My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

Archive for the month “October, 2014”

Happy Halloween!

Halloween costumes are art right? Say hello to the Zombie Bridesmaid!

Always a Bridesmaid, never a Bride!

Always a Bridesmaid, never a Bride!



Wodify Update

If you haven’t tried Wodify yet, you are missing out! I like being able to sign up and sign into classes from my phone. I also like being able to enter my results easily on my smart phone as I work out. Since I first wrote about this app, I have discovered a few more perks.

First, I love that the app keeps track of all my previous results for each lift and WOD. It also calculates all my percentages for me. For example, if I need to know what 75% of my one rep max for dead lift is, I can just check the app rather than trying to do the math. My brain appreciates the break in those 6 am classes!


Today’s workout showed me one more surprise from Wodify.


When I entered my results for back squat, a little gold star popped up next to it. I had set a new PR! Who doesn’t want a gold star next to their progress? I’ll keep you posted as I find more neat features buried in this app.

New Gym Equipment

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Some people say the worst part of working out it actually these little guys. These clamps hold your plates onto your barbel. Some are worked in but others are very stiff and we ladies especially get hurt hands.

Luckily, our gym got some new equipment. We now have a choice of three clamps:


The one in the middle is a plastic clamp that clicks shut. They work well but we only have a few sets and I find them difficult to get open.

The two on the right are the new clamps the gym bought. They work like little Velcro belts to hold on the weights.


I tried them out at my last class and they worked really well. Now I can focus on my lifts instead of nursing sore hands.


Art Assignment 13: Sorted Books


How I spent my summer holidays,

Roughing it in the bush.

Rites of spring echo.

The almost moon surfacing,

The ocean at the end of the lane,

Forever peace.

Unnatural creatures running in the family.



Juice Cleanse – Post-Cleanse

My Top Tips for Juice Cleansing:

  1. Drink lots of water. This will help flush out toxins.
  2. Drink lots of herbal tea. It will calm your stomach and keep your mind off food.
  3. Keep your exercise light and relaxing on juice days. You will only be consuming about 1000 calories a day so you want to give your body a break.
  4. Go to bed early.
  5. Do something nice for yourself.
  6. Be very careful about the first things you eat in the post-cleanse. Your stomach will be tender as it returns to solid food. Stick to raw veggies before you try anything else.

My Pros:

  • I feel fantastic. I think that’s the main thing. After this cleanse I felt energized and healthy. Going to bed earlier also helped me reset my sleep pattern so I’m less tired during the day and sticking to a strict diet has put me back on the path to Eating by Design.
  • Another reason I did this cleanse was to get a handle on my sweet tooth. This process taught me which times a have my biggest sugar cravings. For me, I crave sugar Tuesday and Friday nights most of all. Fridays make sense; it’s the end of the week and I’m looking to have fun. Tuesday nights make less sense. It could be because Tuesday is cheap night at the movies, not that I go every week, but I go often and usually have a snack. Or it might be because I’ve made it through two days of work and tomorrow is hump day. Eating as a coping mechanism is something I try to avoid but not always successfully.
  • Finally, keep in mind that any cleanse will likely affect your weight. For example, I lost seven pounds. Now because the cleanse kept me to a strict low-calorie diet, as I return to my regular eating habits I’ll likely gain a bit of it back, but I am trimmer over all.

My Cons:

  • While most of the juices were yummy, one or two were not so appealing to me. The ones I liked least had a strong celery flavour. Just be aware that some of the juice flavours are more appealing than others.
  • The cost of the cleanse could be prohibitive for some. Delivery is optional so that saves $10. I think in this case I attribute the cost to the high quality of the juices. All the ingredients are fresh and organic and that kind of quality is costly.
  • Finally, I could see this type of cleanse being very difficult to do if I had children. After all, I was able to take a nap most days after school. I also don’t have to worry about feeding anyone else as Nick can pretty much take care of his own meals.

Overall, I’m glad I did this cleanse. I would certainly recommend the three-day cleanse. It might be a great way to kick off your next 30 Day Challenge!

Juice Cleanse


Cleanse Day 1

Breakfast: Hot water with lemon, Turbo juice.

Snack: Root Cellar juice.

Lunch: Verde juice.

Snack: Envy juice.

Dinner: Red Monster juice.

Move by Design: I went to CrossFit before school and then did some yoga in the evening.

Think by Design: I took a nap after work and spent a quiet evening reading.

I felt pretty good all day and I wasn’t more hungry than usual. I thought I would have more specific food cravings but I actually just missed the habit of eating; I missed sitting down somewhere quiet with my meal and enjoying my food. It sounds weird, but I missed chewing.

Cleanse Day 2

Breakfast: Hot water with lemon, Turbo juice.

Snack: Envy juice.

Lunch: Beta Blast juice.

Snack: Turbo juice.

Dinner: Green Glow juice.

Move by Design: I did yoga before and after school. I kept my exercise a bit lighter today because I was feeling so tired.

Think by Design: I took a nap after work and went to be early. I really was exhausted!

Today my body got rid of a lot of toxins. I would describe it as mild intestinal discomfort and leave it at that. Also, note to self: remember that beet juice turns your pee pink. I am not dying from a juice cleanse.

Cleanse Day 3

Breakfast: Hot water with lemon, Hulk juice.

Snack: Envy juice.

Lunch: Red Monster juice.

Snack: Turbo juice.

Dinner: Spicy Lemon juice.

Move by Design: I did yoga before school and Pilates after.

Think by Design: I went to be early again, but this time mostly because I was looking forward to getting up the next day and eating solid food again!

Power by Design: I got a toxin cleanse massage after work and it set me up for a great night! I felt so calm and relaxed the rest of the evening.

OK, I made it! I felt much better and more energized today. In my next post I will give a breakdown of my results and a review of the Pulp and Press  juice cleanse.


Juice Cleanse – Pre-Cleanse

Since returning to work, my stress level has been up, I’ve gained a little extra weight and I’ve been feeling a bit sluggish overall. So I’ve decided to try my first ever juice cleanse. Pulp and Press offers a three-day cleanse for beginners so I signed up.

My first step is to do a three-day pre-cleanse. This is basically an opportunity to eat as cleanly as possible to make the actual cleanse easier on my body. I’m avoiding processed foods, dairy, eggs, animal fats, grains, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. I’m only drinking water and herbal tea as well. Let’s hope I make it through this week!

Pre-Cleanse Day 1

Breakfast: Hot water with lemon, spinach, celery and natural peanut butter.

Snack: Carrots.

Lunch: Lettuce, tomatoes, cranberries, tuna, a clementine.

Snack: Unsalted sunflower seeds, watermelon, herbal tea.

Dinner: Tomato soup with coconut milk and curry, a small potato.

Move by Design: I spent some time on the elliptical and bike and then did some yoga in the evening.

Think by Design: I had some good cuddle time with Nick and a nap in the afternoon.

Pre-Cleanse Day 2

Breakfast: Banana, unsalted walnuts.

Snack: Snap peas, herbal tea.

Lunch: Lettuce, tomatoes, cranberries, avocado, unsalted sunflower seeds.

Snack: An apple.

Dinner: Mexican bean soup, cucumbers, sweet potato.

Move by Design: I did some yoga in the morning and hit CrossFit after school.

Think by Design: I had a nice, hot bath and gave myself a home manicure.

Pre-Cleanse Day 2

Breakfast: Smoothie (almond milk, frozen strawberries and a banana).

Snack: Snap peas, carrots, herbal tea.

Lunch: Lettuce, tomatoes, cranberries, avocado, unsalted sunflower seeds.

Snack: An apple.

Dinner: Mexican bean soup, sweet potato.

Move by Design: I went to CrossFit before school and played around on my yoga ball after dinner.

Think by Design: I had a nice, hot bath and spent some time with a good book.

Power by Design: I got checked just after school and then I picked up my juices.

So far, so good. I haven’t had a lot of cravings and I haven’t been overly hungry. Tomorrow my juice cleanse begins!

The Mystery Box

In the silent auction at the Good Health Walk, I bought the mystery box. My curiosity got the best of me and I had to know what was in it. I know a lot of other people were also curious so here are the contents of the mystery box:





So it’s Kinder Smile Box. It contained all sorts of crafts and games. This will be perfect for when my nieces and nephews come over. Score one for cool Auntie Jen!


Thank you!!!

This is my chance to say thank you to all of you. In September I reached 100 followers and 200 likes on WordPress! I appreciate all your support and I’m glad people are interested in my stories. Please keep reading, liking my posts and sharing my blog. Thank you all!


Art Assignment 12: Imprint

My kindergarten teacher’s name was Mrs. Ballentine, (she let us call her Mrs. Valentine; she was gentle with children). She taught us that if you cut an apple horizontally instead of vertically a star appeared inside. She would cut our apples and let us wish on the star inside. That was the inspiration for my series called Star Apples.

Star Apples 1

Star Apples 1

Star Apples 2

Star Apples 2

These pieces didn’t turn out at all the way I expected but I actually like that. Art shouldn’t be too planned out. In my first piece I love the rich colours and the thickness of the paint. For the second piece, I thinned my paints with water and got an amazing glazed effect that makes my apples look like alien planets. In both pieces, I love that the paint pulled the paper and gave it an interesting texture.

As a bonus, some of my scrap materials and leftovers actually looked pretty beautiful as well. I decided to photograph them and include them in the series. Enjoy! #theartassignment

Star Apples 3

Star Apples 3

Star Apples 3

Star Apples 4

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