There’s Just Something About Ashley

This week is epic and I’m absolutely thrilled.

Today I’ll be in school, then in rehearsal then heading to Curtains Down for a little open mic fun and promotion of our cabaret.

On Tuesday I will spend the day working, preparing and rehearsing for RENT in the evening.

On Wednesday I have a VERY BIG audition that I’m super excited for.

Thursday is the day I’ve been waiting oh-so-patiently for…

Exciting days ahead!!

And proper blog entries to come… I promise!!

September Is Running Away From Me

It was so fun to go back to school on Monday! Part of me was sad about summer coming to an end, but in other ways I was totally ready to jump back into routine! I packed a yummy lunch for my first day backSANY4575 Delightful kale salad with hemp hearts and pumpkin seeds, an apple, almonds and a blueberry Taste of Nature bar (scored at the Veggie Food Fair) Ashley picked me up with delightful tea in handSANY4577 and off we went!SANY4578 I scored my super cute blue lunch bag at Winners a couple of weeks ago for only $14.99! It is insulated and came with a the great salad container inside fitted with an ice pack and two smaller one cup containers. It’s so functional and super cute too. I’m really happy I picked it up.

I’m taking Nutrition Fundamentals for the next 7 weeks and I’m really enjoying it so far! The first class was basically an overview and yesterday we spent the day talking about carbohydrates. On Monday we’ll cover protein and then we’ll spend 4 classes on fats! It’s great to have the last 8 month’s courses under my belt as it really puts all of this stuff into perspective. It’s great to be back and learning!!


As I mentioned last week, I’m going to be doing the Run for the Cure on October 3rd with FIT CHICKS! The gals have some charity classes coming up this weekend with all proceeds going to the run. Check them out:

September 18th
10:00am – Ireland Park, Burlington
9:30am – Hermitage Park, Ajax

September 19th
10:00am – Milne Dam Park, Markham

Can’t get to a class? Visit my Run for the Cure page and make a donation! Or join us for the run!


Last but not least… I’ve been mega busy over the last few weeks in preparation for this:

My dear friend Ashley and I are putting on a cabaret on September 30th called “There’s Just Something About Ashley”. Tickets are $10 in advance ($12 at the door) and you can get them from me. We’re going to be performing some amazing music from some brilliant contemporary composers including Jason Robert Brown, Kerrigan & Lowdermilk, Jonathan Reid Gealt among others. Show starts at 8pm and we would love to have you there for some Ashleyx2 trouble!!

Did you go back to school? How did you find getting back into routine? Where is September going?!?!

Veggies, Leaders And No Sleep In Sight

This weekend was epic!

It was my second year of attending the Vegetarian Food Fair in Toronto and this year I was even busier. On Friday I hung out with Meghan Telpner at her booth chatting up her classes, tutorials and retreats in St. Lucia. SANY4545SANY454247324_430611150661_157037275661_5218559_959502_nWe had a lot of fun in our pink aprons and I felt right at home amongst all the flowers in her booth! It was nice to meet so many new people and share my experiences in Meghan’s classes. Our beautiful friend Nicole was there as well SANY4547and together we ran off to score some goodies from the über cute guy at Vega (whose Shake & Go chocolate smoothie I’ve been really enjoying) and Living Libations, as well as find some dinner. 

Similar to last year, I was truly disappointed by the lack of yummy options for dinner. There were lots of yummy treats and samples, but many of the vendors in the food tent were serving more fried and complicated tofu dishes that really didn’t appeal to me. Cruda Cafe was originally supposed to be a part of the show, but sadly they cancelled. With all of the amazing vegetarian, vegan and raw restaurants that we have in the city, I think it would be awesome for more of them to have a presence at the Food Fair (especially since it’s touted as being North America’s largest!). All of that being said, we decided to get some Mexican foodSANY4549 It was okay. There was rice, cactus salad and a tofu/corn/something mix. It was kind of pricey, but filling and I learned my lesson for the following day.

I sadly missed Meghan’s demo on Saturday afternoon (but you can check out all the recipes on her blog!) but showed up just in time to catch the flurry of people around 12:30.  SANY4554I ended up bringing lots of food with me and definitely did not go hungry. SANY4553 Lots of fruit, almonds plus a great salad of romaine, peppers, onions, avocado, black beans, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds with a little bit of salsa. It was awesome!!

I traded in my fuchsia apron for a beige one with a SFTE logo as I was at the Sweets From the Earth tent selling delightful vegan baked goods. I love their gluten free line and had the pleasure of testing a brand new gluten free vegan chocolate cake!! I forgot to take a picture of that or anything on Saturday really. I talked to so many people and sold so many cakes, cookies and squares that it was all really a blur. It was non-stop from 1 to 9 and I was just wiped by the end of the day. SANY4550 On Sunday I had the pleasure of attending a giant Weight Watchers meeting with many of my colleagues including my two lovely Lindsays. SANY4558 SANY4563SANY4570 It was great to connect with others who are passionate about their jobs and helping others lose weight!! Lindsay won an award for her meeting and our row was definitely the loudest, cheering her on and ensuring that she was commended for her team’s success. So so proud of her.

I felt like a zombie by the end of the day and after a wee nap I made myself a simple but delicious bowl for dinner. SANY4573 Mmmmm quinoa with swiss chard, baby portabellas and tempeh sautéed in garlic & ginger with tamari, pickled ginger and sesame seeds. It was a delightful end to the weekend!

This month is going to be insane, but I am so excited about everything that is to come! I’m back to school today and looking forward to getting back into some sort of routine whilst rehearsing for 2 shows, a big audition and doing all my usual stuff as well.  Where did the summer go?

How was your weekend? Did you get to the Vegetarian Food Fair? What were your thoughts?

Stepping It Up For September

Last week at Weight Watchers we were discussing the benefits of physical activity and exercise on one’s weight loss progress as well as their overall health and wellbeing. I asked my members to look back at their activity accomplishments over the summer and look ahead to some new activity goals for the fall.

I feel great about all that I have accomplished this summer, and generally all that I have done with exercise since joining Weight Watchers 4 years ago.

I was never an athletic person. NEVER. I was the overachiever in junior high and high school with a 90% average, which could have been 95% if my gym mark hadn’t brought me down. When I was in musical theatre school I started in pre-beginner ballet, jazz and tap. Um, how can you be a pre beginner anything? Once you’ve have 1 class you’re no longer a “pre” beginner. You’re a beginner from that point forward! And seeing as though I had taken some dance in my life I was never really a pre-beginner!

Anyway, you get where I’m going with this?

Given my history, I feel incredibly proud of all that I’ve done since losing weight, especially when I look back at all that I achieved this summer.

Activity Milestones this summer:

With all of that behind me, I’m looking to ramp it up even more for the fall and I couldn’t be more excited!

My Goals for the Fall

  • Work my ass off with my trainer – Yes, I’ve hired a personal trainer. So far I’ve had two workouts with Cory and I’m absolutely loving it! I am looking for results and am giving my all. I’ve taken some before pictures, and can’t wait to share my progress with you
  • More FIT CHICKS – I love those girls! I’ll be posting next week about the pedometer challenge that is coming up on September 13
  • My first 5k RUN – On October 3rd I’ll be doing the Run for the Cure with my FIT CHICKS ladies!!

Need Some Motivation?

My biggest piece of advice when it comes to physical activity is to find something you love to do. Getting out of bed/off the couch/to the class/gym is always the hardest part. When you find that thing that you love to do, it makes it so much easier to just get out and do it! Try walking, running, swimming, horseback riding, karate, dancing, boot camp, yoga, pilates, cycling, softball, t-ball, zumba, kayaking – whatever makes you happy! You’ll be that much more motivated to go when you’re about to do something that you actually enjoy. My perspective on activity totally changed when I started taking bellydancing and zumba! Since then I’ve rejoined the gym so that I can take more classes, done boot camp and have found a lot of enjoyment in exercising – my way! I love the current balance I have of my trainer, boot camp, dance/zumba/LesMills classes because I enjoy all of it and I like the accountability of showing up to class/PT session.

I also like to keep track of my physical activity. I haven’t made an activity calendar in awhile, but if you like that idea, check out Heather’s! There’s something really satisfying about giving yourself that little sticker each day you work out!! Lately I’ve just been putting stickers on my normal wall calendar and that has been working like a charm. For September I’m going for 24. So far I have 5 including today – yay!

Having goals keeps the every-so-important motivation going. Goals can really help push you along in your journey and keep you focused on the task at hand. When losing weight, activity goals can realign your focus away from the scale and can allow you to see progress, even if the scale isn’t moving. When maintaining, goals give you perspective and direction. Goals of all shapes and sizes are integral to success, and while you’re at it, make them juicy and exciting! I’m so excited to hear about everything you’re going to accomplish this fall!

"It takes courage to push yourself to places that you have never been before…to test your limits…to break through barriers. And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
~Anaïs Nin

With all of this in mind, what are your activity goals for the fall?


Living the Width

I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it.  I want to have lived the width of it as well”. 

~Diane Ackerman

"You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth."

~Evan Esar

A few weeks ago one of my Saturday morning members shared the sentiment of these quotes with my meeting and everyone in the room just nodded and clapped in agreement. I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept of late, and I’ve been unknowingly working to apply it all summer.

To me, living the width means savouring the present moment. I have been so blessed this year to be living the most amazing life I know how. While I have had some challenges, I couldn’t be happier with everything that surrounds me each day. When I originally decided to go to school, I didn’t think I would be starting until this September. I think back to my frame of mind last fall, and cannot imagine having had to wait an entire year to begin school!! I think I would have lost my marbles and been incredibly unhappy. Starting school in January was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I don’t know how I ever could have done things differently. It feels so great to be living the life that I want to live and doing so many things that I love. SANY4198SANY4212SANY4166SANY4350SANY4273SANY4481 (2)Ashleyx2 truckBetween Fringe-ing, cottage-ing, picnicking in the park, singing, frolicking in the sunshine, meeting new people or just reading a good book sprawled out at the top of the Riverdale hill, I’ve had a pretty brilliant summer. I feel as though I’ve been living the width of each spontaneous moment and for the first time in a very long time, I’ve been able to actually enjoy summer, rather than be stuck at a desk 9-5. It has truly been a gift.

Living the width of your life also involves listening to your heart. I’m a go-with-my-gut kinda gal. Sometimes this gets me into trouble, but it’s always the right thing to do. It’s so easy to over think/over analyze any situation. This year has taught me that in my heart I know what I need to do, and it’s just about being brave enough to take a leap of faith and actually do it.

While we can positively impact the length of our lives through the choices we are making, it is absolutely up to us to live for the moment and expand the width as well. Every day is a new opportunity to do something great and enjoy the wonderful gifts that life has to offer. I am thankful for this amazing summer that I have had, and look forward to continuing to live the width of my life well beyond 2010.

What does living the width of your life mean to you?