Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2013: A Year In Review

So, it seems that the post back in September was what could be best described as a "false alarm" or maybe I was being a "tease"? Same same. Anyway, I don't want to start this post off with some empty promise that I'll write you all the time. What I do want to do is say thank you to the friends who've taken the time to say, "Hey Kyla, your blog? What's happened?" It makes me feel like a big deal.

I started this back in 2012 as a way to 1) publish the creations and 2) use it as an outlet during a really crappy time in my life. We aren't here to dwell on that, but I do want to give a big fist pump and a big EFF YEAH! Life is pretty sweet and the gratitude I feel almost daily (except yesterday in traffic) is because of the perspective that my series of not great experiences gave me. So yes, FIST PUMP.

Now, to the topic at hand. A year in review.. Sure, a few weeks early since there is still potential for 2013 to impress me with a few more sweet things, but let's hit the highlights:

1) February - Phoenix, Las Vegas, Quitting my job
I got on a plane on February 1st and flew down for my annual golf/grandpa trip. I got on that plane knowing I was going to make some seriously big changes in my life - letting go of a relationship that didn't serve me anymore and quitting a job (again, sigh*) to leave to a new one. Exciting times! I spent 6 glorious days in the 55+ community with my grandpa golfing, napping and eating. This prepped me for Vegas. I knew Vegas was going to be fun but it was WAY more fun than I expected. I managed to reunite with some old friends and even make a couple new ones! It was FANTASTIC. I even stayed an extra day, yeah...called Westjet, called work and stayed an extra day to party on! The day I got back, I It was awesome. The crying boss, not so awesome. Quitting, awesome. THEN, I had about 3 weeks off. Funemployment treated me well!
At LV Rugby 7s with a Mount - Me

2) March - New Job
Started a new gig. I love it. I have one of the best, most cohesive teams I've ever been a part of. 85% of the time, I'm excited to go to work. I'm learning a ton. I am exactly where I wanted to get to. The path that got me here wasn't what I had envisioned but the journey is the fun, right?

3) August - San Fran!
My first music festival ever! It was such a good time! 8 girls, rented a house in San Fran. We saw some sweet bands and drank some sweet drinks! San Francisco is a great city! I'd love to go back with more time.
Outside Lands Music Festival!

4) My summer fling.
This isn't what you're thinking. You're thinking I fell madly in love, right? Well, I did...kind of. Julie Cook came into my life like a Wrecking Ball (enter Miley). Actually, she's been around since I was 12. Jana, my Everything Friend/BFF, is her older sister so I've seen a lot of Julie through the years, we just didn't know we had so much in common!! We hiked, biked, drank, laughed, basically we were connected at the hip for the entire summer and it was glorious. It was exactly what I needed this summer. She left me in September to pursue an MBA. Not only is she a beauty, she's brains too. Package deal if you will. Julie, you're amazing! I love you. I am so freakin' proud of you. She's back for Christmas and it makes me so incredibly happy!
Reunited for Christmas!

5) Road bike
OMG. I was a part of a bike club. It was awesome. My friend (met in Vegas) Andrew and I bought road bikes. Then we rode them with Julie. I'm hooked. I love, love, love road biking. I just got back from Palm Springs and spent 2 of my 4 days there biking. I am at spin class ALL the time now. I just want the snow to melt so I can bike. Serious. NOW.

6) On Tour With Grandpa
Over the last couple of years, my grandpa took to mentioning a desire to see the red leaves out east. After hearing this a couple of times, I proposed we go. So, in May... I booked Gramps and I some flights and some hotels. We headed to Quebec City and Ottawa in October for 8 days. I had such a great time with him! I made a lot of miles in our little red car which I named Cosmopolitan Cherry in honor of Granpda's "cosmopolitan" lifestyle he led for the 8 days. He recited The Cremation of Sam McGee at the dinner table, told me that he is "exactly where he is supposed to be" and introduced me to the saying "gayer than a picnic basket." I love that man. He's so dear to my heart. I thank my dad every single day for making sure we kept ties to him. Thank you pa.
Gramps posing in Algonquin Park, ON

7) Shayna
She would kill me to know I've posted ANYTHING about her here so I'll keep it short. I wasn't sure how our relationship would develop but it's come along wonderfully. She wrote me one of the most thoughtful cards ever for my 30th birthday. She truly is one of my best friends even if she drives me nuts. I'd lay in front of a train for her.

8) 30!!
Yes, 30. WOW. WOW. WOW. If I could tell you about the best birthday EVER... My 16th comes to mind, I remember my 26th being good and I remember my 27th being pretty wicked but 30 has out done them all. This is thanks to my overly generous friends. I celebrated this one for a MONTH (or more). I won't get into the details but I was spoiled by so many people. It blew my mind over and over.

9) Triathlon #1
I got peer pressured into this. I am glad I did. I had so much fun! I did this with Julie and Andrew. I hated the swim though not as bad as I had expected..... We competed in the pouring rain. It made us all feel like a bunch of bad asses. Andrew and I were drinking beer with Jon and missed Julie's finish but I think she probably did great. Andrew killed it. And well, let me brag for a minute, I did too. I ran my fastest timed 5K around 25 minutes. I will do this again.
Pre-Triathlon. Ready to go!

10) School! Got my HR Certificate done. Now what? I'm thinking on it. Stay Tuned.

11) Christmas in November at Jasper Park Lodge. Remember how I just said I was spoiled for 30. Yeah. BIG TIME. My Aunt Robin bought me this for my 30th! We spent the weekend in Jasper watching celebrity chefs, eating, drinking and spending time together. Kirby and I (along with Ashley) went out in Jasper one night and had a great time! I laughed so much. I love all those people. I would definitely love to go to this again! Worth it.

12) Palm Springs
Just got back on Monday. I spent a few days down there with my friend Stacy Radass. She's one of my besties fo sho. We ate some AMAZING meals. If ever you get to Palm Springs, go to Workshop Kitchen & Bar, and Cheeky's and make sure to get yourself some authentic Mexican. We road biked a couple days and hiked Painted Canyon one of the days and lazed about one of the days. All in all - excellent! We had bailey's lattes every day. I think that we should have one of those ALL the time. Maybe tomorrow? ha.
Hiking Painted Canyon

I'm going to be an auntie!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Raina is pregnant. I'm really happy for her and really excited. I'm looking forward to this. June is the big month.I haven't seen her yet but I imagine she'll be one of those pregnant babes. You know, the ones that just have a belly and that are all glowy and cute.  Also, Ceara was one of these people (she had her baby in November, baby Meikenna). Pregnancy and motherhood looks incredibly good on this woman - side note.

14) Brunches
The ladies brunch continued on through 2013! 2 years strong ladies! 2nd Annual Cookie Exchange had 12 participants and we raised $365 for our Adopt a Family this year. You ladies rock! Can't wait for Wine and Cheese in February.

Ok wow - that got really long! I didn't even touch on everything! ROCK ON 2013!!! WOO! Thanks for reading! Next post, I promise I'll get some food recipes on here. PROMISE.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

To All The Moms

PEEPS! I'm back, kinda. I'm starting off the lazy way. I'm going to put up something I wrote for all the mamas in my life back in March. Why I never did publish this, I do not know! Read it and enjoy it. Every word still stands true though the baby count has increased with a few more on the way! I'm looking forward to being an observer and sometimes participant of it! 

Feels good to be back!!


Happy Sunday to my Happy 13 Followers and whoever else endeavors to read this latest post on this very snowy Sunday afternoon! 

So, I would like to write a post on a little subject that I actually know nothing about...and I mean nothing. I'm going to write it as an observer and someone who has been absolutely blown away by the recent events in her friend's lives. It's some pretty cool shit. I'm going to write about moms and I'm going to write about new moms. 

I've been on Baby Tour 2013 since I became happily and purposely unemployed. Right now, the large majority of my friends are off during the day and hey, guess what!? So am I! This means I've had the pleasure of a whole shit ton of baby cuddles and time with my friends who have recently become parents. The babies in my life are ranging from 1 month old all the way up to the ripe age of 3 years (I think!). I can count 7 people I know that have had a baby in 2012/2013 and those 7 people are people that I see and converse with regularly so I've got some of the inside scoop about what it is to be a mom. While it's no cake walk, it's pretty f*cking cool. I've become one of those people - yeah those....the person who's posted baby pictures all over Facebook because I'm so excited for and proud of the moms in my life!

I would like to tell everyone who will listen just how neato it has been to be around these mom and baby interactions and how cool it has been (although sometimes brings tears to my eyes) to hear about their experiences. I had no idea what women really went through to bring children into the world. I mean yes - I've heard the odd story here and there....and obviously haven't experienced it myself, but my friends have bared all the details of what they've experienced to have these little bundles of joy and all I have to say is WOW. It's amazing. You can carry something around for 9 months, sustain a life inside of you and then after, you can even feed it with your body. You know it's every cry, it's every sound, you know when it's waking up from a nap before it's actually cried, you know how it likes it's milk, what sucky it likes best, how it likes clothes on or no clothes on, how it likes to be swaddled for naps, where it likes to sleep, what time of day it will need to eat, how to calm it down when it's upset, and the list goes on and the list will only get longer the longer this little person is alive. You moms work hard. You guys put a hard day in for these little guys. And I am so incredibly proud of every single one of you. The amount of love and amount of joy I see in each one of you when you're with your child makes my heart sing with happiness for all of you! I love all you moms out there - even the ones who've raised us and are becoming grandmas. I've been blessed to have been provided with some really special and strong women in my life who have not only raised some pretty f*cking cool kids, they've also become role models (whether they know it or not) to me. Some of these women I speak of have welcomed me into their homes and fed me like one of their own, given me cough medicine when I've been sick, hugged me when I've been upset and have always, no matter the situation, provided me unwavering support and encouragement. You guys are the best! I'm so grateful. So in short - MOMS, YOU ROCK! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Mount-Mes & Other Recent Happenings

Well, this is where I open with another thousand apologies for not writing because I know you're all hanging out just waiting on my next post. Yeah...right! I don't even have a good excuse because I'm unemployed right now. Yeah, no job. That's right. What a bum. Kidding, kinda. I don't have a job again until March 4th and it's awesome. Remember in my last post back in January where I was bragging about big news... Yes, this is it! NEW JOB. I'm really excited about it because at first impressions - it's everything I want. The manager has made a great impression, it's the right size of organization and well, I get to earn a little extra cash and get a few extra days off. ALL WINNING, ALL THE TIME. 

Arizona Sunrise
Ok - so back to playing catch up.... I am pretty sure I am still on a holiday induced high and I've been home for approximately 2 weeks now. I don't even know how that happens, but it did and it does. My holidays started with accepting a sweet job offer, shortly thereafter, I boarded a plane and spent 6 glorious days in the Phoenix area golfing and relaxing with my grandpa. My grandpa is seriously the best. We golfed, ate, golfed, ate, slept... I got him turned onto Nutella (he even ate it out of the jar with a spoon), we drank Blackberry Sangria, Moscato wine, Bahama Mamas, had a few food successes, some failures (if anyone ever suggests going to the Golden Corral, for the love of god, refuse - BUFFET HELL IN AMERICA) and just a general good time. Now, I'd like to expand further on why I think my grandpa is awesome outside of the fact that we have some of the same DNA. He is another person in my life who has taught me that life is really all about attitude. He always tells me, "Life is choices." He's really right. Not to get on my high horse, but sometimes it appears that people have a sense of entitlement to happiness, like it's just supposed to happen to everyone. But, really it's all about the lense through which you look at everything. As I've probably shared before, "Change your perspective, change your world." And well, it's a choice to change perspective. I admit, not an easy one, but seriously - take out those rose colored glasses and put them on once in a while! I also loved that we were driving down the road, and out of no where - he just announces that life is good. It just melted my heart. I love my visits with my grandpa - nothing is forced. We can talk or we can not talk - silence is ok between us and there is just a feeling of general acceptance and gratitude of our relationship. So, grandpa if you ever read this - I love you tons! Looking so forward to our next visit! I also would like to say thanks to my dad for paving this relationship with us. He always encouraged visits with grandpa - that was a good move! Oh and golf - it's actually improving! I really like it and when I get really frustrated and swear (yes, sometimes in front of grandpa) I feel like a real golfer!

Now, vacation re-cap PART 2. After relaxing to the max in Phoenix, I boarded yet another plane and flew to Vegas and met up with a ridiculously awesome group of people for some rugby related fun! Lisa and I were lucky enough to join up with a rugby team from Grande Prairie - got a few games in. I was so, so, so excited to play again and even more excited when I got a bloody nose, for some reason...I get satisfaction out of getting beat up. Sick, I know! And I don't mean sick cool. After we played, we watched a whole lot of 7s rugby at the USA 7s. That too, AMAZING. Now, what really made this whole entire trip was the group I was with. You get a good group of people in an already very fun place and it's an explosion of fun, laughter and pure ridiculousness all the time. We were all cranked to the max the whole time! 7 of us girls dressed up as Mounties (AKA Mount-Mes) and the costumes were a hit! I will give Kendra full credit for coming up with this idea. While I only rocked my sweet outfit for 1 day, the girls committed to being on the force for 3 days. Yes, for 3 days they wore mountie hats, moustaches and their mountie issued t-shirts! So fun. Now, you're probably going to ask if I saw anything - well.... if you count the inside of several casinos, Freemont Street, a stadium, some awesome rugby, funny costumes, mucho laughter, and 'The Strip' a good meal at the Bellagio, and a ride on the New York New York rollercoaster...then yes...otherwise - no. This wasn't your typical sort of Vegas vacation. I was there to party and there to play and watch rugby. Also, I was suppose to leave on Sunday, but after realizing every other person was leaving on Monday - I changed my flight for a mere $30 and stayed an extra day. WORTH IT! I came home on Monday, beat up and poor but so happy! Then, I got to go to work the next day and quit my job! It was pretty awesome!

Game Time Intermission
Members of the Force

So, now thanks to the Vegas vacation of the year - I've been seriously considering coming out of rugby retirement. I have gone to a couple practices and feel super rusty but have so much fun and if the old knees hold up through indoor and the start of outdoor practices - I'm going to give things a go! I am pretty excited. I miss the team thing so bad. Like really, really, really bad.

Spa Day!
It's the year of 30th birthdays! Mine as well...but not for several months - this will give you all time to plan your presents for me. Jana is the first of my close friends to turn Dirty 30 so Dale and I worked on a birthday scheme to knock her socks off! I showed up at her house on last Saturday morning unannounced and whisked her off to the spa for the day. There, we had pedicures, manicures and massages and relaxed in the sauna and hot tub. It was SWEET! We decided that a yearly spa treatment would become necessary in maintaining our friendship. After our day of beauty, Jana and I went back to her place where Dale had a party set up for her! She had no idea! It was so cool! I think a good time was had by all. I did my best to stay up until midnight - I was still suffering from Vegas. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY EVERYTHING FRIEND! I love you!! xoxoxoxoxo

Another cool thing I did last weekend - first backcountry trip! My dear friend Stacy aka Radass aka Dr.Radics invited me to cross-country ski last week! It was really beautiful! We went out to Lake O'Hara. The ski in was really hard work - pretty much all uphill for 13 km. Everything was great until about 8 km in when I started getting blisters. I grinned through it and we made it safely to the hut! The hut was SO COOL. It had everything you needed. We shared it with 2  other families. Stacy even brought cake mix and made her friend a backcountry birthday cake! Neat, right!? We did puzzles, played some games and went to bed super early! The ski out was all downhill thankfully because my blister was unbearable! Stacy had a really generous friend who offered her boots to me so I could ski out otherwise I was hiking it. Stacy and I both agreed it was a nice time and that we'd both rather hike it than ski it! Perhaps this summer! :)

Handwritten Fortunes!
Ok - food time! Quarterly Sunday Brunch was held yesterday! It has been 1 year since we instated these brunches and they've been super successful!!! The group always ends up between about 7 up to about 15 and you never know who will show up and never know what people will show up with. My friends have been bragging about these brunches so much that they've even started inviting their friends! I seriously love it. This would be one reason I'd like a new house - hosting guests! The theme this time was countries  Once again, the ladies outdid themselves! We ate the following:

  • Indian Puffed Rice
  • Indian Rice Pudding
  • Shredded Pork Tacos
  • Hungarian Crepes
  • Scones with Jam
  • Tim Horton's Coffee
  • Swedish Meatballs
  • Mini Donuts
  • And the winner... Fortune Cookies with Handwritten Fortunes!!
Again, due to pure laziness at this time - I have no recipes to post but I have created the following: 
  • White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies (with no brown sugar so the cookies look funny and I hate it)
  • Mini Donuts - Mexican Chocolate and Pumpkin Spice
  • Shredded Pork Tacos

And...I think that's it. There's been a lot of salads and a lot of salmon in an effort to clean myself up!

Apologies for this poorly written entry - I'm exhausted today. I had my first Monday night class, and feel like I haven't been sleeping enough! I promise on the next post - you'll get a recipe out of me! I've got a request for cookies in exchange for some workout programming. GOOD DEAL if you ask me! :)

Till then.... TTYL! xo

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Foodie Penpal January!

What a failed blogger. Geezus Kyla, where's the committment!? Here's the deal...the kitchen is still hot as ever and going strong but I've been so freakin' high strung with stress and excitement that I can't sit down long enough to write anything that is worth reading. But, for you guys - I'm going to try!

So first things first, its the end of January. DUH. It's awesome though and here's why:
1) My cousin had her baby last night. We have a new little baby to the family! He was born at 11:04pm and named Cohen. He's a beauty! OMGSOEXCITEDTOMEETHIM.
2) I leave tomorrow for 10 days. I'm headed to Phoenix to embarrass my grandpa with my lack of golf skills on the courses for 6 days and then I'm flying to Vegas where I'm meeting a crew of fantastic ladies and some other randos that I know to play rugby and watch some rugby for 4 days! I hope I come home alive. I know I'll come home pickled and probably go on a cleanse. YESSSSSSS. I have my mountie costume all packed. No, I didn't stutter. Mountie costume. I'm Canadian - it makes sense.
3) BIG CHANGE POST VACATION but can't let the cat out the bag yet. I have to leave you all in suspense and I'm not sorry.

OK, I've done a lot of cooking lately. I've been more into the cooking than baking because I find I eat my baking supplies too much. But more than that - I'm just finding the experimentation of spices and such so exciting! What's been on the menu!?
1) Remember those Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs?'s picture of them.

2) They are accompanied by mashed cauliflower. Sounds gross right? It isn't. Just make it. All you do is cook some cauliflower, put it in a food processor, add some butter and salt and pepper and it tastes like mashed potatoes. No, not feeding you a mouth full of shit. Promise. Make them. They aren't shit.
3) Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs from the same recipe book which I'm loving more and more and more.
4) A whole chicken. Yes, a whole one. Fcuk, it was good! So good in fact, that I only got one picture of it's thigh. Also followed from this book. And also took tips from J. Bath. She told me to make sure to rub the spices under the skin, massage your chicken and give him a name. I named mine Randy and no, I didn't feel bad eating it after I gave him a more human element.

5) Failed Cinnamon Buns. I blame the yeast I bought from Superstore. I spent 2.5 hours making 2 different batches of these f*ckers and neither turned out and they kept me up until 1am. They were about 10 pounds each, not at all light and fluffy. I suck. So, in an effort salvage these, I ate the sugar and pecan glaze. It was good but karma made me burn my mouth with it and it hurt for 2 days. But, let's remember that time they turned out! Oh and speaking of fails - check this girl out. She is devoted to posting her failed pintrest projects!

6) Bison and Butternut Squash Chili, again...from this book (enough already, right!?)
7) Coconut crusted chicken fingers (egg free, grain free, dairy free) for my friend Rebekah! She came over to rub me in oil (yes, for real) - a massage you creeps....and I fed her. It was nice!
8) Eggs Benedict - one time with smoked salmon for J Bath and I. A few times with bacon. All times delicious. Well wait, except for the time with J Bath because I poured the butter too fast and the Hollandaise was like water instead but still tasted like Hollandaise! SO GOOD. I'm obsessed.

And now, on to the title of this post! My foodie penpal also has a blog that you can go and check out here! My January Foodie Penpal is named Jo and she lives in BC. Sadly I didn't get a picture of my package because I opened it at my Aunt and Uncle's farm and then ate it all. But, Jo was lovely and sent me the following:
  • Honey
  • Dried Fruit - this is where Kirby and I learned a life lesson. Dried Plums = Prunes. TMI?
  • A piece of jade to promote good health
  • Pocket calendar
Thank you Jo! I have to take a break from the Feb penpal since I won't be around! But I'll be back at it. Who doesn't love getting a package!!!?? And a surprise at that. Want to know what I sent? Visit here!

Still haven't got your FOODIE PENPAL!? Get on it. Seriously.

OK check you guys later!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy Belated New Year To My Peeps

Holy Hell! Ok, sorrysorrysorry! Miss me? Hate me? It's ok to do both you know. I've been slacking and have no real explanation for you guys. Christmas was wonderful, thanks for asking. I skied for 3 days of it - 1 day at Louise and 2 days at Kicking Horse. Each day was wonderfully awesome including the day I punched myself in the face while sliding feet first on my belly down a double black. Don't worry - I'm ok! I didn't do the traditional Christmas thing this year - I headed out to Banff with my little sister and her mama. We ate a lot, hot tubbed, went for some good dinners, skied and just generally relaxed. It was a nice change of pace though I did miss my Aunt, Uncle and cousins a shit ton! Then, New Years - rang in at the Rondo Motel in Golden. That place is wicked! $75/night and they have a hot tub they let you drink in! WINNER. Skiing was great, and the company was great! I'd say it was one of the best New Year's Eves I've ever had! YAY to starting the year off right. And to think that my hotel mates and I were almost headed to bed at 12:01am. Pffffttt.... 4am, what!? haha. Work on January 2nd was a tough day, as I imagine it was for many! Big thank you to Jackie for inviting me!!! I had a blast!

So, yes....this is still a food blog. And yes, I still cook food. I made a lot of it this weekend, none of which I'm going to post here because I forgot pictures. But for the sake of bragging, here is what I whipped up: Frittata, Butter Chicken (from scratch...none of that bottled shit), Banana Brownies, Banana Muffins, Meatloaf, Chili...and I think that's it!

Now for recipe time:
Bacon Wrapped Smoky Chicken Thighs from Practical Paleo
4 chicken thighs
8 pieces of bacon
2 teaspoons Smoky Spice Blend, also from the same book (see below)
To make the spice blend, this makes about 5 tablespoons
1 tbsp chipotle powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp onion powder (I only had garlic powder and it was fine)
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp pepper
Shake it all up!

Sprinkle your chicken with 1 tsp of the spice blend. Wrap the bacon (2 pieces per thigh) around the chicken thigh. Sprinkle the top of the bacon wrapped chicken with the spice blend. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes. EAT! They are really good! I promise.

I served them with green beans and mashed cauliflower that had lots of butter so they tasted like potatoes. Again, I suck because there is no picture. I trust you all have great imaginations!

Also, just in case you're wondering, I've knocked a couple more places off the restaurant list! Want to know where?? Eagle's Eye - it's at the top of Kicking Horse Mountain! Talk about a wicked view! They also serve delicious cold beer and make pretty coffees. Also, finally hit Vin Room for some delicious wine, some lobster nachos, arctic char and house made goat cheese - you should go there too! Just sayin'!

Next time I'll do better and provide pictures and I'll stop slacking! Love you all! Hope you all had a fabulous holiday! WELCOME TO 2013!!!! xo Oh and I'm so sore I can barely move.... I didn't know slacking through December and having shortbread for dinner could wreak such havoc - a sign of age I guess! haha