From 2013 to 2014, and my first long run of the year

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Wow. Where to begin? I really just want to tell you about my awesome 20km run yesterday, but I think I should start my first blog post of 2014 with a quick 2013 recap and maybe some personal goals for 2014.

2013 was such an amazing year for me. I rang in the new year with two girl friends who I think the world of so I was already off to a fantastic start. I fell in love with yoga and running. I ran my first marathon ever. I ran my second marathon ever. I did a solo trip to Costa Rica which was life-changing. I graduated university. I learned how to do a headstand.
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I learned that to love others you have to love yourself first. I went on my first blind date ever (and it wasn’t a complete disaster!). I got a job as a pastry assistant at a french patisserie and moved to Vancouver (wait, what?!). I realized how lucky I am to have things that make saying goodbye so hard.

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Uh, yeah. So back to the part about moving to the other side of the country..a lot has happened since my last post and I feel like I am only just getting a chance to sit down, breathe, and share this new part of my life with you. About a month ago I packed up my things and headed out west to Vancouver where I was lucky enough to get a job as a pastry assistant at a french patisserie. I’ve only been working there for just under a month now, but I love it so so so much. Getting paid to bake and do what I love, seriously?! And as if things couldn’t get better, my boss who is the owner/head baker is so nice and ridiculously talented and creative. I am so inspired by the beautiful cakes, macarons, pastries, etc that she creates and feel so lucky that I have the opportunity to help create beautiful things. I also am loving being out west so far, I can’t get enough of the mountains!

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I’ve never been into new years resolutions after being forced to come up with a list of ten every year in elementary school (mine were always the same: be nice to my sister, clean my room, stop global warming, etc.)  Instead, I like to set goals, so here are a few of mine for 2014:

– eat less chocolate (too late, I’ve already binged on an embarrassing amount and we’re only 6 days in the new year..)
– learn how to do a forearm stand and hand stand (and hold it)
– run a 4:30 marathon and a 4:20 marathon
– blog more!!!!!

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These stunning and scenic images were all taken on my cell phone during my 20km run yesterday with a friend. We were planning on doing maybe 8-10km, whatever the distance was around Stanley Park on the gorgeous and famous seawall. The weather was perfect, sunny and clear skies, and we both felt pretty good so we decided to run to Granville Island to get lunch there. We ended up having to loop around the coast to get to Granville Island, so by the time we got there my Garmin read 19.6km.

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I should probably tell you that I don’t normally run 20km just for fun, but I am training to run the Around the Bay 30km race in Hamilton this spring so it worked out with my training schedule 🙂 I also don’t normally run with friends, let alone GUY friends who are naturally faster than me, but my friend took it easy on me and let me run at my pace, most likely because otherwise I would have been wheezing the entire time and unable to carry a conversation which would have been pretty boring for him 😛

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Naturally once we got to Granville Island we were starving, and we may or may not have inhaled 2 donuts each in record time…oops. I managed to snap a picture of my second donut, it was SO GOOD, the best chocolate donut I have ever had! Although to be fair, I think any donut after 20km would be the best donut ever.

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Then we couldn’t help but split a poutine…oops again. I think I run just so I can eat things like chocolate donuts and poutine. Although now that I think about it, I should probably make “eating healthier” a new years goal for 2014.

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If you’ve been reading The Little Spork since 2013 (or before!), thank you for staying with me through my sporadic blog posting schedule. I hope to share a ton of great recipes with you this year, along with my adventures in running and life. I have a recipe I’m excited to share with you tomorrow, so until then!

xo,
Lianna

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Costa Rica

IMG_4978I just got back from a week-long getaway to Costa Rica, and have been wondering how to best share my week with you. I guess I should start by letting you know that I had a truly unforgettable week. I only told a few close friends and family where I was going before I left as there are many people who frown upon girls travelling across the country on their own (I know this having experienced this before I left for New York City a few months ago). I was excited to learn how to surf and was pleasantly surprised to meet and befriend a group of like-minded, independent women when I arrived. The week went by in a magical blur and only on the very last day did I realize I had barely taken any pictures to capture moments to share with you. To be honest, the whole week felt so surreal that I was almost scared to preserve a memory in the form of a photograph in case I couldn’t capture the exact feeling just right. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’m going to do my best to paint a picture for you with the following words.

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(I’m not very good with sharing personal aspects of my life but I want this to be as real and honest as possible mostly because I’m scared that one day I will forget the details, so I’m sharing my story with you as though I am writing a letter to a boy I spent the week getting to know)

I remember the exact moment when our eyes first met. It was in the restaurant out front of my hotel room, and like many restaurants in the area this one didn’t have any walls, rather pillars holding up a roof. There was a gentle breeze around us, and you were sitting by yourself at a table a few feet away from me. I looked up from my schedule that outlined the events for the rest of the week and caught you observing me, quietly. I noticed how warm your brown eyes were. I gave you a shy smile but ducked my head before I could see you smile back.  Later that afternoon as I headed out for a surf lesson, my instructor pointed you out far across the ocean, catching a large green wave and effortlessly carving and gliding through it, body and surfboard moving as one. I remember thinking you were a really good surfer before I wiped out on my board.

That night I walked out to meet a friend for dinner at that same restaurant and there you were sitting beside her. She excused herself to take a phone call, and you didn’t hesitate to introduce yourself. We started talking, and you asked to take me out later that night. I happily accepted. You picked me up on your motorcycle and we raced recklessly down the dirt roads of the town, dust flying as we whipped by. You told me I was beautiful, and I let myself believe it. On this first night, I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was when we began.

Before I left for Costa Rica I had no interest in love or anything close to it. I had already been through a rough 4-year relationship and felt too free-spirited and independent to want to go through anything like that for a while. But somehow in just a week you managed to tear down every single wall I built around me and you got me to really like you.

I know the week we had was a fairy tale week, where we met the first day and were seemingly inseparable for the following days. I feel like no one (other than my closest friend) will believe me if I try to explain the connection we shared. It seems almost foolish to believe it myself. But in the time we spent together there are moments that I don’t want to forget and I’m going to try and write them all down now, so I can look back one day and remember.

These are some of my favourite memories with you.
That morning, when I had just finished a run on the beach, the sun was blazing and I was dripping sweat and as I started my walk back to my hotel room, you called out to me from your motorcycle and insisted on driving me back even though I was drenched in sweat, and so I hopped on behind you trying not to hug you to tight.
That moment, when you realized I had never tasted a coconut before and so you convinced the local who was selling fresh coconuts out of a cooler to give me the freshest one for me to try. I remember sipping through the straw and tasting the purest coconut water. Later we sat down with a coconut split in half and you carefully spooned out the meat for me to taste.
The times you would feel a dreadlock starting to form in your long, curly hair, particularly after a surf session, and I would sit and patiently untangle your hair. I remember when I first met you I asked if you highlighted your hair because it was so blonde but now I know that the golden streaks in your hair were a natural result of the saltwater and sun and time.
That night we went to the rodeo, and you convinced me to climb up high on the fence that enclosed the ring and sit at the top with everyone else. I sat terrified with my legs shaking barely able to hold the cerveza you’d gotten for me, scared that when the bull was released it would charge straight towards me, knocking me off of the fence. You reassured me that I would be safe and I was.
Later that night, you pulled your dirt bike off of the path and on to the beach. We raced along the sand in the darkness of the night, the light from your bike lighting the way. The waves were gently crashing in to shore beside us and my foot felt warm from the heat of the engine. I had my arms wrapped tight around you, my chin on your shoulder but I remember leaning back to look up at all of the stars to take it all in, so many stars in the sky, the sand flying around us, and I remember feeling so free, so happy, so alive.

When we were saying our last goodbyes, you asked me not to forget you and I said I wouldn’t. As my plane took off, I fought back tears knowing that I had left a piece of me back there with you.

Thank you for being a part of my world, even if only for a little bit.

Love,
Lianna

IMG_4934 IMG_4981 IMG_4962 IMG_4984 IMG_4933 IMG_4926 IMG_4928 285337_10152565050180434_1739508650_n(I found this image on a friend’s Facebook, unsure of the exact source)

A New Year

IMG_4426Happy New Year!!  Winter break has come and gone and now I’m sitting back reflecting on this past year. 2012 has been easily one of the best years of my life (thus far). 2012 was all about making new friends to keep, rebuilding friendships that not long ago seemed forever lost, reckless summer nights, the smell of whisky and juice crystals, baking up a storm, being forever young, learning patience in life and friendship, loving my family, a boy that made me feel butterflies and nervousness for the first time since that last heart break, belting out my favourite songs at the top of my lungs in good company (although let’s be real, this happens every year), finding myself in New York City, the feeling of truly being happy.

I am thankful for everyone who came into my life in 2012. Whether you stuck around or left or came back, in some way or another you have changed me for the better. If you are still reading this, thank you. Your support is invaluable and means the world. Here’s to 2013, to new adventures, new faces, new blog posts, new beginnings and one heck of a good time!

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New York City in a few Instagrams


I recently took a solo 5-day trip to New York City, a place I have wanted to visit for what feels like my entire life. I have been going through a bit of an internal conflict this past year centred around who I want to be, how I want to be seen by others, and how I want to treat others. Just a year ago I had gotten out of a 4 year relationship that ended badly and had changed me into a person I never thought I could be and never wanted to be. I had become severely dependent on the person I had been with and I never want to depend and rely on anybody like that again. I spent this past year putting back pieces of me that were broken and finding the pieces of me that I had lost. During that process I also found and discovered new things about myself. I surrounded myself with a few close friends that truly cared for me and really amazed me by showing me how powerful that the bond of friendship could be, and I stopped blaming other people and other things for my problems. I found an independence that I never really had before. Travelling to New York alone, a big city in a country I had never been to before, was easily the most empowering thing I feel that I have done for myself in awhile. I no longer feel like I need somebody in my life to feel secure. I don’t need somebody to travel to different places and explore the world. I don’t need somebody else to make me feel happy, accomplished and full of worth. I know that I am all of those things, and all I can do is thank the people that influenced me and touched me in some way or another along the way.

Instragrams, from left to right and top to bottom:
1. Waiting for my flight to depart at the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport
2. What I proudly took home after a 3-hour bread baking class at Le Pain Quotidien
3. A merry-go-round by Bryant Park
4. Manhattan bridge
5. Highlight of my trip – seeing Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre!
6. Ice skating at Bryant Park
7. A lot of apartments had stair railings like this all along the sides of the building
8. Rows and rows of M&Ms at the massive M&M store by Times Square
9. Creeping on an engagement photo shoot by the Brooklyn waterfront
10. More creeping…view of the Brooklyn Bridge
11. View of Manhattan from the Manhattan Bridge.
12. Teriyaki balls from the Smorgasburg Brooklyn Food Flea Market
13. Just a few things from a stand at the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market
14. Pretty watches at the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market
15. Rows of scarves…also from the flea market mentioned above!
16. Times Square can’t shine as bright as you..
17. Naked Cowboy in the middle of Times Square
18. Ice skating outside of the Rockefeller Center

Back.

I spent my entire summer, from June through until August working at an overnight summer camp up north on the beautiful Georgian Bay. This meant I had no access to a kitchen and very limited Internet access, hence why I was unable to update this blog for so long.  I was originally planning on starting this blog as soon as I came back, and was able to spend time in the kitchen again, but I guess life got in the way.

These past couple of months have been quite an emotional roller-coaster for me. I think being away from home, from the Internet and from reality definitely helped. I had such an incredible summer, easily one of the best yet. I made a lot of new friends, and became closer friends with others.

A little while back, I introduced you to a boy who was a significant part of my life. He’s no longer in my life, and I guess getting over him has been a lot tougher on me . I’m only 20. I was young, and I fell in love. I’m finding out that it’s a lot harder to fall out of love.

These pictures were all taken this past summer, by the way. I randomly selected a few of my favourites. Kind of like this post, just a random jumble of things and thoughts that I’m not quite sure how to express or format.

Ideally, I would be able to post at least every 2 days. Unfortunately with school, work and extra-curriculars taking up most of my time, I’m finding it hard to find time for this blog. Don’t get me wrong, I still love baking and cooking, but I can’t promise that I will post often. Maybe I will be able to post once a week, maybe once every two weeks.  I’m just taking things day by day right now.

I’m happier today than I was yesterday than I was the day before. Things are getting better. Things will get better.
There are still nights when I lie awake, unable to sleep, knowing that I wasn’t worth the truth, wondering where I went wrong, wondering how much of it was real.
I know that time heals everything. I can already start to feel it.

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