Monday, 31 December 2012

It's a new year, it's a new life...and I'm feeling good!

Can you even believe it for two seconds that 2012 is a mere handful of hours away from being done? I mean seriously, wasn't it just a few weeks ago that we were nervously heading into 2012? The end of the world year? Wow!

I've been MIA this month bi know it and simply put, I suck.

It's been crazytown around my house this month, but that doesn't mean that I couldn't find 10 minutes here or there to maybe post quickly wishing you, my awesome-sauce readers a Merry Christmas. I just didn't have words to write here.

I delayed doing my Christmas baking this year as long as I could. For two reasons really. The first is that I hate stale baking. If its not fresh, I'm not interested! Secondly, I knew that as soon as I made it, I'd start the slippery slope down towards I-don't-cares-ville-population-me! And I'd start shoving stuff in my mouth like nobodies business!

Sadly, I did really well. Ok wait. Lets be honest here because this is my blog so if I candy coat it (oh yummy, fibs covered in candy? Delish!) then I'm only really lying to myself, right? I was eating like crap, but because I wasn't eating very much I was totally staying within my calorie goals. As a matter of fact, on Christmas Eve morning, I stepped on the scale and I was 150.1. Just a mere .2 away from a new decade. And then I missed logging into MFP on Christmas Day and it spiralled from there.

I ate cookies, chocolate, cake, stollen (German Christmas bread with fruit and marzipan...mmmm!) So many things that I haven't touched in so long and I just stopped thinking about it.

I can't tell you the last time non-butter or cream laden veggies have entered my mouth. Oh wait, yes I can! December 23rd!!

So, I'm not going to promise that those spirals aren't going to happen ever again, but I can tell you this! I didn't enjoy seeing 155 staring back at me this morning. If I was in that Last Loser Standing contest, I'd be d.e.a.d. To them right now. Out. Game over. Plug pulled! I'm going to get back into my own game though because this girl doesn't want to slide any further down the hill than she already has!

So, for 2013 I'm going to pledge to do my best every day. To make the best choices I can to keep me moving towards my ultimate goal of being healthy. I'm going to find at least 30 minutes every day doing something with each of my little boys one on one and then one big thing of their choosing each week. I blink and they've grown a little more. I don't want to waste the few years I have left of them being sweet and innocent and all mine! I'm also going to strive to work with the Husband to get us into an even better place financially. We are not poor or destitute by any stretch of the imagination, but I know that we could both be more financially responsible.

So, those are my goals. I don't call them resolutions because I think it's easier to give up on resolutions. Goals, I think, are things that you keep working towards. When you hit a brick wall, you take a few steps back, brush yourself off and then set out on a new path towards that goal!

So, as I sit in the midst of the Christmas chaos that has still devoured my house, I'd like to wish you the happiest and healthiest of New Years! I hope that 2913 is a wonderful year for you and I honestly can't wait to see what comes our way!

Bring it 2013, this chick is ready!!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Things my mama taught me...

I'm going to lay it out for you all right now.  This post that you're about to read is not going to be like what you'd usually find here.  I'm honestly not sure exactly what shape it's going to take, but I can tell you that it's going to be heavier than most of the things I post on here.

And here's why.

8 years ago today, I rolled my ginormously large, 9-month pregnant body from bed and got myself ready for work.  I went through the motions, even though I probably should have been somewhere else.  8 years ago today, I sat in my cubicle at work and starred at my phone as it rang with the phone number at my parent's house showing on the call display screen.  I listened to my Dad's voice on the other end and I knew in my heart, that my unborn baby was never going to meet his Grandmother.

8 years ago today, my husband rushed to my office and picked me up, because a) I couldn't have been trusted behind the wheel even if I did fit and b) my license had been suspended for not paying a speeding ticket.  Ooops!  8 years ago today, my sister and I drove in silence to the hospital where my mom had been admitted two days before, where we'd been waiting to get her admitted to long term care because we knew her battle with cancer was in it's final stages, although none of us had come to terms with it.

8 years ago today, I stood in a hospital room and watched, helplessly, as my mom took her last breath and slipped away from us.

In that one, horrible, life-altering moment I wasn't thinking about all the amazing things my Mom had taught me over the years.  No, I definitely wasn't.  I was thinking about how angry I was that my mom wasn't going to ever get to meet her grandchild.  How she wouldn't get to hold him the day he was born or watch him smear ice cream all over his face on his first birthday, take his first steps or hear him speak his first words.  I was thinking about what I'd just lost, in that one, horrible, life-altering moment.

I think it's only fair at this point that I tell you, my mom and I didn't have the best relationship when I was growing up.  I mean, I didn't want to inflict pain on her (well, not on most days anyway), but we were never besties or BFFs or anything.  She was my mom.  She drove me NUTS!  She was always signing me up for crap, trying to get me to sing at things I didn't want to do.  Trying to involve us in things within the community that in my eyes were lame and when I finally got to a stage in High School when I actually had friends to hang out with on the weekend, she would very rarely let me go out let alone drive myself anywhere.

It always felt to me like she was controlling.  Like it was her way, or no way at all.  Like she was there to tell me what to do, but not listen.

It's a funny thing, though, this thing called parenthood.  It gives you perspective.  It makes you look back at some of the things your parents did with you, and look at it in a new light.  Some things, you realize weren't nearly as awful and as meddlesome as you maybe thought they were, before becoming a parent.

So, on this, the 8th anniversary of losing my mom, I have come to realize that although she's no longer here with me in spirit, she taught me so much more than I ever knew.

She taught me that if there is anyone in this world to advocate for, it's your kids.  She taught me that a parent doesn't have to be their kids' best friend, but they do have to be their number one cheerleader.  She taught me that sometimes in life, you'll find great disappointment,  It's what you do with that disappointment though that will define who you ultimately are as a person.  You can either chose to sit and be angry about the hand life deals you, or you can wake up in the morning and be happy that you've gotten to see a new day.
She taught me that just because you're old enough to do something, it doesn't necessarily mean that you're emotionally ready to do it.
She taught me that even when you feel like you don't have even one more ounce to give, that there's always just a little more in there.
She taught me that Christmas is a time for miracles and that even if all you can offer is a song, you should sing it as loud and as often as you can.
She taught me that even though you may be fighting a losing battle, there is always a reason to fight back.  You don't give up.  EVEN when the fat lady is singing.
She taught me that there is nothing more important in this life than to love your kids and your family with the fiercest of all loves.  That even when you don't like someone, you STILL love them.
She taught me that if someone has hurt you, it's OK to be mad at them and to distance yourself while you heal, but that eventually, forgiveness is how you move forward.
She taught me that sometimes in life we have to make choices that we won't like.  Sometimes those choices will be easy and sometimes, they'll be heartbreaking.  When we're ready though, if we look and listen hard enough, the answers always seem to have a funny way of presenting themselves in one way or another.

Not a day goes by that I don't miss my mom.  That I don't wish she had gotten the chance to know her two amazing grandsons.  I know she would have loved them both to bits.  She would have been amazed by the big boy's amazing artistic skills and his passion for reading and learning.  She would have been won over in a second by the little man's sparkling eyes, warm hugs and infectious giggle.  Most of all though, I like to think that she would have been so proud that she raised a strong, confident and loving woman who will hopefully pass on some of the same lessons to her own sons.

I only wish my mom had lived long enough for me to truly appreciate the sacrifices she made for me, for my brothers and my sister.  I have to believe, that she watches over me, the Husband and our boys every day and knows that she taught me well.

Every year, I've searched for a way that I could recognize her on this day.  I mean, other than just thinking about her, missing her and getting together with whichever family members want to gather to remember.  But I'm talking about finding a way to honour her.

Last month, on a whim, I asked the principal of the boys' school if they had families within our school community whom they would be helping out at Christmas.  He told me they did indeed and would welcome any kind of support that we could offer.  So, today, in loving memory of my most amazing mother, I'm going shopping.  I'm shopping for a 13-year old girl, a 9-year old and a 5-year old boys.  I am going to make sure, just as my mom did every year, regardless of our financial situation, that those kids wake up on Christmas morning, and feel the magic of Christmas.

I'm pretty sure she'd be proud.

Monday, 26 November 2012

The date that ALMOST was...

Friday night was supposed to be date night in our house.  I say sssssuuuuuuuuuppppppposed to be because the Husband ended up hoping on a plane on Friday morning and then not getting home until the weeeeeeeee hours of the morning on Saturday.

I felt a tiny bit gipped.  I'd be lying if I tried to tell you otherwise.

Here's the thing.  Yes, we got to have our weekend together in October for our anniversary, but since then, we haven't really had any non-event-related quality time together.  I was looking forward to putting on my not-so-skinny-anymore-skinny-jeans, curling my hair, layering on the mascara as thick as I could and dabbing the perfume in some key locations, wink, wink!

I haven't really posted much lately on my weight loss or really at all about how it's made me feel.  Not like how it makes me wake up in the morning, clap my hands and jump out bed in my running gear!  No, I mean, like in my head - where that nasty little voice had taken up residence for so long that I thought I'd never evict her.

When I first committed to losing the weight, and of course started this blog, I used to get on the scale every damn day.  I was on there multiple times a day.  I needed to see the numbers going down.  I needed proof that the constant and profuse sweating and the manic tracking of calories was really working.  Somewhere along my little trip to this spot - like right here, right now, today, I stopped doing that.

I think it was also around the same time that I started really getting involved in my top secret, most amazing online group, that's honestly full of some of the most amazing chicks I have never met in real life but want to have all more than 7.000 in my neighbourhood so that I can have running AND coffee buddies 24-hours a day!  I think that I started listening to their stories - their struggles and their successes and wanting more than to be a particular number on the scale to just be a success story.

I swear, I've been asked about 5,000 times over the last few weeks what I'm doing to lose the weight.  If you'll recall, that's when things get real awkward around here.  I have spent a while thinking about this some more since writing that post and I think I've come to two conclusions about this.  The first is that I'm just awkward and like the taste of my foot when I'm in social settings so I should probably carry some kind of seasoning in my purse so that it tastes a bit better going down.  I'm working on it though, I swear!  The second is that, I cannot put into words (ok, well, when I'm having a real life conversation clearly!) how much this group of ladies has inspired and pushed me.  Not only can I not put it into words, but I think there's a part of me who can't believe it still.

Don't get me wrong.  I look in the mirror, I can see the difference.  I HEAR the compliments and I SEE the looks I get.  I guess my brain just hasn't caught up with my body yet!

So, you know how I'm gonna fix all of this?  I'm gonna get dolled up this Friday night.  Who cares if we're not going anywhere, right?  Why can't a girl get her pretty on just for the sake of getting her pretty on?  Annnnnnnnnd, if it inspires the Husband to take me down out, then so be it!

What are you going to do this week to make yourself feel totally awesome?

Friday, 23 November 2012

Winner, WINNER! Turkey Dinner!

Sooooo, I feel the need to confess something today.  It's one of those things that I've been carrying around with me for a while now and I'm really feeling like I need to get it off of my chest.

Ok.  Here goes.

I'm jealous of American Thanksgiving.

Whew!  So. Much. Better.

I'm not sure if it's the parade, the getting to eat turkey and all the fixings in November, the shopping rush that happens immediately following the turkey coma or the fact that the majority of people in the States seem to make it a priority to be with their families for the entirety of the holiday weekend.  Maybe, it's a little bit of everything though.

The first year I was home on mat leave was when my love affair with American Thanksgiving began.  It was the first year that I really got to watch the parade and the dog show and the Christmas specials that usually followed the football game.  I made a turkey and a scaled down version of what we would normally do for our own Thanksgiving.  It was awesome, but it was lacking.  It was lacking the laughter and the togetherness that the holidays are supposed to be about.

Ask me if that first, not absolutely perfect experience made me stop double celebrating Thanksgiving?  Nooooooope.  It sure hasn't!  I've decided that I'm lucky enough to have the option of double celebrating (not double fisting - could you imagine double fisting Thanksgiving dinner?  YIKES!), and one of these years, maybe I'll even be lucky enough to get to celebrate American Thanksgiving IN the USA!  Until then, I'm gonna keep watching the parade and making my turkey for dinner on that blessed Thursday night when everyone else in Canada is having meatloaf!

Now, can we talk about a slightly related topic for one moment?  I need to talk about how yesterday, while I sat in my living room watching the parade with my coffee and no one else (yup, coffee is that important in my world!) what got me, right in the heart.  The commercials!  They were killing me!  I watched one Jeep commercial about families who keep coming back to the same place to keep their holiday traditions alive year after year, generation after generation and it made me tear up!  A FREAKING CAR COMMERCIAL MADE ME CRY!!  I think I might need some meds.  Or something.  It's only just the beginning of the pull at your heartstrings commercial season and if the Jeep commercial had me blowing my nose and wiping my eyes, than what's gonna happen when the dreaded Hallmark commercials start?  Oh. My. God!!  The Hallmark commercials - AND THE HALLMARK SPECIAL!!!  I'm done!

AND NOW (geeeesh, there's a whole lotta yelling going on in here today.  I think I might REALLY need those meds!) to end on a note that actually explains my posting title (I know, I know, you've been reading this entire thing muttering, 'I just don't get it! Who won what?')

A lot of you read my blog because you've heard about it through the most amazingly fantastic, cyber group MLFC (holla hookstars!)  If you're active in the group bare with me for two seconds while I give backstory here.  One of the AMAZING chicks in there (Bridgette looks gorgeous in purple btw!) decided to organize a virtual Turkey Trot 5K so that everyone could feel like they were a part of the Thanksgiving festivities!  I was already planning on doing 5K yesterday anyway because 2 of my awesome ladies in my challenge group were running in their own communities, so I was all over this opportunity!

Yesterday was a beautiful day here!  The fog burned off slowly though which meant that the sidewalks were a bit slippery - it just added to the excitement of the run!  I got out there and I was feeling a bit tired.  Not sure why.  Could have been that I was running earlier than I normally do in the day.  Could have been that I was listening to a new playlist.  Could have been lots of things!  I didn't listen to the voice in my head though.  I told that bi-otch to shut it and just kept going!  I'm glad I did too, because here's what I ended up with!

I know, it's not sub 30 minutes yet, but THAT was a PR outside for me and I will take it!!  I'm still working on getting my speed up but it's coming!  Baby steps, right?

So, if you're out shopping today, please don't get trampled!  If you're laying low, eating leftovers and hanging with the family, enjoy every second of it - Thanksgiving comes but once a year (or twice if you're me and you're got Thanksgiving envy issues!)

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

I cannot believe I forgot weigh-in Wednesday this week!  What the heck is wrong with this crazy girl?  Let's blame it on the holiday envy that was happening in my head!  Down another 1.6 to 157!!  That means 3 things!
1) I'm 7 lbs away from my goal!!
2) I'm 3 lbs away from having lost 40 freaking lbs!
3) I'm officially back in the normal range for my height!  Wooooooooooooooot!
4) Ya, I know, I know...The last time I weighed this much, I didn't have any kids AND I was in my 20's.  It's been a long time coming and it feels GREAT!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Big gulps, eh fellas?

Awkward.  That's one of my most favourite awkward moments from Dumb and Dumber.  And that moment, in particular, has been playing through my head for the last few days.  Almost on a non-stop reel!  

So this past weekend was a beautiful but busy one.  I know that the days of me being able to shove the boys out the front door to play without me having to bundle up in 17 layers and dig up some of those old school hot pockets (do they even make those things anymore that were in foil packets and went in your mitts?  I'm pretty sure they probably seriously burned some small children at some point and they have subsequently taken them off of the market now) are quickly coming to an end!  

Needless to say we definitely took advantage of the sunshine and unseasonably warm daytime temps and had the boys on their bikes, shooting hoops, playing catch and just generally running around.  

Even though we live on a court, both the Husband and I are absolutely insistent that one of us be out there with them whenever they are playing outside.  And, even though we live on this little court of only 7 homes, it's been a really busy fall for all of us court-dwellers and we haven't really seen much of one another, nor have we really had that many nice weekends where we could all gather outside and catch up.  This weekend, however, changed that.  

At some point over the weekend, I spoke with almost everyone of the neighbours and each of them had something to say about my weight.  They were all complimentary - we have honestly been blessed with awesome neighbours.  I however, was weird and awkward.  

I wish that I was that girl who had been blessed with having the ability to pick the perfect response from thin air in the moment, but clearly, that is not my forte.  Ask me, I dare you!  Ask me how I responded to the compliments!  Well, silly!  I said something like 'Well you know, it's not really that big of a deal.  I'm just back in the normal range of the BMI.'  Not something more normal and gracious like 'Thank you so much!  I've been working steadily at it for a few months now.'  Nope.  Not me.

Or how about, 'Thank you so much!  I'm feeling really good these days!'

Nope, not that either.  

I think, however, I might have come to yet another, amateur psychological conclusion.  By me accepting their compliments, it would open myself up to the conversation of 'So, how much have you lost?'  And, if I went there, then I'd have to be ok to discuss live and in person with other people just how bad my weight had gotten.  

Don't worry though, like as is typically the case in my life, a pre-destined poopstorm came my way and MADE me have to have an out.loud.conversation.  Awkward.  Indeed.  

We were invited to the home of my Dad's 'friend' (that's what they call each other, but let's get real here.  She's his Girlfriend and she's amazing.)  I haven't seen her since Thanksgiving, so about a month and a half.  The first thing out of her mouth was 'Oh my GAWD!  Look at how much weight you've lost!  You're so skinny!'  First of all, I would not use the term skinny to describe me.  Second, cue the awkwardness!  

My Dad also commented about how skinny I was - I think it was something like, 'Honey, you're looking really skinny.'  Compliment?  Concerned comment?  Not sure.  Going with compliment though because it makes me feel better.  

Just when I thought the awkwardness of the weight issue was over and done with though, it came back.  And with a vengeance this time.  It was as if the fates were stepping in to say 'Hey!  You!  Awkward girl! If you can type about this stuff and spew it all out into the digital world, then you can definitely do this face to face!'  

So, the topic came up again and this time it was specific.  The question came at me like a freight train barreling down the tracks.  I knew it was coming, I could see it in the distance, but couldn't do a damn thing to stop it!  The question, THE DREADED ONE.  "Exactly how much have you lost?" got thrown out there, and I couldn't avoid it anymore.  

So, I hiked up my big girl undies, took a deep breath and said 'Um, I think it's somewhere between 34-40 lbs?'  You know, so it would seem like in the beginning I wasn't obsessively hopping on the scale every day and checking to make sure that the numbers were going down instead of up!  Of course though, the train couldn't be a short one.  Nope.  Longest. train. ever.

'So, what are you doing?  How are you losing all of this weight?'  Yup, there it was.  The caboose.  The loooooooooooooong caboose.  

You know what though?  I realized something while formulating (yes, that's right, I actually stopped and thought before opening my pie hole for once!) my answer.  It occurred to me, that every woman I know wants to lose at least a few pounds.  I don't know ANYONE who is doing cartwheels over their current body image.  And when I see someone who has done something that's clearly working, of course every woman I know I want to know!  I mean, isn't that what made me fall in love with Mama Laughlin in the first place?  She was open and honest and real.  

Is it possible that I could do that for someone else?  I'd like to think that I could pay it forward.  Share what I've done.  The challenges I've faced and the struggles I've overcome to get to my almost 40 lb loss.  

I've worked my butt off to get here.  I should be shouting from the rooftops about how happy I am that I can fit back into my pre-kid clothing.  This didn't happen by accident.  I made the choices to get here and going forward, I'm going to make the choices that will continue to move me forward through the next part of this journey!

I'm a lucky girl.  I've got people all around me who are supportive and love me and encourage me.  I have no reason to be awkward.  Time to work on some non-awkward responses to the questions that I have a feeling I may be hearing a lot more over the next little while! 

Monday, 19 November 2012

Just another manic Monday...

Am I alone in thinking that Monday is the butt hole of the week?  I mean, I'm pretty sure I'm not, but honestly, why oh why does Monday always have to be such a harsh heaping of reality?

Sunday, warm, cozy - like a good cup of coffee.  Monday is more like pants that weren't supposed to go in the dryer, now 3 sizes too small but are the only clean pants you've got so you have to fight, kick, scream and literally struggle your way into them.  You know what I mean?

Last night I had an epiphany.  I decided that the way to avoid the ugliness of Monday morning was to beat Monday morning at her (yup, Monday is a bitch, therefore female) own game.  I had the lunches all prepared.  Clothes were laid out.  Backpacks all ready, just waiting for lunch bags to go into them in the morning.  Breakfast was already planned in my head.

Everything was going perfectly.  I was even about to congratulate myself on a perfectly executed Monday morning.  And then it happened.  I asked my almost 8 year old to get dressed.  WOW!

Please, someone, anyone, tell me that this happens in your house too so that I don't feel like I've absolutely screwed my kid up and he's going to spend 5,000,000 hours lying on a therapist's couch in the future trying to undue all the badness that I've done to him.

He threw himself on the couch and was refusing to go upstairs to get dressed.  The clock was ticking.  Tick tock, tick tock.  The Husband asked him to go upstairs 3 times patiently.  Tick tock, tick tock.  Then he pulled out gun number one.
The Husband: 'Go upstairs and get dressed or else your DS is mine.  For the week.'
The Big Kid: 'No Daddy!  I'll go!'  (lays there groaning and doesn't move.)
The Husband: 'I'm going to count to 5.  If you're not moving, that DS is mine.'
The Big Kid: 'I'm going!' (still doesn't move.)
The Husband: 'Fine!  The DS is mine!'
The Big Kid: 'NoooooooooooooooooDaddy!'

tick tock, tick tock!

Repeat this cycle with TV and then onto a 3rd round before he finally put his clothes on!

I'm seriously not sure what's going on with my kid.  I'm not sure if this stuff is all normal, because he's our first.  What my undocumented intuition tells me though is that he sees us being a lot more relaxed with his little brother because his little brother has a lot more of a relaxed attitude towards everything in general.  With the Big Kid, it all has to be HIS way, all the time.  I think I may have to take some genetic fault for this one.  I may or may not be a little bit like that myself.  That may or may not have a little bit to do with why we fight as much as we do.  However, I truly feel like he's feeling like he gets the short end of the stick all the time these days and that his little brother gets to have more fun.

We keep reminding him of all the big boy things that he gets to do that his little brother doesn't.  I think however that we need to remind him more with actions than with words.  I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I feel like I need to really look at how I'm reacting in these situations and how I can do things differently to help him.

Anyone have any suggestions, cause I'd really like to go back to hating Monday just because it comes at the end of what's usually a pretty great weekend around here!

I LOVE this dude like crazy.  I just wish he didn't make me so CRAZY!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

No pain AND no gain!

Yup, that's right.  I said it.  And I meant it too!

So earlier this week, I was lying in bed starting to mentally compile a list of all the family feeding frenzies gatherings and drink fests holiday open houses we'd be attending over the next few weeks, and the thought occurred to me.  Wouldn't it be easier to get through these events if I were able to go armed with some tried and true skinny recipes?

I have a few in my arsenal that I've used in the past, but well, I could use some merry in my Christmas. Some holly in my bells.  Some what?  Oh, right.  Some new recipes!  Et voila!  The Skinny Mini Holiday Recipe Hop was born!  I'm co-hosting with the super-loverly Janelle at Domestically Seasoned  who it turns out is a seasoned pro at these blog-hop things!  Make sure you hop on over to her blog and check out all of the amazingness she has there!

Anywhoooo, turns our there are several other lady bloggers out there who thought this was a great idea too so I think that we might just make it through this holiday season still wearing our skinny jeans ladies!

So today, marks the very first of the Skinny Mini Holiday Recipe Blog Hop and I get to go first!  Are you ready for this?  Can you even guess what I'm about to throw your way?  I'll give you a hint, no Thanksgiving table would be complete without these two VIP items.  Done guessing? too!  So, I'm about to blow your mind with skinnified versions of sausage stuffing and sweet potatoes!  Seriously, these are going to be show stoppers on your table.  Like, for real!  My kids and husband devoured both of these when I did my photo session meal!

Let me introduce you to the cast of characters who will be joining us for this gastronomical adventure!

Let's pull out the big guns first, shall we?

Skip the fat and keep the skinny jeans chicken sausage stuffing

I know, I know.  Stuffing recipes are sacred.  Don't screw around with the glue of the meal, right?  Well, you haven't tried this one yet. I've made this a mish-mash between my Mom's amazing stuffing recipe and the one from Gina @

Here's what you'll need:

2 baguettes, sliced in 1 inch pieces with as much crust removed as you can
4 celery stalks, chopped finely
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, bet you can't guess - oh that's right, finely chopped!
4 tsp unsalted butter
450g / 16 oz chicken sausage - casings removed.
1/4 cup fresh sage - chopped finely
1-2 tbsp fresh thyme - what's a synonym for finely chopped?  Insert it here...
2-3 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 cups button mushrooms - sliced  **optional**

Preheat your oven to 350 - especially if you have the slowest heating-upper-oven-on-the-face-of-the-planet, like I do!

Once you've sliced your baguette and removed the crust, while attempting desperately to not eat all of the bread pieces that are now lying discarded in front of you and screaming your name, cut the slices into cubes.  I went for roughly 1 1/2 " pieces, but I like the big chunks of bread.  If you like it smaller, by all means go right ahead.

Next, put all of your little bready bits (that makes me giggle for some reason) onto a baking sheet and put it in the oven for about 20 minutes.  If you are a planner and actually do things ahead of time as opposed to people like me who are always standing in the kitchen doing things when guests arrive, you could also chop the bread the night before and leave it out to dry on it's own.  That would probably wreck a lot of the fun though.  I'm just sayin'...

While your break is getting twice baked, chop up your celery, onions and garlic.  Then throw them in a big ole frying pan - or a dutch oven if you're lazy like me and just like to do it all in one pot!  Stir that all around and let it cook for about 7/8 minutes or until the onions are translucent.  You could at this point removed the onion/celery mixture from the pot and cook the sausage separately.  I choose however to be lazy and throw the sausage into the pool too!

Let's talk sausage here for a minute.  I have a fantastic butcher who I get all of my meats from.  I know that they use the best quality meat in everything that they sell, not to mention the leanest cuts.  If you can get them from a butcher, do.  If not, your favourite brand is fine.

So, now you've got the sausage in the pot getting all cooked up.  Make sure you destroy that sucker with a spoon - well, not really.  But do break it up into bits so that everyone gets some of that deliciousness on their plates.

While you're drooling over the smells coming from your kitchen, get to chopping that sage and thyme.  If you're a big fan of either of these particular herbs, feel free to play with the amounts.  Obviously because we're dealing with fresh vs dried herbs the flavours aren't quite as strong.  I found these amounts to be perfect for my delicate pallet!   Once you've got them chopped as finely as you like, add them to the sausage mixture along with the mushrooms (if you're adding them.)

Right about now, the yummy little bready bits should be golden and hard.  Pull those little dudes (why did the bread all of a sudden become masculine?) out and mix them into the rest of the concoction.  Pour the chicken stock over top of the whole big pot of love and throw that bad boy into the oven.  I only added 2 cups because I don't like my stuffing to be really mushy.  Add more stock if you like it softer.  I clearly like it...oh wait, where was I?

Right about now I'm really hoping you're concentrating more on the deliciousness in that pot than on my horrible early 90's countertops.  Please don't judge, they're changing really soon!

After about 30 minutes, pull it out and mix everything around.  Pop it back in the oven for about 30/35 minutes more, until it's all golden and beautiful!

Those crumbs?  They may or may not be from me sampling a little bit as I was putting this uh-MAZE-ing stuffing into my cute pumpkin serving dish!  It was just that deeee-lish!

Serves 12.
Total calories - 182, Total fat - 6.8g, Total sodium - 594 mg, Total carbs - 21.6 g, Total fiber - 2 g, Total protein - 8 g

Have yourself a skinny little sweet potato brulee

I seriously love sweet potatoes.  Like, I could lick the bowl when I'm making them every.single.time.  That could be however because I put a crap load of calories into those things.  So, when I decided to seek out skinny holiday recipes, this one was a no-brainer!  This one is again partly thanks to Gina at but I've put my own spin on it.  She uses 1% milk in hers, I use non-fat, plain greek yogurt instead.

Here's what you'll need:

4 Large sweet potatoes - chopped into 1" chunks
1/2 cup non-fat, plain greek yogurt
2 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Chop, chop, chop those potatoes.

Once you've got the potatoes all chopped, cover them with water and bring them to a boil.  You wanna cook those orange beauties for about 20ish minutes - or until you can do the fork test and the fork just slides through it.

Once you've done the fork test and it's dominated those lil' gems, get those babies out of the hot water and throw them back in the pot!

Mash those puppies down with the masher and while you're at it, throw in the butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and yogurt!  Mix it all around and then taste it.  If you want to add more cinnamon or nutmeg (you could also add some ginger to the mix) add it now.

Put all of that amazingness into a 9 x 11 baking dish.  Sprinkle the sugar on top of the potato mixture as evenly as you can.  I actually think you could get away with using less sugar and it would still be amazing.  My kids L.O.V.E.D, the candied sugar on the top!

Put your masterpiece under the broiler until the sugar melts.  I took about 4-5 minutes for mine to fully melt, but keep a close eye on it!  The sugar will burn pretty quickly if you're not careful - especially if you have clumps.  (my clumps, my clumps, my sweet potato clumps!)

Serves 10
Total calories - 128, Total fat - 1 g, Total sodium - 49 mg, Total carbs - 28 g, Total Fiber - 3 g, Total protein - 3 g.

NOW, I've given you two amazing recipes to arm yourself for the holidays, go check out what Janelle has up at Domestically Seasoned today.  I know I can't wait!  BUT before you go!  Grab the button and link up with us so that you can help us stay in our skinny jeans too!

There are but a few simple rules that I would like to remind you of:

  1. When you go to the host's site, please leave them a little love in their comment section.  Everyone needs a little love, and it is the holidays after all!
  2. We want to be able to follow you too.  The best way to do that, is to follow the amazing sites you're going to get to visit over the next few weeks.  Join by Google+, email, RSS Feed - whatever floats your boat.  Just make sure join in the fun!
  3. Plaster that button up above all over your own blog.  The more the merrier after all!

    Inch By Inch and Step by step
    <div align="center"><a href="" title="Inch By Inch and Step by step" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Inch By Inch and Step by step" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Simple stuff, right?  I know!!  Well, this 158.6 girl (you didn't think I'd forget about 
Weigh-in Wednesday, did you?) has got a few leftovers to go and enjoy - in a totally
responsible way of course!  Let's get this Skinny, Mini party started!


Monday, 12 November 2012

Hip, hop...hippity hop!

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?  In the lane, candy glistens! 

Oops!  I mean,

Frosty the Snowman, was a jolly flabby soul…

What?  NO, NO, NO!  Not again, NOT THIS YEAR! 

Here’s an overview of the holidays in this blogging mama’s household.  Mid-November comes and I have steadfast resolve that I am NOT going to gain a pound over the holidays this year.  That I am not going to eat my way through every open house, family gathering and midnight snackfest that happens because I’m up late yet again trying to make sure that this really IS the most wonderful time of the year in my house!  Sound familiar? 

Well, not this year.  This year I’m arming myself with an arsenal of figure-friendly recipes that will ensure my LBD still fits on January 1st

This year, I WILL NOT resolve to get back on track with my fitness and health goals, because this year I WILL stay on track over the holidays! 

How is this going to happen you ask?  Simple!  A whole glorious group of mighty fine bloggeritas (yup, that’s my new term, I just made it up!) are joining forces to make sure that we ALL make it through the holidays still fitting into our pre-holiday skinny jeans!  You wanna join in the fun of this mega-holiday-blog-hop?   We sure hope you do because the more the merrier! 

There’s only a few simple rules:

1)   When you stop by the featured blog of the week, please make sure that you add them to your following list – I’d rather see my following numbers grow than the number on the scale, wouldn’t you?
2)   Give the bloggerita (see, that’s twice in one post – it’s a real word now!) a little bit of comment love.  I love nothing more than to get a tiny bit of love back (especially if you try the recipe and it’s AMAZE-BALLS!)
3)   Grab the button from the right hand side of this page and plaster that sucker all over your blog – helps to get the word out and get even more people to our blogs.  It takes a village after all, right?

Now that you KNOW you want to get in on this action, all you have to do is send an email to saying what recipe you want to post and when!  We’ll be posting and linking up to sites every Wednesday from now (November 14th ) until the 2nd of January! 

Let’s make this the skinniest, miniest holiday season EVER!

Hockey lovers in the house tonight!

So the Husband always tells me that one of the things he found attractive about me in the very beginning was the fact that I was a girl who loved to watch hockey.  Well, that and I shared his love for PB cups, which as you may or may not remember, we've already discussed in fairly great detail!

What I loved about hockey when we met, was watching some pretty amazing guys strapping on the blades and playing together as a unit.  In other words, I loved the excitement that was generated by the team because of the fact that they played AS A TEAM!  

Sadly, that team slowly started to break up and move on from our great hockey town and that excitement, that passion seemed to go with them.  And, for me, hockey kind of lost its spark.  

A few weeks ago, we got an email from the administration of the hockey league that they boys both play for saying they had some tickets available on a first-come-first-served basis for the Hockey Hall of Fame Legends game .  Luckily, the Husband is almost always glued to his phone, so he jumped on that email as soon as it came in and we secured tickets.

The Husband read me the roster for the teams and before he was more than 4 names into the list, I was already in.  It was the dream team reunited back on the ice and I HAD to be there!  

We didn't have football at my school when we were growing up.  We didn't really watch football at home.  We watched hockey.  We went to the High School hockey games.  It's a part of the very fabric of our great country.  Not having hockey this year has been tough in our house.  The Husband loves nothing more than to sit in front of his 65" TV on Saturday night watching Hockey Night in Canada.  Don Cherry and Ron MacLean have been our Saturday night guests for as long as I've known the Husband - at least whenever we've been home for it OR they've actually been on the air.  

Fast forward to this amazing game that was played yesterday.  This past weekend was the Hockey Hall of Fame's big weekend.  Four new members were inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Mats Sundin was among those four.  I can't tell you specifically what it was about Mats being on the team that really brought it all together for me, but I can tell you that when he left, I felt the loss.  So, having the chance to see him out on the ice, playing for OUR team again was really a dream come true.  

They brought all of the guys being inducted out on the ice one at a time to do the presentation of their Hall of Fame blazers.  They of course kept Mats for last.  When he walked along that blue carpet, not a single person was sitting in their seat.  The electricity and excitement in that arena was just like the old days and it was amazing!  He smiled and waved to the crowd and told us all how being back in Toronto felt like coming home.  My heart melted!

I was disappointed when the game started because it looked like maybe the inductees were only going to watch the game and not play.  However, about 5 minutes in, they interrupted the game to introduce each of the 4 inductees again, now all dressed and ready to get out on the ice!  Again they left Mats for last.  Let me tell you though, when he put his first skate down on the ice, it was like we were back in the golden days!  The golden boy was back!

It was amazing getting to watch that game.  Watching Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clark, Curtis Joseph, Darcy Tucker and Mats all play together on the same team.  It was even better watching my boys watch those guys in action.  

I don't know if we'll ever have the opportunity to see those guys in action again all at the same time, but I'll tell you this.  If they're back out there next year, I'll be there and I'll be loving every second of it all over again!  

Who says you can't go back?

Friday, 9 November 2012

Ummmm, I've misplaced something...

It's something really big.

Like, the last 4 days!  What the what?  Where the heck did they go?  I swear, I literally blinked and this week was over.  And you know what's scary?  It's not going to get any better over the next few weeks. It's only going to get more crazy.

Over the next few weeks we have a bunch of school stuff and sports stuff (how is it possible that in November we're still dealing with baseball?)  We have 2 birthdays this month, multiple doctors appointments as well as the Husband has at least two work trips before the end of the month.  And did I mention that that's only this month?

Once December 1 hits, I might as well just start writing January on stuff since the month will be over before I know it.

I'd like to say that I'm a pre-planner.  That I'm that person who has all of her shopping done and wrapped before the 15th of December and that the baking is all done by the same time and waiting to be pulled out of the freezer.  That person?  Yaaaaaaa, that's not me!

We're sort of a 'let's make December as crazy as we possibly can because it's so much fun to watch Emilie freak the f' out!' kinda house!  Every year I swear that we're going to be prepared.  That we're going to be ready for it all.  The husband however, always has a different plan.

My answer?  I'm starting whether he likes it or not.  I'm getting the boys to make their lists now.  I'm making my own list (last year I discovered that the Husband is very effective at present shopping when I troll the websites of my favourite stores and then send him the pics!)

This week was a reminder to me that the holidays are literally right around the corner.  That feeling of just keeping my head above water was not welcome so I'm absolutely going to actively take steps to keep that from happening in the weeks ahead!

Whose got tips for me?  Send me some organizational love.  I needs it!


expect another post from me tomorrow or Sunday about my FREAKING awesome run this week!!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

I've been a bad, bad blogger...

I have no excuses.  I have no reasons.  I honestly can't even tell you why I haven't posted in here for over a week.  Tired.  I've been tired.  The weather has been absolute CRAP for the last week and a bit and big things have been happening in the world.

Like Hurricane Sandy.  That was big.  Sandy coming here was fairly big too.  Or so the people on the news had us convinced.  The Husband was flying out west on Sunday night, but before he left, insisted on making sure there were canned goods and plenty of water in the house.

One thing you need to know about him, is he's a weather freak.  He gets excited by the thought that maybe, just maybe bad weather is going to come our way.  I on the other hand, often just shake my head at him and try to indulge him in his fantasies that wild and crazy weather will one day happen in our backyard.

Please don't interpret my comments as a lessoning of the severity of the horrible storms that have in our recent past devastated places like Staten Island and New Jersey and many places on the eastern shore.  Or any other of the countless and horrific storms that we've been witness to in our lifetime.  I don't mean to do that at all, it's more of a look into the psyche of the man that I'm married too.  He honestly loves weather - and probably more so because he's never been in the middle of a life altering storm.

Needless to say, the storm came (and before she came our way I ended up doing even more prep on my own because I was SO freaked out) with very little damage in our immediate area.  There was some minor flooding and some branches down, but nothing in comparison.

So there was that.  Oh and the fact that the weather has just been horribly blah.  Oh, and I've just been feeling blah.  And tired.  And not motivated.

Where did my motivation go?  I've really got to find it.  And soon.

Sooooooo?  When you're feeling unmotivated, what do you do to get going again?

Monday, 29 October 2012

I'd like to thank the academy...

Oh, and well you of course!  Without YOU none of this would be possible!

What, you're asking (I know you are because I'm kind of asking the same thing myself right now) is she going on about today?  Did she fall down and hit her head and now she's typing ridiculousness because no one made her go get checked out?  Someone should really put their hand in front of her face, wave some fingers and ask her how many fingers they're holding up!  

No, no, no!  It's not like that.  I'm actually not going crazy.  I, was nominated for an award!  What?  I guess that makes me an official blogger now, huh?  I was so flattered when Shawna over at Life as we know it nominated me and then Jules over at So totally life! also did!  I honestly can't tell you how awesome it feels to have some pretty amazing women whose blogs I really enjoy reading and following nominate me!  Seriously, little ol' me!  Wow!

Have you seen this adorbs little button?  I looks like, well, this!

Super cute, right?  And such a sweet idea!  The premise behind the award is simple.  It's awarded to bloggers by bloggers, specifically with a following (as I understand it) of under 200 people.  It's basically a way to recognize the blogs that you really like to follow and get other people reading those blogs too!  I honestly could not be more flattered by the fact that two other bloggers from this whole, big, blogosphere think that my random run-ons are entertaining enough to want to nominate me!  

So, here's the deal.  Now that I've been nominated, I have to tell you 11 random things about myself that maybe I haven't yet offered up - should be interesting.  Then, I have to answer 11 questions posed by the bloggers who nominated me.  When I'm done all that, I then need to nominate 11 other bloggers whom I love to follow and who have a following of under 200 but I think should have people crawling all over their pages on an hourly basis and pose 11 new questions to them!  Whew!  So much work - but it's so worth it!

Here goes!

11 things I've never told you about me:

  1. I hate the smell of bacon.  It started when I was pregnant with my first.  I can't explain it.  It grosses me out now.
  2. I feel anxious when my house isn't tidy.  I am that person that looks around and thinks, what if someone who has never been to my house before knocks on my front door and wants to come in for coffee right now.  On a scale of 1 - 10, how embarrassed would I be right now?  Yup.  Me.
  3. I love my boys more than anything in this world and would do absolutely anything for them.  Even on the days when I want to pack them up and put them on the front step so they stop making a mess in my house (see above.)
  4. I studied music at the University level.  My instrument?  Voice.
  5. I still get butterflies in my stomach when I go out on a date with my husband.
  6. If there was only one fast-food restaurant left open in the entire world I'd really want it to be Starbucks - ok, or a really good equivalent!  You don't want to see me pre-caffeine.  It's really not pretty.
  7. This is my 3rd time losing a significant amount of weight.  This is the fist time I've felt confident that I was going to actually do the work to keep it off.
  8. If I could choose between having all the money in the world and all of the health and happiness in the world, I would honestly (and without even thinking about it) choose health and happiness.
  9. I have a huge soft spot for all things tiny and furry!  One day, we will figure out a way to keep them tiny and furry and cute and we'll all live happily ever after!
  10. Sometimes, when I'm home alone - usually cleaning, I crank the tunes REALLY loud and dance and sing alla Tom Cruise in Risky Business.
  11. This December marks the 8th year since we lost my Mom to f'ing cancer.  I still miss her like crazy.

11 Questions from Shawna:
  1. What is one thing about yourself that most people don't know? I am not good in awkward situations.  I'm also kind of weird and awkward when you first meet me.  Once I find common ground with a person - something we can both talk about, I'm all good!  Situational comedies often make me uncomfortable too.  Like I have to hide my head under a pillow because it makes me so crazy!
  2. Whose your favourite singer/band? That's a tough one.  I seriously LOVE music.  See point 4 above.  I love pop music, classical music, rock music, disco, folk...these days though I love a song that can really get me moving when I'm running.  I was Tom Cruise dancing in my house yesterday to LMFAO's 'I"m Sexy and I know it!'  But then last night, was humming along to one of my favourite operatic arias, O, mio bambino caro.  It honestly just depends on the hour and the mood I'm in!
  3. What's your favourite time of the year? Ok, I love the weather and temperatures of summer.  I love summer vacation and road trips and getting a lovely golden tan.  However, I adore fall.  I love the colours and the crisp cool mornings.  I also LOVE running in the fall.  It's not so hot that you come back after 20 minutes looking like you've just dumped an entire bucket of water over your head and the sun doesn't scorch you in 10 seconds flat!  I do, however, find something a tiny bit sad about fall.  I've never been able to figure it out.  Any Psyche majors out there wanna take that one on?
  4. What is one of your guilty pleasures? Hmmmm, only one?  Just kidding!  I think probably my worst one is Facebook.  Especially now that I'm so in love with so many amazing 'hookstars'!  I swear, I could spend a million hours stalking I mean trolling I mean scrolling through this amazing group of women and I'd still only see 1/2 of the stuff that's going on there!
  5. What do you hope to accomplish in the next year? Well, I hope to achieve my goal weight - not actually sure what that is yet, so stay tuned!  I also hope to figure out what I want to do with my life now that my boys are both in school and be either doing it or at least making significant headway to being there by the end of 2013.
  6. Where is your favourite place to travel to? Gosh!  There are so many places I've never been - I don't know!  Everywhere I've gone I've loved for different reasons.  Our recent trip to Mexico was out of this world and I loved everything about it.  I definitely need to go back there and explore some more. Europe is on my list next though - anywhere and everywhere!
  7. Are you married/have kids? Yup, sure am!  We just celebrated 10 years of wedded 'bliss' (mwah! love you honey!) last week!  We have two amazing little boys - 8 and 4 years old.  All 3 of my boys keep me on my toes and my amazing hair chic in business covering up all these damn grays that keep popping up lately!
  8. What do you have most of in your closet? Ok, this is a tricky question.  Which closet are we talking about?  My front hall closet where I keep my shoes/boots, purses and coats which is definitely more coats than anything else or the closet in my bedroom which is pretty evenly covered with button down shirts, jeans, cardigans and cute summer short sleeved tops that I refuse to move to the back yet?  I'm a SAHM - most of my clothes from my previous working life have long since fled the coup!  
  9. What's your favourite TV show and movie? It's funny because I would have told you a few years ago the my favourite TV show was Grey's Anatomy or Brother's and Sisters.  Now?  I'm not so sure.  I have a whole list of shows that I PVR every week, but I'm not entirely sure that my life would end without watching any of them.  I really like Parenthood, 2 Broke Girls, Don't Trust the B in Apt 23, Scandal, Blue Bloods, Raising Hope, Modern Family, The Middle.  My new addition for this year?  Nashville.  I'm really enjoying it so far.  I hope it sticks around!  My favourite movie?  Of all time?  Pretty Woman.  The Husband won't watch it with me because it drives him nuts that I can quote it!  'Big mistake...Big...Huge!  Well, if you'll excuse me, I have to go shopping now!'
  10. If there was a quote to describe you or your life, what would it be? Believe you can and you're halfway there.  Theodore Roosevelt
  11. How would your best friend describe you? You mean other than the yin to her yang?  The milk in her tea (she hates coffee - you see how we're yin and yang like that?)  She would say that I'm patient - to a fault sometimes!  She would say that I'm accommodating and always want to try and help.  That I'm a doer and a fixer.  She would tell you that we've laughed together over our 16 year friendship like no one has ever laughed before but man, we've had some cries that I don't even want to think about.  She'd tell you that I'm the only person she's ever fought with and even broken up with for a short period of time that she's ever gone back to and come away with a stronger relationship.  She'd also tell you that if we were lesbians, we'd be married ;) 
11 Questions from Jules:
  1. Do you have pets? Yes!  Currently, we have a tabi cat named Francine.  Normally, I'm really not much of a cat person - it takes a really special cat to worm her way into this dog-loving girl's heart.  But Francine?  She's good.  She likes to cuddle sometimes but isn't bitchy about it when she doesn't want to.  She stays out of the way and really isn't annoying!  We had a dog named Molly for 10 years.  Sadly, this past Mother's Day, we had to put her down.  It was one of the worst moments of my life.
  2. Did you graduate from college? I graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education.  Ask me now what I do with that.  Ummmmmm.  Hold on, I'm still trying to think of a really good answer.  Can I get back to you on that one?
  3. How many countries have you travelled to? Let's see, I've been to Barbados, Bahamas, Mexico, United States and of course Canada.  My list is pretty sad, huh?  I really need to get on that!
  4. What's your favourite TV show? I just realized that I completely forgot to mention in my previous answer about this how much I LOVE Damages.  I'm really sad that it's over.  Oh and I still cannot believe that Rose Byrne is an Aussie!  I mean, I love that she is, but I never would have guessed it!  Amazing!
  5. Do you love/enjoy your job/career? Well, the answer I'm supposed to give here is that well of course I adooooooore being a stay at home mom to two incredible little boys!  The real answer is, yes, most days I really do enjoy the fact that I get to be here so much for my boys.  However, lately there have been many days where I've really started to feel like I need to do more.  I don't know what that something is yet though.  It's part of the 2013 quest for greatness!
  6. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? Um, I think it depends on the situation.  I think that if I want to fly below the radar I'm definitely keeping to myself.  That being said, I feel like I'm naturally a pretty loud and well, let's be honest, dramatic person.  I try to keep that shit bottled up, but sometimes, when I'm not looking it kind of seeps out.  Then once it's out there, well, it's out there!  
  7. What's your favourite meal to cook? Honestly?  It depends on the season!  I love creating new salads with fresh, locally grown yumminess in the summer.  In the fall, I love soups and casseroles and hearty things.  I also, however, love doing the big traditional dinners like Thanksgiving and Christmas.  They are so much work and take so long, but watching everyone enjoy that meal?  That's pretty satisfying!  Oh, I also love making pasta creations!
  8. Why do you blog? Honestly?  In the beginning I did this just to keep myself accountable for my weight loss journey.  Then it turned into something more.  I wanted to reach out to a wider audience and share my craziness with other people.  Is that completely narcissistic?  I also wanted to have a place where I could make sense of thoughts that were rattling around in my head.  Sometimes I don't know how to actually make sense of my own feelings/positions on things until I write them down.  In a nutshell, it's cheaper than therapy?  ;)
  9. What's one goal/dream you hope to attain in 2013? In addition to my answer to number 5 above, I want to 100% conquer the 10k with a time of 1 hour or less.  Once I've done that, I'll feel like I can move on to conquering the 1/2!
  10. If you had more free time, what's something you would like to do? I would like to learn to play the piano all over again.  I was never really that great at it and not having actually played for more than 10 years has made it really tough to retain any of it!!  I'd like to be able to sit down at my piano and play and not feel self-conscious about it.  Kind of like wearing skinny jeans in public up until now!
  11. What's your biggest fear? Losing loved ones unexpectedly.  
Sorry - that was a heavy ending, huh?

So now!  The next part is kind of fun because now I, get to nominate 11 other amazing bloggers!  You're not supposed to nominate people who have nominated you, and if I understand correctly if someone has already been nominated, you're not supposed to nominate them again but quite frankly, there are some pretty kick-ass bloggers on my following list and I'd love to hear their answers to my questions!  So here goes!

My 11 nominees are:
  1. Brandi at Thin after twins
  2. Mandy at Some Crafty Life!
  3. Emily at Unchartered Territory
  4. Nikki at Aussie in the USA
  5. Brooke at The Ah Ha Moment
  6. Amanda at Leap of Taste
  7. Jennifer at I Run (and eat) This Town
  8. Jennifer (Hamm Owens) at Losing It!
  9. Janelle at Domestically Seasoned
  10. Abby at Cowgirl Imagery
  11. Tangela at Finding Myself in Food and Fitness
My questions for you are:
  1. What is your first and most clear childhood memory that you have?
  2. If money and time were not issues, where would you travel to and why?
  3. When you were little, what did you want to be when you 'growed' up?
  4. Where did you have your first kiss?
  5. What is the one thing in this world that no amount of money or coaxing could ever make you do?
  6. What challenge will you conquer in 2013?
  7. If you woke up on a deserted island tomorrow morning, what are the 3 most important things you'd want with you and why?
  8. Who do you not want to ever read your blog and why?
  9. What was the catalyst that led you to blogging?
  10. What's the one life lesson you hope to teach your children/nieces/nephews?
  11. Where is your favourite place in the whole, entire world?
OK, so now my job is done!  I hope you enjoy answering the questions I've given you and sharing the Liebster love!