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

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265 days until summer 

It’s been several hours and 5 days since you took my summer away…

Summer is over which means it’s report card time! I know y’all have been anxiously waiting to see how it all went down but before I reveal the results of my 100 Days of Summer bucket list, I have decided to change things up a bit based on my friend Tim’s suggestion of replacing the incompletes with alternative fun things that happened. Afterall, we must remember, it is summer and summer should be fun and spontaneous, even for people like me! So without further ado:

  1. go on a sailboat*** YES! I did not say “sail on a sailboat”. During the Tall Ships festival, I toured a few boats.
  2. watch an outdoor movie*** YES! Erin and I watched Footloose outside at the Chickenburger
  3. see Shakespeare by the Sea*** NO, BUT… Sarah, Amanda and I went to the play Nothing Less at Two Planks and a Passion Theatre. Outside theatre = same thing. 
  4. fly a kite*** YES! It was a last-minute effort with David. We found a plastic kite in the basement and flew it around a parking lot. Not much air but we did it.
  5. ride a slip & slide** NO, BUT… What’s better than a slip & slide? Try riding down a waterslide into the ocean. True story. Did it. 
  6. visit magic mountain** YES! We probably picked the coldest day of summer to do this. Imagine standing in your wet bathing suit on the top of a hill, holding a wet tube that’s blowing in the wind while you wait in line to go down a cold waterslide. 
  7. make homemade ice cream* YES! Thank you Mila for lending me your ice cream maker, it was delicious. 
  8. hike Cape Chignecto* NO BUT… We explored Fort Beauséjour in New Brunswick.
  9. go to a country fair* YES! Amanda rented a car (#10) and drove Sarah and me to the Hants County Exhibition for a goat yoga class. 
  10. ride shotgun in a car driven by Amanda* YES! See #9
  11. have a water balloon fight*  NO, BUT… Goat Yoga. See #9
  12. have fresh flowers in the house always* YES! Not always the freshest and sometimes more weed than flower but they were always there. 
  13. tube down a river* YES! The Lazy River. See #6.
  14. buy a summer dress* YES! 
  15. mow the lawn* YES!
    ***
  16. golf (the real deal golf. not mini) YES! It took us 4 hours to play nine holes. Thanks, Clara, Larry and Mom for your patience.  
  17. go to a concert NO, BUT… I was my mom’s date to a birthday party at Fox Harb’r Resort 
  18. surprise someone YES! My sister turned 40 and we surprised her with a night out on the town.
  19. cheer for someone YES! Team 71. See #20.
  20. hike the Skyline Trail NO BUT… I ran up Hunter’s Mountain during leg 17 of the Cabot Trail Relay
  21. swim in a lake YES! Amanda and I took a dip in Lake Banook.
  22. swim in the ocean YES! A beautiful day in September at Crystal Crescent Beach.
  23. dive into the water YES! How else does one enter the cold water?
  24. go to Eliot & Vine YES! For my birthday.
  25. go to the Shore Club YES! A farewell dinner with Kristin, Josh, and Noah before they moved to Ottawa.
  26. go to Chain Yard Urban Cidery YES! So good, I went twice. 
  27. start a bullet journal YES! 
  28. start designing my 2018 calendars NO, BUT… I created a folder and copied last year’s files to it. I need ideas!
  29. spend more time on my front porch YES! 
  30. host a strawberry shortcake cocktail party YES! I made cocktails and strawberry shortcake but in case you were wondering why you were not invited, it was a very small and unplanned gathering.
  31. host a bbq YES! A few.
  32. borrow Jill’s pizza oven and host a pizza party YES! When my sister was visiting we had a family backyard pizza party to celebrate Edith’s first birthday.
  33. sunrise at the beach YES! Early morning runs by the ocean help make this happen.
  34. sunset at the beach YES! See #22.
  35. have a lunch date YES! A few.
  36. have a brunch date YES! A few. 
  37. have a post-work beer date at the Stillwell beer garden YES! Right after doing #38.
  38. go prom-watching in the Public Gardens YES! 
  39. order a pizza and eat it in a park YES! While waiting for Henry who was at the emergency clinic.
  40. bike across the MacDonald bridge (if it EVER opens!) YES! David and I biked home from summer camp one day.
  41. bike a trail YES! See #96
  42. hike a trail YES! 
  43. run a trail YES! Many times. 
  44. run by the ocean YES! Many times.
  45. run across the MacDonald bridge (if it EVER opens!) YES!
  46. go for a run and jump in the water right after YES! Jenna and I ran around Lake Banook and then jumped in.
  47. pop a wheelie YES! Ha. 
  48. go berry picking YES! Strawberries on the Amherst Shore. 
  49. make raspberry jam YES! It was okay. 
  50. sleep in a tent NO, BUT… I slept in an Airbnb.
  51. ride a roller coaster (or some other carni ride) YES! David and I rode the Gravitron at the Pugwash Gathering of the Clans.
  52. spend an evening on an outdoor patio YES! A few times but not enough times. 
  53. wash and clean my car (inside too) YES! 
  54. run laps on a track YES! At 5:30 am at SMU when no one was watching. 
  55. run with a run club YES! Jenna and I have been running with the BLT Runners occasionally. 
  56. train for a marathon YES! And I ran it!
  57. rollerblade on the Oval YES! I do not like rollerblading but I like the Oval. 
  58. visit the Discovery Centre YES! 
  59. play croquette NO, BUT… I rode a bicycle built for two. 
  60. visit Hope for Wildlife YES! David took me for a tour and it was fabulous. 
  61. night swim YES! An early evening swim. 
  62. drink my morning coffee outside YES!
  63. accidentally get a sunburn YES! 
  64. picnic with a basket and blanket YES! Bike ride included.
  65. celebrate with sparklers YES! In the backyard.
  66. grow tomatoes YES! Thanks to Elissa, I grew three. 
  67. have a campfire YES! At my parent’s house.
  68. dance in the rain NO, BUT… I ran in the rain and I biked in the rain. 
  69. make iced coffee YES! 
  70. run through a sprinkler YES! During the Natal Day Road Race.
  71. make peach pie YES! Twice. 
  72. make rhubarb pie YES! 
  73. make key lime pie YES! 
  74. rent kayaks YES! David and I rented kayaks and a paddle boat in Saint John.
  75. selfie with a lighthouse YES!
  76. selfie with a lobster trap YES! 
  77. selfie in a boat YES! Cruising down the Wallace River on the SS Minnow. 
  78. hear bagpipes YES! Canada Day, Natal Day and I think 2o more times.
  79. watch a parade YES! Canada Day and Natal Day.
  80. leave the province YES! See #99.
  81. leave the country YES! New York for #56.
  82. cut my hair YES! But I chickened out on getting bangs.
  83. tie dye NO, BUT… I did buy the dye and a plain white tee. 
  84. watch fireworks YES! From my bedroom window which totally counts. 
  85. toss a frisbee YES! With David.
  86. clean my office NO, BUT… I started watching The Office.
  87. eat from a food truck YES! I finally tried a burrito from the Gecko Bus.
  88. only use the clothesline YES! Always.
  89. make cedar-planked salmon YES! We had Brie and Rick over for a BBQ.
  90. drink beer from a cooler YES! My mother-in-law had me over specifically to help check this off my list. 
  91. drink beer from a pitcher YES! At Maxwell’s Plum with my sister and her friends. Twenty-five years ago this was the dream. 
  92. go to a yard sale YES! However, I did not buy anything.
  93. go tidal bore rafting NO, BUT… I went wine tasting. 
  94. ice cream on the Halifax waterfront YES! Cows. Of course. 
  95. try hot yoga YES! Hollie and I went to a Friday night karma class.
  96. visit McNabs Island YES! We took our bikes (#41) and spent 4 hours exploring.
  97. take a water taxi YES! We hired a boat to take us to #96.
  98. plant a tree (or shrub) YES! I finally planted a lilac and a rhododendron. 
  99. play hooky YES! David and I tagged along on Mike’s business trip to Saint John. We accomplished #6, 13 and 74 on our 2-day adventure. 
  100. write my 40 before 40 list YES! Here.

Total Score: 87% YES + 13% NO, BUTS.

Summer was pretty great. Thanks to all who hung out and helped me check things off my list. I can’t wait to do it all again in 2018. #100daysofsummer

NOTE: *2016 not complete **2015/2016 not completed ***2014/2015/2016 not completed. + Thank you, Dylan, for the title inspiration.

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forty before forty

Happy birthday to me. Not yet forty but it’s creeping up (730 days) so it think it is time to publish the forty before forty list and get this party started. And started I did – I revealed the first 10 in January but here is the full list – some are very ambitious (like #10), some are scary (like #14), and some are just pure crazy (like #9) but why not dream big? Wish me luck!

  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.
  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?
  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.
  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?
  15. Sip sweet tea in the South like a Georgia Peach.
  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)
  22. Learn and preform the full Footloose dance.
  23. Try snowboarding *again.
  24. Buy watercolours. Watercolour.
  25. Attend an epic festival, concert or event (like Mardi Gras, The Beach Boys in California, Running of the Bulls, etc.)
  26. Donate plasma.
  27. Ride in a helicopter (ideally while visiting #2)
  28. Volunteer.
  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.
  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.

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