Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Morning Routine

For the month of January I focused on getting more consistent with my morning routine.  If I had to give myself a grade, I probably would say about 70%.  I have 3 kinds of mornings during the week.  I don't count weekends because I get up according to the girls soccer schedules and let myself sleep in until 7am hahahaha.

The perfect morning consists of me getting up anywhere between 530 + 630 as long as I am not running and starting from there. I make myself some tea and catch up on social media on my iPhone and check both my bullet binder and a paper agenda.  Once I am done my tea then i eat breakfast and that usually is either oatmeal that i make in bulk on Monday and eat a few days during the week or a bowl of cereal.  My usual go to is original Special K.  Then I put the dishes away and make the girls lunches and start on whatever I have to do on that day.  I try to get most of my weekly to do list for that day done before we leave for school.  If I finish all that I can do and the girls are still sleeping then I will do some reading on the couch or something.  It really could be anything.  Then I get the girls up either up at 7:15 or 7:30 depending on if they had soccer the night before.  I get them fed, dressed, teeth brushed, hair brushed and backpacks ready before we head out the door to school at 8:10.  These mornings are the best and I feel like I can take on the world once I get home from dropping the girls off.

The second kinda of morning I have is so so but it does work.  This is when I sleep until around 7 and get up and make lunches and eat breakfast and then get the girls up and then get them ready to leave.  This one isn't terrible because I still am not rushed in the morning and do get a few minutes of time alone before I get the girls up.  I have a bit more to do once I get home from school but it still feels good.    

The worst version is when I just don't want to get up at all and  I lay in bed awake until it is time to wake up the girls and get a massive headache as a result of it.  I usually bribe the girls with eating a  bear paw or nutrigrain bar in return for them to make their own lunch.  I know right, mom of the year all the way.  I end up being grouchy until we leave and it's not a great morning.  I drink my tea on my way to school and then when I get home I feel so defeated that I lay on the couch deciding if I should do the stuff on my to do list or just go back to bed.  It's a tough call some days to make the right decision hahaha. 

So while I have 3 perfectly imperfect morning routines, I still have a ways to go to ensure that my first morning routine is one that I experience on most days.  I would love to eliminate the third option because that is never good but it is usually because I don't sleep well the night before and am too tired to get up.  

Do you have a morning routine?  How do you make it work for you? What do you love the most about yours?  If you are like me and have 2 kids then probably the peace and quiet in the house.  That's my favourite part for sure. 

Monday, 30 January 2017


A friend of mine had a online party for a company called KEEP.  I hadn't heard of this company before so I was curious what it was.  It turns out it is the sister company of Stella + Dot and is based in the United States.  At first I wasn't too interested since I am not much into jewellery but the rep kept posting ideas on what you can make as it is basically a design your own KEEP kinda line, which I think is kinda cool.  One of her ideas caught my eye and so I decided to see what it would cost for me to make.

How awesome is the shipping packages for this company.  I didn't want to rip the bag because it was so pretty but I didn't know what I would use it for even if I could so I tore that baby open.  The bottom package I saved the cardboard it was against and I am now using it as a bookmark.  

So the design that caught my eye was a simple bracelet that just had the word run on it and I was like I need that.  Luckily for me all letters and numbers were 50% off, however I did find the bracelet to be a bit pricey but I got it anyway.  I knew I wanted bright pink so my options were limited and I didn't look too much at the price of other bracelets to see if there were cheaper options.  Shipping was also $9 which I didn't like paying but paid for anyway.  I didn't look to see if it was free after a certain dollar point because I wasn't spending anymore money haha. 

I ordered the bracelet Saturday night, it shipped Sunday around lunch time and I got it Thursday afternoon.  The tracking information is a little misleading as I wasn't supposed to receive it until Today and they don't do a very good job of tracking when it leaves places.  For example, I know it got to Toronto but I saw nothing about it leaving there until I randomly checked Thursday morning and saw it was in Calgary.  But I got it quickly so that is good.  

I have worn my bracelet everyday since I got it last week.  I have worn it in the bath tub, washing dishes and running and pretty much everything in between and I have no complaints.  Also, if you are interested in becoming a rep, it is a very new company and so there are few reps here in Canada and there is plenty of opportunity if you are into that kinda thing.  I am not but maybe one of you are!

Thursday, 26 January 2017

What I Streamed In December

So December saw me finish the very final episode of Gilmore Girls and watch the first 2 episodes of A Year In The Life which is a netflix special.  I cried my eyes out at the series finale and it was kinda ridiculous.  But having been raised by a single mom myself, I understood the pride and fantastic job that Lorelei did even though I was and still am not a huge fan of her.  But I got it and I loved the ending so much.  I was so excited to jump into A Year In The Life but seriously what a disappointment.  One of my most favourite things about The Gilmore Girls and what I loved most was the emotional connection between you and every single episode you watched.  Sure there were some episodes that were so dumb that I may have fast forwarded but overall, it was an emotional journey between Rory + Lorelei.  And this Year In The Life was lacking that.  I felt no emotional connection at all to the show since it was so fast paced and Rory was flying back and forth between Stars Hollow and London.  I was excited about one aspect of the special but disappointed when I found out the circumstances around it.  I can't go into more detail incase Michelle reads this since she hasn't finished it yet.  This month (January), I watched Episode 3 and ⅓ of Episode 4.  I can't bring myself to watch the last hour of episode 4 because thanks to a photo shared on social media I know how this episode ends and it makes me so angry that they did this to her.   This looks to be a hint that a second Year In The Life is going to take place and can't decide if this makes me happy or furthers my anger even more.

After I got back from Saskatoon for Christmas I happened to be scrolling through the on demand movies on my Shaw Free Range App and saw this movie was on there.  I had never seen it and had Carrie Fisher not died a few days earlier, I probably never would have noticed it was on there.  I had no idea that this was written by Carrie Fisher and was semi-biographical on her life.  But to be honest, I had no idea who Carrie Fisher even was until last year when she was age-shamed on social media based on her appearance in that Star Wars movie.  I know, I know.  I mean, I knew who Princess Leia was but didn't know who played her.  But why would I? I enjoy Star Wars about as much as breaking a leg.  But after seeing this movie and reading the stuff I did about her and her mom, I totally saw that in this movie.  I really enjoyed this movie and I loved the sunglasses that Shirley Maclaine wore when bringing Meryl Streep home from rehab.  Like seriously, where can i find those???  

The last movie I watched in 2016 was that of "The Other People".  It was written and directed by Chris Kelly, who is co-headwriter this season on Saturday Night Live.  This was also based on Kelly's life and absolutely phenomenal.  I absolutely loved this movie and it is available for you to watch on Netflix and really you should go watch it.  Molly Shannon was amazing in this movie and how she doesn't win all the awards for it, I will never understand.  This movie tugs at all the heart strings and gives you all the feels.  You can thank me later.  

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Canada 150: Johnston Canyon

We  hadn't been to Banff since we hiked Helen Lake back in September and I sprained my ankle.  This was the longest we have gone without heading to the mountains for one reason or another but Finley and Penelope's soccer takes up most of our weekends. 

 However, this past Sunday so Finley with an 8:20am game and Penelope with a bye week so we decided to take an advantage of an almost free Sunday and head to the mountains.  Finley played a really good first half - probably her best half of soccer this season - but the toll of  having a soccer practice Friday night and tech training Saturday morning and now this game really hit her in the second half.  She was tired and it showed.  I thought for sure she would sleep on the way to Banff but she stayed awake the whole time.  Penelope, on the other hand, slept most of the way. 

We decided to do Johnston Canyon and hike up to the Ink Pots.  We have never made it to the Ink Pots and thought this was the perfect opportunity.  There are 3 different sites you can hike to when doing Johnston Canyon: 1.  Lower Falls which is 1.1 miles from the resort which is basically a 5 minute walk from the parking lot 2.  Upper Falls which is 1.6 miles from Lower Falls and 3. Ink Pots which is another 4km from Upper Falls. 

Directions: Follow the Bow Valley Parkway west from its eastern interchange with the TransCanada Highway 17.5km to Johnston Canyon.  

We love Johnston Canyon but only will hike it from October through until May because in June, July and August and probably September it is INSANELY BUSY!!!  The parking lot is always full and you end up walking forever to get to the start of the hike.  The pathways getting to any of the 3 points is very narrow and in order to let people come back from the other direction, lots of the time, you have to come to a complete stop to let them pass you by.  It is awful.  If you can only come to Banff in the summer and really want to see it, I highly suggest you come early in the morning or later in the day so you can beat the rush.  

As you can see, the entrance to the Canyon is still under construction as they closed the entire thing late last year for upgrades to the railing.  From what I can tell that is all finished and they re-opened it to hikers.  Greg thinks they are just now improving the entry and the information area.  They have a fully plumbed bathroom area that was only open during the busy months and in the winter months you had to use the outhouses but with this construction they removed them completely and kept the real bathrooms open year round.  The only downside to the real bathrooms is that the water to wash your hands is colder then the actual mountain water.  No Joke hahahaha.

Here we are on our way to Lower Falls and you can see the  new railing that they have installed.  It is a much nicer railing and covers a lot more then the old one did.  The entire trail to the lower falls was snow packed like this so I have no idea if they replaced that or not.  I sure hope so because the trail was so super slick and awful all the time.  The first time I ever did this hike back in August 2004 right before we moved out here and it was a nice sunny day and the trail was wet from splash from the water falls and a lady slipped and fell and broke her arm.  You always have to be careful when hiking this trail regardless of the season. 

Lower Falls!  It's amazing how beautiful it is all snowy and frozen.  This is where the most people hike to and then turn around and honestly, we usually do too.  I don't care for Upper Falls.  I find the hike to the falls to be ok  but I am constantly disappointed with the payoff.  There is little I hate more in hiking is no pay off.  Greg thinks I am weird but really whats the point???  Greg and I both tried to remember when we hiked to upper falls last and neither of us could remember and neither child remembered ever going there so clearly it has been awhile.  

This might be my most favourite photo I took all day.  You get a shot of the canyon, the snow covered trees, the frozen mountain water with a small break in it, the cliff and a certain 6 year old dressed in pink.  This was just passed the corner to upper falls from lower falls.  Perfection if I don't say so myself.

Another amazing view on our way to Upper Falls. It truly was a great day to be in the mountains,  the air was clean, the sky was clear and the sun was shining and it wasn't even too cold. I absolutely love how portions are frozen and portions are not.  It just adds to the beauty of it.  

This was the only icy section of the entire trail and I can only think because it gets the most sunlight? It was a strange section and thick like a skating rink kinda of section.  On the left, there was a path that the majority of people used except for "hard core" hikers like Greg haha. 

Finally made it to Upper Falls and I gotta admit that Upper Falls in the winter is a bazillion times nicer then Upper Falls when they are not frozen.  I loved seeing how many people were hiking down below and all the ice climbers.  I have mad respect for ice climbers - it looks both amazing and scary as hell.  Grotto Canyon also is fun to watch people ice climbing.  

From here we were to head further up to the ink pots but again it was not in our cards.  Finley was tired and I don't know if she would have survived 4km to the ink pots and then the rest of the way back down.  Plus by the time we got back down to the parking lot, my foot was sore as it was the first hike I have done since I sprained my ankle.  Greg said it was just my stabilizers and that this was probably good for strengthening them so hopefully he is right.  They felt fine Monday when I woke up so I am not too worried about it.  Definitely go see Upper Falls in the winter if you ever get the chance.  

Since we decided not to do the Ink Pots, we decided to head to Lake Louise where they were having the Ice Magic Festival.  Basically they were having people making ice sculptures and you could watch it happen or watch the finished results depending on when you got there.  

Everytime we got to Lake Louise I get this same shot.  I love it.  So much magic right here.  

Greg and the girls on the Ice Castle that was built on the ice of Lake Louise.  

So what we didn't know was they charge for entry into the festival.  We have seen the ice sculptures before but always after the ice festival ends so we just assumed it was free to see them but it turns out it is $10 per adult or $25 per family.  And it was cash only.  Now I don't know if this was just Greg and I being cheap but we both thought that $25 seemed a bit rich to see a few sculptures so we opted not to pay for it and watched from the sidewalk.  Had it been like $10 to get into the festival, we totally would have been on board.  The Ice Fest runs until January 29th if you want to go pay to see the sculptures or wait until after and they will be free :)

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Canada 150: National Park Style

In honour of Canada's 150th birthday this year, the Canadian Government has given free park entry to all residents and visitors into all of our national parks.  And if you buy your park passes annually like we do, we were given an extra year of entry for free so if you purchased a pass in 2016, it doesn't expire until 2018 so we all get to celebrate! 

If you have not requested and/or received your park pass yet, don't panic!  You technically don't even need one, the parks just want to keep track of numbers which is why they are issuing them but that being said, you can get them at any park gate and/or visitor center inside the park!

Here is a breakdown by National Park of all the hikes we have done.  These do not include Greg's backpacking trips or basically any hiking trip he has done without me.  Most of these hikes have been done MULTIPLE times hahahhaha.  It is ridiculous how many times we have done Johnston Canyon and Tunnel Mountain.

My goal is to do one post every Tuesday about a hike and/or national park depending on what I have to say about it haha.  There will be exceptions to this rule.  For example, we were at  Johnston Canyon on Sunday so that will be on the blog tomorrow.  Next Tuesday will be Johnston Canyon in the  non winter months.  I look forward to writing and sharing our favourite hikes with you!  Each of the posts in this series will be labelled Canada 150 so if you click on that, all the posts will come up for you!

Tunnel Mountain July 2014
Jasper National Park

Columbia Ice Fields July 2011
  • Athabasca Falls
  • Sunwapta Falls
  • Path of Glacier (Columbia Ice Fields)
  • Geraldine Lake to Lower Falls
  • Mount Edith Cavell Meadowns - both before and after Avalanche
  • Athabascan River 
  • Maligne Canyon
  • Maligne Lake Shore
  • Mine Hike near Pocahontas
Yoho National Park
Lake O'Hara Circuit July 2013
  • Lake Oesa
  • Lake O'Hara Circuit
  • Morning Glory
  • Wapta Falls
  • Takaka Falls
Kootenay National Park

Marble Canyon September 2012
  • Marble Canyon
  • Sinclair Falls
  • Juniper Trail
Revelstoke National Park

View From Mt. Revelstoke July 2005

  • Mt. Revelstoke from Parking Lot
Waterton National Park

Red Rock Canyon August 2008
  • Cameron Lake
  • Bertha Falls
  • Red Rock Canyon
  • Cameron Falls
  • Waterton Lake Shoreline

Monday, 23 January 2017

A Blog Update and Penelope's Thumb

So I inadvertently took a blogging hiatus last week and it was all because I lost the power cord to my MacBook.  I had it the week before as I wrote the five for friday post but it seemed to be mia.  95% of the time, my blogging is done at my MacBook at the built in desk in my kitchen that I hate but thats a  whole other story.  The other 5% is done in my bedroom watching TV or in our bonus room watching TV.  I don't like blogging on my iPhone or iPad and our desktop iMac is so slow that it is used strictly for me uploading all my photos into iPhoto which is then backed up online Backblaze.  So using that was out of the question too.  I searched everywhere for it before finding it in Penelope's room when I was purging her room late Wednesday morning.  I had planned to catch up that night but my week got crazy and I lacked sleep and gave up for the week on my blog.  Hopefully I can catch up on all lost blog posts haha.

So Wednesday night Penelope had soccer practice until 7pm and then her + Greg went to the library before coming home and she got ready for bed.  She is usually pretty tired on Wednesday's after a full day of school and soccer practice and goes right to sleep.  She did this night too but at about 2:45am she woke up crying.  At first I thought it was a bad dream because it is not unusual for her to have dreams where she is very vocal in her sleep.  Usually she will do it for a few minutes and then I will say something to her and there is no response which is how I know it is just a vivid dream.  This time she responded that her thumb hurt.  Greg said that he didn't recall her thumb being jammed at soccer or anything so I went and looked and it was a little red but nothing jumped out at me.  She whined about it for about another hour before falling asleep until I woke her up at 730am.  When I looked at that morning, it looked a little swollen and I just assumed she chewed her nail to closely to the skin and that if she quit chewing her nails she would be fine.  She went to school and made no mention of her thumb for the remainder of the day and into the evening.  We put her to bed and she was asleep instantly we thought but it turned out she had her iPad in her room.  We found that out she had it when we heard her giggle.  I went and took it away and as soon as I got it and put it on my dresser, she started crying about her thumb.  It still looked normal to us so we kinda ignored it but she would not quit crying.  Greg went and got some tylenol to help with the pain and I checked hospital wait times since urgent care closed at 10pm but the waits were upwards of 4 hours and lets face it, a thumb injury isn't much of an emergency and I knew we would wait all night to be seen no matter which hospital I chose.  And Penelope hates hospitals we found out that night too.  That might be because on Thursday morning Greg told her that if she didn't quit chewing her thumb, the doctor would cut her thumb off.  This did not make her or i happy.  So being the bad mom that I am, I tried to bribe her to be quiet with threats of taking her to the hospital and it kinda worked.  She would sleep and then cry and then sleep and then cry and this continued until about 5am where finally fell asleep until just after 7.

This is what I  saw when I looked at her thumb when she woke up and I was horrified and legit felt like the worst mom in the world but that being said, I have zero regrets about taking her to the hospital in the middle of the night.  You can't really see in this photo but basically her thumb was swollen 2x the size that it should be and it was black and purple all around her thumb with a huge bubble on the outside of it.  I panicked and got Greg to stay home later so he could take Finley to school so I could take Penelope to urgent care when it opened at 8am.  

We got into the urgent care right at 8am and we were about 4th in line which wasn't too bad.  The website was saying 30 minute wait but I was ok with that.  The admitting nurse was fantastic and got Penelope some stickers to put on her wrist band to help calm her fears.  And best of all, there was a giraffe on it.  We barely sat back down before we were whisked to the back and put in a room to see a doctor.  

So Penelope had a abscess on her thumb, which they popped with something sharp and drained it all out.  It hurt immensely and she cried a little when this was happening but the relief on her face once it was all over and all the pressure was released was good to see.  She also had cellutlitis which is infection of the skin and was given antibiotics to help kill the infection.  As long as the cellulitis didn't spread, we were good.  And as I write this on Monday morning, nothing has spread.  

They wrapped it up in a nice bandaid for her and she was so happy to be pain free and going home.  It was still tender on Friday but it was feeling so much better on Saturday.  She took the band aid off on Saturday and had a shower and once it all got cleaned off, it looked so much better.  The best part was able to sleep through the night for the first time in 2 days.  I was exhausted and so was Penelope.  Finley somehow managed to sleep through it all.  

Penelope was happy to get back to school today and her thumb was doing so much better and we are out of any danger zone of it spreading up her arm and turning it into something far worse.  I am extremely grateful for our health care system that is for sure.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Five On Friday

1.  Finley got the first 2 books of the Finley Flower's book series for Christmas.  For obvious reasons, she is obsessed with them.  The first book is about Finley's attempt to make an unusual supper and so Finley asked if she could do this yesterday and we agreed.  For supper she made spaghetti and was only going to use sriarcha hot sauce as the sauce.  Greg asked a few times if she was sure she didn't want spaghetti sauce with it and finally she conceded but she did add both chili flakes and sriarcha to the sauce.  She left a bowl without the added hotness for me thank goodness.  She also wanted to make dessert and settled on cooked egg noodles topped with melted chocolate chips and marshmallows.  The pasta and chocolate tasted fantastic but I don't love marshmallows so I didn't eat those.  Finley didn't finish her dessert so I suspect that she didn't like it much.  Next Thursday, Penelope asked to make supper too so I am excited to see what she comes up with.

2.  We got Pizza fixed on Tuesday.  Because we have no real idea of how old she actually is, we decided to err on the side of caution and get her fixed right around the 5 month anniversary of us getting her.  We kinda lapsed on this with Luci and she went into heat and then we got her fixed when she went into heat and it was expensive although I think now we paid more for Pizza then for Luci haha.  Pizza was terrified at the vet and hid under the desk so I had to crawl down and get her out.  The surgery went well and we were able to pick her up that afternoon.  She was sent home with a cone to wear and 3 days worth of pain killers for her to take.  They said it would take awhile for her to get back to her usual self and I think if it weren't for the cone she would be.  She has slept a lot but she's always been a sleeper.  She just can't chase and bite your hands because of the cone.  She has to keep the cone on until Tuesday and despite hating it with all her glory, she is getting used to it. The vet was very impressed with how big she has gotten and how nice her fur has become.  Pizza is a very happy and healthy cat!  Woohoo!!!!  She actually loves taking her pain medication because we have to give it to her via syringe, which is how we fed her when we first got her.  I think she was more then a little disappointed when all she got was a squirt of liquid hahahah.

3.  For Christmas, I got Greg a sous vide machine.  I had never ever heard of these before but they appear to be quite popular.  Blue Star Diner, which is one of my favourite restaurants here in Calgary, use a sous vide machine too.  They can range in price from about $200 to $600 here in Canada.  I bought Greg's on black Friday online and got it for $120 instead of $200.  This is the one he has HERE.  According to Wikipedia, Sous Vide means "Under Vacuum" in French and is a method of cooking in which the food is sealed in a vacuum sealed plastic pouch than placed in a water bath or in a temperature controlled steamer for longer then normal cooking times (6 - 24  hours).  The intent is to cook the item evenly, ensuring that the inside is properly cooked without overcooking the outside and retain moisture.  Once it is finished cooking, Greg finishes it on the stove or with his cooking torch.  

Greg has used this machine nearly the entire Christmas break and every weekend since.  I have liked everything except for the pork tenderloin and salmon.  When his family was over before christmas, he sous vide a basic roast into what tasted like amazing prime rib.  He made a duck and turned into one of the best meals I have ever had.  He uses it to make perfect poached eggs and they are delicious.  I must admit that I wasn't totally into this machine but I have come to absolutely love it and look forward to what Greg will make with it each weekend.  

4.  With the bone broth that Greg made with the duck he made in the sous vide and the left over meat, I made my first ever successful homemade soup.  I have tried many times before with no success but this one turned out.  Greg made the broth and had the duck cut up ready for me to use.  He then texted me step by step directions on how to do it.  I was very happy with how good it was.  And I made enough to provide us with leftovers for lunch for everybody for several days.  

5.  This marks the end of our first week back to school in 2017.  It has been a tough adjustment for the girls and they are struggling to get up in the morning.  I try to send them to bed early on non-soccer nights and right to bed once we get home from soccer but they stay up reading in their rooms no matter how many times we tell them to turn out the lights.  I even have let them sleep in until 730 to get extra sleep but it is not helping.  I told them this morning that if they don't go to sleep 30 minutes after we put them to bed, then I am going to remove all the books from their bedroom and they will only get to read after school or before they go into their bedroom.  I don't want to stop them from reading because they both love it and I believe it's a good love to have but I also need them to make sure they are getting enough sleep each night and they definitely are not.  I welcome any suggestions on how I can make this better work for all of us.  

Thursday, 12 January 2017


We have this empty wall space between the fire place and the wall to the right.  I am almost positive it has been empty since we moved into our house nearly 9 years ago and we never even noticed it until sometime this year.  I think it was because we had black IKEA hidden shelves to the left of the fireplace and now we have this white abstract shelving unit and so it is much more noticeable against the dark wall.   Before christmas, I temporarily took the blanket ladder from our bonus room and put there but I didn't want to put it back because the ladder damages the wall being leaned against it and this paint is no longer available in Canada since Totem was bought out by Rona several years ago and I really really love it.  So I a few days after Christmas, I was walking through Michaels and they had all their canvases 40% off or maybe it was 60% off, I don't remember really.  Either way I was sure if I followed through with it, it was going to be a massive waste of money.  I grabbed some black, grey, white and some teal paint for a splash of colour and went home.  Greg and Finley were going to Rogue 1 and I thought it would be a great project for Penelope and I to do.  

A blank slate.  I was still worrying about wasting all my money at this point haha. 

I decided to go with splatter paint since I knew it was the easiest to do and not look like a toddler did it, like most of my work usually goes hahahah.  It's ok because I know that I lack this life skill of creativity and bringing art to fruition.  I have accepted this for the most part.  This was my first and only splatter as Penelope took over from here on out.  

She got naked save for her socks and underwear and went to town.  She had so much fun and had a blast going between all the paint colours and throwing them against the canvas among other things.  She used all the paint in all the containers until we couldn't get a single drip out.  Jackson Pollock must have used a lot of paint to get so much coverage on his paintings.  We have a reprint of his paintings on a canvas that we bought 10 years ago and we still have it.  It's like the oldest piece of anything that Greg and I own.  

Finally she ran out of paint and went upstairs to have a bath and I was left to clean it up.  She had so much fun and if you looked into our storage room, you would see visual proof of this.  The black rectangle was from a chalkboard I made a few months ago and the pink paint was from a mishap a few years ago but the rest was all her.  She even got paint on the furnace, hot water tank, deep freeze, door, and walls and I got it all off which was good because even though this is the only place Greg allows me to paint, he still doesn't like a paint splattered floor.  She even managed to get paint in her behind her head and on her butt haha.  

We let it dry and Greg hung it up after he got home.  He didn't love it and thought it should go in the basement where nobody would see it but Penelope and I insisted that it be hung on our main floor.  It's not the greatest work of art but trust me I have done WAAYYYYYYY worse too hahaha. 

Here is a photo of the wall I was talking about earlier, I love it now.  I told Greg the other day that it just might be my most favourite wall in my house now.  My second favourite wall is in our master bathroom with the new mirrors and light fixtures we hung earlier this year.  I don't much love the art above the fireplace but I don't hate it so it will be there for the foreseeable future and besides it is one of the few pieces I have left from the golden Target days.  Oh, how I miss that store.....  

Anyways, I am pretty happy that the empty space is now filled with a semi great piece of art made by me + Penelope.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Bike Trainer

I had asked Greg for a bike trainer for Christmas despite only having a mountain bike and a cruiser bike and not a road bike.  With some tweaking, a mountain bike can be successfully used on a bike trainer.  When we started looking at bike trainers and doing some research, it was so overwhelming.  Would they fit my tire size? Would it destroy my tire? Would it be way too loud?  Was the difference in price worth it in terms of value???  I went online, I was on Amazon and Kijiji weighing my options on what to do.  I decided to post an ad on my local buy n sell site even though I wasn't expecting to hear anything when I got a private message a few hours later that there was a lady selling hers.  She lived about 5 minutes away from my house and she was selling hers for $25 since she was moving and never used it, she didn't want to take it with her.  She even had a training tire for me but unfortunately her wheel was 26" and mine is 27.5".  It was a perfect fit for my bike and I was super excited!

A week later, Greg set it up in the basement for me.  The back wheel fits in the triangle like stand and somehow prevents the front wheel from moving.  A question posed to me a few times during my venture of finding one was why do I want a bike trainer since I am a runner and I have zero interest in ever doing a triathlon??  Stationary biking is really good for keeping my knee nice and strong and it's a good way to keep my cardio up on cold days when I don't want to run outside or for a long distance on my treadmill or if my ankle bothers me.  And one day I would like to do a duathalon too.  

The bike trainer is super loud since I have my normal tire on it and originally, I had my bike trainer set up in front of the TV in our basement, much to the dismay of the girls.  I had to keep the TV ridiculously loud and I had to stick the remote in my sports bra so I could fast forward through the commercials because they suck.  I didn't enjoy this set up.  Also the seat on my bike sucks.  My bum hurt so bad after the first 2 times I rode it that I used a pillow the following time.  But if I kept doing that then my bum would never get used to it so I never used it again.  I also contemplating taking the seat off my cruiser bike because it is amazing and putting it on this bike but I never did do that.  Mostly because I have no idea how to and there was no way that Greg would ever do that for me. 

 I really wanted to watch my iPad like I do on my treadmill but I couldn't figure out a set up that worked for me.  I mentioned this to Greg and he googled and found a plethora of them on the internet and I ordered one from Amazon and had it a few days later.  It was pretty easy to install and it works perfectly.  I have finally surpassed the 20 minute mark on my bike trainer yesterday and rode for 30 minutes and my butt is only a little sore this morning.  I love biking outside and can bike for hours so I thought biking on my bike trainer would be similar.  I thought it would be easier then running on my treadmill but it is really no different - I get bored just as fast.  But 30 minutes on my bike trainer is better then 0 minutes of any exercise at all so I won't complain.  Sweat is sweat after all.  

Monday, 9 January 2017

11 of 37 by 37 "Successfully" Completed.

Last January, I made a post that you can read here on 37 things I wanted to do by my 37th birthday in September or at the very latest by December 21st, 2016.

My 37 things ranged from wearing a lipstick to making my laundry room more functional to writing 3 blog posts per month. 

Here are the things I did do:

1.  Do A Headstand.  This I have worked on and I can get a way from leaning on the wall for about 5 seconds on a good day.  I have to use a pillow otherwise my head hurts too much hahahahah.  I will continue to work on my headstand so that one day I can do a handstand.  

2.  Wear Lipstick.  I wore more lipstick in 2016 then all the 36 years before COMBINED!!  Except for my graduation day and my wedding day I have always been a lip gloss kinda girl.  I still have nearly a full tube of my wedding day lipstick and I have been married for almost 11 years.  I ordered 2 new lipsticks last week that are definitely much more everyday shades rather then going out shades.  I did have the perfect every day shade but I lost it somewhere after only wearing it a few times haha. 

3.  Drink More Water.  This I have definitely improved on but I am still not very consistent.  I am either over the top in water consumption or consumed none at all. There is literally no in-between.  This is still something I need to work on going forward in 2017.  I actually had this written down twice in my list haha. 

4.  Stretch More.  Especially The Calves.  This I really didn't do that well until I sprained my ankle in September and suffered through most of 2016 with 2 major injuries that I realized that if I want to continue running and eventually get to a  full marathon then I should probably do it.  I try to do it everyday but I have only done it once this year so far.  I hope I fall back into my daily routine once school is back in session again. 

5.  Read At Least One Book Per Month.  I read 13 books last year which is pretty phenomenal for me seeing as I barely read 2 books per year.  I hope continue on reading a lot this year as well.  

6. Write A Minimum of 3 blog posts per week.  That is 156 blog posts for the entire year and I did 168 which is fabulous compared to the 66 I did in 2015.  I hope to again continue to write 3 - 4 posts a week.  And find more content to write about.

7.  Work on washing, drying, folding and putting my laundry away all at once.  This is still a struggle but I would say I do this about 90% of the time these days. 

8. Organize The Garage and Keep It That Way.  We did pull everything out of our garage this spring and then put it all back in.  We have kept it organized since we did that which has been extremely phenomenal given the usual state of our garage hahah. 

9.  Make Laundry Room/Mudroom More Functional.  I hate that they are combined but the alternative is moving my laundry into the basement and I am not down with that.  Greg took over this project and he really did a great job with it.  I am much happier with this room now.  

10.  Run Further then 21.1km.  On July 30th, 2016 I ran 22.03km which is 1km longer then my previous best.  Not great but still inching slowly towards a full marathon distance. 

11.  Run 3x per week.  This was done consistently until I sprained my ankle and then I was forced by my physiotherapist to not run.  I am including it because injury made me stop not me being lazy.

Here is What I Didn't Do:

1.  Meditate.  I didn't even try not once but I received a meditation pillow for Christmas so now I need to try.  I think it will be good for me.  I downloaded a meditation app that I hope will help too.  I am not into chanting or anything like that but more of the calming of the mind aspect of it.  

2.  Workout 300x per year.  I didn't track this officially but I am sure that I didn't hit 300 workouts haha.  I am keeping track better this year of every physical activity I do so I will know for next year.  

3.  Run 1000 miles.  I am not sure why I ever set this goal so high because it will probably never happen.  1000 miles is 1600km!!!!!  That is insanity.  Well for me anyways.  Even if I didn't hurt my hip at the beginning of the year or sprain my ankle in September, I never ever would have broken this goal.  

4.  Go Backpacking.  I had a 5 day trip planned with Greg and the girls and I bailed a few weeks before we were supposed to go.  There was no way I was doing that.  Camping is one thing but backpacking?? No thanks.  I have no desire to wear the same clothes for 5 days and carry my food and sleeping stuff on my back.  PASS.  

5.  Do 100 sit ups 5x per week.   I absolutely did not do this.  I absolutely did not even come close.  Which brings us to #6.

6.  Lose my "baby" belly.  Yes I still call it that and yes I still have it.  I am starting to believe that nothing short of starving myself will get rid of it and I refuse to ever deprive myself from good food. 

7.  Yell less.  This is never ever gonna happen.  I am a yeller and I come by it honestly.  My mom was too and I turned out fine so I am not worried that my kids are damaged because of this.  I don't yell initially but after you ask your child every day 14x a day to remember to put her apple cores in the garbage and you still find them on desks, on floors and in her winter boots then you start to lose your shit.  And if you don't, well then I guess you have some special talent that I was not equipped with.  

This brings my total to 18 things either done or not done.  The other 19?? Well they are really hard to measure to know for sure or they were just super lame and stupid.  I am not disappointed that I only officially did 11 things "successfully" out of 37.  I didn't try all that hard to overcome any of them really and I am a firm believer that you only get what you put in.  

As I said earlier in a blog post, I have no real goals for 2017 other then stay healthy and run at least 700km but I think I will have some intentions  each month or every few months.  I haven't really sat down to think about what these will look like but I am going to try this week to do that.  I do think my first month will focus on figuring out a morning routine that works for me and my family and my life style.  I hope the beginning of your year is going great!  

Do you have any goals or intentions that you are working towards??