Walking for exercise

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Walking for exerciseI’ve been walking and walking and walking… almost daily.  When I’m at work I’ve logged over 12 000 iPhone steps in a shift sometimes.  So, I really think I walk enough.  I’ve walked more than I’ve ever walked in my adult life.  So, why oh why do my clothes feel so tight?!?  I’ve been eating healthier than ever.  Hardly any added sugar at all. And I’m drinking bucket loads of water!  It’s as if the second I turned fifty my metabolism called it quits!

As well as all the wonderful walking for exercise I’m doing, I’ve been getting other exercise also in our home gym.  I’m lifting weights, using body weight, and doing various circuits.  All in all I’m doing much more than I used to do, say, in my twenties and thirties.  So, now I really do understand that it takes a lot, and I mean a lot, more work to stay fit once you hit this age.  So unfair!  I really feel like whining!  Young ones out there… listen up… appreciate what you have… it most likely won’t stay that way forever!

Walking for exerciseYesterday I enjoyed yet another one of my daily walks on a somewhat overcast day.  I have a beautiful stretch of seven days off from work right now.  I just wish the weather would cooperate a bit more :(  That is the nice thing about working long hours and working shifts… the longer stretches of days off once in a while.  I must say I really am lucky to have such beautiful nature so close to me.  I can just step out my door and start walking and literally be on the alert for bears and cougars (yes cougars) while enjoying the beautiful forests around me. 

We also have horse back riding trails around here still.  Even though development has really sped up around here… unfortunately, you can still hear the occasional horse hoofs on my street as they head for the trails.  We have a few large equestrian centres close by here, so, there are actually quite a few riders on the trails.  We also have a lot of filming that happens here and I see the horses from these equestrian centres being used quite a bit.

Walking for exerciseWhen I walk I try to walk at quite a brisk pace.  I’m not a runner, so, my walking tends to get quite fast sometimes, so, it’s nice to be on the trails instead of on the street for everyone to see :)

Walking for exerciseIsn’t nature beautiful and odd?  I have no idea what this huge growth on this tree is.

Walking for exercise - catching bugsThen I passed these funny containers that were attached to some of the small trees at the side of the road.  Apparently the city checks out the various bugs that get themselves caught in the traps to keep track of any new infestations.  Good to know. 

Walking for exercise - flowers in the weedsI was admiring these pretty flowers in amongst the weeds on the side of the road when a lady called out to me and asked me if I liked the flowers?  Apparently she had leftover wild flower seeds that she threw into the field across the street from her house.  She was saying she wanted to get in there and weed. Huh?

Walking for exerciseWeeding around the flowers would be an insurmountable task as it’s a complete forest that she was talking about!  I’d say let the flowers grow amongst the weeds. 

Walking for exercise - squirrel in treeThen I ran into this monstrosity of a  squirrel.  Sorry for the blurry pic! He was one huge, healthy, well fed squirrel!

I’m loving my walks!  Tomorrow I’m going for a nice hike with one of my sisters and then we’re going to have lunch… of course.  Then later in the week I’m going for a hike with a new friend that I’ve recently met.  I got to know her blog first which is iFOODreal.  Olena is a clean eating FREEK!  Check out her blog for great tasting, easy to make family friendly recipes.  Bonus… it turns out she lives in my neighborhood:)

That’s about it for now.  I’ve a bunch of new workout routines that I’ve been really enjoying doing that I’m going to share with you soon, as well as, some makeup favourites.

If you’ve hit fifty (or you’re close to it), any tips on keeping the midline svelte and trim????

Refreshed and Fit

No buy month – update

Simple lifeMy no buy month has been going really well.  I have had no desire to buy anything new for myself.  I’m not sure if that speaks to my self-restraint, or, that I really do have an excess of “things”.  Either way I’m actually planning to continue the no buy month beyond the month.  It’s also taken some pressure off.  I don’t even bother looking at my emails from shops or save them to check out later… I just delete and it feels good!

I’ve only been buying food and any household necessities like cleanser, soap, toothpaste and so on.  I haven’t purchased any face or body creams, hair products, make up, clothes, and knik knacks.  As I said in my original post, I did buy one book, that I had been wanting to get that was available at Costco.  I’ve got so many partial bottles of hair care products (handed down to me by my daughter) that I should be good for quite a while.  Skin care products are another story though.  When I need sun screen I’ll definitely repurchase and when I’ve used up all my skin care products I’ll definitely need to repurchase as needed. 

What I’ve been doing is writing a running list of things that I think I need.   Some of its clothes and shoes, and, some of its things like self-tanners I’d like to try (I’m trying to stay out of sun and use self-tanners only for added colour).  As the weather is getting really warm here, I’ve started to pull out my summer clothes and I see that I can really use a few new things.  But, I’m holding off buying and just writing my list :)  In June I’ll review the list and see what I really, truly need to buy. 

My biggest craving is to get some things for the home and out-door space.  I’m in the mood to start doing some small home reno’s and finish things that I’ve started.  So, some of the things on my household list are a dish rack for my kitchen counter.  The one I have, I swear, is twenty years old!  I just can’t scrub it to look clean any longer!  I also was looking into getting an ice cream maker a while back.  Something simple and not too expensive.  For my front patio railing I need to get some planters!  I got rid of the ones that I had which your ones you line with moss… I was so done with those ones! 

Old dish rack with dishesWhat did I tell you… this rack has seen better days and has been well used and loved.  Time for a new one.  Believe it or not I’ve been reading reviews on dish racks on The SweetHome and a few other sites.  I fell in love with this one.  It’s stainless steel, holds quite a bit, and drains well.  It looks more compact than the Simple Human one that I’ve been eying.  This one is a little more sleek and probably easier to store. 

Zojila Rohan Stainless Steel dish rackI love the look and functionality of the Rohan Dish Drainer from the Zojila company!  It’s bloody expensive though!  But, if I can keep a basic rubber dish drainer going for years and years, maybe I can upgrade to this one now. 


 YonanasInstead of getting an ice cream maker I’m really intrigued by this Yonanas thing-ma-jig.  I watched this YouTuber using it during her “vegan challenge” and it looked really good.  Since I try to not use dairy this would be a perfect tool to use fruit to make a soft serve type treat.  Here’s the video if you’d like to check it out.


 Well I think that’s if for now.  As you can see I’m keeping busy window shopping :) 


Refreshed and Fit

Road trip on Harley

We are planning another road trip, on the Harley, for the end of June beginning of July, when I have two weeks of holidays.  I’m so looking forward to it!  We are really enjoying these road trips on the Harley in our old age.  (I’m still feeling the sting of turning fifty!)  We’ve been having the best time.  No arguing at all.  Just having fun.  I guess when you can’t really talk for long periods of time there’s less chance of getting on each others nerves :) 

Keith is planning the trip and it looks like we are heading into Idaho and Oregon.  His goal is to find the windiest most, scenic roads.  We’re not planning all our stops, but, he’s making sure there are some interesting towns we pass through, so, that when we want to stop and stay the night, we can.

Road trip on HarleyThis is just a small section of the route we are hoping to take.  We will be heading down the Oregon Coast, and then going inland to John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, and then north to Lewiston Idaho, and back home, or the other way around. 

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument OregonThese Painted Hills in Oregon look amazing and they’re listed as one of the seven wonders of Oregon.  It’ll be fun to park the bike and go for a hike!  It’s amazing how much there is to see so close to home.  One thing I’ve noticed, also, is that I take a lot more in of the sights on the back of the bike. 

Road trip on HarleyThis is what my face looks like when I get off the bike when we arrive at our destination.  Somehow all the dirt misses Keith and lands on me, because, he’s never covered in as much grime as I am.  It must be some weird tunneling effect that gets it on me while I sit behind him :)

It’ll be fun just to get away and see the sites, stop when we’re tired, and stay the night when we feel like it.  No agenda, but, an idea of a route and a few sites we both want to see.  My ideal road trip is to have warm, sunny weather, interesting places to stop, great places to eat, and really comfortable hotels for the night… and when I say really comfortable, I mean luxurious! :)  Nothing like getting off the bike all covered in road dirt and getting into a nice warm bath, then, having a nice comfy robe to cuddle into. 

Road trip on Harley


no buy month

No buy month

I decided to do a NO BUY MONTH until June 1st.  I’ve been going a bit overboard on shopping for makeup and clothes for the past several months. I’m sure to most what I’ve bought is barely anything, but, compared to how much I’ve spent on myself in the past, it’s been substantially more.  

I haven’t bought anything too frivolous.  Mostly things like trail runners, summer sandals, loafer type shoes, some shirts, and a light coat.  Makeup on the other hand is another story!  I’ve bought several lipsticks, lip liners, powders, and more.  I barely go through make up!  I have to throw most things out because they get so old or outdated :)  So, I really have no need to keep buying more.  A couple of thing that I’ve been burning through, which is totally strange for me, is my favourite lip liner and the Anastasia eye brow pencil.  My make up drawer is over flowing which is very unusual for me.  While it has been fun to buy all this pretty makeup I really need to stop for a while and take an inventory of what I actually have now. 

This NO BUY MONTH happened while my sister and I were in Washington shopping on my birthday.  We both just felt like we were buying and spending money when we really didn’t need to.  Of course we both love to shop, but, we are both also saving for some substantial expenses coming up.  I was feeling that I don’t really need to get anymore “things”.  I should use up what I have at home and see how it goes.  This was April 21st.  We decided to not buy anything other than groceries until June 1st. 

Today was a bit tougher.  I went for lunch with my daughter and my niece in a really cute little town and window shopped in some really nice home decor stores.  It was great to leave without spending a dime.  I’m a few weeks into it and I haven’t bought a plant, a lip gloss, a moisturizer, not even a pack of socks at Costco!  Ok… I have to confess that I went to Costco last week and I saw a book that I had heard about recently which was getting really good reviews… and I bought it.  I was going to look for it once the NO BUY MONTH was over, but, I gave in and bought it.  I’m going to tell you about the book another time.  Let’s just say if what the book talks about works I’ll be a very happy person :)

Field during my walk

Pretty view from my morning walk

Update on my drink more water challenge :)  Well let me tell you… I have been living in a dream world!  I was not drinking nearly enough water.  I haven’t yet been able to drink four litres of water in a day!  What I have learned from this is that I was not drinking enough water!  I’m lucky if on some days I drank four cups (one litre) of water.  The most I’ve been able to drink in a day is 3.5 litres.  I’m not stopping though!  Even if I don’t drink four litres of water in a day I’m drinking at least twice as much as I drank on some days, which is a good thing.

The weather is beautiful here in Vancouver, very summer-like right now.  This can change in a quick flash, so, we have to make the best of it while it’s here.  My husband and I both have the weekend off which is nice and he was talking about insuring the Harley and maybe going on a long ride.  Sounds good to me!

                                                               No buy month




drink more water

Drink more water

It feels like summer has arrived here on the west coast today for sure.  Sunshine all day long!  Along with the hot weather comes the challenge of keeping well hydrated every day. Recently I saw a link, on Twitter I think, to a story about a woman in the UK who committed to drinking a gallon of water for thirty days.  An imperial (UK) gallon of water is equivalent to four and half litres.  She saw marked improvements in her overall well-being, but, she also admitted to not drinking very much water throughout the day prior to this. 

I thought I was doing well with my water consumption until I actually counted what I drank in a day!  We all know about the “drink eight cups of water” in a day rule, but, when I’m not really sweating heavily or eating I tend not to drink as much water.  I make a conscious effort to start the day with a big, tall glass of water, to get my intestinal tract moving :)  If I’m not working I try to drink a glass of water every time I remember, but, I’m pretty sure I’m not keeping up.  When I work a twelve-hour shift I don’t drink enough.  I was alarmed about a week ago at how concentrated my urine was when I was at work.  I was thinking at that point that I really need to make sure I drink enough water.  Then I saw the article on the daily hiit about Sarah and I made a commitment to myself to drink four litres of water a day for 30 days also and see what happens.  I started April 30th! I need to drink more water!

When Sarah read a recent survey suggesting that at least one in five women in the UK consumes less than the recommended daily intake of water, she decided to conduct an experiment. What would happen if she drank the recommended amount every day for a month?

I know based on my nursing experience and education how important staying hydrated is to a person’s health.  When someone’s critically ill, intubated, and on numerous drug infusions to keep them alive, we monitor all fluid intake and output.  We even take into account how much fluid you lose with your respirations.  Since our bodies are mostly water, approximately 60% it stands to reason if we are at our optimum fluid levels we will feel better!  In the article the woman talks about her skin looking better, less crepiness around her eyes, dark circles diminishing, joints not as stiff, and a better functioning intestinal tract.  Those are a lot of positives to come out of plain old water!

So, since I started keeping track of my water intake and attempting to drink four litres per day, I have to admit I have only achieved two litres and three litres per day so far.  (I need to drink more water!)  Plus I feel like I’m floating away.  So, if trying this hard and actually keeping track of my fluid intake managed to get me to the average daily requirement… I can safely say I was way under-drinking!

Drink more water

I use this Costco purchased cup with a straw for my daily drinking.  It holds 500 mls filled to the brim.  I need to drink eight of these to amount to the four litres I’m aiming to drink in a day.  So, far I’ve been managing four to six of these!  Not good enough.  I told my son what I was doing and he didn’t agree.  He said, “athletes need to drink four litres of water a day, not you!”  He also pointed out that if your urine is pale and clear you’re fine.  Well mine hasn’t been and I know that’s a huge indicator that I wasn’t drinking enough water.  I’m not counting any coffee, tea, or wine that I may drink as part of the daily fluid intake.  I’m strictly counting water. 

What do I hope to gain from this?  Hmmm… here are a few things from my wish list:

  1. wake up feeling fully rested
  2. decreased bloating
  3. regular bowel habits
  4. no headaches
  5. plumper skin
  6. increased energy
  7. moist lips
  8. decreased appetite

I know there are many more benefits to staying fully hydrated, but, those are just some of the areas that I’d like to see changes.  I know when I was telling my sister about this she mentioned she would really benefit from increased lubrication in her joints.  So, all in all it’s a good thing if it encourages being better hydrated whether or not you can drink the full four litres or not.  I’m sure any increase will be beneficial. 

Drink more water

I will let you know how it turns out.  But, definitely have a look at the article which shows Sarah and her physical changes over the thirty-day period.  I’m going to keep my cup with me at work and I’ll bring some sliced limes with me too.  I prefer the flavour of limes to lemons.  I sometimes just get so full of water that I feel like I can’t take another sip.  At work we have an ice machine and with my limes I’m sure I can manage.  The only thing that may hold me back is when it gets super busy I don’t drink never mind take a bathroom break… and that’s bad! 

Drink more water

I have been going on several walks weekly, mostly by myself, but, sometimes with my husband or a friend.  It’s tough to coordinate sometimes because of the different days I’m off.  But, I am lucky to have these beautiful trails close by my home to enjoy.  My journey to feel healthier my be slow at times, but, it’s progressing and that’s what’s important!

Have a great week!

Drink more water

Mineral sunscreen I love!

Sunshine - mineral sunscreen I love

I wish this was today!  We’ve had some beautiful sunny days here in the burbs of Vancouver, but, today isn’t one of them!  It’s been hailing and raining on and off all morning.  But, even when the day is rainy and grey you need to wear sunscreen.  I wasn’t always one to do that myself.  Actually it’s only been the last five years or so that I’ve really put a conscious effort into wearing sunscreen daily.  When I was younger I did wear foundation more frequently and most of the time it did contain a SPF. 

It’s kind of funny, but, my husband was the one that started to use mineral sunscreen at first.  I noticed that he had a tube of “kids” sunscreen in the bathroom and I questioned him about it.  He told me that he had read about the harmful effects of some of the ingredients in traditional chemical sunscreens vs mineral sunscreens.  So, at some point he switched over to mineral.  He rides his motorcycle a lot in the summer and he knows it’s important to wear sunscreen and to try to avoid getting sunburns. 

I’ve been searching for a good mineral sunscreen ever since.  I don’t want my face covered in a white cream and it has to blend well.  I wrote a post a while back on a few sunscreens I tried and I’ve still been using called Mineral Sunscreen or Chemical.  I watched Hot and Flashy and she explained the way sunscreens work really well in this video on her YouTube channel:







Here’s a video where she rates mineral sunscreens:






 While I like the sunscreens I’ve been using, they are not very thick in texture, not easy to blend and leave my face very whitish.  My husband wears them alone (and doesn’t really care about the whitish cast to his face) but, I don’t like that look when I’m out and about… unless it’s the beach or camping (neither which I’ve done in years).

My sister and I went across the border to Washington on my birthday, for some shopping, Trader Joe’s, and lunch!  I’d been hunting for the Neutrogena sunscreen with Purescreen that was mentioned in the video, but, I couldn’t find it in Canada, so, that’s what I had on my list to check out when we went to the USA. 

Neutrogena purescreen mineral sunscreen

I found this in one of the drugstores.  While it’s not exactly the one she mentioned.  It is Neutrogena and it is the one with Purescreen.  It’s all fragrance free which is great and the active ingredients are titanium dioxide 4.9% and zinc oxide 4.7%.  I’ve been using it and I really like it.  It’s very easy to blend and it really doesn’t leave my face as white as the others.  I would definitely wear this one alone without makeup.  I’ve put makeup over it too and there is no issue at all.  I found this tube for $12,98 and the second tube I bought was half price.  Since I enjoy wearing this mineral sunscreen I’m sure I’ll wear it more often.  My goal is to wear it daily!  The above video explains how the sun rays really do get to you even while inside or on a cloudy day causing sun damage.  I’m now the ripe old age of fifty :( I’m continuing on with the quest to stay healthy and youngish!

 Shopping with my sister - mineral sunscreen I love

My sister Liisa and I on our shopping trip.  What’s shopping without a selfie or two?!

Let me know what your favourite sunscreen is in the comments.  Have you found a good mineral sunscreen in Canada?Mineral sunscreen I love