I ❤ Fall Tag - JanessaMann.Com

I ❤ Fall Tag

I ❤ Fall Tag - JanessaMann.Com

Yes, I know I haven’t posted since I started grad school. Sorry about that! I’m hoping that now that I’ve been in school for almost two months I’ve figured out scheduling, so I’ll be able to post once or twice a week here! I figured I would start back off with some fall inspiration, and soon I’ll get to posting about our new apartment and all the things we’ve been doing since moving back to Ottawa!

I ❤ Fall Tag - JanessaMann.Com

1. Favourite fall lip product

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick #124 “Bordeaux”, Clinique Chubby stick intense #08 “Grandest Grape”, NARS “Funny Face”, and MAC #A74 “Kinda Sexy”

2. Favourite fall nail polishes

Essie “Wicked” and Sally Hansen Hard as Nails #120 “Bad to the Bone”

I ❤ Fall Tag - JanessaMann.Com

 

3. Favourite Starbucks fall drink

(Non-fat, no-whip) pumpkin spice latte, but really all I want is a tea latte. Probably a nice, spicy chai, or a London Fog.

I ❤ Fall Tag - JanessaMann.Com
Pumpkin candle from DW Home

4. Favourite fall candle

Anything pumpkin and spicy

5. Favourite fall scarf or accessory

Last fall I bought this awesome reversible blanket scarf from the Bay. It was a promotion during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and supposedly some of the money went towards research. I had been looking for the perfect size, pattern, and warmth, and this fit the list. It was even 100% manufactured fabric, so no wool to give me hives! I love to wear it open, or wrapped all around me. This weekend on the Greyhound I used it as a blanket. Perfect.

6. Haunted house, haunted hay ride, or haunted corn maze?

I had really wished we would have had time to go to Saunders Farm outside of Ottawa this October, but I’m busy every weekend, and we don’t have a car to drive out there. In high school it was always lots of fun, because you get to go around being scared by people, go on the hayride, watching their satirical play, and drinking hot apple cider. My least favourite parts were the haunted houses.

7. Favourite Halloween movie?

I definitely don’t watch scary movies, but if I was going to watch something creepy and fun, it’d be something along the lines of “Hot Fuzz.”

I ❤ Fall Tag - JanessaMann.Com
Pumpkin cream cheese pop tarts

8. Favourite treat?

If I’m not going for pumpkin or apple pie, it would have to be these amazing pop tarts I made for one time we hosted friends!

9. Favourite fall activities

We all know how much I love to hike, so obviously that’s my favourite. I also love baking lots of fall things, celebrating Thanksgiving with friends and family, and carving pumpkins!

 

2 Terms of Grad School in - JanessaMann.Com

July Favourites

July Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

July was probably my favourite month of 2016 because I had such an awesome time. We got to go camping, to the cottage, back to Ottawa, we found our apartment in Ottawa, and I discovered some fun new things.

I started using my journal way more frequently, as a quasi-bullet journal. Technically those are also your agenda, but I want to keep my beautiful new Moleskine (yes, back in a Moleskine, my Ban.Do was wayyy too huge to take in my bag for grad school) as an agenda. In a few weeks I’ll probably post specifics about my bullet journaling, but for now, I use my journal as a habit tracker (that colourful page shown there with the graph-certain tasks I want to be encouraged to do), my editorial calendar for blogging and Instagram, monthly goals, money tracker, my daily gratitude notes (which is technically just a regular journal entry), and fun things like Passion Themed Life’s doodle challenge. I coordinate between my journal and agenda with a new colour for each day to track completed tasks.

Sally Hansen “No Hard Feelings” is my newest favourite nail polish colour. I found it at Dollarama, so obviously got it for super cheap. Yes.

July Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

Obviously one of my July favourites has to be the time Nic and I spent at the cottage. I hadn’t been since the September long weekend, so that was pretty hard on me. We had a wonderful time, and I can’t wait until August when we’re going back again!

July Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

I love Stiegl radlers- they’re so refreshing in the summer.

There’s a super cool documentary on Netflix-“Fittest on Earth,” which is about the 2015 Reebok Crossfit Games. Nic and I loved watching the movie, and then got obsessed with watching all the lead-up to the 2016 games, and then streamed the games last weekend on YouTube. I’ve never been interested in doing a crossfit workout, but the Games are insane. Those athletes are so talented! Check out their youtube channel and cheer along the athletes!

July Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

Obviously I’m obsessed with my thrifted Tevas. Or, rather, someone lost them at camp 4 years ago and never claimed them, so I took them. I do have to reapply glue between the layers to keep them functional, but I feel so old-school hippie with them on.

Nic and I leased our apartment in Ottawa! I’m pretty stoked! It’s a two bedroom, so we’ll have space to host people, have an office, and a fitness room. Can’t wait to share our new place with you!

July Favourites - JanessaMann.Com
Follow the beaver!

We also had a great weekend camping at Silent Lake Provincial Park with my family.

June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

June Favourites

June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

June was a really awesome month! I had lots of shifts at work so that’ll help save up for a first payment for an apartment, we got to see family, we had our first wedding anniversary, and we went to the beach a bunch.

Aloe gel – I got a really, really bad burn when we went to the Toronto Islands for our annivesary. I used up our entire aloe plant easing the pain, so Nic went and bought the Life brand aloe gel from Shoppers. Ahhhh.

Washi tape – yes, my washi tape is from Dollarama, but it still works. I bought a few more rolls so I can coordinate my journal/bullet “agenda” with pages for blogging, favourites, my habit tracker, and goals. I made little tabs on each page that I wante to be able to flip to quickly.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm – still my favourite nude lip. It’s subtle enough that I can wear it while I work at the gym, but can be fancy with a smokey eye.

bareMinerals marvelous Moxie in Rebel – beautiful pink, not too sticky

Lush Aromaco deodorant – Yes, it’s that white chunk in the middle of the picture. I’ve been using this one for years. I love the smell of the patchouli, and unless I’m doing a hard workout, the scent covers any bad smells.

MUJI Moisturizing Milk – I mentioned this in my most recent skincare post. I love how gentle this is and how well it works with the MUJI cleansing oil.

June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

Our first anniversary date at Byblos – amaaazing Mediterranean food and drinks.

June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

I have absolutely loved my waterproof tablet pouch which I put on my KOBO. I bought it last year and have used it while reading at the dock, at the Atlantic ocean, at the beach… Just be careful you don’t leave it in there for too long if it’s super hot out, or the KOBO will overheat. Oops.

[Phone version]

June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

I had lots of fun building a sandcastle last week. I’ve also loved wearing tons and tons of rings.

June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

I love my new bikini from La Vie En Rose. It’s a push-up, which is crazy (cleavage in a bathing suit?!) but I love the strap detailing.

Beach Essentials!

 

Beach Essentials - JanessaMann.Com

Is anyone shocked that I over-pack for the beach? Nope. You never know what you might need!

What I Read in May #whatjanessareads - JanessaMann.Com
Gotta have snacks!

My number one is obviously snacks. Our friends always love to have fresh watermelon at the beach. Chop it up into cubes so everyone can share! Nic and I also love to buy dried mango strips from Dollarama. Other good greats are chips, granola bars (make sure your cooler stays cold so it doesn’t melt) and a can of pop-or a radler. No one in Toronto seems to care if you drink on the beach, it’s pretty funny.

Beach Essentials - JanessaMann.Com

Sun protection: hat, sunscreen, sarong, sunglasses

Entertainment: phone, KOBO, magazines

Anything else: towel (if you’re smart, get one of those straw mats from the dollar store so you don’t get sand on your towel), bathing suit, water bottle, and I love my waterproof pouches for my phone and KOBO

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What do you need at the beach?

Beach Essentials - JanessaMann.Com`

We’ve loved being so relatively close to Woodbine Beach in Toronto, so beach trips are super easy with our friends 🙂

Beach Essentials - JanessaMann.Com

Summer To-Do List

 

Happy Doughnut Day! Gloryhole Doughnuts in Toronto - JanessaMann.Com

Last week we got to go to Gloryhole Doughnuts, and we want to continue to check out all the cool coffeeshops in Toronto, because there are SOOO many.

On the topic of desserts, we’ll keep on checking out other ice cream and specialty dessert places. Keep your eyes peeled for a gelato trip or two!

Beach Day at Woodbine Park - JanessaMann.Com

Woodbine Beach is very easy for us to get to (though a little long, since it’s an hour by subway and streetcar) so we like to go as much as we can. It’s also pretty easy for our out-of-town friends to drive in to see us.

We also are planning on going to the Toronto Island for a beach trip for our anniversary. I’ve never been, so I’m excited to see what it’s like!

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Fully decked nachos at Hey Lucy

Continue to visit more patios and try out all the local alcohol. I recently discovered Brickworks Cider, and their 401 cider is delish!

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Bike rides along the lakeshore and elsewhere (once my brakes are fixed, of course).

We’ll also bike out to High Park again to enjoy Shakespeare in High Park, which was a lot of fun last year. They’re putting on Hamlet! Pay what you can, check it out and bring some wine and cheese!

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More camping with friends, and finally going rockclimbing outside! Last year my back’s health wasn’t the best, so I didn’t feel comfortable doing it. This year? I’m in.

Also, lots of hiking if possible (though I do work weekends).

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Spending time at the cottage! We’re definitely going to be there for a couple days in July, and hopefully once we’ve moved back to Ottawa in August. I miss that place so much.

Happy Doughnut Day! Gloryhole Doughnuts in Toronto - JanessaMann.Com

Check out random stores – we went to the Toronto Designer’s Market and lots of antique stores last week. It’s super cool to see all the stuff there.

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Celebrate our first anniversary!!!!!!!!

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.

 

Wedding Wednesdays: What You Should and Shouldn’t Register For

What To Register For: What You Do and Don't Need - JanessaMann.Com

For 9 months leading up to my wedding, I worked full-time as the main customer service person at the nearest Bed Bath & Beyond to me. No, it wasn’t a great job, related to my field, or particularly fulfilling, but I did learn a lot about how to set up your home.

People will tell you tons of things about what you need, pressure you into certain brands or gifts you’ll never use, and make you get ridiculously priced items. Depending what you ask for, you won’t get much of it. Registries are a pretty conventional wedding thing, so some people are trying to step away from it. However, it’s really helpful for guests to know where to go for things you will actually use-it saves headaches, and is less up-front than “please give us cash.”

Here is a standard checklist from TheKnot.com, which as some great references, but there are some pitfalls.

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1) Items you already have

If you’ve been living on your own or together for a while, you probably already have lots of these things. You have two routes: request replacements/upgrades of your current stuff, or stick with what you have and save gift requests for things you wouldn’t/couldn’t buy on your own.

For instance, my brother and sister-in-law had a terrible toaster that burned the toast all the time since it was like 20 years old. They registered for a new one. However, their microwave was fine. Why bother asking for another one?

2) Things you don’t want

Sometimes your parents, in-laws, or someone else will try to pressure you into requesting gifts that you don’t foresee yourself using. Stay strong. If it’s a gift they really want to give you, compromise is fine. If it’s something they think you need, but wont’ get you, why do they want you to get it? It’s just a waste of someone else’s money.

Nic and I did our registry at my store, and the whole time my managers were pressuring me into registering for china. They figured I would regret not asking for it, and that the IKEA set we wanted would not cut it. To get them off our back, we put it on the registry. Later that night I logged in and deleted it all. I have half of the Royal Dalton Old Country Rose set, and Nic doesn’t like it. Why would I bother getting more or another set? My plan for the long run is to mix in nicer pieces with the IKEA ones, which fits our current lifestyle.

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3) Things you don’t need

I will admit that a KitchenAid standmixer was the first thing on my list, and I was super pumped when I found out that my Dad’s family bought ours for us! No, they’re not necessary. Have I loved it completely? Yup. But you don’t need one.

If you’ve never  made juice in a Magic Bullet, you don’t need a juicer. Neither of you bake? You don’t need very much baking stuff.

As greedy as it sounds, the registry should be things that you really want. Don’t fill up a registry of things people are buying for you with things you don’t actually want. Some guests might remember what they got you, and when they visit, will be happy to see you’re using the item on a regular basis.

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4) Consider different routes

Nic and I needed towels, sheets, some cooking stuff, so we registered at Bed Bath & Beyond. However, we also registered on ehoneymoonregistry.com and MyRegistry.com.

Honeymoon registries are super cool: if you’re planning a honeymoon, you can get some of your activities paid for! Our camping in Cape Breton was covered, we got money for dinners and ice cream breaks, and whale watching. Writing those thank you cards were so much fun, because we had such a great time doing it all. Honeymoon registries are even more helpful for couples who already have all their home stuff, and don’t want to just get cash.

We used MyRegistry because we wanted a universal registry where we could put our camping supplies from MEC, various items from IKEA, and our Nikon DSLR fund. If you don’t have a specific store you want many things from, this is super helpful, and makes sure gifts aren’t doubled. Are you super into rock-climbing and want some more gear for the two of you? That’s your time, and guests love to give gifts they know you’ll really enjoy. Like to go to art galleries? Request year memberships to places on your universal registry. The sky is the limit.

5) Gift budgets

If you only have gifts above $100, you’d better hope all your guests are rich. For the rest of us normal people, you need to have a variety of budgets so that no one is uncomfortable.

Once I knew some ladies from my church were throwing me a bridal shower, I added some cheaper baking supplies that were $5-20 so people could choose whatever they were comfortable spending. For most of my friends, we all spent an average of $50 per person, so we had a bunch of gifts that were around that range. Relatives who could spend more chose the pricier items (standmixer, towel sets, sheet sets).

Don’t be like many of my friends who requested super expensive dishes, got maybe 2 dinner plates, one soup bowl, and no cutlery. If you request only expensive things, your guests won’t be able to buy them for you unless they all go in together. And you’ll be stuck eating on your old dishes. Giving wedding gifts should be a fun process for the guests-it’s always exciting (for me at least) to look at what they’re asking for, and see if I can top up the gift with something special (gift receipt included, of course).

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Resources:

It comes down to being considerate of your guests’ budgets, what will help you and your partner set up your home together, and what the two of you find important in your lives. Make sure to write in a spreadsheet what gifts you got from whom so you can write a thank you card or email-one of the wedding traditions that I hold firm to!