Monday, January 2, 2012

#2 Lie on a bed of Nails

The second item on my list of 30 things to do before I'm 30 was to lie on a bed of nails.
A lot of people said "huh?" when I told them that particular goal and I'll admit, it does seem a little odd until I explain.
You see, I happen to work at a science centre where this is a science demonstration that they do for the public on a regular basis.

And since my job is awesome, this is the type of thing that takes place on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend.
The conversation went a little something like this
"hey guys, wanna help me out with something if it's not too busy this afternoon?"
"Sure, what's up?"
"I want to lie on the bed of nails so I can scratch it off of my list"
"Awesome, we'll totally help you!"
(Ok, I may have paraphrased that a little bit... because I'm pretty sure that I'm the only one at work who uses the words 'awesome' & 'totally'... in the same sentence at least.. haha)

Anyway, the interpreters (who actually do this as part of their job - jealous? Me too! They also get to make fire balls... who knew science was fun!) hooked me up and showed me how to lie on the bed without slitting my wrists - that turned out to be a helpful tip! haha

Here's the proof!

Dun dun dunnn!

It looks a little intense doesn't it... good thing I was working with professionals ;)

My friends & colleagues, Geoff & Brianna touching the nails to prove that they're real - trust me, they're real!

Close up!

Geoff demonstrating how to get onto the bed of nails... that was the most stressful part!


I'm super proud of myself.. lol
Also, please note the tshirt (not my normal work wear, I promise, I was wearing a sweater over it but I took it off so it wouldn't look like I was cheating) it says
 "WARNING If zombies chase us, I'm pushing you" it's funny... cause it's true!

So... I get to check #2 off of my list SWEET!
Annnd... I'm pretty sure that this makes me a superhero... those 'science people' tried to explain it by talking about pressure and weight distribution... but I like my explanation MUCH better.
The science demo they do is really neat though, there's this whole thing where they break a cinder block over someones chest with a sledgehammer... on the bed of nails! (I opted out of that - I'll leave that to the professionals)

I bet the question you're all dying to ask is, "did it hurt?" and the answer is.... drum roll please...
not really.
LOL (talk about anticlimactic eh?)

It didn't actually hurt, but I was very aware of the nails, especially in my back. My bottom half was fine cause I had jeans on and there's a little more... cushioning... shall we say...
my back is a little bit bonier - (there's that whole spine thing for starters) so when I laughed - and I was laughing a lot, it made me more aware of the nails. But I wouldn't say it actually hurt.

Here's a neat picture of the back of my tshirt, it had the indents from the nails in it.
Yep, this means that I'm pretty much Super (Wo)Man ... I've long suspected it but now I have proof of my invulnerability.

So there ya have it, #2 checked off - BAM!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Well hello 2012!
It's nice to meet you!

 I decided to end 2011 by counting down my top 10 highlights of the year... then I made some goals for 2012, I'll share mine if you share yours! ;)
Here are my 10 best moments from this year.

10. Discovering my deep love for Toms shoes 

 9. Cancelling our cable (I feel so much more productive and ... smart! Haha. We still have a few channels though)

8. Discovering banana ice cream
 - for instructions on how to make this delicious dessert check out my post in June 2011.

7. Spending a week in Cuba with my love and some friends

6. My family reunion, seeing some of my long lost cousins was wonderful

5. My contract position being extended to a full time position – happy day! We (Ruth, my supervisor and I) held hands on the sidewalk and jumped up and down. Haha
Like this... but without the ties... and longer hair, because we're women... but similar to this... except that we were holding both hands and jumping... hahaha
(If only I had a personal photographer to follow me around and capture these moments!)

4. Tommy & Shauna’s wedding

3. Doing yoga for the first time – I seriously feel like it was life changing... it felt like coming home.
Yep.... this is totally NOT me... this person is 'representing' the type of yoga that I've started practicing - she just looks better doing it! haha

2. Jenni & Chris’s wedding

1. Sarah & Ryan’s wedding

Bonus # 11 - being introduced to Pinterest - I'm seriously in love!! lol

I'm not really one for resolutions, because I feel like they are usually focused on what you don't want - for example, stop biting your nails, giving up junk food, stop waisting time, etc.
So I like to set goals and since I already have all kinds of goals set for this year (until Sept 28th anyway) I thought I'd try to keep them to a minimum.

Here are my 2012 goals:

1. Husband and I are going to do a cleanse for the month of January - his idea! I'm all for it.
We're following this one, check it out!

2. Another joint goal, we've decided to run the 5k in the Blue Nose Marathon.
Now we just have to start running.. haha

3. I'm going to make an effort to post here more often.

There you have it, my highlights of 2011 and goals for 2012. I hope you all take a moment to look back on 2011 and savour the successes then plan for more in the coming year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

#5 Buy a membership to Moksha Yoga

I bought my intro membership to Moksha Yoga at the end of November.
It's only $40.00 for the intro month - Sweeeet!

I'm not going to lie, it's not always easy being in that hot room and there were a few times that I had to lay down on my mat - but that's ok, there's no judgment in that room (or at least not obvious judgment, they may have been making fun of me in their heads...)
The more often I went, the easier it became (I use the term 'easy' very loosely - because the goal is to always push yourself so it's never really 'easy' BUT I had to lie down a lot less!) and the better I felt.

Unfortunately I started to feel icky & sickish toward the end of the month (because I started eating a lot of baaaad food... but that's a whole other story!), so I didn't go to class for about a week and a half but I'm feeling better now and I can't wait to buy a new membership and get started again!

Because I was so excited about my new found yoga love, Santa brought me a Manduka Equa Towel from lululemon, a nifty bag to carry all of my sweaty stuff in and the Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD for Christmas. I'm feeling very supported and excited to use all of my new goodies!

I've already seen quite a few benefits from doing less than a month of yoga; my skin feels better (it's actually pretty broken out right now - again with the bad food) BUT it feels amazing after class, I'm more conscious of my posture (especially when I'm walking around carrying a yoga mat, and I'm much more conscious of my breathing. I find myself taking more big deep breaths throughout the day to energize or de-stress.

I totally recommend it to anyone, the instructors are super friendly and make you feel welcome from day one. 
If you're going to give it a shot, just make sure that you eat well the day you're going (or in life...), don't have anything too heavy beforehand, and drink LOTS of water.

Namaste  ;)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Christmas Wreath Craft

Last night was craft night... yaaay!!
I love craft night (or craft afternoon, or craft morning... you get the point)

The thing that separates craft night from any other crafting session is that husband and I are both working on crafts. He makes these amazing dioramas (mostly of Star Wars  scenes.... MAN we're sounding cooler and cooler...)
Anyway, it's fun because we're spending time together that doesn't involve tv or video games, and we can show each other how we're doing with our projects - just like little kids - "Look what I made!!!"

Last night I made a Christmas wreath - it was the cheapest, easiest thing EVER! (like under $10.00 cheap!!)

Here's how I did it...

Pair of scissors
Glue gun
Duct tape

(pretty easy so far right? No fancy supplies needed - just stuff that pretty much everyone has around the house)

I bought all of this stuff from the Dollar Store.

Christmas bells $1.25
Silver acorns $1.00
Silver bird $1.00
Blue ribbon $1.00
Silver ribbon $1.00 (I didn't even end up using the silver ribbon)
Dollar Store total: $5.25 + tax

Foam insulation stuff from Kent Building Supplies

Also from Kent, fake greenery stuff (please don't be intimidated by my technical terms.. just 'try' to follow along.. hehe!)

I used two of these, they were $1.99 each

Kent total: $4.33 + tax

Grand Total (drum roll please): $9.58 + tax
Ok, so it ended up being a little more than $10.00 after taxes BUT I didn't need the silver ribbon, so I think it will even out if you decide to make this. :)

 Step 1. 
Use the duct tape to secure the ends of the foam.
 I got this tip from Pinterest, (MAN I love Pinterest!! You should all join, and if you follow my boards, I'll follow yours! :) 
It's sooo much cheaper to buy this stuff than it is to buy Styrofoam wreath things from craft stores.

 Step 2.
Wrap the greenery around the frame.

Literally just wrap it, you don't have to be fussy and you don't have to fasten it or anything.
I just tucked the end under the wrapped wire next to it.

 I used 2 packs of greenery, and again, I just tucked the end under the wire next to it.
Super easy - only takes about 10 or 15 minutes (depending on how many cats you have and how intent they are on playing with, catching, and eating the greenery - if you don't have cats... this will take under 5 minutes...)

Once you're finished wrapping, just fluff it up a bit.
Cover any gaps there might be & arrange the branches.
I did mine so that it was flat-ish on the bottom & so that there weren't many going towards the middle because it's kind of a small hole in the middle so I didn't want to make it look any smaller.

 Step 3.
Make a bow
I used pretty much the whole spool of ribbon (not a whole lot comes on the spool anyway.

I did save a little bit of it to hang the wreath though, it only has to be as long as half of one of the bow ends.

 If you want to have 'fancy' ends on your bow
Fold the ribbon (lengthwise) and cut from the bottom corner of he open side, on an angle towards the closed side.
Like so.
OooOoohhh fancy!

Step 4.
Glue the bow on with the glue gun.

I also glued the ends of the ribbon, so that they "look" like they're hanging naturally-ish, but they're not hanging straight down.
(I should clarify - by 'ends' of the ribbon, I mean the parts that aren't the bow... I don't mean that I actually glued the bottom that we cut. I glued somewhere closer to the middle)

 Step 5.
Add the pretty, silver, dollar store bird.  lol

 Just pop it in there and glue it where every you want.

I chose the bottom inside of the wreath, so it looks as though it's perching there.

 Step 6.
Glue everything else.

You don't have to use it all.
Just keep placing and gluing until you're happy with the look.
 Step 7.
Add a piece of ribbon to hang it with.

I just used some left over ribbon from the bow & tied each end around the foam at the top then rearranged the branches to cover the small knots.

Ok, it's not the best picture - but I have a bad camera, bad lighting and no photographic skill to speak of. So this is the best I could come up with. LOL
It's simple, but I think it's pretty and it's CHEAP so that makes it so much better! lol
I think I'll try another one with red & gold.

Hope this inspired you to make some inexpensive crafts of your own, and if anyone tries this out, I'd love to see some pics of your version!

Happy crafting!! :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

#6 - Try one new recipe every month - October

I was really looking forward to this one, because we sometimes get into a rut with our meals - so it's really nice to try new things.

I used the AMAZING cookbook Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero.
This book was a gift from two of my good friends April & Pam when husband and I became vegan - and it's one of the best cookbooks I've used! (Thanks again friends!)

Here's what to look for if you decide to get this book

Ok, back to the meal.

I made leek and bean cassoulet with biscuits on page 172 of the book (translation, leek & bean stew with dumplings for those of you who, like me, aren't fancy... lol)
This was fun, because I've never used a leek before... in fact, I didn't even know what a leek looked like until I went in search of one.

I'm not going to go into all of the instructions (because I don't want to get sued by the authors... hahaha... but seriously...) now you'll just have to buy the book! ha!

Here are the ingredients for the stew

The measuring cup has some beans that I just happened to have in the freezer

Here are the ingredents for the biscuts

Here's some "action" shots of the cooking process...

First (ish) Step

Adding some 'flava'

Add MORE veggies you say? OKAY!

Final Product

This was so delicious! Husband loved it too.
It was hot and comforting - I can't wait to make it again!

October's new recipe = a success!!
And that makes me happy!

# 1 - Buy myself flowers once a month - October

So I started tackling some of the things on my list of 30 things to do before I'm 30 - I decided to go wild and start with #1... I know, I know... I'm livin' on the edge.

But #1 was to buy myself flowers once a month - FUN!
So, at the end of October I bought myself a little bouquet of flowers, nothing too fancy but that's ok, I figured I would start out small.
It made me really happy to do something for myself though... and my kitties loved them! haha

Here are some pictures.
(Please excuse the crummy pictures, I've lost the charger for my camera so I've been using my video camera and it doesn't take the best pictures {not that I took great pictures to begin with - so this is just extra bad!})

These are my October flowers - they're so pretty and bright!

Gabby had to check them out too

Einstein enjoying the flowers


So that's it, I've started my list.
 #1 for October - check!
Only 11 more months to go... plus 29 other things to do; but so far it's making me happy!  :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

30 things before I'm 30

Today is my 29th birthday! Happy Birthday to me!!

So, in honor of my last year of my 20's - I've decided to make a list of 30 things to do (that I've never done before) before I hit the big 3-0. (dunn dunn Dunnn)

My list is not in any specific order, I'll check them off as I go - and take lots of photos!

I encourage everyone else to make a list of their own, even if you're not in your late 20's; it's a fun way of setting goals and feeling like you've accomplished something.

Here we go...

1. Buy myself flowers once a month
2. Lay on a bed of nails
3. Go to the movies alone
4. Try rock climbing (indoors)
5. Buy a membership to Moksha yoga (because I'm in LOVE with hot yoga... after doing it once.. lol)
6. Try one new recipe every month
7. Spend one month doing a random act of kindness everyday
8. Finish my children's story and enter a writing contest
9. Go to a professional sports game (I might let husband decide which one)
10. Volunteer for at least 200 hours
11. Shoot a gun
12. Do a 30 day yoga challenge (this one will come after buying a membership to Moksha)
13. Make a pie from scratch
14. Have a candlelight picnic with husband
15. Take a chunk out of our debt (a more specific amount TBD)
16. Knit a scarf
17. Visit an animal sanctuary
18. Plan a weekend getaway with my friends
19. Take a ride in a hot air balloon
20. "Unplug" for a whole weekend
21. Put together a zombie preparedness kit
22. Keep a gratitude journal - write in it every day
23. Finish every unread or half read book I own
24. Plant a tree
25. Take a sewing lesson
26. Watch Citizen Kane & Casablanca
27. Read at least 5 "Classics"
28. Eat ice cream and cookies for breakfast, lunch, & dinner one day (I'm really looking forward to this one... haha)
29. Buy 10 pairs of white underwear and tiedye them
30. Make my own soy candles

So there it is - my "to do" list for the next year.
I'm so excited to start crossing things off!

I can't wait to hear about everyone else's lists!