Our Anniversary: A Whale Watching Photo Diary

 

Sunday, October 29th, 2017: Celebrating our 4th anniversary whale watching.

It was a stunning day to go out for a whale watching tour, and I woke up eager to get out there on the water. Our tour started at 12:15pm, and we were advised to arrive half an hour early to check in and board so the tour could start on time, so we packed up our things & left home around 10:15am. This gave us ample time to drive to Victoria and grab a coffee before the whale watching adventure began. I had been chatting Ryan’s ear off about wanting to go whale watching for a whole year, so when I opened my gift and saw a voucher for whale watching inside the envelope, you can guess that I was absolutely thrilled!

I am not sure if I have mentioned this on the blog before, but I LOVE being out on the water. When I was in elementary school my dream was to become a marine biologist. I had a closet in my room (which was painted blue and I also painted a palm tree and a dolphin on one wall – so crafty!) that was covered in posters of dolphins, whales, and I had so many books of marine mammals. So, you could say I was pretty thrilled to be out there seeing whale in real life. I mean, how often do you get to board a boat in the open water and see whales in their natural habitat? Fortunately, where I live on Vancouver Island, this is all within reach as many whale pods come up to our waters to eat before travelling to warmer waters to mate, give birth, and nurse their young. Fun fact: whales LOVE South Vancouver Island because of our huge amount of food for them. Have you ever noticed how in tropical areas the water is crystal clear, yet in colder areas the water is a dark, almost murky blue? That murkiness is actually food sources like fish, algae, etc for whales and other mammals to feed off of. There you go. You’re smarter already ; )

I highly recommend Prince of Whales tours if you are in the Victoria area and want to go on a whale watching tour of your own. During our tour we saw seals, stellar sea lions, California sea lions, an otter playing amongst the seaweed, a bald eagle, two porpoises, several humpback whales (they are incredibly huge – you can fit a whole Volkswagen Beatle inside their mouth!), and even a few transient orcas! These transient orcas were on the hunt and moving fast – about 30 km/hour (which is fast for swimming!), and unlike the local orcas who feed on salmon, small fish, and plant-based materials, transient orcas may feed on other mammals. The naturalist on board was thinking that these transient orcas were hunting seals which is why they were in such a hurry to get where they were going! If I recall correctly, we saw four orcas in total and one of them was a mama with her calf!

Okay, can you tell I am excited about this? I kept saying to Ryan it was the best day ever. Best anniversary ever. OMG, this is the best whale watching tour ever. I am so lucky! So, without keeping you on the edge of your seats for too long, here is my photo diary from our whale watching anniversary extravaganza. I am so grateful for this experience and thankful to live in such a beautiful place!












Essential Oils + Easy Lavender Rose Facial Toner

Hey everyone!

Happy Sunday evening. How was your weekend?

We had a busy but fun weekend. It was our anniversary on Wednesday, the 25th, and we celebrated the occasion three times! Today wrapped up the anniversary fun, but I will recap the weekend later on in the week because I have a LOT of photos to go through. In short, we went whale watching today, and it was the most perfect day ever!

BUT, I want to chat with you guys about essential oils tonight. You guys know I love essential oils, but it wasn’t until Monday night that I dove in with a company well known in the essential oil space. And by diving in I mean purchasing the kit, which I originally thought was a big investment (when I first came across this about a year ago at an essential oils class), but it really is a good value when you combine the cost of buying a diffuser and each essential oil individually.

So, I have been using Young Living essential oils for almost a week, and I want to share a story with you guys, because I was actually super impressed right off the bat.

A couple weeks ago Ryan got nasal surgery. Nothing major, no nose jobs or anything, but it was a day surgery that took at least a week for him to feel like his normal self. However, right after the surgery I noticed his snoring was out of control. Like. OUT. OF. CONTROL. Granted, he just got surgery and was breathing out of his mouth, but this was his usual, nearly non-existent snore amplified x 10000. After receiving my kit of essential oils, I diffused some at bed time – thieves, peppermint, and lavender to be exact – and I woke up in the morning completely shocked. You see, his snoring had been keeping me up for at least four nights straight post-op, but that night after using the oils, I didn’t wake up once from his snoring at all. He even said he had a restful nights sleep and although his nose was still sore, he hadn’t been tossing and turning all night. So, I took it as a sign that these essential oils were actually working some kind of voodoo magic, and the fact that they are all natural was a huge bonus, too.

Anyway, I am not about to start advertising essential oils on the blog because that is not what my blog is about. However, my blog IS about sharing what works for me, and so that brings me to the next part of my post: sharing a facial toner “recipe” with you all!

You will need:

 

A spritzing bottle. I recommend glass so you don’t have any cheap plastic chemicals leaching into your toner ; )

 

 

Lavender essential oil

 

Rose water. Now, I totally realized AFTER uploading and editing the picture that the label is in French, soo… Ooops, sorry guys! I like this one because it has witch hazel in it which is super calming for your skin.

How to make it?

It is so easy. Like so easy a child could do it, which is good because some days I have some child-like moments.

Moving on…

You will want to fill your glass bottle with the rose water, then add 5 drops (or however much you like) of essential oil. Then gently shake it up, spritz on your face, and feel like a new human.

Why lavender and rose water?

Both lavender and rose water are soothing and healing to the skin. This makes it a nice combination for all kinds of skin types, especially those that may be dry and sensitive (hello, my skin). Both of the scents mix well, and the toner leaves your skin with a refreshed, hydrated feel.

Little by little I will be sharing more things like this as I experiment with clean beauty & essential oils. Stay tuned for more!

HIIT + Strength Workout & Life Update

 

Hey everyone!

Long time, no blog. Ten days to be exact.

How have the last ten days been for you guys? They have been BUSY for me, and I wanted to pop in on the ol’ blog and let you know what’s been going on.

So, first and foremost, I left my position with the bank. I am not going to go into details online because I know some people from my previous workplace read my blog, and I don’t think it is proper to dive into the nitty gritty online. BUT – that being said, I have taken on another position that is so much less stress and I am feeling a lot HAPPIER where I am now. That’s the whole point, right? In life, in your work, in your relationships, in your thoughts.

Speaking of relationships, Ryan and I celebrated our anniversary yesterday. We went to a cute little bistro in Nanaimo, and we have MORE celebrations this weekend! I am super excited and will update you guys next week on what’s to come.

Otherwise, on the running front things have been going well. I have ran three times now since the marathon, and I have kept my running easy and at a conversational pace. While I LOVE running, I have also loved switching things up. Yoga and strength training have been my go-to’s when I’m not running, and this evening I got creative and made up a high intensity interval training workout that incorporates cardio to boost the heart rate and strength training. Of course, I wanted to share it with you all! My arms and legs are feeling it already… but that’s probably because I haven’t done a workout like this in a while. Let’s be honest, haha!

 

 

You will need a set of dumbbells (or two depending on how heavy you want to lift!). I have dumbbells that are interchangeable, but I used the same weight for all workouts.

Note: You do not have to use a weight for the exercises marked with a * and workouts marked with a ! you can add weight if you’d like!

Alternating Bicep Curls x 12

*Squat Jumps x 12

Repeat three times

Shoulder Press x 10

Tricep kickbacks x 10

*Jumping jacks x 15

Repeat three times

Deadlift x 12

Row x 12

*Mountain Climbers x 12

Repeat three times

*Push ups x 10

! Lunges x 10 on each leg

Repeat three times

! Glute Bridges x 10

*Lower-ab crunches x 10

*Leg circles (for abs – pilates move!) 10 in each direction

Repeat three times

Note: You can do all the exercises as one circuit & repeat three times, or repeat each mini circuit three times individually, which is what I did.

Be sure to use a weight that is comfortably challenging for you (is that even a thing? Ha!). You want to make sure you can complete each exercise without sacrificing your form. Please, no flinging the weights around!

 

 

Let me know in a comment below what YOUR favourite kind of workout is : ) Have a great night everyone!

Why I Blog

 

If there is one thing that my mother has taught me that really sticks like glue in my brain it’s that making memories is so important. These days memories are captured on a phone and shared on social media for the world to see, and that’s okay, but it is also important to make memories offline, too. Today I wanted to chat about why I blog, and making memories is a big part of my WHY.

When I first started blogging during college I did it for the sake of having something to do. I would read fashion blogs mostly, before I was introduced to health and fitness blogs, and I thought. Hey. If she can do that, why can’t I? This attitude has branched out into other areas of my life as well (Hey, if she can run a marathon, why can’t I?) and it has given me the opportunity to try things I may not have dared to try in the first place. While I draw inspiration from a number of different places, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel inspired by things I see online, too. There is something so powerful about social media, both in a positive and a negative way, but for me I hope to showcase more of the positive side on my blog. Or as I like to call it, my little corner of the Internet. My blog is MY place to share what I want to share. Yes, I want to be mindful of what my readers want to see too, but at the end of the day, my blog is an extension of my own voice. I do not try to be someone else. I type the way I would speak. And to be honest, it is a lot easier for me to put down in words how I feel or the point I am trying to get across than it is for me to speak those things outloud. Throughout elementary and high school, writing was my thing. I was an English nerd, and I think it’s safe to say that I still am. I am passionate about writing about things that mean a lot to me, whether it is writing about a weekend with Ryan and Nala, or a camp fire with my family. Writing is probably the biggest way I can express myself, and most of the time YOU get to read all about it after I hit publish.

My blog is like a journal, though it is no replacement for putting pen to paper. Believe it or not, I still do the old-school journal entries from time to time and let my thoughts pour out. Sure, it’s a lot faster for me to type than it is to pen my thoughts, but on a similar note it does serve (kind of) the same purpose. For me, blogging is a way for me to share my life with people. I am not here in the blog world sitting on a pedestal with my holier-than-thou attitude, because at the end of the day, we are all human. We have blood running through our veins and we all have our own special set of skills and talents. In a way, blogging can be a funny thing. I used to look at blog posts or Instagram posts from my favourite “influencers,” we will call them, and think to myself that their life is perfect. Newsflash: social media can oftentimes show a person’s highlight-reel, not their REAL LIFE. My blog shows my ups and downs. I talk about being in funks, having a great run, having a crappy run, being so sore and exhausted that I skip a workout. Yes, it’s fun to show all the good stuff, but it’s important to me to share that my life isn’t perfect either. I am extremely blessed in my life to have the family and friends that I have, the most amazing partner & fur babies, and a home that keeps me warm at night. However, who am I to say that I never cry or get upset? I am no different than anyone else who has a bad day. Perhaps other people just share less of those moments on their blog — and that’s okay, too.

Blogging is a fun and different way for me to connect with people. It’s not that I am anti-social (although, I would say I am an introverted-extrovert, which I believe is a real thing). I actually enjoy sitting down with my laptop and tuning in to Healthy Living Holly. Plus, I can do it anywhere. I can pack up my laptop and sit out on the deck in the sunshine while sharing my weekend with you. I can hang out in a coffee shop with my thoughts and spill them all out onto the blog for you guys to read. Some people don’t understand WHY a person would blog, and hey. I get it. I had a coworker once ask why I blog. I didn’t go into this big long song & dance, but I basically said that it’s just a fun way for me to journal my adventures and life for those who want to read it. Her reaction: “Why would anyone want to read it? I don’t mean that in a mean way, but I mean, what do you talk about?” Instead of reacting I just shrugged it off, then probably wrote a blog post that evening because here’s the thing. Even if someone doesn’t understand why I blog or why I run, I will do it anyway, because at the end of the day it makes me happy. So, why wouldn’t I? I think it’s more important to do less of the things you dislike and more of the things that make your soul and heart shine. Blogging and running are just two of those things, and that’s just part of the reason why.


So, long story short: I blog to share my memories with you guys. While this blog is for YOU, it is also for ME to look back at my races, my adventures, my marathon training – you name it. This blog is equally ours, and I am thankful that you are part of my journey : )