Monday, 26 August 2013

Monday Musings: Week 4

Shockingly, no chocolate reference or recipes this week.  Here are three must-see links for your reading pleasure...

Pancakes & French Fries - On Netflix

I love period dramas, so when I came across this post I was super excited.  I have been an avid Downton Abbey fan and studied historical fiction throughout my undergraduate and graduate degrees and have read my fair share of both good and bad historical fiction (for any francophiles out there, I highly recommend the Josephine B. Trilogy by Sandra Gulland).  I am particularly intrigued by Arn: The Knight Templar - the leading character looks an awful lot like Jax from Sons of Anarachy!  That is reason enough for me!

My Life With IBS - Embarrassed by IBS

This post was wonderful in its honesty and really reminded me of some of the main reasons I wanted to start this blog.  Recently Running from the Runs has consisted of a mixture of both IBS and non-IBS topics, but the intent remains the same, to get people talking about this condition and to provide a place for sufferers and non-sufferers to create a dialogue about something that impacts far more people than we all realize.  I love how she shares how her blog came to be:  "What if I just blogged about what's happening to me? What if I wrote everything I know about IBS in one spot so someone newly diagnosed with IBS has somewhere to start, someone who's on their side, and someone who knows what it feels like to have a broken body?" Reading her post was almost like reading my own thoughts - everything she said about having IBS - from being embarrassed, to that point where you no longer have the energy to hide it, from her desire to eat pizza, to her frustration with the condition and finally her desire to help people and make it easier for the next person who needs resources and who needs to feel that they are not alone.  

Popsugar Fitness - Whittle Your Waist and Tone Your Abs with Hoopnotica

For those of you who know me - you will probably laugh a little at this link.  I have a hula-hoop.  In my basement.  It is fuschia and blue.  Sometimes I hula-hoop when I watch TV - I really like multi-tasking.  I took a class once and loved it.  I have knocked many things over with my hula-hoop. My brother used the hula-hoop before that as a funnel.  I was really angry at the time; I arrived just as he cut it in half.  Luckily it was only the dollar store variety and not my current heavy-duty variety.  If you have not explored the wonders of this round piece of joy, you are missing out. It is hard work, but well worth it and far more interesting than crunches, weight training or the elliptical.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Travelling IBS Style

If you have any sort of digestive disorder, whether it is Crohn's, Colitis or IBS, you likely feel some degree of stress at the thought of travelling.  We have all encountered "close calls"; one of my most memorable close calls was while on my honeymooon in Antibes.  My husband and I had a lovely dinner, went for a walk along the boardwalk and then WHAM!  It hit me... that realization that I must find a washroom at all costs - before what I have always dreaded finally happened.

For anyone who has spent time in France or Europe, you realize that you cannot always walk into an establishment to use the washroom, you will likely have to buy something.  There are no Tim Hortons that you can slip into unnoticed.  There are no gas stations that you can discreetly duck into.  Europe has these public washrooms that are brilliant in their ability to self-clean - for those who are willing to pay, but, nevertheless, washrooms are not as widely available as they are in North America.  After extensive, frantic searching, I found such a washroom, during what is likely my closest encounter to date.  Thank goodness my husband is well-versed in my heightened level of panic and extreme erraticism when the runs come running.  Of course, upon discovering this washroom there was no toilet paper and no soap or sanitizer of any kind.  To add to this, you only have a certain amount of time to get in and out before it goes into clean mode.  This leads to complete and utter panic.

So, what did I do in this situation?  Being a veteran IBSer I carry the equivalent to the contents of a diaper bag with me at all times, especially when in a foreign country. In this vein, and in honour of my recent road trip to Cape Breton, I would like to share the contents of my emergency IBS kit.

First and foremost, the drug store is your best friend, especially the travel section.  Here you can find just the right size items for your carry-on or to fit in an overnight bag, or even your purse if you are out for a walk.

1.  Mini toilet paper roll:  I am in awe of the usefulness of this item.  I always pack one when travelling, or alternatively tissues if going on a short jaunt (think evening stroll or run).  This became essential last weekend when I had one of those emergencies and stumbled upon a washroom with no sign of toilet paper.  Not to worry, I had my handy-dandy mini roll in my purse, problem solved.

2.  Hand sanitizer:  if you have bowel issues you have definitely used some questionable toilets.  You reach a point where, in the right frame of mind, you will use absolutely any washroom available - be it the dirtiest gas station washroom, port-o-pottie, outhouse or the great outdoors.  I can personally attest to each and every one of these.  In these moments hand sanitizer is an absolute necessity.

3.  Vaseline/baby butt cream:  without going into too much detail - sometimes it hurts and these salves can help ease your pain.

4.  Baby powder or cornstarch:  similar to the products listed above, this can be helpful with pain management.

5.  Extra undies and panty liners:  in case that awful moment actually occurs, I always have stuff so I can quickly get cleaned up.  My theory is that if I prepare for the worst, I can hopefully avoid the worst.

6.  Baby wipes:  these can often be helpful and soothing and have a variety of uses.

7.  Purse hanger:  a friend gave one of these to me for my birthday a few years back.  I really had no idea how much I would use it, but I always carry this when I travel, for those bathrooms that you never wanted to step into and that you certainly do not want to bring with you (ie. germies).

Monday, 19 August 2013

Monday Musings: Week 3

After a glorious trip to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, I have finally caught up on my internet reading enough to share some links with you.

Winding our way through the Cape Breton Highlands
Travelzoo - 5 Outdoor Activities in Las Vegas

Unfortunately, I turn the big 3-0 in 2014, along with most of my friends and my lovely husband.  To forget about this milestone a few of us are planning to head for the Strip to take in some shows and maybe channel our inner Elvis and Priscilla to renew our wedding vows.  I found some great outdoor suggestions on this Travelzoo post, enough to balance out our other trip indulgences!

We are in love with Ikea.  Last year we roadtripped to Maine and Massachussetts to do what every Canadian loves - outlet shopping state-side.  My heart skips a beat whenever I think about how much cheaper it is to shop America style.  We hit up the outlets in Wrentham Village and heard about an Ikea somewhat close by and booked it straight there.  It was my first ever trip to Ikea and I was so overwhelmed we had to leave for a bite to eat so I could study the catalogue before going back for our big purchases.  Not too long ago we finally ordered a few more items - including four of the Marius stool.  I like the stool quite a lot, but feel the need to jazz it up a bit.  With this in mind I happened upon this hack and have found the inspiration for our impending DIY project- hopefully by the end of this weekend!  

I love smoothies.  The thing I love most about smoothies is how efficient they are - you can pack so many servings of fruit and vegetables in one receptacle!  I also love how you can cover so many food groups in a blender and how portable breakfast or a snack can become when you just pulverize everything!  When I saw this post I was doubtful about whether or not it would actually be healthy - I would probably leave out the added sweetener, but aside from that they look like a viable breakfast option - can't wait to try with the fresh local strawberries we have on-hand.  

Monday, 12 August 2013

Monday Musings: Week 2

I found it hard to pick my fave posts this week - there seems to be a recurring chocolate theme.  It was difficult to do, but I managed to narrow it down to only one chocolate item!

Eat Yourself Skinny - Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Many people tout the virtues of avocado and the versatility of this fruit, but, until I saw this post I didn't really consider cooking or baking with it.  I am now completely sold and anxious to give this recipe a whirl!

Tatertots & Jello - How to Upholster a Chair

My husband and I are trying to make our new house feel more like a home and constantly looking for ways to spruce it up.  I have been perusing thrift stores to find items like chairs, lamps and end tables to add finishing touches to our rooms.  Here's hoping we have some luck so that we can get our DIY on!

Brit + Co - 20 Beautiful Organizational Tools

Wherever I go I leave clutter in my wake, but, in my heart of hearts, I am an organizer.  Can you say - Martha Stewart's Staples collection?  In terms of this post, I can personally vouch for the Behance line, their products are wonderful, even my husband uses some of their smaller notebooks!  I am especially intrigued by some of the apps - I haven't been impressed with some of the other "list" apps out there and am hoping to find a winner with one of these.

Happy reading and don't forget to check me out on bloglovin' - seriously loving this site!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Monday Musings: Week 1

Like any blogger, there are a ton of blogs that I follow and many of these blogs have weekly reading recommendations that I look forward to above any other type of post.  These recommendations are where I hear about other fab blogs or where I find inspiration to try something new in the kitchen, take on a DIY project or try out that new exercise at the gym.

Now it is my turn to share my faves with you!  Stay tuned for a weekly list of awesome blogs and blog posts - posts will go up on Monday and capture the highlights of the previous week. I hope you will enjoy these as much as I do and that you will find inspiration in them as well.  In addition, please share any others with me in the comments section below.

Bite Size Wellness - Fave Things Friday: After Sun Care Products

This is an extremely timely post given that we are mid-summer and Halifax has been abnormally hot all season long.  This morning I had a meeting at a coffee shop, and, without thinking, I left the house without putting any sunscreen on.  Gasp!  I realize this may seem like no big deal, but, as a redhead, I have learned time and again how important it is to use this on a daily basis.  We sat outside because it was such a lovely, sunny morning; however, I stressed the whole time about how burnt I was likely becoming with each passing moment.  As soon as I came home I grabbed my Burt's Bees after sun with a sigh of relief.  Check out the link above for additional after sun recommendations.

Domestic Adventure - DIY Cornices

My husband and I have been picking away at decorating our new home.  We are not natural DIYers and are slowly figuring out how to do homeowner things - like patching holes in walls and installing light fixtures.  The post above is a couple of years old; however, my husband and I only recently had the opportunity to complete this project.  We did three valances and have a fourth one to complete.  It is shocking how something so simple can really spruce up a room.

Ambitious Kitchen - Flourless Chocolate Chip Zucchini Oat Brownies

Take one look at the photos of these brownies and you will immediately start to drool.  This is on my "must try" recipe list.  I am a chocoholic who is on a constant hunt to find a healthier way to consume it - I think this might do the trick!

Happy reading and don't forget to check me out on bloglovin'!