MELSAYS PODCAST – EP. 31 – MIRNA VALERIO

Hi and welcome to another edition of the MELSAYS PODCAST. How are you all doing? I know these last couple of weeks have been filled with many ups and downs for a lot of us. I’m hoping that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe!

I’m hoping that today’s podcast will bring you sense of joy and inspiration. My guest for today’s episode is Mirna Valerio. Mirna is a former school teacher, that began a blog several years ago called Fat Girl Running. In a short amount of time, she’s become one of the most popular ultrarunners and adventurers thanks to not only all of the incredible races she’s run, but also with the publication of her book A Beautiful Work in Progress as well as the public speaking work she’s been doing, breaking down barriers for all types of athletes. I had been wanting to chat with her for almost two years now, so I’m so incredibly grateful she took time out of her busy schedule to chat, it was an honour. So without further ado here’s Mirna Valerio.

The podcast is just one click away or you can also listen to it below. If you enjoyed our chat, make sure you subscribe to the MELSAYS PODCAST here -> Apple Podcasts and Google Play. Also, feel free to send me some guest suggestions for future episodes!

Stowe

Last month I had the opportunity to return to one of my favorite little towns in the north eastern United States: Stowe, Vermont.

As a kid, I loved going to Stowe because it was where the Von Trapps (oh yes, from the classic movie The Sound Of Music) had ended up when they immigrated to the United States. Also, it was magical because we used to stay at the Sun & Ski Motor Inn (now renamed the Sun & Ski Suites) and they had a beautiful reading room with a fireplace, a bunch of teddy bears and board games that my sister and I would always spend our nights playing. We’d go probably go to Stowe once a season because it was just two hours away from where I grew up!

What’s amazing about this quaint little area is that it’s beautiful all year round. Being in Stowe is all about being outdoors, enjoying nature, the mountains, the lake and relaxing. I was therefore really excited to be back for another visit.

Stowe is easy to get to! From Toronto, you can take a 1hr direct flight with Porter Airlines to Burlington. Once you get to Burlington, you can either drive 30mins or get a shuttle from one of the resorts to pick you up. If you’re coming from Montreal, it’s also only a 2h30 drive.

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Here are some of my favorite things about Stowe:

Mount Mansfield: The highest mountain in Vermont (4,393 ft or 1,339 m) located at 10 minutes by car from the Stowe Village. It’s not only a beautiful mountain by amazing ski resort. It’s decked out with the latest lift and ticketing technology, has several rad snowparks, great skiing conditions and an amazing view from the top!

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Black Cap Coffee: Located in the Stowe Village, this coffee shop is relatively new in town and it seems to be where everyone now comes to get their coffees. What I loved about this place is not only did it serve great drinks (they have super creative versions of of hot apple cider, Snickers Bar lattes, etc.) but they’re also a place where people can make crafts and by crafts I mean jewellery and pottery. They also serve some in-house snacks and sell a few local products at the front. Everyone there is also super friendly and laid back!

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Depot Street Malt Shop: A Stowe classic. It’s been around ever since I can remember. Though my mom never really let us eat junk food at home, she was definitely  fan of this 50s Elvis-inspired diner. I would always have their sandwiches with pickles and chips or some of their amazing sundaes or milkshakes. They play lot’s of Elvis music and the decor is super cute and authentic.

Recreational Path: It’s an internationally renown 5.5 mile paved greenway where people walk, jog, bike, cross-country ski, snowshoe, etc. all year. It runs along little rivers and has spots where you can even go for a swim. It’s the perfect spot to pinic, relax, bounce rocks, take photos and even take naps. Everyone on the path always says hello and always seems to be in a good mood. I’ve taken the path countless times and always find it so beautiful!

Free shuttle service! That’s right, there’s a few shuttle that goes around the Stowe village, to all the hotels, bed & breakfasts, to the main streets and also all the way to the mountain

Cold Hollow Cider Mill: A classic as you’re driving into Stowe from Waterbury. It’s where you’ll find a ton of local products: jams, mustards, spices, hot sauces, all the maple syrup products and of course apple products. What’s amazing about this shop is that you can taste everything they’re selling and you can also see at the back where they make their fresh apple cider. They also have the best apple cider donuts! They are to die for!

TopNotch Resort: They just spent the past couple of months completely renovating this beautiful hotel and resort. They’ve got amazing tennis courts, beautiful outdoor pools, jacuzzis, new fire pits and brand new state of the art and relaxing spa, two new restaurants, new condo units, etc. I had never stayed at the resort before but was really surprised with not only all the great facilities but also their proximity to the mountain, the good food and overall relaxing atmosphere. If you’re to book a night there, you must use their spa facilities, they’re fantastic!

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Other good lodging options are:

Golden Eagle Resort if you’re looking for something a little less fancy or the Sun & Ski Suites

Stowe Mountain Lodge is the most beautiful mountain resort I’ve seen in a while. The lobby is so beautifully decorated. They’ve got an amazing outdoor pool and spa open all-year-round, are right by the mountain and have great restaurants! I really hope to be able to stay there at some point longer than just a few hours!

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Von Trapp Family Lodge for the super duper traditional Stowe experience. They’ve got great wine tasting activities, sports and the Von Trapps still make all the baked goods apparently!

Other things you can do while in Stowe: visit the Ben & Jerry‘s ice cream factory, rent rollerblades from AJ’s ski & sports (I used to do that every summer as a kid!), go swimming at The Water Hole, check out a show or film at the new Spruce Peak Performing Arts Centre, go canoeing at the reservoir lake, etc.

Also, if you’re driving to and from Stowe, it’s always a good idea to stop in Burlington on your way there or back home. It’s a beautiful typical New England town located right on the Lake Champlain. As a kid we’d take a ferry over to New York from Burlington. It’s got great restaurants and bars, a lovely waterfront bike path and some cool museums.

So happy to have gone back to Stowe! Can’t wait for my next visit!

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1st Post of 2014! #DailyOutfit

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you’ve all had amazing holidays!! After a month-long break I’m excited to be back home and back to blogging. I took a much needed break but am now filled with more energy than ever. Excited to see what 2014 has in store!

What did you guys get up to during the break? I had the opportunity to travel to France, Montreal and the US. I can’t wait to share my travel adventures with you all. I’ll be posting a special France and Stowe blog in the next couple of days. Looking forward to sharing some of my favorite memories from the trip!

For my first outfit of the year, I’m doing purple and black. I love the delicate bracelet from Lyon designer Sophie Deschamps I received as a gift while I was in France. Everyone in France are wearing them right now. Not only can they be worn all the time but they’re also easily stackable. Whenever I look at it, I’m reminded of the wonderful time I had!

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 Photos by @Offner

Zara Biker Jacket with zips (similar one here)

Victoria Secret black pocket tee

Biko Jewellery Kyma Neckkace (get it here)

Forever 21 accordeon pleated purple skirt (similar one here)

Zara laced ankle boots with block heel (get them here)

Sophie Deschamps Grey string bracelet with flower charm (similar one here)

 

 

Black & Blue #DailyOutfit

Happy Monday!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I spent my Saturday in Wasaga Beach with friends. Though not a fan of Wasaga’s jersey shore type vibe, it’s always fun to spend a day with your toes in the sand and swimming in a beautiful lake. The waves were so big this weekend, it almost felt like I was swimming in the ocean… almost! I also did two of my favorite things yesterday: had a yummy brunch at The Federal and did a BBQ with friends! Grateful for such a fantastic weekend!

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For today’s outfit, I’m wearing a cute little dress I found last summer in Vermont. I love the silky feel to it and it’s fun print. Today’s arm candy is a mix of black and gold.

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Blue and black print dress 

Forever 21 black bejeweled bib necklace (similar one here)

Rebel & Fuss black and gold skull wrap bracelet (similar one here)

Helloberry mini smoothie bracelets (get them here)

Steve Madden leather booties (similar ones here)

Southwestern #DailyOutfit

Happy Friday!

My obsession with all-things southwestern is apparent today in my daily outfit. I love this aztec print top that I found last year in a little store in Vermont.  Also, as part of the swag I ordered from Forever 21, I purchased a super cute thunderbird and faux-stone cuff that I absolutely love. Lately, I’ve been considering getting a thunderbird tattoo, I love what it stands for. It says “The thunderbird is a legendary creature in certain North American indigenous peoples’ history and culture. It is considered a “supernatural” bird of power and strength.” I realized that I’ve had a thing for thunderbirds for quite some time now. I have many accessories and decorations with thunderbirds around my house and in my jewelry box… That and all of the day of dead skulls I’ve been bringing back from Mexico. Two of my favorite things! My apartment is also a mix of Mexican-inspired art/decor mixed with some southwestern items. The perfect blend!

Wishing you all a great long Easter weekend!!

xo

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Aztec print top

Lionette SINEAD bracelet (check the site for more info)

Pamela Love x Nine West brick moto booties 

Forever 21 Thunderbird and faux-stone cuff (get it here)

Aldo Accessories Alida ring (get it here)

Nixon mint green waterproof watch 

Springsioux Lady Muerte ring 

Forever 21 Swirled Pearlescent Bead Cuff (similar one here)