Thursday, April 24, 2014

Orange Honey Banana Smoothie

Orange Honey Banana Smoothie recipe from aka Bailey

Who do I think I am, the freaking Smoothie Queen over here?? I post one smoothie recipe and suddenly I think I'm Martha Freakin' Stewart of the Blender?!

Well... yeah. HOPE YOU LIKE SMEWTHEEEZ, GIRRRRRL!

This one was a little different for me because... oranges. While oranges are a normal part of my day-to-day diet, I don't normally add them to my smoothies. Bananas, berries and peanut butter had my smoothie game on lockdown! But last week I decided to switch things up and started Googling recipes for orange-inspired smoothies.

Most of the recipes I found included bananas, which is when it occurred to me that what I obviously needed was an orange-banana breakfast smoothie to go with my usual peanut butter toast! I already eat a banana everyday with my breakfast (please see #12 here), so switching to an orange-banana smoothie would be a great way to a) switch things up a bit, and b) eat twice as much fruit in the morning. #DoubleWhammysAreMyHomeboy.

So now that I've made this smoothie a couple times and am in love with the way it tastes, it's time to share my own recipe with you!

Here's what you need for this Orange Honey Banana Smoothie:

  • 1 small orange (or 3/4 of a larger one)
  • 1 banana (frozen or thawed)
  • 1-2 tsp honey (you can use more or less depending on your tastes)
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  • 1/3 cup of low fat milk
  • Optional: add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt for a little bit of a different take on this smoothie (Note: you may need to adjust ice cubes to make it icier)

I use cara cara oranges because they're my favorite - they're a lovely dark orange on the inside, always juicy and always sweet. Unfortunately, I think these juicy gems are only in season for a few more weeks, so EAT 'EM WHILE YOU CAN!

HERE WE GO:

Smoothie Step 1 - add banana

Smoothie Step 2 - add orange

Smoothie Step 3 - add honey

Smoothie Step 4 - add milk

Smoothie Step 5 - add ice

Blended Orange Honey Banana Smoothie

Chilly orange honey banana smoothie recipe

So like I said, this smoothie is really good and a way more fun way to eat my morning fruit. Um, also it's a great way to use my honey... which I've had for probably a year and haven't used - or even opened - until I just made this smoothie last week. #Whoops.

This afternoon I'm going to be meeting up with a blogging buddy, Jenn, for a workout session in downtown Vancouver. Jenn lives in Ontario and is in Vancouver to visit her boyf, so this is our first time meeting up! So psyched to put her through one of my workouts - hopefully she doesn't regret her decision to meet me for a gym sesh.

By the way, sorry I skipped nails last week - that hasn't happened in a LONG freakin' time. I know how much "bitches be like my nails" so it must have been especially hard on some of you...  ;)   Expect a fresh nail polish blog tomorrow!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Top 10 Kanye West Songs

I've been a fan of Kanye-West-the-rapper since about 2004, though at that point I'd actually been enjoying hits produced by him for years. He performed a concert at UMass back when I was a senior (in 2005), and it was a REALLY good show that mostly showcased his Late Registration album. He even had a full orchestra with him onstage! This was back when he was "Wearing-3-pastel-Polo-shirts-all-with-collars-popped-Louis-Vuitton-Don Kanye," and not yet the "Angry Kanye" that we all know today.

Anyway - for the last few weeks, I've been almost solely listening to Kanye West songs on my iPod at the gym. I start with Black Skinhead for my cardio warm-up, because it's seriously the perfect tempo for doing cardio. (Uh, no seriously. Go listen to it if you're not familz.) Then my iPod will shuffle through all of my Kanye songs for the duration of my workout.

Since all of that workout music has put Kanye on my brain, I wanted to see if I could whittle his discography down to my 10 favorite songs. HERE WE GO.

My Top 10 Kanye West Songs

10. Never Let Me Down (College Dropout)
9. Get Em High (College Dropout)
8. All Falls Down (College Dropout)
7. Monster (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy)
6. We Don't Care (College Dropout)
5. Gone (Late Registration)
4. So Appalled (MBDTF)
3. All of the Lights (MBDTF)



2. Lost in the World (MBDTF)



1. See Me Now (MBDTF)



Uh... sorry about the graphic artwork on that last one. That's Kanye for you. I'm actually pretty positive that he is a sex addict, if ever there was one.

You might be astute enough to notice that all of my favorite songs only come from 3 of his 6+ albums. Guess it's obvious which are my favorite albums of his! Yeezus is also coming in as a favorite, surprisingly. I say "surprisingly" because that album really did not thrill me at first. It seemed much more abrasive when I first began listening to it. It's grown on me, for sure, but I still don't feel like I've listened to it enough for any of the songs to be on my favorite list.

Other big contenders for this list were:

- We Major
- Drive Slow
- Almost any song on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I seriously love that entire album, straight through. If you haven't seen the 30-minute short film (called Runaway) that coincides with that album, you should check it out here.

I excluded the Jay-Z/Kanye West Watch the Throne collaboration album, because if I included that then there's no way this list could have been narrowed down to 10 songs.

Alright, now tell me the truth:
Are you in the Love Him or Hate Him camp?
If you hate him, you don't have to tell me why. I get it.
If you don't hate him - what are some of your favorite songs? Are you a casual fan, or do you own all of his albums?

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rock Climbing at Murrin Provincial Park + Workouts of the Week

Happy Easter, err'body! Don't mind the radio silence that overtook my blog for the last week-plus. I'm still alive! I KNOW YOU WERE WORRIED.

Last Sunday found me in Squamish, BC for some light rock-climbing with Dave and some friends (Evan, Amin, and Sona), so I thought I'd share some pictures from the afternoon. It was a gorgeous day - blue skies, light breeze, and sun shining down on our wall. We set up in Murrin Provincial Park on a wall called Sugarloaf, where there were a nice range of beginner-friendly routes.

Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC
.  clockwise from top left:  amin, david, evan, sona  .
Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC
.  amin and david  .

Sugarloaf, Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC
.  sona  .

Sugarloaf, Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC

Sugarloaf, Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC

Sugarloaf, Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC

Sugarloaf, Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC

Sugarloaf, Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC

Sugarloaf, Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC

Sugarloaf, Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC

I took all of those photos, so none of them are of me, unfortunately. I can only assume that I looked absolutely spider-like.

This was only my second time rock-climbing outside on a wall (read about my first time here), and it's pretty fun but definitely a little frightening. Ok, sometimes it's really frightening. There has to be so much trust in the equipment, which isn't an easy thing to come around to. Your life depends on the knot that you've tied and the care with which you've secured your carabiner and how strong your rope is and how much your belayer at the bottom knows what they're doing. Honestly, I'm too unsure of myself to belay for anyone yet. It's a lot of responsibility!! I'm learning though, and eventually I'll trust myself to do it.

For the last couple of weeks Vancouver's weather has been going back and forth between beautiful blue days with light breezes and grey rainy days with complete cloud coverage. I've been trying to take advantage of the blue days by going on long walks to get fresh air and balance out my regular weekly workouts. Because I neglected to post a "Workouts of the Week" blog last week, here's an outline of all of my workouts since my last workout post:

4/6 - hiked up to first pump of Mt. Seymour (pictures here)

4/9 (upper body and core)
3 mins jumping jacks
10 overhead press, 12.5 lbs each hand
20 crunches on exercise ball, holding 12.5 lbs
15 deltoid raises, 5 lbs each hand
10 close grip chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
15 deltoid flys, 5 lbs each hand
40 alternating weighted side bends, 12.5 lbs each hand
10 chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
20 Russian get ups, 5 lbs each hand
30 alternating chest flys, 5 lbs each hand
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 12.5 lbs
15 squats, holding 15 lbs
15 squats, holding 20 lbs
15 squats, holding 25 lbs
10 lat pulldowns, 30 lbs
10 lat pulldowns, 40 lbs
10 lat pulldowns, 50 lbs
10 lat pulldowns, 60 lbs

4/11 (lower body and core)
5 mins biking, 1 mile
15 deadlifts, 12.5 lbs each hand
15 suitcase deadlifts (each side), holding 12.5 lbs
40 bridges
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 12.5 lbs
40 calf raises, 12.5 lbs each hand
30 diamond clamshells each leg
30 cobras

4/13 - rock climbing

4/14 (upper body and core)
5 mins elliptical, .5 mile
12 bent over rows, 12.5 lbs each hand
20 crunches on exercise ball, holding 12.5 lbs
12 deltoid flys, 8 lbs each hand
12 close grip chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 12.5 lbs
12 deltoid raises, 8 lbs each hand
20 Russian get ups, holding 8 lbs
12 overhead press, 12.5 lbs each hand
1:15 plank
10 lat pulldowns, 30 lbs
10 lat pulldowns, 40 lbs
10 lat pulldowns, 50 lbs
10 lat pulldowns, 60 lbs

4/15 (lower body and core)
5 mins biking
12 deadlifts, 15 lbs each hand
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 15 lbs
60 bridges
40 calf raises, 15 lbs each hand
30 side lunges + plyometric pushoff each leg
40 alternating weighted side bends, 15 lbs each hand
15 squats, holding 15 lbs
15 squats, holding 20 lbs
15 squats, holding 25 lbs
30 cobras

4/16 (cardio and core)
5 mins elliptical, .5 miles
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 15 lbs
30 Russian get ups, holding 5 lbs
40 alternating weighted side bends, 15 lbs each hand
30 cobras
20 mins stairstepper

4/18 - 4.8 mile walk 

4/19 (upper body and core)
5 minutes elliptical, .5 miles
13 chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
13 deltoid flys, 8 lbs each hand
20 Russian get ups, holding 8 lbs
13 close grip chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 12.5 lbs
13 deltoid raises, 8 lbs each hand
13 overhead press, 12.5 lbs each hand
40 alternating weighted side bends, 12.5 lbs each hand
13 bent over rows each arm, 12.5 lbs
40 Brazilian crunches

I assume my gym is closed today for Easter, so hopefully the grey sky I'm looking at right now won't turn to rain before I have a chance to go for a nice walk. Now if you'll eggggscuse me, I'm going to go cook up an eggs 'n bacon breaky. Enjoy your day!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Negative Space Glitter Nails

Well this is kind of a wacky mani, sooo... deal with it. A few weeks ago I went into a London Drugs and accidentally came out with this little batch of things, which included both of the nail polishes that were used in today's mani:  Revlon's Diamond Texture and a polish from Nicole by OPI's Gumdrops collection called Blue-Berry Sweet On You.

Nicole by OPI Gumdrops Nail Polish in Blue-Berry Sweet On You and Revlon Diamond Texture nail polish











I really like both of these polishes and was excited to use them together, since they're so pretty and sparkly. Diamond Texture is jam-packed with tiny silver glitters, with some slightly larger round glitters mixed in as well. I love the effect of the two different sizes of glitter - it gives the polish so much more dimension. Blue-Berry Sweet On You is a periwinkle/dusty blue filllllllled with tiny holographic glitter. I didn't actually know what the "Gumdrops" aspect of this polish meant. There was no display there to explain the name, so I just grabbed it and assumed it was some sort of a textured polish.

This is how the OPI site describes these Gumdrops polishes...

"Introducing eight new limited edition matte texture shades designed to give nails a mouth-watering manicure. Gumdrops feature a 'sugar-like' finish that lightly shimmers with fine glitter particles for a brilliant candy colored finish."

........ Anyone else think that "matte" and "shimmers with fine glitter particles for a brilliant candy colored finish" seem completely contradictory? The last thing I expect a "matte" polish to do is "shimmer" or be "brilliant" - right?? Do you guys think that the copy-writer may have been on crack? Just a quick poll of the room.

Both of these polishes dry to a coarse, sandpapery finish, for sure. And they both are certainly sparkly.

Alright enough chit-chat about the polishes - here's what I did with them:

Blue and silver glitter nails



If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my "sneak peek" from yesterday that showed how I did this. After painting all of my nails with a base coat, I applied some Essence nail stickers (package shown here) like so:

Essence nail stickers used as striping tape

Next, working on one nail at a time, I applied two quick coats of each polish on either side of the sticker and then removed the nail sticker with tweezers to reveal the "naked" stripe in the center. #SheSaidNaked.

Half blue, half silver nails

The last time I used these nail art stickers, I wasn't jazzed with the outcome. The stickers didn't result in super straight or clean lines. But Joey gave me the tip to only do one nail at a time, rather than painting all of my nails and then going back through with the tweezers to remove each sticker. This results in less tacky polish, and thus a cleaner line when you remove the strip. THANKS JOEY!

Negative space mani using blue glitter nail polish and silver glitter nail polish

So yeah the negative space thing was a bit of a gamble - I wasn't sure how it would look. It still looks a little strange to me, but in a "unique" type of way as opposed to a "What the Actual Fahk?" type of way.

What do you think of this look?
Have you tried any of these Gumdrops polishes yet?
What's your name? Who's your daddy?*


*These questions are optional.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Put This Smoothie Into Your Belly!

I MEAN. Just a friendly recommendation from one pal to another. You're gonna wanna try this. Not only is this a yummy smoothie recipe, but it also doubles as a solid tip for how you can salvage and use your "about to go bad" bananas and berries.

Here's what you need:
  • 1 banana (frozen or fresh)
  • handful of baby spinach 
  • 3 tbsp all-natural peanut butter
  • 2-3 strawberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup of low-fat milk
  • 3 ice cubes
  • Optional: 2 tbsp Nesquik, if you're feeling extra feisty

Spoiler alert - you're going to just put all of those things into a blender and blend them till they're smooth. Sorry if you thought there was some other magical way to get those things into a delicious smoothie form.

HERE WE GO:

Banana into the blender for your smoothie

Next add spinach to your blender for the smoothie

Add peanut butter to blender

Add frozen strawberries to smoothie mix

Add some ice cubes into the blender to make your smoothie chilled and icy!

Add a little milk to make things blend together smoothly

Mmm! Drink up your yummy banana strawberry peanut butter smoothie



So you see in my ingredients that I've listed either frozen or fresh banana/strawberries. In our apartment, we wash the berries that are about to go bad and freeze them in a Tupperware container for future smoothie use. Same with bananas - if they've become too ripe, we peel them and freeze them. Whatever you do - don't put your bananas into the freezer with their peels still on, unless you love battling with a peel that's frozen to its fruit. It's like trying to peel off old wallpaper that will only come up one scrap at a time. #Oy.

This tip about freezing your fruit is especially useful if your supermarket, like mine, never has a berry container that's comprised 100% of "good-looking" strawberries. You know what I mean, right? Like if 75%-80% of the package looks like it's in good shape, I consider that a success at my market.

Any kind of berry will work for this smoothie recipe - blueberries and raspberries are both delicious in it as well. You can even do mixed berries, or swap out the Nesquik for some Swiss Miss mix for a little bit of a different taste.

What is your favorite smoothie recipe? I'd love to hear it!

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{Linking with What I Learned Wednesday}

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Spring Hike on Mt. Seymour

Happy Mondaaaaaaaay! As I mentioned yesterday, we did a Sunday snowshoe hike up Mt. Seymour this weekend. Mt. Seymour is located just about 45 minutes away, in North Vancouver. Ten minutes of that drive is just getting up the winding mountain road to reach the parking lots at the ski resort and trailheads.

I've hiked Mt. Seymour more than any other mountain around here - I think about 5 times at this point? I like this hike because it's full of plenty of steep, climbing parts that really challenge you - but it's also nicely broken up by short flat stretches as well as less-steep grades that allow you to catch your breath a bit. It was a foggy and cloudy hike for us - not unusual around these parts. There were a few opportunities where the clouds broke and a view or two could be had... so I tried to snap as many pictures of those parts as possible.

There are three "pumps" to get up Mt. Seymour - essentially three different summits. Obviously the third and highest is the true summit, but the other two are both nice goals to aim for as well. I've actually never gotten past the first pump of Seymour - I guess we've always just been sufficiently spent after reaching that one that we've never felt the need to keep going. From what I'm told, the first pump has the best views anyway.

We reached the first pump on Sunday around noon, and then stopped to rest and eat our lunch of a Subway turkey sandwich, chips, and Snickers before heading back down the mountain.

Enjoy the pictures!

Hiking Mt. Seymour in North Vancouver

Hiking Mt. Seymour in North Vancouver

April hike on Mt. Seymour in North Vancouver

April hike on Mt. Seymour in North Vancouver

Look closely at the center of this picture... See those black dots in the top-middle?

Climbers ascending Mt. Seymour in North Vancouver

They're people! And they are climbing up some STEEP shit:

Climbers ascending Mt. Seymour in North Vancouver

This is a shot of the first pump, from below...

View of first pump on Mt. Seymour in North Vancouver

Panorama view of first pump on Mt. Seymour in North Vancouver
.  click for a larger view  .
This is at the top of the first pump - Dave took this photo of a hiker in the distance:

View from first pump on Mt. Seymour

This next photo is tricking your eye... It looks like you're looking UP the mountain, but actually this is a shot from the very top of the first pump, looking DOWN the mountain: 


Same with this photo - it's looking down the mountain. 
And check out the dark, ominous clouds that rolled in!






We sat in that spot and enjoyed our lunch before deciding that that black cloud didn't look so good, and we were on our way. 

I hope you enjoyed the photos! Now... when are YOU coming to visit BC?

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Weekend Love & Workouts of the Week

Whoooooo I am exhausted! This morning we set off on a decently-paced hike up Mt. Seymour, and spent about 2.5 hours on the mountain total. I got to set the pace on the way up and did my damnedest to make it brisk and fairly unrelenting. My body is definitely tired now, and my feet are aching a bit - but in a totally good way. Check back here tomorrow for photos from today's hike!

It's been a good weekend around here. On Friday night we went down to the beach for a bit and threw our football around with Dave's friend Evan. It was the first football pass of the season! WHOO! From our beach, we could see a rain cloud across English Bay that was actively pouring rain down onto West Vancouver...

Rain cloud over West Vancouver, raining on the tankers in English Bay


So that was pretty cool to see.

Yesterday I went to pick up a package at a Purolator, and in the process discovered an entirely new-to-me shopping center in Vancouver - the City Square Shopping Center. I swear I stumble upon a new mall every week. Of course I picked up a few things - a sage green fleece vest (on sale for $8.80!), a basic white long-sleeve tee with blue stripes, and a lavender bandana to use while hiking (which I immediately put to use today on Mt. Seymour).  Oh, and the package I was picking up at Purolator? THESE BAD BITCHES*, which you may have seen me post on Instagram:

.  you can find them here!  .
I'M OBSESSED. They're from Forever21 and they were on sale for $25, so it was kind of a no-brainer. And by that I mean, a total impulse purchase that I happened to not regret.

Last night we went out to dinner at The Sandbar, which I've been to (and written about) several times now. For Christmas this past year, David's brother's family gave us a gift certificate to the restaurant, and we were excited to finally get around to using it. I ordered some to-die-for salmon with citrus butter and jasmine rice, and Dave had a salad full of crab, shrimp, egg, avocado, and god knows what else. We also shared some oysters... and both wished that we had ordered way more. #SOGOOD.

We also watched a bunch of movies the last few days - one of my favorite things to do on the weekends. We watched The Fast & The Furious, 2 Fast, 2 Furious, and The Wolf of Wall Street. Have you seen Wolf yet? I really liked it!

Alright, now on to my workouts from the past week ~>

3/30 - 5 mile power walk to Stanley Park

3/31 (lower body and core)
10 mins elliptical
60 bridges
40 weighted v-sit twists holding 15 lbs
60 calf raises, 15 lbs each hand
40 alternating weighted side bends, 15 lbs each hand
40 diamond clamshells each leg
15 deadlifts, 15 lbs each hand
15 squats, 15 lbs
15 squats, 20 lbs
15 squats, 25 lbs
30 cobras

4/1 (upper body and core)
16 mins biking
12 chest press on exercise ball, 10 lbs each hand
12 deltoid flys, 5 lbs each hand
30 weighted v-sit twists, holding 15 lbs
12 close grip chest press on exercise ball, 10 lbs each hand
15 deltoid raises, 5 lbs each hand
12 tricep extensions on exercise ball, 10 lbs each hand
12 upright row + lateral tricep extension, 5 lbs each hand
12 overhead press, 10 lbs each hand
30-second side planks each side
60 bridges

4/2 (cardio)
20 mins ellpitical
0:00 - 3:00 - warm-up
3:00 - 4:00 - all-out
4:00 - 6:00 - moderate
6:00 - 6:30 - sprint
6:30 - 8:00 - recover easy
8:00 - 9:00 - all out
9:00 - 11:00 - moderate
11:00 - 11:30 - sprint
11:30 - 13:00 - recover easy
13:00 - 14:00 - all out
14:00 - 16:00 - moderate
16:00 - 16:30 - sprint
16:30 - 18:00 - recover easy
18:00 - 19:00 - all out
19:00 - 20:00 recover  easy 

4/4 (lower body and core)
5 mins elliptical
40 side lunges + plyometric push-off (each side)
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 15 lbs
40 calf raises, 15 lbs each hand
40 alternating weighted side bends, 15 lbs each hand
60 bridges
40 Russian get ups, holding 5 lbs
20 deadlifts, 15 lbs each hand
15 squats, 15 lbs
15 squats, 20 lbs
15 squats, 25 lbs
30 cobras

How are your workouts going?
Do we share any of the same common exercise moves?
Seen any good movies lately? Share with me!!

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