Thursday, February 28, 2013

Operation: Shrink The Spare Tire

I have a new mission for the month of March, folks.  And it is called “Operation: Shrink The Spare Tire”.

Ok, I know.  Like, how many Missions and Challenges and Projects and Operations can one kid have going at the same time, right?  I’m currently in the midst of my “30 Before 30 Project”, and I’m also just about to complete The Assertive Girl’s February Arms & Abs Challenge (even though I’m 99.9% sure I’m not doing the push-ups or mountain climbers properly, as I cannot seem to KEEP MY BUTT DOWN.)

Nevertheless.  When I saw the following graphic on fellow blogger Kelly’s post today, I knew it was something I had to attempt:


No, I in no way believe that I will have a SIX-PACK by the end of the month.  I mean, I’m still not entirely convinced I even have abs. They are still buried under so much blubber…A SIX-PACK???  That’s a long, long, long-away goal.

(Sidenote:  That’s always a funny conversation at Zumba, when our instructor Julia says, “Alright, we’re going to do abs tonight!”  And I cry out, “Ohhhh NOOOOO!  I don’t even have any abs!”  And she insists, “Oh, yes you do, love!  Everyone has abs!”  “NO!  Not me!!!”)

In my 8th week of TurboFire now, I can tell you that I’m pretty sure that yes, I do actually have abs.  Somewhere.  I can feel them after the Core 20 work-out, especially.  They are there.  But they are still severely hidden by my dear ol’ spare tire.

That’s the one part of my body that I wish would just disappear.  I mean, sure, it’s been splendid to note how skinny my neck and ankles are getting, and to see a little definition in my shoulders and upper arms, and to find that my rings spin almost loosely on my fingers now. 

But the one change that I’m desperate to see that I have yet to see at all?

Damn spare tire.  It’s as big as ever.


This is not mine… Mine is way bigger.

Well.  Maybe it’s not quite as big as it used to be, but it’s definitely still there.  Muffin-topping over my pants, and jiggling with every step I take.

What a thing of beauty.  Not.

I want the spare tire to go.away.

And so I’m going to work a little harder in the month of March to help that along.  I’m going to see if I can follow this Six-Pack (ha!) March schedule and see how it goes, along with continuing to follow my TurboFire schedule.

The results of the February Arms & Abs Challenge?  I’d say they’re just meh.  Mainly because, as I said, I don’t think I was really doing the push-ups and mountain climbers properly.  My butt’s always stuck up in the air.  The Abs part especially didn’t really seem to draw any results.  My upper arm strength has definitely increased, though, and I’ve noticed it in the Stretch 40 portion of the TurboFire schedule – a month ago, I didn’t even attempt to hold myself in plank position, and now I can do it – for a short time, anyways.

Plank position is a huge challenge for me.  I used to hate it when I took Karate, I despised it when I took Yoga, and my inclination is just to skip it and lie face-down on the floor until the planking part is over.


I’m hoping my March Operation will have me doing planks more confidently, and eventually holding them for longer periods of time.  I’m also thinking the daily sit-ups are going to help with the spare tire, and I think continuing to work on my push-ups is definitely a good thing too, to maintain that strength that I feel I’ve gained in my upper arms.

So I’ll be departing from The Assertive Girl’s challenges this month to take part in this one, and see what I can do about this massive roll of fat that resides around my mid-section.

Tomorrow, Operation: Shrink The Spare Tire goes into full effect.

Pray for me.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

So MUCH to say.

Yesterday was Talk To Us Tuesday, and I had SO much to talk about, but no time to do it.

So let’s give ‘er today, shall we?

Boom.  Here we go.

  • A few of you may be wondering what ever happened to me and LOST.  I mean, I talked about it obsessively for months, but then I kinda dropped it.  Never gave my final thoughts.  Can I just say… I kind of knew what was going to happen?  I’m not sure if it’s because I subconsciously absorbed it from listening to other people talk about it years ago (when it was actually on TV),  or if it’s because I saw This is 40 around Christmastime (which was not a good movie to see for someone who was in the midst of Season 5 of LOST at the time)… but I think I kind of always knew they were all dead.

lost jack and vincent

  • If you’re currently watching Season 5 of LOST, I apologize for just blowing it all for you right there.  But that kid in This is 40 blew it for me, too, so deal with it.
  • I didn’t love the ending of LOST.  I also didn’t hate it.  I thought it was… kind of appropriate.  So many people have said that it would be unfulfilling, but I wouldn’t say that.  I was… OK with it.  And I was so happy they brought back many of the characters that had died along the way for the finale.  Like Boone, aka Ian Somerhalder.  The reason I started watching in the first place.  Little sexy-shmexy.


  • So, what’s my next TV-show-that-aired-5-years-ago-but-I’m-gonna-talk-about-it-as-if-it’s-current now?  Prison Break.  Helllloooooooooo Michael Schofield!!!!


  • Five episodes in, I wouldn’t say I’m madly in love with it, as people made me think I would be.  But Wentworth Miller is definitely hot enough to keep me coming back for more. H to the O to the T.


  • Oh!  This one’s for all you NASCAR fans out there!!  Remember two years ago, when I first entered a big pool and had to pick a driver for the year and didn’t even know anything about NASCAR?  Well, Carl Edwards won me a couple of races (and a couple of bucks) that year, but last year was a complete disaster.  I had the #21 pick out of 22.  By the time I got to make my choice, it had come down to Clint Bowyer or AJ Allmendinger.  My brother told me to go with AJ Allmendinger.  Wayne had the last pick and went with Clint Bowyer.  Bowyer won 3 races, and Allmendinger went to rehab.  That was a big FAIL for me.  This year, I drew the #2 pick.  And I had also done RESEARCH, so that I wouldn’t have to depend on anyone’s crappy advice.  (Sorry, Lukey, but I’ll never forgive you for convincing me to take AJ!)  I drew up a list of drivers, figured out how many races they each won last year, how they were expected to do this year, and then ranked them.  My #1 choice was Brad Keselowski, because he won the championship last year and he’s now driving a Ford.  (I wanted a Ford driver, in honour of my dad).  Of course, Jimmie Johnson went first, and then it was time for me to pick.  My gut and my research told me to take Keselowski – I mean, there he was on my list, with the big #1 circled beside his name! – but I started to second-guess myself.  Which led to me frantically running around the room to ask all the men who they would pick if they were me.  Which I’m sure annoyed the hell out of them.  And then I picked Keselowski anyways.  Even though he’s not hot.  (yes, I take their looks into consideration.)


  • The point of this long & windy NASCAR story?  Brad Keselowski better win mama some MONEY!!!  If he pulls an AJ Allmendinger on me, I’m gonna be pissed.
  • I have a question for you, friends.  I’ve already talked about it with my family and my friends and a NURSE – but now I need the Internet’s advice.  TurboFire.  Dudes, it’s doing a number on my knees.  I don’t even do half the jumping that’s involved because my knees have never been very good, but for the past week or so, I’ve noticed them being noticeably more sore and creaky.  Like especially when I go to sit down to pee.  (And if you may recall, I’m drinking water like it’s my job, so peeing is like… my second job.  I’m doing it a lot.  So I notice the creak in my knees a lot.)  I’m modifying the exercises more in hopes it will help, because I’m really not wanting to quit this program – I’m getting great results and actually really enjoying it!  What’s a girl supposed to do?!
  • My Sens.  I adore them.  They are currently playing without their #1 centre, their Norris-Trophy-winning defenceman, their top scorer from last year, AND the best goalie in the NHL.  And we’re on a 5-game winning streak.  Are they pretty wins? Nope.  But a win in a shoot-out is still a win.  God bless them.  #peskysens


  • Book that I recommend to everyone:  The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.  Absolutely riveting.  Couldn’t put it down.  It’s our next book club selection, and I finished it in under a week.  Seeing the meeting isn’t until the end of April, I decided to tackle one of the bigger literary challenges sitting on my shelf in Stephen King’s The Stand.  I read a lot of Stephen King back in high school, but never took on The Stand.  It seems many deem it one of his best, and so I want to read it too.  It’s huge.  Oh, and I bought the uncut edition, which apparently has 400 more pages of text that the original.  Awesome. But only 100 pages in, I’m definitely hooked.  I’m still in the beginning stages when people are starting to get sick; there’s a lot of talk about phlegm and snot.  So naturally, when I’m reading it, I start feeling very mucus-y.  Hypochondriac in da house.

the stand

  • IT’S SNOWING!!!!!!  I love snow.  Still.  It’s not time for spring yet.  Bring it on.  I love the excitement that comes along with a good dumping of snow!  Time to cover up the mud & the yuck for another few days!!
  • Oh, and if you’re looking for my Oscar recap, you’ll be sadly disappointed.  I didn’t watch ‘em.  Watched curling with my mom instead. (aka, slept on the couch).  But someone needs to tell Kristen Stewart to brush her damn hair next time, OK?  The pictures I’ve seen are just a disgrace.


I feel like I have more to say, but if I continue on, this will become a novel.  Most of you probably stopped reading back at LOST.  If you made it this far… you get the Jill’s World Award of the Day.  Congratulations.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Song obsession of the year (so far)

I know it’s not Musical Monday or anything like that, but I’m declaring it Musical Thursday here, alright?  Who needs a special day to talk about some amazing tunes?  Not me!

So.  It’s fairly early in 2013 to already be declaring a “favourite song of year”, but I have to say, there is one that springs to mind immediately right now.

As you probably already know, I get “song-obsessed” quite frequently.  I’ve been on a mission this week to educate myself on The Sheepdogs (they come highly recommended from my cousin Bucky, whom I consider to be a legitimate authority on all things good-music-related).  I’m totally on The Sheepdogs bandwagon now, thanks to Buck advising me to download “Feeling Good”, “The Way It Is”, “Shine On”, “I Don’t Know”, and “Who”.

In Buck’s exact words, “They’re f*&%en amazing.  It’s like Zeppelin and Skynrd had a child.”

Amen, brother.

Taking things in a whole ‘nother direction, though (and in one that I’m sure Bucky would NOT approve of), I’ve also been hitting repeat a lot on Blake Shelton’s current hit, “Sure Be Cool If You Did”.

Pretty sure every second girl I’m friends with on Facebook and Twitter have posted the lyric -  And now you’re standing in the neon, lookin’ like a high I wanna be on.  Just listen to Blake sing it, and tell me it’s not the sexiest thing you’ve ever heard…

Oh, Blake.  You make me weak in the KNEES!!

But really, when I think about my absolute FAVOURITE song of 2013 (so far), I have to hand it over to Pink.  Pretty sure Buck would not approve of this selection either, but my friend Susie gave me a copy of Pink’s latest album, The Truth About Love, a while back, and I’ve really been enjoying it.

This song, though?  This one is so so awesome.  I want to see if I can learn to play it on guitar.  I played the track for my friend Lindsay yesterday, and she said it would be a tough one to sing because of the wide range in the vocals (which Pink does beautifully, I might add), but I’d like to try it.

This is “Beam Me Up”:

There's a whole 'nother conversation going on
In a parallel universe,
Where nothing breaks and nothing hurts.
There's a waltz playing frozen in time
Blades of grass on tiny bare feet
I look at you and you're looking at me.

Could you beam me up,
Give me a minute, I don't know what I'd say in it
I'd probably just stare, happy just to be there, holding your face
Beam me up,
Let me be lighter, I'm tired of being a fighter,
I think, a minute's enough,
Just beam me up.

Saw a black bird soaring in the sky,
Barely a breath, I caught one last sight
Tell me that was you, saying goodbye,
There are times I feel a shivering cold,
It only happens when I'm on my own,
That's how you tell me I'm not alone

Could you beam me up,
Give me a minute, I don't know what I'd say in it
I'd probably just stare, happy just to be there, holding your face
Beam me up,
Let me be lighter, I'm tired of being a fighter,
I think, a minute's enough,
Just beam me up.

In my head, I see your baby blues
I hear your voice and I, I break in two and now there's
One of me, with you

So when I need you can I send you a sign
I'll burn a candle and turn off the lights
I'll pick a star and watch you shine

Just beam me up,
Give me a minute, I don't know what I'd say in it
I'd probably just stare, happy just to be there, holding your face
Beam me up,
Let me be lighter, I'm tired of being a fighter,
I think, a minute's enough,
Beam me up
Beam me up
Beam me up
Could you beam me up.

I think anyone who has lost a loved one can relate to these lyrics, right?  For me, they are poignant, simple, and so bittersweet, bringing images of so many people who we’ve lost to mind, especially Jeff, Troy, my dad, and even my grandma.

Hands down, my most favourite Pink song ever, and definitely in the running to be my very own “song of the year”!

Got a song you’re hooked on these days?  Share it with me!  I love discovering new music :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WWTKW: Ah, the good ol’ days…

This week, We Want to Know Wednesday is all about the good ol’ high school days!


Linking up with Scriptor & Kenzie for this trip down memory lane…

Here are this week’s questions:

1.) Describe what high school was like for you. Include details like where you went, your dedication to certain subjects, etc.

2.) On a typical Friday night in high school, what could you be found doing?

3.) Did you own a car in high school?

4.) Sum up your fashion sense in high school.

5.) Have you attended any high school reunions?

BONUS: If you have a photo and don’t mind showing us, feel free!

My answers:

1.) Describe what high school was like for you. Include details like where you went, your dedication to certain subjects, etc.

I went to Pontiac High from Grade 7 to Grade 11, and while I look back fondly on my high school years, it wasn’t always a walk in the park – I was far from one of the popular kids, that’s for sure.  I had a good group of friends, though, and I’m proud to say that we’re pretty much all still friends today!  The only classes I think I truly loved were English and Art, but I was a decent student, despite my tendency to be lazy and procrastinate.  I hated Math, and struggled with  it big-time, especially in Grade 10 and 11.  I had a good rapport with most of my teachers, though, and some of my favourite memories are of the silly mischief I got into in Mr. Deogun’s Chemistry and Physics classes.  He still calls me  “crazy monkey” when he sees me!

2.) On a typical Friday night in high school, what could you be found doing?

Oh, I was a pretty tame kid.  (Lame kid?)  I was either at home watching TV or movies with my family, or hanging out with my friends having sleepovers, watching scary movies and giggling and laughing.  We rarely got into any trouble, and I’d say compared to most other kids, we were extremely well-behaved!

3.) Did you own a car in high school?

HA!  No.  Lord, I didn’t even have my license!  My gang of friends weren’t too desperate to start driving, and most of us put it off as long as we possibly could.  I think I was 18 or 19 before I got my license, and another few years before I got my first car.

4.) Sum up your fashion sense in high school.

I had ZERO fashion sense.  Like… ZERO.  No joke.  I was a fat kid, and I didn’t know how to dress properly for my size.  If I wasn’t trying to squeeze into my sister’s way-too-small hand-me-downs, I was wearing boy clothes.  I bought men’s jeans all the time, because I could never find my size in women’s jeans.  And then, of course, the legs were too long and I refused to let my mom hem them.  I didn’t wear make-up, I didn’t know how to do my hair… I was a disaster, plain and simple.  I went for comfort – big and baggy, and when I look back on pictures from then, I literally cringe.

5.) Have you attended any high school reunions?

Nope.  Our ten-year reunion should have been in 2010, but I don’t think anyone organized one.  And truth be told – the people I was close friends with in high school, I still see on a regular basis, and many of the other people I knew in high school, I still see them a few times a year - it’s almost a guarantee to run into them at the Shawville Fair!  If anyone wants a reunion, that’s the time to get in on one.

BONUS: If you have a photo and don’t mind showing us, feel free!

Jill & Wade

OK – so this is a little after high school – I think it was the summer after my first year in college - but trust me, I probably hadn’t changed much.  Does this look like a girl who is meeting her hero & idol?  No.  I wore dumpy black jeans and a grey t-shirt to a sorta-fancy gala where I met  Ottawa Senators d-man Wade Redden, the biggest celeb crush of my life.  That was my standard hair-do – pulled back tight in a pony tail or bun, and not a speck of make-up on my face.  I shudder.

So what were your high school days like?  Go join the link-up and let us know!  Surely your high school experience has to be better than mine!!! ;)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tempted & Tried

Time for an update on the “30 Before 30” Project.

Let me just say this:  last week kind of sucked.

Last week, I was tempted.

Appropriate, I suppose, considering it was the first week of Lent, right?  As I listened to our minister Nancy’s sermon on Sunday morning, all about Jesus being tempted for 40 days by the Devil, I reflected on my past week of temptations, and how relevant it all felt to me.  Last week was Week #6 for me, and it was my toughest so far, by far.

Jesus - Temptation of Christ - Eric Armusik

First of all, I should tell you all that I’ve given up French fries for Lent.  Some might argue that that’s too easy, considering I don’t eat fries all that often to begin with; however, the challenge lies in eating out at restaurants.  One of my goals with this new healthy eating lifestyle was to choose salad over fries whenever possible.  I have been unsuccessful thus far on the few occasions when I’ve eaten out.  By giving fries up for Lent, I plan to change that.


Now all that being said… Fries were not the issue last week.  At all.

But I was tested. 

Not once, but twice.

The first time, a friend texted me, inviting me to join a group of them for wings at the Ladysmith Hotel for dinner that night.  For those of you who know me, you know what a treat Ladysmith wings are to me.  And the timing seemed perfect, since the thought had crossed my mind a few times lately that I haven’t been to Ladysmith for wings in ages.

The problem was that I had already planned on a light supper and going to Fit Club that my coach, Jared, was hosting that evening.   And one of Chalene Johnson’s tips in committing to a healthy lifestyle is to plan your work-outs, and not let anything de-rail you.  Act as though your allotted time for exercise is a very important appointment that you cannot cancel.


It took every ounce of willpower in me to text my friend back and tell her that I couldn’t go, because I already had plans.

The very next day, a new test presented itself.  I had a healthy breakfast with my mom as usual, and had packed everything I needed to make my daily Shakeology meal for noon at work that day.  That evening, the plans were to get together with all of my family for a nice lasagna dinner that my mom had prepared.  All meals of the day, accounted for.

When I got to work, the ladies informed me they were heading to Shawville to run some errands that morning, and were planning to bring back lunch from Cafe 349.

Crap.  Another of my favourites.  And I was so tempted.  I had almost convinced myself to give up my Shake for the day, because A) The Cafe choices are generally healthy sandwiches, soups & salads, and B) It was Valentine’s Day, and damn it all if I wasn’t allowed to treat myself!!!

I had even looked their menu up on-line to peruse, really feeling my arm being twisted, practically tasting my favourite Jalapeno Turkey Bacon Club panini will all the melty Brie cheese…

And then the little voice in my head started. 

You’re already going to have a treat today, silly.  You LOVE your mother’s lasagna, and there will be Caesar salad and garlic bread and cherry cheesecake, and you’re probably already going to surpass your calories for the day just with that meal.  If you splurge on lunch too, then you’ll be WAY over.  Save the Cafe for a treat another day.  This is a test.   Pass it.

I did.  I had my Shake for lunch instead.

And of course, I felt proud of myself for passing both of these tests.  For sticking to my plan, and not allowing myself to waver, even though the temptation was strong.

Now, before you all go feeling sorry for me for depriving myself, you should know that my week was far from perfect anyways, food-wise.  I kept up with my work-outs, but even with the refusal to treat myself on those two occasions, there were still way too many “treats” last week. 

There was the small bag of chips I shared with Caden while watching a movie on Monday; there was the pancake supper on Tuesday night (I had much smaller portions than I normally would, but still, it was pancakes with butter and maple syrup and ham and beans and salads and cake – far from healthy!); there was Mom’s delicious lasagna supper on Valentine’s Day, along with the V-day cookies my sister put out that I ended up having one or two (or three) of; there was dinner out at the Aylmer BBQ after Caden’s hockey game on Sunday – no fries, but a massive plate of delicious Chinese food.

I was FAR from deprived, to say the least.

But there were also a few victories, to balance things out.  As I said, I worked out 6 days, following the TurboFire schedule, and each week that I do this successfully I consider a huge accomplishment.  During my Stretch 40 class on Sunday morning (basically a Yoga work-out), I held myself in plank position every time I was supposed to, when prior to now I was always dropping to my knees or flopping on the floor.  I also didn’t miss a day of The Assertive Girl’s Arms & Abs Challenge, which I started this month as well, and I can definitely feel the benefits of building my upper arm & abs strength in my work-outs from doing the daily push-ups and mountain climbers.

arms and abs challenge

When I weighed myself this morning, I had dropped another 2 pounds (a total of 19 over 6 full weeks), and my mom chastised me this morning for my pants being too baggy and sloppy to wear to work.

Little by little, I’m getting there.

I just need to keep passing these tests.


Linking up today with Impulsive Addict and Shawn for Talk To Us Tuesday!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Yes, I had a reservation? Pity party for one?

It’s true.  I’m totally having a pity party for myself today.

And it’s not even because of Barf Day, believe it or not.

(Or at least, not just because of Barf Day, although it really isn’t helping).

No.  The reason for my pity party today is the wonderful, the great… Erik Karlsson.  King Karlsson, as he’s known to Senator fans.

erik karlsson

Dudes, things got really dismal in Sens Town last night when our best player was taken out of the game indefinitely by a skate blade slicing his Achilles tendon.

As I watched #65 shouting obscenities, his face contorting in pain while he made a mad one-legged dash from the ice after Matt Cooke skate went right through the sock at the back of his left ankle, I literally felt my stomach sink.

And then I tried to peptalk myself. 

Okay, so that looked bad, but who knows.  Maybe it’s just a cut on the back of his leg, they’ll stitch him up, he’ll be good to go.  I mean, everyone on Twitter is saying players with Achilles injuries can’t even attempt to skate, and he DID try!  He tried to push off with that foot.  It didn’t work, and it appeared he was saying the F-word eleventy billion times, but he tried.  So maybe it’s not as bad as it looks.

But before the game even ended, the Senators announced that our beloved Karlsson had a lacerated Achilles tendon, that surgery would be required, and that he will be out indefinitely.

Depths of despair, people.  Depths of despair.

I seriously haven’t felt this gloomy about my team since Wade Redden left to join the Rangers.

I wanted to cry.  I still kind of do.

I’d like to think that our team has enough fight, fire & feistiness to battle through this and still compete, but added to so many other injuries on our team right now (most notably, the fact that our #1 centre Jason Spezza is also gone for the year, likely)… Well, it’s not lookin’ good, Sens fans.  Not lookin’ good at all.

I remember going into this shortened, intense 48-game schedule, many were saying it would be the team that could stay the healthiest that would likely do the best.

Up until now, I had high hopes.

Those hopes have been utterly dashed.

Last year’s Norris Trophy winner, and arguably the best player the Ottawa Senators have ever had, is gone, and he may never be the same again.

I’m not going to get into whether or not I believe Matt Cooke did this on purpose (although I have a hard time believing someone with his reputation stomped on the best defenceman in the league’s leg “accidentally”, being that it IS Matt Cooke, after all) – I can’t even muster up the energy to spew vitriol at him.

I feel deflated and devastated.

This sucks.

So, yes.  Pity party for one.

Happy Barf Day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WWTKW: Ah, my favourite day of the year. NOT.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. 

Also known as BARF Day.

Yeah.  I’m not a big fan.  I try to be a happy, positive person, but I just can’t muster it on Barf Day.  29 years of being single and lonely will do that to you.  Last year just added to my love of the day, as it was the day we had my dad’s funeral.

Needless to say, I just try to grit my teeth and pray that it goes by quickly.

Photo: Grumpy Cat

Naturally, Scriptor & Kenzie are using this week’s We Want to Know Wednesday Q&A to get geared up for Barf Day.  And since I can’t think of anything else to write about, I guess I’ll force myself to play along! ;)


This week’s questions:

1. What is your favorite flower?

2. Tell us about your favorite Valentine’s Day:

3. Was Valentine’s Day a big deal when you were a kid?

4. If you could have any one thing for Valentine’s Day what would it be?

5. Do you have any special plans for Valentine’s Day?


My answers:

1. What is your favorite flower?  I’d have to go with yellow roses.  They are my mom’s favourite flower, so I guess that’s why I’ve always love them, too.

yellow roses

2. Tell us about your favorite Valentine’s Day:  I have a few that come to mind, actually.  I’ve often gathered up my single girl friends and done something fun, being all like “WHO CARES ABOUT DUMB BOYS!!!” One year, I dragged my friends Sara & Erin out for dinner, and then we went to see the movie “Miracle” – a hockey movie, of course, just about as anti-Vday as you can get.  Another year, I went with some single friends to a Blue Rodeo concert.  We had floor seats, and it was a great concert, so that one was pretty memorable, too.

Of course, all those single friends are no longer single anymore.  I’m pretty much the last one standing.  Yippee for me.

3. Was Valentine’s Day a big deal when you were a kid?  Yeah, I guess so.  In my elementary school days, we always got each other Valentines, and I remember having fun making that little pocket thing to hang on our desks to collect the Valentines in.  It was a big deal back then.

vintage valentines

4. If you could have any one thing for Valentine’s Day what would it be?  


or chocolate.  whatever.

5. Do you have any special plans for Valentine’s Day?  Actually, the plans this year aren’t so bad, so I really shouldn’t be doing all this moaning and groaning.  I usually watch anti-love-movies and eat junk, but this year I think my mom is planning to make a nice lasagna dinner, and we’re all getting together as a family.  I always enjoy those family dinners, especially being with the kids, so I’m honestly not dreading it this year.

And when I get home, I may watch Halloween:H20.  Josh Hartnett is in it, so he can be my Valentine.

Halloween H20 7

Happy Barf Day, kids.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Let’s Talk

Today is an important day for raising awareness for mental health issues and suicide prevention.

DIFD (Do It For Daron) has encouraged everyone to wear purple today in support of the cause, and Bell Canada is hosting it’s “Let’s Talk” program today, with every text or long-distance call by Bell customers, and every Facebook share and #BellLetsTalk Tweet for non-Bell customers, they will be donating 5 cents to mental health awareness.

bell let's talk

Nothing breaks my heart more than to hear of someone who has struggled with mental health issues taking their own lives.  I often sit back and wonder, “Didn’t they know?  Didn’t they know there were people who loved them; who would’ve been there for them to help them through their darkest hour?”

I know it’s not always that simple for people who suffer from mental health issues and depression to understand that.

But hopefully, by way of days like this with the Bell Let’s Talk campaign, and with the growing momentum of organizations like DIFD, the stigma that goes along with mental illness can be erased and people will feel more free to just talk to someone.


There will always be someone there for you.

Let someone help you.

Open up & talk about it.

You are not alone.

If you haven’t already shared the image on Facebook or used the #BellLetsTalk hastag on Twitter…go do so now, please. 

Today, we can all make a difference.


Linking up today for Talk To Us Tuesday with Impulsive Addict & Shawn.


Thursday, February 07, 2013


As a Wade Redden fan, I’ve had my ups & downs. 

Lots of good days & lots of bad days.

The past five years or so?  Not such good days.

  wade redden 3

Redden’s last few seasons as an Ottawa Senator were a struggle, as they chose to keep him over Zdeno Chara, much to the chagrin of many.  I still think they made the right decision, but there wouldn’t be many who would agree with me. While his contract increased, his play went on the decline, and he became the whipping boy for many local reporters, thus feeling the wrath of a legion of Sens fans.

It was a tough time to be a Wade fan.  I was once tormented by a guy at a game. It started out as a nice chat with the slightly-inebriated older gentleman in the seat next to me, until I confessed to him that Redden was my favourite player.  I spent a whole period listening to this guy rant and rave and make fun of me, to the point where I thought I was going to pop him one right in the nose.  Clearly, he sensed my disdain, as he took off for a beer between periods and never came back…

I cried the day Wade Redden became a UFA and signed with the New York Rangers.  My Senators were no longer “MY” Senators.  And it brought me great frustration and disappointment to see his career dwindle away in the Big Apple, until they finally sent him down to the minors in 2010 to unload his hefty contract from their books.

I thought it was over for him.  I really did.

So when my brother sent me an email a couple of weeks ago, as the NHL season belatedly got rolling following the labour dispute, to tell me that due to a rule in the new CBA, it looked like Wade might get the chance to get back in action – well, my heart just soared.  The Rangers would buy him out, and he’d become a UFA.  Of course it was too much to hope that the Senators would want him back, but when I heard that he’d signed with the St. Louis Blues to a one-year, $800,000 deal, I was relieved.

wade blues 2

After 2 years of riding the bus and grinding away in the minors, Wade was finally back in the NHL, with a clean state and an opportunity to prove himself all over again.  Even better, he’s playing for Ken Hitchcock, a guy who can’t seem to say enough good things about him.

This morning, I woke up to a post on my Facebook wall from a friend telling me she thought I’d be happy to read this heartwarming story about Wade.  Then, I got a text from my brother telling me to tune into Sportscenter this morning because they did a feature on Redden, who will be playing his 1000th game tonight.

That’s right, folks.  Today is one of those “good days”.

Wade blues 3

1000 games.  He should’ve hit this milestone a long time ago.  Still, it’s not one that all that many players reach, and I doubt few who reach it have been put through the ringer to get there the way Redden has.

It’s a day of pride for him.  He’s gone from being one of the best defencemen in the league, to a fallen star, to digging himself out of the trenches, catching a lucky break, and being given an opportunity to shine once again.

It’s a day of pride for me.

Wade & I?  We’ve come a long way.


It really doesn’t seem so long ago that the Ottawa Citizen ran a page-full of player pictures and brief bios on the eve of the Senators very first play-off round.  As a young thirteen-year-old, I scanned that page and picked one out.  A strikingly-handsome, baby-faced young man, and I declared, “This guy is HOT.  He’s my favourite.  Wade Redden.”


This morning, as I watched him on TSN reflecting on his career and the struggles he’s faced, I noticed that he’s starting to look old.  His hair is thinning; a little more grey in the scruff on his face.  More wear-and-tear etched into his features, more scars than I remember. 

redden 3

I guess that’s bound to happen over a 17-year-career.  He isn’t that 19-year-old kid anymore.

Today, I feel no shame.  I’m thrilled to stand up and say that I’ve been his #1 Fan for 17 years, and I’m so glad that he’s back in the NHL where he belongs. 

Tonight, he will lace up for his 1000th game, and I know I will be beaming with pride for him.

Wade Conference Champ

Congratulations, Wade!!  I’m very happy to still be able to say… you are #6 in my program, but #1 in my heart!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

WWTKW…It’s back!!!

It brought me great delight last week to realize that Scriptor & Kenzie had brought back the We Want to Know Wednesday Q&A link-up. 


I’ve missed it!  I already had my post ready to go last Wednesday, but I knew right away that I wouldn’t miss it this week!

Here are this week’s questions:

1.) A.) Did you watch the Superbowl? B.) Do you tend to like sports or do you watch them only if it is a big event or something a friend or spouse is into?

2.) What is one thing you really like but cannot understand how or why other people do not?

3.) Describe/Explain one thing that annoys you on a daily basis.

4.) What is one food you’ve been really into lately? (If nothing lately, you can explain something you craved at one point.)

5.) Name one thing you are saving or want to save money for.

My answers:

1.) A.) Did you watch the Superbowl? B.) Do you tend to like sports or do you watch them only if it is a big event or something a friend or spouse is into?

A) Yes, I actually did.  I had no idea as of Sunday morning who was even playing in the Superbowl (I like football, I really do… but I really wasn’t following it this year, apparently) – but that didn’t stop me from planning our annual family Superbowl Snackfest!  It’s really all about the snacks and the half-time show, right?!

destiny's child

B) I love watching sports, especially hockey and fastball/baseball.  I do enjoy football, but I don’t watch it as faithfully, and primarily just tune in for the Superbowl or Grey Cup (CFL).  The only sport I really don’t like to watch is basketball.  And I’m not a big fan of golf either, but if my brother is around and gets his paws on the remote… we watch golf.  *sigh*

2.) What is one thing you really like but cannot understand how or why other people do not?

Hockey.  Fortunately, many of my family & friends DO love hockey (and not surprisingly so, I guess, since we are Canadian) – but I do know people who can’t stand hockey, or are bored by it.  And I’m all like, HUH?!?!?!  I don’t get it.  I just don’t get it.

There is no greater high than winning a big game.  No greater pride than seeing your team succeed.  No greater thrill than watching a fast-paced, well-executed, exciting match.  It’s a passion.

Still gives me goosebumps…

3.) Describe/Explain one thing that annoys you on a daily basis.

My alarm clock.  I HATE getting up to an alarm.  Mine isn’t even set on an alarm, it’s set to the radio, and it starts off softly and gently, then grows increasingly louder, so it’s not even all up in my face going BLEH BLEH BLEH!!!!.  Even so.  Most days, I want to kill it.  Like, seriously, murder it.  In a perfect world, I would never have to waken to an alarm.  I would wake up whenever I want (and I still think that would be relatively early), and have moments to linger in bed and let myself fully waken, without the help of the snooze button.  It’s equally evil.

alarm clock

4.) What is one food you’ve been really into lately? (If nothing lately, you can explain something you craved at one point.)

I can’t really think of anything, honestly.  Oh, wait.  I DO have an answer.  Clementines.  Since Christmas, I’ve probably eaten my weight in clemmies.  They’re at their best around Christmastime, so every time I go to the store I grab another crate of them.  Before long, they’ll be out of season, so I’m eating as many of them as I can now! 


5.) Name one thing you are saving or want to save money for.

This one is easy.  A new entertainment system – TV, DVD player, PVR, even a nice new unit to set it all up in.  I’m well over-due. 

samsung tvpvr

I’ve put with my current old asshole of a TV and all of his faulty friends for long enough.  So this is my current save-my-pennies project. 

Oh, wait.  We don’t even have pennies anymore.  Dammit.

Alright!  So that’s it for this week’s WWTKW!  Be sure if you decide to play along, go visit Scriptor & Kenzie and link-up!!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Takin’ a second, breakin’ it down

Good morning, everyone!

First of all, I’d just like to say a big thank-you to all of you for your words of encouragement last week after I whined & cried over not losing an ounce the week before.

Y’all were right.  Bad weeks happen, and are usually followed by positive results the next week, as long as you stick to your plan. 

Good news.  I dropped 4 pounds last week.  I’m at 15 pounds total lost over four weeks, and half-way to my goal of losing 30 pounds by my 30th birthday on July 28th!  At this rate, I might even surpass that goal… eeeek!!

The other day, my Beachbody Coach Jared posted this on his Facebook group:

10 tips

As I went through it, thinking about my progress over the past month, I was pleasantly surprised that I have pretty much followed all of these tips & suggestions, without even really realizing it.

Let’s break it down, shall we?

  1. START NOW by recommitting today – I did this on January 7th, 2013.  I was one week into the New Year, with Christmas fading fast, and my spare tire growing by the day.  I spent over a week preparing – researching the TurboFire program and absorbing healthy diet tips, purging my home of junk food, and just gearing myself up for the new mindset.  It would have been easy to grant myself one more week of reprieve, and enjoy the chips & cookies & restaurant indulgences for seven more days before starting the TurboFire Challenge Group on January 14th.  But I didn’t wait.  I couldn’t wait.  I knew the time was right, so I jumped right in.  There’s no need to wait for a specific day or week or month.  START NOW.
  2. DRINK WATER like it’s your job -  Dudes, I so do this.  I am the master of drinking water like it’s my job.  In fact, when I’m at work, I make sure I drink a glass of water every hour.  That way I know when I’ve left my desk for the day, I already have my 8 glasses down, and everything else is just bonus.  So, yeah.  Water is my job.  It totally helps that water is my drink of choice, anyways.  I drink gallons of it, and I don’t need Crystal Light or anything to jazz it up.  Just give it to me cold, straight up.  Love it.
  3. PLAN each meal – I’m getting better at this.  I wouldn’t say I have a set plan for the week or anything, but I already know I have one meal taken care of with Shakeology, so that helps.  I usually know the day before what I’ll be eating the following day and I stick to it.
  4. EAT – don’t make up for overeating by NOT eating -  This one is a little tricky for me.  Especially in the wake of our Superbowl Snackfest on Sunday.  Yesterday, my inclination was to starve myself, knowing I’d gone way over my calorie count on Sunday.  I didn’t let myself do that.  I had my Shake for breakfast, leftover Superbowl snacks at Mom’s for lunch (but only a small portion), a salad for supper, and a dish of plain non-fat Greek yogurt with kiwi & honey for dessert.  I stayed within my calorie allowance for the day, rather than starving myself to make up for the previous day’s indulgences.
  5. REVISIT your food journal and repeat a good week – Journaling is a key to my weight-loss success.  I’ve been recording each day what I eat & drink, as well as what exercising I’ve done, both on paper in my TurboFire Tracker Journal, and on-line on  It keeps me mindful, and helps me stay on-track.  I revisit it all the time.
  6. REMIND yourself how far you’ve come -  This one was big for me last week, when I was feeling down about not having lost anything the whole week before.  I kept reminding myself of how much better I was feeling compared to a month ago, how much more energy I was bringing to the workouts each day, how much more comfortable my clothes were feeling… There were successes to focus on, despite the unchanging number on the scale.
  7. MOVE – get your sweat on -  Surprisingly, I can tell you without a doubt in my heart that I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS!  I’m a self-professed couch potato, so the fact that I have not missed one work-out on the TurboFire schedule is kind of a miracle.  It’s a 6-day intense schedule, and at the beginning, I seriously doubted I’d be able to stick to it.  Granted, being on Winter Hours and having Mondays & Fridays off has given me the extra time to ensure that I get my workout in each day.  It might be a bit of a struggle once I’m back to work full-time, and all of the busy-ness of Spring & Summer activities begin.  But my mantra thus far has been:  There are 24 hours in a day, you can find the time!!!  I’m not giving myself the option of skipping a day.
  8. DON’T let a bad week turn into a bad month -  Being only one month in to my program, I haven’t really had the opportunity to break this rule yet.  I’ve had a pretty good first month.  But it is something I will need to keep in mind.  I’m the kind of girl who can easily talk myself into turning a bad day into a bad week…and maybe even a bad week into a bad month.  “Well.  I already had McDonalds for lunch, I might as well have 4 pieces of pizza tonight.  … Well.  I ate like crap yesterday, what’s one more day?  Sure, I’ll have a large popcorn. AND Peanut M&M’s  …  Hell, this whole week has been a write-off, why not have an appetizer, a huge meal, and then a dessert?  AND chips & dip later?”…  Dudes, this comes straight from my sad little brain.  I need to be careful.
  9. VEGETABLES are your friends – Ugh.  I’m not a veggie fan, kids.  I love many fruits, but when it comes to veggies, it’s a struggle.  One of the “goals” I set for myself when I started this healthy lifestyle change was “LEARN TO LOVE SALAD”.  I’m not a salad eater.  When I eat out, I ALWAYS pick fries instead of salad.   I have been making myself eat salads lately, and starting to appreciate them more.  I won’t call it “love” just yet, but I’m working on it.  I’ve had successes – one day last week I had a veggie fajita, and was shocked at how good it was without the meat.  I’ve had failures – out for a friend’s birthday dinner on Saturday night, I faltered and opted for fries instead of salad with my chicken quesadilla, and came dangerously close to going over my calorie allocation for the day because of it.  It’s a work in progress.  I’m not ready to call the vegetables my friends just yet, but I’m getting better.
  10. REPEAT this tomorrow -  I will!!! :)

So, anyone else out there still working away on your New Year’s resolutions or weight-loss goals?  How are you doing?  Are you having success?

Hang in there, guys!  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past month is that there are a lot of people out there working & sweating hard, too.  You are not alone!  Go get ‘em! :)

Linking up today with Impulsive Addict & Shawn for Talk To Us Tuesday!!