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Cottage Country

Peek-a-boo!

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I’m baaaaaack!! :D

How was everyone’s weekend? Or, I suppose start to the work week now :) I’ve got lots of cottage pictures and tales to share so I’ll get right down to it. But first I have to thank Diane and Caitlin for wonderful contributions to my Blogger Interview Series as well as all the funny feedback on my Flashback Friday – Babies! So. Much. Fun.

So first things first, I had a stellar full-body weightlifting session on Saturday morning thanks to this magazine:

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I’m partial to designing my own workouts, but sometimes it’s fun to try out something someone else made up! I really recommend this special edition of Women’s Health. It’s got tons of great moves and recipes in it. Here’s the workout I stole:

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Except, instead of the bodyweight lunge, I did a power kick:

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Lovely.

Came home to the best breakfast sandwich I’ve had in a while.

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Egg, ham, real mayo, tomato, onion, lettuce on ezekiel. With watermelon and grapes in the back. Ohman. It hit the spot.

Then it was off to the cottage!!!

Victoria Day weekend, aka “May Two-Four Weekend” is known as the time when Canadians open up their cottages and drink copious amounts of beer. My family is no different.

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My family cottage is on the Northumberland Straight in Nova Scotia overlooking New Brunswick and PEI. It’s downright beautiful.

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Wait. Do you see something in the photo?? Let’s look closer…

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I do believe that is a poodle running free!!

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Pretty sure the cottage is heaven on earth for these dogs. One of the few times we let them off the leashes and run around like the animals they are. I love seeing them so happy in that element :)

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We don’t have much of a beach, but we aren’t the type of family who goes to the beach as an excuse to wear bikinis anyways. That’s what Shediac is for ;)  (sorry, local humour)

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Beautiful Sister Sara underneath the chestnut tree.

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Et moi!

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The best thing about my cottage is the giant deck that overlooks the Baie Verte.

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Also notable, is that we don’t have full walls. Not very good for keeping secrets.

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My family has been coming out here since before I was born and then some. I’ve lived in many houses in my life, but this spot has always been the one constant. I quite literally grew up in it!

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As did many other people – it was built in the 1930s.

Another great thing about the cottage is the FOOD! We always eat well there.

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Saturday night my mom roasted a chicken. We had some more of that glorious roasted corn on the cob and steamed potatoes and butternut squash.

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Come Sunday morning I knew the leftover squash and potato would make for a perfect hash.

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Fried up after a glorious 4 mile trail run through the nearby provincial park with my big sis. Trail running is super challenging. It felt like I was running so slow because of all the obstacles, but my heart rate was super high!

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We’d picked up some thick cut bacon at the nearby country corner store. Paired with scrambled eggs and it was quite possibly the best post-run recovery breakfast I’d ever had.

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I know I’m “off” the dairy for the time-being, but I put cottage cheese in the eggs. My secret to the perfect texture and cheesiness :)

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Cribbage players will appreciate this mug. I spent many rainy days at the cottage playing crib with my Grampie in his cottage next door.

Our real reason for being out there this weekend is because my sister Sara is now the owner of my grandparent’s cottage next door! We had a lot of cleaning to do to get it habitable again. My 86-year-old grandfather made the trip to show us the ropes.

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This included a lesson in basic plumbing.

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Note: this is not what a well pump should look like :\

T’was a tough morning getting everything opened up, and my mom once again saved the day by whipping up a wonderful meal.

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Salmon sandwich and fruit.

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And while I didn’t partake in any of the above beer, that’s not to say I didn’t join in on the sweets.

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I’m sure there is a rule out there that one must indulge in warm cinnamon rolls when at the cottage. Right??

Sara and I worked our tails off cleaning up our “new” cottage this weekend!

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It’s wonderful to think that the cottage we spent so much time in as children, will get to be the place where we bring our own kids someday :)

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My Grammie fed me so much chocolate pie and ice cream on that countertop!

We also found some neat old-timey things while cleaning up. Including this copy of The Financial Post from 1959!!

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Maybe it’s the newsie in me, but I found this completely fascinating. Newspapers have oddly not changed that much in the last half century.

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I also read my fair share of up-to-date newspapers this weekend. As well as the book Skinny Bitch.

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I’m sure many of you have heard of this book, written by two former models who say eating a vegan diet can make you thin. I didn’t really care for it. Having already spent a near decade of my life as a vegetarian or vegan, I now feel like I’ve heard it all before. It was also very short, so it didn’t elaborate on anything. I found myself wanting to know exactly why these things are bad for me, instead of just being told I’m a fat moron because I eat them.

I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I eat animal carcasses. My body likes it, and the descriptions in the book didn’t phase me in the least.

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Case and point: meat pie.

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A blend of animal meats stuffed into a pastry crust. The meat filling was frozen from Christmas!

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Meat pie = love. I know some people can appreciate a savoury pie with me ;)

Mommy dearest also made a parsley and lentil salad to go with.

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There is no recipe for this as she made it up as she went along. It was delicious though – think of it as tabbouli but with lentils and sunflower seeds instead of couscous.

After a trail run and a day of hard labour on Sunday, I woke up positively wiped this morning.

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My mom, sister and I had some hope of doing an outdoor bootcamp this morning. But we all immediately agreed that our bodies were already in rough enough shape! My feet are completely wrecked. So, I put them up, read, and ate a bowl of apple cinnamon peanut butter oatmeal instead. So worth it.

However, today was another hard day of cleaning, scrubbing and moving things around. The highlights of my day today were definitely eating up the yummy leftovers.

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Leftover falafel from a long time ago, with the last of the parsley and lentil salad on top of a much larger salad.

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I added a little extra dressing made up of mustard, canola oil and white wine. Mygosh it was good. White wine is almost better than vinegar!

Other leftovers included a verrry yummy soup my mom made with the leftover roast chicken.

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She taught me how to save the juices on the bottom of the roasting pan, scrape the fat off, then make soup with it. I am so doing this next time.

Well, that pretty much brings us up to speed! Believe it or not, I have another busy week of unemployment ahead of me. How does that happen?? I’ve made some new travel/moving plans which I’ll mention tomorrow. Right now, I’m ready to go pass out on the couch with the dogs. See ya tomorrow!! xo

 

Question of the Day: Do you have a cottage? What’s it like? If not, what sort of cottage would you like? Our cottages our out in the middle of nowhere away from any form of civilization. There aren’t many people there. It’s quiet and positively beautiful. I think it’s the real reason why I’m a country girl at heart!

Don’t Weigh Your Self-Esteem

Sooo…yeah… I’m still at my mom’s place. I swear, the Universe is trying to tell me something :P It’s been snow storm-y here all day and I didn’t want to worsen my mother’s ulcer by hitting the highway. Had to rearrange a couple shifts at Starbucks to do it. Pretty sure they hate me there now because I also gave my notice today!

To jog your memory, I got offered a full-time contract doing communications work until May at my old university. I got confirmation today that I start next Monday at 8:30 am! I’ve been working at Starbucks since the beginning of December to make ends meet after leaving my full-time reporting gig at a radio station. The plan is to become a personal trainer eventually and this new job will basically last the duration of my course. How convenient! And it came totally out of the blue – they just called me up! :D

Phew. When did my life get so complicated? :P

Aaaaanyways, I was up and at ‘em early this morning for a visit to the new Nubodys women’s-only gym downtown. Fuelled up with half a banana, PB and a handful of cheerios before I left.

Warm-up:
shovelling my car out 5 minutes walking/jogging on treadmill

Treadmill:
Incline @ 1%
0:00-1:00 – 6.0 mph
1:00-2:00 – 6.2 mph
2:00-3:00 – 6.4 mph
3:00-4:00 – 6.2 mph
4:00-5:00 – 6.4 mph
5:00-6:00 – 6.6 mph
6:00-7:00 – 6.4 mph
7:00-8:00 – 6.6 mph
8:00-9:00 – 6.8 mph
9:00-10:00 – 6.6 mph
10:00-11:00 – 6.8mph
11:00-12:00 – 7.0 mph
12:00-13:00 – 6.8 mph
13:00-14:00 – 7.0 mph
14:00-15:00 – 7.2 mph

A1 – Dumbbell shoulder press:
3 sets @ 15 lbs ea x 8

B1 – Barbell bicep curl:
3 sets @ 20 lbs x 12

B2 – Skull crusher:
3 sets @ 20 lbs x 12

C1 – Seated cable row:
3 sets @ 75 lbs x 10

C2 – Chest fly:
3 sets @ 15 lbs ea x 8

Treadmill:
0:00-1:00 – 5.5 mph @ 0% incline
1:00-2:00 – 6.0 mph @ 0.5% incline
2:00-3:00 – 6.5 mph @ 0.5% incline
3:00-4:00 – 7.0 mph @ 0.5% incline
4:00-5:00 – 6.0 mph @ 1% incline
5:00-6:00 – 6.5 mph @ 1% incline
6:00-7:00 – 7.0 mph @ 1% incline
7:00-8:00 – 6.0 mph @ 1.5% incline
8:00-9:00 – 6.5 mph @ 1.5% incline
9:00-10:00 – 7.0 mph @ 1.5% incline

Plank: 2 sets @ 60 sec
Side plank: 2 sets @ 30 sec

Treadmill:
Incline @ 0%
0:00-1:00 – 3.0 mph
1:00-3:00 – 3.5 mph
3:00-4:00 – 8.0 mph
4:00-6:00 – 3.5 mph
6:00-7:00 – 8.5 mph
7:00-9:00 – 3.5 mph
9:00-10:00 – 9.0 mph
10:00-12:00 – 3.5 mph
12:00-13:00 – 9.5 mph
13:00-15:00 – 3.5 mph

Anyone else feel like a crazy person when they run sprints on a treadmill? There were only four of us in the gym, and I had a feeling they were getting ready to rush to my side in case I fell off…

I had plans to meet the fam at my Nana’s after, so I stopped by the grocery store next door to pick up breakfast.

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Boiled eggs, cinnamon oatmeal packet, vanilla yogurt, crappy coffee.

Added half a chopped pink lady apple to the oatmeal and topped it with the yogurt.

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Yum!!! I love my Nana’s dishes too. I’m such an old lady. 

Lunch was more leftovers. Sick of looking at these yet?

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Well I’m not sick of eating them yet ;) The last of the Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese & Parmesan Galette, mom’s meat pie and homemade Chunky Apple Cranberry Sauce.

Today has been a lazy snow day at my mom’s. We’ve been reading, playing video games and watching movies. A perfectly relaxing day!

I broke into my bar stash when my afternoon snack attack hit.

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A Jordan’s Luxury Absolute Nut from the UK, sent my way by the lovely Deb.

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Love the foreign food label ;)

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I usually buy Jordan’s muesli, so I was excited to try one of his bars! (yes, the company is a person in my head). It was a little on the crunchy side, but I loved how it was plain tasting. Yes, I like that taste! I could pick out every ingredient and flavour in the bar – and all were tasty :)

Dinner was, erm, more leftovers. We are making good progress on my mother’s fridge. I think I saw an open space in there the last time I opened it…

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Mom’s turkey casserole (with biscuits) and steamed broccoli, carrots and brussel sprouts on the side. The extra veggies were a good call – I’ve been craving them!

 

Don’t Weigh Your Self-Esteem

As I was running my last sprints on the treadmill at the gym today, I noticed the inverted outline of a poster the gym has on display in one of their windows. All their windows are plastered with pictures of happy, fit looking women with words like “enthusiasm” and other stupid things. But this particular poster really got my blood boiling…

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A woman’s feet standing on a scale that says “HAPPY” where the weight is usually displayed, and then “Success” written next to the image.

Aofnefusefsblj!!!! Whhyyyy do we let women think that a number on a scale should dictate their happiness??

It’s as if it’s saying getting to your goal weight will give you instant happiness. As if it’s perfectly okay to let your mood be influenced by how much you weigh. Or, that all thin people are happy because they’re not fat.

Right.

Let me tell you from experience that I have all the same emotional issues at my goal weight than I did when I was heavier. In fact, I was downright miserable a few months ago, whilst being the most fit I’ve ever been. Being thin doesn’t make your job easier or relationships any better.

Even worse is that this line of thinking is coming from a women’s-only gym. Women’s gyms are supposed to be safe havens for women who are self-conscious, or need a good community to get motivated. But at the same time, this poster only perpetuates the negative feelings that so many women associate with their own body-image. I really wish women would stop letting ideas like this continue to circulate. It’s like we’re just shooting ourselves in the foot.

As my mother just eloquently put it – “Don’t weigh your self-esteem.” Don’t give the scale more power than it deserves. There is only one thing that can make you happy and that’s you. It really does come from within. Any happiness found from an outside source is just fleeting and temporary.

So I beg you to not let your happiness be swayed by what the scale says – especially this week! I can tell you up front that I’ve gained 3 lbs in the past month, my pants are getting a little snug, and I don’t give a shit. I’ll soon be returning to my cookie-free apartment, and leaving the temptations at Starbucks. My weight is in a constant state of flux, and it will return to normal eventually. But right now I’m still happy as a clam cuddled up in my peejays with my family :D Oh, and did you see? I did three HIIT sessions today. Yeah, take that scale.

 

Question of the Day: What are your feelings on the poster?

 

P.S. Check out my guest post on Maria’s blog, Chasing the Now, on some of the 101 things I want to do in 1001 days :)

Christmas Through a Viewfinder

Merry Christmas!! I hope you all had a wonderful day :D I sure did – I got my baby!!

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A Canon EOS Rebel XS. Lovelovelove. (ps that’s one of my craft projects in the back – a painted ceramic beer mug I gave to my sis!)

Goodbye old Kodak Easy Share. You were a trooper, but it was time to go…

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Now get ready for a plethora of photos taken with my wonderful new camera today ;)

It was a glorious Christmas morning around these parts. I was the first one up because of that faithful body clock of mine. Had an egg + ham + cheese sammie on ezekiel bread while brewing a ginormous pot of coffee to lure the sleepy heads out of bed.

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My mom put together a gorgeous “Montreal” brunch for us. The star of the show was this GIANT hunk of smoked meat courtesy of Costco.

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Served with rye bread, swiss cheese, mustard and relish.

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Leftover meat pie and scrambled eggs (with cottage cheese – so good!)

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Baked beans…

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And tea! Special Twinnings “Lady Grey” tea my sister picked up in England. It’s got bergamot with orange and is so good.

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My plate…

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Definitely a protein-filled meal. We were joking about how us girls were all vegetarians at one point – and now we eat like this!!

After brunch, my mom and I got started on the next feast. My mom’s bird ready to go in the oven…

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I got started on Martha Stewart’s Chunky Apple Cranberry Sauce.

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It turned out awesome!! It’s a little on the tart side and yummmm-y. I highly recommend you put this one on file!

Then it was on to my first ever homemade pie.

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This was a Chef Michael Smith recipe (Yay At Home Chef in P.E.I.!) Whole Grain Crusted Pie with Maple Yogurt Topping.

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My mom and I agreed the crust might me a little too much on the top as well, so I added some butter and honey and crumbled it on top instead. It was a solid decision on our part ;)

Then it was time for the Sweet Potato, Parmesan & Goat Cheese Galette that Janetha made for her Thanksgiving feast. Sweet potato and goat cheese?? Yes please!!

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Everything my mom has is giant – even her sweet potatoes!!! I think it’s a Costco thing ;)

The galette was delicious, although, it could have used a little more time in the oven. Will make for good leftovers!

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Meanwhile, as I was puttering away in the kitchen, my family was having fun with my new camera…

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Cutest photo ever.

Okay, back to the food. My mom and I had all four burners going…

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What’s that I spy in the frying pan? Brussel sprouts, Bacon & Figs a la Agharad.

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Put bacon in anything and anyone will eat it ;)

My plate!

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Also featured is my mommy’s mashed potatoes, stuffing, carrots & turnip and gravy.

The requisite Christmas table photo!

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Looking at this, I realize we didn’t do paper hats this year. Sorry Ellie!

Then the wine started flowing..

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Which I didn’t partake in. I don’t like wine, but I’m also DD to take Nana home tonight.

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Once we’d digested enough room for even more food, I pulled out the pie!

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My piece, with the maple yogurt topping. 

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I was scared the crust wasn’t going to work – but it was really good! It turned out quite soft. And the topping was deeelicious.

Paired with more of the Queen’s tea ;)

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Now my family is talking about Glee :)  

I’m with Archie…

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Sister Sara and I are doing treadmill and weight lifting tomorrow. She tried to get me running in the snow, but I’m not hardcore enough. Instead, I’m putting her through one of my weight routines ;)

Loved hearing everyone’s favourite foods from yesterday! So many fun and interesting things. I polled my family, and here’s what their food highlights from today were..

Jane – Pie, smoked meat

Sara – Stuffing with cranberry sauce on top

Nana – The tea

Mom – Sweet potato galette

Me – Turkey with cranberry sauce

Mark is unavailable for comment. I think he’s passed out in his “man cave” :P

 

Hope you all had a wonderful, fun, relaxing and delicious holiday!!! xoxo

Question of the Day: Spill it. What did ya get for Christmas?? Besides my camera I got lots o’ cold hard cash ;)

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