when you're secretly a mermaid

One of my favourite things about writing this blog is when people bring cool/unusual/unique things to my attention. This happened recently, in the best possible way. Guys, I was invited to participate in a MERMAID CLASS.

Here's how this goes down: you sign up for the class, head to your local pool (in this case the YMCA on Argyle) and they outfit you with your mermaid tail. There is a selection of colours and sizes, of course (you can buy one if you're smitten). Your instructors will then go through some basics of mermaid swimming, mermaid tricks - all kinds of mermaid activity.

There are a lot of ways to approach this. When I arrived, I caught the tail-end (haha) of the children's class, and one little girl was having basically the best birthday of her entire life. I truly think that both boys and girls would probably get a huge kick out of this.

For the teens/adults, I would separate out the audience into two groups: those in it for the novelty factor, and those in it for the fitness/mermaid life.

For the novelty folks, I think the best bet would to get a group of friends together and book a date. Bachelorette OR bachelor parties would be really fun, or birthdays. Of course, it would be fun even just with one or two friends, but I think taking over the pool for your own personal mermaid party would just be extra. They have packages for parties!

This class is also a pretty decent workout! I didn't push myself super hard because I am more of a loungey, relaxed mermaid, but dang. I get why some people get monthly passes. It's fantastic exercise. Right now the classes are only Saturdays, but maybe that will expand in the future.

The whole experience was one of those things that would have interesting and fun no matter what, but the fact that I am currently 7 months pregnant added a new dimension to whole thing that just made it extra hilarious. I was a super round, floaty mermaid. It was pretty great.

baby mermaid in training.

baby mermaid in training.

when you rob a bank and are on the run from the cops

It's January in Ottawa, and the desire to enter hibernation mode is STRONG. We live in a city with access to UberEats and a world where Netflix exists, and the outside world seems hostile and unappealing. I GET IT.

But without even touching on the 3824 things happening in Ottawa in conjunction with Canada 150, Ottawa is a city that is really good for giving people reasons to go outside. No small feat for a city that is regularly colder than Mars. 

One fun thing I tried recently is a new escape room that has recently opened on the west end, Unlocked Ottawa. I completed their Krylon Crew room. It's unique in that it is competitive - my partner and I were bank robbers on the run, solving clues to secure our getaway while next to us in an adjacent room, the cops were hot on our tails, solving their own set of clues. The "cops" being friends of mine who aren't my friends anymore because I'm really competitive and they beat me in a game of wits. FRIENDSHIP OVER.

Not really, but the stakes do feel high. In addition to the 35 minute time limit, the added element of trying to be smarter and faster than your friends is pretty intense. I also applaud Unlocked Ottawa for some genuinely clever puzzles.

So! While I too hear the siren call of couch-sitting and Netflix-binging, leaving your house and social interaction are good things and this is one fun option that I highly encourage you all to try.

When you sign up for art parties all year

Due to my life being super weird at the moment, I have opened up my blog to guest entries, and so far, I am psyched about the results. There's a lot of cool stuff happening out there in this fair city of ours, and I am happy to share them.

The following is a guest post courtesy of CSArt Ottawa, an art subscription service featuring all-local Ottawa artists, and bringing art to Ottawa subscribers. 

You might have heard of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), a.k.a ‘farm shares’. The idea is you pay a local farmer in advance, they use the funds to plant and cultivate, and then every week during the summer you get a share of the harvest. It’s a great way to get awesome veggies and connect with the greater community. What CSArt Ottawa does is the same thing, except instead of local veggies, you get local art!

Subscribers having a great time at THUNK!theatre’s show at Pressed

Subscribers having a great time at THUNK!theatre’s show at Pressed

This is our first season, and since September we have had a public Launch Party at Bar Robo, an exclusive subscriber-only concert with The PepTides at Gallery Recording Studios, and an subscriber-only performance by THUNK!theatre at Pressed. These events have been fun, interactive, original art experiences by all Ottawa-area artists and hosted by local businesses.

Live-recorded subscriber-only concert with The PepTides

Live-recorded subscriber-only concert with The PepTides

Our subscribers signed up in the summer to receive this ‘harvest’ of art experiences from September to May. Coming up in the New Year we’ve got a painting exhibition at Clover Food & Drink, a multi-media dinner event at Impact Hub Ottawa, and an outdoor poetry hike. Subscribers get tickets to all these events (including dinner!), as well as an original painting by Mark B. Stephenson, an original piece of ceramic art by Susie Osler, and poetry written and curated by Chris Turnbull. You can learn more about all these projects here.

So what does this have to do with you, if all our subscribers bought in advance? Well, we’ve re-opened our season to new subscribers for the holidays! From now until December 15th, you can get in on the rest of the season. We’ve got a package for couples, singles, and a 2-for-1 package for friends. Perfect as a Christmas gift for art lovers, but also a great way for you to get your winter socializing planned out, plus get some new art to take home.

A great side benefit we’ve noticed about CSArt so far is that our subscribers are really fun and adventurous people. So not only will you get to have fantastic art, you’ll get to have a good time with a funky group of friendly Ottawans.

If you’ve ever thought to yourself that Ottawa is boring, allow us to change your mind with the amazing artists and patrons that live and work in Ottawa! 

To sign up for a subscription, visit us here!

when you attend a murder mystery night

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending an Ottawa Murder Mystery event over at The Red Lion. It was called “The Codfather” and it was hilarious.

I’ve never been to a Murder Mystery before - I imagined a glorified version of Clue, happening in the flesh. Well, it is basically that, and I am here for it.

We took our free popcorn and took our seats. Within minutes, a fast-talking zoot-suited man came over to chat. We would later learn that he was - of course - a suspect. A couple joined us at our table, which was nice. If you’re a little on the introverted side (as I am), it’s good to have back up to turn to as the various characters come up to your table to mingle and chat. 

The actors are entertaining and the storyline was amusing, but more than anything else, the bulk of the laughter came from the audience participation element. The newly engaged and people celebrating birthdays were particular targets, as was my husband, who bears a slight resemblance to our current prime minister. This led to an evening of selfies with strangers and many jokes at his expense. He’s a good sport, and as with everything at this event, you just have to go along for the ride.

I have but one critique: the name of the event suggested a slightly more Eastern-Canada vibe. The classic mafia setup was funny, but I felt like there was a bit of a missed opportunity to lean into some Maritimes-inspired characters.

Overall though, it made for an unusual and fun evening. I recommend it heartily, but I suggest having a drink first - best loosen up a bit for this one, especially if you’re one of the lucky ones who gets pulled into the fray.

when you go to a board game bar

Ottawa has some great pubs. I don’t care who you are or where you’re from, this is just A Thing, and it’s one of my more favourite aspects of the city. I’m not a huge partier, but I love me some live music and some beers on tap. While I have my favourites - Pub Italia and Bowman’s, to name some - it’s nice to mix it up. 

Level One Pub

Level One Pub

An unrelated interest of mine: board games. If you, like me, like to mix that with alcohol, let me tell you about my new favourite places: Monopolatte and The Loft/Level One. Here’s my breakdown: 

Monopolatte is located in Chinatown. They have a smaller menu - mostly sandwiches and snacks, but I like that they have really healthy (veggie trays and hummus trays) to really unhealthy (just a straight up plate of candy) options. Their drink menu is fun with lots of local beers and fun, nerdy shots and cocktails. When I went with three friends, we got a round of Hogwarts houses shots (Hufflepuff, if you’re curious). Their game selection is of course massive, and the servers/game instructors are fantastic. We learned new board games in half the time and with significantly less friendship-ruining than if we had had to teach ourselves.

When we went to The Loft, it was packed, so we went downstairs to their sister pub, Level One, a video game pub that also happens to have a large board game selection. The two pubs are slightly different and their menus vary a bit, so they’re both worth checking out. Level One has a good selection of appetizers and entrees - I had deep fried mac and cheese balls and they were super worth it. Also a great range of beers on tap. It was fun to switch from board games to old school Mario Kart and back to board games - you can spend a lot of time in this place. I really liked the atmosphere - it feels like a really nerdy cottage.

Obviously a lot of other cafes and pubs have board games available, but to the best of my knowledge, these are the only two that specialize in it. The two have different vibes, and I highly recommend both!

When you finally succumb to Pokemon Go

I originally ignored this whole thing, because I have a slightly addictive personality and I knew that it would suck me down a rabbit hole and I have a job and family and I don’t think they have Pokemon rehab set up yet if I got in too deep. But I convinced myself that I needed to at least experience it for a day or two, just to see. I like to be a part of things. I needed a blog topic. Rabbit hole descended.

It’s fun, guys. It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but it adds a little excitement to my day, particularly my afternoon walk and public transportation excursions. Between my Fitbit and this app, I don’t think I can justify walking without imaginary technology-based rewards ever again.

I’m not going to explain the how and why of the app, other blogs have done that already, and better. Here’s what you need to know about jumping into it in Ottawa:

Downtown is hopping. Pokestops, lures (basically traps for Pokemon), and gyms abound. Some locations are pretty random, most make sense. And yes, there is a gym smack dab on Parliament Hill. There is little doubt in my mind that at least a few MPs are battling each other. 

I went to Confederation Park at lunch (drawn by the promise of many Pokestops and lures), and it seems like it’s the place to be. It was a beautiful day, so it would have been busy no matter what. But everyone had the trademark body language that is a dead giveaway. If you had absolutely no idea what was going on, you’d think there was a Tinder meetup or something, something to explain all of these young professionals with amused but also slightly sheepish expressions.

I am not single, but if I was, this would be a veritable goldmine. This gets you talking to people, nice people, for the most part. A gentleman in a suit saw my pokestance going on, and happily quipped in passing that there was a Jynx around the corner. 

Look, I know Pokemon Go is easy to shit on. I joined a hoard of business-casual-dressed professionals stomping around the downtown core of a capital city, looking for imaginary critters. My self-awareness is off the charts. But Ottawa’s critics also like to pick at its inability to have spontaneous fun (see: tshirt-gate, see: lemonade-gate), so if you want to see that stereotype turned on its head: may I suggest Confederation Park at around 12:30 on a weekday.

when you escape the Diefenbunker

I’ve been a fan of Escape Manor for awhile - I tried one of their rooms (The Cellar, if you’re wondering) in the first few weeks they opened, and have tried three more since then. I also really love the movie Dr. Strangelove, so all of this added up to a mighty need for me to go try the Escape Room at the Diefenbunker.

I had never actually been, which is a tragedy, because I dig that scene. An era where it was okay to drink scotch during working hours whilst fearing imminent death by nuclear explosion for some reason has great appeal to me. 

I am going to attempt to remain as spoiler-free as possible, so let me just say: we were in a group of 12 people and that was a good idea, because when they say that this is the biggest escape room in Canada, they ain’t lying. And because it is an actual museum, the authenticity of the staging is obviously amazing. 

This particular escape isn’t the GET OUT AT ALL COSTS, WRECK EVERYTHING kind of thing that the other Escape Manor rooms truck in, because it is a museum full of history and don’t break their shit, man. Follow the directions. Have some finesse. Have fun. I did.

If you’re a fan of escape rooms, this is some next-level stuff. Round up 12 of your closest friends that you don’t mind snapping at under pressure, or join in with a rag-tag group of people that you will inevitably hate or become best friends with (in my experience there is no middle ground there).

I forgot to take a picture at the Diefenbunker so enjoy this shot of me ironically toasting the Queen

I forgot to take a picture at the Diefenbunker so enjoy this shot of me ironically toasting the Queen

And a parting note: the Cheshire Cat Pub in Carp is fantastic. The food was delicious, the amount of beers and ciders to choose from was fun, and our server was a super nice guy named Jeff who had kind of a Bruce Springsteeney vibe to him. Thumbs. Up.

when you attend ottawa comic con

I had been to Ottawa Comiccon before - back in 2012, when it was just a little baby con. I 100% went just to take a photo with Nathan Fillion. He put his arm around me. It was absolutely worth the $75.

This weekend I attended comiccon with my husband. Now in its fifth year, I was interested to see how it had progressed. The parking situation was definitely better. I mean, we were in a field, but it was only a 5 minute walk and it was pretty easy to deal with. We and the rest of the field-parkers formed a horde that traipsed through the grass, over a highway, across the EY Centre Parking lot, and into the venue. My husband and I were unremarkable, in a group of people of all ages who were nerdy and costumed and fun. That basically describes comiccon, actually: it is nerdy, costumed fun.

Ghostbusters

We arrived just in time to see Karen Gillan’s panel, which was delightful. However, as we walked into the exhibition hall afterwards, we found ourselves in a sea of people. The husband does not do well with this. Left to his own devices, he would live in a van in the bush somewhere with our dog and some crackers. Being smack dab in the middle of a crowd is his personal hell. But there is an antidote for this, and it is called alcohol. And fortunately, this year Comic Con stepped up! Clocktower’s New Frontier Pale Ale was on tap in the food court area, and it was both delicious and helpful.

After exploring a bit, we went back to the main event room to see Sean Astin and John Rhys-Davies’ panel, which was definitely a treat. Their banter is great and they have extremely entertaining stories. And John Rhys-Davies’ likes to call everyone “bitch”. Jesse-from-Breaking-Bad-levels of name calling.

There is plenty to look at and explore during the Con - the costumes alone are worth it, and there are hundreds of exhibitors and artists. Even the Government got in on it: both the Canadian Mint and Canada Post had really elaborate, awesome exhibits (we are a nerdy ass country). But to really fill up your day, you need to plan on attending at least a few panels. We were fortunate to really enjoy a few that happened during the Sunday schedule - so definitely plan for the guests & programming, not just the day that might be slightly more convenient for you during the weekend. And if you have it in you, dress up. You might make some nerd’s day (i.e. me).

when you sit in the riot section of an ottawa fury game

I attended a soccer game once, in 2012. Thanks to my job at the time, I got box seats at a Galaxy-Whitecaps game in Vancouver. It was an exciting experience to me because Beckham was on the field at the time, and I recieved an unlimited supply of free cider and nachos. I was mostly excited about the nachos - the actual game was somewhat wasted on me, as is the case with most sporting events.

Apparently I have been doing sports wrong.

I have wanted to go to a Fury game for awhile - it seemed like a pleasant way to spend an afternoon: outdoors, with steady access to snacks and beverages. So when I was invited to sit with the Stony Monday Riot faction, I was down.

Now, I know that some people get really into soccer. I’m friends with those people. I just didn’t realize how many of those people were in Ottawa.

To sit in the Riot section is to accept these conditions:

  • You will not sit down
  • You will chant, or at the very least clap along
  • You WILL BUY INTO THIS GAME

The last is important. I did not walk into the stadium a huge Fury supporter, but by god, by the time the game had started, I was deeply concerned about the results of this match. My future happiness was suddenly dependent on so many factors outside of my control: the strength of the players, the ref’s bad calls, all I could do was just watch. That, and cheer.

Unlike the rows flanking the supporter section, which call for cheering seemingly only when necessary, the Riot section is a game-long production. You are channeling all of your nervous energy into support for the team, and you will do it by any means necessary. Popular chants include:
    •    A chant about the war of 1812 and that whole white-house-burning-down incident
    •    Chants about how Edmonton sucks (even though we were playing Miami)
    •    “Our house, in the middle of the Glebe” (particularly catchy)

It is all very entertaining, and super high energy, and it is hard not to get swept up in it. Instead of passively watching a match, you’re contributing to it, as if your chants and cheers are powering the game forward.

Stony Monday Rioters congregate at “The Rock” by Gate 3, and sell tickets to their section separately. I HIGHLY recommend spending a game with the superfans. Just make sure that you’re prepared to work. It’s a give and take relationship: you need to pour some soul into the effort, but you’ll be rewarded with a whole new take on soccer, and a hell of an exciting experience.

when you go and see a play at arts court theatre

This week, I was invited to check out a play over at Arts Court. I will confess here and now that despite my best efforts, I don’t make it to the theatre often. Usually in a year, I’m good for one “big” performance at the NAC and one “small” performance, usually at Arts Court. All of this to say, this is not a review from a theatre critic. 

The play in question was Third Wall Theatre’s Woyzeck’s Head, only an hour long, with three exceptionally hard-working cast members. Some might consider it a bit difficult to watch. I found it a bit difficult to watch.

Here’s why: my life is not a terribly difficult one. This morning I considered the process of cooking my own breakfast to be too arduous a task, so I bought a breakfast sandwich. From a drive-through. 

Should you choose to see this piece, over the course of an hour, you will watch a man suffer exceptional humiliation and pain. He is tortured emotionally, mentally, and physically. 

“So what?” you might say. “I watch Game of Thrones every Sunday,” you may think.

It’s incredibly different when it’s a real human being, not ten feet away from where you’re sitting. 

As part of my aforementioned privileged existence, I very rarely witness human beings suffering inhuman conditions. Lives that are much, much harder than my own seem very far away, generally speaking. Seeing misery and anguish in person stirs something in you, even as you remember that it’s just a performance. So yes, you’ll be uncomfortable. It’s testament to how talented the performers are that they can make you feel that way.

Not into seeing a human being suffer for an hour? I get that. Particularly if you’re not a “theatre person”, this may or may not be the one to start with. I’m not making the case for any one performance today: I just want to make the case for stepping out of your comfort zone. Theatre does that, without fail. April 29th & 30th are the last days for Woyzeck’s Head, but just a reminder that Ottawa has an awesome Fringe Festival from June 15 to 26, 2016 that everyone should build into their summer plans.

Any performances to send my way? Let me know!

when you take a mediterranean cooking class

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend a Mediterranean cooking class at Massine’s Grocery Store on Bank Street. There’s a small, mirrored room to the side of the store that I had no idea existed, and when you walk in, there are little tables with place settings, ready to go.

They start the class by leading you to the wine store to give you snacks and wine pairing suggestions. I can be won over in 99% of circumstances by wine and snacks, so we were off to a good start.

I didn’t know what to expect once we got back to the room, though, like whether I would physically be chopping and dicing and frying. My knife skills are not great. It takes me like 3 hours to chop one onion, and the class only went from 6pm to 8pm. Thankfully, the format is cooking-show style. Chef Ken Harper had pre-prepped the ingredients and then proceeded to prepare a number of dishes before our eyes, peppering in tips of the trade and anecdotes about his apparently exhaustive world travel as we went. Dude has eaten a lot of food in a lot of different countries, and could vouch for the authenticity of his recipes. He also really wants to educate you about proper knife etiquette and what’s good as far as Netflix documentaries.

Chef Ken Harper

The dishes were delicious. Be prepared: I wouldn’t go in there starving, but don’t eat too much beforehand, either. Over the course of the two hours, we were treated to:

  • Toasted pita chips and homemade tzatziki, paired with white wine. Easy crowd pleaser.
  • Tomato salad with mint and feta. I don’t even care for tomatoes and I liked this salad.
  • Chermoula (moroccan pesto, I guess? It was tasty)
  • Spanish chorizo frittata - Ken also had a lot of opinions on cooking eggs. Don’t be over-browning those eggs, son.
  • Roasted Eggplant stuffed with veal. If you were having a dinner party with this menu, this would be the one that your guests would request the recipe for. It’s sort of an unusual dish - definitely not something I would think to make on a casual Tuesday night. It has currants in it, and I am not even 100% sure what a currant is, other than apparently tasty AF.

Massine’s posts all of their recipes online, and their full schedule is available here.

Cheers!

when you do a 3-day juice cleanse

As you may have gathered from my post about my exercise regime, I like to try new things when it comes to fitness/health, and this applies equally to diets. I have been vegetarian, I have been paleo, I have been Whole30. Want to have a discussion with me about any of these things? Because I have OPINIONS on all of them.

So when I was given the opportunity to do a juice cleanse from Renew Cold Press, I was ABOUT THAT.

I don’t do things like this halfway. The juice drop was happening on Thursday night, so I start cutting back on caffeine on Monday. I started eating vegetarian. By Thursday I was a decaf-drinking vegan: I was prepared to be a pure, wholesome juice vessel.

I got the juice on Thursday and my fridge looked like I was going to have a WICKED party, if all of my party guests were teetotalling hippies.

Friday morning I drank my weight in water, grabbed my daily allotment of juice and set out into the world.

The juices:

Renew starts your day on a high note. Juice # uno is DELICIOUS. It is a grapefruity gingery delight. I sipped on it over the course of an hour or so, reveling in what a precious child of light I had become.

The second juice...is a bit of a struggle, comparatively. This green juice swiftly became my daily nemesis. But I also acknowledge that it is probably the most nutrient-dense of the whole daily six-pack.

As a reward for drinking your veggies, you are gifted with the third juice: a spicy pineapple-pear vision of loveliness. This one really perked me back up and gave me new inspiration to carry on each day.

4 & 5 are also both good, a beet-apple deal and a carrot. The variety is nice.

The final is a maple-lemon chia that you can either finish the day with or sip intermittently. I liked this one, but I also liked those Orbitz drinks that came out in the 90s. I thought it was tasty but I can see it being a challenge for those who aren’t about that textured-beverage life.

The three day experience:

I really like to cook and I think my time cooking is well-spent, generally. But man, when you remove cooking, eating, and cleaning from your day, you have SO MUCH TIME FOR ACTIVITIES. I was productive AF the whole weekend.

I managed a barre class on Friday with relative ease, and my Saturday morning flow yoga class left me feeling like the finest example of human being to ever grace Westboro’s streets.

I did notice that if I went too long without drinking juice, I would start flagging. At some point on Sunday I fell into a pit of hopelessness and despair because my coffee table had too many papers on it. I then realized I hadn’t had anything to drink in over two hours. Drink your juice consistently, your water even more so.

All in all, it was a positive experience, but I will add that I had a lot of things in my favour: my stress is managed pretty well, and I had an easy going three days planned out. Our emotionally abusive el-nino weather was feeling particularly kind this weekend, and so drinking juice was refreshing and nice. I think all of these factors contributed to my success, and would consider them before trying a juice cleanse again.

Comments? Questions? Let me know below! 

when you network at breweries

You could fill your days with networking-type events here in Ottawa. You could quit your job and live forever as a professional networker, and I actually think that might be a thing that exists.

I try and attend one or two networky things a month. It keeps me connected, but not over-busy. You may recall, I have like 600 fitness classes that I need attend, so...

The two I opted for this month are:

CSAE Young Professionals Meetup at whiprsnapr brewing co.

Networking for Nerds at Tooth and Nail Brewing Company.

The fact that they were both hosted at breweries was not a conscious decision but probably not an accident, either.

CSAE's meetup was a great event - I got a beer, a headshot, and I got to make the acquaintance of many people who are funnier and more charming than I am.

Networking for Nerds was an eclectic scene. Unlike CSAE's where I more or less knew exactly what crew I was rolling with, NfN had a pretty varied crowd. It had board games, and, quite randomly, a N64 set up with Goldeneye (1997). It also had PRIZES which I WON because I can rattle off trivia like a CHAMP. Topics I correctly answered pertained to Firefly, Star Trek, Game of Thrones, and X-Men, just in case you were wondering about my nerd cred. I won a gift certificate to Escape Manor (a blog post unto itself) & tax return services from Moe Tabesh CPA, CGA, (important).

Would recommend both to all - both the events, and the venues. Good folks, good chats, good beers. 

Have a networking opportunity to plug? Please share in the comments!

when you go to funhaven as a grown-ass adult

For those of you who are unaware, FunHaven has an adults-only night.

You’re welcome.

On Fridays only, Funhaven extends its hours until 1am. The kiddos typically trickle out by around 8:30pm, and then the alcohol-fueled return to elementary school bliss begins. For $35, you get unlimited access to laser tag, a laser maze, bumper cars, bowling, and a climbing wall. You also get a $6 credit for the arcade games, and either a slice of pizza or an alcoholic beverage.

My crew and I started the evening with a round of laser tag. We would go twice more before the night ended. Our tag sessions got increasingly intense with every round. By our third and final round as the red team, we had an entire war strategy, involving immediately taking the second level, and sniper-ing the entire blue team, repeatedly. It was merciless.

I contributed very little to this effort. My aim is terrible and I got shot a lot. I don’t so much need a laser-gun as like, a laser-flamethrower to actually be effective. But I had fun anyway.

As far as the other attractions:

  • The Laser Maze: This is a obstacle course made up of lasers that you must navigate through - think Mission Impossible. I was shockingly good at this. I may consider a career in art thievery.
  • Bowling: It’s five pin bowling, made for little hands. It’s...okay.
  • Bumper cars: this was being refurbished when we went, but even if it wasn’t, I hate bumper cars with a passion. That’s on me, though. Moving on.
  • Climbing wall: kind of like bowling: fine, but made for people who aren’t a. Drinking and b. Big.
  • The Arcade: A little something for everyone. I enjoy a nice round of air hockey, myself, and my partner in crime likes skee-ball. Nice mix of classic and new. And you get tickets for your efforts, of course. I had just enough to acquire a package of Welch’s fruit snacks, which after an evening of pretending I was eleven years old, felt right and good.

when you become addicted to boutique fitness studios.

I have never been a terribly physical person. I made half-hearted attempts at middle school athletics, but by high school, that internet thing really took off, and that was the final nail in my physical fitness coffin, for I had myspace followers to entertain and livejournal entries to write.

As a young adult, however, I came to the realization that grown ups need to do...something. Anything. It is part of being a responsible human. You pay taxes, you recycle, and you make at least feeble attempts at working out.

At various times in my life since, I have gone through many phases: runner, big-box gym member, Crossfitter. Today I wish to discuss my current situation, which is: the boutique fitness studio.

I am addicted to them.

I have not one, but three hangouts: Wheelhouse, a spin studio, Inside Out, a barre studio, and Pure Yoga. I buy 20 or 30 class-passes to each at a time, because I have an addiction and it’s a problem (but not actually).

It’s not just the workout that these sort of studios offer - it’s all of it. The spaces are beautiful. The instructors are beautiful. The workouts are beautiful. You feel beautiful simply by associating yourself with these places.

You enter the establishments and immediately feel like you’ve sat down at the cool kids table, despite how cool you may or may not actually be. You’re hip and trendy because you have walked through the doors to enjoy your boutique fitness experience.

These workouts feed your treat yo’ self mentality but - plot twist - they are ACTUALLY good for you.

Aside from generally liking the feeling of bein’ a fancy lady, each of the three places offer me something different - something I choose based on my mood and the day:

Wheelhouse is pure explode your lungs cardio, and you feel like a motherf*ckin champ afterwards.

Inside Out makes you feel elegant like a ballerina but like, one that has been set on fire.

Pure Yoga makes you feel like the most wholesome, perfect example of a human.

The neighbourhoods that house these places also factor in, obviously. Westboro/ Wellington West are notoriously hip places in Ottawa, growing more so by the day. After you are finished any of the above workouts, there are no less than 486 (by my estimation) trendy brunch restos you can go to get a $26 eggs benny with like, I don't know, quail eggs or some shit.

Anyway, this little three way fitness relationship I've been having has been my life for the last three months and guys...I gotta say, I think it's the one.