Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Three Random Things Feb 20/13

First of all, a giant thank you to all the amazing people who came my way on Monday! Your comments and well wishes are much loved! If you haven't heard back from me yet, trust me, I'm working through, one comment and SITS-ter at a time!

Now on to Wednesday, here are three random things!

1. When I have a good sleep, I drool. Not just a little, a lot! In a wake up in a face puddle kind of way. In a turn the pillow over in the middle of the night kind of way. Today I finished up in the lab early, and came home for a much needed nap, it was beautiful....and drooly!

2. I have been reading the Springsteen biography, appropriately titled 'Bruce' (by Peter Ames Carlin), and subsequently have been on a bigger Bruce kick than normal. Did you know that the BF's middle name is Bruce, and mine is Rose.... Rosie Come Out Tonight, can it be any more perfect?

3. Roasted Chick and Tomato Taco Soup, just as good from frozen as it was fresh! There is nothing better than those days when you come home and can just throw something, homemade, from the freezer into a pot or the oven, and have a home cooked meal 30 min later with no effort. Cozy! For the original recipe, check out the post when I first made it!

Happy Wednesday Peoples, here's to being 1 day closer to the weekend!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Welcome to My Life SITStas!

I have been waiting for this day, on and off for years. Today is my featured blogger day over at The SITS Girls. And ladies, I've been a SITSter for years, through this blog, and the one before it, and the one before that. So welcome in, take off your shoes, get comfy and stay awhile.

My SITSday could not have come at a better time. Yesterday was my 25th Birthday. I am a quarter through my life, and am so blessed by how amazing it has been this far. If you want to give me an amazing birthday gift, become a follower, this last year my blog has grown, changed, split and become better than ever. And I can only go up from here. The SITS community, with all the lovely people, amazingly helpful tutorials, and sense of support has been a part of that. Thank you, up front, and honestly!

So who am I? Well you can read my about page, or just this post.

I am a new 25year old, Canadian girl, of half Italian decent (which is reflected in all the times I try to recreate my nana's secret recipes). I am a life long student, currently working diligently away on my PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (if you're more interested in that I suggest you check out my other blog and here is where I share the rest of my life with the world. Blogging has become a huge creative outlet for me, what started as an occasional hobby years ago, has truly grown into a passion (if one that can be hard to explain to non bloggers).

I grew up in a small town in Northern Ontario (I like to pretend it's the one Neil Yong is singing about in Hopeless) to my pilot father and my wonderful mother and her giant amazing loving feasting Italian family. In a Springsteen-esque manner, tho, I hit the ground running, moved to the big city (Hamilton lol) for University, and then half way across the continent to Calgary where I currently reside.

I have a passion for travel, last year, on my meager grad student budget I made it out to Italy, Hawaii, Aspen and Chicago. This year I have trips to Cuba, Vancouver and the UK already in the works!

I am a runner, yogi, nerd extroadinaire. I love fresh air and great views! And will go just about anywhere my feet can take me.

My blog is all of me, no one genre, just adventures. Curious to know what's in store for the next year? Check out my list of 26 things to do before I'm 26. Become a follower and come along on this adventure with me. I'm 25 years young, with my whole life ahead of me, and couldn't be happier or more excited!


Tweet with me @Turner_SR

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Or just Love with me!

Thanks for stopping by ladies!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

26 Things Before 26

Today is my 25 birthday.

Last year I made a list of 25 things before 25. The list was kind of spur of the moment, a combination of fun ideas and goals I'd had for a while. I didn't complete them all, but it carried me through an incredible year.

This year I'll do it again.

26 things before I turn 26

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  1. Half Marathon
  2. Donate Blood Again
  3. Restock the Freezer
  4. Sunrise and Sunset in the same day
  5. Stand on the top of a Mountain
  6. Home Brew
  7. Bottle my own Wine
  8. More than 100 posts on each blog this year
  9. Read 100 books in 1 year
  10. First Author Paper
  11. Candidacy Exam
  12. Travel 5 times
  13. Take More Photos, More Often
  14. Start Swimming
  15. Buy a Bike
  16. Have Real Savings
  17. Try a Vlog (at least once)
  18. Only Say Yes when you really mean it!
  19. Take a road trip, for no reason!
  20. No more weeks off, always stay active!
  21. Read more Papers (not just when you have to)
  22. More music in your life, take a lesson or 2
  23. Send out your Xmas Cards (on time!)
  24. Yoga More, use your full Passport to Prana
  25. Knit some Baby Sweaters
  26. Be Amazed By Yourself, Constantly!
And I left some room, cause Kevin said he wanted to add some Plus ones!

I love goals like this, goals that are simple, that require only you to achieve, and that leave you more incredible than you were before.

Do you have a list of goals this year?

25 before 25 a look back

Today is my 25th birthday! A quarter century of my life has gone by, but not passed me by! I've been celebrating with family and friends all weekend, and today I'll be celebrating with all of you over the course of the day.

First things first tho, last year on my birthday I compiled a list of 25 things to do before I turned 25. I've been carting that list around with me all year.

Mid way through the year I gave you guys a recap on how well I've been doing!

Here's my finished thoughts, I'd say I hit about half of them, but overall, this list fueled the best year of my life!

  1. The half marathon, was aiming to do it in November, but got slugged down with shin splints. No worries tho, I still logged more km running last year than in my whole life, ran 2 10kms and a spartan sprint. Today I am aiming for May, and planning to do another in August!
  2. Donating blood, well getting the tattoo when I did bunged this one up, but I did donate blood to science (studies have been done on my plasma and neutrophils how cool?) a bunch of times this year.
  3. check!
  4. While I didn't take a class, I did complete an awesome art project for Kevin's Xmas present, need to get photos up soon!
  5. Check!
  6. Traveled to Hawaii (2 islands), Italy, Aspen, Chicago and number 5? A frozen yogurt date in Airdrie Alberta!
  7. I didn't host all of them at my house, but cook meals for Kevin and his boys on a semi regular basis, so we'll call it mostly done.
  8. Nope! Next year damn it!
  9. Ok I guess I'm just not into horses enough to follow thru on this one!
  10. Adopt a kitten.... alright, I would love one, my lease, and sense of responsibility made me wait on this. On the other hand, a stray we've named Gregory spent my birthday party with me!
  11. Done and done again!
  12. I did so little knitting this year, that's gotta change
  13. Teal dip dye!
  14. Well it's written, my supervisor is working on giving me the final edits now!
  15. Dance classes! yep!
  16. This one became revised to hiking my butt off last summer.
  17. While I've seen many sunrises, I didn't sit somewhere wonderful and watch one, this will for sure happen next month in Cuba!
  18. Can't explain why I didn't pull this simple one off!
  19. Made one, and it's been on my bed ever since!
  20. Floated the elbow, no better way to spend a lazy summer afternoon in Calgary!
  21. Nope... oh well!
  22. Yep! although sometimes I forget I even have one!
  23. Done and then some!
  24. I signed up, and had to cancel for this a couple times.
  25. I love having photos up in my apartment!
Anyways, overall I wouldn't trade this year for the world. I made it an amazing one, and somehow along the way met an amazing guy!

 Celebrating my birthday, at the top of the Memorial Stairs in Calgary on Friday Night!

Monday, February 11, 2013

20 New Books

You may be wondering why I've dropped of the face of the internet this past week. I was scrambling to hand in a full draft of my research proposal to my Supervisor before he dropped off the face of the earth (literally, he went to Patagonia in Southern Brazil) for a month. Then I needed to catch up on a few days sleep, all while reading the last Wheel of Time novel, A Memory of Light (amazing!).

Speaking of books, one of my 25 things before 25 was to read 20 new books, and I recently (and just in time, my birthday is next Sunday) crossed that one off the list. Here they are:
  1. Yoga Bitch
  2. Mammoth Hunters
  3. Plains of Passage
  4. Shelters of Stone
  5. Eddie Would Go
  6. Blight of Mages
  7. We Need to Talk About Kevin
  8. Assholes Finish First
  9. Towers of Midnight
  10. Gathering Storm
  11. Redoubt
  12. Dragon Keepers
  13. The Land of Painted Caves
  14. I'll Seize the Day Tomorrow
  15. Dragon Haven
  16. City of Dragons
  17. The Fault in Our Stars
  18. The Emperor of All Maladies
  19. What Mad Pursuit
  20. Uglies
And since finishing that list: Pretties, Specials, Looking for Alaska and A Memory of Light.

So you can say I read a lot. For every one 'new' book on that list I probably re-read 2 more.

For 2013, and my new list I'll be trying to read 100 books in 1 year. You can click the link in the header bar to watch that list grow! But of course to hit that number, I'll need suggestions, do you have any for me?

What books should I read in 2013?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Say goodbye to the Penny Canada

Have I been living under a rock? Possibly. I was shocked to see a friend's facebook status indicate that Pennies are coming to an end in Canada. Needless to say, I had to know more.

I have been aware of debate in the US over whether to discontinue the production of the penny. What that says about Canadian media, that the average person is more aware of American news than our own is a topic for another day. But I have been blissfully carrying on with my life, never wondering what would become of the Canadian Penny, when if fact they stopped producing them months ago!

The Royal Canadian Mint rolled out it's last batch of pennies last May, and today, February 4th, they shipped the last of them out into the market.

Google gave a shout out to the end of the Canadian Penny today.

So what will happen to all those pennies? The are apparently 35 billion pennies still in circulation. That's about 82million kg of penny (typically made of steel, and coated in nickle and copper). Although the penny will remain legal tender forever, its up to individual retailers whether they will choose to accept them. You can roll yours up and bring them into the bank, or as a tweet from Prime Minister Stephan Harper suggested, donate them to a Canadian Charity.

Speaking of giving pennies to Charity, my high school, back in Sault Ste. Marie, has a long standing holiday tradition aptly named Pennies From Heaven. All through the month of December students collected pennies from family, friends, people driving by the school, raising close to $20,000 a year. The loss of the penny leaves me wondering what will become of this tradition... somehow Nickles from Heaven just doesn't have the same Sinatra-esque ring to it.

As pennies slowly roll in from across the country, the Royal Canadian Mint will face the task of melting every last one of them down. The discontinuation of a coin like this is a task never before faced in Canada, it's estimated that it will take 3-4 years to get the penny fully out of circulation. Although many will remain in the possession of collectors, or lost under couch curtains, or at the bottom of fountains for years to come.

 This little guy costs more to make than it's worth.

Costing 1.6 cents to make each 1 cent coin, its understandable that the penny had to go. So what will Canadian consumers be facing at the till starting today? Retailers are being asked to round all cash transactions to the nearest nickle (in a transparent fashion). Many have committed to always rounding down. Although most big brand retailers should have their systems ready to handle this new system, smaller retailers will likely be rounding mentally for years. The loss of the 1cent increment however will only affect cash transaction (which lets be honest happen less and less frequently these days), debit and credit purchases will be unaffected.

While I am all for the demise of the penny, I am left with a few questions as we enter this brave new penny-less world. What will become of 1cent candies? Are the take-a-penny-leave-a-penny's going to disappear entirely? How will children be taught currency in schools now? What will become of the penny flattening machines at tourist traps? Are kids expected to put nickles down on railway tracks?

Information Sources. The National Post and The Globe and Mail

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Groundhog Day 2013

I woke up this morning to sunshine and birdsong. Enough to almost make me believe its spring, and not only the first of February. I did not see my shadow and run back into my burrow of blankets. (kev did tho, pushing our morning run back to a lunch time one)

But more important than if I saw my shadow this morning, Groundhogs all across North America were anxiously watched to see if they saw theirs. Here's some of the predictions as they come in on the very sunny Groundhog Day.

In the 1993 movie, Billy Murray headed to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to see what Punxsutawney Phill was predicting about the end of winter. This year, the States most celebrated weatherhog is calling for an early spring, and did not see his shawdow.

In Canada however, there are groundhogs across the country making predictions today. Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam and Quebec's Fred the groundhog both saw their shadows, and dashed back into their burrows calling for six more weeks of winter. Winnipeg's Willow on the other hand, like Phil senses an early spring in the air.

But since I'm an Ontario girl originally, and since he's considered to be the most accurate, I'll go with Wairton Willie, who is also calling for an early spring.

Although there have been a couple of Willie's over the years, he's always a rare albino groundhog, which adds an extra air of mystery to his weather predicting powers (image source). To see him make his prediction this year, you can do to the CTV news website, although its more just costumed Wiarton city officials parading around, and less what Willie is actually doing in his cage.

As for how the mighty groundhog is supposed to make these predictions, if he emerges from his burrow on a cloudy day, no shadow and bring on the spring. If there's a bright winter sun, then certainly this should mean 6 more weeks of winter. Now varied sources make claims of the hog's accuracy, some saying up to 90% correct. I however would like to point out that 6 weeks from Feb 2nd only brings us to March 16, which in my experience in Canada, is most certainly always still winter. And while today may feel like spring here in Calgary, I'll have to thank a Chinook for that, rather than Willie or Willow or Phill!

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Three in One Day

Yesterday I was a three in one day.

I woke up bright and early and headed to my MMA boot camp class up in the North East. 45min of early morning sweating that included TRX, throwing punches and smashing up an old punching bad with a sledge hammer.

Ok except I don't really hate it, it's been lots of fun and empowering so far!

Then after a long day of fun at the passport office, in the lab and TAing I went to my first Hatha style yoga class. And let me tell you, it was a great way to de-stress and relax (excellent way to round out a week). I haven't been to a yoga class in a while, and 30 seconds into shavasana I knew how much I missed it. Good thing I've activated my Passport to Prana and can start hitting up studios all over Calgary.

Sometimes you really need to take some time to just breath.

Finally after a chicken quesadilla and a beer for dinner at Moose's, Kev and I decided to work it off by doing the deck of cards workout. I saw this one on the Biggest Loser a couple weeks ago, and if you read Nut Case In Point, then you'll know Jen's been rocking this workout lately too!

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Unlike Jen, who usually does two rounds, we were killed after one.

For ours, these were the exercises we did:

Hearts: Burpees
Diamonds: Ball Pass (video how to)
Spades: Jump Squats
Clubs: Pushups

If you are unfamiliar with this workout, the aim is to work your way through a deck of cards, doing the card's number of each exercise, face cards worth 10 and aces are 11. Just for fun, we through the jokers in and had to hold a plank for as long as possible each time they came up.

What I have to say, if you work your way through at a respectable pace, one set will exhaust you, in an awesome way. And if you're like me, and did all three of these workouts yesterday, your arms/shoulders/armpits/back/abs/legs will be hurting for it today.

Have you tried this new card game yet? I think its a great idea, especially to make up for using cards only for drinking games all this time.