Sunday Blog Post in Photos – Campbell Valley Park

Namaste My Readers โค

I am back in Vancouver! Check out our Urban Jungle Oasis. Our Buddha sits happily and peacefully in His garden. I cannot believe how much my plants have grown in a span of two weeks!

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I added a new plant to the mix, a Prayer plant from Wal-Mart for less than $4. She had a few dry leaves but she is beautiful.

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Today was a beautiful day to go walking/hiking. We did not want to travel too far for our walk so we drove over to Campbell Valley Park in Langley. Blue skies, sunny, slightly cool day – it was a perfect January afternoon.

Here are pictures from our afternoon adventures. Unedited photos with my new Samsung Galaxy S7. Today’s adventure gave me a chance to test out the phone’s photo taking abilities. It did not disappoint. ๐Ÿ™‚

We took the River Loop Trail + South Valley Trail + Ravine Trail (to the farmhouse)

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Another one of my favourites. Moss and fence.
Me
Hide and Seek!

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Sun
Sun streaming through the trees.

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Blue skies and tree.
I love this photo and this tree.
Stairway to Heaven
Hubby and I were sitting on this bench named: Stairway to Heaven
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Yes. Tree from my head ๐Ÿ™‚
The Angel
By chance I came upon this Angel. She was sitting inside the tree seen in above photo.

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Ducks
Feeding the ducks!
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Many chickadees were eating seeds left on this tree for them!

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Squirrel
Chubby one! โค

We were all smiles at the end of our hike! Much needed Vitamin Sun + exercise + nature! Finally one last picture, we had to stop for this ๐Ÿ™‚

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Have a wonderful week everyone! Peace, love and happiness always! โค

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Happy New Year 2018 + home made apple cider recipe!

Namaste my readers!

Happy New Year 2018!ย How did you spend your New Years Eve? Braving the cold, bundling up and celebrating with family and friends outdoors or staying warm indoors? Whatever way you celebrated, partying or sleeping in, I hope that this New Years brings you all happiness, success and good health โค

Hubby and I decided there was no way we were heading outdoors in – 30 degree C temp! So instead I built a terrarium in the afternoon, made some home made apple cider, baked some vegan brownies (with and without walnuts) and then my Parents, Hubby and I celebrated with some friends at home. We played Pictionary and ate a lot of snacky-type foods (chips, dip, sandwiches, samosas etc.). We counted down to 2018 and greeted one another Happy New Year! Overall, a very busy and fun day! Today is a little bit more relaxed just lazing in my PJs beside the fire place, updating my blog and reading up on how to care for succulents.

Here are some pics from the night!

 

Unfortunately it totally skipped my mind to capture some food pics and game pics! Sorry about the unattractive left over brownies pic!

The Apple Cider was a big hit! I made it in the InstantPot. If you’re making it for a party, start early as it takes 6 hours to simmer. Makes 10+ glasses of hot apple cider.

Home Made Apple Cider

8 red delicious apples

2 tart oranges

10 cups water

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 large sticks of cinnamon

1 – 1 1/2 teaspoon of cloves

1/2 teaspoon of cardamom

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder

  1. Slice apples and oranges. Remove seeds. Stick them in the InstantPot.IMG_20171231_145935
  2. Fill the cheese cloth with the spices (cloves, cardamom) and put in pot.
  3. Sprinkle nutmeg powder on the apples and oranges. Place two cinnamon pieces in the pot.
  4. Pour 10 cups of water.
  5. Close InstantPot and set to “Slow Cook” for 3 hours.
  6. After 3 hours open the InstantPot, remove the cheese cloth of spices. Blend the softened apples and oranges. Place the spices back into the pot. Add half a cup of brown sugar. Close the pot and press “Slow cook” for another 3 hours.
  7. After the next 3 hours are over, open the InstantPot and strain the pureed mix and collect the juices.
  8. Serve the apple cider hot and enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚
  9. If the apple cider is not sweet enough, you can add more sugar if you prefer.

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Here are some pics from my terrarium project! My next blog post will be on a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a terrarium using an old fish tank!

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Good evening and see you again!

Good things will come to those who do not give up!

Namaste my readers & Seasons Greetings!

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My perfect Buddha statue, taking Him home to Vancouver

Belated Christmas Greetings and Happy (early) New Year 2018!

I am in Toronto with my family for the Christmas and New Years celebrations. It feels therapeutic to be at home, comfy with my parents, grandmother and brother around.

Hubby had to work this past week and will be joining us in Toronto tomorrow!!! Speaking of work – Hubby got a wonderful job in Vancouver! He’s so hardworking and intelligent, I am extremely proud of him โค !!!ย We are transitioning from student to adult life in our mid-30s (but we feel like we are in our 20s! think young, feel young! :))

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On a Friday night coffee date after work!<3

The cold temps are CRRRAZY! Ranges from 11 degrees C during the day to (feels like) 30 degrees C at night. Since arriving in Toronto, I don’t think I have stepped out of the house. No complaints ๐Ÿ™‚

CaRMS applications were sent out a while back and I was nervously awaiting emails (even one!) for interviews. This year I took a big risk and only applied to Canadian programs. In previous years I have applied to the US and spent a truckload of $ and barely heard from programs for interviews.

I chose to apply to only Canada for a few reasons:

  1. My updated clinical experience and letters were from Canadian physicians
  2. My husband is in Vancouver with me now, why do I want to move to the US when we are finally together?
  3. Financially, it did not seem worth it.

After weeks of waiting, I heard positive news about an interview at my top choice program! I feel blessed because I have some residents who are volunteering to help me prepare for this.ย I pray I match in 2018. I can finally start blogging about my residency experience and help other IMGs out there undergoing this struggle.

Since moving to Vancouver I felt a positive change within me and around me and I want to see this continue in 2018 and on wards.

In 2018….

  • I WILL match into my top program. I will work harder than ever and prove that I am worthy of a family medicine residency position.
  • I WILL focus on toning up. This includes working on the passion to hike to new places around British Columbia!ย I really admire med students, residents and physicians who take the time to work out regularly and eat healthy when they could be sleeping/napping/lazing on a couch watching Netflix.

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    I found this on the wall of the coffee shop!
  • I WILL continue writing in my Gratefulness Journal! I started this back in November and I love writing a few notes in it when the feeling/thought strikes me ๐Ÿ™‚ I believe that by focusing on what I am grateful for, more good things will come my way.IMG_20171127_151757_337
  • I WILL learn to meditate and meditate often for peace of mind.IMG_20171226_214916_744
  • I WILL continue to paint and work on my new found liking for growing plants! Hubby and I have collected quite a few plants in the house now….
    • newly propagated Jade plantIMG_20171224_115432_389
    • Monstera
    • Other plants as mentioned in my previous post are doing well!
    • I am taking a few clippings of a few plants from Toronto to Vancouver. Mom has a green thumb and she will be giving me clippings of her Jasmine plant, Spider plant (different variety than what I have now) and Hibiscus/shoe flower!

For now, these are the I WILLs I can think of for 2018 and I am satisfied with it.

Wishing everyone a safe, happy and healthy 2018. May everything you are working hard for and dreaming of materialize. You deserve it. โค

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Two cups of chai and Sunday randoms!

Namaste and Happy Sunday everyone!

Hubby and I had date night on Saturday! We celebrated our two year wedding anniversary, it was relaxing and wonderful! โค We visited Bloedel and loved the winter lights.

We participated in a game where we had to find 12 Penguins in the conservatory, if we found all of them we get candy canes! Woohoo for team effort! โค

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Ate at Meet on Main, a delicious vegan restaurant with amazing food.ย  We ordered drinks, burgers that came with fries and a side salad and because our bellies were bursting, we ordered dessert to go: the CRONUT (filled with coconut Bavarian creme)…..!! Sorry for the blurry pic and well, there was no dessert pic because I ate it before I could take the picture ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sinfully delicious, I will drive an hour JUST for dessert!

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We stepped out of the restaurant and it was pouring rain, we skipped the idea of heading over to White Rock Pier to see the Christmas lights and instead drove over to IKEA in Richmond.

Recently Hubby & I have a growing interest in plants, researching, youtubing, asking Mom dearest (aka Garden Queen) back home in Toronto about advice. We came across a mini IKEA greenhouse and instantly fell in love!

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Some really cool plants, a few we ended up buying (succulent+cactus+fittonia) plus some coffee mugs…

We came home, put the green house together and arranged our plants in the green house last night…Cactus, African Violet, Succulent and the Fittonia…

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Then Mom dearest advised us not to keep the succulent in the green house because it does better in dry rooms, so we changed it up.

The succulent sits beside our spider plant in the living room…

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The fern was unfortunately drying out often, so we split apart the fern and transferred it to three different pots. One of which I put into a tiny pot and stuck it in the green house. the other two in the bathroom. It does better in moist environments.ย Our money plant/pothos is doing well in the water! ๐Ÿ™‚

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We’re happy now ๐Ÿ™‚

I haven’t wrapped the gifts I got my attendings as a way of saying Thank You for putting up with me as a trainee all these months ๐Ÿ™‚ I will be giving them their gifts this week before I fly home to Toronto for Christmas and New Years! Yay!

Ok…enough of my randoms…time to enjoy hot cups of chai and the rest of this beautiful rainy Sunday evening in Vancouver โค

Tell me about your weekend! Do anything fun? Are you a plant lover? Tell me more about it!

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Personalized Letter from Santa

Hello folks!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful time, enjoying all the chocolates, smiles, holiday goodies and enjoying the thought of the upcoming Holiday Season! What are your plans in the upcoming weeks?

At the clinic, every time we walk into the lunch room there is a new box of chocolates waiting for all of us to devour! I am quite happy that I am unable to eat many of these chocolates as they are not vegan, or I would have totally gained over 20 lbs by now ๐Ÿ™‚ Yum yum!

My plan is to visit my parents, grannie and baby bro and in Toronto for the Christmas and New Years, I am looking forward to this. Missing them terribly! I can’t wait to annoy my brother, it’s been too long!

I had visited the Vancouver Christmas Market last month and as my friend and I wereย  getting ready to exit the market, there was a booth where we could send a letter to Santa Claus, I thought why not! I remember writing a letter when I was much younger and actually received a reply. Now, in my 30s I wondered if I would get a reply.

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Initially I was considering asking Santa to help me match into the family medicine residency of my dreams, but as I started writing the letter I changed my thoughts and basically asked him to grant peace, love and happiness all throughout the world. ๐Ÿ™‚

I had completely forgotten about it until today when I was SO happy and pleased to see a personalized letter waiting for me in the mail today….here it is (pay attention to the last sentence….ahem ahem) I wonder who Santa is referring to?! Totally put a smile on my face ๐Ÿ™‚

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Here are some pictures from the Vancouver Christmas Market! Christmas lights, vegan goodies, drink samples, ornaments and just all around fun!

 

๐Ÿ™‚ Good night!!

Visit to the Vancouver Bloedel Conservatory!

Namaste friends!

This weekend my bestie, H, and I toured a bit of Vancouver! We have known one another since highschool in Toronto! H moved from Ontario to Vancouver to work as an MD clinical trainee and we haven’t had a chance to tour around together until now!

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Vancouver has been quite rainy for the past few weeks and so we planned an indoor activity on Sunday afternoon – the Bloedel Conservatory! I recommend everyone visit it at least once. It is serene and filled with beautiful tropical plants, birds and fish!

You can walk through Queen Elizabeth Park, and then climb up the slope to see the Conservatory dome. In the distance you can see the city and the mountains! Fall time is beautiful but I would love to revisit when it’s Spring/Summer time!

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After clicking a few photos, we went in to buy our tickets. It was not expensive, $6.50 per adult. It is humid inside the conservatory and there was no where to hang our coats/jackets, so we held onto them as we walked around.

There are two laminated information sheets they provide you just before you start your walk around the conservatory. One is a map with info (numbered) about the tropical plants and the second about the birds!

It was beautiful…

 

During our first “round”, our heads were turning everywhere as there was so much to see! The awesome part as we reached the end, we made a second “round” leisurely to view the plants and the birds in case we missed something the first time.

Some advise…

  1. Bring a good camera to capture beautiful photos! I regret not having carried my SLR, I would have had better beautiful photos. The ones above were taken with my cell phone. They do not allow selfie sticks.
  2. It is accessible by bus. If you are arriving by car, leave your jackets in the car as the conservatory is humid.
  3. During Fall/Winter it does get dark by 4:30/5:00 pm. Arrive early to have a relaxing leisurely walk in the garden and within the conservatory when there is sunlight.
  4. Pick a time (maybe during weekdays) when there is not much of a crowd.
  5. It is definitely a romantic date night idea! You guys will enjoy the beauty of nature and when it grows darker the city lights!

When you’re done touring the conservatory and you are hungry, it takes about a 20 min walk/7 min drive to Main street. There are many restaurants to eat at! (we ate at The Reef – some great vegan items there and oh so filling!)

All in all a wonderful trip! I recommend you make your way over to Bloedel Conservatory.

Next, I’ll fill you in on our trip to the Vancouver Christmas Market! Filled with Christmas lights and caroling, German food, beverages, arts and crafts!

Good night!

Wednesday Coffee Date!

Namaste everyone,

Have some coffee or tea with me and let’s catch up ๐Ÿ™‚

—> My exam is done, my CaRMS applications are in and…..well I feel lost as to what to do next, have you ever felt that way before? It has been go! go! go! When big things get done and then you just sit back and think…ok am I forgetting to do something? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I just got anxious!

—> There are more updates to my CSA/IMG information page, check it out!

—> our Christmas Cactus is blooming!

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—> Here are my TV/movie recommendations since I have been lazing around lately catching up on shows: Grey’s Anatomy, This is Us, Scandal…..on my recent Netflix watch list: Woman in Gold, Stories by Rabindranath Tagore, A Christmas Prince, Barefoot in the Park (cute movie)….and the list goes on!

—> I want to create a small simple meditation corner in our living room. I’ve been browsing some ideas on Pinterest.

As I am in search for the perfect Buddha statue and incense holder, I will be visiting a cute trinket shop nearby the White Rock Pier called Bella’s Miracle Shop.ย ย I have walked past this store when I was at the Pier last time. They were so kind to message me on facebook with a bunch of Buddha statue photos to see if I liked any! Can’t wait to visit the store this weekend!

I watched this video on different types of Buddha statues and what they mean.

—> Candle purchase from Winners, the best scented candle I have ever come across โค

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—> #residencygoals: I was recently at St. Paul’s hospital for a meeting held by the AIMG-BC group just before residency applications went out. The front of the hospital was decorated with lights! So pretty!

—> My favourite songs on repeat (some old some new)!

—> Some recent vegan eats we made at home!

Follow me on Instagramย @lifeandmed for vegan food ideas!ย ย Speaking of food…it’s dinner time! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think we’ll have some Maggi noodles with veggies tonight (lazy dinner).

It was fun catching up! More updates later this weekend as my best friend and I will be heading out some adventures if the weather gets better!

Goodnight!