March was a busy month for us, as I started, and settled into, my new job, and as we logged the miles in preparation for Around the Bay (stay tuned for more on that next week). But we still managed to squeeze in a few individual firsts and fun nights out!
For me, the biggest first was leaving the Star to start my first 9-5 Monday to Friday job, which was also my first career change. Exciting stuff. It also called for the purchase of my first pink blazer!
Also in notable firsts for me was hitting Sunday brunch at La Carnita. Delicious tacos, guacamole and churros for breakfast? Sign me up. And, after years of talking about joining a book club, I finally took the plunge and helped form a two-person club (Team W is for Wilson!), reading through the novels featured in Gilmore Girls. We started with a perhaps overly ambitious first novel, Moby Dick, so it took a while to be ready for our inaugural meeting, but I have no regrets about my first Melville!
And, I got to enjoy my first sugar shack experience, as we headed up to Kortright for the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival. Delicious, and adorable.
A. and I also managed a night out roller skating, the top photo, ate alligator for the first time, tried tequila shots with oysters (pictured below), visited our first Canadian Target, squeezed in a Good Friday hike, and spent a surprisingly delightful weekend in Hamilton. Not to mention enjoyed our first Saturday morning brunch together – the perils of both working weekends for ages!
It wasn’t a huge month for new adventures, but as we load up our calendar for April, it looks like we’ve got lots of fun ahead!
In addition to trying 52 new things as a couple this year, I’ve also been trying hard to set goals for self-improvement, busting bad habits and making big, positive changes. I’ve been focussing on the three “Fs”: food, fitness and finance, in addition to the fun of the New 52 project. In January, this meant dramatically cutting back on sweets and booze, brown bagging my lunches and running a mile a day. For February, the goals were a two-week ban on caffeine, barring a sole cup of Earl Grey in the a.m., as well as sweets and alcohol, along with scrapping my latte purchases and adding strength training to my routine two times a week. For March, I decided I’d try to do 20 pushups every day, in an attempt to boost my neglected upper body training and up my veggie intake with organic delivery service Mama Earth Organics, while also trying to buy more of our groceries in bulk.
And, honestly, it was tough. In part, because March flew by in a series of big changes. Changing jobs was rewarding, terrifying and exhausting. It also threw my routine for a loop. Plus, I decided to give up buying myself sweets, caffeine and booze for lent – and honestly, I miss coffee and cookies.
But, most importantly, I survived. I managed to stay fairly healthy in my eating habits, maintain my brown-bag routine and keep hitting the gym. I even kept up my strength training. But I fell short on my pushups. I want to blame all the external stresses, plus a bad fall on the ice that left me with skinned palms, but really, honestly, I just forgot some days. I was tired.
I did better with the veggies, though. The delivery service has cut our grocery trips down significantly, as we now try to plan around what’s featured in the week’s box. And, a few trips to No Frills, the market and organic food stores helped bulk up our supply of staples at a fraction of the cost.
I’m hoping, first and foremost, that April will bring a new routine! One that sees me getting my laundry done on time and not yawning at 9 p.m. on a weeknight. But, of course, I can’t bail on my challenges now. For fitness, I’ve got a snazzy new bike that’s just begging to be broken in.
So for April, my fitness goal is two-fold: ride my bike once a week while getting over my fear of cycling in the city. (Don’t worry, I bought a helmet too!). For food, I’m going to try at least one new recipe each week, maxing out the deliveries from Mama Earth, while also trying to keep my intake of booze, caffeine and sugar in check. And, as for finance, March was a month of many celebrations. Many meals out and brunches and “I got a new job” purchases. So, April will be more restrained, as I limit the meals out to twice a week, max.
Wish me luck!
Or, rather, say “spa.” After months of training (photo, above!) in preparation for our 30K race, and a very stressful February, a relaxing addition to the New 52 list seemed like a must. A. had never done the whole spa thing before, and I had only ever gone with the girls, so we booked ourselves in for an afternoon at the Elmwood Spa.
Not only was it a seriously zen way to spend an afternoon together, it was also just what our aching muscles needed as we stared down our taper. A few hours of soaking in the waters, plus a deep tissue massage (they discovered knots we didn’t know existed!) and some serious smoothies, and we were ready to take on the world again. After a solid nap.
Last week, I got to do one of the coolest assignments in recent memory: lace up for an hour with a running legend.
“It’s not every day you do an interview while running. But for my time with John Stanton, founder of the Running Room, it seems somehow right.
Stanton, in Toronto for the opening of his 118th Running Room store at 38 Grenville St., is also the author of eight books and a 61-time marathoner. He’s credited with teaching North Americans how to cross a finish line “smiling and upright.”
“There always seems to be some hot, new social network on the block, gaining popularity among consumers and media. With each, marketers ask how the platform will benefit their businesses — and whether they should even be on it at all?”
This isn’t just a key consideration for businesses, but also for publications and yes, even personal brands. I’m giving Vine a thumbs up, but still wary of the new Myspace … What do you think? What new social networks have earned your time?