Wednesday, 2 January 2019

2018 Books Read

For 2018, I had set a goal to read 24 books.  I had set that same goal in 2017 and fell a little short but not this year.  This year I managed to read 36 books.  There is a good mix of self care and improvement, biographies and fiction books.  How many books did you read this year??  Any good recommendations?  Next years goal??  Beat 36 haha. 

Here is a list of the books I read:

1. Behind Closed Doors - B.A Paris - It is a fast paced book and I finished it in one sitting which is super rare for me.  I did like how it went back and forth between past and present and kept you guessing what he was doing to her because you knew he was but I never would have guessed what he was up to ever.  Some reviews said it was another gone girl but it was nothing like that imo.  

2.  The Hating Game - Sally Thorne - I loved this book and I spent an entire Friday night in a bath tub reading it until my water went cold and I was forced to get out.  Even though this book was super predictable from the beginning to the end, I still really liked it.  It is the perfect light hearted novel to curl up to read. 

3.  The Good Girl - Mary Kubica - I appreciated how each chapter was from a different person's perspective and it was either before or after the event.  I thought the book overall was a lot on the boring side, but the last chapter was mindblowing!!  I still can't believe what I read and I honestly cannot stop thinking about it.  Go read if if you have the chance, the ending will make it well worth your time (and money if you buy books as opposed to using the library).

4.  Namaslay - Candace Moore - this is all about yoga and meditation. I only got it for the meditation chapter as I am working to enhance my meditative ability.  It was a fantastic and informative chapter on the subject and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  If you are looking to develop your yoga and meditation abilities, then I would definitely suggest this book. It was very detailed, had great photos and there is something about Candace's writing that I love.  It had chapters on all levels of yoga. 

5.  Do Your Om Thing - Rebecca Pacheco - I didn't read the whole book but it is in this section because I wanted it for a few chapters that it had on meditation. I am trying to up my meditation game and this book was really good!

6.  Nasty Women - Edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay + Kate Harding - This was a collection of essays on feminism, resistance and revolution in Trump's america.  This book had some really good essays that were well written and inciteful.  And there were some that were so boring that you had to skip through.   Overall, I would recommend this book because the good parts were really good. 

7.  The Perfect Nanny - Leila Slimani - this book is a  highly sought after book.  I found it randomly at the library on the new and notable shelf and it looked interesting.  And as luck would have it, it was this month's book club read too and when one of the hosts looked, there were already over 300 people waiting to read this book. You found out early on what happened.  And you figure out right away who it was because they tell you.  Throughout the book they lead up to the moment and then it ends.  So although you kinda know what happened, you just kinda assume.  Overall a easy read but relatively disappointing.

8.  The Regulars - Georgia Clark - this book was horrible and even though the girls figured out what really mattered in the end, it was still stupid.  I did read it all because for some reason, I couldn't stop the trainwreck.

9.  Well Nourished - Andrea Lieberstein - This was about a whole person, non diet approach to mindful eating and living that evolved people working to improve their lives through mindful care.  It was an interesting book to read and I am considering trying out some of her methods and practices in April.

10.  Courage Is Contagious - Edited by Nick Haramis - This is a collection of essays from girls in grade 9 to artists, designers and other walks of life.  It is all about Michelle Obama and what she has done for all women but especially black women and how she strived to live her best and most authentic life even in the public eye.  I loved all the stories in this book and it is only a short read so pick it up and give it a read!

11.  Remodelista: The Organized Home - Didn't love this book. There were a few things we had implemented already and maybe could implement one other suggestion but overall, you had to have a certain kind of house for this book to be at all useful.  

12.  Make Yourself At Home - Moorea Seal - I loved this book. This book was so much more then just a decorating book and the author made it so personal which I think is how your house should be.  A personal reflection of yourself.  I have worked hard to do this - especially on our main floor and master bedroom.  This book left me so inspired and I can't wait to implement some of her suggestions. Also, my coffee table that i have a love hate relationship with was featured in this book which made me kinda happy haha. I think I need a whole post dedicated to just this book hahha.  ALso, I only got it from the library so I might have to look into buying it and using it as a decor piece somewhere!  I loved it and really think if you are struggling with finding your space and making it yours (and your family's) then it is worth a read. 

13.  Getting Off - Erica Garza - This book was about Erica's journey through sex and porn addiction and it was a fascinating book to read.  I remember watching an episode of Oprah years and years ago that was on sex addiction and it is actually one of the hardest addictions to overcome because unlike cocaine or alcohol, you need to have sex to be in a healthy relationship.  Definitely worth a read. 

15.  When Life Gives You Lululemons - Lauren Weisberger - I loved her book The Devil Wears Prada but all her other books were hit and miss with me.  I was intrigued by this book by title alone, but it is part of the the devil wears prada series as one of the main characters was Emily and Miranda does show up a few times in it.  The only lulu references were when making fun of the suburbia mom`s uniform.  It wasn`t my favorite book but I did enjoy it and it is definitely an easy quick read. 

16.  The French Art of Not Giving A Shit - Fabrice Midal - I waited a long time for this book from the library and it didn`t disappoint.  I loved it.  It focused on both not giving a shit and different, more modern ways of meditation.  I really recommend this book to read

17. Unf*ck Your Habitat - Rachel Hoffman - This was my second time trying to read it.  I never got into it when I got it out of the library last year but this time i quite enjoyed it.  Not all chapters pertained to me so I skipped those.  But the biggest takeaways were cleaning for 20 minutes and stopping for 10 minutes and so on until you were done which has been great when I remember hahaha and always putting things away (aka no dump zones on counters) which I have been working hard on.  I do recommend reading this book and it is a quick read!

18.  The Last Black Unicorn - Tiffany Haddish - This was probably the funniest book I have read in a LONG TIME and you are letting yourself down if you haven't read it yet.  I had no idea who she even was until she hosted SNL earlier this season and she was freaking hilarious and I instantly loved her.  Her book made me love her more.  And then I watched Girls Trip which made me love her even more and now I need to see everything else she is in too!!!  The wait at the library is forever on this one but trust me it is worth it. 

19.  Minimalism - The Minimalists - I think I enjoyed the book more than I enjoyed the documentary by them that I watched last year (still streaming on Netflix I believe).  It is about eliminating all the extras so you can focus more on living a meaningful life.  It is not a long book and is a quick read but it left me with a lot of ideas and got me emptying 3 rubbermaid containers in my basement so that is a positive haha. 

20.  The Perfect Mother - This was the book club read for July but I didn't get it in time so I read it this month instead.  It was a weird book and it felt like 2 different books within one.  The ending shocked the shit out of me and made me rethink everything that I just read.  Apparently they are also making it into a movie too.  This I will have to see!

21.  Girl, Wash Your Face - Rachel Hollis - I cannot even tell you how much this book has changed my life.  I think I might write a blog post just on this book alone or maybe do a chapter each week or something.  It is amazing and if you haven't read it yet, you should really get on it. 

23.  New Minimalism - Cary Telander Fortin + Kyle Louise Quilici - This book was a hybrid between minimalism and lagom.  Some of the chapters were really interesting and some were pretty boring.  I struggle between being to minimal and having some character so I (think) I gained a lot from it. 

24.  A Simplified Life - Emily Ley - Again, the first 2 chapters were fantastic and I learned a lot but I kinda tuned out for the rest of the book.  

25.  Joyous Detox - Joy McCarthy - she is one of my favorite people to follow on twitter and i love that she is Canadian too.  I don't think I would have do a detox but she made some interesting points and I do have some new recipes to try out too. 

26.  Stronger - Kara Goucher - This book was so good and such an easy read.  As someone who struggles bigtime with confidence - especially when it comes from running, i really connected with me.  You don't need to be a runner to get something out of this book so don't shy away from it if you are not. 

27.  A Simple Favor - Darcey Bell - this book was bananas.  It was one of those books where I never saw any of it coming.  I don't want to spoil anything so just read it or come over and watch the movie with me when it comes on shaw free range!!
28.  Body Love - Kelly Leveque - This book came highly recommended by Rachel Hollis but honestly I found it way to sciency and I quickly lost interest.  Basically what she is saying that if you drink her smoothies you will balance your blood sugar and be healthy in no time.  Feel free to read it if you wish but it's not something I would recommend you do immediately.

29.  The Food Therapist - Shira Lenchewski - This first half of this book was amazing and I found it to be really helpful and beneficial to me.  However, the last half was boring and I didn't finish it. 

30.  Lessons - Gisele Bundchen - I will admit that after reading the first chapter I thought maybe this wasn't a book for me because lets face it, we are living in different worlds.  However, I pushed through and I really liked this book and her take on a lot of things.  I am glad that I didn't give up on it. 

31.  Modern Mindfulness - Rohan Gunatillake - fantastic book on becoming more mindful in a modern sense.  Learning how to be mindful throughout the day instead of the traditional way of meditating.  Also spoke on how they both work well together.  Really recommend this one. 

32.  Mindfulness - Tessa Watt - not as great as modern mindfulness but still some great pointers

33.  The Wife Between Us - Greer Hendricks + Sarah Pekkanen - fantastic book and i highly recommend that you read it.  I can almost always figure out what will happen and I had no idea not even until the very last page.  It was brilliantly written.  I need to find more books by these authors asap. 

34.  The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin - not sure how many times I have read this book but it had been awhile so I decided to give it a quick read.  This book is what got me started on my love of self love and care books so many years ago. 

35.  Happier At Home - Gretchen Rubin - I had only ever read this book once so again thought I would give it a quick run through.  She has a new book coming out this march that I am really excited for!

36.  F*ck It - John Parkin - I requested this book in June of 2017 and just got it on December 29th of this year.  Isn't that insane?  As with most books of this nature, some of it was fantastic and some was kind of boring.  That being said, i do recommend giving this a read.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

2018 By The Numbers Year In Review - Sweat Like Becky Edition

2018 was an interesting year.  I struggled a lot in June and I had a really bad race that month that made me contemplate quiting this sport and finding something else to occupy my time.  I actually told a friend that I was done after seawheeze because the struggle was real and my confidence was shit. I took 9 days off after that june race and started back up in July starting from zero.  It was the only way I could rehab my achilles and still be able to continue running.  I am glad that I ignored my thoughts and worked so hard all summer because it paid off.  I ran 3 more races after that awful June morning and I did really well and boosted my confidence like you would not believe.  It also helps to have a great support system and a physiotherapist who is the best in the business to get you fixed and ready for your next race. My goals for 2019 are at the bottom but basically I want to grow as a runner by getting stronger, muscular and leaner which should also make me a better human I hope too haha. 

900k - goal for km ran in 2018 
1075.49 - what I actually ran in 2018
1200 - goal for km ran in 2019 (this slightly terrififes me)
144 - days ran 
15 - runs missed
680.29 - km ran outside
86 - runs outside
395.1 - ran on treadmill 
58 - treadmill days 

6 - races
3 - half marathons 
2 - 10km races
1 - 15k race

26 - bootcamps (it ended at the end of june for me and permanently at the end of august)
19 - missed bootcamp classes
152 - times I stretched
112 - times I did my strengthening exercises
150 - times I foamed rolled

10 - beachbody workouts
19 - times I worked on my core independantly of bootcamp and beachbody
31 - times I worked out independantly of beachbody and bootcamp 
6415 - calf raises 
76 - times meditated in 2018
59 - times more i meditated in 2018 than in 2017
504.55 - minutes meditated

5 - indoor cycles
141 - minutes cycled indoors
11 - outdoor cycles
73.47 - km biked
5 - times cross country skied
25.25 - km skied
4 - hikes completed
13.54k - hiked so more like walks hahaha
6 - physio appointments
0 - chiro appointments
2 - accupumcture appointments
287 - days active
78 - days inactive

I improved over every number except for bootcamp which ended half way through the year, I did 11 bike rides in both 2017 + 2018 and I did way more hiking in 2017 that I did this year. 

My goals for 2019 are to run 1200km, stay healthy so that means making sure I stretch, strengthen, roll and hydrate all the time!!! I want to build more muscle and get stronger to help make me a better runner and injury free.  I want to PR a half marathon and hopefully get into  Seawheeze.  I want to learn how to properly fuel my body as a runner and as someone who is turning 40 this coming year.  What are your goals for 2019??

Here is to making this year the best one yhet!

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Finally A New Treadmill!!!

My old treadmill had been slowly declining over the last year and at the beginning of the fall, it started randomly turning off while I was running and I started to freak out that I was going to hurt myself.  So Greg started looking at treadmills and we deciced to wait until Black Friday because we hoped that we could get a good deal on one and we did.  My last one was also from Canadian Tire and it lasted 14 years and cost me $440 so I had no problems buying another one from there.  Now if only it lasts that long haha. 

My new treadmill is so much bigger than my old one!  I ended up buying a treadmill mat on amazon prime because when I ran the treadmill slowly moved backwards towards the door.  We also painted Penelope's old room and moved my treadmill up there since my mom is in the basement beside Finley's room.  I don't mind facing the wall because I wiped out once when I got my first treadmill and fell into the wall and hurt myself so i never ever run with my back to the wall.  It's really not all that bad because I am usually always watching my opad anyways.

My only real complaint is that when I run my water bottles vibrate and shake because they have so much room.  Which was the opposite problem of my old one haha.  One of my friends suggested putting in towels to make them not rattle so much.  I haven't tried it but I really should get on that. 

It is also far far fancier than my old one too.  Everything is digital and push button and so easy!  I have not used any of the programs or workouts and I am not sure I will but maybe during the long cold winter months I might give them a try.

A photo of me running on my new treadmill.  I am so happy with it and it feels so much easier running on it than my old one.  Whether it actually is or not is a whole other story hahaha.  Here's hoping that this fancy new treadmill of mine gets me through these long winter months ahead. 

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

A Christmas Tradition In The Making

On the first day of December we had decided to go out and cut down our main floor Christmas tree after Penelope's academy was completed.  We woke up to some gross weather but it cleared quite nicely before we headed out.  It turned out to be a gorgeous afternoon to be outside looking for a tree.  And it turns out a lot of people had the same idea as us.  We actually had to turn around and go back home because Greg forgot the saw needed to cut down the tree.  Finley tried to convince Greg that we should do what Clark did in Christmas Vacation but he was not agreeing to that haha.

Penelope pretending to be cutting down every tree we came across.  

We saw a few potential trees but we kept on looking for that perfect tree.  There were a lot of huge trees and half trees but not what we wanted.  We did discuss cutting down two trees and putting both in our tree stand to make the perfect tree. 

But then I spotted this beauty from afar and we made the long trek to check her out up close.  Greg thought I meant the one to the right of it and he was like it's 200 feet tall but then he saw the one I was referring to.

Up close, it was perfect and we all agreed that this was the annual florizone christmas tree. 

Greg started the saw but Finley really wanted to be the one to make it fall over and yell timber.  With Greg's help she was able to do that!!  Last year we all took turns cutting the tree but we left it to these 2 this year.

The tree wasn't too heavy and Greg was able to carry back to his car.  He got the tree all strapped down before we realized that he made it so he couldn't open his car door and he had to climb through the passenger door.  I have climbed through my passenger door many times thanks to bonehead drivers parking too close to me but I am much smaller so it wasn't as easy for him to get in and it took him a few tries haha. 

Greg had to cut a little off of the top to get the tree to fit in the house and then a bit more to get the star to fit but other than that, it was perfect.  I sure did a good job haha.

While Greg got the tree ready for decorating and the girls brought the ornaments up, I enjoyed a delicious cup of hot tea in the most approproate mug I own for this occasion (thanks winners!)

Penelope probably decorated 85% of the tree this year and she loved every second of it.

Finley did about 6% of the decorating while Greg did about 9%. He was trying to use the larger ornaments to fill in the few empty spots towards the bottom of the tree.

The final product early the next morning,  I love waking up early before anyone else and sitting on the couch while drinking my tea and just taking in the peace and the glow of the christmas lights.  It really is quite magical.  

We ended up having to move our tree over to the opposite corner because my mom has moved in with us and her couch wouldn't get down the stairs into our basement so we had to move ours down there for her and kept hers upstairs.  Hers is much larger than mine and we had to reaarange our living room 5x before we got it figured out.  At least until Christmas comes down and I can see what we are working with haha. 

This is by far the best tree that we have picked out in the three years we have done it and I am not just saying that because I picked it out haha.  We had people over on the weekend and they all complimented our tree and Greg has even admired it too hahaha.  This is a tradition we have all come to look forward to and we might even continue doing it even when we do go back to SK for the holidays. 

If you have never cut down your own tree, i highly recommend it.  It is so easy and all it costs is the $5 for the permit that you can download on your computer.  It tells you the permit area you can cut down the tree and you are allowed to cut down up to 3 trees per permit.  You and your family will have so much doing it!

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

A Bonus Christmas Tree

We finally got around to decorating our christmas tree in the bonus room on the last Thursday of November.  I honestly think that this is close to the latest I have ever put up a tree anywhere in my house.  And we still didn't have a tree for the main floor. 

Each year the girls pick out an ornament for the bonus room tree and this time round, Penelope picked out a rainbow poop emoji who married the regular poop emoji one she got last year.  They happily reside on the christmas tree side by side.  Finley didn't pick hers out as I found it while I was looking for something else at pier 1.  She always asks for my eiffel tower and I always say no.  She is obsessed with all things paris so she loved it very very much.

We got this tree during a black friday sale 4 years ago at Home Depot and the lights quit working on it either last christmas or the year before that.  Regardless, I am not happy that the pre-lit tree didn't keep working for that long.  We used the lights for the tree that normally hang on the white bookstand and the railing up to the bonus room.

Greg always puts his Christmas mouse on the top of what he calls the fun tree hahaha. It is his from when he was a little kid.

The cats have stayed away from both of our trees for the most part but this is the one time I caught them napping under it.  This is the first year Pizza hasn't climbed a tree or two. 

This tree looks so pretty and magical in the evening.  The tree skirt isn't actually a tree skirt but a table cloth that belonged to my Aunty Sandy who passed away a few years ago.  I don't use a table cloth ever but I came up with this last year instead and I love it!  I love having a piece of her during the  holidays. 

Monday, 10 December 2018

Christmas In The Core

On the last day of November, the girls had the day off for parent teacher interviews so we took advantage of having a week day off and headed downtown to the core to visit Santa Claus and have lunch with Greg too.  Our first stop off the train was to grab hot chocolate from second cup which is a cold weather favorite treat.

We saw a sign with The Core advertising that they had 150 trees decorated around the 2 levels and Finley made it her mission to count them all.  This one was Penelope's favorite tree.

Despite there being trees everywhere, they were relatively easy to find and count.  Finley did a great job keeping track of the number we saw and was careful not to count any trees twice. 

This was also another one of Penelope's favorite trees.  She insisted on giving yeti a hug despite the no touching signs everywhere.

The Christmas Tree that reaches 3 levels high right in the middle of the core.  They have all kinds of christmas and holiday events going on here so you should come check it out. 

This was Finley's favorite tree and if you know her, you will know why haha.  This one was from WestJet Magazine.

This one was my favorite tree because there was so much pink.  It was put on by Pure Motion Dance Company and I didn't know that at first but it made me happy since I know some friends who have kids that attend this dance company.  The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra was my second favorite. It was all done in purple. 

Finley showing her excitement from finding all 150 trees and finally being able to go meet her dad for lunch haha.   A local business sponsors a tree and they decorate them and then they go to a family in need.  Such a great program!!  A huge thank you to all of the companies and their employees who participated in this!

After lunch, we headed to see Santa Claus and the girls loved him!!  Because there was no line up, the girls got to spend a lot of time chatting with Santa and we also got a family photo with him too and the best part is that visiting him is free!  You do have the option to make a donation, which we did.  If you make your social media public and use the hashtag #findchristmasdowntown, they will print you out a photo in a few minutes.  Kids also receive some crayons and a holiday themed coloring book and a scavenger hunt sheet.  Santa is located on the second level near Holt Renfrew and will continue to be there throughout the month of December until the 23rd from Thursdays - Sundays starting at noon.  Some days end at 5pm and others at 7pm so make sure you check out their website before heading down. 

The scavenger hunt was basically just something to make you go find all of the trees and right down the name of the companies participating in the tree decorating.  Great advertising haha.  We were done in no time since we had gone through to find them all earlier haha. 


They took in their sheets and each got a candycane for all of their hard work.  Then we headed out to the train and made it back home. 

I love love love Calgary malls during the holidays.  I think they do a really great job and I think they really do add to the holiday spirit.  Don't be afraid of downtown and take your kids down to see the decor and Santa Claus.  You won't be disappointed with what you see.

Monday, 3 December 2018

November By The Numbers - Sweat Edition

If I am being completely honest, I was really surprised how much I ran this month.  I was feeling especially unmotivated and ran the majority of my runs on my treadmill because the thought of running outside felt like too much work.  Not only was it my best November ever since I started running seriously in November 2013, i bet I ran more this month than the novembers in 2013 - 2017 combined!!  

89.41k - ran in November
1001.68k - ran in 2018 thus far
13 - days ran 
1 - run missed

4 - runs outside
28 - km ran outside
1 - new treadmill
9 - runs on my treadmill
61.41k - ran on the treadmill

3 - beachbody workouts 
4 - times I meditated
40 - minutes meditated
1 - cross country skiing
1.87 skied

9 - days stretched
12 - days strengthened
4 - days rolled
360 - calf raises

22 days active 
8 days inactive

I don't have any goals in December except for finishing the year strong and healthy!!  

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Review: Roxy Emeline Boots

I have been looking for a combat type like boot for what feels like forever. I know I tried last year without luck and I thought we were heading in the same direction this year too.  Nothing that I found seemed to fit right or they were lined with winter material and that wasn't what I really wanted.  I wanted a fun pair of boots to wear with skinny jeans or my lululemon aligns.  I had found a pair at The Shoe Company but when I got them home and walked around the house they just were not right.  So when I returned them and stopped at Sportchek since it was in the same parking lot.  I found these Roxy boots and they were regularly $104 but on sale for $59.  For some reason, it was just the black ones but not the brown ones but I wanted black so I was quite happy.  I tried them on and I wasn't sure about them.  Penelope said they were great and she is usually quite honest with her feedback of things I buy haha.  So I bought them and wore them around the house and I decided I liked them.  One might say I even loved them.  I have worn them several times and they are super comfy and because they have a tiny bit of a barely there heel, they work well for comfort with my achilles issues.  The only thing I don't love about them is the laces.  They are HUGE!!!

You can see in this photo the massive laces.  If I ever get around to buying smaller laces, I will switch them out,  I just feel like the laces are obnoxious and super noticable when I wear them and not in a good way.  It is probably all in my mind but it is all I think about when I wear them haha.  

These are no longer on sale at Sportchek but keep an eye out if you are looking for a pair of boots like these because they tend to have some really good sales all of the time.