Monday, July 29, 2013

Lovin' You

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With the demise of Google Reader I have decided to try out Bloglovin'.  Too bad I didn't get off my arse and do this before Google actually deleted all of my previous blog reading information.  I'll have to actually use my brain to remember all of the blogs I like to read!  Damn it.  I don't like using my brain.  Isn't that actually why we have the interwebs?

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Thursday, June 06, 2013

In the End

On Day 30 of my Whole30 adventure, I actually felt quite good.  The last couple of days were very easy because I was so proud of myself for making it all the way through with no cheats or slips.  I really hadn’t expected myself to get through the challenge on the first try, so it was truly great accomplishment to me.  Pats on the back all around!


During the process I started to feel quite lean and had a lot of compliments about how good I was looking.  (Not that I looked bad before mind you!)  A slim fitting skirt and favourite pair of dress pants I hadn’t really been able to wear finally fit properly and comfortably.  My tummy was noticeably flatter and I just overall felt a little more comfortable in my own skin.  I realized I was rarely bloated or puffy, and so many of my aches and pains were totally gone!  My sleep was better, and even my hair and nails looked healthier somehow.  (Still worried about the energy though).

On Day 31 I stepped on the scale, expecting maybe a 5-6 pound loss…and was met with only 3 pounds.  I know it shouldn’t matter, and I really thought it wouldn’t matter to me after everything else…but I admit it…I was bummed!  I can gain and lose 3 pounds over a weekend!  The big mistake I made was not getting my post-W30 measurements done right away.  Michael had done them for me the day before I started, and obviously I was down inches otherwise those clothes wouldn’t have started fitting me.  The weight shouldn’t have been my only measure of success.

But, Michael and I weren’t going to see each other for 3 days and I didn’t bother to measure myself.  I let it go, and I shouldn’t have.  If I’d seen those positive results in numbers I may have stayed the course better.  Lesson learned.

Nearing the end, I had spent some time thinking about how I would go about reintroductions of the food groups I’d eliminated… figuring dairy could come back because I don’t eat a lot of it, and aside from the occasional ice cream tummy ache I didn’t think it had much negative effect on me.  After that I would bring back some grains…likely bread and oatmeal.  And obviously I wasn’t going to let sugar and booze go for long! :)

W30 finished on a Tuesday.  I stuck to pretty much the same foods for Wednesday and Thursday, except I did treat myself to a tall latte and brought home some good quality yogurt.  I was still feeling good about the choices and how I felt…then date night came and it kind of sent me into a spiral I’m still trying to get out of 3 weeks later.


As planned, we went for Pizzeria Prima Strada.  It’s the meal I’d been thinking about since before I started Whole30, and I enjoyed every single bite of the perfect pizza, and every sip of my first glass of red wine.  Perfect reward for a job well done (even if I shouldn’t be rewarding myself with food!).

I don’t think that one meal would have been an issue, but that same weekend was Michael’s birthday and because I’m a genius I booked our reservations for an Italian restaurant where we drank wine, ate bread, ordered creamy pasta and shared some sort of decadent dessert. 

Again, I can’t blame the food, I have to blame my choices.  I should have taken it easier on my poor body.  It went into shock and then just craved ALL.THE.THINGS.  Even though my grocery cart was still stocked with Whole30 and Paleo friendly items, treats were finding their way into my grocery bags as well.  I cannot tell you the amount of junk I’ve consumed since that weekend.  Booooo.

I have to tell you…I gained back that 3 pounds in less than a week, gained a few more since then, and just constantly feel bloated and yucky.  Clearly I still have a lot to learn about keeping my shit together.


So, I suppose my take aways are these:

  • W30 is an elimination diet and somewhat depriving, so the reintroduction phase is there for a reason.
  • How you feel in your own skin is the best measurement of all, and numbers on a scale or tape shouldn’t dictate how you nourish yourself.
  • Even though I had some pretty negative thoughts throughout the Whole30, I do want to stick with many of the principals that worked for me.
  • Thirty days is not long enough to kick life long eating habits.  I’ll be fighting emotional and boredom eating until the day I die. 
  • Letting sugar back into my life full force pretty much reversed everything I had accomplished.  Sugar bad.

Would I do Whole30 again?  Maybe. The energy issue makes me say no.

Would I recommend it?  Yes, everyone should try it for themselves. 

Am I considering going Paleo?  Somewhat.  I like the concept but I can’t survive without some grains (for energy) and wine (for sanity) in my life. 

Last night I sat down with the food log I kept for W30 and started a new page with a meal plan for today.  I titled it ‘One Day at a Time’ and for now I think that’s the best practice for me.

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Tuesday, June 04, 2013


Eating real food all day, every day is a ton of work!  I now understand why so many people comment that their second or third Whole30 experiences were better than their first.  It’s because they finally figured out that meal planning, careful shopping, a stocked pantry and fridge, and a bigger grocery budget are the keys!


Being OK with repeating meals for a few days is truly a big thing, especially if you are like me and generally just cooking for one person.  By week two, I knew that if I kept endeavouring to keep things interesting I would never get out of the kitchen!  So I did what I always do when faced with trouble…put on my thinking cap and got some planning done! 

Tricks that saved my life during W30…

  • bake 4-5 yams on Sunday evening.
  • boil at least a half dozen eggs on Sunday evening.
  • every time veggies are being chopped, chop extra.
  • grill up extra chicken sausages while using the BBQ on the weekend.
  • pre-washed spinach.
  • fresh fruit, Larabars, raw cashews, dry roasted macadamia nuts, and organic apple chips.


  • invest in a few extra food storage containers and a box of freezer bags.
  • spend one night each week making homemade mayo, homemade almond milk, homemade chicken stock, and clarified butter when needed.
  • pre-portion and pack as many breakfasts and lunches as possible at the beginning of the week.
  • batch cook.  chicken soup, bison chili, salmon cakes.
  • rely on canned tuna and bagged salad.


What are some other good time and money saving tips for a real-food heavy diet?

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Monday, June 03, 2013

The Day the Energy Died

In order for this series on my Whole30 experience to be complete, I unfortunately need to write about the negative times as well as the good times.   Sure, it was exciting to discover a new food adventure which opened up my imagination to some new meal ideas and recipes, but at the end of the day that isn’t what the experience was all about.  I was signing up for a healthier body, more energy, clearer skin, and better sleep.

I already mentioned that during Week One I really felt my energy wane…like, REALLY wane.  To the point that I was barely making it through a work day before coming home and almost immediately passing out on the couch.  My workouts suffered and my evening sleep suffered.


In reading through the It Starts With Food book and checking the forums on the Whole9 website I learned that this energy zap is not uncommon and was just due to my body adjusting to the extreme clean eating.  Everyone convinced me that more energy was just around the corner.  Great right?!  Since that was one of the reasons I did this in the first place I sucked it up and waited for the fun to begin.

By week three I still wasn’t feeling much better…I wasn’t going to the gym at all…just taking a few longer walks with my dog…and I was still needing a lot of extra sleep.  (Thankfully my sleep had gotten much better by this point.)  After talking to a nutritionally knowledgeable co-worker I decided that the lack of carbs (outside of fruits and veggies) was doing me in.  She suggested that I start adding even more yams, carrots, beets, and other carb dense veggies to all of my meals…in addition to the main daily baked yam at breakfast.  I fully agreed with her and gave that a go. 


I felt like it worked for a couple of days, and while some of my energy returned my mood went down, down, down.  By that third weekend I was SO incredibly cranky, and felt downright blue.  What an awful feeling!  I had definitely hit the ‘wtf am I doing this for’ wall!  I just faked my way through a couple of days, and told Michael that I wasn’t going to be very good company.  When I wasn’t just irritated by life, I felt sad and depressed.  I came thisclose to quitting on Day 21…those feelings sooooo were not worth it.

But…my desire not to quit ended up trumping those blues and I pushed on.  It took a couple of days for that mood to pass, but it did pass.  I never did feel super-duper-awesome after that, but at least I wasn’t ready to cry or kill at the drop of a hat.  It was not a pleasant emotional place to be.

By the time I got to the final days of my Whole30 experience I did start to feel better…and maybe if I’d gone an extra week or two things really would have turned around for me…but maybe not.  As soon as I started off-roading by adding a bit of bread and cheese back into my diet I really felt my energy kick back in.  (Of course, that came with the trade off with the effects of cheese and bread!)

So now, two weeks out of the W30 haze, I do know that there were GREAT things about the program and so much that I do want to incorporate into my life.  I still haven’t brought back legumes, and probably never will…I’m enjoying being relatively pain-free.  And I can tell you that gluten makes my face break out, and too much dairy upsets my tummy.  Those things are certainly worth addressing.


Now that my emotions have levelled out and most of my gym mojo has returned I will be spending some time getting things figured out, so I can do what is right for me and my body.

I’d love to hear from anyone else that had this kind of experience with Whole30, or while transitioning to a Paleo diet.  Drop me a comment or an email, please.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Surviving Social


Choosing a 30 day timeframe in which to tackle the Whole30 program proved to be difficult.  At every turn I found something on my calendar that put a wee hitch in how I was going to pull this off.  Being on a strict diet can really mess with social time!  I promptly decided there’s never a ‘good’ time to do these things and opted to just deal with the situations as they came.


Within the first week of my Whole30 I attended a volunteer event with my coworkers.  For the most part it was no big deal… I brought my own coffee with coconut milk, passed on the free cookies, and made sure I ate a good breakfast before I went.

The trouble came when the gang invited me to join them for lunch afterwards.  I initially said no thanks but to be honest, I really wanted to go!  This was my first event with these girls and part of the fun of these things is the social aspect.  So I changed my mind and tagged along to the local burger bistro and hoped for the best.

I found that I could order a plain burger on a bed of lettuce, asked them to cook mine in a dry pan because they used canola oil (which is not W30 compliant) and ordered a side salad with lemon wedges.  Sure, it was about the most boring meal on the planet, but I was there for company and it was really fun.  I’m glad I went and proud of myself for sticking to the W30 rules!


That same weekend Michael decided he’d like to host an impromptu family BBQ.  Not wanting to rain on the parade (like the weather did on our day!) I put on my thinking cap and came up with options that I could eat that everyone else would enjoy.

Believe it or not, Costco came through for me!  I found some really great frozen burgers with no crazy additives, chicken breasts, Wholly Guacamole, and a huge shrimp tray.  I bought a fruit platter and a carton of strawberries, which I turned into a huge fruit salad and picked up the ingredients to make a really fun bigass salad.


{Mixed leafy greens, sliced Gala apple, red onion, fresh basil, roasted beets and carrots, tossed with just olive oil, lemon juice and salt & pepper.  I also crisped up some whole pecans in some coconut oil to throw on at the end.}

There was homemade potato salad and other yummy BBQ favourites on the buffet but I was totally happy with my W30 meal.  Filling and delish!


The following weekend I hosted Girl’s Night at my place.  Oh sure!  A hostess who tells you she can’t eat the usual bags of licorice, brie and baguette, or share in the bottles of wine.  Good times, eh?

Well, my girls were super supportive and rallied with no problems at all.  We feasted on homemade guacamole, devilled eggs with homemade olive oil mayo, cold shrimp, apple chips, fresh veggies and a creamy cashew dip I put together.  While they all sipped on wine, I killed a bottle of Perrier.  :)


The very next day the sun was shining so Michael hosted another family BBQ.  Thankfully there were still the compliant burgers and grilled chicken, and this time I loaded up on more salad, grilled zucchini and sliced avocado.  Second time around was easy!

Not to say that I didn’t really want to partake in the other things, because sometimes I really did wish I could have a glass of wine or an ice cold beer… but I knew it was just 30 days and I really only wanted these things because I couldn’t have them.  Well, screw you cravings.  I know what you’re all about!  You can’t beat me! 


Even my Mama got sucked into my Whole30 since it overlapped Mother’s Day.  I always head to my hometown to spend Mother’s Day with her, and we have a tradition of going out for a steak and seafood dinner.  This year she agreed to postpone and instead I cooked us a lovely dinner at home.  Chicken, baked yams and asparagus.

The next morning I wanted to make sure she still got a tasty brunch, so I tried my hand at the Salmon Cakes from It Starts with Food (yummy!), topped with over easy eggs, and served with wilted spinach and sliced avocado.  Mom was happy, so I was happy!

So, the point is, it can be done.  Just like the rest of this diet lifestyle, it requires a lot more thought and preparation that most of us are used to…but it comes together and everything works out just fine. 

In the end, these social situations are really about the people and not the food anyway, right?!  A good lesson for all of us.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Template

How do I know how much to eat during Whole30?

Well, wouldn’t you know they thought of that!  After the first few days of adjustment, it’s really not that tricky.  It is recommended that you eat only your three main meals per day, and add in pre-workout snacks if you need them, and post-workout snacks to help start the recovery process.


{grilled pork loin with Dijon, served with steamed asparagus and mashed rutabagas and carrots with clarified butter}

The template is simple.

1. Add protein about the size of your palm (yes, everybody’s palm size is different…but your palm fits your body!)… whether it be a chicken breast, a couple of eggs, or a can of tuna.  I erred on the larger side when unsure.


{prosciutto wrapped baked turkey breast over kale sautéed with coconut oil, served with steamed carrots}

2. Fill the rest of your plate with veggies (yup, plates are all different sizes, but I bet if you chose a dinner plate it will all work out for you!)… preferably a couple of different veggies with different nutrients.  I like to add something green, and something a little more carb dense like carrots or yams.


{spaghetti squash ‘fritter’ made with an egg, topped with an egg, served with yam roasted in coconut oil}

3. Add a good sized serving of healthy fat to your meal and call it a day.  To be helpful they do actually offer some idea of measurements for fats, since depending on what you chose the quantities can vary.  I’m partial to the ‘add half an avocado to your plate’ measurement!


{homemade turkey vegetable soup…the homemade broth counts towards the protein…drizzled with olive oil}


{bigass mixed salad with olives and olive oil, served with homemade meatballs and sautéed mushrooms}

Follow the template for every meal.  Try not to snack, but if you are starving chose some protein to fill the hole.  If eating eggs for breakfast every day is boring or unappealing to you then switch things up.  Nothing wrong with chicken for breakfast!


{grilled chicken breast topped with mango avocado salsa, with baked yam topped with coconut oil and almond silvers, and steamed asparagus}

As for fruit, it is recommended to only include it as part of a meal, not as a separate snack.  And never let it push something else off your plate.  I either incorporated it as part of the recipe, or would eat it right before or after my full meal.  This is to help keep the ‘sugar dragon’ or ‘snack monster’ at bay.  Many people, myself included, can unleash the dragon with just one orange or dried apricot.

Personally I found the template very useful.  I can say with certainty that after the first two days (while my body adjusted to the new plan) the only times that I actually got hungry were when I failed to plan and didn’t eat based on the template.  Too little steak on the plate = hungry.  Skimped on the fat in a meal = hungry.  Didn’t fill my plate with veg = hungry.

Don’t skimp on the good stuff!

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

What can you eat?

The biggest question I got throughout the Whole30 process was “well, what CAN you eat then?!”.  It does seem overwhelming to people when you say you are currently not eating any grains, dairy, legumes, soy, sugar, additives, corn, peas, potatoes or booze.  But there are tons of things you CAN eat…you just have to put some thought into it.

I thought I’d share a typical work day meal plan. 

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs with onions, peppers, and spinach served over yam hash cooked in coconut oil and topped with kalmata olives or avocado.  grapefruit on the side.

Whole_30 Breakfast

Lunch:  grilled chicken breast, 1/2 a baked yam with cinnamon and coconut oil, sautéed kale topped with pecan pieces.


Pre-workout:  over easy egg with sliced avocado or a handful of natural almonds.


Dinner:  sautéed shredded Brussels sprouts cooked in clarified butter, roasted carrots and beets, pan seared wild salmon filet, all drizzled with olive oil.


On Friday evenings I would throw in Dessert for Michael and I:  chopped Altaulfo mango and sliced banana with whipped coconut milk and chopped almonds.


You’ll notice there is no photo for Post-Workout.  I struggled the most with this meal because I workout after work…so I’m really ready for dinner when I get home from the gym.  But the plan asks you to eat a portion of protein and a good carb right after your workout and this mini-meal shouldn’t replace a regular meal. So I would generally go for a hard boiled egg or a cold leftover chicken sausage and either some baked yam or some steamed carrots…really had to make sure I had some leftovers kicking around in the fridge. 

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Off to a Good Start


Once I read up on Whole30 and stopped by the mall on my lunch hour to grab the book It Starts With Food it really only took me 2 days to decide I was ready to tackle the program.  I spent a weekend talking it over with Michael, pounding back the best bacon cheeseburger of my life, writing out my first week’s meal plan, and buying Whole30 compliant groceries.

What’s compliant?

Well with no grains, no dairy, no legumes, no sugar, and no additives you’d think a meal plan would be easy.  Just slap some meat and veggies together and top it with healthy fat and Bob’s your uncle right?  Almost.  But not quite!  How do I make breakfast without a carton of store bought almond milk or my beloved oats?  Prep!!


Conveniently Monday morning was exactly the 15th of the month.  I don’t know about you but I always feel most motivated for these kinds of things on the 1st and the 15th, and the obvious Monday motivation helps too.
Day one went off pretty easily.  It was fun to have a proper hot breakfast at my desk, interesting trying canned coconut milk in my coffee, and refreshing to not hit a wall at 3pm.  I was in a good mood after work, which led to a particularly good yoga class that night and an almost decent night’s sleep.

The next day I learned a few things about making a drastic diet change
though.  My body told me loud and clear that it noticed what was going on! 
I found myself to be quite hungry most of the day, even though I ate a similar menu as the day before.  I went to the gym as usual, but after 20 minutes of cardio and only about 5 minutes of strength training I got lightheaded, which scared me so I packed it in and came home.  I thought I had fuelled myself OK but apparently my body disagreed.


After that experience I paid a bit closer attention to each meal and made sure to follow the guidelines about pre-workout mini-meals.  I was so used to just throwing down some toast and pb before the gym that it took a few tries before I learned that a boiled egg and handful of almonds was my best Whole30 fuel choice. 

Talk about retraining the brain.  Man, reaching for carbs really just is a way of life isn’t it?!

For the rest of the week things went well.  I managed a couple of good workouts with no problems, I really didn’t have any off-program cravings, and started to notice that I was sleeping more soundly.  I was still waiting for the crazy dreams I’d read about!  Overall I was super happy with my choice to try Whole30 and very proud of myself for getting through the first work week. 

Whole30 Compliant Tasty Discovery:  Clarified Butter!


Skip the milk solids and make some clarified butter.  Wouldn’t you just immediately sign up for any ‘diet’ that said ‘go ahead and cook a meal or three in melted glorious buttery deliciousness’.  So fun.  So deeelish.
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Good Food Adventure

Years ago, before I ever started this blog, I dieted.  Actually dieted.  None of this ‘chose a better lifestyle’ or ‘pick a new food way of life’ stuff…but went out of my way to diet to lose weight.  At the time, it was the best thing for me and it worked.  I stayed with it after I lost my 24 pounds and learned to work some of those diet ideas into a more balanced menu for myself.  I eventually became the girl behind Embracing Balance and happily went along balancing healthy foods with indulgent foods and enjoying every bite while maintaining my happy weight.

At some point a few years ago that balanced lifestyle stopped working.  I gained back 15 pounds gradually, focused a little too much on cheeseburgers and a lot too little on portion control. No surprise that those pounds just hung on for dear life.

You’ve all seen me get back on the healthy eating and workout bandwagons a few times since this all happened, but doing it multiple times hasn’t done anything for me.  I would make it a few days with clean eats then decide a cheat day or three won’t hurt.  Then I kick the scale when it doesn’t move.  And console myself with Cheezies when my old pants still don’t fit.
Guess what?  I’m human.  I need to pick myself up, dust myself off, rethink things, and make new choices.  And sometimes I need to do it over and over and over again.  This time, I woke up and decided that the thing to do was try another diet.  An actual diet.  With rules, guidelines, and restrictions.  Something I could really work at and be proud of.

The problem was that the diets of yesteryear don’t fit my food beliefs anymore.  I’m not going to turn to no-fat yogurts, 100 calorie snack packs, and diet soda this time.  I want to eat real food.  I want to eat a lot of real food. 

This is how I found Whole30.  It’s all about real, good food.  Sure, it’s not meant to be used as a ‘diet’ per se but the handy side effect of regulating meals and eating a specific assortment of foods can be weight loss.  Plus, it’s something that can work even after the weight loss portion is achieved.  It’s good food for life.  

To start I decided I needed to be as strict with myself as possible which is part of why I opted to try Whole30.  30 days of eating by the rules. 

Eat real food – meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.”

No sugar, no booze, no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no additives, no spuds.

I know it sounds like a lot, and it is…but with a great book and a website full of guidelines, support and recipes I was ready to get on board.

As an added bonus, it’s basically an elimination diet…so the option of finding out what foods cause me gastric grief, joint pain, body aches, or anything else was what really sold me.  I never knew legumes could cause body aches…and guess what I eat a ton of?  Yeah…damn you chick peas, black beans, and peanut butter.

At the very least I knew that is was 30 days I could be proud of.  A personal challenge if you will.  Even if I didn’t shed a pound, or jumped face first into a bucket of ice cream after 30 days, it’s still a month to be proud of.

So the next round of blog posts will review how my Whole30 went down.  I finished a week ago and have a head full of thoughts swirling around that I have decided to share.  If you have any questions, please throw them out and I will attempt to address them as I go along.
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Friday, April 12, 2013

Lemon Meringue Pie


For Easter weekend, Michael’s family invited us over for ham dinner.  We never admitted it, but we were pretty stoked someone decided to host a last minute get together. 


When we asked what we could contribute, dessert was requested. 


The great Spring weather was the perfect sign for me to finally tackle a Lemon Meringue Pie.  It’s just such a good weather dessert to me.


This seemed like the scariest of all pies to make.  Yet again, I was afraid for no reason.  It’s definitely not rocket surgery and after years of fearing pie baking I’ve made about a dozen of them in recent months…all of which have been delicious.  This was definitely no exception.


I turned again to the trusty Robin Hood cookbook.  That bad boy has never steered me wrong.  Every recipe I’ve tried has turned out great! 


(Baking no-no: Don’t use a metal bowl for your meringue like I did…the egg whites won’t get quite as stiff as they should…use a glass bowl.  Lesson learned.)

I pinched back on the amount of sugar the original recipe called for and squeezed a little extra fresh lemon juice into the custard and what we landed up with was a pie everyone enjoyed.


Add this one to the keepers file.  Next time we might need a double batch.

Lemon Meringue Pie
adapted from The Robin Hood Canadian Flour Cook Book


1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening, chilled
2-3 tbsp cold water

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
juice of two lemons (at least 1/4 cup)
zest of one lemon (at least 1 tbsp)
1 tbsp butter

3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Prepare crust:  Spoon flour into dry measuring cup. Level off and add to mixing bowl. Add salt. Stir well to blend.
  3. Using a pastry blender (or two knives) cut in the shortening until particles are the size of small peas. (I actually prefer to blend with my hands).
  4. Add water a little at a time, mixing lightly with a fork. Shape dough into a firm ball with your hands.  Round up and flatten slightly.
  5. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to a circle 1/8” thick. Place carefully in a 9” pie plate.
  6. Prick sides and bottom of crust with a fork.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden. Let cool.
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees.
  8. Prepare filling: Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan.  Add water gradually, stirring until smooth.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture thickens.  Removed from heat.
  9. Temper the egg yolks: Stir a small amount of the warm mixture into the egg yolks. Then add the egg mixture to remaining mixture and stir quickly and thoroughly.
  10. Return to heat and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, whisk in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter. 
  11. Fill baked shell with warm filling.
  12. Prepare meringue: Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy.
  13. Add sugar gradually, continuing to beat until soft peaks are formed.  Spread over filling, sealing to edge of crust to prevent shrinking.
  14. Bake pie at 425 degrees for 4-5 minutes until meringue is golden.
  15. Let cool and enjoy!
(Crust can be prepared in advance.  Filling should be warm when meringue is added.)
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Sunday, March 03, 2013

Moving Ahead

Hey y’all!

It was a busy week but soooo productive!  I’ve finally gotten through some of the simple basics on my to-do list…you know, like the vacuuming and dusting I never did in January (yikes).  It’s so nice to have a clear desk and polished dining room table again. 

It’s the little things…


I usually head out to Michael’s on Friday nights to spend the weekend, but every once in a while I take some ‘me’ time to tackle things around my place.  Nothing can ruin our weekend more than my brain racing with the list of chores not being done at home. 

This weekend I spent my Friday evening making freezer meals, meal planning, doing laundry, and clearing my desk of paperwork from my old job I no longer need.  And I loved it.  Saturday I tackled more minor household chores and took Chibi for a much needed walk throughout my neighbourhood.  When I arrived on Michael’s doorstep that evening, I was refreshed, felt accomplished, and was able to spend the rest of the weekend with him stress free.

We agree that this is one of the best things we do for our relationship.  Doing whatever it is we need to do to feel good about our own homes and lives.  We always feel better when we do this…even if it means we see a little less of each other that week.  He got his boys together for a long put-off poker game, so it was win-win!

I’ve also been tackling blog posts about our vacation…I’m almost done with cruise updates and will move on to New Orleans posts this week.  Take a trip over to my photo blog if you are interested.

Now I’m ready to start working on bigger projects from my to-do list… oh hello tax season.  Stay tuned for a kitchen reno ideas board on Pinterest, and some serious Spring cleaning around here.  My closets don’t know what’s about to hit them!

Maybe I even have some time for a new recipe or two.  Hmmmm.  Wouldn’t that be a kick?!


Have a great week everyone!


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Monday, February 25, 2013

A Wee Catch Up! (with sneak peek)

Hey you guys!!  How are you?!!  So much has happened since we last spoke!  Hopefully this post marks the re-start of the spark here on my little ol’ blog. :)

January was an utter whirlwind.  I don’t know how else to describe it…life was busy!  Some big news is that I finished up my Job #1.  After more than six months of working my new full time job, as well as holding down my old job in the evenings it was finally time to let go.  I’m going to miss that job (and the dual paycheques!) but it was the right time to move on and get my life back.  I met all the goals I set for myself so even though I struggled with the situation at first, I’m glad it all happened now. 

Training my replacement was draining!  I wanted to be sure she got the best possible training from me and as such, she and I spent A LOT of time on Skype.  I put in more hours than usual so that I could ensure all of my own work was completed, I could write up notes and training plans, and participate in the actual training calls.  I sure hope that everything is working out for her! 

In addition to the extra evening and weekend hours, I kept up my gym schedule too.  I now forget what my goal for January was…but let’s just say it was to hit the gym as often as I could without exhausting myself. :) I’m so pleased with how things went!  As a bonus I lost 4 pounds throughout the month!

Of course, the biggest thing that has happened is that Michael and I went on a super duper vacation for the first two weeks of February.  We took a 7 Day Western Caribbean Cruise (no, not THAT Carnival one!), followed by 5 days in New Orleans for Mardi Gras!  We had a great time and I have soooo much to tell you guys about the trip.  As usual I came home with about a billion and one photos, so bear with me while I get those all sorted and ready to share.

There were lots of highlights on the trip, but one of the best things was that I didn’t gain any weight!  Haha.  Trust me, I was worried.  We managed two pretty good workouts in the ship’s awesome gym, but aside from the usual tourist walking and such it wasn’t a terribly active vacation.  And the food was abundant.  Oh so delicious and abundant.  We waddled out of the dining room on more than one evening.  I chalk the success up to boosting my metabolism a fair bit with lots of workouts for the six weeks before vacation.  Or the fact that I came home with a full blown cold, lost my appetite, and didn’t weigh myself for three days post-vacay. ;)

So now we’re home, caught up on the 99% full PVR, and settled back into work.  With my new one-job routine I can finally claim my evenings back and start tackling some projects I’ve had on the backburner for months.  I don’t know what any of this means for this here blog, but at the very least I won’t feel like I have to abandon it completely anymore.  Whatever happens, you all at least have vacation photos to look forward to.  :)  If there’s anything in particular you’ve been missing since I slowed things down around here, let me know!

Hope you’ve all been well.  Talk soon!  Jaime

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