Surviving: 10-day (raw) Juice Cleanse!

A couple weeks ago I offhandedly agreed to join my sister in the 10-day raw juice cleanse she was planning to do. (it’s probably a good thing I didn’t think it through too much before saying I’d do it…because I probably would’ve backed out!) 🙂

What is a raw juice cleanse? It’s pretty simple. It’s basically a full body “detox” and cleanse… it’s really good for you, and I’m sure my body loves me so much more now! 😛 (I could go more into details but this isn’t a health blog. It’s just a post about my personal experience.) What’s involved? Drinking raw juice….for 10 days…and NOT EATING ANYTHING! (and no coffee!!!)

juice: cabbage, tummeric root, celery, broccoli

I decided to blog about it now, after the fact because I wasn’t sure I’d last the entire 10 days. 🙂

This one was yummy! Pure watermelon juice!

So, we drank juice (and water!)….LOTS of it!  For the first 3 days I had headaches and not very much energy (probably because my body was detoxifying.) But for the next 4 days I felt really good. But by about day 7…juice isn’t very appetizing, at all…haha. (This is when I was thankful to have a support person in my sister!) But we did it…we survived!

Juice: carrots, apples, parsley, ginger

Ok ok….confession time. I ate a tiny dinner on the night of day 2 (because I was SO hungry…and seriously it was mostly broccoli!) On day 10 I ate salad because I was involved in a fancy dinner at a restaurant, but it was the very end of day 10. 😉

Juice: beets, lime, apple, jerusalem artichoke

Some advice:

Don’t do it alone! If you ever have to do something like this…find someone willing to do it with you. It really helps to have someone by your side knowing what you’re going through, who can relate to your suffering 😉 (Ok, that was a little over dramatic…but it’s kind of true.)

Try (if possible) to plan it when you’re not overly busy and won’t be fasting/cleansing during a holiday or family celebration. Take it from someone who knows! (Unless you want to sit drinking broth while your family eats a steak dinner…!) 😛

juice: mango, kale, coconut water, celery or cabbage

By the way…I’m SO MUCH MORE thankful for food now! Wow! I can’t describe how unbelievably yummy that first egg was…or the first bite of a tangy strawberry! THE FIRST SIP OF COFFEE! 😛 I’m more appreciative of my country, of where I am blessed to live…and how we have access to so much food! I can’t help but think of all those people who don’t have food…don’t even have juice or water! Who would give anything for water (not to mention juice or food!)  😦 We have SO much! And I think know we take it for granted…I did! Doing this juice cleanse was a great reminder of that… helped build some character too. 😉 Want to know how self-disciplined you are? Try a juice cleanse! hehe 😛

Enjoy your holiday if you’re celebrating Victoria Day today! 😀

When you eat…take a moment to be thankful for what’s before you! 😉

Always, Aims

“Look back” on the week.

It’s been a fantastic week here in my little corner of the blogging community. My “May-Long” is gonna be packed! I’ll be shooting a grad party and a prom celebration…be looking for some gorgeous dresses and all that fun stuff here during the next week. 🙂

Highlights from this past week:

Our day at Margaret Falls

Continuing my “street photography” theme I did a second post on Street Musicians, this time from Europe:

I featured the lovely Huculak Family:

And I ended the week with another “hat post“.

Wishing you a delightful long weekend! Hope you’re able to enjoy some sunshine!

Always, Aims

Feature: The Huculak Family

Today I’m delighted to share with you, the Huculak Family.

We’ve had this photo shoot tentatively booked for awhile and for various reasons it was postponed a couple times…

But I think the wait was worth it, we ended up having great weather with some beautiful sunshine!

We did the shoot on their property, which overlooks Okanagan Lake.

Josh and Esther…it was awesome to see them again.

They have a special place in my heart because theirs was the first wedding in which I was the official second-shooter. It’s hard to believe they’re coming up to their third anniversary…

But the cool thing is, they still act like newlyweds and I can see how their love for each other has only grown with time.  It’s been awesome getting to know them as a couple and now as a family of three…(wow! Does time ever fly, eh!)

Their daughter, Michaela was fantastic.  I think she was a little confused and wasn’t sure what to make of the whole situation. 😀

She’s a cute little kid… She just learned to walk a few weeks ago and now wants to walk all over the place! She loves being outside too!

I’m so thankful for the great day we had! Esther and Josh, your family is awesome, I had a great time with you both and your adorable daughter!!

Always, Aims

Margaret Falls in British Columbia, Canada

My weekend was packed with celebrations! 🙂 My Dad’s birthday fell on Mother’s Day weekend this year… so I had privilege of celebrating two of the most important people in my life! The older I get, the more thankful I become of everything they have done and sacrificed for me, for our family!  I can’t thank God enough for choosing them to be my parents! Their lives continue to inspire me.

Saturday, our family and some of our friends drove up to Herald Park out past Salmon Arm.  From there we did a short hike walk to Margaret Falls.

It’s a great time of year to go see them because of the winter run off.

Waterfalls are so fascinating, there’s just something about them that intrigues me.  They’ve been there so long… slowly corroding away the mountain side.

Apparently there’s a cave behind this one (seriously! how cool is that?!) but because of the run off, it’s flowing too hard to get to it.  I’d love to go back later in the summer and check it out (with my camera of course!) 😉

And one last one of part of the creek down the path. It was all green and mossy along the trail, bringing back memories of walks in England. 🙂

Yup, I agree… I live in one of the most beautiful countries on earth!

Hope you had a lovely weekend too! 🙂

Always, Aims


Just a note…

Just a quick little note to say I’m out of town for the weekend! (Time with family and shopping in the States?! Yes please! ) And Jane will be joining us…what could make my weekend better?!

Hope you enjoyed this week’s features!


Astrid and Janice: Best friends

And of course Little Buddy and his trains!

See you all on Monday, I’m already looking forward to what I’ll be sharing. Another hat post is in the works as well as some street photography and I’ll be featuring a sweet little one year old. Yup, next week is going to be awesome!

Do something (a little) extraordinary this weekend!

Always, Aims

Simply Thankful…

There are just so many (simple) gifts for which I’m thankful today…things that I often take for granted:

I’m thankful that it’s FINALLY spring, that it’s sunny outside… that it even smells like spring (…so very thankful I can smell too!)


That I have ears and can enjoy listening to my favourite music! (What, would life be without music?)

For the extra cup of coffee I had this morning… (that I can taste and enjoy it!)

That I can see…that I can enjoy all the colours around me. (Have you ever closed your eyes and tried to describe a colour using only words. It’s harder than you think. How would you describe “green” to someone who is blind?)

For (true) friendship.

Being able to squish and kiss my little 4 year old sister, Boo…and listening to her giggles and the smile on her face when I gave her a candy.

That our cat, Night-Fury came back after not being around yesterday. (Around here if a cat hasn’t come back for a couple of days, that usually means it’s “gone”….as in deceased.)

So take a moment, step back… and be thankful for those simple gifts.

Always, Aims

A hint for tomorrow’s “best friends” feature:



Sisters: The Same but Different

A little bit of a nostalgic post today. But that’s ok, right? 🙂

Meet Jane.

My best friend. My confidant. My (older) sister.

Last picture together: Feb, 21, 2012

Today I miss her; a lot! She’s been gone since February 22. So that means I’ve been missing her for 8 1/2 weeks or 71 days. By the time I see her (later this week!!!) it will be over 9 weeks.  With one brother being older than us, and 3 brothers coming after me…it’s been “us” for a long time. We’re under two years a part…and she’s pretty much a “live in” best friend. My “other half” you could say.

Sharing a soda at Whit's End in Colorado Springs, Co. (One of the last pictures taken before she left once before in 2010.)

How do you describe a sister relationship? I’ve been thinking for a long time… and it’s really tough.  At first glance, we’re pretty much “the same”. People mistake us for twins quite often.  We’re about the same height (and size…it’s like having two closets full of clothes! How cool is that?!) We both have dark brown hair (although hers is curly and mine is only wavy.) Her eyes are blue-ish though, and mine are brown.  I think a lot of relationships are like ours…I mean it must only be natural, after living together for over 20 years, to finish each others sentences, know what the other is probably thinking.  Be able to share a secret smile across the room knowing the same thought is in their mind. Right now, no one else in my life knows me as well as she does.

First picture after she came back last time... can't wait to take another "return picture!" (We're at Sparkling Hill Resort in this picture. She came to assist me in a shoot)

I miss midnight conversations, coffee-shop dates, epic sleep overs, laughing together….and the list could go on and on.

We’ve had lots of adventures together road trips to AB and visits Europe; twice…ETC. Too many to name… I hope there will be MANY more! 😀

Oxford, England
Auto Stadt car museum. The VW plant in Wolfsburg, Germany
This is what happens when you eat too much German food 😛

A couple years (or more!) ago…we tried to find a “sister relationship” that fit ours. After some discussion, we decided upon that of Jane and Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Since most people haven’t read the book, think of the movie.  The shared laughter, how both Jane and Lizzy look out for each other, and that understanding they share…that describes us.  Even when we do disagree at times, we always make up just as Jane and Lizzy do…because no sister relationship is perfect, even ours. 😉 Of course, she is Jane, and I, Lizzy. (This is also the reason her “blog name” is Jane 😉 ) Even as Jane and Lizzy’s character’s are very different.. so are we.  In fact, sometimes it feels like we’re complete opposites! She drinks tea, I drink coffee (usually!) If you want an event organized ask her (not me!) I take pictures, while she’s the writer. She snowboards while I snowblade, I use figure skates and she uses hockey skate etc.  But maybe our similarities outweigh our differences…or maybe we’ve learned to use our differences to compliment the other, which is probably another thing that happens after you’ve known each other as long as we have.

Walking in the garden at Jane Austen's house in Chawton, England. Jane walked here with her sister Cassandra.
Our true character coming out...

The picture below has come to represent our relationship.  At first glance, both pairs of feet are very similar… but if you look a little closer you’ll notice the differences. I’m wearing my jeans rolled up, her shoes are laced differently…my shoes have some extra stitching. We’re very similar…but VERY different. And, I think that’s the best way to be 😉 imagine if all of us were the same?! (Life would be SO boring!)

Well, thanks for letting me share my sister with you all today.  I count her and our relationship as one of my richest blessings…may I never take it…or her for granted!

Always, Aims…or for today; Lizzy 😉

So I have “this thing” for hats…

Just coming through another weekend…! Hope yours was as nice as mine! 😉 Birthday celebrations always make for great “add ons” to an otherwise “normal” (whatever that is!) weekend. 🙂 With a family (including extended) the size of mine, we get to celebrate often! 😀

On to the reason for my post…

So I have this “thing” for hats.  It started years ago when one of my brothers found a “poor boy” (newsie) type hat in a park.  Lucky for me there was a flower on it, and he gave it too me. (Thinking back…wearing a hat found in a park is a little gross…but, it was years ago and I’m still alive. I probably wouldn’t do that now though, just sayin’.) Lots of people said it looked good on me…guess I have a nice face shape for hats…? 🙂 That’s how it started…I’ve bought and received various hats ever since and I have a whole little shelf of my “hat collection”.

I’ve decided post pictures (and the stories that go with them if there is one!) of my hat collection.  Kind of like an “ongoing feature”.  So if you like hats as much as I do…be sure and check back!


My sister crocheted this one for me (hum yeah she’s awesome like that!) so I’m not sure what to call it.  I like this one because it’s simple and goes with a lot of my outfits.  It’s perfect for a “bad hair day” haha. It’s super versatile and works if my hair is up but it’s also a fabulous “add on” if I just want to leave my hair down.  When styling it the day of the picture, I was going for a “1920s feel”.

Hope you enjoyed a peek into my hat collection… there will be (many!) more in the (nearish?) future…!

Always, Aims

A new New Year’s “Resolution”!?

Yes, I know it’s WAY past Jan. 1… but sometimes I like breaking rules; today I made a New Year’s resolution (who cares if it’s “a couple” months late, right?) 🙂 Even if it’s spring…?

Today I realized: I don’t take enough pictures.

Hey there! Stop laughing! Let me explain…Whoever would’ve thought a photographer would say, “I don’t take enough pictures”?!

Give me a minute (or more!) to expound my statement… 🙂 First of all I love life, I love MY life and the unique things that make it “mine”, such as having the privilege of having a “live-in” BFF (how cool is that, eh? Yup, my older sister is beyond awesome!) or living in a country where food and water are always available…

I love the little things in life too, those little details… like my red fingerless “photography” mittens and my camera keychain that makes a shutter sound and flashes when you hit the button. (Yes, I am easily amused)  Life is about stepping back for a few seconds and enjoying these little gifts.  I’m guilty of being so busy that I don’t always notice them, don’t always think about how thankful I truly am…even that I can put gas (at outrageous prices!) in the car.

Okay, okay, to make what’s turning into a longer rambly explanation shorter.  Today, I realized I don’t take pictures of some of these simple gifts, special moments, so that I can remember them later… usually, I’m too busy to take notice let alone snap a picture.  Yet, when I actually do take that extra moment…I’m SO thankful later!

So what exactly is my resolution/goal? Simply this: To take more pictures of the “everyday” gifts I get to experience. I know I’ll be thankful I did when 20 years down the road I can look back and remember… 🙂 Not only have a memory, but a tangible reminder in the form of a picture.

I’m hoping that by having a blog, it will remind me to snap pictures. 😀 To start off… here’s a picture when some of my family and I went skating a few weeks ago…

Why is it special? Because we’re together.  It’s the night before my sister leaves…and it’s our last skate of the season.

Any newish goals you’ve made recently?

Always, Aims