7 Quickies: Whole30, Lent and Shoes! Oh my.

Does anyone else feel like Lent snuck up super friggen fast this year?! I’ve been a spectacularly crappy Catholic of late, so I’m thrilled it is Lent so to begin a journey to get my soul in order.  So I went to Confession today to start things off right, and now, I can focus on growing in spirituality.



My prayer life has been severely lacking of late. I skim through the Blessed is She devotions, but I don’t read the bible verses just the reflection, and that is about it. I was really good about nightly prayers throughout January but the last week and a bit I’ve not been doing as good.

So, for Lent:

  • I ordered the Blessed is She Journal for Lent. I’m just waiting for it to show up! I’m so excited to work through it and I often journal when I pray in the evenings anyway so, match made in Heaven. Hopefully. (Also, I’m thankful I ordered it as soon as I heard about it because they sold out. They still have a digital one though!
  •  For the mornings, I really want to get into the habit of praying through the Lorica of St. Patrick as well as just a general morning prayer. I fail at praying in the morning.
  • Daily Mass! The Church near my work offers daily Mass on Thursdays and Fridays conveniently at lunch time. I plan to adjust my lunch hour to make it possible to go to Mass on those days.




Ah Lent, the time where people suddenly decide to give things up. And occasionally partake on Sundays. Or not. Whatever floats your fancy. (As an aside, I really liked what Mr. Bearman Stewart wrote on that topic the other day).

I’m giving up Netflix (and streaming) for the entirety of Lent. Even on Sundays. Anyone who knows me, knows this is kind of a big deal. I have Netflix on ALL the time. But, as of Wednesday, deactivated. Until Easter. It will suuuuuck, but I think it’s important. And I’ll probably be able to polish off one or two more books. 



Oh boy. I have decided to complete a Whole30 (Whole47?) for Lent. No Sundays off (not allowed) and no breaks until Easter (or Holy Week, I’ll be travelling home for Easter and I am truly terrible at eating healthy while flying/travelling).  I even joined up with Kelly as part of her Lenten Whole30. 

Between this and giving up Netflix, I may be thoroughly miserable for the first week until I figure out a new normal.




Phew, no more Lent talk. I FINALLY got new gym shoes. I was doing so well at the whole gym thing and then, my old shoes started to show their wear. It was hurting more to run with them than without them. So I stopped running (just as I was starting to find my groove again) and I strictly did my bootcamp classes at least once a week but I did them in sock feet. Super good for my feet I’m sure.

But I got new babies to wear out, so excited to get back at the whole runnin’ thing.



I re-read Pope Awesome by the always entertaining Cari Donaldson. I even convinced my Books and Breakfast group to read it. Although, I’m thinking most of us just show up for the mimosas because only a 1/4 of us ever actually finish the books we choose.

I have to say though, re-reading the book gave me an opportunity to highlight some of the things I like (and notice that Kindle tracks how many people also track the same passages you do. And then tells you. Which is….weird).


I love this quote, because when you honestly and openly start searching through the Church’s teachings they are beautiful and some of it is really hard to grasp but it’s all so good.



Some links I loved this week:

On the importance of Sacristans. 

Oh my gosh. Jenny knocked it out of the park with her post “Such a Time as This“. Home freakin’ run. So good. I just, I love it.

On why the Church needs a leader and the problems with Sola Scriptura.

On Celibacy and Valentine’s Day


Links unrelated to Catholicism:

Snape is my favourite character (aside from Hermione) from Harry Potter and this video. The feelings!

On why pro-lifers need to focus more on being pro-life and not just anti-abortion & euthanasia. Building a culture of life is more than just legislation.



I love this. I like Mean Girls and art and I found this so entertaining.




Head over to Kelly‘s for more Quick Takes!



7 Quick Takes – To-dos, Not Alone Series and more!



This week! It’s been a blur. I wanted to write my QT on Friday but Friday I was upset. And annoyed. And discouraged and I thought it was related to the God-forsaken abortion clinic re-opening in my town, but, it turns out that it was also the beginning of a truly delightful stomach bug that had me completely laid up all day yesterday and left me with a killer headache and ear ache today. On the brightside, I was able to drag myself out to get groceries today at the Walmart superstore, and I looked like I belonged. My energy is zapped, and my bed is calling for me.

And I’m still really bothered about the clinic reopening. It’s so discouraging. So so so discouraging, prayer is all I can do at this point because I’m at a loss as to what else will help.

I wanted to go to Adoration, but, unfortunately, my town doesn’t have readily accessible adoration so I prayed and read my bible, and found this:

2 Corinthians

I kind of want to find a print of this verse, and get it framed and stick in my office.


How is my reading resolution going? Meh. I didn’t get much reading done this week because I had several other things going on. I’m working on Recall Abortion by Janet Morana and so far I’m really not loving it. It has a lot of good reviews and I think it would be pretty good if they took out about 2/3 of it because it makes some good points but they got lost in a lot of babble, but, it is on the list and it was a Christmas gift, so I will keep plugging away at it.


I did, however, end up going to the gym a bunch of times in the last week. So much so that I think I over did it because I was sore for days. I used to go to the gym a lot a few years back and I guess I kind of thought I could just jump back into my old routine and pretend like it hasn’t been 2 years. Hahahahahaha. Nope. So I’m scaling back and for right now I’m focusing on starting an 8-week running program on M/W/F and my bootcamp (which is mostly strength) on Tues/Thurs.

The running program I’m loosely following is the SparkPeople one that I found, but I’m shortening the walking intervals because I didn’t find I needed them to be 4 minutes, I’m also doing it on the “rolling foothills” setting on the treadmill so some of it is done on an incline for extra intensity. This is the tentative plan right now, but ultimately if I need more walk time I’ll take it, of if the 40 minutes is too much I’ll drop it. But I did the SP version the other day and 40 minutes was fine for me.

Run plan pdf


I haven’t done my Not Alone Series post yet this week, but I’ve already done a look ahead to 2015 post and a reading goals post for 2015 so, instead for this week, I’m going to take a page out of my friend Melody’s blog and do a To-Do list for 2015!

  1. Complete the 52 week savings plan!
  2. Successfully complete a Whole 30 (the one I started 2 weeks ago was derailed and then crashed). Lent seems like a good time to try again
  3. Start decorating & furnishing my apartment more like an adult and less like a college student
  4. Lose 40 pounds
  5. Stick to a budget (I’m so so so bad at this!)
  6. DIY something! I have a pedestal table and a dresser to choose from.
  7. Buy some shelving for my storage room and organize the boxes and such that are in there
  8. Purge some stuff. I have boxes I’ve never even unpacked, so I think I can start with those.
  9. Complete my 2015 reading list
  10. Be more conscious about fasting on Fridays. It probably won’t be from meat though, because I can’t tolerate fish at all
  11. Be more conscious about avoiding foods that I’m sensitive to and start actually focussing on healing my body


I’m straight up loving the #ProjectBlessed on Instagram. I’ve been super lazy about posting in the last few days, but even if I don’t post I always check the prompts and mean to post something. Reading the prompts make me more aware about the blessings in my life. I’m not really as into Instagram as some others (I think it’s because I’m not crafty, don’t have kids, and the food I eat, while delicious, is not usually photo-friendly) but I check it all the time and love seeing what others post.


A woman who volunteers at my work once a week (not Catholic) was asking me about my Catholic Adults group was asking me about it. “So, is it a good place to meet cute guys?”, my response was “Uh….not as much as you’d think.”

Apparently my singleness has been really noticeable in the last week because everyone has been making comments or asking questions about it this week. It’s weird. It’s a good thing I’m good at being single because otherwise I might have a crisis and become one of those women who defines themselves by the men or lack of men in their life. Still annoying though.


I don’t really have 7. Oh! I Skype-d (well, hungout on Google) with a friend of mine last Sunday. She is the director of the National Campus Life Network, and it was really nice to catch up with her and discuss the different struggles of working full-time in the pro-life and engaging more young people. It’s hard. Young pro-lifers exist, but it sometimes seems they don’t exist where I am.

Friends of mine are currently plotting out something that would be so great for the pro-life movement in New Brunswick and it would be so so great if it gets off the ground. I’m not going to go into tooo many details right now because I’m not sure of them myself but pray that it happens, I’ll give more details as they come!

Hop on over to Kelly‘s for more quickies!

7 Quick Takes – Resolutions Week 1


So, I figure there is no time like the present to go hash out how my resolutions have been going and using it as an excuse to link up with Kelly over at This Ain’t the Lyceum for this.


I was so excited to write this post because my Whole30 has been going amazingly well…..and then we had a volunteers lunch today. And it was a potluck. Literally none of the food was Whole30 compliant (I tried!) so now I feel decidedly miserable. Tomorrow is a new day, and I’m so looking forward to getting back on the wagon because I was doing so well, and feeling amazing. Even if I did jump from Day 2 to Day 8 on the Whole30 timeline (how does that even happen?).



I’ve already finished 2 books from my list, but, to be fair I was already 2/3 of the way through one and the other was just really good and a super quick ready.

Rooted in Love: Our Calling as Catholic Women was alright, but I didn’t love it. I realised why I put it down after I started it back when I got for 2013 Christmas. It was really anecdotal and I didn’t really feel there was a lot of substance to it. Some parts were good but for the most part it was just meh. Read Mulieris Dignitatem and you’ll get the same the same message as the book in fewer pages. Also it’s free online and written by a Saint 😉

The Loser Letters: A Tale of Life, Death and Atheism was good. I had never read The Screwtape Letters but this is kind of a modernization of those but towards the New Atheists (Dawkins, Hitchens, et al). Now, it wasn’t perfect, some of it felt really forced (the author trying so hard to sound young) and some parts were a little bit ramble-y but some good points were made about the illogicalness (is that a word?) of some of the arguments often made by New Atheists.


Ah…finances. I stuck to the Gail budget perfectly. Whole30 food is a tiny bit more expensive than I planned and so I had to dip a little bit into the Entertainment fund to round out some grocery expenses (but seeing as I pretty much don’t do anything except for 1 night out a month, it didn’t matter).  I’m still tweaking the budget, but so far, so good. I really want my Visa and my MacBook both paid off by June (which is pretty feasible) and then I can just focus on my student loan. The amount currently split between the computer and Visa is more than my required student loan payment amount, so that works out well. I’ll try to increase that amount as much as possible as I can.


I’ve been pretty good about the gym. I decided against budget for a weekly trainer because that money can be better spent added to the debt repayment amount. So right now I’m doing my twice weekly bootcamp and am trying to fit some extra gym time in on Sundays and one other day during the week.


Screen time…..I’ve been pretty good at shutting off the computer by 7:30 (I did it at least 2 times this week…so that’s pretty good. Right?!) There was one evening I had a work webinar so I had no choice, but!, I was still getting in a lot of reading time, but currently I’m writing this at 9:50pm so clearly today was a fail. I’m also still having trouble not compulsively checking my phone before bed after I did my reading and prayers. So, it’s still a process but I’m still trying to be more conscience of the screens. Less is more, but baby steps too. Giving up Netflix will probably help, a lot. I should also be done Friends by then so…that will also help.


That’s really all the resolutions I have, but tomorrow I definitely have to clean and unpack from all my moving around over the Christmas holidays because…I can’t find my iPod charger. Yeah, I don’t even normally lose things so this is really bugging me.


Can I give a little shout out to the #ProjectBlessed thing on Instagram? I’m loving thinking about the blessings every day and trying to find little bits of joy in my least favourite (by miles) season. -30? No thanks. Never again. I’ve also finally started reading the Blessed is She daily reflections more frequently, and I’m loving them. Signing up for them on my work email makes sure I see them as soon as I get to work!

  And don’t forget! Check back with Kelly for more Quick Takes!

7 Quick Takes – Blessed Holiday Edition



The holiday season, as most people know it, has come and gone and I’m back at work but as Catholics Christmas is still happening. I totally thought Christmas was just 12 days but my friend (who happens to be a priest) was like, nope it’s actually 8 weeks. Learn something new every day, I guess. This was my first year that I had a job which provided me a decent amount of time off for the holidays and they were full and busy and wonderful.


I’m blessed because even when I am away from my real family, I can have a family Christmas. Theoretically, I could’ve gone home for Christmas but it would’ve cost money I didn’t have and I would’ve had to travel on Christmas Eve and, well, I hate crowds.  I was invited to spend Christmas with my best friends’ family. This family has been so good to me over the years and I am so lucky that they so willingly open their home to me.


Is it just me, or is Christmas just better surrounded by little kids? Their joy and their excitement is the best part of Christmas for me. Even though I would’ve rather stayed in bed for SEVERAL more hours, their joy was infectious and I’m so happy the family I celebrated with has 11 children, and I could be surrounded by children. It was noisy and loud and exhausting and wonderful.


I got some really wonderful gifts. Some books, an iPod, a wallet/phone case, a snazzy dress, the warmest mittens (a necessity in Canada), and some giftcards for books and Cineplex and a beautiful icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  I am always so overwhelmed with other people’s generosity. I never really have a Christmas list and I never really want for anything. My favourite part of Christmas is being around people that I love, that’s it for me. That sounds kind of lame, but it’s kind of the truth.


I hear a lot (a lot!) about how being single on the holidays sucks and is ultimately the worst thing ever, but I politely disagree. I actually really enjoy it (for the most part). Do I want to be married? Yes. Do I want children? Yes. Dwelling on these facts, however, is not going to make either of those things happen faster. For right now, I’m content in leaving the child-raising to other people and work on being okay in my solitude. To focus on growing in my relationship with Jesus and the Church, to grow my prayer life. To read more. To grow in virtue. To deepen friendships. It’s not all fun though, I would really like to be married and have a home and family and start developing my own traditions and such, but, in God’s time.


After the boisterous and crazy that was my Christmas I was lucky enough to be able to get away a visit with a friend who lives a couple hours away. He’s a priest so he was busy with the Church stuff and the homily writing (New Year’s day being an obligation and such) so I was able to enjoy the quiet. There was movie watching, late nights, hilarious conversations and lots of quiet. It was a really nice change of pace after the Christmas crazy.


I was so happy to be home. After 9 days (plus a weekend) off and after only spending 1 day and 2 nights in my apartment coming home last night made me happy. I was so full of happiness and exhaustion (and a stomach ache from the sugar and milk I was eating in all the chocolate!). I thrive on routine so getting home, and going back to work and building a new year around my resolutions makes me so happy. I’m such a introvert it’s kind of crazy.

Ultimately, I loved the reminder that God is good and he has blessed me abundantly. Sometimes I lose sight of that and the reminder is really nice. I rang in my New Year surrounded by friends, laughter and joy. 2015, I’m ready for you to bring me some more of that. I’ve also completed 1 of my resolutions, boot camp & Whole30 start next week!

And before I forget, linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum!

7 Quick Takes Saturday: Fall edition!


— 1 —

So, the New Brunswick election happened on Monday and, although the results are still being contested, the Liberals won. Which means unfettered abortion access that my tax money will be paying for. I’m not impressed, discouraged and more than a little annoyed. But the fight continues with a whole lot more obstacles.

My friend tagged me in this photo after my irritation about the election became extremely apparent.

My friend tagged me in this photo after my irritation about the election became extremely apparent.

— 2 —

I got some new cookbooks! Super exciting. One of these days I’ll write my full food manifesto (ha!) but for right now, I’m going to be tabbing up my new books to mark off all the of recipes I can eat (the ones that don’t include fish (ew) or nightshade vegetables). Nightshade veg and I do not agree, at all. For a really long time I just thought I had an issue with tomatoes, but once I started removing all of the the other nightshades I started feeling SO much better.

My slow cooker shall become my best friend!

My slow cooker shall become my best friend!

— 3 —

It is glorious in New Brunswick right now. Sunny and warm and feeling more like late August/early September than September actually did. So I’ve been taking advantage. Last week I went on a 7km walk and today, 9km! 9! I was barely walking by the time I got home (I think I need new shoes) and my back was SO sore, but, now I’ve stretched and am drinking the most delicious smoothie.


1/4 cup of water 1/2 a banana 1/4 of an avocado (frozen) handful of frozen berries 1 cup of Silk dark chocolate almond milk

1/4 cup of water
1/2 a banana
1/4 of an avocado (frozen)
handful of frozen berries
1 cup of Silk dark chocolate almond milk

And yes, I have Wizard of Oz cups. I’m a total WoO fangirl.

— 4 —

Tomorrow will be a youth group gathering and prayers would be greatly appreciated. The frustrations and difficulties that I’ve been dealing with are seriously making me think that my time would be better spent working on other things. It’s hard when the other youth group leaders are constantly try to make the Church “hip” and “relevant” by watering it down and trying to be cool instead of just teaching the glory and beauty of the Catholic Church.

They also have a really strong love for Development and Peace and the UN and neither entities are things that I can look upon favourable as a Catholic (the promotion of abortion and birth control overseas is not something worth supporting)


My bootcamp is still going well. The workouts never seem hard and when I’m doing them I’m always feeling like it’s not doing anything, but then the next day…ouch. I’ve not weighed myself this week (Sunday mornings are my weighin’ days) but after the first week I had gained 2 pounds. I call it muscle. We will see if there is any change tomorrow.

I did have to tighten my bra this morning, so, that’s something.


Some more photos from my walk! There is something so ridiculously magical about walking on a dirt path surrounded by tree. The beauty and the glory just surrounds. God is so good.



Does anyone else’s iTunes every shuffle from Audrey Assad to Eminem? Because mine just did and I thought the transition was hilarious. So, in my 7 (never on Friday) Quick takes tradition, here’s a song for you:

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes: Social Justice, Steubenville and Buzzfeed!

I haven’t blogged in so long I’m concerned I’ll forget how to do it properly.

— 1 —

I went to Steubenville Atlantic last weekend and it was glorious. Actually completely wonderful, and completely exhilarating. It was for teenagers, but, I had a blast. I’d never chaperoned anything before and this was my first time doing so but the girls in my group seemed to like me so that went well. Some of them even chose to sit up at the front of the bus on the way back home to sit closer to me. Wins all around.

It was a good time to just sit and be with God. To sing His praises and see him in the Eucharist at Adoration. I haven’t been to Adoration in ages and I knew it was coming and I actually got giddy, because JESUS IS COMING. It’s like Santa, but so so so so much better.

— 2 —

Some videos not from the one I went to:

 Sister Miriam was so wonderful!

 Father Leo Patalinghug (how had I never heard of him before?! He has cookbooks!)

Watch here: http://new.livestream.com/halifaxyarmouth/steubenville2014

For some silly reason they will not embed. Which is a paaain. But I’ll get over it. 


— 3 —

I saw this article on Buzzfeed earlier (slow day at work…) 


And I realized how far I’d come in my Faith, because, literally about 80 of these were me just a few years ago. I didn’t realize that the Eucharist was actually Jesus. 

I knew Jesus was the source and summit and yadda yadda, but I had no idea what transubstantiation meant. Texting during Church? Yep, I did it. Ugh, dark times people dark, dark time. This article didn’t offend me as it apparently did some (based on the few comments I skimmed) but it made me feel sad for the author, because she doesn’t know what she is missing. Praying for her, for her eyes to be opened.

— 4 —

I am in the middle of reading 2 books. A Man for All Seasons, which I’ve barely started, and The Urgency of the New Evangelization: Answering the Call. I have barely started AMFAS, but, I’m about 1/4 of the way into Urgency, and I am loving it. How do I still know so little about the Church. 10 years of Catholic education and 1 full year since I willingly crossed the Tiber and my goodness, I still know so little. It’s ridiculous. 

I am leading a discussion on Thursday on the New Evangelization, and I don’t even know what it is….so, I get to educate me self. I watch Fr. Barron’s Catholicism: The New Evangelization back in December, but, I’m not sure how much I retained. 

My favourite quote from the book so far: 

“If I were to describe how very many of our fellow Catholics, as was believers in the wider culture, look at these matters today, I would describe it like this: “Broad and wide is the that leads to salvation/heaven and almost everybody is on that way. Narrow and difficult is the path that leads to condemnation/hell and, very few, if any are on that road.” 

He then goes on to discuss Matthew 7:13-14 and Luke 13:23-24, because we know what the Bible and the Church said about certain things and we are willfully disregarding them.

 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud, and that even your own brethren. 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.  (1 Corinthians 6: 8-11)

3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” 8 He said to them, “For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery.” 10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not all men can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.” (Matthew 19: 3-12

We need to evangelize, we are called to evangelize, because the narrow gate leads to Christ. There is one truth, one Church, and one way to salvation. Through Christ’s Church. Through being Catholic, because you cannot have Christ without the Catholic Church and you cannot have the Catholic Church without Christ.  Go and make disciples of all nations!

— 5 —

I finished another book Saints and Social Justice by Brandon Vogt. It’s so good. I’m woefully undereducated on Catholic Social Teaching, but this was good. Plus I got to learn about different saints I’d never heard of. If you want to learn about some new saints and Catholic Social Teaching, check it out! 

— 6 —

Losing some steam. But, my goodness, I like Orange is the New Black. Honestly, most hilarious,   and weirdly uplifting show I’ve seen in a while. The power of redemption, consequences and friendship, yes, I’m ignoring the friends with benefits. They don’t count. Watch it, it’s inappropriate, addictive, and hilarious.

— 7 —


I love this song. 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes: The Music That Makes Me Happy Edition

I don’t really like Christian music. But sometimes I need to listen to some happy music. Especially lately when everything has been a bit of a downer, all the shootings, the Boko Haram, the Euthanasia. So I drown out my crazy worries in song (and prayer). And here are my current favourites. [WARNING: I like Broadway, so there might be a lot of that, but I’m making this up on the fly. So who knows]. All these songs make me smile. Fact.

— 1 —

I Believe – The Book of Mormon Official Soundtrack

Yep, this is kind of a weird choice. But, full disclosure, I’ve always had this weird fascination with Mormons. Although they are a theologically wrong, I’ve always admired their committment to their beliefs. And even though this musical is a comedy, but I like this song because it reminds me that professing your faith, and living your faith is something you have to do in entirety. You have to share it. And you can’t just “believe partway, you have to believe in it all”

— 2 —

Fireflies – Faith Hill

I just like this song for its whimsy. The bible says we are supposed to have faith like child, and I think thisong is a perfect reminder of the easy whimsy and belief of childhood.

— 3 —

93 Million Miles – Jason Mraz

This one is just great. Listen to it, it is pretty self explanatory, to me anyway.

— 4 —

How I Go – Yellowcard ft. Natalie Maines

On the upfront, this may not seem like a feel good song. But I love it. It is beautiful. And it is from my favourite band. So that’s a win. I just love the score.

— 5 —

Lollipop – Mika

It is just impossible to listen to this song and not smile. It’s the truth.

— 6 —

Do You Hear The People Sing? (from the Epilogue) – Les Miserables

This whole musical is a bundle of depressing, but it ends on a really positive note. And I like that. Plus this clip has my favourite Enjorlas (Aaron Tveit). He’s been a favourite of mine since Next to Normal.

— 7 —

One Thing – One Direction

I’m a fan. I’ve always had a silly weakness for boy bands, but this song is just so happy. And that is just great.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!