#Squidgoals: Mermaid for a day at Aquamermaid school

This past weekend, I, along with my blogger friends, was invited to try outΒ AquaMermaid, Ottawa’s first and only mermaid school. Yup, you heard me… I was a real mermaid for 1 hour, and I totally loved it!

First, what an awesome workout on your abs! Swimming is such a great way to stay active and refreshed at the same time. I say this, but you will NEVER see me doing laps in a pool, I am more of a dipper (in French we say “saucer”). What I am trying to say here is that, I shouldn’t omit swimming from my workout routine, especially if I can do it #MermaidStyle!

Aquamermaid Ottawa Mermaid School

So how does it work?

At the base of the tail, you have a set of flippers where you place your feet, one next to the other. You then wrap the flippers in a bathing suit type fabric and pull it over all the way to your waist. It’s quite light and comfortable and fairly easy to move in. Other than having your feet strapped in,Β it’s not as claustrophobic as I imaged.Β The tails come in different sizes, colours and fabrics! I chose the pink because it matched my bathing suit πŸ™‚ You can also buy your own Mermaid tail and practice at home!

We learnt the three basic swimming movements: front, back and side. All of which entail (tail! haha) a graceful wave-like flowy motion from your feet to your hips. If you’re a good swimmer, this should come pretty easily to you. After a few tries, I got the hang of it and only got better as I swam more.

This would be awesome for a birthday party, bachelorette, or just for a fun with the girls! Who knows, you may get addicted and get lured (more fish puns!) into a membership.

If you’re looking to try an introductory class with some gal pals, they are available at Lower town pool and costs $60 for one hour. Classes are available for kids and adults.

Aquamermaid Ottawa Mermaid School Ottawa Fashion Blog

Thank you to Aquamermaid who hosted us for this session!

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Transformation: Feeling blue this summer

If you’ve only been reading my blog recently, you may have missed the entire part where I wrote about my weight loss journey. The reason I don’t talk about it anymore is because, well, things are not going as well as they used to. I don’t exercise like I used to, I gained a bit of weight this winter while on vacation, and it all just escalated from there. Yes, I love food! And no, I don’t have an eating disorder and I am not obsessed with my weight, it’s just that I am the strongest and best shape of my life (and on a good day, the lightest I’ve been in a while!). But today, I am scared. I don’t want to lose it all, over some sweet desserts or a few too many drinks. I made a promise to myself that I can NOT go backwards. I have updated all my closet with new clothes in smaller sizes. It’s just not happening.

The problem is summer and it’s tempting parties. The problem is that I am tired and overwhelmed. The problem is that I have a 3 year old who is turning into a demon. The problem is that I am dealing with some health issues. The problem is that I love blogging and it’s taking over my time and energy. Notice, how I am really good at excuses and can convince myself of anything. I have to stop.

I have to stop being so negative and so hard on myself and start practicing what I preach! I need to remind myself of where I was and how good I used to feel. I need to be myself again!
So, the following is an open letter that I am writing to myself (as prescribed by my personal trainer- thanks Tina!)

Hey Chants!

What’s up girl? How’s it going? I know your stomach pains are getting worse and Victor is turning into the devil and giving you a hard time, but don’t worry, it will pass. Think of all the amazing things you’ve accomplished in the last few years. You are super strong, you’re managing your shoulder and back pain like a boss, you’re blogging career is exploding and your loving family is there to support you. Sure, you started indulging a little bit more lately, and slacked on your lunch-hour workouts. Big deal, we’re human!

I noticed you’re wearing that blue and white dress today, and I wanted to point something out to you, something that I came across on the internet. Remember this photo? Man, that was a while back. This was taken before you had Victor. I mean, your makeup was on point, but girl… I know you were hurting inside. This was the biggest you have ever been. I know you were dealing with a recent miscarriage and maybe over doing it on the “treats”.

Blue stripe dress before

But look at you now! You have a chin, cheek bones and shoulders! Don’t forget how hard you have worked to get here. Don’t be so hard on yourself, just schedule you’re workouts and start cooking with the veggies that are coming out from the garden. Carve out some “Chantsy” time and take care of yourself. You look amazing!

Blue stripe dress after

XOX Chantsy

PS- You’re dress is too big for you now, give it a new home!

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Tummy Talk: What is Endometriosis and why is it ruining my life?

My stomach is hurting tonight, so I think it’s time I start talking about it. I have Endometriosis. Despite all the commotion in my stomach, every month I am reminded that I have it, and every month I am reminded that I am not pregnant.

Ok, let’s get one thing straight, I’m not dying. I also realize that there are bigger problems in the world, but, this is my world. There is a lot of pain that comes with endometriosis. And I am in a lot of pain most of the time, especial when I have my (.). I also have a lot of pain, because my endometriosis has progressed significantly, that it isΒ nowΒ causing infertility. It’s hard to talk about infertility because you’ll hear people say ignorant things like “at least you have a son” or “well, you’ll just have to have more sex!” or “you can just drink and party in the meantime.” On a side note, I have been doing a lot of the later, and I realize now that it is my coping mechanism. Also, there is a mild chance that I could still get pregnant… but that just seems like a cruel joke at this point.

I’ll get into infertility later, but for now, just know that it’s basically never okay to discuss these things with anyone unless they start talking about it first. Don’t ask people if they want kids, because you’ll know if/when they are pregnant! There is really no need to ask folks if they are “trying” either, since you may as well be asking them when are they having sex. A wise doc I used to work with once told me “all couples are tying.” This is an important thing to remember.

Also, I have no resentment for pregnant women or expecting mothers, just to be clear πŸ™‚

So, what the heck is Endometriosis?

The Mayo Clinic definesΒ Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) as an “often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus β€” the endometrium β€” grows outside your uterus (endometrial implant). In endometriosis, displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would β€” it thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. Because this displaced tissue has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. When endometriosis involves the ovaries, cysts called endometriomas may form.”

How do you know you have Endometriosis?

I have always had very bad period cramps growing up and they seem to have gotten worse over the years. I used to work for a women’s health association doing public health education and one day we got the Endometriosis file plopped on our desks. After reading all the guidelines and medical information, I was like “I have this, 100%.” And no one cared, until now. It’s not a problem, until it’s a problem.

Typically, endo is diagnosed only through laparoscopy. However, a few months ago, I was officially diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis, which I guess was confirmed by the large cysts that have now taken overΒ my ovaries. Also, my ovaries seem to be glued together from all the tissue. These are clear signs of endo. No official diagnosis needed here. But overall…NOT. GOOD.

The good news is that my tubes are clear (is that actual good news though? Do my tubes even matter at this point?) Again, another cruel joke.

What is the treatment for Endometriosis?

Hormones, a.k.a birth control. More cruel jokes.
But for realzees, Anaprox to help suppress theΒ cramping, and Advil to manage the pain.
Apparently, having a hysterectomy doesn’t relieve you of endo, since the surrounding cells still function as endometrial cells. You’ll still have the cramps, except now you’ll have early onset menopause to go with it. No one wants that.

Can you get pregnant with Endometriosis?

Yes, of course. I had Victor after all. But even he was hard to conceive. And now that my cysts have quadrupled in size and the endo has progressed, it seems nearly impossible. All this to say that I am waiting for an appointment with a fertility specialist.

What can we do about it?

Sadly, even though endo affects 1 in 10 women in their reproductive age, it is still a highly under-funded and under-researched condition. It is also called the “working women’s disease” which is the most disgusting term you can ever label anything related to a woman’s uterus. Yes, we delay pregnancy because of our careers, but come on?!

So on May 28, I’ll be running 5K in the Ottawa Race Weekend to support research in Endometriosis for the Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s Women’s Health Centre. So far I have raised $520, that’s 52% of my goal!

I want to end this post on a positive note because I don’t want negative thoughts to cloud my energy tonight. If this cause resonates with you, I would love your support and welcome your donations!

Β Thank you for caring and reading! Tummy actually feels better πŸ™‚

xox C

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GUEST POST: 10 THINGS TO DO EVERY NIGHT TO FEEL INCREDIBLE EVERY MORNING

BY SARAH SCHEMBRI
Instagram: Sarah.schemb

I am not a morning person. It takes a pint of tea, a warm shower and a whole hour to pass before I can construct a proper sentence without sounding like I am being tortured. It took my teenage years, arguing with my mother to wake me up gently, and tweaks to my routine when I started living on my own, to figure out how I can look and feel refreshed every single morning without a lot of effort.
If you are like me, and you want to channel effortless style before seven in the morning, if you want to feel your creativity flow in your veins and you want to feel inspired to take on another day to achieve your goals, then here are ten things you should do every night, so you can feel incredible every morning.

LAY OUT YOUR CLOTHES

Looking elegant and stylish every day is challenging if you are rushing and you spend half of the time scratching your head and deciding what you are going to wear. I found that laying out the clothes for the next morning, together with the shoes and accessories, is a no-brainer to looking sophisticated and stylish every single morning. Here’s a tip for you, check the weather so that you will prepare the right clothes.

TAKE OFF YOUR MAKEUP

I’m not going to lecture you about the benefits for your skin that come with removing your makeup before bed. All I know is that when I clean my face and moisturize, the next morning my face always looks refreshed and healthy, even if I am sleep deprived.

BATH AND LOTION

There is something soothing and luxurious about taking a bath before bed and using lotion all over your body. This may not be something you can do every night but making time for this ritual is ideal as it feels so good to unwind in that warmth and then smell like lavender, Argan oil or any other luxurious lotion that you love. I literally sleep like a baby whenever I take a bath.

READ SOMETHING INSPIRING

Whether you need tips on how to deal with work issues or you simply want to ignite your creativity, reading something inspiring before bed can help you do this, so you can have a better grasp on things the next day. I usually read a good book, although lately, I have come across Madeliene Rose’s stories which are so dreamy and these days, I like to end my day by reading one of them.

WATCH COMEDY

When my eyes are too worn to read anything, I turn to comedy and watch something that will make me laugh out loud. Whether it is an episode of Modern Family or a comedy sketch, making time to laugh before bed is a way of knowing the day has ended well – no matter how frustrated, stressed or angry I felt at times. Besides, going to sleep in a bad mood will probably mean a worse mood in the morning.

WEAR SOMETHING SOFT AND DELICATE

My days are often spent in heels, wearing tight midi skirts and blouses and sitting in a chair for most of the day, so when night comes around, I like to wear something that soothes my body. Whether that means cozy knits in winter or silk camisole shirts in summer, soft, delicate fabrics will help make the night more pleasant.

BROWSE THROUGH YOUR DAY

Not phone browsing, no. Actually, you should put your phone away and go through your day to figure out what you liked doing and what caused you stress. Understand if you can change up your routine or do things differently, so you can be less stressed and have better days.

BE GRATEFUL

Tying in with the previous point, you might want to acknowledge one thing you are grateful for before you fall asleep. Even in the worst times, when everything is going bad, being grateful for the smallest things will help you to confront the challenges of the coming day.

WATCH THE STARS

I don’t know about you, but I have a small window in my bedroom and when I am lying in bed I can see the same three stars if the sky is clear. No matter if I am having the best days of my life or the worst, whenever I gaze at the stars, I always remember that there is something bigger than me, the thought of which somehow, always helps me keep my feelings and thoughts in check.

FALL ASLEEP TO THE SOUNDS OF THE NIGHT

I used to fall asleep with the TV on but I learned that I felt more at peace and I had less chaotic thoughts when I slept to the sounds of the night. Whether you hear birds chirping, cars passing or the sound of people talking, sleeping to the sounds of the night is comforting, knowing you are in bed, still and at peace, while life is passing by.

 

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