Typical Tuesday

Running updates for you:

Yesterday, I wanted so badly to get up before work and head out the door for a run, but the roads were covered in snow. I was so sad when I looked out the window and instead had to defer my running to the treadmill. Treadmills just are not the same!

I still managed to get in a good 5 miles (which is just right according to my intermediate half marathon training schedule), so not all was lost!

EATS:

I arrived back home just in time to pack myself a quick breakfast to take on the go.

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There’s some mushy looking grapefruit, plain Greek yogurt, some almond granola and a dash of cinnamon 🙂

And a spoon full of this good stuff, can’t get enough!

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Crunchy peanut butter was 65% off at the grocery store!!! How can anyone say no to that deal?

Peanut butter is pure happiness in a jar.

On another note, I saw this cool activity posted on Costa Rica’s Peace Retreat’s Instagram account. I am putting this on my bucket list. I am planning on doing that this summer!

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What’s one thing you REALLY want to do this summer?

Have a good day everyone !!!

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

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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.  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!

Spring into Spring workout playlist

If you’re like me, you need some exciting beats to pump you up and get you through a workout.

Music honestly makes the biggest difference for me – there is nothing worse than having your music cut out half way through a run or gym session!

I’ve compiled a list of some (very) upbeat music favourites of mine right now to keep you motivated!

spring playlist

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!!

Liebster Award

Is anyone else a fan of running in the dark? It’s been one of my favourite things as of late. I get to get up and get out on the road before the sun is even awake!

Good thing I purchased this handy dandy head lamp.

I purchased it from Canadian tire. It has a strong LED light and works very well on our dark pathways!

Yes I look like a goof wearing it, but again, I’m in the dark.. So who cares! SAFETY FIRST!

But more importantly…

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Words cannot describe how thankful I am! My dear, fellow blogger Jordyn Ashley at My GOODNESS nominated me for the wonderful Liebster blogging award. Please check out her blog! It’s so well written and is especially motivating (just take a look at her bod, well done girl!) But also motivational in terms of workout tips and reviews!

The purpose of this award is to give some recognition to new blogs.

the rules

1. Link the person who nominated you to your blog post. Thank them and let them know you answered their questions.
2. Answer the 7 questions given to you by the nominator.
3. Nominate 5-11 other bloggers with a following of less than 500. 
4. Create 7 questions for your nominees to answer.
5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.
6. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.

I’ll start off by answering all the questions given to me by Jordyn!

1. what is the 1 piece of makeup you couldn’t live without?
– Easy, MASCARA! If I only have time to put on one single item of makeup, it’s always, always mascara.

2. where is your favorite place to buy your workout clothes?
I usually opt for lululemon. I love the quality of their garments, especially their tights. I live in workout tights and capris at the gym. But I also get pieces from so many other places, including fabletics, montiel, even forever21 and target!

3.  what is one goal you would love to accomplish in the next 3 months?
– I would like to officially obtain my personal training certification. As well as get all my paper work done for volunteering in Costa Rica!

4.  what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
– Does chocolate count? Or wine? Or fries? Do I really have to pick just one? Okay, chocolate…

.5. where do you see yourself in 5 years?
– Doing a job very similar to what I have now. Working in schools with children on health and nutrition. Otherwise I would love to be instructing fitness classes/yoga!

.6. what are you most looking forward to this summer?
– Just w a r m  w e a t h e r. The simplicity of sunshine is all I want. But, ofcourse, so many good things come with summer – camping and hiking and fishing top my list!

7. what keeps you motivated to workout or eat healthy?
– Other than looking over inspirational blogs, I just think about the way I feel when I don’t workout vs. after my workouts. I can’t stand that sluggish feeling you get after a long day without much movement.

The wonderful bloggers that I would like to nominate for the Liebster award are:

1. Running miles with smiles  –> She actually makes me smile with her adorable blog. I enjoy gawking over the food posts and look forward to workout Wednesdays!

2. So what? I run. –> Run, run, run. Need I say more? I can’t get me enough running tips, stories and motivation. She is also a great writer!

3. Thisfitblonde –> This gal has some great posts to do with running (my fave), eating (also my fave) and overall wellness tips. 🙂

4. Live fit Love chocolate –> Alice is a California girl who offers some good nutrition tips and recipes, as well as fitness and FASHION. Which is another love of mine. She has some good style!

5. Fitness meets Frosting –> I didn’t want to specifically post all fitness and health related blogs, but I can’t help it, I’m just gravitated towards them and I couldn’t leave this one out! There’s great posts to get me motivated to ensure I push myself to go for a run on those days I’m feeling ‘blah’. Also, check out her chewy lemon cookies, so, so good.

My 7 questions for you are:

1. What is your best tip for getting motivated?
2. What is the one thing you could not live without?
3. If you could live any place in the world, where would it be?
4. How did you begin your fitness journey?
5. What is your biggest dream?
6. What is your daily go-to outfit?7. Do you have a secret (maybe embarrassing) passion? If so, what is it?!

Can’t wait to read up on your answers!! And great work to every one of you. You are all so very inspirational.

Snowshoes in the sunshine

Hello world!

The weather has been absolutely unbelievable as of late. The sun has been shining, and therefore I have been BEAMING with positive vibes. My attitude is always seeming to be right in line with the weather patterns!

Yesterday we got the chance to get out and go snowshoeing in this warmth!

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It was pretty cool because although it was 17 degrees celsius and sunny, there was still lots of snow to walk on at the beach. We actually walked right across the frozen waters of Slave Lake! It was so neat and such a fun time.

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Then when we got in from an eventful day, we sat down to a nice, warm bowl of chili and a bun 🙂 Ah nothing beats that!

Later on in the day, Colt and I met up with some friends to watch our friend Conor’s final hockey game of the season! Unfortunately, they lost. But it’s a good thing he isn’t a sore loser because we still had tons of fun together for the night!

RUN:

My run this morning was a steady pace 10 km, or 6.2 miles. I thoroughly enjoyed being outdoors for this one, and am going to actually be heading out for another good, relaxing walk with the pups shortly to take advantage of this.

While doing so I’ll be thinking of good eats to make myself 🙂

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:

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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!)

Inexpensive Date Ideas

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, some of you might be looking to the internet for some creative gifts and date ideas. One of my favourites happens to be giving your loved one a Date Jar.

You can fill it with so many cute personalized dates that fit your interests! I can’t even tell you how many times Colt and I have been at home on a weekend or after work and said to ourselves “What should we do? We’re bored!”

And with a date jar, there’s no negotiations or hassles in trying to figure out who decides what!

With this you may need some inexpensive date ideas as well… It helps when you don’t necessarily need to head out and spend a fortune on dinner! So let me offer to you some suggestions.

Happy Dating!

12 inexpensive date ideas

1. Have a theme night based around a specific country! It could be Brazil, France, Australia, Portugal, anywhere in the world and plan your dinner and dessert recipes according  to the country! Even play some music from the country while cooking and eating your creations.

2. With a $15 – $20 budget, split up for two hours and pick up fun little things you think the other person would love, like their favorite cupcake from a local cupcake shop, a new pair of boxers, etc. Exchange the goodie bags at the end of two hours!

3. Have a “game night” at home with just the two of you. Great games for two people include Scrabble, mancala and tons of card games.

4. There’s nothing ever wrong with a Netflex night, featuring popcorn and your favourite snacks!

5. Find a new trail to hike together – make sure to pack some snacks or even pick up lunch from a local shop beforehand!

6. Enjoy a fire together outside, including wine, and various campfire food – my favourite is obviously s’mores, but there’s also, spider weineys!

7. Build an indoor sheet fort together. This is soo fun and costs nothin’! It will bring you back to the good ol’ days of childhood. You could even share scary stories under there!

8. Have a vacation planning night. This is great because it gives you something to look forward to in the future, even if the funds for it might not be there right now.

9. Have a wine and cheese party! This is a favourite of mine because I am a huge fan of wine. Include various cheeses and some other creative appetizers you might not otherwise think to try!

10. Have an “ice cream for dinner” night! Either buy your favorite kind of ice cream at the grocery store (plus tons of toppings!) or visit a local hot spot.

11. Go to your local animal shelter or animal rescue committee and volunteer to help out with the animals together. This is a great one for those animal loving couples! And it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

12. Catch the sunrise (or sunset)! Even include a little picnic if weather permits.

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.

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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…

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!

asist

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!

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!