Saturday, December 31, 2011

thinking about...

the past year.
*I had my 4th birthday and christmas with D
*many blessings came my way including an amazing summer job and an opportunity to study marine critters in bamfield for 6 weeks
*my love for all things food related blossomed.  I attempted many new recipes and got myself a fancy mixer that I can't keep my hands off of
*I started running and ran my first 5k race
*I was really dedicated to my yoga practice- I participated in an acro yoga workshop, amnesty internationals yoga day(and a little one of my quotes was published in their 2012 promotional material!!), and an amazing yoga retreat on the westcoast
*I vacationed to hawaii.
*I attended 3 beautiful weddings- one being one of my closest and bestest friends
*I spent countless hours with my amazing friends and family which I wouldn't trade for the world.

looking forward to many more memories with my people in 2012.  thanks to all of YOU for reading- I love you all and happy new year!

check out my last thinking about post here

Thursday, December 29, 2011

thursday thought.

coming at yah x2 today... just because I feel like it :)

be grateful.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

christmas gifting.

after buying all my crafting supplies these are some of the things I put together as gifts this holiday season..

homemade coasters.  I found a few tutorials on pinterest and kind of made up my own convenient way of doing it and they turned out great.  you need tiles(from home depot), scrapbook paper, sticky felt(michaels), mod podge and clear spray paint. 

I also made this cookies n cream peanut butter using this recipe then adding crushed up oreos to the mix. yum!!

finally, for the stockings I made this homemade granola- simple and cute idea and there are tons of granola recipes out there to try.

I also made this little gift for derek... I used a deck of cards, hole punch, scrapbook paper and binder rings to put this little gem together.  I wrote out one thing on each card that I loved about him.  he loved this little gift and I really enjoyed making it.

also, since derek and I set a limit for gifts and we didn't do stockings I decided to get a few little gifts and wrap them each separately.  each one had a time written on it.  for example, 9.25, 10.25 etc.  on the 25th minute of each hour he got a little stocking stuffer type gift.  this idea was also a success- D enjoyed having something to open each hour until late afternoon.

other highlights from christmas included talking to my brother who I miss like crazy, an afternoon walk with D and some lazying around.  it was nice to not have to rush the entire day- much more relaxing.  such a fantastic christmas.

hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

christmas fun round 1.

christmas this year was fantastic. as usual.  unfortunately, I didn't get much of a break given that I work in retail but I managed quite fine. on the 23rd we celebrated christmas with our second family...

I'm missing a picture of all of us but it was such a fantastic time. yay for ugly sweater parties! thanks brooke for the photos.

we have amazing friends that is all I can say and I can't wait to ring in the new year with them!!! I am looking forward to 4 consecutive days off this weekend to really enjoy some of my gifts including 2 amazing cookbooks, the book wheat belly and my blue planet dvds.  I was absolutely spoiled rotten this year as always and received some really thoughtful gifts.

our family christmas was a 4 day event.. continuing tonight actually- we have one more group of family to go! from christmas eve to today we have been enjoying family company and great food.

coming soon I am going to show you some of the handmade gifts that I gave to my people this year.  can't wait to share them!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry christmas

christmas is in full swing around here.  I feel fortunate to have today and tomorrow off to celebrate with my friends and family.  I'm putting the final touches on gifts, the final treats in the oven and then going to relax with my family.  wishing everyone a relaxing and happy holiday.  see you in a few days!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

thursday thought + baking.

this quote is another one of my favourites.  obviously the scientist in me really loves it.  it really speaks to me because I often get people saying to me "wow, you are so smart" and "you are so lucky that you are so smart" when really I don't think it is luck at all.  of course, over my many years of education I have always gotten good grades but I have never been one that hasn't had to work for them.  and I haven't had as good of grades in subjects I haven't been interested in... I definitely don't think of myself as one of those students who just wings it and magically comes through the other side with an A.  over my past 4 years in university I have wanted to go in so many different directions and once I finally figured our where my passion was and what I was totally infatuated with and "curious" about my grades seemed to skyrocket.  I think being passionately curious leads you to great things.. and I am thankful at this point I have discovered how curious I am about this ocean of ours.

now, onto baking. I was supposed to do a lot more baking this week than I actually got around to because of this stupid cold. however here are a few things I have made over the past few days...

another batch of these chocolate chip cookies because they are just so simple yet completely delicious.
my girlfriends made a batch of this fudge while I crafted at the dining room table because I didn't want to get my germs all over the delicious baking.  it was so amazing- good job friends!
and I made these gluten free cookies for my cookie exchange last weekend...


1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
112 g dark chocolate; about 4 squares, chopped melted and cooled
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup icing sugar

whisk almonds with cocoa, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. beat butter with brown sugar in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, until light and fluffy, about 3 mins. beat in egg and vanilla. stir in cooled chocolate. fold in almond mixture until combined. cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough is firm enough to roll, about 10 min.

position oven racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. preheat oven to 350. line 2 baking sheets with parchment. place granulated and icing sugars in 2 separate small bowls. scoop dough and roll into tbsp-sized balls. coat with granulated sugar, then icing sugar. place on prepared sheets 1 inch apart. bake in top and bottom thirds of oven, switching and rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies crack, 12 to 14 mins. remove sheets to a rack and leave for 2 mins. cookies will look undercooked but will continue to bake as they sit. remove to a rack and cool completely. store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week or freeze up to 1 month

this makes about 20-25 cookies and was a fairly time consuming recipe as far as cookies go but they turned out awesome! so soft, fluffy and moist especially for gluten free I thought.  flourless cookie success!

I leave you with this ridiculous picture of me when I was super stoked on life before this stupid cold.  I took it right before girls night and I was one happy camper...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

my crazy abby.

her smile...

her "funny" face...

her "angry" face...

and this was her "yoga" face apparently... :)

we have fun.  we were playing funny faces before gymnastics- she is quite the little go getter at the gym. makes me proud!

Monday, December 19, 2011

crazy cross fit.

over the weekend, I chatted cross fit with the girls.  brooke has posted a couple awesome cross fit workouts here and today since I didn't have a scheduled yoga class or run I decided to give it a go.  I went out for a 15 minute power walk then came home and did the following workout which I slightly adapted from brooke's cross fit craziness.

warm up:

10 push ups x 3
10 sit ups x3
10 squats x 3

then for 10 minutes did this circuit:

7 tricep dips
7 burpees
7 step ups

I used my ottoman for the dips and step ups- seemed to work out quite fine! in the new year when the school gym is open I will go use that space instead of my living room.  for now though it works perfectly! this seriously got me sweating!! probably the best workout I have ever got in such a short time period.  I could feel the burn everywhere!  thanks brooke!!

if you need a good workout playlist, I used this one while I suffered through all those stupid burpees.  a few songs I didn't really like so I skipped them but for the most part it was awesome for sweating it out.

december 18.

December 18th on Vancouver Island...

on our sunday afternoon walk on december 18th derek was wearing a long sleeve shirt..  without a jacket. so fantastic- I love the surprise warm and sunshiny days we get around here.  they make me so happy.  but I would love a little snow for christmas...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

thursday thought.

my mom passed this quote along to me this week and I just love it.  so true...

“The whole world steps aside for the woman who knows where she is going”. Unknown.


thanks mom. happy thursday everyone! only one more day till christmas break....

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

book review.

with working and school being in full swing, it took me a while to get through this read.  except for last night that is, when I just flew through the last 50 pages because I just couldn't wait ANY longer to find out what happens.  overall, I enjoyed this book and the story.  generally, I really like jodi picoult but now I'm finding her stories a little bit repetitive.  I read the pact back in october and this seemed to follow a very similar story.  there is always a tragic and controversial event followed by all the court and trial shenanigans.

nineteen minutes follows the story of a highschool boy who was on trial for murdering 10 people in a school shooting after being severely bullied.  even though the story did seem sort of dragged out, I was never bored reading it.  at times, it was hard to get through because even though it is a book, bullying is a reality and I have such a hard time wrapping my head around how cruel kids can be.  there was quite the little twist at the end which definitely through me for a loop. overall, I would recommend this book but I wouldn't have read it right after the pact if I knew the story lines were going to be so similar

check out here and here for more good book recommendations :) happy reading!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011



I would like to cozy up in this house, light a nice fire(with my notes that I should be studying), grab a blanket, a good book and a cup of hot chocolate in my favourite mug.  mmm yah that sounds good.  I'm praying to the weather gods for a little snow this christmas season.

Monday, December 12, 2011


friday night we went out with our friends to look at christmas lights around town.  after grabbing a starbucks drink and treat we set out to see some of the amazingly decorated houses.  it was a blast! definitely gets you in the spirit- now, we just need some snow!

I was also super productive on the diy projects I needed to work on for christmas gifts.  things are definitely starting to come together! can't wait to share some of my ideas with you.. but that will have to wait!!

after setting up the christmas tree late last week while sippin' hot chocolate, I have made a solid effort to plug in the lights and enjoy it while I hang out at home.  especially in the evenings, it makes it so cozy in our little living room.  I love it! I can't wait for all the christmas festivities coming up.. holiday movie night/cookie & gift exchange/ugly sweater party and all the family gatherings.  great company and great food! my two favourite things.

I spent saturday night babysitting abby, which was entertaining as per usual. the things that come out of that childs mouth are hysterical- I think she might be a comedian.  we coloured dora, played petshops and watched the wiggles.. you know all the things I normally do on saturday nights :)

I also made these muffins and ate red pepper jelly and cream cheese on crackers for dinner <--my current addiction

yay for the holiday season!! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

sour cream and black bean enchiladas.

I adapted this recipe from keep it simple foods last night to make some very delicious enchiladas.  I changed the recipe up a bit to use what was in the house and not buy some of the more expensive ingredients at the store

it ended up looking a little like this:

Serves: 4

12 small flour tortillas
1 can black beans
1/2 cup sour cream
1-1.5 cups grated marble cheese (whatever cheese you have works fine)
1/2 any colour pepper, chopped
1/4 any colour onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cloves garlic
2 fresh jalapenos, chopped (you could use jarred or skip this step if you don't like the spice because it definitely had a kick!)
1/2 lime juice and zest (don't skip this step- it added the perfect flavour)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1ish cup of taco sauce (I used this in lieu of enchilada sauce, which we didn't have, and it turned out perfectly. you just need enough to coat all the enchiladas)

*note: I omitted the cilantro from the original recipe because I didn't have any on hand

mix the beans, onion(not green onion), and garlic.  then add in lime zest and juice, all spices, sour cream and about 1/3 cup cheese. mix well.

add the filling to the tortillas and roll up tight.  then cover all tortillas in the enchilada/taco sauce and sprinkle remaining cheese, green onion, and jalapenos on top :)

bake at 350 for 20 minutes. enjoy!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


the definite highlight of my weekend was the 5k santa shuffle that I ran with the girls.  our team C-BAM (minus the C- we missed you court) rocked it out and had a great time.  now onto the times colonist 10k in april.  we ran the whole race together and stopped to walk only for a couple minutes.  definitely a success. this morning anthem and I had a nice 4k run bright and early.

other highlights of the weekend included:
*nice visit with the best parents ever.
*delicious crockpot soup.  I love coming home to a nice warm meal after a day at work.
*thai dinner with friends. D and I both decided to try something new and were not disappointed in the slightest.  I had a thai red curry with tofu and it was to die for.  the best part was totally the sweet sticky rice and thai custard for dessert.
*visitors at work- sunday morning D brought me a starbucks to work and then my mom came by to do some shopping.  makes for a great day :)
* this "milkshake" sooooo yummy.  that lasted all of about 30 seconds. my new favourite smoothie for sure.

so far this week has been enjoyable and productive. I enjoyed two lovely coffee dates yesterday, made some progress in the christmas gift department and also in the studying department.  planning on spending the day in the library tomorrow before a candlelight flow yoga class.

now off to pull out the christmas decorations and drink a little hot chocolate!
have a good night friends.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

thinking about...

*christmas in nyc.  totally adding that to my bucket list.  summer was beautiful but I think winter would be totally amazing.
*how when derek leaves the house and I'm puttering I leave the hockey on even though all i do is complain about hockey always being on
*I should probably be studying
*how organized I am with christmas shopping this year.  I have got a solid start on the wrapping too.
*my dad. always thinking about my dad.
*I should pull out the christmas decorations from storage. yah, gotta do that.
*how I would like to attempt a gluten free diet for a month.
*the times colonist 10k in april. I hope people have some entertaining signs like these ones
*this song.. kinda an oldie but a goodie.

Friday, December 2, 2011

holiday gifts.. on a budget.

homemade soy candles..


homemade body scrub...

incredibly adorable cookies in a jar

these are just some of the homemade gifts I have stumbled across... of course, the ones I am actually making for my friends and family will stay a secret until after christmas! 

happy homemade gifting!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

yoga retreat.

this past weekend was just wonderful.  I had the opportunity to meet and spend time with so many amazing people.  the drive up to tofino was gorgeous, I had fantastic company and we just laughed for the entire 3 hours.  once we arrived at middle beach lodge, we checked into our rooms...

view from my room.

room all to myself.

after, we spent the evening enjoying a wine, cheese and chocolate event while relaxing by the fire and chit chatting.  then our first yoga class- a fabulous restorative class.  amazing.  ignore this bad photo quality but we practiced in this room that had a huge fireplace and faced the ocean..

the next day we started the morning off with a little breakfast, then a 20 minute meditation and a 90 minute hatha class.  I enjoyed this class SO much, I finally got some of my energy back and was feeling so happy to be doing something I love after struggling through the past week of school and work.

I spent the rest of the day on saturday going for a beach walk, finishing up a little school work, having a bath and a nap! it was fantastic.

saturday evening, we had some wine at the lodge and then headed over to dinner.  dinner was to die for! stuffed pepper, asparagus, potatoes, spinach salad, tomato and feta salad and a flourless chocolate brownie for dessert.  I was a happy camper after that meal :) following dinner we had a relaxing yin yoga class.  it seems like the weekend went by so quickly! the next morning was our 90 minute vinyasa class before hitting the road.  what a great way to end the weekend.

I would have to say that highlights for me of this retreat were simply enjoying the company of people I had no idea I was going to meet upon going to this retreat on my own.  I learned so much about some other yogis at my studio, was inspired by their stories and laughed so hard that my cheeks hurt for the entire 3 days.  people are wonderful.. and I am blessed to have such amazing people in my life.  and some new ones now! what a treat.

yoga is an amazing thing- I have no idea where I would be without it.  the philosophy of yoga has really started to resonate with me even off my mat.  I find that I don't compare myself with others, I am grateful for the things I have in life and I take the time to enjoy the simple things.  do what you can, with what you have, where you are.  that is that.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


you know it is a good weekend when during yoga class the instructions are as follows.. "head towards the ocean and feet towards the fire..."

I can't wait to share the details of my amazing yoga retreat with all of you.  the laughs, the yoga, the FOOD, the relaxation.. it was all absolutely blissful. but for now I need to get my life in order for the busy week ahead and will be back soon with lots of stories!

I love the westcoast.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

things I'm proud of.

*my non procrastination skills
*my viu campus for banning bottled water
*my classmates who are so passionate about implementing sustainable practices.  this generation of biologists and geographers is going to do great things I tell yah.
*how my public speaking has evolved this semester.
*the fact that I have found what I am really passionate about.  and also, I have totally accepted that this may change from year to year, day to day but not to worry.  just do what makes you happy and everything else falls into place.
*my pigeon pose in yoga.  it has come a long way- perhaps because cathy makes us sit in it for at least 3 minutes each practice :)
*stickin' with my vegetarian diet.
*my little quote in the amnesty international newsletter.  that was a good moment- can't wait for yogathon 2012.
*my friends and family.  I could write a whole post on each of my girlfriends, each member of my family and D's family and how they amaze me.  maybe I will do that someday...

take a moment and think of why you are proud of yourself.  and here is a little soundtrack for that activity...

Monday, November 21, 2011

my favourite things as of late.

the snow.  I know, I know.  you may think I'm crazy but I think the white stuff is so pretty and I try to enjoy it because it only comes once in a while around here and at least we don't have the blizzarding cold weather that usually comes along with the snow.  so. i like it. :)  especially on friday when I was actually healthy and I drank my tea on my comfy red couch and the snow was falling.  that was a good moment.

this playlist- cute & sleepy

this outfit- love big scarves, big bags and boots :)


a little reading sanctuary


sweet potato chips. best lunch ever. can't get enough of them

Saturday, November 19, 2011

saturday sickness.

hey friends-

wish I had something exciting for you today but unfortunately I am about all out of energy and creativity.  I got a nasty cold today and it is draining me.

I could use a bit of this, a nap and a good movie.  I have done really well in the past year with catching colds and flus but when I do get one it always seems to come at the worst time.  I have to work all weekend and next week, I have a presentation on monday and the house is messy.  where is all my energy when I need it!

nothing like a few pugs to put a smile on my face...

and if anyone is bored, you could make some of these.  I will gladly help you eat them :)

okay, that's all i got. I need a nap.