CardioTrainer - Mobile Fitness App

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Since I have been running more often these days, I am finding myself wanting to keep track of the amount of calories I burn, length of time I run, as well as the distance I run. A cool new app I recently found has allowed me to keep track of all that, and more! I love this little handy app, and use it every time I go running or biking. It is called CardioTrainer. It is honestly the best app you can have that will do (almost) the same thing as the machines in the gym!

When you are ready to hit the road running, CardioTrainer will track your every step. It tells you the length of time you have been working out, the number of steps you took, the distance you traveled and the calories you burned. By enabling GPS on your phone, CardioTrainer also shows you the map of your travel! When you start a workout, you can select the type of workout you are doing. There is a large list of activities, such as walking, treadmill, badminton, climbing stairs, hiking, and even house cleaning!
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 All of your workouts are tracked, so you can always check out your progress. The history shows you all of the same information as any regular workout session. Total distance and calories are provided for each month. And you can always schedule your workouts and receive reminders of your scheduled workouts.
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  Ever go running and forget your iPod? With CardioTrainer you don't need to worry about bringing your iPod with you! It has an integrated music player that plays from your phone playlist. So all you  need is a pair of headphones and you are set for your workout! The other neat feature that the app provides is voice feedback on your progress. It will tell you how many minutes you have been working out for, the distance traveled and calories burned. Basically, no need to look at the screen until you finish the workout!
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A fun and cute feature that I love: Once you have completed each workout, it will compare the number of calories burned with a food item. For me, my 50 calories I burned is equivalent to 2 carrots!

CardioTrainer is available for all Android phones for free. You can choose to upgrade to CardioTrainer Pro for $9.99US, which has more options and features to play with!

Weekend Shopping

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Last week, the hubs and I took some time to clean out our closets. We ended up with a bag of old clothing for donation. This closet purging was a great exercise for me, since it allowed me to get rid of things I haven't worn in over a year. My rule of thumb when it comes to clothing: if I haven't worn it in over a year, I will probably never wear it again. But why do I keep some things for longer than a year, that is what I wonder! I also realized some the clothing I regularly wear but have had for years as well. I never really realized that I kept some shirts or even pants for a few years, until the other day. I was wearing one of my favourite shirts when I was hanging out with my sister, and she asked "isn't that the shirt you had for five years?" Embarrassed, I said yes, and told myself I needed to clean out my closet and get rid of these things! If she noticed, who else might have noticed?! So, after cleaning out the closets, the hubs and I both gave ourselves a budget of $100 each to buy new clothing (and sort of replace the old favourites we had!).

After the shopping trip this weekend, I am so happy to have bought three new outfits for under $80! All of the items I purchased were on sale and you can never beat summer sales! Especially since it is still summer :) Here is what I purchased at Target and Winners. I tried to link to the items online as best as I could.

Target: Merona Dress
Target: Blouse (similar), Polka Dot Shirt (similar), Capris
Jeans: Aeropostale
Shoes: Winners
Aside from the amazing sale prices I got on all the items, I am so happy with one item in particular: the jeans. I was absolutely shocked when I heard the total for those jeans!  After taxes, I paid only $2.79. That's right...two dollars and seventy-nine cents! Holy moly! And if you want proof, here it is:

A Daily Dose of LOL

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hey all! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Mine was filled with lots of shopping, cooking and relaxing! I will post my amazing shopping deals tomorrow! 'Tis the season for summer sales :) 

Hope you have an awesome Monday! Here are some funnies to help kick off your work week!

Wishful Thinking

Friday, July 26, 2013

Do you all sometimes wish you had it all? A bigger home; more time; more money; more clothing; a better body; a car; go on more vacations? Recently I have been finding myself wishing for things that I know I cannot have right now due to other factors that I cannot control. And I think my wishful thinking (or complaints, as my hubby calls it) might be bugging others.

I might at times complain to a friend about buying a bigger house, not realizing that my friend who still lives with parents would want to have what I have. Other times, I might say I wish I had a permanent job instead of these contract jobs, but not realize that some of my friends don't even have jobs, or the fact that I should be happy that I have a job that pays the bills. However, we all complain about money and wish we all had more, so I guess that is something we cannot control :)

I guess in this society of “I want that”, we are all used to getting what we want. And it is all possible (for the most part). However we don't always realize the costs that are associated with that want. I want a bigger house with a bigger kitchen than the tiny space I have now. However, a bigger house will mean a bigger mortgage for us. And with my unsteady contract jobs, I cannot afford to lock myself into a risky situation. I can get a permanent job, but that would mean either moving away from our town or accepting a permanent position in a field I did not go to school for. These small costs that could change your future.

Before I began blogging, I have been reading many blogs. And while reading many of the “decor” type of blogs, I began wanting a bigger home, more money to decorate, more renovation projects to do, etc. Only after my husband started questioning my “unhappiness” and after a few months of reading these blogs have I realized the jealousy monster that was growing inside me. Instead of using their blogs as inspiration for my current home and what I have now, I began being jealous at the stuff they have and not being happy with all that we have.

It wasn’t until I got laid off this past year that I began to see just how much we have – having a house with no mortgage, a year old car totally paid off, no financial hardships to worry about, and a loving support system from both family and friends. These are the things that many people wish to have; however I have not seen what I have as being something others would want.

I have now learned from my mistakes this past year, and have learned to love everything I have! Yes, it’s not quite what I had planned my life to be at this stage in my life. But hey, these are the things that I cannot control and just need to learn to embrace all that is given to me! Yes, I still would like to have all those things, but with time! :) Right now, I am enjoying everything I do have and all that He has provided for me. This is where the verse from Ecclesiastes 3:1 comes to mind.

10 Fresh Summer Salads

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I love the summer season, especially since a lot of fruits and veggies that I purchase are grown locally. I drive by at least four fruit and veggie stands on my way to and from work, so I always pick up my produce from them. The produce tastes just so much better since they were not frozen or picked too early in order to arrive "fresh" at the store. It is also great to support local farmers that feed our families! If you love the fresh varieties of fruits and veggies growing either in your back yard or local farmer's stands, then you will enjoy these fresh garden veggie recipes! Enjoy!

Warm Quinoa, Spinach and Shiitake Salad

Strawberry Broccoli Salad
Glazed Summer Fruit Salad

Eggplant Caprese Salad
Grilled Vegetable Summer Salad with Mozzarella
Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
Cajun Turkey and Fresh Melon Salad
Fresh Summer Fruit Salad
Italian Salad
Pesto Pizza Salad

Tropical Green Smoothie

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sometimes, it is hard to intake all of the recommended fruits and veggies in a day. Which is why I love to blend them all up and drink it up as a smoothie. Recently, I have been experimenting with smoothies quite a bit. Anything I can think of, I tend to throw into my smoothie. This type of smoothie is what I like to call a tropical green smoothie. All you need is some chopped up pineapple, mango and pear for the "tropical" part, and some spinach for the "green" part. As a base and to thicken it up, I used vanilla Greek yogurt. But you can use milk (almond, soy, rice, cow, goat) or juice (any fruit juice of your choosing).


Add it to your blender and blend it all up!

And enjoy!

Tropical Green Smoothie
Prep time: 5 min        Total Time: 5 min           Yield: 1-2 serving

Ingredients
- 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 pear, diced
- 1/2 mango, diced
- 1/4 pineapple, diced
- 1 handful baby spinach, rinsed

Directions
1. Add all ingredients to blender. Blend on high until smooth. Pour into cups and enjoy.

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I'm Back!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hello friends! I am finally back! It has been a busy and eventful past couple of weeks that I haven't had the time to really even sit down at the computer and post. Between our one year anniversary, our camping trip with friends, and the hot and humid days of summer, I have been finding myself spending more of my hours outside than inside. The yard is filled with weeds, thanks to all this rain we have been experiencing almost daily for the past few weeks. So that needs a lot of work. I have been making fresh summer recipes and trying new things recently, and I am excited to share with you all soon! And I have been getting into some summer reads, which I will share as well.
I am hoping to catch up on things in the blogosphere world this week - this includes reading blogs that I haven't had much of a chance to read (although I have been sort of reading a few here and there). So I will catch up soon enough! Thanks for being patient with my lack of posts!

Dog Days of Summer

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sorry friends for not posting that often over here! It has been one of those days, or many days, of summer. You know which ones...

The long and sunny kind of days that make you just want to lounge around on the couch all.day.long!

The very hot and humid kind of days that make you just want to sip on some nice cold lemonade.

The kind that make you want to spend some time enjoying the beach and soaking up some sun.

And the kind of days where hanging out with friends makes summer that much better!

Hope you are enjoying your summer days! I will be back next week!

Liebster Award - Q&A

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I am so super duper excited to have been nominated for the Liebster Award. Never really heard of this award before, but just the "award" part sounds awesome. My good friend Chelsey from Anchors Aweigh was the one that nominated me for this award. Thanks Chels! :) So here are the series of questions I was asked by Chelsey!

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1. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? (calories don't count ;))
 If I was promised that I wouldn't gain any weight, then it would have to be new york style cheesecake! Hands down!
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2. What is your favorite movie?
 The Notebook, of course!
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3.What is your favorite blog post that you have written?
 Probably my post about my experience after post-secondary schooling. It was bubbling up inside me for the past year and I just had to let it off my chest!

4. If you had your own reality television show, what would it be called?
Haha...I honestly have no idea. For the sake of answering this question, maybe "Taste of August" :D

5. What is your biggest pet peeve?
 When people don't even bother replying back to you or answering your calls. You can also read my other nine pet peeves here.

6. You just ran into Brad Pitt on the street and had a 15 minute conversation. Who do you tell first?
 Most likely my sister.

7. What is your favorite celebrity baby name?
Adalynn Rose, daughter of Chris & Deanna Daughtry. I just love that name!

8. If you could pick your last meal on Earth, what would it be?
 Homemade pizza. We make the best pizza, and I would like to make it myself and then eat it, and then die!
homemade thin crust pizza

9. What is your favorite blog (other than yours) to read?
I love all the blogs I read. But it would probably have to be I Heart Organizing...she has so many neat ideas and fun projects to stay organized. Plus it was mainly her blog that got me into reading more blogs, which got me considering starting a blog in the first place!

10. What is your favorite spectator sport?
 Tennis of course!

11. Why did you start blogging?
I wanted to chronicle my life as a newly wed (so I can look back and show my kids how "cool" I used to be! haha).

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Nominations: I hereby nominate the following blogs ! :)
Ginny @ Buttergirl Diaries
Patty @ Tales of Me and the Husband
Charity @ The Word of a Nerd
Tiara @ Ice Cream and French Fries


Questions:
1. What was the last book that you read?
2. What would be your dream job?
3. If you could choose another name for yourself, what would it be?
4. You are given one day to spend with anyone of your choice (celebrity, family both living or deceased, etc.). Who do you choose?
5. Chocolate or vanilla?
6. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
7. What is your most favourite thing that you own?
8. What is your favourite holiday?
9. What is the one drink you always order in restaurants (either alcoholic or non)? 
10.What is the best advice that you have ever received?
11. Fave food? 

Rules:
1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you.
2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself, and create 11 questions for your nominees.
3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 other blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have been chosen.
4. Copy/paste the blog award on your blog.

Grilled Veggie Pasta "Salad"

This pasta "salad" is perfect for the summer months when fresh veggies are in season. I like to call this a "salad" because of the yummy grilled veggies that are used in this dish. Next time I make this dish, I will for sure add green onions instead of cooking onions as well as asparagus, for more green colour to the dish. You can eat it cold like a pasta salad too, but I prefer it served warm. You can add any veggies you wish, but I had these in my fridge and used them for this dish. Enjoy!


Grilled Veggie Pasta "Salad"
Prep time: 15 min        Cook Time: 35 min           Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
- 2 cups small pasta shells
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 package (8 oz.) mushrooms, sliced
- 16 grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tsp Herbe de Provence
- salt and pepper, to taste

- 1/2 cup pasta sauce
- Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
1. Cook pasta according to package. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat barbecue grill to medium heat. Add vegetables in a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with Herbe de Provence, salt and pepper.
3. Over medium heat, add grilled vegetables to pasta pot. Stir to combine. Add pasta sauce and stir to combine. Ensure pasta sauce is warmed thoroughly.
4. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.

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Anniversary Getaway

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

This past weekend was our one year anniversary. We decided to take the weekend off and go away on a mini vacation. 

 We went to Grand Bend, which is a few hours away from home, and stayed there at the cute little Bonnie Doone Manor-on-the-beach! 

Because we booked so late, they only had one room available - their largest one with a kitchen and all. A bit expensive, yes. But worth it? Totally! We had our own private door to the main sitting area, which had some beautiful views!


The cute and cozy 2 queen sized beds.

Isn't this kitchen so cute and cozy looking? While we didn't use it, I still liked it!

The sitting area. Just loved the lounging around part of the trip!


We had a lovely dinner at the restaurant on the beach. This pizza was called the "Ferrari" pizza. It was delish!

I don't usually drink beer, but it was just so hot that day that a nice glass of cold beer was very refreshing!

We also had some yummy Spanish wine. Such a good wine!

And some cake to celebrate. McCain Deep and Delicious was a good one, since it was packed up nicely to fit into our cooler. And is just so good!

A little bit of the night life. Although it was pretty much dead by 10 pm. All the shops were closed and the only thing left open were the food shops. We ended up strolling on the beach, which was a nice and quiet time.

On day two we went to the local flea market, ate lunch at a cute country restaurant and headed home. The weather was very gloomy so there was no point in staying longer. But it was a very relaxing weekend!

Hope you all had a nice and enjoyable weekend!
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