Weekend Getaway: Bliss and Reminisce

If you are looking for the perfect romantic getaway or girls weekend or hygge day look no further than Wakefield Mill and Spa. This hidden gem is a perfect blend of hygge, vintage and country elegance. It is only a short 25 minute drive from downtown Ottawa to the heart of the Gatineau Park.

We stayed here for S’s bachelorette a few years ago and I have dreamed of returning ever since.

So as summer was coming to a close and I was gearing up for back to school, I decided a last weekend getaway was in order. It was the perfect cap to the end of the summer, it was refreshing and completely rejuvenating.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

 

This charming boutique spa offers beautiful views 

 

 

Perfect Hygge Reading nooks

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

 

The comfiest of robes

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

 

It was the perfect room with a view (lol)

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

 

Surssssly after these pictures are you not sold? Really I have no idea why I ever left!

I cannot wait to go back again when the leaves change for fall!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

 

 

 

 

Happy #WCW

820x421-2-2

Today I am giving a shout out to the hilarious Aussie instagrammer, Celeste Barber.

Even if you haven’t heard her name, you probably have seen her pictures and, if you haven’t seen her pictures then you’re  probably one of our parents friends. Nah I take that back, Mum and Dad’s friends are always surfing the web. So let me start over, if you haven’t seen any  of Celeste Barber pictures then you probably have been living off the grid for years with only the squirrels to talk to cause Celeste is errrrywhere! Amiright!?

She has 2.4 million followers, including some of the top celebs that constantly like her pics.

Celeste Barber is the hilarious instagrammer that parodies celeb and high fashion photos. Barber’s pictures contrast the outlandish celebrity fashion images with real-life reenactments, with the tag #celestechallengeaccepted.

What makes her really specially is that she does not shy away from the awkwardness that arises  like  when she  mimics Kate Upton getting out of a pool. celeste 7

The parodies are silly, fun and a bit cheeky (pun intended)!

 

She is body positive, feminist and “real life” positive.

celeste 4

I feel that she is on the edge of a new wave social satire! Cause this is pure GOLD!

Celeste 1

It is refreshing to see a woman posting pictures that are not highly manicured and that are just fun! Let’s bring back the fun in taking pictures and goofing around.

Embrace the fun and embrace yourself!

celeste 5

Fafa #2!

Leggings. Check. Running shoes. Check. Sports bra. Check. Cute, but sporty top.
Check. Now, if only working out was as easy as choosing the outfit.
lg

For 13 years, I was a competitive dancer. I was in the studio 5 times a week, always
away at competitions, and continuously working towards ‘distinction’ in my dance
exams. I was fit and I was active. However, that changed once I went to University — I
needed to find a new way to keep healthy.
Now I realize that for most people working out is just an ordinary part of their routine;
however, for me it has been a constant battle/search to try and find a workout regime
that works.
I honestly hate working out and I’m utterly appalled/fascinated by people who frequent
the gym, especially in the morning (what are you doing!? Go to bed). Going to the gym
stresses me out. I don’t know what I’m doing and I feel like everyone is judging me
even though I know they couldn’t care less. One year for Christmas, I actually asked for
a gym membership believing that I would commit to it. Unfortunately, I think I went for
a record of ONE time…soo bad. I just didn’t feel comfortable or motivated to purse it
so I decided to look elsewhere for my future fit bod.

 

run2

My brother likes to run so I decided to give it a try — if he could do it, I could do it.
Sadly, I learned quickly that it just wasn’t for me. I think I had been running for a solid 5
minutes (and by running I mean slow jog), when my eyes started watering, nose started
running, I was wheezing…it was really sad — I don’t like to think about it. After that, I
swore I would never do it again and apologized profusely to my body for putting it
through such torture.

run

My next attempt was a month meal/work out plan. I actually really enjoyed the meals
since they made grocery shopping a breeze, but I still struggled to do the work outs
everyday. I always seemed to find some excuse to skip them — promising that I would
do two workouts the next day. Obviously, this didn’t happen.

For my birthday recently, I received a month of pole dancing lessons. I honestly loved
it! It was nice to be in a class with an instructor showing me the moves and then
attempting to recreate them myself. I felt so accomplished and sexy once I mastered a
move. After the month was over, I really wanted to continue with the next level;
however, I’m a poor university student at the moment. I just couldn’t afford to keep it
up, but I do plan to do it again some day.

My continuous failed attempts at getting fit forced me to reflect. Why couldn’t I work
out? Am I just super lazy? Do I give up too easily? What I realized was that working out
by myself just isn’t an option. I need someone to show me what to do. I enjoy being in
a class with an instructor. When I don’t have anyone or a fun atmosphere, I quickly lose
interest and motivation.

This fall I am fully committed to finding and sticking to a work out plan. I understand
now what I need in order to make working out a part of my daily routine. My university
offers a variety of work out classes that range from Zumba to High Intensity Interval
Training (HIIT). So far I’ve really enjoyed taking these diverse classes — it reminds me
of my time in dance. I feel encouraged and excited to go. I have someone to show me
what to do and I feel motivated to push myself. I’m happy that it’s been a really positive
and fun experience so far.

So if you’re like me, I’m here to tell you there is hope. The adventure in working out is
finding what works for you and sticking to it. So fingers crossed I make it through at
least a week and hopefully many more. tenor.gif

 

Fafa

Indulge in a Saturday Day Trip

golf4

Ok so now that I am back to work all I can keep thinking about is my weekends. I really like my job but cmon free weekends are awesome!

Recently, I spent the afternoon in Montreal. Really it is the perfect weekend or day trip from Ottawa, only being about 2 hours away and with so many hip, beautiful and fun things to check out.

So first up I went to Boutique 1861. If you have never been it is a must go store!!!

Whether you are looking for the perfect work outfit, cocktail dress or just window shopping it will not disappoint.

 

 

1861 is this cute little vintage eclectic inspired shop that makes you feel as though you are stepping into Marie Antoinette’s personal(modern) walk in closet.

 

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

1861.jpg

Sursly, the amount of blush pink in this store is a millennial’s dream!

 

After all my shopping, I worked up an appetite and walked about 100 feet down the street to Juliette & Chocolate 

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Oh em gee, it is positively the tastiest and chocolatiest cafe and restaurant I have ever been.

It is not for the faint of heart though, visiting Juliette is like a walk into a grown up Willy Wonka factory! So much chocolate, in so many ways. 19367447_138053620103677_5874917259746476032_n

 

And then a walk through the town before you make your way home.

There are so many great places to pop into or stumble upon in Montreal that can make  anyday an adventure.

Processed with VSCO with g3 presetProcessed with VSCO with g3 preset

 

Have fun!

Niamho

Girls Night

This weekend was so much fun! I had a lot of different things on the go but I need to tell you about Friday! It was one of my gal pals birthday and shes a mommy of twins who definitely deserved a girls night in!

The evening started off with a delish charcuterie board that paired ever so nicely with moscato.  Having moscato in the cans made it perfect to have for going out on their beautiful patio.

We attempted to do our own at home “ Paint Nite”. We picked out  a painting we all liked, taped it to a wall and stared.  We had no idea where to begin…so after another glass of wine we all jumped in  and attempted  the painting adding our own flare.

paintings572a3b65d7e58

I am so talented right!?

Jk not mine. aha

All of our paintings came out very different but  I still love them all!IMG_2535

I had so much fun chatting with my girls, singing along to some oldies and painting. When I thought the night had reached its peak out of the oven comes the most amazing desert of all time.

Brookies.

UM YUMMMMM

Oreo  cookie base,  chocolate chip cookie dough  and brownie mix baked and topped with peanut butter icing.  If you’re thinking life couldn’t get any better you are right.

IMG_2528

IT WAS SO GOOD, you need to try it ASAP

 

You’re Welcome,

Ais xo

Friday Favourites: Back to School Must Haves

Today we are linking up with the lovely Momfessionals

Ok, I’ll admit it. It has been nice going back to work and getting into a routine again. Though I miss summer already and the alarm at 6am kills me, even though I press snooze 7 or 8 times, it is nice getting into a rhythm.

And like any teacher, long-term student or summer abider will tell  one of the best things about going back to work is all the pretty new things you have to buy! Though I am mid-twenties I still feel like Jenna Rink in 13 going on 30 when picking out new school outfit.

13 goin on13goingon302                         (Also check out the first two Six Chicks the right…recognize them?)

So I believe there are a few things that make Back to School possible, cooler, calmer and more fun. Here are the esstentials for back to school

  1. A cool outfit…sorry a slammin outfitfecff73d452e68f2c0d2a35a0c9f3c1d

This dress is ideal for work. I love the mix of designs this dress offer. The v neck, long sleeves and rouching waste play with the lines of dressy/casual all the while extremely elegant and professional. dress2.  Shoes
Getting comfortable, fashionable heels for work = The Dream
And I hear that Bernie Mev shoes deliver- def. on my wish list!

 

3. A fresh haircut and style! 
Actually I need to do this so if anyone has any suggestions for looks or places to get it done.

hair.gif

4. Agenda/ Journal
Personally, I am working through my Happiness Journal and loving it.

IMG_1340

Once you have the dress, the shoes the hair and a good plan all that is left is…

5. Positive Attitude
For me the top back to school must have is a positive attitude 🙂

positive vibes.jpg

WcW

This girl can literally do it all, dance, act, direct, she even learned how to do taekwondo  and archery for a role! She is awesome!

She can pull off blue and green!  That’s right! I’m talking about Zoe Saldana

This down to earth woman is a mother of 3 and her husband deserves a shout out because he took her last name!! How badass is that?!  Girl power!

family

I first fell in love with Zoe when I saw Center Stage where she played the role of Eva. She is so graceful and gentle you can’t take your eyes off her when she dances.

danceAvatar, Star Trek, Guardians of the Galaxy, Crossroads, Pirates of the Caribbean, her resume just gets better and better and is still growing! She has signed on to movies all the way up until 2025! Talk about being in demand!

Anyone who has worked with her is always raving about how kind she is and how hard working she is. She stays focused and trains as hard as she can to be able to do the role justice. She even met with the original Uhura, Nichelle Nichols. She is all about promoting women in the industry and around the world!

We will be seeing so much more of this rad chick and I am ready for it!zs

Take 3 Tuesday: Back to Reality

T3Tuesday

Goodbye to summer days and hello to work, schedules and food prep.

I could lament about loss of summer vacation for hours. I feel as though I do vacation just right, I sleep in, stay up late, go for long walks, watch entire tv show seasons, learn new hobbies and more!

Though I will miss long stress free vacation getting back to reality can be exciting as well. I know for some people they make New Year’s Resolutions in January but I actually make my new year resolutions the beginning of September.

For me, September is always such a fresh start, the perfect tabula rasa. I like to set up new goals and my mantras to help support me in  achieving my goals.

This year, with the help of the Happiness Planner and my bi-weekly Badass Women support, encouragement and accountability team (more on this to come) I feel prepared to take on the fall.

IMG_1340

Now I am not going to share all my goals with you, but here are a few:

  1. Make my bed every morning (succesfull 4 days)
  2. Make time for hobbies
  3. Get outside and be active

And my Mantra

positive lifw

Niamho.

As for me, S, September isn’t as much a time of new beginnings as it once was, but I do enjoy the change in season.

My goal this Autumn is to embrace the Hygge of the season. 

It’ll be warm drinks, roaring fires, walks in the leaves and pumpkin spice for me. I plan to enjoy the quieter side of life this Fall.

Boardgames with the family are an awesome start and we did some of that this weekend.


Our dad won as usual. Niamho took second place and I finished a respectable (disappointed) third.

I hope to spend some time at the library. I’ve been reading through the Gamache mystery series and can’t wait to get the next one. 

And of course, Fall is a great time for Farmers Markets. I’m looking forward to the cider and pumpkin pies. 

Hope you’ll hygge with me.

S.

 

Labour Day weekend is always an annual bitter sweet weekend. You know summer has now come to an end and it’s time to say goodbye to boat rides, picnics, outdoor concerts and patio drinks.  While Septembers have always been a time for new beginnings and new goals. Sometimes new outfits from Penneys and  many first day of school photos just like this one of Niamho and I.

IMG_2517

However this year it’s a little different.

For the first time in 27 years I will not be at a school for the first day of school.  After I graduated from high school I was in post secondary education for many years before I ended up in a career in Education. I have always loved the frenzy and buzz of the first day of school!  Everyone tries to find where their class is and who they will be sitting next to.

I recently made a career shift and won’t be at a school this year, and to be totally honest,  I am panicking a little. I don’t know what to expect with my month now since I am heading down a new path but my gut is telling me that I will be okay.

IMG_2514

 

I am so excited to start seeing the changing colours and have the shift in weather so I can bring out my autumn clothes! Layers and scarves galore!

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”.  – Albert Camus

Ais xo

So what? You’re Still a Rockstar!

820x421-2-2

This week has been total rollercoaster for the pop music world  with Taylor Swift’s new video, if anyone has missed it, you can watch it here. It seems like everyone is decoding the disses in her new video and especially the last scene.

tswft3Tswft1Tswfit2

Throughout the  video she brings forth all the past shade from other celebrities and media as well as her past “characters/old self” to  break down all her old stereotypes and reputations. As always Taylor gets the last word in a fight and she brings(ends?) this fight to all her haters.

tswift 4

Now I love TSwizzle and I have major respect for her new vid which tries to rid herself of her past and her haters yet this week I think Taylor should take a note out of the baddest, rocking-est, feminist, self love promoter Pink!

pink1

Pink is cool, wise, strong and the epitome of a badass woman! Pink has met her fair share of haters yet she always stands up for her true self and promotes self love beyond all.

At the VMAs this week she won the Vanguard Award and delivered such a moving and inspiring speech for all.

 

Pink calls on everyone to love themselves, to celebrate what makes us different and to be true to who we are. Pink has never failed in being just who she is and encouraging us all to live our own truths. When the world gets you down pull a Pink, go home, make a powerpoint and remember to be yourself.

pink 2

And if that doesn’t work, rock out to this song, cause so what? You are still a Rockstar!!

How to Convince People you are a Pro Golfer

golf4

 

I know nothing about golf. All my golf expertise comes from one late night viewing of Caddyshack and that one episode of Gilmore Girls where Rory goes golfing with her Grandfather.

 

Unlike other sports where you can blame the goalie or the other team instead of your own complete lack of skill, in golf you are on your own. All you have to point your finger at is the weather and yourself and cmonn that’s not happening. So I have come up with 7 tried and true steps that will make even Tiger Woods (is he still playing?)  think you are a Pro Golfer!

golf3

  1. It is all about the outfit!

Remember the statement “dress for the job you want,” the same is true in golf! If you are not wearing a collared exercise shirt  and a funny hat are you even golfing? #bringvisorsback

 

  1. Get a golf cart

This is mostly just practical and fun!

It can also be used to drive your golf mate to their ball because you rather take the leisurely stroll over to your ball, you know do some light stretching and, accidently kick your ball closer to the green or into a nicer patch of grass.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

 

  1. The Michael Jackson glove

I know I already talked about clothing but the glove is so much more. Not only is it a cute accessory that shows how “serious” you take golfing, it is also a great distraction. When putting on the glove make sure to embellish all movements so that everyone sees you putting it on.  Put on and take off the glove multiple times, and readjust it often. 

golf 13

 

4. Use the language

Use the proper golf lingo and correct those around you of the proper word or pronunciation ie. birdie, par

To go next level: use sport metaphors or encouragements as much as possible.

Ben-Hogan-quote-on-golf

 

5. Talk about which club to use constantly and with authority

“I think I should use my 7 iron on this swing, it will be way better than my 5 wood!”

golf 17

 

6. Razzle Dazzle

It is all about making a show, before you ever hit the ball always look like you are lining up the ball with the hole, or look like you are gauging the direction and strength of the wind.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

* When on the green, go big or go home! Get on the ground, measure and take long pauses between shots.

golf 15

 

  1. Practice swings

ALWAYS add in practice swings before you hit the ball. This will make it look like you have control over your swing and if you happen to actually miss the ball it just looks like you have taken another practice swing.

golf 16

 

  1. Make it look routine

Though it may be the first time you got air under the ball or even hit it, your golf pro persona gets holes in one all the time so act nonchalant!

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Bonus Tip

This tip is only for those who are skilled in deception or in desperate need to impress.

Only hit the ball when your golf partner is not looking

Wait until your golf partner is busy looking for their ball in the forest or having a drink or distracted by your nonstop questions about their entire life story, the history of golf or their top ten shocking Game of Thrones deaths before you hit the ball. Depending on their distraction level you can either hit the ball multiple times and count is as one, kick the ball where you want or carry the ball in your pocket until you get closer to the green and then just casually drop it.

golf 14

By following these easy steps you will no longer be the tag along friend but instead you will be the Golf Pro of the group!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset