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Friday, 20 June 2014

MySanctuary

I

When we built our house over five years ago, what was supposed to be the most fun ended up being the biggest chore: paint colours and decorating.  We ended up in a mad rush to get into the house which took away the time and deliberation needed for decor.  I was never unhappy with our colour choices but some of the finishing touches either never happened or weren't too my ultimate liking.

Our master bedroom was one room that was never quite finished.  I'd get started on it and...a year would pass.  I'd change things, or try to, and another year would pass.  Finally this winter I started and finished!  It began with the headboard, then the barn-board picture holders and then kept going.  I love it!  The pictures begin to the left of coming in the door and go clockwise. 


My Pintrist inspired picture display frames of sorts.
I resurrected an old print of the mouttains of  Canmore that we'd had framed, years ago, in barn board.  It fits in perfectly!







  











This quilted beadspread was my Oma's. It was handmade by a friend of hers and adorned her bed for years. The stitching is a soft orange which helps tie in the oak furniture and my reason for orange accents. 

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Being "Naughty" and Other Things!

All my good blogging intentions failed me again.  Why oh why does time have to go so dang fast?

Sierra turned seven - SEVEN! - on the 9th.  Talking about time racing by....
Every year and every stage just gets more fun with her.  She is such an all or nothing kinda gal and man does she love to party!  Just like her Mom.  And her Opa (who she never got to meet!)  

Between Sierra's birthday parties,(Yes, parties) working two Saturdays in a row, helping plan my work's grand opening event, the yearly battle of the weeds commencing along with the all the other yard work that's included in an enormous yard and Sierra's soccer and my childcare for Sawyer going away for three weeks (the nerve, I know!) and life I feel like I'm barely getting enough air.  I can't remember the last time I cooked a really nice meal that required more than four ingredients and twenty minutes.  Not that there's anything wrong with that but it never lends well for leftovers for lunches and the past two days I ate cottage cheese and watermelon for lunch.  

Speaking of cottage cheese, awhile back I went on a high protein 'diet' of sorts.  Yeah, that didn't last.  Not realistic or feasible for me to keep up.  I have increased my overall protein intake but 35%?  Nope.  
I've actually been feeling like my enthusiasm and motivation for being healthy and exercise is waning.   The scale hasn't moved in months and I'm not as excited anymore.  I dutifully continue to work out and mostly eat well but the zip is gone.  I certainly haven't gained weight which is good but things feel....stale and stuck.
This week I've been getting up at six and doing my workouts first thing which I actually love.  Aside from the droopy eye feeling the rest of the day it's great knowing that it's over with.   Sawyer had me watch Toy Story 2 for the billionth time with him this afternoon and I actually dozed off a bit.  I'll get used it, I know.  It would probably help if I went to bed earlier but that would take away from my Trevor time.

" Naughty Nautical" by Essie.  What a great, fun colour.  It is a shimmery (yes the glitter shows up!!)  greenish-teal of sorts that goes on nice and stays nice.    I love it and highly recommend it.  I paired it with Turks and Caicos (Essie) and a pale lemon polish from Mary Kay.
 



 (All the colours are more vibrant and a bit lighter in real life but I'm a crappy photographer.)
A friend recently asked if Essie is worth the cost.  I'm not 100% sure to be honest.  I'd like to say yes but I actually have no comparisons.  I picked it, liked and stuck with it.  The key to my loyalty could be the base coast and top coat.  Their Good-to-go top coat is awesome!  It dries in five minutes and within a half hour I'm okay to continue life without having to worry about smearing nail polish on everything I touch.  Yes, I'm still careful but not extremely so.  I recently painted my nails Essie Mademoiselle, a sheer pink, without base coat but with top coat.  It peeled in two days a way I've not had in a long time.  I used that colour when we went to Mexico (with multiple top coats) and it nearly lasted the week so it's not the colour.  I deducted that the base coast is key along with the top coat .  I plan on trying Essie base and top coat with a different brand polish (gasp, I know) just to try my theory.  
I'll keep you posted. 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Jamaican Me Crazy!

Just over a year ago I discovered Essie brand nail polish and instantly fell in love.  What began with two colours has grown into a substantial collection.  My nails are rarely bare these days.
Why Essie?  It was all over Pintrist and so I just decided to try it one day.  The colour went on nice and their Go To Go top coat is the best ever.   Unless I do dishes or wash floors or do harsher-on-hands work it can last up to four days quite nicely.   However I often get bored after two or three days and change it up whether my nails need it or not.  To keep it simple I decided to stick with Essie, otherwise I'd just confuse myself with too many choices.

There are many nail polish obsessed based blogs (www.essieenvy.com is one) out there and I actually read them (nerdy, I know) before I consider buying a new colour.  At $8 a bottle Essie ain't cheap.  I'm not into analyzing the formula and comparing colours and all that, I'll leave that for the other blogs.  I'll likely just post a picture with a brief opinion and be done.



This colour here is called 'Jamaican Me Crazy'.  You can see a bright orange sale tag peaking out and that means I got this one for $5.  It's a great, rich, deep, pink that went on nice and easy.  It's a little too purple toned to match all my pink clothes which just means that I need to add to my collection!

Matchy Matchy

Two weeks ago I finally took some time for myself and went shopping with my mom.  With my recent weight loss and body changes many of my summer clothes no longer fit properly.  Not to mention the fact that most of my capri's and shorts were four to six years old.  I didn't go too crazy but managed to spruce up my summer attire.  I focused on pink and navy.  I even bought two pairs of new shoes and one of them is pink!

Naturalizer Bromstad Ursela Shoe
Yup.  These ones right here (by Naturalizer).   I love them.  But I love cute shoes.  I just can't afford too many because I also love good quality shoes.

Of course, as only I would, looking at my pink shoes, and new pink clothes, I say to my mom, "Now I have to get some pink glasses to match!"

I did just that!







(Glacee brand, by Alternative Eyewear, yes I got a deal, as always!)

I am also on the hunt for some really nice pink, Essie brand, nail polish. 

  I love to having matching outfits from my shoes, to my jewellery, to my glasses, to my nails. (more posts on my nail and glasses obsessions hopefully to follow)
It's fun and I feel good.




Sunday, 4 May 2014

Focus

(as written on a church bulletin)
I failed epically this morning.  
I felt completely unworthy to be a mom.  As hot, silent tears burned the corners of my eyes I kicked my bathroom cupboard several times during a very brief tantrum of frustrationI then took a deep breath and kept going.  What else could I do?

You see, Sierra and I battled.  Again.  I kept calm at first, attempted to work with her, but finally I lost it.

Again.

This is happening often lately.

Definitely not proud moments.

We made up; through our tears Sierra and I affirmed our love for each other. 
We managed to get ourselves into the vehicle, myself and the kids that is, and off to church.  Late by now, but we made it there anyway.  

As I sit here in church, unable to concentrate, I realize that is is not really Sierra that I am battling, it is Satan.  I don't believe Satan is battling through her but rather using her six-year-old antics to try and get to me.  He almost scored a small victory this morning because I was one outburst from the kids away from not attending church.  (Trevor was in the choir and had to go early)  Satan is constantly trying everything and anything to try and "get me".  Right now it is battling with my daughter. 

I pulled my thoughts out of myself and began to listen to the sermon.  Hmmmm.  How fitting, it is about keeping our eyes on Jesus.  Why? Jesus is the apostle, the high priest, my only unchanging anchor in an ever changing, fast paced world.  Jesus is my confidence and my hope and my reason for everything.  "Focus on Him!" says our pastor.  "Leave all you baggage in you vehicle or at home, you are in church now, focus on Jesus, and the rest will become insignificant."  
Okay!

(later)
I left church refreshed.  
We drove home.  
Sierra and I battled.  Again.
I almost cried.  Again.
I am doing my best at focusing on Jesus.  Again.
Failing.  Again.
I am only human, saved by the grace of Christ.  I am just like the next person and struggle just like the next person.
I am struggling. 
I have had enough.
So much for "the rest becoming insignificant"!
But I can't give up.  I must stand my ground as a parent and attempt to teach my child life.  I must do it with grace and patience.  
I must do it with my focus on Christ.
How????

I ended there and decided to head back upstairs before Sierra and Sawyer decided to argue or something.  I was a third of the way up the stairs when it hit me.

(Think Mr. Gru - "Liiiight bulb!")

Having always had a keen awareness of the spirit world, good and evil, I realized that I needed to renounce Satan's presence in my house.  I needed to reclaim the cleansing, powerful blood that I already own because of Jesus Christ crucifixion.  I needed to deny Satan any power he thinks he has.  I did just that.  I then I asked God to send his angels to protect our house and what followed was....

...PEACE.  


Friday, 2 May 2014

March to May?

Gosh! Where has the last month gone?  I blinked and April disappeared and here we are into May.  Wasn't it just March?  
The funny thing is, I don't know what we've been doing!  Nothing exceptional is happening in our lives that's for sure.  Just. Life.
Let's see.....

We almost bought a new vehicle and then decided not too because, you know, not quite enough money was in the ole bank account.  Yet.  We will revisit the purchase idea in fall.
Spring/summer has teased us for about four days this year so far.  Snow is expected on Saturday.  Yesterday was 23 and I got a tan.  Seriously!  This morning 8 degrees and raining. Enough of the single digit weather already!

As for my job, I was struggling with the return of two people after maternity leave.   We made through a year without them and had our groove going; they messed with it!  It just hit me that in the last couple of weeks I think if all feels normal and okay again.  The two returnees being there feel like they never left.  And I like them and they are good to work with again. My job is not threatened nor is the role I play within it.  It's good.  
Sierra is frustrating me to my max these days with two major things: the clothes she wears and when to take the bus to school.  I have always let her wear basically what she wants and often the ''matching'' component was/is lacking.  Finally, as it happens with kids, she wore holes in the knees of her two favourite pants.  I drew the line at shabbiness.  Well, you'd think I'd stolen her comes-everywhere bunny stuffy sidekick!  There has been no end to the battle of what she wears since then.  The dumb part is that she has three - THREE!!!- brand new pairs of perfectly good jeans in her drawer that she refuses to wear because they are "not comfy".  Umm, she had to put them on for more than a millisecond first. So I ordered some capri-length leggings from Old Navy and they came yesterday.  Sierra tried them on for me this morning and declared them all right and promptly cut all the tags off.  Then she put one pair back on and all of a sudden they were too loose when she bent over.  I nearly lost it!  I finally told her she had to wear them and after bantering back and forth I won.  She wore them to school this morning.  After many attempts to negotiate and make deals and come to an agreement regarding her clothes I may end up just putting my foot down and playing 'Mom'.   The same goes for her taking the the bus.  She simply doesn't like it and that will no longer be acceptable.
Parenting is hard.
And she's only six.  I can't wait for the teenage years.

As for me?  I continue to work out diligently and can tell that my body has changed.  The scale is stuck but I also know that muscle weighs more than fat and I like that my clothes fit better.  My belly is noticeably less flabby and my hips narrower.   My trainer, although admittedly not a dietitian, calculated a high protein diet of sorts for me a couple of weeks ago to try.  It contains 35% protein and I can't find the email or remember the split for carbs and fat.  But 35% protein!  For the first week and a half after I saw that in his email I tried a little and then thought, "impossible"No, it's actually not.  I'm through four days of succeeding in that.  I researched sources of high protein and managed to insert that into my diet.  It means minimal carbs, especially in bread or noodle or potato form, mostly in vegetables and fruit.  It's interesting.  It's difficult.  Yet after the first three days I feel pretty good.  I think I have more energy and while I don't know that I feel full I'm not hungry.  I'm pretty sure this will not be a long term diet, I want to aim for doing for four weeks and at that only five of the seven days in a week.   We'll see.  I'm not really pro-dieting or limiting myself too much, I've always said.  I still had my Thursday night pizza with wine last night and worked it into the 35% protein allotment for the day (I was a bit low by the end of the day, 33%.  Tonight Trevor and I are going on a date and I'll keep my protein as high as a can throughout the day and then enjoy the evening and not fret if I'm under 35. 

I feel like my brain has lots of words but I won't exhaust you all in one post. I hope May doesn't fly by like April did. 

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Six Months of Sweat

On Thursday last week as my trainer was doing his darnedest at making sure that walking would be difficult the next day I realized how far I've come.  
During the previous three weeks my workouts included running on the treadmill at 6.0 mph at 4.5% incline for 3 minutes stretches.  This week I ran for thirty minutes straight at 6.0mph and every fifth minute sprinted at 6.6mph.  Six months ago 6.0mph was my top out!  I know my trainer has increased the difficultly of my program gradually from session to session but I'm still impressed and what my body can now do.  Despite the added challenge, the sessions are almost easier, in a weird way.   
(don't let him know I used the word easy in conjunction with his workouts!)

I say easier because, to me, my body is stronger and noticeably more fit so it can actually do what it couldn't before. Lost weight and toned physique aside, I totally love how I feel. Exercise is addicting.  Physically and mentally. Back in January when I was convinced that my body could not break 130 unless I dieted hard core, I was okay with that.
 Honestly
. I'm totally psyched with my new scale weight - who wouldn't be? - but because I love how I feel I would - and do -exercise anyway. 

Also, as I keep at it, I realize how much freaking work this is!  Work seems like such a simple word for something so complex.
 I feel like I get why most people don't/can't exercise like I do.
 Time, motivation, self-control, and energy...the list goes on and all are legitimate.

Fortunately everything has aligned in my life to allow me to do this:
 -  My personality is such that I am very self motivated. I think this is the key factor for me. I've always been able to exercise at home.  After having babies I worked out during naps or (especially now) force(d) my kids to bear with me.   I try to save their TV time for my exercise time. Their personalities have been such that I could/can do that.  
- As for time in general - Trevor and I slowed down our schedules this past. fall which helps, but some nights I don't work out until 8:30PM.  I detest exercising that late but that motivation thing pushes me so that I do. Grumbling and swearing some nights mind you!  
- Motivation and a good dose of stubbornness enable me to get through low energy times, these often are the 8:30 workouts after a full day of work.
- I am lucky, too, that my body can be put through the paces.  I don't have a bad back or knees or anything physically preventing me from being active. 
  - Self control with food is the hardest for me. I love food and hate being hungry.  I have discovered some foods that are filling and not calorie laden.  Most mornings, I plan my whole day of eating at breakfast.  I allow for wine, birthday cake, and evenings of chips or appies with friends.  I also allow myself a full on, guilt-free cheat day/evening once a week if the occasion is there, which it usually is.

Our Mexico vacation was really good to let my mind and body relax.  I ate and drank what I wanted for the most part.  I managed two runs at the gym, not out of guilt but because I wanted to.
Unfortunately, it only took that measly week two gain back two pounds.  Crazy.  So quick and easy to partly undo what was long and difficult to achieve!  But it was good, in a way, to experience how quickly it can all go to heck.  Now my being lax was lax to the extreme and the circumstance 'fed' it but I will now be more mindful with future holidays.  

I'm happy to say I am pretty much back at my pre-Mexico condition.  I've signed on for another five sessions with my trainer and we'll see how things "go"!