the city, some even drove in from 2 hours away! Like I said, I have great friends!

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Yeah… We had a selfie stick.

The party was a triple birthday party for myself and two of my best friend’s, Katie and Karin. The three of us all have birthdays in April so we decided to combine our celebrations into one mega celebration. #24onthe24th

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Birthday Girls Karin, Myself and Katie

It was a blast! We had lights and music and a disco ball! We had drinking games and we had lots of delicious food! Lucas made pulled pork at 1 am. When your pretty intoxicated and all of a sudden someone hands you a pulled pork sandwich…  Well there is basically nothing better than that. Also, three different people surprised us with cupcakes! Yes that is 3 different batches of cupcakes! Home baked and everything! If that isn’t true friendship then I don’t know what is.

Anyway, it was a great time! I love birthdays!