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!

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Wednesday Coffee Date!

Namaste everyone,

Have some coffee or tea with me and let’s catch up 🙂

—> 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? 😉 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.  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 ❤

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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 Instagram @lifeandmed for vegan food ideas!  Speaking of food…it’s dinner time! 🙂 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!

 

 

 

IMGs trying to match in Canada

Where does the time fly?

Another two weeks have gone by without a post. I have been busy with studying (MCCQE1), traineeship, research, applications….and well enjoying married life in general!

I wanted to dedicate a page/tab for my fellow IMGs trying to match into Canada. It’s a difficult process and unfortunately there is little information out there to help us. I have been on this journey for several years now and I do not know when I will Match. I have done research on various routes to take in Canada to better our chances and I want to share this with IMGs in Canada looking for more information.

https://lifeandmedicineblog.wordpress.com/international-medical-graduate

Come back in a few days and I will have something up. Thank you and good luck to ALL of us for this upcoming CaRMS season!

 

Friday night blog post…let’s catch up!

Namaste & good evening everyone,

 

It’s Friday night and I’m typing away while sipping on some ayurvedic tea…it has been a while since I posted something. Let me make you some of your favourite tea, or do you prefer wine? Let’s catch up…

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-> I love being married. It is so wonderful to wake up in the morning, or come home from work and see a loving caring handsome face. To have a travel buddy, work out buddy, motivational buddy or a lazy buddy to snuggle up with all-in-one at home with me! 

THIS Cartoon

-> Recently we went to the International Buddhist Temple in Richmond, Vancouver. The Temple was serene and a great place to walk around in peace or meditate. We could light incense sticks and pray. Stay away from the restaurant though, read the reviews on Tripadvisor and you’ll see why. Here are some pics…

-> I have fallen behind on my CaRMS applications, not good! I have about another month more before residency applications go out and I have yet to update my personal statement (I have so much more to write about this year). I have approached my letter writers and they have given the OK. I am slowly editing my CaRMS online application. I completed my CASPer exam the other day, which seriously is a pain in the bum. :/ Every year we have to take this exam for 4-5 programs in Canada that I want to apply to…..ughh…anyway.

-> I tell you that the breast cancer research project that I have been working on at Simon Fraser University is going well. I am now recruiting subjects into the study and we are giving the breast cancer screening device/ultra sound a final test to work out any software bugs. Next week will be busy at the University working on this, looking forward to working with some subjects soon!

-> My breakfast habits have become so horrible. About 3-4 days a week, I run out the door with a mug of soy milk coffee and 2 vegan fig bars. From 8 am to about 3 pm, I run around like a headless chicken, sipping on some water in between and then come home and collapse on the couch because I am so hungry. Why do I do this to myself? When I am busy running from patient to patient, or at the university testing out the device for research I push hunger to the back burner –  but my stomach growling gets REALLY loud. I regret it once I am home and realize, why don’t I just take the time (even ten minutes) to eat something. My brain would function better, I wouldn’t be cloudy brained and I wouldn’t be exhausted at the end of the day when I want to get some studying done. :/

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-> Speaking of food, check out these spice containers from Ikea! SO CUTE right? We bought the labels separately. You can see how we arrange all our spices, lentils, rice etc. in jars.

You can get the spice jars here

-> We also LOVE our Instantpot and our Bread machine! Some food pics…that fresh bread loaf was made with whole wheat flour, turmeric, spices, coriander….and the instantpot had channa masala in it!

-> Pro tip, if you have a very soft bed and it’s hurting your back, stick a stiff flat cardboard box just below your mattress topper. When we moved into this new place we had the soft mattress problem. The flat cardboard box has done wonders for our back!

That’s about it for tonight, tell me what you have been up to! If you haven’t already, follow me on Instagram and Twitter!

Have a wonderful night and it was wonderful catching up! 🙂

The Pier at Sunset

Namaste,

Hubby & I went to White Rock Pier this evening. It had a wonderful vacation feel 🙂 It was absolutely lovely holding hands and watching the sun set.

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We will be back again soon as this is not far from where we stay. Next time coffee/gelato date 🙂

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.

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Mmmmm…coffee…

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!

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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…

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

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….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!

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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!

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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!’

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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!

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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..

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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…

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

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Peace to the world!

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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.

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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…

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The ladder was a tricky one…

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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…

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

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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!

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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….

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Flowers in bloom and drenched in rain water…

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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!

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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 🙂

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Sunny days and rainy days 🙂 whale spotting!

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Happy Sunday!