2016 Goals- Halfway Check In

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We’re actually more than halfway through 2016 now- how is that possible?!?  I realized  I haven’t done a halfway check in of my 2016 goals so it was time to revisit that post. My goal was to streamline- to make life as simple and uncomplicated as I could.

Dogs

I have yet to do any focused dog training and I really need to! We’ve spent the first part of this summer yelling at them for barking, for jumping on people and I even stopped taking them on my runs with me regularly because they would run away or run in front of me and trip me. Sadly, this is an area I kind of forgot about that I need to revisit!

He's so cute but such a pain in the butt!
He’s so cute but such a pain in the butt!

Money

My goal was to automate my bill payments and create a budget. I got the budget going and had payments coming out for things I didn’t know about (life insurance, bank fees, etc.) so getting a handle on ALL expenses really helped. We haven’t automated our bill payments because as hourly workers we can’t guarantee we’ll have the funds to pay the bill on the day it’s due. We still have a little bit of work to do.

Cooking

The Bikini Ready Challenge turned me into a meal planning, cooking machine! I think I’ve spent more time in the kitchen in the month of June that I have the entire rest of 2016! I’m hoping when the challenge is over that I can keep at it with meal planning and prepping because I feel so great eating such a clean diet.

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Clutter

I’ve been working away at this slowly but surely, I cleaned out my dresser and my closet big time! I had things that I haven’t worn in a couple years taking up space in my little closet so off they went. A few items that had some value I posted on eBay and have made a tiny bit of cash (like $30) off items I would have donated otherwise. I packed away most of my books into my shed, I couldn’t part with them, so when we one day have a slightly larger home I can install some shelves and have all my books within easy reach. I still need to install shelves and hooks to better organize the items I’m keeping but the 2016 declutter has been going pretty well (minus the kids room).

Love

I wanted to start doing more in the line of dates with Ryan and we’ve stepped it up a little. We plan a weekly date night but only 1 in 4 ever happens. Ha ha! It’s hard because we live 30 minutes away from the city and both drive in every day for work/school so when we get home the last thing we want to do is drive back to where we just came from. We’ll keep working on it and eventually we’ll get to a weekly date night that sticks.

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Any dog training tips are VERY VERY welcome! Particularly with their barking! And jumping on people. And begging. And pulling on the leash until my arms tears off. Yeesh I’m in for it.

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Friday Fitness Recap- June 24

Summer Friday Fitness

Hello and Happy Friday! I am pre-scheduling this Thursday morning because I am on a mini vacay in SLC visiting my brother & sister in law and my brand new nephew!!!

Guess what? I’m done! I’m done my summer history class and I have my evenings and weekends completely free again! YEAH!

Friday- Hot Yoga- Power 60, Yin 30

If you live in Lethbridge you have to take this class. The power yoga is so challenging and really gets your arms burning but then you get to spend 30 minutes slowing down and stretching out with yin. It’s amazing.

Saturday- Nothing

Sunday- 8 miles long run

UGH! This was such a bad run! The wind was howling and I moved slower than ever. Unlike last weeks 7 miles when I zipped along, this run took a lot of grit to not cut short.

Yikes! The only picture I took all week.
Yikes! The only picture I took all week.

Monday- 30 minute run

I have learned that heat and I don’t pair too well in running. It was a HOT evening when I squeezed in an easy 30 minutes between work and class

Tuesday- Hike up Bears Hump- 1.8miles

Did a slow and easy trek up Bears Hump with Cat and her kids.

Wednesday- Nothing

Thursday- SCHEDULED- 30 minute run with 4 X 60 second strides

I am planning to get in my run halfway through my road trip, likely in Helena, Montana. But you know how you can get on long drives, you just want to get to your destination. So we’ll see if I get it done.

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Bikini Ready Challenge- Week 3 Recap

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I can’t believe I only have a week left of the Bikini Ready Challenge! This third week has been interesting because it’s feeling like a routine but at the same time I had my first slip up. PLUS- I am heading off on a 12 hour road trip to Salt Lake City today for five days to visit my family and see my nephew Liam for the first time so I’m nervous about sticking with it.

Getting routine- As I said, this is feeling less like a challenge as I get into the routine of meal planning before shopping and meal prepping on Sunday or Monday. I make Ryan taste everything and I’m taking note of the meals he’s willing to eat so when this challenge is over I can make them part of out regular eating routine.

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My first slip up– I have been so f***ing proud of myself and how disciplined I’ve been during this challenge. However, I did have a small slip up on Tuesday while in Waterton with Cat and her kids. We hiked Bear’s Hump and though I brought a protein bar for my midday snack Weiners of Waterton sweet potato fries were calling my name and I answered. I won’t beat myself up over it or anything and I did feel really gross after, fries on an empty stomach are no bueno.

Travelling– Like I said I’m heading to SLC for a visit with the family and I’m worried about sticking with is because my family is a family of eaters! Ryan even commented once that whenever we get together all we do is go out to restaurants. We love to go out to restaurants and laugh and visit over good food and then at home we snack on fruit and candy.  Watch for next Thursday’s update as to how I managed.

Come on weight!– The first week I saw dramatic results and dropped 7 pounds in the one week. This makes sense considering prior to this I ate whatever I felt like, including a lot of sugar. But in Week 2 I lost 3 pounds and week 3 I’ve lost no pounds. Boo! I know these things take time though so I’ll just stick with it.

A little difference in the photos- I finally saw a difference in my photos from the start to now! I’m losing weight off my hips and it’s noticeable from the back. Yeah!

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RESULTS OF WEEK 3

Weight- 153lbs- Total loss 0 lbs

Measurements– Week 3- Lost 1 inch from my waist!

Total inches lost- 1.5 from the waist, 1 inch from hips.

If you want to get Bikini Ready, and honestly, it’s not about looks it’s about feeling good, Alyssa & Claudia will be doing this challenge again in July & anyone can sign up early here! http://alyssacoleman.ca/bikini/

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Waterton Afternoon with Kiddos

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Even though I should have been studying for my Canadian History final, I took off to Waterton for a day with Cat and her kids Olive (4) & Kevin (1.5). It was overcast in the prairies so I brought several changes of clothes because you never know what to expect in Waterton and yesterday it was windy- surprise! surprise!

Cat promised Olive a big ice cream cone from Big Scoop if she made it up Bear’s Hump on her own and wouldn’t you know it she made it! Hiking Bears Hump with little guys is so much different than with adults. When I went with Jo last month we booked it up and I was huffing and puffing and sweating but with kids you stop at every rock to climb it and sit and rest and have a snack every 10 minutes or so. It was actually really relaxing. Then again, I wasn’t packing a 35 pound baby on my back like Cat was! Ha ha!

#momgoals
#momgoals

 

When we finally made it to the top it was so windy that we took a couple of photos and then headed back down.

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Awkward pose. Ha ha ha!
Awkward pose. Ha ha ha!

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We went to big scoop with plans to eat it by the lake and throw rocks but it was so cold Olive wanted to eat her ice cream in the car and I was grateful to sit in the warm car myself.

After the kids ate their ice cream we headed to Wieners of Waterton for sweet potatoe fries for a snack (oops- that was not on my meal plan). I said hi to Jon from Wieners and ran into Michael from Four Oceans Paddle Boards/Blakiston & Company. This is what I love most about Waterton- the small town feel and chatting with the folks who are as passionate about the area and outdoor adventure as I am. I talked about this when I did the Waterton Food Festival last month, but the business owners in Waterton aren’t just people out to make money, they’re super creative and passionate people who love the area. Blakiston & Co. has a lot of plans in the works and I can’t wait to get my paddle on this summer!

We headed to the park to eat our fries and watch the kids play and boy the wind was cold and howling. Cat and I were so inspired by Michael’s plans for his company we started chatting about what we could do, a passion project we could throw ourselves into. We have some ideas in the works and hopefully we can make them a reality.

For about five minutes the sun burst through the clouds and the water park must be solar powered because suddenly the water came on and that wild child Olive ran through it fully clothed and all. As soon as the clouds covered the sun Olive got cold and we headed back to the car.

Crazy girl
Crazy girl

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Cat said going to Waterton for day trips like this is part of her attempt to have an unplugged summer for her kids which I think is such a great idea! And you can have a lot of fun in that town even if you aren’t climbing mountains.

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Guest Post at Bad Yogi- I’ll Breathe Through My Mouth if I Want To

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Exciting news that I kind of missed during the weekend busy-ness- my guest post to Bad Yogi went live on Friday! When I saw the call out on Twitter I had to wrote about my extreme struggles with pranayama breathing and how I like to sneakily breath through my mouth during inversions. Ha ha ha!

I love the Bad Yogi blog because it shares all the thoughts we have when it comes to the pressure of being perfect in yoga (which is the exact opposite of the practises goals).

CLICK HERE to read my post now!

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Livin’ Carefree

Doing the name change paired with the warm summer days  got me thinking about the original inspiration for Betty LIVIN. Betty was for my Jeep Wrangler that I was absolutely obsessed with and LIVIN was after the Dazed and Confused quote “Just keep livin’! L-I-V-I-N!”

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That quote always struck a cord with me. I fell in love with the movie when I first saw it in college and the reason (besides being hilarious) is that I liked how carefree I felt when I watched it. These kids were out of school for summer and their only concern was to party and get Aersosmith tickets. To a stressed out, Type A perfectionist the thought of being so carefree really appealed to me.

I always feel attached to my phone and social media and the thought of cruising around with my friends in the car just listening to music with nowhere else to be and nothing else to do sounds spectacular.

So let’s take in a few life lessons from this movie.

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Have you heard the popular adage “bloom where you’re planted”? This is one for me to take to heart because I always dream of the different places I could live and what life could be like but I’m here for the long haul so Ryan can watch his kids grow into adults.

Never sit around and wait for your location to be perfect, make where you’re at as awesome as you can.

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As a planner this one really sticks with me. I didn’t enjoy certain times of my life because I was so focused on the future and what it held. How many times have you thought along the lines of “I’ll be happier when…[I find a boyfriend, I have kids, my kids get older, we buy a new house, I pay off my debt, I get that promotion]?” I am SO guilty of doing this it’s insane!

I really have to work to enjoy the present and not try to “get through” it to something else.

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This is kind of different from the last thought isn’t it? This is to the people who think that the present is the best time they will ever have and they feel the need to live it up because the future looks bleak. In my circles this goes out to the folks who are so worried that it’s all downhill from here and as they age life will get worse and more boring.

The future is a magical place full of infinite possibilities (just be sure to enjoy the present as well)!

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This quote, besides being funny, applies to how you approach yourself as well as others. Life can get hard and you can start feeling awful and those emotions will show on your face. How often do you walk through a store and everyone shopping looks miserable? They’re tired, they’re stressed, they’re in a hurry and it shows all over their faces.

So wipe that face off your head bitch and take a deep breath and focus on the positive!

 

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Holy cow is that ever true!!!

Society really dictates how we are supposed to live our lives.

There’s a certain age you’re supposed to get married around, and you’re supposed to have kids, and supposed to buy a house and get a full time job. Yikes! I’m no bohemian free spirit (though I wish I were), I myself am living my life by these “rules” but  there are a few aspects where I rebel. I dress however I want whether it’s stylish or age appropriate be damned, I act like a little kid and ride shopping carts while grocery shopping, and I say exactly what I’m thinking as I’m thinking. I always admire the people that live life to their own beat and don’t worry about what they are “supposed” to be doing.

There you have it, Dazed and Confused is more than a stoner movie, it’s a movie that gives you real life lessons on livin’ carefree. Now I need to try to incorporate some of these into my daily life.

Do any of these quotes resound with you?

What’s your favourite quote from the movie?

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Friday Fitness Recap- June 17

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I’m happy it’s Friday but I cannot wait until next Friday because I’ll be in SLC snuggling THIS guy!!

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Anyway, let’s talk about my week of workouts.

Friday- Power 60 Yin 30

I think this class is harder than Bikram! Part of the reason is they change the poses so you never know what to expect and man did we do a lot of chaturangas! The sweat was pouring off me. And then to end a heart-pounding sweaty session with yin was incredible. I think this needs to become a weekly tradition this summer!

Saturday- Recover from yoga

I had a long run scheduled but I was so unbelievably sore from yoga I opted to take a rest day instead.

Sunday- 7 mile Run

I was so happy with this run! I had been dreading it. It took me an hour to get myself out the door but once I started I got into a good rhythm. I didn’t look at my pace, I let myself go as slow as I wanted, all that mattered to me was getting in the distance.

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Monday- Nothing

Tuesday- 35 minute easy run

An easy run in the rain. I thought I would still be dead from my long run on Sunday but I felt great and ran along in the shower.

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Wednesday- Nothing

Thursday- 35 minutes- 3X 60 second strides

I was never a very good 400m runner and 60 seconds is about what a high school runner would do. I miss the 30 second strides! Ha ha ha. My legs have felt great all week! They feel lighter than normal and I’m crediting some of that to a bit of weight loss from my participation in the Bikini Ready Challenge.

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There was my awesome week. Like I said, I am counting down the days until SLC though. Not only for baby snuggles, but for family time and some hiking time!! Me and those Wasatch mountains have some bonding to do. 🙂

On a really random side note, do you know what sucks about not being upper class? I never have anywhere to go that is formal! Even weddings are semi-formal affairs. I fell in love with this gown while window shopping with my cousin yesterday and I was dying for a reason/event to buy it! Someone invite me to a ball so I can go back and get it!

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Anyone have suggestions for good half day hikes near SLC?

Helena, MT is about half way- anyone know of a good trail I could run on during my road trip?

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Bikini Ready Challenge- Week 2 Recap

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Wow! I’m already halfway through this challenge which is crazy to think about since it feels like I’ve just started. Let’s recap this past week.

My legs feel lighter- I know that steady training has also contributed to running getting easier but my legs legitimately feel lighter. For years running was difficult because I couldn’t pick up my legs, I would plod along and my butt and legs would feel like they were weighing me down.

Food prep is getting easier- I think I’ve spent more time in the kitchen in two weeks than I have in the last 3 months! Holy does eating healthy tale planning and time but it’s getting easier. I bring my ipad in and turn on The Office on Netflix since I’ve seen it a million times I can just listen to it and know exactly what’s going on.

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Takes time to save time– Meal planning feels like it takes so much time but in the end it saves you a butt load of time. I know sitting down writing out my week and then looking through my fridge and pantry to see what I had and what I didn’t felt like it was a waste of a perfectly good summer afternoon. But when the food is planned and purchased and prepped- you save loads of time not having to plan meals and snacks every single day, I I have a lot more time in the mornings.

Cooking can be easy– Did I mention this last week? The recipes you’re given in this challenge are so delicious but so easy that even I can do it! I wish these ladies would do a full cookbook because I’ll be making these dishes long after the challenge is over.

Loss not showing in pictures– This was my third round of pictures and I was really hoping to see a noticeable difference but there isn’t any yet which is frustrating. My measurements say I’ve lost a little, the scale says I’ve lost some, but the pictures don’t. It’s really frustrating but I mean really, how big of a difference was I expecting in two weeks? I have to be realistic.

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This meme exactly describes my final thought, that I’m FEELING better. I have more energy, I feel lighter, and yes, I feel thinner.

RESULTS OF WEEK 2

Weight- 153lbs- Total loss 7 lbs

Measurements– 1/2 inch lost from waist- Total loss- 1/2 inch waist & 1 inch hips

Want to get Bikini Ready?

Ok- so Alyssa & Claudia will be doing this challenge again in July & anyone can sign up early here! http://alyssacoleman.ca/bikini/

They’re also giving away 1 FREE enrollment into the July Challenge.

Here is what you have to do:
1. Download your FREE copy of the Bikini Prep Guide before June 15 (Click HERE)
2. Take a selfie with the Prep Guide 
3. Post to social media tagging Claudia + Alyssa  and use the hashtag ‪ #bikinireadychallenge‬

 

 

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Name change! From Betty LIVIN to Better LIVIN!

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Hello ladies and gentleman and welcome to the slightly rebranded Better LIVIN! I have been thinking about rebranding for almost a year now and I started to change to Alberta Mountain Gal (like most of my social media handles) but every time I was ready to pull the trigger some sort of doubt stopped me. Then out of the blue it occurred to me that rebranding as a mountain girl doesn’t make sense when this blog is about so much more than my hiking now. Better LIVIN popped into my head and it felt so good that I rolled with it. Someone else owns betterlivin.com but because this is a Canadian site I was able to switch to betterlivin.ca.

You’ll still able to find me using the old URL. At least for the next year, who knows what next summer will bring. But just to be safe, if you use Feedly or Bloglovin maybe you should update the url.

When it comes to social media, I’m going to try and change what I can right now but if I run into hiccups I’ll wait and leave some of my accounts as is.

Thank god for Fiverr! Have you used this website yet? If not- get on it immediately! It’s people selling cheap services for $5/pop USD. I got the new logo for $5 and had someone do all the domain changing, back end stuff that I’m clueless on for $15. Amazing right?!?!

As part of the rebrand I want to find out more about you guys and what it is you want to see from me!

Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey below to help me create interesting posts that you want to read.
Create your own user feedback survey

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Friday Fitness Recap- June 10

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Man are the weeks flying by! How is it Friday already? I’ve been so busy with work and school (paper writing and chapter reading) that my days are flying by.I’ve been running in the mornings to beat the heat and have been good at sticking to my runs because they’re part of my plan, but I really need to fit in more yoga and strength training!

Friday- Nothing

Saturday- 4 mile run

I don’t know what was up with my run on Saturday. I went into it thinking “only 4 miles- yeah!” and this run kicked my ass. I couldn’t pick up my legs and ran an average 12 min/mile. I don’t know if it was the heat, the fact that I’m no good at morning workouts or I didn’t eat enough first but it was just as hard as my 6-miler last Saturday. Oh running- when will you and I click?

Ugh! SO SLOW!
Ugh! SO SLOW!

Sunday- 20 minute run

Another day of heavy legs.

Monday- Nothing

Tuesday- 35 minute easy run

Today’s run also resulted in my plodding along and I started to wonder if maybe my new eating plan was messing with my energy levels or cutting out coffee was making me run slower. But talking to Cat, she too is having issues and I think it’s our bodies adjusting to the heat. I hope that’s what it is anyway!

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Wednesday-1.5 mile easy walk

I love when work requires me to go on walks! I’m mapping out walking areas around campus this summer and went out for a stroll around the water reservoir.

Pretty view
Pretty view

Thursday- 25 minute run with 6X30 second fast strides

I love stride day! Sprinting is legit my favourite thing and for the first four strides I was really hauling, after the fourth….. not so much. Ever notice how much longer it takes to recover from a stride workout than a steady run? I kept on sweating for at least 10 minutes after I was finished my cool-down, making me look great when I pooped into the grocery store and postal office n my way home.

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And to wrap up this week let me announce that I’m officially an Aunty!!!! My brother and his wife Lauren had a baby boy and it’s amazing how you can love a baby just from pictures. I personally love the photos where he gives “the stink eye.”

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How was your week of workouts?

Do you find the heat affects your body?

Any tips for speeding back up a little on my runs?

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