My reviews: Jalapeno M&Ms

Jalapeno M&Ms!!

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I know, weird eh? I found these at this nice candy/ice cream shop in Cowichan Bay last weekend when Ian and I stopped there for a treat after our hike up Mt. Tzhouhalem. We got some ice cream and spotted these. They were WAY overpriced at $3.60, but I couldn’t resist and apparently the bag is bigger than a regular bag of m&ms, called a ‘sharing bag’ and contained three servings (riiiiight). This is a product offering in a line of unique ‘International’ flavours- there is Thai coconut, British toffee flavour and Mexican jalapeno flavour.

Let’s get this one thing out of the way- m&ms are overpriced and overrated. Ok I said it.

But, I also like them and a lot of people do (peanut or peanut-butter only, please. Stay away with your Smarties type ones). So these ones, how did they fare? Pretty darn neat actually! The jalapeno kick is almost impossible to detect at first, and then with a subtle heat, it grows on you. Eat more, and it gets significantly spicier! What a cool concept for a pretty boring brand. I do recommend these, they’re not so hot, but they’re quite fun and a real novelty. Not a bargain buy at all, but unique and fun to eat.

Anyways, the jalapeno m&ms were more fun than the rest of my week, which included having a lawn chair collapse underneath me causing me to fall underneath my freaking horse on Monday, and then breaking a chunk off my back molar on Tuesday that means more fillings for me…yay. 

Stay tuned for my other candy purchase reviews from the same store… Mango-chile Nerds, Guava Nerds!

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Relevant to anyone but you

Had a good week, a decent weekend…And a terrible day. So, out of 7 days, 1 was an absolute, pain-filled misery. Good? I’m struggling with some health issues, and STILL waiting for an abdominal ultrasound to hopefully figure out why I’ve been experiencing absolutely excruciating cramping and bloating…For a year now. And it has been getting steadily worse and worse each month. Add in severe IBS symptoms and bingo, that’s me.

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My fancy boy

Joy…I blame the Mirena IUD I had. I have no idea why, or how, but it’s just wrecked my hormones or something and now I have endometriosis, ovarian cysts or fibroids, or none, or all of them. 😦 It’s horrendous. I am suffering hugely, and I am going to start getting on the dr’s office about this starting NOW.

Anyways, I guess it’s good that happened on my day off (happy Thanksgiving to meee….ugh). My lessons last week were really good actually! Oats was great, and while we didn’t jump anything high or amazing, it just felt good and consistent. Something my jumps have been lacking since, oh, July? Ha.

My dressage lesson was lovely on Friday! We revisited the exercises from last week and to my pleasure, Oats seemed to remember them? He was even sharper this time! It makes me feel very hopeful about our counter-canter and flying lead changes happening sometime in the future…A girl can hope can’t she?

We also volunteered this weekend at the Victoria Goodlife Marathon for five hours to set up race stanchions. It was a loooooooong day riding in the back of the Budget truck, haha. My dad came for dinner that day too, and then on Sunday it was riding, and then out to the farm for a nice turkey dinner. My Monday was a total heinous disaster of pain, but I am hopeful that I can get some answers to my health issues soon…

My reviews: Nature Valley Peanut Butter and Chocolate Granola cups

And I have to say that while I liked it (and let’s face it, peanut butter and chocolate can NEVER go wrong in my books!), it was pricey for what it was- glorified granola bars in puck-form. A box is $3.99 at Save-On, and each pack has two granola pucks.

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The peanuts on top were a nice addition but weirdly the only thing I could think about when I was eating it was that it needed to be more dense and like, filling? It’s ridiculously light, feels like air. Peanut butter is more substantial than that!! Also it could have a deeper well for the peanut butter, and the chocolate coating on the bottom was ‘eh’…could barely even taste it. For show, mostly. Would I buy again? Only if it was on sale. I liked it, but I also like eating peanut butter out of the jar for roughly the same price for a whole jar, soooooo yeah. Nice try though, Nature Valley, on keeping me separated from my money once again.

 

I gave one to Ian and he had 1 bite and said he didn’t like it, because- and I quote- “It was too much peanut butter.” ?????????? So that’s been a fun marriage.

 

I ate the rest of his. And the rest of the box, if we are being honest here.

I will spite survive

A few weekends ago I went horse camping with friends! It was for a local trainer’s ‘Wine, Women and Working Equitation’ camping and clinic weekend and it was 100% what I needed! Jane Stone offered the course (limited entry), I had a great time, and Oats is SO GOOD at working equitation! His keenness and flexibility to learn makes me feel just overjoyed!

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You can’t fake a smile like that! Photos are courtesy of photographer Christi Kay. 

I took the Friday off work and we hauled the horses and a metric ton of camping gear, hay, grain, water (there is a drought right now) up island for our camping weekend. We settled in and I was happy to see that I could camp right next to my boy!  How awesome is that? I think we bonded even more because we got to camp next to each other for two nights 🙂

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The fixed gate obstacle was no problem for Oats!

Friday was an in-hand session, where we learned how to get the horse to yield and bend based off equitation science principles, specifically to work on aspects of the working equitation obstacles that we would be tackling. I’m not that great at in-hand… But hey low pressure and no fuss!

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Oats is so brave over the bridge!

Dinner that night was pizza from Prima Strada, and it was soooooo good. Yum! I sure ate well that weekend, no doubt. Saturday was our introduction to the obstacles, and we were all in different sessions. Oats was very cooperative about learning more about them (we have done a working equitation clinic before and loved it!) and he’s super good with the obstacles. Some of the other horses were not so sure about the obstacles…My friends each had their own hands full!

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I was…not great at the garrocha pole

Dinner was a potluck and we had a TON of food. I ate too much! hahah. My dear husband dropped off meatballs for me to bring AND cinnamon buns from the Ladysmith bakery (my absolute fav..ever!). It was just nice to relax and talk horses with my buddies.

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Around the ‘cattle pen’

Sunday was the ‘speed round’ and run-throughs of the course. Oats was a superstar~ I had trouble with the garrocha pole (felt like I was going soooooo fast, and had trouble timing it enough to grab it correctly), but man it was so fun.

It was exactly the weekend I needed, as I came home on Sunday night to pack for my flight out the next morning to work on my deployment to Lillooet. Busy busy!

Take me with you: Long weekend at the Kingfisher Spa~

That’s right, while I am currently dealing with a shit-ton of work (ARGH reality sucks), I am able to reminisce about the lovely long weekend I just enjoyed at the Kingfisher Spa in the North Island (Courtenay-Comox).

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Now, it’s pricey. Real pricey. So it was a splurge for my husband and I to go, and stay for 3 nights and treat ourselves to the hydropath session ($95/ea, so it’s not like we’re going to go often, or ever again, ha). But it was so neat!

The weather sucked out loud. It was cold, chilly, rainy grey and just so blahhhh. But, since we had our dog – Gidget the Terrible- with us, it was pretty convenient because then we didn’t have to worry about her overheating on us. So, sort of a win eh? We got up there in the evening on Friday after work, and enjoyed a beer at the new to us Mt. Arrowsmith Brewery, where we unfortunately sat next to the loudest, most wildly obnoxious people I have had the misfortune to be around in ages. I moved inside, and complained (yes I am THAT person, ha). Oh well!

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Gidget the Terrible

Food was good and the beer was great! The next day, we plotted out a longer-run route along the chlorine gas pipe that ran next to the river, and friends, let me tell you- BERRIES GALORE! OMg. I know why bears are hanging around 🙂 It was good! We then went back to the resort, showered and picked up our dog to go cruise around downtown Comox. It was very quaint, some mega $$$ stores, and very, very busy. Crammed with folks. I enjoyed a very unique chocolate bar (coconut/lime) and we shared a buffalo-milk-yogurt & blueberry ice cream. So good!

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We went swimming in the evening and generally relaxed. Which was good, because the next morning we zipped off to Cumberland to get some of their famous doughnuts! And surprinsgly, since the last time I tried the doughnuts a few years ago, I wasn’t thrilled. They were pricey, ok tasting and no real selection. Overhyped and overprice.

We took our overhyped doughnuts with us to go hike at Mt. Washington’s Paradise Plateau. It was really nice, and lucky for us the fog wasn’t on the plateau, it was just covering the mountain. Phew! We had sandwiches, and hiked and fed whiskeyjacks. So cute! So bold…

Headed back to the spa because then it was time for our hydropath session! This was very cool and very relaxing. It had a little bit of everything- massage jets, salt scrub, mineral baths, jets, a sauna…Ah….

And for dinner we took a chance on the only restaurant nearby us that wasn’t the mega-pricey Kingfisher restaurant: Ol’ Roy’s Towne Pub. It was excellent actually! We listened to the open mic night, shared a pizza and a huge, and seriously bad-for-you salad. AND a espresso mud pie dessert. Glutton here…

On our way home on Monday, we stopped by Moringstar farm (they make cheese AND wine AND you could wander the farmyard, pet bunnies, pigs, cows, baby cows, oh soooo cute). We tried the wine, and bought some cheese to eat, and for a gift. Delicious! A very generous cheese sampling policy as well, which is a big thumbs-up from me 🙂

And we stopped in Ladysmith so I could get a cinnamon bun from the bakery, featured yesterday in my blog. HUGE reasonable, delicious and so, so so mouthwatering: This is definitely NOT hyped enough, in my opinion!! Go and buy one. For $3.50 you can do a lot worse, and the muffins are only $2.50 and HUGE. YUm. I am still drooling…

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