Week 14 – Don’t limit yourself to strong when you can go EPIC!

Do you feel your body is in top beach body shape? If you answered yes, I am thrilled for you. If you answered: maybe or flat out NO WAY you should listen to this:

Finding a physical training business that meets your needs is no easy task. We have so many options available from the low budget 24 hour gyms to the expensive customized training programs that it’s no wonder we get lost in the sea of options. Rest assured, I have a very good suggestion for you and it’s called: EPIC Fitness + Lifestyle.

Week #14 Challenge (May 23rd to May 28th): Try out a 1 hour EPIC Fitness training session!


How does this gym differentiate itself from others? Excellent question!  Unlike other gyms EPIC Fitness is a personal training studio that strives on increasing both physical and mental well-being. That principal in itself is quite unique as this facility has an element that very few other gyms possess: the human element!

First, let me explain! EPIC is actually an acronym which represents their 4 core business pillars :

  • Excellence: relating to you achieving the best YOU possible.
  • Performance: helping you exceed your standards.
  • Inspiration: will fuel your desire to transform your lifestyle.
  • Community: the belief that working together makes us stronger.

When I arrived at my session, I was greeted by my wonderful personal trainer Kelsey! He gave me a tour of the location! Is it big? Not exactly! Wait, but don’t be fooled the space is more then enough. Your trainer guides you through each move and machine you are using and adapts the intensity and type of exercise based on your needs. The session flew by and was really fun! Everyone is very professional and the atmosphere is both positive and comfortable.

In addition to the personal training, other services are available on site including consultations with a nutritionist, a physiotherapist and naturopath. Feel like being social? EPIC Fitness + Lifestyle organises group hikes, dance workshops, yoga classes, etc. This gym has something for everyone which explains why the clientele ranges from adult athletes, to teenagers and even seniors. Everyone can take advantage of this service.

Now down to specifics:


  • Functional Training: personal or small (2 to 3 individuals) to larger groups.
  • Holistic Nutrition: personal, grocery tours and pantry clearout.
  • Nature: hosts community hikes and events.
  • Self & Universal Care: including yoga, exciting workshops and meditation.
  • Products: sells top quality workout gear and supplements, it’s worth having a look!


1459 Ogilvie Road  – Ottawa, ON


When you think personal training you probably think it takes lots and lots of $$$, right? I have to say I was pleasantly surprised:

  • Training services: range from 50$ to 100$ an hour depending on the length and/or frequency of training you choose.

For the quality of service and support you receive it may just be the best investment you make towards reaching the strength and physical appearance you dream of!

Not sure yet? They offer new clients this promotion:

3 x 1 hour personal training session

+ 1 initial complimentary session

for 150$ + Hst.

To schedule your session or if you have any questions select this link : EPIC.

A special thank you to my personal trainer Kelsey and to the business owner Stephanie for the wonderful experience!

With all the training you will be getting it’s also reasonable to spoil yourself a little and you can do that by attending the DessertFest on June 11th and 12th. Visit last week’s post for a chance to win a free DessertFest ticket!


Week 13 – Sparks in the air!

Do you like sweets? What kind of question is that, right? If you live for desserts, just like me, you must read this post.

They say as a general rule that we attract the people that are a reflection of how we feel. I have never paid much attention to that saying but in the last months, especially the last week I have witnessed just that. Shifting your life, being proactive and exuding self-confidence attracts well: gold. By gold, I don’t mean material things of course but rather quality, open-minded and simply exceptional people. I encountered these individuals in the most common places: volunteering, working, walking and even online. Surrounding yourself with such individuals is important as they don’t confuse you nor drain you. Quite to the contrary, exchanges with these individuals leave you feeling energized.

One of my new acquaintances came up with this week’s concept which was to sit and watch sparkly explosive lights and by that I mean: Fireworks. Who am I to turn down such an offer?

Week 13 (May 16th to May 22nd): Go watch the Victoria Day fireworks at Lansdowne!

imageLandsdowne appears to be Ottawa’s hot spot this summer
therefore I can see the appeal of hosting the fireworks there. I love that you find all types of restaurants, stores, a movie theatre, a gym and even condos but one complaint I have is the parking. You have the option of paying for underground parking, finding street parking further away or for the daring type you can choose public transportation.

The fireworks were beautiful to watch! What I particularly love about fireworks is that they are entertaining for young and old alike. If you are in town next Victoria Day grab a friend, a lover, a sibling or whoever you like and head down to see the firework displays. You won’t regret it.

Desserts! When are we going to get to that? We are getting there I promise.


Time! We can never have enough can we? I was swamped with work, on-call duty, appointments, volunteer work and yet I still managed to squeeze a bit of time for you! That’s right, YOU who are reading this, I thank you dearly for your interest and support and so I pulled a few strings and am hosting another giveaway sponsored by DessertFest!

In case you haven’t heard, on the weekend of June 11th and 12th, 2016 the DessertFest: The ultimate cheat day is taking place in Landsdowne. This dessert festival will be the perfect opportunity to savour sweet treats to your hearts content.

To be entered to Win a free admission to DessertFest simply complete the two steps below by Sunday June 5th, 2016.

1. Follow my blog (unless you already do);

2. In the “Leave a reply” box write down your favourite dessert.

I will start, my favourite dessert would have to be…. cherry cheesecake! What about you?

Week 12 – A toast to blooming success..

Slightly cryptic title I know but let me explain.. Do you ever ask yourself:

How can I reach my full potential? Where can I find a way to become more successful at work? What strategies can I use to increase my self-confidence?

There isn’t one single solution to achieve any of this but one fun and clever way you can go about it would be to join a Toastmasters Club.

Week # 12 challenge – Part 1 (May 9th to 15th): Attend the First Ottawa Young Professionals Toastmasters Club Meeting.

Launch of the Ottawa Young Professionals Toastmasters Club – May 9th 2016

Toastmasters Club? What is it? It’s quite simple really, the premise of this Club consists of providing a safe space where you can develop your communication skills with a particular focus on group presentations.

  • Who can attend? This particular group is geared towards young individuals, yet no actual age range is specified. If you feel young at heart then you are welcomed!
  • What is this club about? The purpose is to help young men and women in the National Capital region to become better communicators in a supportive and fun environment. A new theme is introduced at each meeting and the participants will have a different role every time ranging from meeting host to speaker and so on.
  • When does it take place? The club will host two meetings a month, on Monday evenings from 5:30pm to 8pm.
  • Where do I go? Toastmasters club meetings are held all over the world, country and throughout our city. This particular club is currently hosting it’s meetings at The Clocktower Brew Pub at 575 Bank Street. Mixing good food/drinks with presentations is a winning combination, don’t you think?
  • How much does it cost? Attending your first two Toastmasters meetings as an observer is Free of charge. This allows you to familiarize yourself with what the club is offering and allows you to decide if you want to become a member. You can then register for a one year membership, at a discounted price during the month of May 2016, which comes up to 151.02$.

Please note: you can choose to sign-up with toastmasters at any time.

Inspirational Speech by Alfonso Cuadra

Feeling shy? This is precisely why this club exists. It will allow you to become more spontaneous and comfortable presenting your thoughts, ideas and opinions no matter your audience, whether it be one individual or a large group.

The club organizers which included Kimberly Dueck, Genevieve Bisson and Amanda Tompkins are all very approachable and very open to mentoring you to improve your communication abilities. I left the meeting feeling very inspired and seriously considering joining this club.

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday May 30th. Make sure to go sign-up here to experience this for yourself

You have the potential and this group will help you reach it!

Now this is where the blossoming reference in my title comes in. This week was the launch of our annual Canadian Tulip festival.


In case you didn’t know this festival began in 1953 and was inspired by Princess Juliana of the Netherlands who offered Canada 100 000 tulip bulbs as thank you for harbouring her and her family during the second world war.

Want to see the tulips beds? Visit the Major Hill’s Park and the Commissioner’s Park.

Want entertainment? Visit the Aberdeen Pavillion at Landsdowne for live performances, children programs, art displays and food vendors.

To visit the map select here.

Week # 12 challenge – Part 2 (May 9th to 15th): Volunteer at the Canadian Tulip festival.

Why Volunteer you ask? To that I respond: Why not? Volunteering has many benefits:

  • Inside look: You get to go behind the scenes and find out how the event is managed and coordinated;
  • A win-win: It’s a great way to give back to your community but also an excellent opportunity for you to develop new skills since we must admit that volunteering = work;
  • Social opportunity: Allows you to meet and interact with other volunteers And visitots of all ages. to meet great people of all ages.
  • Career progression: volunteering is a great asset on any resume and you never know what kind of networking opportunities can result from the volunteer work you do;
  • Souvenirs: Volunteering has little perks such as getting volunteer shirts (not always flattering I must admit), food during or after your shift, gear such as reusable water bottles, etc. Don’t want the freebies? Do like me and donate them. Someone may find great use out of them.

Most importantly when volunteering have fun! Things won’t go as planned, you may be tasked with something you don’t like, or may interact with people you don’t necessarily see eye to eye with it. That’s ok, just make the best of it and keep up the positivity attitude!

Do you volunteer or want to volunteer? If so where do/would you like to go?

Week 11 – The freedom of single life…

Before diving into my weekly post, I would like to announce the winner of the “Help Yourself to Seconds” Cookbook written and sponsored by Michelle Vodrazka an inspirational author and nutrition expert. Congratulations to…

Giveaway winner: Morgan Murphy!

For those who didn’t win, I highly recommend you have a look at Michelle’s website as there you can find excellent ressources including free recipes!

If you are single, this may resonate with you. Do you feel lonely? Or perhaps feel like everything is geared towards couples? If that is the case, you are not alone. I can’t say I always love being single, in fact some days I will admit I despise it. This feeling is absolutely normal and what is important to realize however is that being single does have advantages. When you are single, let’s face it, you have lots and lots of freedom and that my friend is a gift!

On a day when you feel you miss being in a relationship, I think it’s important to do something that makes you appreciate your life exactly how it is. In other words, do whatever it is YOU want.

Week #11 challenge (May 2nd to 8th): Embrace single life by going where the wind takes you!

What is this girl talking about? I mean exactly what it says, go anywhere you want to go imageand don’t be afraid of going there alone. Feel like a coffee? Find a new coffee shop and bring a book! Want to take advantage of the sun? Go jogging or hiking.

I had a lot of things on my plate this week with prepping for upcoming activities but amidst everything I managed to be spontaneous and do things I wanted to do all by myself:

  • When traveling to the other end of town, I took the opportunity to visit a store everyone keeps talking about: Rainbow Foods;
  • Wanted to get active in the sun after work, so I walked to the canal and back (I reached over 20000 steps that day);
  • Wanted a healthy and quick dinner option: I visited a new Farm Boy and grabbed a take-out meal;
  • Got invited to a fun taco night party, I attended solo.

imageSingle or not you won’t always find someone to do something with and there is nothing wrong with trying things you want to do alone!

Here are a few upcoming events I plan on attending and I highly recommend you do as well:

Looks like the next few weeks will be quite busy!

Week 10 – Cook until you drop…

Please Note: This giveaway is sponsored by Michelle Vodrazka!

I am thrilled to announce my first blog giveaway EVER this week and one of you will be the winner. The prize and entry information can be found at the end of my post.

Choosing what and how to invest our time and money isn’t easy. Sometimes we focus on long term gain, other times on instant gratification. When it comes to our health it can be challenging to dedicate the necessary time and money to go from quick convenient processed food options to healthy nutritious homemade meals and snacks.  We can find all types of tips and tricks to successfully transition to this healthier lifestyle and one tool I have personally been using is a cookbook and not just any cookbook, I am talking about Michelle Vodrazka’s: Help Yourself to Seconds cookbook ( see previous blog post for information on how I met this author).

Here is the video I promised on my Live the Smart Way Expo experience:

Week #10 Challenge (April 25th to May 1st): cook a new recipe with a friend.

This week I made the commitment and decided I would fully invest both my time and money on my health. This is a long term investment and you know what? We are absolutely worth it. I sifted through the recipe book, made a list of key ingredients and set out to find them all. Quick note: Sobeys carried most of what I needed. A few hundred dollars later my fridge and pantry are fully stocked and I am ready to tackle on cooking. If you don’t love cooking, actually even if you do enjoy cooking, feel free to invite a friend to make the cooking process more fun and social.

My friend came over and we chatted while following one of Michelle’s cookbook recipes. We opted for a fresh quinoa salad entrée. The recipe was easy to follow and contained nothing but good ingredients such as vegetables, fresh herbs, olive oil, spices and quinoa. To add extra protein I cooked chicken breast pieces the night before and tossed it in the salad. Here is the final product:


The verdict: It was love at first bite!! I am not kidding. This recipe made enough salad to last for days and everyone who I asked to try it wanted the recipe.

In addition to the quinoa salad, I also made the double chocolate granola recipe and even without adding chocolate chips it felt like I was having dessert for breakfast. Who wouldn’t love that?!

Now here comes the fun part… Would you like a chance to win this book? Perhaps you want to make these recipes, or know of someone who would love this as a gift? After all, this could make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift. Just saying!

What can I win?

Your very own copy of the “Help Yourself to Seconds” cookbook written by an amazing author and nutritionist expert Michelle Vodrazka. This is more than just a cookbook. The 120 recipes included will help you fuel your body by cooking more healthful recipes that don’t compromise on flavour.

This giveaway is courtesy of Michelle herself, thank you so much!

How to enter? To win you must be a follower. If you are not yet, select the follow button and enter your e-mail address. You will only receive notifications when I add new blog content.

When does the draw end? You only have until Friday May 6th, 2016 at 9pm to enter. I will announce the winner on the morning of Saturday May 7th!
Good luck!! xo