Baseball, Breweries, and Bubbles

Well! It has been a busy week for this girl, but a great one. I celebrated my day of birth and for all you Virgos out there you can attest to the fact that we are very stubborn people and I personally would rather fuss over others than others fuss over me. This week turned out to be a series of wonderful events that allowed me to spend my time with some of my favourite people. Overall, it made for a very memorable and enjoyable birthday week - a week that may take me another week to recover from.

My friends and I have been going down to the watch the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners play for 5 years now. This year the series landed on my birthday, so to keep up with the tradition 10 of us headed down to Seattle (along with the rest of Vancouver and any Blue Jay fan in the tri-state area), to cheer on what would hopefully be the turning point of the recent subpar Blue Jays' performance (and, of course, to heckle some Mariners along the way.) The Jays put on an epic performance and had all of Safeco field erupting in excitement with their 10-2 win. I love Safeco field: the roof was open, the structure is simple and airy, and I also think there isn't a bad seat in the place. Another selling feature of the stadium is the garlic fries - who doesn't love to eat chunks of garlic?? Well, some people I'm sure have a garlic aversion, so I'd recommend it to be an all or nothing decision in the group because the smell is STRONG. With the buzzing energy of the game, the after party led us to the infamous Cowgirls. Think Coyote Ugly meets Urban Cowboy: girls in leather chaps and a mechanical bull. The Blue Jays even made an appearance, they must have heard it was my birthday...

This weekend I was also gifted a Brewery Tour from my sister! A first for me and definitely on my Vancouver to-do list. I'd highly recommend Vancouver Brewery Tours - our guide Rachel was awesome and very knowledgable! Vancouver is now home to 50+ breweries and that number is only growing. We visited 3 breweries: Brassneck, Strange Fellow and Storm. My preference of beer is not as extensive as my preference of coffee by any means, so I was excited to learn more about the art of craft beer. My lovely mother (an avid wine drinker) joined me so it was a fun new experience for the both of us. I've summarized each brewery along with my favourite brew and some facts I learned along the way: 

  • Brassneck:
    • What I learned: 
      • The 4 ingredients to Beer: Yeast, Hops, Water and Barley.
      • There are actually only TWO types of beer: Ale and Lager.
    • What I drank: No Brainer, Hibiscus Wit, Old Money Mild, Passive Aggressive.
    • Favourite: No Brainer! 


  • Strange Fellows:
    • What I learned:
      • A brewery known for it's sour beer selection and aged beers - that's right: like wine, beer can be aged for years! On average, most beers age 6-8 weeks but some can be up to 15 years.
      • Oak Barreling: Offers a different depth of flavours and aromas that are absorbed by the beer over time.
    • What I drank: Sour, Saison, Dunkel, White IPA.
    • Favourite: Saison or the Sour - it almost tasted like a cider.


  • Storm Brewery:
    • What I learned:
      • Vancouver's oldest brewery! (In operation for 22 years).
      • When drinking a sour beer you are supposed to take 3 sips to appreciate the taste.
      • The owner does NOT like pumpkin beer but brewed an 'Apple Pie' Lager which was delicious for fall! 
    • What I drank: Vanilla Whiskey Stout and Apple Pie Ale
    • My Favourite: BOTH!! 

My birthday celebrations concluded with a girls' night out for dinner at Hapa Izakaya for some sake and sushi, followed by bubbles and live music at the The Lobby Lounge in the Fairmont Pacific Rim. A great spot for live music and even better people watching. 

So there you have my birthday round up. It was a great week and I'm so lucky to have all the amazing people in my life that I do (insert sappy emoji here). 




Say YES... then Netflix and Chill.

As we near the end of January, I find it crazy how people’s emotions are a pendulum from the beginning of the month - the promise of new resolutions and optimism for the new year ahead - and then mid month hits and the pendulum hits a giant boulder and you almost feel stuck. You realize you go to work when it's dark, come home when it's dark and, for Vancouver, the winter rain has set in and that can be a bit of a downer.

I've been deemed a bit of a "planner" among my friends, I love organizing group events, hosting dinner parties, volunteering and getting involved in different events in the city - I want to admit that part of my motivation is that I am single and live alone and if I DIDN'T reach out and organize things I would lead a sad life sitting in my apartment binge watching Netflix, alone. That's why I have a rule: say YES to as many invitations as possible - especially if it's outside of your normal routine! It's always hard getting there but usually 95% of the time you're happy you went or it's an experience to talk about.

A few things I said YES to this week:

  • A visit to Grouse Mountain! I usually just visit the mountain after doing the traitorous 3km hike up. This time we went up to see the snow!! Crazy this mountain is just 20 minutes outside of downtown and it transports you to a winter wonderland with activities like skating, sleigh rides, skiing and some epic photo ops in the twinkling lit forest walk. See exhibit A: My loud cackle captured on film.
  • Another fun (and NEW!) thing I participated in this week was volunteering for the Vancouver Symphony Ball! It was a black tie, "Singing in the Rain" themed event and all to support a good cause - what better way to spend your Thursday night? I'd also recently purchased some black tuxedo pants that I needed to debut at the perfect event...  on a white carpet. 
  • I joined one of the many "new" online dating apps, "Bumble", yes ladies, there are bee's out there waiting for you to talk to them! And by Bee's I mean men. This site is a bit different than the other ones because the woman needs to make the first move within 24hours of being matched - I'm a fan of the concept, but I won't lie, my rate of return on responses was about 5% (Insert defeated emoji here.) HOWEVER, I did connect with a guy and am proud to say I am going on a date this weekend!

So you can see the theme here: say YES...JUST DO IT. You won't regret it! Well maybe you will, but then you'll have a story to tell over a bottle of wine with the girls and you'll always have your sweats and Netflix to go home to ...

Happy Weekend!





New Year. New Me. Cliché, I know.

So 2016 has finally arrived, whether we were prepared or not, people start to naturally outpour all of their New Year resolutions and mantras, including my favourite: NEW YEAR, NEW ME (said it a boisterous Oprah voice). 

I’ll admit this year I was a full on textbook example of someone aspiring to make this year the BEST ONE YET. These plans didn’t so much include resolutions, but rather:

1. Complete a WHOLE 30 ( The “cleanse” that includes no sugar, dairy, grains, legumes… oh and Prosecco and other fun boozes.

2. START A BLOG, this one was a long time coming. I actually signed up in October but it finally came to fruition in January. The New Year: time to get shit done. (Thanks for tuning in to blog #1!)

3. See a psychic! I admittedly spend a large percentage of my days worrying about past, present  and future life so, any sort of insight I could get – spiritual or otherwise, was welcomed for my sanity but also to spare my friends the ramblings of over analyzing yet another year of Lauren.

A check-in on progress…

1. I lasted 5 days on the Whole 30, and a few series of events (and Vodka) have lead me back to Day 1. Life happens and sometimes plans change – but I’m back on the horse…

2. Blog #1 published = SUCCESS! 

3. I really enjoyed the psychic experience. I left feeling optimistic about life, appreciating the things I have to be grateful for and worrying less - a little, at least. I’ll chalk it up for the win and, if anything, I am excited to see how the year unfolds!

So whether you’ve gone all or nothing on the resolution front, a few things to keep in mind: it’s not the end of the world if plans change, that’s life. Tomorrow is going to happen either way, and like the music legend that was David Bowie said, “You could be a hero/ Just for one day / We can be us / Just for one day” So just be you, everyday. 


LC (FYI: a nickname I go by, in a world with many Laurens)

Said goodbye to 2015 in my hometown, Edmonton, Alberta. Photo Cred: Elizabeth Marie

Said goodbye to 2015 in my hometown, Edmonton, Alberta. Photo Cred: Elizabeth Marie