Anxiety and the fitness studio: How I pushed through The Dailey Method’s 30-day challenge and not only didn’t die, but came out stronger

Anxiety and the fitness studio: How I pushed through The Dailey Method’s 30-day challenge and not only didn’t die, but came out stronger

I don’t talk about it much because I’m afraid how people react and worry that no one will want to be around me if they know, but I struggle with anxiety a lot, particularly social anxiety. (I’m still not sure I’m going to actually put this out there but if you’re reading this, well I guess I have.) And it’s not just new people and large groups that freak me out (‘tho they do) but even the prospect of getting together with a girlfriend I’ve known for years. I worry that I’m not smart enough, funny enough, interesting enough, thin enough (!) — just enough, period. I avoid more things than I try and fret obsessively in the lead-up to the things I’ve said yes to, and then overanalyze every little perceived misstep afterwards. (If I haven’t cancelled at the last minute. Which brings its own set of worries.) It’s exhausting. And isolating. I’m telling you all this because I know there’s got to be someone reading this post who can relate, someone who feels crippled by anxiety like I do, someone who really has to push themselves to try small things. If it’s you, I want you to know that you’re not alone, that you can do things even if you think you’re going to die. And you might come out the other side better for it. (You might still overthink things ’til you’re a wreck, but you might be proud of yourself too.) What do I know about it? Well I’ve spent the past month doing a 30-day challenge at a local barre and cycle studio, The Dailey Method, and as much as it was physically challenging, it was an exercise in mental and emotional toughness even more so. The Dailey Method comped me a free month in exchange for a post, and I want to share some of the things that helped me not only meet my goal, but exceed it, and come out feeling stronger all-round. As the instructors often reminded us, the mind is ready to quit long before the body. Here are some of the strategies I used to help me push on through. I hope they’ll help you too.  Continue reading “Anxiety and the fitness studio: How I pushed through The Dailey Method’s 30-day challenge and not only didn’t die, but came out stronger”

Three picture books kids will love to see under the tree + A giveaway!

Three picture books kids will love to see under the tree + A giveaway!

All this talk about last-minute Christmas shopping is making me anxious. To me, last-minute is just before the stores close on December 24, which means there’s still plenty of time to pick up prezzies for your loved ones. And if books are on their list (and even if they’re not, get them some!), here are three picture books sure to be a hit.  Continue reading “Three picture books kids will love to see under the tree + A giveaway!”

Oil try it: Saje Natural Wellness essential oils and more

Oil try it: Saje Natural Wellness essential oils and more

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t yesterday’s time change supposed to give us an extra hour of sleep? I’m so tired today it’s all I can do to stay vertical. Maybe I’m just worn down. Jamesy was laid up all week and we were beside ourselves with worry ’til we finally got a diagnosis at the hospital Friday night (he’s got a fairly common autoimmune disease called Henoch–Schönlein purpura that should work itself out in a month). James was feeling better today and went to school, but this mama is fried. I’ve spent most of the day on the couch with my tea and my essential oils, watching funny cat videos on YouTube. Continue reading “Oil try it: Saje Natural Wellness essential oils and more”

Book your date with beauty: Shoppers Drug Mart Holiday Beauty Gala + Twitter party

Book your date with beauty: Shoppers Drug Mart Holiday Beauty Gala + Twitter party

holiday-beauty-gala-2016

This Saturday November 5, Shoppers Drug Mart is hosting its Holiday Beauty Gala at stores across Canada — a fun chance to try a festive new look and support women’s cancer charities like Look Good Feel Better Canada. I’ve got a few more details about the gala and the organizations it supports here, and you can also learn more during Shoppers’ Twitter party this Thursday, November 3 at 8 pm EST. Continue reading “Book your date with beauty: Shoppers Drug Mart Holiday Beauty Gala + Twitter party”

Discover The Taste Box + A discount & giveaway!

Discover The Taste Box + A discount & giveaway!

The Taste Box is the latest entry into the Canadian food subscription box market. Yes, another subscription box to discover! How much do we love?! Each month Toronto couple Matt and Jenni curate a unique package of food and drink products around a theme and ship it to your door. The first box shipped this month with an assortment of goodies perfect for celebrating yesterday’s World Pasta Day. Here’s a closer look at the Pasta Is Love box (sent to me to try free of charge) and a couple of notes about what’s coming up next.   Continue reading “Discover The Taste Box + A discount & giveaway!”

Our mini vacay in beautiful Mont-Tremblant

Our mini vacay in beautiful Mont-Tremblant

My guys are pretty happy to spend the summer riding their bikes up and down the back lane with their friends, running around at the park and (let’s not kids ourselves) playing on the Nintendo DS and the tablet, but sometimes Mama needs a change of scenery. So when my mom offered to take the three of us for a little getaway a couple of weeks ago, I immediately suggested Tremblant. In all the years we’ve lived in Ottawa we’ve only been twice and it’s just a two-hour drive away, practically on our doorstep.

tremblant adventure is waiting

The first thing we did was take the panoramic gondola up the mountain. It’s the highest view in all of the Laurentians but a pricey trip (about $70 for the four of us) so you know, not something you do all the time. Apparently you can hike it in about three hours but it would probably take twice as long with my kiddos (and honestly, I don’t have the patience!) so we took the easy way up. The candy coloured rooftops you’re seeing here are part of the charming pedestrian village where we stayed.

tremblant top of the mountain tree tops

tremblant lily and james top of mountain

We wandered around up there for a while, taking in the views and the kids climbed some rocks. There’s a cafeteria where you can grab a hot dog but we’d packed plenty of food and made sandwiches instead. (We purposefully booked a hotel room with a wee kitchen to save on meals.)

tremblant waiting for gondola

There’s another gondola at the base of the pedestrian village that you can take to the top of the shops and back down to the bottom for no charge, and we took that a couple of times a day. The ride’s all of two minutes and it’s an easy walk but my guys love it so up and down we went. The line-up to get on can be long but it moves quickly.

tremblant going up the gondola

tremblant our pool

Hey, it’s our hotel pool! We stayed at the Marriot Residence Inn, which was comfortable, reasonably priced (about $170/night after a 35% discount for 3+ nights) and included a hot breakfast buffet with make-your-own Belgian waffles, pancakes, sausages — you name it. There are several comparably priced, family-friendly hotels to choose from but my daughter especially liked the pictures of the pool when we were researching online, so that’s the one we went with. We’d happily book it again. (Bonus: next year they’re renovating.)

tremblant another view from the gondola

tremblant good morning 2

tremblant musicians

We arrived on the first night of Les Rhythmes Tremblant, a 10-day music festival of free outdoor concerts each afternoon and evening. My mom and the kids took in several shows while I took some time for myself to browse the shops or relax in our room.

tremblant walking in the village

It’s such a pretty spot to walk around. We had dinner out two nights (Casey’s and Pizzateria), take-out on another (poutine from Beaver Tails) and ice cream at the popular Oh la vache!. I don’t know why I didn’t think to take any pictures, but everything was delicious.

tremblant hanging flowers

tremblant Lily and James mini golf

Two days we did 18 holes at the mini-putt, probably the highlight of the trip. And not just because all but one of us got a hole-in-one (I won’t say who, but her name rhymes with Silly), although that was part of it.

tremblant window boxes 3

While most of the shops and restaurants in the village appear to be thriving, this one has been closed for some time. It used to be the restaurant L’Avalanche Bistro-Lounge. Don’t you love window boxes and the shiny red roof? I could move in.

tremblant feet pool

I have some adorable pictures of my mom and the kids in the pool and going down the super fun skyline luge but we try to keep my guys’ faces off the Interwebs so you’ll have to look at my feet instead.

tremblant top of the mountain

And that view again. Just the change of scenery this mama needed.

Have you been to Tremblant? Tell me about your favourite mini-vacay!