Random thoughts of an upbeat mind

Black Friday purchases

Before too much time passes, we need to acknowledge my Black Friday purchases.

Princess sent me a text on the day before Black Friday to let me know that the Gap was having a 50% off sale. Not a place I usually in, but I was on a mission to find new sports bras, so I thought why not.

I picked up 2 bras, a pair of workout capris and a dress. When I was shopping they only had these 2 available in my size, so I figured why not. Worst case scenario, I would just return them, no harm, no foul.

Gap Bra (Source)Gap Mesh Bra (Source)

Well I tried these babies on and jumped around and I swore the angels sang. There was no movement. The FIRST time EVER!! I am impressed. I can heard my BFF saying you get what you pay for. The capris were also a keeper.

The dress did not garner the same reaction. Princess liked it. Diva told me to return it at once.

Gap dress (Source)

I like that is has pockets. 🙂

I also bought an Instant Pot, but that is a post for another day.

All in all, I am very happy with my purchases.


On a Roll

Last week we did not do our regularly scheduled workouts. Monday, the trainer was stuck in traffic. So my coworker and I did our own workout. I was out of the office on Wednesday and one of the other ladies was also not available, so that class also needed to be rescheduled. The new lady was not available for the rest of the week due to family commitments. My regular boot camper was disappointed to miss the whole week as she was only available for a half class on Thursday, so I suggested Friday.

Aside from the fact that it was the end of a long week, it ended up being a hard workout. It seemed that the trainer was trying to get both workouts into the hour. Then instead of going home to relax, I decided to knock out a “quick” trip to Costco. Hoping for less foot traffic as everyone else should be tired too.

At Costco, I bought some meat. I am not supposed to be buying meat as my freezers are still not empty, but I am not cooking and needed inspiration. A huge pork loin and 6 pounds of ground beef made it into my cart, along with lots of vegetables. We will not mention the two shirts and track pants that also came home with me.

Yesterday, I met up with my Dad for brunch and then ran a few errands, voted in the local bi-election and of course visited the library.

Today I dealt with the pork. I cut it into three pieces. One of those pieces I cut into chops. The chops and one of the pieces went into the freezer and the other chunk was seasoned for dinner tonight. The ground beef was divided into one pound packages and all but one went into the freezer.

Back in early October, my gym buddy’s child was having a fund-raiser that offered autumn vegetables instead of the usual magazine or chocolates. I am now in possession of lots of potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and onions.

I roasted some of the potatoes and sweet potatoes to go with the pork. Might as well make good use of the oven while it is on. I fried up a pound of the ground beef with some carrots and made the sauce using this recipe. It’s my favourite go-to stir fry sauce as I always have these ingredients in my kitchen. Rice was made to go with the beef.


I should not need to purchase lunch this week.

A Small Win – Ribs Edition

I have been on the hunt for a good rib recipe and method of cooking the ribs.

Back in 2000 I went to spend some time with my Aunt in Arizona. While there she made these delicious ribs and I brought home a copy of the recipe. I wish I could tell you what recipe book it came out of but that memory is long gone.

The sauce for the recipe is very simple. BBQ sauce, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, onion powder and a bit of water. The ribs were baked on high without sauce for 20 minutes, then coated in sauce and baked at 350 for an hour.

In the past this produced ribs we were all happy with, but within the past 5(?) years this method has been less than desired. The ribs turned out tough. I am not a fan. My kids were even less. So they would leave them for me to eat … or the ribs would end up in the garbage. 😦

I heard cooking them in the slow cooker would yield tender fall off the bone ribs. So I put my ribs in the slow cooker with some BBQ sauce and hoped for the best. It was not a favourite.

On to the next method.

My Step-Mom boils her ribs before putting them on the BBQ. While I don’t have a BBQ I still tried this method but baking them in the oven after. I liked this way. I was the only one.

We had some success with this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. I loved it, but Diva wasn’t feeling the seasoning and I wanted something simpler.

Recently I stumbled across this recipe from The Pioneer Woman. Cook in the slow cooker without sauce. I decided to broil them in the oven with sauce after to caramelize the sauce. To increase the chance of success, I used the BBQ sauce recipe from the ribs we used to like. AND I had Diva bake them. I find that involving Diva makes her feel like she “cooked” and therefore the food must be good. 😉

I made the ribs on Tuesday; they were gone by Thursday night! A success in my book.


On to the next task

So I think I am getting the fitness part of my life under control. I now need to focus some attention on my eating. Everyone tells me that weight loss is 80% what you eat. And while I am not eating “bad” food per say, I am eating a lot more than I probably need to.

To combat this I will get back to taking my lunch to work. By the time I eat, I am usually rather hungry and want ALL the food. The café at work provides lots of healthy options, which is what I stick to. But I tend to get a lot.

My meal planning has been slacking lately. It doesn’t help that my girls don’t tend to eat at home much anymore. Or when they are hungry they are more likely to order pizza than eat out of the fridge. I think if I cook, they will eat. So on the menu this week is pasta and meatballs and BBQ ribs, not diet friendly but family favourites. Also a modified tomato and cucumber salad. If all works well these should keep us fed for the majority of the week.

I still have to put some thought and energy into making smoothies. I know once I get the hang of it, I’ll be making them all the time. It is just to get started. If I was more on the ball, smoothies would definitely fix my what to have for breakfast questions every morning. If you have any good combinations, I’d love to hear about them.

10 classes done!

My first boot camp session is completed. My body is sore but I am feeling good. And I have signed up for the next session.

Since that doesn’t start until next week, I surprised myself by accompanying my team mate to the gym for a quick workout. We did not push ourselves too hard but managed to hit every muscle group. I rather enjoyed getting a light sweat on after work. This might become a regular thing.

All around life is good. I am in search of a part time job as I really think it’s time to do my kitchen renos and I would prefer to pay for it in cash. My BFF has inspired me. She went from being unemployed for over 1 year (YIKES!) to having a full time gig, part time gig AND a volunteer position while parenting her 10 year old bi-weekly. Next to her, I look like a slacker. There is no real reason I can’t work another job. My weekends are generally available.

So tomorrow I am going to drop off my resume at some stores in the neighbourhood. Hopefully someone will bite.

My first blogger meetup

I might be losing my mind as I swore I had posted this on Friday.


Last Thursday I met my very first blogger. It was the first time I had ever met anyone off the internet … who was not a potential love interest. lol Oh the stories I have about internet dating.

Anyhoo …

Dar from An Exacting Life, was in Toronto to help her offspring move. Prior to her trip, she asked if I would be interested in meeting up and I didn’t even hesitate to say yes. I wish I could tell you how long I have been reading An Exacting Life and express how much I have enjoyed reading her adventures and thought processes.

Dar was everything she presents on her blog. Kind, smart, well-read, knowledgeable and just goodness. We met at Pacific Mall which is an Asian shopping center close to my neck of the woods. While I was willing to meet up closer to where her kid now lives, Dar graciously saved me an hour plus journey across the city.

We had a lovely chat over sugary good times in the form of fruit slushies. Time flew and it was really nice to meet in person. One day I hope to make the journey to Nova Scotia and see some of Dar’s stomping grounds … and of course Dar.

Yesterday was workout class #5. So far it is going well. I am feeling stronger. Still have lots of work to do. Really need to figure out how to breathe when doing cardio. Right now it feels like my chest is going to explode. I know it will get better and the ladies I workout with are very encouraging.

Still haven’t taken my measurements so I can measure my progress. My clothes are still tight. I realized I need to change my lunch eating habits. The cafeteria serves us large portions and I used to eat it all. Small salad and soup included. O_o

Now I eat the soup and salad and half the entrée and pack the rest up for dinner. So far it is working very well. I hope to reap some rewards from paying attention to my eating.

I was feeling good until this morning when one of my coworkers asked me if I am pregnant …

Guess I will be joining the next session of exercise classes.