Monday, March 29, 2010

Camp fire!

This lamp is freakin' adorable!


I received the following text from my brother last Wednesday:

I got a new surround sound system for my tv. so you could (sic) have my 5 disc DVD changer with speakers & subwoofer but I need to have your DVD player.

I had to shift things a few inches on either side to make room for the speakers and subwoofer but despite that, I think I got the better end of this deal:

And I know it's irrational but I feel like the upgraded electronics makes my place a little more guy-friendly.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


This is adorable:

Burn, Baby, Burn

I've begun the "burn" phase of my training which means more reps when it comes to weights and a focus on cardio to "shrink wrap" the muscles that we worked so hard during the "build" phase. It also means dieting of a sort - something I've never really done before. I wasn't sure exactly how to change my diet but as my trainer explains it, it's about cutting corners where I can - so, instead of using non-fat yogurt in my morning fruit protein shake, I substitute water. When I have burger, skip the bun and much of the condiments, etc. Skimping on calories where I can is easier for me to conceptualize then actually dieting. I wouldn't know where to start.

Back to the workouts. I've been walking like I'm a 100 years old the last couple days because my quads and glutes are so sore. Monday night's session was all about squats and lunges and as K said, I've flooded my muscles with lactic acid, and they haven't seen fit to forgive me for that.

To alleviate the tenderness, I decided to take a nice long epsom salt soak tonight. Now, I don't know about you, but I always feel a bit nauseous after a soak and for a long while after my bath, I'm sweating. So, a quick google of "epsom salt baths and nausea" yielded the following diagnosis: I've been overdosing on magnesium sulfate. According to this article, you're supposed to gradually increase the times and amount of epsom salt to avoid symptoms such as nausea, weakness, dizziness, headache and exhaustion.

It says novices should start at 1/4 cup per bath and slowly increase this amount to four cups over time. The time you spent in the bath should also increase gradually beginning with five minutes and working up to no more than 30 minutes. Now, this latter part seems dumb and wasteful to me. If I'm going to go through the trouble of filling my tub full of hot water I'm not going to spend just 5 minutes in it. What's the fun in that? I'll just suck it up and deal with the nausea and sweats.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shanghai Girls

I just finished reading Shanghai Girls by Lisa See and have to say that while it was just as well researched and told, it wasn't as good as Snow Flower and The Secret Fan, nor Peony in Love. Not to spoil it for anyone who has yet to read it but the book seemed to end in haste and for that reason I was left dissatisfied.

From the backcover:

In 1937 Shanghai - the Paris of Asia - twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree - until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth and that to repay his debts, he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from Los Angeles to find Chinese brides. As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime from the Chinese countryside to the shores of America. Though inseperable best friends, the sisters also harbo(u)r petty jealousies and rivalries. Along the way they make terrible sacrifices, face impossible choices, and confront a devesatating life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are - Shanghai girls.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Finding my rhythm

I've started running outside again in preparation for the Sporting Life 10K held annually on the first Sunday of May. The weather has been fantastic this week and I've done pretty well for myself considering the longest distance I've run is maybe 3K on the treadmill after my workout, which is entirely different from running outside.

The Martin Goodman Trail is my usual haunt as it's 10 minutes from my doorstep. And you know what I've noticed during my last couple runs - both of which have been just over 4+ miles? During the first half of my run heading west, I'm prone to stitches and have to walk a bit since I seem to always be running against the wind. But on my return, with the wind at my back, I'm able to run pretty much non-stop save for the odd traffic light near the end. Weird right? Why is that? I mean, the wind doesn't always blow east right? So why is it that I'm always running against it?

I wonder if the stitches show up at the start because I'm still trying to figure out my pacing and by the time I'm ready to double-back home, I've got my rhythm down and am able to run back comfortably without any real pause. I'll have to see how this running season unfolds...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm a couch potato

My sister and I weren't particularly close growing up given the dynamics of being close in age with a widowed working mother who always told me I had to be the responsible one and take care of my younger siblings. To say that we butt heads a lot is an understatement.

I also didn't think that we had very much in common, but I'm coming to learn that we're not as different as I once thought. For one thing, we love the same procedural dramas on TV - and it's not like we ever really watched them together or recommended them to each other either. We discovered the shows independently and only discovered we had them in common afterwards.

Like Bones. And NCIS, and now NCIS: Los Angeles. And Castle! I was wondering what all these shows had in common besides the crime-solving angle, and it's the humour. All of these shows are funny. The characters and their chemistry make for a very enjoyable hour.

And since we're on the topic of TV, I figured I'd come clean and admit how much TV I watch. So aside from the 4 shows above, I also follow:
* Glee - can't wait for it to return next month!
* The Mentalist - got hooked watching old episodes on Air Canada
* Lie to Me - it's back in June!
* Fringe - I stopped watching it for a bit because I got scared but have come back to it
* FlashForward - I've had a think for Joe Fiennes since Shakespeare in Love
* Vampire Diaries - never read either series but this is way better than Twilight in my opinion
* The Good Wife - Julianna Margulies I had a crush on Josh Charles when he was in Threesome (Lara Flynn Boyle was so beautiful once upon a time)
* How I Met Your Mother - love NPH!

Wow. That's 12 shows! Of course, I also catch a few design shows on HGTV including Pure Design and the latest edition of Sarah's House which just debuted last week! Thank goodness for my PVR! It's worth every penny I spent on it for the time and freedom it's given back to me!

Anyway, here's the promo for the highly-anticipated 100th episode of Bones that brings us back to when Booth and Brennan first met. Can't wait!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pretty Pretty

Came across this post about bedding on Apartment Therapy in my reader and was taken by this image of West Elm's Organic Summer Leaf Duvet & Shams. As my piglet would say, isn't it "pretty pretty"?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

I picked up Haruki Murakami's memoir on running in London last Spring and decided it was time to read it as I begin to train for the Sporting Life 10K on May 2nd.

It's a quick read about his psychology as he prepared for various marathons and triathlons and I found it inspiring. I'm rather looking forward to heading out for runs along the lake now!

On Beauty and QT with my sister

I finished Zadie Smith's On Beauty last week. I read her critically-acclaimed debut novel, White Teeth, quite a few years ago and remember enjoying it but not really getting what all the hype was about. I get it now.

She has this knack for observation and description that amazes me. There's this one scene in the novel in which the 3 Belsey children bump into each other in Boston and she describes the comfort that comes from familiarity that I totally related to:

They caught up with each other's news casually, leaving long, cosy gaps of silence in which to go to work on their muffins and coffees. Jerome - after two months of having to be witty and brilliant in a strange town among strangers - appreciated the gift of it. People talk about the happy quiet that can exist between two lovers, but this too was great; sitting between his sister and his brother, saying nothing, eating.

I experience this same ease when I'm with my brother and sister. There's no need to fill in the silence. We can sit quietly over a meal and say nothing and it's completely OK. I spent a great week with my sister in Vancouver. We shopped and ate and played with Piglet. And we found her wedding dress at the BCBG outlet so big win there!

(This is totally lame but only just noticed that there's a profile of a woman's head on the cover. It wasn't obvious to me while I read the book but it's completely apparent now in the image.)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Little Miss Independent

Me: Do you need help, Baby?
Piglet: No thank you, dai yee, I do it myself.
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