just let yourself go

February 7th, 2012 Posted in vancouver, yoga | 1 Comment »

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to get back into Yoga. It’s something I used to love & I’ve missed it. In Vancouver, there is yoga EVERYWHERE – hundreds of studios to pick from, all offering pretty good deals for newcomers. Yoga in general can be quite expensive (a drop in class is about $20) but you can sign up for a membership and usually get discounts. Most have 2 week/1 month unlimited class offers for people who are looking to join the studio so this what I’ve opted for this month.

English Bay, Vancouver by moi

(I just want to point out that I was a bit slow in January kicking my resolutions into action but better late than never, right?)

I’ve joined Semperviva Yoga and I only had to pay $48 (incl. tax) for 30 days of all you can eat Yoga classes! So far I’ve only done 2 so not much to write home about yet, but the two I’ve done I have loved.

Yesterday was an evening Hatha class which is my preferred yoga practice as it involves a lot of stretching, sun salutations and also incorporates meditation & relaxation. You move through the poses at a nice pace without it being really tough like Ashtanga. The temperature of the room is kept pretty normal too (unlike Bikram/hot Yoga, which scares the crap out of me!).

This evening was Kundalini yoga. I hadn’t read up on what kind of class it was so I didn’t really know what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised! It’s described as a physical, mental and spiritual discipline for developing strength, awareness, character, and consciousness. It was an awesome class. As well as doing chants and yoga posture sets we also (wait for it) danced around the room like crazy people to a Tom Jones version of “Kiss”! I wasn’t prepared for this at all, but there was a lot of dancing with each other, screeching, singing etc. There was such a great energy in the room and you could sense that everyone really lets loose at this class. The woman on the mat next to mine (who was my Mom’s age) turned to me and said “what a great way to spend a Monday night” and she was right! I felt really relaxed but surprisingly I got such a good workout too-my legs are definitely going to be aching tomorrow so I think I’ll have to opt for a Yin class which is focused on meditation.

I can definitely take things, and myself too seriously sometimes (I think most of us can) and it’s nice to just have fun, lose all inhibitions, be happy and dance around a hot room with 80 sweaty strangers to Tom Jones

Ideally I would love to be able to do Yoga every day for the next 30 days but I’m not sure if that’s realistic. It’s something to aim for anyway. Before February is out I want to have gone to an early morning Yoga class (maybe even before work) and I also want to do one Bikram class. Starting a new routine…trying new things…enjoying things I already do…spending time/keeping in regular contact with the people who are important to me – these are some aims for the month ahead.

Amers

x

 

oh cone-ada…

January 17th, 2012 Posted in canada, food, vancouver | No Comments »

…our home & native land!

Ben & Jerry's "Oh Cone-Ada"

le marché st. george {i’m in love}

January 17th, 2012 Posted in restaurants, vancouver, winter | No Comments »
Le Marché St. George

Le Marché St. George via coffeefoodies.com

As I mentioned, the highlight of my weekend was meeting the girls for tea. This wasn’t any ordinary tea date, it was one that was set in a place I can only describe as a hidden gem of Vancouver. Vancouver is full of chain coffee shops-there are about 5 Starbucks within a 1 mile radius of my house! It’s really exciting to discover somewhere like this. In my opinion, Le Marché St. George is perfection. It is a breath of fresh air.

The cafe is located on St George St/28th Street in East Vancouver. This area is totally residential which makes Le Marché St. George even more unique as there is nothing else like it nearby. The wooden facade is weather beaten, but this only adds to it’s charm! Inside is a rustic cafe/market shop that stocks items such as Eiffel Tower shaped pasta, squid ink pasta, teas etc.

Inside

Inside (via Amers)

There are only really 3 tables inside, but it wasn’t very busy so we were able to occupy ours for a couple of hours-eating, drinking tea & chatting. I ordered two macaroons-raspberry/lemon & pistachio. The woman who makes them was delivering them just as we arrived, so we hit the jackpot! Any earlier and we would have missed them. I had Earl Grey to start with-one of my favourite teas. As with most cafes of this style, the cups & saucers were mismatched and antique. I love this idea, and I have a collection of these types of cups at home. There is something a bit special & elegant about drinking tea from a china teacup & saucer!

Tea

Teacups (via Amers)

We sat and chatted, and ordered more tea (my 2nd round was Jasmine pearl tea). It was very fragrant & floral which I don’t usually like, but I enjoyed this. (not as much as the Early Grey though). They also serve savory food-quiche & flat breads etc. which I will definitely try next time. Eventually the sun had set, it was freezing outside and we all realized we would have to leave our Parisienne hideout and return to Sunday night reality! I am so happy to have discovered this place. It is really exciting to know that there are places like this, waiting to be discovered in Vancouver. Sometimes I feel like there are hardly any quaint places, or a cool, grimy underbelly here but this just reaffirms my belief that there is, you just need to go that extra bit further to seek it out.

Darkness falls

via Amers

I will definitely be returning to Le Marché St. George for tea & macaroons very soon-sounds delightful!

http://www.marchestgeorge.com/

Amers

x

and then came the snow

January 17th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Listening to: The Black Keys

I was beginning to think I’d never see it in Vancouver, and then came the snow! It was very unexpected, and very welcome. Luckily I live within walking distance of my job so I can make it there easily without being snowed in. People were cursing me in work today for wishing snow upon the city, but whatever. I love it!

Snow!

Snow!

The weekend was pretty relaxing/lazy. Friday was taken up with the excitement of getting a Coachella ticket! 🙂 🙂 🙂 It’s a music festival in Palm Springs in April-93 days! I’ve wanted to go for the last 3 years or so, it would really be a pity not to go while I’m over in these parts! I need to get my saving pants on because it’s going to be an expensive trip. I’m really looking forward to it but we have a lot to organize-flights, accommodation, where we go after the festival-since we’re going to be travelling to Palm Springs we were thinking of maybe doing a few nights in LA, San Diego and then back to Vancouver. I’m excited, but stressed about how much it’s all going to cost!

The snow came on Friday night and since then it’s kind of melted, snowed again, melted snowed again. It’s still pretty though! VERY COLD!

Downtown

Other than the excitement of snow, the rest of my weekend was pretty chilled. I skyped people at home which is always nice! Even though it’s Monday today, it feels like it should be mid week. I’m just in one of those moods at the moment.

Sunday was the highlight of my weekend, I went for tea with some girlfriends which is one of my favourite things to do-it reminds me of being at home.

I’ve had a lot of ideas and plans going through my head recently, I sometimes find it hard to harness my ideas and inspiration. This is definitely one of my flaws. I would really like to be able to use some of my ideas to do something worthwhile with my career, or even my spare time. This is something I need to work on…

Amers x

 

the river & the river bank

January 11th, 2012 Posted in vancouver | No Comments »

Feeling: mellow, hungry, sleepy

Listening to: Neil Young “Harvest Moon” (he’s Canadian, eh! dontchaknow)

 

Today was a good day! Work was busy, even though I slept terribly last night (woke up constantly and had nightmares!) I was up early and at my desk before 8am (a rarity), my housemate Carmel is back from her Christmas break so the house is bustling again! The work day flew by and then when I was leaving the office (it has no windows) the best part of the day happened. It took a few seconds for me to realize that IT WAS BRIGHT!!! It was bright until after 4.45pm. I couldn’t believe it. It completely crept up on me, and took me by surprise but I’m so happy! The dark, cold evenings can get very depressing so when you just have to contend with one of those elements it is easier to deal.

It was a beautiful, cold & clear day in Vancouver. Coming home from work over the Cambie bridge I could see the pink sky to my right where the sun had set-the sun sets here are pretty spectacular.

via fucoueda.com

Following new years (I’ll be doing a back post on Christmas & New Years) I have made some resolutions. One of which was to blog more often, which I’m hoping to stick to! Another one (which is a total cliche) is to try to improve my habits and lifestyle in order to feel healthier, look better & just improve my general well being. I used to be pretty conscious about the food I put into my body and I feel in the last few years I’ve really let that slip. You have to be so careful these days when you’re buying anything because you never know what ingredients are in some things! <rant> An example of this is Danone yogurts-I checked the ingredients of their Activia yogurts and they contain gelatine! I’m no yogurt guru, but there is absolutely no reason to put gelatine in. None of my favourite yogurts (http://www.glenisk.com/ & http://liberteyogourt.com/ contain it, in fact they tend to only have a few ingredients and they are delicious! </rant>

Random yoga picture from Google

Anyway, I just really want to become more health conscious again and cut down on a lot of my unhealthy habits. One of the things I REALLY want to get back into is yoga. I’ve always loved it and after college I was pretty good as I was practicing regularly. Yoga here is a little expensive and since I’m on a budget, I’m seeking out free/cheap yoga classes! Lululemon  have free classes in their stores, and there’s one 5 minutes walk down the street from me. Tonight I went to a Meditative Yin Yoga class and loved it! It’s a practice I’ve never tried and I enjoyed it. It involves the normal stretching, but once in the positions you stay in them for longer periods of time and deepen your breathing. The teacher also had some kind of instrument that made a ringing noise. It’s really hard to explain, but it was like a big glass jar that he ran a wooden staff around the inside. It was really relaxing. I will be going back next week-I feel really mellow but also like I worked some muscles. I’ll keep you updated on my hunt for cheap/free classes! I talked to a woman at the end of class and she gave me some tips on other locations.

Sometimes after a tough week, or after a great week for that matter the universe has a way of whispering “psst, look around you”. There are a lot of amazing things in the world (pink sunset, nearly full moon a clear sky) and a lot of cool things I could be doing with the time I waste watching TV, on the Internet. I sometimes find it hard to see the wood for the trees, and I get a bit lost (everyone does, I’m sure). Today was a day that momentarily snapped me out of that. There are endless possibilities.

via weheartit.com

Stay cool.

Amers x

ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

December 11th, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

courtesy of weheartit.com

Feeling: In control. Inspired. Sunday.

Listening to: Johnny Cash “I See A Darkness”

Things have been changing in the life of Amers recently. One major thing is that I’ve moved house! (**if you’re not happy, change the things that are making you unhappy**) I’m no longer a resident of quirky East Van. I now reside just off Cambie Street, which I’ve come to discover is a pretty cool area. I’m living with 2 crazy Irish girls who are great fun! We’ve had a lot of laughs so far and I’ve only been here 2 weeks. I’m loving the area, it’s so close to work, so close to downtown and safe! Pretty much has everything. We’ve also had dry but cold weather here recently which makes everything better! I kind of fell in love with Vancouver this week. It’s a pretty cool city, and I’m really lucky to have the opportunity  to live here and have experiences like this. The world is such a big, exciting & mostly beautiful place. Being able to explore it, and live somewhere that isn’t my home is exciting . Yes, circumstances aren’t ideal at times-it’s expensive, I don’t feel I’m earning enough to live the way I’d like but this “life experience” is invaluable. Sometimes, I feel like a super hero. Though I know I’m not.

Big news-I’m heading back to Ireland for Christmas!! It was a bit of a last minute decision, but definitely the right one! I’m so excited to see my family and friends. It’s just a short trip-I’ll be there for a full 7 days. I think it’s the perfect amount of time because if I was there for longer I would possibly get a bit antsy to get back to Vancouver. I won’t know how I feel until I’m there as I’ve never been away for this long. I’m interested to see what it will be like. I know there will be LOTS of hugs. I’m looking forward  to the hugs.

One thing that I love about my little life in Vancouver is that it’s mine.

Amers

x

in my ears

October 25th, 2011 Posted in gigs, music | 1 Comment »

I’ve been listening to so much Radiohead recently. They’re a band that have always been up there as one of my favourites, but they kind of dropped off my radar for awhile-somewhere in between Kid A, Amnesiac & Hail To The Thief. I’m back in love. I’ve been listening to In Rainbows & King of Limbs almost on repeat. Love, Love LOVE so many songs off both albums. Their performance on SNL was pretty cool too-Lotus Flower was a bit dodgy vocally,  but Staircase was muchos better.  Radiohead Live From The Basement is my main blogging music! Sadly I’ve never seen them live-I had tickets, but I was in Thailand so had to sell them. FINGERS CROSSED they tour with King of Limbs.

"Bedroom Music" courtesy of weheartit.com

Ooh also, Mastodon have a new album out “The Hunter” and I’m going to see them live next weekend! Yay 🙂

Amers

x

the rosé & the prawn

October 25th, 2011 Posted in portland, restaurants, sushi | No Comments »

My last trip to Portland was about a month ago and it was filled with all the usual things I love about it-great company, delicious food & some (ok, maybe a little more than some) drinks. We went for sushi-no, let me rephrase that-we went for the BEST sushi I’ve ever eaten at http://zillasakehouse.com/. Unfortunately, I don’t really like saké, I don’t know enough about it and I’ve tried some that are just too strong for me. Zilla has a really impressive saké menu though! I instead opted for a teeny bopper, flavoured drink that was kind of like a Japanese Smirnoff Ice (I had asked for flavoured saké which I’ve seen on TV) but the waitress kind of fobbed me off with this. Anyway, the hamachi nigiri melted in my mouth like butter-sooo good.  The roll had really thinly sliced pieces of lemon in them-including the rind. This gave a powerful lemon flavor that was really fresh without being overpoweringly zesty!

Zilla Saké

During the trip we also ate a Bar Lola http://www.barlolo.com/ which is a really nice tapas restaurant. They have a really simple salad of really thinly sliced romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, croutons & a really tangy, lemony vinagerette. It’s so simple, but so delicious. I tried to recreate it when I got home but it wasn’t the same. They also have prawns (I don’t usually like prawns) but these prawns are drenched in garlicky, spicy oil & butter so I can’t resist have one. The star of the show for me this time was the wine I was drinking. I ordered a glass of rosé and when the waitress brought the glass to the table, I thought she’d gotten my order wrong. The rosé was a deep ruby colour! It was very pretty! After dinner we went to a bar nearby which was definitely my type of bar. It was a kind of dive bar,  that was playing music I was really into. The bar tender was really friendly and the drinks were cheap. They also had a photo booth! Definitely took advantage of that and have some funny snaps from later in the night.

I love eating out (if the food is good). It’s not something I’d like to do every night, but it’s definitely one of my favourite things to do. There are a few restaurants in Vancouver I really want to check out. Needless to say, I will fill you all in once I’ve been and eaten.

Amers

x

teen angst

October 24th, 2011 Posted in costumes, halloween, Uncategorized | No Comments »

As Halloween is fast approaching, I was searching the internet for costumes and I came across this-

 

My So-Called Life

 

My So-Called Life was one of my favourite TV shows growing up. I was in love with Jordan Catalano and just generally loved the show. I bought the box set last year and watched them repeatedly! Unfortunately, there are only 19 episodes as it got cancelled prematurely *tear*. I was devastated! I’m pretty sure I was too young to actually relate to most of the issues Angela faced, but I still really enjoyed it. I love the grunge look-Doc Martens, plaid shirts, flowery dresses over tights with thigh high socks (still can’t let these go!). I’m not sure why this spread was in the Halloween costume ideas section…I’d wear this on a normal day!

Did I mention I’m dressing up as a Cheerleader Vampire for Halloween? I bought the costume (minus fangs and fake blood) yesterday, now I just have to perfect my makeup techniques for the undead! Maybe I should start watching “True Blood”, or even better-

One...two...three...four...ha ha ha ha

Amers

x

p is for perfect

October 24th, 2011 Posted in autumn, fall, Uncategorized, vancouver | 1 Comment »

I wrote a quick advertisement for my room that I’m moving out of (I’m not sure if I mentioned this already, but I’m moving house at the start of December). I wanted to put the ad on a “moving to Vancouver” website so any travelers coming over here would see it and hopefully take it! It’s not really my responsibility to fill the room, but I want to do all I can to help. Anyway, I just received an email back from the site administrator thanking me for being the first person to submit a perfect ad-meaning one where he didn’t have to email back for more details they’d left out. It seems strange, but receiving that email tonight made me feel really good! Even though it’s just something small (a perfectly written room advertisement on a website is hardly something to print off and save in your “life achievements” box envelope).  However, hearing the word perfect is pretty satisfying! It’s not a word people use very often.

Confession: When I said all the leaves were brown, it was a lie. The leaves in Vancouver have turned the most beautiful colour. First they went orange, then golden yellow and now some of them have turned bright pink! There is one particular street near my house that is tree lined and it looks pretty spectacular with all the pink leaves. Pictures to follow…

Amers

x