sophie’s choice

Fall is not my thing. That said, my motto is: accept and proceed; buy hand warmers and adapt.

A few people have asked what’s on my Fall must-do list and I’m quick to say nothing because I am still mourning Summer but my friend Sophie requested we try and make the most of the season. And try I shall. Here’s her list which I am going to work through… even the pumpkin stuff.

Sophie’s Fall Bucket List

  1. Drink a Fall Seasonal Drink (unironically)
  2. Wear a tartan skirt with a turtleneck
  3. Watch the sunrise
  4. Hike in the Adirondacks = Hike
  5. Go apple picking
  6. Wear a beret
  7. Watch Meghan’s must-see movies: Dirty Dancing and Pump Up the Volume (This is basically me threatening Sophie – I can’t believe she hasn’t watched Dirty Dancing!)
  8. Make butter tarts
  9. Create a Halloween costume
  10. Walk in Central Park while the leaves are changing = Any park will do
  11. Drink mulled wine or a hot apple cider (like an actual one, not powder)
  12. Weekly fall manicure = I am aiming for 1 fall manicure
  13. Drink 2L of water per day (that’s a lot!)
  14. Write letters
  15. Wear stylish outfits for one week straight
  16. Cook egg-bites (or go to Starbucks)
  17. Go to a trivia night with friends
  18. Build a cornucopia
  19. Visit with an old friend
  20. Go to high tea = or just tea, we don’t need to be fancy.
  21. Visit a museum exhibit
  22. Stroll ALL of Mount-Royal = stroll around the neighbourhood, visit stores I pass by and never go in.
  23. Cook and eat Coddled Eggs
  24. Stoke a fire

*modified for people outside of Montreal and who will not be visiting New York City any time soon.(image)

Here’s the last time I did a fall bucket list  (results)

half way there, woah, livin’ on a prayer

Hello, August. Just a quick check-in – How is everyone’s summer going?

Things are moving along nicely with my 100 Days of SummerLet’s Do it list but, it has not totally been smooth sailing (I have yet to go sailing, by the way).Here’s a quick 10-things update:

  1. All of my on-going items are well on track (17, 36, 71, 78, 79, 91)
  2. I got a not completed in 2016/2017 item done! (4)
  3. Seeking recommendations for a silk blouse that’s nice and not too expensive (16)
  4. Seeking someone with a sailboat (95). There’s a good chance the person with the sailboat also has excellent taste in silk blouses, so it’s likely a win-win for me.
  5. I did start designing my 2019 calendars but my hard drive crashed so now I need to restart (7) womp, womp
  6. The weather has been amazing. Yay!
  7. As are my family and friends who’ve been helping me get things checked off the list
  8. Marathon training is a pain in the butt for me because I actually pulled a butt muscle (57)
  9. 50/100 are completed!
  10. You can follow along on my Instagram (#100daysofsummer)

Good luck and …

it’s not over yet!

(image)

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hello 39

Remember last year on my 38th birthday when I decided to publish a forty before forty bucket list? Yeah, maybe I was a little too ambitious… I mean, how does one master and perform the Footloose dance annnnnd get bangs in only two short years?

Perhaps I should change it to fifty before fifty and add ten more items to the list? Regardless, I am trying, slowly plugging away at my list and since today is my 39th birthday, I thought it’d be fun for a little update on progress.

  1. Take piano lessons (I quit after one year – my sisters are beautiful players, and I’ve come to regret dropping out).
  2. See Hawaii – it has been my dream to take David to Hawaii for his 10th birthday since the day he was born. He will turn 10 less than two months before my 40th, so the timing will be tight, but I am sure Mike can make this happen.
  3. Make some pottery – take a class.
    YES! And it was so much fun. I really want to find the time and go back and make more bowls. One can never have too many deformed bowls.

  4. Visit all of the National Parks in Atlantic Canada. There are 10, I’ve seen 5 (can you go to Sable Island?)
  5. Get a tattoo. Hah! Where the heck did that come from?
    YES! Thanks to Jodie, I actually got a real tattoo! It may be the smallest tattoo, but still, it’s legit, and I love it.

  6. Make a move. Not sure if it will be career or school or a move to the country, but I like the idea.
  7. Sail away – even if it’s just around the Armdale.
  8. WALLPAPER my itty bitty bathroom.
  9. Bangs. Try them out.
  10. Rent a cottage with some lady-friends for +2 nights and drink way too much wine.
    Can I count Savannah? My lady-friends and I rented an Airbnb and tried a variety of southern drinks. Please weigh in.

  11. Scuba dive. Ideally off the Florida Keys. With Kyle Chandler.
  12. Win something.
  13. Buy a silk blouse. I’m thinking a nice deep midnight blue button down.
  14. Try Whole 30. It’s just 30 days… how terrible can it be?
    YES! I am not going to sugarcoat it (because sugar is not allowed), it was terrible, but I did it. See the full recap here.

  15. Sip sweet tea in the South like a Georgia Peach.
    YES! Y’all, sweet tea is SWEEET (dare I say too sweet), but Savannah is amazing. I highly recommend it for a girl’s weekend getaway. We had the most wonderful time, and we also had a lot of fried green tomatoes.
  16. Take tennis lessons.
  17. Sign up for a Yoga session.
  18. Get eyelash extensions.
  19. Make a batch of wine. I promise, it won’t be low class, and I promise I will not force you to drink it.
  20. Run a Spring marathon (I’ve run September, October and Novembers only)
  21. Get a new personal best in a marathon (which would be sub 3:56:00)
    YES! 3:45:45 – bam. I ran the Wineglass Marathon in the fall and can’t say enough good things about this race. Actually, I did say a lot, you can read all about it here.

  22. Learn and perform the full Footloose dance.
    Currently in training. 
  23. Try snowboarding *again.
  24. Buy watercolours. Watercolour.
    YES! I bought watercolours, and they’ve been sitting in my desk drawer for months, but I was determined to get one painting done before this week. Just like art school, all the best work happens right before the deadline. 
  25. Attend an epic festival, concert or event (like Mardi Gras, The Beach Boys in California, Running of the Bulls, etc.)
  26. Donate plasma.
    I should have done this before the tattoo. 
  27. Ride in a helicopter (ideally while visiting #2)
  28. Volunteer.
    YES! I joined the Youth Running Series board this year, and it’s been fun. Getting kids active is something I am pretty passionate about.

  29. Get a reading done by a psychic medium.
  30. Go to a drive-in movie.
  31. Explore a new country.
  32. Read a novel in one weekend.
  33. Take a solo vacation.
  34. Host a holiday dinner or a murder mystery party.
  35. Change a tire. Change the oil. Learn these skills.
  36. Scoot around on a scooter and end up at the ocean.
  37. Attend a retreat or workshop of some sort.
    YES! Amanda, my mom and me attended a macrame workshop last June. It was a great time and much to Mike’s distaste, we now have a happy fern hanging in our living room.

  38. Watch all of the movies on the AFI’s 100 Greatest American Films of All Time (I’ve seen about 40 so far).
  39. Dip my toes in Lake Louise.
  40. Party like it’s 1979.

As you can see, that’s 8 out of 40. I’m no mathematician, but I don’t think that’s great. Like I said, I am not giving up and even have the following 8 items on this year’s 100 Day of Summer list:

  • Buy a silk blouse
  • change a tire. Change the oil. Learn these skills.
  • visit Kouchibouguac National Park
  • get bangs
  • go to a drive-in
  • explore a new country
  • learn and perform the full Footloose dance
  • go sailing

So wish me luck! Forty is coming.

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SUMMER starts nowish (year five!)

And just like that, it’s summer again! This is how I feel:

Hello, long weekend and hello to the official start of my fifth annual 100 Days of Summer: Let’s Do it list where I try and make the most of the sweetest but shortest season with a bucket list on 100 things to do. I may not get it all done, but here’s hoping… And, I hope you can join in on some of the fun.

The rules are simple, summer starts this weekend (the long weekend of May) and ends on the last day of September.

Note: I always start with the ones I’ve yet to complete… There are also pick-ups from previous years because awesomeness is always worth repeating. Oh, and the bolded ones are from my forty before forty list.

100 Days of Summer

  1. see Shakespeare by the Sea**** 
  2. ride a slip & slide***  
  3. hike Cape Chignecto** 
  4. have a water balloon fight** 
  5. go to a concert*
  6. hike the Skyline Trail
  7. start designing my 2019 calendars*
  8. sleep in a tent*
  9. play croquette* 
  10. dance in the rain* 
  11. tie dye* 
  12. clean my office*
  13. go tidal bore rafting* 
    ***
  14. run the full Rum Runners Trail (but not all at once – it’s 119 km!)
  15. buy a pair of white jeans
  16. buy a silk blouse
  17. apply sunscreen every freaking day
  18. host a cocktail potluck (with biscuits)
  19. make pickles
  20. change a tire. change the oil. learn these skills.
  21. paddleboard
  22. tube down a river
  23. picnic in a park
  24. hangout in a hammock
  25. dinner on the waterfront
  26. dinner on a patio
  27. and drinks to go!
  28. relay once, relay twice
  29. read a magazine outside
  30. visit Kouchibouguac National Park
  31. bike to the market
  32. bike across the bridge
  33. bike a trail
  34. ride a ferry
  35. get bangs
  36. high five all seven of my nephews and nieces (but not all at once)
  37. have a Butterbeer
  38. swim in the Lido Pool (Chester)
  39. go to a drive-in
  40. dinner at The Canteen
  41. go antiquing
  42. eat from a food truck
  43. go for a beach walk
  44. eat corn on the cob
  45. run through a sprinkler
  46. wash the windows
  47. hear bagpipes
  48. have a campfire
  49. smores and (veggie) dog roasting
  50. run the trail to Laurencetown beach
  51. day trip to Lunenburg (eat at the Salt Shaker Deli)
  52. eat strawberry shortcake for supper
  53. explore a new country
  54. swim in the lake
  55. swim in the ocean
  56. swim in the river
  57. run a marathon
  58. run through the Brandenburg Gate (Berlin)
  59. lay in the grass
  60. travel by train
  61. travel by plane
  62. get a pedicure
  63. have a lunch date
  64. have a brunch date
  65. night swim
  66. bake for a friend
  67. buy flowers for a friend
  68. host a bbq
  69. eat peas from the pod
  70. watercolour
  71. run the 30km trail to the Tatamagouche market and celebrate with a beer at the Tatamagouche Brewery
  72. go strawberry picking
  73. make jam
  74. make rhubarb pie
  75. eat a lobster roll
  76. family-time in PEI
  77. run and jump off a dock without knowing the tempterature of the water
  78. only use the clothesline
  79. mail a card or letter every week (life list goal)
  80. buy a coco clock in Germany (life list goal)
  81. drink my morning coffee outside
  82. drink beer from a cooler
  83. oysters with a cocktail
  84. build a sand castle
  85. go for a walk in Shubie Park
  86. go for a walk in Point Pleasant Park
  87. go for a run and jump in the water right after
  88. go prom-watching in the Public Gardens
  89. after work meetup at the Stillwell Beer Garden
  90. outdoor pizza party
  91. learn and perform the full Footloose dance
  92. run the gulf shore loop in Pugwash
  93. plant some flowers
  94. yoga on the beach
  95. go sailing
  96. go to a yard sale
  97. run up the Needham hill stairs with David… 3 times in a row
  98. watch the sunrise at the beach
  99. watch the sunset at the beach
  100. play hooky

*2017 not completed
**2016/2017 not completed
***2015/2016/2017 not completed
****2014/2015/2016/2017 not completed.

Here are my lists from 20172016 / 2015 / 2014

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30 whole days

#14 on my forty before forty bucket list items is: Try Whole 30. It’s just 30 days… how terrible can it be?

I ran a marathon on October 1* and I’m giving myself 30 days of recovery and indulgence before November 1, when I will officially start the Whole30. So here we are, 10 days out and I am gearing up by doing the following:

  1. Recruit
  2. Research
  3. Plan

1. RECRUIT: Who wants to join in? My mom and my co-worker Sophie are also going to give it and try. How about you? It’s not like you have anything better to do, it’s November.

2. RESEARCH: (source) What you need to know:

What You Can’t Eat on Whole30

1. Dairy: no cheese, cow milk, yogurt, cream, sour cream, kefir, and butter. The only exception to this rule is that you can have ghee.

2. Grains: This means no corn, rice, quinoa, wheat, rye, millet, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, bulgur, or sprouted grains.

3. Alcohol: No alcohol for cooking or drinking is to be consumed while doing Whole30. This includes vanilla extract. You can have something like kombucha.

4. Legumes: For 30 days you can’t eat beans of any kind, soy of any kind (including tofu, soy sauce, miso, edamame), chickpeas, peas, lentils, and peanuts.

5. Added Sugar: Don’t consume sugar that is real or artificial during the 30 days. This includes honey, maple syrup, agave, Splenda, xylitol, and Stevia. 

6. Carrageenan, MSG, and Sulfites: Avoid processed foods while doing Whole30. 

7. “Junk” Food: This means that you can’t recreate your favorite junk food or baked good recipes even if they use Whole30-compliant ingredients. This is less to do with your physical reactions to food, and more to do with the mental side of things. 

What You Can Eat on Whole30

After that pretty exhausting list of foods you can’t eat, it might seem a little daunting to start the program. But there’s still a bunch of delicious ingredients that can comprise a good — no, a great! — meal.

1. Vegetables: Eat vegetables — including potatoes! — to your heart’s content.

2. Fruits: Fruits are allowed, in moderation. Remember that you’re trying to limit your sugar intake during the 30 days.

3. Unprocessed Meats: Sausage is still okay, but check for added sugar and other off-limit preservatives.

4. Seafood: Fish and shellfish get the Whole30 nod of approval.

5. Eggs: Eggs will become your new breakfast bestie.

6. Nuts and seeds: All nuts and seeds are okay, with one exception: peanuts, because they are a legume.

7. Oils (some) and ghee: Just say yes to olive oil and coconut oil. Ghee, which is a type of clarified butter, is also allowed.

8. Coffee!!!!: Yes, you can have coffee while on Whole30, but you can’t add any milk products or sugar to lighten it up.

***

3. PLAN: What does this all mean for me? 

  • I don’t eat chicken or red meat so I will need to be careful (especially without beans and peanut butter)
  • I like seafood and LOVE eggs so that’s a relief.
  • I can still have my coffee, which I always drink black, so that’s awesome.
  • No wine – yes it sucks but I can manage. I am not really a big drinker and there are no major holidays to worry about.
  • Grains… and dairy. The struggle will be real.
  • Junk food… chocolate. It will be hard to avoid it, especially since I am starting this the DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN but, that’s the exact reason why I choose November 1. Avoid temptation.
  • If I keep on top of prepping snacks and lunch + stock my fridge full of the right stuff, I should be okay. Salvatore’s I will miss you most, but don’t worry dear friend, I will be back.

Although Sophie is in Montreal and I am here, we’re swapping recipes and making plans. I’m not a chef so if I keep things simple and live off of mixing and matching the things I love most (eggs and spinach), I can survive. I once tried a 14-day detox which included no caffeine and only lasted 7 days. It was not pretty… But when I was pregnant, I gave up coffee, all the good cheese, alcohol, running(!!!) for 10 months and made it through. So, even though there will be rough patches in November, at least I can still run and have coffee. Right?

What about Mike and David?

Ha! There is no way my eight-year-old child could survive. David’s diet is basically everything from the what not to eat list. Mike may dabble but he’s going to Vegas midway through the month and I can not see him asking the waiter if menu items are Whole30-friendly.

And why is the Whole30 on my forty before forty bucket list?

I love a challenge! I am physically healthy but I know I have bad eating habits – I want to see if these restrictions make a difference. Will I feel better, less tired, less mopey? Guys, it’s just thirty days. I can totally do it!

Here are some resources if you want to join in:

I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

*#21: Get a new personal best in a marathon

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg