What I’m into now../Things I’m Loving Monday 7

I got the idea to post this segment from the wonderful Julie Flagan over at pbfingers.com. It’s a little survey type of blog which goes over some cute topics and is a fun read. It’s summing up the “things that I’m into” at this moment in my life based on the topics given. I’m also hoping you’ll participate and respond with your personal answers to the things you’re currently into! I would LOVE to hear it. It’s sort of similar to my regular weekly blog post of ‘Things I’m Loving’, so I thought I’d post it as a combo!

Celebrity on Instagram

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–> hands down, Kaley Cucuo-Sweeting. I have a bit of a girl crush on her and that all I want is for her to be my best friend. She is an animal lover who posts a number of pictures of her adorable adoptive pets (which I love because I too adopted my Tanner!) and she posts hilarious – and REAL – things about her life. Think-late night McDonald’s trips and junk food. Yay! Turns out celebrities eat like real people! I’ve also always enjoyed the wonderful postings of Karena and Katrina from toneitup.

Friend on instagram

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My wonderful and dearest friend, Lisa! She’s a fitness and health addict like myself, so she’s always posting her yummy recipes and workouts which keep me motivated and proud of her!

cocktail

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Personally, I’m not much of a cocktail gal. Typically in the summer I stick to Caesars, but now with the seasons changing and weather getting a littler chillier, I’d have to turn my preference over to a warmer drink- probably coffee and peppermint schnapps or baileys.

food indulgence

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Cinnamon raisin bread is my absolute favourite.

Also peanut butter.

Also these chickpea brownies.

beauty products

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This new benefit cheek and lip tint in dusty rose! I never thought I would like this product as much as I do, but it gives such a nice natural looking glow and stays all day.

way to wind down

(Or wind up?) My 6 am yoga class.

At night, I’ve been loving this new massage bed at my gym.. Sooo relaxing.

And also my usual scented candles I’m currently loving raspbaerry peach macaroon by Bath and Bodyworks

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Piece of jewelery

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This pretty pink necklace! I love my statement necklaces and I brought this one out this weekend.

 

Kay guys, now it’s your turn to tell me the things you’re into for all of those topics!

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

Work it out Wednesday

Sooo I’ve began phase 1 of the Jamie Eason program. Instead I’ve put a bit of my own twist on it because I’m already an active person with overall good healthy habits.

I’m going by my own diet program, less so a diet and more so just continuing to make the healthy food choices I do everyday – the foods that I know make me feel good and make my body feel good and fueled.

In terms of the exercise regime, I gotta admit I’ve been a major cardio girl, just like many others! Phase 1 of this program calls for no cardio AT ALL and that’s not okay with me! I need my running and intense sweat sessions that come from great cardio. It keeps me sane, happy and energized. So I decided that I would do her strength training days while adding in the cardio that I’d like each day (which ranges about 4-6 miles daily along with a Long run on weekends).

My goal –> to gain muscle and strength!

So far so good I gotta say! I only am on day 3, but I’m definitely enjoying having everything laid out for me and ready to go in my email. Idiot proof 🙂

Today’s workout :

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My shoulders are hurting in the best way!!

For my morning smoothies I’ve also been using this magnificent cup!

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My girl friend gave it to me this summer on one of our camping trips and ive seriously put it to good use! I love getting little presents like this that end up being an essential part of my everyday 🙂

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” 4 (Tuesday)

Hey all!

It’s been a hectic past few days and weekend, so I didn’t have time to post my things I’m loving segment yesterday, but here it is!

First of all a recap of my last few days – it was a gorgeous weekend with amazing weather! I got a chance to go to the beach, hang out with friends, family biking, and had new pet visits with my friends brand new kittens (so cute!) Yesterday was a crazy looooong day at work. Meetings after meetings pretty much, and my sickness (talkin’ an elephant standing on my head) did not help whatsoever. Then my night consisted of lesson plans for my wellness programming in the school board. WOW! But not I am feeling a bit more organized and relieved.

I can also take this time to share with you my favourite workout of the weekend! 6x6Workout_thumb

This is again thanks to the wonderful PBFINGERS blog! If you take a look under her workouts tab there are plenty of routines that are good to give a try. I like this one because you can challenge yourself and get what you put into it. The hardest part for me was actually the push ups, I need to work on those!

Now let’ s get to the things I’m loving…. 🙂

  • Catching up with old friends and laughing your toosh off

Who doesn’t love this?? By random chance, my elementary school best friend messaged me on Facebook and it turned into a conversation with another one of my old friends, Laura, this went on for over an hour and we just reminisced together over old times and traveled down memory lane. It was actually the best timing too because I was having a rough day. It’s crazy how reaffirming connections and your relationships with others can re-instill your feeling of purpose and love in your life! If you’re ever having a rough day just give an old friend, new friend, family member a call! It will make a HUGE difference.

  • Free stuff!

I am the Queen of free things. I love free stuff. But I especially love free things that actually will bring purpose into my life. My work team had a community showcase over the weekend where I was able to collect multiple wellness tools that I will use! I’m talkin water bottles, snacks, vegan soap, new agenda, and there were also a number of free draws to enter! Fun stuff!

  • The fact that the PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE IS BACK! 🙂

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I do not even need to explain nor justify my happiness for this… Pumpkin everyday!

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  • Baby kittens!

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These are the cute kittens my friend just got! They have yet to be named. They’re sister kittens, anyone have name ideas?

  • Cauliflower crust pizza recipe

Pizza in general is amazing, we all know that. But putting a healthy spin on it is always good and makes us feel better about the indulgence. I found this recipe which actually wasn’t too difficult and turned out so deliciously! The hardest part I found was actually grating the cauliflower. If you have a good blender (which unfortunately I don’t) it would make it much easier I’m sure!

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Ingredients:
1 cup raw, grated (or chopped in food processor) cauliflower*
1 egg
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley
(may add other Italian spices as desired–such as dried or fresh basil)
Any other desired toppings

Directions

Makes 4, 1-slice servings. Can be doubled for a larger pizza

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray or use parchment paper. (Optional: Use coconut oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before laying dough onto baking surface. Increases calories but I like health benefits of coconut oil. Some in this forum may not appreciate using this oil.)

In a medium bowl, combine cauliflower, egg, mozzarella and all desired spices. Press evenly on baking pan or pizza stone.

Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes (up to 20 minutes if you double the recipe). You may turn over once if desired.

Remove the pan from the oven. To the crust, add sauce, then toppings and cheese. (Get creative and top with chopped apples and cheese or your own combinations of whatever you like on a pizza. Some examples to choose from are jack cheese, onion, fresh or dried tomatoes, artichokes, shredded/cooked chicken, turkey pepperoni, pineapple, mushrooms, marinara sauce, bell peppers, whatever peppers you like, fresh mushrooms, fresh basil…your imagination is the limit.)

Place under broiler, on high heat, until cheese is melted.

Reheats nicely and can still be held in the hand, even the next day. (If you don’t press “dough” too thin, make small rounds and add enough egg to hold together.)

Pizza crusts can be frozen after the initial baking and used later.

*If using frozen cauliflower, prepare according to package directions. After cooked and slightly cooled, shred cauliflower with a cheese grater, (or grater blade on food processor) and then measure for the recipe. (An “unpacked/loose” cup.) Be sure to drain WELL.

Guestimate~Approximately 2 1/4 cups of 1″ cauliflower would grate into one cup of grated (or riced) cauliflower.

For lower calories, substitute two egg whites for whole egg and low or no fat mozzarella cheese.

Don’t spread this too thin or it will fall apart; if it’s too thick, it’s doughy in the middle.

4 Ingredient cookie

So I’m in the middle of my day at work right now, having a little bit of a break.

In the high school we are working on a kindness campaign to spread as much joy and happiness in the community and amongst the schools as possible. A part of this campaign is baking up a storm in the school’s kitchen with the junior high students and dispersing them amongst the classrooms with positive messages.

One particular baked good that we made turned out being one of my new favourites. And it’s SO simple to boot. It’s a 4-ingredient cookie (my kinda cookie!) So I thought I’d share the recipe. You likely have these ingredients in your cupboard already so don’t be afraid to go home and give these cookies a whirl, they’re good for sharing (and to consume on your own hehehe) Plus you shouldn’t feel guilty having a couple of these because they are uber clean and healthy. Perfect combination I’d say!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 4 tablespoons of peanut butter (I prefer all natural)
  • 1 tablespoon egg whites

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well blended together, use the mixture to form round cookie balls and place on a baking sheet
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes
  • Let cool for 10 minutes or so
  • Eat them up! Or hide them away so they don’t magically disappear from family, friends, roommates..

Keep in mind you can also add anything else to the mix! Nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, it’s all up to you and your taste buds!

Yes, they are as good as they look.
Yes, they are as good as they look.

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.

yumma

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 🙂

Fires and fun

Yesterday’s lunch consisted of spaghetti squash ‘pasta’, yum yum was that ever good. I just wish this squash was easier to prepare. I mean, it is relatively easy but I like things to be realllll simple, especially when it comes to cooking for just myself.

spaghetti-squash-veggie-casserole-2

But it DOES look good right?
You half the squash, bake it at 375 for 40 minutes, scoop out the insides (noodles) and then mix in your veggies, sauce, whatever you’d like. I added cheese on top too ofcourse. 🙂

Later on, my friends and I had a big bonfire on hole 9 of the golf course just outside of town. Our friend happens to own the place, so it was completely legal don’t worry! It was a well spent night…

fiaaa

This morning’s breakfast was another oatmeal creation! You probably aren’t surprised by this. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it, forgive me, but it wasn’t overly complicated and I’m sure you can imagine what it might look like. I combine banana, PB and cocoa powder in a blender with some vanilla yogurt and ice and mixed this into my oatmeal. YUM

I also forgot to take my daily dose of vitamins yesterday. D’oh! I tend to really notice when my body doesn’t get enough hydration nor the vitamins that I usually take to get me through the day.

vitamin daily

This is what I normally take…

B-complex. Vitamin D, fish oils, calcium magnesium, women’s multi-vitamin, and there’s an advil there as well in order to keep any inflammation in my knee down.

Being a runner, I’ve started making sure to take my calcium magnesium because it’s so vital in healthy bones and joints. It’s better to be preventative rather than too late, right!?

Workout

Today’s workout:

20 minute elliptical warm up

ABS, this routine got my heart pumpin’ and abs burnin’!

go through these moves non-stop without a break and then rest, repeat 3 times through.

45 second plank
15 superman
12 woodchops (then did other side)
15 stability ball legs to arms pass
12 stability ball lower ab tuck ins
30 second mountain climber
10 burpees

TADAH!

If you give it a go you’ll be feeling great afterwards trust me 🙂

I finished up my workout with a 25 minute run/walk outside, I am still trying to take it easy because of my knee.

outdoorsy

Ah I love the outdoors!

Now I am going out to meet up with a pal, chat soon. 🙂

me out

Breakfast obsession

Saturday morning has arrived!

My morning routine thus far has consisted of a walk with tanner.

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He was happy by the end of it, I’m sure you can tell 😊

Then came my favourite meal.. Breakfast time!! I’ve come to realize the reality of my obsession with breakfast… I know a lot of people have it as their favourite meal but I honestly think I could live off breakfast everyday every meal! It may have to do with the high carb contents of my breakfasts, but healthy complex carbs ofcourse! That’s what powers me through my days.

The combination of peanut butter and pumpkin might sound a little strange but I thought I would give it a try this morning, and I’m so glad I did!

I put 1/3 cup pumpkin purée, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, a little
Almond milk, stevia into a blender and blend until smooth.
Then in a bowl I combined 1/3 cup of quick oats with 1/3 cup of wheat puffs.
I poured the blend over the oats and puffs and topped with some nuts and voila!

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Carbs carbs carbs I need carbs in the morning.

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They make me happy and taste delicious 😍

This will give me the energy I need for my workout later on ( I’ll keep you updated on that!)

On a side note, I also tried making pumpkin spice and cinnamon roasted chickpeas yesterday! I recommend it, it’s very simple!

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Just pop these suckers on a baking sheet in an oven at 375 for 30 minutes after sprinkling them with cinnamon and pumpkin spice 🙂

Have you noticed I’ve been pumpkin cray cray lately?
Can you blame me though?

Happy eatin’!

Pumpkin spice smoothie and cardio circuit day!

My day consisted of some of my regular fitness regime, I got up and went to the gym in town around 5:50 and did a circuit, mixing 15 minute cardio, followed by strength focusing on core and upper body, then I repeated this 3 times.

AKA = 15 minute cardio, core, 15 minute cardio, upper body, 15 minute cardio, tadah!
My cardio was the elliptical today.
My knee isn’t fully recovered so I’m not looking to risk it. Better to be safe than sorry!

Anddddd

Since Summer time is slowly coming to an end and fall is quickly approaching that can only mean 1 special thing… PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!!!
Pumpkin is one of my all time favourite flavours, pumpkin pie.. pumpkin lattes… pumpkin scents… cookies… chilli… you name it, I love it in it’s pumpkin version!!!

So in honour of this wonderful season, I decided to whip up a morning smoothie using my can of pumpkin puree in my fridge.

It was a little bit of an on-the-whim smoothie, but man oh man, did it ever turn out D-LICIOUS!!!

pumpkin spice 2
Does it look good or does it look good??

pumpkin spice

Spice on pumpkin spice!

This is what I did…

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 frozen banana
1 cup of ice cubes
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
generous amount of pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons of plain oatmeal to thicken it up a bit
stevia (or any other sweetener) to taste, I used 2 tablespoons

Put all of that into a blender and blend away! Soooooo good. I could eat that every morning. I just might actually….

On another note, this got me thinking of what other things I have to look forward to for Fall:
New shows! So many seasons start up at this time!
Changing leaves
Scarves
Mittens
Riding boots (overall fall fashion in general)
Thanksgiving
Fall scents for candles and lotions, Bath and Body works comes out with some unreal ones at this time! pumpkin apple spice, hello!
Autumn walks along trails
The brisk feeling in the air in the morning
Wow, I could go on and on…

Tell me what some of the things that you are looking forward to are!!