Scraps of Paper

I am my father’s daughter. I was looking through my most precious tool – my planner – the other day and realized half of my “to do list” was on mini scraps of paper. I remember my dad had (and still has) a little notebook or scraps of paper in his car and all around the house with ideas, things he wants to do eventually, appointments, lists, etc. I always thought that was a silly idea and very unorganized at the time, but now realize I do the exact same thing!

I think what it is, is that we have so many thoughts going through our heads that we grab whatever is around at the time and make note of the idea before we forget. It’s a sort of release. It’s like “OK. It’s on paper, one day I will look at it again, but right now I need to focus on my tasks”. To be honest, I’m not sure how effective this system is quite yet. Dad, any thoughts?

The reason I brought this up is because today was a really inspirational and motivating day that made me want to go forward with some of my ideas on the scraps of paper. I had Foundations Training with lululemon in Beverly Hills. Basically, we spent 7 hours with 8 other lulus talking about goals,  how to break them down step-by-step, areas of opportunity for us personally and us as a team member in our store, and where we see ourselves in 10 years. I was just so inspired to get back into event planning and reaching some of my goals that I decided to look at all my scraps of paper and get some of them done!

Write them out!

My first step is to set “By-When” dates. What are those? Well, like the words say, it is the date by when I will reach a certain goal or step to a goal.

Example:

My 10 year goalBe an internationally recognized event planner. By when? Jan 2025

How do I get there? Well before getting to the 10 year goal I have to back track and think of the 5 year goal, and then my one year goal.

5 year goal: Work as my own event planner in Manhattan Beach. By when? Sept 2014.

1 year goal: Be hired on as an event planner through another company. By when? June 2012.

Then we took my 1 year goal and broke it down step-by-step to see how exactly I would get there. It looks like this:

  • Organize a regional event for lululemon for experience
  • Research companies I would want to work for
  • Join a networking group for event planners
  • Find a mentor
  • Define expectations and values of the type of employer and events I want
Every point is broken down again into very specific way of getting there along with a by-when for each.
So, hold me accountable because my next big project will be to plan a regional event for lululemon. I have decided that it will be the Rock ‘n’ Roll Pasadena Marathon Kick Off, on February 2012!
All the lulus are aware of this and we will have a call 5 weeks from now to see my progress. This is huge! If I pull this event off, this will be my first big recognition in the lululemon community and for runners, planners and locals in Los Angeles!
I know it feels as though lululemon has it’s own lingo and culture, which is totally does, but it’s all amazing stuff that is available to everyone.
I challenge you all to write out your goals.
Here is the link to lululemon goal setting. It will change your life, no joke!
Categories: Planning, The little things in life | 1 Comment

Rock ‘n’ Roll baby!

Let’s be honest. I just wasn’t busy enough these days! Ok, ok so here is what happened. I got a call at lululemon from a woman who was looking for ambassadors to help spread the word about the upcoming Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. The reason she called lululemon was 1) she used to work there and 2) their company is like lulu with their marketing; they do grassroot marketing.

I decided to apply and guess what… I got the job! It’s super exciting because I get to work on expanding my own network in the LA area, I get paid to run with people, I get to make my own marketing plan, attend events and be my own boss!

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is in a bunch of cities all over the country so if you want to run it (which you totally should!) check out the website to see where the closest one to you is going to be. Or…make it a road trip and come to the LA one with me! Los Angeles only has a half marathon right now, as it’s only in its 2nd year of existence.

National Running Day

The fun doesn’t stop there! June 1st, is National Running Day. I know a lot of you are reading this from Canada but it’s ok we can totally make it an international day!

Here’s how it works.

On June 1st, lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement because we are trying to reach a 500,000 mile goal! Keep track of the miles ran that day and log them on our Mileage Reel. P.S walking totally counts 🙂

F.Y.I You get $13 off the Half Marathon if you sign up on National Run Day!! 

Leave me a comment with your mileage for National Run Day and I will tally it up!

Categories: Runner's High, The little things in life | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A little house in France

Post race recovery included a full week of..nothing! Ok that’s not true. I now bike to work after moving to Pasadena from Glendale which is awesome for so many reasons! The exercise part is great, but the best part is the money and gas I’m saving by not driving. According to my quick calculations:

Parking costs $6/day x 20 days (approx.) = $120
Monthly Gas costs (approx. just for work) = $30
Annual savings: $150 x 12 = $1800 !

Umm hello nice little house in France in 20 years! That’s right. It’s one of my goals and I am determined to make it happen.

For those of your that were not aware, last week was Bike to Work week. Pasadena had a bunch of events around town helping in the promotion of Bike to Work week. I’ve been using my roommate’s Beach Cruiser. Yes, it’s very cool…but not ideal for cities. Hmm maybe that’s why they call it a BEACH cruiser?!

If only I had a beach to cruise by in Pasadena

It does the trick and way more enjoyable than driving in traffic!

A few weeks ago the University of Ottawa Alumni in LA had a mixer at a fancy hotel in Beverly Hills. I was invited because yes I am an alumnus! Anyways, Ginny came with me and we mingled with the 10-12 people that were there. I met some very interesting people, including a few that may need me for event planning! I talked to the 2 alumni responsible for organizing the uOttawa events abroad and told them I’d like to volunteer to help organize some of the events in LA. They were ecstatic! It definitely helped that I was bilingual 🙂

Good things are happening!

I’ve been getting a lot of responsibilities at work and building strong friendships and work relationships as well. This weekend is Tilly-Gabby time. Tilly is Matt and Ginny’s foster dog and while they are away for the weekend I get to stay over and hangout with her!

Not much trouble

I am currently enjoying watching Netflix in bed with Tilly laying where she is in the picture before having to go to work at 4pm. Oh and today is lululemon Pasadena’s 4th Birthday Party! Yayy! Free massages? Yes please!

Categories: LA Journey, Planning | Leave a comment

Dooms Day

Congrats! We all survived the 364th attempt of predicting the End of the World. Phew that was close!

Now go enjoy your Saturday 🙂

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No one Ever Drowned in Sweat

It wouldn’t be a normal race day if it wasn’t pouring rain at 6 am. Good thing we were in California and the “cold weather” meant something around 15 degrees Celsius. The one good thing about the rain is that we didn’t have sun in our eyes as we ran, and to be honest, it was pretty refreshing to have drops of rain rinse of the sweat as I climbed the Pasadena Hills.

Pasadena Marathon Course - Hills from mile 8 - 10 arghh

It was great to see my Pasadena lululemons cheering everyone on in the pouring rain with signs like “No one ever drowned in sweat.” and “If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?” !

My goal was initially to finish the entire 13.1 miles (or 21 km) without stopping considering the longest I had ran prior to the race was 9 miles (14.45 km) so it was still going to be a test whether or not I’d even be physically able to finish the race! Around mile 10 I realized that my legs were still going which meant that I could now try to think of a goal time. The problem? I didn’t have a watch or any sense of time. All I knew is that I had 3.1 miles to go!

I started doing some calculations in my head: “If I ran 6 miles (10km) in 58 minutes, that means I could run 12 miles in about 2 hours if I kept the same pace throughout. Now I need to add an extra 1.1 miles and take into consideration the 2 miles of hills that we had on our course. I decided to aim for 2 hrs 15 min. But again, I had absolutely no idea what I was at anyways. For all I knew I could have been at 3 hours already!

At least I'm still smiling!

Well, I crossed the finish line with an official time of 2:14:36 ha! Now I just need to try and beat that for the next races! I actually really liked the half marathon, more so than the 10k. It’s a nice steady pace. I want to do a few more before trying the full marathon. I have a feeling it’ll be a whole other story when the California sun is beaming on my for 2 hours.

pushing through those hills

Virginia - a friend I ran with - crossed the finish line at the same time as me! It was nice to have someone there the whole time

So what’s next? Well since I am the new Ambassador for the LA Rock n Roll Half Marathon, I’ll be getting people excited for that race in October and most likely running it myself! I also want to do some Mud Runs. They sound like so much fun. Basically you run through a muddy obstacle course over 3 miles usually.

I also want to try and work on my stats:

Gotta work on that pace!

Categories: LA Journey, Runner's High | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Coco-Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or EVOO as some call it is one of the best cooking oils ever. They can get quite pricey if you are looking for the best quality EVOO.

Good news for the young, poor, fresh out of college people there’s another new big guy in town and his name is Coconut oil!

I got mine from Trader Joe's for $7 or something

When you buy coconut oil it comes in solid form in the jar but as soon as it is heated it because clear and liquid. I find it adds a little flavour to the veggies and tofu in stir fries.

Why is it so good?

  • Avoiding premature aging: contains antioxidants
  • Prevents heart disease: contains lauric acid which helps with cholesterol levels and high blood pressure
  • Weight loss: helps digestion, thyroid and enzyme system. It also increases the body’s metablism by removing stress of the pancreas!
  • Immune system: strengthens the immune system because it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid and capric acid that helps fight bacteria.
  • Liver and kidney: helps prevent liver and kidney diseases since the fatty acids are easily turned into energy and don’t sit in the digestive organs as long
  • Less calories! Yup, athletes and dieters like it because it contains less calories than other oils and it’s converted into energy really quickly as opposed to clogging your heart and arteries!
I found an article on the benefits of coconut oil online. Check it out here, to read more about it.
Categories: What's Cookin' Good Lookin'? | Leave a comment

Homemade Iced Tea

It’s sooo simple! Not only can you have as much as you want, but you can also save tons of money. Think about it, summer is coming and you’re going to still want your caffeine fix in the morning but won’t really want a hot coffee, right? Other good news is that tea doesn’t have any calories…hello beach/pool season! I rest my case, you need this.

It's backwards because it was taken on my webcam!

What you need:

  • Glass pitcher. Make sure it’s not plastic because you need to put boiling water in it.
  • Your favourite tea, already in bags. You can do full leaf but I haven’t tested it out yet.
  • Boiling water
What to do:
  • Boil enough water to fill the pitcher
  • Add 2-3 tea bags to the pitcher depending how strong you want it. Ideally cut the tags off the bags but make sure not to pierce them.
  • Pour boiling water into pitcher with tea bags
  • Add honey or sweetner if needed and stir
  • Let sit on counter at room temperature for an hour or so
  • Move pitcher in fridge and let sit for another few hour
  • Stir and serve!
I made a detox green tea blend with a bit of honey last week (as seen in picture) and it was so refreshing! Today I made an herbal blueberry iced tea that is deeeeelicious. I didn’t need to sweeten it at all. It’s full of antioxidants too!
The other thing I tried is using my french press (bodum) for my coffee in the morning and putting the leftover in the fridge. It turned out great and it keeps for a long time! I add some Almond milk because it’s low in calories and has a nice taste too it. My very own iced coffee! Seriously, that saves me time and money in the morning 🙂
Give it a shot!
Categories: What's Cookin' Good Lookin'? | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gershwin and the Mountbatten-Windsor

As sad as I am that Prince William did not choose me to be part of his royal family, I am relieved that I did not have to change my name to Mountbatten-Windsor. Gabrielle Mountbatten-Windsor. Not sure how I feel about that.

I do look good in that carriage though

On another note, last night my friend Corina and I went to see a wonderful musical play at the Pasadena Playhouse. Gershwin Alone was a classic yet funny piece. We were indeed the youngest people in the crowd, but laughed just as hard as everyone else. You may be wondering how we ended up at this play in the first place. Well, my friends, it’s all thanks to my charm. Just kidding. Actually, at lululemon we have these complimentary classes every Sunday morning and I was working during 2 of them this past month. I was getting people to sign the waivers when an older gentleman (in his 80s I would say) named Doyle came to sign up! He was there for our bootcamp class and he stayed for the whole thing! I kept checking in on him to make sure he was doing ok and we had a good chat.

Later that week he came back in the store and wanted to see if I had any interest in plays or had ever been the the Pasadena Playhouse. As a matter of fact I loved plays but had never been to any around here. He is retired now but happened to still be involved with the Pasadena Playhouse and would like to offer me a set of tickets to the Gershwin Alone piece! I was so pleased but wasn’t sure why he wanted me to have them in the first place. He simply said: “You were just so nice and genuine during the fitness classes. I appreciated your help and it’s nice to see young people interested in plays these days. Since you have never been, I would like to give you the chance to go, bring whoever you want!”. Um WOW! So there I was with 2 orchestra level tickets to the greatly-reviewed Gershwin Alone.

The tiny theatre wasn’t completely full so we got bumped up even closer to the stage! What a treat 🙂 Thank you Doyle!

The last 30-40 minutes of the play (which only has one actor in it) invites the audience to sing along to some of the Gershwin songs while the actor plays the piano for us. Anyways, the whole play will be aired on the radio starting this MONDAY all across the world. If you’re driving in the car start channel surfing to see if you could catch some of the songs!

We had quite a laugh last night as one man in the audience stood up to sing along. He had a very good voice and the actor asked him what he did for a living. The man answered: “I’m a singing mortician!”. The crowd went wild and laughed so hard!

Perfect end to my day off! Oh and I had spent the morning by the pool in Playa Vista followed by a trip to the South Pasadena Farmer’s Market. Great sunny day off!

Categories: The little things in life | 2 Comments

The Bar with No Name

Note: When planning on driving the 7 hours from Los Angeles to San Francisco, remember to bring a lot of air fresheners. The reason being, if you venture our through Highway 5, you will sadly encounter a bunch of slaughter houses. The sight is not only a sad one to see, but the smell is horrendous. On the plus side, it is the fastest route there.

Rolling hills of California

We drove through mountains and vineyards and finally flat land before arriving to the beautiful city of Petaluma where cousin Cathy, Jordan and Isaac live. Cute little town. Kayla and I went to check out a local bar called Andresen (yes it was spelled that way) and what an interesting place we discovered.

The waitress was the best part. She fit right in!

Dead animals on the wall included but were not limited to the following: buffalo, crocodile, wild cat, goat, and moose

The next day we visited Petaluma with my cousins and then hit the road to San Francisco. Our first activity was to take the ferry to Sausalito where we stopped in The No Name Bar for a beer. The cool part was that there was a live jazz band in this tiny dimly lit bar. The not-so-cool part was that their patio was an all smokers patio and the waitress was just dreadful. It had character though! One woman fell asleep to the music, but we enjoyed it.

The rest of our trip was great. We walked around the Wharf, Ghiradelli Square, put our feet in the water, rode the Cable cars and event made friends from Australia and France. Cathy suggested we try a little bar called Owl Tree right around the corner from our hotel. It was great! Modern yet small and cozy. The bartender spoke french and was from Poland. We met 2 guys from France that were driving around San Fran, LA and Vegas on a little North American trip. They invited us to go visit if we ever go to France.

It’s definitely a little chiller up in San Fran, but we were so lucky to have sun the entire weekend.

We stopped at a beach in Santa Barbara on the way back just to enjoy the ocean. Kayla got creative with her pictures and they turned out pretty cool!

When I transform into an avatar

Cool lighting at this time

Pacific Ocean!

Dipping my toes

Free!

I tried a new method of uploading photos but haven’t quite mastered it yet. There are a lot of duplicates on here, oh well!

Yet another successful trip 🙂

Categories: The little things in life | Leave a comment

Oh, so money doesn’t grow on trees?

Alright so life is expensive. End of story.

That being said, I just rented a new apartment that will most likely consume all of my disposable income for the next little while. But that’s ok, cause it’s a dream come true. I’ll get to decorate however I want, have my mini garden, wake up to my own stuff in the kitchen and, of course, have Pearl in my own apartment.

My grandparents have been amazing with keeping her in Mars while I am out in California trying to figure my life out. I even got to skype with them and Pearl last week! Apparently she had a freakout when they brought her to the groomers and tried to blow dry her after the bath. We’ll work on that Pearl!

Grandma and Pearl playing one of their many fun games!

Mabel the Malibu is still going strong! Now that I am half way through the process of getting my California license, Mabel and I are planning a big road trip to San Francisco to visit my cousins this weekend! Even better, my friend Kayla flies in tonight for the week and managed to get us a free hotel room for the weekend through her work.

Kayla and I in Lennoxville like 5 years ago...ready to be reunited!

Cousin Cathy, Jordan and 4 year old Isaac will be greeting us Saturday night and hopefully joining us for some fun outings around San Francisco. I’m expecting it to take 6-7 hours to get there if all goes well. However, I am notorious for getting lost, but my trusted GPS should get us there fast.

I must write a brief note about the lady at the DMV today. Dear lord. What a specimen! We would have to hand our completed written driving tests to her and she sat there correcting them. When she was done she would either say “you passed, go to window 2”, or she would yell: “YOU DID NOT PASS GO BACK AND STUDY!”. Lucky me I got the yelling the first time and then quickly lined up again to re-write the test and passed. Phew.

She was 10 times worse than this!

Oh California, you will never get boring!

Categories: The little things in life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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