Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer at Last & A Perfect Engagement!

Summer at last! The only great part about living in Alberta is July - it's beautiful! Summer in e-town actually makes me want to stay here - we become an amazing home to so many festivals. Our mission this year is to visit them all! I've missed two already - The Works and Improvaganza, so I'll do my best to capture the rest.

Nextfest Edmonton - This was the first year I checked out Nextfest, an artistic heaven of paintings and plays by Edmonton's finest artists. Although it was random, much in the spirit of the Fringe, Nextfest provided a bit more context for the plots in the shows. Survival of the Pigeo
ns was an interesting play on relationships and love - and the assumptions couples make. Improv shows, usually a blast, proved to entertain. The hour long skit included hit performers from Whyte Ave's Varscona Theatre, home of Edmonton's Theatresports.

Babies, babies, babies - I love my puppy!

Kudos to all you mothers out there, but I really think that I just can't do it for another ten years ago! Gasp! That's right, I said ten years, perhaps eight, despite all those jaw-dropping looks I get at every baby shower when I say I'm just too young! I'm sorry, ladies, I'm just not done traveling the world, running my own schedule and living for me!

Perhaps my evening with Pam at Catalyst theatre was the best to confirm it. We saw "I love you, you're perfect, now change!", the Broadway play reenacted by local actors. All the idiosyncrasies of dating and marriage are played out in this hilarious, comedic musical

Steph and Darrel's Engagement Brunch

Stephanie and Darrel are engaged! We spent Saturday morning, June 26th, cooking a brunch at Meghan's place. Of course, I brought my diet-friendly protein pancakes - but they added to the mix! Congrats Steph and Darrel - looking forward to the wedding!
Boys in the kitchen, girls admiring the ring!

This summer will be an exciting break from the daily grunt, with July's festivals, August's visit to see Julie in California (yes, summer and beaches!), Hardcore Fitness workouts, and September's mountainous climb on Peru's Machu Picchu.

Now - back to that hectic lifestyle I love - but watch The Lizard - from July 2nd onwards, it will become a bi-weekly note on travel and life's adventures.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Writer's Unblock - Finding by Way Back

After a quarter century (and half a year) on this planet,it's evident to me that I need to go back to what I originally wanted to do 20 years ago - write! Figuring freelancing would be an interesting start, I Googled my way to a few random freelance jobs. One magazine in particular - I won't name it yet! - and I are working on pieces for a September Weddings issue. This is truly what my high school English teacher would call "the epitome of irony" -a single, female traveller writing for settled, engaged homemakers!

SEO seems to be an intriguing and lucrative venture and so part of my weekends have been spent writing web ready articles for those who make their money from advertisers. Haha, maybe I'll become an SEO pro and have Lizard followers again. One thing's for sure - this summer, my tutoring website will have the revamp of its life. I can't say more; my lips are sealed!

The most exciting "unblock" of all? Women on Writing (WOW) contest caught my eye in yet another adventurous Google search. Luckily, it was an open prompt. On a rainy Tuesday and bright Friday after a couple tutor cancellations, I penned the "postcard story" at a couple of Second Cup locations.
Second Cup, you are my inspiration. After four drafts of edits from friends,
- thanks guys! - I made it through the first cut of 200 stories. Claire's Scar is competing as we speak with 99 other stories for 25 prizes. Wish me luck!

Grad Studies at McGill!

To top off the month, I was accepted into McGill University's Graduate Certificate of Teaching English as a Second Language. It's "full-time" online for a year, 5 courses with 1 per semester during the year, and two at an intensive institute in July 2011 on the McGill campus! My first trip alone, other than Switzerland's Au Pair experience was to Montreal in 2005. A 20 year old backpacker, 6 years later I'll get ot see the city again, living close to campus with Kiara and work- free. All I'll be doing is studying, enjoying uni life and volunteering at the Refugee Tutor Centre in Montreal. Well, you never know, seeing how well tutoring is going, I may be doing a free hours - and some freelancing - out there, too!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

April Flowers & May (Baby) Showers

That's right, it's June - 3 months in the blogging world is an eternity. I'm sure if The SIngapore Liazard once had loyal readers they've scoffed and turned their noses at its stagnant writer. The Lizard is getting a facelift this summer, as my new mission is to become a biweekly blogger again, letting you know of the local and international adventurethis travel addict finds. IT's been a hectic Spring but take a look at the lines below for a glimpse of my life in e-town, Canada.

April in the Mountains

April Long weekend found Janice, Sean and I in Banff again - nearly an entire year since the last time, loving the fresh air and small town mountain feel. Running town for a few days before the rush of tutor clients for uni finals and high school diplomas was a great plan. We left Kiara behind - and later realized that the mountain dog friendly hotel would have accepted her! Just a fresh weekend of hiking, tourist shopping and enjoying each others scintillating conversations on life's (lack of) predictability.


Puppy was ecstatic to see me after my two day absence from her tiny 8 month life. I've never felt so appreciated! It's worth every pair of shoes she maliciously destroyed - my Pumas from Vegas and white strappy heels included!

Training Hard at Hardcore Gym!

Deciding to hire a personal trainer - one that knows what he's doing this time - was the best $1600 investment I've ever made. 28 pounds, 6 inches and counting! It's down to 5 last weeks. The high protein, low carb, low fat diet is an easy to love diet that tastes great with real food. I won't bore you with the details - but a little willpower, 3 days a week of strength training, a ton of cardio - and the perfect diet are making my summer GREAT!

Check out the photo from my April and June cheat meals. Bistecca Steakhouse tiramisu and Famoso Pizzeria Milano pizza. Mmmmmm-- and totally worth the wait!

Cheat meals: April 27th, June 4th and July 17th! Can't wait for July 17th's trip to Sabor da Vino.

Mother's day was our last weekend of Spring weather before the snow fell again (seriously???! Can't wait till I move out of Alberta!) so our May Long Weekend camping trip ended up being a rainy weekend at home with puppy. Instead of flowers, a rainy April brought baby showers!

Ah, well, that's Alberta I guess!