About Me

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I am a momma-to-be, a teacher, fitness/yoga instructor, runner, celebrity stalker, chocolate lover, embarrassing dancer, wine guzzler, can't-live-without-my-girlfriends kind of girl. I also have a collection of high heels that strongly outweighs my collection of runners. My goal is to find balance in my life through health and exercise- and when I say balance, I mean kicking ass in the gym and enjoying food, wine, family, friends, and basking in celebrity news. Let's eat clean and do some craaahaaayzy workouts together... followed by a glass of wine.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

A delicious glass of water, and a surprise T.O. treat!

Pin It My husband and I have really been enjoying the city this summer. The best part about living in Toronto is that   there is always a neighbourhood to explore, a festival to visit, a homeless person to see, etc. My friend Jessi once said that if she didn't live in Toronto, it would be the place she would want to come visit. That really stuck with me!

I got tickets to the Open Roof Festival a few weeks ago and soon realized just what a cool wife I was. We headed out to the Wellington Pub for dinns, where I enjoyed a cool, tall glass of the city's best water.

This was before he downed 4 beer. Thank God he is good looking, or I'd have cut that bitch. 
I had a serious need for chicken fingers drowned in wing sauce, something I thought was really important to feed to my child. I didn't feel the need to take a photo of it, however, because... I have a life.

Just kidding. I have no life. I didn't take a photo because I'd be taking a photo of what looked like a kids' meal, for giants. I gladly downed the entire thing.

After dinner, we went to the festival, where there was more food. 
The Open Roof Festival is freaking cool. We were at the Amsterdam Brewery in the middle of downtown Toronto, watching a movie. I surprised Carter with these tickets as the movie "Undefeated" was playing- an Academy Award winning documentary about a high school football team in Manassas.

Rub it in, Carter.

A great movie for two super sports fans!

It was a fabulous treat, right in our backyard! Which was a great change to the overgrown grass and poorly watered plants that I'm currently looking at.

What's your favourite way to "staycation"? What's the coolest thing you've done in your hometown?

Monday, 27 August 2012

Fit Preggo Stability Ball Workout!

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I originally posted this workout for Fit Pregnancy and Parenting- a wonderful site dedicated to moms and moms-to-be working through the challenges of being a parent and manoeuvring fitness and nutrition along the way. Be sure to check them out and follow them on Facebook!

This one goes out to my ladies. Who would have thought you'd become accustomed to curling up to the porcelain gods? Who would have thought the number on the scale could grossly outnumber your husband's? Who knew your feet could resemble those of Shrek's?

My hat's off to you, mommas. Because EVERY. SINGLE. DAY we prove why we are the stronger sex. Or at least that's what I tell myself on a daily basis, while trying to squeeze my ass into skinny jeans. No male would do that. 

Thankfully, we have exercise (just keep me away from climbing any stairs- I nearly passed out going up about 10 of them yesterday). Exercise gives me an excuse to clear my head, do something for my health and the health of my child, and most importantly, think about what I would do if my child was born an alien. 

There are a multitude of reasons to exercise while expecting: 
-Relieves backache
-Improves blood flow, leg circulation and can relieve swelling
-Improved digestion
-Better sleep
-Improved labour
-Because I said so. 

I picked the stability ball (SB) for this workout for a few reasons. One, it is an excellent tool to help pregnant women work their entire body- most specifically, their core. Two, it is an affordable way to exercise throughout your pregnancy- at home, especially! And finally, because when I would stand next to it, I'd feel skinny. 

Look how skinny I look next to this ball. 

As with any form of exercise, always check with your health care provider to see if this type of exercise is right for you. 

The best muscles to work during pregnancy? The core! Begin with the stability ball against the wall. Place your forearms on top of the ball and slowly walk your feet out into a plank position. For extra support, place your hands against the wall. Hold for 30 seconds!

Want a hot booty to go with your hot belly? These bridges work the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. Begin by sitting on the stability ball. Walk your feet forward so that your lower back is on the ball. Keep walking until your upper back, shoulders, and neck are on the ball and your glutes are a few inches from the ground. Lift your hips as high as you can, keeping your feet firmly on the ground. Repeat from starting position. For a more challenging balance workout, place your hands together and point them to the ceiling. Repeat for 30 seconds. 

Alright. So I may be against a wall, and I may be on my knees, but this is HARD. Begin with the ball up against a wall, and place your hands a little wider than shoulder width apart. Place your knees on the ground- the further back they are, the harder these will be. Bring your chest as close to the ball as possible and use your strength to push yourself back to starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Squats are a miracle exercise! The addition of the stability ball allows the fit preggo to complete a full squat (quads parallel to the ground), and gives extra back support as the belly gets bigger. Begin with the ball on the small of your lower back. Leaning into the ball, move your feet out in front of you so that your heels are in line with your knees- or even further. When you squat down, be sure that your feet are planted firmly on the ground and that your knees do not surpass your toes. To change this up, move your feet wide! Repeat for 30 seconds. 

Complete 30 seconds of each exercise and repeat the circuit 4 times! This should take you approximately 15-20 minutes- just enough time for your baby daddy to go get you what you're craving.  

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Clif Bar Giveaway!!!

Pin It I am absolutely, extremely devastated very thrilled to be heading back to school, and this means many people will be getting back into a routine either for themselves or their kids. To be honest, it's the one thing I'm looking forward to- and of course, educating the minds of the wonderful children and inspiring them to find their personal meaning- hahahaha okay I'll stop.

The peeps at Clif sent me a delicious snack pack of their new CLIF CRUNCH granola bars to try! I was thrilled since I generally satisfy my 3pm sweet tooth craving at work by eating some sort of granola (whether in bar or cereal form) and greek yogurt before dashing out to coach or teach fitness.

My favourite? Chocolate chip... though I'm sure you knew that. 

The bars are crunchy, delicious, and come in 4 mean flavours- Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Blueberry Crisp, and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut. They are made with 70% organic materials and contain no trans fats, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners or flavours. Perfect for kids!

Each pack comes with two bars, so there is always the option to give your kids just one of the bars, and keep one for yourself. As you can tell, I will be a wonderful mother.

These puppies are sold in boxes of 5 (10 bars total), and can be found at Bulk Barn, London Drugs, Whole Foods, and the natural aisle of most grocery stores for about $4.99. They are easily transportable and taste like a treat! I tried the Macadamia Nut bar crushed up in greek yogurt, and I felt like I was eating a sundae. Then, I ate a real sundae.

Don't eat your screen- this is a photo.

The amazing peeps at Clif have also offered one of my ridic readers a prize pack filled with assorted Clif Bar products!!! Simply head over to my Facebizzle page and comment on the Clif Bar link, telling me which of the 4 bars you'd most like to try! You will get an extra entry if you then share the contest with your peeps!

The winner will be chosen Monday, August 27th so get on it!

Monday, 20 August 2012

So, I had a slight meltdown.

Pin It Over pants. 

Yes, I bawled my eyes out, had a freak attack, sunk to the ground in an ugly cry- all over pants. 

Let me explain. I've been at a steady weight my entire life. While I gained the freshman 15 and fluctuate between 5-10 pounds on a regular basis, I've never been as heavy as I am right now. I understand I have a child I can blame (get used to it, kid). However, I still have a LONG way to go, and it's just a little bizarre to look at that number on the scale. 

By the way, I am not a freak about my weight, and I never have been! It's just that on top of gasping for air when climbing my stairs and reading about women never getting their bodies back, it's a little terrifying. 

I also really, really love fashion. I love following trends and pretending to be stylish. It was about time that I purchase maternity clothing, though I dreaded the thought. I'm seeing all the amazing pieces for fall- and I am dying for a great pair of black patent leather pants- or even black skinny jeans with a bit of a shine to them to go with great boots, blazers, and accessories. LOVE. 

So I've ventured to a few malls in search of some fall maternity fashion. I've been to three H&Ms and have found some luck- though I have ended up buying a few things from their maternity line, but also a few things that aren't maternity. At the Eaton Centre last week, I bought three pairs of maternity skinny jeans- including a great pair of forest green ones and a pair of dull black ones. 

In the mix of all of these were a single pair of the most fabulous black patent skinny jeans, seemingly from last year's collection- in a size 10. I prayed they would fit, but they just wouldn't work (by the way, I could care less what the size on the tag says- it all matters how it fits!). 

Fast forward a few days later, I tried another H&M and in the midst of the hideousness that is maternity fashion, there they were- the black patent skinnies... in a size 6!!! It was like my life had been made! I was so excited, I grabbed them and ran to the cash- only to find out they were ON SALE for $20! This day could not get any better. I happened to look at the tag and noticed they were tagged wrong- outside they were tagged as a 6, but inside they were an 8. Which was fine- they would fit. I'd tried the 10 and bought my other skinny jeans from H&M at size 6 or 8, so I was thrilled. I was told it was a final sale, which was great, because I'd be rocking these puppies by the morning. 

After squealing to my husband, my Mom, sister, the random stranger in the street- the next day I was so excited to wear them. I was going to be in the most amazing pair of maternity jeans! I'd look hot! I'd be fashionable!

The problem: they wouldn't fit over my hips. I tugged, ripped, pulled, stretched- these things were not budging. There must have been a mistake! I took the pants and compared them to the other jeans I'd bought. 

I don't think this does justice to how FREAKING small these were. 

What. The. Hell. They must have been tagged wrong! I was so disappointed! They were the ONLY pair, and they were final sale. The other stores I'd been to had one pair each, in size 10 and 14. Immediately, tears started pouring out of my eyes like bullets, which I will chalk up to hormones and feeling my fashion sense go out the window. I decided to go for a run. I yanked on my favourite workout capris, only to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and see that the pants were basically see-through from stretching so much, and I had major cameltoe. It was not good. I need to start my own workout maternity line because there is NOTHING OUT THERE- so you end up wearing regular yoga pants and making a fool of yourself, at your most vulnerable. 

Then, my skin began itching like I had run through a field of poison ivy. Sweating plus squeezing your ass into a pair of too-tight pants, plus your skin stretching at an exponential rate will do that to you. I started scratching obsessively and let out a huge scream before running out the door. It took me about a kilometre to stop the tears from streaming. 

I immediately felt better from moving my body. I need to get a grip. I am 6 months pregnant. Things are not going to fit. I am going to gain weight. And here I am... RUNNING. I felt awesome. 

Then, as my embarrassing run song ended (Billy Ocean, anyone?) and there was a slight pause in between the next song (likely Tom Jones), I hear a roofer yell something at me. 

"Way to go, Big Momma!"

Big Momma. 

I couldn't fit into my cool pants. 

I need a drink, and I can't have one.

Let's just say my meltdown continued. My poor husband.

Have you ever had one of those days? Have you ever been yelled at while running? How do you deal with a bad day?

Friday, 17 August 2012

The Sox Box Giveaway- Strong Mama!

Pin It Happy Friday- who wants to WIN?

I came across The Sox Box when they had a photo contest on their Facebook page! I wanted a pair of their socks that spoke for me! I was drooling over a few of their styles, but one in particular: their STRONG MAMA socks!!

The socks are awesome and definitely make a statement. Made in the U.S.A., 20% of ALL proceeds go to the Independence Fund, a non-profit group that directly supports wounded and ill service members.

The Strong Mama socks are currently SOLD OUT- but the amazing peeps at The Sox Box have ONE pair for my Fit in Heels peeps!

The Sox Box's socks were made mostly for Crossfitters (in the "Box")- those who complete compound movements like cleans, snatches, and box jumps- mostly for protection against scrapes, bruises, and cuts. Basically, they are for the HARDCORE! But let's be honest- they are perfect for anyone who loves to show some serious style in the gym!

Check out their other amazing styles!

Hahahah "Yay Burpees"- I love socks that give sarcasm when I can't.
They also have Steak/Eggs, and Hunter/Gatherer- so you can even switch them up- Mama/Beast comes to mind.

Here are three ways you can win the last pair of Strong/Mama socks!!!
+1 Like The Sox Box on Facebook (tell them I sent you!)
+1 Like this Strong Mama on Facebook!
+1 Share this giveaway on Facebook, and leave me a comment (here or on Facebizzle) telling me you did!

Good luck- this contest will run until Sunday, August 19th at midnight!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

I'm 30, and I made a friend.

Pin It So I've lived where I live for about 5 years now. I remember first moving here, which was nowhere close to my group of 8 girlfriends- I'd walk around Queen Street and see groups of girls frolicking and having fun, and smile at them. For two reasons- one, I was happy and jealous at the same time. Two, I secretly wanted them to stop me, a complete stranger, in the middle of the street and say, "Want to be our friend?" Then, we'd skip off together into the street, drinking wine and eating ice cream.

Soon after, I'd make an inappropriate joke and they would slowly kick me out of their group by not returning my phone calls and talking sh*t about me behind my back. I'd go back to cruising the Boardwalk, smiling creepily at groups of women, many of which would go home and say, "I got hit on by a woman for the first time!" ... and they would be right.

If you're still reading this, you are a good person. Earlier this year, I met another good person who didn't shy away from my creepiness- in fact, she welcomed it. Emily understood my warped sense of humour and enjoyed coming to my fitness classes where I kicked the crap out of her. She loved wine, loved to run, loved yoga, and loved to bake- and I was happy to eat. In all, she was my dream woman.

We should have taken this photo BEFORE working out. Just saying.
I figured she lived too far for us to be real friends, until one day it was raining and I offered to drive her home after fitness class. She lived close to me!!!! 5 years here and not one single new friend, I was 30 years old thinking, have I found the one?!

So I started slow. I suggested we run together, which was amazing. I'd wear my best workout gear and had to stop myself from putting lipstick on to impress her. We'd have coffee after our runs, she'd bring me brownies, muffins- one day her fiance even made us home-made cinnamon waffles. This was really working out for me.

The heart and soul behind the Power of Movement
A few months into our dating friendship, I found out I was pregnant. She was one of the first to know, as my panting and lack of conversation during our runs was bound to make her think, "Is she just not that into me?" She was super supportive and even ran the first leg of the Sporting Life 10km with me... only to find out a few weeks later, that she was pregnant, too!

I was 12 weeks and she was super early- about 5 weeks!!!! 
I have found her to be most helpful when it comes to my weight gain- both as a contributor, and as a support system.

She made these chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches from scratch. I want to be mad but I'm so happy. 
Then, when I'd complain later about the scale reaching a number I'd never seen before, she gave me this pad of paper.

Well, thank you.
I am so excited to share pregnancy and parenting with this woman! And while our runs have turned into walks, I am most excited about her continuing to feed me and tell me I how skinny I look.

Belly pic!
Cheers to friendships after 30, and knowing there are fabulous, warped, creepy women out there in the world... just like me. Now if I could just convince her to never leave me...

Have you BFF'ed recently? Do you think it's possible to meet good friends after a certain age?
I, of course, believe this. But I'm shocked at how many people are just not open to making friends or putting effort in after a certain age! What I'm saying is, I have no friends. Please be mine.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Cottage Workout and a new workout partner!

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I've been LOVING some time away at the cottage the last few weeks- it is about this time when I start thinking that my two months of vacation are simply not enough.

I'm punching myself for saying it, too. I'm sorry. But there's just so much to do when you don't have to work!

My family has always been active and supports my need for adrenaline on a daily basis. I started most of my cottage days with a 5km hilly run/walk, which felt great. A few days of the week, we did some strength training back at the compound as well- and instead of my 2 kg medicine ball, I decided to up my weights!

My nephew was not harmed while taking these photos.
Exercise #1- Push Ups
Exercise #2- Lunges

What a model!
Exercise #3- Dips

Exercise #4- Squats!

I did 10 reps of each times 4- and with my addition (15 pounds of my extra, um... padding) plus my nephew (15 pounds of child), I got a ridiculous workout!

And once the baby started crying, I gave him back. I need to figure out how that happens when I have my own child.

Any unconventional workout methods you've tried??

Monday, 6 August 2012

The MILF Workout

Pin It You read that right. This is for my MILFs! This pre or post natal fitness routine can be done anywhere, making it perfectly accessible for many Moms and Moms-to-be.
5 months along, aspiring to MILF status. 
Now, I know what you're thinking. MILF? Girl, you are sick. But I don't think you know what kind of MILF I'm talking about. 

It's weird that this photo of me with my unborn child has hit the web already. 
Moms Inspiring Lifelong Fitness! Let's do it, ladies! 

This workout is under 9 minutes total- or you can double it or triple it for an 18 or 27 minute workout. Most of the 8 moves can be modified to suit your needs, and each will be done for 1 minute in length, alternating between cardio and strength moves. 

I've used my Bit Timer App for this workout, and you can WIN one of five free download of the app simply by sharing this video on Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook

MILFs unite! 

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Food Pen Pal- Chocolate Edition.

Pin It As my post yesterday mentioned, this was my first month participating in the Foodie Pen Pal program!

I got hooked up with Powerhouse Fit Foodie Chelsey, and let me say, you NEED to go to her blog to check out her abs alone. Holy God, woman! You are crayyyhayzy! It was amazing to meet new bloggers (I sent Chelsey a pen pal pack, and I got one from Danielle) and find out all the things you have in common with some crazy Canucks. 

I really enjoyed perusing Chelsey's blog as her and I have very similar takes on life. The difference being, I have a rounded belly and she has a six pack... but I digress. She loves HIIT training, good eats, and kicking ass in general. 

In true FiH fashion, I decided to send her a Chocolate Lover's package, full of some of my favourite (and never ending) chocolate cravings. I felt a little guilty after sending it, as I know she's been sticking to a nutrition plan pretty strictly... but everyone needs a treat now and then! 

Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my keyboard. 
The Chocolate Chex Mix is not available in Canada- it just so happened that my brother was back in town from the States and brought me some of this crack cocaine cereal deliciousness. It's better for you than a LOT of chocolate options... if you don't eat the entire bag at once, that is. 

I included Praeventia Dark Chocolate Cherry cookies- these are available at my school's Snack Shack program, and I can't help but sometimes grab them for a quick chocolate fix! 

Godiva Dark Chocolate Mint Pearls- enough said. Chelsey said she ate half the box when she got the package... and my only question to her is, "How did you stop yourself?"

Vega's Whole Food Energy Bar and Larabar's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip are my two favourite snack bars, and finally- le piece de resistance (sorry, anyone who is french)- a Chocolate bar from my FAVOURITE chocolate shop in the Beach- Wickerhead Chocolate Company! I won't lie, it took every ounce of strength for me to send this and not eat it myself... but that shows how unselfish I am. 

That, and I bought myself two bars. 

Join the Foodie Pen Pal Program here, and follow Chelsey here

What's your favourite kind of chocolate?