Friday, July 29, 2011

Fitness for Friday

I had a sobering experience yesterday.  Upon viewing myself in a photo, I suddenly saw what I had been feeling for quite some time now.  IT IS TIME TO LOSE WEIGHT!

At 5'1", I've always been tiny.  At least until I turned 24...  It used to be a running joke in my very early twenties that if I ever had kids, I'd finally be able to fit into "Adult Clothing".  Yup, I wore kids clothes (at least bottoms) for the longest time.  Actually, I still sometimes do, but that's more due to my height than my weight.

I had no hips, no boobs and despite being athletic, I was tiny.
This is an old softball photo!  Oh, and you might be able to notice, there's some six pack going on under those abs....

And then I stopped working at a job where I stood on my feet all day long, for 8+ hours, eating when I could.  I started working an office job at the hotel, where a couple of the chefs were vying for my attention and did so by bringing me delicious treats. 
I had also stopped dancing and playing sports due to work.

Over the course of the next few years, I steadily gained weight and I don't exactly remember what caused it, but suddenly, I was very uncomfortable in my body and clothes didn't fit.

I've done various bouts at the gym.  I signed up with a personal trainer.  I even had said trainer hired on at my work when we opened the gym in our building. 

But I've not yet been able to get in a groove.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I go thru stages where I am in there every day, working my butt off.   It's usually for an event - Mexico anyone?  And then as soon as the event is over, I let it all go downhill.

This year, I am focusing on eating better and I have vowed to get my self into shape. 
I'd like to drop at least 30 lbs by the end of the year (but I am less focused on lbs. and more on how I look and feel.)

My current biggest area to work on is my stomach.  I want that flat (maybe six pack) ab section back!
Plus, if the overall weight loss causes my face to go back to the way it used to be, I will be forever greatful.

I've recently started sharing my fitness progress with a gf and thought that it would be great for me to share here as well.  Once a week, I will be updating my progress and anything else related to keep me on track.

Wish me luck in this fitness journey!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Walk in the Park... and all around Downtown

Today I had a great idea to take Finley down to Kinsmen Park and walk around.  The weather was perfect.  Not too hot, but hot enough.

Then we crossed the High Level Bridge

Something about this old bridge that is very appealing to me!

We got our workout in, by taking the stairs...
There are even ramps on either side for bikes!

We saw some inspiring graffiti:

Cory refuses to smile for photos....

We then walked all the way to Jasper Ave, where we enjoyed a dinner on the sidewalk outside Subway.  Little Miss Finley got quite a lot of attention.

Then we headed back.  Here's a view of the High Level from the Walterdale Bridge we returned on:

Yeah, we walked FAR!!!

Someone was kind of nervous on the walk back.  Not sure if it was from seeing the water down below or the vibrations from all the cars....?

On the drive home Cory stopped at Twisted Yogurt and we got dessert.

Kind of defeats the purpose of all that walking, but I like to think they didn't do too much damage since they are no fat!!

I selected White Chocolate Strawberry yogurt with caramel sauce, reese's pieces AND peanut butter cups, butterscotch chips.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Today is the first day of my vacation.  We originally had a big camping trip to BC planned, but then the dog got sick and we knew i just wasn't going to work...

We're sad yes, but there's no use in getting upset about it, so we're gonna make the best of things and kind of plan our own little "Stay-cation".  We've got no real plans and have a few things around the house to attend to, and maybe some fun stuff to get done.  Plus, we might even be adventurous and head out camping for a day or two, but we're taking it day by day.

As of right now, this is all we've accomplished...
Oh yeah, we're still in bed!  Save for an "emergency call" from the office an hour into the workday, we're taking it easy!

But just laying in bed, taking photos, I realized that this week off might be a good time to tackle some things, includig:

Finishing the window treatments in this room.  I need two more sets of the wood blinds (one for the window in the closet).  Once that's done, it'll be time to get some drapes hanging in there as well.  At least on the large window...

This eyesore needs to be fixed.  The blue paper was serving as a mat for a print, but I took the print out and then the mat shifted....  It's been like this for months - don't judge.

That's correct, there is still no headboard behind our bed.  I have the frame AND I have the fabric (or at least the fabric I thought I was going to use).  Now I just need to make a decision, buy the foam and execute the plan.  This NEEDS to happen!!!  Our pillows are all helter skelter and things fall behind the bed.

Well yes, obviously, we'll MAKE the bed.  But I think it's time to seriously start looking at new bedding.  I'll for sure be buying new sheets since ours are on their last legs, but I am over the blue and brown duvet.  The colors just aren't right for what I'd like to do in here....
This will most likely take a while - there are limited options round here for Super King sized beds that aren't ridiculously expensive.

Spend some time with this good boy.  We think he's sick....  Not sure how or why or what, but something's off.  He's picking fights with the other cat; hissing and growling. 
He also started "messing" where he shouldn't have been messing.  Namely, on my bath mat.
I know that's never a good sign, but I'm crossing my fingers it's just cause he doesn't want to leave our room for fear of running into this week's nemesis, Mischu, his Egyptian Mau brother.

I'm staying positive and hoping that the heat has just made him grumpy.

Here's hoping we can make some progress in this room and finally call it complete!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Deal of the Day: Paper Towels

I know its not very "green" of me to use paper towels but with 3 animals, they're just a necessity around Casa Savoy!

We ran out this weekend, which was the worst as we have two sick animals and someone who is secretly going to the washroom where they shouldn't be....

Last night I scouted some online flyers to see who had the best buys!

Shoppers Drug Mart had a couple of deals that worked for me:

~Scott towels are currently on for $4.99/6 pack. With my $2.00 off coupon=$2.99

~Life brand towels $0.69/2 pack. Limit is 4. Making cost for 6 rolls $2.76.

So for under $6.00, I am scoring 12 rolls! Pretty good!
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Date Night: Taste of Edmonton

We had a very busy weekend over here at Casa Savoy!  Friday night, we had plans with Cory's sister and her husband but since our plans were outdoors and it was raining, we opted for getting some pizza delivered and headed out to Friends with Benefits which I really liked.  Yes, we thought it would be very similar to the recent "Just Friends", but MUCH better!!!  I loved Mila Kunis in this.  She's so cute.  Loved her wardrobe in this as well!

Yesterday, we did some running around and a trip to the vet for Finley who apparently an upper respiratory infection or "kennel cough" if you will.  She most likely contracted it from another dog at the dog park.  Not fun!!  Our poor little girl is hacking and vomiting and sneezing and sounds awful.  She's really not doing well with it/  But thankfully, we got her on some antibiotics now and a cough supressant. But we're quarantined and must keep her away from other dogs for a minimum a week... and our vacation plans are up in the air!  But since her medications make her drowsy, we took advantage of it and headed out of town for a party out of town at a friend's parent's home.  I wish I had brought my camera or even my camera for that matter... I snagged a couple poor quality shots from Cory's phone that were even worse when I emailed them to myself....

Gorgeous 5400 sq. ft home with an amazing backyard that included this little beauty:

We just don't DO pools in Alberta....  soo jealous!

Today, we hit up Taste of Edmonton for a lovely little Date Night!!

$55 dollars worth of tickets and we were both stuffed!!  Some of the delicious goodies we sampled were:
~Chicken satays   ~ chocolate peanut butter chunks     ~sweet potato fries    ~pyrohy    ~spankopita
~garlic and tomato salad     ~chicken enchiladas    ~strawberry frozen yogurt    ~green onion cakes

Plus much more!  I like going with Cory cause we each get a dish and then split it, and then we move on to the next set of booths.  Yum!

It was a beautiful evening and we really had a great night!!  Hope you had a great weekend as well!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Frugal Friday - "Extreme" Couponing

I don't know about you, but I was beyond intrigued when the show Extreme Couponing aired.  I could not get over how much money these women (and a few men) were saving.  I mean some of them were getting thousands of dollars in products EACH WEEK for FREE - and sometimes even EARNING MONEY ON THEIR PURCHASES!!!

Growing up, I was no stranger to coupons.  My mom would use them when she got them in the mail or the paper, if it was a product she was regularly going to purchase.  I remember her little coupon holder and even found one for myself when I moved out on my own.  It had a clear pocket on one side for the coupons (stacked in order of department of course) and the other side held a notepad, perfect for writing this week's list on.

A few years back, I even started subscribing to some online sites where I could go and choose my coupons and have them sent to me: was my favorite.
But I was pretty forgetful with my coupons and time after time, they sat unused in my little coupon holder, so I kinda stopped doing it altogether.

And then I saw some episodes and got excited about it again.  My excitement subsided when I realized that in Canada, there must be some different coupon legislations as there's no way we could EVER get those kinds of deals!!  Apparently, there is only one store in the Country that allows coupon stacking and my grocery stores sure don't coupon match!.... so I forgot about it....

Until this past weekend when I saw it for the first time - a SERIOUS COUPONER!!  Yup, strolling the cat food and litter aisle at Walmart, there she was!!  A thirty something gal with her binder opened up, as she scanned the prices of cat litter!! She noticed my look right away, I was so intrigued I wanted to ask her questions like where do you get your coupons?  is there a tip to organizing your stash?   How much money do you really save?  But I didn't know how to do it without coming off like a totally lunatic.  Then, as she passed me again, I tried to sneak a peek at her binder and she got really embarassed, closed it and booked it down the aisle, never to be seen again!!

Shoot!!  Missed my chance.  I'm not so sure why she was embarassed.  I wasn't judging her, I was thinking she was awesome!  It got me excited and inspired again.  Obviously, this lady relied on coupons enough to need a binder, so there must be something to saving money this way after all!

Later when I relayed the story, my brother mentioned his girlfriend had a binder and even brought it out for me to see!  That was enough for me, I immediately got out the coupons I did have:

Got myself a binder

Labelled up some dividers and some great little plastic pages

and until I have a second to buy some proper business card pages for the coupons, I subbed in some regular plastic pages to file them in

Oh, and then I set to work ordering all sorts of coupons online. 
Now all I have to do is get our printer working so I can start printing even more coupons for some of our favorite brands!

I'm excited to see how this goes and will share my progress with you!!

Are there any couponers (extreme or otherwise) out there that want to share some tips with me?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cheap and Cheerful- Alternative to Pots!

It's turning out to be a nice day. Hopefully it will last into the evening so I can actually enjoy it when I am off work.

If not, I am in the midst of a big project with the office to keep me busy.

Speaking of offices, thought I would share with you the great little plant that sits on my desk cause I think it's so great!

We received this as an "office warming" gift over a year ago when we moved into the new building. We received so many gorgeous floral arrangements that week, but this was the only plant, and is obviously the only one still kickin'.

A sweet woven basket that I recognize from the dollarstore, with a fitted clear plastic liner, some dirt and what appear to be cuttings(?) from at onetime 5 (now 4) different plants and BAM! Instant gift.

Honestly, I don't know how I've managed to keep it alive this long. I'm not really close to a window, but I suppose all the glass still allows it to get enough natual light? And I only water it once in a while, with the dregs from my waterbottle. But this little arrangement apears to be thriving!

Maybe I'll throw something like this together next time I need a cheap gift. It lasts much longer than flowers and looks great!
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Style Feature: Eclectic Traditional Home

I'm suppossed to be getting together with my sister in law this weekend to do a garage sale, but thought I would share one of my recent favorite homes.

This home, belongs to Style at Home Design Editor Christine Hanlon.  Her home has been featured in the magazine a few times and each time it gets an update, I still love it.  Here's some snaps from the most current incarnation:

The gorgeous white mantel reminds me a lot of ours. 
I'm also now thinking that maybe line for our sofas is a good idea.  Love the garden stool and the bamboo table!!

While I wouldn't probably pick the chartreuse for my own home, I love it here!

Great mix of texures, patterns and colors on the sofa.
I like that they have layered the side tables, as we all know it's sometimes hard to actually reach them.

From afar, the chairs look grey.  I love that they have a patten that still can read as a neutral.
Perfect looks with such a simple color palette.

Love the simple wallpaper. The doors are awesome.
I'm not sure though if there are 2 dining rooms in this space or perhaps her "nook" is also done up quite nicely.
I think I might want to try out a white table.  Looks a lot less maintenancey than my glossy dark one....

I am totally gonna steal this idea of using a small chest instead of a whole sideboard.  Since we don't have room for one in our space, a pretty blue chest like this would be perfect!

Hope you have a wonderful Friday!  Who knows, I might be back with more later on!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Highs and Lowes...

First up, the lowes:

We've been having a RIDICULOUS (and that's an understatement) amount of rain here lately.  Over the past month we've had very few nice days.  But it's rained a lot.  And hailed.  and rained REALLY HARD FOR DAYS.  So needless to say, the lawn was getting it's fair share.  While that saved on our water bill, it also presented a problem:

The rain, coupled (i'm sure) with the fact that we grass cycle and leave our clippings on the lawn, atributed to some new occupants in our lawn.... MUSHROOMS!! 

There are no pictures of the offenders as I am out there getting rid of them as soon as one appears.  Plus, I'm actually horrifically embarassed by them.  I mean, the lawn is less than a year old!!  Plus, I am pretty proud to admit that I was taking wonderful care of the yard.  I'd be out there every night after work, pulling errant weeds from the shrub bed, mowing and whacking the grass to keep it sporting a chic and stylish 'do.   But apparently, it's not uncommon in new sod, especially in new builds as often time careless builders leave construction debris, and then it gets covered and decomposes, making it ideal mushroom growing conditions.

So, off we headed to get something to take care of the problem.  I'll admit, we were initially headed to Home Depot, since it was always our go-to place.  But on the way, we remembered that Lowes had recently opened, and we hadn't been in there yet.  Plus, it was a tad closer...

We were pleasantly surprised when we went inside.  The variety of products was different than everything else we'd been seeing everywhere lately.  We did get sidetracked, but eventually found ourselves in the seasonal section picking up a fungicide.  We couldn't find something specifically for mushrooms, so we ended up going with this option:

I've been picking the mushrooms as soon as they sprout, and then giving the affected area a good blast and then covering the whole area around the tree that they're growing a good coating.  But so far, they seem to still be coming back and quite rapidly I might add.

I'm wondering if anyone else knows a good treatment.  Or are we just gonna have to dig out the area and either put in new sod a bed of some sort....?

But, the visit to Lowes did have a high:  I spotted the gorgeous quatrefoil mirror that John and Sherry have in their master bath window!!

I'll most definitely be making a trip back there to pick one up for myself.

But seriously, about the mushrooms, HELP!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Learning a New Trick!

So I used a palm sander for the first time tonight... No, I'm not kidding - I have a thing with sandpaper, so it's always been one of those nails on chalkboard kinda things for me. 

When it's come to projects, either my mom or Cory has always had to do things for me.  But since the pile of projects waiting to be sanded so that they could be started was getting bigger every day, I figured I could maybe talk myself into it. 
Cory was pretty sure that something going fast, like a palm sander wouldn't creep me out as much as literally scraping a sanding block on wood would, and since mom had gotten us one two years ago for Christmas, I figured I could at least TRY it before admitting defeat.

So after work, I found the thing in Cory's workbench and then proceeded to try and figure it out.  I was completely lost, and the manual made me even more so....  So I set it down (not away...) and waited for him to get home.  Once we figured out how to get the paper on there (he's not so handy either...) I got to try it out.

And you know what?  It DOESN'T BUG ME!!!

Unfortunately, the whole thing lasted about 7 minutes because all we had for sandpaper was the sample sheets that came with the sander, but I am excited to get to work on the piles of stuff waiting to be refinished!!!

Practical and Awesome or Worst Idea Ever?

I've been thinking a lot lately about changing the way we do towels in our powder room.
We moved the awful builder basic towel bar about a year ago, when we were going to wallpaper (that was postponed due to a purchasing error; possibly to be re-started this fall...) and then I decided I didn't want another bar. So I bought a cheapo towel ring, which is sitting in the cupboard cause I ended up getting a cute little stand in my suprise sample box from Princess House.
We've been using the stand ever since and while I love it, Cory apparently does not. His big hands find it awkward and he knocks it over all the time. Plus since my towels are big but folded down, they are snug on the stand and stay damp.
There's nothing nastier than drying your hands on someone else's damp towel spot. Yuck...
So I think it would be fantastic to try individual towels. We use them at work in the client washroom and I love everything about it.
1. There's nothing better than a crisp, white (dry) towel.
2. Let's be honest, this looks so chic! Plus, I have the room for it and the "discard" basket under the weird counter cut-out.
3. Yes it's more towels, but they are smaller and I would still only be doing full loads, so I don't feel wasteful.
What do you think? Is anyone doing this in their house already?
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EDITED TO ADD:   The photos above are of the client bathroom at work.  NOT our home!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Children's Items I love!!

We had the Restoration Hardware Baby & Child Catalogue delivered to work the other day and I was absolutely in love!

It was the first time I'd seen this one and couldn't believe all the amazing pieces.  While I neither have kids, nor am expecting any time soon, I couldn't help but fall in love with a few items that I think would look great in our house right now!

 These industrial baskets with numbered liners would be perfect for storage in our basment when we eventually finish it!!

I absolutely love these  ABC floor cushions. Yes, I know they're pretty kid friendly, but they'd also be pretty awesome in said basement.  Or a really expensive dog bed.... Ms. Finley would definitely love something chic like this!!

Alright, so while I would never actually pay this much for a pinboard.  But I have been searching out an antique frame at a reasonable price for a really long time to no luck.  But since I am in the process of re-doing our office, I will definitely be on the lookout for something similar to this for our space!
I'm also totally awaiting the day I have kids so I can do up a ridiculously ostentatious room like this!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Shoe Love!

We had grand plans to finish the fence and get started on landscaping the backyard this weekend.  However, as usual, since Cory had the weekend off, it rained.  Actually rain is an understatement - it poured... all weekend.  I mean, yeah this afternoon was nice, but we had so much rain Friday and Saturday that the backyard was a lake.  So, we did some shopping instead.

I only bought one thing, but I am ridiculously in love with them:

Yup, I needed a new pair for work as 3 pairs of pumps became "too tired looking" to wear to work this year.

I was actually looking for something a little less... black. But the asymetrical box detail caught my eye and there was nothing I could do about it.  They're Nine West's and were clearance at The Bay

I'm currently loving them with cuffed up jeans.  But they look good with everything so far!

I also fell in love with a gorgeous pair of Badgley Mischka pumps similar to these:

Unfortunately, on clearance, they were still $250.00 and with only 1 wedding reception to attend this summer, I just couldn't justify the purchase!  Maybe I'll keep stalking them....

Any great shoe finds lately?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Our Outdoor Space... or at least 1 of 2 (In progress)

I guess I haven't really shared much about our outdoor space before.  I guess that's both because it's no where near finished and a little cause I am lazy  forgetful.

Actually, we essentially have 2 outdoor spaces: the upper deck and the lower patio. 
But the only space we're currently using is the upper deck.  The lower disaster space is a post for another day... and we;ll eventually get around to it when we've actually got some landscaping down there as well.

Anyhow, back to the upper deck - immediately after we moved in we placed the bbq up there (which I thought made sense since it was off the kitchen) and bought a patio set without measuring anything.
The deck was actually narrower than I thought ( we had looked at 3 different options when we built),  but since getting the set home was so difficult, I was NOT about to return it, so we made do. 
 Plus I really liked it and we got it on clearance at Walmart. 

I really love the detail on the backs of the chairs.  The cushions are neutral, which we like, but sometimes I think it's all too "beige" out there and I need some brightly colored toss cushions on the chairs.  It has six chairs, but only 4 fit comfortably around the table.  We also love the rectangular umbrella, which is perfect for the space!

The other two chairs were perfect for creating a little sitting area:

I also added a little round wicker table with glass top.  It's vintage, handed down from my mom.  I had originally sprayed it glossy black 3 years ago but the "elements" of a Canadian winter have taken their toll and I kind of like the natural look.

This spring, after buying a new(er) bbq, Cory decided he was going to keep the bbq downstairs.  I told him it could stay until we get the lower space finished.....sometime next year most likely. 
That left this corner free:

I'm thinking I might try and move the sitting area to the corner or maybe find a few more matching chairs to add some extra seating since we always seem to be bringing kitchen chairs outside when we entertain.

It looks really squashed here, but it's actually perfect.

The one area I am not too keen on is this:

Our neighbours house is set further back on the lot than ours which means that we have a full-on view of our deck.  Plus, sometimes their three kids are strange (and don't appear to have any toys... so sometimes they stare at us out there, or even into our house for that matter....

So obviously, I'd like to add a little privacy.  I don't want to add a lattice screen or anything here, but I think it might be nice to add a tall cedar in the corner.  I mean, there's already a huge empty pot there.
Well actually, that's a smaller pot (full of last summer's dead plants) sitting inside the opening of the large blue pot!

We've been keeping the babygate at the top of the stairs cause the animals like to hang out on the deck with us sometimes.  But there is nothing better than a little color in that otherwise bland space.  Especially when this is what the stairs are currently looking down onto:

Yuck, not much to look at!  But hopefully we'll made some headway on the lower level this weekend!!