Friday Favorites: Perfect Weather + Calgary Parks

Today I’m sharing a few favorite things from the past week.

I hope you all had a great week. Mine was pretty good. It was the perfect level of being busy without feeling overwhelmed with things on my to do list.

Perfect Weather

Since the heat wave we experienced in western Canada, a few weeks ago, the weather has been pretty nice this week. The temperature has been perfect for sitting outside in the backyard after dinner to read. It’s been nice and warm (without being too hot) with a little bit of a breeze without being blustery.

I got into the habit of post-dinner reading in the backyard last summer, and I’m happy to say that it’s back. Some nights it’s definitely hard to get out there, but on the nights that I do I really enjoy myself. It’s the perfect way for me to unwind. I’m all about soaking up the nice weather while it’s here.

Calgary’s Parks

To go along with enjoying the summer weather, I’ve spent some time walking in a few parks this week. I’m very lucky to live in a part of the city that has quite a few parks connected by a pathway system. There are washrooms, picnic tables, barbecues, and lots of green space. If you’re also in Calgary I also really like Bowmont and Confederation parks.

Last weekend I ended up going for a walk with a friend through Baker and Bowness parks. We stayed pretty close to the river the whole time. The water was still pretty cold despite it being the middle of July already. We ended up doing a pretty good loop, covering about 4.5 KM. We stopped a couple times to check out playgrounds and sit down about halfway through.

What fun things do you have planner for this week? Let me know in the comments below.

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At Home Full Body Workout

In today’s post I’m sharing an at home full body workout.

If you’re not feeling this at home full body workout, check out my workout page. I have all the workouts I’ve shared on Get Fit Fiona over the years there. They’re also categorized so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. You’ll need a pair or two of dumbbells for this workout. A lighter set for upper body exercises and a heavier pair for lower body exercises. I like these ones (affiliate link) from Amazon.

Perform 3 sets x 12 reps of each exercise, resting for 60 seconds between each set. For the wall sit, each set consists of 30 seconds instead of reps.

  • Overhead press
  • Bodyweight squats
  • Push ups
  • Donkey kicks
  • Tricep dips
  • Alternating lunges
  • Bent over rows
  • Wall sit
  • Bicep curl
  • Step ups

Here are the descriptions of the exercises I’ve included in this at home full body workout just in case you need a refresher about any of them.

Overhead press

Stand with your feet hip width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. With your upper arms in a 90 degree angle to your torso and your hands directly above your elbows, lift your hands straight up so that your arms are straight above your head. Slowly lower your hands back down to the starting position. 

Bodyweight squats

With feet hip width apart and hands in front of you to help with balance, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees. Once you’ve reached the lowest position you can without leaning forward too much or letting the knees collapse in, return to a standing position, using your glutes to propel yourself.

Push ups

Starting on your toes and hands, make sure your body is a straight line from your heels to your knees, hips, shoulders, and neck. Your hands should be a bit wider than your shoulders. Slowly bend at the elbows, lowering yourself to the ground. Try to get at low as possible, and then push yourself back up, all the while maintaining that straight line. An easier modification is instead of being on your toes, lower to your knees.

Donkey kicks

Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keeping your knee bent, lift your left leg so that your knee is parallel to the floor and the bottom of your foot is parallel to the ceiling. Lower you leg back down and repeat with the right leg.

Tricep dips

Using a chair or bench, place hands on the edge with fingers pointing towards the back while stepping out your feet so that they’re hip width apart and your hips are above the floor. Slowly bend at the elbows to lower yourself and then use your triceps to move yourself back up to the starting position. Your knees can be bent (easier) or left straight (harder).

Alternating lunges

Stand with feet hip width apart. Step forward with one foot so that the front leg’s thigh is parallel to the ground, and the back leg’s shin is parallel to the ground. The back knee shouldn’t touch the floor. Use your quads and glutes to step the front foot back towards your back foot and end by standing straight up with feet hip width apart again. For the second lunge step forward with the other foot. Continue alternating legs for the entire 30 seconds.

Bent over rows

With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing each other) bend forward slightly at the hips so that your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, letting your arms hang straight down and keeping your back in a neutral position. Bring both dumbbells up towards your armpits while contracting your shoulder blades towards each other (kind of like pinching your shoulder blades together). Move dumbbells back towards starting position. 

Wall sit

Stand with your back to a wall and slowly slide your back down while stepping out your feet until your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your feet should be about hip width apart. This is an isometric hold, so you’re staying in this position for the entire time.

Bicep curl

Start with the feet hip width apart, and back in a neutral position. With a dumbbell in each hand, keep your elbows in close to your side and raise the dumbbell upwards. Movement should be at the elbow, not the wrist. Lower the dumbbell with a controlled movement, not allowing gravity to take over.

Step ups

Stepping up with your left foot, and pushing off that heel step your right foot off the floor and onto the bench. Immediately step back down with your left foot, followed by your right foot.

As always, modify this workout as needed for you. Check with your doctor before beginning to workout.

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Friday Favorites: Coffee Cake + Elementary School

Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite things from the last little while.

The weather has been wild in Calgary over the past two weeks. First we had a week long, record breaking heat wave that felt like it would never end. Then a few days ago the city got a severe thunder storm that came with hail and caused flooding. Water started pooling on our street and then it started to flood. Cars could just barely make it through without getting stuck. The water was slowly creeping up our driveway. Thankfully the water didn’t reach the house and there was no flooding in the basement. It was a reminder of how powerful Mother Nature is when she wants to be.

And now on to a couple of my favorite things from the past week.

Nail polish

I had bought this nail polish last summer because I loved the pinky/purple shade. It’s Flowerista (affiliate link) from Essie. I love how deep and saturated the color is while still being bright enough to wear during the summer.

My typical nail polish routine starts with a layer of base coat. I then follow it up with two coats of color. The finishing touch is a layer of top coat to keep my nails looking as good for as long as possible. I figure if I’m going to put in the effort to do my nails, I might as well make it last for as long as I can.

Cinnamon raisin coffee cake

I was at Sunterra earlier this week and decided to pick up a little something for dessert. I ended up deciding on this cinnamon raisin coffee cake. It was delicious. I have a couple favorite sweet treats from Sunterra, but I decided to try out this new to me cake. I’m glad I did because it’s going on my list of favorites. It’s slightly sweet from the raisins and the cinnamon pairs perfectly with them. It’s one of those perfect flavor combinations.

Grade 2 class photo

I was looking through some storage bins looking for something when I came across this class photo from grade 2. I’m sure it’s been decades since I last saw it. While I remember a few of my classmate’s names, I’m surprised that I don’t remember more. I moved provinces the summer between grades three and four, so I didn’t keep in touch with anyone. I do have several of my classmates as friends on Facebook, but that’s about it.

In case you were wondering, I’m in the middle row, third from the left!

As for the weekend, I don’t have much planned other than spending some time in the backyard reading. I’m looking forward to a low key weekend. What are your plans for the weekend? Share in the comments below.

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What I’m Reading: June 2021

In today’s post I’m sharing what I’ve been reading recently.

June was a slow reading month for me – I only finished three books. They were pretty good reads though and I really enjoyed them. I love hearing what other people are reading so I’m writing about what I read in June. If you read something good recently let me know in the comments below. I always need recommendations.

Love Your Life

I’m a big Sophie Kinsella fan, so it’s no surprise that I liked Love Your Life (affiliate link). Sophie’s books are easy and fun to read. They’re perfect for summer to read while you’re on vacation, at the beach, or at the cabin. They don’t require a lot of thought to follow but they keep me entertained. I love that Sophie can take more heavy topics and have her characters deal with them in relatable and sometimes silly ways. I can almost always see a bit of myself in the main characters.

The Forgotten Daughter

This is the second book by Joanna Goodman. I had read The Home For Unwanted Girls (affiliate link) a year or two ago and really liked it. I was pretty sure that I would also enjoy reading The Forgotten Daughter (affiliate link). I was born and lived in Montreal until I was nine, so it was fun to read a book that was set in Quebec. I was too young when I lived there to fully appreciate the politics of language and separation, but it was so interesting to read about it. I was living just outside of Toronto when the 1995 independence referendum happened and I remember realizing what a big deal it was. If you’re new to the modern history of Quebec and don’t know a lot about the separatist movement, the FLQ, the October Crisis, language politics, and the Duplessis orphans, this book is a great jumping off point.

The Rumor

The last book that I read this month was The Rumor (affiliate link) by Elin Hilderbrand. It’s all about how quickly rumors can spread in smaller communities, and how devastating they can be. Back in university I did a four month internship in a small town. I commuted there 4 days per week, so I didn’t live there. I was amazing at how quickly word spread that I was working there. It felt like everyone had already heard of me – even the teen working at the Subway. I was surprised that he’d already heard about me and knew where I was working. It was definitely eye opening.

Of course this book is also set in Nantucket. Reading about the beautiful setting with ocean, beaches, and flowers is always fun. I have a green thumb so I loved that The Rumor featured a beautiful garden.

The Rumor is a fun read that kept me interested the whole time I was reading it. It was a tough book to put down. It’s another one of those books that would be perfect to read on vacation this summer.

What have your been reading lately?

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Friday Favorites: Jeans + Chick Lit

I’m sharing a few favorite things in today’s blog post.

Mid Rise Classic Straight Jeans from Gap

I recently bought a pair of these jeans (affiliate link) from Gap and I’m really loving them. Finding a pair of jeans that fit me well can be a bit tricky. There have been a lot of frustrated moments in fitting rooms over the years. Trying on clothes isn’t something I really enjoy, and having to do it over and over again to find something that fits properly is tough. I’ve bought this particular style a few times now and they’ve been great. It’s such a relief to find a cut that I like. It cuts down on all of that fitting room frustration. Do you have a go to pair of jeans? Where are they from?

Blue Nail Polish

I put on a new color of nail polish this week – Butler Please (affiliate link) by Essie. It’s been on my nails since Sunday and I’m really liking it. It’s a deep blue that I think would be pretty into the fall and winter too. I found that it dried a bit darker on my nails than it looked in the bottle. I used Essie base coat (affiliate link), two coats of Butler Please, and then a layer of Essie top coat.

Love Your Life

If you’re looking for a fun, quick, and easy to read beach read, I have the book for you! I just finished reading Love Your Life (affiliate link) and I really enjoyed it. In fact, it might just be my favorite Sophie Kinsella book so far. I appreciated that even though it was a light hearted book, it also looked at some of the tough stuff in relationships. I think just about everyone can relate to something that happens in this book. Plus, it features a beagle named Harold. Beagles are my favorite kind of dog, so it was fun to read about one.

This weekend

You know those medical appointments when you leave and are just exhausted? I had two of those this week. I also had to get together all of my paperwork for my bookkeeper to help with my business taxes. It’s always a lot of work no matter how organized I am throughout the year. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to some down time. I don’t have much planned for this weekend other than Father’s Day on Sunday with my family. My brother and I have a fun surprise meal planned for my dad, so I’m looking forward to celebrating my dad and letting him know how much I appreciate him.

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