I know you’re not supposed to wish your life away, but this has been a very strange few weeks for routine and I just want to get next week over with because I think it’s going to be a rough one….first 5 day work week in a month, a doctor’s appointment, the hassle of sending my car in for a week of body work….you know, all the things that make a busy life just that much more difficult.

I had a gym fail this morning when, last night, I didn’t turn the switch on my alarm clock to my secondary wake-time.  So…I choose to be happy that I got an extra 2 hours of sleep rather than be mad at myself that I missed out on the gym.  I have a bank appointment after work today to sort out the transfer of all my pension funds from the company I just left to….I don’t know where….hopefully the guy at the bank can help.  And….I have no plans for our dinner tonight.  I don’t normally cook on Fridays but since I put the boots to eating out this month, I guess when I get home I’ll have to figure something out.

Tomorrow Ray’s daughter and I are heading to Gourmet Warehouse in Vancouver, her first trip, one of my many.  I need whole cumin and coriander seeds as well as rosemary and I am hard pressed to buy grocery store spices anymore…not when, with a 15 minute drive, I can get exceptional quality and decent cost.  Plus, that store is an emporium of what is possible if you like to cook.


About a quarter of the paradise that is Gourmet Warehouse

I’m stopping for groceries tonight after work and I’ve already hit Costco because tomorrow after the Gourmet Warehouse trip I’m going to do my cooking day.  I wouldn’t normally do it on a Saturday but instead of feeling resentful about having to spend 3 hours in the kitchen cooking, I’m going to embrace it and turn the tunes on and make it my own time.  I’ll be making:  turkey soup (w/ homemade stock), ceviche, best chicken ever (wellfed), cinnamon beef stew (wellfed) and then the standard egg boiling, veggie chopping/grating and maybe a big batch of sausage making.  By the time I’m done we should have a fridge FULL of food for next week.  Speaking of a full fridge…we actually have two.  One upstairs and an older one downstairs that gets random crap chucked into it.  I am going to be taking my bucket of bleach and detergent down there tonight and doing a good clean on it, throwing out all the condiments that have been in there since before Ray and I got together 6 years ago and then using it properly to store my weekly pre-cook.  Our fridge upstairs will then be used for breakfast ingredients (eggs, chopped veg), milk, regular condiments and our lunches that I pack the night before.  Right now I can barely get our lunches into the fridge at the end of the day, it’s ridiculous.  I’m going to put a small whiteboard somewhere in the kitchen and that will have our weekly menu on it and the contents of the precook downstairs.  I have to find a way to be more organized and prepared and to make food preparation take less time this year if I ever want to get anything else done.

On a positive note, as we drifted out of 2013, we did so with Ray having adopted all of our laundry duties.  He now has a job where he has to be well-pressed and spiffy and that means that the weekly wash up has become a priority for him. His “spiffy” requirements came at the same time as my “wear whatever” happened and the laundry became much less important to me.  He quietly adopted the weekend loads and even goes so far as to deposit my folded laundry on my dresser every Sunday afternoon.  I absolutely love it.  He’s also declared that when I’m in my weekly pre-cook, that he will do housework for the same duration as I’m cooking….so the vacumming, bathrooms, mopping etc is getting done much more regularly.  All good things that we will continue to cultivate in 2014!

So, after the fridge blitz tonight and the cooking blitz tomorrow, I’m planning a looong sit down on Saturday night (maybe with a glass of wine).  Then on Sunday I’ll be doing a big tidy of all the remnants that we haven’t gotten around to from Christmas….washing the table cloths, putting the empty gift bags away, washing all the bedding (dog, guest and ours), finding homes for new gifts.  I want to go to the gym on the weekend at some point to make up for today but I feel like my weekend is already going to be full and busy and I’d rather get (to quote Tara) “my house in order”.  We’ve given ourselves until next weekend to get the Christmas decorations down and put away.  I wanted to do it this weekend but the Christmas tree is not bothering anyone and there are other things that need to get done first.

Going forward into January I want to get my side garden plot measured out and drawn up and start planning where and what I’m going to plant.  We’re going to need to buy supplies to build the raised beds and fill them with soil so I need to get a supplies list for Ray as well as figure out what I can start as seeds, when and how much.  I’m really hoping my Home Farm this year does well, I have high hopes and big plans for it!  One whole bed is going to be herbs and then there will be beds with beans, kale, baby cukes, tomatoes, beets, carrots, lettuce, radishes and maybe peppers, depending on how much room I have.  I also have my blueberry bushes and my raspberry plant from last year, hoping that they survive the winter since I only “kinda-sorta” winterized them.

That’s it for me today, it’s quite bright and sunny outside which must be, at least in part, helping foster my mood of “doing”.  I’ll take it!

I wish you all a productive and relaxing weekend!


2014 – Self-ish

Going back YEARS into my blogging career, I often seem to post multiple times on New Year’s Eve.  Here’s another!

One of the things that I think I would like to recommit to in 2014 (this is NOT a resolution) is self care.  My “eating at the dining room table” thing is related right in there with self care.  I spend so much of my not-at-work time planning, shopping for and cooking our meals and it was starting to annoy me that we were consuming food prepared with love, in front of the TV or other “device”.  When meals would be over in minutes and I could barely remember what we ate the day before, I figured that was not in any way respecting the love and effort that I put into feeding us.

This morning, while at the gym, I noticed that my nail polish is a bit chipped and it irked me.  Somewhere along the way I stopped doing things for the sole purpose of taking care of me.  Somewhere in 2013 I stopped full body exfoliation (baking soda for the win!), I stopped painting my nails, I stopped reading books, I stopped deep conditioning my hair. Somewhere along the way I forgot to take care of myself.  Somewhere along the way I subbed in things that were meant to give me that “feel-good feeling” but which were simply saboteurs in disguise; a glass of red wine, PVR’d shows, cookie and coffee.  Not that there is anything wrong with these things, a glass of red wine is a very enjoyable thing on my register.  And I will still work on enjoying a cookie with an evening coffee on an occasion.  But they are not adequate substitutes for the things that I really value, for the things that I need in order to feel beautiful and healthy and lively.

So, this morning when I noticed my chipped nail polish and then later when I was craving a tanning session, I thought I would add a couple more January goals to my list.  In thinking about it, it really does tie in with losing my 15 stress pounds and regularly going to the gym. They are all self-care things that only I benefit from and if I really put my brain to it, how can I expect myself to go to the gym on the regular if I don’t even remove chipped nail polish?

I have been reading some blogs at work (soooo not busy) and apparently people choose a theme word that they will use to define their year.  Never heard of such a thing but I think it’s a cool idea. A word to define your actions for the year.  As soon as I thought about it for myself, I knew what my 2014 word would be.


2013 was about how the hell we were going to survive.  In 2014 my focus is going to be on me again.  The things I need, the things that make me better, happier, calmer, more loving, better balanced.  The things that speak to who I am and what I value.  It’s not about being selfish or not considering other people and their needs….it’s about being self-ish and also considering my own.

Goals and a Shameless Plug

I’ve read a couple of good blogs over the weekend and I’ll be damned if I can find them now.  The gist was….what you would expect at this time of year.  Get your head straight, get your house in order and, if you want to see change you have to actually make change.  That part was my favourite.  It’s the hardest for us, sometimes, to remember that just wanting something isn’t enough to make it happen.  That just believing in something isn’t enough to inspire change.  That just envisioning it isn’t enough to bring it to life.  Sure, those are all good things and they help but the reality is that if I want to run a race I have to go outside and train for it.  The reality is that if I want to lose a few pounds I have to stop eating crap food.  The reality is if I want to change my relationship with food I have to make changes in my encounters with it.

I’ve written my monthly weight goals down on a sheet of paper in my day planner where I can see them.  During the Christmas cleanup though, our scale went missing.  So….for the better, I can weigh myself once a month at the gym!  Anyway, although some of these goals don’t necessarily meet all the SMART (specific, measureable, actionable, realistic, timely) criteria but they’re close enough.  And…although I said earlier that I wasn’t making resolutions, I don’t believe that monthly goals fall under that category.  I think it’s important to have goals and to put them out there in the world!  So here they are for January:

  • Reduce food budget to $130/week
  • Reduce eating out to once this month
  • Adopt friend’s idea of “No Spend Month” and do not spend money on anything that is not critical for survival.  Wine is not critical.  Cry.
  • Eat at the dinner table at least 3 nights per week, no TV, no technology.  Be willing to encourage by example if Ray is not yet on board (ie, do it alone)
  • Participate in 1 community/charity run
  • Get new Video Blog up and running and promote it
  • Limit fruit to 1/day max (includes whatever is mixed into a salad)
  • COMPLETELY EXCLUDE:  dairy, added sugars or grains of any sort
  • Limit Alcohol to only Friday and/or Saturday
  • Meet gym dates, three per week
  • Work to meet weight goal for January
  • Practice making decisions consciously

I was going to highlight the ones that I thought were the most important….but then the whole list was highlit so I nixed that idea!  These are the goals that I have for January (starting now).  Nearing the end of January I’ll review the list and reassess and see what will continue on to February and what I’ll change.  There is no point in making decisions now for June, or now for November or even now for March.  I know that there are things that will change and things that will happen between now and a month from now and instead of trying to wedge my goals around my life or cram my life into these goals, I’ll make conscious goals that will work with everything else I have going on.

A long time ago a blog friend made a statement, I can’t remember if it was her original statement or copied from somewhere.  “Do The Next Right Thing”. That’s it and it will be my motto for January 2014.


Let me know what you’re doing in the next month that will improve your life?  Giving up alcohol?  Exercising more?   


I encourage you to click on over to “90 Seconds of Real” and take a look around.  We have four women at the moment who are going to share their ups, downs and sideways.  Below is the description of the project from the website.  We hope to have a new video every day (or pretty close to) and we would love a “FOLLOW” or a “LIKE” or even the most cherished of internet communications, a “COMMENT”!  Check out the videos that are up there now as well as the brief biographies and pictures of the contributors under the “About” tab.


The goal with this project is to relate to, reach out to and appeal to other women who are trying to live a strong healthy life in today’s world of convenience, inactivity, instant gratification and a to-do list that just won’t quit.  It’s not an easy road to travel and sometimes when you’re walking down it, you can feel like you’re all alone.

Meet the women of the “90 Seconds of Real” project and know we’re all walking down this road too and we get it!  We’re charging on and powering through and screaming into a pillow right along with you.  We’re cooking Yet Another Paleo Meal for the billionth time and dragging ourselves out of bed to get to the gym and turning down cookies and trying to stand behind our choices and our values.   We hope that you can relate!

A Beautiful Door!

Do you get the sense that the door on 2012 is slowly closing?  Or, even more so, that the door to 2013 is starting to open up and maybe you can get a little peak?

This is the first year I’ve really felt excited for that opening.  For fresh and new and renewed.  This is the first year that I’ve felt like the current year is used up and getting a big stagnant.  I realize that so many people have the same sensation, hence the obsessions with making resolutions and huge life changes.  I think the mistake comes in thinking that because you want it to be, that everything will be different when you wake up on January 1st.  Obviously, as humans we’re flawed by design and part of that flaw is the inherent inability to change.  I’ve been through enough new years now that I think I know the difference between how to make a positive change and how to set myself up for failure.

This year, this turn of the calendar is going to be a different tactic for me though.  I’m not telling anyone what my plan is.  Not because I don’t want to be held responsible for whether and how I commit to my goals, but because I know that it’s the right way to do it this time.  I’m seeing in myself little signs that are pointing me in a certain direction, I’m seeing certain needs that I’m not fulfilling for myself.  I’m hearing little signals that in some ways I need to return to roots and in other ways I need to discard that which doesn’t work for me anymore.  I have stagnant thought processes that need to change, some actions that need to stop and others where I need to foster their growth.  I need to put myself first in some important aspects so that I’m not always showing up last and I need to find some balance between not rocking the boat so everyone is happy and rocking it a little to make sure that I’m happy.

We have quite a few big plans this year but the hands down biggest one for me this year is Me.  We all get a little lost from time to time and I thought I was.  I realize now that I haven’t been lost at all, I’ve been listening and watching and learning.  Events and people and timing has all changed me a lot this year.  Some of the “me” that I’ve always banked on disappeared this year while new traits have solidified, some for the better, some not so much.  Everyone changes all the time, little by little but for the most part, the core of who we are remains solid.  My core is still solid, I’m still who I’ve always been.  Some of my peripheral stuff this past year may have muddied that up, but the waters are clearing!  I haven’t been lost at all…….I’ve just been waiting patiently on the other side of the door in 2013. 

I know what I have to do now and writing it down or posting it or advertising it isn’t going to serve me in any way.  I know what my plan is and I know what I have to do to achieve it.  “They” say that there are ways that you can make more effective goals, ways that you can give yourself a head start to achieving success and I’m sure they work too.  But I think?  If you just listen to that voice in your heart, there is no formula required.  We all already know the path we’re supposed to be on and when we can learn to listen for the plan, the actions take shape of their own accord.  I’ve heard my plan.  The same way that I heard it 7 years ago (September 4th) when I quit smoking and lost 90 pounds, the same way I heard it last year (January 31st) when I went grain free successfully.  I’ve heard my plan and it’s not a new year resolution, it’s a wonderful coincidence this time that the plan is meant to start at the beginning of 2013.

2013 Door