Summer To-Do List (Ongoing)

Every day, I make a to-do list on my Brookstone Boogie Board:
I can easily write and erase my lists for
environmentally-friendly prioritizing!
I check off items as I go throughout the day, and it is a very simple way that I love using to stay organized, reflect on what needs to be done (and in what order), and to feel satisfied with each “check!” placed beside an item.

For the summer, I think an ongoing list would be nice to upkeep, so I shall endeavour to do so and see how many items I can cross off. For starters, I have a few basic items and a few that are unique to this summer:

  1. Get outside for at least an hour each day!
    It may sound simple, but it’s easy to stay inside when it is hot and bright all the time.
  2. Develop a new healthy food routine to work around flexible summer schedules.
  3. Stay on top of an exercise routine or schedule.
  4. Try a 30-Minute Hit women’s kickboxing class.
    Free trial has already been booked! Will cross this one off early on in May.
  5. Go to my 3rd Calgary Stampede! 102nd anniversary.
    Timing of this event will fall near another related to-do list item…
  6. Celebrate my 21st in some sort of exciting way.
    I definitely want to use this as an excuse to cross off #7.
  7. Road trip for a day or two across the border!
    G’s parentals have kindly provided us with the A-OK to spend the night in their extra space!
  8. Visit UBC a few times and become familiar with my upcoming role as an RA
    i.e., visit the PRC and have fun times
  9. Read two new books.
    I would like to finish An Abundance of Katherines and read into my Body Language for Dummies and 30-Second Psychology books – plus a new novel I may come across!
  10. Get back into writing.
    Ideally, I would be making that more of a reality with the blog… But physical pen-to-paper writing would be very soothing to return to often.

This list will be on-going throughout the summer vacation!

Looking Forward: The next 4 months.

The next four months: a time I both welcome and fear.

For the most part, I believe that I will enjoy the next four months – the weather will (hopefully) be summery and show signs of life blossoming everywhere, energies will be high, and a reprieve from school will be mine. However, he is going to be back at home, and visits will once again become once-every-few-weeks sort of occurrences; I do not know what job I will be holding (I would really rather not return to my old safety net and have chosen to search elsewhere). 

1. Weather.
– Get all the Vitamin D!
– Wake up by natural light streaming in early through my window.
– Be rid of the chills by simply laying down for 30 seconds outside.
– Rain is exciting and rejuvenating and makes me happy for the plants.
2. School reprieve.
– I love school, but my body feels the strain of spending too many hours ‘loving’ it.
– Social life, work life, and other ‘lives’ become independent of one another. 
– Must come up with a schedule of my own when work is not in the picture.
3. Absence.
– Visits will be the most exciting of times.
– Alas, my heart shall ache often and yearn for its partner in crime. 
4. Employment. 
– Where have I applied? Let us take a look: Chocolate cafes, healthy living cafes, jobs with the city in event planning, program coordinator, communications assistant, internship with local produce delivery company, summer camp counsellor, restaurants.
– Where might I apply? Let us take a look: Favourite UBC-local cafes, restaurants, healthy living themed shops.
– During the school months, I miss work! I miss that income and sense of having done a job well and making others satisfied through my service. Next year I suppose a great deal of my involvements will revolve around a sort of employment – even if it isn’t a regular paycheque like those I would receive during off-school months.
– I want to try something new; I’ve had good times with my ol’ pal Safeway, but I’d like to feel challenged in what I do this summer.

I expect excitement, friendship revival (for which I’m very excited), painful yearning, lots of family time, and hopefully a bit of travel this summer. It would be my wish to feel that I’ve grown a bit more, learned a few new things, and seen one or two new places. Many photos should be taken, and perhaps even a new friendship is to be made!

ABCs of: Denim, Easter, Food

The day of near denim overdose.

(See how I continued the “ABCs” with the words in my title?)

There is little to update anyone on during this frustratingly lengthy exam break (12 days between my first exam and my last two exams on the same day), but I thought it would be a nice time to throw down some photos and muse over things.

My last exam was welcomed, as I had a 9-day break between that and the last day of classes – and as it is a difficult course for my arts student background (Brain and Behaviour Psychology), I was very pleased with how it went! I finished in less than an hour and was given chocolate-covered almonds at the end. 🙂 

Following this exam’s (and course’s, I suppose…) completion, I began about 36 hours of intensive resume-depositing and driving between school, home, the ‘Wack, and back! It was really nice to just kick back in the ‘Wack after all of the driving and make some veggie meatloaf with my daddy-o while watching movies. 

Father-daughter camera dates!
The most delicious of unmeatloaves.

After a too-brief but rejuvenating visit with mi padre, I ventured back out to UBC and put in some more study hours in preparation for a busy Easter Sunday back at home. 
Thus far, the study schedule I have devised has worked exceptionally well for being so simply-structured, so I’ve been on track for everything so far! I sense that I will be well-prepared for my favourite class and that I will make it through my least favourite.

Ah, dinner – one of the most magical moments to capture (not really, but it is a moment that can elicit salivation over and over, which is kind of magical, right?)! I tried a vegan “imitation ham” which added
some fun texture to dinner, and with the help of gravy and everything else on the plate, dinner was both filling and delectable.

Not a couple to let food fall by the wayside, he and I decided to celebrate 20 months of togetherness with a trip to The Reef for a Caribbean lunch! Plaintain chips, jerk tofu, Johnny cakes…. I still haven’t tried one of their coconut cocktails yet, but I think when that day comes, it will take the Reef to a whole-new level!

Hopefully, more exciting and interesting adventures will arise in the week still left before my next exam takes place. In the meantime, I will continue to hunt for a summer employer, contemplate what courses I will take next year, and try to pack up some of the belongings in my dorm room to prepare for moving out in just over a week. 

Vacation seems both too far and too near at the same time.

Spring is in the air! Plus a new dining discovery.

All of my body’s sensory systems are being bombarded by signs of Spring:
– Fully and pink cherry blossoms
– The smell of food wafting from open patios at restaurants
– Seasonally-appropriate Refreshers from Starbucks
– Slipping into Toms every day
– Tired and heavy footsteps during outdoor jogs

 I am struggling to determine if the end of classes (a) was perfectly-timed with the beautiful weather or (b) liberated my mind and allowed me to fully embrace the impending season and all of its glory – either way, it has been lovely.

21 years of life – completed by MM!
We enjoy mason jars over the
traditional glassware.

Block Party/MM’s birthday was fun this year! Many friends, amazing weather, and lots of dancing – followed by vegan s’mores on the beach (highly recommended). 

Post-Block Party consisted of more birthday celebrations! And the beginning of studying. While the weather does not seem conducive to studying, it does lift my spirits and has served as inspiration to earn my time outside! Following an afternoon of studying, I had a nap to prepare to socialize more at The Afghan Horseman – a new dining discovery with delicious food! I had the Vegan Plate from their Vegetarian Dishes (pictured above), and zombied my way through dinner before collapsing into bed later that evening.

The following day, GD and I moseyed down to experience The Juice Truck for the first time! This is something I’ve wanted to do since stumbling across their Instagram account. After sharing two very fulfilling smoothies, we grabbed some free ice cream from Leonidas at Waterfront (a Hot Chocolate Festival location!) for wishing one of their employees a happy birthday.
After all of these birthday and food-related events… We had another birthday AND food-related event! On JS’s birthday, and to celebrate a triple-birthday week, I attended a birthday dessert potluck. Wu-Wu and I supplied healthy, vegan chocolate chip cookie muffins! Topped with coconut whipped cream and blueberries, we feel that they were definitely a baking success (thanks Chocolate-Covered Katie for the recipe!).

Before further birthday celebrations continued the following day, I celebrated a belated National Grilled Cheese Day by making vegan grilled cheese (Daiya cheese) and homemade soup with GD, as we had neglected so far to eat dinner. 

Finally, to cap off this entry, the sister and her fellow came over for dinner! We made vegetarian stir fry with a special sweet and sour “pork” recipe from the Calgary Farmer’s Market, alongside some homemade mango guacamole supplied by our guests. It was a good birthday dinner for GD and a good day overall!

Now I am delving into studying before my 12-day exam break, where I hope to have more adventures that I can document and write about – until then…

UBC REC full-team selfie!

Recognition Banquet in Photos

Hello, and welcome to the NRHH/RHA Recognition Banquet of 2014!

Here, we take a moment to recognize some of the hard work and successes of student leaders at UBC within the National Residence Hall Honorary, the Residence Hall Association, and the university as a whole.

Gerri the gender-neutral giraffe welcomes you to our event, hosted on April 1st.

And this was a little bit of my perspective, as an outgoing RHA executive, as the event played out that afternoon!

Shaina has a talent for aesthetics.


The RHA had a
strong team this year.
I’ll be sad to leave this executive team, but happy
to have gained new friends and colleagues for
the upcoming year!


NT and KT, VP partners in crime!

Back from Hiatus

Hello, M&M.

If I’m not mistaken, it has been quite some time since we’ve interacted! My hope is to be back more regularly for updates as classes end… and the season of studying for final exams begins.

In the last two weeks…

My mom made special homemade soup for me!

My sister turned nineteen and we went DANCING!

I obviously ended up baking cookies (CCK recipe).

In addition to birthdays, baking, and breaking it down, I have been preparing for the end of this term and what the next chapter of 2014 will hold. 

For the end of this term: 
– My final paper (the first paper I have written in about 16 months!)
– The transition report for the incoming RHA Vice-President
– Final events and socials for the RHA as a whole

The next chapter:
– Job interviews! One last Saturday, and one this coming Saturday with UBC REC
– My official induction as a member of the 2014-15 NRHH
– Applying for summer jobs!
– Preparing for my stint as a residence advisor next school year
Amidst all of these exciting upcoming opportunities and ongoing year-end preparations, I have been trying to get all of my socialization squeezed into these final weeks!

There was the Welcome to Wonderland Boat Cruise:

There was also the 2nd annual Barn Burner:

I also participated in my third Storm The Wall event! We placed first in our heat which was very exciting, and advanced to the next race – something I haven’t accomplished before with my team!

Wall Me Maybe 2.0
Wall Me Maybe 2.1

Beyond attending and organizing events, I have been reflecting on what I’ve done and been a part of over the last eight months. 
~ Academics have been at a relative high for me, and my involvements have balanced well with school. For the first time in a while, I will miss courses that I’ve taken this year along with the professors that taught them; I also feel that my major has become more of a place that I feel at home, particularly in my gender and sex differences course (and my personality and behaviour disorders courses last term). 
~ I struggled through another visual arts class but enjoyed being able to use my camera for projects and was pleased that I applied something I’m passionate about in my final project (uploading to blog is currently being contemplated).
~ Being an executive member of the RHA has been great – it puts me in touch with every part of residence (mostly) and I have been a part of a forward-moving year for the organization. I regret the lack of closeness developed with my fellow executives early on, but am grateful that we’ve done so much as leaders and that we’ve bonded more in the last little while!
~ My personal life has expanded and evolved in terms of family bonds, friendships, and my relationship – all in ways that I think are taking me in a good direction. I don’t know what this direction is, but it feels like a good and enjoyable one.

Overall, this year at UBC has been a good one.
The summer is always a mysterious next chapter – travel plans, new job opportunities (sorry Safeway), and time for friends and family in abundance!
I look forward to seeing where things go.

Once my camera’s most recent photos have been uploaded,
I’ll get back to this and update on the more recent events following
the Boat Cruise! Barn Burner, food adventures, and more!

Our cityscape view from the boat last weekend.