#100HealthyDays

Today I decided to impose a challenge upon myself. For a long time I’ve seen these “100 Happy Days” challenges on Instagram, where users challenge themselves to post something positive for 100 days in a row. I’m going to attempt to do a similar type of thing, only mine will be focused on health/fitness.

In 2015 I’ve already made a lot of positive health changes – my diet is drastically changed from what it used to be and I am a lot more active as well, but I still have a long way (and a lot of weight) left to go.

So, from now until December 3 (aka 100 days from now) I am going to attempt to post something health positive every day. This doesn’t mean that every single day I’ll exercise, but it does mean I’ll at least make a better decision every day. For example, if I go to a movie, perhaps I’ll choose to bring my own snack rather than eat a salty, calorie filled popcorn. Or maybe I’ll order from the calorie wise menu at a restaurant instead of the regular.

I’m hoping that by challenging myself to do these little things that at the end of 100 days, I’ll feel better about myself (and maybe I’ll even look a little better too).

You can follow along with me on Instagram, where I’ll be doing my daily posts (I’ll check in here from time to time as well).

https://instagram.com/terriachilds/ is where you can find me.

Flying By

I haven’t been quite as good of an updater lately as I would like, but I’m ‘blaming it’ on summer. After all the complaining I (and everyone else) did in July, we’ve had a really great August and I’ve been trying to enjoy it fully before the winter blahs hit again.

So what exactly have I been up to? Well, for one, a lot of backyard fires. It seems this is the year everyone that I know decided to invest in a fire pit (which isn’t a bad thing), so I’ve been spending lots of time sitting around, cider and marshmallow in hand.

In addition, I’ve been spending a bit of time in my hometown and doing some weekend trips. Just this last weekend I packed up the car, one of my best friends, and two five year olds (the kids of another friend), and headed off for a cabin adventure at a little camping resort called Golden Sands. We left at 12:30pm on Friday and the twins mom met us there around 11pm, so it was quite the adventure to play mom/aunt/caretaker for a full day to two rambunctious (and sometimes horribly over tired) pre-schoolers. We had fun times though – between swimming, having a fire and feeding them far too much ice cream (but that’s what ‘aunts’ are supposed to do, right?)

I’ve mentioned this before, but I know I’m incredibly lucky to have such a great group of friends who love to go on these little excursions together. This time, we had 11 adults and 2 kids spread over three side-by-side-by-side cabins and it was a fantastic time. Minus the fly bites. Oh the flies. On ONE leg I counted 23 mosquito bites alone. My poor legs are still recovering from the trauma. Just as a note – don’t ever wear Lululemon leggings (or probably any brand of leggings for that matter) around a mosquito filled fire at night. I was probably better off with bare legs.

As for what’s upcoming? This fall starts off with a ‘bang’ with Labour Day weekend back home in Elliston, followed by my friend’s birthday weekend and a weekend of volunteering at a local food festival (what a hardship that is!)

Oh, and who can forget – hockey season starts up again soon!

I ADORE being busy and I’m also thinking of doing some kind of class in the fall. The last I did was introductory film class about a year and a half ago (which led to my insane web series, but that’s a story for another day). So I feel like I need another creative outlet to get me through winter.

Well, that’s the latest in the land of Terri. As summer winds down I’ll be doing more of this whole blogging thing. I hope to make friends with a few of you along the way as well! I’ll leave you with a few snaps from my weekend excursion.

The inside of our weekend abode.
The inside of our weekend abode.
Time for a swim!
Time for a swim!
On a "train" that took us around the park - I don't know who enjoyed it more, Dion or the kids.
On a “train” that took us around the park – I don’t know who enjoyed it more, Dion or the kids.
Pals hanging around the fire.
Pals hanging around the fire.
The view from the patio of our cabin.
The view from the patio of our cabin.
It was the first time I took on the solo (with some help) task of cooking breakfast. Toutons, eggs, bacon, bologna and hash browns for 13!
It was the first time I took on the solo (with some help) task of cooking breakfast. Toutons, eggs, bacon, bologna and hash browns for 13!
Me and Diana decide it's a great idea to take a "BBQ Selfie"
Me and Diana decide it’s a great idea to take a “BBQ Selfie”

Rules of the Road

In the last few years, I’ve done quite a bit of travel, particularly through the USA. In both 2013 and 2014 myself and three friends (two the same both times, one different) travelled for about two weeks at a time through the USA. These are not your run of the mill “oh lets drive between two states!” road trips. No, we cover thousands of miles, multiple states and we don’t stop much. If you really want to immerse yourself in local culture, I don’t really recommend this as a trip, however, if you want to see a little bit of everything in a short period of time, do it up! Here’s a few tips I’ve picked up through my travels, some are more cliched than others! 

1. Pee when you can

You might laugh at that one, but believe me it’s not overrated. When you’re on a back road in the middle of Virginia and you didn’t pee at the last gas station because you “didn’t need to” you’ll regret not taking this advice. When anyone in your group wants to stop, hit up the nearest bathroom, no matter how sketchy it is, your body will thank you.

2. Choose good travel companions

It’s no good to travel with people who are not roughly on the same page as you are. If your buddy is into 5 star hotels, while you prefer a low budget motel, common sense should tell you it’s probably not going to end well. When we travel, we tend to go the mid-range route. Lots of Holiday Inns, Best Westerns, Hampton Inns, etc. Not exactly high end but very clean, comfortable and budget friendly.

3. The route untravelled is sometimes the best route

The big, popular attractions are popular with good reason, they’re generally informative and fun but they are exactly what I just stated – popular. I’ve stood on top of the CN tower, I’ve toured stadiums, went to hockey games, etc. But some of the best nights I’ve had on the road are the ones you have to look hard to find. We spend a night last year in the middle of the Mississippi Delta, at the Tallahatchie Flats in Greenwood. They are little repurposed servant cottages and they are just spectacular. Sitting out on the little deck that night, listening to old blues music and taking in the sounds of the wildlife, was one of the best nights I’ve had, period.

4. Pack wisely

Even when we’ve rented an SUV to contain all our gear, it’s still a tight squeeze for four people plus luggage. I’m guilty of being a horrible,horrible over-packer, but as long as you stay respectful of space, it’s okay (ie. don’t take 2 carry ons, one huge bag and a backpack, do your best to stay confined).

5. Plan, but don’t over plan

When we road trip, we always know where we will be staying each night. There’s a bit of comfort in knowing that your hotel is secure, you don’t have to worry about things being booked up or ending up in a shady part of time. That being said, it’s not very fun to have things planned down to the minute either.  For instance, when we were in Dallas last summer, we knew we wanted to visit the state fair and that’s about it. It takes some of the fun away to have every detail planned, sometimes you can find fun things when you show up. For example we once discovered a chain restaurant from our province had a franchise in Williamsburg, Virginia, it was so random and weird that we HAD to eat there.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Being somewhat shy myself, I find this a had ‘rule’ to adhere to.  However, my pal Shane, does not. Having someone with you who doesn’t mind talking to a stranger and asking how to get to a particular place is a great asset to have. And, you know what? You’ll find that most people are very, very nice and will go out of their way to help you. Despite what stereotypes may be out there, I’ve particularly found Americans to always be very sweet and kind, and willing to help out a poor lost Canadian (like the time when we had to embarrassingly ask “excuse me, is this the White House?”)

7. Embrace your local atmosphere

If you in Georgia, order up some sweet tea in a restaurant, if your in New Orleans, yes, or the beignets. It might sound cliched, but places are experts on things for a reason!

I love the thrill of discovering new places and trying new things, and I highly encourage all of you to try a road trip at least once. Now that I’ve started, all I want to do is explore the open roads. It’s looking like my next trip will be jaunt through Nevada and California early in 2016 and I already can’t wait.

Weather Misery

It’s no secret that the weather where I’m from isn’t always the best. In the past we’ve been known to have months that were commonly referred to as “Juneuary” and “Fogust”. This year, however, is a special kind of hell. It’s currently the 21st of July and we’ve seen a total of THREE days that have reached 20C so far this summer. THREE. The high arctic has even been warmer than we are.  Check out this extended forecast for the next week and please feel free to weep with me:

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Yeah, that’s right. You see that daytime HIGH on Saturday? Nine freaking degrees. Compound this shitty weather with the fact that our main airport is undergoing renovations and no flights can get in/out if the weather is anything less than ideal, and you’ve got one pissed off population.

Obviously, there’s nothing anyone can do about the weather issues. But when you live somewhere that generally only gets 2-3 months of decent weather a year, it’s depressing to a have a full month that feels just as cold as October.

Please send warm vibes that it changes soon, and socks, lots of socks.

Oh, Canada

As today is the 148th birthday of Canada (I know this offhand as its my mother’s age plus 100 years, sorry to out your nearly-age, mudder).  In honour of this occasion, I thought I’d take a few minutes to reflect on why I am indeed a proud Canadian.

1. I love the fact that you can walk down the street of nearly any major Canadian city and see people that look so very different yet are all very Canadian.  You cannot make the assumption that just because someone is not Caucasian that they are not Canadian.  We literally come from every size, coluor, walk of life, etc and that is definitely something to proud of.

2, I also love the pride you see on Canada Day when you see new citizens being sworn in.  They are so, so happy to call themselves Canadian and if they feel that warm and fuzzy, why can’t I?

3. The Motto of the United States is “In God We Trust” the Motto of Canada is “From Sea to Sea.” I think that says a lot about us as a people.

4. I enjoy that we don’t go to war with other countries – we peace keep and support, but never initiate.

5. For the most part, we are mostly a very liberal population.  Our gay rights are the most liberal of all the Americas and we passed the bill for legalization of gay marriage without much fanfare.  Unlike some other countries we can think of…

6. The right to freely choose our leaders, no matter how crappy they are. This is a right I think we often take for granted as we don’t realize how many people out there still cannot do this.

7. We are unashamed to be who we are.  Canada is the brunt of many an international joke, but say what you want – we take everything in stride.

8. We unabashedly love our hockey.  If you do the adjusted math, more of the population watches the Stanley Cup finals than those who watch the Super Bowl in the United States.  The annual World Junior Championships are a Christmas tradition in many households and I don’t know anyone who cannot name at least all the Canadian hockey teams.

9. Safety. Today I spent the day outside – walking with friends, visiting, eating in restaurants and watching fireworks and never once did I feel scared or threatened in any way, shape form. My only ‘fear’ was that I was to get bitten to death by mosquitos while I was watching the fireplace.

10.  Green space, fresh air, mountains, valleys, oceans, lakes and ponds.  Nature is abundant and mostly well protected in this vast land.

In short, we are a huge county with a relatively small population who are fiercely proud of where we are from.  I shall personally celebrated today by wearing red and indulging in a few Canadian made beers. Cheers to another good 148 years.

Shark Movie Aficionado

I’ll freely admit to anyone who asks – I LOVE a bad movie. There’s nothing better than sitting down on a weekend night, with some friends, some snacks and mocking the hell out of a terrible B (or lower) movie. Amongst my friend group, we are especially fond of bad shark movies. People who think that Sharknado is bad have never sunk to the depths of movies that we have.

Inspired by the fact that I watched the trailer for Sharknado 3 today, I present to you my rankings of the five best (worst) shark movies that I have watched (thus far).

5. Ghost Shark

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Oh Ghost Shark. I don’t even know where to begin. Basically, a fisherman kills a shark, it and it returns as a ghost to enact revenge. However, the catch is that shark can show up wherever there is water – including swimming pools AND even a glass of water. It’s so bad, its amazing.

4. Jersey Shore Shark Attack

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At the height of Jersey Shore mania, some film company (thanks, pals) felt it necessary to make a shark movie that parodied the tv show of the same name. Ever had a vendetta against Snooki or Pauly D? Watch this movie and watch their close, but not quite, counterparts get taken out by some spray tan and t-shirt time loving sharks.

3. Megashark vs. Crocosaurus

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That’s right friends, a giant shark versus a half crocodile, half dinosaur hybrid of destruction. The ‘star’ of this masterpiece is no other than Mr. Jaleel White himself.  The best part of the film is the speed in which the beasts move across the globe.  One minute they’re in Africa, the next they’re destroying the Panama Canal. You’ll REALLY have to turn your brain off to make sense of this gem.

2. Two-Headed Shark Attack

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When this film stars Brooke Hogan (daughter of Hulk) and Carmen Electra as a SCIENTIST, you know this one is just golden. You guessed it, the villain in this one is a 2 headed shark with an intense blood lust (don’t they all).

1. Sand Sharks

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Another movie “starring” Brooke Hogan, this one probably has the most insane plot line of all the shark movies. That being, the sharks can defy the laws of physics and jump through the sand as if it were water. It makes no logical sense, the acting is atrocious, and I couldn’t love it any more. It comes with my highest bad shark movie recommendation.

Special shout out – Piranhaconda (half piranha, half anaconda) has a ‘twist’ ending that you won’t see coming and if animals really aren’t your thing, might I suggest Stonehenge Apocalypse.  I’ve watched so many of these movies I’m not entirely sure if I know what a ‘good’ movie even is anymore.

Home

It’s 12am on a Friday night and what am I doing? I’m not out partying, doing anything crazy or even anything mellow. Instead, I’m sat in my childhood home (not my room though, that’s long since been claimed by my younger cousin), I’m in the dark, and listening to rain bounce on the rooftop of the porch outside my window.

It got me thinking for a second about the concept of home and how it probably means so many different things to people. Home can be a town, a place or even a person. To me, home is very, very specific. It’s the house in the small town that I grew up in. It’s not new and fancy, it’s not in a subdivision, hell, it doesn’t even have a paved driveway, but it really doesn’t matter at all.

As my grandmother gets older, I’m thinking more and more about what will become of this place once she no longer wants to live here. Most likely, it’s going to be mine and I wonder will it feel the same way to me as it does now? Will I be able to make memories here with my family, will I be able to upkeep it well over time? Chances are (for the foreseeable future) it’ll be nothing more than a summer home to me, since my work/life is three hours away. But still, these are thoughts that cross my mind from time to time.

I can’t imagine not coming here for holidays and weekend escapes. It’s my little piece of quietness. Currently if I take out my ear buds, what can I hear? Nothing, absolutely nothing, and there is something really nice about that, (we won’t get into the fact that there’s been some BEAR sightings out around here lately, yikes!)

If you happen to stumble across this, what do you consider to be home? Is it a town, a place, a person? I’d love to know.

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I wish I could find a better photo, but you get the idea. This was taken in November, when I came home for a weekend to ‘help’ with the Christmas lights. Side note – don’t ever hire me to do your decorating!

Start of Summer

I know I’m very lucky, in that I have a fairly large group of friends who are always ready to do things/go places/generally be weirdos.  It’s even better when the majority of us decide to go places as a massive group. This post is a little delayed, but I just thought I would share a few snaps that I took over the long weekend we had in May.

12 of us piled into our cars and drove to the town of Eastport for the weekend.  Eastport is a bit of a rarity in Newfoundland, in that, it has quite a few sand beaches.  These aren’t the norm around here (except I’m spoiled to have a pretty great one in my hometown of Elliston as well). The town is pretty small, but it was what we were looking for, for a weekend away.

We rented what used to be a B&B that is now rented out as a full unit. It was really great for everyone to have their own space – with 7 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms there was plenty of beds to go around!

IMG_6659The inside of the house. It was a little dated (think mid-90s) but very functional and had wifi.

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A stereotypical “let’s go to the beach and jump in the air shot” – some of us are obviously more talented than others!

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Brunch for 12 includes: 2 dozen eggs, 3 packages of bacon, 3 packages of touton dough, about 24 slices of bologna and (not shown) about 10 potatoes cut into hash browns. Quite the feed!

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Corn hole tournament, anyone?

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You probably haven’t acted out charades like these before.

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As with any old house, we assumed this one was haunted. We named our ghostly friend Stanley. He seemed pretty friendly. Probably because we kept his cup full of beer over the weekend.

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Talent? I think yes.

Those are just a few shots from our weekend. There’ll be more over the summer as we excursion more together.  Though, you know you’re really becoming an adult, when our next cabin outing involves children!

 

I’m Yelling Tinder

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for a rant.

Before I start this, just know that I come from a long line of cynical and sarcastic women, it’s built into my blood, I cannot (and would not want to) change this.

From time to time, as many single ladies do, I’ve been known to take a peruse of the dating sites. Lately I’ve been using Tinder more so than the older favourites of Plenty of Fish, Match, etc just because it seems to be the most popular in my area. What I’ve been learning through using these sites is – sorry men, but you suck.

Why oh why do you insist on thinking that all ladies are going to fall for the BS that you’re spilling out. Some of what you think is ‘sweet’ is downright creepy.

Case and point:

Tinder Dude: “What are you doing tonight?”

Me: “Staying at home, I’m not feeling too well”

Tinder Dude “Oh baby, that’s so sad. I wish I could come over and snuggle with you and rub your back”.

At this point, we’ve been talking for about five minutes.

DUDE. THIS IS CREEPY AS EFF.

1. I don’t like being coddled when I’m sick. By anyone. Ever. You know how in elementary school gym class you would have to stick your arms out to create a “personal space” so that you didn’t get in anyone’s way when exercising? Yeah, do that, times three.

2. Rub my back? No thanks. Had you said “aw that sucks, want me to come over and continue hitting the “yes, I am still here” button on your Netflix while you’re half asleep” that would be acceptable.

Another example

Me: “Yeah, I’m really into hockey. Been a fan since I was a kid.”

Tinder Dude: “A hockey fan? Oh that’s so cute! Do you think the players are hot”

CUTE. You’re calling my life’s passion CUTE?

Also this induced a blood pressure rising rage in my body, as my biggest peeve is men assuming that women watch sports for the “hotness of the men”. One, playoff beards are generally pretty gross. 2. NO JUST NO. I could, and probably will, go on a full rant about my hatred of this statement.

GFY dude, GFY.

I get the feeling that some guys have this horribly misguided view on what they think they should say to impress a woman. Sure, there are probably some people out that think I’m being too harsh, but that’s just how I operate.

I don’t want you to call me anything cutesy, I don’t want you to belittle me and I sure as hell don’t want you to make creepy sexual innuendos when I haven’t even met you in person.

I just want someone to have a real conversation with. Tell me about yourself, tell me about your interests, tell me anything at all, just don’t assume that I’m some innocent little flower that wants sweet nothings whispered into her ear.

On an unrelated note, the title of this post was inspired by the Pitbull/Kesha song “Timber” which every time I hear, I change the word Timber to Tinder. I dare you not to do the same.

Wanderlust

For as long as I can remember, a travel bug has been firmly lodged deep within me.  Even as a little girl, I always loved geography and studying new places and new people.

Until I graduated university, and started making my own money, I never really had much of an opportunity to get very far from home. I made a few trips to Alberta (to visit family), had a school trip to Montreal, but air travel was limited and far between.

You could say, I’ve definitely been making up for lost time. Since 2009 I’ve been to Europe twice, Toronto/Montreal a few times each, and I’ve road tripped through about 20 USA states.  And that isn’t even the tip of the iceberg of what I want to see.

I think I get my “world lust” from my grandmother. I wish she’d had more opportunity to see the world when she was younger, but that wasn’t really an option in those years. She’s been spending a bit of her golden years on various seniors tours in Europe and she absolutely loves it.

So, what is the point of this post? I guess really just to try and figure out what’s next. Sometimes the day to day seems to dull and bland that I have an insane urge to jump on a plane and just go.  I mean, if not now then when? But do I really have the balls to do that?

I do know that I’ll never fully be able to stay in one place and be all “this is it, I never want to go anywhere again.” Thoughts of that actually make me a little sick to my stomach.

This world is big, it’s beautiful and it’s meant to be roamed.  What’s next for me, I’m not entirely sure yet. But what’s for sure, is there WILL be a next.

Biarritz 5

One of my favourite photos – taken in Biarritz, France in September 2011.