7/23/2014

SOMETIMES I LIKE FLOWERS TOO


While I'm most definitely a plant person, occasionally I treat myself to some flowers too. I think plants add life and interest to a space while flowers I think are just...pretty. And sometimes there's nothing wrong with "just pretty." When I do buy flowers, these are what I tend to go for:

+Peonies 
There's a reason everyone loves peonies. The large blooms, with their delicate petals, remind me of tissue paper and the fragrant smell is intoxicating in the best way. A simple bouquet is beautiful and a real treat but equally pretty (and a totally cost efficient way to enjoy these beauties) is a single large bloom in a simple glass vase with some water.

+Dahlias
Another one with an incredibly large head made up of tons of small petals that makes for such an interesting effect - kinda like a honeycomb! The repetitive pattern makes it really something special. Dahlias also look equally beautiful in a simple bouquet or as a single stem in water. A total statement.

+Eucalyptus Branches 
It was a very happy accident that I discovered these. I saw them in a local floral shop and fell for the small green petals and wildness of the branches. The shopkeeper told me what it was and I remembered all I had read about them. Incredibly affordable (a decent sized bunch can cost less than $5) I display it simply in a simple cylinder shaped vase with a bit of water and let the branches drop every which way to make a wild subtle statement. I also tie a small bunch around my shower head with a piece of twine - the steam from the shower causes the eucalyptus to occasionally release a subtle but noticeable smell.

+Split Leaf Philodendron 
Not really a flower but since it doesn't require dirt I've included it. With these I say the bigger, the better. You really only need 1-3 stems in a vase with some water for a simple statement.

+Carnations 
Carnations tend to get a bad rap and are seen as cheap-y flowers. I, however, think a bunch or two (with carnations there is power in numbers!) of a single colour make a really pretty, inexpensive, bouquet.

+Orchid 
For the past few years I've mostly avoided orchids as I found them kind of...cliche, overused, and a bit "pretentious." But I recently picked one up on sale and almost 3 months later it's still going strong with 10 beautiful flower heads. I tend to buy these when only one or two blooms are open so that I can enjoy it longer as each new bloom opens up. Because, to me, an orchid reads so "fancy" I tend to display it in settings that aren't too done. Like by my kitchen sink, which perpetually has dishes in it.

What are some of your favourite flowers?

7/21/2014

DROP THE FAT & GET FIT: WEEK #2


THE NUMBERS 
+up/down: -1.6 lbs
+to date: -6.8 lbs
+to goal: 13.2 lbs

THOUGHTS
+So I think I've found a gym that I'm really into. I have a post coming up on my new gym and why I think this one is working for me so all I'll say for now is what those people who are into fitness say is true: it's about finding a gym and a routine that works for you. Once you find one that clicks, you'll actually enjoy going to the gym. Yes, you'll enjoy it. Crazy, I know.

+A friend from work also joined the same gym after I told her about it and while our schedule has only lined up for us to go together once (so far), it's been really motivating and great having a friend also go to the same gym. We now talk about our classes, the trainers, and how sore our body is. I text her words of encouragement before her classes and she does the same for me...even checking in when I'm done with a "girl, you good?!" It's pretty great.

+Despite going to the gym four times this week and really pushing myself, the weight was slower to come off than week #1; the number didn't change until the end of the week. While at first it was disapointing, I had to remind myself that it was a long weekend and I had bbq twice and treated myself to a McFlurry - so the fact that the number remained the same was actually a win...and then to lose at the end of the week...not bad. I don't want to deprive myself of food I like so learning moderation is a good thing. I can still eat the foods and treats I like, in moderation, and lose weight. The difference was this week I treated these foods as treats and indulgences instead of a regular part of my diet.

*Note: This update is a few weeks behind as I'm currently starting Week 5. I'll continue to post updates over the next few days until it's caught up.

7/17/2014

DROP THE FAT & GET FIT: WEEK #1


A few days ago I looked in the mirror and was not thrilled with what I saw looking back. Now before I go further I'll say that I'm not one of those girls who doesn't see my body for what it is. You know those girls: the ones who perpetually think they're overweight and have jiggly bits when that couldn't be further from the truth. Well, I'm not one of those girls. I'm pretty honest with myself and when I looked in the mirror I was not pleased. I turned to look at my back, which has always been my favourite part of my body, and saw, on the sides, three little creases...the beginning of rolls. Side rolls people. On my back. Right then and there I decided that I was going to drop at least 20 pounds by my birthday which is 9 weeks away. No more excuses. No more half hearted attempts. Side rolls on the back? Shit just got real people.

I thought I'd chronicle (see what I did there) the next 9 weeks for those of you who may be interested. While the way I eat is not entirely bad I do need to make some changes and be way more active than I am now; significant lifestyle changes need to be made. I have a bit of a sweet tooth, a penchant for all things salty, and bread-y, and carb-y, and absolutely no endurance so this isn't going to be easy. But I'm committed. And I'm honest. So I plan on sharing here the good, the bad, and the ugly. Here's how Week 1 went:

THE NUMBERS 
+starting weight: bit of a secret
+up/down: -5.2lbs
+to date: -5.2lbs
+to goal: 14.8

NOTES
+I downloaded a bunch of apps to help support and keep me motivated. I'll take a week or two to see which work for me and which don't and then perhaps I'll do a post on my favourites?

+I tracked 80% of what I ate in My Fitness Pal (a great free app!). Tracking everything I ate, and being able to see the calorie count, totally helped me to make better choices and to be mindful of my portion size.

+I tried to do some type of physical activity (even just walking more...one of the apps I downloaded was a step counter/tracker) every day. I also looked into fitness boot camp classes or getting a gym membership.

+I weighed myself at approximately the same time every morning. Weighing myself everyday will probably not be something I'll continue to do after Week 2 or 3. While I was down overall, there was a day or two when I was +0.8 and it had me feeling a bit dejected...not the best way to start the day (but it has been a motivating factor this first week seeing the number go down).

THOUGHTS
+Keeping my eating on track at work is going to be challenging - someone always seems to be bringing in baked treats and goodies for one reason or another and it can be tough to resist (though I did fairly well this week!). Also, I've noticed that at around 2pm during the work week I hit a wall - I totally crash and lose energy (prior to starting this challenge/lifestyle change). This lasts for about 45 minutes and upon "snapping out of it" I have a chocolate bar break with colleagues (we split 1)...I'll need to come up with a way to beat this wall and get my afternoon sugar fix. At the end of this first week I was super surprised to see that I had lost 5.2 lbs. Considering I ate well for about 5/7 days and haven't started getting too physical yet (that's too come!) that's not too bad and I'm really happy with that number. I don't know if it's all water weight or what but I'll take it!

*Note: This update is a few weeks behind as I'm currently in Week 4. I'll continue to post updates of Week 2-3 over the next few days until it's caught up but even then, these updates will always post 1 week behind.

7/15/2014

RADIO SILENCE


My recent blog silence started out unintentional and then turned intentional as I decided I wanted to take some time to think about what I wanted Chronicled to be and the direction I wanted it to take. Blogging is a lot of hard work; ask anyone who has ever had a blog (or if you have one you know exactly what I'm talking about). Coming up with content, editing images (even just resizing them), writing everything up in a coherent way, laying posts out...it's work. And you have to be dedicated to it. And you should enjoy it. So why blog? Why do I continue to blog? What, if anything, do I want to get out of Chronicled? And where do I want it to go? I've been blogging in this space for four years now (and blogged at a variety of other urls for about two years before Chronicled) so after six years of blogging these questions were bound to come up.

As I was pondering these questions during my self-imposed blogging break, I discovered some new-to-me blogs that really began to re-inspire me and this whole blogging thing. I enjoyed exploring the archives of these blogs and equally enjoyed reading new posts as they showed up in my reader...almost daily. Slowly I began to answer the questions I'd posed to myself - the whys, whats, and wheres, and slowly, reading these new-to-me blogs, I began to get that desire to share in this space again...but with some changes guided by a specific direction.

Some changes will be immediately evident - like a new look for the blog (that might change when/if I decide to finally move Chronicled to wordpress) and others will become more clear as I begin to write and share in this space again. I took the time to reorganize a lot of my old posts into new categories to clean things up a bit (and am still in the process of organizing so bare with me) and I must say I'm really enjoying this new, super clean, simplified look.

So what now? Well, go ahead, poke around a bit, and definitely stay tuned for what's coming up next. I've got a lot of posts coming up (including a giveaway that I'm really excited about). I've got a new blog series starting up, Advice To Self, where some of the many people I've crossed paths with on the interwebs share advice they'd give their younger selves (really good stuff as I always love reading snippets of advice that, perhaps, can also apply to myself). I hope you'll stick around and let me know what you think of the changes.

And on an unrelated note, summer is well underway and I've really been enjoying it. This past winter felt extremely long and was far too cold; the coldest in about 20 years actually! I hope your summer has been off to a lovely start as well.

6/09/2014

DIYS YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO MAKE





I love a good DIY. What makes a DIY good? Four things: it's simple, doesn't require any (or too many) fancy or expensive tools, materials are easy to find locally, and most importantly - it doesn't look like a DIY.

Most bloggers share DIYs on their blogs but my favourite has to be those done by Molly of Almost Makes Pretty. They meet all of the requirements above and just look so darn good - don't you think?

Some of my favourites:


See all of Molly's DIYs here.

+images via Almost Makes Perfect