Friday, 29 November 2013

Fit Friday: "Motivation"

¡Hola Amigos!

I'm diving straight into serious waters today. So, lately I've been thinking about body image, and how we have such a distorted view of our bodies. Guys and gals alike. It is important to be healthy, but it's not good to focus SO much on being smaller, thinner, more muscular/ripped, etc, that you start self-hating, and that's what consumes your thoughts entirely. This is a massive issue, which I don't even think I can come close to handling or fixing, but I'll do my best.

I noticed when I started getting into health that there's a ton of "motivational" quotes and images all over Pinterest & Instagram that emphasize going harder, working out everyday, never having cheat meals and never giving up. I agree with these to an extent. When you're working out, it is good to push hard, because that's how you make your muscles stronger. And I know I've felt great after a run when I've pushed myself to go farther than I thought I could. And some days I think you've just gotta get up and work out, instead of just sitting around hoping for some amazing source of motivation. But when these images and sayings are around us allllll the time, our thoughts change. We start to think that way and focus on always being better than we are. And then what happens when we miss a day of working out, or we eat some milk chocolate? We start to hate on ourselves.  Because we messed up. And then we can start on a downward spiral. 

I really wish there were more images like this: 

Or this: 
(don't even get me started on the whole "thigh gap" phenomenon). 

If we surround ourselves with these types of images, we'll be more likely to love ourselves enough to keep trying to be healthy. And we will realize that not working out one day (or a few more) or eating some sweets is not a bad thing! It's actually pretty healthy. Mentally and physically. Your body needs a break. You can't just work it all the time. It will break down or get sick. And if you deprive yourself of the things you really like, that aren't good for you in excess, then you're more likely to binge later on when you finally do. And binging is not healthy! Obvs. But I hope you already know that. 

Everyone is beautiful and everyone is loved. And if you can realize that, and try to love yourself, then you can be healthy!
It's funny, because I think we think that once we're healthy that we'll start loving ourselves. But it's totally the opposite. You need to love yourself enough, that you realize you deserve a healthy body, and that you want to put good things in your body and give it exercise, so that it's can function and perform optimally. 

Read this article! It's a great view on being happy with yourself. 

You can be healthy at a size 12 or a size 2, or pretty much anywhere in between or around. Being healthy isn't just a number on your waistband or the scale. It's a whole lot more than that. I think it's about how you feel, how you perform/carry out tasks, and the moderation you have in your life. And health = happiness!

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it helped your perspective a little! Remember that you are loved and you are awesome! Keep trying and loving yourself and you can be healthy! 

Lots of love, 


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Travel Bug Thursday: Why You Should Travel

Hello Everybody and Happy American Thanksgiving!

Hope you are doing well! I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been reading my blog so far! I'm glad that people actually enjoy what I have to say! If you have any requests, or questions, or anything, let me know! :)

Enough mushiness! It's time to talk travel!! I love it and I wish that I could travel for the rest of my life. Permanent nomad? Sign me up. I love that travel is a form of education. But currently I am getting a "formal" education, which I do feel very grateful to be doing. University has really expanded my mind on the world, the ways in which people live, with ideas (I know my views have changed for the better) and has given me the chance to really understand the things of this world. I am by no means an expert, just a happy learner. I prefer learning over studying though any day. I digress...

When I went to Europe for the first time, I was 17, and so I got into a lot of stuff for free! But, I also didn't know as much as I know now about history, art, or culture. Learning about art history now. especially, makes me wish that I'd known what I do now. I did love it though!! But, all the more reason to travel now!

My sister has always been my example to me, and I love that she's spent so much time travelling. She'e the reason I first went to Europe. I'll probably feature her on my blog sometime!

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I found this awesome article on why you should travel while your'e young. I whole-heartedly recommend reading it!! It definitely inspired me to make it more of a priority. "What about my job?" "What about debt?" "What about my boyfriend?"

 Read it and let me know what you think! Click the picture for the article!

"While you’re young, you should travel. You should take the time to see the world and taste the fullness of life. Spend an afternoon sitting in front of the Michelangelo. Walk the streets of Paris. Climb Kilimanjaro. Hike the Appalachian trail. See the Great Wall of China. Get your heart broken by the “killing fields” of Cambodia. Swim through the Great Barrier Reef. These are the moments that define the rest of your life; they’re the experiences that stick with you forever.
Traveling will change you like little else can. It will put you in places that will force you to care for issues that are bigger than you. You will begin to understand that the world is both very large and very small. You will have a newfound respect for pain and suffering, having seen that two-thirds of humanity struggle to simply get a meal each day."

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Fav Five!

Happy Wednesday!!

Hope you all are having a fantastic week! Make it count. 

Here's to the halfway point! So, without further adieu, here are my Favourite Five of the week:

Favourite Funny:

Tina, you and I are so alike. 

Favourite Cute:

Okay. You cannot tell me this kiddo isn't completely adorable!!

Favourite e-card:

Right?! ;)

Favourite Cat Reference:

This is so hideous, it's beautiful.

And then there's this - Favourite Confidence:

Work it girl.



Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Try-It-Tuesday: Peanut Chicken Stir-Fry

Happy Tuesday Lovelies!

Today my internet was disastrous slow. So this post is being made late. Since I wasn't able to use the internet, I spent my day reading Harry Potter, napping, watching Melissa bake and eating the cookie dough baking, eating Oreos and whipped peanut butter, dancing to Dirty Dancing with my homegirl Mel (you should all go do that), and hanging out with my sister and her bf. Oh and studying too.....I do that. But alas, I spoke with my provider for an hour and the issue is now fixed. My Wi-Fi name is now Hogwarts also. I would consider it a successful call. 

Side note: Have you seen this video? It's fleeping hilarious!

On a more important note! I made dinner tonight! It was delicious! My Pops told me to make it again = success. I adapted a recipe from The Biggest Loser cookbook. The original recipe was for Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir-Fry, but I had no sweet and sour sauce you make do. I had some peanut sauce leftover from a different stir-fry I made, so I used that instead. I'm happy it worked so well as a substitute. 

I really want to get a good camera, but for now, my I-phone will have to do. 

I tried black rice for the first time and it was surprisingly delicious! I was worried about it being dry or something, but it was super tasty. Anyway, enough talk! Here's the what you'll need!

Plus some minced garlic, not shown.

Peanut Chicken Stir-Fry
(Serves 4)**

1 tbsp Cornstarch
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp salt
Ground black pepper, to taste 
1 lb Chicken Breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 tsp Sesame Oil
1 cup of 1/2"-wide strips Onion
1 cup of 1/2"-wide strips Sweet Bell Peppers
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup of Peanut (or other, such as Sweet & Sour) Sauce


1. Thaw the chicken. In a large bowl, combine the cornstarch, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and mix well. Add the chicken and toss until the chicken pieces are throughly coated. 

2. Cut up veggies and place a large wok/skillet on medium-high. When hot, add 1 tsp sesame oil, onion, pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic softens and the veggies are crisp-tender, 2-4 minutes. Be careful not to overcook or the garlic may burn. Transfer the veggies to a large bowl and cover to keep warm.

3. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add another 2 tsp of sesame oil and chicken. (The original recipe says to add it in halfs, but my wok was big enough, so I didn't feel the need to). Cook until the pieces are lightly browned. Stir the pieces regularly until the chicken is no longer pink, 4-6 minutes. Add the veggies back into the skillet to warm them up, if necessary, with the cooked chicken. 

4. Transfer the chicken and veggies to a medium serving bowl, add the sauce, and mix until well combined. Divide the stir-fry among 4 plates with black or brown rice. 

**(I used half a cup because I made a double recipe, which ended up feeding 5/6 though).

Make this baby. You will not regret it. And have a happy Tuesday night!!



Monday, 25 November 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Happy Monday!

Winter is upon us. Interestingly enough, December 21 is supposed to be the first official day of Winter. But what does the Great White North care? Not at all. Despite this cool weather, we are still expected to go on with life. These are days when I wish I lived here, or here, or even here would suffice. I'm just saying I wouldn't complain.

But for now I live in the great white north, and so I might as well live it up! Here's a bucket list of 40 things to do this Winter!!

1. Watch Christmas SNL. This stuff is hilarious. Plus you'll keep warm and cozy inside!

I assure you, you won't regret this. 

2. Watch Home Alone. A classic. Who doesn't love this kid who makes you believe that real life criminals can be outsmarted by a 8-year-old?!

3. Bake and Decorate Cookies!! Nom nom nom. Sugar cookies are the best. But any cookies would be delicious.

4. Attend an Ugly Sweater Party - Or host one yourself! These are great. Head over to Goodwill or Value Village (or someone's closet) and shop it up! :)

5. Try 5 Different Types of Hot Cocoa. I'm not talking about Starbucks, Timmies, or Second Cup. Search around Pinterest and you'll find some gooders! Here's a good one!

6. Knit a scarf, toque, or mittens. It's enevitable that you will go outside. If you don't, you'll miss 3/4 of the year. You gotta suck it up. But it helps to have some warmth on you head, hands and/or face. So take up knitting!

7. Read Little Women. My sister did this growing up and I always thought it was such a cute idea. Nothing like a good book to get you in the Christmas Spirit!

8. Read the Bible about Christ's birth. This is the reason for CHRISTmas after all! Around Christmas, I like to give myself a little reminder of the real reason for the season. Here's a great video also!

I always love this one. The example of the little girl is so touching.

This video is a short telling of Christ's birth, while in the actual location. Super cool!

9. Go sledding! Who doesn't love sledding?! It's not just for kids. Although, it makes you feel like a kid again. Plus you'll sneak in a workout climbing those hills, and it's totally worth it!

10. Go to an Ice Sculpture Festival. This one is definitely on my list this year. I was supposed to go last year, and it didn't end up working out. Go support your community, and have a blast at the same time! Ice on Whyte runs from January 24, 2013 - February 2, 2014

11. Make a Snowman and Snow Angels. Back to being a kid. If you have kids, all the more reason! This is one of my favourite ways to play in the snow! Then make sure you go inside for some hot cocoa after! :) I like these ones!

Source                                                        Source

12. If you feel like snowmen and angels are too amateur, feel free to build a fort. This one should be doable. ;)

13. Give a Gift of Service or Time. Money is easy to give (generally). But time is one thing that I think means much more. Plus, helping those around you will make your heart warm...even if your face is cold from shovelling your elderly neighbours walkway. <- I did this the other day, and I assure you, you will get hot. ;)

14. Sign up to serve those less fortunate dinner! This is one way specifically to do #13. The only thing is that you have to do it a few months in advance. I've tried to the last two years, but I always forget and wait to long to ask. I think I should set a reminder for August 2014.

15. Buy a Homeless Person Lunch! Using money for service isn't a bad thing. Hopefully this can get you a little out of your comfort zone and make someones day. :)

16. Become good at snowboarding. Notice how I said good, and not pro, or amazing, or be able to do this. Let's be real Lauren, you can barely carve. But that's okay! My plan this season (or three) is to go snowboarding regularly and get solid at it. Those tricks will have to wait till next year.

17. Find a way to keep my legs and face warm always. This might work:

Or this outfit might work.

I like the boots especially.

Thoughts? I need something practical people. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

18. Workout Regularly! I know you probably don't want to hear this, but it definitely helps you stay warm! (Especially if you do it inside!)

Hot Yoga anyone?

19. Download Christmas Music! Duh! This is one of the best ways to get in the Christmas Spirit I think.

20. Watch the Nutcracker! Ideally the ballet! I love getting all fancy to go to events! How cool would this be! How presh is this!

If the ballet isn't your thing, or you don't have enough money, there are other ways to experience it, aka movies!

21. Make Gingerbread Popcorn! How delish does this sound!? Found this baby on Pinterest!

22. Make Eggnog Waffles! Another pinterest gem. :) nom nom nom.

23. Have a Movie Marathon Day! Hopefully you get a day off during the holidays. A great way to just relax is to do this! Treat yo self!

24. Sing Carols. Another classic! Gather up some friends, some songs, and make your way door  to door bringing some cheer to your neighbours and friends!

25. Make Nice Cards. Are you the crafty type? No, well now's a great time to start! Nothing says I love you like a homemade card. Even if it looks like this

....and you're 27-years-old. It's the thought that counts, right?

26. Buy This!!

27. Make Macaroons like These! Presh. 

28. Go on a Sleigh Ride. This one's just adorable! :) 

29. Read by the Fire! There are plenty of good books you could snuggle up with! Get that fire cracking and read to your hearts content. I would personally recommend any of the Harry Potter Series. :) 

30. Go see the Christmas Lights! Candy Cane Lane is a gem! It's free, but they encourage you to bring a donation for the Food Bank. But you could just drive around and look at the lights in your neighbourhood! 

31. Go to Bath and Body Works and pick up some winter candles or wallflowers. They help to create a warm ambience. :) 

32. Be a kid again and have a snowball fight!! 

33. Catch snowflakes on your tongue! Goes along with being a kid, like #32. Its simple, but kind of really fun. 

34. Make Paper Snowflake Cutouts! Some of my best memories are making these with my siblings. Pretty sure I even did it a year or two ago. Grab some scissors, paper, and start cutting away! 

35. Bundle up and go for a long walk with people you love! If you're up for it, it's a great way to spend time with someone and get in some fresh air and exercise in the cold months. 

36. Buy a Onsie. Onsie's make everything better. 

Personally, I find them great year-round.

37. Make some Mittens on a String. How cute is that? I've been wanting to do this for a few years now. This year I'm gonna make it happen. 

38. Watch Dumb and Dumber. What??? This isn't a Christmas movie? How about you watch this scene and then we'll decide.

It's a Christmas Eve tradition at my house!

39. Make cookies for someone else! Eat some of the cookie dough. ;)

40. Make Gingerbread Houses!

....or end up with the icing on your face. Either works.

*And if these aren't good enough, take a look at this list I found!

And if you have a pug, dress him up like this, and send me a picture. I will be forever jealous.

Happy Winter!!


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