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Hey Hey
Its been a long time since I last blogged. Life has been a tad hectic this week – mixed in with not feeling 100% = me spending most of my free time trying to de-stress and hit the hay earlier than usual. That being said – I have a bit of spare time coming up this weekend (and I’m hoping I can leave work early today since I started at 6:30 this morning due to an event). I’m planning to get some serious work done on the bloggie – I feel like I’ve been neglecting it.

I also am seriously, and I mean, seriously considering making the move from a wordpress.com blog to a wordpress.org blog – aka being hosted through a different provider. I’ve been reading up on it alot lately and I’m a bit overwhelmed honestly – seems like there is alot to get organized. I would love some tips from people who have made the move – how did you do it? Was it worth it? I keep reading about all these wonderful themes and plugins and the fact that you can do whatever you want with the site is kind of enticing to me. What do you think,  good decision or bad decision? This switch would definitely require a bigger effort towards this blog – afterall you are paying for hosting now. Also, any tips on good/affordable hosting?

So in thinking about this change – I am also considering a name change for the bloggie. I know I’ve done this a few times now – and I’m so sorry about that – I just can’t seem to get it right. I feel like Learning to Live Lean is too long, and I’m not in love with it anymore, so I’ve been trying to brainstorm some new ideas. How did you come up with your blog name? What makes you love it? Ha – I guess I’m just full of questions today – but seriously I would love some input from some more experienced bloggers!

Okay – moving on – here are some highlights of this week!

  • Monday: Work = Stress, but met a coworker for Yoga afterwards for 1.5 hours and it was liberating. Seriously, I haven’t done yoga since I moved here and its so relaxing. Love it.
  • Tuesday: Woke up to yet another Calgary blizzard – this time in May. GRR. Spring is usually my favorite season and mother nature is ruining it 😦 *pout*. Also, it didn’t help that I got a nasty migraine in the afternoon (likely due to all this crazy weather). The one saving grace: It was makeover week on Biggest Loser, and Glee was awesome, as always.
  • Wednesday: Still felt crummy at work – but talked myself into making a fabulous Shrimp Scampi for dinner. O…M…G. Soooooo Goood! I need to make this regularly. I added in chopped tomatoes, lemon juice/zest and was probably a little more liberal with the white wine than necessary 😛 but it was so worth it – and definitely justified by this point in the week.
  • Thursday: First semi-relaxing day all week. Got alot checked off the ol’ to-do list, and got to run a few errands with a coworker to prep for the event this morning that I mentioned earlier. I love work field trips – sometimes its just so nice to get out of the office.
  • Today: As I mentioned, I was up bright and early to make it to a breakfast event. Thankfully, the boy got up too so he could drop me off downtown – love him, such a sweetheart. Now I’m trying to think of what to make for dinner. We picked up 4 pork tenderloins last weekend on sale – I’m thinking that sounds pretty delish at the moment.
How was your week? Got any weekend plans?

Other than blog updates, I have my FIRST ever 5K race this weekend. I’m running the Calgary Mother’s Day 5K/10K race. Ryan work kindly offered to let me join their team – so the boy and I will be running this race together. I’m not planning on running for time – I’m just going to try and enjoy the experience. Ryan runs at a tad slower pace then me so I don’t get nearly as tired when I run with him (*yay*) – I think he’d be a fabulous partner for longer runs – he just doesn’t know it yet.
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Snow Day in April?!?!

Yah – I never thought I’d be saying those words – but clearly I underestimated the province I now live in.  Yesterday morning we woke up to news alerts titled ‘Winter Storm to Hit Prairies’ & ‘City of Calgary Braces For 30cm of Snow’.  My first reaction was to curse out Mother Nature to Ryan, like WTF Calgary? But once I calmed down I decided to head into work and try and stay positive. I secretly think everyone in my office loves seeing my reaction to the crazy weather in this province. I call it the newbie effect. I’m sorry I will never accept that it is normal to have a blizzard on April 28th, and if that makes me a Torontonian for life then so be it. It’s just not right Mother Nature, it’s just not.

We did have to brave the weather yesterday to head out to our Administrative Professionals Thank You Lunch. I enjoyed a tasty avocado and shrimp wrap from Kilkenny’s Irish Pub. That place is HUGE, and reminds me of our local Irish pub from back home. Once I got back from lunch I sent Ryan an email that went like this: “WAHH I don’t want to go grocery shopping in a blizzard, I just want to be lazy”. Fortunately, despite the severe lack of food in our fridge, he felt the same way. So we spent last night hibernating in our warm apartment and made a quick dinner with what we had. We followed this up with some PVR catch-up of Criminal Minds (love that show) and watched Its Complicated (one of my fav movies).

Today I headed into work only to find out that two of my coworkers weren’t coming in because they live further North than me and had no power. Crazy! It’s now 3:00 and there are about 3 of us left in the office. I’m the only one left from my group though so I have to stay until 4:30. I’m just hoping the weather starts getting better so we can actually get our MUCH needed groceries later tonight. I don’t know what we’ll have for dinner otherwise, lol 😛 Anyways, it’s been a crazy crazy few days.

I just keep trying to remember that we get Chinooks in February at it goes up to +15  and everyone else in this country is jealous – that’s about the only upside I can find in all of this. I’m not bitter :P.

Anyways, I will post later today and let you know if grocery shopping was successful or not, and also *finally* get the Banff/Lake Louise pictures up – I just don’t have them on my work computer.

Hope you are all having warm and cozy Thursdays!

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Hi All,

I had a nice long post planned out for tonight – but I am so exhausted that I think I’m gonna make it a quick one and head to bed early. Work this week has been madness. I feel like I haven’t had time to sit down much since Monday, and somehow my to-do list is growing at astronomical speed :S

Anyways, my eats so far this week were pretty yumm-tastic.

Monday:

– Breakfast of almond butter and banana on a whole grain wrap. First time trying it – really impressed.

– Lunch was a sandwich with lettuce, hummus, laughing cow cheese, mustard, turkey and salami

– Dinner wasn’t eaten until 9 (worked late) but the boy kindly made me a mini pizza with olives, goat cheese and sundried tomatoes. So sweet of him.

Tuesday

– Breakfast: Green Monster with lotsa spinach, almond milk, flax seed, banana, honey, and some OJ. So yummy – I forgot ice cubes though – that would’ve made it even better!

– Lunch: Mixed Salad with Mozzarella Cheese, Zucchini, Cucumber & Tomato with Greek Dressing.

lunch preview: that's a coke zero I swear!

– Dinner: Wendy’s – FAIL! I was so excited to catch Glee and the Biggest Loser that I slacked on dinner …. oops. Did you catch either of them, thoughts?

Today

– Breakfast: Oats with Coconut Butter, Cinnamon, Maple Syrup and Almond Milk

I may be a *tad* in love with almond milk

– Lunch: Repeat of Monday’s Sandwich – Quick, Easy and Tasty.

– Dinner: Modified this recipe, subbed goat cheese for blue cheese and it was still delish – served with garlic veggies.

Fitness

Strangely this is the one area this week that I actually feel like I’m kicking butt in – here’s a recap.

Monday: 32 minute treadmill interval run for 3.1 miles. My knee was bugging me a bit so I took it a bit slower than I planned. I also stretched for 10 minutes afterwards.

Tuesday: 30 minutes on the stationary bike (reading the book I mention below), followed by 20 minutes of abs + strength training.

Today: 30 minutes on treadmill with 20 minutes of 1 minute on, 1 minute off sprints, covered 5K in about 28.5 minutes.

Tomorrow is my off day – I’m sooo looking forward to sleeping in for a bit. Nevertheless, I’m stoked that I got my butt to the gym 3 days in a row. That’s a step in the right direction.

What have you been up to this week?

*Sidenote* I recently picked up Michael Pollan’s ‘Omivore’s Dilemma’ – have you read it? So far I’m really enjoying it. I had no idea Corn was in so much of our food – apparently over a 1/4 of the supermarket is primarily corn based products. Thats a bit shocking and sad to me. What do you think about that?

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Organics

Hi All, hope you had an enjoyable weekend. Mine was pretty good – not too exciting, but that’s a nice change of pace sometimes. Saturday morning I enjoyed sleeping in a bit while Ryan went for a run…. OUTSIDE…. by himself.  My hamstrings starting bothering me a lot after my run on Thursday, so I unfortunately had to let Ryan do his first outdoor run solo. I felt awful about it since I was the one the pushed him into doing it – but was impressed that he still went. He found some snazzy app on his iPhone that does basically the same thing as a Nike+ , so I think that kept him company.

While he was out, I decided to take a trip to the health food store. It’s only like 2 blocks away and they had some schweet sales on – so I had planned to make a trip over there at some point this week anyways. Here’s a little picci of what I left with:

Hello Healthy Food

Hello Healthy Food

  • – Miso soup mix (yum – so excited to use this at work)
  • – Annie’s Mac & Cheese mixes (on sale)
  • – Amy’s Broccoli Pot Pies (also on sale)
  • – Artisana Coconut Butter (on sale – soooo excited about this one)

For lunch on Saturday we checked out one of the ‘rumored’ best burger joints in Calgary called The Holy Grill (haha!). I had the gourmet burger (with cheddar instead of blue cheese – I’m not a fan of blue cheese). The burger was ‘out of this world’ good – soooo yummy! I had happy tastebuds after that one.

Then later in the afternoon the boy and I decided to run some errands which consisted of a grocery run (yay for finding a 36 pack of laughing cow cheese for $7.99 – huzzah) and a trip to Best Buy – where I picked up one of these pretty little things.

I’m still figuring out the iPod Touch, but I’m loving it so far.

Sunday was much less eventful that Saturday, but at least the eats were good.  We started the day off right with some cinnamon french toast topped with strawberries/raspberries and maple syrup. Delish.  Then for dinner, we dug out Giada’s Everyday Pasta cookbook and made Angel Hair Pasta with Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomatoes – except we subbed linguine for angel hair, because it was all we had. It was tasty – and the goat cheese made it super creamy (without using actual cream – love that).

Today, I made up for my easygoing Sunday by getting out of the house by 6:45 and working out for an hour before work. I attempted a HIIT elliptical sesh for the first time in my life – and boy did it work! I was a sweaty mess! I did 30 minutes on the elliptical, burning 375 calories or so. I alternated the intensity between level 7 for 40 seconds and level 9 for 20 seconds. It was TOUGH. Once I finished that, I stretched out my quads and hamstrings (hopefully this will prevent issues like what I had last week), and did some weighted side-bends and ab work with a medicine ball.

Once I got to work, I knew I was in for a long day! Time seemed to pass sooo slowly today. I bolted out of there at 4:30, desperate for some fresh air. Tonight, Ryan and I made some Jerk Tilapia Filets (turned out delish) and garlic veggies – it was a perfect little healthy dinner. Now I’m off to watch some Dancing with the Stars – I’m really liking it this season.

In other news, shopping for organics this weekend, (and listening to some Jillian Michaels podcasts today) got me thinking about Organic Food. We try and buy organics whenever we can – but sometimes price wins out over quality, which I hate to admit. Some organics are redonkulously expensive – (yes, I just used that word in a sentence!) How do you guys feel about Organic Foods – do you have any advice on which foods are better to buy organic/which are the cheapest?

Also, how was your Monday?

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Whirlwind Week

Happy Friday Everyone, hope you have been enjoying yours!

My day started bright and early – I had to be at work for 6 AM!! I wasn’t super thrilled with the idea of getting up at 5 but then I found out my coworker was going to bring me a tea for keeping her company at a breakfast event she was planning for this morning. Another perk was that I got to leave at 2 this afternoon – which was pretty nice for an early start to the weekend.  The downside to working an event was that I had to wear a suit on a Friday (which is usually jean day) and I felt a tad overdressed for the rest of the day.

This week at work has been a bit of a whirlwind since Wednesday. One of my colleagues got a MAJOR promotion and as a result there was a lot of people milling about our offices and a big press conference on Wednesday afternoon. I’m super excited about it though – it’s a big deal, and I know she will do a great job in her new role. We’re sad to lose her though. My office had a nice champagne and cupcake toast to her before we left work last night. Anyways, so I’ve been working on some mailings related to that and other events we have coming up over the past couple of days, and so I’ve been running at top speed.

I did make time on Wednesday night to FINALLY get my haircut – it was looking atrocious recently. I’m always a little nervous trying new hairdressers, but I was really impressed with the girl that did my hair – she spent a boatload of time foiling my hair with highlights (which was probably exhausting) and I got a trim and some side bangs. Needless to say, I feel like a new person. Its so nice to finally spend some money on myself – haircuts weren’t something I could really justify as a necessary expense when I was looking for a job.

Yesterday night after work I met a girlfriend at the gym for a little running sesh. Geez – I feel like I’ve been running a lot this week. Anyways, I was a little sore so I only ran for 20 minutes followed by some weight and ab work. After the gym, we stopped by the drugstore and I bought some tea tree facial wash – which I’ve heard really good things about. I’ll be sure to post about how it works.

Tonight, I’m looking forward to just relaxing a bit and maybe going for a walk with the boy or picking up some groceries (since the grocery store is always empty on Friday nights).  We’ll see what happens.

Before I head off, I wanted to ask a quick question for any readers who have iPod Touches, I’m thinking about getting one – and wanted to know – do you like yours? What size do you think is most worthwhile? Right now I have a 4GB iPod and rarely fill it up completely – so I’m thinking an 8GB one would be fine – but I would love another opinion.

Thanks for stopping by – enjoy your weekend!

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OIAJ Love

Hi All,

Can I just begin by mentioning how excited I am for GLEE to be returning in the next couple of weeks!

The promo commercials have made the upcoming season looking Super Fantastic Amazing!! So pumped.

So this week started off on an interesting note, the majority of my day workday yesterday was spent in a 5+ hour strategic planning meeting. They should’ve just called it a conference, 😛 It was very informative, but sooo long. I was definitely grateful for the free coffee and lunch – very necessary. Before work I tried out a breakfast I had never had before, Oats in a Jar.

It was a really great way of using up every last inch of the jar, and not wasting dishes. I love anything that makes my breakfast cleanup easier.

Oh yes, I almost forgot to post the pics of the Pad Thai dinner we made on Sunday.

Doesn’t that look gorgeous. So tasty too!

Last nights eats consisted of homemade pizza (that Ryan was FAR too excited about), but turned out great. We used tomato sauce, goat cheese, spinach, sundried tomatoes, and olives. In the words of Rachael Ray – YUM-O.

Today I deliberately planned on going into work early, so I could finish up by 4:00 and make it home in time to get a decent outdoor run in. On my way to work I made sure to swing by Starbucks though, and pick up a croissant for free pastry day! Its not like I didn’t already adore Starbucks, but I love a freebie, and more so – I love companies that spoil their customers.

On my way home from work the weather was a beautiful 8 degrees and I rushed back so I could run 5K at 6.2 min/km pace by the Bow River.  I finished in about 32.40 and was actually surprised the time wasn’t worse when I finished – it seemed like a tougher run today. Once I got home, a random moment happened – one of the guys from my PR program in London last year sent me a Facebook message asking if I had been running out by the river tonight. Turns out he moved to Calgary last year, as well, and apparently had passed me when I was running. Such a small world moment. I had no idea he was in town – we’ll have to find an excuse to hang out and catch up.

Now I’m hanging out in bed and relaxing. In all honesty, I’m feeling a bit under the weather. I think I might have some combination of a cold/sore throat happening because I’m gradually developing a “man voice”, :P. Thankfully, I have a special guy who whipped up some green tea with fresh ginger grated into it to help me feel better. Love him for that.

I think I’m going to head off early tonight in the hopes that a good sleep will make this cold get better, not worse. Night all!

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Hi All,

So I’m not gonna lie – I’ve sucked at being active this week. Don’t get me wrong it feels nice to take a break, but I’m feeling kind of guilty about it at the moment. My original plan was to meet my friend after work Tuesday/Wednesday of this week to go to the gym – and both of those dates fell through. Bit disappointing – hopefully I can back up on the wagon this coming week.

Other than avoiding the gym this week – I’ve spent a lot of my free time cooking. I really do love it. Anyways, Tuesday night I made some yummy green cupcakes to bring into work for St. Paddy’s Day. I heart St. Patrick’s Day – really I do. Such a fun holiday, and I have so many great memories of *ahem* shenanigans that occurred on that day while I was in college. Anyways, those were a big hit at work – see, don’t they look tasty.

Mmmm... Green Cupcakes with Green Sprinkles.

We didn’t get up to anything too wild and crazy on St. Patrick evening – strangely enough – we went out for sushi for dinner. Isn’t that Irish of us? Not so much. What did you get up too for St. Patrick’s Day? After dinner we watched Couples Retreat, which had shown up from Zip.ca earlier that day. It was pretty good – not the funniest movie I’ve ever seen, but cute, nonetheless.

Then last night – I was trying to think of something productive to do and I realized we had A LOT of veggies that were nearing the “too rough looking to eat” stage, so I thought – why not? I’ll just roast them up with EVOO (haha, so Rachael Ray of me) and S+P in the oven and they’ll be good to go for awhile. It took hardly any time at all to prepare and they are delicious. I cooked up some zucchini, asparagus, red onion and green and red bell peppers.

I also talked to my parents on the phone last night for the first time this week and they had a funny story to tell me. My family’s latest dog, Jack, is from a mix breed from a rescue and is half border collie, half lab and is a little over 2 years old.

Such A Cutie

Anyways, my family’s old dogs were all labs and as much as they are loveable and great family dogs, they are not always the smartest puppies. Jack, on the other hand, is ridiculously smart. Sometimes you feel like he’s totally one step ahead of you when you are trying to get him to do something. Anyways, my mom was making dinner with my sister on Wednesday and I guess they were bickering over something and not paying attention to the dog. So Jack decided to jump on the counter, grab an entire brick of blue cheese + the wrapping and tin foil and down it in one bite. It was a $15+ brick of cheese. That wasn’t even the worst of it though – the dog has a weak stomach, so my mom and sister had to take him to the emergency vet and that was another $200+ – needless to say – most expensive block of cheese my parents have ever purchased.

Well, I guess now they’ll know better – I could’ve told them that all dogs have a weak spot for cheese. Pretty funny story, though.

I’m not sure yet what the plans are for this evening – Ryan mentioned that he might attempt to make homemade hummus tonight. That would probably be a delicious with the roasted veggies from yesterday.

What are your plans for this weekend?

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