Things I’m Loving Friday {19)

Happy first day of Spring!

Words cannot describe how excited I am for this day. I even did my nails with a little Spring inspiration (that’s Robins Egg blue).

spring nails

However, the weather is not the most favourable. It’s a little bit chilly, and the sun is hiding behind the clouds. That’s okay since this weekend is calling for some girl time hang outs and some home DIY projects that I’m hoping don’t kill me!

And time for another Friday of love:

Pi (3.14) Day

What better excuse to gorge on your favourite PIE?! Mine = Strawberry Rhubarb and I did not resist.

The lazy girl’s makeup hacks

Cosmo posted this on their facebook page and I had to immediately ‘click’. If I can save time in the morning on makeup application I am so for it! All the steps are simplified so even the makeup inept have an easier time understanding the whole art behind it πŸ˜‰

Long drives

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Colt and I have been together since grade 11 in high school. And long drives have always been one of our ‘things’ we do to just take up some time and enjoy some good conversation with some coffee or tea! We realized this weekend we hadn’t went on one of our excursions in a little while, so decided to pack up and head out for a little adventure around the area.

Food of the week – Big salads

Is there anything better than a big salad? Okay, I know we can all probably think of a few things, but lately my craving for salad has been intense. Maybe it’s the thought of summer coming, or the better looking veggies that have been displayed in my grocery store.Β  My favourite toppers lately have been cheeses (bocconcini), grape tomatoes, olives, radishes, almonds and balsamic dressing.

Purchase of the week – headlamp

How did I wait so long to buy this? It’s helped me so much on my early morning runs. Before this week, I was avoiding a lot of areas of town and opting for the well lit main streets in order to prevent a terrible fall (knock on wood!) But now, I can take all the routes I love and don’t have to worry about doing a lot of guess work in terms of where to step.. If you are an early morning/late night runner, I highly suggest you get one!

Video of the week – yoga essentials video

My love for yoga is no secret. I’m constantly looking for ways to help push my body to accomplish new poses and to get more flexible and strong. This video actually offered some good tips and explanations as to how to ease into some of the more difficult poses. It concentrates on building strength in specified muscle groups. Definitely worth the watch!

Things I’m Loving Friday

So many favourites this Friday!

Nutrition month activities

Since March is nutrition month, school has been filled with healthy eating activities! I find it so fun to be able to teach my little ones all about the importance of ‘eating a rainbow’ and the wonderful effects of it has on your body, mind and soul. I gotta say, nutrition is a passion of mine and if I could spend the rest of my days learning and teaching all about it forever and ever, I’d be one happy gal:)

Microwave mug brownie (recipe of the week)

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In a mug I combined:

2 TB unsweetened coco powder
1 TB stevia sweetener
4 TB flour
2 TB butter
1 TB water
Β» Then pop it in the microwave for 45 seconds – 1 minute 30 seconds, depending on how gooey you like them !!

Ever had a craving for a good baked dessert but don’t want to take the time to bake up a storm at 8 pm? Yup, that’s me, quite often. Colt was intensely craving one as well and so we decided to try out one of these ‘mug’ desserts that are becoming ever so popular. Great idea and they turned out delish!

Favourite workout of the week

Start with 20 minute cardio, do this core workout, then finish up with 20 more minutes cardio!

to the core workout

House of Cards season 3 on Netflix

Oh baby I’m so excited for this show to be back on Netflix! Love, love, love this show. And it’s odd because you wouldn’t take me for the political type – but this show is soo much more than that. Lots of juicy drama!

Purchase of the week – new pretty accessories from Forever 21

Ain’t nothin’ better than some cute new accessories. I’m an accessory kind of girl – they can easily spruce up any simple outfit and any fashionably challenged individual (often times, me) can rock it no prob! I am especially loving some of their new lip gloss too!

Early morning runs

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Well. this one is something that I’ve obviously been doing for a while now! But, with our mornings warming up here in Canada and having more light out, they have become much more enjoyable! Today’s morning run was actually so enjoyable I ended up going for longer than planned, I barely had enough time to get ready for work! It ended up being 8 miles in the DARK! WIN!

Things I’m Loving Friday {17}

Another week, another things I’m loving segment! I always look so forward to these posts!

My new BBQ

Okay, I could not write this segment without including this.. We got it used… but it’s new to us and works well so it’s great! We have literally used this to cook up dinner EVERY night this week and I am basically on cloud nine because Colt has really been taking the reigns on our meals! Advice ladies – if you are sick of cooking, get a BBQ!

French toast recipe

UM who doesn’t love french toast?? This is the bomb! It’s absolutely an indulgence, but after doing a 15 km run, this is definitely what my body needs!

Ingredients:

Bread of choice sliced
2 egg whites
dash of milk
tsp vanilla
cinnamon
nutmeg
cooking oil

Directions:

Dip one slice of bread at a time into the mixture of your eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg, until coated very well. Spray a piping hot pan with your cooking oil and place the slice of bread on it, leaving it there for a couple minutes until browned and then flip to the other side. TOPPINGS – you can go with the typical syrup, but I usually actually opt for fruit or even a little peanut butter πŸ˜€ Or… everything you can think of because why not?

Clinique dramatically different moisturizer

My skin has been going through a dry spell lately and this moisturizer has been my saving grace. I highly, highly recommend it to those suffering very dry skin.

Snack of the week – Popcorn with kernel’s buffalo wing seasoning

I looove, love, love popcorn. You don’t even understand. I’ve tried every seasoning under the sun but was introduced to this one actually just this week! It’s kind of garlicy with a kick. I find myself going back for more and more!

The most simple of things – SUNSHINE

Now, I know most people love sunshine. But I feel like living in Alberta, Canada, the winter time leaves me very deprived of it and seriously lacking some vitamin D. Lately, the sun has been shining and the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. Overlooking the weather forecast for the next week looks like it’s going to continue warming up and I could not be happier! I can’t wait to spend as much time as I can basking in the rays and breathing in that sweet spring air!

Things I’m Loving Friday {14}

Cute Valentines Cards & Crafts!


Working in elementary schools all day has called for many Valentines and cheery red and pink coloured outfits! I love working in a school board whenever the holidays come around because the kids are always so delighted and happy. It puts me in the best mood! There were many cards given out and crafts going on and will be continuing until the end of the day! One of my favourite cards today was from a student and it’s a clever one!

Since I love this tea I was beyond excited. It was such a sweet gesture.

The Wire

Random Acts of Kindness events

This week (in Canada at least) has been Random Acts of Kindness week. Although we should be trying to do some nice things here and there for others all the time, this week is a good time to get the ball rolling and to spread some more positive vibes around!

Some cute ideas for RAK –> shovel a neighbours driveway, pay for the next person’s order in the drive thru, offering to baby sit or pet sit, calling or visiting a friend you have lost touch with, donate old clothes or toys, volunteer at a shelter, this list goes on and on! You can also check out some more ideas at randomactsofkindness.org πŸ™‚

One thing that my co-workers and I opted to do in the schools was send out some waterbottles with personalized labels and drink crystals to every school staff member! It was a lot of fun to see their smiling faces.

Helly Hanson boots

I indulged and purchased these babies. I am I N L O V E. They are so comfortable, cute and warm. One purchase that I will never regret. I’ve gotten so many compliments on them already and they are so perfect for these harsh winter days in Alberta!

Puppy rescuing

For continuous readers of my blog, you already know that Colt also works as a bi-law officer and animal control is a major piece of his position. With this, there’s a lot of animal rescuing, and this week he got a call of 2 abandoned puppies on the side of the highway!! I was with him when he got this call and was able to go with him and together took them back to the shelter to feed them and give them some play time. It was sooooo fun and it takes everything in me to not want to bring every single animal back home with me!

Eyeliner

I’ve been receiving monthly Ipsy bags – for those who don’t know what these are, they are beauty bags that come to your mail once aΒ  month with 5 beauty samples based on a beauty quiz and preference survey that you fill out. I highly reccommend it to all thebeauty fanatics out there! It’s only a mere $10 and you will always get at least one full size beauty product!! One item that I really liked was this liquid eyeliner.

It’s staying power is awesome and even when I rub my eyes it stays in place! And it goes on so nicely for those who have some trouble applying liquid eyeliner.

Things I’m Loving Friday (Saturday)

Aaaand after a long week, it’s time for my things I’m loving Friday segment, where I inform you all of the things that I’ve found to be a little special and memorable throughout this week:

I realize this is actually going up on a Saturday, however I was sadly consumed by sickness last night and was unable to do so then 😦

Getting things in the mail – NATUREBOX

I don’t know if anyone remembers, but a while back I won a subscription to Naturebox via the wonderful Julie Fagan over at the blog pbfingers.com. Since then, I’ve finally started receiving these goodies in the mail!

My first one arrived in January and was a ‘surprise box’, so I didn’t know exactly what I’d be getting. In it was: honey dijon pretzels, dark coco nom noms, strawberry figgy bars, cashew power clusters and masa crisps.

coco

I was pleasantly surprised by the honey dijon pretzels- they sounded so gross to me but ended up being DELICIOUS. I also really have been enjoying the coco nom noms and cashew clusters, however I wasn’t the biggest fan of the figgy bars (which didn’t surprise me because I’ve never liked figs much) nor the masa crisps – which were handed over to my boyfriend whom loved them.

For my next box, I’m going to try out picking the items which I receive. I will let you know how it goes when I get them in the mail and review what’s inside!

Another item I’ve been receiving in the mail is my wonderful ipsy bag. A co worker introduced me to these things. They are amazing and give you 5 beauty products and a little travel bag in accordance to a beauty quiz you do online. It matches you up with some awesome little products that you might never try! It’s great too because you will get atleast 1 item that is full size and is definitely worth wayyyy Β more than the 10$ a month price tag that it has!!

ipsy

I would recommend this to any girl that is a beauty lover. And who doesn’t like getting packages like this in the mail? It’s so fun!

My puppies

As I mentioned before, we have a new member in the family!! Her name is Neeko.

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She was found walking astray in town here with no collar and was not claimed by anyone. She was not spayed or groomed. She had been living in the dog pound and then was taken over to the Animal Rescue Committee, a group of amazing animal lovers, who then take care of the animals who are abandoned. A couple months ago, Colt and I had signed up for pet fostering of the ARC animals. where you take one in and give it a home and love and what not. And well, it turned out that little Neeko, a husky mix, would be coming to our home and has been with us the past couple of months!

While it has been wonderful with this little cutie. She has definitely gotten into some trouble! She tore up some of our carpet and wasn’t very well house trained. But it’s a work in progress and we are getting there πŸ™‚

Superbowl parties

I’ve already mentioned the Superbowl party that we had last weekend, but it’s not to be forgotten! Any chance that we have to get together with special people in our lives is a great time to me.

This workout

kettle

My favourite workout of the week. It’ll make you work hard, so get ready for this one! I especially enjoyed the fact that the next day my muscles were aching, a serious feeling of accomplishment. And it’s a nice switch up with the kettle bell!

Getting back into old hobbies.. sketching!

This one is slightly random. But on Tuesday I stayed home sick from work and found myself pulling out my old sketch book and just drawing at random. I am no professional artist, albeit I did forget how soothing it is to just take a pencil and sketch out whatever comes to mind! Get stress relief to boot!

Things I’m loving Monday 12

Fitness updates:

First and foremost, let me update you on my progression in the Jamie Eason program. I am going on week 6 now and am finally having OTHERS notice the changes in my body! I started noticing around week 2-3 the changes in my muscles, but finally Colt is telling me that I am finally getting more toned and a butt! YAY! This has been a big goal of mine because I’ve grown up relatively scrawny and it’s been tough for me to weigh any more than 105 pounds. But my muscles are now popping through and I FEEL stronger and am loving it.

Here are some of the workouts from this week that have killed me:

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& for this weeks TILM segment….

 

Montiel activewear

I ordered myself some of their apparel last week and was exceptionally pleased with the look, feel and fit of their activewear! I never heard of this line before last week and am always looking for new fitness apparel to try out since I go through so much! Not only do I wear it at the gym and yoga and boot camp, but also 1/3 the week I am teaching gym classes at school, so good quality sportswear is essential.

I chose to order the bright blue tank, teardrop back sports bra and a loose fitting cami which looks wonderful when paired with the sports bra:

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The cherry on top was the fact that shipping is free on orders over $100!! Even up in the boons of Canada where I am located! And it only took 3 business days, incredible!

The gnome knows wine

I’ve been really trying to expand my wine experiences and knowledge because I have a tendency of sticking to the same old things I like over and over. I tried this wine this weekend at my girlfriends house while having a little nails party and my oh my was it ever good! It has notes of blackberry and cherry which I am a big fan of.

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Movember

I gotta say, I’m a big fan of this month for its prostate cancer awareness! My papa was diagnosed with prostate cancer about a year ago so it is an ailment that is close to my heart. I am always more than willing to participate in fundraisers and campaigns to get the word out.
People can get pretty creative, and even though girls can’t grow moustaches, we have plenty other options! Like movember nails and clothing for example:

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Christmas prep

And from one holiday to the next! Anyone who knows me understands that I am a Christmas fanatic! Seriously though, I go absolutely crazy and I’m not afraid to admit it. Come September I’m already dreaming about the holiday but do others the favour of waiting until after Halloween to start my preparations and decorations.

I’ve found a useful Christmas and holiday prep checklists/organizer via Pinterest:

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Link here http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2013/11/01/holiday-planner-2013/

It’s great for families !

Things I’m Loving Monday 10

It’s been a busy and hectic Monday for me! Work this morning was filled with multiple meetings, followed by an afternoon of several wellness groups within the local catholic high school where I live. So let’s just get right to it, shall we? Things I’m loving this week…..

JENGAAAA

jenga

Oh how I love classic board games! We got this one out from our box of old things and spent an afternoon this week just playing and and enjoying each other’s company and chatting away! So simple, yet so entertaining.

Halloween crafting

halloween craft

Take a look at these bad boys! I brought this craft into a classroom at one of the highschool’s special ed classes and completed them with some of the girls. They loved it and so did I! So fun. To be honest, I’m a sucker for anything themey! I’m loving also putting up the decorations and look forward to some serious pumpkin carving next week..

Log homes

dream log home

It’s pretty much a dream of mine to own a log cabin or home when I’m older. I love the rustic feel of it and to go home to a cottage feeling house would be sooo nice. They are so warm and comfy feeling when you walk into them! I spotted this one along the lake nearby and fell in love with it.

We spotted this beautiful home when in search of a good place to go on a little Autumn hike. The local lake was so calm and gorgeous!

fall hike

McDonald’s coffee

mccafe coffee

I forgot how much I loved their coffee!! It’s the best little morning pick-me-up. Not to mention they have monopoly right now (however I haven’t won anything yet, what’s new…)

Steak dinner

steak dinner

I don’t typically eat steak that often, but tonight my boyfriend made me a delicious candlelit steak dinner! The side of asparagus made the plate absolutely amazing.
In terms of workouts as of late – I have kept up with my daily cardio averaging between 6.5 km – 10 km. Today’s Jamie Eason workout was shoulders and abs and it felt gooooooood.

shoulder and ab

Happy Monday ya’ll! πŸ™‚

Things I’m Loving 8

Things I’m loving 8

Sorry to have seemed like I disappeared lately! It’s been a busy Canadian thanksgiving weekend as I’m sure many of you can understand. It’s definitely one of my favourite holidays!! (Really any holiday with good food in mass amounts…)

So I’ll be later updating you on my weekends festivities. Right now we can get right to the things I’m loving as of late!

Fall hikes

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This weekend honestly couldn’t have been better fall weather! And perfect for a hike. These pictures show colt and i going to the top of marten mountain overlooking slave lake in northern Alberta! Gorgeous view.

Mediterranean slouvaki plate

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I know I know, not quite thanksgiving food, but I ate this on Saturday and wowza it was delicious!

West Edmonton mall

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Nt only does this mall have everything you could ever need and think of, but there’s also copious amounts f
entertainment through out the day! Just going through I witnessed a pirate play and cute seal show! But seriously- everything you can think of is in this mall- a theme park and roller coasters, laser tag, bowling, a casino, water park, a Canadian made New Orleans bourbon street with numerous restaurants, an aquatic center, pirate ship, marine land, rock climbing, every single store and food joint you can think of! It’s a must see if you ever get the chance.

The fact that colt has arrived!

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Yes!! My boyfriend of 7 years has finally made the move in with me!! I couldn’t be happier πŸ™‚

My new books

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I started reading the Rosie project this weekend. It’s gotten race reviews and has been recommended to me many times so I figured ’twas time to pick it up! So far it’s excellent and a very easy read. The perspective of the main character makes it soo interesting as I work with many kids with asburghers! My reason for the Lena Dunham book is because I simply think she is a brilliant and hilarious girl. Her show ‘girls’ is soo good and she has a hilarious take on life! The book sounds like it’s going to be really entertaining so i look forward to that one!

The maple leafs

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They haven’t started this season off
well (what’s new) but they will always have my heart in the land of hockey:) go leafs go!!

Things I’m Loving “Monday” 4 (Tuesday)

Hey all!

It’s been a hectic past few days and weekend, so I didn’t have time to post my things I’m loving segment yesterday, but here it is!

First of all a recap of my last few days – it was a gorgeous weekend with amazing weather! I got a chance to go to the beach, hang out with friends, family biking, and had new pet visits with my friends brand new kittens (so cute!) Yesterday was a crazy looooong day at work. Meetings after meetings pretty much, and my sickness (talkin’ an elephant standing on my head) did not help whatsoever. Then my night consisted of lesson plans for my wellness programming in the school board. WOW! But not I am feeling a bit more organized and relieved.

I can also take this time to share with you my favourite workout of the weekend! 6x6Workout_thumb

This is again thanks to the wonderful PBFINGERS blog! If you take a look under her workouts tab there are plenty of routines that are good to give a try. I like this one because you can challenge yourself and get what you put into it. The hardest part for me was actually the push ups, I need to work on those!

Now let’ s get to the things I’m loving…. πŸ™‚

  • Catching up with old friends and laughing your toosh off

Who doesn’t love this?? By random chance, my elementary school best friend messaged me on Facebook and it turned into a conversation with another one of my old friends, Laura, this went on for over an hour and we just reminisced together over old times and traveled down memory lane. It was actually the best timing too because I was having a rough day. It’s crazy how reaffirming connections and your relationships with others can re-instill your feeling of purpose and love in your life! If you’re ever having a rough day just give an old friend, new friend, family member a call! It will make a HUGE difference.

  • Free stuff!

I am the Queen of free things. I love free stuff. But I especially love free things that actually will bring purpose into my life. My work team had a community showcase over the weekend where I was able to collect multiple wellness tools that I will use! I’m talkin water bottles, snacks, vegan soap, new agenda, and there were also a number of free draws to enter! Fun stuff!

  • The fact that the PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE IS BACK! πŸ™‚

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I do not even need to explain nor justify my happiness for this… Pumpkin everyday!

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  • Baby kittens!

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These are the cute kittens my friend just got! They have yet to be named. They’re sister kittens, anyone have name ideas?

  • Cauliflower crust pizza recipe

Pizza in general is amazing, we all know that. But putting a healthy spin on it is always good and makes us feel better about the indulgence. I found this recipe which actually wasn’t too difficult and turned out so deliciously! The hardest part I found was actually grating the cauliflower. If you have a good blender (which unfortunately I don’t) it would make it much easier I’m sure!

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Ingredients:
1 cup raw, grated (or chopped in food processor) cauliflower*
1 egg
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley
(may add other Italian spices as desired–such as dried or fresh basil)
Any other desired toppings

Directions

Makes 4, 1-slice servings. Can be doubled for a larger pizza

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray or use parchment paper. (Optional: Use coconut oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before laying dough onto baking surface. Increases calories but I like health benefits of coconut oil. Some in this forum may not appreciate using this oil.)

In a medium bowl, combine cauliflower, egg, mozzarella and all desired spices. Press evenly on baking pan or pizza stone.

Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes (up to 20 minutes if you double the recipe). You may turn over once if desired.

Remove the pan from the oven. To the crust, add sauce, then toppings and cheese. (Get creative and top with chopped apples and cheese or your own combinations of whatever you like on a pizza. Some examples to choose from are jack cheese, onion, fresh or dried tomatoes, artichokes, shredded/cooked chicken, turkey pepperoni, pineapple, mushrooms, marinara sauce, bell peppers, whatever peppers you like, fresh mushrooms, fresh basil…your imagination is the limit.)

Place under broiler, on high heat, until cheese is melted.

Reheats nicely and can still be held in the hand, even the next day. (If you don’t press “dough” too thin, make small rounds and add enough egg to hold together.)

Pizza crusts can be frozen after the initial baking and used later.

*If using frozen cauliflower, prepare according to package directions. After cooked and slightly cooled, shred cauliflower with a cheese grater, (or grater blade on food processor) and then measure for the recipe. (An “unpacked/loose” cup.) Be sure to drain WELL.

Guestimate~Approximately 2 1/4 cups of 1″ cauliflower would grate into one cup of grated (or riced) cauliflower.

For lower calories, substitute two egg whites for whole egg and low or no fat mozzarella cheese.

Don’t spread this too thin or it will fall apart; if it’s too thick, it’s doughy in the middle.

Things I’m Loving Monday

Wrap up of my labour day weekend!

Last night I went over to a friend of mine, we had a bonfire with about 10 of us. It was a low-key event where we had some good BBQ (I had a delectable veggie burger and some homemade spinach dip with veggies) and drank a couple of beers by the fire. I’ll admit that I see alcohol as not being particularly the healthiest choice but just as we have all heard a million times before, anything in moderation is allowed. There is no sense going through life without indulging ever because that’s just plain silly. We need to be able to go out and live the life that makes us happy because that above anything else reflects our level of health.

This brings me to my topic today – my new blogging segment called “Things I’m loving Monday”!! What this post will be about is every week on Monday I will be going over any wonderful new (or old) products, foods, places, ANYTHING in general that I’ve been enjoying in my life and that has contributed to my health and happiness!

So for my first ‘things I’m loving Monday’, I already knew right away the items I wanted to share with you:

  • Let the good times roll facial cleanser, LUSH cosmetics

    let the good times roll

WOW. Amazing. When shopping in Edmonton this weekend, my sister and I went past LUSH cosmetics and I could not resist, I had to go in. I’ve been in need of a new face wash and so was hoping that I might find something there because I just love the face that their products are all organic and vegan, who wants to be scrubbing their body with a bunch of chemically unnatural products?? So, I told the wonderful woman working their my skin needs (I have combination skin, acne prone and sensitive) and right away she showed me this. Let me just tell you, not only does it feel wonderful on your face and make my skin look divine but the SMELL is to die for! It’s like cookie dough and cinnamon and sweetness altogether, I actually can’t wait to wash my face with it! I highly recommend this product!!

  • Friendly neighbours and fresh fish
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Since moving into my new home, I’ve come to meet my new friendly neighbours. One in particular actually went out to our lake nearby and caught a fresh Walleye, filleted it and gave it to me for dinner tonight!! There’s nothing better than fresh fish – soooo good. I couldn’t thank him enough. It makes me have a really good feeling about this place!

  • Bonfires with the best company
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Like I’ve said before, it’s so very important to have a well-rounded life in order to be your happiest and healthiest. This includes time put aside for the social aspect of your life and making sure you see your friensd and family. With the crazy week I had last week with moving into a new home and starting up work again, it was time that was much needed to relax and just appreciate some great company.

  • HYPEM.com

This website is the absolute best for some kick-butt workout tunes. You can also get an app which connects to your phone so that you can listen to the songs you “heart” anywhere!

  • My Book!!! “Change your brain, change your life”

This is a fun book that’s easy to read and thought provoking. If you have any interest in mental health, behaviour, illness, mind-body connection or are just looking for a good read then you’ll enjoy this. The book constructs a fascinating link between behaviour and health and I highly recommend to anyone who might have or work with a mental illness.

Question for you — Tell me something that contributed to your health and happiness this week!