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Holiday Highlights

Hellohello! I am checking in after a week off from blogging. Hope everyone had a good Christmas! I am finally starting to come through the other side after getting chemo last Wednesday. I also stopped taking Prednisone last Friday, so between the chemo side effects and withdrawals, I’ve been feeling pretty crappy. Here are some of the holiday highlights though!

Finally got my Christmas picture of Buster! He got so spoiled this year. All of my family members bought him gifts (a coat, booties, treats, and toys), not to mention nonstop love and cuddles from all the people in the house.

Archie however, kind of hated this Christmas. I think that cute spaniel ruined it for him. Poor poodle.

We had snow for Christmas! It’s all melted by now, but I hope it comes back soon. As much as I love warmth, I love my seasons. Cold and snowy ones included.

My dad bought the third-last Christmas tree in Moncton on Dec 23rd. It is so ugly. It looks even wider decorated!

My middle sister (I have two older sisters) came home from Quebec! I love having all of us girls together. Until we start drinking at arguing that is (joking!) (mostly!).

My oldest sister who used to live in Ottawa lives at home with me now. I keep her well fed, she keeps the house clean, ha.

We played games on Christmas Eve. I won, thanks to the help of my little teammate. Buster mostly just tried to catch and eat the dice.

For Christmas brunch we had baked French toast with sugared pecans. Usually we do a ham, egg, and cheese casserole thingy, but I can’t eat ham or cheese this year because of the drugs I’m on. Don’t even get me started on how lame it was to have food restrictions over Christmas…

And of course, on Christmas morning we opened gifts! Packed in reused gift bags over the years.

How sweet of Buster to get me something. Ha!

My step-siblings stopped by in their Christmas peejays. I’ve got five teenage step-siblings – three on my mom’s side and two on my dad’s side. It’s kind of ridiculous, but I also love being part of a big family.

Last but not least, my contribution to Christmas dinner, a pumpkin trifle! Recipe found here. I would definitely recommend this as a recipe to try, it was a fun way to change up our usual fruit trifle. Usually I make closer to half of the Christmas dishes, but this year I was just too sick and fatigued. The cooking is my favourite part so I was bummed to miss out on it!

Overall, this Christmas gets a solid “okay.” One of my grandmothers went into the hospital Christmas Eve after falling at home. She is fine, nothing is broken, but she is quite shaken up. I of course was sick from chemo and drug withdrawals. I usually take a lot more photos but didn’t feel inclined to do so this year, as I honestly don’t really care to remember the Christmas I was sick, bald, and had a swollen face.

Most of all, I am looking forward to the New Year. To put 2011 and all of its crappiness behind me. To start fresh chemo-free. The worst of my last chemo is behind me and I’ve got nothing but new days ahead of me to feel better and better. Four weeks until the PET scan to see if there’s any signs of remaining cancer. Please start crossing your fingers now!

Disappearing Act

Hi! Remember me? I pulled a disappearing act over the weekend because I decided to take my own advice. I haven’t been feeling all that well – temperature a little high (but just under emergency room high) and a dry cough. In order to keep it from getting any worse I did nothing but rest all weekend. That included not blogging, not answering e-mails or comments, and completely zoning out to multiple movies on Netflix.

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Highlights included taking Buster for his walks in the 25C heat. It’s like summer up in here!

I also made a giant dessert.

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My dad kind of freaked out that I made such a giant dessert while I was supposed to be resting. In my defence, I needed to get off my butt for a while, and what better way to do that than with the lure of chocolate? The layers go as such: brownies, chocolate peanut butter cup pieces, chocolate pudding, whipped peanut butter cream cheese, whipped cream. My oh my, let me tell you, this dessert is off the charts. I know all the layers seem time consuming, but I used a boxed brownie mix (I’m sick remember!) and whipped up the rest in the 35 minutes that the brownies baked. The taste is ridiculous. So many good things happening in there.

It’s also the dessert for today’s Thanksgiving dinner. I loooove big dinners as it’s an excuse to make dishes that don’t always fit into the everyday lineup. Today however I’ll be taking it easy again. I see my doctor on Wednesday but I’m debating on going in on this holiday day. I definitely need to have a chest x-ray to see if my cough is a symptom of lung toxicity, which is basically when the chemotherapy poisons your lungs. I may pull another disappearing act until I know I’m better. If cancer is teaching me anything, it’s that my health always comes first. Obligations are never as important or demanding as being alive and well. Take care friends!

Blogging About Bloggers

Hello friends! Are a lot of you going back to work on Monday? I’m still at my mom’s place, but I drive back on Monday. Boo. Although, if I stay here, I may run out of pants that button up ;)

Started the day out fabulously with a run at a new women’s only gym in town. I was there waiting when they opened the doors at 8am! After all the HIIT yesterday, I was feeling a long and slow run, so that’s what I did :)

On 1% incline:
0:00-5:00 – 3.5 mph
5:00-10:00 – 5.6 mph
10:00-15:00 – 5.8 mph
15:00-20:00 – 6.0 mph
20:00-25:00 – 5.8 mph
25:00-30:00 – 6.0 mph
30:00-35:00 – 6.2 mph
35:00-40:00 – 6.0 mph
40:00-45:00 – 6.2 mph
45:00-50:00 – 6.4 mph
50:00-55:00 – 6.2 mph
55:00-60:00 – 6.4 mph
60:00-65:00 – 6.6 mph
65:00-70:00 – 3.5 mph

Covered about 10k in this and loved the interval pattern. Except, I was out of the line of fire for the air conditioning and was a downright sweaty mess. Felt like I was running in July again!

Came home and gobbled up dessert breakfast.

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A random packet of organic cinnamon instant oats I found in my mother’s pantry, mixed with yogurt, topped with crumbled whole grain crusted apple pie and PB. This was awesome. Some desserts were just meant to be crumbled atop oats ;)

Then my mom, sister Jane and I actually went to church! It’s been almost ten years since we’ve been to the small Anglican church we basically grew up in. We were feeling very nostalgic being back there today. Now that I will have proper weekends at my new job, I hope to make it to church more often in Fredericton!

Lunch was almost a repeat of Christmas dinner.

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I got lazy and just reheated a few of the dishes. Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese & Parmesan Galette, Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Figs, turkey (the dark meat!), Chunky Cranberry Apple Sauce and stuffing that I didn’t end up eating.

Chris showed up this afternoon to spend my last night here with me. We spent the afternoon scouring used book stores with Jane. For dinner we hit up my favourite restaurant in Moncton – Calactus! (which you can also read about here, here, here, and here – I eat there a lot!

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It’s a local vegetarian/vegan restaurant full of delicious, natural ingredients.

Except this time, we had special guests – Angela from Oh She Glows!

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And her husband Eric. Both are in town visiting Angela’s Dad for the holidays. We’re from the same hometown and even went to the same high school!! We were in different years though and don’t remember each other. Funny how the two of us would both end up as food bloggers!

Chris got his usual – The Big Marc Burger.

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With a side “caesar” salad and homefries.

I tried a new dish this time – the Burrito.

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Omg. Soooo good. It had black beans, broccoli and other various veggies, smothered in cheese of course ;) The best part was actually the chapati bread they wrapped it in. Loved it!

And let me just say that Angela is a downright sweetheart! Just as lovely, smart and gorgeous as she comes across on her blog! Her and Eric were awesome to hang out with. I’m such a dork, I love being able to talk about food, exercise and blogging with other people who get it!

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Angela also gave me two new Glo Bars to try, which I obviously can’t wait to dig into ;)

Chris and I skipped on dessert as my mother was assembling a trifle just as we were leaving. I was excited to come home and try it!

 

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My mother’s too funny. She apologized for not putting whipped cream on top because she thought it’d be ugly for the blog. Whipped cream + custard + cake + strawberries is delicious no matter how you serve it.

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Best way to end the day is the same way you started it – with dessert!!

 

I think it may turn into a low-key evening around these parts. Chris and I are hitting up a spin class together in the a.m, and heading back to Fredericton at some point before dark. Really wish I could just stay here forever, but I can’t afford the new wardrobe :P I’ve savoured every piece of food I’ve eaten these past few days, but it’s time to go back to the real world and do some damage control! Time to introduce green vegetables back into my life ;)

 

Question of the Day: What food do you always crave after a few days out of your regular eating routine? When I come home from vacation, I’m always most excited for oatmeal, apples, pitas and salad. Standard eats that just always make me feel goood.

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