Daily Life, family, Health, Paganism

Thawing

The sun is peeking through the curtains as I sit here with my coffee, while Liam plays with his toy tools (his new obsession). I am so excited by the spring weather we have finally been getting. I feel rejuvenated and like I’m shedding an old skin. Selfie of me Sitting outside in the sun

This was a hard winter for us. There have been big stresses for us this winter (financial, personal, and health). Combine that with the greyness, the cold and all that snow, we have not been feeling great for months. Yesterday, we took a nice long walk around the neighbourhood and let Liam excitedly splash through all the new spring puddles. It was wonderful. We are still adjusting to the time change (Arg, I am not a fan), but this sunshine and warmth makes it bearable.

I am starting to prep for the equinox. Crafts, activities and some tasty food. Liam and I started these egg carton flowers this morning, and I have to say that I love them. spring15cThey are super easy to make, and such a happy punch of spring colour. I think we will do some seed starting for the actual equinox and eat a quiche for dinner that night.

I have started a new exercise program too. I have been finding myself tired ALL THE TIME and think that my lack of activity probably has something to do with it. I have been feeling blob like for a while. While I love my body, no matter what the scale says, I do want to be able to have enough energy to play with my kid. Here’s hoping this helps! Any tips to keep your energy up and to stay fit, without being fat shaming? Oh, on that topic, I recently wrote a small rant on facebook and tumblr about fat shaming and the Dancing Man that I wanted to share with you. Check it out here.

spring15bI hope you are having some lovely weather where you are too! <3

Daily Life, Health

21 Days

Anyone who has know me for at least a couple of months knows that I am a joiner. I loooove joining and starting things. I love the excitement of starting something new and the hope that comes from taking those first steps. Unfortunately, I am also a quitter. I have a hard time following through and sticking with any one thing. I am flighty and can talk myself into and out of anything.

With respect to my health, this means a million diets and plans started and very few carried out to the end. After having some success losing about 20lbs a couple months ago, I fainted at home and immediately quit everything. I stopped working out. I stopped using my fit bit. I stopped eating well. Of course, I very quickly gained 25lbs. The fainting, as it turns out, was a result of the medication I am on. Apparently, it’s a rare side effect of Zoloft. It’s something I am now aware of and can be more careful.

Anyway, my weight is higher than it’s ever been (pregnancy not included) and I feel gross. I have no energy. I am tired ALL THE TIME. My IBS has been flaring up like crazy and I have noticed my mood is quite low. It is time for a change. I have been talking to a few friends and have decided to try a new routine.

Enter The 21 Day Fix. I know it’s one of these fad exercise programs, but I am still going to give it a chance. What has drawn me to the Fix is that it focuses on learning healthy portions of every day foods, rather than calorie counting. It encourages eating clean and cutting out a lot of the crap that I have been living on for the last few years. I have absolutely no notion of what normal healthy portions are. This isn’t good, especially considering one of the other side effects of zoloft that I’ve been dealing with: Constant hunger. I used to eat until I was full, but that doesn’t happen any more. I wake up in the middle of the night starving. I could eat constantly if I would allow myself to do so.

So, back to the fix. Portion control is accomplished through the use of these nifty little containers.

21dayfixcontainNeat, right? It takes the guess work out of the whole process. Key for someone like me, who has absolutely no idea what they are doing. On top of eating better, there are daily workouts that are only 30 minutes. Totally do-able, even for a busy mom. So, I am going to try to document my experience with 21 Day Fix here, in the hope that it will not only keep me accountable but will force me to follow through. After all, it’s only 21 Days, right?

So, here we go.

Impressions while preparing for 21 Day Fix:

  • This is not a program for people who don’t have time or energy for planning. It took me, no word of a lie, 3+ hours to meal plan for myself and for Pat (who is participating with me, Gods bless him) for the week. It definitely takes a while to do the math and plan each day within the container limits. On the plus side, it will save me time on the day to day when it comes to figuring out what to eat and what to prepare. Most of the people that I’ve talked to about how to be successful in this program recommend taking the time to really prepare. The key is not to find yourself unsure about what to cook or not having the food in your home when you need it.
This took FOREVER
This took FOREVER
If you are interested, I can post a PDF of my meal plans. Comment and let me know!
If you are interested, I can post a PDF of my meal plans. Comment and let me know! Note that I am breast feeding pretty regularly, so I gave myself a bit of wiggle room to enjoy coffee every day and almond milk in my shake.
  • Not a cheap program. Thankfully, a highschool buddy of mine is a Beachbody Coach and was able to hook me up with the latest deal. Even still, the whole shebang, including the Beachbody Shakeology powder (I hear it works miracles and is made of unicorns and rainbows) came to about 150CAD. Add to that all the delicious food, and you are looking at a lot of $$.
  • My kitchen is now overrun with produce
  • Holy crap I have to drink a lot of water.

So, here we are. it is day 1. Wish me luck!

Baby, Depression, family, House

Finding a new normal

My sister and I were enjoying one of our weekly chats on Sunday, catching up on each other’s life. We are both doing what we can to eat better and become more active, while also working on our personal lives and our homes. During this discussion, we came to a pretty profound conclusion that we had both heard before, but, at least for me, I didn’t really GET until right then:

When you choose to be healthier, your whole life changes. Choosing simplicity and a healthier way of living creates a ripple effect.

About a week and a half ago, I chose to start working out and starting to log my food intake. Simultaneously, I found myself forced into a situation where we have to be more careful about our spending. Being mindful of my nutritional intake worked hand in hand with my new need to be extremely mindful of my food budget. Fitting fitness into my daily routine also forced me to create a daily routine or rhythm. Liam and I are now waking up at around the same time every day, he is having his nap at roughly the same time and we have a rhythm to our daily activities. He helps me cook, we play, I work out, it’s fantastic.

Liam loves his play cleaning set from his Auntie Jodie, Uncle Colin and his cousins.
Liam loves his play cleaning set from his Auntie Jodie, Uncle Colin and his cousins.

Sure, it may be coincidence that our money troubles happen to come into focus right when I decided to start taking charge of my health. I’m just thankful that all of a sudden, right after the extreme chaos of my unmedicated period, I’m finding myself in this simple, calm place. When I was unmedicated, my whole life seemed out of my control. It may have just been for half a week, but it magnified issues that I had been dealing with for a while. The house was a mess because I was too depressed to do anything about it. We were eating crap, because cooking was too much work. Doing anything was a chore, and I just didn’t care. Coming out of the haze, I feel empowered to take control and make a difference in our home and our lives.

Amazingly, it’s the most simple of things. I’m doing small bits of cleaning daily, instead of letting it build into massive disasters that take the whole weekend to clean. I’m working out only 15-30 minutes a day, during nap time, so that it doesn’t really change our plans or impact Liam in a negative way. I’m incorporating Liam into these changes as best I can. He LOVES cleaning and helping me cook and is truly delighted to participate, so it becomes a joy for both of us.

Liam, helping me make biscuits to go with some crock pot chili
Liam, helping me make biscuits to go with some crock pot chili

Thankfully, this all came at a very good time. We just received news last night of a family emergency which requires us to head out to a suburb of Montreal this weekend. It’s Cancer again, rearing its ugly monstrous head, effecting our extended family. Any brush with Cancer has a massive impact on me. It triggers all sorts of horribleness, but I’m finding that I’m starting to be able to cope with it better. One of my favourite people, a girlfriend of mine, is currently dealing with one of her parents having brain cancer. When I found out, I cried and I raged. It all seemed so unfair. When I found out our beloved Auntie Pony had colon cancer, I was shaken, hurt and scared, but rallied to support cousin Anne. Getting this news last night, I think Pat was afraid that it would set something off in me, but I’m doing ok. We aren’t close to the one who is ill, but we are very close with those who are dealing with it. It also brings us back to Pat’s father’s illness (it’s one of his siblings), which is the most difficult aspect for us, I think. Anyway, the point of this ramble is to say that I am doing pretty ok thanks to getting my head on straight before getting this news.

On a related topic, do you have any tips for us for our first road trip with Liam? He’s never been in the car longer than an hour at a time, so a two/two and a half hour trip may be tough on us all. Also, we’ve never been out of town with him for just the day, to a home that is not toddler friendly…what should be pack?

Liam is ready to hit the road!
Liam is ready to hit the road!
Daily Life, Paganism, Recipe

Beltane and Voting

Happy May 2nd everyone! Hope you all had a lovely Beltane!

Sorry for the lack of posting! It’s been a busy week.Tuesday evening, I joined a co-worker at a near by gym after work. I haven’t been to a gym since before my accident, so it was a  bit daunting for me. We were going to attend a Zumba class, which was something I’ve never tried before (for someone with anxiety, the new and wonderful are more like new and gut-wrenching). Add to that who we were meeting there. Some of you might recognize him from a little ol’ show on TV called The Biggest Loser:

Welcome to Ottawa Arthur! (taken from his facebook)

I won’t get into the whole story, but basically Ottawa is home to Arthur’s number one fan. She managed to arrange for him to come to Ottawa and train for two weeks. During that time, he had a few events that people could attend, and I made it to one, the zumba class. First, I want to say that Zumba is awesome. I had a great time and would definitely do it again. I was having so much fun dancing, I hardly noticed my ass getting handed back to me. Hardly. Just a bit. Second, Arthur is truly one of the sweetest, most down to earth people I’ve ever met. We chatted for about 30 minutes after class, and I felt like I was catching up with an old friend. He was one of my favourite’s on the show, and I really and truly wish him all the best as he continues his weight loss journey. It was so inspiring!

Me and Arthur, sweaty and exhausted after a good work out. <3

Unfortunately, I think I managed to twist something in my back while shaking my booty. By Friday, it was pretty sore. I spent most of Saturday morning and afternoon cleaning, getting ready for the husband to have his brother and brother in law over for the UFC fight. After getting the house to an appropriate level of mess, I joined one of my BFFs (S) on a shopping outing and then attended my friend L’s bachelorette. S and I left after dinner, as my back wasn’t up for any dancing. We met some great people who are now FB buddies and I can’t wait for L’s wedding this coming weekend! She has honoured me by asking me to do a reading. I have to get some practice in this week!

Beltane was really really laid back, due to a sick husband and my back. I ended up throwing a roast in the crock pot in the morning and by around 7pm, we had a great dinner waiting for us! I didn’t do any rituals, but I feel like having cleaned the house, spent time with my girls and then having a lovely day at home with my husband was all I really needed. <3

Our Beltane Feast

I do feel the need to write about something new I tried this year: The Honey and Lavender cake from Red Musing.  It is truly my favourite witchy recipe now, and will  hopefully become a tradition in our home.

SO GOOD!

The flavour is amazing! My very picky husband really enjoyed it too! The only changes I made are as follows:
-I’d recommend keeping an eye on it as it bakes. I baked mine for 35 minutes, and it was probably 5 minutes too long. It ended up being a bit dry and over done at the edges.
-Choose an icing that doesn’t over-power the taste of the cake. I picked up a ready-made vanilla home-style icing to save time, and was happy with the flavour pairing.
-I used Pixie’s Pocket honey, specifically Mother’s Love (it’s already flavoured with lavender) and Bunny Hunny (which seemed appropriate to me for Beltane. This honey is magic. I swear it. A spoonful makes my knees week.)

I love this cake. It’s perfect, sweet and spicy, all at once. Go try it and love it too <3

Sadly, when I woke up this morning, ready to face the day, I was met with a massive migraine. The worst I’ve ever had. I called in sick and hid in my bedroom for hours, with the blinds and drapes shut tightly. Even an overcast day was too much for me. Eventually, around lunch time, I crawled downstairs and slowly recovered with the some meds and coffee, begging the sun to piss off. No painful brain throbbing will keep me away tonight though. Tonight’s a big night for us Canadian’s: It’s votin’ time folks! I will not get political, I just want to say one last thing on the subject: Please please PLEASE go vote. Seriously. It’s important and you should do it. It would mean a lot to me. Please.

And with that, I’m going to drink some tea, make myself get dressed and head out to make my vote once the husband is home from work.