2018: Let’s Chat About Intentions

 

Good morning!

 

A new YEAR is upon us. That means 365 days to make the most out of. 365 opportunities. 365 chances to start fresh.

I wanted to start off by saying that you do NOT need to make resolutions at the start of the year. My friend Erika from Bring Your Own Kombucha wrote in her post that to make a resolution is kind of like saying you need to fix something, and that you are whole as you are and do not need fixing. I think that is so important because at the start of the year we tend to make these “resolutions” and often feel discouraged when things are not shaping up to be exactly how we imagined them to be right off the bat.

So, how about we make some intentions instead? In the summer I started to do monthly intentions, sometimes weekly intentions when I had a lot on my mind, or a lot of things I wanted to accomplish. While we may intend to do XYZ, things may not work out perfectly, and that’s okay. An intention implies a level of flexibility, and in my mind, that is always a good thing. Progress is not linear!

I was going through my desk on Saturday and found a list of my 2017 intentions. Run a marathon, walk Nala 3 x per week, grow out my nails, and stay more present, were a few of them. While I did accomplish half of those (the whole marathon thing & growing out my nails), I know that I have room to improve when it comes to walking the dogs and being present. I did not completely miss the whole walking-Nala-3x-per-week thing, but it was not consistent and I know that exercising the dogs involves as much time as I devote to other things. Plus, it’s good for them & good for us!

With all of that said, I wanted to share a few of my 2018 intentions. Some will be kept in my notebook off of the internet (believe it or not, I don’t share everything here!) but I wanted to let you in on a few things I will be working towards this year.

Blogging:

  • Deliver new content three times per week, including recipes, race recaps, and shopping hauls (things I did not do that often in 2017)
  • Continue to build the podcast & include special guests
  • Create more YouTube videos in various styles, such as vlogging, reviews, etc

Personal:

  • Read one book per month – if not more! – of varying genres and subjects
  • No phone zone in the evening & during family/friend gatherings
  • Complete puppy training program with Luna

Fitness & Health:

  • No alcohol for the month of January (recap to come on this)
  • Participate in local running races & beat my previous times (new PRs!)
  • Strength train, cross train & practice yoga (ideally something from this category 1-2x per week)

When it comes to setting goals, I find it easiest to divide them into categories and have a few goals in each one. This way instead of having a giant list of things to accomplish and therefor feeling overwhelmed, I can focus on improving the bullet points in each category. Although there may still be 10 or so items on my list, breaking it up into chunks makes it seem more manageable. And hey, maybe some things are accomplished sooner rather than later, but that simply means I can continue to set more goals throughout the year! Does anyone else love making goals and working towards them? Just because your intentions are complete doesn’t mean there’s not more goals to crush!

Let me know what 2018 intentions you have in a comment below! I love to read about what you guys are up to : )

If you are curious to see more behind the scenes, be sure to follow me on Facebook & Instagram!

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 Special Surprise Party

 

Happy Monday everyone!

Man, I am TIRED from the weekend, but it was such a good one! I wanted to recap our Friday night for you guys as we celebrated a very special person’s 50th birthday – MY MOM!

Rewind to a month before. My mom mentioned wanting to have the best 50th birthday ever, and that sparked an idea in my mind. If you know my mom, you know that she loves to be surrounded by friends and family. She does so much for others, the community, her work, and anyone who needs a helping hand, and we thought it would be fun to spoil her and SURPRISE her. With my dad and my sister’s support on the surprise idea, I created a secret Facebook event and we found friends and family from near and far to invite to the celebrations. We wrote lists for supplies we would need (huge gold balloons were a must!), arranged rides for family from out of town, and decided on what time we needed to be at the venue to start setting everything up. Our guests were set to arrive at 6:30pm, and my mom would not be far behind and arrived at 7pm. To say I was nervous on Friday night would be an understatement! I love having a plan and I did not want anything to derail this surprise.

Originally we came up with a story that Ryan and I were going to host her birthday dinner at our house, but then my dad had an excuse to detour them to our venue. We held the party at a local pub, and it was great because lots of people that were dining in the pub either knew my mom or sang along to Happy Birthday as we brought the cake out. I left work early on Friday to do some last minute running around, and I even managed to squeeze in a quick 5km run (pictured above) with time to spare to shower and get myself ready. My dad and I texted updates to each other, as he was at home with my mom, and Ryan, my sister, and I were at the pub on standby. Soon enough everyone started pouring in. It’s funny how the pub fills up with 30 something people for the big party!

I kept checking the clock, then made my way down to the front doors to keep an eye out for her and my dad. “She’s here, she’s here!” I yelled to everyone as I saw them approaching. She opened the doors and the room filled with cheers. “SURPRISE!”

 

 

I was so happy to hear that she was genuinely surprised and actually thought they were still on their way to our house for dinner. My dad said we were having a late dinner, and he suggested they stop at the pub for a drink to kill some time. Well, we ended up killing a LOT of time drinking, eating, and having a fantastic time. Oh, and my mom’s friend made an awesome cake for everyone to enjoy!

 

 

As nervous as I was on Friday evening leading up until the party, I was able to sit back and relax and just watch everyone have a great time. It made me so joyous to see so many people there celebrating my mom, who ALWAYS celebrates everyone else, no matter the occasion.

 

 

My handsome man : ) My mom’s friend Jacqui brought her camera and took hundreds (literally hundreds) of pictures of the evening. I saved some of my favourites of course! Not all of them are going to make it to the blog because, believe it or not, I don’t put my WHOLE life on here ; ) but I wanted to share some of my favourites, anyway.

 

 

The two best parents in the world : )

 

 

And I want to close off this post by wishing my mom a happy, HAPPY 50th birthday again. She is not just my mom. She is a friend, a sister, a daughter, a shoulder to lean on, an inspiration, a story teller, a memory maker, and has shown me how to live a life full of positivity, love, and happiness. I know she will have an amazing 50th year and another 50 amazing years to come because she lives life to the fullest and is filled with so much joy. Thank you for all that you do, mom. I love you!

Yep, the Christmassing has BEGUN! + My Plan for Holiday FITNESS!

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go…

Who else is super excited for the holidays?

*Raises hand*

I love Christmas, and much to Ryan’s dismay I have been counting down since before August. I follow a few Christmas accounts on Instagram and would DM him the countdown almost every day. Annoying, right?

Well, now I have my own Christmas countdown going on thanks to a Nutcracker ornament I have on our mantel. So, he will have the reminder every day when he sits down on the couch to watch the news with his morning coffee. I’m so kind, aren’t I?

I wanted to share with you a few corners of our home that are filled with holiday spirit. I have purchased a few more items in the last few days, so I’ll be sure to show you what I got (maybe a bit closer to Christmas).

Also – I wanted to throw in this idea. BLOGMAS. A blog post every day until Christmas. What do you guys think!? I think it would be a fun way for me to be creative here on the blog and share things with you guys. Blogging Monday to Friday is a bit difficult when it comes to coming up with new content all the time, but I thought I could spend some time now and have an awesome Blogmas for you guys in December. Let me know your thoughts!

Let’s kick off this Christmas decor tour with our front entry way, pictured above. How excited do I look!?

The nutcracker is from Home Depot, brown Christmas tree is from a craft fair last year, and the penguin cookie jar was actually my mom’s. Don’t worry. She let me take it. I think. The candle is from Bath & Body Works (a coffee scented candle that I don’t actually light, haha. For decorative purposes only), and the red little bowl is from a plant I got last year at Thrifty’s grocery store.

 

 

Once you come upstairs we have this window type of wall on your left side. I have added a big Santa-themed candle here to go alongside the snake plant, and I also have my diffuser in the middle, and a Himalayan pink salt lamp and a driftwood Christmas tree (this is one of the newer items) on the right side. The “Welcome Friends” sign will eventually be moved somewhere near the entry, but it works just fine on our coat closet for now. Both of these items were also my mom’s!

And this cute little guy is from a Christmas fair we went to this past weekend. I have always wanted a taller stand-up sign, and when I saw this I knew it had to come home with us. Nala is awfully intrigued by the bell and very disappointed that she can’t play with it.


I also wanted to take the time and talk about my holiday fitness plan next month.

I had thought about doing a December run streak (running at least one mile every day of the month), but I thought that would be a good way for me to feel burnt out real fast come the New Year. In 2019 I have some big goals I want to accomplish, so I would rather start it off on a healthy, refreshed note.

So, I will be maintaining a mileage between 20-30 miles (48km maximum per week), and doing my best to foam roll, stretch, and CROSS TRAIN! Cross training is definitely something I should’ve done much more diligently and consistently during marathon training (coulda, shoulda, woulda!), and I know it will make me a stronger runner overall. This means using our spin bike for at home workouts (my spin class is finished on Ryan’s birthday), strength training using dumbbells and my body weight, walking Nala often, and getting back to yoga. Before the marathon I purchased another 10-class punch card at a local studio and I have still yet to go there. Bad, bad, bad! It’s funny because once I get there and finish a class I always ask myself why I don’t do it more often, and yet here I am, knowing that yoga makes me feel great, but not doing it. So, I am aiming to visit the studio at least a handful of times as it works with my schedule.

Personally, I am feeling the desire to a more gentle approach to exercise this upcoming holiday season. No, I’m not going to NOT workout, but I am not going to get down on myself and feel upset for “not working hard enough.” A workout is a workout, and I am blessed to have a body that allows me to be active. I have had this chat with Ryan a few times this year that I am too hard on myself, so the gentle approach to exercise is going to be a nice mental reset for myself, too. No more feeling bad that my run was slower than the person on Instagram. Actually, I made a post during my workout funk that I can’t compare my chapter 5 to someone’s chapter 25, and it is so true. That is something I am trying to be more mindful of. We are all on our own journey, and that’s OKAY!

Alright, getting a bit off topic there. My approach to working out this month is NOT going to be balls-to-the-wall (lady balls, you know?), but it will be more about LISTENING to my body and doing what I feel is right for me. As far as food goes, it is going to be similar. I will eat what I want in moderation. I haven’t been a huge fan of drinking lately (a couple weeks ago I had three drinks and felt like a disaster the next day), so I am not worried about that, but I know that I have a sweet tooth that needs to be kept in check! Plus, there’s always so many tasty goodies around the holidays, but I know that in order to be successful in not going overboard I need to be mindful, and that is something I am willing to practice!

 

What are your thoughts when it comes to working out and eating during the holiday season? I want to know!