One on One Training with Jackie DVD Review

One on One Training with Jackie DVD

I’ve been doing this DVD for a year or two now so I figured it was about time that I reviewed One on One Training with Jackie. First off, apparently the trainer in this DVD has (or at least had) a TV show. I had no idea until I googled her. I guess Canada doesn’t get it, because I had never heard of her before browsing on Amazon.

The DVD is split up into three different sections – upper body, lower body, and abs. Each section is about 20 minutes long, meaning that all three would be 60 minutes. I’ve done two sections together, but never all three together. An hour long workout at home sounds like forever. I don’t have that kind of attention span apparently.

Jackie leads the workouts with someone next to her. The second person with Jackie rotates through 4 or 5 people. They demonstrate the exercises (what they should look like), as well as easier and harder modifications.

My favourite section is the upper body part. I don’t know if it’s because I feel like my arms are stronger than my legs or what, but somehow it feels like it goes by quicker. The focus isn’t just on the arms – you work everything from your shoulders to your back as well.

The lower body routine is killer. My legs always feel like jello by the time I’m done. Although there’s quite a few variations on squats and lunges, they’re all a little different so you can feel it working different muscles. I loathe lunges – I hate doing them, but they’re not so bad in this workout.

I’ve done the core section the least (only a handful of times), but that’s not because it’s bad or I didn’t like it. It’s because I’m always so sore the next day. Within a few minutes my abs feel like they’re on fire. By the end of it I’m so thankful it’s over.

I’d definitely recommend One on One Training with Jackie. It’s nice that you can choose a shorter workout (20 minutes) or a longer one (1 hour), as well as picking the body parts you want to work out. You can find it here on Amazon. Even though I’ve done this DVD over and over it doesn’t get annoying like some of them can.

Have you tried any of her DVD’s? What did you think of it?

Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts

I only managed to get in two workouts this week. Work and school were both crazy this week, so my workouts suffered because of it.

Monday Barre 3 Lean online workout

The lean workout was another new 30 minute one for me. There’s so many Barre 3 workouts online it’s going to take me quite awhile to try all of them. I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of the different barre moves. I think my technique is getting better as I’m feeling the burn a lot more. There’s no question about what body part or muscle you’re working as you can feel it pretty quick. There were definitely some moments of shaky legs.

Thursday Barre 2 Interval Strength online workout

I knew I had to get in another workout on Thursday or else it probably wouldn’t happen for the rest of the week, as I had to be up early on Friday morning. I’m glad I made myself get out of my warm bed though, cause it felt great one I started. The interval strength workout was a bit longer at 40 minutes, but it didn’t feel like that compared to Monday’s workout. I sometimes don’t use dumbbells when I’m doing barre, but I did for this one and I definitely felt the difference. My arms were sore for a day or two afterwards.

Leave me a comment telling me about your workouts this past week.

Apple Pecan Spice Cake

Apple Pecan Spice Cake Pinterest October 2014

The Brown Eyed Baker is one of the blogs that I read on a daily basis. Her recipes are delicious and not too complicated. I have yet to try one that didn’t turn out as tasty as promised.

As soon as I saw the post title for the Apple Pecan Spice Cake (recipe here) I knew that I had to make it. Although the original recipe also includes a cheesecake filling and a praline frosting, I decided to leave both of them out. It sounded delicious, but I wanted a cake that was a little more simple.

Apple Pecan Spice Cake October 2014 (1)

I didn’t use my Kitchen aid mixer because this cake was a little too delicate with the chopped apples. Even though I had to mix it by hand it didn’t feel like it took any longer. If I had used the mixer I think the apple wouldn’t have survived, and they would have been turned to mush.

Chopping up the apples definitely took some time. In the end it turned out to be worth it though. The apples were small enough that they were distributed throughout the cake (and didn’t sink to the bottom), but you also had apple in every bite.

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Although I do enjoy frosting (and the praline frosting in this recipe sounded delicious) I really wanted to the apple to shine through on this cake. Since there was also two cups of sugar in the cake batter, I didn’t want it to be too sweet either.

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As usual, I had to bake it for the longest amount of time suggested because of the high altitude here in Calgary. It smelled sooo good when I took it out of the oven. Once I had let it cool for a few minutes on a wire rack I took the cake out of the pan. It came out with no problem because ! had greased and floured the pan at the beginning. It’s always worth it to take the time to do that because it takes the worry about getting it out.

It turned out delicious! I liked that it wasn’t too sweet, and with the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice) really complimented the apple flavour and brought it out. It’s the perfect fall recipe, that goes with a cup of tea when you need a snack. I’ll definitely be making this cake again. Once again, you can find this recipe here from The Brown Eyed Baker.

What’s the last cake you made? Leave me a comment telling me about it.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today’s my birthday. I don’t know how that’s possible though, cause it feels like I just had my last one a couple months ago. This last year has gone by really fast.

Heather Birthday November 14 2014 (1)

Wasn’t I a cute kid back in the day? That’s me on Christmas morning playing with a new dollhouse my dad made for me. Notice the My Little Pony in my hand and the Cabbage Patch Kid with the red hair on the floor? I was such an 80’s kid.

Tuesday night I got together with some good friends for my birthday. We had dinner at Joey Chinook. I got the chicken souvlaki wrap that was pretty good. Afterwards saw Gone Girl. I’d heard some really good things about it, but I didn’t like the ending. Tell me I’m not the only one who was disappointed with it.

Birthday Cake November 14 2014

Yesterday I made my birthday cake. It was a pretty simple yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I’m not going to lie, it was tough to resist cutting a piece last night and trying it. For the record I’m only planning to put one candle on per decade. Otherwise I would burn down the house.

Today I’m going out for lunch with my family (somehow we managed to find a time for all of us to get together) at my favourite Indian restaurant. You can’t go wrong with birthday papadums and samosas.

Birthday gifts November 14 2014

My dad wrapped my gifts. Two of them are in paper bags, and the third one is in packing paper with stickers on it. He always finds creative ways to wrap gifts. One Christmas I got a gift in a duffel bag, and another year in a pillow case. It’s a good thing I do 90% of the gift wrapping at Christmas.

Do you have any birthday traditions that you do every year?

Yoga Essentials

Yoga Essentials November 10 2014

Happy Monday! I thought I’d put together a list of some of what I consider my essential yoga equipment. Of course all you really need some space and a floor that you won’t slide around on, but if you want to add a few things, these are what I would recommend.

Yoga Mat

Yoga Mat November 10 2014

If you’ve done some yoga and you know you like it and will continue to do it, I’d suggest investing in the best yoga mat you can afford. You use it every time you practice, and having a good one that cushions you properly can make all the difference. I’ve been using mine for about two years now and it’s starting to fall apart in a few small spots. The next one I buy will probably be a Manduka Pro mat. I’ve heard lots of good things about them.


Cork Block November 10 2014


I use blocks in almost all of my practices. I put them under knees or hips to add some support, or use them in modifications when I’m not able to get into the full posture. I know a lot of people like wooden blocks, but I like the cork ones. I find that they’re a little gentler on my body. Two of these thick rectangle blocks are ideal, as you can change the height of them, depending on what you need.

Flat Yoga Block November 10 2014


I also like to use these flat, wide blocks for sitting postures. I have really tight hamstrings so sitting one one of these while doing forward folds really helps me get into the posture a little more than I would if I were sitting on the floor.

Hand Towel

Manduka eQua Hand Towel November 10 2014

If you’re anything like me and find downward dogs challenging (I think just about everyone does), this hand towel is a life saver. I’m still working on my strength, and when I have sweaty hands while trying to hold downward dog for five breaths, my hands were constantly slipping. I had a couple teachers recommend a towel, and I’m so glad they did. It made all the difference. Using the towel I was able to get a better grip. so I was able to focus more on the pose. (Check out my review of the Manduka eQua Hand Towel here.)

What are your yoga essentials? Leave me a comment telling me what they are.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

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When I saw this post for pumpkin cream cheese muffins with pecan streusel on The Brown Eyed Baker, I knew I had to make them. It doesn’t get much better than pumpkin, cream cheese, and pecans all together.

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You start off by making the cream cheese filling because it has to go in the freezer to harden. It was super easy to combine the ingredients together. The harder part was getting it into a log shape on plastic wrap. With a little help I managed to get it pretty close to the measurements required. I then put it into the freezer while I worked on the rest of the recipe.

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Next up was the streusel topping. It also had to go into the fridge while I was making the rest of the muffins. As with any streusel it was pretty easy to put together.

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The dry ingredients had quite a few spices, which made these muffins really flavourful. They really set off the pumpkin while not being too overbearing. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and ginger as well as a bit of salt were combined with the flour and baking soda.

In another bowl I combined the dry ingredients which included pumpkin puree. Although I used canned, I’m sure fresh would be just as great (probably even better). Once the other wet ingredients were combined, I added the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mixed them together.

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I then filled the lined muffin tin with about two thirds of the batter. I then pulled the cream cheese mixture out of the freezer and cut it up into 12 chunks. Putting it in the freezer definitely helped with cutting it up – don’t skip that step, no matter how temping it might be to do so!

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I then topped up each muffin with the last of the batter, making sure that the cream cheese was completely covered. Despite the fact that there’s a filling in the middle, they’re deceptively easy to make. The final step was to add the streusel to the top of the muffins.

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When I pulled them out of the oven they smelled so amazing! Once they cooled for a few minutes I took them out of the pan and put them on a cooling rack to cool completely before I tried one. Trust me, it was hard, really hard to wait that long.

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They turned out so delicious. This is definitely one of those recipes that I know I’ll be making over and over again. They’re full of flavour and smell so good. They’re pretty easy to make, considering that they have a filling and a topping. Once again, you can find the recipe here from The Brown Eyed Baker.

Do you have a favourite muffin recipe?

What I Ate Wednesday–Taco and Stir Fry Edition

WIAW Generic 2013

As always, thanks to Jen at Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday.

WIAW Breakfast November 5 2014

Breakfast was my usual combination of cereal/fruit/cereal. This time I went with Honey Bunches of Oats, cherry yogurt, and a naval orange. This bag of oranges were particularly tasty.

WIAW Lunch November 5 2014

I ended up at Mucho Burrito for lunch. I got a taco salad with steak, guacamole, cheese, and salsa, besides the veggies (lettuce, peppers, and onions). Despite being a salad I left feeling full, which doesn’t always happen with restaurant salads, so I was pretty happy. I think next time I’ll try the chicken one.

WIAW Dinner November 5 2014

For dinner I made a sweet and sour chicken stir fry. It was pretty easy to pull together with a couple of chicken breasts, a bag of frozen stir fry veggies, a bottle of sweet and sour sauce, and some rice. Not only was it easy, but it was also delicious.

Leave me a comment telling me your essential ingredient for a taco salad.

Tae Bo Ripped Extreme DVD Review

Tae Bo Ripped Extreme DVD Review

I’m slowly but surely reviewing the workout DVD’s that I’ve done. You can check out previous reviews here. Today I thought I’d talk about Tae Bo Ripped Extreme.

I have to admit that I liked this Tae Bo workout better than Tae Bo Flex. I think part of it was for the most part I was moving the entire time with this DVD, whereas with Tae Bo Flex you’d be holding a pose for 10 seconds at a time.

The choreography was great in Ripped Extreme. I always feel like Tae Bo workouts are “more fun” than some other ones because I usually don’t kick or punch in my every day life. During these DVD’s it kind of feels like I’m back to being a kid or like I’m in an action movie.

Tae Bo Ripped Extreme DVD

I like that this DVD is fairly recent (2011), so the workout clothes in it are still fairly current. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it “easier” to put in a DVD if it’s not as dorky feeling. I’m pretty sure if someone saw me working out they’d think I was a crazy woman, cause I’m not very coordinated. Seeing people that look put together on the TV somehow make me think I look better too.

Ripped Extreme is just under an hour. The first half of the workout is your typical Tae Bo movements – kicks, punches, and jumps, while the second half uses weights. I typically choose to go with smaller weights cause I always (ALWAYS) start out too heavy. I’ve hopefully learned my lesson though, and now I try to go with smaller so I can complete the whole workout with good form.

When I’m done this DVD I’m always sweating like crazy and exhausted. Sometimes it’s easy to slack off during DVD’s, but I find Billy Blanks motivating, and when I feel like I could take things a little easier, he says something to get me back on track. I think it’s a great total body workout with the weight section.

Do you have a favourite Tae Bo DVD? Have you tried kickboxing before?

November 2014 Goals

November 2014 Goals


It’s hard to believe that it’s already November. It feels like the summer was starting just a couple weeks ago. Before I know it it’ll be Christmas. My November goals will be similar to October’s – I’m just hoping to pull them off better.

Track food on My Fitness Pal 5 days/week. This was also an October goal, and to be honest it took me awhile to get in the habit of doing it. I was much more consistent the second half of October than the first. Now that I’m in the groove, I’m hoping I’ll be able to do it most days of the week for November. I find that it keeps me accountable throughout the day. If I have a bigger lunch it’s a good reminder to reign in my dinner.

Barre workouts 2 times/week. I’ve really been enjoying the online Barre 3 videos. It’s really nice to not have to drive anywhere to get my workout in. I’m also liking that I can choose the length of the video depending on how much time I have to get my workout in. Because I can do them at home I really don’t have an excuse to not do them. 2 barre workouts a week are definitely doable. I know working out will help to deal with stress too, so that’s yet another reason to make sure I accomplish this goal in November.

Figure out a work/school/life balance. Lately I feel like I’ve been trying to get a handle on work, school, and life, but failing miserably at all of it. Even though I’m working lots, I feel like I never have any money. It’s tough to get in as much studying every week. It’s even harder because it’s math and I really don’t enjoy it. My social life is pretty much non-existent. It’s tough to fit in fun things sometimes when I’m trying to get caught up on work and school. I’m still not quite sure what a good balance will look like for me, but I’m hoping to get closer to that in November.

Leave me a comment telling me about one of your goals for November.

Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts

My week was pretty underwhelming in the workout department. I had plans to get in a couple barre workouts, but with a couple nights of not much sleep, the last thing I wanted to do was get up early to workout.

Bowmont October 31 2014 (1)

The week wasn’t a total loss though. I did get in a few walks. While they’re not as intense as a yoga class or a barre video, it still felt great to get outside and move. I love walks because I’m able to de-stress and spend some time thinking. The beautiful scenery doesn’t hurt either.

Bowmont October 31 2014 (4)

I’m glad I managed to spend some time outside this week, because yesterday and today Calgary was under a heavy snowfall warning. The snow started yesterday, and didn’t stop until this morning. Luckily it’s supposed to melt later this week, so it won’t be sticking around for long. I’m know I’m going to appreciate these snow free walks when there’s snow on the ground full time in another month.

I definitely want to up my workouts in November. I haven’t been as active as I would like, and I know that has to change. I know I feel great after I workout, but I’ve been finding it really tough to get up early and make the time. I guess we’ll see how November turns out.

What was your favourite workout this week?