Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Extra Long Weekend Wrap Up

Even though I'm not in school anymore, it still feels like summer is over after Labour Day. It doesn't help that it is a pretty gross day in these parts. To help me forget about the drizzle outside, I'm going to remember all of the awesome and not so awesome things that happened over the last long weekend of the summer.

After work, Har and I headed up to my family's summer home in Summerland. It's about a four hour drive from the city. As expected, the roads were fairly busy with everyone trying to squeeze in one last vacation. We definitely made the right decision. Even though the weather in Summerland wasn't amazing, it was a million times better than the rainy mess that we left at home.

My parents went out for dinner and left the front door unlocked for us. We quickly settled in and decided to watch a bit of Once Upon A Time while we waited for everyone to come back. When we first started watching the show we heard a noise coming from the front yard. It freaked Har out. I wasn't too worried. There are always strange noises outside. But I ran around the house making sure all of the doors and windows were locked anyway.

About ten minutes later there was a knock on the door. I jumped up and opened the front door. No one there. I checked the back door. No one there either. But then I looked a bit harder and I could see someone standing in the shadows. At first I thought it might have been my cousin, but this person was a bit bigger than him. A million people ran through my head. It's not uncommon for friends and family to randomly show up... Especially on a Friday night.

It turned out that it was a stranger. Some guy who was driving around and was just checking out the scenery. He told me that he had been watching us for a while. He thought we had seen him. The noise in the front yard was him. He kept going on and on about how beautiful the scenery was and he just wanted to check it out with his girlfriend.

He gave me the heebeejeebees. I just wanted him to leave. I didn't know what to say when he asked if he could hang out in the yard and enjoy the scenery. What the actual F? I told him there was a beach a few blocks away that he should go to. He didn't take the hint. And I just left it.

But I was creeped out. The house can be kind of scary on a good day. My mom always tells me how afraid she is to be alone in the house at night. It's the big open windows. You just feel so vulnerable. I always tell myself that it's no big deal because there isn't actually anyone outside lurking around... except this time there was.

After the encounter I decided to turn off all of the lights: inside and out. I didn't want these people to have the opportunity to watch us anymore. I wanted to be able to watch them. If they were on our property, I wanted to know about it.

They didn't leave. As we watched our show, I could see flashlights in the distance. I could have sworn that there were three flashlights.

At about midnight we decided to call it a night. On our way to bed, Har noticed some flashing lights outside. We went to investigate. There was a tow truck and two police cars. We walked around the yard and could see our "friends" from earlier hiding behind the fence.

It turns out the vehicle they were driving was stolen. The police were just doing a routine drive around the neighbourhood and noticed it. They arrested the couple and searched their belongings. Drugs and alcohol in pretty much every bag. As well as a giant knife.

I'm just so thankful that we didn't arrive home a half an hour later. Since the front door was unlocked, they could have been inside when we arrived. They were probably going to try to rob the house.

My mom was so upset that I didn't call the police right away. In retrospect, I probably should have. I guess I am just too trusting and don't ever want to start anything. I was more afraid of asking the guy to leave. He didn't seem like the type that would take kindly to me telling him to GTFO.

We have had a lot of problems with trespassers and vandals, but this couple definitely take the cake for scariest incident.

After the drama of the night before, we just wanted to have a chill day. As is our usual routine, we headed to the Farmer's Market for breakfast. We found our favourite food cart that serves amazing waffles with syrup infused into each bite. There was a whole block of the market devoted to wine tastings. Some of them were great, others not so much. But there were so many to choose from. It was like going on a mini wine tour without having to worry about who would be driving.

Andrea and I hit up our favourite store, Something Pretty. Last time we were up, we both bought the same dress because we liked it so much. This time I walked away with kimono and a toque. I went there specifically looking for a kimono. I have wanted one all summer and now I finally have one. This nice thing about the kimono that I bought is that it could be wearable in the fall with a completely different look. It's always so nice to walk into an independent clothing store that has a plus size section. Sure, it is a small one, but it is better than nothing.

After the market, we went back to my place and just chilled. We ate the ridiculously good hummus that we bought at the market, played a martini card game, and did a bit of paddle boarding. We also did some yoga on the dock. It was fun to take what I have learned from my various yoga classes throughout the years and teach it to my friends.

Mini Dessert Burgers
 We made some delicious food for dinner. My aunt, uncle, and cousins came over for dinner, but they didn't arrive until quite late, so we were eating in the dark. My aunt brought these mini hamburger cookies that were so cute and delicate. 

More paddle boarding. More floating. More chilling.

For lunch, we headed into town and found a cute little Mexican Restaurant by the water. It was delicious. But Mexican food usually is.

Attack Mode with Bumper Boats
Andrea and I really wanted to try para-sailing, but it didn't work out. I wasn't feeling that great, and there were plenty of other things that we wanted to try. Instead we tried bumper boats. It wasn't the same as when we were kids. Different boats. Smaller pool. Not enough power. Although there was more water, so that was a plus.

The Mini Golf Course

The Final Mini Golf Hole
 We also tried our hand a mini golf. It was a pretty fun course. Very magical. Especially since just as we were about to play, Andrea's sister showed up with some of her friends. We all ended up playing together. It worked out perfectly. I ended up winning the game too, so that made it even more fun.

My First Screamer!
I tried another bucket list food item: A Screamer. Slurpee and soft serve ice
cream together. It was amazing and delicious, but a little bit too gigantic. Like the deep fried Mars Bar from the other day, it will probably be just a once in a lifetime event.

Our Campfire
My parents headed back to the City because they are jetting off to Europe for a few days. We decided to get a little bit loose since we had the house to ourselves. We started a camp fire on the beach and had a blast. So much laughter. So much fun.

I'm pretty sure that I was still intoxicated from the night before. It's a good thing I wasn't the one driving on the way home.

I did lose my beloved e-book reader. It was accidentally pushed into the water. I'm still holding out hope that it can be salvaged. It's currently sitting in a ziplock bag full of rice.

We cleaned, relaxed and then headed home.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Psychics and the Fair

My Matchbox

Okay. Not part of the weekend, but because it was pretty much the last week of summer, I had to cram as much fun into it as I possibly could.

My friend Sarah invited me to a Singles Night at the Hard Rock Casino. We were each given a matchbook with a band inside. Your mission for the evening was to find a member of the opposite sex who had the same band in his matchbook. I got Chuck Berry. I did end up finding my match before the night was over. Right as I was about to leave, JK ran over to me bringing my match with her. I think I was the only one of my friends to find a match.

The best part of the event was the psychic. He was actually pretty right about a lot of things.

Things the Psychic Told Me:
1. Drink more water - I definitely do need to do that.
2. Eat more apples - Okaaaayyyy. I like apples. I can start eating more of them.
3. I'm an introvert - Very true.
4. I don't like crowds - Also true.
5. I have stomach problems - Not sure about this one. But maybe he knows something I don't.
6. I am very expressive when I am angry - It's true. If I am mad about something, I can't stop talking about it.
7. I hold things in all of the time (except when I am angry) - Yup. Just the other day my friends were telling me how closed up I can be.
8. Apparently I have to forgive my family and that we have a lot of issues because I have a selfish parent - Some parts of this are true, but it doesn't quite add up properly. I don't think my parents are very selfish (most of the time). I also don't think I am denying forgiveness to them or anyone else in my family.
9. I can expect a proposal soon - I don't see how this could be a marriage proposal since I don't have anyone in my life right now. Maybe someone will give me an amazing job proposal.
10. I will be very successful in my career. But I am off track right now and need to get back to doing something more artistic - This one kind of blew me away. I have been working at a job that is not in my chosen field. I have been longing to get back into something more creative.
11. I will have a long life with two sons - Hopefully! Although, I always wanted a daughter.

This is where the not so awesome part of my week comes into play. My friends planned to go see Boyz II Men at the PNE. I wanted to go spend time with them, but I didn't really care so much about seeing that band. I like some of their songs, but I find most of their music a bit boring. I was kind of wavering back and forth about going. Finally, I decided that I would regret it if I didn't go... I made the wrong decision.

It took me two hours to drive there and find parking. It actually only took about 20 minutes to drive there, the rest of the time was looking for parking. No street parking. All of the parking lots were full. I tried to give up and go home so many times, but I couldn't even turn around or find a way to leave. Finally after I had given up all hope, I found a little Asian lady who took me to her carport and only charged me $10. Her place was really close to the event too. Some people wanted $30 and their spots were much further away. Does this happen anywhere else in the world? People standing on street corners, begging you to pay them to park in their driveway?

I was so excited to finally get to the fair. I ran to the concert area, but it was absolutely packed with people. My friends had saved me a seat, but they weren't letting anyone else into the arena. So I wandered around the PNE for a bit. I wasn't too hearthbroken. I didn't really care about seeing the band. I was glad that I got to use the ticket I bough to the fair. I went on a tour of the Show Home. The house tour is my favourite thing to do at the PNE. I would have been much more upset having missed that... which would have happened if I had made it to the concert.

My first and last deep fried Mars Bar
I also tried a deep fried Mars Bar for the first time ever. Not on the diet, but worth it. It was delicious. It has been almost 10 years since I first wanted to try one. It's been on bucket list forever. I'm glad I tried it, but I probably won't ever have one again.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Wednesday Post

Weighing In

Down 1.6 from last week!

Especially awesome considering the three days I had of of eating wedding reception leftovers while I was camping. So much mac and cheese. So much corn bread. So many waffles. Not to mention alcohol.

Besides the blip this weekend, I have been pretty on track. Last week was my week to get back into things. I ate a lot of processed food that made it easy for me to put a specific number of calories into my body. I would have a smoothie from Starbucks for breakfast; a lean cuisine for lunch; a footlong sub from subway for dinner; and a popsicle for an evening snack. It's not exactly healthy, but it helped me to re-learn how much I should be eating in a day.

This week I've started swapping some of those processed meals for homemade ones. I'm still going to have my lean cuisines for lunch every day, but instead of the Starbucks smoothie, I made my own... Except for today, because I ran out of time. I also actually made dinner two nights in a row! Be impressed. I don't think I have cooked a dinner at home all summer.

Nothing fancy. Just a bit of shaved asparagus and an egg white concoction. I finally got to use the tomatoes from my garden. Pretty stoked about that. I pretty much made the same thing the next night. Minus the tomatoes because I had used them all up. And this time I cooked the asparagus, the egg whites, and a bit of feta together.

I also finally made it to yoga yesterday. It's been a long time. It was so needed. I did a deep stretch class. I'm so tight everywhere. I was glad I chose an easier class to get back into the swing of things. I really like that class. It's just so relaxing. I even felt like I was able to clear my mind a bit. That is something that is always very difficult for me.

And just because yesterday was (inter) National Dog day: here is a picture of my dog, Angel.

The Hump Day Blog HopWeigh In Wednesday

How did you do this week?

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

It finally happened.

I was nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by my friend, JK. I honestly didn't think it would come to me. But while we were away this weekend, JK noticed that her mom had been nominated. She knew that she would be next. And I knew that if she was next, so would I. I tried to keep quiet when our friend, Har, begged her not to nominate him. I knew that was a sure fire way to get nominated. But his pleading and my silence didn't work. She nominated both of us. So we did it together.

I have mixed feelings about the challenge. I think it is quite remarkable what ALS has accomplished. I love the fact that they were able to raise so much money through social media.

I also love being part of something. I like being one of the group. I thought about skipping the whole thing, but I knew that I would feel worse about myself if I chose to ignore it than I would if I participated.

I chose to donate and participate, like most people I know who have done it. I debated donating to another charity instead. But in the end I donated to ALS. However, I almost felt bad donating to a charity that has had so much support recently and ignoring charities that actually mean something to me.

I don't know anyone with ALS. It does affect a relatively small number of people. It sounds like a horribly debilitating disease that would be absolutely horrendous to have. But most diseases are. Especially cancer. There have been so many people in my life who have been diagnosed with some kind of cancer.

I read an interesting article from Vice called The Worst Park About the Ice Bucket Challenge Is the People Criticizing It. Slacktivism is not the answer. But it is not the enemy either. The ALS challenge has created something good. It has created a community. I am quite happy to join this community. But going on facebook and reading the endless posts about why I shouldn't be part of this community does not make me feel very happy. Yes, I had doubts about it. But questioning ideas and making informed decisions is good.

Isn't doing something better than doing nothing?

I hope that there are more programs like this in the future for other causes. Because I will gladly join them.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Weekend Wrap Up

After work on Friday, my friends and I headed across the border to our friend's wedding reception. She owns a trailer in one of those communal campgrounds. You know the type. Everyone has their permanent spot and then there are a lot of communal areas. Her place is near a river (which despite going there several times a year, I have yet to see this river) and has a couple of pools and clubhouses.

Because the reception was an afternoon event, we showed up pretty much right at the end of it. It doesn't take long to get to the campground. It's barely an hour away, especially if there are good border line ups. I was actually kind of impressed that we made it there by 7pm considering we had to all meet up, stop for gas, stop at the duty free, and buy some groceries over the border. Although, it turned out that we didn't need groceries at all. There was more than enough catered food to last us the weekend. Probably could have even lasted all week.

Most of the people who came to the reception just came down for the afternoon. My group of friends stayed the weekend, and a couple of the groom's friends stayed the night. Proving what a small world it truly is, it turns out that the groom's friends are actually really good friends with my cousin's ex-husband. They had actually been talking about their friend all night and it wasn't until much later in the evening that I realized that their friend was part of my family.

I was a little bit apprehensive about going at first. No matter how hard I try to eat well when I am away, it never happens. Especially when alcohol is involved. But that is a pretty poor excuse to miss a good friend's life event, which is why I didn't use it.

I tried to invoke a bit of the intuitive eating strategies that I have been reading about. There were several times that I threw my plate away with food on it. That's always a hard one for me. I was always taught that you shouldn't throw food away.

Picture was taken at least one round before it fell
 It was a pretty chillaxing weekend full of long walks and evenings spent at the pool. We played a pretty epic game of jenga that was probably the highest I have ever seen a jenga set go. It got to the point where there was only a couple of options left. We also played a ball throwing game that I was not very good at. Three different rounds, three different team combinations, and I was the only one to be on the losing team every single time. This is why I don't play sports

On the way home we stopped at The Bates Motel for a quick photo op. Does anyone watch that show? I love it. I had been meaning to check out the mansion and hotel for some time now. It's all boarded up because filming isn't currently going on. I'd love to see it in its full glory: when the sign is up and the windows are open.

 The image of Alfred Hitchcock in the window is definitely the best part.

Instead of going straight home when I got back to town, I decided to go chill at my parents house and hang out with my pup. I made the right decision because my family had been out on the boat all day and come home with a crab feast. And then my brother and I watched the final episodes of The Killing. Does anyone watch this show? Another great show that is filmed in Vancouver. The ending was close to perfect. Obviously I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but I loved the way it ended. It was shocking, and awkward, and beautiful, and left a bit to your imagination. My brother and I were both pretty much freaking out as it happened.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Dirty Dash

Back in March, my best friend, Tina, asked me if I wanted to do the dirty dash with her and some other friends. Immediately, my reaction was No! BUT, we had so much fun doing Color Me Rad last September that it was hard to resist. I could find about a million reasons not to do it, but Tina could always find one more reason to do it. I was kind of in a funk at the time, but I figured my funk would be over by then. Reluctantly I agreed to join the Muddy Fudders

Because we signed up early and had a promo code from Color Me Rad, the race was actually super cheap. I don't remember how much it was, but definitely under $30. That was part of the reason that I agreed to it. It's hard to make summer plans early on. At least this way, if something came up, I wouldn't be out a bunch of money.

Flash forward to three weeks ago: I still did not want to do it.

I pretty much hadn't gone for a run since before I agreed to do the damn race. But neither had pretty much everyone on our team, so my excuse fell to deaf ears.

I was sure I would have going away plans that weekend and that it would be easy to escape, but nope. Nothing that weekend. It was a dead zone.

The night before the run I tried to psych myself up, but instead a wave a panic came over me. I took it out on a simple annoyance that didn't really have to be a big deal. It was the fear talking.

But I shouldn't have been scared. Because it was FREAKING AWESOME!

The Dirty Dash

Getting my dirty on at the Dirty Dash
 It was a little bit nerve racking standing around waiting for our wave to start. I did not want to get dirty. While we were waiting, the announcer (who I'm pretty sure was the same announcer from Colour Me Rad) got a couple of girls to mud wrestle in the first pit. He also got a couple of guys wearing dresses to join in. I remember just looking and Tina and thinking "Efffff!" I knew I was going to have to get dirty, I just wasn't expecting it to be right from the get go. The alarm went, and off we were... jumping off of a berm into a 2' mud puddle.

Seconds later we came to a cute little pond. I was not expecting that. I was also not expecting the pond to be so deep that you had to swim across it. Good thing I love to swim and it was ridiculously hot out. I was also relieved that I did not bring any electronic devices with me. They wouldn't have faired too well. It was a little disappointing that the pond got rid of all of my early muddiness.

The next thing we came across were three walls that we had to jump over. Made it over the first one relatively unscathed. But the next one was a lot bigger. Tina and I gave each other more of our knowing looks and decided to walk around it. The third one was the highest of all, so there was no way that was happening. Instead I decided that we should crawl under it. There was a nice rhythm to it. Over, under, and around.

The event continued to surprise me. We:
  • Crawled through barrels. 
  • Came across a soapy bouncy castle inside of a barn. 
  • Swam through another puddle.
  • Scaled walls.
  • Climbed ropes.
  • Sloshed through mud puddles.
Climbing muddy berms at the Dirty Dash. I'm in the top left corner.
Some of the tasks were quite challenging, but not impossible. The hard ones were usually followed by something fun afterwards. The dirtiness was also pretty spread out. You would get really dirty during one event, but the next event would involve water and you would naturally clean off. I loved all of the water events, but it would have been nice to keep getting dirtier and dirtier, since that's pretty much a once in a lifetime experience for me.

At the half way mark, we cam across a giant slip and slide with a beer garden at the end of it. That was definitely a welcome surprise. I only had half of my beer though because I had to drive and it just wasn't going to sit well with all of the craziness of the day. Especially since we still had a ways to go.

The final event was a giant blow up slide with a mud puddle to break your fall. My team wanted to skip out on the picture taking afterwards, but I forced them to get in there. I wanted at least one good shot.

Group shot from the Dirty Dash
In true Less fashion, I ordered the wrong group shot (those darn shopping carts, I always get rid of the wrong one). But I am pretty happy with how it turned out. Although the price for pictures was a lot higher than it was at Colour Me Rad. Plus, they didn't send out an email letting you know that the photos were available. I wouldn't even have known that you could purchase the photos except for the fact that I did Colour Me Rad last year. It took me a long time to figure out where the photos were hiding... which is also part of the reason that it took me so long to write up this post. The event actually happened over a month ago. Better late than never.

Would I do it again? Hell yes!

Will I do it again? You betcha. And I am going to convince everyone I know to join me. I have honestly never had so much fun in my life.

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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Wednesday Post

Weighing In


Booya! Down 3.4lbs. I can't really take credit for the loss though.

After slowly gaining all summer, I told myself that I needed to get back on track. "Self, diet starts on Monday!" Of course I know that this is the worst thing you can tell yourself. It just gives you an excuse to eat whatever you want because everything is going to change on Monday. But 95% of the time, Monday doesn't happen. It turns into the next day... and then the next week... and then the next month.

Wine and Cheese

One of the reasons that I gave myself a diet date was that I didn't want to have to pay attention to what I was eating when I went to a friend's posh wine and cheese party. Everyone brings a wine and a cheese and then everyone shares and tries something new. I brought a nice cranberry wine from Sleeping Giant and a spicy gouda. Naturally, I consumed copious amounts of cheese and wine, as one does at these sorts of things. I ended up getting quite intoxicated.

The next day was pretty difficult. I was not expecting to be hung over. At least not so extremely hung over. My hangover woke me up pretty in the morning. I figured I was in the clear for the rest of the day, as is usually the case when this happens. I planned to join the breakfast club (yes, this is what we call our Sunday morning brunch group) for brunch at my favourite diner. My stomach had other ideas. I'd be okay for about 20 minutes, but then I couldn't move. It was quite the trickery my body was playing on me. I kept hoping it would pass, but it didn't. Skipping breakfast ended up being for the best. There was no way that I was keeping anything down. I couldn't even manage to hang on to water.

By the afternoon I was good again. My friend, Coco, came over and we watched a movie. I felt good, but I didn't really trust that since my hangover had kept tricking me earlier. Just when I started to let my guard down in the evening, the nausea came back.

I'm not going to say that I'm never going to wine and cheese again, but next time one of these events comes around, I hope that I will be in a good place with my diet so that I am a little bit more restrictive and never have to feel like that ever again.

I am still not feeling 100%. Monday was off and on with the stomach aches and nausea. I really wanted to go to yoga yesterday, but I had the worst stomach ache all morning. Today I am feeling better, but so lethargic. I'm not sure if I have been a bit sick this week or if my hangover turned into a three day event.

Which brings me back to why I can't really take credit for my weight loss this week. That is all thanks to my epic hangover.

The Hump Day Blog HopWeigh In Wednesday

How did you do this week?

Don't forget to friend me on My Fitness Pal and Fitbit or follow me on Twitter.
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