My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

The Friday Five

What a week!  I am very glad it’s over and that it’s the weekend!  It’s also time for…

1.  This was a tough week.  Work was a zoo, my eating was all over the place, and my workout schedule did not go as planned.  I know I say this all the time, but tgif

2.  I pick up my new wheels tomorrow!  They finally found a truck that had the right package in the right colour.  I can’t wait until we pick it up.  I’ve got to wait until 2:30. Good thing I’ve got a couple of hours of kid’s hockey to distract me until it’s time to go get it.

2013 pathfinder

3.  The Elf for Health challenge for today was to eat a rainbow. While what I ate did include quite a few colours, it was not the healthiest food day I have ever had.
Breakfast:  Egg McMuffin, Hash brown and a Peppermint Hot Chocolate (made with fat-free skim milk).
Lunch:  Turkey, avocado club on cranberry wheat bread with sweet potato fries
Dinner:  pizza and beer – Yummo!

unclean rainbow

4.  I am actually missing running.  I don’t want to run too far, but I think I couple of short runs a week might be good for me.  Running always gave me time to sort of get away from it all and not think about anything but putting one foot in front of the other.  Given how nuts things are at work, having some time to clear my head might be just what I need.  Plus, yesterday’s meditation experience showed my just how much I need to let my brain have some down time.  I have no idea how I will fit it into my schedule.  I’ll have to give some thought to that over the weekend.  I have signed up for a 5k Resolution Run on New Year’s Eve.  At this point I’m not sure I can even run 5k anymore, since I have not run a step since my half marathon back in October.  A couple of runs a week is probably a good idea to get ready for that too.

running cheaper than therapy

If I’m going to run again, I’m going to need to find a cool running app for my iPhone.  I always wear my Garmin when I run, but now that I have an iPhone, I can start using it on my runs.  I’ve seen some other blogs that post screen shots from their phones with their routes on a map, with pace and distance.  I have no idea what apps they are…but some of them look pretty cool. I guess I will have to go shopping at the app store and see what I can find.

5.  I can’t wait to go to bed!  It is only 10pm as I finish up this blog post.  Normally it is closer to midnight before I finish writing for the night.  For some reason, Friday nights are a lot more relaxed around our house.  We ordered pizza for dinner and my sister and her two little ones were here with us.  They went home and we watched a movie with the kids.  Now, I just have to finish up this and then I am off to bed…about 2.5 hours earlier than usual. Tomorrow’s first kid’s hockey isn’t until 10am…so that means we get to sleep in about 3 hours later than usual.  That adds up to over 5 more hours of potential sleep than I normally get a night.  I doubt I will be able to sleep for that long, but any extra zzz’s will be awesome.

sleep zzzzzs

Hope you all had a good week.

What’s a good iPhone running app?

Enjoy your weekend!

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A Much Better Day!

After the first half of the week not going exactly as i was hoping, today things went exactly as planned!

I set my alarm to get up 15 minutes early so I could do my Elf Challenge:  15 minutes of meditation.  My alarm went off, and despite wanting to roll over, I woke up, and tried to get into my meditation.  I have never meditated before, so really had no idea what I was supposed to do.  Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure I didn’t do it.  Instead of calming my mind, or focussing on one thing, my mind started racing to all of the things that I had to deal with at work today.  I tried and tried to clear my mind, but it just didn’t happen.  Oh well…I will try again at another time.  I’m just happy I actually got up and did it.

The second thing on my plan today was to do yesterday’s New Workout Elf challenge before I went to hockey.  If i was smart, I would have done this before I ate, but I didn’t Sad smile  We had a quick dinner of spaghetti and then I headed up, got changed and picked a new workout to try.  In the end I went with the Women’s Health Magazine Crossfit workout:

womens health workout

Women’s Health has 4 different workouts that you can do with these moves.  I chose the total reps option.  This is where you do as many reps as possible of one exercise in a minute, and then do as many of the second, and so on all the way through to the end.  Then you take a one minute break and do it all again.  In total three sets are done, making the whole workout take only about 20 minutes.  For the total reps workout the exercises order is: 5, 6, 2, 3, 1, 4.  I’ve gotta tell you, I am loving these quick, intense workouts.  I was breathing hard and sweating like a pig.  Awesome!

After my workout I had about a half hour and then I was off to hockey.   We played much better this week, and it was another win for the Crushers!  We had a few good laughs in the dressing room as we reminisced about some of our shenanigans from our girl’s weekend up in Collingwood last weekend.  Man, we sure have a good time when we get together.

Now, I’m catching up on tonight’s Grey’s and Big Bang Theory, and trying to distract myself with a Diet Pepsi so I don’t eat crap as a snack.  I am absolutely starving, but I refuse to eat anything this late.  And yes, I know Diet Pepsi is also crap, but it’s zero calorie crap, so it’s better than the alternative right now.

I’m also thinking about what I’m going to eat tomorrow.  The Elf Challenge for tomorrow is for us to “eat a rainbow”.  This will definitely be a challenge for me since my fridge is pretty empty right now.  I think I’ve got breakfast covered with another delicious burrito (today’s was very good and I am really looking forward to having another one tomorrow!).  After that, I’ll have to get creative…or go shopping!

How was your day?  Did you get everything you planned to do done?

Guess what?  Tomorrow is FRIDAY! 



This week is just not going as planned workout-wise for me.  Monday I managed to get my workout it, but yesterday and today, it didn’t happen Sad smile.

Yesterday, I was just too tired after getting home late from work.  Today, I was hoping to be able to squeeze in a quick workout, but it doesn’t seem like it is going to happen.  I left work a little late, had to make a stop on the way home, and then had about 15 minutes before my hairdresser Brittany was going to be at my house to do my hair.  Normally I go see her at a salon, but she is currently between salons, so doing “mobile” work.  She came to my house and did exactly what she normally does at the salon…but for about half the price!  Plus she gave my little guy some blonde bangs with the extra highlight stuff that was leftover when she finished my highlights.  We both love our “new do’s” ..and Jacko’s totally suits him.

new do's

After my hair appointment was finished I grabbed some dinner, since I didn’t have time to eat between when I got home and when Brittany was going to be here.  Dinner was delicious…(leftover Mediterranean Veg & White Bean Pasta…photo credit to Jackson, who snapped a shot after stealing a few bites!)

leftover med veg

Now it’s 9:30 and I have zero desire to go jump around and get sweaty.  Besides, I don’t want to wreck a good blow dry!

My plan is to get caught up a bit tomorrow.  I am going to get up early and do my Day 4 Challenge (get up 15 minutes early to meditate and reflect), and then after work get caught up with Challenge #3 – try a new workout.  This morning while I was enjoying my Starbucks Chai Latte, and reading posts on the Elf for Health Facebook page, I found two workouts posted by fellow elves that looked interesting and sound quick.  I will either be doing this one:

holiday blaster

or, one from Women’s Health magazine for a CrossFit style workout:

womens health workout

Click on the link above, or the workout summary pic to see exactly how to complete the workout.  They claim there are 4 completely different workouts that you can do with these 6 moves.

I’ve got hockey tomorrow night as well, so that will make up for missing my workout yesterday.

Hopefully I can get motivated to get back on track with my workouts.  I’m just not feeling the workout love these days.  I need to get my workout mojo back…soon.  I guess this is exactly what the Elf for Health Challenge is all about.  There are 600 people all with the same goal of surviving the holidays…I’d say that’s some serious support!

How do you get yourself back on track when you are struggling to fit it all in?

Do you have a holiday survival support system? 


Unscheduled Day Off

Today was another absolutely insane day at the office.  Sadly, they have all been like this for as long as I can remember…and it’s not going to let up anytime soon.  This, coupled with the fact that I do not get nearly enough sleep, is leaving me completely exhausted.  So, today I took an unscheduled day off. Hopefully I will still be able to make my goal of 5 days of exercise this week.  Thursday is a scheduled rest day, but I play hockey, so don’t actually take the day off.  I will take today off and not feel guilty about missing my workout, since I know I’ll be exercising on my scheduled day off.  It’s just a little swapping of my days!

Today was Day 2 of the Elf for Health Challenge.  Our Elf task for the day was to send a handwritten note to someone.  I actually wrote 3 notes today…one for a friend who’s mother just past away, one for a friend who is having a birthday this weekend, and one to a friend who I don’t get to see often enough.  They are all ready to drop into the mail tomorrow on my way to work.


Tomorrow’s challenge is to try a new workout.  Other Elves have posted workouts that I will check and see if I can find something new to try.  I’ve also got a set of workouts from the “Big Booty Challenge” that I might try.  Whatever it is, it will need to find something quick, since I’ve got another busy day tomorrow!

Have you sent a handwritten note to a friend recently?

Do you have a suggestion for a new quick workout to try?


I’m Meatless for Elf4Health

Today was Day 1 of the Elf for Health Challenge.  Our first challenge was to go meatless.  I don’t think I have ever purposefully gone a full day without meat.  I’ve had meals that didn’t have meat, but never on purpose for a full day.  Despite not really being to organized today, I managed to have 3 meatless – and quite tasty – meals.

Breakfast:  Home made Bagelwich:  toasted bagel, 2 eggs microwave scrambled, and a slice of low-fat sharp cheddar. 

Lunch:  I was not really sure what I was going to do for lunch.  I didn’t have any meatless leftovers so would either have to go out (which I didn’t want to do, since I only let myself go out for lunch once a week now…didn’t want to use it up on Monday), or find something meatless at the office.  I was just about to have a chicken noodle soup, when I noticed I had a couple of Indian meals in my office.  So, in the end, I had a delicious bowl of Matter Paneer, which is Indian curried peas and cheese. 

matter paneer

Dinner:  Last night when I was emailing my Elf4Health partner I wanted to include a meatless recipe for her.  I was flipping through my Clean Eating recipes looking for meatless recipes and came across a pasta dish that I had made earlier this year.  Once I saw it again, I knew this was going to be the recipe I shared, and that I was going to make it tonight for dinner.  The recipe was Mediterranean Veg & White Bean Pasta, and it was just as good as I remember it.  Maybe even better since hubs prepared it while I did my Bob Harper workout. 

med veg pics

And check that out…3 awesome leftover meals!  I can’t wait for lunch tomorrow!!!

I got back on track with my workouts tonight.  When I got home from work, I REALLY didn’t much feel like doing a workout, but I changed into my workout gear and picked my workout.  I haven’t signed up with yet, so I just did one of the workouts that I had printed out from last week’s circuits.  It was a cardio workout, and once again, after a quick 20 minute workout, I was dripping.  Doing the workout just reinforced that I should sign up for at least another month of  These workouts are quick and they really work.  I’m noticing changes in my shape, I feel stronger, and I can always find 20-30 minutes to do these workouts.  Hopefully I will get a chance to sigh up tomorrow. 

Tomorrow’s Elf for Health challenge is to send a friend a handwritten note.  I do not remember the last time I wrote a letter or note.  I do always try to write a little message to each of our friends when we send out our Christmas Letter, but that’s probably the extent of my note writing these days.  I’ll have to put a little thought into who I’ll write to. 

All in all, today was a pretty good day.  Hopefully the rest of the week goes just as well.

How was your Monday?  Did you eat clean?  Did you go meatless?

Feel free to share any of your Meatless Monday favourites.


I’ve Been MIA

Holy cow! I haven’t written a blog post since Wednesday.  I think this is the longest stretch of days that I’ve gone without writing since I started this blog back in March. 

Thursday I had a parent-teacher interview with my little guy’s teacher and then hockey.  By the time I got home, I didn’t have the energy to write a post.  Friday, I planned on writing my usual Friday Five post, but then I got away from work late and was heading out for a girl’s weekend and ran out of time before I had to go meet my friends to hit the road.

So, here is an update on what’s been going on with me.

1.  I have signed up to be an Elf for Health
elf for health

This is 6 week challenge being run by Elle at Nutritionella and Lindsay at Lean Green Bean.  The challenge pairs people – Elves – together to help each other stay on track as we approach the holiday season.  There are prizes for “Best Elf” and Elle and Lindsay have gotten some great sponsors to jump on board and provide prizing for the various winners.  Unfortunately since I live outside the USA, I’m not eligible to win any of the prizes, but I’m looking forward to completing the daily challenges, “meeting” new bloggers, and having support to stay on track with my diet and fitness goals as we get into the crazy holiday season.  The first challenge for tomorrow is have a “Meatless Monday”.  I’ll have to find a good veggie recipe to make for dinner tomorrow.

2.   I completely fell of the workout and clean eating wagon this weekend.  I went away for a girl’s weekend with 6 friends.  We went up the Blue Mountain in Collingwood and stayed at a beautiful 3 bedroom condo in the village.  We try to get away as a group a couple of times a year, and hitting Collingwood in late November or early December has become one of our regular trips.  As usual, we had a very good time!  We did a bit of shopping, we hit the giant outdoor hot tub, we ate lots of tasty snacks (none of which are clean) and we drank like fish!  I am a bit worried about what the scale will say when I step on it tomorrow morning.  I’m not going to get too hung up on whatever the number may be.  I’m sure any weight that I might have gained will drop off in a couple of days after I get back on track with my food and workouts.

3.  I missed my workouts on Friday and Saturday.  I’m a bit bummed about this, but not going to beat myself up about it.  Life happens and having a fun weekend away with my best girls was totally worth missing a couple of workouts.  I will see if I can double up a couple times this week to get caught up.  Over the weekend my free subscription to that I got with the Mamavation Challenge came to an end.  I think I will sign up for at least another month and see how I do.  I really enjoyed the workouts.  They were quick, intense, and effective…which is exactly what anyone would want in a workout!

I hope you all had a good weekend. 

I’m off to hit my Clean Eating magazines to find a meatless recipe for tomorrow’s Elf for Health challenge.  Got any suggestions of something I could try?


Clean Wednesday

This is going to be short and sweet. It is late and I’m exhausted, so heading to bed as soon as I post this!

Today, everything I ate was Clean!

Breakfast: Eat Clean Hash Brown, Sausage & Egg muffins
Lunch: leftover Eat Clean Mulligatawny soup.
Afternoon snack: Dark chocolate date bar
Dinner: more leftover Eat Clean Mulligatawny soup and an apple
TV watching snack: another Dark chocolate date bar


Today’s WOD on was a 2 move program of Thrusters and Burpees, with 3 sets with 21- 15 – 9 reps. I thought how hard can it be? Two exercises. Piece of cake, right? WRONG! Oh.My.God! I was dying after the first 21 Thrusters…and 21 Burpees in a row is insane! I was quite proud of myself since I was able to do the thrusters with weights for all 3 sets and the girl in Bob’s video couldn’t do the Thrusters with the weights after the first set! This was another tough workout and once again, I was sweating like mad when I finished. This was a timed workout…I did it in 7:51!! That was 7 minutes and 51 seconds of hell!

Tomorrow is a rest day in the Bob Harper program, but I’ve got a hockey game tomorrow night, so not a rest day for me!

Bob Harper has a set of “Skinny Rules”. Rule #6 is eat an apple a day. I’m going to try to do this. Realistically, I know I won’t eat an apple everyday, but I’m definitely going to try to eat them more often. Today I also read a tweet by @joyoushealth that said eating apples helps prevent cavities too. Is there nothing this wonder fruit can’t do?


How was your day? Any apples on your menu today?


Catching Up

Today was a good day. After a very unclean breakfast of cold leftover pizza, and an unclean lunch of more leftover pizza, things got back on track for dinner.

I was finally home and had time to cook…and my recipe of choice was Clean Eating Mulligatawny Soup.

I have made this recipe once before, and it was even better than I remember it! The kids liked it too….the 13 year old even had seconds!

And the best part…5 leftover meals in the fridge ready to go!


While the Mulligatawny was simmering and the rice was cooking, I had time to do my Bob Harper workout of the day, and got caught up by doing yesterday’s missed workout as well. Doing two of these very intense workouts back to back was not very fun at all. I had to really push myself to keep going for the second workout. At times I thought about quitting after the first circuit of the second workout. I was telling myself that I did a workout today, and that could be enough…but I didn’t listen and kept going, completing all three circuits of the second set of exercises. I will say that push up jacks are not fun…but I surprised myself by the fact that I could do them at all. I feel like I am getting stronger and that keeps me going.

Do you catch up on missed workouts? Or do you just let them go and move on to the next one on your schedule, without looking back?


Did and Didn’t

Today was a day of things that I did and didn’t do.

I did eat a clean breakfast (oatmeal).

I didn’t eat the lunch I brought to work, but instead went out with my colleagues for Dim Sum.

I did eat a healthy snack this afternoon (dark chocolate date bars).

I didn’t cook tonight – so that means I have no leftovers to take for lunch tomorrow. 😦

I didn’t eat a decent dinner. We got very delayed at an appointment and ended up eating Subway at 9:30pm. Ugh.

I didn’t work out today. 😦 I guess I will need to do the Monday and Tuesday WOD tomorrow.

I did buy a new car!!!

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder in Arctic Blue with Charcoal leather interior.

The dealership didn’t have that combination in the model and package we want, but they checked some online inventory and it looks like there is one “on the rails” that they can divert here.

The whole car buying process is awful and stressful. You negotiate a price and then they send you to the finance guy who then tries to sell you $3500 worth of rust proofing and undercoating and another $4500 worth of extended warranty. Ugh. It took forever. But, in the end, I think we got a good deal. Now we just need to wait for it to get here!

The process was totally exhausting. I can’t wait to go to bed!

How was your day. What did and didn’t you do today?


My Day Off

Today was a day off in my workout schedule. Sunday is actually my only day of the week without some sort of exercise. It was nice to be able to just relax today. I actually even got a little nap on the couch today between the kids’ hockey ice times.

I seemed to also take the day off from my clean eating routine today as well. I did have a clean breakfast of my Hash brown Sausage & Egg Muffins.

After that, my clean eating pretty much went out the window. I had leftover pizza for lunch, and for dinner I had a chicken quesadilla and French fries at Boston Pizza. The quesadilla was on a whole wheat tortilla and baked, so it wasn’t too bad, but the French fries and the cactus cut chips we had as an appetizer weren’t the greatest.

I’m not going to beat myself up over this clean eating stumble, but I’m also not going to let it derail my progress. Tomorrow I will get back on track, or at least try. Since we went out for dinner, I didn’t cook, and as a result, I don’t have any clean leftovers to take for lunch tomorrow. That will make things a bit challenging, but hopefully I will figure something out.

I do have a clean snack to take to work tomorrow. This afternoon I made another batch of Dark Chocolate Date Bars. These are absolutely delicious, and totally clean!

I used my new food processor, and let me tell you, my Cuisinart handled the task so much better than my old one did. I can’t wait to find another recipe that needs things chopped, shredded, or puréed!

What do you do on your days off? How do you make sure you get back on track after having a bad day?

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