Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Try This: Upperbody Blast Workout

Good morning!

I hope you are all having a good week so far. As you read in my Monday post, life with Nala has been both busy and lazy. During one of her many snoozes I was able to sneak in a workout, and I wanted to share that with you today!

I am all about the at-home workouts right now. Yeah, I was on the hot yoga train and yeah, I did sign up for a recurring membership and haven't been in two weeks. It is so, SO damn hot right now and the thought of going to yoga and sweating through my toes does not sound appealing. Can anyone else relate to this? Does anyone want fall to hurry up?

Okay, going too far there right now. We are, what, half way through summer? Aye aye aye.

Anyway, I'll get back on track here.

If you are looking for a good upper body workout then I would highly recommend giving this one a shot! Added bonus: you only need a pair of free-weights (or dumbbells).

Modify the exercises if you need to. I took a 30 second to one minute break in between each exercise before moving onto the next one. Once all exercises are completed, take a water break and do 'em again!


I hope you enjoy the workout! Let me know in the comments what YOUR current favourite workout is right now : )

Monday, July 25, 2016

Weekend Recap & The Biggest Mixing Bowl Salad EVER!

Good afternoon friends!

Monday's post is kicking off a bit later in the day here. It has been a busy weekend with the new arrival of our puppy girl Nala. If you weren't aware of this new addition, you can read all about it in last week's post here!

Since I work Saturdays, Ryan was on puppy duty Friday night and got to hang out with Nala all day Saturday. That being said, Sunday we all ventured out of the house and went for a road trip to... PETSMART!

Nala of course fell asleep in the cart as we puttered around the store. She got some new toys and is currently chewing on Bernie the bunny as we speak. No, not Bernie Sanders.

Other than our trip to Petsmart, Sunday was pretty low key. It's funny having a puppy, you know. As much fun as it is, a lot of time is spent waiting for them to wake up so you can take them outside to go pee. Yeah, I know. That is what life has become. In all seriousness though, it has been a fun few days and we are still cherishing the snuggly moments as Nala is getting busier and busier as the days go on!

Since Nala isn't sleeping through the night yet, we usually go out for two bathroom breaks in the night. I am on puppy duty for another night, and last night we fell asleep together on the couch. Ryan snapped this picture of us this morning before he went to work - ah, I die. So cute.

In between morning and lunch time, say 1 o'clock, Nala and I went on a few car rides. Stop #1 was the vet to book her next appointment for shots, and the second was a road trip (this was probably an eternity for Nala, but it was really only a 15 minute drive) to my grandma's house. My grandma has yet to meet Nala, so I thought it would be fun to go for a little drive and say hello! Of course, she fell in love and Nala fell asleep in the grass. Typical. We visited for over an hour before driving home for lunch.

Speaking of lunch, I wanted to share something I ate today. No, not my usual oatmeal. Not my usual chicken, rice & veggies for lunch. The last two nights we have had burgers for dinner - salmon burgers, and then last night I had a veggie burger. While this is great and all, the bread certainly didn't make me feel good! So, I am on operation hydration today to help flush some of that bread from my system. Does anyone feel like bread sits like a rock in their stomach? Yeah, not a good feeling! Today's lunch was about veggies. ALL the veggies. I zipped to the store yesterday evening and stocked up on some greens, veggies, and all around healthy goodness. Here is what I whipped up today:

Wait, is that in a mixing bowl?

You know, the size of bowl you would use to have multiple servings of salads for multiple people?

Wait, aren't you the only one eating this?

Yes, and yes. And it was delicious.

What's in it? Well, everything!

Spring mix, carrots, yellow pepper, a veggie burger patty chopped up for some protein, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, a sprinkle of Craisins, kimchi, and a homemade dressing.

The dressing is so easy, too! All you need is two cloves of garlic, a few BIG scoops of tahini, a splash of olive oil, splash of raw apple cider vinegar (I recommend the Bragg's brand), another splash of water, LOTS of cracked black pepper, a touch of pink Himalayan pink salt & a squeeze of lemon. Blend it all together in a blender and voila, you are done!

It is super creamy and tasty, but is free of dairy or any strange additives that you'd normally find in store bought salad dressings.

Well, there we have it! An update for you : ) I will catch you guys on Wednesday with a new post!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Meet Nala: The New Addition to our Family

So, it is official.

Ryan and I are dog parents, and we are so excited for this new adventure!

We have been looking for a dog on and off for the last year, though the perfect one never came along until just recently. Previously, we had had a not-so-great experience having a test run with a dog we were going to adopt, and after that, I felt as if maybe it wasn't meant to be. I felt as though we would be searching for another year, but as fate would have it, Nala came along at the perfect time.

Nala, her eight other siblings, and mother were rescued from a careless owner's property where they were inside a kennel with mama pup chained to it. Ryan's friend rescued the dogs, and Ryan thought now was as good a time as any, considering we both have vacation time coming up in August.

So, at least my passport will be ready for when we DO travel! Until then, our holidays in August are looking more like day trips with the dog, and we are totally happy with that!

We had Nala over for a sleep over on Sunday night after our seaside adventure (I didn't want to spill the beans right away!), and she immediately fell asleep by the garbage can, of all places. She officially comes home on Friday, but I wanted to let you in on the gossip before then!

So far she likes snuggling, sleeping on the floor where it is nice and cool, and frolicking in the backyard. Where she was staying after being rescued, there were lots of visitors in and out so she is getting used to people. Fortunately she is so calm and mellow tempered compared to some of the other pups! We know she will get more rambunctious with time, but for now we are savouring these snuggles and quiet.

This is your warning: you will be seeing lots of puppy pictures on the blog from now on! Of course, it is not Nala's blog, so I already told her that she can't always be the star of the show. I hope she understands.


Until next time, friends!

Do you have any animals? Tell me about them in the comments!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Seaside Sundays + Easy Egg Avocado Toast

Good morning!

A new week has begun and we are kicking it off with a weekend recap (as usual) on this little bloggy of mine.

Sunday morning looked a little something like this:

Wake up, put on run clothes & eat half a banana and a rice cake with peanut butter pre-run. I had 18km scheduled for my long run, so it was important to get this in early before the heat rolled in. It was funny because I had a dream Saturday night that I woke up SO late and had to do my long run when it was mid-day and scorching out. When I woke up, I thought to myself. Wait a minute. Did I already do my run?

Does this happen to anyone else? Not necessarily about running, but anything? Nevertheless, I got my butt outta bed and got out there. My run was a mix of trails and road, which was a nice way to switch things up. Once I was running back down our road on the way home, I noticed that I ran 18.75km. Does anyone else prefer to see round numbers? Yeah, I definitely do. So, I ended up running 19km.

The best part? I came home to coffee and pancakes! Ryan is a machine in the kitchen. He is a much better cook than myself (I specialize in very easy dishes), and had banana pancakes, a blueberry, raspberry & mango fruit syrup ready, and of course a hot press of coffee. Doesn't get much better than that!

Once we were up and ready for the day, we made our way to Nanaimo again. We were determined to find a new spot to adventure, so Neck Point it was! Both of us had never been there before (despite going to Nanaimo a billion times), so it was great to check out the scenery and all of the trails. There is a big loop around neck point that borders the ocean and entwines into the forest, and several look out stations are along the way. 

Nothing better than getting outside on a beautiful day!

We will definitely be back for another adventure.

Once we were done exploring Neck Point, we stopped for lunch and made a Costco run to pick up groceries. I am actually amazed at how fast we were in and out. Record time, baby!

That brings us to today!

Monday is going how Mondays usually go. Well, when you have the day off. Slow and easy, no where to rush to, no need to hurry.

And guess what? I did a thing today! A thing where I switched up my breakfast.


I know.

When the body wants avocado toast, you give it avocado toast... With a twist.

As you already know, avocado toast is as trendy as green juices and green smoothies these days. However, give me some avocado on some sprouted grain bread and I am a happy girl.

Doesn't take much to make me happy, clearly.

I used the Silver Hills The Big 16 brand bread. It is less processed than other breads on the market, and in the odd chance that I choose to eat bread, this is my pick.

Crack two eggs in a frying pan over medium heat. Sprinkle some pink Himalayan sea salt on there and black pepper. Cook the eggs to your liking. For me, I like mine over easy.

Then grab two slices of bread. Toast it, and mash half an avocado on your toast. You can add butter if you like, too.

While the eggs are sizzling away, throw some spinach in there for some extra greens. Why not, right? Top the spinach with some powdered garlic and chili flakes (if you like a bit of spice).

Once your eggs are done, layer the spinach on top of the avocado, then place your eggs on top. I drizzled a bit of ketchup on mine.

VOILA! Easy peasy. Now post a picture on Instagram #avocadotoast

Just kidding!


I hope you all had a beautiful weekend & I will catch up with you on Wednesday!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Woo-Woo 5 Things Friday

Hey, hey, hey!

The weekend is just around the corner. I've got two more work days left and then it is smoooooooth sailing!

I wanted to kick off this morning with the usual 5 Things Friday post to share some things I have been enjoying this week. There are a few things some people might consider "woo woo," or as Ryan would say, "hippie granola." We will get to those in uno momento.

Let's get into it! ; )

I love the quotes from Yogi tea. They always seem to come at the right time, you know? I kept this one, although now that I think of it, I can't remember where it went. I documented a picture anyway so it will forever live-on on the interwebs.

Soooooo. This Beauty Blender is a game changer. Seriously. If you watched my every day make up routine on Wednesday, you'll notice I was using a foundation brush. However, I picked up this bad boy on Sunday and have been using it every day since. Unlike a foundation brush, it does not leave any streaky foundation lines, and I find that the product goes further. If you can get your hands on one of these, I highly recommend giving it a shot!

So "hippie granola" item number one: I have been wanting an oil diffuser forever. Like ever. And last night my sister and I went to an essential oils class. We made a few different natural products using essential oils, but there was a beautiful scent in the air coming from a diffuser. So, naturally we stopped at our local community farm store and picked some up for ourselves. This brings me to the next favourite... 

Second "hippie granola" item: essential oils. One cannot diffuse simply water. I picked up a few oils while we were at the community farm store last night, and I currently have the Calm blend going as I type. There are SO many things you can do with essential oils, and I am excited to learn more about it. From skincare to making your own cleaning products, I want to know it all! Besides, it beats using chemicals any day.

Last but not least, my $3 Winners special. Does anyone else find hair ties EVERY WHERE? In a drawer, in the bowl where the keys go, on the table, on the floor, under the couch - seriously. Where does it end? So, I wanted to keep them at least semi organized. It's nothing fancy, bur it does the trick and is pretty darn cute.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Video: My Every Day Make Up Routine

Can you guess what this post is all about?

Yep, my every day make up routine!

Disclaimer: I am by no means a make up artist or even a video guru for that matter ; ) You will see that below in my super quick make up video.

Here are some of the products I use pretty much every day. Usually on the weekends I don't wear much make up at all, but since I work full time, I like to wear a little bit of make up at least so I don't look like a walking zombie, ya know?

You can find all products from Sephora! The gold palette and "bling it on" blush palette are from Tarte cosmetics as part of their 2015 holiday collection. I don't think you can still get the full pack in store, but you may be able to find it online if you are curious.

When it comes to make up, I am simple. Like, so simple it hurts and people probably wonder why I never do anything different with my face. Well guess what, people? Sometimes I do a bit of a contour with that "social butterfly" shade above. I didn't in this video, but I felt the need to throw that out there so you didn't think all these products go to waste ; ) Lol. When it comes to eyeshadows, if and when I use it it is always a neutral colour. That's why you don't see anything crazy in here!

In this video, I used the shade "beaming" from the bling it on palette. It may be hard to tell from the picture, but it is my most loved shade, closely followed by prim.

My skin is super picky, and so far the Sephora brand of foundation is working out well for me. It is in shade Light 14, and the Nars concealer is Light 2/Vanilla.

So, onto the video!


See? That's why I don't do the YouTube ; ) I am already wearing a bit of foundation in the video, so it is not a complete routine that includes my skin care regime, but you get the idea. I love me some highlighter, and I often rotate between the "pink champagne" shade shown above, and a highlighter from Becca in the shade opal.

P.S. I apologize for the poor lighting! I used my laptop camera, and Lord knows how good that quality is. I will definitely consider getting a better camera if I plan to do future videos!

Here is the finished look (sans mascara on the lower lashes): Simple & easy!

Let me know in the comments if you have any make up recommendations! Despite only using a handful of things in the morning, I do love make up shopping. I just hate spending money on it ; ) LOL. What are your go to products?

Until next time!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Lululemon SeaWheeze 2016 Training Update + A Q&A

Good morning everyone!

Hope the weekend was great. Ryan and I got up to some pretty fun stuff - but I will share that with you in a post to come. I don't want to spill any details, so here is a very vague hint that you will have a post all about this certain thing soon enough! And no, it doesn't involve getting engaged or having a baby, so stop jumping to conclusions right meow!

The weekend was pretty laid back, and Sunday morning I woke up bright and early to get my long run in. 16km was on the schedule, and despite wanting to stay in bed and trying to talk myself out of it, I found myself getting my running gear on and the next thing I knew, I was out the door. It's probably a good thing I didn't let myself lay there and scroll through social media, otherwise that would be a long run missed, and I am trying to get them all in!

So, how is training going, anyway?

I am following the 14 week training plan - though for me it is more like 12 weeks since I landed upon this training plan two weeks into the program. Nevertheless, it has been excellent having a plan to follow. As much as I enjoy doing my own things and creating my own training schedules, this gives me something to stay accountable. Besides, I like seeing the check marks all over the calendar when I complete a work out!

Wait, wait, wait. How LONG is this run?

21.1km of FUN!

How are the long runs going?
So far I have missed one long run, but that is it. I will take it!
The hardest part has definitely been working long runs in, especially since I work on Saturdays when the long run is suggested. However, nothing is set in stone and I like to keep things flexible on the weekends. For example, I did my long run yesterday on Sunday and the usual Sunday recovery run on Saturday after work. You gotta make it work for your schedule, however that may look.
Pace wise, I do not have a "race pace" that I am aiming for. My long runs have been at a relaxed, easy pace since the object is to gain more time on your feet, not increase speed, so I run at a more comfortable pace where I am not pushing the limits. It is so easy to burn out during a 15km long run, so why race near the beginning only to fizzle out? I also walk half way during some hills, just to save a bit of energy for the way down and for the rest of the run. Basically what I am saying is don't go balls to the walls during your long runs, because that will make recovering a lot easier on your body!
My goal for July is to get in all of my long runs. This includes a 20km and 21km long run in the next two to three weeks.

Do I run early before work or after work?
Since I have Mondays off, the Monday run is easy to fit in since I tend to not have many things planned on Monday (or I will plan them a bit later so I can get my run in around 7:30-8am or so). On Wednesdays where there is more of a running work out, I do those before work. They tend to be on the shorter side - about half an hour or so, depending on how speedy and awake I feel. Most of the time I am hitting up a yoga class after work, and I like to spend time lounging and winding down in the evening, not cramming my workouts in back to back. There has been a few times where I completed my long run before work on Saturday, but I am finding it way, WAY easier to do it on Sundays when I have the day off.

What do I do for recovery?

Although it is tempting to just carry on with the day after I come home from a run, I am actively making more of an effort to stretch out my legs. This includes doing some yoga stretches and foam rolling. Foam rolling has made a big difference, and I do it every so often each day while watching tv, scrolling Instagram, etc. I also rehydrate after my long runs with Nuun tabs in a big glass of ice water for that extra refreshment and electrolytes! Additionally, the training plan includes a rest day every Friday as well as yoga and cross training to help my muscles rebuild and recover. Some people also take epsom salt baths for sore muscles, or get regular massages. I do the bath thing sometimes, and the massage thing rarely, because my budget doesn't allow weekly full body massages. Oh yeah, and I eat to refuel my body!

Do I eat before or after running?

During my workout Wednesday runs, I do not eat before I run. I find if I have breakfast before, my stomach cramps up on the run and I am starving throughout the day. My body responds well to fasted cardio (thanks to my competition prep days), and I am also the type of person that just wants to get up and GO! and not worry about making a meal pre-run. If I wake up ravenous, I have a few protein oatmeal balls that I make each week so there is something in my stomach. I actually eat three of these before my long runs (think 14km and above), that way my blood sugar levels stay up, I've got glycogen in my body, and I won't fatigue during the long haul. Once I return from my run, I refuel with a proper breakfast, but I do not like eating breakfast before running unless it is actually race day, in which case it is typically oatmeal since my body already responds well to that and is used to that. No new foods on race day!

How do I keep my mind occupied during long runs?

While I love technology free runs, since I track my time and distance with a running app on my phone, I am almost always listening to music. Or, I will listen to a podcast (I am loving The Skinny Confidential His & Her podcast) and then listen to music after. I typically find a premade playlist on Spotify and go from there! On shorter recovery runs I either listen to nothing but my huffing and puffing or some music.


So, overall the training is going well. I am finding that so long as I keep my body fueled properly and eating whole foods, my energy levels stay consistent throughout the day and my body feels good. Of course, my appetite can be a little bit crazy on long run days (especially if done early in the morning), but if I eat enough protein and carbs throughout the day then I don't feel like grabbing just anything out of the cupboard. Nutrition is key while training, let alone putting in the actual work!

I hope you guys found this post helpful. I will chat with you in the next one! : )