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!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

August Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

August Favourites

Is it better late than never? Not so sure when it comes to favourites posts. Oh well, I need a break from doing my readings. As you probably know, Nic and I moved back to Ottawa August 31st, and spent the past week setting up our new home. I can’t wait to show you pictures of our new place once it’s properly decorated. We’ve still got lots of things on the ground, but the most important things are done. August was a really awesome month-I didn’t work much (which was problematic for our bank accounts) but that also meant we got to visit our parents in Ottawa, go to the cottage, go camping, and go on a canoe trip to Killarney Provincial Park.

August Favourites - JanessaMann.Com
Killarney Canoe Trip – Heading to lunch on Norway Lake

No one is surprised that Killarney was one of my favourites. I had such a fun time, and can’t wait to go on another canoe trip, maybe Temagami next!

August Favourites - JanessaMann.Com
Drake Hotel

Toronto is famous for brunch, and I’m sad to say the only time we went for brunch was our last weekend there, but the Drake Hotel was worth the wait.

August Favourites - JanessaMann.Com
Yoga Mat Spray turns to… facial setting spray?

One of my friends who is a makeup artist and only uses cruelty-free and vegan products, suggested using water and essential oils for a makeup setting spray. I turned to my yoga mat spray, and it was definitely refreshing this month on days where it was 30 degrees out.

August Favourites - JanessaMann.Com
Super cool Nalgene

I haven’t had a Nalgene water bottle in years, so I was pretty excited to get this one. It has a mountain lion on it!

Maddy, Alina, and I lived together in my fourth year. Maddy is getting married next week, so the three of us went out for dessert at Cacao70 to celebrate. If you have one in your scity, you HAVE to go. AMAZING.

Shakespeare in High Park - JanessaMann.Com

Shakespeare in High Park – All’s Well That Ends Well

Shakespeare in High Park - JanessaMann.Com

Every summer Canadian Stage puts on a tragedy and a comedy at their amphitheater in High Park. Admission is pay-what-you-can, and you settle in to the stone and grass seats with your picnic blanket, some extra padding (your butt gets a little sore!), and lots of delicious food. We went last summer to see “A Comedy of Errors,” so I was excited to go again this year. Last night we watched “All’s Well that Ends Well,” and later on in the summer we’ll head back to watch “Hamlet.”

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Always gotta have a delicious spread of bread, cheese, olives, wine, fruits and veggies.

“All’s Well That Ends Well” was a good time. There were a couple moments where the audience was definitely uncomfortable (which I’m sure they meant on purpose, to disrupt the norm), but lots of hilarious parts, too. Like the King of France had his own theme song, and drunk Bertram trying to woo Diana.

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.

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!!!!!!!!