Thursday, April 28, 2016

Peanut Butter Sugar Cookies

I've been on a major peanut butter kick lately, so when I found this recipe  on Pinterest I couldn't resist trying it out. It has all the things I love in any baking recipe: simple & tasty. My standards are pretty low when it comes to baking ;)

-1 cup peanut butter
-1 cup sugar
-1 large egg
-1 tsp vanilla extract

-pre-heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
-combine all ingredients in large bowl
-shape dough into approx. 1" round balls and place on baking sheet
-use a fork to gently flatten the dough
-bake for approx. 15 minuntes (until golden brown)

(combine ingredients)
(gently flatten with tine of fork)
And ta-da!

(Finished product - woops, I accidently crumbled a couple)
So, aside from needing to be a bit more gently when removing the cookies off the baking sheet, this recipe is super easy! I dare you to try it, although, be warned, they won't last in the house for long!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Banana Oat Cookies

There is nothing I love better than a recipe that is:
-minimal ingredients,
...and of course, delicious!

This recipe from Pinterest only really requires two ingredients:
-Banana (2 ripe)
-Quick Oats (1 cup)

The 3rd, 4th or 5th ingredients can be whatever you want them to be! I chose a heaping scoop of peanut butter (I was all out of chocolate chips), but you can also add things like nuts, fruits, m&ms, etc.

The recipe is simple:
-pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
-grease a baking sheet
-combine all ingredients
-scoop into spoon size portions on baking sheet
-bake for 15 minutes

(Ingredients combined)
That's it! You end up with delicious, healthy (depending on your choice of add-ins), and filling snack! In my experience this recipes makes about 12-16 cookies however, the more "goodies" you add in, the bigger the batch will be!

Also, don't feel bad if you eat half, or even the whole batch in just one sitting! It's just 2 bananas and a cup of oats, which really, are all healthy options. Just be a bit more cautious if you're adding in tons of extra goodies! ;)

Chess - A Strategic Art Form

One of the items on my 30 before 30 list is to: learn how to play chess, and actually remember the rules. Mark has been trying to teach me the entire 7 years we've been together, and I just can't seem to ever remember.

Lucky for him, while we were away in Cabo last week, the resort we were at had a "jumbo size" chess set. Since, we spent most of the 7 days there just lounging around doing as little as possible, Mark decided to take the opportunity to re-teach me (for the umpteenth time) all the rules to the game. 

(Jumbo size chess set in Cabo)
Now with all the free booze flowing through me, I was skeptical that I would even remember the names of all the pieces, let alone the specific moves that each piece can perform, however, after only three games, I was really starting to get the hang of it! So much so that, although I never beat Mark the whole trip, I was starting to give him a run for his money.

(Pouty face due to another loss to Mark)
By the end of the trip I was having so much fun playing, we decided to head to the nearest gift shop (where they sold very unique, hand carved chest sets), to attempt some haggling. Sadly, after a long, drawn out process, we couldn't get a price worth paying (they were trying to charge us $180 US), and we came out empty handed.

(Eager to keep playing)
All in all though, I am really proud of myself for having finally, finally, finally figured out this game of strategy, and I can't wait to pick up a chess set locally!


Monday, April 25, 2016

Be Bold!

While on vacation in Cabo I decided to be daring and unafraid! I did my headstand in public! 

And you know what? It felt great! 

Sure I was nervous, especially being on the sand, in a bathing suit, and in the presence of multiple miscellaneous people, but I just went for it and totally nailed it! 

I'm so proud of myself for just winging it! 

I dare you to be bold! 

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Mark and I recently returned from a week long all-inclusive vacation at the Barcelo Grand Faro Los Cabos Resort, San Jose Del Cabo. 

It was not only our first all-inclusive, but also our first visit to Mexico! The whole experience was a bit surreal. We booked the trip on a Tuesday and the following Saturday we were in Cabo. We had a 4th floor room, with a king size bed, and a beautiful view of the pool as well as the ocean. 

We spent the entire week lazing in the sun, playing volleyball, doing miscellaneous activities with a fellow Canadian couple (we met playing volleyball), watching a few shows, sipping drinks all day, and dining at the constantly changing buffets. 

It really was the perfect last minute get away because we spent the entire week without a care in the world. Of course we desperately missed our puppy Captain and kitty Mouse, but we knew they were in good hands back at home. 

Here are just a few of the over 200 photos we took while away: 

Have you done all-inclusive in Mexico?

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Fashion Funday: Packing

I am a terrible packer! 

Correction: I am an excellent packer of items, but a terrible chooser of items needing to pack. 

What I'm slowly learning from all you fashionstas (thank god for Pinterest) is to prepare outfits based on interchangeable items! 

So here is my most recent attempt at packing for a 7 day all inclusive in Cabo, Mexico:
(3 dressy evening/dinner outfits)
(3 casual/daytime outfits)

(swimsuit cover ups - I ditched the pink one last minute)

(Casual shoulder protection, & evening dressing sweater) 
Last minute I did also end up adding an extra tank top plus some board shorts (to play volleyball in) and then, of course, I also brought the usual swimsuits, undergarments, some sweats to lounge in.

For shoes I went with a casual beach flip flop, a dressy strappy sandal, a slip on sneaker, and then traveled in a pair of light runners. 

So there you have it, my beachy, all inclusive, vacation fashion!
How do you pack best?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

"The Forgetting Time" by Sharon Guskin

This is book #2 that I have started and completed in 2016!

This novel describes the journey of a once well-respected scholar, Anderson, struggling (due to a recently diagnosed illness) to complete his book about finding the afterlife within the living. Anderson pursues researching the case of a young boy, Noah, who talks of memories of loving lizards, baseball, and Harry Potter (none of which his single mother, Janie, has taught him anything about) as well as the traumatic memory of his own death-by drowning.

I often find myself wondering about death (yes, I know it sounds more than a little morbid, but I find the topic interesting regardless), and this novel definitely made me stop dead in my tracks and think more in depth about all the outcomes depending on your belief system. This book pushed the boundaries of what I am so insistent on believing, not necessarily to change my own opinion but, to try to better understand how, why, and what others so fiercely believe. I did find the book at times, a little to predictable as far as the story line went, however, that didn't make it any less thought provoking when looking at the theme as a whole.

Quotable Moments:
"Her vulnerability was showing? This was news to her. She wanted to ask where, so she could tuck it back where it belonged." pg. 5

"So many words. Oh, he wasn't read to give up any of them." pg. 22

"Never expect." pg. 23

"Is there life after Shakespeare. Now that is a question worth asking?" pg. 19

"the way he lit up when he caught sight of her, that crooked, face-splitting grin as he tumbled forward, taking a running leap across the room and hurling himself into her arms." pg. 28

"A remarkable discrepancy, he thought. They should write that on my tombstone." pg. 55

"When she was done reading, she felt dizzy, nauseated, agitated, sweaty, itchy, feverish, and fat." pg. 67

"You had to be where you were. The life you're living, the moment you're in" pg. 106

"You think you're in control, but really you're simply staring at the moving lights." pg. 119

"Her eyes were red-rimmed, accusing." pg. 127

"Time to stop this." pg. 150

"She did her part; she kept a pleasant expression on her face and did her job the best she could despite the absolute storm of shit that sometimes came down on her." pg. 165

"You're a good man, and she's a stupid woman." pg. 175

"If consciousness survived death--and he had showed that it did--then how did this connect with what Max Planck and the quantum physicists realized: that events didn't occur unless they were observed, and therefore that consciousness was fundamental, and matter itself was derived from it?" pg. 207

"She had no thoughts or feelings left. She was watching herself from a great height, the way the recent dead are said to watch their own bodies." pg. 210

"All she remembered was being shocked that the world had so much pain in it, and the unfairness that one family should take on so much of the suffering." pg. 261

"Why were we all hoarding love, stockpiling it, when it was all around us, moving in and out of us like thin air, if only we could feel it?" pg. 302

"There was nothing to hold on to anymore. Only everything." pg. 323

"What if what you did mattered more because life happened again and again, consequences unfolding across centuries and continents? What if you had chances upon chances to love the people you loved, to fix what you screwed up, to get it right?" pg. 334

"The secret to life is ice cream." pg. 351

If you have any sort of interest in the "afterlife," or any thoughts (yay or nay) on whether there is life after death, I would highly recommend this read. However, if you have no interest in the various perceptions of life after death, then this novel most likely isn't for you.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Summer Is In The Air!

Although we've barely even entered into spring time, we've already reached up to about 23 degrees celsius so as far as I'm concerned Summer is basically here! 

Although I still haven't put away my rainboots yet, just in case, I definitely have brought out my bathing suits and flip flops! I've been going for tons of long leisurely walks with Mr. Captain enjoying the hot rays and today I finally decided to hit up the beach and just relax for a while! It was sooooo nice! My friend Vanessa came and joined me, we tossed a frisbee for a while, lounged, and just enjoyed some good ol' chit chat! It was perfection! 

(Vanessa & I at West Beach in White Rock, BC)
I'm so lucky it was such a beautiful day! What's the weather like in your area? 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood

Although yesterday only hit a maximum of about 14 degrees celsius, the beautiful sun was shining which made it irresistible not to spend the day outdoors enjoying the fresh air. 

Mark was at work so Capt'n and I spent our morning sleeping in late and then when we finally crawled out of bed we headed outdoors. 

After doing a loop around the neighbourhood streets, we headed through the 15 minute trail down to the west part of White Rock beach. It was a bit windy but beautiful as always nonetheless. After lingering around for a bit letting Capt'n watch the waves crashing and the seagulls soaring,  we finally headed back. 

(Warm enough for shorts - excuse the pasty white legs)
(Trail walking)
(Capt'n clearly upset that I interrupted his sniffing to make him pose for the camera) 
(Top: Facing west, Bottom: Facing east)
(Heading back home)
I couldn't have asked for a better leisurely day off work. I truly am spoiled rotten when it comes to living on the west coast of beautiful British Columbia! 

What is your go-to sunny day relaxation activity? 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Our Big Baby

(Mark & I with Captain Axel - approx. 2 yrs old & 80lbs) 
Mark and I discussed and agreed long ago that we don't want kids of our own. It's funny though because having a puppy can be eerily similar to a baby, or so I'm told - I will never really know for sure. 

One similarity that I do feel pretty certain about though is the unconditional love we share. The bond between us is so strong that I can't even comprehend a life without him. Although challenging at times (especially in the initial few months), he has brightened our life in such a way that Mark and I have become stronger both individually as well as as husband and wife. 

Having a puppy has changed us for the better and here are just a few of the reasons why: 
-he's a sucker for routine, but relishes in spontaneity 
-he knows how to appreciate the simple things in life 
-he will show/make you feel a wide complexity of emotions 
-he trusts instinctively 
-he never says no to a walk, no matter how long or short 
-he knows how to get what he wants (ie more space/blankets in bed, or extra treats) however, he will always let you have what you need first

There are a million more reason why having a fur baby is one of the best decisions Mark and I have ever made and I plan to share more and more with you in the future. 
Do you have a fur baby? I'd love it if you shared at least one reason why you love them!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Monthly Mayhem: March 2016

Here is what my March 2016 consisted of:


-Finished co-ed 6s POCO winter volleyball league - 3rd place (March 17, 2016)

(From left to right: Steve, Mark, me, Alyssa, Brendan, & Bryce)

-Co-ed R4s volleyball tournament (March 19, 2016)
(Me - blocking)
-Finished womens 6s winter volleyball league - 1st place (March 24, 2016)
-Play For A Cause Co-ed 6s Volleyball tournament - 2nd place (March 26, 2016)
-Started co-ed R4s volleyball league (March 31, 2016)

-Easter Dinner with Mark's family (March 26, 2016)

(Mini-eggs Easter treat)
-Started a new position at work (back to 5on 5 off schedule)

-Finished FBFit Round 1 - PFT results 

-Started FBFit Round 2
-Started running again
-Borrowing brother-in-laws bowflex adjustable weights

(Bowflex adjustable weights)

Food: Tried some new recipes (recipe post to come)
-Banana Oat cookies
-Peanut Butter sugar cookies

(Peanut butter sugar cookies)
-Finally finished the 1st "Harry Potter" novel - En Francais
-Started "The Forgetting Time" by Sharon Guskin

How did your March treat you?