Getting into a new groove

This weekend was enjoyable and relaxing. Something that I think I’ve certainly been in need of. On Saturday, Colt and I headed to our neighbours house, who is also a co-worker and friend for a birthday! I ended up being in charge of a dessert, so I opted to use all the spare time that I had during the day on Saturday to bake a cake and put my decorating skills to the test.

It’s the most simple cake recipe ever! Just your typical vanilla cake, but the decorating took me a little bit of time. I frosted it with some homemade chocolate icing and purchased some choco/vanilla wafer sticks which I cut into haves and icing-ed all around the circumference of the cake! Then I just cut some strawberries in half and placed them on top, with some crushed white chocolate in the middle. I then got the idea from Pinterest to wrap a pretty red ribbon (that I had leftover from Christmas) around it with a bow which is what made it look that much better! I’ll admit I was fairly proud about this as I don’t normally have such decorating ability.

Fitness

I’m feeling like my workouts have been a little half-efforted lately. I honestly don’t know what it is! It’s like my motivation is dwindling and I’m looking for a new goal or routine to get into in order to know what I’m concentrating my efforts on. If you have any great methods to stay motivated please let me know !!

I am continuing to utilize the Nike Training Camp App which has helped me however!

Today I did a tabata workout! It was a 30 minute mix-up of cardio, strength and even a little bit of pilates.

I wanted to copy and paste it onto my blog for you but my phone has been acting up lately and did not coorperate – sorry!

I have to cut it short today as I have ALOT of programming to do for school!

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.

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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  more than the 10$ a month price tag that it has!!

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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 🙂

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

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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!

Training and I’m feeling a little dippy

Wow the past 2 days have almost been an entire blur! I’ve been in ASIST training at work and it’s consisted of a lot of information jam-packed into 48 hours of intense hands on group work!

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For those who don’t know about ASIST, it stands for Assisted Suicide Intervention Skills Training. As I work in a school board as a wellness coach, a big part of my job has actually been counselling with students and that includes cases that unfortunately can reach this point where they are in need of serious supports.

I’m definitely happy that I completed the course and know that it will be 100% helpful to me in the future within my job. For anyone debating whether or not to complete this workshop, I would definitely recommend it! It included a lot of experiential hands-on group work and open discussion and role playing. The role playing can obviously be a tad bit awkward but you get past that!

For lunch we opted for a timmies run! Can never go wrong with that. I tried the new spicy thai chicken soup, and yuuum! I loved it. I found it so amazing because I absolutely adore coconut and it had just enough of coconut-y flavour! I will definitely be getting that again the next time that I need a quick lunch.

delicious coconuty thai goodness
delicious coconuty thai goodness

I didn’t end up doing my usual morning gym session before the workshop today because I’m heading to hot yoga in about half an hour, but yesterday I tried yet another new workout!

Have you heard of the Nike Training App?

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My friend recently introduced it to me and I’m giving it a rave review! I gave it a go yesterday because as we all know, I need to constantly switch up my gym routine otherwise I get bored as heck and just end up dreading going. This app is amazing because the amount of workouts is extensive! Soo many choices and variations. And it’s in a video format with step by step talking directions so you can put your phone down and just listen to them tell you what to do!

There’s workouts that target particular areas of the body, whole body, cardio-based, strength based, even marathon training specific workouts!!! Not only that, but it offers either a beginners, intermediate or advanced workouts sections. like JEEZE I can not express how much I am loving this app!!!!

Yesterday I did a core-targeted workout called ‘to the core’. It was all strength based moves to really get at those abs and my abs are actually HURTING today! I’m not even kidding you. And that has not happened to me in a while, so yes, I am thoroughly impressed.

Oh, did I mention it’s free?

Anyway, enough of that. Now on to fooooood.

I love food, yes this is no secret. And lately I’ve been really into dips. Dip with everything! Veggies, crackers, bread, fruit, anything. Two dips that I’ve been loving lately: cookie dough dessert dip (amazing) and my lightened up taco-dip (amazing x2). Both were a hit with my gal pals when we had our ladies night this week while we also consumed wine and made fun of the bachelor.

It’s a weekly ritual that I look thoroughly forward to!

So here are the recipes for you to try out (trust me you want to try these out).

Cookie dough dessert dip aka the easiest dip in the history of life

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Ingredients:

1 cup light coolwhip
1 cup cookie mix
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Blend together and TADAH! I told you, the world’s easiest dip. Serve this with apple slices, graham crackers, pear slices and grapes.

Lighted up taco dip

taco-dip

Ingredients

2 tablespoons light cream cheese
1 cup 0% sour cream
1 tsp taco seasoning
2 tablespoons light mayo
1/2 cup mild chunky salsa
shredded low fat cheddar cheese to spread over top

Directions:

1. Blend together softened cream cheese, sour cream and mayo until well mixed.
2. Mix in taco seasoning until fully blended.
3. Layer this mixture onto the bottom of a bowl or dip dish.
4. Spread the salsa over top of the mix as a second layer.
5. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over top

Then you’re all done. Easy peasy yet again 🙂 I love these with any classic veggies and pita or tostitos ofcourse.

Bring either of these dips to a gathering and they’ll be a big hit!

Fitness Watch Comparisons

I need some serious assistance!

I’ve been looking into the benefits of wearing a fitness/health tracker for a while now. I know I have definitely reached the point where I want to purchase one because I’ve heard so many great reviews! I’m an avid runner and gym-goer, so I’m definitely looking to purchase a product which will track my steps, HR, and calories burned. I really would like it to have the ability to track my sleep as well so that I am able to link this all to my iPad or computer and look at the comparisons from day to day. I think this will definitely push me even further into the right direction with my fitness – any sort of added motivation to be healthy everyday is good with me!

I’m at a loss and can’t seem to decide exactly which fitness band/watch I want to purchase. It seems like there are sooo many on the market today!

The bands that I have been hearing the most about are: FitBit charge or flex, Polar, and nikefit band

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What are your reviews if you have or have tried these watches? Any other kinds that I’m unaware of that you might recommend??

Sweaty circuit workout

Happy Monday ya’ll! I hope everyone is ready for another week and enjoyed their weekend and the Super Bowl, I sure did! LOTS of great food was indulged upon. A few friends and Colt and I got together for a Sunday football potluck  – booze, football, great food and games made it a wonderful day with wonderful company. 🙂

Check out this spread!

and yes I did try absolutely everything… Ofcourse the item I brought was the boring veggie tray, yaaaaaawn.

On another note

I’ve been really doing a lot of research and looking into a lot of different types of workouts that magazines, websites and blogs have to offer. I’ve tried a few out, and definitely picked out some favourites. I’ve learned and noticed that one type of workout that I really enjoy are circuits!

Circuits are so great because you get the best of both worlds  -aerobic and anaerobic – into one compacted workout that gets your HR UP! (So long as you put some good effort into it).

Before heading to the gym today, I  knew I wanted a really good sweat session because I feel like I’ve been at a bit of a plateau and haven’t pushed myself as hard as I could have lately. So, I opted for this super fast and sweaty circuit workout posted on yet again the pbfingers blog!

I started off with  a 15 minute treadmill warmup, then I went through the work out moves once, went back to the treadmill for 10 minutes, went through the workout another time, did 10 minutes on the treadmill, then finished up with a final go through of the moves. I finished my gym session with an easy 5 minutes of cardio on the elliptical.

I felt so refreshed and recharged afterward. Definitely a great kick off to my Monday (and slightly in part due to the mass amounts of food that I consumed at the SUPERBOWL).

Time for my afternoon!

Remember me?

Hello all, remember me?!

Wow, it sure has been a while. Looking at the last posting date – in NOVEMBER! it’s been about 2 months since you have heard from me last. My most sincere apologies. I think we all know how life can catch up to us. Once the time came that my

boyfriend moved in, we also began fostering a new puppy (more on that later) and so priorities slightly shifted and I was full blown career and family time. BUT, now I am back for us all to enjoy each others wonderful company!

pure excitement

The holidays were fun-filled with a ton of fattening food and hilarious times with family! Bouncing back from that, I’m just about starting to feel like my true self again. Although I didn’t actually gain weight according to my scale, I felt sooooo sluggish and like I was having an out of body experience, can anyone else relate to this? But with motivation, I’m back up to my 6 days a week workout, concentrating on cardio with 4-5 days of strength training.

Oh oh oh and in other news, after extensive research and intense comparisons. conversations with professionals and thought, I am officially going to obtain my personal trainer certification through ISSA!!

issa

The reason I chose ISSA is because not only does their program look immaculate – offering all of the important pieces of fitness information that you will need in the real world, such as working with different types of individuals and assessing their needs – but it is also ALL online if need be. This is perfect for me as I’m located in a rather rural area in Alberta, Canada, and working full-time while completing the course.

My decision was because I would love to get a job at a fitness center to be able to train on top of my wellness coach job. I know that it will not overwhelm me because I already spend SO much time at the gym. It will be soo enjoyable being able to help out some awesome people in reaching their fitness goals and expressing my passion this way! That, and the fact that I love interacting with and meeting new people makes it a great choice for me.

I’ll keep ya’ll updated as time goes on with this. I’m booked in to get my updated CPR/AED next week! Thankfully I have the best and most accommodating job ever which allows me to take time off to do this for myself.

There’s something about taking a step closer to the life you want for yourself, it’s put me in the absolute best mood!

Until next time (which won’t be long this time I promise!) PLEASE keep me up-to-date on what you have been up to as well, feel free to comment! It really makes my day. 🙂

Weekend festivities and lemon baked salmon

This weekend has been COLD to say the very least up here in Canada. In Alberta this weekend, we’ve received a few cm of snow already and it’s looking like a winter wonderland outside!

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Yup, that’s me looking outside of my front window. We had expected soooome snow, but definitely not this much! Yesterday the fall was pretty crazy so our drive to Edmonton was postponed.

We will be heading out shortly today and hitting up west Edmonton mall, the Indiana Jones exhibit (weeee!) and then my sisters for dinner. 🙂 I’ll keep you updated on all that!

If you’ve been following my blog much, you’ve probably gotten a bit of understanding of my love of fish and seafood. YUM. and since living with colt, I haven’t been eating it as much as i used to. But last night we decided on my Classic lemony basil basa fillets with a side of mashed sweet potato and it was deee-licious! Colt loved it too!

It’s a simple recipe I thought I would share.

Ingredients

Bass fillet
Oil
Basil
Paprika
Lemon cut into slices
Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 Celsius
Lay fillets onto greased baking sheet and season them with squeezed lemon, salt and pepper, generous amount of basil and just a dash of paprika
Place lemon slices on top of fillets and cover with aluminum foil
Place baking sheet with fillets into heated oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of fillets
Then serve with lemon as garnish!

The presentation makes these bad boys seem so much fancier than they really are, which I like 🙂

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It was a hit!

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 11

It was a fun-filled weekend with friends! I got a chance to get out and be active with colt and went on an adventurous hike at a nearby mountain called Flat Top. We also got to see a pretty awesome show on Saturday night with a few of our friends called ‘Dueling Piano’!!

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It was a show where you can request ANY song you’d like and they play it off-hand! It was some pretty impressive talent they showed and made for some great evening entertainment.
Sunday was a designated lazy day. The weather was crazy here – it SNOWED!!!!!!!! So we spent majority of the day cooped up inside and watching Halloween movies in preparation for this week (so excited!)

Workout

I’ve been sticking with the Jamie Eason program pretty darn well the last 4 weeks, but today I felt like I wanted to switch it up. It was supposed to be a ‘leg day’ but I opted for a strength/circuit regime from PBFingers !

functional workout

It made for a great sweat session this morning. Try it out!

workout 2

Things I’m Loving
Tribal leggings

tribal legging

I purchased these things for diiiiirt cheap – 7 bucks!!! From Forever 21. They actually feel so nice and I’ve been wanting a pair of tribal or patterned leggings for a while. I like the fact that they are black and white because they’ll go with many different colours and outfits.
Contests (and winning!)

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Did I tell you guys I won a contest?? I believe I did. But I still can’t get over it 🙂 Soo excited to share with you the goodies I get.
Old episodes of goosebumps

goosebumps

On Sunday Colt and I watched a series of old Goosebumps episodes and were lazy to the max. These shows honestly scared me sooo much as a kid! Now watching them I find them hilariously corny. We definitely got a good laugh out of the ones we watched.
Halloween crafting

mummy mason jar mummy door

Working in a school has many perks – including fun holiday themed crafts! There will be many more to come this week. Last week we made mummy mason jars and decorated our door sppooookkyy! Check it out!
Animal rescues!

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Not me this time! My sister. Her new dog is a 10 month old husky and arctic wolf cross!! His name is Jack.

I am a firm believer in adopting pets!

What are you guys loving this week? Let me know 🙂

Updates and weekend motivation

Hey friends!

It’s been another long week at work and I haven’t had the time I would have hoped to keep the blog updated.

work train

Myself and my wellness team were hard at work with one of the elementary schools we work in and had a fun filled SUPERHERO health theme! It was so awesome and fun for the kids.

I also got to go and make real homemade pizzas with the local outreach school students. They were so thrilled and were stuffed to the max afterwards!

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This week also called for a hike to a new found lake in our area of Northern Alberta. The lake itself didn’t even have a sign identifying it’s name or anything. So Colt and I pretended it was our own little lake and called it just that – Little Lake. 🙂

little lake

And something else really awesome happened for me this week! I won a contest!!!!!! YAHOO 🙂 🙂

pure excitement naturebox

Take a look at this NatureBox! I won a free 6 month subscription where they mail organic and healthy goodie boxes to my door!!! I can’t wait to receive my first one. 🙂 It’s all thanks to Julie Fagan from PBFingers ! Another reason to follow her amazing blog.

But I’m also here now and ready to chat with you about MOTIVATION.

So here’s the scenario… You’ve worked hard alllll week long. You’ve kept up with your workout regimes and strictly adhered to your diet. It’s fairly easy during the week, especially if you’re working a 9-5 job. But then, Saturday and Sunday roll around and all you’re looking to do is either chill out or make time for friends.

But you know that if you keep up with your fitness and health – whether it’s a walk, bike, anything to get moving – you will burn some calories and feel so much better than slugging around!

I’m sure most of us can relate to this feeling. I know I sure can.

But I’ve come up with some of my own ways to try to keep myself motivated on the weekends and ensure I don’t throw a wrench in all of the hard work I’ve put in during the week! (I know I don’t want to be getting up at 5:30 am for no good reason!)

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Lay out my gear the night before

If it’s Friday night or Saturday night and I want to get a sweat session on in the morning, I will lay out the things I’ll be needing so it’s RIGHT in front of my face. Can’t ignore that.

Set my alarm using an upbeat tune

If my alarm sets off a tune that gets me pumped up and in a good mood then I am much more likely to get my body moving! And if you still don’t make it to the gym or outside then at least you get some good dance moves in. 😉

Set a date

This is probably the best one for me. If I set a date with my boyfriend, friend, or family members then there is very little chance I will be skipping out. It’s tough to bail on the people you love!

Plan to try something new

Sign up for that class you’ve been thinking about at your gym! Or if you’re into running, try going to the lane swim. Or take a look at what your community has to offer! There’s so many cool ways to get in shape these days – barre, zumba, yoga, rock climbing, the possibilities are endless!

Think about the goals you have for yourself

Remind yourself of the person you want to be and the level of fitness you want to achieve. Not to mention the positive endorphins you’ll be feeling afterwards.

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