Things That Are My Jam – Thanksgiving Edition

We are back from Asia. We’re home and I’m jetlagged AF. At 1:30am I’m waxing poetic (in my head in bed) about Thanksgiving this year. It’s Thanksgiving in the U.S. today but not in Canada (theirs was in October). Today here is a regular day. The kids will be up in a few hours, we’ll get them off to school, have our normal routine, and I’ll go to an appointment later to check out a new place for possible future employment. And I’ll try to avoid social media and looking at photos of everybody’s plates piled high with the best food of the year.

Since it won’t necessarily feel like Thanksgiving here today I’ll be making it as Thanksgiving-y as possible. Fraser made a great homemade chicken soup last night so we’ll have that tonight – along with mashed potatoes, rolls, macaroni & cheese, and pumpkin pie. I’ll Facetime with family during the day and wait for the post-meal phone call from my dad wishing me “Merry Christmas,” a tradition we’ve had since I was a kid, signaling the official start of the Christmas season. I’ll start playing Christmas music almost immediately after and we’ll kick off the movie line up of Home Alone, White Christmas, Charlie Brown, etc. Robin came home from school and asked if we could watch Frosty the Snowman, but I told him we had to wait until tonight after dinner. We are both STOKED.

So here’s my list of things I’m thankful for, because that’s what we do today:

The relationship that I’ve always dreamed of with the partner I adore, trust, admire, and respect.

These kids that I can’t get enough of who love and treat me like family.

The parents who I miss terribly but get to see regularly on FaceTime. Shoutout technology.

The friends who make the effort to connect, even though we’re all busy and on different time zones.

The budding movement I see in the U.S. of those who are will to speak up for others and become more involved in public service.

The ability to move my body, especially when others are losing that ability a little more each day.

A contract job that requires me to travel, which gets me airline miles to use to go places in the world I might not have had the chance to visit without.

The ability to learn from my mistakes, pick myself up, try again, and make peace with myself over and over.

That even though I’m bummed to be missing the rest of my family & U.S. friends today, it’s for a good reason. I had to bump my usual trip home back a week because my newest nephew will arrive on the 29th. I’ll fly home a couple days after to meet him and also another dear friend’s new addition. Can’t wait to cuddle new babies next weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

I’ll see you in a week, Kentucky!

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Greetings From Vietnam!

We had a TRX Summit in Hong Kong last weekend and decided to tack on a honeymoon trip (since we got married 10 months ago) to a country nearby since we were already going to be halfway across the world and didn’t want to have jet-lag for nothing.

We are 11 hours off our regular time zone and enjoying every minute of it at an amazing little resort in central Vietnam (more on that later). Each villa gets bikes to travel around in and, although they’re fit for people a little smaller than us, we love riding them around every day!

There was a typhoon here recently so a lot of things we were looking forward to doing – hikes to waterfalls, snorkeling at a nearby island, swimming at the beach – aren’t possibilities because the areas are all closed due to weather damage. It’s also rained most of the time we’ve been in Asia because it’s just that time of year. The good news – we have to relax and do nothing. We watched episode one of Ken Burn’s Vietnam War documentary last night and will probably catch the next tomorrow when the rain comes back.

But for now, here I am blogging by the pool. And reading all the other blogs I used to read every day. And commenting on their posts like it’s 2010 when people still commented. And trying not to get too sunburned in our small window of sunshine. I’m going to anyway though because I’m bound and determined to go back to winter in the Canadian Rockies with a got-damned tan.

That’s all for now! Happy Weekend!

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Hosting Holiday Dinner? These Recipes Are My Go-To!

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One of the most stressful holiday events can be the job of hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Having to take on cooking a huge meal, timing it all correctly, and having it actually turn out… well… the opposite of Griswold Family Turkey from Christmas Vacation is a lot. Cooking a turkey? Actually stuffing the stuffing? Yikes.

Two years ago, my man-friend and I decided to take the leap and cook our own Christmas dinner. We weren’t hosting a huge get-together thankfully – it was just us and the kids. We decided if anything went badly, we’d have steak and pumpkin pie for dinner. Turns out, from the turkey to the dressing to the gravy, everything was fantastic.

Here are the recipes we used that even we could handle. [Read more…]

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Life Currently…

Work, travel, and the holidays. I’m pumped, y’all. I’m so excited to have received my work permit for Canada. I’ve been busy making appointments, scheduling future classes, and creating personal training marketing materials and I’m pumped about it. Although most of my work won’t be able to start until the new year because of Asia travel and heading home to Kentucky for my new nephew’s birth between the holidays, I’m excited that at least it’s allowed to start.

Speaking of travel, Fraser and I leave tomorrow for Hong Kong for the TRX Trainer Summit there. We’ll be there through the weekend and I’m pumped to get my tourist on. I’ve never been to HK and I’ve been scouring the web for places to go. If you’ve been, please give me your recommendations!

From there, we are heading to central Vietnam to finally take our honeymoon. We have a week stay in a small eco resort right on the water and we couldn’t be more pumped about not having anywhere to be.

Making: This butternut squash soup, unsuccessfully. There’s about 4 times too much cream cheese in the recipe…

Wanting: Lawmakers that actually respond to a public health crisis of having to be prepared to be shot at anywhere you go in the U.S. Solutions would be great any day now. If you’re in Virginia, New Jersey, New York, or Washington, you’d better be voting today! [Read more…]

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Convos With Kiddos: Round 2

If you’re new around here, I have two bonus sons. Tristen has just turned 9 years old and Robin is 7. As with all kids, they say some funny shit. I forget so much of it, but I try to keep a running list in my Notes app on my phone. Here are some of the recent faves I managed to jot down immediately after:

Scene: Tristen got the game “Bop It” for his birthday.

Me: “Awesome! I used to love that game when I was kid.”

Tristen: “Wow. I didn’t know Bop It was a  really really old game.”

Me: …

[Read more…]

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Things That Are My Jam: Canadian Edition

Next week marks one year in Canada for me! I’ve learned a lot in this past year here and have discovered so many things I love about this place. I know I complain about the cold a lot, which probably leaves the impression that I’m not happy here, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. So let me give props to some of my new favorite things about Canada and where I live in the Rockies:  [Read more…]

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20 Minutes of Fitness Advice for Your Disaster Relief Donation!

Is this me fake-talking on the phone? Yes. But you could be on the other end of the line next week getting fitness advice… Keep reading.

Do you have an area of fitness that you’d like some professional help with? Want to also help those recently affected by natural disasters in the U.S., Mexico, or Puerto Rico? Make a donation of any size to one of the charities listed below this week and you can get 20 minutes of fitness advice from me next week! I’d do it this week, but my mama is coming to visit tomorrow and she comes first.

How It Will Work: 

Phone calls will happen on Thursday, October 5, from 7am-6pm MST on the hour, and at 20 and 40 minutes past. Time slots will be given away on a first come, first served basis.

Step 1) You make a donation of any amount this week to any one of the charities listed below.

2) Email me a screen shot of your donation receipt (show the date stamp) along with your phone number and the best time frame to reach you, so you can get booked into a time slot.

3) I’ll reply back confirming your time slot and you can email me a brief synopsis of what you’d like help with, so I can make preparations and notes for each person.

4) I’ll call you at our selected time and help you out as much as I can in 20 minutes.  We can talk on the phone, or FaceTime/Skype. Whether it’s fitness, business, motivation, nutrition, TRX, or whatever, let’s chat!

Approved Organizations in the USA, Mexico, & Puerto Rico:

(Chosen for their Charity Navigator scores of 90 – 100 based on expenses & transparency)

____________________________________________________________

UNICEF – United Nations Children’s Fund (Mexico, Puerto Rico, etc)

Unidos – A Hurricane Maria Relief Fund for Puerto Rico

Houston Food Bank – Hurricane Harvey Relief

Houston Humane Society – Hurricane Harvey Animal Rescue

Samaritan’s Purse – International Disaster Relief

The Salvation Army – Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, & Maria Relief

Global Giving – International Hurricane Relief

St. Bernard’s Project – Post Disaster Rebuilding & Recovery

Islamic Relief USA – Disaster Relief and Rebuilding in the USA & Internationally

____________________________________________________________

 

Send your receipts, phone numbers, and time frame requests to fitwithflash@gmail.com.

Put “Donation Phone Call” or something like that in the subject line.

Let’s do some good!

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Things & Links That Are My Jam Right Now: Fall Edition

Time for Wandering

I know I’ve complained a lot lately about not having a work permit, but trust that I’m taking advantage of the free time. In this time I’ve tried to do as many things as possible that I know I won’t have time to do when I start work again. Random driving around is one of them. I had to go into Banff the other day and instead of getting on the freeway to drive back home, I just kept driving and taking different turns. I followed signs to various destinations and ran into several I’d never seen before. I can’t wait to take visitors to these places in the future.

[Read more…]

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The 2 Basic Nutrition Rules I Recommend Starting With

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Nutrition can be confusing AF. With a thousand different diets out there and conflicting reports every other week on the news, it’s no wonder a ton of people just say, “f*** it” when it comes to trying to eat healthy. I’m not going to go into how many grams of protein you need or what the hell ketosis is, but I will give you a couple things to look at to get started into a more healthy diet – My two basic nutrition rules: The 500 Year Rule, and the 85/15 Rule. [Read more…]

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How To Not Lose Your Damn Mind When You’re Not Working

You may have been laid off, just started retirement, transitioned to a stay-at-home parent role, or, if you’re like me, have recently immigrated to a new country and are not allowed to work until you’ve been granted a work permit (still waiting months later…). Regardless of the reason why, you’re not currently working. Sure it was nice the first couple of weeks or months to get some initial projects done, sleep in, lounge on the couch binge watching Netflix, but by this point, you may feel like you’re close to losing your damn mind.

For the past year I’ve struggled to keep myself sane during this long period of unemployment. I’ve also learned that not having purpose or personal goals is a major cause of depression. I don’t feel depressed, but I have definitely gone through periods of discontent, boredom, lonliness, and frustration over the past year. Here’s what I’ve been trying to do to keep myself busy in a healthy, productive way: [Read more…]

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