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October 21, 2014

That Time I Set a PR #running #swtm

I knew it would happen at some point, but I didn't expect it to happen this weekend.

This weekend, my bff's and I ran in the Scotiabank Waterfront Toronto Marathon 5km. Surrounded by 9000 people, all huddling together with our free McCafe coffees, waiting for the sun to come up, we ran in the largest running event in Canada this year.


We ran along Lakeshore Drive, toward the Rogers Centre, with the sun coming up over the Toronto skyline. Not being a huge fan of the city (moreso of driving in the city), it was really eye opening as to just how beautiful it is with its tall buildings, bridges that cross over one another, and pedestrians that cheer on the runners.


Now...I don't know if it was because of Mercury being in retrograde, but my phone just outright shut off. 80% battery and poof...off! And it wouldn't turn on. I got super nervous, and my bff Tiff kept assuring me I would be fine. Then...about 20 seconds until our corral was to start...it started working! Yahoo! Off I went, to the sweet sounds of the Foo Fighters.


The course was awesome...slightly downhill in the spots where I was feeling fatigued, then up some small hills, but relatively flat compared to the races that I've done so far this year. I was so proud when my first mile chimed in my ear...my pace was 13:47! I was pumped, and kept running with a big smile on my face.

Then it hit me...I gotta pee! Damn that free McCafe! Oh well...no porta-potties were in sight, so I just had to keep running...if I stopped to walk for a bit, that I gotta go! feeling intensified so I just kept running. Then I saw it...400m To Go...300m To Go....the signs were everywhere, so I sprinted.

My last mile was at 12:14...I'm not sure I've ever done that, and when I finished 3mi with a time of 41min, I was SO EXCITED! A PR! I just got a PR! My overall time per the chip timing was 45min or so, which I am totally ok with as well since it's my best race time for 2014!


To those that have stood by me in this crazy running journey, everyone who clicks LIKE or comments on my Nike status to give me a cheer in my ear, and those who underestimate me...thank you. You make me run harder, you remind me that all I can do is try. And this smile? That time? It makes it all worth it!




Next up...MEC 5km on November 15th!

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Halloween Treat Roundup #pinterest #halloween

Hosting a halloween gathering this weekend, and on the search for some yummy treats to serve your guests? Here are 5 Halloween Desserts and Treats that are sure to make your dessert table pop!


Clockwise from top Right

Halloween Jello Jigglers from Terrell Family Fun - Jello Jigglers are something that I've actually never made with my son; can you believe it!? Something about the texture tells me that he won't like eating them, but the fun is in the creation process, right?

Butterfinger Brownie Cake from Building Our Story - Butterfingers are something that are a rare find here in Canada, but you can usually get them around Halloween so this recipe is perfect! I think I would drizzle it with white chocolate and melted marshmallows so it looks like a spider web!

White Chocolate Dipped Oreo Mummy Pops from Like Mother Like Daughter - you had me at Oreo. Anything with oreos is awesome, and these pops look fantastically frightening!

Mummy Pretzels from Midwestern Girl - My favourite part about these treats (aside from how easy they are to whip up!) are the eyes! SO AWESOME!!

Witches Hat Cookies from A Grande Life - This super easy treat is one that your little ones can help out with, then take to school for a classroom treat!


What is your favorite Halloween treat to have out at your party? Mine is definitely Oreo bark, which is always gobbled up within minutes of guests arriving! just melted white chocolate and crushed oreos...sweet and simple!
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October 20, 2014

5 Self Care Tips for New Moms

As moms, we give and give and give until there is very little left of ourselves at the end of the day. When was the last time that you took care of you?


Tip #1

Taking time for yourself is completely fine and there is no need to feel guilty about drawing yourself a bubble bath, lighting some candles and declaring that there is to be no mom, mommy, mama, mom at the door. You need that time and space to recharge your batteries!

Tip #2

If you're finding it difficult to work self care into your daily routine, set a goal of once a week. Once a week, take yourself for a coffee. Go after the kiddos are in bed (hello, decaf!) and tell your spouse that you just need one evening a week to yourself. You'll be surprised how much better and calmer you feel when you get out of the house once a week.

Tip #3

Exercise! Yes, I know it's probably the last thing that you want to do, but I can speak from experience on this one. Getting outside for a run, or challenging yourself to some indoor strength training while the baby is napping...it releases all of the happy endorphins and you'll feel really great about what you have physically accomplished once you are done.

Tip #4

When was the last time that you went on a date with your spouse? I bet it involved a baby in the carseat under the table, or being worn on your chest. That's not a date, and you know it! Call in the reinforcements and go out for dinner. Can't take that much time away? Make it a drink, or share a dessert.

Tip #5

Find something that is uniquely yours and hold on for dear life. When I was 5 months postpartum with my first and knee deep in postpartum depression, I started painting again, and I didn't look back. My studio is my space to breathe, and I am so thankful to have it. It helps me be centred and it's a place that is just mine. My son knows that he's not allowed in there unless I invite him in, and having that control helps me stay even.

The point of self care is to take time out, just for yourself. To breathe, give yourself space and realize that you are more than just a mom. You are still a person, with thoughts, ideals, interests and passions. Don't lose sight of that due to late night feedings, crying babies and toddlers who ask a million (and one) questions.

Be you and take care of yourself!

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October 17, 2014

Orange You Glad? #fruit #juice #recipe

Back in the Spring, my citrus bowl was looking a little bare and I needed to use up my ingredients. I knew that I still had an apple or two in the fridge, and that a nectarine would make for an easy juice. Wow!! I wasn't expecting it to be so delicious, and I certainly was not expecting my 3 year old son to ask to try it...and like it!


1 tangelo
1 orange
1 apple
1 nectarine

Peel your citrus and try to leave as much of the white pith on as possible. Core your apple, and pit your nectarine, and yes you can use a peach if you prefer!

Push everything through, always following up citrus pieces with a quarter of apple to make sure that all of the juice gets pushed through.

I'm not typically a fan of pulp, but this juice was just so yummy that the pulp didn't bother me at all. This juice recipe makes approximately 15oz of juice!
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October 15, 2014

Friendsgiving Party Inspiration #thanksgiving #party

Have you heard of Friendsgiving? Basically, it's getting all of your pals together and having Thanksgiving, showing one another how much you care and then feasting until your heart is content and your belly is full.

I love this party theme and thought I would do a little guide of food, printables and part inspiration.


When I have hosted this party in the past, we did it as a midday luncheon so it was appropriate to have croissants with cranberry sauce, brie, baby spinach and oven roasted turkey from the deli. Very easy to put together, and something that we put out buffet style so that guests could build their own. (source)

Other yummy foods to have on hand are Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower, Toasts with Mozzarella and Pepper Jelly, and something yummy like Caramel Apple Butter Cheesecake Dip. Use fresh flavours from your farmers market, loads of apples and cranberries, and sip on Apple Cider!

Create the perfect backdrop by dressing up your fireplace with this beautiful handmade banner from Oaklea Cottage Designs


And don't forget your party printables, designed by Noogle (which can be customized to suit your color scheme, of course!)


Make it beautiful, cozy and warm. Light candles, put out pumpkins and enjoy the time with friends, who really are more like family.

Happy Friendsgiving!
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