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Friday, January 21, 2011

Project 52 - week 3

Happy Friday!!

Is it just me or do Fridays get better every week? Ok, maybe not the actual day, but the feeling that in 8 - 4 - 2 hours you are FREEEEE from work for the next two days? Anyone? Maybe it was just a rough week.

I am super glad that it is Friday today since I spent the last 4 days traveling for work. Three flights, two cities, two countries and approximately 9405823940 hours spent driving in a car in four days - man I am glad to be home.

Ok - sorry, back to the topic at hand.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Project 52 - week 2

Hey all!

As promised here is this weeks Project 52 assignment! The theme for Week 2 was "Illustrate a Song"

These Boots are Made for Walkin'

Saturday, January 08, 2011

HIKE! Eassyyy...WHOA!




Those my friend, are the three key words to know when a musher is driving a dogsled.

While we were in Canada over the new year, one of our planned activities was dogsledding outside of Banff. It was incredible. And incredibly cold. I seriously thought I was getting frost bite in my toes at one point.  But despite the frigid cold this was an amazing experience.

When we finally got to the sledding site, we got a quick lesson on how to drive the sled and control the dogs. Yessir, we were going to be the ones driving the sled. I would have though that in order to drive your own dogsled you would need more than a 20 minute crash course, but apparently I was wrong.

After the instructions were given we went to our sled and got settled in. Gavin had actually driven a dog sled before, so he was going to drive our sled during the first half of the trip, while Brian and I got to relax in the sled.

Two of the dogs on our sled - Megatron and Optimus Prime

And we're off!

Huskies are feisty and full of energy, they would fight with each other while running


Taking a quick break 

Passing another sled
Taking a break - the half way point of our trip

Good boy!

Such pretty eyes

After we took a break at the half way point, it was my and Brians turn to drive the sled. Big mistake. First, we barely fit on the back of the sled at the same time. Whenever we had to lean into a turn, one of us felt like we were going to fall off. During a slight up hill part, I offered to hop off and run next to the sled, as you are supposed to in order to help the dogs. Second big mistake. I'm not sure what I was thinking as I haven't gone running in at least 6 months (ok, ok, more like 9 mos) and those dogs were going a lot faster than I thought. I ran 10 steps and promptly tripped over the sled and fell on my face.

Dogsled fail.

So, I hoped back in the sled, and enjoyed the ride while Brian did the driving.

Heading back to the lake where we started
Dogsledding on the frozen lake!

home stretch

Check out the steam coming off of the dogs!
Good boys!

One blue and one brown eye

Heading to the fire for some cookies and hot cider

Once we got back to Banff, we rewarded ourselves and warmed up with some truffle macaroni and cheese. Yummmm

Here are the links to all of our holiday photos!

Christmas in Italy

Canada trip - edited 

Canada trip - full range of photos


Friendly Neighbor to the North

Well, I guess this neighbor isn't technically to my North (not you Scotland!) - but if you are reading this from the US then I'm talking about your neighbor - CANADA!

Brian has been working out of the Calgary office since the end of November. He was lucky to get a few days off for Christmas (gee, thanks guys) so we could make our trip to Italy. He had to be back right after the trip though, so off we were to Canada for New Years!

Oh goody, more snow!

New project for 2011

Hey everyone!

I hope you all had a great New Year. I'm working on my posts from my trip to Calgary (we celebrated the new year is -20*C weather) and hope to have those up by the end of the weekend. We had a ton of fun and I can't wait to share the photos! I have to admit, my experience with traveling to Canada has been very limited - a drive across the Alexandria Bay bridge, crossing over the border at Niagara Falls and a couple of trips to Toronto are about all I've seen of the country (shameful, I know). I was blown away by how beautiful the Canadian Rockies are. As usual we were in the mountains (I think I might be turning in to a mountain goat) but (as usual) they were amazing. I can't wait to go back during the summer when you can actually be outside for longer than 10 minutes without worrying that one of your appendages is going to freeze off.

But, I digress. You'll hear all about Canada in the recaps. This post is to share with you a new project that I have taken on for 2011. Anyone out there make a new years resolution? I'm not very good at those (making them - yes. keeping them - no) but still try to sneak one or two in every year. A couple of years back I decided to stop buying celebrity gossip magazines. That was (I think...) three years ago and I'm still holding strong. Now, I'm not saying that I won't read one if its laying around in the doctors office, or while I'm in the airport scanning the newstand...but, I'm still not paying money for it which is what fuels them in the first place. So I still like to think of it as a victory. 

This year I have two resolutions. Ok, maybe three.

Resolution #1 - cut out artificial sugar from my diet.
I have actually gotten much better about this over the last few of years. A couple years back I was Splenda happy and putting it on/using it whenever I could. I was all over sugar free candy and cookies, if its sugar free it must be better for you, right?? Well, we all know that is false. And really, all you're doing is putting more chemicals in to your body. I'm not going to get on a soapbox and preach to you about eating all natural/organic/local foods, but personally I am trying to take more steps in my life to cut out the crap (and by crap I mean fake stuff, not desserts, good god that could never happen). Buy local/organic when I can (and can afford it). Use natural household cleaners when possible (as much fun as getting high off shower cleaner is when cleaning the bathroom, that can't be good for you). And cut out artificial sweeteners as much as I can. I figure hey, the less chemicals that go in my body the better...right?

Resolution #2 - work on my photography skills.
As you might notice from the blog, I love to take photos. Since the wedding when we were generously gifted a DSLR camera, we have taken 2 cameras on our trips. While I can't take credit for all of the photos that are posted (Brian has an incredible eye for photography as well) I am pretty pleased with most of the photos that I take. That being said, I know that they are extremely amateur.  And thats ok. But, my resolution for 2011 is to really learn how to use my camera, and on the manual settings not just auto. I have been looking for and plan on taking a photography course at night or on the weekends. And I joined this new project - Project 52. There will be a new theme each week, that you can decide to follow or not, and at the end of the week you submit your best photo to the group flikr account to share with everyone. Its mostly a way to find new inspiration and challenge yourself - along with see what other folks are doing (which in turn provides more inspiration). I along with posting my photos to the group each week, I am going to post my photo here on the blog and on facebook. Hopefully that will hold me more accountable to actually completing the assignment. So feel free to harass me if you don't see any Project 52 posts on the blog!

Resolution #3 - be one with yoga.
This is kind of a half resolution, mostly because I secretly started this last year. I was doing really well actually, going to yoga 2-3 times a week. I saw a big improvement in my flexibility and back/neck problems, and I really enjoyed taking the time for myself to refocus and gain a bit of balance. That was all good and well for about 3-4 months, and I failed big time. I haven't been to a yoga class in *gulp* 8 months. EEK. I have noticed that my back and neck hurt again (doesn't help with all this cold weather), and I struggle to touch my toes. This should not be happening - I'm not even 30 yet!! So, back to yoga I go. Well...hopefully. The goal is this weekend to make it to one class. Hey, I've got to start somewhere right?? I recently quit my gym, so I will be going to only yoga studios. I'm hoping the quality of the yoga class will be a step up from the gym. I'm also looking forward to getting back in to Bikram Yoga - a series of 26 poses in a 40*C room. It is hot and sweaty and super uncomfortable. And I love it. I used to go to hot yoga when I lived in NYC, and can't wait to start again! 


So thats it, those are my resolutions for 2011. 

Did you make any resolutions this year? Share with the group!

I hope you all have a happy and healthy 2011!