25 & Still Dreaming

Dear Readers,

25 – I’m really here.

When I was younger, I used to dream about myself and what it would be like to be 25 years old. I would fantasize my life back then and imagine how my life would’ve looked like. I would dream about having my own house, being married, having kids, and dream about the countless countries I would had travelled.

As I turn 25, I find myself still dreaming.

To be completely honest with you all, 24 was was not my best year. I had never felt so unaccomplished in my life. Perhaps, it’s from the constant pressure from my family to “get married“, or, “buy a house“, or “start having babies“.  It could also be from seeing my mutual connections online, who are around my age and are already achieving milestones in their lives, such as marriage and becoming parents. It’s really different for me, my 24th year was just so uneventful.

The more I reflect on the idea of “accomplishment”, the more I realize the following:

1.) My accomplishment should not be limited to other people’s idea of accomplishment

2.) I’m not being kind to myself

3.) I’m still accomplishing a lot

Let’s break this down.

1.) People have different ways of measuring or defining being “accomplished“. Some may define it through monetary values, some may define it through the number of awards one has earned, while others may simply define it as being able to live yet another day. It varies for everyone. During this pandemic (future self please note, 2020 was the year wherein the Coronavirus caused a pandemic and worldwide disruption), I learned that life should not be taken for granted. Life is too unpredictable, and things can change instantly. With this, I realized that sometimes, living through another day alive, is still an accomplishment worth celebrating. Not many people are able to accomplish to live for another day. This precious life needs to be celebrated even for the most simple reasons… celebrate yet another sunset, celebrate yet another day in which you were able to live. Even if it was just an ordinary day, romanticize it. Your life is not ordinary, your life is meant to be extraordinary. So please, romanticize everything from the most subtle, unproductive, lazy of laziest days… because someone out there, would want to have another 24 hours to live… someone out there, would want to see another sunset again.

2.) I’m not being kind to myself… As an influencer/blogger, people only get to see my happy days… my best days… my edited and filtered days… what you don’t see is the background. The struggles I continue to face, especially when it comes to my body image. Social media has given me a platform to share my life and to reach thousands of people worldwide. Social media has also given me a reason to be overly critical with myself. What I see online, has influenced the way I want to look… how I see my body, how I see others, and how I want to be seen. I have my best days, wherein I feel my best and confident. AND I also have my bad days, wherein I feel like crap and extremely out of shape. This year, I really struggled with loving my body. Each day, I overcome this mentally, by speaking to my inner self with affirmations that: “I am beautiful, I am loved, and I will love myself above all“. My body may not be skinny and tall, but it is what shapes me… from my rolls and thick calves, my body continues to service me and I need to appreciate it more. We all want to become somebody else, but it’s so much easier to just be YOU. Being kind to myself is one thing I will continue to accomplish throughout my life.

3.) I’m still trying to accomplish a lot. I’m a dreamer, and I know there are still plenty of memories to create ahead of me, plenty more doors to open, plenty more wishes to make, and plenty more experiences to learn. My life is an ongoing accomplishment. I have lots to accomplish, and I don’t think I will ever stop trying to accomplish something. The difficulty of always chasing after something to accomplish is forgetting the ones you already had accomplished. This is where I often find myself. I’m always comparing my success to other people’s without giving enough merit and appreciation for my own accomplishments. For example, in real life I am still living at home, unmarried and without children… for some generations ahead of me, being 25 and still living with your parents is a sign of “being unaccomplished“. BUT IS IT REALLY? Who in the hell made those rules anyways… is there really a timeline of when I should get married, move out and have kids? NO – THERE IS’NT. (unless my parents kick me out that is… hi mom, please let me save more money for my down payment and I will be out of your house!!!!) Your life is yours to live, don’t discredit how far you had come because others seem to be moving more than you. It’s not always about how fast you’re going, it’s also about being able to establish solid building blocks along the way. Be kind to yourself, congratulate yourself for all your successes, and strive for a better tomorrow. Look forward to what’s ahead, without doubting your own pace. Your accomplishment should be focused on the movement and the progress… not in the speed.

Dear Dez –  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

I know 2020 was a rough one – but don’t worry, you’re making moves. You’re accomplishing daily progress, and sometimes you may not even realize it… but you’re really going farther and farther away than you were at yesterday. So keep on going. Don’t let yourself down.

25 is the year you continue to push forward. Accomplish those baby goals, work towards the future you fantasized about… and one day, you’ll get there. IF you get stuck, and find yourself reading your old poems, try to remember this: there are countless times in your life wherein your heart was so broken and your soul was so lost, and each time you thought you were not going to make it – you still did. You learned, you grew, you built yourself up and you continue to do so every single fucking day. So heads up sweetie, you got this.

I hope that when you find yourself feeling unaccomplished and distancing away from your reality, I hope you find yourself here. May this inspire you, may this push you, and may this shape who you’re becoming. The woman you’re currently shaping will touch so many lives, and will spread so much love along the way. Don’t doubt her.

This blog is dedicated to the people I love and loved, and to the ones I have yet to love, this one is for you. Thank you to those who had been a part of my life then but are not anymore. Thank you to those who are still around for me. Thank you to my family. Thank you to the love of my life, Jason Yang.

With love,

Mary Dezleigh Teodosio

 

25 & Still Dreaming

Bow River, Three Ways

Dear Readers,

For those of you who may not know yet, I am a proud Calgary resident. Calgary is a beautiful city with amazing people and fun activities to do! In this post, I want to share with you all the many ways we can explore Calgary’s Bow River as locals or as tourists.

I think this is the perfect time as Calgary locals to fall in love with our city, support local businesses and make the most of summer 2020!

1.) Segway Tour with River Valley Adventure Co. 

Our experience with the Segways was new and intimidating at first, but with the help of our lovely tour guide from River Valley Adventure, we managed to find our balance and ride the Segways with no problem!

I went on the Segway tour with Jason and my friend Arie. For the first 30 minutes of the tour, the guide will show you how to turn, stop and ride the Segway – which made it perfect for first timers like ourselves. The tour begins once everyone is all set and fully equipped with a helmet and basic understanding on how to use the Segway.

The tour starts from East Village around the Simmons Building where the River Valley Adventure’s ship container is located. Then, we crossed the George C. King bridge to St. Patrick’s Island. On St. Patrick’s Island, we stopped to take some pictures around the zoo and the tour continued around towards 12th Street SE bridge. While on 12th Street SE bridge, we were able to see the beautiful Bow River and downtown Calgary. This spot was also another perfect spot for taking pictures!

Eventually, we circled back to East Village from the pathways of Inglewood. These pathways are so special and nice because they wrap around the Bow River, giving you great river views.

Overall, the Segway tour lasted an hour and 30 minutes – including all the time we stopped to take pictures. I also recommend taking your time on St. Patrick’s Island to enjoy all the art installations, developments and seating areas that the city has set up to make the island more lively and community focused. This island will amaze you! Ask your tour guide all about it when you get there!

Book your Segway Tour: LINK TO SEGWAY TOUR

INSTAGRAM PAGE: @yycsegwaytours

2.) River Float with the Paddle Station 

The River Float with Paddle Station is the perfect summer activity to do with your family or friends. I was lucky enough to share this experience with Jason. The float was a romantic day activity that can be enhanced with good food and good music.

While on our raft, we were indulging ourselves with a picnic packed by River Cafe and had our fave songs on repeat through our portable bluetooth speaker. The experience was definitely a unique one! (SIDE NOTE: you can totally bring food on the raft, as long as you clean up after the float. Please DO NOT leave any garbage on the raft)

The Paddle Station offers everything you need to go floating down the Bow River – from vessels, to life jackets, paddles, and they have lots of water equipment to rent (small rafts, medium rafts, big rafts, kayaks, and stand up paddle board). Best part is the convenience – all you have to do is show up, check in, and get going!! The Paddle Station will pick up the raft at a designated end point along the river (don’t miss it like Jason and I did or else you will have to jump out into the water and swim it to shore, then carry the raft back to the end point) and they will inflate your raft at the beginning too!

Overall, our float trip lasted roughly around 2 hours with the river’s current at the time. The float started from The Shouldice Paddle Station, directly below the 16th Avenue bridge (Address:5227 13 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T3B 1J1). The end point was at St. Patrick’s Island at Zoo Road (Address:1300 12 St NE, Calgary, AB T2E 7V6). 

TIP: Ensure you have a ride back from the end point back to your starting point at Shouldice Paddle Station, you can either take 2 cars and park one at each location OR call an Uber/Taxi to drop you off at your vehicle at Shouldice Paddle Station.

Book your River Float: LINK TO RIVER FLOAT

INSTAGRAM PAGE: @paddlestation

Order your picnic food: LINK TO RIVER CAFE MENU

INSTAGRAM PAGE: @rivercafeyyc

3.) Surf the River with Outlier Surf

Did you know – you can surf on the Bow River????

There is a specific section of the Bow River wherein surfing is allowed and it is right next to 10th Street Bridge. On this spot, water level is high and waves form continuously, making it perfect for surfing! This section of the Bow River has created a welcoming close knit community of surfers in Calgary and you can even stop by and say hi when you see them.

If you ever dreamed or wanted to try surfing, you can now take the time to learn it!!!!

Outlier Surf is definitely for the adventure seeking individual with dreams of surfing like a pro. With Outlier Surf, you can take lessons and learn how to unlock your surfing abilities and learn how to do it safely. The instructors are more than just instructors, they’re passionate about surfing and will introduce you to a welcoming surfing group here in Calgary. In addition, Outlier Surf will also provide the gears you will need for your surfing lesson.

In their website, you can also shop for surfboards, wetsuits and accessories you’ll need to start your best surfing life!

Book your Surfing Lesson: LINK TO SURFING LESSON

INSTAGRAM PAGE: @outlier.surf

You see, Calgary is truly a beautiful city worth exploring! SO much adventure and fun awaits you!

Before summer ends, I hope you can experience at least one of these fun activities 🙂

With love,

Mary Dezleigh Teodosio

FINAL HEADER PIC

Beef Stroganoff by Dezleigh

Dear Readers,

The last time I shared a recipe on this blog was way back in December 2018… and that is terrible!!! Hopefully this year, I’ll get more chance to share more recipes with you!!

Today, I want to share with you my take on Beef Stroganoff!

Ingredients: 

-1 1/2 pounds beef top sirloin steak

-10 to 12 ounce ground beef (if it fits in a sandwich size Ziploc bag, you’re good to go! The more ground beef you add, the more you may need to adjust your salt for taste. I recommend aiming for the 10 ounce ground beef portion)

-227 grams white mushrooms

-1 onion

-4 garlic clove

-1/4 cup unsalted butter

-1 1/2 cup beef broth

-1/2 teaspoon salt (you may need to add more salt depending on your own taste. At the 10 ounce ground beef that I suggested, I think 1/2 teaspoon salt is enough)

-1/4 cup rice flour

-1 1/2 cup sour cream

-500 to 600 grams of farfalle pasta

-Parsley flakes (garnish)

-optional: grated parmesan as a topping (I think the flavor is more enhanced this way, but the recipe is also fine without it)

COOK TIME: ABOUT 30 MINUTES // PREP TIME: ABOUT 15-20 MINUTES

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BEGIN

1.) Cut your steak to about 1 inch thick and bite size portions. Then, cut your onions to thin slices and mince your garlic cloves.

2.) Melt 1/4 cup of unsalted butter. Then sauté garlic and onions.

3.) Add your mushrooms, ground beef, then your steak cuts. Cook until the steak cuts are light brown in color.

4.) Add 1 1/2 cup of beef broth, then bring to a boil.

5.) Add 1/4 cup rice flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir and bring to a boil again.

6.) Add 1 1/2 cup sour cream, stir and bring to another boil. Your mixture at this point should look creamy and thick.

7.) Boil water, add farfalle pasta and cook for 10-15 minutes. Drain water out, and put a portion of pasta on a plate. Add your sauce and top with parsley flakes as garnish. You can also add grated parmesan on top for extra flavor boost.

Hope you enjoy this recipe and I look forward to sharing more with you all!!

With love,

Mary Dezleigh Teodosio

Beef Stragonoff Cover