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Love. Create. Celebrate. : January 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

5 Things

It's been a while since I've posted a top 5 list. So here's one for your reading pleasure.

5 activities that are making me happy these days*:

1) Dodgeball - even though we get our a$$ kicked every time
2) Scrapbooking - I just printed new pictures!
3) Swimming - at the Multiplex!
4) Reading - I go through phases of enjoying books and being bored of reading. I'm in the enjoyment phase right now.
5) Bootcamp - I understand if you think it's odd to be enjoying this... lol.

*In no particular order

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Epic Baby Results!

YAY!! Baby Claus is here, and she's a healthy, happy, beautiful baby girl! I'm so excited for my friends Jenny and Brian. They will be fabulous parents! It's so strange to think that one of my best friends is now a mom. It feels like she's in a totally different stage of life. It's so great to see her transition so easily into motherhood (she's a natural!). Makes me feel like it's not quite as daunting a step as I imagine. I'm so excited to hear her stories and watch her little girl grow :)

Here are the results from the baby predictions we made back in December:

Name: Bronwen Elaine
Birthday: January 9, 2012
Sex: Female (I knew it ALL along!)
Weight: 8lbs 4oz
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Light Brown
Cuteness: 10 (this is a completely unbiased opinion...)

Good guesses everyone! I was right on 3 questions, and only off by 1lb (although I guess that's a lot in baby sizes...lol).

Here's a couple of cute pics that I took while I was skyping Bronwen! Oh yeah... and Jen was there too.

Here she is falling asleep :)

Here she is with her mama (and her daddy falling asleep in the background, lol).

Congratulations to my good friends!!! Love you guys xoxo

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Joop: Cleaning Machine

Not only is Joop super cute, he's also super helpful! Did you know he helps me with all the household chores? Yes, he helps wherever he can. I'll just let these videos speak for themselves....

Helping me vacuum...

and sweep....

and dust...

and make the bed.... If you didn't laugh out loud while watching this, you're not human.

ps - I actually did a better job of cleaning then it appears in the videos, lol.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

If you can dodge a wrench....

... then you can play on my dodgeball team!

That's correct! I've joined a dodgeball team! AND it's surprisingly fun. Whoever said that there's nothing to do in GP was a liar! There's actually a ton of fun stuff going on in this town, you just have to be the type of person that wants to go out and enjoy yourself :)

Someone at work suggested joining a dodgeball team, and at first I think my response was "there's a 100% chance that I'm not going to do that". But I was put on a team list without my permission and now I feel obliged to continue. Tonight is our second official game. I think in our first night we lost 14 games and won 1. Today we're looking to double our wins!!

There are actually a lot of rules associated with league dodgeball. Rules that my team was unaware of until we got yelled at... several times... by opposing team members. Oh well! You can read the rules here if you're interested. Of if you're looking to sign your own team up next year, check this page. I'm acting on a personal goal of mine to be more active and dodgeball fits nicely into that goal. It's actually a kind of exhausting 1 hour of play. It may not be my top choice of activity, and we may not be very good, but I'm playing with people I enjoy seeing, and I'm having fun :) What more would I want in an activity?!

Wish us luck!

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Change Conundrum

*Pre-warning: Sorry for the vagueness of this post. I have several thoughts in my mind and I'm not really intending to share the details of any of those scenarios right now... *

I usually consider myself as someone that adapts to change well. "Oh, ok, we'll let's do this then...". I consider myself to be someone that accepts thing and moves on. However, I'm beginning to realize that this isn't always the case.

As I'm sure most other people do, I have expectations of people, events, situations, etc. Maybe someone accidentally led me to believe something that was false, maybe someone hid the truth without trying, maybe an event was misrepresented... In any case, for whatever reason, I build up erroneous expectations that inevitably make me upset when the truth comes along to bit me in the bum.

I think that I expect everyone else to do things exactly the way that I do. Very egocentric of me - I know! And THEN whether the expectations were made-up or I was led to them, I get very emotionally affected by the outcome (i.e. I easily cry/get upset when something or someone changes my expectations).

Usually I can rationalize why my expectations were false in the first place, or why I should be more forgiving, sensitive, patient, etc. but that doesn't stop me from getting upset. I can't help it.

Anyway - sorry for the rant. Just needed an outlet for my irrational emotions. If you ever have news that you think I'm not going to like... tread lightly...

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Monday, January 16, 2012


Fitness challenge here I come!!!

So GP has this new amazing facility called the multiplex, with all kinds of courts, tracks, fitness areas, etc., and a huge aquatics centre. It's such a great place for a growing town like GP. In order to draw different types of people in they'll be hosting different events throughout the year. One such event is the "move it and lose it" bootcamp that they're hosting.

In my effort in be more fit I figured that this would be a good opportunity. It goes for the next 8 weeks and will be very fun I think. The kickoff event was a 2 1/2 hour seminar given by the famous Paul Plakas. He's the host of the show X-Weighted (if you ever saw it), and he's actually from Edmonton. It was very interesting! Lots of information I already knew, and some new tips too. One thing he said, and I totally agree with is that you should only ever shop the perimeter of the grocery store - fruits, veggies, fresh whole-grain breads, deli meat (not processed), and dairy. Everything in the middle is junk. As I've been struggling to maintain a healthier diet, I find this to be more and more true.

Another tip: If you do everything you would normally do in a day, but add climbing 3 flights of stairs to your regular routine, you will lose 6-10 pounds in a year, without even noticing (all other things kept the same)
Also, if you remove a bit of cream from your coffee (or one equivalent fat item like salad dressing) and keep everything else the same, you will also lose 6-10 pounds in a year.

Crazy little stats. He provided lots in interesting information though, and I really enjoyed the seminar. Next came the first of the many bootcamps. I was surprised because I expected a lot of cardio work in the first bootcamp (i.e. running, jumping, ++movement) but instead he focused on muscle training and work. We did a lot of individual exercises that on their own, weren't too bad, but one after another ended up defeating me!

It was great to practice new exercises, but now, two days later my quads are still sore! Seriously, I really have to get in shape! I think the next sessions will be more cardio based, but this was a good enough workout for me right now!

Paul Plakas doing some teaching. No big deal.

Here's a pic of a couple of friends of mine that are doing the bootcamp too, with Paul Plakas! Sidenote: we had a little conversation about the Grouse Grind cause I was wearing the t-shirt!

Each week also comes with a fitness challenge. The challenge for this week was to do three exercises throughout the week, time yourself, and see if there was an improvement. The exercises are:
1) 20 reps of reverse lunges
2) 20 reps of shuffling 15 feet, touching the ground, shuffling the other way touching the ground and repeating, and
3) 20 reps of going down (chest and stomach on the floor) and getting back up

I would have done them today, but my legs are still too sore for lunges, so we'll try tomorrow! I'll try to let you know my progress. Wish me luck!

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter Scrapbooking

Here are the latest and greatest of my personalized scrapbooking pages. The more I scrapbook, the harder it is to come up with creative layouts, but I liked these ones in the end. I've also decided that I'm going to be much more committed to my scrapbooking this year. I've even signed up to join some ladies every other month and do some pages. That's at least 5 double pages that I'll get done! Scrapbooking is really my only creative outlet, so I don't want to give it up any time soon. I may switch over to the digital scrapbooks one day, but for now I enjoy the old fashioned version. It's a good way to capture life's little moments (or big moments!).

This page is from my best friend's visit to GP. Tried to capture some of the great outdoors moments :)
This is a page of my man-friend and I having fun outside in the winter :) Skating scrapbook pages will follow eventually...

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Winter Fun Times

I've always found winter to be a difficult time of year to stay active, but it's particularly hard in Grande Prairie, where we have -40 degree weather, vicious winds (at times), and daylight for only 7 hours (all during work!).

Walking is something that I particularly love and have been deprived of this season. Not only me, but Joop also! We get out as much as we can, but the roads and sidewal
ks are covered in ice and his little paws can only take so much coldness. I've been braving the weather to try and allow him to have some walks though. Today was the first time I fell on the ice. Note to GPers: the sidewalks may look nicer, but they are actually still covered in slippery ice. It may be time for me to start wearing my wrist guard while I'm walking. Almost had break #4 today! Wouldn't that have been fun.... poor weak bones of mine.

Anyway, without being able to walk as much I've been hitting my indoor gym here to help stay fit. However, every good exercise routine needs variety - so in my attempt to be active I grabbed Mr. A, his brother (I'll call him Mr. B, lol), and his girlfriend (Miss P.) for a skating session. Unfortunately, I don't have all the pics yet - I only have the ones from my phone (of M
r. A and I), but you can enjoy those ones for now! Just like Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod use to tell us... "Stay Fit and Have Fun!".

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

100 Books Revisited...

Some of my more faithful blog followers may remember I blog post I did last year about wanting to read more - specifically, to read some classic novels. If you didn't get a chance before, you can read the post here.

Anyways, I didn't quite reach my so-called "realistic" goal of reading 30 of the books. I often had to read a fun book in between the not-so-fun classic novels.

I had already read 14 of them. The new ones I managed to read were:
Favourite: Catcher in the Rye
Least Favourite: Wuthering Heights
Most Disturbing: Lolita

Some other books of note that I read and enjoyed this past year included:

Overall I'd say that that's a pretty good collection of novels I've read!

I'm still working on that classics list though! My 2012 reading resolution is to top this years progress and read 15 books of the list over the year. We'll see if I succeed in 2013!

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Just like 60% of other North Americans, I'm starting some healthy lifestyle changes this month. Hopefully these changes will lead to weight loss, increased love of exercise, and increased energy. I took a suggestion from some friends and decided to buy some greek yogurt - good source of protein! Unfortunately, I bought the plain greek yogurt (instead of vanilla or berry), so I decided to turn it into smoothies. They were quiet good. Here's a quick list of simple ingredients:

- 1/2 cup of greek yogurt (ish - I never really measure)
- 8-10 fresh strawberries (or an equal amount of any other fruit you like)
- half a cup of ice
- tbsp of honey
- add water til the cup is full

Simple. Easy. Delicious. Try it!

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Favourite Show

Umm... not sure if you've heard of this show or not, but it's extremely funny! Here's a trailer from the show for all of you that haven't seen it before. I think I streamed every episode thus far over the last two weeks. There are some golden moments. The cast is great, plus there's an adorable baby, what more could you ask for in a show?! Anyways, watch and see for yourself!

Let me know what you think, or if you think you'd like the show too!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Top 5 from BFF Visit

For those of you who don't know... my BFF visited me in GP this winter!!! She was here about a month ago, and this post is now LONG overdue, but better late than never!!

It was so great having her here. We got to do a lot of chatting and catching up, although I probably still speak to her once a week in Ontario anyway :) That's the great thing about having a BFF like mine. We stay in contact so easily and so naturally that when we do see each other in person, it doesn't feel like the last time I saw her was 6 months ago. It's great. We did some walking around and exploring and shopping. Couldn't go TOO far cause it was winter here, but we still had lots of fun. We baked, ate nuts & bolts (pretty much a whole batch between the two of us!), and laughed so hard we cried. It's so great to know that now she will have a picture in her mind of all the people I talk about, and that she'll have an actual reference for all my stories. I know that there are a lot of other, probably more exciting, things that she could have spent her money on other than a flight to GP, but I'm super happy she came. Easiest guest ever.

I couldn't shoe all the pics so I just picked 5 of my favourites:

Obviously we had to see the giant beaver :)

Here's a pic we took at Muskoseepi park while we were walking.

Pretty typical picture of us. We needed some pics that really looked like winter for her to take home with her. Evergreen trees are wintery, right?!?

My BFF taking her first quad-trip with my man-friend. Two of my favourite people in one picture! Pretty sure she was laugh-screaming (that's a real thing, I'm a speech path...) the whole time.

SNOW ANGELS!! I actually love this pic. Acting like a child is something that comes naturally to me I think... lol.

Thanks for reading. AND thank you SOOO much to my Bestie for the visit :) It meant a lot to me!

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