Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - A year in review

I love looking back on the year and reflecting on what has happened.  Problem is, as I get older, I need some visual reminders of what exactly went on :)  Sadly, our picture taking was at a minimum this year (no x-mas pics at all...what a shame), but here's what I got anyway.

Pre-show drinks (and dinner, not pictured) at the beautiful Palliser Hotel.  My sister and I have seasons tickets to Vertigo Mystery Theatre and meet up at the hotel before the show.  We had such a good time last season that we convinced my husband and our mom to join us this season.

Crabapple trees in bloom.  Except for the three days of the year that they're in bloom, I HATE these trees.  Every bloom means an apple...and there's a ton of them (some are still on the trees now...gonna be gross when it thaws).  I did make crabapple jelly with some of the fruit in the I guess there's that.
We took our good friend Morgan to California with us on vacation.  She was a trooper and her and Jet did really well together for the week (it wasn't without it's crying, temper tantrums, sulking and screeching...but in retrospect not all that bad). 


Disneyland continues to rock our world. 

Saw a ball game...or two.

And I shopped at Trader Joe's for two dollar wine.  TWO DOLLARS!  That alone makes me come back to California every year.  I also bought lots of clothes.

Then there was Little League.  And it was cold.  And windy.  And I hated every game and practice. Adam coached and I got to "help", that might have had something to do with the hate.

Calgary Stampede!  This was at the parade, timestamp 9:23 am.  By the time the longest parade in the world was over (4 hours later) Adam and I had consumed far to much and then had to meet up with my family for mom and dads anniversary dinner.  Jet was bored within minutes of getting there.  He played games on my phone the entire time.

Same the hotel where mom and dad were staying.
Next up, flag football season!  At least it was warm-ish for these games and practices.  Jet's team won again...triple overtime.  I'm sure the ball of nerves that I had while watching will get better as he gets older...right?
Cruise time!  This was in the Air Canada lounge in Toronto.  $35 unlimited food (appetizers) and booze, plus comfy seats and not a bunch of noisy people.  An excellent way to spend our three hour layover.

 First look at the new Disney Fantasy.  Beautiful ship, loved the look and feel of it. 

Jet on the ride to the boat.  For whatever reason he refused to take off this sweater, and it was HOT in Florida (even by normal standards I'm told).

Jet relaxing on the balcony.  Adam was the one who wanted this the most, and he did spend the first two evenings having a drink and lounging but then he didn't really use it again.  I liked having the option to hang out there, but I'm not sure it was really worth the money.

Tea and after dinner treats at Remy, the adult only restaurant on the Fantasy.  This dinner was fantastic, totally worth the extra money ($75 for dinner and $100 for wine pairings).  I've never seen so many different types of flatware...and the service (and the food) was superb.

It was also on the cruise that Adam discovered his love for Champagne.  And I discovered my love for really good, really expensive (for me) Champagne.  $30 a glass Champagne.

Christmas presents!  Sadly, not for me this year, but for my sister.  I couldn't even squee in glee over getting the box because she'd totally know what it was and who it was for.  Next year there's talk we'll spend the holidays in London.  The fun London, not the fake Ontario London either.

And that's about it for pictures.  I also got back into fitness, started running and convinced myself to try a half-marathon.  More on that next year.

Here's to a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

First day of winter

Hello first day of winter (and possibly last day ever...if you're into that kind of thing), here's why I dislike you so:

Sunrise:  8:37am
Sunset: 4:31pm
Length of day: 7h 54 min

Good news is it all gets better (albeit colder) from here on out.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Now with 100% more stove!

So last week I left off bemoaning my lack of stove.

Here's the replacement!

It's everything I hoped it would be.  And there's even a (not so) Hidden Mickey in there as well.

The less said about Week 2 of Elf 4 Health the better, I never got it together last week at all.  This week shall be better though!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Without stove for the week

Friday evening I got home from work, did a fantastic workout and, once done, turned on the oven to make our traditional Friday Frozen Pizza dinner.  Then, upstairs to shower (it was that good of a workout) and just as I was about to step under the water I heard a loud POP! (and I may have seen a flash of light...but that could also have been my imagination). 

So, half dressed, I go and check it out.  It didn't actually explode, but tripped the breaker.  Odd.  Flipped the breaker back to on and then the stove started beeping like when you turned the timer on. 

But I hadn't done that.

It was cycling through it's test program (I presume) and would. not. stop. beeping.

Off, goes the breaker to stop the noise and then I realize that we're without oven (and range...since OMG! the beeping!) until either a) hubby fixes the damn thing, or b) we buy a new one.

Saturday we do some research and fixable, but no guarantee it will work.  So I'm the proud owner of a new convection range.


It won't be at my house until Thursday.  That's a lot of days without "proper" cooking.

So far we've:

 - Ordered pizza

 - Went to a friends house for dinner

 - Made Thai curry in the crock-pot (with microwaved rice)

 - BBQ'd in the snow.

Not sure what's on the menu today and tomorrow.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Elf for Health - Week one review

Week one of the Elf for Health challenge is done and my final grade is less than stellar.  I tried...I really did, but I let life get in the way a bit too much.

On the plus side, I did some hard workouts 5 days last week.  And that's better than I had been doing before.

So, to review:

Monday:  Go Meatless Today. 
50% on day one.  Breakfast - Berries, yogurt and granola.  Lunch - Vegetable (with pasta) soup, cheese and salad.  Dinner - Chinese take-away  ::sigh::  I'm going to try again on another day.

Tuesday: Send a card or handwritten note to a friend.
Done and done.  Gold star to me.

Wednesday: Try a new workout today! 
New-ish workout.  Increasing walk/run intervals and then a bunch of ab work after.

Thursday: Get up 15 minutes early to meditate and reflect.
How hard can getting up 15 minutes be?  Answer: Very hard. 

Friday: How many colors can you eat today? Challenge yourself!
I didn't eat them all in great quantities but I think I got them all in :)

Weekend: Clean out your closet! Fill a bag with clothes to donate to Goodwill or send some belongings to Sandy victims.
Sadly, this didn't get done either.

And the new week starts today...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Elf for Health - Week one

 And we're off!

The Elf for Health challenge started on Monday and it's been exciting to watch/read the lead-up posts, tweets and facebook chatter.  Challenges for this week are:

Monday:  Go Meatless Today. 
50% on day one.  Breakfast - Berries, yogurt and granola.  Lunch - Vegetable (with pasta) soup, cheese and salad.  Dinner - Chinese take-away  ::sigh::  I'm going to try again on another day.

Tuesday: Send a card or handwritten note to a friend.
Got it all figured out, just have to execute.  And then mail...that might turn out to be the tricky part.

Wednesday: Try a new workout today! 
Shouldn't be a problem.

Thursday: Get up 15 minutes early to meditate and reflect.
How hard can getting up 15 minutes be?

Friday: How many colors can you eat today? Challenge yourself!
Looking forward to this one!

Weekend: Clean out your closet! Fill a bag with clothes to donate to Goodwill or send some belongings to Sandy victims.
Excellent project for the weekend.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Weekend so far...

My weekend so far:

- Bought a few Christmas presents on Friday (Canada apparently does Black Friday sales, even though our Thanksgiving was over a month ago).

- Had a birthday party for the boy.  There's a ton of cake and candy left over.  Which is bad.

 - Watched the first 3 episodes of Murder, She Wrote on Netflix.  I think having only 6 episodes of Sherlock has forced us to find something that we can't finish watching in a single weekend.

 - Hung up one strand of Christmas lights.  It required a drill, hooks, tie wraps and an extra power bar.  There's 4 more windows to do, we might not be done until the new year.

 - Baseball practice (boring), grocery shopping (busy), dinner out (A&W, oops), cleaned a little bit in preparation for watching the Grey Cup tomorrow.

....and that's about it.  I worked out yesterday morning but didn't workout today.  I NEED TO BE BETTER! 

And it starts tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Elf for Health Holiday Challenge

I'm going to be an Elf for Health!

Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean and Elle from Nutritionella have come up with a great challenge to help stay on track during the holidays:

Introducing the Elf for Health Holiday Challenge! This is a six week challenge that will run from the Monday after Thanksgiving thru the first week in January. There will be daily tasks, daily winners, prizes, weekly newsletters, and a Facebook group for support.
And are you ready for the best part? You’ll have an elf to support and encourage you! When you sign up, you will also be committing to be an elf for someone in return. Over the course of the challenge, you will have three different elves.
Sounds like a great way to stay motivated and meet new people over the holidays doesn’t it?! Since this challenge is internet based, anyone can participate… no matter where you’re located! All you need is access to the internet and an email address.

I think it sounds fab, I could certainly use the help because finding my motivation seems to be a problem lately.  Hopefully this will help, and I get to encourage others along the way!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - Nov 19

Well, my plan for last week kind of, sort of, worked out.  We had a ton of leftovers that we had for dinner yesterday in an effort to clean out the fridge.  I've also started accumulating pantry and freezer things again, so it's time to "Eat from the Freezer/Pantry".

For this week:

Monday - Pasta and Alfredo Sauce with salad. The boy requested this.  Actually he requested pasta with butter, Adam and I will have the sauce.

Tuesday - Fish and Chips.  Adam requested this.  I might have fish and butternut squash.

Wednesday - Chicken Thighs, broccoli and noodles.  One thing from the freezer down!

Thursday -Ham steaks, potatoes and veggies.  Two things from the freezer down!

Friday - Pizza party! 

Saturday - Split pea and ham soup.  Possibly with potato skins that we bought from Costco on Saturday (a weakness of mine).   The peas have been languishing in my cupboard for a while...time to do something about them.

Sunday - I had pork tenderloin written down, but my sister reminded me it's Grey Cup Sunday and if we're watching it at our place.  If this is true I'll make chili.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Baking up a Storm

Today was filled with baking, something I haven't done in quite a while.  It was fun, but after 5 hours on my feet, I'm beat and just want a cuppa with a variety of my wares of the day :)

First up, Banana Bread from Friday:

Jet and I made this together when we were home on Friday.  He measured out the flour and other dry ingredients, but cracking the egg was his favourite.

Then today...


 Mock Marmalade from the BBC Good Food Magazine.  Adapted from Wartime Farm (which I totally want to get my hands on).  I had to reboil this since I didn't follow directions the first time and it never set.  Fingers crossed it's still good.

Also from Wartime Farm (via Good Food Mag); Gingerbread Cake.  But you have to wait a couple days before eating it.  

From The 1940's Experiment Gingerbread Cookies.  They didn't brown up as much as I thought they would, but they taste good.

Icebox Cookies from Canadian Living.  This makes A LOT.  I split up one batch into candied cherries and lemon cranberry.  There's still a ton of dough in the fridge for another time.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Taking it Easy

I've been taking it easy yesterday and today.  Feel like I might be coming down with the cold that's going around, so might as well rest up while I'm mostly well in hopes that I only get a little under the weather.

My (not so) little guy turned 8 yesterday so we ordered dinner in, had some people over, had some drinks, had some (very sweet) cake and then watched Jumanji.  Such exciting lives we lead.  We also now have a million more Skylanders in the house than we did 24 hours ago.

Baked some yummy banana bread too this afternoon.  Can't wait for it to finish baking and cooling...yum, yum, yum.

Workouts resume tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I get some crazy ideas in my head.  Usually the way out there ones sort themselves out in a matter of minutes, but sometimes they stick around for a while.  And the longer they stick around the more seriously I start to take them.

The other day I was reading a blog and one of the links was to the Strathmore Women's Triathlon.   I was intrigued.  Not only because I grew up there and never knew that they had a triathlon, but because it was women only and a "sprint" race which I didn't know existed. 

(In my head triathlon = ironman.  I've never bothered to look it up and check)

So I've spent the last few days looking into this, reading about it and visualizing actually doing it.

And then reality set in and I saw just how crazy this particular brand of crazy train is:

1)  I don't own a bike.

1b) Even if I had a bike I don't know how to use it.

2) I don't much like swimming.  I took lessons and stuff as a kid, but that's about it.

3) It's winter now.  Training for 20k bike race would either have to be on a stationary bike, or wait until Spring...which, in Calgary, might not come until July.


There is a relay option.  My sister already said NO.  In big capital letters (actually her exact text was more colourful).  But she suggested asking my mom and aunt, who are usually up for anything. 

But it will have to be rock, paper, scissors to see who gets the swimming. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - Nov 12, 2012

I haven't done a menu plan in quite a long time, and it's shown.  We've slowly been slipping into the world of stopping at the store after work to pick something up (and usually it winds up being pizza) even though we've got a freezer full of stuff.  It just happens to all be frozen because I couldn't be bothered to take something out the night before.

So here's the plan for this week.  It's nothing fancy, in fact, I think it's the complete antithesis of fancy.  But it's what I've got time for.

Monday - Chicken (roasted in the oven with seasonings), salad, pasta side dish.

Tuesday - Italian Sausage, mashed potatoes, sauteed peppers and zucchini. Don't know how I'm going to cook the sausages, since we're out of propane for the BBQ (and it's covered in snow, but that's easy to fix)

Wednesday - Beef Tacos.

Thursday - Jet's birthday dinner.  He gets to choose where we go, and since he's 8 he'll probably choose McDonalds.

Friday - Bacon wrapped steak (pre-made from Costco), baked butternut squash, salad.

Saturday - Out for dinner.  Baseball camp and then off to a friends house to watch the UFC fights.

Sunday - Not sure what I'll be in the mood to cook.  Maybe a roast with trimmings.  Could be soup and some home made french bread.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Change in vacation plans

I've totally been pouting the last two days.  Looks like my vacation plans for early next year are kaput.

I was stoked to do the Expedition Everest Challenge in Disney World May 4 2013.  I won't lie, it's 95% because I want the finishers medal and 5% because it's an obstacle course plus scavenger hunt.

It's a COMPASS!  I'm not sure how I've lived my life this long without it.

So, I convinced my sister and my husband to join me.  We were going to celebrate cinco de mayo, Jessicas birthday and watch the Jays play baseball in Tampa Bay.

I had plans.  And then work had to go and wreck it.

For about an hour on Friday I thought I could work around it.  It involved a quick jaunt from Orlando to Houston for 3 days for a work thing.  But it was do-able.  Then we noticed the big huge GeoConvention was the same week and I would have to be here for that.

So no early May vacation for me.  We'll probably go to Florida end of March instead, but that doesn't get me my medal.  Not this year anyway.

In other news, we went swimming this morning at the wave pool.  Got my leg workout jumping waves and my ab workout by shivering as soon as you got out of the water.  It was freezing!

Going to make home made pretzels, do laundry and work on my meal plan for Menu Plan Monday.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bits and Bobs

No work out today.  After all my blathering yesterday too :)  We're in the middle of our first real snow storm of the season so we're having comfort food, looking through flyers for Christmas gifts and inviting people over to our place for x-mas eve.

I need to come up with a menu and take the 24th off.  Kind of looking forward to it.

Dinner was an eclectic combination of raw veggies, steamed broccoli, perogies (fried in bacon fat and DELICIOUS) and chicken breast topped with mozzarella cheese tomatoes and basil.  All very yummy :)

Very envious of everyone running the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Epcot this weekend.  Perhaps next year...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What I Learned Today

Today I learned, and I already knew this, that the answer to the question "should I work out today?"  should always be Yes.

On the drive home I wondered outlaid to my husband if I should do my workout.  He was supportive in his response to my passive-aggressive attempt to blow it off, but as we walked in the door I talked myself back into the shorter version of the workout.

And I'm glad I did.

I don't feel as sluggish, I've got the nice soreness you get from a workout and I generally feel better about myself.

So.  The answer to the question is always:

Yes!  Don't even give it a second thought.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I've come a long way

I wasn't looking forward to yesterday's workout.  The cardio part was a bunch of run/walk intervals with the longest run of 9 minutes.

My gut reaction is "no way can I run that long", but it turns out that I can.  It wasn't particularily fast, but I did it.  Now I get to look forward to tomorrows workout which, in total, are 5:1 minute run/walk intervals.

15 second walk interval!? 

Not too sure about this one.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week in Review

Yes, it’s Monday.  And it feels weird to do a week in review on a Monday, but that’s what this program does so I go with it.  Having to start the diet/fitness week today really does make you think about what you’re doing on the weekend. 
Very hard to hide a cheat when you only have a day or two to make up for it.

So…last week was really hard to stay on track:
-          Ate too much crap
-          Ate too much, period
-          Skipped two workouts
-          Partially logged my food intake (if at all some days)

I resolve to be better this week:
-          No more skipping workouts, I’m even doing one of the ones from last week today, since I took yesterday off as a rest day I don’t need two in a row. 
-          Cut down on the junk.  Just because it’s in my house doesn’t mean I have to Eat It All.
-          Use the Food Diary.  Write it all down.  Be honest.

Hopefully this time next week I'll have more positive things to say! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Most Favourite Day of the Year

Daylight savings time ends!

I don't see the point of doing it at all, since we're so far north.  What do I care if the sun goes down at 10 vs 11 in the summer? Or, that it sets at 4 vs 5 in the winter? The only good part is today;  when the clocks go back, I get to sleep in and go to bed early.

I do feel bad for anyone working retail this morning, been there done that, it sucks because all these people are up early and are waiting for you to open.  And usually the people making the schedules don't take this into account.

Workout review later today...promise.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Endless Movies and TV

So hubby signed us up for Netflix today.  He has endless movies and TV at his fingertips, which I guess is okay for a while, it stops him from raiding the cheap movie bin at Wal-Mart and bringing home a bunch of junk we only watch once (or never).

I'm excited because it has a bunch of BBC TV shows that I wouldn't mind watching.

Tomorrow will be the start of my review of the Gunnar Challenge, the workout that I'm doing.  So fun, but so uh...challenging!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day two of my promise to write everyday isn't going to well.  Last night I had a list of things to say. 

Today...not so much.

Actually, as I added the tag 'Rambling' it reminded me that I spent a great deal of time last summer reading about a fellow who walked from Land's End to John o'Groats.  I found it fascinating and something that I'd love to do when I can take extended periods of time off work.

If I didn't hate the term "bucket list" this would totally be on it.

I also loved his London Tube Walk series, mostly because I'm immediately smitten with anything to do with London and it's history.

And that reminds me that it's been far too long between trips to England. 

I need to go back.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hello again world!

Hello Blog!

I've been neglecting you for years and I feel I should pick it up again.

I'm sorry that I didn't tell you about all of the food and travel that's been going on in the past three years.

And I'm really sorry that I haven't shared the diet that I went on (successfully, but I'll fill you in later) and the new fitness regiment I found (definitely more on that later) and the rather odd fascination I have with collecting finisher medals for 5k races (okay, I only have one...and it's plastic and plain but it makes me want to get MORE!)

So, here's a promise from me to you. Everyday during the month of November I will fill you in on stuff. It's pretty sweet, I know. Where else are you going to find that kind of deal?