Friday, August 18, 2017

Honest Hour ♥
I've been feeling stuck lately... I had a good reminder last night as someone came up to me and said "I want your life, what do you even do?"The inside view may look alot different then the outside. Reminding you all that wherever you are today, it gets better. We are on our own individual journey. The beauty of this journey .... No two are the same.  Go easy on yourself, have fun + enjoy the ride.💋

Monday, July 24, 2017

An Ode to My Younger Self

“The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.” 
~Ralph Blum

      It' true that I hadn't had much human connection until I chose to let go of those I wasn't connecting too.
In my lifetime (until now) I have had little support from those around me. I had constant doubt thrown my way, I had people who never believed I would amount to anything and I had a never ending battle of wanting to believe I was good enough and never feeling like I was.

     I was abandoned by my father at a young age and have yet to reconcile with it. I have never been close to any of my family and because of this I have always been alone. I always had no choice but to be independant, to not give up, to work hard and to make smart decisions because at the end of the day I had no one to lean on but myself.  I do not share my story because I am a victim. In fact I have never victimized myself and will not allow myself to become a victim to my circumstances. Living the life I do has only forced me to work harder, to do better and to become stronger.
      I can honestly say that I am living a life I love.  You may wonder why I am choosing to share this now?  because for the first time in my life I don't feel like I owe anything to anyone, I don't feel like I have to be "good enough" because I know my worth and I choose not to hold on to those who show me less value then I deserve. This summer marks 10 years being gone from my hometown and I can honestly say i have exceeded any expectations I ever had of myself. I have redefined me as a person ...and I have LIVED... oh 1000x I have lived.
      For any of you who may be in a tough spot or may not think you are good enough please don't limit yourself. Thoughts become things and the universe is ready to take you on a wild ride. 

And at the end of the day just be you... you are more then enough.
 ( 🔝 No filters, no fillers, no makeup, no prep... just me raw + real) 🍎 - Michelle Apples

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Nashville ... The Heart of Country Music

Sorry I've been MIA for awhile now. Life had taken over and was overwhelmingly busy with little time left over for myself let alone blogging. 

I can't believe my life sometimes though. I have been all over the place this year and I am so excited for what is to come. 

About a month ago I hit up Nashville for CMA Fest and if you have never been to Nashville YOU NEED TO GO!!! I loved it. I actually think my heart is still in Nashville. 

The locals play live music in every restaurant & bar you go to, country music everywhere, and the atmosphere is what I describe as utmost "southern hospitality". People just wanted to chat with you and know who you were. I met so many new friends and got to re connect with one of my friends that I haven't seen in a few years. 

  We hit up bars such as FGL bar, Honky Tonk Central, ACME, Rippy's & so many more. The weather was soo warm, the 

 We hit up all the country concerts Nissan Stadium had to offer which was about 5 headline acts per night. Some of the acts were Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brett Eldredge, Garth Brooks, Brothers Osburne, Chris Young, Cole Swindell, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Kenny Rogers, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett and many more ... (that's a lot of concerts lol) 

I cannot wait to go back, till next year. 


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

51 Things to do in Vancouver in Summer

1.) White Water Rafting with Chilliwack Water Rafting
I did this adventure last year and am going again in about 3 weeks. 2 nights camping, rafting,
 tenting under the stars, bonfires, theme parties, music nights. 
It is one of the most incredible experiences I have had.
Check out more info HERE

2.) Bouldering at The Hive 
I have done some rock climbing, but haven't yet tried bouldering, but heard this place was fantastic.
Check out more info HERE 

3.)  Zodiac Tour to Bowen Island with Vancouver Water Adventures 
I did this tour a few weeks ago and it was fantastic. It was my first time to Bowen Island and I cannot wait to go back. Vancouver is so beautiful. 
Check out more info HERE 

4.) Italian Day on the drive takes place Sunday June 11th 
Check out more info HERE 

5.) Get a Group Together and Have a BBQ on Joes BBQ Boats 
What better way to BBQ then being out on the water and BBQing on a float boat. 
If you get enough people it really isn't too costly. 
Check out more info HERE

6.) Go to Cultus Water Park - Voted BC's #1 Water Park
I've only been to Splashdown, but have plans to go here at the end of June. Make sure you wear SPF last time I burnt to a crisp. 
Check out more info HERE

7.) Hike up to Garibaldi Lake 
- Decently hard hike, but the view was worth every minute of it. 
Depending on the time of year that you go I would highly recommend bringing bug spray. 
Check out more info HERE

8.) Explore the Richmond Night Market 
Featuring live performances, carnival games and over 200 retail stalls, you’ll feel the excitement from the moment you arrive. With over 500 food choices from around the world, visitors will not go home hungry.
Check it out HERE

9.) Take in a Vancouver Canadians Game 
View the Schedule HERE 

10.) Compete in Tough Mudder in Whistler
This will be my first year competing in Tough Mudder and staying at The Chateau Fairmont in Whistler. 

Check out more info HERE

11.) Free Yoga at Kits Beach
What better way to spend a Monday evening then some zen on the beach. 
Check out more info HERE

12.) Free Yoga on Grouse Mountain
Challenge yourself on the Grouse Grind then unwind with some yoga hosted by YYoga every Saturday & Sunday in the summertime. 
Check out more info HERE

13.) Scandinave Spa in Whistler
For only $40 you can indulge in their hot and cold pools and lounging rooms or book yourself a massage or spa treatment. 
Check out more info HERE

14.) Sunset Pirate Adventure Cruise 
Arghhh Matey!! Dress like a pirate, grab your favourite adult beverage and watch the sunset on a pirate ship. 
Check out more info HERE

15.) Go on a Salsa Cruise
Dancing, learning salsa and partying with some great friends all for $29.00 
Check out more info HERE

16.) Light the Night Kayak Tour 
Can't wait to spend my celebration of lights night out on kayaks watching the fireworks show this summer. 
Check out more info HERE

17.) Go Snorkelling with Seals 
This was one of the coolest things I did last summer. The company takes you out and you have your choice to kayak or snorkel with seals. Upon returning to the boat they give you hot soup and hot chocolate to warm you up. So excited to return and do this again in July. 
Check out more info HERE

18.) Seadoo Tour with Vancouver Water Adventures
I have never been on a Seadoo, but am very excited to try this in July with Vancouver Water Adventures. 
Check out more info HERE
19.) Kayaking at Deep Cove
Indian Arm is a paddler’s paradise! This 18 km fjord/inlet has calm waters and stunning scenery combining to provide a spectacular wilderness escape just minutes from the city. 
Check out more info HERE

20.) Outdoor Movies at 2nd Beach with Fresh Air Cinema 
Tuesday Night Movies at 2nd Beach is probably one of my fav FREE things to do in the summertime. Grab a picnic and head down early though as these get packed. Movies begin at sunset starting July - September 
Check out more info HERE

21.) Indoor Shooting Range at The Range in Langley
Check out more info HERE

22.) Hike to Joffre Lake 
One of the most amazing views I have ever seen. A MUST DO HIKE in Vancouver 
Check out more info HERE

23.) Watch the Celebration of Lights 
3 countries, 3 firework displays and a whole lot of people gathered to watch the show. Get there early if you want good seats. 
Check out more info HERE

24.) Lazy Day Float 
Last year I checked out both White Pine Beach and Lost Lake in Whistler. 
White Pine Beach is much closer but get's really crowded so must get there early.
Check out more info on White Pine Beach HERE or Lost Lake HERE

26.) Drum Circle at 3rd Beach 
Check out more info HERE

27.) Explore the Wineries in Langley 
My Fav's Included:
Vista D'oro Check out more info HERE
Backyard Vineyards Check out more info HERE
Township 7  Check out more info HERE
The Fort Wine Co Check out more info HERE

28.) Try a Boxing Class
I have tried a few different classes in the city and would highly recommend Mark's class at Seacity Fitness. 
Check out more info HERE

29.) Head to a Drive In Movie
I love going to the drive in movies. Something about watching movies at the drive in gives watching movies a whole new experience. 
Check out more info HERE

30.) Check out Dinner En Blanc 
This year will be my 4th year attending Dinner En Blanc and I can't tell you what a wonderful experience it is to have such great events in the city. This city needs more great events like this. 
Check out more info HERE

31.) Try Paddle Boarding 
I tried SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) for the first time last year and I loved it. It is a great core workout that focuses on balance but being out on the water early morning is such an incredible feeling.
Check out more info HERE

32.) Go Swimming at One of the Outdoor Pools 
Whether it's Kit's Pool, New Brighton Pool, Vancouver Equatic Centre or so many more... 
Check them out HERE

33.) Hit up a Driving Range 
Check out more info HERE

34.) Check out the Shipyard Night Markets 
Great food, art, music, entertainment and shopping. The festivities in the Square kick off at 5pm every Friday night all summer long!
On the Shipbuilders' Stage there is live music going until 10pm, showcasing talent from all over BC.Check out more info HERE

35.) Try out Metro Vancouver's first Obstacle Gym 
Check out more info HERE

36.) Take in Canada Day Celebrations at Canada Place 
Check out more info HERE

37.) Run in the Night Nations Run 
The Night Nation Run is the World’s first Running Music Festival. A musical voyage filled with live music, lights, lasers, all set to the latest in Electronic Dance Music
Check out more info HERE

38.) Try out the New and Improved Splashdown Park now Known as The Big Splash Waterpark 
Check out more info HERE

39.) Pitch and Putt at Stanley Park 
Check out more info HERE

40.) Bard On The Beach 
Canada's 2nd largest Shakespeare festival under those big white tents all summer long. 
Check out more info HERE

41.) Try a Free Salsa Lesson in Robson Square 
Check out more info HERE

42.) Hike the Chief in Squamish 
This beautiful hike has three peaks and takes a few hours to finish. The view at the top is breathtaking, but be careful it can get slippery up top. 
Check out more info HERE

43.) Learn to Parkour 
Recently took in my first parkour lesson and it was awesome. I was hurting the next day as I am not used to using so much upper body strength. 
Check out more info HERE

44.) Take a Bike Ride and Go For a Picnic 

45.) Head up to the Okanagan for a Weekend of Wine Tasting in Naramata Bench 
Check out more info HERE

46.) Rent A Boat (no need for a boating license)
Explore downtown, the seal colony or granite falls
Check out more info HERE

47.) Try Archery 
Check out more info HERE

48.) Sunday Morning Brunch
My Fav places are Cafe Medina & Chamber, but still have so many more to check out. 
Check out more info HERE

49.) Check out the local Farmers Markets 
Check out more info HERE

50.) Try one of the many Delectable Ice Cream Spots
Check out more info HERE

51.) Take Off and Visit One of the Nearby Islands for the Weekend Such as Tofino

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Zodiac Cruise to Bowen Island

Tonight I went on a Zodiac tour with Vancouver Water Adventures ( to Bowen Island. It was an unreal experience. The air was crisp as it is only beginning of May, but the sun was shining and the weather perfect for a boating adventure. 
We ventured from Granville Island, to Stanley Park over to the Lions Gate Bridge, over to Lighthouse Park, through the British properties and Howe sound to see the seal colony (which we were able to see about 20 different seals sunbathing on rocks), we also saw Will Smith's vacation home as well as a few other celebrity homes, we made our way up to Bowen Island to stop at Doc Morgans for dinner & a glass of vino. It was fantastic to hear our tour guide Faith talk about the history of Vancouver (it's incredible what you can learn).
From the wind blowing my hair, the sun on my face, the crisp smell of summer near it truly made me feel like summer is on it's way. The beginning of summer is truly one of the best feelings.
Can't wait for all the adventures to be had this summer. 
 Late nights, early mornings, sun kissed skin, sun bleached hair, messy feet & messy sheets, the frolic & play of a summer's day. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Shanghai Day 6: Silk Factories, Jin Mao Tower, The Bund, Yu Yuan Markets and Gardens & The French Concession

Today is our last full tour day of the trip as tomorrow we have a free day. We started the day with a tour of the silk factory. China and specifically Shanghai is known for its silk and Suzhou is most famous place for silk producing. We learned the entire lifespan of the silkworm followed by watching them make silk products. 

 After the silk factory we arrived at The Jin Mao Tower which is 420.5 m high, with altogether 88 stories and total construction area of 290,000 square meters. It is a perfect combination between the Chinese Traditional Architecture Style and the advanced technologies of the world. Some of us decided to try the Sky Walk - which is an adrenaline rush walking on the outside of this tower on the 88th floor attached to a bungee rope. Here you hang off the tower (don’t look down) 

After exploring the views at The Jin Mao Tower we arrived at The Bund which we had seen on the boat tour the evening before, but it was a beautiful day walking, exploring and seeing that it is boulevard lined with impressive neo-classical buildings. 

    The Bund is the classic image of Shanghai and the city’s main attraction. Sweeping along the western side of the Huangpu River, the majestic building dates back to Shanghai’s grandest days.Many banks and financial companies built impressive offices here in the early 20th century when Shanghai was the financial capital of Asia.

  After The Bund we decided to head to what they call the “Shanghai Bazaar”  which is the Yu Yuan Markets, it was packed as it just so happens to be a National holiday in China called Labour Day”, Here we were able to purchase a mish-mash of items including traditional Chinese arts and crafts and souvenirs, ornate chopsticks, Chinese medicine, walking sticks, fans, silk umbrellas, bamboo and rattan furniture, goldfish, pottery and much much more.

 We did some shopping, had lunch on our own and then met up with everyone to go check out the Yu Yuan Gardens which was a stunning lay out of  beautiful pavilions, miniature lakes, bridges and rock formations. 

 After exploring the Yu Yuan Gardens we had time left over so our tour guide’s brought us to what is called The Shanghai French Concession.  The French Concession is the area of Shanghai once designated for the French, consisting of today's Luwan and Xuhui Districts. Luwan's Huaihai Road is a busy shopping street and is also home to both Xintiandi and Tian Zi Fang, extremely popular shopping and dining spots for tourists. Xuhui is also ever popular for tourists and is home to Shanghai Stadium. The tree-lined avenues and their many Tudor mansions in the area still retain an air of the "Paris of the East”. This place was a little bit of home to us as it had classic western food, draft beer and a lot of people spoke english. 

  It was bitter sweet arriving at dinner that night knowing it was the last dinner together as the little family we had created. 

- xxx an apple a day 

Shanghai Day 7: Brunch, Markets, Art Museums & The Final Dinner at The French Concession

Today is our last day in Shanghai and it couldn’t be more bitter sweet. The friendships created, the memories made, and the laughter would be something that would last a lifetime. 

 The last day in Shanghai I ventured to go meet up with a friend from high-school that has been living in Shanghai for the past 5 years with her husband. We went to a place called Bread Etc and ate food that finally felt a little bit like home. There was 8 of us at brunch and it was great to be able to sit with people who live in the city and have a different insight then tourists. 

After brunch we went to these beautiful hidden little markets that were tucked away on an off street. It was fairly busy as it was a national holiday called Labours Day in China. 
After the markets we ventured to the Art Museum in Shanghai which was this beautiful 5 storey building that resembled an upside down pyramid. 

After the museum I went back to the hotel for a bit of down time before dinner that night. That evening we went to this french restaurant called Va Bene located in the French Concession that we had seen the day before. We ate the most delicious french cuisine, drank some wine & reminisced over the past week of our China adventure. 

Although there is things I won’t miss such as squatty potties, smog, language barriers and having to pay for water everywhere I go. (some of the luxuries we have living in the US and Canada) it will be very difficult to say goodbye to this amazing group of people, this incredible cultural experience and the beauty that I have discovered over the last 7 days. 

Well China… until next time 

-xx an apple a day