i’m in the 8%!

i have literally been obsessing over what my resolution will be for the new year.  i have a healthy post-it note board of options, plus a brain-full that haven’t made it to paper.  

normally i wouldn’t agonize over such a decision, because, who does?  it’s your standard new year’s resolve to try to be better for maybe a month or two.  however!!  i actually completed my NYR for 2016!  the internet tells me that 92% of the people who make resolutions, don’t keep them.  so, i’m celebrating this!

in light of the fact that NYR success is possible, the decision becomes more significant.  as a non-decision-maker, this leads to the abnormal “agonizing” mentioned in the previous paragraph.  there’s just so much room for improvement! 


i was whining to a friend about how impossible it was to choose just ONE area to improve upon, and she shot back “why choose?” –good point!  

my 2016 resolution was to basically become an adult. more specifically, to do dishes, sweep the floors, and clean the bathroom before bed each night.  i know some would cringe at the fact that i wasn’t already there, but we’re all programmed differently!  for me, this was an area of self-improvement that i knew i needed to make.  it’s been so great to wake up to a house that’s ready for me, instead of being presented with a “to do” list each morning.

as for the daunting post-it note list, i want to tackle it all.  i know that it’s too much to focus on, but instead of making cuts to ensure success, i’m going forward with a plan.  you may not care to read it, but part of the commitment process involves “telling others”, so here i go!

  • bible in a year: daily, and with a friend for accountability (already coordinated).
  • blog: basically just take the mental blogs that i write all the time, and actually put them onto the site. aim for once/month, but i’m not going to make up content if i have nothing to say.
  • don’t waste food/ meal planning:  i’m already a pretty decent meal planner, it’s the “going shopping for the planned meals” part that i have a hard time with.  i’ll often grab containers of fruit at costco because i’m already there, but i really only needed 3 apples, not the giganto bag.  not sure if that makes any sense to you, but trust me- it translates into food going into the compost bin.  action plan: shop for groceries online and go pick them up. make something out of the food about to spoil (like apple crisp!), or don’t buy it at all.
  • woodworking: fun fact- i used to be a carpenter.  my plan to get back into my shop is pretty simple: schedule one small project each month. i have a pinterest board of things that i want to make, and i feel like setting myself a 2017 goal is just the kick that i need.  one of the warmer months will definitely be a “clean out the garage” month if i’m to have any success though!
  • music:  leave my flute out of its case, and practice 3 times each week.  i tell my kids to practice their instruments daily, and i feel like this is something that i can set an example in.  also,  i plan to buy myself a piccolo at the end of 2017 if i have been successful in this resolution.
  • stretch: i already have pretty good habits for waking up and doing daily cardio, and my gym buddy and i are lifting weights thrice a week.  so i feel like stretching NEEDS to be added to this schedule if i’m going to be able to stay in it. action plan: add 10 minutes of stretching to each morning workout.
  • french: i’ve always wanted to be fluent enough to speak to my french half of the family.  i’ve been doing duolingo for a few years now, but i need to make it more of a commitment.  action plan: duolingo every week day, 50xp. also, when  costco gets the french smart books back in stock, i’m going to buy and work through them.  goal: to be able to communicate with our host family the next time our youth group does a missions trip to quebec.
  • knit/crochet: i go through phases on this one, and i’m looking to be more consistent.  the plan is pretty similar to the woodworking one: pick a project for each month and do it.  part of the goal with this one is to be off of my phone when watching a tv show with derek, and to stave off carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • home improvement: again, one project per month. some of it will be DIY, and some of it hired out. if you’ve ever been in our home, you’ve seen plenty of half-projects. walls that are drywalled and mudded, but not primed and painted. my goal is to complete our projects.

so there you go. basically broken down into manageable time frames and more set-up for success.  the last thing that i have to do is pick out the monthly projects and schedule them, but i have lists and pin boards already made, so it’s just a matter of picking and choosing. the sticky note wall that i just wrote on, will be at the top of the home improvement list :)

what do you think? am i taking on too much and setting myself up for failure? (if someone says “yes” to that last question, you’re basically locking me into success because i excel at being stubbornly defiant!).  i absolutely love that i completed my 2016 NYR, and am looking forward to a year of seeing my goals accomplished, and wistful regrets disappearing. 

anyone else in the 8% club with me? 

December 30, 2016 at 23:36 1 comment

allergen-free sugar cookies

it’s been almost 4 years since i had to carve out a diet from a stifling list of restrictions.  growing up in a house that always smelled of fresh bread and cookies, meant that giving up gluten was the most difficult of the decisions that i had to make to improve my health.

every christmas, my amazing mom fills freezers and tables with a collection of cookies, breads, pastries, and tarts.  every christmas for the last 4 years, i have stared at the buffet and hated my belly and the restrictions that it has placed on me. 

this year, a friend posted a picture of her gluten-free sugar cookies on instagram, and i was snapped into action.  many of you have commented on the photo that i posted of my own gluten/dairy/soy-free cookies, and with tina’s permission, i am sharing the recipe as requested:

full disclosure: you will hide these cookies from your children, because they are too good to share.


tina’s sugar cookies:

  • ⅔ cup soy-free earth balance (or whatever “butter” you like to use)
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp almond milk (or whichever milk you prefer)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup potato starch flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • dash of salt. 

glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • water to establish consistency

wrap up dough and chill for at least 2 hours. roll out dough to ½ inch thickness. Bake for about 10 mins at 350° or until edges start to turn golden brown.  dip cookies in glaze once they have cooled. 

my sister posted a copy-cat recipe of my mom’s famous candy cane cookies with gluten & dairy-free revisions. you should definitely check them out too! because i’m lazy and like to multi-task, i sprinkled crushed candy cane dust onto the tops of some of these sugar cookies, and the result was resminiscent of my mom’s cookies! so, you have options :)

December 26, 2016 at 20:27 Leave a comment

traditions

proactive about forming traditions, or not; we all have them.  i’m the type of person who despises routine, but cherishes the traditions that our little family has organically formed. 

on christmas eve, we squish into the living room, and have a sleepover. there is always one gift opened, and that gift in itself is a tradition: footy pyjamas, and a toy made by me.  we sleep late the next morning, and slowly get through breakfast, and reading the christmas story from the bible. 

my kids are growing up, and so am i.  they no longer “play” with the toys that i make them, and i no longer have the time to make weekly toys.  so this year, i really struggled with what to make them for their christmas eve gifts.  i didn’t want to break with tradition, but i also didn’t want to waste time and resources. 

i brainstormed and consulted with friends and family, and came up with handmade ornaments.  and now i kind of wish that i’d had the idea many years ago.  the ornaments summarize the year that is coming to a close.  in doing this, the kids can have a chronological record of their childhoods. practically, they can start a collection for their own trees in their own homes- days which are too rapidly approaching.


elliot has been into pokemon for years, but this year he was pretty focused on the release of a new game, and counted down the days for at least ⅓ of the year.  given his history with pokemon (it was really the first “thing” he was into), i thought it fitting that his first ornament be a pokeball.

anne’s been in ballet for almost 4 years now, but this year she made the decision to focus on it more seriously.  she doubled-up her lessons, and began daily practice at home. she’s even been teaching me!

tomorrow night we’ll continue our tradition of pyjamas, handmade “toy”, and a sleepover.  i’m looking forward to seeing the reactions of my not so midgety-midgets when they see the new twist on an old tradition.

merry christmas to you all! thanks for reading!

December 23, 2016 at 23:14 Leave a comment

prepping for the new year, part 3

happy new year!  i’m finally ready to share with you the apps & tools that help me to invest in my physical health.  stick around, non-iFriends! there’s stuff for you here too :)

i really need to start out by acknowledging the fact that i am so incredibly flawed and aware of it — this series on new year’s resolutions is not coming from a place of “having achieved”, but from a place of recognizing that most of us are in the same situation of just wanting to do better.  if i weren’t using diet to control personal pain levels, i’d still be the lady who eats 3 buttertarts for breakfast!

i’d also like to address the “love yourself” body image movement that’s sweeping the internet.  i completely agree with being satisfied with the body that you have been given. i completely DON’T agree that “loving yourself” means neglecting your health.  do you see the difference?  loving something means caring for it, not giving it whatever it wants.  you do what is best for those that you love, and if you “love yourself”, then you should do what is best for yourself. you get one body for your whole complete entire life!

part 1: spiritual health
part 2: mental health


drink lots.

there are many options on the app store for water-drinking reminders, but they’re all basically timers.  your phone comes with a timer (even if you don’t have a smart phone, i’m sure you have a timer!)  get yourself a great water bottle, and set your timer for one hour.  when the reminder sounds, drink your water, refill your bottle, and restart the timer.  if the taste of water is your hang up, then infuse your water with fruit, or do what i like to do when i need variety:  throw in a bag of fruit tea.   also, take your water with you wherever you go. these are my current favourite water bottles because they fit in a purse, are made of glass, and are so wonderfully colourful. (local tip: they’re $5 cheaper at Sail)

img_0467


sleep lots.

imagei might actually consider myself gifted in this area of life.  for all of my preamble up top about “not having yet achieved”–  in this regard, i am boss.  where i fail in the sleep category, is in the waking up part.  when i’m trying to be responsible, i use the basalt wakeup alarm clock.  i may be the only person i know who just can’t get up in the morning, but this alarm clock alerts when i’m in a lighter sleep cycle.  it’s a bit helpful, or maybe it’s all in my head. i’ve heard tales of people who can wake up to an average alarm clock, but i’m not convinced that those people actually exist.

anyway, sleep more.  my trick:  get way super-comfortable in bed.  make your limbs relax, slow your breathing, and count each breath backwards from 100. do not give up! when you get all the way back to zero, start again. i tell myself that i won’t give up until i’ve tried it for 400 seconds, which is not too much time to invest in trying to fall asleep.  i’ve only made it to zero twice in my life, and never ever through the second hundred. i use this trick to fall asleep at night, to force myself to nap, or to stay sleeping in when i’m really not wanting to get up yet in the morning.  i’m pretty curious for someone else to try it and let me know if it works for them, or if i just excel at sleep.


work out daily.

actually every day! we had years of gym memberships before letting it go over the summer, and not renewing again this fall.  i thought that i wouldn’t be able to handle life without all of those machines, but i’m actually really loving home workouts!

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 23.44.52pinterest is making a double-appearance in this series, but google or any other search engine works well also.  just search for equipment-free 20 minute workouts, and you’ll find tons!

the big hurdle with working out daily is not gym memberships, equipment, fancy fitbit gadgets, or lack of information online.  the biggest problem to overcome to meet your goal of working out, is believing the lie that you don’t have time.  how is it that wasting 20 minutes on facebook is so effortless, but taking 20 whole minutes to exercise is a gigantic effort?

the reason that i say “every day”, is because skipping a day is enough to break a habit.  it doesn’t have to be a HIIT workout each day, but you could go for a walk with your husband or dog if you want a break or need variety.

i know i’m not the only girl who has a pinterest board full of workouts that never get done.  here is the app that i use to make sure that they get done:

imagepaper 53 is a drawing/journal app.  i use it to upload my pinterest saves, and make a journal of workouts.  i have one journal for pieces in progress workouts (which i love), and an actual  “fitness journal” with before pics, motivational pins, logs of different workouts.  why do i bother with putting the workouts into another app? because paper 53 allows me to organize the workouts and to check things off as i complete them. for example:

imageimageimage

image

i love that i can quickly check items off as i accomplish them, then erase it all again for the next workout.  i   can also add notes to existing workouts, as seen above with “add chin ups & jumping jacks”.  also, please note how EASY the last example is!  NINE full minutes of rest incorporated in this level one 30 minute workout.  you can do it! (find this workout and the next two levels here).

if you cringe at the idea of doing before pictures, consider doing before measurements.  i’ll say over and over that being healthy isn’t about how you look, but that’s not what the pics or measurements are for.  nobody likes to work without seeing results. having measurements or pics allows you to see that your daily efforts are making a difference.  also, regarding taking before pics: obviously you don’t want anyone to see them!  you pass your phone to your uncle to show him pictures of your kids, and he scrolls a little too far…. awkward. *chirp* *chirp*.  paper 53 lets you load your pictures into your journal, and then you can delete them off of your phone.  want to see my before pictures?

image

if i want to see them, i open my journal, open the page, and erase the doodling covering the pic.  no embarrassing accidentally showing anyone my befores.


done! i hope that the information on these pages is helpful to you! again, let me know if there are any great apps that you use to keep you accountable to your health- i’d love to hear about them.

wishing all of you a 2016 that you’re proud to have used wisely! thanks for reading!

January 1, 2016 at 15:18 2 comments

prepping for the new year, part 2

today i’d like to focus on mental health, because i really firmly believe that brains need to be worked out if you want to depend on them for any length of time. i plan to use my brain for many years to come, so here are some of my favourite ways to pursue that goal.

Continue Reading December 30, 2015 at 08:32 2 comments

prepping for the new year, iStyle

whatever your new year’s resolutions are, i can guarantee that you’ve resolved to make yourself better. i’m a big fan of making my tools work for me, so be prepared to combine the efficiency of apple stuff with your new year’s resolutions.

Continue Reading December 29, 2015 at 23:22 2 comments

don’t believe my kids

just putting down a quick preventative blog post here about how i’m NOT pregnant.  i haven’t gained weight, haven’t been vomiting in the mornings, haven’t had the irresistable urge to clean anything [ever].  the SOLE reason that my kids are insisting that i’m pregnant:

  
“mommy, who is Addprofile?”  

*groan*

they randomly hug me, then kiss my belly and talk to “Addprofile”.  they tell me about the plans that have for him/her, and ask me when little Add will be born. 

i know they’re just being silly, and that they’ve lobbed onto what they think is the best joke of the century.  if you see my kids talking to my abdomen or overhear them dreaming about their new brother or sister, you have to know: it’s a netflix baby.  do not react. 

rumour=dispelled. thanks!

December 12, 2015 at 15:16 Leave a comment

Older Posts Newer Posts


my life in pics

and we went to hogwarts (aka: lots & lots of university of toronto buildings!) so much beautiful architecture and history! great day in the Tdot with @jessdjung today! kensington market, china town, and barefoot friends! this may be the only time that dying plants have excited me! potatoes ready to harvest! we planted a second batch immediately afterwards - there's time for a second crop, right? 🤷‍♀️
#greenthumbwannabe