February Wrap-Up

Heart on Window

Well, here I am, sitting in the dark and watching last night’s The Walking Dead on PVR. And making myself way too afraid to get up and go to the washroom. (I do not have the lights off as a means to terrify myself, by the by. I’ve been trying to limit my energy use over the past month and have developed a real creepy habit of sitting in the dark and watching tv. It’s a good thing there is no one around to see this…) I thought this was the best possible time to write a wrap-up post – also because it is the last day of the month. All signs point towards writing this awesome post.

Now that the blog is just over a month old, I’ve been thinking about what I want for it in terms of tone and feeling. I realized that I’ve always loved chatty blogs that make me feel like I’m a part of the blogger’s life. As much as I would love to be crazy professional and write about the fun things I do in Calgary as if I were writing for Avenue or another well-established and very grownup publication… I just can’t resist bringing my personal and my casual into it. My very favourite blog, Happy or Hungry, has inspired me to craft a few healthy lunches… but mostly, I just sort of feel like I’m a part of her close-knit and incredibly fun group of friends. I love reading her recounts of all her adventures and watching her life grow and change.

So, all that rambling to say, I’m going to start being a little bit more personal, sharing bits of myself, and these monthly recap posts are where it is all going to start.

Lonely Work Chair

Overall Month Rating
B-. February turned out to be a far busier month than I had ever expected it to be – though I maybe should have expected it, as I run a course at work for the first two weeks of every February that keeps me at work for 11 hours days. (Please note the picture of the lonely work chair above, which sums up my life this month.) During February, I had a few extended family situations crop up while I also lost my lovely roommate of 3.5 years to the allure of a private basement suite and I haven’t yet found someone new to fill her place so that has me feeling a little uneasy going into March… I did have a ton of fun adventures with my brothers, of all people, this month though and my house has never looked more organized (post to come on that!) so those points saved February from dropping down into the C range.

Highlight of the Month
Definitely accompanying Bryan to a LARP event mid-month! I was super-anxious about it going in (there are so many rules to learn!), I was very tired afterwards (it ran from 6pm-2am), I had no idea what to expect… but it was so wonderful to be around so many people that were just so passionate and excited about something they were doing. I haven’t acted in a show since last June and being at LARP very much reminded me of the comradery and connection that develops when you do theatre. (And thus I have a bunch of auditions lined up for March…)

Lowlight of the Month
Definitely today, when I went outside to leave for work and there was so much ice built up on my front windshield that I couldn’t even scrape it. I just had to wait for the defroster to do its thing. I’ve been making a real effort to leave for work early enough that I can arrive 5-10 minutes before the official start time and not have to feel like I’m rushed the entire way there so it was such a bummer. (I do realize that I have alluded to quite a few other things above that maybe should be in this category, but I am trying to look at those as experiences to grow from. The ice windshield just sucked.)

Number of Workouts Completed
Not nearly enough. During the first two weeks of the month, I basically taught my barre class and maybe took one extra class (though I did prance around like Britney Spears for Med Show an awful lot)…

I’ve put my yoga membership on hold to save money, though, set up my treadmill/workout area in my basement and barre classes are slightly less busy this upcoming week, so I’m back on it! 3 workouts over the past 4 days… pretty promising!

Number of Plays Watched
Four plays this month, from a whole range of different theatre companies. Pretty wonderful!

Number of Movies Watched
In theatres – 0.

At home – 4. I’m trying to work my way through the Marvel Universe movies that I haven’t seen before Civil War comes out. And, also, I forced all my friends into coming over and watching Grease: Live more than once.

Number of Dates I Took Myself On
I love self-dates. On my vacation day, I took myself over to Double Zero at Chinook and enjoyed some wine, pizza and re-reading A Storm of Swords. Unfortunately, I am not a cheap date for myself, so I may need to find some more economical ways to express some self-love. (That sentence sounds creepy. I stand by it, though.)

Best New Discovery
Still Buffering. Technically, it launched in January but I am always behind on my podcast listening and picked it up in February. Still Buffering is a hilarious and heart-warming podcast hosted by two sisters, aged 32 and 15, discussing the differences between being a teenager then and now. It gives me such nostalgia and such laughter.

Best Book Read
I mentioned earlier this month that I love memoirs when I’m on the go because the chapters are generally little bite-sized chunks that allow you to read just one at a time. Amy Poehler’s Yes Please has just been making me so happy over the past couple weeks – she is just as positive and inspiring as I expected her to be.

And now, The Walking Dead is over and The Bachelor is on, so please excuse me while I go pour a weekday glass of wine and allow my mind to atrophy a little.

And if you are in Calgary and you are someone I know (which I assume is 98% of my readership), please please live in my house…
riverbend2

#greenjuice = #delicious – Cru Juice Chinook

In many ways, my office is very much what you think of when you think of a stereotypical office job. The work we do is very fascinating and unique, but all of the constructs and characters are there. (I love every bit of it. My first professional job was a corporate training travel position and I am still not over the luxury of having not only my own desk but my very own office.) Not the least of these stereotypes is the sheer amount of food that floats around our office. We have a table in our common area where people will often place homemade goodies or leftovers from meetings and the assumption is that these snacks are fair game.

(… I do realize that one day this is probably going to result in all of us eating tainted cookies or someone’s party platter for their event later that night. It’s fine. I accept my fate.)

Case in point:
Sombrero Chips and Marshmallow Brownies

Last Friday, mystery chips and brownies appeared on the centre table and naturally we were on it like frat boys on a keg. The end verdict was that the chips were “sombrero” flavoured.

Though I love mystery snacks as much as the next girl, after half of one of those marshmallow brownies and a handful (… or two… or five), I knew I was in need of a little real nourishment. And lucky lucky me, I my timing could not have been more spot on… local cold-pressed juicery Cru Juice was celebrating the grand opening of their Chinook Centre location!

(Apparently “juicery” is not a word? I’m sticking with it!)

Cru Juice Chinook

First of all, Cru Juice is as beautiful as it is delicious and you should visit their website (where they take way better pictures that I do when I am trying to be sneaky in a mall) to revel in the beauty. Then you should order a bunch of juices, making sure to grab at least one green juice because it is the standard every juice should aspire to and one nut mylk because they are amazing after a tough workout, and revel in the deliciousness.

I may be overstating, but from my perspective I would say that Cru launched the raw juice trend in Calgary. We brought their juices into Barre Body Studio over a year and a half ago and they were a crazy runaway success. Not a shift goes by where I don’t sell at least 2-3 juices… and usually buy one myself. Since then, they’ve expanded from their original Bridgeland location to a stand in Holt Renfrew (now closed), a 17th Avenue location complete with raw food as well, a stand just next to lululemon in Southcentre Mall and are carried in numerous fitness studios and local retailers. Founders Amanda and Naomi were named a Top 40 Under 40 by Avenue Magazine this year and they really are taking the city by storm.

Cru Juice Menu

Cru Snack Menu

But enough background, let’s move on to the grand opening extravaganza! The new Cru Juice is located on the main floor, right by Abercrombie & Fitch. They carry the full complement of juices (keeping in mind that your mileage may vary – the juices are fresh and DO sell out) as well as a variety of raw snack options.

Cru was pouring samples of any juices all day but, trust, a devotee like me knew exactly what she wanted. A G1 #greenjuice to top myself off with some much needed nutrients and a Pure Raw Energy bar for when I hit that mid-afternoon slump. (Note that #greenjuice is my personal favourite of their Greens line – the green apple, ginger and lemon just give the perfect touch of sweetness and brightness to the juice.)

#greenjuice Cru Juice and Snack

Also Straws at Cru Chinook

Juice and straw in hand, I took a few moments to browse their “shop” shelves. Cru has a real knack for making local partnerships and giving the people what they want… they were selling terrariums from Plant, natural deodorant from routine, adorable Coutu Kitsch earrings  and S’well water bottles!

Earrings

All the Terrariums

For the especially healthy-minded they also carry a range of cookbooks and a special collagen line that is sold very few other places in Canada.

Cookbooks

Collagen

I took up entirely too much of the lovely Cru staff’s time chatting about the collagen line and everything that collagen is good for. Essentially, it is a tasteless, colourless powder that can be dissolved into any liquid (even, perhaps, a Cru juice…?) and just lubricates all your insides. Hair, skin, nails, joints… it’s good for it all!

I’m still deeply considering purchasing a round of collagen… but I’m on a bit of a tight budget right now with a trip to London to save for, and it’s just about time for me to do another one of Cru’s great cleanses. Which do I pick? Collagen for my active joints or a cleanse to reset those hunger cues…? (My life is obviously really difficult if these are the choices I am faced with… But still! Which do I invest in!?)

Cru Cleanse Ad

Visit Cru Juice’s website for more information about all their delicious juices and cleanses – they will even deliver if you can’t tear yourself away from the day job like I did – or swing the new Chinook location and try out a few for yourself.

Juice Love
(If there’s one thing this picture/my desk says, it’s that I obviously love beverages and know exactly what I am talking about. Just go.)

Fit February

Oof magoof, I love alliteration. I’m all about grandiose declarations like “No Wine Weekdays”, because, of course, if it alliterates it must be true. (Though apparently just declaring things does not actually make said things happen, even if it does sound good. You do kind of need to put in a little work.)

One of the amazing things that makes my life so very full is Barre Body Studio. I stumbled into the studio in early February 2013, after eating only a banana (which I soon learned was not nearly enough sustenance), and was immediately hooked on the warm, friendly vibe of the studio. And the low-impact, highly challenging workout, of course. But mostly it was how amazing the studio made me feel about myself. How I felt like even though my leg muscles were trembling so much that I thought I would fall over, I also could do absolutely everything. When the opportunity came up to work at the studio front desk, I immediately jumped on it, even though I had a full time job, just so I could really be a part of the studio culture.  Over the past six months, I went through the rigorous (but crazy fun) teacher training and I recently took over my very own Saturday afternoon class. I absolutely love it.

The best part – other than sneaking in a workout while I work – is being a part of such a loving, inspiring community of women. This January, we kicked off a 24 or more in 30 Workout Challenge amongst all the instructors/front desk staff where we aggressively supported each other, held each other accountable and posted so many sweaty pics to Instagram while we tried to fit in as many workouts as possible. It all capped off on Sunday afternoon with a Round Robin style barre master class where each instructor busted out her most torturous sequence to challenge and motivate the rest of us. My booty may still be shaking.

Just to demonstrate how tough the class really was, here are several very beautiful and very fit ladies working a scandalously difficult lunge series at the barre:
BBSChallenge1

By contrast, our fearless leader (and studio owner) Marlo, looked absolutely flawless during the same sequence… That’s why she is our Queen B!
BBSChallenge2
(Both images shamelessly snagged from the private BBS Challenge page, taken by beautiful instructor Jaimie.)

In any event, inspired by my colleagues, I’m going to keep this wellness train rolling into Fit February and try to fit in 24 or more in 29 days. Though I no longer have the BBS Challenge page to be accountable to, I do have something just as good – this blog. So over the next month, you’ll be seeing little sneak peeks and references to my various workout triumphs and tragedies.

Speaking of tragedies, it’s Day One of Fit February and I’ve already fallen overboard. No workout today.

But I did work 11 hours and get in 15000+ steps without even trying, so that’s got to count for something, right!? Right.

BBSChallenge4

BBSChallenge3

Now I just need to remember that workouts really do make me feel as jazzed as I look in the picture above. (Just guess which one I am…)

Maybe once my butt stops hurting.

Got some fitness goals for February? Want to join me in my nonsense? Drop me a line in the comments!