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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 

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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˜‰

Triple Berry Cobbler

25 Mar

Last week I went to a pot luck and me being me I took a dessert.

The only rules were not to bring too large of a dish as it was a smaller sized gathering and to bring something healthy.

A healthy dessert. That soooo isn’t how I bake lol One of the other people going suggested cobbler and that was the end of my hunt for a food idea. Of course it immediately started a hunt for a new recipe, but hey, who doesn’t like scouring through recipe ideas online until they find the right one?

I didn’t want to spend a lot on fruit, unfortunately for me it is not optimal fruit season so all fruit is expensive, all fruit except frozen! Well, to be fair some frozen fruit is stupid expensive, it should be illegal how much I spend on one bag of frozen raspberries. *sigh* WalMart came to my rescue though and I was able to buy a bag of frozen berries in a family pack size, which means I now have frozen berries for the rest of my life…or a month or so…ya know, if you want to get technical. πŸ˜‰

The recipe I found is from Pinterest and is specifically for frozen berries. Yay for cobbler recipes that are specifically for frozen berries! Way to make my life easier lol

I’ll leave a link to the original site but fair warning, her post goes on forever about her dog and school and vacation and omg it takes her ages to get to the recipe *rolls eyes* To save you scrolling through all that I’ll write the recipe here…says the lady who wrote forever about potlucks and online recipe searches πŸ˜›

Berry Filling:

4 cups frozen mixed berries, not thawed

3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

3 Tablespoons all purpose flour

zest from one lemon

pinch of salt

Oat Crumble Topping:

1 Cup old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 Cup brown sugar

6 Tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 Cup salted butter, cold, cut in to small cubes

The Deets:

Preheat oven to 350C

Make the berry filling by combining all ingredients and tossing.

In a separate bowl make the oat crumble by combining all ingredients. Use your fingers to pinch the butter and incorporate it with the dry ingredients. Keep pinching and mixing together with your hands until evenly combined. You will have some pea sized pieces of butter in the mixture, that’s ok.

Pour the berry filling in to a 1-1/2 quart baking dish (or 8×8 baking dish, a pie baking dish, basically anything that can go in the oven). Top with the oat crumble topping, and spread to an even layer.

Bake uncovered until the berry filling is bubbling, and the oat crumble is golden brown, about 1 hour.

Let cool for 1 hour before serving. Serve at room temp with ice cream. It will keep covered at room temp for about 3 days…if it isn’t all eaten by then.

The berry mixture I used had strawberries, blackberries and blueberries but really, you can use whatever fruit you want.

I’d love to be able to tell you how this dish turned out but I didn’t actually get to eat any of it. I had to leave before we got to the dessert section of the evening so I left it with the group and crossed fingers it was edible. I did tell them to feel free to compost it if they wanted, I wouldn’t be offended.

I got a text later that night that all but one serving was gone and three people were eyeing it and by the next day I had a text saying it was gone. I guess it can’t be all that bad if it was eaten in under 24 hours lol

I baked it the day before, let it get to room temperature for an hour than covered it and put it in the fridge over night. We left it on the counter at the party so it could come back up to room temp but I’m sure you could warm it in an oven so you could serve it warm with some ice cream melted on top, yum!

It was super easy to make, which means I’ll probably end up baking one again, if only so I can try a piece!

 

Here is the link to the original recipe:

https://www.tasteslovely.com/triple-berry-crumble-made-with-frozen-fruit/

Hello Quiche

13 Mar

Say hello to my newest kitchen creation, quiche!

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Granted, not the best pictures out there of quiche, but they could be worse, theoretically lol

I did some googling and found multiple recipes for single serving quiche, hey now, don’t judge, some of us are single and cooking for one.

They all seemed to be pretty much the same. Sure some had you making your own crust from scratch, while others had you not using any crust, and the fillings got swapped out, but the general base of it seemed pretty standard and lucky for me, easy to copy.

I didn’t feel like making my own crust and was going to make the crust-less version only but this is me, and why do one thing when you can do two?

The mix, batter, filling, I don’t know what to call it, the quiche part? That is made up of:

2 eggs and 2 Tablespoons of milk whisked together, oh and add whatever seasonings you want before whisking…I put in dill and pepper.

Add 2 to 4 Tablespoons of stuff, by stuff I mean any combo of veggie, meat, and cheese you so desire. I did a mixture of diced super tiny orange pepper, diced super tiny mushroom, light marble cheese, and minced garlic.

Once it is all mixed together either evenly distribute it between tart shells or pour in to a greased (I sprayed with Pam) oven safe dish (I used my mini Corningware), and pop it in the oven at 375C for 20 to 30 minutes. My oven took 20 minutes and it was not quite at 375C, more like the halfway point between 350C and 375C. I was worried about the temperature because according to the tart shell box they should be baked at a lower temp for a shorter amount of time and I had visions of burning them and once again setting off my smoke detector. *rolls eyes*

Oh, so just to clarify, one combo of the above mixture was used in my mini Corningware, and a separate batch filled the 5 tarts.

When the timer beeped and I took them all out of the oven I realized I had no idea how to tell if a quiche is done so I poked it with a cake tester and it came out clean. Then I realized how stupid that is so I googled lol Google, and a friend I happened to be texting with at the time, both said if it doesn’t jiggle then it is done so I gave them all a good shake, decided I didn’t see any jiggling and declared them perfect.

The quiche mixture in the tart shells was super poofy when I first took them out of the oven but they flattened quickly, the mixture in the dish might have poofed as well but the flattening maybe wasn’t as obvious because it is in a dish and it was never higher than the edges, that and I was so distracted by the tart shell versions I kinda ignored the one in the dish lol

In case you were wondering, it turns out I make pretty decent quiche. πŸ˜‰ I ate one of the tart versions and the egg mixture was light, and fluffy, and quite good. I forgot to put the diced turkey in there, which I only clued in to once I was tasting one of them, oops! Guess that means I’ll hafta make them again and try a new combo of ingredients, such a hard life! πŸ˜‰

I was trying to find a link to my mini Corningware in case anyone was wanting one for themselves, I find them incredibly useful when cooking…course that could be a single girl thing lol…but I can’t find them on Amazon so instead here is a link to a simple Corningware 7 ounce ramekin which I think would also be pretty good for making a quiche in. If you click on the picture it should take you to the Amazon page where you can read the deets about them.

A Little Bran

3 Mar

Bran muffins, I love em! I never make them, but I love em. When they are warm, fresh from the oven, ripped in half with a bit of butter melting on the soft middle. Mmm!

Since I love them, and most of the ones you find for sale have raisins in them, and I hate raisins more than any other food on the planet, I figured why not bake some?

I asked my mom for her recipe, and she sent me three. I had, unfortunately, already found one online before she sent her three so I stuck with the one I found, figured I’d give it a try, and next time I bake a batch I’ll try one of hers.

Really, I should have just tried one of her recipes, mom’s always know best, am-I-right?

It isn’t that there was anything wrong with the bran muffins, they just weren’t amazing, they didn’t live up to my expectation. They were a bit dry, kinda bland, I guess they perfectly fit the stereotype of a bran muffin…you know, created by those poor souls who have never gotten to eat a good bran muffin.

This recipe had such potential, sigh. I’m thinking that I should have replaced the raisins with some other fruit. The recipe clearly said I didn’t have to add the raisins and it would be fine…I think it lied to me…rude! πŸ˜‰

I won’t actually type out the recipe, since it didn’t turn out all that great, but I will bore you with some pictures of the finished product…

Ignore the different colours of the muffins, that is my poor kitchen lighting lol

Something fun that came from this little bran muffin experiment was that I got to use this lovely new tool…

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My new fave gadget!

I got this for Christmas and I love it! I’ve wanted one for a while but couldn’t justify buying one. I could of course justify putting it on my Christmas wish list! lol

So far I’ve used it for scooping cookie dough and the bran muffins and it is perfect. Everything being the same size without as much eye balling as in the past, I’m getting much more uniform batches of baked goods. Which is probably making you non-bakers roll your eyes but to me it matters. πŸ˜›

I believe the above one is from Michael’s, but don’t quote me on that. I found the same one, Wilton brand, on Amazon.ca and have put a picture just below. If you click on the picture it will direct you to the item on Amazon so you can check it out and purchase if you so desire.

So yeah, Bran Muffins: 1, Me: 0. But never fear! I will try again, and I will conquer the bran muffin challenge!

Good Times On Mt Seymour

28 Feb

Snowshoeing, I hate typing that word, it feels awkward, but it is a fun activity so alas, I will be doomed to keep typing it. Oh what a hard life I lead *pauses for a dramatic swoon*

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Some friends and I went up to Mt. Seymour to go snowshoeing and had a blast! Hmm…I’ve really gotta learn some new slang…

The day started with dragon boat practice (for two of us), then brunch, then snowshoeing. So ya know, just a slightly active day. πŸ˜‰

I wasn’t sure my suv would be allowed up the mountain, if the roads are bad they make you park at the bottom and take a shuttle up but nobody checked us so up we went…slowly…as in old granny slow…the higher we got the more the snow was swirling around and the more wintry it became. It always amazes me how you can go from city to mountain so quickly here.

Because we were snowshoeing and not skiing or snowboarding we had to park farther away, snowshoe discrimination! πŸ˜‰ It is actually ok because it gave us time to get used to walking on the snowshoes.

Once we were strapped in and on our way it was basically just fun. The whole time. I mean c’mon, get four friends together, strap their feet to snowshoes, set them on a trail, and how could that not be fun?

I did learn that all my survival knowledge is basically theoretical and does not kick in as an automatic response when faced with a potentially dangerous situation…great thing to learn up on a mountain in winter lol

See, we were trekking along this one narrow stretch where you have to go single file and all of a sudden snow is falling on us. And not the snow that had been falling all day, no no, I mean big poofy coming from the side of the mountain snow. There is technically a potential of avalanche and part of my brain kept thinking “keep moving. you have to keep moving. woman move your feet!” but in actuality all the four of us did was turn around, look up at the mountain to see where the snow was coming from, start laughing and wondering what was happening. So yeah, the survival skills of my friends and I are maybe not the absolute highest they could be…but I’m sure somewhere out there someone is worse than us…right?

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All in all it was a great day, as you can see in the above pictures. I wish there could be more like that. πŸ™‚

Women’s Canada vs USA Gold Medal Hockey Game 2018

22 Feb

Words.

I don’t know that I have the words to properly describe just how proud I am of our Women’s Olympic Hockey Team.

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They were amazing! That final game against the USA had me feeling all the possible emotions.Β There was excitement, fear, nerves, stress, joy, and yes some grief when the Americans scored the winning goal. For those of you who scoff at the idea of feeling grief during a hockey game, well, hey, it’s a Canadian thing. πŸ˜‰

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Did I start watching that game expecting my team to win gold? Sure. How could I not? I expect all the Canadian athletes to win gold whether the stats show they most likely will or not. Am I delusional? No. I like to think of it as hopeful, and proud of our athletes.

Now, I’m not some expert hockey watcher, I can’t pick apart the game and discuss what was done wrong, what should be changed for next time, things like that. I can tell you that as a spectator that game had it all. At various times throughout the game I was leaping from my seat to cheer, yelling at the ref’s calls, sitting on the edge of my seat, fist pumping the air, swearing, rocking back and forth in an attempt to self-soothe, and I will admit, at the end my head was hanging and I had tears in my eyes. Not for me. Not even for my nation’s pride (which is so closely tied to our hockey), but for our athletes who worked so hard, pushed themselves so far, were riding on adrenaline to help mask the exhaustion their bodies were feeling. I was overwhelmed with sadness for them. Knowing that they not only are feeling the deepest levels of despair but that it is being televised and will be picked apart for years to come.

Our Women’s Olympic Hockey Team won SILVER! And that is awesome!

That should be celebrated, not discussed like it is a failure. All those people who think the Silver isn’t good enough, I’d love to know what medals they have won at the Olympics lately.

 

 

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