Sunday, 15 September 2013
Thanks to a gift certificate I received for my birthday to the Running Room I was able to purchase some new running shoes.
As you may know from my previous blogs I have been focusing on adding daily exercise to my routine. I have to be careful of what exercises I do due to previous injuries I sustained in a car accident but lately I have really been missing the accomplishment and high you get from running. Years ago running used to be a huge part of my life. While in University I worked out anywhere from 1-3 hours daily. I loved the way it made me feel, how it made my body feel and how I looked.
When I added a full time job, having my first home, being a newlywed and pets in to the mix I found it harder to keep up. My gym dates became few and far between. Sometimes I would have the momentum to go, which would last a week or two and then I would just become too overwhelmed and it was the first thing I dropped.
While trying to strengthen my body post car accident I found running was just too much. It caused my neck and back to seize and I could barely put any weight on my knee. So I began walking instead and sticking to the recumbent bikes.
It is now almost 3 years later and although I have the same problem spots they are nowhere near as painful as they used to be. So I thought I would give it a shot. I enjoy walking with the dogs but I don't feel like it's a great workout - I need something to challenge me and make me sweat!
My husband has also been running for a few years now with our dogs and said he'd really like me to join him. He has been an amazing coach, pushing me to go that little bit further and encouraging me with praise when I hit or surpass my goals. When I have to stop short of my target he isn't mean or negative but still makes me feel great for what I have accomplished.
Right now my goal is to run four times a week along with my daily walks with the dogs. I love running with the dogs, they love to run themselves, and it feels great to have family time with them and my husband. We often run through the dog park as it's a safe area for the dogs and has lots of beautiful wooded trails for us to follow. On Friday I did so well that I beat my previous time by more than 10 minutes. Instead of heading home I asked my husband if we could run a few fields again!
Monday, 2 September 2013
What an awesome birthday weekend I had! Being at the end of August, my birthday occasionally falls on the Labour Day long weekend so I decided to head up to the cottage to celebrate! My family joined me as well as my sister's friend and my best friend!
We had a beautiful weekend and took full advantage of the lake! My best friend and I even went out tubing a few times! This was probably due to the amount of margaritas we consumed!
My husband had to work all weekend so he had stayed home....but just before dinner time I turned around and he was there! Hubby had driven 2 1/2 hours just to see me on my birthday, bring me flowers, stay for dinner, go out for an evening boat ride and then drove the 2 1/2 hours home for work the next day! What an amazing guy!
This is the gorgeous bouquet my Husband brought me. I was so shocked when he showed up! There were some definite tears!
The sky was absolutely incredible and I was able to give my sister's friend a tutorial on night photography. I'm not a professional but I have been playing around with star photography a bit and was really happy with how this one turned out! Love the clarity of the milky way and the fact that this is what we see every night at the cottage!
The next morning my Bestie and I got up bright and early to kayak around the lake. The lake we are on is so serene, it doesn't get a lot of traffic and is fairly small so our kayaks cut the water like glass. We loved touring around this one rocky area where the trees intertwined with the rocks and their roots continued in to the water.
In the early evening we enjoyed taking a round trip in my Uncle's newest toy - a pontoon! The sunsets on the lake were incredible!
And just because we could, one day we took the pontoon out to the middle of the lake and just jumped in! We had a blast swimming and even the dogs jumped in for some fun!
When it got dark, we started the bonfire and spent the rest of the night gathered around it. The perfect way to end the summer!
Friday, 30 August 2013
Thursday, 29 August 2013
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
3/4 cup almond or soymilk
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Begin by whisking together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl except the chocolate chips. Once these are well mixed you can add the oil and milk to the mixture and mix well. If the mixture seems a little too dough-like you can add small amounts of milk at a time to get the proper consistency. Finally add in the chocolate chips and mix well. You don't want to use an electric mixer for this recipe, hand mixing is fine and will get you the proper texture you want.
Put a little vegetable oil in the bottom of a frying pan and heat for a minute on medium-high heat. Pour a small amount of batter in the pan and let it cook for a few minutes. Small bubbles should begin to form when the underneath side is finished. When this happens flip it over to cook the other side. Each pancake should only take minutes to make so make sure you don't burn them! Repeat until all of the batter has been used, then serve with your favourite maple syrup!
Tuesday, 27 August 2013
I have to admit that it took me a long time to give vegan burritos a chance. Refried beans have always reminded me of cat food although I guess the meat alternative doesn't look much better. My husband has always loved them so when a Mucho Burrito opened near us a couple of years ago he finally convinced me to check it out.
I was pleasantly surprised! I loved the atmosphere, which seemed like a mix between relaxed dining and fast food. The restaurant was also clean and welcoming and the staff were friendly.
My husband and the employee working helped me choose my toppings to build my first burrito and I loved all of the flavours! Although this isn't a place for vegan selection - you either want a burrito or you don't - I was so stuffed that I felt completely satisfied after my meal!
I enjoy the fact that when I'm hungry and want something quick, easy and delicious I can stop at Mucho Burrito and always be satisfied!
You can check out Mucho Burrito here.
Thursday, 22 August 2013
Today is National Dog Day so we're celebrating the amazing dogs that have been such a huge part of our lives!
Our two Golden Retrievers Genevieve and Murray have certainly been a handful but have brought us so much joy over the past 5 years!
This golden duo is so entertaining there's never a dull moment around here! Thank you Genevieve and Murray for being there through the good and the bad, loving us unconditionally along the way!
I also don't feel this post is complete without paying tribute to our miniature schnauzer, Maggie whom we had to say goodbye to this past Friday.
Maggie we love and miss you so much! Thank you for being such a wonderful companion over the past 15 years. I am so glad that I got to share so much of my life with you! xox
Sometimes I disappoint myself with the concoctions I create. Other times I'm amazed! Luckily for my starving husband and I, this recipe was the later. In fact we couldn't get enough!
1 tbsp. of vegetable oil
1 yellow onion diced
1/2 cup of diced extra firm tofu
1 can of kidney beans, drained
1 cup of finely chopped fresh kale
3 cloves of garlic
1 can of coconut milk
3 tbsp. of curry powder
1/2 tsp. of black pepper
2 cups of brown rice
1/4 tsp. of roasted red pepper flakes
In a pot cook the brown rice as per package directions. When the rice is about halfway through cooking begin prepping the rest of the meal. Dice the onion, tofu and kale. In a large saucepan heat the oil for a minute or two. When the oil is heated add the onion and garlic. Cook the onion until it begins to soften, usually a minute or two, then add the curry powder, red pepper flakes, tofu and kale. Cook until the kale has weakened, the tofu has browned slightly and the onion has turned an opaque colour. This took about 10 minutes. Now add the can of kidney beans, coconut milk and pepper. Stir well and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Adjust seasonings as necessary. We love flavour so I added more curry powder in at this point. By now the rice should be completed. Add it to the mixture, give it a good stir and cover, letting it simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes or until most of the coconut milk has been absorbed. Serve and enjoy!
Tuesday, 20 August 2013
The first time we ended up at Mongolian Grill was an accident. We had family visiting and our reservations at another restaurant got mixed up. We were starving and freezing cold (as it was the dead of winter) and trying to figure out another place to eat that would also have vegan options for Hubby and I. Being a Saturday night most places had long lineups or were booked solid with reservations but when we called Mongolian Grill they said they could seat our large party immediately.
What a unique experience! You build your meal in the dining area, top with the sauces and spices of your choosing, then stand around a large circular grill while the cooks prepare it for you! Since you are essentially building your own meal it's easy to veganize. They have tons of great vegan options, some of which include various noodles, lots of veggies, tofu and different sauces and spices for flavour! They also provide a small salad bar.
Your food is cooked with everyone else's on a large grill so we let the cooks know from the start that we were vegan. They immediately scraped and cleaned the grill for us and then sectioned off part of the grill with a separate pair of swords to ensure our food didn't come in to contact with any meat.
Since then Hubby and I return every month or so to enjoy the delicious food! It's the perfect place to eat before heading to a movie or to just wind down after a busy week! The cooks have always been more than accommodating and have never made us feel like we're inconveniencing them with our requests. Our servers have always been very friendly as well! For all you can eat, Mongolian Grill's pricing is more than fair and I loved the relaxed atmosphere - perfect for catching up with family or a date night out!
You can check out their website here.
Monday, 19 August 2013
I've learnt a few things since leaving my job. One is that I am not a morning person. At all. Even when I wake up early I find I can't get myself moving and often waste those early morning hours instead of taking advantage of the extra time I have.
The other is the struggle of finding time to get things done. Ironic isn't it? I have more time than ever now that I stay at home and yet I can't seem to get my list of chores completed! I'm opening a shop in a few short weeks on my other website but it's been slow moving. I just can't seem to find the time to do it all.
And somehow now the entire summer is almost behind me and I've been left to wonder where the time has gone? Time is a funny thing, that's for sure! Last week I realized I needed to have a plan. I am the queen of list making around here although my husband says I'm always trying to pack way too many things in to my day.
Enter Playbook and Agenda. First I made a list of every household and pet chore I could think of. These could be as simple as watering the house plants or something extremely tedious like scrubbing the baseboards. Next I decided how often I should be completing that particular task. This is where my Playbook came in. I chose different days to perform each chore so that I wasn't loading up all of my chores on the same day (which would make me less likely to do them). One of the great things about digital planners is that they have the ability to set reminders as well as repeat events. I am one of those people that tends to not notice something becoming a mess until it's a full blown disaster so this has been a handy tool for me! Since we have so many pets I'd like to vacuum the carpets twice a week however, me being me, I tend to vacuum and then forget about it until I see little clumps of hair here and there! So I programmed 'vacuum carpets' in to my planner and then set it to repeat every 3 days. I set it to never end and voila! So easy!
Of course I couldn't remember everything I do when I sat down to create this so as something came up that I knew I hadn't logged in my calendar I would do the task, then sit down and add it while also setting my repeat times. You can choose to have your tasks repeat by days, weeks, months and years so it's really easy to customize and I am finding it so helpful! Best of all its helped me stay on top of my housework and block off time to work on my growing business. It's also helped me create a morning routine so I get myself up and moving and starting my day!
For anyone struggling with time management I highly suggest trying out the planner on your phone, tablet or even computer! It's certainly paved the way towards a more productive me!
Thursday, 15 August 2013
Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day! Black cats are often overlooked because of old superstitions which classify them as 'bad luck'.
Due to this many shelters and rescues have a large amount of gorgeous black kitties that are desperately in need of forever, loving homes! So if you're looking to adopt, please consider a black cat!
My childhood cat Harrison is one of the most amazing, loving cats around! Does this look like the face of an animal bringing nothing but bad luck your way?
Monday, 15 July 2013
|Taking a break at the park during one of our walks.|
I am in a wonderful mood today! This morning I got on the scale and am officially down 15lbs from June 7th. That was the first day of my new life!
|Murray and Me <3|
|They love their morning walks and I enjoy them too!|
|Genevieve & Me <3|
Friday, 14 June 2013
This sandwich is exactly what the title says - toasted tomato with hummus and kale! We were getting extremely low on groceries in the house the other day but I was determined to make use of the food we had left in the cupboards. I realized I had everything to make a toasted tomato sandwich - my Mom's favourite after a long day of working and coming home to two hungry kids - but I'm not too keen on them. Then I got to thinking - I love hummus and cucumber sandwiches, what about hummus and tomatoes? Even better, I had a bunch of kale in the crisper! And that's how I came up with this delicious sandwich!
- 2 slices of bread
- 4 slices of tomato
- A leaf of Kale
- Salt and pepper
- Toast your bread
- While toast is still warm from the toaster, spread your hummus on both pieces of toast
- Lay your four slices of tomato on one piece of toast with your kale leaf on top
- Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on top of the kale leaf (optional)
Voila! You have a tasty lunch in just minutes!
Monday, 13 May 2013
Hubby and I ended up in Brantford, Ontario for most of the week due to a family emergency which left us wondering where we were going to eat. We have recently discovered our love for burritos and one particularly hungry afternoon we started looking up mexican restaurants in the area. Up popped Burrito Brothers in downtown Brantford so we plugged the address in to our GPS and were soon at 38 Dalhousie St.
When we walked in to the restaurant the first thing that jumped out to me were the words 'Vegan' and 'Gluten Free' on their menu board! Next up was how clean and colourful the place was! The staff were incredibly helpful and since it was our first time there they basically created our burritos for us! It was my first time having sweet potato as a filling in my burrito and definitely won't be my last! That plus their vegan guacamole, salsa and an assortment of veggies had me both satisfied and excited to come back again!
We visited Burrito Brothers two more times that week, bringing different family members with us to try their food and each time we left completely stuffed but craving more! Just wish we lived closer!