Thursday, May 26, 2016

Changes? Not really.

I dug up this special little gem the other day, and well,  I couldn't resist sharing simply because it just goes to show that although I have changed, and grown in a million ways since this photo, I am also still very much the same.

The picture is from a camping trip in 2003-2004 ish that my family took with another family of friends at the time.

I'm holding the first volleyball I ever owned, and although we were camping in the photo, it is still my "go-to" style to wear sweats and a t-shirt on a daily basis (whether im at home or heading out). 

You will notice that my hair was significantly longer back then but I am currently in the midst of growing it back out. I will however, try to do a better job maintaining it (although I'm pretty sure in the photo I had just come out of the water). 

I doubt I will ever drastically change my desire to lounge in sweats (jeans and tights are strictly for leaving the house), and never ever ever will I lose my passion for volleyball. I swear volleyball and sweatpants are defining qualities to my character. 

What have you hung on to from your past? 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

5 x Jealousy

I constantly find myself rationally, but also often irrationally, jealous of other people. Here are just five of the reasons why (trust me, there are plenty more):

I believe anyone that has a somewhat "fit" body, automatically has a better body than me. I feel severe urges of jealousy when I see people with toned arms, flat tummys, slender legs, or more capable muscles (i.e. they can do something I cannot). I wish I had the mental and physical discipline that they do in order to gain and maintain their physique. 

Style (clothing, hair, and sometimes makeup)
My favorite look is the "look how cute you look, and you didn't even have to try!" however, this is something that I am next to never able to achieve, because even if I end up with a look that is complementary, it is never effortless. It usually takes hours of tossing clothes in and out of my closet, multiple attempts at doing and re-doing my hair until it falls just so, and as far as makeup goes, although I much prefer a subtle, simple look (mascara, tiny bit of blush, and lip-gloss), sometimes I can't even manage to get that right on the first try.

I don't believe I will ever get to point where I can go an entire day without doubting myself at least once at some point throughout an entire day. I believe people with the right amount of confidence (not arrogance), are the most beautiful.

I feel so envious of people that can somehow manage to afford to purchase their own home in today's market, simple as that. I want to own a small, basic home, with a decent size yard, but I know it is just so far away right now.

Travel Experience
I have been to the following places: Vanderhoof, San Francisco, Merrit, Osoyoos, Kamloops, Oahu Hawaii, Oregon, Washington State, Tofino, Sunshine Coast, San Jose Del Cabo Mexico. I believe most people have been to more places than I and I am jealous that they have seen and experienced more things than me. I want the relaxation and adventure that comes along with travelling to new places. 

Jealousy can be a tricky thing. Although most times it has negative connotations associated with it (see all irrationality above), I also do strongly believe that it can be a positive motivating tool --> if used carefully. Focus on letting the jealousy give you ideas and innovation on where you want to go, or how to improve your life instead of letting it control or consume you.

(Captain's jealous face when the cat is getting pet instead of him)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Muffins, muffins, muffins!

Last week I tried two different muffin recipes off of Pinterest.

One batch I made is Raspberry Yogurt Muffins, and the other is Banana Oatmeal Blender Muffins!

I'm going to go ahead and let you know right off the bat, that if you're only going to try one of these recipes, I way better preferred the raspberry batch. Mark did say that he still enjoyed the banana batch, and so did his co-worker, but regardless, the raspberry batch still takes the cake in my books! 

Anyway, see below for the full recipes for both batches of muffins:

Banana Oatmeal Blueberry Blender Muffins (makes 1 dozen):
-2 egg
-2 bananas (very ripe)
-1 cup greek yogurt
-2 tbsp honey
-1/3 cup oil
-2 cup oats
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-pinch of salt
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-1 cup greek yogurt (I used banana caramel greek yogurt)
-3/4 cup blueberries (I used frozen)

-Preheat over to 400 degrees farenheit
-Grease cupcake tray or line tray with paper cupcake holders (grease as well as these muffins end up very sticky)
-Pour all ingredients (except "add ins") into a blender or food processor (make sure some of the more liquid ingredients hit the bottom to help the blender along)
-Stop blender periodically to scrape walls of blender/blade to ensure all ingredients are combined well
-Add "mix ins" and stir with wooden spoon
-Spoon portions into tray
-Bake for approx. 15 mins
-Cool in tray for 5 mins before removing and cooling on wire rack

Raspberry Yogurt Muffins (makes 1 dozen):
-1 egg
-1 3/4 cup flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/3 cup sugar
-1/3 cup canola oil
-6oz yogurt (I used Raspberry Greek yogurt) 
-1 cup raspberries (I used frozen)

-Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees farenheit
-Grease muffin tray or line with paper holders
-Combine all dry ingredients in one large mixing bowl
-Beat together wet ingredients (except berries)
-Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl until well combined (mine was pretty lumpy but they still turned out fine)
-Add berries into bowl and gently mix
-Spoon portions into tray
-Bake for approx 20 mins
-Cool on wire rack for 5 mins

What kind of muffins do you bake?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Check Out Our Specs

It has been about 5 years since I got my eye prescription renewed, and therefore equally as long since I purchased a new pair of glasses.

If I've never mentioned it before, I haaaaaaate glasses shopping (yes, even sunglasses shopping), because there is no fun in it for me, it is strictly a struggle. I chalk it up to the fact that I have a unique shaped head (the last pair of seeing eye glasses I purchased were kids glasses, and I can even sometimes wear kids size hats).


Mark and I went a couple months ago to renew our prescriptions and we tried on some different glasses styles while we were finishing up at the store. Of course, pretty much every pair Mark picked up looked good on him, and he chose a pair to buy with no fuss.

I, on the other hand, tried one pair after the next, after the next, with no such luck.  After quite some time, and frustration building, we decided to leave, and try again another day with fresh energy.

Well, of course, life got in the way and days turned into weeks, weeks into months, know how it goes.

Finally, this past weekend I got up the courage and we ventured out to try to find a pair again. We stopped at Crystal Vision in Semiahmoo Mall, and I cannot even begin to describe what an awesome experience I had.

The girls there were so friendly, listened to exactly what I had to say, weren't pushy at all, and had excellent product info. I promise, no one is sponsoring this post, I really, truly just had an amazing experience and hope that by sharing, others will too!

Here are the glasses I ended up with (they were actually the 1st pair that the worker recommended to me based on all the critiques and requirements I mentioned).

Also, because of a promo they were having I even ended up getting a free pair of polarized sunglasses too!

I paid $364 total for the two pairs of frames (each marked at over $200), lenses, a year long warranty, as well as a lifetime glasses cleaner.

If anyone struggles as much as I do with finding glasses, I highly recommend at least checking out Crystal Vision, because they really turned the whole thing into a positive, and dare I say, fun, experience!

So, what do you guys think of our new specs? 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Roller Derby

(Mark holding up one of the "posters" for his co-worker, Breen, who plays) 
Two weekends ago Mark and I watched one of his co-workers' roller derby matches. This was the 2nd match we've watched this year...or ever for that matter (other than back in the day on TV), and I have to admit, it is a very unique and entertaining sport to watch. The most mind boggling part of this sport is that it was the only sport I could think of that doesn't invlove an object of some sort (ie. bat, raquet, stick, ball, puck, etc.), is team based, and yet is still incredibly physical and competitive.

If you've never heard of this sport before, basically it goes likes this:
You have teams on roller skates (yes, skates, not blades), and each team has a "jammer," which is marked by a star on their helmet (the jammer can change each round). In order to accumulate points, the objective is to get your own teams jammer around the track, and more specifically through the pack of opposing team members, as many times as possible, whilst staying ahead of the other teams jammer.

Of course, there is an abundance of miscellaneous rules, which I am still learning. But here are a few that I've picked up on:
-The current lead jammer can "stop the play" at any time in order to prevent the other teams jammer from overtaking the lead position
-Each team has an "alternate jammer" marked by a stripe on their helmet (can change each round) which, during a round, the original jammer is allowed to pass their "jammer star" onto in order to advance the play and accumulation of points
-If the jammer gets knocked out of bounds (happens often), they must retreat behind the furthest rear player from the opposing team and then continue their attempt to progress around the track
-You are allowed to "jump the track" as long as your take off and landing point are within the boundaries of the track
-Physical rules: no elbowing, no grabbing, etc. (it's basically just body a lot of shoulders and hips)

Again, I can't stress enough, how interesting the dynamic of this sport is. It's neat to watch the variation of offensive vs. defensive strategy in order to either help your own teams jammer to pass through the pack, or preventing the opposing teams jammer from getting through the pack. The physical body maneuvers are very similar regardless, however, it's how the teams coordinate themselves within the pack to make the best progression which I find so entertaining.

Also, another interesting point, is that there is an abundance of referees, 5 or 6 if I'm not mistaken. A head ref who starts and stops the play, two jammer refs (each one watches one teams jammer), and then a couple others who are watching the "pack" to ensure all proper conduct is being followed (i.e. no grabbing or you know, eye gouging! Hehe!)

I'm not sure if it's just because of the nature of the physicality of the sport or because it's on roller skates (a kind of dated item), or what, but I am a little saddened that this sport isn't more popular. I highly recommend that you check it out if you can find it in your area! You definitely won't be bored!

What do you think about Roller-Derby?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sum-ing it up

This picture basically sums up my life: 

(Captain posing during our visit at Mark's work)


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

How I met my Mark-y

(Mark in Cabo - April 2016)
I met my husband, Mark, playing in one of the first drop-in volleyball scrimmages I ever joined. He isn't the tallest of volleyball players by any means, but man did he get my attention anyway. He may only be 5'8" but he has hops for days, hits like a beast, and I will never ever forget the way he dragged his toe during his serves. 

(Harry Jerome Tournament - November 2015)

Each week after the sessions would end, most of the group would go out for food and drinks (I was only just 19, not a big drinker, very timid, and yes, I was still with my high school boyfriend at the time) so I always made an excuse not to go. Obviously the more I played volleyball, the less and less time I had for my boyfriend, and he seemed to love to point out the fact that I enjoyed spending so much time "with the guys" at volleyball. Granted yes, there were plenty more guy players wherever I went, but there were other girls there too, and honestly I just loved the pace of the game with guys - still do.
I have no idea if it was several weeks or several months playing volleyball with Mark, but at some point, we started to talk a little bit more and more while at volleyball. 
Eventually, one night there was a few of us walking to our cars together (Mark included), and I distinctly remember having the thought: "If I was going to date one of these guys, I would definitely choose him." 

How terrible of me, I know. I was in a 3 year relationship at the time, and there I was considering who else I would choose for a boyfriend. 

Needless to say, after a few rough nights of fighting with the current boyfriend, and staying later and later after volleyball to chat with Mark about how to handle relationship situations when you don't know if you're happy, one thing lead to another and I took the plunge to end it with my high school boyfriend and take a chance elsewhere. I promise I did not cheat on my boyfriend. I ended things before pursuing an intimate relationship with Mark, but I will admit, emotionally I was checked out and ready to commit elsewhere. 
The next week Mark left a note on my truck which I desperately wish I had kept in my keepsake box, but I think I felt a little too guilty still. It read: "I like the way you play volleyball." So simple, but so direct - To this day those are still defining traits to Marks character.

(White Rock - July 2013)
The week after that, when we were leaving volleyball and Mark said: "you're coming out too right?" I could no longer refuse.  I came out with the group, Mark and I held hands under the table (without even discussing whether we were boyfriend and girlfriend or not) and even texted each other back and forth, right at the table. I KNOW! How cheesy, lame, ridiculous, the list goes on. But, despite how ridiculous it was, it was absolute perfection at the time and neither of us could stop smiling. 
The attraction quickly became undeniable. He wasn't necessarily what I ever pictured myself to end up with, but that just made me love him even more. It wasn't long before we were saying those words to each other, talking and making plans for the future. We moved in after only 6 months, and the rest is history.  He would listen to me rant about work as a legal admin assistant, he supported me when I decided to go to BCIT to become an x-ray tech. We even had to do long distance for 4 months while I was in school, but he was always there to brighten my days. That is the thing about Mark, he truly makes me see, feel and think brighter. 

(1st trip to Whistler together - July 2009)
We have been together 7 years now (since May 2009), and married for 2 and a half of them, and I am forever grateful for that first volleyball league because without it, Mark never would have invited me out or left that note on my car, and those really are the moments that started it all! 
(Our Wedding Day - November 30, 2013)

What's your story?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Finished FBFit Round 2!

On Friday I finished round 2 of FBfit 8 week program and although my final physical fit test results weren't quite what I had hoped for, I am overall still very pleased with my ability to maintain my weight, size, and strength throughout the program (keep in mind I was off on vacation for two weeks-one of which was spent in Cabo).

Here are my fit test results:

Here are my progress photos:
(Top: March 13, 2016; Bottom: May 6, 2016) 
I know the lighting and angle is way different (Mark wasn't home to take the most recent pictures so I had to do it on my own), so it's hard to see a true comparison, however I think I did okay.

Yesterday I started FBBooty round 2, as well as FBFlex (both 4 week programs) and I'm feeling great! My main focus for this 4 week span is going to be to tighten my lower belly so in order to do that I'm really going to slow down and work on contracting every little muscle for each move instead of pushing the pace which mainly challenges my cardiovascular endurance.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

To the strongest, most beautiful mother ever!


Nothing Compares... Sunday morning snuggles 

...or a leisurely stroll in nature with my boys


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Giving Up (2005)

There I was falling apart,
(Drawing from high school)
An empty soul lost in the dark.
You took my hand & held it tight.
Because of you I learned to fight.
A chance with you was more than I deserved,
But, once again I lost my turn.

Because of this hurt,
Because of this pain,
These thought have grown
That I just can't explain.

I took a chance,
You let me see
The kindness in people that makes us so free.
But a fool I was for believing such lies,
All along you knew it would end in goodbye

Because of this hurt,
Because of this pain,
These thought have grown
That I just can't explain


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Oatmeal/Eggwhite Pancake

Here is a recipe my sister recommended to me since I've been complaining about being insanely hungry all the time, now that I am exercising so frequently.

The only ingredients are (makes 1 large pancake):
-1/2cup of oats
-2/3cup of egg whites (about 3 large eggs)
-sprinkle of cinnamon
-drizzle of vanilla

Literally all you have to do is:
-combine ingredients together in a bowl
-pour into a frying pan
 -fry for approx. 4 mins
-fry for another 3 minutes or so (until golden)

This recipe is great because it's super quick, super easy (essential for my household), super filling, and super healthy (it's basically just egg whites and oatmeal)! Now, I do have to admit the pancake is a wee bit bland to taste (even with the added cinnamon & vanilla), however I've just been adding a handful of berries on top to sweeten it up, and it's delicious!

(Oateam/egg white pancake topped with blueberries)
If you're like me and struggling to find a healthy, filling snack, I highly recommend trying this out, and Ilet me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What's your thing?

It seems like out of everyone I meet these days, guys, girls, couples, etc., everyone seems to have a defining quality about them. There is something that sticks out so strongly that if anyone mentions their name, you immediately recognize them because of that particular thing. I'm not simply referring to physical qualities here, it could be something like a hobby or career they are known for too. 

So, that has me wondering...what is my thing, or do I even have one? Also, is it good to be known for just one defining quality....what's the saying: "jack of all trades, expert at none"?

I've always thought of myself as a relatively well rounded person but, the more I think about it, the more I realize that I am limited in the interests I pursue. I play volleyball, I jog, I workout, I read, I write, I play boardgames, I walk, I hike, I play with my dog... Although that list may seem like it has a lot of items, they are all very similar in the category under which they fall. On the other hand, I don't think I'm known particularly for just one of those items. I would love to be an expert at volleyball, or the most physically fit/toned as possible, or spend my days searching for new mountains to hike because I was running out, or be the champ at all boardgames however that just isn't the case. I simply do a little of a few things that all are very similar in their classification. 

How do you decide if this is a good or bad thing? Is it good to have a "defining quality?", and if so, how do you choose what you want that quality to be?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Needing Some Guidance

In most areas of life I have no problem asking for help. If I didn't know something for school I would ask a friend, teacher, or parent for help to solve a problem, and if I didn't know how to do something in sports I would ask the coach or teammates to show me again and again until I figured it out.

I have however, always struggled (and still do) to ask for help when it comes to talking about my thoughts, feelings, emotions, or really, anything related to my more personal life. 

So internet world, I am going to suck it up, and do what I don't like to do. I am asking for your help.

I am currently struggling with how to handle the following:
-anger/resentment towards people that hurt me;
-yearning to prove that I am better off without the people that hurt me;
-urges to "get back" at those that hurt me.

After some self reflection it has come clear to me that I have no desire to rebuild the friendships that once were. Of course, I feel sad that I don't share those bonds any more, and don't get me wrong, it kills me any time I catch myself wanting to call those people up to chat when something important comes up however, I'm trying to value myself at a higher standard these days, and I think I'm finally comfortable saying out loud that: after how they treated me, they are not worthy of my friendship.

I am though, constantly feeling surges of frustration because I want the people that hurt me to know how badly I felt, so I want to hurt them back. But at the same time, my internal judgment kicks in, and I know that saying nothing can speak volumes louder. I feel tangled in this web struggling for mental clarity, and it makes me run through loops asking myself the following questions:

-What were they thinking?
-Did I deserve it?
-Do they regret their actions?
-What do they have to say for themselves now?

I start picturing how the conversations would take place if I were to actually go ahead and ask these questions in real life. Watching these once-friends fumble over their words, making excuses and apologies for themselves, but none of it makes me believe them, want to forgive them, or feel any better. 

So what do I do? How do I move on? How do I cut those strings loose from still having it all running on repeat in the back of my head. How do I let go of what once was, and start living working on a new and better me?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Monthly Mayhem: April 2016

-Vacation at Barcelo Grand Faro Los Cabos Resort (April 16-23, 2016)
(Hanging out at the Barcelo Grand Faro Los Cabos Resort)


-Co-ed 6s POCO Spring Volleyball League started up (April 6, 2016)

-Beach day with Vanessa (April 8, 2016)
(Vanessa & I at White Rock West Beach)
-Mark's Dad's birthday dinner (April 30, 2016, actual bday April 23, 2016)

-1 week left of FBFit round 2 (taking progress pics later this week)

-Oatmeal/egg white pancake

-Finished: The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
-Started: The French version of "This Lullaby" by Sarah Dessen

How did you spend your April?