Sunday, April 2, 2017


It's a very Dianne thing to get random injuries that make people go "Really?!" when you tell them what happened. Insert a new one this past week - random arm injury from running.

Let's back it up a bit. In the last month I've been leading an indoor stairs club at work one or two times a week for 35-40 minutes of stairs. It's been very positive, and it's been nice to get back into the groove of working out again. Last weekend I started running again and OH did it ever feel good. I'm very much a seasonal runner as I absolutely love running outside but won't when it's too cold, there's too much snow or it's too icy. I guess that makes me a whimp. But it also makes me incredibly anxious all winter and I look forward to the spring so I can get the legs moving again! That day was this past Sunday.

My pace was slow, even a bit slower than my usual half marathon pace, but I felt really good. Damn did it ever feel good to get back out there! I was feeling really good and woke up the next morning a little sore, but chalked it up to the fact that I haven't run in awhile and was working out some new muscles. When I noticed my shoulders were a little sore, I figured it was because I kept them too tight when I ran. So Monday night, I went for another run. This one I wasn't feeling quite as great and even a bit sluggish but I thought that was probably because it was after work and I'm usually a morning runner. That night though the pain got worse, and as Tuesday went on it got to the point where I was having trouble picking up Kendrick (who's only 24 pounds) so I knew I had to go see the doctor.

My doctor wasn't in so I saw someone else. They had me do some physical testing (seeing how high I could lift my arm, reaching, etc) and said that they didn't think it was anything serious, but they'd set me up for an ultrasound and to take some Advil and the pain should subside in a few days. They thought it likely was the bicep muscle. I went to book the ultrasound and they said only a specialist can do it, there's only one location in the city and the earliest they can get me in is May 5. Seriously. So I went for a second opinion, and they told me that there's a possibility that it could be tendonitis, and if it's happening now it could happen again. He told me to try my best to pinpoint what I did last Sunday that could have caused it and I said honestly all I did was run, and was confused because I used that same motion to run stairs in the month prior. I asked if I should run (since on Friday I was feeling better) and he said yes, and if it hurt again to come back and see him. So I went for a run yesterday.

I went 7.5 KM and even though it was still at a slower than I would like I was feeling absolutely fantastic. So you can imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning and started to feel more pain in my shoulder. Grrr. Back to the doctor I go.

That being said, I will not let this stop me! I've noticed in the past month that the days that I'm physically active for more than 30 minutes, I feel a lot better overall. So I definitely plan to keep this up as often as possible and sign up for the MEC 10KM in May. I still have passes at Blitz that I need to utilize and I'd like to continue doing some yoga at Moksha too! I also signed up for an adult gymnastics class. Gymnastics was my passion almost all of my life, and it's been a long time since I've done any sort of training, so I'm really excited. Work is going to get busy again but I'm determined to keep that work/life balance that I've been keeping for the last few months when it comes to getting fit again. I admit that seeing my posts from last year at this time make me a little jealous and sad, because I'm pretty sure I've gained 10-15 pounds between then. That being said, this month was the year mark of being back to work after maternity leave and I think I'm slowly finally starting to get into a groove. This makes me happy!

Until next time...


PS: As I was listening to my playlist at the end of my run, "Wasted Time" by Keith Urban came over my headphones. I admit I sang along to some parts but had never really listened to the words before. One line caught my eye...

Although I certainly don't consider running "Wasted Time", I do know a lot of people who are not a fan of running at all and may consider it as such. I just loved this line of the song because it reminded me of why I like running so much. I love running outside as it allows me to clear my head, de-stress, and set the tone for a really good day (especially running in the morning). As I was singing along to this song I just had to laugh - my hope for everyone is that they find something in their lives that they can be passionate about!

PPS: I really want to get back to writing once a month! I finish school in a few weeks and don't start up again until September (I'm taking two classes right now while I'm working full time) and I'm hoping that frees up a little more of my time. I also do have a re-brand in the works and am hoping it will be all good to go by the summer. Stay tuned!
Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Happy New Year!

Do you remember the last time you felt completely relieved of stress? A time where there was absolutely nothing weighing you down? No matter what life threw at you, you felt fantastic and ready to tackle the world?

I do. It was in February & March of 2014. We went on our honeymoon for two weeks of wedded bliss on the beautiful island of St. Maarten. We got a free trip courtesy of Westjet when I won a raffle at a Mother's Day fundraiser for Wings of Providence which offers help & shelter to women who have suffered from family violence. I literally picked one of the farthest places that Westjet traveled at the time. We didn't really have a budget after the wedding for a honeymoon, so this was definitely an unexpected bonus trip. I hadn't really heard much about the island so going there was a surprise for both of us, and it was nothing short of amazing. Clear white sand, crystal clear blue water, two different countries on one little island, a spot to watch planes literally fly right over your head, and two weeks of pure relaxation. Although we booked some excursions, we had a lot of days where we flew by the seat of our pants and spent the day on the beach or in the pool. We didn't party like crazy and got a good night's sleep every night and besides excursion days we slept in every morning. I came back to work after two and a half weeks off feeling refreshed, clear headed and ready to tackle anything.

As you can see by that date, that was almost three years ago. This isn't to say I've been a stress case for almost three years, but I certainly haven't felt that that feeling of complete freedom and clearheadedness in a very long time.

I knew being a working Mom would be tough. But I guess I never realized how tough! I give props to all of the Moms in my life who've been doing this for years and to those I've met since I've had Kendrick! I always appreciated that it was a challenge but I definitely have a new found respect.

I was scrolling through Facebook yesterday and came across an article called "This is What Every Working Mom Needs To Hear From Her Partner". I admit I was intrigued, so I clicked on it and read the article. Although I get a ton of support from my husband and didn't agree with the entire article, there were a few sentences that really stood out at me.

"I have too much on my plate and feel like a failure. Every area of my life gets 60% of my best. That's a D. I'm failing. Wouldn't you look ragged and old if you were coasting through life with a D?"

"That's all I can muster and I know it sucks, but I will gregariously tackle tomorrow and shoot for an A. Maybe I'll fall short (again), but could you please tell me I'm doing a good job?" 

- Melanie Okana, "This Is What Every Working Mom Needs To Hear From Her Partner"


This pretty much nailed exactly how I was feeling for especially the last few months, but I was unable to put it into words. I've known myself for almost 35 years now and have a pretty good idea of what makes me tick, how I work, and what I can handle. I suffer from major Mommy Guilt - which is essentially every time I miss out on a moment with my son or feel like I need a little time to myself, I feel guilty. I've been a multi-tasker all my life and never had an issue juggling my schedule until I had my son. Neither my husband or I work 9-5 jobs and although we like that type of atmosphere it certainly got a little more complicated to organize when Kendrick came into the world.

Don't get me wrong, having Kendrick was one of the best things that ever happened to me! And I am so, so happy that I became a Mom. But I'm starting to realize that having a family, a full time job, a part time side gig, completing my degree, running, working out, blogging and organizing multiple events can be a little much for one person. I'm a terrible delegator. I like to do everything myself because I have an expectation on how I want things done. I have a prioritizing problem. I like to make To Do lists but never know where to start! I'm one of those people who doesn't like the little number bubbles beside apps on her iPhone, so I'm sure you can imagine how I feel when I look at my iPhone looking like this:

This number was at 0 before I went on maternity leave. Because I wasn't on my computer as often once I had my little guy, I started getting behind on reading my personal inboxes. Note that 95% of these emails are likely from companies that I've signed up for their mailing lists, but this little red number bubble bugs me EVERY DAY! It's just another box on my never ending To Do list that I need to check off. Because of this, I also have problems sleeping and staying asleep at night which leads to being very tired during the day.

One of my goals for 2017 is to simplify my life. I'm still the same sparkly, bubbly, positive person I've always been, but unfortunately it's only about 60-70% of the time. I'm looking to improve that number to about 80%. I am very lucky I have a great husband, a great family, great friends and an overall great support system so I know I can get through this! I started to use some of my Moksha Yoga passes on my week off at Christmas, and felt amazing afterward! I need to get back to going in the mornings and starting the day off right. I still have some time before my girls trip to Vegas, so I want to get back on track and start eating better, doing yoga & maybe even doing some treadmill running to get back into shape and improve my well being.

Do me a favour, will you? If you see another Mom that looks flustered, whether she's with her kids her or not, tell her she's doing a good job. I am 100% sure she'll appreciate it. I know, I would! We'll never get tired of hearing it and you just never know - at that moment she may be suffering from mom guilt, been a victim of mom shaming or may be having an "I'm a terrible Mom" moment. Something small like that could make her day!


PS: I didn't write this post to get pity and I certainly have no regrets. I thought it was good timing to be real about my feelings as it coincides with #BellLetsTalk day. Our mental health is important, and talking about it is the first step!

PPS: Winter is my favourite season. I have an amazing spot in my new office where my desk is right beside floor to ceiling windows that overlook downtown and I love all the sunshine that beams down on my desk. As much as I love the winter and the snow, my workouts also tend to slow down. I love running but I hate the treadmill and I'm too much of a wimp to run in the cold (not to mention I'm worried about injuring my klutzy self by tripping on the ice & snow). It's about this time of year that I start to get antsy and want to start running again. I came across the Jasper Canadian Rockies Half Marathon which takes place on April 8th & I think I might sign up.  This leaves me with just over two months to get training (usually I start three months prior, give or take a few days) and to be quite honest I haven't run since September. But maybe it's time to take a plunge and have something to look forward to! I plan to make the decision in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned!
Monday, December 26, 2016


Oh hey blog, it's me Dianne. Do you remember me?

The last time there was a long pause between blog posts I announced I was pregnant...

I'm not pregnant.

I don't really have any other explanation than life happened. In the last six months I ran a half marathon, moved houses, moved offices, helped open Rogers Place, watched my baby really turn into a toddler, got two viral infections and one bad cold in a 2.5 month span and had a cough that lasted over three months, stopped working out, unpacked a lot of boxes, ramped up my Stella & Dot business, left Kendrick for the very first time for over 24 hours, planned a trip to Vegas with my girlfriends to see the Backstreet Boys in March 2017, had minor surgery, and raised money for the Mazankowski Heart Institute - in no particular order. Needless to say, it's been a little busy.

Let's rewind back to August. I didn't feel as prepared as I wanted to be for the Edmonton Half, however I was feeling pretty good. I ended up investing in some new runners a little over a month before the race (Nike Air Zoom Pegasus), and so far they have been very comfy! While I was at the start line I was still trying to decide whether I use the run/walk method or just run it out, and I ended up deciding to run it out. I was feeling ok for most of the race but started to get tired during the last 5K. At 18.5KM the 2:30 pace bunny ran by me and I decided that that I was way too close to hitting my goal to give up I blew by them and almost sprinted the last 2.5KM. I ended up beating my personal best time and have a new PB of 2:28:33. 

Although I was happy, I KNOW I can do better and look forward to next year! I'm still not 100% sure when I'll be ready for baby #2, but for now I'm going to plan to run the Edmonton Half again, and possibly do some of the MEC races again although I was disappointed with their 15K's (aka they didn't have enough race marshals and I got lost on a couple of the routes) so hopefully they do get better in that department.

September and October were a bit of a blur! It was very busy at work and I admit that I let myself fall off the work out wagon. I ate out more, was lazy at night and didn't cook as often, and didn't have the energy to get up in the mornings to work out. I wanted to get back on track in November however that's when I started to get sick. It was viral infection after viral infection, and many trips to the doctor for them to tell me that there was nothing they could really do and it was very frustrating! Thankfully all that Kendrick ended up with was a runny nose for a few days. I did end up going to see my Naturopath who gave me some tips and now that I'm finished the meds for my cough I look forward to getting back on track and feeling better really soon! I also found out that I have 29 leftover passes at Moksha Yoga! 29!!!! It's been...oh I don't know...four or so years since I've been? I think I'm going to try and go this week and see if I can get it back into my routine again. 

We hosted Christmas dinner for the very first time ever at our new home! We moved at the end of August and I absolutely love it. Better neighbourhood, bigger and better house, and we couldn't be happier. We have an awesome bonus room now that is used as Kendrick's playroom and it's fantastic. Not to mention I swear our bedroom is twice the size and has an ensuite bathroom! It was so nice to be able to host Christmas dinner for our immediate families at our place, and we are pumped that the turkey and stuffing turned out and we didn't have to order pizza! :) 

Saw this quote on Facebook today and felt like it really spoke to me. 

I admit, I've been having a lot more "nothing" days lately simply because I've been so exhausted, mostly I think from being sick. Sometimes this working Mom thing is hard! But now that I'm starting to feel better and have a week off after Christmas to recharge, I'm looking forward to getting back into it and starting my New Year's resolutions early this year! My goal is to tone up and lose a bit around the belly before I head to Vegas in March, and I want to accomplish that by doing Yoga, going back to Blitz HIIT training (which I think is what helped me lose the last bit of baby weight at the beginning of 2016), doing stairs and running on some of my lunch breaks and doing some home work outs as well. I'm feeling good about 2017, are you?

It will not be six months before I write again! I promise!


PS: After taking a bit of a break, I really ramped up my Stella & Dot business in November and it reminded me of how much fun it was (and how easy it was to make a little extra cash on the side!) If you are interested in beating the after Christmas blues and want to earn yourself some free jewelry to start the new year off right, email me at or tweet me @StyleByDianne and we'll set up a date! The new spring collection launches really soon and I'm looking for debut hostesses to show off the new line!

PPS: I went Boxing Day shopping today and it was awesome. I know some people don't understand why - but honestly, if you suck it up and go when the mall first opens first thing in the morning, it's not so bad! Maybe I saw that because all the stores I went to had no crazy lines, and I found a parking spot close to the door so I didn't have to bring in my jacket. All the clothes I bought today were 50-70% off! You can't go wrong with that! :)
Thursday, August 11, 2016


Let's talk about bowels.

Yup, it's uncomfortable. Even discussing this in this blog gives me the heebie geebies, but maybe more people should be talking about it because I bet I'm not the only one with issues.

Back on May 21, I blogged about how good I was feeling. I keep thinking about this post because that doesn't seem that long ago yet I felt so different. I was feeling confident with my weight, feeling good about my work out routine, and happy with my training for the Edmonton half. Then, something happened.

Every time I ate I felt gross, I ended up gaining 7-8 pounds and some of my pants started feeling tight. I felt myself getting bloated and crampy a lot. For some reason my training started suffering because I would cramp up and be too fatigued. I was feeling tired (to be clear, I always feel tired but this seemed a little more than normal). I had a serious lack of motivation for everything. Then I would get random symptoms that would resemble a urinary tract infection, or random pains that resembled what you could feel with a kidney stone, that were to the point where we debated getting someone to come over and be with Kendrick so that Brian could take me to the hospital. I saw my doctor a couple of times and in the last couple months I've done two urine tests, two blood tests, two ultrasounds, an x-ray and three pregnancy tests. No urinary tract infection, no kidney stones (which is what they thought the night I almost went to the hospital) and the pregnancy tests were negative. So WHAT was going on?

This started to feel eerily familiar to about four years ago when I went to my doctor with stomach issues. I had been suffering for almost a year and they had done every test they could think of and they all came out negative. I insisted that something was still off, which is when my doctor sent me to a naturopath. After doing an elimination diet (no gluten, dairy, eggs, corn and soy) for a month I slowly added each item back in and found out that it was soy that was the problem. When I didn't eat soy I felt a million times better! It was a long journey because even eliminating all those things I didn't actually start to feel better for about two and a half weeks, but when I did it was amazing how much of a difference it made! I was vigilant for quite awhile when going out to eat but when I got pregnant I fell off the bandwagon. I was already feeling gross so I figured it didn't really matter. My home has been soy-free for quite awhile but I stopped asking at restaurants and when I went out for dinner. I really hate being "that annoying person" at restaurants too that's asking to alter or change certain dishes, so that really bugged me. 

They ended up finding something on the x-ray and told me that it looked like I had a severe case of constipation. I found this very odd because I didn't feel constipated? Turns out my body just isn't processing things properly and it makes me sad because Kendrick goes through major constipation every few weeks and I feel like he may have inherited that from me. I also started to think that maybe the soy was starting to bother me again and it was all just combining to make up one big mess. 

So I made a change. My doctor recommended some stuff that's not a laxative that I can mix with water 1-2 times a day to help things move along. I decided to give up soy completely for a month and completely cleanse my system. So far I'm on day six and although I still feel bloated and gross I'm trying to be patient because I know it will likely take 2-2.5 weeks to get it completely out of my system. My training this week has felt slightly better and I even conquered 19K on Sunday with no cramping! I've started emailing some of my favourite restaurants to find out what items have soy in them, so I can be prepared and know what to order if we end up going out for lunch or dinner.

Only time will tell! I hope that before the half I start to feel a lot better and that I'll run strong. The plan is still to try and get a personal best and beat 2:33. I'm hoping once I completely eliminate soy from my diet again (and actually do my best to stay on track) and continue following the doctor's orders that I'll get back to my May 21 confidence in no time. Those 7-8 pounds can also disappear anytime now!

Wish me luck!


PS: I found an old picture of me in a bikini from 2008. WOW that was 8 years ago! Is it wrong to want to go back to looking like that? 

Yes, I know my body has changed since having Kendrick and I have embraced it BUT I don't think anyone should have to settle if they are not completely satisfied. I proved earlier this year that you can get back to your pre-baby weight with hard work, even if it takes awhile! Once my half is over I'm going to take a bit of time off, then continue running and head back to HIIT training at Blitz so that I can get stronger! I aim to look like this again!

PPS: Random story time. Yesterday while doing the River Valley Stairs I passed by a father and his young old son. His son wanted to go down the stairs and the father was like "no way, I don't want to climb back up". I was really turned off and thought to myself WHY wouldn't he be encouraging his son to do the stairs and get some exercise. I admit, I went through a judgemental moment. Personally, I want to be active and be able to chase after my own son and if he wants to walk up 203 stairs one day then I'm going to let him! One round of stairs later I passed by them again and they were going back up the stairs. The father was urging his son on and telling him what a good job he was doing and encouraging him to keep going. This just goes to show you can't judge a book by it's cover! It was actually really sweet. 
Saturday, July 23, 2016


So a few weeks ago Brian & I took Kendrick swimming at a local pool. I was sitting in the hot tub watching them go down the waterslide and when they were done they came to see me. This man who was sitting in the hot tub next to me and I'd guess was in his 50's looked at us and said "Looks like he's ready for a little brother or sister!"

Excuse me?

I'd never met this guy before and I'd never seen him before in my life. I was not speaking to anyone while I was in the hot tub, and just sitting on my own watching my son and my husband in the water. What would possess a stranger to say that to someone? Now I'm sure he meant no harm but it was such an inappropriate question that I didn't even know how to respond except for nervous laughter and "haha, maybe one day" as we picked up and walked away. I was super uncomfortable. He didn't know our situation. What if we had been trying for a long time and couldn't get pregnant? What if we had fertility issues? What if we just didn't want another baby and thought our family was complete as three?

This being said, it doesn't really bother me when friends or family bring up a second child. I hope for it happen one day and as I discussed a few blogs ago I'm just not sure I'm 100% ready yet. That's nobody's business but I'm ok discussing it. I guess what bugged me about this situation is that this person didn't know me and asked such a personal question.  I admit that I have asked friends if they are having more children, not thinking about how I might be making them feel if they have suffered a loss or a tough time. I can tell you now that I will think twice before I ask that questions again.

Last week I came across a post by Jennifer Aniston who wrote a long letter through the Huffington Post pretty much saying how ridiculous it was that she had to explain to everyone that she was not pregnant. If you haven't read it - you can find it here, and I definitely recommend it as it's a really good read. I remember when the pictures of her first surfaced that showed her stomach a little bloated, and immediately hoping that she actually WAS pregnant after reading all of the headlines. Finding out that she's not breaks my heart a little because I can't imagine how it must feel to be out enjoying your vacation and having people take pictures of you and plaster all over the tabloids that you must be pregnant because you felt a little bloated. I admit, this is a constant worry for myself. I find that since I've gotten back (mostly) to my pre-pregnancy weight if I gain anything back it seems to be all in stomach. And then I get paranoid that people will start thinking I'm pregnant just because my shirt is a little tight, which makes me rethink what I wear almost every day. I can't imagine having cameras following me around while I'm having self confidence issues!

This line in the article really stuck out at me:

"We don't need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own 'happily ever after' for ourselves".

Amen, sister. Just my two cents.

PS: I've said it multiple times in the past couple months but starting Monday I truly AM going to try very hard to go soy free for a month. My body is feeling pretty meh and it really shouldn't be because I've been keeping up with my training for the Edmonton Half. My back pain peaked after my last 15K two weeks ago so I took a week off and it's feeling a lot better. My body though still feels off. I got tested for kidney stones and everything under the sun and thankfully those came out negative. So it's time to start eating better and doing things that are still in my control. It's going to be hard considering we are moving in less than a month but I'm going to try and prepare a ton of freezer meals so that we don't have to eat out all the time.

PPS: This blog is going to go through a major makeover in the next few months! Same great content (I hope), but different site host, name, and branding. There will be more sections including a place for all my recipes, and hopefully an easier way to find blog posts that are relevant to what you want to read. It's a work in progress and I can't wait to reveal it all, so stay tuned! :) I don't have a final date yet but will keep you posted as it's coming along.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


I felt I needed to blog strictly because I wanted to share an amazing recipe that I tried tonight. Italian sausage stroganoff. OMG. I can't even begin to tell you how amazing it was because it wouldn't do it justice. More on that later...

I had to head to physio last week because my back was bothering me. In all honesty it's been bothering me for awhile but it hasn't been bad enough for me to actually stop training - until two weeks ago. I actually had to cut a run short because I was in so much pain, which was incredibly frustrating. After going to physio it seems like I had this same muscle injury last year (which I honestly didn't remember at all - baby brain IS still kicking 16 months later), but this time he decided to treat it a little differently. He actually did some acupuncture which I admit, scared me a little. I'm not a very big fan of needles so I guess it was a good thing that I couldn't see them getting inserted in my back. Turns out the treatment worked pretty well as I felt really good for the next three days! I ran my second 15K last weekend and although my back flared up a little bit I managed to get a new personal best of 1:41:45. The best part is that I know I can do better. I wasn't feeling 100% so the fact that I got a new personal best despite that makes me feel really good. I have one more 15K training run this weekend with MEC so we'll see how it goes. I went back to physio today to get some more acupuncture done, so I'm hoping that I'm in really good shape for the weekend. 

The Edmonton Half is fast approaching and I'm still undecided on how I'm going to run the race. I'm either going to run it like normal and go for a new personal best, or I'm going to try the run/walk method and follow the 2:15 pace bunny. I just don't know what I should do! It also happens that leading up to that day we'll be moving out of our house and into a new house AND moving offices. August is going to be slightly busy! This will make lunch time runs all that more important as I feel like it's going to be hard to get up early and I'm not going to have the energy when I get home from work (not to mention that I really enjoy spending evenings with Kendrick!) Bootcamp runs out in the next two weeks so after that I'm going to try heading back to Blitz for morning HIIT training at least once a week. I'm finding that my extra strength training is helping me feel less sore after races so I definitely want to keep it up. I'm going to continue with running 2-3 times a week with a longer run on Friday or Saturday, and also continue with stairs on Wednesdays. I feel like my training is paying off because I've done a few personal bests already this year so I'm really hoping it continues!

I ordered new SHOES! I also ordered new shoes for Kendrick - but in fairness he's gotten just over seven months out of his last pair of baby Nikes so I'm pretty impressed. I had bought Kendrick baby Nikes in the next size up awhile ago but they have been packed away for a few months as we were anticipating moving sooner, so I ordered him a pair of baby Pumas and a pair of baby Asics. I may have a baby shoe problem. For myself, I decided to go with the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus. After my last 15K it was clear to me that my shoes were close to being done, so it was time to bite the bullet and try something new. I thought I noticed my shin splints creeping back up on me the last few months on occasion, so I'm hoping a change of shoe will do the trick. Nike has a great return policy where you can return them within 30 days for any reason, so if they aren't perfect I'll send them back and try a new pair. I'm hoping they will be great and they arrive soon so I have time to break them in before the big race.

I've lost a couple pounds so I'm starting to feel a little bit better. I'm still struggling a bit with work/life balance and getting organized in the few hours I have before Kendrick goes to bed, but it's going not too badly. I'm very thankful! My baby is also 16 months old in a few days. He got his first hair cut last weekend and is truly starting to really look like a little boy. It's a bittersweet time for this mama.


PS: The more running I do the more I wish there was some sort of app that I could have on my phone to alert someone if I was ever involved in an emergency. Not to say that I'm super paranoid as I usually run in very populated areas but if something did happen and someone tried to grab me or steal from me while I was running, it would be nice to be able to press a button and alert someone of my whereabouts. Or, if I say I'm going to be an hour and it's been an hour and 10 minutes, someone would be able to check the app to find out where I am. Is there such a thing? If not, I feel like someone should invent one! It's better to be safe than sorry.

PPS: Ok, I need to share this amazing recipe I tried tonight. Bonus points that it's a one pot recipe, as that makes clean up oh-so-easy! I love beef stroganoff so when I came across this on Pinterest I knew I had to try it. The original recipe is here, however here my adapted recipe with Italian sausage:

1 teaspoon of olive oil
3 cups of fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup of sliced onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 package of ground Italian sausage
1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
4 cups organic mushroom broth
2 cups of rotini pasta
3 pickles, diced
1/2 a cup of low fat sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a big pot on medium high heat and cook the mushrooms until soft and tender. Remove and place in a small bowl. Cook the onions and the garlic in the same pot for a few minutes until translucent and fragrant. Add the Italian sausage and cook until tender and browned, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add the paprika and stir. Then add the mushroom broth and pasta and bring to soft boil. Continue to cook until the pasta is soft. Add in the diced pickles and stir. Remove from heat and add the mushrooms back in along with the sour cream. Serve, and enjoy! Seriously, I feel like I could eat the whole four servings it's THAT good!
Wednesday, June 22, 2016


If you read my last post, I'm sure you noticed that it came from the heart. On occasion, we are all guilty of portraying life as fan-freaking-tastic when it's really not. So I felt I needed to get some things off my chest and truly I did feel a lot better afterward.

Thankfully, one of the stressors has lifted itself! We got the good news that our house had sold yesterday and we are over the moon! It's still a little stressful that we have to find a new place in the next two months, but we've seen a lot of places we like so it's just a matter of making a decision. We are looking for our "almost forever" home - which means we are looking for a place to settle for the next 20ish years or so until Kendrick and one day future baby move out. Then the plan is to build our dream home. There are definitely some exciting times ahead!

Father's Day actually went a lot better this year. I'm not sure what it was, but it didn't seem like there was a black cloud hanging over the day like there was last year. I'm so lucky to have such an amazing man as my husband and the Father to Kendrick!
Photo by Breanne Marie, Edmonton
Photo by Mandi D Photography, Edmonton 
I crushed my first 15K of the season this past weekend! I'll be honest, I don't know why I signed up for a 15K when I was probably only ready for a 10. When I signed up for the race package I tried to up my mileage in the monthly races leading up to the Edmonton half. I should have done another 10K, and then completed my first 15K in July. When I realized my error it was too late to do any changes so I went for it anyways. Considering the course was pretty hilly and through some thin trains at some points, I felt not too bad for the first 12K. The last 3K however were tough and I was struggling. I was also a dummy and didn't eat beforehand, which is a no no especially for a long run like that. Usually under 10K I can get away using an empty stomach and sport beans, but 15K was too long. My longest run previous to this was 9K and although I didn't feel prepared, I actually wasn't too disappointed with my time of 1:46:09. I have another 15K on July 1 (which is actually my favourite race of the year, the Canada Day Road Race) and another on July 10 before the big half on August 21. My goal for this week is to run 9K tomorrow and 12K this weekend to hopefully get my stamina up. I also didn't feel as sore after the 15K as I thought I would, which means my cross training at Blitz Conditioning boot camp is paying off.

Speaking of boot camp, we are outside and I don't know what it is but mosquitos LOVE me. It's awful. Even after wearing bug spray my legs have at least 25 bites on them. I don't understand why they like me so much!

I'm still working on losing about 7 pounds so that my abs show up a little more. It would be really nice to do this before I get pregnant again, as I've heard it's much harder to lose the weight the second time around. I've been keeping up with bootcamp every Tuesday and stairs every Wednesday, and running 1-2 times on Monday, Thursday or Friday. I think the biggest thing for me is eating. I need to be planning better and eating better as I know I haven't been at my best lately. The food prep has been tough, I just haven't had the energy at night. I need to get better at this! My goal is to get back on the meal planning wagon this weekend. I am motivated!

I'm also craving a vacation. Particularly to Disneyworld. One can dream...


PS: I tried out a new Epicure recipe for pancakes for Father's Day breakfast, and it went really well! I literally went on the Epicure website and searched for "pancakes" and decided to try the Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes recipe. The only difference is I added a tablespoon of cocoa to get some healthy chocolate flavour without the calories and the sugar of the chocolate chips. They tasted amazing! I think next time I may try adding some Sweet Coconut Vegan Protein Blend protein powder to the mixture too! I also used only whole wheat flower as well. 

PPS: I think I'm going to invest in a new pair of Nikes next month! I'm brand loyal and I've been using Nike Flex for the last few years and am looking to change it up. Anyone have a favourite brand of Nike runners they recommend? I'm looking at trying out the Nike Free Run Distance shoe as that was rated #1 by a poll I saw, but I am not sure if I'll need more support than that yet.
Friday, June 17, 2016


Truth be told, I haven't felt very inspired lately.

Trying to juggle a 15 month old, a marriage, a full time job, part time classes, half marathon training, eating healthy more often than not and the stress of trying to sell a house and looking for a new house has taken a toll on me. Not to mention around Father's Day I always get sad because I'm missing my Dad. I am tired & I am drained. I gained a couple pounds back that I lost. I haven't been able to sleep more than seven hours for the last three weeks except for maybe once, and this past week Kendrick has been waking up at night or waking up really early in the morning (probably because I noticed a new tooth the other day). Even though I know you can't technically "catch up" on sleep, I haven't been able to fall asleep easily or feel really refreshed in the morning for a really long time.

Sometimes I find it hard to take a big step back and take a deep breath. I need to work on that. My usually spunky positive personality has been a bit more negative as of late, which is not like me.  One thing that has always de-stressed me is running. When I'm out there, I forget everything else and my mind has a chance to wander. I finish my run with a clear head and a smile on my face. I think this is one of the reasons I got hooked on running in the first place!

New, longer blog post coming soon. Tonight, I head to bed to prep for my first 15K of the season tomorrow. I leave you with some food for thought. I think we all need this reminder once and awhile.


PS: I am addicted to Epicure's Pico Salsa mix. I seriously have made it 3 times in the last two weeks. I'm going through tomatoes like I'm going out of style! Quick and easy, the recipe includes tomatoes, cilantro, lemon juice, garlic and Epicure Pico spice. It's incredibly healthy too! If you like salsa, I definitely suggest you order some.

PPS: I can't help but be brand loyal to Nike. Really pumped about my new shirt that I treated myself to today. "There is no finish line" foreshadows the marathon training I will be doing once I heal up from whenever next baby comes around. Hopefully it gives me some good luck tomorrow!

Saturday, May 21, 2016


I'm not sure what it is, but this past little while my body confidence has gone up quite a bit. I think it's a mixture of people being so kind and telling me that I look great and it doesn't look like I had a baby, and that when I look in the mirror I can see sorta my abs again.

It also seems so mind blowing that almost 15 months ago they cut me open to get my baby out...

I think back over the last 15 months and feel good about the fact that I have worked really hard to get where I'm at. Even though my eating habits aren't really where I want them to be, the amount that I'm working out and doing physical activity is definitely paying off. I know I blogged quite a few months back about feeling a little bit jealous of the ladies who were able to lose the weight really fast after birth, however I'm pleased to say that I'm not feeling that way anymore for the most part!

That being said, the question that seems to be on everyone's minds is...when is #2 coming? I have to admit I'm not there yet. Kendrick is such an awesome baby, but now that he's walking he's a lot of work! I can't imagine chasing him around and having a newborn at the same time. Just the thought of it stresses me out a bit. Some of the moms that I have talked to with two have told me that you just do it, and it's not so bad but it still makes me so nervous! The thought of moving Kendrick to a toddler bed also is nerve wracking because right now he's all over the place in his crib. I can't imagine him actually sleeping in a bed and not getting out the second we put him down. On top of all this, the fact that I'm feeling good is also a reason why I'm not quite ready. It took so long to get back to a place where I'm happy and comfortable with my body, so I'm not quite ready to gain 50+ pounds again! Is that selfish? I don't mean to be. But I know the older you get the harder it is to bounce back from pregnancy so it's constantly weighing on my mind.

I've also made the decision that I'm going to start marathon training sometime after baby #2 comes. I don't think there's a point in starting now when my half marathon time is not where I'd like it to be (I'd like to get close to a time of two hours before I start marathon training, and currently my personal best is 2:33). I've still got quite a few races left this year leading up to the big Edmonton Half Marathon in August, and I'm still debating on whether I'm going to attempt to follow the 2:15 pace bunny or not. I've got a 10K in June and 2 15K's in July to start prepping, so I'm excited! My running this week was unfortunately put on a bit of a hold because of the horrible smoke in and around the Edmonton area that blew in, so I look forward to getting back at it next week. The air quality was only a 4/10 last weekend when I ran my first 10K of the season, and I during the race I didn't think it was that bad. However afterward I could feel it in my throat as it was sore, I lost my voice and my asthma started acting up. I'm still feeling the effects a week later!

I am guilty and fell off the meal planning wagon again! I need to make an effort to take the time to plan each week otherwise dinner seems to contain more calories (fast food) or eaten too late. I did however make a killer meatloaf tonight! This recipe was adapted from a recipe I found off pinterest by Inspired Taste, however here is my adapted recipe including hidden veggies for the toddler.

2 packages of lean ground turkey
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of Epicure Paris Spice
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 cup of breton crackers, crushed
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
7 tablespoons of tomato sauce + extra for the top
1 cup of applesauce
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 a cup of flaxseed
1-1 1/2 cups of finely chopped veggies (I used California mix frozen veggies which included carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, steamed them, and put them in the food processor)
1 cup shredded cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Put mixture into a loaf pan, preferably one that drains the fat at the bottom (as there will be excess moisture from the cheese)  and add tomato sauce on top. Bake for about 50 minutes. The internal temperature should be around 160-170 when done. It was delicious!



PS: I ordered a ton of stuff from Epicure this week! I am so excited to get everything! I will be doing another large order in June, however in the mean time if you want to order something you can do so by clicking here. I recommend the Paris spice and the Pico salsa mix! SO GOOD!

PPS: Although I'm overall feeling good, I still want to get back to the flat stomach I used to have and seem to have hit a bit of a plateau. I'm having trouble losing that last pound or two around my stomach! I'm not sure if that's just exercises or just eating better that will drop the last couple pounds. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Monday, May 9, 2016


Hey blog? Did ya miss me?

It's been awhile since I've blogged and really my only excuse is that life happened. My little dude turned 14 months old today. Every day I take a moment to sit and just stare at him and thank God for all of my blessings. I am truly blessed and so lucky!

After a bit of a lull in workouts due to some after hours work commitments (and me just having a hard time waking up in the morning), I've gotten back on track. I've continued to lead a group every week to do stairs for an hour at lunch time once a week, and I'm starting to notice results! My goal is to make it all the way up the 202 stairs without walking and after the last time I made it up 3/4 of the way almost every time! Even doing this once a week has made a difference and it's definitely inspired me to continue to lead this project every week!

I also joined our company running club last week, and wow was I in for a run for my money! I already knew that some of the people running were faster than me (as they mentioned the last time they ran they ran about 10.5K in an hour), but it ended being a great learning experience. I ended up running 7.26K at a 6:12/K pace - which is quite a bit faster than my average running speed. I actually ran 5K in 30:29 - which makes that my fastest 5K...EVER! It made me get to thinking that maybe I'm not pushing myself quite hard enough when I go for runs on my own. If that pace is do-able for 7.26K, maybe it could be do-able for 10! My goal eventually is to get my 10K time under an hour and as luck would have it, I actually have a 10K run booked for this weekend! I plan to do a couple more runs before the big race so we'll see if I can push myself a little harder during training and really kill it this weekend.

On top of running and stairs, I also joined the Blitz Conditioning's outdoor bootcamp! I absolutely love bootcamp, and working out outdoors (despite the fact that all the fluff in the air is making my allergies crazy) is one of my favourite things to do! Unfortunately our first class happened to fall on I'm pretty sure the hottest day of the year which made it a little bit tough, but we powered through and I drank a lot of water! Props to my cousin Adriana for signing up with me so I always have a work out buddy!

Now that our house is on the market, we've been doing some extra budgeting and I started meal planning again! Confession: I hadn't meal planned since my blog post back in March!! Here is myplan for the week:

Monday: Dill Pickle Soup - this actually turned out delicious and was even a big hit for my son!
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken - substituting pineapple sauce because I could not find any teriyaki sauce that didn't have soy in it.
Wednesday: Cheeseburger Gnocchi - we had this last week and it was so delicious I'm making it again!
Thursday: Cabbage Roll Soup - this sounds amazing!
Friday: Leftovers or take out

I find that when I meal plan I spend less on groceries as I only buy what I need for the week! I also find it's a lot easier to follow my plan if I prep the night before. Last night I cut up the potatoes, carrots and pickles and through them in a giant freezer bag with the chicken stock and spices. Then when I got home from work today I took it out of the fridge and threw it straight in the pot - which was very helpful and made things easy while I was dealing with a baby toddling around and wanting attention. What are your favourite recipes? If you are looking for some new ones, check out my Pinterest page - I have a section specifically for recipes I've tried and loved!

That's all for now! I've been going to bed late for almost two weeks now so I don't know what's wrong with my body clock. I need more sleep!


PS: I've been thinking more and more about following a pace bunny for the Edmonton 1/2 Marathon and the more I think about it, the more I'm going to do it. I think my problem is I usually start out faster in races because I'm feeling really good, but as I keep going I start to taper off. Maybe this will teach me some planning and have me run a more consistent pace throughout. I officially registered for the race (along with the Canada Day Road Race which is one of my favourites to run every year), so I'm getting really pumped for this summer!

PPS: I started selling Epicure! Don't worry, Stella & Dot is still my main squeeze, but I decided to take the plunge as I absolutely LOVE their products! Feel free to check out the product here - I have an online party open right now until May 21! Happy shopping!