Friday, 30 September 2016

The Bra Lounge

I love shopping local and supporting my local businesses! It's a passion of mine.  As often as I can I shop local.

One of my favourite stores for my lingerie is The Bra Lounge.  The ladies that work there are so amazing and friendly.  And I've never left there not liking my purchase.

I was a little sad I had to go visit them last week.  Not because it isn't a great time but because my last good bra had the underwire snapped in it and I had no other bras.  This wouldn't be a big deal but with surgery in 3 months it felt like I was not going to get my cost per use from my purchase.

So I went in, gave a quick explanation to the ladies and got fitted with some new bras that were ON SALE!!!! I had gone in to spend no more than $110 and had resigned myself to buying maybe only one more to see me through to December.  But because the Bras were on sale I was able to get two, TWO for $107.  It was the BEST news EVER!!

I was worried I would only find one more bra I liked as I went through the selection there weren't many I really liked.  One bra that came out almost looked like a crop top tank, there was a lot of material and I kept thinking nope not that one.  But as I'd gone through all the other bras I figured I may as well try it one, see what it was like.

It is now my favourite bra, it is uber comfortable, it holds my breasts up in a very comfortable position and I am extremely happy!!

So if you are in the Central Alberta area and can make it to the Bra Lounge you got to go in!! Find the right fit for you!!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

My largest collection

Do you know how some people are collectors?  Sometimes they collect things like Beanie Babies, or maybe Italian Charm Bracelet charms, or Pandora beads.  Maybe they collect cars or movies or any number of items. I've been know to collect things in my life, things like movies (I had all the Disney Movies, I still do on DVD), and music CDs and Books, all kinds of books.  But the thing I collect the most frequently are girlfriends.
I'm a girlfriend girl.  That's not to say that I don't have some amazing guy friends because I do and I wouldn't trade them for anything, but I am a girls girl.  I treasure my girlfriends and I keep them.
If I were a collector and my girlfriends were dolls, they'd be dusted regularly and put on display for the world to see!! I've been so fortunate in my life to come across some awe inspiring women that influence me to be the best version of myself.  
I've had some friends all my life, and others I've only met recently but I love having large circles of girlfriends.  It adds some spice to life!
 This feature is more of more recent girlfriends, girls I've only come to know within the last 5 years! And there are plenty of characters here, but you would have to count yourself fortunate to know them, and I definitely do!!

So Thank you to all my girlfriends, my collection of AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, WONDERFUL, SPECIAL, CARING, FANTASTIC, BEAUTIFUL, LOVING girlfriends!!! My life would be less full without you and I am blessed beyond all things because you are in my life!!

Who inspires you?  Do you collect anything?

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Red Deer Pond Hockey

I swore on all things that I would not be a Hockey mom.  I mean I like hockey, I enjoy watching it, I even enjoy a friendly game of shinny from time to time, but to be a hockey mom, yeah that wasn't something I ever wanted to do.

I remember how much time my Mom had to give of herself when my brother started playing hockey, and I feel that my sister and I missed out on doing some things because my brother had hockey.  Now this could be a misconception on my part, I mean I was young, like 11 or 12 when Nelson started but it was around that time that many of my extra curricular activities stopped as well.  Did the two events happen in conjunction or because of one I don't know.

When my first child was born we really didn't have the funds or opportunities to get involved with hockey so we tried soccer.  I actually liked being a soccer mom, I enjoy the sport and I enjoyed taking my child to his games.  He did well in soccer and played until he was in grade 11.  

Then Lil Man came along and Lil Man loves all sports but he really loves Hockey.  The kid could turn anything into a hockey stick and often did.  We grudgingly (or I) allowed him to start playing pond hockey.  It's a rec league so it is not that competitive and it helps Lil Man build the skills he needs to play hockey.  He has come so far in his understanding of the game, his skills and he loves the game even more now.

We are entering our third year of pond hockey and I am a hockey mom.  I still don't like the early mornings, but that smile on his face, I'd do everything in my power to ensure I see that smile every DAMN DAY!!!

Pond Hockey is great as it's focus is on having fun and building skills and it's not that expensive.  Also it's not a huge time commitment like Minor hockey is. I get that it might bring out two different calibers of players but as long as my child is having fun playing then that is all I need to see!

Does your community offer a Pond Hockey league for little ones?  What sports are your kids involved with?

Friday, 16 September 2016

Friday Five: Five Things I Remember from when I was sixteen

Five things I remember from when I was sixteen!!

1) I got my license on June 8 three months after my sixteenth birthday. I remember the dread I felt when my evaluator was Pete, AKA Repeat Pete.  It was also during a big fire up north so there were a lot more people in Prince Albert than usual and I remember Pete telling me at the end of my lesson that I was just on the edge of failing because I hesitated at a corner that had pedestrians at it.  He told me I had 7 or 8 marks off and he could fail me but decided not too. I finally breathed a sigh of relief and did the happy dance into SGI to pick up my new license.

2) I changed schools when I was 16 as well.  I left Rivier Academy behind and went to the Public High School.  I don't regret this decision at all and I had some of my best high school years at Carlton Comprehensive High School.  I don't feel like a missed anything by changing schools although I did lose out on a trip to Europe, but at the end of the day I still think it was the best decision for me!

3) I started my first long distance relationship when I was 16 with a boy from California. I also had my heart broken by a boy from California, not because he did anything wrong but because we both knew the distance was too much for us.  The relationship I started that was a long distance sort of happened by accident. I mean I liked the guy but to say I loved him well that would be wrong because when I met heart break boy he was clean forgotten. I remember disappointing my friends when this happened but I was sixteen and didn't understand those ramifications.  But in the end the long distance didn't work out, he ended up kissing one of my friends in Canada when he came for a visit and he was a little too intense for 16 year old me to handle.

4) I accepted and made a nickname my own at 16.  I don't go by it EVER anymore but when I was 15/16 a group of people began calling me Sharky, because I wore a San Jose Sharks jacket to hockey games.  I embraced the term and for my high school years many of my friends called me Sharky, the group that baptized me with that name, well they had their own name and GB was the President of the LRU.

5) I had my girl friends who were my besties and I also had my best guy friend! He and I got along so well and we had so much fun together.  Things became bad after we broke up but for a whole year he was a solid rock like person in my life!! And even now he's someone I think on very fondly!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Six Weeks Starts again

I enjoy doing six week training programs.  There are a multitude reasons for it but the biggest one for me is that I can see the end at six weeks so it doesn't feel like forever. And in six weeks that's when you or others will start to see a difference.  I read somewhere it takes 6 weeks for others to see the difference and 12 for you to see the difference.  And I think others have seen the difference, my brother who isn't big on complimenting paid me a compliment about looking good last week, so now this six weeks is for me to see the difference.

In my first six weeks I wasn't as focused on my nutrition as I was on working out, towards the end I spent a little more time focusing on my nutrition and I carried that over on my two week break. I don't always take a two week break but I did this time, almost by accident and sort of on purpose.

So let's recap the first six weeks.

I started weighing over 220 lbs and my total body inches equaled 388.25 inches.  The lowest I weighed over that time period was 207 lbs and my final total inches equaled 365.5 inches.  I was able to increase my weights and reps from 10lbs to 15 lbs and reps were up to 15 without a struggle with the 10 lb weights.  I was even able to get up to 60 sit ups/ crunches without total fatigue.

The scale number isn't my favourite number not because it isn't a good showing, but because it means less to me than the other numbers. The fact that I can increase my weights used in my workouts and still maintain the same reps means I am getting stronger I'm building muscle and that is making my body more effective at burning fat.  The fact that I lost over 20 inches by starting to workout then focusing on my nutrition tells me my body is getting more compact because there is more muscle developing and fat is going away.  So my favourite number is the 365.5 total inches, I think that's an amazing number and it totally bypassed my first goal to get to 375 total inches!!

Some honourable mentions to bring forward in the loss category,  saw the biggest loss in inches in my belly and hips region with 3.5 inches lost in each area.  My shoulders saw a loss of 3 inches, I also lost 2 inches from each thigh and 2 inches from the breast area.  Not bad if I do say so myself!!

 Ok so I posted on Instagram (you can follow me @jenn_loves_life) that today was the start of my new six week program and you can check out my before photos there.  I've had so many likes and comments, I know I have cheerleaders on the side lines and I am so thankful that you are with me on this!!

So I am starting at 360 total body inches (YEAH for not going completely off the rails on my two week hiatus) and my scale told me I was 210 lbs this morning.  I am not going to be giving a weight update every two weeks because I don't think it's a good indicator as I mentioned above and if I get to focused on the scale I lose sight of the importance of the other changes which are often more significant.

I've written my goals down again, I'd like to lose a total of 30 more inches to get to 330 total body inches.  I'd also like to lose 15 lbs but this is less significant than the inches.  I am also going to do two workouts at home (I have a new office and workout space I am pumped!!!) and two workouts at a boot camp class.  I am also going to try to get in one 5 km run each week. Although I am not opposed to my two workouts at home being runs either!

So here we go a whole new start!!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Friday Five:Five things I will do in my classroom!!

So as many of you know I am a teacher, if you are one of my new readers I am a Teacher in a program for students with mild to moderate cognitive delays and adaptive functioning.  I seriously LOVE my job and I work for an amazing school district with Red Deer Public!  And my kids are AMAZING!! But each year as I work to improve my teaching and programming for the students, so here are five things I will be bringing into my classroom this year!!

1) Zones of Regulation: Since my kids often struggle with regulating their emotions this program is a great way to help them learn self- regulation.  I will talk more in another blog about what exactly the Zones of regulation are and how they work and how we are implementing them into our classroom.

2) Projects, Projects and more projects!!!  Because the focus of our program is to develop life skills our focus isn't solely academic.  It's important that our kids get numeracy and literacy skills that will help them in life outside of school but it's also important that they can function in society when they are on their own.  So our projects will be a multitude that the kids can pick from based on interest or theme or the month.  They will have multiple components literacy, numeracy and all will culminate in some kind of presentation.  Some of the projects we are looking at implementing will be resume and job skill building projects, meal planning projects, getting around town projects, how to help a person with autism (or another type of disability), the importance of balanced diets.  Really the options are endless and only limited by my imagination!!

3) Leadership and Acknowledgement.  Because our kids are in a congregated program they don't always get involved with all the school activities and sometimes they are forgotten. This year it is my goal to get the kids out and involved and participating in the events in the school.  We will help them identify how they can be leaders in the classroom and in the school, but also how they can be leaders in the community.  The plan is to help them find a place where they are acknowledged for their contributions as well as celebrated for the effort they put in each year to improve their lives!

4) Jobs and responsibilities.  We did a little of this last year and it's so interesting to see how the kids thrive when they are given responsibilities. How a kid that can sometimes be a bully can be so helpful and considerate when he views what he is doing as important and relevant.  But it totally makes sense, why wouldn't the kids want to work hard if they think what they are doing will make a difference? It's why we work hard, because we feel like we are contributing to society right?

5) Pinterest Projects:  So helping my students find their strengths and abilities will often come in strange places, but I do have some uber creative kids so I am going to tap into that.  We have a period in the day that is a Flex period, where the kids can choose where they'd like to go to help build their interests.  This year I am going to do Pinterest projects that the kids can do and keep or they can do and sell as a way to earn money for field trips and such. Making Fairy Lanterns out of Mason Jars, Bracelet making, Key chain making, all those little projects that if a student is really good at then they can see how it can be an entrepreneurial option for them in the future.

It's going to be a busy a year, but Ms. L and Mr. Willms (my team teacher) are ready for it!!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Baking Storm!!

Every year I tell myself I am going to be super organized and I am going to have lunch snacks pre-made as well and menu plans done for a month and without fail two weeks in everything falls apart and we are back to our rushing at supper to get something made, something we thought of at the last minute.  And well lunch snacks often look like those things you buy from the store in bags that may or may not be full of some very unhealthy chemicals.. (let the mom shaming begin :P)

Life is busy, but I still believe it's important for our sanity and emotional health to try to make things that are easy and won't cause undue stress on the family.  It will also help with our budget to get things into perspective and only shop in our allotted amount each month/week.  So I got a head start this year.

I decided to bake one day, it was the first coolish day of the summer, you could completely smell fall in the air and I thought it would be a good time to start and start I did.  That day I made bread, 4 dozen mini muffins, and 3 dozen muffins. The next day I made 2 dozen mini muffins and 2 dozen muffins as well as 4 dozen cookies.  To say our lunch snacks are prepped is pretty obvious.

I had a lot of fun making all those things over those two days, and I feel a lot more relaxed about packing my kids lunch for school.

We've (read I) decided he can bring a morning snack, afternoon snack and lunch snack.  One snack must be a fruit or vegetable and the other two can be the baking goods we have out that week.

See I was doubly smart because I individually froze each baked good and then I packaged the baked goods into freezer bags so I only have to take them out and have them on the counter for the week.

I've also scheduled into my calendar one weekend in September for me to do a baking spree again to ensure that I have baked goods into October and maybe even get a jump start on my Christmas baking.

What do you guys do for lunch snacks?  Do you every do these baking sprees?