Weekly Wrap Up and Black Friday Deals

Weekly Wrap Up and Black Friday Deals November 27 2015

It’s hard to believe that another week is already over. Now that the week is over, I’m done most of my classes. I still have one more that I have to attend on Wednesday, but other than that I’m in hard core studying mode for finals. The last few days have been filled with going over PowerPoints and notes, not to mention writing up index cards to study with. With all the work I’ll be putting in over the next two weeks, I know I’ll enjoy my three weeks off over the holidays even more.


I’ve been having a tough time trying to figure out what to get for my boyfriend for Christmas. All my other Christmas shopping is done, and I’ve left him until last because I’ve been so stumped. Last night I may have figured it out though. There’s this great little family owned liquor store close by to where he lives. They have all kinds of cool craft beers, which is usually what we check out whenever we’re there together. He’s a huge scotch fan. He has a collection of different kinds, and loves telling me all about how and why they’re different. I finally realized that I could get him some scotch. While I don’t want to get one for him (I have no idea what’s in his collection and scotch is on the pricier side and therefore out of my student budget this year), I came up with a plan.

Whenever we go to the liquor store the staff are always super friendly and more than willing to help us find whatever we’re looking for. I’m planning on getting him a gift card and asking the staff for any scotch recommendations they may have. I figure they could tell me about anything new or different they’ve gotten in recently. So I can pass on the cool scotches to my boyfriend and then he can go shopping for what he wants.

Speaking of Christmas gifts, I thought I’d put together a little list of some Black Friday deals going on. While I wouldn’t be caught dead at a mall today (way too many people for me), there are some great deals online.

Manitoba Harvest is offering 30% off entire orders now through Monday. Use code BFCM15.

Grokker is sharing this great deal: Give the Gift of Grokker. Only $60 for the holiday season, normally $120. Give today (affiliate link).

Old Navy is also offering some sweet deals, with 40 to 60% off.

Zulily also has some great deals going on right now too (affiliate link).

Spotify is offering Canadians 3 months of premium service (no ads) for just $0.99.

Yoga Download also has some great deals happening: Monthly Elite: $9 (regularly $18) – Save 50% and Yearly Elite: $60 (regularly $90) – Save 33% (affiliate link).

Are you doing any Black Friday shopping today?

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

Weekend in Review

It’s hard to believe that another weekend is over and done! They keep going by so quick.

Sunset November 23 2015

Before I headed out to work on Friday night I caught sight of this beautiful sunset. I’m always amazed at how beautiful nature is. The sky was gorgeous shades of yellow, orange, pink, and blue.

Friday night I was working at the hockey game like I usually am. It was 80’s night, so we had a cover band playing during intermissions. They were dressed up and had wigs on so they really got into the 80’s spirit. They were great so it was fun to enjoy some songs that I haven’t heard in awhile.

Stanley Cup Popcorn November 23 2015

After work on Friday I hit up the grocery store before going home. While I was there I found this in the chip aisle. From what I can tell it’s a popcorn maker in the shape of the Stanley Cup. It’s something I think you’d only ever find in a Canadian grocery store, considering how hockey crazy we are as Canadians.

Studying November 23 2015

I had Saturday night off from work which hasn’t happened in quite awhile. I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. After making dinner and spending some time on the couch watching TV, I ended up doing homework. Not quite as fun or exciting as an empty house warrants, but I’m glad I got some extra studying time in. Speaking of school, we recently finished a business unit in one of my classes. While I was expecting it to be dull and boring, I actually found it really interesting. I had no idea I would, so I’m looking forward to learning more business stuff as it relates to the fitness industry.

Sunday was spent doing the last of my Christmas shopping and spending some time with my boyfriend. I finally decided to get my dad a gift card for his favorite coffee, Phil and Sebastian. He’s always so hard to buy for, so I had a hard time trying to think of something to get him. Getting Phil and Sebastian coffee is always a splurge for him, so I figured some money to spend on beans would be appreciated.

Afterwards we went over to my boyfriend’s place to get started cooking dinner. He found an enchilada and pasta bake recipe online, which ended up turning out really tasty. While there was some prep work chopping the veggies to go in it, it wasn’t too complicated to make. I would definitely make it again.

What exciting things did you do this weekend?

Weekend Wrap Up

It’s hard to put into words how I feel after the violence in Beirut and Paris this weekend. I can’t imagine how scary it would have been, not to mention the grief that both the Lebanese and French are experiencing right now. My thoughts are with both countries.

AFLCA Manual November 2015

It’s been a busy weekend for me. Friday night, and all day Saturday and Sunday I was at a fitness certification course. After some research I decided to go with AFLCA. I took the exercise theory course this weekend, and my next step is to take the group fitness course. I’m still trying to decide between portable equipment and choreography for the group fitness designation. The group fitness part isn’t going to happen until after Christmas though, so I still have some time to make up my mind.

Birthday Card November 2015

Because they get in 24 hours of course into one weekend, I didn’t do much else. Saturday was my birthday, so my dad made me my favorite meal (spaghetti and his delicious meatballs). Needless to say it was delicious! I had made my birthday cake Friday afternoon before I went to the course, so I enjoyed a piece on Saturday with a glass of champagne. I can’t even remember the last time I had champagne, but when you’re given it as a birthday gift you enjoy it! Saturday morning when I walked into the garage to get into my car I found a birthday card on my car.

Flowers November 2015

I also won these beautiful flowers this weekend. When I went to go pick them up they let me pick from quite a few arrangements. I went with this one because cala lilies are my absolute favorite flowers. They’re just so pretty and I loved the light pink shade of this one.

Now that you know what I was up to this weekend, leave a comment below with something exciting from your weekend. 

Podcasts I’m Currently Listening To

Podcasts I'm Currently Listening to November 9 2015


It’s been a few months now since I last shared what podcasts I was listening to (you can read previous posts here and here if you’re interested). Today I’ll be sharing two fitness related ones and one that I really enjoy as a horror movie fan.

Lifting Revolution

Recently Taylor Ryan, who blogs over at Lifting Revolution started up her podcast again. Her podcast, also called Lifting Revolution covers everything from fitness to nutrition. She often interviews people – everyone from doctors to bloggers. Her podcasts usually clock in between 45 minutes to an hour, so you get a good amount of great information in each one. If you enjoy reading her blog you should definitely check out her podcast as well.

The FitCast

One podcast that I discovered over the summer was the FitCast, hosted by Kevin Larrabee. Kevin is a personal trainer who works in the fitness industry. In every episode he interviews a fellow fitness professional. Not only do his interviews have a lot of great fitness and nutrition information in them, but the people he interviews are also top notch professionals. The things that they discuss are backed up by science which I appreciate, which isn’t always something that happens when it comes to fitness.


The last podcast I want to share is Lore, which is hosted by author Aaron Mahnke. He focuses on creepy and unique stories that are based in fact. Most episodes are between 20 and 25 minutes, so if you’re looking for something a little shorter than your typical podcast, be sure to check this one out. My favorite recent episode is called Unboxed about a boy’s doll that does some very weird things. If you’re a fan of scary stories, you’re sure to like this podcast about all things spooky and creepy.

Now that you know what I’m listening to, leave your favorite podcast in the comments below. I’m always on the look out for a new podcast to listen to. 

Fun Facts Friday

The weeks seem to be flying by now that there’s only a few weeks left in the semester. It’s kind of nice to be counting down in weeks now instead of months. I think everyone at school – students and professors – are feeling kind of antsy and ready for the semester to be over.

Phil and Sebastian Simmons Building November 6 2015

My dad loved Phil and Sebastian coffee. They’re a local business who buys small batch coffee beans from independent farmers in South America and Africa. The coffee beans are roasted here in Calgary, and then sold at their cafes. There’s a few restaurants in the city who also serve their coffee (that’s how my dad discovered it). Phil and Sebastian opened a new cafe downtown at a building that was renovated in a part of downtown that they’re trying to revitalize. He hadn’t been down yet, so the two of us went to check it out.

Inside Phil and Sebastian November 6 2015

While I didn’t get a coffee (I actually don’t like coffee), but dad got one and a pastry and said they were both delicious. I have a feeling the next time he’s downtown he’ll be making his way over to Phil and Sebastian.

I can’t remember why we were talking about this in class, but one of my profs mentioned Spotify. I think the last time I checked it out it wasn’t available in Canada. But since she said she used it I thought I’d check it out again. I’ve been using it for the last couple days and I have to admit that I’m really liking it. I’m using the free version, but I totally thought that there would have been more ads. It’s kind of nice to have access to songs that I don’t have on my iTunes. I know I’m probably the last one to give it a try, but I’m really liking it so far.

For my communication class I have to give a ten minute speech. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to talk about because our prof said we could decide to talk about absolutely anything. Finally ashtanga yoga popped into my head and I knew I had my topic. I really don’t enjoy public speaking, but I’m actually really looking forward to this. Maybe it’s because I’ll be speaking about something that I’m passionate about, or that I feel confident that I can answer any questions that I might be asked, but even though I’ll be talking in front of 20 people I’m kind of excited.

Downtown Calgary November 6 2015

I went to a meetup this week just outside of downtown on Wednesday night. Because it’s usually tough to find parking I took the train and walked over from the station. On the way back to the station after the even was done I came across a really pretty view of downtown. I always seem to forget how pretty downtown is at night with all the lights.

I’m glad the weekend is finally here. I was invited to a friend’s birthday party tonight, but instead of celebrating with her I’ll be working. My bank account will appreciate it, but I sure wish I could be wishing her a happy birthday instead. I also have an assignment I have to work on at some point over the weekend. I’m hoping to fit in a date with my boyfriend as well.

Do you have any exciting plans for the weekend? Leave me a comment about them below. 

Fall Fashion

Fall Fashion Picks November 4 2015 350

Since the seasons have changed and it’s now fall I thought I’d share some of my favorite picks for autumn.

Purple TShirt November 4 2015

Since I’m in school I usually dress pretty casually when I’m in class. T shirts are usually my go to unless I have a presentation to give and I have to dress up. I thought these ones (affiliate link) from Ralph Lauren were cute without breaking the bank, not to mention the fact that they’re great for layering. Sometimes I need to add another layer on top when I’m in the drafty library getting some studying done.

Fall Fashion Shoulder Bag November 4 2015

Lately I’ve been drawn to cross body bags. Maybe it’s because I like clothing and accessories to be functional, but having both hands free really appeals to me. I think the brown color is a little more interesting that the usual black that I would go with for a bag. You can check it out here (affiliate link). I like the size of this one. I can fit in all my essentials without giving me too much space to add extra stuff. I can’t be the only one who takes advantage of a big bag if I have it, right?

Fall Fashion Sweater November 4 2015

I love the look of this sweater. Not only does it look nice and warm for spending time outdoors when it’s a bit chillier, but I like the detailing around the shoulders. I usually don’t go for lighter colored clothing because I tend to stain it, no matter how careful I am, but this one (affiliate link) is the perfect fall color in my mind.

Fall Fashion Plaid Shirt Novemeber 4 2015

There’s something about plaid that’s just so comfy to me. I think it’s because plaid flannel is so warm that I’m instantly attracted to it because I’m always cold. I have a thing for purples, blues, and greens, so when I found this purple shirt (affiliate link) I thought it was super cute. Those three colors really work with my light complexion, blonde hair, and green eyes.

Fall Fashion Blanket Scarf November 4 2015

With the cooler weather and snow scarves are a must for me in the fall. I’ve recently discovered blanket scarves. I know, I must have been living under a rock last year, but I’m now hooked. I thought that this blue and white one (affiliate link) was great for going with all kinds of outfits because of it’s neutral colors.

Fall Fashion Cords November 4 2015

Just like with the plaid flannel, I always think of cords when I think of fall. I love that they’re different than denim, which is my usual go to when it comes to pants. It’s always a good idea for me to change up my routine a bit when it comes to clothes because I find it so easy to always go for the same things that I wear every day. I thought these ones (affiliate link) were a great neutral color.

Fall Fashion Blue Trench November 4 2015

I know here in Calgary at least, fall weather can vary quite a bit when it comes to the weather. One day it can feel like summer and the sun is out, and the next there’s a few inches of snow on the ground and the sun is no where to be found. I think this trench (affiliate link) would be perfect for the transitional weather. Plus it gets bonus points because it has a hood (I always pick a jacket that has a hood over one that doesn’t because I’ve been caught in the rain one too many times).

Fall Fashion Boots November 4 2015

I’m always on the lookout for warm but cute boots. It seems like most of the time they’re either one or the other, but these (affiliate link) might be perfect in both regards. The straps add a little bit of interest plus the color is great. I could see myself wearing them everywhere from a walk in the park to school.

What are your favorite go to fall pieces? Leave a comment telling me about them. 

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

November 2015 Goals

November Goals November 2 2015

I hope you all had a spooky Halloween! While mine was pretty low key (I just stayed home and gave out candy), it was actually kind of nice. I have robes from the Happy Potter books that I made when I was in university that I wore while answering the door. Along with a cauldron that I had the candy in and a wand, I like to think that I looked pretty good. Did you see any cool costumes? Friday morning on the train I saw an awesome Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz costume, complete with red shoes and a Toto stuffed animal. A friend of mine dressed up as Cruella de Vil (101 Dalmations) and she looked amazing.

And now on to my goals!

First off I want to share how my October goals went. My first one was to stop pressuring myself so much when it comes to school. I sometimes get into the pattern of thinking that I need to do things perfectly or do absolutely everything. Clearly neither of those two things work very well or for very well in real life. I’m happy to say though that I did a pretty good job of keeping myself in check over the last month. As much as I like writing for the newspaper at school, I missed a couple meetings in October because I had too much academic stuff going on. Papers and preparing for midterms came first. Putting my efforts where they needed to be was something I did great at in October, and I hope to keep doing.

My second goal was to get outside more. I’m happy to say that our mild fall weather and no snow made that goal very easy to do in October. Usually we’d have had a couple snowfalls here in Calgary by now, but we’ve been extremely lucky this year. There have been lots of walks all over the city, mostly along the river. I’ve even been making an effort to walk more outside when I’m at school as well. There’s a couple courtyards with pretty gardens, so I’ve been taking advantage of them by walking though them even though it means it may take an extra minute or two to get to where I’m going.

And now on to November. My first goal is to embrace winter. I know the snow is coming sooner rather than later. And with that comes stressful commutes with icy roads, shoveling the driveway, cold temperatures, and heavy snowfall warnings. I don’t particularly enjoy any of those things – I don’t think anyone does who has to deal with it for six months out of the year. On the other hand it’s not all bad. I get to have a Christmas with snow on the ground. There’s world class skiing just an hour’s drive away in the mountains. The trees are really pretty when there’s a fresh snowfall. It’s easy for me to get caught up with all the negatives that come with winter in Canada, but this November I want to make sure I embrace it and enjoy it as much as I can. And really, there’s no point to hating it if there’s nothing I can do to change it.

My second goal for this month is to be more consistent in my workouts. Over the last month or two I haven’t really had a plan, which has led to me doing them when I remember instead of when I should. This doesn’t always mean that I do a consistent number each week, which is where I’d like to get back to. I also want to make sure that I spread out my workouts instead of working out every day for 4 or 5 days, and then having my rest days all in a row. I know I feel better and have more energy when I spread them out over the week. To help with this I’m going to be scheduling in my workouts at the beginning of every week on Sundays. I’m hoping that by scheduling in the time beforehand I’ll be more likely to workout on the days that I want to.

I’d love to hear some of your goals – leave one or two in the comments below.

Fun Facts Friday

After doing two presentations, a midterm, and two assignments over the last two and a half weeks, I was very glad that this week was a bit more low key. There was still lots of reading and notes to get done, but I felt like I was able to slow down a bit from the break neck speed I was going at. I know it’s going to get busy again mid-November with school, so I’m enjoying a lull in the homework while I can.

We’ve been spending some time in one of my classes talking about business stuff. Where do I want to work when I graduate? In a big box gym? Start my own business? Who do I want to work with? Athletes? Seniors? I was expecting it to be dry and boring, but I’ve really been enjoying it. It’s exciting to think about how I’ll be making money once I’m done school and certified. One day I’d love to work for myself. Will I be able to do that right away? Probably not, but I can definitely start planning and working towards making that happen right now.

The Reflector newspaper article October 2015 Edited

Speaking of school, I wrote another article for the school newspaper. This one was about the rec facilities that are available in Calgary. I have to admit that after writing the article I’m pretty impressed with all the classes and amenities that are offered across the city. If you want to try out a new class or sport, you can probably find it somewhere in Calgary.

How is it already Halloween tomorrow? Seriously, fall is flying by. I managed to avoid buying any Halloween candy until today. It’s just too much temptation for me to have it in the house. Tell me I’m not the only one who can’t resist it. Unfortunately I don’t have any plans for tomorrow so I’ll probably end up staying home and giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. There have been some pretty awesome ones over the last few years, so I’m expecting a few good ones this Halloween too.

The Internet of Garbage by Sarah Jeong October 2015

Lately I’ve been hearing about all kinds of awesome books. Everything from Brene Brown’s latest book, Rising Strong (affiliate link) to The Internet of Garbage by Sarah Jeong. I actually downloaded The Internet of Garbage but I haven’t gotten very far into it yet.

What are you currently reading?

Day in the Life – October 2015

Day in the Life October 2015 350

Since going back to school has been a big change for me compared to working, I thought I’d write a day in the life post.

6:15 am My alarm goes off. After convincing myself for a few minutes that I should actually get up I finally get out of bed.

6:20 am I make breakfast (oatmeal, apple sauce, yogurt, and a glass of water) and sit down to eat and watch the local morning news. If I don’t watch the news I feel like I’m unprepared for the day.

30 Day Shred Workout October 2015

6:45 am I realize today is a workout day so I change into workout clothes and do a Jillian Michaels workout (30 Day Shred if you’re curious).

7:20 am I’m now a sweaty mess so I take a shower and get dressed for the day.

7:50 am-10 am I don’t have to leave for school for a few hours so I decide to get some homework done. I manage to get one chapter read for my communication class and get notes made for about half of it. I took a few 5 minute breaks throughout to check Twitter and Instagram.

10-11 am My brain can’t absorb anymore information so I switch to getting some blogging stuff done. Since I’ve been at school finding time to blog has been tougher than I was expecting. I try to fit it in wherever I can now!

11 am I finally leave my desk and throw together a quick lunch to eat before I leave for school.

11:30 am I leave to house to head to school.  The traffic is good so it only takes me 20 minutes to get there. Woohoo!

11:50 am I stop by my locker to drop off my jacket and a few books, and then head to a quiet study area close by to get a few more notes done.

12:20 am My class starts in 10 minutes so I walk over to the classroom and chat with a couple friends before the class starts.

12:30 pm-2:30 pm Class. It’s actually a really interesting class for me as we talk about certifications in the fitness industry. I had no idea there were so many!

Studying October 2015

2:40 pm-3:40 pm After class I stop at my locker again to change up books before I head to the library to start reading the next chapter for my wellness class.

3:45 pm After wrapping things up at the library I stop by my locker, grab a different book, and head off to class.

4 pm- 5:30 pm This is my communication class so we talk about ways to interact with clients. During the break I get hungry so I eat a peanut butter Clif Bar (so delicious). We finish a bit early so I’m hoping rush hour traffic won’t be as bad as it usually is.

5:35 pm I stop by my locker one more time to pick up my jacket and books, and walk over to the parkade and leave school.

6:20 pm Traffic wasn’t as great as I was hoping that it would be, but I’m now home and ready to find something to eat for dinner.

6:35 pm I decide on leftovers for dinner and heat up some chili from the night before in the microwave.

7:45 pm I end up on the couch for longer than I wanted to watching TV. Apparently my brain needed a break after school. I send a few emails, one to group members for a presentation we have coming up, and another one to my boss.

8:00 pm-9 pm I decide to finish up some homework before calling it a day.

9:15 pm-9:45 pm After washing up I’m in bed and decide to read before turning off the light and falling sleep.

ViPR Class Review

ViPR Review October 26 2015 350

Since I started school in September I’ve had access to the rec center. They have all kinds of awesome classes, so a few weeks ago I decided to check out one that was new to me – ViPR (pronounced viper). I had a lot of fun and thought that it was about time that I shared my thoughts on it. If you’re like me and had never heard of it before, here’s a video that gives you a run down of the different kinds of movements you do.

If you notice in the video, there’s a couple different colors of ViPRs. That’s because they come in different weights. During the class I went to I used the lightest one that weighed in at just under 9 pounds. I know it might not sound like much, but I definitely worked hard even at that weight. When you’re doing the different movements it felt a lot heavier. The teacher encouraged us to start with a lighter one and work up to a higher weight ViPR. You can also see that there’s two sets of handles, one on each side. There are two on one side about a third of the way in on each end, and on the other side there one in the middle.

As with any class, as we came in the teacher asked about any injuries. She then took us through a warm up while explaining what ViPR stood for (vitality, performance, and reconditioning). Once that was done we started doing intervals. We started with 40 seconds of work followed by 40 seconds of rest, then a 30/30 split, and finally a 20/20 split between work and rest. Needless to say, I’m very glad we started with the longest work sets right off the bat. It was a tough workout and by the end of it I was exhausted. During the rest breaks the instructor kept reminding us that we needed to stay active during our recovery. That meant walking around a bit instead of standing still or leaning against the wall. After a five minute cool down the fifty minute class was over.

I really liked the intervals. I felt like I gave the work periods 100% of my effort, but I was still able to let my heart rate and breathing slow down a bit in between so I was ready to give it my all when it was time to start over again. The class seemed to fly by. Not only was it a lot of work, it also felt a little bit like I was playing instead of working out. I appreciated that the movements were fairly simple. I didn’t have any trouble figuring anything out, and once I’d done two or three reps I felt like I knew what I was doing. All the different moves were repeated in each section of the class (in the forty, thirty, and twenty second parts). So while there was some repetition, there was also quite a bit of variety so I didn’t get bored. There were also a few times throughout the class where we teamed up with a partner.

All in all I was really happy I took a chance and tried out a ViPR class. My legs and arms were sore of a day or two after the class. I know I’ll be back soon.

To find out more about ViPR, you can check out their website here.