June 18, 2018

Behind the Art: Just Numbers



Today I am starting a new series on the blog to share the ideas and reasons behind the designs and art of the cards and art prints that you can find in the shop, starting with the card that I created for my mom's birthday a few several years ago (if you really want to know how old she was turning, look at the number in the centre of the card).

The card began with this idea to sooth my mom of the idea that she was approaching 60, and that the ages that we all turn are just numbers, nothing more. There are so many other things that we can define ourselves by other than a number. This is something that I am slowly starting to learn as I creep closer to 40.


May 31, 2018

Weight Update: My Journey to Circuit Training


 
It's been a while since I last had a weight update -- you can find them here -- and a lot has changed since then. The last time I shared my weight with you, I was 126lbs. I never fluctuated much from there. The lowest I reached was 125lbs, and, up until the summer of last year, I had really started to plateau in terms of what exercise was doing for my body and I was starting to get bored. 

In August 2017 I started to really step up how many reps I was doing after being inspired by some really toned people, and in November of the same year, my sister-in-law invited me to her Cross Fit class as part of an open house. I was fortunate to already have some of the muscles necessary in order to keep up, but that class had me beat by the end and I was moved in a different direction of working out.

My workouts always consisted of working on each muscle group, and keeping my body strong -- especially my legs and core -- so that my running wouldn't mess up my knees, but I did high reps and no sets. The Cross Fit class inspired me to start doing lower reps with multiple sets, and so I started doing research on different exercises that I could do at home to work my muscles without getting bored by doing the same thing over and over while saving some money by doing it all at home.

My workout always consists of arms (10 push ups, 15 tricep dips, 10 dumbbell swings), legs (20 lunges, 10 sumo squats, 20 single leg dead lifts), core (15 boat pose sit ups, 15 sit ups, 10 leg lifts) or all three (10 burpies, 10 inchworm push ups, 12 renegade rows), and I push myself to do my circuit as many times as I can within a 10-15 minute time span -- which is usually between 6-10 times. That means I'm doing 60-100 pushups within a short amount of time, and there are so many different things I can do in multiple combinations that my workouts are never boring, plus it only takes 10 minutes out of my day. Sometimes I also like to throw in some sprints on the treadmill as another way of mixing it up.

It didn't take me long to notice the results in my body, and, although I have gained about 5lbs, my clothes fit looser than before I started gaining. I am proud of the progress that I have made, and the strength that has come with it. I have come a long way from the person that I was 6 years ago, and I am ready to enter the realm of 35 with a body that is more powerful than it has ever been and can help me keep up with my family.



*Remember, I am not an expert on nutrition, nor am I a trainer, but this workout has helped me lose fat and gain muscle. If you are looking to lose weight, do your research and get some ideas from the experts. It's not going to happen unless you try.


May 29, 2018

The Drama Behind Planting Fruits and Vegetables



I have a small garden that I plant every year, and, because of the size of my garden, I like to do something called companion planting where I strategically plant my fruits and vegetables based on which plants help them grow, and which ones hinder their growth.

While looking through the list of fruits and vegetables on the chart in the link I shared above, I noticed I was writing things like "strawberries don't like potatoes or tomatoes" and "carrots like tomatoes", and it made me think that these sentences would make a funny little book about the drama between fruits and vegetables. 

So, I decided to draw them up, and here are the results. I hope you had as much fun looking through them as I had drawing them and photographing them.

Do you have a garden this year? Have you ever done companion planting?



May 17, 2018

Now He Is 7



We celebrated his birthday two weekends in a row this year. The first was Easter weekend with family, and the second was with his friends from school, the day home he goes to, and from the neighbourhood. 

It's exciting to see how his relationships are evolving and what he does to keep engaging with people. He recently started going off on his own to neighbors' homes and biking to the park with friends. It's a strange feeling that accompanies sending him off on his own. I can't believe we are already at this part of life. Sometimes I want my little boy back, and I wish I held onto those earlier years more -- which most of us wish, I'm sure.

This year has seen a lot of changes besides going off on his own. He has learned how to read, and we are really excited when we look back at how far he has come. From struggling with sight words to reading books sent home from school that have much more text than they used to. He also had his first introduction to research when his class set up a zoo and taught other classes that came to visit all about the animals that they studied. He taught me things I never knew about crabs -- which was everything because I really knew nothing about crabs.

What makes me the most proud, as I watch him grow, is how kind and considerate he is towards other people. He will stop to help anyone, and shows genuine concern for people that get hurt. He is a thoughtful boy, and it makes me excited to see what kind of person he will become.




May 09, 2018

What We Love: Spring 2018



This bomber jacket has been a staple in our wardrobe since we've been allowed to ditch the winter coat -- you can find similar ones here. It's warm when we need it to be, but not so warm that we can't wear it on a hotter day in the shade. Love it!



This song is our new jam. Since hearing it the other day on the Barefoot Beach Chill station on Google Play, it has been on repeat. We even had a dance session with the dog in our kitchen. He was not as thrilled as we hoped he would be. This song starts out so beautiful and chill and then heads into some really cool beats that give amazing vibes.



This little slingshot from the shop desEnfantillages is perfect to help get everyone in the mood to get back outside now that the snow is gone for good -- fingers crossed. It would also be good to have on a rainy day where you're stuck inside and looking to have a slingshot battle.



April 13, 2018

LUGO 2018



LUGO has been a tradition that belongs to me and a good friend. Most of the time, other people have joined us on the adventure, but this year we decided to go just the two of us. We did run into someone that we hadn't seen in a long time, and so she joined us in the photo booth.

It was a very different experience from past LUGO events that we have attended (2013, 2014 & 2015) as this is the first time it has been held since the new art gallery opened -- Remai Modern -- and so it was wasn't the same close feeling that it had in the past. It also didn't feel as interactive as it had in previous years.

This is also the first year that we went for supper before the party, and I made the mistake of eating too much food -- like way too much, I couldn't even drink water or I'd burst. It totally worth it, though, except that I missed out on the opportunity of tasting delicious foods (especially deserts) from local restaurants.

There was some really great music to dance to, including 3 Ninjasks, and we had a lot of fun figuring out how to pose in the photo booth. There was a lady that was doing some lettering in chalk of things people are thankful for or appreciate, and so we would stop by every once in a while to see how it had progressed. I have learned not to devour both my starter and entree, and will have more space for snacks -- and water -- next time.


My carrot brooch is from Nuff Nuff Toys in Chile.



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