First Cross-Country Skiing of the Season

Cross-Country Skiing in November - JanessaMann.Com

On Thursday, November 24th, we got lots of beautiful, fresh powder in Ottawa. I waited very, very impatiently through class, and Nic coming home from work, for us to go cross-country skiing. We walked to the Rideau River, and then skied along to Vincent Massey Park.

dsc_9920_1124_173622

We definitely got weird looks when we were walking down Bank Street with our skis, but once we got to the path, there were a couple tracks that looked like skis. We’re very lucky to be so close to an easy trail, right by the water.

dsc_9928_1124_174120

Nic and I chose the wrong wax for my skis for the temperature, so I couldn’t move much at first until we scraped it all off. Once we did so,  I could ski much faster.

dsc_9937_1124_180633

I’m looking forward to learning how to photograph at dusk. And in the winter. Not sure which setting this was, so I’m pretty sad.

dsc_9950_1124_181420

It was such a beautiful evening, I can’t wait for more snow to come soon because I’d love to go for longer. That can be my cardio.

Favourite Toronto Restaurants - JanessaMann.Com

El Rincon – Margarita Monday and Taco Tuesday

El Rincon - JanessaMann.Com

The other day when we were walking through our neighbourhood, we spotted a sign at El Rincon saying they had a back patio. Nic and I love to eat “al fresco,” so I checked them out. Turns out they have $5 margaritas on Mondays, and $2 tacos on Tuesdays. We quickly decided to go there for a couple dates, and really enjoyed it.

Yes, there were supposed to be lots more photos, but I did a newb photography mistake of thinking I had uploaded all the pictures from that day (I had the earlier ones, why wouldn’t I have the evening ones? gah!) and deleted them. I even had adorable outfit pictures with a neighbourhood cat who really wanted to sniff my feet.

El Rincon - JanessaMann.Com

The margaritas were deeeelish, and so were the tacos. You ordered four of a kind (which is too bad, I miss Taco Farm in Waterloo where you can get as many of whatever you want), so we split the veggie and chicken ones. Both had great flavours, and I found out I like Modelo beers (their coronas weren’t cold, and I thought I was agreeing to warmer Coronas, not a different beer. Oops, coulda saved $4+ tip and tax).

El Rincon - JanessaMann.Com

Both times we’ve been at the restaurant we’ve enjoyed ourselves. It’s so chill in the back with the latin music, and everyone is loving the food and alcohol. If you’re looking for a cheap night with a date or friends, definitely check them out!

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com

Our First Wedding Anniversary

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com
We took the ferry across to Toronto Island

Nic and I got married June 20, 2015 in Ottawa, where we grew up. For our first anniversary, we decided we would go to Toronto Island for a beach day, and then have a delicious dinner out. Our original plans were much more grandiose-weekend hiking trip in Algonquin or on the Bruce Peninsula, bed & breakfast and a show in Stratford… But we realized that with a grad student and and under-employed-future-grad-student income, it made more sense to stick close to home.

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com
Always use a protective pouch if using electronics at the beach!

Neither of us had been to the Islands before, so this was a lot of fun. We packed up all our essentials, and spent a really hot, relaxing day in the sun. Yes, I got a terrible burn despite repeat applications of sunscreen.

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com
I love building sandcastles

Since Nic had strained his shoulder, we knew we wouldn’t be able to play any sports at the beach. We decided to pick up a bucket and some shovels to make a sandcastle-it was a lot of fun. People kept passing by it and saying how awesome it was, probably thinking it was made by children, not two twenty-five-year-olds. We had some good laughs.

We walked from Ward’s Island to Centre Island, which was much busier, and got some fresh pineapple juice.

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com
Nic bought me peonies, my favourite flowers
First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com
Our friend Winston recommended Byblos, and it was delicious

Byblos is a Mediterranean restaurant in the Entertainment District, and they’re phenomenal. We each got a fancy cocktail (my cucumber, mint + vodka was perfect) and then shared some plates.

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com

Our last dish arrived after I took this picture, and we had eaten too much of the food for me to take another one. Oops! We had the best, spiciest olives, cauliflower, fried chicken, and pide.

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com

The waitress brought us some Turkish ice cream because she knew it was our anniversary-so sweet! The booth we sat in was also super romantic. I’m so glad we went there.

Our first year of marriage has been so wonderful. First and foremost, obviously it’s been awesome living with Nic-we don’t have to be long-distance anymore, or be worried we’ll miss the last bus home because we’re having a great conversation, and there’s always our favourite person to hang out with when we get home. Second, it’s been really cool to see our relationship evolve-we’ve seen each other through tough times, dashed hopes, and joys, and have learned how to be humble about our mistakes. Third, we’ve gotten to explore places together-not just our temporary city of Toronto, but our honeymoon in Nova Scotia, bringing Nic to Manitoba for my Grandpa’s funeral, and our dream trips (B.C., New Zealand and Australia…). I’m so happy we found each other, and I can’t wait for every single anniversary after this one.

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com

Sunglasses: thrifted
Top: Forever 21
Skirt: Suzy Shier
Heels: JustFab

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com

After dinner we walked (I limped, I haven’t worn heels in months, and those four-inch babies were killing me) to the waterfront, shared a drink at the Amsterdam Brewery, and watched the sunset on the first day of summer.

Family Day Coffee Date at Box Car Social and a Walk in the Park

Family Day Coffee Date at Box Car Social and a Walk in the Park - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca

I love finding gems through Instagram! I found Box Car Social through someone’s Instagram post, and screenshotted it, to save it for another coffee date. For Family Day/Valentine’s Day, Nic and I decided to go there! It’s pretty close to us, just south of St. Clair on Yonge street.

Family Day Coffee Date at Box Car Social and a Walk in the Park - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca

I’d say that my chai latte was the best I’ve had since coming to Toronto: nice and spicy and lots of warmth. Nic also tests his coffeeshops by their cappucinos. He loved it.

Family Day Coffee Date at Box Car Social and a Walk in the Park - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca

We sat at the window, but there are big tables at the back, and then also more sitting upstairs, which we only noticed at the end (too bad… next time!). Box Car Social has lots of coffee and tea selections, as well as a bar, which will be cool to check out again later.

Family Day Coffee Date at Box Car Social and a Walk in the Park - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca

We really enjoyed our time there, and I’d definitely recommend it!

Family Day Coffee Date at Box Car Social and a Walk in the Park - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca

We’re a Blundstone family.

Family Day Coffee Date at Box Car Social and a Walk in the Park - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca

Family Day Coffee Date at Box Car Social and a Walk in the Park - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca

My friend LJ nominated me for a #stopdropandyoga, so I figured I’d do a dancer pose on this tree trunk. That was silly, it was pretty steep and I was terrified I’d fall over!

Family Day Coffee Date at Box Car Social and a Walk in the Park - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca

I set up the camera for a Family Day picture.

Black Cat Espresso Bar – Saturday Afternoon Coffee Date

Black Cat Espresso Bar - Saturday Afternoon Coffee Date - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
Today after my shift at the gym Nic and I took the subway and then the streetcar to Black Cat Espresso Bar. I’ve seen their name pop up several times when searching for coffeeshops in Toronto, so I decided today was the day. They’re at Dufferin and College and have quite a few tables. 
Check out this BlogTO post where I discovered the coffeeshop! 
Black Cat Espresso Bar - Saturday Afternoon Coffee Date - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

I compare my coffeeshops by their chai lattes. The froth and milk in this was perfect, but I usually like my chais to be a little spicier. Nic really liked his cappuccino, and we were interested to see that it came in that glass instead of a mug! Our barista was super nice, and there’s obviously a lot of connection with regulars in the neighbourhood.

I enjoyed working on my crossword as well as reading my books. It was a beautiful afternoon!

Black Cat Espresso Bar - Saturday Afternoon Coffee Date - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Black Cat Espresso Bar - Saturday Afternoon Coffee Date - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Black Cat Espresso Bar - Saturday Afternoon Coffee Date - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

My favourite shot Nic took of me was the cheekiest-it was actually more of a selfie for him in the mirror!

The Black Cat is adorable, and I’d love to go back at night when it becomes a bar!

Things to do in Toronto: Free Wednesdays at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Things to do in Toronto: Free Wednesdays at the Art Gallery of Ontario - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

This past Wednesday, Nic and I went to the Art Gallery of Ontario for a fun date to celebrate 7 months of marriage. Wednesdays from 6-9 the Gallery is free. (That is something I miss about Ottawa- all museums and galleries are free Thursday evenings, whereas the ROM here is only slightly cheaper on Friday nights.)

Things to do in Toronto: Free Wednesdays at the Art Gallery of Ontario - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Things to do in Toronto: Free Wednesdays at the Art Gallery of Ontario - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Things to do in Toronto: Free Wednesdays at the Art Gallery of Ontario - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

This was a really cool display: Benjamin Cheverton created this reduction machine to copy larger sculptures into smaller ones.

Things to do in Toronto: Free Wednesdays at the Art Gallery of Ontario - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Things to do in Toronto: Free Wednesdays at the Art Gallery of Ontario - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Things to do in Toronto: Free Wednesdays at the Art Gallery of Ontario - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Things to do in Toronto: Free Wednesdays at the Art Gallery of Ontario - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Dinner at the Sea Witch – 2 months of marriage!

On Thursday, we’ve been married for 2 months! Friday night after a long week, we decided to go out for dinner to celebrate. We’ve walked by the Sea Witch dozens of times, and always wanted to go in, so we did. Plus, we’re obsessed with fish and chips. 
Mirror selfies

 We have matching prescription Ray-bans, and love to wear them inside. Just kidding. But we are those people now.

I regretted wearing the heels (I’ve been in loafers or my cross-trainers all week) since I’m not used to heels anymore. The restaurant may be super close to our apartment, but it was still a slow process walking there!

Their awesome mural

Purple top: LOFT
Black jeans: Forever21 (they were $10!)
Strappy heels: JustFab.ca

YUMMMM

 I got a cod sandwich (pickled onions and tartar sauce), Nic got cod, and we shared the fries and coleslaw. It was delicious. Seriously. Best fish and chips I’ve had outside of the Maritimes. Definitely too much food even though I had done two workouts for job training.

My hubby’s cute 😉
The restaurant is really cool, it’s an art deco place with lots of fishing inspired art. We sat at a large table in the middle with a few other couples. They have really fast turnover, and you can order food for pickup. We’re definitely looking forward to going there again!
Always gotta find the sunset.