Weekend Round Up

This weekend marked my 30th birthday. If you had asked me a year ago what I wanted to do for my 30th I would have said “travel somewhere and celebrate on my own”. I was not looking forward to it. But oddly enough as it got closer I really started to care less about the number and started to just get more excited about celebrating the milestone year with a bunch of people I love.

So a while back myself, my husband and a couple friends started planning and preparing all the crafts, food and decorations for the party. I had picked a lumberjack glitz and glam theme and it couldn’t have been more fun (in my opinion at least).

20140310-074007.jpgMy husband took some time off to start cleaning and preparing all the food so I wouldn’t have to worry about it and everything turned out so delicious. Only problem was we definitely made more food than was needed but that isn’t such a bad problem to have.

20140310-074154.jpgWe had also set up a photo booth so I wouldn’t have to remember to be taking pictures of the party and it is always fun for people to get their creativity on.

20140310-074259.jpgAt the end of the evening we all celebrated with some delicious cake, some dancing, and more chatting.

20140310-074425.jpgI had such an amazing time and want to thank everyone who was there in person and in spirit to celebrate with me. I had such a blast and couldn’t have thought of a better way to turn 30.

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Sunday as a result was an extremely lazy day. I watched some bad TV, took some naps and just let it all sink in. Then I started this week off right with an early morning workout session with my personal trainer and some grocery shopping gearing up for some clean eating over the next 101 days (more on that later).

Anyways, Happy Monday everyone I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your week.

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Weekend Round Up – more Birthdays

This weekend was my first weekend in the new studio for Rock n’ Roll yoga. It is funny how something as small as a change in venue can have your nerves firing off as though you are teaching your first class.

Nerves aside the class was great. The space at Studio X was amazing, bright, cozy and clean. All the wonderful students who came to the first class were impressed and pleased with the new digs, so before class even started we were all starting off on the right foot.

After class Saturday afternoon it was back home to get ready for the final stages of a friend’s birthday surprise. We had informed her that we would hang out but she had no idea we would be surprising her.

Her fiancé did an amazing job of being sneaky and getting her out of the house for an hour so we would have enough time to decorate and prepare a bunch of her favorite foods

20140303-095350.jpgWhen she came in she totally didn’t suspect a thing. But once she saw us she was completely surprised! After attempting to run away from the surprise it all sunk in and she was excited to be hanging out with a small group of friends while snacking on some of her favour it foods.20140303-095402.jpgAfter a great night Saturday I was up early Sunday morning to tidy up a little and then had a nice relaxing day filled with my right now fav TV show Burn Notice and lots of snuggling with my kittens.

Now it is Monday and my first day of school. I am definitely excited to start learning and relearning how to take notes and pay attention for more than an hour at a time.

20140303-100233.jpgI hope everyone had a happy Monday.

14 Valentine’s Day Ideas

So I have been thinking and thinking of what to do for today’s posts.  I normally try to dig a little deeper when it comes to Wednesday posts or as I have lovingly labeled them “weepy Wednesdays” but I just kept coming up a little dry. Then I realized Friday is Valentine’s Day!

I am not really huge on valentine’s day, in that my husband and I generally speaking don’t celebrate it (except for that one time he proposed). I mean we do try and do something together, but when it comes down to it we do that every week so there is never anything super special about v-day when it rolls around.  So I figured it would be fun to post 14 ideas of things you could do on valentine’s day instead of eating a box of chocolate.

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So here they are 14 Valentine’s Day Activity Ideas:

1. Hit up the gym with your partner or a friend.  Nothing says I love you like sweating all over someone you care about.

2. Hit up a heart opening yoga class.  You don’t always need to attend power classes, sure it is fun to get sweaty and get a good stretch, but it is also good to work on opening up that heart of ours.

3. If you are in Canada chances are you are currently living in a winter wonderland so get out there and have fun with it.  Do some skating on a pond, snow shoeing or skiing.

4. Check out a winter festival. Here in Ottawa Winterlude is going on, there is lots to look at like ice sculptures, snow sculptures, as well as different vents and activities throughout the city, and at the end of all of it you can grab a hot chocolate to warm up.

5. Try out a new healthy recipe.  It is always fun to test out new food, it is even more fun to try out new food with friends and loved ones.

6. Have some friends over to play some board games.

7. Get some popcorn ready snuggle up with your partner or invite over some friends and watch some of your favorite movies, or just binge watch some Netflix.

8. Looking for a little more romance, go and get a couples massage.  Our muscles work for us every day, sometimes it is good to treat them with a therapeutic massage.

9. Maybe you want to be a bit more “traditional” in your valentine’s activity so how about a dance class.   You don’t have to be good at something to have a blast, so lace up your dancing shoes and hit up a dance class.

10. Nothing says friendship or love like rock climbing right?  Maybe it something you do regularly and would like to share with a friend or loved one, it isn’t too expensive and a good rock climbing facility will have loads of walls for you to try out. You might not be able to lift your arms the following day but you will have a blast trying to get to the top.

11. Nothing says love like giving back.  We all live in places where I am sure there are loads of activities you can sign up for solo, with a partner or a group of friends.  The best part about volunteering is you get to give back and stay active, check out your local charity organizations I am sure some of them are always looking for a helping hand.

12. Do you have a competitive streak? If you are anything like me you might have just a tiny bit of one.  If you do with your friend or partner set up some short workouts that you can compete against each with.  See who can finish each exercise fastest, nothing gets your blood flowing like a little healthy competition.

13. Not all chocolate is bad for you.  Try your hands at making some cute dark chocolate treats for you and your friends.

14.  RELAX! Not everything fitness related is about sweating, sometimes it is just as important to slow down and take a break.  Snuggle up with some tea and a good book, cuddle with your kittens, sit back relax and have a conversation.

I hope you all have a great valentine’s day and get to spend it with your friends, family and/or partner.  I think this time of year it is important to remember that valentine’s day although it is a holiday mostly to sell junk is about appreciating all the special people in your life and not just about glorifying being in a relationship.

So find a friend, grab your sister or brother, your dad or your mom, husband or wife, girlfriend or boyfriend or ALL of them and go and do something fun!

Happy Wednesday!

Weekend Round Up

This past weekend was great.  Friday was a busy day of gym going, running errands and getting ready for my Rock N’ Roll yoga class on Saturday.   All of this had me a bit worn out and I was ready to call it in early and get a nice long sleep in to get me ready for the rest of my weekend.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early and headed over to the gym to get a bit of a sweat on before my yoga class and the rest of the fun planned.   Saturday’s Rock N’ Roll yoga class was great, I had the opportunity to give a bit more attention to my student and to modify the class on the fly to accommodate my pregnant student.  It was a ton of fun and a great learning experience for me.

After yoga my girlfriend and I headed out for some tea and chats. It is always nice when we take the time to sit down the two of us and get to catch up on everything that is going on in each other’s lives.   It was a perfect little Saturday afternoon.

After yoga and tea it was time to head home to get ready to celebrate our good friend’s 30th birthday.   Earlier that day I had gone to a party store and purchased some ridiculously large helium ballons to add a little something to the wrapping of his gift.  Still days later looking at the size of the balloons makes me giggle.

20140202-164247.jpgAfter we gave him his gift his fiance gave him his big surprise and it was such an awesome gift.
20140202-164210.jpgThey opened the fridge together to a beautiful of 30 beers from around the world. She had gone and with the help of the liquor store clerk she selected 30 of some of the best beers from around the world, one for every year of his life.  Then she took the time wrapping each bottle separately.  It was such a thoughtful and surprising gift.

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Once all the presents were exchanged we went out for a delicious meal and celebrated with some champagne.  It was a great evening and it is always so fun celebrating your good friends…especially if they are older than you, gives you the chance to feel young for just a bit longer.

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Sunday was football, but I am not much of a football fan so I decided to spend my day relaxing at home and having some Brittany time.  Just did some reading, relaxing and chilling out with my kittens. It was a great way to finish off the weekend.

Now it is back to the grind. Happy Monday everyone! 

Weekend In Review

Well it has been a while since I have sat down to write a weekend update.  Probably because while in Costa Rica all of the days kind of just melted into one day and by the time I realized I just had a weekend it was Thursday so a weekend round up really wouldn’t have made much sense.

Anyways, here I am back in the land of the cold, it is so very very cold, and I am trying to get back into my routine of writing my regular posts.  Something that has been proving to be much more difficult than I had actually thought it would have been.  But yes adjusting to life back in Canada has been strange yet pleasant.

This past weekend I celebrated a bit of Christmas over at my mom and step dad’s place.  It was kind of wonderful, after having been Christmas deprived (Costa Rica doesn’t seem to decorate until December not like our November 1st style decorations here in North America) it was nice to be surrounded by Christmas for a couple of days.   We enjoyed a nice meal filled with poultry, stuffing and mashed potatoes and several glasses of wine and just caught up.

Saturday evening my husband and I celebrated in our own way by watching some Christmas classic movies, such as Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, Santa Clause, Christmas with the Kranks, and well our list just keeps going on, we will be watching Christmas movies for days. The movie watching festivities are also generally filled with some tasty finger foods and other delicious foods we generally avoid in every day life (aka not the healthiest food out there).
Christmas movie collageThe weekend was then wrapped up with a little hot morning yoga (thank goodness for hot yoga!), and then it was time to go to a birthday party for a wonderful little lady. A good friend of mine’s daughter turned 1 and she had a small party of family and friends to celebrate her entering the world. It was a great shindig and it was so fun to see just how big she has gotten and how mobile, oh goodness. It was great to get to see some friends and catch up and see all the little rugrats running around having a great time with all the toys and crafts that were left out for them.

All in all I would have to say it was a pretty successful first weekend back home in Ottawa (minus the snow and the cold of course), I am happy to be back and will be working diligently at getting back into my regular routine of posting.  Also I will have a couple more segments of Costa Rican recaps thrown in there for a little flare so keep your eyes open for them.

Happy Monday everyone. Hope you are all staying warm.

Check-In from the Jungle

So I have been living in the jungle for four days now and I have finally seen my first monkey and boy those guys pack a punch when it comes to their howl…guess that is why they are called howler monkeys.  For the longest time I thought it was some crazy monster dog sound, but nope from tiny little adorable monkeys, I don’t have a picture but I am sure I will have some more for you in the weeks to come.

So checking in, where to start, it feels like so much has happened when really I am only starting my third day of training.  It is all so overwhelming in a happy positive emotion filled kind of way.  So let’s stat somewhere simple, my little abode. I think I briefly mentioned last time that I am staying in a bachelor style casa or cabin in the jungle from what I have heard I have a pretty decent set up so that is pretty great, I mean the place is pretty perfect for me, minus the daily ant wars, but I am living in their jungle after all.

Pretty awesome view of the jungle.

Pretty awesome view of the jungle.

The on thing living in the jungle has done so far is wonders on my cleaning skills. Instead of leaving stuff to “soak” or “getting to it later” the abundance of so many different types of creepy crawlies has definitely made sure that all dishes are washed right away and I sweep the house at least 3 times a day, and the deck once.  Otherwise it seems that the ant population gets a bit nutty, and several of the species are bitters.  But enough about the bugs or I will start envisioning them crawling all over me.

Training has been pretty amazing, it is a lot but it is a lot in a great way.  Every morning starts out at 6am with 2 hours of yoga with meditation followed by a little break for some breakfast.  The afternoon is then broken up into an early and late session.  These sessions are a combination of learning, hands on assists and more yoga. I think in a day I do about 5ish hours of yoga.

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The one thing I have noticed is my back muscles are definitely not used to sitting up right all day long and most of the students are having similar back “sensations”, if you will. I am hoping that by the end of the week my back is just so used to it that it doesn’t matter anymore.

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Aside from all the yoga a lot of time has been spent at the beach and wondering around and meeting my class mates.   The beach is just amazing.  It isn’t the typical built up full of sun chairs beach, it is definitely a local beach where surfing is the main activity.  At low tide it will be great for a morning run, and at high tide it seems to be excellent for surfing and playing the waves.  Although I am more of a pool person (I like knowing what is in the water with me)  I do love hearing the waves crashing and I am always game for heading down to the beach to watch others surf and have a blast.

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Well I should do some course reading and maybe even squeeze a nap in there before heading off to class again for the rest of the afternoon.  Hope everything is well in your part of the world.

Happy Wednesday! (I totally thought it was Tuesday)

Weekend Round Up – Girls Weekend

This past weekend was a great one. After some crazy weeks and some even more crazy weeks to come it was nice to escape the city to hang out with one of my closest girlfriends Gail.

We both took our Fridays off from work in order to get a head start on our time together. Seeing how we live in different cities and an extra hour here or there are precious hang out minutes to us.

Pre-travel CollageFriday started off with checking in early to our hotel, the glorious Delta Montreal, setting our stuff down and then heading out for our first round of shopping. After several hours of walking around, a Starbucks break  and more walking around, we headed back to the hotel to rest our feet and get ready for what was sure to be a delicious meal.

Friday evening we headed over to La Société a Bistro style restaurant with some super tasty dishes. We split a magnificent shrimp cocktail and then I had some delicious maple bourbon chicken with crispy potatoes and s super fresh salad for my main.   I skipped desert because I was stuffed but also because of my nut allergy, desert isn’t really something I can get as a rule when eating out.20131020-092338.jpgAfter supper we were initially going to hit up a comedy club but after a morning of traveling, an afternoon of shopping and walking around, we both just wanted to relax a little and catch up some more. So we headed back to the hotel room to chat and relax.

I was up bright and early Saturday morning, I seem to be missing the gene to sleep in.  I knew this would happen so I was sure to bring my gym clothing so I had something to do while Gail was sleeping until a reasonable hour.

After the half marathon I had taken some time off of rigorous exercise and had been sticking to yoga for the past week so it was definitely nice to get in some gym time.   Normally I don’t have very high hopes for hotel gyms because well they really don’t seem to be a priority in most hotels. However, this gym was fantastic!  I was surprised by the range of weights, machines, cardio equipment and the stretching area that was available, they even had a squash court and a pool!  Initially I had planned on doing a body weight circuit but when I was surprised by all of the equipment I couldn’t resist throwing in some weight training.

Hotel Gym CollageAfter a great workout I headed back upstairs in the hopes that my friend was starting to rise.  I then quickly ran over to Starbucks to grab us some tea and quick breakfasts before we got our day started.

Although we had spent much of our Friday shopping the sun was out Saturday and there were just so many excuses to hit the streets again to see if we could find anything we loved.   We wandered up and down St. Catherines popping in and out of stores and checking out what they had. Unlike Ottawa, Montreal has a Vans store so we were sure to check them out and get me a new pair of kicks.  With another day of shopping under our belts it was time to head back to the hotel to start getting ready for dinner.
weekend CollageOh my gosh dinner!  Dinner was incredible, Gail picked a place called Pintxo which serves small Spanish style tapas.  Gail knows me pretty well and knows that I love tiny plates of things, because you get to taste more that way, and I am not a fan of sharing my food.

Dinner was amazing, the restaurant was extremely cautious and attentive to my nut allergy (which is always a plus), the waitress totally knew her stuff and recommended the tastiest glass of wine and every plate I was served was more delicious than the one before it.   The resturant had an option where you could get 4 small pintxo and a main or you could get the regular sided pintxo and however many you wanted of them (they recommend 4 to 5 to make a meal).   Everything looked so tasty so I went with 4 pintxo so I could taste a bit of everything.
Pintxo CollageThe lighting wasn’t the greatest and I gave up on taking photos when my last dish was served (it was a goat cheese ravioli in a duck stew, can you say amazing!).  If any of you are ever in Montreal I strongly recommend finding this place and tasting it out, it was by far one of my favorite treat meals in the past 5 months. I was saddened when the plates stopped coming, but also happy because I was pretty stuffed.

20131021-120452.jpgLuckily Sunday both Gail and I had later travel plans which meant some more time to hang out and enjoy the city.  We both took our time getting moving and then headed out for a late breakfast at a nearby dinner.  Once it was time to head out we packed up and both headed to our respective modes of transport.

As awesome and fun as the weekend was I was excited to get back home to my husband and kittens and to do some Sunday afternoon lounging. The rest of my weekend was filled with movies, kitten cuddles and some relaxation in preparation for the coming week.

I hope everyone had as wonderful of a weekend as I did and you were all able to stay warm in this increasingly cold weather.

Happy Monday!