Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Exploring Ottawa: Hogs Back Park | Adventure Time

Now that I'm living in Ottawa I'm really enjoying exploring all the new places around me. This little gem of a park is called Hog's Back Park. It's about a 20 minute walk from my apartment to this bit of paradise. 
The waterfalls in this area are created by the dam that separates this area from Mooney's Bay- the beginning of the Ottawa Canal. The fast moving water is so gorgeous against the stillness of the rocks and trees. If you're able to catch the light just right through the waterfall spray you can see a rainbow. 
My friend Paul from back home has been my rock here. We've been spending so much time together and he's really been helping me through this transition of leaving home and dealing with homesickness. 

He came with me to the park and, of course, my inner photographer escaped me and I made him participate in an impromptu photo shoot.
This is one of those places that you just have to take in slowly. Paul and I barely spoke walking through here because we were so amazed by the beauty that we were engulfed in. The world we live in is absolutely beautiful!
I feel like the shots people don't realize your taking end up being some of the best. I really love these shots of Paul; very GQ-esque I do believe!
While walking across the rocks, we stumbled upon this beautiful proposal and were just so awe-struck. This sentiment is so beautiful- his proposal will be there forever and they will always be able to go back and see this for the rest of their lives.
This park is so stunning- I know it will be a place I revisit often. I feel so inspired here. I just want to take tonnes of photos and write my heart out! It's little treasures like this that refuel me. It's such a perfect piece of unedited land and I love it's authenticity. 

I hope you enjoyed this post, if you know of any places in Ottawa I should explore do let me know! Where do you like to explore- do you prefer urban or rural places to have an adventure?

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Sunday, 27 September 2015

23. Favourite Physical Trait | 52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge

Thinking of my favourite physical trait was actually a really hard task- I think as women we are taught our whole lives not to celebrate our own beauty, but instead to be humble. I tried writing this post about 3 different times to no avail. I finally had to sit myself down and really think about what I like about myself on a surface level.
Face: Eyes
I decided to choose two traits to focus on, one on my face and one on my body. I thought it would be a good idea to really appreciate the different parts of myself in a way I hadn't prior.

The part of my face I like the most is my grey/blue, almond shape eyes. I love to show them off and make them pop with makeup and the colour of my clothing.
Body: Legs
Choosing the part of my body I liked most was a little harder, so I used the same sort of criteria for my facial trait: what do I like to show off or emphasize? This was definitely my legs! I'm very self conscious about my middle/tummy area, but my legs are a part of my body that I'm really happy with. They're lean, long, and toned. I love wearing skinny jeans, skirts, and dresses to emphasize my best bodily feature. They help me to put my best foot forward (haw haw, get it).
Others: Smile
We all get taught our whole lives not to judge a book by it's cover, but we do to a certain extent. In others, my favourite physical trait is definitely their smiles. I don't mean their dental hygiene or how straight their teeth are. What I mean is my favourite trait to see in others is a warm genuine smile- when their mouths spread open, their cheeks push up, and their eyes crinkle. I think there's nothing more beautiful than seeing someone genuinely happy and smiling.

I hope you all have a reason to smile today because you have a beautiful smile! Please do take the time to appreciate your physicality and your beauty. Comment what your favourite physical trait is both for yourself and for others.

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Saturday, 26 September 2015

My Favourite Fitness Apps | Saturday Series: Fit-spiration 3 of 6

For the third post in my Fit-spiration series, I decided to share my favourite fitness apps. I think fitness apps can be really helpful, wether its for tracking workouts, monitoring daily intake, or fitness inspiration! They can all be really helpful and conducive to a fit and active lifestyle!
 To start off, this is what my health/fitness folder looks like on my iPhone. I don't use the Apple Health app and I've stopped using Tracker Lite, since my workouts are now part of my weekly schedule I know if and when I worked out.

The apps I use most are MyFitnessPal, SWORKIT, and MapMyRide.
This app is so helpful for finding new workout ideas as well as giving you a good workout when you may not have the time to put in to planning a workout of your own. You can choose any of the categories shown above, then you choose from the subcategories, and finally you set your time frame or duration.

The sub categories include:
Strength: full body, upper body, core strength, and lower body
Cardio: light warm up, full intensity cardio, plyometrics jump cardio, and boot camp
Yoga: sun salutation, full sequence, yoga for runners, and pilates
Stretching: head to to warmup stretch, full body, standing only, and back strengthening

My favourite workouts are core strength, full intensity cardio, sun salutation, pilates and back strengthening.

I love this app so much for it's workouts but what I really love most about it is that it provides you with a gif of a person doing the instructed exercise. This breaks down the barrier of fitness jargon, especially in the yoga section.
 MayMyRide is an app that uses your location and tracks your workout route. You can set it to many different tracking options including: walking, running, interval training, cycling, and countless other options! 

The app tells you how far you've gone as well as your average and split paces. It also keeps track of the music you listened to through iTunes which I think is a really cool feature because I know the songs I listened to for my best and worst workouts.
Saved the best for last on this one! MyFitnessPal is an app that I use absolutely every single day! I love that it tracks my steps on it's own so I can see how much I'm moving. I use this app mainly for tracking my food in take. Now,  I'm not a dedicated calorie counter however, this app shows me my macros for the day as well as how much of each vitamin and mineral I've consumed. This app really helps me to keep on track with a healthy and balanced diet, which we all know goes hand-in-hand with getting fit!

These apps have really helped me out in my fitness journey and I hope you will give them a try! If there are any apps you think I should give a go do let me know.

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Friday, 25 September 2015

What I Eat In A Day: College Edition | Food Friday

Now that I'm moved away and in college I thought I'd share with you a typical day of food for me. I try my best to plan ahead to make sure that even if I have a busy day I will always have home cooked, healthy meals so I don't need to resort to boxes and cans to survive.

This is absolutely hilarious that I haven't done a what i eat in a day for ages and yet the breakfast is still the exact same haha. I had been switching it up a little bit for the hot days by mixing together:

1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup oats
1 tsp cacao powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
But now that it's cooler again, I'm really loving my old faithful of oatmeal! I always make my oatmeal stove-top and with large flake oats.

1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cacao powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
 Lunch for me was a pasta salad that I pre-made on Sunday for all week and a bowl of romaine lettuce salad. I don't like most salad dressings so I just dressed it with with black pepper and plain white vinegar.

Pasta Salad Recipe:
Rotini pasta
1 diced chicken breast
Peaches and cream corn
Greek yogurt

This is literally the easiest meal prep recipe in the world! All I did was cook the chicken and the pasta, chop all the veggies and throw them in, then add the spices. I used a little bit of greek yogurt to kind of bind everything together. It tastes amazing and lasts in the fridge for ages
Around 3:30 I always seem to get hungry and my go-to is ALWAYS my favourite cereal; Multigrain Cheerios with a splash of chocolate milk, a dollop of greek yogurt, a few chocolate chips, and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. It's so delicious and not as unhealthy as you would assume!
For dinner I made a HUGE pot of meat sauce and portioned it off into freezer containers (you can see the small container in the corner for my lunch tomorrow haha). I served it over whole wheat penne pasta and broccoli. I had another bowl of romaine lettuce with vinegar- gotta get those 5 a day!

Meat Sauce Recipe:
5 strips 40% reduced sodium bacon
1 Lb extra lean ground beef
1 can diced tin tomatoes
1 can crushed tin tomatoes
2 tsp white sugar
Garlic to taste
Basil to taste
Oregano to taste
Onion powder to taste
Black pepper to taste
Salt if desired
To make this sauce I began by dicing up the bacon and cooking it in the pot. I poured both tins of tomatoes over the bacon and added the spices whilst I browned the beef in another pan. When the meat was fully cooked I rinsed and drained it, added the same spice mixture as shown above, then added the meat to the sauce along with the sugar. The sugar does a really good job of cutting the acidity of the tomatoes. I let the sauce simmer on a low heat for about 2 hours before putting into freezer containers. It's absolutely delicious!

To finish off the day I had a glass of 2% milk with a touch of cinnamon- I know, weird combination, but trust me it's really good and calming for before bed. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing my first college edition of what I eat in a day! If you try any of my recipes do let me know! I'm also curious to know any easy, student-friendly recipes that you know of (freezer friendly is a great option).

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

ABCs of Me | Tag

Age: 20
Biggest fear: being buried alive
Current time: 7:23am
Drink you last had: water
Easiest person to talk to: my mom
Favourite song: David Livingstone by Jon Bryant
Grossest memory: fetal pig dissection in grade 11 biology
Hometown: St. Joseph's Island
In love with: my new city; Ottawa
Jealous of: confident women
Killed someone: umm nope! haha
Longest relationship: just over 2 years
Middle name: Elizabeth
Number of siblings: just one; my brother Mitchell
One wish: to travel
Person who called you last: my parents
Question you're always asked: why don't you drink?
Reason to smile: I'm alive and well :)
Song you last sang: I Was Made For Loving You by Tori Kelly ft. Ed Sheeran
Time you woke up: 7:15am
Underwear colour: black
Vacation destination: Galway, Ireland
Worst habit: being skeptical, not trusting people
X-rays you've had: dentistry, broken arm
Your favourite food: bacon ^.^
Zodiac sign: Aquarius

I hope you guys liked reading through this post, I really enjoy doing these as I think it's great to share intimate details about my own life with you guys! I would like to tag anyone who is reading this. If you do this tag leave the link to your post in the comments so I can check it out!

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Sunday, 20 September 2015

22. Something You Use Everyday | 52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge

Boy do I miss my family...

I really wanted to avoid saying that my phone is the thing I'm most grateful for that I use every day, but it truly is. I'm so grateful for my phone. It helps to bridge the 10 hour gap between me and my family. I can call them, text them, see what they're up to on social media, and Skype/FaceTime them. I don't think I'd be surviving this experience without being able to have direct access to them through my cellphone. I've used it everyday to communicate with them in one way or another and I'm so unbelievably grateful for this piece of technology.
What is something you use everyday that you're thankful for? Please do let me know! 

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn 

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Workout Playlist | Saturday Series: Fit-spiration 2 of 6

If you're like me then a workout isn't a good workout with out a good playlist. I'm a huge music fan! I find, though, that a lot of people's workout playlists consist of very harsh songs that aren't entirely up-lifting. I do love a good beat to workout to but I don't think the songs themselves necessarily have to have harsh lyrics as well.

The playlist below is the playlist I use when I walk, run, lift weights, and do pilates. All the songs have great beats and are great songs to sing a long to! They always get me pumped up and ready for a workout!
This second playlist (below) is the one I play whilst I do yoga or stretch. The songs are calm  and quiet and help me to wind down and relax.
I hope you like my playlists- please do feel free to share your workout playlist or favourite songs to workout to!

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Friday, 18 September 2015

Rambling Through My Anxiety Attack | Personal

This post is NOT planned. I am literally sitting in my apartment alone, crying, feeling so overwhelmed and anxious about the fact that I'm alone. 

This is unedited.

This is un scripted.

This is raw.

This is the real deal of how I feel at this exact moment in time of utter panic. I'm so scared of being here alone and feeling like if anything goes wrong there is nobody here to help me. With the health issues I have, it's so terrifying that if something happened to me, who would even know for days to come?

My family isn't here.

My friends aren't here.

My mom isn't here.

I really thought I was doing fine here. I really thought I was keeping everything together and that I was on track. It's finally hit me just how terrifying this all really is. I'm so far away from the people I love and it's such a scary thought. I'm so used to my big, crazy family and being here is so quiet and lonely... 

I'm relying on the Lord a lot. I know that being here is in His plan, but what if His plans are changing? What if He has decided that I'm not ready for this and that I need to go home? I really want to go home... I just have to cry out to the Lord to give me the strength I need to carry me through these hard and scary days. Through Christ's love anything is possible. If He believes in me then I should also believe in myself. He has my best interest at heart and He wouldn't place me here if it wasn't where He thought I should be. I have to know that and I have to take comfort in that. I need to cast my anxieties onto the Lord and put my full faith in Him. 

I'm so scared.

I'm so alone.

I'm so tired.

My breathing is getting better now. I feel myself calming down and my heart beginning to slow. Gosh, I hate anxiety. It's Friday night, I got invited to my first party of the school year (I mean I wasn't planning on going anyways because I don't party but still). Everyone is out having fun and I'm sitting in my apartment balling my eyes out and calling my mommy like a baby. Are these feelings normal? Are my peers having similar experiences? 

These are the kinds of things nobody ever warned me about. Everyone talked so much about how much fun I will have and how much I'll love the city and how much I'll love my program. 

And all of that is true. 

But I wasn't prepared for this...

Woman Crush Wednesday (But on Friday) | Top 5

To follow up from Tuesdays man crush Monday, today I will be sharing my woman crush Wednesday favs! Even though I am a woman myself I feel as if I can still appreciate a good looking woman when I see one (we all can, right?). My appreciation goes to the natural beauties; the ones that don't pile on the makeup and haven't had crazy procedures done. Enjoy my woman crush Wednesday ladies:
5. Emma Watson
Emma is the epitome of the ugly duckling to the swan scenario; from HP1 as Hermione to now she has really blossomed from an awkward young girl to a beautiful woman. She is so stunning and I really appreciate her views on less is more when it comes to sex appeal. Love her!

4. Troian Bellisario
Ahhh, my favourite PLL! Troian is such a cutie; the shape of her face is so beautiful and strong. She always looks so youthful, natural, and fresh faced.
3. Kendall Jenner
To me, Kendall is the most attractive of all the Kardashian sisters (maybe that's why she's the one with the modelling career!). Compared to the rest of the family who very clearly has had work done, Kendall still looks fresh and naturally beautiful. Such a gorgeous girl!
2. Lily Collins
Lily's skin is absolutely stunning! Her minimal makeup look really compliments her natural beauty and her naturally strong brows are divine!
1. Angelina Jolie
I strongly believe that Angelina is the most effortlessly gorgeous woman on this Earth. Her bone structure is killer and her eyes amaze me! She's always on point with her looks as well as her personality- she's so calm and collected all the time. 

I hope you enjoyed this WCW and appreciated the beautiful women that I mentioned here. Do you have a celebrity woman crush? Please share it!

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Man Crush Monday (But on Tuesday) | Top 5

So today I decided to do something a little bit different and share with you the top 5 celebrity men that I just swoon over. I'll let you know now that what really sells me with a man is the eyes and the smile! So here are my top 5 man crush Monday celebs:
5. Jeffrey Dean Morgan
If between Grey's Anatomy and Ps. I Love You, you weren't sold on this man's charm and smile then I don't know what to say. I think that he is such an incredibly handsome man. His scruff and deep chocolate eyes lend to his good looks but what really sells me is the way his eyes crinkle when he laughs- it's so dang cute.
4. Jesse Williams
You know someone once said I looked like a brunette April Kepner... so I guess it's fate haha. Just kidding. But, Jesse Williams is such an attractive man. Those blue eyes are absolutely piercing against his dark olive skin. His closed lip smirk is so captivating!
3. Zac Efron
There's just something about Zac that is so attractive to me, I can't quite put my finger on it though. I do enjoy his shaggy hair, his blue eyes, his gorgeous face, scruff, and his smokin' hot bod, but all together they just create this masterpiece of a man!
2. Theo James
It's the smile. 100% it's all about the smile with this one. He's such a cutie with his innocent grin that extends into his smouldering eyes. Theo is incredibly handsome.
1. Ben Bass
I get the weirdest looks when I say that Ben Bass is my all time man crush- not everyone can see it I suppose! His eyes just draw me in- they're so dark in colour yet so kind in appearance. His smile is effortless and genuine all the time and lights up his entire face. I love how he can pull off scruff and a clean shaven face. His thick eye brows and dark hair are the perfect frame to his strong face (that jaw line though!). I think he is an incredibly handsome and sexy-without-trying man.

So those are my top 5 man crush Monday nominees (on Tuesday haha). Who are your ultimate man crushes? Let me know!

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn