Friday Favorites: Notion + Vaccines

In today’s blog post I’m sharing a few of my favorite things from the past week.

Notion

Notion has been on my radar since last summer, but I didn’t start using it regularly until a few months ago. Now that I’ve gotten it figured out and the set up that works best for me I love it!

If you haven’t heard of Notion before, it’s a everything from a to do list to a place to take notes to list resources. It’s super versatile and you can design yours exactly how you like with no coding knowledge. It’s a bit tough to explain, but that’s only because it’s so versatile. I use it for everything from appointment reminders, a content calendar for all of my blogging and social media posts, a list of books that I’ve read, and even a calendar. If you’re interested be sure to check out Notion videos on YouTube. There’s a ton there and they give you a great idea on all the different ways that you can use Notion.

Vaccine

I’ve been waiting to become eligible to get my vaccine in the province I live in, and that finally happened last week. I channeled all of my Ticket Master skills (I managed to get tickets to see both Adele and U2 on their sold out tours) and managed to get myself a vaccine appointment pretty quick, despite having a few appointments fall through. Even though vaccines are being administered by Alberta Health Services, pharmacies, and some doctor’s offices, they were being snapped up really fast – particularly in Calgary where I live. On Sunday morning I headed out to an AHS vaccine clinic and got mine. I told the nurse who gave it to me that I had never been more excited to get a vaccine in my life. Second doses will start to be given out in June (fingers crossed) so I’m looking forward to getting my second one this summer.

As far as side effects that I experienced, I was a bit nauseas for the first 36 to 48 hours afterwards, and my arm was pretty sore for the next few days. The side effects weren’t bad at all and I’d much rather deal with those than Covid.

While I know that it’ll take a few weeks for immunity to develop, it’s a huge relief to know that I’m one step closer to achieving it. Also, the above post vaccine selfie was taken in my car in the parking lot because I felt self conscious taking a selfie in the waiting area after I got it.

Lance Armstrong podcast

If you’ve read my blog for awhile you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of podcasts. While I’ve been listening to American Scandal for about a year now, I’m really enjoying their latest series on Lance Armstrong. Each topic that American Scandal tackles has a series of 4 or 5 podcast episodes. They’re done really well and are easy to listen to – or if you’re like me – binge listen to. A couple other favorite stories from American Scandal are Big Tobacco, Bernie Madoff, and Waco.

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What I Read in April 2021

Today I’m sharing the books that I read over the past month.

I read 7 books this month! Usually I average one per week, but apparently I was in a reading mood in April. This month I read 2 books by Jennifer McMahon and 2 books by Harlan Coben. I was in the mood for thrillers and mysteries. I finished off the month with a classic that I’d never read before.

The Boy From The Woods by Harlan Coben

This was the first book by Harlan Coben that I’ve read, and it was a good introduction because I really enjoyed it. The Boy From The Woods (affiliate link) was an easy to read, fun thriller that kept my attention throughout the whole book. I kept telling myself I’d only read one more chapter, but then I’d have to read just one more. While I thought that the ending was a bit rushed, overall I’m glad that I read it.

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

I found that The Winter People (affiliate link) was a mystery with a little bit of paranormal thrown in. I really liked it, so much in fact that I read another book by her later on in the month. Once again this was a new author to me and I’m excited to read more books from her. I can’t be the only one who’s happy when they discover a new author that they enjoy.

The Lake House by Kate Morton

I’ve read quite a few books by Kate Morton over the years, and I found The Lake House (affiliate link) to be just as good as the other ones I’ve read. I always like to try to figure out the endings of books – especially if they’re mysteries or thrillers. I wasn’t able to do it with this book. Everything I’d come up with a new theory, a plot twist would make it impossible to happen.

The Stranger by Harlan Coben

The second book by this author that I read, I really liked this one too. It took me a few chapters to get into The Stranger (affiliate link), but once the story got started rolling it was tough to put down. I was a bit disappointed with the ending for one of the characters – it was never really resolved and left me feeling like it wasn’t completely over. Maybe he’s planning to write a sequel.

Three Perfect Liars by Heidi Perks

This is the second book by Heidi Perks that I’ve read. I like Three Perfect Liars (affiliate link) just as much as Her One Mistake. Three Perfect Liars follows the stories of three female characters who are all somehow connected to a marketing firm. It was interesting to read how the author brought all three characters together by the end of the book.

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

I found The Night Sister (affiliate link) to be another book that combined mystery and paranormal together in just the right proportions. This book is about several generations of a family in a small town in Vermont. There’s several different timelines going on during the book. It was fun to read about something that was revealed in one timeline that would then have an impact on the other ones. Jennifer has written quite a few books and I’m looking forward to reading more of them.

The Turn of the Screw

The last book that I read this month was The Turn of the Screw (affiliate link). It’s actually more of a novella – it was less than 130 pages. This is the first classic that I’ve read in awhile, and the first book by Henry James. I was really looking forward to it, thinking that it would be similar to The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get into The Turn of the Screw. It was tough for me to understand at points and just took a whole lot of brain power to try to follow what was happening. I was thinking that there would be a few scary and creepy parts, but there weren’t.

I originally wanted to read The Turn of the Screw because there’s a show on Netflix called The Haunting of Bly Manor which is based on it. I’d watched about half of the episodes before I started reading the book. For once I liked the TV adaptation more than the book. That doesn’t usually happen.

What have you been reading lately? Have any recommendations for me?

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Life Lately: April 2021

Today I’m sharing some updates and highlights from the last month.

Walks

I’ve been really enjoying walks with my boyfriend and his English Bulldog, Winston. I miss being able to spend as much time together. I won’t take being able to sit on the couch together and watch Netflix for granted again! It’s been quite awhile since we’ve last been able to do that due to Covid restrictions. Not only do I get to spend time with the two of them, but I also get to enjoy the warmer spring weather with them. Not having to worry about the cold and snow has made walks much more pleasant. We talked about taking Winston to a dog park soon. He loves meeting new dogs so I’m sure he’ll have a blast.

Medical appointments

It feels like I’ve had a ton of medical appointments this month. I’ve had 1 or 2 every week this month. Because of Covid most of them have been online or by phone which is kind of nice. I don’t have to worry about traffic or having to pay to park. On the other hand it still feels kind of strange to be doing appointments that aren’t in person. Last week I met one of my healthcare providers in person for the first time. I’ve been seeing once per month since October, but until now they’ve always been online appointments. It was definitely a bit weird for it to be in person.

Vaccinations

Speaking of medical stuff and Covid, My dad and brother have now both gotten their first vaccine. It’s a huge relief to know that they have at least partial protection from the virus. I actually drove my brother to Red Deer (1.5 hours north of Calgary) to get his because there weren’t any options in Calgary that fit his work schedule. I’ll be very happy once they’ve both gotten their second doses and are as protected as possible. I won’t qualify to get a vaccine until late May or June.

What’s a highlight of yours from the past month? Tell me about it in the comments below.

The Best Beauty Products

Today I’m sharing a few of the best beauty products that I use on a regular basis.

For someone who has sensitive skin, it can sometimes be a struggle to find beauty and skincare products that don’t irritate my skin. I’ve tried all kinds of products in all price ranges, and it’s hit or miss with what will or won’t cause a reaction. I’ve found a few brands that have worked for me though. Cerave, Burt’s Bees, and Aveeno have been great options for me and my skin. I’ve liked just about all of the products that I’ve used from those brands. Today I thought I’d share some of the best products for my sensitive skin, just in case you’re looking for some recommendations.

Aveeno Ultra Calming Sensitive Skin Daily Moisturizer

Facial moisturizer is much for me. Between the dry air here in Calgary and the fact that we get so much cold weather, I deal with dry skin. I’ve found that this Aveeno moisturizer (affiliate link) is the perfect moisturizer because it’s absorbed into my skin quickly but doesn’t cause a reaction with my sensitive skin.

Bioderma Sensido H2O Micellar Water

I first tried Bioderma products this past summer and I’m so glad I did because I really like everything I’ve tried so far. I’ve been using this micellar water (affiliate link) twice daily lately – in the morning and then again before bed. I use it after cleanser and before moisturizer.

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin

I’ve been using Cerave products for my sensitive skin since 2017. It was recommended to me by my doctor to help deal with the sensitive skin that I was having issues with. This Cerave cleanser (affiliate link) is the perfect mix of leaving my skin feeling clean without drying it out.

Cerave Eye Repair Cream

Like I mentioned above, I’ve used quite a few Cerave products, and I keep coming back to this eye cream (affiliate link). The tube is fairly small, but you honestly don’t need a lot when it comes to putting it on. A little goes a long way with this product. I’ve struggled with skin issues on the skin around my eyes, but thankfully this Cerave eye cream hasn’t caused any irritation.

What’s one of your best beauty products that you use? Let me know in the comments below.

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5 At Home Workouts With No Equipment

Today I’m sharing 5 workouts that you can do at home with no equipment. They’re perfect if you’re not able to go to gym.

If you do one of these workouts, be sure to tag me on Instagram and let me know how it went! As always, you can find all of the workouts that I’ve posted on Get Fit Fiona on the workouts page. They’re categorized by theme (upper body, cardio, etc.) so it’s super easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Bodyweight workout

This workout take less than 45 minutes to complete but will still leave you working hard. It takes you through everything from push ups to wall sits.

Full body circuit workout

I love a good circuit workout so I knew that I had to include one in this at home workouts with no equipment round up. Breaking down workouts into smaller chunks can be helpful when I’m not feeling particularly motivated to workout. Focusing on just 3 exercises at a time makes it feel more manageable.

30 minute home workout

If you don’t have a lot of time to devote to a workout, then this is the workout for you. It clocks in at just 30 minutes and you can do it at home, which means no commute to the gym. It’s a full body workout so it contains both upper and lower body exercises.

No equipment workout

This workout includes some of my favorite exercises – skaters and squats. Skaters are just fun to do and I always feel strong and powerful doing squats.

32 minute bodyweight workout

This one is another full body workout that includes arms, legs, and core exercises. Exercises include everything from lunges to crunches to tricep dips.

What’s a favorite bodyweight exercise of yours to incorporate into workouts? Let me know in the comments.

As always, talk to your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you.