Thursday, December 29, 2016

#mareathon2016: My Top Books

Reading took a different turn for me in 2016.  I can't recall reading anything except non-fiction and more specifically self-improvement.  Also this year I started listening to books for the first time.  I listened to audio books in my car while driving, in the shower and while working out.  I highly recommend listening to books, especially if you just feel too busy to sit and read. I love ending my day with a book but honestly this year, most evenings I was way too tired to even read one page.  So, in no order, here are my favourite books of 2016.  What are yours? Use the hashtag #mareathon2016 so I can see them! 
oxox Mare

If you've watched any of my YouTube videos this year, chances are you've heard me talk about this cookbook.  A friend of mine gave it to me in April and I've probably used it every week since! The recipes are easy to follow and definitely played a vital role as I transitioned to giving up meat and dairy this year.  Litton also came out with a second cookbook this year but I'd recommend this, the original. 
I will be forever grateful to the Mareathoner who suggested I read this book. I bought it on a whim and read it in disbelief. Was Sincero talking directly TO me? I've never dog-eared so many pages in a book. I also bought the audio version and have listened to it on a loop probably five times this year.  Sincero flipped how I look at my life, future, and the world. That's a bold statement, but it's true. I've lost track of how many people I've given this book to.  There are so many truth bombs and important lessons in this easy to read gem. I could fill a year's worth of Wise Word Wednesdays from it! 

In 2016 I became more interested in the universe, crystals and meditation.  This book broke down so many things for a beginner without being intimidating or off-putting. 

Rimes writes with such honesty and vulnerability about getting out of her comfort zone. I definitely learned from her lessons and found myself getting out of my own comfort zone in 2016.  I said 'yes' but I also learned the power of 'no'.

This is the first audio book I've ever bought and I think I've played it half a dozen times. This is a MUST. She's got such great tips and methods, whether you are an entrepreneur or just a working woman.  I love the theme of women supporting women and staying in your own lane, so to speak. 
oxox Mare

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wise Word Wednesday


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

#mareathon2016 - Jer's Top Books

Today Jeremy is sharing his favourite books of 2016.  What were yours? Tell us using the hashtag #mareathon2016!

5. Mr. Hockey - Gordie Howe (review here)

4. 99: Stories of the Game - Wayne Gretzky (review here)

3. Overtime - Chris Chelios

2. Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard - John Branch

1. You Are a Badass - Jen Sincero
This wasn't even a contest. Badass should occupy all 5 spots. Reading it gave me the final push I needed to quit my job and realize that I didn't have to settle.

"Nobody gets to be large and in charge without facing challenges and moving through them."
- Jer

Sunday, December 25, 2016

From My Family


Friday, December 23, 2016

#mareathon2016: My Favourite (New) YouTubers of 2016

For today's #mareathon2016 post I want to share with you my favourite YouTubers with you. I watch YouTube every day, much more than television. This year I drifted away from some of my subscriptions, stayed true to some of my old favourites and discovered new ones. Today I am going to tell you about the channels I discovered in 2016. Tell me YOUR favourite channels this year! Use the hashtag #mareathon2016 so I can find your lists:) 
oxox 

Niomi is a vegan from Britain whose channel is like a breath of fresh air. She's so lovely and positive and healthy. She promotes a great lifestyle as well. She came out with a cookbook this year and I can't wait until it is available in Canada. 

Yes Lilly has like 12 million subscribers but I only started watching her this year. She's Canadian and the epitome of the hustle. I actually prefer her vlog channel as it's a realistic look into how much hard work goes into her success. 

Again, Colleen has millions of subscribers and this year she released her very popular show Haters Back Off on Netflix, but I only started watching her regularly this year.  I rarely watch her two main channels but instead again love to see her vlogs.  

Technically I have been watching Marissa for a few years but 2016 was when I didn't miss a single upload.  She started this series called #YearofYou and I found it to be inspiring to say the least.  She introduced me to some great self-improvement books and strategies, as well as the world of crystals.  Even though she's much younger than me, Marissa is a fabulous example of taking care of yourself and not apologizing for it. 

Kalyn is another Canadian and her channel is just fabulous. She posts videos about lifestyle, health, fashion and much more. It's so inspiring to get a glimpse into how she unapologetically is going for it. 

Lauren's main channel Hot for Food is one that I am also raving about online! But her second personal channel was a favourite in 2016. As I'm writing these pieces on each channel I'm definitely noticing the theme of not apologizing for self care:) Lauren has introduced me to many topics like being a vegan, meditating more, self love and others. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

#mareathon2016 - Jer's Top Shows


For today's #mareathon2016 look at the Best of 2016, Jeremy is back with his favourite shows! (Don't forget to share YOUR faves of the year and use #mareathon2016 so we can see them!)

5. Trailer Park Boys


4. Narcos



3. House of Cards



2. Bloodline



1. Chelsea
I think it's safe to say that I don't miss cable TV. All 5 shows are Netflix originals. And yes, I'm as surprised as you are to see that Chelsea is #1. Especially since I hardly watched her old show Chelsea Lately.
- Jer




Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wise Word Wednesday


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

#mareathon2016 - My Favourite Shows

Let's talk TV!  We haven't had cable in a few years, so you will notice that all my faves of the year are on Netflix.  #mareathon2016 is so much fun! I can't wait to see your favourites of the year. Use #mareathon2016 so I can find them. 
oxo Mare

Chelsea
I love that there are new episodes three times a week of this show. She covers a variety of topics and many of them are ones no one else is talking about. 


Schitt’s Creek
This Canadian show has two seasons on Netflix and is so easy to binge! It's unique and hilarious.


Scandal
I binge-watched this one so quickly! Then when I was caught up I was disappointed...until I realized that they released episodes weekly on Netflix. At least they did last season...


The Good Wife
This show is so smart and makes me question things I thought I stood firmly on, which I love. The ensemble can't be beat.


Gilmore Girls Revival
I was shocked in 2015 at the news of this revival and it couldn't come fast enough. I did a who review of the series in this vlog (spoilers obviously!). 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

#mareathon2016 - Jer's Top Songs


Today Jeremy is doing a guest post for #mareathon2016. Here are his Top Songs of The Year.  This may be the first time we've had two songs the same in our faves.  Ever. Don't forget to post your favourites of 2016 - be it books, music, movies, beauty products, moments...whatever! Use #mareathon2016 so I can find it.
oxo Mare

Jer's Top Songs of 2016:

5. Confident - Demi Lovato

4. Record Year - Eric Church


3. In The Night - The Weeknd



2. Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers



1. Wild Things - Alessia Cara

For the first time ever, a rock song didn't top my list. In fact, it wasn't even close. I've known for months that Wild Things was my song of the year. Virtually every line of the song resonates deeply with me, so much so that I ended my radio career by quoting it and playing the song. 
"We will carve our place into time and space. We'll find a way or we'll make a way. Find your great, don't hide your face and let it shine, shine, shine."

If you're looking for me in 2017, you'll find me where the wild things are.
- Jeremy

Friday, December 16, 2016

#mareathon2016 - My Favourite Songs


2016 was a defining year for me personally and my favourite songs reflect that.  Going through my playlists and most-listened-to songs was very telling as I got ready for this post.  You will see as we go through them:  


1 - I made a big career change in 2016 and started working for myself from my home. Coincidence that this was my #1 jam? I think not. ;)


Work From Home - Fifth Harmony and Ty Dolla $ign




2 - I let go of a LOT in 2016.  Some people, some self-restriction, some expectations, some goals, some hopes, some fears, so much. This song is one I listened to so many times and still do. I just love it. James Bay was a new discovery for me in 2016.


Let it Go - James Bay




3 - I can remember the day I decided I loved this song. It was the second week of January. Why do I remember? I guess it was defining. This song has so many relevant lyrics to how I felt this year. "We will find our way or we'll make a way."


Wild Things - Alessia Cara




4 - I was thrilled to be able to see Demi in concert with one of my BFFs Emilie this summer. (You can watch that vlog here.) Again this jam is SO me this year. "You've had me underrated" comes to mind right away.


Confident - Demi Lovato




5 - Anxiety and depression and PTSD were major aspects of 2016. I haven't actually spoke publicly about PTSD but I will in 2017.  This haunting track was on repeat for me for many months this year. It's just so beautiful.


Blue - Troye Sivan and Alex Hope




6 - This is a late addition to my favourites list. I only bought this song a few weeks ago and it's already racked up about 50 spins.  It seems like a fitting song to mark my new job on a country radio station. I feel like this is the perfect song to cap off 2016 and welcome 2017. 


Settin' the World On Fire - Kenny Chesney and Pink





Ok. YOUR turn. What songs did you love in 2016? I'd love to hear!

oxox Mare

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wise Word Wednesday


Thursday, December 8, 2016

First Week of Vlogmas 2016

We are officially ONE WEEK into Vlogmas 2016! Thank you so much to everyone who has been so supportive and receptive to this series once again. I wanted to share a playlist for you to binge-watch the first week of VLOGMAS 2016 and catch up! 
Is there anything you haven't seen yet during Vlogmas that you would like to? We've still got three weeks to go!
oxox Mare

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Happy Vlogmas 2016!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Jer Reads: Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky wrote a book? Sign me up! 
99 Stories of the Game is fantastic, plain and simple. I read the entire 377 page book on my recent flights to and from Detroit. That's how much I enjoyed it! The fact that Gretzky wrote it is huge, but another big plus is that he wrote it with Krirstie McLellan Day. If that name looks familiar it's because she also wrote with Ron McLean, Theo Fleury and Bob Probert when they did their autobiographies. 
You may be surprised to learn that this isn't a Wayne Gretzky autobiography, rather it looks back at some of the most memorable NHL moments of the past 99 years, from his point of view. If you're looking for Gretzky stories, don't worry, there are plenty of them! Since I'm a hockey history buff, I loved the tales of the early days of the NHL. For example, did you know that the NHL was created over spite! From 1909 to 1917, the top hockey league was the NHA, but the owners didn't get along with the owner of the Toronto team so they basically all quit and formed the NHL and left him out in the cold. Serious! There couldn't be a more perfect Canadian Christmas present for 2016 than Wayne Gretzky's book. Or if you're like me and can't wait until the end of December, get a Tim Horton's coffee, your favourite poutine and enjoy it now!
- Jer

Thursday, November 24, 2016

How To: Purge the Kitchen

I've been working on downsizing our home in the past year.  Slowly and I do mean slowwwwwwwwly, I have been going from room to room and seeing what I can live without. For me, a tidy room translates into a tidy mind. I can think clearer when there isn't clutter.  
Can you relate? 
My aunt was visiting earlier this month and she helped me haul everything out of my drawers and cupboards. We assessed what I actually used and what I never touched. We threw out broken items, went to the dollar store for storage options and worked hard. 
I filmed the process in the hopes it will help you de-clutter your own kitchen.
What room would you like to see next? At the end of the video I mention a few projects I am thinking of filming. 
oxo Mare

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wise Word Wednesday


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wise Word Wednesday


Monday, November 14, 2016

Jer Reads: Mr. Hockey


Earlier this year Gordie Howe passed away. He was one of the greatest hockey players ever and a fantastic story teller. Since he played 32 years of pro hockey, including 26 in the NHL, there was easily enough material for a book! Thankfully he wrote his autobiography before he died. Mr. Hockey was released in 2014 but I didn't get a chance to read it until last month. That was a mistake, I should've picked it up as soon as it came out! 
I love hockey history so it was great to read about an era when players didn't wear helmets and didn't make much more than many working Joe's. Three perfect examples are: during his first training camp in 1946, the rookies slept at the arena in cots! Also, the first place he lived when he made the team was at a rooming house with three of his teammates. It was set up by the Detroit Red Wings and run by a woman named Ma Shaw! Nowadays, most rookies are rich the day they sign their first contract. Finally, early in his career Gordie played minor pro baseball in the summer to earn some extra money. Crazy right! 
Even if you're a real hockey buff like me, I guarantee you'll read plenty of new stories about Mr. Hockey. His book has no shortage of gems. Otherwise, Christmas is just around the corner!
- Jer

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Time I Smashed My Head

This weekend I smashed my head. Literally. I was bending down to throw something in the garbage and when I started to stand up again, my face connected with the very sharp, very heavy, very wooden corner of a shelf. 
Instantly tears started streaming down my face. The pain was instant.
Now, what would you do if this happened? Think about it. You would probably get some ice and sit down to catch your breath while the goose-egg formed. 
Not me. 
I kept frantically tidying as I had been doing, preparing for my mother-in-law to arrive. Tidying, cleaning, uploading a video, all while tears and sobs continued.  Jeremy was upstairs getting ready and when he saw me he told me to sit down right away. 
Ok. Just let me start the laundry and make a cup of coffee. 
Anyone else seeing a problem with this? 
I collected the laundry and took it down two flights of stairs into the basement.
Jer had to literally force me to lay down with ice. 
No phone. No coffee. No work. 
Just sit. 
Initially I was mad. How dare you accuse me of doing too many things at once? Don't you see I'm working hard? 
Mare, don't you see you SMASHED YOUR HEAD?!?!
Oh. 
Right.
There's been a few instances recently when I have been so worked up, multi-tasking from the moment I wake up until the moment exhaustion takes over at night. This isn't the way to live or to be productive, is it? No. Sometimes you need to sit down with an ice pack on your head and reflect.  Which is what I did. 
I always say life is a "Mareathon" and have coined my lovely supporters my Mareathoners.  In my current phase of my Mareathon, I am learning to slow the f down. It may have taken me smashing my face to realize this, but at least I'm owning it and recognizing that something needs to change. To slow down. To not feel guilty when I sit and pause, without constantly checking my phone or, or, or.  The list is endless. 
I learned a very valuable lesson this weekend. My forehead is still tender to the touch, serving as a reminder.  It shouldn't take one smashing their head to slow down! Take care of yourself. Pause. Realize that it's ok to re-set, to only do one thing at a time and to put yourself first. 
oxox Mare

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I Was on a Podcast!


I made an appearance on a podcast! It was a lot of fun to chat with Dale and Alysha. I'd love it if you checked out the inaugural episode of SO What's Up:

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Name My TV Show!

Fun Fact: I have a television coming out on Shaw TV! See the teaser for the show below and enter the contest.  I cannot wait to debut the show and to see what you think we should name it! 
oxo Mare

Thursday, November 3, 2016

MareReads

Monday, October 31, 2016

Mare's Music Monday: Lady Gaga

You had to see this one coming.  Lady Gaga is back with her fifth studio album Joanne.  If you are looking for a revival of songs like Just Dance, Bad Romance and Born This Way, this is not the album for you.  But if you are looking to see an artist continue to evolve and extend her musical prowess, this is for you. 
I've said this before: I respect artists who try new things and sounds and evolve their sound with their age and experiences.  Gaga does just that.  I'd say Joanne is a mix of her previous dance-influenced sound and her foray into jazz with her Grammy Award-winning album Cheek to Cheek.  (That is another gem!)  Joanne is a mix of folk, country, rock, pop and electronic.  It just works.  Gaga is a vocal powerhouse and her lyrics are raw and relatable. I know some people will be disappointed with the record but it's easily one of my favourites of the year. I far prefer it to ARTPOP, her third album.  A sense of raw honesty runs throughout each song.  The standout tracks to me are Perfect Illusion, John Wayne, Joanne and A Million Reasons
You've probably heard her first single Perfect Illusion, but check out this acoustic version: 
I cannot wait to see what Gaga does as she performs next year's Super Bowl halftime show! 
oxox Mare

Monday, October 24, 2016

An Easy Self-Care Tip


This may look like just another photo of a pile of magazines.  It actually represents a change I trying to make in my life.  We all know we should be limiting our daily amount of screen time.  As someone whose business relies on hours in front of a computer screen or iPhone, I am working on fitting breaks into my day on purpose.  I am definitely guilty of falling asleep scrolling my phone but it's a work in progress!

I've been reading Amy Schumer's new book but wanted something that I could pick up when I have a five minute break or am having a snack. I also find reading lulls me to sleep, so picking up a book at anytime besides bedtime can be dangerous!  

This magazine deal is one of my favourite things to treat myself to. I only do it a couple times a year, but it brings me so much joy! At the WalMart check-out they have certain magazines for sale, three for $10.  That's a huge savings!

Picking up a magazine may seem like a simple act to you but to me it is much more.  I've been slacking on self-care as I talked about in a recent video: 


Taking a few minutes as a break from working and flipping through one of these magazines is almost a forced act for me some days.  I'm constantly thinking of the next task on my to-do list and have to stop myself from feeling guilty from taking a break.  Having a son with special needs transitioning into Kindergarten is definitely wearing on me lately.  He's tired and grumpy from such full days and I am finding my patience wearing thin.  

I'm much more productive after a break.  I know I create better content after a break.  I'm a calmer mum after a break.  It's a learned skill I'm working on and I know I'm not alone. 

Yes, flipping through a magazine may not seem like much to you, but it is to me. 

What do you like to do to give yourself a break? 
oxox Mare

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pad Thai



Pad Thai is currently my husband's favourite dish and so instead of eating Thai food at a restaurant once a week (as I am sure he would love!) I decided to try to make it myself. I do like Pad Thai but now that we don't eat meat, it seems a bit ridiculous to order it at a restaurant and ask for no chicken or shellfish. I also find that most places fry it so it can taste drenched in oil. So, I made it at home! 

(Fun fact, the first time I attempted this we had a friend staying with us who had just returned from travelling in Asia for more than a year. No pressure!) 

I posted the above photo and got tons of requests to share the recipe I used. I actually combined two different sites to make this dish. It was super easy and delicious. (Even our friend gave it his approval by asking for seconds!) 

For the sauce, I used this super easy recipe from PETA's website:

2 Tbsp. peanut butter
Juice of 2 limes
3 Tbsp. sugar
Sriracha, to taste

Whisk together. 

See? Easy. 

For the dish itself I turned to my Vegan Gurus at hotforfood:

200 G brown rice fettucine noodles (or flat rice noodles)
350 G medium firm tofu
2 tbsp coconut oil (for frying)
½ cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups broccoli florets
3 cups bean sprouts
2 tbsp finely chopped green onion
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
2 tbsp finely chopped roasted cashews (or peanuts)

Drain the water from the tofu and let it sit in paper towel for 10-15 minutes to get rid of excess moisture. Then cut into cubes.

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the noodles. Once the water is at a rolling boil, toss in the noodles and stir occasionally while they cook for approx. 10 minutes. Cook to al dente, drain, and set aside in a colander.

Meanwhile heat a large pan to medium heat and add 1 tbsp of coconut oil and cubes of tofu. After 4-5 minutes flip the cubes to another side to crisp. Flip the cubes every 2 minutes to get the rest of the sides golden brown.

When the tofu cubes are golden brown all around add ¼ cup of the sauce to the pan and coat the pieces evenly cooking over the heat for another minute. Remove tofu from the pan and set aside. You’ll toss tofu into the vegetables and noodles near end of cooking time.

In the same pan over medium heat add another 1 tbsp of oil and the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently. Then add in minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Then add in broccoli and sprouts (you might want to leave a small amount of raw sprouts aside as a garnish on top of the finished pad thai), and cook for another 4-5 minutes stirring frequently. Then add in half the amount of sauce remaining, toss to coat all the veggies and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add in the cooked noodles and remaining sauce, turn the heat down to low, toss to coat everything in sauce, and cook for another 3-4 minutes. At this stage you can adjust the spice level if you desire by adding another 1-2 tsp of sriracha. Serve immediately and top with green onion, cilantro, raw sprouts, and chopped cashews (or peanuts)

Let me know if you make this recipe. I absolutely love it. In fact, just typing about it is making me hungry! 
oxox Mare

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Swell Reward

You know how much I love to drink water. It's actually become a running joke among Mareathoners how many drinks I usually have on the go.  (In case you are wondering, I try to drink 3.5 litres a day.) 
As I have been working on losing weight and becoming a healthier person, drinking water has played a vital role.  But, I am also struggling with shifting my go-to habits of rewarding myself with food.  This is going to be a long struggle for me.  I was raised with food being a reward, just like I think most of us were.  Don't get me wrong, I still love a good treat!  But as I set goals for myself and work on baby steps with my physical and mental health, I am looking for different rewards. 
Enter, this water bottle. 
I decided that I wanted to treat myself to a S'well bottle months ago.  I heard about the technology's incredible ability to keep water cold for hours, even in a hot car.  So I decided to buy one of these pricey babies online once I finally came off my anxiety and depression medication. 
And I did! This bottle not only represents my insane water habit, but also reminds me daily of the intense work I have put in and continue to put in on my mental health. 
I wanted to share this somewhat random story with you as encouragement for you to do the same.  Find something you really want and set a goal to go along with it. Not only will you be so pleased you waited, it will mean more. 
oxox Mare

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Night in Manning Park

Friday, October 7, 2016

Join Me!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Jer Reads: Sully


A "Fun Fact" about me is that I"m fascinated by plane crashes. Whenever a big one takes place, I follow the story very closely. So when a plane crashed into New York City's Hudson River on January 15th, 2009, needless to say, I was captivated! 

When I found out that a movie about it, starring Tom Hanks was being made, I was so excited. Despite the exsistence of a movie, I decided to do the opposite of what I did a couple of times in high school, read the book instead of watching the film.

I've heard nothing but good things about Sully the movie, but I'm here to tell you that the book wasn't that good. I was expecting it to be about the flight, the crash and events afterwards but it was more of an autobiography. The first half of the book was mostly about his life leading up to the Miracle On The Hudson. I don't need to know that his dad built his childhood home by hand or what the Air Force Academy was like. I found myself skipping over pages and entire chapters to get to the main event. It was like waiting through the lame opening act at a concert before your favourite band headlines. The chunk of the book about the flight was terrific, as it was thrilling to read about his quick reaction to the situation (it was only 3 minutes from the bird strike to the Hudson River) and how he pulled off the only water landing ever where no one died.

In conclusion, go see the movie. The popcorn is delicious!
- Jeremy
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