Friday, 14 February 2020

Let's Talk Wellness: Pre-Planning My Workouts

Most people ask how I manage to get my workouts done while also working full-time, cooking, being a mom, blogging and still having a life.  Well, I'll say that next to my family, working out is a top-priority for me.  I put thought and intention into how and when I will be working out.   I know that in this season of my life I look for high intensity work outs, ones that build muscle and cardio into them, and that I can get within 30 -60 minutes, including travel time.  I have also come to value my lower key activities such as walking the dogs, yoga, cross-country skiing or playing outdoors with my family,  in the evenings and on weekends.  I also used to run early on Saturdays and Sundays but I am so exhausted by the time the weekend rolls around that I really appreciate the lazy mornings that the weekends bring.  Drinking my coffee.  Reading or blogging in my bed.  And planning for the week ahead. 

One of my rituals is pre-planning my workouts for the week.   I sit down with my work schedule, the weather app, the schedule at my gym, connect with my running partner, and pre-plan my workouts for the week ahead. I still use a paper calendar and have a special green pen to write down all of my workouts in green.  Because early mornings are tough, I usually strive for four days a week and on the weekend I leave it more open ended to  enjoy a seasonal  activity with my family/husband  and I try to squeeze in a quick yoga session.  I don't love yoga but I need to be intentional about stretching my hips, hamstrings and lower back as a runner.  My favorite free website is Do Yoga With Me .  It's provides a  lot of variety of yoga levels, class lengths, and types of yoga, all for FREE! So in my calendar I schedule and commit to 5 days of pre-planned activities. 2 runs, lane swim, shred workout or a tabata workout, yoga, and the other days are just open to whatever possibilities might arise.  Also, I want to note that these commitments are mostly done at home and I keep them anywhere between 30 - 60 minutes, so that it's manageable to still get ready for work.  I keep any extra or different workouts, like swimming/spin/gym, very close to my home, so that travel time is minimal and if I go there, I often go straight to work form the workout location.

Pre-planning my activity, writing it down, creates a COMMITMENT.  It creates ACCOUNTABILITY to myself and my well being. 

I am trying to figure out how to add more strength training to my workouts these days and I love how easy and fast the Jillian Micheal workouts are and how I feel afterwards.

Getting outside more with my family and husband has become a top priority for me on the weekends.

Lane swimming has become a great alternative workout in the winter!

So my tips for you are:

1.  Be honest with what you can do each week.  Is it 3 days a week?  4? 5?

2.  What do you actually enjoy doing?   I don't love yoga so I've decided to keep it to 20 minutes a week, only out of necessity.

3.  Have a conversation with your partner.  My husband and I came to an agreement that early mornings are best for our family, but it does mean that he is on his own in the mornings with the kids.  Yes, even when they were little.  Also it means that we have everything ready to go the night before. 

4.  Pre-plan your week with your workouts.

5.  Have a buddy.  You won't bail on a friend like you bail on yourself.

6.  Take a week off when you absolutely need it, but don't go over a week because it's extremely difficult to come back from it!

Me and my running buddy run usually once a week.  One 5-6 run and we try for one longer run every week.

How do you stay on track with your workouts?

Friday, 7 February 2020

Red Pants for Valentines Day, or Any Other Day

Is it really a Valentine's Day outfit?!?  Not really.  I'd wear it ANY day of the week.  These cropped  red pants have been on repeat since last spring when I picked them up on a "sisters weekend" trip up to Edmonton, AB.   I love the way I styled them with my polka dot top in the spring, see here, but I am also digging this winter outfit with a simple black turtleneck and some booties.  I love how a black turtleneck comes off polished, strong and sophisticated.  It also helps create  very definitive lines and curves.  It took me a while to find the right turtleneck last winter but once I did, I instantly knew it.

Anyway, we are very low key for Valentines day.  No presents.  No special plans.  Not even  cards honesty.  We just never really got into it as a couple.  Sure when we were in high school, we bought the cheap heart shaped boxes of chocolates and a card, but we don't even make an effort anymore.  This is not to be confused with not caring or not putting each other first.  We do.  But I think we do these things throughout the year that V-Day just isn't really a big deal to us.  We  used to schedule a  date nights every month or month an a half,  but now that the girls are so much more independent we actually spend a lot more quality time just doing stuff like skiing together, going for walks, going shopping, walking around our city, etc.  That all being said, my perfect date night is going for dinner or a walk in our city, and then winding up at home with a good bottle of wine and delicious chocolates from a specialty chocolate store such as Purdys.  Also last year we were in Mexico and I loved getting all dressed up for to celebrate the holiday, see here.  In fact that was my  favorite Valentines Day  outfit and date ever 💗.

This year we'll drive up to the lake for an extra long weekend as a family.  We might visit with the neighbors, enjoy outdoor activities, play some games, but Logan and I will likely end our evenings together exactly like this, having a glass of wine together.  It's perfect to me.
So what are your Valentine's Day plans?

Shop This Look:
Black Turtleneck (similar @ Zara)
Wool Coat ( similar @ Aritzia)

Friday, 31 January 2020

Adding Color to Winter Outfits

A couple of weeks ago I featured a simple, monochromatic, mostly black outfit, see HERE.  This week I am adding some color back into the depths of these winter dark and cold days, especially where I live.  We had a fabulous run of weather over the Christmas break, yippee, but then we had a couple of weeks our harsh weather that made us all feel miserable, and now we are finally thawing but the sunshine hasn't returned just yet.  Oh well.    When days are short and we lack vitamin D, there is an innate response to dress in darker shades almost to blend in with the bleak conditions of the outdoors.  For us living here in Saskatchewan, winter is looooooong.  Long like, we won't be done with the cold/snow until May and sometimes well into May, so one has to add color to their life with FASHION!

This dress was gifted to me and I just never got around to featuring it here even though I took these photos in late fall.  Life.  This dress is super versatile and I've worn it multiple times since receiving it.  I've worn it with bare legs, pumps, flats, booties, leggings, and today, I've paired it up with a blanket scarf to add some laying and extra coziness to the look.  I just love how rust looks with my complexion and hair color.  Unfortunately Forever 21, where this dress came from,  is shutting its doors in Canada  but I am linking up a few very similar and inexpensive options options for you from  Old Navy  and Shein.  My coat is perfect for a mild winter day and it came from ThreadUp, a consignment online store, but here is a good wool option from Chickwish and it's on Sale!

Other ways to add some color to your winter outfits!!!!

1.  Bling, bling.  Add some jewelry and sparkle to your outfits, such as these Merlot H & B sparkle ball earrings that I am wearing, or this rose gold watch and  rose gold rhinestone hoop earrings from Guess.

2.  Scarfs, toques and mitts.  So many fun and inexpensive colors and patterns are available.  Check out this scarf  from Old Navy or this adorable leopard  toque from Belong Lifestyle.

3.  Cardigans & blazers.  Inexpensive and easy to style with dress pants, jeans, skirts or dresses. Check out this leopard print cardigan from Belong Lifestyle.

4.  Hair accessories.  Oh my goodness there are so many cute hair accessories out there currently that add a little pop of color to your outfits. Check out this pack of three headbands from Amazon.

5.  Shoes/booties.  This is something I love to see but I do feel that shoes are a pricier investment.  I have a few favorite colors of pumps and booties that I have added over the years such as burgundy, green, velvet blue, snakeskin and gold.  I love my snakeskin booties from The Bay.

What are your favorite ways to add color during the winter months?

Friday, 24 January 2020

Halie Currently: The Teen Edition

I have a TEENAGER!  Officially today, I have a thirTEEN year old in the house.  How did that happen?  I don't really know.  Gone in a flash.  I remember Logan and I bringing her home in January 2007.   So dang cold, in our Mustang, that of course had no winter tires because we were barely paying our mortgage and bills on one income.  We installed the car seat, or so we thought.  When we looked back to check on her, we found the bucket tilled completely to the one side, with our newborn happily and safely strapped into it sleeping away.  We didn't know at the time that if you didn't have automatically locking seat belts, that you needed this extra clip installed on the seat belt that wouldn't let it move as the car took turns.  I could say it's just we were so young we didn't know better, which partially true but also, I am older now and I am still hitting bumps along the way as a mom.  It's life.   Even through all the mistakes we've made along the way, I am proud to say that Halie  is turning into a lovely young lady.  Sure, the teen-age-ness is annoying at times, I think more so than the tantrums of a three year old,, but that's all perspective isn't it.   Halie is caring, thoughtful, mature, and persistent.  She looks after her friends, she loves her family and works very hard to achieve goals she has set.  

Let's look at Halie as a of right now.


Wearing, mom jeans!  Hahahahaha.  And Lululemon leggings.  Also she has been borrowing more or my things.

Reading, she is really into the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins series, which  I am also a huge fan of so it gives us something to talk about.  Thank you Mrs. Kelleher for introducing her to this series.  She is an off/on reader.  Sometimes reading a ton and other times barely at all.  We aren't good at scheduling time for them to read anymore as they've gotten older, we read in front of them all the time but.... Anyway if you have thoughts or tips on growing teenage readers, by all means send them my way.

Extra curricular, horseback riding in the fall and spring, and that continues to be her favorite.  She is also loving her dance classes this year and is looking forward to competition season.  She is currently in jazz, lyrical and ballet.  On Thursdays Halie continues to volunteer at the Sherbrook Community Center in which she attended in grade six as a student.  She enjoys being with the elders and helping with their day program on Thursdays.

Watching, Stranger Things over and over and over again.  Also, Friends and recently was given permission to watch Riverdale.

Listening to Shawn Mendes.  We went to the Shawn Mendes concert this past summer and his music has been on repeat ever since. 

Thinking she wants to pursue,  veterinarian school or a path that involves working and caring for animals.  If you know someone that could speak to her about the various options and pursuits she would love to hear from you.

Obsessed with coffee, like french vanilla, coffee with flavored cream, 1/2 hot chocolate 1/2 coffee combo.  Hmm, as a parent we weren't sure how we felt about this, but with my coffee habits also starting young  I don't feel in any position to judge.  (Is this the hill I wan to die on?  A question I ask myself daily with a tween and a teen)

Happy 13th birthday to my first born.  

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always.
As long as I am living,
my baby you'll be."

- Robert Munch

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Wellness Weekend: Winter Running Gear

I live in Saskatchewan and generally our winters are long, end of October-March, and  often quite cold, -20C/-4F  is often the norm and it can get way colder than that for at least for a couple of  weeks.  The wind can be so vicious making it unbearable at times.  That all being said I like to keep my outdoor running routine outside as much as possible.  I will say that I am somewhat of a fair weather runner, there are a lot of hard core people around here, but my general rule is outdoors up to -22C and then  I move my runs to my treadmill.  I also change up my workout routine during the winter months to incorporating lane swimming and spin classes once or twice a week, and only do 2 -3 runs a week.  I run with my friends, solo or with my fur babies by my side.  Sometimes I run 5 km, other times as far as 12km in the winter, all weather dependent.  The important thing is that I keep moving and staying active thorough the winter months and a big part of that is dressing for comfort.  Today, I am specifically focusing on the clothing that I use when running outdoors.  Most of the items that I own are old and I don't update them very often to be honest (I've linked up new versions of these items).  I made the investment 3 or 4 years ago and apart from bras and shoes which I buy once a year, they are still working for me.  

1.  Mitts & Buff:  I have poor circulation so I wear an old pair of snowboarding mitts, they keep my hands warm but they can get sweaty inside.  My next purchase is going to be specific winter running mitts that are breathable.   I love my Buff and I wear it most of the time as a headband to keep my ears warm.  When it's extreme cold or the windchill is nasty, I will use one to cover my ears and another one to cover my face.  I don't like the full balaclavas, as I don't like something over my mouth, it gets soggy and gross.  



2. Pants to layer:  I have a pair of Lululemon First Mile Tech Tight  (they come in three colors) and you can wear these on their own when the weather is mild, around 0C, or my cheap hack for colder temps is to layer them under fleece lined leggings that I purchased from Costco.  When the wind is  nasty or the weather gets colder than -20C then I wish I had a pair of real thermal/wind resistance tights such as these Craft Storm Tights  that are super warm and also wind resistant.  


Lululemon Leggings  (Underlayer, fall/mild winter running weather)

Thermal Leggings 

Craft Storm Tights

3.  Mid-Layer & Jacket:  You need a good mid-layer that's breathable.  I wear my mid-layer top from lululemon all the time, spring, fall and winter!!!   I use it as my main layer in fall/spring and a mid-layer for winter running; it's well worth the money.  My best purchase was my running jacket that I received for Christmas like five + years ago.  It's breathable, looks good, fits well, , has reflective features, versatile and keeps me warm.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!  It is $$$  but I have never regretted it. 

Ron Hill Stride Hybrid Jacket  (currently on sale!)

Swiftly Tech Lululemon Mid-Layer

4.  Spikes!  If it's icy where you live, make sure to get some spikes.  They are cheap and I was so surprised at how well they work.  One of the things I hated about running in winter the few times I tried was that you had to be slow and cautious which ruined my stride. Not with the spikes, you can just run! 


5.  Shoes.  I run a fair amount, approximately 20-30 km/week during the spring/summer/fall season, so good shoes are key.  They are expensive but I do invest in shoes in order to help my knees, hips and back  stay on track.  I recommend going to a running store that will fit you in the right type of shoe.  Also put the shoes to the test a couple of times on the treadmill to make sure that you like the fit, they should feel good and comfortable right off the bat and not be something you work into.  I have the same shoes now for a number of years, I just get the newest model.  I am not linking them up because everyone needs something different form their shoe so go and get fitted to save your feet.

6.  Socks.  I just wear my regular puma socks and it's enough for me but you could invest in some Winter Running Socks to keep your toes warm. 

MONEY SAVING TIP:  Don't go out and buy everything new because winter running gear is expensive.  Go through your toques, mitts, and current running gear and use them as layers for the time being and invest in a good shoes, coat, spikes and pants over time.  I am telling you, you buy them once and they will last you years if you take care of them well.  This is one time, I don't care if I match or how I look, my goal is exercise and comfort, not fashion.

For more tips for running in cold weather check out this article Running Room

The cold never bothered me anyway.  - Elsa

What does your winter workout routine look like?