my ‘long’ weekend

The weekend has felt kind of long to me since my hubby has had to work the whole thing! Hopefully by next summer we’ll get to enjoy the benefits of summer together. But for now, he works his bum off and I’m so proud of him!

Between me working and him working it’s a shock that we actually see each other, but we did – on Friday night, at least!

Friday:

Tyler got a gift certificate for his birthday from my mom for this awesome local pub, that we actually fell in love with on my birthday, so we went there on Friday night.

They just put on a new deck addition on, so you know where we were sitting. There was live entertainment; a lady performing on the guitar. Now, I’m not sure who brings a bird to a pub, but one man did, and placed it on the singer at one point.

It was actually pretty funny, because the bird would slide down the strap and stare at her, like above. I admit, I would be a little freaked out if I was trying to perform and someone put a bird on my shoulder…you never know what could happen!

On to dinner…it was awesome! We both had the special’s that night; I had the ‘catch of the day’ and Tyler had the ‘surf and turf.’

I forgot what fish it was (d’oh!), but it was SO tender and delicious. It was topped off with a mango sauce, side veggies and hard wheatberry salad.

Tyler’s was a pasta dish with beef tenderloin, shrimp and scallops in a cream sauce. I only had a small bite of a scallop and it was good!

Saturday:

Saturday was chill central…maybe a little too chill. Since Tyler was at work, again, I didn’t have a lot of motivation to do much of anything. I did make it to some grocery stores, but other than that, I was a lost cause!

While I was waiting for Tyler to drive home from work last night, I happened to notice this sweet storm a brewin’.

What caught my attention, was this sky:

Aren’t the lingering clouds crazy?!

The sky continued to get crazier. While raining, this is what I saw!

Possible UFO sighting? haha

Only a few more crazy sky pics! So bright in one spot and dark in another…

The sky went pinkish/purple when lightening struck.

Can you even tell that’s it lightening or raining for that matter when the sky looks so neat?!

Sunday:

Husband’s working ALL day today, so I went for a run today (ran 5.92 miles – wish I woulda made it to 6!) despite the hot, hot weather. There was a bit of wind for the first part of my run, but then it went away…turning me into a tomato!

Before I took my red-self home, I made a quick stop at the health food store, and I’m so glad I did. Picked up some local organic strawberries for only $1.50. Total steal!

Once I was home, I made an acai and mixed berry smoothie.

Showering should have taken priority, but smoothies clearly come first!

And that’s my ‘long’ weekend in a nutshell.

How did you spend your Canada Day or Fourth of July weekend?

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again and again

The weather just doesn’t surprise me time and time again, you’d think it would. I woke up to this today:

yuck!

It’s honestly what I’ve come to expect from living in Canada. Almost May…who cares, let it be cold and snowy! So, can someone just take me back to here:

I don’t think a trip to Florida is too much to ask!

To warm me up, I had the same oats as yesterday – PB &J! I think I would have enjoyed them a little more if I wasn’t rushing out the door to go to training. The real bummer with that, was someone told me yesterday that training started at 8:30am, but it was actually 9am. I coulda used the extra 30 mins in bed. I was just dead tired sitting there the whole day…NBD!

What did Dementia training entail? Well, you definitely learn a lot about the different diseases, how family copes with it and how to work with them. It’s pretty interesting and also very scary at the same time. It really put in perspective what they’re going through and hopefully I can apply that to my job in a manner that serves them better.

Even though it’s a disease they have no control over, they aren’t stupid, and that was the message I really got today. Sometimes they just want to feel included or useful. I know I only serve them their meals, but I think even when I interact with them in those 30 mins that I will try my best to just talk to them and get to know them as people!

Training was suppose to finish at 5pm, but we were done by 3:30pm – always a bonus! I love going home early!

I have Easter weekend off (thank you boss!) so I really have to get through chem tomorrow so I can make fun Easter cupcakes with the little sis!

Q: What do you do with your family & friends for Easter?

We’re going to the hubby’s sister’s tomorrow, to eat with his sis, her husband and our niece and nephew and the hubby’s parents are in town, too! Then My fam on Saturday or Sunday…still up in the air!

PS – I’m totally addicted to smoothies. I had another mixed berry smoothie with vanilla protein. Why do they have to taste soooo good?!?


shoulda, coulda, woulda

Why do we do the things we do?

I should finish my chemistry unit since absolutely nothing is on TV, yet I still have that TV on.

I could get up and get that glass of water I’m so badly craving instead of just repeating in my head, ‘I’m thirsty.’

I would workout, but this couch is too comfy.

Shoulda.

Coulda.

Woulda.

These three words can seriously slow us down in life.

Why do we allow ourselves to use these words that are really just disguised as excuses?

If we just did what we needed to do without hesitation, then we wouldn’t give ourselves the time to come up with reasons why we shouldn’t be doing it. We’d all be much more successful, productive and efficient.

In a perfect world.

Unfortunately, things do come up that factor into what we accomplish. Things we like may interfere (ex: surprise tickets to a concert) and things we may not like (ex: your computer dying on you as you have a major essay due – true story, happened to me) that lead us to use excuses.

Either way, excuses exist and we use them.

So, is it shameful to admit that you maybe didn’t accomplish as much as you would have liked to this weekend because of other things that seemed more important?

But, in all honesty, who are you really disappointing? And what solutions are out there so we stop making excuses?

  1. Make a list.
    Even if you think you’ll remember to do something, unless it’s written down, don’t 100% count on your brain (it’s lovely, but sometimes slips up – maybe it’s making excuses up there, too). Lists not only help you remember, but once written, you can further organize and break into top priority vs. low priority.
  2. Set goals.
    Whether daily, weekly, monthly or yearly, they help keep you on track. For me, they help keep me accountable to what I told myself I can do. And don’t be disappointed if you miss a few of your goal deadlines; just make new ones and try to achieve them. Also, be happy that you’re making the effort to write out what you need to do.
  3. Be realistic.
    If you know you have to do something, give yourself the time to do it. Because how realistic is it to complete a project that’s work 80% of your mark in one week. Really figure out what needs to be done and when.
  4. Get energized and focused.
    A lot of excuses are made because we’re ‘too tired’ or ‘too busy’ to get things done – I know we’ve all made an excuse based on one of those reasons. So get yourself pumped up, even if it’s something you’re not thrilled about doing. An awesome attitude and the right focus makes the world of differences when overcoming excuses.

So next time you should finish that report before the day’s over – just do it! And use those four guidelines above to help you get it done. I know they’ve helped me out when I was more than ready to give up!

Replace the ‘shoulda-coulda-woulda’ with ‘will.’

I will finish my chemistry unit.
I will get that glass of water!
I will workout today.

Then see how many excuses you actually have!

But (there’s always a but), there are some exceptions to the excuse-rule. In certain situations, you can make a few excuses.

Like, when the crazy Canadian weather returns. Then it doesn’t seem necessary to get to the grocery store for a few items. That’s what canned goods are for, right?

When it’s almost May and the weather is still like this – I think an excuse is ok.

What do you do to overcome the ‘should-coulda-woulda’ syndrome?

And please tell me someone out there is at least experiencing some sunshine today 😦


binge-baker

I don’t know what is up with our crazy Canadian weather, but as far as I know, it wasn’t suppose to snow last night. It snowed last night. In fact, this crazy Canadian weather is SO crazy that it was snowing above freezing yesterday. Figure that one out. Maybe Mother Nature had one too many kahlua + coffee’s last night…and this morning. With that said, here’s the forecast for the week:

 

Forecast for Toronto

I’m sure Mother Nature and I can be friends if she keeps with the temperatures here, and ditches the snow. Although these temp’s aren’t ideal for my Florida-induced style of living, it’s better than freezing.

Instead of drinking, the weather brings me to bake. It’s probably an easier habit to kick.

My name is Char…and I’m a binge-baker.

Easy Oat Pancakes
Easiest pancakes you’ll ever make!

Inspired and adapted from Whole Foods

Ingredients:
1 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup of homemade applesauce (this one’s the best)
2 tbsp of maple syrup
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp warm water)
Butter for greasin’ the pan!

Directions:
1. Put all ingredients, except for the butter, in a blender and blend until everything is nice and smooth 🙂
2. Preheat a frying pan to medium heat, add the butter once warm, then add scoops of pancake batter. Flip after a few mins.

It’s really that easy!

And really that good.

I opted for one with pumpkin butter and two with peanut butter and syrup…it’s just how I roll!

Next, was onto Cinnamon Sweet Rolls. Have you gathered by now that I love the Whole Foods recipe section?!

These aren’t as easy as the pancakes; they require patience…patience I sometimes don’t have! If ever there was someone looking for a way to speed something up, that would be me.

Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

…is what the recipe says (and ok, yes I did follow these instructions), but, I did induce the ‘warming’ factor by heating the oven and placing them in it. Hey, when you live in Canada, sunshine comes in slim pickin’s! Alright, Canada isn’t that bad, but unfortunately the sun wasn’t out for me when I needed it. So I heated and I waited and wasn’t very happy about the waiting part.

Then, it was time to prep.

walnuts and dates

floured up!

ready to roll

Might I mention…I’m not the cleanest baker. Me and flour probably aren’t great friends.

bleach or flour? ...flour

I had mentioned yesterday that I need an apron – this proves why. It didn’t help when after I said I needed one, my mom said, “I actually was looking at one and thinking about getting it for you.” 😦

Moving on to the good part.

If you’re Canadian, you’ll understand what I mean when I say ‘beaver tail.’ Equally as delicious as cinnamon buns, just not rolled. Flat out goodness. Unfortunately for this one, I rolled it.

Patience has paid off. My little rose buds are ready for the oven!

the wee rolls

The binge-baking ends here, as I have other important things to do…like finish chemistry *yuck*.

But before I go, I have one last pic to share:

swing, batter, batter, swing!

Saturday at one of the Blue Jay’s home opener games with my husband who surprised me with tickets the night before. 🙂

What are your faves to bake?