Tuesday, 29 May 2018

2018 Calgary Marathon Race Weekend

The Calgary Marathon weekend officially starts on the Thursday before the race and continues until Sunday evening.  It is a well organized event and I am happy to be a part of it. It is such a great atmosphere and I love to see how (most) Calgarians seem to embrace the event with their cheering and support.  I love seeing everybody along the streets with signs and cowbells, it is really encouraging to see it all.  

On Thursday, I skipped my regularly scheduled run for the second Thursday in a row because I was so afraid of making my knee or achilles hurt more.  I went to see Shari so she could work on my knee and tape it up for me and she also needled my calf because it was super tight and it would help eliminate or at least decrease any achilles pain that I might enocunter on race day.  I left feeling good and cautiously optimistic haha. 

On Friday, I spent the day volunteering down at the Big Four Building doing package pick up.  I was at the marathon table and so we checked in all of the marathon runners and handed them their bibs.  Since it is not the busiest race, we also did check ins for the half marathon and 5km races since they are the two busiest races and the occasional 10km race too.  I loved volunteering for package pick up and chatting with all of the runners.  I was really surprised that there were so many people who come from all over Canada and even the world to run this race.  As someone who runs about 4 races a year, I think it is important to give back and help out in the race community.  I can't wait to do it next year!

The shirts this year were pretty nice.  The one on the left is the shirt all of the volunteers wear.  The one on the right is the shirt you get for running the half marathon.  I hate that the official colour for the half is blue and that all of the shirts are usually blue hahah but at least this is a nice shade of blue and a nice shirt as far as race shirts go haha.  On the back they both say RunCalgary which is who organizes this race and so many other great races here in the city. 

On Saturday, I basically did nothing but stretch, roll and watch netflix.  Greg brought me home some sushi after he and the girls went biking.  Sushi is my go to meal the night before races when I am home in Calgary.  Greg went for beer and I got the kids to bed and headed to bed early myself.  Unfortunately my neighbors did not go to bed early haha.  Normally I would be annoyed but my neighbors are the quietest people and have only had one ever party in the 5 years they have lived there so instead of being angry, I just shut all the windows and went downstairs to get my fan that I keep by my treadmill and I was able to finally fall asleep.  

Race morning, I was up at 5am and quickly had some poached eggs and got my stuff ready.  I was so worried that I was going to forget something but thankfully I didn't. I was ready to go far too early and basically sat and did nothing for about half an hour until it was time to leave for the train station.  I randomly ran into some friends in the parking lot at the train station so we rode downtown together.  It was nice to have someone to chat with instead of overthinking the race.  We got to the grounds around 6:42am and I went right to the starting corrals to get ready for the start of the race. 

It started filling up quickly but it definitely wasn't as full as the year before.  Last year, we couldn't even get into a corral until after the race started.  I was pretty nervous and terrified that my knee and/or achilles wouldn't hold up.  Once we crossed the start line and I started running, both my legs, feet and ankles were hurting in a way I can't quite explain.  Immediately I went into panic mode and starting thinking if I would be able to finish the race, how much time I would need to take off from running to heal, would i be able to run my next half marathon next month?  Thankfully the discomfort didn't last too long and I was good to go.  I did walk up the hill that led us to bridgeland, most of the hill up 14th and the last hill by the enmax building there near the end.  The first hill walk was because I was afraid of hurting my achilles and the last 2 were because I was both tired and still worried haha.  My run was going really well until about km 16 and my hips started to hurt so bad. My knee and achilles held up really well but not the hips.  As I am writing this Monday night, my right hip is still killing me.  It is very much looking forward to the massage on Thursday.  Most likely, my hips were hurting because that was the fastest I had run since my half marathon in September.  I think I need to push myself more in my training runs, especially my 5kms to help my hips. There was so much race entertainment and it was all pretty good but my favorite was the guy who was dressed like the will ferrel character who wears the belly shirt and jeans and plays the cowbell.  It was fantastic.  We passed him twice and it made me smile both times. 

 I did an instagram poll on which shorts to wear and when I went to bed, the green shorts were winning and I really wanted to wear pink and when I woke up, pink had taken the lead but for some reason I decided to wear the green ones.  I was wearing the new Lululemon limited edition swiftly for the Calgary Marathon no matter what color  I chose for the shorts.  Incidently, I asked last year for input on my shorts and still went with a different pair.  I think it is time i quit asking haha. 

This was the first race i have ever gone into with a goal time.  All I wanted to do was finish strong and have fun.  I no longer want my time to determine whether or not the experiece was good or bad.  We are all going to have bad runs, that much is inevitable but we need to embrace these runs as those are the ones that make us the strongest. All of my training runs have been turtle like slow.  I am not exaggerating.  My longest training run was 18.47 three weeks ago and I ran it in 2:41:04.  Yesterday's run, which was 22.16 on my watch, came in at 2:34:49!  I was almost 2 minutes faster then my training runs.  I know you should always be faster during a race but I was really surprised by the speed that somehow came to me.  My next half marathon is on June 24th which isn't that far away and I am not sure if that is enough real recovery time to improve on my pace but I am running it was a bunch of girlfriends so I know it is going to be a fun race no matter how I finish.  

The temperature was cooler then last year and even though I finished this race 6 minutes later then I did a year ago, it just felt so much easier.  I was shocked when I saw on my watch that I had already been running for an hourt because I was really enjoying myself.  I am not sure if that is related to taking the pressure off of me with no goal time or what, but it felt really good.  I remember last year, coming into the stampede grounds and working my way to the finish line and feeling like I wanted to die.  I was hot and tired and I felt like I had nothing left to give.  This year, it was the opposite.  I got into the grounds and as soon as I turned the corner, I ran as hard as I could - pacing so many people and finishing so strong.  I was proud that I was able to cross the finish line feeling so good.  

Earlier this year, or maybe it was late last year, RunCalgary put up 4 local YYC landmarks that we could vote for to be on our medal this year.  One was the Saddledome and one was the Simmons Building and I don't remember what the other 2 were.  I voted for the Simmons Building becasue it is one of my favorite areas in Calgary but as you can see above, it didn't win.  Even though I didn't vote for this landmark, it is still a really cool medal that i am happy to have in my collection.  

After the race, we headed to The Beltliner for brunch.  I had the french toast 3.0 which was french toast, jam, whipped peanut butter, bananas and crunchy butter.  It looked fantastic but it wasn't great.  I was originally going to get bacon and eggs but changed my mind last minute and I really wish I hadn't.  

I really just wanted to go home after my race and sleep but unfortunately both kids had soccer photos and Penelope had a soccer practice.  I had a quick bath and then got ready to go.  Our original plan was for Greg to take Finley to the photos and I would meet him there for Penelope's photos and then I would take finley home and he would take Penelope to practice.  I am the team manager so I have to be in the photos.  Also something I didn't want to do after a race haha.  However, since our coach is a male, one mom has to be at all practices in case one of the girls gets hurt and all the girls were brought to photos by their dads so I had to go to practice instead of Greg.  It was so hot and so little shade was available at the park.  I drank all of my gatorade, water and one of Penelope's water bottles.  After practice, I took her and one of her teammates for slurpees on our way home to cool off.  It was well deserved.  

Greg was making supper when we got home and I was excited to see potstickers which are one of my favorties.  I devoured them quite quickly.  I tried to write this blog but was far too tired for it to be any good so I went upstairs to watch basketball with greg but couldn't stay awake so I headed to bed early since I was wiped right out.  I was so sore and tired that it took me forever to fall asleep and 24 hours later, I am still super tired and really sore on my left hand side.  Hopefully when I wake up tomorrow (today), my hip is much less sore.  If I can walk to school without limping that would be great haha.  

It was a really great race weekend and if you are a runner and you like to run half marathons and you live in Calgary or don't mind traveling to a race, I really recommend this one.  I love the entire weekend as I have mentioned before both on this blog and on social media.  There is something really special about running at home and I hope to keep running this race for as long as i possibly can.  Come run with us next year, you won't be disappointed.  And if you are not a runner, come volunteer.  Volunteers are the most important and you can't have these events without the amazing volunteers!

Finley and Penelope also ran in the Calgary Marathon but you will have to wait for their recap until tomorrow. 

Friday, 25 May 2018

Year 12 + Alloy

On Sunday of the long weekend, Greg and I celebrated 12 years of marriage!  I still can't believe it has been that long. It hasn't been easy or always fun and it is a lot of hard work but we somehow always make it work.  Next month will mark 17 years of us being together.  How am I that old for this to be possible??  Hahaha

Anyways, we decided to go to Alloy which is a hidden gem basically in the middle of nowhwere.  It is just off Macleod Trail at 42nd Street and if you are not looking for it, chances are you have never noticed it.  It is very low key on the outside, hidden by trees and bushes, but on the inside it is like you are walking into Don Draper's apartment on Mad Men when he moves in with Megan.  I LOVE IT.  It definitely was very mid-century and I loved every last detail about it.  If you have not been, you need to come see for yourself. 

Because it was our anniversary, the staff gave 2 us glasses of proseco to celebrate with.  This would have been a perfect boomerang moment if I were into that app hahaha.

Greg had a wild rose beverage and I had the rhubarb mojito.  I don't typically like mojitos but I tend to love any drink if it contains rhubarb in it haha.  This drink was spectacular.

I ordered the digby scallops for my appetizer because I love scallops and these did not disappoint. They were harissa spiced (whatever that is haha) with a carrot lemon risotto and toasted pumpkin seeds.  To be honest, I was only ordering it because of the scallops and no intention of eating the risotto because I had always assumed I hated risotto.  But I tried it and loved it.  I loved the flavor so much and I think because it was orange and not white that I didn't notice the creamy texture too much.  I hate anything that has a creamy milk base to it.  i ate the entire bowl!!

Greg ordered the truffle gnocchi.  I love anything truffle but this was cream based so I knew I shouldn't order it so Greg did.  I had 2 pieces of gnocchi and I made the right call by not ordering it for myself.  Even my love for truffle couldn't make me eat this, however, Greg LOVED it so it was a good pick on his part. 

For my main course, I had the beef tenderloin.  I knew it would have to be a winner because it literally contained almost all of my favorites: house mustard, potatoes, garlic aioli and a red wine reduction.  I could have done without the broccolini but it was decent haha.  Seriously, this was so freaking good.  The tenderloin was so tender and cooked to perfection and the mustard and aiolic was the perfect compliment to both the beef and the potatoes.  I was so full when I finished but yet so sad at the same time that it was all gone.  

Greg had the brasied short rib and he really enjoyed it.  It was a tomato balsamic glaze with parmesean mashed potatoes, heirloom carrots and shallots.  He also finished his meal which is really not a surprise haha.

Despite being so full, we still ordered dessert.  We went with the caramel pots de creme and it did not disappoint.  It was maldon salt, honeycomb candy, brulee marshmallows and dulce de leche.  I hate marsmallows but these were fantastic and they had the honeycomb candy underneath the caramel so it was like a sweet surprise.  Really really worth eating dessert despite being so full that I was uncomfortable haha.

This restaurant has been consistently rated in the top 10 in the city of Calgary for so many years and after finally eating here, it is definitely well deserved.  Why it took us so long to finally come check it out, I have no idea.  But I can promise you that I will be back again soon. 

Reservations are recommended as they do get quite busy and you can easily book it using the opentable app.  And if you don't have that app, get on it because it is the greatest thing.  I won't eat anywhere without using that first!!!   

So my fellow readers, go check this place out soon and let me know what you think of it.  Trust me, you won't leave hungry or disappointed!

Tuesday, 15 May 2018


She has had thorough blood testing 3 different times, ultrasounds done twice on her liver and kidneys and nothing ever came back.  Until this time. 

Penelope came home from school in one day after having pizza for lunch and told me her stomach hurt so bad that she didn't want her after school snack.  Penelope loves to eat and she loves her after school snack so I was a little concerned about this.  She went to the bathroom and came out nearly 40 minutes later saying she felt better and could eat her snack.  I called the following day and booked her in to see our family doctor because this wasn't normal.  

The appointment finally came and he figured it was just child IBS and thought that she could just take immodium every day and be fine.  I was not ok with this and he reluctantly gave me a requisition for blood work for pretty much everything along with another requisiton for another ultrasound of her liver and kidneys.  Feeling less then happy about the whole situation, I contacted a naturopath to see if I could find answers that way. 

We went to see our naturopath and he was feeling her stomach and noticed right away that her lower intestines were really inflamed and that he could see that it hurt when he touched it based by the reaction in her eyes. He recommended that we do the 120 food blood test to see what it was that was causing her all this pain.  2 weeks later, the results came back and her reactivity to all things gluten and dairy came back crazy high and he recommeded that she get re-tested for celiac because he was concerned with how high her numbers were.  

2 days later,  Penelope and I went to the Alberta's Children Hospital where she got 6 needles - 4 that successfully got blood out of her over a 2 hour period.  She lost her mind during the first needle but was much better the following 3 times.  She drank the chalk drink to test her lactose and then we waited for more needles.  Because she had to fast and wasn't really wanting to drink a lot of water, her blood wasn't flowing like it should and that is why we had to have more needles put in then actual needles that got blood out of her.  Thankfully they micro tested them or something like that so they didn't have to poke more holes in her.  

6 days after the blood test, we were back at our doctors office and I was ready to show him the results from the naturopath testing and demand that she get referrred to an allergist for full allergy testing and a referral to a GI doctor at the children's hospital too.  I was determined to fight tooth and nail to figure out what was officially causing all of these problems because it was not normal.  When the doctor walked into the room we were in, he was like we determined that she had child ibs but you wanted more testing done.  He opened up his computer and saw the results and was shocked.  I wish I could have recorded how shocked he was because it was kinda funny.  Penelope tested positive for celiac disease as well as a mild lactose intolerance.

 I figured it was one or the other but I had no idea it was going to be both.  Our doctor hopes that once her body heals from all of the damage that gluten has caused that perhaps she will be able to digest lactose again.  He figures it will be about 3-4 months before she will really feel better and the diarhhea will stop.  She still has frequent bowel movements but most of them are of the solid variety which is good.  We have to be careful that by cutting out all of the gluten out of her diet that she doesn't have the opposite problem where she doesn't have a bowel movement at all.  

It has been quite the adjustment for us all but of course, it has been especially hard on Penelope.  A few days after her diagnosis, we had our annual family dance where there are cake walks and tons of fun food to eat.  She was pretty upset she couldnt eat the cake if she won and thank goodness she didn't.  She has never won and I would hate for this to have been the year she finally did.  I packed her purse full of cookies that I had made for her and some candy that I bought that is gluten friendly.  She had a birthday party last weekend so I brought cupcakes and snacks for her to eat so that she didn't feel left out.  They were having pizza for supper but she missed that because of soccer and we had a gluten free burger from South Street Burger.  She didn't love the bun at all.  

We have eliminated both dairy and gluten completely from her diet.  It has been very difficult to find items for to eat that meet all of her dietary requirements.  I was able to find some allergen friendly oatmeal for her that she really likes and I just bought some gluten free waffles for her too but she hasn't tried them yet because I keep forgetting to buy a new toaster for her.  She doesn't like any of the milk alternatives so cereal isn't an option at this point.  Supper has been mostly ok.  I found some pc brand gluten free pasta made from corn that is really quite good and aside from the colour you can't tell too much that it is gluten free.  Leftovers aren't that great with it but Penelope doesn't seem to mind them.  I do make most of my sauces myself and the only items I had to toss out were the oyster sauce and I still haven't seen a gluten free replacement and hoisin sauce.  I read every single label in superstore to find a gluten free version and was unsuccessful.  I did find one at Sobeys but they only had one bottle and with our luck they won't ever get anymore in stock haha.  

Hands down, our biggest struggle has been lunch time.  I did find some lactose free cheese, cheese strings and yogurt which has been a huge help but so far Penelope has hated every box of crackers i have purchased and does not like the gluten free tortillas that I found.  I did make her a gluten free and lactose free grilled cheese sandwich for her lunch the other day and she didn't hate it.  She said she didn't love the bread but she was fine to get some grilled cheese sandwiches in her lunch.  I will try a different bread when this runs out.  

I have been able to make a few different batches of gluten free dairy free muffins that she likes and was able to turn Joanna Gaines' chocolate chip cookies into safe versions for Penelope and even Finley really liked them and she is super picky when it comes to baking.  The muffins and cookies come in handy for lunches and after school snacks and soccer snacks.  We bought one box of granola bars and I am pretty sure that dry wall paper tasted better then those.  Kinnickinnick makes some animal crackers that she really likes and Finley does too so that worked out well.  It has been hard to find snacks that taste good that are both gluten and dairy free.  It is really easy to find one or the other but not both. Hopefully we continue to have success in the kitchen and finding new foods for her to eat that are good for on the go.  

Eating out has been a challenge.  We had taco time one day and she was able to have a hard shell with some beef and lettuce and a sprinkle of cheese.  She normally has a soft shell but was happy to have some cheese on it haha.  She has a digestive enzyme that she can take for special occasions where lactose foods are involved.    Taco Time has a pdf on their website that lists  every possible allergen that exists within their restaurant and was quite handy.  I don't want Penelope to never be able to eat out again and be afraid of food so we are doing our research to make sure foods are safe for her.  We went for vietnemese and that was gluten free and she loves that.  Sushi should also be safe and that is also one of her favorites.  She is concerned that she will not be able to eat the butterscotch toffee dessert at Ten Foot Henry but I haven't looked into that yet.  There is an app that I found called Find Me GF and it finds restaurants that are safe for her to eat at.  Not all of them are in the app but it is a good starting base.  I love dealing with local restaurants and establishments because they have been great in getting back to me with my questions that i have.  

I have been obsessed with reading labels for obvious reasons and I was shocked at the amount of things that have gluten or dairy or both when you think they really shouldn't  have.  For example, I was buying popsicles at walmart and the walmart brand could contain milk, soy and wheat.  Wait, what? I took that to mean that they make all of their stuff at the same plant and so cross contamination was high.  The real name brand and I can't remember offhand what it is only contained peanuts and tree nuts and nothing in the ingredients was gluten related.  And for the record, they were identical rocket popsicles too.  Even potato chips contain milk.  Like who knew salt and vinegar had milk??  Not me and I have ate them my entire life!

I did a major purge in our house and got rid of almost all of the gluten.  I kept a basket for Finley with her poptarts, her cheerios and her triscuit crackers and the bear paws until they run out.  They are kept high out of reach so Penelope doesn't sneak the bear paws.  She typically doesn't like triscuits or poptarts but you never know what she might wanna try to sneak.  I will continue to buy the poptarts, cheerios and triscuits for Finley becasue she is really picky when it comes to snacks and lunches.  We are also keeping regular tortillas and bread.  I don't mind the gluten free bread but Greg will not eat it and Finley hates bread.  

So as you can see it has been a crazy couple of weeks and we are slowly adjusting to our new normal around here. Penelope is handling it pretty well right now but I am not sure that she understands yet that this is a permanent change - at least in regards to the gluten - because she keeps talking about eating fruit loops in 6 months.  I have tried to explain to her but we will have to take it day by day.  Fingers crossed though that she heals her lactose intolerance and we only have to worry about one dietary restriction.  She did try to cut out pork the other day but Greg and I told her that she was already restricted enough and wasn't allowed to cut out anything else so everything is now chicken haha.  Apparently pigs are too cute to eat or something.  

If anybody has any brand suggestions or recipes or ideas for lunches please let me know, I would appreciate all the help we can get.  

Also, I cannot emphasize enough that you know your child best and if you think there is something wrong or not right, you have to fight for it.  It took us 5 years to figure out what was wrong with Penelope. She had 2 negative celiac tests before she got a positive and why had we never tested for lactose before now?  Had I not insisted that we get all these tests this time who knows when we would have found out what was wrong with her because I am positive that our doctor thought i was crazy. You are your child's best advocate and never forget that. 

Monday, 14 May 2018

Mother's Day 2018

 Gone are the days of Mother's Days spent in Banff after an amazing brunch at a local favorite restaurant thanks to the girls' soccer schedules but at the end of the day, I don't think I would have it any other way.

Late Saturday night, I woke up with a wicked migraine.  It has been quite a long time since I have had one and when I went downstairs to get some drugs to help alleive the pain, I found out that there wasn't a single tylenol or advil in our house.  I did find my maxalt prescription for my migraines but it rarely works for me and that night was no exception.  I finally was able to fall asleep but still when Penelope woke me up with breakfast in bed, the pain was still there although it moved from the right side of my head to the left.

Penelope and Greg went shopping the day before for my mother's day breakfast.  She picked out some mixed fruit and a cinnamon bun.  I think she picked the cinnamon bun because she can't have it haha.  She did eat most of my fruit though.  Finley was not there this morning because she had a sleep over the night before with some friends that she participated in science olympics with.  She also had a birthday sleepover on Friday at another friends house so I had essentially only seen her for about 5 minutes since Friday night haha.  It did make me happy to hear that she and her 2 friends made breakfast in bed for the mom of the house where they were staying.  After breakfast, Penelope and I went to Shoppers so I could get some drugs that actually worked and then we stopped at Starbucks for a treat.

Greg went and got Finley from her sleepover and she was so exhausted when she came home haha. 

Penelope had a soccer game at noon so we left for that around 11:20.  I wore my mother's day edition Toms that I got several years ago.  They only come out on this day.  Penelope's lost 7 - 1.  They are 0-2 on the season but they getting a little better with each practice and game.  

After soccer, we were trying to decide if we would go to Elbow Falls or the bike park in Fish Creek but in the end, after we finished lunch, we ended up staying home.  I still wasn't feeling great after my migraine, Penelope was tired after playing in the hot sun and Finley was the most tired I have ever seen her in my life.  We got some slurpees and Finley and I had naps while Greg and Penelope went to get groceries to cook me supper. 

This is the book that Penelope made for me.  Everything was related to food haha she made me laugh as I read it.  Penelope loves food so much that it was not surprising to see. 

Penelope decorated her easter basket with ribbon and pompoms and made my a bunch of puff balls.  It was super cute.  The card she made me at home had the song me + mommy sittng in a tree.....it was like straight out of a snl skit haha.  I tried to explain to her why that song was inappropriate but she didn't get it haha. One day she will find this really funny. 

Finley's teacher went all out for Mother's Day this year.  I forgot to put the plant in here that Finley brought home too from school.  It was in a white pot (my favorite) and fingers crossed i don't kill it too soon!  Inside the tea kettle card was my favorite earl grey tea .  I cried when I read the card and again when I read the reasons why she thought I desreved to be People's Mother Of The Year.  In the cards she told me that I was a wonderful mom and that I enjoy my day and relax and drink my tea and then she finished the pink card off by saying that I was the fastest runner that she knew and hoped I won my next race.  In the People Magazine, she said I was a lovely mom and I made sure that they were always on time for soccer and school and everything and that made Finley feel wonderful which made me laugh haha. She loves that I volunteer at her school all of the time and hopes that I can do that forever.   She said I was an exceptional baker and really good at making cookies and muffins that taste good even without the gluten. And then she said that I was the most athletic person I knew (which really made me laugh because I totally am not) but she said I was such a good runner and I ran fast and was always succesful in my races and that started all the tears.  These last few weeks have been really hard for us as we transition our diet to meet all of Penelope's restrictions and so many times I have been so overwhelmed with it all that I get really upset with myself.  It has been a big adjustment for all of us.  And if you follow me on social media, you know that I had a panic attack last week on one of my runs.   I have been struggling as of late and it has got me very frustrated.  It was like Finley almost knew that I was so overwhelmed with it all and needed to hear all of the words that she wrote on this paper.  

Many years ago on Facebook, a post went viral when a husband bought his wife a journal for the kids to write in every year and Greg had bought me one and each year the girls write in it.  I love going back to read what they have written in the previous years as much as i love reading the new letters from the current year. 

I bought this Rae Dunn wine glass at Winners this week but Penelope decided she wanted to give it to me so she gave it to me this afternoon haha.  

After an amazing supper of my favorite brussel sprouts sauteed with bacon and a steak on the bbq, the girls set out on what is probably my longest 5k run ever but possibly my most favorite haha.  We ran all around our community and had so much fun.  I hope they want to run with me forever!  We came home and the kids showered and stretched with me before they went to bed.  

I ended the day with some earl grey tea in my cool mom rae dunn mug.  I will never ever call myself the world's best mom or super mom but i am down with being called the cool mom haha.  Our day wasn't much but it was exactly what I needed to reset for the week ahead.  I am so blessed to have the kids I do even if they drive me crazy almost every day and this day was no different.  I have never pretended to have the perfect kids, husband  or life because perfection is impossible but I do hope that through my blog and various social media channels that I accurately display the craziness, laziness and chaoticness that is our daily life.  Most days we are all a hot mess but its the best kinda mess to be haha. 

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

What I Streamed In April

With most of my running coming outside, there wasn't a lot of tv being streamed this month, but I did watch some fabulous shows that I think you all should really watch haha.

The first thing I watched was season 8 + 9 of RuPaul's Drag Race and I am now absolutely obsessed with RuPaul. I want the first 7 seasons to be put on netflix and hope they add season 10 which is currently airing.  I am also listening to her podcast and I want all her books.  I hate reality tv but I loved this series so much.  One of the lines she used during one of the episodes was about how important it was to stay true to your own unique frequency and I really loved that.  It is something I try to encourage in my kids each day.  These 2 seasons are currently streaming on Netlfix Canada and is worth the watch.

The third season of Angie Tribeca started streaming in Canada in April and it is a funny, ridiculous series and I love every second of it. Lots of celebrity cameos this season.  There is only 10 or 12 episodes that are like 23 minutes long or something like that so it is an easy quick watch.  All three seasons are currently streaming on CraveTV

I binge watched this series in like a day and a half.  There is currently only one season streaming and I have no idea if there will be another.  It is probably the best, most relatable tv show or movie ever made on having babies and being a mom.  It is currently streaming on Netflix Canada and is an absolute must watch. 

Thursday, 3 May 2018

What I Read In April

Here is what i read in April:

  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!

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.  

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. 

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. 

Books I Tried To Read:

Molly's Game - This movie looks so good so I assumed the book would be too.  I got bored before I got to what I assume is the good stuff.  Wait for the movie IMO

The Rules Do Not Apply - Ariel Levy - This was our bookclub book this month and I never even bothered finishing it.  I didn't love it and I was not at all motivated to pick it up and even try to finish it.  Apparently I was not alone in this as the others who did finish it, said it was the worst book ever. So don't read it haha.  But if you are interested in joining our virtual book club, you can find the hosts on instagram @sliceofbrie and @thebexfactor or use the hashtag #booksandbabesbookclub.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

So Long, Old Friend

In April 2010, we purchased a large wooden play structure for Finley to play on.  

It took Greg and Jack 2 days to build it and Finley watched from the deck and had no idea really what was going on.  It was the same weekend I painted our front door red - hopefully that changes this year too. 

Finley's first time on the play structure.  It is amazing how good it looked brand new haha. 

Learning to climb at the slide.  What a dumb place for our fire pit haha.  It was moved and the bricks were relocated to the flower garden at the back of our yard. 

Penelope's first time on the swing.  She didn't like it at all haha. 

Finley's first time on the big girl swing.  She also really hated it haha. 

They loved this play structure so much.  They would spend hours swinging on the swings or hiding in the treehouse.  You can see in this photo how faded and how much the weather damaged it. 

When it was hot outsdie, they would put the sprinkler under the swings to cool off....

Or make their own water slide.  Penelope didn't love this and you can see it on her face.  Finley loved it but Penelope thought ot was the worst thing ever no matter how hot it might be outside. 

The perfect activity for before bed or early mornings.  They loved going as high as they could.  I always worried they would tip it.  

They loved the clubhouse.  It also had a chalkboard in it too.  I would find all kinds of things in there - mostly things that didn't belong haha.  Last summer, Greg took the swings off and they never went back on.  He didn't think it was safe enough for the swings so the girls spent all of their time in their clubhouse. 

The summer of 16, if you recall, we were hammered with hail storms and it was not a good thing for our playstructure.  The canopy was destroyed basically and the entire thing took a massive beating.  It was sad. 

Last spring before the girls lost the swings.  You can see all the damage from the summer before.  

A few weeks ago, I posted an ad of kijiji for our playstructure and i was really sad about it.  A lovely couple came and took it away for free and they were going to try to fix it up for their grandkids. This made me happy.  The girls were sad about the clubhouse leaving but that is about it.  It is amazing how much bigger our backyard is without it.  I am excited to mow our lawn without the constant annoyance of the structure haha.  But it was 8 full years of memories that we will have forever.