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Inspiration Lifestyle

See Yah, 2019

Twenty things I learnt/was reminded of in 2019

1.Happiness is NOW, not worrying about the past or the future; it is living in the moment and enjoying every bit of it. I share this every year as a reminder.
2. Expectations can be the mother of disappointment.
3. Before you speak, ask yourself: is it true, is it necessary, is it kind?
4. What you put out in the world is what you will attract. You manifest your life all day long.
5.If you feel like the world is crashing around you, write a list of things you’re grateful for. Ask your friends what they’re grateful for, or what they’re excited about.
6.If you don’t ask, or take the chance, you will never know.
7. Money isn’t everything, time is.

8. Friends come and go. People you think will be around forever can drop in a heartbeat, and that’s okay. It means you’re growing, and that’s what you want to do. You are who you hang around, specifically the five people you spend the most time with.
9.Push your damn self, but also surround yourself with people who will push you too.

10. If a man is interested, you will know. If he isn’t, you’ll be confused.
11. Promoting what you LOVE instead of bashing what you HATE, is so much more satisfying.
12. Do not respond out of anger. Instead you may want to write out what you want to say, but do not send. Check back in 24 hours and see if you still feel the same way. You likely won’t, and you’ll be glad you didn’t press send.
13. You will continue to be sent the same lesson over and over in different versions until you master it.
14. Drink water, stay hydrated. This way you’ll have no time to partake in any BS or drama, instead you’ll be in the bathroom.
15. Talk less, listen more. People need to be heard, and we often forget to just listen.
16. You cannot control people. Not how they feel, what they say, how they respond, none of it. Do not take their actions or words personally, they are usually projecting their past lived experiences.

17. Stop waiting to turn into some beautiful butterfly. enjoy the awkward caterpillar stage. Love the person you are right now. Acknowledge your own shit, and work on yourself.
18. Always tell people you care about that you love them and are proud of them. Enjoy every moment spent with them.
19. Self-Love is so much more that bubble baths. Stop sabotaging your long-term happiness. Stick to your plans and goals for your future self.
20. Lean on your friends when you need, and don’t forget to be there when they need you.

Some Highlights of 2019

– New Years Eve/Canmore
running a 10km race, pain free
– travelling Alberta, BC, and Sask for a job I LOVE
– Kelowna
– Stellas baby, River was born
– Sports
– Corb Lund, Banff
– the Hokey Pokey with Blayk Jayne
–Weddings, so many weddings
– Moraine Lake, AB
– Working The 100k Slot Race, the Runaway
– Big Valley Jambouree
– Spruce Meadows Masters

The Petal Movement
– Art show, Vignettes Design Series, MUSE 2019
– Riding with Smith, across the river and through the wide open spaces of Southern Alberta
– Spending my 30th birthday with the loveliest humans

Fleetwood Mac
– New Friends/Old Friends
– Agribition
–Staying single
– family gatherings

2020 Goals

*seawheeze half marathon*
10km race
5km race
back on camera at The Runaway 2020
travel more
make bank off LCB
read a book a month
become a better at golfing

snowboard and enjoy the mountains in the winter
better physical and mental health

photograph more, always have my camera on me

To Do List

take a personal development course
travel more
say ‘yes’ more often
drink less alcohol

exercise more often
budget my life
spend more time with friends and loved ones


try new restaurants
read a book
unfollow unnecessary people on social media
one blog posts minimum


have coffee with a close friend
call Grandma
reach out to friends


practicing gratitude
daily affirmations
gym, run or stretch
drink all the water
be kind
spread kindness and positivity


On Self Love

Everyone treats the new year as the time to start off fresh, though you know, we can start anything over or a completely fresh start at any time we want. Silly humans.

Many of us choose to work on a flaw we have this time of year, usually about our personal image; quitting smoking, & losing weight are two common ones. Why don’t we take a step back further and why not try loving ourselves more?

I believe a lot of our vices we have come from insecurity, and if we can change how we feel about ourselves, dropping these vices should be a lot easier, hypothetically speaking, no? With some self-love comes confidence and the ability to say no to your co-workers that you don’t need to go for a smoke, or saying no to an ex boyfriend who may make you feel good for a week, but lets be honest, its all down hill after that sister, been there. With self-love we can say no thanks pal, because we know what we deserve, we give a shit about ourselves.

“But how can self-love relate to my resolution of losing weight? You’re out to lunch Cass.” Well, we create our life each and every day with how we talk to ourselves and with our thoughts. Whether for you thats talking to God or putting good energy out there, it ends up being the same.  If you are constantly thinking, “I’m a fatty, I’ll never look like her eat another cupcake why don’t you.” Well then thats just whats going to happen cause that’s what you’re putting out there. If you could change that around and think, “I love my body, I’m going to do whatever it takes for me to feel my best cause I deserve to,” it’s a positive thought, it doesn’t sound as much of a chore and the Universe/God is going to bring you positive ’cause that’s what you’re putting out there/the message you’re sending and what you’re asking for.

Not paying any mind to what people think of you. So many women I chat with often worry about what others are saying about them, all through out the year. It has bothered me as well. But, “what others say of you is a reflection of how they feel about themselves, their own reality. When you are immune to the actions and opinions of others, you are no longer the victim of needless suffering.” Damn, that Don Miguel Ruiz knows whats up. Read his book The Four Agreements, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you buy one book this year, buy this one. Its short and can help change the way you see everything, in a great way.

I have started to notice more often how many blessings in disguise show up in my life. I used to fret if something did not work out for me; a missed opportunity, a love that didn’t pan out, but not long after I would see how said situation went, and thanked my lucky stars I wasn’t involved. Remember how heart broke you were the first time you got dumped, and thought you’d never love again? You probably worried about why he dumped you, which created some kind of complex on yourself, which you have probably carried with you since then… Hopefully you learned from each relationship since then the things you want in someone, and the kind of love you deserve. Have you figured out yet that if you have a shitty relationship with yourself, it’s likely to show up in the relationships you have?

What are some Self-Love practices you can do right meow?

  • Find some positive affirmations that you can repeat daily to yourself. Write them on sticky notes and post them on your bathroom mirror.
  • Set some boundaries with yourself and with others
  • Put yourself first. 
  • Get your butt to a gym or go do some form of exercise. I have to convince myself to go most days, but I am always thankful I did!
  • Unfollow all accounts on social media that make you feel small or inferior. Why do you choose to feel that way? Unfollow right meow!
  • Cut out people who aren’t serving any purpose in your life. Do they make you feel shitty? Why the HELL are they your friends?


Slowly but surely I am getting this Self-Love thing figured out. Certainly is taking a while, but there’s progress! Onwards and upwards!

How do you practice self love, and do you notice a difference in your life when you’re more kind to yourself?


Lifestyle Mark My Words

Thank U, Next

Twenty things I learnt/was reminded of in 2018

1. Happiness is NOW. Not worrying about the past or the future; it is living in the moment and enjoying every bit of it. 
2. Being single is GREAT. Being with someone you love is GREAT. To be happy either way, you better love the shit out of yourself first. 
3. There is life outside of rodeo and barrel racing. Crazy, I know.
4. What you put out to the world is what you will attract. You manifest your life all day long.
5. If you feel like the world is crashing around you, write a list of things you’re grateful for. Ask your friends what they’re grateful for, or what they’re excited about. 
6. If you don’t ask, or take the chance, you will never know. 
7. Money isn’t everything. Time is. Though a job you love that pays you is wonderful 
8. Friends come and go. People you think would be around forever can drop in a heartbeat. Thats okay. It means you’re growing, and thats what you want to do. Grow. You are who you hang around; specifically the five people you spend the most time with 
9. Push your damn self. But also surround yourself with people who will push you too.
10. Karma is real.
11. Promoting what you LOVE instead of bashing what you HATE is so much more satisfying.
12. If you think you sound great singing at 1am around the campfire, check your Snapchat in the morning when you’ve sobered up..
13. Learn from those you look up to. They might love to take you under their wing and teach you.
14. Say yes to adventures.
15. Talk less. Listen more. People need to be heard, and we often forget to just listen.
16. There is such thing as laughing so hard you puke
17. Laughter really is the best medicine; for break ups, for a bad day, for everything. 
18. Always tell people you care about that you love them and enjoy every moment spent with them.
19. You deserve the world. Dont settle for less. Everyone has flaws, so find someone with flaws you can handle
20. Lean on your friends when in need, and you can get through anything

Highlights of 2018

– running a 5km, a 10km and a half marathon (21.5km)
– getting a job that I absolutely LOVE
– Vancouver, BC
– Montana
– Arizona x2
– Dashboard Confessional
– Nelly in Grande Prairie
– Anthrax, & Killswitch Engage
– Tyler Childers in Missoula, Montana
– Clay Walker
– Michelle Obama with my Grandma, Mom & Sister
– MLB (Arizona) NHL (Oilers) NFL (Arizona)
– helping with the Ty Pozzobon Foundation again
– podcasting
– Hale Wedding
– november project & run collective
– winning a guitar in a spelling bee at a bar in Vancouver with my childhood neighbour
– golfing/trying to
– the worst sunburn of my life from Gull Lake – still have the tan line
– running, so much running
– Calgary Stampede with Candace for the jr steer riding
– learning about AI’ing dairy cows
– got a boyfriend
– being on camera for The Runaway with Equine TV
– family gatherings
– learning to play polo
– agribition
– running and finishing a half marathon/21.5km in 2:19:20 (average at best)
– another wonderful G3 event
– moved out (again)
– realizing my self worth
– driving 3,400km for work in a week, so much time to clear your mind, or go crazy
– became single again
– celebrate life long friends 29th trip around the sun
-spur of the moment trip to Canmore

2019 Goals

*seawheeze half marathon* or another half
10km races – two
5km races – three
run collective weekly
g3 event bigger and better
back on camera at The Runaway
hosting jackpots
spring heat jackpot with 200+entries
learn to play guitar, specifically the one I won
travel more
make bank off LCB
read a book a month
ride horses again, whose ponies can I jump on?
become a better golfer and get better at throwing darts
better physical and mental health

To Do List

road trips
hike the mountains
go back to Montana
take a personal development course
travel more
say ‘yes’ more often
drink less alcohol
budget my life
spend more time with friends and loved ones


try new restaurants
read a book
unfollow unnecessary people on social media
one blog posts minimum


have coffee with a close friend
call Grandma
farmers market/buy local


practicing gratitude
daily affirmations
gym, run or stretch
drink all the water
be kind
spread kindness and positivity

Inspiration Lifestyle

Leaving Barrel Racer Land

Early 2017 my mare, the great Stella Rey (by Stylish Rey and out of Duels Miss Lily who is by Dual Pep) was “off”. I chose to give her time off. I felt that sometimes we overlook what time can do for a horse, and I was alright taking a mental and financial break from barrel racing. Fast forward the year and it turned out she had cysts growing by the fetlock joint causing her to be uncomfortable. Surgeries on cysts in the stifle have been successful, but in her case there was not enough studies done to say it was a safe bet. I ended up selling her as broodmare sound, as I am not currently interested in breeding, and she gets to be completely spoiled and raise the cutest (I am biased) babies in Canada for the years to come.

I have not purchased a new project, and don’t plan on doing so for a while, or until the time is right. Stella was my dream horse. We were perfectly in sync. She was the most honest horse I ever rode; running exactly where I asked her to, turning hard when cued. She was everything.

Rewind back to before 2007. I was riding Arabian horses, and showing B circuit shows on my faithful 4H horse, Tuf. I had the same bunch of friends I had had my entire life, and knew I wasn’t going to go much further goal wise as showing A circuit was far out of our price range and I already went to and won at the local shows. I needed a change. I found the Alberta Barrel Racing Association thanks to my cousin, and was welcomed to Barrel Racer Land (BRL). This ultimately led me to meet the majority of all of my close friends and acquaintances, to start this blog, to being a published writer, to years of experiences and happy times which I would not trade for anything in the world.

In the last ten years of my barrel racing “career”, I did not make a rodeo finals, I did not win the world, I did not win huge money or several fancy buckles.

I did get to run at ABRA finals on my 4H horse and make over $2500 at finals that year and win my first ever buckle; a lovely Troy Fischer 3D buckle.
I did get to purchase horses that challenged me and helped shape me as a barrel racer.
I did get to make friends with women I looked up to/idolized when I began barrel racing.
I did get to learn how hugely important the mental game is in our sport
I did get to go to Texas with one of my idols and run against some of the best.
I did get to run a pro horse, place at rodeos, learn how people/friends react when you are succeeding and they are not (insert mental game knowledge)
I did get to hear “thats your new leader”, which really is one of most AMAZING things to hear in the world.
I did get to own my dream horse
I did get to make Futurity Short-Gos with some of the best in North America.

I got to accomplish all of that thanks to an amazing supportive network of barrel racers. How wonderful is that? We often complain that barrel racers are all catty, mean, and ruthless,  and sure, sometimes that is the honest truth. But we don’t give one another enough credit for the positive outcomes of those we know in this sport and how they shape our lives. I hope that you can sit back and look at how far you have come since entering the “barrel racing world” looking passed the drama and BS. Focus on all the great people who have helped you get where you are today. The great experiences you have had in BRL. I personally have grown so much as a person in the last few years, to a person I am happy to be, thanks to those I chose to surround myself with.

I have sold everything I owned related to barrel racing, and I know you’re not supposed to sell your saddle; but if you know me, you know I will buy and sell another two before finding the right one for my next horse anyway!  I cry at night watching videos of Stella and I. I am torn about walking away for a bit as I identified as “a barrel racer” and started to feel lost without that label. But I have been reminded that I am more than just that. Not in that, that label is a bad one, but that there is more to me than just the hobby I have had for the last ten years. I am a daughter, sister, friend, aunty, mentor, writer, blogger, runner, girl boss, shirt designer, event planner, influencer, and more.

Know what I miss the most? I miss hearing the girl-before-me’s time, & the seconds before hearing our names be called. I miss hearing my heartbeat, and Stellas before going in, where everything else faded, time stood still and it was just her and I. I miss running down that alley, 9-O, with full trust in her that she would turn first barrel, like I asked her to, each and every time. I miss the woosh feeling when she would turn second barrel, ’cause it was my favourite on her. I miss running flat out from third across the line, hearing her hoofbeats in the dirt and friends cheering in the background. I have a lump in my throat writing all of that. It wasn’t just on her. It was on the horses before her too. And the summer I got to run the little badass named, JL. I miss putting in the hours, the hard work and dedication, and seeing results. I miss the heartache. The early mornings. Freezing my ass off (just kidding, I don’t miss this, though my ass is still frozen as I live in Canada.) I miss driving several hours for one run, just to turn around and head home. I miss it all.

But in due time, I will be back to write another chapter in my life in BRL. We are so lucky that there is no time limit on this sport. We can come back when the time is right. We can keep going like Mary Burger and make Wrangler NFR and Calgary Stampede in our sixties if we want to. But in the meantime, I am so thankful to have this website so that I can stay connected to the barrel racing and rodeo world. I am thankful for all the connections the sport has made for me. I am thankful I am able to keep the barrel racing world informed and updated with whats happening. I am not completely leaving Barrel Racer Land, just in part.

I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you for your continued support in this endeavour, and all the best to you all in 2018!

Arena Chatter Lifestyle

Where to Dine in Edmonton, During the CFR & PBR Global Cup

Edmonton, Alberta – If you’re coming to the city for the 44th Canadian Finals Rodeo or for the inaugural Professional Bull Riders Global Cup, you’re going to be in and around the heart of downtown Edmonton.

Instead of going to Boston Pizza, The Keg or Ruth’s Chris, I have compiled a list of some delicious restaurants you should check out, Lipstick and Cowboy Boots approved of course. All of which are within 10km of Northlands Coliseum and even closer from Rogers Place.

If you don’t feel like driving the dually downtown, I don’t blame you. Call an Uber. Download the app, it is SO easy to use and is cheaper than a cab. Plus you can watch on your phone how close they are to you! The LRT also runs downtown and is an option.

I have made this really handy for you. If you click the name of the resturant it will take you to Google Maps, but if you read through, you’ll find each restaurants website at the bottom of each write up!

You’re welcome! 

Bodega Tapas & Wine Bar, 10220 103 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 4A1
5km from Northlands Coliseum
This is my favourite place in Edmonton. Opens at 4:30pm. Its small, but has a large group table in the middle. What are Tapas? They are shareable dishes. So the majority of whats on the menu, you order to share with the table. There are a few bowls for one, but get in on the sharing action! If you have me on Snapchat, you’ve probably looked at every dish on the menu. (Sorry for pretending to be a food critic hipster, taking photos of my food)
Favourite dishes on the menu include but are not limited to: Bacon Wrapped Dates, Patatas Bravas, Crimini Mushrooms, Angus Skirt Steak, Garlic Prawns, Piri Piri Calamari, and the beef and lamb Empandillas. To finish it off, I LOVE the House Passionfruit Cheesecake or the Crema Catalina.
At first the dishes will start coming out and you won’t think its enough to eat, so you keep ordering more dishes, and then once its time to consider dessert, you’re wishing you wore your thanksgiving stretchy pants. Just unbutton your Wranglers and get the dessert!
Fave drink here – red or white sangria. Both are delicious.
Parking lot is across from La Boheme, you won’t get towed, or street parking.
Website with menu –

El Cortez Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar, 8230 Gateway Blvd, Edmonton, AB T6E 4B2
8km from Northlands Coliseum
El Cortez makes you feel like you’re not in the North Pole, instead you made a run for the border and you’re in the heart of Mexico. They have weird but interesting video snippets playing on the wall, occasionally have a DJ come in, and ALWAYS have great tacos!
Favourite dish on their menu is the VALENTINA’S FRIED CAULIFLOWER with Aji Aioli Dip.
Fave taco there is the Cinnamon Braised Pork,
Fave drink here – Sangria.
Parking lot across the street.
Website with menu –

Tres Carnales Taqueria, 10119 100A St NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 0R5
5km drive from Northlands Coliseum or you can take the train.
This restaurant was my first Taco love. It is small and usually has a line but they are fast and the food is worth the wait. Great option for those of you headed to the ladies fashion show at the Westin. Its within stumbling distance.
Favourite dish to start is the Papas Fritas, which is fried chunks of Russett potatoes topped with a guajillo chile chimmichurri, queso fresco and cilantro.
Fave taco is the El Pastor (Pork)
Fave drink here – you guessed it, the Sangria.
Parking – minimal street parking, but there is a parkade around the corner. I will cross my fingers CFR44 & the PBR Global Cup aren’t coming with a blizzard and forty below temps!
Website with menu –

Meat, 8216 104 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 4E5
8km from Northlands Coliseum
If all you want is a rack of ribs, fried chicken or smoked chicken, may I suggest Meat. They do have a few sandwiches as well. Sides are ordered separately. Its all delicious! You’ll leave with a full belly and the meat sweats.
Favourite drink here – Kentucky Mule (Bourbon)
Parking – find a lot and walk down Whyte, or test your luck and see if there is street parking.
Website with menu –

Sicilian Pasta Kitchen, 11239 Jasper Ave, Edmonton, AB T5K 0L5
6km from Northlands Coliseum (There is also a south side location if you’re staying on the south side of the city.)
If you want pasta, may I suggest not stopping at Olive Garden and checking out the Sicilian Pasta Kitchen instead? Seriously, you’ll thank me later.
My favourite dish was a lobster stuffed ravioli which I am not seeing on the menu, BUT, you could order anything on the menu and feel like you’re in Italy for the evening. Their in-house prepared tiramisu has been hailed as Edmonton’s best.
Website with menu –

Blue Plate Diner, 10145 104 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 1A7
5.5km from Northlands Coliseum
Dinner, Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, and a kids menu, the Blue Plate Diner has you covered. Again, I have never personally been here before, but have always heard great reviews of the place.
Parking – there are pay-parking lots close by.
Website with menu –

Rose & Crown Pub, 10235 101 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 3G1
4.5km from Northlands Coliseum
Pub food, close to Northlands, with a dinner, lunch and kids menu, along with daily specials. Hidden gem I think!
Website with Menu –

Local Jasper, 11228 Jasper Ave, Edmonton, AB T5K 2V2
 6.5km from Northlands Coliseum
This is a bit of a chain restaurant, similar to Joeys or Earls but its a safe bet if you’re scared of everything else I have recommended so far. Kids are welcome here. Board games, shuffle board etc available to play while you wait.
Favourite dish here would be the Fried Chicken Sandwich.
Fave drink – Kung Fu Punch. Tastes like juice, packs a punch..
Parking – I believe there is a parking lot here, or street parking.
Website with menu –

Sherlock Holmes Pub, 10012 101A Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 0P5
5km from Northlands Coliseum
Pub food, around the corner from the Westin, so ladies who are headed to the fashion show, looking for a drink and quick bite to eat before the rodeo, this is a great option (as is Tres Carnales, its just a little longer walk.)
Daily specials, and brunch available for those who don’t wake up early enough for breakfast..
Website with menu –

Northern Chicken, 10704 124 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5M 0H1
7km from Northlands Coliseum
I have not been to Northern Chicken but have been recommended to go here. Judging by the photos on their website, I need to check it out ASAP.
Closed on Wednesdays
Website with menu –

Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse, 9929 109 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5K 1H6
10km from Northlands Coliseum or take the train
I have never actually ate here, but know many people who have and they all rant and rave about it. If you go to Pampa, let me know what you think!
Website with menu –

Rge Rd, 10643 123 Street Northwest, Edmonton, AB T5N 1P2
7km from Northlands Coliseum
Though I have not been here myself, I am still adding it on the list because this restaurant has been named #1 in Avenue Magazine for best steak and best overall restaurant in Edmonton.
Website with menu –

Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival at the Shaw Conference Centre
5km from Northlands Coliseum
If you’re looking for something else to do while in the city, check out the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival November 10th and 11th. Purchase tickets and pick which wines you’d like to try out, and some of the best desserts and appys.
Event tickets do not include food tickets. Must be purchased separately.
Website –

Eat Clean St. Albert
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative through out the week, I will HIGHLY recommend Eat Clean St.Albert. Dan and Stacey will meal prep for you and all you have to do is order. You can either pick up at their location or you can choose the delivery option. Check out their Facebook page or their website for all options!

Fashionista Inspiration Lifestyle


Honestly, sometimes the hardest part about writing is coming up with a smart title. Sing that song in your head while you read this blog post. (PS- its Changes by David Bowie..)

I wanted to blog about spring fashion, because I LOVE spring, but I figured I wouldn’t be the only one with this idea.. and what’s everyone going talk about? Florals, for spring?

The Devil Wears Prada, one of my faves. I couldn’t help myself. Well of course I love florals, I personally believe they’re an all year thing, but yes, wear all the florals this spring!

What else have I been seeing all over the fashionista map? “Blush Tones” aka. soft pinks… So I went out and found a really nice blush off the shoulder flowy shirt at H&M, and love the heck out of it. Of course I was distracted in line looking at their sale jewelry rack and also found a little faux pearl and gold necklace to go with it. Though turquoise would look freaking fab with this pink, I decided pearls were classy and cute too.

Know why I love this shirt? Its loose and flowy enough that you can’t even tell I ate cheesecake & had a coffee and was bloated as heck during this shoot! #realtalk

How about those white pants? I just love them! The thing about how you’re not supposed to wear white after labour day.. well that is one of the silly fashion rules that are from 100’s of years ago. White was for weddings and resorts, not dinner parties in the fall. Labour day became a federal holiday in 1948, so society over time adopted it as the endpoint of summer fashion.. Badass Coco Chanel, she bucked this trend and wore white year-round. Nobody tells Coco what to wear! But not everyone is as trendy as Coco, so this  “rule” continued down through many generations. #TheMoreYouKnow Well, though its spring and white is now technically “allowed”, I bought these jeans, and will continue to wear them past labour day. Try to stop me!

PS-these Jeffrey Campbell booties which came into the world last year, are SO VERSATILE! They come in 10 perfect colours, and are comfortable! They’re a little pricey, but you gotta invest in a good pair of shoes once in a while!

So why the silly Bowie title of this blog post? Well, of course spring brings change, but my own personal life has changed quite recently. I was laid off from my job I had been at for over six years. To say the Oilfield is struggling in Alberta right now, would be an understatement.. (well some of it may be picking up, fingers crossed) Now, before you send your condolences, hear me out. I am so delighted to have been laid off. Do you find that strange? I was miserable at my job. I had zero creativity (see lacking blog post content) I had no goals set, & I dreaded each day. I would have never left that job on my own cause it was a safe bet with benefits and a guaranteed pay cheque each week. Also, if I saw this as a negative, which understandably can be for many people, I would continue to be miserable. Instead I am seeing this as a positive! It’s all about perspective! I am a free bird and can do anything I want to. (though I currently don’t have a CLUE what that is.)

With all my free time I currently have, my dear friend Kathy Butkovic of EquisportsTherapy invited me to stay with her in Longview, Alberta and suggested working with Amanda Ubell Photography. I LOVE Amanda’s work, and she made this photoshoot so much fun! If you are in southern Alberta and looking for a photographer I highly recommend Amanda. She does phenomenal work and at a price that won’t break the bank! Check out her Facebook Page here, Instagram here, and website link is down below!

*Disclaimer – I am not a model, but it sure is fun to dress up and pretend to be one, having the right photographer makes it easy!

Pink Shirt – H&M
White Jeans- Forever 21
Booties – Jeffery Campbell Cromwell Booties/Hunt The Plains Booties
Cuff-Allie Falcon
Buffalo Ring- Designs by Shelagh
Amanda Ubell Photography
Kathy Butkovic – EquisportsTherapy


Arena Chatter Lifestyle

Money Well Spent

I can’t count how many times I’ve told a person that I am too “horse poor” and cannot splurge on a trip to Mexico with them, though I really really want to. Once in a blue moon, after board, feed and the farrier are paid, I might splurge and buy something nice for myself, but more often than not, I think, “No, I could pay off that vet bill with this money..” Below you will learn how barrel racers spend their money and weekends vs. normal people.

1) Normal people can afford to eat out at lavish restaurants; barrel racing horses groceries cost more than your own, but that’s okay, have you checked out how shiny her coat is? Do you know how great Ramen noodles are, or KD? With these low prices, we’re saving money if anything!

2) Normal people visit the salon and get pedicures once a month & possibly a new pair of heels; barrel racers spend $140 on a set of shoes every 4-6 weeks for their horses and resole their boots when they can feel the gravel poking through.

3)  Normal people sleep fairly regularly the month of December with holidays; barrel racers don’t sleep for two weeks during the Wrangler NFR cause the live feed is delayed and played ’til midnight, then we have to discuss everyone’s runs, and there’s no way we can sleep while we’re thinking about how fast our own horse would be in there.

4) Normal people have comfortable king size mattresses with silk sheets; barrel racers horse’s stall gets bedded with a couple $6.00 bags of shavings daily, while you sleep on a twin bed you’ve had since you were 6.

5) Normal people drive newer nice vehicles; Some barrel racers broke the bank buying the new rig, others are hauling with the old truck that makes a few noises and trailer from 1986. Either way, we’re getting to that rodeo!

6) Normal people go on an annual vacation; barrel racers don’t go on a vacation unless the horses can come with and there’s a few jackpots to enter where ever they’re going. Hello Arizona! Plus the whole summer is a vacation away from home. (What is a lake?)

7) Normal people buy expensive hair products; barrel racers use Vetrolin Shine or that pink liquid spray to keep their horses coats soft and shiny, plus the good feed and $100 supps, while we use $5 shampoo and conditioners every other day. Ball caps and dry shampoo cover the no-wash days.

8) Normal people buy nice houses; barrel racers spend their retirement money building nice barns and indoor arenas, or board at facilities with these luxuries, all while living in a cave.

9) Normal people go to the chiropractor when their back is sore; barrel racers have 3 vets, 1 massage therapist, 1 chiropractor, and 1 witch doctor on speed dial, but will drown an Advil Liquid Gel with a glass of rye, cause the Advil alone won’t do a damn thing.

10) Normal people buy new clothing on a regular basis; a barrel racers horse may have looked extra cute the other day, so they get a new Back On Track blanket, or new $500 saddle pad. You can never have enough!

11) Normal people have expensive hobbies like golfing or drag racing: Oh wait, if we didn’t spend all our money on our horse you mean there’s a whole new world out there with other things to do? Uhhhh… Oh look, a slot race to enter!

12) Normal people go out to the bar on weekends & take cabs home often sleeping in ’til noon; barrel racers are at a small town caberet stumbling back to their trailers to be up at 5am to feed, then get ready for 7am slack in the midst of “Monsoon June”.

13) Normal people might join a multi-level marketing company for fun; barrel racers join 5 different companies to sell all the things to everyone they know so they have enough money to enter every big money jackpot/rodeo all year.

14) Normal people go for a run, for their cardiovascular health; the only running barrel racers do is running after their horse if one got through the electric fence at 2am, or alternatively the only thing they run is their mouths. 😉 (just joking – kind of)

15) Normal people buy expensive bottles of wine or whiskey; barrel racers know to stock up on beer when there’s a sale and that Canadian Club & boxed wine gets you just as drunk as the fancy stuff.

Do you have any to add? Comment below!



Taco Tuesday

Taco Tuesday. My favorite day of the week. The people of my Facebook & Instagram know it, ’cause I get tagged in more Taco Memes than I can shake a bottle of Valentina’s hot sauce at. So it’s really been only a matter of time before I write you a Taco Tuesday post.




When did my love for tacos blossom? Hell if I know. I didn’t grow up eating them. Living in the Great White North of Alberta, Canada, it’s not like tacos are a staple around here.  But if I had to guess when it all started, it would’ve been when my friend Kathy asked me to go to Tres Carnales Taqueria with her, located in Downtown Edmonton. Generally my favorite taco anywhere I go is a fish taco. And though the Tres Carnales Pescado was a long time #1, I tried their Al Pastor (slow roasted pork) on a taco platter one time and never looked back. If you make it into Tres Carnales be sure to get a pitcher of their Sangria. Its a pitcher, so its probably meant to be shared, but when its that good, you won’t be judged if you drink one to yourself! Like to have a starter? Try their Papas Fritas which are droolworthy fried chunks of taters topped with guajillo chile chimmichurri, queso fresco and cilantro. PS- I dont really know what most of that is; but what I do know is it’s delicious and you should try it!


Fish Tacos, a glass from the pitcher of Sangria, and my fave hot sauce: Valentina’s

There are two other restaurants I would suggest you visit for their tacos. Of course there are probably 1000 other great taco joints, I just haven’t found them yet! 

One is located in Las Vegas Nevada, just off of Fremont street. Nacho Daddy caught my eye as we were leaving Fremont to head back to our hotel for a nap. Though all I had was their $2 lunch shrimp tacos, and a giant plate of Nachos which they are famous for (& we werent overly impressed by) looking back at their menu now makes me want to get on a plane to Sin City right this minute. They have Lobster Tail Tacos. *insert that heavenly sound when the gates are opening* I really love lobster & tacos, this could be a match made in heaven, it could be a disaster, but I must find out!

Just off of Whyte Ave. in Edmonton is El Cortez. As soon as you set foot in the door you feel like you’re in Mexico, and maybe you’re like me and a brief moment of panic sets in as you remember you can’t speak a lick of Spanish. The waitress asks you in perfect English, “how many to be seated?” phewf, you’re good to go.

My first visit to this little slice of Mexi heaven, Kathy and I shared the guacamole, which is second to none, the Valentina’s Fried Cauliflower, which is to die for, and I had their grilled pescado/fish tacos which are topped with a deep fried shrimp and coconut. All of which I highly recommend. The Valentina’s Cauliflower is NOT spicy as you might think. Its more sweet and tangy and freaking unreal. No need to feel guilty here if you order it for yourself and not to share, its just cauliflower! If anything pat yourself on the back for eating your veggie intake for the day! Now, remember how much I loved the sangria from Tres Carnales? Still love theirs, but hot damn, El Cortez Sangria is de-lightful! This sangria is a little sweeter and less dry than the Tres Carnales version. If Sangria isn’t your thing, they do have fantastic margaritas!

I highly suggest you visit this place the next time you come into the city of Edmonton.

Top left – the best guac to ever hit your mouth, bottom center the Velentina’s Fried Cauliflower

Grilled Pescado – Habanero Aioli, Crispy Shrimp, Coconut Tropical Salsa

Do you have a taco joint you’d recommend I visit? Let me know below!  🙂 



Things You May Not Know About Me

I love lists. So here’s one all about ME!


  1. I cry when people sing me happy birthday. I have no control over this.
  2. I snort when I laugh. Again, I have no control over this. If my snorts offend you, leave the room.
  3. Superbad, Dark Knight, & The Man From Snowy River are my favorite movies.
  4. Peonies are my favorite flower. Mom grows massive peonies each year.
  5. I have zero tattoos. I have never found something I love enough to be on my body for forever, but I really want one on the back of my bicep
  6. My arms are double jointed, and my hips pop out
  7. I’ve been to England, Scotland, Cuba, Mexico, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Iowa, North Dakota, & Minnesota.
  8. Chai Tea Latte with a shot of Espresso is my favorite Starbucks drink throughout the year, but a Chestnut Praline is my fave come Christmas Time!
  9. I have never been hospitalized #knockonwood
  10. Blood makes me pass out. Or when people talk about a gruesome injury with detail, that’ll make me  sick too.
  11. I’ve never been to a branding, and want to go to one so badly, so if you’re reading this, invite me if you want extra hands!
  12. I never passed Level 6 of Swimming Lessons. Cannot do a front crawl to save my life. I went to level 6 four times, then just gave up. I am not very coordinated.
  13. I don’t remember the first concert I ever went to. It was probably Big Valley Jamboree when I was 11, but actual concert, I have no idea, which makes me sad. I don’t recall the first CD I ever bought either.
  14. I support hunting, but have never shot an animal in my life. Not even a gopher.
  15. My favorite book is The Lion Witch & The Wardrobe by C.S Lewis
  16. Valentina’s Hot Sauce is my favorite, especially when paired with fish tacos!
  17. When ever I go to Vegas, no matter how hung over my friends are, I make them come with me to The Red 8 at The Wynn for Hot & Sour Soup. Delish!
  18. If I could live anywhere in Alberta it would be west of Calgary in the foothills. The mountain view has my heart.
  19. French Bulldogs are another favorite. (Lucy is the best)
  20. I cannot watch scary movies. I will sleep with a light on for days after the fact #paranormalactivitywastheworst
  21. I never went to college. I wanted to be an event planner, but ended up convincing myself that nobody uses Event Planners where I live.. #dumbass
  22. I have never liked peanut butter. This year was the first time I ate it on toast. It’s not that bad I guess
  23. My favorite place in the world is Christina Lake, BC
  24. My biggest fear use to be people talking about me, but now I find spiders much scarier.
  25. I like white wine more than a red. Love Kim Crawford Sav Blanc
  26. Dancing is my favorite. I am not coordinated enough to be any good at dancing (see 12) but I LOVE it!
  27. I played Rugby in High School. Then I sprained my ankle. Still gives me grief.
  28. I love to dress up, but if you see me on any given day, I am likely wearing old riding jeans, stained sneakers, and a hoodie
  29. If  I won the lotto max, I would pay my parents debt off, buy myself a place in the foothills, and go to Fiji with friends & family.
  30. I have done a fire walk!

Setting Goals

Its a New Year and maybe you have wrote out some obnoxious resolutions…

“I will fit into the jeans I did in 5th grade…”

Yeah, that was a bit extreme but that’s how crazy some people sound. And year after year, those insane resolutions fade away.

What about writing down some attainable realistic goals?

“I will fit into my pants I currently have without having to lay down on the bed to get into them, and not breathe all day..”

Much more realistic.

I was part of an online meeting with some pretty fabulous ladies, and here is what I picked up regarding setting and reaching our goals through out the year.

How do you attain your goal?

  • Break it down into steps. Reaching goals is all part of a journey. You cant just go run at the NFR overnight. You can’t drop 10 pounds in 24 hours. Write out how you will get from start to finish.
  • Set dates for each step.
  • Be realistic with yourself. Do NOT doubt your ability, but don’t set yourself up for failure either.
  • Be accountable and have a buddy who can check in on you, and you can check in on. Create some healthy competition between the two of you, it will help motivate!
  • Do some self reflection. Take note of your goals from previous and know why they DID or DID NOT work out. Make the appropriate changes, and reach them THIS YEAR DAMNIT!

Dont forget the mental aspect of reaching your goals. We all learn differently, we all stay on track differently.

  • Create a vision board. Seeing photos and words every day will remind you of your end goal
  • Read Personal Growth Books. You don’t  have to stick to just one book, have a few on the go. Pick them up when you can
  • Meditate. This might not be for everyone, heck I haven’t been able to get into it, but many who do love what it does for their conscious.
  • Positive Affirmations. I WILL, I CAN, I AM! You are your thoughts. Stay positive. If you have a negative thought, that’s ok. Recognize it, say audios, and then continue on with a positive thought. We have thousands of thoughts per day. Not thinking a single negative thought is quite tough. Check out this link for 50 Positive Affirmations
  • You are who you hang around. Be with like minded people. Be with supportive friends. If you don’t have any, maybe its time for new com-padres?

Do not be afraid of hard work. Your dreams are not handed out on the street corner like the stripper cards in Vegas you guys! If you are not willing to put in the work, to sweat a little, and cry a bit, then you probably don’t want it bad enough.

What tips do you have for setting goals and reaching them? Leave a comment below!