The Breakfast Cookie

Good morning!

Last night I decided to be organized and make breakfast for today. I made a breakfast cookie thanks to The Fitnessista's recipe that I found on her blog. You should check out the link for the breakfast cookie, it is delicious, easy to make, and very filling! And if you are a bad cook, there is even a video tutorial!
Doesn't it look delicious? The Sophie Conran plates make it look and taste even better!

The recipe:

In a small bowl, add 1/3 cup oats, 1 tbs nut butter of choice and 1/2 scoop protein powder. Stir to combine and use the spoon to break up the nut butter until you have a nice crumbly mixture. Add 1/8 cup milk of your choice and mix until fully moistened. Now the fun part- pick the mix-ins! You can get creative with this one –  banana, raisins, pumpkin, chocolate chips, ground espresso beans… add anything you like. Stir in your mix-ins of choice and season. Plop the mixture onto an appetizer-sized plate and with the back of your spoon, flatten it into a round shape with equal thickness throughout.Put the cookie in the fridge overnight. It will harden slightly from the nut butter and the oats will soften from the milk.Next morning, grab a spoon and enjoy.

Today I added coconut, flax and cinnamon in mine! B had cinnamon, flax, cloves, and cocoa.

Guess what we are having again tomorrow for breakfast! Some of the ingredients we want to try include banana, chocolate chips and pumpkin!

Happy long weekend!



Leaf cup

On our recent trip to Reims, the hotel continental breakfast had a brand of tea I had never seen before: Leaf Cup by Ronnefeldt. In my typical style, I took a few extra tea bags so I could look up more about this brand when I got home. The features of this tea include:
● Individually wrapped in film packaging – keeps the flavour in.
● A large filter made of natural fibres – allows the flavour to develop fully.
● Instructions on how to make the tea on the packet in 8 languages.
● Explanatory pictograms on the film packaging.
● Straightforward to use – simply hook the label to the cup handle.

The tea was delicious! Actually I am drinking a cup of organic fruity white tea right now!
The best part about it... the label hooks on your handle for easy tea bag removal! I wonder if this idea will catch on  anywhere else. Maybe I can find this brand in Canada!



So recently, I’ve seen quite a few ABC posts on various blogs. I thought it would be fun to do today, so here we go :)
A. Age: 26
B. Bed size: king
C. Chore you dislike: washing the floor
D. Dogs: Brodie I, Brodie II, Jocko... none currently
E. Essential start to your day: a morning hug and a protein shake
F. Favorite color: blue, purple, green
G. Gold or silver:  silver
H. Height:  5’6
I. Instruments you play(ed):  piano, clarinet, and voice
J. Job title: stroke service coordinator, occupational therapist, pilates instructor
K. Kids: none... give us 4 more years please!
L. Live: in Edmonton, AB... currently
M. Mom’s name:  Heather
N. Nicknames:  Chels, miss Maria
O. Overnight hospital stays:  tonsil removal
P. Pet peeves: people who do not listen, bad drivers, inconsiderate people
Q. Quote from a movie: Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't. - Legally Blonde
R. Righty or lefty:  righty tighty.
S. Siblings:  Kenton
T. Time you wake up: 6:30am... I should try to get up earlier so we can go to the gym in the morning
U. Underwear: yes
V. Vegetables you dont’ like:  parsnips and turnips
W. What makes you run late: needing to stop at Starbucks
X. X-rays you’ve had:  left arm, left thumb
Y. Yummy food you make: hummus, banana muffins, banana bread, homemade pizza, scones, cheese plates, soups
Z. Zoo animal favorites: giraffes


The last mango in Paris

Last week was a busy week for us. We spent the week in France, Reims and Paris to be exact. We were go for one week so with all of the travel time we had about 2.5 days at each location. It did rain a few times but that did not damper our holiday. I did surprisingly well on transitioning my sleep schedule with the 8 hour time difference.

Food... we ate tons of good food and of course drank lots of amazing wine. I can honestly say I did not stress too much over what I ate and did not workout once. The lack of workouts was because we stayed at tiny boutique hotels without fitness facilities and did not want to run in the rain. Oh a good note, I walked for about 8 hours a day so that was my workout.

Things I did in Reims:
wandered the downtown area and looked at all the shops
went to Lafayette Galleries
went to the Notre Dame in Reims
bought random food related Christmas presents for fanily
ate at some amazing restaurants... to be posted later
went to the crypts
got caught up on everything BBC since it was the only English station on the TV... want a summary of the NOTW cell phone hacking scandal? 

Things I did in Paris:
went to the Notre Dame
shopped till we dropped everywhere! we did not buy very much, I promise
went to the Eiffel Towel... but did not go up as the lines were too long
toured the Opera House... by the way... we would like to have our one year wedding anniversary here:
went to the top of the Arc de Triomphe
wandered Ile Saint Louis and Ile de la Cite
ate at some wonderful places... I will some posts on this soon too!
walked around Jardin du Luxembourg
shopped at Prentemps... which we much preferred to Lafayette Galleries
found The Conran Shop... which was actually quite disappointing due to the last of Sophie dishes

We saw a long list of things during our time in France but know we missed quite a bit...  for example: every museum. I cannot wait to go back again to see even more! Once I am caught up with everything else in life, I will post more about our trip!


Rain, rain go away

I think it has rained the entire month of July where I live. I am about ready to invest in some rubber boots so I do not ruin all of my shoes. Not any rubber boots... Hunter boots!

Luckily, this week on Rose a la Mode, she is giving away some Hunter boots! Maybe I will win some so I do not need to go buy my own. Go check out the contest and stay dry!


Star Spangled Pops

Of course, when spending the 4th of July weekend in the USA, I  must take in some sort of patriotic event. I  convinced B that we should go to Star Spangled Pops put on by the San Diego Symphony with performances by two American Idol contestants. Last summer, when we spent time in San Diego, we saw the outdoor concert theater along the water when on a harbor cruise and talked about how fun it would be to attend an event there. It was also right behind our hotel so that was a bonus. I picked up grandstand tickets the day prior to the show for $20/person and we were ready to go! Unfortunately it is a no camera event so I had to take photos with the iPod so the quality is not as good.

The night started out warm and sunny with the sun going down behind the venue.  It was packed as you can see.

We picked up some food at their concession that was catered by Wolfgang Puck's company and took our seats. We each had a glass of wine, shared a salmon sandwich (devowered before a photo could be taken), then shared a cheese plate during the intermission.

We loved the show and would definiftely go back again and recommend others go too!

Oh and of course, in keeping suit with the 4th of July weekend, the last song of the show was accompanied by fireworks!


Mona Lisa

After a killer pilates class at The Pilates Room with Liz, the other class attendees recommended I go to Mona Lisa in Little Italy for lunch. It was only 2 blocks for the studio which worked out perfectly. I arrived just after the lunch rush so there was no line. The staff were very helpful and checked for me if there was a fresh pizza available. They were able to sell me a piece of vegetarian pizza fresh from the oven with salad and a drink for $7!

What a great piece of pizza! I ate it outside while people watching (a fave activity) then went back to the hotel to sit by the pool!


Cafe Chloe

Prior to any vacation, I  always go to the local library and check out some travel books. Prior to our trip to San Diego, I pick up Fodor's San Diego to do some research on places I would like to shop and eat... always the necessities on any trip where B is working. One of the places I read about was Cafe Chloe. It was about a 20 minute walk from our hotel, but definitely worth the distance and the exercise. When I arrived I was greeted by a quaint patio and very helpful staff (who later gave me instructions on how to use the San Diego trolley and how to get to Fashion Valley).

The first day I went for breakfast and had the poached eggs with mushrooms and brioche. It also included a side of field greens and asparagus. It was amazing! It was accompanied by water and a glass of iced coffee. What a prefect breakfast for a beautiful California morning and to prepare me for shopping all day.

The next few days I could not stop thinking about Cafe Chloe and the rest of their menu. I loved it so much that I knew I had to go back again.

On my second trip, for dinner this time, I had their soup of the day and a mushroom & bleu d'auvergne tart. What an amazing meal! The tart was perfectly creamy with the rich flavor of blue cheese. I paired it with a glass of California red wine.

Cafe Chloe also has free wireless internet so I was able to email photos of the food I was eating to my fellow foodies at home! To complete the evening, a woman and her very well behaved dog sat down on the patio... so of course I had to take a photo of him with his patriotic scarf!

Next time you are in San Diego, make sure you stop at Cafe Chloe or just check out their menus on their website!


Those French women really know how to wear a scarf

In Paris, I hope to mind many beautiful silk scarves. Along with finding those scarves, I hope to acquire the skills that Parisian women have in wearing scarves. They always make it look so effortless and chic (especially my aunt who happens to be from France)... while I spend hours trying to pick the right scarf then another hour trying to wear it properly around my neck.

I have seen some great blog posts where bloggers have used silk scarves as a belt on a dress or pants. If I can master the around the neck look, maybe I will be daring enough to go for that look.

Happy shopping!


A touch of blue

My outfits these days seem to be neutral with an accent of color. Maybe its because I am obsessed with my white trousers that I bought at Club Monaco for $9. Maybe its because I love my new black cardigan from J Crew. Maybe its because I am loving brown accessories. Who knows! Does anyone else go through trends with their clothing choices? This outfits is perfect for my freezing cold office, going to a meeting after work, or running errands on a week day. And yes, you will probably see me wearing it again.
cardigan - tank - shoes - trousers - belt 

I just happened to notice where I  got my outfit inspiration after I wearing it all day. Check out these photos on J's Everyday Fashion blog.


Deluxe dinner

We recently went to Deluxe Burger Bar in West Edmonton Mall for a quick dinner.
When looking at their a la 'cart' menu, I decided on the grilled cheese sandwich. It included tomato basil havarti, provolone, year old cheddar, and fresh tomatoes on a ciabatta bun. It was cheesey, gooey, and delicious up to the last bite! I  am a big fan of grilled cheese sandwiches and this definitely lived up to my expectations.
B decided on the chipotle BBQ chicken burger, which he also loved. The best part of our meal was the uptown poutine! To prepare us for our upcoming trip to France we decided a half order would be a great choice to share (okay, I know poutine is French Canadian, not Parisian but it was a good excuse to indulge in the extra calories). I was also impressed that the poutine is now available in half order size as it was just the right amount to share. 

Thank you Deluxe Burger Bar at WEM for for a delicious dining experience. Oh and for the free wine samples too!

Sorry for the poor quality photos, I forgot my camera at home and had to use my phone!


Change pays off

For quite a while I have been reading about Bodypump classes by many American bloggers like Peanut Butter Fingers and Sweet Tooth Sweet Life. Unfortunately, this class is not as accessible in Canada.

As you know, we recently changed gyms and I finally got to try a new class called Force. From what I can tell by reading other blogger's descriptions of Bodypump, this is exactly what I attended! Heck yes! I loved the class, the music kept me moving through class, and the instructor (Sandy) was energetic and encouraging.

Thank you to the workout gods for helping me find this class. Yes, I am obsessed with classes so I am very thankful when I find one I like. I cannot wait to attend another class in the near future. Maybe B will eventually try this class with me.



Twice on a previous trip, we were upgraded to first class with United Airlines. Yes, B has elite status and I mooch off him. We also were bumped to an earlier flight recently to make sure we made all of our connections. On our first class flight to Cabo San Lucas, we were also given a free bottle of a California Chardonnay! The flight attendant asked if we were going on our honeymoon, conveniently we were, so he gave us a bottle of wine to share at our destination compliments of the airline! Thank you United Airlines!

On my first ever first class experience (YEG to SFO), I was quite excited. I may have even taken this photo when all portable electronics were supposed to be turned off, oops!

On this early morning flight we each received a free snack box and of course I paired it with a small cranberry juice. It drives me nuts that West Jet and Air Canada do not have cranberry juice as a choice of beverage! Conveniently, I usually fly United these days. In my snack box I had bagel chips, spreadable cheese, a fruit cup, and a mini Cliff bar! It hit the spot. How did they know I LOVE soft cheese?

Lesson of the story? Collect frequent flyer miles!

P.S. By the end of the year, I should become an elite member with United Airlines because of all our travels this year! So excited!


Cross My Heart

Some of you may know, we have an exciting but quick trip coming up soon! We will be going to France, Reims and Paris to be exactly for one week.

One thing I still need to do to prepare myself for this trip is to make sure I have the appropriate purse. I would like my belongings to feel safe on the streets of Pairs while I shop and tour around. Okay, I should not lie, most of my plans include going to the Sophie Conran store, eating cheese, and drinking wine. But I can still have a nice purse while I do those things!

My usual purse usually resembles a 10lb sack that is stuffed with various items! B says it is an adventure if he needs to look in my purse for anything. I want this purse to be smaller, neutral in color (so I can use it again), and zippered on top. After doing some research, and by research I mean reading some blogs and looking at what other people have worn on their trips, I have decided that a crossbody bag in brown or beige will be my best option.

I find shopping when looking for something very specific to be difficult. My most exciting finds usually occur when I am not looking for anything specific. Tonight I will be on a hunt for my newest purse! Hopefully I am successful. Wish me luck!



I have read about Zico Coconut Water multiple times on Tone It Up. When walking through Ralph's in downtown San Diego, I saw Zico Coconut Water and knew I had to try it by the pool later that day! I decided on the mango flavor to pair with my Think Thin bar! (Did I mention I love grocery shopping in  the USA? All of my fave products are so accessible!)

At the San Diego Marriott Marquis pool, I cracked open my mango coconut water and loved it. It was very refreshing, not to sweet, and did not have pulp in it like other coconut waters I have tried previously.

I would definitely try this again. When doing research on Zico, I found out the following:

ZICO contains the five essential electrolytes that gives your body everything it needs to stay hydrated and perform at your best. One ZICO has more potassium than a banana – 15 times more than most sports drinks – to prevent cramping. Drink ZICO before or during a workout for the natural energy you need for optimal performance. After a workout, ZICO replenishes and re-hydrates you to speed recovery.

Next time you see Zico Coconut Water, give it a try then go to their website and take the pledge:

Keep it natural. If its not natural, its not going in my body.


Salad Beast

Once I started reading blogs, I found two that frequently talked about the salad beast: The Fitnessista and Sweet Tooth Sweet Life, I loved the idea of a salad beast! A salad with various ingredients that satisfies your appetite and is healthy! Yes, salads can be unhealthy depending on what you put in it. Last night B made a killer salad beast (or as he calls it, a chopped salad) with everything you could find in our fridge.
It has romaine, black beans, chow mien noodles, baby corn, tomatoes, green onions, artichokes, parmesan cheese, EVOO, and balsamic vinegar.

I loved this salad last night and again for lunch today! What's in your ideal salad beast?


Fashion Faux Pas?

Remember when it was once unheard of to think of pairing black and navy together? Not anymore! When walking through Little Italy in San Diego, I saw someone walking down the street with this pairing. It caught my attention right away because I loved the combination!

What a great outfit for traveling, grocery shopping, or heading out to a farmer's market. I cannot wait to go out and find my own silk navy tank.


On a recent trip to San Diego, I happened to stop at Target. While wandering through the store, I came across their women's activewear. I found the C9 by Champion Women's Seamless Cami Sports Bra in Honest Purple.

What a great purchase! I do not say this often, but it definitely beats Lululemon. When Target comes to Canada in 2013, go buy one!


Work It Out and an Ab Burn

Tonight at the gym, B had a consultation with a personal trainer. Since I did not feel like a Zumba class, I decided to change up my usual routine. Tonight's workout included:

5 minute warmup
5 minute jog - 5.5mpg @ 0.5%
20 minute incline walk
1 minute sprint @ 8.0
5 minute cool down

Ab Burn courtesy of The Fitnessista
50 sit ups
25 crunches
25 reverse crunches
15 bicycles/ side
30s plank
20 side hip drops

It was a killer workout that left me energized but hopefully sore tomorrow!

See the world through rose colored chinos...

For some reason, every time I go to the USA, J Crew appears to be having a sale. Do they know I am on my way? Or maybe they have a 4th of July sale every year?

A few great finds from this year's trip to San Deigo's Fashion Valley included a new black cardigan, celery colored chino shorts, a purple cardigan, and these:

What a great find! They fit perfectly, move well, and the color is great for summer evenings and a transition piece for fall!I cannot wait to find many new ways to wear them! Any ideas?

Next time you go to San Diego, I highly recommend taking the trolley to Fashion Valley for a great shopping experience.


Steeps Tea House

A few weeks ago, we went to Steeps Tea House on a chilly summer evening with friends E & T.

 I love that they have 150 different kinds of loose leaf tea. Everyone can try their own choice in a mini french press! I do not remember my choice that evening, but  I do remember it was flavorful and warm, just how I wanted it. Okay, I did have to wait for it to cool off to "princess temperature". You also get to choose your own tea cup at Steeps which can be a topic of conversation.

When asked why I choose this cup here was my answer: I like that is has a location rather than just a random pattern. I feel like it means the cup has come from somewhere rather that just placed in a collection. I like that is has trees which represent long term growth and purple flowers that appear as though they just bloomed.

Deep? Okay maybe not, but I liked my choice of cup!
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