A Weekend Away in Calgary

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There’s something to be said for weekending out of town.

Ian and I went to Calgary last weekend and the timing couldn’t have been better. I had been feeling run down by school and taking three days off from studying, writing and reading was just what I needed.

We arrived in Calgary late Thursday night and managed to eat a bag of chips for dinner before passing out in the hotel. Classy, no!? Ian woke up early on Friday to do work stuff while I managed to do a 10 km run. It was my longest run in months and even though it felt horrible at the time, afterwards I felt like a million bucks.

Post run, I walked around an adorable little neighbourhood where I spent lots of money. After scarfing down a fresh spinach and feta croissant (OMG), I perused through the Susie Q Bead Shop for an hour. I left with a bag full of goodies, and now I can’t wait to flex my jewelry making skills.

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Friday afternoon, we jumped on a bus and headed to Lake Louise for Ian’s work party. From a distance, the hotel looked like a castle nestled between three giant mountains and perched on the edge of a beautiful lake. I felt like a  princess in a fairy tale and I may or may not have quietly sung some Disney songs as we pulled in.

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Saturday afternoon we reluctantly ventured back to Calgary. I could have stayed in Lake Louise forever, but I don’t think they take too kindly to squatters. That night, we met up with Ian’s friends and hit a local pub for beers, burgers and hockey. How very Canadian :)

What’d you do this weekend? Ever been to Lake Louise? 

xx

Ursula

Nail Art Fail and Fun times

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If you follow me on the Instagram, then you might already know I have been trying my hand at nail art (hehe)

A couple of weeks ago, I splurged on a gel manicure and now, two weeks later it’s starting to grow out. Instead of forking out more money, I decided to cover up the cuticles with a flashy polish. Brilliant right?

Wrong.

Apparently nail art is hard. Jesh. Who knew right??

It all started out fine. I used a few pieces of tape and managed to create a little thumb art…

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But that was the extend of my artistic skills, the rest was not so pretty. I think I’ll leave the nail art to the professionals from now on.

On an unrelated note, Ian and I are flying to Calgary this weekend. Eek!! I’m so excited! I can’t wait to go out for dinner and order coffees from a cute cafe (apparently I’ve been in a small town too long). I might even hit up a craft store…quite thrilling.

Hope you have a great weekend too!

xx

Ursula

Five For Five

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Sara was kind enough to send me this list a few weeks ago. Since we all know I love lists, I was quite happy to oblige.

Psst if you haven’t checked out Sara’s blog, please do. She’s such an inspiration and makes me want to live in a tiny Swedish town where I can enjoy winter sports and the great outdoors.

Okay onto the questions:

1. Which food is your all time favorite?

That’s easy, peanut butter! I often find myself eating copious amounts of it. Yum!!

2. Your favorite dessert?

I think I’ll have to copy Sara’s answer on this one and say anything and everything with chocolate. I also love carrot cake with cream cheese icing…..A.MAZ.ING.

3. What would you train if you had a free day?

I’d probably start by waking up really early and going to a swim class. Then I’d do a bike ride with Ian along the back country roads or maybe a hike with the dog. I’d finish the day off with a relaxing yoga class and a bath (and a glass of wine!)

Pretty much as long as I’m outside and with people I’m having fun.

4. Which is your favorite piece of training equipment?

Does my bike count? If not, I’d say my bike trainer. Come winter, I just pop the bike in the trainer and pedal away while watching Downton Abbey or some equally awesome TV show.

5. Name something you are grateful for right now!

My puppy! We were really worried Atlas the Dog had hip dysplasia last weekend. When I took him to the vet on Monday we found out he’s in mint condition. That being said, he won’t be able to join me on any long runs or challenging snowshoe adventures, but he’s a healthy bulldog and I couldn’t be happier. Adopting Atlas the Dog is one of the best things Ian and I ever did as a unit.

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I’m sending the same list to Nicole, Susie, Jaelan and Tracy!

xx

Ursula

DIY Holiday Cards

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It’s late November, which means it’s time to flex your handwriting skills and get to work on this year’s holiday cards.

Every year I try to send out holiday cards, and every year I struggle to find people’s home addresses. You’d think by now I’d have started writing them down, but apparently I’m not that organized. Instead, I’m always scrambling last minute.

Well this year will be different. I swear!

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What you’ll need:

  • blank white cards (I bought 6 for $1.25 at the Dollar Store)
  • an inky black pen
  • a wine cork
  • a knife
  • paint, acrylic or oil will work

Start by taking a sharp knife and cutting out a stamp in your wine cork. I chose to carve out a tiny pine tree because it was super easy and adorable (no need to get all fancy up in here).

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Dip your cork stamp into a dollop of paint and start decorating your cards. I kept it simple with three pine trees in the bottom right corner of each card.

Tip: stamp a scrap piece of paper first to wipe off any excess paint.  Maybe even practice a few times to help you decide how much paint you want to use.

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Decorate your cards with your inky pen. I chose to add snowflakes and random “winter scenes” like figure skaters, a mountain, tiny snowmen and a little winter cabin. Have fun and be creative. Just remember, they don’t have to be perfect. I personally think they look better when the designs are minimal and simple.

When in doubt, let the ink dry. I ruined one card because I accidentally rested my hand on the design and smeared it. Quite sad really.

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Finish the cards off with a thoughtful and personal message.

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I’m hoping to add a picture of Ian, Atlas the Dog and I inside each card because we all know families love getting pictures over the holidays. I just need to convince both Ian and Atlas to sport some cute holiday sweaters….

Do you send holiday cards? Do you ever make them yourself? 

xx

Ursula

Cocoa Oatmeal Cookies (GF & No Baking Required)

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved these cookies. They’re chewy, sweet and flavourful. They’re super easy to make and require no baking skills whatsoever. I like to think of them as “the gateway cookie” because even the worst cook (*ahem *ahem) can make them.

They’re also a nostalgic cookie because eating them makes me think back to when I was a youngster and I used to help out my Mom in the kitchen.

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What to use:

  • 1/2 cup of margarine or butter
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk (or cow’s milk)
  • 4 tbsp of cocoa
  • 1/2 cup of crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 tsp of vanilla
  • 3 & 1/2 cup of oatmeal

What to do:

Start by combining the first four ingredients in a pot and stir on medium heat until sugar and margarine is melted. Next add the peanut butter and stir until melted. Add the vanilla and remove from heat. Mix together with oatmeal and spoon onto a tray with wax paper. Place in the freezer for 1 hour or the fridge for 3 hours.

Tip: after a few days these cookies become deliciously crumbly. If you prefer a more solid cookie, try using creamy peanut butter instead.

Enjoy!

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What type of cookies make you feel nostalgic? 

xx

Ursula