Monday, April 30, 2012

Marathons and Taxes

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all enjoyed wonderful weekends. Mine was great but the tail end of it was spent doing taxes. It wouldn't be such a big deal if they were cut and dry but because my husband is technically self-employed, it's quite a process just getting all the bits and pieces of paperwork and hundreds of receipts added up and entered into their proper category (that for the majority of the year lay stashed/crumpled/tossed into the "receipt" pile). Bleh. Anyway, they are completed now and just in time! Pheww!

The highlight of the weekend however was having coffee with my lovely Aunt, my beautiful sister, and a dear "old" friend ;) This dear old friend of mine (who I've been friends with since junior high and really can't call old because we're the same age) is going to be running her first marathon this year. (I know - she's crazy!) BUT I have an even crazier Auntie who ran her first marathon many years ago - when only a small percentage of women were actually running them - and since that first marathon, did 20 MORE!! Can you believe it?! She's amazing.

I was embarrassed to admit that while I knew my Auntie had run a 'marathon or two' in her day, I really never knew much about those races - and never really asked about them! Likely, it was because up until fairly recently I didn't have much interest in running. Anyway, it was so great to see some of her old photos; hear some stories; and listen to some of the hints and tips that she was able to pass along to my friend. I just think it's SUCH an accomplishment and am so proud of both my friend and my Auntie (and my beautiful sister - for different reasons).

Finally, I would like to share with you a photo from my own "long walk" yesterday - and later this week I will talk about my own half marathon training and how that is going. It ended up being an absolutely gorgeous day for our trek around Glenmore Reservoir (and some). 18K to be exact. My longest distance yet.

This photo is of my walking buddy Erin - and behind her is the Res. It felt so good to be out. Thank goodness it's Spring. I am practically giddy because of it.

Have a great Monday~!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Go the F to Sleep!

Hi Everyone!

As I write this - it's 6:30am and I am listening to my daughter (awake) upstairs, going to the bathroom for the second or third time and I know she's waiting anxiously for the "green light" in her room to go off, signaling that she can wake up - which is at 7.

The "green light" is this clock that you can set up to teach toddlers when they need to go to bed, and then can get out of bed, since they can't tell the time yet. It's great - but even that hasn't been perfect. Last night my daughter got out of bed again (even though she knows that she needs to stay in her own bed) and wanted to come into our bed. Well, that just doesn't work for us, since there is way too much tossing and one gets a good night sleep.

But I am getting super frustrated with the middle of the night wake-ups. "They" say that children at this age still need around 12 hours of sleep every night, and since my little girl hasn't napped since she was 1.5 years old....she rarely gets this in. I know she can sleep through the night (because she sometimes does) but I just don't know what else to do to put a stop to the wake-ups before she knows she is allowed to wake up.

Everyone needs a good (full) sleep and I need this peaceful time in the morning to myself before I begin the day. If anyone has any great ideas, tips, or suggestions about how to keep kids in their bedrooms all night (short of legal drugs including advil or gravol), I would be happy to hear them ;)

In the meantime, I leave you with this hilarious clip about getting kids to get the F to sleep. You will pee your pants listening to it. Have great day everyone!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hugh Carpenter

Hi everyone!

Thursday night was sooo much fun! Since it is the Year of Pizza, it only made sense to learn more about pizza crusts from the pizza experts. So last night, a friend and I attended a cooking class called "Perfect Pizza". Chef Hugh Carpenter was our instructor and he left us with some great tips on how to make that perfect pizza pie. He was a very knowledgable instructor, and oh so funny!!

One of these tips I will pass on to you right now....The rest I will share with you as I create these beauties during the rest of the year!

Tip #1: Not unlike any great recipe, good ingredients are key. And with pizza dough: The right FLOUR is key.

Apparently, you MUST use a type of flour called "Double 0". So you can guess what my friend and I will be searching for this weekend!

Anyway, here are a few photos for you...
We had two favorites that night....the first was the sausage and asparagus...

There was an interesting "Thai" style pizza which included shrimp and peanuts...

 And our second fave was an absolutely delicious Blue Cheese and Apple! Yummmmmmmy!!

Finally, here's a pic of the Chef himself. Great guy. Thanks Hugh! (We had a little crush on this adorable man before the night was through) ;) 

Until San Miguel? ;)

Check out Hugh's amazing Culinary Camps in Napa Valley and San Miguel de Allende!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mean Girls

So I've mentioned before that one of my guilty pleasures is watching the Real Housewives series. Well recently, the first Canadian franchise show came out -- and it is dreadfully horrible. And it made me wonder: How/If my behaviour would change if I knew I was being filmed. I suppose that at first it would be affected but wouldn't you just sink into your old ways and end up acting the way that reflects who you really are? I tend to think so....Which doesn't say much then, for one (or most) of these Vancouverites.

In each show there seems to be a mean girl. But in this show, Jody seems like an absolutely horrible human being. Clearly, I am aware that these shows are kind of trashy, bringing out the worst in others for ratings - but I just can't believe how bad some women can be to each other. It's sad really.

It made me think about how we women treat each other and speak about each other. I think we have all said things that we have regretted for various reasons, but when you see things playing out like that on tv (edited of course to shape each individual) it just makes you think twice about what you are saying and how you are saying it. While I definitely have never been as outright mean as Jody seems to be, there are things that I have regretted. But one thing that I know for sure is this: as I continue to age and mature, I feel more and more comfortable in my skin, more confident, and generally more happy. I think that maturity does this to you.

And I think what shocks me most about these RHOV is that they should all know better. They should know that being mean, jealous and disrespectful is really immature. Especially at their age - even if you can't quite tell what that age is ;)

Also with age, I think women can better appreciate the value of our girlfriends. It's not about how many friends we have, but rather how good of a friend they are. Truly. Like when the shit hits the fan - The kind of friends who stick around are your true friends. I personally feel blessed to have some of these true friends in my life, and this reminder (watching a silly show on Slice) is good because I think at any one time, we have these kind of "mean girl" friends around - or simply friends who aren't good for us - or who don't being out the best in us. We women should be supporting each other and bringing each other up.

I'd like to leave you all with a great quote that I was reminded of last week. It's an Eleanor Roosevelt quote which a friend had displayed as her facebook status. It goes like this:

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

It is a reminder that power always resides within us and we either keep this power, or - give it away. And what makes us ever think that we should give it away?
Here's to good girlfriends and to amazing women - I truly love and appreciate the ones I have in my own life.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


....As depicted by my daughter (with the embarassingly BAD "dogs" added by yours truly. No, they are not bunnies).

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Protein Tip

I've been wanting to try this for a while now....

I personally don't have a problem with the texture of cottage cheese, but can see why some people would. However, it's an easy and inexpensive way to add protein to your diet. So I decided to try to puree it today and it went very well - the consistency at the end was like whipped cream. I'm excited to try it tomorrow morning in my usual berries, yogurt and nuts.




Try it and let me know what you think -- even if you enjoy cottage cheese anyway. Just think about the possibilities for adding this to other foods/recipes!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Nutritional Fail

I consider myself somewhat of a foodie. I simply love good food, and derive much enjoyment from feeding myself and my family well. I think that because of this, I can get really annoyed at my daughter's "choosiness" when it comes to food. In fact, I think eating damn near bores her. There are sooooo many other thing she would rather be doing.

So (I can't believe I am admitting this) I recently purchased a box of Fruit Loops the other day. Yes - it's true: The sugar-laden cereal that claims to be a "source of fibre" is what I picked out for my daughter's breakfast cereal. It's just that breakfast is the hardest meal to get her to eat, and I figured something was better than nothing.  Sometimes, she'll eat waffles, toast or even gourmet olives (yes that's right) for breakfast.  But when she says that she's not hungry at all and I need her to eat, I can usually get her to at least enjoy a bowl of Fruit Loops. (And why wouldn't she enjoy it? The first ingredient is sugar and it tastes like it too).

It's ok to judge. I secretly did too, previous to buying this for her. When I used to see young kids eating bowls of Fruit Loops, Captain Crunch, Lucky Charms, etc. I used to secretly judge their parents, thinking "I would NEVER feed my kids that crap". Well I am officially: THAT parent. lol....

On a Fruit Loop day, I try to make up for the "beginning of the morning sugar dump" by providing MUCH better choices throughout the day. And I usually do. Except for today. Today was running around doing errands and things, and simply not enough planning ahead with food.

Here's how today went:

*Bowl of Fruit Loops
*Timbits - 4 for each of us
*Pack of Dora "fruit" candy while shopping at Superstore Liquorstore. True story.
*A handful of MULTIGRAIN chips in the car on the way home

Can you believe it? And then as soon as we arrived home, I told her that I was going to make her good lunch. Even though it was 2pm. And what did she tell me? "Not hungry mommy".

That is all. No more treats. At least until tomorrow morning. When breakfast could only be worse: Chocolate Eggs. Happy Easter Everyone ;)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"The Invitation" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I have always loved this poem and for some reason, felt like sharing it with you all today....I think you will love it too...

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, 'Yes.'

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Inspiration

Is that a bird I hear chirping this morning, or is that a mockingjay? :)

I do believe that this morning while taking out the trash, I heard the beautiful sound of birds. Surely this is the sign of Spring. I love this season - it gets me super inspired and creative. (Think "spring cleaning")...

I've got lots to share with you about this theme, as well as a fun "Girls Gone Wild Baking" weekend in Canmore. Stay tuned....


Tips for Managing Stress & Anxiety (plus a smoothie recipe!)

Read my latest blog post on You Ate: And my smoothie recipe!