Keeping Fit, and Having Fun?

2014.

Another New Year, another set of resolutions.

I’ve heard it only takes 21 days to form a habit, but in the past, I can’t say I’ve ever made it that far.  Well this year, is the year I’m going to change it.  It’s now mid February, and I’ve slowly (but steadily), been losing some of the extra weight I’ve gained over the last 10 years or so.  In 6 weeks, I’ve lost 11 pounds.  It may not sound like a lot, but I’ll be honest- I’m SUPER lazy.  Just ask my husband (Sorry Matt!).

For me to have stuck to this resolution (and to see results) is earth shattering.  I’ve re-joined the gym (and have actually been going), stopped drinking my FAVOURITE sugary coffee drinks (for the most part), and have been attempting to eat healthier.  Doesn’t sound like much does it?  Well, you’re right!  Just cutting out my morning Ice Cappuccinos have for real, made a huge difference.  Yes, I am also watching my calorie count, BUT cutting out Ice Capps accounted for like a quarter of my “recommended” calories per day.  Yikes!  When they say “don’t drink your calories”, it’s for a reason.  I would so much rather have food, than a drink.  Chai Tea has now become my daily go-to.  Mmmmmmmm!

My Motivation Wall

My Motivation Wall

I figured by posting this on my blog, it would hold me more accountable and blogging about my ‘getting healthy’ journey could also be something that I “try” on here.  It might also motivate me to get blogging more often too.  I’ve realized recently how much I have actually missed it!

So here’s hoping that these will be 2 resolutions I’ll actually continue to follow through on. :)

~Erin

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Na na na na na na na na …..Cole’s 1st birthday!

Lame title, I know.  Sometimes I get confused when I’m humming or singing a tune, and I want to write it.  So in case you couldn’t tell from the na na na’s, it was the Batman theme.  AND, if you haven’t been following along in my blogging journey and you’re not sure who Cole is, well he’s practically the cutest freakin’ kid in the world (but I may be bias).

Sooooooooo, I like to make things (or attempt making things), and this post is no different.  I feel like I haven’t had a diy post in a while, so buckle up my friends, we’re in for a bumpy ride!

Alright, so Cole’s first birthday was mid September, and since I had already made Abigail (another one of my friends’ ridiculously cute babies) a couple of AWESOME presents, I thought it was Cole’s turn.  What did I make him?  A Batmobile.  Obviously.

Step One: find a Cozy Coupe.  You know, one of those red and yellow toddler cars where they get in, and use their feet to move it.  Yep, they have an actual name, and it is infact called a Cozy Coupe.  Done.  I posted an ad on my School Board buy/sell website, and bingo, one for free.  Perfect.

Step Two: Buy some spray paint.  Done.  If you’re ever wondering what spray paint works best- I found that Home Depot name brand vs. Home Hardware name brand did a much better job, AND it was easier to use (you can spray it upside down which was convenient).  Wow, I just gave you an actual useable tip about something.  I feel so grown up!

Step Three: Actually start painting.  I was nervous about this.  I had never spray painted before.  I didn’t know how the paint would work on plastic.  There were so many variables.  The weather didn’t cooperate.  The wild cats that live in my backyard were very interested in the painting- I’m surprised one of them didn’t end up with a big yellow stripe down their back!

Just getting started

Almost done!

Anywho, if you ever want to attempt it, here is a word to the wise: allow ample time for coats to dry, and buy about 3 cans of spray paint (black).  I had no idea I would go through so much paint!

The bat symbol was by far the hardest part, and as this blog where I originally got the idea from suggested, it’s WAY easier to hand paint on the symbol than to cut out a stencil and try to tape/spray on top. (Which yes, in case you’re wondering I did attempt first)

Yay!

Now that the cold weather is coming, I’m not sure how much use Cole will get out of the Batmobile this year, but wow will he ever be the coolest little guy on his street next summer. :)

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How I Spent my Summer Vacation

It’s been almost 2 weeks since the return of students to school, and also that dreaded assignment (or maybe not so dreaded, depending on how exciting your summer actually was), of ‘How I Spent my Summer Vacation’.  I decided that in honor of the start of school, I would enlighten you all with an essay of how my summer played out.

Ahem.

How I Spent my Summer Vacation

By: Erin Flattery

I spent my summer taking care of cats.

Seriously.  For those of you who are a fb friend, on my twitter feed, or a “real life” friend (as I like to say), you may already know this.  If you haven’t visited my house at all this summer, you may not know how in depth this feat has been.  Let’s start this story at the beginning shall we?

In late May, a momma feral cat showed up in our backyard one day with her 3 somewhat young kittens. (pictured above)  Being the animal lover I am, and considering I had actually already been feeding a stray cat anyways (whom I named Elly), I began feeding them too.  By late June, momma and her 3 kittens were coming right to our deck to eat once a day.  It was cute.  I contacted a local TNR program (TNR stands for Trap, Neuter and Release.  They actually do this for feral cats who cannot be socialized into a forever home.), but apparently feral cats are running rampant in London, so they were too busy to help me out with this.  As cute as these kittens were, they were still feral (wild) and were very much afraid and unsure of humans.

About mid July, momma started hissing at her kittens when they tried to eat while she was.  That was the last day we saw her.  I assumed she might be pregnant again.  So for the rest of the summer, I spent hours daily, feeding and trying to socialize these 3 kittens who I lovingly named Petey, Tabs, and Dax.  It was obvious that Petey was the runt, Dax was the scaredy cat, and Tabs just wanted to explore.  Very soon  after, Petey began letting me pick him up, and by mid August, I was able to take him to the vet, and bring him into our house.  Success!  At least with one of the three!

Tabs at the door, Petey and Dax in the bed behind. (late July)

After seeing Petey through our back door, Dax began sleeping and hanging out on our deck daily, and now is slowly letting me cuddle with him.  I know I need to bring him into a shelter, but I am TERRIFIED that since he is feral he will be put down.  He is slowly learning to socialize with humans, but is about 6 months old.  I really don’t know what will happen if I take him in.  Tabs still comes for food and sleeps on our deck during the afternoon, but is weary of me still, and explores the neighbourhood for the majority of the day.

Sooooooooooooo, on Thursday this week, I was on the deck feeding Tabs and Dax, when another grey and white smallish cat shows up for food.  I shooed it away, and followed it to the back of the backyard.  It had 3 kittens waiting for her in a bush.  I quickly got out my iphone and searched for pictures of the original kittens and their mom, with this new mom, and low and behold, it’s the same mom!  She knew she could get food here.  Great memory, but come on… didn’t you leave your last litter with me?! Sigh.

Momma with “new” litter nursing

So now I’ve got 2 6 month old kittens to feed and attempt to get adopted/socialize, and now I have momma back with 3 new, VERY YOUNG baby kittens living in the back of my yard (they are still nursing!).

I don’t know what to do!!!!!

If you count our 2 house cats (which of course I do), I am taking care of 5 cats and (soon I’m sure) 3 kittens.  WTF!

I’m going to attempt to contact the TNR program again this week, I contacted ARF this summer, to no avail, and am unsure about who else to contact for help with this!  Anyone interested in adopting a cat, or two, or 5? :S

On a lighter note, I am also back in my classroom from last year- YAY!  At least until January, possibly longer.  We’ll see.  It’s been great but hectic.  30 kids in our Kindergarten class = tired, and sick teachers at the end of week 2.

And on that note I am signing off so I can go back to sleep to try to get rid of this nasty cold.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and if you know anyone who can help me with the bazillion cats- PLEEEEEEEASE let me know! :)

 

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Relaxing Day at the Beach?

Port Stanley

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm…..

Summer. Beach Weather.

Waves crashing on the shore.  Children laughing as they make sand castles.  The smell of french fries from the nearby restaurant.

I. LOVE. THE. BEACH.

Until a relaxing beach day turns into a worrisome animal-saving excursion, and a lesson about threats to the Great Lakes water system.

Upon arriving at the beach on Saturday, Sandra and I were disgusted to find multiple dead fish, and dead seagulls on the shore of the beach.  Gross. Double Gross.  Since Sandra works in the field of fresh water lakes, and what not, and was ok with still swimming the water, I was too.

That’s when we noticed a seagull hanging out on the beach just where the tide washes into the shore.  People walked by, he didn’t move.  A young girl (who should have known better!!!!!!!) threw a stick at him, he didn’t move. :S Well ok, he was moving, but not flying away, or getting up or anything.

So what did Sandra and I do? Move down the beach?  Find a more peaceful place to tan?  Nope.  Because that’s not the kind of people we are.  We first of all, stood and stared at the bird, and debated picking it up so he wouldn’t drown.  We debated calling the humane society.  We ended up talking to the lifeguards to see what they said.  Long story short, apparently this is very common.  Dead fish and seagulls wash up on the shore daily.  Gross.

According to Sandra, (without making this a science lecture :P) these fish and mussels, are coming in on ships from other waters, and invading our great lakes.  The birds and fish eat them.  Then, they get Botulism.  Then, they grow weak, and die.  Then, they wash up on shore.  Then, the lifeguards have to clean them up.  For reals. I bet they didn’t know that would be in their job description huh?!

Anywho, the lifeguard said someone would deal with it within the hour.

Before that hour however, it seemed as though the seagull was going to be washed into the water, so we had formulated a plan to move the bird a bit away from the water, until Sandra’s husband informed Sandra (via phone call) that seagulls have been known to bite off fingers, and we didn’t really feel like catching Botulism ourselves.

So to jump to the end of this somewhat long story, the seagull was able to move out of the water, a lifeguard came and picked it up properly, and put it in the forest beside the beach (which we did NOT agree with), and most likely ended up dying there.  The fish were thrown in the garbage (ewww), and we tried to enjoy the rest of our afternoon.

Sooooo, who’s up for a swim in Lake Erie?

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Big City, Bright Lights

Toronto.

The capital city of Ontario.

A city that I recently had the chance to live in for about 2 weeks!  No, Matt and I didn’t move there, I was working in the T dot and stayed with a friend (Thanks Sandra!!) :)

I’ve kind of always been jealous of people that live in big cities.  They’ve just always seemed so grown up!  Taking the subway, visiting museums and art galleries, moving about amongst a bazillion people… I don’t know.  I’ve always thought it would be so glamorous.

Now let me tell you about my experience living in Toronto.

1.  Commuting is a M—– F—–!

That’s right, you read that right.  How long was my commute you ask?  That’s not important.  Well ok, yes it is.  According to Google map, it should have only took 16 minutes daily.  Would you like to know how long it actually took?

55 minutes.  Yes, that includes a short stop at a Tim Horton’s drive thru, but come on.  That’s ridiculous.  And frustrating.  I really do not know how people do it daily.  If it wasn’t for funny morning talk show hosts, I would not have survived the tail-gating, cell phone driving, too slow, don’t let anyone merge, dumb ass drivers.  (not to stereotype Toronto drivers because I KNOW not everyone is like this, however these are what the ones that I encountered were doing) Sigh.

2.  There are just soooooooooo many people!!!  (I guess that perhaps ties in with number 1 now doesn’t it?!)

3.  You can’t go anywhere between 5 and 7pm.  (I guess that really does tie in again with number 1 and 2 doesn’t it? haha)  If we needed to go groccery shopping, or out for food, we needed to go after 7, otherwise you end up sitting in traffic forever.  Then again, that’s only if you’re driving a car.  If you take public transit somewhere, you’re probably ok….but it would still be super busy (refer back to number 1 and 2).

So overall it really does look like my problem with Toronto is that there’s so many people.  I guess I’m really just used to sharing my space with under 500, 000.  Not the 2,615,060 that live in Toronto. (WOW!  I didn’t really think it was that many!- that’s according to Google FYI as of 2011.)

What I did like about the T dot is that although Sandra lives in a highrise condo, there was a super cute park that EVERYONE in the neighborhood went to, to walk their dogs.  It was full of adorable dogs in all sizes just running around, and being cute.  So clearly people in big cities don’t let small homes effect whether or not they are going to have pets!

So, I hate people, but love dogs.

That about wraps up this post.

I’m hoping that now my summer course is done, I can bust out a couple more posts this summer…since I haven’t done so since January! (Ooops!)

EPFT out.

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In 2012…..

New Years Resolutions.

I’ve made them, you’ve made them.  I’ve  kept some, and (clearly) broke some.  We all have.  I’m going to attempt to make and keep some new ones for 2012.

But Erin, what are some resolutions you’ve made in the past?

Mmmmm Salt!

  • To eat less salt.  Believe it or not I’ve actually kept that one up for the most part.  In high school I use to salt stuff so much that it was inedible to everyone except myself.  Seriously.
  • To be more fun.  I think I kept that one up?  You tell me.

Fun, or just plain ridiculous?!

  • To speak my mind more.  I think I was pretty successful on that one.  This was actually one from last January.  I feel like this year was one of the first years I wasn’t really a push over.  Maybe I was wrong…
  • To be healthier.  Isn’t this always a resolution?!

Ok,  so here are this years resolutions…

  • To be healthier.  I’ve not really been successful over the last couple years.  I’ve obviously gained some weight over the last little while (who’s kidding who!), and I’ve GOT to get that under control.  My skinny little legs were not made to carry my watermelon like mid-section.  For reals.  It’s depressing.  Physical activity has to go up, and eating better needs to become more of a priority.
  • To become more GREENIt’s not terribly hard to consciously be more environmentally aware.  I hope to walk more places (instead of driving to the corner store- which I do a lot), be more aware of my electricity usage, and well I’m going to talk to my knowledgeable friend Sandra about it really.  She’ll give me some great ideas.  

  • To do more stuff.  Sitting on the couch, or our big leather recliner, is comfy and all, but I need to be more active.  Not even just in the physical sense, but mentally as well.  I love DIYing, but I don’t do a whole lot of it.  Lots can be done around the house, and there are many projects that I can do to take off Matt’s plate.  First on my docket… well ok I’m torn.  I really want to paint the spare room, but I also really want some hooks up in the bathroom (no it’s not painted yet- but I’m going crazy not being able to hang up any towels!!).  What would you do first?
  • Really work on getting my student debt down.  Just thinking about it stresses me out!  I need to get serious about it!

Phew, ok so 4 really doable resolutions no?

I think so.

Let’s hear some of your resolutions!  Do you ever keep them?  OR are you a breaker like most of us! :P

E.Flatts out.

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My Year in Pictures.

I’m sure there are like hundreds of blogs with a similar title as mine.  Are they as funny and clever as mine though?  Probably more so :P  But you’re reading mine and not theirs, so I win! Muahahahahaha!

Anywho, here’s my 2011 in pictures.  Enjoy!

New Years Day (after 12am!) January 1, 2011. PS this was an ugly sweater party!

Bourbon Street, NOLA. February, 2011.

Cemetary Tour in NOLA. February 2011.

Drinking from a boot in San Fran! February, 2011.

Muir Woods (?!) Redwood Forest in San Fran. February, 2011.

Full House house with Bai. February, 2011.

Horribly unflattering, but St. Patrick's Day none the less! March 17th, 2011.

April, 2011. The Brain Tumour Spring Sprint. Team Griffiths!

The Royal Wedding at Shoppers! April, 2011.

May, 2011. Kyle's 30th! Whistling Walrus. (with Kirk, Dan, and Drew!)

June, 2011. The Heart and Stroke Big Bike! Yay team I Like Big Bikes! (Yes I realize the bike is empty. I didn't get one with the team this year :()

The girls! (Plus 3 fetuses! (or is it Feti? :P)) Baby Showers galore! June, 2011.

'Lil Henry was born! (1st of the '11 baby boom!) July, 2011.

Collingwood, Ontario. Amy's Bachelorette. July, 2011.

Midyear baseball tournament dance. Team Totally Awesome! July, 2011.

My brother Brendan married Tara! :) August, 2011. (pic courtesy of Jayme Van Geest!)

My friend Amy married her now husband, Bob. August, 2011.

I got to blog for the Western Fair! September, 2011.

My favourite little man Cole was born. September, 2011.

October, 2011. Turkey Cake Pops.

'Lil Abigail was born. October, 2011.

We saw the Rural Alberta Advantage in concert. November, 2011.

We sent out a Christmas card, and sadly said good bye to Foster. December, 2011.

I got my first LTO assignment! December, 2011.

Matt discovered what it feels like to use a Snuggie. December, 2011.

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! :)

ERIN

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