My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

Hellooooooo!

Hey, remember me!  I’m your friendly neighbourhood MIA blogger!

I did warn you in my last post that I might not be too regular with my posts since I was heading on vacation…but I really didn’t think I would go silent for this long.  I guess that just means I had a really good week…and I did!

Here’s what’s been going on in my world the last 13 days.

Our week at the cottage was amazing!  We had a weekend with hubby’s family and then they headed out and we had the cottage to ourselves…well, sort of.  As soon as his family left, my sister and her 2 little ones came up to spend the week with us, and then two days later a bunch of my friends and all their kids came up for 3 days.  It was AWESOME!

Highlights included: 

A cottage full of kids:  This is most of them.  cottage kids cropped

L-R:  Baby Peighton, Nick, Kenzie, Tanner, Maddie, Presley, Emma and Alyssa.  Missing:  Jackson, Ryan and Nolan. 

Ryan drives the boat:
captain ryan

Tanner enjoys a s’more:
tanner smores

We all wait out the tornado:
tornado waiting

This tornado/storm was pretty intense.  We thought it might miss us, but of course, as soon as we got the tent set up, and Gill loaded all her stuff in it, the rains came…big time!  I guess officially it never turned into a tornado in our area, but a pretty decent waterspout was seen a few lakes over from us.  We just had a LOT of rain… IMG_3239

and some pretty strong wind that pretty much leveled the tent:
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We think the only thing that kept it from blowing completely away was all of Gill’s stuff, including her sleeping bags and clothes….all of which got COMPLETELY soaked. 
After the worst of the storm past, we went out to put the tent back together, take out all the wet stuff, and check out the damage, Nothing like a small lake inside a tent to make camping fun:
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We got rid of the lake by lifting the tent up and dumping all the water out the roof!  It was a bit of a mess inside, and there was no way anyone was sleeping in there that night, so Gill and her two kids set up camp in the cottage basement.  Not the greatest spot, but a heck of a lot better than a soggy tent!  As soon as the power came back on, we put sleeping bags into the dryer and they were all set for the night.  By the next day, the tent had dried out and with a little wipe down it was good to go and the three of them camped tent-style the next night.  Good thing…those kids were dying to sleep in the tent! 

We drank just a few beer:
empties

Can you tell why our hockey team is called the Corona Crushers?  Smile

The hockey girls and all their kids left Friday afternoon.  We had time to do a bit of tidying and then the weekend crew rolled in.  A couple of Rory’s buddies and their families came up. It was a bit tamer on the weekend that it was when the Crushers were here.  (The Crushers managed two nights of 4am…I am way too old for that!!)

With the weekend crew we took all the kids to town for ice cream in the boat.  Along the way they stopped for a little cliff jumping.  No way I would jump off this cliff, but the kids had no problem with it.
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To get a sense of just how high it is….here’s a clip of one of the kids going over the edge.

Thomas takes a leap!

All in all, it was a great week at the cottage.  We all came home tanned, fat, happy, and just a bit tired.  We tried to rest up this week, because we are back up there tomorrow and will do it all again next week…hopefully just a tad tamer this time!

Being at the cottage for the week meant I went a week without CrossFit.  I was nervous and excited to get back to the box on Monday night.  The WOD on Monday was 21-15-9 Deadlfts and HandStand Push Ups.  This was actually a good WOD to get me back into CrossFit mode.  Aside from a 30 minute Jillian Michaels SHRED workout my sister made me do with her on the front lawn, the only exercise I got at the cottage was lifting a bottle of Corona to my lips!  In the WOD I think I lifted 95lbs for the deadlift and did my HSPU off a 24inch box.  I finished in about 7 minutes (I think it was 6:53).   I also did 3 sets of 15 on the Reverse Hyper.  I had never used that crazy machine before, but I picked it up pretty quickly.  I’m not sure how much weight was on it, but I just did the same and the guys before me were using.  This wasn’t the toughest workout I have ever done at CrossFit, but it was a good one to get back into the grove with.  I’m back at the Box tonight for some Back Squats, Kettlebell Swings and Ring Dips.  I can’t wait!

Tuesday was my golf night.  I played my next match in our league match play competition.  This time I was paired against a golfer with the same handicap as me, so there were no strokes given to anyone this match.  We just played and whoever had the lowest score won that hole.  In the end I was 2 up with 1 to play so I won the match.  YAY!  It was a nice night on the course, and I got to try out my new driver, since I broke mine when I was in Ohio.  Callaway replaced it with an XHot….and I love it!  My wicked left curve doesn’t seem to be as bad and the ball seems to go further than it did with my old driver.  In the end I shot a 49!  Another score under 50…super pumped!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a shitty golfer…now I’m just slightly less shitty than I used to be.  I’ve actually got my handicap down under 30:
29.8

I know it is barely under 30, but I don’t care…it’s still under, and much better than the 33.3 I started the year at.  Hopefully I can keep this “good golf” going and drop a few more decimal points before the end of the season. 

PHEW!  That was a long post. I still feel bad for neglecting my blog for so long, but at least now I feel like I am caught up.  Just in time to go on vacation again tomorrow and get behind in my posts again!  Hopefully next week, since we won’t have any guests, I will get a chance to write the odd post from the cottage.

Hopefully see you tomorrow with another edition of The Friday Five.

How have things been with you?
Do anything exciting these last 2 weeks?

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The Saturday Three

saturday three

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Friday Five.  Just a day late…oh well…you know what they say…better late, than never!  And I don’t have enough energy to come up with five things, so we’re going with the Saturday Three!

Here we go:

1.  It’s the weekend!  This was another crazy week at work, and as have become a bit of a regular thing…we celebrated Friday with beer and pizza with my sister and her family.  It is probably not the cleanest meal, but I don’t care….it is so good, and I didn’t have to cook it! 
pizza-beer13

2.  It’s the Weekend for Christmas Parties.  Both nights this weekend we had/have Christmas parties to go to.  Last night I drove, so I only had one drink and I managed to only eat 1 samosa off the food table!  Tonight, we have another party to go to…and I’m not driving us to this one!  That probably means there is a good chance that I will have more than 1 drink tonight!  I will try to still limit myself around the food table…wish me luck!
think before you eat

3.  We were supposed to go Christmas Tree hunting today.  That was the plan, but it didn’t happen.  We were going to go with my sister, brother-in-law, and their her two little ones, and do the hayride, hot chocolate, chopping down the tree Christmas adventure…but everyone in her family was sick today and it didn’t happen.  Sad smile  Instead, hubs and I went to Home Depot and bought a tree.  It’s in the living room now, in the stand and we are waiting for the branches to fall into place after being bound up for who knows how long.  Tomorrow between hockey games we will decorate.  Our strategy is lots of lights…any tree looks good when it is loaded with lights! 
naked tree

By this time tomorrow, this sucker will be lit up…like a Christmas tree!

Happy Saturday!

How to you avoid temptations and eating too many treats at holiday parties?

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The Friday Five

What a week!  I am very glad it’s over and that it’s the weekend!  It’s also time for…
friday-five2

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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The Friday Five

Hello weekend.  I love you! 

friday-five2

1.  I am super exited for this weekend!  I am going away with my sister and 8 other friends to Selwyn Shores, a B&B near Peterborough to scrapbook for the whole weekend.  I am incredibly behind in my scrapping, so getting a whole weekend to focus on it is awesome.  Plus, the owner of the B&B used to own a catering company and prepares the most amazing meals for us all weekend.  We are leaving shortly after noon and I can’t wait!

i love scrapbooking

2.  I ran my last long run of my half marathon training program this morning….and it was AWESOME!  Since I will be away this weekend I figured I would get my run out of the way so I didn’t need to pack my run gear or take time away from my scrapping to go run.  I really didn’t feel like running when I woke up this morning, and it was raining a bit when I headed out…but I had a fantastic run.  Coach Kathy (aka Jack Rabbit – who ran a 3:53 full marathon last weekend by the way…see why I call her Jack Rabbit…she’s FAST!!) says that this last long run should be at race pace.  To reach my 2:30 half goal, I need to have a 7:06 average pace per km – which includes the walk breaks, so I actually need to run faster than that.  Well, today’s 8k looked like this:

last 8k long run

Check out that average pace…6:36!  That is practically a tempo run for me, and I managed to hit that with my walk breaks included.  I felt fantastic out there today.  It was tough, and I was pushing myself, but I could do it.  I am super pumped for next Sunday.  I can’t wait to race!

3.  After my run, I had a little dance party of 1.  I was walking in the door and the song that was playing on my iPod just got me moving.  I was dancing around my front hallway, singing at the top of my lungs, with the biggest smile on my face.  The song was Rock the Boat, by Forrest.  I just couldn’t stop moving!  Take a listen and see for yourself. Does this song not just make you want to get up and dance? 

I’m chair dancing as I insert this video into my post! 🙂

I’ve even got an extended mix on my iPod, so I had a solid 8 minutes of grooving before I could stop and take off my running shoes!  LOL 

4.  It’s looking like I might have my own personal Pace Bunny (or should I say Jack Rabbit) for the race next weekend.  Kathy thinks she might come to Niagara to help pace me on the race.  This is super exciting!  Although I’m pretty sure I could keep myself going and hit 2:30 on my own, having someone to keep me moving and on pace to hit my goal would be nice!  She’s even thinking I can do it in 2:20 – that would be insane!  She is my running hero.  Doesn’t she make it look so easy?

kathy

5.  No more Corona…until after the race!  Normally when I go on my scrap weekends, I take along a few Corona. Since I am 9 days out from my race, I am going to leave the Corona at home and just drink water all weekend. I might allow myself a Diet Pepsi a day as a treat – yes, I know it’s crap, but I like it!  I will enjoy a nice cold Corona (maybe even 2!) after the race.

no alcohol

What’s your weekend plan?
Happy Friday!

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Let The Fun Begin

Today is the official start of our vacation week at the cottage. The family has gone and it is just us…well, just us until 22 of our fiends show up to spend the week with us. I still haven’t quite figured out where we are putting everyone, but that will sort itself out…it always does!

After spending $320 at the grocery store, I have supplies for a weeks worth of meals, most of them clean!

We are ready…let the fun begin!

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Once all these crazy girls and their kids/husbands/boy toys get here, this will be a much different picture. I cant wait! We always have so much fun this week. It really is the highlight of our summer.

For now, I will enjoy the quiet, because it will likely be the last bit of peace we get until Friday when they all head back home and we get the weekend to put the cottage back together before we go back to reality next week.

For now, I’m going to enjoy a cold one of these…

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And go sit in the sun!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Cheers!!

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Life is Good

I Love being at the cottage!

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The Friday Five

Friday…finally! Time for another installment of the Friday Five. 1.  I played “Caddie” today for my two sons.  They were in golf camp this week at a golf course just around the corner from our place.  On Fridays they have a BBQ lunch for the parents.  After lunch the instructors give us a bit of info on what the kids have worked on over the course of the week, and then we caddie for them as they play a little 2 hole scramble to show their skills.  The both had some nice shots and overall had a great week at camp. 2.  We are heading up to the cottage in a bit, mostly for an event at the Sailing Club tomorrow night.  All the families have been asked to provide an hors d’oeuvre.  I was in search of something very simple that takes no time to prepare, but tasted yummy.  A colleague at work suggested prosciutto wrapped melon, and it totally fits the bill.  I will pick up both needed ingredients on the way to the cottage so that’s perfect.  Prep is basically slicing and peeling a melon and wrapping the pieces in a half slice of prosciutto.  Couldn’t be any simpler!  3.  It’s hot as balls out there!  This is a saying I picked up from my friend Toni.  I think it is hilarious…and today it is so true.  It is currently 33 Celcius outside, feeling like 37 (37 is 99F).  Hot!  It’s supposed to be hot all weekend and into next week as well.  Looks like it’s going to be another heat wave! 4.  My tea addiction continues to grow!  I am shocked at how much I love tea.  I would have tea when I ate a restaurant if we went for dim sum or for Peking Duck at work, but other than that, I really didn’t drink it.  Now, since I have discovered David’s Tea and the seemingly endless variety of flavours, I can’t get enough of the stuff.  This week I got a tin refill of my favourite Coco Chai Rooibus and tried a new flavour – Vanilla Oolong.  The Vanilla Oolong is pretty good. I’ve had at least 3 cups of it at work already!  While I restocked, I also tried just a cup of Mint Chocolate Rooibus.  OH MY GOD…it’s so good.  I think that will be my next flavour purchase.  It would make a lovely treat in the evenings…it’s like having dessert with no calories!

5.  I am 2 hours away from a nice, cold one of these! Can’t wait to enjoy it down on the dock.  Gotta love weekends at the cottage.

I hope your Friday has been a good one.  Got any big plans for the weekend?  Whatever you do, have fun!

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Girls Golf Day

Today was a great day!  Golf with the girls followed by a dinner date with the hubs.  Pretty darn good day, for sure!

We played Nobleton Lakes.  The weather was nice – sunny and warm. You might say it was “hot as balls” out there…at least that’s what you say if you are Toni!  I’ve made reference to Toni a couple of times in my blog now, and here are a few pictures featuring Toni that we took today on the course.  Toni is in both pics…once with me (check out the Side Show Bob hair-do I’ve got going on – yikes!), and in the other shot she is with Leslie, who golfed with us today.

There was another foursome of girls with us – Kathy, Gina, Cathy, and Daphne – but I didn’t get a picture of them.  We had a great day on the course.  My golf wasn’t too bad at all.  I was quite pleased that I didn’t blow up on the back 9 like I did in Niagara.  Today, my back 9 was actually a few strokes better than the front.  I shot a 55 on the front, and managed a 52 on the back.  I had a bunch of 3 putts that killed me.   I hate 3 putts…but I love beer!  and we enjoyed a couple of cold ones out there.  They hit the spot today.

After golf, the kids and I hit golf town for a few Father’s Day things.  Rory is going golfing with some buddies early tomorrow, so we picked up a few pairs of shorts and some shirts so he will look good out there tomorrow and when he goes on his golf weekend next weekend.

The kids were playing with friends so we decided to go out for an adults only dinner.   We headed down the street to a place called Play.  It wasn’t busy at all and we were able to get a nice booth with a good view of the tv’s so we could watch the US Open while we ate.  We shared some baked shrimp as an appetizer…it was good – shrimp baked in a lime-butter with cheese.  This was not exactly clean eating, but it sure was good.  For my main dish, I made a healthier choice and had chicken souvlaki with a greek salad.  This was really good and very filling.  I was starving after golf and ate the whole thing!

When we got home from dinner we had to go collect Jacko from his friend’s place around the corner.  After stopping in for a visit, it was late when we got home, and then it got even later since we did Father’s Day tonight so Rory could have his new outfit for golf tomorrow.  Now it’s really late, and I need to go to bed.  Story of my life!  LOL

Hope you had a good Saturday.  Did you get out there and enjoy the fantastic weather? 

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RACE DAY!

Today was the day.  Race Day for the Toronto Women’s Half Marathon.

I was up at 5:45 to shower and have breakfast before picking up my sister at her place and hitting the road down to Sunnybrook park for the start.  Breakfast was my usual pre-run bagel with peanut butter.  I was going to have an oatmeal pancake, but thought it might not be wise to change things up on race day.  So I stuck with the usual, and it hit the spot!

Hubby was a great guy and agreed to drive us down to the park so we wouldn’t have to worry about parking.  It was a good thing, because we got there around 7:15 and the place was packed!  Who knows where we would have had to park.  Jacko also came down to the race with us. The plan was for Rory and Jack to go grab breakfast somewhere, and then come back to the park and go for a bike ride along the trails and stop at a few spots to cheer us on.  More on that later.

We had time to hit the port-a-potties, take a few pre-race pics and then we got into the corrals.

For the half marathon there were 1500 ladies registered and another 500 for the 5 km race.  For the Half, they had us go off in three groups based on expected finish time.  Erin and I were in the second group to go off.  It was quite packed for the first few km as everyone was bunched up and hadn’t spread out yet, and the path was fairly narrow.  Once we got out of the pack and into our own space we moved along not too badly for the first bit.  I was feeling good, my hamstring wasn’t bothering me and we were making out not too badly time-wise for the first 5 miles or so.  Somewhere in here Rory and Jack were on the side of the path and were cheering us on.  Rory managed to get a picture of us in action.  At this point, we were both still smiling.

Then I seemed to lose a bit of steam.  I’m not sure what it was, but I really slowed down quite a bit. After running the first 5 miles in the 10-11 min/mile range, I was not able to keep up that pace.  I slowed down to the 12 minute range for miles 6-10.  Mile 11 was horrible at 14:19 pace.  I was so discouraged and although my brain was telling my legs to run they just wouldn’t go.  My sister did a great job trying to get me going again, and I was able to pick up the pace a bit for the last 2 miles, with mile 12 at 12:42 and the last mile was at 11:35 pace.  Overall we finished in 2:40, 10 minutes off my goal time.  I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t pull it out and get it done, but I have to be happy that I did it, and didn’t finish last – which until now was really my goal for every race I’ve ever run.

I was so happy to be finished!  It was a tough run for me, but Erin and I still managed to be smiling at the end of it!

Notice our new bling?  The race medals were these awesome nickel necklaces by Foxy Jewelry.  Foxy was actually one of Oprah’s favourite things!  Check it out..they have some beautiful stuff http://www.foxyoriginals.com/index.asp

Thanks everyone for your positive sunshine vibes.  There was no rain during the race!

After the run it was home to shower and then it was time to chill out on the back deck.  We had crackers, cheese, fruit and other snacks to munch on while we enjoyed our well-earned Corona!

After burning over 1400 calories running this morning, I wasn’t worrying too much about what I ate today.  So, after an afternoon of beer and snacks, we ordered pizza for dinner.  I just didn’t have the energy to go shopping.  I will make a nice clean meal tomorrow, but tonight, that pizza tasted so good!

I’m guessing I might be a little stiff tomorrow.  Thankfully, I’ve got a massage booked to help with that.  My hamstring still feels good, so maybe whatever my massage therapist did to it Thursday night did the trick.  The worst ‘injury’ that I got on the run was three killer blisters – on both big toes, under the calluses that had built up during my training, and one other one on the side of my right foot.  They are a bit tender, but all in all, not too bad.

Before I sign off from this post, I have to thank my sister for running with me today.  I’m sure she could have finished in under 2 hours had she not decided to run with me.  She was awesome today, encouraging me and at times physically pulling my arm to get my legs moving again when they just didn’t want to go.  Erin, you are awesome!  I don’t think I could have done it without you.  You are the best sister, EVER!  xoxo

Now, all I want to do is go to bed.  I think I’m going to sleep like a rock.

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Do the Mashed Potato

After a very successful start to my day (completing yesterday’s missed training run), it was off to the slopes to get as many runs in before the bright sunshine and ridiculously warm temperatures turned the snow to that dreaded mashed potato consistency.  Unfortunately it didn’t take long for that to happen.  Yet, we were troopers and skied like mad before lunch, knowing that this afternoon would be even worse.

After lunch, I switched from skis to my snowboard thinking it would be easier to tackle the poor conditions on a board as opposed to my skis (I was wrong!).  I headed out to take a few easy runs with my son, who also switched to his board for the afternoon.  We went all the way to the top of the mountain to take a nice easy run called Tuckered Out.  It was brutal. The snow was so slow that I got stopped a few times and had to unbuckle and walk a bit to a steeper part of the hill.  I am still just learning to board and this was such a workout moving in this wet, sticky, clumpy snow.  We had planned to take a few runs, but by the time we got down once, both of us decided that Tuckered Out had tuckered us out and that we should just sit on the patio and enjoy some sunshine for the rest of the afternoon.  We made the right decision….sitting and chillin’ in the sun was exactly what we needed.

I am getting quite the goggle tan, but everyone else around has one too, so I don’t look too silly.  Next week when I’m back to work and client meetings, I’m sure I will look quite ridiculous!

Plan for the rest of the night is dinner, hot tub, beer and bed.  I’ve got to get up early tomorrow and run 2 miles before I hit the slopes.  Tomorrow is also a core day, which should fun.

I’m trying to eat fairly healthy this week, not going overboard with the snacks, but I’m caving in on the beer.  It just tastes so good after a hard day on the slopes.  I figure between my training runs first thing in the morning and skiing/snowboarding most of the day, I’m burning through a few calories and have earned a few nice cold beers as a reward.  Besides, this IS a vacation, so I’m allowed to indulge a bit, no?

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