Not what Orange Theory expected!

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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.

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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:

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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 ūüôā

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!

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Officially afraid of the dark!

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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.

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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

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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!

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Channeling my inner Adell!

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This week has been all sorts of fun – it started with the Country Music Awards of Ontario at the Flato theatre in Markham. It was a super cool night, good music and interesting people. what I wasn’t expecting was a lack of cowboy hats and people complaining they had run out of wine glasses and had to drink beer…YOU ARE COWBOYS!

graffitiThen on Wednesday we had friends in from Canmore – Cam and Karina (also important to remember for later)! We went to Gusto 101 for supper and Sweet Jesus for dessert. I got to dinner a little early and was able to wander around “graffiti alley” which is essentially an instagramer’s wet dream!

Then we on Thursday we went to the Balmy Beach Canoe club and had a lesson in kayaking – we were certain we were going to be pros but didn’t realize it was “competition style” kayaks and not Canadian Tire specials. We both capsized into pretty gross, goose poop filled water but n the flip-side met some truly awesome people.

Then on Friday…stay with me..I am getting to Adell…we met up with friends from Winnipeg for supper at Pizzeria Libertto and then went to Roselle‘s for dessert! It was so great seeing our friends even if it was only for a couple hours, it’s nice being around people who just get you.

So, Adell…this week I had some personal high’s and low’s and we all have that friend who is always ready to get into trouble with you, fires you up, who agrees with you¬† whenDelly you say “that bitch was crazy right” and makes the most mundane things so much better like the 45 minute car ride home every day! Well that is my Adell – and what she doesn’t know is this week when I wasn’t really channeling my warrior spirit, I would say under my breath “Get your shit together and channel your inner Adell” and just like that I jumped into a limo instead of taking my car to the CMAO’s, laughed off falling in the water and most of all didn’t cry when I saw my friends. Thank you my sweet Adell –my much braver,¬† funnier, kinder person than I will ever¬† be and on top of it all, with the superior rack, I couldn’t ask for a better friend/doppelganger/secret motivator!

Fun:

My friend Susan (pictured above also cradling Adell’s bosom) told me recently that I had slipped into isolation madness for what I am about to say but I stand by it…Call me Fitz is a funny Canadian show that didn’t get it’s day! It’s true, I am biased because I worked with one of the cast members (Huse Madhavji back in the A-Channel days) but Jason Priestly is very funny in the series and it’s quirky — the complete series can be found on CraveTV

Fitness:

My fitness has hit a bit of road block these days – so I am struggling to find something to write here — I have been plagued with aches and pains and a fickle lower back. I have been trying to foam roll every night (ok, every other night) but it’s not working. I am finally going to go to the doctor tomorrow where I fully expect them to say I have gout — well, that is what Derek and Dr. Wikipedia say is wrong with me. TBDmilk

 

Food:

When waiting in the epic line at Sweet Jesus with Cam and Karina, Karina told me that she makes her own almond milk – at first I thought “who has time for that?” and “that is some next level hipster nonsense” ….so ya, I did it and it is AMAZING!!! It is a little bit of work but the end product is better than store bought and it tastes like melted vanilla ice cream! Do it, do it now and tell your friends!

Fashion:

Summer has officially hit the T-dot and my little production booth at work is essentially a hot-box and I sweat constantly. It is super unattractive and I am severely stressing about August and under-boob sweat –besides back pain, under-boob sweat is the leading reason why I would get a boob job. So, I am in search of the perfect professional tank/sleeveless top. Any suggestions?

In the meantime, I am opting for skirts to try and minimize butt sweat — I am not joking when I say it is hot in that unventilated room with direct sun!

I bought this skirt from Joe Fresh at $24 it’s a steal, and this skirt from Mountain Equipment Co-op (yup MEC), it was pricey at $59 but it is so crazy soft and made of organic cotton. Plus, I plan on buying some Birkenstock sandals this summer to fully revert back to my 90’s ways.

 

Be Great!

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Cracks in the foundation – return to Sociology class

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I have been deliberately not writing my blog in fear of just writing about how incredibly sad I feel 24/7 and getting placed on a psych hold or worse, writing about how my life is super-awesome which would be a lie.

Here is the deal, I have cried almost every day for the past 3 months – change is hard and new is exhausting. It’s not that Toronto is the worst place on earth, far from it, it’s just I have been bogged down with guilt over leaving Manitoba, consumed by a death in the family coupled with major family stresses and then I got injured (dislocated my hand and put my back out)…it hasn’t been great.

So, how do I rally back? Thanks to a sociology class I took in 1992 at the University of Manitoba I have all the tools I need to re-group – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to the rescue! When times have gotten tough in the past¬† I have always returned to this pyramid to find me.

maslows-hierarchy-of-needs

Here’s how it works – you make a list of the actual basic priorities you need to create balance in your life, you start with the base (the biggest part of the pyramid) and start building up. My basic needs are: good sleep, healthy food, working out, prayer and friendship. Once those are in place I add in adventure, sex and creativity (They are all exclusive of each other, easy does it you perverts! LOL) and so on. Then hopefully confidence and inner potential will return (I miss you old friend). None of this happens over night but it will work – here comes strict bed times, good nosh and consistent workouts, then phase 2.

Just a note to anyone who I may have lost at “prayer” -if you are a none believer that is totally cool – just try, just once, laying in bed and thinking about all the things your are thankful for – no amen necessary! It feels good to think of good things before you sleep.

On to other business!

Fun:

I went Axe throwing today and it was super BAD ASS! It was harder than I thought it would be and actually a good core work-out because while you are laughing your butt off! Ok, I will admit I was a little jacked up because they had ACDC on blast and you know that fires me up!

Food:

Apparently the new super food trend to watch for is “Lucuma”. It is a fruit from Peru which looks like if a mango and an avocado had a baby.¬† I bought it in powder form from pulpa-de-lucumaBulk Barn ($13) and it has a very caramel-like flavour. You can use it as a sweetener in smoothies, baking and to make ice creams.¬† It has a super low glycemic index so insulin spikes won’t be a concern. I liked it, didn’t love it, haven’t given up on it yet.

Fitness:

I have been working out at home a lot lately which is fun because I get to play MY music crazy loud but it’s also a little lonely – I can’t wait for spring and daylight lasts past 5pm! But at the moment I am obsessed with the dumbbell squat presses. It gets me super sweaty and works the whole body!

Check out this video for technique:

Fashion:

I am in love with the white blazer with ripped jeans look! The best one I could find was at Le Chawhte blazerteau, it is a bit of budget buster at $139 but it is totally gorgeous!

http://www.lechateau.com/style/jump/Ponte+Open-Front+Blazer/productDetail/Blazers/345274/catwfr10030?navAction=jump&navCount=0&categoryNav=true&selectedColor=Off+White

Oh and as I am heading to the Cayman Islands soon I have become obsessed with rompers! Yes, rompers! It’s all in one and they feel like pajamas! I bought my first one from Old Navy http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=112879022&vid=1&locale=en_US&kwid=1&sem=false&sdkw=jersey-knit-romper-P112879&brandCvoSid=MDA2DT2764ZZ&sdReferer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.oldnavy.com%2Fproducts%2Frompers.jsp

My search for a Toronto hairdresser specializing in big hair is my task for the week! I need this mane tamed!

Be great!

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The question that nearly knocked me on my butt!

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It all started with a simple visit to the shoe department at Sport Check, I needed new runners (Asics as always) and the young man helping me said “how long have you been running?” which made me hit the brakes and think about it..3+17+11+6….”27 years” I replied!

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While I don’t plan on running partially nude anytime soon I so admire her ability to run without an industrial sports bra! #ClassicAtalanta

SWEET GODDESS OF RUNNING ATALANTA! How is this possible?? I started running cross country when I lived in Fishguard, Wales when I was 15 years old and then fast forward to today that makes it 27 years! Other than making chocolate chip cookies and obsessing over Saturday Night Live I really don’t think I have done anything else that long. Have you?

Running has always been my outlet to cure whatever ails me but there was a time when doctors said it was off the table forever. 4

Running with Corinne, Tammy, in winter and forever!

Running with Corinne, Tammy, in winter and forever!

years ago I developed a rare liver condition which resulted in the valves in liver to stop working, my liver would swell to twice it’s size, push my ribs out and put pressure on my heart and lungs. It was painful and exercise was out of the question with running being the worst (it would put my liver into seizure which meant sedation at the hospital). During the year long wait for surgery, then recovery and then post-op life running still was off the table but with lots of rehab and altering my running form (I now run slightly hunched over which somehow cradles my liver) I am happy to say that running is back into my weekly routine which makes me DELIRIOUSLY HAPPY! Cheers to 27 more years of running…you hear that knees, 27 more years please!!!

Fashion:

To honour my 27th run-aversary I bought these AMAZING tights Jordyn_P_Cherry_grandefrom Home Run Sports http://lbswear.com/collections/pant/products/jordyn-legging

They are new to Winnipeg, Canadian made and crazy comfy! The sizes run big so you will go down a couple (I love that!).

Food:

I am loving pureed cauliflower these days but I will warn you, running with 4 days worth of cauliflower in your colon is the best way to have your fastest run time ever!! TOOIIIILLLLEEETT!!!!!!

Try this super yummy banana chocolate chip paleo muffin recipe..so many almonds!! http://www.paleonewbie.com/paleo-banana-nut-chocolate-chip-muffins/

Fun:

I am obsessed with the app “Sky Guide”. You hold up your phone to the sky and it shows you all the constellations, their names, planets and it is set to some sweet soothing music. It’s like being at the Planetarium right in your own backyard for only $1.99

Fitness:

If you wanna be inspired and find fun places to do sit-ups around Winnipeg then you must follow Lindsay Somers on Twitter (@lindsaysomers). She has been going around town and filming herself doing all sorts of different abdominal exercises in front of recognizable places and I LOVE IT! Get inspired with Lindsay!

Have a great week my friends!

Be good!

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The photo shoot and the days following!

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Oh my goodness, where has the time gone?

My Push up’s to pin up’s photo shoot was on December 2nd and I apologize for taking so long to give you the whole low down!

On the Sunday leading up to the shoot I went to South Beach Tan and Travel and got a spray tan. My recommendation to you is, if you are fair skinned like me go with a light spray tan but be sure to ask for a smell added to your tan because spray tan solution doesn’t smell all that great (I went with Vanilla) and I also added the bronzing enhancer. With the Aspire Fitness P2P promo it cost $28. Now that my tan is gone, I miss it desperately! http://www.southbeachtravel.ca/

The photo shoot day started off great! Derek was flying out of Winnipeg super early so I was up and at ’em by 6:30am! My appointment at the hair salon was for noon so I got to lounge around and feel super rested (hahahahaha I was actually busy cleaning my house and packing my photo shoot bag). I arrived at Puressence Spa and Salon and was quickly whisked away to get my hair all done up (long loose curls) and then I was off getting my make-up done (side note: They use Aveda products which smell and feel amazing). It was really nice feeling so special and pampered, the staff are super nice plus they have 2 salon dogs which are totally adorable! For my make-up I wanted it to be natural but I did opt for the false eyelashes – let’s go diva! Here is the before and after of me hanging out on the couch at home to all cleaned up at Puressence! before and aftersalon picAfter all of the primping I then rushed home and picked up Ruby and Lewi (my dogs), Jason from Aspire had asked for them to join us for some pics. The photographer for P2P is Kelly Morton and let me tell you a couple things about Kelly; 1. his studio is cool as hell! 2. he is super easy-going and patient 3. he is super into surfing as am I so we immediately bonded and 4. he is a crazy talented photographer! Check out his work here: http://www.kellymortonphotography.com/

I did multiple wardrobe changes (5 I think) and I had also bought a couple prop type items (no spoilers – you will see them later). I did get to see a couple pics as they were being taken and I couldn’t be happier about how they turned out! I did at one point feel a tad narcissistic and felt like the Winnipeg version of Kim K (minus the butt photos). It will take a couple weeks before all of my pictures are back but Kelly did send me a couple just to wet my whistle! So, here they are!!

My ladiesBeast ModeTrust me, I did not do all of my photos with the dogs and yes, I love these 2 little fur beasts way too much!!

After the photos were taken and the false eye lashes were removed we headed out as a group for our post-P2P celebratory dinner at Earl’s. I had a burger, truffle fries, one apple cider (which totally gave me the giggles) and a piece of chocolate goodness! Moments later I did feel completely horrible and promised myself to never do that again…ok, that was a tad dramatic but it was a great reminder that full fat food is not my friend!

Overall, it was an incredible experience and I am so excited now to move onto “Custom fit” at Aspire! I have also had a couple occasions lately to indulge in carbs and each time I have deeply regretted it. I am still eating paleo 90% of the time but I have allowed the odd handful of pretzels back into the line-up (I love pretzels almost as much as I love Benedict Cumberbatch -good God he is sexy).

Once the rest of my pictures come back I will be posting them here and thank you so much for all of your notes of encouragement. This blog has kept me accountable and for that I am grateful. If there is one thing you take away from this post is, for all the excuses I had come up with (I am too busy, I am fine the way I am, this program is too intense for me, I might get injured) I couldn’t have been more wrong! I now feel strong again, confident again, unbreakable again and well….happy again! Added bonus, I met some really cool ladies! This old dog does have a couple tricks still left up her sleeve! Be good and bring it!

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It’s the final countdown!

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I can hardly believe we are in the 11th week of Push ups to Pin ups! When I first started I thought 12 weeks was such a long time but when you think about it, it’s not even one full term at university, I spent more time waiting for the third Hunger Games movie to come out than I did doing 100’s of squats at the gym (ps. the Hunger Games is great! I still think Peeta should have been cast differently but what can you do!).

As we reach the photo shoot day a lot of things in the past 3 weeks have derailed me from reaching my goal of losing 22 pounds:

1. My husband moving to Toronto, that was a big one. It has been incredibly stressful and while I have been trying to keep it careertogether, the truth is I have been struggling. However, I am starting to feel a lot better about everything and feeling hopeful. And for the record, I am incredibly proud of DT. We all have dreams in our lives and only a very select few ever actually get to live them and he absolutely is — hard work, determination, talent, and a great attitude all lead him to reach his ultimate goal. I could learn a thing or two from him!

And 2. I got crazy sick. Even though I got the flu shot this year I did manage to get sick. I think because I got so stressed out (see point #1 as the reason) my immune system just gave up. So, while I have been getting in my weekly work-outs there have been no extras but I have been eating so clean it is ridiculous! I am going to get some drugs from the doc this week to clear up my lungs and then I will be back to full strength!

Here is what I know about the last 11 weeks – I have seriously kicked ass, made¬† changes in my physique, my mind and my diet. I would be lying if I didn’t worry that once the photo shoot is over that all my hard work will go to hell but I am focused on getting stronger — I see you chin up bar, I want to meet you!

Here are some good things from the past 10 days:

1. A butt tonne of people came out to say “til the next time” to my DT which meant the world to me.

2. I slipped into 2 pairs of pants I haven’t worn in years! Oh black velvet pants I bought in New York, I love you again!

3. My house has never been cleaner! Moving and purging is liberating!

4. My amazing niece emailed me to asked me to go see S Club7 with her in England – you should know, my niece and nephew are my kryptonite and I will do anything including going to see S Club7. See you in England, May 15th, 2015!

and 5. All my photo shoot clothes have arrived (online shopping rules) and they all fit! KABOOM!

The next week should prove to be hellish as it is the final push to lose major lbs but I will have Winnipeg Blue Bomber God, Milt Stegall’s voice in my head all week. I had the opportunity to have a 1 on 1 interview with the football legend sweatlast week and when I asked him if he was still hitting the gym hard he replied “Beastmode is my warm up”! For the next 9 days beastmode will be my warm up, beastmode XXL for the rest! Watch out, here I come!

Thank you so much for all your kind words and support through this journey – I love ya!

Be good my friends!

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