Touring Around Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County - JanessaMann.Com

July 7-9, Nic and I drove down to Prince Edward County with our friends Ivania and Nick. It was my first time going on a wine tour and being in that area, and we had a lot of fun.

Saturday morning started at Waupoos Winery, which is right on the water. It’s a beautiful location, and they were setting up for a wedding! A wedding there would be so wonderful! We paid $5 each for a quick tour which explained how the wine is made, and then tried 2 whites and 2 reds. For red wines, we tried Red Rabbit 2016 and the Flirty Red. The white wines we tried the honeysuckle 2015, and Marquette 2016. The wines they shared are probably a little too complicated for me: I’m a lover of Rieslings and Gewurtztraminers.

One of our favourite parts of the winery was their petting zoo across the road! We got to pet some adorable baby goats and hung out with some chickens.

The County Cider Company was a quick drive away, up the hill. Again for $5, we got a flight of 4 ciders. Each of them was delicious, and we purchased a 4-pack. We ate our picnic lunch in their field (and got chased off once we were mostly done) instead of eating at their outdoor patio, which smelled delicious. Oops. Next time we’ll have to go to their patio!

They sell the Premium Cider at the LCBO and I”ll have to try it there! County pear is delish, and so are Tortured Path, County Premium, and Feral. We bought blood orange, too, and I’m pumped to try them out. Definitely good ciders.

The Kinsip Distillery (formerly 66 Gillead) was a cool spot. Nic had been there a few weeks before for a bachelor party, and he was adamant we needed to return. He was right. The bartender explained that even though their vodka had wheat in it, the distilling process removes the gluten, so I felt safe taking a taste. I loved their pine-infused vodka, and I look forward to trying it in a ceasar as they suggested! We’ve purchased that. I also really, really love their re-branding-I can’t wait to finish our bottle since he said the new branding for that vodka will be out this summer!

We also checked out the Grange (a disappointment), Hinterland Wineries (their Borealis and Whitecap sparkling wine are delicious), and Norman Hardie, where we purchased their Riesling.

The Drake Devonshire - JanessaMann.com
*cheering emoji*

For our 5a7, we booked in at the Drake Devonshire in Wellington. Check out my review! Supper was on the patio of the Agrarian, which was nice, but we probably wouldn’t repeat it due to weird service interactions and not being able to do necessary substitutions.

I can’t wait to go again next year! I’d love to check out some more, and I’m sure I’ll want to re-purchase some of the items you can’t get in the LCBO yet!

The Drake Devonshire – Prince Edward County

The Drake Devonshire - JanessaMann.Com

The Drake Devonshire - JanessaMann.com

In July, we took a weekend trip to Prince Edward County with some friends. We had beautiful weather, and loved checking out the wineries, a cider company, and breweries.

Saturday night we went to the Drake Devonshire for  our 5-a-7. The location was beautiful. So great.

The Drake Devonshire - JanessaMann.com

It’s got the same cool, mid-century feel as the Drake Hotel in Toronto, but more Palm Springs inspired with all the outdoor aspects due to it being right on Lake Ontario. I would absolutely love to stay there and wake up with their yoga classes on the waterfront, and a phenomenal brunch.

The Drake Devonshire - JanessaMann.com

The Drake Devonshire - JanessaMann.com
*cheering emoji*

They had some delicious mixed drinks. I got their Wanderlust (grapefruit, cucumber, mint, raspberry, lemon, seltzer water, and added tequila). We also had their “loaded potatoes” with a delicious spicy sauce.

The Drake Devonshire - JanessaMann.com
the lakeshore

Wouldn’t that be an awesome view for your morning coffee?!

DSC_3044_0708_173812
the patio

The Drake Devonshire - JanessaMann.com

Certainly a boutique hotel and restaurant is a little more expensive than others, but I’d say it was worth it. The Drake was wonderful, and I’m looking  forward to trying it again next time we head out that way!

Mother’s Day in Ottawa

Mother's Day in Ottawa - JanessaMann.Com

I’m very lucky that Nic and I live in Ottawa near our parents. The Saturday before Mother’s Day, I invited my moms out to lunch. We had an amazing brunch at Wild Oat in the Glebe (definitely going back!) and enjoyed a walk through Ottawa’s Tulip Festival.

I got the wild breakfast plate, two eggs, homemade bread (with their own jam!), yam hashbrowns, and sauteed vegetables. SO good. I can’t wait to go again!

Mother's Day - JanessaMann.Com

Mother's Day - JanessaMann.Com
Magnolias

I definitely love being back in Ottawa again – great to be with family, and the city is so beautiful!

Winnipeg in Spring

Winnipeg in Spring - JanessaMann.Com

On Wednesday night, Mom, Dad, and I flew into Winnipeg for some time with family and my cousin’s wedding! On Thursday we explored the Forks with my Oma, and had dinner with my Grandma and some other relatives.

Winnipeg in Spring - JanessaMann.Com
Assiniboine Zoo Conservatory

On Friday we went out to my aunt’s farm to visit with my mom’s family. It was a beautiful day full of sunshine, sprinting after the dog, and lots of babies!

On Saturday, Nic and I took a walk from the Manitoba Legislature down to the Forks. We picked up doughnuts from Oh Doughnuts and Fools and Horses on Broadway. In the afternoon we had lunch with my parents and Grandma, then picked up ice cream. My cousin’s wedding was in the evening.

Winnipeg in Spring - JanessaMann.Com
Wedding #1 of May!
Winnipeg in Spring - JanessaMann.Com
Congratulations Trent and Raela!

Central Experimental Farm

Looking for something fun to do in the spring in Ottawa? The Central Experimental Farm has lots of baby animals that you can meet. Obviously one of my favourite things to do!

We went to the farm with Nic’s family, and the piglets, baby goats, lambs, kits (baby bunnies), calves, etc., were so adorable. For lunch we went to Rosa’s on Dow’s Lake, then walked around Hogs Back Falls.

Powerlifting Update - JanessaMann.Com

Fitness Update – Powerlifting on or off a program?

Powerlifting Update - JanessaMann.Com

I started my first powerlifting program (Layne Norton’s PH3) in March 2016. Since then, I have gained 100 lbs on my deadlift, 75 lbs on my squat, and 55 on my bench. I am insanely proud of those baby gains! Of course, I won’t be able to continue to go in that exponentially, and this journey hasn’t been without pain and challenges. When I hit my 200lb squat in March (without pain, too!), I cried. After herniating my L4-L5 disc 6 years ago, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do that. Next goal? 2 plates (225 lbs).

Powerlifting Update - JanessaMann.ComFirst Powerlifting Phase: March-May 2016

I LOVED Layne Norton’s PH3 programming, as you can read here. I was working 5 days a week at GoodLife, so I had time to be in the gym 5+ days a week, which this program requires. I liked working on percentages, but I also noticed that I would re-calculate every week, instead of keeping it steady for the whole month. Probably lifted heavier than I needed to at the start. It was also a very humbling process. I worked on my form, and sometimes super light weights felt incredibly challenging, and I’d be out for a week.

Powerlifting Update - JanessaMann.Com

Second Phase: May-August 2016

Cutting. Yuck. I’ve never tried an actual cut before, and it wasn’t fun. But I managed to drop from 20% body fat to 16%. That involved lots of high reps lower weight (also to recover my muscles a bit), skipping, and box jumps. Also, I ate less dessert. I hate that about diets.

I also adapted Jim Wendler’s 5-3-1 programming to my needs. I still worked 4-5 days a week, but had gotten bored of PH3’s incessant accessory work that drove me insane. I wanted a bit more variation.

Third Phase: September-December 2016 Powerlifting Update - JanessaMann.Com

Yup, didn’t do much. I gained 10 lbs and 5-6% body fat (including Christmas bloat) from when I started grad school. Stepping on the scale January 2 was a shock. I didn’t get the hang of 3 courses in grad school, 2 part-time jobs equaling 20 hours, 2 choirs, and being a youth sponsor AND having time for myself. I hit some heavy weights, but did not have the consistency to gain much strength. My energy also got super low. However, with the bulk came a bigger butt. I mean, not necessarily in a good way, but definitely bigger. It was a real, dirty bulk.

 

Fourth Phase: January 2017-Now

Powerlifting Update - JanessaMann.Com
I got an Inzer Weightlifting belt for my birthday!

What’s going to be the best phase: a slow cut for some weddings, but hitting some awesome numbers. Within a month of cutting (more healthy food, less dessert, jumping rope most days, and more gym sessions) I had lost the 10 pounds, and dropped 2% body fat. I’m at a very comfortable spot, but I’m looking to lose a bit more body fat before a spring wedding. I expected that I would lose strength, but I easily used up my Christmas carbs hitting my deadlift and squatting goals.

Powerlifting Update - JanessaMann.Com
My left shoulder (the one on the right, since it’s in a mirror) is insane. Not sure how it got that big, and why I still can’t do a pull-up. Getting mixed messages.

I’m happy  with my consistency at the gym despite not having a specific program for the past 6 months. I start co-op in May, and it’s a long commute, so hopefully I figure out a good schedule that will keep this momentum going. Then again, it’s not like I can pretend I haven’t had back or hip pain during this term. I definitely put on weight that I didn’t need to, and suffered. I think now that I’ve hit the 200 lb mark for both squats and deadlifts I’ll take a step back and work on higher reps lower weight to go with my cut.

Baby Gains:

Yes, these are considered baby gains, since they’re my first year of powerlifting. I don’t think I’ll be at a 300 lb squat March 2018, considering my back. But I’m very proud of the numbers I’ve finally hit, and can’t wait to see if my body can go further than this.

Bad Back:

On that note, as I mentioned above, my back hasn’t been super happy the whole time. I’ll tweak it by bending over, or putting on 10 lbs more than I should have. Pretty dumb of me. It seems like I haven’t learned anything. Now that I’ll be backing off, I’ll be making sure that I continue to do my physiotherapy to increase my stabilization strength, and focusing on recovery. Like baths, rolling out, and going to massage and chiro. I only have one back, and I’ve been given so many second chances on back health. Maybe I’ll try sumo deadlifts and see if my back likes that more!

Next Goals:

Deadlift 2 plates (225 lbs)

Squat 2 plates (225 lbs)

Bench 1 plate/body weight (135 lbs)

Pull-ups (I’ve been doing sets of 10 with the assisted band for months, I should really be ready soon, but it’s frustrating)

For summer drop 3% more body fat (but I get so angry when I limit dessert)

Let me know how your powerlifting journey has gone!

Nearly done second term of grad school… Where have I been?

2 Terms of Grad School in  - JanessaMann.Com
Studying hard!

Where have I been? That’s a great question.

This term (January-April) I have been taking 2 courses for grad school (full-time), working as Mennonite Central Committee Canada’s Ottawa Office research internship, still at my part-time House of Commons job (30 hours of work a week total), singing in Cantata Singers of Ottawa and church choir, as well as volunteering as a youth sponsor for church. Sometime between all that, I get to the gym, hang out with my husband, family, and friends, and attempt to keep up with hobbies.

Yup.

You read that right.

No wonder I haven’t felt interested in posting here.

I have to admit it though, I have missed having this outlet to share my life. Get ready for hopefully one post a week.

On top of my regular school work, this term I have to submit my research proposal. More on that later.

2 Terms of Grad School in - JanessaMann.Com

Looking forward, this summer term (May-August) I’ll be on co-op. That’s going to be my first time working full-time for the whole summer. That seems strange considering all the jobs I’ve had, but sometimes it’s been a couple part-time jobs combined, or working at camp 2 months of the summer only. Obviously the paycheck is going to be phenomenal, as well as having weekends off (last summer I worked Saturday morning and Sunday evenings) to go camping or to the cottage.