I’m Just So Over Make up!

You guys, I am on  Week 7 of no make up (except for a few social events) and guess what? I still feel pretty! In fact, I almost feel prettier. I have been going through the tedious task of putting on make up every morning since I was 14 and I want to know why women do it! Why spend time to put it on only to take it off that night?

I don’t know why I’ve lost all desire to make up my face. I never wore a lot to begin with, only ever eye shadow, eye liner and mascara. I never did the whole foundation, powder, blush, lipstick thing. But I was tired of never being able to rub my eye, or getting smudged if I even teared up a little. The final straw was when my old mascara started to flake off and get into my eye and burn my eyeball!

I haven’t gotten any comments like “you look tired”, “are you sick” or “you look older” like I feared. In fact, no one has even noticed.

Like I said, I feel prettier now because I know that my face is enough. I don’t feel like I’ll look a horror if I go out bare faced. I curl my eyelashes so they’re more noticeable and ta-da! I’m ready to go out. My face as it is feels like enough, that’s a pretty awesome feeling.

What about you? Are you a slave to your make up?

I challenge all my female readers who think they can’t leave the house without make up to try going to work without it for just one day and see how you feel after.  

Left with make up and right without.

Left with make up and right without.

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Older But Not Wiser

Everyone, today is my birthday- my 30th birthday. I had originally taken the day off to head to the mountains for some xc skiing or hiking but after spending two sick days at home and still feeling crappy, I opted to save my vacation day and come to work instead. Woop-dee-doo.

I was BALD!

I was BALD!

I’ve been working on this birthday post for weeks because I don’t know how to express how I’m feeling about turning 30. A co-worker of mine said it best “I think it doesn’t matter how old you are but how happy you are with life and what you’ve accomplished so far.” That would explain why I am so freaked out!

I am 30 and I have no idea what I’m doing with this life or what/who I want to be. Don’t you think by 30 you should have at least an inkling?

“We all know and accept that we are different humans, with different bodies, characteristics, features, and lives. Yet there is still such a general stereotype of what woman should look like, or be like at any given age. And every single aspect seems to be monitored: Hair, eyes, body, wardrobe, employment, family life, bank accounts, relationships, car, diet, hobbies… “ (Rebekah Steen, Goldfish Kiss)

When I tell people my age, no matter how old or young they are, they all tell me they thought I was in my early 20’s. When I ask “is it because I look so young?” the answer is always “No. You just act like a 22 year old.” I choose to take that as a compliment! Because acting like a adult is BORING!

Away I go!

I won’t grow up- you can’t make me!

Though I act like I’m in my early 20s,  I spent my 20’s trying to act older. I tried to achieve success in the workplace by acting like I was 50 and I worked so hard to fit society’s definition of where I should be for a woman my age. I’m over that now. It took me until I was 30 to discover I’m doing life wrong. I’m trying to fit society’s standard of how I should act and what I should have and I’m done with it.

I want to spend my 30s breaking out of the mould and really figuring out who I am, what I’m passionate about, and appreciating each day for what it has to offer.

“I don’t want to feel like I need to escape my day to day life, or constantly be counting down the months or days until my next escape.” (Joanna, Living Mint Green)

When I read this on Jo’s blog it hit me like a ton of bricks. I have spent most of my life living for my next escape, my next weekend adventure or long vacation. But being married with a mortgage and two step kids means uprooting my life and heading to Hawaii or the mountains isn’t possible so I have to make the life I have one that I don’t want to escape from.

I intend to kick off my 30s doing two things- starting a family and creating a life that meets my needs- not one that fits some mould. 

And falling under those two things include; turning my home into a sanctuary, starting a savings account, finding my signature style, learning to like cooking, finding a career I’m passionate about, making sure Ryan knows how much he is appreciated and loved.

Sorry for the rambling guys, I’ve been lying in bed sick for two days just reflecting on life.

Any tips for self discovery and creating a life you don’t need to escape from?

Going to spend my 30s finding me

Going to spend my 30s finding me

Winter Fit with Je Me Souviens

WinterFit

Winter Fit is a series where I interview Canadian fitness/outdoors bloggers and get a first hand look into how they stay fit and motivated during the long cold winter months.

This week, we’re talking to Andrea from Je Me Souviens. I was stoked to find Andrea because she’s another Lethbridge fitness blogger and there aren’t very many of us!

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Introduce yourself 

I am Andrea Lammers-Pottage, a nearing 30-year-old high school math teacher.  I live with my husband and our three pets—Snoopy, our beagle, and Faron & Woodstock, our cats.  It is safe to say I am a huge Peanuts comic strip fan, and you actually know who Faron is without looking it up, good on you!

Where do you live and what are your winters like?

I grew up in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, named Franklin.   These winters were long and cold and full of wet, heavy snow.  I have now lived in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada for just shy of 6 years. The winters are still long and cold, even colder actually, but less snowy.  It is more of a dry, dusty consistency, which if you can handle the Chinook winds, I find it very easy to get around and stay active.

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What are your go-to activities?

Running.  Number 1 is running. I don’t even know a close number 2 anymore other than dancing.  I use to be a dancer with a side of running (high school dance team, college dance team, coached, and also worked at a Pom Pon Camp for 5 years), and during these times running was just a casual thing.  I was on high school track, but I always make note that I was a mediocre Varsity athlete for three years.  It was when I was 19 and at college that I decided to venture into longer distances, like half and full marathons.  And the past year and a half since starting my blog (since January 2013, so now close to 2 years) running has been my front-running activity of choice (no pun intended)

How do stay motivated in the dark, gloomy winter months to stick to a fitness routine?

I keep finding the random races that are held locally or in nearby Calgary.  When I register for events, I then take ownership of that event and take my training more seriously.  I am not going to register and pay for something to then not train for it.  I also have been living large and taking some “run-cations” during those dreaded winter months.  Last year , it was RunDisney Wine& Dine Half in November 2013, and the Dopey Challenge in January 2014.  This year, it is a Beer Run Half Marathon outside of Milwaukee in November (but yes, it could be snowing…) and a Super Spartan Race & Sprint Spartan Race in Temecula, California this coming January.   I have found some great flight deals, and have friends/family for accommodations, so it helps cut back the costs.  And it makes me happy, and being happy is what matters!

Do you do any winter activities?

Running—that counts as a winter activity!?  Honestly, to go back to the previous question about staying motivated, I went out on a limb and registered for a half marathon in Calgary during mid-March 2014.  No clue what the weather would be like.  Turns out, it was around 7 degrees Fahrenheit…plain bitter cold.  However, I somehow managed to run my first ever sub 1:40 half marathon.  The cold drives me and fires me up.  Below is the link to my recap on that race, and also my favorite picture from after it!

http://jemesouviens2004.com/2014/03/26/race-recap-run-for-larche-half-marathon/

Do you have a healthy comfort food recipe to share?

I love to cook, but am not good at following recipes.  I usually wing-it based on ideas I get from watching the plethora of cooking shows on Food Network.  I often do slow-cooker items during winter, as I am at work late and will usually do my run after finishing any school work, so having food ready when I get home is a plus.  I made a chili last year and kicked it up a notch by adding quinoa into it during the day.  We have a garden during the summer and when I harvest the carrots, I will Blanche them in water/ice so that was I can freeze them.  Using garden veggies in a winter chili is a luxury, but I try to make those things happen when I can.

What advice would you give for someone struggling to get up and moving during the winter when hibernation mode sets in?

That it is worth it in the grand scheme of things.  Last winter 2013/2014 was an extremely cold one, but I had my RunDisney Dopey Challenge training.  I looked like an utter fool bundled and running outside, but it gave me more energy and focus at work, even though my school year first semester was crazy beyond belief.  I am a firm believer that when one is stressed and extremely busy with work life, it is even more important to keep a workout regime, as it can help keep on sane!

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Canadian Blogger Christmas Swap 2014

I miss Christmas when you’re a kid. You write out a long list of all the things you want knowing you’ll get a few things and you’re not expected to give gifts, or help cook, or shop, or wrap or any of the tedious tasks that come as an adult!

But I definitely felt like a kid again when I received my package from Becky from The Bex Factor. Every year, Leigh from All You Need is Love organizes the Canadian blogger ornament exchange.

Becky went above an beyond just an ornament and sent along a whole care package!

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In the package was Lindor Chocolates which she included for Ryan but I’m going to be honest and tell you that I ate half of one and it was delectable! If only I could have scarfed the whole thing. She also sent EOS chap stick and a pack of Starbucks VIA which is PERFECT because Ryan and I will be driving 10 hours to my mom’s on Boxing Day for a belated family Christmas. This is going to save me a lot of money on coffee because hot water is free at gas stations

Becky sent way more than one ornament, she sent a set of metallic mittens which were so perfect for my simple, sparkly tree. Thanks Becky- this was an awesome gift!

Mitten next to my ornament from last years exchange

Mitten next to my ornament from last years exchange

4 Tips for Hosting Dinner Guests with Food Restrictions

It’s the holidays! Time for music, crowds, parties and food! As someone with food restrictions, going to dinner or a party at someone’s house is a bit of a gamble as to whether I’m going to eat or not.

I am gluten & lactose intolerant which restricts a lot of dishes and because I’m not comfortable asking the hostess to purchase or make special dishes for me I’ll ask if I can bring anything. But sometimes I’m told they have it covered and they go to the trouble and expense to make a gluten free dish that has dairy in it or vice versa and I feel like garbage for not eating a dish they prepared especially for me.

Besides intolerances, many people have chosen different dietary lifestyles such as vegan and paleo and it is confusing to others. Here are a few tips from me on what to do when hosting a dinner party.

Photo Credit: Melange Events

Photo Credit: Melange Events

1. Check with Guests when you invite them 

Before you hit send on that e-vite or text, maybe just add “please let me know if you have any dietary restrictions”. This will make the person feel more comfortable telling you and it’ll get a dialogue going.

2. Ask them to bring something (especially dessert)

If you know someone has restrictions ask them to bring a dish for themselves. Chances are they won’t mind at all because they’ll know they can eat. And it’s hard to find a gluten free/dairy free dessert so if you’re planning a sugary spread, maybe ask them to bring something for themselves. The person will not find this rude in any way! Most people with dietary restrictions hate to feel like they’re being an inconvenience and don’t expect their hosts to go out of their way for one person.

3. You can’t fail with meat and vegetables

Stock up on lots and lots of veggies, salads with dressing on the side, etc and you will feed almost every restriction out there. And unless vegan or vegetarian, meat also works for almost every other common restriction.

4. Don’t tell them how inconvenient their restrictions were for you

Please don’t. Even if you say it jokingly “I went to the speciality store and got this just for you and it cost $XXX. Ha ha” or “It was so hard to make your special dish because I needed to use so many ingredients/it took so long, etc”. That just makes us feel like garbage for something we can’t control. Unless you’re my grandma, don’t give me a hard time.

Hope this helps a little! Merry Christmas!

Winter Fit with Running. Food. Baby.

WinterFit

Winter Fit is a series where I interview Canadian fitness/outdoors bloggers and get a first hand look into how they stay fit and motivated during the long cold winter months.

This week, we’re talking to Rebecca from Running. Food. Baby. I discovered Rebecca through Sweatpink and I loved that she was also a former sprinter with a track obsession and she also has my dream job!

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Introduce yourself 

I am Rebecca. I am a teacher in Ottawa, Ontario but also coach Cross Country and Track and Field on the side. On top of working, I also train for various road races.

Where do you live and what are your winters like?

I live in Ottawa. Our winters are intense! It can be as cold as -30C and it snows a lot! This past winter, I don’t think the temperature went above 10C for over three months. In my neighbourhood, we have snow piles that are taller than me from December until March and our sidewalks are covered in a layer of ice.

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What are your go-to activities?

Running!  I also like to bike and do weight circuits at the gym. I also like to binge-watch Netflix shows, if that counts…

How do stay motivated in the dark, gloomy winter months to stick to a fitness routine?

You just have to get out there!  On those cold days, you think that running is going to be awful – but as soon as you try, you realize that your body will warm you up and by the time 1K has gone by, you will be toasty warm. It also helps to have a gym membership for those particularly awful days. I tend to only hold a gym membership during the winter months. Many Park and Rec programs offer monthly passes. Also, in some cities, there are indoor track facilities. I live 10 minutes away from a full 400m track, which has come in very handy.

Do you do any winter activities?

Since the birth of my son, winter activities have become a bit harder to do. But, we do like to snowshoe, downhill and cross country ski and skating on the Rideau River. Ottawa is fantastic for winter activities, there are no shortage of fun things to do. Since moving to Ottawa I have participated in many more winter activities. It is fantastic that I only have to drive 20 minutes to the nearest ski hill!

Do you have a healthy comfort food recipe to share?

I make a fantastic butternut squash soup recipe. It really hits the spot and is super easy to make. You can read the reciepe here: http://runningfoodbaby.com/2012/10/butternut-squash-soup/

What advice would you give for someone struggling to get up and moving during the winter when hibernation mode sets in?

Literally just get up and try. It really starts to suck when the days become so short and the winter temperatures make you shiver. But once you get out and move, it really helps beat those winter blues. Find something fun to add on to your workout – have a poutine or beavertail after skating, have a apres ski after skiing, pack a backpack full of fresh cheese and your favorite wine and go snowshoeing. In order to get out there and run, splurge on some winter gear and run with other people! There are also a few winter races in Ottawa that you can sign up for.

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