Friday, 29 August 2014

Oh Hey Friday | Say Goodbye to Summer

And here it is, the last Friday of August 2014, the unspoken end to summer.  I know that technically September 23 is the first day of fall but the Labour Day long weekend is kind of like the last big bash where we say goodbye to summer.  We are lucky and usually get an Indian Summer with a gorgeously warm and sunny September but it's not the same feeling, don't get me wrong, I'm grateful to have more time to sip wine in the sun but I will smell Fall coming.

 So for today's linkup I am preparing to say goodbye to summer and all the things we will miss.

 1 |  The Lake 

This is no secret, the end of summer means the end of trips to the lake for 9 long months.  We often talk about how much fun it would be to spend New Year’s Eve up there, all cozied up with good food, good wine, a stack of movies and a fire crackling looking out at the lake surrounded by snow… sounds amazing doesn’t it?  Unfortunately the road in the winter is very dangerous and we just don’t feel safe trying it.  Maybe I will try again this year.


Lake house view
Lake house view
 2 |  Hot Dogs

Nothing says summer like hot dogs.  With mustard.  Not sure there is too much more to say on this.


hot dog with mustard
The symbol of summer (source)
 
3 |  Garden Vegetable Harvests

I had my best garden crop ever this year! The tomato and strawberry plants are still producing and I have one more zucchini and spaghetti squash to pick.  I am so happy we had so much success!  I was even able to give away lettuce and zucchini to our family and neighbours, and I even froze kale to have in my smoothies.  I have an idea for another strip of lawn along our side fence that isn’t doing much but doesn’t get much sun so not sure if any veggies will grow there… any green thumbs out there?  Thoughts?  I successfully grew sunflowers there last summer but I want to try for carrots and/or spinach… or whatever could grow.

Fresh zucchini, tomatoes, peas, kale and strawberries from the garden
My latest garden haul

 4 |  Drying Laundry on the clothesline  

This might seem weird to people but I love hanging our laundry out to dry on the line.  I add liquid fabric softener to the wash cycle, throw the wet clothes into the dryer on ‘Air’ for 10 minutes and then hang them on the line.  Clean sheets are THE best.  I will keep line drying as long as I can but I know the days are numbered.

Full disclosure: not our backyard! (source)

 5 |  Extra daylight and flip flops.

This one is a tie because I couldn’t decide between the two and they go hand in hand so I’m just going to lump them together ok?  There is nothing worse than waking up when it’s dark to get ready and go to work and then by the time you leave to go home it’s dark again!  I love the longer days and feel like I am more productive and get a lot more stuff done.  I’m also awake a lot earlier on weekends, not hibernating half the day away.  And when the sun is out I live in my flip flops, Havaianas to be exact, thank you Marshalls for always having cute colours in my size for a 1/3 of the price!  Plus wearing flip flops all the time is the best excuse getting a little pampering with pedicures J


Havaianas slim black with white polka dots
My latest score! (source)

 

What are you going to miss most about summer?

Linking up with Karli and Amy, and Leslie from A Blonde Ambition!

 
 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

One Step Closer...

We got some pretty good news this week but before I tell you about that I need to back up a little bit.  I haven't written much about my husband and how we met (even though it's a pretty cute story, well at least I think so) and there is no real reason why, I just haven't.  But that also means I have to backtrack a little bit so please bear with me...

Something pretty big happened four months after my husband and I met.  He was diagnosed with LCHAD deficiency, a rare condition that basically means that his body can't process most fats.  And yes, it's very odd that he wasn't diagnosed until the age of 29. While leading a fairly normal life, every couple of years he would end up on the couch for a 2-3 days while his whole body hurt, something he attributed to pulled muscles or just over-exerting himself.  Now we know that he was actually experiencing rhabdomyolysis, where his body was essentially attacking itself.  No one understands why it would just go away and of course he never voluntarily went to the doctor to get himself checked out.

So about two months before we met, he had another 'episode' except this time, his urine was a dark brown (sorry if TMI!) and so he asked his best friend's wife who was in school to become a pharmacist if this was something he should be concerned about.  Um ya think?  She convinced him to go to the medical clinic, they did some blood tests and sent him home to wait for the results.  And then they called and told him to go straight to the ER.  My soon-to-be new boyfriend was almost in kidney failure.  

They stabilized his kidneys, he was poked and prodded for a couple days and they brought in a few batches of medical students to witness this medical mystery.  They had no clue what was wrong with him.  I guess they somehow figured out that it was some sort of metabolic disease (I wonder if it was a real-life Dr. House who cracked the code??) and they ended up basically taking a small chunk of tissue from his arm and sending it off for testing.  He was assigned to a Metabolic Specialist and sent home with a list of instructions on how to change his life until the results came back.

The tissue sample ended up in Switzerland it took 6 months to diagnose.  And I was with him at the appointment with his specialist when he received the official diagnosis and for the next 4 hours after that as we met with a nutritionist, a nurse and a couple other medical people who did something... medical.  Sorry, it was a lot to take in at that time.  And now we know.  And we are figuring out how to live with it and so are his doctors because he is the only person in this area who has it.  The main things we have to watch are his diet (he is only allowed 30g of fat a day), his meal intake (because he has to constantly eat and not 'starve' his body) and he can't over exert himself, which is important because he owns a landscaping business which is obviously a very physical job but he really enjoys it.  So we always have food in the house, he is always hungry, carbs are actually good for him (awesome she types sarcastically) but he has not had any rhabdomyolysis episodes since his diagnosis.

So life is actually pretty normal and to look at the guy you would never know anything is wrong with him.  Every six months or so he meets with his specialist and once a year he has all his major organs tested to see if there is any deterioration.  I think we're very lucky because the only real issue he has is a lack of sensation in his hands and feet.  He has absolutely no reflexes, no one has ever been able to make his leg kick out.  So I admit that I don't think about it a lot, he's just my hubby.

source
Then a couple months ago when he was scheduling his appointments, he told me that they wanted me to come and for us to meet with a genetics counsellor.  Makes sense, we are married now and we want to have kids (well I want one kid...) and I figured it was fairly routine.  But actually meeting with the genetics counsellor and talking about what could happen if I am a carrier was hard. And emotional.  And I remembered when we got my husband's diagnosis they told us not to google it because a lot of the babies that are born with LCHAD don't survive.  Heartbreaking.  But in reality, there is such a low chance that I have gene... but there is still that chance.

So they tell us that I can get a blood test, have my HADHA gene mapped and find out if I'm a carrier. For $1000.  They tell us that they will ask the government to cover the cost but there is essentially a 0% chance they will and if we want the test we will likely have to pay for it ourselves.  But they warn us multiple times that the government never covers this sort of thing. This was a hard discussion for my husband and me because my thought was the chance is so low that I'm a carrier but also, I want our baby (eventually) so don't really care if I am.  My husband was adamant that I take the blood test, he wants to know what we are facing.  We decided to wait and see what the response was from the application and then decide.

I got the call on Monday that "against all odds" the cost for the blood test is being covered.  Yay!! Happy dance!!  So in 6-8 weeks we will have a definitive answer.  Without spending $1000! Not that I think it will really change anything but I think it will give us, especially my husband, peace of mind.

I realized that day that we are very lucky.  For the most part my husband is healthy and LCHAD doesn't affect his day to day life if we manage it properly.  But it also scared me.  What about the first time his echocardiogram shows something irregular?  Or if his kidneys fail?  Because LCHAD is so rare his doctors have no idea what our future looks like.  So I just have to keep moving forward and do what I can to help manage his health.  And maybe one day soon we can start planning for baby :)    
 
source

Have any of you heard of LCHAD or know someone who has it?  It might be nice to share this journey on stops along the way.
 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Blueberry Lime Margarita

I am so excited to share this refreshingly delicious cocktail with you and just in time for long weekend shenanigans! My brother-in-law actually made these for us at the lake and I was hooked immediately.  I love blueberries and have them in my morning smoothie Monday through Friday... I even have a blueberry bush in my garden but it has never once grown a blueberry.  But thankfully I always have some in the fridge so I can whip a batch of these up pretty quick!


Ingredients
Makes one pitcher:
7oz tequila
5oz triple sec
1/2 can frozen Limeaid
2 cups blueberries*
3-4 cups of ice

Directions
Throw all the ingredients listed above into the blender and mix until smooth.  I start with 2 cups of ice and add more as I go.  

*I have used both fresh and frozen blueberries and both work great but I think fresh berries make a smoother mixture






To recap, these are super easy to make and will definitely be a crowd pleaser... let me know how it goes!

Have you had any other blueberry cocktails?  
 
Linking up with Mandy!

Mandy's Recipe Box

Monday, 25 August 2014

Meal Plan Monday | Lazy Weekend

Can you believe it's the last Monday of August?  I know summer was here and we did a bunch of things and even had a couple lake trips in there but did we really?  I have already seen Halloween decorations in stores and Christmas is basically next weekend.  Time is going too damn fast.

We had a great weekend hanging out at home.  Hubby worked for a bit on Saturday and I ran a few errands but Saturday night and Sunday we chilled at home.  If you follow me on instagram you basically got a play by play of our lazy Saturday, including family nap time.  And then for some reason I really wanted to watch Marley and Me and even with hubby saying "isn't that movie really sad?" I insisted on it.  I didn't remember it being that sad the first time I watched it but I may have shut it out... and this time I bawled my eyes out the last 10 minutes of the movie and for a couple afterwards.  Maybe I just needed a good emotional cry and that is exactly what I got.

With regards to cooking at home we made a valiant effort last week but went off the rails a couple times due to a few late nights, but hopefully this week will be different.  I found a couple new dinner ideas that look tasty and should be pretty quick to put together.



 
Sunday: While I was grocery shopping on the weekend I found ribs on sale and realized we had not yet had them this summer and the Mr. makes killer ribs so picking some up was a no-brainer.  And once again they were delicious!

Monday: I saw this recipe on Megan's blog and I thought it would be good to try something new (with a few tweaks).  I actually threw this together last night so it's ready to pop in the oven about half an hour before we want to eat.  The only thing I'm worried about are the corn tortillas - they ripped all over as I was rolling them up.  We will see how tomorrow goes but we may be switching to flour tortillas - has anyone else experienced this problem?

Tuesday: Another Pinterest find and we have all the ingredients required on hand, cross your fingers this tastes good!

Wednesday: I pushed this one back from last week... hoping to successfully tweak this spicy sausage pasta recipe.

Thursday: So I was supposed to go to the spa last Thursday but due to not one but two traffic nightmares, I had to reschedule 

Friday: as usual, Friday is our dinner out night :)


What do you have cooking this week?

Linking up with Bella and Lisa, Meg and Biana, and Meghan!

Weekend Recap


Friday, 22 August 2014

Oh Hey Friday | TV Edition

A little late to the game as usual but better late than never right?  And I have to go dump a bucket of ice on my colleague for the ALS ice bucket challenge in a few minutes so I am going to get right to it.  At the end of the day the husband and I unwind and catch up in front of the TV and of course during the summer it can get boring because there aren't a lot of new shoes… and the Mr. isn’t all that into watching Netflix (can you believe that??)… so we mainly watch reality TV in the summer.   Thankfully we have found a few shows that we enjoying watching together.
 
1 |  Big Brother 
Every spring the husband and I start getting excited for two things that summer brings (see what I did there?): lake house trips and Big Brother!  I'm not sure why we love it so much but a gigantic small part of me think it's because it's on 3 nights a week when the rest of TV is on hiatus.  Normally I really dislike summer TV series because who wants to wait 9 months to see what happened in the season finale cliff hanger??  But with Big Brother the show ends, there is always a winner.  
I am not as invested in the cast this year though, maybe it’s all the new twists this season but they all seem kind of blah.  If I had to choose I think Nicole and Derrick would be my favourites and - spoiler alert! – I thought that before she won the jury competition to get back into the house last night.  Derrick has been able to keep a low profile and manipulate things behind the scene and I think if he makes it to the final 2 he will win it all. 
Is anyone else watching?  Who are you rooting for?

source
 
2 |  Hotel Hell 
I must have some form of sadomasochism rooted inside me because I love me some Gordon Ramsay.  I watch all his shows and my husband’s favourite thing to call me when I’m destroying cooking dinner is a donkey, British accent and all.  No worries though, it’s all in fun.
 
Should I be taking pointers from Gordon to become more confrontational?
 
3 |  Keeping Up with the Kardashians
Yes, we watch this gluttonous show (and all the spin-offs)… it’s kind of like a wreck that you can’t turn away from.  Khloe is by far my favourite and I would love to sip champagne with her for just one day.  Do you think she drinks real champagne or sparking wine?     
 


 
4 |   Deadliest Catch
Even though it has its fair share of drama, this is probably the tamest reality show I watch with the Mr.  I’m not sure what exactly draws me to it but I like the cast and I practically salivate when they haul all that crab up time and time again.  Get in my belly!
 
We have a family friend who was a crab fisherman (as in retired to do something more relaxing – running two brew pubs and raising angus cattle;) and that shit looks crazy. I would never be able to do it, or at least I would be completely miserable the entire time.  And I’m clumsy so would somehow get taken out by a crab pot for sure, and the Coast Guard would be my new best friend.
 
5 |  Teen Mom 
I’ve already
confessed my addiction to this show and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.  The best part is that the Mr. watches this one with me and is always excited for ‘Crazy Mom’ (thank you Babs!).
This season’s favourite for me is Chelsea but the hubs is with Jenelle and Crazy Mom all the way.
 
BONUS! |  The Big Bang Theory  
Obviously this show doesn’t have new episodes in the summer but we still watch it and I simply can’t exclude it.  From day one this has been my all-time favourite show.  I love Penny, I adore Sheldon (hubby even got me a bobble head in Vegas!), I love Leonard and am so happy for them to finally be engaged!  I really want Penny to get pregnant because that chick loves her wine as much as me and if I can watch my future self do it then maybe I can laugh my way through in real life (fingers crossed we get to experience that).
For me this is that show that I can turn on halfway through and I can watch every episode on repeat because I just simply can’t ever get enough.  The only complaint I have is that our friends named their cat after Penny because ‘she’s dumb just like the character’ and I kind of feel like they stole my future baby name.  Not that I was planning to name my future daughter Penny but if anyone in our group of friends should have get a dog, cat or even fish and name it Penny I am pretty sure it should be the person with two t-shirts, a sleepy cat pillow, a Sheldon bobble head and a series recording.  In other words, me.   I wonder how much it will take for me to bring that up…


 
Well friends that’s all I have for this fabulous Friday… it’s 5 o’clock somewhere right?
Cheers!
Linking up with Karli and Amy, and Leslie from A Blonde Ambition!

 
 

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Life Happened

I had a post planned for today but well, life happened.  But I will leave you with a little taste of what I was dealing with last night when Milo hogged the bed ALL. FRIGGING. NIGHT. 
 
 
Today my mantra comes from my new wall hanging 'Keep Telling Yourself It's Almost Friday'.
 
Almost.
 
Until tomorrow friends!
 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Sometimes I Wish I Was a Confrontational Person

I had something weird happen to me in a store the other day.  Weird probably isn't the best word to use as immediately following I was a giant pool of embarrassed, angry and ashamed.  But I'm not sure if I overreacted.  I didn't do or say anything and just walked out (I'm not a confrontational person) but I won't the lie, the image of decking a total stranger burned in my mind.
 
I should probably explain.
 
We have to go to a wedding in a couple weeks and if you're familiar around here then you know I'm not in my best body right now meaning that I don't fit have anything in my closet.  I had already asked K to help me find something and was resigned to the fact that I was in store for a torturous shopping trip next weekend.  Then I ended up at the mall after work (my cell was basically short circuiting all weekend and of course when I showed up at the Apple Store they pushed two buttons and brought it back to life <sigh>) and I walked by a store with a beautiful bright pink dress in the window.  It was shorter, loose on top with a v-neck in the front with a built-in camisole, a style that is usually quite flattering on me (thank you cleavage!) so I went in and picked up a Large, the biggest size they had.  I turned around to see what other dresses they had (it is such a waste to get completely changed for only one piece of clothing) when one of the saleswomen turned in my direction and said (not quietly) "that style fits very small".  I turned and realized she was actually talking to me and she said it again, walked over and basically took it out of my hand.  What. the. fuck?
 
I felt like this woman had basically called me out in front of the entire store (that wasn't exactly empty thanks to the 40% off sale) and told me that something wasn't going to fit me. Maybe she thought she was helping me but she was not.  I would much rather have a private moment to realize that pretty dress wasn't meant for me.  Did she think I was going to wreck it?  Sorry lady, if it doesn't fit I'm not going to try and stuff myself into it like a sausage.  So I was shocked.  And hurt.  And ashamed.  And I wanted to punch her.  
But I didn't and I found a way cuter (cheaper!) dress!  Photos to come...
 
What would you have done in that situation?  Do you think I was overly sensitive?
 
p.s. she had a bigger booty than me!


source


 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

#GuiltyTotalSocial

 

I kept missing it but am so excited to finally be linking up with Helene and Sarah today for #guiltytotalsocial!  I have listed a few rated PG13 for your reading pleasure below...

Sleeping: I love it.  I love napping and even just being wrapped up in bed watching TV. Weekends are for sleeping in.  I don’t want to wake up to an alarm and I don’t want to be rushed.  This is key – my eyes may be open but my mind and body are not ready until I say they are.  I am going to be screwed when we (hopefully) have kids... and we will definitely need a bigger bed!

Pajamas: I don’t really hide this one but as soon as I walk in the door after work I put on pjs. And on the weekends I sometimes just put on a clean pair of pjs when I finally drag my ass out of bed.  This is also the one downfall of summer because it’s usually too hot to wear the comfiest pjs.

Drive Thrus: I can wear my pjs because I am not getting out of the car.  Plus it’s just a hassle.

Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha: Decadent dessert in a cup.  I even have the Mr. addicted to these.  I only indulge once every few weeks... thankfully there are no drive thrus on my route or I would be in trouble!
 
’16 & Pregnant’ and ‘Teen Mom’: I am obsessed.  I don’t know why I love these shows so much but I can’t stop, won’t stop.  

‘Big Brother’: Every year we count down to it.  My husband’s family makes so much fun of us because we watch while we are all up at the lake in August but we don’t care.

Milk Duds:
I stash these in the bathroom and eat them while I am taking a bath. 

Baileys Coffee: Every weekend, every morning. 

Groupon: I am such a sucker and of the 40-ish I have purchased I think I used 6.   

House cleaner: Every 2 weeks our house gets a thorough clean and takes a lot of stress out of our relationship.  So worth every (super reasonable) penny!

Taking photos: I am a lover of the digital photography age because if I take 2357 photos I will probably get 2 good ones!  My favourite subject? 
 
 


 
 
I can't wait to read about everyone else's guilty pleasures... I have a feeling I am going to indulge in a few!

 
Venus Trapped in Mars
 

 
 
 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Meal Plan Monday | When Being Easy is a Good Thing

Happy Monday! After my crazy busy week and weekend I am looking forward to (hopefully) normal weekdays and then a fun relaxing weekend.  My boss is out of town until Thursday and I think I might actually get a chance to catch up on some random things at work plus I have a massage booked on Thursday night... I haven't had one since January and I can't wait for the pampering.

I am also excited because I was recently given a super exciting opportunity and am so excited to start this new venture!  Remember that whole 'find your passion' rant I go on daily occasionally?  Well I might be one step closer... details to follow! 
 
Sunday: Hubby really wanted burgers and fries and I had leftovers in the fridge from my company's summer BBQ so we had quite the smorgasbord for dinner.

Monday: I am on dinner but also have to do really exciting things like laundry that I was too busy for on the weekend so I'm going super quick and super easy with dinner tonight.

Tuesday: I have started buying a rotisserie chicken and taking all the meat off  so we always have cooked chicken on hand for lunch salads and easy dinners... hubby is going to use the chicken and whip up some cheesy quesadillas.

Wednesday: I found this recipe for spicy sausage pasta but I can't eat spicy food and I have bacon ends from Trader Joe's I need to use up so I am going to try and tweak this a little bit, wish me luck...

Thursday: I love the kale mixed salad with poppy seed dressing from Costco and I will throw cooked chicken on top (No fussing around with dinner for me - I'm at the spa don't forget;)

Friday: Nothing says Friday like dinner out to celebrate the weekend!

The never-ending dinner battle at our house is the menu... I am trying to eat light and would be very happy with salads or a piece of peanut butter toast but my husband needs a full meal because 1) he has a rare metabolic disorder that actually requires him to eat carbs and 2) he has a very physical job so he is always hungry.  Always.  My issue is finding the willpower to not touch the carbs but I am going to be trying a lot harder this week.

What do you have cooking this week?

Friday, 15 August 2014

Oh Hey Friday: Time to Get Moving!

What is the one thing that flies right out the window on vacation... well at least for me? Any sense of food control, exercise (not like that was high on my priority list anyway), smart alcohol consumption (the Mr. is constantly asking me "have you had any water today?" because even my coffee is half booze)... when I am on vacation I am in, ALL IN.  And now that I am no longer on vacation my body is paying the price.  I feel tired, sluggish, grumpy and uncomfortable and the only thing that really fits me right now are yoga pants and oversized shirts.  Really sexy.

I'm not doing great in the motivation department so I am hoping if I make some changes then I will start to feel better and that will make me want to keep going, keep working on myself.  

So here are five changes I am determined to make.
 
1 |  Fitbit and My Fitness Pal.  My fitbit battery died while we were away and I took that sucker off and didn't give it another thought.  It's time to get it back on my wrist and also use my Fitness Pal to keep track of what I'm eating.  
 
2 |  Drink more water. I am going to go back to drinking three big bottles of "super water" (I have been putting lime and cucumber in a pitcher and my husband loves it).  I am also hoping this will help curb my appetite because all I want to do all the time is eat.  Constantly.  Has anyone discovered the miracle appetite pill yet?  

"super water"
3 |  Walk more.  10,000 steps a day.  I can do it.

source
4 |   Vitamins.  I was doing really well with the gummy vitamins but then the husband went and bought horse pills that I can barely swallow.  At least the gummies feel like a treat so I am stocking up tomorrow! 

5 |  Focus on the future.  I want to have a baby but I don't feel healthy enough to get pregnant. If I am serious about being a mother then I need to be serious about my future baby's health as well as my own. 

source

I know I can do all of the things I listed above, I just need to commit to them.  Wish me luck!
 
What changes did you make to get healthier and feel better, and how did you stick to them?
 
Linking up with Karli and Amy, and Leslie from A Blonde Ambition!
 
Happy Friday Friends!