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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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 ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 potluckย  – booze, football, great food and games made it a wonderful day with wonderful company. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 worldsย  -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, Iย  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 withย  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!

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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!!

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 !

Jamie Eason week 3

Good morning!

I’m writing in order to update you on my progress with the Jamie Eason program. I’m in week 3 of phase 1 and am genuinely still enjoying it. The workouts are relatively easy and straightforward still, which is good for a girl like me who has almost neglected weight training in the past!

These workouts in combo with my own cardio workouts are making a difference in the way I look and feel- much stronger!

Week 3 incorporates 2 leg days- sooooo safe to say my legs are feeling like jello!! This feeling gets me pretty excited because I know I need muscle building in this particular area in order to really assist in upping my running pace.

The last 4 days I have done have been roughly 30-45 minute cardio sessions and strength workouts in this order: legs, back and bi, chest and tri, legs. And today will be shoulders and abs ( my personal favourite).

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Side note: colt and I played jenga last night and I forgot how much I loved this game!!!

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Later on we enjoyed pulled pork for dinner with a side of asparagus and mushrooms. I haven’t has pulled pork in sooooo long and I forgot how much I loved it! The shoulder was in the crockpot all day with chicken broth, baby rays BBQ sauce, onion and garlic, this picture does not do it justice!

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Overall an amazing weekend!

Things I’m Loving 8

Things I’m loving 8

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

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

Fall hikes

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

Mediterranean slouvaki plate

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

West Edmonton mall

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

The fact that colt has arrived!

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Yes!! My boyfriend of 7 years has finally made the move in with me!! I couldn’t be happier ๐Ÿ™‚

My new books

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

The maple leafs

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