Friday, 30 December 2016

New Year's Resolutions

I have mixed feelings about New Year's resolutions. I mean on the one hand they can be great, but more often then not they are lofty and unattainable and you forget about them by January 15th.

So how does one go about making resolutions that are going to stick. And saying you aren't making any resolutions for the year is in fact making a resolution so that does not count.

I have done many goal setting activities in the past and they all tell you to make goals that are attainable (well if you work at them all goals are attainable generally) make goals specific (losing weight can be specific) make them measurable (starting out at day one of 2017 and where you end up at day 365 of 2017 is measurable) relevant (why would you make a goal that didn't relate to you??) and time sensitive (a year is a time frame), so even those lofty I'm going to eat better for 2017 goals could fit into the SMART acronym of goal setting.

So here are my 2017 goals and things that will appear on my Dream Board!!

1) I will continue to eat within my Macronutrient diet every six weeks re-evaluating my macros and progression until I am able to fit into my size 10 Banana Republic Jeans  (Does it fit the SMART rules?  It's specific to my macro diet, it's measurable since I am measuring my macros and aiming for a specific size of clothing, it is attainable, it is relevant {weight loss for me always seems to be} and it's time sensitive it's for 6 weeks)

2) I will finish my two novels on Wattpad, by dedicating 90 mins a week to writing in either novel.
(Does it fit the SMART rules?  It's specific to books I've started on Wattpad, it's measurable as two novels will be completed, it's attainable probably since one is half finished and the other is well on it's way, it's relevant, this is a dream of mine to be a published author and I did finish one novel on Wattpad this year!! It's time sensitive it's for the year dedicating 90 mins a week to the task of writing)

3) I am going to live on a cash diet of $600 a month, this will include my gas, my portion of food and any extras for myself, allowing me to save up to $150 a month to put into RRSPs.  (Does this fit the SMART rules?  Specific check, Measurable check, Attainable check, Relevant double check, Time sensitive maybe...)

Things I am adding to my dream board

Savings of $500 in my bank account at all times
Savings of $1200 in my TFSA
Parks Canada Trips (Since the Parks Canada passes are now Free for the year)
Trip to SFO
Student loans paid off!!

To be successful your desire for success must be larger than your fear of failure! BCosby

Thursday, 29 December 2016

I was a lingerie model

Months ago I posted about The Bra Lounge. The only place in town I could find bras to fit the sisters into.  When you are a 36 H buying at The Bay is never an option!!

So I was able to find two new bras from the Bra Lounge even though I was going in for surgery in two or so months. Then they had this post on twitter a call for models, women of every size who loved their body just the way it was so I immediately volunteered.

See when I was younger I always wanted to be a model or an actress, but I never really knew how to get past my insecurities to go out an pursue this venture.  So then modelling became a bucket list item.  And I know I could model my own products and stuff but what fun is that I wanted to do an event, something that either for a magazine or an event.

Now I didn't know if they'd call me back, because maybe I didn't fit their idea for a model, but I was willing to put myself out there.  And in the end, out there is where I put myself.

I was called to participate in an event The Bra Lounge was putting on as a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis and my friend Kelly who is very involved with CF Canada was there. I was beyond happy that I got to participate in this event with Kelly reaping the rewards.

We had hair and make up done for us then we walked the runway to six different sets. Modelling is a lot like giving birth, if you had any modesty when you went in, you left it all on the floor with your underwear at the end of the night. There is no time for modest changes, you get off the stage and as fast as you can you change your outfit for the next look!! What an eye opening experience and the other women I was modelling with, they were AMAZING, WONDERFUL women.  And the girls at the Bra Lounge are phenomenal.

Even though I will be getting my breast reduction and moving back into regular cup sizes I will still shop at the Bra Lounge because I love to shop local!!

Here are some pictures from that night!!!

 So ladies and gentleman, it's never to late to go out and live your dream!! Do something that scares you, you never know who may be watching and who will think you are the bravest soul around!! Be the role models you were meant to be!!

What have you done that scares you??

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Before and After

In July I decided I needed to take control of my health and fitness.  I've said this in the past but many times things come up and I put it aside, so in July I was keen I was going to do this part of it was because of my upcoming surgery (more about that in another blog) and part because it's the healthy choice.

I think I may have even posted a blog about it in August or something you can read the link there.

And I've stayed pretty true to everything. I really started out weighing 100 kg, or 220 pounds.  And though I could have had more amazing results I have had some incredible results with a little fluctuation.  I made it down to 215 lbs easily and I hovered in that area for at least 6 weeks, maybe losing a pound or two only to gain it back.

Then 30 days ago (I know what took me so long!!!) I purchased the Myfitnesspal app, so I could see my macro nutrient count, and I also purchased a new scale.  The Aria scale from Fitbit with my new Fitbit Charge 2.  Black Friday was an amazing time and totally supported my fitness goals.

I was still eating well and trying to work in my protiens and stuff but now I had something to keep me accountable, now I had something to weigh and calculate my body fat.  Now I was going to take my weight loss to a new level.

The first time I stepped on my Aria scale I almost cried!! I was way higher in weight then I had expected my old scale was obviously a liar!! It just didn't want me to throw it out! But since then I've been much happier with my scale.

So here are some before and afters and I can give you some measurement numbers!!

My hand placement in the before picture makes it hard to see what my stomach was like, but it has shrunk for sure!

This one shows the decrease much more but it's still not super drastic

But this one, well this one you can definitely see where some changes started to happen!! And I am more excited about these changes than any other changes I've noticed!! The back is a super hard area for me to lose weight so the fact that you can see such a great decrease in the back fat WINNING!!

Ok now for some numbers...
I am currently at 211 lbs which is pretty accurate and it's been a decrease of a pound a week which I am happy with as well.

Every two weeks I still take measurements and here are the numbers I will share with you on this point.

When I started I was measuring my neck at 14 inches, today I measured my neck at 12.5.  I started measuring my shoulders at 40.5 inches, today I measured them at 38.  I started with my chest at 37 inches and today my chest was 33.5 inches.  My breasts, which are going to be surgically reduced soon, were measuring at 41 inches and are now 38.5 inches.  My belly is down 3 inches, and my hips are down 4 inches.  My thighs have generally stayed, annoyingly, consistently the same but today they were measured at 21.5 inches.  also my calves dropped an inch too.  When I started I was 388 inches, today I am down 30 inches.  THIRTY INCHES!! That's amazing! 

I will share some of my information on Macros and why I chose macros and I will also share some of my food recipes and stuff soon.  Thanks for reading this lengthy post!!

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Thanks for reading!!!

I am the worst blogger, so if you come here from time to time and read my posts THANK YOU!!

I really should have known I'd be a terrible blogger, I mean I am a terribly diary/ journal keeper, but I do have like 16 of them around my house.

I have been really good in other areas of my life, I've been budgeting well, I've been writing other things and finished my first novel on Wattpad, check out the link if you'd like.  I've also been very focused on my career and I am LOVING my job so there is not always a lot to talk about.

I'm going to try getting into this blogging again, and hopefully this time it sticks.... but if not then hey I'm giving it a try, one year it will stick and it will be AMAZING!!

So here we are at it trying to give this a go!!

I have some blogs planned because there are big things on the horizon for me and I want to share them!! I also have some stories I'd like to share of my friends if they will allow it so I am asking now, hopefully we an help them and help others at the same time!!

Friday, 30 September 2016

The Bra Lounge

I love shopping local and supporting my local businesses! It's a passion of mine.  As often as I can I shop local.

One of my favourite stores for my lingerie is The Bra Lounge.  The ladies that work there are so amazing and friendly.  And I've never left there not liking my purchase.

I was a little sad I had to go visit them last week.  Not because it isn't a great time but because my last good bra had the underwire snapped in it and I had no other bras.  This wouldn't be a big deal but with surgery in 3 months it felt like I was not going to get my cost per use from my purchase.

So I went in, gave a quick explanation to the ladies and got fitted with some new bras that were ON SALE!!!! I had gone in to spend no more than $110 and had resigned myself to buying maybe only one more to see me through to December.  But because the Bras were on sale I was able to get two, TWO for $107.  It was the BEST news EVER!!

I was worried I would only find one more bra I liked as I went through the selection there weren't many I really liked.  One bra that came out almost looked like a crop top tank, there was a lot of material and I kept thinking nope not that one.  But as I'd gone through all the other bras I figured I may as well try it one, see what it was like.

It is now my favourite bra, it is uber comfortable, it holds my breasts up in a very comfortable position and I am extremely happy!!

So if you are in the Central Alberta area and can make it to the Bra Lounge you got to go in!! Find the right fit for you!!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

My largest collection

Do you know how some people are collectors?  Sometimes they collect things like Beanie Babies, or maybe Italian Charm Bracelet charms, or Pandora beads.  Maybe they collect cars or movies or any number of items. I've been know to collect things in my life, things like movies (I had all the Disney Movies, I still do on DVD), and music CDs and Books, all kinds of books.  But the thing I collect the most frequently are girlfriends.
I'm a girlfriend girl.  That's not to say that I don't have some amazing guy friends because I do and I wouldn't trade them for anything, but I am a girls girl.  I treasure my girlfriends and I keep them.
If I were a collector and my girlfriends were dolls, they'd be dusted regularly and put on display for the world to see!! I've been so fortunate in my life to come across some awe inspiring women that influence me to be the best version of myself.  
I've had some friends all my life, and others I've only met recently but I love having large circles of girlfriends.  It adds some spice to life!
 This feature is more of more recent girlfriends, girls I've only come to know within the last 5 years! And there are plenty of characters here, but you would have to count yourself fortunate to know them, and I definitely do!!

So Thank you to all my girlfriends, my collection of AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, WONDERFUL, SPECIAL, CARING, FANTASTIC, BEAUTIFUL, LOVING girlfriends!!! My life would be less full without you and I am blessed beyond all things because you are in my life!!

Who inspires you?  Do you collect anything?

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Red Deer Pond Hockey

I swore on all things that I would not be a Hockey mom.  I mean I like hockey, I enjoy watching it, I even enjoy a friendly game of shinny from time to time, but to be a hockey mom, yeah that wasn't something I ever wanted to do.

I remember how much time my Mom had to give of herself when my brother started playing hockey, and I feel that my sister and I missed out on doing some things because my brother had hockey.  Now this could be a misconception on my part, I mean I was young, like 11 or 12 when Nelson started but it was around that time that many of my extra curricular activities stopped as well.  Did the two events happen in conjunction or because of one I don't know.

When my first child was born we really didn't have the funds or opportunities to get involved with hockey so we tried soccer.  I actually liked being a soccer mom, I enjoy the sport and I enjoyed taking my child to his games.  He did well in soccer and played until he was in grade 11.  

Then Lil Man came along and Lil Man loves all sports but he really loves Hockey.  The kid could turn anything into a hockey stick and often did.  We grudgingly (or I) allowed him to start playing pond hockey.  It's a rec league so it is not that competitive and it helps Lil Man build the skills he needs to play hockey.  He has come so far in his understanding of the game, his skills and he loves the game even more now.

We are entering our third year of pond hockey and I am a hockey mom.  I still don't like the early mornings, but that smile on his face, I'd do everything in my power to ensure I see that smile every DAMN DAY!!!

Pond Hockey is great as it's focus is on having fun and building skills and it's not that expensive.  Also it's not a huge time commitment like Minor hockey is. I get that it might bring out two different calibers of players but as long as my child is having fun playing then that is all I need to see!

Does your community offer a Pond Hockey league for little ones?  What sports are your kids involved with?

Friday, 16 September 2016

Friday Five: Five Things I Remember from when I was sixteen

Five things I remember from when I was sixteen!!

1) I got my license on June 8 three months after my sixteenth birthday. I remember the dread I felt when my evaluator was Pete, AKA Repeat Pete.  It was also during a big fire up north so there were a lot more people in Prince Albert than usual and I remember Pete telling me at the end of my lesson that I was just on the edge of failing because I hesitated at a corner that had pedestrians at it.  He told me I had 7 or 8 marks off and he could fail me but decided not too. I finally breathed a sigh of relief and did the happy dance into SGI to pick up my new license.

2) I changed schools when I was 16 as well.  I left Rivier Academy behind and went to the Public High School.  I don't regret this decision at all and I had some of my best high school years at Carlton Comprehensive High School.  I don't feel like a missed anything by changing schools although I did lose out on a trip to Europe, but at the end of the day I still think it was the best decision for me!

3) I started my first long distance relationship when I was 16 with a boy from California. I also had my heart broken by a boy from California, not because he did anything wrong but because we both knew the distance was too much for us.  The relationship I started that was a long distance sort of happened by accident. I mean I liked the guy but to say I loved him well that would be wrong because when I met heart break boy he was clean forgotten. I remember disappointing my friends when this happened but I was sixteen and didn't understand those ramifications.  But in the end the long distance didn't work out, he ended up kissing one of my friends in Canada when he came for a visit and he was a little too intense for 16 year old me to handle.

4) I accepted and made a nickname my own at 16.  I don't go by it EVER anymore but when I was 15/16 a group of people began calling me Sharky, because I wore a San Jose Sharks jacket to hockey games.  I embraced the term and for my high school years many of my friends called me Sharky, the group that baptized me with that name, well they had their own name and GB was the President of the LRU.

5) I had my girl friends who were my besties and I also had my best guy friend! He and I got along so well and we had so much fun together.  Things became bad after we broke up but for a whole year he was a solid rock like person in my life!! And even now he's someone I think on very fondly!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Six Weeks Starts again

I enjoy doing six week training programs.  There are a multitude reasons for it but the biggest one for me is that I can see the end at six weeks so it doesn't feel like forever. And in six weeks that's when you or others will start to see a difference.  I read somewhere it takes 6 weeks for others to see the difference and 12 for you to see the difference.  And I think others have seen the difference, my brother who isn't big on complimenting paid me a compliment about looking good last week, so now this six weeks is for me to see the difference.

In my first six weeks I wasn't as focused on my nutrition as I was on working out, towards the end I spent a little more time focusing on my nutrition and I carried that over on my two week break. I don't always take a two week break but I did this time, almost by accident and sort of on purpose.

So let's recap the first six weeks.

I started weighing over 220 lbs and my total body inches equaled 388.25 inches.  The lowest I weighed over that time period was 207 lbs and my final total inches equaled 365.5 inches.  I was able to increase my weights and reps from 10lbs to 15 lbs and reps were up to 15 without a struggle with the 10 lb weights.  I was even able to get up to 60 sit ups/ crunches without total fatigue.

The scale number isn't my favourite number not because it isn't a good showing, but because it means less to me than the other numbers. The fact that I can increase my weights used in my workouts and still maintain the same reps means I am getting stronger I'm building muscle and that is making my body more effective at burning fat.  The fact that I lost over 20 inches by starting to workout then focusing on my nutrition tells me my body is getting more compact because there is more muscle developing and fat is going away.  So my favourite number is the 365.5 total inches, I think that's an amazing number and it totally bypassed my first goal to get to 375 total inches!!

Some honourable mentions to bring forward in the loss category,  saw the biggest loss in inches in my belly and hips region with 3.5 inches lost in each area.  My shoulders saw a loss of 3 inches, I also lost 2 inches from each thigh and 2 inches from the breast area.  Not bad if I do say so myself!!

 Ok so I posted on Instagram (you can follow me @jenn_loves_life) that today was the start of my new six week program and you can check out my before photos there.  I've had so many likes and comments, I know I have cheerleaders on the side lines and I am so thankful that you are with me on this!!

So I am starting at 360 total body inches (YEAH for not going completely off the rails on my two week hiatus) and my scale told me I was 210 lbs this morning.  I am not going to be giving a weight update every two weeks because I don't think it's a good indicator as I mentioned above and if I get to focused on the scale I lose sight of the importance of the other changes which are often more significant.

I've written my goals down again, I'd like to lose a total of 30 more inches to get to 330 total body inches.  I'd also like to lose 15 lbs but this is less significant than the inches.  I am also going to do two workouts at home (I have a new office and workout space I am pumped!!!) and two workouts at a boot camp class.  I am also going to try to get in one 5 km run each week. Although I am not opposed to my two workouts at home being runs either!

So here we go a whole new start!!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Friday Five:Five things I will do in my classroom!!

So as many of you know I am a teacher, if you are one of my new readers I am a Teacher in a program for students with mild to moderate cognitive delays and adaptive functioning.  I seriously LOVE my job and I work for an amazing school district with Red Deer Public!  And my kids are AMAZING!! But each year as I work to improve my teaching and programming for the students, so here are five things I will be bringing into my classroom this year!!

1) Zones of Regulation: Since my kids often struggle with regulating their emotions this program is a great way to help them learn self- regulation.  I will talk more in another blog about what exactly the Zones of regulation are and how they work and how we are implementing them into our classroom.

2) Projects, Projects and more projects!!!  Because the focus of our program is to develop life skills our focus isn't solely academic.  It's important that our kids get numeracy and literacy skills that will help them in life outside of school but it's also important that they can function in society when they are on their own.  So our projects will be a multitude that the kids can pick from based on interest or theme or the month.  They will have multiple components literacy, numeracy and all will culminate in some kind of presentation.  Some of the projects we are looking at implementing will be resume and job skill building projects, meal planning projects, getting around town projects, how to help a person with autism (or another type of disability), the importance of balanced diets.  Really the options are endless and only limited by my imagination!!

3) Leadership and Acknowledgement.  Because our kids are in a congregated program they don't always get involved with all the school activities and sometimes they are forgotten. This year it is my goal to get the kids out and involved and participating in the events in the school.  We will help them identify how they can be leaders in the classroom and in the school, but also how they can be leaders in the community.  The plan is to help them find a place where they are acknowledged for their contributions as well as celebrated for the effort they put in each year to improve their lives!

4) Jobs and responsibilities.  We did a little of this last year and it's so interesting to see how the kids thrive when they are given responsibilities. How a kid that can sometimes be a bully can be so helpful and considerate when he views what he is doing as important and relevant.  But it totally makes sense, why wouldn't the kids want to work hard if they think what they are doing will make a difference? It's why we work hard, because we feel like we are contributing to society right?

5) Pinterest Projects:  So helping my students find their strengths and abilities will often come in strange places, but I do have some uber creative kids so I am going to tap into that.  We have a period in the day that is a Flex period, where the kids can choose where they'd like to go to help build their interests.  This year I am going to do Pinterest projects that the kids can do and keep or they can do and sell as a way to earn money for field trips and such. Making Fairy Lanterns out of Mason Jars, Bracelet making, Key chain making, all those little projects that if a student is really good at then they can see how it can be an entrepreneurial option for them in the future.

It's going to be a busy a year, but Ms. L and Mr. Willms (my team teacher) are ready for it!!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Baking Storm!!

Every year I tell myself I am going to be super organized and I am going to have lunch snacks pre-made as well and menu plans done for a month and without fail two weeks in everything falls apart and we are back to our rushing at supper to get something made, something we thought of at the last minute.  And well lunch snacks often look like those things you buy from the store in bags that may or may not be full of some very unhealthy chemicals.. (let the mom shaming begin :P)

Life is busy, but I still believe it's important for our sanity and emotional health to try to make things that are easy and won't cause undue stress on the family.  It will also help with our budget to get things into perspective and only shop in our allotted amount each month/week.  So I got a head start this year.

I decided to bake one day, it was the first coolish day of the summer, you could completely smell fall in the air and I thought it would be a good time to start and start I did.  That day I made bread, 4 dozen mini muffins, and 3 dozen muffins. The next day I made 2 dozen mini muffins and 2 dozen muffins as well as 4 dozen cookies.  To say our lunch snacks are prepped is pretty obvious.

I had a lot of fun making all those things over those two days, and I feel a lot more relaxed about packing my kids lunch for school.

We've (read I) decided he can bring a morning snack, afternoon snack and lunch snack.  One snack must be a fruit or vegetable and the other two can be the baking goods we have out that week.

See I was doubly smart because I individually froze each baked good and then I packaged the baked goods into freezer bags so I only have to take them out and have them on the counter for the week.

I've also scheduled into my calendar one weekend in September for me to do a baking spree again to ensure that I have baked goods into October and maybe even get a jump start on my Christmas baking.

What do you guys do for lunch snacks?  Do you every do these baking sprees?

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

What to write about

I am struggling with the blog to find things to write about, things that I care to share with everyone that may be relevant or pertinent to them.  But does that matter??? I mean really, this is my blog, you are either reading it because one of my tags brought it up in a search engine (unlikely at this point) or you are one of my friends that clicked on the link on Facebook or Twitter (most likely).

So then I can write anything and generate traffic because people will click the link regardless and if I can capitalize on those traffic increasing labels I can generate more readers.  But I have to be writing everyday or night. I wish my bedroom offered me a place to have my computer comfortably, because I enjoy typing in bed. I sometimes wish I'd just started a Video Log on youtube, that might be easier but then I'd have learn how to edit videos and stuff and seriously it is a lot of work. I've done it but I much prefer writing.

I do much better when my days are organized in themes, that's when I wrote the most consistently.  So maybe that's what I will do to help me stay on track. The bonus is that I can pre-write the blogs in any order and out of order so long as I know what day I am posting which blog.   I've never wrote blogs for the weekend but maybe that's something I should do, or maybe that's where I start.  Blog entries from Thursday to Sunday.  I know a lot of blogs don't produce new reading material on the weekend but that's when I usually sit down to read. .... Its definitely an idea.

I'd try to blog every day but let's get real it's hard enough for me to keep my entries to Monday to Friday consistently..  Hence, no blog entry this Monday.....Four days a week I could commit to.  So for the next month or until September 30 I am going to post new blogs every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and every second Monday to keep up with my fitness journey.  Look at that goal I just worked out.

Now for topics.... Monday's will be the updates, Thursday will be a What's cooking type of entry, new recipes or new organizational tools I'm trying to make suppers less stressful, Friday's will be Friday Fives, Saturday will focus on a local theme, Sundays for things I love.

Ok that's a start so here's to my blogging!!

What topics do you enjoy reading in blogs?  Leave a comment below I do try to answer them all!!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

More changes a coming

A year ago I asked for a referral to a plastic surgeon.  I am a well endowed female and all that extra weight up front was causing havoc in my back.  I have had a sore back for years, YEARS!!! My massage therapists always comment on how stressed I must be (from the tension in my upper back) but really it's just from carrying around two watermelons on my chest!! I am also tired of the propping up and pushing down I have to do with my arms in order to be comfortable driving, golfing, really anything because the size they are right now leaves my arms always at an akimbo type state,

So we went in discussed the surgery and then I was supposed to call to get put on the schedule.  There are two reasons I didn't get around to calling in the first 365 days....
1) I started a new job and didn't really know about taking time off especially since my husband wasn't working at the time, then I started another new job and maybe I should have called for June or July but I was still planning to run the Seawheeze back then, so that wasn't going to work.
2) This is my vain reason, he mentioned that I would likely have an altered silhouette, I would no longer be larger on top with a small waist but more small on top and larger waist.  I was no comfortable with this so I kept putting it off hoping I would miraculously lose the weight so it wouldn't be such an imbalance.

I have just had my second consultation with my plastic surgeon and I am comfortable with how things turned out.  I am sure I will have to change my perception a bit but to have some relief from the constant pulling and strain from the watermelons on my chest I am willing to come to terms with it.

But, I do have a date for the surgery now, December 22, which means I have 4 months to get into shape.  It's time to stop snacking and it's time to be conscientious about what I eat and it's time to really buckle down and work on my exercise routine.  That way when I have to take the 6 weeks off for recovery I will be fine with that and I won't have me gaining a shit tonne of weight!!

Transformation 2016 is about to start!! (Well it started 4 weeks ago, but now it's going to blast off into high gear!)  Stay tuned for more updates!!

Have any of you ever had plastic surgery?  Have you ever considered plastic surgery?

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Trying a new meal tonight

Ok I am running out of things to blog about so I will blog about my attempt to make Big Macs at home.

I saw this post on Facebook for homemade Big Macs and as we are on a spending diet I thought this might be something to try and it would at least be something different.

I love Big Macs, like seriously LOVE them, but I do not like how I feel after eating a McDonald's value meal. Bloated and gassy, it's just not worth the pain for the five minutes of flavour heaven. I'm hoping these may be a bit healthier since I am making them at home, but I guess we will see.

I am going to share with you my first memory of a Big Mac.  It's not even when I had my first Big Mac, but it is when I realized that Big Macs were things kids could order.

We had been on a family vacation to California and we had driven out to visit my cousin DJ.  After some talk we took DJ out for supper to a McDonald's (High rollers) oh wait it was his choice.  While there I was disappointed I couldn't order a McPizza as this McDonald's didn't sell them (first time I learned all McDonald's have different menus) and I had to have a cheeseburger.  DJ however orderd a Big Mac. Now DJ is only a year older than me but my eyes got so big because as if this kid could eat a Big Mac, he was just trying to be a show off.  But he ate it and he threw that styrofoam container in the garbage before I had even finished my meal.  I was impressed and I knew then that next time I had the opportunity I was going to order a Big Mac!! My mom also told the story of how DJ's dad Darryl would eat two Big Macs at one sitting plus the fries and drinks.  It was crazy to think that someone could eat two Big Macs at one sitting, it was not something I was inclined to try and no I have never eaten two Big Macs at one sitting.

Here is the link to the video that I used to make my Big Macs, I am going to do some further research because this was not my favourite at all. But it was a nice easy place to start!!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Five Years Ago on the 15th of August

I did a little something and got married!! No we didn't elope or anything, we planned it out and in the end it was the perfect day!

My husband and I got engaged in 2009 and two years later we were married.  Yup it wasn't something we rushed into, although we did get engaged a year and a half after dating then sort of tested the waters for a bit.  I'd always had a plan to get married in Lake Tahoe, you know my favourite place on the planet!! After taking my husband there in 2010 he agreed that this would be a wonderful place for a wedding.

Now we decided to get married on a Monday in the summer, not the most popular day granted, but since we were travelling from Canada this would give everyone a little time to travel down for the wedding and not feel rushed trying to make a Saturday wedding or having to leave right after. We were all on vacation anyways so it didn't matter what day of the week we chose.  We had friends and family coming from California as well, not all were able to make it because of the Monday date but most did and it was a beautiful ceremony.

We had about 45 guests in attendance.  It was a nice small wedding and in all reality exactly what I wanted.  I didn't want to spend all kinds of money on a ceremony and supper and dresses and blah blah blah, I wanted to focus on what comes after the big day and I think that has done us all kinds of good!!  So about the day.

We decided to get married around 3 I think, it's been five years I can't really remember those exact details, 3 or 4 seems about right to me. So before getting married we all got ready.  The girls in my room and the boys down in another room.  I did my own hair and make up even (the one thing I would change if I went back in time, just so I could have a little more time to relax) I also did my flower girls hair as well.  Once we were all ready we headed to the venue to meet the photographer.

While the venue was set up Adrian and I took off with the photographer and had some couple photos taken at a different location at Lake Tahoe.  I am in love with all places around Lake Tahoe and if I could afford to take my photographer down with me I would so we could have family pictures taken down there.  Maybe that can be my five year plan.  Here are some of the photos from that location.

Then it was time for the ceremony.  I had my cousin James officiate as we felt it would be more intimate that way.  He did a phenomenal job and I was able to find some poems and things from the internet to add, that made our wedding that much more customized to who we are! Here is my favourite from that day.

~ By: Mari Nichols-Haining ~

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body...

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won't hold them against me,
Who loves me when I'm unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me...

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold...

Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship...

Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements...

Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole...

Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage...

Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless.

We then had the reception at the venue, all of this was outside, after the supper we younguns headed to the casino and went out for a bit!! It was such a great night and soon we will go back just to take our kids back again!  Sorry this took me 5 years to post Becky!!! hahahhahaha

Monday, 15 August 2016

A mountain was broken down one rock at a time

Yes I just made my weight loss journey a comparison to breaking down a mountain because somedays it feels like I am trying to move a mountain in doing this and seeing very little results. I am so result driven that I have to remind myself (often) that this is a journey, it won't happen over night.  It's part of my logic also to only weighing and measuring myself every two weeks.  It can be very discouraging if I were to do those every week and so very little results.

For the past two weeks I have been working the big muscle groups Abs and legs with some arm work.  I was doing so well then I pulled a muscle in my back and had to slow down.  Let's look back at where I was in the beginning.

Total Inches 388.25
Total pounds 220.
Bicep curls 10lbs 1 set of 15 reps after two weeks 10lbs 3 sets of 15 reps
Tricep Extensions 5 lbs 1 set of 15 reps after two weeks  10 lbs 3 sets of 15
Shoulder raises 5 lbs 1 set of 15 reps after two weeks  10 lbs 3 sets of 15
Squats 10 lbs 30 total after two weeks  10 lbs 75 total
Lunges 10 lbs 20 total after two weeks 10 lbs 60 total

Photo comparison start to week 2

The results of my first two weeks are as follows: Total Inches 380.25 (-8)
Total weight 209 lbs

It has now been another two weeks.  The focus has been the Abdominal area and some leg work.  I have gone for runs and played soccer and been doing crunches.  I used to be able to do 3 sets of 30 crunches without breaking a sweat, I sat down to do my first set of crunches and was lucky I could get to 15.  This will take some time but I am amped up.  At the end of my two weeks I am now able to do three 25 second planks in a row with a short 10 second break.  I am able to do 40 crunches before I am exhausted.  I continue to do 3 sets of 15 reps with my 10 lbs weight for bicep and tricep workouts.  I am up to a total of 85 squats and 70 lunges.

I did my measurements today and because this last two weeks has been a little lackluster with my workouts and such I didn't expect much.  Seriously, I was going to be excited with maintaining what I had lost last time.  But as I did my measurements I found that I had dropped another 10.25 inches.  SWEET!!!  Maybe some of that muscle I built started to eat my left over fat deposits!! The scale even says I am down 2 pounds so ok I can handle this.  I will post a picture to this after, I am trying to keep my pictures in the same outfit to get a better comparison and those are in the laundry right now.

I'm happy with my progression it's slow and steady but along the way I am building routines and good habits to help me stay healthy. Because Healthy is the new Skinny!!! (This is not my saying but it is my new mantra!!!) Check out Healthy is the New Skinny here, the founder is an amazing Girl Boss!!

Friday, 12 August 2016

Friday Five: Five books I've loved this summer!!

I've loved a lot of books this summer.  More than working out, more than watching television I have loved all the reading I have been able to do!! And so many good books.  I may not have taken all the vacations I wished I could have this year, but I got to travel to so many unique worlds and meet so many characters through the books that I don't feel like I missed anything.  So here are my top 5 books from this summer!!

1) Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
I  tried reading this book back in the winter and just could not get into it then. I really tried but I just was not in the mood.  So I shelved it promising to come back to it at a later date to give it one more go.  I am so glad I did but so sad I didn't take the rest of the series out at the same time because now I have to wait until school starts before I can read them.  If you aren't into fantasy this book will not be for you, but if you like those alternate universe with fantastical creatures that live amongst us then this is a perfect book for you.

2) The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
I am a HUGE fan of Rick Riordan, for two reasons, one he writes on topics that I am obsessed with (the Gods specifically the Greek Gods, but I have read his Egyptian and Roman God Series) and two he was the author that made my son, Chandler a reader.  This is his latest in his Greek God's section. It revolves around Apollo! So if you want a nice easy read try this book it will introduce you to some interesting characters and funny mishaps has they work through their adventure!

3) The Girl who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
This was a happenstance find, I was picking out books to read this summer and this one just happened to jump out at me.  Twice actually! I don't mean literally jump but I had gone by it the first time and thought it would be interesting but I didn't take any books the first day so the next time I came i had a few that were on my mind but I couldn't remember this books title, so as I was looking through the shelves it was like a spot light was on it for how I was drawn to it.  And such a great book, again another in the fantasy genre.  I really like the ideas of alternate universes where things are just a little different. But so so good!!

4) The First Stone by Don Aker
This book was a suggestion by my schools Librarian.  It's a realistic fiction book about the consequences and lessons we must learn that come from our actions.  I really liked how they weaved the story together the different perspectives shedding light on what each character had to overcome and the obstacles in their way.

5) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I know I know so many people have already read this book. It was a good book but it was never a real draw, it was one of those books that I was like yeah I'll read it one of these days and I kept putting it off because other books came up that I was more interested in.  But such a good book, such a good murder mystery that you can't help but start to feel for the main character even though she has some questionable  characteristics.  I spent a good part of the book shaking my head at her, but as things started falling into place I basically felt bad about my judgements.

So those are five of the 15 books I have to read this year. I have two left to go and two weeks left in which to read them, I think i should be good to accomplish this task!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

My Baby Graduated!!!

It's a hard thing to watch your babies grow up but if they grow up to be as fabulous as mine then you are truly blessed!! I couldn't ask for a better kid, he's charming, caring, funny (even though I don't always get his humour), and he's driven.  He impresses the people he works for, they say he's a hard worker and isn't afraid to ask questions (YES that finally got driven home)!! And he cleans up pretty nicely actually!!  
 I still find it hard to believe that he graduated.  Not because he couldn't do it, I always knew he could he just had to put in the effort, but because time has flown by.  I still remember his first day of preschool!! I still remember when he took his first step, when he was born like it was yesterday.  And now, NOW he is this "grown ass man" as he likes to tell me jokingly as we have a rapport that allows him those freedoms.

 He's not the first in his family to graduate from high school, but there were a lot of factors that could have made him a statistic.  He's parents were very young when they had him, then his parents got divorced and he was from a single parent family.  He shuttled back and forth to visit his dad.  But because I was a stickler for education and told him from the time he was in grade one or two that if he ever failed a class he would be kept back to repeat.  To this day he has never failed a class.  There were a couple times it came close but his teachers were great and Chandler always buckled down!

 My handsome man at his grand March! It is so nice to see him all happy and smiley!! He deserved this day, he worked hard for it! I was overcome with PRIDE!!! I wanted to phone the newspapers, the radio stations the television stations EVERYONE because my baby, my little baby boy had graduated from high school!!!

Yup this little (not so little anymore) man, my Chandler-man, has become a pretty amazing young man! He's got a lot of learning to do (as did we all through our 20s) but I am sure he will handle it all with much more grace and class than many of his peers, because he's proven that he has a maturity beyond his years.
Chandler I love you!!!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

A "New" computer!!

So my Mac book had been getting really slow and it almost seemed like I had a virus or something on it.  Emails were being sent to people that I had never sent an email too (sorry about that didn't know until some of the failed delivery notifications showed up in my inbox) and just loading things took FOREVER.

I had to make it to Calgary to drop off my Waiver form and ID to Becky for Seawheeze (sad story but I will blog about it later).  So I made an appointment at the Genius Bar to have my Mac looked at.  I had to back up all the files I wanted (my writing and my photos) Which I did and away to Calgary we went.

It seemed like there was no virus on my computer but it had a lot of Malware and it was uber slow.  So they took it into the back room and wiped it clean.  SO now I have a basically new computer.

It's awesome to have my computer back and running correctly, but there have been a few OMG moments.

Like my Sims 4 game it was all gone and I had to redownload everything.  Problem being when I went into my origin account my games were all gone and it kept saying I had no games.  I took a deep breath to keep from freaking out and messaged online support, they were able to help me and I got all my games back, just not any of the sims I had been using previously.

Another thing that is different is I don't have direct access to my hard drive anymore.  I used to have an icon on my desktop with it but now that's gone so I don't actually know how to find all my applications and things.  It's a little frustrating, but I will figure it out.

The only big problem that I am finding right now is that some of my pictures do not want to download back onto my computer from the backup.  An error message keeps showing up saying the "metadata" is not available or something.  Uber frustrating and it's for like half my pictures so I am not sure what to do.  I have to figure out which pictures did transfer and which haven't.  It's not horrible but I need to learn how to better organize my iPhotos so that the photos get grouped into files that make sense to me and not just by date.

So hopefully this helps eliminate my spamming email problem.  The speed of the computer has definitely improved.  And I am so glad I didn't have to buy a new one!!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Arbonne GTC

Back in October I took the plunge to sell Arbonne as a way to make a little extra money.  It went ok and I was reaching the goals I wanted to reach but then I thought I should amp up my game to make this money making venture a bigger earner then what I was currently making.  So I listened to my uplink Stacey and bought a ticket to GTC and headed to Vegas with these beauties!!

 Stacey is my upline and she is a great supporter and never gives up on me even when I ignore her calls, emails and texts.  Sometimes you just need to unplug!! But she is one of my best cheerleaders and I know that each time I want to make it to a new level she will be there to cheer and lead me on!!
 Tracey and I met through Stacey and she is one of my sideline sisters. This girl is amazing I just love her.  Her bubbly personality and can do spirit are very motivating.

 When you get to the third level of management with Arbonne they will give you a bonus so you can drive a white mercedes benz.  I think I'd really like to drive one and to have someone else pay for it for me, but at the same time I really like my van and the room it gives us and I don't want to drive another SUV.  So this sedan is my mercedes benz ideal car.... well actually the two seater convertible is but that's not really practical for my family....
 It was nice to be able to take this trip to Vegas (Thank you Arbonne) and spend some girl time with these great girls!! I really love Vegas in short doses but we were so busy so having the one day after the conference was nice too!

 I'd never been to Fremont street and I was so happy we got to go it was a lot of fun!! The only thing I didn't get to do was the zipline, but that will be for the next trip to Vegas!!

I also got to meet the Biebs, or his wax likeness!! That's the closest I'd ever want to get to the Biebs, I'm definitely not his biggest fan but I do enjoy his new album.

All in all it was a good trip a lot of things learned about Arbonne, a new resolve to do more with it but also a bigger understanding of what I need to do in order to build success in Arbonne.

Have you tried Arbonne products?  Do you know the Arbonne Difference?