Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Busy, busy, busy!

Wow, where has the last couple of weeks gone? Forget that, where has 2011 gone? I feel like I'm flying around like a crazy woman - not because I'm not ready for Christmas, because I was a while ago, with the exception of baking, which I plan to start on tonight.

With Noel only home for a short time we are trying to enjoy the holidays and plan our wedding! I would love to have something booked in terms of a wedding site ideally before he goes back to work, which isn't too far away now. This would be made much, much easier if people would get back to me! Argh! It is very frustrating actually. All of our current decisions hinge on hearing back from the venues and people we have left messages for.

We are looking to get married in Hawaii hopefully next September-ish, followed by a reception back here at home. We are still wading through the guest list (oh my was that ever NOT fun)! We seem to have two different ideas of who should and should not be invited. Going into planning I decided right away that I would pick my battles so to speak, but the guest list is something the neither of us are giving up on. I know it will all work out and we'll both be happy campers at the end, it's just tough trying to get there.

Anyways, so that is that for now. Nothing else is really new. I'm super excited for Christmas as my sister, her husband and my niece are coming. It's my niece's first Christmas (she was born in January), so it makes it all the more special!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What I'm lovin' today!

There are many things that I am loving and thankful for today, but my biggest love is that I found my wedding dress on the weekend! I feel a sense of relief, excitement and even more realism that I am actually getting married!

After a not so successful first trip to a local bridal store, where the consultant may or may not have been pushing her side business of wedding planning on me the entire 90 minutes, I left feeling a little defeated. I didn't love any of the dresses I had tried on and there were many that I didn't even like. Wedding dress shopping fail.

So on a whim, my mom and I decided to shop on Sunday. We went to a second bridal store and it was a totally different and pleasant experience. The consultant asked me what I liked and what I didn't, how I envisioned myself on my wedding day, my budget, etc. None of these questions were asked at the first place and my mom, former dance teacher and I had to pull all of our own dresses! Anyways, at the second store, the consultant pulled everything for me and she hit the nail on the head with every single dress.

Funny side story - after my first failed experience, I was online looking at a photography blog and came across a dress that I saw that I immediately fell in love with. I emailed the picture to my mom and told her that was exactly what I was looking for.
Well low and behold, the bridal store we went to on the weekend had the EXACT dress and it looked great. I felt great in it and it's definitely a "me" dress!

I am so excited that we have made the big purchase! I can't wait for it to come in and actually fit me! :)

Other things I'm loving today are the guy at the grocery store telling me to get Chinese Christmas oranges and not the Japanese ones because they are much tastier right now. At $9 a box I would have been disappointed if I got home and none of them tasted good.

I'm also loving the warm weather we've been having!

I'm loving that Noel has been home the last two nights (although he has a nasty cold that I'm not loving!)

And finally, I'm loving that my house is being cleaned today! Yay! I love when the cleaning fairies come every couple of weeks!

Hope you all have a great day!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas blog swap!

I came home yesterday and I had received a package from my blog swap partner Destini!

I was so excited to open it as I love, love, love getting things in the mail besides bills!

My package was perfect and I can't thank Destini enough! In my package I got an advent calendar - yum! Chocolate every day is amazing! :) I also got some yummy gingerbread spice tea that I opened up right away and tried. It definitely tastes like the holidays! She also gave me a Starbucks gift card and How the Grinch Stole Christmas DVD - love this movie and I am really looking forward to watching the cartoon version! (I've only seen the version with Jim Carrey). And I got a really cute card as well!

SO THANK YOU DESTINI! I LOVED IT ALL! :)




We got a ton of snow over night. I'm guessing we got about a foot in total. It made for a yucky drive to work this morning. The weather is supposed to be on the plus side tomorrow. I'm very much looking forward to that!

We also bought a new Christmas tree yesterday! I am so excited! It's an eight foot tree so it seems huge to us! Our previous one was a six footer. It was our first Christmas tree together, so it does hold some special memories. But the best part about our new tree is that it is pre-lit! You cannot beat that! If there is one argument that Noel and I get into every year it is about Christmas lights when we're putting them on the tree. We both get frustrated with the pesky task and usually take it out on each other, so goodbye strings of lights!
I will post a pic when we've got it all decorated.

Have a super day!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Winter is here!

Oh my did the snow come with vengeance yesterday! I am thankful though that we didn't get the 15 cms that was predicted. It was a lot less than that! But still, white currently covers the landscape here in Alberta!

This weekend is supposed to be pretty chilly as well -- talking -18C as a high! I always think every year that Mother Nature never lets us ease into winter, it's all gotta come at once. Maybe she thinks it's like ripping off a bandaid - just get it over with!

I think my challenge this weekend will be keeping this sweet guy busy as our outside time will be limited. If only I could get him to wear little booties. It would sure make for longer walks for him!



Stay warm everyone!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm getting maaaaarrrrried!!!

I am over the moon! Noel proposed to me on my 30th birthday! It wasn't unexpected per se, but definitely unexpected in that moment.

Now, after 12 years together we'll finally be husband and wife! :) Let the planning begin!

Even before we were engaged we were planning on getting married next year. We are pricing out our options for Hawaii -- I would really love to get married there. So we'll see! We had a place on the Sunshine Coast in B.C. also picked, but we figured we'd go with what we've always wanted to do which is a destination wedding. True, the Sunshine Coast would also be considered a destination wedding but we have always wanted something out of the country.

So, prepare for wedding talk for the next year!!!! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Three on Thursday

Here's my three thoughts for this Thursday!

1. It's incredibly beautiful outside today! The sun is shining and it's melting all the snow we got last week. I can't wait to get off work and take Jackson for a good long walk!

2. We have tomorrow off as it's Remembrance Day. The day off is good, but the reason we have it off is not. I plan to take time to reflect on those who have sacrificed for us.

3. I am so close to finishing my Christmas shopping! I can't wait to be done! I only have under 10 things to get. I hope to pick up a few more gifts this weekend.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reaching a new milestone

They say that teenagers go through an awkward stage before they blossom into a young adult. With my 30th birthday right around the corner I feel as though I am hitting an awkward stage myself.

For me 30 seems like a funny age. You’re not really considered to be young anymore like you were when you were in your 20’s, but you’re not middle-aged yet like when you hit your 40’s. So what does 30 mean?

For some reason I have this sense that there should be greater responsibility the closer I get to this milestone although I’m not really sure what this responsibility is exactly. To me someone who is 30 is supposed to have it all together and all figured out. Some days I feel like I’m far from that.

Looking back on the past decade I can say that I have accomplished a lot and hope to do the same in my 30’s.

My 20’s were spent finishing college and figuring out my future. I began my career in journalism, purchased a home and seemed to settle into life. I began making big decisions regarding finances on my own and felt more like a “grown-up”. My life certainly changed in my 20’s. This past decade was great and I wouldn’t change a thing. But I just wish I could stay 25 forever!

In my 20’s I learned a lot of valuable things including how important friendships and family are. When I was a teenager I suppose I took these things for granted and it wasn’t until I was older that I realized the true significance of having friends that I cherished and of course good relationships with my family. I also realized I had the ability to choose not to be friends with someone if I didn’t want to. It may sound weird, but as a teenager you wanted as many friends as possible and quantity overrode quality. Today I cherish the quality.

I also learned to trust my instincts better. If something or someone doesn’t appear to be on the up and up, it probably isn’t. I have also become a good judge of character for the most part. This is something that hasn’t come natural to me as sometimes I can be somewhat na├»ve. I’m learning these things more and more as I get older but let me tell you sometimes it can be a hard lesson.

Learning to be better at living in the moment is also something that I have become better at although it’s still something that I struggle with. Sometimes I get so caught up in planning for what’s next that I forget about enjoying the moment right now. But I think I have made a conscious effort to do so, especially in the last year. It definitely doesn’t come naturally though.

With my 30th birthday coming up I’m left to wonder what will be next? Marriage and starting a family are both a definite yes, so I know my life will drastically change again but for very different reasons then it did in my 20’s.

Of course age is just a number and it’s really about how young you feel inside. I will always be young in my heart, but sometimes it’s tough to forget when your birthday comes around that there is also a new number attached.

I do look forward to entering my 30’s and all that it will bring. I plan to relish the next decade and to make it my best so far.

Many say that life begins when you turn 30 and I sure hope they are right. I have big, big plans for my 30’s!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Three on Thursday

Happy Thursday! I am so glad the week is almost over!

Here are three things for this Thursday:

1. I tried Greek yogurt for the first time this week and I almost died! It was love at first bite! How have I not tried this deliciousness before?

2. We hung our Christmas lights today and will do my mom's house this weekend. I am already so excited for Christmas and having lights up (but not turned on quite yet) makes it all the more exciting.

3. It's my 30th birthday on Sunday. I'm excited but not-so-excited to enter a new decade. Why can't I stay 25 forever?

Friday, October 28, 2011

What a week!

This has been one busy week! Why does it always seem like you run off your feet the week you get back from vacation? On Monday I had over 100 emails to look at and a lot to respond to and a ton of voicemails as well. I finished going through all of my emails yesterday only to have more pop up again.

I am so happy it's Friday! I've been fighting off a cold so I'm going to relax this weekend but I do hope to get to the gym on Sunday if I'm feeling better. I'm also heading to a big craft show with my mom today. I'm excited as it's kind of the kick-off to the holiday season. And of course I'll be getting ready for all the cute trick-or-treaters on Monday! I love having the kids come on Halloween! I still have to get some candy, but I always hold off on buying it so I don't eat it! :)

Here's a couple of pictures of what I was up to while I was on vacation. Hope you all have a great weekend!



Sunday, October 23, 2011

Manic Monday!

It's back to the grind tomorrow! No more sleeping in, staying in my pj's until late, going to the gym when it's not busy, enjoying afternoon walks and catching up on the PVR. Tomorrow I'm back to work!

I can say though that I am looking forward to going back. I feel rested and ready. I'm excited to see my co-workers too! We are like a big family at my work and I'm lucky to have a place of employment where it's like that.

Tonight I'm going to head to my mom's for dinner. My brother's girlfriend from Switzerland is flying in. I haven't met her yet, so I'm excited to do so. I'm sure she'll be jet-lagged and really feeling the time change. It was a 16 hour flight for her to get here. She'll be staying for two weeks, so I'm looking forward to getting to know her.

And tomorrow bright and early at 5 a.m. I'll be hitting the gym for my class. I have a love-hate relationship with early morning workouts. I love that I can get it over with and get on with my day but I hate waking up when it's still pitch black! The 'love' part definitely outweighs the 'hate' at the moment, so I'm still happy to go.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hello friends!

I have had a wonderful and relaxing (almost) two weeks off! I've gotten quite a few things done around the house and the yard, finished off some projects I've been meaning to get done and put another good dent into my Christmas shopping. It feels great!

This past weekend we had our Thanksgiving, although it was a week late, it was still absolutely wonderful! For dessert I made Strawberry Cheesecake Bites like these:



These aren't the ones I did, this image is via www.pleasedontburnette.blogspot.com. I didn't take any pics of mine.

They turned out great and are SUPER easy to do. One thing I would recommend is making them the day you'll eat them. I did mine the night before and put them in the fridge, but the strawberries became a little soft. I will definitely make this recipe again.

Here's the recipe:

About 20 strawberries (was a little over one carton for me)
8 oz package of softened cream cheese
1/2 cup of icing sugar
1.2 tsp of vanilla
12 graham crackers

First you want to core out the middle of the strawberries (I just used a sharp knife). With an electric beater, beat cream cheese until all of the lumps are out. Add icing sugar and vanilla. Mix until blended.
With a piping bag, pipe cream cheese mixture into the middle of each strawberry.
Crush up graham crackers using a Ziploc bag and rolling pin. Dip the strawberries into the graham cracker crumbs to cover the cream cheese at the top.

Simple and so delicious!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hello holidays!

I am in heaven today! While I think of my co-workers at the office, I am sipping tea and having a piece of toast. I am on holidays! I needed to use up two weeks of holidays. Noel is home for a week of them on his regular days off, which will be great! But the best part is, we have no plans! I have never taken a holiday where I just stay home. It is complete bliss!

I have some projects that I want to get done while I'm off. Some of them I've been wanting to tackle for a while -- ok maybe years -- so I'll be happy to get those done. I want to organize our office closet, which if you saw it would understand that it is not a small feat! I also want to go through my closet and get rid of the clothes I haven't worn in forever. For some reason when I do this there are some items that I just can't get rid of and think that I will wear them again -- but that never happens and they continue to hang there.
I also have a fall wreath I want to make. I've never made a wreath before but I'm looking forward to trying it! I will post pics when I'm done. And I am going to make two bow hangers for my nieces for Christmas. I'm really excited to make these, they are so darn cute! Will also post pics!

So, I'm off to clean up the yard and clean out my pots -- with the low temps (-2!!!) at night I think they're done for the year!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

And I'm backkkkkkkk!

Hello blog world! :) Wow, it's really been February since I last posted?! I took an impromptu bloggy break. But I'm back. I'm feeling inspired and I have a lot to talk about!

Let's see over the last eight months -- In May I ran in my first 10K race. The experience was amazing. I pushed myself like I have never before and I couldn't wait to do it again. In June I ran a 5K race. Weather was cold and rainy -- a much different experience than the 10K. But I finished it and I was proud.

Since then running has really fallen off my radar. Life has gotten so busy. My cakes are really picking up. I've done some wedding cakes and birthday cakes as well as cupcakes for different functions. While this is a good thing, it certainly has taken up a lot of time.

In July Noel and I also took a week vacation to B.C. It was so amazing to get away. I came back feeling refreshed and relaxed. The crazy thing is that it's the most time Noel and I have spent together in about two years! With him working in the oilfield he is often away. It's an adjustment for sure and after two and a half years of this life I still sometimes find myself getting used to it.

That leaves me to now. Unfortunately I have gained some weight back. I'm working on fixing this though! I signed up for a six-week challenge at my gym. It's the first week and has been going well. We meet three times a week at 6 a.m. Wowza is that early for someone who isn't a morning person! But honestly, it feels fantastic to get my workout done in the morning and I honestly think I'm more of a morning person than I thought! :)
I'm excited to get back into a routine exercise-wise. I have really come to the conclusion that I cannot do it on my own.

There you have it! I'm looking forward to being back! :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I feel so loved!

Hi! First of all, I have to say that I have been in a real blogging funk lately. I don't know why, I have no answers as to what's going on, but it is what it is. I just haven't felt inspired enough lately to write a post. Please don't break up with me! :)

So, since I've been on a blogging hiatus for the last little while, I have a lot to update you on!

First of all, I am so feeling the love from my family, friends and of course Noel lately. I have been struggling through some family issues -- more on that in another post when I have 10 hours to sit down and write J -- and my "support team" has stepped right up. They have been amazing and I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such incredible people!

Of course Monday was Valentine's Day. Noel is right in the middle of his two week work stretch, but unexpectedly he was home on Monday! It must have been meant to be! :) So, we played it low-key. We ordered in dinner, snuggled on the couch and just watched some TV. Noel was pretty tired as he had worked a really full day, but it was great to have him home nonetheless.

In Noel's true romantic fashion I got this cute little bug at work on Monday morning



Then when I got home, these were also delivered -- also from Noel



And these were sitting on my porch with a note from my mom



I feel really lucky! And totally spoiled!

In other news, I've lost three pounds in two weeks! I'm happy about that!

That's all for now.....more fun news to come!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fun times with some great ladies!

I recently joined a 'dress club' where a group of ladies gather once a month to have some fun!

Last night was our first meet up and it was a blast. There are 12 of us in total (one for each month of the year). Every month, all the gals put in $20. A name is drawn and that lady gets to take home the money and spend it on something for herself -- clothes, spa, workouts, etc. The money can't be spent on kids, bills, groceries etc. It has to be something for you. So each girl wins once a year and the person who's name was drawn the month previous hosts the next get together.

Going into last night, I only knew two of the girls and was able to meet another nine fantastic ladies! It was so much fun. We all met at 7:30 and before I knew it, it was already 10 p.m.!

I'm really looking forward to being able to meet new people, make new friends and learn about these fabulous women!

In other news, I weighed in at 197.4. I'm glad the scale is going down, but it's not as much as I would like. I have been on TOM so that definitely plays a role.

My trainer and I got back to it on Tuesday. I also had another workout with him yesterday afternoon and he's really kicking my butt!
After my workout on Friday I'm heading for a therapeutic massage. While I love how it feels, man does it ever hurt! I'm quite sore so I think it's going to be a pretty painful hour. But the benefits definitely outweigh any pain!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Update!

Good morning blog world!

Not much is new with me, but I promised to update my weight every week, so here we go!

First of all I have to say that as of yesterday I am fully back on my meal plan that my trainer developed for me. Whole foods and nothing processed, eating every two to three hours and I feel fantastic! It's amazing what a little shift can do!

So having said that I am currently weighing in at 196.8. Better than last week and given that I just really started yesterday, I'm happy.

I have had a really tough time this year getting out of the holiday rut. No motivation at work, no motivation to go to the gym or to stick to my meal plan. But on Sunday I asked myself what the heck I was doing! I'm definitely not doing myself any favours by prolonging the holiday mode! So up I went to the grocery store and got all the foods on my plan and started fresh on Monday morning.

Last night I attended a zumba class at my gym. What a fun and awesome workout that was! I'll definitely be going again!

So, here's to getting back on track! I need to reach my goal by the end of the year! No excuses!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Welcome 2011!

Ok, yes, I realize I am a few days late with this...but it'll have to work! :)

We had a great New Year's Eve. Noel made it home from work at about 8 p.m. and we popped in a movie and waited for the countdown. I think I went to bed at about 12:02! But honestly, it's exactly what we both needed -- quality time together and some relaxation. I couldn't think of a better way to start 2011!

So of course with the new year brings the reflection of the past 12 months and the looking forward to the months ahead.

2010 was a little bit of a blah year for me. Not much happened, which can be a good thing if you choose to look at it that way. However, I would say a highlight for me was turning a new leaf and becoming more active and living a healthier lifestyle. Yes, I do have a long way to go and I will touch on that a little later. But I'm excited as next month marks my one year anniversary with my trainer! So hard to believe.

Looking ahead, I have high hopes and big plans for 2011! Noel has hinted in the next couple of months we will get engaged! Yay! Finally! :) And depending on when that happens, there could be a wedding later in the year as we both want a destination wedding.
I'm not holding my breath, but I am very hopeful.
Also, May marks our 12 year anniversary! Amazing! I can hardly believe it! It feels pretty incredible to be hitting this milestone.

Personally, one of my big goals for 2011 is to learn to relax! This is going to be difficult as I am a pretty high strung person. I am one to sweat the small stuff and it really has to stop -- for my own health! So it will definitely be a work in progress for year, but I'm hoping to see a significant difference by the end of the year.

As for fitness, I plan to stay the course on what I've been doing. One of my goals for this year is to run a 10 km race. My trainer and I are currently working towards this as we speak. More specifically though I hope to lose 50 pounds this year. Yes, I know, it's a big goal. Overall though I hope to become stronger, thinner and healthier in 2011!

So as part of this, I'm going to post my weight and progress weekly, so that I can be accountable to all of you as well! The more people I am accountable to, the better!

Here goes my first one and I will never see this number again -- thanks to my indulgence over the holidays I'm sitting at 197.4.

Hope you all had a great New Years!!!!!