My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

The Friday Five – Facebook Memories Edition

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So a while ago Facebook started showing you “memories” from previous years on whatever day it is.  I’ve been getting a kick out of those as it’s a nice trip down memory lane, and it’s been reminding me of not only good times I’ve had with friends and family, but also good eats that I’ve made in the past and forgotten about.  Here are some of my recent “foodie” memories.  Most of these recipes are listed on my “recipes you have to try page”, but I’ve also provided links to the recipes below.

  1. Lean Green Bean Frozen Peanut Butter Cups.  

    These little beauties are quick and easy to make, and since I made them in a mini muffin tin, I don’t feel the least bit guilty about enjoying then as an afternoon treat at work or at night while watching tv.  I currently have some in my freezer at home and at the office! Find the recipe here.

  2. Clean Eating Mediterranean Veg & White Bean Pasta.
    CE med veg and white bean pasta.jpgThis is a delicious and quick pasta dinner.  It’s loaded with veggies and the feta cheese is a nice tangy topping.  Find the recipe here.  I like this one since it usually gives me 2 leftover meals for lunches at work.
  3. Clean Eating Mongolian-Style Beef Crepes
    mongolian style beef crepes.jpgThe bundle of deliciousness popped up in my memory feed this week and I am definitely adding it to next weeks menu when I do my meal planning this weekend.  I had totally forgotten about these, but do remember how tasty they were and I’m looking forward to making them again.  Find the recipe here.
  4. Clean Eating Spaghetti Carbonara with Chicken Sausage
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    I had totally forgotten about this recipe too.  I went through quite a phase of cooking from Clean Eating magazine when I first started trying to eat better and exercise more.   I made this last Sunday and it was even better than I remember it.  So good and it will definitely not be another 3 years before I make this again.
  5. This last memory is not food related, but friend related.  For the last 5 years, in early April, I have gone to Brockville to play hockey with my best girls.  This year, we were initially planning to go to Nashville for a tourney instead, but that fell through as it became a bit too expensive and people figured the hockey would get in the way of our drinking.  So, we changed to a tourney the same weekend in Niagara Falls.  All was good, except 2 weeks before the tourney, it got cancelled ūüė¶  It seems lots of teams said they were coming and then never sent their cheques in, so the organizer cancelled.  We couldn’t do Brockville this year because many of the girls had other commitments that weekend and we didn’t have enough to ice a team.  So, we didn’t get our tourney weekend in this year.  That made us all a bit sad, because the Corona Crushers really know how to have a good time at a tourney.  Here’s the memory that came up this week from last year’s tourney.  Love you crazy chicks.  xo
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I’m sure I will be making more memories this weekend as it’s the Third Annual Jelly Bean Ball – a fundraiser my friend has for Community Living.  If history repeats itself, and I’m sure it will, we will eat, drink, dance and be merry until the wee hours of the morning.  Can’t wait!

Happy weekend!  The weather in the Toronto area is finally looking like spring.  As soon as I hit publish I’m heading to the back deck to enjoy a nice, cold Corona!  Cheers!

Are you enjoying the Facebook memory feature?

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Roughing It In The Woods

Happy weekend, everyone!

I’m so looking forward to this weekend! ¬†I’m heading up¬†north to a cottage for the weekend to scrapbook with a bunch of girlfriends. ¬†I can’t wait! ¬†We went up last year around this time and had a ton of fun.

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Leslie, Joanne, Karen, Erin and me. Laughin’ and scrappin’!

I actually don’t have anything to scrap, since last time we were up I finished all my pictures that I had printed, and sadly haven’t done anything since then ūüė¶ ¬† I’m only packing my laptop and portable hard drive and I’m going to use my time to go through all my pictures. ¬†Digital cameras are great, but they lead to thousands of pictures, many not worth printing or scrapping. ¬†And then there are all the pics I took on my iPhone…I’m dreading going through those!

I am about 5 years behind in my scrapping, which means 5 years worth of pictures to go through.  UGH!!!  My plan is to go through them all and pick the ones worth printing and get those organized into another folder, so I can send them to Costco and get them printed before we go on another scrap weekend up in Collingwood with a bigger group in November.

Nancy, our “hostess with the mostest”, has a ton of movies for us to watch, we are all bringing our phones loaded with music – there will be heavy debate whether we let Leslie play her Frank Sinatra ūüôā – ¬†and I’m pretty sure a few beverages of the alcoholic variety may be consumed. ¬†We are doing pot luck for the food. I’m on lunch duty tomorrow and making my favourite African Peanut Stew. ¬†It is delicious and seems like the perfect meal given the cooler fall temperatures we’re having these days.
photo-40.jpgCan’t wait for the fun to begin!

scrap weekend

The girls: Erin, Joanne, Karen, Me, Nancy, and Leslie. Our friend Bonnie is joining us this year too!

How do you deal with all the digital pics you take?

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Favourite Things

This has been a crazy week. Only one more day to get through and I will be on Christmas vacation!

I’m am not doing very well on my Elf for Health challenges this week:
Monday: do a circuit workout – YES! All of the workouts I do these days are circuits. That is what Trainer Bob is all about. Short, intense workouts…and I love them!

Tuesday: treat yourself to something you have been craving – YES! During my lunch break I had to go do a bit of shopping for Christmas gifts, so treated myself to lunch out at Il Fornello with a colleague. It was $10 pizza Tuesday, and I indulged in my favourite Diavolo pizza. It had been a while since I had one, and it was delicious!

Wednesday: bake cookies- NOPE! Last night was my hockey teams Christmas party, so there was no time to bake. We had a favourite things party, where each of us bought some of out favourite things and we all exchanged. This was so much fun. Here are all the favourite things that I received las night:

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Thursday: make a casserole for dinner tonight – NOPE! I got home quite late from work and just didn’t have the energy to cook. Besides, we had lots of leftovers to eat up, so the extent of my cooking was taking food out of the Gladware, putting in a bowl, and setting the microwave! Dinner was quick…and delicious! Coconut curried chickpeas with Sriracha sauce…
YUMMO!

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I am hoping I can get back on the Elf track tomorrow. Friday is Pay it Forward day. Hopefully I will get a chance to do something nice for someone else.

I did get a chance to do something nice for my sister today. She just got an iPhone a few weeks ago and hadn’t yet got a case for it. So the timing was perfect when last week I bought a Team Buy for custom iPhone cases. We are both huge Bon Jovi fans, and I just so happened to have a VERY nice picture of JBJ….and here’s what we both now have as cases for our phones:

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He is definitely one of my favourite things! It’s probably not the best case in terms of protecting our phones, but it’s fun, and not too hard to look at! We can enjoy looking at this case until we get to see the real thing live and in concert on February 17th! Less than 2 months to go!!!

What are some of your favourite things?
What would you put on a customizable iPhone case?

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Totally Random Tuesday

I am resurrecting Totally Random Tuesday so I can write about a few things that are not related at all!

1. I tried 2 new Clean Eating recipes. Yesterday I made Coconut Curry Chickpeas:

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And tonight I tried the Pumpkin Pasta Surprise:

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Both of these were very good, but I think I liked the chickpeas better because they had a bit of a kick! I need to remember to bring some Sriracha hot sauce to work tomorrow to give my chickpea leftover lunch an even bigger kick! Both recipes can be found in the Best of Clean Eating cookbook volume 1.

2. I am sore today from my awesome circuit workout yesterday! I am getting back on track with my BobHarper.com workouts. Yesterday was “quick core and lower body” and HOLY COW…my lower body is feeling it. I think the best move and the one I am feeling the most was the dead lifts. They really work!

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3. Tomorrow is my “Favourite Things” Christmas exchange with my hockey girls. The concept was suggested by my friend Kathy (you may know her as Jack Rabbit, my super fast running buddy). I’ve got my goodies bags packed with a few of my favourite things, and I can’t wait to see what everyone else brings as their favourite things. We always have a great time when we get together, and I’m sure tomorrow night will be another fun Corona Crusher party.

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How was your Tuesday?
I hope it was totally random!

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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‚Ķand it‚Äôs 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‚Äôt actually take the day off.  I will take today off and not feel guilty about missing my workout, since I know I‚Äôll be exercising on my scheduled day off.  It‚Äôs 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‚Ķone for a friend who‚Äôs mother just past away, one for a friend who is having a birthday this weekend, and one to a friend who I don‚Äôt get to see often enough.  They are all ready to drop into the mail tomorrow on my way to work.

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Tomorrow‚Äôs 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‚Äôve also got a set of workouts from the ‚ÄúBig Booty Challenge‚ÄĚ that I might try.  Whatever it is, it will need to find something quick, since I‚Äôve 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?

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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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Reunion Weekend Round-Up

The weekend Rory, the kids and I headed down to St. Mary’s area for my 20th reunion with my Teacher’s College girlfriends. ¬†Way back in 1992, we all graduated from Nipissing University Teacher’s College. ¬†We actually all met each other the year before during our Orientation to Teaching Year. ¬†This was a program that we took during out last year of undergrad that had a course in education and also required a number of us to take a calculus course to fulfil a math requirement that number of us needed. ¬†It was in that calculus class that we really bonded. ¬†Nothing like integrals and derivatives to bring a bunch of girls together!

Anyways, back to the weekend.  Friday after work, we loaded up the truck to the roof with luggage, the tent, sleeping bags, air mattresses, a cooler full of beer and food, and other supplies for the weekend.  After a stop along the way, to drop off cousin Thomas who was visiting for a few days, we were off to our final destination.

We arrived at Tina and Graham’s, our hosts for the weekend, around 8:30pm. The rest of the gang was already there. ¬†It was so nice to see everyone again. ¬†After a round of hugs and hello’s, we unpacked the car and Rory and the boys put up our tent…our home away from home for the weekend.

After getting the tent set up, it was time for a bonfire and some beers! ¬†After the week I had, this weekend with friends was exactly what I needed to get away from things for a few days. ¬†From the time we pulled out of the driveway Friday, I was able to forget about work, and all the insanity that goes along with it. ¬†It was perfect. ¬†We had lots of laughs, roasted marshmallows and made spider dogs on he bonfire, before turning in for our first night of “camping”.

After a pancake breakfast Saturday morning, Tina had organized a “Minute to Win It” competition. ¬†Everyone brought supplies for a few games, we were divided into teams and then the fun ensued! ¬†We played lots of silly games, had lots of laughs, and in the end one team beat the other by a single point. ¬†The score didn’t really matter. ¬†All that mattered that everyone was involved and we had a great time. ¬†Here are a few pics of the various games.

After Minute to Win It and lunch, we were off to the quarry in St Mary’s for an afternoon of swimming. ¬†The kids loved swimming in the quarry and spent quite a few hours in and out of the water. ¬†They followed that up with some beach volleyball ¬†and one final dip in the quarry. ¬†All in all, it was a great afternoon of fun. ¬†I took a pass on the swimming due to the shingles (which sucks, HUGE, by the way).

After the quarry it was back to home base for a few drinks, some food and more good times.  The boys had a blast taking turns driving the Gator around the yard.  The both think that we need one of these for around the house.  They are nuts!

It was such a great weekend.  We laughed a lot, ate way too much, enjoyed being together again and are looking forward to doing it again, hopefully soon.

A little tradition that we started the last time we got together was to get a picture of all the kids on the stairs at the house.  They are all getting bigger, but they are still a pretty cute bunch of kids.

 

The teacher girls also pose for a group shot:

The girls: Tina, Melissa, Sheila, Me, Laura, Joan, and Dana

We did a full group shot that included the teachers, spouses and kids, but I didn’t get one on my camera. ¬†Melissa had a camera with a remote control, so she was in charge of the group shot. ¬†Hopefully I get a copy of that from her soon!

The girls don’t get together all that often – the last time we did this was about 4 years ago – but when we get together, it’s like it was just yesterday. ¬†It was so great to see everyone again, and I am already looking forward to the next time we all get together, whenever that may be.

Changing gears a bit, today was supposed to be the first day of my new training schedule for my October half marathon. ¬†I did not run today, but will try to get out there some time this week. ¬†I am not sure running will be such a good idea since I am supposed to be resting and trying to de-stress with these stupid Shingles. ¬†So far, they aren’t too bad. ¬†I’m hoping that I caught them early enough and got onto the anti-viral meds quickly enough that they won’t get too bad. ¬†I’m just not sure if I should push my luck and run. ¬†I’ll see how I feel in a few days and decide then. ¬†Hopefully I will be good to go. ¬†I actually WANT to get out there and run!

I hope you all had a good weekend. ¬† Here’s hoping this week goes by quickly and smoothly….I don’t really need any extra stresses this week! ¬†

Cheers!

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