YYCEats

Blogmas 2021! Is that a thing? I don’t know.

Here’s the thing. I failed wildly at Nanowrimo this year. Like, to the point that it was good that I didn’t announce it because I would be embarrassed at my numbers. But, I had my Masters convocation, looked after Rylee for a week, got insanely sick for the first time in two years (not COVID) and got cast in a play. So I was doing all sorts of good things. But now that things have slowed down… now is the time to really work on developing a daily practice of writing, even without a set word count.

So, I’m going to do Blogmas! Like Vlogmas, but written down.

(Note: while writing this blog post, I actually bothered to google something and have determined that Blogmas is, in fact, a thing and that people still have blogs in 2021. This pleases me.)

I can’t guarantee that everything I write will actually be Christmas themed, which is apparently the point of the challenge, but it’s December and I’m writing and don’t complain, damnit!

Beer Exchange Day 1

Blogmas 2021 - Beer Exchange Day 1

Okay, here’s something fun and festive! This year, my amazing friend Megan organized a 12 Days of Christmas beer exchange. You know, a beer exchange. The thing where you get 12 people together and they each buy 12 of a different beer and wrap it up, then you have surprise 12 beers. It’s one of those things that people always talk about but no one actually gets organized. And that means that I have 12 fun different beers to write about throughout Blogmas (yes, that’s cheating but I don’t care, beverages is my brand).

For Day 1, Megan provided us with the Kinabik Pilsner from Snake Lake Brewing Company out of Sylvan Lake. To explain the name, which I absolutely love, here is the copy from the beer can:

Early settlers knew Sylvan Lake as Snake Lake, taken from the Cree name “Kinabik.” Garter snakes would swarm around its shores, especially at Jarvis Bay. As the human population grew, the snakes gradually disappeared. In 1903, the town’s name was officially changed to Sylvan Lake.

(Snake Lake Brewing Company, 2021)

I love the copy on alcoholic beverage containers – we used to have a whole bit about that on MOA.

I enjoyed this beer while watching Season 41 of Survivor (obsessed, totally Team Erika, loved the tribal council tonight). This was wildly appropriate because… snakes. (You know, snakes and rats? Survivor Borneo?)

The Kinabik is super drinkable, very crisp, and only a tiny bit hoppy. Just enough to give it a bit of complexity. It’s a 5% alcohol with a 25 IBU and those are the only stats I care about because I’m only a tiny bit knowledgeable about beer.

Megan tipped her hand that there were some very complex and a little crazy beers included in the 12. I’m excited about that, but I’m also always here for a solid Pilsner.


Apparently most people plan their Blogmas post calendar ahead of time and don’t just randomly decide to do it on the first of December. Hahaha. Classic Erin.

What sort of posts would y’all like to see in this Blogmas I did not plan? Do you have any special things lined up for your December?

YYCEats

Don’t get me wrong, friends. I like a glass of wine just as much as the next totally independent and productive grown woman. (Side comment: I’m trying not to say “girl” as much these days. I’ve been trying for like a year though, so you can imagine how well it’s going.) I like to learn about wine. I like the ritual of selecting a bottle from my bar. I like having a special drink at the end of the day. But my pocketbook, internal organs and cognitive functions are not always there for a wine. And that is where this post comes in – the best mocktail for this holiday season!

And by “holiday season”, I mean “zooming with friends from our own homes while wearing fancy clothes”. Yet another reason to maybe not always reach for the wine.

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Fitness

elevate barre program nutrition guide

Oof. Look at this girl go – restarting a blog and missing a week almost immediately. What can I say? I had a paper due last week. After doing a deep dive into reflexivity and the need for a community developed code of ethics for adult educators, my brain was toast. 3500 words is so many words. But anyway, I digress. I was gone, now I am back, and I want to talk about Elevate, a little program that I’ve been doing at my barre studio for the past month.

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Stuff About Me

Ugh. Really? That’s the title I’m picking for this post? “I’m Back, BAY-BEE”? I mean, I am back, this is a wildly accurate statement, but yikes on bikes! (Yikes on Bikes is also not a great thing for me to write… this is all starting to make me sound like I’m a mom who is not at all cool but thinks they are cool. Sorry, non-existent children.)

Okay, let’s start again.

I’m Back, Blogging Again!

(Using commas wildly since 1986.)

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Stuff About Me

Erin laying on a bed, engaged in reflection

On this day, this day just following one of the most reflective and challenging Yin yoga classes I’ve ever taken, and the last day of 2018, indulge me in a little bit of reflection. Let’s talk about how this year has gone by so quickly, as years seem to the older I get, but also how this single year feels like it has taken ten years to pass. Last January feels like eons ago.

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Fitness

In a shocking turn of events, I’m delayed writing up my Week Two Recap and it’s already Wed, Oct 31. Halloween! I’m a deer! (If I get a cute picture and not just a poorly lit picture in my office, I’ll post it on the A Flimsy Plan insta.) With this spoooooky season coming to a close, let’s hit up another recap of my Fit Girls journey! (Syntax? What’s syntax? I’m not fixing that sentence!)

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Culture


(“Two Gentlemen of Verona” Poster Image, as always, lovingly stolen from Theatre Calgary. Their site is always adding more incredible, informative material about their shows, please take the time to explore it.)

First off: I probably should have written about this show a month again. Actually, if I were really good at my job, I would have seen the show early in it’s run and written an actual review to actually encourage my readers to go see it. But long-time readers know that’s not what I’m here for. I’m here for ruminating on things for far too long and then vomiting my thoughts about important theatre onto this blog. And today? The #importanttheatre that I’m talking about is #ShakesBow‘s production of Two Gentlemen of Verona.

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Life

No Spend Week One
Week One

It’s recap time! Because we’re one week into No Spend April already. WOO! Week One! (Also, I totally didn’t take pictures of my meal prep this week. Hopefully that’s not actually something you want.)

The Spends

Blah blah blah, mortgage, cell phone, condo fees property tax… who cares? Let’s get down to the things I can control!

1. My gas gamble didn’t work – gas went up by four cents and I had to fill up this weekend. Meh.
2. Groceries only cost $19 this week! I have a rice and bean recipe that I am obsessed with and my pantry was already stocked with carrots, peas, onion and rice so I mostly just made a huge batch of that and then supplemented with some burrito bowl fixings. Delicious.
3. … I went to the Make It Market with my mom on Saturday and spent $40.

You Spent $40!?

Calm down, internet. I spent $40 and I don’t feel bad about it. I bought a one-of-a-kind art piece, created by a local artisan. For about six months, I’ve been trying to put together a wall in my kitchen – it currently has a chalkboard and a canvas print on it and I really want to hang up a corkboard that I already have for organizational purposes. However, this wall needs a something else to help balance the proportions… and I finally found something! After months of looking! I can finally not have my corkboard just leaning up against my wall in my kitchen.

I feel fine with this purchase because it was conscious and mindful. In months of looking, I hadn’t found anything I liked and I spent a ton of time weighing out the purchase before making it while at the Market. (I also didn’t buy any craft distilled liquors or tiny rings like I vaguely wanted to, so… winning.)

The No Spends

I know, that’s not an actual phrase, but I’m using it.

One of my biggest expenses is eating out. Part of it is that I love trying out new restaurants, with or without other people, but another part of it is just habit. I used to travel for work and I got super used to sitting at the bar in a restaurant with a book and a glass of wine to unwind. I got super used to grabbing a Chopped Leaf bowl on my way home from the gym because it was quick and healthy, and I was starving. Like I wrote about the tuna melt last week, a lot of what I did was just so easy and relatively inexpensive… but easy and inexpensive adds up, yo!

Right now, I think I’m still riding on the high of being oh so virtuous. It feels good to clear out my pantry and to go home to eat the meals I prepped. (Note: Old!Erin would totally have prepped meals and still gone out to eat anyway… that’s why it’s nice to have the “challenge” element to lean on.)

The Yoga

Oh my gosh, you guys, I am loving the Yoga With Adriene TRUE challenge. It reminds me a bit of being back in university and getting in touch with all the elements of myself – physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. I will note: I don’t recommend this challenge if you just want to “work out”. Though there are definitely some challenging physical elements, this is really about developing a yoga practice and figuring out what it means to you.

I did miss a day of the challenge – on Friday, I spent the night at my parents’ house, having a railway night (long story), and then I spent a day out with my mom on Saturday, going straight to my Saturday night plans. I had thought I’d be home by 10 pm or so, then being able to unwind with a little yoga, but that was not to be. In an amazing moment of kismet, Adriene actually spoke about how we have to develop our own practice, how it make take some of us longer than 30 days to complete the challenge and how we have to celebrate ourselves… during the session I wasn’t able to complete on Saturday and ended up doing on Sunday night. How perfect!