29 July 2010

Couch to 5K

Remember back when I made this skirt?  I still haven't worn it because it's too small.  It shouldn't be too small.  I made it to "my " measurements.  Unfortunately, over the last few months, I have been expanding and my measurements are no longer my measurements.

And I'm not happy about it.

Oh, I have excuses.  Actually, I have really good excuses.  My life has been turbulent to say the least.  And when I'm stressed, I eat...and eat...and eat.  The scale and my measurements are bearing witness to my headlong tumble off of the healthy living bandwagon.

Well, it's time to get it back in gear.  I have already started to clean up my bad eating habits.  Goodbye ice cream for dinner (I wish I was kidding).  Hello well balanced meals.

Now, I want to add in some more exercise into my life.  I have always been intrigued by the concept of running 5K or 10K or a marathon.  So, I decided to start looking around for a training program.  In my googling, I ran across the "Couch to 5K Running Program" and it piqued my interest.

Basically, C25K gets you up off your (my) lazy ass and, over the course of two months, turns you into a 5K runner.  You train at a manageable three days per week (with rest days in between) to reach the 5K goal.  In the beginning, each 20 to 30 minute training session consists of alternating intervals of walking and jogging.  As the program progresses, the amount of walking decreases and the amount of jogging increases, until finally, the entire session consists of jogging.

To aid in my C25K journey, I downloaded some free podcasts that correspond to each training session.  The music is techno and the rhythm makes it easy to keep the walking and jogging pace.

I have already completed the first week and I did great.  Prior to starting the very first session, I half expected to puke up a lung at about ten minutes in, but I flew through without a hitch.  I'm actually looking forward to my next workout.  My only fear is that my bum knee (I dislocated my left knee during university while playing softball and ever since it can be a bit finicky) may cause problems.  However, if I slow down when it acts up, I should be fine.

So, has anyone else ever done this program?  Did it work for you?  If you haven't, would anyone like to join me?  The more the merrier...

19 July 2010

Lacquer Lundi

Everybody remembers the colours of the visible spectrum (rainbow), right?  Say hello to ROY G. BIV.

Behold the pretties:

Zoya - Nidhi
- purchased at spaboutique.ca for $9.00 CDN

Nidhi is from Zoya's Summer 2010 Sparkle collection and sparkle it does.  It is a gorgeous warm red with gold microglitter.  Although I'm not normally a big fan of red polish, I am a big fan of sparkle (I think I was a magpie in a prior life), so Nidhi has won me over. 

Nidhi applied wonderfully (as have all Zoya polishes that I have ever used).  It covered beautifully in two coats due to excellent pigmentation (just be sure to add a shiny top coat to really bring out the sparklies in this polish).  It also wore well.  I had this polish on for five days and only suffered tip wear - no chips or peeling in sight.  Wonderful!

Zoya - Gwin
- purchased at spaboutique.ca for $9.00 CDN

Gwin is one of the offerings in Zoya's Spring 2010 Reverie collection.  It is a luscious orange base with copper iridescence.  It is absolutely stunning on the nail, as it positively glows from within. I know the colour orange is not for everyone, but if you're like me, you will be smitten with this one.

Gwin flowed on smoothly and moved around the nail easily.  I only needed two coats to completely remove all bald spots.  I actually could have been done with one coat if I had been more careful, as the pigmentation of this polish is superb.  Gwin wore well - only tip wear after two days.  (P.S. Sorry for the war wound on my middle finger - I did battle with a cheese grater and lost).

Joe Fresh Style - Butter
- purchased at Zehrs (chain grocery store) for $3.33 CDN

Butter was like almost every other yellow polish that I own.   It drew me in with its colourful siren song, then wapped me up side the head with its streakiness.  Ah well, it's a small price to pay for such a pretty pastel yellow hue.

Butter had a good consistency - not too thick, not too thin.  However, as stated above, it was streaky during application, requiring three coats to even out any thin areas.  It did wear well though - only minor tip wear after two days.

Spa Ritual - Optical Illusion
- purchased at spaboutique.ca for $12.00 CDN

Optical Illusion, from Spa Ritual's Kaleidoscope collection, is an amazing polish on so many levels.  It has a very unusual swampy green base, packed with bits of gold and bright green/teal microglitter (I love me some weird colours).  In addition, all Spa Ritual polishes are Big 3 Free and completely vegan and cruelty-free.  Unfortunately, they are a bit pricey.

Optical Illusion flowed on perfectly, due to the excellent consistency.  It did require three coats, but the coats were thin and so they dried quickly.  It also wore well - only tip wear after three days.  I love this polish and I will certainly be adding other Spa Rituals to my stash.

Zoya - Charla
- purchased at spaboutique.ca for $9.00 CDN

Wow, wow, wow!  What more can I say about this amazingly gorgeous polish?  To say that this polish is stunning doesn't quite do her justice.  Charla is a deep, rich teal, jammed with gold microglitter that positively shimmers on the nail.  When I wore this polish, many people grabbed my hand and stared at Charla in awe.  I love this polish so much I would put it in my top three choices.

Charla applied nicely and was mostly opaque in two coats (I did three for perfect coverage and an extra depth of colour).   It also wore well - only tip wear after two days.

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear - Indigo
- purchased at Rexall (chain drug store) for $ 1.52 CDN

Indigo is another of my beloved Xtreme Wear polishes (in the past, I have gushed over the fabulous colour options, the amazing wide brush, the excellent formula and the awesome low price).  Indigo is a dark purply-blue polish with a glowy metallic-like finish.  It is quite a dark navy without reading as black.

Indigo applied nicely and moved around the nail well.  It required two coats for complete coverage - with a more careful application, I likely could have gotten away with just one coat, but I wanted to eliminate any bald spots.  Indigo wore well - only tip wear after four days.

Milani - Totally Cool
- purchased at Superstore (chain grocery store) for $4.99 CDN

Totally Cool is a really pretty polish with its reddish-purple jelly-like base and  coppery/purple microglitter. This is the kind of purple that always catches my eye, so I really like this polish.

Totally Cool applied nicely, but it did require three coats for opacity due to the sheerness.  It wore reasonably well - I had tip wear after two days.

17 July 2010

It's the Little Things

I miss toenails clicking on the hardwood floor.  I miss the intricate dance we would do in the kitchen when I was cooking.  I miss the nose poking through the open door when I arrive home from errands.  I miss having a pre-rinse cycle for plates going in the dishwasher.  I miss the smell of fur. 

I knew when Simon died there would be a lot of big sorrows - the obvious indications of a family member missing.  Not being pestered to get out the door for a daily walk, not having a warm body to snuggle on the couch, not having the responsibility of caring for him.  What I didn't expect was all the little things.  Those have hit me the hardest.  I think the most difficult moment I have had so far was finding a single paw print embossed into the seat of his favourite chair.  That small impression was an overwhelming reminder of what has been lost.

So, I have been trying to focus on the happy times.  I have almost fourteen years of memories that bring to mind love, laughter and wonderment.  From his first joyous romp in the snow as a pup to his disdain for squirrels to the howls he would elicit whenever I shouted "Release the hounds!"  Simon was the master of manipulation with those soulful hound eyes - just try refusing him a bit of food off of your plate.  He was comic relief - picture him booting around the house with my husband's underwear in his mouth, growling and shaking for all he's worth if you try to approach him.  He was a big sissy - he spent every storm tucked up against my chest despite many attempts to desensitize him to thunder. 

Despite the pain I'm in now, I wouldn't make it go away if it meant never knowing him. I was privileged to be his Mommy and I am a better person for having known Simon.  I'll leave you with a very short video that makes me smile every time I see it.

13 July 2010

It Was Time

Yesterday I wrote the post below the asterisks and didn't get a chance to publish it.  Reading it makes me realize how much your life can change in a few short hours.  This morning Simon took a turn for the worse.  He was extremely lethargic and had a hard time moving around.  He was uninterested in his breakfast until I practically forced it on him.  His breathing was very shallow and he looked tired of fighting.  So, we made the call.  It was time to let him go.  My heart hurts and I hate how quiet the house feels.  But, we did right by him and that makes it slightly more bearable.  If you have a pet, please go hug him or her - I know Simon would like that.


I want to start out by thanking everyone that has passed along a kind word or thought in my direction.  I appreciated every comment and every email that has been sent to me.  The words of understanding and empathy have been so comforting.

Simon has his good days and his bad.  He sleeps almost all day every day, only getting up for extended periods of time to eat and go for his short morning walk (both of which he still really enjoys).  The flashes of his mischievous, spunky personality are coming fewer and farther between lately.  Some days he is more feisty than others, but he is winding down. 

I keep reminding myself that his is a little old man (72 in human years if you believe the accepted conversion charts) and that he is fighting a losing battle.  I tell myself that he has had a splendid life.  He has always been surrounded by people that love him and he has had wonderful adventures.  He always had the softest beds, the tastiest foods and the squeakiest toys.

But its hard to see him faltering.  I keep asking myself how I will know it's time to say goodbye.  And I'm always torn between what's right for him and what's right for me.  I couldn't bear letting him linger beyond what is humane and loving, just so I can have one less moment of grief after his loss.  So, as of now, I have decided that when he loses the ability to enjoy his two greatest loves, eating and walking, it will be time.  I just hope I have the strength of will to be so selfless when the time comes.

12 July 2010

Lacquer Lundi

It's been a while since I have done a Lacquer Lundi post and I miss sharing my polish adventures.  So, there's no time like the present to get back in the saddle.

Behold the pretties:

GOSH - Peachy
- purchased at Shoppers (chain drug store) for $6.00 CDN

Peachy is exactly that, peachy.  It is a juicy, saturated medium coral creme that just looks like summer to me.  Although, I'm not a fan of the peach fruit (the first time I ever got drunk was on Peach Schnapps - yeah, I know, real classy, but hey, it was the 80s - now the smell of peaches makes me horribly nauseous), I still really like this colour. 

Peachy applied nicely, due to a not too thick, not too thin consistency.  It covered well in two coats and dried quickly.  It wore well, with only tip wear after one day.

Essie - Wacky Wicked
- purchased at Rachelle's (beauty salon) for $0.50 CDN

I admit I bought Wacky Wicked simply for the name, but when I put it on, I was smitten.  Wacky Wicked is deep, rich burgundy with a gorgeous gold shimmer that makes the polish come to life.  It is a perfect vampy red.

Wacky Wicked applied wonderfully and covered opaquely in two coats.  It dried quickly.  It also wore well, with only minor tip wear after three days.

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear - Green With Envy
- purchased at Zellers (chain discount store) for $2.99 CDN

Green With Envy is a bright spring green creme.  It is so wonderfully bright and cheerful on the nail.  It reminds of the new shoots of some plants as they push their way up out of the ground in the early spring.

Green With Envy flowed onto the nail without a hitch and covered completely in two coats.  And, can I say again, just how much I love the Xtreme wear brush?  It's the perfect width and thickness.  Green With Envy wore well, with only tip wear after two days.

GOSH - Black Passion
- purchased at Shoppers (chain drug store) for $6.00 CDN

In the bottle, Black Passion is a black base with fine silver shimmer, but on the nail, it mainly just reads as black. I'm not sure I am in love with a true black nail polish like this one.  It just reads "Herman Munster" to me (especially with the super short nails I was sporting when I wore this) and I'm not sure that's the look I'm going for.  I may try using it as a base for layering in the future - I can see livening it up with some fab glitter.

Black Passion applied nicely and covered opaquely in two coats.  It wore well, with only tip wear after three days.

10 July 2010

Presents of Mind

At the end of each school year, I buy myself a present (or ten) as a celebration of surviving another pair of semesters with my sanity intact (and more importantly, for not maiming any kids in  the process).  This year, my gift to me is a batch of vintage patterns.  All of these will make excellent additions to my work wardrobe.

These beauties were purchased at Your Pattern Shop, which has a 40% off everything sale.  They also offer free shipping (US & Canada) for the purchase of three or more patterns, plus additional volume discounts.  As I was browsing, I noticed that there is a good selection of sizes (bust 30 - 44) at very reasonable prices.

I have never purchased from this vendor before, but I'm always willing to give a new merchant a chance.  I'll report back when the patterns arrive.

1 July 2010

Summer Begins

My marks are done, my room is clean and my photocopying for next September is done.  Today is the first day of my summer vacation - I am officially a woman of leisure.  The next nine weeks are mine to do with as I will.  I hope to get some sewing, gardening and painting (home dec) done.

I just wish I could feel more upbeat.  Although Simon is still eating well and relishing his morning walks, he is showing the effects of the lymphoma.  He sleeps most of the day now and the lumps in his throat are quite large (making it a bit difficult for him to breathe).  Most days I am able to remain positive and thankful that I get this chance to say goodbye to him.  Other days I am in a rage at the injustice of it all.  And on even other days, I am melancholy and sad. 

Thank you to everyone that has left a message (either on my last post or via email).  I cannot tell you how comforting it is to know that other people understand my sorrow.  Every word has meant more to me than you'll ever know.

In closing, I want to send out a huge Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canucks (both real and honourary).  And to end with a chuckle, check out The Canada Song, as sung by my favourite MST3K* trio, Servo, Crow and Mike:

* MST3K = Mystery Science Theatre 3000; one of my all time favourite shows!