Where I Went Wrong in Being a Blogger

After almost seven months away, I’m finally back – online, that is.

What happened?

Toronto happened. And I love that Toronto happened. Toronto dazzled me with its motivation and its inspiration and its giving me everything I went there to get, like the tools to keep up with social media, finding my niche, meeting fantastic people, and never running out of content.

The problem was that I expected to use my new found inspiration and knowledge and advice and tools to blog passionately – my posts focused, niched, poised and clever, written with a voice that’s really me, causing my brand to rise to fame, my Facebook page Liked and my tweets RT’ed to new heights of popularity.

What actually happened was that I put so much pressure on myself that I stopped enjoying myself. I over-analyzed every sentence I typed to the point that I couldn’t write anything. I would search the interwebs endlessly for things to “share” so I would seem useful to an audience I admired instead of sharing things that I found interesting and letting my own niche audience slowly build.

I had gone about it the wrong way.

So what did I do? I panicked and went into avoidance mode. I couldn’t look at my blog because it actually physically hurt to look at it. After all the work I put in to it, I felt awful, and so ashamed just leaving it to hang on its own like a neglected puppy.

I needed to focus on ‘life’ for a while. I stopped panicking about not being a full time successful blogger and got a temp job like I had planned to as backup. Life became a bit more routine and I could focus on what I actually enjoyed: writing. Continue reading Where I Went Wrong in Being a Blogger

Westcoast Weekend: Canada Day – Vancouver Edition

Happy Canada Day!!

Before I get to some Canada Day celebrations and other things you can do this weekend around Vancouver, the NewsLeader had an interesting fun fact about Canada Day I thought I’d pass along.

When the Governor General suggested that the union of the British North American provinces celebrate the anniversary of its formation, July 1st became a holiday (albeit 11 years later) under the name of Dominion Day (which means ‘sovereignty’). This became an annual celebration in 1958, filled with multicultural, artistic, and sport events, but wasn’t officially known as Canada Day until 1982!

Whatever you want to call it, here’s some ways to celebrate in Vancouver on July 1:

  • Celebrate Canada Day at Canada Place with music, entertainment, food vendors, sports shows, an official Ceremony, a children’s park, the Canada Day parade and the Fireworks Show in Burrard Inlet. 10am-11pm. Free.
  • Join theCanada Day celebration at Granville Island for the annual Parade, an official Ceremony, dances, jazz performances, a children’s pavilion, face painting and the like. 12~10pm. Free.
  • For something a bit different, try the Steveston Salmon Fest for a Parade, an official Ceremony, culture shows, craft fairs, art exhibits, a carnival, the famous salmon BBQ, and more. 6:3am (if you want the pancake breakfast) until 5pm. $15/plate.
  • Don’t forget that most malls and community centers will have family friendly activities to celebrate as well like Burnaby Village Museum (11am-4:30pm), Lougheed Center (12-3pm) and Edmonds Community Center (grand opening of the center and Fred Randall Pool 10am-12pm, Canada Day celebration 12pm-3:30pm in Edmonds Park).
  • The Run Canada Day Race (Kids, 5K, 10K) will start warming up at the UBC Running Room at 9:45am. Late registration is available if you’re feeling active, $20/$40/$40.
  • Or there’s the Surrey Canada Day celebrations at the Amphitheater, with loads of activites, tea, an expo, amusement rides and a full music and artist lineup. 10am-10:30pm. Free.

And don’t forget these great events over the long weekend!

Locarno Beach: Perfect for Summer Nostalgia

When Vancouver leans towards summer, make memories at Locarno Beach.

While everyone flocks to the water at the peak of summer, the beauty of Vancouver’s beaches often lies in the ‘not-quite-beach-weather’ days.

Panorama of Locarno Beach, Vancouver - YourLocalKat

It’s that typical Vancouver June weather – the city just starts leaning into summer, flip flops and tank tops and surf shorts are donned but the water isn’t breached by anyone other than excited dogs and fearless children. Picnics are set up but the mini BBQs are used as heat lamps for cold hands on chilly evenings. Vancouver beaches are made for this.ATV tracks on Locarno Beach, Vancouver - YourLocalKat

And though it is just another patch of the 20-kilometer stretch of sand that the city is fortunate to have, Locarno, sheltered from the main streets, feels like it’s all on its own, remote, comfortable – Locarno’s bliss is in its coziness.

Towards the city at Locarno Beach, Vancouver - YourLocalKatThe coziness of rocky coves and secluded strands of sand hidden behind rows of bush and tall cedars that act as private beaches when the tide is low. The coziness that’s made for the most nostalgic of summer memories: for those casual coffee dates spent chatting on a log watching the sunset, for group sing-a-long bonfires that go late into the night, and romantic moments flirting well into the sunrise.

And those memories are what summers are made of.

Locarno isn’t actually that small or remote – there’s loads of picnic tables, a dog park, and six volleyball courts, but it feeeeeeels cozy. And for all those ‘non-beachy-beach-days’ that Vancouver is so well acquainted with, feeling cozy around a bonfire is just right.

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Photo of the Week: Cattedrale di Palermo

I knew I was in love with Palermo’s architecture before I even set foot in the city.

Having been conquered time and again, Sicily’s cities are all built in varied styles. This 12th-century Duomo in Palermo has been reworked many times but is still a gorgeous example of one of the island’s most visible architectures, Arab Norman style.

Isn’t it beautiful?Palermo Cathedral, Italy - YourLocalKatDownload as Wallpaper! Click to enlarge and right click to save and set as background.