Monday, 30 December 2013

Monday Musings: Reflections on our Two Biggest Milestones

Instead of sharing links with you today I wanted to reflect a little on the past year.  I don't normally do this kind of thing, but this past year has been filled with change, so I thought this might be rather timely.

First of all, as you know, my husband and I bought our first house.  Becoming new homeowners has its own set of challenges and firsts.  This change has allowed us to begin many of our sentences with "you know you're an adult when...".  For example, "you know you're an adult when you spend Friday and Saturday night at Home Depot."  "You know you're an adult when you look forward to the flyer delivery."  

So, not only have we spent far too much time getting to know each aisle of Home Depot, but we have also learned many things, like what thermostats are for, how expensive oil heat is, how to patch drywall and we met our forever plumber named Barney.  We have also learned that a house cannot be decorated in one, six or even 12 months.  It is taking way longer than we thought to get our house pulled together!  Thank goodness for Ikea and spray paint.

And if buying a house wasn't exciting enough, we adopted our little (currently 70 lbs and counting) furbaby Hugo.  He is the light of our life, we adore him and our world revolves around him.  "You know you're an adult when you spend Sunday afternoons at puppy school."  "You know you're an adult when you have to clean up crap off your kitchen walls."

He has made us more active - we now look forward to walks in the torrential rain, because we know it will tire him out.  We have actually met our neighbours and refer to them like so: Mimi's mom, Shaggy's dad. We have explored our neighbourhood in ways we had never done before.  For once, we dread silence, it means he is eating something he shouldn't, like socks, or ant raid, or kleenex, or plastic bags, or any other paper or plastic product, or the bath mat, or my coupons, or my dayplanner.  

He has made the holidays so much more exciting.  He is thrilled with the wrapping paper, the bags, the glitter and the food.  He is convinced every package is for him.  

He got jealous when the people were hogging the cheeseball, so he stole it - briefly, but he did put it back. He did the same with the Munchie Mix - he had a small victory there.  He got halfway on the table and licked the flour off of the prepared surface ready for the pie crust.  He licked faster when he saw his Nana coming.  He pooped out her plaid sock this weekend. She was looking everywhere for that sock.  

But, most of all, Hugo has turned our house into a home.  He makes us laugh all the time, even when we are trying to be mad.  He is beyond easy going, even when the bathtub leaked onto his head below.  He is a healthy eater and will eat everything from garlic to broccoli, from bananas to coconut oil, from carob to flour, everything except celery or mint.  He loves his sleep and allows us to sleep in.  He cuddles when he is exhausted, otherwise, he just wants to follow us and be in on the action.  He loves children and adults, men and women and other dogs.  He is convinced everyone is madly in love with him.  We certainly are!  

We are looking forward to 2014 as Hugo grows into what will likely be 130 lbs of goofy, lovable fun.  

Monday, 2 December 2013

Monday Musings: December is upon us

It is hard to believe that December is finally upon us.  I guess I can no longer avoid Christmas music or decorations now that we are less than three weeks until the big day.  My husband and I checked out our first Christmas-related events this past weekend, first, I swung by the Halifax Crafters market on Saturday where I picked up a few items from Emma Fitzgerald and Jane Rovers, swoon!  I first saw Emma's work at the Timeraiser event in Halifax - I bid on one of her pieces but, unfortunately, did not win.

Last night my husband and I headed downtown to St. Paul's Anglican Church where we were treated to Wassail - hosted by the Halifax Music Co-op.  The venue was quite magical on a dark, cold December evening.  The music was beautiful and energetic and finally put me in the Christmas mood.

So, the links I have for you tonight are not at all related to Christmas and have no common theme, but I hope you still find something worth reading.

Popsugar Fitness - Stuffed from too much stuffing?  Yoga poses to ease digestion

As you are all aware I am a huge yoga fan and someone who suffers from digestive issues.  I can attest to the validity of these claims and hope that when your special Christmas pants can no longer contain your holiday indulgences that you strike a pose.

Cookin' Canuck - How to Freeze Quinoa

After accidentally making about eight cups of quinoa I had no choice but to find a way to freeze this stuff. Her methods truly work and reheat no problem, so waste not!

Momma's Gone City - Hello, World

A few weeks ago Theo and Beau captured our hearts as photos of this adorable duo spread quickly across social media.  If you have not met these two you are in for a cuteness overload!  In this post blogger, Jessica, comments on the overwhelming response to the friendship between her two babies.

Run Like a Grl - Tips for Running in the Winter

Ever since I ran the MEC 5k at Shubie Park a few months ago I have been trying to get back into running.  I have been keeping things around 3k roughly three times a week to slowly build back my leg strength.  I have also been dragging the fur baby with me on these runs.  It is clear to me that Bernese Mountain Dogs were not born to run.  Hugo's technique includes lying down in the middle of the road and refusing to move.  Or only running for treats.  And only until you give him the treat. As the weather gets colder I am adding more and more layers to my running attire and dreaming of warmer days.  Although most of these tips are pretty straight forward, I would also agree that they are pretty bang on.  Especially thumb holes - these are essential!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Loving the Fitbit

I want to talk fitness gadgets, particularly the Fitbit Flex.  I was toying with the idea of purchasing a Fitbit, Nike Fuelband or a Jawbone for the longest time, but when my physiotherapist prompted me to try it as part of my treatment I decided to take the plunge.  So, I thought I would share my thoughts with you about the device.

What is it?
Fitbit is like a really jazzed up pedometer that tracks your steps, your active minutes, sleep and calories burned.  It can also track your food intake similar to MyFitnessPal.

Depending on the model it may do a little more or a little less - for example, I have the Fitbit Flex which I can wear in the shower, but some of the older models are not waterproof.  The new Fitbit Force can track how many stories you have climbed in a day (kicking myself for not waiting two weeks!).  To find out more about how the technology works click here.

As many of my regular readers may know I seem to be cursed with constant injuries, so much so that I am now working with a different physiotherapist who specializes in fibromyalgia.  We are still unsure as to whether or not I have fibro; I only meet the criteria when my body is "flared up" (ie. I have a random, inexplicable long-term injury).

In a nutshell, her approach is to find out what my current abilities are for various types of movements (ex. endurance, lifting, range of motion) and then come up with a game plan to increase my abilities in areas that I am having trouble.  The main idea behind it is to determine what I am doing vs. what I am actually capable of.  Insert Fitbit here.  She wants to get a sense of how much I am moving (her hunch is possibly too much).

Love it or hate it?
I love love love it!  My physiotherapist may have created a monster in recommending this to me.  I am completely obsessed with this tool.  The device allows you to set a daily step count goal that you can change at any time.  I set mine at 13,000 per day, which, when achieved, works out to be the equivalent of roughly 9-10km.

Not only does it track your daily stats, but it emails you a weekly report with your averages for sleep, distance, calories burned and step count.  I have been using this device for six weeks and my average step count is 11,385 (a little bit shy of where I want to be).  My highest daily step count was 20,960 - which was on Thanksgiving weekend (Canadian) when we hiked Cape Split with Hugo.  So I am now hell bent on beating that record!

Would I recommend?  Most def!

I would love to hear from those of you who currently use the Fitbit or another similar device.  Do you find it helps you reach your goals?