Live Out There Exclusive: “4 West Coast Winter Essentials to Keep you Active, Warm and Dry”

There are so many things I love about living on the West Coast of Canada. Chiefly among them, the fact that I am able to run outside all winter long! But that doesn’t mean I don’t need good gear. In fact, I am a huge proponent of quality running duds that keep me both warm and dry. For my second post with Live Out There, I highlighted four beautiful pieces any runner would be lucky to have!

4 West Coast Winter Essentials to Keep you Active, Warm and Dry

Here on the West Coast of Canada, it’s not just about staying warm in the winter, it’s also very important to focus on staying dry. Good, water-proof or water-resistance clothing is essential for those long training runs, day-hikes, and bike rides. Plus, when you look amazing in your active-wear, it’s much easier to get out, stay motivated, and feel great doing it.

Continue reading about my 4 must-have pieces here.

Just me, lost in thought

I feel like it has been raining for years.

And I will wake up tomorrow, webbed and gilled, a green-skinned lily-pad.

My eyes slick sliver, like salmon skin.

I sit here, watching the skies melt, with a kitten wrapped around herself. She is unaware of this other wet world; this place without food, without fires; warm beds, and sleepy heads.

Myself, well, I am drawn to the grey.

The strange semi-stillness of a night drawing near.

Mischief realized.

Heartbreak thwarted.

Coming home with a grocery bag filled with potential.


Or adventure?

Mugs of piping chai, thick woolen blankets, and the tap, tapping of a lost-lover’s knock on my window panes.

The SOS of ten thousand teardrops.

And I see the lights across the river, blinking.

Like an old man, lost in thought.


Standing in the shower thinking

Hey you beauty cats.

After a weekend of solid rain this is what we have been gifted on this otherwise ordinary Monday:

Everywhere the trees look like they are fire-kissed, fresh out of the autumn oven.

Leaves litter sidewalks and parking lots, an electric collage of reds, oranges, yellows, purples, and greens.

They are maple shaped, multi-coloured cobblestones that crunch (not clatter) underfoot.

For myself, after two days in a row of running in an absolute deluge I am fit to bursting with excitement to get outside and stretch my legs in the sunshine.

While there is always something to be said for running in the rain, I made the absolute worst mistake on Sunday afternoon.

I wore WAY too many pieces of clothing.

To make matters worse, I not only managed to cook myself alive, but did so despite running in what was, for all intents and purposes, a gigantic, omnipresent shower stall.

(With the water set to FULL BLAST.)

Not even an actual, real-live ice cold shower post-run could sufficiently bring down my core temperature, and for a good portion of the afternoon afterwards I was plagued by residual (and random) heat attacks.

Lest it need repeating – shedding clothing (at the drop of a hat) in public is not the defining character trait I aim to cultivate.

On the bright side, at least I will be a seasoned veteran of these things by the time menopause rolls around.

Little victories.

So how, exactly, did I end up dressed for Siberia (despite encountering Seattle), sweating my little face off?

I made the mistake of assuming that the massive fog bank that had rolled in that morning would be a pretty good indicator of what was happening outside temperature-wise, and as such, was duped into thinking that winter wear was a must.

What can I say? I see fog, I think freezing.

Boy was I wrong.

But as they say, live and learn!

Live and learn.

I’m actually glad I’m making these mistakes now, and not come the 18th – as a hardcore over-heat on race day is pretty much my worst nightmare ever (and definitely much worse than going into a run under-dressed, because when that happens at the very least you can just run faster to warm yourself up.)

Because –

Dudes, I am so excited to run in this race.


First, there is something so delicious knowing that it is only ten kilometers long.

The last three competitions I’ve entered have all been half-marathons (where ten km doesn’t even count for the half-way mark) so I am practically giddy knowing that once I reach the 7km sign I am pretty much at home plate.

And while I do, of course, hope that the rains stay away, I can’t help but wish that come race-day, when the gun goes off, the temperature is on the colder side.

Just enough so that I can wear my sweet, sweet running pants (the ones that keep my legs feeling limber and lithesome, and that trick my limbs into thinking I have swaddled them in feathers and fleece).

(Plus, being the good Canadian girl that I am, I never give up the chance to wear a sweet toque.)

Second, my amazing and hilarious friend Alannah is also racing and THIS WOMAN IS SO FUNNY I HAVE ABS BECAUSE OF HER.

I can only imagine the post-run hijinks that will ensue.

And finally, well, I seem to be on some kind of perpetual runner’s high (hot flashes be damned) and I’m just stoked about competing on a new course, with new people, in a new season.

Variety and spice, and all that, right?

What about you folks?

Do you prefer to run in the heat or cold? And what pieces of clothing make braving the elements just that little bit easier?

You can tell me all about it, once I get out of the shower.

Rain, rain, go away

So we meet again.

I’ll get you next time gadget!

Erm, I mean, happy Friday folks!

First I would like to send a giant hug to all of you who live on the east coast.

I hope you are all safe and sound and have escaped Sandy’s clutches with minimal damage.

Mother Nature’s wrath is most muted here out west; although the weather is absolute rubbish, we are lucky enough to be dealing with nothing more than a tepid drizzle (so constant you’d think that our city was built smack dab in the middle of the world’s most anemic waterfall.)

But really, ho-hum, pigs bum, it’s all one.

So this Fry-Up is dedicated to all you who call the sweet sights of the Atlantic Ocean home (especially my beautiful big sister who rode out the storm in her Brooklyn flat. Love you sweet K with all my heart!)

Double rainbow.

Sometimes I wear an outfit that is made up of so many colours that it looks as though Picasso painted me.

I always become so much more aware of my multi-hued clothing as we enter the winter months, as it seems that all the other individuals who work downtown dress in progressively grayer and grayer tones.

This is not a good idea folks.

My rule of thumb is never dress the same colour as the weather. That’s just too depressing for your own good.

Today the women handing out the free newspapers at skytrain nearly flipped their wigs when I showed up in my poppy coat and fuchsia skirt.

“Oooooooeeeerrrr,” one exclaimed. “Look at all your colours!”

“That’s one way to keep your spirits bright!” The other laughed.

I cannot argue with this statement.

Plus, wearing an outfit that pretty much pulsates colour makes it incredibly difficult for cars to miss you when crossing the street.

Because it’s all well and good to look like the work of a Spanish cubist – but as my parent’s would always say: safety first kids!

Safety first.


Sweet tooth.

So, on Monday night I ventured out for some fab pub trivia, with some equally rad folks.

(Spoiler alert: we won! Taking Care of Quizness – the team’s name – really was taking care of quizness. Also, I may or may not be a good luck charm, as every time I’ve gone the team has emerged triumphant, either richer – in both money and spirit – or stocked with free booze.)

Now, given that I live in New Westminster, and the trivia was in the very heart of Kitstilano (a very posh, very yuppie neighbourhood of Vancity – enter at your own risk, lest you succumb to the clutches of Starbucks, Lululemon, and overpriced baby paraphernalia) it’s pretty necessary for me to drive, unless for some strange reason I feel like subjecting myself to a good hour and half of late night bus riding, post-game.

(For what it’s worth, I haven’t yet had any desire to pursue this experience.)

Anywho, what I’m trying to say here is that I drove to the pub.

As I was motoring into the city, I took the opportunity to absolutely blast the kind of music I don’t normally listen to when other people are in the car with me (as it would seem as though my loved ones are much more discerning when it comes to their musical tastes.)

When I’m all alone, on my own?

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: I blast the absolute crap out of the cheesiest, most inane pop you could ever think of.

For instance, I managed to listen to this song three times driving to and from the pub:

And as I was chair dancing like a chair dancing thing, I began to mull over why it is exactly that I love this stuff so much, and how is this representative of my life overall.

In both music and food I have a penchant for syrupy sweet junk.

As much as I love healthy food and good (or whatever my be the musical equivalent to “healthy”) music, I really, really like crap.

I mean, life is all about balance right? And as long as I remember this, I’ll probably be okay.

Plus, I probably couldn’t stop if I tried.

(And I probably won’t try.)

English Breakfast.

I’ve written a few times before on ye olde Rant and Roll about how I am a bit of an anglophile – ie. there are many, many things about British pop culture that I love.

For instance, almost every concert I have attended over the past ten years have been bands from the UK, most of my favourite TV shows originally aired on (or continue to air on) the BBC, and I’d wager a fair guess that the majority of the dudes I’ve gotten all shirty over for, oh, I don’t know, my entire life, were born “across the pond” (in the parlance of our times.)

M and I just started watching Life on Mars on Netflix. We’ve only seen a few episodes, but so far I’m really enjoying the series.

If you haven’t seen it, the premise is that Sam Tyler – a policeman working in Manchester – is hit by a car in 2006 and wakes up in 1973. We don’t know if he’s in a coma and is dreaming everything, or if he’s actually been transported back in time.

The show is funny and witty and infuriating and has some of the best tunes I’ve heard on a television program in a long time.

If you have a chance, check it out.

If anything, it will make you want to get a really sweet leather jacket.

So that’s all she wrote you beauty cats!

Enjoy the weekend, stay warm, dry, safe, and sound.

I wouldn’t wish it any other way.

Pa-pa-pa Papageno

Happy father’s day to all the beauty cat fathers out there!

Unfortunately, we seem to have re-descended into the bowels of winter out here, but never-the-less, our hearts are light, and today we are off to eat some scrumptious brunch with M’s father – D. Gruyere.

BRB…building a canoe.

My own vatter lives in Guelph Ontario, so I will be on the blower with him, just in case my carrier pigeons never reached him on time.

In honour of this day, I’ll eat some super duper healthy food, play some scrabble, and read some John Irving.

(It’s party all the time in that small Ontario town, let me tell ya! P.S. check out those hiking socks!)

Here are a few snaps of what has been coming down the pipe around these parts:

Graduation caps.

Rain soaked runs.

Scrumptious pasta.

Garden gate.

Epic treats.

In recognition of all the cool cat dad’s out there, let’s grab – if only in our imaginations – our baseball gloves, tie up our running shoes, and head down to the park to practice catching those pop flies.

But only after we’ve finished our homework.

I’ll make sure to save us a spot.