Thursday, January 31, 2013

~Big RACE Announcement~

I am so happy to share that I have signed up for the Seawheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver on August 10th, 2013!!

A bunch of ladies from my running group decided to make it a Girls Road Trip Weekend. I am beyond excited about this! I love these ladies, I love half marathons, I love Vancouver and I love Lululemon!!

It's a weekend long event- not just a half marathon. There is an Expo, yoga sessions, a SeaWheeze showcase store (better save my money!), a post-race brunch and Sunset Festival the evening after the race. This is going to be an adventure!


The swag is pretty awesome too. When you register you choose between 2 pairs of SeaWheeze Special Edition Lululemon shorts. I chose the Speed short since I already have a pair so I know how they fit. Even though they are short, I prefer them to the baggy Track short (which they don't even have on their website). Plus it will motivate me to get my legs super toned.

RUN:Speed Short
Not this colour

You also get an app to help train for the race, a fully supported race route and I've heard there are some surprises when you arrive. (Last year everyone received flip flops). 

So that's my exciting news!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Run for L'Arche: Training Recap #2 & Tips for training with a baby

Another success training week!

Here is a recap of last week's training.

Monday 21: Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred done!

Tuesday 22: Another icy & cold run with the running group. Thankfully I remembered my trusty shoe grips so I didn't fall! Learned my lesson the previous week.

Wednesday 23: 30 minutes/5K on the treadmill

Thursday 24th: Another date with Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. This time I upped my weights from soup cans to albs! Getting stronger!

Friday 25: Same as previous day.

Saturday 26: I managed to convince Hubby to do the 30 Day Shred workout with me! He normally does not like workout videos but even he couldn't say no to a 20 minute workout! He gave me lots of tips- unsolicited I might add!

Sunday 27: A tough 20K run with running group. I almost bailed but hubby convinced me to get out of bed for at least 10K. Well by the time I reached the 5K turn around point I felt pretty good and since I was out there I might as well finish the run! Around 15K my left knee started to feel achy and by the end I knew my IT band was very unhappy with me. I've been rolling it, stretching lots, rubbing arnica on it and icing to help it get better. No injuries 2 weeks from race day #1 please!


I thought I would share some tips for training with a baby that I have learned over the last 11 months.

Tips for Training with a Baby

1. You just had a baby! Don't expect your body to be able to do what you did pre-baby right away! With time and training it will come back but alter your expectations initially so you aren't disappointed with your slower time/lighter weights/increased fatigue etc.

2. Sleep and nutrition are incredibly important! Whether you are breastfeeding or not, you need to make sure you are eating properly to fuel your body. Make sure you are taking in enough calories (the good kind!) so you aren't depriving your body of nutrients. Fainting while working out isn't fun! Personally I felt ready to workout physically only 2-3 weeks after having Audrey, but I was far too exhausted to workout so sleep was more important for me at that point. By 6 weeks I was ready to workout and run again. Your recovery after a big race-- you need to recover after having a baby! Listen to your body.

3. Find a time that works for you and make working out a routine. Maybe you are able to workout while your baby watches beside you (mine never tolerated that!). Can you run with your baby? Or workout when your partner is home to entertain the baby so you won't get interrupted 10,000 times! In the spring & summer we were able to bring Audrey running with us 3x a week-- she usually slept in the Chariot or was pretty content taking in the scenery. Now that it's winter, hubby and I take turns running in the evenings with our running group since it's too cold, dark and close to bed time for Audrey to be out at night. I also run on the treadmill or do weights while she has her morning nap. Find a routine that works for you and your family.

4. Accept that baby comes first and you have to be flexible with your workout routine. Sometimes baby wakes up before you are done your workout, or hubby doesn't get home in time for you to meet your running group or baby had a bad night and there is no way you have the energy to do your long run after 3 hours of sleep. Being flexible is the only way to train successfully with a baby. As a person who likes schedules and consistency this has been hard for me but either I learned to go with the flow or I'd constantly be upset about a missed workout. Some things are just out of your control and you have to learn to accept it.

5. Find a support system to help you be successful training with a baby. I'm very lucky that I have a supportive hubby who not only runs as well but recognizes how important running and working out is to me. Usually he pushes Audrey when we run together since it's easier for him. Often when I had to push Audrey my running friends would take turns pushing so it wasn't so difficult for me. We have family who are willing to watch Audrey when running with her isn't possible (long runs or races that don't allow strollers). We have running buddies who also bring their babies along for runs. Do you have access to a gym with childcare? Maybe you can take turns with other friends who have children to get your runs in- you run while he/she watches the babies and then when he/she is done, they go for their run while you watch the babies.

Training with a baby is possible- it just involves a lot of preparation ahead of time.

Do you have any tips for training with a baby?

Monday, January 28, 2013


As usual, the weekend flew by!

I finally got around to booking Whitney Cowan for some family photos in February! I've been drooling over all the photos she has taken of Alison, Rachel's family and all her other clients. Can't wait!

On Saturday, we spent the day with Grandpa N to celebrate his birthday. We went for a long walk around the neighbourhood and then cooked Thai green curry from scratch. It's the same curry that hubby made on my Due Date in hopes of starting labour. It didn't but we still enjoyed it!

It's quite the production to make curry from scratch- involved 2 grocery stores to find all the ingredients. The recipe is 2 full pages long! So many ingredients, and lots of chopping. We made a triple batch of the paste though so we can have it a few more times without the long prep time.

It was so delicious. I can't believe I didn't take any pictures!

On Sunday, I almost ditched out on my 20K run. I didn't sleep well that night (insomnia sucks) and I was in a grumpy mood. Thankfully hubby dragged me out of bed and I managed to do the full 20K. I am super sore now! My left IT band is pretty mad at me so I have been rolling and wearing compression socks to aid recovery. I just hope I haven't done anything to it; I've never had pain like this before after running.

After the run, I quickly had to get ready for my friend's baby shower. Luckily it was only 5 minutes away so I wasn't too late. It was a story book theme which I love! I gave one of my favourite children's books- The Paper bag Princess. Such a good story for little girls! I can't wait to meet her baby girl in March.

I once again quickly rushed home so we could have a Skype call with "Auntie L" and "Uncle C" who just arrived in Buenos Aires from Asia. Off to check out another continent! Sounds like they are having an amazing trip and they are definitely tanned compared to our pale Canadian winter complexions! Miss you guys lots!

That wraps up our weekend.

What's your favourite children's book? 
Have you ever made curry paste from scratch?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

~Audrey: 11 Months~

10 months
9 months

11 months already?? Please give me a moment while I cry my eyes out. My baby is growing up too fast!

Sleep: We've been holding steady at one wake up a night for the last couple of months. She did sleep through the night once a couple days ago which was pure fluke. I do admit that I enjoy the middle-of-the-night snuggles because this girl is far too busy during the day to cuddle!
Bed time is usually 8pm.

Naps are still pretty good. She is slowly transitioning to 1 nap. On the days that she sleeps in, she may only have one 2.5 hour long nap. The days that she wakes up early, she usually has 2 shorter naps. She is starting to fight her afternoon nap though so I suspect she will be down to 1 nap fairly soon.

Eating: The last two weeks Audrey has turned into a picky eater! She used to gobble up everything in sight and now she turns up her nose at her old favourites. I think it's texture related since she ate a hamburger patty without fuss, but would not eat beef stew. I think she likes hard, crunchy food right now rather than soft food. She doesn't like being spoon fed much either-- unless it's yogurt or some of the store-bought purees that I bring as emergency food when we are out.
She still loves toast with peanut butter or applesauce for breakfast. She devours muffins so I try to have healthier ones on hand so she isn't getting too much sugar.

She is still breastfeeding 3-4 times during the day.

Teething: I believe Audrey is cutting 2 more top teeth any day now so the cranky level has increased significantly the past couple of days.

Crawling/Standing/Walking: Audrey doesn't have much interest in walking while assisted. When you try to hold her hands, she just plops to the ground and crawls to wherever she wants to go. She does stand unassisted occasionally, for max 8 seconds before losing her balance. She usually does this without being aware of it. She pulls up to stand at everything-- table, couches, legs, the gates... She has quite the reach now.

Eyes: They are still ever changing! Currently blue-green-gray.

Playing: She loves books right now. We read to her before every nap and bedtime so I think she is going to be a bookworm like her parents. She likes playing with her shape blocks, her donut rings and her activity centres. She also has an odd obsession with carrying around face cloths (I only give her clean, dry ones) and socks!

Talking: Her new favourite word is Dada. She has been saying Nana a lot when it comes to food. She says Mmmmmmmm when she is thirsty- either milk or water. She babbles away and shrieks when she sees Milo. It's so entertaining to listen to her.

Sign Language: After 5 months, our consistent signing has paid off. She signs "more" all the time-- for food, water, milk, when she wants something. I think she enjoys our reaction since we are so excited that she has picked it up.

Weight/Clothing: She hasn't been weighed since 9 months. She has definitely grown in length since her pants are getting shorter and she just looks so much taller now. She is wearing mostly 6-12 month clothes, and a few 12 month items. Still fits into size 3 shoes but they aren't falling off as much as before.

Personality: Social butterfly! She will go to anyone! She also may have a temper. When you tell her "no" she has a small tantrum. She is a determined child.

Current Favourite Things: Socks, Tupperware drawer, blocks, stuffed animals, books, remotes, iPhones and iPad.

Miscellaneous: Soother has officially been dropped. We haven't used it since before Christmas.

I'm currently in the beginning stages of planning her first birthday party. One more month! Tear!
She is at such a fun age right now. She keeps us entertained for hours. She is a little more independent and a very happy girl.

Love you baby girl!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Run for L'Arche: Training Recap #1

So how's my training going so far? Despite the nasty winter weather we have been experiencing, I have been getting my runs and workouts in.

Training schedule

Sunday 13th: 18K long run. Felt pretty good despite the blowing snow and uncleared pathways in some sections.

Monday 14th: I rested.

Tuesday 15th: I did my speed training on the treadmill since it was Hubby's night to run with the group. It wasn't the greatest run since I attempted to do it while Audrey was awake and she only tolerates the exersaucer for so long. It was a broken up workout while I tended to Audrey every 10 or so minutes before I finally just waited until she was napping to finish the workout. Fall while running.

Wednesday 16th: I ran 5.5K with the group in some pretty cold, nasty weather. After a couple warm days (meaning snow melted), we had another cold snap so a lot of the sidewalks were sheer ice. Too many people don't clear their sidewalks and I ended up falling. I was ok but definitely a bit sore for a couple days. Learned my lesson- wear my shoe grips!

Thursday 17th: I did my first strength training session in a long time! I decided to do Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred since it's a quick 20 minute workout and a good way to ease back into strength training.

Friday 18th: 30 Day Shred. Supposed to be a rest day but I decided I had no excuse to not do a 20 minute workout.

Saturday 19th: 30 Day Shred again! I was definitely feeling the previous days workouts but the burn felt sooo good. I forgot that feeling!

Sunday 20th: Schedule called for 18K. I opted to only do 10K since it was -18C outside (-24 with windchill) and Audrey only tolerates the Chariot for about an hour. Our running group "road tripped" to Eau Claire and we ran along the river. It was very cold out and my water bottles froze again. On the cold days I need to wear my other jacket so I can have my water bottles underneath in hopes that they don't freeze up as quickly. Oh the challenges of winter running!

I also couldn't find my fleece neck warmer so my face was so cold during this run. If this cold snap continues I'm going to have to purchase another. Thankfully my hands stayed toasty warm thanks to my hand warmers!

Audrey refuelling post-run

Overall I am very pleased with my training this week. While my long run was shorter than scheduled, I feel confident in my training since I have done all the other longs runs, plus we have a 20K coming up this weekend! Fingers crossed for warmer weather, shovelled sidewalks and cooperative running companions!

Monday, January 21, 2013

~January Photo-A-Day Challenge Week 3~

You can see last week's pictures here.

14. In my bag
Yes, it's a diaper bag!

15. Night
Reading and drinking

16. Shadow
Our shadows while on a walk

17. Play
This girl loves to play

18. Pattern
Obsessed with stripes and bold colours

19. Reflection
Can not believe this was a year ago!!

20. Blue
Blue eyes

Friday, January 18, 2013

Run for L'Arche- Getting Out the Door

Training in the winter can be tough. It's cold, dark, icy, windy, snowy... not really ideal running conditions.

What motivates me to run in the winter?

1~ Signing up for a race and telling everyone about it. There's nothing like paying good money and making a public commitment to motivate you on the coldest days to get out there and run. Signing up for a half marathon really motivates me because I'm afraid to run one un-trained!

Looking for a race this winter? You can sign up for the Run for L'Arche half marathon, 5 miler or 1K Fun Run here. 

2~ Joining a running clinic or having running buddies. Being accountable to others for a running date also helps me venture out into the snowy, dark nights when I'd rather be cuddled on the couch reading a good book. Having a schedule to follow makes it easier to stay on track rather than putting off those runs until it warms up or stops snowing or is light outside. Plus running for 2 hours in the cold with good company is much better than 2 hours on the boring treadmill. Trust me-- I've done both! Treadmill runs have become a necessity for me since having a baby but I'd much rather run with friends outside.

Two of my favourite running buddies

3~ Bragging rights. I admit it-- I like that I can say I run in the winter outside and often for 2 hours at a time when the snow is coming down sideways, I can't see the pathway and my water bottles are frozen.  People probably think I am crazy and they might be right. :)

Sideways snow, uncleared path & frozen water bottles
occurred on this 18K run

4~ Helps me stay in shape. In previous 'off seasons' aka winters I would gain 5-10 lbs and when spring would roll around my workout clothes were tight and I felt like I was starting all over again rather than getting faster/stronger/leaner. Plus I can have a few treats without feeling guilty about the extra calories I consumed.

Mmm cookies!

5~ Keeps me sane! Running has done wonders for my mental health. When I'm having a tough day a run clears my head. The reduced sunlight during the winter can really affect ones mood and thankfully running almost always puts me in a good mood. For me, running can either be baby-free time or family time. I love that I don't have to sacrifice time with my family to do something that I love.

What motivates you to run in the winter? Do you run outside or do you stick to the treadmill/track?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

~Thursday Thoughts~

~ Ouch! My butt hurts from falling yesterday while running. Why can't people shovel and de-ice their sidewalks?? I should have worn my shoe grips but still! Even when Audrey and I went for a walk yesterday the sidewalks in our neighborhood were horrible. I feel like I should leave notes for all the people whose sidewalks I slipped on or could barely push the stroller through the crusty snow.

~ I just finished reading Gone Girl for book club. What a great book! I seriously could not put it down! I haven't been that into a book in a long time.

~ Alison posted an outfit inspiration picture the other day that I loved so I decided to re-create it.

My sweater is a brighter yellow than the one in the inspiration picture but I'm learning to work with what's already in my wardrobe. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I don't think I would wear that scarf again with it because it's a bit on the short side. I have a few other scarves that might work though.

~ No-Spend January Update- So far I've been a very good girl. I was so tempted to stop at the drive-thru the other day when I was hungry but I resisted (for both my wallet and my waist line) and prepared a healthy snack when I got home. I will say that planning a 1st birthday party is a bit tough when I can't spend money though! I might have to bend my rules to purchase a few things that can't wait until February (like invitations).

~ I saw a woman with a braid similar to this the other day. Hers looked better (she had thicker and longer hair) but I'm fairly satisfied with how mine turned out. Ignore my lack of makeup!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

~What I've been Cooking~

Roast chicken- both crockpot and in oven
Before and After roasting in the oven
We usually buy 3 whole chickens at Costco. I love whole chickens because you can make a few meals out of them-- we love leftovers at our house!

The above photos are from a Jamie Oliver roasted chicken recipe from his Food Revolution cookbook. This is a great cookbook if you are new to cooking-- like me, or even if you just want some good, basic recipes that are very tasty and affordable.

Hubby- delicious but maybe could have used a bit more seasoning
Me- Good but some of the veggies were still a bit hard. Probably would cut them up smaller next time.
Baby friendly dish.

I actually preferred when I made the whole chicken in the crockpot- the meal just fell off the bone and was so juicy. Hubby on the other hand prefers it to be roasted in the oven or on the BBQ. I think we will make it in the crockpot occasionally since it is super easy to do and nice to have dinner ready when you get home from work.

BLT Lettuce Wrap

Ridiculously easy and fast to make. Eating them can be a bit challenging since the lettuce will probably crack in your hands and juices will run down your arm. Not a first date food!

Hubby- Very good!
Me- Other than the lettuce cracking and making a mess, these are soooo good and easy. Will definitely have these again. Not so great for the baby to eat though so the downside was that I had to make something else for her.

Crock Pot Beef Carnitas

I love my crockpot! It makes food prep so easy! As long as I remember to take the meat out of the freezer the day before...

We used flour tortillas instead of corn like the recipe called for since last week we had corn tortillas and they were awful. Just fell apart and were kinda gross tasting!

Hubby- Amazing! These have to be added to the meal planning rotation!
Me- So good! Love how easy they were to make yet very healthy and affordable. Somewhat baby friendly dish.

Sesame Ginger Sweet Teriyaki Salmon with Garlic Quinoa
Mmm delicious!
I changed this recipe a bit since we didn't have any teriyaki. Instead I used soy sauce. I also used less sugar in the marinade.

Hubby- Yum! Very good!
Me- So good! Would definitely make this again! Not a baby friendly dish (for a couple more months) because of the honey in the salmon marinade. The veggies and quinoa are fine for her though.

Will definitely make this again!

Zucchini and carrot muffins
Fresh out of the oven
I decided to make these muffins since we had some frozen shredded zucchini in the freezer from hubby's big zucchini crop in the summer. I also wanted a muffin that was a bit healthier than the average muffin for myself and the baby.

I added dried cranberries for the dried fruit.

Hubby- Pretty good. Very dense but tasty considering how healthy they are
Me- Not bad. Makes me feel better about eating muffins!
Audrey- Mmmmm mmmmm mmmmm mmmm

I would make these again. They are definitely not cake muffins. I don't crave them the way I do with other muffins. They are great for on-the-run.

No Bake Energy Bites
So addicting!
I've made these before and I will make them again!
I kinda messed them up this time though. I put too much dry ingredients so they didn't stick together that well. I think the honey needs to be liquified first to help everything stay together. I ended up using the leftovers that wouldn't stick together as granola in my yogurt for breakfast. Not wasting any goodness!

Hubby- Good except a bit crumbly
Me- Best thing I've ever tasted, except a bit crumbly!

So that's what I've been up to! I'm a regular ol' Suzie Homemaker now!

Monday, January 14, 2013

~January Photo-A-Day Challenge Week 2~

View last week's pictures here.

7. Relax
Milo has relaxing down pat

8. I am...
...a muffin experimenter! Zucchini and carrot

9. Favourite
... little girl

10. To-Do
Try out my new Mizunos on the treadmill

11. TV Show
HIMYM gets ms through long treadmill runs

12. Dance
Audrey dances when her puppy sings

13. Shoes
Buried in the snow on my 18K run

Friday, January 11, 2013

~Three Things Friday~

1.  So I tried my new Mizunos on the treadmill yesterday for 20 minutes and they felt great! I'm going to do a few more runs in them-- some a little bit longer just to make sure they are fitting well and I'm not getting any pain anywhere.

Yes, that is sweat on the treadmill!

2.  I had to buy another baby gate yesterday (don't worry- this is a "necessary" purchase! But if you really want to debate with me I used gift cards to pay for it :P) because someone thinks climbing the stairs after the cat is SO MUCH FUN! Ugh! I was really hoping to avoid putting a gate there but safety comes first.

Milo isn't so impressed with her climbing skills either.

Not anymore!!

3. Kijiji- I love and hate you! I posted a few items the other day as I'm trying to clean out the basement. I put an ad up for my old leather office chair. It had a few scratched on it from the cat and it was a bit worn so I just wanted to get rid of it. Well, I got no less than 10 inquiries on this thing. The first person that contacted me said he would pick it up that night (Wednesday) but ended up standing me up twice!! Thankfully I had a few other people interested lined up so now the chair is gone! Sure was a lot of work for $10 though! I hope I get a few more bites on the other items I have posted- I really want to clear out my basement (and line my pockets!).

Thursday, January 10, 2013

~Run for L'Arche Half Marathon Training Update~

Now that 2013 is officially here this means my half marathons are right around the corner!

Only a month until the Hypothermic Half and 10 weeks until Run for L'Arche Half!!

There is still lots of time to sign up & train for the Run for L'Arche if you are looking for a good winter Half Marathon, 5 Mile or 1K Fun Run. Click here  to register-- early bird registration until January 15th!

I've put together my training plan from now until the Run for L'Arche on March 23rd. It is not a traditional training plan since I'm running 2 halfs between now and then. I definitely do not suggest you follow this plan. If you are looking for a half marathon (or any distance) plan, check out Runner's World or the Running Room.

Distances in kilometers

I'm a bit worried about staying on track once my first race is done, especially since I will be going back to work in between the 2 races. I think having a race so soon will keep me motivated though and force me to be organized.

So to back track a bit, my training didn't get "too" derailed by the holidays. I may not have gotten all my runs in on the originally scheduled days but I have made them all up.

Unfortunately, hill training has taken a back seat this training session. I did 3 hills with the group, and then 8 hills! The in-between distances I did on the treadmill but it isn't the same! Thankfully a good friend I hadn't seen in awhile ran all 8 hills with me last week so they flew by as we caught up on each other's lives. Hill training should be done with a group!!

I've also been having a hard time getting up early to meet the group for long runs on Sundays. This past Sunday we were scheduled to run a "short, but tough" 12K route. I had everything laid out for myself, hubby AND baby so that in the morning we just had to eat, get dressed and head out. Audrey had a rough night though, so when my alarm clock went off at 7:15am I was way too tired to get out of bed. Plus Audrey was still sleeping when we were supposed to leave and I didn't have the heart, or energy, to wake her up!

We did make up the run at Nose Hill Park, which I mentioned the other day. Honestly, I was quite annoyed to have missed the group run. It messed up the day to run in the afternoon and we were rushed for our dinner plans.

The biggest lesson I have learned as a running mother is that I need to be flexible. Sometimes things come up and I just need to not sweat it. My body needed to sleep more than it needed to run with the group. The important thing is that I found another time to run, with my two favourite running partners.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

~Three Things Thursday~

*** Seriously, did no one catch that I'm losing my mind and thought today was Thursday, not Wednesday? (See title) OMG! 

1. I cheated a bit on my No- Spend January :/ I bought new running shoes.
Now hear me out-- this could be considered a "necessary" purchase. My current pair of running shoes have 450km on them; I've worn them almost exclusively for almost 2 half marathon training sessions. They are getting worn out but not toast yet. That being said, I need to break in a new pair before these ones are trash right?
Also, I've decided to try out a different shoe. I normally wear Asics Kayano-- stability shoe with a fair amount of cushioning. They run $200 regularly. I'm trying some Mizuno Wave Elixirs that are a stability shoe but have less cushioning so they are only $155. I need to try them out on the treadmill and break them in carefully to prevent injury. Probably a good idea now that I am a month away from race day!
Thirdly, I had a $50 gift certificate and I had my 10% clinic discount that I needed to use before the end of January. So really this purchase saved me $100! So fingers crossed these shoes work out!
Fourthly, I haven't bought a new pair of running shoes since early 2011(I bought my current pair on major sale so held onto them until I needed them) so I was kinda due for a new pair.

Forgive me?

Aren't they pretty? :)

2. Finally, all the signing with Audrey has paid off! She is consistently signing for "more" when eating.  She laughs and squeals while doing it-- it's so cute. It's only taken 5 months of signing constantly to her when eating for her to sign back. We do sign a few other things- bath, milk, cat, eat, thirsty, and all done, so hopefully she will start signing back.

She's not actually signing in this picture

3. Audrey has started swimming lessons- she is in the first level, Starfish. After spending time in the pool in Phoenix I knew she would have no problem in the water. It's a lot of singing songs about the water, and playing so the babies are comfortable. I was a bit surprised that they encouraged us to "blow in their face and then dunk them under the water" at the first class but Audrey had no problems. Most times she held her breath.

I was a bit nervous about the idea of getting her and I ready at the pool but when I walked in I saw these awesome baby-containing contraptions-- genius idea!!

I kinda want one of these installed in my bathroom!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

~ 2013 Goals~

I like setting goals.
Partially because I like making lists.
I like checking things off.
I like seeing progress.
In 2012, I didn't really set any goals since I didn't want to pressure myself with having a new baby. Now that Audrey is almost a year (tear!) I'm ready to set some achievable goals.

Running/Fitness/Health Related
1) Run 750km in 2013.
2) Get a Personal Best in the half marathon distance- sub 2:22.
3) Get a Personal Best in the 5K distance- sub 30 for real (no short courses!).
4) Meal plan on a weekly basis- personally cook 2-3 meals a week (I'm just learning to cook).
5) Eat better. Reduce sugar, and flour intake. Eat more natural foods.
6) Complete a 30 Day Ab Challenge at least once.
7) Cross train 3x a week-- strength training and yoga. Tone this body!
8) Drink more water- at least 8 glasses a day.

1) Spend less money. Be picky about what I buy. Do I really need it? Can I live without it?
2) Continue learning how to use my dSLR. Complete more tutorials. Buy Photoshop Light Room and learn to use it.
3) Read 15 books.
4) Organize photos in iPhoto and make some photo books.
5) Learn to utilize the items in my closet rather than buying new clothes constantly.
6) Take or have taken family photos every season.
7) Reduce time spent aimlessly on the internet. Doing this will help me achieve the above goals.

I plan to check in quarterly to assess my progress and make any adjustments if necessary.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Outdoorsy Weekend & No Spend January Update

What a gorgeous weekend we had. As much as I dislike winter, I do love the Chinooks that we get every so often that blows in some bearable temperatures and sun.

Saturday we decided to go to Bowness Park to go skating on the frozen river. We were trying to remember the last time we went skating-- we came to the conclusion that it was at least 5-6 years ago, possibly before we were married! We used to do it a few times each winter when we were dating but I guess other activities took over-- snowboarding and running.

We took Audrey in the Chariot which turned out to be a great idea. I wasn't worried about her (it was quite busy on the ice) and for the most part she had fun. She is getting to the point where she doesn't like to be strapped in for long so we didn't stay too long.

One section of the frozen river

It took me a few minutes to get comfortable on my skates again but it's like riding a bike really. After a bit Audrey started to get fussy so hubby started doing donuts with her in the Chariot. Freaked me out at first but of course she loved it!

Sunday I slept in so no group run for us. Instead we meal planned, hubby went grocery shopping and in the afternoon we went to another park for a run. I've only been to Nose Hill Park once or twice before for walks, even though it's pretty close to our house. It's quite hilly and has a big off-leash dog area. It's not really my favourite park in this city, and this run reminded me why. The paths aren't cleared at all (which is understandable) so we were running on very hard packed, uneven snow. I was okay on it, but Audrey didn't enjoy all the jostling. Also it's very exposed-- very few trees and you are up high so it's windy up there on a regular day, never mind on a Chinook day like it was yesterday. That wind was awful! I'm so glad I had my running jacket on with a hood.

Downtown is straight ahead

We were supposed to run 12K on the Hanson Ranch hilly route with our running group-- we did 10.68K and it was definitely a hilly run! I think the Hanson Ranch route is easier which says a lot! Serves me right for sleeping in!

I don't think we will be running here again until the snow melts. It's not really the best place to run with the Chariot in the winter.


No- Spend January Update

First week down!! It actually hasn't been nearly as hard as I thought it would be.
I did go out for dinner with friends on Thursday that was arranged before I decided to do this Challenge. I restrained myself and only had a drink and an entree- no appetizer or dessert.

I did have to spend $10 to get our skates sharpened but the skating itself was free, plus we brought our own hot chocolate. We should be able to get out skating a few more times this winter so the $10 investment was well worth it.

So those are the only two things I have spent money on this past week (other than necessities like food!)- no coffees, clothes, or fast food.

The hardest thing is when people invite us/me to do something with them that costs money. I don't want to kill our social life but I also want to stick to the challenge. That is going to be our biggest obstacle this month I think.

Hubby has also jumped on board with the Challenge- he is going to avoid the drive-thru (his biggest weakness being on the road quite a bit during the day) and no iTunes purchases.

What do you do to save money?