My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

Archive for the month “September, 2014”

Colour Run


My friends and I recently took part in the Colour Run. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, you run 5km and every kilometer volunteers throw coloured powder (cornstarch) on you so you are rainbow painted by the time you finish. This international event is for-profit but they also partner with local charities to raise money. In London they chose the Tara Boom Houston Foundation.

So first I got ready with my temporary tattoos and race gear.



Next I met up with my team the Colour Ninjas and we took some before photos.



Then we ran and got coloured during the run and afterwards at the main stage party.






We also spotted this drone checking out the event.


We posted some happy notes on the Post-It happy wall.



We also took some after pictures at the happy wall.



The we took some after shots to show off our colours and practice our ninja moves!






I highly recommend this run for all ages and abilities. You can run or walk as much as you want and the event is not timed. We saw everyone from kids and pregnant mommies, to grandmas and grandpas on our run. If you want to check it out for next time, here are my recommendations:

  1. At the end of the run, there are volunteers handing out water and Kind bars and there are snacks for sale, so don’t worry about packing that stuff.
  2. Wear sunglasses or goggles if you are worried about the colour powder getting in your eyes.
  3. Leave the phone and camera at home or if you need them with you, wrap them in Ziploc bags to protect them from the dust.
  4. Bring old towels and garbage bags to dust off the excess colour and protect your car seats on the way home.
  5. After the run wash yourself and your clothes in cool or cold water. The colour powder is cornstarch so it comes off most easily in cold water.

Maybe next year we could get a Life by Design group together? Let me know if you’re interested.


My New Toy

Now don’t be dirty-minded. I bought a massager for my sore muscles.


It was actually my registered massage therapist who suggested I get one. During my last massage, he mentioned that my calf muscles were much too tight. I told him I had been running more. I have been rolling out my legs and stretching before and after I run but my calves were more sore than usual. So, I picked up the Conair Massager at the Real Canadian Superstore.

The price was reasonable, ($45). It comes with three sets of massage heads so I can get the pressure I want and I can adjust the intensity of the percussion to a number of levels depending on the muscles I’m working. My only complaint, (and it is a small one,) is that it is a bit big and heavy. However, I think the size is due to the power of the motor so I’m willing to put up with it. Now if I have sore muscles, I can attack them with my new toy!

Second Annual Good Health Walk


Our second Good Health Walk was a success. This year we raised money for the Boys and Girls Club of London. Just like last year, I volunteered to man the registration table, I walked and I took lots of great photos. Please enjoy!


Dr. Justine was our master of ceremonies.




Silent Auction Action.

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We stretched and walked.

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We snacked.


We played.

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We enjoyed some music.

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And now what everyone loves best, kids and puppies!

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Yoga Home Practice How-To

If you struggle with mobility at the gym, you may want to consider adding yoga to your routine. If you’ve never tried yoga, I suggests you take a couple of classes just to get the feel of it. After that, anyone can develop a home practice. For example, I do 15-20 minutes of yoga each morning.

As with any new habit, it is best to start small and work your way up to your home practice goal. I had a yoga instructor who once told me that a home practice only needs two sun salutations and a gentle twist.


Those two sets of exercises move every part of the body and can be enough to quiet the  mind. With that routine, I only needed five minutes a day so I decided to try it. I didn’t have trouble sticking to five minutes a day and soon I started to add moves to address specific aches, (e.g. a stretch to mobilize my hips after running the day before). Before I knew it I was doing yoga for ten minutes and then fifteen. That’s all I need to stay mobile and centered most of the day.

Should you want some other specific routines, I’m going to include two of my favourites (day and night,) from Essential Yoga. Usually I don’t like republishing other yogi’s routines, but this book is now out of print and can be difficult to find and expensive to purchase. Try it out and feel free to send me a comment about your results. As with any exercise, if you have specific injuries or health concerns, it is best to consult your doctor and chiropractor before beginning. Namaste.




Chipmunk Relocation Program

My husband and I have been having some issues with a chipmunk. He has dug a tunnel though our lawn and under our driveway. Now bits of the driveway are caving in. There is no doubt about it, Mr. Chipmunk has to go.

Now to be fair, we tried to discourage the chipmunk from digging up our driveway by filling in his hole with rocks and then chilli flakes and then human hair, (from my hairdresser). None of that discouraged our little interloper so Nick showed me this picture of a trap he saw online.

Basically, you fill a bucket with seeds and water and when the chipmunk goes up the ramp to get the seeds, he falls in the water and dies. I’m not sure what we thought was going to happen to our chipmunk, but he didn’t die. Nick found him swimming around and around the bucket trying to escape. Poor Nick couldn’t stand to see him suffer, so he dumped the bucket, water, chipmunk and all, into our cat carrier. The chipmunk was, obviously, not pleased and quite soggy.


Nick and I walked him several kilometres into the bush and found him a new home with trees, bushes and a nearby river. We just have to pray he won’t be able to find his way back!


By the time we found a good spot, our little friend was quite eager to be on his way.


I very carefully opened the cage.


He paused a moment and then scurried away.


Nick and I will now be running a chipmunk relocation program from our house. No squirrels please.

More Positive Tweeters!

Check out these great tweets #DailyJoy

Add some positive energy to Twitter #DailyJoy

Switch Your Buts to Ands

While I was indulging in some YouTube time the other day, I heard YouTuber Philip Defranco suggest we build more positive attitudes by replacing the word ‘but’ with ‘and’ in our sentences. For example, you could say either of the following:
“I need to work out but I don’t have time.”
“I need to work out and I don’t have time.”

The first statement is negative and an excuse. The second statement expresses a problem but the word and makes it seem that a solution is possible if we work for it. I’m going to try this little linguistic trick and if it works, maybe I’ll teach it to my students as well.

GoodHealth Walk 2014

The Good Health Walk

It’s almost that time again! The Good Health Walk is back and open to everyone. If you want to walk with us, please join us Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at 10am at Springbank Gardens. You can sign up at our website. Bring your friends, your family and even your pets and help us live healthier lives and raise money for The Boys and Girls Club. I hope we see you there!


July is a month of Fridays; August is a month of Sundays. One of my colleagues summed up his summer this way. It made perfect sense to me. In July the summer is full of possibilities and ideas; everything is about to happen. August is about finishing tasks, trying to maximize the potential of each day and then transitioning back to school and work.

I don’t want to go all melancholy, so here are some of the great things I did this summer:

  • I survived another year of teaching summer school.
  • Nick and I held a huge summer wedding reception party for all our family and friends. Many people told me they really enjoyed themselves and Nick and I had a wonderful time.
  • I reorganized all the closets and drawers in my house…all of them. I actually know where everything is.
  • Nick and I went on our honeymoon to beautiful Victoria, BC. It was such a beautiful time for he and I to connect and relax.
  • We remodelled our back patio. Our background is much more welcoming now.
  • I mastered my new BBQ and made many delicious meals. From burgers to cedar-planked salmon, we tried it all.
  • I got an ice cream attachment for my kitchenaid mixer and have been making classics, (French vanilla, mint chocolate chip,) as well as some new favourites, (root beer, wild berry cream).
  • I spent a lot of time cuddling and playing with my cats. It’s a simple pleasure but something that allows me to bond with my furry fellows.
  • I laughed a lot with my friends and family. This one is really important to my health so I’m glad I made time for it.

Happy last day of summer!

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