Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bathroom Makeover!

I know what you are expecting today...a drawn out blog post discussing my plans for the bathroom makeover, and then maybe next week a debate on paint colour. After that perhaps an update on fixtures I have purchased. Then a 10 week breakdown of every inch of my bathroom makeover. But nope! Today I actually have finished photos because I made over my bathroom without telling you! Yay!

Let's check out the before:

All I had done in the bathroom since move-in day was replace the faucet and shower head. The walls in here were painted builders' white, the toilet paper holder was falling off the wall (like, legitly, and taking the drywall with it...for the entire 15 months I have lived here), and you could either hang up a towel or a hand towel, but not both. It was definitely time for a mini-makeover and here she is now!

I painted the walls Blue Surf by CIL and I loooove it in here. Sometimes it looks purple, sometimes blue, and sometimes grey. It is very pretty! I also replaced the shower curtain with a nice fabric white one and I replaced the bathmat (which was really more of a bath towel), with a new shaggy white one. I also finally replaced the towel bar and toilet paper holder with nice new ones from the Delta Trinsic line, and I also installed the matching hand towel holder,

I bought the towel holders and TP holder MONTHS ago when I bought the faucet, but didn't bother changing them because I figured I would wait to paint first. However when I opened the new TP holder the little screw to fasten it to the wall mount has fallen INTO to holder itself and could not be gotten back out! Thankfully I contacted Delta and they are awesome and are sending me a new holder!!! So for now I have a big ol screw in there so it stays on the wall. Also, when I installed the towel bar I drilled right through the wall into my bedroom. hahahaha. And this is why I will never make a living off my handyman skills.

I also added some new art with a print that was given to me for Christmas from my friend Jeni. I didn't know where to put it at first, but I stuck it in the bathroom and realized it was perfect in here because the beige matches my beige tiles! The blue wheel is what inspired the bathroom colour too.

Oh and in case you are wondering about the towels on the back of the door, that is where we keep the clean towels because we have no linen closet. #condoproblems

I still have lots of plans for the bathroom. I want to take down the giant mirror and put up a normal sized one and a medicine cabinet because storage is very limited in here and our toiletries take over the whole counter (I totally staged these photos...). I also am still considering replacing the entire vanity with something a little more modern and removing the granite shelf. But all in good time! For now we are happy to have a clean and serene space. And this was the last room in the condo to get painted- so that is worth celebrating too!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Marathon Training: Week 3

Total kilometers run: 111.1km
This week: 40.1km

This week's runs:
Tuesday: 7.9km easy with sprints at end (6:59 min/km avg pace)
Thursday: 8km with a warm up and cool down mile (6:23 min/km avg pace)
Saturday: 6.5km easy (6:52 min/km avg pace)
Sunday: 17.7km steady (6:27 min/km avg pace)

Tuesday's run wasn't memorable, but Thursday's was. The snow was falling thickly and would bite into my face as I ran along the lake. It wasn't super cold or windy so I hadn't worn my balaclava, but I think I will next time I run in the snow because it felt like running through hail. It was very pretty, however, whenever I could stand to lift my face and look into it. I tried to take a photo on a walking break, but you can't really get a feel for the picturesqueness of it because the snowflakes aren't visible. Also, the ground felt super slick, which was not fun at all. 

Saturday's run actually took place around sunset due to the fact that I was out eating and drinking all day with my Bloggers & Lagers Crew (Lindsey, Michelle, Shanondoah, and Jeanette). I was a little upset about missing out on running in the sun on that beautiful day (Saturday was so warm- Thursday's snow was a distant memory). However I got to run into a gorgeous I really couldn't complain. I even stopped to take a photo because I can't ignore a pretty sunset!!

Sunday was also a gorgeous day and SO warm! I didn't need gloves and could have totally gotten away with a thin long sleeved shirt or even a T-shirt. I was sweating buckets in my long sleeve tech shirt and fleece vest. I will definitely miss that vest with pockets when summer is so handy. Also, on Sunday I was just starting my run when it dawned on me that I had to go to the bathroom. At first I thought it was a false alarm as I always go before I leave home, but nope...a couple more km in it was quite apparent I may need to find a well positioned bush. But it was a nice day and everyone was out and about in the parks :\. However, about 5km in I found a public washroom that I think had been closed for repairs all summer that was actually open and clean!! Thank you City of Toronto!!

You may have also noticed that Sunday's run was a pretty fast pace for a long run. But this is all lies. My GPS watch screwed up somewhere in km 2 and added 0.8km to my distance run. I've been using the watch (a Garmin F15) every run since I got it for Christmas and it hasn't made an error yet so I hope this is a one off. Oh well. I tacked on an extra 0.8km to my run at the end and I think it all worked out!

Apparently I added in some supersonic swimming on my run
I survived January Training! Only 3 more months left to the marathon! I can't wait for more warmer days like this weekend!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Freedom Wig Review- 1(ish) Year Later

As most of you know, I have an autoimmune disorder called Alopecia Universalis, which leaves me unable to grow barely any hair on my body or head. Last year I bought a new custom wig and reviewed it right away.

Someone commented on my original post where I showed off my new Freedom Wig that I should do a review again, now after wearing it for some time. I agree! I got this wig in Sept 2014 so I have been wearing it daily for 17ish months. Considering this wig cost more then all my new appliances combined (ya....not exaggerating there) I should share my thoughts since others may also be looking to buy one and wondering if it is worth the expense.

So...after all this time do I regret this wig? Not. One. Bit.

I love it!

Please ignore the crazy static in my's so dry in my condo!

This is probably the most comfortable wig I have ever known. I never found my old wigs to be particularly itchy or hot, like some people complain about, but they always shifted around slightly or couldn't be styled easily. This wig was designed to fit every inch of my head and so it goes on and stays on! Therefore I can comfortably go about my day regardless of winter touques, the neckline of my coat or scarves (which always shifted my wigs before), and in any sort of wind! Plus, in the summer I can pull it back into a ponytail and keep all the hair off my neck, which is sooo comfortable and something I didn't even realize I missed.

As for the quality of the wig, it is great. I am not even as careful with it as the instructions said I should be (like not touching it too much). I basically live my life and don't even think about it. I wear glasses, I brush it out with my fingers if I come in from the wind, I wear hats, I style it...I just treat it like normal hair and the hair still looks fresh! I definitely have lost a bit of volume as hairs have naturally fallen out when brushing it, but it still looks nice and full to me.

Taking care of it has been a cinch too. Once a week I wash it with high end shampoo and conditioner (I look for organic stuff as much as I can too). I just wash it gently in a bowl in the sink, though technically I could wear it in the shower. Then I wrap it in a towel for about 30 minutes to absorb the water. Once it is merely damp, I stick it on a foam head that clamps onto any table and I very gently brush it out and let it air dry (sometimes I will blow dry on low heat if I need to rewear it that day). When it is dry I give it a quick straightening with my flat iron and then it is generally good for a whole week without styling again! Sometimes the hair will look a little dried out (hello winter), so I just spritz it with a bit of argan oil and it looks good again.

Once in awhile I will curl it too- either with the flat iron or with a curling iron. The curls are fun because they will last a long time and start just looking like nice waves as I brush it throughout the week. I was too lazy to curl it or do anything beyond a ponytail for this mini-photoshoot. but here are some shots of it styled throughout the year from my phone

As for some slight issues- I think the hairs that we cut in around my nape need to be redone...I have noticed it seems like there are less there to cover my neck when my hair is up. The nape gets the most beating (especially in winter with scarves), so this doesn't surprise me! Also, I think the colour has slightly lightened from the summer sun. This too is normal as donated hair comes from all over a person's head and the "underhairs" haven't really gotten sun exposure before and naturally lightened now that they are exposed. I don't mind the hair colour at all- it still looks natural and good on me- but the instructions did mention getting a yearly dye job to keep the hairs looking good and I may consider doing that down the line.

All in all- I love my Freedom Wig and I will definitely buy another one some day. It has given me so much freedom (lol)...I can ride mechanical bulls, go swimming, wear ponytails, etc. It is about as close as I can get to real hair! Plus I only need to wash and style it once and week and never need to shave my chalk up a win for alopecia :)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Marathon Training Week 2

Total kilometers run: 71km
This week: 38.8km

This week's runs:
Tuesday: 7.7km easy with sprints at end (6:23 min/km avg pace)
Friday: 8.4km intervals (6:14 min/km avg pace)
Saturday: 6.5km easy (6:38 min/km avg pace)
Sunday: 16.2km steady (6:37 min/km avg pace)

I think marathon training is easier for me since I have no children or really any responsibilities after I get home at 5pm. However, plans do come up and I need to shift my running accordingly. This week I had dinner with a friend on Wednesday and I went to the Leafs game on Thursday! Hence why I did 3 runs this weekend! My only real hope is to not run at all on Mondays as Sundays are my long run days and these old legs need some rest. 

The week continued to be cold, but no precipitation and not too windy, which was nice. I know the U.S. is being bombarded with a bad snowstorm, but thankfully a cold front up here kept that south of Toronto and meant Saturday was very bright and sunny...and very cold! And on Sunday is was overcast and slightly warmer (if you can call -3C warm). I plan on doing a post on my winter running outfits soon!

I really didn't feel like running on Sunday, but I knew with 100% certainty I would feel even less like running on Monday after work, so I got off my lazy butt and knocked out 16.2km. This is why I need to have a race on the horizon. I am naturally lazy at heart.

PS- I read so many blogs about running and they all take so many pictures on their runs! I spend most of my run running...I'm not going to stop and take a picture because it would be so much harder to start going again. And even if I take a walking break I still keep moving. And now I wear gloves, which are touch screen compatible, but my camera hates them. Sooo...not many photos to share of my adventures. Maybe I will try to take more? Or I'll just start filling my posts with cat gifs. 

PPS- you know when you see those runners happily jogging along, looking at peace with the world and they get their photos taken and they are ridiculously photogenic? That's not me. I look like death and concentration mixed into a giant vat of exhaustion. Perhaps that is why I don't take running selfies. It is also why I save a lot of money not buying race photos

Exhibit A:

I am really interested to see how tired I am going to look in my full marathon photos... should be entertaining :). 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Marathon Training: Week 1!

Total kilometers run: 32.2

This week's runs:
Tuesday: 6.4km easy (6:48 min/km avg pace)
Thursday: 6.4km easy (6:52 min/km avg pace)
Saturday: 6.4km easy (6:09 min/km avg pace)
Sunday: 13km steady (6:25 min/km avg pace)

Day one of marathon training coincided with the first miserable day of winter weather that Toronto has gotten thus far. All through November and December it has been so mild! But on Tuesday is was snowing, -15C and winds of up to 70kph!! Now, I do have access to a treadmill but I REALLY did not want to cop out on my very first day of training. So I bundled on up, and hit the road. It was really tough going by the lake....very windy, blowing snow obliterating the pathway, and just plain cold. But I did it!!

I do have a sport balaclava, but I am kind of saving it for when it gets unbearably cold. I don't want to resort to it just yet! I am kind of hoping I will acclimate to the cold. Thankfully by the weekend the weather rebounded to around the freezing mark, which is not so terrible to run in. You can tell my pace picked up then. I don't think it is the cold that makes me slower (though the wind and blowing snow doesn't really help), but it is the fear of ice. On those days the path looked wet and icy and so I stepped more cautiously! Thankfully the city does perform excellent winter maintenance and the path was well plowed and salted and I never slipped at all!

So recap of week 1? It was cold and I was tired but I plowed on through. I can't believe week 1 is already a long run of 13km! And this is the EASIEST week! EEP!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Charity Miles

Sometimes I come across something I think is neato-bananas and I feel the need to share it here with all you fine people. Today's find is an app called Charity Miles. It's premise is very simple- you turn on the app and then walk, run, or cycle and corporate sponsors donate money to a charity for every mile you go! Bikers earn $0.10 per mile and walkers and runners earn $0.25.

It is super simple to use too. You just open the app, pick the charity you would like to support for your workout and it tells you which company is sponsoring you, and then off you go! Once you complete your run/walk/bike, there is a quick one question survey about the sponsor's products, which seems to be completely optional.

Over the course of my marathon training (which started this week!! Week 1 update will come next week!), I estimate I will run around 450 if I remember to turn on my app I will be able to donate $112 to charity just by completing the runs I would be doing anyway! I used it for my Thursday run and earned $1 for the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Disease research.

And the app also covers walking. So if your New Year's resolution is to walk 10,000 steps a day...maybe turn this app on and turn those fitbit accomplishments into more :)
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