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13 in 2013 – February/March Recap

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a fantastic Easter weekend! We were pretty busy but managed to sneak in a little down time, and even a family nap on Sunday – it was awesome!

 

It’s time for a 13 in 2013 Recap. I totally missed February’s so here’s a February/March combo post letting you know how I’m making out with my 13 goals for 2013.

 

1. Spend less, save more – I am happy to report, we are spending less and saving more!

How are we spending less? Well, we are planning meals, grocery shopping only once a week, buying many items in bulk from Costco, and have not eaten dinner out in what seems like forever!

How are we saving more? Back in January, I came across this idea to help save money. We started right away and since it seemed so reasonable and allows for some flexibility, we decided to double the weekly amount. So, 14 weeks in we have just over $230 saved and didn’t notice it from our budget at all. By the end of the year, we will have set aside $2756! So easy!

 

2. Run a 1:58 half marathon – I plan on running two maybe one half marathons this year. My original plan was to run one in the spring and one in the fall, however, I’m thinking the spring one is not going to happen. I’m a little bummed about it, but really, I’m not loving running right now, and finding/making time to do it has been difficult with my husbands crazy busy work schedule. I’m disappointed because for the first time in forever, I actually ran over the winter. I joined the Winter 100 Challenge and it totally motivated me to run all winter. It was awesome, and I loved running. However, once the training schedule came out and running needed to follow a structured schedule, it totally took the fun out of it for me. Running hills on my lunch, taking time away from my family every Sunday, and having to miss out on other workouts I love, made me start to not love running anymore 😦 

So, with that being said, I’m going to get back into running for fun. I hope to run 5,6, maybe 7k on my lunch a couple of times a week, and hope my mojo comes back!

And if I’m loving running again, maybe I will sign up to do a half this fall and aim to do it in 1:58!

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3. Try one new clean eating recipe a week – As far as Clean Eating goes, February and March were pretty good. I made Dark Chocolate Chip No Bake Cookies, Blueberry Crumble Muffins (Clean Eating, Aug/Sept 2012), Potato, Leek and Cheddar Soup (Clean Eating Classic Comfort Foods), Oven Baked Chicken Parmesan (Clean Eating, March 2013), and Kale Chips.

You can find some of these recipes on the NEW Clean Eating Recipes Page above.

 

4. Become a certified RPM instructor – I am was totally planning to on attend(ing) the March 23/24 training weekend HOWEVER, with my husbands crazy work schedule, and the launch of Gillian Michael’s BodyShred at GoodLife, I decided to hold off. As much as I love RPM, I would really, really love to get certified in BodyShred! Unfortunately for me, so would like a million other instructors and since numbers are limited, I’m not actually sure when this will happen for me 😦

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In the meantime, I’m super excited to let you all know I am officially on the schedule teaching BodyAttack starting next week! WooHoo!

 

5. Do 10 chin-ups – This is yet another thing that totally took a hit when my half marathon training started 😦 I got into a funk and working out was of little interest to me – which is totally crazy, cause I love it! I will make this happen though! I’ve incorporated a chin-up challenge into both of my fitness classes this semester and will be re-starting the program mid-May.

 

6. Build Strength – I am getting stronger! Mixing up my workouts, adding in some CrossFit, Tabata and a bunch of other stuff is working! How do I know? I actually did the ENTIRE push-up track in Attack yesterday morning WITHOUT modifications, well, on my knees of course, but that’s how I roll! Amazing!

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7. Go to bed earlier – I’m totally rocking this one! I have no idea when the last time I saw 10pm was!

 

8. Blog more – My goal was to blog 5 days a week – which would mean about 40 posts since my last update. How’d I do? Well, in February I posted 17 times and in March I only posted 11. So, my plan is to get back on track, make better use of my time and hopefully I will get back to 4 or 5 posts a week.

Anything in particular you’d like to read about? Let me know, I’m always looking for ideas!

 

9. Run 3x a week – As I said in goal #2, my plan is just to get running again. I hope to be running 3 times a week before the end of April. I want to keep if fun and love it again!

 

10. Drink more water – As always, room for improvement here! Bring on the warm weather so I can stop drinking WARM tea and starting drinking COLD water!

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11. Read 52 books – Week 14 and I’m on my 9th book. Not bad. Maybe I need to chose some shorter books! Hehehe! Check out the Books I’ve Read page to see what I’ve been reading. Have you read a good book or two lately? I’d love some recommendations!

12. Take at least 2 family trips – Work in progress… Our trips will most likely occur during the summer, so we have a bit of time to choose where we will go and what we will do.

13. Date night once a month – Our February date night was dinner out at one of our favourite Mexican restaurants. We hit up Made in Mexico where the food was delicious and the Corona was cold!

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I don’t think we actually made it out for date night in March 😦 Will have to try for two in April!

 

So that’s where I’m at. Not great, but not too bad either! I’m hoping April is the month where I get back in track, have time to enjoy the things I love, and continue to grow as a Happier, Healthier, More Fit Me!

How are you making out with your 2013 goals?

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13 in 2013 – Week 4 Update

Wow, it’s hard to believe we are already approaching the end of January! It’s crazy how fast time is flying by!

I know you are not ‘average’ so you don’t really fit in with this stat, but did you know that of those who make resolutions or sets goals for the New Year only 64% stick with it through the first month!

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Are you part of that 64%? Will you be part if the only 8% that stick with it all year long? I guess it’s time to ask yourself…

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I am happy to say I am still doing well with my 2013 goals. Although I’ve been sidetracked with illness and injury, I feel as though I am still in control and on track. After 4 weeks, here’s where I’m at:

1. Spend less, save more – as always, this is a work in progress. As I was browsing the Internet for easy ways to save money, I came across a couple of great sites that I thought I would share with you:

Money Saving Mom, a blog dedicated to helping you find great deals, stretch your hard-earned dollars, and live on less than you make, so you can save more and give more. Each Monday in 2013 Crystal will be sharing a different way you can save money this year, check it out!

The Nourishing Gourmet is doing something similar with 52 ways to save money on a healthy diet. Check out her site for more money saving ideas!

This weeks money saving focus: do laundry only once this week – on the weekend, during low cost hours.

2. Run a 1:58 half marathon – Things are coming together! I’ve decided on a 12 week training program to prep me for my May 5th half marathon. Training officially starts February 12th! I will post a copy of my training schedule over the next few days if you are interested.

3. Try one new clean eating recipe a week – Last week I made 2 clean eating treats.

I made Dark Fudgy Brownies with Avocado from the January/February 2013 issue of Clean Eating Magazine. They were absolutely delicious! You should give them a try!

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I also made Eat Clean Apple Crisp that was probably the BEST apple crisp I have ever had. You can find the recipe here.

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4. Become a certified RPM instructor – I’ve finally made it back to RPM! It almost killed me after such a long time off, but I loved it! This latest release is intense!

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5. Do 10 chin-ups – Week 3 of my chin-up program was put on hold as I dislocated a rib last Monday and needed to give the surrounding muscles a chance to heal. I will be taking another week off and getting back into it next Monday.

Maybe I’ve finally learned to start listening to my body!

6. Build Strength – I’ve also had to put my strength training workouts on hold too, but will also be restarting those on Monday too.

7. Go to bed earlier – I’ve mastered this one! Last week I went to be ridiculously early – like 7:30 early – on more than one occasion. It was awesome!

8. Blog more – Last week was another great week in the blogging world. I posted 6 times and I’m hosting my first ever giveaway! I am also working on building a Happier, Healthier, More Fit Me Pinterest account and Facebook page.

9. Run 3x a week – Last week was a terrible week run-wise. With the crazy cold front that hung around most of the week, running outside was pretty much impossible. I did make it to the gym for a treadmill run once, but overall, I’m pretty disappointed with my progress last week 😦

Stats: 1 run, 4 miles, 38:29, 424 calories.

Goal Check: 100 miles by February 28

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Yikes! Better get running if I’m going to reach my goal!

10. Drink more water – Getting better, but still need to drink more water!

11. Read 52 books – Last week I finished my 2nd book of 2013 – The House of Sand and Fog – and I’ve now started to read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Run Less Run Faster by Runner’s World Magazine.

12. Take at least 2 family trips – planning in progress

13. Date night once a month – Thinking dinner at the Keg to celebrate hubby’s birthday will be our night out this month!

So, overall, not too bad. I can definitely say some of these goals have become habits and are now no brainers. There are a few things I still really need to focus on, but I feel as though I am moving in the right direction! Now that I’ve made it though the first 4 weeks, I am going to be doing monthly rather than weekly updates.

How are you doing with your 2013 goals? Are you on track? Losing momentum? Or kicking butt? I’d love an update!

Three Things Thursday – My Blog is Expanding!

1. I’ve created a Pinterest account dedicated soley to this blog. I am still trying to link up everything up, but check it out and follow me by clicking below. You will find tons of great workouts, recipes and other fun stuff!

Follow Me on Pinterest

2. I”m also working on creating a Facebook Page for my blog – you should check it out too!

 

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3. I’m super excited because I’m having my first blog giveaway tomorrow! Be sure to check tomorrow’s post for all of the details! You’re going to love it!

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How was your Thursday?

13 in 2013 – Week 3 Update

Well, we are a full three weeks into 2013…how are you doing with your goals?

So far, I’d have to say I am doing quite well! Of course there are things I am still struggling with, but I have definitely made progress!

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Here’s where I’m at:

1. Spend less, save more – Although we were on track again last week, we need to get back to meal planning and grocery shopping only once a week. Why? Well, because by meal planning and shopping only once a week we save because…

• I don’t have the chance to buy those on-a-whim, usually not-so-healthy extras – since I’m not in the store!

• I prepare meals that provide leftovers for lunches and/or another dinner which helps us avoid expensive lunches from the school caf and last-minute take-out meals for dinner on busy evenings.

• I plan Friday night treat meals, like Buffalo chicken wraps and sweet potato fries, which satisfies our urge for take-out, without the added expense and extra calories!

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2. Run a 1:58 half marathon – Well, I’ve officially signed up for the Goodlife Fitness Half Marathon in Toronto on May 5th.

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Now to decide on which training program I am going to follow to help me finish in my goal time…

Do you have an awesome Half Marathon training program you swear by? I’d love to see it and find out why you love it.

3. Try one new clean eating recipe a week – I’m totally loving this goal! I can honesty say that if I had not committed to one new recipe a week, I would have skipped out on it for sure! It has been great trying new meals and have found some that will become regulars.

This week I made Kung Pao Chicken from Clean Eating Comfort Foods 2012. The recipe is quick and easy and DELICIOUS!

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4. Become a certified RPM instructor – I didn’t make it to RPM last week, and with it being LMI release week, I may only get there once this week – Friday. I am so looking forward to next week and the beginning of semester 2 when I can go to RPM on my lunch! Woohoo!

5. Do 10 chin-ups – Week 2 of my training program is complete and I can now do 2.5 continuous chin-ups! I am defintley motivated to continue with these results! The program amps up these week, but I’m ready!

6. Build Strength – Week 1 of my strength program went well, however I have decided to switch to a 3x/week program that is very similar to the 5x/week program I started with. The main are reason for the change is that this new program has 3 strength and 3 cardio workouts a week (rather than 5 strength and no cardio). This fits in much better with my plan of running a half marathon in May and getting my RPM certification. I feel that this is a much more balanced workout plan and will only require the odd double workout day as opposed to multiple per week.

This weeks workout schedule looks like this:

• Monday – BodyAttack
• Tuesday – super sets workout
• Wednesday – run
• Thursday – circuit workout and BodyAttack
• Friday – core workout and RPM
• Saturday – fitness blast workout
• Sunday – rest day 🙂

7. Go to bed earlier – Heading to bed before 9:30 is working well. I have a bit of time to tidy up, relax, and hang with my husband. What it doesn’t really allow for is time to read and comment on other blogs, which totally sucks! I think I’m going to have to figure out a way to squeeze that into my lunch, or after work – before picking up the kids.

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8. Blog more – I feel like I have now developed a blogging routine and 5 days a week works really well for me. Finding time to blog on the weekends is a bit harder since I am busy with family stuff, and although I will continue to try and at get in at least one post in on the weekend, I still kinda feel that any weekend blogs are a bonus 🙂

9. Run 3x a week – last weeks run stats (on the right):

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I am hoping to get in a couple of runs this week, unfortunately we are in a crazy deep freeze and temperatures are around -25 Celsius with the windchill! Looks like I will be hitting the treadmill – which is way less convenient 😦

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10. Drink more water – Getting better, but still room for improvement! It’s so darn cold here that all I want to drink are warm beverages!

Click the image below for some great tips to drink more water.

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11. Read 52 books – I’m still on book 2 – my mini goal is to finish this book before the weekend.

12. Take at least 2 family trips – Planning in progress…

13. Date night once a month – Brainstorming February date ideas. It’s hubby’s birthday so maybe a nice dinner at the Keg is in order! Yum!

13 in 2013 – Week 2 Update

1. Spend less, save more – this weeks money saving strategy…making my own tea rather than heading to Starbucks for a chai latte (or two) a week. Since I used up my gift card this past weekend, lattes are back to costing me $4.80 each 😦

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2. Run a 1:58 half marathon – We have pretty much decided to run the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Half Marathon on May 5th. Next step – decide on a training program to get me race ready!

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3. Try one new clean eating recipe a week – Last week I actually made TWO clean eating recipes.

• Clean Eating No Bake Honey Peanut Butter Balls

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• Spaghetti Squash with Chicken, Pears and Parmesan

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Both recipes made a ton! There’s enough for lunch all week!

4. Become a certified RPM instructor – I didn’t make it to RPM last week, but did ride the bike a bit at work. I definitely need to get my riding legs back if I’m going to go for training at the end of March. With BodyAttack release week just around the corner my focus this week will be on learning choreography, so realistically I will only be able to make it to one RPM class this week. I’ve penciled in a bike workout for lunch on Thursday with plans of returning to at least two classes a week starting the week of January 27th.

5. Do 10 chin-ups – After only 1 week of the program, I can already do 2 FULL chin-ups in a row! Crazy! I’m super impressed with my progress and feel like I might actually be able to do 10 chin-ups by the end of June!

6. Build Strength – This week I am starting a 12 week strength training program. It calls for 5 workouts a week, which I think is a bit much considering everything else I am doing. So, for now, I’m planning on doing 3 “hard and heavy” workouts a week.

• Monday – Quads, Glutes, Chest and Biceps – I actually did this one yesterday and loved it!
• Wednesday – Core
• Friday – Hams, Calves, Back, Shoulders and Triceps

7. Go to bed earlier – I did much better at getting to bed earlier last week, making it to bed before 9:30 every night except for Saturday (date night) and Sunday (9pm soccer game). I think this is the biggest contributor to my finally feeling better, and will make it a focus again this week.

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8. Blog more – 6 days last week, yay!

9. Run 3x a week – Last week I actually ran 4x, Tuesday, Wednesday (twice) and Friday. I ran a total of 13.3 miles which took me 2:07:32, giving me an average pace of 9:34/mile. I burned 1356 calories.

I have now completed 27 miles…only 73 to go before the end of February!

10. Drink more water – I’m still struggling with this one. I lost my Nalgene bottle two weeks ago at soccer and was drinking from a metal one and did not like it at all. I could taste the metal when I drank and it was deterring me from drinking. So I bought a new BPA free plastic water bottle over the weekend and I’m trying to drink one full bottle each period while at work. So far, so good!

11. Read 52 books – I’ve just started my second book – House of Sand and Fog, by Andre Dubus III, and am having a little trouble getting into it. I’ve heard it’s a great book – it’s part of Oprah’s Book Club – it’s gotta be good, right? Hopefully after a few more chapters, I won’t be able to put it down!

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12. Take at least 2 family trips – ​Still in the planning stages for this summer’s big adventures.

13. Date night once a month – Dylan and I went on our first date night of 2013 on Saturday, it was awesome! You can read a bit about it here.

How are you doing with your 2013 goals?

Share your successes and struggles in the comments action below! Lets keep each other on track.

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13 in 2013 – Week 1 Update

Well, we are officially one week into 2013…how are you doing with your goals?

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Here’s where I stand after week 1…

1. Spend less, save more – 👍Our budget is pretty much set, money is set aside for saving, pension buy-back and the kids RESP’s. Our home phone is cancelled and we got a better deal on our cable and Internet…bonus!

2. Run a 1:58 half marathon – 👍 Off season training has begun. I’m running regularly and have started lifting weights to build strength.

3. Try one new clean eating recipe a week – 👍 This weeks recipe was Eat Clean Hash Brown, Sausage and Egg Muffins from the Nov/Dec 2012 issue of Clean Eating Magazine. They were delicious! I’ve eaten them for breakfast and lunch and still have a few more left!

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4. Become a certified RPM instructor – 👎 I only made it to one RPM class once last week and it absolutely killed me! I am still having difficulty breathing and my endurance has definitely declined from being sick for so long! I’m hoping to build up to 2 classes a week once my pneumonia fully clears up, but in the meantime, I will continue to struggle through one class a week.

5. Do 10 chin-ups – 👍 Week 1, workout 1, complete! I found out I actually CAN do a chin- up, who knew? Workout 2 is tomorrow, and 3 will be on Friday.

6. Build strength – 👍Starting next week I am going to be following a 12 week strength training program, so this week I am doing random workouts. Yesterday I did this workout designed by Fitness Cheerleader, and to be honest, I’m a little sore today!

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Thursday I will be doing the Fitness Blender 1000 rep workout, and Friday I’m doing Tone it Ups, Toned in 12 Ab Circuit.

7. Go to bed earlier – 👎 I totally sucked at this one! For various reasons, I just couldn’t get myself to bed by 9:30! This is definitly going to be a focus this week.

8. Blog more – 👍 Last week I blogged 5 days which is exactly what I was hoping for, but I didn’t blog at all on the weekend, which is something I would like to do.

9. Run 3x a week – 👍 Done! I ran Monday, Wednesday and Friday, for a total of 1 hour 53 minutes, I went 9.6 miles and burned 958 calories.

10. Drink more water – 👎 I do really well with drinking water while I’m at work, but since I wasn’t at work last week, I did not meet my goal of 2L once! Brutal! This too will be a focus this week!

11. Read 52 books – 👍 I am 2/3s of the way through my first book and hope to finish it in the next few days. I have the librarian at my school pulling her favourites and hope to start book 2 by the weekend. Any recommendations?

12. Take at least 2 family trips – 👍 I would really love to take the kids on a beach vacation, but do not want to be using credit to do so. So, I’ve started a little savings account with hopes of having enough saved for a 2014 March Break vacation. As for our 2013 trips, I’m thinking camping for sure, and still need to come up with a few more ideas.

Any Ontarian’s know when bookings open up for provincial parks?

13. Date night once a month – 👍 My husband and I have tossed around a few ideas for our first date night of 2013. We are hoping to go out next weekend and will be securing babysitting tomorrow…hopefully!

Overall, I’d say I’m doing quite well!

I’m reading, I’m running, I’m lifting weights, I’m saving money, I’m trying new recipes and I’m blogging more!

Yes, I realize we are only one week in, but I’m super excited about goals I have set and the plans I have made. I think that my goals are very realistic and attainable.

My focus for this week will be drinking more water and getting to bed earlier.

How did week 1 go for you?
What did you accomplish? What did you struggle with?
I’d love to hear how you are doing! Share your highs and lows in the comments section below!

Elf For Health – I am Thankful!

Yesterday’s Elf For Health challenge was to think of 20 things that I am thankful for.

With all that has gone on in the world over the last little while, it really has made me realize how fortunate I am to live the life that I do. I have so much to be thankful for and really enjoyed sitting down and putting it in writing. So, here are my 20 things….

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1. My amazing children – they are seriously the BEST thing that ever happened to me!

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2. My husband – he truly is the love of my life!

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3. My family and friends – I have a great group of friends and a supportive family who are always there for me when I need them. Despite living hours apart from some and going weeks and sometime months between visits, I love each and every one of you!

4. My health – I’ve had a few minor health issues this past year and it has really taught me not take my health for granted. It has also taught me the importance of taking time for myself and making me and my health a priority. I am no good to my family if I am not healthy.

5. Living in Canada – there is no other place I would rather live.

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6. Facebook – reconnecting with old friends has been amazing!

7. Vacations – whether its a week at a cottage with family and friends or a nice relaxing beach vacation, we are very fortunate to be able to get away from the craziness of everyday life and take some time to grow as a family.

8. Living where we experience all 4 seasons – seeing how excited my daughter gets each morning we wake up to even the smallest amount of snow, or how she giggles like crazy when the she jumps in a pile of fallen leaves, or watching her build a sandcastle at the beach…love, love, love.

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9. My job – becoming a high school Health and Physical Education teacher was one of the best decisions I made. I absolutely love it!

10. My part-time job as a group ex instructor. I have met so many wonderful people at the gym and truly love teaching BodyAttack. Being paid to workout is a bonus!

11.Weekends – as much as I love my job, spending time with my family doing fun stuff rocks!

12. Nap time – a little uninterrupted time to hang with my hubby, read a book, fold the laundry, tidy the house or take a nap myself. Ahhhh heaven! I hope my kids nap forever!

13. Running – I don’t run nearly as much as I would like, but am thankful that I got back into it this year after a 5 year hiatus. I love that I run with my sister and that it’s a chance to see her regularly.

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14. Lululemon clothing – my entire work wardrobe is pretty much lulu and I love it! It’s so comfy and lasts forever!

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15. Bon Jovi – love his music and he’s not too hard to look at either! Only 51 one days till we see him live at the ACC!

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16. Corona – love unwinding with a refreshing Corona after a tough week! So good!

17. Chocolate covered marshmallow – so yummy! Thankfully it’s only available in our grocery store a few times a year!

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18. Technology – I’m totally loving my new iPhone and iPad. I think my most favourite use so far was FaceTiming with my husband while he worked out of town for 3.5 weeks! Not exactly sure how our kids would have survived without seeming him that whole time! Thanks Apple!

19. Good food – I love that we are eating clean as a family and that I have started to cook more, and I’m actually kinda enjoying it! I also love that my husband is such an awesome cook and although he doesn’t always make the most healthiest of meals, they are absolutely delicious!

20. My blog – I love having a place to share my experiences and try new things. I am grateful for my followers and those that share their experiences with me through their comments. I love that I have met some pretty amazing people through blogging! I hope to develop my blog further in 2013,

What are you thankful for?