Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Hi All – Hope you all had fantastic Easter weekends.

My was pretty stellar, considering it was our first one being away from family. Unfortunately, since we both just started new jobs, taking vacation time to go home for a weekend seemed like it wouldn’t be the best decision. I did hear from my parents though – and my fabulous boy made me a AMAZING easter dinner – which made it a little easier.

Anyways, we started Good Friday off on the right note by eating bacon at breakfast 😛 *sigh* so bad. Haha, neither of us even remembered the ‘no meat’ rule until after we had finished – oops. In the afternoon, Ryan accompanied me to a mall just outside of the city that I had been hearing lots and lots about. Its called CrossIron Mills and its very much like Vaughn Mills in Toronto (for any East Coast readers), a giant circle with outlets and big box stores. I was particularly excited for Forever 21 and the Banana Republic Outlet. Seriously, I would wear Banana Republic everyday if I could, and a $90 pair of pants for 30% off was a great deal. The downside was that the mall was insanely busy!! Needless to say Ryan was pretty eager to get out of there after a few hours of shopping. I grabbed Sushi at the mall for a late lunch (ie. 4 in the afternoon), and Ryan had leftovers once we got home.  Considering we stayed so late at the mall – we knew we wouldn’t be eating dinner until close to 9. Nevertheless, I made sure dinner ROCKED. I followed a lasagna recipe from Allison from Eat Clean Live Green. I was amazed at how few ingredients there were (my mom’s recipe is like 2 pages long), and we managed to find whole wheat lasagna and low-fat ricotta. Lets just say – it was ridiculously good – and we’ll have leftovers for a week, therefore I = happy camper.

nom nom nom

On Saturday, we got up bright and early and headed to the gym. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical, followed by 10 minutes on the bike and some stretching. I always love hitting the gym early in the day – it makes me feel like I’ve gotten my day started on the right foot (literally!). For dinner on Saturday I was craving Mexican, so we decided to hit up the Chili’s in town. I have really amazing memories of shopping trips across the border, when I lived in London – that always consisted of a trip to Chili’s. Turns out the drinks aren’t as cheap north of the border, and no free nachos 😦 so that was a tad disappointing. The food was still pretty stellar though.

On Sunday, the boy decided to make us our first real Easter dinner together. Check out this spread.

big birdie

After a quick shopping trip in the morning for necessary ingredients, he whipped up: a turkey, baked butter biscuits, roasted tomatoes, jean chretien scalloped potatoes (my mom’s recipe), stuffing, gravy and of course – WINE. Seriously, I may be the luckiest girl in the world that my boy loves to cook so much. It was so nice of him to use some of my mom’s recipes as well – it really made it feel like a Easter dinner from my childhood.

As a random side note, I must share a tip for all turkey-bakers out there… bacon on top of the turkey = mind blowing AMAZING. Seriously – you MUST try it.

So that basically sums up my weekend. I was back at work today, but managed to get in a 4 mile run in about 42 minutes before work. Its the longest I’ve gone in awhile, *yay*

In preparation for my gym trip last night I decided to update some of my workout playlists. One of my favorite things to do is to listen through old CD’s (yes, CD’s) because they 1) bring back fabulous memories, and 2) remind me of GREAT songs that I often forget about once they stop being played on the radio religiously.

Here are some of my gems from last night:

  • Here’s To The Night – Eve 6 (reminds me of Grade 8 *sigh*)
  • Ironic, Hands Clean, You Outta Know – Alanis Morisette
  • Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy – Big n’ Rich
  • Crazy in Love – Beyonce & Jay-Z
  • Yeah – Usher, Lil John & Ludacris (ridiculously obsessed with this song years ago)
  • Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves (a favorite from my childhood)
  • Stronger – Britney Spears
  • Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen (My dad’s fav song ever)
  • Tipsy – J-Kwon (favorite song from when I could first legally hit the bar)
  • Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams
  • Earth, Wind, and Fire – September
  • You Only Get What You Give – New Radicals
  • Black Betty – Ram Jam
  • Bootylicious – Destiny’s Child
  • Girls Just Want to Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

What are your favorite Workout Songs?

Before I head off for the night, I just want to give a shout out to some lovely readers who commented on my last post. Its always nice to know someone is reading. Thanks Susan, Julie, and Angela – you all ROCK!


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Happy Valentine’s!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hope everyone is spreading the love and enjoying some sweet treats!  I know I sure am – I really enjoy Valentine’s Day. My day started off great with a sweet card from the boy, full of “vouchers” for some of my favorite things.

Some of the coupons are: Redeem for one evening of controlling the remote, redeem for one admission that I’m lost and should ask for directions, redeem for one lengthy speech about how you’ve made me the luckiest man alive! Haha – too funny!

After some breakfast we headed out to run some errands. We got some groceries and still had a few gift-cards leftover from Christmas, so we also picked up one of these.

Choppy McChopperson

We were in desperate need of a food processor – we managed to find this puppy for a sweet deal (~$45) at Zellars. Its got so many little add-on pieces too, I don’t really know what to do with it. I’m looking forward to whipping up some pesto in the next week or so.

Speaking of pesto, while we were out we also decided to stop into a place called The Phoenix Grill (I think its a Calgary chain) for a quick lunch. I decided on their Garden Burger and Yam Fries *they scored major points with me for even having that as a side dish option*. Let me tell you – this burger was PHENOMENAL. I’m not a burger person usually – particularly veggie burgers – but this was a mushroom based burger topped with the usual burger toppings and the piece de resistance, PESTO. I can’t believe I’ve never used pesto on a burger before. It was amazing, absolutely amazing. Definitely give it a try the next time your craving a burger.

I think the plan for tonight is to spend the evening in. The boy is going to be making me one of his fabulous risotto concoctions for dinner. I swear, he should get paid for them – he has a magic touch, thats for sure. Mmmm… looking forward to that.

And just so I don’t forget last night’s eats, we decided on making Teriyaki Tofu Stir-Fry for dinner. I honestly can’t believe I actually talked the boy into trying tofu.

I was pretty tasty, I love anything with teriyaki sauce on it – lets be honest.

Finally, I can’t end this post without mentioning a little movie we watched yesterday that I had been hearing about for ages. Can you guess? It was…

Wow… honestly I don’t have words for this movie. It was extremely well-done and hugely informative. Watching movies like this make me seriously consider going vegetarian. Part of me says I shouldn’t because if everyone does that then the “good” farmers – who grass-feed their cows/pigs/chickens will be put out of business; but its definitely given me a bit of a reality check as to where my food comes from. In the future, I am going to look into vegetarianism a little more thoroughly – and I will FOR SURE be buying grass-fed meats and organic products wherever I can. To say the least  – I was disgusted with the politics behind food in the US. I know Canada is slightly better with food regulations – but I suspect we still have lots to improve on.

What did you think of Food Inc., if you’ve seen it?

Can any vegetarians give me some tips on your decision?

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Who Dat?

Is it just me, or does anyone else not understand the whole New Orleans Who Dat thing? Anyone wanna educate me? I’m very curious.

Well this weekend was a lot of fun, Saturday night Ryan and I hit up this place.

This was a super exciting event for me, they have ZERO Olive Garden’s in Ontario – which is devastating. The closest one to us, when we lived out East was in Michigan –  but the breadsticks and salad were totally worth the trip. Anyways, fortunately they have one in Calgary – so we decided to go for a late dinner on Saturday, hoping there wouldn’t be a lineup.

We were wrong.

I don’t think I’ve ever gotten in there in under 30 minutes – which is a bit of a downer  – but they were giving out free samples of the breadsticks which generally kept people happy. Anyways, I had the Asparagus and Shrimp Risotto and Ryan had the Grilled Shrimp Caprese.

After waiting and eating, we didn’t make it home until around 10. Ryan decided to get us setup with Zip.ca. I’m super excited for the first item on our ZipList – Food Inc. – I’ve been looking forward to seeing it.

Sunday was a lot of fun as well. Its sort of becoming a ritual that we do our weekly shopping on Sunday, but we like to get a jump on the rush – so we try and get to the store by 10 or so in the morning. As you can see from checking out my Eats for the Week page – this week is going to involve a lot of soups/chili. My mom sent me quite a few recipes last week for different soups because I told her I was in need of some cheap recipes. It astounds me how we can spend so much on groceries sometimes. We are only two people. I have to get that back under control.

We planned to watch the Superbowl together and Ryan cooked up some chicken wings, and I made some chili for us to enjoy. Ryan did the wings in the slow cooker and they were heavenly – and probably quite a bit healthier than frying them.

It was a pretty delicious meal – and we we’re both happy to see the Saints win. It was actually a pretty entertaining game, considering I’m not a big football fan.

This morning I got up early and headed to the gym. I spent a half hour on the elliptical and burned around 335 calories. I’m quite impressed with the elliptical lately – I find its almost as good a workout (as far as time vs. calories) as the treadmill – and its a lot easier on my bad ankle. I also decided to elliptical today because I happen to be a huge klutz and kind of tripped/banged my foot off the coffee table yesterday and its still pretty sore.

After the gym I went down to the Alberta Transportation Registry and finished the last step in transferring my car to this province…  I got a shiny, new license plate! *Sigh* I’m so happy the car stuff is finally finished.

Before I go, I thought I’d share this article with you that I saw over the weekend. It’s pretty scary actually. I know the US gets a bad rap for its eating habits – but clearly we’re not that much better up North. I was particularly surprised at the fact that it says fitness levels of 20-39 year olds have decreased drastically. Most of my friends stay in pretty decent shape – so it was a bit of a surprise. How fit do you think people in your age group are?

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In other news,

Wow… I need to watch this everytime I’m in need of some inspiration.

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