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)

Image result for mug brownie

In a mug I combined:

2 TB unsweetened coco powder
1 TB stevia sweetener
4 TB flour
2 TB butter
1 TB water
» 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

dark out dark out 2

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!

Work it out Wednesday

It’s WORK IT OUT WEDNESDAY

Get workin’ hard this hump day! Nothing like a good sweat session to lift your spirits and make the day go by a little faster.

I put together a little workout and gave it a try. As usual, I split up my cardio because I get soooo bored inside the gym on the machines. I’m definitely a more outdoorsy cardio girl. Do the cardio of your choice for 20 minutes in the beginning and 20 minutes to finish up the session.

Complete each move for the recommended number of reps with 5-10 pounds. Once completed, do another round!

work it wed

I like to move it move it

This song has been stuck in my head all day because we have been playing it at school! We created a game for the kids with hula hoops and dancing to this song – the kids love it and so did I at first but now I am completely over this song!!! It may drive me crazy soon.

However, it does describe how I’m feelin’ to a TEE! I do like to move it, move it! And my workouts the past 2 days show it well!

Yesterday I got an amazing run in! I felt like I hadn’t had this good of a run in a seriously long time. Although it was all on the treadmill, I made sure to change up the incline and speed a lot to keep my mind from wandering and to really help to push me through! There was a good bolt of energy at the end.

It looked a little somethin’ like this:

outta this world

This morning when I arrived at the gym, I had my workout plans all laid out on a paper for me already. (I need to think as little as possible when going to workout in the mornings, it makes it all so much easier!)

It was really about all over body work and getting as many muscles as I could while amping up my cardio game:

vacation body

Go through each circuit once or twice! Good work!

The living is easy with chicken parmigiana pasta

This weekend passed by so quickly. We go the chance to finally pick up a BBQ! Colt has been dying to get one of these for months and now there is no excuses for not making dinner for him! Win-win for us both I would say. I’m excited to test it out for our first meal tonight. While Colt is feelin’ the steak, I’m really craving some BBQ salmon and asparagus, my favourites!

We also got out with the pups again to enjoy this weather. It’s been a balmy -5 celsius this weekend, yes this is very warm for Canadian winter time! So we’ve been pleased with that and I’ve been opting to take any chance that I can to enjoy it. The sun beaming down on me makes it all that better. And the puppies certainly have no complaints.

 

Once we got in they were both entirely tuckered out, so I took that time to get some cuddles in with the cuties!

image

 

This is his “leave me alone mama I wanna nap” face! He gets sick of me trying to snap so many pictures all the time.

I’d also like to share with you a yummy recipe I tried out this weekend. Get ready for this…

 

 

Skinny chicken parmigiana pasta! 

Now I am not usually a pasta type of gal, but when we got in from adventuring around all day and on our feet, we were both famished and needed a meal that would leave us satisfied. I was craving this pasta and made it with a healthy twist (and Colt still thought it was amazing, go figure!)

image

Ingredients: 
2 servings

2 skinless boneless chicken breast, cubed
2 cups whole wheat penne noodles
Small amount of oil for the skillet
chopped spinach, broccoli, onion, grape tomatoes and mushrooms (add as much veg as you’d like, I love LOTS)
seasonings – basil, thyme, pepper, dash of salt and garlic
marinara sauce – you can make your own with diced tomatoes, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, sweetener or stevia OR purchase a low sodium version from the store!
1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
1/2 cup shredded low fat cheese to top

Directions:

– Boil pot of water on the stove with the penne noodles for 10-12 minutes (it will state on the pasta box exactly how long is recommended)
– in a skillet with oil, add the cubed chicken and cover. Make sure to mix them all up every few minutes to ensure there is no burning.
– While the chicken is in the skillet, in a separate frying pan, put all of your chopped vegetables in with oil and sautee. Dust your vegetables with the seasonings and continue to stir them up every few minutes. Keep them frying in the pan for about 10 minutes.
– Add the vegetables to your skillet with the chicken and sautee all ingredients together. Add in your marinara sauce and make sure that all ingredients are covered. Allow them to cook with the marinara in the skillet for atleast 2 minutes.
– Strain the penne noodles out of the pot and add them into the skillet with your chicken, vegetables and marinara sauce.
– Mix all ingredients and allow them to sit for a couple of minutes. Add any additional spices that you may want.
– Plate your mixture and top it off with as much or as little shredded cheese as you want.

Voila! Look at you – chef status. Enjoy 🙂

Things I’m Loving Friday {16}

This week has absolutely flown by. It feels like I was just dreading starting the week off in uber-sleepy mode, and now it’s already Friday! It looks like this weekend will be consisting of finally bathing our dogs, snowshoeing at the bird conservatory and seeing shades of grey! I’m hoping Colt and I are also able to make it out for our friend Inka’s birthday celebration and enjoy a few drinks and good company together.

With the week having gone by so fast, it’s hard to look back and recall everything that has happened! But here’s some memorable goodies:

Grapefruit

This is one fruit that I consume everyday. It never gets old to me! A lot of people feel the need to sprinkle some sugar on it, but nope, I just peel it like an orange and eat it all up just like that!

Finally winning roll-up-the-rim

It only took me about 20 coffees to finally win a coffee, but it’s a victory for me nonetheless. I had been waiting for this moment for a while and when it finally came I was a mixture of relieved, ecstatic and elated! I was beginning to think I just had horrible luck – and perhaps I do – but I’ll bask in this moment of glory for a little while longer.

Tarte lights camera lashes 4 in 1 mascara

I received this little gem in my ipsy bag. I don’t normally like to splurge on mascara because I’ve always thought that they all do the same thing. That is… until I receive this glorious product! The difference in my lashes is actually extraordinary. No clumps and amazing length. I will 100% be purchasing the full size of this mascara. You can buy it online or at Sephora.

The white/gold and black/blue dress debate

Okay I don’t know exactly if this is something that I am loving, but this is something that has consumed my thoughts the past 24 hours… It still drives me nuts! I’ve been seeing white and gold whereas most other people tell me black and blue… It’s a total mind craze! Apparently the science tells me that this indicates that the rods in my eyes have less ability to adjust to dim light, and so it is compensating for it by seeing different colours.

Birdman

After winning best picture at the Oscars, along with multiple other oscars, Colt and I thought we would give it a watch since we loveeee movies. It was no let down! It makes you think and the acting is incredible. The story is very original and totally different from anything else I’ve seen – I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good flick to watch this weekend!

Favourite snacks – Greek yogurt whips!

favorite snack of the week (600x800)

At 100 calories, you can’t go wrong with this. It’s a perfect mid-day snack to battle those hunger pangs! Worked well for me 🙂

Reaching goals

Reaching goals. This is such a simple thing in life but means so much to the individual. Honestly, I haven’t pushed myself enough until quite recently. I’ve practiced yoga for some time now but have really been taking the time lately to try and go a little further, and had set out to accomplish some of the harder poses and balances that I’d thought I’d never be able to do with my lack of strength in the past. Last week during my power yoga class, I was FINALLY able to do the crane/crow pose. I had done soo many pushups, core workouts, everything, and it all lead up to this moment! I felt like I was on cloud nine, seriously. I know for some people this may seem pretty simple and easy, but it had been hard for me, and to get to this point makes me feel absolutely amazing and keeps me motivated!

Reaching goals also makes me a lot more appreciative of some of the other little things in life. Like these things:

IMG_0047

Spaghetti squash

It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed this root vegetable. I made it in the typical way, frying it in the pan and saunteing it with mushrooms, grape tomatoes and broccoli in tomato sauce. With a bit of sprinkled mozzarella, this made for an amazing dinner! I mainly chose to make it because Colt was working late and I know this is one of those foods that I love but he really dislikes! So yayyy there was a silver lining of being at home alone during dinner time.

Curling

This is a weekly activity of mine. Every Wednesday night I play in a women’s league and I absolutely love my teammates! I really noticed this week how much I look forward to getting out and seeing the girls and moving. Sometimes you just need to stop and appreciate all those little things! For those of you who have never tried the sport of curling before, I highly recommend it! It’s so fun and easy to catch on and understand how the game works. However, I will say it can get fairly cold in the rink!

HIIT treadmill workout – I loves me some hill work!

Hip hop dancing class

YES! I actually had the opportunity to do this while working, and actually getting paid to do so.. It was so so fun. Funny enough, I used to take hip hop dance lessons when I was younger and it was a bit nostalgic for me. You can’t help but dance and then have a massive grin on your face for the rest of the day! (Unfortunately could not document this as per the students requests, but trust me it was hilariously fun!)

Trying new things

For someone who doesn’t often like to stray from my typical recipes and food choices, I have seemed to be on the adventurous side lately! You will never guess what I tried….

MOOSE MEAT!

This shouldn’t surprise many of those who live in Alberta, it seems to be a very common food choice in these parts. I don’t typically enjoy much red meat, but a friend of ours who also hunts his own meat actually butchered it himself and gave us enough meat to fill an entire freezer. First recipe that Colt and I opted to try were the moose ribs.

It was a pretty standard recipe and just had them cooking in the crock pot with a container of beef stock, basil, thyme, pepper and salt and a little cayenne and BBQ seasoning for roughly 10 hours. I have to say, they were very tender and tasted better than I had anticipated, but I’m still not the biggest fan. But hey – food is food!

For my breakfasts, I usually turn to a smoothie. It’s always the most standard banana, strawberry and orange, or peanut butter and chocolate! But since I’ve felt as though I needed to add some more protein into my diet, I purchased a sample pack of the vega protein smoothie berry mix too give it a try.

I mixed this in with a handful of frozen mixed berries and some vanilla yogurt. While it does taste fairly good, there is still a little bit of a chalky taste that is left over. This was to be expected because the powder is completely vegan and natural. But what I loved the most was the staying power. One package has 15 grams of protein which kept my hunger at bay and keeps me content!

Food aside, I also tried out a new upper body and cardio mix workout! Ohhhh baby I feel it in my muscles already today!

This is my workout from this morning:

It’s a great heart pumping workout and switches up enough so that you don’t get bored.

ipolkadot-background-2012wsAnd now it’s back to work for me, chat soon!

Tips to improve your running

I’m lately really starting to get back into my running groove. For a while there, I had been running but mainly sticking to lower impact forms of cardio because I’ve been trying to take it easier on my knees the past few months. Man oh man, does it ever feel great to be doing the thing that I love so much so regularly again!

With the more consistent runs, I have also been trying to remind myself of the tips I’ve learned over the course of many years of being in this sport. I have gone to running clinics and had running coaches, as well as learned a lot from myself just from pure experience.

I’d love to take some time now to share with you some of the best running tips that I can give you to improve your speed, endurance and to lower the chances of injury!

tips to improve running

With each step, land your foot directly underneath your body. Over-striding or landing your foot in front of your body adds extra stress and impact to the body. With each step, your foot should land underneath your hips!

Get your cadence to about 180 steps per minute. To go along with the previous tip, try to get your cadence to about 180 steps or 90 strikes per foot per minute. Runners with a cadence of about 180 are more likely to have short, quick strides, which means we are having a mid foot strike rather than over-striding!

Run light on your feet! Try to avoid pounding! I made this mistake for the longest time. By the end of a long run, the bottoms of my feet would feel as though they were burning, bad sign!

Lean slightly forward from your ankles, not your waist. Lean forward and use gravity to help make some forward momentum! This will help you to propel your body forward. It is especially helping to do this when going downhill as well during races.

Avoid swinging your hands cross your midline. Keep your arms going forward and backward, not side to side. Drive your elbows back while keeping your arms at about a 90 degree angle. This technique will also help you with the following tip…

Run TALL! When I feel like I am starting to hunch over, I love to reach my arms up high above my head. This resets my body and helps me to elongate my spine! The more core work that I do outside of running, the easier it is for me to keep great posture and to avoid hunching over throughout my run!

Get rid of the bounce. Bouncing as you run wastes extra energy! Move forward instead of up and down.

Relax your shoulders! I tend to tense them up towards my ears as I am running. You’ll feel the pain in your upper back when you start to do this during longer runs.That is a waste of energy, and it causes extra unneeded tension!  Relax your shoulders and let them enjoy the ride!

Relax your hands. Don’t clench them tightly. Gently cup your hands as you run.

Keep your eyes looking ahead of you about 10 to 20 feet.

I like to spend each mile of my ‘form runs’ (the runs where I really focus in on my form each week) on a different aspect. For example, on your next run, you could spend mile 1 warming up, mile 2 working on leaning forward from your ankles, mile 3 on your arm swing, mile 4 on your posture and mile 5 on combining all of them together for some good looking running.

Music This one is a personal, but can be helpful to many! I have noticed that my speed and endurance actually increases when I’m listening to some upbeat tunes that I love, not to mention it adds some entertainment to the run and can make it seem less daunting and more enjoyable!

Weekend highlights

Tomorrow I’ll be heading back to work after the long weekend, it has been a much needed amount of time off, but for now I will enjoy what’s left of this night before heading to bed.

I’ll share with you some of my favourite moments of this weekend!

Beauty and the Beast play

For Christmas Colt had gotten us tickets to see the traveling Broadway play beauty and the beast, needless to say I was beyond excited! It made for a nice reason to travel to Edmonton together and get a little dressed up. And since I’m an absolute Disney fanatic, it pretty much summed up a dream date for me!


The play itself was so entertaining and I enjoyed how they mixed in some good humour. The dancing, acting and singing were so well performed and they had some great effects mixed in! My favourite song of the evening was ‘be our guest’ where they shot confetti out into the crowd!

Visiting my sister to bead

Since we were going to be in Edmonton for 2 days, I had to make sure I made some time to see my sister! We got a little crafty and sag down together, had a glass of wine, and make some beading bracelets just as a little activity to chat over. It’s so fun every time we catch up with each other!

David’s tea purchases

I gotta say, I don’t often go to the malls on weekends because they are soooo hectic – the parking lots, stores and lineups always seem to have me waiting for ridiculous amounts of time! But this weekend it was unavoidable as I had a list of things I was desperately needing to purchase. I ended up passing David’s tea while I was in there, and it didn’t look too crazy, so I opted to check it out and see if any teas caught my senses!

I happily left David’s tea with a couple of yummy smelling purchases and teas I am in love with! I am addicted to sweeter dessert teas, so when I saw birthday cake and smelt it I just had to purchase some! So thankful I did because it is absolutely delectable and will surely be the thing I need at night time to meet my sweet tooth needs! And how cute is it that it actually has sprinkles in it?

Lobster tail feast with my love

Image result for lobster tails and asparagus and bruschetta

On Sunday night, when we returned home, colt and I were looking to make a delicious and romantic meal together at home. Immediately we thought if lobster tAils because they’ve always been a favourite and are so savoury but also sweet and delicious. We roasted them in the oven and paired it with some home made bruschetta on a French loaf and asparagus simmered in balsamic! With a glass of wine, this has been my most favourite meal that I have had in a significantly long time. So so good!

Fitness:

I’ve managed to keep on track this weekend despite all the bouncing around! I woke up early on Saturday morning and put 6 miles in, practicing some splits and getting ready to get back into official training mode soon enough! Gosh I cannot wait for that day to come again. I NEED the goal to keep my motivation!

Then yesterday I did about a half hour cardio, trying not to keep track of the clock and just base it around how I felt. I did manage to push myself! I notice that sometimes when I base it around a distance, I might take a little longer and just keep to a steady pace easy cardio which isn’t the best for improvements but good for endurance.

Keep checking the blog because I’ll be posting some good workouts this week!

My house survey

I received this ‘challenge’ via e-mail! It’s just some cute little questions that you might not think to ask others about otherwise. And it’ll give you a little insight to the rest of my life! After reading through, I’d love for you all to take the time to fill it out as well. You can reply through a comment or even post it on your own blog to share with the world wide web!

Household chore I actually enjoy…

The thing with me is, I LOVE when things are clean and in order to my house. If there are dirty dishes, laundry lying about, or even really dusty counter tops, there is something in me that wants to cringe. The conflict here is that I actually don’t enjoy one bit of cleaning…. However I know it’s just something that has to get done for my sanity. Luckily, Colt’s feelings are similar and he helps out a lot! But, if I absolutely had to pick, I would say that I enjoy vacuuming! Mainly because it’s easy enough to turn up the tunes and dance all over while doing it. 🙂

Before company arrives I…

Hide the doggy toys and put my dishes away! The dog toys in my home are quite plentiful, especially now that we have 2. Some times there are even socks lying around that the dogs are weirdly obsessed with playing with! It’s my quick-tidy method so that the house looks half decent.

I hate to shop for….

BRAS! Ughhh, don’t get me wrong. I love getting new bras, it’s just the act of having to actually try them on that bugs me. It doesn’t help that I seem to always struggle with the sizing and need assistance!

I have a style crush on…

I have to say either Emma Watson because she is so elegant and timeless and sophisticated. Or Blake Lively, who always seems to effortlessly rock any sort of trend and always so well put together. I have to say I also follow Jessica Alba on instagram and I love her style as I feel like I can relate to it the most! It consists of a lot of trendy clothing but also many comfortable pieces mixed in, like leggings and tights and flowy tops. I live for comfy clothes! Yoga leggings every day.

How did I ever live without….

My dog. My friends (although that wasn’t for long as my closest friends have been in my life since our kinder years), my boyfriend. All have significantly changed my life and shaped me into being the person I am today. I never thought that I would even be as much of a dog person as I am today, I love my puppy so unconditionally and it shows a whole other side to living life more selflessly.

IMG_1175hoco 2012piano 3

Now your turn 🙂

Complete one (or all!) of the following:

  • Household chore I actually enjoy…
  • Before company arrives, I hide…
  • I hate to shop for…
  • I have a style crush on…
  • How did I ever live without…