Wednesday 30 April 2014

Travel To: Nepal

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To say I have been given a fortunate lot in life is, by my standards, a bit of an understatement. There have been several moments in my life where I have been stunned and speechless at how lucky life can be. There have been events both big and small that have forced reflection and elicited a reaction of "heck yes"- and as I'm sure you can guess, that's pretty much how I felt the entire time I was in Nepal playing chaperone to a group of 9 great students.

Nepal has been on my radar since I was in high school myself, and was officially added to my (very informal) life list several years ago. I never even occurred to me that someone would one day pay me to go, but here I was officially getting paid to spend a week in a bucket-list destination.  Go figure.

Our 6 day journey was split into two parts - community service in the small village of Tripureshwor, and site seeing in Kathmandu. Both portions had a big impact on the success of the trip, and I wouldn't have given up either. We moved from guesthouse to campsite and back again. We bathed in a river, took a perilous bus journey through the mountains, we went white water rafting down the famous Trishuli river, and we learned more riddles than I'll ever know what to do with. We laughed and joked in a context outside the classroom, and we conquered fears and broke down barriers. From a teachers perspective, the trip could not have gone better. Of course, it helps that unprovoked student feedback consisted of "awwweeesommme" and "best trip ever". I guess they got something out of it too!

I'm going to let the photos do the talking for this one as Nepal has some pretty epic vistas to share. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the view!

Note: some of these photos are from one of my bonkers awesome students who will remain anonymous for as long as they choose.

Saturday 19 April 2014

Nepal Chaperone

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photo via Om Yadav
This time last year I was on my way to Vietnam with a group of students to chaperone a trip through Hanoi and the mountains. It was exhausting and eyeopening and awesome.  And I'm about to do it all again - but this time we're heading to Nepal. I talked then about the many hats you have to wear as chaperone, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't forget to pack any of them.

Let's have some real talk for a moment. Being a teacher is nothing like it looks from the outside. Yes, there's the lessons and the marking and the report cards, but there is also a sense of protectiveness and responsibility for what they learn and how they treat the people around them. And being a chaperone only magnifies these. Now, you're watching them in the real world outside of the bubble like confines of the school gates and hoping they are still learning lessons in exploratory ways. It turns them from students to humans and it's awesome. Not only that, but Nepal is life list destination for me, and better yet I get to go as part of my job. Seriously, how cool is that? (Answer: Super cool)

While I'm away, why not peruse through some oldies, but goodies? Here's a collection of some of my favourite recipes and posts!


  • Have you been to British Colombia in Canada? If not, you should go. If so, you should go again. It's amazing and both Victoria and Vancouver have so much to offer!
  • Living in Asia has afforded us a lot of really great travel opportunities. To this day, Cambodia remains one of my favourite countries. It's rich in culture and flavour and the people are seriously great. If you go, check out Phnom Penh and Siem Reap - both totally worthy stops. 
  • Also Laos. Seriously wow. Vientiane, Vang Vieng, and Luang Prabang. All so unique, and all so inspiring. 

Monday 14 April 2014

Nutella Chocolate Mug Cake

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I've got some really great news for you today. In case you haven't noticed, it's mid-April (already!?), which means it's practically summer. At this time of year many of us start to think about squeezing into our best beach wear for all the world to see, and simultaneously making a list of all the goals you'll need meet before that can happen. Well, guess what? You're stunning just as you are. To celebrate, eat some cake.

What's that you say? You are really committed to your summer-self goals? Awesome! Good for you! Work hard, play hard! I think concentrating on your healthiest self is really important, in both body and mind. So after sweating it out and really going for gold, don't forget to work on the mental aspect of your health too. One great way to do that is by celebrating small victories. Did you run an extra 5 minutes? Complete your first full body push up? Finish your first 5K/10K/half marathon? Then celebrate with cake! And do it happily knowing that this is a single serving cake, so you won't have 7 pieces of leftovers watching you from the fridge. Win-win!

Monday 7 April 2014

Blog Appreciaiton: Lark&Linen

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And we're back with another Blog Appreciation! This is the time in which I share with you the blogs I read on a regular basis, in order to pass on inspiration and procrastination alike.

Lark & Linen is actually the newest blog to my regular round of reading, but is one I have been going back to again and again as of late. Written by Jacquelyn Clark, this blog is filled with design inspiration, mouthwatering recipes, and a solid dose of life-envy. Not only is Jacquelyn the writer and photographer behind Lark&Linen, but she's also a Toronto based interior designer, editor for Style Me Pretty Living, and has been featured on countless other sources, the latest being a new column for HGTV's blog. Jealous yet? I know I am!

I've been reading Lark & Linen solidly for a few months now, and it has easily slipped it's way into my reading routine thanks to the fact that the whole blog is just plain pretty - from the photos, to the design, to the writing.

I can't remember exactly how I found Lark & Linen (I'm going to guess Pinterest had something to do with it!), but here are a few of my favourite posts to date:

As someone who writes and reads mostly about food, I love the variety that Lark & Linen provides to my reading list, and it's this variety that keeps me coming back - there's always something beautiful to read about!

What are some of your favourites?

NOTE: All photos are credited to


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