Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday Favourites




 As always, I am linking up with Friday Favourites to share my very favourite things this week!
I am getting so tired of this hot sunny weather (who says that?!). But really, it's too hot and it's not even summer anymore so it feels wrong. It is supposed to cool down by the end of next week, so fingers crossed. I'm not looking forward to my 31 degree clear skies race tomorrow. Thank goodness it's in the early morning. Should be done around 9 before the sun really hits later in the morning. I know tomorrow's race won't be fast. Since it'll be at the zoo, I have no doubt I'll be distracted by the animals and stopping to snap photos. It's more about getting out there! Yesterday I did a 5k, which was tough with my huge lack of sleep this week. I was tired, but I managed to push through. As usual, my speed increased km by km, so I'm starting to get some of my old mojo back. Even running three times this week will be a huge change from my "maybe once every two weeks" past. I am happy to feel changes and can slowly feel my mindset changing. I also have to admit - this step bet has got me going. Sure I wanted to sleep instead of run yesterday, but then I would have been eliminated from the step bet (I took my "rest" day Wednesday because of Rosh Hashanah). I'm not losing my $40, lol. Anyways, here we go!
1. All the Fall Things -- Again!
I love this little pumpkin!

Some much better lighting to see this beauty

I just can't. It's too adorable!

I went back three times and kept fawning over this. At 60% off it was a steal

I am 100% Fall obsessed. and pumpkins have taken over my home. So here are some of my beautiful fall pieces, plus a much better picture of our guest room table. I took it at night so there was no glare! I really love seasonal decorating, and decorating in general. It creates such warmth!

2. Meeting Renu Mandhane

Yesterday I met Renu Mandhane, the Chief Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission. I was too busy fan-girling to ask for a photo but she really is like a real-life superhero. She is getting stuff done here in Ontario! So here is a photo of her talking with me in close proximity. I'm not sure why my back looks like the hulk here. Perhaps because I was slouching.

3. Healing Blend:

This blend of frankincense, tea tree and lavender oils has done wonders for my wrist. I mix them with fractionated oil and apply it topically. My apple watch tends to give me a rash, especially after working out. I now clean my watch strap with rubbing alcohol after each work out and the healing blend takes care of the irritation. At one point it got so bad that it started spreading to my entire wrist and was just so itchy. The healing blend was pure relief. I am so glad that it's not as bad anymore.

4. Burberry scents:

Husband and I picked these up in the Utah duty free on the way home. We had all these gift certificates and hadn't needed to spend anything on the trip so we used them for some fun. We somehow both ended up selecting burberry scents, but what I love is that they are totally complementary to each other. His smells amazing, as does mine but together they just mix seamlessly. Not that it matters - but it still makes me smile. We rarely like the same brands for perfume/cologne so this is just cute.

5. Vasanti lip colour:

I got this in an Ipsy bag in June and was surprised when I tried it on that I really liked it. In fact, I brought it to Utah and it was the only colour I used for all of our evenings out. It wasn't sticky or thick, has the most beautiful complementary colour and lasts until you eat (it doesn't have much staying power when it comes to food -- it's fine for drinks). I have a lot of trouble finding lip colours I can deal with. I don't like lipstick at all (I'm trying though). So this is a perfect find for all those people like me who don't like how lipstick feels. This colour is called "Super mom" which is a little weird since I don't have kids ... but whatever. I think I'll definitely buy this again when I run out.

6. Pumpkin Candles
I know, I know, candles are supposed to be bad, but I need my home to smell like pumpkin spice chai. We all do.
Terrible photo quality (another fall sign peeking through the back)
 Well, that's all for today. I'll be back Monday with a race recap and hopefully some cute panda bear pictures!

Happy Friday!




Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Painting, running and crockpots

 Well, yesterday was a whirlwind of a day, as all my days seem to be lately. I painted the bathroom after work. A task I assumed would be easy but oh gosh was it ever not. This is why I have always hired painters and will continue to. I am not cut out for that work! Now I have to repaint parts of the ceiling and baseboards where the painters tape either ripped off the paint (isn't that what it's supposed to prevent?) or failed me. Good times. The good news is that the bathroom looks way better now. The colour we had looked terrible with our new shower (bad planning on our part) and this new colour brings everything together nicely. I found a cute little roller that reaches behind the toilet which I ended up using for the entire room because it worked so nicely. Dollar store for the win!
We are also meeting with a realtor this week (thank goodness I was able to convince husband that his working full time, starting a side business AND doing comfree for our home was taking on a bit much). Things are finally happening!! I can't wait to get out of there and into a house. I'm so tired of living in a condo. It was nice initially just to own a home, but it sucks having someone determine when you can rip up your floor, when you can receive deliveries, how loud you can be (and when you can be loud), how many pets you can have, what pets you can/can't have, the colour of your curtains... It drives me mad. The day after we got possession, we went in and tore up the carpets (because they were disgusting and soaked with cat pee -- wish I was kidding) -- the following day we were threatened with a lawsuit for not asking permission. Granted, that property manager was a bit of a dictator but seriously. He broke a bunch of his own rules by entering our unit without permission and leaving a threatening note on our wall. So we have mostly asked for permission since then to avoid the drama.

Ah the moving debacle continues!
On the up side, my zoo race is coming up this weekend and I think I feel ready. I went for an 8k run after work on Monday and aside from some knee tightness around 7k, it felt good. My speed increased km by km, which I've missed lately and by the end I wasn't breathless or exhausted. I was tired, but that's normal. It was a good feeling. The run didn't feel as long as I expected it would. You know how sometimes you're just thinking - "Am I really only at 2k?". I did an out and back route and it felt like I was turning around before I was even nearing tired-ness. I'm probably going to try and squeeze a shorter run in on Thursday and maybe just do upper body at the gym on Friday. That way I'll be ready to go for Saturday. I'm kind of annoyed at how early they request people to be there. I think I'll have to leave around 6am. I'm not a morning person, so that sucks. The nice part is that I won't be there all day. I'm really excited for the medal - it's a panda bear. I'm all about medals!
Can't wait to add this baby to my collection!
 It's funny that as I was getting ready for my run, I felt as antsy and nervous as I used to before setting out on my 20k+ runs. I guess it's all about perspective. I used to run 8k and then go to a pilates class on weekdays. Then I moved cities, wasn't close to my favourite pilates class (which was now about 45 minutes away) and wasn't familiar with the area. I joined a running room group which definitely amped up my running but now I'm back to running (mostly) solo and slowly finding my groove. I loved running in my parent's neighbourhood and that made it easy. Where I live now is basically just hills and inclines, stoplights, highways and crazy drivers. Another score for moving! I'm glad that I'm starting to enjoy running again, because there's nothing quite like getting out there and running to sort out your mind. I'm trying to register for more races to keep me motivated as well. Nothing like my own money on the line to keep me going :)

Oh and my Monday crockpot meal turned out great! I was worried that the potatoes would go gross overnight, but they didn't (maybe the olive oil helped?) and aside from not setting the warming function properly, it worked out perfectly!  Now I'm just paranoid that when I set it today, I set it for 8 hours on high. I hope not. Might have some scorched chili to content with. My goal is to use the crockpot twice a week for dinners. Seems manageable and definitely makes evenings easier! Tonight we have Rosh Hashanah dinner, so I didn't actually need to cook, but I figured I can freeze some and use the other half for lunches.
Well, that's all for now. I'll be back Friday for some of my favourite things!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Fall decor and crockpot dinners

 Happy Monday!

Another weekend has passed by so quickly that there was barely any time for enjoyment. My parents came over and while my mom and I got manicures and pedicures, dad and husband worked on the condo. Ha, so fair of me :)
I've been waiting for the day that I could get grey polish -- apparently it's just not appropriate for summer ;) So I was happy to get a beautiful grey on my nails. It just screams "fall" to me!

This is going to be a busy week (as always) with celebrating Rosh Hashanah on Wednesday, and finding some time to paint the bathroom, clean all of the windows, buy a smaller desk chair, put up and steam all of the new curtains, move the last items out that are cluttering things up and make it all cozy and minimalist at the same time ;) Not sure yet how that will pan out. I've finished the dining room (aside from the pile of boxes) and the second bedroom. I am in love. Wish I'd done this while I could enjoy it more, but it will be how our new home looks for sure. Husband has finally seen how delightful fall décor makes the home ... maybe I can buy more while it's still on sale (haha, he'd kill me for that one!)
Here are the dining room back table and the second bedroom photos (terrible lighting -- it was dusk).
Gosh that lighting ... but check our my gorgeous curtain work with the sheer in the middle!
My favourite part of the room. Fall, antique furniture and pumpkins!
Pumpkin spice and everything nice! I also added a little pumpkin beside the sign later that day

For the bouquet on the dining thing, it will go on the table. It's just waiting there for now. I couldn't find anything at Michaels that I liked (and that my picky husband thought was acceptable), so I decided to make my own bouquet. The guy in the floral department was kind enough to cut the flowers down for me, so it was all ready to go once I made my choices. I feel like these colours can be acceptable for any season, even though they have that rustic fall feel to them.
Pretty pretty flowers

Before I go, super proud of myself today. I set up the crockpot last night, and just whipped it out of the fridge this morning and it's ready to go! I'm not sure how it will turn out, but here's hoping! I had potatoes that were seasoned with the big Italian 3 (basil, parsley and oregano) and mixed them up with some evoo and minced garlic, then on top I put chicken with the big 3 plus onion powder and garlic powder which had been seared for a couple minutes on each side. When I get home I will add some kale for the last 30 minutes or so. I haven't used the crock pot in ages, so I'm a little worried but the convenience is huge so I hope this works and can become a regular thing!

Have a great start to the week! Happy Monday, friends!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Favourites!

Friday favourites is just the best post! So I'm linking up with some other lovely bloggers to share my favourite things this week!

1. Fresh Sugar Rose lip balm

This stuff. I can't get enough. I think I mentioned before how I just love everything Fresh puts out and that is the truth! I'm not a huge fan of wearing lipstick, but this balm has the perfect amount of colour and moisture. I got this a few months ago and it's almost finished. I carry it in my purse (you can see the wear and tear) and use it every single day! They have a wide spectrum of colours, including one without any shade. It's just the best!

2. Our Last CSA
Not pictured; the incredibly muddy potatoes

Well, at least they went out with a boom! This was our last order until next spring/summer-ish. It was jam-packed. I guess since more of the autumn fruits are in season they are cheaper leading to us getting more. We had the green beans last week and this week they gave us more (and a larger amount!) They were SO good! We also got corn, eggs, spinach, spring mix, patty pan squash, potatoes (so many - I ordered extra), apples, pears, bananas, grapes, garlic, cauliflower, watermelon, green beans ... I think that's it! It will certainly be enjoyed!

3. ALL THE FALL things.

I don't know why they are all sideways. Sorry :(

Friends, Michael's has all of their fall stuff on sale and it is not good for me!! I swear I've spent so much time meandering through their aisles. I want my entire home to be bursting with Fall. Unfortunately, we have to maintain some neutrality for the showings. I'll be damned if they make me put away my "hello fall" pillow though!
I also made a nice flower bouquet for our table. Fake flowers make so much more sense! I couldn't find anything I wanted, so I made my own!

4. My new doTERRA cheer rollerball.

Such a happy scent. I love this one. I also got serenity this month, for sleep which I mix with my lavender. It's such a lovely scent to fill the room and makes for a very tranquil space. The cheer scent is great for a general feeling of overall "cheer" and also reduces anxiety. It is my definitely my favourite!

5. Dinner last night
Must work on lighting

This was so good! I love bruschetta (so much so that I actually make it for myself as a snack when I'm feeling ambitious). Now admittedly I love anything with tomatoes (except actual tomato juice), but mixing together two of my favourite things (pasta and bruschetta) ... well it's a match made in heaven. My only edit to the recipe would be to drain the juice a bit from the tomatoes because it was a bit liquidy. I would probably only do about 1/4 of the liquid. The only changes I made to make it gluten free were that I didn't add the pasta until the very end. Gluten free pasta is fairly sensitive so I cooked it al dente and then once I had cooked everything I took it off the heat and added the cooked pasta. It still ended up breaking a bit, but since the recipe actually called for the noodles to be broken before cooking, it worked out.
Overall, super delicious. I enjoyed it last night and for lunch today!

That's all for today! Happy Friday & Happy Weekend!


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Need more hours in the day

Time has not been on my side lately! Work has been crazy busy, as has life! We *may* actually be able to list next week. This weekend should finish everything off and then we wanted to have a cleaner in to do a deep scrubbing before the photos and everything.
Yesterday I had a volunteer meeting in the evening and very little time in between work and getting there. I had also had a fairly sedentary day with back to back meetings and was not even close to my needed steps for the day. So I made the decision to run a short run instead of no run at all. It was great because not only did I hit my steps, but I also felt better getting out there! My sinuses are still kind of blocked up and I still have a cough, but otherwise I'm definitely on the road to recovery, and getting back to the fitness is a good way to get there. Also, new running shoes always make things more exciting!
I'm heading to the gym tonight. Not sure yet what I plan to do, but I'll have a plan before I get there.
This step bet is really keeping me on track. It's much harder than I thought it would be. We have already lost 35 participants and it's only the second week (and last week, as the warm up, didn't count).

Tomorrow is our very last CSA delivery (as I mentioned in Monday's post). Go figure this is the week they remember to send out the info as to what's in the order. No surprise veggies this time! Thankfully, we aren't getting carrots. Still have 2.5 bags left. Sigh.

Tonight I am making Bruschetta Spaghetta from Daily Dose of Pepper's website. It looks and sounds delicious, so I'm pretty excited! I will try to remember to take a picture and post it tomorrow. I (of course) failed to take a picture of our dinner on Monday when I made the Autumn skillet (link in Mondays post), but I will say that it was delicious, incredibly easy and definitely is something I'll make again. I also made a Cajun spice sauce to go with it (because I need sauce for everything) and that just took it over the top. My husband did a snapchat of it, so I'll post his silly photo here. Ignore the text. Also, it's blurry because it was a video. Ah well.
I realize it isn't actually very pretty, so you'll just have to make it and believe me that it's worth it. I used sausage, potato, carrots, yellow squash, green squash, mushrooms and Cajun spice. I sautéed the sausage first in a bit of olive oil, then added the veggies, another good drizzle of olive oil and covered it up and just let it cook for about 30 mins. Easy peasy. Also smelled so good! These recipe websites are keeping me motivated

Oh and in VERY exciting news, I FINALLY found a set of curtains that works in our second bedroom (still with the sheer for added bulk in the middle). It only took 4 (5?) different sets, lots of swearing and dropping curtains rods, some marks on the wall that will need to be painted over and too many trips to BB&B than I'd care to admit. Now, our building has a very strict rule that curtains have to have a white backing ... these do not. I do not care. Fingers crossed no one notices before we move. I'll take my blue-backed DKNY curtains with me if I have to, but they're staying up for now. No photo. Maybe tomorrow.
Yes, curtains are incredibly exciting to me right now.

Happy Thursday. Tomorrow I will be back for Friday favourites - lots to share this week!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Back at it

 Finally back from the land of the sick. I pretty much slept for the entire weekend, and by Sunday afternoon felt well enough to go for a walk, do the laundry and do some little things around the condo.
Last week, by the time I left work on Friday I had a fever, my body felt bruised everywhere, I had the chills, pounding headache, congestion, even my teeth hurt from the sinus blockage ... I'm not actually sure how I managed to function. I took a nap in my car on my lunch break, and I'm the kind of person who cannot sleep anywhere but my own home. It was ridiculous. So once I got home I took a bath to try and regulate my body temp and get rid of the body aches. It worked temporarily, and then I slept oh how I slept. Hours upon hours and hours. They aren't kidding when they say sleeping cures all ailments. I dosed myself up with Nyquil, used my essential oils blend on my spine and feet both morning and night and must say that this is the fastest I have ever gotten over the flu. I've been unfortunate enough to get the flu three times in my adult life. The real flu -- not just a bad cold. Most times it takes over a week to get back to life and this time it was just a weekend. So I'm guessing it was a combination of sleeping and essential oils that did the trick. My new favourite blend - FLOOM - give it a shot! I used this alongside some infused Breathe.

Frankincense - 6 drops
Lemon - 12 drops
Oregano - 6 drops
On guard - 6 drops
Melaluca (or tea tree) - 6 drops

-Add this into a 10 ml rollerball bottle, top up with fractionated coconut oil and roll onto your spine and the bottoms of your feet twice a day. I smell like oregano right now, but aside from a cough and some lingering congestion, I feel pretty good! Thanks Beka for introducing me to doTERRA and for this blend! If you want to get in on this awesome-ness, feel free to connect  with me or visit this link

Picture from here

Now onto this week. Tonight I am making the "Autumn Harvest Skillet" from Speedy Spatula. It's easy, customizable and looks delicious! (The link is her summer version, but you can easily edit the veggies for fall).
I have to go grocery shopping after work, so figured I would do some meal planning this weekend before I went. We have decided that this will be our last week of the CSA produce. Now that the temps are getting cooler, a lot of what we get is going to be greenhouse grown anyways. We are still going to make an effort to eat organic and as local as possible (given our cold winter climate approaching), but we are ready to go back to choosing our veggies rather than being surprised each week. I didn't take a picture of last weeks (I was already feeling pretty sick by that point and didn't even have the energy to put it in the fridge. However, we got purple grapes, cucumber, tomato, watermelon, onion, garlic, green peppers, carrots, beets, green beans, blueberries, apples and pears. I think we have already eaten most of it. Except for the carrots. We have gotten 2lbs of carrots for the last four weeks. It is ridiculous! Thankfully carrots, even organic ones, have a long-ish shelf life, because we are still working our way through the second bag. Needless to say, there will be carrots in our skillet tonight.
Since this week will be our last CSA, we have added eggs and 2 lbs of potatoes to make it count. The potatoes have been our absolute favourite thing this summer - the flavour is unreal! Baking them with a bit of olive oil. salt and pepper has just been divine! I will miss those for sure! It will  be much easier to meal plan once I actually visit the grocery store (because I haven't really gone real grocery shopping in around 3 months - which I haven't missed AT ALL) so I'm hoping Fall can feel a little more organized!

Well, this has been a long rambly post. I am so sad that I missed out on Friday favourites, but there will be lots this week to make up for it!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sickie sick sick

 Well, my feeling slightly off has developed into a full blown cold. It's safe to say, I feel like complete garbage. Sore throat, sneezing, coughing, nose running, head foggy ...ughhhhh. Last night I diffused some On Guard, and applied my floom mixture (a blend of frankincense, lemon, oregano, on guard and melaluca (tea tree)). It helped -- usually the first day my sore throats are completely unbearable, but this one is just painful, haha. I'm hoping it passes quickly. I don't like feeling this way (well, who ever does?!)

Some positives - today I went and bought those red Kate Spade shoes that I shared a few days ago. Sigh, I know I need to cut down my spending, but a good pair of shoes just completely does me in. Pathetic, I know! Now I just need that dress. I'm crossing my fingers that it goes on sale, but it hasn't so far and I need it in about a month. I'm debating just buying it and then returning it and re-buying it if goes on sale. That might be a bit excessive.

I was impressed that even with my feeling gross yesterday and with a very off stomach to boot, that I was able to convince myself to make dinner. My run became a walk because who wants to bounce around when their stomach isn't cooperating. What a mess, amiright?!
I've entered into a stepbet and while this is the first week, which doesn't count, I'm still feeling the pressure to get my steps in. Losing $40 USD isn't something I'm too keen on. I don't have insanely high goals. Not like some of the ones I've seen, but I also have an office job where I'm sitting for the majority of my day, so while I park as far away as possible and walk often on my lunchtimes, I still have to try to get 8000+ steps on non-running days. I have to say - this is a really great incentive. I know that you don't make much $$ overall, but even the idea of losing your own money is pretty motivating to keep you moving. I'd highly advise people with office jobs who are finding it tricky to get steps in to join a step bet! The one I'm doing only has about 700 participants, so the pot isn't huge, but some have tens of thousands!

Anyways, I'm out. Need to get in some steps and then try and sleep some of this nonsense away!