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Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Well it has been an exciting few weeks! I finally visited Disney World last week (more to come on that later), I’ve been working quite a bit and super nesting in the new house!

On top of all the travel and craziness almost a month ago something very exciting happened, my grandmother’s Golden Labrador had puppies! 10 beautiful puppies are my obsession right now; I think I may even get one! There are six female and four male. It surprised all of us that all ten are pretty much solid black! The litter of Yellow Lab crossed with Chocolate Lab is black!

The puppies are now beginning to be fun. Their eyes are open and they are moving around. Some are a lot chubbier than the others so they kind of look like little seals flopping around and the leaner ones are walking. Soon they will be playing and exhibiting their personalities, I can’t wait!

This is my Grandmothers dog’s second litter of puppies. The first litter we crossed the Yellow Lab with a Standard Poodle for Labradoodles, it was much smaller with six puppies. Four of the Labradoodles were yellow and the other two were black. They were adorable!

I’ll update the blog with puppy cuteness, as they get even cuter! If you know anyone in Nova Scotia looking for an adorable Black Lab puppy feel free to email me!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What Have You Done For Your Body Today?

Happy National Women’s Health & Fitness Day!

I do not normally blog about fitness because lets face it, these days everyone who lifts up a dumbbell occasionally feels the need to tweet, blog and Instagram their fitness exploits.

Honestly I try not to, it is just not me. If it keeps you in the gym and on the right track, right on! Keep it up! To each their own.

Today I celebrated National Women’s Health and Fitness Day by kicking it off with a big Canadian Protein order. It has been a long time coming and I am so excited for the Quest bars that I have treated myself to.

I woke up pretty sore and since we are being honest here I really did not want to go to the gym. Yesterday morning I worked back and biceps and then had my first ice time for hockey in well over a year so my body’s muscles were sore from all the skating.  I could have made excuses; my boyfriend stayed in bed (still sore from hockey) and I worked late last night and was on my feet until 9:30pm. But, I exercised my willpower and chugged my pre-workout and got in my car to head to the gym as quickly as possible. Sometimes as strong as our bodies are from working out our lazy minds can still win the battle to be active.

Today I pushed it. I trained legs and shoulders with intervals of intense cardio between supersets. To adjust to my soreness I cut my heavy lifts by one set and during my cardio intervals listened to my favourite gym tracks. I treated myself to half an infrared sauna session after to sweat a little more and relax with my book after my solid gym session.

Someone once told me that you will never regret getting up and going to the gym; you will regret not going. I really took that message to heart. It may sound silly buy my cookies and cream protein shake tastes better when I know I have had a successful workout.

I am now off to throw together a great reward lunch, a spicy chicken salad (you can see that below) with a FOLDit Chicken club sandwich.

Remember: Crap in, crap out! If you are expecting your body to perform physically fuel it properly! Just like at the gym you only get out what you put in!

Today marked my 28th week since I returned back to my training plan, today specifically was workout 156. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Carbs, Crafts, Sickness and a Very Special Lady's Birthday!

I’m sick.

Clearly no one wants to talk to me because I look and sound like I have been smoking a pack a day since I was four and have been forced to walk across Canada all summer in the same outfit without showering. That might be a little harsh but I bet you are get the picture, I feel pretty gross right now.

My weekend was a celebration for my weakness for carbohydrates disguised as my Grandmother MacDonald’s birthday. So I am feeling doubly crappy today. It is like a massive food hangover crossed with a fall flu. Yes, it is totally possible to be hung from food.

Anyways, I bet you never would have guessed that this blog was crafted to wish my Grandmother MacDonald a big ole’ happy birthday. She reads these blogs when I’m not around so someday she will stumble upon this and hopefully smile.

My weekend was incredibly productive until the sickness hit me Sunday morning after a quick staff meeting at work. The productivity started when I made a delicious dessert for our fish and chip party at my parent’s house Saturday night. Peanut butter bar squares garnished with a little grated skor bar.

To be honest with you, my food hangover pretty much centers on these squares. My amazing dessert arrived at the party via a proxy and had melted together so I may have had a little cry in my childhood bedroom with the pan before supper. Yes, that happened. Sometimes I am a grown ass child about things. It is not a family event until someone cries, right? That only lasted about 10 minutes and only a third of pan was sacrificed to my sad. I call it having a sad. Having a sad happens every once in a blue moon and usually before sickness hits.

On top of getting my bake on in a totally domestic fashion I also crafted this weekend. Like most crafts, it sits nearly complete today (Monday) and cost way more than just going to Walmart to buy the item that I originally needed. Breanna and I set out to make corkboards this weekend, hopefully next weekend we will finish them and I will tell you about them here in the blog. You can see it truly is a beautiful work in progress…

As you can tell, now that we have a house I am attempting to be more domestically inclined. This is really conflicting with my desire to not bring in any crap to my house that I do not absolutely love for furniture. I still do not have a dresser, but that is on my list of musts for the week. Our house is a mess.

Anyways, in my hunt for things to make our new house our own I am constantly snooping around my family members homes for things we can use for our house (with permission of course) and I found this hilarious read at my grandmother’s house.

Part of me wants to read this cover-to-cover and learn from it. I hope this book was important and informative for young adults in my Grandmother’s day (much like Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown was for me). And the cynical/bitchy part of me is angry that there are only women on the cover of a book for “Young Canadians”. I am a little conflicted; maybe I will come back to this topic in the future.

Regardless, a big “Happy Birthday” to Grannie MacDonald! I was a tad craft-bitchy at her house on Sunday so I will leave this apology here as a permanent tribute to such an important lady in my life. Sickness and failing miserably at crafts are not a good combination; I hope to someday lose my temper and gain some patience. I also someday hope to be as happy with a Palm Bay tiki girl for my birthday as you were after your trip to the LC with Lisa and Kim. Seriously.

Until then, I’m just a (temporarily) sick 25-year-old inadequate crafter with a weakness for carbs. Happy Birthday Gram, I love you!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lay's Canada Chip Challenge 2014

Last year Lay’s Canada started an annual competition called “Do Us A Flavour”. Jenny Fines and I were pretty pumped up and tried the four chip flavours competing for the first championship title. Our (and our entire office’s) least favourite chip “Maple Moose” ended up winning the contest, before flopping in the real world potato chip market. You can check out the 2013 edition of the competition here.

“Do Us A Flavour” is back again this year as I am sure you have noticed if you frequent gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores or well pretty much any place that sells food in Canada. This year at my Grandmother’s 72nd birthday party I thought it would be fun to throw the chips on the table and see what everyone thought of the four new flavours.

This year there is a new twist to the competition; two of the proposed new flavours are featured in different Lay’s textures (wavy and kettle cooked). Over a million flavours were suggested; here are the four that made it into production:
-Lay’s Wavy Jalapeno Mac’N’Cheese created by Randall Litman from Calgary, AB.
-Lay’s Kettle Cooked Tzatziki created by Denise Vella from Cambridge, ON
-Lay’s Cinnamon Bun created by Gloria Melanson from London, ON.
-Lay’s Bacon Poutine created by Guillaume Lorrain from Trois-Rivières, QC.

Last year everyone agreed that Maple Moose was the WORST. Maple Moose chips actually made it into the office garbage can. Clearly we were all surprised when it ended up winning the contest.

This year there is no clear worst chip. Honestly we all thought the Lay’s Cinnamon Bun bag of chips would be gross, but they actually were not that bad. They were more sweet than cinnamony and the balance between sweet and salty was not that bad. People had warned us against them, but they were not even close to being as gross as “Maple Moose”.

My favourite (because I cannot choose just one) are the “Lay’s Wavy Jalapeno Mac’N’Cheese” and the “Lay’s Kettle Cooked Tzatziki”. This may just be because I like the different textures. Honestly, I don’t think I would choose any of these chips over my go-to favourite simple ketchup chips. I think they could have done better with the flavouring for them all.

If the house votes say mean anything it will be a battle between “Lay’s Bacon Poutine” or “Lay’s Wavy Jalapeno Mac’N’Cheese”.

You can vote for your favourite in the 2014 “Do Us A Flavour” contest by clicking here. The winner will receive $50,000 and 1% of their chips sales.

Lay’s is all over Twitter and Instagram and you are able to use the following hashtags: #VoteBaconPoutine, #VoteCinnamonBun, #VoteJalapenoMacNCheese and #VoteTzatziki.

Or you can text your vote to 101010.

Voting closes October 12, 2014.

In case you are wondering, here are the finalists for the 2014 American version of the contest “Do Us A Flavor”:
Lay’s Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese
Lay’s Cappuccino
Lay’s Wavy Mango Salsa
Lay’s Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Learning From My New Hood: More On Moving!

We finally bought coffee today so I have a feeling that means good things for my neglected blog. 

I have learned a few things about moving this time around that never have been an issue before. No two moving experiences are the same; moving back to my hometown (well the next town over) has been a very strange experience. Let me explain (for a little background click here).

In the months before leaving the Kootenays I learned an important lesson, one that you should learn from watching one episode of Hoarders; that buying lots of crap is the enemy. This time around I am not bringing anything into my house that I don’t want long term, this is annoying the hell out of my relatives/anyone with things they want to get rid of and give away. Yes, it is important to get things together in your living space in order but this time I am putting my foot down and waiting it out.

We have picked up some important things for the apartment from my family like a bed and mattress; we bought a couch, TV, fridge and oven but other than that things are pretty bare bones around the house.

The strange thing is I have no desire to buy anything large. I would like a new dresser and vanity but everything I want right now is small. I have a new obsession with decorating that I have never had before. No, I have not been spending hours on end on Pinterest (I actually just set my iMac up yesterday and have been spending barely anytime online).  

Joss & Main has become a weird love of mine as well. I could spend every dollar I make for the next ten years on that website. Seriously, I welcome all housewarming gift card gifts.

My question for you is what is the first thing you bought for your house? Did you get excited about it?

The first thing we bought for our new house was a set of dishes that made me as excited as the boys were that day when they bought their new toys (Kev’s new car and Butter’s new motorcycle). It was a great call then and I am still very happy with it now. My first BIG buy for the house was the couch and reclining chair. I was happy that I managed to get it delivered to the house and set up before the boys got home in time for our weekend guest. Folding chairs were not cutting it. 

What is your favourite thing about moving?

Clearly for me it is looking at the walls and the space and all the potential we have for decorating and making our little cookie-cutter lodge our own. Seriously, it is like being in elementary school and getting to decorate baked goods for Halloween.
What is your least favourite part of moving?

Mine was waiting for things to arrive (specifically my car). Honestly, I am not sure that I would ever ship my car again. For the first couple of weeks I felt like I was back in high school. No car (well other than my parent’s mini-van). No space. No freedom. I am so happy that is over!

Life still feels like a vacation (kind of) at this point. It is weird to think that this is what real life is like. Everything is coming together slowly, the boys are settling into their routine with the Air Force and summer is coming to an end.

On a happy note, the neighbourhood kids are back in school now so the hours that they are screwing around on our lawn have been cut down. I sound like a horrible person saying this but it is so nice to have kid-free afternoons. Generally they do not speak to me (I do not make eye contact) but they love the boys. The neighbourhood children would follow them into the house if they could. The posse of children seems to know exactly when we are coming and going during daylight hours and always greet us. Toys appear on our lawn (sometimes intact), other times large sticks and other children’s debris show up too.

If I ever go missing it maybe because of a children’s reenactment of 2008’s “The Strangers”. You may or may not remember this classic Liv Tyler film that basically comes down to the following:

Anyway, I think the coffee will help with focus for the next blog. This one has been all over the place. There is so much to talk about! I know I skipped over some great events and happenings here in Nova Scotia on the blog and I am hoping to be more diligent in the future. I have to update my social profiles to my newly out of the radio world details so the blog maybe a work in progress for a little while.

Now to drink my embarrassingly bad cup of coffee without cream and sweetener, I may have the appliances to do the job but nothing else is clicking right now. After two years using k-cups my ability to brew a pot of coffee at home leaves a lot to be desired. Struggles.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back In The Saddle Again: Moving Home to the Annapolis Valley

It has been a crazy week and a half! I've listened to more country music than I have in years in the past 12 days and heard the word "koozie" more than anyone ever needs to. 

In the past 20 days I have moved across the country from BC back to my hometown; Middleton, Nova Scotia. My life is still in boxes; my parent’s house has not been a great place to set up shop. Good news though, we move into our PMQ on Friday! 

I started working again until I can lock down another radio job but that may take a little while. I have been way too busy, but hopefully things will calm down soon.

Living at home has been a little overwhelming. I went from being the queen of the house with my gigantic bedroom to being less than a guest. My sister and brother are both at home right now so all of their crap as been piled in the bedroom that is now mine and there is legitimately only a path to and from the bed for space in the room. Some of the stuff is mine so I have been taking on the Bruce's hoarding problem slowly but surely. The clutter is a one-day at a time battle. 

There are a ton of topics I would like to take on in the blog, things that I find so funny or interesting that I can write about. Stay tuned and soon you maybe hearing about all the Annapolis Valley problems you can handle!

The big one on everyone's mind is something that actually drove me crazy after moving to BC, something I could never get used to, adding the area code to phone numbers when making phone calls. That is about to be necessary here in Nova Scotia and it is a very controversial topic. It bothers people almost as much as going to the Dartmouth Costco instead of the timeless Bayers Lake Costco. That is hot topic for another day... 

The Annapolis Valley Exhibition has come and gone. I was a distinguished guest and Judge for Exhibition Idol. I took in the rodeo and many a meal at the Ex. My jeans are a little tighter this week as a result. 

I took in two flicks at the Valley Drive In over the weekend, "Into The Storm" and "Expendables 3". 

I've dined at 2/3 of my favourite places in Halifax (Habaneros and Boneheads); Press Gang will be on the docket for our next fancy trip to Halifax. Yesterday we visited to go car/motorcycle shopping so it was a quick half-day trip. We managed to get a quick walk on the Waterfront in and introduced Butters to Theodore the Tugboat. 

I have been a busy girl getting my fill of my favourite things here at home. Now I am off to celebrate Armed Forces Day at CFB Greenwood. Kevin is working security, he was a little sad that he would not get to witness the kids suiting up for the different events. 

Next blog will be giving you the low-down on Armed Forces Day and then hopefully I will touch on one of my favourite new places in the Valley!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Kicking Off My Calgary Trip to the Calgary Farmers' Market

I have had an amazing couple of days in Calgary so far! I have done a little bit of all of my favourite things. The trip started with amazing Crave cupcakes (as every trip to Calgary should). They were waiting for me on arrival with the new feature flavour of the month (it may have changed now that it is August), lemon meringue. It was perfectly light and flavourful, the perfect cupcake for summer! We have Crave cupcakes every week when are living in Calgary and every trip when we visit. My sister is such a big fan that I always have to bring some home to Nova Scotia with me when I am flying from Calgary. When I leave Wednesday morning I will be carrying Crave cupcakes on the flight with me by request for Kevin in Quebec and Beckie in Nova Scotia. We sure do crazy things for the people we love! Want more on Crave, do your sweet tooth a favour and visit their homepage by clicking here

After indulging in amazing Crave cupcakes for dessert I nestled into bed and met an early morning alarm for a trip to the Calgary Farmers' Market. I am of the opinion that visiting Farmers' Markets earlier rather than later is always the best call. This was my first trip to the Calgary Farmers' Market and it did not disappoint! I really enjoyed the Calgary Farmers' Market, it is right up there with my favourite market in Vancouver (Granville Island) and the Open Aire Market in La Jolla. 

I tried a little bit of everything and much like Kootenay Festival I started my day with a little breakfast gelato from Frank & Mabel’s Frozen Treats! I had a “cookie” flavoured gelato pop and it was amazing. It left me wanting an entire serving, but it was a little too early for the full serving for me.

I should note before I made it to the food court in the Calgary Farmers' Market I had already indulged in some almonds. As you can see Going Nuts has a wide range of almonds for your tasting perusal, I tried a little bit of everything. There were amazing flavours that everyone can love and then innovative new almond flavours that only Going Nuts makes. For example, they have two new summer flavours “Watermelon” and “Sour Patch Kids”. Yes, two very unique flavours of almonds. Honestly, I enjoyed them both. They are different and fruity, perfect conversation starters for your next gift or gathering! What did I end up choosing? Well, after three months away from almonds and our low-carb diet I picked Kevin up the most popular almonds Going Nuts sells “coconut almonds”. I am so excited for him to try them. You can visit their website here for a full look at the amazing nuts, trail mixes and everything they offer.

Another item I picked up for Kevin’s “welcome back to the real world” goodie bag is one of my favourite things to eat but not make, peanut brittle. I tired a wide range of Sweet’s peanut brittle and I was so impressed with each flavour. I had to pick up a bar and I immediately knew which flavour I needed as soon as I saw it, I had to give it a taste too and I was so impressed with the salty/sweet balance, of course I had to buy Sweet’s “Bacon Brittle”! I am equally as excited to open the brittle and give it a go! Sweet can be found on the web here... 

We finished our trip to the Calgary Farmers' Market with a coffee from the Fratello Analog Café. We are big fans of Fratello coffees but I had to try their special feature “Iced London Fog” which was Earl Grey tea with vanilla and milk. I’m not a fan of any type of tea (so to be honest with you I am not sure why I chose this) but I absolutely loved this creation. For more on Fratello Coffee click here.

On top of the many fun, tasty products I sampled and bought on my first trip to the Calgary Farmers' Market we also bought a great deal of healthy stuff too! 
-Flat iron steaks from Silver Sage Beef. Check them out here. 
-Basil, greens and rhu-berry pie from Innisfail Growers. Mare about Innisfail Growers here. 
-Lobster mac & cheese from Simple Simon Pies. Your path to indulgence starts with a click here. 
-Lots of fruit from Cherry Pit. Much, much more than cherries! For all the details on Cherry Pit click here.

On top of the amazing assortment of goods we walked out of the market with there were many other unique goods at The Calgary’s Farmers' Market everything from a wide range of bee’s wax products, dog treats, vinegars, oils, flowers, gluten-free foods (I am seriously excited to try the gluten-free bakery’s bread) and farm fresh eggs. I could list the amazing goods and services at the Calgary Farmers' Market for pages (if blogs had pages). 

More than just a market for your basic necessities, Calgary Farmers' Market is pretty much a mall that you can go to and feel good about blowing your budget at. How often can you say that? I love spending my money and meeting the people who it will be benefit, that is something that will never truly happen at a big-box store. I think sometimes in cities we take for granted how important buying local is, we think that someone else who has more money will do it or that the market is a place for stroller-pushing mums to meet up and hangout at. The Calgary Farmers' Market is definitely not like that at all. I saw business men meeting up for a quick bite of lunch, picking up a couple of groceries and then sitting down for a quick meeting. The Calgary Farmers' Market is designed to appeal to a wide range of people and I can guarantee you will enjoy it!

It was the perfect way to start my Friday! After the Market the day continued to be awesome with a quaint BBQ on the deck and then a Stamp’s game. They won 99% of the game, if only they would have won the 1% of the game that mattered…

Need all the details on the Calgary Farmers' Market you can visit their website here. The Calgary Farmers' Market is open all year long on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9am until 5pm! 

Happy Moments: Capturing Them with Fujifilm's Instax Mini 8

I am a spoiled young lady!

This bad boy was waiting for me when I arrived in Calgary Thursday evening. Ill have a blog coming up about my amazing trip to YYC coming up a little later this week, it has been too busy to blog so far! Between packing up eight massive boxes to ship across the country back to Nova Scotia, Friday night’s Stampeders game, wining and dining there has not been much time to put my thoughts in blog form.

Today, just a quick not about the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8, I was so surprised to receive this when I arrived in Calgary. Sometimes I wonder how often people still get their photos printed these days. We take so many photos these days of everything from our meals to hairstyles and outfits just going to work on an average day (yes, I know people who “selfie” their outfits on Instagram everyday before work), printing them all would be unreal! Not only would it be costly, it would be super lame. Think about labeling all those photos the way photos in photo albums are captioned on the reverse side of the photo, so many of them would be #ridiculous.

I am so excited to give the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 a test run today when my cousin brings her baby over an have some instantly printed photos to take home to Nova Scotia to my grandmother who has only met her great-grandson once.  The last time we visited family in Ontario I had to make a trek through Oakville to find a place with a working photo printer to print photos for my boyfriend’s grandparents, all of the places I normally print photos (Walmart and Shoppers) were unable to print photos in seconds. That is no longer a worry with my new toy!

I am hoping we can capture some special moments from Kev’s military graduation on Thursday with this camera for his family. I feel like using it is kind of like a retro throwback to an old school Polaroid camera! 

Side note, nothing about this is mini! I am surprised at the size of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8, it makes sense that it is larger than the digital cameras that I am used to because it prints credit card sized photos. Still, I am so used to having one of the smallest cameras on the market (Nikon’s Coolpix S01 10.1 MP Digital Camera) that people often refer to as a “spy camera”, so this is a big adjustment!

I think this is going to be such a fun addition to big events like weddings and family reunions, but I may have to buy a bigger purse soon with all of these new gadgets!

I’ll let you know how our test run goes this afternoon! :)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

July 30, 2014- Castlegar Sculpture Walk Sculpture of the Day “Echino II"

It is very fitting that my final Castlegar Sculpture Walk feature is about the sculpture I have seen the
most. Everyday as I broadcast from the GOAT studios I had the prime viewing space to see Sculpture Walk viewer’s reactions to “Echino II”. Surprisingly, they all had the same one, to reach out and touch it!

"Echino II" is actually the sculpture that The GOAT and Juice FM sponsored for the Castlegar Sculpture Walk (that is one of the reasons I saved it for the end of my blog series).

“Echino II” stands out on Castlegar’s Sculpture Walk and was created by Calgary’s Greg Jones. I think Jones did a fabulous job creating this sea urchin with a very mechanical twist. For more on “Echino II” and Greg Jones click here.

To view my previous sculpture, the second to last blog in my series on Castlegar’s Sculpture Walk “Friends & Neighbours” click here.