Sunday, January 30, 2011

Why my abs are STILL sore

On Thursday night, I tried out a new class with my sister and sister in law and a few of their friends. I had no idea what to expect, but I thought I'd try something new.  I've been reading a lot about Jack LaLanne this week and after reading about all the amazing things he did, such as swim over a mile towing 70 people in 70 rowboats on his 70th birthday, I realised I have been quite a wimp when it comes to my workouts and I'm capable of a lot more. So I signed up for something I knew would kick my butt.

The class we went to was called TRX, which is an approach to fitness using suspension training that was designed by a former Navy Seal, a fact which I wish I didn't find out until after because it freaked me out. There were straps dangling from the ceiling which we all performed exercises on using our own body weight. This is a strength workout that also improves balance, flexibility and joint stability.

The actual strength portion of the class was probably less than 40 minutes, but the next day I felt as if I'd been in the gym for hours the day before. The moves we did were extremely effective, I could feel it in my butt, arms, back, shoulders, legs and abs most of all. 3 days later my abs are still sore. I highly recommend trying this class, I could easily see how it could whip you into shape FAST.
I'm not going to lie, it did not exactly feel enjoyable while I was doing it but I felt AMAZING after, like I really worked as hard as I could, something I think I don't do nearly often enough at the gym.

We did ours at Epic Yoga in Maple Ridge. It's a new fitness trend so I'm sure it will be popping up at studios everywhere.

Has anyone else tried TRX?


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pretty new hair!

Few things make a girl feel better than a brand new hairstyle. Am I right? Every girl knows that a fresh new style can give you a great pick me up and boost of confidence. I am soooo lucky to have a hairdresser for a sister (and sister in law for that matter!)

Today I spent the day with my sister going to various suppliers and we had lots of fun. Then we stopped by my sister in law's house and got to see her for a few minutes as well as my mom and my super cute nephew.

We headed over to the salon my sister works out of and my mom and nephew stopped by there for a few minutes. My nephew shared his scooby doo snacks with me, so cute!
Then my sister proceeded to give me my awesome new hairstyle. My sister is always wanting me to try new looks and I usually give her free reign which is how I ended up with these amazing colours and style for our wedding:
My sister helping me put my dress on for our wedding day!
 Today, I went to get my hair done with only one request: DARK! I give you my new much darker hairstyle:

 She also gave me shorter side bangs and thinned out my hair because it's super thick and unmanageable sometimes! I'm really excited to use a new hair tool I got today, one of these awesome teaser brushes!
Mine is hot pink, of course!
She also gave me a round brush to blow dry my bangs and the rest of my hair out with, which I really need to practice doing. I also really want to learn how to curl my hair with the curling iron she got me like 2 years ago!Getting a new look always makes me feel great, so thanks sis! Love you!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Fun Stuff For Friday

I apologize for my lack of posting lately! I don't know what it is, maybe just the time of year there's only so many recipes and things I can post. I guess I am doing a lot of thinking lately and I am gathering my thoughts. Deeper posts to follow!

Today is friday, which is just lovely. I love Fridays, I don't even mind working on Fridays because there's just that good mood in the air. Everyone at the office is smiling and laughing, it's great. A few fun things this friday:

Physician's Formula Happy Booster™ Glow & Mood Boosting Blush:
I'm not a huge makeup girl, being somewhat clueless in the application process but I love blush. It makes me look fresh faced and heathy and it's fairly idiot-proof to put on.
I am IN LOVE with this blush:

Could it seriously be any cuter? Just looking at it makes me happy! I saw it in last month's Health magazine and I just saw it in Rexall Drugstore for $15.99 with a $6 mail-in rebate. This blush is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and paraben-free, which is excellent. I'm a big fan of Physican's Formula Bronzer, I rarely buy any other kind. This blush will give you a healthy glow, but it will also make you feel happy on the inside, according to their website. This is what they claim about this blush:
"Infused with our Happy Boost Blend, featuring Happy Skin and Euphoryl, natural plant extracts which have been shown to promote a feeling of happiness by mimicking the effect of Endorphins and helping protect the skin from environmental stress." Pretty cool, I think. Plus it's just so gosh darn cute!

In other fun news, I just finished this book that I really loved:

You all know by now I'm not great at summarizing books. I wish I was because that would be probably my dream job! Anyways, I really enjoyed this book, I started reading it yesterday morning on the train (my trip to work is about 45 minutes long) and I finished it later last night. This is Sarah Pekkanen's debut novel, not that you could tell at all. She had a way with the story that sucked me in immediately. The book is about twin sisters who are as different as night and day, in looks, personality and lifestyle. It sounds like a story that's been done before but I can tell you this book truly surprised me. If you're interested in reading it, check out the Chapter's page here. It's actually on sale for $9.99 right now at Chapter's for my fellow Canadians. For my American bloggy friends, well, your books are cheaper than ours anyways! :-P

I don't have big plans for this weekend, other than organizing my closet (AGAIN! How does it get so messy, it's like I have little gnomes that try on all my clothes when I'm at work and leave them on the floor!) but I am hoping to catch this movie at some point:

I always enjoy Ashton Kutcher's sense of humor, I thought he was hilarious in What Happens In Vegas. Natalie Portman is everywhere right now with her Black Swan, engagement, pregnancy and general adorable-ness. I have very low standards for movies, if it's fun to watch, I will enjoy it. I'm no movie critic!

Have a happy Friday!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Menu Monday & R &R Weekend!

I have been reading blogs for way longer than I've been writing mine, and it always makes me wonder why I didn't start one sooner. There are many little things that bloggers do and Menu Mondays is one of them. This week I am in a cooking mood, so I am giving you my menu for the week, I plan to TRY to cook every day!

Sunday: Homemade chili (have never eaten chili in my life, I make it for my hubby. For some reason it doesn't appeal to me, not a spice person, I guess?)

Monday: Split Pea Soup

Tuesday: Grilled chicken, brown rice and salad with mom's dressing*

Wednesday: Whole Wheat Penne, Tomato Sauce and Parmesan (quick and easy because I have book club)

Thursday: Hodgepodge Soup (adding ground turkey and using whole wheat macaroni to try something different!)

Friday: Homemade turkey burgers, baked sweet potato fries (anyone have a good recipe for healthy turkey burgers?)

Saturday: I won't plan something now because I don't know what we're doing that night.

*mom's salad dressing: 2 tbsp low sodum Kikoman soy sauce, 1 clove crushed garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle of sesame seeds optional. I could eat buckets of lettuce like this!
This is my first time actually trying to follow a menu plan but I kept it really simple to make sure I actually follow it! I do actually enjoy cooking, there's something really satisfying about taking fresh ingredients and turning them into a meal. Especially this time of year when I crave soups and stews!

This weekend was so nice and relaxing! On Friday I picked up a few books at Chapters (on sale! Love when that happens!) So I spend time this weekend reading, spending time with my husband, spending time with family including my mom.

My mom has been working lots lately so I haven't been able to see her much since I work downtown Monday-Friday. Yesterday we went to a local high school track and walked 6 kilometers (That's 3.75 miles for my American bloggy friends!). Man, are my legs and butt sore today! Then we watched a movie, Annie's Place with Betty White. It was cute, not a mainstream movie but still cute. Betty White is so funny, I just love her!
No matter how much I grow up, I will still never be too old to cuddle up on the couch with my mom and watch movies! Love you Mom! <3

Love this picture!

That's all for today, I will keep you guys updated on how I do with my menu plan!


Monday, January 10, 2011

My New Favourite Healthy Recipe

It's that time of year where we all buckle down and try to improve our intake of healthy food versus Christmas cookies! For me, the only way I can eat healthy is by prepping food ahead of time to take on the go. So when my friend Nicole forwarded this recipe to me (Found on the Fitness Rx Website by her friend Sara) I had to try it.

It was super easy to make! I actually made mine with just the spinach and cheese because I am picky about my vegetables, but I'll leave the recipe intact. That's the best part of this recipe is that you can customize them in SO MANY different ways. I plan to try making some with crumbled turkey bacon, and some with broccoli and cheese.

It's the perfect on the go recipe! I wake up at 5:45 and rarely can eat at that time, so I just took them with me this morning and heated them when I got to work. It's also low fat and low carb, which is awesome. They are really filling for snacks as well.

Vegetable Quiche Cups to Go
(Sorry I don't have a picture, I ate them already! They were so yummy!)


  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach
  • 3/4 cup liquid egg whites or egg substitute
  • 3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced green and red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 3 drops hot pepper sauce (optional)


Microwave the spinach for 2-1/2 minutes on high. Drain the excess liquid.

Line a 12-cup muffin pan with foil baking cups. Spray the cups with cooking spray.  (I always forget to do this)

Combine the egg substitute, cheese, peppers, onions and spinach in a bowl. Mix well. Divide evenly among the muffin cups. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Quiche cups can be frozen and reheated in the microwave. Any combination of appropriate vegetables and reduced-fat cheeses may be used.

Tips & Bonus Information

77 calories; 3g total fat; 2g saturated fat; 10mg cholesterol; 3g carbohydrate; 9g protein; 2g fiber; 160mg sodium
Yield: 6
Preparation Time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes


Friday, January 7, 2011

My Happiness Project

If you’ve been reading my blog, you probably know that I love any kind of inspiring self help book. I have always loved to read, but when I was younger I would never read anything other than fiction, it would always drive my mom crazy because she never read fiction, she loves inspiring biographies and spiritual books.

The first book I ever read of this variety was Happy for No Reason by Marci Shimoff. I became very fascinated with the subject of happiness. I have always been a fortunate person, always surrounded by lots of people and love.
Since that book, I have read many others on this subject and other books on how to make life better. It is becoming increasingly obvious to me that this is my life’s passion. How to Make Life Better. I don’t know what to do with this passion, but for now, blogging is a way to help me figure that out.

I recently read, or more accurately devoured the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Upon the first reading, I immediately began at the beginning again. This book is Gretchen’s realization that although she was happy in that she had everything she wanted, she felt like she failed to appreciate her life and enjoy it. I found I could really relate to this concept. I have everything (almost) that I’ve ever wanted, but I don’t know how to enjoy it. After compiling a huge amount of research on happiness, Gretchen picks resolutions for each month to make herself happier.  

This book was so amazingly insightful for me. For instance, she says in it that things that make you happy don’t necessarily make you FEEL happy. For instance, I am happier if I feel healthy and fit. But eating salads and going to the gym don’t make me happy while I’m doing them.

I also realized that things that make me happy are hard for me to do and things that make me feel BAD are easy for me to do. This might sound really simple, but I have honestly never thought of it this way.

Gretchen uses a resolutions chart for each month, there is a box for each resolution and each day, you give a check mark if you did well and an X if you didn’t do well that day. Tomorrow is always a new day.

I have decided to do my very own happiness project. If anyone else would like to do one as well, there is TONS of information on Gretchen’s website:

The first chapter and month in the book is all about energy. Obviously, energy is the key to accomplishing anything, yet a lot of us have a huge lack of energy in our lives. For me personally, it takes up all my energy just to do my 3 hrs a day commute, a 7 hour workday, laundry, cooking, cleaning ect. I don’t have energy to spare to pursue my passions, do as many workouts as I’d like (to make me feel happy…AFTER I’m done) and I really, really hate that! I want to have enough energy to tackle my aspirations.
So, like Gretchen, I am dedicating the month of January to ENERGY!

My resolutions are:
  •  Drink more water
  • Get at least 7.5 hrs of sleep per night (I'm grumpy with anything less than eight, just ask my husband)
  • Move every day
  • Eat more nutritiously  (more fruits, veggies, protein)
  • Get rid of stress inducing clutter in our house
Sounds really ambitious right?! Some of these things might be easy for some people but for me, they are a challenge. I’m great at taking care of others, if I do say so myself, but not so great at taking care of myself.

Honestly, so far I’m not doing too bad! I’ve cleaned out my closet (well, ours, I unfortunately share a closet with my husband) and donated several bags of clothes.  Next, put away Christmas decorations and tackle our paper clutter. I’m getting a bit more sleep the past few nights, at least 7.5 hours. I’m drinking a bit more water and eating a bit more nutritiously.

These things are all things that don’t make me happy when I’m doing them. I’m happy when I’m hydrated, but lets face it water has no taste. Too many times I go to the kitchen for water and end up with a fresh cup of coffee.  Eating a salad isn’t fun but I feel great after. I hate cleaning, but I'm happier when my house is sparkly clean. See what I mean?

Gretchen points out that a goal is something that you complete, like running a 5K or getting a degree. But a resolution is something that you resolve to do every single day. You will have days where you do it and days where you don’t, and tomorrow is always a fresh start.

Reading this book has affirmed my belief that you can "make life better" with small changes. As Gretchen says in the book, "You can change your life without changing your life". I love that statement! I obviously highly recommend this book to everyone, and right now it's available at Costco, at least my location, for around $10.

I would love to hear if anyone else wants to do a Happiness Project of their own or share any tips.

Have a great Friday!


Monday, January 3, 2011

The Last Free Monday post

I absolutely love how this holiday season let me have off two Mondays in a row. Technically three because I took the Monday before Christmas off. I hope everyone else has it off too! Free days are just the best.

Yesterday I made a little trip to Costco. It was INSANE. However, I realized that stores being ridiculously busy actually does not bother me. Which is why I usually shop alone! I love Costco for certain things like books, workout clothes and some of my fave food staples, like sweet potato fries. 

I also found these Adidas running shoes for $36.99. I've been needing new running shoes and they match my new Lululemon workout top!

I was excited to find this book at Costco, I have been wanting to read it forever and it just came out on paperback. I am addicted to inspiring, make life better books. It's about a woman who makes different resolutions each month for a year and documents them. It sucked me in immediately and I've already gotten some good tips.

I also came across this article by Gretchen Rubin, 13 tips to stick to your new years resolutions. Very handy! Another tip I love is not calling them resolutions but intentions instead. People associate resolutions with failure. I asked some of my friends what their resolutions were and many said nothing, I never keep them, so what's the point? The point is we always want to keep growing in life, that's when we're the happiest. It is the worst feeling to feel stuck in life and not able to move forward. So making intentions, goals, or resolutions can help you grow if you have an action plan. A little action every day makes a huge difference.
In the summertime I bought this journal and I keep everything in it, notes, to do lists, ideas, and most importantly goals for the month. They are just small goals but this makes them easier to complete them, crossing them off feels so good! I also like looking back through it and seeing everything I've accomplished that I've forgotten about. The first page is a last minute to do list from my wedding, then a honeymoon packing list and it just follows the time line of my life. It helps keep me on track and remember what I'm trying to do and not get sidetracked!
I definitely have some intentions for this year, some big and some small.I will write more about them as I figure out my course of action. 

What are your new years intentions? I'd love to hear them!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas Day!

 Christmas day was spend with our families of course. I love early Christmas morning because Leigh and I have our own little Christmas together before we head off to visit everyone. This Christmas was our first as married couple.
I had gotten us a special ornament to remember our first married Christmas. We also have a First Christmas ornament and one I had made for our engagement.
Our wedding ornament.
 A few days after Christmas, Leigh's mom told me she had something for me. Leigh's grandma had passed away before Leigh and I began dating so I never got to meet her. She lived with his family and had her own tree in her room with pink ornaments (I also used to have a  pink tree!) and she had bought this ornament because she thought it was cute. Leigh's mom wanted us to have it so to me, this is our real wedding ornament. I just love it, it is my absolute favourite one on the tree and it's so special to us.

I really barely bought any new decorations this year, because I really didn't need to but I did pick up this wooden sign from Michaels and painted it myself. I like personalized decorations apparently. See my pumpkin here.

Some pictures from our Christmas together:
Organizing presents!

Leigh opening his new headphones

New clothes!

LOL love this, carrying presents in a red bag...Santa does not look impressed!

New Christmas baking apron!
New Coach bag! I also got 2 other purses, I will not have to buy a single purse in 2011.

I'm not going to post my family pictures because there are way too many and I want to get on with new years posts! All in all, 2010 was an amazing Christmas! I'm excited to start a new year full of new adventures and opportunities. 

Happy new year!