#PhotoADayApril Photo Cahllenge 30 Photo Recap

For those of you following me on either Twitter, or Instagram for either iPhone or Android, you no doubt have seen me partake over the past 3 months in “Photo A Day” challenges created by @FATMUMSLIM where she creates a list every month with a different photo object or theme each day.  Each month the photo challenge is given a new “hashtag” or handle to help identify these photos.  April’s “hashtag” was #PhotoADayApril.

Here is a recap of my 30 pictures of #PhotoADayApril along with my caption for each photo:

April 1: “Reflection”

Time to kick off a new photo a day month with my #reflection on the happiest day of my life from last month!! #PhotoADayApril

 

April 2: “Colors”

Different “Colors” of cupcakes sooo cute #PhotoADayApril and no these cupcakes were not baked by me.  Thanks @lemcake 😉

 

April 3: “Mail”

This is all we got for #mail today boring mail day minus my Sports Illustrated, haha #PhotoADayApril

 

April 4: “Someone Who Makes You Happy”

Without a doubt the only good thing about waking up at 4:45am 5 days a week or getting up at 5:45 on a day off is seeing this face and knowing I get to wake up to it for the rest of my life. This makes me happy #photoadayapril

 

April 5: “Tiny”

Snack time!! "tiny" cupcake with coconut icing. #photoadayapril

 

April 6: “Lunch”

Everything pizza, meat lasagna, and diet lemonade. "Lunch" #photoadayapril

 

April 7: “Shadow”

That's the shadow of my head. Is my head really that big?? haha #photoadayapril

 

April 8: “Inside my wallet”

Inside of my wallet: Safeway card, visa card, license #photoadayapril

 

April 9: “Younger You”

A Younger me slugging it out in Little League way back in '94!! #photoadayapril

 

April 10: “Cold”

Best Apres Run drink.... Ice "Cold" water. #photoadayapril

 

April 11: “Where you eat breakfast”

My kitchen and dining room where I eat breakfast or at least start eating breakfast. #photoadayapril

 

April 12: “Stairs”

"Stairs" leading up to our floor in the condo building. #photoadayapril

 

April 13: “Something you found”

Just "found" this delightful $20.00 bill stuffed in my wallet. #photoadayapril

 

April 14: “How You Feel Today”

Very happy!! Almost as overly happy as this face going to see Titanic 3D in IMAX with my wife (pictured) is how I feel today!! Sorry but this is the best I could do for #photoadayapril haha 🙂

 

April 15: “Sunset”

No "SUNSET" to be had in #Calgary today it was overcast all day, so I must borrow this picture from San Diego last month. Wasn't very sunny that day but more than here today. Haha!! #photoadayapril

 

April 16: “Flower”

Pretty roses #flowers #photoadayapril

 

April 17: “Something you don’t like”

I'm not a big fan of being in the middle of my commute into work at 6:17am but alas it has to be done. "something I don't like" #photoadayapril

 

April 18: “Hair”

My mom and Grandma both have super curly #hair , guess that explains how I got curly too! Haha!! #photoadayapril

 

April 19: “Orange”

Double the #orange , my shirt and Ashley's dress at the San Diego Zoo last month on our #honeymoon #photoadayapril

 

April 20: “Something you drew”

Ben hearts Ashley. #somethingidrew if you can call it drawing, with my artistically challenged nature in paint brush. Haha!! #photoadayapril

 

April 21: “Bottle”

Which #bottle should I have? You didn't actually expect a non alcoholic #bottle from me did you? #photoadayapril

 

April 22: “Last thing you bought”

#lastthingibought other than food, my Nike LIVESTRONG DRI-FIT running jacket on Friday. #photoadayapril

 

April 23: “Vegetable”

#vegetable and dip platter made by "yours truly"at work today!! #photoadayapril

 

April 24: “Something you’re grateful for”

Just a few of the things "I'm "extremely" grateful for" my friends, my mom, and my little sister, a warm bed to sleep in (yes that bed is from the Marriott in La Jolla California) haha, and my amazing selfless loving wife Ashley!! :0 #photoadayapril

 

April 25: “Looking down”

#lookingdown out of my bedroom window at a shopping bag fluttering along the ground American Beauty style, haha!! #photoadayapril

 

April 26: “Black and White”

At 5:22am this is all my sleepy mind could think up, haha. Quiet train ride into work in #blackandwhite #calgary #photoadayapril

 

April 27: “Somewhere you went”

"Somewhere I went" last month on my honeymoon, Beverly Hills. CA. That's the hotel from Pretty Woman!! #photoadayapril

 

April 28: “1pm”

It's #1pm well technically it's 1:05pm and I'm making travel plans for this upcoming Thanksgiving/Columbus day weekend in #Vancouver and #Vegas #photoadayapril

 

April 29: “Circle”

#circle Spicy Garlic Chicken pizza for a late lunch with Ashley, and her mom (my mother in-law) @ashley_spoon and @ceejayfisher #photoadayapril

 

April 30: “Something that makes you sad”

"Something that makes me sad" coming home to an empty condo. Ashley gets home later than I. 😦 #photoadayapril

 

Here was the list of photos for April:

 

Here is the list of photos for the month of may.  I think you should all give it a try, and if you’re on Twitter or Instagram follow me on either at @benncarrier

 

Happy May everyone!!

-Ben-

Weekend Recap.

I hope you all had a terrific weekend filled with lots of fun, fitness, and food.  I would love to tell you that mine was, but I believe in being honest and holding myself accountable to you my loyal readers so here is the truth, my weekend was filled with all three of these in particularly the fun, and the food.  I did however go for a great 3 mile/4.8 km run this morning my time was a little back from what I would have liked it to be, but all things considering… I hadn’t run in three days, and I’m currently battling the start of a sinus cold I really couldn’t complain too much about my performance.

Now back to the start of my weekend:

Friday night Ashley and I attended our friend Matt’s birthday with about ten other mutual friends of ours and Matt’s.  Now the party was a huge success put on by our friends Jordan and Emily, and I was behaving myself in keeping my alcohol consumption to a minimum, I only had two glasses of Chardonnay, however one may not know it by what happened to my right hand that evening.

In a moment of macho male stupidity (yes I can and will admit from time to time I do commit this act, haha) I decided that as to not break the bag that was at the party filled with ice I would simply use my hand to punch the bag of ice to break the frozen clump apart.  Now yes the clump did break but so did the skin on my hand in several places leading to the need for a bandage, and a little self pity at my lack of insight into what might happen to my hand.

Yesterday/Saturday I was planning to start the day off with an early morning run which didn’t happen at all yesterday never mind early in the morning, in fact yesterday was a day spent in pajama pants and a t-shirt until about 3pm.  I did however manage to stay productive through my day by booking our flights and hotels for our trip to Vancouver, Quesnel, and Las Vegas this upcoming October.  We are going to Vancouver to see Madonna in concert on her 2012 world tour on Sunday September 30, followed by a quick trip up to Quesnel, British Columbia, to see my little sister and her soon to be husband Mike and their soon to be born baby.  The final leg of our trip will take Ashley and I down to Las Vegas for the Canadian Thanksgiving/Columbus Day weekend.  I have planned the weekend in Vegas as part of an early birthday present for my beautiful wife.

When we booked our hotel in Las Vegas for that weekend we chose this as a great time to try out the travel booking site hotwire.com . Now for those of you not familiar with hotwire.com , you don’t get to choose the actual hotel that you’ll be staying at, you do however get to choose from different areas of the city, and the price that it will cost.  The website then tells you how many stars that hotel has and what it’s overall rating is, and once you have confirmed your payment the site at that point reveals to you the hotel you’re staying at.  We ended up rolling the hotwire hotel dice and ended up getting the Tropicana Hotel and Casino which is newly renovated, and highly ranked amongst the hotels on the strip in Vegas.  If you have anything to say towards the Tropicana please feel free to let me know as we’ve never been in it, only by it, and all we are going on are the pictures on its website, and internet reviews all of which though seem to be pretty impressive.

Last night we attended another birthday party, this time for our friend Deanna.  In true “Ben and Ashley manner” we showed up to Deanna’s “bring your own booze” birthday party with a bottle of Boone’s 4% alcohol wine beverage, no getting drunk or even close to off that baby, haha.

 

Today after our early morning run, Ashley and I headed out to the mall to do some shopping with her mom and have a bite to eat while we shopped.

I had a personal sized Spicy garlic Chicken pizza from Boston Pizza.  It was made with a spicy Szechuan sauce, red and green peppers, mozzarella cheese, chicken, and garnished with green onions, I highly recommend this pizza if you find yourself at Boston Pizza.

Tonight has just been a nice relaxing end to a busy but fabulous weekend, starting with a delicious and nutritious home cooked dinner of: Caribbean Jerk Salmon, roasted potatoes and zucchini, and asparagus, and some Sauvignon Blanc.

 

 

After dinner we decided what better way to toast the end of a wonderful weekend than to have a round of homemade margaritas, and have them in souvenir glasses from the Hard Rock cafe in Las Vegas that we got last month in Vegas for our wedding.

 

Now as I finish this blog entry I am ready to head off to bed seeing that it’s 11:25pm and I’m gonna be getting up for work in just under 6 hours.  I hope you all had an amazing weekend whatever you did, and that you all enjoy Monday and whatever it may bring your way.

-Ben-

 

Good Times With Grandma.

Tonight my family: Ashley, momma Eating Living Running, and step dad Eating Living Running, and I went for supper to my grandma’s retirement home for their “Spring Family Smorgasbord” for the residents, and their families.  We have been to a few of these family dinners at the retirement home before, and I have to say they put on a great, fun-filled evening of food, and laughs for all, and tonight was certainly no exception.  The supper is always set up in a buffet style with two buffet lines, along with wine, coffee, and tea service.

Dinner items I chose from the buffet were: fresh raw veggies and dip, tossed leaf lettuce salad, a pickle and olive tray, glazed carrots, and roasted potatoes.  For protein options I chose both chicken masala, and a slice of prime rib roast, along with a nice Merlot to wash it down.  Some of the food options I passed on included cold salads such as: pasta and potato salads, deviled eggs, cold salmon, cheese and cracker trays.

And just when you thought they couldn’t and wouldn’t offer any more food, they offer….

CHEESECAKE with a strawberry compote, and dessert coffee, and tea.

 

Nights like tonight always bring back warm childhood memories of spending summers, and holidays such as Christmas, and Easter with my grandma and enjoying home cooked comfort foods made with that special love and care that only a grandma can put into it.  These events are also very special to Ashley as she no longer has living grandparents of her own, so sharing my grandparents with me is a very special and important part of life for her, and I know that having time with us is very special for Grandma Eating Living Running as Ashley and I are her only grandchildren in Calgary, so for those reasons among others we always try to make  as much time as possible to spend time with and attend these sort of events at grandmas retirement home.

 

Here’s to hoping you all take time to spend with the special elderly people in your life, assuming you have these special people around!

 

-Ben-

What I’m Grateful For

If you follow me on either Twitter or Instagram you no doubt are aware that each month I take part in a photo challenge where you are given a list at the start of each month of a different photo each day that you are to take and post.

You’ll see that today’s #photoadayapril is of something that you’re grateful for, which got me really thinking “what are somethings I’m most grateful for?  Here is the image of my #photoadayapril of somethings I’m most grateful for, along with some other things not pictured.

 

The photo in the top left corner is a picture of three of my best friends: James 2nd from left, my best man Jordan 2nd from right, Dylan far right, my brother-in-law Ryan far left, and myself in the middle, just hours before my wedding last month on the Las Vegas strip. The photo in the top right is of my wife Ashley, my mom Nikki aka: “Eating, Living, Running”, and my kid sister Katelyn “kid sister Eating, Living, Running”. Lower left a warm bed to sleep in each night/shelter.  Lower right my selfless, beautiful, loving, caring, huge hearted love of my life wife Ashley, whom without I would be a lonely, and sad boy.

Other notable things I am truly grateful for are: the rest of my friends and family, my job, and my health which even after six yes six knee operations (2 open surgeries) I’m still able to run, swim, cycle, and do other activities which I love to participate in.

Finally I’m grateful for all of you who take the time to read, follow, and subscribe to my blog, twitter, Facebook, and instagram.  You’re reading, and interest in me, my life, and my blog keep me doing this.

 

Take time to realize what you’re grateful for in your life and to acknowledge those that help make you and you life what it is!! 🙂

-Ben-

Training Run 8.

This morning I started the day off with my eighth training run, a 4.8km/3mile run in a time of 30:55.30, making this my best run thus far this year both distance, and speed wise.  Tomorrow will mark 21 days until my first actual race this year, the “2012 SportChek Mothers Day Run” in Calgary which I am registered in the 5km/3.1mile race along with my running partner and wife Ashley!  Two weeks after our first race we will be taking part in the “2012 Calgary Marathon” running the 10km/6.21mile race.

This mornings run was also my first opportunity to try out my new Nike “Livestrong” Dri-Fit running jacket that I picked up last night.  This jacket is AMAZING I will say.  It is very form-fitting for added warmth and wind protection, and it comes with a wicked awesome lightweight hood for those windy or rainy day runs.  The best part of this jacket for me was the cost, at only $69.99 + tax at SportCheck it was a purchase I just couldn’t resist purchasing, not to mention I have been wanting a warm, breathable running jacket all spring.

After our run this morning I had a rather un-orthodox breakfast/brunch combination, but heck since when are post run meals ever that orthodox?  My post race breakfast/brunch consisted of left over roasted chicken tortellini with tomato sauce from last night, along with grape tomatoes, a slice of multigrain toast with butter, and a big mug of black coffee.

The rest of my day has been filled with some shopping at Bulk Barn (yes a whole store dedicated to selling food in BULK), going out for lunch to FATBURGER, and now getting ready to head off to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s broadway musical “Cats”, with Ashley for a weekend date-night out on the town.

I hope this finds all you readers having a terrific weekend wherever you are, and doing whatever you’re doing!

-Ben-

Why Is It Always So Hard To Stay Motivated To Be Active?

Do you ever ask yourself “What could I do instead of running, or going to the gym?” well maybe it’s riding your bike, or swimming, or anything else active, but be honest and raise your hand if this describes you.  We all know this a feeling we all feel from time to time, so just be honest!

 

Here are 5 simple but highly effective tips to push that tush into shape!!

 

1. Be Honest With Yourself

Be honest just like you did in this opening, admit that you do procrastinate when it comes to working out, and that you will benefit from working out and being active.  If you never procrastinate you would be able to keep your workout regime a daily event, and you would never need or at least want a day or two or three off.  Being honest is the first step to turning our procrastinating habits around.

 

2. Just Press Play

The hardest part of getting out there running, cycling, practicing yoga, or others activities is just getting started.  In my experience if you’re contemplating going for a run, or to yoga, just lace up those runners, or grab your yoga mat and get your duds on.  Once you have the gear on or even in your sights you’re much less likely to change your mind on participating in the activity.  Other ways to get yourself going could be to have a workout or running buddy (someone to keep you motivated, and help keep you accountable to yourself.  Another possible motivator could be to sign up for a workout class or join a running group, as we are less likely to cancel on something we belong to or have joined.

 

3. Make Healthy Choices

Remind yourself about the outcome of your choice to either put off working out vs. the outcome of your choice to workout.  If you choose to play the lazy card you feel: guilty, stressed, antsy, or maybe even mad.  However when you choose to be active you could feel: happy, energized, rejuvenated, healthy, relaxed, excited to continue working out and being active.

 

4. Reward Yourself

While I don’t condone chasing a hard and honest workout with a greasy burger, and double chocolate milkshake, I do believe in rewarding yourself for your dedication and commitment to your health and your workouts.  I say give yourself a little reward every now and then for this.  Your reward could be a variety of things such as rewarding yourself with a healthy breakfast out on weekends after a morning run, or workout at the gym, or maybe allowing yourself an extra beer on a Saturday night as a reward for that 4 mile run or two-hour gym trip earlier that day.  You choose the reward just keep it as healthy and fun as possible.

 

5. Choose An Activity You LOVE

If you don’t choose an activity you LOVE it’s always gonna be more of a challenge for you to stick with it, just choose something active, and something that puts a smile on your face, and you’ll be good to go!

 

-Ben-

Finally….I get to run….again.

I would like to start off today with a “congratulations” to my baby sister Katelyn, and her now fiance Mike.  Katelyn and Mike became engaged over this past weekend, and are planning to “tie the knot” late next month, about one month before they welcome their first child.

Unfortunately Ashley and I wont be able to attend their wedding due to work scheduling, and the astronomically high cost of air-fare to Prince George, British Columbia that weekend.  However we are sending our best wishes to the “new” Newly Weds, it’s gonna be weird Ashley and I no longer being the “Newly Weds” at least in our families after getting married ourselves just six weeks ago tomorrow.

This afternoon brought so much joy to my week.  I was finally able to run again, for the first time in six days due to cold, snowy, and rainy weather here in Calgary.  Well today was still quite cool, but I mustered up the energy and determination to just face the cool weather and run.  Todays run also marked the first use of my new running shoes I bought this past Friday.  The shoes I chose are Adidas Furano 3 runners.  My first run in them and I have to say I absolutely love, love, LOVE them, they are incredibly light, and extremely breathable runners, and I got them at an amazing price at Costco of all places.  Who knew you’d find good quality and comfortable running shoes at Costco?

Today, new shoes and all I ran my best and fastest run of the spring, running 3.5km in 22:42:46 besting my previous best on the season by 58 seconds.  Way to go me!! Sorry but I had to give myself that little pat on the back.

I hope you all head into another weeks “Hump Day” having a great week filled with great food, fitness, health, and living!

-Ben-

The Things We Do For The Ones We Love

 One of the earliest, and most valuable relationship lessons I learned in life was that the key to any successful relationship (dating or marriage) is doing things for the other person even if and when it’s something we’re less than ecstatic for.

Such was the case tonight.  Tonight Ashley and I were in a typical back and forth debate of what shall we do with our Saturday night, debating between going to see a movie, or staying home and watching sports, and doing household tasks and of course blogging.  After about 5 minutes of waffling between our two options we finally decided to have a date night out and go see a movie, choosing to go to a movie in a way turned out to be an easier choice than which movie.  We were debating between “American Reunion” and “Titanic”, now I won’t lie I was less than eager to go see Titanic after having seen it twice in theaters 15 years ago when it was first released, but Ashley had been counting down the days till it’s re-release last weekend.  So after a quick thought I elected to take Ashley to see it in 3D IMAX, much to her excitement even though she did offer me multiple opportunities to back out of going to see it, however I just couldn’t nor would I after offering to take her to see it despite my lack of enthusiasm to seeing it again after a 15 year absence from movie theaters.

   I have to admit that seeing “Titanic” again, but this time with my amazing wife, and seeing it in 3D and on the IMAX made this movie going experience that much greater.  There was also something special even for me seeing it to the day on the 100 year anniversary of the ship hitting the iceberg and beginning it’s plummet to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.  Not to mention it was very neat to revisit the days of young Kate Winslet, and Leonardo DiCaprio in the film that catapulted both of their careers, and took home a unprecidented 11 academy awards, an accomplishment that has not even come close to being matched over the last 15 years.

Hope you all had a great Saturday with your special someone, and had the opportunity to do that special thing for them that makes you feel great inside and they will remember for time to come.

-Ben-

Thursday Snowday..

Welcome to Calgary, Alberta! Still the only city I’ve known to on any given spring day experience 3 or more seasons in a twenty-four hour span.

So was the case today. We went from a rainy spring afternoon just after lunch to a sleaty (is that even a word) autumn afternoon, to finally a winter wonderland tonight with over two inches of snow in the past seven hours.

This little predicament sadly forced me to scrap the idea of doing another training run tonight due to the extreme amount of fresh snow on the sidewalks and roads.  On the upside if you can call it that, tomorrow (Friday) we are expected to get back up to 46 degrees or 8 celsius, so hopefully the fluffy white stuff won’t  be with us long and I can get back out running either tomorrow or Saturday at the latest.

With the evening free and kinda just feeling the urge to stay warm and cozy and dry inside I compleated me and Ashley’s (wife) race entries for our two runs next month.  First race is the Sportchek Mother’s Day Run which we are doing the 5km/3.1 mile run, and then May 27 we have the 10km/6.2 mile portion of the 48th annual Calgary Marathon.  I was really hoping to compete in my first half marathon next month but due to a lack of training over the past year this sadly wont be a reality, but it gives me something to aim for next year right?
For dinner tonight I made a tasty little dish I like to “Vegetarian Rice Stuffing”.  Such a simple, tasty, and nutritious one dish meal.

VEGETARIAN RICE STUFFING

1/2 cup uncooked brown rice (cooked)                                                               -2 cups steamed cauliflower                                                                                                     -1 120g box of  “Stove Top” stuffing mix (any flavor will work) cooked     -1 cup roasted chick-peas seasoned with cayenne pepper                             -2 tablespoons “Franks Red Hot” sauce

Place all ingredients once cooked in a large mixing bowl and stir together with large mixing spoon, and serve.  Serves 3 people.

Hope you all had a great Thursday and hopefully not a Snowday wherever you are, and wishing you all a happy and safe Friday the 13th tomorrow.

-Ben-

Happy Post Easter Weekend.

I hope you all had an amazing Easter weekend (if you celebrated or observed) otherwise I hope you had a great long weekend!

Sunday night Ashley (my beautiful loving wife) and I went to my mom and step dad’s for Easter dinner, with my family including my 6.5 month pregnant sister Kate, and her boyfriend Mike, in from Quesnel, British Columbia.  Seeing my Kate was definitely not only a highlight of my weekend, but also a highlight of the last couple months (minus me and Ashley’s wedding and honeymoon of course).  Ashley and I also shared with Kate and Mike that we will be visiting them, and their new baby this upcoming October.

Also with our family Easter we had the opportunity to catch up with my uncle, and grandma, and share with them our wedding photos, and show off for the family our wedding DVD, since the only people present at our wedding other than us at the dinner were my mom and step dad.  I have to say family holiday get together’s with my family are always food and wine filled which are two big pluses in my book.

These first two days back at work this week have been to say the least very busy, and long days compared to work as of late.  Meaning getting up at 4:30am again and working 6:30am until about 4-4;15 in the afternoon.  This has however been enjoyable as it has been keeping me busy at work, and helping me enjoy my down time all the more.

Tonight I successfully completed my third training run.  My time for the same distance and same course as my first two training runs this weekend was down by over 4 minutes for a total time of 23 minutes and 40 seconds.  I found myself pushing my limit further and harder than I have in a very long time.  The progress I’m making with my training runs is giving me a great sense of hope and excitement heading into my two races next month.

Hope you’re all having a terrific week so far, and hoping you all have a Happy “Hump-Day” tomorrow!!!

-Ben-