Boutique Karma

Just another weblog

Tweaking Tuesday June 1, 2010

Filed under: tweaking Tuesday — boutiquekarma @ 4:20 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I am back. I have avoided this Tuesday space for quite sometime. Call it an out of control spiral, an avoidance of reality or a changing of my priorities, but I’m back.

The past few months I haven’t been watching my food intake, however, I’ve been slowly increasing my exercise. I’ve been using my Wii (although it annoys me that it chastises me every time I stand on the balance board, warning me that I should check in daily), going for walks, and the occasional jog.

I’m back I guess to return to what I had started with. A changing of habits, not an overhaul to lose weight, back to making small health and lifestyle tweaks to a better, happier life. I think I started putting too much pressure on myself and ended up wanting to avoid myself and this Tuesday space. The result: out of control, an angry wii trainer, and the feeling of failure.  Lets face it, I have to live with myself, my body, my family forever, and I want to feel good with myself and not share my body issues with my daughter.  If I live a healthy lifestyle she will hopefully live one also, If I speak positively about myself, hopefully she will also.

Here we go again, so this week as we get into summer it is ultimately important to stay hydrated, so this tweak will once again be to drink lots of water. 8 recommended glasses a day!

Happy Tweaking,

Tara xoxo


Tweaking Tuesday – the Mighty Banana Shake May 11, 2010

Filed under: tweaking Tuesday — boutiquekarma @ 4:49 pm
Tags: , ,

Alright, this week I refuse to talk about my dieting, exercise or health.  Today I’m going to share a yummy healthy snack idea: the Mighty Banana Shake

You know those nasty, black bananas sitting on your counter? You toss them because you know you’ll never be a super mom making banana bread… right? Well don’t toss them – freeze them and make banana shakes!

Here’s what you need:

1 frozen banana

3/4 c skim milk (or whatever you have on hand)

1 packet of splenda

a dash of vanilla extract

a sprinkle of cinnamon

Toss it all into your blender or if you are desperate like I am: a food processor and blend until creamy. Trust me, it really hits the spot, tastes yummy & refreshing and you feel like you just had a milkshake.

*Want a couple twists to change it up? Try adding cocoa powder, peanut butter, different seasonal fruits. If you are leaning towards the unhealthy blizzard type stuff think Reese Pieces – OMG!

Try it and let me know what you think!

Tara xoxo


Tweaking Tuesday – having a Wii bit of fun May 4, 2010

Filed under: tweaking Tuesday — boutiquekarma @ 4:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Do you want to know what shames me? Insisting on needing something related to health and fitness and NEVER using it. This would be true of some gym memberships in the past, a bicycle hanging in my garage, some random dvds collected over the years, and last year it was the Wii fit. Yup, sat in the box, then I insisted my husband set it up for me in december. It sat in the box! We purchased it when it was hard to find because I absolutely had to have it and promised to use it ALL the time and I did nothing, nada, rien.

So last week over a year later I took it for its first spin. Damn am I out of shape! I think I stepped on the balance board for my weight and Wii age and it let out a little snicker & snort. It told me my Wii age was in my 40s (I’m 33) gave me my BMI (almost threw up) and I am determined to show shrink my little Mii character up.

I have to tell you – I’m not sure if their program works, if my progress will flatline using it, but it is amazing how in tune it is with my body & movements. Nintendo really created something special. I’m loving the step, the jogging, the yoga and strength training. I refuse to ever get on the silly tight rope thing again, and sorry Wii fit.. I instinctively avoid flying balls at my head (soccer).. telling my I’m unbalanced because I duck isn’t really accurate.

Do you have a Wii fit? How do you like it.. any fitness game recommendations?  (ps. I’ll probably avoid purchasing any others until I’m seriously using it a min of 2x per week for over a 2 month period)

lets be honest here – I gained 2 pounds since my last Wii workout – I’ll check in with an updated number next week.

Tara xo

So last week I finally took out my Wii for the first time.


Tweaking Tuesday – Earth Day edition April 20, 2010

Ahhh.. lets take a break from my incessant ramblings about weight loss and efforts to get healthy this year (sol far non of it has helped at all). Lets take a few moments over our morning coffee to reflect on how we can tweak our habits in order to help mother earth – for ourselves, for our children and so on. Sometimes all it takes is little changes in our day-to-day lives (tweaks even) to make a huge difference. I’ll be honest here, there are many ‘green’ tweaks I can still do in my life, but over time I’m becoming more earth friendly.

Here are my top five tweaks for today and they are pretty easy too:

1. Stop buying individual servings sizes of food – this is a huge pollutant with all the extra packaging. Instead buy mini Tupperware (you know what I mean) or even eco-friendly reusable bags and portion it yourself.  You’ll even save money!

2. Enough with the plastic water bottles – I still see them everywhere and it drives me bananas: they are bad for the environment and you. Instead buy yourself a reusable plastic water bottle or a stainless canteen

3. Get out of your car to buy your morning coffee, especially if you are on your own. There is no need to run your car in the drive through lineup creating a lot of unneeded pollution just for a double double. (or god forbid you are one of those ordering a couple dozen donuts with specific types). Save the drive thru for the ones who need it. (I do when I have my two wee ones with me, but I’ll even skip my cup of coffee if the line is more than 1 deep)

4. Turn off the lights when you leave a room (tv too!), this will save a lot of energy. It should be a habit to develop, just flicking the switch. I’m not going to discuss those long-lasting lightbulbs here, because they also contain mercury which isn’t so eco-friendly.

5. Choose items with less packaging – putting the pressure on manufacturers to stop with the over packaging of our toys, food, everything. I know they all want to stand out on the shelves, but when I can fill my garbage and recycling bin after a children’s birthday party you have to admit things have gotten out of control!

What tweaks would you like to add?

Here are a few Eco-Friendly related items:

Reusable Sandwich Bag - Aqua Dots by MamaMade

Trees Cutlery Wrap by TheStraightStitch

Pretty Water Bottle - Patty Young Humming Birds White by PrettyNPreppy

Yum in a Cup - Knitted On-the-Go Cup Cozy by KnitStorm

Spotted Owl Mug Hugger by BoutiqueKarma

NEW Organic COFFEE VANILLA CINNAMON vegan all natural votive soybean candle pure essential oils eco friendly earthy spa aromatherapy by Lilsprout

Lilac glassine-lined MERCHANDISE BAGS, recycled content -- 4 3/4 x 6 3/4 -- bulk, 50 bags by greenBubble

Eco Friendly Seeded Soap Boxes by yummysuds


Tweaking Tuesday – Sugar Overload April 13, 2010

Filed under: tweaking Tuesday — boutiquekarma @ 1:44 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m not sure if any of you caught my Sugar Shack inspired Montage Monday, but it should be a heads up to the slippery slope that I experienced over the weekend. Many of you may be my neighbors to the south in the USA and maybe you can clue me in a little – is pure maple syrup a big thing down there or do many of you only indulge in Aunt Jemima on your pancakes? Honestly speaking, for 98% of the year that is the kind of syrup I use around the house, because a can of the pure stuff is just to expensive to use on a daily basis with the two little ‘jam eaters’ (I love this term coined by my favorite ‘flake’). However, when the spring season sets in and the snow begins to melt my mouth waters for this seasonal treat.

Let me gently fill in my friends from the south as to what ‘sugaring off’ is – it is a Quebec tradition – we head up to the manufacturers of pure maple syrup for a breakfast/brunch of traditional yummy foods (pancakes, bacon, eggs, sausage, potatoes, tortiere pie /meat pie, pea soup, sugar pie) and load it up with pure syrup. Usually on the grounds you can see where they boil the syrup and they give you some ‘tire sur la neige’ or maple taffy served on snow with a Popsicle stick.  The place we went to had a pricey ticket, but the ambience was magnifique! There was a hay ride pulled along with some huge mammoth work horses, the owner walking around with his timber wolf, many log cabins serving as shops, and the ‘shack’ itself had 3 rooms with seating & live music. It is such a great experience and I encourage anyone visiting the Montreal area in the spring to check it out.

OK, now for everyone out there who follows this segment – did you read the food list? OK, just so we’re straight I think the only healthy thing I mentioned was the pea soup, maybe.  You all also know how food generally tastes better with company, and damn did it taste good! I ate, and ate, and ate some more. I drank pure maple syrup from a cup, from a spoon, even put it in my pea soup (yum) and coffee (not so yum). I learned new and inventive ways to eat syrup – place syrup in a mug and dip yummy fresh bread. Also some other ways to eat it that I’m sworn to personal secrecy not to share,  I didn’t try this one in fear that it might taste really good.  After leaving my tummy was so full & firm that I felt pregnant. I felt full, sick, and dreadfully hung over. No establishment should place a full liter of maple syrup on the table or deep fry their bacon. (yes that was delicious too!), I’m a sucker for the salty/sweet combination.

To make matters worse, the day prior I threw a surprise birthday party for my husband. We have 3 leftover bags of chips in the cupboard, a tin of pirouettes, a full cake in the fridge. This might sound dreadful, but it is impressive that it is all still there. I think I can chalk it up to:  after this weekend’s sugar/junk binge I no longer crave it. The idea of it actually makes me a little ill. Maybe this was just what I needed to close that chapter?

The sun is shining, we’re doing Shish Taouk BBq this evening for my SIL’s birthday – the ice cream cake involved makes me cringe – but it will be another healthy day.

How are you doing? Anything ‘bad’ stuff weaknesses you’d like to share? How do you wipe your slate clean and turn the page?

This week’s tweak: getting back to the H2O – I want to drink 2 liters per day again. I felt much better and it might help with these headaches which are probably brought on by dehydration.


Tweaking Tuesday – the ‘wagon’ April 6, 2010

How does one get back on the so-called ‘wagon’ when they have fallen off? In this case I’m talking about the diet/food wagon and not the usually referred to ‘sober’ wagon, although for some the difficulty may be very comparable. Food addiction is a hard thing to overcome – you can’t remove food from your life the major difference is it only destroys your own life, confidence and health usually without huge affect to others.

I looked over my past posting for this tweaking Tuesday feature and it has been a long, long time since I had any control over my eating, it has been a long time since I’ve felt pumped and motivated. I think there is almost no in-between for myself, I’m either under tight control or I have none at all. I watch what I eat (as it goes in my mouth) and I see myself going for that second portion or snacking on nonsense throughout the day and I question myself as it goes in my mouth, I tell myself not to but I can’t seem to stop.

I was speaking to my friend yesterday, she’s having a similar problem with control recently, she’s on maternity leave right now so on a similar schedule. When we were working it was much easier to get back on the wagon. Days were more planned, there was a predictable flow, and you had to bring your lunch, snack, etc to work or you went without (or had to go to the dreaded vending machine).  This made a good 8-10 hours of your day inaccessible to bad food should you have weak moments.  Now being home with the children all day I have no plan and complete access to food at all hours of the day should weakness hit (and it does). Also, there is no accountability, there is no one here who would doubt or comment if they see me eating something ‘bad’ or even something good in a huge quantity (like nutella off the spoon).

I suggested to my friend who is very organized and a planner by nature (almost my direct opposite) to journal the night prior what her breakfast, lunch & snacks will be and try to stick to it. This would be something that would work for her. I know for myself, it wouldn’t work because I would intentionally avoid that list should I want to veer off it. Here’s my thing, years ago it was about being thin and fitting into a label/size, today it’s about feeling good, but able to live without weighing, measuring and constantly worrying about how many calories certain things contain, I still want to live.

Any suggestions to get on the Wagon?


Tweaking Tuesday – Passover eating.. ugh March 30, 2010

Filed under: tweaking Tuesday — boutiquekarma @ 7:34 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

oh boy, oh boy…

Ever been watching what you eat, been super careful and then there’s a special occasion/holiday. No matter how well-behaved, how motivated you’ve been, people will be chanting ‘did you try this?,’ ‘have another dear’ and my ultimate favorite ‘oh it’s a special occasion, it just once it won’t matter’. Well, the truth is there are umpteen special occasions a year.. if I cheated at each I would never get out of my rut would I? Think about this – how many birthday dinners, anniversaries, birthday parties, holiday dinners, date nights do you have per year? Think about the caloric content of each of those occasions.. ouch.

This week is Passover and we follow it in my home – insert groan here – and we give up everything on the naughty list for the full 8 days. It is brutal. The first two days the matzah tastes crisp, delicious, and you can make yummy little treats you haven’t consumed in a year (reread prior paragraph). After the first two days the honeymoon period has worn off and it tastes like sawdust, cardboard and like bland saltine crackers at best. Your body starts shutting down and you feel miserable and mitchy (this is my friends word – mean & ___ in one cutesy word).

I’m thinking this year, after the two huge, delicious feasts which kick of the week of Passover, I will take this opportunity to go a little lower in my carb consumption. Perhaps break my addiction? I’m not going to fake regular foods by using matzah & matzah meal – I will just eat meat, veggies and the occasional potato.

I can’t wait for next Tuesday – it will be a celebration. I can’t wait to put sugar-free french vanilla creamers in my coffee (yes that is what I am missing!)

Tara xox


Tweaking Tuesday – Ooops I March 23, 2010

Filed under: tweaking Tuesday — boutiquekarma @ 4:06 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Oh well, sometimes you can’t stop a runaway train. Thats how I feel these days, like an off rail train tearing down the country side with no ability to put on the brakes and stop. I haven’t been watching what I eat at all. In fact, sometimes when eating I realize that I’m not being careful, I’m overeating and I say.. oh well, I’ll start again tomorrow. Always tomorrow. Never right now. Then I wake up the next day and start the cycle all over again.

How do I get myself back on track? It seems like once the pain went away, once I started this insane cough (on puffers) I have neglected to continue to take care of myself. If I don’t take care of myself, how will I be able to take care of the rest of my family. Ahhhh.. the questions that DON’T keep me up at night. Maybe they should.

It seems once I consciously decided that my sciatic was better and that I will try to get pregnant in the next few months all thoughts of losing weight and taking care of myself flew out the window. It seems the knowledge that I was going to put on weight was enough to allow myself not to try to lose some before taking that plunge. I think I have to reverse that thinking and try to change my eating habits before finding out I’m pregnant in an attempt to thwart any unnecessary pre & pregnancy weight gain.

Do over? Will you allow me the chance? I warned you I wasn’t perfect.



Tweaking Tuesday – Negative Nelly March 9, 2010

Filed under: tweaking Tuesday — boutiquekarma @ 5:19 pm

The past few weeks have been a real struggle for me, first I fell headfirst off the wagon, it disoriented me and allowed me to stray further (I still blame the chocolate cake in a mug), then there have seemed to be occasions after occasion to eat (birthdays, dinners & lunches with friends, etc). However, the truth is there is always a reason to eat and food is always around calling me. I wish I had the type of household where I could just make certain items disappear and have only fruits, veggies, lean meats and whole grains within the house, but it is unrealistic to think my husband should conform to my insanity.

I think over the past few weeks, even thought I’ve decided not to beat myself up over my failure to eat and exercise, I’ve been putting a lot of negative pressure on myself. As the sun starts heating up outside, spring is around the corner and I feel almost like a failure. I know this is not the case, I haven’t achieved my goals, but I also haven’t gained weight and I feel better than I have in months. My sciatic pain only rears its head for about 5 mins a week (fabulous) and the difference I feel in my core abs is night and day. I’m also more conscious of what I eat, I do drink more water and carefully think out my meals.

Maybe it has been harder for me recently to get into the idea of losing weight when I know my end goal in the coming months is to get pregnant. Maybe that is my road block. Also, when did I set out to lose weight other than get healthy? Perhaps this was my mistake. All I really want is to be healthy, energetic, and pain-free. I’m not looking to sport a hot body and pick up any more. Feeling good about myself doesn’t have to come in a clothing size, it should come from being healthy and desirable to my husband (and he loves me in any shape).  I still want it, I can still taste it. and I will continue to make my small tweaks to get healthier. However, I want to judge those achievements by how I feel physically, my energy, my positivity and lastly, how I feel within my clothes. No judgement by a number on the scale or on a label within my jeans.

Motherhood is the most rewarding job of my life. I get to see my children grow on a daily basis, I can help them and teach them to do certain things and take pleasure always as their vocabulary builds, communication strengthens and suddenly attempt something they were always afraid to do before. It is also the most challenging job I’ve ever had, there are no scheduled breaks, no sick days, there is no official start or end time, you are always on call around the clock 24/7. As I try to get my other stuff done, whether it be house cleaning, or my online business there is always someone floating about leaving a path of destruction behind them. Just when you feel you’ve made yourself a schedule something changes and you are back in limbo. A few weeks ago I decided to do my yoga between 6&7am, now the little guy is waking up at 6am (groan), and there is no way I can hustle up the energy to get up at 5.

I’ve become very envious of other mothers recently, mothers with children who have fabulous support systems within their families who find the time to workout. There has to be an emergency or an airtight appointment for me to have someone watch my children during the week.  My husband seems to come home after 8pm more often than not recently, cut backs at work mean longer hours for him, so after he gets home I want to spend time with him, not run out the door or to the basement to exercise.  I remember during my first pregnancy reading all these books about how family and friends were going to flood in with all sorts of support and help – it never really happened for me.  I always felt very alone, I was responsible for every changing, every feeding, every burping, all the laundry, etc.  I even wonder how, when I get pregnant the next time, I will go to my doctors appointments. Who will watch the children once a month, and in the end ever week? Who will step up and be able to watch them when I’m in the hospital? Am I crazy to think of a third? My answer – we’ll figure it out.

This morning I took a new step – I took a walk with the stroller to pick up my daughter. I feel refreshed from the spring air and feel good that I did something for me (even it was with the kids).  I’m done feeling jealous towards people who find the time alone, I’ll just try to work the kids in – stretches with my daughter, walks with the stroller and feeling a tad silly running around with the kids in the park. When I can I’ll pull out my bike and go for a ride (something I haven’t done in years), hopefully I wont fall off or tip over from inexperience.

Truth is everyone has their own body issues, even someone who from the outside looks gorgeous and thin may wish for something else. She might feel self-conscious over her lack of curves and dwell on it as much as I do over my ‘muffin top.’  Or maybe that perfect person has lost a ton of weight and works really hard each day at keeping it off. We shouldn’t judge or be jealous of someone else for their body types – because we never know what they envy or wish for. We women can be so catty towards other’s appearances – whether it be that a woman is too thin, too overweight, too made up, overdressed, under dressed, too much cleavage, too ‘mom’, too masculine, etc.  Maybe if instead we looked at all the good stuff around us and found something positive about others we could learn to do the same for ourselves.

This weeks tweaks – taking a multivitamin. Any bets on how often I remember to take it??  I’ll also try to drink more water again.. I honestly feel better when I do.

– No more negative Nelly over here – No more jealousy over other’s free time – No more sadness over body image – Looking for the positives 😀

What I like about myself today: my toes, I think I’ll give myself a pedicure today.

What about you? What do you like about yourself today?



Where did Tuesday go? March 3, 2010

Filed under: tweaking Tuesday — boutiquekarma @ 9:06 pm

Tuesday came and went this week, and to be honest, despite being awake for nearly 20 hours of it, I can’t remember. My whole world fell upside down around 2am when my son started showing signs of gastro. By 5am the whole family was awake and my daughter started. By 8am I had already done 4 loads of laundry. This strain of gastro ripped through my whole family be 5pm. It was insane. Terrible. Horrifying. Gloriously quick.

As for tweaking Tuesday, lets just skip a week. I’ll just let you know that I’ve been pretty good. My journal is still relatively empty, but the chocolate cake in a mug has only happened once in the past week. phew.

I’ll give you a full update another day, right now I’m still recuperating.