Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I'm Still Here...

I know that I missed Fat-Free Friday. I've been taking a bit of a break from the internet. And from healthy eating, too. I swear, every time that I get close to my goal, I slip up...big time.

I'm back on track. Hopefully it'll stay that way.

I really have nothing important to say today, but I'm hoping for a couple of fun things to come through for my blog this week, so stay tuned!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Random Things You May Not Know About Me (With Pictures)...

- I am 5’9 and have size 10 feet
- I have freckles, but they are very light
- I tend to get really obsessed about relatively minor things
- I like doing artsy and crafty stuff

- I used to take random pictures of my pets. For funsies.
- I have a WHITE birthmark on my right arm
- I tend to get really obsessed about relatively minor things
- Racism boggles my mind, it's so stupid
- When I hit my ultimate goal, I'm going to post a picture of myself in a bikini

- I was born on my mom’s birthday, which is also Canada Day
- My daughter was born on my grandmother’s birthday
- My son was born on my aunt’s birthday
- I tend to get REALLY obsessed about relatively minor things
- My sister is my best friend (I'm on the right)

- I'm part Irish, part Scottish, and part Native American
- I don't drink very often
- I don't really like swearing
- I LOVE milk and could never do a dairy-free diet
- I can move my baby toes independently
- I am obsessed with Disney World

- I hate cheesecake
- I am afraid of air travel
- jellyfish creep me the heck out
- our household has three cats and two dogs...and a fish tank!

- I had fertility-related problems before I had my daughter (but got pregnant with my son right away)
- I never say no to a piece of cake (unless it's cheesecake...)

Also...I love, love LOVE colourful boys clothes...and I love a good sale. Which is why I was excited to pick up these babies for 5$ a pop:

Of course I had to get something for my daughter, too!

And....I have nothing else to say. So, with that, I'm off!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tip of the Day

It's everyone's favourite time!!!

Tip of Today: If your husband doesn't understand the concept of having "internet friends", then continually referring to them as "so-and-so from the blog world" is only going to help convince him that you are a crazy pants. Some people don't get it. It's "totes" normal, right? (P.S....that "totes" if you for you, Holly).

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Love Life Past

Does anyone ever look back on past relationships and cringe? 'Cause I know I sure do!

Look, I’m not even going to pretend that I was a rockstar dater. I was 16 when I had my first kiss (if you don’t count the quick peck I had with a gay friend, which you shouldn't), and my first “boyfriend” consisted of a really nice guy who I "dated" for approximately 4 days until I realized that relationships totally freaked me out (I was 14 at the time, can you blame me? Hence the “no kiss” thing until 2 years later!)

My first real teenage relationship began just after Christmas when I was 16. It was with someone who was already a good friend of mine, and whom I had KNOWN for months had a crush on me. For the longest time I never thought of him in "that way", but suddenly my feelings started to change. Really suddenly! I still knew that I wasn’t as into him as he was into me (at that point at least), but I still thought it was worth giving a shot. And it was. We dated for over a year, and I can’t help but laugh when I think of some of those times. We took our relationship SO seriously - and I'm not sure that's healthy at such a young age. But it was great while it lasted! We had a lot of fun, and I grew to really love his family as well. And I was heartbroken when we broke up (being in the midst of a mental breakdown didn't help matters, and caused me to be in a state of constant anxiety for months after...unfortunately this just made me seem pathetic I'm sure!) but I knew that I'd learned a lot from that relationship. We've both grown up, and I still run into him here and there. I know he's happy, and I like that. I wish him nothing but the best (cliché #2?).

Naturally, after this heartbreak, I promised myself that I'd never again put myself out there, never risk my heart again, blah blah blah. That lasted less than a year. Similarly, it was with someone who I'd been great friends with previously. This time, I KNEW it was a bad idea for us to date - we were SUCH good friends, but somehow I knew that we just weren't compatible enough to work as a couple . But, of course, I was dumb, and he was very convincing, so we gave it a go. We only lasted six months (things went south right after breakdown #2 started to happen...hmm, I see a pattern here...) Unlike the first time, though, we were pretty much immediately able to go back to being friends. We even still went to prom together, which I am so thankful for. Much better to have prom memories with one of your best friends, rather than with some guy whose name you forget!

After graduating high school, I apparently decided that hindsight was for suckers, and continued my pattern of dating people I knew I shouldn't. I met my next boyfriend while working at my summer job. Let me sum this up for you: I was put into a position where I worked alongside two males approximately the same age as me, both of whom admitted to having crushes on me. And I picked the wrong one.

Okay, that is not entirely fair. He was really a sweet, sweet guy. And he tried so hard to treat me well. And aside from jealousy-related insecurities, I think he did. But I just wasn't that into him. And I knew it from the start, but I so badly didn't want to hurt his feelings be rejecting him that I went along with it. For about a year and a half. Stupid, stupid, stupid...and unfair.

I'd say our biggest problem was that we were almost TOO similar - at least emotionally. I think that as much as we might have enjoyed each others company, and had some common interests, we weren't what the other needed. We both needed someone emotionally stronger, someone with more direction. And he needed someone who loved him back as much as he loved them (Biggest mistake? Accidentally saying "I love you" because I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing. Huge regret. Hard to take that back, so i didn't try). And I needed someone tougher, and who wasn't so obsessed with their video game system! In the end, I realized that enough was enough and ended things. It was amicable at first, but unfortunately his bitterness and insecurities prevailed, and we weren't able to remain friends. Which is a shame.

Then, I finally learned from my mistakes and didn't wish to repeat them, so I tried something new: casually dating. Turns out I suck at that, too. I hung out with a few guys to "get to know them better" before "casually dating" one for 8 months. I learned then that I am NOT a "keep it superficial" person. I like deeper relationships. He was always kind to me, don't get me wrong...we just wanted different things.

Writing this all out makes my dating history seem like a big failure! But I can honestly say that I wouldn't know how to navigate my marriage if it wasn't for what I learned in the past. It taught me a lot about what to do - and more importantly, what NOT to do - in a relationship. That's why I'm writing this post: so that people know that even if they feel like they've royally screwed up in the past (or BEEN royally screwed over), that doesn't need to dictate your future.

Which brings me to my next (and hopefully final!) relationship: the one with my husband. That is an interesting story, but I'll save that for another time!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Ever-Expaning Rear, PLUS Camera/Video Tool-torial

So guess what? I gained again this week. You're shocked, I just know it. I'm 154, and while that is not a bad weight by any means, it IS above my goal range. So much for my "I'll hit my new goal by the end of the month" plan. Man, I am NOT digging this whole "gain weight every week" thing that's happening. I guess I gotta put a stop to that.

Luckily, I have a plan. One of my favourite bloggers, Holly, is challenging herself to eat cleaner. Starting now. I am going to blog-stalk her join her in that challenge. What does this mean for me? Nothing drastic, but no more 11 o'clock McFlurries when I've already stuffed my face, no more eating half a bag of chips in one sitting, and certainly no more "Oh well, I've already blown it for the day, might as well stuff my face like it's going out of style." Basically, back to what I was doing before...with a bit less junk. You know I love me some moderation!

In other news, I am trying to learn to use our new camera...which we got in December. Yeah, I'm not the best with technology, and I tend to procrastinate. Anyway...there were a few things I wanted to do. First, for blogging purposes of COURSE, I wanted to learn to master the art of the "selfie" photo. Here is what I came up with:

Okay, so not a master at that. Moving on.

The second thing I wanted to do was to learn how to use the video recording feature, because I really really really want to record all the funny stuff that my kids do. Yes, I'm *that* mom. So I did a little test video, loaded it to my computer all by myself (feeling so proud, cause that's how I roll), and was sideways. And for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to fix it. And when I tried to upload it, it wouldn't play.

So I quit.

The end.

Actually, no, I got some good advice from some online friends and was able to figure it out. I hope. Testing, testing, 1..2...3...

It works. But the volume is really quiet. And I look like a HUGE dork.

NOW I quit!

Finish the Sentence Linkup with Jake and Holly!


Ah, these are always so much fun. I don't even care about trying to win the prize (lies), it's just fun to participate!!! So let's get to it!

1. I laughed so hard I cried when...I discovered a pop can angel on my in-laws Christmas tree that was frightening and looked like she was screaming at me: "Joy to the !^&@! World!"

2. My high school...was amazing, with very little bullying and a huge drama and music department. Oh, and my parents taught there. I even had my mom as a teacher. Three times. That

3. It really pisses me off...when people say that they love sushi. NOBODY loves sushi, they're just pretending to in order to feel cool. I don't need to feel cool. Sushi sucks.

4. In ten years...I may very well weigh 300 pounds. If it's due to chocolate, it might be worth it.

5. If I could erase one would be my mind, circa 2012

6. In 1999... I partied like it was 19....hold up, it was!

7. Honestly...sometimes I daydream about redecorating other people's houses. It's a habit of mine.

8. To me, Sushi...NOBODY LIKES SUSHI!!!!

9. Someone really needs to invent...a laugh track that you can carry around everywhere with you. That would be awesome.

10. The first time I drank alcohol...was at my dad's retirement party. I was in grade nine, and one of my teachers bought it for me. True story.

11. The one question I would ask God fill out this survey

12. Lindsay Lohan...just...I have no words....

Until next time...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Why I Can't Blog Tonight

I feel like I can't write a post tonight. At least, not the kind I usually do.

For those of you who don't know, I live in Canada. We're only about 20 minutes from the Canada/US border, so today, like many days before, my family and I headed "over the river" in search of good bargains. Oh yes, and a meal at the Olive Garden. Can't get any better than that.

Overall, we had a good day. The kids were pretty good for the most part, and I found much of what I was looking for. The only thing odd about our outing was that we were asked MANY more security questions than usual at the border during our return trip - including asking if we were carrying any weapons. Compared to what we are usually asked, it seemed strange.

But then, we got home and turned on the news. And it all made sense.

Which is why I can't blog tonight like I normally do. Because anything that I would write about seems so absolutely trivial compared to the events that transpired in Boston.

No, I can't whine about weight loss tonight. Not when a mother lost her child; not when others lost their lives; not when many lost limbs, and even more lost their sense of security. The size of my waist simply does not matter tonight.

My sister's friend (and my sometimes-running mentor) was attending the Boston Marathon. He is fortunately safe. But many, many are not. And my heart feels broken for those shattered families.

There are times when Canada and America are at odds with each other. When we are each other's worst critic, and we bicker like jealous siblings. But at times like this, our differences are meaningless.

I wish that I had something thought-provoking and moving to say about this tragedy. But I don't. I'm sad, and I'm angry, and I'm scared. So I will end this post by saying that I hope my American readers- and their family members - are all warm and safe and together tonight.

And also...God Bless America.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fat-Free Friday Ramblings

151.4 today. Meh. Better than it was earlier this week, right?

You know what’s really ANNOYING, besides having a bad week and eating everything in sight? When a song is stuck in your head, won’t go away, and it’s NOT EVEN A SONG YOU LIKE!!! I swear I’m being tortured…any advice on how to get rid of that?

Onto more positive things: is anyone else a nerd like me a fan of childrens’ movies? The good ones, I mean. I am currently loving Hotel Transylvania (seriously, go rent it NOW), Rise of the Guardians, and Wreck it Ralph. Call me a dork (I know I do!) but well-done kids shows just put me in a good mood. And hey, since I have kids, I have an excuse to watch them without seeming like a weirdo "Oh no, sweetie, you don't want to watch Sesame Street, you want to watch Tinkerbell...yes you DO!" Yup. I'm an awesome mom.

I'd also love to hear your thoughts on this article. I can see the point they are trying to make, but I also can't help but wonder how many of us GAINED weight because we just weren't paying enough attention to diet...

To finish off this "all about nothing" kind of post, I will say this: HAPPY FRIDAY!!! Hope you have a great weekeng lined up!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I *Heart* Pinterest

I'm feeling the Pinterest love lately.

It's funny to think that a few months ago, I didn't even know what the heck it was.

I'd heard of it, of course, but didn't understand/bother to learn how it worked. I just assumed that it was another run-of-the-mill social media site, and really wasn't interested.

Finally, one day, someone described it to me as an "online bulletin board", and the idea intrigued me. I was sick of having so many things linked on my "favourites" tab, and was looking for a better way to organize things - WITHOUT having to print everything out and file it in folders (what a waste of time and ink!) This seemed like the perfect way to do just that.

I like to craft, bake, party plan, and try new things. I have gotten so many ideas off of Pinterest - and some of them are EASY. If you haven't tried Pinterest yet, I'd highly recommend it - but I warn you, it can be addicting!

And if you ARE using Pinterest - look for me! I go by the username Birdlover007 :)

lately, I've been struggling with ways to get my creative juices flowing, so I've been reviewing my new and old pins. Here are some things that I've "pinned" recently that I hope to try in the not-so-distant future:

1. Cadbury Egg Dip. Looks SO GOOD! Might need to try this when I have more willpower...

2. Polka Dot Cake. Probably not as easy as it looks.

3. "Skinny" Buffalo Shrimp Dip. Yes please!

4. Kool-Aid ice cubes in Sprite. So simple!

5. Rainbow fruit tray...must do this for my daughter's birthday party in May.

6. Owl Wreath. MUST DO THIS! Need something new for my son's door...

If you want to know the websites that I pinned any of these photos from, leave me a comment and I'll let you know! Or, follow me on Pinterest and see for yourself! :) Also, feel free to let me know YOUR Pinterest username, and I'll check ya out!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Tip of the Day

I'm starting a new thing.

Whenever I have some incredibly useful advice for you all, I will be posting...

Yup. I'm cool.

Today's tip: putting on slippers before you go outside to retrieve the paper does NOT, in fact, cover up the fact that you are still wearing your ripped-in-the-crotch pajamas, or that your bra is showing. Especially when it's 10:30 and apparently you're supposed to be "dressed already".

There. You're welcome.

Until next time...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Reality Check, and New Motivation

Remember how in my last post, I said that I didn't need to check out the scale to know that I'd blown it in a big way?

Well, I couldn't resist, and I was still struggling with my eating, so I sucked it up and stepped on that bad boy this morning. I was NOT happy to see that I'd gained over 3 pounds in ONE WEEK. Yup...that's how far off track I've been.

I guess I can hope that I'll lose it as quickly as I gained it? Wishful thinking?

Anyway...this wasn't a surprise to me, so instead of getting down with myself, I did what anyone reasonable, weight-conscious woman would do.

I went bathing suit shopping.

Oh, put your eyes back in your head. Yes, it sounds crazy, but hear me out: I figured that if I managed to try on bathing suits and actually NOT feel like a cow, it would a) put me in a better mood, and b) motivate me to get back on track with my eating.

Mission accomplished!

I ended up buying a cute suit. Size large bottoms, size SMALL top.'s a two piece. It's actually a BIKINI - you know, that thing I said I'd NEVER be able to wear again? And you know...I don't think I look half bad in it...

Yes, I have loose skin, but it's covered by the higher-rise bottoms. Yes, I have stretch marks, but I can deal with those. No, my tummy is not perfect, but I've worked SO HARD that I felt I deserved to at least try some bikinis on. And, with my sister and husband's urgings, I made a purchase that I'm happy with. Progress, not perfection, right?

That gets me thinking...when I make it to my ultimate goal (and I WILL get there), I might even post a picture for you guys to see :) In the meantime, here is a sneak peek of the pattern...

Isn't it pretty?

In unrelated news (since I feel that I should occasionally blog about things OUTSIDE of weight loss, to prove that I do, in fact, have a life), I painted my daughter's toenails for the first time today (yes, I used child-safe polish). She was so excited to have sparkly toes "Just like Mommy".

Also, something else that any of my mom readers might appreciate: a view of our family room at the end of the day:

Cleaning seems never-ending when you have kids. But I wouldn't want it any other way!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Fat-Free Friday - FORGET IT!

I am not weighing myself today. I had a horrible eating week, and I don't need to look at the scale to get the reality check I need! I'm back on track today, and that's all I'm saying because you guys must be SICK of my whining by now! Besides...there is something else I want to talk about...I call this post "Sad".

Sometimes, when I look at pictures of my almost four-year-old as a baby, I get sad.

There are many reasons for this (and realizing that she's growing up too darned fast is a big one!), but noticing how few pictures exist of her and I really gets to me. Because I know what the reason was: I hated how I looked, and didn't want to be captured in photos. I really regret feeling that way, and even moreso, I regret letting those feelings control my behaviour. It seems so incredibly shallow and stupid now.

Here are a few of the ones I did find:

Yes, I was heavier than I wanted to be. No, I don't think that I look too great. I even cringe at a few of them. But do I look horrendous? Was it really so bad that I should have felt the need to hide from the camera and away from pictures with my baby? No. Besides, no one looks bad enough for that!

To any of you expectant or new moms...please learn from my mistake. Let people take photos of you. Let them capture those moments, for they will become cherished memories. Please don't be as self-involved as I was - you don't need to hide! I promise you this: you won't regret a few bad photos, but you WILL regret the ones you were afraid to take! Trust me!

In other news...I'm lacking a bit of inspiration for blog topics lately...anyone have any suggestions? Also...and this is important...become a follower of my blog! I really want to host another giveaway, and would love to hit 100 followers before I do so!!! a girl out!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Healthline Guest Post

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Healthline is a "comprehensive health information site that offers trusted medical information and rich, interactive visual tools to help you make better health decisions". (I stole that quote from their facebook page. This serves as my official bibliography. Don't sue me). I've checked it out, and love that it features doctor-reviewed resources, and that it focuses on all different areas of health. When they contacted me, they asked me if they could do a guest post for my blog, and asked if there was any topic in particular that I'd be interested in hearing about.

I practically frothed at the mouth. I love discussing health - I even went to school to be a paramedic until I realized that I couldn't lift a darned stair chair. Live and learn.

Anyway...I chose a topic near and dear to my heart: mental health. I asked if they'd be willing to write a post about how exercise and proper eating can benefit one's mental health - whether it be as part of a treatment plan, or as a preventive measure. Here is what they came up with:

How A Healthy Diet and Exercise Can Help You Cope With Mental Illness

Anyone struggling to cope with mental illness knows how hard it can be to manage his or her symptoms. Though the symptoms of mental illness may not be outwardly recognizable, they are in fact very real. Even with medication and therapy, many people with conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental illness struggle to deal with their symptoms on a daily basis. The stress and anxiety of these illnesses can sometimes make everyday life seem impossible. Your first priority should be visiting a doctor for help with managing your condition, but there is nothing wrong with taking a more comprehensive approach as well. Taking steps to reduce everyday stress in your life and live a healthier lifestyle can help make a significant difference.

Reducing Stress in Your Life

Any mental illness makes the everyday tasks of life more difficult. Depression or anxiety may make it difficult for you to get out of bed in the morning, socialize with friends and family members, or even leave your home. Simplifying your life and making it as stress free as possible will go a long way to help you make the symptoms more manageable. Leading a minimally stressful life will not make the symptoms of your illness go away, but it can reduce the stressors that trigger them. If you are having trouble managing your fear, stress, and anxiety with medication or talk therapy, you should also re-evaluate the priorities in your life. Try to cut down on the number of commitments and obligations in your life, and make sure you focus on the things that are really a priority to you. The next step is making small changes to live a healthier lifestyle.

Improve Your Diet

A healthy diet full of nutritious foods is key to keeping your energy levels up and your mood positive. Everyone is aware of the strong link between food and emotions, after all that is what makes chocolates and other sweet foods so appealing. You might be tempted to binge on these emotionally satisfying foods, but that is not necessarily the right option. Carbohydrates with simple sugars, like chocolate and candy, are not the best foods to manage your mood. They will cause your blood sugar to spike, giving you a temporary mood and energy burst, but they will only leave you feeling down later on.

Choosing foods like whole grains, lean meats, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and dark chocolate offer plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help keep your mood stable and your energy levels consistent. If your diet is lacking in major vitamins and minerals, you could easily be malnourished without knowing it, and this could be having a bigger impact on your mood than you think.

Get Plenty of Regular Exercise

In addition to your diet, exercise can be a great way to improve your mood. Regular exercise offers both short and long term benefits in stabilizing your mood. In the short term, exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins are a chemical that reacts with your brain to boost your mood and inhibit sensations of pain. If you want a quick mood boost, a good workout can be a great help. A workout is also a nice way to take a break from whatever is stressing you out. Exercise can help to counteract some of the symptoms of depression and other types of mental illness through the release of endorphins. Regular exercise also has many long-term benefits as well. Exercise improves your fitness level and helps keep your energy levels consistent. People who rarely leave their homes or interact with others due to their symptoms of mental illness can also benefit from the social element of exercise.

(Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.)


A big thank you to Valerie for writing this post for me! I must admit that I am very disappointed to learn that I should NOT be self-medicating with chocolate, though. There goes my excuse!!!

In seriousness...mental illness can be tough. It can be excruciating. If any of you suffer from it, please know that you are not alone. Please know that there is hope for you. This article is not intended to make people think that it's easy-peasy to keep mental illness under control, because it is often NOT; however, for those of us who are in the "right place" to do so, I am hoping that the above will provide some advice about how we can take some control of our condition. I know from experience that there is nothing worse than feeling like you can't contribute to your own recovery.

I'd love to hear any thoughts that you have about this. Feel free to email me ( or post a comment if you have anything to say, or if there is something I can help you with.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Weekend Re-cap (Pic Heavy)

I hope that everyone had a great Easter weekend. And if you don't celebrate Easter, I hope you had a good weekend anyway! We had lots of fun, with some relaxation thrown in. Here is the rundown of our festivities:

Mid-week, in anticipation of the long weekend (everything is closed here on Good Friday), my daughter's nursery school went on a field trip to our local aviary. We actually have seasons passes and my daughter loves the place, so we of course had a great time.

On Thursday night, I got my Easter goodies ready. Yes, it was early, but between kids and family members, I had quite a few baskets to put together, and didn't want to be doing it all last minute.

On Good Friday, I made Rice Krispy egg treats with my daughter. So easy, and so good. She was the perfect little helper.

It was a beautiful day outside, so I FINALLY got around to decorating our egg tree. We also took our kids to the park. Oh, and earlier in the day I went for a run. Did I mention that I LOVE running on holidays? It feels magical. It's actually very spiritual for me . It's not that I spent the whole time thinking about God, but I DO spend time just being thankful - thankful for my life, thankful for my health...just thankful in general!

Saturday I had to work. That was a bummer. But it was only a three-hour shift, and later in the day we broke out the bike trailor for the season. It's the first time we've been able to take both kids out together, so that was a lot of fun!

That brings us to Sunday. Although I am a Christian (albeit a very liberal one), my husband is not. And despite my beliefs, I don't generally attend church (but it's totally cool if you do). So we were able to sleep in before the egg hunt began. It was the first year that my daughter has been really excited about it, and it was amusing to watch her buzz around and find her little treasures! And my little guy's, too!

Later, we got ready to head to my sister-in-law's place, where we would meet up with her, her husband, their friend Kevin, and my parents-in-law. My sister-in-law, Jenn, made an awesome dinner. She and her husband used to live across the country from us, so it was nice to FINALLY spend a holiday together! I even busted out my new coloured skinny jeans for the occasion.

Finally, today we had a turkey dinner with my family. And I stuffed my face. It was wonderful. Until the tummy ache hit. I tried to fix it with more chocolate, but for some reason that didn't help.

The End!

P.S. I am very excited to announce that has submitted a guest blog post! Look for it soon!