May 16, 2012:
I droooooled over a picture that my friend Brigitte Instagram’d and immediately wanted one of my own. Since Brigitte is in another country on the other side of the continent I decided to try and make my own. My version needed to meet a few rules: it had to be Paleo-friendly and grain-free/sugar-free. Also, what I loved about B’s cookie was how chewy and gooey the cookie looked - so that was a must have for my cookies.
2 cups Almond Flour
1/2 cup Coconut Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
3/4 cup Unsalted Organic Butter, melted (can sub in Earth Balance or another non-dairy choice)
1 & 1/2 cups Organic Sucanat
1 tablespoon Organic Vanilla Extract
1 egg yolk (make these egg-free by using an egg replacement)
2 cups Semisweet Vegan Chocolate Chips
Optional: Add in 1/2 cup of Crushed Walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Use cooking spray to grease cookie sheets.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter and Sucanat until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk (or egg replacement) until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Phat Beats, Sweet Tracks - on repeat!
1. Rage Against The Machine - Guerrilla Radio: http://tinysong.com/n01c
2. Beastie Boys - Make Some Noise: http://tinysong.com/10odN
3. Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick - La Di Da Di: http://tinysong.com/NxaW
4. Blackstar - reDefinition: http://tinysong.com/MzW3
5. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - They Reminisce Over You: http://tinysong.com/HMH9
6. The Pharcyde - Runnin (Philippeans Remix): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75L7L6zaNoQ
7. Dinosaur Jr. - Feel The Pain: http://tinysong.com/iwak
8. Stars - This Charming Man: http://tinysong.com/FSsI
9. Mos Def - Umi Says: http://tinysong.com/kdQX
April 18, 2012:
Over the last few years, as Spring starts to bloom and my birthday approaches I find myself feeling apprehensive. Not because I am worried about getting older (though, I genuinely believe that aging past a certain point is completely unnecessary :), it’s because I’ve fallen so in love with the previous year and I don’t want to say goodbye. Still, every year I wake up on April 18th filled with excitement, hope, promise and appreciation. This year is no different.
Even though I fell particularly hard and fast for 31, I’m so curious about what 32 will be like and can’t wait to get it started! As I say goodbye to possibly the most wonderful year of my life, I welcome the next year with wide open arms.
April 12, 2012:
Whoosh! I cannot believe how many days of the year have passed, and how many I have not blogged about. The last 40-60 days have been busy, but regardless of how much has been going on in real life (offline), I’ve really missed and neglected my “online” world.
From about March 1st (or, ~Day 61) until this past weekend (Day 98) we’ve had around 10 visitors to California, and guests to host. It’s been fun, filled with tons of laughs and love, adventurous, and … kinda exhausting. We’ve really loved having our fam & friends with us, but def feeling the host-fatigue ;)
Today was “one a dem days”… After 6 months of basking in a work-from-home set up in glorious, Sunny California, I’ve realized something. By all counts, I have a super duper sweet deal and am 1000 billion % grateful for.absolutely.everything. However, today I realized that I feel like I’m getting a little soft.
Working from home has a very long and exaggerated list of “pro’s”, and a very short and irritating list of “con’s”. For the most part, I am the master of my destiny. I’m able to create a work environment that is completely conducive to my needs and wants. Yet, at the same time, I lack a team that I can work with face-to-face. I also am guiding my own career development. Working as a consultant means that I need to come into projects equipped and ready to run. Mentorship and leadership needs to happen independently and all on my own. These are new concepts for me. Though I am a self-sufficient playa, I really thrive on working with others and within a team setting. So! I’ve had some interesting ideas run through my head, some feelings that I’m trying to navigate, and some tough questions to answer. The result: no idea! I’m still figuring everything out, but I’m happy to say that tonight (with some serious help from my own personal ‘master in leadership’ aka Rudy) I’ve found some clarity in my feelings and have recognized the need to keep working on working on stuff. Pretty vague, but that seems to be a theme :)
Confusion! Good night.
March 9, 2012:
Here’s why today is awesome!
1. Had a really great beach workout this morning, in the sunshine!
2. My BFF Laura and her BF Adam arrive tonight for a week long visit, filled with fun in the sun!
3. It was almost 80 degrees before 10am this morning! I heart March in LA.
4. Rudy and I started dating 8 years ago today! … 8! Crazytown.
5. About to hit another kickass Pilates Platinum class at noon - working on my fitness!
I <3 Today.
Feb. 29, 2012:
On my Great White Canadian Adventure in January, I had my first experience on a Pilates Reformer machine and absolutely loved it. I loved feeling and using muscles deep within my core; the next day had that awesome stiff soreness from really working out. Though I’ve done Pilates on the mat before, I’ve been wanting to take classes on the Reformer for a while. After my experience in Toronto, once I returned to LA I was determined to get back on that machine!
I found a great little studio called Pilates Platinum in Santa Monica, and first noticed it because of it’s setup. The studio space is very small, and it’s filled with Reformer machines. Big glass windows allow sidewalk traffic to see in, and during classes passersby can watch while students sweat it out! The first time I walked by the studio I was enticed and wanted to be a part of that healthy and sweaty vibe. When I looked into the studio further I found that they have 4 locations in LA - Santa Monica, Venice, Brentwood, and Hollywood - I decided to hit up my neighborhood Venice shop. I took my first class (which was free - awesome!) and was instantly hooked! The class was much different from what I expected - it was a workout. In the hour-long session I had my ass kicked by both traditional Pilates strength training and by high-intensity cardio. Here’s a peek at the class description from the PP site:
“Our Platinum Pilates class works the entire body in just 55 minutes! Simply put, this is the most innovative and aggressive approach to full body conditioning. It is a high octane, shirt-drenching workout that strengthens your body, tightens your muscles, elongates the body, burns fat, improves endurance, jump-starts your metabolism and restores your body’s natural balance. Our Platinum Pilates class is a fusion of pilates, cardio and strength training, and achieves muscle definition faster than traditional pilates and/or weight training alone.”
This is the real deal. I can honestly say that I nearly broke down in tears at one point in that first class. It was AWESOME!
I’m so addicted to this workout that I’ve signed up for 2 classes per week, and am *this* close to signing up for a monthly unlimited pass. Gotta love leaving a class feeling energized and have your body feel awake and accomplished.
I haven’t forgotten about this place - but I’m happy to say that the people in my life have really ramped up my busy! In the last 31-ish days I was lucky and hung out with so many of my amazing family and friends. With them I’ve:
- had many enjoyable conversations and jammin’ dance parties
- talked about babies, fawned over ultrasound pics, and listened to their pregnant belly’s heartbeats!
- shared tears on shoulders
- frolicked on warm sunny beaches
- taught the alphabet and rules about the English language (I am not qualified for this!)
- sang along to Yo Gabba Gabba
- worked hard to get healthy
- had cozy naps
- etc. etc.
February was awesome, and today should be the end of this short but very sweet month, but we get to chillax another day before real life starts in March! Another reason why 2012 is awesome.
The last day of Feb is typically my wedding anniversary - the date partially chosen so we’d never forget it. It’s unreal to think that only 3 years have passed since Rudy and I became Man & Woman (why aren’t we called that as married couples?? Why “Man & Wife”? I’m taking a stand against sexism in marriage titles!) Like every crazy couple, we’ve had our moments over the years (usually it’s been his fault ;) Still, I will always look at him and the life we’ve built and feel very grateful and lucky that we’re experience all of this together <3
Love is in the air… So many of my best girls are either expecting new babies or have just had a little one, dear friends getting engaged, so many amazing people following their dreams and hearts - no matter how tough the path. And, I’ve been lucky enough to revel in 5 heart-warming and soul-feeding weeks of reconnecting with old (but never forgotten) friends, while soaking up sunshine with my wonderful and lovely family! I’m a very grateful and happy girl <3 http://tinysong.com/jTb7
“The world’s a roller-coaster, and I am not strapped in. Maybe I should hold with care, but my hands are busy in the air. I wish you were here!”
If the entire year is as wonderful as the last 31 days have been, I will be one happy chicken!! In the past month I’ve:
- Laughed until my cheeks ached - countless times;
- Reunited with my heart-warmers (family, friends and others);
- Rekindled friendships;
- Remembered to be grateful and compassionate;
- Made new and awesome friendships;
- Added a few more clients to my roster!
- Heard the sound of a baby’s heartbeat in-utero, saw an ultrasound of a 10-ish week old baby in-utero, and felt an almost 40 week baby kick in-utero (all different babies, and squealed with all three mommies-to-be!)
- Had an awesome impromptu high-school reunion;
- Experienced SUPER COLD AND SNOWY winter weather and SUPER WARM AND SUNNY summer weather - within the same week :)
- Traveled through 2 countries and 4 cities;
- Hugged my Mom!
- Cuddled my nieces, nephews, siblings and in-laws!
- Found new love and appreciation for many;
- Felt a great sense of pride and peace all at once;
- Worked diligently to cultivate a healthy platform for my life to thrive on (both physically and emotionally);
- Explored, adventured, and let go of the reigns, and generally had a really kickass time!
This month was an amazing start to a wonderful new year. Thank you for reading my rambles and my half-sleep nonsense. I can’t wait to see what the next 335 days become! Bring it February.
Yet another reason why upon returning to my home in LA my mantra will be “no excuses”: winter running (aka doing your best to crack your skull).
Just attempted to get a good workout/run, and I have a) no idea how you peeps who experience real winters do any sort of physical activity outdoors (in runners), and b) mad respeck for those of you who are able to run outside at a decent pace during the winter months! I tried, slid and slipped, but got my workout done and stumbled on a great shuffle playlist in the process. You can prolly get about 3-4K out of this set:
Irie’s Break Ya Neck Mix:
1) What’s Golden - Jurassic 5: http://tinysong.com/9EcW
2) Clint Eastwood (Ed Case & Sweetie Irie Refix) - Gorillaz: http://tinysong.com/lfto
3) Love Foolosophy - Jamiroquai: http://tinysong.com/RrJO
4) Save It For Later - The English Beat: http://tinysong.com/pUPI
5) Detroit - Gorillaz: http://tinysong.com/IfwK
6) Violently Happy - Bjork: http://tinysong.com/HQB0
7) Sunday Morning - No Doubt: http://tinysong.com/k788
Happy sliding! :)
Being back in Brampton brings out the ghetto in me. And, I love it!
I now have 2 new shadows. They’re really cute and never get tired of talking. My nieces Angelica & Ashley are sisters - both 4 years old (10 months apart - yii!) and are super duper adorable. They’re half Croatian (from my brother) and Filipino (from their mom) - which makes them the first people in my bloodline to actually resemble me!
I’m back home with my family - so nice! I have little children hanging off my limbs, and lots of chatter to catch up on. Also a nice perk: delish home-cooked meals!
Roasted turkey breast with beets, lentils & onions!
While planning my trip up to Canada I knew I wanted to take advantage of my extended time and see as many people as I could. My trips are usually so rushed and chaotic; I always leave wishing I had time to do/see/experience more. Excited about having 3 weeks in TO, I contacted some dear friends from my 1st highschool (grade 9-11), most of whom I haven’t seen in over 13 years, and invited them out for a reunion dinner. After about 10 drafts of my Facebook message I closed my eyes and clicked send. I was so pleasantly surprised by the positive reception from the group! We ended up getting almost everyone out for a wonderful dinner (which we didn’t want to end). So much to talk about, catch up on, and giggle over. Such a great night and a fab reunion - complete with song :)
Thanks to Alanna for a great recap of the night.
I’m HOME! Excited to see friends and spend much loved QT time with my family!
Look who I found…
After a bit of a whirlwind week filled with lots of work, laughter - a lil’ letting go and a lot of closure, I head back to my home and family in Toronto. I feel like this week was a really positive one. I had great experiences, reconnected with dear friends, and made some real traction professionally. I could not have asked for a better time, even with the bitterly cold temps and dumps of snow :)
Sunset over Pearson.
Today was my last day in the office, and also my last opportunity to see my CP/Okanagan friends. Coincidentally, it was the craziest work day - trying to wrap up outstanding items, or have one. last. brainstorm! I managed to check off almost everything on my Kelowna To-Do list, while also catching up with my girl, Jehannie who is so close to my heart she practically lives there, and having one last hurrah with many wonderful friends - who also do their best to wiggle their way my heart :)
Best news of the year? Jehannie is preggers! AND! I got to listen to the baby’s heartbeat.
Life. Unreal, dudes.
Mom-to-be, Jehanne & Irie
I’ve really enjoyed working with my team this week. Though I love the freedom of working from home, I have had priceless 1-1 time with teammates and have (hopefully) continued to build bonds and provide value for our Kelowna-based team. There have been plenty of laughs and hilarious nerdy moments, but best of all: homemade icecream cake!
Completely legit “Art Directors Club”
Can’t believe I didn’t actually get a pic with either of my fabulous hosts who are putting me up while I visit Kelowna this week (pics of us below are from our last day with them, last summer). I have so many wonderful memories of laughing, chatting and getting into trouble with Cam & Alaina (pre-LA & during my trip this week).
Cam & Alaina are from Toronto (like me), and they’re AWESOME! Unknowingly, I was waiting for Alaina to come into my life for years (even pre-Kelowna). She reminds me of my best girls from Toronto, we see eye-to-eye on almost everything, and I just can’t get enough of her sense of humor/sass/views on life. In a similar way, both Cam and Rudy found themselves comparing notes and bonding over random things. The Warnock’s have quickly become 2 of our FFL and I wish that they had moved to Kelowna earlier so that we could’ve had more time together. That said, the time that we did have was epic and we made memories together that I will cherish always. Also, they’ve got an adorable cat named Moo, and Alaina loves to ‘put a bird on it‘… Who could ask for more??
(my darling suite at C & A’s)
IT IS FREEZING OUTSIDE!!!!!! Thank god for good friends & Raudz poutine!
(Getting cozy with the gang!)
As Rudy and I drove out of Kelowna last September, we looked back at the beach, the bridge and the town with misty eyes and a bit of a heavy heart. Looking forward to our new life in LA and all the adventures that we always dreamed of helped lift our spirits and got us really excited about the world that was out there, waiting for us.
After spending almost 3 years dragging my feet around Kelowna - most times, wishing I were anywhere but there - I never imagined I would ever come back (at least, not willingly ;) Rudy and I made so many great memories living in Ktown, and we built lifelong friendships with so many amazing people. And, as most couples do, we also went through some tough “relationship” years while living there. Looking back, there was much personal and professional growth, and we both appreciate those tough times - they brought us to where we are now. Various factors contributed to the rough bits, but I always (unfairly?) put the onus on our environment for adding additional and unnecessary stress (feeling isolated, having the same circle of workmates & friends, being stifled by “small town” syndrome, etc.) Leaving was like lifting the weight of the world off my shoulders (dramatic, much?!) - so, you can imagine the mix of feelings I experienced when I booked my 1-week work trip to go back.
The one constant that I’ve felt since I left was that I didn’t give Kelowna a chance - I Debbie Downer‘d the whole thing. The first night we drove into town, I repeatedly told Rudy: “No. I’m not living here.” Ha ha… Coming back felt like a rare opportunity for a do-over. Determined to do things differently this time and appreciate the best that the experience could offer, I arrived with a smile on my face - though my teeth were chattering in the -20C weather! And, I started my week by visiting Wynne, Kate, and some other solid peeps at Wynne’s art show - couldn’t have asked for a sweeter start, or warmer welcome.
If you know the Pacific North West/west coast of Canada, you know that when it “snows” it doesn’t actually snow. It’s more a drizzle of light, wet & short-lived flurries. This pathetic attempt at winter weather is often met with excitement and curiosity from locals, much like any other novelty would (yanno, like bubblewrap or Santa). We know it’s not going to have a lasting impact or stick around, but relish in the joy of being able to experience something different, however fleeting.
Well, today was different. It snowed. No air quotes.
Since today was also the day that I was boarding a plane to fly to an even more northern and way more remote destination, I woke up fairly concerned with the amount of snow dropping from the sky - and the aggressive nature with which it stuck to the ground! I was certain that I was grounded in Seattle (no complaints about an extended family visit!), but my sister Erika and I made our way to SEA-TAC anyway.
This snowman (just chillin’…) is a great indication of the real “Ontario” snow.
One last snap with the family, while documenting a genuine storm :)
In 1998 I saw Jerry Seinfeld perform at Massey Hall in Toronto, ON. The show was part of his 1st post-Seinfeld tour I’m Telling You For The Last Time and it was a truly amazing experience. Everything that you see on television, or hear in his audio routine is what he’s like in person; it’s all “Jerry”. Back in the late 90’s, seeing Seinfeld was an unbelievable moment for my very young self. He had just ended a glorious 9 year run on Seinfeld, and to say that we wanted and needed more Jerry & Co. would be an understatement. Now, seeing Seinfeld (who proudly announced, is 57 years old) after years of watching reruns, thirsty to see him in a cameo on 30 Rock or even in the slightly disappointing Bee Movie (I dunno what I expected, but it wasn’t what I got), and especially in the quintessential “Seinfeld Reunion” Curb season (which I loved and couldn’t get enough of), after all of this seeing him perform live on Saturday night confirmed my belief that Jerry Seinfeld is the best comedian of our time - if not, ever.
There’s absolutely nothing funnier than hearing that high-pitched yell in person, or listening as he describes the pangs and pressures of trying to get yourself together enough to just make it out of the house. The joys of him trying to rationalize how number 5 was chosen as the amount of hours of additional energy that we need - in his 5 hr Energy bit. Why 5? Do people work from 1-6 now? Who only needs five. hours. of. ENERGY??! If you need 5 hrs of energy - GO TO SLEEP!! Ahh.. we were in tears. As we watched him float around the stage, jump up and down, and balance on one foot I soaked up every moment, so grateful to be able to watch this comic genius perform, and save memories to share with my “one day/futuristic” offspring. While we watched, listened, absorbed, I kept getting glimpses of Larry David, or Constanza, or Elaine. Sitting there reminded me of how much I’ve fallen in love with the characters that Seinfeld and LD have created, and how special they are to me. Awesome :)
Since this show was in San Diego - about 2 hrs south of LA - we made a weekend out of it. We saw a lot of the downtown SD core - the Gaslamp Quarter. During the day, this place was dead as could be. It was grimy, and the city itself kind of confused us. We didn’t know what to make of it; the vibe was so eclectic and unique, but we weren’t sure if it was unique in a good way. SD has the feel of a beachy lazy town, but the downtown area feels like your typical American city - grimy, unforgiving, and a wee bit dodgy. After the show, we went out for drinks and the city was completely different. It was brimming with 6 inch heels, tattoos, short skirts and chinstrap beards. I felt like I had stepped into a Kid Rock video. Blech. Anyway - San Diego was a great experience (despite the chin straps ;) and the show was unreal.
(Today was a really full day of awesome, so this one is gonna be long and in 2 parts)
We started this Saturday off strong. As part of our 2012 Resolutions, Rudy and I are setting some for realzies health and fitness goals. Rudy is going to run a Spartan Race (just the thought of it makes me pee a little), and I’m working hard to get my booty a little less Licious and a lot more fit. Our first week was a tough one. We cut out a lot of our unhealthy habits, and (at times) had a hard time embracing our newer, more healthy ones.
The biggest themes for the week: No white carbs (or anything that could be white) - so rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, etc., no beer (only 2 glass of red wine/day - max), and lots of legumes, protein, veggies and water.
Activities for the week: Tennis, work outs on the elliptical, lots of walking, and a 5K training sesh.
The results: Iris loses 4.2 lbs, Rudy loses 5 lbs! Also, Rudy loses a total of 5.5 inches (so, measure all the important parts - waist, hips, thigh, etc. add up all the numbers to get your total # - then, every week measure the same spots and add/subtract from your previous number to get your result for the week), and Iris loses a total of 10…! What the flip??!
It’s true, and kinda ridiculous. I’m not sure how it happened, but it did. So, we’re in the midst of week 2. We hope to continue the same level of results, but more than anything we’re focusing on getting back into a healthy mindset and keeping our positive habits strong. Something happened along the line from moving to Kelowna and then moving down here - we lost sight of our natural ‘good’ habits, and let everything go loosey goosey. 2012 is the year where we get back on track, and dominate! BOOYA!
I live in my @Lululemon #Crops. I can admit it. Putting on “real clothes” is sometimes a chore, but ultimately, when I’m wearing my crops I’m either running around doing stuff or running around exercising. So, the guilt of wearing stretchy pants 24/7 is balanced out by the 5-10 kms that I try to walk/run 3 times/wk (like today’s pic from my Friday 5K), and the countless grocery lineups that I stand in.
The thing is, I fear my secret wardrobe staple won’t be so secret in a month or 2. It’s always sunny in LA. Like, everyday always. And, I’ve developed a crop tanline, or CropTan. So, when “winter” is over and I’m wearing things like shorts or swim suits, I will have 3/4’s of a leg that’s light beige-y, and 1/4 that’s dark and tanned. The bottom 1/4.