Jelly Bean Toes

My friend Suzanne and I wanted to go camping this weekend. When we were kids, my family went camping a lot, and I was always allowed to bring a friend, so Suzanne came along on a lot of family camping trips. We wanted to go to the same campground we went to as kids. Since the summer has been as sunny and hot as a Beach Boys song, we figured the weather would be great. One problem: the campground was full!

We could have gone somewhere else, but we decided to just postpone our trip and have a girl’s weekend in the city.

First stop, Chapters. I love that place. My dream is to get locked in a Chapters and spend the night reading. I told this to an employee once and he said it could be arranged. I think he was flirting with me. I’m not sure. Maybe he was just bored. I have many books to read, so I didn’t need a new one. I surprised myself with an amazing boost of willpower and didn’t buy anything. Suzanne bought a book, so it’s kind of like I got one because I’ll read it when she’s done.

After that, we went to get pedicures. I love doing this in the summer because I can never get my toes to look that awesome on my own. Also, Suzanne had it on her list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. I was her first time and I think she’s addicted now. I’ve created a fabulous-looking-feet monster.

Then we went to dinner. A student (well, his parents, really) had given me a gift certificate to an Italian restaurant. Neither of us had ever been, but we figured we would give it a shot. I think we brought down the age average by about 40 years. It’s next to a retirement home. It smelled like old lady perfume. Not bad, just like a room full of grandmas. The food was ok. Not great, but hey, the drinks were good!

Our last activity of the night was to see the newest Step-Up movie. I liked it. Obviously, it’s about the dancing and not so much the boy-meets-girl-who’s-not-who-she-seems-and-has-to-chose-between-his-friends-and-her storyline. It was in 3D. I think that part was a waste of my 3$. However, I did get to wear my pink and blue Katy Perry keepsake 3D glasses. I looked fabulous.

Suzanne slept over and that just proves that you can have a slumber party at any age. This morning we watched the Olympics and got to see Canada’s first medal in synchronized diving. Awesome!

The rest of the day was spent at the beach where our main activities were eating and going into the water. We got sand all over our pretty toes, but it’s ok, they’re a tough kind of pretty. They can take it.

Sun, sand and pedicures made our weekend absolutely marvelous!

Positive motivation, from me to you!

Yesterday I came across some very disturbing pictures and messages online. I’d heard of thinspo, short for thinspiration, but I had no idea how awful it really was. Girls are posting and liking pictures of emaciated young women as their inspiration. This is what they aim to look like. I refuse to post any of the pictures I saw, but some of them had messages like “I only feel beautiful when I’m hungry”, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” and “Your stomach is not growling, it’s applauding”.

When I started this blog, I decided it would be my happy place. I could go on about how horrible and dangerous these thinspo photos are, and how damaging they are to young and not so young girls everywhere, but I won’t. Instead of adding to the negativity, I decided to create my own form of inspiration. Let’s call it Blisspo. I know that word makes no sense. That’s not the point.

What is the point? I think it’s about balance. I try to eat right and excercise, but I also like brownies and watching tv. Sometimes I think it would be nice to be a little slimmer, usually when I wear a bathing suit, but I work out to be healthy, not to be skinny.

So here is the first ever collection of Blisspo photos I created just for you. Enjoy and don’t take it too seriously!

Country Roots

I live in the city. It’s not a huge city, but it’s got 24 hour restaurants, a variety of yoga studios and many theatres, museums and lots of great people watching activities too. I like it. I enjoy living here.

However, I grew up in the country. I spent my childhood building cabins in the woods, trying to figure out the architecture behind a beaver dam and picking wildflowers. I could light a campfire and put up a tent like nobody’s business. I perfected reading on a blanket under the apple tree. I had a tire swing. I was a country kid.

Sometimes, it still surprises me that I’m a city grown-up.

I just spent the last few days in the country with my family. They all still live there and it kind of made me wish I did too. I think it’s mostly a summer thing. I’m on holidays, so I have lots of time to enjoy the garden, the views, the frogs that sing at night. If I was working every day, it might not seem so magical.

Here are some of my favourite moments.

Sunday coffee at the farm. It’s a very casual thing. Aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone just shows up. This week about 25 people were there. That’s a small part of the family. It was a special treat spending time with my cousin Isabelle and her son, as they live in New Zeland and I don’t see them very often.

Getting some great loot from the garden.

Felix just decided to chill out in the beets.

Looking for frogs. Haha, ok, not really. I don’t need any frogs.

Checking out the grapes on the vines. There are lots, but they’re still small. Hopefully the birds don’t get them all before they’re ready.

The view from my Adirondack chair as I read by the river.

It was great taking the time to appreciate the small things. Moments spent with family. Getting water off the dock to water the garden as everything is so dry. Going out for ice cream with my mom and grandma. We each got huge ice cream cones and it cost a total of 3.25$ That’s just crazyness. I see myself going back to get my country fix as often as I can this summer!

Look at me!

I haven’t been blogging very much lately. I thought, once summer got here, I would have even more time to blog. I do have lots of time, but I’ve been using it differently than when I work. There’s been lots of beach days, cottage time, yoga classes and great books. Cold beer, family time and sleeping in have also taken over my days. I like to call it summer-busy, which means busy doing whatever comes up.

Last Wednesday, I went to a yoga class on Parliament Hill, like I’ve been doing every Wednesday. I think it’s the only scheduled thing I do. Amber, one of my favourite teachers from Pure Yoga Ottawa, was teaching, so I wore my Pure tank top.When I got there, I didn’t see the friends I was going to meet, so I went up to the front to say hello to the girls from the studio.

I didn’t even have time to say hi before one of the girls said “You’re wearing your Pure shirt! Do you want to demo?” To which I replied “Umm, No!” There were 930 people there. Did I want to do the class in front of everyone and have them look at me? No! Of course, I ended up doing it. There were about 7 or 8 people in the front, so it wasn’t like everyone was looking at me. At least, that’s what I told myself.

Turns out, I just did the class like I normally would, except I was in front of 930 people instead of hiding in the back and I couldn’t very well wimp out on plank pose. Amber really likes plank pose.

I had my camera with me like I always do, but I didn’t take any pictures because I thought it would be weird. I got a few off the lululemon facebook page, as it’s very difficult for me to write a post and not include pictures!

Cottage Country

It’s been very hot and dry here all summer. So dry, in fact, that campfires are not allowed and so hot that I’ve been melting a little bit every day. I’m not complaining. I like the heat, but it does make it kind of uncomfortable to stay indoors when you live on the third floor. It’s perfect cottage weather. Sadly, I do not have a cottage. Lucky for me, some of my closest friends do! And they’re the kind of friends I can call up and say “Hey, I’m hot. I’m coming over. Save me a chair by the water.” I don’t have to wait to be invited.

If you haven’t guessed already, I spent my weekend at the cottage. There were a bunch of people there and it has never felt more like summer than it did at that moment. Or, those many moments.

The lake is accross the street, so we have to walk, like, 3 whole minutes to get to the water! It’s not a beach, and it’s a little weedy, but you just swim over the weeds and hang out in the middle of the lake with a pool noodle. In my case, it was a ginormous pink blow-up ring. A-ma-zing.

There was lots of wildlife, including, but not limited to : a beaver, some ducks, a frog, a purple dragonfly and a turtle. The beaver was swimming at the same time we were. It was strange. At one point, he was coming right towards me, but then he changed his course and headed off into some tall grass. I could hear him munching.

The ducks were obviously used to being fed, because they came really close and had this “Dude, where’s my bread?” look on their faces. We didn’t have any bread, so they dived under the water for some weed roots, or whatever it is they eat.

Also, they came really close to my feet and I was a little worried they would think my toes were berries or something, what with my toenails being painted pink and all.

What great about this cottage is that my friends used to live there, before they bought a house. Yeah, it’s kind of backwards. They’re like that. So, not only does it have everything a great cottage has, in my opinion (water, a deck, trees and beer) it also has electricity and a fully renovated bathroom. I like nature, but there are some things best done inside.

We even watched a movie after dinner on Saturday. On tape. We had to fast-forward through the previews. It was Miss Congeniality and it’s one of the movies my friend Claudine and I know by heart. We tried not to say all the lines at the same time as the characters did, but it took a lot of self-control!

On Sunday it was supposed to rain, and it did, for about 10 minutes. We didn’t even go inside. We just sat by the water and waited it out. Hopefully it rains soon, because all the leaves are starting to droop.

Sunday afternoon, we played a board game called Stone Age. I had never played before, but it was lots of fun. We played for so long that eventually, we had to bring everything inside, as the mosquitoes decided we were a good snack.

All in all, perfect cottage weekend!

Summer days

I love summer. I really do. I love the sunshine, the heat, the days off, the time spent with friends and family. I love staying up until 2 am reading a really good book, not worrying about having to get up early the next morning. I love the beach and I love ice cream.

The last few days have been a lovely mix of great summer fun.

Spa day

I got a gift certificate for a spa from a student at the end of the year. I love this place. It’s got Turkish baths. First, you do hot. Your options are a hot tubs, steam rooms or a Finnish sauna (my favourite!). Then, you go into icy water or stand under a really cold waterfall! After that, you relax, either on a lounge chair, a hammock or a tempered bath. There are also really cool relaxation rooms for winter where you can make tea, listen to music and sit by a fire. It’s brilliant!

I didn’t think it was appropriate to bring my camera with me, so I got this picutre from the website.

Parliament Hill Yoga

Yesterday, I went to a yoga class on Parliament Hill with some friends. The goal was to get a thousand people, and we were 1059! It was a great class, even if the beetles were out in full force. Nasty little bugs, but we were on their lawn, I guess.

I went to another yoga class that same evening. I love that yoga is my busy.

Beach day

Today, I went to the beach with my sisters, my cousin and her kids. It was the perfect beach day. Hot and sunny, with a great sandy beach and kids who say things like “You’re a shark and you have to get me!” I’m exhausted, but it’s ok, it’s part of my summer fun.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer as much as I am!

My big white truck

Yesterday, when I wrote about Julie and Pete’s wedding, I mentionned that I had some car trouble during the day. It really turned into quite the adventure!

Before I start this story, I have to say that I’ve always been jealous of people who name their cars. I love my car, and I’ve had her for years, but I could never figure out a name. Julie calls her car The Peanut and my friend Suzanne called her old car Putt-Putt. Then, last night, I saw the Katy Perry movie and I really enjoyed it. After the movie, I had a flash of inspiration. My car is blue. Katy Perry has blue hair. There you go. My car’s name is Katy Perry.

Between the ceremony and the garden party, I stopped at the store and when I went back to my car, it wouldn’t start. It made a weird tr-tr-tr-tr noise. I got out and stood in the street in my heels and fascinator (and my dress, of course) looking at my car asking her what the problem was. Obviously, I didn’t get an answer so I went back into the hardware store and said “My car won’t start!” Now, I was in the country, in a town close to where I grew up and the owner of the hardware store knows my dad. I would not have walked into a store to tell people my car was having a hissy fit if I was in the city.

Ronnie, the hardware store owner, tried to start it but it made the tr-tr-tr-tr sound again. So I did what any girl would do. I called my dad. He came to check it out and tried to give me a boost.

Unfortunately, Katy Perry was not interested. Ronnie, in an amazing act of small-town kindness, offered to lend me one of the store’s trucks. I do not often drive trucks. As in, never. But I needed to get to the reception, as I had pretty much missed the garden party, so I said yes please! My dad took my keys and said he would try to figure something out while I was at the wedding.

I looked pretty cool crusing the streets in my awesome ride, not to mention the feathers.

I felt like I was driving a bus. It was so much wider than my little car! But also, I felt like a rockstar. Here is one more picture so you can fully grasp how huge it was.

Also, as a plus (as if driving this amazing beast not enough!) my dad and my uncle figured out that my battery was dead and they put a new one in my car and drove it home.

Lessons to be learned from this story:

– Always have your dad on speed dial.

– Trucks are awesome.

– Don’t stress out if your car won’t start, maybe it’s just your battery.

– Some people are just really nice for no reason!

– Every situation can be turned into a photo op.

– Naming your car after a pop star might make people think you’re crazy. Ignore them, you’re fabulous.

Sunshine and Wedding Bells

On Saturday, my friends Julie and Pete got married. It was perfect! I had a great time and I think everyone else did too! It was the first time I was so involved with all the “behind the scenes” stuff, and let me tell you, planning a wedding is not for sissies!

First, as promised, the pictures of my incredible fascinator! I even had people tell me “It’s so Kate Middleton!” Yes! Exactly what I was going for.


Before the ceremony, I did a lot of running around.

– Get flowers from point A to point B.

– Zip the bride into her dress.

– Give the flower girl her basket of flowers.

– Pin the boutonnières on the men.

– Unlock reception hall for the caterer.

Then, it was time for the ceremony. It was beautiful and I cried when they said their vows. I always cry at weddings, but this one touched me more than most.

This is my favourite picture of the day.

After the ceremony, there was a garden party. I think this was the part I was looking forward to the most. I stopped at the store to get a pen for the guest book, because nobody thought to get one, and the only one we found had “funeral home directors” written on it. They didn’t have what I was looking for, but the girls at the store found one in their desk that was a million times better than the funeral pen.

As I got back in my car to head to the garden party, there was a small problem. My car wouldn’t start. This is a long story that deserves it’s own blog post, so more to come on this tomorrow.

At the reception hall, I took a picture of the wedding cake I made. Now, I admit is was a little crooked. I tried so hard to make it level, I even used a level, but it was still a little off. However, it was nowhere near as topsy-turvy as it looks in this picture! It must be the angle or something.

The evening was filled with laughter, good food, excellent cake (if I do say so myself) dancing, lovely speeches and many happy moments!

Lemon cake and Pedicures

My friend Julie is getting married this weekend. Along with the big day comes lots of little get-togethers and happy times.

I’m making Julie’s wedding cake, and she wants lemon, so for the wedding shower, I decided to make three kinds and have people vote on their favourite. I had set them up on cake plates, with little cards that had the kind of cake written on them. There were flowers and the table was beautiful. I wanted to take a picture, but I only thought of it once everyone was already eating! So this is what I got. You get the idea.

There was lemon raspberry, lemon poppy seed and lemon vanilla. Lemon vanilla was the favourite.

After the cake tasting, we went out for dinner. Yes, I know that’s backwards, but hey, we like to keep things interesting. Julie’s wedding colours are yellow and white, so we all dressed in yellow.

Then this afternoon, we went out for a spa day and got manicures and pedicures. They had those amazing chairs that massage your back. We didn’t want to leave! We all had pretty toes when we finally dragged ourselves out of there.

Mine are the pink ones. Surprise, surprise!

Afterwards, we went to a great tea house next door for some tea and cookies. No massaging chairs, but still lovely!

And now, the big day is almost here and I’ll get to wear my awesome hat!

Parliament Hill Yoga

Today is the first Wednesday of my summer holidays. You might think it’s just a regular day, but maybe you haven’t heard of Parliament hill yoga. It’s a yoga class in front of the Parliament buildings. That’s right, the Parliament. Canada is awesome like that.

These classes started six years ago. The first one had 6 people. Today’s class had 768 people. We’re taking over the world! Well, ok, maybe not the world, but Ottawa anyways.

The first class this year was in April or May, I’m not sure. I just know that I couldn’t go! I had to work and I’m not close enough to make it to the hill, get my yoga on, and get back to work during my lunch break. I’ve been waiting for this day for a very long time, and it didn’t disappoint!

It was a power class, and it was hot. The sun adds a totally different level to the term hot yoga. Thankfully, for the first half of the class, there were wonderful clouds blocking out the sunshine!

I went with some of my friends from work. It’s great to do things together that have nothing to do with work.

We did wheel, and my friend Lisa took my picture. I’m still impressed with myself everytime I do wheel. I was happy to have a picture, because it’s not a pose where you can ever see yourself in the mirror. If you’re in a studio and not outside, of course. So, I’ve noticed that I need to straighten my legs more.

There was still part of the setup from Canada day on the hill, including the stage, so it was a little strange. The lawn usually feels so much bigger. But it still filled me with amazement that these events actually happen and that so many people participate. My friend and teacher Ichih, who is the mastermind behind these fabulous classes, is teaching the August 15th class and is hoping to get 5000 people. Let’s hope we make it!

Peace out, yogis!