Panda Brunch

The sound of my alarm stirred me in the early morning. I put on my face my heart pitter-pattered as the time came closer.

The last curl was set as the ding of my phone informed me my family arrived.

Yawning & stretching we began the exciting journey to visit the giant fuzzy bears that warm my heart.

But first…  BACON!

We arrived at the zoo, tickets in tow and made our way to the Eurasian BBQ tent for lunch. As we took our place in line we laughed and joked our stomachs grumbling.

Piling my plate with bacon, sausage & ham with a few delicious crisped potatoes mmmm

As we sat they began to tell us all about giant pandas and what they eat etc.

We finished and then it was panda time!

As we entered into the panda exhibit the humid mist kissed my face. The swarm of early brunch-ers rushed to see the panda cubs rolling around & ripping up bamboo. Mama bear seated nearby munching along as well.

In the opposite exhibit, the big papa panda sat on his platform ripping his bamboo apart.

The hardest part? trying to capture all the panda cuteness!

Following the fluffy black and white bears, we made our way over to the Lemurs!

On route, we paid a visit to the giraffes, the hippos and the lions!

The beautiful fierce cats laying out in the sun. Breathtaking.

I smiled as we entered the uniquely designed exhibit, Lemurs swinging and frolicking around. The ring-tailed lemurs all curled up, viewing us as we viewed them up on their perch.

The red-fronted Lemur family was poking around and eating closer to us. I look forward to seeing the black and white ruffle Lemurs when they get here.

As we finished off we took a bit of a caffeine break, me with my diet Pepsi and my fam jam had their coffee’s

Followed by a journey into the butterfly exhibit and the plant area. Very interesting to watch them fly and land all over gracefully.

Onto the Otters! The playful creatures swimming all around with hyperactive energy. They are some of my favorite animals ever!

Next, our journey brought us to the chilled deep as we entered the home of the arctic birdies aka the Penguins!

Listening to them call out it can scare you a but in a joyful way! We saw a male sitting on an egg which I’ve never seen before. The Gentoo, King and Rockhopper Penguins are all similar in look (although I am obsessed with the Rockhoppers yellow brows) but they all appear to have such juxtaposing personalities.

We made our way out front to see the Humboldt Penguins, playing in the water in the hot summer sun. Such a funny sight to see in the middle of Calgary aka cowtown.  

Next, we went to the restaurant Grazers and had the fabulous Italian buffet! Yummmmmmmm!

We finished the zoo part of the day and digested our delicious lunch with a walk through the dino park. What a fabulous pre-birthday adventure!

 

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26 Years!

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Twenty Six. двадцать шесть. sechsundzwanzig. veintiseis.  

dau ddeg chwech. tjugosex. divdesmit seši. dvadeset i šest.
двадесет и шест. dvacet šest. fiche sé. ventisei. vint-i-sis.
dvadeset šest.  二十六. Дваесет и шест. Sitta u għoxrin.
tjueseks. seksogtyve. zesentwintig. kakskümmend kuus.
二十六. kaksikymmentäkuusi. Vinte e seis. sechsundzwanzig.
εικοσι εξι(eikosi exi). huszonhat. Tuttugu og sex. dwadzieścia sześć.

Vinte e seis. douazeci si sase. veintiseis. hogeita sei. дваццаць-шэсць.

No matter what language it is expressed in Today I have now walked the earth for 26 years!
In the past 26 years, I have lived a life some may never know, I would not change it for anything. From the kid who was always told she was too chatty in class to the winner of a young writers award to the girl who had 3 jobs while in business school to almost losing my life in 2016, its certainly been a hell of an adventure and I look forward to more memories!
For fun I am taking a Bday questionnaire:
  • Nicknames: Manda, Manda Panda, Pumpkin, Patootie… I have many!
  • I am OFFICIALLY 26 years old!
  • My favourite food is: Steak & Seafood, caesar salad & stuffed baked potato nom 🙂
  • My favourite book is: Gosh I have so many!
  • My favourite movie is: Nightmare before Christmas or Factory Girl.
  • If I could change my name it would be: Hmm Maybe not something so ordinary.
  • When I grow up I want to become: Better at adulting?
  • When I was little I used to: Wear a diaper on my head and rubber boots. That’s it.
  • My best friend is: Amazing.
  • The snack I would eat every day if I could is: Cheezies and Diet Pepsi.
  • My best memory is: Times spent with my Gramps
  • My favourite breakfast food is: Bacon!
  • I want to go on vacation to: Europe.
  • My favourite toy is: hmmm not sure I should answer that.
  • My favourite game is: Monopoly & Scrabble or Sims 3!
  • My favourite colour is: Red & Black.
  • My shoe size is: 7.5
  • My favourite thing to wear is: Black on Black on Black with a cute choker.
  • I like my house because: It is in a location I love near my family and favourite places.
  • My signature looks like: A toddlers.
New year, a new website (Mkhipz.com) and a whole new outlook!
 
I hope you all enjoy!
xoxo
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Retrospection: 730 Days

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Retrospection is such a profound and important, human reaction. When we review our own actions, experiences and consequences it can really impact our self-growth, self-esteem and our plans for moving forward in the future. Every year I try to reflect, with the anniversary of the day I wasn’t supposed to live anymore being only 14 days from my actual birthday my reflection begins around now. It has been 730 days since I was admitted & faced 6 weeks in the hospital, some intense surgeries and awakening from a coma my parents were told I may not awake from. Two years later, it seems hard to believe still.

This past year has emotionally and growth-wise been one of the hardest but very impactful…
In December I returned home to YYC and I can promise you anytime you pursue serious life moves with distinct expectations, they will not go the way you planned. This year tested so much of me, I am coming on 26 and I am happy to say I feel much farther through the clouds then I thought I could be.
Below I am going to share my blog post of some of the lessons I wrote about from my reflection in May 2017 but first I want to state my 2018 reflections/goals.

Some of the most important things I learned this year are:

  • Learning to resolve challenges on your own is empowering
  • Connect with those who enjoy your company as much as you enjoy theirs
  • You are never done working on yourself!
  • Setting goals is essential, completing them is imperative
  • You can run from your problems but they will always be next to you.
  • Find the balance between healthy alone time and hermitting
  • Love yourself, always.

This year has most importantly taught me that you always have 5 million things more to learn! I wish everyone a fabulous next year below is a copy of last year’s reflection in case you missed it!

Reflection: 365 Days Later

It is not the experience but instead the drive for change that turns miniature successes into achievable contentment (in life, self and our own personal version of the human experience.)
In my short time on this earth, I have had many experiences both positive and negative. No experience, however, can compare to that of opening your eyes to the bright stark white lights of a hospital room, family around me, tears streaming from all.
Today marks the anniversary of the day I could have lost my life, one year ago.
The astounding changes that have come to form my new life are nothing short of unbelievable.
Through the tremendous support of my close family, my amazing team of doctors and more recently the newly formed friendships of some awe-inspiring individuals.
I by no means think I am any life expert or think my growing is done but I would like to share some of the lessons I have learned throughout these past 365 days.

The Importance of being comfortable alone
As I was in a substantial long-term relationship from a young age I’d never experience being without a teammate and although I wouldn’t say it’s always fun, I’ve enjoyed my past year as a free agent. It is very hard to build yourself when you’re building a relationship. It’s one of the best lessons I’ve learned and I now quite enjoy my time to myself.
Loving YOURSELF really must come first.
I know I pretty much outlined this in the paragraph above but there is much to be said for this statement. It took me 24.5 years to learn it but I can truly say that although I always have my list of self-improvements to do, I love my weird crazy self immensely.

Be your own cheerleader
Make choices that you are proud of, this gives you license to share. There is no shame in telling others how you can contribute to their lives or how you are improving your own.

The relationships you take for granted are, the most important.
Parents, children, friends, doctors, heck the barista who makes your coffee each morning these are the constants in our life that we very rarely take the time to thank or acknowledge.

In your most vulnerable time, you will know who has really has your back.
This is pretty self-explanatory, when my life and health completely fell apart I found out who cared and who only cared when it suited them best. I think everyone eventually learns this, hopefully not all after a coma.
Someone who takes all your power: does not love you.
Whether it is a family member, boss, friend or your main relationship if someone is making you feel weak, trapped, lost and alone they are toxic. I know it can seem impossible to break free of these types, especially when you surround yourself with them, know that you can break free. When you do, consider getting help. These relationships can bring us down to our darkest points, leaving us with a defeated attitude, low self-esteem and a sense of loss. It’s definitely hard to cleanse our lives of toxicity but it leaves more time to build up our other relationships and ourselves.
Last but not least:
IF YOU DO NOT FEEL WELL IT DOESN’T MAKE YOU WEAK TO SEEK HELP!
I was in pain for two days before I went to the hospital and I almost waited another day which would have for sure killed me. Sassy is cute but stubborn can be deadly.
Overall this experience actually changed my life for the better. I can say I am happier, healthier and calmer than I’ve ever been. I am a strong confident young woman and I am eager to continue to experience all life has to offer me.

New Year, New Everything?

Hello hello,

It has been quite some time since I checked in but I am in the process if setting up a regular routine for myself again and hopefully that includes regular weekly blogs again.

ALOT HAS HAPPENED since my last blog!

I moved cities, moved provinces, I am in a career transition, new home, new life… yipes.

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When my father and I began the 7 hr drive on January 29th we were skeptical. With weather predictions grave my mom packed sandwiches, water and blankets in preparations for an emergency that may occur.

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We laughed as the temperature climbed slowly down as we travel further from the Okanagan into the prairies.

I arrived home from my visit to Calgary on the 17th, and was moving back by the 29th, aka I have the best family ever!

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Even though of course a bunch of hiccups and glitches have arisen it’s important to be grateful and keep pushing through.

Looking forward to writing more and exploring where I can take the blog in 2018.

Have a great day y’all!

Farewell Halloween 

Halloween has always been one of my favorite times of the year. The season sets in with the aroma of pumpkin spice and carries us through with unique displays of grizzly ghouls popping up in stores, time honoured movies like the great pumpkin and finally concludes with the parade of little faces calling out joyfully for treats.

In many years past Halloween has been a month long obsession for me with various costumes and spooky activities. Although not a permanent choice, this year I lay low, pj’d up & contently worked.

I have been perusing my various galleries and decided to share some of my best, weirdest and cutest costumes.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Family Adventures

Think about your favorite places to go in your city, your neighborhood, your street?
Your favorite coffee shop or bakery?
How long did it take you to form these as your go-to?

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When my sister and godmother gifted me with a mini staycation in Kelowna  it was originally intended to be a vacation in the city downtown Kelowna. Little did we know it would be a week into living in Kelowna I’d be living meer blocks away from the hotel.

Now the weekend it happened it was perfect as my other roommate was moving in so I was able to make myself scarce so perfect.

Now normally when your family comes to visit you show them your spots. This however was a brilliant way to get to know my new home!

Upon their arrival I showed them my home and we then made our way to lunch at another family members home. With the afternoon gifted to us I took them to the delicious creamery Moolix! We took our cones to the pathway near the water and I showed them the docks. Pictures taken and ice cream gobbled we carried to the lovely paths guiding us along Kelowna’s lakeside.

Checking the time we headed back to relatives for one of my newest favourite dinners, spit roasted roast beef. My mouth salivated even now months later recalling it.

After a lovely family visit we arrived back at the hotel dropping our things and headed out in search of snacks.

Salty delights located we returned ready to plot our adventures for the following day.

As the sun caught the curtains I peered out realizing there was the making of a beautiful day! We set out to breakfast first checking with the hotels restraunt. Although the place seemed dead we were given a 40 min wait estimate so we wandered out onto Bernard.

Hmmmm-ing and haaaa-ing  we made our way back to the restraunts voting that if nothing else a hot caffeinated beverage was needed for all.

As we were seated, we were warned about the wait. Shrugging our shoulders we ordered our drinks and settled in. As my perfectly poured chai latte was placed in front of me I smiled. It was time for catch up anyways we didn’t mind the wait warning.

15min later our food arrived….
Perfectly made French toast and eggs Benny. All that warning for what appears nothing.  Oh well it was a great start.

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Next we strolled our way down to the downtown farmers market. This was my first time attending to, it was great to experience. We had our faces painted including a very awesome Pikachu being portrayed on my cheek. After purchasing fruits, falafel and naan we dropped our food off at our very close hotel fridge.

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Tummies grumbling I suggested a place i knew was great… Pho! Two orders of the house special later, you could have rolled us out of there!

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After a dropping off the leftovers we decided it was time to walk off some of the eats and we started going into each of the stores on Bernard. Again I just moved here so it was extremely thrilling to be scoping the lay of the land together.

As the evening set in I took them to the fabulous roses where I had previously had amazing mussels. Now I had only been to roses during the day and hadn’t a clue how popular the spot it. We were very lucky to snag an outdoor corner patio seat with a view of the docks and lake.

We started with an order of the delicious mussels, true to form they were amazing!

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For my main I had the heavenly mushroom Swiss burger & fries, the girls had fish & chips. All the food was extremely delightful.

The sun set a long the lake as we listened to the musicians in the park, making our way to our quarters.

Snuggled up with salty snacks from the previous evening  we reflected on our day.

Catching up, laughing and sharing our years accomplishments, these moments are often the most connecting.

Tucking ourselves in we bid goodnight and prepared for our next day of adventure.

“Coffee we need coffee, coffee and eggs Benny?” We threw out statements about our breakfast expectations, slinking up to the eatery “The Bread Company” we saw on their board out front “Eggs Benny”.

Inside we went, all of our first time, we reviewed the vast selections of culinary deliciousness. Placing our order we found our seats and discussed more of life and planned intentions.

When breakfast arrived our table purred with mmmmms and yuuuuuuums.
This was a wise choice & is now a regular destination for me.
With tummy full we got our check out moved to late and began store hopping again.

A couple hours later we were famished we decided on Mexican! I have to say I am a supreme loved of Mexican foods and this place did not disappoint even carrying my favorite hot sauces.

Bellies stuffed we continued exploring the shops and sites downtown, with another stop at the ice cream shop we headed into the park. Enjoying our final moments together.

As the clock reached the time to go we quietly returned to the hotel.
Cab called, hugs given & away they faded into the street.
Sad but smiling I waved them off, dreams and promises of more visits.
Au revoir. Goodbye for now my dears.

MMMMMmmmm… Misato

Tucked away in downtown Kelowna is a darling little sushi restaurant called Misato’s kitchen. They have an amazingly charming atmosphere and wonderful staff. On a lovely warm evening I found myself and my appetite strolling into their location. Greeted with pleasant smiles I ordered my drink (classic diet coke lol) and waited for my company to join me. Upon arrival we studied the menu and requested the following delights:

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Beef Don: Searing mushrooms, onions and beef piled delightfully high on broccoli and rice. Truly heavenly.

Miso soup: aka the soup of the gods, my all-time favorite soup since I first experienced it in grade 10.

Summer California rolls: a delicious take on a delightful classic.

Tempura: Crispy crunchy and full of flavor these prawn filled delights added the perfect crunch to an already gratifying experience.

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Tummy stuffed and rawring back at me, the table was cleared. Appetites satisfied as stroll out into the night, another satisfying food adventure!

#Throwback Blog

Halloweenie

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Knox Mountain Knox Mountain Knox Mountain

Knox Mountain Knox Mountain Random Waiter Scarcrow
The day began with murky overcast threatening a dull, dismal and dreary tone.

However no fowl moods would be in allowance for this fine day was one of my favorites aka Halloween!!

My very first spooktacular in the valley was not what you’d expect. However it was a great way to begin my new memory making! As you’d probably expect I have a vast collection of costumes, to experience a complete Halloween day one must costume up as early as possible!

As the last curl is set, my cherry lips puckered…time for a selfie…

Then on to fill our bellies!

My lips wrapped around the perfectly medium rare Angus deliciousness! With sautéed mushrooms, cheese as well as crispy bacon the Feenie burger was just what my tummy was craving. The show stealer however was the garlic mayo dip that I got with the fries holy man! Perfectly portioned, textured and seasoned steak fries scooping up the dip like it was going out of style!

On to some exploration…. costume edition!

Up Knox Mountain the setting was both mystical and breathtaking. The mist kissed my cheeks as I peered out to the gorgeous view. My eyes dazzled throughout my field of vision.

Sadly it had appeared that the rest of Kelowna had decided Halloween was already over by Monday so I only saw a few other costumed out individuals but it was still one of the best days I’ve had out here!

Next year? Corn maze!

#Throwback Blog: My first week in KTown

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Touring Around

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The wind howls as it blows into the open windows of the truck, smile on my face as we pull into town. The little houses spread neatly across their streets filled with old town charm.

 Today was my first look into my new surroundings…

 There are beautiful flowers in the gardens and pots hung around. The buildings, clearly re-stored all have an antique cheek feel. Rustic architecture with hip new cafes, art galleries and shops contained inside. I do not quite have the strength to walk the streets yet but that will be for the next visit, for now touring around is making me smile. We drive down the streets and to the beach, it was busy although I imagine Canada Day must have been even busier. We see the statue of the dolphins and view the beautiful beachside Delta. Now… time for some lunch! We find some parking and although we come to find our first restaurant choice is not open we soon find a suitable replacement Karen O’Malley’s Irish pub, delightful service, delectable eats and a very interesting décor. Then we hit the road, opting for a longer more scenic path home. Passing through the fields and farms, viewing the playful calves and lush shrubbery.

 I’d say it was a good day. 🙂

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