5 Quick Snack Stops to Pop Into In The Glebe!

Now that September is under way, kids are back at school and parents are back to work all over the city, including my neighbourhood, The Glebe. From bakeries and chocolatiers to coffee shops and grocery stores, there is such a variety of places in The Glebe for visitors and “Glebites” to shop, eat and play. I love visiting my favourite haunts close to where I live and work to pick up a quick bite to eat. It is also a great place to visit whether you are planning a trip to Ottawa or if you are acting as a tourist in the city.

 

reese-speaks-glebe-scene-collage-photo

 

Have you ever been to this part of the nation’s capital?  If you are ever in this area of the nation’s capital and are feeling a bit feeling a bit peckish, take a look at five places along (and just slightly off of) Bank Street in The Glebe I like to pop into for a quick snack!

1. Second Avenue Sweets

Location: 151B Second Avenue

Price:  **

 

reese-speaks-second-avenue-sweets-store-front-photo

 

For those of you who are not aware of this, I have a bit of a romance with croissants. Do you blame me?! When baked well, they are light, flaky and ever so buttery. One of my absolute favourite places to pick up one of these golden brown delights is at Second Avenue Sweets. Tucked away on Second Avenue along Bank Street, this bakery conjures up some of the best croissants in the city. They also bake up some really delicious cookies, bread, cakes, cupcakes and other amazing treats. Whenever my kids and I are ever in the area, they always ask if we can go in. They treat our visits as a real treat when they get to nosh on these baked goods. It is hard not to pop in when we are in the heart of the Glebe.

 

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2.  Wholefoods Market – Landsdowne

Location: 951 Bank Street

Price: **

 

reese-speaks-whole-foods-store-front-photo

 

Landsdowne Park has been revitalized to become a multi-functional area for its visitors. It draws many people throughout the day. Many of them (like me) are frequent patrons of one of its shops: Whole Foods Market. Yes, it does sell produce, other food and lifestyle items, but they also have prepared food for those looking to satisfy their grumbly bellies with a meal for lunch or dinner. Beyond their deli counters that serve sandwiches, pizza, and other such delights, they also have soups and salads, as well as sides and main entree meals on hand for diners to choose from.

 

reese-speaks-whole-foods-collage-photo

 

Whole Foods Market uses a pay-by-weight system when ringing up your selections. I really enjoyed their Chicken Cacciatore on a bed of rice and a mix of two salads for my meal one evening. It was quick and convenient, so I could decide to dine-in or take it with me on-the-go!

 

reese-speaks-whole-foods-dinner-collage-photo

 

3.  Playa Del Popsicle

809 Bank Street

Price: **

 

reese-speaks-playa-del-popsicle-truck-photo

 

This next stop nestled in between Third and Fourth Streets along Bank Street is a seasonal business that helped to keep my kids cool this past summer in a fun way. This business is called Playa Del Popsicle. This food truck serves Sno-Cones and juices, as well as homemade popsicles for revellers to savour during the spring, summer or fall. What puts this business over-the-top is the cute and functional beach scene created in front of the food truck! We were able to sit back and relax while eating our frozen treats. It is a great escape for a few moments away from the blaring sun (or reality)!

 

reese-speaks-playa-del-popsicle-collage-photo

 

4.  Morning Owl – Bank Street

Location: 891 Bank Street

Price: **

 

reese-speaks-morning-owl-store-front-photo

 

Need a cup of joe in the morning? Some baked goods or a fresh sandwich to fill that void in your belly? Then popping into Morning Owl Bank Stree in between Fifth Avenue and Holmwood Avenue is a must. All of their coffee is organic and direct trade. They also serve a variety of fresh-baked treats, drinks, and handmade sandwiches for breakfast or lunch. My kids love their hot chocolates and I am a huge fan of their Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookie. It is soooooooo tasty!

 

reese-speaks-morning-owl-collage-photo

 

5.  Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut

Location: 769 Bank Street

Price: ***

 

reese-speaks-chocolaterie-bernard-callebaut-store-front-photo

 

The last stop on this Glebe shop hop list is a place that chocoholics will love to hear about. Whether it is to get your chocolate fix or to pick up a gift for a special person in your life, Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut is the place go. They have so many different treats to put the smile on your face. I was in hot chocolate heaven with their selection of flavours to choose from. There were also a variety of truffles on display to dazzle your eyes as well as your stomach. Want something on the cool side? Take a taste of their gelato! There are also many other treats you can buy to gift or to take home for yourself. This shop boasted different seating areas for customers to settle in and enjoy their sugary vittles as well.

 

reese-speaks-chocolaterie-bernard-callebaut-collage-photo

 

Whether you live, work, go to school or are visiting The Glebe, this neighbourhood is such a great one to explore and grab a quick bite to eat. This family-friendly area of Ottawa makes eating around here feel casual and easy. The stops I highlighted all held their own personal identity and charm, but all held the same friendliness and care-free atmosphere. Hopefully, you will find yourself in this part of the nation’s capital and pop in for a visit!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

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Stepping Up to the Barre at The Dailey Method Ottawa! #30DayBloggersChallenge

Hey, Readers!

As I have previously mentioned, I have started to take steps to make myself a better me this year. Though I have begun to take these steps, I feel as though I needed something extra to add to the HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) routines I was doing to really take my workouts to the next level and to stay motivated in working out and becoming stronger. When I was asked by The Dailey Method Ottawa to take part in their #30DayBloggerChallenge, I was really excited to step up to the barre to see what it could do to improve my workouts and well-being!

 

The Dailey Method is unlike any workout routine I have ever tried. Unlike a cardio or HITT  routines, The Dailey Method focuses on ballet barre fitness. Jill Dailey was instrumental in bringing this brand of fitness to the forefront when she opened the doors to the first Dailey Method studio in San Francisco in 2000. The Dailey Method combines dance, yoga, kinesiology and pilates to provide an efficient and effective full-body workout. Now there are 57 studios spanning three continents helping students to achieve their fitness goals.

 

 

Before attending my first class, I did not know what to expect since I had never done any barre work. Once signed up to start my challenge, I used their handy app to get myself registered for classes week by week. This way I was making a commitment to myself not to skip it. I was also advised to come to classes 3 times a week in order to learn the moves used in this kind of workout and to start to see (and feel) results. You are also able to set up a reminder in your calendar so you do not forget about an upcoming class. I liked how I was able to learn a little bit about each of the classes and the instructor leading it on a specific day.

 

Reese Speaks The Dailey Method App Collage Photo

 

Here are some of the things recommended to me that I took to heart before taking my first class at The Dailey Method Ottawa that I would love to share with you:

  • Go at your own pace; everyone has different strengths
  • Take as many breaks as you need; it’s YOUR time
  • Remember that it is not a competition; you’re surrounded by peers

This was me on my way to my first TDM Ottawa class

 

Reese Speaks The Dailey Method Game Face Photo

Yes, I was all business here! 😛

 

I was so excited and motivated to get going. From my first class to my last, I was not disappointed. The Ottawa studio is GORGEOUS! It was simple, bright and open. There are large windows along one wall of the workout studio and mirrors covering most of the remaining wall space. I loved the gorgeous wood floors throughout the space as well. It made each class easier to work out in.

 

 

There are various classes the Dailey Method offers students. These are the 5 different intensity levels of classes students can take at their Ottawa location:

  • Dailey Gentle (60 minutes)
  • Dailey Basics (60 minutes)
  • Dailey Barre (60 minutes)
  • Dailey Express 45 (45 minutes)
  • Dailey Interval 45 (45 minutes)

 

 

This is all you need to take a class:

 

Reese Speaks The Dailey Method Clothing

NOTE: The plant is just there for scenery. It would make for a very awkward weight during a class! 🙂  Mats, weights, and exercise balls are all available inside the studio for you to use.

 

That’s it, that’s all, Readers! I was advised to wear clothing that was form-fitting and comfortable so I would not have to worry about my clothing getting in the way during a class.  It is also so instructors can see whether you are executing each move correctly and to give guidance if needed.

I will not lie: Every class kicked my butt! All of the instructors I had the pleasure of meeting were extremely welcoming. They always noticed when there was a new face in their class.They went out of their way to introduce themselves, ask questions about whether I had any physical issues that may hinder my workout, and came over to anyone during the class to correct their form. They even made themselves available after each class to show me how to perform moves I was still not clear about how to do.

 

 

Each workout focused on little movements to get the desired workout for the part of the body being focused on. At the end of my first class, I was a bit wiped, drenched in sweat, yet SO happy I had attended!

Every class was a fabulous experience. Each class was not too big.I visited the studio during the morning hours, so the class sizes were smaller and more intimate.  I did not feel as though I ever got lost in a crowd.

After a few classes, I noticed I was stronger when doing my other workouts at home. I was able to challenge myself more and want to work out longer. I would highly recommend The Dailey Method Ottawa and cannot wait to step back up to the barre once my children are back in school!

 

Reese Speaks The Dailey Method Barre 2 Photo

 

Whether you want to start working out or you are looking for a different kind of workout to start doing, I would suggest giving The Dailey Method Ottawa a try! These classes are amazing and inspiring, you get a full-body workout and your best is the goal of each class. New students signing up to try The Dailey Method Ottawa can also enjoy their $79 New Client Special for a month of unlimited classes. Trust me, it is a deal worth taking!

For more information about The Dailey Method Ottawa, you can visit their website.You also can connect with them on their Facebook , Twitter,and Instagram pages!

What is your workout of choice? Would you want to step up to the barre?

Disclaimer: I received a 30-Day Membership to The Dailey Method Ottawa in order to write this review. The views I shared are my own.

Checking Out All that Glitters at #GoldRush! – El Dorado in British Columbia!

Action. Adventure. Heartbreak. Upheaval. All of these themes are on display at GoldRush! – El Dorado in British Columbia at the Canadian Museum of History. Created by the Roya BC Museum, Gold Rush displays the transformation of a colony near the Pacific Ocean during the Gold Rush as it broke down the barriers of class and race in the pursuit of golden new beginnings. I got a chance to check o, ut all that glittered at this exhibit to share with you! Gold Rush! will be on display from April 8, 2016, until January 15, 2017.

Reese Speaks Gold Rush Plaque 2 Photo

 

Visitors can see such items as the Turnagain Nugget, the largest existing gold nugget from British Columbia, as well as more than 280 objects on display from this era! Made up of five linked galleries, Gold Rush! aims to recreate the gold rush, getting visitors up close with the real history of gold in British Columbia.

During my visit to Gold Rush!, there was so much to discover! I was able to learn about this era from the first shouts of excitement over finding gold to it has impacted the histories of many nations all over the world.

 

Reese Speaks Gold Rush Time Line Display 2 Photo

 

There are also gold pieces on display from distant lands where gold had been discovered years before that began to spur the search for golden riches in Canada.

 

Reese Speaks Gold Rush  El Dorado Origins Collage Photo

 

I then ventured to look at the tools of the trade during the gold rush. It was fun to see that an actual stagecoach that is on loan for this exhibit from the Historic O’Keefe Ranch up close, and all of the items a treasure seeker would use to try and strike it rich.

 

Reese Speaks Gold Rush Equipement Photo

I thought that Gold Rush! did an excellent job of sharing various integrating interactive methods for its visitors to learn more about this era.  There are screening areas, tablets with added information about certain aspects of the exhibit, and stations where visitors can learn hands-on about this time period and about gold. They were all interesting to take in and to try.

Reese Speaks Gold Rush Interactive Activities Collage Photo

I could not leave out the fashion of this era out this post! I know these pieces were designed over 150 years ago, but to see them in such great condition and still vibrant with colour was a sight to see! I especially loved the dress and parasol outfit. It was hard to shoot, but it was fun to have a snapshot of the time through fashion.

 

Reese Speaks Gold Rush Fashion Photo

 

A favourite part of the exhibit was seeing how much I was worth in gold. Based on the price of an ounce of gold, it converts your weight into a dollar amount. Based on my weight that day, I could go on a holiday somewhere or on a fun shopping spree!

 

Reese Speaks Gold Rush Weight in Gold 2 Photo

 

There was so much to take in at Gold Rush! Learning how this period shaped Canadian history was a great way to spend a visit at the Canadian Museum of History. Having so many artefacts from this time also brought what I learned more to life. An added bonus was seeing everything that glittered and made out of this precious metal! Gold Rush! is a fantastic exhibit for visitors to experience!

 

Reese Speaks Gold Rush Gold Items Collage 2 Photo

 

For more information about GoldRush! – El Dorado in British Columbia, you can connect with the Canadian Museum of History on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram pages!

Disclaimer: I received admission to the Canadian Museum of History to visit GoldRush! – El Dorado in British Columbia exhibit in order to write this review. The views expressed are my own.

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Getting Gussied Up for Polo in the Park Ottawa!

Hey, Readers!

Have you ever attended or watched a polo match? If not, it has been described as the sport of kings and is an event where people attend to be seen. Personally, I have never been to one, but I am finally getting my chance at this year’s Polo in the Park Ottawa!

Polo in the Park Ottawa logo

Used with permission from http://www.polointhepark.com

 

 

This inaugural event in the nation’s capital is being hosted by The Rotary Club of Ottawa South, in partnership with Wesley Clover Parks and the Ottawa Polo Club. Polo in the Park Ottawa is a fundraising event benefiting the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and TROtt (Therapeutic Tiding Association of Ottawa-Carleton). It takes place on Saturday, August 27, 2016, at Wesley Clover Parks (401 Corskton Road) in Nepean from 10 am to 6 pm.

I love getting gussied up for a great fundraiser. I want to look fun yet sophisticated, which is a look I do not get to sport as often as I would like. I also want to add a bit of colour or fun to my look. After going on a safari hunt in my closet, I came up with these two numbers I would want to sport for Polo in the Park Ottawa. I’m not sure whether to go Team Skirt or Team Pants, but I know I will look fabulous in either outfit.

This is what Team Skirt look like:

 

Reese Speaks Polo in the Park Skirt Outfit

 

I have had this purple skirt in my closet FOREVER, and now I have the chance to sport it. I put it together with a simple blouse, tank top, belt and these heels. The silver heels just added more fun to the rest of the look. I then found a beaded chain and a bracelet to finish off my outfit. I think I would look quite ready for a day of watching polo.

 

 

This is what I had in store for Team Pants:

 

Reese Speaks Polo in the Park Pants Outfit

 

It is a little more laid back than I think one would wear to this kind of function, but I think it still looks fabulous! The focal point of this look has to be my blouse. It is really cute and chic. The white wide-leg pants also made this outfit more cool and comfortable. The bracelet is the only piece of jewellery I have for this outfit and is all it really needs. It’s simple, yet fits the look. I could have chosen to wear another pair of heels, but for a bit more comfort, I elected to go with the open-toe wedges. They are a bit laid back and cute and fit well with the outfit. Finally, the aviators give this outfit a bit of cheek, and I love how well it looks with the blouse.

 

 

So these are my two options for the inaugural Polo in the Park Ottawa event. I know I am missing one key part to both of my looks: a hat! I am not so much of a hat person, but I do appreciate the gorgeous sun hats people will be wearing with their outfits! There will also be a Hat Contest at this event! Attendees can enter to win in the following categories:

  • Hat-A-Tude
  • Dapper Dan
  • Too hot to Trot
  • Colt & Filly
  • Fresh Flowers

Entrants must register between 10 am to 12 noon to be in the running to win!

So, what are you waiting for?! Purchase a ticket to attend Polo in the Park Ottawa, have a putting together your outfit, and get ready to be a part of a fantastic day of fun and sports for two fabulous organizations!

See you there!

Which team would you choose to wear to Polo in the Park: Team Skirt or Team Pants?

For details about Polo in the Park Ottawa, you can check them out on their website as well as their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

Make #HorsePower: The Paul Bienvenu Carriage Collection a Mane Exhibit to Attend!

As a history buff, I love being able to visit exhibits where I can be taken back in time to see how people lived. It is also amazing to see how people traveled short and long distances without the aid of an engine. This is why I was excited to take in Horse Power: The Paul Bienvenu Carriage Collection at The Canadian Museum of History . This exhibit will be showing from March 23, 2016, to April 17, 2017, for visitors to view and make it a mane part of their visit!

 

Reese Speaks Horse Power Feature Shot 2 Photo

Paul Bienvenu has been collecting horse-drawn vehicles that have been made or used in Quebec for over 50 years. Bienvenu has extensive experience in the world of Canadian horses, and it has allowed him to gain an in-depth knowledge in this area of collecting. He has traveled all over Quebec and North America to cultivate his collection.

Developed by the Musée de la civilisation in Québec City, Horse Power is a collection of 18 of the 213+ horse-drawn vehicles Bienvenu has in his collection that illustrates what land transportation was like in Québec spanning a period of almost 200 years, from 1770 to 1950. These vehicles let visitors take a look back at what land travel was like for those who were able to travel by carriage.

It was such a treat to have been invited to view this exhibit. Some of these carriages helped to bring to life some of the Canadian history and culture I learned about in my studies.

One of my favourite carriages on display is the first one on display within the exhibit. The Park Ride Drag Coach was used in the late 1800s by Rothschild & fils. It was used for country and racetrack outings.

 Reese Speaks Horse Power Park Ride Drag Coach Photo

When brought to race meets, the coaches would be grouped together on the infield. Owners and guests would have a bird’s eye view of the action while seated on top of the carriage while enjoying the food they brought to feast on in comfort. There is also a second trunk at the back of the coach to hold metal ice boxes to keep food and drinks cool. It is so gorgeous! The craftsmanship can really be seen in the doors, the wheel and the other features found all over this vehicle.

Reese Speaks Horse Power Park Drag Coach Collage Photo

The Three-Seat Phaeton was considered a “station wagon” for the affluent crowd as they were used to carry travelers and their luggage to and from the railway station. It was built by The Ledoux Carriage Co. (Bruno Ledoux) in Montréal, QC in the late 1800s. I like how there are vis-à-vis seats (seats that face each other) so travelers can talk and have fun while beginning or ending their journey. And that it the natural wood is visible.

Reese Speaks Horse Power Three–Seat Phaeton Collage Photo

Carriages were also built to travel through the snowy Québec winters as well! I was able to hear the Christmas carols playing in my head as I viewed this Carriole. It was built by Wilbrod Jacob around 1935.

Reese Speaks Horse Power Carriole Carriage Photo 2

It was used to carry travelers to events through the snow-covered Richelieu Valley. The details and artwork are visible from front to back on this vehicle. The carvings and the curled runners are gorgeous, and the seats looked so comfortable. I can only imagine how much fun winter revelers had when traveling in this sleigh.

Reese Speaks Horse Power Carriole Carriage Collage Photo

There were also interactive tablets throughout the exhibit to help educate visitors about the various carriages. It was great to be able to learn different bits and pieces about the history of these vehicles.

Reese Speaks Horse Power Interactive Carriage Viewer 2 Photo

There was so much to see and learn at Horse Power: The Paul Bienvenu Carriage Collection. It was fascinating to discover all of the different types of carriages used by Canadians and to learn all about the history behind them. It was also amazing to see the craftsmanship put into these vehicles. It was a beautiful exhibit to visit! Plan a visit with your family to take in all that Horse Power has in store!

Reese Speaks Horse Power Carriage Signs and Statue Collage Photo

For more information about Horse Power you can connect with The Canadian Museum of History on their Facebook , Twitter and Instagram pages!

Disclaimer: I received admission to the Canadian Museum of History to view Horse Power: The Paul Bienvenu Carriage Collection exhibit in order to write this review. The views expressed are my own.

Getting Interactive with #UltimateDinos

Dino love. My younger kids have it bad. They are fascinated by the thought of these larger than life creatures once roaming the earth. They love how these prehistoric creatures could come in all different sizes and that they had once roamed the earth. I jumped at the invitation to visit the Canadian Museum of Nature to take in their newest exhibit Ultimate Dinosaurs. I could not wait to see their faces when they came face to face with their skeletons and fossils and were able to interact this exhibit!

 

Reese Speaks Dino Door 2 Photo

 

Ultimate Dinosaurs showcases dinosaurs from the ancient southern hemisphere supercontinent of Gondwana (a huge land mass that existed about 180 million years ago which incorporated what is now known as South America, Africa, India, Antarctica, Australia, New Guinea and the Arabian Peninsula).  16 fully-articulated skeletons are on display, including a 12-metre-long Giganotosaurus, one of the largest carnivores that ever lived. What is so exciting about this exhibit is that it displays types of dinosaurs are not found in North America. This exhibit was created by the Royal Ontario Museum and is presented by the Science Museum of Minnesota.

 

Reese Speaks Majungasaurus Photo

Reese Speaks Big Dino Collage 1 Photo

As we exited the elevator for our visit to this exhibit, we were welcomed and guided by a set of dino footprints to the exhibit.

Reese Speaks Dino Foot Print Collage Photo

Our first steps into the exhibit introduced us with a trio of dinosaurs my kids spent a good 10 minutes visiting with. They especially liked the Eoraptor because it was so small and cute. I loved how I was able to learn about these dinos from the podium in front of the display as well as the video background.

 

Reese Speaks Dino Video Display Photo

 

If there is one word I would use to describe Ultimate Dinosaurs, it would be interactive. There are so many areas and ways for visitors to learn hands-on about the dinos of Gondwana. My son got to learn about different types of fossils by actually getting to touch them! He was able to hold and touch ceratopsian horns, and his favourite, dino poop fossils!

 

Reese Speaks Dino Fossil Hold Collage Photo

 

Throughout the exhibit, there are stations visitors can learn about the different dinosaurs on display. Once each station has been completed, you can stamp an impression of the dino featured onto a card. My daughter had fun learning about each of these dinosaurs and then collecting all of the stamps. She was so proud when she had all of the impressions and was telling me about the activities she enjoyed most.

 

Reese Speaks Dino Station Collage Photo

 

I really liked how there play areas set up around the exhibit for visitors to be able to get away from the screens for a moment to just let loose and play. My kids spent a good amount of time at all of these stations, playing with some of the dinosaurs featured in this exhibit. They loved being able to touch, role play and eventually leave the dinos of Gondwana so they can nap while we looked through the rest of the exhibit. This is just a snippet of the fun they had.

 

Reese Speaks Dino Play Collage Photo

 

Another fabulous feature of Ultimate Dinosaurs is how augmented reality technology is used to wow and educate visitors. With our naked eyes, we were able to see the skeletons of dinosaurs. Looking through and manoeuvring the screen allowed us to see the skeleton come to life with flesh and skin covering the skeleton before us. We were even able to learn more about this animal when pressing the buttons on the screen. I thought this was amazing!

 

Reese Speaks Augmented Reality Screen 3 Photo

Reese Speaks Augmented Reality Screen Collage Photo

I thought the interactive tablets set into displays around Ultimate Dinosaurs was a brilliant idea! Visitors are able to learn how to pronounce names of some of the dinos in the exhibit, as well as the meaning of their names, their relative size, and other fun tidbits about these awesome creatures. Take a look at my daughter’s favourite dino!

 

 

It was hard to want to call it a day at Ultimate Dinosaurs! They loved seeing the skeletons and fossils of dinosaurs that they have not seen before, learning is accomplished in so many different formats, and it is such a fun exhibit to visit! We really did not want to leave. We can’t wait to bring my other half to see it. He would have as much fun visiting this exhibit as we did.

Reese Speaks Big Dino Collage 2 Photo

Ultimate Dinosaurs runs from June 11 – September 5, 2016.

Want more dino fun? Visitors are also able to do the follow activities while on a visit to the Canadian Museum of Nature:

  • Make replicas of a fossil tooth or claw in the Fossil Lab;
  • Take a breather in the Dino Zone;
  • Find out about 450-million-year-old local fossils in the Nature Live gallery;
  • Fossil excavation; and
  • Take in the 3D film Walking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet (a separate fee applies for this feature).

For more information about Ultimate Dinosaurs (http://nature.ca/en/plan-your-visit/what-see-do/our-exhibitions/ultimate-dinosaurs), you can connect with the Canadian Museum of Nature on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages!

Disclaimer: I was invited to visit this exhibit in order to write this review. The views expressed are my own.

Strolling Through the 2016 Canadian Tulip Festival

Hey Readers!

I had another magical time at this year’s Canadian Tulip Festival! Every year, I am amazed at the variety of shapes and colours this type of flower can take on. I took a sneak peek at the rows upon rows of flower beds displaying tulips and other flowers the day before the festival officially kicked off on May 12, 2016. My little guy was along for the ride, and he had a bit of a crush on these blooms as well. I know I shared my last visit with you a few years ago, but I had to share some of the gorgeous tulips in a gallery post for you as well!

 

Reese Speaks Tulip Fest General Photo 2

 

First, there were the tulips that had the cup-like shape most people are accustom to seeing. Each shade I saw was beautiful. It was hard just picking a few for this post!

 

Reese Speaks Single Layered Tulips Collage

 

Then there were the multilayered tulips that I was surprised about! If I did not go to this year’s festival, I would never have known that these flowers were tulips!

 

Reese Speaks Multilayered Tulips Collage

 

Oh, these various pointed leaf tulips were so jaw-droppingly nice! They captivated all who viewed them.

 

 

My little guy was having a great time while visiting the flowers! I was smart enough to bring our wagon so he could ride in it when he grew too tired of walking through Commissioner’s Park or if he wanted to entertain visitors to the festival with his shenanigans.

 

Reese Speaks Tulips Marcus Collage

 

There were some awesome seas of tulips! I could get lost in them if I were by myself.

 

Reese Speaks Tulip Fest 2016 Orange Pink Purple Sea of Tulips Photo 2

Reese Speaks Tulip Fest 2016 Orange and Yellow Sea of Tulips Photo 2

Reese Speaks Tulip Fest 2016 Multicoloured Sea of Tulips 3 Photo

 

Overall, I really enjoy kicking off the spring season in Ottawa by visiting the Canadian Tulip Festival at Commissioner’s Park. There are always new varieties of tulips and other flowers to see, it is a great way to get outside and enjoy the warmer spring weather and it is always a great time spend with loved ones.

 

Reese Speaks Tulip Fest 2016 Floral Mix Photo

 

The festival wraps up on Victoria Day (or Memorial Day for those of you in the US), so there is still time to pop over to the locations where this festival is being held and take in the beauty of these awesome flowers! I know I will be making another visit this weekend with my family!

 

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese

Go Back in Time with Vikings at The Canadian Museum of History!

The Vikings have been putting their mark on various different societies for centuries, and now you can learn all about it! The Museum of Canadian History is showing the exhibit Vikings to help display who this famous group of people were and to set the record straight about certain aspects of their lives while they lived. When asked to visit this exhibit, the history buff in me jumped all over this opportunity. I had studied this group of people while in high school and university because I found them so fascinating, and could not wait to see what this exhibit has in store for me.

 

Vikings Feature Photo Reese Speaks

 

Vikings were not the bearded barbarians with horned helmets we have come to think they were through literature and film. Vikings features a beautiful array of interactive displays and 500 amazing artifacts from The Swedish History Museum, with some of these pieces rarely being displayed outside of Sweden. In this acclaimed international exhibition, Vikings shows visitors a fabled Scandinavian culture that was refined, complex and was able to achieve much while they existed.

Once inside of the exhibit, it felt as though I had entered a mythical realm while being in a very modern space. There are prints on the walls of various Scandinavian landscapes to give visitors a feel of where the Vikings lived.

 

Vikings Scandinavian Landscape Photo Reese Speaks

 

From there, you are directed towards seeing different aspects of Viking life and what the major groups of people were like with some of the artifacts in display cases found in their graves. Fun fact: women of the Viking Age were on more of an equal level to men than in later times as long as they were not slaves.

 

 

It was also fun to see what farm life was like for the Vikings. This exhibit displayed a taste of what it was like in video wall/artifact displays that I thought was done in a clever way. On the other side of this displays was a section, visitors could also touch some of the artifacts such as sheepskin and other materials. My kids really enjoyed getting to be able to sit down and feel for themselves what some of these pieces felt like. They really enjoyed this part of Vikings.

Fashion lovers, rejoice! Besides all of the lovely pieces of jewellery in this exhibit, there is a section where some Viking clothing is featured. My daughter, the mini fashionista she is, spent some time admiring some of the pieces on display.

 

Vikings Fashion Reese Speaks

 

Another part of Vikings I found interesting was their interactive touch screen showing how the Vikings believed the world was created. Visitors are able to touch the screen and see the different areas of the world the Vikings lived and the realms where the various Norse gods ruled.

 

Vikings Touch Screen Collage

 

I left one of the most important aspects of Viking life, and this exhibit, for last: boats! The Vikings are known for being a sea-faring people. A large part of this exhibit is dedicated to these vessels. From travel to burial, boats were at the heart of Viking life. I loved seeing the rivet display and the row boat for all to see and admire.

 

Vikings Boat Collage Photo Reese Speaks - Copy

 

Whether you have a love for history, food, fashion or transportation, Vikings is an exhibit to visit. Audiences of all ages will find something to marvel on their visit back in time, and will be able to take something away from it. Vikings will be at the Canadian Museum of History until April 17, 2016.

For more details about Vikings, you can connect with The Canadian Museum of History on their Facebook and Twitter pages!

Disclaimer: I was compensated admission to the Canadian Museum of History in order to conduct this review. The opinions I shared are all my own.

Bug Out at Bugs: Outside the Box at the Canadian Museum of Nature! #BigBugs

The Canadian Museum of Nature is crawling with excitement as it presents its newest traveling exhibit, Bugs: Outside the Box, produced by Outhouse Exhibition Services. This exhibit will be on view from October 23, 2015 until March 27, 2016.

Bugs: Outside the Box allows for visitors to get up close to the insect world. Italian sculptor Lorenzo Possenti created sixteen larger than life models of exotic insects that welcome visitors as they enter the exhibit. To add to these fabulous works of art, the Canadian Museum of Nature has also included its live insects, scientific specimens, vivid videos and even some bugs for visitors can taste!

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The world of entomology is opened up to visitors as they are able to learn more about exotic and local insects; view fantastic images of beetles from the Museum’s collection; look at numerous pinned insects; watch a “bug parade” video projection; experience certain aspects of bug life in the play area of the gallery; and even purchase edible bugs at the gallery!

My friend, Kamerine from The Life of K,  invited me to this event (thanks so much!). I brought the VP of Cuddles along with me to view this exhibit as he is just learning to appreciate the world around him, and he digs bugs! When we entered the gallery, he was a bit taken aback by the sheer size of Lorenzo Possenti’s creations. Many of these sculptures are bigger than him, and they towered over him on their displays. After a while, he became fascinated with them. He especially loved the butterflies and beetles that were on display. Since I am a huge fan of dragonflies, I was drawn to this sculpture. There were also pieces of some of these sculptures that we were able to touch so we could get a feel for what they might feel like. Possenti did an excellent job of creating these larger than life beings.

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One of the entomologists form the Canadian Museum of Nature was on hand to show visitors what a beetle looks like on the inside. She was so amazing with my little guy. She showed him the beetle’s inner workings, and he was able to assist her in putting it back together. This was really great for him to experience, as he would never get to see this with a real beetle unless he becomes an entomologist himself.

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The video projections around this exhibit were amazing! My son loved going up to each of them and gaze at them as they showed different aspects of bug life. His favourite was the Cricket that greets you at the second half of this exhibit. It stares at you and extends its wings. You could hear the sound of its wings as it starts to unfurl them. It was an awesome sight to see.

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The terraria on display were fascinating to view. We were able to see insects such as giant stick insects, jungle nymphs, monarch butterflies, and my son’s favourite, the Hercules beetles.

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Some of the entomologists were on hand to all us to see some of these beautiful creatures outside of their enclosures. They lovingly handled them so we could see them away from their habitats that they painstakingly put together to be as authentic as possible. Though we were not allowed to touch these insects, it was fun to see them interacting with the entomologists and to be able to be so close to them.

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Both of us were entertained in the play area of the gallery. We put our jumping skills to the test as we tried to jump as far as a grasshopper. I was amazed to see just how far a grasshopper could in comparison to a human. I tipped my hat to these creatures.

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We also had a ball pretending to move around “dung” like a dung beetle. My son realized pretty quickly how hard it would be for us to do this all day, but had fun moving the comfy balls around this area.

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This exhibit was a big hit for both of us! We loved seeing the sculptures alongside their regular-sized counterparts. We also enjoyed viewing all of the specimens, both live and collected, on display. Sometimes, I forget just how vast the insect world is, and this exhibit brought this fact back to me.

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Visitors can also view the other related programming near the Museum’s Animalium gallery on the 4th floor. Visitors can become a bug scientist and can learn how to pin insects, and try their hand at drawing them as well. The Museum’s popular Nature Nocturne party on Friday October 30, 2015 will also have the theme Giant bug invasion in honour of this exhibit’s opening. For this weekend, children are invited to turn themselves into their favourite buggy character and join in on the fun of a flower-finding adventure in their Bird Gallery for the “pollinator challenge.”

This exhibition is supported by Orkin Canada. A surcharge of $4 (in addition to regular admission to the museum) applies for the special Bugs: Outside the Box exhibition.

For more details about the Canadian Museum of Nature, or Bugs: Outside the Box, you can visit their website. You can also connect with the Canadian Museum of Nature on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Disclaimer: I was compensated admission to Bugs: Outside the Box in order to write this review. The views I have shared with you are my own.

Fun for Kids of All Ages at Canadian Museum of History’s Canadian Children’s Museum!

Hey Readers!

The ”Bosses” and I have had some amazing adventures this summer, some were big and others were small. Throughout each journey, I felt that they were able to take away something from it, and I am so happy about it! One of the excursions my entourage and I went on was to the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec. This was their first visit to a museum, so I was anxious to see how they would do in an environment like this, but I also want them to learn beyond what they are used to, and this Museum has so much to offer and teach them! Since two of my VPs are still toddlers, I limited our visit. I shared our visit to the Museum’s exhibit on Terry Fox that they loved (yes, even my little ones!), then we made our way to the Canadian Children’s Museum. Let me tell you, this is one of their favourite places to go!

It was a bit of a challenge to keep my kids at bay as we entered this exhibit to grab this shot! They saw the pillars and the stamps and wanted to see more!

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The Canadian Children’s Museum allows children to travel the world and explore other cultures through exhibitions, props costumes and hands-on objects. There really is something for every child, big or small, to experience and enjoy at this Museum and allow them to learn from everything around them.

When we entered the Canadian Children’s Museum, we received passports for my younger children from the Travel Bureau so they can collect stamps from each exhibit they explore. My eldest helped her siblings place each stamp into their passports to make sure they had a memory of each exhibit they visited. The kids love looking at their passports and reliving all of the fun we had!

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Our first stop, Destination: Imagination, was a favourite for my younger daughter. The theme of this exhibit was the theatre and she loves drama and the theatre! The ‘’Diva’’ and I fell in love with everything here from the ticket booth at the entrance, to the backstage area to the stage itself. We had to tear ourselves away because we could have stayed and played here for our whole visit!

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We then found our way to Crossroads where cultures come together in one area. They were able to see what it would be like to ride a Pakistani Bus, pretend to pull a rickshaw or get information from another country. My kids loved riding on the bus, learning information about different countries, and making calls in the London telephone booth!

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We got a bit of a break to recharge by spending time in the Studio. My kids were able to sit down and create bead bracelets while taking in the fun décor. My favourite part of the room had to be the ceiling! The fish and the bubbles gave me so many ideas of what I would like to try for fun birthday party ideas or for decorating their bedrooms.

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My daughter’s masterpiece! She was extremely proud of her work!

The kids found their way to Kaleidoscope. It is an area designated to special exhibitions by the Canadian Children’s Museum. During our visit, my son was elated to see that Lego was being featured! There were certain areas set up for visitors to build structures to their heart’s content, a wagon and wheel barrels to help transport Lego pieces around the room if there just were not enough at your station, and a large Adirondack chair so anyone could feel like a big kids while they sat in it!

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While my eldest took my younger daughter for a sneak peek of the rest of the Museum, my son and I popped into Lucy’s Bookstore. This was another great rest stop for me. I fell in love with how it is in a quiet spot so visitors can kick back and relax with a fun storybook on their comfy cushioned bench or poke around the bookstore. My son loved the check-out area because he could play with the cash register and pretend to be an employee.

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Our final stop was to the International Village. There was so much to do and see! My kids were able to ‘’create’’ a meal at the Kids, Café, drive a van and work on a cargo ship at Port of Entry, learn about ancient Egypt in Secrets in the Sand, barter for goods at the Market Bazaar, and see how different homes look around the world. They really got a kick out of being able to pop in and out of areas and see how different cultures live and communicate.

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There are parts of the Canadian Children’s Museum that we did not get to visit because there was SOOOOOO much to see and do! This is a good thing because these will be the first places we will go to on our next visit! For my younger kids, there were a few tear as we had to say goodbye. They really did not want to leave. For them, it was like having a super doper playroom with countless rooms full of discovery! The best part about this Museum is that the ”No Touching” Rule does not apply here! In fact, not getting to interact with the exhibits would take away from the experience! The ”Bosses” cannot wait to return and have another fun day of learning and exploration. If you are ever hard pressed for an idea for a family fun day, I would always point you in the direction of the Canadian Children’s Museum at the Canadian Museum of History. You and your mini entourage will not be disappointed!

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For more information about the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian Children’s Museum, you can visit them on their website, or connect with them on their Facebook  and Twitter pages!

Disclousre: I was compensated with admission to the Canadian Museum in order to visit the Children’s Museum. The opinions are all my own as I wanted to share this experience with you!