An Awesome Assistant at Hand with JOBY GorillaPods!

As a blogger, one area of this industry I felt I really needed to up my photography game. It was one of the goals I set for myself last year, and I think I have started to see the difference in my photos. I love putting together sets for my blog posts, but there are times I find it difficult to hit the shutter at certain angles or to take pics of myself by myself. This is why I decided to invest a “photography assistant” by buying a tripod. Since I need to take a variety of shots, my other half steered me in the direction of buying a JOBY GorillaPod!

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Out of the wide range of GorillaPod models JOBY has available, I chose their SLR-Zoom. It is specially made for the DSLR camera I use to take many of the photos I shoot for blog posts.

Below are the features and the specs of this GorillaPod:

  • Height – 6 x 6 x 31.8 cm.
  • Flexible legs that are able to wrap around objects while being able to hold camera equipment up to 6.6 lbs (3 kg) on almost any surface.
  • Over 24 leg joints with rubberized ring and foot grips make it easy to bend and rotate it 360° to improve stability in difficult terrain.
  • Being created out of durable Japanese medical-grade ABS plastic and German TPE, it allows for secure joints to stay firm and to grip on objects for years of use.
  • Its lightweight and portable design make it easy to pack and take on-the-go!

I have to say that I LOVE my GorillaPod! Before I had this tripod, I would have to wait for my other half or my eldest to be at home and available to take certain shots. Now, I am able to set up the shot I want and get to work!

I have put this tripod in so many different positions when a third hand was needed. It was such a relief to not have to worry about my camera crashing onto the floor if I had it mounted and positioned in a certain way.

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I have used my tripod for almost a year, and the leg joints are still as stiff as they were on the day I bought them. If I had to switch the position of my GorillaPod for a better shot, it was easy to change how I wanted the legs positioned and it stayed in place once it was in the right spot. My GorillaPod has also been bashed and dropped a few times, yet it is still intact.

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When my shoot was over, it only took a few minutes to straighten the legs on my tripod and tuck it away for the day or to put in my equipment bag to take with me. It does not take up a lot of space in my bag, and I do not feel its weight when I tote it around.

I was really impressed with the ease the JOBY GorillaPod SLR-Zoom. It is lightweight, durable and stays in place where I need it. This tripod is also able to hold up my camera in various positions without tipping. Setting up photo shoots is more of a joy to do now that I have this tripod as my assistant at hand!

Until my next post, Readers,

Reese.

Note: This is not a sponsored review post. I love sharing fabulous products with you, and this is one of them!

Feeling at Home at the Courtyard by Marriott Mississauga-Airport Corporate Centre West!

Hey, Readers!

It had been a while since I had been home to see my family in Toronto. Since my aunt who I have not seen in about a decade was visiting “Grandma” (it’s actually my mom but she does not answer to this since she no longer has kids) for a few weeks, we decided to go home for a weekend to see her and my other family members! Instead of staying with one of my relatives, we decided to stay in a hotel. After doing a bit of research of hotels close to Grandma’s home, we decided to book a room at the Marriott Mississauga-Airport Corporate Centre West.

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The Courtyard by Marriott Mississauga-Airport Corporate Centre West boasts the following amenities for its guests:

  • Free high-speed Internet
  • Fitness Centre
  • Pool
  • Airport Shuttle

They also have four different rooms available to book:

  • 2 Queen-sized beds guest room
  • 1 King-sized bed guest room with a sofa bed
  • 1 King-sized guest room with a Whirlpool bathtub
  • 1 King-sized suite with a sofa bed.

We felt that the 2 Queen-sized beds guest room would work best for our family since it had two beds that were the same size we could all sleep on and enjoy.

After our long drive, we were so happy to reach our room. My little ones made short work of making themselves right at home in our room. They made sure that their entourage was comfortable and that our clothing was put away in their proper places. There was plenty of room for our clothes and my collection of shoes.

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The next things the kids and I had to try out were our beds and I am a HUGE fan of a tall bed. Each bed was firm and comfy. I had so much fun climbing into our beds every time I wanted to sleep or wanted to sit back and relax. As you can see, my kids found our beds adequate for our stay.

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This was one of the nicer bathrooms I have had in a hotel room in a long time. I loved that there was a privacy wall between the vanity and the toilet. There is literally enough room for three people to be in the bathroom at the same time (if this was necessary) without bumping into each other. The counter had so much space. It was able to hold all of our toiletries along with those that are complementary to the room.

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After a good night’s sleep, our tummies were grumbling. Since we had a few hours before meeting up with family, we decided to grab a bite at the hotel’s eatery, The Bistro – Eat.Drink.Connect™. I loved the set-up of their seating area. There were tables for those who wanted to get a bit of work done while they ate as well as three banquettes for families or small groups of people to share their meal. Each of the banquettes housed a television set so you could catch up on the goings-on of the day while you ate.

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Since we are used to a hearty sit-down breakfast on weekend mornings, we each ordered a scrambled egg breakfast. It came with strips of bacon, home fries, toast, and a cup of fruit (juice was separate). We were not disappointed with our morning meal. It was warm, yummy and ever so filling. This meal got us fueled well for our big day of fun.

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While our food was cooking, I had time to check out the hotel’s business centre. This area of the hotel was for guests to work if more space is needed to meet and work. Boarding passes could be printed off, desks and chairs are available for guests to set up shop to work. It is a comfortable and spacious work area.

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On the other side of the wall from the business centre was the hotel’s lounge area where guests are able to meet and greet friends. It is set up like a stylish living room with a roomy den side-by-side. There was so much room in this area that several groups could be there without feeling as though they would disturb each other. The two-sided fireplace was one of my favourite features of this room. It was warm and inviting. I wish it had a roaring fire in it when I visited, but the weather was too warm for it to be on.

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Our weekend was such a whirlwind affair that we did not have the chance to check out the fitness centre or the pool area. We were sad to check out of the Courtyard by Marriott Mississauga-Airport Corporate Centre West at the end of our mini family vacation. We enjoyed our breakfast at The Bistro – Eat.Drink.Connect™, the business and lounge areas are great for meeting and working, and our room really made us feel at home. The next time we visit our family in Toronto, we will be sure to book another room here!

For more information about the Courtyard by Marriott Mississauga-Airport Corporate Centre West, you can visit them on their website!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way by the Courtyard by Marriott Mississauga-Airport Corporate Centre West to write this post. I’m just sharing my great experience with you!

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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.

 

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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:  **

 

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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: **

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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3.  Playa Del Popsicle

809 Bank Street

Price: **

 

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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)!

 

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4.  Morning Owl – Bank Street

Location: 891 Bank Street

Price: **

 

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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!

 

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5.  Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut

Location: 769 Bank Street

Price: ***

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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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:

 

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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!

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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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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!

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

Covering Up Greys with L’Oréal Root Cover Up! #rootsavedme

Hey, Readers!

Though my face may give people the impression of a woman younger than my 30-something years, my hair, well, it tells a different story. I have been greying since my mid-20’s, yet more of these silvery strands have been adding themselves to my head over the past few years. After taking my braids out of my hair, I noticed just how much whiter my hair has become. I was asked to try L’Oréal Root Cover Up in Black to see if it could easily spray away my greys.

Reese Speaks Root Cover-Up Feature Pic

 

 

L’Oréal Root Cover Up promises to do the following: to temporarily conceal grey hair in 3 seconds, giving seamless coverage without any smudging or sticky residue when dry. It is ammonia and peroxide free and lasts until your next shampoo.

 

Reese Speaks Root Cover-Up Product Pic 2

 

I was really curious as to how well this product was going to work on my hair. I was worried that the colour was not going to match very well because my hair is an awkward shade of brown. It is not quite black, but it is not quite black, either. The Black shade of this product promises to blend in with shades from covers the range of really dark brown to jet black.

This is me before I used this spray.

 

Reese Speaks Root Cover-Up Before Use Pic

 

Yeah, I know! Especially in the front, right! It was crazy to see how white my hair has become.

I was happy that the instructions are pretty simple:

  • Shake well
  • Spray about 10 centimetres (4-6 inches) away from hair

 

Reese Speaks Root Cover-Up Application Steps Pic

 

Well, here are the results, Readers!

 

Reese Speaks Root Cover-Up After Use Pic

 

I was really impressed with how quick and easily it covered most of my greys. The spray nozzle did not hiccup or stall, it covered a good area of my hair with a few blasts, and the colour blended well with my remaining dark hair. It continued to keep its coverage until I wash my hair.

 

Reese Speaks Root Cover-Up Head Before and After Use Collage Pic

 

I did run into a few snags after using L’Oreal Root Cover Up. The first one was that some of the colour did come off onto my hands after waiting a few minutes to fix my hair a bit. It did not remove the colour on my hair (which I was happy about), but it did not dry as quickly as it said it would. A good wash cleaned it off well. This may have been due to the fact that I had a bit of product in my hair to moisturize it before applying the spray. There is nothing on the bottle that suggests that other products could result in making the product rub off onto hands after applying it to your hair. I could have also over sprayed my hair and it could be the extra product that came off onto my hands.

 

Reese Speaks Root Cover-Up Hand Rub-Off and Wash Pic

 

Another snag was that it did not get every single silver strand on my head. It was a little patch right smack on my hairline. After a few applications, the stubborn patch remained. Luckily, I was able to cover up this patch with my hair. Every other area I used this spray went dark.

 

Reese Speaks Root Cover-Up Uncovered Patch Pic

 

Overall, I was pleased with the results I received with L’Oréal Root Cover Up in Black. It took no time at all to hide most of my roots and white hairs with a few sprays and it was REALLY simple to use. The next time I use it, I will try to use less so the product will not smudge off on my hands. It was a good #beautyquickie!

What do you use to cover up your greys?

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

So Fulla Love for FullaBeanies Beanies!

 

 

Hats. I have had a love-hate relationship with them since I was little. Since my head is small and odd-shaped, most hats tend to sit on my head as though they are trying to balance on the top of an egg. While perusing Twitter, I saw these simply adorable crochet hats by FullaBeanies. After letting them know how cute I thought their hats were, I was asked if I would like to have one in order to review it. I was so touched and excited, of course, I said yes!

 

 

Here is a bit of background about the heart of FullaBeanies.

 

Janet Fullalove-Jones lives in a small village in Kent, S.E. England (UK) with her husband Mike, two daughters and two dogs. She started crocheting five years ago because she needed a distraction while giving up smoking. Since her great grandmother crocheted she wondered whether this talent was in her genes as well. After doing some  research on crocheting , she soon picked up the technique quickly. Janet soon found she had a knack for hats and started making them for presents for friends and family. Her beanies were soon admired and she starting to get request and building her product range brand. FullaBeanies is now steadily growing! FullaBeanies next step is to be found in retail outlets as well as to find new patterns to develop to sell alongside the hats!

Currently, there are two different patterns to choose from for a FullaBeanie beanie:

  • Puff Stitch Slouchy Pattern
  • Star Puff Slouchy Pattern

 

 

I instantly fell in love with the Star Puff Slouchy Pattern. I also gave Janet a few colours to choose from to ship. It was really hard to wait for my hat to arrive in the mail. I let out a huge squeal of delight when I saw it! I received this beauty.

 

Reese Speaks FullaBeanies Product Photo

The burgundy colour is so rich and vibrant! The Star Puff Slouchy Pattern is even more gorgeous in person. It is also thick and soft. These beanies are made of 80% wool and 20% acrylic, making them perfect for some of the chilly spring days we have had in Canada’s capital over the past few weeks. The stitch work is really well done and looks chic.

 

Reese Speaks FullaBeanies Star Pattern Photo

 

Another fun feature of this hat is the fashionable button that adorns the side of each hat. It is the perfect detail that finishes the look of this hat.

 

Reese Speaks FullaBeanies Button Photo

 

I could not wait to wear my hat! My little ones tried to sport my hat before I did, but I wanted to have the honour of donning this hat first. I was sooooooo happy with my hat! I felt as though I had a sort of updated 20’s look happening when I wore it the first time.

It was a warmer, sunny day when I snapped these shots, yet I loved this hat so much, I couldn’t take it off! l also liked how the ridge of my beanie fit the shape of my head so snuggly. My head did not take on that egg-like shape, which made me even more pleased with this hat.

 

Reese Speaks FullaBeanies Nice Smile Photo 2

Reese Speaks FullaBeanies Backyard Photo

My Fullabeanies beanie also fits well with so many pieces of my wardrobe, so I don’t have to worry about only wearing it during the winter months of the year. I would gladly sport my new chapeau any day of the year! It is also so much fun to take my beanie about town and to show it off!

 

Reese Speaks FullaBeanies Mug Photo

 

I am really impressed with my beanie from FullaBeanies! It looks chic and well made, is soft and warm, and it makes me looks great! It is such a welcome addition to my wardrobe. You should check FullaBeanies out and see what you think !

For more details about Janet FullaLove-Jones and FullaBeanies, you can connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Disclaimer: I received a beanie from FullaBeanies in order to write this review. The views I shared are purely my own!

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.