Monday, April 20, 2015

Casey Gets Fit(ter): Week 8

Weight: 143.8 (Down 0.8lbs from last week!)

Let's talk about cheat days this week, because I had a doozy of one this weekend. All week I was eating right and hitting my workouts. Friday I even worked late and came home and did a big workout before dinner (which ended up being at 9:30pm because of that!! and I usually eat by 6pm!).

On Saturday I was feeling pretty lazy. Cam and I went for a long walk, but I did get into some cookies and watched the entire first season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt while doing laundry. Then my friend called and asked if I wanted to go out for a beer and some food and I realized I didn't have enough calories left in my day so I hopped outside for a 8.5km run before meeting them! I felt pretty proud of that choice, but I think I still was a bit over for the day after a couple beers and a sausage. My above weight was from Sunday morning.

Then Sunday came and I was in Ajax visiting friends all day and I ended up going out for lunch AND dinner, which is dangerous because even salads are 700 calories at restaurants! Plus I seriously got into the candy at my friend's house. Like...really bad. So Sunday was a horrible day, eating wise.

But you know what? Some days you just break your diet. Life goes on. You won't gain all your weight back from ONE bad day. A pound is basically equivalent to 3500 calories, and I probably need 1800 calories a day just to maintain my weight...so I would need to eat 5300 calories to set myself back a pound. Trust me, I did not hit that!! :)

All you can do after a bad food decision is to just start fresh at your next meal or the next day. In the scheme of things, it just a blip on the journey to better health! Salads are on the menu for Monday!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Five Things Friday

Yay! it's Friday! Is anyone else super excited for the weekend? Cam and I are going to hike out to Evergreen Brickworks this weekend and I am so excited because I have never been and I've heard it is a nice hike and a beautiful place to visit. We are going to hit up the farmer's market (I hope there is honey for sale!) and get lunch there and then hike back out.

I thought today, since I am behind on all my DIY projects (so much long-awaited sunshine to enjoy), I would do a quickie post about 5 things in my life right now.

1. New Shoes and Boots
One of my favourite things about spring is that winter boots go on sale. I am super picky about footwear as I have giant feet and messed up arches so I have given up on cheap shoes and now invest in good, comfortable footwear. These are really hard to track down in cute everyday styles at decent prices!

I got great warm, waterproof black boots from Hush Puppies a couple years ago and I have been on the hunt for some brown ones since last winter. I lucked out a couple weeks ago finding these ones on sale at Rockport (I think they were $90, marked down from $260??). They are lined with warm material and are super comfy. There are still some cool days left this spring so I haven't had to wait for the fall to enjoy them.


I have also been on the hunt for dressy flats to wear to work. It is impossible to find comfortable, supportive flats that I can try on in store and that are not black (I have black Aravons by New Balance and I loooove them). Somehow I ended up at the Bay yesterday and found these amazingly comfortable loafers from Naturalizer and I snatched them up on sale for $57! They aren't really the ballet flat style I need, but they will work well for many of my work outfits. If anyone comes across nude ballet flats with arch support that aren't $200, please call me.


2. New Mug

While I was at The Bay, I saw an adorable I <3 Canada mug from their HBC Collection. I have a soft spot in my heart for those colourful stripes and I would LOVE their signature blanket, but it is sooo expensive and I already have a few amazing blankets that I love so I can't ever justify that. I think this new mug goes well with my Canadian Tire mug! Perhaps I will start a Canadian mug collection?

PS- I don't even USE mugs at home that much. Maybe I should bring my new mug to the office.


3. The Den!
I have not been neglecting my den built-ins and I did SO much work on them last weekend, but then I ran out of some materials and haven't had the time to go to Home Depot again (it is quite a hike from downtown). I will just leave you with this sneak peek, which is 100% not completed as it needs paint, caulk, and lord knows what else. It also probably needs less dirty shoes. I love those shoes and should really buy a new pair...

But I digress! You can see in the photo I have filled in the gap on the left side of the billy bookcase, I have applied veneer to the side of the besta bookcase to cover the gaps and joints (but it got wrinkled  at the bottom when I installed the quarter round...grumblegrumble) and I have completed all the trim work in this area. I started caulking, but ran out so I need to buy more, finish that up and then paint. I also need some more trim for the other side and for the top of the units. It is coming along!!


4. Updating the Kitchen
Operation Find Track Lighting for the kitchen has been a complete bust as I realized a little too late that all the the options I posted were from homedepot.com and not the Canadian site. I was going to buy the Lithonia ones, but sadly can't find them anywhere in Canada. I don't really like any other big box store options, so I am going to start looking at lighting stores, which means more effort than online-shopping :).

BUT! Cam and I made some decisions on hardware for the kitchen, which is exciting (and available in Canada)

When we were last at Home Depot we picked up some different options and I think we are going to go with long pulls for the doors and square knobs for the drawers. Right now they all have these tiny knobs which are impossible to grasp with wet hands and finger marks get all over the surrounding cabinet. I need something I can GRIP.

I didn't buy a sample of the square knobs, and my link above is from the American site because I can't find them on the Canadian one, but we saw them in store and they got Cam's vote after he vetoed the cup pull sample we brought home. I need 13 of the long ones and 14 of the small ones so I was just happy they are reasonably priced!


5. 10K Training
So I signed up for my annual SportingLife 10K months ago and now suddenly it is like 3 weeks away?? How did that happen?? Weight training seems to be taking most of my exercise focus lately (and I am loooooving it so far- really feel like I am getting stronger!), so I am not sure what my goal is for this race. I don't know if I can beat last year's time of 55 minutes because I haven't been working on speed work at all! However I do enjoy a good race so I think my focus will be to just have fun. I am not concerned at all with the distance as I have been keeping up my Sunday Long Run for awhile now and last weekend I did 12km in the beautiful sunshine!!


Spring just seems extra awesome this year after that horrible winter, doesn't it?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Balcony Floor: Done!

Saturday dawned bright and sunny (though, pretty windy!) and I decided to get the balcony floor done after completing my workout for the day. As you may recall, I got the composite tiles from Costco and the brand is Neo (these ones in grey- though they were cheaper in store). They look like wood- but aren't, which is great for longevity against the elements while still looking stylish!

It took about 3.5 hours from start to finish but I am LOVING IT!



The first step was prepping the concrete floor, which basically means just sweeping because this is a floating tile and they fit together with a plastic underlay that interlocks. It was SO dirty out here. I threw out the old mat and found an inch of crud under it. And I think there is a urine stain on the cement wall? Grossness.

The install actually went really smoothly. I only screwed up one cut! I ended up only using 3 full boxes and 2 tiles out of a 4th box, so I plan to keep the partially used box for any repairs down the line and then try and return the 5th extra box I had...and at $30 a box, that means this update only costs $120, but I think it looks like a million bucks!


It a few hours to install because I did have to make a few cuts along the railing side, around the railing supports, shorten the tiles by the door, and remove the plastic connectors on the window side so it would sit flush with the wall. The last part probably took the longest because it involved unscrewing the tiles so they wouldn't get damaged by the saw. Though, looking back I think I could have just snipped the plastic off with some wire cutters. Live and learn!

My cuts are not 100% perfect, but I am sooo proud of this project and I can start to see the vision out here! My dad came up with a good plan for the cement wall, and I am really excited to get furniture and plants out here! The chairs and plant are just placeholders for now :)


This balcony may be small, but I plan on making it the most welcoming little spot in the city!

Oh- and for the record I made all the cuts in my den because I figured it was already dirty from working on the built-ins and it was a little messy. Thank God for safety goggles and vacuums!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Casey Gets Fit(ter): Week 7

Weight: 144.6 (down 2.8 lbs from last week!!!!!)

OMG I am sooooo happy with my weigh-in this week! I know it is only one week and I always assume a 1 lb fluctuation with weight when I weigh in every Sunday, but I worked SO HARD this past week to stay on track. I dropped my calories to 1250 a day, which seems ridiculously low, but I honestly didn't find it that hard. I just cut out a lot of my snacks and ate a lot of meat and veggies at meals (AKA- de-carbed my diet). I really didn't get hungry that much!

I still allowed myself dessert every day (gotta satisfy my sweet tooth!). The Easter Bunny really helped supply me for that- very little of this candy is left, though half of this was Cam's.



I also aced my workouts, completing 3 weight-lifting workouts and 2 runs (including 12km on Sunday, after my weigh-in). I am already increasing my dumbbell sizes, which is exciting. Going to get these arms ready for sleeveless tops!


PS- who else is loving the fact that spring finally arrived? I think the entire population was out with me for my Sunday morning run :)



Friday, April 10, 2015

Balcony Plans!

Now that the weather has finally turned to spring, I am eyeing doing some updates on my balcony. And yes, I know I have about 999 unfinished projects on the go that I should finish before starting this one but I loved how my old balcony turned out after I spruced it up and I am excited to get it completed on this condo before summer!

Old Balcony
Unfortunately my new condo's balcony is quite sub par to the old one- it is much smaller at only 6.8ft by 3.5ft, which is around 23 square feet total. It also has a view of another building and the building's rooftop deck instead of the lake view I had at the old place. It is nice and set back from the side of the building so the street noise is dampened...but that also means it won't get much sun. But I have hopes of turning it into a little oasis!


I apologize for the state of this photo...I worked late and quickly took this shot when I got home. The window on the right is my bedroom window and I would prefer not to block light from coming in. The door also swings outward, which means I am limited for furniture placement.

Soooo what are my plans for out here?

Step 1 is flooring! I loved my old balcony floor, but Costco didn't carry that exact one any more. However my Dad was there the other day and picked me up the flooring they did carry- which is the same brand, but wider planks and a different colour.


I actually like the brown colour they had this year, so that worked out. He picked me up 5 boxes, even though I really only need 3-4. He apparently doesn't trust my cutting skills :). At least the balcony is square this time, which should hopefully make this a quick install! I am planning on aligning it like I did the old balcony- in stripes instead of parquet style. I am hoping this will visually make the balcony bigger as it will draw the eye out.

I also want to get a couple of chairs and a little table. I am hoping to find relatively comfy chairs that are still small and will fit out here! If not, a bistro set will work! I also want to get some plants out here- either through railing baskets or some sort of plant stand against the back wall like this:

Applaro Wall Panel
I'm just not sure how to connect something like that to wall though, since I can't drill into the wall. Might have to build some sort of leg brace?

I am also considering these chairs, which can recline for comfort if one person is outside, but upright I think two would fit out there- they are only 18.5" wide. They come in white and black. For the table it will probably be a tiny folding option.

Angso Reclining Chair
Of course I would add a fun bright cushion! Perhaps this fabric?

Santa Maria Mimosa Outdoor Fabric
Anyway...those are my musings and 100% subject to change once I get a chance to get out there.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Linear Track Lighting Options

I have a very unsightly problem in my kitchen (well...many unsightly problems- who's turn is it to do the dishes?). It is my lighting! The condo came with linear track lighting over the kitchen area, which is equipped with two mismatched lights, one of which gives off a purple glow in the evenings.


Thus far, I think I had managed to crop it out of every photo, but there it is in all it's cheap and ugly glory!!

I don't really want to take down the track lighting and repair the popcorn ceiling, because it seems like a job that could really spiral into a whole mess of things with cement ceilings, discoloured paint, and obvious popcorn ceiling repair and it the end I would probably just put up different track lighting. I have nothing against track lighting in a condo as it allows for the positioning of light where I need it. So I think I am just going to switch out the lights for something nicer! That is the best part of this kind of lighting...you can just replace the lights.

There are three options I am debating between from Home Depot (which seems to have the best selection):

Hampton Bay 1 Light

I like this one because it is simple and cheap at $18 a pop. Cam thinks I should go for 4 lights (2 on each side) and these will fit nicely and not destroy the bank. I am not concerned with going with a metal finish, because the track blends in with the ceiling anyway, and the one metal light I have now looks perfectly fine. All the white coloured options looked really cheap to me too.

Lithonia Cylinder Light

This one is more modern and I like the clean white shade. Of course, it is the most expensive at $29 per light!

Hampton Bay Brushed Metal Shade
This one is more traditional, and more middle-of-the-road price wise at $24 each. I like the curves.

I'm thinking of going with the expensive one (SIGH), as I think it will go best with my space. What do you guys think?

I should really take a photo with less fingerprints :)


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