Help. Donate.

January 15, 2010

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I work in Disaster Management for the Canadian Red Cross. As you can imagine, we have been overwhelmed with donations from the community, corporations, and government.

Think about the coffee you bought this morning, your lunch date with a friend, the change you have in your pocket. Every donation, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference to those who are suffering in Haiti.

If you haven’t done so already. Donate.

Call 1-800-418-1111, donate online at www.redcross.ca/helpnow or stop into your local Red Cross office.

Thriday….

January 9, 2010

Finally Friday….except I have to work all day tomorrow so kind of like a Thursday for me. We are offering a course through my work that falls on a Saturday from 9-5pm so I will be in class all day tomorrow. It will be good information to have for sure but Saturday? Really? There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than working on a Saturday anyway. Not. (Why can’t ending every sentence with the word ‘not’ be cool again?)

Pretty low key day today. I spent the day getting set up for previously mentioned course so that ate up my entire work day. I also spent the day forgetting to pick up birthday presents! Ooops. My bestie’s birthday party is tomorrow night and with the course tomorrow, I’ve left myself little time to shop, drop and roll. Uh oh. Can anyone swoop in and save the day and give me an ingenious idea on a thoughtful, meaningful gift for one of my favorite girls on the planet? Please?

I got inspired this morning by Amy’s post and came home at lunch to concoct a wonderful panini for lunch. Yumm. I picked up Garlic and Herb Panini bread at Sobeys, filled it up with thai chicken, old cheddar, black olives, tomato, green pepper, red onion, avocado and red pepper hummus and slapped it on the george foreman (who will forever be known on this blog as George). Delicious! Threw a side of delicious Southwest Ranch baked lays on the plate and voila! Deli quality lunch.

And….just to keep you guys guessing and to keep myself dazed and confused…I’m kinda thinking about switching back to blogspot. Where in the hell did I ever get the idea that I was technologically gifted enough to use wordpress?? No way Jose. I just want a pretty blog! With not a lot of work. Am I asking too much? Mine looks cold and sterile and blahhhhh. I’ll keep you posted on that front.

10:36pm on Thriday night and I’m curled up in bed just about to turn the light off. How thrilling is that?

How Carolyn got her groove back…

January 7, 2010

Isn’t it amazing how much better you feel after only a few hits back at the gym? I mean seriously? Why do we always let this one slide (and by we, I mean ME!) To be honest, it’s been about 9 months since I’ve been checking in to the gym religiously. Surprisingly, I haven’t gained much weight but I know I’ve definitely lost some tone and definition. But apart from all the appearance stuff….going to the gym just makes me feel great. I sleep better at night, I have more energy, I feel like I’ve had a productive day. I hope I remember this feeling next time I want to skip out on the gym. I promised myself on Monday I would be in the gym 3 times this week. So far, I have two under my belt and a yoga class at the local Yoga Outlet. Today is a busy one but I am still hoping to skip downstairs (I have no excuse not to go, the gym is literally a 15 second walk from my office door). If not I will definitely go tomorrow at lunch and since I’m pretty free this weekend, I might even go on Saturday morning too.

In other random news….

I bought a cute sweater last night to wear this weekend for my best friend’s birthday. Also, bought my first thick black belt to wear with it. I’m so behind the times but I am trying! (pictures to follow)

I’m bringing L (the new guy) to my best friend’s birthday. I have a bit of anxiety. I haven’t brought a date to a party in…..well ever. A few of my friends have already met him and think he’s great but this is the first “general introduction” to the rest of the gang. Eeek!

I also scored a super warm and comfy down filled puffy jacket this week for 50% off! I love after Christmas sales! and the best part? It’s bright pink! Perfect for the “snow bunny” look I’m going for next weekend when I hit the slopes! Speaking of slopes….I’m so excited! The plan is for us to leave next Friday for Amherst where we’ll be cozying up in this beautiful room before hitting the slopes on Saturday morning in Wentworth:

Isn’t this room amazing? I’ve definitely been sold on the idea of B&B’s rather than sterile old hotel rooms. There is always so much charm and comfort in a B&B. Not to mention the delicious homecooked breaky!

I’m pretty sure this bad boy is going to feel like heaven after a day of falling on my butt on the slopes. I have never even had a pair of skiis on, let alone a snowboard. Any active skiiers or snowboarders wanna take pity on me and give me a few life saving tips?

That’s it for me today kids! I hope you all have a great day!!

Jingle Blues….now Bells?

January 5, 2010

You know what I don’t love?

People who only blog every few months and call themselves Bloggers. Pfffft. Who do they think they are? Oh wait…..that’s me. I’m one of those people. Geez Carolyn, get your act together will ya? Seriously! You LOVE blogging..it’s soothing and relaxing, you love your blog friends…they are supportive and hilarious, blogging keeps you on track….put down the Starbucks Latte….

Oddly enough I have been following all of your blogs religiously without commenting so I don’t feel like I’ve even missed a beat of all the amazing, wonderful things that are going on in everyone else’s life. But then I realized that not commenting just makes me a creepy stalker….

So….

I’m a little lost. Don’t know where to start or end. I have basically been living on a rollercoaster of emotion (and food!) for the past few weeks. The Holidays kind of threw me a bit but overall it was so good to spend time with family and friends. I ate lots, had lots of yummy wine and cheese, listened to classic Oak Ridge Boys Christmas music (yup, it’s tradition in my family!) and then on New Year’s…when I finally spent some down time with good friends…I realized something pretty amazing. Life is what you make it. Sounds so simple doesn’t it? But it’s SO true. Since then my attitude has completely changed. I’m ready now. Ready for whatever comes my way. Ready to take control of my life again. Ready to regain the things I love (hello, bloggers!). I’m me. And I’m going to be the best me I can be. I know I’m getting all self-help on you guys but it’s so refreshing to have an optimistic outlook again. I’ve missed me.

So what else is new in my life?

Well…since you asked I am excited about my new life and want to share…

  • I’ve started seeing someone pretty fantastic. He’s sweet and generous and super romantic. It’s a bit of a slow beginning since we’re both coming from failed relationships so there have definitely been some rocky moments but you know what the good thing about that is? We’ve both learned something from those relationships and we know what we want and what we don’t want. He makes me laugh uncontrollably and surprises me with simple, thoughtful gifts. He knows what he wants and won’t settle for anything less. He’s independent and opinionated but more than willing to take advice and laugh at his own expense. He’s confident but not at all cocky and my friends think he is as wonderful as I do. Ok. So that is that. Promise I won’t turn this into a dating site!
  • I recommitted myself to a healthy lifestyle. Yesterday I finally reunited with the gym. And I hit up a yoga class last night at the local yoga studio (loved that!) I’ve promised my friend that I would go with her once a week and she never misses a class so neither will I.
  • It feels sooo good to be eating well again. My body is silently thanking me. I dont’ have an operating scale so hard to tell how much I am up in weight from my Holiday binges but I am guessing a solid 7-9 lbs.
  • I’ve got an incredibly exciting getaway planned for next Friday. L (*previously mentioned new man) and I are taking a trip to good ol Nova Scotia and hitting the slopes in Wentworth. We’ve got a night booked at a gorgeous Bed and Breakfast and a “Learn to Snowboard” lesson for 10am on Saturday morning. Excited really isn’t the word. Speaking of Nova Scotia – we did sneak away the weekend before Christmas to hit up a Sons of Maxwell concert in Halifax and stayed at the most amazing B&B. It was absolutely breathtaking with all of the Christmas decorations. Wow! The Waverley Inn – highly recommend it. We dined at Opa and it was delicious! They have a desserty appetizer there call Baked Feta and it is seriously heaven. PS – Jamie…I totally thought I saw you there and get a little excited for a minute but then she walked by me and it definitely wasn’t you!😦

Well you ladies have probably had enough of me now…don’t worry, I won’t be gone long….promise!

The New Chapter?

November 10, 2009

It’s been an interesting 10 days since I moved into my new place. And by interesting I mean heartbreaking, confusing, frustrating, positive, negative, devastating, enlightening, scary, draining, frightening, and exhausting. But… I’m determined not to let this experience overtake my blog since it’s already overtaken my life. Each morning I tell myself that everything happens for a reason and that eventually I will see that things happen just as they are supposed to. Each choice you make leads you on a path, it might be the right one…it might not, but it’s the path you chose. You can’t live your life afraid of making the wrong choice. Maybe you do make the wrong choice but you learn from it. You hold your head up high and you keep going, because no matter what happens, each choice makes you stronger and in the end…it all works out.

Ok. I’m done. For now.

I will say that my new kitchen (although it’s a little 80’s-esq) is BIG! Which has inspired me over the last few days to whip up a few yummy little numbers which include:

  • Curried Sweet Potato Soup
  • ESBM Naughty Biscotti
  • ESBM Smackeroni and Cheese
  • Yummy Bruschetta
  • Apple Crisp
  • Chili Sweet Potato Fries

I have pics back at the batcave so I will post a few tomorrow. Anyone else loving the idea of having a little day off in the middle of the week? I am! I even set up a date tonight with one of my best friends. We are heading to dinner at a local Japanese restaurant. Mmm Sushi. Angie and Jamie have had me dreaming of yummy sushi with their rave reviews of the best Sushi place in Hali. Hopefully I’ll be raving tomorrow about my sushi experience as well!

I also made a new cheese discovery over the weekend. I was feeling a little wine and cheese-ish so I picked up a bottle of vino and hit the cheese section. Into my basket went Dill Havarti, Extra Old Aged Cheddar, Brie, and quite possibly the best tasting cheese on the planet…..Applewood Smoked Cheddar. Wow. Wow wow wow. I grabbed a baguette, topped a few slices with a little basil pesto, a few with red pepper jelly, toasted in the oven, poured myself a glass of red wine and voila! The most delicious thing I’ve ever put in my mouth.  Mmmmm mmm mm.brewer_Mini_Black

I’ve also discovered a love of this little do-hicky. A gift from a friend  after moving into my new pad. Easy. Quick. Delicious. Just how I like it. I haven’t seen a huge selection of the flavored coffee pods around though so me thinks I might be ordering them online. Anyone else drink their coffee from a pod?

And finally….I’m heading to the land of discounts and shopping on Saturday morning. Moi and two friends are heading to Bangor Maine for a little much-needed shopping love. Bath & Body Works Vanilla Bean. Need I say more?

C

A little bit of everything…

October 27, 2009

I am now realizing the impossibility of taking delicious pictures of my eats while I am in the middle of moving! Creative is not a word I would use to describe my menu as of late. Boring might be a better fit. So…You’ll just have to hang on and read about my everyday life ramblings until I am settled into my new place and take over my new kitchen.

My weekend has been filled with packing, eating, chick flicks and good friends. Friday night I came across a VERY unsettling discovery……You know that time every Spring when these little pieces of heaven hit the shelves? And you just can’t help yourself from picking up a few bags? Because…hey, they’re only available for a limited time…..Well…..

They are now available ALL YEAR ROUND!! This mean trouble. I LOVE mini eggs. To prove it? I blew through half of a big bag on Friday night. Between myself and two other friends we had no trouble at all polishing them off. Yowsa. Need to come up with a strategic defense plan against these little devils. Ideas?

In other news, I picked up my new wheels on Saturday morning! It’s been a while since I’ve had a car of my own. I think the last was my 89 Mercury Topaz. I negotiated (which some help) a sweet deal on a 2005 Honda Civic. I will be living about 3 mins from work once I move next weekend so I really just needed something to get me around town. Nothing fancy, no bells and whistles but I do love it🙂

Work has been keeping me busy and I just got home from a 2 day trip to Bathurst NB. Luckily I was travelling with my health conscious boss so between the two of us….we made some pretty good decisions food wise (with the exception of his sweet potato fries last night…I just had to try a couple.. Yum!) Lunch was a little late today by the time we rolled into Moncton so I

grabbed a turkey wrap from Subway (no combo for me!) It was stuffed with veggies to I was F-U-L-L until about 15 mins ago when I decided that I needed a little snack.

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I decided to test out Jamie’s idea and threw a diced granny smith apple into a frying pan. Added a little margarine and in lieu of cinnamon (already packed for the move this Saturday) I added a little pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar. Topped over fat free Vanilla yogurt and voila! A perfect snack for a cold autumn evening. I then realized that this would be a perfect topping for Vanilla ice cream…..luckily I didn’t have any in the house (there’s a reason for this!) Thanks for the delicious idea Jamie!

And finally, we spent Sunday and Monday dog sitting for a co-worker. She just got her pup from the animal rescue league about 2 weeks ago and her hubby has yet to warm up to having a dog. She was heading out of town for a few days for work and didn’t want to leave the pup alone with her hubby so we offered to take her in for a few days. She was going to take her to a kennel but we all agreed that having just come from the ARL, it might be traumatizing. Holy energy batman! Yowsa! Oddly enough, her name was Maggie which is our dogs name. They had soooo much fun and were fast friends in no time. They played for hours upon hours but finally wore each other out……Blog 024

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How cute are they? They alternated pretty frequently between playing and running around and power naps. So cute!

We are moving this weekend so I’m sure it will be a bit of a rollercoaster week. We are mostly packed up and seem to have all of our bases covered but emotionally, I’m sure it will be quite draining. I’m extremely anxious to move in and get settled. Living among boxes is for the birds. It will certainly be a rough week but I just keep taking deep breaths. Deep, deep breaths.

Hope you are all having a great week!

C

Inspired.

October 21, 2009

I’m inspired today.

Anything is possible. Everything is possible.

And thank you to Jenn for leading me to Operation Beautiful.

This project is simply….amazing. How often do you look in the mirror and see that freckle that is out of place? The pants they have grown a little tight? The legs that are too big? The hair that is out of place? The teeth that aren’t perfectly straight? The arms that aren’t toned? The nose that is too big? The lips that are too small? That wrinkle that is becoming more noticeable? The wrong hair color? The wrong face shape?

Too often.

So today I look in the mirror and I see……beauty. I see all that I have accomplished. I see a proud, confident woman who is ready for a new life. I see a positive, optimistic attitude and a kind, gentle spirit. I see a woman who loves surprises and even better, loves surprising someone she cares about.  I see a woman who is mature and responsible but knows how to be silly and have fun. I see a woman who would do anything for her family and friends and maybe even the stranger on the street. I see a woman full of compassion and someone who loves with all she has. I see me, and I am beautiful.

What so you see when you look in the mirror?

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Bringing Balance….and a new blog!

October 20, 2009

So in light of my new life……

I’ve decided to start fresh. Brand new me, brand new blog.

So here I am. On my own for the first time in, well……ever. My goals? Hmmm…where do I start?

Let’s start with….

  • maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is SO important to me. My philosophy is to eat well, whole, balanced foods with a little indulgence thrown in on the weekends.
  • Exercise! Oodles of exercise. Unfortunately this priority has been nonexistent over the past 7 months. Oh how I miss the gym and my workout routine. I wonder if the gym misses me too?
  • Blogging! I can’t believe I let go of this amazing support network for the past 7 months (not to mention all the incredible recipe ideas I’ve missed out on!)

I’ve decided to join the not-so-secret society of food bloggers and will be posting pictures of my eats as often as I can. I figure if I am too embarrassed to take a picture of it, I probably shouldn’t be eating it right?

You’ll have to give by a little leniency today since it’s Day 1 back on my journey to a healthy lifestyle. I blame Costco for coming up with these little gems…

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Mmm Chiabatta….

I’m sort of glad that the nutritional info isn’t included on these little guys. But maybe that’s a bad thing….

Dinner tonight? Grilled chicken and veggie chiabatta sandwiches. Chicken, green pepper, onions, black olives, tomato, topped with skim Mozza and a dab of southwest sauce and fat free ranch dressing. The result…this DELICIOUS sandwich. Yum!

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Until tomorrow…..

C


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