On September 3rd we celebrated Mia’s first birthday. As most parents are, I was filled with mixed emotions. Incredibly happy that she is a growing, healthy, happy little girl, but a little sad about the fact that time is passing so quickly, and I was already rounding the finish line of my maternity leave. The last year has been full of ups and downs, changes for myself and our family, and a lot tears both happy and sad for all of us. It easily has been the both the most amazing and the most difficult year of my life in ways I never would have expected (…but I’ll save that for another day).
Although my mom and I are very close and chat almost everyday, we don’t often get to spend a lot of one-on-one quality time together. This year, I wanted a day for just the two of us to chat and be totally uninterrupted. We started our day off with pedicures in Westboro at a trendy little place called, The Ten Spot. My mom LOVES pedicures, and gets them often to make her feet feel refreshed. She is a barefoot kind of gal, who often finds herself sock-less even in the dead of winter, which means her feet appreciate a little extra love from time to time. This works well for me because I don’t mind a little pampering myself! We had a nice and relaxing experience at The Ten Spot. The pedicurists were incredibly friendly, and fun to chat with. All in all, it was the perfect start to our day.
*Images taken from The Ten Spot webpage.
After our spa experience, we headed on over to Lansdowne for a patio lunch. If you live in Ottawa, or have traveled here recently, you’ll know that Lansdowne Park was a very old, and relatively unused space in the heart of the city. Although events were held there, it wasn’t being used to it’s maximum potential, especially considering it’s incredible location in Ottawa. Recently, it has gone through a complete overhaul and is a lovely place full of shops, a VIP movie theater, amazing restaurants, and of course, home to both the local football and soccer team’s, the Ottawa Redblacks and Ottawa Fury FC. It is a stunning facility, and a great way to spend a Saturday if you’re in the city. My mom had not been to any of the restaurants in that area, so I opted to take her to Local Public Eatery, which was my favourite spot when I lived in Vancouver. They have delicious, fresh guacamole that they make right at the table, and AMAZING fish tacos. My mom and I shared the guacamole, I, of course, got the fish tacos, and my mom got the fish and chips. It was absolutely fantastic, and the service was wonderful. Needless to say, I’ll be taking my mom back sometime soon!
Our Mother’s Day celebrations would not have been complete without dessert, so my mom and I headed over to the ultimate sweet treat hangout, Stella Luna Gelato Cafe. We anxiously waited with the masses to get our flavorful gelato combinations! Even in the small cup you can choose three flavours, and honestly it’s worth it to try as many as you can… SO. GOOD. It is always packed in the cafe, so I wasn’t able to get any photos, but i’ll for sure be back soon considering the warmer days are ahead of us!
It was certainly a spectacular day spent with my mom, and it was only the start of our celebrations which continued the next morning! My cousin and I decided to make a traditional brunch for our whole family that included french toast, scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon and fresh fruit! It was chaotic and messy, but the most fun and the best turn out. Everyone enjoyed their plates, especially my sweet Italian grandparents who had seconds! Now, I should preface this in saying that our grandparents rarely eat meals we make for them, so this was a HUGE victory. We also realized that they had never had a traditional brunch, and clearly loved it…so we will definitely be doing that sometime soon instead of our usual pasta Sunday’s.
After our gigantic family meal, Mike and I decided to take the pups for a long walk on one of the my favourite trails. The skies were clear, and the sun was blazing. It was the perfect way to end an all around great weekend.
In writing this post I just realized how food based it is…I blame that one my Italian side…any who, our Mother’s Day weekend was a huge success, and I am looking forward to the May long weekend where we get to have a post dated celebration with my mother-in-law in Northern, Ontario. Fingers crossed all the snow is gone for the year!
Have a wonderful week everyone!
Ever since Mike and I first met, we have spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day separately. His family lives 10 hours north, so he always started the trek a few days before the holidays and spent a good two to three weeks with them. For the last two years I flew to Timmins, Ontario (side note: for those of you who are unaware, this is the home town of legendary country star, Shania Twain – try not to judge me for my excitement over celebrities and country music), from Ottawa on boxing day, and was happily greeted by my now husband at the airport. From Timmins it was a snowy three hour drive to Hearst, which seems like nothing in comparison to the one lane, ten hour journey to get there from Ottawa.
This year we decided to do things a little differently. His family graciously agreed to celebrate their Christmas on the 26th, so we spent the 24th and 25th at home. It was a typical Christmas celebration with my family, but was all the more special with Mike there. We spent Christmas Eve eating a seafood supper in our pjs, and Christmas Day inhaling a delicious pasta lunch. With full hearts and bellies, we set out for Northern Ontario bright and early on the 26th. Both of us were excited to spend a week with the Sousa’s enjoying the outdoors and family time. Mike’s whole family was ready and waiting for us with a traditional Christmas meal on the table, and a tree full of gifts to open. It was a wonderful three day Christmas filled with family and friends, but I look forward to the day when my in-laws are living in Ottawa and we can celebrate all together…which is hopefully sooner than later!
The rest of our trip will be spent playing card games, snowshoeing, cottaging, and ringing in the new year at the local bar. A week off in Northern Ontario will be just enough time to kick back and relax before the busy winter term at the university starts up, and I am drowning in administrative tasks again.
Here are a few photos from our 2015 Christmas celebrations:
Until next time!
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I'm Jessie, and welcome to Cool, Calm & Cozy!
This space is an outlet for me to connect with my creative side and keep long lasting memories with my family. Writing and making videos of our adventures together is a passion of mine, which I hope brings joy to my whole family presently and in the future!
Hope you enjoy Cool, Calm & Cozy, and thanks for following along!