Monthly Archives: August 2011

Ch- Ch- Changes!

Change #1: This past weekend I made a change from blonde back to my natural hair colour.

I’m not sure I dig it quite yet. But I know it’s the best decision financially. Keeping up the blonde on hair that grows like a weed is expensive!

Speaking of “expensive” things…

Change #2: I’m going to be going back to school soon. Things aren’t completely set in stone at this time and I’m still looking at a variety of options, but I have been accepted. So, I will for sure be returning to the world of academia this winter, it’s just a matter of where exactly. My hope is to be able to return full-time (minimum of three courses), but that may mean having to make some even bigger and much more complex life changes than just colouring my hair!

To be honest, I have a lot of anxiety, doubt, and apprehension around my decision to return to school. It’s a huge commitment of time and money, and years of my life to get to where I want to go. And there’s a huge part of me that feels as though I’m 24 and I’m getting too old. I don’t know how that’s a rational thought, but I think seeing everyone else my age being happy in their careers and starting to settle down is making me feel as though I should be doing that too.

But here’s the thing… I’m not happy in my career. Sure, it pays the bills, but it hasn’t fulfilled me in the ways I’d hoped. I thought I could find a way to be happy in this career. I thought it could challenge me enough. But it just doesn’t. It’s a shame that I knew a few years ago, in the midst of my degree, that this wasn’t the right place for me. But it was close enough for me to keep going and finish. I don’t regret my degree or the path I’ve taken for a second because ultimately it’s leading me to where I need to be.

I have been just reading this quote over and over, trying to remind myself:

“Follow your passion, follow your dreams, and the things you need will come.” – Elizabeth Taylor

Change #3: I have plans to change the name of this blog. As much as I thought the name “Eats, Sweats, Peas” was cute when I was just starting (a whole two months ago), it doesn’t fit where I want to go with this little blog. I love to eat, and I enjoy sweating, but there’s more I want to share. I want something broader. So expect to see a change of name pretty quick here. 🙂

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Now, onto something of a much more serious matter… (Not really.)

The Rooms

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a roommate who happens to be my brother.

Living with him is easy. I know what to expect because, well, we’ve been there, done that for many years prior!

He keeps the kitchen clean and on occassion he makes dinner. He does his own laundry, and has even graciously driven for me so I could enjoy wine with some friends! I really can’t complain!

But, when I went to my hair appointment this past weekend, the hairdresser (who happens to do both mine and my brother’s hair) informed me that he told her I am “messy.”

Say what???

I guess the two whole days I was feeling under the weather last week and didn’t pick my mugs up off the coffee table officially made me the “messy one” in this household.

So, the ultimate sibling war stands… Who’s really the messy one?!

I took those pictures because I was planning to show them to said hairdresser. You know, get the truth out there! But after contemplating it, I realized it’s not a big deal and definitely doesn’t warrant risking this hairdresser running her mouth (again) and starting a real sibling fight. I love my brother to pieces and enjoy having him as a roommate. Plus, we all know who the messy one really is!

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Have you ever changed your blog name? What prompted the name change?

High Protein “GF” Pizza

So, the latest news about my two “out of commission” Notebooks is that there was a problem with Windows on my older laptop, but it’ll be back in my possession tonight. However, the hard drive in my brand spankin’ new Notebook is TOAST.

No biggie! It’s new, so it’s under warranty. But still, I’ve only had it for a little over a month. We were just getting to know each other! *Sad Face*

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When I saw a recipe for “High Protein Tortilla Pizzas” on OhSheGlows last week, I knew it was a recipe I had to try ASAP. Actually, anything with the word “pizza” in it I have to try!

Ang’s version called for whole wheat tortillas, and whole wheat flour in the 5-Ingredient Vegan Cheeze Sauce. I substituted the whole wheat tortillas with these not-so-great gluten-free pizza crusts.

… Which were so thin, they might as well be called tortillas!

Imperfect, but perfect for this recipe.

A pizza with… Beans?! Yup! Think baked beans on toast… With cheese. You can’t go wrong!

Along with substituting the crust, I substituted GF all-purpose flour for regular flour in the “cheeze” sauce. I didn’t make any adjustments in the amount, which I should’ve done in hindsight. My sauce came out very runny. I will probably double, and maybe even triple the GF flour next time I attempt the “cheeze.”

I mixed the (runny) sauce in with the veggies and beans, and put it on top of the tomato-sauce covered crust. Instead of Daiya cheese, which I haven’t come across yet, I topped with Goat’s Milk Mozzarella and some organic black olives. If anyone in BC/Canada knows where you can find Daiya cheese, let me know… Please and thanks! 🙂

Verdict: One of the best homemade pizzas I’ve made! It was really hearty and tasty. Although it was definitely a “clean” pizza, it didn’t taste bland or super healthy, and it didn’t leave me feeling guilty or bloated. Success!

I would make this again in a heartbeat!

Anyways, I’m off to go find me some lunch! Writing about pizza hasn’t helped at all in the hunger department. Hope you’re all having a great “Jersday” so far!

How to Survive and Maybe Even Love… Renting

A lot of people have questioned me lately about my choice to rent vs. purchase a home.

One year ago, I was fresh out of my undergrad, and living back at home with my parents. I wasn’t sure where my life was headed, and I had a gazillion ideas buzzing around my head about what my next step could be. Although I was one of the few people from my graduating class who landed a full-time position within a month of graduating, I had been having doubts about my chosen career since my 3rd year of school, and I didn’t feel like I had found a job I’d settle into for the next 20, 10… Not even 5 years.

I realized I still wanted to go back to school in a couple years, and I wasn’t ready to plant my roots anywhere just yet. Investing in further education was more important to me than buying a “bachelorette pad.”

And that’s fine. Some people come out of university with their dream career, ready to settle down into the next phase of their lives. A lot of people I went to school with ended up finding jobs in exactly the area they wanted to work in, and many of them got engaged or married, and bought homes.

On the other hand, some of us come out thinking, “uhhh… What now?” For me, I knew in my heart I wasn’t finished with my education. Some people just want the freedom to travel after slugging away in classrooms for years. Some people feel the need to grow their roots a little more before they are ready to plant them. And, let’s face it, some of us just can’t afford a down payment after accumulating 4+ years of student loans.

I’m so excited for the day that I can buy my own home (in say, 10 years). But for now, I’m living the renter life. In fact, I’m lovin’ it! Sure, I have moments where I feel like I’m not as “established” as some of my peers, or like I’m throwing my money away. But there are plenty of advantages to renting, and reasons to enjoy living mortgage-free.

One of my favourite things about renting is knowing that if my life suddenly changes, I have the flexibility to up and go. One of the things that scared me off from buying a home was when I got caught-up in some budgetary lay-offs at my previous job. Although the lay-offs were more of a legal move by my employer, it was scary to know that my job could be pulled from out under me at any moment. If I had a mortgage, it would’ve been an even scarier situation since I live on a sole income – my own! Having gone through that experience, I know I would feel much more secure going into a mortgage with someone else. It really makes a difference knowing that if the economy takes a turn for the worse, or if you were to suddenly end up unemployed, that there’s still another income there.

NOTE: This does not mean I don’t support single people buying homes. I think it’s fabulous, and all the power to you! I’m just explaining my level of comfort having gone through a horrible experience of having my job put on the line, and knowing I would’ve been an anxious wreck if I’d gone through it with a mortgage to consider.

Renting has allowed me to get to know the area. Although I grew-up in the community I live in, a lot changed in the 5 years I lived away. In fact, the neighbourhood I reside in didn’t even exist when I graduated from highschool. Now that I’ve had a chance to live there for awhile, I’ve got a feel for how different my current neighbourhood is in comparison to the one I grew-up in. People are way friendlier on my side of town, and the outdoors are even more accessible since I’m in closer proximity to lakes, rivers, and great hiking trails. Neighbourhood is definitely a factor to consider when purchasing a home, and renting in different neighbourhoods can be like “window shopping” for when you’re eventually ready to buy.

Renting allows for room to grow. It gives you time to become more capable, more confident, and more assured in what you eventually want in a home. Renting has forced me to become more capable in negotiating with landlords and building managers, a skill that I’m sure will translate when it comes time to negotiate with banks and realtors. And having lived in a basement suite, a townhouse, and now an apartment, I definitely have a feel for what type of environment I’d be comfortable living in long-term. For example, having someone living below or above you isn’t always the most comfortable situation. From that experience, I now know that I wouldn’t want to purchase a home with a basement suite to rent, and I definitely would have no interest in purchasing a condo. (Unless there is insulation completely boxing my living space in.) As much as I’m happy for the people upstairs that they have a healthy, umm… relationship, it does get old hearing them go at it every other night. These are the kinds of things that I wouldn’t understand that I value as much had I not gone through this whole experience of renting.

Everyone moves at their own pace in life. For myself, renting just happens to be the best option for me at this time. I definitely think buying is the smarter route to go because ultimately your money goes toward an investment that appreciates. Nevertheless, buying is a commitment that you should only do if the timing is right for you. So when people ask me, “why didn’t you just buy a place?” I just tell them, “it’s not the right time for me.”

Are you a renter or a homeowner? Have anything to add regarding renting vs. buying from your own experience? 🙂

Down, Down

Down, down… This weekend both my hard drives conveniently decided to fail on me. What a massive bummer! Especially since my one Notebook is brand spankin’ new! 

Nevertheless, not the end of the world. (Thank goodness for my work computer!) But until I have a working computer back in my personal possession, no pictures… Boo!

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I woke-up this morning to a Facebook notification going off on my iPhone. Unfortunately it was one of my friends informing me that NDP leader Jack Layton had passed this morning. I have been a long-time supporter of the NDP, long before I was even able to cast a vote. I’ve been an even bigger supporter of Jack Layton, so the news was both surprising and deeply saddening.

Whether or not you supported the NDP, you could not deny his ability to connect with the little men… The everyday Canadians. He was a charismatic politician, with an unwavering passion for his party, for his fellow Canadians, and for the country. I will never forget watching the last federal election, and witnessing his party accomplish what many may have seen as “the impossible” – historically becoming the official opposition. It was inspiring to watch this man vigorously campaign while courageously battling cancer and confidently rocking a cane in hand to support his broken hip. For him to see his party reach the level of success they did back in May of this year was thrilling. I hope he got to see his dream come true before his untimely passing.

There are few politicians who truly have heart and integrity. He was one who wore his heart on his sleeve for his country and exuded genuinity.

Source

F*ck, I hate cancer.

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful, and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” – Jack Layton

A fighter for Canadians… Rest in Peace.

I [Heart] Trader Joe’s

I made a trip down to the states after work today with one of my girlfriends to hit up my favourite place to grocery shop – Trader Joe’s.

Here’s what I brought home with me:

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, Gluten & Dairy-Free Pancakes, Wheat Free Toaster Waffles, Brown Rice Bread, Light Garlic & Herb Laughing Cow Cheese, & Earth Balance Whipped Butter.

Rice Pasta & Cheddar, Organic Tomato & Roaster Red Pepper Soup, Brown Basmati Rice, Raw Sunflower Seeds, Organic Black Beans, & Sliced Black Olives.

Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Broth, Thai Yellow Curry Sauce, Refried Black Beans with Jalapeno Peppers, Curry Simmer Sauce, White Kidney Beans, Light Coconut Milk, & Marinara Sauce (99 cents per jar!).

Raw Whole Cashews, Peanut Butter Panda Puffs Cereal (x3), Natural Zico Coconut Water, Mango Zico Coconut Water, Chocolate Zico Coconut Water (Not so sure about this one!), & Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans.

Face Lotion with SPF 15, Multi-Purpose Cleaner, My Favourite Face Lotion, & Some Multivitamins.

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I also picked-up a package of polenta (which I did not photograph) because I saw the gluten-free label on it, and thought I’d give it a try. I’ve never had it before, and haven’t the slightest clue what to do with it exactly. Any ideas?

I live about an hour from the nearest Trader Joe’s – easy enough to run down and stock-up on some gluten-free favourites that don’t cost an arm and leg! I had a super easy time crossing the border both ways, which was nice. I think more Canadians must be venturing down to TJ’s because I no longer get strange looks or questions from the border guards over why I’d be going down to the states to grocery shop… Yay!

I also resisted the urge to stock up on Brie cheeses and chocolate-covered everything. I guess I did allow myself the chocolate-covered espresso beans, so I can’t say I completely deprived myself. 😉

Have you ever been to TJ’s? Have any favourite TJ items?

Wine Whine

This weekend I ventured 8-hours out of town to visit family.

On the way back yesterday, my mom & I made a stop at the Nk’mip Cellars in Osoyoos, B.C. to try some of their wines and stop for lunch.

I’d been to the cellars before with some coworkers on a business trip, but since my mom had never been, we thought it’d be a fun stop to relieve some of the stress that arose that morning (i.e. lost keys, eek!).

My mom & I were just focused on enjoying ourselves… I guess we weren’t taking the whole wine tasting experience all that seriously, and hell, we’re not wine connoisseurs! I was shocked that the women pouring behind the counter were so condescending toward us! At no point were we rude or belligerent… I guess they just found us to be “annoying” tourists?! I had asked a few questions because I enjoy learning about wines, and was met with an attitude that my questions were a waste of their time to answer. Although the wine was good, the way we were treated by the Nk’mip staff left a sour taste in our mouths. I still left with two bottles of wine (totalling over $50), and instead of focusing on the negatives of the experience, plan to give one of the bottles to a friend of mine who loves the winery, and another I plan to share with some dinner guests I’ll be having over soon. 🙂

We quickly shook the experience we had inside the cellar off, and headed outside to their beautiful patio for lunch. Talk about a stunning view!

I enjoyed the Wild Line Caught BC Sockeye Salmon, on top of a summer bean and herb salad and local seasonal vegetables.

This was definitely one of those “I dug right into my meal, but just realized I wanted to take a picture of it first” pictures. Haha, it happens!

It was such a clean and fresh meal compared to what I’d been eating the rest of the weekend. (Talk about roadtrip snacks galore!) As much as I love rice crackers and reading US Weekly, I’m looking forward to a good cleansing week ahead of me!

Question: What is your “go to” meal when having friends over for dinner? Or do you prefer to be adventurous and cook up something new for your guests?

What is your favourite roadtrip snack?

What I Love Wednesday

That last post was kind of down and depressing… And really raw. I feel like I bared my soul.

So let’s pick the spirits up, and talk about a few things I’m digging on this fine hump day! OK, it’s late (11 o’clock PM), but it’s technically still Wednesday on the west coast!

First off, I said in my last post that I’d been trying so hard to cry, but my tear ducts just wouldn’t budge, no matter how hard I tried or how much I tried to focus on the stuff I needed to get my cry on about.

Then, I watched this video:

 

 

I bawled. FINALLY! It’s so enchanting to watch the whale’s reaction to being released (whether it’s purely a response to being set free, or if the creature was saying “thank-you” to it’s rescuers), and it showed me there are great people out there who would go out of their way to save a life… A creature’s life… WOW. I needed that in my life!

THIS.

Words can’t even describe. I need Christmas to come, now!! (Yes, I’m a huge fan of M.B.’s music, I am not ashamed to admit!)

And, THIS.

Save a tree, bring your own damn cup! Love it!! Whenever I leave Starbucks with a “to go” cup in my hand, I get this guilty little conscious that tells me I’m just adding to that massive, overflowing garbage bag of cups. Thousands and thousands of garbage bags of “to go” cups being dumped in landfills. Tough to think about when you’re just trying to sip your morning drip!

It’s such a simple thing… Bring your own cup! Or leave earlier in the morning and enjoy a re-usable cup before you head to work…

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaa, baby steps! I’ll just bring my own cup for now.

(And if you’ve never checked out the blog “Smile With Your Heart,” do it. It’s the bomb dot com!)