Category Archives: Travel + Lifestyle

We Took a Helicopter to Lake Lovely Water!

My 28th birthday just passed, and–no word of a lie–it was one of the best weeks of my life.

The amazing week started a few days before my birthday. Mike arranged to have my friend Lauren fly in from Toronto, and they set out an elaborate plan to make it a surprise.

It was a typical Wednesday and Mike made it seem like he was passing through town during work and just decided to come home for lunch for a change. I whipped up some sandwiches and as he walked in the door, he mentioned that he wanted to load the truck with the garbage and recycling for the dump before eating. He asked if I would help quick, I said yes, and that’s when I saw the truck and noticed something colourful in the back under the canopy. As I opened open the cover door, balloons flew out to reveal a pair of legs. I was confused, but then all of the sudden, out popped my friend Lauren! Needless to say, I was overwhelmed and in shock in the best way imaginable!

I spent Wednesday through Friday touring Lauren around Squamish and Whistler, showing off everything that’s made me come to fall in love with the west coast.

By the time Saturday arrived, I was excited all over again. I knew some other surprise had been brewing, but all I was really told was to dress for cold weather. The only other clue I had was that level two bear mace was required as part of our gear, that Piper was coming, and that she had her own set of gear!

Just after 9am, we all hopped in the truck and took off. After a short drive north, we arrived at Blackcomb Aviation and, at this point, things began to reveal themselves. We’re going in a helicopter!? To?

I quickly learned that we were flying up the Tantalus Range to Lake Lovely Water, which is exactly what it sounds like: a lake on top of a mountain.

Piper’s gear turned out to be a pair of ear muffs—specifically Mutt Muffs—and our pilot triple-checked that Piper was good to go, both gear-wise and in temperament. Turns out, she was only the second dog in history to ever have done this trip!

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West Coast, Best Coast

I first fell in love with the west in Jasper, Alberta when I called its Canadian Rockies home for the better part of a year.

For a summer during college, I worked at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and lived on-site in one of Canada’s longest log cabins (see below)–where running into an elk was a valid excuse for being late to work. It was a fun, adventure-filled summer. (It also remains the reason I can’t drink whisky sours.)

Other than a quick weekend where I spoke at The Calgary Renovation Show, last week was the first time I had been back on the west-coast. Only this time, I made it a bit farther: to beautiful British Columbia.

We arrived at Vancouver Airport on an overcast Friday morning. We picked-up our rental Jeep (which I fell in love with quickly) and slowly made our way North on the Sea To Sky highway.

The drive was stunning! On one side, lush, moss-covered mountains shoot up at a steep incline. And to the other, islands peppered the turquoise water.

Before checking into our Airbnb in Whistler, we stopped for lunch in Squamish at Copper Coil and celebrated the beginning of our vacation with jambalaya and local cider.

I quickly fell for Squamish. It reminded me of Jasper, but offered an additional dose of variety (in shops and stores, neighbourhood flavours, amenities, and nature) and adventure (mountain biking, climbing, hiking, waterfalls, trails, kite surfing etc).

Not only is Squamish home to the granite monolith Stawamus Chief, but it’s the last Northern stop of Howe Sound, so spotting orcas and whales in the sound is not uncommon.

With a rainbow intersection and riddles of small, local businesses and eateries, you’re just a quick ride away from spotting bald eagles in Brackendale which boasts North America’s most significant bald eagle population. Or drive a stone’s throw East to window-shop million dollar modern homes perched on the mountain in Valleycliffe.

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Sabrina Takes Thailand | Chiang Mai

Of all the places I visited in Thailand, Chiang Mai wins the award for stealing a little piece of my heart.

For those of you who don’t know (or follow me on Instagram), I spent most of February and March in Thailand where I took part in a 200-hour yoga teacher training program. But before beginning the training, I flew in a week early to explore and make the most of the long travel adventure.

Stop one was Bangkok.

Admittedly, I was supposed to have a full day and night in Bangkok, but silly me screwed up my flight into BKK, so I ended up only getting to see the city from the airport during my six hour layover. But nonetheless I enjoyed the shops, people watching and enjoyed my first authentic pad thai which was primo.

After a brief hop, skip and jump, I landed in Chiang Mai in the AM and was pleasantly surprised by it. The first thing on my list, to find and secure a Motorbike Rental Chiang Mai to help me traverse the roads and get where I needed to go. I had thought about bringing my own bike and getting a bike delivery service, but I decided it was cheaper to just rent one from there instead.

I was picturing something more rural, more sparse, but the city was far more developed than I had anticipated and proved to be quite the mecca of boutiques, cool eateries, shops and cafes you’d expect to see in a magazine. With a young population (thanks to the university), it had a youthful energy which was a cool contrast to some of the more traditional temples and jungles that surrounded the city.

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Globetrotting with Olay Whips

I’m baa-aaaack!

I’m a few weeks into being home from Thailand and the jet lag (that I was convinced I had skirted, but definitely didn’t) has worn off and I feel like a contributing member of society again.

Work is beginning to heat up again and life has been really, really good.

A lot has changed for me in the past year and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Coincidentally, I’ve also been the most nomadic I’ve ever been. Since October, I’ve totalled over 140 hours of travel time up in the air. More recently, I spent the past month traveling Thailand where I received my 200-hour yoga teacher training certification (look out for a big Chiang Mai travel guide and an update on my yoga adventure soon)!

But all of this fun has come at a cost for my skin. Between stagnant airplane air, hot sun, salt water and sweat, it’s taken a beating.

Lucky for me though, I brought new Olay Total Effects Whip with me which has become an enjoyable and comforting routine for me amidst the unpredictable throws of travel.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may already know that I’ve partnered with Olay to create some content (including this broadcast commercial complete with a Piper cameo, of course).

I’ve honestly never had a skin care routine. I mostly buy whatever cleanser is on sale and I’ve never moisturized regularly, but as I enter the final years of my twenties, it was due time I adopt a skincare routine, which made this Olay sponsorship such a feel-good and natural fit for me.

While my skin has been through the ringer over the past few months, I’ve actually seen an improvement in the overall tone and texture. It’s smoother, feels hydrated and it’s definitely more even in tone. Since using Olay Whips, I’ve actually found I use less cleansers and feel less of a need to use things like tinctures and masks. And having SPF built-in especially as we enter spring and summer is pretty darn stellar.

So if you’re looking into some moisturizers, I highly recommend you try it for yourself (buy it online at WM.ca)!

x, S

[Notes From Bali No. 4]: Bend Like Bamboo

During my time in Bali, I was introduced to the Japanese proverb: “The Bamboo that bends is stronger than the Oak that resists.”

While it may seem counterintuitive, rigidity offers the perfect environment for fracture. Whereas adaptability accommodates life’s ebbs and flows.

Stiffening and avoiding hardship isn’t a show of strength. Just as admitting that life is suffering isn’t succumbing to sadness.

But there was a time in my life when I rejected this fact—call it an act of defiance, a stance of misplaced positivity, a false belief that control equalled strength.

But I’m truly the happiest I’ve ever been. Now—as someone who surrenders to this truth.

So if you needed the reminder: stand tall in the stillness, but make room for give in the storm.

x, S

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