Saturday, 22 October 2016
Dan and I went to Ottawa, Canada's capital, over the thanksgiving weekend. It was a much-needed break and we were so happy to get away as we hadn't been on vacation yet this year. We had wanted to go to Ottawa for a while and we had heard that the fall colours there are absolutely beautiful...THEY ARE! I (yes me) put together a list of the things to do there, along with some restaurants and breakfast places.
We stayed in the Byward Market area of Ottawa and it was beautiful. We arrived late on the Friday evening so walked around the market on Saturday. Walking around the market is really nice as there is a lot to see! I love all of the colourful squash and pumpkins that they sell! Check out the GIANT pumpkin! Dan had some curry from Shafali Indian and it was really good (I may have snuck a few bites). There are also loads of bakeries, as well as restaurants, in and near the market. Talking of restaurants...
Dan and I LOVE BBQ food. We drool whenever we watch Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and they are at a smokehouse in the Southern States. We saw Fatboys Southern Smokehouse on Tripadvisor and decided to go there for dinner. I really liked the atmosphere of the restaurant. I actually felt like I was somewhere in the Southern US. We ordered a sharing platter that came with; pulled pork, brisket, bbq chicken & ribs. We also got a side of mac & cheese, greens, and cornbread. The food was delicious and I left with a food-baby that made me look at least 7 months along.
One of the most beautiful things about Ottawa in the fall is the colour of the leaves! They are so beautiful. We headed to Major's Hill Park for a walk and I was in my element as there were LOADS of maple trees. I made a joke to Dan before we came here about being in Canada for a year & a half and still not seeing a maple leaf...but it was true! We don't seem to have any maple trees in Calgary, at least I haven't seen any! I couldn't believe the size of some of the leaves so of course, I had to hold it in front of my face.
After Major's Hill Park, we walked down to Parliament Hill. It was beautiful and reminded me of London's parliament. There is a lot about Ottawa that reminds me of the UK. We didn't have a chance to do a tour because the queues were really long...I guess that's what happens when tickets are free!
One of the really cool things about Ottawa is that Quebec is just over the border, it isn't far at all. We drove over to Gatineau Park which is known for being beautiful in Autumn and it was! The colours were like nothing I had ever seen before. Back in Scotland, the leaves turn brown and then go to mush. These leaves were all different shades of red and orange.
We had a really great time in Ottawa and would definitely return!
Have you been to Ottawa? What is your favourite thing about there?
Wednesday, 5 October 2016
I recently went along to the new PopBar location at CrossIron Mills. This is the first location in Calgary and the second in Alberta. With locations all across the USA, Japan, Indonesia and South Korea, hopefully, there are much more Canadian locations to come!
What is Popbar?
Popbar is an awesome gelato stand that you may see popping up in malls near you. They proudly source only natural ingredients for their bars and the products are freshly made in the PopLab right on location! Another great thing? The products are gluten free and kosher certified.
There are different kinds of bars to try;
Popgelato: this bar offers a traditional style of Italian gelato
PopSorbettos: dairy free and made with 100% real fruit on location
YogurtPops: the smooth yogurt based bars
All of the bars contain no artificial colouring and are preservative free.
The super fun part
So, Popbar is not like going to a regular gelato place, it is so much more. They have a wide variety of flavours that rotate. The basic flavours for the gelato are; banana, chocolate, coconut, coffee, hazelnut, mint, peanut butter, pistachio and vanilla. For the sorbetto, the flavours are; lemon, mango, mixed berry, orange, peach, pineapple and strawberry. For Autumn, they even have a pumpkin pie flavour! You can see the full range of flavours here.
You can also customise your PopBar with toppings, which is there is also a large selection of. Some of the toppings and dips available are; almonds, hazelnut, pistachio, caramel corn, dark chocolate and white chocolate.
What I had
I couldn't go to PopBar and just try one item...so I had two. I started off with the hazelnut gelato, half dipped in dark chocolate with pistachio topping. Biting into the hazelnut gelato with the dark chocolate was like eating Nutella. It was rich, creamy and delicious. The pistachio was a great finishing touch and I enjoyed the extra crunch. After trying a gelato, I had a sorbetto. I went with the blood-orange, drizzled with white chocolate. Wow. The flavours were amazing. It was so fresh and zingy. Perfect for a summer's day. The blood-orange was my favourite out of the two. It felt hydrating and was so simple yet delicious.
Have you tried PopBar yet?
Saturday, 13 August 2016
I am not going to lie, I am pretty lazy when it comes to moisturising my feet. I want a quick fix and don't want to be waiting for the moisturiser to fully absorb before I can put my shoes on or get into bed. When I was sent some Footlogix Mousse to try, I thought it seemed right up my street!
About Footlogix Mousse
Ingredients and benefits
- 10% urea which locks moisture into the skin
- 1% dimethicone, which acts as a skin protectant
- Absorbed immediately and leaves no greasy residue
- Fragrance free
- Allows the skin to breathe: the soothing airy mousse formula mimics the skin's own composition and doesn't block pores.
- Infuses essential moisturising and active nourishing ingredients for absorption deep into the layers of the skin.
- Gently, naturally, exfoliates and hydrates the skin's surface.
- Increases elasticity, enabling the skin to become soft and supple.
- Non-greasy, so socks can be worn immediately after application.
- Does not wash off or soak into clothing.
- Easy to apply and is rapidly absorbed.
Before I started using Footlogix Mousse, I was using an organic foot moisturiser. It was fine, not my favourite. It was a runny consistency and took ages to absorb which meant I was less inclined to use it. Instead of using it twice a day, I would only use it at night before bed and then throw some socks on to stop the product going on my sheets. So when I received and read about Footlogix Mousse, it sounded like a breath of fresh air. The claims sounded almost too good to be true so there was only one way to find out!
I have been using the mousse twice a day, for at least 3 weeks now. I stopped using my old moisturiser for a few days before I started using the Footlogix product to really get an idea of how much it works.
The first thing I noticed about the product is the texture. As clearly stated in the name, it is a mousse. At first, when I pumped some out, I looked at it and wondered how it was going to moisturise my dry feet. It has such a light and airy consistency that I almost didn't believe it would do anything. Anyway, I rubbed it into my heels, soles and in between my toes. It is safe to say that with this product a little goes a long way!
After using this product for the past few weeks, there is definitely a noticeable change in the skin on my feet. It is supple, looks plump and isn't cracked anymore. This product really makes a difference on the dried out skin, something I battle with in Calgary. I will say that it is a product that you have to use consistently, as I took a day or two off and my started to dry out again but as soon as I started it up again, my feet were silky soft.
Now for the claims of the fast absorption. This is definitely something that is true about the product. In the morning I apply this after I have showered and at night before I jump into bed - both times when I don't want to sit around waiting for the moisturiser to sink in. With the Footlogix Mousse, I don't have to do that. It honestly is absorbed straight away.
A few days into using the Footlogix Mousse, Dan asked me if I had used a foot lotion as there was residue left on our bathroom tiles. Now that surprised me as the leaflet for the product claims that no greasy residue is left! Since this is the only product that I use on my feet, there can't be anything else that left the residue on the floor. It doesn't bother me too much and won't put me off using the product. I just throw some socks on straight after applying!
I really love this product from Footlogix Medical and recommend it if you suffer from dry skin on your feet. It is also worth mentioning, that Footlogix is a proud supporter of the Canadian Diabetes Association. If you are suffering from dry feet due to diabetes, definitely give this product a try!
Have you tried Footlogix Mousse? What do you think of it?
Thursday, 11 August 2016
Anxiety is a funny thing, not in a 'ha-ha' way, but in the weird way that it can just creep up on you without any warning. When I say anxiety, I am not talking about the general feeling of being 'anxious.' I mean full blown panic attack anxiety. There is a huge difference between the emotion of feeling anxious and actual anxiety.
I first suffered from a panic attack when I was around 12. I was in Marks and Spencers with my mum and all of a sudden I felt really hot, my heart was racing and I couldn't breathe properly. So I sat down and that was that. I guess not much more was thought of it. Looking back, though, I have always shown signs of anxiety. I was (and still am) a complete hypochondriac as a child. You know Vaida from 'My Girl'? I was basically her.
In Aberdeen, I suffered a little from panic attacks but it didn't happen all that often. They did get really bad last year when I moved to Canada with Dan. There was so much going on; I was in a new country, we had to get everything in order for my PR application, I couldn't work for the first few months which meant it was hard for me to meet people. My anxiety went through the roof. I would have panic attacks at the cinema, in the mall, on the train, at home and most of the time, I didn't know why. I just knew that my anxiety was really bad. A year on and it all makes much more sense. I don't cope well with new things and stress and my brain basically went into overdrive. It decided I wasn't going through enough so decided to throw some panic attacks in there too!
Anyway, recently I got talking to another blogger who has been suffering from panic attacks and shared some tips of mine with her, and I thought I would share them on here too.
I spoke to Dan about my anxiety and how it made me feel, and also just how it could be triggered for no apparent reason. He was great, and tried to understand as much as he could, he was also really patient but I do know that it is hard for someone who doesn't suffer from anxiety to fully understand it themselves. One of his friends has also suffered from anxiety so I spoke to him about it. It was great to talk to someone who actually understood how I felt and understood that feeling of sheer panic that can happen.
I have never really been a Podcast person but last year I discovered some great ones while I was feeling anxious.
The Anxiety Guru Show: A great podcast by the writer, Paul Dooley. This was my go-to Podcast last year. It covers all things anxiety, from making you realise you aren't alone with anxiety and how to manage anxiety. He actually also has a great article about heart palpitations on his website. This was a new symptom that I suffered last year with my anxiety and it was so scary and made me panic even more. It was a vicious circle.
Michael Hyatt: Michael doesn't talk about anxiety but his niche is more about managing time, something that can cause anxiety with me. It's a mixture of work-life, home-life and even how to manage blogging.
So...you know that little voice in your head that eggs on your anxiety? I have a book that will help with that. I only read it this year and it was fantastic. I got it because I was having panic attacks during driving lessons...not ideal. It was recommended to me by so many people, my mum included! The book is called 'The Chimp Paradox' and is about that annoying 'little voice' in your head and how to manage it. I would recommend that everyone reads this, even if you don't have anxiety.
The next book isn't anxiety focussed but I think it is brilliant. It is called 'The Confidence Gap.' Personally, this does help me as my anxiety tends to rear its ugly head if I am not feeling confident about something.
I have this weird thing where if I am in public and my anxiety/panic attack is kicking in and I can't remove myself from the situation (on the train) then I will put my earphones on and turn them up really loud, and I will focus on that and it helps to distract me.
Spotify: Probably my most used app. I LOVE it. I have a few playlists that I will listen to when I need to relax. Relax 1. Relax 2.
Headspace: An absolutely fantastic app for mindfulness and meditation.
Calm: Another meditation app. It also has relaxing sounds that help (rainfall, birds etc).
I cannot stress it enough. Exercising regularly has helped sooo much with my anxiety! Those endorphins really do make a difference. If you are going to start exercising, make sure it is something that you will actually enjoy. I LOVE going to Barre and always want to go!
I hope you have found some of these tips helpful. If you suffer from anxiety, what do you find helps you?