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Fashionista Inspiration Lifestyle

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

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!

-Cass

Lifestyle

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.

 

trescarnales

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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!

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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!
nacho1

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!  🙂 

 

Lifestyle

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!
Lifestyle

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!

 

Lifestyle

2015 in Review

It may not be the first of January anymore, but I figure its never too late for personal reflection, or a year in review. And since I like to share so much, here you go, have a look at my 2015…

  • As the blog started off in 2014, I picked up a few small jobs which branched off from the blog. The best so far was being published in a magazine! I never thought I would see the day that my name and writing would be in a magazine for people across the continent to read! And not just in one piece, but in each issue, and I am continuing to write for them! SO COOL! (I think so anyway!)  If you havent already, check out http://www.westernhorsereview.com/ and get a magazine subscription!
  • I’ve always liked watching the big added money jackpots in the states via online free webcast, and always wanted to run at one. Just something about running with the big names, and against a tough crowd. I didnt college rodeo down south like many, and my family doesn’t migrate in the winters, so this was on my list of things to do. I always figured it would be too expensive, so even to go down and watch would be fun. When my friend said she was entering, I immediately told her I would be her personal groom and that I had to go and watch. She replied, “Or you can bring your horse?” SOLD! The trip was quite the eye opener, and one I will never forget.
  • Early in the spring, the same friend who encouraged me to go to Texas, had a FABULOUS (by my standards) idea. She suggested that I ran her mare who she made Canadian Finals Rodeo twice on, at a rodeo in the summer. I ran her once at a small jackpot, and then didn’t swing a leg over til June. Running this mare brought to life four of my goals :
  1. At the first rodeo we ran at, I got to hear “and that is a leader board change.” which is like free crack to a junkie..
  2. We pulled a check. FINALLY! 
  3. We were in the standings for finals, the race was finally ON!
  4. Running a horse of Pro Caliber (and not falling off! hallelujah!!)
  • After that rodeo, I was supposed to go back to my mare, carrying over the momentum and had high hopes of placing at a few more, riding that much harder.. Plans changed and I was back on JL. We placed at 2 more rodeos, and tipped to win twice. Yes, I know how lucky I was. I counted my lucky stars every day. People talked. Oh did they ever. They didn’t like that I was running a horse like this at these rodeos, though other women ran on high caliber horses. “people want to see you succeed, but not do better than them” rang true to my ears more than once. With this experience I learnt A LOT.
  1. Who were my truly supportive friends, and who had my back
  2. The other side of the mental game. It wasn’t just about being confident in your ability anymore it was much, much more than that.
  3. My riding improved. It had to. But it also showed me how far I had come over the years since I quit showing and took up barrel racing.
  4. How to deal with the negativity and the naysayers
  • After the season ended, and I missed finals by a few hundred dollars, I decided that I had learnt as much as I could from my mare, and decided to sell her. It was a hard decision but the right one. Selling her was hard, but I gained a new friend, and she went to a loving home.
  • I thought I was going to take a year off and do other things, but found life to be just not the same without a horse. Sooo I found a prospect. After almost two months, I’ve decided she isn’t “the one” and that there are too many horses in the world to settle. She’s now for sale, and something else will show up in the spring.
  • Through out the year, I gained new friends. I also lost a few. As I learnt the year before, friends come and go for all different reasons. LET IT GO, LET THEM GO!! Holding on to the anger isnt worth it. Send them love and carry on!
  • Mental Health is never a joke. Through out the year I noticed my life was quite the rollercoaster of emotions. Finally I went to my doctor and she decided I have a mild case of depression. Her advice is to exercise more, get some sun, and Vitamin D.  The more people I talk to, the more I realize WE ARE ALL NEVER ALONE IN OUR STRUGGLES. I truly believe many of us wouldn’t feel this way if we stopped comparing our lives to everyone else high-light reels. Cause their behind the scenes and bloopers aren’t all pretty!! You are never as alone as you think you are.
  • I went to Vegas for the 5th time for my 26th birthday with a friend of mine. What did I learn in Vegas? Chose your outfit wisely, you may end up on television, and throwing up on the LV Blvd is apparently frowned upon… (had to add a laugh in here, this post has been fairly serious)
  • I finally had been single for over a year. I haven’t been single this long… EVER. And it has been a great learning experience. In 2015 I was pretty hard on myself and in 2016 I hope to learn to Love myself more than anything.  That’s when the right one will show up… so I’m told anyway 😉

 

Lifestyle

what I know now.. thanks 2015

Last year I wrote out 25 things I had learnt in 25 years. I wanted to write that many this year, but figured I would be repeating myself a lot. Here are a few things I learnt in 2015, in short form,

– the best cure for a hangover is being under 25

– self love is the best kind of love. if you dont love yourself how do you expect someone else to?

– people want to see you do well, but never better than them

– “If you meet someone whose soul is not aligned with yours, send them love and move along” – Wayne Dyer

– always go dancing. with a group of people, or with one other person. just do it.

– always make time for family, and friends. you never know when your time, or their time is up

– dont force anything. friendships, relationships, ponytails and farts. just dont. if it doesnt work, carry on 😉

– when opportunity knocks on your door, invite it in with open arms!

– regarding friends; quality over quantity. always

– chose your outfit wisely, you never know when you will end up on National television

– support your family in friends in their en-devours. you will support celebrities you dont personally know, so why not buy and promote locals and people you know?

– go on random adventures. if your friend says climb the fence, go! climb the fence! live a little! (*I do not condone illegal activities, just sayin.. )

– stand up for yourself, and for others. dont let people walk all over you. get a damn backbone

– if people are going to talk (which they are) give them something to talk about. it dies down shortly after, and they find something else to go on about

What did you learn in 2015? Comment below!

Happy New Year xo