Week 51 – There is nothing cheesecake can’t fix!

Is online dating actually a good idea? I keep hearing that it’s the way to go these days! Many couples have met through the use of online dating websites including family, friends and colleagues. So after being fully disconnected from that world for a while, I decided a few weeks ago to give it another try! I jumped right back in… It’s that moment where you choose, even though you are dreading it, to take a chance and see what is out there! As expected, they have been interesting weeks to say the least! I tried following all the recommended steps before following through:

Step 1: Ask yourself what it is you are really looking for;

Step 2: Take the time to write a description you feel represents who you are and what you expect in a partner/lover whatever the case may be;

Step 3: Gather a few recent and, ideally, flattering pictures;

Step 4: Pick a meaningful username and opt for a catchy headline;

Step 5: Select the site(s) you want to sign up to.

Check, check, check, check, check and…. next thing you know I was chatting away. Like with anything, you start off using the site reasonably. I would go on every few days, which quickly turned into once every day and eventually I noticed myself spending way too much time online with the hope that maybe the next message will come from my prince charming! A girl can dream, right?! Well needless to say, this online approach was starting to feel consuming and I needed out! So as luck will have it, I tried logging in one day and it looked as though my account was deleted. I was so confused and concerned that someone hacked it! The mystery remains, I just know that for some unknown reason my account no longer exists! I felt a little guilty vanishing without a trace but at the same time, I took it as a sign of life! lol

Prior to the disappearance of my account, I did get to meet one great guy! When it comes to meeting someone, I think safety should come first! You never know who you are dealing with, virtual reality isn’t always accurate! Hence why I prefer trying coffee/drinks as a first date option. But having a ton of Starbucks encounters can quickly become less appealing, so why not pick a restaurant/coffee shop you have never tried to keep things interesting?!

Week #51: Visit The Flying Banzini Restaurant!


Why did I suggest this location?  I was looking for a restaurant that serves both drinks and hot beverages and, most importantly, they sell bite-sized cheesecake! How cute is that? They are also known for their roast meat sandwiches.

Location: The restaurant is easy to access from the 417, in Wellington Village: 1242 Wellington Street West.

It was a nice little restaurant and let’s not forget that having great company helped make this place more enjoyable! Since I couldn’t make up my mind on which cheesecake to try, we ended up trying two flavors each! One was a cherry cheesecake, the other an Oreo cheesecake! They tasted great and also were a perfect sample size, even though I didn’t completely finish them!

The Flying Banzini is a great date night location for anyone, whether it’s the first time you meet someone or you are just looking to try something new with your long term significant other!

If, unlike me, you haven’t yet been catapulted out of the online dating world don’t worry if you feel it’s not for you! I think giving things a try is a wonderful thing but if it doesn’t feel right there is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with taking a break or trying other avenues… I should confess that I remain active on one other dating app which means hope is not yet lost ūüėČ

Week 50 – Just keep it pouring..

If there is one thing¬†Ottawa does really well, it’s¬†hold¬†Festivals! They are offered all year round and touch on so many topics from art, to history to culinary themes and so on! One festival type I have never dared venture into are festivals relating to alcohol and yet Ottawa hosts so many including: the Beerfest,¬†Oktoberfest, Wine and Food festival…you get the draft.. I mean drift! Ha ha… ok, yes I know¬†poor attempt at a play on words!¬†But all that was about to change…

Week #50: Visit the Winter BrewFest aka Festibière!


What is Festibi√®re? It’s an event held in¬†February which is meant to launch the beer season! Microbreweries from across Qu√©bec gather at this festival to sell 4 oz and 8 oz samples. This is accompanied by live music, a casual indoor environment as well as outdoor activities including snow tubing and roasting marshmallows¬†above fire pits!

When is¬†Festibi√®re held? It’s held typically twice a year! Once in February, the second is in June!

What is the cost? The access price varies based on the type of pass you purchase! They offer early bird specials, so buying your ticket early is best for your budget! I was last minute this time and bought my ticket on the day of, at which point they were practically sold out might I add, and it came up to around $30 for the bracelet!

Once there, you can make your way to kiosks to add money to your wristband! That is what you use to purchase food, beer, wine and/or cider samples! To give you an idea, with $20 on my wristband I was able to buy:

Р2 x 4 oz ciders

– 2 x 4 oz beers

– 1 large marshmallow

– 1 poutine

Full disclaimer: I am not a fan of poutine (yes I know, not very Canadian of me) so I got it for my friends and the second beer sample I offered to a random guy as we were leaving, it always feels nice to share and everyone was happy!

Where does Festibi√®re take place? At the Canadian Museum of History¬†–¬†100 Rue Laurier, Gatineau! Parking is available at the museum itself or you can opt to park for free on nearby side streets.

Important to remember

When attending this event make sure to monitor your alcohol consumption! You can always identify a designated driver or get a taxi/uber ride. Have fun but do so responsibly!

I captured a picture of someone I met that night, as he was tubing down the hill. He was nice enough to lend me his jacket, as they had no more blankets available to go outside! It was a good reminder that even strangers can demonstrate a lot of kindness, there is nothing wrong with paying it forward either!

Week 49 – A little less talking, a little more dancing!

Are you the type of person who dances every chance you get? Or perhaps the person who wants to dance but isn’t ready to share their moves with the world? I know we aren’t all born dancers, maybe you are not really flexible nor great at following the music’s rhythm! Does this mean you shouldn’t dance? No way! To the contrary, you should be working on those movement skills and I have discovered an incredible way to do it!

Week # 49 Challenge: Try a barre fitness class at the iNSiDE Out STUDiO barre!

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As a child, I danced for 10 years! I was never on the competitive level but I took ballet jazz! I love dance and well.. anything that reminds me of it! That’s why every year I look up dance class options for adults in Ottawa. This trusty google search eventually led me to the iNSiDE Out STUDiO! This studio offers classes that help you sculpt your body through a low impact workout that includes the ballet barre, and don’t let the “low impact” concept fool you, these workouts bring on a fun yet pretty impressive challenge! I thought WOW, I need to try this..

iNSiDE Out Classes

STUDiO barre: Is a classic choice, since it’s a 60 minute class which focuses on sculpting your muscles and burning fat through 4 techniques including: the dance barre, yoga, pilates and strength training.

CORE barre: Is a spin on the STUDio Barre, although the 60 minute workout involves each body part, this class puts an emphasis on developing your core using the barre, mat and other accessories.

EXPRESS barre: Is a slightly higher intensity and shorter version of the classic STUDiO barre class. It may be a 45 minutes condensed class but the benefits are meant to be just as good!

BABY WEARING barre: Is a 60 minute barre classe that is slightly adapted to allow you to carry your little one, using a symmetrical baby carrier. Who says new mothers can’t have a bit of workout fun too?

What To Bring

1- Comfortable attire, nothing too lose!

2- Grip socks, if you don’t have any you can buy STUDiO sticky socks for $11.99 or sparkly Sashi sock for $21.

3- A water bottle

4- Lock to store your things in the lockers

5- Shower gear (towel) – the STUDio provides shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion!

Location

The Inside Out Studio is located in Westboro: 1416 Wellington Street West!

Cost

New to the barre studio? If so, the first class is $15 plus taxes or if you really want to explore the classes, you can purchase a month of unlimited class access for $99 plus taxes.

Following your first visit, drop-in classes are $20 plus taxes. You can also purchase class packages starting at $90!

Two of my friends and I attended the 9:45am class on Sunday and let me tell you I learned a few lessons before the class even begun:

1- Avoid doing an intense weight workout the day before

2- Get a decent amount of sleep

3- Give yourself enough time to commute and find parking, and plan on arriving approximately 15 minutes ahead of the class. I arrived only on the nick of time and everyone was very understanding, but still not one of my proudest moments!

And the class begun with Janine, one of the founders who happened to be our instructor, guiding us with stretches on our mats. As we did, I was thinking:  “Ok, this is nice and easy” but then we gradually got into targeting various body parts, mainly the core, and it got more and more challenging… It also involved a whole lot of squeezing, and she eventually said and I quote:

“If you don’t squeeze it, nobody else will!”…

I thought that was priceless, and quite true! Janine is excellent at what she does, she manages to keep you motivated the entire time, makes suggestions to ensure you benefit as much as possible from each movement and also maintains your interest by switching the movements and accessories frequently!

Working out can be exciting and truly enjoyable when done properly and, based on my experience, I can tell you that this studio clearly knows how to do it right!

I want to take a moment to thank Janine for the wonderful experience and look forward to returning for another class! Perhaps you care to join me?!