Go For a Walk!

One of my favourite things to do is to go for walks.  I know, that sounds really lame, but I get a lot out of going for walks.  It’s a big de-stresser for me – especially if I’m walking amongst trees, or near flowers or the ocean.  I think a lot while I walk.  If I’m sitting at my desk and feeling uninspired or a little stuck, I get out for a walk and chances are ideas will come to me.  And then of course, there’s the exercise aspect.  It’s just so good to get up and move!

So I’ve been trying to get out every day for a walk.  I’ve said this before, but I work in a really beautiful setting.  I’m walking distance from a river, a canal, an arboretum (trees!!), and coffee shops.


At the Arboretum near my work.

It’s actually crazy that I wouldn’t get out for a walk every day.  But you know how it is.  You’re at work, head down focused on something and the time just slips away.  Or you feel lazy.

I often feel lazy.

But it’s one of those things that once I get up and out I think, why don’t I do this more often!

So my new (ok, repeat) habit for this summer is to get out for a walk every day.

You with me?


The Spring Clean Challenge is Back!

This Saturday, April 9th, I’m going to start a 14 day Spring Clean Challenge and I would love for you to join me.

Last time I did this (two years ago) over 300 people joined me and it was really quite amazing.  Not only did my house get super clean, but I had fun doing it with such a great group of people.

The Spring Clean Challenge

Here’s how it’ll work:  Every day for 14 days I’ll post a small task for you to do.  It will only take 10 minutes, I promise.  I’ll also post a more ambitious task if you’re up to it.  You’ll then post to say you did it and at the end of 14 days we all have super clean homes!

So are you in?

All you have to do is join the Spring Challenge Facebook Event.  Each morning, beginning April 19th,  I will post the task.  You do it, and then comment on the event to say that you did it.

Here’s what people said about the last Spring Clean Challenge:

  • This has been such a great push to get stuff done feels great! Thanks Mary Kathryn !- Meaghan
  • Thank you so much for the spring cleaning boost I had so much fun! – Susan
  • It was much needed in my world and got the ball rolling. Thanks MK! It was nice having someone else do the planning for me for a change.  – Jenna
  • Thank you so much for this. Even with an infant of now four months old I was able to complete ALL the ambitious tasks except one. – Grace
  • Kitchen is 100% clean and organized! What a great feeling – Darla
  • My kitchen is completely done, can’t wait to start the next room bring it on lol – Ann
  • I have to say I am honestly loving this challenge, my house is feeling cleaner by the day! – Michelle
  • I’m loving the challenges and so far my fridge is looking great, pantry and junk drawer is fully organized along with most of the cupboards. – Jamie
  • All I can said wow! That  was desperately needed! – Bonnie
  • I might sound like a dork but I’m excited for what we get to do tomorrow hahaha – Stephanie
  • Thanks for this awesome challenge MK – Samantha
  • Sad the cleaning challenge is over, though my mother probably won’t believe it! I need a cleaning challenge every month lol! Thanks – Meghan

I’m excited to do this again!  Join the challenge now.

winter in Ottawa

Beautiful Winter Day

Today, as part of my 100 day challenge to stay active in these last days of my pregnancy, I went for a walk out in the snow.

It was a beautiful winter day.  No wind.  Fluffy snow on the ground.  Mild temperature.  Sure, the sky was rather grey, but I think it just makes the green trees stand out even more.

Trudging through the unshoveled path was a bit of a chore, but I’m glad I did it.  As I walked and my heart rate went up I was reminded of winters spent in my hometown, Manitouwadge, cross country skiing and snowshoeing during gym class.  What a great feeling!

As for my pregnancy process, so far so good!  Our little guy has been growing like crazy these past few weeks and I’m now feeling quite pregnant.  I am in my third trimester now (28 weeks), so I suppose it was only a matter of time!

28 weeks pregnant

I really can’t wait to meet this little fella!

Mango Banana Smoothie Day

Oh my gosh you guys, today’s smoothie was AHMAZING.  I call this one Creamy Paradise.  Or maybe Vanilla Mangana.  Here’s what’s in it:

  • one mango – an easy way to cut mangos, by the way, is to cut it as close to the rind as you can and then lightly cut a grid into it – don’t cut through the skin – and then the mango cubes pretty much just slide off the skin
  • half a banana – I’m going to start keeping sliced bananas in the fridge, they go bad too quickly in this heat
  • 2 spoonfulls of vanilla yogurt
  • 2 icecubes

I thought it might be boring or needing more liquid, but it’s perfect just the way it is.

I just made a baby one because I didn’t want to fill up on smoothie before dinner.  Ideally I would have had this in the morning, like smoothie people seem to do, but I don’t think I can handle the sound of a blender in the morning.

We bought a coffee bean grinder once because freshly ground coffee is pretty awesome.  The sound of beans grinding into ground coffee first thing in the morning however, not so awesome.  We kept it in our bottom cutlery drawer until I tossed it as part of the 21 day spring clean challenge.

So ya, blenders in the morning are not for me.

This is often the problem with cultivating new habits.  Often doing it isn’t hard, it’s finding the right time.  Exercising is a good case in point.  My mornings are already pretty full with doing things I want to do (reading, writing, spacing out).  I’m too hungry at lunch to exercise – unless it’s yoga.  And I’m too tired when I get home from work.  I can’t exercise right after dinner.  Or right before bed.

I know, these are all excuses and if I really wanted to do it I would find the time and make it work.  Or find an exercise that works.  Which I do.  Today, for example, I went for an hour-long walk at lunch time and took this picture.

Ottawa Canal

So I need to make my smoothie routine work for me.  Mornings don’t work and making a smoothie at work is out of the question (my workspace is way too quiet for that nonsense).   So I’m going to stick with this plan to make a smoothie as soon as I get home.   I’m usually peckish at this time anyway, so this should work out deliciously well.



Shoveling Snow

It’s still very much winter here in Ottawa.  The snow has been falling all day leaving 15 cm of snow in our driveway.  Danny is out recording a SensNation podcast tonight, so I thought I’d be a good wife and shovel the driveway.

After walking Hermes (who is adorable in the snow, hopping around like a puppy), I grabbed our yellow shovel and went to work.  As I’m pushing and tossing I’m thinking two things:

  1. I’m really bad at shoveling.  I don’t even know how this is possible, but I can’t ever seem to toss the snow properly.  Half of it falls out of the shovel, landing right back in the driveway.  I feel like there’s a right and wrong way to go about it and that I’m on the wrong side.  I question whether I should start at the bottom and work my way up, or if I should push it into piles and then work on the piles.  I just don’t know.
  2. I really don’t like shoveling.  My dad used to shovel as soon as he got home from work, and I remember thinking as a kid that he enjoyed it.  Not me.  I feel like an old lady when I shovel – my back hurts, I find it heavy, and it really tuckers me out.  Doesn’t help that I’m probably doing it all wrong.

So the whole time I’m out there – must have been 20 minutes or so – I’m thinking about how much I suck at shoveling, how much I hate it, and, obviously, wishing it would be over.

My exercise every day habit looked a lot like this.  I’d get on my exercise bike and within minutes I’d start thinking about how much I wasn’t enjoying myself.  The thought would then take hold and I would struggle just to get through 10 minutes.  Instead of fighting this (I often get negative thoughts just looking at my exercise bike) I just do activities that I do enjoy.

I’m noticing now with my splits challenge a sneaky ‘I don’t want to do this’ thought will pop up.  I now that I can’t dwell on it, otherwise it will take hold and I’ll skip my practice.  So instead I nip it.  I get up and practice my splits, before it gets to the point where it’s a real struggle, before it becomes a thing.

I probably should have done that tonight.  Noticed the negative thoughts I had about shoveling and then nipped them.  I’m sure I could have found a way to enjoy it at least a little.  Maybe even made a game of it called ‘how straight can you shovel’.  OK, that game sounds boring.  But you know what I mean.

How do you get through doing stuff you don’t like doing?

Playing Tourist in my own City

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes – Marcel Proust

It’s so good to go away.  Coming home is even better.

Three weeks in the jungle made me miss home.  Not just Danny and Hermes home, but my physical home.  My house.  My bed. My kitchen.  My washer and dryer.

It’s good to miss things every once in a while.  It’s easy to forget how beautiful something is when you see it every day.  It’s easy to take things for grated.

The other day my sister and I decided to play tourists in our own city.

We took our time, going off paths, exploring new areas and really seeing the city through the eyes of a tourist.

It’s amazing how much you notice when you open your eyes.

Hello, Sunshine!

Yesterday and today have been beautiful.  Leave-my-office-at-lunch kind of beautiful.

Yes, it’s true, I often eat my lunch at my desk.  The crumbs in my keyboard are proof of that.

So when it’s 20 + degrees and sunny, I try to get away.

I say try because some days I have to talk myself into it.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m lazy, or because I’m in the middle of something or because I’m lazy.  I think it might be because I’m lazy.

Which, funny, is actually the reason I started this whole thing.  To be less lazy. So this month’s habit needs to be something that makes me less lazy.  (Although I still stand behind my nap every day idea.)

Forcing myself to leave my desk at lunch just may be the thing.

I’m in Control of my Own Habit Destiny

I know I said that getting outside every day is not sustainable.  I tried to do it in April, I was actually really excited about it.  And then it snowed and I called a take-back.  And there will be more of these days.  Days when it’s raining and miserable and going outside on purpose would just be silly.

I’m so back and forth on this because I really do love the ‘get outside’ idea, but I don’t want to set myself up to fail.

And then it hit me: I can make my habit whatever I want.  I can say ‘if not A then B’.  If I can’t get outside, then I can do something similar.

Like get on my brand spanking new exercise bike.

Genius.  I know.

May’s Habit

So here it is: Get outside every day.  If this is not possible, get on exercise bike.

On days like today and yesterday, getting outside during my lunch break will not be a problem.   Not only does the sunshine feel amazing, but if I walk a little ways from my office I feel as though I’ve been transported into a painting.  How can I not get out to enjoy this:


And this:


What about you?  Do you eat your lunch at your desk, or do you get out and enjoy the sunshine?