Holiday weekend of tulipmania, a Giant’s diet and potential Abby fur-products…

Can every weekend be a long weekend, please??? This past weekend saw us celebrating the Victory Day long weekend – Queen Victoria, born on May 24th 1819, is considered the “Mother of Confederation” and in 1845, (most of) Canada officially recognizes this day. And in Ottawa, one often spends part of their weekend down at the Tulip Festival…which marks another piece of history. These pictures don’t even begin to do it justice – the tulip beds are incredible!

And of course, our own specially engineered Canada Tulip – with a maple leaf within the petals!!

The reason we have these tulips is pretty neat – I stole this from Wikipedia:

In 1945, the Dutch royal family sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa in gratitude for Canadians having sheltered Princess Juliana and her daughters for the preceding three years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, in the Second World War.

The most noteworthy event during their time in Canada was the birth in 1943 of Princess Margriet to Princess Juliana at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. The maternity ward was declared to be officially a temporary part of Dutch territory and the Canadian Parliament voted to change governorship to be Dutch territory for one day and changed the flag over the Parliament building to the Dutch flag for that day, so that Princess Margriet would be born in Dutch territory and would inherit only her Dutch citizenship from her mother. In 1946, Juliana sent another 20,500 bulbs requesting that a display be created for the hospital, and promised to send 10,000 more bulbs each year.

TG and I strolled through the tulips – and given that he is Dutch and just returned from visiting relatives in the Netherlands, it was extra cool!

Ok, speaking of TG…one of the things that is so fun about him is that, and this shouldn’t come as a surprise, he eats a lot of food…A LOT. So cooking for him is awesome – you can’t ever make too much food and he always loves it. This past weekend I made two super hits.

The first was Chicken Parmesan Meatball Sliders

Ok, so the pic may not look that appetizing, but TRUST ME…they are delicious…I’m just not a food photographer! What I really wish I had pics of is one with me holding one of those sliders to my mouth and one with TG. Compared to him and the size of his hands, it looks like I’m holding a HUGE bun!! lol

The second thing made me realize that restaurants have NO excuse for producing crappy nachos. These were easy and sooooo good: Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos 

You start off making your base bean mixture

Then put half of it and cheese on one layer of nachos

Then you do a second identical layer, bake it and then add tomatoes, jalapenos and cilantro…

Ridiculously good.

I have an audience whenever I’m in the kitchen…

And after dinner, I get a massage!

Ok, so what about my running?

Last Tuesday I joined my team, for the first time since March (!!) for the workout’s warm-up and one interval – was so great to be out there with them!! On Wednesday I went for yet another session with my physio where she did some ART and then dry needling…the former is BY FAR the worst…check out the (stress) sweat I leave on the table from it!!!

And then here is a video of the needling – set to some appropriate music!

Thursday I went out and tested the hamstring with some field hockey…we had had GORGEOUS 80F+ degree weather that day…but of course, that brought in rain storms! But we got an hour in before the lightening forced off.

The hamstring held up ok…don’t have as long a stride length as usual and it was quite tight the next few days, but not debilitating as it was 3 weeks ago when I last played. So, we’re continuing to make steps in the right direction.

And just in case you were wondering, Abby’s mustache fur only continues to grow…and I’m thinking I might invest in some hair wax…

Happy Tuesday!!

Bacon, my new Abbycam (!!) and a question for you.

Saturday night I went out for dinner to celebrate the 40th birthday of my beautiful friend, Jenn.

We went to a restaurant, OCCO Kitchen, I hadn’t been to before but had been dying to try as the menu looks soooo good!

I started off with a local beer – Dr. Feel Good IPA from the Stalwart Brewing Company – I will DEFINITELY have this again!

Then I ordered their cheeseburger with…CANDIED BACON. I ordered their heirloom salad on the side because it sounded so fancy for a side salad!!

To be honest, the salad is so fancy it’s difficult to eat and I won’t order it again. The burger (and the bacon) was delicious! Also, ignore that hideous purse in the pic – it belongs to my friend Lianne and she has PROUDLY owned it for 20 years…she is often made fun of for it! lol

Ok, so Saturday night was also game number 1 between the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins. On my drive home from dinner, I was able to listen to the start of overtime and when I pulled into my driveway, I waited there until the whistle was blown for a stop in play – I FULL SPEED dashed out of my car and into the house and turned on the TV…and the game was already over!! WHAT?!?!  Thankfully, in those 2.3 seconds, my team, the Ottawa Senators had scored the winning goal!! WOOHOO!!!

TG is still off gallivanting through Europe with this dad – this weekend they were in Switzerland, Germany and Belgium!

So, I had another weekend to myself where I got some serious spring cleaning done in my house…and with Abby as well. Much to her chagrin.

As we returned from our walk Saturday morning, I opened up the front door and said to Abby, “FYI, you’re getting a bath when we get inside”. No joke, this was her immediate reaction.

Ultimate throwdown and guilt inducer.

BUT, her dirtiness (from the endless throwdowns she does outside) outweighed my feelings of guilt and into the tub she went!

Oh, and my reign over Abby does not end there. Last week I become the owner of what I refer to as The Abbycam. Yup, I can spy on her while I’m at work. Or so I thought. For YEARS, I have assumed that she hung out in my bedroom (I mean, that’s why I have to put my duvet in my closet every morning because she chews it apart if I don’t!!). Well, I set up the Abbycam the first day and frustratingly tried to spy on her ALL DAY while at work. I can log in through the app on my phone and view it live!

That’s right. NOTHING. And since I only have one camera (seriously, I can’t justify buying multiple), I had no idea where she was!! But I had my suspicions…

It took me a while to figure out how to set up the camera to view her in this spot – I am convinced she has picked it because she knows it is almost impossible to set up a camera to view her here!! But I managed….

Yes, the camera is attached to my pendant light in the hall…

And look who I found!!

And you know what? SHE LIES THERE FOR 8 HOURS STRAIGHT. The only movement is to shift position in that bed!!! You can see the day pass on the time stamp from the screen shots I took.

I don’t know why I am so surprised – what else did I think she was doing?? But at the same time, I can’t believe she lies there the whole time…it almost makes me sad!!

But then I just play with her cheek fur and everything is good!

Baked her more treats this weekend…look at her – you can almost hear her asking me to taste them, right?

As for my running…it’s improving…I guess…just really slowly. And I’m starting to lose it. I need to ask you something. I’m getting frustrated by a good friend of mine (who I work with) who comes in everyday to tell me about her latest workout and I just feel like if the roles were reversed, I would be more sensitive to the fact that the other person is struggling with injury and can’t do the things she loves, and wouldn’t constantly talk about my workouts to her. I don’t know. Am I being too sensitive?

I’m hoping to make it out to practice tomorrow night to at least do the warm-up with the team – it will be my first outdoor run since March. And, maybe more exciting, is that it’s supposed to be sunny and not rain!!!!!

One more Abby cheek fur pic to kick off your week!

Happy Monday!!

Might be in need of an Ark, GOT amazingness and straight talk with my hammie.

I left my hair curly yesterday to reflect the chaos my city and the surrounding areas have been facing recently…

It basically hasn’t stopped raining in…I don’t even know how long.

Ok, but it’s actually really serious. Here is a bridge, near downtown Ottawa…this is what it normally looks like.This is it right now:

CBC news

And yesterday, the army came to town, just across the river into Gatineau.

I thankfully live on “high ground” and am not at risk of being swallowed by the river as so many are BUT, even “up” where I live, there is just too much water falling and yesterday I found water leaking into my basement!

Buuuut, when I see some people escaping their homes by canoe, it puts my issues into perspective.

This morning however, the rain stopped…however, there was still precipitation…

Yes, it’s May and there was frost last night and it was lightly snowing as I drove into work.

Abby’s expression just about sums it up:

TG is away for the next week and half…he and his elderly father have traveled to their homeland of The Netherlands. Now you know why he’s a giant. It’s in his genes. The average height of a male over there is 6 feet. Here in Canada and the US it’s around 5’9.

So, this weekend was VERY leisurely. Just me and Abby.

I ran both days – 4 miles. And some strength work. Hammie is still being an a$$hole so I put together this little clip in an act of defiance towards my hammie. You better start working, b*tch.

And during my runs I was able to watch more of season 6 of GAME OF THRONES. Did you know that I LOVE THAT SHOW?? lol!! And this weekend, amazing things happened…Daenerys continues to be the most badass chick around

And then my prayers were answered…The Hound is still alive!!!

I met teammates for brunch on Saturday after THEIR long run *sniff sniff*. And other than that, just hung out at home…and cuddled with Abby and enjoyed some beer!

Happy Monday!!!

OMG – my next adventure has been booked and it is incredible! The hammie not so much…

Ummm, ok, something crazy happened this weekend…I booked a trip to….

TOKYO. I know, I was in Africa earlier this year and now I’m headed to Asia – whaaaaat?! The bridesmaid I shared a room with while in Africa messaged me this weekend and said, “There’s a seat sale to Tokyo in June, let’s fly there together for 10 days and meet up with the bride & groom!” (who are traveling for 8 months for their honeymoon!) My dad said he would look after Abby and work told me to go and enjoy my trip…so a few hours later, Sophie and I were booked in for the second trip of a lifetime in 6 months!!!!!

Ok, back to reality with some Abby cuteness!! This was her after I finished a treadmill run last week.

Sigh. Running. Remember how I was making good progress and was up to 4 miles? Yeah, well, I went and played field hockey last Thursday (first night of the outdoor season and it was 80F but before you start worrying that Canada is melting, it’s currently 43F. Sigh.)  Anyway, back to hockey…what a great night it was!!

Until my hamstring decided to be an a$$hole again. Like, I was running one minute and the next it was like

With 30 minutes to go in the game, I limped off the pitch…but obviously stayed around to enjoy post-game beers!

Buuuut, I have been unable to run since. The hammie is just too angry. Sigh.

Thankfully I can still do full strength workouts – even focused hammie exercises like this 1-legged pull-in doesn’t bother it!

I was told that these strength based exercises are controlled which my hamstring is strong enough to do, but running (and especially sprinting) is much less controlled which my hammie is not into dealing with right now apparently. Soooo…just staying patient…

TG and his daughter (the mini) were at my house this weekend – the weather wasn’t great so we did inside things like getting our nails done…well, TG just “supervised. lol

I just got basic purple on my toes…

But the mini got some art and was very happy with the end result!

Made another batch of dog treats for Abby

And speaking of the amount of work I do for this spoiled dog, she has her own pill sorter!

But hopefully by August she’ll be off all of them other than that big fat fish oil pill!

TG’s Dolly was of course with us this weekend…like TG, she is just too big for this world – this is her in Abby’s bed lol

And just so we’re clear, Abby is not the only dog on the street living the high life…this is Chimes…the neighbourhood stud chihuahua who tries to hump Abby at every chance he gets – despite Abby snapping at him EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. lol

Aaaaand, just to finish it off, this was Abby last week when I mentioned that she was going to have to have a bath…#tantrum

Happy Monday!! (and if you wouldn’t mind, send me some good vibes for my hammie!!)

Abby the ham and the small miles that mean so much.

Seriously. I can’t help myself. And then I can’t help but laugh hysterically.

That cheek fur is too much!!

But she pays me back…this was mid-walk yesterday. *eye roll*

So guess what? After my physio treatment last Wednesday (another round of torturous ART and then some amazing dry needling in my butt and hamstring)…things have been getting progressively better. On Thursday I ran 2 miles (that was actually an accomplishment!), Friday I ran 3 miles and on Saturday…

…this girl ran 4 miles – and has every day since!!!

I have also been, post-runs, alternating between a leg workout – which includes squats and deadlifts (seriously, the dead lifts just feel like a glorious stretch on my hamstrings)

And core work – planks, stability ball ab work, TRX pull-ins…

See the TV in the background…yeah, that’s Homeland…and I’m done the first 4 seasons on it…which is all that is available on Netflix…but there are 2 more seasons out there…WHEN WILL NETFLIX GET THEM???? URGH!!!

This past weekend was a mix of good and bad weather…during the moments of good weather, TG did some painting while I, um, supervised (aka, read my book while sitting in the sun)…

I also had one of my favorite guys come visit me…Dan The Tire Guy!!! For those of us who have to have switch out winter tires vs. summer tires twice a year, you know it can be a ROYAL pain in the a$$ to schedule and can cost between $50-100. But my guy Dan COMES TO MY HOUSE and charges me only $30. AMAZING!!

I made some YUMMY pad thai on Sunday…of course, was so excited to eat it that I forgot to take a pic until after I had started eating it! lol

This morning, while Abby was adamant that it was time to wake up, she was also adamant that it was not time to get out of bed! *eye roll*

And then this, while I was trying to do core work this morning after my run! What a ham!!

Happy Tuesday!


Quieting the noise, my Birthday and Easter munchkins.

Sometimes you need to quiet the noise. 3 weeks ago was that last time I ran. Like, a real run. Since then, it’s been a mile here and a mile there…not more because the pain is too much. Not exactly sure what the cause is, likely a bunch of things, but right now my hamstrings could substitute as guitar strings and my hip flexors are basically cement.And it was, in some ways, a wake up call that I need to be more mindful. Of myself. Life is busy, loud, exciting, stressful, fun…and I find myself in a forward motion…almost tumbling forward. I need to take more breaks and just look out into the backyard and hear, feel, and see what is going on NOW. And respect it. Embrace it.

So, I’m getting my body treated (massage, physio, dry needling, etc.) and I know it will eventually be ok – in fact, I think it will be better – and in the meantime, I’m just taking things one day at a time and enjoying my extra free time.

I went and saw a few junior hockey games with my dad – something we did regularly when I was growing up. My memories of spending that quality time with my dad are so special and will last forever.

Oddly, I’m able to do strength training no problem – squats, deadlifts, lunges…and have been doing a lot more core (I suspect a lack of this is one of the root causes of all this).

With no early morning runs on the weekend, I find myself getting to Costco…BEFORE IT HAS OPENED.

Abby has been on the winning end of my free time…

But it also means I have more time to style her ever growing cheek fur!

It was my birthday last Tuesday – I turned 39. Eeek! TG and his daughter took me out for dinner and I got the best gift!!!

Up until now, I have been re-watching (over and over) the series on discs borrowed from my friend’s brother…now I have my own!!!

This past weekend, I had my brother and his family stay with me for Easter. My goodness it was exhausting – just ask Abby!! This was her at the end of day 1 of them being here:

This is a close-up of her face…OUT. COLD.

Friday night we had birthday celebrations for myself and my niece, Jillian, who will be turning 2 at the end of the month.

Sunday morning was a successful Easter Egg Hunt

After church we tried to get some nice pics of the kids…challenging to get them smiling properly at the same time! lol

Sunday night I found my brother hogging the couch…so, like any normal older sister, I piled on top of him…which the kids thought was hilarious and so they joined in!

After a weekend of insanity, am looking forward to having some quiet time…and continuing the healing process.

Happy Tuesday!


Winter Wonderland in Spring, the best stupid movie and more of Abby’s cheek fur shenanigans!

While I was a Bulk Barn the other day I came across a cookie cutter that I just couldn’t resist…and maybe it’s weird that I’m feeding Abby treats in these shapes, but they crack me up!!

Seriously, I bet you can’t help but laugh when you see them, right?!

FYI, I’m not some crazy person who insists on baking her own dog treats because I feel store bought ones are safe…it’s just that this recipe is STUPID easy…and now a bonus is that I get to use this cookie cutter!! lol!!

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup water (more if needed)
1 tbsp molasses

Mix, roll, cut and bake at 300F for 18 minutes.

Last Friday I had the day off…and I was extra grateful because when I opened up the front door to take Abby for a walk, all I saw was WHITE

And it basically continued ALL DAY

Saturday morning was just stupid…

…and it’s funny, because in January or February this would be no big deal, but at the end of March it had me and my teammates cursing on our group chat and discussing whether to actually run outside for our long run. We’re just DONE with winter.

But we are also done with long treadmill runs, so we met up and had a great 11 mile run in the beautiful sunshine…and snow!

TG was here for the weekend and on Saturday we ventured out to Ikea…I needed some frames for some of my Africa pictures and I needed a new duvet for one of my spare bedrooms. Since this is the room the TG’s daughter sleeps in, I made sure to buy a duvet that was 8-year old girl friendly! Pink is her FAVORITE colour.

I also, while we were out, picked up a new battery for my Garmin heart rate monitor…but I struggled to get the tiny screws out and somehow the guy with the giant hands was able to do it better than me! lol

Sunday morning I did 6 miles first thing…on my treadmill. Did I tell you? I finished House of Cards?!?! OMG, I can’t wait for the next season!! Soooo, until then, I’m watching:

I had been watching it a few years ago, but lost track of when it was aired on Cable so have picked it back up just at the beginning of Season 3. I CANNOT STAND Claire Danes but am managing to not let her ruin it for me! lol

Abby is clearly not a fan though…this was her while I was running and watching!

Then we went to see what I describe as the dumbest entertaining movie I have ever seen.

The special effects and visuals were OUT OF CONTROL. And we saw it in 3D. Now, let me be clear, this is not normally a movie I would go to (EVER), but I just felt like seeing something silly and my dad had said that while there was no plot and the acting was terrible, it would have you on the edge of your seat. And that it did – I was either on the edge, or jumping inches off my chair as Kong and the other animals did their thing…and what about TG? Not a word of a lie, the guy fell asleep twice!!!!! LOL!!! This excerpt from a review (ugh, I can’t find where I pulled it from!) of the movie is SPOT. ON.

Do I recommend you going to it? No. Not at all. But if you do, tell me what you thought!

I went to Starbucks this weekend – not something I do often (because I have trouble paying that much money for their drinks)…is this the new thing?? I don’t know why, but the personal touch of WRITING my name on my cup actually makes a big difference!

I do a lot of food prep for myself so that I have enough food to bring with me to work and so that I cook well balanced meals during the week rather than skimp out because I’m too tired at the end of the day. But I also (insert eye roll) do a lot of food prep for Miss Abby. Seriously. Any time you open my fridge you’ll find this…and it’s ALL. FOR. ABBY.

She really has no idea how good she has it. LOL – OMG, just noticing now, that mug in the background is perfect!!

Speaking of Abby…remember last week I showed you how I love playing with her cheek fur…I showed my dad and he has since admitted that he can’t help but give her a cheek mustache either!! lol!! This was this morning after our walk in the rain – fur was primed for styling!!

God, she’s adorable!!!

Happy Monday!!