My hysterectomy Do’s and Don’t list!

Standard

Today marks week six since my hysterectomy. I am going to give you a list of everything I bought, cooked, did and didn’t do leading up to and post surgery plus some of the associated costs.

These were things unique to my experience and I hope they help you on your journey.

Pre-operation to-do list:

  1. Purchase antibacterial pre-surgery soap from a pharmacy. This was prescribed by my surgeon and I used it the day before my surgery and the day of my surgery. It really dries out your skin so be prepared to feel itchy, do not put lotion on to ease the itching. Also, buy one box of mid-flow pads, you will need pads for about 10 days post-op. Cost: soap $12 pads $6
  2. New pajamas. I knew I would be laying in bed for a couple weeks and would feel like complete hell, I didn’t want to be laying there in moth eaten pj’s. I bought 4 new pairs of jam jams, laid them out near my bed so there would be no bending or searching for them. I should have warned you, I am neurotic when it comes to order. Cost $100
  3. Make food! I cannot stress this enough. Fill your freezer and cupboards with all your favourite comfort foods but nothing that is super gassy, farting post-op is scary stuff! Make sure you have all your favourite drinks, snacks, meals, absolutely anything that makes you happy ready to go. BUT I will stress this, try your best to eat healthy food. This isn’t the time to become a nutritional goddess, this is the time to treat yourself like a goddess and eat the healthy versions of your favourite foods. Cost: $300
  4. Walk. If you aren’t a fitness person it doesn’t matter, you will not realize how much you miss walking freely until you can’t PLUS you need a base and strong muscles. Cost: FREE, get outside, the mall, whatever, just move!
  5. Wash everything! Get your nest ready! Wash your sheets the day before your surgery, clean your bathroom (super important, no germs), put lots of pillows in your bedroom because you will need to propped yourself up in bed (no side sleeping for you), vacuum (it will be your last time for several weeks), wash that cozy blanket you love snuggling with on the couch, get your house in order!        Cost: FREE – elbow grease
  6. Paperwork. If you are employed you will have a boat load of paperwork to deal with. Clear a spot at home where you safely and easily can access a computer and your files. Keep everything together, and fill out any paperwork in advance of your surgery. If you live in Canada you can fill out your EI paperwork online prior to your surgery, it’s good to do this to get the ball rolling.
  7. No more Netflix! That’s right stop watching all your favourite shows NOW and bank them all for when you are off! You will literally want to do nothing for at least the first 10 days, save up all your shows. If you don’t have Netflix you can sign up for one month free trial. Cost: $12 your Netflix subscription
  8. Distractions. If you are a reader, knitter, crafter, comic book artist, whatever get your occupation station ready! *side note: I know you are a little scared right now but once the initial surgery is over and you are home this will be a wonderful time to just focus on you! Keep your hands and brain busy when you are getting stronger. Your only job is to get better, nothing else matters! Cost: I bought a couple magazines so $20
  9. Pack your hospital bag! Slippers, scent free hand lotion, I packed a bottle of lemonade (it made me happy), cellphone charger, headphones (you’ll thank me when you are wide awake at midnight), and fresh loose fitting clothes for home time! Cost: $4 for the lemonade.
  10. Warmth and weight. I survived for the first 2 weeks thanks to my Magic Bag, I had 3 of them on the go at all times. The warmth relaxed me and the weight of the bags added a nice easy compression feeling. Cost: On average $20/bag I got mine at a craft sale so they were a little cheaper.
  11. Homeopathy. If this is something you believe in (I am really on the fence) give these 2 a whirl. I read peppermint tea helped with swelling so I bought some, drank a cup a day, I cannot confirm nor deny if it worked but it did help me relax. My girlfriend had a laparoscopic hysterectomy (mine was c-section) and she took activated charcoal tablets a couple days pre-op and post-op, she said it really helped with the air build up in her abdomen which is common with that style of surgery. She said the medical staff supported this treatment. Cost: $8 for peppermint tea.
  12. Attitude: Get your head in check. This surgery is no joke but stressing and freaking out isn’t going to get you anywhere. The week leading up to the surgery I listened to one song and one song only and it was my mantra… “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch! Set your vibe, set your mind and smile because freaking out is waste of time. Cost: $1.29 Itunes.

Post-operation

  1. Pill schedule. It is critical to have someone stay with you for at least the first 5 days when you get home. Getting out of bed without help is nearly impossible, you are essentially a turtle flipped on it’s back! AND this person needs to be in charge of your meds, set a timer and wake you up every 4 hours for your pills. DO NOT sleep through your pill time, your goal is to stay on top of the pain and not chasing it! This is very important!
  2. Stand up straight. The first couple days you will be hunched over holding your stomach taking baby steps and wincing over every movement, ok fine but quit that after week one and warrior up! You know that old lady at the supermarket who is all hunched over and she makes you sad, you aren’t her!
  3. Pets. OOOoooooooh I love my little fur family and I love sleeping with them. Absolutely not post-op. Kick them out! The only thing hogging the bed is you! Sorry Ruby, Lewi and Yoshi see you in a couple weeks!
  4. Poop. Before you leave the hospital they will want you to pee, poop/fart. All will be terrifying. The hospital will probably give you a laxative before you leave the hospital. Take it and try to get off the narcotics as soon as you can, they aren’t bum friendly. Take whatever you need to take to not be backed up because straining is not an option with weak lower muscles.
  5. FaceTime. You feel awful, you miss the outside world, you want to smile – Facetime someone! You don’t have to get out of bed, you don’t even need to put on a bra for that matter. Smile, chat, see your people! Don’t go into hiding!
  6. Walk again. My surgery happened during the winter from hell, it’s been freezing cold and snowing non-stop. At week 5 I needed to start moving but I didn’t want to spend money so mall walking was out of the question (I am a shopaholic) and going outside was not an option. Luckily, my local community center offers free access to the track twice a day and I have been slowly increasing my mileage. The first time I went I walked for 20 minutes, got lapped by everyone, went home and napped for 3 hours! But girl, it felt great getting dressed, seeing people and the nap felt so good!
  7. Sanitary supplies + undies. They will give you gauze panties post-op and a pad, you can ask for some more to come home with (I kinda loved the gauze gitch, super comfy). BUT my favourite part has been giving away all my unused tampons and pads to my friends and women’s shelters (I buy stuff in bulk). Guess what, you are now saving $10-$15 a month on period products! YES! My doctor recommended wearing tighter underwear around the 3 week mark because it acts like  compression on your lower abs. I don’t like tight gitch so I have been living in tight wide-band waist band leggings.
  8. Blood flow. It’s important to promote blood flow to the incision area, it promotes healing so…when you are ready try some light abdominal work. I have been doing these 3 exercises from YouTube. DO NOT OVER DO IT! No set backs! Also for all you horny toads out there, no S-E-X until the doctor says so, as my friend who also had a hysterectomy said “You don’t want your crotch to blow out” – thanks for that image Lisa!
  9. Honesty. If you feel terrible that’s ok. If you feel tired that’s ok. If you want to watch trashy television for 6 weeks (looks at self right now) that’s ok! Just be honest about what you want to do right now! AND be honest with people about your surgery, do not believe for one second there is a stigma here! Please do not shrug off the significance of your journey by call it a “lady surgery”, you had your guts ripped out, do NOT down play that!!
  10. One chance. You have one chance to heal properly. ONE!! If you are tired, you sleep. If you are hungry, you eat. These are the only 2 things you have to do!!!! I took a shower every single day, put on fresh pj’s, made food (I ordered a couple times too, I love Skip The Dishes) and laid on the couch for 3 solid weeks. Car rides were extremely painful so I limited those and walking more than 5 minutes was exhausting. Do…NOT…rush…..yourself!!! We all heal at different paces but girl, this surgery is not like the sniffles! I repeat and in the voice of RuPaul “You have one chance to heal properly, don’t fuck it up”.

 

You got this! And just think, without your period you are about to get 3 months of your life back every year. What are you going to do with all that extra time?

Be great, be strong!

F

*My favourite message post-op came from our veterinarian “Geez, that’s a big uterus. I am so glad I didn’t have to spay you!” Truth!!! funny-veterinary-signs-6

Meet my 6 pound Uterus!

Standard

*Warning, this post contains images some may find disturbing. Don’t keep scrolling if you are sensitive to medical photos.

So here goes nothing, I’m putting it all out there. Here are all the gory details.

Recap of how we got here to this moment: years ago I was told by my family doctor I had fibroids in my uterus but was never told how they could/would evolve or even if it was something I should keep an eye on. All I ever worried about was getting pap-tests to make sure I didn’t have cancer. I didn’t have cancer so, in my world all was good.

Then over time, my lower stomach area got bigger and bigger which I thought was all part of getting older. WRONG. Plus, I have never been flexible so when bending over got more challenging I blamed myself for not keeping up with stretching or my lack of dedication to yoga. WRONG. Then my period, it was always “normal”, always every 28 days and no issues until the last 2 years where it became all consuming, BUT again I brushed it off because everyone said “you are perimenopausal”. WRONG!

And then there was this photo shoot. We were taking pics for work and I decided to wear IMG_2106a fitted dress and honestly in my head I said “It’s OK that your stomach isn’t flat anymore, embrace who you are and you are OK with who you are” which is how I try to live my life every day but to be honest, in this picture I am also wearing 2 layers of Spanks. Look at my stomach, this  picture is unedited and you can clearly see my stomach area looks pregnant even with heavy duty compression.

Then there was my bunk gallbladder, thank you for being terrible! Without you I wouldn’t be here! Thanks to the stones in my gallbladder it triggered an ultrasound and the discovery of my extraordinary uterus. I had my gallbladder out the week before Christmas 2018 n an emergency surgery because the stones had gotten infected and then on January 23rd, 2019 I would have my hysterectomy surgery where I believed I a single fibroid thatt had grown to 10 cm.

Here is the play by play of my hysterectomy.

My husband and I arrived at the hospital at 10am, by 1pm I was in the OR holding area, my doctor came to chat with us and Derek (my husband) asked him “How big is the fibroid now?” to which Dr. Sheridan replied “It’s about 21 cm now” WHAT!!! OK that was not what I thought but it’s all starting to sink in that perhaps I am actually sick. *Note nervous smile below.IMG_6323

The surgery lasted about 3 hours, when I got back to my room I was super drugged out and in terrible pain. The nurse told me the incision was bigger than originally planned and that there were over 25 staples holding me together.IMG_4166

The next morning at the crack of dawn in walked my doctor and the first thing he said to me was “Boy, do I have a story for you….wanna see some pictures?” UM YES! As it turns out my uterus was HUGE! 6 pounds huge, over 30 cm huge and had grown up and over my belly button. It had pushed my bowels out of place and forced all of my lower organs out of their comfort zone. Dr. Sheridan said in the 27 years that he’s been a doctor he’s only ever seen one has big as mine. In a surgery like this they use a cork screw (yes, like the kind for opening a wine bottle) to pull out the uterus, they had to use 2 to get mine out (something her had only every had to do once before). He said they tugged, tugged and tugged thinking after one pull it would just pop out, nope! To put it in perspective, the average uterus weighs between 5.5 to 6 ounces and should look like an upside down pear. Mine had grown completely out of control and he said it was like I was pregnant for years. Here she is!IMG_4160

That first day post-op was a revolving door of doctors and nurses who were in the OR with me and they all had the same question “You felt no pain? You had no idea that was living inside you?” and the answer was NO! But now looking back the signs were all there!

Trouble bending over, constantly feeling tired, upset bum all the time, never feeling good were all not as I thought “just getting older” or “not taking working out enough” – I had a monster growing inside me.

It’s been 5 weeks since my surgery and it’s still tender, I am not quick yet to go from sitting to standing but I am so unbelievably excited for the future. I realize now, I haven’t known “healthy” for years and I can’t wait to see myself in 6 months from now. The human body is amazing and watching the changes in the past few weeks has been incredible.

I am not grossed out by my 6 pound uterus, I am impressed with myself that I kept running marathons, mountain biking with 6 pounds of dead weight hanging off of me and most of all that I didn’t let the norms of society make me believe I didn’t belong on TV, big belly and all.

Be Kind,

Fiona

IMG_1007

 

 

Congrats! You’re having a tumour baby!

Standard

To be exact, my doctor said “Ooooo, your tumour baby is getting bigger! It’s time for it to come out“. Out? What does that mean?

Here is my unexpected hysterectomy story and I am trying really hard to not freak out.

I have always known that I have fibroids in my uterus but lately they have been setting off a lot of alarm bells. It all started about 18 months ago, I was having intense bloating in my stomach and it felt like a balloon was about to burst under my skin. What I didn’t know at the time was that my gallbladder was about to make it’s unexpected departure but it was my uterus that stole the show.

Every time my stomach would blow up I would go to a walk-in clinic and they would immediately send me for an ultrasound. While being all slathered up in warmed-up blue ultrasound goo the technicians would say the exact same thing every time “Oh looks like you have a little stone in your gallbladder….um, wait a second….do you know about this in your uterus?” to which I would always nonchalantly reply “oh ya, I have fibroids“. I always treated that information in a “no-big whoop” kinda way but as it turns it out it’s definitely a big whoop, over 10 cm each kinda whoop.

The fiborids always were the start attraction at these appoints and we never discussed to why my stomach was so bloated (ding, ding, ding it was that tiny stone hiding in my gallbladder) but those fibroids did land me in a specialist office pretty damn quick. The first time I saw my doctor he was pretty unfazed by it all and said there was “no point in cutting you up like Swiss cheese just yet“. “Yet” was the word that lingered in my head.

Well let’s fast forward to right now. At the end of November I went to the doctor just for a routine physical, I had no aches and pains, no signs of discomfort, just noticed my lower abdomen was puffy but I just thought I was getting fat(ter). I laid down and with 2 quick pokes of my stomach my doctor proclaimed I would be getting a hysterectomy. You know that thing women whisper “lady surgery“, that thing that sounds completely life changing and terrifying…ya, that thing.

In my situation, my doctor will remove just my uterus and leave my ovaries and fallopian tubes because as he says “I still need them“. I need them to produce hormones and prevent me from being shocked into early menopause, I’m ok with this scenario. I know menopause is a few short years away but I’m not ready just yet.
*Side note: I will still produce eggs so if anyone out there wants to carry baby for us then I’ve got eggs for you!

So just after I got this news I barely had any time to let it all sink in because remember that hey girltiny little stone that nobody seemed to care about…well it started feeling really left out, decided to get infected and I had emergency gallbladder surgery the week before Christmas. The surgery went really well and the hospital staff were incredible. However, it was also during this time it really hit home that I needed this damn uterus out. When they were doing the ultrasound on my gallbladder they did the ol’ uterus swoop and the technician immediately stopped and looked me square in the face and said “You know about this right? You are taking care of this, this needs to go”.

Message received!

Getting older and being perimenopausal isn’t fun. To be super gross, I’ve never had a red-velvet-cakesuper heavy flow but lately it’s been so intense I can barely leave the house. To be clear, I don’t have endometriosis or cancer of any type, just a belly full of delicious fibroids. With this surgery I will still get a version of PMS (yahoo…said no one ever) but I will never get my period again (yahoo said every woman always). In fact, my husband and I celebrated my last period a couple weeks ago but eating red velvet cake and guzzling bright red cocktails.

So there it is. My surgery is January 23rd, I’ve been to a million doctors appointments, I have stocked my freezer with easy to re-heat food, I bought the pre-surgery antibacterial wash and packed my hospital bag. The surgery itself will be like a c-section (an incision my doctor says “will only be detectable by my fella”)  and I will be in hospital for a total of 2 days, then off work for 6 weeks recovery which I split up between Saskatoon and Toronto. I am nervous as hell but optimistic that perhaps this is the beginning of some better days ahead.

I am ready to have my tumour baby, wish me luck.

(Advice welcome)

F

Fellow Eggnoggins Unite!

Standard

Are you a nog head? A nog-a-holic? A num num nog lover? You do not need to hide your milky egg shame any longer! You are in a safe space here because I LOVE EGGNOG TOO!

This holiday drink is so divisive among people, either you love it or hate it….it is basically the cilantro of December!

eggnog caloriesI am a purist, I like the full fat classic eggnog. I sometimes will dilute it with a little 1% milk but lets be honest, if you are sliding down the eggnog rabbit hole then you have made peace with the calories! To make it even more indulgent I will pour it over vanilla ice cream with a couple extra sprinkles of nutmeg! Eggnog with fresh banana bread…oh snap, give me a minute to compose myself! HEAVEN!

Adding booze to my nog is not my thing but I love all the different names for boozy nog: The Modern Bartender’s Guide from 1878 distinguishes “plain egg nog”, “egg milk punch”, and “milk punch” from one another. It also includes variations such as “Baltimore egg nog”, “General Jackson egg nog”, “Imperial egg nog”, and two types of “sherry cobbler egg nog”, as well as “sherry cobbler with egg”, “mulled claret with egg”, “egg sour”, and “Saratoga egg lemonade” (also called “sea breeze”)….I am more of a rum and nog if I am going to go for it…I call it “Fun-time Nog”!

But “Fun-time Nog” is not the real name, rum + nog is actually how we got the name “Eggnog”. The term is a combination of two colonial slang words — rum was referred to as grog and bartenders served it in small wooden mugs called noggins and that is how the first drink was named, egg-n-grog and later as eggnog. #TheMoreYouKnow

Starbucks makes a delish eggnog steamer, Walmart has a great eggnog scented candle keep calmthis year, eggnog pancakes are the most delicious variation on traditional pancakes (my fave recipe is below) and when I visit Winnipeg later in December I am hoping to get my nog loving hands on some eggnog cream filled eclairs from La Belle Baguette. In Saskatoon at Homestead Ice Cream they make a really great eggnog ice cream. We are going to the Cayman Islands this week and we will be making eggnog mudslides! Check my twitter/facebook this week for an update.

What is your fave nog recipe? Are you a purist? Or are you a non-nogger? If you are we can still be friends but like distant friends, not inner circle…..in the words of Demi Lovato “I am sorry not sorry”!

And now this…

Fun: My three favourite songs right now that make me stupid happy are: Bend by Ria Mae, while re-watching Office Christmas Party I fell in love with Electrify by Oliver and at yoga this week during the shavasana she played Tree to Grow by the Lone Bellow. All three are on repeat in my car and when I work out!

Fitness: Speaking of working out….winter running, biking, snowshoe racing or even cross country skiing for that matter,  I am all in for wearing my downhill ski goggles. I am so over having frosty eyelashes and frozen cheeks! I got a sweet pair from Sportchek, you don’t need to spend more than $40 for a decent pair. I may even wear them dog walking, that should get the neighbours talking!

Food: Here is the most delicious eggnog pancake recipe from “Let’s Dish Recipes” that I promise you will devour these this December! Fluffy, noggy and I like to add extra nutmeg because well…tis the season! Click here for the recipe.

IMG_9954

Fashion: Ok so I have seen now a couple gals wearing velvet on air and I gotta say I am not a fan. In real life it looks great but on tv I feel it’s just too shiny and I am just not loving it…but I am loving this sleeveless sweater top from Le Chateau, it is also currently on sale which makes me wanna marry it! (please no comment on my Bert who loves Ernie eyebrows, occupational hazard).

 

 

Be Great!

F

snapchat

 

 

I am ready to move to NYC!

Standard

Over the past 15 months I have lived in a meth lab, a bug infested suite, across the street from an exhibitionist, underneath a racist hypochondriac and now in an amazing house with a micro kitchen.

In my kitchen I have a hot plate, a toaster oven, a toaster and a microwave. For someone who loves cooking as much as I do, I was super hesitant about not having a full oven to use but as my husband says “it will build character”. I’ll be honest, the first couple weeks I ate a lot of sandwiches and packaged salads. Then I decided I needed to embrace my new surroundings….and that is when my micro cooking began. Here is what I know – a cook top hot plate is not great (Salton portable infrared cooktop), the heat isn’t even and the element is very slippery…slippery with a steep ledge making me very nervous. My parents used an old coil hot plate and it was super easy. So in my world, cheaper is better. BUT using the toaster oven has been an awakening!

I use the Cuisinart Deluxe Convection Toaster Oven Broiler. It warms up quickly, provides even heat and can easily cook 5 chicken breasts at one time. It is great for baking too. Yes, baking cookies takes longer because you can only bake about 5-6 at a time but the wait is worth it (especially the recipe linked below). I have cooked a roast, made phyllo pastry, roasted veggies and made a yummy gluten free pizza! I would consider having one of these machines on hand if you are cooking for one!

As for micro cooking it has it’s advantages too, you make smaller batches and I find I eat less because I just literally can’t be bothered to cook. If and when I move to New York and live in a 200 square apartment I will be so ready!

And now this…

Fun: I know I am late to the party on this one but I really enjoyed the movie Spider-man; spidermanHomecoming. It was funny, fast and for a non-Marvel fan, I really liked it. Don’t waste your money on Bad Moms 2 (I was a fan of the first one), this one has no heart and it gross just for the sake of being gross (and I love me some gross, this did not scratch that itch).

They have totally set it up for a third installment, I wont be going.

Fitness: This past week I have been super sick (stomach flu, I will spare you all the terrible details) and as a result I was super stiff and needed some yoga. So, I did a “first time free” visit to One Yoga for their gentle yoga class, it was exactly what the body needed. I had never been to their studio before but I will totally go back. The vibe was nice, the space was good and the instructor new her stuff. Back to crossfit this week with a yoga peppered in.

Food: My favourtie cookie right now is chocolate salted caramel and I use the Chipits chipitsbrand chips. Follow the recipe exactly on the back of the bag and trust me they will be the show stopper at any party!

Fashion: I am trying to embrace the whole velvet trend and according to Marilyn Denis for the holiday season your outfit should have just a hint of velvet on it some where! I bought a pair of fitted black pants with a velvet stripe down the side….I feel like they look like fancy track pants so basically I win! Slip on, black, velvet, and I could do karate in them! BOOM! Are you doing the velvet trend? I think it looks questionable on tv so this will be a strict off-air outfit.

Be Great!

F

 

word up

Yikes! It’s been a year!

Standard

I am officially the worst blogger on the internet!

It’s been a full year since I sat down and wrote a single word…so much has happened! I have moved 3 times since last November, ran a triathlon, won tickets to SNL (dream come true), saw a woman in Windsor pull her false teeth out, shove them in her bra and offer people “south of the equator services” in her mini van, got trapped in an elevator for 4o minutes in Regina during a heatwave, floated in two different mineral pools/lakes, gained a butt load of weight (it’s also in my legs and gut to be exact), ate a 2 foot long hotdog (explains the weight gain), finally found a hair conditioner to help my over-styled tv hair and started doing crossfit.

Let’s start with my hair and crossfit, the important stuff!

I have super thick, coarse hair with a natural wave, so over styling it can dry it out and make it brittle. I try to not wash it all the time, usually about every 2nd to 3rd day if I use dry shampoo (ps. I love Batiste and I find the best price at Winners at $7.99/bottle). I have CCMAtried everything to help my thirsty hair. I mashed up avocado and massaged the guacamole on there (It looks super gross when you wash it out it looks like baby puke) and it did nothing, I paid for a “moisture steam treatment” in a fancy Toronto salon with zero change expect I was out 60 bucks, I did get a “Titanium treatment” here in Saskatoon and it did do some good, I bought Olaplex (which almost every TV gal swears by) and it was just ok not worth the price tag, but this weekend I bought the Marc Anthony at home Coconut Oil hair mask at Shoppers for $2.99 and hot damn, it worked! My curls came back right away and my hair feels super soft!

What I did was  – washed my hair, slathered on the mask and then put on a disposable shower cap and let it sit for an hour. I know some folks leave them on all day and then rinse them out but I got tired and wanted to go to bed. After rinsing it out my hair instantly felt great and I smelled like the beach! Give it a whirl! Even if it doesn’t work for your hair type you are only out $2.99!

Now on to crossfit – this is a complicated relationship. I am pretty injured right now, in fact it would be shorter list to type what is going right with my bones and muscles, so it makes working out and lifting heavy a struggle. There are some CF classes where I am

hotdog

Maybe fewer of these?

pushed to the limit and completely exhausted, but then there are others where I just don’t feel anything because I physically can’t do the WOD (work out of the day). I really enjoy the couple who run the gym and they are supportive of my injuries but I’ve been at it now for 5 months and I have seen zero physical changes plus I am not lifting any heavier. I know a lot of the size part is diet related (all of it is diet related) but I have been really making a huge effort to eat better for the last 3 months. Is it stress? Is it that Crossfit isn’t working for me? Is it my metabolism? Is it working on a morning show and lack of sleep? Maybe I will invest my cash in a fat tire bike, I am desperate to own one! Have you tried one? Was it the best time ever?

Here is some other stuff:

Fun: Watch “Big Mouth” on Netflix if you wanna relive your teenage years and at times be super grossed by the memories of your youth. Click the link for the trailer. Ps. it’s a cartoon with some of the top comics out there right now…Nick Kroll, you are gross and I love your perfectly weird mind!

Fitness: Well this is complicated as mentioned above. All I will say here is be kind to your body, fuel it properly and add box jumps in to every other work out…they work your entire body and you will look like a seriously elite athlete! Happy jumping!

Food: I am dabbling in new oils, avocado specifically. Got a recipe? I am all ears! Plus my goal for this month is too use more fresh herbs verses salt to season my food and to try and be as paleo as possible.

Fashion: I am obsessed with everything jewel tones, solid, bold jewel tones. My go to IMG_9885right now for shopping is Amazon and Winners. Cheap, fast and good (CFG, my life motto). I know you will say I only like emerald green because of my love for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and you wouldn’t be wrong but it’s also the colour of the season.

 

Ok that’s all I’ve got for now but I promise to be back soon!

Be Great!

back

Fiona’s Flu Viewing List

Standard

So, I went home to Winnipeg for an epic Halloween wedding social, had the best time and came back to my second home (Saskatoon) with a nasty bug! Thanks Manitoba! I have been sick for three weeks…three long weeks. The first week I was in denial with the warrior spirit that I was going to destroy this bug then BOOM it got me!

The first week was all about sweating, irritability and exhaustion – all things I imagine menopause is going to be like. Week 2 was full body aches, coughing, and hallucinating…I had a dream one morning I had 5 hamster nipples grafted to my left rib and I was in charge of nursing 5 “Royal Hamsters”…one the hamsters wore a tutu….I was on a lot of medication! Week three has been more coughing and complete exhaustion but I am seeing the light, I looked at my sneakers today and said “Hello old friend, see you soon!”

But through this plague I have watched so many movies, tv shows and Netflix series that I would like to present to you….”Fiona’s Flu Viewing List”

Bad Moms

Ok, this movie is predictable and full of mom jokes but since I’m not a mom some of the jokes didn’t land as they had hopped but it reconfirmed I want to be friends with Kristen Bell! If you like dirty jokes and mom’s behaving badly then you will love it!

Neighbours 2

This movie was a huge surprise…I had no idea it was a feminist flick which caught me off guard, plus the story line neighbourshas legs to it. When a movie makes me hit pause and say “Wait, is it true?” and then hit google has my attention. What I learned from this film is, America has a LONG way to go when it comes to women’s equality…did you know that it is written into the Greek Constitution of Fraternities and Sororities that sororities CANNOT HOST PARTIES…that’s right, if women want to party they need to go a fraternity!

In real life, the 26 member sororities governed by the National Panhellenic Conference indeed forbid drinking in sorority houses as a rule. No alcohol means no hosting of house parties on par with the fraternities. – The Daily Beast

They claim it is because it cheaper and easier to insure a dry sorority but is it written as a law forbidding it?  And we all sit here and wonder how a woman couldn’t get elected in the US maybe they should look at equal rights for women on campuses? This movie is mindless, fun and actually a good sequel.

Sausage Party

It was at this point I realized I was on a real Seth Rogen marathon and perhaps needed to start watching something a touch more cerebral. When this movie came out in theatres I kind of went out of my way to not pay attention to it because it stupid as hell…and then I got sick and desperate. I laughed a couple times at the dirty food jokes but Sausage Party was just a time filler, unlike other Rogen offerings like “This is the End” I won’t be re-watching it! Derek also watched it and said he laughed once which shocked me, I was sure he was going to love it! PASS.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Ok, so I didn’t get “cerebral” right away but I am a huge fan of Andy Samberg’s sleeper movie “Hot Rod” so I had to give this one a chance and in no way did I regret it…it was funny, stupid, a beautiful mockery or pop-stardom and star packed! Kick back, put your brain on pause and enjoy!popstar

At this point my iTunes account ran dry and I moved over to Netflix and HBO on demand!

Insecure

insecureThis is a great new series featuring Issa Rae. She is hilarious, vulnerable, real and drops the ‘N’ bomb liberally. It is a modern day look at life with her friend who is an insecure, narcissistic, nympho. Issa at one point takes to the stage at an open mic night and freestyle raps about her friend and the song goes viral and how could it not…I won’t ruin the surprise here, just watch it and think of Trump. It has been green-lit for a second season on HBO so get on it and binge watch ASAP!

 

 

Divorce

This is Sarah Jessica Parker’s triumphant return to HBO and she has brought some friends with her…Molly Shannon (who steals every scene), Jemaine Clement (swoon) and Thomas Haden Church who is divorceabsolutely brilliant!! Watch for him during Golden Globe season because he will be nominated without a doubt. He is unhinged, hilarious and raw. SJP is the perfect counterpoint to THC, they are a perfect pair like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan! This show has also been picked up for  a second season.

The Crown

This should come as no surprise that I binge watched this Netflix series -I love me some Royals! It is a totally winstondifferent look at QEII’s life but it is paired with 10 Downing’s Street and it completely grabs you (if you like this sort of stuff). I am memorized by Claire Foy who plays Queen Elizabeth and John Lithgow’s portrayal of Winston Churchill is brilliant. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to believe him in this role but he pulls it off. This is a long winter’s night in January type series to hunker down and watch, while it’s still nice out do not give yourself this series.

With a couple more days ahead of shaking off this chest infection I may be adding some more titles soon…any viewing suggestions?

Be Great

F

 

need-help

 

The moment it all changed!

Standard

The whole process of moving to Toronto was long and drawn out which I now deeply regret. We moved our stuff out of the house in segments which was always a great excuse to go back to Winnipeg and we delayed the sale because we thought we would get more money for the house if we waited til springtime. This meant we would carry the mortgage for 7 months, this was financially exhausting and a massive source of stress.

I also constantly flip-flopped with the idea of keeping the house as a rental, Derek was firmly against the idea and I thought it would be a great investment plus a solid safety net. My mind was quickly changed when we went back in June and the basement flooded because of tree roots in the sewer line (welcome to River Heights), I thought if that had happened with renters I would have felt terrible – the idea of renting was 100% over!

The house went up for sale and we didn’t get the money we thought we would, in fact a lot less. I knew we were sitting ducks because the house was empty and the kitchen and basement weren’t great but our realtor did a good job and got us fair market value for a house like ours.

It was OVER!!! We were financially FREE!! We were no longer tied to ANYTHING!!! This was the most liberating feeling EVER!! Then it hit me, the concept of buying a house, living in one neighbourhood for your ENTIRE life is so completely over-rated! I did it, I believed in it for decades, it was part of my DNA and all of a sudden I was no longer defined by having a nice house, dreaming of a cabin at Victoria Beach and bitching to my City Councillor that my neighbours play structure was breaking a city bi-law! Being a renter is also pretty great, when something breaks in the house, it’s not your problem!! Yes, I acknowledge this may sound like a mid-life crisis and maybe it is but I truly feel FREE!!!

img_5289Then the job offer came exactly one week after we closed on our Winnipeg house! If it had been one month earlier I would have flat out said “no” because we couldn’t afford it (mortgage in Winnipeg, rent in Toronto and rent in Saskatoon – not a chance!). So, I said “yes” and the adventure began…3 provinces in 10 months and zero regrets!

It’s funny, when I started telling people “Ya, I am moving to Saskatoon” every single person said “I have heard it’s nice there”and you know what, you were right! Saskatoon is young, vibrant, a foodies paradise, welcoming and a true hidden gem!

A big part of me never wants to own another home or at least not right now and hear me when I say, my days of calling City Councillors is not over…do you hear me, NOT OVER!

Fun:

Ok, I am going to tell you what wasn’t fun…Bridget has a baby! Oh snap, I went to see this flick with a very pregnant friend and felt she wanted to see it for research purposes, even though she knows who the father is…anyway, the movie sucks and only if you are sick in bed fighting the flu should you watch it! 1 out of 5 stars.

Fitness:

I need a running partner and STAT! In Winnipeg I had friends galore who loved running with me and in Toronto my 2 fur-pals were my running buddies…now I am without both. I am going to try out the running room free night and hope I meet some cool folks….any runners out there looking for a buddy? I comfortably run a 10 minute mile for about 10-15km, 9 mins for 5km.

I have joined 2 gyms here in YXE and I love them both. Super inspiring people, motivated adventure racers and I get really sweaty – I feel like my goal of becoming “Country Strong” will become a reality here! There are some seriously fit people in this town, I need to up my game big time!

Food:

One of the biggest food/alcohol trends in the past 2 years has been these over the topdill-pickle-vodka-bottle-4 Caesars (I say food and alcohol because Caesars these days basically come with an entire meal as a garnish) and in Saskatoon (or YXE to the locals) they have taken it to another level. Last Mountain Distillery in Saskatoon makes a dill pickle vodka which is a must have. If you like your Caesar spicy they also have a chili pepper vodka that will blow your socks off!

I made these super buttery, sweat and appley treat the other day for my co-workers and they said they were super awesome

(I didn’t eat any as I have been eating way too much apple-crisp-shortbread-bars-soberjuliegluten and sick in the guts). They were super easy to make and a great alternative to just shortbread or just apple crisp – it was a dessert marriage waiting to happen!

Thanks Sober Julie for creating this delish treat!

The BEST Apple Crisp Shortbread Bars Recipe

Fashion:

If you wanna be a “basic” in Saskatoon then you need these earrings from Hillberg and Berk. They are Sparkle Ball sparkleStud Earrings and yes, I bought a pair and I love them! I’m a total “Basic”!

Folks in Saskatoon dress super well, like I went to the Farmers Market looking like a straight up hobo and quickly went home to change because the market is the place to be seen…and not in your nasty yoga pants and 15 year old fleece jacket! LOL!

Be Great!

F

crazy

 

Not what Orange Theory expected!

Standard

The other day the good folks at Orange Theory fitness asked us all to write a “bucket list” item on a sticky note and place it on the board for all to see. I am almost certain they wanted us to write stuff like “fit in my wedding dress again” or “wear my old college jeans” but those are not anywhere on my bucket list.

cake

I made this bad boy! Thanks Orange Theory!

Once they handed me my square of paper what I wrote next was a no-brainer! I have always wanted to make a vinatarta cake! This is a very special cake to me. As a kid it was the very first cake I ever ate a wedding, Lynn and Larry Henry’s wedding to be exact. I remember it so clearly and how we got a little piece to take home to slip under our pillows (it was wrapped in cling film) with the promise  you would dream of your future husband/wife. I am not sure if mine ever made under the pillow because it tasted so damn good. I always thought I would have vinatarta at our wedding but didn’t, perhaps for our 25th anniversary.

For years I have built up in my head that making this cake would be impossible and that you needed special tools imported from Iceland to make it properly. Today I said “To hell with it Odlum, today you make this cake!” After a little Pinterest search I discovered no special tools are required, just a lot of patience! Here is the recipe I used – Vinatarta Cake!

Long story short, tackling the “unbakeable cake” or breaking an 8 minute mile or all that other stuff you think you can’t do…it’s all a joke because you can! Plus, your house will smell amazing afterwards #Almond Extract!

Fun:

If you have 1 hr and 5 minutes then check out Patton Oswalt’s new comedy special “Talking for Clapping” on Netflix! It’s funny, timely and his bit about “My Pretty Pony” is hilarious!

Fitness:

jack-push-up-e1444423412142

from: redefiningstrength.com

Jumping Jack Push Ups are BAD ASS! I know they sound terrible but hot damn they are effective for an end of work out burn out exercise! Start with 6 and add 2 every time. We did these at the gym today and I can already feel them in my shoulders.

I tried out a power lifting gym this week and it was cool but I wasn’t sore at all afterwards. I will give 2 more tries before I make a decision.

Food:

I think I covered off food above 🙂

But taking suggestions on what should be my next baking challenge…macaroons? Floating island? Baked Alaska?

Fashion:

jacketI am so happy that for fall jean jackets are still in and so are these green safari-style jackets! They literally go with everything and yes, I am dreaming of fall. The weather here has been unbearably hot for the past 2 weeks and I miss cozy sweaters and my sweet, sweet sweatpants.

On my shopping wish list: black ripped jeans and the perfect loose fitting camel coloured t-shirt.

 

 

 

Be Great!

F

cake funny

 

 

Officially afraid of the dark!

Standard

When you own 2 black dogs the night time is your best friend in the summer. After being cooped up inside on a blazing hot day, the night brings sweet relief and time for a long walk but not for me anymore, I have literally become paralyzed with fear of the night.

Dusk is when the raccoons come out and Miss Lewi (one of my dogs) thinks it’s hilarious to chase them, they don’t think it’s so funny and they attack her. I am also concerned they will bite me as I’ve heard that’s a “thing” around these parts! Then add in the “random” violence and the fact that I know no one makes me incredibly nervous to go out alone at night. All things combined this has eliminated my beloved summer night runs and cool breezy walks with the dogs.

IMG_1003.JPG

Yo! What are you looking at?

It’s gotten so bad I barely sleep anymore  because I worry the raccoons are eating through the screened in windows and trying to eat my hair (why my hair, I don’t know. I know how irrational I sound). Derek jokes that when we leave here I will have PTSD. He also didn’t help the situation by sending me a pic of a raccoon out on the golf course munching on a sandwich this week! A SANDWICH!

I am not entirely sure how to overcome this but for now I keep escorting the dogs out for their pre-bed pee with a flashlight and loud music playing and I will sadly say adieu to running outside. Winter was a much better time, until then night runs/dog walks.

Fun:

No surprise here ‘Finding Dory‘ was a fun night out!

However, if you are childlessFinding-nemo-dory-marlin then do not make the rookie mistake I made, you MUST go to the late show! It is kid free and you don’t look like such a creeper!

PS. Apparently if you are bringing your kids to a movie in my area you can also smuggle in entire Jerk Chicken dinner for 6 and child minding is “optional”! You don’t want that chicken getting cold!

Fitness:

I LOVE POP JACKS!!!

Step 1: Plank

Step 2: Jump your feet to the outside of your hands

Step 3: Pop up into a squat position (don’t stand up, it’s like a crouch and you put your arms to your sides/hands in front of you like you are blocking a soccer shot on goal)

Step 4: Hands back down – outside of your feet

Step 5: Pop back to plank

Step 6: Repeat til you puke (that’s usually around 32! #barf)

Food:

The other day we took a walk through “Greek town” aka “The Danforth” with some saucefriends from home (Janette and Jason) and we found a fruit and veggie stand selling amazing berries – I absolutely went overboard and was left with many baskets of blackberries. My friend Sandi use to make me blackberry meatballs so, in her honour I made blackberry BBQ sauce! Click here for the recipe, I made it sans ginger as I am allergic. So Delish!!!

 

Fashion:

I am obsessed with 2 things right now – watching the Euro Cup and Ear Crawlers! No they

IMG_4322

Add some summer sparkle!

aren’t some sort of worm, they are what I call “sideways earrings”. I had been looking for them locally but with no luck and then Etsy came to the rescue! Click here for the link! With taxes, currency exchange and shipping they were only $20!

Of course, as soon as they arrived I found a local store carrying them so if I need more (because why not) I know exactly where to go!

Be Great!

F

funny