Tag Archives: gina

sulphur springs saturday!

there’s going to be a lotta big mileage numbers recorded into some runners’ logbooks after this weekend at the sulphur springs trail races! today, over near ancaster, you will find ultrarunners participating in 50k, 50 mile and 100 mile distances [there are also 10k and 25 k events, and while still worthy distances, those are not ultras!]. i will be eagerly awaiting the results: one of my fb friends, s.p., is in the 100 miler. this has got to be s.p.’s eighth or ninth attempt at completing this distance, and i soooo hope he gets his finisher’s belt buckle this weekend. s.p. has run amazing mileage thus far in 2012, and it’d be great to see all his dedication rewarded. i think some other fb friends are running, too, so i wish them all the best! you planned the work, now work the plan (and drink up – it’s going to be hot!).

sulphur springs is no walk in the park for a 100 mile race. the course is very hilly, and the trails can be quite technical, at times. i ran the 25k distance a couple of years, and still have the scar on my left elbow from a spill i took after catching my toe on a tree root as a souvenir (well, that and the race tshirt, of course!). one of these years, i would love to volunteer at an aid station at sulphur – it’d be super cool to observe the will and might of these runners!

have you ever stayed up all night to participate in a sporting event? i know fran recently did when she walked in the relay for life! and when i was five, i remember dad being a part of a 24 hour relay running team, back in the 70’s – i clearly recall sitting in the back seat of the car as we picked him up at seagram stadium!


on wednesay, i was chauffering little e and all of a sudden on z103.5 a song came on that i have not heard in ages – well, since i used to teach aerobics back in the 90’s. i am sure little e thought that aunti had flipped her lid because i squealed excitedly as i animatedly explained to her that this was one of my favourite songs EVER! i had completely forgotten what a kick-ass song it is! [i did not use that term when chatting with little e!].

google is such a beautiful thing. i am really bad with song titles, so i came home wednesday eve and simply googled, “i’m knock knock knocking, knocking on the back of your door” and within two seconds double vision’s “knockin‘” was blasting out of my laptop. man, playing this song is so ENERGIZING!!! it makes me very HYPER (not the best emotion at 10 pm!) and brings a huge smile to my face, both because of the fantastic beat and the happy memories of aerobics-teaching days. immediately after my google search, i bought the song on itunes – best $0.99 purchase in eons!

so watch out: i am seriously contemplating having knockin‘ and ONLY knockin’ on dad’s my ipod on endless repeat for my next running event. the combo of knockin’ + compression socks could bring about quite the race experience!

what is a song that revs you up? my favourites all have a strong and quick bass beat, i’ve noticed.


remember the super cute card that gina sent me?

andrea’s work of art

well, gina let me know that andrea has a website where she features her cards, and you can order them from this site, as well. i’m passing along the link simply because andrea’s creations are so imaginative and so beautiful – and you may need some cards?!

are you familiar with etsy? i have poked about once, but that was it. i really like going to craft shows (like stitch n kitsch!) where you can see products *for real* and purchase directly from independent artists/creators!

have a sensational (sunsational?!) saturday!

five for (a long weekend) friday

it’s friday, it’s friday! (said in a sing-song voice of joy!). hope you have some fun plans for this weekend!

random bits of chatter:

1. a friend bestowed a r.a.o.k. upon ME this week! when i lamented on the blog about how i lost one of my brand new peacock feather earrings…

at least i have a picture to remember them by!

…the very first time i wore them, gina took it upon herself to make sure that sure that such a sorry situation would not be repeated in the future. earlier this week, i opened my mail to find the cutest card ever…

gina’s friend andrea MAKES cards as a sideline business/hobby, and this is one of her fantastic creations…

…and the card colour is even my favourite ORANGE!

thank you, g!! now i can confidently wear any hook-type earrings without the fear of ending up lopsided by the end of the day. and your card is on display in the kitchen!

[tangent: canada post forgot to stamp the postage stamp on gina’s envelope:

no markings!

so i cut it off and will re-use it. please tell me you do this, too?!].

2. dad has pretty much completed the choco bathroom transformation!

ta da!

remember the before?

the view towards the whirlpool tub…

…now looks like this!

i am absolutely thrilled with the final result. i had a vision in my head of the shade of chocolate i wanted, and this is it exactly. dad has a few spots he wants to touch up, but the main work is done. i have purchased a new white, textured bathmat and the next step is to get some new towels. the chocolate shade is going to be super easy to work with – pretty much any colour will co-ordinate (red and green at xmas, pastels in spring, earth tones in fall…).

3. late last week, my friend ken from the store (you met him here) found out that he was accepted into this november’s jfk 50 mile race. this is special because it’s the 50th anniversary of the jfk so the demand to get in is pretty fierce. what’s even more exciting is that ken is sixty-nine years old young! i am so happy for ken because he has worked really hard at his running over the last few years (his retirement project), has qualified for next year’s boston, has run more marathons this year than i can keep track of (he’s off to vermont, next), plus he is such a nice man. keep up the good work, ken! you’re an inspiration!

4. i don’t care what the calendar says about when summer starts, in my rule book, we kick off the summer season this weekend! may 2-4 welcomes summer, that is the way it is. and i will call it now: the time will FLY between now and the labour day weekend. it always does!

5. i ♥ love ♥ my pink compression socks so much, and have been wearing them with such frequency, that i invested in another pair of compression running socks this week:

this pair is by CW-X – a very respected brand for compression wear.

worn with my nike vomero 4 shoes, on this day!

mini-review: this pair of socks feels great, too! the material is super-silky. they do feel less compression-y (compressive?) than the pink CEPs, but on the flip-side they are a heck of a lot easier to get on and off. this was a good purchase! [as always, opinions are my own, i bought the CW-X socks myself – although i did use my staff discount – and CW-X (sadly) did not ask me to review these socks!].

so, the pink socks will be my fun and giggle-inducing pair, and the black socks will be for when the hammer is going down and i need to look fierce!

i’ll be taking the may 2-4 weekend OFF from this space. see you on tuesday may 22nd for the great may grocery challenge update #3! enjoy a safe and relaxing long weekend!

three socials a day…

keeps the doctor away …is good for the soul!

look who’s in town!!!

my dear friend since we were age five!

i feel like i received another christmas present yesterday. gina is visiting her family for their annual christmas vacation, and we had consulted our calendars scrupulously in order to find a time for a get-together. wednesday morning at 9 a.m. worked for us both!

we met at cora’s in cambridge. this location was a new experience for me! (oops, that’s right! i’m not tabulating those anymore!). i’ve been to the waterloo cora’s once, with dad, as our august outing-of-the-month. the cambridge location is much smaller than waterloo, but otherwise very similar.

before we knew it, it was 11:30!!! i swear someone put the clock on fast-forward. i guess that is the sign of a successful visit!

another self-portrait for our collections!


i made full use of my day off – and time in waterloo (no aunti day this week) – and met up with lisa in the afternoon “for coffee.” (i had water and a cookie as i had enough coffee/caffeine at cora’s! yes, i am forcing myself to consume coffee. you will see why on monday). the way the christmas school break fell this year, kids + teachers still have this week off. all the easier to plan a meet-up with teacher lisa!

une bonne visite, comme toujours, avec lisa!


way back in early december, dad pvr’d the hawaii ironman triathlon for me. i LOVE watching this annual broadcast of the october world triathlon championships. ever since i saw julie moss stagger through the finish line of the 1982 race, i have been captivated by this monumental physical challenge. some may say that nbc’s coverage is too treacly, but i find inspiration in watching the elites and “regular people” tackle this three-part test of physical and mental stamina. after dinner with mom and dad, i got my yearly fill of ironman inspiration.

hellooooo from the couch!

this year’s show was the usual mix of drama, emotion, and tension – but i did love the artsy feel to the camerawork of the swimming portion, and the seniors shown near the end sure displayed tenacity! i sincerely doubt i will ever be an ironman…but i am a devoted fan!


…and today, it’s back to work! with christmas gift returns slowing down, we are now entering a quieter time of year in the retail world. i miss the pre-holiday excitement already!

New Experience #18: Buy a Groupon

Groupon is one of those things that I learned about through osmosis – you know when you’re not really sure when/where/how you first heard about something, but you eventually come to understand enough that you could contribute to dinner party conversation. Other examples include Barack Obama, crocs, and deep fried Oreos.

I really became familiar with Groupon thanks to the store. Recently, area residents had the opportunity to purchase a Groupon to use at the Running Room – spend $25 and you received a $50 off coupon. So I guess I became more familiar with Groupon first from a retailer’s perspective rather than from the customer viewpoint.

I signed up to receive Groupon’s free daily emails when I blogged about Groupon [what I don’t do for blogging!]. My thoughts were that if a Groupon offer became available that I 100% knew I’d use, maybe I’d try purchasing one. What I wanted to avoid: being lured by a great-sounding deal that I’d never, ever use (ex: May 31st’s offer of 75% off laser hair removal, or the June 1st promo of Half Off Water Sport Equipment and Rental – no thanks!).

And for my first purchase attempt, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. [I know Groupon has a great reputation, but you know how it is with the first time you try something new – or maybe this is just me – but I am hesitant until I know the ins and outs of how something works].

It’s always helpful to receive personal feedback, too – friends Lee and Jeannie from the store were the first people with whom I chatted more extensively about Groupon. They got a great deal on a Crossfit Groupon and have been making good use of their twenty sessions. Their good-natured accounts of sore muscles have had me laughing in empathy on more than one occasion!

Well, late last week, a super-awesome PERFECT Groupon email appeared in my inbox:

groupon for old navy? hello! me, me, yes please!!!

Buy the Groupon for $10 and I’d get $20 *spending money* at Old Navy. I knew this was the opportunity I’d been waiting for.

For those of you unfamiliar with Groupon, here’s a quick walk-thru of what I did:

First, Groupons are only available for a limited time, usually 24 hours. So you have time to think about if you want to commit or not. If you’re like me, you thought for 37 seconds a couple hours before diving in.

You do need to create an *account* – basically your email address and a password. You make your purchase using a credit card.

yippee! my first groupon purchase!

UNLIKE signing up for a race online, though, your purchase is not completely instantaneous. That email confirmation (above) stated that within 48 hours, I would receive my Groupon. [This is because a minimum number must be sold in order for everyone to get the offer]. That is the only negative comment I would have – it would be great to know right away that your purchase a done deal, but that’s a small quibble [and a Kiki-thing as that’s just my Type A personality talking].

I got a second email 27 hours later; this one contained my Groupon!

and i am ready to shop!

Another word of advice: make sure you check the fine print BEFORE you purchase. Make sure you are aware of the expiry date. Also, can you use the Groupon on sale items? Is there a minimum purchase amount? [I have to say the Running Room Groupon has more restrictions than this Old Navy one].

I chose to print a paper copy of my Groupon…

and into my backpack it goes!

…but a very cool feature is that you can choose the mobile app. This way, you just flash a version of the Groupon on your Blackberry or iPhone at the sales associate – transaction completed paperfree!

I have until July 31st to use my Groupon. I anticipate buying summer clothing, but the nice thing about Old Navy is the wide selection. Even if I end up just buying more flipflops, it’s not going to go to waste!

So, two thumbs up to the whole concept of Groupon. I’m sold!

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Late yesterday afternoon, Gina and I rendez-vous’d at Williams COFFEE Pub. Funny story: I had a regifted regifted (yes, that’s two regifts) gift card, and we had no idea what amount of $ was on the card. Gina and I ordered drinks:

gina's smoothie and my coffee - 1st time trying william's coffee - loved it!

Our total came to $5.32. Guess how much was on the card?! $5! That worked out well!

Yesterday was an A+ weather day, so we sat outside. We both love the sun. We took time for photos, first – for the blogs, of course!

self portrait action!

So while this was great coffee, it doesn’t hold a candle to our time together. 2.5 hours later, we reluctantly said good-bye. 😦

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but our friendship began when we were five years old. That is really something. ♥ Gina ♥, can’t you please move back to Ontario ♥ ♥ ♥!?! Thank goodness we have blogs, emails, and facebook to keep us together across the miles!

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Have you ever used a Groupon? This will not be my last purchase, of that I am sure!

What was your weather like this weekend? We had a crazy-scary storm on Saturday a.m., but Sunday was a dreamboat of a day!


What’s your grocery shopping style?

I’ve been thinking about my own ever since Holly initiated a Grocery Challenge for the month of May. I love a lot of her ideas, and am going to do my own variation for this month since the two goals I set are longshots at best. My version is going to be more about coupon clipping and keeping an eye out for sale items – more to come on this another day.

I grocery shop every day since Valumart is right across the street, and I love fresh produce, so pick up my greens and fruits daily. When it comes to dry goods, I am a hoarder of staples, a buyer of multiples. Need proof? Oh ho ho, let me show the ways…

my favourite pb is on sale fro $3.49 from $5.49, so yes, i now have six in my inventory

i only recently discovered that valumart carries s'bux coffee! it's currently on sale $3.99 for 8 sachets vs $11.95 for 12 pacs AT s'bux; that's half the price!

stevia: it's hit and miss as to whether it will be in stock at the health food store; NEED stevia for coffee, thus NEED stevia stashed!

you can never have too much tp around here...my fave brand was on sale the last few weeks for $6.99 from $9.99 - score!

i generally CLEAN GREEN with lotsa white vinegar; however, toilet bowls require heavy artillery cleansers, in my book

tangent: of course, i always have a running shoe stash, too! (had to throw that in here!)

The benefits of shopping this way? I never have to worry that there’s no peanut butter for my apples or oatmeal. And obviously, I am saving money over paying full price ($2 here, $2 there = a coffee out here, a Perrier out there…).

The downsides? Storage space in the Condo Casa is at a premium (hence the messy coffee shelf), and the grocery bill gets unfairly inflated (4 x $3.49 PB + umpteen Starbucks coffee pacs DOES add up).

What’s your style when it comes to stocking goods with no expiry date? At least I know I am not alone in my stashing ways: Gina has the best story – last summer she totally loaded up on cereal. Want to know why?! – here’s her story!

A couple photos as a sneak peak…

nice work, g!!!

Any SPECIFIC food you are prone to really stocking?
Cereal is certainly one for me!

Flashback on Friendship

 After a sloowwww seven hour shift at the store, my day perked up considerably when I met my friend Gina at Starbucks late this aft!






we took turns taking self-portraits!

we switched up the background for a second series of snaps!

We chatted for two full hours, non-stop, and definitely could have used more time…heck, I bet we’d be able to close the place down, without ever having more than 1.5 seconds of silence!

Gina lives in Winnipeg but is “home” visiting family for a belated Christmas vacation. Our first order of business was discussing blogs. Gina recently started her own blog; you can read about her life with her three children (all under the age of five!) and husband Jeff, as well as her culinary masterpieces for her part-time job. We both agree that we don’t really know what we’re doing and have a lot to learn, we love blogging, and wish we had more time for it. We also love how reading each other’s blogs keeps us in touch with each other’s daily lives; since we only visit in person about 1-2 times per year (our last visit was last March), reading anecdotes and seeing photos makes us feel very in touch!

Can you believe that Gina and I have been friends since age five?! We met at church as wee ones, and have been besties ever since: through grade school, high school (we attended the same high school), university…one of our life highlights has to be the summer of 1993 when we shared an apartment together in Waterloo. Gina has been “out west” (Winnipeg or beyond) pretty much since that time, but our friendship has survived geographical separation, and I still count her as one of my best and dearest friends. It would be easy to write a book-length essay on our escapades and adventures!

I hope Gina doesn’t mind (?!!?), but I thought I’d take you on a historical journey, back to the earlier eras of our friendship…[long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away…]

my 12th birthday party in 1982 - me (centre), gina (right)

 [Sidenote: Juanita (left) and I are friends on Facebook, and still exchange yearly Christmas cards!]

i think this was march break...definitely 1986 (so glad i was careful to note dates on photos, even as a teen!)

summer, 1986

graduating grade 13, june 1989

on my wedding day - with gina as my maid of honour!

Wish I could quickly locate some photos from the apartment-sharing summer…we reminisced about those four months a bit tonight…and much laughter was involved with those memories! In fact, I associate Gina with much laughter, in general! A friend who has known you for eons is a true gift – I look forward to the next time Gina and I can visit. Until then…thank goodness for blogs!

I’ll leave you with the verse from the card that Gina gave me tonight:

Anytime, anyplace

anyway, anywhere –

If you wish for a friend,

I’ll always be there!

Thanks, Gina! ❤ 🙂