Travel Swellness: The good life in Healdsburg, California


We could barely contain our excitement. It was as though we were overwhelmed with happiness, and just kept looking around — at the rows of grapevines, the hills in the distance — and when we’d make eye contact, all wide-eyed and joyful, we exchanged huge smiles, incredulous at our good fortune, taking in the beautiful surroundings, breathing in the fresh air, and enjoying the sunshine on our faces. I think we may have even exchanged a giddy hug or two.


I’m lucky that I get to experience some pretty amazing adventures around the world — actually, scratch that. I don’t attribute it to luck; I have worked hard on my career, and this is what has brought about these incredible experiences (and you should know they come at a cost, I’ve posted about some of the sacrifices when it comes to the lifestyle I lead). Anyhow, as I was saying, my life is filled with some pretty amazing experiences, but every so often, there are ones that take my breath away. Where I stop for a second and am in wonder of what I’ve done to get to that exact  moment, where I’m almost swooning and bowled over by, well, the good life.


Sometimes it’s a quieter and more serene moment (like when driving in Alberta with a view of the mountains), and sometimes, like when I’m front row at a Backstreet Boys concert (haha!), or like this day in Healdsburg, California (a city in Sonoma County), it’s more of a jumpy, happy happy joy joy. This particular moment I’m talking about above was during a hike at Jordan Winery; we walked the rolling hills, ate fresh fruit picked off the trees, and at the end sat in a stunning courtyard with an overflowing cheese and charcuterie board as we drank wine and none of us wanted to leave. Ever.


Healdsburg is a lush enclave that, for me, is synonymous with the good life. I would visit again in a heartbeat. If you’re planning a trip to the Sonoma area, you’d be missing out if you don’t include at least a few days here.  For what to do with your time in this magical spot, check out my story over on AmongMen.


Leave a Comment March 24, 2017

Healthy Swellness: Stand up for clean water with Me to We and Brita


Last fall, I had a chance to attend the launch event for Brita Canada’s partnership with WE focused on the campaign that’s resulted in a borehole in Irkaat, Kenya. This borehole provides a community of more than 1,800 with access to clean water.

This spring, the program is growing in a pretty awesome way. We all make use of reusable water bottles, or we all should be (to cut down on bottles going into landfills, and besides, it’s good for our bodies to stay well hydrated with water). And now, as of March 2017, your purchase of this specially marked Brita Me to We statement bottle (it’s $19.99) will provide a year’s supply of clean water to a person in Irkaat.

I think it’s especially cool because you can actually check online how your purchase has made an impact. On each Brita Me to We product, there’s a Track Your Impact code; enter it online and you can see how you’ve helped make a difference.

The 700-mL bottle features the Brita replaceable water filter (I already use a Brita filter at home because I prefer the cleaner taste) and every reusable bottle has been shown to replace 300 plastic water bottles. I’ll admit that don’t always remember to bring a reusable bottle with me when I head out for a workout other than a run (I’m very careful about hydrating for a run) and I do tend to use my S’well bottle to keep my water cold on hot days. But I like this Brita Me to We bottle because it’s lightweight and I feel like I don’t have to be as precious with it (I’m always scared of scratching or denting my S’well), and the biggest plus of this bottle is that it’s great to be able to filter water on the go.

And of course, there’s the pretty great feel-good factor off knowing this small purchase helps provide clean water for a full year to someone in Kenya.

To get your own Brita Me to We limited edition bottle, you can find it at Wal-Mart, Real Canadian Superstore, Real Atlantic Superstore, Loblaws and Zehrs locations.



Leave a Comment March 22, 2017

Beauty Swellness: Backstreet Boys mani


I’m on my way to see the Backstreet Boys in Vegas, baby! While I’ve seen BSB in concert many, many times, I think this show in Sin City will be extra fun (and I should hope so as the tickets cost a small fortune!).

So what better way to declare my boy boy band love than with a fun mani from Tips Nail Bar? The awesome Naomi Misu at Tips wasn’t too familiar with the wonders of BSB so she had to watch music videos and research some photos to see what they look like (and she was thorough, she noticed AJ is always in shades!).

I’d asked for each of their faces, and then because I love the Millenium album, I also asked for the silhouette of the album cover (the boys all standing in their white outfits) on another nail, and the rest were simpler (a heart, a star, BSB and 4ever — the BSB Naomi did in the typography from one of their albums, she’s the best!). I love how she did Nick’s hair and the shades on AJ are the best!



The nails make me giggle so much. And I have to laugh because while they’ll make sense this weekend while in Vegas, after this weekend I’ll just be the weirdo with the Backstreet Boys nails (…or is that what I am now??). Or maybe as someone at Tips (another fan) said, “Backstreet Boys is always in style.” Hahaha!



Oh, and a PSA for all the non-fans: Backstreet Boys has not gotten back together. They’ve never broken up! Kevin left briefly but he’s back. They’ve been recording regularly all these years!

Leave a Comment March 17, 2017

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