Five Days of At Home Online Workouts

Alright, my friends. It is already December 23 and things are about to get cozy. The weather in Calgary has actually improved (slightly), but I don’t really think that matters. Ultimately, the weather outside is frightful and the fire is so delightful. So instead of going to the gym or pilates studio, we are all dying for ways we can stay active at home. And, as your non-fitness girl who wants to talk to you about fitness things, I took a hit for the team. I did at home workouts for a week so that I could tell you what was worth it and what you should be doing in your living room.

A few little comments – all the workouts I did were free, youtube videos. There are tons of subscription services out there, especially after COVID where all studios had to pivot to online offerings, but I decided to focus this post on free stuff. I am sure so many of you have passes to your regular studios… but you’re looking for something different to fill your time right now. Maybe you’re out of town. Maybe it’s just too much to drive somewhere away from home. Don’t worry. I got you!

Generally speaking, I tried to do a 45-min to 1-hr long workout. This meant I usually ended up doing more than one video per channel. If I did more than one, I usually tried to do something more cardio-heavy and then something more strength-heavy so that I had a range of workouts. 

And, without further ado, here are my thoughts on the five channels I interacted with during my week of at home workouts.

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Eighty-Eight Beer Advent Calendar – Beer Eleven

I learned how to adjust my desk chair at my office today! I’ve been in this office for a few weeks, but it still feels like “not mine” – this small little change has made such a difference towards making me feel like I have ownership over the space I work within. And just in time for the holiday break, lol. Classic Erin moment. 

Today’s blog post is not about classic Erin moments. (Though… that might not be a terrible idea for the future?) Today’s post is about the second last beer of my Eighty-Eight beer advent calendar. How are we already here!? 

I will take a moment to reflect on the experience before I move into the beer. I do think it was well worth the money ($88, naturally) and I appreciated the opportunity to try new beers at a place I am familiar with but have a “go to” beer. I think next year, if there is no beer exchange, I will buy another advent calendar. However, I think I would be more likely to buy one of the ones from a liquor store so I could be exposed to new breweries as well. 

All that to say… onto the beer!

Day Eleven Clue

Beer Eleven clue

The Day Eleven clue read “Don’t forget the water wings”. Well, I had a pretty good idea of what this one might be – could it be the classic “Wave Pool”?

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Finding the Balance Between Routine and Grace

Welcome to Day 22 and the last Wellness Wednesday before the holidays kick in full tilt. I don’t know about you, but I have plans pretty much every night between now and the 25th. Some nights, even more than one plan. Life is full, y’all. Today I made it home by 7:30pm, I enjoyed a bowl of the soup I made yesterday and I got to wrapping the presents I need prior to Christmas Eve. I did not wrap the presents that I need on Christmas Eve. I gave myself that grace. And that’s what today’s post is all about – routine and grace.

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Eighty-Eight Beer Advent Calendar – Day Ten

Day 20 tortilla soup!

Today is a very special night. This blogmas post is being written in real time. Like, I’m still drinking the Day 10 beer as I write it. It is incredibly cold out in Calgary – like this insane frigid air from Siberia, aka the coldest air on earth, has swept in. I was lucky enough to work from home today and, despite a dream of going to barre at 5:15 tonight, I am officially hibernating. 

Tonight is a night for soup, Hallmark movies, and the Day 10 Beer.

Day Ten Clue

Beer Ten Clue

The Day Ten clue read “Just in case you’re all alone.” And boy, oh boy, was I able to guess which beer it was!!

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Favourite Holiday Snacks

I have spent so much time this Blogmas talking about beverages that I have absolutely forgotten to talk about snacks! What am I even doing here?! I think we all know that the holidays are really all about the food. Latkes at Hanukkah, that Christmas Goose that is bigger than a small boy in The Christmas Carol, fancy cheeses everywhere. And snacks! You know… your favourite holiday snacks.

Like These Bars

peanut butter marshmallow squares - favourite holiday snacks

Okay, yes, those peanut butter marshmallow squares are a classic. (I will never forget the time that my coworker Gillian made these and, for whatever reason, all the peanut butter sunk to the bottom. It left a very light glaze on the rest of the marshmallows. Absolutely delicious, but very weird.)

Anyway, despite that complete non-sequitur in the parentheses, I am not talking about the baking and snacks that we make at home. Though those are great. What I am talking about is the special, seasonal versions of snacks that brands put out. Look, I wait all year for these delicious goodies. So here they are, my favourite holiday snacks.

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Eighty-Eight Beer Advent Calendar – Day Nine

Happy Day 18, everyone! I cannot believe how fast this month has gone by. This happens pretty much every month, I think, but I’m always surprised when it’s almost the 25th. (This is when I get paid. It’s not a Christmas reference. But also it is.)

Anyway, I must admit that I am a little bit burnt out. Nothing to do with blogmas, only to do with having too many fun things to get up to. If you read yesterday’s post, you can probably read between the lines that I left my house at 7:30 am on Friday and only returned home to sleep between then and 10 pm on Saturday.

Today was a very similar vibe – I left home at about 8:30 for Pilates at Junction 9, then headed directly over to my mom’s house for the annual holiday baking tradition. I followed that up with picking up some sushi from Kinjo Express, where they are always so lovely, then finally tried to grab some veggies for Christmas. (I was not super successful. I’m not paying $9 for snap peas and $6 for a cauliflower, thank you. I will follow the flyers and find a better price.)

Rylee helping baking

But look at how cute our little baking helper was! (She was helping by tearing apart a Toblerone box.)

Anyway, when I got home for the next two hours, I just read in the bath and then laid on my bed, scrolling on my phone. Which I literally never do. Like I said, burn out.

I finally rallied, though. I did slightly more meal prep than I expected to actually achieve at – vegan banana muffins for breakfasts and lentil quesadillas for lunches. And I washed my sheets. And now I’m writing a blog post. The world is my oyster, my friends. And speaking of oysters…

Day Nine Clue

Day 9 Clue

Actually, I’m not speaking of oysters at all. I’m just too tired for good transitions. So instead, please read the Day Nine clue which states “You deserve to sleep in”. This time I was pretty sure it was not Hammer Pants…

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The Best Holiday Punch Recipe (also the easiest)

Holiday Punch image
Photo by Elena Leya on Unsplash

Oh my gosh, you guys, the holiday activities have been filling every little inch of my life recently. Which is why I’m writing this post at a casual 11 pm, very chill posting time. Normal choices. If you read yesterday’s post, you kind of have an idea of what I’ve been up to. I did, in fact, do all of those things listed in that opening spiel. Plus, Claire and I headed over to ONE18 Empire for fancy Old Fashioneds and truffle everything after our show. (This is the go to place in Calgary if you want a smoky Old Fashioned.) And then I recorded Mystery, Outsiders, and Abs. Okay, that last one isn’t festive, but still it added to the very full vibe of my life right now. I’m sure many of you are in the same place… which is why I want to share something that might make your life a little bit easier.

The Best Holiday Punch Recipe

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Eighty-Eight Beer Advent Calendar – Day Eight

It is Day 16 of Blogmas (in the home stretch no matter how many days I’m doing), and I have so many fun unexpected holiday plans this weekend. Tonight I’ll be heading out to Market Collective with my mom to hopefully finish my gift shopping and definitely buy some delicious hummus. Afterwards, Megan and I are going to hit up Cold Garden to get festive with some Kegnog (yes, it is exactly what it sounds like). And then I think Claire and I are going to try to see the Lunchbox Theatre holiday show tomorrow! 

But before I can do any of that? It’s time to talk about Beer Eight…

Day Eight Clue

Day Eight Clue

The Day Eight clue read “The gift we always wanted but never got”. Is this one Hammer Pants!?

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Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra (Theatre Thursday)

On Theatre Thursdays, I discuss topics related to theatre. I also write about local productions that I think #yyc should see. Today I’m talking about something tangentally related to theatre that I absolutely loved – The Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra.

Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra - A Rocky Mountain High Christmas publicity image
A Rocky Mountain High Christmas (image lovingly stolen from: Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra)

This week on Theatre Thursday, I want to share something just a little bit different. Normally I’m right within my comfort zone with these posts. I know the theatres, I know the artists, I know what to expect when I walk into the space. But this time? This time was something very new to me. On November 29, we braved the cold, bundled up, and headed over to the Grey Eagle Casino to take in an experience that I didn’t even know existed in Calgary… The Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra!

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Home Alone Taproom Pop-Up at Eighty-Eight (and Day 7 of the Advent Calendar)

What’s up, y’all! It’s T-minus 11 days until Christmas, Hanukkah is starting at nightfall on Sunday, Kwanzaa in 12 days, and numerous other celebrations are popping up all over the place. Time is just racing now and, here in the holiday of Blogmas, we’re already at another beer on the beer advent calendar.

I don’t have a particularly interesting story about what I did while drinking this beer (and it’s one that I’m familiar with, so no fun beer facts to discover)… so instead I’m going to talk about something super cool that is happening at the Eighty-Eight taproom during these upcoming busy 11 days. 

Home Alone Taproom Pop-Up at Eighty-Eight Brewing

Home Alone Taproom Pop-up

Yesss, that’s right! Kevin McAllister, the Wet Bandits, and all your favourite Home Alone easter eggs have settled in at Eighty-Eight and it is truly epic. The amount of work they must have put in to transform this space (which is always pretty stunning) is truly incredible. Like… look up there! They re-created the flight board! 

Every inch of the space is covered in wrapping paper, presents, and other Home Alone related Easter Eggs. I mean, there are cardboard figure cutouts up against the second floor windows, so that when you are outside it looks like there is a party on, in classic Kevin McAllister fashion. And if that’s not enough, there is a full-on Home Alone Easter Egg scavenger hunt to keep you busy!

Home Alone Taproom Pop-Up Menu

Oh yeah, they’ve also made some little changes to the menu. The Wet Bandits – not just movie villains, but also a super intense beer. It’s a Triple IPA, with a 10.1% ABV and an 88 IBU. Yes, I am scared of it, thank you. For those like me who can’t commit to a full 10% beer, they are also offering Marv and Harry pre-set flights. 

And they’ve really committed to the bit by giving their menu a little visual makeover too. Look! The cheese pizza is renamed. We love commitment to a theme. (As a quick note, I hit up Eighty-Eight with Claire and Megan the other day to enjoy some brews and pizza. The cheese pizza is amazing.)

Omg, I still have a whole beer to reveal here! I promise, I’ll keep it quick. 

Day Seven Clue

Day Seven’s clue read “Relax, put down the work, it’s holiday time”. Hmmm..

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