Thursday, February 27, 2014

Self-Care Update and Looking Forward to a Change

Throughout the month of February I have been concentrating on my self-care. I have reconnected with my makeup kit… gotten a cute new haircut… done a mani and a pedi… and I have finally seen my dentist and dental hygenist so I can now smile bigger and brighter and quite worrying about people noticing that my slightly crooked smile is tarnished.

I have even improved my bedtime routine now that I have shiny white teeth again, cause I intend to keep them this way as long as possible… and while I am taking the time to brush and floss, I might just as well wash my face and slather it with Retinol A, too.

I even expanded my self-care focus to include several days of Chivon John’s Self-Love Academy. 

Self Love Day 6

But honestly… all in all, I am very glad that February is a short month, cause I am getting pretty bored with looking after, and concentrating on, ME.  And I am really looking forward to changing the calendar to March and changing my focus.

As a matter of fact… March will be all about change.  Or at least variety.  My focus for the month of March is going to be to Get to the Gym

I recently was the lucky winner of a one-month pass to GoodLife Fitness and I am going to activate it near the beginning of the month and use it to attend a variety of group exercise classes. 

Feb 14 goodies 001

I intend to keep working out at home with The Captain 3 mornings per week, because we have gotten into a really good routine, and we do both quite enjoy this time together.  And as the weather gets warmer, and hopefully, drier too, I know I will be running outdoors more often, and enjoying some other outdoor activities

There will be beach walks and scrambles, neighborhood strolls, and as much outdoor time as possible… but I have checked the local GoodLife group exercise schedule and see some things that I would like to take part in… Les Mills Body Pump and Body Flow, for sure, and perhaps a Les Mills RPM class.  I would also like to do a few Flow Yoga sessions and I just may sneak in some Zumba or Body Step as well.

I might even do some treadmill and elliptical workouts, and use the open area at the gym for Core work, too.  I am excited about it all, and eager to share the joys and challenges here.

Are you a gym-goer? 

What is your favorite group exercise class?

Any tips to share?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cold-Proofing Your Home and Your Diet

Over the past several weeks I have been coming face to face, hand to hand, with a great number of people who have colds and the flu.  It is unavoidable, it seems.  Everywhere I go, shopping, to work, at the library… people are sniffling, and coughing and sneezing.  It seems that being ill doesn’t keep people at home anymore.  And there has been a lot of H1N1 flu in my city this year.  Scary.

It makes me want to hole up at home and not go out until Spring and the warmer temperatures settle in… unfortunately, that is not practical or anywhere close to realistic.

So far, both The Captain and I have managed to avoid coming down with something ourselves.  I think it is because we are so careful… yes, to the point of being obsessive sometimes, trying to avoid bringing these germs home.

The most important thing we are doing, I believe, is washing our hands… EVERY time we come into the apartment from an outing… even if it is just to the laundry room or mail boxes in our own building… we wash our hands with soap and water, and dry them.   And yes, I am changing and laundering the hand towels very often these days.  And going through lotions by the quart!

And yes, I am I doing my best to keep my hands away from mouth and nose and eyes…

I have been reading a lot about keeping our immune systems healthy and we have adopted some easy and healthful habits.  We try to get lots of exercise, fresh air, sleep and eat good foods as a matter of course, but this time of year we are even more careful.

There are some particular things that we do at home, such as:
  • drinking green tea
  • drinking freshly squeezed lime and lemon juices, with water
  • taking our vitamins and supplements including extra zinc
  • eating colorful fruits and veggies, and when The Captain is not getting enough he supplements with North Coast Naturals Daily Greens
  • eating lots of garlic and onions (good thing we both love them)
  • getting ample sleep
  • taking rest days between runs
  • taking rest days between strength workouts
  • sanitizing door knobs, telephones, tv remotes, and light switches
And at work, where I am encountering many other people face to face, as well as handling their documents:
  • using hand sanitizer between clients
If I shared a telephone or office equipment with other people, you can bet I would be sanitizing those things too.

Overdoing it?  Perhaps, but … knocking on wood… neither of us has been sick yet.

What do you think?  Are colds and flu running rampant where you live, too?

Are you taking special steps to avoid them?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Saturday Smiles

I have had a really good week… pull up a stool and I'll tell you a bit about it.

The Captain and I finished up our 6 week strength training program last Friday, so this week we took the week ‘off’ and did some fun workouts.

We did a kettle bell workout on Monday, that turned out to be very fun for me because The Captain had never used a kettle bell before and I really enjoyed showing him the exercises before I popped the DVD in and hit the PLAY button.  He is such a good sport and found some of the moves a bit awkward but he said he thoroughly enjoyed it.

We did an old Biggest Loser workout on Wednesday, with some lighter dumb bells, and then went out for a walk in a very cold wind.

Friday we ditched the strength training altogether, and after breakfast (I made him a heart-shaped pancake for Valentine’s Day which kinda looked more like Mickey Mouse ears!) we headed out into the sunshine for a 90 minute walk along the Strait. It was still quite windy but being in the sun more than made up for it.  Spring has definitely arrived on the South Island and it is so nice to the flowers blooming and the peacocks will full tail feathers again.


I have been the most grateful recipient of some really nice gifts and giveaways lately.  

One of my Weight Watchers members brought me a lovely tea light candle on Thursday. The fragrance is called Juicy Clementine… and it is lovely.  Turns out she is a PartyLite rep - my Mother and Sister used to have Party Lite parties together in Calgary quite often and I know that their product line is very high quality.

Feb 14 goodies 006

I won a really nice package from GoodLife Fitness through a giveaway hosted by Joann at  Woman In Real Life.  There is a gear bag, a metal water bottle, a cotton tee and a certificate for a one-month membership.  I am so excited about it. I had a one-month membership at GoodLife last Spring and used it to attend some classes so will do the same this time around, too. Body Pump, here I come!

Feb 14 goodies 001

I got this beautiful tank from Silk Athlete in a giveaway hosted by Jody at Truth 2 Being Fit. It is so soft truly luxurious.  I love silk next to my skin, don’t you?

Feb 14 goodies 003

And I am very excited about this book that I won in a giveaway by the author herself, Tamara Grand, who writes Fit Knit Chick.  I have been reading it from cover to cover and am looking forward to try out the program that Tamara has detailed… one more tidbit… Tamara and her husband are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their first date today… why don’t you go by and wish her a very Happy Anniversary.

Feb 14 goodies 002

Please note I didn't win all of these things this last week!  A couple of them arrived this week and one of them I tried out this week.

On a more personal note… I did really well with my Self-Care checklist for the week.

My list was:

1.  Call the dentist!
Hurray!  Accomplished. I made an appointment that will cover off the checkup and hygiene. And I was lucky to get in in before the end of February. No doubt there will be follow up required.

2. Clean out the makeup kit and purchase replacements.
Yes, clean up done.  No purchases needed at this point.

3. Do a self-pedicure.

4.  Revamp food plan.

I am still working on this and in all honesty, I am ALWAYS tweaking my food program.

This next couple of weeks I plan to just keep up the good job I have been doin... keep working on the bedtime hygiene route... keep the teeth clean and flossed... keep the hair/makeup/clothing looking good.and put-together.  Keep up the manicure and the pedicure.
I completed Chivon John’s Self-Love Academy this week.  It was kind of intense and I have saved the lessons for future tune-ups.
So, how are you doing this mid-February Saturday?  Anything you would like to share before we part ways today?  I am all ears!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Couples That Sweat Together

Yeah, it is so tempting to flop on the couch after a tough day, and veg out, watching tv or netflix movies… but so much more satisfying to do something active together…


The Captain and I have become workout buddies.  And at his request, to my surprise and delight.

We have always spent lots of time together and have traveled all over the world to snow ski, both alpine and cross country, snowshoe, ice skate, roller skate, curl, golf, mountain trek, hike, cycle, walk and explore, swim, sail, snorkel, beach-comb, and water ski.

But, over the past 13 years, since we sold our house and moved onto the sailboat we have spent most of our days together.  Even now that we have let the sloop go and have become land-lubbers again in an urban environment, we do prefer each other’s company.

So how do we keep active, moving, and stay engaged and interesting?  We spend lots of time in various physical activities.

Strength Training

We have been doing our workouts together 3 times per week for the past 6 weeks. And even though we are doing the same exercises, we are each using weights appropriate to our own fitness levels and progress.  It is so fun to count reps for each other and even challenge each other when doing our push ups at the end of each session.   When one or the other of us gets a bit complacent or unmotivated, the other is there to offer support and encouragement.

We took this week off from our formal program, and have been doing kettle bell and yoga sessions for a change of pace.  It keeps things fun and interesting and it is good mentally, too, to take a break from the normal routine.  Next week we will start a new 6-week program.


I will never be as fast a runner or have as much endurance as The Captain.  But I am much more interested in doing it. Running is my passion, and he comes along only to keep me company and encourage me.  If you are running with someone who is faster  or runs longer, you can still do it together… just tailor things so that you run only the distance or time you want to go, together, or have him run at your pace. If he is much faster and doesn’t want to do go at your speed, he can run out and backs to you… or you to him, if you are the faster runner.

Sweating brings on the endorphins and creates solid emotional connections.
Other Sporting Activities

These days we golf, cycle, hike, walk, do beach rock scrambling, and play tennis together.  Sometimes our activities bring on some serious challenges, but most of the time they are just a great way to spend fun time outdoors together.   Laughter is also a great way to create lasting bonds.

Other than private time… what is your favorite way to sweat with your partner?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Taking Time to Reflect

I am so happy to live across the street from our city’s largest park.. it is a nature reserve, in effect.  There are several colorful varieties of ducks, Canada Geese, gulls, crows, squirrels,  discarded green turtles, eagles, racoons, peacocks, and herons.  The only place inside the park where there are fences is around the Children’s Farm. There is no perimeter fencing whatsoever and so the various paths and bark trails invite you to come in and enjoy.

It is one of my favorite places in the city and in my neighborhood… this is the view out my window across the street to a small lake, and it makes me want to FREEZE the moment, and it encourages me to BE STILL and REFLECT.

Heron in the fog

What encourages you to take a time out and REFLECT?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Saturday Stuff and a Self-Care Update…

Where has this week gone?  Seems to me it should only be Wednesday or Thursday, and here it is Saturday already and I am playing catch up… AGAIN.

Some tidbits from the week:
  • The Captain and I have just finished up 6 weeks of strength training together and I am really happy about the way it has been going. We are both making good progress.  I decided we should take a break and do some different forms of resistance exercise this next week, just to keep things interesting… kettlebells, tabatas… and then I am going to change our program to start again the following week.
  • I just won a one-month membership at GoodLife Fitness in a giveaway. I am so excited about that – I had one last Spring, too, and used it to participate in some classes I really liked… Body Pump, Flow Yoga, Body Flow, and Spinning, so I plan something similar this time out as well.
  • I joined Chivon John’s Self-Love Academy that began on Februray 3rd.. sorta fell in line with my own decision to make February my Self-Care month.  This was in my email from Chivon today…
Self Love Day 6

  • I have not run this week and I am blaming the weather. Honestly you would think that someone who lived and enjoyed outdoor activities at -25C to -35C for so many years wouldn't be such a wimp, but this -5C feels so cold here to me now.  I have not even gone for a walk.
  • I am reading this book again... it seems to be a great source of advice for me for both my workouts and my food plan

At the beginning of the month I made up a list of things to accomplish during the first week with regard to my Self-Care focus.  And I have managed to do MOST of them.  Here is how it went…

My list for the first week of the month:

1. Make an appointment with a hair stylist 

Feb 4 haircut 008

Feb 4 haircut 004

So I got the hair cut!  And I am pretty happy with it… I think that the bangs could be a bit shorter and more ragged, but I am going back in a couple of weeks to have them trimmed up and will look after that then.

2. Outline and start a bedtime hygiene routine

I am getting a handle on  the bedtime routine. I am actually getting to it earlier in the evening so that I have no excuses!  And I know that once I have my teeth professionally cleaned it will be more of an incentive to keep it up.

3. Do a self-manicure

Have been very good about looking after my hands this week… the weather has been cooler and much MUCH drier than we are used to here, so I put a single coat of clear polish on my nails after I files them, and I have been making sure to use lots of lotion after all the hand-washing I do!  My nails feel thin and weak right now so  I am keeping them filed quite short.

4. Call the dentist and make an appointment for a check-up and for hygiene

FAIL!  I called the dentist’s office this morning, because they used to be open on Saturdays… only to find they will be closed till Tuesday morning next week. (It’s FAMILY DAY here on Monday).  So this gets carried over to next week.

5. Re-establish lime water habit first thing in the morning

There is  no excuse for me not to do this. The Captain not only buys the limes for me, every morning he washes one and squeezes it for me, too.  Yes, I am drinking my lime water every morning!

6. Clean out makeup box and replace any items that are old

FAIL.  No excuses; I forgot. I just have not done this yet.  Another carry over to next week.

Challenge for the week:

Take care of hair, makeup and clothing before leaving the apartment for any reason!  

I am quite happy to report  that I have not gone out this past week, EVEN ONCE, without making sure my hair and makeup were done, and that I have chosen an outfit, even if it was just jeans and a nice sweater.

Feb 8 Me 001
So, for the next week here is my list of things to accomplish:

1.  Call the dentist!

2. Clean out the makeup kit and purchase replacements.

3. Do a self-pedicure.

4. Review/revamp food plan 

Do you need to make these little lists to remind yourself to take care of YOU, too?

Monday, February 3, 2014


You probably already know that  I have decided to concentrate on Self-Care for the month of February… to look after myself both physically, and in doing so, in effect, emotionally. 

I ran across a program that fellow FitFluential Ambassador Chivon John has put together for a few weeks this month called Self-Love Academy and have decided to check it out… I think it may be more than I am looking for, but hey, no harm in looking and reading.

Today is the firt day and I received this in my email from Chivon this morning.

Does this speak to you, too?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award

Thanks so much to Anna at Piper’s Run for nomination me recently for this

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Sisterhood award

The Rules:

1. Post the logo on your blog.
2. Thank the person who nominated you.
3. Answer the questions.
4. Choose 10 or so other ladies who blog as your nominees.
5. Post the links to the nominees’ blogs and notify them on their blog.
Anna is a Nova Scotia, Canada gal who is a Mom, a Wife, a Runner who has worked in the outdoor recreation and earth education fields for 10 years+ in Nova Scotia and Ontario,  and a Generous Spirit. I have come be a regular follower of her blog Piper’s Run, over the past year or so.
Thanks, Anna, for the nomination… so nice to be recognized, and fun to take part in passing the accolates along!


1. What is your favorite color?

My all time favorite color is aqua… aquamarine... sea blue… whatever name you give it. It is the color of my eyes, too!

May 14 half marathon celebration on Monday 005
My celebration the day after I ran my first half marathon in May 2012… first? Only.
Feb 23 Running Divas 001
A Running Divas shirt I won in a giveaway in 2012 and love even now.
2. Favourite Animal?

Such a hard question for me to answer. I love all kinds of animals.  The 2 dogs, both English Springer Spaniels, that have been my loving companions come first to mind…

Penny (2)
Penny, whom I met when I met The Captain when she was almost 2 years old and lived with me and The Captain and loved us to bits until she was 13.


My darling Scouts Honor (Scout) whom I chose from the litter, and who lived with us till she was almost 8 years old.  The apple of my eye and I get teary even looking at this amazing picture of her that The Captain took the day we brought her home at 9 weeks old.

So, yes, I am dog-crazy but I love all kinds of pets and farm animals, and wild animals, too.  Pretty much the only animals I don’t really care for are bats and frogs/toads.  Sorry.
3. Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink:

Hands down it is plain old water! 

4. Facebook or Twitter?

Definitely Twitter. I was late to FB and really tried to avoid it for the longest time.

5. Favorite Pattern?

I can’t say I have one.  Different things appeal to me at different times.  Not  a fan of gaudy though.


These Wahine Sport arm sleeves have a pattern I really like. And you won’t be surprised by the aqua accents in my living room.  And you may also recognize the replica of The Bluenose on the shelf behind me.  She is the sailing yacht depicted on our Canadian dime, and who makes her home in Nova Scotia, too. 


And I do tend  to like the clever things artists do with the Canadian and the American flags.
6. What is your passion?

My life with my wonderful husband of almost 23 years… our wedding anniversary will be on February 5th.  The Captain supports and loves me unconditionally and I could not be happier or more in love!

wedding 001 (640x452)
I  always hesitate to nominate other bloggers for these things because I am so afraid I might hurt someone’s feelings if I leave them out.. and I have to say that the list of bloggers I would choose is way longer than what is suggested here! 

If you are reading this post, please consider yourself nominated, as I would surely select you!