30s

When I was in my 20s, I never wanted to turn 30. Maybe it was because I felt like I really hadn’t accomplished much at that point. I wasn’t married. I didn’t own my own home. No kids. And all 3 of those things seemed so far on his back burner, I felt like it would never happen. Then we went to Vegas with some of my girlfriends for my 30th birthday and something in me changed.

I don’t know if it was the secret 9+hr tattoo of Satan that cost more than the engagement ring I picked out…okay it wasn’t really Satan, but if you saw it – it was pretty fucking evil…or if it was the fact we barely spent any time together. We shared one meal together – just the two of us – the entire time in Vegas. We had “dinner” at 1:30am by random chance at our hotel. He happened to be there when I text him after a show. Romantic, right?

Maybe it was the Seattle Airport incident. The girls and I went to grab a quick bite to eat and a glass of vino before our flight back to Edmonton. Again, he was doing his own thing. When we heard the overhead page for pre-boarding, we finished up and went to find him. We assumed he’d be waiting for me/us at the gate but he was nowhere to be found. I tried calling, texting, BBM-ing him….until finally I received a response of “I’m already on the plane.”

Already on the plane. Thanks for waiting?

When we got back to Edmonton it didn’t take long for me to really see how unhappy I was. I realized I was making excuses for him and starting to believe the excuses he was feeding me. I never questioned his love for me but I think he truly undervalued and unappreciated me. I tried to make it work, but inevitably moved out mid-May.

I didn’t think I’d be ready to move on so quickly after such a long relationship (nearly 6 years) – but it really wasn’t long before I was ready to date. I didn’t want a relationship. I just wanted to date casually – have some fun – and truthfully, to see if I still “had it”.

I dated casually until about a month later. I reconnected with my high school crush. I wish I could find my old binders and notebooks – because there were definitely hearts with our initials in them. And I know I wrote about him in my boy-diary. Yes, I had a book solely dedicated to the ones who stole my heart. I was really boy-crazy. It drove my mother nuts. Our first date was wonderful. I was open and honest about what I wanted and my deal breakers. So was he. And at the end of the date when he walked me to my door and kissed me goodnight….the world stopped. It IMG_20160320_160701[1]was the best goodnight kiss I’d ever experienced. And I think I knew in some way, that 30 wasn’t going to be so bad. It turns out, I was right. This year turned into some weird catalyst for enjoying life. I moved into my own apartment. An apartment that kinda sucks but it’s my own space. I stopped tracking every crumb that went into my mouth and started eating more mindfully. Took control of my consumer debt. Put myself first and left my work family for a new job within the organization that will give me a Monday-Friday life. I’ve stopped caring what people think about me. I’ve even started calling people out on their bullshit instead of biting my tongue. It’s quite a liberating experience!

Three days ago, I turned 31. It’s been quite the year, but I feel like it’s really only just begun.

Making Changes

Do you ever get a thought stuck in your head? And it’s all you can think about? Could be about a new hair cut idea you saw on Pinterest. Or it’s something more serious like changing jobs or buying a new car. Maybe it’s deciding whether or not to end your relationship. Hmmm. So you think about it for awhile. You weigh the pro’s and con’s. Maybe there’s a list involved. Then you consult your “nearest and dearest”. Get their input. And then revisit that pro’s and con’s list. And then….you pull the trigger. You get your hair cut. Change jobs. Buy that new car despite the interest rate. Break the heart of the man you’ve loved for years. And you wait to find out….was it worth it?

Then, after some time, the universe sends you an answer. Granted, the time line varies depending on what you’re waiting for. (If you’re waiting months to find out if chopping off your hair was a great idea or not….well….you must not have been listening.) But when you get that answer and it’s so incredibly loud and clear – what a gratifying feeling. Yes. I DID make the right call.

If you’ve never taken a leap of faith and made the changes needed to make yourself happy, I highly recommend trying it out. It’s scary and exciting….and when it works out…the rewards are definitely worth the risk. I feel like a totally different person. So much so that OTHER people noticed! I’m energized, excited, more positive – hell, I’ve even lost weight! BONUS! I’m hoping in posts to come I can share some of the amazing things that have happened in my life to make me feel this way. But you and I both know how frequent I blog…

Sunday

It is SO NICE to have a Sunday off! Especially when the sun is shining and the birds are singing….and those birds aren’t pigeons. But that’s another story for anther day.

The plan for the day is to hit the gym and do some spring cleaning! We head to Vegas in 12 days and want to come home to a clean place…12 days!! I can’t wait!! I can wait to turn 30….but I can’t wait to get into more of the sunshine. You know, the kind with some heat behind it?

There’s just something about Vegas that I love. I think it’s the forever blue skies against all those different signs on the strip, with the hustle and bustle. I am looking for recommendations as to where to go for dinner on my birthday. We are headed to the MGM later that evening to check out Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club. He’s hosting that night since it’s the club’s anniversary week. I don’t necessarily want to eat at the MGM – I’d be happy for some other nearby places that aren’t TOO expensive. A special bonus would be if they offer a gluten free option for my bff.

Happy Sunday, friends. I hope you accomplish whatever it is you’re looking to do today.

The Journey To Now (Cole’s Notes)

Weight loss and I have been best friends since 2008. It all started after my boyfriend at the time, broke up with me because I was “getting too fat”. I was already overweight when I met him and I thought he loved me for who I was….but nope. He claimed he was worried about me and my health, but didn’t want to stick around to help me out. He totally could have been more supportive, but chose to end things instead. The guy had a six pack for crying out loud!! Mmmmm six pack. Anyways, I digress.

That summer we had a family reunion. My Aunt had joined Herbal Magic and looked pretty foxy. She had lost so much weight!! I was inspired and got my Dad to pay for me to do it and I did really well. I lost 83lbs total. I went from a size 22 to a size 8/10. I felt amazing, but because I was a student, I couldn’t afford the super pricey costs associated with the program. I had to stop taking the supplements. I quit Herbal Magic. I also met my current boyfriend, and there was a lot of date nights and poor food choices. (It took years for me to understand what I needed from him for support and how to express that to him)

One day I was watching The Today Show, and a woman was on talking about her 100lbs+ weight loss through the use of myfitnesspal. I went on the website and got tracking. I tracked pretty religiously, but it wasn’t the same kind of accountability I needed. Even when I met my supremo amazing personal trainer, Jerry, I couldn’t keep the weight down. She was (and still is!) a huge inspiration to me. She got me to do some pretty crazy things (well, crazy for me) – but I still wasn’t able to find the right balance.

In July 2014, I realized I had been using MFP for so long but not getting anywhere – there had to be another way! I went with a friend to a Weight Watchers meeting. I just wanted to see what it was all about and if it was something I might be interested in. And you know what? I LOVED IT!!! Despite going to a meeting filled with retirees out in Suburbia, I felt a connection to those people. THEY WERE MY PEOPLE. I joined that day and haven’t looked back. I found a meeting near me and have connected with my leader, Christine. She’s amazing.

Last night, I was asking an acquaintance about some alternate exercises and protein shakes and I stumbled on www.bodybuilding.com Now, I’m no bodybuilder, and I have zero desire to be one. But I got inspired by all the FREE WORKOUT PLANS. I downloaded one I liked, and started it today. Let me tell you. I can’t walk properly. My arms and legs are jelly. It hurts to sit on the toilet (TMI, but you know, we’re friends, it’s okay). For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m finding my way into a place where I can sustain the life style changes I’m making.

Thanks for taking the time to read, I really appreciate your interest and support to keep me going! Find me on instagram @kristimingo and Twitter @kristimingo

Now don’t mind me….I’m going to waddle my way over to my bed.

Roasted Red Kuri Coconut Curry Squash Soup

2014-10-24_18.14.58Sounds like a mouthful, doesn’t it? Let me tell you – it’s a tasty mouthful! My boyfriend and I subscribe to a local service called The Organic Box This week, I received a red kuri squash in my box and had no idea what I wanted to do with it! It was a lot LOT larger than I anticipated (5 1/8lbs before I carved it up) and it was kinda intimidating. So of course I go to Pinterest for inspiration! Gina Homolka, the genius behind Skinnytaste, saved the day with a delicious recipe. I even had naan on hand from the farmer’s market! I forgot to thaw it so unfortunately, I have to wait until tomorrow to indulge, but even without it was delicious! It also gave me another excuse to use my immersion blender.

Here’s the link to the recipe: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/11/roasted-red-kuri-coconut-curry-soup.html

I added a full can of light coconut milk (400ml) to help balance the lack of chicken stock (I used one 900ml) carton), I ended up with nine, 1 cup servings at 3 Weight Watchers points per serving. Even with a dollop of sour cream and some cilantro – no change to the point value!

Good bye Summer?

The past few days in Edmonton have been some of the coolest this summer. We’ve even had our first frost warning! I wish I could say it’s hard to believe it, but I’ve lived in this province for almost 30 years…so I know it’s true. The skies have been overcast, there’s a bit of a chill in the air…and dammit – the leaves are starting to turn. Too soon, I say. In the coming days it’s supposed to be mid-high 20s…and I’m hoping that will be enough to stave off Fall.

This year I really got into gardening. It’s always a challenge to garden when you live in an apartment or condo. I wish I could hang my flower boxes on the outside of my railings. I wish I could drill hangers to the siding for hanging baskets. I wish I could plant a variety of plants but I’m forced to stick to ones that will survive an east-facing environment. That said, sometimes you just have to make do with what you’ve got. I tried to do a little research (though still mixed up the difference of annuals and per-annuals) and tried some new things. I bought plants for my flower boxes and even attempted growing from seeds! Next year I will definitely start earlier and plan a little better.

I’m sad to say that I don’t think my patty pan squash are going to make it. The leaves look mouldy and the flowers just keep shriveling up (yes, I’m watering them). And my lettuce is kinda….dwarfy. But! I managed to  replant geraniums and they flourished once in  the flower box, and my nasturtiums were beautifully fragrant and even keep blooming!

Feel free to share your balcony gardening tips so that I may be more successful next year!20140627_192952 IMG_20140630_165707 IMG_20140630_16583520140715_095317

Delayed Firsts

1st Mani!

In a few months I’ll be turning 29 years old. Today, I got my first ever manicure. Why did I wait so long?! Growing up, I always chewed my nails, but into my early 20s, I stopped and tried to let them go. I guess I always thought they were never nice enough to be worthy of a manicure! I’ve since learned that it doesn’t matter how long your nails are, you should just go and FEEL PAMPERED!

I went totally on a whim. I was in West Edmonton Mall and already overspent at Sephora and Cookies by George (haha), but on my way out the door I passed a nail salon that didn’t look busy. It was called M Nails and seemed pretty okay. I sat down and told them I just wanted a manicure – no acrylic or gel extensions or anything. No problem. They asked me to pick out a gel polish – there were so many to choose from! She seemed slightly disappointed when I said that I just wanted white tips. Since I’d never had a mani before, I wanted to see what it would look like. They always look so fancy!

It was $45 – and I have no idea if it was a good price or not – but I’m happy with the results. Next time I would ask for the white tips to be a bit thinner. I think the chunky white makes my fingers look a bit chubbier. (Yes, I have these thoughts lol).