Summer in Vancouver

Happy Summer!

It honestly has been quite some time that I have written about anything (busy life problems, am I right?).

I have been going through so many personal adventures and I have had so many things to share. I decided to come back and write about some of things that I have been up to this summer. Summer is so glorious in Vancouver, I cannot complain. Although, I work Monday to Friday, the weekends are spent exploring the city. The best part of Vancouver is that there is an endless supply of adventures. If you are into low-key sitting by the water, we have tons of bodies of water whether you live in the city or more outside of the lower mainland, there are various options. If you’re into the more intense exploration, we have anything and everything to cater to your adventure needs.

Personally, some weekends I need major adventures and other times I am very low-key and just require a tree to sit under to read my books. I wanted to share 5 things that I think are the best things to do in Vancouver (that are free or a low cost). Of course, this is entirely my opinion and there are many other blog posts out there of even more exciting things to do in Vancouver.

  1. Vancouver Symphony Orchestra @ Sunset or Deer Lake Park

This was my first year attending the free concert and I will forever make it a summer tradition. The orchestra shares with us a display of wonderful music, talent and beauty. The concert lasts about 2 hours. My friends and I made it into a thing. We brough a picnic basket, dressed up and basked in the sun while we lived our disney princess dreams. Although, I ended up with heat exhaustion (at the beach performance), it was worth it. I would highly recommend that you take transit or do what we did and get there early, since finding parking basically sucks.

2. Surrey Fusion Festival

Another fantastic event is the Surrey Fusion Festival. Although, my video is from last years’ event (I’m heading there tonight for the final day), I had to share. The Surrey Fusion Festival is a culmination of different countries coming together to share their music, their food and culture with the City of Surrey. The Fusion Fesitival has played a large part growing up in the Surrey/Delta area. My dad has performed at this event a couple of times and it makes me proud that we live in a place where we can share this with others. Plus, I really like food. I am quite adventurous when it comes to food, so this is the perfect place to try new things. This year Walk off the Earth is performing and I am super excited.

3. Celebration of Lights

Although I have not gone to the Honda Celebration of Lights since I was a kid, I hear it is a great experience. I hope to go this year. Every year, different countries show us a display of colorful lights (I only see pictures through instagram). This year the line up is Sweden, South Korea and South Africa. This event draws a major crowd. It is highly recommended that you make a day of it, find a place and stay until the end. The event is divided into three separate nights and at the end, a winner is chosen.

I really hope that I finally get to go on one of the nights. Its hard when you live outside of the city.

4. Lakes & Beaches

Not including the cost of gas and food to take on adventures. This is the least costly thing to do in Vancouver. Again, depending on where you are in Vancouver, there are tons of bodies of water to plant yourself to and enjoy. My three top places to go are Sunset Beach, Crescent Beach (which is about 45 minutes from Vancouver) and Buntzen Lake (about an hour from downtown Vancouver). Our parks and beachs draw a lot of attention in the summer. Being by the water makes me so happy. I enjoy sitting outside, reading my book and listening to the water splash. I don’t know how to swim (so being in the water terrifies me). And before you laugh at my not knowing to swim, I legit have this thing where if I cannot touch the ground, I freak. However being near the water is so soothing for me. I love it. When I was younger being at the lake was my childhood. Unfortunately, adulting sometimes gets in the way of being by the water.

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5. Playland (FAIR AT THE PNE)

Okay, so this is the most expensive on this list. But when the PNE Fair at Playland starts, it is fantastic. Playland is already great on its own with all the rides and carnival foods, but the Fair makes summer wonderful. More attractions, more random foods, more fun. They also have amazing performances (Summer Nights Concerts Series) on given nights and that’s what really lures me in. This year Cyndi Lauper, Boyz II Men, Salt N Pepa (for 90’s night) will be performing and I think that is absolutely exciting.

https://www.pne.ca/summer-night-concerts

These are so many other things to do in Vancouver. I could honestly go on. There is always something happening in the summer and I think that’s why I love summer. I think I want to share more about my adventures in Vancouver and outside of Vancouver. Let me know if that is something you are down to read.

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De-Clutter, Clutter

“The point is, you need to distinguish between what honestly moves you and what the world is telling you should melt your heart. If something doesn’t reach you on a personal level, let it go. It’s hard enough dealing with everything that does.” by Judi Culbertson

The Clutter Cure:Three Steps to Letting Go of Stuff, Organizing Your Space & Creating the Home of Your Dreams

Do you have a drawer full of stuff that you either don’t use, have no idea what it used to be or just haven’t even opened yet? Well, I did.

For the past few months, I have been spending a lot of time de-cluttering my home, my room, my garage, my phone and laptop , my shelves, and my life in general. I honestly find cleaning therapeutic and there isn’t anything wrong with donating things to people who need it more than I do or selling things for extra cash…I mean, I have to pay for my Iced Soy Cinnamon Chai Latte somehow now that I’m unemployed…it’s a luxury that I like having once in a while.

Anyway back to what I was getting at, I have never felt so good cleaning and getting rid of things that are just sitting there. For some reason, some of us get emotionally attached to things because we think we will forget the memories that came along with them. I had two boxes full of “memories” which is just a lot of knick knacks that I have collected over the years; ticket stubs, movie stubs, birthday candles, ribbons, hockey tickets, you get the idea. I decided to go through that box and organize it as much as possible. I have organized so much that I can hang almost all my clothes, I have only 6 drawers filled with clothes. It just feels so good to have nothing under my bed (I only have my workout equipment under my bed) and have my cat sleep under there without a fear that he will get hurt. Organizing and owning less is the new thing, if you didn’t know!

So here are my tips on de-cluttering your life, room, car, etc.

1: Turn up some jams!

  • Jamming to music makes the job a lot less daunting and a bit more fun. So crank up some backstreet boys and clean it all up!

2: Pick an area

  • There are some people or some books that say to do your whole house at once but if you do have a job, there is no way you can do all of it in one day. You could do it on your day off but most people do all their errands on their days off. So I say start off slow, make a check list of the areas you know that need to be cleaned, de-cluttered and organized.

3: Have three boxes or bags!

  • One for the garbage
  • One for donations
  • One for storage

You will find that sometimes your favourite pair of socks have way too many holes in them so you definitely want to through those out. A really good trick that I have learned comes from the one and only Martha Stewart on how to de-clutter your wardrobe or closet, check it out Closet Organization. She has quite a few tips throughout her website, there was one and I wish I could find the link for but I find her website super helpful.

4: Always ask yourself: Do I need it, Will I wear it…

  • These questions will keep you on task and will definitely help with getting rid of things you no longer need, no longer love, or just no longer want. Also, be careful because sometimes you’re in the zone and accidentally get rid of something you still wanted.

5: Be Inspired.

  • Don’t feel forced to clean. Do it when you really feel motivated.

I have this rule now that I de-clutter not only physical things that I own but feelings, emotions, thoughts that make me feel bad. Most of the time you feel claustrophobic in your home and it’s not because of all the stuff you have but sometimes it’s stuff you keep inside that you need to let go. So I say clean up your contact list, delete people you don’t talk to or toxic people. I know that’s pretty crazy sometimes but I have done that, my contact list is so small because these are people who I want in my life. They are highly motivated, encouraging, supportive, funny, good people overall but most importantly, Drama-free.

De-cluttering doesn’t only clean out your home but it gives you some piece of mind. I know you’ve probably read so many blogs about this but it does bring you closer to you. In our society, we are bombarded with needing so much, we need the latest shoes, the latest phones, the latest this and that, we forget we have so much and we accumulate so much stuff to “satisfy” this idea that we need all of it to be happy. Don’t get me wrong, I have so many books but I either gift them, keep them or donate them in order to share my love of books. Consumerism is a problem but we won’t get too into this. Why? because we all know it, we admit that it’s a problem.

Anyway, it feels really nice to completely clean up, to recycle all that paper, re-use that old pair of earrings to make something creative to give as a gift. If you really want more stuff on de-cluttering, I’ve heard really good things from Youtubers such as Ingrid Nilsen and Essie LaLonde. There is also a really good book out there that has been talked about a lot basically everywhere, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering And Organizing by Marie Kondo. I haven’t read it yet but I plan to and see if I do anything that she mentions.

Well, enjoy the rest of August! I can’t believe it creeped up behind us and is already almost over.

Review: Lemongrass Deodorant

I’ve never actually written a review before, so I’m extremely nervous at how it may go. Recently, my body and skin has gone haywire, I’ve always suffered from cystic acne but this time around it’s pretty bad and my whole body has reacted weird to different products. Someone told me, I could have a lot of toxins in my system, so I decided to start purchasing toxin-free products and reducing the amount of ‘bad’ food that I eat. Since I like make-up, lotions and all of those kinds of products, I decided to give this deodorant a try. It’s from Rocky Mountain Soap Co, a company that aims to make their products toxin free and with natural products. I love that, as a society we tend to use a lot of chemically produced products that can have terrible effects on our bodies and skin. I would know, I have sensitive skin and I can’t apply to much on it or else it gets bad. I’ve decided to detox my body, but I also don’t want to look scary because of my skin or smell bad by using other products that are natural but don’t last too long.

I was quite hesitant because I’ve tried other liquid crystal deodorants and they didn’t protect for long periods of time. I actually don’t have that problem with their deodorant. It’s reasonably priced, around $8.50, I chose lemongrass because I think it’s the most energizing and invigorating smell out there. I gave it the ultimate test–wearing it to the gym. I thought it was going to not make it through the hour gym session but to my surprise, there was no sweaty, smelly pits. I could only smell the lemongrass, which was great. I’ve been using it for about two weeks and I’m just really impressed with it. My pits are even starting to look better and not so dark anymore which is great because summer is just around the corner and I’ve always had really ugly pits. So I’m thinking it had to do with all the chemicals I was putting on them. This was my first purchase ever and I will continue to buy it because I just love it. I’m super excited to keep trying more of their products.

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Who am I? Why am I here?

It’s quite funny how these questions can be taken so literal or looked at in quite an existential form. It’s scary to even answer them in either form. I don’t even know what to say when I am asked this during job interviews. How do you even begin to introduce yourself without sounding so pretentious or really really out of it. While I write this, I can’t even find the words to tell you who I am and why I am here. But I guess I shouldn’t over think it right?

If I wanted to be literal, I would tell you that I am a Criminology Major, I am 23 years old and unemployed at the moment. I spend most of my time either focused on school or enjoying free time by reading or writing, going on small little adventures around my city, which is Vancouver, if anyone was interested in knowing that. As a student, I find that we tend to be focused on academic writing and facts, and I wanted to continue using my creative side for awhile. You know like when you were in elementary school, or I guess some of you would call it grade school, where you would learn your basics but then some fun creative project came along. This is what this blog is for me. So I guess I am answering why I am here. I am here to become a better writer, to not lose my creativity, practice proper grammar and punctuation. I am here because I like to write my thoughts, my feelings, to write about my skin routine, about what I eat, where I have gone. I have about 7 journals that I have accumulated over the years (I had more but I went to 11 different schools, so things do get lost). I want people to know that there is someone out there for them who might have anxiety like I do, to just embrace it. This is why I write. I could have stuck to just keeping it personal but sometimes branching out and coming out of your comfort zone is the best thing ever. That’s really what my blog is about. Stepping out of your comfort zone. Embracing skills and having fun doing it. I’m still not very good at it. I’ve looked back at some of my blogs and I have found mistakes but I leave them because I want to see my blogs evolve into something between special and interesting.

This first assignment is quite interesting because I am about to graduate in 4 months and the questions “who am I” and “why am I here” plus “what will I be doing” have actually been lingering in my mind for quite some time. I have so many plans but having a blog is one of the proudest things that I have accomplished so far. Even after I get my first “grown up” job, I want to be able to blog and share cool things with whoever reads my post.

XOXO

Beingmaarthaa

P.S if you’re wondering about my name. It’s also my IG name. I went through so many names and one day, I realized–I’m just being me. I had finally somewhat embraced who I am…even if I still keep evolving.