Friday, 27 February 2015

Free Friday {Friday Five}

I'm once again linking up with Mar, Cynthia and Courtney for a Friday Five!! Today is a free Friday so make sure you go to check out what everyone is blogging about!!

Today I'm going to talk about the 5 places I'd like to visit and possibly do runs at!!

1. Disney World
    I've been to Disneyland a few times and I know I'll be going again soon!! But I've never been to Disney World and I think it would be fun to do one of the Disney Runs down there!! It would definitely give me an excuse to go and I hear it's pretty fabulous down there!!

2. Cabo San Lucas
    My mom actually has a time share down there and my uncle lives there. They do this 1/2 marathon that is right along the beach and partly through town. I really love the idea of incorporating holidays into my runs.  So I get to go on a run but my family can also enjoy the beach and stuff!

3. Dublin, Ireland
    A girlfriend of mine ran a marathon or 1/2 marathon here once for the heart and stroke foundation. Ireland has always had a draw to me because of the history and beauty that is described there.  I think this would be a cool place to visit and participate in some kind of run and maybe I'd be able to coordinate it so I could meet my favourite author as well!!

4. Greece
    I'm not sure about doing runs here, I just think this would be an amazing place to visit. I love Greek Mythology and I think it would be something that Chandler and I would enjoy seeing together.  It's really hot there so if I were going to do a run it would have to be when it wasn't so hot, but for touring around I like the heat.  It's a definite conundrum.

Narrowing this down to five is hard.  I love to see the Eastern Provinces and do a run out there, or the Eastern states and Washington DC.  I'd also love to go to many different places in Europe so It's hard listing off just five, but here's the place that has moved into the number 5 spot

5. New Zealand
    Most people I talk to want to go to Australia, which would be totally cool, but I'm more fond of New Zealand! It looks greener!! I don't know about running here but I'm sure there would be a nice run or some awesome trails to travel on while visiting this cute island country!!

I think this running bug is going to get expensive!!! Maybe I can convince some company to sponsor me in travelling to these places......hey it's an idea!!

Where are places you'd like to travel? What are your bucket list runs?

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Last Week of the Social Media Hiatus

I did it, I made it through February without checking Facebook! I am so proud of myself, because prior to this I would check Facebook every waking hour, sometimes twice an hour.  It was monopolizing a great portion of my day but wasn't getting me any further in any of my personal goals, therefore, it was a waste of time.

What I've learned from this break:

1) There are lot's of great things that I miss about Facebook, seeing everyone's pictures, being able to ask for advice and getting multiple view points, being able to make last minute plans, responding to statuses and seeing other responses. There are lot's of times when you see people rally behind one another and offer such unwavering support that you know society isn't completely lost.

2) That I need to unfollow a lot of people.  There are a lot of people who appear on my timeline that I have no desire to follow or hear what they have to say. It could be they are making a lot of political posts (whether I agree or disagree is irrelevant), they make vague attention seeking posts, they post things that could be read as passive aggressive, so I've no desire to read or interact with these at all.  

3)That I can't have Facebook on my phone or I have to turn the notification thing off on my phone so I don't see that little red circle with a number in it whenever I have a notification.  I don't mind checking Facebook on my computer and usually I'm doing something else when I do so I don't just use it to fill in a gap of time.  

4) There are times in my week where being able to access Facebook anywhere is a wonderful use of my time, like waiting at a Doctor's office. I've downloaded more game apps then ever before so I have something to do while I kill time, that was the perfect time to check Facebook!!

I'd say this experiment, self imposed grounding, was good for me. I give myself an A- because I only checked Facebook once this month and that's great!!  Two more days and I'll be back, it's just not known if I'll upload the app or not?

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Week Four: Running the Seawheeze

What a week, started off with the Family Day Holiday and that translated into a holiday from working out and it spilled over onto Tuesday as well.  But I got back at things on Wednesday.

Monday:
Happy Family day!! We all just hung out as a family,  I meant to do some walking and stuff, but I was feeling a bit of chest cold coming on. So I took it as a rest day!

Tuesday:
Still not feeling great today, I even went to the doctor because the cough was getting worse.  I think I needed these two days, sometimes I really push myself and I can get burned out and I just don't want that to happen. So sorry not sorry for these two rest days.

Wednesday:
No more excuses!! I went downstairs and did my weight workout, because no more excuses.  It was a good quick workout and just what I needed to get back into the groove of things. But that's not all I did today, I even got a 5 Km run in and some yoga!! For an active day this gets an A+++, now just to carry this momentum on for the rest of the week!!

Thursday:
Thanks to me being inspired to do some novel writing I neglected my weight training today.  Sometimes you just have to have flexibility!! But I did go out for 75 minutes and I was able to get 7 km completed.  Most of those were done walking but I got it done and it was a decent pace.  I did some yoga as well because I had to stretch before bed time but I was out pretty much as soon as my head hit the pillow!

Friday:
Ok I woke up with the worst neck pain EVER!! I don't usually get sore necks, but today it was like I'd slipped on some ice and had tried to catch myself which jarred my neck, except I hadn't done that at all.  So I blame my great night's sleep on the fact that my next is sore, which just seems dumb.  I was going to try to get another 5 km in today but I decided that since my neck was sore it was my body's way of telling me to take it easy so I just did a shorter run and some Yoga.  The great news is I had booked a beating, I mean massage with Sandy today so it ends up working out wonderfully!!

Saturday:
Oh sick day!! I was laid out with the flu, I didn't even make 1500 steps today that's how sick I was and I am sure 1200 of those steps were walking to and from the washroom.

Sunday:
Still recovering, I feel a hundred times better today, but man oh man, I've not been this sick since I lost my hearing last year.  that and the writing bug has gotten me so I need to rebalance my time to ensure I have time to do my writing.  This bucket list year is going to be AMAZING!!!
Overall Grade:
I'm going to say this is a C+ this week. I only got out for 3 runs and two days of cross training plus I got a massage.  If it weren't for the flu that laid me out on the weekend this would have been a pinnacle week! Oh well we will just start again on Monday!!

Total KM

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Writing my Novel

I have been working on this for years, and sometimes the writing process drives me crazy, no wonder some of the great authors were alcoholics!! I have actually completed this novel pen to paper years ago, but I'm trying to transcribe the second draft onto my computer.  Transcribe might not be the right word, but I'm typing the second draft, which will make editing easier for the third and fourth drafts.  I'm probably 7 chapters in I'd say half way and I've changed the timeline  because there were issues in the first draft, I've also change the antagonist and I'm considering changing the Point of View, which is a lot of work!!

I'm so picky when it comes to my writing, maybe that's what's kept me for publishing or seeking a publisher for years.  I'm a bit of a perfectionist, not that I think my writing is perfect, but I know how I want the book to read, but it's not there yet.  That and I write when the mood tickles my fancy, I've not been able to set up a structured time for writing.  Blogging helps, but it's not perfect yet.  I am not as worried about my blogs reading perfectly, but I 'm getting more and more particular about that.  I must be growing up!

My niece uses WATTpad on which she writes and reads fan fiction and original fiction books.  It's a whole society of writers and many of them young kids, where was this when I was young??  I think it's great that she's writing so young and is loving it, she will be a great author in the years to come and I'm so proud of her.  I need to get on this, writing business and complete another thing off my bucket list.  I think 2015 should be a bucket list year!!

That being said I started a bullet journal, I like working with lists and I get much more done when I have a list of things to do, so I figured bullet journalling might keep me more on track for what I need to do.  I put in the bullet journal that I had to complete one chapter of my novel, and I did I completed a chapter and a half, I was on a roll!! And now I want to write more and more because the creative juices are flowing, yeah me!!

I think I enjoy the writing processes I'm just not a huge fan of the editing and second draft processes, but I'll get there and I'll get published in 2015, either on my own or by an actual publisher/ agent.  Look for more posts on my other blog as the writing continues to flourish!!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Week three Social Media Hiatus break

Ok this week was so HARD!! I had  few doctor's appointments and a few long waits in waiting rooms.  Let me tell you, when you need a time killer is there.  I really wished I'd had the Facebook app on my phone at that point because well it's a good time waster when you are forced to wait.

But I did make it through the week, and I didn't cave.  Well not until Family Day, then I decided I could go on check my notifications and put forth any responses that needed to be addressed.  I'm also waiting for something to come in on one of the groups I follow so I needed to see if it was in.  But now that I've checked the notifications and stuff, I'm not sad to not be going on it each day.  Once a Day checking Facebook is more then enough time to check Facebook, unless I'm in the midst of selling or buying things.

I'd spend less time on Facebook if I'd block out time (30 mins) each day to check what was going on. It would also make my life much more productive.

In this time being off Facebook, I've found that it's so nice.  If you feel like taking this challenge do it for Lent!! Remember with Lent you get one day a week to indulge in that you have given up!! It's tough the first week or so but after that it gets better, maybe don't go cold turkey like I did, maybe allow yourself to check it only on the computer, removing the App from your phone?

Well I'm off to do something with the family, and get in a run yet today!!

Friday, 20 February 2015

5 Races to Run in 2015 Friday Five

For this Friday Five Link up with MarCynthia and Courtney  I'm going to pick my top five races that I'd like to run in 2015, some I'm set to run and some are dreams.

I'm pretty brand new to running, or brand new to running in races or marathons or those things. I've been running for years off and on, it's my go to exercise for getting into shape, one of my favourite pastimes and quite frankly runners and swimmers have amazing bodies, long lean muscles, amazing!!

So here are my top five races to run in 2015!

1. Seawheeze August 15, 2015.  This is how I'll be spending my anniversary, getting up a the ass crack of dawn to do some pre shopping and then spending a portion of the early morning completing my first 1/2 marathon!! Yeah you might say I'm crazy, but I'm so absurdly excited about completing this that I can't think that this is a bad idea!! It's going to be a great holiday for me and I'm beyond excited to cross something off my bucket list!

2. Color Me Rad 5Km Run June 27, 2015. This race is taking place in Calgary at the COP.  I'm going with a group of girl friends and it's going to be a great adventure. It will be the first race of my season and it should be a decent race, 5 K usually takes me just over 40 minutes to complete right now, so I'll keep training and hopefully we'll finish in 35 minutes especially since this is mostly uphill the entire way!! 

3. Woody's 10 KM is on the May Long Weekend.  I'd like to do this one, but it's the long weekend and I'm not sure if we will be in town or not. I'm not quite ready to commit to this run yet even though I think it would be amazing and good kick off to my running season. I've not signed up yet, but if I can find a running buddy and we don't go away for the long weekend I'm going to do it.  Anyone want to come to Red Deer to run this with me?

4. Nike Women's Half Marathon.  This was the first 1/2 marathon I found that I thought would be amazing to run.  I wanted to run it in San Fransisco and I still do.  I think it's full for 2015 but maybe the registration hasn't started yet, it would really depend on when it takes place.  The enticing draw to this marathon is a firefighter gives you a Tiffany Necklace when you complete it!! HELLO!! YES PLEASE!!!

5. Melissa's Run in Banff.  I have a girlfriend that does this every year it's running up a MOUNTAIN!! And the proceeds of the bibs go to a charity or to research for MS.  I can't think that this would be a bad thing.  I just think Melissa's run is too soon after my 1/2 marathon to be able to complete.  Maybe next year..... or maybe this year yet.

Honourable Mentions:
I'd like to do Mud Hero one year and I'd like to do Dirty Donkey... Both would have me dirty and sweaty and I think that would be so fun

What races are you wanting to run this year?  Are you running any of the same races as I am?

PS happy Birthday to my hubby!! xoxoxo

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Week Three: Running the Seawheeze

I'm always looking for things to help me track what I'm doing and how far I've come from week to week.  Well my fellow blogger Salt, from Run Salt, Run does a series of posts each week in which she tracks her weekly activities.  I am super jealous of some of the classes she's able to take living in Baltimore.  I'm thinking some of these options would be available in Calgary but I've not seen them here in Red Deer yet, but I'm sure it will happen one of these days.  Or maybe some of my fellow Red Deer readers could point me in the direction of some cool classes to join!!

I've decided to follow suit with Salt, which will help my accountability to myself, but will also give me a running tally of what I'm accomplishing and an overview of what I'd need to do to improve my training.

So here's how the past week went!!
Monday:
What a bad night we had last night, the baby was up every 2 hours, and when he wasn't up every 2 hours he was whining and moaning in between.  So I was just dragging my ass all day.  I was able to get my bikini boot camp challenge done and my weights plus a quick training run with Sara. We walk/ ran 5 km.  Not a bad day for someone who even had an afternoon nap because I was not able to function by noon.

Tuesday:
I took a day off from running but did my weight training and some yoga.  It was good, my hubby got me a Fitbit for Valentine's Day so I did put in 3 km of walking!!

Wednesday:
Today was a running day. I did a few strength training activities at home, squats, bicycle crunches and Donkey kicks (brutal).  I then went walking for 35 minutes and covered 3 km pushing the stroller around the soccer pitch.  Then I met up with my friend and we did our 5km run and did it in less time then it took us Monday. We are both starting out so we are both maybe doing 12 minute miles, maybe 11 minute miles.  But it's nice to have someone to go with, when I was doing my walk by myself I was so bored and it felt like it took forever!!  According to my fitbit I walked 12,387 steps today!! How very exciting and completed 11km.

Thursday:
Today is a rest day so I didn't do anything. I wanted to but we had work meetings, school special helper dates and a movie date after the kids were in bed so rest I will, and quite frankly my deltoids could use it!!

Friday:
I spent a great portion of this day talking myself out of doing any kind of physical activity, then at 3:10, I laced up my runners and set out for a run.  I was only going to do 4 km, but then I got to 2 Km and decided I could do 5 so I did it.  It was a great feeling when I was finished!!

Saturday:
We didn't do much today, EXCEPT trudging through knee height snow.  It wasn't a lot of moving but playing at the park with the kids definitely counts as some physical activity!! It wasn't long but the kids had fun and were played out!!

Sunday:
It was a full weekend of hockey and my son got me up at 5:30 in the morning because he was going to be goalie!! ~~~I was so tired!~~ but my in laws came over after hockey to watch the little ones so I could go out for a run.  I was only going to go 5 km, but after the first KM came so easy I decided to do 6. I've never done 6 km before so I was pushing the envelope.  My best pace was 7:44/ Km and my average pace at the end of the run was 8:02/km. I am so proud of myself and of the kilometres I have gone this week.
After getting home I did some yoga for thirty minutes to get in some good stretches.

Overall grade:
I think I get a solid B+ this week.  I got out a ran 4 days, and I did three days of cross training activities so I think that deserves a solid B+ I just need to increase my cross training and yoga sessions.
Total Kilometers: 24 km

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

FitBit Review

*Disclaimer * I'm not being paid for this review, but if someone at Fitbit would like me to try other products I'd be most willing*

So on the road to a healthy lifestyle, I've cultivated  few tools along the way to help me monitor my progress.  It's one thing to use a scale (which I frankly HATE) and use that as your bench mark but it really doesn't show you everything you need to know and it doesn't keep you accountable.  I have found my biggest success with weight loss was being active and being on my feet for long periods of time during the day and walking.  I wish I'd worn a pedometer back when I was waitressing, I must have walked miles and miles back then.  I've also found that when I am tracking what I eat I have more success and when I use body measurements as well.  I actually find body measurements to be more telling of how far I've come when compared with the scale.

I've used different Apps on my phone, Fitness pal and Lose It, both of which are great for tracking what you eat and giving you a snap shot of where most of your calories are going (Carbs/ protein/ fat).  They can also track your exercises and will show you a daily/ weekly caloric deficit.  An the Health App that came with the new iPhone iOS is neat in tracking your steps.  When I work and I carry my phone with me all the time that will be great but when I'm home I can go hours walking around my house without having my phone on me so that becomes a problem. I think one day it tracked that I walked 232 steps, which is a FAR cry from the 10,000 steps you should take in a day.  I really wanted a FitBit to help with this tracking and I really wanted it to be able to track my sleep too.  Not sure why the sleep tracking was so important but I really wanted it.  I usually sleep really well, but sometimes I think I've slept for 8 hours yet I feel like I maybe got 15 minutes.

My husband does pay attention to things when I talk.  Sometimes I've been left to wonder if he does pay attention, but he proved that he did again for Valentine's Day. He left for Vegas just before Valentine's Day so I got my present early. I got a Fitbit Charger!  I'm in love with it!!

It tells me how many steps I've taken in a day, how many flights of stairs I've climbed, how many calories I burned, and how far I've walked.  Plus I can time my activity lengths, it monitors my sleep, and I can track my food and stuff on the dashboard, which can be downloaded to my phone or used on my computer.

The monitoring of my steps is awesome, as long as I'm wearing it it will monitor my steps, so even in the middle of the night when I have to take the 16 steps to the baby's room to comfort him back to sleep it monitors that.  So I don't have to worry about carrying my phone around with me.

I don't climb many flights of stairs, my house isn't set up that way, but once I go back to work I'll be climbing more stairs and I can set a daily goal to that, which would be awesome.  I love goals and I love beating goals I've set.

It calculates how many calories I burn in a day.  This is all done and recorded without my so much as thinking about anything.  I really like that!!

I think the Sleep Tracking is the neatest thing that it does.  I was a little confused at first trying to find out how this thing worked to track the sleep, but with a couple clicks on the dashboard I inputted when I went to bed and when I woke up.  It then downloaded the data from my wrist to the computer. It not only tells you when you are asleep and when you are awake it records your restless times as well.  So now when I know I've slept for 8 hours at night but feel like I've only got 15 minutes I'll be able to see how restless I was, or maybe how deeply I slept. The first night I was in bed for 10 hours, I slept for a total of 8 hours and 53 minutes.  I had 19 episodes of restlessness and 15 times I was awake.  But I feel quite rested today so the 54 minutes that it shows I was awake from the time I fell asleep to the time I woke up didn't impact me too much!!

I really love that it is so easy to use. I wish it had an interval timer on it, so that I could start increasing my running without having to carry my phone around with me all the time to listen to the timer, but maybe one day I'll find that device or FitBit will come up with something like that, maybe one of their larger models does it, I'm very new to this Fitness wearing trend so I'm just learning.

I think this is a great investment and if you haven't gotten one you should get one!! I love it!!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Social Media Break Week 2

When I started this Social Media (Facebook) Hiatus I thought it would be the most difficult thing imaginable.  And the first few days were brutal, I kept wanting to sign in and see who was engaging with my posts, to see what my friends were posting and engage with those posts.  Then I started doing other things to get my mind of Facebook.....

I sent out a couple tweets, so I've not been great at cutting myself off Twitter, but honestly it's about 3 tweets a day maybe five minutes total so it's not too bad.  I've definitely kept up with my Instagram and have sent out many, many pictures keeping people updated with what was going on, but I didn't check my notifications for Facebook.

I've started doing other things as well, like an hour phone call with my friend Angela.  I've texted people I've never really texted before, I've written letters to many people and have even got them addressed in envelopes ready to be mailed.  Seriously, I love writing letters but the follow thru of mailing them, I SUCK!! By the end of this month I'll be better.

I've even taken a break from blogging all the time.  I spend time writing my blogs, but I don't do it while my kids are wanting to engage in activities with me.  I've got so much more free time too, now that I'm not always perusing Facebook, and I've been able to finish home renovation projects, trying new recipes, and maybe making Pinterest not something just dreams are made.

It's funny because since I've stopped checking my Facebook account I've gotten a couple messages from Facebook that are asking me to come back.

At least they still love me even if my love for them is decreasing. No that's not true, I still love all the positive things about Facebook, being able to connect with my friends and family that are far away, being able to keep friends and family up to date with my family life.  Connecting with other people who have the same interests as I do, meeting new people. there are lot's of positives about Facebook.

What I don't miss?  People posting negative status that are vague and attention seeking, people posting articles that are definitely one sided on different views and when you comment on these articles with an opposing view they attack you.  I don't miss Facebook suggesting friends too me. I don't miss those people that use Facebook as a platform for pontificating and seeking attention like they are in high school and need the validation.  All in all it's been nice, and as I move forward from this hiatus, I may not put Facebook on my phone, I may just check it on my computer and I'd be ok with that.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Prince T is 9 months old

My little baby is now 9 months old, 9 months!!!

What a little sweetheart he is turning into as well!! I am absolutely smitten with his personality, he's such a happy baby.  We've had a very rough month, he's been on antibiotics since Christmas Eve and he's still on antibiotics, we are hopeful this will be the last little bit and he will be ok, but man it's been a really rough go of things for a bit.

Current dislikes that Teddybear is currently displaying are: being up too long, soothers, drinking from a cup/ bottle, waiting for food when he's hungry, sleeping in our bed. I'm definitely not complaining about many of these dislikes, I'd love if he'd drink from a cup, or if he'd develop some patience, but him not wanting to sleep in our bed or taking a soother anymore are totally ok with me!!

Current likes include food, any and all food!! He loves crawling around, his jolly jumper, playing peek a boo, his brothers, standing up and going up stairs.
he's got long legs but a tiny waist so pants don't always stay up

Things he's learning this past month, going up stairs, standing with assistance, and saying Momma!! Ok I'm one happy and proud momma!!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Love!! Friday Five Link Up

I've let my blog post get a bit behind, not that anyone can notice but I've only got about a week of blogs ready instead of my usual two and half weeks.  I almost feel that once I get back to work I'll be more organized, simply because I will have to be, working 40 hours a week and doing all the family things I have going on right now.  Life is always on the go but it's so important to do things I love as well.

For this Friday Five Link up with MarCynthia and Courtney we are talking about Love and 5 things that I love!

To break down this weeks topic I'm going to use the 5 Ws.

1.Who do I love.
My top five people that I love, in no specific order are Hubby, Chandler, Lil Man, Prince T, my mommy.  I love these people and more (my siblings, my grandma, my aunty, my amazing friends) and I would do anything I would do anything I could for them!!

2. Where do I love to spend my time.
My top five places that I love to spend my time are: Lake Tahoe, Disneyland, the bath, my deck in the morning, a Beach (I'm really not picky).  I just really love to be anywhere my family and friends are.

3. When (I can't come up with a quirky question for this one)
I love the 50s, and I think they would have been a neat {;)} era to have lived in.
I love early mornings, and early mornings while camping or in nature are my absolute favourite time of day.
I love March because it's my birthday month (I'm going to dedicate different blogs in the month of march to different things I love)
I love Summer time, it's my most favourite time of the year.
I love snow only around Christmas, after that it can disappear!

4. What do I love to do?
I love to read, chick lit is my favourite but I also really like historical fiction and fantasy.
I love to swim, I don't do it enough, but I love being in the water
I love running and doing yoga, these are two workouts that I honestly enjoy doing and I am willing to make time for these workouts.
I love writing, it's very cathartic and most of what I write never gets published it is still very good for me to do.
I love binge watching television shows and I love to dream that one day I'd be on one....... ok not really, but sometimes.

5. Why is love so important to me.
The cliche, love makes the world go round is so true for me. When I feel love, do what I love, am where I love things are just so much better in my world.  I'm happier, I'm more confident, I'm blessed and I just wish everyone could know true, honest love.  Love that has no strings attached, love that is pure, love like a child for a parent love, that love is what true, honest, love is and what everyone should strive for in their life.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Color Me Rad: Pink Panthers

Well I've now sign dup for a new run, it's a fun run and it's only 5 Km, but I'm super excited for it!! It's the Color Me Rad run in Calgary in June!!

My girlfriend Pam did it last year and had a lot of fun and she asked me to join her this year!! So that's exactly what I'm doing! She started the team and I signed up so for June 27th I'm official a Pink Panther and will probably run around 11 am.

I've also convinced my friend Sara to join us as well, there will be about 8-10 of us running, so that's going to be great!! Just one more reason to get into shape and to start really watching my diet!!

I'm still undecided about running the Woody's 10km in May, but maybe I will.... it just depends on if we go camping for May or not....

So it's time to kick my training into full gear.  I'm walking at least twice a week, plus working out at home 3-4 times a week and a long run at least once a week.


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Banff Trip

Sometimes it astounds me that I'm not out at the mountains more than I am. Read once or twice a year I'm out at the mountains, yet I'm about 90 minutes away.  I just don't get there that often, I'm never sure what to do out at the mountains, but I do enjoy going!! I don't think I've been to Banff since Lil Man was born, so we changed that the other day.

We loaded up the van and me and the kids went to Banff.  It was an uneventful drive down to Banff, a lot of Pop2K because Chandler was being the radio manager.  He would not let me listen to my talk radio, so it was song all the way down.

We had lunch at the food court in the little mall, I was surprised actually, the last time I was there the mall was quite fancy, now it seems that some of the high end stores have vacated that space.  That and we got there around 11 so it was pretty empty but I had to change the baby's diaper and feed him, but by the time I was ready to feed him school was out for lunch and well, the food court was invaded on by a whole gaggle of teens.  We left very quickly after they settled around us.

After we left the food court we headed down the street. I was looking for a knitted cap with a brim, like a page boy hat, but I didn't find one I loved!! I did find some cute Padaig's for the baby, a penguin hat for Lil man and Reese Peanut butter for Chandler.  He'd pointed out a Sloth shirt at some point but it was a girls shirt and we didn't see a male version. I seriously wasn't buying him a girls tank top, regardless of the cool sloth picture on it!

So after shopping we headed to the Sulphur Mountain to ride the Gondola.  I was worried about Lil Man on the Gondola, he always says he's afraid of heights so we told him that we were going up the smallest mountain.  He seemed ok with that and was very willing to get in the Gondola.  As we were going up the mountain he was great, I had him look outside and he was impressed with the height but showed no fear.  Then we got to the top, got out of the Gondola and went to the outside, and that's when he started to show fear.  It was the most bizarre thing he was on a solid path and and walk way and he then decided we were too high and he wanted to get down.  I thought he was going to be scared going down the Gondola but he was good.  I don't understand fears in kids because they just seem so unreasonable.... but he had fun!!

We got some great pictures and I want to go back, but I'd like to go back for a weekend so I can spend some extra time in Banff and do some of the other things around there and maybe do some hiking!! Look at me getting all active and stuff!!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Home Renovations

So when we bought our house 5 1/2 years ago we were first time home owners, we had ideas about what we wanted in a house, but having never owned one of our own we were just basing it off our little rental places.  We bought a 4 level split which I am mostly happy with, there are a few things that could be better but at the end of the day it's working for us.  Do I still want to move? You bet one day we will move to a place that has a nice yard, a garage and an extra bedroom/ office for our guests.   For now we need to make the best of what we have.

So our home was a bank owned home.  The previous owners had defaulted on their mortgage and the bank had foreclosed on them.  It was right up by Chandler's school, a school I really enjoyed and the neighbourhood seemed like a decent neighbourhood.  It was a on a busy street but it was a corner lot with a nice size back yard. good for dogs and kids to share.  (Two things I'll never do again, buy on a busy street (bus route street) or buy a corner lot) The inside was a home decorators nightmare.  But I could look past paint and the bones of the home was very close to what I wanted.  It had a big front room for visiting and eating, a good size kitchen, a second living area, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and undeveloped basement.  There was no garage but a garage was not a deal breaker for me at the time, now it's something that I would definitely look for.

Over the past 5 years we've done some cosmetic work to the house, we've painted all the bedrooms except the master, we've painted the front room (it was a sunflower yellow, which as a feature wall may have been ok, but the whole room was that colour it was overbearing), we even gutted and redid the main bathroom, painted the kitchen cupboards and kitchen.  We've installed new closet and bedroom doors and new fixtures on the cupboard doors.  We've built a garden in the back yard, redid the entire deck and have done some landscaping.  We are left with completing the master bedroom and the downstairs living room.



My mom came to town last week and she likes to be busy when she comes.  She's always cleaning or shopping so she told me we had better be doing something.  I'd been considering painting the downstairs living room for some time but it's hard to get into a project when you are taking care of kids. Ok it's hard for me, if I start something I like to finish it I don't like having a half painted wall that takes me 4 hours to finish one coat because I'm always starting and stopping.  So I thought hey that's something we can do while she's in town.  So mom came to town and we got busy!!

We went to Home Depot, picked out the paint, (pixel White for the walls, live jazz for the feature wall, and Grey for the trim).  We at first were just going to paint the trim, but then Hubby suggested we just get all new trim, so we did that and painted it all and he cut it and put it on!!  We also painted the ledge on the pony wall a black just to give some contrast through out the room.  It looks so much better than it did!! I'm so happy with it! I'm decorating it as the Movie Room with black and white pictures through out, and little pops of colour from plants and candles!!  It really does look super great and I am super happy with the room, now I want to do my master bedroom so badly, but got to wait until Mom is in town again!!


Monday, 9 February 2015

Taking a Break from Social Media Week One

Lent is a time of the year when Christian's give up something as a form of reflection to mimic Jesus' choice to give up all he gave up for us.  And blahdeeblah.... anyways I don't usually give things up, I like to hoard my obsessions and addictions but I found like I'd stated in my previous post that Social Media was not improving me but in fact it was impeding me from becoming a better person.

I've now taken to writing letters to friends, some of you will get them, some of you may already have gotten them.   I'm spending time with my kids, I'm planning my blogs more efficiently, I'm spending time writing my novel and working on that aspect of my writing.  I'm also focusing on what I've got to do when I get back to work, what I want that to actually look like.

Not constantly checking in with Social Media has freed up more time in my day to spend with the boys playing. We stay focused on what we are doing and notifications of a like or new post aren't interrupting our activities, it's really very nice!!

I actually started this back in January after I got my new iPhone.  I just didn't download the Facebook App onto the phone and that's made a significant difference.  Will I go back to having that App on my phone? maybe, but I'll turn the notifications off so I don't feel the compulsive need to see how others are interacting with me, instead I'll stay focused on how I'm interacting with the real live people around me!!

I still have postings on Facebook, because of Instagram, but I'm not logging in and updating things.  It's a nice freedom to something I didn't realized I was enslaved to.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Fitness Snapshots Friday Five Link up

For this Friday Five Link up with Mar, Cynthia and Courtney we are discussing fitness snapshots, I never take pictures when I'm working out but I do have snapshots of my different levels of fitness and they tell my journey to becoming healthy and happy.

Fitness Snapshots.... hmmm well since I've never really taken pictures of me working out I think I'll just take you on a blast from the past chronicling my yoyo weight adventure.

I am not a petit frame girl, so growing up when Kate Moss was the "It" girl sort of sucked. I didn't have that shape and I had friends that did so I was totally envious.  What teen girl isn't envious of girls who get to be like the "It" cover girl of the day?  I seriously wish I was a fat as when I first thought I was fat back in High School, because obviously, three kids later, I didn't know what fat was hahaha. 

I've got an hour glass figure, with great "birthing" hips, yup a doctor has told me that!  And all of my life I've struggled with accepting my body for the way it is.  It's a human thing, and a girl thing, it's a thing. But I've never really felt fat or obese, just very curvy.

Here I am in 2005 or 2006. I'm in Lake Tahoe,(maybe you read about my favourite city) for a friends wedding.  I definitely have some added padding in the picture around my muffin top, but I felt I looked great and I still think I looked great (don't like it, that's fine I'm comfortable with it) but I didn't feel in shape, that was definitely something I was going to work on. This is right around the first time I discovered running, it was love after the first run.  There was something very cathartic about that first run.


In 2007 and 2008 I started hitting the gym big time and there were some definite changes to my body!! I was happy, I was energetic, I felt I could take on the world!! And I did!! I was working as a bartender at the time and it was a lot of fun but I was on my feet for 8 hours a day!

This is 2007 after a six months of living in Red Deer, going to the gym and running!! It's also my 28th birthday in this picture, this was the fittest I ever was!! I wasn't sculpted, because I wasn't doing any weight training, I was only running and doing ab work.  I really didn't understand fitness back then, I mean fitness for being athletic and healthy. I  was only using fitness to be skinny, that was my goal and I ultimately reached it.


In 2008 I met my (future) husband.  It was all romantic and wonderful, but it cut into my gym time.  I had to give time to grow this new relationship so going to the gym stopped.  Now because I was working out to be skinny, not healthy it was easy for my body to go back to what it had been.  Then in 2009 I got pregnant with my second child, my first was born in 1998 (yup I had him young) and I wasn't in a job that had me really active.  I remember going to the doctor for my prenatal appointments and hating to step on the scale because those numbers were so detrimental to my self worth. I felt like a bulge whale!!  My husband and I got married in 2011, so after the birth of my second son I went to work at getting in shape, not to be skinny but to be healthy and fit.  I was eating right and exercising.  I definitely saw improvements, not like back in 2007, but I felt the results were more maintainable and the lean muscle mass was substantial and my body fat percentage  decreased significantly.  


 Now we have baby number 3, I was very ill for this pregnancy so working out was not high on my priorities. It is now and I'm working to be fit and healthy again.  It is going to take some time, but I have the drive and ambition to get there.  I want to be around for my boys for some time and to be healthy and energetic with them. Even if I can get half the energy they have that would be terrific!!

So there are five snapshots of my different fitness levels and the journey I've gone on to finding a happy balance between healthy and happy!!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Four by Fours

So one of the blogs I subscribe to is Run Salt Run and this link will take you to the blog I read that inspired this blog. I am really happy I've stumbled upon her blog, it's a lot of fun to read and she's inspired me to try different posts and updates to include on my blog. 
I am going to tag Becky, and Tara to follow suit and post an all about Me blog following this format!! 


NAMES THAT PEOPLE CALL ME:

1. Jenn :)
2. Mommy-a (not sure why Lil Man puts the a at the end but he does and it's so cute).
3. Ms Lacourse, not so much anymore but lot's when I was in the schools
4. Jenny, but that's strictly from my mom and grandma

4 JOBS I’VE HAD:

1.  Teacher
2. Waitress, do you want a single shot or double?
3. Bakery Employee, not really sure what my actual title was but I did everything, from slicing bread, to packing orders, to working retail, to driving delivery trucks, I did it all!!
4. I was a customer Service Specialist with Sears Home Store, boring work, but it paid the bills, I only did that for like three months then I moved into a daytime waitressing position when I first moved to Red Deer

4 MOVIES I’VE WATCHED MORE THAN ONCE:

1) Frozen because I love it and so does Lil Man
2) Tommy Boy
3) Mean Girls.
4) Love Actually

4 BOOKS I’D RECOMMEND:

1) Love you Forever
2) Brightest Star in the Sky
3) Clan of the Cave Bear
4) Anything by Marion Keyes
I read so much but I've recently purchased a Listography Journal for recording all the books I've read in!! SO EXCITED!!!

4 PLACES I’VE LIVED: 

1) Newark, CA
2) Wakaw, SK.
3) Saskatoon, SK.
4) Red Deer, AB

4 PLACES I’VE BEEN:

1) Puerta Ventura, Mexico
2) Vancouver, BC
3) Seattle, WA
4) Las Vegas, NV

4 PLACES I’D RATHER BE RIGHT NOW:

1) Disney Land
2) Mexico
3) Las Vegas
4) Anywhere that does not have winter happening like it is here....

4 THINGS I DON’T EAT:

1) Liver.
2) Pickles.
3) Bratwurst.
4) Human flesh.

4 OF MY FAVORITE FOODS:

1) Fresh Home Made Bread.
2) Cheese.
3) My Mom's crepes.
4) Lobster, mmm, lobster!!

4 TV SHOWS I’VE WATCHED:

1) Grey's Anatomy
2) Scandal
3) Pretty Little Liars
4) Big Bang Theory

4 THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS YEAR:

1) Seawheeze
2) Camping with the family
3) Christmas (I know it just happened but I am so looking forward to next Christmas)
4) Girls Trip to Vegas!!

4 THINGS I’M ALWAYS SAYING:

1) "Stop picking your nose"
2) "Are you for real?"
3) “you didn't just do that?
4) "Omg Right?"
I'm working on growing my blogging community so this is part of it!! I'm hoping that I can discover some more blogs and bloggers through this!!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Home Gym is Set up

You will have to excuse my iPhone photos in this post but it's what all I had available to me while I set up my home gym in my basement!

I'm so excited to have something practical to use my basement for, it's such a wasted space area.  It used to be a finished area, but the hot water tank blew and flooded the house, so the flooring was ripped up and it was just a cement basement.  It's a huge area and it's great if it were finished but it's not so it has become a large dumping ground for our stuff.  It drives me crazy but we've been purging and now we have some open space to use.

I am also not a fan of having gym equipment strewn in my living room for people to stare out while we are visiting. Not that I'm not proud of my workout equipment, but workout equipment does not make the most appealing decor pieces.

So I bought the last pieces I needed for my home gym. Because I like Yoga I needed a foam block along with the Bolster I had bought as well.  I then bought a weight bar and some weight plates for the ball as well as some resistance bands.  Now I will have a nice variety of weights and things to use to help me on my road to healthy fitness!!

It's not a large area, maybe 10 square feet, but it's just what I need. I also bought a bluetooth speaker to play my music down there while I workout.  I had contemplated splurging and buying a treadmill or even a stationary bike, something to help increase my endurance but I went out for a run today and quite frankly it was wonderful, so I am going to hold off on the treadmill purchase for now.  It's time I embrace the weather of my current city and stop using it as an excuse to be lazy.

It's time for me to get fit before my the fat in my body kills me!! hahaha

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Allergies and Kids

This blog is in response to this news cast from CTV News Edmonton back in January.

I don't usually use my blog to post, or pontificate, my views on things that could be seen as political or even emotional.  I don't want my blog to be a fighting ground but every once in awhile something is brought to my attention and I'm like,"yikes, that would not be good." So I'm going to share my views on this article, and I'm definitely not a supporter, so if you are with this mom and feel she is right and that's how schools should be you should stop reading now, because you probably won't like my opinion.  But if you are interested in seeing a new view then please continue reading.  I will post all comments I just won't respond to negative bashing comments.

So a little background for those of you that did not click the link, a mother wants the Alberta Government to adopt a law like the one in Ontario that forbids children from bringing foods that could cause allergies to school, i.e. peanuts, eggs, milk, shellfish etc. And that's where my issues begin.

First, depending on others to be cognizant of your child's needs is a problem.  I'm not saying you shouldn't ask for help of people that have contact with your child to help out, but to be dependent on them to do this is where you will see problems.  People are all quite self centred, let's be real, you are concerned with what is going on in your immediate circle, your family close friends, and after that your secondary circle, friends and co-workers maybe classmates but you aren't always thinking about everyone. It just doesn't happen, you can't keep everyone's needs in your head at all time, you'd never finish anything if that's what you were thinking about so we are programmed to think about ourselves, and those we interact with daily.   So if I were a parent of a child with a severe allergy, depending on the whole school, all parents and children, to think about my child's needs everyday would be a secondary precaution I would put into place.

Secondly, this allergy is so severe by the mother's own account, that she can react to traces that are carried in or to someone's make up.  That's scary, and if my child had that severe of an allergy I don't think I'd want to trust that everyone would always know this.  It's fine to ask the school to ban milk from the school and dairy products too I guess, but how many people come in and out of the school. After the first month of the child going to the school, eventually people will get used to it and they will just avoid sending dairy products to the school, but then a substitute teacher will come in and maybe they won't know, or a guest speaker, or a secondary professional.  Banning milk may help and the other children won't bring it in, but it's not a perfect solution and it really does impede other people's rights as well.

I'm not saying the child shouldn't be allowed to go to school, but I always have issues with schools forbidding foods in because of the restrictions they impose on others.  My oldest had an anaphylactic reaction when he was in Kindergarten. It was scary, and what's more scary is we still do not know what the reaction was too, but my suspicion is Mangos, should I ask that all schools ban Mangos so he doesn't get exposed to them?  We went two years where we thought it might be peanut butter until we did an oral challenge at the hospital, turns out it wasn't.  I didn't ask the school to ban peanuts, but I did ask them to only provide my son with treats I provided, and that all the parents in his class be made aware of his potential allergy.  I did not want to make extra work for anyone or to cause undo stress on others because my son had an allergy.  I taught my son to read labels (this was before things came with the peanut free pictures), I taught him to ask others if he wasn't sure.  I gave him the skills to know what he could or could not have.

Banning food seems akin to banning books.  It's not good.  And I have to think about things from a larger perspective.  For many years peanut butter sandwiches were a lunch staple, every kid had them and they were decent nutrition wise.  Now kids can't have Peanut Butter sandwiches so they bring cheezwhiz sandwiches, or lunch meat sandwiches or the lunch-ables.  If the parents are well educated or are not living on social assistance the lunches are healthier, more fruits and vegetables but not everyone can afford that.  And that's where banning certain foods because of allergies could cause some real nutrition deficits at lunch for some kids.

I don't think the child should not be allowed to go to school, or that the child should go to a special school, but if the allergy is that severe, again I would not be dependent on others to keep my child safe, I would provide my child with the skills they needed to stay safe.  Kids can do many things for themselves so why are we setting up societies that expect everyone else to do everything for them?

That's my biggest issue, there is a phenomenon happening right now, where kids that have always had everything done for them are becoming adults and are entering the work force but have no work ethic, yet they don't understand why they can't keep a job.  Life doesn't work like that, kids need to be taught to do what they can at the appropriate age otherwise there is going to be a larger problem in the near future.

I'm in no way saying this parent is wrong for doing everything she can for her child, she should and I applaud her for that.  But don't look down on me when I'm going to fight for my child to still be allowed to enjoy a yogurt at school or a chocolate milk.  Sometimes the only milk kids get is at school.  I'm just saying maybe there's a better way then putting a blanket law out for all kids, I mean the poor dairy farmer kids are probably covered in milk protein and would just cause this child to react if they came into the school.  Fair is not equal and equal is not fair.

My suggestion to this mom is she work with her child's school, specifically her classroom.  This mom should draft a letter to each parent in her child's grade or maybe the school population.  Maybe she could speak at a PTA meeting and they could come up with a game plan. But to spread this law across the province or to all schools that her child may never go to seems a bit grandiose and unnecessary.

And to be fair I may not understand this law or what it actually means for the impact on the greater population. I did look into Sophie's Law but it's vague, but it does say that kids with allergies should get a specialized program, so maybe this wouldn't be as big of an impact as the news hinted, but that is what the news does, passes on a little information to get the public all worked up.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Running Outside in Alberta

Most of you know that I was not born in Canada, for those of you who were not aware of that fact, I was born in California and I hate the cold Winters of the Prairies!! I find them incredibly unmotivating to do anything besides sit in my house and be Peg Bundy, eating bonbons all day!  But I have a half marathon to prepare for and a possible 10k before that so sitting around is not an option!!

I've got to get up and get moving so I have to get clothing for running outside!! In the summer I'm all decked out, I've lot's of clothes that are appropriate for running in the summertime, but winter outdoors, nope, nada.  And since I'm very new at all this I decided to go to the experts and get some advice.  I had a basic understanding of layering and all that but I also know I sweat after a little bit of running so I needed something that would breath but would also keep the wind out. I don't need frostbite from running.
these are shoes I ordered on line, but they are so cool

I went to the Running Room here in town.  I needed new shoes and some pants and tops for running.  After trying on several different pairs, I chose a Saucony Ride 7 for my new runner.  They felt the best and I didn't feel my foot slipping in the shoe like I did with a few others.  They were also reasonably priced.  I don't mind spending money on runners, I use them frequently enough, but to spend $250 on a pair of runners that aren't going to work for me is not the definition of money well spent!  These did not cost that much, but they also weren't $30 shoes either.   I really like the shoes and they are so comfortable!!  Usually I spend some time "breaking in" new shoes, but these just fit and there is no breaking them in!! Love them! Before we chose the runner for me we did a test to see what my gait was that way we could pick shoes that would work for my gait!  If you've not been to a see someone about what shoes work best for you to wear running I seriously suggest going!! It will change your running life!!

After my education on proper footwear, we moved on to appropriate clothing for running in the winter!! I like to be warm, but I don't like to feel bulky when I'm running.  This is why wearing my winter jacket isn't really an option.  We had a short discussion on what I liked and I was given a pair of running pants that had insulation on the front and were more breathable in the back.  I bought a Mizuno Body Mapping Hoody, I really like that the material warms up as you sweat! I then bought a FaceGuard Pullover, which is a hot pink and I love it!! I've used it for walking Lil Man to the bus on those extra cold days. I also purchased a blue running room jacket.

Now I'm all ready for running in the winter.  Granted I refuse to run when it's colder than -20, just ain't going to do it, it's too cold for this girl!! But if the weather cooperates (which is sometimes does in January and February) I will be out running, I've even got some things to put on my shoes for the icy trails. So off to get ready for a run, gotta get it done it's nice out!!