On Becoming A Graduate Student

Well I am really excited to share some good news – I was accepted to graduate school and will start my Master of Employment Relations (part-time) in January. I am really excited to start this new adventure in my professional development and a new chapter in my life in 2013. I know it’s going to be tough to balance work, exercise, eating well, having fun and now school for the next 3 years (or more haha) but I think it will be worth it. My life is about to being a real balance project that is for sure haha. 

 

I am in the process now of trying to organize and prepare as much as I can over the next month. I actually have a list created: Things To Do Before Graduate School haha. I do love my lists! I want to make sure I have my house and my life organized so I can be as productive as possible without having to worry about (for example) my state of an office, little things like that bother me. This past weekend I gutted my office of 3 bags of recyclables, donations, and garbage. I feel like I can breathe in there again! Plus it was one of my new year’s resolutions to clean it out – check that off the list! I can’t be productive with mess so bit by bit I am using this time of year to get everything together for a fresh start in 2013. 

 

 

Keeping up with this blog is tough these days because I’m so busy but I am hoping to keep at it even if it’s just an occasional pop in for a post about running, life, a recipe or how graduate school is taking over my life! : )  I love blogging so I will keep at it even if you only hear from me occasionally! : ) In the meantime in the effort to cross something else of that list, I need to get my new Macbook “school ready” if your a Mac user do you prefer pages, numbers, and keynote or Microsoft Office? I need to make a decision on which one to buy! : ) 

 

Any part-time students and full time employees want to share advice on how they balance it all? 

Posted in Me

Party Like It’s Prohibition: A Roaring 20’s Gala

Last Saturday night we celebrated Bruce’s 30th Birthday with a theme party, I love a good theme! Smile The theme was a roaring 20’s gala to celebrate the end of his 20’s! We had everyone dress 20’s style, it was a fabulous time and everyone looked amazing. I don’t know how anyone planned anything before Pinterest. haha All my little detail ideas came from there and I am so excited to share them with you all. Smile Lets jump in!

 

The invitation I created myself in Microsoft Publisher, I downloaded the fonts from dafont they are called Upper East Side and Riesling.

 

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I rented out a local bar to give us tons of room. It of course had a rental feeling to it but I did my best to give it a 20’s feel with all black and white decorations with colourful tea lights on each table and the lights off to give the room that dark prohibition feel (lights on still below). Each table also had a deck of cards on it, for a game of black jack of course! Winking smile We played 20’s music throughout the night mixed in with lots of modern tunes as well.

 

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For food I went strictly 2012, with the usual fruit, veggie, cookies, sandwich and cheese trays. Plus hot appetizers including wings, stew and rolls, meatballs, buffalo chicken egg rolls and philly cheesesteak egg rolls. As usual I made sure no one left hungry!

 

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The custom sign was generously made by a friend of Bruce’s who owns a sign shop. He did such a great job!

 

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Of course no party is complete without an amazing cake, this one was no exception! (pictures of the cake table and cake below) The sign with quote from Humphrey Bogart was an idea from Pintrest that I recreated. I also framed the invitation for everyone to sign as a keepsake to remember his 30th birthday, I am going to hang it in our bar (the mat that I used for signing was from Micheal’s)!

 

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The Problem With The World Is That Everyone Is A Few Drinks Behind – Humphrey Bogart

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I accidently left my camera on a panoramic setting as you can tell! Smile Opps!

 

The absolute highlight of the night was the photobooth I set up. Bruce’s sister is a photographer and also made the cake, she was an amazing help to me with this party! I was so excited when she agreed to do a photobooth. Everyone went through so much trouble to get dolled up that I thought it would be great if they had a professional picture to remember the night with – needless to say it was a hit! Smile 

 

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Those are just a few of the 150 + pictures she took! Smile It was such a laugh I bought tons of fun props and the background is actually a black shower curtain believe it or not. haha I didn’t want to risk one of her professional backgrounds getting damaged!

 

This party was a ton of work in all honestly but you only turn 30 once and I wanted to make sure he remembered it! I am so pleased with how it turned out and though it was a lot of work it was also a lot of fun to plan. I love getting into the details of things – I think it really makes a regular party more special!

 

We danced, we ate, we laughed and we ate cake. An amazing night with amazing friends and family! Smile 

 

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How did you celebrate your 30th? Or other milestone birthday?

Ever attend a roaring 20s party?

September – A Month of Change

I have always loved September, it’s a month of transition and change. It feels like a fresh start with a fresh season, more so then any other time of year. There’s nothing like change to get you refreshed and motivated about life. In fact, I’m making a few changes.

My knees have not been happy for a long time. Ever since I hyper extended them they have not been the same. I can ignore them all I want but it’s not going away. Last Monday I did my usual body pump and run in the evening and it hurt so bad. I have created a cycle, mileage increases, strength training, yoga, and cross training decrease, I get injured, I go to physio while running through pain, I get better and I start the cycle all over again.

There’s only so many times one can go through the same thing over and over get the same results and go though it again. I’m frustrated and I’m done with repeating my mistakes over and over. So I’m making some changes.

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I haven’t run since Monday – I’ve swam, gone to spinning, hiked, walked, gone to hot yoga and strength trained. Exercise is a huge part of my life and I’m not giving that up, I’m just changing things up a bit. Next week I won’t be running either, I will be going back to physio and trying to heal my knees and alignment issues that keep causing my leg problems. I am going to heal and I am going to run this fall, my favorite time of year to run, but I’m not going to run until I’m pain free.

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When I do return to running it will be no more then 5 days a week, with time built in for cross-training, strength training and my new obsession hot yoga. I originally planned on a fall half marathon this year but that’s probably not going to happen now. However, I hopefully have another 10k left in me that I hope to run this fall, pain free and happy.

Anyone take a running or any sort of break from exercise?

Anyone else love the fall as much as me?

I Heart Weekends

This has been such a good weekend. I had my first fabulous hot yoga experience Friday, which I can’t wait to do again. Saturday was very productive I got a lot accomplished on my “to-do” list and then headed to Topsail Beach for a fire with some friends. It was incredibly fun and relaxing.

 

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I love my job, but I love the weekends as well. There have been a lot of good ones this summer. Just last weekend Bruce and I celebrated our 5th anniversary. I didn’t want to do anything extravagant so we went to an afternoon movie, went for a drive and had a casual dinner at Relish the new gourmet burger spot that just opened.

 

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I had the turkey burger big Texas style with onions, bacon and BBQ sauce with sweet potato fries. It was so much food but so good!  Smile I would highly recommend Relish!

 

Anyways I should go get back to enjoying what’s left of the weekend, today’s a rest day for me and I am taking full advantage! Have a great one everybody!

 

What did you do this weekend?

Best burger you ever had? 

Birthday Celebrations

Yesterday I turned 26 years young, it was such a great day! I love a Saturday Birthday, I had the entire day to do whatever I felt like. I started my day off with a trip to Starbucks to get my birthday coffee and then headed to the local farmer’s market to drink my coffee and browse. We looked at lots of great stuff and got some fresh cinnamon mini donuts! Mmmmm.

 

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After that we headed home and just relaxed all afternoon around the house which was nice. After dinner 2 of my girl friends came over and we got all dolled up for my party!

 

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It was such a great night – great friends, dancing, and of course great food. I have a new appetizer recipe to share with you all!

 

Philly Cheesesteak Egg Rolls (makes about 25)

  • 1 stir-fry type steak (sirloin tip is what I used)
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 25 egg roll wrappers
  • EVOO
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper

 

Defrost egg roll wrappers if frozen. Salt and pepper then fry steak in EVOO until cooked thoroughly. Remove from pan and slice into very thin strips about 1 inch long and thin! While slicing steak fry peppers in pan that the meat came from adding in garlic and onion powder. Once steak is sliced add it back into pan and mix it all together. Once pepper is cooked add oil to a large pan for frying and heat over medium heat. Then start an assembly line of cheese and steak mixture. Add in a spoonful of steak and a spoonful of cheese into each wrapper. Wet either side of the egg roll wrapper, bend in the edges, and roll to seal the edges. I keep a little bowl of water nearby for this purpose.

 

Fry egg roll on both sides about 4 – 5 minutes. Be careful not to let the rolls burn and keep adding more oil as needed. You can serve these right away or refrigerate to serve the next night like I did. To reheat turn the oven on 375 and bake them for about 15 – 20 minutes. These were such a huge hit I didn’t get to snap a picture before they were gone! Make these at your next party they are sure to please.

 

Overall I had an amazing birthday. 25 was a great year for me – I am excited to see what 26 brings!

Posted in Me

A Year Long Journey

A lot can happen in just a year. I know myself over the years as I reflect back I can see changes in myself, my life, and what’s important to me. For example, a few years ago if you had told me that I would be blogging about healthy living  – I would have done another shot and laughed at you. And if you had told me 187 posts ago that I would be here 1 year later still blogging about what I love to do and embracing a community I didn’t know existed? I would have said I sure hope so.

 

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1 year ago today I began a journey into blogging, at the time the vision was a little different. However, as they say: it’s the journey not the destination that matters. I originally thought a year later that I would be blogging about weight loss. If you stop by here occasionally you know that I’m not, simply because the blogging community taught me an important lesson: weight loss is the result of living a healthful life. It’s a result not a driver, you must choose to make healthy choices and weight loss will either happen as a result of that or it won’t.

 

I make choices each day to eat well, relax, run, drink water, get my 8 hours, strength train, do yoga, laugh, and love my life. Those are my choices – similarly I could choose to eat junk, not exercise, be unhappy, and not love my life. You make a decision, you get a result. As I said it’s the journey not the destination.

 

Over the last year I made it my mission to live a balanced life. I had a lot of firsts this year – I graduated university and started my first adult job and began finding my way in this world without the title of student. I trained for my first race, ran outside in the winter for the first time,  tried spinning, got injured, and kept on keeping on. I still struggle at times to achieve balance. Some days are more balanced then others, but that’s okay as long as the good outweighs the bad.

 

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This blog and the community it sits within is part of keeps me balanced. The community of healthy living bloggers I am privileged to be a part of inspire me each day to live life well. Each day I read another blogger’s post is an inspiration to keep pushing for my goals and aiming high.

 

The Balance Project as a blog allows me to write about something I am truly passionate about, living healthy. I truly appreciate each and every person who stops by my blog, tweets me, posts on my daily mile, or leaves a comment. That connection is what I love most about blogging and why I started blogging in the first place. Though as I mentioned the vision of the Balance Project has shifted, the reason it came to be – connecting with a community of like minded people has not. I imagine as long as I keep writing here (and I intend to for quite some time) that the vision will change just as I will change, and that’s okay, after all it is about the journey not the destination.

 

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Heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who visit my little blog, here’s to another great year to come. xo

Posted in Me

Home Sweet Home

I adore traveling – I love exploring new places, meeting new people, and having new experiences. This past 3 weeks I went on vacation to Miami, cruised the eastern Caribbean seeing Grand Turk, St. Maarten, St.Thomas, and Puerto Rico, spent a few days in Fort Lauderdale, then spent a few days in Toronto (on business) followed by a trip to Halifax 4 days later on business.  I’ve spent more time in airports then not in the past 3 weeks, but I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s been such a great few weeks, I’ve had a great time and I plan to recap it all for you over the next couple of weeks.

 

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The one thing I don’t like about traveling is the havoc it causes on my body. I try and be as healthy as possible but my leg injury didn’t allow me much ability to exercise like I normally do. I had visions of myself running at sea but my running injury didn’t allow for that. The excessive walking everywhere actually made it worse I’m pretty sure. That plus way more unhealthy food then I’m used to causes me to not feel my normal self. I made pretty good choices while on vacation food wise but it’s still not what my body is used to so it’s going to take a little while for me to feel normal again. I’ve been to physio since I’ve been back and things have improved though which I’m very happy about!

 

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I ran today for the first time in 3 weeks, 1.9 miles. It. Felt. Amazing. I followed my run up with Body Pump, so stairs will probably be rough tomorrow. But….I’m glad to be home and get back into the swing of things. 🙂 There’s nothing like travel to make you feel like you get a fresh start. Back to training, back to blogging, back to life! Smile 

 

Do you enjoy getting back into the swing of things after travelling?

Have you travelled any of the places I went to?

Any cruise lovers out there?

I’m in Miami

Just a quick post to let you all know I’m currently on vacation until May 9. I’ll post if I can but starting tomorrow I’ll be cruising the Eastern Caribbean with limited access to Internet. The blog will be back in full swing when I get back with lots of cruise recaps! Have a great 2 weeks!

We arrived in Miami today the picture below is our first meal, so good!!

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Review: Mile Markings

I read this book, over the course of 2 days. I simply could not put it down. I found though I live a very different life from the book’s author that I could relate a lot to what she wrote about. She is a mother of three children and very experienced runner,  I am childless and just at the beginning of my hopefully long running career. Though there was a universal reach in a lot of what she wrote about, because as women who run, we all have a lot in common.

 

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The chapters are broken down into the 26.2 reasons why women run. Each section had small stories within it it, almost like reading a blog. Probably one of the reasons I loved the book from the first sentence! Smile While this is a book on running it also covers various other topics. I want to share with you a few of my favourite quotes from my favourite sections:

 

On Freedom: Running is the one thing that allows me to be everything I need to be for everyone else and not resent it.With so many time constraints and limits and rules and routines in the hectic pace of daily life, we need another place where we can set our own pace, even if it’s just for 5 miles. We need a simple and acceptable route to freedom. We need to shake it off.

Boy could I ever relate to that! If I don’t fit a workout into my life for a few days, watch out! I literally turn into a different person. I am irritable and generally just not fun to be around. Running and exercise allows me to shake it off and take time for myself. If I don’t get that into my day I am of no good to anyone around me.

 

On Hills: I will give less energy to dread. I will trust my training. I will do my best not to be afraid.

I am trying more and more lately to not be afraid when it comes to speed and hills. I am trying to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I always have had an issue with this but more and more I am challenging my own worries and just going for it. You get out of it what you put into to it.

 

On Balance: I am realizing that when I put my energy into the things I already designated as priorities, it seems like everything falls into proper order. Contentment resides in the sweet spot of doing the right things with our best effort and energy available in the moment – and being comfortable with the fact that this changes.

Life is a balancing act – but I do find that when I make time for the things that are most important everything tends to go a little smoother! Smile 

 

I adored this book, if you haven’t read it check it out asap!

 

 

If you’ve read Mile Markers what are your thoughts?

Do you relate to any of my favourite quotes?

A Week In Running

I am past due for a training update … my apologies. I had a bad week last week! The running went great the cross-training did not. I have had an awful lack of motivation lately, running is coming mostly easy but the rest of it not so much. I won’t say much about last week except to say that I am glad it is done!! Smile 

 

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I can’t WAIT for weather like this!

 

 

This week I decided I needed to shake things up, I decided me and my friend the elliptical needed to take a break. It was to the point that I was dreading getting on it and what’s the point in that? Cross-training is super important so I decided to switch things up and tomorrow I’ll be heading back to spinning. I am super excited for a change in pace! I also switched up my running route this week. I have been running in a new area around work that I really like and get this, I have been running up the hills on this route. I enjoy a good hill challenge!

 

I always find March to be a rough month, close enough to spring that you can taste it but still too cold to believe winter is over. I guess my lack of fitness motivation is spilling over into the blog. I’ve been MIA a lot lately but I am going back on a regular blogging schedule now that my motivation is returning, slowly but surely!

 

I discussed race options with my friend the running coach last week as an effort to kick start my motivation and it looks like my first race will my a June 8K. I am not back in racing shape yet so no April race for sure, we’ll see what May brings. I’ll be getting back into regular training in about 2 weeks. Currently I am in the post-injury return to running phase. It’s been great but I am ready for a challenge! Bring it. Smile

 

I am going to leave you with this quote that sums up my last couple of weeks well, from Kristin Armstrong’s Mile Markers:

 

“Running is no different then any other close relationship. We have our fair share of love/hates. We have our times of passion and our times of plateau. We have times of connectedness and times of parallel lives. We have times of courting and times of commitment. Like all significant relationships, we have to nurture and respect the union if we want it to stand the test of time. Like all significant relationships, it is always worth the effort”

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Anyone else have issues with motivation in March?

How is your training going?

When is your next race?

How do you shake up your routine?