Week 26 – Your masterpiece will simply take a bit of time..

Let’s take the above statement less literally, shall we?! If you are trying to reach the best version of yourself possible, the first truth you must face is the fact that you will never achieve perfection! For anybody with high expectations, this is hard to accept and the fear of making mistakes remains one of your worst nightmares. Since nobody is perfect, you have to understand that you will make decisions that you will regret and that, in hindsight, could have been avoided. They are part of your journey and if you have the ability to:

1- Acknowledge a better path could have been taken;

2- Learn from the experience;

3- Accept that you can’t change the past;

4- and most importantly, FORGIVE yourself;

Then you are one step closer to becoming your very own Masterpiece!

Speaking of masterpieces, this week’s challenge was more on the creative side and I have a wonderful colleague to thank for organizing this! If you are like me and have an appreciation for crafty and artistic activities this is something perfect for you!

Week #26 Challenge: Paint your own item at The Mud Oven!

The Mud Oven is a little shop at 1065 Bank street in Ottawa where you can create you very own work of art! The idea being that you paint a ceramic item of your choice.

How it works:

Step 1 – Select a ceramic piece: They have a large selection of items from plates, bowls, mugs, ornaments, boxes, etc. and the prices vary based on the item but include all you need to complete the project, aside from taxes.

Step 2 – Follow paint instructions: Your are given instructions on how the paint works and what is available for use: paint colours, paint types, stencils, etc.

Step 3 – Release your imagination:  Make use of your creative side or the Internet for inspiration! How you choose to decorate your item is entirely up to you. 

Step 4 – Start designing: Use a pencil to identify the layout you want to follow. Depending on the project, you may want to paint your background before you start drawing the details.. In my case, since I was writing I think it would have helped as painting over my quote smudged the pencil design.

Step 5 – On your mark, ready, set, paint..

Important note: once you are done painting you must leave your creations there for several days, in our case 7 days, to be glazed and “fired”! You can rush your order for a small fee (5$ or 10$ depending on the item size) but even that will require a minimum of 3 days!

I haven’t been able to capture the final product yet but this is what I ended up painting:

What is it? Lol I am not sure! I want to say it’s an oversized coaster! I love my Disney quotes and so I was inspired to create something that represents me and that I could use to set a candle or a mug on ūüėÄ

Also, don’t be concerned about the colours of my design! They look really faint on the picture but that’s because they are dry! Once it will be glazed and baked the brightness of the colours will shine through!! I can’t wait to see the final result and hope you guys give this fun activity a try…


Week 18 – The cave of wonders..

Let’s start this post with a little story:

Once upon a time, there was a princess born in a loving family. She lived in a palace in the heart of Navan and, throughout her childhood, was blessed with love, a beautiful sister and every luxury a girl could hope for. She grew up and as she did, she quickly came to realize that life is no fairy tale… Life is beautiful of course but it is filled with lots of “obstacles”. Now that this princess is all grown-up, she can choose to wait for a handsome prince to save her but why do that when the best option is to save herself?! The end!

The moral of¬†my little¬†story here is that at some point in life, it’s really important to acknowledge that the most important person in your life is YOU! I don’t mean this in an egocentric way but rather in the way that you are making a clear and conscious effort to treat yourself with the respect and dignity you would someone you care about! Too many of us tend to put our effort, time and focus on work, activities or people in our lives, not even bothering to ask ourselves if our basic needs are met. As a general rule, try.. I mean¬†make sure to set time aside for yourself during the week. Here are a few simple things we should all integrate into our lives to increase our well-being:

Take your lunch break: walk outside, play a sport or read a book;

Get enough sleep (a lot of us struggle with this one): try to go to bed early enough to reach 7 or 8 hours of rest;

Exercise regularly: yoga, weight training, swimming, any sport, etc.

Eat healthy: meal prepping can go a long way;

Take time to relax: take a bubble bath (that includes you boys ;)), play a video game, watch Netflix, etc.

What I am trying to say here is listen to yourself and make decisions not by obligation but rather based on your¬†current needs. Instead of attending the Tim Horton’s Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival which sounded really fun, I took a step back and opted for this instead:

Week #18 Challenge – part 1: Treat yourself to me time!

I followed my own advice and slowed down! I didn’t go out, left the online dating world and refocused my life on me. Which means I took the time to meal prep, tanned in my yard, went to bed early “enough” and started a new workout routine at Movati! This was my first visit at that gym and I loved it. How do I feel now? Pretty marvelous! Recharging your batteries is not something you should feel guilty about, to the contrary, it should become one of your priorities since it will affect everyone around you in a positive light!

Now, here is the really cool part guys.¬†Throughout our lives we all meet individuals who treat us like royalty. Lately, I¬†have¬†been¬†spoiled with this royal treatment and¬†this last weekend was¬†NO exception.¬†I was picked up and brought to…

Wait, where are we going?¬†No clue! All I was informed was that I needed a bathing suit. After an hour or so on the road we reach a cottage area and we start walking and walking… Still absolutely oblivious as to where we are headed and after a 30 minute walk we reach a fence with a hole in it!¬†Ha ha…¬†Is¬†this¬†it? You may think that was the big surprise but no. We pass through the fence, enter a cave and start walking down.. It’s a steep and rocky and fairly dangerous walk but as we go down: Wow!!! The view is amazing!

imageWeek #18 Challenge – part 2: Visit the secret (or at least it was) Wallingford-Back Mine.

This gorgeous site is not in Ottawa but it’s not very far away! If you want a breathtaking¬†view this is a must see. You can visit inside the mine by walking down until you reach the water. The water is clear and turquoise and refreshingly FREEZING cold.. Nobody was swimming¬†of course but¬†one or two¬†people had floats and were just¬†enjoying the scenery on the¬†water.

You can also make your way on top of the mine and view the water from high above. If you are afraid of heights, it may not be the place for you to visit. We just spent hours looking down and soaking in the sun. While at the top someone brought an impressive Drone and flew it into the cave. It was fun to watch! On your way to the mine and back, you will see a little beach area and this may be a good place for you to stop and swim. It was getting a bit late but with the heat we decided to just go for it and jumped in. Best decision we made, it felt like heaven!


Keep in mind: if you choose to visit this site, make sure to be respectful of your surroundings.¬†Many people own cottages and it would not be fair to them to disrupt the vicinity with either pollution or excessive noise or commotion.¬†By doing so it will grant others the opportunity to explore this mysterious cave of wonders…

Until next week!

Isabelle xo

Week 9 – Way to Smarten up Ottawa!

Correct me if I am wrong but I do believe that the majority of us look for ways to improve our overall physical and mental health, right? Be it in the form of altering our food intake, signing up to new activities or perhaps indulging in more natural products. To keep up with these health trends, various events take place every year in Ottawa. One of the most popular being the health expo presented by Kathy Smart.

Week #9 Challenge (April 18th to 24th): Visit the Live the Smart Way Expo.

Is this exposition actually worth the visit? YES, I can assure you it is. Depending on the time you have to allocate, you can quickly swift through the few kiosks that interest you most or, if you are like me, you can take a few hours to inform yourself of all the latest health products and services available right here in Ottawa. I left with a wealth of knowledge and felt very pleased having met many inspiring business owners, authors, trainers and much more.

What to expect?

  • Samples!! Lots and lots of samples…You get to try out a variety of new¬†and popular food products and recipes. Many companies handout sealed products to take home as well.
  • Walking: you will be on your feet circulating through the kiosks and although you can find seating you will be standing for the majority of the time.
  • Discounts: on new health products and memberships.
  • Exposure: to a variety of fitness businesses in Ottawa and the most recent health trends.
  • Good time: speaking with the kiosk representatives was really fun. It’s a great way to expand your social network and to meet fantastic people.

To the ladies and gentlemen who enjoy cooking, this may be of interest to you: I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely¬†Michelle Vodrazka¬†(see imagepicture to the left)¬†a culinary nutrition expert/coach/personal trainer/yoga instructor who is the author of the Help Yourself to Seconds¬†cookbook.¬†I purchased her book which contains 120 recipes: free of dairy, gluten and refined sugars. Meat lovers rest assured although some recipes are vegan many contain eggs, fish and meat. I am planning on teaming up with a friend to attempt one of the book’s recipes in the next week and will share my thoughts on the book and the final product itself. Needless to say, I am excited!

While speaking with various businesses at the expo, I was offered the opportunity to try new training services which will be included in this blog in the following months. The businesses in question are:

  • EPIC Fitness: Kelsey, one of their enthusiastic personal trainers, explained that this Ottawa business focuses mainly on affordable but high quality personal training services. Looking forward to my one on one.
  • Functional Training Academy: Offers group training programs which imageincorporate exercises using the most innovative workout techniques and equipment for a full body workout. Apparently games are incorporated too for added fun. I am really curious to see what it’s all about…
  • Inner Soul Yoga & Cycle: Want to attend a spin class rocking to the latest music combined with yoga (aka Spoga)??¬†This is the place to go..
  • Fit Chicks Bootcamps: This one is for the ladies. These bootcamp programs are meant to support you with structured workouts, nutrition advice and overall wellbeing.
  • Orangetheory Fitness: Offers Interval training that will keep you energized during and after your workout. The workouts are developed to ensure your heartbeat remains at a certain level, the so called: orange zone.image

I don’t know about you, but I am intrigued by all of these training options and will make a point of trying them all! Never too late to start working on your beach body right?!

PS: I am working on a video which I will be adding to this blog shortly!

PPS: Don’t forget to follow my blog by selecting the “Follow”¬†button ūüėČ