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Thankful Thursday 2021 Week 2/52

Wanna know what a good “resolution” is for 2021?!?! Supporting local and small businesses!

If you’re local and want to have the best sourdough and the best scones I’ve ever tasted check out Sweet little bake shop on Instagram! The double chocolate scones are what chocolate dreams are made of!!! Pure bliss!!

I’m very thankful for the online friendships and support I’ve found in other Mom’s and I love supporting them when we can! The above photos are our order from Sweet little bake shop yesterday and were absolutely delicious!

It’s hard not to be thankful with a paw full of chocolate deliciousness!

Thankful Thursday Week 41/52

Yesterday was the most stunning Fall day!

We started out our day with a long walk around a wildlife/bird sanctuary and capped off our day with a trip to the beach for ice cream!

I’m thankful that Jacob got some quality time with his grandparents/family on the island this week and that he got to enjoy being outside in the autumn sunshine!

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in our to do lists but it’s also important to just hit pause and take a week to just breathe.

Thankful Thursday Week 24/52

It’s been a week friends! We’re busy with the renovation but still found time to go to Campbell valley park this week and get out for some walks! I’m not going to lie I haven’t been doing much exercising lately (and it shows) and I feel blah most days I terms of fitness but getting out for walks these week has been helpful. I’m thankful for my lil walking buddies and the beauty of the forests near us!

Thankful Thursday Week 18/52 Birthday Edition 🎂

It’s my birthday!! 38! How did that happen?!?

I have to say my day was leaps and bounds better then I expected it was going to be! I’ve sort of been blah about my birthday for the past few weeks because of the covid quarantine situation. But my friends and family really surprised me today!! For that I’m thankful!

My morning started out with lots of love and treats from my boys! Then a knock on the door to discover my best friend had brought over gifts and my favourite cake! Thanks to her I got to enjoy lunch time cake and a social visit in the driveway with my parents!

Later in the day another friend delivered the most beautiful floral bouquet to me!

In the afternoon Kevin took me for a drive to get out of the house and found a road side flower stand and I got to pick out more flowers!

These little gesture where so uplifting! I felt very loved all day! It was a great birthday and I’m very thankful for everyone who helped bring me joy!

Clean Living Buying Club! Veggies, Community, Health! 

I recently got the opportunity to take part in a new veggie buying collective organized by a lovely lady named Maria.  Maria has organized an awesome program so local families can pool their funds and buy organic, locally grown produce at a great price.  

 The veggie buying club is a fantastic  way for local community members to access fresh, healthy, organic produce while supporting local farms and keeping dollars in our own community and nearby communities. 

 I am excited to take part in this as it embraces supporting local farms, and eating healthy! Plus it brings together community members! All great things in my eyes.   

 The club currently offers two boxes, a 5 pound harvest and a 15 pound harvest box. Both boxes contain an assortment of veggies and herbs that will change with the growing seasons!  They also offer a juicing box. 

This weeks farmer and harvest boxes contained kale, chard, carrots, beets, a variety of potatoes, leeks, herbs, garlic and the option of wheatgrass add ons.  

 We have already eaten the white potatoes, carrots, and rainbow chard, All of which have been delicious, fresh and flavourful. 

Maria is in the process of getting more farms and local products involved! Hopefully soon the collective will have one stop access to local eggs, honey, seeds, etc.

I am throughly impressed that Maria has give up her own time and energy to bring something so amazing to her community. 

If you’re interested in taking part in the collective or just looking for more information check out The Clean Living Team website. 

A Fresh Start… 

As the first day of January in this brand new year winds down I thought I’d share my day and my thoughts with you! 

As some of you know I am taking part in Epicure’s new healthy living program Good food real results. Today was my kick off day! While I can’t share specific recipes and program material, I can show you what I’m eating these days!! I’ve decided that sharing my food and blogging more both things I want to do to help keep myself on track! 

My meals today have been healthy and delicious! Full of clean, whole ingredients.  

    
   
I’ve never been one to jump on the resolution bandwagon or get into that “New year, new me” mentality. However this year the things in my life just line up as January being a starting point. I don’t want to call these things I’m taking part in “resolutions”,  I see them more as goals, opportunites and experiences! 

One of my goals is more family time. We send lots of time together in general but I mean uninterrupted family time! No phones, no tv, no internet! Today my little family ventured to the duck pond to feed the ducks and go for a walk! Afterwards we had a quick visit with Grandpa and Grandma. Jacob was a big fan of both.  

    
 
Muffin didn’t come on our like family outing because she has an ear infection. Her and I did venture out for a walk this morning and discovered a little fairy garden in our neighborhood.  I love seeing thoughtful little things people do to make others smile.

 

The rest of my day has been pretty quiet. We took down the Christmas decorations, did some planning for the week and enjoyed the sunshine.

I hope everyone enjoyed the first day of the year. 

‘Twas The Week Before Christmas…

I know we are all busy this week! Busy seems to be a common thread that ties us all together in the chaos.

I made sure to take time this week for a few important (to me) moments.  A few little things that remind me of what this season is all about. Giving, sharing, and enjoying the simple things!

This week I made a point of supporting local businesses and home based business as much as possible!  While I shop local as much as possible all year long this week I treated myself to beautiful handmade bracelet by a local artisan, Eva. I bought our cases of Christmas wine from The GrapeVine in Abbotsford. We bought our gorgeous Christmas tree from an Aldergrove family farm. We got our eggs from a nearby farm and made sure to recommend local options to friends and family seeking advice on their purchases. If we all made a point of trying to support home based business, local farmers and our local communities amazing things could happen!


This week I was also fourtune enough to get to spend an evening with some of my amazing girlfriends. We had a fun little cookie swap at my house! We all baked a different kind of cookie and gathered for some snacks, some mulled Apple cider and some much needed relaxing together!  It’s tough to get a group together these days but in the last few months I’ve really found my groove of organizing little events. That paired with my friends being extremely supportive of my Epicure adventure I’ve been very blessed with their presence.


Giving…I try my hardest all year to share. I try to share my time, my love, anything I can to help others. I believe a little giving goes a long way. Many people think giving has to be monetary but it doesn’t. It can be time, support, kind words, advice, anything.  Every Christmas we try to help somewhere, some how. This week a local need in our own neighborhood was brought to my attention and we made our choice to give our Christmas giving to that cause. It’s not a secret this year has been a tough one for my little family given my health issue and Kevin’s injury so it really made me happy to be able to do something for someone else. I’m not going into detail because I don’t want praise. It’s simply  a reminder to myself that even when things are tough I am truly blessed.

 I think this week I really made a point of being present, being hopeful, and embracing things.

I love this time of year but this year feels different. It feels like the first time ❤️

A Little Life Update 

Hi friends! I’ve missed you!  Jacob is napping so I thought I’d take a few minutes and say hello! I’ve been busy chasing my tiny terror everywhere! He’s small but he can move!! 

Last week I did something I’ve been considering for a long time, I signed up with Epicure as an independent consultant. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about this. I’ve been using and loving Epicure products for a couple years now. Any of you who follow me on Instagram know how often I share my creations featuring Epicure spices, blends, and cookware! I love that their products are low/no sodium, healthy, gluten free, and many are certified non-Gmo! I also love that it’s a local, woman run company!  I look forward to sharing my Epicure adventures with you all! 

Erica McGavin with Epicure – check out all Epicure’s awesome products here!
 
On the home front we had a koi pond emergency this past Saturday. We aren’t sure what exactly happened but the pond drained from 5 feet to 1 foot over night. Needless to say we had our hands full trying to relocate and save our fish! Between the raccoons, heron and leak it’s been a tough year for those suckers! Rest assure they are safe… They will be spending the winter in our hot tub. We had to quickly seal the jets with pond tape but it’s done and they are as happy as can be!  I bet we have the only indoor pond on the block! 

I was lucky enough to receive free passes for The Westcoast Christmas show this past weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed browsing, shopping and seeing Santa!  

  

   

 

The weekend prior we got to check out the Langley Christmas show and I picked up some great local products! 

 We’ve also been busy celebrating Kevin’s birthday and our 5th wedding anniversary! Seriously where does the time go??? Wherever it goes, we’re exhausted!

 

I hope everyone is happy and healthy!  ❤️
   

RUNLOVEBOX

I was recently lucky enough to have the opportunity to receive a Runlovebox to review and share my thoughts!   I heard about this new company through Seawheeze and was more than excited to see this box show up on my door this past Saturday!

 Runlovebox is a monthly subscription box company based out of Vancouver BC!  They are a new company that is already doing great things! Runlovebox is the brain child of Alyssa, a busy triathlete who is also a Family medicine resident!  I love ambitious women and I think starting a business while a full time Resident counts as seriously ambitious!!  Alyssa knows how hard it can be for busy runners to get their hands on new products and knows we don’t always want to commit to a full size version of something prior to trying it. With this knowledge her vision was born! 

Each month for $15 Runlovebox subscribers will receive a box full of running goodies! My favourite part of this subscription box is each month is based around a theme! Septembers theme was “The Early Bird”, a collection of things to help runners start their day off right!  More on that in a minute!  I also really enjoy the fact that Runlovebox takes the time to list the company information of each goodie to save subscribers the time of sourcing out company info. All the info is listed right there on the included card!  It’s nice to know where the products come from and how to get our hands on more of the things we love!

Okay on to the goods!!  

 I love local products, so I was excited to find Orgins coffee in this months box!! Based out of Vancouver, freshly roasted organic artisan coffee! Delicious!   My faveorite sample this month was the Go Macro Chashew butter bars! Oh my gosh, so yummy! I found these were great to grab in the morning when I was wrangling Jacob to get his day started!  You really can’t go wrong with these bars as they are vegan, non-gmo and delicious!   This months Runlovebox also included Burt’s Bees lip balm! This is a welcome addition at this time of year as my lips start to suffer in the crisp air and running outside makes them worse!  I love the addition of peppermint in this balm! I’d recommend this balm to anyone who suffers with dry lips.  A genius product addition I found in this months box was the paper shower! A large wipe to freshen up after a run and a dry towel wipe to dry off.  This is such a great idea to keep in your gym bag or purse for after a run or a workout! I love running at the park and often feel gross afterwards and avoid even quick stops before going home. With this product I can wipe sweat away and not feel so gross prior to getting a shower!  Also included were Nuun hydration tablets. Electrolyte drink tabs without added carbs! At 8 calories each they are much easier on the diet than other sports drinks.  Plus they taste great! It’s safe to say I am seriously impressed with Alyssa and Runlovebox! The fact it is a local company is the frosting on the cake!! I think $15 a month is a great price for the opportunity to try out products and sample goodies! 

If you’re a runner or even a walker check out Runlovebox. A monthly subscription would make a great gift for the runner in your life. There is no minimum on the number of months you must sign up for so ordering one month or a number of months as a gift is easy. 

Check out this great subscription box! You won’t be disappointed!

RunLoveBox
  

Run Swift As A Rabbit Like You Do…And Don’t Forget To Take In The View! Seawheeze 2015

On Saturday I joined almost ten thousand other runners and took to the streets of Vancouver and the beautiful seawall in iconic Stanley park to run 21.1 km in Lululemon’s annual Seawheeze half marathon!!

This was my first half marathon and when I signed up almost a year ago I was pregnant but after missing out on registration the prior years (the race sells out in under 30 minutes) I figured I’d give it a shot. It was my most casual attempt at registering yet and I was shocked when I got in.

As many of you know my pregnancy was anything but text book! I suffered with Hypermeisis from start to finish. I couldn’t keep down any food, was hospitalized, hydrated and exhausted. After giving birth I hoped things would return to normal but they didn’t. In the weeks following birth I suffered with a retained placenta. Then my malnutrition issues surfaced. Since then I’ve focused on doing the best I can daily in terms of taking care of myself. It was all made harder last month when I suffered an early miscarriage. As Seawheeze crept closer and closer I considered pulling out because I was undertrained and my body was still suffering. Up until late Friday night I was still coming up with excuses about why I couldn’t do the race.

Kevin wasn’t about to let me back out easily. He insisted we take part in the activities that I had waited so long for.

My Seawheeze weekend started with dinner and drinks with some of my Lululemon friends in Mission. All of them multiple 1/2 marathon runners! They were extremely supportive and slightly threatening that I wasn’t backing out!

On Friday we spent the day in Vancouver at the runners expo. I got to meet a bunch of my lulu girls, shop, get temporary Lululemon tattoos, sample products, have an amazing dinner, hit Whole foods and generally soak in the atmosphere. I was pumped! However once I got home the fear and anxiety took over! I forced myself to set my alarm for 4 am! Lay out my race outfit and run swag, take some pictures and put my timing chip on my shoe before bed.

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At 4 am Saturday morning I got up, got dressed, and ate. Before I could change my mind Kevin had me on my way to Vancouver. When we arrived at the convention center none of my friends were there and Kevin had to just drop me off because of Jacob was sleeping. I had a few minutes to soak it all in alone and give myself a little pep talk.

20150819-080717-29237406.jpg I was terrified. Before I knew it I was surrounded with other runners, excitement, and inspiration to do this. I hit the bathrooms one last time, warmed up, linked arms with Garett and headed for the start line.

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The energy at the start line was amazing but I was still terrified! The terrified didn’t go away until I hit the via duct and the spin team was there cheering us on. At that point I started running with a stranger and we quickly became buddies! We stayed together until about km 15! The course was full of entertainment, support, and spectators. I didn’t take many photos for the first 15 Km’s because Tracy and I had a good pace going and were chatting a lot.

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Hitting the halfway point when crossing back over the bridge was an amazing feeling. I started thinking about what I was really doing!!! Running a 1/2 marathon 6 months postpartum after an exhausting pregnancy all while having Lupus and being told “I shouldn’t run”!

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Crossing into the Stanley park portion of the race signified less than 15 km to go!! It was also the most scenic portion of the course and for me proved to be the hardest and most intense!

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Around kilometer 16 I hit the wall. My legs felt about a zillion pounds and I found myself walking when I should of been running. I could feel the two small blisters on my feet and hips were reminding me “Hey lady you have Lupus wtf are we doing?!?”. I tried to focus on my beautiful surrounding but at that point my brain had turned against me. I found the runners spaced out significantly at this point and the course almost felt isolated. Nothing beside me but rocks on one side and water on the other. Between kilometers 16-19 I had a full blown panic attack. I had to force myself to breath. I had to remind myself what I was doing and why I was doing it. I walked the final 6 kilometers. It killed my time but that doesn’t matter. I had no time goal. My only goal was crossing the finish line. Those last 6 kilometers found me constantly repeating to myself “just keep going”… I knew my baby and my husband were waiting for me at the finish line and those two things kept me moving. Kept me fighting through the pain. I’m not going to lie to you those last 6 kilometers felt like forever! In actuality there were a bit over an hour. Longest hour of my life!! I took a selfie around kilometer 17 to send to Kevin incase I died ! Around the same time Kevin sent me a photo of him and Jacob both smiling for me. When you’re that far in it really is the little things that keep you going! <a href="https://lifewiththemcgavins.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/20150819-124331-45811606.jpg"&gt;20150819-124331-45811606.jpg

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Just keep going! It turned into my personal mantra and I’m fairly sure will stick with me the rest of my life. A moment on route that will also stick with me forever was seeing the blind runner and his guide runner.

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In that moment I realized there was no excuse to not do this! To not finish! No excuse to not try everything and anything I want! If this man can get out there and run a half marathon blind I’m not about to let lupus slow me down!
Running across the finish line was indescribable. I vaguely recall someone putting my medal around my neck and handing me a hat, towel, water, Saje stuff. It was overwhelming. I don’t think I was even processing anything at that point. I remember kissing Jacob and Kevin before being surrounded by Michelle, Garett, Krista and Debra. I know there were tears. In true me fashion after a major/traumatic event (Yes running your first half is traumatic) I just wanted to go home. I skipped the runners brunch and headed straight for the truck!

Conquering a half marathon is something I’ve always wanted to do. Before my Lupus got bad I ran a lot more, I loved it. I still love it. It just hurts a lot. This was something I did for myself. I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. I did it by myself, for myself.

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