Stawamus Chief Hike – Second Peak

Namaste everyone!

This past Saturday Hubby & I decided to go for a hike. We finalized our plans on driving up to the Sea to Sky Summit Trail and hiking up to where the gondola was, having a bite to eat and then taking the gondola down to where we parked our car. It looked like fun and doable, not too demanding and wouldn’t take the whole Saturday. We planned to leave by 7 am, but of course we ended up sleeping in and woke up at 7:30 am. We had some oatmeal and coffee. I packed some PB and jelly sandwiches, bananas, fig bars and water bottles.


Eventually, by 9 am we were out the door.

It was a beautiful sunny day, not too hot and it took us a little over an hour to drive from Surrey to the Sea to Sky gondola parking. We parked our car just across from where people took the gondola up as it was free parking, the only restriction we read online was that parking was only for three hours. (we parked for over three hours and thankfully we didn’t get a ticket!)

Off we started on our climb….

Start: Sea to Summit Basecamp

Our first sign. This looks like fun!


IMG_6173editIMG_6186 - CopyIMG_6190 - CopyIMG_6203

I could tell this was not a joke. The steps and rocks were steep. I was not physically fit enough to continue on without having to take a breath every one minute or so. Thankfully Hubby was patient and waited alongside me until I caught my breath and then we pushed onwards…


We stopped at a lookout point. It was very beautiful!


….and then on we went to find that gondola! Where oh where….? Wait…then we came across this map! We were actually on the wrong path! This whole time we had been on the Stawamus Chief Trail!


Well, there was no turning back now! Just as we were deciding whether to go to First or Second Peak, one of the hikers who was returning from her climb suggested the Second as it had more beautiful views….so off we went!


As we went higher and higher, there were fewer and fewer stairs and more rocks to climb. At this point, I believe we had been climbing for over 2.5 hours. I was getting really tired and felt like quitting. Hubby would keep reminding me ‘it’s all in the mind, we can do this, we are almost there!’


It got more challenging. We used metal chains to keep us from slipping off the rocks/tree roots. The interesting part was that everyone had a different way to maneuver through these depending on their flexibility, their height and foot size!


As we kept going and going, thoughts of….how the HECK are we going to make it back… popped up in my head. Ok climb…climb..


We were ALMOST there but then I developed a thigh cramp. We were pooped out! We rested a bit and I massage my legs. Enjoyed the view and kept climbing, carefully as to not slip on these rocks…


Finally, after over 4 hours of uphill climbing we reached the Second Peak! I wanted to cry!

Peace to the world!


You can see First Peak here with people on it.

We rested our feet, sat down and ate our lunch enjoying the scenery. A chipmunk came out of nowhere near our feet, but before I could grab my camera the little cutie disappeared.


After resting for about twenty minutes I realized I did not have a personal helicopter to call to pick us up and we had to head down. We needed enough sunlight to help us back to our car….so off we went…


The ladder was a tricky one…


Exhausted….the climb down was definitely difficult with low energy. My legs were shaking and my knees were sore. I ate a banana and drank water… almost there…almost there…


Then….we finally saw the bloody gondola….. hehehe


We wobbled over to the car and there was no ticket (happy!!). Went to the bathroom, washed our faces and decided to drive back to Surrey, grab some Thai food and head home….what an adventure this was!


My thoughts…

  • It took us 4 hours to climb up, a little over 2 hours to climb down.
  • I have been on many beginner hikes, this was definitely an intermediate hike!
  • It is doable, it is NOT a race but a journey! Take your time, pace yourself, and don’t compare yourself to other hikers. There were so many people I saw pass by me initially and as I was still climbing my way up, they were on their way back down! Did I feel bad? Yes, slightly…but I let the thought go…this is MY journey. I take longer than others but I WILL eventually meet my goal.
  • MANY a time it really is mental strength > physical strength!
  • Stretch before, stretch during and stretch after!
  • Take snacks, food, fruit, and water, you will be thankful!
  • Wear proper shoes and clothing
  • I had knee pain so I wore a knee sleeve and took Tylenol. This tremendously helped me and the knee pain was not so noticeable.
  • If you are hiking with someone/group, be there to motivate each other. I think this really strengthens your relationship 🙂

I was extremely sore the morning after, my Hubby not so much! Respect your body. Take a day to recuperate especially if a beginner/intermediate hike was a first time experience.

Hope this was enjoyable! I can see myself going on challenging hikes like these in the near future. It challenges me and keeps me working towards living a healthy and fit life!

Happy Monday everyone!




My weekend in pictures.

Namaste, here is my weekend in pictures….<3

Now that Hubby is here with me, I get hot frothy delicious coffee while studying….


Flowers in bloom and drenched in rain water…


We walk/run in beautiful nearby parks. The photos below are from Bear Creek Park, not too far away from where we live…we finally had rain after so many months of dry hot weather. The park is so green now!


We are moving to a new location in Vancouver next month, and this will be our view from the house. Happy times, I pray it will forever stay this way 🙂


Sunny days and rainy days 🙂 whale spotting!


Happy Sunday!

Happy weekend!

Namaste and Happy weekend folks!

It’s been a while since I wrote a post with random thoughts, so here goes!

First on the agenda —> my Hubby is moving over to Vancouver tomorrow! YAHOOO! Over 5 and a half years of long distance and let me tell you, it feels absolutely great to say this. Yes, it feels very surreal. I truly want to cry. I am trying really hard not to start bawling as I type this. I’ll grab some wine before picking him up at the airport tomorrow night and then we’re just going to come home and relax together. Happy married life to us!!! 🙂


–> Ever had those days when everything just felt weird? So Thursday was a late start at the clinic. As I was getting ready to work, I got this gut feeling that it was maybe going to be a strange day. I don’t know if it’s maybe that I set myself up for this and approached my day with a different thought process/attitude but it DID, in fact, turn out to be weird. People at work were stressed, running around and openly stated that today was just one of those days. Several patients snapped as me as soon as I walked through the door to see them! It was very strange, they definitely did not want to talk to me, the trainee. Usually, I have a wonderful experience with patients, but that specific day there were THREE of them. What was up with that?? So, I kept calm. Took a deep breath and just let it be. I chose respect and patience. I refused to absorb any negative energy coming my way. I survived the day. 

–> My best friend’s Indian baby shower was absolutely beautiful. 🙂 I was the main photographer for the event so it was absolutely awesome to literally be IN the middle of the happenings! I don’t have any pictures to share of their baby shower because it’s personal but here is one of my bangles! I was to wear an orange saree that day but thankfully I took a salwar along and wore that instead because I was running around taking photos!

There was a part of the ceremony where the mother-to-be has bangles put on her wrists by all the ladies who attend the ceremony. What I DIDN’T know is that she will have another woman sitting next to her who will be blessed by the ladies to have a baby in the near future….guess who that other person/woman was….ME! I was definitely not ready for this but it was such a sweet gesture for my best friend to ask me. So I sat down and the ladies blessed me as well 🙂 The red bangles you see there near my hand were the “baby blessing” bangles! haha 😉


–> The CaRMS residency application portal will open up next week. Yikes! I feel nervous and I don’t know what to expect this year…but you know what, I realized that worrying is not going to solve my issues. Instead, I will continue to do what I am doing and hope for the best.


Good night everyone 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend. Sending happy vibes your way!

Review on Sunmay facial cleansing brush.

Happy Thursday everyone!

I cannot believe that the Fall season is just a month away! Crazy much?? Time certainly flies, doesn’t it? I long for these months to slow down and stick around longer but I also look forward to new adventures in the future!

I had a day off of work today and have started to pack some Indian clothes for my trip this weekend.

Will be wearing one of the sarees from my wedding. 

I am super excited as I am flying to Chicago for my best friend’s South Indian baby shower, also known as valaikappu and seemantham. During this ‘baby shower’ we sit with the beautiful expecting mother, sing songs and place lots of colourful bangles around her wrists. Then later, the mother and father-to-be, the guests and the priest chant prayers and bless the baby.


It will be the first baby to be born amongst our friendship circle of four of us best friends who met in highschool, so it is pretty exciting 🙂 

So recently I noted my facial skin was looking dull and dry. Using a facial scrub cream and moisturizing it just wasn’t helping. I looked into buying a facial brush online and almost bought the facial cleaning brushes with the bristles but came across a dermatologist review. The dermatologist stated that buying the facial brush with the bristles would be harder to clean, so there would be an increased growth of bacteria on the bristles. I would be using the same brush with bacteria growth over and over again on my face and then I would have to look into buying a new brush replacement (not economical). (Kind of similar to a toothbrush… that reminds me I need to change my toothbrush, yuck!!)


The Foreo facial brush, on the other hand, was a facial cleansing brush made out of silicone, easy to clean and does a great job of gently cleansing my face. The problem…it was over $150!!! I was NOT going to spend that amount of money. Instead I found a dupe called Sunmay (see link) on for just over $30 CAD. It came with the facial brush, cute box, USB charger, a soft carry case, and instructions.


I charged the Sunmay facial brush for just over an hour, it has been about a little over two weeks now and I haven’t had to charge it since. I use it about 3-4x/week, just before sleeping. I love it because:

  • My face felt smooth
  • the pointy end of the cleanser reached the corners between my nose and cheeks where I am more prone to blackheads
  • the + and – increases and decreases the speed of vibration respectively
  • easy to clean with soap and water or alcohol spray/wipes
  • one side (seen below) is a facial scrub and the other side (seen in the last pic) is a massager!

I use it with my Alba Botanica facial cleanser which does an excellent job but is a bit drying on the skin. After washing my face I spray on my Radha Organics rose water (see link) and then use the Aura Cacia Sweet Almond Oil.


Completely make up free, I was pretty happy with the results!

This side (seen below) is a face massager to use with anti-aging serum/gels. As you can tell I have three I like to use. I do not know if these three are effective for wrinkle prevention because I may only see results after long-term use. I am not very good about using these anti-aging serums frequently. I am definitely non-compliant 😉 Anyway, but it is pretty cool I have this option!


Overall I am very happy with the products! If you use any of these products I have mentioned above (gels, creams, cleansers etc.) let me know what you think?

Have a wonderful week & weekend everyone!

** I was not financially compensated for purchasing the products above. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Adventures as a Medical Simulation Specialist – Part 3

Here’s Part 1 & Part 2

Namaste and Happy Friday everyone!

I ended my previous post with my adventures as a medical mission volunteer in India and working in critical care research!


Along with my research position, I also worked as a medical simulation specialist for about two years! This was pretty exciting because I was involved in:

  • medical education
  • writing patient scenarios (easy, medium or hard)
  • networking with various healthcare professionals
  • running medical simulation sessions using high-fidelity manikins
  • coordinated all the major (& minor) education events in the simulation lab

What is a medical simulator you ask?

They are high-tech manikins that have heart beats, pupils that dilate and constrict to light, eyelids that blink, imitate breathing by moving its chest up and down, speak, bleed or sweat and even have seizures! These manikins have vital signs that can be changed according to what patient scenario is to be run! You can intubate them, perform surgeries, deliver babies, perform CPR and even shock them!

Health care professionals use these manikins to practice their knowledge and skills on. Better to make mistakes and perfect skills on manikins that have a restart button!

Our sim centre had several adult manikins, baby manikins, pediatric manikins and even a BIRTHING manikin – this was pretty cool! We also had an ultrasound simulator to practice ultrasound skills & learn to read the images.

I’m seen here with my friend who was the medical simulation specialist before I joined. She matched into family medicine residency and is a practicing doc now! 🙂

I would control these manikins from behind a one-way mirror using a laptop that was wirelessly connected to the manikin! So I would be able to see the participants but they would not see me and what I will do next. I also had a mic that would allow me to pretend to be the patient and answer relevant questions – it was a lot of fun 🙂 I can make the scenario as hard as I want it to be or go easy on them 🙂


Most memorable days?

I LOVED coordinating and running education days! Queens University family medicine was affiliated with our hospital, so a major chunk of their education session was in our sim lab. Emergency department would hold ED education days in the sim lab. Pediatric Advanced Life Support courses (PALS). Advanced Cardiac Life Support courses (ACLS)…and the list goes on.

Here are some pictures from a few education days:

These education days consisted of planning and coordination that starts MONTHS in advance. I, the education department head and all the team members would have frequent meetings discussing:

  • what scenarios we were going to run (and work on those scenarios)
  • what skills stations are we running
  • what props/simulators are needed
  • if there was not a prop or simulator already in the sim lab that could meet the expectation of the educator, I would have to create one! I’ve made some pretty cool ones – pericardiocentesis models, chest tube insertion models, central line insertion models etc.
  • I would ensure all the rooms are booked, all equipment is ready to go, all people have been informed etc.

ON the day of – I would show up extra early make sure everything is PERFECT, and so far all of our education days have run pretty smoothly, if I can say so myself 🙂 There have been a couple of glitches with our simulators of course…can not expect technology to be perfect…but after some thinking it would be up and working again.

The adrenaline rush I would have at the beginning of the day…and by the end of the day when I see everyone’s smiling faces, knowing they had a wonderful experience I know I did my job well 🙂

After about two years though, I loved what I was doing but I was getting too comfortable. My GOAL was to match into a residency program and I needed to get back to clinical medicine. The knowledge and experience from clinical research & medical simulation education traveled with me as I left Ontario and moved to British Columbia!

It was 7 months ago, I took a deep breath, prayed I was making the right decision, booked a one-way ticket and left my family and friends in Toronto, my Hubby in Pittsburgh…and it was hello Vancouver! 


Till next time! 🙂 Hope you enjoyed this post!



Friday randoms

Namaste & Welcome to my Friday randoms…. ❤

  • It’s about 10:30 pm for me here in Vancouver and I am missing Hubby. He is fast asleep in Pittsburgh as it is 1:30 am for him. I am bored.


  • I look forward to starting up my new position as a clinical research assistant on a University-affiliated women’s health study that we’ll be running out of the family medicine clinic. I will be using an ultrasound-type probe to detect any lumps, masses, cysts in a subject’s breast(s) etc. The hope/purpose of this project is to test whether this ultrasound device can help detect and diagnose breast cancer easier and be less invasive than other methods. ->


  • I’ve been really into smoothies these days. It’s fresh berry & fruit season in B.C.! There are several generous patients who drop by and show their thanks to the physicians in our clinic by dropping off crates of blueberries, cherries, peaches, strawberries, and nectarines! I don’t hesitate to help myself to some before I leave the office. Nom nom 😀

If world leaders could take some time to chill out and share a smoothie together, I  believe it would solve a lot of problems!


  • This video —>


  • I am looking for a professional looking vegan/pleather bag to take to the office that will fit my stethoscope, notebook, cell, wallet, lunch etc. I find them to be expensive though. Here are some that I liked, easy to sanitize and wipe outside.

Matt & Natt, Nicora




  •  I love this –> 19510099_1077414549026499_8943403872213451791_n


Peace, love and happiness everyone. Have a wonderful weekend! Grab yourself a smoothie 🙂 ❤




Three-ingredient frozen chocolate dessert!

I didn’t think that this frozen concoction of mine would be so popular! 🙂 So here is a short and to the point post on how to make this frozen chocolate dessert!

  1. Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut OR chopped peanuts OR hey, why not both 🙂


2) In a bowl -> chocolate chips and the almond milk


3) Zap this in the microwave for 1 minute, stir in between. Take out of microwave and throw in the mix-ins (coconut, peanuts or both!). Stir! Resist the urge to eat the whole bowl of ooey gooey yumminess 🙂


Ummm where was I? Oh yea…..

4) Use two spoons to make little blobs on a tray lined with foil. Freeze for 30 to 45 mins and you can devour! 🙂


Here is my pic from the frozen chocolate peanut bark. I flattened it and then froze it —>


You’re welcome 🙂