No Excuses!

No Excuses!

It’s a New Year, ready for some new Running Goals and absolutely have NO excuses now that I have a huge stash of new running clothes and the gorgeous Asics Gel Kayano 20 – in Pink no less! I feel … Continue reading

Hibiscus for Hair

yyzstylegirl:

What a great idea!

Originally posted on To Great Lengths...:

D.I.Y hibiscus shine spray & shine boosting mask

DIY Shine Spray

Like rosemary, hibiscus is a great natural ingredient to incorporate into your hair regime. The hibiscus flower is mainly used in herbal teas, but not only is the tea healthy and delicious, it can also work wonders on your hair! Although there has been very little scientific research into the beauty benefits of the flower, it has been used by women for centuries, in cultures all over the world. For me, the best thing about using hibiscus on your hair is the fantastic shine it gives, especially to red and brunette hair, and it couldn’t be easier or cheaper to prepare!

Step 1

Cut Hibiscus

The first thing you will need to do, is buy some chopped hibiscus. I get mine off ebay here for £4.25 for 200g (This will make 20 bottles of shine spray!!). Make sure your hibiscus is dry and fine…

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29 Hairstyling Hacks Every Girl Should Know

 

29hairstyles

29 Hairstyling Hacks Every Girl Should Know.

via 29 Hairstyling Hacks Every Girl Should Know.

This is definitely  worth looking into!  Great tips and tricks, especially with the holidays fast approaching!  This was shared online by one of my favorite Beauty and Style YouTuber –  MsGoldgirl – Marnie (https://www.facebook.com/msgoldgirl)

I love the fuller pony tail tip and the different curls to play around with.

Tis the Season to look gorgeous ladies!

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Heathy Fast Fish Dinner

Quick and delicious dinner.  You can use any white fish you like.  Leftovers make amazing fish tacos!

Quick and delicious dinner. You can use any white fish you like. Leftovers make amazing fish tacos!

Growing up I really wasnt a fan of fish or seafood of any kind – to me it just didnt look or smell appetizing.  As an adult, I still avoided it until I was a newlywed and my new husband insisted I try Blackened Catfish at a very nice restaurant in our new neighborhood just outside Cleveland.  Oh what a wonderful surprise that was!  It was fantastic!  How could I have not eaten this delicious dish before?!   Well that was it for me – that positive experince really opened up a whole new world for me.

These days I find myself eating more fish and seafood than ever before.  I’ve found that fish and seafood dishes are pretty easy to prepare and taste so good.  It’s a great alternative to chicken or another type of protein.   One of the best things is that you can pretty much use  any white fish from the market- tilapia, halibut, monkfish, catfish etc.

Here are a few popular and mild white fish that you might want to consider: Monk Fish – This large low-fat, firm-textured salt-water fish has a mild, sweet flavor that compares with lobster. Sometimes referred to as “poor man’s lobster.”

Flounder – A fine-textured flatfish prized for its delicate flavor. Some of the more popular varieties include “Fab,” “English Sole,” and “Plaice.”

Haddock – A North Atlantic fish, the smaller cousin to the cod. The haddock has firm white flesh that is mild in flavor.

Halibut – A low-fat, firm white and mild-flavored fish from the flatfish family. Resembles a gigantic flounder. “Chicken Halibuts” weigh up to ten pounds and are considered the finest halibut.

Orange Roughy – A New Zealand area fish with lean, white flesh that is firm and mild. This popular fish can be poached, baked, broiled, or fried.

Striped Bass – This true bass is found along the Atlantic coast. It features six to eight horizontal stripes and provides a moderately fat, firm flesh with a mild, sweet flavor.

Swordfish – A saltwater food and sport fish with mild-flavored, moderately fat flesh. The flesh is red, dense, and meat-like. Thanks to its firmness, swordfish can be prepared by baking, broiling, grilling, poaching, or sautéing.

Now for the  details.  The actual recipe for the fish doesn’t get easier than this one.

4  fish fillets of your choice  *(I used frozen Halibut I purchased from Costco for a great price, very convenient and great value)

1/2 flour

2 egg beaten

1/4 cup of milk

pinch of salt, pinch of pepper

paprika

olive oil * a few drops will do, I use a Misto spray bottle for my olive oil instead of Pam or butter

Wash fillets, dry on paper towels.

In 2 seperate  dishes, I just use plates.  In one plate place the flour, salt and pepper, in the other the eggs and milk that have been beaten.

Turn stove on medium, add the olive oil to frying pan. 20131210-004735.jpg

Place the fillets in the egg mix and carefully coat both sides, then dredge (place them in the flour mixture) the fillets in the flour, gently shake off flour.  Some people use a baggie and put the flour in there – that is entirely up to you.

Place the fish into the hot pan and watch it carefully that it doesn’t burn.  Cook on each side till golden brown, sprinkle a dash of paprika for a bit of flavour and colour. >
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Slice some lemons and add to plate along with veggies of choice – mine were sauteed corn, orange peppers and a vidalia onion.  For my carb part, I sauteed some perogies which were served with a bit of low fat sour cream.  Oh and I added my latest obsession – feta stuffed red hot peppers!

Yum!

Now go enjoy!

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AWOL. But now I’m back!

Well hello Friend!

It’s been a long, long time since this little corner of the Internet has seen any action!

Life just seemed to get so complicated and sad after my ATB (Around The Bay) race and I kind of lost myself in the loss of my sweet girl Sammy. She passed away due to complications from surgery and it was so utterly painful that I just didn’t know what exactly to do. It was my first pet loss, but they are never easy. For me it was heartbreaking and going over all the what ifs, and maybe I should have of the time leading up to her loss that was making dealing with losing her so difficult.

Someone suggested I “foster” a puppy to help me deal with the grieving but I didn’t want to even hear of it. But the more I thought about it the more it made sense – to take my sadness and turn that negative energy into something positive.
That is how I met Lucy.  Cute huh?  Well I will have to post her story soon so you can meet her!

This is Lucy, aka Le Petit LuLu

This is Lucy, aka Le Petit LuLu

Things around us have been pretty busy and so much has happen since my last post.  I am still running and just hit my biggest challenge this past October – I not only ran but completed my first full marathon!  I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am to have achieved this goal.  It was a lot of hard work and many sacrifices along the way – was it worth it?  You bet it was!

I will posting photos and some of the adventures that I’ve had in running as well.  I have made some amazing friends and have shared tears and heartbreak along the way but at the end of the day- despite my thoughts that I would only run one marathon in my life, even before I crossed that finish line I already knew that there would be another race in my future.

I am still cooking and baking and trying out all sorts of projects – craft, organizational and household dyi’s.  Stay tuned because I am back and am ready to start filling up this blog with some of the things I love and hopefully you will join me in my adventures!

It feels good and right to be back.  The timing is just perfect!

Thanks for stopping by.

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Pauli’s Friday Favs

Happy Friday!

It’s been a crazy week for me this past week and I am so happy to be posting the Friday Fav’s for so many reasons…!

First of all the work week is done – yaaay, however I will be doing some of my work at home this weekend to play catch up.  Why you ask?  Oh that little event called Canada Blooms!  Yup that show is on this week and wraps up this coming weekend.  There are some beautiful things to see and if you are looking for home ideas for renos or gardens or even just stuff for you home – this is the place to be!  I was there working at the Toronto Botanical Shop and it was crazy busy!  Which of course is great but wow….the feet were screaming!  The shop itself has some of the most amazing things and if you do get a chance to go to Canada Blooms – by all means please stop by at the TBG booth!

Second of reason is that this is Race Weekend!  Yup it’s finally here….Around the Bay is this Sunday in Hamilton and my nerves are a tiny bit on edge but I know it will be a great run and since I’m running with the best running partner – my sister Marie  – we will do it together as we have done for almost all of the races including the last two 1/2 Marathons.

And lastly, well ….its the weekend and who wouldn’t be happy for a weekend!  I’m off for dinner at the fabulous Fratelli’s Italian restaurant (*yaaay for Carb-loading!) and boy do they know how to make Italian!  It will be the first time back since they had a big fire destroy a large part of the restaurant (already a tiny eatery) and I am so excited to see Sal, the owner and the rest of his great staff!

I’ll write a separate post for Fratelli’s and give you a review on some of their wonderful dishes!

Ok so without further ado…buckled up kiddies – here are this weeks Friday Favs!

 

this is how I will begin my Friday Favs!

*Friday Disclaimer: I’ve included a link and site address to each of these items and please note that I am not being paid to promote or advertise any of my Favs  – these are just things that I have discovered online in my internet travels and want to share with you!

Floral Favs

This beautiful globe can be found at the Toronto Botanical Garden Booth at the 2013 Canada Blooms show.  It is absolutely beautiful and the plant – an Air Plant – is one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen!  I have been told that this little plant can just be misted once a week and it will grow without soil or a potted bed – just as is.  How cool is that?!  I took such a liking to this concept that I purchased one for each of my family members and some of their Air Plants have tiny blooms on them.  Can’t wait to see the flowers :)  It is spring after all……

This is an Air Plant in a hand-blown glass globe.Available at the TBG booth at Canada Blooms!

This is an Air Plant in a hand-blown glass globe.
Available at the TBG booth at Canada Blooms!

House & Home Favs 

I found this adorable little guy on Fancy.com  – I totally don’t need this but how cute would that be to have on your home office or work office!  Just having him around would make me smile!

They have some of the neatest things on this site!  You should definitely check it out!

Beaver Pencil Shapener!  How adorable is this!

Beaver Pencil sharpener!
How adorable is this!

http://www.fancy.com

 

Event Idea Favs

Spring is in the air and what a perfectly adorable cake idea!  If you are having an Easter Celebration or want something special to welcome in the Spring – this is the perfect item for your dessert table!  This great DYI cake is courtesy of http://www.thecakeblog.com.  She has some fantastic cakes and ideas and if this doesn’t inspire you then I don’t know what will!

DYI Spring Chick Cake!  How adorable is this?!

DYI Spring Chick Cake! How adorable is this?!

If you want to have a peak at the instructions just follow this linke and enjoy!  http://thecakeblog.com/2012/04/diy-spring-chick-cake.html#

photo courtesy of The CakeBlog.com

Main Dish Favs

Carb-loading.  Carb-heaven. Carb lovers unite!

This is the one thing I do love about pre-race days – the carb-loading…. for those of you that don’t run/race, this is where we runners get to load up on all things carb :) Happy Days, Happy Days ;)  It’s been said that by eating carbs before a race, you will race better, have lots of fuel to get you through those long, sometimes painful moments of running long distances….. Well looking at this pasta dish, running 30km this Sunday might make it worth it.

Have you seen anything so yummy looking people?  I for one, love pasta and these little pillows of delight are some of my favorite type of pasta.

The blog that you can find this recipe on (http://thecuttingedgeofordinary.blogspot.ca/2010/10/gnocchi-mac-cheese.html) is fabulous.  The food here will make you drool and want to run wildly into your local grocery store to gather up the ingredients to make these wonderful dishes.  Sigh.  Truly drool worth.

This particular dish, this Gnocchi Mac and Cheese, had me drooling and made me happy AND wanting me to try making it.  Gnocchi is a fairly easy pasta to make from scratch  you just have to have patience and not over think it or over handle it.  Like most things……

Have a look this website and I’m pretty sure you’ll agree – some pretty fine recipes to try out – and if not try out, certainly worth drooling over.

Mac n Cheese Gnocchi.Are you drooling yet?photo courtesy of http://thecuttingedgeofordinary.blogspot.ca

Mac n Cheese Gnocchi.
Are you drooling yet?
photo courtesy of http://thecuttingedgeofordinary.blogspot.ca

 

 

Sweetspot Fav

So I couldn’t just pick one for the Sweetspot Section of this Friday Favs….I just couldn’t.  Blame it on nerves or on hormones or just on the fact that I have a sweet tooth…. the point is that it was near impossible to just pick one Sweetspot Fav.  Sigh.  Sue me.  Send me angry comments.  Do what ever you feel you need to!  I just have to put these I-think-I died-and-went-to-dessert heaven up here.

Enjoy.  I know I did….

Oh and btw – I promise I will be actually trying out these recipes – all of them – here and posting under my Test Kitchen section.  I will start next weekend as I will be needing to make some new things for our families Easter weekend.  Stay tuned!

First on the I can’t ignore this one list is…

This is a Black Forest Cupcake.

O.M.G.

I could run to one of these at the finish line and be happy.

Black Forest Cupcakes.Who needs Ryan Gosling at the finishline when you can have this?!photo courtesy of http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com

Black Forest Cupcakes.
Who needs Ryan Gosling at the finish line when you can have this?!
photo courtesy of http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com

If you are a baker- or love all things baked….this my friends is the blog for you.  Seriously.  Her stuff makes me want to weep.  She actually has more than just baked goods – she has a whole array of wonderful recipes and her blog is a delight to read!  So please do head over there for a peak!

http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/

This next Sweetspot Fav is something that I dream about.  Literally. I dream of biting into that chocolaty crunchy goodness….. swoon.

This Matzo Toffee Bar Crunch will leave you licking your fingers and making excuses to go into the kitchen to ….uhmm… tidy up the cutlery drawer… yes thats right…we are tidying that drawer right up with a mouth full of Matzo Toffee Bar Crunch!

And this one can be found at none other than http://www.huffingtonpost.ca

Yes. That’s right.  The Huff Post has some seriously good recipes.  You should have a read.  It will brighten your entire weekend!  True Story.

 

matzo toffee bar crunch. DE-lish. sigh.

matzo toffee bar crunch. DE-lish. sigh. Photo courtesy of http://www.huffingtonpost.ca

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/14/passover-recipes_n_2876336.html

And finally at the Sweetspot…..

Just because they looked so pretty and so fantastic that I just had to pick this  one out…. It’s the BEST SWIG SUGAR COOKIE ever.  Literally.  No lie.  I mean just look at it.

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe. Ever.photo courtesy of http://www.vintagerevivals.com

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe. Ever.
photo courtesy of http://www.vintagerevivals.com

To get your hands on this super lovely cookie recipe please follow this link:

http://www.vintagerevivals.com/2013/03/swig-sugar-cookie-recipe-literally-best.html

Enjoy!

Motivation Favs

For my Motivational Fav I wanted to choose something that really inspired me for this weekends Around The Bay Race.  For me its a total wonder that I can even run 5km let alone 30km!  It boggles the mind and to be completely honest with you – I have no idea how I keep going some days……  So… I, like everyone else need that little extra push, that little extra something to keep me going and help me focus on what this means to me.  So for that reason, I have chosen this for this Fridays Motivation Fav.

This is a great blog and one that really does inspire.  Have a look and enjoy!

fitgirlhappygirl

 

http://fitgirlhappygirl.com/2013/02/11/only-you-can-celebrate-your-running-milestones/

ps To my sister and best friend in the world – Marie – (aka La Gord) thank you for running with me, for putting up with my madness and for being a trooper.  We will be just fine at ATB!

And my friend and running buddy Bruce – you are awesome. Thank you for your support and super positive energy!

See you Sunday!

Signing off now …. Will let you know how this weekend went – hoping to survive in one piece, especially that big old nasty hill right at the end.  Oh and the big finish at COPPS Colesieum!

Have an excellent weekend.

 

xo

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Spring is here!

Happy first day of Spring!

I thought that I would send everyone lots of Happy Spring wishes on this very first day of the season – not only because its Spring but because the UN has officially declared today International Day of Happiness!

The official blurb from the UN is:

The United Nations has declared March 20 the first International Day of Happiness to underline the commitment of its 193 member states to “better capture the importance of the pursuit of happiness and well-being in development with a view to guiding their public policies.”

Well – that works for me! :)  So to celebrate happy things (and things that make me smile and laugh a lot)  I am sharing this photo of my sweet Max (breed:  Bug, 1/2 Boston Terrier, 1/2 Fawn Pug) wishing all of you ….

A Very Happy First Day of Spring!

xoxo Max, the Bug

xoxo Max, the Bug

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29KM Run complete – check. 12 Unplanned hills – check. Epsom Salts…check!

There are days that I can’t believe I am running.  Not because I don’t want to run (well ..there are those days too…) but more because I am the last person I would ever consider to be anything close to being athletic!

This morning we-and I say we because I run with an amazing group of people – ran AND conquered the longest distance we have run so for.  29km.  That is a long way to run.  And for someone who just started really running about a year ago – it amazes me what my body can do.  What my mind can do.  What my spirit can do.

For me running is not only moving my feet.  It’s moments filled with anxiety, moments of elation and certainly moments of just wanting to stop moving.  But some how something inside me propels me forward.  The pain of a run sometimes can be awful and you really have to know when to slow down and really when to just stop so you don’t injure yourself.

Today was a mix of all of those things.  Today we went out on a fairly nippy St. Paddy’s Day and ran an unknown route, and to mine and a few of my running mates came across oh about 12 Hills.  Of the 12 unplanned for hills (we thought we were running along the Waterfront) there was a couple of fairly “interesting” hills.  One in particular stands out and it happened to be almost at the end of our run.  I saw it and my stomach lurched.  Literally.  I felt my already weakened knees wobble in anticipation.  My sister Marie, who bless her wonderful heart, was not feeling 100% on this run actually ran the entire hill!  I was so proud of her, especially because I was running up a little head of her and when I was done with that incline I could feel my stomach turning over in absolute protest what my legs had just done (according to our Marathon Coach we ran a 273 metre gain)!

To give you an idea of what one of the hills looked like….. it looked very much like this one.

Ugly  Hill.One of 12.

Ugly Hill.
One of 12.

BUT – we did it.  I did it.  :)

This is a very good feeling, especially since the Around The Bay Race is next Sunday.  I am not “racing” that race, I am participating in it as part of my Marathon Training.  It is the oldest road race in North America and somewhat of a coveted and sold out race. I’ve heard stories about it.  I’ve heard ugly stories. The ATB is a 30km race in Hamilton ending at COPPS Coliseum with each runner (and walkers) running into COPPS with your name AND your image on the Jumbotron.   I have to be completely honest.  It scares the living daylights out of me.  Races do that to me.  It’s the crowds, the nervous energy that is in the air at the Expos/Packet Pick up Area, it’s the noise and its the anticipation of running and completing upright and smiling.

I think for most of my non runner friends they often wonder if I have lost my mind.  I mean why would you want to put yourself through the hard training, the early morning runs, the hill training, the Ontario winter weather….all of that.

The answer – the answer to the whys is simple.  It makes me feel like a million bucks.  It makes me feel like I could jump over the CN Tower.  It fills me with pride to be able to say – yup, I did it.

And today  – I did it. :)

I am Happy Runner Girl.

xo

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