June Glossybox & Hanging out with Olympic Swimmers

I know Tuesdays are primarily reserved for Beauty Talk Tuesday, but I’m going to be mingling a few topics into one today: Beauty & Fitness. I’m not much for introductions, so let’s jump on in.

My honest thoughts of what I received in my June edition of Glossybox. Ahem, even though I thought my last months box was June, but it was actually May.June-2015-GlossyBox

  • Être Bellle Cosmetics: Aloe vera ultra moisturizing gel (Most likely won’t use this product)
  • Doucce blush brush. This is supposed to be round top a kabuki brush, mine is distorted and shaped like a heart and I’m not sure I like the quality (I will 100% give this product away)
  • Aloe source luminosity masque (Wish this was sealed, I won’t be using it)
  • ORLY nail lacquer: Oh Cabana Boy (I love this colour and formulation, will be buying more ORLY for sure)
  • Too Faced Cosmetics: Better Than Sex Mascara (I’ve been eyeing this mascara up for a while, and I’m finally excited to try it out!)

I’ve been wearing the ORLY nail polish since I got it, removed it once it then re-applied. It’s a gorgeous bright pink with blue undertones. I’m going to buy the full-sized with how quickly I seem to be going through it.


2015-Toyota-CamryThis is our last weekend with the Toyota Camry which I’ll be chatting more about it when I get my YouTube vlog up. I’m enjoying the Camry much more than the Prius I had, because it’s a bit larger which I feel more comfortable in, and has a ton more power. Hoowee!

My husband will be kicking up his training a notch come July, so I’m enjoying our recovery runs as he likes to call it. More like a run goin’ out full tilt for me. Those run together knocks the good out of me. I do solo runs throughout the week, which I don’t blog about because I’m not entire sure what to say about it all. But I do have to mention, I’m pretty sure the only reason I sprint a 4:40min/mile at the end of our run is because I see our house, and I want to be finished. ‪#‎IHateRunning‬. Please bare in mind that I only sprint for maybe 150m, if that. I just like to know how fast I COULD run, if wild animals were chasing after me in the woods, I mean pfth ya never know. As for my regular pace I’ve been wearing my Garmin and check it every 30 seconds or so like a mad-woman to make sure I’m keeping the pace I need to. I’d prefer to keep it under a 9:40min/mile the entire run, which was easier this week — because my mind was preoccupied with family back in Newfoundland and pushed me a little extra.

Alfie-cooling-offAlfie and I hanging out on our porch after our run. He’s trynna get some shade to cool off! Buddy has some fast little legs on him, and he can definitely keep up with a slow-poke like myself. I think I’m in need of a new pair of Mizuno’s though soon. I’ve had these babies for a good year or more. Not that I put on a TON of mileage, because I’m not a long distance runner, but I can tell the cushion is startin’ to flatten.

Not the smoothest transition from talking about swimming to running, but…

I come from a family of swimmers, however I didn’t keep it up for the long run because I was a wimp and decided to quit after I failed my Bronze Medallion class when I was away at camp at the age of 16. But if you want to get into the nitty gritty, my husband, he’s a 5x Ironman Triathlete, my brother played Water Polo, my fav cousin ever ever is a swim coach and taught me to swim as a youngster, and my parents were yachters.

Needless to say, we were at the pool a lot as a kid, and even now with the husband as he trains for Ironman Lake Tahoe in September.

He wants to qualify for Kona this year. Crossing our fingers!

Flags-of-the-WorldOn Saturday my triathlete husband and I were invited to listen in on the Swim Today panel with 3x Olympic Gold medalist, Rowdy Gaines and two fathers of Olympic medalists at George F. Haines International Swim Center in Santa Clara.

Through SwimToday, teams nationwide are inviting new swimmers and families to experience the sport with incentives such as free swim team trial periods, and customized swim caps. 62% of families live within 10 minutes of a pool, and if you’re interested, parents can learn more about participating teams and find those nearest them by searching their zip code at Swim Today.

You don’t have to be particularly athletic to learn to swim. There’s a reason why swimming is almost the perfect exercise. It’s low impact and is a sport anyone can do, including those with sore arthritic muscles and joints. Because water is denser than air, you can work harder and burn more calories (650 in an hour!).

Swim-lanesThis Santa Clara swim club is a huge outdoor complex with 3 pools, two 25 yard and one 50 meter. So it’s pretty huge and little did I realize that same day, Michael Phelps was also there, along with other famous swimmers for the #ArenaProSwim this weekend. I guess this is the primo location for some competitive swim meets.

Swim-LaneYa knows I felt right fancy strollin’ around in the VIP section with my piddly BlackBerry takin’ snaps while photographers from companies like Getty Images were walking around with their humungo-cameras doing the same thing. While we were listening to the panel, this area was jam-packed.

pro-swim-lanesMichael Phelps swam in lane 5, right there for his 400m swim! Ahh!

Rowdy-Gaines-panelSwimming as I stated above, is such a family sport. You could simply see all the passion in their faces as they light up talking about it being a family oriented sport. You make friends with other families from other clubs. Sure there’s competition but you’re seeing them every week, and you come together in a tight knit bond, which was discussed on the panel this past weekend.

Me-and-Rowdy-GainesNaturally, me being the non-swimmer of the family I asked my triathlete husband to take a picture of me and the Mister G gold medalist from the 80’s. Weehehe!
Swim-with-Rowdy-GainesRowdy stated, pure and simple if you don’t enjoy it (in any sport) you’re not going to be any good. Ain’t that the truth. He has a wonderful sense of humor that meshes well with the kids. At the end of the swimming lesson he raced all the kids one length of the pool and said whoever wins, will get a million dollars. It was a pretty close call for one teen and him, swimming that length was all documented on a video I posted on Instagram.

Arena-lane-swimDick Franklin, father of Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Missy Franklin, and I had a bit in common. We had a quick chat about being from the East Coast of Canada; he being from Nova Scotia and of course as you guys know my husband and I are from Newfoundland. Dick grew up playing football and scuba diving, so when Missy was younger, he didn’t quite understand the technicalities of the swim sport. At around the age of 12 or so, Dick and his wife realized that Missy’s talent was something special and they needed to encourage it. Missy had always enjoyed swimming, getting up a 5am in the dark, and having her mother cook her breakfast and her father warming up the car in the driveway while it was still dark out. He joked she was havin’ a ball.  She always had fun. That intrinsic fun makes any kid move forward over the long haul.

Arena-Pro-Swim-SeriesSo a huge thanks to Swim Today for inviting us out to participate and check out the arena for the first time and talk about swimming being the #FunnestSport. Especially listening to the proud Father’s of Olympians just before Father’s Day. Well, and of course not to mention some of the super fit male swimmers coming out of the water, hooboy. Yeah, sure I needed to take a picture of that score board.

Are you a swimmer? At what age did you learn to swim? Are you looking for a local swim club near you?




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2014 year end reflection

scott-nancy2014 was a complete game-changer on so many levels. Starting off the year, my husband and I had been married for a little less than 48 hours, and were planning our move across North America from little ol’ university town of Waterloo Ontario, to smack dab into Silicon Valley, Amurica.

Never in my wildest dreams, had I ever thought about, or even imagined that I would be living in the United States, let alone breathtaking Northern California. Nevertheless, I must say 2014 was the best year yet — although it went by in such a blur I cannot believe we moved down here 11 months ago. We’re no longer newly weds, and we’re no longer new to being in California! Crazy!

My main goals when moving to the USA was to push my introverted self out of my comfort zone and say yes to more things, speak up to strangers and meet new friends (check, and check!), and overall embrace the change. It wasn’t scary to move down to California if we’re going to be honest. Especially easy since we moved during a Canadian winter. I wasn’t overly fond of living in Ontario, because I was stuck in a rut. I didn’t have many friends, and I certainty didn’t like the place we lived. We were already a 4 hour flight away from family, what’s another 6 added on top of that?

Okay okay, before I get all mushy let me walk you through all last year had to offer, shall we?

surpriseJanuary was full of panic and packing. It was when we came back to work, told our bosses we would be leaving our amazing wonderful jobs to pick up and move to the USA. I still miss my co-workers so much. I continue to e-mail all 30 of the staff on a weekly basis (every Thursday as a matter of fact), to keep them updated. I’m not sure if everyone is on board with my random ramblings, but for the most part a lot of them seem to be enjoying the updates. We skype, we BBM video, and we chat as though I am still part of their team. I loved that I was completely caught off guard by my going away/wedding/surprise party thrown by some of my co-workers, while I was at the mall with Aimster (who just so happened to be my bosses daughter and my co-worker).

imageFebruary was the time we took the swift 3 day drive from Canada to California in our 17 foot u-haul with my little Mazda on top of a trailer attached to the u-haul. I’m surprised we weren’t pulled over and asked for a truckers drivers license. That thing was a beast to drive, and so scary — I definitely white knuckled driving that monster. I looked back on my archives and it looks as though I blogged just the once. Guess that goes to show how busy we were driving across the continent, looking for places to live, and having our internet hooked up. Luckily we found a spot in no time, thanks to Jessica a hundred times over for helping us out from driving me to all kinds of apartments to me leeching off her internet to find apartments to look at. Couldn’t have done it without her help. By the way, can you not get over how amazing California looks in February?!

MonksMarch was another fun month. I got the chance to have a complete makeover at the Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara at MAKE UP FOR EVER which was pretty sweet. I walked around Santa Row a lot, checking out all the stores readily available just waiting for me to whip out my pocket book. Man, the shopping is excellent here. We drove out to Lake Tahoe for a day trip so The Guy could get in some last minute cross country skiing done before the season ended. I had enough of the snow at this point, I wasn’t about to get on a set of ski’s especially after leaving the wretched cold winter up north. I was ready for some sun! So I got some at Capitola Beach when our friends from Ontario came down to visit their in-laws. My old co-op student from my previous job in Ontario was in San Francisco on a work term, so I visited him for a day and we were treated like celebrities, it was fantastic.

Golden-Gate-JumpApril I stepped out of my comfort zone as Ellen, a blog reader e-mailed me out of the blue one day mentioning she had been reading my blog for some time, but has never left a comment. She is also a climber, and suggested we meet up some time for a climb at the local rock gym. Of course I’m going to say YES. It was awesome, and I hope to continue to climb with her again this year! Our first Easter in California was a success, and pret-tee delicious if you ask me, gotta say… I’m a great cook ;) This was also the month my blog received a complete overhaul and re-branding, I love how it turned out. April was pretty memorable because Jessica took me out to see the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time in my life!

birthday-bannerMay ah my birth month, where even my local pizza place delivered me a heart-shaped pizza for my birthday, sweet. I got a membership to the local rock climbing gym and climbed more with Ellen. On Mother’s Day The Guy and I went to the Golden Gate Bridge to take some photos so I could make some Thank You cards to send out to our wedding guests. Not only that, I got to eat breakfast at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay!

June I bought a pretty sweet gym bag and bouldered a V4 for the first time in years, pretty happy about that. I visited Google for the first time, that place is so fun! I swore during yoga class. My husbands younger sister came by (and the older one came in July as their trips overlapped). The Guy and I finally have a grown-up bedroom, with a headboard and all. Now we just need to upgrade our bed from a double to a king.

BlogHer-BloggersJuly is when I went to my first BlogParty in San Francisco and met so many awesome Bay Area blogging buddies. I also attended the BlogHer conference where I spotted Khloe Kardashian in person, kinda fun. My two sister-in-law’s (husband’s sisters) came down for a visit and we totally bonded, froze are buns off in San Francisco on the Fourth of July, and had a laugh, it was amazing having them both here. I cannot wait until they both come down again, hopefully SOON!

BlogHer14-Day2-005August was a slow month in the blogging world. Jessica and I teamed up and hosted a giveaway together, and I posted the outfit photos (here too)that she took of me at the blogging conference. Total fav. Then there was a whole whack of talkin’ and reviewing of some Dior products. Nothing much to report in August, really!

Swimming-IMTahoe-2014September The Guy made his featured appearance on the blog and starting reviewing running shoes. I was back to Newfoundland for most of August and a little bit of September. I still haven’t recapped our non-wedding wedding reception that we flew back for, in August. I didn’t take many photos from the day, so there isn’t much to look at really. But I did take you around to the little fishing place called Petty Harbour, and then showed you the most easterly point in North America, Cape Spear. I blogged about going to the annual Flatrock Festival (climbing fest) too. The Guy was going for his 6th Ironman in September, out in Lake Tahoe but it ended up being cancelled due to smoke from forest fires, and we came face-to-face with a bear at our hotel. Scary stuff.

Alfie-shower-cap-1October onto my husband’s birth month. For his birthday I surprised him with a two day honeymoon to the romantic village of Carmel, an hour or so south of us. The views from Point Lobos had to be my favourite spot of our trip. October is when I introduced Pomeranian Friday’s to the blog, which seems to be a huge hit with the readers. Glad you’re enjoying Alfie as much as we are!

Bloggers-at-UniqloNovember was a fun month because not only did I received a ton of lip glosses to play with courtesy of bareMinerals, I attended a pretty fun event for the grand opening of Uniqlo in the Milpitas mall. I also started exploring coffee shops, which I’ll continue to do as a feature throughout 2015. The Guy, Alfie and I hit the trails one afternoon, and then I showed you what my “uniform” looks like on weekends. Then I did a flashback to the summer where I  talked you through beautiful Conception Harbour, Newfoundland.

napkins2December is my favourite month of the year! For our first American thanksgiving (although in November but blogged about in December) we hosted our first dinner guests, ever ever!  We invited our Canadian friends to join us as I cooked us a feast! I attended a really cool event in San Francisco and received the utmost royal treatment getting there. I ended up taking my hair dye woes into my own hands and doing an at-home dye-job, how did it go? In December we hosted some more family and friends, and after they left I showed you how I like to unwind after a long day. I visited another great coffee shop! December was pretty awesome, we got to fly home again to be with our family. Although arriving later than expected with many airline troubles, we still enjoyed our time in Newfoundland.

If you’ve read this far, thank you! That’s the end of my 2014 recap. I’m feelin’ good about you, year 2015. I sure am.

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That time we came face to face with a bear

Thanks for all your comments in yesterday’s post about the Lake Tahoe Ironman being cancelled after my husband signed up for it, trained his heart out, and only to be disappointed by the outcome. Ironman rectified the situation, which I have to be honest about – am shocked, really. Ironman is known for never issuing refunds, but they sent out an e-mail yesterday giving athletes options for other races for a discounted price, or signing up for Ironman Lake Tahoe 2015 for free or nearly free.

Drive-to-TahoeDespite the unfortunate circumstances which lead to cancelling Ironman Lake Tahoe on Sunday, my husband and I still managed to have a decent trip before it was called off. Our drive up took a little longer than usual, mainly due to traffic – but once we got close to Tahoe, the road cleared out.

Inn-At-Truckee-CADuring our stay we rented a room at The Inn At Truckee. The hotel itself is a little outdated but overall we had a great stay. Our room was basic, but it was spacious, clean, had an updated bathroom and dog friendly. Even though the hotel is off the I-80 we didn’t hear any highway noise throughout the night.

Inn-At-TruckeeThe Queen Room we rented included a fridge, a fridge, microwave and bonus: cable tv and free wi-fi for guests. There wasn’t a hair dryer in the room, so I walked down to the front desk and they let me borrow one for the duration of our stay. It’s great going to Ironman events like this, because we get to explore new-to-us cities, since we are new to California and this is our first time out in North Lake Tahoe. My husband and I don’t have cable, so we both love indulging in a bit of television when we’re on vacation. The Inn At Truckee was in close proximity to many shops and restaurants, so we walked anywhere if we needed to pick something up. Continental breakfast is available in the morning from 6:30am – 9:30am in the front lobby. There isn’t too much of a selection, but the fact that it’s free to guests is a bonus which we really appreciated.

However on our second night, we had a bit of unexpected company when we went outside to hop in the car and grab a bit of supper. It was dusk when we left the hotel, and we exited the side door of the hotel. This is when we came face to face with a bear. I’m surprised that my natural instinct was not to scream, but simply boot it back into the hotel, I suppose fear silenced me. Luckily we were close to the door and got back inside quickly. We were no more than 8-10 feet from this black bear, hanging out on its four paws rifling through the garbage can. The bear was as scared as we were thankfully, so it took off when we ran. The Guy mentioned our bear sighting to the friendly woman at the Inn At Truckee front desk, and she said it’s common this time of year. Holy smokes, we definitely got a freight, that’s for sure.

Bear-SightingFor comparison, the bear was at this garbage, and we were were on the path that leads to the side door shown.

Taste-Of-Nature-barThe day before the race, The Guy needed to head back to Squaw Valley where the Ironman Village was, to pick up a few essential items and tour around the expo.. This is when I decided to finally dive into one of my Taste of Nature bars. These little bars were given to us as freebies at the BlogHer conference in July, but they contacted me shortly after to see if I wanted to receive more and possibly review them. They’re delicious, Canadian, and all natural (organic + gluten free too). So I brought a bunch with me to enjoy over the weekend. Since I gave up Paleo, the majority of my snacks still are clean, and mostly paleo friendly. So this was nice to bring with me, along with my unsweetened dried mango, and raw nuts. I’ve seen them both sold in stores in the USA and in Newfoundland, Canada when I went back home to visit. I can talk more about them if  you wanted, in another blog post.

The-Village-At-SquawAlfie was being a little villain, barking at everyone in sight. Luckily most people found him cute.

Of course he’s only quiet when he’s in my arms and lemme tell you, it’s kinda difficult taking these pictures from a BlackBerry, holding a ten pounder in your arms. I have skills. Here’s a look around the Ironman Village, and Transition areas:IMTahoe-2014-vendors






No-Parking-AlfieAlfie the rule breaker.

Ironman-teesI’d like one of these two shirts. Preferably support crew.

Ironman-Bikes-in-T1The bikes all set up in transition, the day before the morning of the official race start, then cancellation.

Chair-at-Squaw-Valley-ResorAlfie and I hanging out in a massive ol’ chair in Squaw Valley Resort, where transition 2, and the finish line was.

Alfie-sitting-at-feetHe’s smiley, until you speak to him. Angry schnogg.

Athletes-MeetingAthletes meeting.

Redbull-truckI don’t think this truck has wings.

Paraglider-in-Squaw-ValleyWalking back to the car, we spotted a paraglider coming down off one of the ski hills at the Squaw Valley Resort. Not something you see everyday.

Smoke-in-Squaw-ValleyThis was also the time the smoke was at its heaviest, late afternoon in Squaw Valley – you couldn’t see too far ahead due to all of the smoke.

Bike-CourseWe had only arrived the night before, so The Guy decided to drive the Bike Course as it was known for a lot of twists and turns in the road. Shortly after I took this picture, The Guy ran over a squirrel. He was so upset, and I know this is morbid of me, but I couldn’t help but laugh when he said he’d have to pass it on his bike and knew that he was the one who killed it. I always seem to laugh at the most inappropriate times. I swear, I had to hide my face from him in the car because tears were streaming down my face from silently laughing. Poor little squirrel.

So what’s The Guy’s plan now that Ironman Lake Tahoe got cancelled? Find another race, ASAP. How about you? Did you get screwed with the Kings Fire at Lake Tahoe this weekend? Friggen’ arsonist.

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