Friday, February 3, 2017

Time flies!

Wow, am I behind! The last year has absolutely flown by as I've been working full-time again.

Although I'm a month behind on making any kind of resolution, here is my goal: to get my blog caught up again.

Stay tuned and keep checking back to find new and catch-up blog posts. I promise it will be worth it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Jill Laycock: Guest Blogger!

Yes, you read that correctly... Today my first guest blog was posted!

So, how did this come about? Earlier this year, while scrolling through Facebook, I noticed a post by a local writer/blogger (Jenn Smith Nelson at Travel & Happiness). She was looking for potential guest bloggers to submit ideas and write posts this summer. I responded and, lo and behold, here is my first ever guest blog:

I'm pretty proud of it. What do you think?

Who knows? Maybe there's more to come...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

It's T-10 days until my birthday!

Wow! This month is not only flying by, but really snuck up on me! I can't believe it's only 10 days until my birthday! It must be the fantastic fall weather we've been having - until today, that is. I'm still hoping it will warm up enough to melt and I can have what would be only my sixth (I think) birthday without snow. It's been a while since I've had a brown birthday, so that would be pretty special.

It's been quite a year. I'm closing in on my first year of being an entrepreneur and that's gone pretty well. I've shared some special times with family and friends, and I've very much enjoyed having a summer free to do whatever I wanted to - after the work is done, of course.

As I look back over the posts I've done this year, what stands out to me is that almost everything I crossed off my list has to do with getting outside and enjoying the great outdoors. Interesting. It's not something I've made a big priority before, and I really enjoyed all the experiences I had this year. Here's to many more in the coming year!

Monday, October 5, 2015

3rd Quarter Update

And another three months has gone by, so it's time for an update! How am I doing on my '40 Things & More' list? Well, I crossed a couple more things off the list, but still have a ways to go. We'll see what this next quarter holds for me...

The '40 Things & More' List!

1. Go snowshoeing.
2. Serve a meal in a soup kitchen.
3. Eat something I've never tried before.
4. Visit a town in Saskatchewan that I've never been to before.
5. Plan my dream 40th birthday trip.
6. Start running again.
7. Visit a US state I haven't been to before.
8. Read a classic novel.
9. Create and complete a scrapbook for one of the trips I've taken in my 30s.
10. Do up a will.
11. Complete one of my cross-stitch projects.
12. Go kayaking.
13. Get my website business off the ground.
14. Take a self-defense class/course.
15. Go horseback riding.
16. Visit a museum or historic site in Saskatchewan that I haven't been to before.
17. Give blood regularly.
18. Attend a Victorian Tea.
19. Ride my bike in the city.
20. Stop and smell the flowers at a garden I haven't been to before.
21. Try an activity that's new to me.
22. Walk a portion of the Trans Canada Trail that I haven't been on before.
23. Learn more about my family history.
24. Visit a park in Regina I haven't been to before.
25. Participate in a fundraiser that involves a physical activity.
26. Simplify some area of my life that needs simplifying.
27. Learn how to change a tire on a vehicle.
28. Explore Regina's backyard - see what's just outside the city limits.
29. Learn more about Canadian history.
30. Visit a natural site in Saskatchewan I haven't been to before.
31. Learn to play something on my guitar.
32. Visit a Canadian National Park I haven't been to before.
33. Climb Wascana Hill in Douglas Park and watch a sunset.
34. Visit the observatory at the Science Centre.
35. Attend Mosaic - a multicultural festival held annually.
36. Play my first solo concert on the bells.
37. Attend an outdoor movie event.
38. Go fly a kite!
39. Play a mini golf course I haven't been on before.
40. Go on dream 40th birthday trip!
41. Attend a Regina Red Sox baseball game.
42. Visit Saskatchewan's only lighthouse.
43. Run a 5 km.
44. Visit the Great Sandhills in Saskatchewan.
45. Visit a Canadian province or territory I haven't been to before.
46. Attend the annual kite festival in Swift Current.

47. Visit a major US city I haven't been to before.
48. Watch a sunrise.
49. Try another activity that's new to me.

50. It's a surprise (even to me!) - I'll know it when the opportunity presents itself.
51. Take a ballroom dancing class.
52. Watch an old black & white movie I haven't seen before.
53. Experience a WARM birthday!
54. Experience a WARM Christmas! (not necessarily in the same year as the previous item)
55. Attend the annual Dickens' Village Festival in Carlyle.
56. See the polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba.
57. Visit the east coast of Canada.
58. Jump out of an airplane! (in tandem, of course!)
59. Experience a 4th of July in the United States.
60. Visit a US National Park I haven't been to before.

Friday, September 25, 2015

#60 - Visit a US National Park I Haven't Been to Before

This fall my friend Korin and I traveled to Montana to attend a family camp and have a bit of a vacation. While I've been through Montana a couple of times, I hadn't been to this particular area - that around Glacier National Park.

Despite not one but two forest fires raging in the park, hazy conditions on some days that blocked the views and stunning scenery, very hot temperatures (in the mid to high 30s!), and it being the driest year on record in 100 years, Glacier National Park was still a very beautiful place to visit and explore.

With it being so dry this year, water levels were low everywhere. On our way through the park on the Going to the Sun Road, we stopped and ate our makeshift picnic lunch at an area where the riverbed was over half dry. We enjoyed the peace and tranquility the park and that particular area offered.

Another highlight came the next day when we did a hike to the Hidden Lake Overlook from the Logan Pass Visitor Center. First, I have seen many pictures of fields of wildflowers in the mountains, but I had never seen the real thing. When I did, I was in awe. It was so beautiful! And secondly, it was a long hike, but the view of Hidden Lake from the overlook was absolutely amazing!

On a free day we drove to Whitefish to explore that area. We had a fun day here and I definitely got out of my comfort zone - first with taking the ski lifts to the top of the mountain, then to feeling like a kid again on an alpine slide, and finally to do a walk in the treetops which got to as high as 70 feet up in the air. It was the hottest day (over 100 degrees!) and there wasn't a lick of wind, but I drank I don't know how many bottles of water to stay hydrated, pushed myself to the limit, and I made it. (Note: I've had heat exhaustion more than once and it makes you extra sensitive to heat from then on.)

Following camp, we spent a couple of extra days in the Glacier National Park area and I had my first actual camping experience in years. Korin loves camping! I like camping as well - in hotels and with running water. In spite of this, we had a good time and I enjoyed my first (and probably not last) camping experience at a KOA Campground. Check out our cute little cabin!

On our last full day in the area, we drove back into the national park to do a hike. We had almost had an experience with a bear a couple days previous, so I was in no frame of mind to go for a hike in the woods when there was a chance we might meet him again or come across one of his close relatives. But Korin wanted to go for a hike in the woods and didn't feel her trip would be complete without that, so off we went. Her words to me were, "What's the worst that could happen?" "Oh, let me give you a few scenarios..." I thought.

Anyway, to make a long story (and an even longer blog post) short, we had a great hike, saw some amazing natural sights, did not see a bear, and came across a beautiful hidden lake (Johns Lake) in the course of our travels. It was worth it. The End.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Summertime Delight!

It's hard to believe the year is almost 2/3 over, isn't it? As I spent another couple days outside this weekend, what sunk in for me was the fact that I am delighting in my freedom this year, particularly this summer.

After spending the previous three years at a job where summer was the 'crazy' season, I am now getting the chance to enjoy a summer - and I am! What surprised me today is how tanned I have become. It's been quite a while since I've had this much colour, especially on my legs (which normally remain quite white) and my feet.

This year of delight has not been what I expected, but it has been good - very good! In fact, it's delightful!

Friday, July 31, 2015

#28 - Explore Regina's Backyard - see what's just outside the city limits

I've wanted to check out what was just outside the city limits for years. And it's not that I never leave the city, but I don't usually drive for less than 30 minutes when I do. When I see a sign for something that captures my interest I tend to think, "That looks interesting. I'll have check it out another time." But you know what? I never have. If I don't write it down or make a plan, then I don't seem to do those things that would be fun and yet somehow never make it to the top of my to-do list.

Thankfully I have good friends who are either up for adventures or invite me along on theirs. That was the case this time. My friend Melinda recently discovered an area called Wascana Trails just northwest of the city and invited me to go with her this time. I said yes and am so very glad I did.

Wascana Trails is located in a portion of the beautiful Qu'Appelle Valley in southern Saskatchewan, and it's so peaceful and quiet you'd never know that you're only about 15-20 minutes from the city limits. I'll let my pictures do the talking now, and I encourage you to see what's just outside 'your normal area' as well. You never know... You might just find a gem like I did!