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!

May Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

May Favourites

May Favourites - JanessaMann.Com
Product Favourites

This month I didn’t have too many new product favourites, but I will share with you the wonderful things I did love.

Aromaforce Lavender Essential Oils – In the fall I bought an essential oil diffuser because I had read that lavender can help with insomnia.

Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash pink grapefruit – So necessary when you work out a lot, super helpful for bacne. The biggest issue with working out.

Marc Anthony Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco 3 day smooth – I don’t do much to my hair, but when I do blow-dry it I like to use a smoothing cream so it looks nice. This argan oil cream makes my hair super smooth and beautiful when I apply it before blow-drying. However, it doesn’t do much if you just put it in and then let it airdry.

Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Medicated Gel for Acne – Tiny, expensive tube, but cleared up the bacne I had really quickly in time for the wedding I went to recently. I’ll probably keep it on hand for when I have a bad breakout, but for cost effectiveness I’ll just use tea tree oil every day.

Squish Strawberry Rhubarb – I discovered Squish in the fall, and love their candy. They’re based in Montreal and are gluten-free, use real fruit extracts, no artificial colours, no-GMOs, and are fat-free. These are perfect to make me feel like I have a strawberry rhubarb pie with me right now.

Lush Aromaco patchouli deodorant – I’ve used this deodorant for years. I love the smell of patchouli, and unless I’m working out and going somewhere afterward, this is strong enough to block out any B.O. I keep mine in a small plastic container to keep in the moisture, and one $5 block can last me for a whole year.

May Favourites - JanessaMann.Com
Our herb garden

Check out what’s in our herb garden!

On Saturday, Nic and I got to check out an Olympic Lifting class, run by his friend Winston, at CrossFitYKV. It was a lot of fun learning snatches and cleans, and I look forward to incorporating some more of those movements into my powerlifting routine. At the end of the main workout, Winston said, “let’s do accessory work now.” For Olympic lifters, their accessory work is squats and deadlifts. That’s my main as a powerlifter. I squatted less than I normally would, but Nic and I were definitely sore on Sunday. I’d definitely recommend that gym, it’s BEAUTIFUL.

 

Our Kitchen Herb Garden

Kitchen Herb Garden

What’s better than fresh herbs for your cooking? Not much. Nic and I picked up some more potting soil, a window planter, and four herbs to plant for our use this summer.

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This is an adorable and perfect size for our kitchen window. We had thought about putting it outside in a real window box, but Nic pointed out we wouldn’t use it much then. You have to go around outside the building, unlock the gate to the alley, and then get what you need. We decided to use the windowsill instead, which will be much more convenient, and we get to enjoy the scents more!

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We got basil, mint, lavendar, and parsley. This is going to be a great summer! I already used the mint last night for some fresh tea with honey.

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Want some gardening resources?

  • You Grow Girl with Gayla Trail – I have her book by that name, and she also has an Instagram which documents her urban organic gardening in Toronto
  • My Pinterest plants board
  • Grow It – helps you determine which plants will do best in your area, and crowd-source answers to your gardening questions
  •  Inhabitat Herb Garden Infographic – lots of info on when in the year to grow, how to propagate, etc.
  • Homegrown Remedies” Anne McIntyre – includes recipes and tips on what to grow together

 

Rainy Sunday Walk

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This past Sunday I had a terrible migraine. Since sleeping and Advil wasn’t helping, we decided to go for a walk in the rain. It ended up being exaclty what I needed, and we checked out Creeds Coffee Bar along the way.

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For May I am taking part in #mayibeginyoga2016, hosted by @kinoyoga and @beachyogagirl, for a chance to win gift cards to their yoga apparel companies!

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Rainy Sunday Walk - JanessaMann.ComRainy Sunday Walk - JanessaMann.Com

Rainy Sunday Walk - JanessaMann.Com
Creeds Coffee Bar

I accidentally took the picture of our drinks on the wrong setting, so it’s just black. Really? C’mon, camera, how can you not automatically say “I know that’s the wrong setting, let me fix that for you.” Oh, that’s Auto. Oops.

Anyway, my chai latte was delicious, and Nic liked his cappucino.

Our window gardens – apartment living

Nic and I really like plants and greenery around the home. He’s a little better with keeping them alive than I am, so that’s nice. Over the years I have killed cacti, a beloved venus fly trap, lots of different herbs, and who knows what else. With Nic’s help, hopefully I’ll keep my wonderful plants alive a little longer than a season.

Ferocactus

I bought this cactus back in the spring from IKEA, and spent hours scouring the internet to find out what kind it was, so I would know how to take care of it. Eventually, I discovered what I didn’t know for my previous cactus: water once a month. Whoops.

Bir’ds Nest Fern and Norfolk Island Pine

In our wedding ceremony, Nic and I wanted to have a unity tree to symbolize our marriage. We had our parents bring soil and water from our childhood homes and then we “planted” the tree. (I have that in quotations because I was wearing a white dress obviously, and didn’t want to get that dirty.) We chose this type because we won’t have a house with a yard for the forseeable future, so we needed something that could survive inside in a pot. Nic’s dad, who is a gardener, suggested the Norfolk. It’s definitely an interesting shape, and I like it.

Bird’s nest fern

A few weeks after moving to Toronto I found this fern at Metro for pretty cheap. It’s supposed to freshen up your air, but I really bought it because it looks really cool.

English Ivy

Nic and I share a love for ivy, so one day at a market buying corn, I impulse-bought this English Ivy. At the top of the window is a nail, so I decided to make a “macrame” hanger for the plant. I found lots of tutorials on the internet, but for my first time I used twine from Dollarama and this one from My Little Sunshine House.  Remember that when watering it, you should put it in the sink. We have cupboards above the sink, so the loop on the plant hanger fits perfectly on the knob so that all the extra water goes into the sink.

Nic’s palm tree
My Jade plant

 I love jade plants, and I’m not sure where that obsession came from. Yet again, I made an impulse purchase at Home Depot in the spring, hoping that having more greenery than my sharp cactus, would help with my depression. It defintely did. The beautiful pot is from IKEA.

The left side

I have no idea what kind of vine that is on the left, and since moving a couple times, Nic has lost the tag. Oops.

Nic was given a clipping of a jade plant from our friends Maddie and Alina, and it’s interesting to compare our two plants.

He also has grown this avocado plant from a pit starting sometime last fall. It’ll be another 6-7 years before we find out if it will grow any avocados, but it’s so cool to watch plants actually do their stuff.

That aloe plant is from IKEA, the short growths were used on Nic when he got a sunburn in July!

What’s next?
We’ve been growing some green onions from the roots, and used the first batch yesterday. We will probably continue with growing food from scraps, both because it’s cool science, and because produce is expensive.
On the same note, I’ve been hunting for a mint plant for our kitchen garden, but that hasn’t worked out. We might end up just growing some herbs from seeds (is that what you do? lol).
We also love succulents, and sinceo our hens and chicks from the wedding centrepieces didn’t propagate well, we’ll probably try another one.