Friday, 31 August 2018

August By The Numbers - Sweat Edition

110.71 - kilometers ran in August
721.85 - kilometers ran so far in 2018
178.15 - kilometers needed to reach my goal for 2018
900 - kilometers is my goal 

12 - days ran in August
1 - run missed 
11 - runs ran outside 
1 - run inside on my treadmill 
100.61 - kilometers ran outside 
10.10 - kilometers ran on my treadmill 

15 - times I strengthened with resistant bands 
18 - times I stretched 
450 - eccentric calf raises
14 - times rolled 

8 - times I meditated 
79 - minutes spent meditating 
1 - hike 
5.33 - kilometers hiked 
1 - canoe 
90 - minutes spent canoeing 
3 - bike rides 
32.88 - kilometers biked 

2 - rest days 
29 - days active 

I have 2 races in September - a 10k and a half marathon so I am gonna do my last long run on the long weekend at some point and then do a lot of stretching, rolling and calf raises to get me ready for those races.  I am hoping to start cross training again, I took the summer off and now that I am starting to feel good I would like to add it slowly back in.  How did you do this month? Any big goals for next month?

Happy 20th Birthday Lululemon

Last week Lululemon celebrated 20 years as a company.  And in honor of their milestone, I wanted to explain why Lululemon to me is so much more than just another clothing company and how they have had such a profound impact on my life. 

I remember my first piece of Lululemon that I bought about 13 or 14 years ago.  I don't remember what it was called but it was most similar to the Define jacket.  It was black and it was purchased at the Banff location and I wore it all the time.  I slowly kept growing my collection to the point that I have a massive dresser full of socks, bras, shorts, crops, pants, hoodies,  jackets, toques, ear warmers, mitts, water bottles and scrunchies.  But this is not why I love Lululemon the most.  

Right after my second baby was born, I was sitting on my couch holding her and feeling grateful for how lucky I was to have my little family especially when I knew that my best friend back home was not as lucky.  I remember sitting on my couch, Greg being beside me and I told me flat out that I was going to be a surrogate for my best friend.  I texted her and told her that I was doing it and so the process began.  It took 9 months of waiting to get into the fertility clinic here in calgary and then it was 4 months of pills, ultrasounds, invasive internal ultrasounds trying to get my body ready for the ivf.  Right before I got pregnant, I had heard about the Lululemon half marathon that they had put on for the first time.  I didn't really give it much thought at the time but once I became pregnant, I realized that after selflessly giving up my body for so  many months that I needed a hobby that was just for me and me alone.  That's when I remembered the Seawheeze.  I decided that running would be the perfect outlet to regain myself and although the second running of the event wouldn't be enough time with a June due date to be practical, I was going to try my hardest to get into the 2014 event which would be their third time hosting this incredible weekend. 

6 weeks after the baby was born I was back at bootcamp trying to lose excess baby weight (and if I am being completely honest, I still have not lost.....) and get myself ready to start running.  I have never been a runner.  NEVER.  I started running on my treadmill and getting outside and each week, I ran a little more and a little further and before I knew it, Seawheeze was a week away and I was actually gonna do it.  

On August 23rd, 2014 I completed my first half marathon (with Greg's help) shocking myself and probably every person around me haha.  I had gained a new hobby, found a strength I never knew I had and pushed through and met my goal.  Sure I could have had ran any half marathon and found the same result but honestly, if not for the advertising that Lululemon did for their race, I honestly don't know if running would have even come on my radar as something that i could do that was all for me. 

Because of Lululemon and Seawheeze and their constant encouragement to be the best version of myself, I have continued running and will be running my 5th straight Seawheeze in 22 days and that will culminate with it also being my 14th half marathon.  I have had great runs and bad runs but I have never once given up no matter what and that is such a good example for my kids to see.  But even more important than the races themselves, I have made some of the best running friends in the world.   The friends I have made through a love of Lululemon, running and striving to be our best is incredible and I am beyond grateful for that.  

They put on other running events too if a half marathon feels too hard.  Calgary was lucky enough to be selected by Lululemon to have the Ghost Run ran in our city last October.  They are running it again so I have heard but not sure if Calgary will again be selected but if not, I hope it comes to a city near you.  I was also lucky enough to get to run the inaugral Lululemon 10k this past summer in Edmonton and it was so much fun.  They do have one in Toronto too.  Also, they have had a strava challenge the last two January's to help us get working on our resolutions.  They do a great job and trying to keep you active and healthy. 

As part of their birthday celebration, Lululemon released a special edition time capsule of apparel as well reinventing their manifesto because lets face it, things have changed over the last 20 years.  I was lucky enough to snag this waterbottle to add to my already very large collection of water bottles haha because I want to be encouraged and inspired by the words on the bottle when I need it most.  The new manifesto showcases their most important values: integrity, personal responsibility, social impact, honesty/authenticity, overcoming fear, greatness, purpose, elevating the world (even on hard days), fun + laughter, sweat and the practice of yoga.   All of these values is my running journey in a nutshell.  Sometimes a company just gets you and Lululemon gets me. 

My favorite things are their energy bras, speeds + speed ups, crbs, speed socks, tank top swiftly, long sleeve swiftly, down and around bomber, dance studio jacket, aligns, scubas, fast and free crops, press pause jacket....I could probably go on but I still stop.  As much as I love the gear that I put on for my runs or hikes or bike rides, it is really the encouragement and love that I get from Lululemon both in store and through their social media accounts.  They encourage me to be my best self and not let fear guide me in any of my decisions.  My goal is to one day work for Lululemon and pass my love of both their gear and manifesto onto more prospective runners or fitness enthusiasts.  Hopefully one day they will read my resume and pick me as their next educator or expeditor.  

Thank you Lululemon for creating the Seawheeze weekend and advertising on your shoppers so that I could make some time for me and give running a go.  I have been blessed to get into 5 Seawheezes and I am sure my luck is going to run out eventually but I will be forever grateful to you for the opportunities.  Running has become my therapy and quiet time and I look forward to each and all of my runs....some more than others haha. And I owe all of it to you.  Here's to another 20 years. 

Monday, 27 August 2018

Okanagan 2018

Shuswap Lake Provincial Park 

We weren't able to get a reservation Saturday or Sunday at the resort we were camping at near Kelowna so the plan was to leave on Monday morning at like 4am.  However as I returned from my run Sunday morning, Greg had found a campsite somewhere near Kelowna and so we were leaving by 11am at the latest.  I had a whole list of things I wanted to do that day but basically none of it got done.  The smoke on the way out was pretty bad.  Canmore was ridiculous but Banff wasn' t too bad.  It stayed smoky on most of the drive and the worst was from Revelstoke to probably Salmon Arm and although it was definitely still pretty smoky it was nothing like we had witnessed on the drive up.  

This campground is gorgeous.  I would love to come back and spend a few days here because the sites are really nice and flat and you have a lot of privacy, all the roads and loops are paved which is good for running and riding bikes.  They have a lake you can swim at and rent other water equipment too. 

After we had dinner, we rode our bike down to the lake and played in it.  The water was so warm , it was ridiculous.  Never had I felt water so warm before, not even in Mexico or Hawaii.  It was so smokey as you can obviously tell by the photo, but you couldn't smell it or anything.  It was really weird.  

Okanagan Lake Rail Trail 

This was a brand new sanctioned bike trail that just opened in July.  It used to be a railway for CN and was built on land that was gifted to them by the government of Canada.  CN quit using the railway a long time ago and was basically just going unused or I guess used unofficially as a bike path so the government (not sure if it was Canada or BC) asked for the land and CN said sure you can have it back - for $22 million dollars.  Or at least that was the story told to me.  It basically runs from Vernon to Kelowna and is I think 50k  in one direction.  We decided to ride a portion of the trail on our way from campground #1 to our home for the next 5 days.  

It did not get off to a good start though because as I was trying to put my phone back into my pocket as I was riding my bike at the same time, it slipped out of my hand and fell face first onto the rocky road that you can see behind my phone.  Not how I wanted to start my trip haha.  It was difficult to use but I managed.  The good news was that I had this phone for 51 weeks and 3 days without breaking a screen and that sadly was a record I think.  Thankfully I was able to get it fixed a couple days after we got back.  I have the best guy on 17th right down the street from the 4th street Lululemon store if you ever need a screen replaced. 

The trail starts out kinda boring because you have houses up on a hill to the left of you and then you have these weird pieces of land right on the water that are like owned by people.  Some just had docks, some had trailers and chairs.  It was a really weird thing.  It felt like I was in rural US and not in Canada. Eventually though we left the houses and land parcels behind and found some real beauty.  The water fall shown here was really unexpected and kinda came out of nowhere.  Another cool thing we witnessed were some nectarine and peach orchards.  We saw a cherry orchard too but cherry season was over so there were no cherries to be seen.  We also saw another tree full of berries but no idea what they were. 

This is wear we stopped for lunch.  It was about 5.5km into the trail and because we finally had something to look at, the girls complained about being tired and wanting to turn back.  I know it looks really smoky here and don't get me wrong because it really was, you were able to see a bit more behind them in this photo then you think.  Greg would like to do this whole trail one day and I think if the weather and mother nature cooperates, it would be kinda cool. 

There is a public beach right near at the parking lot and they had a water swing for the girls to play on.  They were behaving and having fun with it until Penelope threw it too hard and scared Finley and then she fell into the water.  It was not a fun ride to our home for the week.  


We went into the Kelowna waterfront and found Ogopogo. I still have not found him in the water but one day I maintain that I will. 

I love love love that they have pianos all over the place.  I love little things like this.  The kids really loved it but Penelope didn't want to let Finley have her turn and tried her best to ruin the moment for her.

After we explored the waterfront, we went to Paynter's Market where we picked our own peaches.  You can only pick from a certain side and the peaches were not great nor did they taste that great either. Picking peaches was kinda cool but it was over in like 5 minutes.  I tried to drag it out longer but it was really diffficult.  Last time we were here we went cherry picking and that is far more fun even if i hate cherries haha. 

Paynter's had gluten free ice cream cones which made Penelope so very happy.  They were very allergen aware there.

Millions of peaches.  Peaches for me.  

We also picked up some fresh produce and it was very tasty and the perfect accompanment to our dinner that night.  

On our last full day in Kelowna, we went to this place in Mission for lunch and it was so good.  I had sweet potato fries with an amazing aoli sauce to dip them in and I had some gyoza too.  This is the only photo from our lunch because my iphone battery is crap and dies all the time.  Or at least it did, I just got my iphone battery replaced by apple for $35 and it is as good as new right now.  I really should have had it done before we left on vacation though....lessom learned I guess. 

Gelatly Bay Aquatic Park 

One afternoon we headed to Gelatly Bay Aquatic Park in West Kelowna and it was pretty fabulous.  It was a very small beach area and not too busy and loads of fun.  Finley was definitely living her best life here by far.  Everything you see is designed to be used to get yourself into the water.  If you google it, you can see how amazing it would look if the entire province wasn't engulfed in forest fires.  They have various diving boards, a zipline to get  you into the water, various docks and they have a ladder you can use to easily climb back onto the structure to use the diving boards.  It was amazing.  Finley absolutely loved it. 

Penelope did swim out to the smaller dock but refused to jump off of anything.  This kid has almost no fear but jumping off of things is one of the few she does have.  Not that I am complaining because I am not haha.  She chose to lay on her poop emoji floatie and enjoy the bay that way.

Myra Canyon//Kettle Valley Rail Bike Trail 

We did this bike ride the last time we were here and we really enjoyed it so it was a no brainer for us to do it again.  Thankfully, there was like almost no smoke at all and we had really good views of everything.  

I love the tunnels so much.  Last time, the girls were terrified of them but this time around Finley had no problem going in them and Penelope was ok once she got going.  This portion of the Kettle Valley Railway Trail is in Myra Canyon and has 2 tunnels and 18 tressles.

The great thing about this is that you don't have to bike it, you can hike it too.  It is nice and flat and is good for wheelchairs and strollers alike.  You can also rent bikes at the top of the hill as well.  And you can go as far or as short as you would like to go and still be blown away at the sites you will see.  trust me, it is amazing. 

We made it 2 tressles further this time than we did the first time.  Greg said it is about 80k from the start to get to Penticton and it is all down hill basically so maybe one day I will do that.  You don't have to bike back, they have shuttles that will bring you back to the start, which is nice. 

This is so spectacular.  I love that we get to ride our bikes along the tressles and then stop and take in all the scenery that surrounds it.  I took this same photo last time and I am still in awe everytime I look at it.  It is a truly amazing place to experience.  We rode our bikes along another section of the KVR last time driving to Osoyoos.  It might have been in Oliver or somewhere near there, I can't remember off the top of my head at the moment. 

The KVR is the longest rail trail network in BC extending from Hope to Castlegar.  Once a railroad system, it is now home to nearly 400 miles of connected pathways throughout the region (thanks  Seriously, I cannot tell you how much we enjoy this so you should really look into it if you are ever in the area.  I promise you won't be disappointed. 

Beaver Lake Mountain Resort

This was the only place we could get a camping reservation for the time that we were able to come and although Greg told me to look at the website before he booked, I really didn't look that hard.  I will be the first to admit that I wasn't in love when we first arrived but at the end, I was pretty happy with our days spent here and would have no problem coming back again one year. 

This photo was taken the first night we were there.  It had been smoky in both Kelowna and Vernon and expected the same when we got to our campground but it was clear and quite beautiful.  It was a little on the chilly side but overall really nice.  

This campground is really geared toward families which is really fantastic because the kids made so many friends, we barely ever saw them.  They collected a lot of frogs and buried a lot of frogs and let a lot of frogs go and generally had so much fun.  It is not a huge campground and the sites are fairly small and not a lot of them have any privacy so you really have no choice. 

They had a massive play structure that the kids spent a lot of time at.  This wasn't even the whole structure - that is how big it was.  The kids were up early and played until it was too dark for them to see.  They also had a petting zoo that had multiple bunnies, guinea pigs (both girls so desperately want one), pigs, goats and maybe one other animal that I can't think of.  The parents took turns taking a group of kids up to the petting zoo since  you had to have an adult presence.  The girls loved going and they had named each and every animals.  Some even twice. 

This was our second day here, we left and it was clear and we came back 6 hours later and it was so smoky you could hardly see.  It cleared a little by evening when this was taken but I pretty much alternated between advil and benadryl to battle the headaches and constant sinus congestion. 

For the most part the smoke had cleared one morning and so we rented a canoe for a couple of hours and canoed all around the lake, past the islands and even saw 2 bald eagles and a puffin.  You could also rent paddle boards, paddle boats, kayaks, and motor boats.  I don't think the canoes see a lot of action around here haha. 

Finley insisted that she was going to do all of the paddling so she sat in the front in the comfy seat instead of me.  Unfortunately this didn't last long and I had to paddle most of the way which sucked because where I was sitting was not as comortable haha. 

I spent most of time laying on the beach taking turns between napping and reading this book.  It is so good.  Another lady was also on the beach reading this book too.  I enjoyed every second of our downtime. 

Since there was a province wide fire ban in effect, there were no campfires and we don't own a propane firepit, we were forced to roast our marshmallows on our camping stove.  The kids thought it was great and they enjoyed the smores. The evenings cooled down quite a bit and a fire would have been so nice to have and help us keep us warm. 

The beach was so peaceful early in the morning so I would walk down each day and marvel in it's beauty and peacefulness and do my morning meditations.  I loved it so much.  The beach is really nice and has benches, tables, umbrellas, chairs, a swinging couch and huge fire pits that would have been fantastic had they been allowed. 

Another smoky afternoon spent on the beach.  The beach wasn't huge but it was quite nice because each day, about half stayed at this beach and the other half went into Kelowna or Vernon.  There were always lots of kids around to keep the kids busy. 

This was our last night at the campground.  The smoke was so bad.  I was excited to go home but that didn't last too long after I saw that it was even worse in Calgary.  How was that even possible??  Like I said earlier, I was apprehensive at first when we arrived but it truly was a great place to hang out for a week.  The only cell service was in the first bathroom stall or directly behind the bathroom building.  It was hard to get because everybody was fighting for the tiny bandwidth that was available.  I didn't even bother most of the time.  It has clean bathrooms, a sink in the bathroom just for washing dishes and it has a free shower too.  It really was a great week disconnecting and spending time with the family.  I did bring my running stuff but no runs were ran and I have zero regrets.  We most likely will be back.  Just hopefully not during a wild fire. 

Dutchman Dairy 

I had heard so many great things about this place and we decided to stop and check it out.  Ice Cream at 10am is acceptable when you are on vacation right?  I had no idea that it was more than just a ice cream store and the kids were excited to see all of the cows and goats and chickens and what not.  I wish you could have seen more of the milking the cow and turning it into ice cream process but maybe one day they will do that. 

The baby cows were pretty cute and this is where we were in this photo but when we went into the barn with the working dairy cows, it was pretty disgusting.  They pooped constantly and the smell was something I had never ever smelled before - even at Stampede!

Greg and the girls loved thier ice cream but I didn't like it, not even a little bit.  It was way too cream like which is ironic considering it is called ice cream.  But I dumped mine out because even after eating theirs, all 3 were too creamed out to eat anymore.  Viilage, you are still number one in my hear.  Across the street was a fresh fruit market where we loaded up on peaches and nectarines.  These peaches were so much more better than the ones that we picked haha. 

The Last Spike 

Greg was very excited to stop here and even though nobody else wanted to, it ended up being kinda cool.  This was the last peice of the railway that connected the entire country.  Greg said that we learned about this when we were in school but I have no memory of this at all.  

Getting to hammer in the last spike.  A cute little place to get out and stretch your legs and learn a little something about this great country of ours. 

All in all, it was a pretty relaxing week spent in the Okanagan.  The temperatures were still quite high despite being impeded by all the smoke and we were only cold at night.  Or at least I was only cold at night haha.  It was a great way to spend a week away from home and out of our routine. 

Thursday, 23 August 2018

What I streamed in July

Here is what I streamed in July:

The first half of the forth and final (sad sad news, I know) season of Kimmy Schmidt was released in June but because of my obsession with Billions I didn`t get around to watching it until this month.  I love this show so much and I am so sad that it is in its final season.  The last half of the season won`t be released until January.  Not sure why Netflix did that but I am sure they had their reasons to do so.  If you haven`t watched this yet, you really should.  All of the seasons are still currently streaming on Netflix Canada

Season 2 of GLOW was streaming towards the end of June and I finally got to it this month.  I binge watched this pretty hard because I love Marc Maron for reasons I cannot explain.  I love him on this show and I love his podcasts too.  I love that it is set in the 80s and all the retro vintage feel to it and I love that they all live in a cheap motel.  I basically love everything about it except the main girl who I absolutely hate and the fact that there still is not enough wrestling in it.  I want all the wrestling haha.  Regardless, I still think you should give this show a go if you are looking for something fun to watch.  Both seasons are still streaming on Netflix Canada. 

Netflix gave Michelle Wolf her own weekly talk show and it is fantastic.  Greg and I would watch a couple of episodes each night together after the kids went to bed and we loved it.  I love Michelle Wolf though and loved her on Late Night with Seth Meyers and on The Daily Show.  You might be more familiar with her if you heard about her hosting the White House Correspondants Dinner but she really is super funny and I adore her.  This show obviously isn`t for everybody and there is a possibility that some may be offended by watching it.  I am not one of those but proceed with caution if perhaps you and I may have different views on things.  All current episodes are streaming currently on Netflix Canada. 

After I finished reading Tiffany Haddish's book, I had to watch this movie too because I need to watch everything with her.  This movie was so funny and I loved it even if it took me 3 days to finish it haha.  I think I streamed this on Shaw Free Range App and it should sitll be there and you should go watch it if you haven't. 

Season 6 was released on Netflix on July 27th so I really tried to finish season 5 by then but it didn't happen.  Season 5 has taken me over a year to watch and it has been sooooooo awful.  Unlike Greg and my sister, I refuse to give up on this show, I have invested too much into it. Plus it was the first show I ever watched on Netflix and why I got it in the first place!  All 6 seasons are now streaming on Netflix Canada for your viewing pleasure. 

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Books I Read In July

Here is what I read in July:

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


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

Tuesday, 21 August 2018


On Saturday, we celebrated Penelope's 8th birthday.  She had her school friends party back in June and her family party was on Sunday so it was a pretty quiet day - especially since we had just returned from vacation the night before and we were all pretty tired.

It is birthday tradition in our house to get a photo of each child as they are waking up on their birthday morning. It has gotten a lot harder since we got Penelope a loft bed haha. 

Also a tradition is a special breakfast.  Somehow Penelope decided last year that it would be served in her room.  She requested a banana split for her breakfast but I vetoed the ice cream haha.  I also found some maple glazed gluten free donuts at Sobeys that I got for her too.  She said they were pretty good and both Greg and Finley liked them too. And they are $6.29 for 6 donuts which is cheaper than Tim's I believe.

Since I can't serve her on her loft bed and her couch was full of dolls, she made space on her desk for tray.

As soon as she was done eating, she made her way down stairs to finally open her presents.  

She was very excited that I got most of the items on her list.  Now she has to make a new list haha. Pizza loved the wrapping paper and she also had a few naps in the kitty basket before Penelope put it in her room. 

Normally the girls get to pick a restaurant for their birthday supper but since we had no food to eat for lunch, we had a birthday lunch instead.  Penelope picked Boston Pizza because she loves their gluten free pizza.  She was also excited to have ice cream for dessert. 

Grandma Gail also made it down for a quick visit.  We had planned to go to the corn maze but the smoke was so bad that it was impossibe to do any outdoor activities.  We went shopping instead and she bought a few things at Justice with her allowance and Grandma bought her a new outfit for her birthday which also works as a back to school outfit!

We got her the Justice Soccer Leggings for her birthday and she was excited to find a matching new headband too.  It was very nice of Justice to do this years soccer gear in SWU colours!

Penelope played her fantastic gymnastics  game for hours and then she requested caesar salad with homemade dressing and bacon with a side of kernel corn (strange kid haha).  Brad and Kari came over for supper too since Gail was in town and for her birthday dessert, she chose homemade chocolate milkshakes.  It will be the first and only time I will ever make milkshakes hahah.  

On Sunday evening, we had some family over for dinner.  A few months ago, Penelope had mentioned that she wanted puffed wheat cake for her bithday but since she cannot have gluten we made a double batch of butterscotch confetti.  I put the sauce on while it was too hot and melted a bunch of the marshmallows but it was still pretty delicious.  It was the perfect way to end Penelope's 8th birthday celebration.