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13 Ways To Use A Sarong – An Essential Travel Item

When It comes to packing for a trip, multi-functional items are key to keeping your luggage small and compact for convenient travel. With this in mind, a sarong is an essential item to pack for any trip. It doesn’t matter where I’m going, warm climate or cold, I always pack at least one sarong and it is always well used.

What is a Sarong?

A sarong is a rectangular piece of fabric longer than it is wide, usually found in a variety of colourful prints. Its versatility is what makes it so essential for any trip as well as for day to day use.

Depending where you are in the world, sarongs have many different names. The name “sarong” comes from Indonesia. In Hawaii, they’re called pareos; in Fiji and Tahiti they’re known as lava-lava or sulu; in parts of Africa they’re called kente or kikoy; in Brazil they’re known as canga, and  they have many other names, depending where in the world you are.

Multi-Functional Uses For a Sarong

I’ve used sarongs for many different purposes while traveling, some that I would have never thought of when I first started using them in the 1990’s.

  1. Wear It
    The most common use is to wear it as clothing. There are countless different ways to wear a sarong, from a skirt or dress to a shirt or shorts or even a belt.

    How to wear a sarong

    image source: harpersbazaar.com

  2. Beach or Bath Towel
    Avoid bringing a heavy towel to the beach and bring a sarong instead. If you need to pack a towel when you travel, a sarong is a much lighter option and is far easier to pack, lighter to carry, doesn’t get heavy when it’s wet and it dries quickly.  It’s also a great way to protect yourself from the sun.
  3. Blanket
    Lay it out on the ground for a picnic or wrap it around your shoulders if you get a little chilly. I also use it as a blanket when traveling on air-conditioned planes and busses.
  4. Scarf / Shawl
    For cooler nights or windy/rainy days, use a sarong as a scarf or shawl to keep you warm or to cover your hair if it rains. It is also an easy way to dress up any outfit when you have a limited travel wardrobe.
  5. Cover up
    When visiting temples or places of worship (in Southeast Asia for example), it is required to cover your legs before entering (for both men and women). I always carry a sarong with me, just in case. I’ve ended up spontaneously visiting a temple more than once, and although most temples will have sarongs available for sale or to borrow for a donation, I prefer to use my own.
    Buddhist Temple in Thailand
  6. Bed sheets
    Although most hostels are generally clean, I have used a sarong in sleeping situations where the cleanliness may have been a bit sketchy. If you have two with you, put one on the bottom and one on top, if you only have one, wrap it around yourself before getting into bed.
  7. Pillow
    If your hotel/hostel pillow isn’t puffy enough, or you simply don’t have one, use your sarong. You can wrap some clothes in it to make it extra puffy. I like to use one as a pillow on planes, busses and trains.
  8. Purse – If you find yourself shopping and you don’t have a bag to carry all your purchases home in, tie the corners together into a purse.
  9. Curtain or Divider
    If you’re staying in hostels with shared rooms, use your sarong to create privacy. I’ve also used it to block the windows on buses, trains or cars while in transit.
  10. Packing Separator
    Use it to separate your clean clothes from your dirty clothes in your backpack or luggage by wrapping your clothes inside it.
  11. Padding
    Wrap your valuables in it while in transit. I’ve used it for my laptop and my camera equipment both to conceal and protect it while moving from one location to the next. It’s also a great way to hide valuables while in public places or hostels.
  1. Emergencies
    No one wants to end up in emergency situations while traveling, but if it happens a sarong can be used as a bandage, sling, tourniquet, or to tie a splint until you can get proper medical attention.
  2. Gifts
    When it’s time to go home, sarongs make great (and inexpensive) gifts to bring back for your friends and family. It is a practical souvenir that will always have a use.

I’ve collected many sarongs over the years and I’m still coming up with new creative uses all the time. I don’t only use them when I travel, but around the house as well. They are not only are they useful for us ladies, but they are equally practical for the men out there too. Don’t be shy boys, wear a sarong!

How do you use your sarong? Please share in the comments below.

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The Molson Canadian Passport Fridge

One of THE coolest things at the Sochi 2014 Olympics had to be the Molson Canadian Passport Fridge at Canada Olympic House. It’s like a vending machine, only instead of feeding it money, it only opens by scanning a Canadian passport.


Molson Passport Fridge

The fridge was turned on each day of the Games during Victory Hour, between 5pm and 6pm. I was still feeling under the weather and wasn’t sure I would make it to Victory Hour, so I connected with the lovely @MolsonTonia who was kind enough to give me a special viewing. She plugged it in for me when I stopped by Canada House one afternoon. I only had one *little* problem… Not only did I not have my passport on me, I don’t actually HAVE a Canadian passport!

Olympic Spirit Project Postcards are now available!

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My Canadian Passport Problem

My family immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands when I was very young and I’m still a landed immigrant and permanent resident. The Dutch government didn’t allow dual citizenship for years and we didn’t want to give up our EU passports and with them our access to work in Europe. The only difference in Canada is that I can’t vote.

A few years ago the rules changed and dual citizenship is now available for those who were too young to make their own choice to leave the Netherlands. This means that my siblings and I are now able to apply for Canadian citizenship without losing our Dutch citizenship. (Yay!) So last year, after I bought my Olympics tickets I sent in my application with the idea that I would have it in time for the Sochi Olympics to access Canada Olympic House. It is now 13 months later, the Olympics are over, and it is STILL being processed. It takes 23 months for a citizenship application to go through the system. Ridiculous, in my opinion, but there’s not much I can do about it. At least I’ll have it in time for Rio 2016! But I digress…

Let’s Open the Fridge!

So after explaining my passport problem to the Molson girls, I embarrassingly asked to borrow one of theirs to open the fridge. And let me tell you, it was nothing short of AWESOME!

Molson Passport Fridge Molson Passport Fridge Molson Passport Fridge

Molson Passport Fridge

I was still feeling under the weather, but was super happy about the beer fridge!

What Was Inside the Fridge?

The fridge contained only victory bottles. Russian customs blocked Molson’s beer shipment from entering the country so the victory bottles were display bottles only and were empty. Because of this, Molson served Heineken and Miller Genuine Draft at Canada Olympic House. Sad, but true.

What made it all ok? I’m Dutch and Molson is the Heineken distributor in Canada, so I was still drinking beer from my homeland, it was just the “other” homeland!

Travels of the Beer Fridge

This wasn’t the Molson Passport Fridge’s first appearance though. Molson has been spreading Canadian spirit all over the world! Check this video out:

Have you opened the Molson Canadian Passport Fridge? Where?

Olympic Spirit Project postcards are now available! 

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Thailand’s Songkran Festival

From April 13-15, Thailand celebrates their new year with the Songkran Festival. During these three days, the entire country participates in the biggest water fight in the world.

The throwing of water started as a way to pay respect, by capturing the water after it had been poured over the Buddhas for cleansing and then using this “blessed” water to give good fortune to elders and family by gently pouring it on the shoulder. Over time, this tradition has evolved among young people into a full blown water fight including full on dousing of random passers by. Some also carry a bowl of talc powder mixed with water, which they then smear it on people’s faces and bodies as a blessing for the new year.

Songkran1

My Songkran Experience

A few years ago I was in Thailand for this festival and was not prepared for how crazy it would be. We decided to spend it in Chiang Mai, where the most famous Songkran celebrations are held. Chiang Mai is surrounded by a moat with streets that run alongside it, providing a perfect (but dirty) water source for this celebration.

We arrived the day before the festival began so we could prepare. We found our hotel, dropped off our bags and went shopping for water guns. This Minnie Mouse super soaker was my weapon of choice.

Mariska Songkran Weapon

We left the hotel to join the festival the next day and there was a group of kids waiting outside and I immediately got a full bucket of water to the chest! That was how the next three days went from start to finish. For the next three days I would wore the same clothes, still wet from the day before, as there was no point getting my limited supply of clean clothes all soaked.

This went on for three days straight! The Thai people loaded up in trucks with giant barrels of water and drove through the streets spraying water at people. Some got a bit nasty and added ice to their water buckets, which was absolutely shocking when you were doused with it. Most of the Thai people were fairly respectful not to spray water in people’s faces, which was great. It was the Western crowd that tended to take things a bit too far, spraying people in the face or in the ear with a super soaker full of ice water. Not cool.

Overall the festival was an absolute blast! When dusk hit in the evening the water fight would end for the day, and around about nine the next morning it would start up again.

Here is a taste of what those three days were like:

Songkran-4 Songkran-2 Songkran-3 Songkran-5 Songkran-6 Songkran-7 Songkran-8 Songkran-9 Songkran-10 Songkran-11 Songkran-12 Songkran-13 Songkran-14 Songkran-15

 What festivals have you attended while traveling? Share in the comments below.

 

Epic Canadian Olympic Fans

The Olympic Park was all but deserted on the final day of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games. There were only two events scheduled that day: Men’s Gold Medal Hockey and the Closing Ceremony. Only those with tickets to at least one of these events were permitted to enter the park.

With Canada playing for GOLD there was a large Canadian presence. I went in early in search of epic Canadian Olympic fans and I found my first group at the first open concession cart buying beer (because a Canadian watching hockey without beer is just wrong!).

Day10-2

Olympic Spirit Project Books and Postcards now available!

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Free Beer Guy & Other More Fans

Next I made my way to Canada Olympic House to see who had collected there to prep for the game and this guy walked up with a tray full of beers and started handing them out to fellow Canadians. Did I mention how much I love Canadians?

(Thank you, Free Beer Guy!)

Canadian Free Beer Guy

Next, Shauna and I strolled toward the Bolshoy Arena and came across these Russian guys who unexpectedly swept me off my feet, and then we found more Canadians with flags and a crazy collection of signatures.

Russians and Canadians

Signed Canadian Flag

Signed Canadian Flag

Then there was a couple who almost didn’t make it to Sochi due to a leg injury, but they pushed through and made it, wheelchair and all! Well done guys! Talk about dedicated fans! YAY!

Canadian Fans

The Olympic Party Boy

But the hands-down BEST had to be the “Olympic Party Boy!”

I first met this OPB at the London 2012 Olympics where I got my first introduction to Olympic Party Boy awesomeness. Back in Vancouver, he had mentioned that he was having a custom Canada suit designed by Ash Turner of Mechanic Organic for the Sochi 2014, so I was excited to include it in the Olympic Spirit Project!

He showed up for the Gold Medal Game wearing tailored white pants, a white suit jacket with red arms, “Canada” embroidered on the breast pocket and a giant maple leaf sewn on the back. (You did an phenomenal job Ash Turner!) He topped that off with a red t-shirt, red and white Adidas sneakers and a maple leaf pin on the lapel.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone else looked awesome too with their jerseys, face paint, helmets and flags, but what made this so epic was the originality and the fact that this super classy suit is one of a kind. It just doesn’t get cooler than that! Complete AWESOMENESS!

(Thanks for the photoshoot OPB! Yay!)

Olympic Party Boy - Greg Olympic Party Boy - Greg Olympic Party Boy - Greg Olympic Party Boy - Greg

How did you show your Olympic Spirit during the Games?

 

Olympic Spirit Project BOOKS are now available in Print, ePub and PDF! 

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How To Make a Costa Rican Michelada

Costa Rican Michelada

When traveling to new places, I always make sure that I try the local beers and cocktails. In Russia it was vodka, in Bali it was Arak liquor, in Belize it was 1 Barrell Rum (mmm, tastes like maple syrup), and in Costa Rica it was the Costa Rican michelada!

I was introduced to the Costa Rican Michelada (as opposed to the Mexican michelada) during my stay in Tamarindo. I was a little skeptical at first (seriously, ICE and SALT in BEER???) but WOW was it ever refreshing! It’s a must-try if you’re in Costa Rica.

Ingredients:

Serves: 1

  • Sea salt
  • Ice
  • 1 Fresh Lime (or lime juice from concentrate, but fresh is always better)
  • 1 bottle of Imperial or Imperial Light beer (I prefer Imperial Light)

    Note: If you’re making this at home and you don’t have access to Imperial, you can make a “Mexi-Rican” variation using Corona.

[Tweet “Make yourself this refreshing Costa Rican Michelada tonight! #beer #lime #yum”]

  1. Use a slice of lime and to moisten the edge of the glass with lime juice
  2. Dip the glass in sea salt to rim the edge with salt (same way you would for a caesar)
  3. Fill the glass halfway with ice
  4. Squeeze the entire lime into the glass
  5. Serve with a full bottle of Imperial Light to be poured in at the drinker’s pace
  6. Sit, relax, enjoy and (if you’re not near a beach) watch this:

What cocktails ave you discovered while traveling?

Did you love your Costa Rican Michelada? Then like it and share it with the social buttons below.

Easy Thai Curry – Plus Bonus Leftover Recipe

One of my all-time favourite meals is Thai curry, mmm! 

I took these photos back in October and have been meaning to share this deliciousness since before I left Vancouver. I think it’s about time! This recipe is easy to make and you can use pretty much any vegetables you have in your fridge. I’ve made this with chicken and prawns, but you can use whatever type of meat you like.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

Thai Curry Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of curry paste
    (I prefer red curry, but green or yellow is delicious too)
  • 1 can of coconut milk (400ml)
    (Note: I’ve found that organic coconut milk is less expensive than the regular one in Canadian grocery stores. )
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
    (tie it in a knot to avoid it falling apart while cooking)
  • 2 kefir lime leaves
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 2 cups of assorted chopped vegetables
    (I usually use garlic, onion, red pepper, carrots  and potatoes, plus any other veggies I have in the fridge.)
  • 1 lb of meat – prawns, chicken, beef, pork, whatever – cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (optional)
  • Sambal oelek – hot sauce (optional)

Directions:Thail Curry Simmering

  1. Put the coconut oil into a skillet or saucepan on medium heat. Add the curry paste and stirfry that for about 2 minutes.
    (Note: Curry’s flavours are released through heat, so be sure not to skip or rush this step.)
  2. Add the coconut milk, chicken stock, lemongrass and kefir lime leaves and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the brown sugar until it dissolves.
  4. Stir in the meat and vegetables, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
    (Note: If using prawns, add vegetables first and add the prawns halfway through. Prawns don’t take long to cook and you want to avoid that rubbery texture from over-cooking.)
  5. Stir in the basil, if you have it and serve!

I like to eat it as a soup, but it can also be served over rice.
If you like a bit more heat to your curry, add a dash of sambal oelek to your bowl.

Oh SO delicious! Enjoy!

Bonus Leftover Recipe!

If you have leftovers, I have a super easy, quick and tasty breakfast recipe for the next morning.

  1. Reheat the leftovers in a skillet
  2. Crack a couple of eggs into a bowl, beat lightly to break the yolks and add them to the skillet.
  3. Stir / scramble until the egg is fully cooked.
  4. Serve in a bowl or on a plate with toast and fresh fruit.

Nomnomnom!

12 Natural Headache Remedies

I used to get really bad migraines. I remember the first time it happened. I was in the library doing research for a high-school paper when suddenly my hands went numb, I lost vision in one of my eyes and I completely forgot how to read. I saw the letters on the page but they made absolutely no sense. It freaked me right out! I went to the doctor and he told me that these were migraine symptoms. I was about 14 years old.

I don’t get migraines as often anymore, maybe twice a year, but I do still suffer from regular headaches. In fact, I’ve had one for the past 2 days now and I’m constantly looking for new things to try because I don’t like taking pills.

These are some of the things I’ve tried over the years and I’ve had some success with:

  1. Drink more water – Often headaches are a sign of dehydration. Make sure you drink enough water (at least 2 litres per dar) to avoid unnecessary headaches.
  2. Eat something – Your headache may be due to low blood sugar and simply eating some food may give you relief.
  3. Drink a cup of coffee – Coffee constricts the blood-vessel. I’m not a big coffee drinker (maybe a few cups per week), so this usually works well for me. I’ll drink a strong cup of black coffee and usually by the time I’m halfway down the cup, I’ll feel some relief. If you already drink a lot of coffee, it may not be as effective and it may actually make things worse with a caffeine headache.
  4. Acupuncture For HeadachesMassage Your Hand – Massage the meaty part of your hand between the thumb and forefinger. There are pressure points in this area that have been linked to headaches and headache relief. Massage with medium to hard pressure for several minutes and then switch hands.
  5. Acupuncture – Thin needles are inserted under the skin to realign the flow of energy, or qi, in the body. I have walked into an acupuncture treatment with a nasty headache and walked out with almost complete relief. Treatments can run anywhere from $60-$120, and may be covered by some extended benefit plans. I can recommend an amazing acupuncturist in Vancouver, feel free to contact me for his info.
  6.  Massage – Rub your temples, shoulders and neck to relieve tense muscles and get the blood flowing. If this doesn’t relieve the headache, it still feels nice!
  7. Yoga – The combination of stretching, meditation and breathing can help relieve your headache. I do Bikram’s yoga, which is hot yoga practiced in 40 degrees celsius and 50% humidity. I’ve had great success in leaving my headache in the room when I practice. If Bikram’s is uncomfortable for you, try another form of yoga.
  8. Pay Attention to and Identify Triggers – I have several headache triggers that I do my best to avoid. I’m very sensitive to smells (mostly certain perfumes and colognes) and can be sensitive to some foods as well. One of my triggers is Strawberry Kiwi Snapple. Even just one sip will be enough to trigger a headache.
  9. Ginger Tea for HeadachesTiger Balm – Rub Tiger Balm on your temples and along your hairline. The cooling properties will help relax the muscles in your head and neck. Tiger Balm is magic! (I never travel without it.) An alternative with similar benefits is peppermint oil.
  10. Ginger Tea – Buy fresh ginger at the grocery store, crush it up and mix it with boiling water to make tea. Ginger reduces inflammation and I’ve found that it can work just as quickly and effectively as Advil or Tylenol.
  11. Sleep – Your body may just need to rest. If you are suffering from a migraine, sometimes all you can do is find a dark room, turn off all the lights and try to sleep.
  12. Exercise Regularly – Being active regularly helps reduce the frequency of stress headaches. I make sure I exercise at least three times per week to stay healthy, fit, and hopefully headache free.

 Do you have any remedies to add? Please share in the comments below.

 

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Team Canada & Bronze Medal Hockey

When I bought my Olympics tickets in february 2013, I had bought two tickets to the Men’s Bronze Medal Game, since gold tickets were not available at the time. So now, after the game from the previous night, I was stuck with two tickets for a game that Canada would not be playing in.

I had posted my tickets to the Facebook groups as soon as the Canada – USA game ended, hoping to find some Americans to either sell my tickets to or make a trade with. I had a few responses on the Facebook page, but found that a lot of people were flakey and didn’t show up when they said they would, so I was getting a bit frustrated.

Everyone’s Looking For Tickets!

Canadians looking for Gold Medal tickets at Sochi 2014

These guys were AWESOME!

I headed to the Olympic Park and went straight to the Canada and USA houses. I talked to everyone around the two houses and pretty much everyone was hoping to do the same thing as I was. I found one guy, who turned out to be one of the people I had connected with through my Facebook post. He had a single gold ticket, and wanted two bronze for an even trade for him and his friend.

DONE!

Two bronze tickets for one gold ticket!

Bronze for Gold ticket trade at Sochi 2014

Now What?

Since the bronze event was all I had tickets for that day, I was stuck with no events for the day. I decided I wanted to go to the bronze game anyway. I walked over to the Bolshoy and ran into these guys, who were selling their tickets, but at a price that I was not willing to pay.

Canadians selling bronze tickets

Sochi 2014 Olympic Rings & Cauldron

I hung around outside the arena until the game started. (There were always people selling ticket for less than face value after events started.) I took the opportunity to take some pics of the rings and the cauldron and then I saw a group of people in matching Canada gear walking up to the rings. I thought, “Hey! This is perfect Olympic Spirit Project material!” And when I looked closer…

It was THE CANADIAN MEN’S HOCKEY TEAM!!!

Canadian Men's Olympic Hockey Team 2014

Soch i2014 Canadian Men’s Olympic Hockey Team

Canadian Men's Olympic Hockey Team 2014

Sochi 2014 Canadian Men’s Olympic Hockey Team

Whaaaaat?!?!?!!! I could NOT believe my luck! It was perfect! I nestled into the crowd and stood front and center right beside the team photographer when I took this photo! YES!! I was SO excited!

Bronze Medal Hockey

So after THAT happened, I found a Canadian couple selling a single bronze ticket for half face value. I paid less than $100 for the ticket and headed inside. You would think the day couldn’t possibly get any better and then I got to my seat. The seat I had just bought for 1/5 the price of my original tickets was BETTER than the ones I had traded with the American guy!  He was sitting about 8 rows behind me!

So I once again counted my blessings of yet another fantastic day as I watched the USA lose to Finland for the bronze medal.

My seat for the bronze medal game

Where were you for the bronze medal game?

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Sochi Day 8 – Speed Skating Day!

Iceberg Skating Palace

It was team pursuit speed skating day!

I went to the Olympic Park early and met up with some other Canadians to grab a couple of drinks (ok, ok, beers…) in the sun before our day’s events. As we sat on our bench, people watching, probably one out of every three Russians walking by either wanted a photo with us or wanted to trade stuff for our Canada gear! We probably posed for about 20 photos that day!

Canadian Beauties!

This super cute Russian girl came up and asked me if she could wear my Canada gear for a photo, so I handed over my flag, toque and mittens, and she ROCKED it! You’d never know that she wasn’t Canadian!

Russian girl in Canada gear

Team Pursuit Speed Skating

When the time came, I headed into the Adler Skating Arena for the speed skating team pursuit event. The short track was so amazing earlier in the week so I was looking forward to watching a team pursuit event. The speed was insane as I watched both the men’s and women’s events. I still cannot believe the size of the athletes’ legs! Wow!

Sadly, Canada didn’t qualify for the finals, so that was a bit disappointing. I was lucky to have had the opportunity to photography the same team when they won gold in the same event at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Inside the Iceberg Skating Palace

Team Canada - Team Pursuit Speed Skating Sochi 2014

Team Canada

Team Canada - Team Pursuit Speed Skating Sochi 2014

Team Canada

Team Russia - Team Pursuit Speed Skating Sochi 2014

Team Russia

Team Netherlands - Team Pursuit Speed Skating Sochi 2014

Team Netherlands

After the event was over, I headed toward the Bolshoy Arena to see if I could find a decently priced ticket for the men’s semi-final hockey game. Canada was playing the USA. I didn’t have any luck, so I went to find some food and again, I ran into a group of Canadians in the lineup. This group was a bit different though, in that they had been in Russia working on the Games for over six months already! I chatted with them about their experiences and what it was like to live in Russia and every one of them was looking forward to going home at the end of the month.

Men’s 5000m Relay

After I finished eating, I headed back to the Bolshoy for one last kick at trying to get a ticket to the game and one of that group of Canadians ran after me to give me a ticket to the short track relay event that was about to start. I tried to give him money for it (face value was at $200), but he insisted I just take it and go enjoy myself! Again, I was impressed by how amazingly generous people can be!

When I arrived, the event had already begun. This was a huge event for the Russians and the cheering in the Iceberg Skating Palace was deafening! The relay event was CRAZY! There were so many skaters on the ice all at once, some racing and some circling on the inside getting into position for their turn in the relay. It was a wonder that none of them ran into each other!

Russia wins Gold in the 5000m relay at Sochi 2014

Russia wins GOLD!

USA wins Silver in the 5000m relay at Sochi 2014

USA wins Silver!

China wins bronze in the 5000m relay at Sochi 2014

China wins Bronze!

 

The final result of the men’s 5000 meter relay was Russia – Gold, the USA – Silver, and China – Bronze. It was an unbelievable sight and the cheering and support from the crowd was unmatched to anything I had seen at the Games yet! It was absolutely awesome! Just. AWESOME!

A Perfect End to a Perfect Day

I was pumped after all that fan energy at the men’s 5000m relay event! The Canada vs USA men’s hockey game wasn’t quite over so I sweet talked my way past the bouncer at the House of Switzerland (sweet talking bouncers is much easier to do when you are traveling alone) to watch the last 10 minutes of the game. As we all know, Canada WON! and the Swiss House EXPLODED because as usual, it was FULL of Canadians! It was a perfect end to another FANTASTIC day!

Have you ever watched either team pursuit or team relay speed skating? When and where? 

 

New Website! #BOOM!

Last weekend was all work and no play as I spent Saturday and Sunday revamping my website!

I loved my old design but it was outdated and it has been due for an upgrade for quite some time. There are still a few glitches that need fixing (ie. the Facebook counter isn’t working, arg! And that there are two ‘read more’ links on the home page posts?), and some new graphics that I’m having created for a new logo and header image, but I’m pretty happy with the site overall.

New Website Design

Social Media Optimized

One of the main changes is that the new theme is better optimized for social media (which will come in very handy when I get hired to go to Tobago this summer). All my social profile links are included in the top navigation bar and sidebar (please click to follow!), and there is a social counter widget included in the sidebar as well to make my main social profiles more visible.

New Photography Gallery

My previous site had the photo gallery pulling from Flickr and I was not a huge fan of the way that displayed, so now I’ve included photo galleries with lightboxes right on the site. I still have a ton of photo content to add to the gallery, but there are some beginnings there with photos from my recent travels to Costa Rica, Russia, the Netherlands and of course Vancouver where I lived for over 10 years.

Functionality

There is now much more ease in integrating video, audio and other media to my pages and posts and I’m looking forward to playing around with some of these in upcoming posts. I still have so much content from my past travels that I need to tell you all about, including a bunch of videos that will make my posts so much more fun and interesting!

E-Commerce Shop

This is the part that I am most excited about! I’m going to finally start selling my photos online! I’m still looking for a good service to use for printing and shipping, I would love to hear any suggestions in the comments below, but I can’t wait to get a store up and running! It’s been a dream of mine for a long long time! Time to make it REAL!

What Do You Think?

So I invite you to have a wander around the site and let me know what you think. I always love to get feedback if it means I can improve on something, so bring it on! Please leave your comments below.

All personal and client website themes purchased from ThemeForest.net and built on WordPress.