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Friday, June 29, 2012

5K Training - Week 2, Run 1

After the allotted 2 days off of running that my phone gave me, Week 2 arrived today and I was to get back at it! I was feeling a bit adventurous, and decided to go for a morning run. I admit, I also just wanted to get it over with for the day ;) I had already made up my mind, even after I saw that the weather was already feeling like 32 with the humidity. So at about 9:30, I was off.

This week's runs are a little tougher. I started out with a 5 minute warm-up walk, then it was 1 1/2 minutes of running followed by 2 minutes of walking, repeated 6 times. Finally, it finishes with a 5 minute cool-down walk.

I started out and it was hot out! The past 3 times I've run, it's been evening or a cool(ish) afternoon, so not only was I doing longer stretches of running, the heat was also a challenge. My first run went well - I kept my breathing regulated and focused on that. I wasn't very tired by the end of it, and felt like I could start running again before the 2 minutes were up. I didn't, though, as I figure the program is designed this way for a reason. By about the 3rd run, it was getting more difficult, and the humidity didn't help. I stayed focused on my breathing, and made it through. By this time, 2 minutes was just about perfect for walking in between runs! My final run was the most difficult. I was sweating and hot, and I kept it easy with a slower pace, keeping in control of my breathing as much as possible. I made it! I didn't walk until I was supposed to. That's a win for me!

I admit, towards the end I was starting to have negative thoughts, thinking, "How am I going to be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping? This is hard!" but I caught myself and just starting thinking, "I CAN do this. I'm doing this now. It will get easier." I also focused on my reward when I got home: A nice, long, refreshing cold shower (that is the BEST reward for me! Until I have a pool, that is!), followed by an iced coffee made from my Keurig.

And perfect timing, when I got home, my delivery from was waiting for me. I had ordered some more coffee and a tumbler specifically for iced coffee! So I'm sitting here, enjoying a French vanilla iced coffee and watching Who's the Boss? I'm cool like that.

Me after Week 2, Run 1. Good thing my sunglasses are on, I was beat!
Not my favourite picture of myself, but it's got Mr. Mazda in the background! :D

My Favourite Deals for June 22-28

As I sit here, waiting to digest my cereal a little bit before I go out for my next 5K training run, I thought I'd post about the deals I found this week.

Before I start, I don't go crazy on the couponing, I get things that my family can use. I'm not going to buy a 50lb bag of potatoes, or hearing aid batteries, or an entire cow just because I have a 50 cent coupon for it! :P I already told you, I'm not THAT crazy.

So here is what I got this week that I think are my best deals:
Note that when I talk about the actual retail price, I mean of the store I bought them from. So even though they might be much cheaper at a different store, the regular price from the store I got them from will be what I mean. Know what I mean? ;)

  • 2 4lb bags of Iams cat food: reg. $11.99, sale $9.99, $3.00 off coupons = $6.99 each
  • 2 two Dove soap bar packages: reg. $4.99, sale $1.99, coupon of save $2.00 on 2 = $0.99 each
  • 1 Lysol no-touch soap dispenser: reg. $9.99, I won a coupon code to get it for free, so... = FREE
  • 1 Dairy Milk chocolate bar: reg. $1.29, $0.50 off coupon = $0.79 
  • 1 bag of Chunks Ahoy cookies: reg. $3.49, sale $1.88, $0.75 off coupon = $1.13
So to total that up, before taxes everything in this picture retails at $48.73.
I paid $17.88.

I saved 63.3%. Booya!

P.S. I know what you're thinking. I have spoiled cats who get pampered with Iams. And why don't I just feed them Friskies? Then I could have saved even more. Well, we used to feed our cats that, and they had pooping problems, wiping their butts all over the floor. I've cleaned up too many of these streaks in their lifetime, and I don't want to risk cleaning more!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

29 months old

Dear Lily,

As of June 25, you are now 29 months old, one month shy of being 2 1/2! You are a wonderful daughter, a beautiful child, a smart kid. You are outgoing, strong, and sweet; you are opinionated, fiesty, and gentle. You are a born leader.

The Princess and the Frog @ 29 months
You have an unmatched love of insects and animals, always pausing to look for ants, green beetles, dragonflies, earwigs (to my horror!), and especially butterflies. You LOVE butterflies. You also love flowers, and would love it if you could pick flowers all day. You love to buy me flowers at the grocery store with Daddy. You love our pets, but especially Lucky. He's become your much-loved playmate at home.

You love the colour purple, all things Disney Princess (and especially Snow White!), your Teddy bear, watching movies, playing at the park, singing songs as well as making up songs, doing crafts (especially gluing crafts), helping me make dinner, and digging in sand. You're not a big fan of soccer, but you love gymnastics and swimming. You love your big cousins.

You are a great eater, and you like most foods. When you're unsure about a new food, I often remind you about Green Eggs and Ham, and you are always willing to take one bite. Sometimes you like it, sometimes you don't. But you are so good at trying new things. You especially like chocolate and ice cream, and your favourite non-treat food is pasta. You oddly do not like pizza very much.

As of this month, you are now potty trained, except for naps and overnight, though naps are soon to follow. You will be starting the preschool program at your daycare next week, the littlest preschooler there! You love playing with the bigger kids, but you haven't yet shown too much interest in babies. You love your friends at daycare, and would love for your best friend to join you for all activities we do at home.

This month you are also very particular, needing things to be done your own way, and getting angry when they are not. You are also becoming so independent, and are able to dress yourself with little-to-no help.

You are so smart. You know your letters, numbers up to 10, and are learning to count to 10 in French. You just need help with 6 and 10 in French! You pronounce "quatre" as "cat-le", which always makes me smile. You know your colours, speak in full sentences, and have full conversations with people. You are a problem solver, and are witty. You've changed the words to "Yellow Submarine", replacing all yellows with purples to reflect your preferences!

I love you more and more each day.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

5K Training - Week 1, Run 3 (Afternoon Run!)

Today marked the last run of my first week of training. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it means I've successfully completed one week of training, and I only have 8 left to go before I should be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping! On the other hand, it means my easy, safe week of 5 minutes warm-up, followed by alternating 1 minute running, 1 1/2 minutes of walking 8 times, then a 5 minute cool-down, is over. Running as I know it is done. Runs are only going to get harder from here on in!

BUT let's focus on today. One day at a time. One run at a time. One step at a time. I can do that. Anyone can do that.

Today's run, as I mentioned, was the same as the last two runs workout-wise. Today I was feeling adventurous, and I went for my run at 12:50 or so! There was a nice cool breeze outside (before I started running, it was a cold breeze! This became more inviting after I started running!), plus I just want to be lazy and watch Hell's Kitchen and Masterchef tonight at my usual run time. So there, running!

Once again, I started out strong, trying to keep a good pace and working on my breathing, keeping it controlled and concentrating on that. I felt like the first runs were harder than the last times, but to make up for it, the last runs were much easier! I felt like I ran the last ones faster than before, but more importantly that I could keep going after the 1 minute. That helps me realize I can totally do what's scheduled for next week.

After my 8th run, during my cool-down, I was totally thinking, "I hate this running business! I don't enjoy this at all." However, once I had been walking for a couple of minutes and had caught my breath, I realized that I feel pretty good. I'm not overly tired while running, I feel like I have more energy during the day, and I'm not nearly as sore as I thought I would be.

Running isn't supposed to be easy. I'm used to things being easy for me, but running is definitely a challenge! With Week 1 done, I have no choice but to keep pushing on. You know what? Running WILL become easy for me. I CAN do this. Hell, I AM doing this!

Me after Week 1, Run 3. Happy Garbage Day!
These pictures don't do my red face any justice. I'm as red as a tomato after these runs, really! Got to love crappy iPhone cameras!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

5K Training - Week 1, Run 2 (Train in the Rain)

Today was my scheduled second run for my 5K training. I admit, I was a little bit less gung-ho about this run today than I was on Friday for my first run. Yesterday, my quads were sore. They weren't terribly sore, but sore enough to feel it as I go down stairs or lower myself to a sitting position. So today, not only was I still sore, but I knew what was in store for my poor legs tomorrow!

I could have easily come up with excuses to not go today, the main one being that it was sprinkling outside. But I've committed to doing this run, and I am going to make sure I'm prepared for it so I can do the best I can do right now! Plus, I know the exercise is good for me, and I'm hoping it will give me the added bonus of losing a little extra weight and maybe even finally toning these thighs! They're overdue for that! :P

So, a little rain didn't stop me. I got my iPhone ready and was off just before 8pm! (I'm totally not a morning person. Evening runs are perfect for me!) Today's run was the same as the first run - 28 1/2 minutes total of exercise, with a 5 minute warm-up followed by 1 minute of running, 1 1/2 minutes of walking, 8 times, then a 5 minute cool-down.

I pushed myself a little harder this time, and tried to run a little faster to challenge myself. I don't know if it was because my legs were already sore, but the runs were definitely more tiring this time, but again, not unbearably so. I worked on my breathing during the runs, and walking more briskly between runs. In doing so, I managed to improve my time by about 2 minutes this time! Last time, the 28 1/2 minutes were up and I was about 2 minutes away from home. This time, I made it home before the 28 1/2 minutes were up! The last of my 8 runs was definitely slow, but I'm pretty happy with the overall improvement. Not bad!

So again, I know I can do this! I just have to stick to the training, which I plan on doing.

Me after Week 1, Run 2. I look more tired this time :P

Friday, June 22, 2012

Vegetables! Fresh, Local Vegetables!

Today was a very exciting day. Last Sunday, after hearing about a friend's experiences with this, I decided to sign up to have fresh, local, organic produce delivered to my door each Friday. Today was my first delivery of fresh vegetables, and I am very, very happy with what I got!

First, before I get into that, I get my vegetables from Bryson Farms. They deliver these vegetables to your door weekly or biweekly (whatever you choose), all year round. All local, all picked the day before they deliver. You can choose the size of the delivery you would like based on the number of people in your household, and you can also customize your orders if you have allergies, or vegetables you just plain don't like. You can let them know in your profile online, as well as indicate which types of vegetables you'd prefer to receive instead. Friday morning (the morning of delivery for my area), you leave a big cooler with ice packs in the summer outside (you can leave it at your front or back porch, wherever you'd like! Whichever is more convenient with the sun and weather. Just let them know.), and when you come home, the produce has arrived!

Like I said earlier, today was my first delivery! Here is what I got:
Lovely! :)
Doesn't that all look fabulous?? :) I got (and please correct me if I've got the wrong vegetable! I've never seen some of these before!)
  • 1 small head of lettuce
  • 1 bunch of carrots
  • 2 bunches of broccoli
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 bag of 5 potatoes
  • 1 bag of mushrooms
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4-5 big green onions
  • 2 bags of snap peas
  • 1 bag of mixed greens
  • 1 bag of pea shoots
  • 1 bag of radish shoots
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard
Phew! Some of these veggies I have never tried before, and have no idea what to do with them. I'm going to be busy on Google looking up uses and recipes, I think! :) 

5K Training - Week 1, Run 1

Well, today I bit the bullet and began my training for the 5K. I'm using an app on my iPhone called Get Running.  It's essentially one of those couch to 5K programs, which is exactly what I need. I really am a couch potato, so this couch to 5K business is perfect. I've had this app on my phone for about a week now, but today was my first run. The past couple of days have been excruciatingly hot and muggy (hot enough for a car to break down! Mr. Mazda is home and recovering well, by the way!), so I didn't want to start my runs then. Today was much nicer, so at 8pm this evening, I began my journey.

I turned on my app and my iPhone told me to warm up by walking briskly for 5 minutes. Easy. As I was walking it, I realized 5 minutes is a lot longer than I thought! Not that I was tired, I'm not that out of shape! I just covered more distance than I expected. After that, it told me when to run and when to walk. The first run consisted of running for 1 minute, walking for 1 1/2 minutes, eight times. 

The first 4 runs were simple. I chuckled to myself while running, thinking this was way too easy, and that maybe I should be starting further along. However, the runs did get a bit harder as my legs got more sore after those first 4, but thankfully they were nothing unbearable. Overall, I feel really good about my run! My quads are a bit sore now, and I know they will be MUCH more sore tomorrow, but for now, I'm in the mind set that I can totally do this! 
Me after Week 1, Run 1. LET'S DO THIS!
 After I got home from my run, I took a nice cold shower. After I got out, I Googled cold showers after a run and found out that they're actually beneficial (I was worried I might make my muscles more sore by doing so, but apparently not!). I then celebrated with a bowl of PC Chocolate Crackle ice cream. One thing at a time, okay? :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Old UNreliable

We had a trusting relationship, he and I. He trusted me to feed him when he was hungry, quench his thirst when he was thirsty, and give him a good cleaning now and again. In return, I trusted him to take me to restaurants, to nights on the town, to anywhere my heart desired. I kept my end of the deal. He, on the other hand, quit on me. He left me stranded, scared, and all alone.

Oh, Mr. Mazda. What did I ever do to you?

That's right, I'm talking about my wonderful 2003 Mazda Protege. He's handsome, in his tones of champagne beige (and let me tell you, the curtains match the drapes. He's beige on the inside, too!) ;). So maybe I don't keep him properly clothed (uh... I left his winter tires on until mid-May, and the tires I have on now are threadbare...), and I do tend to wait until he's almost starving to feed him (uh... gas is expensive, so I try and wait until the best deal! I do know the gas gauge can last a lot longer than it claims...), and I know he's been thirsty for quite some time (uh... that windshield wiper fluid light always seems to be on...), but I still feel slighted.

Here's my story.

I was on my way to pick Lily up from daycare. It was one of the hottest days in a while, being 34 and feeling like 42 with the humidity. All of a sudden, I slow down to stop at a light, and my radio conks out. "That's weird." I think to myself, then I roll my eyes, remembering the coldest day of winter. "That's great. The radio stops working when it's too cold AND when it's too hot." The light turns green, and as I'm pushing on the gas, the car won't move. I push harder, and there it goes. And the radio kicks in, too! Sweet. As I'm driving, I notice the car feels a little weird, and I remember when it was hot two weeks ago and my car refused to start after I'd gotten home. We had to borrow booster cables from our awesome neighbours. Anyway, as I'm driving, the car definitely doesn't seem like itself. "I'm definitely not turning my car off when I get to daycare. I need get home!" I think. I approach the turning lane and intersection 1 minute from Lily's daycare. Lo and behold, the radio conks out again. "Uh oh," I think. I feel Mr. Mazda heave and shudder, and I keep pressing the gas a bit to try and keep him alive. Then.... nothing. He's gone. I'm sitting in the turning lane, and he's unresponsive. He won't start, won't even let out a groan. I can't even push on the brake, there's no power at all. I've never had anything like this happen, so I panic a little bit. I turn on my hazards and try and call Mike, but no answer. I call my Mom, but my phone cuts out. Finally I get a hold of Mike and he tells me to call a tow truck. But I don't know who to call! So I Google it. I call the first company I recognize - Gervais Towing. Yeah, I go by the ones I hear on the radio all the time.

It was a wonderful decision to call them! They arrived within 5 minutes, and he let me into the wonderful air conditioned truck. Hooks up Mr. Mazda (I can only think of Tow Mater fishing for Lightning McQueen here!), climbs into the truck, and asks me where I want to go.

...... Uhhh... "Where do people usually go??" I ask him. lol I'm so clueless at this. Eventually I decide we should take it to a garage.

Anyway, the tow truck driver was extremely nice. We chatted as he drove to the garage, and he gave me a ride home in this heat. He even stopped at the gas station to let me take money out to avoid paying the taxes on the tow! He didn't accept a tip. I was very grateful for his help and patience today.

Oh, Mr. Mazda? He's still at the shop. He needs a new alternator and battery. But he'll be okay. Back home tomorrow. I forgive him. He's still pretty cool :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Old Toys

Growing up, my favourite toys of all time were my Puppy and Kitty in My Pockets. The adventures those cute animals went through were plentiful, outrageous, and most of all, fun. As you can imagine, I never wanted to part with those toys, and to this day, I haven't.

They have been neglected for a long time, though. You know those boxes you have packed away in your closet, or storage? The ones that travel with you as you move from house to house? The ones that you're relieved to see when packing for moving (the work is done! Sweet!), and the ones that never get unpacked? I know you know. We all have at least 1 of those!

Anyway, these old toys have been in one of those boxes since I moved from the house I grew up in, in 2005. Mike was finally catching up on our around-the-house jobs and came across this box. Instead of packing it back up, he decided to put it into Lily's toy rotation. Best idea yet!

Lily absolutely loves my old, beloved puppies and kitties! The past 2 days she has been playing with them, discovering all the animals, and she has even given them a few new adventures of her own! I'm really happy that a toy that used to bring me so much joy and that still brings back a lot of fun memories has found its way into my daughter's heart as well.
Getting into the fun (and there is a lot of fun to get into!)
She loves it!

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's Time.

It's time for a lot of things. I've let this blog slide too long, one too many times. So much has happened since September when I last posted. It's been almost a year, after all. Lily is now almost 29 months old, and talks up a storm. Full conversations (and so many adorable things she says make us laugh, or stop us in surprise wondering, "Where did you learn that?!") She continues to be a joy every day, even on the days that she tests her limits, which is more often than usual these days.

I'm almost done my first year of my PhD program. No courses in the summer, but lots of research getting done. I've also signed up for my first race, ever. I'm not a runner at all, but I'd like to learn. So I signed up for the 5K Army Run in September. I figured if I didn't sign up now, I'd never sign up! So here I am. I'm downloading an app for my iPhone to help me train.  And I plan to blog about my progress, too!

I've also started couponing a little bit. I'm not as crazy as the people you see on TV (at least I like to think I'm not! haha), so I'm also going to blog about some of the deals I find.

Of course, I'll continue to Blog 'Bout Beesons, that is, my family, since that's what this blog is mainly all about.

So... I'm back! I'm hoping with all of these new ideas to blog about, I'll be here more often than I have been. I hope you're still here, reading, and enjoying! :)