Live Out There Exclusive: “Europe By Backpack: Packing Essentials”

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A few years ago, I was lucky enough to embark on a month-long Europe trip, with two friends and my backpack. Packing for this type of journey can be tricky – and I definitely made my share of mistakes.

I recently wrote an article all about what I learned from my packing experience, so if you’re looking for some tips, click the link for my Europe Packing Essentials Checklist!

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Live Out There Exclusive: “7 Safety Tips For Cycling To Work”

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Let’s face it – going to work everyday can be a drag. It’s especially rough when the beautiful spring weather is taunting us from the office windows and reminding us of all the outdoors activities we’re missing out on. One way to ensure you get that daily dose of fresh air and sunshine is to take your bike to work!

If you’re not used to biking in the city, this idea might sound somewhere between intimidating and horrifying. But so many travel this way, and there’s lots of advice out there for safely navigating those city streets. From getting the right bike to planning out your route, check out my 7 Safety Tips For Cycling To Work!

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DIY! How I Made My Own Ballet Barre

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ballet barre

A few weeks ago, I took on a spontaneous DIY project – I made a portable ballet barre at home. My sister loves ballet and practices at home in between classes. Since her birthday was coming up, I wanted to buy her a barre for her room, but after checking online I realized how insanely pricey these things are (upwards of $150!!).

So I was pretty excited when I came across a few DIY tutorials for making your own barre at home. I enlisted the help of my good old Dad and was on my way. While I was like, “This looks confusing and effortful. What’s a PVC pipe?”, he was like “This is easy and fun! Where’s the tape measure?” It took us some trial and error, and several trips to the hardware store, but we were fearless.

Want to try it out yourself? Here’s the lowdown:

How much will the project cost? around $70
What is the barre made of? The barre is made using PVC pipe that you can find at any hardware store, and when you’re done, it can be easily moved around or taken apart and put back together.
How long will it take? You can probably finish the entire barre in an afternoon, but we spread the project out over a few evenings. You’ll need to allow time for the spray paint to dry in between coats.

The tutorial we followed was by Laughing Abi, and you can find it here. I won’t write out all the steps, since I followed her tutorial almost exactly (thanks, Abi!). But here are a few things we did differently:

  • We used only one wooden bar instead of two. In retrospect, a second bar might have made our barre a little sturdier.
  • We used screws instead of foam to secure the top pieces together. The whole thing still comes apart very easily.
  • The spray paint we used is by Krylon and is in the colour Watermelon (gloss). It took us about 1 ½ bottles to cover our PVC pipe. The paint and all other materials were purchased from Rona.
  • The dimensions for the PVC pipe you’re going to use will depend on the height of the dancer. The barre should reach somewhere between the dancer’s waist and hip.

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P.S. The ballet barre is very light which makes it super transportable. This does mean that it’s not as stable as a typically studio barre. There are probably things you can do to make it stronger, but my sister finds hers fine how it is!

P.P.S. Here’s the part where I admit that I’m terrible with household projects and that my dad made almost the entire thing while I watched and cheered him on.

Live Out There Exclusive: “How To Pass Yourself Off As An Urban Runner”

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Today, I walked all around town in the sun with my jacket open and a pair of shoes on. That’s right – shoes! It might not be the 21st yet, but I have decided that the spring is here in Montreal. One thing I love to do once the weather’s warm, is tie up my running shoes and hit the city streets.

There’s nothing better than the first jog of the season, when the air is fresh and the sun is warm. If you want to hear my advice on training in the city, check out this article I wrote on urban running.

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