House Pictures!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

I’ve been a little MIA lately. Work is really picking up and I’m moving positions (start date June 30). We’ve been hard at work on our yard.

Also we’ve been sticking to the workout plan so we are ready to go for our mud run in…oh my god 16 days!

Lastly we’ve jam packed every weekend full of camping and other social activities! However we did manage to find time to have some beautiful house photos taken by Blair Marie Photography

Max's Baby Quilt

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

One of the best things in the world is being an Auntie. Unfortunately for me both my niece and nephew live in Australia. However, that doesn't mean I can't still be a part of their lives. Baby quilts was a tradition my mother started for all her nieces and nephews (and other important babies in her life). It is a special gift that shows how much you love that baby. I have carried on said tradition and made several baby quilts in including this one for the newest member of our family. 

Being that his maternal grandfather is from Ireland, his mother is from Canada and his father from Australia (where they live), I suspect he will be quite the traveller!

Mudd Sweat and Tears - T-minus 31 days

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

My husband was a fairly active person when we met, he played soccer in his home town and loved it. When he moved to Vancouver he continued to play but finding a team was difficult and when we moved to Calgary our lives got so busy and there was no time for physical activities. I always tried to get him to work out with me but if there was no "purpose" like playing a soccer game he wasn't interested.
So imagine my surprise when he tells me he wants to enter into Mudd Sweat and Tears (MST), an 8 km obstacle course. A good friend of ours did MST in Kelowna last weekend and she said it was one of the best things she's ever done! She suggested that we enter with her and her husband to the upcoming race in Cochrane, June 14.
My first instinct was to stay clear of anything that could result in me being embarassed by my physical abilities or lack there of. But my husband and I struck a deal. If he trained with me for the next month I would do it. And he agreed.
Naturally...I began planning our work outs...we only had 33 days when we decided to do this. I knew right off the bat I needed to improve my cardio and he needed to improve his upper body strength was he going to lift me over the 9' wall??
Our friend that already entered gave us a few hints, she wished she had focused more on upper body strength (push-ups, pull-ups etc.) during her training but I knew if I couldn't run at least 8 km there was no way I was going to be able to complete the challenge.
We began our training Monday May 12th.
I figured out a loop in our neighborhood that was 2.86 km and I knew if I trained in intervals of that loop I would be able to increase my endurance to the necessary level.
Week 1: 1 time around the loop, 3 times a week
Week 2: 1.5 times around the loop, 3 times a week
Week 3: 2 times around the loop, 3 times a week
Week 4: 2.5 times around the loop, 3 times a week
Week 5: 3 times around the loop, 3 times a week
In addition to what I needed to do for my cardio I also needed to increase my strength.Twice a week we will focus on different areas of the body (arms, shoulders, chest, back, legs) in various combinations. A while back (3 years ago) I got into P90x and though I am not interested in being as hardcore as the typical P90x'ers they are great videos to get through a workout.
Lastly we will do a weekend workout that could be anything from a long hike to more strength and cardio.
We have completed 2 days of training and have 31 more days to go! 

Red Espresso

Friday, 9 May 2014

Over the last few years I've gone from not being able to tolerate coffee, to drinking coffee with two sugars and milk, to drinking it black. I've also found my sensitivity to caffeine has changed. If I have any caffeine (including the small amount in decaf coffee) after 12 PM I find it difficult to sleep. I see a dietician to help me maintain my weight and to keep on track with diet and so when I went to see her, her obvious suggestion was to drink herbal tea. I just don’t find herbal tea a sufficient substitute for coffee…there is something more substantial in coffee compared to herbal tea. So…I began the hunt for a hot caffeine-free beverage to replace coffee with. Some ideas I generated were:
  • Ovaltine
  • Herbal tea made with steamed milk (I thought this would be more substantial)
  • Coffee substitutes containing chicory
Ovaltine is a good choice but it does have some calories and being that I'm gluten-free I am not sure whether I would be able to handle it. Back to my earlier comment about herbal tea not being substantial enough...well I still feel that way even with milk. Lastly coffee substitutes made with chicory...honestly I didn't even try dietician told me not to bother. She said she was given some to try and it tasted like dirt so on that note I didn't want to investigate that option further.
I was telling a friend about my issues with caffeine and not being able to find a substitute and that is when she suggested I try Red Espresso. I had never heard of it, I did some reading on it and it seemed like the perfect solution to my coffee substitution problem. Last night I made my first ‘Red Latte‘ with almond milk and I was so happy! It obviously didn't taste like coffee but its consistency was definitely the same as coffee.
Red Espresso is a Rooibos tea that mimics the same full-bodied-ness as coffee. It is naturally caffeine-free and all around amazing for you!

Completed Fireplace

Sunday, 4 May 2014

We've now been living in our house for 6 weeks and loving it! I am also so pleased with how the fireplace turned out!! Back in February I did a post on the beginning of the fireplace and now I thought it was time to show the final product. I think it adds so much to our house and gives it some character. 
We chose to go with a faux marble subway tile to complement the kitchen backsplash. We wanted something that would blend in but had some detail. The tile was not easy to cut, let me tell you!! It chipped A LOT on the tile saw. 
Another thing that made a big different was spray painting the brass strips on the actual fireplace insert. We use BBQ paint (which I didn't know was a thing). It is paint that is meant for very high heats. I don't think you could use regular spray paint here. 
Also we had the fireplace mantel professionally sprayed when we had the rest of the house painted.  I think that made a huge different in the finished product. 

Roasted Eggplant and Cherry Tomatoes

Friday, 2 May 2014

A few months ago a friend of mine gave me this recipe, I was a little sceptical because I am not a huge fan of eggplant but after trying this recipe I am now!
It is really easy to prepare, just requires some time chopping vegetables. I like serving this over rice with chicken sausage.
Roasted Eggplant and Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 medium sized eggplants
  • 2 boxes of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Dried basil
  • 3 Tbsps of oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  2. Cut the eggplant into 1 inch chunks, the tomatoes in half and dice the onion into medium sized pieces. Place in a large bowl with whole peeled garlic from one head.
  3. Toss vegetables with oil and season with salt and pepper
  4. Spread onto one or two cookie sheets and bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven
  5. Sprinkle vegetables with dry basil and return to the oven for another 10 minutes
  6. Sprinkle vegetables with parmesan or feta
Serves 4 
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