About Me

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I work in the city but I love living in the 'burbs so much we moved there - despite my crazy commute. The closer I get to home, the more relaxed I feel.
This Mama can't wait to share all the fabulous finds and 'must have' things that come my way. After all, if something's great I've gotta tell everyone! 
Join me as I share the ups and downs of suburban living, my journey to be more creative and organized (even with 2 super active little boys) and a whole lot of this and that. While I live in Fraser Valley, B.C., it's easy to translate the suburban experience to pretty much anywhere - and even city folk love to leave the hustle and bustle sometimes!
And living in the most expensive corner of the country, it takes a little savvy to keep it all together.  I'll share what I've learned - and hopefully you will, too!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thoughts from 30,000 feet...

Making changes isn’t easy.   This is especially true when you are surrounded by various forms of chaos.   While one could argue that having a full plate and a tight deadline is invigorating – and back in college I might have been tempted to agree – now it’s more frustrating than anything.    It’s week two of Mommyfit2011 and I’m committed to this wonderful opportunity that Urban Mommies and Total Body Revolution have gifted me with.   Having your workouts and meals all set out for you sure does take some of the pressure off – when you’re home.  But when you are travelling things get a little bit challenging.
I’ve been away for four days this week.  Yes, with portable dvd player in hand I’ve attempted to do what I can for the workouts.  And yes, I’ve been careful about what I eat, making the best choices I can.  But it’s a bit crazy trying to follow my plan when I’m on the other side of the country limited to the food choices in the cafeteria and without the tools to do some of the workouts in the plan.  I’ve decided I can look at these past four days as a big fat failure (after all I wasn’t perfect – I did eat some jello, a rollo and another small treat  - all not planned!) or I could look at it as finding my ability to move forward when facing speedbumps.  I think I’d prefer to see it as the latter.   
When looking for the silver lining, I realized that my coworkers were showing me such incredible support – praising what I’ve accomplished so far since I began my journey in January – doubly praising me for staying so committed to the TBR program out there even when it was tough, and letting me whine when I could barely walk up the stairs or get in and out of my chair due to the pain in my thighs.  That one they thought was pretty funny I’m sure.   My husband was a great coach on the sidelines via the telephone as he encouraged me to do something, anything, even though I didn’t much feel like it.  And I still managed to work out some and eat well despite the fact that I had a cold, was messed up by the change in timezones and was living out of my own safe environment.    I even reached out to those I didn’t know to share what I was doing with the Mommyfit2011 challenge and I left with well wishes from strangers who had become something more over the course of our stay.  Hey – the more people you’d let down by failing, the harder you try!  And I’ve decided that I am one of those people I’d let down by not doing my absolute best.
It’s easy to give up and go back to bad habits when you don’t feel safe, but if you stretch just that little bit out of your comfort zone, you make progress.   If you make progress, no matter how small, it’s a positive thing.   Changing my way of thinking from condemning my mistakes to acknowledging my human side is one of the things I want to accomplish this year.  This gentle way of learning to love the ‘me’ness of me is just as important as learning to love and care for this body I’ve been given.  After all, just like my writing, I’m work in progress, too. 
Things don’t get easier when I come home – with a funeral tomorrow, a new baby to visit on Saturday, a child’s birthday party on Sunday, the renovation in progress on our home, and the general chaos around our home lately, it’s likely to be just as challenging.  I’m thinking all I can do is take it one day at a time, taking those babysteps to reach my goals.  All I have to do is remember life’s like that – a never ending series of big and little speedbumps along the way that challenge my mind, touch my heart, and push my body to it’s limit from time to time.   And that’s ok – Living the incredibly blessed and beautiful life I have is more than worth it.   
Next stop – my bed … and the alarm set so that I don’t miss my morning workout!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Working on Working out!

It's Day 6 of me doing the Mommyfit 2011 challenge with the Total Body Revolution (TBR)system.   I have to admit that I'm really liking it.   Even though I had to travel for work, I was still able to take the basics from the nutrition portion and follow along.  (thanks to the Tim Hortons Chicken Wrap - adjusted for a wee bit of  sauce and Safeway's vast deli / food section)  I stayed out of the restaurants with their sauces and saute-ing.  And while not perfect, when I converted it all to Weight Watchers (WW)points - aiming for only healthy things, I was right on target with the TBR plan and WW guidelines.  (they have a great plan on TBR - it's all good for you, tastes good and if you are used to WW you will find that it matches right up with all the power foods for healthy eating)

I will say that doing exercise in a hotel room wasn't easy - and I prefer to do it at home, even though at the moment it's marginally better spacewise (renos - they spread to all rooms)  I do really suck at the exercise part, though.  Seriously - my muscles appear to be missing when I need them.  I can barely do a pushup, never mind a bunch of them, same with curl ups off the floor.  Umm.. Curl where?  up?? how???  I did crunches - it'll come, right?

My son got up to 'help' me this morning - I was lying there trying to do a curl up - opting for the crunch and he offered to help me up - said he was strong, he could help me.  yeah... it must have looked just that bad to him.  I was too out of breath to explain until later.   So he hopped about around the room, imitating what I was doing and cheering me on.  Gotta love kids!  (and envy their energy)

One more day and it'll have been a week.  And funny enough, I have discovered I kind of like doing exercise first thing.  It won't work a few days next week when I work in Quebec (seriously, my body KNOWS it's 3am not 6am) but once back home I'll be getting up in the wee (and I mean wee - I already get up at 5am) hours to get it done.  Even the birds will be impressed.  Or they would be if they were up yet, that is.

So if you think you don't have time, can't get up for it, don't have space - think of me and JUST DO IT!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day Two...Mommyfit2011

Day Two of the UrbanMommies.com Mommyfit2011 challenge!   I managed to survive the workout yesterday – mostly because my husband got up early to do it with me and I wasn’t caving in front of him.  Today I’m out of town for work and I planned it all so well.  I had my breakfast,   packed my lunch and snacks for the day and had planned out the rest of my meals/snacks for tomorrow.  It’s tough as I can’t follow the menu plan exactly when I’m away (no kitchen!) but I had a good plan in place.  I packed the portable dvd player, my workout gear, the book to remember all I need to eat, the journal.. .Except the part where I pack the note to myself to know what work out to do. Oops!  Thankfully one of the other contestants twittered it to me.   There’s a lot to be said for supportive competition!  I always figure you go farther helping each other up and it looks to me as if we are all like minded.  After all, we are all winners just for the effort and change we will make in our lives. 
I plan on getting up early tomorrow (6am, which is really sleeping in for me, but without my commute I’ve got plenty of time to work out.  I’m just not so sure my body is going to feel that way.  Let’s just say that today’s cardio workout wasn’t pretty.   In fact, I sucked at it – however, I plugged along doing it as best as I could.  Picture me moving my chunky body around in the limited floorspace of my hotel room, doing the no impact stuff so I don’t disturb anyone below.   Oops watch out for the desk! the table! The bed!    
I spent the earlier part of my evening listening to a very involved catfight outside my window.  I’m right on the waterfront here, and there is  brush down near the water.  I think the cats like the hidden aspect – and the fact we can’t throw things at them if we can’t see them. Turns out catfights can be quite motivating.   I weighed my choices – on the one hand, noisy cats vying for supremacy ( or at least some hot kittie chick)  and on the other – workout knowing the sound of my breathing heavy would drown them out. It did take a few minutes, but the workout won.
I’m feeling pretty good about making it through the whole workout.  I may not have been awesome at it, but I’m learning and I’ll get better.  And for anyone reading this – if I can do it, you can, too.  If I was in high school right now I’d be voted the least likely to be active and I’m stoked about changing that perception. At  forty something  I’m also pretty certain I’m  the oldest Mommy in the competition and I need to show the world that us older Moms can makes positive changes, too.
Ps… right about now I’m thinking the person who said that 40 is the new 30 was on drugs…

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Getting Ready and other fears...

With every new endeavour I suppose there must also come some measure of trepidation - that moment when you think "Dear God, what have I gotten myself into!?" .  I think that moment is now.

The package arrived.  I had fervently wished for this opportunity, alternately prayed and reached out to any and all superstitious fulfillment avenues I could think of to make a wish.  I wanted to do this, to make a life-altering change.  After all, I'd taken the first steps toward a transformation hadn't I?  I'd joined Weight Watchers and as a (mostly) faithful follower of the program, I was seeing success.  I'd put myself out there and shared the start of my journey through this blog, announced it on facebook and when the final verdict came - I was "IN", heck, I even set up a twitter account!

All this leads to me participating - with four other women - in the Mommyfit2011 challenge sponsored by UrbanMommies.com and Total Body Revolution (who awesome product arrived in "the box")

There is no going back.  I am committed to an 8 week fitness and nutrition plan that will help to transform my body on this journey I've begun.  I said I wanted to write this year, well write I shall - here in my blog, on twitter, facebook, my journal and through their forums. 

It's a dream come true.  I've been given the gift of a new me and all I have to do is follow the very clear directions and engage myself.  So why the fear, the worry?  I'm not sure. Is it possible to be both drawn to and repelled by change? Maybe so.  Or maybe it's because it's going to require a little hard work and commitment.  It's just so much easier to quit and think about what could have been rather than what might be.

I'm good at encouraging others - drawing out the issues, reframing them and helping to build a plan to a new future.  After all, it's what I do for a living.   I guess it's just I time I believed in myself and my abilities.  It's time to cut myself some slack (do any of us do this enough?).  I know I can do this.  It's physically possible, albeit a lot of planning will be needed to make it go smoothly.  Now to create that sense of urgency, of possibility and, yes, hope.  Won't you join me?   Ready, Set... Engage!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Passionate about my Pantry

Yes, you did read that right. I am so excited to be setting my pantry up again.  As you know, the reno goes on, but my pantry is done!  I'll include some pictures so you can see the before, during and after.   All I have left to do is wash the  floor (I forgot in my excitement to put stuff back in!).  The 'before' pictures are actually from when we were buying this house.  I was so busy trying to clear it out for the demo back there, that I forgot to take a picture.  Imagine it looking like this inside, only twice as full.    I decided that when it went back together I wasn't using it as a storage space.  It did hold my china (boxed up until my kids are a bit older) light bulbs, batteries, paperwork, and a lot of 'stuff'. 

I think part of this journey isn't just about getting me into shape and feeling good about myself, it's also about creating a home that I love to live in.  My pantry is a big start!

It's hard to tell, but there was a big gap between the shelves facing the door (picture 1) and the shelves at the back (picture 2)  It was wasted space there.   What we did was move the reinstall the closet that used to be at the back of the  pantry (door facing out to the hall behind the current wall) and moved all the shelves up so now they are a nice tight 'L'. 

Here's a 'during' photo.  I painted the whole thing in a cream colour.

Ahhhh. paint (Behr Ultra in Cafe Cream - low VOC - which is good as it's a confined space plus come with primer in it, great as I was painting thirsty wood and fresh drywall)

Now it's done - and I've been putting things back in.  I absolutely LOVE my tupperware modular mates.  They are just the best for a pantry.    I've had some of mine over 20 years now (I really did buy them young). And they still seal just as good as when I bought them.  See the link if you live in the Greater Vancouver/Fraser Valley area - Kenn is the best tupperware guy anywhere.

See how it looks now!  Please ignore the floor and the fact I've not quite finished the moldings - I'll paint and put those in when we get the mitre saw.

Putting this back together is huge for me. Our house is a disaster zone and in order to concentrate on my Mommyfit2011 challenge, I need to create some order in here. It's improving as we get stuff done though!  And you'll see in another post that I went to war on toys...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Grand Start! Watch out Healthy, Here I Come!

Today is an AMAZING day!   I am soooo happy to announce that I've been chosen as one of the five finalists in the Mommyfit 2011 contest sponsored by urbanmommies.com .  I had those fingers crossed and I guess saving up all those wishes I got while driving over railroad tracks paid off!

I will be receiving the Total Body Revolution system shortly (it will be sent tomorrow) and once here, things will get moving (literally, like my whole body - scarey!)  You will all have the most exciting privilege to know all that's going down (watch the weight lost counter on the side, k?). 

With my decision to become kinder to myself - to give myself the gift of good health in all ways - Physical, Mental and Emotional - this ,the opportunity to be a part of this just seems so meant to be.  I have to tell you all that while I was answering the questions I sent back in, I had a sense of how life changing this could be.  Now we get to see just how things will evolve!

I'm letting go of a lot this year - all those things that clutter up and make a mess of life - and letting in all those things that make life the exquisite journey that it is.  Love, family, joy, good friends, accomplishment and a sense of self-worth.  I've now got the perfect kick-start to my journey and I couldn't be happier!