Friday, August 26, 2016

5 Things Friday - Summer Vacation Edition


Good morning, friends!

I am back with another edition of Five Things Friday. If you have been reading the blog the last two weeks (or so), you will know that I had a week off of work this month. It was probably the BEST week I have had yet, since I was able to complete a lot of stuff around the house and fit in tons of fun stuff in there, too. Additionally, Ryan had the same week off so we spent a lot of quality time together and got to hang with the family as well.

So, let's get started with my 5 Favourites!


Seawheeze weekend: This was an amazing weekend filled with sunshine, yoga, running, and the best sunset festival party. Nothing beats jumping around on your yoga mat after running 21.1km to live music.


Day-trippin' to Tofino: This was such a fun day to just relax on the beach. Watching Nala dig around in the sand and bravely test the waters just made my heart sing. Is that weird? I feel like it's something a crazy dog mom would say. That's probably how people feel about their human children. Nevertheless, watching her have so much fun made ME have fun. I look forward to going back to Tofino very, very soon!


Doing anything and everything with Nala: She comes everywhere with me; the only exception being the bathroom. Aaaand even that is debatable, heh! Nala enjoys car rides (for the most part), so it makes it easy to take her along on our adventures. Plus, she is a great snuggle buddy once she is tired after a full day of playing. This is probably one of the best parts! : )


Spa days with my sister: We spent most of Wednesday afternoon at La Spa Sereine in Victoria. If you are in the area, or even visiting, I highly recommend coming here for a little pampering. They have a beautiful ladies' lounge area (above) with local organic tea, snacks like trail mix and yogurt, and the most comfortable chairs ever. It is fun to put your feet up (literally) and relax before heading back to the real world. During our visit we got a full body massage - much needed after the Seawheeze run - and a pedicure. Hello, heaven!


I am starting to add to my essential oil collection, and this grapefruit essential oil is the newest to my rotation. It is so uplifting and bright. You can't stay in a bad mood after a whiff of this! Similarly, I picked up a new hand lotion that is a blend of jasmine and sandalwood. This combination is such a pretty smell. It is feminine without being sickly sweet, and floral without making you smell like your grandma's powder room. Winning!

---

Although my vacation has come to an end, I am looking forward to another getaway September long weekend!

For those essential oil lovers: what is your go-to scent? Any combinations I should try?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Making Fitness a Family Affair


Getting the whole family involved in a healthy lifestyle is a good way to not only keep yourself on track, but is also a great way to try new activities with your family.

It can be hard at first to get everyone on board. People like different things, and organizing the "perfect" exercise may be a challenge. However, you don't have to get TOO crazy in order to make things work. This is especially important to me as I could easily fall into the pizza-for-every-meal if Ryan had his way ; ) I wanted to share with you a few easy ways to incorporate fitness into your family.

Find an outdoor activity: Whether you are hiking with your significant other or kayaking with your kids, getting outside is one sure-fire way to ensure everyone enjoys the activity. After all, who doesn't love getting out in nature!? You don't have to do anything hard, either. Simply checking out a new trail can be sufficient! Something Ryan and I have been doing lately has been going for day trips. We will go for a hike in a new area, or drive somewhere and walk along the ocean for a change of scenery. If you have a dog, this is a great way to get them out and about, too! 

Some other outdoor activities include: running (trail or pavement), canoeing, skiing/snowboarding in the winter (can make a great family getaway!), swimming (always great in the summer), walking, etc.

Check out a new class: One thing my sister and I enjoy doing is going to a new fitness class together. We have gone to yoga classes, zumba classes - you name it, and there is probably a class for that! Fitness classes don't have to be expensive, either. With a little bit of research, you can find a class near you (check out a community centre in your area) that won't stretch the wallet too thin. My mom and I signed up for spin classes, and that was a fun way to sweat together and try something new!

Other class ideas include: bootcamp, barre fitness (ballet inspired work outs), drop-in sports like volleyball, spin classes, etc.

Walk it out: Simply going for a family walk is a nice way to not only catch up, but fit some extra steps into your day. Additionally, going for an after dinner walk can help aid in digestion and burn extra calories, too. Switch things up by walking on trails, walking through a new-to-you-neighbourhood or enlisting some friends for extra fun and conversation. If you are visiting with family members, maybe try going for a walk instead of going out to eat - you will save money that way, too!

Make it a challenge: Are you a fan of some friendly competition? See who can go one week without sugar (think junk food sugar, not natural sugars like those found in fruit). See who can fit in X amount of work outs into the week. Whatever your challenge is, make it FUN! You can also have a bet if money is something that motivates you, or a reward system at the end. For example, if you successfully go one week without sugar (just an example), maybe you will win a massage or some other kind of treat (and not the food kind. You are not a dog).

Workout at home: Working out can mean yard work too, not just taking the stairs or walking to get the mail. You can always get family involved with chores around the yard, as that often involves heavy lifting, clearing debris, and lots of bending and walking. Further, you can try online at-home workouts with family if you want to make a family work out night and get everyone involved!

Workout for a cause: Often times running races are centred around fundraising for a cause. For example, some Father's Day runs fundraise for prostate cancer. Fundraising can be an excellent way to not only get the family involved in an event, but it can draw people to train together, too!

---

What are some ways you stay active with your family?

Let me know your fave way in the comments below!

Monday, August 22, 2016

My Return to the Gym After Almost THREE MONTHS!


Well hello, friends!

As you can tell by the title, I am back to the gym.

Yep, that's right. I am back to the gym and actually enjoying it more than I thought I would.

First off, I want to say that I never disliked going to the gym. It just got to the point where I was spending my money on a hot yoga membership (I haven't gone in about a month because it has been SO HOT out, might as well do yoga on my deck), and the thought of buying a gym membership separately had me second guessing how much I really needed it. Besides, I have a treadmill, elliptical and free weights at home. What do I need a gym for?

Well, I need a gym for the simple fact of getting myself out of the house. On the same note, the gym has 100x more equipment than I have at home, so it makes working out easier. I don't have to think about what move I can do with this dumbbell or worry about not being able to use a squat rack or quad extension machine.


So, on August 17th I made my return to the gym.

What got me there?

Well, first off I had won a free gym membership at a ladies' night my sister and I went to at the beginning of the month. This was motivation enough for me to go and take advantage of my prize.

What did I do?

Fortunately, despite not being in the gym for a few months, I got into a groove pretty quickly. I completed a back, biceps & shoulder work out that left my upper body feeling sufficiently sore for the next two days. I guess not doing any formal strength training for an extended period of time will do that to ya, hey? I also completed 15 minutes of cardio on the elliptical at level 5 after.


Taken on Tuesday's leg day!


So, yeah! There we have it. And here's what I wore to the gym, because I love a good #WOTD - workout outfit of the day. Shirt is from Lululemon, as are the pants.

Bottom line: I missed going to the gym and I am happy to be back. Mostly I am excited to see how my body changes with the increase in strength training, so I will keep you all updated of course.

---

Now, off to the gym! Have a great day & I'll catch ya on Wednesday : )

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Day at the Beach & Nala's First Road Trip


Good morning!

I have been enjoying my time off to the fullest extent this week. One of my favourite things we did this week was take Nala on her first road trip.

Oh, yes. The fun continues!

Tuesday night, after having dinner with Ryan's family, we got to work in the kitchen preparing some snacks to take with us on the road. Both of us were in the mood to relax on the beach, so on Wednesday morning we packed the cooler and headed off to Tofino! We packed things like rice chips, a big container of fruit, trail mix, and we also packed fixings to make wraps once we got to our destination. It was important to me to pack relatively healthy things, especially since we would be outside and would need some good fuel to keep us going!


We made a few stops to admire the scenery along the way. The picture up top is Cameron Lake, and we stopped at a place called "Beauford Picnic Stop." It is super pretty and such a beautiful day for a drive!


Before we got to Tofino we stopped at Sproat Lake and picked up some more coffee for the road. I wasn't driving, but I knew that being in the car for 3+ hours would make me want to fall asleep. And yes, I did doze off a little bit before we got there. In my defense it was warm and sunny and how could one not doze off? At Sproat Lake they had two of these huge camp chairs, so naturally me and Nala had to snap a picture!

So, after our coffee stop we hit the road. Nala slept a good chunk of the way and we would have to wake her up to stop and go hurry up. Hurry up is her phrase to go to the bathroom! Our ultimate destination in Tofino was Chesterman Beach, and Nala loved running around on the beach and digging in the sand.


Just LOOK at that squishy and cute little face! I die. We laid out a blanket and just relaxed, made some turkey wraps and walked along the water. It was super foggy so you couldn't see anything but what was right in front of you, but the fog cleared a little bit and we were able to snap some pictures. Have you been to Tofino before? Surprisingly, Ryan and I had never been, despite living on the island for all of our lives. Actually, I think I went when I was a kid, but it's not something I vividly remember. Nevertheless, it was an amazing day and we are hoping to come back in a few weeks to check out Long Beach!


I hope you all have a great weekend & I will talk to you on Monday! : )

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Lululemon Seawheeze 2016: The Festival


This is part two of my Lululemon Seawheeze weekend recap. You can read all about the run itself here, and in this post I wanted to chat about the seriously AMAZING!!! festival that took place in Stanley Park on Saturday afternoon into the evening. They don't call it run, yoga, party for nothin!

But first, let's check out the goods post race:


From left to right: Nuun hydration tabs in berry flavour, exclusive Seawheeze sunglasses (and duffel bag underneath), Lululemon water bottle, and a pouch from Friday's noon yoga class with a yoga mat cleaning spray, yoga facial mist with essential oils, and a peppermint essential oil roll-on. Not pictured: a navy blue Seawheeze hat and a pouch from Saje wellness with a few more roll-ons to help with muscle soreness and pain relief. This was applied liberally post-run!


Now for the festival. Where to begin?

Ryan and I took the shuttle bus from the Vancouver Convention Centre to Stanley Park and arrived at about 5pm. There were food vendors and little pop-up shops that circled the upper field (think a pop up Lululemon shop with exclusive Seawheeze gear, local made jewelry, artisan soaps & skincare, a fancy toasted marshmallow stand, etc), and if you looked down the hill, there was a huge stage set up for the musical entertainment. The first performer was Youngblood (we were waiting in line and missed this), second was Dear Rouge, and the headliner was Chromeo.


Upon arrival, we grabbed ourselves some Lululemon x Stanley Park Brewing Company beverages. I am not normally a beer person, but this was a brew even I enjoyed - and that is saying something from the girl who prefers caesars and wine over anything!


I was super excited to get my yoga on when class started at 6pm. Beforehand we hung out, grabbed a bite to eat and drank our beer in the shade. It was important to get some kind of food into our system since we really hadn't eaten anything since our post-race breakfast! We got into yoga mode in front of the stage and I rolled out my mat. Yoga teacher Stephanie Snyder taught a class that was relaxing, engaging, and FUN! She even had us doing partner exercises (bless Ryan's soul) to get people opening up and laughing. It felt good to stretch it out in the sunshine. This meant we were limbered up for dancing all night!


But first? Food time. The only big con of the evening was the long line-ups for food. We waited for probably an hour, and although that poutine was tasty, it was still a lengthy wait. Nevertheless, we made it back to the yoga mat just in time for the second musical act, Dear Rouge. They are a local Vancouver band and were excellent!


I had never heard Dear Rouge's music before, but it had a good rocker vibe to it and was super catchy. I had my head bobbin' around while eating my poutine (not an easy feat but I'll add it to my list of talents). If you are in the mood for some new tunes, I would highly recommend searching Dear Rouge and checking them out! 


And of course, CHROMEO! But if you let her see that fancy footwork...

I was so excited to see Chromeo perform. They put on SUCH a good show and had the crowd dancing. There was one point where they played their song called Jealous, and I was literally jumping around on my yoga mat dancing around with the biggest damn grin on my face. Ryan and I danced the night away and thoroughly enjoyed the music, the food, the drinks, and the overall atmosphere of the evening. You can't go wrong with good music and good company!


And what's a run, yoga, party without a man on stilts wearing an electric suit? Yeah, I need this at my next birthday. All in all, it was an amazing year, and the first year I was able to attend the weekend festival. Lululemon definitely made it an experience to remember, and one of the best weekends of my summer! : )

---

Have you ran a Seawheeze race before?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Lululemon Seawheeze 2016: The Run


Good evening!

Wow, what a crazy weekend. Today was a lazy day spent (mostly) on the couch recovering from late nights, early mornings, and lots of time on my feet pounding the pavement.

I wanted to recap the Seawheeze 2016 half marathon for you tonight. If you have been following along for the last few months, you know this is the run I have been training for. It was kind of my introduction to half marathon running this year, as it was the first of the year and the first race of the summer. Although I am no olympic marathoner, it was so nice to get out there and participate in a weekend event that truly is one big RUN, YOGA, PARTY!!


How can you beat those Vancouver seawall views? Oh yeah, you can't. There is something about running along the ocean that is not only therapeutic and peaceful but fun as well.

The race started at 7am on Saturday, so I was up just after 5am to have my pre-race oatmeal and get my gear on. I had laid everything out on Friday night, so I knew I was ready. Ryan walked down to the start with me - it started near the Vancouver Convention Centre - and once my wave started, I was off and running!

The route takes you through downtown Vancouver, over Burrard St bridge (oh the pain), and through Kitsilano. Side note: I would LOVE to explore Kits some more! It looks like such a fun neighborhood with lots of cool stores and coffee shops. There were cheer stations along the way, and the stations did not disappoint! Spin classes literally took place outside along the course; music pumping, people cheering, waving their towels in the air. You couldn't help but get pumped up as you ran by. Once we were back over the Burrard St bridge, we hit the seawall for the rest of the run.


Those views from the finish line chute. There were so many things happening at Jack Pool Plaza down by the convention centre. Friday afternoon was pre-race day yoga (in the blazing heat, but lots of fun!), as well as Lululemon temporary tattoos, a few hair styling stations, Qoola frozen yogurt, Vega sports nutrition, Saje wellness and aromatherapy, and more. After the run, this area transformed into a runner's brunch station where you had the option of having breakfast on site. Ryan and I opted to go to a place called the Bellagio for breakfat, which was super tasty, but the runner's brunch looked great, too!


Snaps at the finish line with my favourite fan ; ) I didn't have a time goal for this race simply because I am not in the shape that I need to be for any personal records. Despite this, my aim was to have FUN and enjoy myself. No, I am definitely not as speedy as previous races, but who cares? It lights a fire under my ass for the next race! That being said, I need to train more on hills as that coupled with the heat kind of did me in.


All in all, it was such a fun race day. The energy at the Seawheeze is absolutely contagious. You can't have a bad time when you are surrounded by so many people there sharing the same purpose: run and have FUN!


Stay tuned for Wednesday's post: the WEEKEND. A recap of the whole Seawheeze weekend, including some sweet swag from the event : )

Until next time!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Shopping Time: Beauty & Skincare Haul



Good evening & happy Monday everyone!

Three more work days and then I am on holidays. Can you tell I am excited? I have been waiting for this since I booked my vacation time back in January. It has been a long time coming, and the break will be so much needed!

What am I going to do? Get a massage and pedicure with my sister. Go on day trips with Nala and Ryan. Sleep in, work out, eat some good food. No vacation plans now, but we will find fun ways to occupy our time!

On the bright side, I can always do more of these skincare & beauty hauls for the blog!

But wait. That involves shopping. And spending money. I am not sure if I should spend all of my time off doing that, as much fun as it would be!

I will, however, show you a few items I have acquired within the last week or so.

We will kick it off with a prize pack I won at a free yoga night/open house at a local new juicery and raw food bar. My sister and I enjoyed 45 minutes of yoga, then as we were all blissed-out and zen we got to peruse all kinds of skincare, make up & clothing goodies from local brands and businesses in the Cowichan Valley. While we were there I put my name in for a draw (they were having several throughout the night), and lucky me - I was a winner!


In my prize pack were mini hand lotion samples from Kogi Naturals, made in Chemainus, as well as local soap, a bottle of yummy green juice from the juicery that hosted the event, and a one month GYM MEMBERSHIP! Yup, I'm going to have to take advantage of that! It was such a fun event, and I hope they do more in the future.

I also picked up a goat's milk soap & a skincare serum to try.


I have been using goat's milk soap lately and it makes my skin feel so silky smooth! On the same note, this face serum from Pure Anada makes my face feel like a baby's bottom and has a light fresh scent.


I just had to add this in here. After breakfast, Nala and I had some quality time on the couch where I finished up Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Oh, YEAH folks, I am still on my Harry Potter kick. So much so that I asked Ryan if he would have a HP movie marathon with me, and he just laughed and asked if I would even be able to stay up that long. Touche, buddy. I will try my hardest!

Today's workout: 45 minutes on the treadmill. Nice and easy watching YouTube videos, of course. All of my workouts are pretty darn relaxed this week because the big half marathon is on Sunday! I am excited, and frantically trying to plan our lives and make 100's of lists of what I need to bring.


Notebook from Chapters. Born This Way Radiant Concealer, Living Proof dry shampoo, Sephora brand eye mask, Sephora brand charcoal face wipes.

And finally, some goodies from my adventure into Nanaimo today. Nala had a puppy play date for the afternoon while I ran into Nanaimo to run some errands. I had a gift to buy for a certain event coming up (will share later), and while I was in the mall I had to, haaaaad to, stop at Sephora and Chapters. When in Rome, right?

---

Any beauty or skincare recommendations? Or any favourites you have? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, friends!