Saturday, 19 March 2016

Penelope's Loft

 Penelope has wanted a loft bed since the moment she discovered it at IKEA one afternoon.  She talked about it all of the time and she made us go look at it every time we went to the store.  It wasn't that we didn't want to buy it for her, we did, we just didn't want to pay full price for it.  I hate paying full price for anything, let alone brand new.  Anyways, I found one on the buy n sell auction site and ended up winning it for $30.  It's like regularly $200 or something like that.  When we told Penelope she was getting one that night, she was beyond excited.  Like insanely excited, she said we were the best parents ever, which is a nice change from being the rudest parents ever when she doesn't get her way.  Can you believe she is only 5??  We told her the heart would be covered but she didn't care.  Nobody seemed to care but me!!

Greg went and picked up the bed on a Friday night while Penelope anxiously waited for him to arrive home.  He messed up a few times putting things together backwards and what not but soon he was finished.  Penelope helped take her old bed apart and her new bed together.  My kids will be able to build IKEA furniture on their own before I can hahahaha.

She was so excited to climb up her ladder to her new bed.  Her and Greg had the safety chat about always having 3 on the ladder - 2 hands, one foot or 1 hand and 2 feet.  I had no idea that this was even a thing.  My sister and I had bunk beds for awhile and I don't remember that.  We also had to tell her that she couldn't jump off her bed or her ladder.

Here she is in bed ready to go to sleep for the first time way up there.  We had to take away some of her dolls that she had up there because we worried that she would sleep on top of them and be above the railing and roll off.  Interestingly enough, Greg is terrified of heights and I am not.  I have no problems standing on an edge of a mountain and taking photos and videos of what is below me but for some reason, I was seriously stressed out about her sleeping up there.  Thankfully it only lasted one night and I now have no problems with her way up there. 

Finley couldn't wait for morning so she could go play with her sister's bed.  They played pirate ship and made big messes.  Finley now wants of these for her own hahaha.  

About a year ago, I went and sold all of our furniture in our basement and main floor.  We needed something to use as a temporary couch/bed for when my sister visited so we bought this couch that was originally from IKEA off of kijiji.  It was pretty tiny and we soon realized that this was not going to do for when our family visited so we bought another IKEA hide a bed off of kijiji and just had both downstairs in the basement.  Greg suggested that we move it upstairs to put under Penelope's bed so she had a place to sit and get dressed since it was hard to do so from her bed now.  So we brought it up and she now charges you $1 if you want to sit on her couch haha.

And of course, once the girls realized that there was a bed underneath, it meant sleepovers.  They have never had a successful sleepover at home ever.  Even when we are out of town and are forced to sleep together it does not go well.  However, when we were in Mexico in January, our suite had 2 bedrooms and the one bedroom had 2 beds and they slept relatively well in there so maybe they are growing up.  It took them about an hour to fall asleep after we tucked them in but they behaved relatively well all things considering.

We (meaning me) think we will paint a large gold heart above her book shelf and move her art work to above her couch under her bed.  I really miss the gold heart and need it back somewhere.

And here is her desk and her necklaces - 2 of the most important thing in her life.

And occasionally, we find her on the couch because why not???

Friday, 18 March 2016

Five on Friday

1.  Monday was report card day for Finley + Penelope.  Both had perfect report cards so that was very exciting.  Finley is in advanced language arts with a few other kids from all 3 grade 1 class.  They make new words out of existing words and work on sentence structure and writing and more advanced spelling words.  She is excelling at all areas especially math and science which makes Greg extremely happy.  Penelope is like a walking contradiction though.  She is literally the poster child for the most perfect student in the history of students but like the exact opposite at home.  I don't get it.  But someone once said that how your children act when you are not around is the definition of whether or not you did a good job.  I guess Greg and I did good.

2.  Greg is in Spokane as I write this.  He left yesterday and is back on Monday.  He and a buddy went down to watch the NCAA basket ball tournament as the first round was being held there.  There were some layoffs at work on Wednesday and they announced that there would be more on April 5th so he was feeling a little discouraged but I am hoping the time away from work will be beneficial to him.  We have been busy in his absence and will be blogging all about it on Tuesday or Wednesday.

3.  I am sure most of you have friends who's daughters are in guides or brownies and sell cookies.  Right now they are selling the best kind which is the vanilla and chocolate sandwich cookies.  Vanilla has always been my favourite but one of my friends told me that she loved her girl guide cookies frozen so I tried it yesterday and they are amazing.  Even the chocolate ones are delicious.  And because they are in the freezer we forget about them and this way they become more of a treat.  If you haven't tried it, you should go do it right now.  Thanks Shannon for the tip!

4.  I am trying to decrease my consumption of black tea and increase my consumption of green tea.  Mostly because I like my black tea really sweet and let's face it, I am sweet enough already hahah.  My favourite green tea is Mango Delight from Steeped Tea. It's so delicious.  I bought a re-usable k-cup for my keurig and I can brew it right in there.  Toasted Almond is my favourite black tea and it's also from Steeped Tea but I need to add sugar or it's gross and I have yet to find a healthier alternative so I will have to cut it out and drink it as a special treat.

5. I love use Isagenix replenish and amped for my run.  I post about it on occasion on my blog because I think it's a great product if you are active and it's a great company and it tastes way better then Nuun tablets where all you taste is salt.  What I don't like is when I get a bazillion isagenix accounts following me and then dm'ing me saying they can hook me up and blah blah blah.  As you can see, I have the product already which means I most likely already have a consultant (which I do and she is amazing and no  I will not switch) so quit messaging me.  It's so annoying and it frustrates the hell out of me!!!  Just like the post and take pride in the fact that we like the same stuff.  Don't try to sell me the stuff and then we can be friends.   Don't even get me started on the wrap crap.......

Friday, 11 March 2016

New To Us

Last week we bought a new to us table and chairs and decided to sell our existing set.  I had longed for a new dining set but I wasn't willing to pay full price for something that my kids could still ruin despite my no craft, paint, anything rule on tables.  I was on a Facebook buy n sell page and they had the set I wanted plus 6 chairs for $160 so I bought it.  

We sold our existing table and I must admit I was quite sad about it and as I cleaned it up and watched it get taken apart I was definitely experiencing some buy/sell regret.  We bought this table 2 days after we moved into this house - 8 years ago later this month.  So many great moments + celebrations were held here and I was really sad for it go.  But I was tired of painting my table + chairs each month because it was chipping or because I forgot to wipe it down and trying to get the dried jam off took the paint off or just because I was bored of the colour.  And painting chairs is a giant pain the butt and so much work.  

Greg got home from work after our table was picked up and put our table together and although it looked great and was in amazing shape, I wasn't sold on it.  Greg loved it although I am not sure if it was because he truly loved the table or was relieved to not have to worry about coming home to a newly painted table.  The girls did not like it especially after I told them we were not painting it.  It was too boring and brown and plain and too tall according to them.  It is much bigger then our existing table but it's not in the way too big if that makes sense.  

Our first meal at our new table: Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps in the slow cooker.   We are all slowly coming around to loving our table and are looking forward to creating even more happy memories at this table for years to come. 

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Lululemon LS 5 Mile Shirt

 When I got serious about running and realized that I needed more then just crb's, I bought long sleeved run swiftly's from lululemon.  I absolutely hated all 4 that I had even though they were all in such pretty colours.  But I kept wearing them because they were good for my early morning spring, summer and fall runs and a great layering tool under my kanto half zip in the winter.  I hated the fit, the material, how they so easily snagged.  You are probably wondering why I had 4 of them if I hated them so much.  Well truthfully there wasn't much else that I liked.  Until now.

A group that I belong to on Facebook called Lulu Chat recommended the 5 mile shirt after she bought it and tried it on.  I knew nothing about it except that it had a slot for your watch.  I was sold and so I ordered one online and eagerly awaited it's arrival on my doorstep.

The heathered boom juice one arrived early Monday morning of last week while I walked the girls to school.  I tried it on and was instantly in love.  I immediately posted my 4 swiftly's on a lululemon Facebook group I belong to and sold them all and then proceeded to lululemon in Southcentre so I could buy more.  I bought the raspberry one in store and ordered the heathered chalk online as they didn't have my size in store.  I really wanted the tiger space dye black white but it was sold out both online and in store.  I was impressed that I even ordered the chalk one because it is a very light blue and I typically hate blue but I wear a lot of brightly coloured speed shorts so I thought it was a good option and I actually really quite like it surprisingly enough.

It's slim fitting but the fit is so much nicer then that of the swiftly.  The material is seriously light lion fabric with lycra fibre and is sweat wicking and a four way stretch.  It is so soft and think and not rough at all.  It still has the anti stink technology in it which is great because if you are a runner then you know how fragrant one can get during a run.  

The back is v-necked which allows you stay cool and cool down even faster if need be.  It was one of my favourite features.

But my absolute favourite feature of this shirt is this.  I can wear my watch underneath it and view it through a little slit designed for running watches.  THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER and here is why:
1) Sometimes during a race I will wear this shirt because it is cold or rainy or both but I get warm fast and need to take it off.  During a normal training run, I could just stop my watch, take it off, take off my shirt, tie shirt around my waist and put watch back on, resume run on my watch and run again.  But during a race who wants to do that?  Definitely not me.  During the SeaWheeze in 2015, it was really damp and cold in the morning so I had to wear my ls swiftly but around 2km mark I needed it off. I somehow to do all of the above without stopping.  I was proud of myself for sure but at the same time it was not something I wished to become a habit. 

2) When I get home from a race I very often forget that I am wearing my watch over my shirt and pull the shirt off only to get it stuck because of the watch.  I have to maneuver it back on and it is usually sweaty and gross and then take my watch off and then take the shirt back off again.  It sucks.  I hate it.  

The only thing that would be better then this would be a long sleeved thicker half zip running pull over for winter with the same feature.  I should suggest that on hey lululemon :)

But seriously, if you are a runner, you need this shirt.  Sell all the swiftly's like I did and use that money to buy these 5 mile shirts in all the colours.  I am debating going online and buying the peacock blue and heathered black ones hahahahha.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Ten Foot Henry

Last week we celebrated Greg's birthday by checking out a new restaurant that had literally just opened the day before his birthday.  The new restaurant is Ten Foot Henry and the bartender just happens to be my brother in law Brad.  

It is located downtown where the old King Henry the 8th used to be on 12th ave and 1st street se.  There is no real big sign yet so it is easy to miss - or at least that is what I am telling myself since I drove by it 2x.  Greg said it is easy to find by foot since he was walking from work.  The only downside is that parking is hard to come by but that is unusual for downtown Calgary.

I love everything about the decor and furniture in this place.  I loved the vintage yet oh so modern wooden chairs, I loved the mismatch of tables throughout the area, I loved how they took the drywall off the walls and still made it look really good.  The service was great - all the staff was very friendly and interacted with all of the guests dining that night.  Julie Van Rosendaal wrote an article on it for CBC and you can read about it here.  

We started the night off with birthday drinks of course.  Greg had some kind of beer and I had the henele which is cachaca, dark rum, falurnum, ginger and pineapple.  I have no idea what most of the ingredients are but it was one of the most delicious drinks I have ever had.  Greg had some kind of beer.  He said it was good.

When we sat down, one of the servers told us about the original ten foot henry that was located near the bathrooms.  I had no idea what that even meant but she said we should get the girls photos with it.  The girls did not want to cooperate so I took it myself.  When I got home, I googled it and apparently he has been around for decades in Calgary in the art scene.  There was once even a club back in the 80s that was also named Ten Foot Henry.  He had been living near a theatre before being relocated to his new home.  It's kind of a cool story.

It's family style so you order about 6-7 plates and share them.  As I have said previously on my blog, it's one of my favourite ways to truly experience a restaurant.   It is very vegetable heavy and so it is perfect if you are vegetarian or if you have a mix of dietary restrictions.  It is very accommodating that way.

The first thing we ordered was the sourdough flatbread that was grilled and came with some kind of delicious sauce.  The bread was a little over done but the sauce was so good, it didn't even matter.  I would definitely order it again.

After going to CharBar, I have been obsessed with chimchurri sauce and so we needed to have the yellow fin cruda (i think that is what it was) with chimchurri sauce.  I had no idea that this meant raw tuna.  As good as the sauce looked I couldn't bring myself to try it.  That was until Finley tried it so then I did.  Neither of us liked it.  Greg loved it.  

This is a terrible photo and I apologize for it.  It was my favourite thing on the menu.  Or at least one of them.  It was charred broccoli with i think a cauliflower/parsnip puree topped with something else. We almost didn't order it since nobody really likes broccoli outside of Greg but seriously if I could make broccoli like this, I would eat it probably every day.  It was amazing.  Who knew broccoli could taste this good??

This was borscht dumplings which made me not want to order them but Brad said it wasn't really borscht but shredded beets with dumplings and sour cream.  Since we have a rule where you need to order everything on the menu that contains beets, we ordered it.  It was delicious and such a novel idea.  I don't like sour cream but Greg managed to scoop onto his plate so we didn't have to have it.  The girls also loved this.  Basically it was this and the bread that Penelope ate.  She didn't want any of it. 

These were the roasted potatoes.  I did not like them.  I didn't like the flavour or spiciness of them but Greg and Finley really liked them.

This was Yakitori Chciken and I ate a full skewer to myself much to Finley's dismay.  It is so good.  I rarely ever order chicken from a restaurant because I don't much like it but it was delicious.  Probably the best chicken I have ever had in a  restaurant.  

Finally it was dessert time.  This is where Penelope got most of her caloric intake.  We ordered a butterscotch pudding type thing with something that tasted like skor on top.  It was like heaven in a bowl.  We also ordered a coconut cake.  Penelope really liked it but it was just ok.  Definitely eat the butterscotch dessert if you go.  We don't normally order 2 desserts but we made an exception because it was Greg's birthday. 

I can't wait to go back again and I really hope that next time you are looking for a great, local, non-chain place to eat, you think of this place and come here.  You won't be disappointed.  

And in a few months, they will be opening Little Henry's which is going to be a grab and go kinda place.  It is right next store to the restaurant.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

It Band Band

Last January, I ran too fast too soon after slacking during the winter and destroyed my right it band.  Everything I injure while running is on my right side, it's kinda crazy how much weaker that side of my body is.  I spent a long time in physio at the Running Injury Clinic located here in Calgary at Glenmore Landing.  I did all the exercises and spent (and still do) hours rolling out my it band and quads on my roller.  But no matter what I did, nothing took away from my knee pain (which was a result of a tight it band).  My friend Shannon suggested a knee compression wrap so I went to the Running Room and bought one.  I tried it out and ran with it and it didn't help much at all.  So I went back and returned it and bought the it band compression wrap instead.  It worked.  It was amazing.  That was last summer sometime, I don't remember exactly but it has been a game changer.  

The wrap velcros right above your knee and provides targeted compression, stabilizing the it tract and it absorbs stress to the area and reduces friction and rubbing of the femoral condyle (you can find more information here).

My it band rarely bothers me anymore and I can feel it tighten up almost immediately if I have neglected to roll for awhile so I know to shut down my run and go home and roll and I am fine.  This rarely happens.  So twice I have tried running without it.  Once last fall and once a few weeks ago. Neither time was a success and actually set me back in my running because it made my knee hurt.  So even though I no longer suffer from IT Band problems, the compression wrap holds all the right things together allowing me to run my best runs.  So as much as I hate wearing it, it looks like I will be wearing it for the rest of my running days.  If only if I could find it in pink.  That would make me somewhat more happier :)

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Apple Music

Last week I signed up for Apple Music.  I had heard of it of course, but I didn't know much at all about it and what I thought I did know about it , didn't make me want to sign up for it at all.  What made me make the jump? Well, Kristen asked me if I had Apple Music because she had just signed up for it.  She was surprised I had never signed up for it myself.  She told me that it was more then just a radio and that it wasn't just streaming music while on wifi, you could actually download them to your phone and listen to them while being offline.  

Apple Music Is:
  • 24 hour radio service from dj's in New York, London, Los Angeles and other cities around the world. This is included with the monthly charge.  I don't have much interest in this feature so I have not used it yet.  
  • A massive music library containing something like 30 million songs.  So many fabulous songs on here at your disposal.    This is also included in the monthly charge.
  • The third feature is connect which is available to everybody whether you subscribe to Apple Music or not.  Connect is basically twitter, instagram or Facebook in your music app on your iPhone or iPad.  You can follow any artists you are interested in, much like social media sites, and they post things like their favourite playlists, photos, videos and any other thing they might want to share with you.  I have yet to use this feature either.
  • When you sign up for Apple Music,  you get a free 3 month trial.  You need to cancel 24 hours before your payment date in order not to be charged for a month.  The fee is $9.99 per month and just gets charged to your credit card or iTunes card that you have on your iTunes account.  This is for one iTunes account.  If you want to share amongst your family members and they have a different iTunes account then you, it is $14.99 per month.  And if you are a android user and would like to use this music streaming service, you can download the apple music app which is nice to see Apple finally do.
  • The $9.99 monthly fee allows you to stream an unlimited amount of songs.  You can stream the music while on wifi and if you want to listen to them while you are offline, you can download them to your phone.   Just have the song open, click on the 3 dots on the bottom right and you can select make song available offline and the other option is that you have a playlist that you just made from Apple Music, you can go into the playlist and select the little iPhone icon and it will download the entire list to your phone for you.  The music does take up space on your iPhone and if you want to remove the song from  your iPhone just hit remove download and it will be gone.  The ability to do this will help immensely for switching up my running music playlists.  I am very excited.
  • Apple Music will integrate with your iTunes library on its own so you don't have to do anything.  Well you might have to go into your settings app > music >  show Apple Music and it will show up in your music app on your iPhone.  And a few days later, when I went on my iMac, the iTunes button was popping up telling me that I had subscribed to Apple Music and they set it up by me just clicking ok or something.  It was easy peasy.
  • The downside to Apple Music is that you can't do anything with it.  You can stream it via wifi and you can download it onto your iPhone but that's it.  You can't use it anywhere else.  Nothing.  And if you ever should cancel Apple Music,  all the music you  have downloaded to your iPhone or iMac disappears.  You don't get to keep anything at all.
The downside to Apple Music made me second guess if I actually wanted to continue with it.  I don't care too much about sharing the music but losing it made me kinda sad.  However, I love love love love Apple Music.  And the thought of losing access to all the music I have already downloaded made me quite sad.  But truth be told, I waste a lot of money on songs I thought I liked but haven't listened to since the week after I bought them.  And I buy a lot of songs to run to and since I run so often and long distances at that, I listen to a lot of the same songs over and over and I am hoping this will help.  The day after I got Apple Music, I ran to a Bruce Springsteen playlist and it was glorious. I figure if someone I really love releases a new song or album, I would just buy it on iTunes and same with music that the girls want on their tablet.  

I would very much recommend that you at least look into Apple Music.  I promise you won't be disappointed.  I have made a playlist full of 80s movie soundtrack, I have Hamilton the Musical on a playlist and I absolutely love it.  I need to try to get tickets and then a book a trip to NYC to see it.  

Tuesday, 1 March 2016


I have had a goodreads account for about 3 years now but I haven't used it for a very long time.  We are talking years.  I had forgotten about it until I was reminded about it by my best friend Kristen and my friend and fellow blogger Christy.   Last week, I re-downloaded the app and went online to delete all the books on my to-read list because after 3 years I still haven't read them and chances are I wouldn't.

One of the things on my 37 by 37 list is to read at least one book per month since I never ever read and so far, 2016 has been good to me.  In January I read 3 books and in February only one so far but I have 4 or 5 books that I have picked up from the library - 2 recommendations from a friend and 3 that have been on my wait list at the library forever and I am very excited to read them.

I am hoping that this will help me keep track of the books I have read this year to ensure I meet my goal and help me find books to read when i have hit a lull so to speak.

If we are not friends on Goodreads and you want to be, look me up.  I am linked to it through my Facebook account so if we are Facebook friends it will be easy to find me and if we are not, my user name is uniquely becky so that should make it easier.  I look forward to seeing all the books you have read and hope they inspire me to read them too!!