2013 – The Year that Was

by torontogirlwest on December 29, 2013

Hello Friends!!

Did you get the same thing I got for Christmas!?!? lol That’s right, fat! I got fat! :P

Not quite but you know what I mean. Out the window went my regular healthy lifestyle and in came the girl who ate all the things!!!! Thankfully, that only lasted a day or two and now that we’ve made it past Christmas, I’m ready to return to normal – so look for some posts on getting back into a healthy routine, in the near future!

In all seriousness though, Christmas was lovely. The Husband was crazy (!!!) busy with Masters assignments so we thought we might actually have to skip Christmas but he worked his little butt off, and we were able to go to the Island and celebrate with the in-laws. As usual, it was nice to spend Christmas near loved ones, surrounded by good food, and festive cheer.

My parents unfortunately were not so fortunate . . . I don’t know if you heard but the weekend before Christmas, Toronto got hit with a crazy ice storm that knocked out power to much of the city. My poor parents spent six days without any electricity!! And because our fireplace hasn’t been used in over 15 years, the house was without heat and the temperature hovered around freezing. Knowing that my parents were having such a rough go of it definitely made it harder to enjoy the Holidays. Thankfully though, they had power restored on the evening of Boxing Day and they’ve been nice and toasty ever since! :)

I do hope you had a wonderful Christmas, wherever you spent it! And I hope you were blessed with the truly important things – like love, joy, and hope! Because honestly in the end that’s what really matters about Christmas!


A China Update

Some of you have probably been wondering where all my China posts are – don’t worry, they’re coming!! In fact, I was talking to the Husband about all the posts I have to write about China, and he joked that I had enough material to make 2014 my China year. And although he’s partially right, we all know there are plenty of other topics I want to write about. That’s why I thought it best to come up with a system!

Each Friday from now on until I finish recapping our month-long China adventures, I will post a travel blog. It’s my intention to write two more posts about Shanghai before moving on to Qufu, Jinan, Qingdao, and Beijing. Given everything I have to share, I expect it will take me the first couple of months of 2014 to finish writing about China. And once I’ve run out, well I’ll just have to go on more adventures! ;)

So remember to come back this Friday for my post on the fantastic (!!!) dumpling tour we took in Shanghai!


Auld Lang Syne

It’s that time of year again, the time when we look back on the year that was and look forward to the year that will be. And you know what friends? This has been a really good year!!!

I started 2013 with a post entitled, “To New Beginnings.” In that post I talked about how the Husband and I had decided that our goal for this year would be to create a greater sense of balance in all aspects of our lives! And I can honestly say that we’ve been successful. Now that’s not to say that we haven’t busy or that there haven’t been stressful times. But above all we have remained committed to our greater sense of well-being. For the Husband that has meant finding a way to handle both a challenging full time job, with a full time Masters program, and his commitments to family. For me that has meant finding a way to manage both my demanding career, with increased responsibilities around the house (while the Husband has been doing his Masters, I’ve picked up some of the slack), my commitment to our little family, and maintaining a good relationship with loved ones that are far away.

Yet despite everything that life has thrown at us in 2013, we’ve come out the other end with some definite highlights!! Here are some of my favourites, in no particular order:

Running Over Burrard Street Bridge

1. The Year of the Runner 

2013 was the year I deemed, “The Year of the Runner.” After a hiatus from racing of several years, I decided that 2013 would mark my triumphant return to running. And although some injuries and health difficulties got in the way of my half marathon goal, I still managed to successfully complete both the Halfway 5K, and the Vancouver Sun Run! And am I proud? You bet!!!! It wasn’t easy, or particularly pretty but I did it and I could haven’t felt better about myself!

Will I do it again? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out! ;)

Puppy in Bike Basket

2. Family Time

As I’m sure you can imagine, with both the Husband and I working full time, and the Husband doing a full time Masters program, family time is not easy to come by. But we’ve found a way to carve time out to spend with each other, and to make that time really count! For us that can mean everything from a bike ride around the Seawall with Daisy, or sitting in a park listening to the Husband read his research out loud. It’s the little things that are special!

Besides, the end is nigh! The Husband will finish his Masters program this summer, and I’m looking forward to us being able to enjoy spending more time together! :)

Indian Arm Cruise

3. Exploring Vancouver

Although, we’ve lived in Vancouver for two years now, it still feels like a relatively new city to us! There’s still so much to explore and enjoy!!

This year we made sure to get out and enjoy Vancouver and its surrounding areas, by visiting new to us places. One definite highlight for us was the cruise we took up Indian Arm! It was nothing short of spectacular!! I’d even go as far as to say that it’s a must-do with visitors to this gorgeous city!

Bistro 35 Surrey

4. All the Yummy Food

You guys know me, I love delicious food!! And this year, we definitely had some good eats! :) In fact, I’ll always remember 2013 as the year that I discovered my favourite restaurant in all of Vancouver, Via Tevere. But I will also remember 2013 as the year that I discovered THE best Indian food I have ever had, at Bistro 35 in Surrey! The picture above is from that epic meal, and it’s a review that I’m looking forward to writing very soon! :)

Candida Friendly Lunch

5. Killig Candida

Ah yes . . . I could not let a highlight of 2013 list come to a close without mentioning the whole killing candida episode. 2013 was the year where my tummy did things I did not approve of. Seriously, it was not cute. No one could tell me what was wrong, until Dr. Marr ND walked into my life. He’s a fantastic naturopath that has helped me heal my gut.

It was a seriously arduous process. But it was entirely worth it. I guess you could say I learned a lot about the inner workings of my tummy this year – turns out that when experts of various kinds told me for years that my body processed sugars different than everyone else’s, they weren’t wrong. Go figure . . .

Great Wall Mutianyu

6. China

And of course, there was the most epic of all of my adventures of this past year – China!!!!! Also known as that time we packed our bags and took off to the other side of the world for a whole month!! Spoiler alert? It was absolutely life changing! I honestly loved the experience more than I ever dreamed I would!!! The Husband, and I got to do some epic things – from hiking an entire section of the Great Wall, to exploring Thousand Buddha Mountain in Jinan, to dancing with complete strangers in a public park in Qufu . . . it was a brilliant month!!!! Definitely one to blog about! :)


So there you have it friends, just some of my highlights for 2013! It was definitely a fantastic year and I’m truly excited to see what new adventures 2014 will bring!!


Question: What were your highlights of 2013? 

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Danielle @ LabelsAreForTinCans December 30, 2013 at 3:29 am

Loved reading your highlights and glad you were able to still celebrate Christmas! ;) Exploring Vancouver has definitely been a highlight for me!
Danielle @ LabelsAreForTinCans recently posted..What to cook when you have no power


Toronto Girl West December 30, 2013 at 9:31 am

And yet there’s still so much more to get to know about Vancouver! Or at least, that’s the way I feel! :)
Toronto Girl West recently posted..2013 – The Year that Was


healthyfrenchie December 30, 2013 at 7:31 am

Great highlight! And such a shame for your parents! We have frequent power cuts here, and last time we had one for a few hours we were so annoyed. I can’t imagine spending 6 days at Christmas with no power! I’m glad it came back on though.
healthyfrenchie recently posted..It was a merry Christmas


Toronto Girl West December 30, 2013 at 9:32 am

Yeah it was definitely hard on them – particularly because of the lack of heat! And I didn’t realize Fernie had frequent power cuts but then again I’m not surprised; I know it’s a huge problem in Golden!
Toronto Girl West recently posted..2013 – The Year that Was


Samantha Angela December 30, 2013 at 11:01 am

I cannot wait to read about all your China experiences!!
Samantha Angela recently posted..Top Posts of 2013


torontogirlwest December 31, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Yaaayyy for China excitement! ;)


Marianne December 31, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Highlights of 2013? Finishing internship & passing my exam so I can put the letters RD after my name. Moving in with the boyfriend. Moving to the West End. Spontaneous trip to Las Vegas. Getting 2 RD jobs. And all the little fun things that happened along the way :) Looking forward to the adventures 2014 is bound to bring!
Marianne recently posted..Bacon Pancakes with Caramelized Cinnamon Apples


torontogirlwest December 31, 2013 at 8:55 pm

2014 is going to be awesome for you!!! That’s why you must blog about it – I want to hear all about your PG adventures!!!! :)


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