Tag Archives: Fun

Official Homeowners and Good Buys

Hey everyone! Well, it’s official, Josh and I are homeowners. The closing date was May 30. After many appointments last week and getting more and more bills to pay, it’s finally ours. I can’t believe how much everything costs these days – there’s insurance for everything and it isn’t cheap! Now we’re looking at paint colours and all the different renovations we want to complete. The kitchen is going to be our biggest expense as we are completely redesigning it. It’s an older house, so we’re hoping to fix it up and sell it for more in a few years. I just can’t wait to get started on everything. It feels good to not be paying rent and to be putting our money into an investment.

Today, Shelley (Josh’s mom) and I went to some garage sales and farmer’s markets. I used to tell my mom she was crazy buying used things when I was younger, but you can actually find some pretty cool stuff (well, sometimes). I hadn’t been to the markets here in Prince George yet, so I was excited to see what they have to offer. I have to say, although it’s not even comparable to what they are like in Vancouver, there is still quite a bit.

At the garage sales I bought a set of 6 wine glasses and a set of baking dishes.

winegood buy

At the farmer’s market I got a gluten-free banana cupcake with peanut butter icing and some raw local honey. I also got a loaf of gluten-free pumpernickel bread. I will be doing some posts on these local vendors in the near future as I think they deserve a mention because their products are delicious! I wanted to get a lot more such as some veggies and local meats, but I couldn’t decide on anything. I’m going to go next Saturday morning.

cupcake

raw honey

Also, this is not completely worth mentioning, but it’s driving me insane. We have an invasion of caterpillars here and it’s absolutely disgusting. The back of the house is covered in them, they are all over the grass, the fence, patio set and anything else in the backyard. I’m scared to go in and out of the house because they keep falling from everywhere. Josh is gone for 12 more days and I have to mow the lawn within the next couple days before it gets too long. I’m going to have to get all geared up in my rubber boots, rain suit, hood, gloves and glasses. I know I might be over exaggerating, but you have no idea how bad they are here. I feel like a prisoner in my own home!

Well, that’s all the news I have for today! Hope you’re enjoying your weekend (free of caterpillars).

90 Day Challenge and Trip to Jamaica

Happy Saturday! So, after 2 weeks of frustrating internet at work, 2 amazing weeks in Jamaica, and then another 2 frustrating weeks, I’m finally home! I’m working on getting a job here in Prince George (instead of working in the middle of nowhere), so I’ll have internet all the time. How can I build my blog without the internet?

Jamaica was amazing. The country is absolutely gorgeous – and most importantly, nice and warm! We did a lot of relaxing, indulged in their great cuisine, played beach volleyball and went on a few different adventures. Would I go back? Definitely. Some of the excursions we went on include: snorkeling, zip lining, a boat cruise, climbing up Dunn’s River Falls, some Jamaican bobsledding and a little tour off the tourist map. Again, I had no complaints about the food at our resort. Every meal was delicious, especially the jerked chicken (omg)! I brought home jerk spice and managed to ask one of the cooks about his secrets. My plan is to try and match their succulent, mouth-watering, spicy chicken dish.

Below are a few pictures of our trip.

DSC00637 DSC00655 P2090435 DSC00735 DSC00576 DSC00624 DSC00657 DSC00685 DSC00722

I’m also starting my first 90 Day Challenge. Today is day 3! I’ve been going to the gym and eating healthy, but I want to push myself to get to my goal. My goal at the end of the 90 days is to:

–          Gain overall strength (specifically upper body and core)
–          Gain 5 lbs of lean muscle
–          Tone
–          Increase my energy
–          Increase my cardio
–          Be able to complete 30 successful pushups
 
photo (58)

I’m pretty pumped! With all of the working out I’ve been doing (even before the challenge), I feel like I have a metabolism of a teenager again – I’m hungry alllllll the time. I eat small meals throughout the day and get enough protein and other nutrients. I just finished Sports Nutrition with school, so I was able to calculate the number of calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat I need for my level of activity.

I do need people for case studies, so let me know if you have any health goals you want to achieve. Also, if you’re interested in joining me in the 90 Day Challenge, send me an email, I’d love to fill you in!

That’s all for today! Hope you’re having an awesome weekend! Check back tomorrow as I have a delicious recipe for maple cinnamon almond butter.

Home Sweet Home

Hey everyone! Sorry for the delay in a post for a few days. I had my last 2 days of work and I’m finally home. We got off work early yesterday morning and made the 4 hour drive home. The roads were pretty bad from the snow we’ve been getting. We saw 2 moose standing in the middle of the road and had to slam the breaks so we didn’t hit them. My heart was definitely beating. When you’re driving through the Pine Pass, or around this area, you really need to keep a close eye out for wild life.

The day before we left, we went for a drive in the mountains where we work. There must have been about three feet of snow. It’s still dark when we get off work in the morning, so by the time we got up there the sun was just rising. It was absolutely gorgeous. It was also -22 that morning! These are a few pictures we took.

 

 

When we got to Prince George there was a surprising amount of snow here too. Apparently it snowed for 50 hours straight, leaving about a foot and a half of snow. There were a few vehicles in the ditch on our way and the roads were very sloppy. It’s supposed to warm up a little bit, which is going to make all that snow melt – no fun! I’m ready for all the fun winter adventures.

We didn’t do a whole lot yesterday. I had an appointment, but besides that I was half asleep most of the time. I didn’t attempt any cooking at all as I had zero energy. I think I managed to get in an hour nap in the afternoon. It takes a couple days to switch from night shift when you get home from work. I’m usually a bit sleepy during the day, then wake up quite a bit at night.

Ohhhh! I finally got an iPhone! I had ordered it before I left and it finally came in. I think that took up most of my day. I was downloading apps, music and setting everything up. My last phone was really annoying and not very practical. It also gave me zero service where I work, which is extremely inconvenient!

Today I have a personal training appointment with someone in town. I go to the gym, but sometimes I have trouble making a routine, so that’s what my goal is for tomorrow. I want to gain strength, tone, and improve my cardio. I’ll let you know how it goes as I have a few sessions booked.

Well that’s my quick update for today. I will be cooking dinner tonight and I look forward to sharing it with you! Have a fantastic  Friday!

You Can Do It

Happy Sunday! I hope everyone’s weekend has been awesome. I believe there are some early Halloween celebrations going on, but I’m in the middle of nowhere, so I have no idea what is going on in this world.

Yesterday was one of those days where I just felt awful. I woke up in the afternoon (I’m working night shift at the moment – 4 more to go), felt groggy and maybe a little grumpy. I’m sure you other bloggers can relate to me when I say my mind is going 24/7. I think about everything and anything. Usually it’s always positive, but then you have those moments where you think negative, and next thing you know it’s a big mess of horrible thoughts that you’re probably over reacting about. Being away from home for periods of a time, but stuck in the middle of nowhere, might have a little to do with it.

I really want to bring my blog to the next level. I’ve already started taking the steps to do it, but sometimes I can get a little discouraged. Sometimes I just want everything to happen right now. However, building a business or brand takes time and hard work. So far I am working on redesigning it and changing the focus a bit. I have a vision – but it’s a surprise. Apparently I need a lot of views to even have an advertising company look at my blog. That made me feel a little uneasy as it is A LOT more than what I am getting now. I also only started writing regularly in the last week and a half, so it’s my own fault for being lazy for the last year. But I’m ready to bring it on now! I’m motivated, driven and going to achieve my goals!

Feeling a little discouraged and overwhelmed made me think of a blog post I wrote quite a while ago. It’s called Courage – What are you afraid of? I remembered a night I attended with Conscious Diva’s that was based around fear and courage. I basically reread my whole post and sat there and thought. There is nothing wrong with fear – it’s having the courage to face it.

This was a list they gave us at the meeting:

How to Transition through Change with Courage

  1. Think of a time when you’ve embraced change easily and when it was challenging? How did you feel?
  2. What beliefs do you have about yourself when you think about making changes in your life?
  3. Are you going through a transition right now in any area of your life and if so what are your biggest fears?
  4. In order to make any changes in your life, what do you need to do? What fears does this bring up?
  5. What beliefs do you have about life that is stopping you from making the change/transition in your life that you want?
  6. Do you find yourself blaming anyone else for feeling unable to make the changes in your life you so desire?
  7. Do you feel courageous?
  8. What are you doing in your life right now that is courageous?
  9. If you had all the courage you needed, how would your life be different?
  10. What will you need to let go of in order to achieve that?

Ask these questions on a good day and I answer them confidently like I’m on top of the world. Ask them on a day such as yesterday, then I might be less confident and more likely to break down and tell you my fears. I’d probably tell you everything is impossible. You know, that overdramatic feeling you get when you’re upset. Oh how I love being a woman. Reading it helped a lot and made me remember my dreams and goals, as well as my reason.

I also came across these two quotes in the last week. One is from Kris at iheartwellness and the other is from Meghan Telpner.

“Be where you are, not where you think you should be.”

Every part of it is true. We need to be grateful for what we have and where we are now. Yes of course we eventually want to be somewhere else, but it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the moments we are living in the present.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

No one will ever stop me from achieving my goals except myself. I am in control with my life and have a choice! So if I want something, I just have to go get it!

I find writing always cheers me up – right now I feel so much better and ready to take on the new day. Fellow blogger or writers – do you find writing your thoughts help you regroup when you’re feeling a little down? Actually writing down my thoughts when I am in a good mood is great too. When I’m excited about something or have something to say I talk to Josh a million miles an hour and he just says “okay, slow down. I have no idea what you just said.” It’s kind of funny, but I can’t help it when I get excited like a little kid with candy sometimes.

Well that’s all for today! I have 4 days of work left and then I’m free to have as much fun as I want. I’m so excited to do a ton of cooking and share my recipes with you. Talk to you soon!

Nothing Better than the Taste of Home

Guess what? It has been snowing here for a couple days now!  I can’t even tell you how stoked I am for winter. I know some of you might be disgusted and are ready to head South, but I love winter. Right now it’s fall and I feel like there is nothing to do. During the winter, I can go skating, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, have some fun in the snow, sliding, ice fishing and lots of other  completely awesome activities. Josh said he would take me up in the mountains snowmobiling. I love getting bundled up and going on an adventure, especially with some tea or hot chocolate in my mug (and maybe some Bailey’s). You come in from outside with your cheeks all rosy red and feeling like ice cubes. You feel such comfort and warmth when you get inside and change into some cozy clothes – I love my fuzzy pajama pants and socks.

As mentioned in my previous post, I try and cook as much as possible on my days off. When I’m deprived of delicious food while I’m away, it makes me want to eat like a Queen when I’m home. Josh has me make French toast, waffles or crepes nearly every morning. Sometimes I make omelettes or we just have cereal, but it’s usually the first three. Yes, I know, I’m so nice! I guess that’s the perks of dating a cook. I get real maple syrup, some fresh fruit and at his request, whipped cream.  I also go to the deli and get freshly sliced bacon. Yes, I know, it’s not the healthiest breakfast, but moderation is the key. When I used to eat super healthy, I felt like I was depriving myself of all the amazing food that is out there.  I just choose quality of the food over anything.

Just a note that the internet has been really frustrating, so I couldn’t get all my pictures for this post loaded. It’s very frustrating because some of the pictures looked so good (I’m talking about the delicious food in them). Hopefully I can get this post updated so you can see the rest of them.

When we went to Prince Rupert fishing, we had all of our fish vacuum-packed so that it would keep longer and better in the freezer. We have halibut, ling cod and salmon (spring, coho and chum). I took a whole side of coho out and cooked it on the BBQ on a cedar plank. I love the flavour the cedar gives the salmon. All I put on it was a little olive oil, garlic and some salmon seasoning. At the end I sprinkled it with fresh parsley. I served it with a mix of sautéed vegetables and some steamed rice. Simple, but delicious!

Another night we made homemade pizza. It didn’t turn out as good as I wanted as the dough was a little thick. Josh put so much toppings on it which included a lot of cheese. One piece was all I needed. His sister and her boyfriend had Thanksgiving dinner which was awesome. As much as I love to cook, I don’t mind going to someone else’s place for dinner. Of course I try and help out with the cooking and cleaning, but it’s nice not having to plan it and slave all day in the kitchen.  It turned out awesome. One of my favourite dishes that night was her rosemary and balsamic roasted carrots – I went for seconds on those. I also made sure to save room for a slice of pumpkin pie.

Still have a few more things to add. I made homemade ‘chicken cordon bleu’ except with pancetta and brie cheese stuffed in the middle and breaded with herbed panko crumbs. I decided to have a gourmet cooking night. Along with that was baked Boursin cheese smashed potatoes. They were also baked in the oven with cheddar cheese melted on top. Oh I know, they sound deadly, and they were. I’m not even kidding; they were the best smashed potatoes I’ve ever had. I served this with roasted vegetables. While I was preparing all of this, I was sipping on some wine and listening to music.

Oh, another night I didn’t have to cook was when Josh made chili. He got everything ready the night before and had it in the slow cooker the next day. That same day I made homemade buns to go with it and some peanut butter cookies for fun. It was cold outside and I was in the mood to bake. The chili turned out very good. He doesn’t cook very often, but when he does, it’s usually always good. We had left over’s for a few days.

Now I must tell you what we made on our last day home. We decided to have a big seafood feast with the family. I made a delicious hot crab dip (recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart) which ended up being a great hit (and of course the picture won’t upload). There was none left by the end of our meal. We also had bacon wrapped scallops, tempura battered halibut and prawns, and some king crab legs. All of it was AMAZING. We ate seafood until we couldn’t eat anymore.

Oh! I also made mini pumpkin cheesecakes. I think I started making these at 9:30pm. I did two things wrong when I made this recipe. First of all, I should have whipped the cream cheese by itself first, because the whipped cream in the recipe ended up increasing the volume of the batter by a lot more than it should have. In my defense, the recipe said to add all the ingredients at once. I also added sour cream to the batter and I wasn’t supposed to because it was a topping to add to it after. You would think in my two years of culinary school I would have remembered one of the most important things they taught us: read over your recipe before you start. Nope, overconfident me just went at it and made a couple mistakes. I was so upset about it. I cooked them anyway and put them in the fridge to set overnight. I decided I would remake them in the morning. I’m not even joking when I say that I had dreams about making those cheesecakes all night. I think I woke up stressed out in the morning! Luckily, they turned out okay. They tasted like cheesecake and still had a good texture. I didn’t take a picture at the time because I was so devastated at all the mistakes I made. However, I can assure you that it tasted good.

I already have a lot of dishes I want to cook when I’m home next. I’m going to get a head start on a little Christmas baking. I’d also like to make some homemade protein bars and healthy muffins to bring to work with me next time.

That’s all I got for today. On my next post I’m going to share with you what food I bring with me to work. I have a whole tote of healthy and delicious surprises. Hope everyone is having an awesome day. I really wish I would have brought some warmer clothes with me for this winter weather. It’s freezing, but I want to go play in the snow!

Dreaming of Food

Hey, how is everyone? I know I definitely didn’t keep my promise of blogging more often. I’ve been dying to write and decided to give myself a kick in the butt. It’s quite difficult working away with little internet and then having to run around like crazy when I’m home. I’m beginning to figure out a better balance and what my priorities are that’s for sure.

I’ve been going on a lot of adventures as usual. This summer I went to the Calgary Stampede and Banff, as well a fishing/camping road trip with my parents when they visited. Then there is every day adventures like hiking, quading, fishing, shooting (yea, blame the small town redneck in me and my boyfriend for that one) and planning random road trips. We almost went to Mexico last month, but decided to save the money for a sweet snowboarding trip to Banff or Whistler this winter. Plus I need to pay off my student loans asap so I can go travelling. I’m hoping to go to Thailand next year for a couple months. I’ve already started saving! The pictures below are from my adventures in the past few months.

This is close to where I work. We took the quad up there with a few friends. We had to hike quite a bit up once it was too steep to take the quad any further. It was breathtaking!

Another quading adventure. We had just gotten off work and stopped at Powder King (it’s a ski/snowboarding mountain) for some fun. This is way above it. And again, the view was unreal. I love being up in the mountains and breathing in the fresh air. We actually rolled it, but luckily neither us or the quad was injured.

 

Fun fishing adventures in Prince Rupert. We had a 2 day charter when my parents came to visit. This is me holding a 20 pound spring salmon.

 

On our way to the Stampede we stopped in Lake Louise at Moraine Lake and rented canoes. The water was so cold from the glaciers. The picture below this one is of Josh and Lukas jumping in 4 degree Celsius water. They were only in there for about a minute.

 

I have to tell you about what got me motivated to write again. Usually when I’m at work I complain about the food and how much I just want to cook. When we are on our days off, I cook as much as I can. I’m always thinking about what I should make or what we will have for our next meal. Josh says things like, “Is that all you think about” or “really, you’re thinking about food already – you just ate an hour ago.” I know it’s a little sad. It’s pretty much the first thing I think of in the morning when I wake up and feel my stomach grumbling. It made me realize that my true passion really is food. It doesn’t matter where I am, my life revolves around it. I get so excited about cooking and trying new dishes. I came across a website when I was looking for a recipe. It was called alldayidreamaboutfood.com. I can’t even tell you how much this describes me and I’m not exaggerating. I blame my mother actually; she’s exactly the same as me. That’s another thing he says to me, “you’re just like your mom; you’re always talking about food.” I think it’s a good thing, and he does too, but that’s because he gets fed all the time. I picked up the Canadian Living Christmas Baking magazine the other day and I already have a whole list of sweet treats I’m going to make. But don’t worry, I can make a whole batch of cookies and only eat one. I have some self-control!

So even though I’m busy with work and completing school by distance, I’ve promised myself I would keep up with blogging. Writing makes me happy and helps me get everything on my mind out. I don’t have a complete plan yet, but I’m on my way. I’m hoping to talk to Kris from iheartwellness about bringing my blog to the next level very soon. I’m also looking for someone to redesign the website. There is only so much I’m capable of doing on wordpress and it’s not very much. I was very proud when I first made this one, but after looking at other blogs, I think I need to kick it up a few notches. Mine is looking a little sad and needs some TLC. But hey, everyone has to start somewhere!

I’ve started to find a balance in terms of my lifestyle, health and diet. I’m still absolutely passionate about health and nutrition, however, I love too many types of food. I focus more on the quality and quantity. I love eating healthy, but I do have some favourite foods that aren’t necessarily the best choice. Chicken wings are definitely a weakness for me.  I also know that I must eat those things in moderation – especially if I want to maintain my weight of course. I bring so much food up to work with me. I always hit up the health food store and fill my tote up. I’m not saying the food is horribly disgusting here, but it’s not up to my standards. When I eat, I want to enjoy every morsel of food that enters my mouth.

On days off we try and eat as many meals at home as possible and always use whole ingredients of course. I think that’s what a lot of people are missing in their diet; whole, real foods. Prince George has a decent variety of places to shop, but it’s nothing compared to all the markets I used to go to in Vancouver. I miss wandering around Granville Island trying to hold myself back from buying everything. In my next blog I’ll tell you about all the things I cooked on my last days off.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic day. Check back in a few days for another post.

P.S. Found this quote on Facebook.

“I believe everything happens for a reason. People change so you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you can appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so that you will eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes, good things fall apart, so better things can fall together.” Marilyn Monroe

Back in Action

Hello friends! Yes, it’s been quite a while since my last post. A lot of you have probably been wondering where I’ve been hiding. I’ve definitely missed writing, and it was my New Year’s Resolution to start again. This blog post will update you on my life over the past bit.

Well, for the past six months, I’ve been working in Northern BC in a coal mine (yes, very random, I know). I decided to make this decision half way through the summer. I was working and going to school full-time, as well as trying to keep up with my blog and have a social life. I had student loans that seemed like I would be paying off forever and it just felt like no matter how much I worked or how well I tried to budget, I still felt completely broke.

I have a few friends who work up north that make a good amount of money and I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to pay off my loans and save. I found a job cooking at a mine in Chetwynd. At first, it was definitely a little different going from Vancouver to the middle of nowhere, but I’m a small town girl at heart, so I quickly made myself at home. I usually work four weeks straight and then have two off. The first time was probably the hardest, but it’s gotten a lot easier to work that many days in a row.

The food up there is a lot different from what I was used to. There’s a lot of processed food, so it’s not the healthy holistic lifestyle I was used to. There are options to be healthy though. There’s a lot of fruits and vegetables available and as well as many options at every meal. I bring a lot of my own food and supplements there to try and be as healthy as possible. There is also a gym located at the camp. The camp is located outside of the mine, but is also very isolated. Fortunately, I made some amazing friends who brought me around on some adventures. Most recently, a few of us went snowshoeing. I had bought them on my days off. Climbing up a mountain with those things is definitely a work-out.

On my days off I’ve been travelling a lot. It’s nice to have that amount of time to do whatever you want. My boyfriend (yes this is fairly new) and I took a road trip in October which I will be blogging about very soon. We went to Ontario and Quebec to visit my family in January as well. We’re hoping to make it up to Alaska and a bunch of other places this summer. I’ve been craving adventure! This job gives me the options to do all the things I want because I have the time off, I’m paying off my loans and saving money for fun things at the same time.

Right now, I’m on my days off and spending it in Vancouver. I’ve been enjoying the luxury of having everything close by, and of course I can be caught wandering around Whole Foods nearly every day. I’ve been subletting my room in my apartment for a few months to one of my friends to save on rent. I think in the last six months I’ve been here for maybe a total of two weeks. I’ve also decided to move out. I plan on doing a lot of travelling this summer, so it seems a little pointless to have a place and never be there. I’ll be storing my stuff in Prince George until I figure out where I would like to live.

Oh, before I forget, I have not given up on school. I decided to take a break from it, but I’m finishing the rest by distance. From being away, I’ve realized a lot about who I am and where I would like to be. As much as I love Vancouver and what it has to offer, I would much rather be off adventuring somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

This is all the updates I have for you right now. I’m going to try and post something every couple days while I am off. The internet isn’t very reliable where I work, but I’m going to try my best to post a couple times a week while I’m there. I’m really looking forward to sharing all my adventures with you and posting new recipes. Hope you’re all doing fantastic!

Below are a few pictures of the surrounding area where I work.