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Cherry Chocolate Trifle

13 May

I experimented on some friends a week or so ago and made them Cherry Chocolate Trifle. It was a spur of the moment thing, mostly I came up with it because I needed to do something with a bunch of left over chocolate cake.

The cake was also a bit of an experiment…what can I say, I was in an experimenting kind of mood, shrug.

So the trifle!

I’ve never made a trifle without alcohol in it but the only alcohol I have ever used in a chocolate trifle is either Baileys or Kaluha and since I don’t like either of those, nor have them on hand, these trifles ended up being non-alcoholic.

I ripped the left over chocolate cake in to small-ish pieces then mixed in cherry pie filling. This is normally where the alcohol would be added, instead I just used all the cherry pie filling, which full disclosure, I was lazy and bought a can of pie filling instead of making some. Hey, don’t judge! We’ve probably all been there at some point!

Once the pie filling and cake are well and truly mixed I put equal amounts in to these clear plastic cups I had on hand. I bought them from the dollar store for a different layered dessert I was going to try and commandeered them for this instead. You could put the entire cake & pie combo in to a large serving dish, preferably one with clear sides so the layers can be viewed, but I wanted these to be easy for my friends to take home, hence the individual cups.

The next layer is chocolate pudding – fairly self-explanatory.

The final layer is whipped cream, which yes I whipped myself, I didn’t buy the stuff in the can or use cool whip. Not that I am dissing cool whip, I love the stuff! I know that not everybody does though so I went with whipping cream instead, seemed easier, even though I swear eons pass while you are beating the stupid stuff and turning it in to, ya know, whipped cream.

I was going to finely chop some chocolate and sprinkle it on top of the whipped cream, more for the visual than taste, but I was running late (thanks to how long it takes to whip the cream!) so it didn’t get done. Ah well, not everything can be perfect every time!

I forgot to take any pictures of the final product so my amazing friend kindly sent me a couple that she took. It is hard to see the different layers, but trust me, they are there! The feedback from all who ate it was two thumbs up, so I’m labeling it a keeper!

I would say don’t make your A-Level chocolate cake when doing this trifle, after all, the cake gets mixed with so many other things it stops being the main part of the dessert and becomes one of many parts. One of many yummy parts. Mmm! πŸ˜‰

Oh, and in case it didn’t work out I made my A-Level chocolate cake for the same night…and not to be all braggy or anything but it turned out amazing, as it always does. For such a delish cake it sure has an easy recipe…which is probably one of the reasons I love it so much lol I however didn’t have anything summery to decorate it with so the red and green sprinkles got pulled out and well, made it look a bit Christmas-y. Ah well, who says you can’t channel some Christmas vibes in May? Not me! After all, there are only 226 days until Christmas (as of May 13th)…not that I’m counting or anything. πŸ˜‰

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A Little Recap

26 Apr

Now you may be thinking because I haven’t posted in a little bit I have fallen off the wagon in regards to the fitness challenge I am in, you my friends would be wrong!

It’s so nice to be able to write that cause let’s be honest, it is so easy to say yes to a challenge and after a week kinda slack off. I think in part I am sticking with it because (1) I made up the challenge, and (2) there is an end goal of looking good in that bridesmaid’s dress…vanity can be a great motivator! πŸ˜‰

Since I last wrote my team (I compete in dragon boating) won bronze in Division A at a regatta. πŸ™‚Β  It was this particular regattas first year and it went really well. I don’t mean it went well because we won a medal *rolls eyes* but that the regatta was run well. It went smoothly, no real glitches to be had…that I know of anyways lol They were rushing the races to get as many of them done before the afternoon as possible because afternoon water conditions were less than ideal due to lower tide levels than normal for this time of year. Our last race of the day was in choppier water but I kinda liked it, made it more fun! And yes, I know I’m a bit of an odd ball lol

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The Twisted Hips, 2018 Roster

The medals are definitely original. Normally they are made of metal but this regatta, in honour of the races being held on Earth Day, hand crafted the medals out of three types of wood. So one person made all the medals, by hand, in his basement…we know this because he was reminding everyone all day lol

Then it was back to normal life for a couple days before a little overnight trip to Whistler. Yay for it being late enough in the season it is no longer law to need snow tires to drive up there! πŸ™‚

I went with a bunch of friends, we all went up at different times based on our schedules. So I got there about a half hour before two people had to leave, which kinda sucked, but the majority of the group was still there so it all worked out in the end.

My FitBit was very happy on Wednesday, with all the walking to the Village and around the Village (twice!) and my quick gym session, I got a hella lot of steps. And we all know FitBit owners live to make their FitBit’s happy lol Proof that even when in Whistler you can keep to a fitness challenge!

It was a pretty chill trip, one of our group is moving away (lame!) so we did this trip to give us all a chance to hang out before she leaves. It was mostly spent playing board games, lounging by the pool (that part didn’t include me since I’d burn in a stupid short amount of time, sigh), going to the Village to shop and eat dinner, and I dunno, just being in each other’s company.

Both the bear and the scenic picture were taken on the walk to the Village. The sign the bear is holding basically says please don’t feed me, or my cubs, and keep your dog on a leash..just ya know, in a cuter way lol It was so sunny and summery and lovely, I took a picture of the river? Creek? The water, I’ll just call it water, but my picture doesn’t do it justice. There are chairs set up on both sides so you can just sit and enjoy being there…which I actually didn’t do because well, we were on our way to the Village so we were going somewhere and also, I don’t voluntarily sit out in the sun, that would be the equivalent of me putting a target on my back and daring the UV rays to come get me. πŸ˜›

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The sheep are too cute!

This is purely a picture of cuteness…especially the sheep on the right side. They are bombs, which I don’t actually know what that is, some sort of chocolate something or other, I just wanted to share the cute. πŸ™‚

And lastly, a picture of me touching snow, who’d of thought you’d see the day! πŸ˜‰

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In case you’re thinking it mush be sort of chilly because I am wearing a long sleeve top, no-no, I am wearing long sleeves as sun protection…hence the hat! It is easier to wear long sleeves than reapply sunscreen every hour and a half, and less messy, so I spend a lot of the sunny months in long sleeves. But forget the clothes, look at the snow! It was so odd, the snow ends right at the cement, it is on the hills for the snowboarders and skiers but nowhere else. Kind of a random thing to see…I’m used to seeing snow covering everything – when I do see it that is.

Besides my fun random days I’ve been going to dragon boat practice, hitting up the gym, taking walks, all sorts of things to keep up with the 44 Day Fitness Challenge. There are only 30 days left!…not that I’m panicking about that or anything… πŸ˜‰

Riverdance

16 Apr

Sunday evening a friend and I went to see Riverdance, which basically means we sat and watched amazing dancing to beautiful Celtic music for around 2 hours.

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I mean seriously, how do they get their legs to move like that? And their feet, how feet move so fast is beyond me. Its mesmerizing.

If you haven’t seen Riverdance, or Lord of the Dance, or any Irish dancing you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about, and oh boy are you missing out! So before you do anything further, watch the video below to bring you up to speed on what I’m jabbering on about…

Click here for the video…

See? Didn’t I tell you it is amazing? If you didn’t watch the whole thing at least go to the 4:25 mark and watch that bit, it’s the best bit!

My friend brought a, I guess it is a Polaroid camera, but the new version. It is baby blue and weird and cute all at once. So we of course took selfies that we now have to take pictures of with our phones all so we can share the pictures with social media…sooooo the new tech is making us have to use our pre-existing tech to share the images the new tech took…am I the only who thinks this is odd? lol Either way, it took some cute pictures, they print on this small paper and it was interesting to watch the pictures develop, well, interesting to me but maybe I have a low threshold for what is interesting lol

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On a 44 Day Fitness Challenge note I got a walk in after work and before Riverdance so even though I worked all day and had plans in the evening I still managed to fit in a workout. I want to be all smug and say something snotty about how it is proof there is always time for fitness but I am very much aware I will most likely have a day where the most I can fit in are some squats and push-ups and I’ll swear there wasn’t time for more so I’m just gonna keep my not-at-all smug mouth shut. πŸ˜‰

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Intermission – a non Polaroid selfie lol

 

Yoga Fail

14 Apr

The plan.

There’s always a plan right?

The plan was to get up and go to morning yoga at my gym.

The reality was the alarm made noise, I didn’t even pretend to hit snooze, just turned it off, rolled over and went back to sleep.

Oops? πŸ˜‰

That meant to get my workout in for the day I’d have to fit it in after work, which is fine, it is when I prefer to workout. Only catch is I work until 9pm Saturdays and I start at 7am Sundays, so usually after work on a Saturday I really live it up by coming back to my place, showering, and watching YouTube or Netflix for a bit until I go to bed.

Not tonight though, no way was I missing a workout on the third day of this challenge!

Situations like this though are exactly why I decided to not be super strict about my definition of a workout, because instead of going to the gym I did a body weight (and ok I used a couple actual weights) workout in my living room.

The cat, in case you were wondering, was not impressed.

I could have done a workout dvd, and probably will at some point, but I wanted to see what I could come up with on my own. It isn’t exciting, but hopefully it was enough to count…I did get sweaty, not been at the gym killing it sweaty, but a light ladylike glow, so I’m going to pretend that means I accomplished something lol

My little circuit consisted of:

  • jumping jacks
  • squats
  • mountain climbers
  • russian twists (with my medicine ball)
  • push-ups
  • bicycle crunches
  • plank
  • overhead press (with dumbbells)
  • flys (with dumbbells)
  • and this thing I don’t know the name of, I lay on the ground, holding a dumbbell or kettle bell, arms straight above me (think right over my face), then I lower my arms while keeping them straight till the weight hits the floor above my head, stretching my arms as far as they will go. I don’t know what is it called but I love that one, you can really feel muscles engaging.

So yeah, that was my circuit, nothing fancy. I did a minute of each with no rest in between then a minute rest after the circuit was done. I did it three times, probably should have done a fourth but ya live an learn. I’ll know to do a fourth next time.

After that was done I cleaned the apartment, seriously, can my Saturday nights get anymore exciting? πŸ˜‰

I have a friend stopping by tomorrow and I wanted the place to be tidy for her. She is one of those people whose place is always gorgeous so the least I can do is make my little basement suite clean. It’ll never be gorgeous, but clean counts for something, in my books anyways lol

I may not have made the yoga class and stuck to plan that way but I still managed something resembling a workout, meaning Day 3 (or Day 42) is in the bag! πŸ˜€

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Of the two of us, the cat is the only one getting some yoga in lol

Day 43 – Protein Smoothie Bowl

13 Apr

Before you ask, yes I will be posting updates randomly about my 44 Day Fitness Challenge here. Why? Well, I have to be held accountable somewhere, because if you think I can hold myself accountable and not cheat you obviously don’t know me very well lol πŸ˜‰

Day 2 in the bag! Or day 43…whichever way you want to count it. Down. Up. It is all the same to me!

Today was a gym session after work, leg day! I always forget other people go out and have social lives on Friday nights. When I get to my gym there are always a decent number of vehicles parked there and I internally start to bitch about how many people are going to be in the gym at 10pm but then I walk inside and there are maaaaybe 6 people? And that is a generously high number. Which is when I realize that the parking area is also used by people going to nearby pubs. Oops?

I mean c’mon, who wants to go to a pub when you can go to the gym? On a Friday night. Almost like you have no social life or something. Ok never mind, this is gonna go dark fast if I don’t start blabbing about something else lol

Protein Smoothie Bowl!

protein smoothie bowl

Granted, not the prettiest looking food item I’ve ever posted on here. But I’m sure it isn’t the ugliest…maybe…

It is a scoop of protein powder, 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 1 small banana, and a tablespoon or so of plain almond milk. Blend until it hits a consistency you like, I prefer thicker so I’m eating it with a spoon rather than making it a drink. This way I can pretend I’m eating ice cream, only ya know, not as tasty.Β  Aww man, now I want ice cream! But even I, with my special quirky ways of interpreting things, can’t find a way to make ice cream an acceptable post workout meal. Too bad though, cause that would be an awesome post workout meal…don’t mind me while I daydream about ice cream for a minute…

Ok, done! For now at least lol

So yeah, two days sorted, only 42 more to go! πŸ™‚

 

44 Days

12 Apr

44 days until I put on a bridesmaid’s dress and celebrate my best friend’s big day.

44 days.

That is not a lot of time to magically improve myself so I look ok in that dress. And yet, if I was counting down to vacation and it was 44 days away I’d be moaning about how far away that is.

Funny how your perspective can change huh?

Now I know that the big day is not about me, and I should only be thinking of her and how much I want it to be awesome for her. But let’s be real here for a sec ok? I’m vain and I want to look good in that dress lol and so while a big part of me is focusing on how she is getting married and I want it to be amazing another part of me is wondering if it is a realistic goal to have 44 workouts in the next 44 days.

In case you’re wondering, I think it is a realistic goal.

I used to make challenges, or find challenges online and follow them. I’ve done 30 day fitness challenges, I’ve done “Lose a Pant Size By (insert date here)”, I’ve done Paleo challenges, I’ve done seasonal fitness and food challenges. Basically, name a challenge and I have either already done it or am up for trying it. But I haven’t made my own challenge in quite a while. The most recent one I took part in was the “100 Squats a Day for 30 Days”, which in case you’re wondering about that, I did it, it was fine. I squat a lot anyways so it wasn’t that hard of a challenge for me. In fact I’m doing a second round of it because a friend wanted to do it and I decided to do it again so she’d have a squatting buddy. Which sounds weird when typed or spoken out loud lol

While sitting here ruminating over the realization that the wedding is only 44 days away I realized I needed a plan. A concrete, have goals and a way to meet those goals, plan. I was recently reminded that having vague goals in terms of fitness (or anything else) doesn’t really work. You need a way to measure your progress towards reaching your goal so you can modify your plan along the way, giving you a better chance at achieving your plan, hitting the mark, grabbing your star, whatever cliche works for you… πŸ˜‰

So, I made a plan. And because I like visuals I made a tracker to put on my fridge. It isn’t anything special, just a 3 column, 15 row, chart that counts down from 44 to the day of the wedding. Each box has enough space for the number of days left, and room for me to write what workout I did that day. I also left space to make a comment about my eating for that day. Not enough space to list my food or anything, just enough space to make a comment about if I did well food wise. I suppose I could put my caloric intake there, be better able to track if my eating is matching my activity levels…I dunno, we’ll see what I do there. Mostly it is to track my workouts because I feel I’ve been dropping the ball with those lately and need something to help motivate me.

I pre-filled out my dragon boat workouts, because those are a given, and certain gym days that I always do. The rest of the days will be a combination of extra gym days and other workouts, so maybe one day I do a workout dvd, or go for a hike, or I dunno, walk the seawall. I’m not creating set-in-stone rules for what constitutes a workout, I feel that would be too limiting, and I want to leave room to listen to my body and what it wants. If I say only going to the gym counts as a workout but I have a day I can’t get there I don’t want to feel like my dragon boat practice, or a long walk, or even some body weight work at home, doesn’t count, or worse, is a failure, when it is in fact still a workout.

I’m trying to be less rigid in my definition of what counts as a workout…I don’t know how well I’ll manage it, but I’m gonna try!

Something I think I should do though is create an overall workout plan, so X number of leg days, X number of shoulder & back & arm days, X number of cardio sessions a week, that way I know that even with my broader interpretation of what counts as a workout I am still getting in a certain number of sessions per muscle group so my odds of hitting my goal increase.

Which, speaking of my goal, I do have them, goals beyond just fitting in the dress better I mean lol They are quantifiable, can be tracked and measured, and my progress towards them will be tracked and measured over the next 44 days. And if I don’t quite make it to those goals in time for the wedding, well, I’ll keep working on them, because ultimately I suppose it isn’t really about fitting in that dress (though part of it is!), so much as it is about getting in better shape and feeling better about myself.

So if anyone wants to join the challenge, feel free! I know 44 days will seem an arbitrary number to anyone not counting down to this specific wedding, so feel free to alter the number to your own deadline. Think of it as a very customizable challenge – pick your length of time, pick what you think counts as a workout, and commit to one workout a day for the length of time you chose.

Remember, success is 10% physical and 90% mental, it’s not your body that is tired and wants to quit, it is your brain and you thinking you can’t keep going. So keep going. Push farther than you think you can go, to prove to yourself you can keep going, and next time it’ll be a little easier and you’ll be able to go a little farther.

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If a meme says it, it must be true.Β 

Catfe

10 Apr

Catfe is a word, I swear! It is cat+cafe…get it, a Catfe! Meow!

A friend and I went to the Catfe for her birthday, I heard about it a while ago but then stopped hearing about it and thought it went the way of most businesses and died.Β Lucky for us it is still around. πŸ™‚

You only get to go in for an hour, but really, an hour chilling in a room with a bunch of cats that may or may not be interested in you is a perfectly acceptable length of time.

There is a coffee shop / gift shop right when you enter and you are only allowed in the area with the cats once you have paid and been told the rules, which mostly consisted of don’t be a jerk to the cats…I may be slightly paraphrasing that…

The room with the cats has one long wall covered in shelves that are all linked together via holes cut in the sides so the cats can go in and out and up and down. Some shelves had beds or toys on them, others had hiding spots. It is basically something all cat owners who wish they could spoil their cats like crazy wish they had in their place.

Oh, there was also a tv, placed at cat height, that was showing fish swimming. That’s it. Just fish swimming around. I guess the idea was they might want to watch the fish on the tv the way cats like to watch aquariums but cats being the fickle creatures that they are, none of them paid any attention to it. I however found myself distracted by it often. Because ya know, apparently I have the attention span of a gnat. *rolls eyes* lol

It was a soothing room to be in, and I think if I could be the only person in there, with a comfortable chair to sit on, I could easily chill in that room reading while surrounded by cats for quite a while. But since that is never gonna happen I’ll stick with cuddling the cat I get to live with…who is right this minute on my lap trying to get in my way so I stop typing and start petting him cause priorities!

At first I thought that space would be a great place to take someone who has high anxiety, or stress, or who needs therapy in some way. I mean, a soothing room with cats, what could be better? But then I realized putting an emotionally vulnerable person in a room where they are most likely going to be rejected by all the cats because ya know, that is what cats do best, would probably be more hurtful to their self-esteem than soothing lol So probably best dogs and horses keep being therapy animals and cats be left to doing cat things, like laying in sun patches, and putting claw marks on their human’s favourite clothes, and coughing up furballs on blankets.

The Catfe is connected to the BCSPCA so all the cats in there are available for adoption. I’m surprised they aren’t all adopted by the end of the week considering the level of furry cuteness in that room.

Some of the things you can buy…

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And of course, here are some of the cats…

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The only cat whose name I remember is the white and ginger cat, his name is Simba. My friend and I were sitting at the table by the window and thought for a brief and shining moment that the cats were interested in us because they came over but they ignored us completely lol, they were totally absorbed by something outside only they could see.

And then there are these pictures that I couldn’t help but caption…

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I’m not looking at you, la-la-la-la-la.

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I was serious, I’m not looking at you.

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Fiiiine, maybe I’ll raise my paw to you…

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Psyc! I’m just washing my paw! Fooled you! bwahahaha

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Fine. *deep sigh* I’ll let you pet me, but don’t expect me to purr.Β 

If you want to see tonnes of pictures of adorable cats, and get a better look at the inside of this place since my pics kinda suck, check them out on Instagram, their name is catfe_vancouver or go to their website at http://www.catfe.ca or ya know, just stop on by and check the place out for yourself. But be warned! You’re going to want to buy stuff, and adopt a cat, so enter at your own risk…or at least the risk of your wallet! πŸ˜‰

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