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Happy weekend!! Hope you are enjoying it, or at least tolerating it ;)

First, my mom and I had a blast reading through some of your comments from yesterday. Thanks for sharing all your favourite mommy memories!

So on to today. For the second weekend in a row, I slept for 9 hours last night. Astounding! I went for a “light” breakfast (for me anyways) because step class was only 90 minutes away.

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Toasted english muffin (in the oven again!) with peanut butter, banana and chocolate protein powder that I turned into a goo by adding some water. Amazing combo!! Protein powder makes for a pretty stellar spread – don’t know why I never did this before!

Body Step class was a blast per usual. My mom came with and said it was the hardest one she’s been to ;) I’ll actually vouch for that, as my heart rate peaked unusually high for that class. Our instructor is downright crazy, which always gets me pumped up.

Came home staaaarving and gobbled up a homemade PB&J protein bar.

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Right outta the freezer – you can see the ice crystals. Recipe page for these bad boys coming soon – I promise!

I’m still feeding on that never-ending hunk of ham. Made matching sandwiches for my mom and I for lunch.

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Grilled ham, old cheddar, mustard, pickles, onions, sprouts.

Our day was spent cleaning my apartment and shopping! Shopping goodies to come, first, dinner.
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We both had a hankering for Greek food so we hit up Dimitri’s Souvlaki. It’s a cute little place downtown. I love how it’s brightly decorated!
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I got one of my favourite meals evah – Deluxe Greek Salad.

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Feta, olives, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and green peppers. 

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And a side of two chicken skewers for my protein.

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And for my fat? Greek dressing with lotsa olive oil ;) Don’t worry, I also got my carbs in with the best pita bread ever. Seriously, if you live in Fredericton, go to Dimitris and get a basket of their freshly made, warm!, pita bread. And this is coming from a pita bread snob.

I forgot to snap a photo of my mom’s meal because I was so ravenous, but she got the moussaka. It was good!

Okay, moving on to all my fun purchases of the day. I still had a gift card to the Running Room and birthday money to spend, so most importantly I bought new running shoes.

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I went in with my old shoes, got them looked at, had my gait examined, and tried on a number of different shoes. And I walked out buying the exact same pair as I had last time!! Saucony ProGrid Ride 2. I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I had no issues with these shoes the first time around.

Of course, what’s new running shoes without running socks?

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Wigwam
socks, kinda cheap at 10 bucks a piece. But that little bit of cushioning makes a world of difference for me.

I also finally splurged on a nice gym bag. I’ve been carting around all my work clothes, shoes, towels and beauty products in an old Lululemon bag.

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Check out all the sweet features!

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I’m a huge nerd, I squealed when I noticed there was a compartment for my shoes and wet clothes.

Also bought – new jammies!

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My mom said I needed cute pyjamas for the next time I burn my kitchen down and hunky firefighters come to my door :P

Once in my peejays we watched The Hangover. I’d already seen it, but it was just as funny the second time around. Kinda dumb humour, but some of the storylines are so ridiculous you can’t help but laugh.

Snacked on some of April’s protein cookie dough during the movie, inspired by the spread I had earlier for breakfast.

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I mixed 45g chocolate whey protein powder with 2-3 tbsp water and swirled in some marshmallow fluff and mini chocolate chips.

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No worries, those clumps are chocolate chips. I was actually surprised by this, because it was awesome! I’m one of those weirdos who actually enjoys the taste of most protein powders. It got really thick and took a while to lick off my spoon. Even more – it was actually filling!

 

Last but not least… I’ve finally made a decision about what I’m going to do when my work contract is up at the end of April!

I’m moving to Toronto!

I’ve been playing with the idea for a while. I’ve known for a long time that I want to get the hell out of Fredericton when my contract is up. Luckily, I’ve got some friends there that are looking for a roommie come June 1st – just when I want to move! My plan is to get a job there as a personal trainer and just sort of see where that takes me. Even more, I’ve got cousins and an aunt there, and my bestie is moving there in September. Should be a fun new adventure in a new city :) I’m excited!!

Oh, and I may have already picked out the half marathon I want to do there – The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on September 26. More excitement!!

 

Question of the Day: How many cities have you lived in? And – any other Torontonians out there? I’ve lived in two cities, and I’ve definitely got the itch to try out some more!

Flashback Friday – X-Mas Feast Edition

Surprise! It’s a late Friday night update! Okay, well late for me anyways. This is my first weekend not doing the morning shifts at the radio station! More than that – I have Saturday off work!! Yessss!!!! For the past six months, I’ve been in bed at 9pm every Friday and Saturday night to be up at 4:30 am for work. Not anymore :D

Although, I’m still being a huge loser and am currently cuddled up watching Jay Leno. I’ve got to ease back into my Friday nights here ;)

Not many food pics today – but I do have more Flashback Friday photos.

Tried to “sleep-in” today after a late night last night. Who was I fooling? At 6am, I was up with a full bladder and an empty tummy. Breakfast came second.

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Two Nature’s Path maple cinnamon waffles with blended cottage cheese, almond butter, maple syrup and cinnamon. One of my new favourite freezer waffle combos!

I went to Body Step today, which is probably my favourite exercise class. Maybe tied with RPM (spin) and Body Flow (yoga). It’s just so freakin’ fun!!! I was a little tired today though. My knees were stiff from working on my feet, and I’m just generally tired from working 16 days in a row. Usually I go into that class with an attitude that I’m going to give it all I got (I think that’s why I always have so much fun!). But I held back a little today. Glad I did. Still got to jump around on a step, but didn’t put myself out of commission.

Then I came home and had an early lunch before work…

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Cheetahs!!!
  Can you believe this is the first time I’ve ever had sweet potato cheetahs? I’ve eaten sweet potato a million different ways by now – but damn this was good! Who woulda thought slicing them up differently would make such a delicious difference!? They thickened up nicely on the outside, and tasted perfect with ketchup :)

Oh yes, and the other item on that plate is tuna salad with laughing cow, red onion and yellow pepper. On a hamburger bun. I tossed it in the oven too to make it toasty. Stellar lunch, just the fuel I needed for work.

Work, by the way, was as cah-raaaazy as expected! We were short staffed and the customers just never stopped coming. After three hours straight of churning out drinks on the espresso bar, I needed food in me. So I tossed my half banana and Amazing Meal in the blender with some skim milk and ice. I was sipping it while making drinks (which is technically against policy). My district manager came and tried to take it away from me because it’s not allowed. I almost scratched dude’s eyes out. Do not come between me and my smoothie. I think he took the hint :P

After 9.5 hours of that, I am now immobile on my couch, unable to do anything with my Friday night freedom. My whole body is sore, and I reek of eggnog and mocha. Still happy though :) How sadistic is that? There is something wrong with me…

Now, how bout some Flashback Friday??

Since Christmas is exactly two weeks away, I wanted to start some Christmas flashbacks. The following series of photos are the mandatory Christmas dinner shots once we all sit down with our food on Christmas evening. My sister Sara is on the ball and always takes the shot, thus she’s not in any of them. (sneaky technique Sara!)

Christmas 2005:

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Left to right: Mom, sister Jane, me, Papa, uncle Kenny, Nana. Yes, we wear funny hats. I think this is an English tradition?

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Same year. I just like this shot because my Papa is going at it with the pepper :P He passed away in January  2007 and Christmas is definitely not the same without him! It bears mentioning that my uncle Kenny (my mom’s brother) was born with Down syndrome. He now lives in a small private home with a wonderful couple who care for him. He’s not always around for Christmas, but it’s always nice when he is :)

Christmas 2006:

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Same people, except a new face! My mom’s boyfriend Mark has replaced Kenny. I believe he had just entered the picture in Christmas ‘05, and moved in by Christmas ‘06. Mark is an awesome addition to our family – as are his three kids. I’m a big “family person” and truly believe the more the merrier :)

Christmas ‘08: (I don’t think Sara was home in ‘07? Thus, no smarty pants sister around to remember to take the requisite photo).

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Left to right: Mom, sister Jane, me, Nana, aunt Heather, Mark. I’m holding down fort for Papa here. I even drink my rye and water the same way ;) My mom and Mark are wearing garments sister Sara bought them while in Ghana right before coming home for the holidays. I should also apologize to my mother, because I know she doesn’t like how she looks in these photos! (even though she’s always beautiful in my eyes) My mom usually spends all Christmas Day in the kitchen making dinner. This meal is often the first chance she gets to sit down! But this year she said she’d open up the kitchen to let me help her. I’m excited to help create some dishes :)

 

Question of the Day: What are your family holiday traditions? I wouldn’t say we have many. We always get together with my Nana on Christmas Eve and Day. We often play music Christmas Eve night (we’re all musicians of some sort). It’s fun now to have Mark’s kids with us. They get so excited!!!

To the Stars on the Wings of a Pig

Hey friends! So I’ve finally got some news on the work front. I’m just gonna tell you right now because I’m a blabber mouth who sucks at telling secrets, and I’ve already been tweeting about it all day ;)

So first off, I got hired at Starbucks! Yayyyy! I’m going to be working as a full-time supervisor for the next few months, and start training this week. I’m happy there will be no void in my paychecks, and the Starbies job should actually pay just as much as the reporter gig :)

I’m not going to just be working at Starbucks though. You all know I realized a long time ago that I do not want to be a daily reporter, and I don’t want to be a PR person unless I find the perfect company. These are the only things my skills and background would allow me to do.

But why just do what my background allows? Especially if it would just make me miserable? (again) So I’ve decided to instead follow my heart, my gut and my passions. I’m throwing all sense and rationality to the wind and working toward a personal training specialist certification with CanFit Pro (Canada’s national standard).

I know, right? Me? A personal trainer? Why not!? Exercise and fitness isn’t just a phase or a hobby, it’s my life. What draws me to jobs like reporting and Starbucks are the people. I love meeting fabulous people, and even more I want to help the ones that are looking for it. My mom told me this wonderful thing along the lines of “the day you discover your passions is when you’ll never work another day in your life.”

Of course, I expect to work :P And I expect it to be hard at times. I don’t also plan on plugging away with people at the gym all day. I plan to continue my education with a future certification as a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant. Perhaps I’ll even want to be a class instructor – who knows! Basically, I see this as the first step in many steps to come. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m taking a step forward, and not just another step back.

I also plan to keep the journalism thing up. My new experience and titles will allow me to delve further into health and wellness writing. I’m lucky to have made a lot of contacts in journalism school, and I have a long list of Canadian publications I hope to freelance for.

I’m so excited!!!

And before we move on, I have something else I have to get off my chest – I’m back on the VitaMuffins.

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I toasted my favourite deep chocolate flavour last night and put some marshmallow fluff on top. ohmysweetlord. It got crunchy on the outside, but soft and melty on the inside, then the fluff was all frosting-like on the top. Every single bite was worth every penny spent :D

Breakfast this morning was not very photogenic, which usually equals deliciousness.

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Two Nature’s Path flax waffles smothered in 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1 tbsp almond butter, 2 tbsp faux-syrup (mixed with a hand blender). And sprinkled with cinnamon of course. SO good! Freezer waffles are only filling when you throw protein + fat into the mix.

Then it was off to BodyStep, ie the funnest class ever (sorry spin, you hurt too much to be fun :P ). Step class is definitely not one of those workouts you can just phone in. You definitely get out of it what you put in, more so than some of the other classes. I think that’s why I always come out feeling so satisfied and accomplished :)

Afterward, I came home and drank some chocolate Amazing Meal blended with almond milk, half a banana, yogurt and ice.

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I was a sweaty mess. But I had to look decent for my job interview this afternoon. Enter lots of showering, hair straightening, caking on make-up, ironing clothes (ugh) and digging out accessories and voila!

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Hi!! I’m actually modelling my new necklace and earrings. For years I wore nothing but giant flashy earrings, but I’ve been on a chunky necklace kick lately. And I’m a sucker for girly flowers :P

And apparently the gussying up worked!

Oh, and there was a lunch, carefully eaten as not to spill anything on myself.

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Smoked salmon on a bagel with laughing cow cheese, capers and spinach and an orange on the side. This salmon is local bbq flavoured stuff. SO good!! We Maritimers know how to do our smoked salmon ;)

After all my running around, I came home and tried out my other KIND bar. This time in Walnut & Date.

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I had high hopes for this bar after Kath raved about it on her blog recently. Plus, dates are one of my favourite foods and I love them in just about anything. But, I wasn’t a huge fan! Maybe my expectations were just too high. I loved the walnuts, their texture reminded me a lot of sugar cookies. But I couldn’t really taste the dates. Honey is the third ingredient, and it was definitely the overpowering flavour in this bar.

Supper was (what else) chicken salad pita made with my leftover roast chicken from yesterday.

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YUM!! You can see my running hat in the background. Meh. I’m a slob.

Finally, you may be wondering what “To the stars on the wings of a pig” means. Technically, it’s “Ad astra per alia porci.” It was the motto and personal stamp of John Steinbeck and appeared on the insert of all his books. It was a jab at an old teacher who once told him he’d only be a successful writer when “pigs flew.” I studied Latin and have a soft spot for Latin phrases. I’ve adopted it as my personal motto, to remind me that anything is possible :)

 

P.S. I’ve updated my About page so feel free to go check it out!

Till next time!

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