Blogmas Day 2: November Favourites

Christmas socks from Old Navy

 

Good morning!

How’s it going today?

I wanted to share with you a few of the items I have been loving during the month of November. I have a mix of beauty, lifestyle & home favourites, so hopefully you will find some goodies in here that you might love, too!

1. Tarte Pro Glow Highlighter Palette – This was my go to highlighting in Vegas, and it includes a cooler toned highlighter as well as a few warm ones, as well. I feel like this would look great on all skin tones, and little BONUS: it comes with a cream contour and a bronzer as well!

 

 

2. Andalou Naturals eye cream – I love me a good eye cream. This one keeps my under eye area hydrated without feeling soaked in moisturizer, and it lays well underneath concealer and powder.

 

 

3. Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brown – Lately I have been filling in my brows with this pencil. It has a super fine tip and the other end has a wand where you can brush out your brows and ensure all the product is blended in perfectly. I have repurchased this twice and also received a mini one as a sample, so it is definitely a go-to product in my make up bag when I want nice, sharp brows.

 

 

4. Young Living Essential Oils – I have been having a ton of fun playing around with my essential oil starter kit. I have made a room spray, a few roll ons, and have been diffusing the Christmas Spirit blend like crazy! With my last order I wanted to include some of their cleaning and home products, so I have been making my way through the toothpaste (been using it every day since I got it, instead of our Crest stuff!) and the laundry soap, just to name a few. If you are interested in learning more about essential oils & purchasing your kit, you can find out more here!

 

 

5. The Girls by Emma Cline – Okay, so it was my goal to read a book last month, and unfortunately I have several books on my shelf that have been waiting patiently for their turn to be read. I decided on this one last month, and let me tell you. It is intense. I will have a book review next week for you guys where I dive more in depth to what the story is about, but let me say this for now: young girl. 14. Late 60’s California. Cults. That is all.

 

 

6. Christmas home decor – I am definitely in holiday mode, and here is another sneak peek at a few of the holiday-themed items I have in our home! This snow globe was my mom’s (are you seeing a theme here with my Christmas decorations?) and this cute little vintage-style sign is from Winners. Little touches like this are fun ways to add more festive spirit into the home. You can never have enough!

 

 

7. Holiday Nog & my favourite Christmas mug – I am such a fan of eggnog, but not a fan of the heavy dairy stuff you find at the grocery store. This is an excellent alternative that I discovered last year, and I was so excited to find it in stores early last month. It is a yummy addition to black teas, and I have been using it instead of the ol’ vanilla almond creamer in my morning coffee. Or, add a splash of rum & some ice and you’re good to go!

 

 

8. Fresh Soy Cleanser – My skin is picky. Picky, picky, picky. A product needs to check all of the boxes before I share it on the blog, so I am happy to announce that this one made the cut. It is gentle enough to remove make up (even eye make up & mascara!) without making my skin feel horribly dry and tight after. I use a small pea-sized amount every morning, maybe a little bit more after an extra sweaty workout, and massage it into my skin. Since using this I have noticed the texture of my skin improve, and I have less dry patches around my mouth which was always a concern of mine. My first time using this product was when I received a travel/sample size from Sephora, and I repurchased this in a holiday kit at Sephora that also includes one of their lip treatments.

 

 

9. SPIN CLASS! Last month my sister Sarah and I signed up for a spin class at our local rec centre/arena. On Monday after work, I hang out at my fam’s house for a little bit before we head to class and get our sweat on. It has been a great way to switch things up & get a good cross training session in. Every Monday night I find ways to challenge myself a bit more, and I notice that it is paying off in my runs throughout the week which is a huge plus!

 

 

10. WHALE WATCHING! Okay, so technically this was in October, but it was near the end of October and I am still super excited about it, so I HAD to include it. Plus, I didn’t do an October favourites so I might as well put it in here, right? You can see my photo diary from our whale watching adventure here. To say it was one of my favourite days would be an understatement ; ) I mean, other than that whole marathon thing.


 

What are some things YOU loved during the month of November? Anything I NEED to try? I want to know!

A Love Affair with Carbs

 

Monday, Monday, Monday.

We are back on the Monday grind, but that’s okay, because we’ve got a fresh start to the week!

Fortunately we have clear skies now, so things have been a bit more FRESH on the running front. As in, I’m not stuck inside the shed in the musty air, if you didn’t catch that.

I took a bit of a break from blogging last week, not for any particular reason other than I didn’t want to post something just for the sake of posting. Since wedding week is over (and sadly that means my holidays are too), it’s a good chance to get back into the routine of LIFE and everything that comes along with it. We had such a fantastic time with our family, and I’m happy to have shared the experience with my mom and sister, too. It was their first time ever attending an East Indian wedding, and my sister came along to the reception on Saturday night, too!

The evening was filled with dancing, food, and drinking. Ooh, the drinking. I have to say that Ryan was HURTING on Sunday, and out of the three of us, I felt the most human. And that is saying something because I felt like garbage, if I am being honest! Open bars will do that to a person ; ) That being said, I was back on the hydration train first thing on Sunday, drank a green juice, and had an egg sandwich with turkey bacon from Starbucks en route to the ferry. The ferry was PACKED, as we had anticipated, but we neglected to make a reservation for the way home. Oops. Fortunately we made an afternoon ferry, and we were home sweet home before dinner time.

Speaking of dinner, I have been in a carb coma lately. I don’t know if it was all the naan bread, pakoras (heaven on earth), samosas, or what, but I found myself actually wanting things like PASTA and SANDWICHES, which if you know me at all, you know I really have to be in the mood for that. I find that my eczema flares up when I have too much wheat, which is partially why I avoid it most days, but I thought to myself, “Why the heck not!” So, after my run on Wednesday last week, Ryan whipped up this pasta dish for us to enjoy.

 

He used a simple marina sauce, added tons of fresh garlic, kale, onions, and a spicy sausage meat. It hit the spot after my run, and fueled me for Thursday’s speed workout!

My speed workout didn’t exactly go as planned. The thing is, when you want to do a track workout, you probably should have a watch to track your distance and time and whatnot, right? I mean, I have one, but someone (pointing at myself here) forgot to charge her watch. So, I woke up and immediately thought of a new plan. I took it to the treadmill and completed the speed workout from Hungry Runner Girl, where you warm up for one mile, then go through a series of easy running, marathon pace running, threshold pace (fast), interval pace (faster), and repetition pace (fastest), with recoveries in between. It was a great way to add some SPEED into my Thursday without throwing off the whole track workout altogether. Yes, I thought about switching the track workout to another day, but I knew I could make it work!

 

I printed the workout and it lives in my Believe journal for easy access : ) Gotta make things convenient otherwise they won’t happen! I enjoyed my coffee (and have recently been using hazelnut flavoured almond milk creamer — try it!) and post-run smoothie as usual, then got ready for the day. Places to go, people to see!


I hope you guys have all been doing well! Back to regular programming now : ) Have a great day!

Boating Adventures + Seafood Feast

Hey everyone!

Happy Monday. Boy, am I late on posting this or what?

What can I say? It’s been a fun day. A busy day. A MONDAY! Monday Fun Day, am I right? It has been a mix of fun and relaxing, which I think all good days off are made of. That being said, I want to rewind to yesterday, because THAT was a great day that was equal parts chill and fun.

What did we do? BOATING with my mom and dad! It was actually me & Ryan’s first boat ride of the season. While my parents go out prawning and crabbing pretty much every weekend (or close to that, anyway), for whatever reason it took us most of the summer to get out there. I always forget how much I love boating, and then once I’m out there on the water it feels like I’m home again. For all you other Pisces’ out there, you know what I’m talking about!

My dad and Ryan set the prawn traps out and the crab trap. Then we spent time cruising the open seas, listening to music, chatting, and EATING! We had everything from pepperoni sticks and cheese to chips, crackers & antipasto, fruit, and carrot chips. It was a fun time out on the water with family, and we even scored some dinner for last night! Woohoo. Can’t beat fresh seafood!

 

We were out on the water for almost six hours, and despite it being smoggy and smokey out from all of the wildfires happening on the mainland, I still came back with a bit of a sunburn on my legs. Well, that’s what happens when you don’t wear sunscreen. Story of my life!

When we got home, we cooked up our share of prawns and crabs and got to making dinner. Since we were pretty much snacking all day, I figured a simple salad plus the seafood would be a good dinner. It definitely hit the spot, and we were FULL by the time the meal was over – with leftovers, too!

 

I roughly chopped romaine lettuce, then added cucumber, carrots, yellow pepper, green onions, cherry tomatoes & some cilantro for extra flavour. Then I tossed it all with a honey mustard dressing and voila! Salad is served.

 

 

My personal favourite: prawns! I love prawns, especially dipped in butter with tons of garlic. So healthy, right? The seafood was sooo good, so fresh, and just all around delicious. Below is a shot of our dinner spread:

 

Overall it was a wonderful way to spend my rest day. Tomorrow I’ll recap my long run from today, as I ran 18 miles!!! Holy crapola. Oh, and I’m officially half way through marathon training. How the heck did that happen!?

I hope you guys had a wonderful day & I’ll catch ya tomorrow!

Coconut Yogurt Bowl with Homemade Granola

Who else loves breakfast as much as I do? I am a serious fan, even so to the point where I have a go-to breakfast. As most of you know that is oatmeal, which I eat almost every day. However, I have been branching out – GASP! – and have been eating things like eggs with lots of greens and veggies, and lately I have been throwing together yogurt bowls. These yogurt bowls have lots of texture to them, meaning there’s some crunch from homemade granola, softness from the blueberries and bananas, and a bit of extra crunch from shredded unsweetened coconut flakes.

If you have been reading my blog for a while (or for a hot minute anyway) you may have heard that I am not a big dairy fan. Dairy gives me stomach cramps, makes me bloat, and I generally do not feel good when I have dairy. So, I use coconut milk yogurt. I found mine at my local Thrifty Foods, though I’m sure you can find any yogurt or yogurt alternative wherever you like to shop : ) The brand I gravitate towards is called Yosso. It is unsweetened, no crazy ingredients, and has a nice slightly thick texture – none of that runny BS. Plus, it mixes well in smoothies and you can get a few different flavours if you want to mix things up.

I have been loving coconut yogurt bowls with homemade granola as a snack on the weekends. Actually, I brought my leftover yogurt and a jar of the granola to work last week as a quick lunch, since I had a massage therapy appointment during my actual break. I don’t typically eat lunch in my office (snacks, sure, but not a full blown meal), but this was a nice way to get fuel into my system on the DL without a huge mess to clean up. Additionally, it makes for a good mid-day sweet tooth crusher when I am ravenous after my weekend long runs.

You can use whatever fruit you want, but for the purpose of today’s recipe I used half a ripe banana and frozen blueberries. I also sprinkled on some raisins for extra sweetness. One thing I forgot to add: cinnamon! It is great at helping your body stabilize your blood sugar, plus I just love the taste. Now, I’m not going to be telling you how to “assemble” this bowl because really, it’s pretty straight forward. Yogurt + bowl + toppings = yogurt bowl. Hey, we’re all rocket scientists now.

However, I will get into how you make the granola! I adapted this from the recipe found in the Run Fast Eat Slow cook book, as I was missing some ingredients but had others on hand.

Without further wait, here it is:

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil (melted in saucepan)

1/4 cup honey

The original recipe calls for ginger and blackstrap molasses, both of which I didn’t have. So, I put in some cinnamon instead of ginger and left it at honey for further sweetening.

Put all of your dry ingredients into a bowl and mix until well combined. Once your coconut oil is melted, pour that on top as well as your honey. Mix well until it is all combined, then spread onto a parchment paper lined baking tray. I had my oven at 350F and baked the granola for about 35 minutes, or until it is golden. Once it hit 15 minutes I stirred it around, then stirred again at 25 minutes. It depends how crunch you like your granola, but once you let it cool down the honey & coconut oil will help “set” and make little granola clusters : )

Let me know if you try this recipe out! It is rather addicting, so be warned ; ) Until next time!