Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Week 9: Running to SeaWheeze!

Ok I know we missed a week here, but there was literally nothing to report.  I went through a lazy stage, and I just couldn't shake myself out of my funk.  I even binged on some terrible foods and then almost as soon as it started I was ready for it to be over and we are back in the saddle again.

My neighbour may be a huge inspiration to this as well.  In December she got a treadmill (I hate those things, but...) and after her birthday she decided that was it she was going to use the treadmill every day and she has, even if its just for 30 minutes, she gets on that treadmill and gets to work. It's been 11 weeks and you can see a difference already and because she has done it every day it's become a habit for her!! I sat and talked with her this weekend and I was inspired, I need to kick my work outs up a notch and need to get them to become a habit, something I just do every day.  I can't not do them, I have to do a little something everyday, it's the only way this is going to work for me.

So here we are at week 9, and we are making a fresh start.

I'm now going to start with my overall grade and I'm going to include my rubric for marking myself each week.

                  A                                 B                                 C                                D
-a long run was                 -3 short runs                  -2 short runs                 -1 short run completed
completed, with 3            completed                      completed                     -1yoga/ strength session
shorter runs                       -1 yoga session            -1 yoga session
-2-4 yoga sessions           -1-2 strength sessions   -1 strength session
-2-3 strength sessions

I'm aiming for As for the next 20 weeks!!

Overall Grade:

Monday:
Because I gung-ho I have printed off some exercise sessions and some yoga routines to do each day this week.  I'm also joining a yoga studio in town, this week Universoul has $12 drop ins for each of their classes. I'm going to buy a punch pass and then incorporate some yoga classes into my weekly routine. Tonight's class was a Hatha Yoga class, it was amazing!! I love how it builds and builds upon the poses. I felt wonderful after that class, I'm going to try another couple classes this week.  I also went out for a walk again tonight, we completed 4.5 km, it wasn't a run but it was a brisk walk so I will count it as a short run.  Today has been an A+ day, I did some yoga at home, a yoga class and a walk. It doesn't get much better than that!!

Tuesday:
I made it out for a walk today  again with Sara, we completed 4 kms and I did yoga at home by myself!!  It's definitely not as much fun as going to a class, but it will do in a pinch, I actually tried to recreate the flow from the class, that was fun, forgot some of the poses but I think I got a pretty decent workout in.

Wednesday:
No run today, but I did a Zumba/Yoga class at Universoul!! It was Amazing!! I felt worked out and I felt stretched out!! I can't wait to go back to do it again!

Thursday:
I got my 5 km run in today and some yoga!! It was great to get back out there hitting the pavement!!

Friday:
Today there was actually a lot of walking as the boys and I hit up Calgary Zoo!! We got a total of 7 km in while walking around the zoo.  The Zoo has changed their dinosaur exhibit and it's not animatronic so that was pretty cool to see, it was super busy there and they have a couple of interactive areas.  I really enjoyed it I'll write another blog about that soon!

Saturday:
I did some easy yoga stretches today at home, I was going to do my Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD but we just got buys doing family things and cleaning the house.

Sunday:
Today was a day of rest, mostly because I went out Saturday night to a friends house and did not feel like moving at all on Sunday!!

Total Kilometers:20 km
Best Pace: 7:00 mins/ km, I finished my 5 km in 40 minutes and I was able to do the 8:1:30!!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Favourite Spring Time Foods Friday Five Link Up

I'm once again linking up with the girls from DC.  Make sure you check out Mar, Cynthia and Courtney's blogs and the other bloggers who join up!!

Today's topic is Favourite Spring Time foods.

I'm stumped, literally stumped, I didn't know there were seasonal foods, I mean I know fruits and veggies have seasons but for favourite foods I am not really sure.  This took a lot of thinking, a lot of deciphering what I consider spring foods.

1) Barbecue!! Anything really, I love Barbecue foods and I love them more in the spring or summer.  My husband barbecues all the time, every season and that's new for us. Growing up the Barbecue was only ever fired up in the spring or summer so I think that's why I love Barbecue in the spring and sumer.

2) Jello:  Mostly the red jellos, but I love jello! It's definitely something I make more in the spring than any other time of the year.  It's super easy and fun for the kids.

3) Ice Tea.  I know technically not a food, but I don't drink Ice tea in the winter like at all ever and I find Ice Tea so refreshing!

4) Watermelon... Need I say more?? I mean so juicy and yummy and sweet.  and the perfect fruit to make Yuk a futz with !!;)

5) Farmer's Market Vegetables: I get that I can get these all year long, with the way the world is now and we importing vegetables from all over the world to always have seasonal fruits and veggies, but there is something about going to the Farmers Market and buying locally grown fresh veggies!!

It was a hard list, but there you go!!

Do you have any favourite seasonal foods?  What season is easier to name favourite foods?

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Menu Planning

I hate coming up with meals at the last moment, it frustrates me to no end and usually it ends up with us eating something convenient and not entirely healthy (kraft dinner, frozen nuggets etc).  I am much more relaxed and willing to cook every night if I know what I'm cooking ahead of time and I'm not having to come up with a new meal at the last second.

For a few years I've used my chalk board cupboard and written our main meal on each day.  But I was having to come up with new meals each week and sometimes it seemed like I was just repeating the same meals week in and week out.  I needed something more long term, that I could use for my Costco shopping trips and buy all the meat at one go.

I decided to try something new this month, if you follow me on Instagram (@Jenn_loves_photos) you would have seen my calendar that I have for my meals for March 23-April 25th.  I sat in my van at Costco this morning working out what meals I was going to have. I am cooking 5 nights a week, with two nights dedicated to left overs, this doesn't mean I won't cook anything for the left over nights with the left overs it just means that the Left overs will be the big part of the meal.  I have to find some creative solutions for using my left overs, more often then not they get tossed and that is just not acceptable. I'm not sure if this menu plan will work, but I'm going to give it a go.  If you are interested in what I did you can read below and I will outline it.

1) I used a blank calendar that I have to put my meals into each day.  I cycled through Beef, Chicken and Pork for my meals, mostly Chicken this month, and cycled through Potatoes, rice and pasta. I didn't pick vegetables too often because we really like raw vegetables the most so it will kind of depend on what's in the fridge or what I pick up each week.

2) I then looked at each meal and created my shopping list (this can be done from week to week or at a month at a time like I did just depends on how you shop for your family) I determined how many Chicken Breasts (or pieces because I also like Chicken Thighs), how much Hamburger and how much Pork, and Roasts that I would need to fill my calendar.  I bought at least enough for each meal and when I was portioning it out I ended up having extra meat so that will carry over into May or be for incidental meals that may come up.

3) When I got home I portioned out all my meat, and because I usually ask others to get meat from the Freezer for me I also labeled the bags with a date, so when I send Chandler down to the freezer I can send him for Hamburger dated for that particular day.

4) I then packed the meat into two reusable shopping bags, two weeks in one bag and the rest in a second.  The current weeks meat is in the upstairs freezer.  This way I can be even more specific about where Chandler needs to get the meat from!!  (All about simplifying things so they can't complain that they can't find things)

5) I then re-wrote my calendar to be hung up (this wasn't necessary but as I'm just trying to make this system work I needed to include what incidentals ( bread things) that I may have to purchase yet).  Then I hung my calendar up where we could all see it and that way we all know what is for supper.

Surprisingly I have very few Crockpot meals, but that's ok for this month, as I get used to doing this system I'm sure we will get more and more. The best thing is that I don't have many repeaters of meals except for the Roasts and hamburgers, but I can always make them interesting by changing up the spices and stuff.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Hockey has come to an end

It's been a fun rookie season of hockey!! And by Rookie season I mean for all of us, Lil Man was in his first year and he went from barely being able to skate, to keeping up with the big kids on his team, and I was a first time hockey mom.
There were definitely things I did not enjoy (How come half our games were at 7 in Penhold???) but the thing I enjoyed the most was the most important thing for any sport, Lil Man's smile!! He loved it, and he never once complained about getting up early!

Lil Man was seriously so proud of his hockey season. He wants to be a goalie, and he was able to be the goalie twice, both times his team won.  He participated in the skate-a-thon and did 30 laps,
which is really impressive considering he could barely skate when he started this season.  He took some face offs, he started skating backwards, he learned to pass and he learned to be a good team mate!


He's still distracted when playing and you can often find him hanging out by the goaltender offering assistance.  His coaches told me he was very happy and very excited about playing every day. One coach mentioned he'd never met a kid so happy to be goalie.  It may be a position that he plays in the future, which means moving up to Minor Hockey.
 But I guess if it makes him happy I will do that for him.

I had 15 years of escaping the Hockey Mom title, but there's no escaping now!!

I just have to get better at remembering stuff..... I completely forgot about his Hockey wind up on Tuesday.  He was in bed, sleeping and his coach called to see if he was coming.  #Momfail!! But I was able to get him up and dressed and to the rink in time to play with his teammates.  Even then, he was the happiest kid ever!! He had a blast and I'm glad I was able to do that for him!


Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

A couple weeks ago I was completely sick of my regular menu items, I needed to change things up and I wanted to try something different.  So I headed out to Pinterest to my Recipes I want to try board and picked out two new recipes.  Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs were the first I tried and they were a huge success you can read about them here.  The second was the Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joe's.  O-M-G!! They were so GOOOOD!!!

I got the recipe from here.  And I have since moved that pin to the Recipes I have tried board.  It was super easy, at first I thought it was going to be complicated but as I started making the recipe I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was and how few ingredients it actually called for.

Not everyone in the family was a fan of the cheese sauce, but everyone loved the meat and buns!!
The recipe is here.

The only change I'd make is to add a little more spices to it.  I would have liked a little more garlic and maybe some Frank's Red Hot Sauce to..... It wasn't like the traditional sloppy joes with the tomato base but I felt it needed something a bit more.  So it is definitely something I will experiment with until I find the exact combination that my tastebuds are calling for!

I'd recommend this recipe to anyone that enjoys an easy recipe with hamburger.  Just don't burn your buns like I did.  The recipe says to lightly toast your buns and set them aside, so I put two buns in the toaster oven and started toasting them.  A little while later I could smell something burning, so I was stirring the cheese and the hamburger but it wasn't them and I couldn't figure it out then I remembered the buns, they were blackened pucks by the time I pulled them out of the toaster oven.  OOOPS! I was able to properly toast the rest and it's a good thing there are only 4 of us who ate the buns because that was all the buns I had left.

 What is the last recipe you've tried that has worked really well?


Monday, 23 March 2015

Letters!!

I started writing letters again!! I love getting mail that is not bills, I mean it's so nice to see a hand scribed address on an envelope when you go through your mail each day.  It's something I love so I thought I'd share my love of letters with people I love.  Sending them letters as a way of corresponding and hoping that it brightens their day.

I picked out 11 friends to write to, at least the first round, and these were friends I'd previously had a "pen-pal" relationship with, family members and some of my close junior high and high school friends.  I'm finding in the digital age, we just rely on email or text messages and as convenient as those things are, they definitely don't convey true meaning the way a hand written letter can.  I didn't expect a letter back I closed each letter telling my friends I'd love to hear from them, but really they didn't have to write me back.

I've since gotten a couple hand written letters back!! I was tickled pink when I opened my mail box and saw the letters addressed to me! All other mail got pushed aside and opened my letters.  I read and re-read the letters because it was so much fun.  It's way more fun to open my letters than it has ever been to open my bills!!

Now it's time to send out the next batch of letters!! I hope they bring a smile to the faces of the next group as much as the first group, plus now I have to write back to those who wrote me in the first place.

Do you write letters? Would you like to receive letters in the mail?

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Cinderella!

In all my excitement about going to the movie with Lil man I forgot to take pictures OOPS!!

But I was super excited to go see this movie, and Lil Man is actually very much like his brother in the fact that he loves Fairy Tale stories and he can be convinced to go to movies with me that some other boys may feel are more girl orientated!!

We asked my friend Sara and her girl Summer to join us and they were very excited to join us.  It was a busy day in the theatre even though we went to the 12:30 showing.  There were a couple birthday parties and a lot of fathers there with their daughters (so fricken cute)!! And then me the mom Princess with her little Knight!

I love the Cinderella story! It's great, and I'd explain how much I love it but my friend Becky said it best. You can read her description of the story here.

The idea that you can keep your head when faced with so much adversity, that you can remain true to your true self and not falter and become something less than yourself is a great story and lesson to teach any young child.  Cinderella did a lot to rescue herself from her imprisonment.  The Prince simply offered her an escape route but Cinderella won the Prince because of her character, Cinderella did save herself.

I loved this movie, but I am a Fairy Tale Fanatic!! I have seen every Fairy Tale Movie made by Disney and some of the others made by Dreamworks.  I am an avid watcher of Once Upon a Time (I seriously love this show), I have read all the Gregory Maguire books like Wicked, confessions of an ugly step sister (Cinderella's story told from the step sisters point of view), Mirror Mirror.  I have love fairy tales since I was young and it's a passion I spread to my children (Chandler watches Once Upon A Time with me each week).  I even binge watched Ever After High, it was pretty good!!

I was very happy with the Cinderella movie but Sara and I decided that next time we went to a movie that wasn't a cartoon we would leave the kids at home.  They enjoyed the movie but they weren't enraptured with it so they were both a little antsy!

What is your favourite Fairy Tale? Have you seen Cinderella yet?

Friday, 20 March 2015

Friday Five {Spring}

I'm liking up with the DC Trifecta girls, Mar, Courtney and Cynthia once again!! Have you been reading my Friday Fives?  Would you like to join, just head over to here and read more about, I'd love to have more blogs to read!!

Today's topic is Spring, my second most favourite season!! Although sometimes living in Alberta we call it messy winter, but I still love it anyways.

Here are my top Five things that I am looking forward to this spring!!


1) My Baby's FIRST birthday!! I am amazed at how fast this year has gone by. I mean he's 10 months already and in two more months he will be a year, a WHOLE year!! It means I am going back to work soon, but my baby will be one and he's such a delightful little guy!! We aren't really planning anything big, but we are doing family pictures and a cake smash for him! He's my baby and my last baby too, so I am relishing these last first milestones!!

2) Running outside, in the morning!! I am a self proclaimed morning person, I love being awake early and I love working out in the morning. It always set my day on the right track!  Get those endorphins moving right, so I am super stoked to be able to start running in the morning. With the raising temperatures and sun rising earlier and earlier just means that my running is going to be getting better and better!! Plus it will be nice to start building my runs into my routine of the day having an actual time that my runs happen as opposed to a just whenever, which in the winter this is what usually happens.

3) Puddles, puddles and more puddles. I have a secret love of Puddles. I love splashing in them, playing in them and watching them grow and shrink. I especially love spring puddles because that means winter is OVER, and Summer will be here SOON!! I don't tell my kids about my love of puddle jumping, at least not verbally, but I'm not really that parent that ever stops my kids from jumping in the puddles.

4) Going back to work.  Yup I'm that girl.  I love my kids, I love the time I get to spend with them, but I also love working. I've been working since I was 16 years old, now except for the 2 1/2 years I've been off for my maternity leaves I've always had a job. I LOVE working, I don't always love my job, but I do LOVE my current job and I'm excited to get back to it!!

5) The regrowth of all things green!!! I enjoy watching the leaves turn colours in the fall, but I love watching things go from ugly brown to green. Watching new grass poke it's way up from the matted down grass of the fall, flowers bursting through the snow, and I think it's going to be amazing with my runs that I'll be able to notice all the small changes!! There is just something so beautiful about spring each year, even if you have to look past the dirty, muddy roads and yucky snow banks that try to hang around for EVER!!!

What are you most excited about for Spring? What is your favourite season?

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Do you know a Narcissist?


I was never sure if I'd ever met a true Narcissist.  I mean they are so hard to pick out, sort of like high functioning sociopaths.  And there are times in my life I could have been called narcissistic where I was really only concerned with my own feelings, my own self, my own well being.  But at the end of the day I didn't only care about those things at the expense of others, I didn't step on others to get where I needed to go, but I didn't let others dictate what I wanted to do.

The scary thing is that Narcissists don't see their tendencies in their behaviour. It makes them very dangerous.  Most of the time they will manipulate the truth so that it suits their needs. Do they need some one to be the bully in the story?  Do they need sympathy for a fall out of events that occurred?   Do they need someone to be the scapegoat for what they forgot to do?  Are they not the most popular person in the room and have a desire to be?

I've known girls (and I'll talk about girls because I am one and most of my friends are girls) who have lied about things that were said in a conversation so that they look like the victim, but when you actually ask around you find out that the other sides story is the complete opposites.  I've known girls that will hide objects in other peoples places to to make it look like they stole things so that people don't trust them.  I've known girls that refuse to take responsibility for their actions.  Everyone else and Ever situation is to blame for their predicament.

 When you confront them with the truth, they find excuses for why it wasn't their fault or how you have it wrong.  It becomes a game, and they are the best double talkers out there so it just gets overly confusing and if you can't think as fast as they do, you get screwed!! When someone lives in fantasy and you live in reality it doesn't matter how much proof you bring to them they can't see your reality because it will destroy their illusion.  And if their illusion is destroyed, then people will see them for who they are, and since they don't even truly like who they are how on earth could anyone even like them?


I struggle with this, because I am definitely a fighter, not in the physical sense, but in the sense that I will fight with words. I'm a great talker and can generally diffuse most situations, if things feel like they will get physical I leave.  I am not a great punch thrower, so I leave that to others.  But Narcissists don't fight they are of the flight variety.  And they do a lot of plays behind the scenes to cut you down at the knees. But they do it in such a way that to others you look like the bad guy.  It's an incredibly hard battle to fight or even hope to win!! The best recourse is to just walk away, leave and as soon as you recognize a narcissist run away and stay as far away as you possibly can, don't introduce them to other friends because they will find away to ingratiate themselves with these friends to help keep themselves in your life.  A girl with no long term friends is a big red flag, and if all her long term friends leave her because they can't deal with her it's not really a reflection on them, but a reflection on herself.  So she needs to be able to say she's been friends and shared experience with someone for many many years. This doesn't mean that you need to have friends from elementary, or high school, but having a friend who has gone through the ringer with you in some important events in your life is important. Not just for how it looks on the outside, but really for your own state of mind.

Now most of this is hypothetical, it's from years of observation teaching in the school systems. But it's also from years of being on Facebook.... Look at your Facebook wall, you will find that you know a narcissist.  They may not be a complete narcissist, suffering from NPD, but they could have tendencies, always bitching on Facebook, posting vague statuses about ending relationships, complaining how others can never change, and sometimes you see two narcissist interacting, comedy gold.  I've had girlfriends that definitely have had tendencies, and at times were complete Narcissists, but like I admitted I have at times in my life been a bit Narcissistic as well (a point as why I'm not a Narcissist I can admit that I have been there)

But one of the biggest Narcissists I have ever seen was Sami on Days of our Lives.  My God that girl text book for many years.  Another Narcissist character that's recently been highlighted is Gone Girl, she was a complete narcissist and sociopath (double danger).  I know that a friend of mine is dealing with a "mean" girl mom in her real life, or actually I don't know that I just assume it based on her recent pinterest pins. It actually inspired me to write this post because I want my friend to know she's not alone and that sometimes you think you can fight these people but YOU JUST CAN'T!! Their reality is so skewed that any time you confront them in a mature fashion it looks bad on you because they've already told everyone around you that they are the victim and they tell stories and spin tales so well that people fall for their manipulations.

But I am here, I'll listen and I am a great sounding board!! I'll be your supporter if no one else will!! Because no one should have to face a narcissist alone!! Do you know any narcissists?

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs

I'm so tired of making the same old meals.  But I have some VERY picky eaters in my house, and not all the picky eaters are the children!! So I like to make things I know they will eat and things that have vegetables "hidden" in them.  Because for some reason vegetables are not at the top of the favourites list.

I'm also sick of making the same things with ground beef. There are only so many tacos, spaghetti, lasagna and shepherds pie I can eat in a year, not to mention burgers.  I do enjoy all those things but seriously it's tiresome and to make something new is always exciting.

So off to my Pinterest board Recipes I want to try.  There are so many recipes on there and I keep adding to them, I decided I would do two recipes this week from Pinterest and the Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs were my number one pick.  I've now moved that recipe to the Recipes I have tried Pinterest board.  The recipe can be found here if you are interested!

I made them smaller than what the original recipe called for it was nice that way they became more snack size as opposed to a full meal for each one, it was also a much easier size for the little ones to eat.

So after having to rewrap everything because I wasn't deep frying them we had supper!! I would say they were a resounding success!! Lil Man liked them, the baby liked his, Chandler ate three or four and I ate three, my hubby who was home late ate 4 or 5 when he got home so yup these will be put into our meal rotation.

The prep is a little long, there's pinching and stuffing the dough involved, but all in all the extra work is definitely worth it for these tasty little morsels.  Also they would make an amazing sporting event appetizer!!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Week 7 Running to SeaWheeze

I'm still euphoric from running my 10 km last Saturday!! I am so proud of myself and I love talking about it, thinking about, reliving it and planning my next 10km run!!

So here's what happened this week!

Monday: Headed out for a short run, only 3 km this time after the long run on Saturday I didn't want to stress my muscles or over do it!! It was a quick run and I was able to finish it in 23 minutes not quite a personal best but I had increased my running time to 8:1 to see how I did. It wasn't bad, but by the 7th minute I was dying and that eighth minute was pretty slow.  But I did finish so it was pretty good.

Tuesday: This has been the year of sickness!! I don't know what happened but I woke up feeling great, the baby and I were going to go for a walk, but then, I drank some coffee, it was a dark roast which I don't usually drink, and I got sick!! It was not a good sick, not that any are, but this was quick and exhausting!! So my plans for anything were shelved. I started feeling better but it was late for going for a walk or run so I decided just to do Yoga.  I've found that I LOVE yoga and I'm going to join a Yoga studio in town.  I may also join a pilates studio as well since they off the Barre classes that I want to try.

Wednesday:
I felt better today, thankfully, and I'm hopeful this is the last bout of sickness we get.  I went out for a quick run, got 4 km done!!

Thursday:
This was a cross training day. I did my free weight exercises.  Nothing spectacular but I'm trying to start building my daily routine for when I go back to work, it's not going so well, but at least I'm trying.

Friday:
Today I had soccer, it was really late at night, like 10:15 so crazy to be up that late playing soccer.  I made it to 10,000 steps today.  And definitely burned al to of calories playing soccer.

Saturday:

Sunday:
Shopping counts as exercise right?!?!? Ok in my world it does and I walked over 7 km shopping in Calgary on Sunday.  I think that's phenomenal!! Especially when you consider I didn't spend that much money, maybe $200.  How's that for being a proficient window shopper!!

Total Km 14

Overall Grade: C.  With company and being sick, well there you go, it is what it is!! I still have time to get going and once I get my routine down there will be no stopping me!!

Monday, 16 March 2015

10 months WHAT

Where did the last month go? I mean it feels like it was just yesterday I was telling you that my baby was 9 months old and now I'm telling you he is 10 months!! He's lived outside the womb longer than he was in it!!! This is so not fair!!

But Prince T you light up every room you enter!! You are loving and curious and adventurous!! You are a wonderful blend of personality of your brothers.  You have a calm disposition like Chandler but you want to explore every inch of your world like Lil Man!!

This month you've taught us that you don't like vegetables, they just aren't your thing, unless they are raw, then you will eat them like they are going out of style. You aren't much of a fan of fruit either, but can devour a banana like nothing and will eat oranges.  Unlike Lil Man, berries are not your favourite!


















You are crawling and motoring around the house and you are starting to pull yourself up, no not starting you are consistently pulling yourself up and trying to climb things.

You really enjoy music and have taken to dancing even to some inappropriate songs your oldest brother plays for you (shaggy's It wasn't me).

You don't like being left alone, but I think that is indicative of most babies not something that is unique to you!

You have a routine and Lord help us if we stray from that routine. You like a morning nap, an afternoon nap and to be in bed by 7 gives you the best nights sleep!! Mommy is very thankful to you for that, because Lil Man was not that cooperative!!




 You love being outside and now that the weather is nicer we will have to find you some shoes and boots so you can join us on the ground to play outside!!

We love you Prince T!!!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Day in the Life Friday Five

Today is another Friday Five Link Up with the wonderful ladies Mar, Cynthia and Courtney!! Check out their blogs for some great reads!! So happy I found this link up!!

It's hard for me to chronicle my days, because at this moment in time they are never exactly the same. Some I send the kids to school and relish in the silence, some Lil man is home and we are constantly on the go doing one activity or another.  Some days are weekends, everyone is home and we've got playdates and sports and activities planned.

That being said, there are things I do every day, regardless of what's actually going on, they are routine and they are my favourite parts of everyday.

1) Waking up and checking my phone.  I check my phone for weather, for texts, for emails and sometimes twitter and Instagram.  I love rolling over and checking my phone before I roll out of bed, it's a way to make human connection.  It's dumb, but it's not, I also check my calendar to make sure I'm not missing any activities for the day, it definitely gets my head wrapped around what kind of day it's going to be.

2) Reading something, a blog, a novel, a children's book.  Sometime in the morning I always get time to read.  I love reading and I love that my boys love to be read to.  I also love the Lil Man is starting to try to read stories on his own.

3) Watching one of my PVR's shows. I have many shows I tape during the week.  They range from HGTV shows, to shows on the Women's network, to network shows to cable shows.  I record so many shows in a week, I'd say 20 hours or television easily.  And each day I get to sit down and watch at least one show of mine without interruption.  At night I can watch more, before I fall asleep but I'm usually watching something on Netflix for that, my PVR'd shows are not shows I want to fall asleep watching.

4) Writing.  I have booked it into my day, at least 30 minutes of writing each day.  Whether's it writing up some blogs, or working on my novel, I write for 30 minutes a day. I am also starting to write more on my creative writing blog Imagination Destination to have some blogs written by my characters to compliment my first novel.  For me it's a way to get readers interested in the novel.

5) Bathtime!! And I don't mean for my kids!! I love to have baths and I will have one every night, if time allows, sometimes I have to settle for a shower, but carving out time for me to have a bath is a luxury that my family allows me.

In amongst all the things that happen, I take time to Exercise each day, and there are always times for cuddling with my boys each day.  It's a glorious life and I'm going to enjoy my last two months of Maternity leave because when I get back to work and great portion of my day will be dedicated to working outside the home..... sigh, but at least I love my job!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

What I learned and what I want to achieve at 36

Being 35 was a new experience, hahaha, for me I've never been 35 and I'll never be 35 again, but it was an interesting year.  I had a few ah-Ha moments and few uh-Oh moments, but each moment led to some wonderful growth in who I am as a person, mother and friend.

Here are three things I really learned and came to fully understand in my 35th year.

1) I can love someone and know that having them in my life is not a healthy decision.  I can disembark from a friendship, not in malice and anger but in love and happiness.  Not everyone of my friends needs to be my BFF.  And just because I don't talk to someone every day/ week/ month doesn't mean that they aren't important.  But sometimes you have people that the growth that you've each done has just led you so far apart from each other that there is no bridging that gap, you can only be thankful for the times together and move on.

2) Sometimes people don't change, and sometimes they do! Some people are so far into their reality that they can't see the fiction they are painting around them. That the reality they are living in is completely incongruent with the majority of societies reality. Those people that can't see that can't change, not form an outside perspective, but completely believe that they are a different person.  Sometimes they base their changing on different tasks, as opposed to values.  I can change how I do a task that does not mean I have changed my values, that which makes me a better person than I was yesterday.

3) I am happy. I have a full life and I no longer base my happiness on what other people think of me.  If you aren't going to like me because of something you think I did then that's your prerogative.  If you are going to accept me for who I am, some one who has flaws that I embrace, then that's cool, let's hang out. I've also accepted the path my life has taken, if it weren't for things I had done, people I chose to hang out with I wouldn't have met some of my best friends.  The suffering I've had to live through in some relationships is completely worth if for the other relationships I have made.

Some of the things I want to achieve by the time I'm 36.

1. completing a half marathon!! I know I can do this, I know I can do this in 3 hours or less, I know that I have the drive to do it, I just need the weather to start cooperating with me so I can get out to stretch my runs out and I need to start making sure I do my exercises!! Strength training and yoga to help balance everything out!!

2. completing my novel, and actually get it published somehow, either self publishing or with an agent.  An agent would be a dream, I mean that would guarantee payment and book deals and stuff, but at the end of the day this is for me to prove to myself that I can do it. Do what? sit down and writer a book from beginning to end.

3. be more thankful! and let past hurts go! It's hard, betrayal is hard to get past and sometimes when it's happened for a long time it's hard to let go and be the bigger person, but I'm going to move on and I'm going to be more thankful for all the wonderful people in my life!!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

My Favourite Wee ones

It goes without saying that my boys are my favourite wee ones.  Even if they aren't all wee ones anymore, I mean Chandler is starting to tower over me and Lil Man is turning into a boy more and more with each passing day. I still have Prince T, he's a wee little one, and I'm enjoying all his discoveries and disasters as they happen.

However I've been so blessed in my life to have met some amazing kids. Some of these kids are my friends kids and I love them dearly, and some of these kids I've taught and they have just made such an impact on me with their personality and outlook on life that I'm left with profound joy that I was able to be in their orbit even for a little while!!

So here are a few snapshots of some of my favourite wee ones, most of whom aren't little anymore!!


These are my cousins all four of them!! Apparently we are a family of boys now since my cousin Cathy and I have only had boys and my cousin James had boys as well


Here's Miss Mew!! Well that's what her mom used to call her!! She's now grown into a lovely young lady, too bad her and Chandler don't understand that we married them off years ago!! lol
 Now here are two of my other favs, I apparently don't have a picture of Dakota where he's looking at me on my computer, but this is Vana!! She's turning into such a creative young soul and her confidence in herself is only second to her mom's confidence in her!!


This is Miss R, she's a redheaded beauty!! She's compassionate, caring and so smart!!
Mr M is a fav of Lil Man's, they've been buddies since Lil Man was born. Lil Man completely idolizes this little guy and it's not a bad thing.  He's very active and will always play Lil Man out, although I think Lil Man has caught up to him in energy level and will soon be playing Mr M out!


Now this is Miss Iz.  She's been friends with Lil Man for since he was born as well. She's only 2 1/2 months older so they get along very well! She has a very kind caring soul, smart as a whip and her logical thought process is a joy to see!  She also has two younger brothers now and they are a total joy to watch grow!

Miss D, is smart as all heck!! She's got an incredible vocabulary and she's very easy going in nature!! Her smile would light up a room and her little laugh warms the heart!


Miss SS is the youngest of a family of three girls. All the girls, Miss GS, Miss HS and Miss SS are gentle kind souls.  This was the first real interaction I experienced with Lil Man where I knew without a doubt that he'd be a loving, caring and helpful big brother.  We were at the birthday and Lil man just wanted to hold the baby, he was in love!
Miss S and Miss J are the last on my list! They are sisters and
the best friends of Lil Man and Prince T.  It's so fun to see them interact, they play more like brothers and sisters then friends but it's all good. It gives me an opportunity to hang out with their mom and that's always a good time.

I hope you are all able to surround yourself with amazing children, because though this is a small sampling they give me hope for the future generations! These kids can change the world and I believe that they will!!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Week Six: Running to SeaWheeze

So I've needed to take a little break from everything, I'm not injured or anything, and I'm still totally excited about completing this half marathon, but aside from the running, I'm not loving my workouts.  Fitting them in just wherever and doing them alone BLOWS. Blows like the snow is doing right now and I'm  in the mood to shake it up.

I'd love to head out to Poplar Ridge to do their workout classes but they are at 7  and between 5-7 I'm running around my house with supper, baths, bedtime snack, and the rest of the bedtime routine so getting out of town 15 minutes before 7 is next to impossible.  So that means I need a class that's later in the day or before 5.  So I'm looking at Yoga Nation, and things at the Collicut or some of the other gyms in town.  It's much easier for me to commit to working out if I have a class to go to, it's so dumb but there you go that's me.  Live and Learn I guess....

 I still enjoy working at home with my weights and yoga routine, but it's so easy for me to blow off a home workout, who's going to know, who's going to care? So this is my plan this week, running three times, with three at home workouts that include yoga.

Monday:
I met up with Sara and we walked 5 k.  It was fun and easy which I completely enjoy! although there is one guy who walks the track faster than we run, its crazy!

Thursday:
I went to work for half a day today! yeah for working, but it takes up some of my workout time!

Friday:
I really don't remember what I did!! I had plans to run, and I did go for a "run" Lil Man had to go with me, if you follow me on Twitter (@jewelryjenn79) you probably saw my Instagram photos (jenn_loves_photos).  He's so cute, but his little legs can't go very far or very fast, but we did finish 3.5km!! later that night I had to play soccer and we were short so I played a lot of soccer. On another note we won so we have two more games and could possibly play for gold!!

Saturday:
This was the last day I was going to be 35, because Sunday was my birthday!!! So I decided and tweeted (I'm telling you I was regretting that because people may have had expectations lol) that I would do a 10 km run. I've never done such a long run, EVER in MY LIFE!! So I was determined to do this I knew I could and I knew I'd finish. I didn't know how I'd feel after but I knew in the long run I'd complete it.  At 9 am I strapped on my shoes, plugged in my headphones and started running.

Since I'd never run 10 km before I had to think about my route, I knew running from my house to the Relax Crew was 4 km, so I knew if I went at least .5km past that I'd be able to turn around and start heading home.  I was actually expecting to be out for 2 hours, I really thought after 6 Km (my previous longest run) I'd be dead tired, but I gave myself a km of walking (7th inning stretch idea) and then I ran 7mins walk 1 min intervals for the last 3 Km.

I am so proud of this accomplishment!! I know I am going to be ready for the half marathon in August, I just have to keep getting out there and running.  An hour and 24 minutes was my time and I'm so full of pride that I did this!! I can't even explain.  I use the Map My Run app on my phone and when the voice came on to tell me I'd completed 10 I fist pumped the air!!!

Sunday:
I took a break, my muscles weren't very sore, I did 30- 40 minutes of Yoga on Saturday to stretch and I'm sure it made all the difference.  I've got my runs booked for this week and I'm going to do another long run on Saturday unless I get some out of town guests which could be a possibility. So once those are confirmed I'm going to alter my run schedule.

Total KM:
18.5 km

Overall grade:
A, because even though it wasn't as many days as I'd like there were quite a few rest days or no workout days period, I still did my LONGEST run EVER and I did in great time, considering I was 36 minutes under what I thought I'd be at.

Monday, 9 March 2015

This is Me: Birth and Family


My full name is Jennifer Louise Lacourse.
 My mom never said I was named after anyone, but my nana once told me that I was named for a saint. Now I didn't actually believe her because I was 13 and didn't really know anything about Catholicism except what I learned in my little bits of attending church and the few religion classes we took, it's not like I was named Christopher or Mary which are very popular Saints.  I've since done some research and have found two things, there is a Saint Jennifer, she is the patron Saint of Disasters, and Saint Louise is the patron Saint of Orphans. Neither my mom or dad were very religious, my dad once told me his family was Jehovah's Witness and after his dad's death at 13 Nana converted to Catholicism. Who knows sometimes people say things because they think it but they don't really know.  I don't know Nana never said anything, but my mom was Anglican and I wasn't baptized as a baby, I wasn't actually baptized until I was 7.  I think maybe my mom liked the names Jennifer and Louise and my nana found some religious connection. I've actually never asked and now two of the three people that have ever told me about where my name came from are gone. 

I was born to Ruby Gail Patchin and Micheal Elzere Lacourse.  My mom was born at Holy Family Hospital in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.  She was born to Vylma Irene Patchin and Rueben Patchin.  Ruby moved around a lot with her family while Rueben looked for employment, they lived in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Timmons, Ontario and Newark, California. While in California Ruby met and married Michael. Michael was born in Oakland California and grew up in the bay area.  Michael spent his entire life living in the Bay area, he passed away in 2008. 

On March 8, of the year I was born, at 7:38 am Ruby and Michael welcomed me into the family. I was born at Washington Hospital in Fremont, California. I weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces.  I've never heard any stories of my birth, I've heard stories of my sisters birth and my brothers birth, but not mine.  I was a very healthy baby and I like to tell everyone I was the easiest baby every. My mom may disagree!!

I have two siblings, Courtney Lorraine and Nelson Joseph.  Courtney is three years younger than me and Nelson is 6 years younger than me. I love them each dearly.  

When my sister was born I had to stay with my Grandma while my mom was in the hospital. I cried and yelled at my Grandma that whole stay. I refused to eat and I would yell, "you aren't my mommy" when my Grandma would try to get me to eat something. Grandma finally took me to the hospital to see my mom where I ate candies off the snack cart. We lived next door to my grandma when my sister was little, literally right next door. 

When my brother was born I was in grade 1. I was so happy he was born that I made my mom bring him to school as show and tell for my class.  He was a cute baby and I loved him to bits.  I wasn't always the nicest big sister, I'd tease him and torment him but I loved him and I never stood by while someone hurt him.  When I was in grade 12 and he was in grade 6 some kid on his bus would follow him home, tormenting him, this kid was a little shrimp but Nelson was a gentle giant, and just kept walking away. One day I was outside and saw this happening, I was with my boyfriend at the time, and we told Nelson to just punch the kid out. My boyfriend led Nelson to the kid and picked up Nelson's hand and swung out at the kid. I don't remember if the kid stopped after that or if Nelson actually got into a fight with him, but no one was going to pick on my little brother and not have me step in!!

We have a very tight knit family. I'm very close with my siblings and my mom and my grandma.  I loved my dad, but because I grew up so far away from him I wasn't as close with him. Also I think my dad and I had a lot of things in common personality wise (stubbornness, temper etc) so we would butt heads a lot.  Over the years there have been times when I was closer to one sibling over the other but now as we are all grown ups I'd say we were pretty close, or I'm close to both them. I can't speak for their relationship with each other.

I think one of the lessons I learned from my parents was communication. My family has a long history of divorce, and I knew I didn't want to have to go through that if I didn't have to.  I also learned that if you were mature about things you could co-parent very effectively even if you weren't together.  I learned that it's important for a child to have both parents in their lives regardless of your feelings for the other person. I've worked very hard to ensure my children (especially my oldest as his dad and I broke up when he was 3) have relationships with both their parents. It's so important when I broke up I considered what type of relationship I wanted my son to see as a healthy relationship. One in which his parents were miserable or one in which both were happy apart from each other with other people. I chose happiness and I would choose it again.

Since I was the oldest I helped out in my family by caring for my younger siblings.  I was the babysitter and I enjoyed it. I made a lot of money babysitting, though I didn't make much money babysitting my siblings. I also helped with supper and dishes, really whatever mom needed help with I did.  It was good I developed some excellent work ethic and learned that I could get whatever I wanted if I was willing to work for it!!

Friday, 6 March 2015

Friday Favourites!! Friday Five Link Up

I'm again linking up with the girls in DC, Mar, Courtney and Cynthia for the Friday Five.  I've been waiting all week to write this post and I'm so glad I get to talk about my Favourite things!!

I'm going to talk about my new favourite things, things I've recently discovered and now use on a daily basis!!!

1) I've discovered some new make up palettes.  Make up and I have gone through many phases and faces in my life. For a time all I bought were the cover girl eye shadows, blushes and mascara.  Then I grew up and started experimenting with other drug store make up. I was a bit of a hoarder.  Then in the past 5 years I've moved from palettes of Make up to single colours that I would blend. I've used Mary Kay, Benefit, Arbonne and I've enjoyed them all.  But recently I've been wanting to buy a New palette of colours so I could change up my look, and I found two that I love!! I got the Sephora IT
Palette for smokey eyes and Benefit Bright Eyes!! They are amazing!!
2. Perfume!! I have always loved perfume and I've worn a wide variety of perfumes over the years, from Obsession by Calvin Klein, Air de temps, and True Love (which is still one of my favourites but you can't find it anymore).  But a couple years ago I was out with my friend Chris (of all people) and I tried a new perfume at The Bay. It was love at first smell!! I was hooked and since then I've been an Escada girl!! They come up with limited scents each year so they don't keep manufacturing the same smell year after year.  I think that's what I love the most about it because I know each year I can get a new smell, and they are usually very fresh smelling.  I really like their citrus infused perfumes the best!! Their new one is Turquoise Summer and I can't wait to get it. I'm hoping Hubby remembered I asked him to get me this when he was in Vegas but he couldn't find it and so maybe he'll get it in town here!! Oh and their bottles are beautiful!!

3. Nike Free Run 3 shoes!! I've never fallen in love with a pair of shoes like I did with my Nike Free Run 3 shoes.  They are a mint colour and seriously the most comfortable pair of runners I have ever owned. The strangest thing is I ordered them online because I was being all fashionista and wanted some Tiffany Blue runners, which these get into the blue green family, but aren't exactly the right shade, but I still LOVE them.  They are super light and super comfortable. Once I go back to work I'm ordering me another couple pairs!!


4. Epsom Salts.  Ok I admit I'm very late to the game with this one!! I had used them before but I'd never really felt any benefit from using them, they were just something I'd casually add to my bath and then well that was it.  Problem number one I was just adding a little, not the actual recommended amount.  Problem number two I preferred my bubble baths so I'd just not add the epsom salts. I've now started using Life brand Epsom Salt and their Sea Salt for Baths and I'm hooked. I love how relaxed I feel afterwards and how soft my skin is.  If I was thinking of becoming a showering girl, that's been lost since I've started using these more frequently!!

5. Pink, ok this is not a new discovery, but I've been working on my running play lists because I like to have variety, and I like to have songs I can sing with as I run.  Pink has offered me that. I've been a huge fan of hers since she released her first album!! But one day I went out for a run and I decided to just to listen to her Truth About Love album, I ran my whole run just listening to that album!! It was fantastic.  Now I know not everyone has the same obsession as I do, but she truly has some great beats for running, they aren't too fast, but they aren't slow either.  So many of her songs will make it onto my long run playlists!! 
from http://www.pinkspage.com/ca/gallery/official-pnk-photos
There you have it my Friday Five, and Friday Favourites!!!