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 😉

Long drives

driveslookout spring

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.  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!

Save your sanity

Hello! Today is basically my working Monday, as I have been in Edmonton all weekend and just arrived home last night. My work team and I were all attending a seminar, called ‘Save your sanity’ – proactive strategies for handling difficult behaviour in children and youth.

(tried to be sneaky with this picture)

save you

I gotta say, it was well done and our facilitator did an awesome job at really keeping me engaged and attentive all day (which is VERY hard as I am so ADHD). Working in schools, these sorts of strategies are soo helpful and a great thing to bring back to the teaching staff because every class tends to have at least one pesky kid that is a little bit more difficult to handle than others!

On sunday, the gals and I got a chance to have a nice little shopping and outting day! Because why not. We went to West Edmonton mall, and I did treat myself to this baby:

mcflurry

SMARTIES MCFLURRY! I haven’t had one of these in ages… I deserved it.

After dropping off our loads of purchases at the car (I bought a little too much!! Fave stops – Forever 21, H&M, Bath and body works, lululemon and Aritzia!), we headed over to Earl’s for dinner.

At this point I was yet again starving and could not wait to dig in…

dinner

I chose the chicken sandwich with a side salad!

And since the weather was divine I could not resist the temptation of a caesar (or bloody Mary for all ya’ll Americans!)

After our delicious feast, we headed over to the movies. I was excited for this since I haven’t been to the movies in AGES. We saw a flick called the DUFF. It was pretty funny actually and had a cute little inspiring message at the end. It’s a good easy watch if you’re looking for something you don’t need to do some crazy analyzing with! AKA GONE GIRL.

I woke up in the morning in the hotel and with lack of resources, I headed downstairs to the hotel gym. Which had very limited equipment. I had to get a little creative and remembered PB fingers HOTEL workout! I did half an hour on the elliptical prior to this.

Bodyweight Workout

Thanks Julie! I’m going to have to put together one of my own as well and share it with you all as I will be travelling quite a bit coming up. I’m sure there’s many of you who will be for holidays as well!

On a positive note – my squats seem to FINALLY be having an impact on my body. Seriously, I have had a flat backside my whole life, I’ve been reallllyyyy upping my squat game lately and I see a good bump coming in.

workout j

On the way home I got the chance to sit in the back and watch movies like a child 🙂

headphone

And I had my yummy jugo juice “Can’t Beet this” smoothie, yummmmmmmmmmmmmm! Beets make me happy and I love the health benefits of them.

jugo

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  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 🙂

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!

My Edmonton Trip

Hi everyone! It’s been a few days and I love to tell you all about my weekend in Edmonton Alberta!

I made the drive on Saturday morning, it’s only 2 hours away so not bad at all! Driving gives me some good thinking time as well:) I arrived at a good time and hit up west Edmonton mall in good time!

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I gt some good shopping in at my favourite places – Lululemon, sephora, pink, Aritzia, bath and body works and various health Marts. Oh and any forget forever 21 and h&m, which are always total zoos!
I could not believe the amount of Christmas decor throughout the mall !!

I picked up some lunch from Opa! Greek cuisine.

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An could not forget about getting my favourite pumpkin spice latte! My weakness.

The day was fooled by a drive over to my sisters house to spend the evening. We went on a walk in the neighbourhood and enjoyed the sunshine!

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There was also a nearby doggy park, great for tanner!

At this point I could not find my phone and was unable to capture our thanksgiving evening!!! I know HOW UNLUCKY! But I’m certain you have all seen what the typical dinner looks like – delicious turkey, potatoes, vegetables and cranberry sauce followed by homemade pumpkin pie! Yum yum yum !

The next day I picked up my boyfriend from the airport! He’s finally made the move here and I no longer have to be living in my house alone 🙂

We went for a hike up to what’s called bear hill and enjoyed the lookout. We also wet and checked out slave lake. Colt (my boyfriend) had never been here before and absolutely loves it!

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The day was followed by an amazing dinner that he prepared. Salmon, asparagus, mushrooms and potato twice baked! He has definitely upped his cooking game and I am thoroughly impressed 🙂

Overall an amazing weekend!

Go to grocery list

I had a few people message me and ask me what my go-to items at the grocery store are. Typically, I use my Sundays as grocery shopping days to limit the number of times that I need to go during the week to grab all those little things that I might run out of or forget!

So, I wanted to share with you a list of items that I am gravitated towards when grocery shopping. Ofcourse this is a fairly big list, and my trips every week do not consist of purchasing EVERY item on this list, but I will rarely stray away from the items listed.

Quick tip: stick to the perimeters of grocery stores as much as possible! This is where all the freshest and most raw foods are. As soon as you start heading down the aisles, the food items become more processed and unnatural.

go to grocery list

Yes, wow, there’s definitely a lot of items on this list, but the idea is to choose the things you like from it and stick with only the foods that you see!!

MY favourites of the bunch (the ones I find myself purchasing most often) are sweet potatoes, oats, alllll fruit but mainly bananas and apples and berries, allllllllll vegetables but mainly carrots, celery and broccoli, lettuce and spinach, yogurt, eggs, salmon and chicken. OH and peanut butter!! I go through that stuff very fast. (oh naturale, ofcourse).

Workout

My workout of the day was a chest and tricep day in the Jamie Eason program. I’m on week 2 now, hoorah! I’m still finding it great and I’m honestly noticing a difference in my body. I can’t believe I’ve gone this long without incorporating this amount of strength and weight training into my regime. I love love love it and feel stronger already!

chest and tripink workout

This is so random, but I follow Ipsy on Instagram and also wanted to show you their post with you:

treat yo self

I lol’d! And needless to say, I double tapped! I treat myself to the max. What’s a life without great food indulgences!

Let the weekend begin

Hey friends, it’s been a great couple of days! Last night was my friend Conor’s birthday. It was a fun time! We celebrated with about 10 of us at boston pizza. The restaurant is a great socializing spot but I’m not the biggest fan of their food, I opted for a simple chicken flat bread which I packed half of it up for my lunch today! 🙂 I try to do this always when going out for dinner – cost effective AND healthier!

IMG_3980.JPG And today has been a productive day at work where I got the chance to work with some special kids all day and teach them the importance of being active! Wow I love my job. however TGIF!!! 🙂

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My workout was a leg and calf day of the Jamie Eason program, I loved it! It was a simple and effective leg workout.

IMG_3972.PNG I love my morning workouts 🙂 I also included a steady 45 min cardio session on the elliptical.

IMG_3985.JPG My weekend begins now! I’ll be heading to another friends birthday tonight. I will keep in touch! Xoxo

Things I’m Loving Monday 5

I thought I’d firstly update you on the happenings of the rest of my weekend! Culture days happened at our local rec centre. The event ran 2-6 on Saturday and included some amazing performances and music originating from all parts of the world, including a lot of Native American dances and songs (as we are in Canada!) It was all great! There were also a number of appetizers and finger foods out and it was a free for all!

FREE FOOD? Im there.

Unfortunately the event called for no photography, so I wasn’t able to capture the event for you all to get a little glance. But trust me when I say it was good entertainment!

Saturday night called for a movie night in and Sunday was good enough weather to get a nice long hike/walk in with Tanner and a couple of my gal friends. It’s funny how just walking through nature is sooo stress relieving. It tends to make me feel as though my problems are a lot less problematic than what they are laid out to be in my head.

I also got a little shopping in and purchased some new fall boots!

You can check them out here

Oh oh oh, and I did a wicked abs routine on Sunday that you should all give a try as well:

I like to call it, FAB ABS

fall boots fababs

Now let me tell you about my Things I’m Loving this week

  • Tim Horton’s pumpkin spice tea

pumpkin spice

It’s baaaack! Every fall I get über excited about the fact that Timmie’s starts to carry this tea again. Needless to say, I went out and bought a package of it. It’ll probably be gone in a matter of a week so I know I’ll be stocking up before it runs out!

  • Homecoming and spirit

hoco 2012

I am sooo sad to have missed my McMaster University homecoming this year. I will always ‘bleed maroon’ and be a spirited alumni! Some of the best times of my life (thus far) were through out university.

  • Gone Girl

gone girl

I haven’t yet finished this book, but I’m about 3/4 the way through, and I got through that much in out 3 days… It is VERY good and captivating. I really wanted to read it before the movie comes out, I think it’s set to come out in North America this weekend, so time’s a tickin’!

  • All of my favourite Fall shows

big bang how-to-get-away-with-murder-poster forever poster

Where do I begin? Gotham, Forever. New Girl, Big Bang Theory, Modern Family and How to get Away with Murder have all started up and GOSH are they all ever good! I highly recommend giving all of these shows a watch, but forewarn you it maaaaay take up a lot of your free time! There’s also Grey’s Anatomy and The Voice (I’m a sucker for reality TV gah!) The list seems to be never ending!

  • Baked goods from friends

homemade banana oatmeal cookie

Yuuuuum! I happened to receive this yummy treat from my friend at work today this morning. It definitely set myself up for a happy day. It’s banana oatmeal chocolate chip! She knows the way to my heart.

What have you been loving this week? Any food/movie/book recommendations?!

Things I’m Loving Monday 3

Sooo last night was a quiet night in with some friends. It was a good Sunday night! We watched the comedy ‘Hit and Run’ with Bradley Cooper!

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It was funny, but not as good as I was hoping. We also shared some popcorn yummy 🙂

Work has settled down (so far) this week. No crises of any sort at the schools I work at and we spent our lunch hour playing music and handing out Tim Horton’s smile cookies in the highschool foyer as a little kindness initiative! It was fun and great to see a lot of the kids happy who have been having a tough time!

Now to my Things I’m Loving segment..

  • cheecha puffs

cheecha
These tasty guys are only 70 calories per 2 cups and gluten free! I saw them in my local grocery store and had to give them a try, so glad I did!

  • TABATA workouts!

For those of you unfamiliar with tabata, it’s like another version of Hight Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). You really get a lot of bang for your buck because you’re exerting crazy amounts of energy mixed with short breaks.
Prepare for a sweaty cardio session!

  • My new donezo office

new officeCheck itout! I’m loving the blue and yellow, it brings some light into my life on those dreary days.

FOOD TODAY

Breaky was a quick and usual one… Into the blender went a banana, milk, greek yogurt, creamy peanut butter and a little chocolate syrup 🙂

pb  choco smoothiebottoms up!

I was pretty hungry later on and then snacked on an apple 🙂

Lunch time was also another super quick one because I had a lot to do at the schools and had a short lunch hour, so I went across the street to the grocery store and grabbed myself a premade chicken spring salad! Then I had some carrots and hummus on the side.

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I didn’t make it to the gym this morning because for some reason I was soooo tired. It was one of those sleeps where you have super vivid dreams and when you wake up you’re majorly groggy! Know what I mean?
Needless to say as soon as the alarm went off I pressed snooze….

Which lead me to a 5 mile run after work with Tanner 🙂 So it ended up being okay because the weather today was unbelievable and sunny!

My tummy was grumbling when I got in and I made myself up a little plate of things that were in my fridge..

Pretty random but those snacks usually are the best.

random snackHummus, carrots, cheeyuh puffs, there’s some pickles in there… oh and 1 random BBQ chip?

HAVE A GOOD ONE 🙂

Saturdays call for new breakfast recipes!

Saturday’s are for smiles, sleeping in and simply great food!

I love to take my time on Saturday mornings and enjoy some slow and stress-free time (usually).
This morning after waking up and taking my pup for a nice little walk around the neighbourhood, I decided to take a crack at a new breakfast recipe!
Not going to lie, I have quite the sweet tooth and most often crave CARBS in the morning, so naturally I would choose a recipe that satisfied this need. Of course my breakfast choice is always still made sure to be a healthy one too! After all that is the most important factor!

looks delish!
looks delish!

So, today’s breakfast menu was:

Peanut butter & banana oatmeal, topped with walnuts, cranberries and cinnamon

SOOOO delicious! And so easy. It’s literally made with just those ingredients plopped all into a bowl and mixed up. But here’s exactly the method that I followed:

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp PB2 powder (But of course you can use natural peanut butter as well)
1/2 banana
1/2 cup plain oats
1/3 cup of plain vanilla yogurt (to make everything mix together better)
1 Tbsp cranberries
2 Tbsp walnuts
dash of cinnamon (I like to use this ingredient LIBERALLY, and it’s amazing for your health!)

Directions:

– Lay out all the ingredients needed
– Put half of your yogurt on the bottom, then 1/4 oats, 1/4 banana, 1 Tbsp PB2 into your bowl
– Put a second layer of the remaining amount of your ingredients in the same order – yogurt, 1/4 cup oats, 1/4 banana, 1 Tbsp PB2
– Mix it all up nice a good
– Top off the bowl with your walnuts, cranberries and cinnamon
– DIG IN and ENJOY 🙂

Tell me what you think of the recipe if you give it a try!

It’s especially a good breakfast for when you’re planning on hitting the road for a run later on or going to the gym because it’s giving your body those healthy carbohydrates it needs to energize yourself through the activity. I find that eating something like this beforehand makes a huge difference because it’s a lot more easily digestible compared to having a high protein breakfast (less cramps and indigestion!)

Throwback Thursday

Ontario, Canada!
Ontario, Canada!
Getting into Saskatchewan, Canada!
Getting into Saskatchewan, Canada!

Today I am reminiscing over the cross-country Canadian road trip that I recently experienced with my sister and pup, Tanner. It took us nearly 5 days but we saw some amazing sights! 

The trip itself put into perspective how HUGE this world really is and how small we really are as individuals. Seriously, it makes me think about all the little stresses and hardships I’ve gone through the past year and how they have seriously not been worth all the time consumed where I have been swept up by anxiety with them. Of course, a little worry and anxiety can actually be good for us and our health, but I’m talking about spending too much time consumed mentally the negative and taking away the time we should utilize to appreciate every little good thing that we have in our lives. As Canadians, Americans, whoever you are, we are fortunate to live in this world where we can wake up, EAT GOOD FOOD, spend time with friends and family, go for hikes and experience the outdoors, play fetch with our dogs.. the list goes on. We just need to practice remembering all of these little things. Whatever your method may be – use today to remind yourself of what you are appreciative of and of the things that make your world a beautiful and wonderful place to be. Write a list, use 5 minutes to meditate, call a close family member or friend, ANYTHING! Just r e m i n d yourself of what makes you happy. Because a happy you makes a healthy you, and a healthy you makes a happy you. They come hand in hand. And we all want to live a happy, healthy life, don’t we?

Jasper, Alberta, Canada!
Jasper, Alberta, Canada!