Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Favourites!

Today I'm linking up with some fabulous bloggers for what is quickly becoming one of my favourite posts! Friday Favourites!
Who doesn't want to share all of their favourite products?
I have several this week -It's been a week of goodness!
#1 Stella and Dot Sierra Bracelet in Slate

My goodness this bracelet is gorgeous! I've been eyeing it forever and when it finally went on sale by my S&D distributor, I pounced on it. But here's the thing - it was delivered, but I never received it. So some jerk out there has my black one with blue beads. But you know what? My girl has got my back and she sent me the newest one to replace it and if you know me, you know grey is my #1 favourite colour. I'm in love with this bracelet already.
#2 Fresh Rose Face Mask
I already love the Fresh brand (obsessively), so it's not a stretch that I'd love their Masks. This mask smells like roses, has actual pieces of rose petals inside,  is super light and gentle and only needs to sit for 5-10 minutes (or in my case, ample time to floss while I wait). It's gentle enough to use every day, but I usually only do a mask once a week. I had some irritation on my skin earlier this week, used the mask and the next day my skin was free and clear. Believe me when I say you'll likely see lots of Fresh products come up in these posts!
**Note the tiny size -- this is a sample I received. Even the sample has given me approximately 7 uses. I already have a full size waiting :)

#3 Apple watch

My husband bought me an apple watch for my birthday and it was love at first sight. I like when products give me everything on one screen. I love that I can manage it from my phone and see the breakdowns of my workouts (especially awesome for swims, bike rides and runs) and it also counts my steps. It has encouraged me to become more physically active - especially with my steps. I even joined a step challenge starting in a couple of weeks. I have the 2nd generation watch and I have worn it in the pool, but it makes me nervous. I haven't worn it for open water swims.
I got the rose gold colour which automatically comes with a pink strap. I really like the pink strap, and find that it's not worth the cost to buy another when I'm happy with this one.

#4 Briogeo Rosarco Milk reparative leave-in conditioning spray.
I received this in an Ipsy bag and went out and bought the full size as soon as I finished it. I kept the little sample bottle and re-fllled it from the big one to take to the gym. This is so light, cuts way down on the frizz that my hair is so prone to and doesn't give me greasy hair after a day like my last leave-in did. I probably spray about 5 -6 spritzes after a shower before either blow-drying or tossing my hair into a ponytail. It also doubles as a heat protectant so that cuts down on me using another product to protect my hair.

#5 Our Weekly CSA Box
Our box this week was fabulous because it included two mini watermelons! It also included blueberries, bananas, celery, carrots, garlic, lettuce, squash, cauliflower and cucumber! This box is right up there with the time we got cherries and pineapple in the same one! I have no clue what I'm going to do with these patty-pan squash, but overall I'm very excited!

#6 OPI Mod About You

This colour is just gorgeous! Plus, of all the colours I've had done, for some reason it seems to have the most staying power. It's been almost three weeks and it's still holding up!
It's such a lovely colour and just compliments my skin tone, matches everything and I can't get enough! Link for picture and product in the name.


Okay, I know, another lululemon item. But seriously, these pants. I bought them because I needed something comfortable to fly in that didn't look like sweat pants. I like my comfort but on this particular trip I had to remain appropriate looking. I saw these pants online, but went to the store to check them out. They could totally pass for plain black (work-appropriate) pants, and although they're 7/8 length, because I'm short(ish), they still go to my ankles. They look good rolled twice, or left down, the fabric is soft and comfortable and they have some durability to them. Honestly, if they weren't so expensive, I'd go and buy 6 more pairs and wear them everyday! Picture source and link to buy is in the name!

Well, that's all for today! Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thursday thoughts

What a week! This has been one of those long drawn out weeks which I'm thinking is because starting the week exhausted is a bad idea. Note to self: Never work the day after a triathlon, even a short one.

I took two rest days, but last night went back to the gym to get back on track. My legs were still feeling fatigued, so I focused more on upper body. It was painful, but felt good to get back at it!

I started out with 10 minutes on the treadmill to get warmed up - usually I do the rowing machine, but there was someone on it and he looked like he would be there for awhile (and he was there well beyond my 10 minutes on the treadmill).

This is what I did:

Deadlifts (3x15)
Bent over rows (3x15)
Shoulder press with dumbbells (3x15)
Standing overhead dumbbell press ladder (3 sets - I do 1,3,5,10 on each arm)

Lateral raises (3x20)
Front raises (3x20)
Bicep curls (3x20)

Then I finished off with abs

Crunches (3x30 head to knees)
Russian twist (3x40 -- 20 per side)
Leg raises (3x20)

All wrapped up with some stretching. I did attempt the Heidi Powell peach butt hip thrusts, but since it was more of an experiment to see what it was like, I wouldn't really count it. I'll say this though - it's worth covering the bar in either the foam or a towel because ouch.

As a disclaimer I will add that I am simply documenting my workout and not encouraging anyone else to go out and do this. It works for me and I've had success in building muscle and strength with what I do.

Super excited for our produce box today! We don't have much left from last week and could use a refill. Some weeks they send out an email with what you'll be getting that week, but it's random and today is a mystery. I'm also really looking forward to my Friday Favourites post for tomorrow - I've actually remembered to take pictures and I'm excited to share some of my favourite things this week.

Sorry there's no pictures today! Next time I'll take some gym pictures ;)

Getting ready for the weekend! (Totally have the theme song from they weekenders in my head right now - anyone remember that cartoon?)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Tribute to Molly

It's been about a week and a half since Molly left us and I've wanted to share a little more about her story and how she came to be with us. She was an immensely special dog (as all dog-owners know their dogs are), and we are just unbelievably sad that she is gone.

Back in 2007 I was in a dark spot in my life and trying often to buy my way into happiness. This didn't work (obviously) but it dulled the sadness at times. One day I was wandering through the mall shopping for Christmas and walked past the pet store. This was back when they were able to sell animals bigger than gerbils. Let me be clear -- I do not condone, nor have I ever condoned pet shop animals. I know they come from puppy mills and believe me, my pup had her share of medical issues from that history. However, I needed a secret santa gift for a co-worker who was all about his dog, so I thought I'd grab him dog treats or a toy or something (he was really hard to buy for - this was all I had to go on!)
Well, after I had gotten the dog treats, I saw the dogs and there they were all sweet and sad, locked up in glass cases, It just broke my heart. That's when I saw Molly. She was "on sale" because she was getting too big, and she was sleeping underneath her brother. I just couldn't look away from her, and I knew I couldn't leave her there either. Initially when I asked to see her, the man tried to pass me her brother (since he was closest and on top). I made him reach back in for her. I've often wondered what things would have been like if I hadn't made that request and had just taken her brother. As soon as I held her I knew I wasn't giving her back, and I knew her name was Molly.

We went to a side room to do the forms where two things happened. One, she pooped on the floor and ate it -- I started freaking out and trying to pull her away when I noticed her eating her poop and the guy just shrugged his shoulders and said sometimes they do that. Uh yeah, but it's not a habit you encourage! The second was I called my mom and said "so I'm buying a dog" and she said "no you're not" and it went back and forth until she said "your father is going to kill you" and we ended our call. Ominous, right? I knew my dad would be pissed and believe me friends, my dad is Sicilian. He's a scary man (except not to me, so that didn't really work). So about an hour later I walked out with a freshly washed Molly and all of the things I needed for her care. While we drove home she slept in between the seat of the car and the door. She always liked to squeeze herself into tight spaces, right from the start.

I was determined to have Molly be the best friend I'd seen dogs be to other people (most notably, my secret santa work person) and while she liked me alright, the bond wasn't there right away. So I figured, okay, it'll take some time.
I called my dad at work to tell him I'd bought a dog. I thought it best if he blew his top at work -- I'm literally dying of laughter remembering this! Guys -- my dad said "What?!" a bunch of times, and then "unbelievable" and hung up on me. I'm pretty sure my dad has never hung up on anyone in his life but he hung up on me. When he came home from work I tried to show him Molly, but he wouldn't look (or talk) to either of us. I was starting to think we might both need to live in her crate.

The next morning Molly woke me up around 6 and I trudged downstairs to take her outside. Side note: She tried to eat her poop, I pulled her away, she never tried it again. Not exactly a hard habit to break.
My dad was already up and saw his formerly "sleeping-till-noon" daughter awake and outside at 6am. I took Molly back upstairs and went back to sleep. At 8am I was woken up again, this time by a scraping sound outside. My dad was shoveling the deck. Weird since we didn't use the backyard much in the winter. When I came back down to take Molly out again he told me to use the deck (he spoke!) and he totally snuck a peek at Molly.
If you can imagine this sweet little teddy-bear faced golden in her little pink sweater ... well you can see where this is going. By the end of the afternoon, he was all about her. So later that evening we were sitting with Molly and she started to pace in circles, which was her signal for poop. We both rushed to get her to the door and somehow she must have pooped in the air and my dad stepped in it. He stepped in it and he looked down and started laughing. That's when I knew it was over. That's also when I knew she wasn't really my dog anymore.
 Molly became my dad's best friend. She 1000% lived up to the whole "man's best friend" theory. When I moved out, it wasn't even a question that I'd be leaving her behind. If I'd taken her I would have broken both their hearts. When he left for work, she'd lay by the door looking sad.
When he went to Italy to visit family, he'd call and ask to be put on speakerphone to talk to Molly (forget about us, we understood he was away, She needed reassurance that he'd be back).
Whenever she was sick, he'd stay up all night with her and make sure she was okay.
They had an unbreakable bond that I've never begrudged them because even though I was looking for my new sidekick dog, I think watching their bond made me even happier and helped me out of that dark cloud I was under. 
The crate life lasted maybe 5 months?
She only liked battered tennis balls, not new ones
Scouting out the next snow drift to jump into

I can almost forget how the story ends if I stop here, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way.

On May 25th my dad called me while I was at the autobody shop waiting for husband to pick me up. He told me he'd taken Molly to the vet for her annual check-up and also because after chasing a rabbit he thought she hurt her leg.
He said they found fluid in her chest and were going to run some tests. It could be cancer. So here I am, at the autobody shop, crying like a baby and trying to come to terms with this news. Thank goodness the owner wasn't in the room at the time. I went to the washroom after the call and tried to clean up, but I'm a pretty bad crier and I get all puffy and red so it takes some time to go away. I swear to you, this man looked at me and actually recoiled a bit (not in a mean way, just in a wtf happened to you in the 10 minutes I was gone kind of way). Needless to say, I didn't pick the car up when it was ready. Husband did.

Anyways, Molly had an ultrasound on her chest on May 30th because the blood tests had been fine. That's when we found out she had heart cancer. They told my dad she had 1-2 weeks to live and asked if he wanted to just put her to sleep right then and there.
Are you joking?!
So we decided to keep going as long as she was comfortable and still eating/pooping regularly. My dad was giving her this insanely expensive organic, paleo, grain free dog food, mixed with meat and natural medications to keep her comfortable and for awhile she was slower, but mostly normal. Of course, eventually the cancer became too much and she slowed down, she stopped eating much and her stools weren't solid at all. So my dad said it was time. They had planned to do it Wednesday (Aug. 9), but my dad called me the Monday night and told me that she was just struggling too much and he couldn't make her wait any longer. He'd be taking her Tuesday morning and I needed to come over and say goodbye. So I went, I cried, I hugged and kissed her over and over and said my goodbyes. I called my parents the next day and asked if it had been done and they told me she had passed that morning around 1am at home. My mom noticed that her breathing had stopped and woke up my dad.

She still had a pulse and heartbeat and my dad held onto her till the very end. I'm positive she held on until he was there, to have her last moments with him.

So needless to say, it's been tough. She almost made it to her 10th birthday, which would have been October 18th. She was far too young to go, and had left a huge Molly-shaped hole in all of our hearts.

She was never really mine, but she loved so big that we all felt like hers. She was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

First day at home
Post-Nap 'where are my ears?' look

She loved snow!

So much personality!

Always ready to pose for a photo

She loved tearing stuffed animals apart!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday Talk

 I am linking up today with some of my favourite bloggers for Tuesday Talk where we can talk about anything we want!
Anything? Well then I'm going to talk about moving, because that's what is on my mind all the time as we prepare to list our home.
First things first though, dinner last night! I'm not the most creative with recipes (in terms of cooking -- baking skills are something I do have!) but this is still a tried and true favourite.
Last night we had pasta with a homemade Bolognese sauce. I didn't take any pictures, because I'm still forgetting to document stuff. Anyways, it's super easy to make, incredibly versatile and can be tweaked to fit most any allergy.
I start out by sautéing onions, garlic (loads of garlic) and mushrooms, then I add in ground beef and brown that with the onions, garlic and mushrooms and once that's ready I drain all of the fat and add in tomato sauce, 2 fresh cut tomatoes and some basil, oregano, parsley, onion powder and garlic powder. Then I just cook that on a low hear until the flavours come together. I used to cook everything separately and add it all together, but who wants to do all those dishes? Plus, cooking the meat into the onions, garlic and mushrooms gives them some of the flavour of the fat without actually having to leave any extra in there for flavour.
Picture from here
For pasta I used barilla gluten free rotini. I love their gluten free noodles - they have such a great flavour. Gfree noodles have really come a long way, but some of them are still not so great and go mushy or clumpy. I mainly rotate between Catelli and Barilla depending on what's available and what's on sale.
Picture from here

Back to moving. We have decided to attempt to list on comfree first because the fees that realtors are paid is just ridiculous and if we can avoid that, why not. My husband does a lot of research before he decides to do something, so we will see if this works. We have a time limit after which point we will just switch to a realtor. Our last experience with a real estate agent was TERRIBLE. He was the agent for the sellers of the condo we ended up buying and he was friends with them as well. He talked us out of all of the other homes we went to look at and encouraged us to buy the condo his friends were selling (for more than it was worth I should add).
I'm not saying we didn't make mistakes -- we did. We should have hired another realtor, we should have looked around on our own and we shouldn't have thought that he would have even been capable of being impartial. We bought a condo that should have been condemned for the condition it was in and had to spend 2 months (and a lot of $$) renovating it enough to be livable. Our plan had been to live there for a year and then sell, but of course we were young and employed in "starter" jobs, so in reality we had to wait for financial stability to be able to finish the rest of it and get out. We made the decision back in June that this was it so we booked in the last of the renovations and started making plans for what else needs to be done.

We had our backsplash done (the cabinets and counter were finished back in the Fall and we just had this awful battered wall. Sometimes we are lazy). My brothers friend does this as his career, so he helps out friends/family on the side when he has free time. He did all of our tiled floors when we moved into the condo as well.
Before and After. Not sure who though red cabinets would be a good idea, and those tiles? Same as the ones in the shower. Yup. The shower.

The appliances have since changed, but this picture is a nice before and after. I will have to do some fully updated photos of the condo soon! This picture was from back in July before our shiny new appliances came.

Two weeks ago we had bathfitter come in and cover our hideous shower and bathtub. We actually had this work done while we were on vacation and it was amazing coming home to that! We were a bit unsure of having it done initially -- we were concerned it might look cheap or like a hotel, but with one bathroom we couldn't exactly go with any other option that would have put it out of commission for at least a week. I have to tell you -- we were so pleased with our choice! For starters, it looks fantastic, but it also feels amazing. The floor has this grooved anti-slip thing going on, but it's also soft. It's not as hard as a regular bathtub. We also went with an arced shower curtain rail so there's so much more room inside.
There's something to be said for using a contractor for a bathroom, but for us, this option was the most sensible and I'm so glad it worked out well!

Our "second bedroom" (as it was sold to us) was not really a bedroom because it didn't have a closet. We had toyed with the idea since the beginning of breaking down the wall and putting one in, but we finally made that a reality when my dad came over and cut a hole In the wall. By the end of the week we had a closet. We were fortunate to have a storage closet directly behind it to cut into and so we took about half of that for the second bedroom. Then we had to order a bed to make the second bedroom actually look like a bedroom. It should arrive on Monday.

Left for an appointment, came back to a hole in the wall and my dad drawing out his plan for the closet. Can you tell we were using this room as storage? It's empty now except for a bookcase and desk.
Right before it was painted and the clothing rack was added
The door. Looks like it was always there, right?
 A few weeks ago we received the last of our new appliances so now everything is done in stainless steel. I am in love with our new dishwasher btw -- will need to buy it for our new home, lol

Now we are just putting on the finishing touches. We need to buy new curtains because the ones we have are all just so bulky and don't look very nice, and we need to continue to de-clutter so our place is nice and neutral. It's such a process. I'm wishing I had the interior designer gene because that would really make this a lot easier. Pinterest is my best friend right now!

That's all for me right now!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Irongirl 2017 and other weekend things

This weekend was a doozy! It was definitely not restful, but was full of fun and good times (I've already ear-marked this coming Saturday as the day to sleep in ... it's been so long!!)

Saturday was a flurry of renovations. We are starting to do the final touches on our condo, so it was just boring stuff like door knobs, baseboards, constant trips to home depot and hearing my bank account crying.

Sunday ... Sunday was a day of action. I woke up bright and early for my irongirl after pressing snooze 15 times. I was so nervous but focused on getting my gear together and getting on the road. It was about an hour drive, which always makes things a little more stressful. Luckily our drive was quick and we made it there in ample time. I left my husband with my piles of bags so that I could set up my transition area, signed in, grabbed my wetsuit and we headed down to the water. The swim was a straight line down the beach, so we actually had to walk to the start line since the transition area was at the finish line. I squeezed myself into my wetsuit which was still a little bit wet from Saturday's OWS (damp wetsuit = most uncomfortable thing ever) and proceeded to warily glare at the water as the announcer reminded us all that the swim would be starting in 11 minutes. At this point I was reunited with some of my swim friends/supporters and with their encouragement along with my husbands I went down to the water and did a few minutes of back and forth swimming to warm up. Best idea ever by the way!

About a minute before my start time I realized my age group was wayyyy up front, so I managed to get there in time and we were off! The nice thing about this swim course is that it is along the beach so if you really wanted to, you could stand. Heck you could walk the entire course if you wanted to (which some people did and it looked exhausting). Now 500 m may not seem like much of a swim to all those seasoned triathletes out there, but for me to actually swim the entire course and not freak out, well it was huge! The last time I did a triathlon I mainly doggy paddled/panicked and was the very last out of the water. This time I was about half through my age group. Unfortunately no one expected me to finish so quickly, so they all missed me at the swim exit. My husband kept saying "but you told me it would take you half an hour". Yes dear husband, but that was actually just dramatic over-estimating (I was thinking more like 20).

I clearly like my space.
I'm the one swimming

So I was off to the transition area where I struggled out of my wetsuit and upended my entire transition area because I needed my towel to dry my feet. My nice organized area was basically just a pile of tri stuff now, so I grabbed what I needed and was off. The bike portion was by far my favourite, and not just because for the first time I was the one passing people and shouting out "on your left", which by the way, very few people actually do. I coasted along at a steady 27/28kmph on the way out, and on the way back the headwind kept me around 25-27 depending on the gusts. I saw my husband as the bike exit (finally!) and headed off to change shoes. The running leg was by far the most painful and dreaded piece for me. As someone who used to love running with every fibre of my being, I've struggled with being injured making running a (sometimes) painful experience. I don't look forward to it anymore because who looks forward to pain? Thankfully my run was pain-free but omg was it ever challenging! My only real goal in the running piece was to keep moving. I knew that if I stopped, I wouldn't start again. I did a brisk walk through each aid station, sipped some water and poured a cupful over my head each time. It was incredibly hot and sunny, without a single cloud in the sky. Soaking myself helped immensely!

I'll tell you - the finish line has never looked so inviting as it did yesterday! I had my friends cheering and my husband taking thousands of pictures, while the announcer said my name wrong and I saw a glistening cold water bottle being handed to me. And the medal ... so lovely! I (naturally) immediately began to contemplate which race to do next. I swear triathlons have the same amnesia effect as birth. You forgot the pain, the ugliness, the trauma and just remember the happy parts; the medal, the finish line, the awesome splits.

I'll be the first to admit that I didn't train as hard for this tri as I did for others, but I focused instead on overcoming the barriers that were slowing me down. I cycled fairly regularly with my group and I think I missed two open water swims over the entire season. I also swam often at the gym. I had to work really hard to get past my issues with swimming. Forcing myself into the water every week was part of that, but I also can't forget the incredibly amazing and patient people I had on my side. My swim coach had no problem telling me I was being irrational and he learned very quickly the best way to push me. I went into his class not even being able to breathe properly and so tense in the water that I could barely move. He basically just constantly yelled breathe and relax at me (after teaching me the correct way to breathe that is) and it somehow worked its way into my brain. I'll never forget the day when I was bobbing around with the rest of the class in the middle of the quarry and realized that here I was, in the middle of a huge expanse of deep water with no rapid escape possible and I didn't care. At all. I wasn't even vaguely concerned. This is from the girl who used to swim 10 strokes and then flail her way back to solid ground. To say I've made progress is an understatement. This is my 3rd triathlon (would have been 4th, but one was changed to a du at the last minute), and it is the first one I have actually swam for. I class this as my first real triathlon, because I finally have the experience of what it is to swim, get out of the water, bike and then run. It's hard, it's ugly and it is so much fun!

And friends, look at this medal!!
Worth it! It sparkles!

I should add, that if you haven't heard of/done an Irongirl race, I would highly recommend it. It's a great sprint for people new to the sport. They are very determined to keep people safe and make sure they have a good time. There were tons of boats and rafts in the water for people who needed help, the swim was along the shore for those afraid of deep water, they had aid stations at every km during the run and the course was relatively flat for both the ride and run. The run had two semi-steep hills, but not terrible and the ride had a few rolling hills but was a nice road overall. This was the perfect race for me to get back into triathlon and be excited about it!
My only complaint was the lack of port-a-potties. We couldn't find them anywhere, and when my husband finally did find them, there were only 2. Regardless, this is a race that will likely become annual for me!

So you may think that after such a tiring morning, I would be heading home to a nice long nap. Well, not this time. I drove an hour home, showered and ate while I drove an hour in the other direction to my brother's girlfriend's baby shower. My nephew is due in December and I couldn't be more excited! Unfortunately I didn't take any photos, but I can assure you that it was a lovely afternoon filled with sweet little baby clothes, and lots of "oohs and awwwwws" over tiny baby boy outfits. Because seriously, baby clothes are just the cutest. This reason alone is why I can't stop buying things for him.

Well, this has been a super long post, but such an excellent race deserves it!
If you made it to the end, I commend you!
Today will be a well-deserved rest-day with pasta with homemade Bolognese sauce on the menu for tonight!

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Favourites!

My first ever Friday Favourites!
I'm linking up with some of my favourite blogs to take part in a post I've loved to read every week!

#1 Mix and Match Mama's Honey Pecan Chicken recipe
I had this last night for dinner for the second time and I just can't get over it. It is SO fast, so easy and so gluten free. I went with Shay's use of both white and dark meat and it was fantastic! I removed the thighs after 25 minutes and cooked the chicken breasts for another 15. It all came out wonderfully. This is definitely a favourite from our dinners this week! I'm not posting my own picture (because I forgot to take one), but I'll leave you to click the link. Her picture is amazing anyways :)

#2 My Lululemon Glide and Stride shirt
This shirt is so comfortable, so cute and I just can't get enough of it. I was able to get it for $39 from the sale instead of its original $74, which just adds to my enjoyment. I love that it comes with a built in bra, and I can't get over the sides. Sometimes I need to take a minute to just flit around in front of a mirror and look at it's adorable-ness. Hmm, that might be weird.
I also found it was true to size, and bought it in my usual 6. I wear a 6 in bottoms and tops religiously and have only deviated when I've read enough reviews to know I need to size up or down. Love those reviews.
 Images from here

#3 CSA Produce Day
I signed our home up for a CSA produce package that we pick up weekly from a home nearby. Unfortunately we don't live in one of the cities with delivery, but it's not much of a hassle to pick it up. It's actually on my way home from work. Each week we get a selection of local veggies and fruits, plus I added a $10 fruit basket. It's all organic and sooo fresh and delicious. It also forces me to think outside of the box for my meals, because I need to use up the produce! So far we have really cut down on grocery shopping. I still buy berries, watermelon and peaches/nectarines/plums, but I never really buy veggies anymore. It's been awesome! We have had some items that we aren't so inclined to use, luckily I can give those away to willing co-workers and friends who are only too happy to accept :) Case in point - those limes went to my co-worker today (he got them last time too!)
If you have a local CSA, I would highly recommend signing up. It is so worth it!

#4 teapigs Tea
This stuff is like the holy grail of tea to me. The chai masala and morning glory are my favourite flavours and I cannot get enough. I've seen them pop up here every now and then, but they never stick around in stores. They actually had it at picklebarrel the last time I went, but the morning glory was called English breakfast and didn't taste the same.
The tea temples have full tea leaves in them and are full of flavour like you wouldn't believe. My friend sent me some from the UK once, and now includes them every time she sends me a package, because she's just the best! If you ever see this tea - buy it. You won't regret it!! I am literally enjoying a cup of morning glory as I type this.
Images from here

Well, that's it for today. I'm sure that there is more I have loved this week, but these are the top 4!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

 Alright, getting the hang of this now! Last night was super busy - I went grocery shopping and it somehow took three hours (3 stores, Costco being one of them), and simultaneously tried to cook, and unload the dishwasher when we had what could only be described as a meat explosion which resulted in beef blood everywhere. Costco - you suck at packaging beef. Honestly. Then, because there wasn't enough drama, I dropped the package of sausage I was cooking and the casings fell on the floor. Ah, more meat contamination. My husband is a total germaphobe so he was all over cleaning it up, but omg we were laughing so hard. I mean really, if you can't laugh about that stuff you'll go crazy.
On the menu for dinner? Rachael Ray's Sausage and Kale pasta -- so good and so fast. The only changes I make to convert it to gluten free is I use gluten free linguine from Catelli (the Barilla one is also incredible and I think they do fettuccine) and I make sure my sausage is gluten free, because a lot of them have wheat crumbs hiding inside. This meal makes it into our rotation at least once every two weeks, if not once a week. It also does well for leftovers.

Still working on doing pictures, but we started off this morning with our hemp heart shake, which in reality tastes like banana chocolate milk. I can't handle synthetic protein/protein powders, so we go with hemp hearts. They probably cost about the same, but at least they are a healthy, whole food. I have been thinking about trying the aloha protein powder, but since I've yet to find one I can stand the taste of, I'm reluctant to spend the money on buying it. I wish there was a way to test these things before purchase.

For those of you who enjoy a good smoothie in the morning, here's a nice one to add to the mix:

3 tbsp. of hemp hearts (which is 10g protein)
1 cup almond milk
1 banana
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
Blend till smooth and you're good to go!

I use frozen bananas because they add cold to the smoothie and I find that unfrozen bananas make the smoothie chunkier. If you were going to use a fresh banana, I'd suggest adding a few ice cubes to the blender as well.

Today's plan is for a quick strength training session followed by a 5k run. Wish me luck - it's hot out there!