Category Archives: chocolate

Productive Sundays – Pasta, Plants & Preparations

Sunday morning workout:  gardening, 1 hr.

It’s not even 9:00am yet, and I’ve spent an hour weeding, pruning and mulching the front garden.

Don’t be impressed – I let it get completely overgrown.  It was very shabby.  The virginia creeper was taking over the front walkway.  The postie was in danger of getting swallowed up by creeping ivy when he delivered my mail.  They make horror moves about yards like mine.

OK, it’s not this bad, but it was pretty bad.

Now, I’m drinking coffee, roasting a spaghetti squash in the oven before it gets too hot, blogging (obviously) and watching a Sunday morning TV program called  It\’s Just Food.

It’s a groovy little Canadian program that shows how simple cooking really is.  This morning is fresh homemade pasta.  Who knew it was so easy??!  Makes my creative juices start flowing while I”m making my grocery list.  Bacon, spinach and cheese ravioli.  YUM!!

Also on the agenda for today are groceries, some meal  planning, and a trip to the Rideau Center for some shopping.  Best Friend is looking for a new watch and I’m always happy to window shop.  Except the fall clothes are out…..and it’s going to be 90 degrees here today.  Talk about a disconnect!  Who can look at cozy sweaters when it’s sweltering outside.

It’s going to be a busy week!  Monday, I’m having dinner with Younger Sis to celebrate our mutual birthdays.  We’re almost twins except that we’re 6 years apart.  That’s probably why we get along so well.

We’re checking out the new small plates menu at Allium.   Check it out…it looks awesome.

Tuesday is a free day – must get some serious exercise and maybe some yoga.

Wednesday is my 50TH BIRTHDAY!!!  That means I’m going out for lunch with my fun work peeps at Stoneface Dollys which is one of my favorite restaurants.  We’re not inviting Obnoxious Sales Guy.  Picture stolen from the website.

After work, Younger Sis and I are planning to go to a new yoga studio called Empower Me Yoga. 

I plan to get my Zen on and set my intention for the coming year and perhaps the coming decade too.

After that, we’re going for gelato at Truffle Treasures  which makes the most amazing chocolate-peanut butter creation you have ever tasted!

On to Thursday,  I’m having dinner with Cottage Girl and my real estate agent.  Who is also a friend.  Who I don’t see often enough. I love spending time with fabulous girlfriends – both of these women can teach me lots about rockin’ 50.

And then, early, early, early on Friday morning, Best Friend, Cottage Girl and I are going on a road trip – Niagara-On-The-Lake!  It’s a picturesque community not far from Niagara Falls that has lots of quaint towns, award-winning wineries and the Shaw Festival.  We’re going to see My Fair Lady!  We’ve rented a guest cottage on an estate so that we can relax and drink coffee…and wine, of course….on our very own patio.

Whew!  What a week it will be.

On a couple of other completely unrelated notes, I’m going to drop into Chapters today to look for this book:

I’m a terrible runner and I want to enjoy it more.  There has to be a way to train smarter, rather than harder.

I think I just experienced one of the benefits of being 50…..smarter, not harder.  Maturity.  Wisdom.  🙂

And way off topic, call me crazy but is anyone disturbed that Michelle Bachman just won the Ames Straw Poll?  Far be it from me to stick my nose into US politics when our Canadian version isn’t a whole lot better, but can’t anyone see that this woman is a wing-nut???  Good grief.  Don’t the folks in Iowa get any decent media coverage?

Soapbox moment over.

Happy Sunday.

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Filed under chocolate, fitness, food, friends, fun, health, joy, maturity, relaxation, wine, yoga

A New Week

Clearly, I’ve been off the grid for a week.

Workouts:  building Noah’s ark.  Kidding.  Sort of.  And that’s it.

It’s been raining for a whole week.  The skies cleared this afternoon, but there are mushrooms growing on my front lawn.

OK, first, job news.  I did not get the job I interviewed for on Tuesday.  In fact, I didn’t make it past the first round of interviews.  In spite of being the most experienced, the interviewer was a CA, and only accountants made it to the second round.

In truth, I didn’t connect with her at all, and had a bad feeling coming out of the interview.  Bad enough that I was hoping that I didn’t get it because I didn’t want to have to turn it down.  It’s bad to turn down a job when a headhunter has arranged the interview – they think you’re a total loser and won’t send you on any more!  Intuition is a very impressive thing, I must say.  Nothing about the interview gave me a good feeling, and I was clearly in tune with that.

I also refined the vision of the Great Fun Job.  I don’t want to work downtown.  I don’t want to have an hour long commute each day, nor do I want to take public transit or pay $200/month for parking.  Note to self:  the new job must be within 30 minutes of home.  Check.

That first interview was interesting:  it was a bit like losing my virginity again!  Whew!  Much better now that it’s over.  Whether it’s sexual or career, the first time is highly over-rated!!

With the stress of interviewing and waiting for a response, eating well and working out went out the window.  Fail.  And it poured all week long!  Big fail.

Thursday night, I had a couple of glasses of yummy red wine and some appetizers at a groovy place called DiVino\’s Wine Studio.  There was a whole wall of wine!

The Hot French Lobbyist invited me – very thoughtful.  I think he wanted to give me a chance to vent about the interview.  He’s so sweet.  And hot.  Really hot.  Just sayin’.  😉

Friday night, I had popcorn, pizza and Bacardi Breezers with Best Friend.  It was raining.  We also watched a movie – Blue Valentine.  It was beautifully acted and absolutely depressing.  Total downer.

And now it’s Sunday night, and it’s time to go back to work.  Chocolate will be consumed tonight.

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Filed under career, chocolate, dating, dieting, fitness, food, friends, fun, interview, job, sex, wine

Rainy days

Workouts:  Wednesday – 30 min walk lunchtime,  Thursday – 30 min walk lunchtime & 60 minute walk after work,  Friday – not a darn thing!

Like much of the northeast US, eastern Canada is water-logged this weekend.  And it’s going to rain for a week.  Might be some serious lounge time ahead.  Or I’m going to have to make like a duck.  Could be a good excuse for new rubber boots!My heart goes out to all the folks who live along the Mississippi River this weekend as officials open up the spillways to relieve the water pressure and endeavor to save New Orleans and Baton Rouge from massive flooding. Tough times.

Can I just say that I bombed on the Dukan Diet Protein Extravaganza?!!  If the Middletons did this before the Royal Wedding, they deserved to be thin.  It was tough.  I stuck to the first 5 days of only protein.  And I hated it.  The only good thing was that I wasn’t hungry most of the time.  But by the 5th day, I felt like crap.  There might have been a good reason for that (sorry for the pun, and for the indelicate subject) because there had been no bathroom activity, shall we say, for 5 days!!!  Definitely a bad thing.

It was an interesting experiment, and I learned a lot about how to keep myself more satiated, but I could never eat this way for any length of time.  I missed the fruit and vegetables….almost more than the grains (and the wine 🙂  ).  It’s back to normal healthy eating for this girl.  Bring on the fiber!  Fiber is our friend.

I stole that beautiful picture from here.

I also had a short orientation session at my new gym Friday morning before work from Trainer Guy.  He was an Arnold Wanna-Be.  No kidding.   I am not unknowledgable (such a word?) about resistance training, having spent years in gyms and researching healthy living.  He was cute, enthusiastic and sweet, but he lost me when he tried to convince me I needed to do calf raises.  Seriously?  What woman wants bigger calves?  I carry any weight I need to lift on my butt already!  The only calf raises I need to do will be in a pair of these….

More later….I need a coffee refill and to check out People mag online.

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Filed under chocolate, dieting, Dukan, fitness, food, health, Kate Middleton, Royal Wedding, sugar, wine

Happy Mom’s Day

Workouts:  Sat – 7.5km walk, 20 min yoga.  Sun – 1 hr yardwork, 20 min yoga

Happy Mother’s Day to my sweet Mummy and all the other mom’s in the world.  We are blessed to have you.

It’s been a sunny spring weekend here.  Absolutely lovely.  Although it’s starting to cloud up a bit, that’s OK because I love to live in my laundry room on Sunday evenings.  Love it.  NOT!

Younger Sis, Bro-in-Law and I went out last night and it was the funnest evening I’ve spent in a long time.  One of BIL’s hockey buddies plays in a band – old time ’70’s rock.  Think the Doobie Brothers and Sweet Home Alabama.  Fun, fun, summertime music.

We decided to support Hockey Buddy’s musical career by checking out the pub he was playing in last night.  OH.  MY.  GOD!  I swear it was a parallel universe.  Where 60 year old polyester-clad ladies sang country karoke (Who’s Bed Have Your Boots Been Under!), and 70-year old Greek men were rapping.  I kid you not!!  🙂

It was the funniest thing I have ever seen.  And the band was actually not bad.  We were home before midnight because I’m really Cinderella and there were definitely no princes in sight.

On food news, fueled by our obsession with all things Royal these days, Younger Sis and I have decided to try the Dukan Diet.

Apparently Carole Middleton (and Kate and Pippa maybe?) has done this high-protein, low-carb diet.  That’s Carole in the green, and Prince William leaping.

And because I’ve become a Middleton stalker, see the pic of Pippa diving, below.

I have much more weight to lose than Sis (mentally too), but we’re going to do it together. And then we’re going to get matching white bikinis.

So, burgers have been BBQ’d, chicken has been baked, yogurt has been purchased and we’re ready to go.  In the initial Attack phase, it’s all protein for about 5 days.  After that, all the veggies (non-starch) are added back in.

But there is no wine.  Or chocolate.

This could be interesting.

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Filed under chocolate, dieting, Dukan, friends, fun, Kate Middleton, Royal Wedding, sugar, wine

Rain, rain, go away

Workout:  3.7km, stretching

It’s a rainy, rainy week.  All day long, every day this week.  My grass is growing like crazy and I’m going to be baling hay in the backyard if I can’t cut it soon!

And so the yardwork season begins.  I completed about 1/4 of the work needed to get the flower beds cleaned up and the shrubs pruned.  I’ll have to keep working on that…..IF IT EVER STOPS RAINING!Good thing I have my new gym membership.  Love the funky TV’s attached to the treadmills.  Crappy picture, sorry.  I worked out this morning before work which was really good except I totally suck.  I was gasping for air, which I completely deserve for spending my winter sitting on my butt.  You can’t stay fit doing half-a$$ed downward dogs.  No way, no how.

Would Kate or Pippa Middleton spend her time on the couch, letting her butt get bigger by the day?

Funny story:

My boss is 62 and a total computer nerd.  Think Star Trek caliber.  His wife is British.  So, of course he took Friday off to watch the Royal wedding with her.  He now has a creepy-crush on Pippa Middleton.

What does his wife say?  Pippa has thin lips.

No kidding.  Why are we women so hard on each other????  Seriously!

Before leaving work tonight, I offered Boss some of the chocolate which seems to grow on the chocolate tree at the reception desk.  It’s magic.  It just shows up day after day.

I was about to throw it out (no, I didn’t eat any), and Boss congratulated me on my willpower.  I told him:  “That’s what Pippa Middleton would do!”

It’s all about rocking the skinny white jeans, really, isn’t it?

It’s a good night to sleep with the window open and the sound of the rain on the roof.  ‘Night all.

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Filed under chocolate, dieting, fitness, goddess, health, job, Kate Middleton, Royal Wedding, Uncategorized, yoga

Easter Chocolate

Well, Easter is over.  And all the chocolate in the world is on sale!

If I needed a reason to behave myself around all that cocoa-y goodness, my root canal this morning certainly provided it.  Dr. Junior (who, as mentioned before, is 12 years old and brilliant) loves Easter.  His words:  “I LOVE CHOCOLATE!  It’s great for business!”

No kidding.

What’s very groovy is that I could watch the whole thing on a screen above me.  Not for the faint-of-heart, but definitely very high-tech.  Let’s see how things feel when the freezing comes out.

This is not my x-ray, but mine look just like this.  That’s what growing up in a small town with no flouride in the water means.  Big fillings.

Blowing off work for another day.  That’s a 5 -day Easter weekend.  Then I have 2 days to work, and I’m off on Friday for the Royal Wedding. 

Younger Sis, who told me I was a FREAK for making plans to get up early to watch the festivities, has invited herself for a sleepover and some coffee and confetti on Friday morning.    Ha!  It seems she’s getting wedding fever too.

Peer pressure is a wonderful thing.

We might need cupcakes for breakfast.  Don’t tell my dentist.

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Filed under chocolate, dieting, Easter, food, frosting, Royal Wedding, sugar, teeth

Sugar, sugar!

So, tonight is my last night at Blue Bamboo.  I’ve decided that working at BB is taking away the zen for me.  I need to come here to do yoga, not think about the workings of the place.  So from now on I’ll be a yogini, not a volunteer/staff member.

Good decision, I think.

This post is about sugar.  Because it’s Easter weekend. 

I have a creaky 49 2/3 years old molar.  In fact, it’s cracked.  And infected.  Brought on by work stress, I’m convinced.  And I need a root canal.  But I have the best dentist ever, and I’m not ‘ascared.  I’m not a ‘fraidy cat.  No, not me.   Dr. Junior is 12 years old.  Well, he looks that way anyway. 

I have good drugs – antibiotics and pain meds.  Dr. Junior asked me if I was OK for the weekend.  I said I was fine.  Chocolate melts in your mouth, after all.  No need to chew.

Last night, I couldn’t sleep from dentist-anxiety and I was definitely nursing a sore jaw.  Big tooth ache.  I had been eating really well all week in spite of my dental dilemma.   But I needed big comfort.  So I reached for the can of frosting I purchased for the cupcakes I’m bringing to a family dinner Sunday.  No judging please.  I have an infected molar. 

After 2 or 3 tablespoons of frosting, the pain subsided.  No kidding.  Or at least my brain stopped reacting to the pain signals travelling from my tooth to my brain because it was in a sugar coma.  Interesting phenomena.  I was delighted and very curious.

What was doubly interesting is that while I was eating the frosting, I was reading this article in the New York Times Magazine, Is Sugar Toxic?  Yes, I know that seems crazy.  Once again, no judging please.  The link is below because WordPress wouldn’t put it where I wanted it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine

The author has the personal opinion, based on years of journalistic research, that sugar is not only making us fat, but that it also has properties that cause cancer.  Scary stuff.

On one hand, sugar made me feel much, much better for a little while.  On the other hand, it might be the most toxic substance that we voluntarily consume.

Life is often a paradox, isn’t it?

Much like my yoga dilemma.  I signed up to volunteer/work  at Blue Bamboo to get free unlimited access to yoga, only to find that the arrangement stole my zen and I lost my love of yoga.

Deep thoughts.  They may be pharmaceutically induced.

Have an evening filled with ease and blessed reflections on this Holy Thursday.

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Filed under brain, chocolate, dieting, food, frosting, health, joy, sugar, teeth, Uncategorized, yoga