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Breakfast Of Champions

Today was another great day. We were up very early for a short run. I am doing the Big Sur half marathon Sunday so this was a nice taper week before the big event. This will be my 6th half. I don’t really have a time goal for this race. I always do try to beat my PB (which is 1:48 that I did my very first half marathon) but this time my goal is a little different. Every time I do a half I end up starting off too fast and lose my steam towards the end. This time my goal is to stick to my pace from the very beginning.

We started doing p90x but I am putting that on hold for the next couple of days so that I am rested up for my race. One of my favorite dvds so far is the Yoga.

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I have done many Pilates classes in the last few years but haven’t done a whole lot of yoga. Leif even enjoyed it (so he says). We bought some yoga mats which come in handy for the Yoga day as well as the Ab Ripper portion.

I came home with these two mats and let Leif choose his color 🙂

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About Ab Ripper… my nemesis. It is intense and hard, but I do know it is working me! My abs have never been so sore as they were the first few days.

For breakfast I eat oatmeal 95% of the time. I never let it get boring though because I have a variety of “toppings” to add to it. I make my oatmeal with almond milk which gives it a sweet smooth taste.

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Today I added…

  • pecans
  • almond butter
  • cranberries
  • chia seeds

There’s never a dull day with oatmeal, I tell ya!

I also had a grapefruit that had been sitting in the fridge crying to be eaten. Today I decided to take it out of it’s misery.

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It was a little sour but I try not to add any sugar to it. Sometimes I will add a little honey or agave if I am not feeling the sourness.

I’ve slowly been unpacking our Christmas ornaments. We love the smell of real Christmas trees so we always put up a real one.

Fact: When I was young I was allergic to real Christmas trees (the smell) and our family had to get an artificial tree. Luckily I have outgrown that.

Since we don’t have our tree and we don’t have tons of decorations accumulated yet, I put our tree ornaments around the living room to spice it up a bit until the tree arrives. I bought these last year at Hallmark for Leif and I. When I saw them I couldn’t leave without buying them… they are so cute and festive! “At Christmas and always, love bring special meaning to our lives”.

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One reason I started decorating early is because we are traveling home to Canada for a few weeks for the holidays. I wanted to make the best of it here early on before we leave.

How soon do you start decorating? What are your favorite decorations?

Quiet Nights in are #1

Tonight Leif and I had a quiet movie night in. We were busy all day getting lots of errands and work done so it was a well deserved relaxing night. Leif cooked fajitas for supper which were amazing. He has chicken fajitas and I had veggie fajitas.

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We stir fried the veggies with lots of spices, served over a whole wheat wrap and topped with cheese, greek yogurt (instead of sour cream. This was the first time I’ve tried it and it is a great subsitute!) and believe it or not there is some salsa in there too.

A beer is a must for nights like this. We have been putting limes in any/all of our drinks lately and it gives them a nice zesty taste. Even “lime” flavored beer tastes better with our own slice.

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We opened a NetFlix account a month ago so we have been watching an abundance of movies lately. We watched the movie Say Anything with John Cusack. It’s an 80’s classic. I was a fan and thought it was a funny/quirky movie, except we had to miss a few scenes because the disk was scratched. We still got the jist of it. We are also on a Glee kick after getting Netflix. We are almost done season 1 and still going strong.

Last time I was shopping I came across these coffee samples.

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I have to admit, I am not a very good coffee maker. I am also a huge tea fan and feel like I am cheating on my true love when I switch to coffee. I don’t LOVE coffee, but I do like to sip it on cold days to give me a pick me up. The French Vanilla flavor was sweet and had a nice kick to it. I have yet to try Cinnamon but I have no doubt I’ll like it.

Leif came home from work, after working all night with a little surprise..

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A picture I had drawn for Leif for our first Christmas together. It’s of his favorite modern looking house close to where he grew up.

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It made me smile from ear to ear and was very thoughtful! I love little surprises like that. When we were doing long distance he ordered flowers and had them delivered to my classroom not once, but twice!  Long distance was not easy, but things like this made it worth it. I wouldn’t trade it for the world as it worked out for us and we are now happily married.

The first time was for Valentine’s Day. My principal showed up at my door in the middle of a math lesson with a box in hand. My face was as RED these roses.. I get embarassed easily. My kids were so curious!

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The second surprise came on my last day of the school year. This was also my last day at that school and school board. I had already decided to give up my contract at the end of the year so that I could move to California where Leif was already living.

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All the ladies I worked with were a little jealous and wondered how I got such a gem.

Off to do some work and get to bed early! Busy weekend ahead.

Snuggies Need Friends Too

 

Leif bought me a Snuggie as a surprise a few weeks ago. I am someone who LOVES being warm and I am constantly bundled up in warm clothes and blankets. Let’s just say… it is getting used a lot. I could sit and do this for hours..

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Would you think less of me if I told you I was wearing it backwards for the first two days? It felt a little drafty and fit funny. Then we were Googling funny Snuggie videos and spoofs and I realized I had it on the wrong way the whole time.

I love organizing things. It sadly gets me excited. I also love storage jars/containers/boxes etc. I have been buying seeds, flour and other food supplies in bulk and have been looking for a way to store them in another way besides the plastic bags they come in. I got this idea from a post on The Front Burner. I love the way she has all her supplies displayed on shelves in her kitchen instead of tucked away in drawers. To me it is as much art/decor as it is food. I’ve been slowly accumulating some jars and started filling them up.

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I just realized I spilled a few flax seeds in the process.

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I’m trying not to hurt the wallet too much all at once so I will just buy a couple here and there when I am out shopping. I have many more jars with lots of potential in this kitchen!

How do you like to store your foods? Do you like your countertops full with lots of appliances/foods or have them clear of clutter?

Ceasar Dress A La Homemade

Happy Remembrance to my Canadian friends and Memorial day to everyone in the USA. Growing up in Canada, I was always used to November 11th being a day off/at home watching the Remembrance Day ceremonies on TV. Everything would be shut down. Today, my first year in the USA everything seems to be operating as normal. Stores are open, the malls are busy. I also noticed the same thing on December 26th/boxing day while spending several Christmas’ here the last few years. Everyone was back to work, stores were open and it was like Christmas never even happened. I do prefer the extra family day in Canada to spend one more day celebrating the holidays together.

After a busy morning of cleaning, doing P90X with Leif and some work, I am sitting with a cup of my favorite Chai Tea, a new Larabar flavor (coconut cream pie. Very sweet and satisfying. Sorry no pictures) and listening to Christmas music via Pandora (Best site ever!).

We are on day #11 of P90X and still surviving. We’ve had many days of being sore in places we didn’t even know muscles existed, and days we thought it was extremely difficult, but other days where we loved it and felt amazing after completing another day. I am not going to push it too hard while doing the next few days as I am running a half marathon Sunday! I highly recommend finding someone to do it with. Even if you aren’t physically doing the exercises together, having a buddy to motivate you and keep you going would be a major help in my eyes.

I have also been busy knitting two Christmas stockings. One for Leif and one for me. Since it is our first Christmas married, I wanted to make something special to have for years to come. I have lots more projects in mind to do after this. I am almost done and will post some pictures once the final project is ready.

A little preview….

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I am really happy with how they are turning out!

 

Last week we went to a pot luck and I decided to bring ceasar salad. Most people are always a fan. I have gotten away any store-bought salad dressings. I’ve been making my own ceasar, greek and house dressings for months and I don’t think I’ll ever buy store-bought again. They are really easy and so tasty! This ceasar recipe was given to me from a good friend of mine, Kelly, and I’ve made a few modifications after making it dozens of times.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp mayo
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese
  • pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp sugar

Mix together and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Add to lettuce, croutons, bacon bits or whatever else you like on your ceasar salad. It’s so easy and delicious. If you like your dressing creamy or not as thick you can change the recipe up a bit. It’s got a nice zip to it and it’s a hit every time I make it.

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I don’t have a picture of the salad mixed together, but you get the idea.

We received these salad forks as a wedding gift. I am in love! Without the right tools, scooping out a salad can be a disaster. It’s great for having company too.

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Have a wonderful Remembrance/Memorial day!

Recipe Organization

Good afternoon! Today is one of those rainy dark days when it feels so good to stay huddled up inside with a warm blanket, relaxing things to do and a husband who’s also off today to relax with. Leif and I started P90X this week so we are both sore and are looking forward to a day to do nothing. So after completing week 1 we both love it! It gives us something fun to do together and we are great at keeping each other motivated. Neither of us look as graceful as those on the video when we do some of the moves, but we make sure not to laugh at each other. The program is definitely do-able although it is challenging. I think having someone to do it with will keep me sticking with it throughout the whole thing. I will update on how we are doing as time passes.

Does anyone else thrive on organizing things? I can put my hand up for that one. I feel so much more relaxed after organizing something.. weird I know. Until recently my recipes were in need of some organization. I had some written in a book, some bookmarked from blogs and recipe sites, some floating around on pieces of paper. A couple of months ago I bought this little gem:

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I bought it at Chapters in Canada for about $20 (I think). It comes with lots of recipe cards and dividers in the box.

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It’s made of a really sturdy box and I love it. I have been slowly putting all my recipes onto cards. It’s so easy when I want to cook something, I know exactly where to find the recipe. It also looks so nice on the counter with the colorful pictures.

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I”m off to relax and then make some homemade pizza for us for supper.

How do you organize your recipes? Online, computer, written down, in your head or all of the above?

Last Long Run Before the BIG (Sur) Half

Today I almost feel as if I am finished training for my upcoming half marathon. I am running the Big Sur Half Marathon on November 14th. I know, I know.. I still have two weeks to go, but this was my last big hurdle in my training schedule. I am welcoming this taper week with open arms.

Leif and I got up early and drove out to Monterey to do this run. There are beautiful trails along the ocean so we make a point to doing some long runs out there when we have the extra time to drive there. It is by far my favorite running spot. The race route is all along the coast. The views make the running much less painful. Here’s the route mapped out from the official race site.

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What could be better than this?

It’s stunning and there are always so many other runners and cyclists out and about. There’s something motivating about seeing other people out exercising with you. Agreed?

One of my To-Dos while we are living in California for the next couple of years is to run a half marathon here. This will be my 6th half, but all the others were back in my hometown in Canada. Let’s just say I am excited! After that is over I have some non-running fitness plans up my sleeve. It is always nice to switch it up every so often.

The other great part about the day was going to Whole Foods for the first time. I knew there was a store in Monterey but had yet to find it since I moved here. I had been to Trader Joe’s quite a few times, which I also love. I told Leif if he got me gift certificates to these places for Christmas I’d be a happy girl.

I bought some sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, couscous spelt flour, chilli sauce and crackers.

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I can’t wait to cook some new recipes I’ve found that were just waiting on these key ingredients.

Have a great weekend!

A dash of Tea to Your Halloween

Happy Halloween! I know I’m a few days early..but I couldn’t resist. I do love this time of year, but what I love even more is the Christmas season that follows. I know Christmas isn’t until the end of December, but it seems the whole holiday now starts November 1st, in the stores anyway. It does give me that warm and fuzzy feeling and brings me back to being a kid.

The mornings are starting to get much more chilly when I am up early to run. I even had to haul out my winter running top today.

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I am not complaining because I am one of those crazy runners who LOVES running in the cold. Nothing makes me happier than running while it’s snowing. Oh Canada, I think I may miss you a bit this winter!

Ok.. back to Halloween. I came across some of my old customes from past years. Here’s a few..

Every time I wear this costume there’s a big debate about whether this is a Strawberry or Watermelon costume. It also worked great when we had “fruit and vegetables” health week at the school I taught at and had to dress up.

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Then there was the Twister costume.

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Another year my best friend Meaghan and I dressed up at 80’s aerobics instructors.

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Everyone has been a classic Clown at one point or another..

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One of the best parts about the colder weather jumping on board is an excuse to drink that much more tea. I have been discovering so many delicious warm drinks lately. I even have a cupboard just for my drinks.

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Have you ever been to Davids Tea before? Unfortunately it’s only in Canada right now (but you can order online). I just discovered this when I was home in Canada visiting my family this past summer. Oh.My.Goodness. They have a wall lined with rows and rows of any tea you could imagine. You can smell any of them and they are all amazing.

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I bought 3 so far – Pumpkin Chai (Fall Special), Forever Nuts and Luscious Watermelon. 

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They are all so good in their own way! I hope there are some Christmas flavors when I hit it up again while I am home for Christmas. They also had a variety of really nice tea kettles, mugs, travel mugs, etc. It would be a great place to get Christmas gifts, or to treat yourself.

Now I am craving pumpkin chai and must be off. Have a great day! Happy Halloween.