2013...what's it gonna be?

"So how about this: one year. The end of 2013, that's our deadline. Or a year from whenever you read this. While other people are telling you "Let's make a New Year's resolution to lose 15 pounds this year!" I'm going to say let's pledge to do fucking anything -- add any skill, any improvement to your human tool set, and get good enough at it to impress people. Don't ask me what -- hell, pick something at random if you don't know. Take a class in karate, or ballroom dancing, or pottery. Learn to bake. Build a birdhouse. Learn massage. Learn a programming language. Film a porno. Adopt a superhero persona and fight crime. Start a YouTube vlog...

...But the key is, I don't want you to focus on something great that you're going to make happen to you ("I'm going to find a girlfriend, I'm going to make lots of money ..."). I want you to purely focus on giving yourself a skill that would make you ever so slightly more interesting and valuable to other people."

Taken from here


It's been a mellow past few days. Christmas meals and obligations done. A few neat gifts given and received, not the least of which is a new light switch Dad installed in my basement. Had a nice visit with my Dad. Ate many waffles (new wafflemaker!!!). Sampled local rhubarb raspberry wine and my own blueberry wine (which turned out very nice for a reddish sort of wine- I am pleased). Read the Algebraist by Ian M Banks over a few days of mellow (very good book, if a bit over descriptive). Enjoyed beer and snackery (boxing day supper was  a whole table of horderves...mmm) and there was a lot of slothfulness on my part. In my defense I will say that I did manage to fall down the stairs rather spectacularly while carrying presents at my in-laws house on boxing day. Thankfully I didn't do anything too serious, but I've been taking it easy...other than a bruised butt I seem to have gotten off OK. Stiffness is fading. Good scotch helped.

Unfortunately J has been (again) sick as a dog since boxing day. Today he has a shoot so he is all drugged up and out working out of necessity, but we haven't done much we'd planned since boxing day, as he's just felt too poorly. I seem to be (somehow) still immune, washing my hands religiously and taking Cold FX with the vain hope that it skips me. We shall see. I am hoping he feels much better so we can celebrate new years tomorrow as we've been looking forward to it for some time...at the very least I'd like to crack a bottle of mead and try some (I've heard reports form across the pond that it turned out rather well and I'd like to see so for myself!).

At any rate, hope your holidays were well enjoyed and relaxing. I'm sure I overindulged and didn't get in the activity I'd hoped thanks to my holiday actobatics on the stairs. And yes, I didn't get to all I'd schemed due to plague avoidance, but at least I will get out this evening to spend time with an old friend catching up on life, sipping wine and being ridiculous. I'm slowly getting used to the slowing down of life...another day or two before we're back to it all, all adultish and stuff.
Yes, it will do for now :)


Just so's you know- Cheerios with eggnog is the most decadent delicious breakfast on this planet.
There you go.
Who knew?

One day left!

Almost christmas.
This morning i couldn't sleep in. I tried! Honest :)
I have had a few nibbly days and I know the next few will be the same, so I got up and tried the new Jackie Warner extreme workout DVD I picked out last month.
Holy Crap was it tough. I had read reviews saying to start with 3 lb dumbbells and work up, so I did and I had to put them down for some parts. It is a short workout, max 30 min, but lots of compound movements, all for 1 minute at a time. It was hard. I liked it. Will definitely do it again. Reminds me of sculpt class :)
Now today is the last of my holiday cooking for the foods I am bringing to family things. Meatbuns, lemon tarts, gluten free low fat sticky toffee pudding, mums stuffing and a nice salad with hazelnuts, pomegranates, feta and a wicked maple homemade dressing.
Today is christmas music, tea and relaxing in the kitchen.
Tonight we see the Hobbit.
Yup. It's all good.

I hope you all have a nice time together with loved ones and enjoy a little snacky time.

A very Merry christmas to you and yours :)

My message this holiday season

Hi everyone :)
Just popping in after my last spin and sculpt class of the year to say hi and, more importantly,  take a second to ask each and every one of you to be careful this holiday season. Please please PLEASE drive carefully in the ice and snow and PLEASE, if you enjoy the holiday cheer, DON'T drive.

This is my friend Nick. This is my friend Nick standing beside the car that he was in when he was almost killed by a drunk driver a few months ago driving home from a football game.
Nick's a kindhearted guy with a beautiful wife and the most adorable 2 year old daughter. We almost lost him because some idiot thought he was OK to drive and that it would be OK "just this one time". That the roads were "OK". The driver was not. He is only now healed up enough to be back to normal life, and has scars that will never go away. He's been spreading this picture to remind people to not drink and drive.
Please - be safe this holiday season.  :)

The dark side has the best cookies

I started trying to make red velvet cupcakes last night...and then thought it was too dull, so I took one of Alton Brown's cookie recipes an changed it up to make it (IMHO) better and christmassy. They are dang good. White chocolate and peppermint go so well together and the red color makes it really christmassy I think. So that makes 5 kinds of cookies I've made now...he heh. Needless to say I have a HUGE tray of various cookies for the potluck today. Yum. I posted a nifty photo and recipe as tweaked over on my foody blog which I've been sorely neglecting. I used my Darth Vader flipper to ensure cookie perfection when cooling...aaand, of course, I ate more cookie dough. So it goes! :)

This morning was spin class with yelly Mel, but she was all hyper, having just come off her regular night shift (she's a paramedic in the real world) so even though the workout was brutally hard, she was cracking jokes and talking and singing along and it was (dare I say?) fun. Sweated off all that cookie dough and now it's my second last work day before holidays begin.


plague zone

My husband has been attacked by a cold. He's gone from normal to full out coughing sick in a day. I am torn between trying to stay well and just kissing him a lot so I get sick and get it over with too. I'd rather be sick and better before christmas than get what he has later and be coughing and miserable in chirstmas and new years. We shall see. I had my flu shot and he didn't, so maybe I'll be OK after all.

Last night was some relaxing. As J was sick we just relaxed on the couch and watched a movie and nibbled on some kale chips and some more cookies. Yum. Tonight I have to make some food for a potluck at work. I'm debating just bringing some of my christmas baking and cheating...we'll have to see how lazy I am tonight. J's never had vanillekipfl and isn't big on cookies usually bit he's been eating them so fast I may have to make some more on the weekend. Me? I'm more partial to the gingersnaps... :)

This morning I came in for sculpt class and she worked us hard through all our major muscle groups. A few times I was shaking and could hardly finish my reps...I think I will be stiff tomorrow. It felt good though. After some cottage cheese and raspberries and agave syrup (one of my favourite breakfasts in the world) I am off to the lab.

Later taters...

cookie shmookie...nom nom nom

So my desire to not eat cookies lasted about 5 hours he heh.
Oh yes I am a bastion of willpower!
After a ridiculously late bus (42 minutes late...and it is supposed to run every 30!) I made it home late and freezing cold to a warm quick supper and...some vanillekipfl cookies :) It was a lazy evening of a few errands. Time got away from us and suddenly it was time to snuggle under the fluffy duvet and start all over again today.
I love my duvet. I would give up most things just to keep my duvet. Except coffee. And perhaps those Alpine white chocolate peppermint thingys.
Anyways...this morning I came in all wide awake and cheerful and my favourite old boot camp instructor was subbing in and teaching spin class. It was great. Now after a little Iogo key lime pie yogurt (this stuff is heavenly) I'm off to the lab to do.........SCIENCE!!



Must be quick. Busy day.
Came in for spin and sculpt after a night of unsettled stomach form all that dang cookie dough. I have no desire to eat any more cookies for a while...

Pick me doc

Done my christmas baking. Vanillekifpl, chocolate peanut butter surprise cookies, gingerbread lemon sammich cookies and (a new one this year) - jammy dodgers. Raspberry ones if ya must know.
I figure if the Doctor likes them so much I needed to find a real british recipe and give them a try. 
Turns out they're pretty dang tasty. I'm sure the TARDIS has a kitchen in it somewhere...I could whip these up no prob.
Yeah, just putting it out there.
Cuz, y'know...pastry chef through time and space is a perfectly acceptable living for me instead of scientist :)

Now I need to go make some mint tea to calm my stomach after eating my weight in cookie dough...

Hooray! Friday!

So glad it's friday :)
This morning was spin and sculpt class. I love it when it's exam time - there's always room in the classes in the morning and the friday class is always sweaty and tough. And it was tough. I had sweaty cleavage (TMI??)...a sign that I'm working my ass off. And now lime pie yogurt and granola for breakfast. I could kiss whoever at iogo thought up lime pie yogurt...it's heavenly.

I'm sending good vibes to my friend Karen today. I am so proud of her - with the help of lapband surgery and totally changing her eating and exercise habits she's lost 110 Lbs in the last few years, and this weekend she is rewarding herself by having some surgery done to remove extra skin that hangs on her legs, butt and cleavagey areas. Depending on her mood she might get bumped up to a B-cup too (she's currently AA soaking wet, after being a DDD and she misses her girls!) She's having a tummy tuck later since there a lot of skin, and for now this is the first step. She's off work until January and has her boyfriend to keep an eye on her. I'm so glad for her. Having the extra skin really bothered her after all her hard work, and she is so excited. It's like a final closing of the door on her old unhealthy life. I'm excited for her and I hope it all goes well. I've always thought that if you need to do that to feel better, by all means go for it. I know it annoys me sometimes that my butt will never be pristine after my weight loss, but it's not enough to really make me feel bad since I didn't have as much to lose. It's not enough to let someone do surgery on me tho. I'm a wuss :).

Last night I took the time for a healthy awesome supper - oven roasted maple balsamic brussel sprouts with baked almond chicken. One of our favourites, but it takes about an hour and some days I'm just not in the mood. Soooo worth it though. Healthy and absolutely delicious. We've picked up the most recent Doctor Who episodes so after a bit of boring house stuff we settled in for some popcorn and Doctor Who. Nice. :)
Tonight is christmas movie night with friends and a relaxing weekend of christmas baking and a little work on my thesis papers (I've been tactfully ignoring them...he heh). Christmas shopping and all those sorts of things that usually make me crazy this time of year are done, and I gotta say - I'm doing this next year too if I can. What a total relaxing way to enjoy christmas. Maybe it's just the lack of school crazies, but I haven't felt this relaxed in years.

Ho ho ho, my lovelies :)

Canadian Tire awaits me

Quick post. Busy day.
Came in for spin class and it was sweaty and good.
Today is busy with a noon hour run out to buy my Dad's christmas present...the only gift left. Hooray! I absolutely love that he tells me exactly what tool he can use and needs, what the sale price is and where to get it (a 146 piece drill bit set with a case that is on 60% off if you must know). I love getting people things they can use. Bonus that the store is a quick bus ride form work so I can grab it now instead of after work when everyone is crazy...easy peasy.
Lots to do.
Gotta go!

sweet cuppin cakes

Good morning. :)
Today has been fantastic so far. Sculpt class and a good night's sleep. Wearing some new duds...and I feel awesome for some reason. I'll take it! :).

The work meeting went OK. It seems our area is safe so far with no major needs being lost, and the only cuts being to people who have left who won't be renewed. So in a way it's sucky as some of us will have to do more, but at least, for now, we're all safe. A lot of other departments lost a lot of people, and a few departmental libraries will be closing, so it's a relief to know that, especially right before christmas.

Last night was both a bomb and prize-winner as far as the kitchen was concerned. I attempted to make something new for work potluck today - eggnog cream cheese balls rolled in nuts from a recipe I found online...which never set. So, in the end I have some tasty creamy cheese dessert spread instead. So, I pulled out my baker hat and made some delicious egg nog cupcakes from this site after a bit of hunting - I figured I'd use the failed cheesey balls as icing.
Score :)
I made minicupcakes. I prefer them to large ones...I don't have a big sweet tooth so they're just the right size. They turned out spectacularly and are totally bus totable, so today I have a few dozen minicupcakes for the lunch potluck. It's for my old department that I left last year, and I'm flattered they invited me back for a visit (although J thinks it's just so I'll bring them some dessert- I kinda have a rep to protect here...he hee!). It is a really multicultural department, so potlucks have curries and steamed dumplings and menonnite food all combined. I can't wait. :)
Must dash. Lots to do. Have a great day!


I can't stop giggling at this...

Lazy day yesterday. The roads have been slickly icy lately, so the bus ride home took forever even after being 30 minutes late, so by the time I got home I was chilled to the bone. Had a nice supper and relaxed with J a bit before picking up my Dad at the airport. Got a nice little visit with him in before sleep. He's off this AM, but will be back for Christmas. It's good to see him. :)

This morning I came in on the cold bus to workout, and made it into the yelly lady's spin class. It was a good class though. Hard, but she was really hyper this morning and kept making us laugh and talked to distract us from some of the drills. I feel like it was a really solid workout. Today is another busy day, with a big meeting happening this morning that makes me nervous. There's a huge deficit at the university so they have to make cuts all over and today we learn what those are in our department. I'm OK, but I don't know what we might lose. It's worrisome that some of my friends may lose their jobs.
Crossing my fingers that our group, being the people that make this place work, will be relatively untouched and safe.
We shall see.
Have a great day. And if life gets to be too much today, just do the Whaaaaaat and it'll seem less scary :)

Monday already?

Busy full weekend. There was eggnog french toast.
Oh. Yeah.
Quick post. Must dash.
Came in for spin and sculpt class and killed it :)
Now it's time for craaaaazy work day!
Later taters...

shiny blinky yeah yeah yeah

Last night I got the tree up! Yay!
Oh sure I was up until midnight sorting through ornaments for some to give away first, and had to rearrange the living room to have somewhere to put it, but nana's old white tree is up!
I love it...it's an old old fake plastic cedar from the 50s...I've never seen another one like it. J lived with his nana and mom until he was 5 and has so many fond memories of it, so she made sure to leave it to him and we both love it. Lots of blue lights and all our favourite ornaments. I even put some lights and a few old ornaments on the "regular" tree we have int eh living room, just for kicks. Some years I go all arty and try and coordinate the tree with colours or themes, but this year it's just all the ornaments I could find that made me smile up on there. We still have a whole whack of other ornaments for another little tree that we have, that I'm not going to set up this year, but they're all sorted and organized in a Rubbermaid bin, so they're ready for next year. I've also got a parcel to mail out to my sister's family. Went to bed all grinney and happy - I love christmas :)
(photo: courtesy of Natalee Dee)
This morning was hard to get up for...tired. But I got up and came in for spin and sculpt class and enjoyed it thoroughly. The students are starting exams so it's quieter in the gym. I brought in an old wreath and a set of lights to put up in my office, so I'm gonna go do that now and get to work.

Hope you all have a great evening.

Oh my giddy arms

Last night when I got home it had snowed again another 4 inches (grrr). Thankfully I was having one of those rare go go crazy energy PMS days, and so I spent another 40 minutes happily shovelling snow. I cleared out around the back area where we park the vehicles too which I hadn't gotten to last time I had to shovel...it took a while and after the heavy sculpt workout my arms were very tired by the time I was done, but I did it. When my dad gets home from Ottawa next week he'll actually be able to get his car out now to get home!
After I vegged a bit and had supper I got my christmas mailing together to send out today, as well as some household chores I've needed to get to. I'm trying to get a last few things finished up so I can get to the christmas decorations this weekend...hee hee. Can't wait. I love that we've put in some serious work to the home...we thought about having people over on the weekend after J's christmas work party and it didn't fill us with embarrassment and dread...cuz the house is getting organized! :)

This morning was spin class with the evil lady, and I'm in for a long day at work after a hard sweaty workout. Lots to do, and much to plan. My arms are achey stiff today and my back is a bit stiff, but overall, I'm good. Just enough to know I really worked hard yesterday.
I am strong.
I like that :)

If you all out there have any snacky ideas please pass them my way. I'm hunting for new nibbles. I'm thinking of making these as a holiday food for the family...whaddaya think? Olives, cream cheese and pickled carrots...cutified, and strawberries and devonshire cream santified :)

 We're doing snacks and nibbles instead of christmas supper this year to relax and play games so I have to find some things to bring. I'm thinking these, veggies and dip, guacamole and pita chips and and some baked meat buns will be on the menu.

back to it

Whew! I'm all trained up and back at work today. It was a really good training seminar. It helped me with a lot of things I don't know much about being a new manager. Really practical stuff...I was worried it would be a crappy thing full of buzz words and personal empowerment lessons, but it was really good. Hopefully I can put it to use.

Thankfully there was no more snow. Everything looks gorgeous and christmassey and the city is digging out from under it all. Tuesday I could do my regular planned home workout and did the bodyrock.tv Girl on Fire workout with ab bonus and a few other random ab things before I was off to my training class. Yesterday was a long exhausting day, with errands and groceries and a late supper and I fell into bed exhausted at 10. This morning I was up and in to work and workout as usual. Today is the last day of classes for the students so it's a lot quieter and I could fit into the sculpt class and have a good all over body workout. My arms have that lovely ache they get when they've been pushed to work hard :)
Now it's to work to catch up on the last few days. Gotta run.
Later taters...


Manager training all day today, so home workout today before i headed out. Got up for morning workout to find a foot of snow.
Soooo, my morning workout morphed into 40 minutes of snow shovelling instead!
Then off to training, bellydance and a long day.
Tomorrow I do it all again (well hopefully minus the shovelling bit)...