Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Why blogging is important to me

These pictures are irrelevant to the post however kitty cuteness is always needed! :)

For awhile now, I have been thinking about why I started this blog and why I enjoy writing on here so much. Some days, I feel like I am wasting my time since I virtually have no followers and my blog isn't really "growing" and then other days I'm super excited to come home, sit down with my computer, and write whatever the heck I want to. It really is a form of therapy for me and often times I feel a lot lighter and relieved after writing out a post. Even if the post isn't deep or thoughtful, I still enjoy sharing pictures of my life and talking about my day to day life.

I understand that my life isn't super exciting and thrilling at all times. I get that my pictures aren't the best quality and often times I have grammar and spelling mistakes in my post (I know, what a crime), however I could care less. After many months, maybe even a year, of reading other peoples blogs about crafting, fitness, DIY, cooking, weight loss, and their lives in general, I worked up the courage to start my own blog. It also helped that a few of my friends I met through work (hey Britt & Danielle) last summer shared their blogs with me and encouraged me to start my own.

When I first started my blog last July and published my first post, I had no idea what to expect. I didn't know anything about designing my blog, writing a blog, or connecting with other bloggers. I virtually spent hours and hours online looking at other blogs, researching how to improve my blog, and how to be the best blogger. I have read my fair share of blogs and I understand what most bloggers consider to be "right and wrong". I am glad to say however, that I choose to do my own thing on this blog. I could care less if I don't have a million followers or comments on my posts or if people don't enjoy my blog because I LOVE my blog. I love my little personal journal space. I enjoy being more mindful in my life and remembering big and small moments of my life. Before this blog, I found myself not paying much attention to my life and not documenting my life like I should. When I was young, I always had a diary or a journal. Looking back it evokes memories and emotions in me that I couldn't conjure up without those words I wrote. Like how I felt when my first love broke my heart or when my grandpa passed away or when I got asked to play for Team MB women's rugby team. These are all huge moments in my life that are tucked neatly away in my journals and diaries and this blog is my "grown up" journal. I enjoy it and heck I love it when people tell me they enjoy it too... but I will never be a true blogger because I will always do things my own way. I will not conform, I will just be myself. Plain and simple. 

I look forward to growing my blog in my own way, to learning new ways to make my blog more visually appealing, to meet people with similar interests to me, and to continue sharing my story and my life with you. I'm glad you're along this journey with me!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Honey Glazed Ham & Scalloped Potatoes

Happy Tuesday everyone!

 I know that Tuesdays aren't usually the happiest day of the week since they are still so far away from the weekend but my Monday sucked (I was sick in bed)... so Tuesday has to be much better! Today I am going to share a delicious recipe with you. In fact, we just finished eating it for supper and it's definitely worthy of being on the blog. It's yummy & easy... my favourite kind of recipe! I will never be a food blogger by the way, I am always too excited to eat the food rather than take beautiful pictures of it. Be glad I even snapped pictures before I shoved this deliciousness in my mouth! :)

Honey Glazed Ham

- 1 ham with or without the bone (obviously)
- 1/2 to 1 cup of honey
- fresh dill: a couple of sprigs
- 1/4 cup mustard
- 1/4 cup brown sugar

1. The night before, combine 1/2 cup of honey, 1/4 cup mustard, and the dill in a ziplock baggie and then place the ham inside and cover the ham in the mixture. Keep in the fridge overnight.
2. The next day place the ham in a roaster or casserole dish.
3. Place 1/2 cup of honey and the 1/4 cup brown sugar in a dish and microwave for 30 secs or more. Once it's melted, drizzle over top of the ham.
4. Place the ham in the oven and cook at 400 degrees for approximately 2 hours (depends on the size of the ham).

Simple Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
I know I try to keep things healthy-ish around these parts, however this recipe is anything but healthy. It has flour, butter, and cheese... oh no! But rest assured it's delicious and should be eaten in moderation. I had never made scalloped potatoes before, so I googled a recipe and was surprised at how easy it was.

Recipe from here.

- 4 to 6 potatoes
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 onion
- 4 tbsp flour
- seasoning salt
- pepper
-1 and a 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup cheese

1. Cut up the potatoes and layer along the bottom of a casserole dish.
2. Sprinkle with half the flour and salt and pepper. Add 1-2 tbsp of butter.
3. Put another layer of potatoes on top & repeat step #2.
4. Pour the milk over top of the top layer of potatoes.
5. Cook at 400 degrees for 50 minutes.
6. Sprinkle with cheese & broil for 10 minutes.

I promise if you like a good home cooked meal, you'll like this one! It's easy, cheap and delicious. Just give it a try & let me know what you think :)


Friday, 22 March 2013

I confess...

Happy Friday everyone! :)

A little shout out to my momma, it's her 50th birthday today! I am pretty positive she doesn't read my blog, but if one day she decides to... she will see this haha! I love you mom, thanks for being so dang wonderful :) Can't wait to celebrate with you next weekend!

I hope you have a few extra large drinks to celebrate tonight!
So I know I said I would get back on track and start back up with my Fit Friday posts... however, I just had a week from hell and had no time to cook or workout (I know, dumb excuse). So I am making myself accountable and I WILL be back next Friday for a post on fitness/nutrition. They truly are my favourite posts to write because it's my passion... I love everything to do with healthy eating, trying new recipes, working out, etc. That explains why I am getting a kinesiology degree I guess :)

For today, I have some confessions to make... or maybe just things I want to share/get off my chest. So here goes nothing.

1. I  confess that... I have been thinking about changing up my hair, possibly quite drastically. I am someone who likes to always try something new and different, like cuts, colours, bangs, etc. Literally I haven't changed my colour or style very much in the last year and it's starting to drive me crazy! I am thinking about going back to side bangs and a light-ish brown with highlights for summer. 

This cut!
Something close to this colour!

 What do you think?

2. I confess that... I have been very moody and hard to be around this week. I know that it is because of stress and having so much due this week but boy do I feel sorry for Brandon. It's clear that I need a weekend just to unwind & relax! Sorry love.

3. I confess that... I get really annoyed and frustrated that my skin only seems to be getting worse every year. I thought that my acne would go away once I was an adult and it's definitely not happening. I think I need to visit a doctor and figure out a routine to get it under control.

4. I confess that... Brandon and I have been thinking about travelling more and more. We are hoping to do some sort of road trip or mini vacay before we start our summer jobs... he wants to possibly drive to B.C but I mentioned possibly just a couple day trip to the states (since I've never been). I hope that we can do more travelling in the next year or two as well, since I won't be as tied down by school! :)

5. I confess that... I generally have a really hard sticking with anything for too long. My Fit Fridays are a perfect example of this. I have many interests, desires, and goals and often times I get overwhelmed and just quit them all. As well, my healthy & fitness journey is an example of this. It's not that I don't have the knowledge to get into better shape, lose some weight, and ton up... it's just that I lose motivation and give up. I need to work on this! 

6. Finally I confess that... I desperately need this relaxing weekend that is ahead. I need to give my brain a break, I need to re-connect with my goals, I need to be more easy going and less stressed, I need to do whatever the heck I want to for 2 whole days! Can't wait :) 

 Here's to the freaking weekend!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

SO WHAT! Wednesday

Today I am linking up with Shannon over at Life After I Dew and saying SO WHAT! to:

- my increased alcohol consumption. I have had a couple drinks every night for the past 3 nights, I know I'm such a rebel... but I need something to keep me sane through my 3 papers that are due back to back.

- the fact that I haven't worked out in about a week and I haven't really paid much attention to my March goals either. I will get back to it though, hopefully tomorrow evening or Friday!

-  I haven't had my hair cut since last August and today as I was procrastinating (to avoid writing my paper), I noticed I have disgusting dead and split ends! Thank god Jenna is cutting it for me this weekend :)

- I am nervous about having everything in the future because it is so unplanned but I have to trust that everything will work out. I have been dreaming about the day I would be done with this degree and now that it's approaching, I am FREAKING OUT!

- That I am super excited to make crafts with my sister on Easter weekend! She texted me asking me if I was up for crafting and I seriously got SO EXCITED!

- I haven't done my taxes yet! However, I am really looking forward to that extra money.

-  I have been counting down the days until classes are done... since January! 11 days people!

- that my weekend plans consist of a whole lot of relaxing! This includes reading for fun, catching up on shows, working out, and having as many bubble baths as I please.

I had a paper due Tuesday, one due today, and another one due tomorrow, so to say I'm busy is an understatement. I still have a couple pages to write, so I better sign off here and get to it. Have I mentioned how over school I am now? Hurry up summer!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Life Lately & Yummy Eats

Cat naps/ Guacamole/ The Easter lily Brandon bought me/ So much snow/ Maggie's favourite hangout spot/ Delicious salad from Wendy's/ Quinoa- my favourite/ Snow & more snow/ Sweet Miss Maggie

To be honest, lately all my life consists of is writing papers and it is definitely overwhelming me. I just wish for a full day of no school work or stress, a day just to do whatever I please without feeling guilty for it. Thank goodness there is less than a month left of school! Can't wait until April 18th!

Although I have been busy trying some new recipes. So I thought I would share a few easy but scrumptious eats with you today :)

Crunchy Chickpeas
The credit for this tasty treat goes to Brandon. He's always wanting a nighttime snack and I am always trying to encourage healthier options. He informs me that all he did was dump a can of chickpeas on a baking sheet, drizzled with some olive oil and put taco seasoning on them. He then baked them at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until crunchy. I highly recommend that you try this! Feel free to switch up the spices as you desire :)

Creamy Carrot & Coconut Soup
 Apparently today I am just sharing a wealth of recipes that I can't even take credit for because this recipe came from my sister, Ashley. She said she was craving soup one day and googled easy soup recipes and this baby popped up. I am so thankful because it was beyond delicious and definitely easy to make!

3 large carrots, chopped small
1 onion, chopped small
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1&1/2 tsp curry powder
 1&3/4 cup vegetable broth
1- 14 oz can of coconut milk (light or regular)
Sea salt to taste

1. Simmer the first 5 ingredients for 20-25 minutes
2. Cool slightly and then puree in a blender (or a magic bullet in my case)
3. Return to heat and stir in the coconut milk until it is warmed through
4. ENJOY! I choose to pair it with garlic cheese toast and I would highly recommend it!

Coconut & Chocolate Chip Cookies
Green for St.Patty's Day!
 Can you tell I am really digging coconut lately? Seriously, it's my new favourite thing! These cookies will not disappoint either. I made them last week to cure our broken hearts when Sasha passed away and I made them again last night for a bake sale at my Uni. Make them for yourself and see, they are moist & to die for!

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 &1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1-2 cups chocolate chips
1-2 cups coconut 
* The original recipe called for 2 cups of both choc. chips and coconut but I added gradually and realized that for my preference 2 cups of each would be too much. You can judge according to what you like!

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cream together butter, white sugar & brown sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda and salt (already combined). Once it's all mixed fold in the chocolate chips & coconut.
3. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
4. Enjoy! Preferably with a large glass of milk :)
All 3 recipes together make up a perfectly balanced meal, trust me!

Happy Monday everyone :)  

Friday, 15 March 2013

Not So Fit Friday & Being Thankful

Not so Fit Friday

So I told myself that I would get back on track this week but sometimes life throws curve balls at you and it just doesn't happen. The only day I managed to workout this week was Tuesday and I tried a new free online workout program called BeFit in 90. BeFit in 90 posts a new workout plus tips everyday on youtube and they are usually around 30 minutes long.They include a warm up, cardio portion, specific body part workout, and cool down/stretch and I really enjoyed the day 1 workout.

This is the day 1 warm up video.
I couldn't get the whole workout to pop up, so just type in "BeFit in 90 Day 1" into YouTube and you should be good to go!

This week I overall ate pretty healthy and focused on increasing my water intake because I have been getting crazy headaches lately. I admit that I did make coconut & chocolate chip cookies on Wednesday evening for Brandon & I. No regrets though, they were delicious and chocolate always helps to heal a broken heart.

Being Thankful
This week with the passing of Sasha, I found myself paying closer attention to the things that bring great happiness to me. I find that lose and grief always has a way of bringing about a new perspective to your life. I really do have so many things in life to be grateful and thankful for, so why not take a minute to talk about them.

1. I am thankful for my wonderful family, whether they be blood relatives or not. On Wednesday I sent out a text to my mom and sister, just letting them know about Sasha and they both responded immediately letting me know that they are there for me. As well, my oldest sister Ashley (one of my only faithful reader; HI ASH!), texted me on Wednesday saying she read my post and that she was there if I needed anything. Also, Cathy (Brandon's mom) called me Wednesday evening because she knew I was upset about Sasha and so was she. We just chatted, reflected on all our memories of Sasha, and she told me that it's okay to be upset. That call really did help out a lot and it made me realize how easily Brandon's family has accepted me as a part of their family. I am so, so incredibly lucky to have a whole other family who has my back.

Cathy and I.
2. I am thankful for nights spent babysitting my cousins. My aunty called me on Wednesday evening and asked if I could babysit Dylan and Liam while they went to the Jets game. I immediately said yes and then I spent Thursday looking forward to it! It was the easiest babysitting job ever, we just played games and cards for 4-5 hours and it was so much fun. I will mention however that there is not greater form of birth control then babysitting 2 rambunctious boys who solely talk about pooping and farting... trust me, I'm no where near ready for that 24/7 hours a day 365 days a year.

Dylan (a few years back).
3. I am thankful for motivation and my work ethic. I have mentioned before that I have 16 papers to write this semester and I HATE writing papers. It's been a challenge but I have completed 11 out of 16 papers and I am so glad that the end is near! I received my hard work ethic from both my parents, as well as idolizing both my sisters (who are very intelligent and dedicated individuals).

4. I am thankful for this little blog of mine. I could really care less how many people read it because it has become such a good form of release and therapy for me. I love being able to sit down to write whatever is on my heart. It is my little journal where I can document my everyday happenings and I am glad that blogging has encouraged me to take more pictures and pay closer attention to what is happening in my life.

5. MUSIC. What more can I say... I love how music takes away my stress. I am constantly listening to music and it especially helps while writing those dreaded papers. Also, you better believe I am one of those crazies who cranks the music in the car (to the dismay of Brandon) and sings at the top of my lungs. Sure I get lots of stares but I could care less. Just try it, I dare you... you will judge no longer.

6. Finally, I am thankful for Brandon & Maggie. Duh. There really is no explanation necessary. They are my little family who I love so dearly. I love knowing I get to come home to both of them every night, especially their cuddles. Enough said, cuddles rule.

I think that's enough rambling for one day.
 Happy Friday Blog World! Make sure to get your Irish on this weekend ;)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

I Never Wanted This Day to Come

I am writing this post with tears streaming down my face. So I'm not sure that this post will make a lot of sense and it's because my heart is currently breaking. This morning, while waiting in Starbucks for my latte, I got a call from Brandon telling me that his parents were putting down Sasha, their family dog today. Immediately tears started to streamed down my face. They started to flow and I couldn't stop them. My heart stopped beating and I just wanted to throw myself on the floor... I couldn't even comprehend the news.

I should explain that I have known Brandon ever since we were babies. Our mom's used to be good friends and would have craft days, etc together. As well, Brandon and I have gone to school together ever since Kindergarten and I also bowled for a few years at the bowling alley in our town owned by Brandon's parents. I'm pretty sure that I first met Sasha many years ago at the bowling alley and I remember her loving people and attention. This was when I was a child and way before Brandon and I were friends or dating. Also, everyone in our small town knew Sasha as the bowling alley dog with three legs.

See, about 6 years ago when Sasha was 6 years old she was diagnosed with cancer. Cancer is very common for Alaskan Malamutes and it hit their family hard. Sasha had become such a huge part of their family over the years that they decided to get surgery to remove one of her front legs. Thankfully, the surgery went well and Sasha lived the rest of her life cancer free and with 3 legs. I will tell you first hand that Sasha never did suffer much considering she had 3 legs. She was always full of energy and she could still run and play. I truly believe that Sasha was a super dog... she was capable of brightening anyone's day, she loved being affectionate with people, and she truly was very, very special to me and everyone that knew her.

Ever since Brandon and I became best friends and then when we started dating, I felt a special bond with Sasha. In fact, many times I'm sure Brandon was jealous of how much time I spent loving on Sasha. I loved to sit outside with her and brush her, rub her belly, and talk to her about life. In many ways, I could tell that Sasha really understood me and loved me unconditionally. She was such a beautiful, loving, strong dog. We knew that she was nearing the end of her grand life because she was slowing down and she lost her hearing completely over the past year. However, you can never truly be prepared for saying good-bye to your best friend.

Apparently Sasha had a stroke this morning and was unable to move or anything afterwards so Brandon's parents made the decision that it was time for her to be put down. I am so thankful that she is no longer in pain and I am praying that there are lots of carrots and slurpees in doggy heaven because then Sasha will be happy forever. My heart is breaking as well as everyone in Brandon's family but I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with Sasha and her legacy will live on forever. Animals really do end up holding a special place in your heart and it's certainly extremely hard to say goodbye to them. I will truly miss seeing Sasha with her perked up ears and goofy grin every single time I go to Brandon's house.

Sasha and Patches
Sasha in the bowling alley.

I love that her eyes are closed because she usually overheated in the summer.
Brandon and sweet miss Sasha.
Begging for treats?
Brandon's mom Cathy and Sasha.

A bit blurry but that's Sushi and me.

Sasha, carrot & treat (her favourite things)

Her favourite place. She was always hot, so she LOVED snow!
I love you my sweet Sasha girl. I'm sure going to miss our bonding sessions. Rest easy beautiful girl.