Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend Awesomeness

First off, I want to say thank you everyone for reading my last post and your super sweet comments. They made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Knowing I have people who support me and want me to succeed makes moving forward so much easier!

I had such a fantastic weekend. I absolutely love this time of year because through the winter, I am all warm and cozy inside and I don't feel like moving at all. I love curling up with my books and a blanket and a cup of tea, or a movie and my husband! So when this time of year rolls around I'm rested up and ready to go have some fun outside.

On Friday, I did a little shopping trip to the states with one of my girlfriends. I didn't buy much but I did get this AMAZING find! It was $5 at Target, don't ask me how that's possible!

Friday night, I went out for my cousin's birthday. I wish I had pics because I was wearing my new dress, a $20 find!  We went for dinner and out to a pub where my cousin works.

Saturday was AWESOME! I woke up and my husband was like "Get up, get dressed, we're going to Whistler!" Yay for spontaneity! He used to live in Whistler and knew all the fun places so I was very excited. It was a gorgeous day and a beautiful drive, switching back and forth between my hot pink iPod and his iPod. He's super into the late great DJ AM, which I am also loving listening to. Such an amazing view on the drive to Whistler. I always forget how lucky I am to live here. 

We got to Whistler and wandered around the Village. For some reason, I thought it was SPRING and I wore flip flops. Yeah, there's still snow on the ground in Whistler. I'm an idiot. Our first stop was to get a Beaver's Tail. I had previously known their cinnamon sugar awesomeness as an Elephant Ear, and I hadn't had one since my high school cafeteria. It was amazing!

We also went to a candy shop called the Great Glass Elevator Candy Shop. Leigh was born in England so he's forever going on about English candy and how much I'd love it. This place had loads of it so we got a few goodies for ourselves and some for his parents. 

I discovered my new favourite thing EVER, a Curly Wurly. It's filled with chewy caramel and only has 115 calories!
It was such a great day! Now I'm off to a baby shower for one of my girlfriends. I am so excited, there are so many babies being born this year! Last year was the year of the wedding and this year is the year of the baby! 
Enjoy your Sunday! 


Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Leap Of Faith and Changing Paths

I don't know about you guys, but I have always pictured my future a certain way. It was never that I envisioned driving a certain car or having lots of money. I pictured myself happy. Not just happy
the way my life was going but generally happy.

My personal life, ie relationships has always been the most important to me. I have an awesome husband, a great family as well as my in law family, and amazing friends. I work very hard at these relationships so they're successful because having those people in my life is so important to me. It's also very important to me that I'm there for them if they need me.

I think maybe because I focused so much on the relationship aspect of my life, my career aspirations just slipped away. I found myself on a completely different road than the one that I wanted to be on. I really, really, wanted not to care that I was on this road. After all, I had everything else, what did I need a job that I enjoyed for? All I had to do was get through my day and my week and I'd have more time with the ones I love.

After Leigh and I got married, I barely had a a chance to think about what I wanted to do for a career when I was offered a temporary job at an office in Downtown Vancouver. I thought, "Perfect! Time to figure things out and I'll make money in the meantime." A month turned into longer and longer and I was offered a permanent position at this office.

The people were kind and caring at this office, especially my boss. She was one of the best managers I've ever met. She knew how to talk to people about anything in a compassionate way. I wanted so badly to be one of those people that you see on the train. Elegant, put together, sipping their perfectly prepared coffee in a nice travel mug. They seemed calm and satisfied and I wanted that.

So I took this permanent position. I won't say much about it other than it involved investments. People that know me probably just laughed out loud reading that. I hate math, and I always have. Thankfully, this job didn't require math. It just required paperwork. A LOT of paperwork. I was drowning in it. But all I had to do was get through the day, get through the week, then I could be with my friends, family and husband and have fun. Time went by so fast doing this. You'd hear that a lot around the office. "Crap, it's already 3! How did that happen?" "I don't know where this day went!" and "I can't believe it's Friday already, this week was insane."

I felt like when I sat down at my desk to work, I switched off the human part of me and just became a robot. I'd wake up at 4pm and have no recollection of what I did that day, just knew that I'd paper pushed all day.
At first I thought, this is great. The day goes by so fast, it never drags on. Awesome!
The job was going well, I was getting the hang of it quickly. I was making better money than I'd ever made anywhere.  But I still felt like I was just surviving the day, not living it, and that bothered me. One day I realised that if I stayed on this path, I'd wake up one day and be 40 and never have realised any of my dreams.

A long string of events happened at this point, but basically I was sick one day, and the next day my boss called me in her office. She shut the door and said "Taren, what is going on with you? You've changed since you've gone in investments. Your not happy, you don't smile anymore, and you keep getting sick."
There's a lot of things I could have said at this point. Like "I'm just a little burned out" (which I was) or "It's nothing." I could have perked up and tried harder. But it wasn't nothing. I wanted to spend my 40 hours a week doing something I enjoyed. Period. I'd been trying to put a square peg in a round hole my entire life, trying to become one of these successful office people, when inside, I loathed it.

I took a deep breath and told her the truth. It felt so amazing to tell someone that I didn't want to settle for a job, I wanted to find something I was passionate about. To my shock, she completely understood and said she wished she'd done the same when she was my age. I suggested they move me back to a temp position, where they currently had the perfect person to take over my job in investments. So we did a little switcheroo.
That was one of the best days of my life. It sounds silly, but it will always be the day I freed myself from this path I'd gotten on. When I left the office in January, I was given a huge bouquet of flowers and a card, where everyone in the office wrote things like "follow your dreams" and "find your passion". It was amazing. I will never forget that experience. This was the push I needed to get going on something I really enjoyed.

I had started thinking about becoming a Personal Trainer years and years ago. The owner of Health and Fitness Alliance, where I'm taking my courses, has inspired me from a young age. I remember being maybe 14 and going to her Tae Bo classes. After high school, I pursued this way of living and I couldn't believe the difference it made me feel. My energy, my self confidence and my mood were all improved. I want to help people to feel the same way.

I will be honest with you, I have always been scared of becoming a Personal Trainer. I worried about silly things, how it would work out, if I could do it. For this reason is the reason I kept accidentally on purpose getting lost on my path. But now I am on it, and I'm staying here. Which is why I'm telling the world, well, at least my world, on this blog. This is also why I created my other blog, Revive Your Life, to talk about how I'm getting there.

My husband is a very no nonsense guy. He will tell me if I'm being a whiner and to suck it up. I appreciate that so much because without him, I would go back to bed and put the covers over my head. He said to me the other day "You realise that you've done all these things you wanted to accomplish for years in a week? You just have to get off your ass and do it!"

I'm writing this post because I know that many people go through this. It may not seem like an option to leave your job and find your passion. You might have kids, or a mortgage, or whatever! But there are ways. Talk about it, figure it out, find out what the first step is. I had always heard that the first step is the hardest. Well, I'll tell you, the first step for my journey has taken me years to take. Once I did, it was the most amazing feeling. Like my husband said, I just kept going and kept accomplishing things. Success breeds success. That one first step is what will get you on the right path. I am so glad I took it and I'm so grateful for the path I'm on.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Skinnytaste's Potato Leek Soup

Soups to me, are so vital to my life when it comes to eating healthy. Some people may not feel the same way, but for me, soup helps me stay on track. Why? How else can you get that many veggies in, fill up, and eat something delicious? Exactly. Plus, on a rainy day like yesterday/today/every day in Vancouver, it's just cozy and nice.

Sigh. I just love soup.

A little awhile ago, I came across a healthy eating recipe jackpot, also known as Skinnytaste. My new healthy recipe guru's name is Gina, and she's awesome. Her recipes make me drool, and they're not even fattening! I truly believe the key to eating healthy is just to find healthy things that you like to eat. For instance, if you showed me a plate of vegetables, I would be like "Blech!" Yet if you showed me a bowl of vegetable soup, I would be like "Hand that over!" For some reason I like my veggies soft and liquid and sometimes hidden. Kind of like a three year old.

Anyways, back to Skinnytaste! This website is so great, it has all my favourite recipes gone all healthy! Yesterday, I was in a soup mood, but a different kind of soup. I wanted to venture out a little bit into something new. I made Gina's Potato Leek soup. It was really yummy!! Make sure you guys go check out her fantastic site for more kickass recipes!

                                                Potato Leek Soup
  • 1 bunch leeks (about 4) dark green stems removed
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups fat free chicken stock (or vegetable broth for vegetarians)
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • salt and fresh pepper
Wash leeks extremely well, then chop them up!

In a medium soup pot, melt butter and add flour on low flame. Use a wooden spoon and mix them. Gina says this will thicken your soup and give it a wonderful flavor.

Add chicken stock, leeks, onion, potatoes and bring to a boil.

Cover and simmer on low for about 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are soft.

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth adding the milk and adjusting salt and pepper to

taste. Serve immediately.



Monday, March 21, 2011

My New Project!

I love blogging about my life, shoes, the Bachelor and whatever other random stuff pops into my head in the morning as I'm brushing my teeth. However, this is a certain kind of blog and I have certain kinds of other things to say too, but they don't really fit in the same place. So I'd like to introduce you to my new, second blog:

This new blog is dedicated to health and fitness and my journey to becoming a Certified and BCRPA Registered Personal Trainer! I will be posting things I've learned along the way, tips, recipes, whatever! It will probably still be in the same random fashion as my personal blog, because that's just who I am! I would love it if you would check it out. That is, if health and fitness is something you like! 


Clean Eating

One of the biggest struggles most people, myself very much included, is the eating aspect of getting or staying in good shape and at a healthy weight. What do I eat? How much? At what times?

The best solution is different for everyone. You can always follow the Canada Food Guide, since they revised it in the past few years and now it makes much more sense. You can try to follow what your body wants and needs. Some people love a glass of low fat milk with their breakfast, and some people can't have a drop of dairy. Some people are vegetarians, or vegans, or eat meat every single day. How do you know what's best for you?

One of the best information sources out there that I've found is the Eat Clean Diet by Tosca Reno. It's so simple and easy that you could just read the title and find out what it's all about.


Every time you lift food to your mouth, you can ask yourself if it's clean or not. Donut? Nope . Can of soup? Nope . If you bought the ingredients in the outer perimeters of the grocery store and are now standing in your kitchen assembling your meal, you are definitely on the right track! Why those areas of the grocery store? That is where you will find fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and dairy! Of course there are exceptions, I buy frozen veggies as well and canned tomatoes and things like that. The Eat Clean Diet is based on those food groups. For some reason, this way of eating really clicked with me. I realised that all my favourite foods could be "cleaned-up" to the point where they weren't bad for you! I used to be a white pasta/carb-loving queen. Now, every once in awhile, I'll make a "cleaned-up" whole wheat pasta dish that's satisfying without being heavy.

The other aspect of this way of eating is to avoid processed foods as much as possible. They always contain evil chemicals, trans fats, and other unidentifiable ingredients! Sugar is such a big subject when it comes to eating healthy it could probably have it's own post. I find for me personally, it's just better if I avoid it. It makes you hungry, it makes you gain weight, and it makes you want more, more, more sugar! There are ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without the white stuff.

I'd like to leave you with some info so if you'd like, you can research clean eating. There are some great resources on the web if you aren't sure if you'd like to invest in one of the books. I highly recommend the books because Tosca has an amazing story that most of us can relate to.
First of all, check out Find the Kitchen Table, an online community where people can share their goals, struggles, before/after pictures, and recipes! is the website for Cleaning Eating Magazine, a publication that's growing more and more popular. I believe it started out as a Nutrition Special for Oxygen Magazine and grew into it's very own magazine. The publisher of both magazines is Robert Kennedy, who is Tosca Reno's husband! They are a very fit and healthy couple!

I really hope you'll check this awesome approach eating and living out, it's helped me to understand the healthiest way to eat!


Welcome To My Newest Project!

I have been blogging at my personal blog, Life of T, since October and I love it! Everytime I hit post, I feel happy. In January, I decided to make a career change that I've wanted for a long time. After 8 years of office jobs, I decided to pursue one of my passions, health and fitness!

I am aiming to be a Certified Personal Trainer by June of 2011. Once I have completed that, I plan to start my own business. I have always loved the word Revive, because that's what fitness does to me, it wakes me up and revives my life.

I have always known that I wouldn't be satisfied with any career unless I can help people. This blog is my way of starting that journey. I want to share what I've learned and all the new things I learn along the way.
Stay tuned for recipes, ideas, and inspiration for your fitness journey!


Spring, Cherry Blossoms and My New Toy!

Spring is here! I'm so happy! It's been a long winter being curled up inside and I'm ready for a change, some sun, and some sundresses!
This weekend was one of the best ones I've had in a long time. I started it off on Friday by finding out some great news, then my husband bought me something I've wanted for a long time that I'm so excited about and can't stop playing with:

YAY!! I seriously LOVE it. It's kind of weird not reading an actual book, but I am getting used to it. I've almost finished my first book on it, which was hilarious by the way.

 I think it will be great for me because I go through books like crazy, this is my 27th so far this year. I'm not sure why I'm keeping track, must just be curiosity on what a dork I am? Lol!

Anyways, the rest of my weekend consisted of spending time with my hubby, Zumba, and babysitting my parent's dog, Teeka. We brought Teeka over to my in laws so she could play with their dog Duke, we took them to the park Saturday and Sunday and also to the beach. I also met up with one of my girlfriend in Kitsilano, we went for coffee and walked around on the path by the beach. It was so nice, but freezing!!
Cherry Blossoms, my favourite thing about spring!

Teeka and Duke swimming in the lake
A little tired?
All in all, it was a really great weekend, the kind that leaves you smiling and energized Monday morning. I'm going to try to have these more often! 

How was your weekend?


Friday, March 18, 2011

Today, 100% of proceeds at Forever 21 go To Japan!

I was going to not blog today because of the Bloggers day of Silence but I wanted to blog about this. How awesome is Forever 21 donating 100 percent(!) of whatever you spend today to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief! It makes me feel warm and fuzzy that everyone is trying to help out. And now you can shop AND help at the same time!

Go to or asap because this is today only!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gratitude, Doggies, and More Bachelor!

Is it just me, or is everyone in a funk lately? It seems like with daylight savings time (that always seems to throw everyone off, including me!) and the sad happenings in Japan everyone is feeling a little down. There's an easy cure for that sad feeling: gratitude!

Here are some things making me happy this moment:
1. My loved ones. I love spending time with them, talking to them, and thinking about them. LOVE!
 2. The way my husband always makes me laugh. He should have been a comedian!
 3. The fact that my nephew (he's 2) can now say I love you as well as Auntie Taren. MELT!
4. Spring being on it's way! (Hello, dresses and wedges....oh how I've missed you!)
5. Coffee, coffee, coffee!
6. Books! You guys know I love my books like crazy. This year so far I've read 26 books and found so many new authors! Books make me so happy.
 7. Gerber daises. These little guys are the cure for bad day. If you are having a bad day, go buy yourself some, they're like $5. Unless you're a guy, because the other guys at work might bug you if you do that. You could always pretend they're for someone else. :-P
8. Cooking. I love making a meal for my husband and I, there is something so relaxing about it! Or baking too, making cookies is nice, makes the house smell yummy!
9. Fresh air. This time of year, there's nothing like getting out for a brisk walk in the fresh air!
10. Doggies! I love the doggies in my life, my parent's dog Teeka and my in law's dog Duke. They are both the sweetest golden retrievers!

And one little bonus thing I am loving: BLOGGING! I got an insane amount of hits on my blog from blogging about the Bachelor. Apparently, I am not alone in my obsession! Here is a little tidbit for you guys, Emily is currently visiting Brad in his hometown Austin, Texas. Here is a photo of them courtesy of Us Weekly.

They look pretty happy. Well, he does anyways!
I hope they stay together, mostly because I am a romantic and also because I want to prove my husband wrong because he says the whole thing is totally made up. 

Back to the gratitude thing, I would love to see your gratitude lists, if you decide to do one put a link in the comments!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bachelor Finale and Meet the New Bachelorette!

Back in January, I was bored and I watched the first episode of the Bachelor. I knew there was no going back, this show is more addicting than Earl Grey Tea Lattes. At least I was able to kick my Earl Grey Tea Latte habit! Ellen Degeneres said on her show: "Every year I say I'm not going to watch, and look at me, I've got charts and stuff!" I can totally relate!

Last night, two of my bestest girlfriends and I gathered to watch the season finale of the Bachelor, to decide whether he picked Chantal O (Brunette) or Emily (The one that looks like Barbie).

I loved Brad and Chantal together. She reminds me of me and my friends, a real girl who doesn't take shit! However, I saw how Brad was with Emily and I knew that he was going to pick her. He was like a blubbering idiot around her, he was obviously totally smitten. Emily seems to be not as into it as he is, which made me sad that this happened:

LAME! The whole thing was just awkward and didn't even seem real! In the after the rose, they admitted they'd broken up and got back together. So bizarre. It wasn't disappointing how it ended, I'm not surprised he ended up with Emily, it just wasn't very fairytale like at all!
So that's that. Now what I'm going to do? I guess I'll just have to wait to watch the new Bachelorette, which starts May 23rd! Who is the new lucky lady?

It's Ashley H! No really! She just dyed her hair. Apparently that's her natural hair colour. So that will be interesting. She drove me a little nuts on the show with her insecurities with Brad, but who wouldn't be insecure when he's making out with all these other girls? I think she'll be pretty entertaining as the Bachelorette.

What did you all think of the finale? By the way, if you don't watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette. Don't start. It's too late for me, but save yourselves.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Double Chocolate Protein Muffins

 After making a few different types of protein baked goods, I threw together these double chocolate protein muffins. I love stuff like this because they are easy to take on the go and eat for breakfast. I really liked how they turned out! They are yummy, clean and filling!
Here's the recipe:

Double Chocolate Protein Muffins
  • 1.5 cups oat flour (rolled oats ground in blender or food processor)
  • 3 scoops vanilla or chocolate protein powder
  • 1/2 cup stevia or splenda 
  • 1 cup Almond Breeze Vanilla Unsweetened
  • 1 snack pack unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
  3. Mix ingredients with a whisk until smooth. 
  4. Spoon mixture into 12 muffin cups.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Figuring out my personal style

For most of my life, I did not have my own personal style. This is made evident by looking back on old pictures and wondering what the hell I was thinking? Baggy sweatshirts, jeans, runners from my chubby adolescent phase. The last few years of high school I slimmed down and began to look cuter in things but I still had no idea what I was doing trying to put outfits together.

I think most of personal style comes down to confidence, knowing that you love what are wearing and that it's flattering. I realised that my own personal style as of late can be summed up in one picture where I am clearly confident in the adorable outfit I'm wearing:

 Polka dots? Check. Bows? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Cute pose? Check!

In all seriousness, I still love polka dots, bows, sunglasses and also a cute pose is absolutely necessary for a good picture? I have given many a pose lesson when the cameras are out!
I love reading blogs about other girl's outfits and style, so I thought I'd do something similar.

I think I have defined my personal style by figuring out what makes me feel good:

  • I absolutely love dresses with fitted waists. I know my waist is my tiniest feature and lets face it, my butt, not so much. Dresses make me feel pretty and feminine and and they are my absolute favourite thing to wear. I could do an entire post on dresses and in fact, that is on my list of posts to do!
  • I also love bright colours because one of my other good features is my skin tone. I love wearing bright colours such as bright blue, yellow, coral, and pink.
  • I adore girly touches, such as polka dots, bows, eyelet lace and flowers.
  • Peep toe shoes and wedges are my favourite kind of shoes to wear (both go great with dresses)
  • I wear minimal but meaningful jewelry: my engagement ring and wedding band, my Tiffany necklace I got from my husband the night before our wedding, and sparkly (fake, because I WILL lose them) earrings.
  • My latest makeup look is just highlighting my features with bronzer, eyeliner, mascara and blush. I cannot leave the house without blush. I feel the prettiest wearing this minimal makeup look because I feel like it's just me!
This might seem like another silly fluff post, but I really enjoyed figuring out what my personal style is. It helps me shop, because I know what I'm looking for and what makes me feel good. Having things in my closet that make me feel confident and pretty make life so much more enjoyable. I love feeling like the best version of myself!

How do you define your personal style?


Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday Random News

Mondays are probably the most hated day of the week. Nobody likes Mondays. I love Monday evenings though, because my favourite shows are on! How I Met Your Mother, which has been renewed for another 2 seasons!! Such exciting news for die-hard fans such as myself, my husband and pretty much all our friends!

I also am loving this season of the Bachelor, as it's the first one I've ever followed. I started watching it because my husband was studying all the time and I was bored. Now that he's done school, I'm still addicted! Tonight is the "Women Tell All" episode. I just want to find out who he picked!

I also read some very awesome news this weekend. Helen Fielding is writing a third Bridget Jones book! Bridget Jones was considered to be the first "Chick Lit" Heroine. Now Chick Lit is a large genre of books, especially in the UK where all my favourite authors seem to be from!
The author also confirmed that she is working on the third Bridget Jones movie, although she is not sure if it will be following the same storyline  as the third book. If you haven't seen these movies, you have to watch them, they're hilarious.

All this good news makes me feel happy this Monday, along with the beautiful sunshine coming through my windows. I am studying for an exam and looking forward to my favourite TV night of the week. If your looking for something positively decadent for dinner, mosey on over to my friend Jen's blog The Baked Life . She made me a brie grilled cheese sandwich on Friday night. It was freaking amazing. We washed it down with my yummy sangria. Excellent evening, thanks Jen!

Enough procrastinating. More later this week!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to my husband!

And now for another edition of birthday blog!

Today is my amazing husband Leigh's 27th Birthday!!

If I were a really evil wife, I would put up some baby pictures of my husband in this blog. But since I'm not evil, and I don't have any, and I don't want him to kill me, I won't. But I will put some pictures up!
On our honeymoon in Hawaii, at a luau

One of our first pictures together, Summer 2008

Leigh and the 12 string guitar I bought him for Christmas 2008.
Leigh and his mom
Leigh and his groomsmen!
I'm not going to say a bunch of mushy stuff on here (even though I'm totally tempted) other than Happy Birthday to my fantastic hubby of almost 7 months!! Love you to bits!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March already?

Today marks the beginning of a new month. I just love that! Especially since this month happens to be March which means that I've nearly made it through winter! Winter in the Vancouver area is a bit of a joke, for my blog friends that live in places with real winters. Most of the time it's dark, gloomy, and wet with a few occasional gorgeous days in between.

Normally, I don't do well in winter but this year, I enjoyed it. Curling up at home with a good book and a cup of tea or my husband and our favourite shows, it was nice to have a rest period. I am so ready for spring everything: spring weather, spring shoes, and spring colours!
I have my eye on some peep toe wedges at Payless that will go with everything I own.

They come in a few colours, I kind of want to get the denim ones because they'd go with with everything too, logically because jeans do. Right? At least I think so. Any fashionista opinions?

I have a pair of suede-like wedges from Payless that are really similar to these and I wear them all the time. One annoying thing about Payless is that in the US the prices are so much cheaper than Canada. This drives me insane. For instance, these shoes in Canada are $38, and they are $20 in the US. It's so unfair! 

Anyways, I am so looking forward to Spring! I have a few things planned, such as an Easter trip to see my husband's uncle. He lives in Washington State in this adorable little town that's fun to visit.

What are you most looking forward to this Spring?