Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bday blues....

As we get older, time just goes by faster. Another year, where did it go?? How am I twenty-seven?? I don't feel a day over twenty-three, until of course I hang out with twenty-three year olds and then I realize that I indeed am not.

I guess it is always an emotional time, it is a marker of time that cannot help but make you think. Think about where you're at in life, weather it looks the way you thought it would by now, where you hope to be by the next one, and where you were last year and the year before. Birthdays on my little island in the sun were incredible!!! It is la-la land, where another year passed isn't about self-reflection or getting older... it means that the excuse for the party is you! I made the most amazing friends in my years on island, and with them, the birthday celebrations were spectacular: champagne brunches at ritzy hotels, slushy cocktails at a swim up pool bar where you know everybody in the pool and they are all signing happy birthday to you, water-sliding, cupcakes, drinking, dancing, singing karaoke, birthday hats and tiaras. O my Cayman birthdays were the best!!! Today, more than ever, I am wishing I was there....

School is great, but it I am frustrated with myself that my proof-reading skills suck and I have auto-failed (a term familiar to my fellow CreComm-ers) every journalism assignment to date. Most of my good friends from Winnipeg have since left and moved on to bigger and better things, and one of my best and only remaining friends here in Winnipeg and I are fighting, as she cannot get
any time off to spend with me on this birthday weekend, and bailed on plans we had for made for tonight a month ago. Fighting with her about something so petty sucks and hurts more than I can express in this time and space. She thinks I am being spoilt and immature, and maybe I am. Shouldn't your good friends want to celebrate with you?? Isn't that part of the deal??My Cayman friends are all getting together and going out for dinner at a new restaurant on island to celebrate my birthday, even in my absence, but my friends here cannot make the time or effort? My heart hurts and wants to be back home, in Cayman....

When it rains it pours, I guess, and right now, it is hurricane season.

Here is a favorite cocktail of mine that I hope helps with this case of the birthday blues

Blue & White Cosmo
2 oz Blueberry vodka (Stoli if you can)
.5 oz cointreau
2 oz white cranberry juice
2 lime wedges
3 blueberries (fresh or frozen)

  • pour the vodka, cointreau, the white cran juice into a shaker filled with ice
  • squeeze in the juice from the lime wedges
  • shake it like it's your birthday!!!
  • strain in a martini glass
  • garnish with blueberries
I will send you off with one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite people

"I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." — Marilyn Monroe

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

That's how the cookie crumbles....

A weekend full of good times; Friday night bomber game with my journalism class for an assignment, some pre-bday celebrations with my high school girlfriends, and a newborn baby photo shoot (oh yeah, I am a photographer). Life finally seems to be going well, things are fitting into place; I feel comfortable in school, and am so happy in my new home with my 3 boy roommates (they are the biggest hunneys), and as my life seems to go, as soon as everything is going good, something is inevitably about to collapse.

The logistics aren't important nor will I waste your time with a lengthy tales of restaurant politics, but I was "let go" from my job as a server on Monday for a careless, meaningless mistake. They are looking to run a tighter and I was made an example of. In my opinion, I was treated unfairly, but, I know there is nothing to gain by dwelling on it. What's done is done. I have been working there off and on over the course of my adventures and in total I have given them almost 3 years of hard work. It is hard to pour your heart into a place, thinking you are an asset, only to be reminded in one measly error that you are just a shift-worker and replaceable at any moment. When it happened, I was of course sad and upset, and my ego was a little bit bruised. After the initial shock wore off however, I felt something completely unexpected: I feel free!

I believe that the universe works in mysterious ways, that things do really happen for a reason and you just have to take in what the world dishes out and listen to your instinct to figure out why it is happening and what you are meant to do from it; what is this experience meant to do for your greater good?? How are you going to get there?? I am quite intuitive and a part of me even knew this was coming... Clearly, I have some soul searching to do. Last time I had to find answers within myself and figure out who I wanted to become, and how I would get there I spent a month in Nicaragua. I volunteered in an orphanage and brushed up on my spanish skills for the first 2 weeks, and then spent my final 2 weeks on the coast learning to surf and doing yoga every night. It was an amazing experience, and it was then I come to the difficult decision that I would return home and go back to school... I believe it was the right one for me, but I obviously have something wrong for this to be happening. Ah! If only I could afford a soul-search vacay to a far off destination!!! Looks like I am going to have to figure this one out here in the peg. *sigh*

With my experience and contacts, it would be easy to go out and find another serving job, but something within me, my instinct (the same one my late father told me to always listen to in times of doubt) tells me that that isn't the right answer, I most definitely need a break... Luckily, I don't have to start working again just yet, and for the moment, I am going to do something that is extremely hard for me and my go-go-go personality: i am going to chill out, relax, and just be a student. Broke and all.

So, I know you are all concerned what impact this will have on my wonderful blog!? Not to worry kiddies, I still have plenty of cocktails & dreams in store for you... But today, I will share with you the recipe for my most favorite martinis from the bar where I spent a such a big portion of my winnipeg serving "career"
Oh viva-divas, I will miss you so.

1.5 oz smirnoff vodka
.5 oz mango passion liqueur
.5 oz peach liqueur
1oz each of pineapple & orange juices
dollop of peach bellini slush

-Start with bellini slush at bottom of martini glass
-mix all remaining ingredients together in a shaker and shake it like a poloroid picture
-strain into martini glass.
-smile & enjoy

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tongue Tied

After years of working in a busy lounge as a server, one becomes quite good at talking to people. Men are 80% of our clientele, I have gotten quite good at chatting up the men I am serving. Sometimes I feel as though my work personality is an alter-ego, this funny, flirty, sharp woman who can come up with witty one-liners and a comeback for almost anything. All of this goes out the window, of course, when I am serving a man that I find myself attracted to, even if I have no intentions of picking him up or hitting on him at all, I can barely say anything that makes sense, let alone anything clever. Working in a bar could actually be a great place to meet men... if only I could talk to them! I become this blubblering, non-sensical fool, and I always walk away from the table shaking my head and asking myself "wHaT did you just say?!". I once found myself in a conversation with a man about drunken-vomiting stories, a subject that is neither interesting or appealing, nor does it give me a chance to make any smart remarks, and not to mention is gross, but I kept blah-blah-blahing and just sounding like the biggest idiot!

This past weekend, at work, I ran into an old crush who was in town on business. He was trying to get me to serve his table, I declined and let another girl serve him and his colleagues instead. They would have been an awesome table: all suits, from out of town, already half-cut from their dinner, paying on a corporate card, pretty ideal. I would also get to spend more time with him if I was serving his table, I knew that if I served them, that I would not be putting my best foot forward, as he is dashingly handsome and I knew I had to keep my distance if I was going to stand a chance of making a good impression! He seemed disappointed that I wasn't, if only he knew it was for his own good!!

If only I could have one of these while I was working, maybe I could be funny and witty with the hotties:

Liquid Courage

-1oz tequila

-lime wedge (optional)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


A short story written for my creative writing class, dedicated to my yogi friends out there. Enjoy the non-alcoholic Taylor made creation to follow....

The chiming bells of my blackberry alarm tell me it is time to wake up. It's early, too early for a Saturday morning. I consider ignoring the alarm and falling back into a beautiful, dreamy sleep that would surely lead to a wonderful sleep-in. Instead, I reluctantly get out of the warm comfort of my duvet, get dressed, and a few minutes later I am out the door. My mind races during the drive to my hot yoga studio. All the ‘to-do's' of my day running through my head: groceries, laundry, homework, life. Auto-pilot takes over, and mindlessly I maneuver all the twists and turns that have me pulling into the parking lot before I know it. My muscles quiver at the thought of the intense physical activity to come. It's been over a week since I have gone to a class and I have started to get soft and squishy already. Am wishing I had stayed in bed...

In the studio, I set my mat near the front of the class; I lie down and bask in the heat of the room. The instructor enters, he is new to the studio, and I haven't taken a class of his yet. I am surprised by his appearance; he looks nothing like a typical yoga instructor. He is a big and tall, round, asian man with round glasses, spiky hair, and braces. He begins the class by instructing us to take a deep breath and clear our minds. I am unsuccessful in doing so, thinking instead of his uncanny resemblance to an animated Japanese blowfish, with legs and arms attached, of course.

He leads us through the opening pranavama breathing exercises and I decide that I like him; he has a good tone to his voice, not sounding like a cartoon character at all. He also seems to know what he is doing, and I feel guilty for having judged him. Still, I cannot seem to clear my mind and focus. During the intense warrior series of postures, my arms are heavy and feel like jell-o. I am regretting that third glass of wine I had with dinner last night. With each breath, I am trying to focus, to let go of my thoughts and concentrate on this breath, live in this moment. I notice the girl behind me is doing her tree pose all wrong; it must be her first class. Inhale. Exhale. Focus. I ponder what flavor of smoothie I will get from the studio’s cafe after class. Hmmmm.... My eyes start searching the room for a distraction, and I see the anime-yogi-blowfish instructor coming over to me, as if being able to sense my frantic mind. While resting in child's' pose, he places his hands on my back, encouraging me to take full, soothing breaths. It works, and I finally am able to be mindful of my breathing. Deep inhales, long, slow exhales. Like waves coming into shore and back out into the ocean. His touch helps calm my mind, finally allowing me to focus. The rest of the practice flows seamlessly, almost effortlessly, without any thought or interruption. My clear breath leads me through the remaining balancing and spine strengthening series. By the final posture, savasana, my heart beat is the only thing I hear. Boom. Boom. Boom. Amazing vibes flow from the tips of my baby toes to the top of my forehead, bliss. I take in a final deep inhalation through my nose, filling my lungs to the brim with fresh oxygen, and let it all out. Ahhhhhhhh! I walk out of the class, ready to face the day ahead with the clear mind that only a great yoga practice brings.

I pass the instructor on my way out, and I place my hands in prayer at my heart center and bow to him in gratitude, I say: "The divine in me bows to the divine in you.” it is the English translation of the Sanskrit word ‘namaste’, used at the end of class to close a yoga practice. He smiles widely; a massive piece of spinach is caught in his braces.

I cannot stop smiling for the rest of the day.

Bliss Smoothie

-1 cup frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries or mixed)

-3/4 cup vanilla fat free yogurt

-1/4 cup milk (soy or 1%)

-1 banana

-1 tsp honey

-1 cup ice

*Blend all in ingredients together in blender/food proccessor

*For a smoother shake, reduce amount of ice

*makes 2 servings, enjoy with a friend after a challenging yoga practice!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

In the 1998 romcom "You've Got Mail", Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) says to his Internet pen pal Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) about the month of September: "Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."

A bouquet of newly sharpened pencils....I love that! I also love Winnipeg in the fall, I really do. In the last 3 years, the majority of my time was spent living on a small island in the Caribbean, Grand Cayman. In the fall months, September especially, the normally idyllic island turns grey, wet, and dreary. Hurricanes, tropical storms and rain become a regular occurrence. When it isn't raining, the heat and humidity are unbearable. There are no tourists or cruise ships passing through, no $$ to be made. Meanwhile, heaps of the locals take their holidays to avoid the icky weather, some outdoor restaurants shut down for the month, and the island is pretty empty. There was never any feeling of back to school or smell of freshly sharpened pencils in the air. September was the time of year I would get very homesick.

Being back in Canada and back in school makes this September an incredibly exciting time for me. I am happy to be pulling out warmer sweaters and boots, digging out the toques, boots and scarves I had forgotten all about. School is in full swing and I love every minute of it. It is the first time I am studying something that I enjoy and have a genuine interest in. In my PR class, I was forced to go against all I believed in and join the world of Twitter, it was actually quite painless and “tweeting” is even a little bit fun!! Outside, the leaves are already turning to beautiful shades of copper, the air is crisp and cool, and the sun is still shining bright. Yesterday, I went for a walk along a winding path that follows alongside the Red River, making the most out of a perfect autumn afternoon and feeling completely content. I love the fall!

This week’s cocktail is a tasty treat with the colors of this beautiful season; it is dedicated to a wonderfully crazy young woman who would have celebrated her 26th birthday this week. Happy birthday Grace!

Gracie Minty

2 oz Grey Goose L'Orange vodka

1/4 oz Campari liqeur

1/2 oz simple syrup****

4-6 mint leaves,

3 lime wedges

2 orange wheels (cut in half to create 4 half-moon shaped slices)

Soda water

-In a shaker, gently muddle together the mint, lime, orange slices & simple syrup.

-Fill the shaker with ice, add the vodka and Campari.

-Shake it baby!!! Shake it!!!

-Pour the contents of the shaker into a rocks glass, fill with fresh ice, and top with soda.


**** For simple syrup recipe, check out (

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Welcome to my wonderful blog!!!

Hi friends!

So here it is, a little piece of me on the world wide web. With you I will share the tale of a twenty-something modern-day gypsy coming home again, even though they say you never can. From my years spent working in the hospitality industry and my adventures around the world, I have many anecdotes and hilarious stories to recount. I imagine this next undertaking, student life, will bring with it many new stories for you to enjoy. Being the klutzy, accident-prone, loud-mouth that I am, most of them are funny at at my own expense, but that's ok. As long as it makes you smile.

I hope you're thirsty, because I will also share with you my favourite drink recipes for you to try at home. Some my own creations, and some classic favourites with my own personal twist. Taylor-made by me for each posting. Cheers!!!

We'll start off with the first drink I put my name on. Please proceed with caution, these delicious Rockets will get ya!

The Rachelle Rocket
2oz Raspberry Vodka
1/2 can Sugarfree RedBull
2oz cranberry juice
2 lime wedges

-Pour all ingredients into a tumbler glass full of ice
(not 2 cubes, a great cocktail begins with lots of ice)
give it a quick stir and squeeze in the lime wedges.