Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts 2

 

Sunday I did this arms and abs workout from Lauren who blogs over at laurengleisberg.com. It was a tough one, but I got through three circuits. I debated about doing a fourth, but my abs were on fire. It ended up being a fairly quick workout, which is always nice.

Monday After work I went for a walk.

Tuesday I had to be at work super early so I took a rest day.

Wednesday I did level 2 of Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred (affiliate link). It was quick but tough, and definitely woke me up. I feel like I’ve done this workout a million times now, but Jillian always manages to kick my butt. It was just what I needed to start my day.

Thursday I spent the morning at the dentist before going to work, so I didn’t have time for a workout in the morning. By the time I got home my mouth was sore (if only freezing wouldn’t wear off), so I wasn’t even feeling up for a walk, so I made it a rest day.

Friday It was another beautiful day outside so I went for a walk right after work. There’s something about being outside surrounded by pretty scenery that helps you let go of the stress of the week. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but it works.

Saturday I took another rest day.

Now that you know about the workouts I did this last week, leave a comment with a workout of yours.  

Photos From my Phone

I had a bunch of photos on my phone that I’ve been meaning to share on the blog. Unfortunately it’s sometimes hard to fit them into posts, so I thought today I’d share some of them all together in one post. I cover everything from pretty flowers to zucchinis from the garden.

Fiasco Vanilla Gelatto July 23 2015

Within the last few months I’ve discovered Fiasco Gelato. They’re based in Calgary and have some amazing gelato! I finished off the last of the Bourbon Vanilla Bean. Yes, it was absolutely as good as the name sounds. The Salted Caramel is also delicious. There’s currently a tub of Orange Creamsicle in our freezer. I wasn’t sure of it was going to be as good as the others, but I think it’s my favorite so far.

Green Calgary Tower July 23 2015

I thought the Calgary  Tower looked pretty lit up in green the other night as I was waiting for the train downtown. For the most part I’m usually downtown during the day, so it’s always kind of a treat to see it lit up at night.

Hollyhocks July 23 2015

The hollyhocks are blooming in the backyard! I don’t remember them blooming last year, but they’re really pretty right now. They have a dark red center while the rest of the petals are light pink. Hollyhocks are usually a tall plant, but these guys are taller than me right now!

Hooper's Cloudy Lemonade July 23 2015

My boyfriend had this waiting for me when I got to his place for date night last weekend. There’s an awesome craft beer store not too far from him that has some of the coolest stuff. I always find something new when I’m there. This Hooper’s Cloudy Lemonade is from the UK. It’s a good thing there was only one because I’m pretty sure that I could have drank them all night long.

Italian Store Cheese Wall July 23 2015

Not too long ago a new Italian supermarket opened up in Calgary. I was hearing all about it on social media, so I finally made my way down there to check it out. They had a huge cheese wall. I don’t think it really comes across in the photo, but those cheese wheels are massive! I got a few things from the deli, and while the lunch meat and cheese was great, I wasn’t a huge fan of the olives.

Zucchini Radishes July 23 2015

The garden has been producing radishes like crazy. There’s only a few more left to be picked. Since we had so many radishes I decided to pickle some of them. They turned out great, so keep an eye out for a post about it soon. I also picked my first zucchini! We didn’t get any last year, so I’m super excited that we got some this time around. I’m planning on making zucchini bread with this one.

What I Ate Wednesday

WIAW-2015_thumb.png

As always, a big thank you to Jen at Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday.

WIAW Breakfast July 22 2015

Breakfast consisted of a toasted bagel with peanut butter and blueberries. Tell me I’m not the only one who loves when the peanut butter gets all melty and drippy. It’s somehow so much better than room temperature peanut butter. I’m still finished up the huge container of blueberries I got over the weekend. They’ve been absolutely delicious. I’ve been having a handful of them for a snack, putting them in smoothies, and I even put some in oatmeal.

WIAW Lunch July 22 2015

I made some vegetable curry with brown rice for lunch. Curry is one of my favorite go to meals, plus it’s just as good as leftovers as well. Today’s curry had carrots, red pepper, cauliflower, and potato. It ha just enough spice to give it some kick, but not enough to make my mouth go crazy.

WIAW Dinner July 22 2015

I didn’t really want anything heavy for dinner, so I decided on a smoothie. I made it with frozen berries, some fresh blueberries, protein powder, vanilla yogurt, and a splash of orange juice. I had a conversation with a coworker about whether she eats smoothies with a straw or spoon. I like to use a spoon. She though that was weird as it’s a liquid.

Leave a comment with one of your favorite meals from the last week. 

2015 Goals Half Way Point

2015 Goals Half Way Point July 21 2015 350

Amy Porterfield records an amazing podcast called Online Marketing Made Easy (if you’re a blogger and not listening to the podcast, you need to start – she has so much great info to share). The episode I listened to yesterday was all about how she recently took some time to look at her goals for 2015 – how much progress she’d made on them and how to finish out the year to get them accomplished. Today I thought I’d share how my 2015 goals are doing so far.

While I didn’t share my goals for 2015 back in January, I did have a couple areas of my life that I wanted to work on. The first was balance. For a good chunk of 2014 I was working 3 jobs, going to school, and volunteering. Let’s just say that I ended up feeling pretty overwhelmed and exhausted. My second goal was to build my blog. I wanted to take things up to the next level. My last goal was to focus better.

Balance. I’ve been working hard the last few years to earn as much as I can while going to school. I’ve been taking one online class at a time while still working in the hopes of getting all my prerequisites fulfilled so that I could start school full time. Let’s just say that working (sometimes starting at 5 am) and then going home to do homework wasn’t always fun. I felt like I constantly had something hanging over my head that had to get done – whether it was notes, doing practice questions, or studying for a test.

I’ve since come to realize that it’s not crucial that I do every single question that the course outline suggestions. Not every chapter needs detailed notes – maybe just the big ones that are content heavy, and even then the notes don’t have to take hours to put together. Making sure that I take time everyday to do something that isn’t work or school related has been such a good thing for me. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be constantly doing something, and that allowing myself the time to recharge means that I have more energy and focus when I do work or study. While some days I’m better at doing it than others, I’m slowly but surely getting the hang of it.

Blogging. I’ve been wanting to get more serious when it comes to blogging for awhile before I finally committed to it in January. I wanted to get more organized with my blog post ideas and post more regularly. I now have a schedule I follow every week. Using CoSchedule has helped me a lot in that regard. It’s so much easier to sit down and write a blog post when I already have and idea about what to write about. In addition, Hootsuite and Tailwind have also made posting to social media easier as well. I can now spend a few hours every week deciding what I want to share and schedule it so that I don’t have to spend time each day doing it.

I’ve also been spending more time in 2015 connecting with other bloggers through commenting on their blogs and joining a few blogging groups on Facebook. It’s great to have a community of other people who I can relate to and ask for help when I need it, as well as try to answer any of their questions if I can.

Focus. In January I wanted to get better at making an effort to put my energy where I needed it most. Instead of trying to do three things at once and not doing any of them very well, I’ve been really trying hard to do one thing at a time. When I feel overwhelmed when I have a million things on my to do list I still tend to get back into the pattern of thinking that everything has to happen in this very moment, but for the most part I’m definitely getting better.

Now that you know how my 2015 goals are going, leave a comment with how one of yours are coming along.

Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts 2

My workouts weren’t very exciting last week. Because I had more dental work done on Wednesday and leaning over made my mouth start to throb, I kept the workouts pretty easy – most of them were walks.

Sunday I did this workout from Julie at pbfingers.com. I did a few modifications. I went through the circuit twice for a 30 minute workout. I took a quick break at the end of the first circuit and half way through the second. It kicked my butt, so I’m sure I’ll be doing it again.

Monday I went for a 45 minute walk in my favorite park after work.

Tuesday I had to be at work at 5 am so I took a rest day.

Wednesday I went for a walk by the river. After being at the dentist in the morning and then going to work afterwards, I needed to get out and stretch my legs a bit. I have a hard time being still, so being in the dentist’s chair for over an hour was hard to do.

Thursday I decided to take it easy again today and took a rest day.

Friday I went for another walk today. It rained most of the morning and afternoon, but I managed to get in a dry walk (minus the puddles of course) before I went out for date night. There’s something about going for a walk right after it’s rained that’s kind of fun. The colors on the plants and flowers are more vibrant when they’re wet.

Saturday I took another rest day. I was out late the night before, so I decided to sleep in instead of get up early to get in a workout. It had been a long week with lots of studying for school, work, and the dentist, so my body appreciated the extra sleep.

Leave a comment with your favorite workout from the last week.

Fun Facts Friday

Colombian Pineapple Drink July 2015

Two weekends ago I ended up at a Colombian restaurant for lunch with a friend. He’d been there once before and said the food was pretty good. He ended up being right. The chicken quesadilla I ordered was really good. I also got this pineapple drink with my meal. While it was pretty sweet, it was also delicious. I would definitely get it again if I manage to find it somewhere.

School seems more official than ever right now. I’m registered for classes for the fall! Although I’m super excited about it, it’s going to be a little weird. While I’ve been taking online classes (chemistry, math, and anatomy) for the last year year or two, in September I’ll be going to an actual classroom and have classmates. I haven’t done that since I graduated university in 2006.

Hollyhocks July 15 2915

 

The hollyhocks are blooming! I’m so excited to see them this year for some reason. They’re such a cool looking plant (they’re as tall as me), with such big happy looking flowers. I can’t help but smile when I see them. There’s a house in my neighborhood that used to have lots of them in their yard in all different colors. They were always so pretty.

I made a return to the dentist’s office this week. I’m very grateful that this appointment didn’t hurt too much. After my last appointment I was in quite a bit of pain, so this week was pretty nice.  I have one more week of being super careful about what I eat (nothing hard or sticky), and then after my next appointment this tooth should be back to normal. I seriously can’t wait! I definitely took having a healthy mouth for granted until all of this dental work.

Rekorderlig Strawberry Lime July 17 2015

 

Since I started this post with a drink, I thought I’d end it with one too. While I’ve had Rekorderlig ciders previously, I haven’t had this strawberry lime one before. When I saw that it was on sale at the liquor store I couldn’t resist. It turned out to be pretty good. I’ll be getting it again the next time I see it. It’s one of those drinks that could get you in trouble though, because it doesn’t really taste like you’re drinking alcohol.

Leave a comment with the highlight of your week. 

Garden Update

Garden Update July 16 2015 (1)

It’s time for another garden update. I feel like the garden has been going like crazy lately. We’ve been having lots of hot weather with rain/thunderstorms in the afternoons or evenings, so it’s been really good for the plants.

Garden Update July 16 2015 (2)

 

I haven’t been able to eat the greens as fast as they’re growing. The key to making sure they continue growing all summer long is keeping them cut so that they don’t go to seed. A few have already started making seeds, so I’ll have to make sure I eat more lettuce to keep any more from going the same route.

 

Garden Update July 16 2015 (3)

The zucchinis are getting huge! I don’t remember them being this big before. So far there’s a few zucchinis have started growing (more on them later in this post). I’m really looking forward to eating them because they’ve been so so good in previous years.

Garden Update July 16 2015 (4)

The tomatoes have been especially loving the hot weather. I’m pretty sure this is about as big as they’ve ever been in the past, so I’m expecting some huge plants this year. I’m hoping that means that I’ll be harvesting lots of tomatoes this summer. There are lots of flowers so I know they’ll be coming sooner rather than later.

Garden Update July 16 2015 (5)

 

The onions and leeks are slowly but surely getting bigger. They still have a long way to go, so I’m hoping that they’ll be big enough to harvest before the first frost hits. I don’t think I’ve been able to pick full grown onions from the garden yet. They just haven’t had enough time to grow in previous years. However I’ve still eaten them, they’re just smaller than full size ones. Grow, onions, grow!

Garden Update July 16 2015 (6)

 

Although there are quite a few zucchinis growing, this one was the easiest to get a photo of. I planted two kinds of zucchini plants this year – one’s producing these striped zucchinis and the other two are growing plain green ones. It’ll be interesting to see if they taste any different.

Garden Update July 16 2015 (7)

 

We had to add another piece onto the back of the garden to make it higher. Both the beans and the peas had reached the top and needed more room to grow. While it doesn’t look great right now, we didn’t think we’d need to any higher. I’ll have to figure something out for next year that looks a little nicer.

Garden Update July 16 2015 (9)

 

The peas are blooming! Plus I’ve spotted a few small pea pods. In a matter of a week or two I’ll be eating peas straight from the garden. They’re always so good straight off the plants. The peas from the garden are so much sweeter than the ones from the grocery store.

Now that you know how my garden is doing, leave a comment with how yours is growing.

Tailwind Review

Tailwind Review July 15 2015 550

 

I’ve been using Tailwind (affiliate link) for a few months now and I’m really liking it. It makes pinning things to Pinterest so much easier. I feel more organized when it comes to Pinterest, which has led to an increase in traffic to my blog. Today I thought I’d share a review of it and how I’ve been using it.

Tailwind Review July 15 2015

 

First off, I find that the Scheduled Pins tab is the most useful for me, and it’s the one that I usually have Tailwind open to. It gives me a run down of the pins I have scheduled and ready to go. On the left side is the menu. I can navigate to the different Tailwind tabs from from here. There’s a wealth of information and analytics available in Tailwind. The middle section gives me the details of all the pins that I have scheduled – boards, descriptions, times, and where the image is from. If I want to change a description I can do it here. On the right side I’m given an overview. I can also move pins around to different times in that area (more on that later). For example, if I pin a bunch of workouts at one time, I’ll move them around so that they don’t all get pinned on the same day. I try to have a variety of food, workout, recipe, and fitness pins every day.

 

Tailwind Time Slot July 15 2015

 

As far as when the pins will be scheduled, you can create your own time slots, or Tailwind will provide you with suggestions. They figure out the best time to pin for the highest engagement from your audience. It’s kind of awesome. The dark green times are when I have time slots already allocated, and the light green ones with the dashed borders are suggestions. To add a time slot of your own choosing you simply click on the blue buttons. The numbers in brackets next to the days indicate how many time slots I have scheduled for that day.

 

Tailwind Schedule July 15 2015

 

I use this part a lot. As I said above, I like to make sure every day has a variety of different pins. I can add images to my queue while I’m reading blogs or while browsing Pinterest. Once I’ve added them, they appear here, on my schedule. I can then move them around to the days and times that I want. I literally click on an image and drag it to where I want it. It’s that easy.

As a blogger I like to make sure that I pin images from my blog. I’ve been so much more consistent with this now that I have Tailwind. I spend a little bit of time at the beginning of the week to get them scheduled, and then they get pinned throughout the week. Now I don’t have to remember to do it every day. I’ve also seen my engagement on Pinterest go up. I’m pinning more images consistently that I was before Tailwind. That means I have more followers, repins, and traffic back to my blog.

The one thing that I wish I could do with Tailwind was schedule pins beyond the end of my queue. If I only have pins scheduled until Thursday, but I want to schedule something on Saturday, I can’t do that. The latest I can schedule it is after my last scheduled pin on Thursday.

If you’re interested in giving Tailwind (affiliate link) a go, you can try it free for 100 pins. By the time I finished the free trial I was hooked.

Do you use Tailwind? Leave a comment with your favorite feature.

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog, I appreciate it. 

Jillian Michaels Killer Body DVD Review

Jillian Michaels Killer Body Review July 14 2014 350

As I mentioned yesterday, here’s my review of Jillian Michaels Killer Body (affiliate link). It was a typical Jillian Michaels workout, so if you’ve done her workouts before you know what to expect.

Firm Buns and Thighs This is the first workout on the DVD. After a warm up Jillian takes you through 4 or 5 circuits. Each circuit is repeated twice. This ensured that you get both sides (left and right) done if you’re only doing one side of the body at a time (lunges for example). Once all the circuits are completed there’s a cool down with stretching. This workout consisted of lots of squats and lunges. Thankfully there were lots of variations though, so I didn’t get bored. I was sore for a few days afterwards, so I felt like I got in an awesome workout. It took about 35 minutes to complete.

Rock Hard Abs The second workout focused on the core. I had a feeling this was going to be a tough workout going into it, and boy was I right. My abs were on fire by the end of the first circuit. There were lots of different moves besides just plain crunches. Thankfully there was a lot of variation that kept me interested. In addition I also felt like my arms got in a bit of a workout too thanks to some of the plank variations in the 30 minute workout.

Toned Back, Shoulders, and Arms This last workout was probably my favorite from the Killer Body DVD. It focused on the upper body, and by the time I was done the 30 minute workout my arms felt like jello. Jillian once again had beginner and advanced modifications with this workout like she did with the other two as well. I like that she combined rows/presses/curls with lower body movements like lunges and squats. You’re never just standing still working your arms, you’re in constant motion. Yes, it’s tough and you have to keep an eye on your form, but it’s definitely worth it to get in an awesome workout.

Have you tried Jillian Michaels Killer Body? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments. 

This post contains an affiliate link. Thank you for supporting my blog, I appreciate it! 

Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts 2

 

I’ve been slacking off lately when it comes to sharing my workouts every week. Luckily I managed to remember to write down my workouts for the last week so I can share them today.

Sunday Jillian Michaels: Killer Body – Firm Buns and Thighs – 35 minutes. By the time I was done my legs felt like jello. There were lots of plyo moves, pendulum lunge, and squat variations.

Monday Rest Day. Sunday’s workout kicked my butt (literally). I was pretty sore so I decided to take the day off.

Tuesday I had to be at work at 5 am this morning, so I took another rest day.

Wednesday I went for a walk along the river in my favorite park after work for just under an hour. It was a gorgeous day – sunny sky with a breeze. There were also lots of wildflowers blooming so I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I should have take photos of them but I forgot my phone at home.

Thursday Jillian Michaels: Killer Body – Rock Hard Abs – 30 minutes. My abs were on fire by the time I was done.

Friday Rest Day. I couldn’t convince myself up when my alarm went off. I ended up pressing snooze a few times, and by the time I finally got out of bed I didn’t have enough time left to get in a workout.

Saturday Jillian Michaels: Killer Body – Toned Back, Shoulders, and Arms – 30 minutes. I was really feeling this workout for some reason. I gave it 110%. Know how every once in awhile you get in the zone and do an amazing workout? Well that was this one for me.

The plan is to get in some yoga next week. My wrists haven’t been giving me any trouble in a few weeks, so I’m going to give it a try and see how it goes. I’m pretty excited about rolling out my mat again!

I’ll be posting a review of Killer Body tomorrow, so be sure to check back to find out what I thought of it.

Leave a comment with one of your favorite workouts from last week. I love to hear about the workouts you’re doing.