Friday, January 24, 2014

Fitness Friday: Soccer Bruises

For the first time in 6+ years I have soccer bruises.
What an attractive picture...not hahaha.

Lets back up a bit. I started playing soccer in grade 8 to become "well rounded". Basically I wanted a sport on my resume, and basketball or volleyball wasn't going to cut it (yes these were the things I worried about in grade 8). I continued playing soccer in high school, but lets just say I was not the star player. In grade 11 or 12, not sure which, we only had 12 people on the team, and I was the one who started on the bench at the start of every game. But looking back, it made sense. I didn't really take it seriously and the coach could probably tell that. After playing a few games in intramurals in 1st and 2nd year because the team "needed a girl", I stopped, and moved to things like dance class, zumba, and just going to the gym.

When I started work  here in Toronto, I heard that my work had a soccer team and it kind of sparked my interest, but also heard they were a in a semi competitive league and didn't think much of it. A few weeks ago though, I heard a few of those guys started playing indoor soccer, and one girl in the group, once hearing that I had played soccer back in high school, told me I should join in.

I said yes in the moment, then immediately regretted it. Playing contact sports with coworkers? Soccer? What if I suck?? But finally after the convincing of my friends, I went to the game tonight. I warned all the other players that I was severely out of practice, and told them to humour me. After a couple of first passes though it started coming back!

I definitely have a lot to improve on (my aiming for passes is awful), but there were things I could actually do!! My cardio and speed is actually probably better than what is was in high school, and my left shot is pretty good considering I am right footed (years of being an outside forward come into play) I was able to play most of the 2 hours without running out of breath! And..I GOT A GOAL. I had one goal and a few really good shots on the net!

So, all in all, I am super glad I got over my fear of "not being good enough" and actually went out to play, bruises and all. I especially liked that I wasn't treated as "girl player, only on the team because we need one", and could actually contribute to the team! I find it really hard to be motivated to work out on Friday, and this is much more fun than just going to the gym.

Other than that, for fitness this week I did an super fun Sh'bam (dance inspired) class on Tuesday, and then yesterday I did a circuit workout and treadmill intervals for an hour, then Zumba for an hour (stupid exercise endorphins made me think this was a good idea).  Then soccer for two hours tonight. AND I have a gym date with a friend tomorrow AM....I'm not going to be able to move on Sunday!!!

Anyone else trying a long lost hobby/activity? Anyone else fall victim to gym endorphins?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Matrimony Monday: The Proposal

Welcome to Matrimony Monday where I share the highs and lows of wedding planning..but first the engagement story!

Lets back up a little, Mike and I had seriously talked about getting engaged when he finished his Masters, and we had picked a date for our potential wedding months ago (August long weekend 2015). Because I am from a smallish town, I knew I should start booking stuff this past Christmas. But as the holidays approached I was ringless, even though Mike was tormenting me with hints.. "It won't be this year, but remember 2014 is around the corner" "The ring isn't in the apartment..yet"...etc. Just enough to drive me crazy (he knows me well). 

We spent the holidays apart (me with my family, he with his), and at one point I reminded him that my parents would be driving me down to Halifax at some point, so if he had anything planned he should coordinate with them. He then sadly told me he didn't have time to plan anything over the holidays, but had something planned for when we got back to Toronto.  Little did I know..this was a lie. Mike was totally in cahoots with my parents, his parents, our friends etc. at this point, the only one not in on it was me!

On December 30th, my parents drove me to Halifax, we had a nice dinner with Mikes family, and my parents left to go home on the 31st. That night Mike and I were (apperently) planning to go to a friend's house for a New Years Eve party. In fact I even ran into that friend shopping and we talked about how fun the party was going to be. (He was also in on it.) 

Around 9 o'clock I was all dressed up, waiting to go, and Mike calls me down to his room. And he says "We aren't going to the party, here is clue number 1". I immediately figure out what is going on, and break down into happy tears, and run around trying to find my phone, and my camera, and warm clothes, and mittens. I was a mess. Apparently this was hilarious to Mike and his family who watched me go up and down the stairs fifteen times as I looked for my phone. 

The clues (there were 6 of them, one for each year we have been together) led me all around Halifax to places that had a significant meaning, or for fun activities, like skating! 
It was cold, but worth it :)

It was super sweet! It was also really well organized. We arrived at clue number 5, Parade Square, at 11:45, and suddenly the thoughts start racing.."Is he going to propose to me in the crowd at the NYE free concert?" "Has he crafted an elaborate scheme that we are going to get on Maritime television???" What is going on!! 

But then he handed me the last clue, that lead us down to the waterfront, where we went out on one of the piers. Then right before midnight he got down on one knee, and opened the ring box. I said yes, and we cried, and then I noticed the ring was the exact one I had pointed out to him before (which I later learned he went through a lot of hassle, and international shipping to get!). 

He did good. 

As we were leaving the pier, he said "There is one more surprise..your parents aren't back home". They had never really left Halifax, but instead were waiting for us back at Parade square, and his parents were waiting at my parents hotel, and they had thrown together a little party for us, with sparkling wine and pie! 

Such a good boyfriend fiancĂ©! 

We flew back to Toronto the next AM, and did the rounds of phone calls, and started the planning!  So far we have the photographer and officiant booked, and we are in talks with a caterer. We are planning a low key event at my parents cottage, but we both have such big families, it will still be a BIG event!! 

I don't want to share too much of the actual wedding details on the blog (got to keep somethings personal/a surprise) but I will be sharing useful things I find, and not so useful things I find in planning!! I may even have some excel planning templates for ya if I get ambitious! Maybe I can even convince Mike to write one from his perspective! 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fitness Friday- Trying new Things

Oh hey, I'm blogging on a semi regular basis now...lets see how long I can keep this up!


This is the first year in a long time where I don't really have specific New Years Resolutions involving weight loss or diets or getting in shape. It is kind of nice! I think what helped is that I didn't feel like I fell off track on the holidays. I stayed active with lots of walks in the snow, and then when I got back to Toronto, I still had a few days off so I did a personal 5 day hot yoga challenge.

I'm planning a big post about hot yoga, but a quick version if it is that I do Bikram style yoga, which is an hour and a half, 26 postures, 2 breathing exercises, all in a 40 degree room. And I love it!  The hardest part about doing the 5 day challenge was walking too and from Yoga in -30 degrees...blech! But I did it!! I had never done 2 days in a row, so to go 5 days straight was pretty cool. The first few were a little rusty, and then the 4th class was DEADLY (really full and really HOT), but the 5th class was really good. I probably could have continued if tutoring didn't get in the way on Tuesday.

My 5th class happened to fall on Monday the 6th (the day most people went back to work), and even though I found the class ok, 2 people had to leave the room and one girl apparently fainted. I think it may have been people diving to hard back into routine, maybe not eating/drinking enough before class! I don't want to scare anyone away from hot yoga, I have personally never felt that sick, or that weak during the class, though I am a big proponent of lying/sitting down if you get overwhelmed.

Since the hot yoga challenge, I have done a few Nike Training Club workouts, as well as a INTENSE Body Combat class (cardio kickboxing). The last (and only) time I did body combat was back in Halifax, and I didn't really like it, so I never went back! This time, I felt really goofy for the first 10-15 mins (I am NOT a fighter), but after getting into the routine, I really enjoyed the class. It was a killer workout and the instructor was fantastic. It wasn't my ultimate favourite goodlife class, but I would definitely go back!!

It was a good lesson though, that with group exercise it is good to give a class more than one shot, try a few times, with different instructors. I got a way better work out and enjoyed the class I "didn't like" compared to doing my own workout for that hour!!

Anyone else try a exercise class they like recently? Has anyone else turned a combat inspired class to a "dance" to enjoy it more??

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WIAW-Muffins from Juice Pulp

For my What I ate Wednesday, it will be more of a what I'm eating in general/good recipes..not necessarily what I actually eat on Wednesday..because that would be very repetitive haha.

For Christmas this year Mike and I got a Jucier!!

After hearing about how awesome juicing is from a friend, I was very excited to try it out! The first one was too sweet, and the next one was too...ummm...gross (too many root veggies), but from then on we hit a good balance. Mostly we are doing 2 carrots, 1 apple, some greens (broccoli, spinach, cucumber), 1/2 a lemon and a little bit of ginger. I haven't noticed a huge difference in energy levels, or food cravings, but Mike is swearing he has more energy at the end of the day. We aren't doing a juice cleanse, just one a day for a morning snack.

One thing that happens with juice is that you get a lot of leftover pulp, which I feel bad just throwing away. So I did some googling, and now have started using pulp in everything. First we added it to wraps and sandwiches (it is especially good with hummus), and then I added it to a stir fry (the result was...meh), and then I found this post from Fitting it all in, and made some veggie bread and muffins. I followed the suggestion and used apple sauce and bananas.
Not the most visually appealing thing!

SUPER HEALTHY. I was very hesitant at first, but it is actually delicious. No it doesn't taste like cake, or chocolate, but for a 0 fat, mostly natural sugar recipe, it is pretty darn good.

In other food news, I made a quick and easy supper on Sunday: Couscous salad with Chickpeas, Peppers, Kale, Tomato, Avocado a Tahini Lemon Dressing! It was too pretty not to take a picture!

Everything is delicious with Avocado
This could be modified for any vegtables, but the dressing was super easy:
3 tablespoons of Tahini Paste
4 tablespoons of Water
Juice from half of lemon
1 minced garlic cloves

Nom nom nom!

Anyone have some tasty juice recipes? Anyone else shocked that veggie pulp can result in tasty loaf?? 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Task Tuesday- How to Organize Purse Junk

I thought that this first Task-Tuesday post would be a good place to talk about new years resolutions before diving in to my first "Task"

In 2013, lets see how I did:
1. Get my E-life organized (photos/files etc.) Mike and I have been having computer/hard drive issues and this needs to happen so I don't lose everything!- We did back it up, but I think it is something we need to work on a bit more. I need to organize my photos again!
2. Get my finances organized..actually go to a bank and talk to someone so I am getting the best account/TFSA etc. Actually be a grown up. DONE AND DONE!
3. Go to the Gym and stay focused on the diet. Run a 10 km in the fall. Do the Mud Run in 50 mins.
I did awful at this from Jan-June, but from June until now I have been to the gym on average 4x a week, and instead of a 10 km run I did a triathlon. This year for mud hero I finished in the top 30% vs the bottom 30%! Huge improvements. And I'm about 8lbs lighter this year that I was this time last year! Yay!
4. Pick up my clothes off the floor/be more organized- more on that below.
5. Have more free time on the weekend!!!-I can't really remember what I meant by this, but I think I meant doing more errands on week nights to have free time on the weekend. Anyway, I would say this stayed neutral this year.

This year my New Years resolutions are not as formal as last year. One thing I was thinking is focusing each month on something, and January will be Organzing/Simplyfying my life. I sometimes put organization of my apartment at the bottom of my list, and each weekend it seems like it explodes, so this January I want to get it under control!

I have already started with organizing my closet and drawers, as well as a giant pile of papers and magazines. This past weekend I focused on my purses. I have accumulated a ton of junk in my purses over the years (yes years).

So how do I organize purse junk?? 

Step 1: First I dump all my purses at once. Normally I have about 5 bags on the go, so that equals a big pile of GROSS:
Some highlights of what I found include:
100 pens (slight exaggeration)
2 pedometers
$9.10 in change (from various countries)
A wifi stick from Morocco (I went to Morocco in 2012)
11 Socks. Yes 11 (not 10 or 12...)

Step 2. I sort through everything, and separate it into like objects. Garbage gets tossed on the floor, and things get sorted (example, a pile of office supplies, a pile of bathroom things, a pile of socks). If it doesn't belong in the purse, it gets moved back to where it belongs.

Step 3. After sorting through lots of garbage (yuck), and putting things away where they actually belong. I got it down to this, which all fits in my new bag.
Much better!
These are the basic essentials that bring me from the gym, to work, to tutoring etc. My bag essentials include:

  • Pencil case with a few pens/pencils
  • Tutoring Notebook
  • Wallet
  • Purse "stuff" in the small mesh bag which gets transferred to other purses if needed (mirror, bandaids, deodorant, lint brush, lipgloss, small notebook)
  • Cellphone
  • Keys
  • Headphones
  • Shampoo/conditioner (for gym trips)
  • Yoga Clothes/Towel
  • Lunch!

No more digging for keys!
Bonus Points: The key for bag organization (for me) is having smaller organizing bags (like my black mesh thing, but makeup bags would work) to transfer between multiple bags, as well as cleaning it out on a weekly basis. I will try to work on this every Sunday night so I don't have to do a big clean, as well as cleaning out my purses after going on a trip, so I don't find stuff 2 years later!! Also having a bag that has a lot of compartments is great. This bag is actually a laptop bag and was a xmas gift from Mike's parents (THANKS!) and it is the perfect size for my busy day!
Purse Selfie!
Anyone else have tips on purse and bag organization?? What is the strangest thing you have found in your purse?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Pink Hardhat- 3 Years Old

Happy new year everyone!
Hey, this bitty blog is 3 years old today!

Keeping it real time...over the past little while I have really considered if I want to continue blogging. I had a bunch of posts drafted/started, but I could never seem to find the time to collect pictures and post them. Or I would over analyse the post if it wasn't "good enough". There were some pretty good ones too about staying in the fitness routine after stopping triathlon training, some good cooking posts, 2 about hot yoga, one about holiday decorating, gift giving. I have also had some good ideas that I have had forever, but never actually gotten around to writing (budgeting, mood boards, 1 apartment 2 ways etc.)

Blogging (good blogging I should say) takes a lot of effort, and unfortunately as much I as love writing random posts, I can’t find the time to edit, take good pictures, and fight with blogspot to actually post it (side note, blogspot photo placement with my tiny netbook working on ubuntu has recently become a PITA!) So kudos to those bloggers who have a full time job, and still manage to post multiple times a week, with lovely graphics and photos, and giveaways…you guys are awesome!

Blogging to me is a fun activity, and since it doesn’t actually do me any tangible benefit, it often falls to the bottom of my priorities. And the past couple of months, I have had somewhat of a struggle, no struggle is too strong of a word, challenge maybe, of meeting all of my critical priorities. I was feeling a little stressed in November, and I couldn’t figure out why, but I realized is because I am making too many things my number 1 priority. Planning wise I was fitting everything in, and no individual item was causing me stress, but I was just putting a lot of pressure on myself to do everything the BEST. (Type A, goal driven, perfectionist personality sometimes has that impact).

For some reason this fall I put all these stupid goals in my head. Like not only do I have to go the gym 5x a week, I have to do a specific workout regime, and go to goodlife to do it or I am wasting money. Or not only I am going to make some money by tutoring, but to save more money I am not going to buy any lunches or dinners during the work week (including 5$ subway). Or the apartment has to be spotless every day, even when there are not showings. It was getting annoying. I was setting these unrealistic goals for myself that weren’t even important.
Once I acknowledged that I was “sweating the small stuff” I finally gave myself a little slack. And for the past couple of weeks, I’m actually getting more done, without being stressed at all about it. Which is weird because I was actually busier than normal with all the holiday stuff. I guess it is just the now I can see the trees through the forest or whatever clichĂ©d metaphor fits best :P.

So moral of the story: setting unrealistic goals for yourself is silly. And sometimes having a blog post with no pictures is perfectly acceptable. So therefore this blog will continue, and maybe there will be no pictures now and then. Deal with it. 

Anyway with all that being said, I will continue to blog..and this year I will have FORM AND FUNCTION!

  • Matrimony Monday- Mike and I got engaged (ZOMG), so i want to share some of my lessons learned from starting to wedding planning- Stay tuned for next monday!
  • Task Tuesday- I have a lot of projects/organization on the go, and I want to blog about and be motivated to talk about it. Project Tuesday didn't sound as good as task tuesday. Just consider this the posts where I will be whittling down the never ending to-do list!
  • What I ate Wednesday- What I have been cooking and eating/healthy food, not so healthy food..maybe some with cheese!
  • Fitness Friday- Staying on track and different fitness goals!
  • Weekend Randoms- posts that don't fit any of the above categories will go up on Sunday nights! 

I may not post 5x a week, but there will be some order to which I am posting...huzzah! Ok year 4, bring it on!!