Tuesday, December 31, 2013

See ya, 2013.

End of the year post and reviews are my favourite posts to read. They never get old and I lurve looking back on everyone's year and remembering when such and such happened. 

For me and my family, 2013 was much better than 2012. I hope it continues that way. 

In January, my mom started radiation for her breast cancer. We were glad Chemo was over but nervous what radiation would do. Alex and I celebrated 6 months of dating. It's amazing-we thought we had our relationship at that time down pat, and really knew each other---growing is good. 

February, with it being cold was tough. This is when my Grandpa Hannon's health went down hill. Just couldn't kick a bacterial infection and he was in and out of the hospital for a good 3 months. Add in thinking he was going to go, the second month of 2013 wasn't good to us.  I also ran my 2nd half marathon in 2:07! 

In March, I turned 21 which felt great. And the weather turned nice--finally! I hit another running rut (again) (they happen) 

April was amazing--month of vacations  Karen and I went to Punta Cana for a week and Alex and I went away to Niagara Falls on our first trip away together. And I finished my 2nd year of school. 2 down 2 together. 

The year of weddings started in May, my brother childhood best friend and his girlfriend of 6 years got married. That was sweet. After looking at vacation pictures I got depressed with how I let my body and weight get.  I also got into golf during May---thanks to Alex. 

In June-we thought we were going to lose Grandpa Hannon. I was called home from school to say my good bye's, thankfully he made it and hasn't been in the hospital since. In the middle of the month, cancer had been around for a year. To make June happier, I did Colour Me Rad run (everyone should do it!) 

Best part of July was celebrating 1 year with Alex! 

August taught me life lessons about true friendships. I realized who was true and who is fake around me and people who bring toxins into my life. 

Summer was over and 3rd year started in September. It was also the time I shared my own fears about my mom heading back to work and the cancer.  Best part-Karen got engaged! 

October was a fun month, pumpkin patches and a 1:57 half marathon and joining the YMCA.

November was stressful! School was no joke and I felt that I had way to much on my hands/on the go

Lastly, December brought food changes as I joined the Paleo diet and started cooking more healthy meals.

I can't wait for 2014. So excited for things that are coming up and things we don't know about at this moment. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The half-marathoner who hates running.

Whew----not sure that's even a word but let's pretend it is. No Christmas re-cap here. I'm sure everyone will be doing them come later this week. But, Santa was good to me. I had 3 dinner's with my family back to back which was great at times but a lot of family time. I did get a Canon t3 rebel so no more Iphone pictures!

Right now I'm texting my boyfriend Alex and being lectured about not going to running group again this morning. I had my alarm set for 7:15am to leave enough time to get ready and when that annoying alarm went off I tried (really I did) to get out of bed and get ready. That didn't happen and I went back to bed for another 2 hours. I feel bad because I haven't run in almost 3 weeks. Getting up there to my longest hiatus of not running. 

Running right now is boring, it's cold and I hate every second of it as well as everyone else I ran with. It's annoying to be running in a group with people complaining about this and that. But when I go to the Y and do BodyPump or Bootcamp I'm all over that stuff. It's hard but I love doing it. For example, tomorrow I have planned to do a noon class and so excited already for it. 

I do think I've burned myself out, running 3 half marathons in 2013 and maybe I need a break. I'll 100% go back to training for another half marathon but right now I'm really enjoying building muscle.
I would rather do workouts that I love than torture myself with doing workouts I hate. 

So on one hand I miss running and the other hand I love going to the Y so my plan to get the best of both worlds is do run with my group during there smaller milage runs and continue lifting at the Y. That sounds do able. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Ice Storm

Well, we survived the great (still happening) ice storm of 2013. But barely. 

Saturday night we lost power around 10:30pm and it came on 5:10am Monday morning. 30 hours of no power. No heat. No lights. To the girl who is scared of the dark---it was not fun! 

I feel sick to my stomach for the people who still are without power. It's been too long. Not to mention getting closer to Christmas. We went to the mall this afternoon and saw literally, so many families huddled around outlets, charging phones and laptops. Hearing them call loved ones, letting them know everything is ok. 

Even though this storm came at a horrible time, dead of winter and 2 days before Christmas, it sure teaches us whats important. 

Stay safe, Toronto. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Boring, bored.

I am bored. The last few weeks leading up to exams being done all I was looking forward to was sleeping in, working out when I wanted and just being lazy. Last night when I was hopping into bed my dad poked his head in and asked what I was going to do tomorrow, whatever the heck I want. Made him laugh because literally I can now.

But----I'm so bored being off school. There is only so much How I met your mother I can watch during the day. 

I was excited to go into work on Thursday afternoon, make some money and the few hours would give me something to do during the day. Except my boss called to say my partner called in sick and swimming was cancelled. Lovely. That idea went right out the window. 

I know once classes start up again in January, I'll be wanting to go back to holidays.


So, I'm off to the gym and finish my Christmas shopping in hopes of curing my boredom. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Coconut Macaroon with Raspberry Chia seed jam {cookies}

I have the yummiest {healthiest} cookie recipe for you to bake. Mmm I want some now.

Before I start, I need some prayers and positive thinking. Alex is applying for a job within this field and this would be the start of an amazing opportunity for him and us. It's a step up and a much deserved promotion. 

Okay, the recipe. I made these paleo cookies for Alex's family last weekend when we met for Christmas, they were gone fast and they didn't know the cookies were paleo! Score. 

Coconut Macaroon's with Raspberry Chia seed jam

Yield: 10 macaroons

For the macaroons:
1.5 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup almond flour (or almond meal)
scant 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut butter, softened (no subs- this binds the cookies together)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the chia seed jam (makes about 1 cup)
3 cups frozen raspberries
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or to taste
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. For the chia seed jam: Add frozen raspberries and maple syrup into a medium pot and bring to a simmer. After 5 minutes or so, stir in the chia seeds. Continue to cook down the mixture for about 15 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Chill in the fridge for a couple hours to thicken it up even more.

2. Preheat oven to 275F and line a baking sheet with a non-stick mat or parchment paper. If you have a non-stick mat, use it because it will help prevent browning on the bottom.

3. In a large bowl, combine the coconut, almond flour (or meal), and salt.

4. Melt the coconut butter over a very low heat. I suggest using a double boiler so it doesn’t burn.

5. Add the maple syrup, softened coconut butter, and vanilla into the dry mixture and stir very well until combined. The dough will be very wet and sticky, but this is normal.

6. Grab a couple tablespoons of dough at a time with your hands and drop it onto the baking sheet. With a wet finger, press a well into the middle and lightly shape the outsides if necessary. Repeat for the rest. Fill each well with jam. The macaroons don’t spread out so there’s no need to space them far apart.

7. Bake at 275F for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 10-20 minutes (I baked for 40 mins. total – but you may need less depending on your oven) until the bottoms are lightly golden and browned, but not burned. If you have a hot oven, I suggest watching it closely or even reducing the heat to 250F. Place pan on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes and then transfer each macaroon onto the cooling rack until completely cool. The macaroons will be very soft at first, but will firm as they cool. I enjoy them the most chilled, straight from the fridge.

And for your viewing pleasure...taken from Monday's Christmas party

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Lessons from the homeless man

I'm not sure if it's because winter is here and it's super cold out, or that Christmas is 9 days away meaning it's approaching quick but when I'm downtown I've been noticing more and more homeless folks around. Some huddled together and some alone just asking for a coffee or some spare change.

I, like most people who live in the city pass by them and shake our heads no when asked if we have any spare change. Without eye contact. 

 The other day though, I was the only one climbing down the stairs at the subway from the Y when I heard the homeless man at the bottom say hello to me. Not wanting to be rude and not acknowledge him (I was the only one in the stairwell) I said "hello there" with eye contact and a smile. Nothing much.

What he said to me after breaks my heart. 

As I was walking away he says,

"Thank you for that beautiful smile. You have a great evening and a Merry Christmas." 

That breaks my heart because the tone of his voice was "whoa, someone actually said hi/looked at me. Not treating me like I'm an eyesore and a bother. 

After I told him to have a good day as well and got on my train to come home I kept thinking that's all they want (other than money)...to be acknowledged. For someone to smile at them. 

So homeless man at College Station. From now on I, when I pass a person who is down on their luck, I will smile at them and say hi more often. It's the least I can do to brighten their day.

Thanks for giving me that lesson. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What the neighbours think.

I'm taking a little break from stuffing my head full of Canadian Politics (which is actually really interesting). Exam is tomorrow and I need to pass.  Keep them positive thoughts coming my way. 

Christmas is in full effect here at the Hannon household. Tree is up, snow globes are out and the music is playing every waking moment. Totally sound like a cheesy commercial for Walmart or something. I was sad that we didn't cut down our own tree at a farm like we did a few years back. Turns out those trees were from Quebec.
Today I decided to study at home, instead of going to the library. Big mistake. I just cant study at home. My day literally is "oh I gotta pee" "and now that I'm up I'll check my phone for messages." 

5 minutes later. 
"but I need a snack to keep me going"-gets up and makes food
And before I know it, 2 hours have gone by and I've done 15 minutes of studying.
When I study at home I never get dressed. No point to me. And so when the mailman delivers the mail and the lovely neighbour comes and gives my Christmas decoration that fell down, they both give me strange looks. So what if it's 3pm and I'm not dressed. Stop judging!

I've decided to not run a half marathon in March. That's when my next half should be if I keep following the Running Room schedule. I'm still going to run with everyone to keep active but with school keeping me very busy, I don't want to let my marks slip again because I'm focused on training. 
Also, I'm obsessed with the Y and the classes there. 
So if I miss a run here or there? Not a biggie. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Paleo talks

I completely forgot to mention on here that I'm doing the Paleo 30 day challenge this month. I know, crazy to do it during the holidays with all the sweets and christmas cake but I didn't want to wait till January. I've been working out like crazy, pumping it at bodypump and want to see results and not ruin my workouts with the food I put in my body.

I've been eating tons more veggies throughout the day which is my main down fall (isn't it for every one?!)

It's been fun making new recipes like spaghetti squash and smoothies for breakfast or a quick snack. And Paleo pancakes, opposite of what I've heard aren't that bad to eat!

It's going good. Lost 3.2 pounds like week and also over the past month- 6.5 cm! That's crazy to me. feel great. Light----all day long which is why I'm doing the challenge. 

4 days separates me and the end of this semester. It's been a tough one. The expectations are different and it's been a lot to get used to (again.) 

I'm looking forward to sleeping in everyday and doing whatever the heck I want everyday. I think I've earned it. 


TLC always, always sucks me in to shows. Currently, I can't get enough of Breaking Faith. A few months it a go it was Breaking Amish and now it's FLDS folks. Just something about these ways of life and faith that sucks me in. Anyone else?

That's enough from me, gotta get back to the books. Almost done. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

New beauty finds

With a title like that you'd think I was a beauty blogger. In my dreams. 

I *think* I have found the new holy grails of makeup. I want to hug them all for how awesome they are. 

First, let's talk about my dark circles. Pretty sure my genes hate me and have decided I rock the look of death everyday, even with 9 hours of sleep. But nothing would hide the colour or stay on for my long days of classes without fading asap, or getting into my fine lines which made me look old! 

I finally went to Sephora and carried on about my problems with concealors. The nice lady set me up with the Buildable one and so far it's covering the circles, keeping my eyes hydrated all day long.

Garnier BB cream is amazing. Just amazing. Put that on and a little foundation and boom, you look like a million bucks. 

Urban Decay gets two thumbs up in my book now too. I was finding my eyeliner is mad fading fast and I needed something that would stay on during the day. So that when I'm going home from school my makeup still looks good. This eyeliner does it. They weren't lying when it claims to stay on for 24 hours...it really does. 

I'm so happy to have finally tried these products. Very pleased. 

What other products are you guys loving?