No, the end is not near

Had a very busy weekend! And tried to ignore the fact that it was martyr’s day (cough, mother’s day…) not a great day for those of us experiencing strained mother-daughter and parental relationships…UGH! Enough said.

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I am feeling dressage-inspired! 

Anyways, my best solution is to grey-rock them (don’t buy into drama, be boring). It works ok, but I’m also a terrible grey-rock person- prone to outbursts! Ha. Oh well! The weekend itself was pretty good, Friday my husband and I signed up for a ‘5k Happy Hour Run’ with local running store Frontrunners, sponsored by New Balance and Sheringham Distillery. It was so fun, and the weather was fantastic! Sunny, warm, just a great day to be alive.

You had the option to demo a pair of New Balance shoes, go on a nice little 5k shake-out run through Beaconhill Park, and then back to Frontrunners for a sweet-ass cocktail, a Moscow Mule shaken up right there by the bartender! And we got to keep the nice copper mugs too! Yeah!

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Poor Gidget got sick this weekend. 

And then we got home and Gidget was sick, puking. Nooooooooo…She threw up on Ian’s arm at 3am that night. 😦 Gross. Poor dog. Luckily that seemed to be it for her. We were up and Saturday was a super nice day again, at least everywhere not in James Bay. Sunny, warm, beautiful. We went to check out the Oaklands Garage Sale block party. It was nice! I didn’t see anything I really wanted though, so didn’t pick up any garage sale scores.

Off to the barn and enjoyed a ride in the sunshine in the outdoor arena with Oaty. Then I came home and it was just freezing in James Bay. About 12 degrees and wind gusts of oh, 70km/hr? I went on a run and was grimly cursing the entire time. It.SUCKED.

Sunday I was up early to go audit the Cesar Torrente dressage clinic for the day at my dressage trainer’s fabulous stables, Fairlawn. It was really cool! Highlight of the day- watching Cesar instruct a high-level rider/horse partnership, currently competing at Prix St. Georges. It was just stunning to watch, and I was really engaged in it 🙂 How neat! I felt inspired to go ride my little nag after that, hahah.

So we did! Zipped out to the barn after lunch at the clinic and I rode in the outdoor, trying to keep in mind Cesar’s teachings at the clinic. I can get very complacent and lazy when I ride on my own, unfortunately. I feel like I’m not the only one with that bad habit though? Oats was good, we worked on picking up the counter-canter down the long side on the quarter-line of the arena. I was FROZEN though, brrrrrrr.

Moved some jumps around after, ugh I was exhausted. Drove home, contemplated going for another sad-sack run in the freezing wind and cold and just…couldn’t. Ha.

Rode yesterday and it was cold, but still ok to ride in the outdoor with a buddy. Let’s face it- the barn is my social life! 😉 And I am still feeling inspired by Cesar. Let’s hope that propels me into some more effective, focused rides.

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My review: Reese’s White Chocolate minis

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I love Easter, it’s one of my favourite holidays. I think because the candy is my favourite, it give me a chance to complain at length about how Cadbury’s is ripping the people off by shrinking their Cadbury’s Crème Eggs year after year and now using these weird plastic packages, I love Peeps and now Reese’s entered the fray with their Reese’s Eggs AND who can forget the big Reese’s Bunny? I pointed it out to Ian this year and hinted heavily that this was ‘the best chocolate bunny money can buy’…I never said I had fine taste!

Also I love rabbits, so there is that too!

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But this isn’t quite an Easter candy review, though the white chocolate does give Reese’s a pretty pastel-like look, and I think it looks nice, like little snowballs or something? I took a photo of one I had bitten into, and it looked like a squashed cockroach, so you’re not getting that pic, ha. They smell delicious, a little bit fakey (thanks to the white chocolate), but they are actually pretty darn delicious! I am not a white chocolate person, but I AM a candy person/Reese’s girl, so beggars can’t be choosers, haha.

The taste is pure Reese’s, albeit sweeter than the traditional. You can eat them by the handful, which I like. I don’t like being forced to moderate my candy consumption, like why I kind of dislike dark chocolate. Let me eat you by the fistful already!!!

If you are interested in something new, I would rate these as slightly lower than the traditional mini Reese’s, but higher than Reese’s Pieces in terms of taste value. Two thumbs up! Thank you to my friend who knows what I like best!

Time to settle this: The BEST Peanut Butter is PLANTERS! Yes!

Time to settle the great Peanut Butter Debate by sharing the gospel of Planter’s Peanut Butter. I know this is contentious (among the biggest arguments in our office, right up there with Which Breakfast Place in Victoria is the Best/Worst, people have lost limbs over that one…) but I have to do it. I have to inform the masses! This is definitely the best, chunky or smooth.

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Not ashamed at how many I have hoarded… Old on left VS new on right. 

The only issue I have is that they recently changed their packaging and it’s doing my head in. They are both 1kg, but the new one looks/is shaped significantly smaller. This leads me straight down the road to suspicion- when is 1kg not 1kg? ARGH. Yes, I do have several jars hoarded at home. You never know when you might need 3-4 jars of peanut butter.

Anyways, photo evidence attached. I have yet to take this to a scale or better yet, The Planters Peanuts Company themselves, but I’m seriously considering it…

And don’t come at me Adams Peanut Butter People- you know your place…And no way am I stirring peanut butter or keeping it in a fridge. Sacrilege!!

Race Recap: Port Alberni 15k Paper Chase

Ouch this one was also kind of an ego-crusher. Not because I had a really poor performance, or surprised myself with a bad race, but because it was just really hard and I was surprised at how often I got passed, particularly throughout and at the end of the race. I had no rally, apparently. Shoot!

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A beer for me after~ the best part of racing is the chance to try far-flung breweries.

I guess each year I forget how much of a killer the ‘rolling hills’ are in this 15k, and just kind of expect things to go…Well? Spoiler- they don’t really, hahah. My legs were feeling kind of trashed- 3 races in 3 weeks is a lot for me, and my legs were not responding well to the schedule. Plus I had a riding lesson the day before, also unusual for me.

I started off pretty well, optimist even! And then kind of started dreading the rolling hills…And then kind of ground it out to the turnaround, and then slowly started getting passed, steadily in fact! Ha. I just could NOT rally my legs. They were hurting, and getting tired.

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Photo by Lyndon Cassell Photography from Port Alberni. I was starting to walk away at this point, which is why I look awkward…

My goal was to stay under 4:30/km, which I kind of did? If you can count my ratio of a km at 4:22, the next one *up a hill* at 4:36, and then 4:25, and then 4:37,..and on and on. For the entire race…

I had a really bad Km at around 12…Just so uphill. I was tired, wanted to walk. I mentally gave up on that one. Rallied at 13-14, and then kind of just trudged it home and got passed within 500m of the finish line. HA. It was a stark contrast to my pretty good feeling 12km last weekend, even though I tried to catch up with some runners and they blew past me…I still felt pretty good about my efforts/finish. This race? Nah not so much.

But anyways, it was my fastest 15km yet! I ran it squeaking just under at 1:06:57. Yeah!! First in my age group (again like Cedar 12k it is a very small race, I am under no illusions that I’m some sort of super-athlete). My legs are still tired today, ha. Also it’s daylight savings and damn, it is killing me! Sooooooo tired this week.

Join the supper club: The Boateng House fine dining experience!

My mom won a contest offered by the Langford community bimonthly magazine, ‘GoWest Langford’ for a long-table format five-course fine dining extravaganza. She invited me and we went on Friday.

In short: It was INCREDIBLE~ The food was amazing, the community atmosphere, and chef Castro and his fellow chef were friendly and outgoing. We had a lovely time.

Without further ado, on to the food:

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African pulled pork.

We had a few appetizers, consisting of Beef Wellington (delicious!), salmon tartare in a cone, melt-in-your-mouth, a soup spoon of smoked eggplant ratatouille, tasted just like baba ghanouj, and ‘African sushi’ that was lighly spiced pulled pork in a sushi wrapping. Divine!

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Mini Beef Wellingtons

Next up was our bread-and-butter course. The butters were spruce tip, plain butter and orange butter- sooooo good. Fresh bread too, yummm! We didn’t want to eat too much of it, because the salad course was up! Salad was lovely, fresh spring greens (mesclun maybe?) with a large beet slice and a generous dollop of goat cheese. Divine!

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A very nice salad.

And then we were on to the soup course, and it was a showstopper- lobster bisque with two very healthy-sized scallops and shaved radish on top. It was amazing.

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Lobster bisque…And you can see the scallop I took a bite out of! 

Next was the main- rack of lamb (perfectly done, meaty and well rounded flavours) resting on a bed of large pearled couscous, accompanied by roasted root vegetables. It was a delight!

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Rack of lamb with pearled couscous, root vegetables.

Finally for dessert, we had chocolate mousse with a caramelized sugar curl on top and cooked pear shavings and minted whipping cream. Divine! We had an amazing time, and the food, company and chef were a true delight. I would recommend this style of eating- and chef- to anyone for a luxurious and amazing evening out.

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Chocolate mousse, with pear and minted cream.

Shockwave

Therapy, that is. Ugh. I am still very much injured (current diagnosis is a muscle tear in my abdomen wall, near some particularly spirited ligaments that pull horribly on my pubic nerves…). 😦

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Photo thanks to my friend Katie! All snuggles for Mr. Oats.

I injured it three weeks ago, and it’s been on and off painful since. The only things that really aggravate it are running, and riding, natch! Which I do every day? Dammit. I am still trying to ride and run but the running is so painful that I definitely have been toning it wayyyyy back. I even downgraded a half marathon that I was supposed to do to a 5k, which was still VERY painful to run. Man.

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At least my pony loves me! Photo thanks to Katie H. 

Riding this week was pretty good, had a dressage lesson on Friday that was quite humbling…Like after an hour of lesson, this is what my warm-ups should be? Yiikes..We are not there yet, but we are getting there. Otherwise have been enjoying some flatwork, rides with friends, Halloween candy and Halloween parties!!

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Happy Halloween! From a friend’s party this weekend, one of TWO parties I went to! 

I had a shockwave therapy appointment yesterday morning and jesus it hurts~ It is no joke, I didn’t realize it was going to be so painful. And they say that it’s not even on a bone, which is more painful. Yikes. I have another session on Thursday to try and speed up the healing for my muscle…Can’t say I am looking forward to it. I felt beat up yesterday and in a fair amount of pain.

Still with some significant nerve pain today, oh joy. At least my muscle isn’t hurting?

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I am drowning my sorrows in chocolate and wine!