Monday, September 26, 2016

FitBit Fun + Solo Gym Time

Good evening, friends!

I am coming to you tonight from the comfort of my couch. It has been a bit of a busy day today, but what's new? My Sunday (which is Monday) always tends to be all over the place - and I wonder why I feel not-so relaxed after the weekend... Hmmm..

Nevertheless, I wanted to pop in and give you a little recap of the weekend!

After the work day on Saturday, I hit the gym for a quick workout. I had about 45 minutes MAX to spend, as I was attending a surprise 50th birthday party for a family friend, so I got it done FAST. My heart rate stayed elevated the whole time, and I took shorter than normal rests between sets. The workout consisted of a 5 minute warm up on the treadmill, followed by some back, biceps, and shoulders.

And because I couldn't get enough of the upper body, I completed a similar work out on Sunday, but mixed in some HIIT (high intensity interval training) after. I would sprint all out for 30 seconds, rest for another 30, and then run at an easy pace for one minute before repeating it again. The purpose of this is to get the heart rate going up, and down, and WTF is she going to do next. This will help shock the metabolism and keep your body in the fat burnin' zone. Not bad, not bad ; ) Both Saturday and Sunday were nice and quiet in the gym - gotta love that solo time so you can take multiple gym selfies without ridicule, am I right? : )

Post-work out meal on Sunday night. Ryan and I signed up for a local CSA offered by a farm that our friends own, and they were generous enough to give us one of their chickens. So, Ryan got crafty in the kitchen and roasted it up, and we enjoyed a delicious dinner. The chicken was so fresh and tender, and I made some homemade chicken soup with it today! Gotta love that : ) 

Now rewind to now where Nala is laying on the floor with my shoes post-puppy playdate with her cousins. Yep, that's her favourite spot. That and under the kitchen table chairs. Strange, but whatever works! 

So, I came upon a FitBit on Friday afternoon. A friend said she didn't use hers and was going to throw it in the garbage, so in I swooped to take it off her hands. I used it for most of the afternoon yesterday and into the evening, and fortunately I hit just over 10,000 steps yesterday. This is a snap shot of my day around 2pm, Now I have officially hit 20,000 steps and it is 5:03PM! Craziness, right? Helps that I ran 11.2 km as well.


So, there's an update for you! I will be back again on Wednesday with more goodies. Time to relax with my under eye sheet masks and some peppermint tea. Such a life of glamour I lead ; ) Au revoir! 

Friday, September 23, 2016

5 Things Friday - Skincare & Moving Forward

Good morning, and welcome to another edition of 5 Things Friday!

I will keep this short and sweet and get right to the point. As always, let me know in the comments what you are loving this week.

Since fall is OFFICIALLY here, I can put pumpkin spice on everything and watch Halloween movies early. This also means that come November I can start watching Christmas movies, which is really what I am excited for. Any other fall lovers out there!?

So, I have been struggling with work outs this week. The last time I went to the gym was Monday - and what a productive day that was! - but since then I have found it so incredibly hard to roll out of bed early in the morning to hit the gym. On the same note, Nala's puppy classes started on Wednesday, so our evenings were full after the work day was done. This quote is a favourite of mine this week because it gives me a reminder that it is up to ME to change this. I am the only one who can drag myself out of bed and get to the gym. I am the only one who can make myself go to the gym after the work day and get it done. I am the only one who will force me out of bed on a Sunday to do my long run. Life is all about choices, and from today on I choose to look ahead move forward positively.

Yep, still on that Harry Potter train.

I have been experimenting with adding a few extras into my skincare routine. Coconut oil and manuka honey are oldies but goodies, meaning they are old favourites that I love but have just started incorporating in my regime again. I will do a post on these separately in the future since there is so much to cover off when it comes to their benefits. Basically - there's a ton and you should use them!


What are you loving this week? Any home remedy skincare tricks I should test out?

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My First Registered Massage Therapy Experience

Good morning, friends!

In Monday's post I alluded to going to my first ever registered massage therapy appointment. Today I wanted to chat about why I decided to go the RMT route as opposed to a spa massage, what my experience was like, and whether or not it will be something I add into my athletic recovery routine.

First off, as we all know I am not the best when it comes to stretching my muscles after a work out. Yep, I am guilty of being the first one to be like, OKAY BYEEE after a workout, or totally ignore stretching once I have crossed the finish line. During the Seawheeze half I felt some tightness in my right hamstring after the run was over, and this came back during the Kelowna Wine Country half as well (the hills didn't help either), to the point where I had to take multiple walking breaks in the last 3km. After this, I decided to take that as my body's way of telling me to get in gear and take that recovery more seriously.

You may recall my post about rewarding your accomplishments where I talked about getting a massage during a sister spa date after the Seawheeze. This massage was great - I mean, who says no to a massage, and how can it really be bad? However, this is when the whole RMT idea got swirling in my head. I remember having my little debrief with the masseuse who said I held a lot of tension in my muscles, and perhaps it would be a good idea to look at massage therapy due to the tightness.

Well, then. This definitely planted the seed even further, and so I began to ask people if they had any RMT recommendations. A few years ago I did a running clinic with our local run club in town, and I remember having a session with a guest speaker who happened to own a physiotherapy and health facility called Start Line in town. This stuck with me, and I found myself booking the RMT appointment on their online portal right away. It was perfect timing, too. I had just completed the Kelowna half, and my hamstring was still sore. My shoulders were so sore, too! I tell ya. A desk job can be great, but on the other hand, the bad posture certainly does not help your body.

When I say shoulders, I really mean my trapezius muscles, rhomboids & latissimus dorsi.

So, how was it?

It was amazing. I am so happy I went! During the appointment we talked about which areas were tight and when I started to experience the tightness. I told my massage therapist that I am in the gym 4-5 times per week strength training, and that I run longer distances as well which contribute to my sore muscles. 

My appointment was 45 minutes, and in that span she covered my whole back, hamstrings, some calves, and my glutes. I also discovered during this appointment that my glutes are super tight, and didn't realize that until suddenly it felt better. It's funny how that works, hey?

Post-massage we talked about some things I can do for recovery, such as being more consistent with my foam roller (gulp, yep, I need to do this!) and even using a tennis ball and the wall to roll out my back if I ever get super tight in my shoulder blade area. This is something I have seen people do at the gym, but I never made the connection to do it for myself. I left the appointment with a few more tips and some relaxed muscles. Just what I was after!

What's the next step?

I am going to be booking my next appointment in a couple weeks to follow up before my next half marathon. Then, you can bet that I will be back again after! I figure spending the money on injury prevention will be worth it in the long run, literally. Fortunately I have coverage through my work, so I might as well take advantage while I can!


Have you been to a RMT before? If so, how was your experience?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Weekend Recap + On My Reading List

Good afternoon!

I am checking in late on the blog this afternoon, but better late than never, right?

We have had a productive day over on this end! I hope Monday is being kind to you and you had lots of coffee to power through the day : )

This weekend we had some quality time with family, plus some relaxation and activity thrown in the mix too. Ryan's dad was over visiting for the weekend, so we went out for dinner Saturday night and then I fell asleep on the couch.

In typical Holly fashion, of course.

Sunday late-morning our house guest went home, and I spent a solid THREE HOURS - yup, you read that right, THREE HOURS - working on this blog for you guys. I have something fun coming up in October, so I needed to put the work in now in order to make it WERK. I am not giving any more hints, but look forward to a little somethin' somethin' more than three times per week. That's it. Lips are sealed.

After I was finished being a hermit on the computer (bless Ryan for keeping himself occupied), I went for my long run. Initially my thought was to do this earlier in the morning, but then life happens and suddenly it's 1:30pm and you're like. WHOA wait a minute. I wanted to go for a run! So, I put my gear on and headed down to the treadmill and got my run in. Sunday's run was 10km, followed by not enough stretching. I seriously need to stretch more. Must. Stretch. More.

Then we took the dog for a walk, made some dinner (zucchini noodles for life), and watched the season finale of Ballers. Yeah, I gotta say I was underwhelmed, but I will still watch next season because The Rock, ya feel me? ; )

And of course a cute little picture of Miss Nala who had her last set of puppy shots today! Naturally she celebrated with a nap on the floor, because why lay in your actual bed when the floor is just as good.

Before the vet I had a RMT appointment, which I will be posting about on Wednesday! I wanted to recap this separately in case anyone was interested in trying out registered massage therapy. This was much needed, especially since I had gone to the gym early this morning and ran 6km when I woke up. Yep, that massage was golden.


A creepy screenshot of a SnapChat I sent earlier today. I was talking to our vet about how Nala is getting more and more energy the more she grows, and she said that it was perfectly fine for Nala to be running with me for shorter runs. Nothing crazy like 10k since her body is still developing, but she gives the thumbs up for shorter runs!

At this point in the afternoon it was about 2:30pm and I was ready for something to eat. My breakfast was a piece of avocado toast with two over easy eggs and sauteed spinach, so for lunch I wanted something a bit more comforting. SO! I got a little crafty and make some pumpkin spice oats. Yes, the pumpkin spice is REAL over here and I am not ashamed!

What's next for the evening? Some dinner and Harry Potter. I am determined to read the Harry Potter series by Christmas. Yep, so I got a little bit of work to do considering I finished the last book about a month ago. Oops. Then the Harry Potter movie marathon can begin!


Well, I think we are all caught up now. This may have been a little all over the place, but I just wanted to blurt everything out and let it flow, ya know? : ) Catch you in the next post!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Five Things Friday

Hey, hey, hey!

I am back this morning with our regularly scheduled Five Things Friday, where I share five things from the last week (or so) that I have been loving.

Let's get into it!

The BC SPCA Paws for a Cause walk. Click the link to read my recap on the event. It was our first time ever going, but it was full of family and puppy love! Gotta like that : )

So technically this is from last week, but I really enjoyed this seriously easy Mexican black bean salad. I am already thinking of other one bowl salads to make and share with you guys, so stay tuned for more.

I have been LOVING this top from Lululemon. I purchased it when we were in Vancouver for the Seawheeze, and it has been a go-to for work outs from strength training to running. I wore it for the Wine Country half in Kelowna and was happy with the fit and cut while I was on the run. Sometimes shirts bunch up, or it feels as if they twist around your body. This tank skims the body without clinging, and the fabric is lightweight and breezy. Win!

Okay, so. I love me these face masks. I am wearing one as I type this, to be honest. Ryan gets a kick out of them when he comes in the room and I have this sheet of gooey tissue on my face, but it certainly works wonders for adding some extra nourishment to the skin.

I have always wanted to make my own almond milk - just to try, not to continuously do as it is expensive - and so earlier this week I bought a pack of almonds and used some to get a little crafty in the kitchen. I will have the recipe up in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for that! ; ) Sorry, no spoilers here, but it has been a favourite of mine this week! Does anyone else like doing these fun little recipes? It's a nice way to try something new and switch it up. Plus, the left over almond meal (almost like the pulp left behind) is pretty tasty in oatmeal!


What are YOU loving this week!? 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fall Inspired Salad + Easy Maple Tahini Dressing Recipe

Good morning!

Who else is totally in fall mode? I have been wearing sweaters almost on the daily, and have even busted out the fuzzy socks in the evening. I am a chilly person by nature, so I have welcomed the cooler weather with open arms because that's an excuse for me to get cozied up.

On that note, even the recipes I have been making lately have been fall inspired. I have been frequenting our local market to find produce grown in our area, and have been experimenting with some new flavours.

In this post, I wanted to share a salad that I created on Monday afternoon. It is simple to make (I am ALL about easy recipes), and tastes super good, too!

To make the dressing, you will need the above ingredients.

Add a big scoop of tahini into a mason jar, then squeeze half a lemon into the jar. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (loooove this stuff!), and some good quality maple syrup to taste. If you like your dressings on the sweeter side, add more. I think I added under a tablespoon. Then, add in some cracked black pepper, salt, and a dash of water to thin things out, and put the lid on your jar and shake, shake, shake it up!

One jar, less mess ; )

For the toppings, you will need about half a carrot, half an apple, and half a kohlrabi (peeled).

Grate up all of your toppings!

For a protein, I used smoked tofu, but chicken would be yummy too if you aren't a tofu person. I found my smoked tofu at the local market, but you can find it at any grocery store! I sauteed my tofu in a pan with a dollop of extra virgin olive oil.

Add some greens to your plate and sprinkle your grated veggies on top. Then, add your tofu or protein of your choice. I had some sprouted beans and peas that I added for extra crunch. Last but not least, add on your maple tahini dressing and voila! Done and done.

If you are looking for more tahini recipes, I highly suggest checking out Simply Quinoa for more dressing ideas and yummy recipes.


I hope you enjoy today's post! I will catch ya in the next one : )

Monday, September 12, 2016

BC SPCA Paws for a Cause Walk + The Best Sandwich

Doggies, doggies, everywhere!

Sunday morning was going to be a fun day for Nala and Marley (my parents' dog). We signed up for the BC SPCA Paws for a Cause walk earlier in the week, which didn't leave us much time to fundraise, but we all donated and participated to play our part in the event. I had never been to this event before - didn't even know it was in our area to be honest - but it is something that is fun for the family to do and gets you out there for a great cause.

There were local companies and vendors with booths set up, too. You could find everything from a pancake breakfast (all donations to the BC SPCA) and microchipping to raffle prizes and the local canine school with activities for dogs. It was nice perusing the different booths, and of course Nala and Marley loved the treats.

The walk had two distance choices to select from; a 1km and 3km distance. We chose the 3km distance as our dogs wouldn't even be tired after a single kilometre! As Nala grows we find that she has more and more energy, so it is critical for us to give her exercise so she does not develop any bad behaviours from having no outlet for her energy. She isn't quite old enough for full on running yet, though we have fun doing little bursts of running during our walks, longer walks in hilly areas, hitting up local trails, or just running around the back yard until she goes upstairs on the deck. That is her signal that she is done!

And yes, she is wearing a bandana, because it is so CUTE and I couldn't say no.

Mama and Marley after the walk.

Nala's first race bib! My mom laughed when I said this. I don't know of many actual running races that allow dogs, but maybe she'll get another in the future.

Family portrait!

Okay, Nala the dog model. The pups all got a goodie bag at the event, too. Inside there were two packages of food samples, a bag of treats, some puppy balm/moisturizer for dry paws (how bougie), and a toy. Nala's toy was a pink, purple, and orange rope toy with a rubber ball on the end. I'm pretty happy with the colour choices there, though I'm sure Nala could care less ; ) As long as she can chew it, she's a happy girl.

Now, fast forward to our Sunday lunch date!

I have to say, this was one of the best sandwiches I have had in a long time. Usually I am not a sandwich person, as too much bread and my digestive system don't tend to get along well, but once in a blue moon you just crave a sandwich, ya feel me? We went to a local spot called The Old Fork (in the Ramada hotel), my lunch was sooo good. Like SOOO GOOD. If you are ever there, I highly recommend ordering the shaved turkey sandwich (I ordered mine on whole grain bread). I swapped out the bacon for avocado for some healthy fats and extra creaminess, and it was seriously delicious. Pair that with a fresh salad and I am happy as a clam.

The rest of the day was pretty relaxed and it was the usual scene around our house for a Sunday afternoon. Laundry, some yard work, a dump run (okay we don't do this every Sunday!), plus planning a FULL MONTH of blog fun in my little section of the internet! Yep, stay tuned for a jam-packed October. I'm thinking the rest of today will be equally fun!


Have you ever done a Paws for a Cause event, or something similar?

What's your favourite Sunday activity?

Let me know in the comments!