Thursday, May 27, 2010

They'll Call me Freedom

Hola Bloggies:

So let's talk beats (i.e.: music) or what I consider an integral experience to my workout experience.

You see, I'm one of those people that got an iPod (1st generation nano - thank-you very much) for the sole purpose of working out. Given that I'd never owned a Walkman or a Discman it was rather a leap for little olde me. But truth be told, when I first started working out you couldn't have paid me to stay on a treadmill for more than five minutes. It pretty much bored me to tears.

Enter my BabyPod (yes - it had a name). She was a gift from my parents and she pretty well changed my life. From there on in there was only life pre-nano and post-nano. That little device, along with the Nike+ system, got me from couch to my first 10k race.

Ever since then I've considered my tunes to go hand in hand with my training. Which means that I'm always on the look out for new songs and artists. Today, I thought I'd share with you one of my favourites. The artist known as K'naan.

K'naan is absolutely a product of the Canadian multicultural experience. Born in Somalia, he was fortunate enough as a teenager to escape on the last commercial flight to ever leave Somalia. After a brief stint in the United States, he along with his family found a home in Toronto. There he honed his art - because this man truly is a gifted artist. Until one day he was invited to present a spoken word piece at the United Nations. Story has it, once he was done he was greeted with a massive standing ovation. From there K'naan would go on to release his dayview album before releasing Troubadour.

If you want to know what K'naan is all about - listen to Troubadour. There are songs on there that have made me share a tear or two (okay - maybe three) but there are also up beat songs totally suitable for running or working out. Here are my recommendations:

1) "Somalia" - good steady beat and a great hook
2) "T.I.A." (This is Africa) - the rap and drum beat in the background is just begging for a good run
3) "ABCs" - this was the first K'naan song I ever heard and to this day it gets me to pick up my tempo
4) "Wavin' Flag" - there is no way you can hear this song and not have your spirit lifted

Now unless you're totally living under a rock, K'Naan's music will be totally impossible to ignore over the next while. You see "Wavin' Flag" has been chosen as the Official Anthem of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. And yes that means the song has been re-mixed a million times but my favourite version may very well be the "Young Artists for Haiti" version done with an all-star Canadian ensemble to benefit the Haiti relief efforts.

What do you think about K'Naan? Are you a fan? Favourite songs? I have to say "Fatima" pulls at my heart strings every time. It's the perfect combination of poetry, joy, melancholy, and sadness.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Quoi de Neuf?

Bonsoir Bloggies:

I thought it was high time I check back in avec my friends and readers. Yes, I have been noticeably absent from blogging this last little while. The irony of the situation is that I (along with the Fiance) have been insanely hard at work on another website - our wedding website!!!!

It's been an incredibly labour intensive project that has happily resulted in a website we're massively proud of and are excited to share with our guests. Honestly, I think it has to be the most detailed wedding website in the history of wedding websites. We have subsections covering everything from our story (rather cute if I do say so myself), local attractions, wedding traditions, customs questions, booking accomodations, our photos . . . even survival Spanish!

In the process of designing our content the Fiance and I discovered that we're fantastic at building websites together. I'm good at the quick witty thoughts and he's great at revising what I wrote and making sure it looks good and follows proper rules of grammar. All of this led me to think that perhaps post-nuptials a whole blog revamp is in order. Preferably one that involves a professional designing my templates and new branding and the Fiance working with me on the content. I have some thoughts on new names for the blog but if you don't mind I'm going to keep things under wraps for now!

Speaking of keeping things under wraps - as much as I would love to publicly share the URL of our wedding website I am a little fearful of creepers. And by that I don't mean you readers - you're all cool beans - it's more the lurkers that exist out there. Having said that if you know me and would like to see our website please get in contact with me at tobethewholepackageATgmailDOTcom and I'll happily share! :o)

As for the Quoi de Neuf (which literally translates into what's new, in French) . . .

I still intend to keep on blogging about health and wellness. In fact lately I've begun to frequently use dailymile to log my workouts. And don't worry I haven't forgotten about P90X. Yes, I know I haven't been updating you on my progress. So tomorrow I will begin doing so again.

Now your turn! Quoi de neuf with you?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What’s a Gear Again?

Hola Bloggies:

Is it just me or is tri fever spreading around the blogosphere? Lately it seems absolutely everyone is participating in one triathlon or another!

I don’t know about the rest of you but I have a funny feeling I’ll never do a tri. Besides the fact that I’m not a fantastic swimmer I’m a terrible bike rider. No really. I grew up in Toronto – which is pretty flat. Consequently, I have no idea how to use the gears on a bike. Which means that if I encounter even the slightest of hills I struggle like woah!


Of course there was that one time I decided to throw caution to the wind and head out on a bike excursion. It all took place a couple of years ago. At the time I lived on Vancouver Island and decided with the boy (now the Fiancé) to board a small ferry to one of the Gulf Islands between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia. Specifically, we hit up Mayne Island because we had heard it was the flattest of the bunch.

Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? It is!!!




On the ferry to the Island I couldn’t help but feel very proud of myself. This was relatively early on in my journey towards wellness so spending the day riding around an island was still out of my comfort zone. Still I wasn’t scared – I felt alive!!!

And then I got to the Island. Remember how people said it was flat? LIARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE WHOLE LOT OF THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the hill that greets you when you get off the ferry (photo taken on the return trip so imagine yourself trying to go the other way). Seriously!??! I thought it was a cruel joke! lol


But you know what? I walked the bike up the hill and promised myself that no matter what, I was going to have a great time. And I did!




The Island turned out to be nothing short of gorgeous! It was full of hidden little corners just waiting to be explored. A Japanese memorial garden, a lighthouse, a village, gorgeous vacation homes . . . it was the kind of thing you see in movies!



Sure it was hard. Sure it took us all day to cycle the Island. And sure I wove a little here and there while struggling on my bike (I’m not road worthy yet – only small Island worthy). But in the end I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone! I tried something new and made memories to last me long after I left the beautiful West Coast!

Do you cycle? Are you completely rubbish on the gears like me? Any advice to help me figure out how to cycle more efficiently?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Standing Date

Hola Bloggies:

I know there are lots of couples out there who have a standing “date night.” As for me, I have a standing Monday afternoon date with a pack of puppies and their owners!


Why you ask? Well because it gets me to exercise in a different way – not to mention it’s great for my puppy, Daisy!

Part of leading a physically fit lifestyle is finding a way to enjoy healthful activities without having to don exercise gear and heading to the gym. If you’re like the Fiancé you may not be a fan of cardio machines but you may absolutely relish the thought of a multi-hour hike. That’s where our standing date comes into play!



On our weekly hikes we take to the local community forest. It’s called that but really it’s more than a forest – it’s a giant swath of land encompassing mountains, meadows, and lakes. There is nothing more beautiful than hiking for (usually) an hour and a half to two hours through beautiful mountain scenery.



By the time we’re done the puppies are suitably tired (a tired dog is a good dog) and I can honestly say I’ve had a great workout too. Sure, it’s not running on a treadmill of lifting weights but I’ve gotten my heart rate up and definitely worked some muscles along the way!

And the best part? Amidst the laughter, frolicking, and chatting, I scarcely noticed I was working out!

What non-gym physical activities do you do? Any hikes in your neck of the woods? Would you rather be in a gym than outdoors?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pat on the Back Worthy

Hola Bloggies:

Feel like earning a pat on the back today?  It’s simply really!



Start with a generous handful of farm fresh spring asparagus, two free range eggs, a small handful of baby carrots (the kind you buy specifically for your puppy because she’s spoiled like that), a lovely lemon, and a teensy weensy bit of sea salt.

Consider cooking the asparagus but decide to leave them raw. Because they really are that lovely. No cooking could enhance their natural flavour.

Decide to boil your eggs until medium done. Realize that such perfection is hard to achieve and purchase the Egg Timer iPhone App to assist.

Peel your eggs and cut each in half with a spoon, place in a small bowl. Plate your carrots and asparagus. Slice open lemon and drizzle on veggies. Sprinkle sea salt to taste.




Conclude that there is nothing you could have done to make this meal more delicious. Pat yourself on the back.

Repeat often until the last of the spring asparagus is gone. Dream of next year.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

How to Spend Your Earnings in One Sitting

Hola Bloggies:

So I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! Things have been absolutely lovely here in my casa. In between garage sales, baking, outings and fantastic Sunday weather it’s been a brilliant weekend!

And I have to say, I’m actually quite excited for this next week ahead. Now that the weather has turned and my work load is lighter things are definitely looking up!

Now as you bloggies remember yesterday we had a garage sale. It was my first one ever so I wasn’t sure what to expect. We managed to sell some stuff although not a lot. At the end of the day (we were there from 8am – 1pm) we donated what the remainder to the Salvation Army Thrift Store and took our profits to a new restaurant in town! More Japanese! lol



We arrived at the tail end of the lunch service (there was literally only half an hour left) so the place was absolutely barren. But don’t let that fool you – Fubuki Sushi has only been open a couple of weeks and already it’s amassed quite the following. Usually it’s totally hoping!

As you can see from our order sheet, we decided to have Combo A (house salad, edamame, and shrimp tempura udon) along with a Combo C (miso soup, house salad, and two jumbo rolls). To maximize our choices we decided to share everything.




I completely forgot to take a picture of some of the dishes before we began deconstructing them into two dishes so you’ll just have to believe me when I say the presentation here is pretty great. Honestly, the first time I saw the house salad I was beyond impressed with how I looked! Then I tasted it and was even happier – they use miso, seaweed, and a teeny bit of Japanese mayo. Yum!

Two other reasons to love Fubuki? The miso is always of perfect strength and the edamame is copious!



This is the part where I confess I’ve been here way too many times since it opened! Admittedly, I have a sushi problem but the fact that it’s about the only acceptable ethnic food in this town isn’t helping matters! lol Seriously though – the fish quality at this restaurant is right up there with the best of the West Coast! And that’s saying something!!!



And this is half the udon. Be still my heart, was it ever good!!! The broth had a wonderful depth of flavour and the noodles were perfectly al dente. What? You thought only Italian pasta had to be al dente? Nuh huh – there’s nothing worse than a soggy udon noodle!

This place is quickly becoming my go-to lunch time restaurant. As far as the Rockies go it’s very reasonably priced (yes, $14 + tea passes for reasonably priced around here) and the food is awesome!


As for our garage sale earnings? I guess you could say they were put to good use!

Now that you know my go-to lunch restaurant – tell me about yours! Is it ethnic? What’s your usual dish?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The “I Don’t Want to be a Lawyer Anymore” Cookies

Hola Bloggies:

So a while back I came up with a cookie recipe. It’s full of oatmeal, multiple types of chocolate chips (what I use changes on the mood I’m in but my favourites are white chocolate, carob, and semisweet) and it’s utterly delish!!! Since I first made the cookies while the Fiancé was away for work, I decided to take them in to work and share them with the staff.

Me: I baked cookies!!! *putting them on the communal treat table*

A while later . . . .

Co-Worker: Wow were those ever good!

Me: Thanks! Happy

Co-Worker: Seriously!!! You could start a business with those cookies alone! You should call them the “I Don’t Want to be a Lawyer Anymore” Cookies!

And hence how my best creation thus far got it’s name!

Today, a bunch of us decided to have a joint garage sale (also known as a yard sale). While I scared up some things to pawn off on other people sell I was mostly excited about the prospect of testing my cookies on paying customers.




Despite not having a great turn out at the sale, my cookies managed to sell like woah (yes that’s an actual term in my world)! In fact they were the run away success of the event. My two dozen cookies were gone in no time flat!!! I’m kind of proud of myself!

Now this is the part where I tell you how to get your own batch of the “I Don’t Want to be a Lawyer Anymore” cookies – on Monday, May 17th, Bobbi at N Her Shoes is hosting a blogger bake sale with all proceeds going towards her efforts to raise funds for the St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital (she’s running the Chicago Marathon for this cause). The cause is a great one and the cookies are delish!!!

If you are interested in bidding on my baked goodies (my apologies to my American amigos as I will be shipping to Canada only) or on any other of the wonderful products please head over to Bobbi’s blog on Monday starting at 11 AM Pacific Time. All bids will start at $20USD with the auction closing at midnight.

The winner of my auction will receive one dozen cookies with love from moi! Please note they contain, oats, eggs, and chocolate chips. And although they come from a peanut free home (I’m allergic), I can’t guarantee that the chips themselves have not come into contact with nuts. Lastly, please note that I can customize the chips included in the cookies with the default being carob, semisweet, and white chocolate.

Happy Bidding Friends!!!! And remember – they’re yummers!!!!


Friday, May 14, 2010

Sprung in the Rockies!!

Hola bloggies:

I can't even begin to tell you how good it feels to be back!!!

If you follow me on twitter you know a huge (massive really) trial my office had been working on ended prematurely. That means we're back to our usual five lawyers rather than two! After feeling overwhelmed for so long, I feel like I can finally breathe!

And what better way to celebrate than to enjoy the first bounty of spring in the Rockies (and nearby valleys)!

While I forgot my camera, I used my iPhone to share my wonderful day!

Truth be told, I found myself in this valley for one thing and one thing only - fresh spring asparagus!

And Dear Lord was the asparagus gorgeous! Honestly it was absolutely crisp and fresh. Much better than anything I had ever seen at any supermarket!

On days like these I realize how truly blessed I am to live in this area! The sun was shining, the sky was blue, there was fresh produce, beautiful flowers, and I had nary a care in the world!

For lunch I decided to stop at a cute little country ice cream store/cafe. The tandoori chicken wrap was good. But really, this meal was about delighting in a gorgeous Rocky Mountain spring day!

I finished my meal with a small ice cream. No guilt here! This day just called for an indulgent treat.

I think it's official - spring has sprung in the Rockies!