Fun Facts Friday

BBQ Hot Dogs September 2014

I had quite possibly the last of the summer’s barbequed hot dogs I’ll get this week. The days are getting shorter, the mornings are cooler – we even got snow this week. I don’t even want to think about the fact that it might not be until May or June that I have them again. What is it about barbequing them that makes hot dogs so tasty?

Beans from Garden September 2014

Luckily I picked the beans before the snow came. They were delicious. I didn’t get to harvest nearly as much as I was hoping for though. I’m hoping that was because of the weather this year and not my gardening skills. Nothing in the garden produced as well as last year compared to last year.

Big Rock Apple Cider Variety Pack September 5 2014

I picked up a sampler pack of the Rock Creek Cider. I had tried the cherry one a couple weeks ago. It was delicious. When I saw it at the liquor store I knew I wanted to try the apple and pear flavours too.

Big Rock Apple Cider September 5 2014

The apple one is just as good as the cherry. If you’re looking for ciders that aren’t too sweet I’d definitely recommend these ones. Best of all, it’s Canadian and made here in Calgary.

Confederation Park Ducks September 2014

I went to one of my favourite parks for a walk and to check out the ducks. There’s always people there feeding them bread, so when I came to the pond’s edge to take a photo they all came swimming over, thinking I had something to feed them. Unfortunately I didn’t, and all they got was their photo taken.

Gastropost September 7 2014

One of my instagram photos got featured on the Gastropost site and the Calgary Herald newspaper. Each week or two they send out a mission and people are invited to submit their photos. I’m pretty excited that the first week I participated my photo was chosen.

Steamed Apple Juice September 2014

Yesterday morning I went by Starbucks to get something hot to drink. There was still snow on the ground and it was cold so I needed something to warm myself up with. I went with my Starbucks usual, steamed apple juice. Most of the time when I order it the barista asks if I want the apple cider instead (which has syrup and whipped cream), but all I want is the hot apple juice.

Leave me a comment telling me how you’re enjoying the end of summer.

A Change of Plans

My plan was to do an update of the garden today. I thought I’d have a ripened tomato to show off and some more beans. That’s not what mother nature had in store though. It’s been snowing here since Monday. You read that right, snow since September 8.

Snow Storm September 11 2014 (2)

It’s been reeking havoc all over the city. Since the trees all still have their leaves, the snow is staying on the branches and weighing them down. Trees have been splitting because of the weight, landing in yard, sidewalks, streets, and power lines. Not only is it hard to get around in neighbourhoods with big trees that are now in the street, but neighbourhoods are also without power.

Snow Storm September 11 2014 (1)

Luckily we’ve only had one branch break off in our yard. It’s right next to the driveway, and lucky it fell parallel to the driveway, because one of the cars was parked right next to the tree. It wouldn’t have been good if the branch had landed on the car.

Snow Storm September 11 2014 (3)

The lawn furniture looks kind of funny with all the snow on it. It’s usually pulled in before the snow starts to protect it from the harsh winters.

I decided that instead of picking what was left in the garden, I would cover it instead. I was out there Sunday night making sure the tarp was secure over the garden. Needless to say, I now think I should have picked everything. The tap only lasted 24 hours before it collapsed under the weight of the snow. I’m pretty sure my tomato plants were crushed.

Snowtember Maury Meme September 11 2014

Luckily the snow and cold isn’t going to stick around. Over the weekend the temperatures are supposed to be in the 20’s C (high 60’s to low 70’s F). The snow will be just a memory by then and I’ll be very thankful for the warmer weather.

In case you were wondering, the last snowfall we had was the beginning of May. That means we had only 4 months between the last snow of last winter and the first snow of this winter. That’s not nearly long enough.

When does your first snowfall usually happen?

What I Ate Wednesday and Upcoming Chic Geek Events

WIAW Fall 2012

Thanks to Jen for hosting WIAW.

WIAW Breakfast September 10 2014

I’ve been on a hot breakfast kick lately. This time it was an egg sandwich on an English muffing with bacon on it. You can’t go wrong starting the day off with bacon. I had some delicious cherries on the side.

WIAW Lunch September 10 2014

Lunch was a pretty boring salad. I had chicken, croutons, and Caesar salad dressing on a bed of spinach. It wasn’t very exciting but it hit the spot.

South Street Burger September 10  2014

I ended up at South Street for dinner. I decided to go with the Nacho burger. It had guacamole so how could I not? It also had salsa and jalapeno sour cream on it. I usually don’t like things that are too spicy, but the sour cream had just the right amount of kick without being too strong.

Chic Geek

Although this isn’t WIAW related, I wanted to make sure I shared some awesome events coming up in Calgary for any local readers who may be interested. The Chic Geek is hosting an Intro to HTML and CSS on September 27. It looks like it’s going to be a great opportunity to learn about code. They’re also putting on a PHP for WordPress workshop on October 18. If you’re a blogger like me interested in learning a little more about the coding aspect of blogging, I think these workshops would be a great idea.

I’ve been to a few Chic Geek events and they’ve been great every time. In addition to the teacher leading the class up at the front, there were always lots of people who were there to help if I got stuck. Even though I’ve had questions, I’ve never felt like I was asking something stupid. Things were explained to me in a non-technical way so I could understand what they were saying.

What have you been craving for breakfast lately?

Pumpkin Cake

Piece of Pumpkin Cake Pinterest September 9 2014 - Copy

Last week I baked up an amazingly delicious pumpkin cake. It didn’t least very long. Everyone loved it. You can find the recipe here on the Brown Eyed Baker. I thought it would be a great recipe to try out seeing how fall is going to be here sooner rather than later.

Pumpkin Cake Unbaked September 9 2014

The cake was pretty straight forward to make. The recipe called for an entire can of pumpkin, so it was really flavourful. I think the pumpkin also made the cake really moist. Besides the pumpkin and cream cheese, I had all the other ingredients in the pantry which was pretty nice.

Pumpkin Cake No Frosting September 9 2014

It took longer to bake than the recipe called for, but that’s the norm given the high elevation here. All cakes take longer than the suggest cooking time. Once I took it out of the oven the whole kitchen smelled great.

Pupmkin Cake with Frosting September 9 2014

The cream cheese frosting was really easy to make too. I’d never tried to make cream cheese frosting before, but it turned out great. It was easier than I was expecting. For some reason I thought it was going to be complicated.

Piece of Pumpkin Cake September 9 2014

The cake came out of the pan perfectly with no sticking. I’m always a little nervous when it comes to taking out the first piece. I thought the cream cheese went great with the pumpkin. Once again, click here for the recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker.

Have you made any fall inspired recipes yet?

Market Collective and Taste the Trucks

Yesterday I headed downtown to take in Market Collective and Taste the Trucks. Market Collective was celebrating it’s 6th birthday. I’d been to one or two before, but like I mentioned to a vendor, this one was the largest one I’d been to.

Market Collective Taste the Trucks September 7 2014 (1)

I didn’t get a good photo of the vendors inside the tent, but there were tons of them! Actually a lot more than I was expecting. There were all kinds of things being sold – from photographic prints to knitting to soaps and skincare to vintage clothing. There was something for everyone.

Market Collective Taste the Trucks September 7 2014 (5)

I ended up getting this solid lotion from Medicine River Soap Co. She had quite a few different scents. When I smelled this one I knew I wanted it. Burt’s Bees had a cuticle cream that smelled just like this and I loved using it.

Market Collective Taste the Trucks September 7 2014 (6)

The actual lotion is pretty too. When I picked out the lemongrass one the vendor mentioned that last night she had to drive home to Red Deer to get more of it because she had sold out of it the day before.

Market Collective Taste the Trucks September 7 2014 (2)

In collaboration with Market Collective, YYC Food Trucks also put on Taste the Trucks. I’d never seen that many food trucks all in one spot. I did a walk through to check out all the menus. Once I’d narrowed it down to a few delicious things, I had the hard choice of picking just one.

Market Collective Taste the Trucks September 7 2014 (3)

I ended up at Vasili’s. You can’t go wrong with Greek food, right. I went with the Big Bird – chicken souvlaki on a pita with tzatziki with lettuce, feta, and tomato. I debated getting a salad, but I figured the souvlaki would probably be enough to fill me up.

Market Collective Taste the Trucks September 7 2014 (4)

While this photo doesn’t do it justice, it was amazing! It was hard to believe this was made in a truck in just a few minutes. The chicken was flavourful and there was lots of tzatziki (one of my favourite Greek things). I’ll definitely be going back to Vasili’s.

Are there food trucks where you live?

Farmer’s Market Trip

Yesterday I went to the Symons Valley Farmer’s Market. I’ve been a few times now and have a few favourite vendors already.

Farmer's Market September 6 2014 (1)

This week we got some veggies (a big bag of tomatoes was just $3, cucumbers, and corn). My dad said he’d make his delicious tomato/cucumber/onion salad so I’m looking forward to that.

Hearts Choices Vegan Ginger Chicken September 6 2014

Last time I got the Thai yellow curry and Thai peanut satay sauce from Heart’s Choices. They were both delicious and really easy to make, so this time I went with this vegan ginger chicken. It’s actually made from soy beans. They hand out samples and the sample is what made me want to get the ginger chicken – it was really good. I think I’ll probably add the ginger chicken to some noodles to make it into a meal.

Rustic Caraway Rye Bread Farmers Market September 6 2014

I picked up this caraway rye bread from Rustic. I like trying things that are different from the usual stuff I see in the grocery store. Everything I’ve gotten from them has been tasty – from cinnamon buns to loaves of bread.

Mom's Yellow Chicken Curry September 6 2014 (1)

On the lower level of the market I got a frozen yellow curry from Mom’s Happy Kitchen. I’ve had it before, but that time it wasn’t frozen. The frozen version comes in a bigger size, so I’m thinking I’ll have lunches set for a week if I cook up some rice to go with it. I really like this because there’s so many veggies in it.

Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts

Monday’s workout was a walk in one of my favourite parks. It was a beautiful morning – sunny but not too hot. Although it was only a half hour walk it felt great to get outside and get moving.

Calm Yoga September 6 2014

Source

I did the Calm Yoga DVD on Tuesday. It features Tia Mowry and Tara Stiles. It was a great workout, though I didn’t feel exhausted afterwards. I ended up getting a burst of energy.

Thursday I went for a walk in Bowmont. It was a beautiful day. I lost my GPS signal while I was out, but I think I covered close to 2.5 miles or 4 km. There were lots of other people and dogs out. Just about everyone I passed said good morning – it was a friendly bunch on Thursday.

I went to a community yoga class this afternoon. It felt amazing to be back. The teacher made us working hard – going “slow and with control” from planks to chaturangas to upward dogs. My arms are definitely going to be feeling it tomorrow.

One of my September goals was to get in two yoga practices a week, so It definitely felt good that I made it happen this week.

Tell me about one of your workouts this week in the comments.

Fun Facts Friday

I’m getting my haircut this morning! I’ve been needing a haircut for awhile now (it’s months overdue), so I’m pretty excited about it finally happening. The side swept bangs I had have long since grown out. I’ve decided to go for some blunt bangs this time. I’m also going to get a few inches off the bottom as well. My hair is too long and takes forever to blow dry in the mornings.

Chicken Curry September 3 2014

I found some curry at the grocery store this week. I decided to try it. It turned out being pretty delicious – I’d get it again. The only thing I had to add to it was the brown rice.

Tricycle Radler September 4 2014

I discovered a new to me radler this week. It’s called Tricycle and it’s from Vancouver. I figured I couldn’t go wrong trying something Canadian. While Stiegl is still my favourite, this one is a close second. It had a good balance of beer and grapefruit.

Radler 6 pack September 3 2014

I’ve never seen a 6 pack come like this before. I’m thinking it must be more environmentally friendly or something?

Speaking of beer, I won tickets to the Oktoberfest here in Calgary! It’s going to be just like the beer fest I went to a couple months ago. Although Oktoberfest doesn’t happen until the end of the month, I’m really looking forward to it. I discovered some great beers at the last one, and I’m hoping to find some more.

Market Collective September 5 2014

Source

This weekend I’m hoping to head down to Market Collective. I’ve been once before and was impressed by the vendors they had. In collaboration with Market Collective, Taste the Trucks will also be happening. Essentially a bunch of food trucks will be together in one spot. Hand made items and delicious food? I’m so there!

Do you have any exciting plans this weekend?

Fit Fusion Review

Fit Fusion Logo September 4 2014

I was offered a free month’s access to FitFusion.com in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A month ago I was contacted by someone at FitFusion to see if I’d be interested in reviewing it. I checked them out and decided to say yes. I thought they had a great variety of workouts. There’s something for everyone. Here’s a description of what FitFusion has to offer:

FitFusion is a digital platform that fuses together a variety of premium fitness video content from your favorite trainers like Jillian Michaels, Tara Stiles and more. You can access over 120 hours of fitness videos when you want, anywhere you are. Subscribe to fitfusion for only $9.99/month and gain access to Yoga, Pilates, HIT, Bootcamp, Dance videos and more, 24/7! If you’re not ready to commit you can also purchase and rent individual videos! Don’t forget you can stream them from your iPhone, ipad, laptop, TV, Chromecast and Apple TV.

Jillian Michaels Fit Fusion September 4 2014

You can search through the videos either by category (yoga, strength training, dance, Pilates) or by trainer (Jillian Michaels, Tara Stiles, Billy Blanks, Tone It Up, Cassey Ho). I found some new workouts by trainers I hadn’t heard of before by going through the categories, and tried some workouts by people I had heard about but hadn’t tried before by searching by trainers. If you’re new to fitness, or looking for something new to try, FitFusion would be a great way to do that as there’s lots of different workouts available.

Over the last month I’ve been pretty busy – tests, assignments, a final, starting a new class, and work. Needless to say there hasn’t been a lot of time to drive to a gym or a yoga studio to get a workout in. It’s been great to get home after work or school and within five or ten minutes be working out. Since you can stream the videos you don’t even have to wait to download them.

If you’re crunched for time and can’t afford to spend an hour working out, there’s also lots of shorted videos (10 or 15 minutes), so you can still fit in a quick workout even if you don’t have a lot of time.

Tara Stiles Fit Fusion September 4 2014

All of the workouts I tried were doable at home with minimal equipment (yoga mat, dumbbells). Some of them didn’t even require any equipment. You don’t need a fully stocked gym to get in a great workout.

Another thing I liked was that FitFusion is affordable. For less than the price of a yoga class you can get access to lots of workouts. If you’re on a budget this is a great way to get in workouts without spending a ton of money.

The only downside I saw to FitFusion was that you needed access to an internet connection to stream the videos. If you don’t have the internet you’re out of luck. Whenever I used it to workout I was home, so I didn’t have a problem. I can even see FitFusion being great for someone who travels a lot, as hotels often have wifi now.

If you’re interested in giving FitFusion a try, you can sign up for a free 2 week trial here.

Have you tried FitFusion? What did you think?

What I Ate Wednesday

WIAW Generic 2013

As usual, a big thank you to Jen for hosting WIAW.

WIAW Breakfast September 3 2014

Breakfast was an egg sandwich with a sausage round. I was feeling extra hungry so I made two and ate the second sausage on the side. I also had an orange that I forgot to take a photo of.

WIAW Lunch September 3 2014

I made a taco salad with some leftovers for lunch. I started with spinach, and added taco meat, salsa, olives, and some shredded cheddar cheese. Sometimes salads can get boring, but it’s always fun to spice things up with something a little different.

WIAW Dinner September 3 2014

For dinner I cooked up some chicken (coated in Shake n’ Bake), roasted potatoes, and corn. I hadn’t had roasted potatoes in forever, so they tasted pretty good.

How do you keep your salads from getting boring?