Category Archives: Blog

Free Spirit Tours

I purchased a Team Buy deal for a 3 hour caving adventure in Collingwood and thought it would be a good idea to go adventuring the day after Warrior Dash. The tour company Free Spirit Tours was easy to book with and very welcoming and professional. Our tour leader Cam was very patient, great at instruction and very happy which I loved.

Get ready for a picture heavy post. I arrived at Metcalfe Rock about 15 minutes late so was rushing to sign the waiver & get the gear on which included a harness and helmet. We headed off to the first cave and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I wore winter run clothes as we were told it was going to be cold in the caves. Before entering the first cave we left our daypacks, water bottles and sunglasses outside. I looked up and got a beautiful view!

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Warrior Dash 2014 Recap

I tackled Warrior Dash for the 3rd year in a row now. Here is my post from last year which also has a link to my 2011 recap. This year I wanted to run it competitively. I didn’t have enough training in as I would’ve liked based on my lovely back & shoulder injuries earlier this year but I still had an amazing time and did something I’ve never done before. I ran the Warrior Dash course twice this year! The first time for time and the second time round for fun. My shoulder was taped up with KT Tape and I felt strong running and on every obstacle.

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The day started early with a carpool pick up at 6:00am. I fed my car mates rhubarb & strawberry tarts by PaleOMG and we were off to Horseshoe Valley Resort. I had checked out the Warrior Dash Ontario‘s website the night before to figure out which obstacles we were going to tackle but the site was misleading. Only 4 of the 13 obstacles on the course were actually on the map. For the life of me I can’t remember 1 obstacle in my recap below and that one isn’t on the website in the library of obstacles. The 4 on the Ontario map that I was prepared for were Diesel Dome, Deadman’s Drop, Giant Cliffhanger and Storming Normandy. Warrior Dash you may want to have an accurate event page in the future???

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Book Review: All Fall Down

What kobo.com says:

Allison Weiss got her happy endinga handsome husband, adorable daughter, a job she loves, and the big house in the suburbs. But while waiting in the pediatrician’s office, she opens a magazine to a quiz about addiction and starts to wonder…Is a Percocet at the end of the day really different from a glass of wine? Is it such a bad thing to pop a Vicodin after a brutal Jump & Pump class…or if your husband ignores you?

The pills help her manage the realities of her good-looking life: that her husband is distant, that her daughter is acting out, that her father’s Alzheimer’s is worsening and her mother is barely managing to cope. She tells herself that they let her make it through her days…but what if her increasing drug use, a habit that’s becoming expensive and hard to hide, is turning into her biggest problem of all?

With a sparkling comedic touch and a cast of unforgettable characters, this remarkable story of a woman’s slide into addiction and struggle to find her way back up again is Jennifer Weiner’s most masterful work yet.

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What I say: this was a great but hard book to read. Allison the main character is a full fledged pill junkie and it was hard to witness her confusion & downward spiral. The way she would talk herself into things was maddening but worth witnessing. It was great to see behind the lens of  someone that truly suffers from the disease of addiction. I believe I’ve gained a new perspective, new empathy and knowledge of what goes through someone’s head that is struggling. I truly felt for the husband having lived with someone who struggled with addiction I know the impact it has on a significant other. The book isn’t all doom and gloom and I love the realistic hope it also brought. Definitely a recommended summer read.

 

32 Acts of Love Round Up

32 Acts of Love Round Up

My birthday was a beautiful day. It may have been a random hump day in the middle of the week but I was full of so much love and gratitude for people in my life both in my city and across the country. I know I reserve one day a year for tons of acts of kindness but there is something to this feeling you get and I should definitely make more of an effort to incorporate selfless actions more into my life. So here’s how the day went…

1. I got up nice and early to hit the gym before work. As I was getting off the streetcar I handed a thank you note to the driver. He made a point of saying good morning to everyone getting on the streetcar so I hope I helped brightened his day.
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#32actsoflove – My Birthday Plans

So it’s my birthday tomorrow… I really don’t like the expectations that birthdays have and I don’t like asking for much but last year I got a bit demanding :)

Here’s the post that helped me plan the day. And here’s the post that recapped the amazing day. It’s all about random acts of love (or kindness). I had so much fun doing these random acts of love that I can’t wait to tally up some acts of love for my 32 years of age this year. But I can’t do it alone! I would love your help.

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Would you do an act of love on my behalf and let me know through the hashtag #32actsoflove on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?

Here are the 10 things I plan on doing this year. I need 22 peeps to do a random act on their own so we can add them up to 32.

1. Give a thank you note to a TTC streetcar driver when I get off (last year I gave it to them as I got on and it was weird)

2. Hand out free samples of Magnum products & 10% off Popeye’s Supplement coupons at the gym in the morning!

3. Put a motivation quote in a gym locker for someone to find during the day.

4. Buy coffee for the person behind me in line in the morning.

5. Order healthy cupcakes for my office co-workers (I hope they don’t read my blog today)

6. Buy a bouquet of flowers and hand them out to people walking around my work neighbourhood at lunch hour.

7. Buy an iced tea for my receptionist at work & the concierge at my condo.

8. Print off motivational quotes and place them on parked cars around my work neighbourhood.

9. Go down to the Lakeshore bike path after work and hand out water bottles to runners.

10. Hand out granola bars to homeless on the streets of Toronto.

5 Peaks & North Face Endurance Challenge

This was the weekend of trail races. First up was 5 Peaks at Rattlesnake Point on Saturday and then I headed off to Blue Mountain Sunday for North Face Endurance. Saturday started nice and chill, I  met Aubrie downtown at the St. Lawrence market before we headed out to Milton to the conservation area. There must’ve been more people than the last few as we were parking on a grassy hill near the start point or the parking lot was just minimal in size. Aubrie and I took mandatory pre-race, pre-big hill and post race selfies :)

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After a great week of training I felt good. A bit sluggish from a leg workout on Weds that left my legs a bit sore but I had energy. My ankles were a bit tight but loosened up after the 1st km. This course was perfectly technical. Lots of rocks and 3 humbling climbs. We chose to just run this course vs. race since I had another race on Sunday and that was the perfect choice. I didn’t wear my Garmin. I didn’t know what my pace was or really where we were until we saw km markers. It was fun, the course had beautiful views, I loved hopping over all the rocks which made me feel like a mountain goat!

My friend Allegra grab an awesome paparazzi finish photo for us.

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Spry Product Review

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I received product at no cost.

I’ve recently had the opportunity to start working with a new influencer network called Raynforest. They sent me a care package full of Spry dental care products that included gum, mints & toothcare (mouthwash & toothpaste)! The key point of difference is that this product is sweetened with Xylitol.

Xylitol is a five-carbon sugar alcohol that has nearly identical taste and bulk to table sugar but with apparently great dental benefits. Since it has fewer calories you aren’t consuming empty sugar calories. Since it has less effect on blood sugar it inhibits the creation of acid in the mouth and by consistent usage can help teeth remineralize at a faster rate.

I’m not going to lie. The Berry mints were gone in a heart beat. I may have kept popping them like candy! I’ve had to hide the containers from myself so I don’t keep popping more and more mints in one sitting. Oh the joys of not having willpower somedays.

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I love the taste of Spry gum but it definitely loses its flavour after a few minutes. I’ve been using the oral rinse on and off. I haven’t had a chance to use the Spry toothpaste yet but it’s on tap for after I use up my current container. Although I can’t comment on how it’s doing for my teeth health until I visit the dentist next and ask them specifically.

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If you can find the gum in stores I highly recommended purchasing over a regular brand. I’m not a doctor but being able to get rid of sugar from products seems like a great bonus to me and my need for healthy options.

Book Review: Money A Love Story

What kobo.com says:

Having a good relationship with money is tough—whether you have millions in the bank or just a few bucks to your name. Why? Because just like any other relationship, your life with money has its ups and downs, its twists and turns, its breakups and makeups. And just like other relationships, living happily with money really comes down to love—which is why love is the basis of money maven Kate Northrups book.

After taking the Money Love Quiz to see where on the spectrum your relationship with money stands—somewhere between “on the outs” and “its true love!”—Northrup takes you on a rollicking ride to a better understanding of yourself and your money. Step-by-step exercises that address both the emotional and practical aspects of your financial life help you figure out your personal perceptions of money and wealth and how to change them for the better. Youll learn about thought patterns that may be holding you back from earning what youre worth or saving what you can. Youll learn how to chart your current financial life and create a plan to get you to where you want to be—whether thats earning enough to live in a penthouse in Manhattan or a cabin in the Rockies.

Using client stories and her own saga of moving from 20,000 of debt to complete financial freedom by the age of 28, Northrup acts as a guide in your quest for personal financial freedom. She’ll teach you how to shift your beliefs about money, create a budget, spend in line with your values, get out of debt, and so much more. In short, shell teach you to love your money, so you can love your life.

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What I say: I absolutely loved this self-development book. Although I think I have a pretty good relationship with money there are times when I struggle with anxiety around money and wanted to jump into this book to see where it could take me. Kate Northrup breaks it down into 8 chapters that are easy to understand with journal assignments and tasks.

1. What’s Love Got to Do with it? – This chapter gets you to write your money love story. Tell your story, reframe negative moments and then create the heroine version. I’m a big fan of shifting perspectives from negative to positive so I love this type of work.

2. It’s Not about the Money – This chapter works on remembering money memories, acknowledging your top money frustration and then make the connection. This chapter also addresses concepts of self love.

3. Woo-Woo Meets Cha-Ching – This chapter addresses your views of money, identifies potential limiting beliefs about money and has you argue against them.

4. You’ve Got You, Babe – This chapter is kind of fun. The author asks you to identify your Prince Charming and qualities you envision and relate them back to yourself. And then we get down and dirty and identify expenses while breathing deeply. And finally choosing a money project to tackle.

5. What Can you Do to Pay Attention? This chapter addresses practical advice. I really liked reading about assembling a financial team as this is something I’ve recognized as lacking in my life. I also need to really go over my numbers and organize my assets, liabilities, income & expenses so I can treat myself as a profitable business.

6. You Owe You – this chapter is awesome in creating a loving savings plan

7. Feel-Good Financial Planning – this chapter helps you define what you value and what is success to you. Kate talks about how you want to feel. She recommends Danielle LaPorte’s books next that I have on my too read list so I’ll dive into these next.

8. True Financial Freedom – and finally Kate defines different types of incomes including passive and residual to get the mind wheels turning.

I’m so excited to really sit down and do all the assignments and create my money love story!

 

Bike Wine Tour & Sailing

This past weekend was the aptly named the weekend of internet coupon deals. I purchased a cycling wine tour for two on livingsocial.ca & Dustin (otherwise sometimes referred to as the boyfriend :) ) bought a groupon deal for a sail on Lake Ontario. So we jam packed our workouts in an around reservation plans and had a fun and thoroughly exhausting weekend. It doesn’t seem like much but coupled with workouts and the fact we like to call ourselves old the tired hit pretty hard at the end of the weekend.

After a Saturday morning gym workout for me and a longish run for Dustin we headed off to Niagara-On-The-Lake for a cycle wine tour with Niagara Wine Tours International. This was my first time on a bike since I was a little kid so I was a tad scared about my skills. It cheesily really was “just like riding a bike” and I figured it out in no time. May have taken me a few too many tries to get the gears right but off we went. We were allowed to go to 4 out of 5 wineries on our map for 3 tastings at each location.

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Our first stop was at Reif Estate Winery. I loved this winery. From the wide open space in the tasting area to the friendly staff behind the counter to the great tasting wine. We bought the Vidal and the Baco Noir here.
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Thunder Bay Adventures

We arrived Friday evening of the July long weekend, rented a truck, turned on the country channel and headed over to my boyfriend’s brother’s place. After an amazing steak & corn on the cob dinner and maybe several bottles of red wine it was time to pass out and get ready for the rest of the weekend.

Day 1: We started out by heading to breakfast at the world famous Hoito Restaurant. I ordered Finnish pancakes, sunnyside up eggs & bacon. Despite having to wait almost an hour and a half for food it was well worth the wait. Conversation was awesome with D, his brother & their friend, so we were well occupied. After fattening ourselves up on carbs & protein we headed off to see some nature.

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After flipping through a Thunder Bay guide book during breakfast I pointed to a picture of some beautiful falls and asked can we go here? Done! Off we headed to Kakabeka Falls for an adventure. It’s one of the reasons why I adore the boyfriend, it’s is his eagerness to do “stuff” with me. Ps. Did you know Kakabeka Falls is the 2nd highest falls in North America?
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