My *high-yah* Ninja Professional Blender!

So as I am sure some of you remember I went on a juicing cleanse awhile back, and drank juice for 7 days straight.  Not only was I tired and down 11 lbs at the end, but I hated juice for the longest time.  Along with that awesomely non-positive attitude toward juice, was a great disdain for the smoothie as well.  I liked my food in solid form, and wasn’t interested in pureeing ‘my anything’, unless it was a nice little steaming butternut squash soup.

ninja blender I got the  Ninja Professional Blender BL660 Series, mostly because I’m a total pro…. at blending…. (a self-proclaimed professional with limited skills, but the ‘want’ to be the best.  Consider me the ‘wax on, wax off’ upcoming master blender of my generation.)  Now, sometimes I get motivated to get certain gadgets, and am not really sure why.  I wanted to like smoothies, and to make protein shakes ‘a thing’ in my morning routine. Enter: The Ninja.

I have to admit, I got this one because it has the capabilities of making a huge batch of something, but also has two individual cups you can blend in, like a Magic Bullet.  I love this blender, and would recommend it to anyone who asked me my opinion about blenders.  I’m not sure when a conversation like this would take place, but just know that if it did – I would not falter from my love of my Ninja.

I like knowing what is going into my smoothies, and the fact that I can make them at home makes me really happy about it! It takes pumpkina quick second for me to blend my morning smoothies, and the noise isn’t overly loud.  The other day a friend and I made some pumpkin spiced lattes in my Ninja, and they were amazing and frothy – so that’s just another idea for you to try.

I’ve blended soups, dips, and fruit with this blender. All results have been amazing.  The soup despite starting off really chunky, pureed really well when Ninja’d for less than a few minutes.

If you’re considering a new blender, this would be my go-to.  I have no affiliation with Ninja Blenders and they haven’t asked me to do this post, I just love it!

I had a few issues of my own following instructions at first when using the large 72 oz pitcher, but I was just putting the lid on wrong. (I felt like less than a professional at that point in my blending career, but it’s only upward and onward from this incident.)  It won’t let you blend until all the pieces are locked into the right spots – which is great for the accident prone like me!  The instructions are great, you just have to follow them.  There are also great online forums for you to Google and hit up if you have any issues 🙂

Happy blending, folks!

-Bexx

 

Gym Bag Essentials – Winter: Hilary Jack

I’ve featured Hilary on my blog before, and I’m sure you’re anxious to find out what is in this lovely lady’s gym bag this winter!

1)KT TapeKT Tape –   “I started out taping my calf because it would hurt after long runs but after I sprained my ankle KT was a mandatory part of my day. KT has a comprehensive website with tons of video tutorials found on YouTube for all the different types of injuries you could have and the type of taping you should do to best support your injury. If you’ve seriously injured or have weak ankles (or wrists) this stuff is unbelievable. It offers unobtrusive support and really helps the healing process. I keep a roll of it in my kickboxing bag just in case and I tape up before I go out for runs. A must have!”

lululemon mittens2) Lululemon Run With Me Mittens – “These have been my favourite thing this winter for my runs.  They don’t offer a whole lot of warmth, but they’re made with lulu’s “rulu” fabric which helps your hand while they perspire. My hands sweat a lot in a regular mitt, and during the run they stay nice comfortable without feeling gross and icky. They have X-STATIC® – The Silver Fiber® thumb tips which help you to change your music or check your distance on your smart phone while you run. These aren’t mitts you throw on to shovel the car. They are designed to be worn with your sweaty hands in mind. I love them and don’t go on my runs without them.”

lulutop3) Lululemon Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve – “I turn to Lululemon again to gush about this shirt! Not only does it NEVER stink (it doesn’t ever), but it insulates the body and acts as an incredible under layer during those brisk winter runs. I’ve run in -5 weather wearing only a compression tank, the lulu top and a thin windbreaker over top and have never been cold. That said, it’s also great to wear indoors as well, as your body can breathe easy through the fabric. I wouldn’t wear it to do a 10k run indoors, but it does the job nicely for an hour long kickboxing sesh.”

 

Thank you to Hilary for sharing her three favourite gym bag essentials with us this chilly fitness season!

If you would like to share what’s in your gym bag, shoot me an email at rebecca.p.yanyk@gmail.com!

Giveaway: Mariposa Cruises Toronto Harbour Tour App

mariposa cruises

Two weeks ago I was able to take a tour with Mariposa Cruises and enjoy a scenic tour on Lake Ontario, to celebrate the launch of the Toronto Harbour Tour App.  I got a chance to use the app after the tour, given that I was in the company of fellow bloggers and we were also gifted with a very talented tour guide who had a good sense of humour and knowledge of the tour.tour

tourapThe application can be downloaded onto your phone and you can listen to the tour in four different languages. You can choose between English, French, Spanish and Mandarin. It reminded me a lot of a great self-guided museum tour!

My lovely friends at Mariposa Cruises have kindly offered up a pass for you and a guest to take your very own Scenic Harbour Tour and try out the Toronto Harbour Tour App!  Enter below and share with your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

-Bexx

 

Survival of the Fittest- The Ultimate Survival Kit

Lately I’ve been on a “what’s in your Gym Bag Essentials” kick, but I’ve decided to turn it a little more into an adventure with this post.

My friends at Man Crates asked me what key components would make up my ideal ‘survival kit’.  What do I think  is important for survival?  What would be in my very own kit?  I wracked my brain for a while and came up with some ideas.  Now as you know, I tend to not approach things conventionally, so my take on this is a little comical.

If I had to make a survival kit (which would have to come in a crate that’s pretty large… haha)  with just 7 things in it I would choose the following:

mancrates
http://www.polyvore.com

 

1. Matches in a Bottle – We’d all like to think that if we needed to survive in the wilderness or anywhere really – that’d we’d be cool enough to start a fire by rubbing a bunch of sticks together…. but really – let’s face reality – matches in a bottle would at least help me out a bit, and leave me more time to find some available food, or re-jig my ‘survival’ plan as necessary based on whatever is really going on out there.

2. Toothbrush with many types of toothpaste – Variety is key.  One time growing up I told my mom I liked bubble gum toothpaste and she bought a whole bunch of it on sale.  (I believe it was the Miss Piggy and Kermit Bubble gum toothpaste for kids.)  After a couple of months of that, you just want some fresh mint or something less ‘playful’ let’s say.  If you’re trying to survive fresh breath is still important.  If there are any other people with you, they will also like you better if you have this available.

3.  Asics – I love my Asics.  They are my favourite running shoe, and they would be in my survival kit because if I needed to run away from a bear or something (I’m not sure why I assume I’d be in a forest, but work with me here…) then I’d be set up for success.  (I probably also should have included a jet-pack, for such emergencies as well…hind-sight is 20/20.)

4. Solar Powered Raccoon Light– Lights with batteries will eventually run out.  Raccoon Eyes (see above) will not; plus he’s cute and could double as your very own “Wilson”.  If Tom Hanks got a volleyball, I would get Raccoon Eyes, and we’d be friends. (I’d probably also rename him a few times over the course of our adventures together, as I would be the boss in charge.)  As long as there is some solar light to charge this puppy up, you should be good to go for a long time.

5. Beef Jerky –  I went on a road trip recently and we stopped in at this place that had 30+ flavours of beef jerky.  This was a place called Heaven… or something like that…  In survival mode, I’m sure flavour matters less, but I think it would be great to have some of this on-hand because it tastes good, and gives you protein.  Win-win if you ask me.

6. Trendy Moose Sleeping bag  Now this is my idea of camouflage! 😉 I really do love the sleeping bag, and I think that if you can have one trendy item in your survival kit, this would for sure make the cut.  (Please keep in mind I am from Northern Ontario, so my views may be a bit skewed on this trendiness… heh)

7.  2 Person Guardian Elite Survival Kit [SKT2] –  So I’m a cheater… in my survival kit would be a real standard survival kit (there were not rules given to me on making this kit.. .so….)  I’m particularly happy they included a deck of cards for entertainment purposes, because sometimes in crisis, you need a distraction…like playing Go Fish with Raccoon Eyes. Despite his keen eyesight, I’d probably still win every time for the record.

This kit includes a Deluxe Hikers Backpack – containing:
Food and Water: 12 Boxes of Aqua Blox Water Boxes
12 – 400 Calorie Food Bars (4800 Calories)
20 Water Purification Tablets – each tablet purifies 1 liter
Am/Fm Radio with Headphones and Batteries
Rechargeable Squeeze Flashlight – 3 LED flashlight
36 Hour Emergency Candle
12 Hour Green Emergency Glow Stick
5-in-1 Survival Whistle
Box of Waterproof Matches
2 Emergency Survival Sleeping Bag
2- 16-20 Hour Body Warmer
2 Person Tube Tent with Rope
2 Emergency Poncho with Hood
16 Function Knife
Leather Palm Work Gloves
2- N95 Respirator Dust Mask – NIOSH approved
50 Feet of Nylon Rope
Safety Goggles
Sewing Kit
2-24 Piece Deluxe Hygiene Kit
6 Pocket Tissue Packs
Guardian 57 Piece Deluxe First Aid Kit
Notepad
Pencil
Deck of playing cards for entertainment
Infectious Waste Bag

All in all if you’re really trying to survive, I’m sure some of my items are useful, but perhaps not all. (I’d keep the real Survival kit stuff in mind.) You may want to re-jig my list.  As comical as this may be, when trying to survive staying warm, hydrated, and fueled up in terms of food are all of the utmost importance.  Stay safe out there guys!

-Bexx

Running in the Rain: 2 Tips for Running in the Rain!

Rain There is something really refreshing about running in the rain, yet I shy away from actually doing it often, because I’m afraid of getting soaked.  I’m made of sugar you know.. so I will obviously melt 😉 iphonerain

I was running the other day, and I saw the gray cloud looming over my head, and internally I scoffed at Mother Nature’s cloud and was thinking that I’d for sure beat the rain.  I was sure that I could out run the cloud, but in hindsight was very wrong.

I was stuck under a little wooden bridge, mostly stuck there on the premise that I did not in fact have shelter for my iPhone and didn’t want in fact want to risk its functionality on account of a ‘little’ rain.  I watched the rain drops hit the little stream that goes under the bridge and was surveying my options.  It slowed down for a little awhile and as I was about to make my getaway, the sky opened and dropped some buckets onto to Cobalt as I stood there.  I could have phoned a friend I suppose…. like on that show Who Wants to be a Millionaire or Cash Cab, but no one would have felt sorry for me at all… haha

As the rain let up a second time, off I went, hesitantly risking my own melting and demise (Fact: This is not true at all.  I will never melt in rain, unless it’s acid hydrochloric rain?!)  It was a calm rain for a little bit, but then reverted back to torrential.  I put my iPhone inside my two shirts and under my sports bra in hopes of shielding it from the rain and continued on my run.

Tips for running in the rain:

1) Embrace it; laugh about it; dance in puddles – bring out the inner child in yourself that hasn’t done anything super fun in a long time.  You’ll be happy that you did!

2) Try and have a dry place to store your electronics.  Sometimes I even run with a little baggie in my sports capris pocket for occasions like a random rain storm.  As fun as dancing in the rain is, you don’t have to have to shell out hundreds of dollars for a new iPhone 😉 rainsummer

I hadn’t felt that refreshed in a really long time.  I also must have looked a little bit crazy laughing in the rain.  It was just what I needed.

Happy Training,

-Bexx

Summer Gym Bag Essentials : Hilary Jack

gym bag
I am sure most of you are familiar with my friend Hilary who I originally featured a while back in my NOT SO AMATEUR section (if not you can read the post here.)  Since she is an avid athlete – running and doing some sort of workout or activity each day – she has agreed to share her Summer Gym Bag Essentials with us!

nike shorts1) Nike Circuit 2-IN-1 Woven Shorts for Women ($44.99 CAD)  “These shorts are my go to in hot weather. They help with the inevitable chafing with any leg size  with a comfortable spandex short sewn in. When I’m running in hot weather sometimes a little fresh air is nice up the shorts, but you don’t have to worry about bearing your bottom with the spandex. The drawstring waist is great too, so they don’t ride up or fall down while you bounce!”
Under Armour Studio Rave & Flow Support Tank Top 2) Under Armour Studio Rave & Flow Support Tank Top  “This top was a gift to me from my kickboxing partner, and it is was an immediate favourite. The support isn’t great for us busty chicks to go without a bra if you’re doing high impact sports like running or other aerobics, so I double up with a bra. However no bra needed for a nice leisure walk on a hot day. This baby lets the breeze move in and around your body, which is cooling on the sunny hot run days.”

bugg

3) Original Buff  “I wear my buffs instead of a hat. I’m not a hat person, and these buffs offer full UV protection AND have a variety of ways to wear them from headband to bandana or in the winter as a full balaclava! I love that they protect my noggin and look pretty darn stylish as well. Highly recommend for you outdoor activity types if you’re like me and don’t like hats.”

Thanks for sharing your Summer Gym Bag Essentials with us, Hilary!

Do you have some Summer Gym Bag Essentials that you’d like to share on http://www.missbexx.com?  Email me at rebecca.p.yanyk@gmail.com with your top three and I may feature them here! 🙂

Happy Training! Stay Cool!

-Bexx

Northern Summer


I think sometimes we all need a vacation.  From the hustle and bustle of our lives, from our own over-analyzing minds – an escapism where we are sometimes only able to find solace in the familiar – our childhood home.

Lately I’ve had some time to reflect on my life, what I do, who I am, and numerous other soul-searching endeavors that could easily leave ones head spinning.  Something that we should all undoubtedly do at certain points to evaluate our lives.

I remember a friend telling me once that once you hit your thirties, you will stop reading books like the Alchemist and just face reality that life isn’t all inspiration and aspiration.  I hope that I never stop dreaming, and envisioning bigger and better goals for myself and those that I choose to surround myself with. Thirty or not, I refuse to believe this.

I think that facing yourself, what you’re good at, and what you’re not good at (let’s call these the ‘works in progress’) are some of the hardest things that you can do.  It’s easy to sit there and say I’m really good at ‘x’ and ignore that perhaps you have done things to yourself and other people that are the result of those things that you’re not so good at.  Perhaps insecurity is at the forefront of some of these things, like it is with me.  Heck, I didn’t even really want to start this blog for years because I didn’t want to look silly, or have people thinking ‘what gives her the right to write about these things? What does she know?”

I struggle with the idea that ‘it doesn’t really matter what other people think’, because in some ways it does.  There are people out there who read and see what you do, they judge your work, your credentials based on a small amount of interaction and evaluate who you are, what you have to offer, whether you have influence or ‘klout’.

The key is to have enough confidence to know who you are, the values that you represent, the person that you are and the work that you do. (A friend’s father told him that recently and he was kind enough to share this wisdom with me.)  Keep your head held high, and believe in you.

Summer9

The people who matter the most will know you, stick around even when you’re a bit of a sh*t-head, hug you when you’re down, and become the biggest cheerleaders that you didn’t even realize or appreciate that you had.  They’ll encourage you to blog more, talk to people more, and shine that light that is you regardless of how dim you may feel it is at the moment.

Part of it is just recharging – hanging out with people who make you laugh, who sign you up for dragon boat races when you don’t even know how, those who remind you that writing is for the soul and is one of the hardest things we do sometimes – “it is ultimately spilling your guts out in text form.”

-Bexx