Coconut Cherry Energy Bar Party

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1389244_747001675360106_1726048148_n Yesterday I had my tri-monthly nutritionist check in. It went ok. After a lot of false starts and giving up, I feel like things are finally where they should be in the past month and a bit.  A huge component of that is regular gym going. It’s easier to eat well for me when I am going to the gym because I don’t want to do all that work to destroy it with all the cake…. maybe. No seriously – it’s harder to eat bad when you are spending time working on yourself. Also, small gym victory – did my arms day on the free weight side yesterday instead of the machines! I always feel a little apprehensive because it’s more work than just sitting in a machine and thrashing about. But I went with some basic exercises I know and weights a bit lighter than I’d normally go with so I could start out on the right foot.

I am going to be sad when the kids are not in swimming lessons Monday-Thursday because it’s going to be harder to get in going to the gym. But I am going to make it work. I like checking in with the nutritionist because I leave with tweaks and suggestions to work towards being awesome. And it’s part of the MS Clinic I see my brain doctor at (in two weeks, eek) so it’s someone familiar with the particular challenges and concerns related to MS.

Anyways, yesterday I made myself a batch of my favourite bars. I love the book Power Hungry. It’s full of great recipes for bars. I have this problem when I go to the store to get some bars for on the go or whatever and they are all coated in a million pounds of chocolate. And it’s not even good chocolate, it’s that gross thin fake energy bar stuff that has a strong chocolate liqueur flavour. I try to avoid dairy-based saturated fats and if I was going to ignore that, I’d do it for ice cream, not fake chocolate coating. So I was pretty excited to see this book a while back.

I made the Moonbeam bars, which are based on Luna Bars. I really like this recipe. You can find it on this website (it’s the second one) along with two other really great ones from the book.  I’ve made them both and liked them a lot. I need to get some stuff to make the carrot cake Lucy Bars! I make my Moonbeam bars with coconut and chopped dried cherries. So good. Ryan found them a bit dry, but I think a touch more nut butter will make that right. You need to press these down a lot, but it’s worth it. The book is full of ideas and tips to customize the bars and adjust substituting ingredients There is a great range of bars from knock-offs of popular bars, energy dense bars, gels, paleo and gluten free and more!

Skulls and lace nails

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The other day I was looking through my nail polishing supplies and came across some french nail decals (kind of like these, but with a lace pattern) from Essence. I had picked them up from Shopper’s forever ago and forgot about them. But they gave me an idea. I pulled out my mini gel nail lamp, and my favourite barely there shade Victorian Lace from the Orly for Quo gel line. I did a base coat, a sheer coat of Victorian Lace, french nail decal and then top coat with a cure after each coat of polish. Except for my ring fingers. I love a good accent finger. I did the three coats, but skipped the nail decal. Before curing the third coat, I placed a metal rhinestone skull charm on each nail that I had bought at some point. After a curing, I put more topcoat around the charm and cured it to help the charm really stick. My favourite thing about gel polish is how the curing process really sets charms and rhinestones. Voila, fancy skull and lace nails.

Things that are awesome about summer right now

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Going on a hike with the family. I actually own a magnet that says “I love not camping” but I’ve been having so much fun camping with this bunch that I might have to hide that one. We spent the weekend at Falcon Lake in a tent and had so much fun. My personal highlights was a very hot hike on the McGillivary Falls Trail which was so beautiful and a good challenge for the family. I hope to convince them to do more little hikes with me in the figure. The climb down the rocks at the end was pretty fun. And there were blueberries everywhere!  Relaxing on the beach after a long hike and a dip in the lake was a major plus. I finally got to take my new bathing suit from ModCloth out and it’s so comfy and flattering. And s’mores made with an Oreo Milka Bar. Genius. We made fires and went on walks. It was really great. I foresee lots of camping in the future for us.

 

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The morning we left for hiking we also mostly walked and ran a little in the Color Me Rad 5k. B and I did it last year and had a lot of fun. I swear there was not as much colour as last year. The boys had so much fun getting messy though!

 

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We just made this sweet blueberry pie. The boys really wanted to make a fancy pie after seeing one in a magazine, so I broke out my tiny cookie cutters from when I used to decorate cakes a lot and we went to town. They had trouble deciding between a triceratops or a bear on the top, but figured a bear eats blueberries so it made more sense.

 

 

On managing expectations

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It’s been just over a year since my life drastically changed. Whenever I see someone I haven’t seen in a while, they ask me how things are going, and I generally say fine, or good, or awesome, depending on the day. And that’s the truth. Because early on I realized that things were never going to be like they used to be and I had to readjust my definition of fine, good & awesome (and bad and awful too) to my new reality. An awesome now might have been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day before (and I would thus move to Australia), but things are different when you are recovering from a “major spinal incident” (doctor words) and the life changing chronic diagnosis that came along with it. An awesome day now might be a day where I take half the pain meds I usually do throughout the day. Or a day when I had enough energy to get lots of things done. I feel like I should have a confetti cannon for those sorts of days, but then I’d have to vacuum.

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Yesterday I was at the gym on the treadmill. I used to be able to run the whole 30 minute time limit. Now, I can run 1-5 minutes at a time, depending on so many variables. Last time it was 5 before my legs got a little tingly. Last night I was running 1 minute and by then my legs went all numb and my foot started getting a little droppy. But I can run, and that is awesome.  And that’s the part I focus on. I try not to focus on pain (unless it’s telling me something and not just general you’re sick forever sucker type pain) or set backs or realizing that my recovery has come about as far as it’s going to. I stayed away from the gym for a long time because I did not want to confront my limitations. But once I did I felt a lot better. And doing physical activity really goes a long way to building my physical and mental confidence and stamina which makes me feel a lot better.

So now, my 1 minute out of every 5 run is awesome, because in that 1 minute I am pushing myself to my limits and doing something I worried I might not be able to again. And that’s awesome. I’m not ignoring the bad, and I certainly have awful days, but in finding the positive in even things that might be considered bad goes a long way to making me feel right.

 

Sunburst Hat!

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A pattern I made for the store, Sunburst, just got finished. You can check it out on Ravelry here! I love slouchy garter hats! And the cable makes it super fun. My favourite thing about this yarn is how it dazzles in the light!

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