Escaping The Rut (part two)

So yesterday I was talking about being stuck in a rut. It was a rut that I’ve been fighting for my entire life, really…but I’m ready to tackle it one more time and see what happens.

The other rut, though, is something that’s relatively new. It’s the rut that my wife and I have found ourselves in after less than a year of marriage.

No…we’re not in trouble. No…we’re not going to split up. We’ve had a few rough weeks and recently realized that we were the cause of our own issues. We were the reason that we were unhappy.

WE were stuck in a rut with our relationship.

It was decided that we had taken our relationship for granted, which was something I never thought we’d do. Sunshine explained it like this:

  • When we were in our long-distance relationship, we always had “our weekend” to look forward to. We did whatever we could to cram in as much fun and as much love as possible.
  • When I moved to Halifax to be with her, we were looking forward to our wedding.
  • Once the wedding ended, we had nothing else to look forward to.

And so thus the rut began.

Our last couple of weekends together, however, have helped to break us out of that rut.  We had our own “Ferris Beuller Day” that was all kinds of awesome and we’ve made it our mission to not simply sit back and let life pass us by. We’re too important to each other to do that. Plus, one of the things that we both love about each other is our ability to make fun out of almost any situation.

It is a lesson learned, and a lesson not soon to be forgotten.

Escaping The Rut (part one)

For whatever reason, I’m the kind of person that flourishes when there is an obstacle or a task placed in front of me. Give me a specific goal with a specific timeline, and I’ll work my ass off to complete it. When I’m just trying to kick my own ass? The results don’t quite end up the same way.

How many times over the course of the past five years have I said that I was going to lose weight or get in better shape or make some “life changes”? I’ve lost track of them all, to be perfectly honest. But here I am…at it again…trying to hold myself accountable by writing it all down.

I’m in a rut and I need to bust out and escape it.

KILLING my morning workout!!A couple of years ago I was training for a race against a co-worker with a $50 stipulation. Heck…I even got up at 6am while on a cruise ship in the Caribbean just to hit the gym and work out. I lost 20 pounds and won the race handily. I then kinda drifted off and gained most of the weight back over the following year. All my hard work was gone.

009Earlier this year, my good friend Random Esquire challenged me to complete the Couch-to-5K app and then have everything culminate with an actual 5K run. Well…I trained and completed that run back in June. Since then, I’ve gone out once or twice a week…but only running 3km or less. I haven’t pushed myself, nor have I felt motivated to push myself.

I became stuck in yet another rut.

So last week my amazing wife threw down the gauntlet. Fed up with the poor eating habits we had been displaying over the past few weeks (and also because she’s in training to run at least a half marathon in the fall), she decided to whip both of our asses into shape.

“Let’s get on track. We can loosen up over family vacation week and then after that, back to the grind, balls to the wall, harder than ever. You’ve been wanting to lose weight and I need to reign it in so my pants keep fitting me. You in?”

I’ll be honest…my initial reaction was “SIGH”. It then took me a second to realize that this was the rut that I was trying to break out of. Sitting on my ass and eating ice cream all summer sounds like a great, relaxing time…but my two short runs per week aren’t quite cutting it in terms of the “weight loss” department, especially if my ice cream intake calories far outnumber my running calories.

I’m here, again, to say that I’m going to try to change my lifestyle habits…again. Eating better, tracking my calories, doing push-ups and planks in the evenings during commercials on television; whatever little things I can do that will hopefully add up to a happy, healthy CBG.

And if my wife is running a marathon in October, the least I can do is run a 5K that weekend, too.

That’s the plan. Even though I can’t run at her pace, Sunshine is determined to help motivate me to want to motivate myself. She’s a pretty awesome wife that way. I’m ready to escape this rut in my life. There is, however, still one more for me to tackle.

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Half-Assing It

Sunshine pretty much said everything that I was thinking, too. I think we’re both ready to start really living life again.

Sunshine on My Shoulder

The end of last week wasn’t exactly the most stellar in my world. A single incident between CBG and I triggered a couple of ugly arguments between the two of us. I’ll spare you the details, in the interests of both privacy and the fact that, as is often the case, the things were were arguing about weren’t really the things we were arguing about.

Gotta love how that works, right?

Also — it got ugly.Ugly in that way where you start questioning everything that’s happened in your relationship to lead you up to this particular point. Ugly in the way that pushes you toward something that logically really makes no sense whatsoever, but in desperation you’re just not sure what else to say or do.

Bah.

The good news is that several days of communication, tears, laughter and love means that here, on Monday, we’re in a much…

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G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix Popcorn Giveaway Contest Winner

GH Cretors logoWhew…that title is a mouthful, right?

Alright…I decided that the quickest and easiest way to choose a winner was to simply take the names of those who were eligible (i.e. who entered a comment AND liked my Facebook page) and put their names into the Random.org. The name that ended up #1 on the list would then be the winner.

Here is the list of eligible participants:

Entrants

And after I hit the “randomize” button, this is what was presented to me:

WINNER

So congratulations, Rachel!! I need you to contact me ASAP and provide me with your mailing details so I can arrange to have some G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix Popcorn sent your way! The easiest way would be via email: canadian.bald.guy@gmail.com

Thanks to everybody who commented and liked my Facebook page. I certainly do appreciate it.

And a huge thanks to G.H. Cretors for helping me with this! You can find them in various places online if you want to check them out yourself:

www.ghcretors.com

https://www.facebook.com/GHCretors

https://twitter.com/GHCretors

http://www.pinterest.com/ghcretors/

http://instagram.com/ghcretors

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G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix – Review & Popcorn Giveaway!

GH Cretors logo

I gotta admit…I’ve never been a fan of “sweet and salty”. For the most part, I prefer my sweet on its own and my salty on its own. But when I was approached with the chance to try and review G.H. Cretors’ Chicago Mix Popcorn, I jumped at the opportunity.

7_5oz GH CretorsBack in 1885, “Great Grandpa Cretors” invented the popcorn machine and a family business was born. Over the course of five generations, the company has continued to make popcorn in an “old fashioned” type of way with no added artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives. The company is extremely proud of the fact that their products are all natural, gluten-free with no GMOs (genetically modified organisms), and kosher. G.H. Cretors strives to provide the “cleanest”, most natural products that you can find. 

For those who don’t know, Chicago Mix popcorn is a blend of caramel corn and cheese corn, and is considered one of the most unique flavours one can find that is associated with Chicago (the others being deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs).

G.H. Cretors makes their caramel corn in a “classic” way; in old-fashioned copper kettles, one batch at a time. Not everybody can make caramel corn…it’s actually a difficult process to perfect. Cretors is lucky enough to have decades of experience behind them so you know the caramel corn is going to be top notch.

The “Chicago way” of making popcorn then includes cheese corn, which Cretors makes with a rich and creamy aged cheddar cheese.  When you blend these two flavours into one bag, the outcome is an incredibly unique “sweet & salty” flavour that is now an international taste sensation.

So that’s the history of the company and a description of Chicago Mix Popcorn. But at the end of the day, how does it taste?

One word: AWESOME!

41895308 The caramel corn is definitely sweet, but it’s got a smoothness than you don’t find with popcorn every day. It’s not “super-sweet”, either…so it’s a style of popcorn that I could find myself eating on its own. The cheese corn is a welcome treat, as I don’t think I’ve ever eaten cheese corn on its own before. By itself, it’s okay…but combined with the caramel corn and you’ve got a one-two punch that’s a flavour knockout (a cheesy description, I know…but it’s still apt).

So at the end of the day, I firmly believe I’ve found a popcorn that will REPLACE regular, buttered popcorn as my popcorn of preference. I honestly don’t know if I can enjoy popcorn the same way again without craving Chicago Mix instead. To say I love this product would be an understatement.

But don’t just take my word for it, you need to find out for yourself!! And the best way to do that is to WIN SOME FREE CHICAGO MIX POPCORN!!! That’s right…you can have some of your very own G.H. Creton Chicago Mix popcorn sent straight to your door (if you live within Canada or the continental United States).

Yep…it’s my first-ever contest giveaway! And all you have to do in order to win is make a comment below and “Like” me on Facebook.  That’s it! Once you do, you’ll have a chance to win some of the best popcorn around.

The contest ends on Thursday at midnight Eastern Time. The winner will be announced on Friday morning. In the meantime, you can check out G.H.Cretors at the following locations:

www.ghcretors.com

https://www.facebook.com/GHCretors

https://twitter.com/GHCretors

http://www.pinterest.com/ghcretors/

http://instagram.com/ghcretors

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Our “Ferris Bueller Day”

A few months ago, Sunshine came up with the idea that we take a day off of work in order to go out and just enjoy the day. Maybe even try to do a bunch of fun activities that we wouldn’t normally get the chance to do on the weekend together. We decided to have our very own “Ferris Bueller Day” where we simply forgot about work, forgot about any troubles going on in our lives, and just be on a mission to have fun together. After all…

Life moves pretty fast...

So we both took last Friday off in an effort to OWN THE DAY! Needless to say, I think we did…

We were up and had both gone out for morning runs before 7am. Once we were showered and ready, Sunshine had the PERFECT shirt for our day together.
We were up and had both gone out for morning runs before 7am. Once we were showered and ready, Sunshine had the PERFECT shirt for our day together.
At 9:15am, we were both ready to head out and do whatever the heck we wanted to.
At 9:15am, we were both ready to head out and do whatever the heck we wanted to.
Another sunny day in Halifax. Didn't bother us at all...we were ready to tackle the day, anyway!!
Another sunny day in Halifax. Didn’t bother us at all…we were ready to tackle the day, anyway!!
We started to walk our way through the streets of Halifax. As we made our way up Spring Garden Road, I found this sign. I'm all like..."LOVED you in Dumb & Dumber!"
We started to walk our way through the streets of Halifax. As we made our way up Spring Garden Road, I found this sign. I’m all like…”LOVED you in Dumb & Dumber!”
Halifax is getting a new public library. The pic on the top is an artist's rendering and the bottom two are pics of the actual structure. It's...ummm...different. It's all modern and such. It's supposed to look like a stack of books. Ummm...yeah?
Halifax is getting a new public library. The pic on the top is an artist’s rendering and the bottom two are pics of the actual structure. It’s…ummm…different. It’s all modern and such. It’s supposed to look like a stack of books. Ummm…yeah?
One of the most beautiful places in the entire city is the Halifax Public Gardens. Even on an extremely foggy day like this one, it was a fantastic walk.
One of the most beautiful places in the entire city is the Halifax Public Gardens. Even on an extremely foggy day like this one, it was a fantastic walk.
As we were making our way back towards the city center, I had to make a stop. I had never been to a Nestle's Toll House before, so today was going to be that day! I had 2 chocolate chip cookies and some chocolate milk and let me tell you something...it totally reminded me of my mom. THAT GOOD.
As we were making our way back towards the city center, I had to make a stop. I had never been to a Nestle’s Toll House before, so today was going to be that day! I had 2 chocolate chip cookies and some chocolate milk and let me tell you something…it totally reminded me of my mom. THAT GOOD.
Making our way through the downtown core, we stopped in at the Freak Lunchbox, which is the most incredible candy store I've ever been in. We picked up a few fun items and continued on our way.
Making our way through the downtown core, we stopped in at the Freak Lunchbox, which is the most incredible candy store I’ve ever been in. We picked up a few fun items and continued on our way.
Something I'd never done was spend money in Casino Nova Scotia. So Sunshine and I walked around looking for an interesting game to play. Everything even remotely interesting was already being played by a senior citizen (it was a Friday morning, after all), so I sat down next to some kind of seafood machine and popped in $5. The next few minutes were long and boring. We didn't understand what was going on and didn't find any fun in the situation. Neither one of us understand gambling in a casino, but at least we can say we did it once. Mission accomplished!!
Something I’d never done was spend money in Casino Nova Scotia. So Sunshine and I walked around looking for an interesting game to play. Everything even remotely interesting was already being played by a senior citizen (it was a Friday morning, after all), so I sat down next to some kind of seafood machine and popped in $5. The next few minutes were long and boring. We didn’t understand what was going on and didn’t find any fun in the situation. Neither one of us understand gambling in a casino, but at least we can say we did it once. Mission accomplished!!
Saw this sign while on the way out of the casino. Of course...all we could think of was "That's what SHE said".
Saw this sign while on the way out of the casino. Of course…all we could think of was “That’s what SHE said”.
It was time for lunch and we were ready to try something else new. We went to the new Susie's Shortbreads location in Purdy's Wharf. They have this new thing called a stuffed baked potato. Obviously, it's more than just a normal baked potato. In this case, we each tried the taco meat baked potato. And let me tell you...IT. WAS. AWESOME. I'm looking forward to trying a new flavour down the road (pulled pork baked potato, anyone?).
It was time for lunch and we were ready to try something else new. We went to the new Susie’s Shortbreads location in Purdy’s Wharf. They have this new thing called a stuffed baked potato. Obviously, it’s more than just a normal baked potato. In this case, we each tried the taco meat baked potato. And let me tell you…IT. WAS. AWESOME. I’m looking forward to trying a new flavour down the road (pulled pork baked potato, anyone?).
One of the most interesting parts of the entire downtown/waterfront area is Halifax Historic Properties.
One of the most interesting parts of the entire downtown/waterfront area is Halifax Historic Properties.
While visiting the Historic Properties, Sunshine made a new friend.
While visiting the Historic Properties, Sunshine made a new friend.
I love walking by Nova Scotia Crystal when they've got the doors open and they're blowing glass. It's one of the very unique things any passerby can experience if the doors are open...just check out the pics! These guys are all incredibly talented.
I love walking by Nova Scotia Crystal when they’ve got the doors open and they’re blowing glass. It’s one of the very unique things any passerby can experience if the doors are open…just check out the pics! These guys are all incredibly talented.
The sun began to come out a bit as we were walking along the Halifax waterfront.
The sun began to come out a bit as we were walking along the Halifax waterfront.
We walked into a souvenir shop on the waterfront and found this cookbook. Sorry, but I refuse to eat anything that comes from a "Dutch Oven". Nope!
We walked into a souvenir shop on the waterfront and found this cookbook. Sorry, but I refuse to eat anything that comes from a “Dutch Oven”. Nope!
We made our way to the car and drove ourselves across the bridge to Dartmouth. We found an independent candy store called Sugar Shok. Inside we found the greatest sweet I've found in a VERY long time: the white chocolate Reeses peanut butter cup. $2 for two cups...worth every penny!
We made our way to the car and drove ourselves across the bridge to Dartmouth. We found an independent candy store called Sugar Shok. Inside we found the greatest sweet I’ve found in a VERY long time: the white chocolate Reeses peanut butter cup. $2 for two cups…worth every penny!
We decided to catch a Canadian-made movie as an afternoon matinee: The Grand Seduction. This was such a good movie, when it was done and the lights were on we didn't see a single person walk out WITHOUT a smile on their faces. You gotta love a movie like that.
We decided to catch a Canadian-made movie as an afternoon matinee: The Grand Seduction. This was such a good movie, when it was done and the lights were on we didn’t see a single person walk out WITHOUT a smile on their faces. You gotta love a movie like that.
So apparently "dauntless" is 1 of 5 factions in the world of Divergent, the faction dedicated to courage & bravery. So a few questions: 1. Why do I want "brave chocolate cake"? 2. This cake is promoting a movie to be released in March...just how damn old IS this cake, anyway?? 3. You can see in the upper right hand corner that there WAS a discount sticker on this cake...but no more. WHY???
So apparently “dauntless” is 1 of 5 factions in the world of Divergent, the faction dedicated to courage & bravery. So a few questions:
1. Why do I want “brave chocolate cake”?
2. This cake is promoting a movie to be released in March…just how damn old IS this cake, anyway??
3. You can see in the upper right hand corner that there WAS a discount sticker on this cake…but no more. WHY???
"Like mother used to make?" No...I don't think so.
“Like mom used to make?” No…I don’t think so.
The end of our day came with pizza from our favourite pizzeria in the entire city. She had Tijuana chicken and I had a Gladiator meat pizza. What a great way to end the day.
The end of our day came with pizza from our favourite pizzeria in the entire city. She had Tijuana chicken and I had a Gladiator meat pizza. What a great way to end the day.

This was absolutely one of the best days I’ve ever had with my wife. From beginning to end, this was a blast. We felt like two kids and soaked up life as it was our first date all over again.

If you ever want to get some “spark” back into your relationship, take a Ferris Bueller Day!! You’ll thank yourself for it later.