Saturday, January 29, 2011

Back to the grind

Hello readers! I hope you haven't given up on me because I've been MIA lately.

This week I started back at work...FULL TIME...after not working at all for over 6 months! Though this opportunity came out of the blue, it was the perfect time since I was ready to go back to work, but having to jump in full force with no notice has definitely taken a toll on my body:

I am so tired!

a photo of cassius from the archives
I haven't felt this exhausted since Indio was born. I can barely keep my eyes open after 9pm and have fallen asleep on the couch this week more times than I care to count.

To add to my fatigue I've managed to do 3 super workouts this week, one at the gym with my class--a perk of the new job!

Even with my need to hit the sack early, I'm loving the new venture and I'm invigorated by my workouts!

What's been keeping you busy lately?


Monday, January 24, 2011

Fat Blaster? For real?

Remember that *resolution* I made to get my butt to the gym 3 times a week this month? Well, I have to admit, it hasn't been as easy as I thought.

My pass is only good during off-peak hours, so 7am-5pm, and I thought I would take advantage of Indio's naptime to get to the community centre, but that's much easier said than done.

I will say that I have kept up with 3 workouts each week for the past 2 weeks, though lately I've been relying on a set of DVDs that E has lying around called "Barry's Bootcamp". Yes, these are high on the cheese factor, but they are also high on the potency of the workouts. I've only been doing the 21-minute upper or lower body *Fat Blaster* workouts and I'm already feeling a difference.

I've said it before, I don't like exercise, and hardly have the motivation to do it alone at home, but if I can get in a decent workout in under half an hour, including stretching, I'm game. This week I doubt I'll be able to get to the gym at all, so I'm going to try to add the 12-min *Mission Specialist* ab workout to the end of my regular 21-min workout.

Any tips on how to stay motivated? And what about that whole thing called healthy eating? How do you stay on track? That's my next hurdle.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

At your local cinema

E and I are avid movie buffs and over the holidays we had lots of opportunity to go out and watch a few flicks at the theatre.

Thanksgiving weekend we were in Missouri visiting E's mom and sister and decided to see Love and Other Drugs, which was really cute. I've loved Anne Hathaway since her Princess Diaries days and thought she was great in this film, even if there was a bit too much *boobage* on her part. Jake Gyllenhaal was adorable in his role as a relentless pharmaceutical salesman. The movie also provided an interesting [not always favourable] look at the world of pharmaceutical sales.

I was really hoping that How Do You Know would be the cute, romantic comedy of the season, but alas, it failed me miserably. With a stellar cast, who acted fairly well throughout the film, the storyline still didn't gel or make that much sense. There was no cohesion between characters, who all seemed to be doing their own thing. Maybe the editing needed to be refined, or maybe a better plot should have been written. Either way, this one isn't even a rental, no matter how much I love Paul Rudd.

Another one of my favourite actors [hotties] who has been prominent in theatres lately is Marky Mark, aka Mark Wahlberg. He stars in The Fighter, the based-on-a-true-story movie about boxer Micky Ward who has spent his life in the shadows of his brother, Dicky Eklund, former boxing hopeful turned crack addict. The acting in this film was fantastic, especially Christian Bale's portrayal of Dicky, which was phenomenal! I loved this movie even though some parts were predictable. E said the boxing scenes were "weak", but as someone who doesn't know the nitty gritty of the sport, it seemed real to me. I'd definitely recommend this one!

Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis paired up in Black Swan, the dramatic thriller about one ballerina's quest for perfection. Though the storyline wasn't that different than most perfectionist dancer plots, the added psychological twist made this film. Portman did an excellent job of playing Nina, a ballerina consumed with dancing to the point that she couldn't separate reality from fiction. The Oscar buzz surrounding Portman's portrayal is clearly worthy.

The Company Men. This movie gave emotion to all the downsizing that has occurred in the US since the most recent economic collapse. The plot centered around three men who lost their jobs at a large corporation while the company continued to buy property and pay its head honcho a $22 million salary! Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper do an excellent job in their characterization of these men who have to redefine themselves in every aspect of their lives. And though I'm not a huge Kevin Costner fan, I loved his role as the working class brother-in-law. This one might not be a must-see in the theatre, but it would be a good rental.

Phew! Hope you're still with me. Have you seen any of these films? What did you think? Any recommendations for our next movie night out?

all images via


Monday, January 10, 2011

Village on a Diet

As much as I dislike exercise, I love watching other people do it. E and I used to watch the Biggest Loser every Tuesday until the producers thought it would be a good idea to make the show 2 hours long each week and we quickly decided we had better things to do with our time! We had a quirky [secret, until now] routine of eating Taco Bell takeout while watching the BL participants trying to change their eating habits for the better.

Now Canada has its own version of a Biggest Loser-type show called Village on a Diet. It's about a small town in northern British Columbia where 60% of its inhabitants are overweight or obese. The entire town wants to get healthy and in the process, try to lose a collective 1 ton in 10 weeks! And health and fitness experts have been flown in to help them do just that.

We watched the first episode last week and the second tonight and I have to say, I'm hooked. Though there are moments that are a bit overly-dramatic [trainer being "tough" with trainee], this documentary-style show is done so well, giving viewers an inside look at the struggles and triumphs of an entire town.

Village on a Diet is definitely giving me motivation to stick to my own goals. Hopefully, the rest of the season won't disappoint.


If I write it down I have to do it

I'm not big on new year resolutions [I tend to make more around my birthday], but healthy living is always on my list, anytime of year. Exercise is definitely not my favourite thing to do and sweets top my list of sustenance, so this is a real challenge for me. Luckily, I married a fantastic fitness expert who helps keep me in line.

In November, I finally bit the bullet and joined the gym on a 3-month trial. I hadn't stepped foot inside a gym since the days of being pregnant with Indio! During November I was pretty good at getting to the gym, but December was a bust! First, we were in NYC, then I had strep and we had guests for the last 3 weeks. [I know the die-hard fitness buffs would call those "excuses".]

Well, it's now January and I am back on the wagon [or elliptical machine!]. I only went to the gym once last week, but I'm still hurting from that workout. My goal is to go 3 times a week before my pass runs out in February, so that's 12 times. Will you help me stay motivated?

I think I'm going to convince E to buy me a pair of Nike Free running shoes if I can keep up my gym routine until spring. What motivates you? What do you do for exercise? How do you stick with it and not lose steam?


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Slip Sliding in the Snow

Our good friends, Marta and John, lent us their toboggan to use while we had E's family visiting over the holidays, but we didn't have enough snow! We finally got the chance to test it out last Friday after a mini-snowfall on Toronto.

Indy loved "sledding" and kept saying, "Do it again!" each time he got to the bottom of the hill. Mama and Papa were cold long before Indy was ready to go home, but that's probably because Indy was a little Michelin Man in all his layers! Maybe I need to invest in a pair of adult-sized snowpants!

Do you like the snow? Is there any snow where you are? I'm secretly hoping for an early spring, but I do love the look on Indy's face when he's in the snow...

building a snowgoose!

tasting the snow


all by myself!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Project 365: the bittersweet end

Happy New Year! I hope you all rang in the New Year exactly the way you wanted to. Our night was low-key, but fun and somehow we were out until 4am! Nights like that are rare these days.

Last night also marked the end of Project 365: an entire year of photos, one taken each day, 365 total...finally complete!

Three cameras [Canon SD940, Nikon D60 & Blackberry Tour], two computers and lots of time was spent compiling the images that loosely represent my year. Though sometimes an arduous task, I'm so glad I completed it and am now getting ready to make a Blurb book of all the images.

I won't be tackling the same project in 2011, but I am on the search for another photography project of a smaller scale, maybe something once a week, so let me know what you're doing.

[day 354: Poutine--a true Canadian delicacy.]

[day 355: End-of-dinner Americano at Marcello's with E's baby sis...YUM!]

[day 356: My very first Christmas tree--how adorable is it?]

[day 357: Deciding what I want on my Ali Baba's falafel sandwich...DELISH!]

[day 358: Christmas eve apple pie, served with President's Choice Loads of Caramel Cashew Toffee Ice Cream...say that 5 times fast!]

[day 359: I find nutcrackers a bit creepy, but very Christmas-y so I made sure to include one on our tree.]

[day 360: Marcello's again, this time with a different sister of E's...chili olive oil, rosemary olive oil and balsamic vinegar--all so tasty that I think I ate an entire basket of bread with them!]

[day 361: Stuck in traffic at dusk on Bloor Street.]

[day 362: I'm not a fan of fried chicken because the only kind I've tasted is fast food, but E's mom made some from scratch and I am officially a convert! It was so good that I even dreamed about it that night!]

[day 363: Indy's obsession with balloons continues well after his birthday.]

[day 364: This is now becoming an annual holiday shot at P's mom's after-Christmas lunch.]

[day 365: Ready to ring in 2011 with some of the best people I know.]


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