5 ways to stay active (and have fun) on vacation

When going on vacation, exercise is often not a top priority. However, maintaining an active lifestyle on vacation will help to reduce or eliminate vacation weight gain and maintain motivation once the vacation is over. Vacations are meant to be a time off from regular routine so eliminate the stress of exercise by having fun with it!

5 ways to stay active on vacation


1. Sightsee on foot

This seems basic but walking is an excellent source of exercise while on vacation. If a sight is a 30 minute walk or a 10 minute metro ride, choose to walk. Not only are you exercising, you get a chance to sightsee at the same time. This will often lead off the tourist track where you can truly get a sense of the place you are visiting. I love walking around neighbourhoods, window shopping little shops and checking out neat cafes and restaurants I might want to visit later.

When Tom & I were in Europe, we walked a lot. While many major cities would offer hop-on-hop-off bus tours of major attractions, we chose to forgo those and walk between sites. This was our main form of exercise. The minimum we would walk in a day was around 5 hours. At max, one day we walked 10 hours.

Additionally, running as sightseeing is a great way to get out and see a city. Wake up for an early morning run and you will see the place you are visiting in a whole new light.

mykonos run

2. Take the road less travelled

Have you ever walked out of a subway station, got onto the packed escalator then looked beside you and saw that one person walking up the stairs? Be that person! Staying active on vacation doesn’t have to be specifically putting on work out clothes and working out, it can be finding ways to get your heart rate up during the day and burning a few extra calories.

Taking stairs is one of the easiest way to get your heart rate climbing plus when you are that person walking up the stairs passing those people standing on the elevator, you get the right to feel a little self-righteous. I know I did, especially when Tom and I were carrying our 30 pound backpacks and still chose the stairs.

judging gif


3. Hotel gym or circuit workouts

If you want a more conventional workout, you can always see if your hotel has a gym. Planning ahead and choosing a hotel with a gym can help with your fitness goals. However, if your hotel doesn’t have a gym don’t fret! You can always do a hotel circuit workout. I love Julie from Peanut Butter Finger’s no-equipment circuit workouts. You can do a quick 25-30 minute workout when you get up in the morning and then you leave for the day already feeling accomplished.

workout motivation

4. Join a fitness challenge

Before you leave for vacation, join a fitness challenge. There are always challenges such as squat challenges, plank-a-day challenges, etc. Joining a challenge will keep you motivated while you are away. Keep your progress updated on Instagram, Twitter or whatever social media you prefer. Keep it fun by doing a plank in front of a monument you are visiting or doing your squats in a famous park.

Just don’t do this type of planking challenge…



5. Look up local workout classes

Being on vacation means you are trying new things and new experiences. Check out if the area offers any fun drop in classes. Maybe there is a yoga in the park you could take part in or you could try out something unique like hotel Aria’s Indoor Hike in Las Vegas.

There are so many ways to keep fit on vacation, do whatever works best for you!

hiking greece

What’s your favourite way to work up a sweat on vacation? Do you judge people on the elevator when you are taking the stairs?

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There’s No Place Like Home

Hello everyone! I am officially home from Europe. I had an absolutely amazing vacation. I have so much I want to tell you and share with you. But first I have about 600 pictures to sort through and I have to get my head around how to recap everything. On top of that, I have to catch up on my sleep.

We landed Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. By time we got to bed it was 9:30, which in “our” time was 6:30 a.m. Tom and I did the best we could to stay awake on the plane so that we would be able to sleep last night. However, I am still very exhausted. While heading straight back to work saved some vacation time, it definitely meant I was a zombie at work.


I still have a busy weekend ahead of me. Today after work I’m driving up to Edmonton because on Saturday is my nephew’s graduation party. That’s right, my nephew graduated from high school. Boy do I ever feel old saying that! After the party I have to drive right back to Calgary because on Sunday I am signed up for a 10km race. Apparently, I was very ambitious before I left on vacation.

My intention in signing up for the 10km was to encourage myself to run during vacation. Additionally, this run is the Calgary Marathon. This year is the 50th anniversary and I know a lot of people running in different categories so I thought it would be fun to join.

calgary marathon

So did I run during vacation? Well….once. I will write a post on how I kept active during vacation. I definitely wasn’t just lying down on a beach everyday but running didn’t make the itinerary either. Why? A couple of reasons:

First and foremost my foot. About a week before we left for vacation something happened to my foot. I’m not even sure what because I never got a chance to get it checked out. Right at the base of my big toe hurt really badly as I walked and it hurt considerably worse if I ran. Therefore, since I knew I was going to be doing a lot of walking in Europe I decided it wasn’t worth pushing myself and risk injuring myself further.

Second reason for not running was we walked ALOT. Tom and I walked for usually a minimum of 5 hours a day and some days up to 9-10 hours. So not only did I lack the energy for running, I felt pretty justified that I had got in a sufficient amount of exercise.

Lastly, I was on vacation. While keeping active is very important to me I also like to balance my lifestyle. Taking a rest from running for a couple of weeks wasn’t going to kill me. Now that I’m back it’s time for my official marathon training to start and I know I will be running ALOT in the upcoming months. So while I love to run, having this break both for my body and mind was really nice.

body break


I’m not planning on racing the 10km. My foot still isn’t 100% and I’m clearly not in my top shape. I just want to go out and have a good time and then cheer on other people who I know there. No pressure.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend and I will be back next week with recaps of the race and of course lots to share about my European Adventure.


Tom & Jen’s Excellent European Adventure

I’m not too sure if I have mentioned this on my blog yet but Tom and I are going on another vacation next month. We are headed to Europe for three and a half weeks! This trip has been booked for just about a year so now that it’s getting close, I am so excited!

Although I am also becoming super stressed about packing. We are going the backpacking route and I don’t exactly travel light. To go to Vegas/Phoenix for 6 days I took the largest size suitcase and just barely made the 50lb weight limit. So packing for 3.5 weeks in a backpack is going to be tricky. I definitely know my makeup will have to be widdled down to the essentials 1 makeup bag 2 makeup bags.

Jenna Marbles gifs on women packing pretty much describes me perfectly…





two suitcases

I recently came across a great post by Julie on Peanut Butter Fingers on packing for Europe. She has some great tips on changing up accessories and cardigans to make outfits work multiple different ways. I definitely am using this as my bible for packing!

So where exactly are we going in Europe? Originally, Tom and I wanted to go to Italy and Greece but when a cheap flight to Lisbon Portugual came about, we jumped on that. So now we are starting in Portugal and making our way to Greece.

We are doing a lot of travelling in our time there, basically moving places every 2 days. While three and half weeks seems like a long time but there are so many places we wanted to see!

I’ll give you my full itinerary, partially for your interest sake but mostly so my Mom has a reference! 😉

Day 1-3: Lisbon, Portugal

Day 3-5: Madrid, Spain

Day 5-7: Venice, Italy

Day 7-9: Florence, Italy

Day 9-11: Cinque Terre, Italy

Day 11-13: Rome, Italy

Day 13-14: Athens, Greece

Day 14-18: We are taking a tour of mainland greece with a company with the highlights including Olympia, Delphi, Meteora

Day 18-20: Mykonos, Greece

Day 20-22: Santorini, Greece

Day 23: Athens

Day 24: Home

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 6.59.28 PM

It’s going to be a whirlwind adventure for sure.

I will try to pop in and do a few updates on the trip while we are away but I won’t be posting regularly during that time. I am trying to get some guest bloggers lined up though so you will get a chance to learn from some other really great bloggers.

Have you ever been to any of these places in Europe – any tips on must see/do? Do you have trouble packing light?

P.S. If any bloggers are interested in guest posting for me just send me a message through my contact me page!

Back to the Deep Freeze – Vegas/Phoenix Recap

Last night I arrived back in Calgary to a lovely -20 degrees Celsius, the 45 degree temperature difference was not very welcome, especially considering I was already miserable since it was 1 a.m. But never the less while the vast majority of me is still wishing to be in a warmer climate, part of me is happy to be home.

My trip was really, really fantastic! We started off Las Vegas with a bang when we got a limo from the airport instead of a taxi or shuttle. When you get a limo, you pay for 1 hour, so we decided to make the most of that hour and cruise around a bit. We made our first stop at the liquor store, obviously, and picked up a few things including this classy champagne. (BTW…it was terrible tasting)


Then we headed to the Las Vegas sign! I have seen the sign before but never stopped so I was pretty psyched. I wish we had gotten a picture of our whole group together but there were people a bunch of pushy people trying to sell you photos, I got annoyed and wanted to get out of there.

The Group Minus Tom


There he is!


We stayed at the Planet Hollywood, which was an awesome hotel. I love the location on the strip. When we got there, Tom cooly slipped the check-in-attendant a tip and voila we got an upgraded room with a view of the Bellagio fountains!


I figured our first night would be an early one since we had all worked that day, I had been up since 5 a.m. However, there are no early nights in Vegas. After a night of craps, beer pong and a late night sandwich, we didn’t turn in until 4 a.m.


The next day it took us a little while to get going. We mostly just wandered around the strip and got in some shopping at MAC! Then after a power nap it was time for Celine!!


The concert was good, the sound was absolutely phenomenal, the best I have ever heard at a concert. However, I would have to say overall I was a little disappointed. Totally my own fault, but I didn’t realize that her show had changed from her first Vegas stint. Celine’s first show was a true “Las Vegas style show”. This performance was really a more low-key performance. It was beautiful but just not what I was expecting. Definitely a bit of a let down after waiting all these years to see the performance. After the concert, us girls headed to Freemont street to meet the guys. We ended up going to bed a bit earlier this night, 3 a.m. 😉

The next day was all about shopping! We headed to the outlet malls and I shopped, boy did I shop!


Okay, those aren’t all my bags. But I still got some really great stuff. My favourite store, shockingly, was this place called The Cosmetics Company Store. I don’t know if it has always been there and I’ve missed it every time but it’s a discounted brand name cosmetics store! So of course, I had to check that out.

That night we went for dinner at our hotel at P.F. Changs. Holy food! We had enough food to feed another 6 people, it was kind of ridiculous. Then Tom and I went with one of the other couples to Cirque du Soleil, Love! It was a fantastic show! I have seen a number of Cirque du Soleil shows and this one was really great. It was very different because it didn’t have very much acrobatics but it had such great music, dancing and other special effects that it made up for it.


After that we stopped at this hookah bar. I am not a smoker and find it repulsive, but I decided to give this a try. Actually not bad! Not something I would do often but it was kind of fun experience. We stayed there until they kicked us out because they were shutting down. Then we were starving for some late night snacks. For the past couple of days we had talked about going to Hash House A Go Go for breakfast but never got up and were too hungry for the 1 hour wait by the time we got going. Since it’s open 24 hours, we figured this was our perfect opportunity to go! It was quite the experience, we got there and saw about 20 open tables and yet were told we needed to wait for a table. Well it was worth the wait! I ordered a banana brown sugar pancake. It was HUGE! And the most amazing pancake I have ever tasted. I think it was around 5 by the time we rolled into bed the last night.


The next day we were off to Phoenix, I felt bad the first day because Tom and I were just so tired we made very terrible company for my Dad. Phoenix was just about relaxing which was perfect after all the craziness of Vegas. We lounged around the pool most of the time although we did get out for one day of sightseeing. We went on a scenic drive to Saguaro lake, checked out the world’s tallest fountain, went to an orange orchard and had lunch in an olive grove.




Overall, a perfect getaway. Now it’s time to get my butt back in gear with eating properly and running. My half marathon is just over 2 weeks away!

How was your week? What’s your favourite hotel to stay at in Vegas?

Hello From Phoenix

Hello readers! How was your weekend? I had the best weekend in Vegas. I ate too much, drank too much, spent too much money and stayed up way too late! But I guess that’s what Vegas is all about. Now Tom and I are in Phoenix visiting my Dad and detoxing.

I won’t be writing much from here because the wifi is limited. I can only get internet by the pool. First world problems eh? This is my current view.


I will be writing a full recap when I’m back on Thursday and boy do I have a beauty haul in store for you! MAC, Sephora and Ulta all took a good chunk of my money this weekend.

Right now I’m heading out now for a Birthday supper. That’s right, it’s my Birthday! Pretty happy with how I’m spending it! Have a good week in the cold…not to rub it in or anything 😉


Vegas Baby!

Work felt like an absolute eternity today. You know when you are excited for something to come then time moves slower than ever! Because now that work is over, I am headed out to Vegas!


vegas baby

I mentioned before, Tom and I are going with two other couples. There was actually supposed to be 7 of us but our friend, who shall not be named, forgot to hit confirm when he was booking his trip months ago! We’ll be missing him for sure.

This will be my fifth time in Vegas, what can I say, I love the Vegas! But this time I am most excited because I am going to see Celine Dion!!

celine dion

 Okay, I know half my audience is saying YAY! and the other half just did the biggest eye roll.

eye roll

Well I don’t care. I have been a Celine Dion fan since I was a kid. My best friend and I did an airband to her song in our Grade 5 fall fair and I even wrote her fan mail. I have seen her once in concert but it has been my dream for years and years to see her in Las Vegas. My sister and I always had a plan to go to Las Vegas to see Celine and two years ago we found a great seat sale and decided to book our trip. Unfortunately, afterwards we realized Celine was on a break at that time. So I feel partly very guilty for going to see Celine without her, but not enough to stop me from going…

In terms of eating right and exercising, I don’t have any delusions about staying perfectly healthy while in Vegas. It’s one weekend so I’ll let it go. You do a lot of walking in Vegas, so I don’t feel too bad if I don’t work out. Generally I eat pretty healthy for my meals while I am in Vegas but it’s the alcohol that kills me.


And then after all the alcohol I have a bad habit of wanting nachos & pump cheese! Everyone has their late night food and this is definitely mine. I love it a little too much…


After a weekend we’ll be off to Phoenix where I’ll somewhat detox. I have a post planned for tomorrow already and then probably won’t post again until I get to Phoenix.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! I know I will.

What are you doing this weekend? What’s your late-night junk food craving?

Bye Bye Canada…Hello Paradise!

This morning Tom and I are off to Cancun!! I am so excited. Things have been really crazy lately so I really could just use a break.

Yesterday was such a hectic day! I ended up going into work for half a day because I had a bunch of stuff left to complete before I took off for a week. Then I managed to get one last run in before vacation.


A 6 mile run in 1:02. That’s a great time for me! This run-walk business is working!

Then I had to pack very quickly because I was off to do some makeup. I did burlesque style makeup for a fundraiser for Make Fashion. It was crazy hectic. We had one hour to complete 6 girls makeup and I needed to head out on time because I had tickets to Keith Urban concert! I didn’t even get a picture of the makeup I did because I was out of there so quickly!

Keith Urban concert was amazing! This was my fourth time seeing him and I will see him every time he tours because he puts on a incredible show. Tom and I had floor seats! And got a chance to get right up close.


I loved when the paper canons went off. (If that’s what it’s called, I just made that up)


Then it was home to finish last minute packing. Now Tom and I are anxiously waiting at our gate. I see the plane so I just want to gooooooo!



I won’t have much Internet access over the next week so sorry but there won’t be any blog posts. I was hoping to have some posts ready to publish before I left but I failed at that!

See you all in a week!!