Tag Archives: German Shepherd

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to all of my dear family, friends and readers!

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Take one dark night
Without a star.
Add one thin cat
As black as tar.

Turn on a wind
To shriek and moan.
Stir in a ghost
With wail and groan.

Stuff three pumpkins
With witches’ bane.
Top with a slice
Of moon on the wane.

Flavor with bats
And things unseen,
Boil and served chilled
HALLOWEEN!

Witches’ Brew by Barbara Bates

PS. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

xoxo
Olena

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Return to the Blog World

Hello loves!

I know, I know, it’s been FOREVER! And no, I haven’t forgot about you all. *How could I? You are my LIFE!!!* I’ve really really missed you.

Oh I missed you so

So why did I disappear from the blog world?

First of all, it was summer. The weather was beautiful and it would be a shame to stay inside. Also, I embarked on a 30-day EMPOWER yoga challenge. After doing it for a few days I realized that if I kept on blogging, I wouldn’t have any time for my hubby *go to work, get home, eat, walk the dog, workout, you get the point…*.

At around the same time I received a couple of requests from a few of my blogger-friends to participate in ‘Why I Write’ *or something along those lines* challenge. The more I thought about it the more I started to realize that at some point blogging started feeling more like a full-time job instead of a hobby. That’s when I decided to take a break. I want this blog to inspire you and I want to enjoy writing it as well.

Obviously, this break took longer than expected. However, I feel good about it. I was able to focus more on me and my family. I’m full of ideas. AND I AM FINALLY BACK!

Here is a quick overview of what has happened in my life since my ‘disappearance’.

Empower Challenge

yoga

Trip to Varadero, Cuba

Varadero, Cuba

5K Electrodash Run

Electrodash

Our 1st Anniversary

Celebrating our 1st anniversary

My birthday

Big 28

 JDRF (Juvenille Diabetes Research Foundation) fundraiser

JDRF

CIBC Run For the Cure Gala

Gala

Weekend at a cottage

weekend at a cottage

I’ll write more on each of these events in the near future. However, there is something else that I’d like to do. I will make some changes to my blogging habits. I’ll be posting twice a week or so instead of 5 days a week. I have yet to decide which days would work the best for me and for you. This way I will be able to provide you with more fun and informative posts without burning myself out. Sounds like a plan, right?!

Now it’s your time to take a pedestal.

How have you been? *I have sooooo much catching up to do, even though I was really trying to keep track of all major events in your lives!!!!*

What are your thoughts on blogging less vs. more? Also do you have any preferences for days to read my blog? What would you like to read more about?

I’m all ears!

 

xoxo
Olena

27 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Health, Holidays

Runner’s Life: Toenails Are For Sissies!

Happy Monday y’all!

I am so so excited about this week! Why?

  • It’s my sissy’s *she’s actually my sister-in-law, but to me – she is my little sister* prom;
  • It’s a holiday here in Quebec on Tuesday = short week at work;
  • My hubby turns 27 on the 27th;
  • I am doing a Spartan Sprint this Sunday!!!

so excitedSource

Good thing I remember it all! I know, it’s kind of hard to remember important events. But guess what, on Saturday we went to visit my parents and it was my mom who pointed out that it was exactly 2 years since Justin proposed to me!!! *HOW CRAZY! I can’t believe I totally forgot about it! I must be getting old… haha!*

 walk in a park

I took it easy that day and did some stretches in the evening when both of my loves were asleep in front of the TV.

stretches

On Sunday, however, I decided to suck it up and went on my first ever 10 mile run.

my first 10 mile run

*Unfortunately, Bella is still too little to join me… Sad face…*

It actually ended up being a bit more than 10 miles: 16.8 km in 1:56:40. I know, it’s slow, but hey, I know I’m gonna get there. I was suffering from stomach cramps for the first 2-3 km, then it was going smoothly until the last 2 km, when my legs were shot and burning. As they say, no pain no gain. Other than that, a pretty enjoyable run despite the heat and humidity.

i have a question

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Now, I need some advice from you, my dear experienced runners. One of my toe nails is REALLY not pretty *As my hubby puts it, it looks unappealing, to say the least. That’s one of the major reasons why I don’t want to put a picture of it here.* It looks like there are 2 layers: the first is a new nail and the second – the old. They are still attached on the right side, but I have a strong feeling that it won’t last for too long. I don’t know what to do with it. I am afraid that if it comes off, it will make my Spartan Beast, which is only 5 weeks away, even more uncomfortable. At the same time, I think that if it doesn’t come off now, it may happen during the race.

toenails-for-sissies

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What should I do? Is there any special way I should bandage my toe when I go running? Oh, and of course, let me know how your weekend went, I want to know everything about it!!!

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Fitness, Health

Having Fun Working Out At Magical Locations

You know what? You are the most amazing bunch of people I’ve ever met. I am totally smitten by your outpouring love, support and continuous encouragement. I am truly blessed to have you all in my life. I wish I had words to express how loved I feel. Thank you!

you are the best

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Maybe you remember, last weekend I wanted to go hiking with my family. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen because it was raining quite a bit on Friday and my hubby’s heel didn’t feel up to par. Being a creative lady I am *right?!*, I convinced him to at least go check out a park nearby: to spend some time outside and treat Bella to a nice long walk. I accidentally came across it last year when I was planning a running route. It is only about 5 km away from our home. However, back then, 10 km run wasn’t realistic, so I forgot all about it… well… until now that is!

IMG_3810

I am so so soooo glad we went there! Not only it was a fun, relaxing and refreshing outing with my two loves, we were blown away by the natural beauty of the park.

parc de la cité

Look who else we saw there!

geese at parc de la cité

Aren’t those little things ADORABLE?! *I’m pretty sure it’s a proud papa-goose on a lookout there haha!*

What I found pretty awesome is a great variety of training stations such as pull-up bars, benches of various sizes for jumping, and even a climbing rope evenly spaced out in the park. It’s a PERFECT place to train for the Spartan Race! *It was meant to be! It also happens to be a magical location where my first 15 km run took place last Sunday.*

pull up bars at parc de la cité

Speaking of fun workouts suitable for this location! That’s what is awaiting for me later on today.

Dynamic Warm-Up

Cross-train

Run 2 miles to warm up

25 push-ups
25 squats
20 mountain climbers

Run 1/2 mile at high intensity, but pace yourself so you don’t have to walk

10 squat jumps
50-yard lunge walk
10 lunge jumps
20 flutter kicks
10 side-to-side hops

Run 1 mile at high intensity

25 push-ups
25 squats
20 mountain climbers

Run 1/2 mile at high intensity

10 squat jumps
50-yard lunge walk
10 lunge jumps
20 flutter kicks
10 side-to-side hops

Run 1 mile to cool down.

AB 500 as a part of the Spartan 30-day sit-up challenge

have fun working out

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What is your ‘magical’ location for the most fun workouts?

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Cross-training, Fitness, Health

Hiking, Stupid Laws & Spartan Rhode Island Bucket Workout

It’s FRIDAY! Can you believe it?

It's friday

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What a week it’s been, but as they say ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, right?! *Okay, okay! I’m totally exaggerating here*. It’s been busy and productive, just the way I like it.

It’s been raining here in Montreal these past couple of days. On the brighter side *literally*, it should clear out for the weekend. Yay! And you know what I’ve been planning? A nice hike with my hubby and our baby!!!

Hiking with Bella

*Look at those cute butts haha!*

This picture is from our hike a month ago. I’m embarrassed to say, but that was my first ever hiking experience. I have no idea why I had never done it before! It was such a great experience, I want to do it more and more.

But than listen to this. Shortly after the hike to the Black Mountain, I found out that dogs are not allowed in provincial parks of Quebec. I was (and still am) outraged. To me, this doesn’t make any sense. I would understand having to keep my pup on a leash, but not this. And in all honesty, I can’t imagine going for a hike on a weekend to enjoy myself knowing that my beloved Bella is locked up at home in her crate.

no dogs allowed

Anyhow, I was lucky enough to speak to one of my co-workers about my concern this week. He was brilliant enough to suggest to me to check out some skiing resorts a.k.a. private parks. *BINGO!* I was able to find a few really nice hiking places within an hour drive!!! All I have to hope for right now is that my husband’s heel doesn’t hurt as much, which he hurt during his soccer game last week. *Sad face… He kind of looks like a T-Rex when he walks, which is… kind of… well… absolutely HILARIOUS!* 

funny-T-Rex-hat-dinosaur

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*P.S. I just died laughing!!!!!*

Moving on to today’s training… As always, I use the Spartan guide, but today’s workout looks rather interesting. Oh, and it’s called: Rhode Island Bucket Workout! Not that it’s impossible to do, I just have to figure out HOW I can accomplish it successfully since I don’t have a membership at the gym. Well… Judge for yourself *and, please, let me know if you’ve got any ideas*!

Equipment needed:

2-5 gallon buckets with lids, filled with sand, water, rocks – some type of manageable weight – and a 5′ steel bar with hooks on both ends *YESSS! Any ideas?!*

Warm up:

Jog slowly in place for 1 minute
200 jumping jacks
Stretch

Conditioning:

Decline-bucket push-up – place your feet on the buckets and your hand on the ground. Adjusting the spacing of your hands for variation, do as many push-ups as possible.

Incline bucket push-up – place buckets 224-30 inches apart. Place hands on buckets and feet on ground. Do as many push-ups as possible, going between the buckets.

Bucket lunge – Hand the weighted buckets from each side of the steel bar. Place bar behind your head resting on your trapezius. Lunge for 50 yards.

Side jump – place buckets on ground with steel bar resting across them. Stand beside the bar, jump over the bar to the other side, and repeat 20 times.

Bucket curl shoulder press – use the steel bar with weighted buckets hanging from both ends. Begin by curling the bar up to your chest and then press the bar over your head. Slowly return to the starting position, and repeat.

Bucket high-step walk – hold a weighted bucket in each hand. Walk for 100 yards with high knees.

Cool down with a light jog, and stretch.

Spartan Bike

Warm up for 10 minutes in zone 2

Repeat 6 times:

Ride 3 minutes in zone 4.
Ride 1 minute in zone 2.

Cool down for 10 minutes.

+ 30 sit-ups for 30 days challenge

dedicated

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Are you a dog owner? What are your thoughts about this ‘No dogs allowed’ thing?

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Fitness, Health, Puppy Love

Life Is Too Short To Be Serious All The Time (Part 3)

Good morning, you guys!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend! Let’s see what I’ve been busy with?

Lots of time with our baby Bella, who actually turned 7 months old today. *Time flies!*

Walk with Bella

A Saturday breakfast with my hubby at one of our favorite restaurants called Allô! Mon Coco. I love their creative decor *and food*!

Allo mon coco

After a delicious meal, I was full of energy. So I decided to go for a 5.5 km run, followed by this Spartan workout:

*Repeat twice*

50 push-ups
40 leg-lowers
pull-ups to failure *each time I did 15 assisted pull-ups*
40 hanging leg-raises
75 body weight squats (fast, but with good for)

Looks fairly easy, right? Let me tell you, my legs felt it the day after! *Haha!*

Great times with our friends sitting by a fire pit.

by a fire pit

And, of course, weekends are great for experimenting! So why not learn how to walk slack line from my brother?!

slack line

In other words, I had a FUN-FUN-FUN weekend with my hubby, family and friends!

My workout today will include a 5+ km run, followed by this Spartan Cheaper Than Health Care cross-train session:

*Do each of the following for 1 minute*

Mountain climbers
Spiderman push-up
Plank with row
Inverted pull-ups
Medicine ball sit-ups
Squat jumps

Recover for 3 minutes.
Repeat cycle 3 times.

you are on a quest

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I would like to proceed with answering questions Rebecca from Flex and Shout Fitness asked when she nominated me for Liebster Award. She is awesome, and I love her adorable blog where she shares some great workouts and laughs with her readers!

Q & A

1. What do you love about fitness? Pick 1.

I love how it makes me feel alive! When I exercise, it seems like I could fly.

alive

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2. Where is you favorite place to work out?

I loooove to train outside. It’s so much more fun than working out at a gym. Unfortunately, I do not live in a country where summer is all year long. *Oh, Canada!* That’s why I truly savor every single moment when I get a chance to get out!

3. Do you prefer to workout alone or with a buddy? Why?

Hmmmm… I am really not sure. Most of the times I work out on my own because this way I am not dependent on anyone. However, from time to time, it is great to have company to motivate and push each other to train harder to reach new heights!

4. What’s the best part about where you live?

I absolutely love living in Montreal! I admire its distinct culture, beautiful nature, and proximity of all great things: river, lakes, mountains and parks. On that note, last Friday was a very special day for me. Nine years ago, my family and I moved here to live. I can’t believe how fast time flies, it seems like it was yesterday.

oh Canada

5. What’s your favorite piece of gym equipment?

To be honest, I am intimidated by gym equipment. I like to simplify my workouts, meaning to do exercises that do not require use any fancy pieces of equipment. That being said, I wouldn’t be able to survive without a treadmill *when weather doesn’t permit running outside*, chin-up bar, balance ball, weights *I promise I did try using jars, but it seems too much of an injury hazard haha!* and a foam roller.

6. What’s your guilty pleasure?

You can read more on that here.

7. If you had a million dollars, what would you spend it on first?

I know, I know, everyone is expecting to hear a noble answer here. I’m afraid, I wouldn’t donate it all to a charity. The truth is, I’d probably pay off my mortgage and bring my closest family from Ukraine here, and get my grandma in a great post-stroke care facility. That being said, I would definitely look into giving a portion of funds for a good cause, be it to help finding a cure for cancer or help less fortunate kids in my community.

8. What other windows or tabs are open on your computer right now?

How tricky! I have FacebookPinterest, Gmail, Instagram and PicMonkey. I must tell you, I LOOOOVE PicMonkey. It’s super easy and fun to use to edit pictures *one of my favorite activities, apart from taking pictures*! I used to use Photoshop all the time, but I find that this app is a great tool to get the basic job done quickly.

tabs

9. Apple or PC? Why?

I am more of a PC girl. Why? I’d love to answer that question, but I don’t really have an answer. I guess, I just never bought an Apple computer. For some strange reason, I keep on sticking to VAIO laptops by Sony, and I haven’t been disappointed so far.

10. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ummm… Cheesecake? *Haha! Just kidding!* The first thing that came to my mind though is cauliflower. Yumm!

cauliflower

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If you like getting to know me through this kind of posts, you can read some of the previous ones:

Only 4 weeks left until the Spartan Sprint, and 8 weeks until Beast!!! I couldn’t be any more excited!!!

screw calm and get dirtySource

What are you training for right now?

xoxo
Olena

 

 

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Q & A: Life Is Too Short To Be Serious All The Time (Part 2)

Oh my gosh, it’s Friday! How exciting is it?!

My body is finally getting back to normal and the soreness is fading away, which means that most likely I’ll go for a nice jog this weekend. I can’t wait!

Oh, and check out what I got from Amazon yesterday.

Spartan Up

That’s right, it’s Spartan Up! by Joe De Sena. For those of you who don’t know, he is the founder of the Spartan Race. I kept on seeing this book everywhere over the past few weeks, and finally gave in.

I read only a few pages and I am already hooked!

This book is a guide to leaving your comfort zone and aiming for more, despite how difficult this may be. It teaches how to:

  • conquer your greatest obstacle – your will
  • embrace your greatest friend – discipline
  • make limitations vanish and establish a new normal
  • achieve the ultimate – obstacle immunity

Here is a short excerpt from a prologue:“An inverse correlation links how miserable you feel in the race, and how great you feel after it, so you can bet I felt like a million bucks afterward. When you break through the other side of hell and finish an event that did not seem possible, that stopped you in your tracks over and over, something happens. You feel accomplished, incredibly proud of yourself and, in some ways, a different person.”

Believe it or not, that’s exactly how I felt on Monday. I am looking forward to reliving this experience over and over again.

Today, I’d like to finally answer questions from Michelle, a blogger behind Baby Blues to Running Shoes, who was super kind and sweet to nominate me for a Liebster Award.

Q & A

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1. What was a defining moment in your life so far?

It’s definitely a moment I wish never happened. About 2 years ago, I almost lost my mom because one bad driver decided to burn a stop sign and hit my mom, who was crossing the street on her bicycle, at full speed, even though it was her right of way.

reckless driving

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Needless to say, this event shook my world. At that moment of time, my mom was only 46 years old,as you can imagine, I never really thought that something bad could happen… I was wrong! I am very grateful that she is okay now, but this whole incident taught me to live my life to the fullest and appreciate people around me, and also not to forget to tell that I love them all the time.

live to the fullest

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2. Who is your biggest inspiration?

Probably, my future unborn children. *Did that sound cheesy? lol!*

3. What is one thing you are too scared to try?

Giving birth! *Not that it’s going to be a choice when it comes to it!*

labor

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4. What is a goal you are working towards right now?

Even though there were a few setbacks throughout my training, but I am really keen on obtaining the Spartan Trifecta Medal this summer.

Super Spartan

5. Do you have any phobias?

Giving birth?! *AHAHA! Crying silently…*

6. Have you ever broken a bone?

Scared to jinx it, but I am glad to say that I don’t have any broken bones in my body.

7. What is your favorite time of year and why?

I love spring/early summer when everything around comes back to life! I find this time of year I get extra energy and motivation to set new goals and accomplish more.

weekend walk

8. Who are 3 celebrities you would want to have dinner with and why?

I always have a difficulty answering this question… Probably Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock and Ellen Degeneres… These women inspire me!

9. Do you have a nickname?

According to my husband, I am  ‘baberoo’, ‘tootsie roll’ and ‘toots’. Go figure!

10. What decision are you most proud of?

To marry my husband! Even though, at times I tell him otherwise *girls, girls, girls*, but meeting him is the best thing that has ever happened to me. He is my world! *Babe, you didn’t really just read that… You must be dreaming or something…*

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What is the book you are reading right now? What is it about?

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Fitness, Health, Motivation, Puppy Love