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Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Hello friends!! Thank you sosososo much for all the kind words on my last post. Physically, I am feeling much better. My glute soreness has been downgraded from severe to just high. I got up and showered today, grocery shopped, cleaned and interacted with the outside world :)

Mentally, I’m still a little drained. There are a lot of things I have to adjust to, but I think know I will be better for it.

In other news, I am completely obsessed with custard oats. They’re all I want for breakfast when I have time to make them. This morning, I decided to see if the deliciousness transferred to oatbran.


  • 1/2 cup oatbran
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 whole egg (whisked into pot at start of cooking)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (splashed in intermittently) 
  • 2 chopped dates
  • 1/2 tbsp unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter

I remember Leah mentioning a long time ago that she eats oats in shallow bowls because it cools quicker and you get more toppings in each bite. I’ve been trying it out lately, and I would have to agree!

The egg definitely made the oatbran creamier than usual, but still not as thick as with rolled oats. I find rolled oats leave me feeling satisfied longer too.

My morning was uneventful. Finally caught up on my MTV watching (already love the new Real World!) and did some stuff for work. I wanted to clear up the rest of my fridge for lunch to make room for groceries today. The only three fresh things in there were egg whites, cottage cheese and baked beans. Here’s what I came up with…


Egg white frittata with cottage cheese and frozen veggies. I also found a lonely slice of swiss cheese that I threw on top. The beans on the side. Oh, and I may have smothered the eggs in hot sauce ;)

I spent soooo much money at the grocery store. I would say food shopping is definitely my form of retail therapy. I did more fridge-clearing once I got home, finishing up the carrot protein sqaures topped with laughing cow cheese, cinnamon and sugar. In the back are the tiniest mandarins I’ve ever seen.

Size comparison next to a Larabar (which are also pretty small).


Wee tiny wedge!!!


A nice fruit for munching mindlessly. Might make their way into to a salad if they last that long ;)

Minutes after polishing off last week’s protein bars, I got started on a fresh batch for this week! I poured over various recipes, and ended up just doing a variation of the breakfast cookie.


  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 scoops chocolate whey protein powder
  • 2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 3 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • ~ 3/4 cup water

All mushed up in a bowl, flattened into a 9×9 pan, and stuck in the freezer till hard. Then I cut them into 8 pieces and wrapped them up for the week.

The stats are pretty stellar: 190 calories, 7g fat, 18g carbs, 2g sugar, 3g fibre, 15g protein. I think they’ll need to be kept in the freezer, but that’s fine by me. I’ll just put it on top of an ice pack in my lunch bag :)

Dinner was one of my favourites – roast chicken!


I make a really basic roast chicken. Stuffed it with lemon wedges and garlic, then rubbed salt and pepper on top. Baked at 425 F for 90 minutes. Easy peasy (and that’s coming from a former vegetarian!)

Veggies were roasted zucchini, carrots and parsnips.


This was my first time trying parsnips!! (or not, mom, you can correct me on that one). The consensus on Twitter was that roasted is the best way to have them. I loved the texture. Tough on the outside, mushy on the inside. They’re almost like a starchier version of turnip (or rutabaga?). Next time, they’ll get the fries and ketchup treatment ;)


So seeing as life has been a little rocky lately, I thought it would be prefect timing to participate in the Happy 101 game Tam tagged me in.


The rules are to list 10 things that make me happy then pick 10 other people to do the same! First, my list:

  1. Mornings in bed. My ideal day starts off with breakfast in bed, the Today show, blog reading, and then a trip to the gym. I got attached to it while taking evening classes in university.
  2. My remote car starter. Sure, I’m polluting the environment and wasting gas, but it’s pretty sweet getting into a warm car with a clear windshield on a frigid day.
  3. The last second of a sprint. I love that moment when I’m giving it 110% in a sprint, be it on the bike, running, or elliptical, and I get to that last second and slow down. It’s a mixture of “omg I’m going to die,” “omg I’m going to live,” and “omg I can’t believe I did that.”
  4. Pigeon pose. If it were socially acceptable, I would work at my desk in pigeon pose. I want to live in it.
  5. Children’s fantasy books. Yes, they are my favourite genre. Yes, this includes Harry Potter and Twilight. His Dark Materials series, Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, I love them all.
  6. The first day of spring. And by that I mean the first day of the year I wear flats. Usually a little earlier than I should, as I always end up stepping in some slush. But it’s always a moment of hope knowing the long, harsh winter is over and nothing but warm days are ahead.
  7. The recovery shake/meal. I love coming home from a tough workout and replenishing my system with delicious food. It tastes better, digests better, and just makes me feel good about my body.
  8. Dogs. Particularly, roughhousing with them on the floor. You know what I’m talking about. When you get down on the floor and start teasing them so they bark and wag their tail. Good times.
  9. Clean bedsheets. Ahhhhhh…..
  10. Making delicious food and sharing it with others. I love most of the things I cook for myself. But it’s awesome when others do too. It puts a huge smile on my face whenever someone clearly enjoys something I’ve made :D

So in order to pass the happy thoughts along, I’m going to pick 10 random people who commented on my last post to participate:


Can’t wait to read what makes you ladies happy too! :D


I’ve also decided to tweak my weekly workout plan a little. I’m going to be switching out my Friday lower-body workout with an at-home bike trainer + workout DVD session. This way I’ll only be getting up super early to go to the gym two of my five work days. To me, that sounds super doable, and hopefully keep me from burning out. We’ll see how it goes this week!


Last but not least, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY!!!!!

Tomorrow is a B-I-G day around these parts. Make sure you stop in for some bloggie fun, mm-kay? ;) Can’t wait – see ya then!!

Question of the Day: What puts a smile on your face?

Flashback Friday!! “Feelin’ Irie Mon”

Hello!! So it seems most of you are creatures of habit. I was actually surprised!! I encourage you to go do something spontaneous!

For the first time ever, I contemplated staying in bed instead of going to the gym this morning. But I was already awake, and going back to sleep wouldn’t have guaranteed me all that much extra sleep in the long-run. Tonight I’ll just get a solid 8 hours.

Here’s how it went down:

Elliptical 20 min:

Minutes Level
3 10
2 12
1 16
2 13
1 17
2 14
1 18
2 14
1 17
2 13
1 16
2 12

Lower body:

Exercise Sets Weight Reps
Barbell Squat 3 55 lbs 12
Static Lunge 3 15 lbs ea 12
Single Leg Romanian Deadlift 3 15 lbs ea 12


Exercise Sets Reps
Plank 1 90 sec
Side Plank 1 each side 45 sec ea
Stability Ball Roll Out 1 15
Prone Jackknife 1 15

Stairmill 10 min:

Minutes Level
1 7
1 8
1 9
1 10
1 11
1 7
1 8
1 9
1 10
1 11


Then I cooled down with some stretching :) Obviously, today was a lower body + abs day. I contemplated throwing a calf isolation move in there, but decided against it. Oddly, my calves are the most sore!! Well, right now anyways. I predict the pain will move to my glutes tomorrow…

In order to maximize sleep time, I prepared everything last night so all I’d have to do is just come home, shower and shovel food and coffee in my face before rushing off to work. Enter an old favourite: the breakfast cookie!!

Today’s was a PB&J breakfast cookie. Can you believe I’ve never thought of this before?? It was awesome!!!

  • >1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp Crofter’s raspberry/yumberry jam
  • splash almond milk

All mixed together, flattened on a plate, and chilled in the fridge overnight to harden. Must do these more often on my early a.m. workout days :)

It was a busybusy day at work!! It flew by! Happy to have my first week under me. I actually got a few projects accomplished that I’ll get to see go up on the website this weekend. I’ve also got some interesting projects coming up that I’m excited to get my hands on :)

Work eats today included…

IMG_2470An awful photograph of a quark/yogurt/vanilla protein powder/strawberry combo. This is quite possibly one of the worst food pictures featured on my blog. For being so delicious, yogurt is not always photogenic.

Moving on! Lunch!

…was delicious. Hummus, cheddar cheese, tomato, sprouts, spinach on an everything bagel. With a particularly juicy bag of baby carrots. Stellar combo, will do again!!

Snack attack…


Two carrot protein squares that I sandwiched laughing cow cheese in (gotta have that cream cheese frosting!) and a granny apple sauce cup. I miss my homemade sauce :(

Supper was some sort of weird take on chili cheese fries…


Butternut squash fries, turkey breast, baked beans. I’d originally planned on making these three things separate components on my plate. Then thought “what the hell” and just threw it all together.

Halfway through though, I decided it needed ketchup.
 IMG_2517 Much bettah ;)

I also got more bloggie presents today! That’s three in one week! I feel like such a lucky gal :D

Today was my belated Blogger Secret Santa package. It’s awesome. So many goodies! I’m so grateful Chandra was my BSS – you know my tastes perfectly!!

Naturally More Almond Butter, Mrs. May’s Cran-Blueberry Crunch nut clusters, Larabar in Tropical Fruit Tart, Peanut Butter & Jelly and Pecan Pie, and a mug! (which I think may be designated my office mug). Thank you SO much!!!  

And don’t worry about it arriving late Chandra. My birthday is in two weeks, so we’ll call it a Christmas/New Years/Birthday gift ;)

Obviously, I had to dig into some of the goodies right away. I had to try this almond butter. Check out what’s in it:


For some reason, I thought it would be ground flax. But it’s whole flax. It makes the nut butter not crunchy – but crispy!!!

I’m in love.

In other news, I also got my first big paycheck today from my new job. It called for a little celebratory spending…


Shoes!! Not just any shoes, but ones with heels. I’m pushing 5’7” and never wear heels because they make me feel like an Amazon Woman. But, my office is pretty dressy, and my usual clunkers just aren’t cutting it. I feel like such a grown up!


Not only is it TGIF ‘round these parts – but it’s also Flashback Friday!!!

I think it’s been a while since I’ve participated in Janetha’s fun bloggie feature. Today’s FF is all about my trip to Jamaica in 2008.

I’ve done the resort thang a few times, but I was reeeeally excited about Jamaica. Maybe it’s just the Bob Marley fan in me, but of all the Caribbean islands I felt it had a really distinct and interesting culture.

Of course, as any Canadian knows, if you travel in March you will fly out on the day of a snow storm. It’s a guarantee. It’s happened to me every. single. time.


Thankfully, the weather in Jamaica was fabulous. I’m always cold, and found even the evenings stayed quite warm.


I was definitely right about Jamaican culture. It really is distinct. They have their own language which sounds like English, but is actually reallyreally hard to understand! It’s called Patois and includes things like “feelin irie” instead of “feeling alright.”


Before we left, everyone told us to be careful because Jamaica is a really dangerous country. This is true, I would not want to wander around by myself. But with that said, the Jamaicans we did meet were amazing people!!! Chris and I always joked that everything ran on “Jamaican time” (timely customer service does not exist) and the country’s motto is “No problem mon.”

100_2151 IMGP1185

Chris and I did a lot of day trips. Probably too many, as we were pretty exhausted by the end. But in retrospect, I’m still happy with everything I got to see. Highlights were definitely travelling to various waterfalls.

100_2208 cropped 
We also did the touristy thing to do there and climbed Dunn’s River Falls.


It was a damn big waterfall, and tough work to climb up. Amazing though. I dunno, I’ve always had a thing for swimming in waterfalls…

Now you may be wondering why after aaallll these Flashback Fridays, I’m only just talking about this trip now? Well, I ate. A lot.

I was a good 5+ lbs from my highest weight at the time. While it was an awesome trip, I ate and drank way too much. I continued the vacation once I came home, and skyrocketed to my highest weight soon after.


Looking back on these pictures brings mixed emotions. It was an amazing trip (seriously, Jamaica is an fun country). But I also feel kinda sad for myself. I can’t believe I let myself get so out of control.

I wasn’t making the best food or drink choices…

 100_2228 100_2252

And the rum. My god the rum was good. And cheap.



Oh, and did I mention? If you’re Canadian, it’s also guaranteed you’ll get a snowstorm when you’re trying to fly out of a foreign country in March.

100_2251 Uff.


Okay folks, that wraps it up for me! I’ve got some Real World to watch!


Question of the Day: Name one place you’ve travelled to that had amazing food. My family travelled to Germany when I was younger and I’ll always remember the bread+meat+cheese. Sounds simple, but all three were soooo much better than anything I’ve had since. There’s nothing like some authentic German bratwurst and cream cheese on a freshly baked roll.



Ch-ch-check out the sweet headband I got from Matt at No Meat Athlete. Thanks Matt! You’ve just helped me plump up my future personal trainer wardrobe ;)

Okay, honestly, I had no idea how to start this post, but at least I now have your attention :)

Totally loved hearing all the personal items y’all need with you at work. Hand cream and chapstick were definitely the most popular, with pictures and post-its slightly behind. Although Emily has rubber bands in the shape of zoo animals and Janetha suggested a day-by-day calendar. I was actually quite entertained by the responses!!

In other news, I was up at 5:30 am for spin class today. It was stellar as per usual. I’m actually starting to get to know some of the faces in the class. Not to mention, I feel hardcore in the bike jersey Chris got me for Christmas.

Came back home after to shower and celebrate Waffle Wednesday. 

Two Nature’s Path maple cinnamon waffles topped with a blended ricotta-cashew butter-cinnamon-maple syrup mixture. I was pressed for time, but still managed to get in a fantastic waffle feast :)

Work eats look disgusting, but I promise they were fantastic.


Morning snack was yogurt mixed with vanilla protein powder and strawberries. For lunch I had leftovers a la Leah! I have a fridge next to my office, and I’ve been eating in a cafeteria with a microwave. It feels like such a luxury to have a hot lunch! (how sad is that?). Anyways, it was Indian Cauliflower Stew with added shrimp. Afternoon snack attack was two carrot cake protein squares and a cheese string.  

Nothing exciting to report from work. I ran into an old colleague at the drug store after, and he was asking me all about switching from journalism to communications. Or as reporters call it – “going to the dark side.” PR work is a whole different ball game. Totally different than journalism work. I feel like I have so much to re-learn (and forget!).

I bought a can of baked beans a while back after seeing them on Caitlin’s blog so frequently. I suddenly had a hankering for them and eggs for dinner. Breakfast supper of champions.

With an egg scramble. Various veggies from the fridge with cottage cheese and laughing cow cheese. What really made it was the green olives I added. Green olives and eggs are such a fantastic flavour duo!



My three addictions wrapped into one. Date + PB + M&Ms. Times two.


So a while back, I was a recipient of a Beautiful Blogger Award by Averie – a beautiful blogger herself ;) It’s about time I display it proudly!!

With the award, I must divulge seven random facts about myself. I’ve done this a few times, but I suppose I can always dig up a few more things to share…

  1. I don’t like wine. I’ve tried, numerous times. But I just never developed the palette for it.
  2. Babies scare me. They’re cute to look at, but please don’t ask me to hold or interact with one.
  3. I refuse to have the colour pink anywhere on my road bike.
  4. A childhood friend died downhill skiing when I was 10 years old. I’ve since developed a fear of ski hills and have only ever done cross-country.
  5. I only own two exercise bras. Instead of doing laundry every day, I often hand wash them in my sink between washes.
  6. The Beatles are my favourite band of all time. You will be “shushed” if one of their songs comes on the radio.
  7. I’m still wearing that headband. It’s keeping my forehead warm!

I must pass this on to seven other bloggers. In order to keep this fair, I randomly picked seven people who commented on my last post. Kinda like a giveaway, except it’s a jpeg and not something you can eat ;)

Lizzy ( actually picked you three times!!)

Wow, is pretty smart. All totally deserving and beautiful bloggers in my opinion!!

Speaking of smart websites, I urge you to go check out Ask it something, although the responses aren’t always that clever..

Okee, bedtime! See ya tomorrow!