Date Night!

The other night Josh and I treated ourselves to something special. We went on a tour of a local Pioneer Village. Lang Pioneer Village is a local historical village and museum that is committed to preserving history in a fun and interactive way. They host all sorts of events and tours throughout the year. I had been looking for something like a ghost walk to participate in but unfortunately everything in our area was sold out. I came across the Historic Walks of Lang and Josh and I decided to check it out!

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We got to the village just before dusk and had some time to look around before it got totally dark.

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We were met by two lovely ladies that led us on a trip through the lives and struggles of early Canadian settlers. The village include a homestead home from the early 1800’s and then some more ‘modern’ buildings from the turn of the 19th century. We also met a few interesting characters along the way.

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Someone couldn’t help but try on some period attire. He looks quite pretty doesn’t he? I swear, we are very mature adults, not goofy children at all.

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By far, the best part was traveling by the light of lantern. We got to meet some rowdy men at the local tavern, the school teacher, a textile worker and see a few different homes and vehicles. I was hoping the walk would have a more Halloween spooky theme but it was interesting to hear some local history and hear some familiar names from the area we live in.

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Lang hosts a Halloween event this weekend and I would really like to check it out. We are so lucky to live close to such a great museum. I love to take advantage of local attractions and activities. You never know what great things are going on right in your back yard when you look!

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Friday Favourites: Books, Books and Books!

Happy Friday Friends! I am really excited this week because, not only am I participating in Friday Favourites this week, I am sharing some of my favourite books!

I am a book work. I love to read all sorts of things from nonfiction to light romantic fluff. I used to read more for pleasure before attending university. I found being forced to read text books for five years turned me off of books for a while. Now I am pretty picky and only read what I truely want to read. I have no problem leaving a book unfinished if I don’t like it, there isn’t enough time in my life for a bad book. I also will reread books again and again if I love them. There isn’t anything wrong with this, a good book should be enjoyed and shared!

book case

I have picked my top 10 favourite books. I should say that these might not be my favroutie books of all time, but they are books I am loving right now and want to share with all of you! Please don’t judge my taste in reading materials, we all have our guilty pleasures!

1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I think this one is a bit over done as of late but that doesn’t stop me from loving it!! I can’t get this book out of my head. I finished it last week and  immediately called my mom to have a very dramatic ‘WHAT THE HELL!!??’ conversation. Now I am frantically coming up with a time to go and see the movie. The ending rocked my world. I can’t say I really liked the end, or most of the characters but it definitely got up under my skin. Josh is reading it right now and I NEED him to finish it so I can talk to him about it.

gone girl

2. The Everygirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness by Maria Manounos

I picked this book up a few months ago at the book store and got hooked. Maria lays it all out on the table. her book is light and clean looking, easy to read and is full of awesome tid bits and stories to inspire you on a journey of healthy eating and a balanced lifestyle. I wouldn’t normally buy this type of book but I did and am very happy about the decision. There is so much information in this book that I know I will need to reread it to absorb everything. I also think its very motivating and will be a good read for when I start to feel my resolve slipping.

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3. Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy by E. L. James

Need I say more? These books are the best summer vacation, sitting in the sun doing nothing, sort of books. They are pure fluff and fantasy but that’s okay! Books should be fun and lets face it, most of my reading is done by the pool on hot lazy summer days. I need some fluff in my life. I am only slightly embarrassed to say I have read this trilogy three times now. They are too much fun. I am looking forward to the movie in a big way. I’m not a fan of the casting and I am sure the movie won’t do the books justice but I am looking forward to a super fun night out with my girl friends!!

4.The Last 15: A Weight-Loss Breakthrough by Dr. Joey Shulman

My copy of this book is full of notes, stickies and it looks worn out overall. I have been through that book up and down inside and out many times. This program helped me loose about 25 pounds a few years ago. It was an amazing but short lived time in my life. I let my new body go to my head and forgot that in order to keep myself looking that way I had to continue to work. I would still suggest this book and don’t blame the program for my weight gain. I still follow a lot of the advice in this book and this is a program I want to try again. I will just have a different outlook when I do it and be going into it for the long term. Being healthy is a life long marathon not a sprint, no matter what method you choose to help you get there.

the last 15

5. The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius by Kristine Barnett

If you work with children, know children or have children you will gain some beautiful things from this book. It truely is something to read, absorb and hold onto in your heart. I loved reading it the first time last Christmas and need to reread it soon. As an educator it is easy to get clogged down by many things like stress, politics, the multitude of needs and things to do. This book brought me back to why I love kids and helping them learn. It was a wonderful experience.

6. Anything Written by Elin Hilderbrand

If you need something to read at the beach you should check out Elin Hildrebraund. She writes what I would call, slightly smarter beach fluff. Her books are fun and mostly take place on Nantucket Island, they follow a number of generations and are often family stories. I haven’t read a book by her that I haven’t liked. They are perfect for getting lost in by the beach.

7. Running Like a Girl: Notes of Learning to Run by Alexandra Heminsley

This is an awesome read for any woman who runs or is interested in running. Alexandra is like any girl who decided to get healthy and start running. She talks about her training and struggles along the way as well as some tips. This book made me laugh and cry. It was lots of fun and very relate-able.

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8. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

When the Hunger Games trilogy was published I thought there was no way I would like them. I am not really into the whole science fiction fantasy realm thing. I also don’t like to think about the end of the world let alone watch movies or read books that deal with it, why depress myself? But when the movie came out I was intrigued. It looked like a good movie and my mom wanted to go. I loved the movie and then spent the entire weekend before my final exams of my final year of university reading the Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, instead of studying. I would not suggest this as a game plan for studying success. I am now somewhat completely obsessed with the books, movies and Jennifer Lawrence.

9. Anything written by John Irving

I discovered John Irving through a book assignment in grade 12 and he is now my favourite author. My favourites of his books are A Prayer for Owen Meany, The World According to Garp and Last Night at Twisted River. There is something so wonderful about John Irving’s writing. His books are often very serious but also funny with a bit of strange mixed in.

10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

My grandfather wanted me to read To Kill a Mockingbird when I was 13. It was his favourite book and I think this is a large part of why I call it my favourite book. There is no doubt that this is a truly wonderful book and something special in literature. But, I have a sentimental connection to this book. I feel connected to my grandfather when I read it and therefore its messages are more clear and important to me.

If you haven’t checked out any of these books I certainly hope you do. I love them and I hope you do too! Thank’s for the link up Heather!!

Friday Favorites October Button Medium

WIAW #3: Comfort Foods

Yesterday I got treated like a princess! Josh is on holidays this week and has taken over a lot of the cooking for the week. This means that I got a very yummy dinner and some awesome treats to eat yesterday. Seriously, things were tasty around here :) I am sharing my WIAW once again this week. Thanks again Jenn for the link-up!

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Breakfast

Don’t tell anyone, but I might be a bit spoiled (hehe). Yesterday I was getting ready for work and was having a blah morning. Sometimes I just don’t feel like making breakfast. I like breakfast and I know I NEED to eat in order to feel good and not bite off the heads or pour innocent children. Despite knowing how important breakfast is, sometimes I just can’t bring myself to make it. Nothing seem appealing and I have to try really hard to make myself eat something.

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Luckily my wonderful fiancee came to my rescue. He kindly got out of bed and made me a breakfast sandwich. He is so awesome! The breakfast sandwich was awesome and it hit the spot. I am so glad I caught him on a good day, he must have been feeling guilty about staying in bed while I went to work on this dreary, raining day.

Lunch

I didn’t work on Monday but I had lunch all packed just in case (life of a supply teacher), so Tuesday morning I was able to pull it out of the fridge and threw it in my bag for yesterday’s lunch. Apparently my lunch was extremely interesting to Finnick. I sweat cats are very nosy. They always need to know what’s going on.

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Lunch was a piece of ham from the crock pot and some mixed veggies. I know, not very exciting, but quick and nutritious so it works. I forgot my fork at home though and had to swipe one from the staff room kitchen. Sometimes not having a permanent work place isn’t too fun.

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In order to spice up my sad little lunch I threw in some veggie sticks and a honey crisp apple. I am still in love with both of these snacks. I will be sad when the season changes and I can no longer get good apples. That is one of the sad things about living in a slightly cooler climate. I am getting jealous of reading other blogger’s posts about running around in sun dresses still as I pull out my winter coat. Oh well I will be happy when we have a white Christmas!

Snacks

In between my day job and my evening tutoring session I decided to duck home to curb my late afternoon hunger. I decided to cure my bagel craving with half an everything bagel and some Laughing Cow Cheese. It was delicious and just what I ordered. It was a hairy sort of day and come tasty carbs were needed.

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Dinner

When I finally got home I was greeted by a wonderful sight. Josh was hard at work making homemade soup and chocolate chip cookies! Wow, maybe he is trying to wrack up some brownie points? I am not too worried about the reason, it was just plain awesome.

Josh made Broccoli and Cheddar Soup. He slims it down with light cheese and skim milk. It is really good and packed with veggies. I don’t make that soup because it needs to be blended. I don’t have the patience for that but Josh does. I love soup and it was the perfect comfort food dinner for a long rainy day. Things are getting cold around here!

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I was very excited when I realized there were chocolate chip cookies warm from the oven for dessert. I really am spoiled! I think we should all just pretend that I only ate the two cookies on this plate. I really can’t bring too many baked goods into the house, who would turn down homemade cookies? I wouldn’t!

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Those are my Tuesday eats. I am really looking forward to eating left over soup for lunch tomorrow! I think Josh should stay home and cook more often. I could get used to coming home to yummy dinners.

Playing in the Pumpkin Patch

You might think from my choice of entertainment (making caramel apples, running around zoos and visiting pumpkin patches) that I must have small children or perhaps am a child myself. This would probably be a reasonable assumption if I were anyone else, but I am not. I am a grown up (or at least that’s what they tell me) but I really REALLY like doing kid stuff. Or, at least my own version of kid stuff. Perhaps its the teacher in me that enjoys the children’s section of book stores more than anywhere else, or a family fun fair, or perhaps I just haven’t really grown up. Either way, I am lucky to have a partner that also loves to be goofy with me and enjoys being dragged along on my adventures!

Yesterday was the day we picked for our annual visit to the pumpkin patch. I feel like I have been talking about this constantly, but I always get super excited about this event. Josh and I made this a tradition years ago when we started dating. I love fall and there is nowhere better to celebrate fall than a pumpkin patch.

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We had the perfect day! The sun was shining but it was very cool. I was silly and completely under dressed for the cold. Luckily I found a hat and some mittens in my trunk. Although they were extremely goofy looking they did the trick and I was nice and toasty.

The pumpkin patch we visit is about half an hour away and very close to the small village I grew up in. They are very well known and run a year-round business. Their fall pumpkin festival includes a haunted barn, corn maze, wagon rides, pick your own pumpkin, food and entertainment, and a pumpkin cannon. There is also tons to do for little kids. Although I may want to be a small child, my size and embarrassment prevented me from playing in the giant sand pit or playing pumpkin bowling or going through the hay bail maze. Someday I’ll have a kid and get to live vicariously through them!

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Oh, and the farm has a petting zoo. A few years ago they used to let you go right into the pen with the goats and chickens and sheep but I suppose people were getting their fingers bitten off. At least you still get to feed the animals. I loved that little goat he reminded me of Marley.

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I think Josh makes a very good sheep. Perhaps a sheep with some attitude but we will forgive him. I loved the tractor ride. There is no better way to enjoy the fall colours then travelling through huge farmer’s fields. My sub-par photographer skills don’t do it justice of course.

pumpkin cannon collage

The pumpkin cannon is by far the best part. It’s amazing how far they can shoot the pumpkins and the kids are supper cute counting down for the cannon fire and cheering. Who am I kidding, I was doing it right along with them.

After a very long search for the perfect pumpkin we finally picked two and headed home. I think I was pretty decisive this year and didn’t make Josh carry too many pumpkins around the field before I settled on my final pick. Josh picked a white gourd. It will look awesome when we carve it. Going to the pumpkin patch is the ultimate activity for fall but it also means fall is coming to its close. I can’t believe Halloween is less than 2 weeks away. Soon I’ll be planning for Christmas. This is really an exciting time of year!

 

Fridays Favourite Things

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Happy Friday!! I am really excited for this weekend. I may have had a few not so stellar days this week, Perhaps even the kind that make you don’t want to ever go back to work again. Oh well, we are moving on. I am also really excited because this weekend Josh and I are finally going to the pumpkin patch for our annual trip! This will take another thing off my fall bucket list.

Fridays are pretty awesome! Today I am linking up with Heather at Housewife Glamour for Friday Favourites!

Friday Favorites October Button Medium

 

1. Veggie Sticks!

I might be the last person on earth to have discovered these Veggie Sticks. I swear I need to hit up Costco more often. There are so many awesome things hidden inside that ridiculously big store. These are the perfect snack, I love that you can get them in individual packages now. They taste awesome with hummus and greek yogurt dip. I convinced Josh we needed a big box for our lunches. I am not fooled into thinking that they are the same as eating vegetables but hey, aren’t they at least a step closer? Plus they are way better than eating chips or even crackers.

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2. Honey Crisp Apples

Keeping with the food theme, Honey Crisp apples are by far the best apples ever!! They might be more expensive and a bit harder to find but they are totally worth it. I am obsessed with them! You can probably tell by the over use of exclamation marks. I will try to tone it down. but really, when do apples taste like a treat? They don’t, I don’t care what you say. Apples are fruit not treats (unless they are Honey Crisps). So lets all be thankful for fall and the wonderful Honey Crisp apples popping up everywhere!

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3. My new dragonfly bowl

This past weekend I went with my mom to an autumn craft show. This is a big tradition for us, we always go on Thanksgiving. I love hand made things. Craft shows are great places to pick up amazing pottery, home decor, gifts and jewelry. The vendors probably don’t like to hear this but I also get ideas for my own projects. It’s just so much fun. This year I picked up some amazing pearl stud earrings and a beautiful bowl. I love the size of my new bowl, it isn’t too big, making it perfect to serve vegetables or hold fruit.

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4. Gone Girl

Okay, I am totally hooked! Don’t spoil anything. I broke down and decided to read the book before I see the movie. I am not done yet but I will be in quite possibly a few hours. I am a bit surprised too because I really don’t like mysteries or anything too scary. This book might be converting me.

Gone Girl: A Novel

 

5. Fossil Earring

I love fossil. Their watches and jewelry are so amazing. I wish I could own everything. But alas, I cannot. Believe me, I am trying. These stud earrings are a staple for fossil and I love them. I need them in every colour. I sure hope Santa is reading this post (wink wink).

Fossil Mint Studs| FOSSIL® Jewelry

6. Tabbata Workouts

I am in love. These are a new discovery for me but I am already feeling the rewards. Tabbatas help me fit in a quick and sweaty workout with very little equipment for the mot part. I love how intense they are in a short amount of time. I did this workout from Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers yesterday and was pleasantly surprised about how much my body felt it this morning. Loving the burn!

Tabata Workout: Four different tabatas that will leave you dripping in sweat!

 

What are you loving this Friday?

October Goals: Check Up

Remember the goals I set for October? Well we are a little over half way through the month and I am sharing how I am doing on my goals. You can check out all of my October goals here.

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1. Be a Fish

My original goal was to drink a glass of water before each meal, in order to keep me mindful of my hydration throughout the day. I would say I a rocking this goal for the most part. There might have been times where I missed that glass of water but my mindfulness has been right on. I have been much more consistent with my hydration and drinking a lot more water. I really want to keep this up for the rest of the month.

2. Eat Like a Rabbit

For October, I made the goal of eating a salad at least once a week. I think I still have some work to do on this goal. Being really sick for the first week and a half of the month threw my diet off quite a bit. However, I have been eating WAY more veggies. I have been adding them to my meals and making veggies my snacking choice. I have even had a few salads.

3. Stay Home

I knew this goals would be a hard one for me. I love to eat out and it can be hard to avoid when you are on the run a lot and lead a busy life like I do. So far I haven’t been doing all that great on this one (womp womp) but I am still determined to decrease the amount I eat out and want to refocus on this goal throughout the rest of the month.

4. Get Moving

My goal was to complete at least four workouts a week in October. I was really excited about this until I got hit by the cold from hell. My chest took a beating and I knew my body couldn’t handle the workouts. I am feeling much better now and am ready to get active again! I have already completed 2 good workouts this week and have appointments for at least 2 more.

5. Keep Treat Days to Saturdays

Well this is another one to refocus on. I eat what I want when I am sick, I don’t restrict myself when something might make me feel better. While I did try to eat healthy nutritious food when I was sick to give my body strength, I also ate treats when I wanted them. And then I had Thanksgiving. Well now things are back to normal and I am trying to focus on rewarding myself on Saturdays.

I am fairly happy with how things are going this month. There is always more work to do and more progress to be made. I think the biggest thing is that I keep these goals on my mind and strive towards them. Whether or not I am perfect doesn’t matter, I am trying.

QUINOA

WIAW #2: Getting Back on Track

Yesterday was all about trying to get myself back on track after a crazy holiday weekend. Three Thanksgiving dinners and lots of fun with family meant eating (almost) whatever I wanted and enjoying it completely. Unfortunately this has left my stomach feeling not so hot. To put myself back on track I kept my meals light yesterday and mostly stayed away from dairy products.

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Thanks for the great link-up Jenn!

Breakfast:

Yesterday I made myself a fruit smoothie for breakfast. I must admit I am pretty boring when it comes to my smoothies. This one has strawberries, mangoes and peaches, vanilla protein powder and coconut milk. I am really not a great fan of straight coconut milk but it was all I had in the fridge. This hit the spot though and made me feel good all morning long.

morning smoothie

Lunch:

For lunch I packed some of my the creamy potato soup. I first made this a few weeks ago and then made another batch at the end of last week. This time I added lots of cauliflower as well as potatoes. I love this soup. I like creamy soups but don’t have a great blender. Lots of creamy sounds require you to blend up your veggies. This type of step totally turns me off making that recipe. Its just too many dishes to clean and mess to make.

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Snacks

My new favourite snack are veggie straws! These things might not be that much better than potato chips but they are lighter calorie wise and I can pretend they are full of veggies. I am also loving the fact that Costco now sells them in individual snack size bags. They make the perfect snack for my lunch bag. I also love to eat them with hummus or Summer Fresh Greek Yogurt Dip. Its sooo yummy!

veggie straws

My other favourite snack is Honey Crisp Apples. I am taking that whole apple a day thing to heart. I really don’t want to get sick again. That might be impossible while working in  a kindergarten cesspool of germs, but I try. Honey crisp are easiest to find in the fall and I am getting my fill. If this isn’t your favourite apple of all time there is something going on with you, maybe you should rethink.

honey crisp

 Dinner:

Dinner was left up to Josh yesterday. After being fed by family literally all weekend, we didn’t think much about grocery shopping. I pulled some ground turkey out of the freezer but everything else was up to his imagination. I came home to some tasty pasta. I can’t complain because I was super tired and very happy to not have to cook when I got home.

pasta

The day ended with some green tea and a few chocolate chips. Josh wants some more pumpkin baking in the house soon. I am resisting since there were so many treats this past weekend. I know if I bring any baking into the house I will eat it all! I can’t help myself. Happy WIAW everyone!! Marley also wishes you a good day. He is such a funny duck, but a cute one!

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