New year... Motivation

Tomorrow is a new year. That means more hard work, more killer workouts, and new classes to try. For my last 2 weeks in E- town, I have 5 personal training sessions with our trainer. I may also pick up a new shirt from lululemon:

Versatile? Yes! Cute? Yes! Practical? Of course! I think I may. Just need to make this as my last Edmonton purchase! B won't mind.



This past week has been very busy! We had lots of family time, yummy meals, games, and gifts. I am slowly figuring out my iPad and all the apps that will help me blog! Here some recent photos and my learning about my iPad:
baking: lemon bunt cake, Saskatoon berry crisp, muffins, & cookies

drinks: beer for B, chai lattes, strawberry lemonade, & wine

bowling: my family goes bowling on boxing day every year, I did great on my first game, not so much on the second one!

See you next week!


The orange boot

If you have ever been to Regina, you may have heard of a little bakery on the south side called The Orange Boot. What a find! When we go there we like to get seedy bread, cookies, muffins, and Saskatchewan sourdough. 

Everyday of the week they have different breads, buns, muffins, and cookies. On our most recent trip we purchased 3 loaves of bread, Christmas twist bread, cheese buns, Saskatoon berry muffins, 3 chocolate chip cookies, 3 oatmeal raisin cookies, and 5 sugar cookies. Don't worry... it was all shared with 13 people over the holidays!

I'd love to try the pumpkin muffins on Wednesdays and wild rice multigrain bread on Thursdays.


A special cake

A very special person in my life had a big birthday this week! For the occasion, B and I made our first home made cake!
We made a glazed lemon bunt cake. We had all the ingredients and the right pan. What more could I ask for?

Here's how to make it:
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • GLAZE:
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir in lemon peel. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; invert onto a wire rack. Cool 10 minutes longer. Place rack on waxed paper. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over the warm cake. Cool completely before serving.

The cake turned out amazing.  It was very suiting for the birthday girl. While eating our cake we said 80 things we love about her. I can't wait till the next big occasion to bake another cake with B!


Merry Christmas to us!

We got an iPad for Christmas. I am trying to figure out how to use the blogger app. Don't mind the excessive amount of random posts today while I figure this out!


Christmas motivation

Merry Christmas Eve!


Between meals and events I plan to get outside for a workout. Bundle up and go for a walk, its really that simple. I love fresh air and my waistline will appreciate it tomorrow.



Its the end of another week!
This week we have been very busy, packing, moving, eating out for every meal as we had no food left, and traveling!

1. My parents Christmas tree that I finished decorating when we arrived! 2. My chai latte from Transcend Coffee. So delicious. 3. As well as their pao de queilo (cheese buns). 4. And Strawberry lemonade from Red Robin.

Here are some of my fave Christmas ornaments! 5. My mom's angel pig. 6. A pic of my brother and I when we were small (I was 6.5 months). 7. My first ever Christmas ornament. 8. My high school graduation ornament. Its so  nice to have ornaments that mean something that you can look back on every year. I can't wait till B and I have a tree to do this!

See you next week!


Work it Wednesday: black tights!

I have a new found love for Wednesdays thanks to Jill from Good Life for Less. I love getting new ideas on how to mix and match items that I already have on my closet. This has also created less of a need to shop!

I have been loving the look of black tights. I recently found a pair of black jersey tights by Calvin Klein on sale at The Bay. They are soooo comfortable. I use to hate tights but these have made me change my mind.  Okay, I should not lie. I also bought them in blue and olive as they were so comfortable and on sale. Now I need to find a way to wear the colored tights.


Sigh of relief

Yesterday was nuts. Everything (minus my clothes and toiletries... its a long story that includes 2 large suitcases, a duffel bag, a small suitcase, and a large box all filled with my clothes) is on its way to Louisiana in the moving truck. I had to work all day and teach Pilates all night so some very wonderful friends helped B move everything into the truck. Also, I can finally say this:

Heck yes! The condo officially sold as of 9pm last night. I am sad to be leaving our home. Its the first place I ever lived alone and the first place B and I called home together. It was a wonderful home that I will miss. There are so many memories that have been created here in the past few years. Our first dinner... a crazy Christmas dinner with 18 adults, 4 kids, and a chocolate lab... our everyday routine. Oh and who could forget wedding planning... yummy dinners (and brunch of course)... and B passing his doctorate.
Thank you Edmonton, you have served us well. We shall see you again soon... on vacation... but only in the summer! 

Or for those of you who know about all the other chaos in my life... I will see Edmonton after Christmas... but only for 2 weeks, I hope! Some days I feel it would be most appropriate to write a book on immigrating to the USA, what to be prepared for, and what we have learned along the way. Unfortunately everyone's journey is so different that I would not want to mislead anyone. But seriously, they need a how to guide for this!


Its d-day

Currently feeling like this. Slightly exhausted. May need to write a novel based on my past week. 
See you tomorrow.


Moving motivation

All of my arm workouts I have done have really helped with moving boxes down a flight of stairs. Carrying boxes will be my workout this weekend. Speaking of workouts... Jamie Eiason (R) is my current motivator. I have been doing her workouts as often as possible to change up my routine. If you are looking for a change at this gym I highly recommend trying her 12 week transformation. I love the structure and the accompanying meal plan.



Its been a crazy week! Here's why:

1. We have been busy packing. Hence the lack of  photos. We have been getting rid of lots of things we don't need as well. 2. I love the brick walls at Sugarbowl. I want a house with a brick interior someday! The plant is pretty cute too! 3. We ate at the Sicilian Pasta Kitchen this week. B has always wanted to go there so we finally went. And we have no food left! The service was amazing, the atmosphere inviting, and the food delicious. 4. I had a calzone with a Mediterranean salad.The calzone will last me 3 meals, it was huge!

5. I got sent a Christmas gift from the co-chairs of the executive I am part of. They got everyone a chocolate bar that represents them. I got smarties! Thanks ladies. Your kind words are greatly appreciated. What a nice gift to receive. Its always nice to know someone thinks you are smart. 6. I got my hair colored this week! Darker than usual but I like it. 7. no food left = sushi for lunch. Thank goodness I have a Sobeys in my office building. 8. I hope to see this hanging on the outside of my condo soon!

I hope to see you next week! We will be with my family for Christmas so my blogging schedule may be off.



Oh how people change. 

The other night B made the above salad for dinner. We had feta stuffed chicken on top and it was served with yogurt herb dressing. It was delish. Of course the chicken came out of the almost empty freezer... one of the many food items we needed to eat before the big move. 

I found this meal to be very ironic. 3 years ago when B and I first met, he would never BBQ after American Thanksgiving. He always said it was too cold to use the BBQ or be outside. When I was arriving home from hot yoga, he was outside BBQing the chicken in shorts! Yes, we are having an abnormally warm December thus far, but he was still outside in shorts. Slowly my crazy Canadian tendencies have rubbed off on B and he now uses warm days as a reason to BBQ any time of year! He used to call it being a "crazy canucklehead" but now he has become one of us! Just in time to move south.

Dinner was completed with a cup of cinnamon hot chocolate (yup, trying to use up a ton of hot chocolate so we have a cup every night!), Glee's Christmas episode, and some knitting. It was perfect.

On an interesting note, my yoga instructor left us with a quote: "If you have poison in your mouth, spit it out. Don't let it fester in your body." This is not literal poison she was speaking of, but poisonous words and thoughts. Be mindful of negative self-talk or putting down others. Take a moment to think of 5 positive things about yourself.


The Sugarbowl

This past Sunday, we went for breakfast at Sugarbowl. I had a gift certificate I was given by Defining Eve we needed to spend before the move. We got there bright and early, it was about half full when we arrived but the tables filled up quickly.

They have old earl grey tea at Sugarbowl. By old, I mean the old version from Tazo. This is hard to come but amazing. It is so much better than the new tazo teas at Starbucks. Just ask E about her thoughts on this topic!

I had the Sugarbowl Benny for breakfast. It comes on corn bread and the sauce is bechamel. What a great variation on a classic. I also love the potatoes and homemade ketchup. I could eat this everyday... too bad it is not healthier!

B ordered a cinnamon bun to supplement his breakfast sandwich.One word = todiefor. Okay that is three words typed together. I love their buns! They get my vote for best in Edmonton.

Thanks for an amazing date B. I hope there is a Sugarbowl in Baton Rouge!


House dreams

With our upcoming move, and lack of furniture we are bringing along, I have been spending copious amounts of time on Pinterest looking at home decor. We are renting so we cannot really change anything in the house and we want to buy versatile furniture that will be usable when we move again. Here are some of my most recent finds:

1. We are moving somewhere with no snow and lots of rain... that means curly hair and somewhere to put my umbrella. This owl is way too cute! 2. This art is great for adding interest to a long hallway. It could be done simply by framing wallpaper or wrapping wallpaper over a gallery canvas. 3. We are receiving a large old wood table from the owner of the house. It is beautiful but needs some TLC. I plan to refinish it then buy some beautiful chairs for the dining room. 4. I love this sideboard. I think it would be a great place to store my Sophie dishes at the new house. I plan to use my cupboards as a pantry since there is not a lot of space for food storage then display my beautiful dishes!

Oh Pinterest, such a great waster of time, but the best inspiration I have ever found!


Packing weekend

I do not have much to report from the weekend. We spent our time packing. We have almost packed everything we own. I also sold my sofa and snowboard! I would call it a productive weekend. We are still trying to use up the last bits of food, hence we made:

 hamburgers with a sunny side up egg on top

saskatoon berry crisp with mango sorbet

It is still abnormally warm here so we have were able to BBQ all weekend! Thank goodness as burgers just do not taste the same made inside.

Food for thought this week: How important is everything you own? Could you do without 75% of what you own right now? I am a huge fan of simplicity and I hate clutter. I am glad we have sold so much with the upcoming move. We have also donated quite a bit to Goodwill and clothing donation bins. Now we just need to try not to accumulate so much stuff in the future.


Spend your weekend wisely

Take a moment to reflect on how you spend your weekends. Remember weekends are 3/7 of your life!

Don't waste your weekends. An hour per day working out is the best thing you can do for your health, especially during the holidays. Take a class, run, or hire a trainer. I really don't care what you choose to do as long as its something. You will appreciate this choice in years to come.

This weekend is my usual: Force class, cardio, and hopefully a hot yoga class!



Welcome to my past week. It was busy, fun filled, and very productive! I am also trying a new format this week for my photos.

1. pate = amazing 2. I have been trying to use up the bananas in the freezer like a mad woman. Thank goodness B like banana muffins. These are my usual recipe but I used oat bran instead of flax as its all I had. 3. After dinner with friends last weekend we helped their boys make a gingerbread train... so much fun, especially when H tried a peppermint then called it spicy! 4. Trying to use up all the food in our house means random but delicious meals. This was a doozie.

5. Did you know they now have bottles of Mt. Boucherie reserve wine at Famoso? It was delish with our pizza...  and $25 off with the redemption of 100 wine club points. 6. I have been knitting like a manic lately. I started a cream colored cowl upon completing of the purple scarf for my colleague. 7. And it was done 2 days later. Here is the pattern. 8. I am usually not a fan of caesar salad but the one at Famoso is amazing... and great for sharing. Good choice boys.

9. I saw these cookies on my friend Hailey's blog. They looked simple. Not so much, but maybe I just added too many dry ingredients. A wise baker once told me to measure accurately! They still turned out delicious but they are not as nice to look at. Go check out her blog for some great baking recipes! 10. Still using up more bananas and making more muffins. This time I added blackberries on top for something different. I do not think we will ever gets sick of these muffins. On the other hand, we only have 3 frozen bananas left so I will only be making one more batch in Canada. 11. How is your Christmas decorating coming long? My only decor has been red and green M&Ms. Moving at this time of year really throws you for a loop! 12. Oh and I also had Canadian maple gelato at Famoso. It tastes like the donut at Timmys.

See you next week!


Inspired by

Today I am inspired by other bloggers. I love looking at fashion blogs, I feel it helps me dress better and be more creative with what is already in  my closet. This has meant less shopping & more saving... which equals a happy husband! He is so proud of my thriftyness these days.

Back to the task at hand. I am loving the sweater over a gingham shirt look. I thinks is a modern twist on a classic look that I could really pull off. I have a fitted gingham shirt and crew neck sweaters already... and who needs pants? Kidding. Depending on the day of the week I could definitely switch between black pants, cords, or jeans!

See you soon. I'll be the girl in a sweater over a gingham shirt... with pants.

Like this:


Buttoned Scarf

I have been busy making some last minute Christmas gifts. I know people always love handmade originals and I have lots of yarn that I need to use up. Less yarn = less to move! A colleague of mine loves purple so I thought I would make her a purple scarf. I also wanted to make a versatile scarf that could be worn multiple ways.

bulky yarn of your choice
size 19 US bamboo needles
darning needle or crochet hook
1 large button & 1 large toggle

Row 1 - k2p2* repeat until end
Row 2 - p2k2* repeat until end
Row 3 - p2k2* repeat until end
Row 4 - k2p2* repeat until end

CO 26 stitches (using long tailed CO method)
follow pattern until desired length (I went through 1.25 balls of yarn)
bind off
tuck in ends
feed some leftover yarn through button holes (I doubled the yarn), tie basic macrame knots until approx 1.5" long, connect to toggle and tie off

By attaching the button to a toggle, it is never permanently fixed anywhere on the scarf. This adds versatility and interest as you could also use the toggle on the outside. I learned this little trick from a crafter at a Handmade Mafia (sorry, I can't remember who it was). I love this trick and think I will be incorporating it into projects more often.

Sorry for the bad lighting on the photos. I guess I should learn to check my photo quality before wrapping gifts.

Notice: this is a free pattern and it is for personal use only. you are not permitted to sell the pattern or anything resulting from the pattern.


A dilema

I have a dilema. My jeans are too big. Not that I am complaining or anything that they are too big... but I do need jeans that fit. Here are some thoughts on new jeans:

I wonder if my skinny jeans will fit. I may have to go into the bag they are packed into the find them and resurrect them! I'll let you know how that goes.


A delicious weekend

This past weekend we made some amazing food. One of which being bison lasagna:
I would love to share the recipe with you but unfortunately I do not have a recipe. It was layers of noodles, homemade tomato sauce, ground bison, and mozzarella cheese. Really, we like to work without recipes most days, sorry! Does this make me a terrible blogger? The inspiration for this meal was emptying the freezer and pantry... we had everything we needed except cheese so it was very simple to make.

We also enjoyed our lasagna with a bottle of 2007 Old Vines Foch from Quail's Gate. It was a rich and delicious combination.
Have you ever tried wine from Quail's Gate? I highly recommend it. They are one of my favorite wine producers... and of course they are from my favorite region, the Okanagan!

Others things accomplished this weekend:
all Christmas gifts purchased and wrapped
2 killer workouts
completed 2 knitting projects
donated some old items to Goodwill that will not be making the move
& dinner with friends


Motivation as compared to...

I loved this quote. Whenever I an not feeling motivated to workout I just go on the Fitness boards on Pinterest. My motivations suddenly reappears. This weekend? Force class, cardio, and 1 TBD strength workout! You will never regret a workout. With Christmas around the corner, now is the time to stay focused. Take advantage of the quiet gym as it will be nuts in January with new years resolutions.



I love InstaFriday! Its a great way to talk about my week without writing long blog posts... especially when we have been so busy lately.

I love popcorn on Sunday evenings. We make ours in the whirley pop... so much better than microwave. 

Along with moving comes selling lots of furniture. We sold our bed frame earlier this week. My feng shui in the bedroom was off. I barely slept the first night. I am back to normal now. It is kind of weird sleeping on the floor but it is only for a few weeks.

Birthday flowers I received from a colleague in March. Just call me Mrs. Green Thumb as it is still growing flowers! I love the crisp white of this one. I am so ready for year round gardening in Baton Rouge.

I have been so busy lately I have not even perused through the latest j Crew catalog. Must get to this soon...

Had the feature salad from The Greenhouse this week. Delish! I cannot remember exactly what was in it (spinach, onion, mushroom, shrimp, cheese and an amazing dressing). Have you even been?

I have been working on a scarf for a colleague this past week. I hope to finish it this weekend. I am loving the pattern and color.  Also, I just read on Only Here for the Food that there is a fabric store downtown called Sig Plach Couturier & Fabrics. I hope to go there this weekend to find buttons for my creation.

Had to run to SB this morning. All Christmas blend coffees are on sale, today only! The 12 days of holiday gift giving are here!

We are having dinner with friends tonight. I am bringing a blueberry saskatoon crisp. I have a ton of frozen berries we need to eat before we move! Anyone have any other ideas of things I could make with berries?

Have a great weekend! Enjoy the abnormally warm weather if  you are in my neck of the woods.

P.S. I take all my photos using the instagram ap on the iPhone 4S.
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