Friday, 29 January 2016

25 by 25

One day I was looking through old posts of mine and I came across this 25 by 25 list that I posted back in August of 2012. That feels like an eternity ago and to be honest, I kind of forgot about this list. I thought it would be a neat idea to revisit this list and see how many things I've accomplished. I am 23.5 years old right now, so I still have a year and a half to reach all of my goals! :)

1. Graduate from university  (February 2014)
2. Buy my 1st home - hopefully an old fixer upper  (October 2014- I still love it so much!)
3. Use my creativity more - crafting, gardening, cooking, etc. (Made lots of homemade gifts, planted a garden/plants, etc)
4. Pay off a huge chunk of student debt (Paid off my Student Line of Credit in December 2015, now just for my Canada Student Loans!)
5. Run a 5k (Color Me Rad- June 2013, I think?)
6. Work out regularly and lead a healthier, cleaner life (we go to the gym 5-6 days/week)
7. Do more in the winter months ( in Canada, winter lasts between 6-8 months)
8. Go on at least a one week vacation (Engagement Trip to Alberta- July 2015)
9. Get engaged/married! (Got engaged- June 27th 2015)
10. Grow my own veggie/fruit/herb garden (we did this last year!)
11. Make all homemade gifts for Christmas one year
12. Scrapbook my life and all my adventures
14. Write more hand written letters/cards (birthday cards!)
15. Use social media and technology less
16. Live an eco-friendly lifestyle (cleaning, eating, living) (we recycle, compost, use essential oils, and are trying to cut out cleaning chemicals)
17. Step outside my comfort zone more often (joined a bowling league, teaching fitness classes)
18. Learn to crotchet
19. Go on a spontaneous road trip
20. Go rock climbing 
21. Volunteer my time as much as possible
22. Get into the best shape of my life (physically, mentally, emotionally, socially)
23. Get a tattoo!
24. Spend more time outside enjoying nature (lots of walks, runs, and gardening last summer)
25. Buy a nice camera and document all my adventures! (Brandon bought me one for my birthday in 2013, I just need to be better about using it!)

I achieved 14 out of 25 things on my list so far, which is more than I expected! Only 11 more to go and I have a year and a half. Although, there are a couple things that I'm not as interested in doing anymore such as crotcheting and I don't know about a tattoo.

What are some of your goals?

Now I am off to dare. dream. live. :)  

Monday, 25 January 2016

Weekend Love

This past weekend was definitely one for the books. Generally, I prefer low key weekends at  home with my love and our fur babies but once in awhile having plans is okay too. 

Friday morning view out our front window!
On Friday after work, Brandon and I quickly went home, packed our bags, and hit the road to Winnipeg. Brandon bowls every Friday night in Winnipeg but generally I stay home and unwind from a busy week. When we got to Winnipeg, I dropped Brandon off at the lanes and went to Stella's for supper with one of my best friends Jenna. Jenna and I have been friends forever (10 years?) and our friendship is just so easy and I love catching up with her! I enjoyed delicious veggie lasagna, caesar salad, and garlic toast. I then hit up the thrift store and Winner's before going to watch part of Brandon's bowling. We then hit the road to Pine Falls for one last visit with Sarah and Andrew before they move on February 1st to Neepawa. Unfortunately, our GPS took us a different way than normal and the roads were less than ideal. Thank goodness Brandon drove and we found the main highway, where the roads were much better! We made it to Pine Falls just before midnight. 

Saturday morning, we woke up around 9 and we ate a quick snack of yogurt, berries & granola and then we hit up the gym while Andrew slept. We got home around 11:30 and made a delicious brunch of bacon, eggs, hash-browns, and toast. Then we gave them their house warming gift a bit early. Brandon & I made a RCMP sign as a surprise for Andrew and now they will get to hang it in their new house!

We spent the afternoon relaxing, helping them pack, going for a walk, and then enjoying supper with Andrew before his night shift (he's an RCMP Officer). We spent the evening drinking wine, playing Settler's of Catan, and trying to build a bonfire.

Sunday morning, we woke up around 9 again and made breakfast together. We ate, visited some more and then hit the road home. We stopped in Winnipeg to stock up on groceries and then finally got home to snuggle our kitties. Around 4:30 we headed to our friends place for supper which was Olive Garden inspired. She made us Lasagna soup, salad, and bread-sticks followed by brownies & ice cream. To say I was stuffed would be an understatement! We had a really good visit and got smothered with doggy kisses & cuddles too. Win win!

It was a very busy weekend full of relaxing and spending time with people we love. I really am thankful for my Monday-Friday job, so I can soak up all the goodness that weekends offer!

Happy Monday, let's make this a wonderful week! :)

Friday, 22 January 2016

Punching Fear Right in the Face


Fear is something that has always crippled me in many areas of my life. I'm scared of putting myself out there or embarrassing myself. More often than not, I worry about what others are thinking of me. I hate trying new things especially when I am terrible at them. This may stem from some of the teasing and bullying I experienced growing up but it's also just a part of my personality. I was never someone who was smart without trying, talented at many different sports, or someone who was truly gifted in one area. As I grow up however, I have learned that people are far too worried about their own issues to pay any attention to you. I've learned that it's okay to try something and fail in epic proportions. I've also learned that if I live my whole life crippled by fear, I will look back and be full of regret. I have slowly tried to make strides in the right direction with this issue doing things like joining a bowling league with Brandon and getting certified as a Fitness Instructor. Sure, I may not be the best bowler or a world top trainer but I must admit I ENJOY these things. I am so glad I am learning to take small leaps of faith.

For example, this month alone, I have let go of my fear of the squat rack at the gym and my fear of running. The squat rack has always intimidated me since usually it's surrounded by a bunch of meat heads who have nothing better to do than gawk. But to hell with it, I put in my headphones, put some weight on the bar, and squatted/dead-lifted until my heart was content. I felt strong and best of all, I felt empowered! Then on Monday this week I faced my fear of running. I mean, I have run before obviously but it's always been something that scares me. I'm not a fast runner or a particularly good runner per say. But somehow on Monday, I told myself I was going to run a mile straight (which is a huge deal for me). So I upped the speed on the treadmill and let myself get lost in my music and I just ran. Nothing impressive, I think it was around an 11 minute mile. But the point is, I did it!

What fears have you faced lately?
Here is to making 2016 a year of punching our fears in the face!

Monday, 18 January 2016

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday everyone!

I always complain that it feels weekends go by so quickly and the weekdays crawl by. However, I shouldn't complain too much. I got to do lots of relaxing this weekend! Since the weather in Manitoba right now is brutal (-30 to -40), we spent the whole weekend indoors. Saturday morning we had a delicious breakfast and then hit up the gym and grocery store. Spent the afternoon relaxing and then had our friend Sarah over Saturday evening. She even offered to bring supper which was wonderful. We ate delicious chicken parmesan, drank wine, visited, and played Settlers of Catan.

Two of my favourites :)
Sunday, Brandon drove home to watch his brother bowl in a tournament but I decided to stay home inside instead. I spent the day reading, working out, cleaning, and making soup. When Brandon got home around 5, we made tuna casserole, watched Making a Murderer and finished off a DIY project which is a housewarming gift for his sister and fiance!

To say that I love weekends, would be a huge understatement. I am definitely a homebody in the winter and definitely enjoy more down time in the winter but I am itching for spring already! Also, it's crazy to think that our wedding is less than 6 months away... I cannot believe it!!

Thursday, 14 January 2016


Well so far, so good. I have visited this little blog of mine a few times already this year... so maybe I will actually keep it up. We shall see :)

reading: The Choice by Nicholas Sparks and The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. The Happiness Advantage is a book that my workplace bought for all of their employees to encourage us to take care of ourselves in order to be more productive & engaged staff members. Each month we have challenges and get entered to win a draw. I won the December draw and got a $20 gift card to a local gift shop! :) Have I mentioned that I love my job and the people I work with?!

Shrimp, avocado & cucumber stack with spicy mayo. Delicious!

eating: delicious meals like the one above made by Brandon, he's my personal chef! Don't worry, that means I'm on clean up duty ;) we are considering doing a Whole30 in February, so we are looking up recipes and starting to cut some stuff out already!

loving: getting back into a routine after the holidays which has involved reaching my goal of 10,000 steps every day last week. I'm pretty proud of that since it currently feels like -30   in Manitoba, yikes! At home workouts have been really helping me when I don't feel like braving the cold to go to the gym. I especially love Jessica Smith videos.

watching: The Biggest Loser, a new season just started up. Also, Brandon and I just started watching Making a Murderer on Netflix just like the rest of the world!

looking forward to: starting the Whole30! I have been researching like crazy and I am excited to see how my body responds to the changes.

thinking about: how jealous I am of my parents who are jetting off to Arizona on Friday, I wish I could squeeze into their suitcase!

proud of: my sister, Stephanie, who passed her NAVLE which is her veterinary medicine licensing exam. It's been a long road for her and she is getting so close to graduating as Dr. Cook!

How could you not love that sweet little face?!

thankful for: blankets, space heaters, and warm bubble baths! haha good old Manitoba weather. But in all serious, I am thankful for my wonderful fiance, my family, my home, and my two sweet little munchkins.

Here's to a wonderful week full of motivation to reach our 2016 goals! :)

Friday, 8 January 2016

Fit Friday: Full Body Blast

TGIF! This week was a struggle for me. The week and a half off for Christmas really made me lazy and getting out of bed early to workout didn't happen once this week.. With that being said I did workout all 5 days and I reached my goal of 10,000 steps too, so I will call that a success! :) I am glad that it's Friday even though we don't have much planned for this week other than a gym date tomorrow and lots of relaxing!

Anyways, I've been teaching a Simply Fit class since September and I absolutely love it. It's a beginner's circuit class with usually around 3-4 participants. Most of which have some sort of injury such as shoulder impingement, knee pain, hip injury, diabetes, etc.  which provides a challenge when planning classes that everyone can do.

Today, I want to share the workout I put my participants through last night. We started with a dynamic warm up including butt kickers, overhead ab reaches, knee lifts, side steps, and bear hugs. For the workout, they performed each exercises for 45 seconds and rotating twice through the first two moves. So for example, squat hold with rear tap-hip lifts off bench-squat hold with rear tap-hip lifts off bench and then move on to the overhead tricep extensions, etc. You can choose whether you do cardio between each set or each circuit depending on how much time you have. Make sure to finish you workout with a cool-down and stretching!

Note: Always remember that form is more important than speed or # of repetitions. If you are unsure how to perform these exercises, a simple google search can help or ask me! :)

If you tried the workout, please let me know how you liked it! :)
Happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Scenes from the Holidays

Why is it so hard to get motivated during the first week back to work after an extended break?!? I was lucky to get 11 days off work to fully enjoy Christmas & New Years and to say that I'm dragging my butt this week would be an understatement. Before holidays, I was generally getting up at 5:45 every morning and getting in a solid hour workout before going to work. This week, that is not the case. I have hit snooze and chose an extra hour of sleep the past two days. I need to get my butt in gear!

Anyways, I will quit rambling now. I wanted to do a little recap post of the holidays today. Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year... I love the traditions, spending time with family, overindulging, and playing tons of board games.

December 23rd: went out for drinks & dinner with Brandon's cousin and boyfriend to celebrate the start of the holidays!

Christmas Eve: headed home with kitties in tow, went to my Auntie Heather's for appetizers, and then to Brandon's grandparents to visit with his family. Excitedly went to sleep awaiting the arrival of santa ;)

Christmas Day: included  traditions of waffles with Grandmas amazing strawberry rhubarb sauces, coffee filled with boozy liquer, lots of present opening, and scratch tickets & mimosas! Brandon and I went in to town briefly to have brunch with his family and then back out to my farm for Christmas dinner. This year we had my immediate family plus my grandma, my aunt, Brandon's mom & brother, and my sister's boyfriends parents. We enjoyed a delicious steak, shrimp, and scallop supper and then played a game of Chase the Ace.

Boxing day involved all of my mom's side of the family coming to our house. This included 30+ people which included many screaming, rowdy children.. thank god for wine! On the 27th, was my dad's side of the family at the local hall. Thankfully there were less people this day and no screaming involved. We played board games, ate delicious food, and visited.

The following days, we met up with old friends (Richard, Jacey, & Shane) to play Settlers of Catan, had a coffee date with my best friend and niece, and made a trip up to Brandon's parents cottage. We made his mom an early birthday dinner and went for a walk with Titan.

By this point, I was beyond ready to come back to our little home with our two sweet kitties and enjoy some time to relax and unwind. All in all, it was a wonderful holiday season and I am beyond excited for what's in store for 2016! :)

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Hello 2016!

It's hard to believe that I haven't posted on here since just after my birthday in August. Over the last little while, I have really missed blogging. I still follow many blogs but I just stopped making time to come here and document my life. Since it's the start of a new year, I have made blogging one of my resolutions! 2016 involves a lot of exciting times including our wedding, both of our sister's weddings (Hi Ash!) as well my sister Stephanie's graduation. I can't wait to document all of the planning and fun times ahead, so that I can look back in future years on all of the memories. So here we go!

  • Workout 5-6 days per week
  • Switch up my fitness routine and try new types of activity (ex. yoga, kickboxing, running, etc)
  • Read 20 books in total, read before bed instead of scanning social media
  • Simplify and be more intentional every single day
  • Complete at least one whole30 (I'm thinking of doing one in February)
  • Pay off all of my student loans
  • Put away a set amount of money each month into my savings
  • Go at least one month without extra spending (only spend on necessities)
  • Spend less time on social media, spend more coloring, reading, blogging, outdoors, etc.
  • Enjoy wedding planning and don't stress over the little details
  • Make small, attainable monthly goals and share them on the blog!
  • Spend more time being creative & actually conquer some of my pins on pinterest
  • Get back in to scrap booking (complete my parents 30th anniversary, our engagement trip, etc.)
  • Track all of my workouts, food, and water to keep my on track
  • Use my camera more often
Let's go 2016, I am so excited to see what you have in store! :) 
What are some of your goals/resolutions to make 2016 the best year yet?