We came to the Ottawa region for a few days to take in some of the Canada 150th festivities and the highlight for our family was visiting this hidden gem just outside of Ottawa. We heard a lot about it being the “best water park in Canada” and it definitely lived up to that haughty title! We’ve been to parks around the world and Calypso ranks right up there with the best of them. We arrived mid morning on a weekday and the park did not seem crowded at all and lines for the rides minimal, I would recommend mid-week if you love the water rides like my family. I was so impressed with the variety of rides for all ages and thrill levels, over 30 in total. We really loved the Kongo Expedition ride, a solo inner tube ride through a Congo River themed adventure with animated animals and many water features to ensure a wet excursion. There are dozens of tube and slide rides from extremes like Vertigo, Adrenaline and the Aqua Loops to the raft rides for the whole family that we really enjoyed like Boomerango, Canyon Rafting and the Turbo Lab. We spent a couple of hours in the gigantic Calypso Palace wave pool; it’s impressive with forceful waves that have various levels in different areas depending on your comfort, the lifeguards we pretty good not letting young children past a certain point for their safety. My son really enjoyed the Pirate Aquaplay and the giant dunk bucket that dumped every few minutes.
We found some of the services and amenities quite helpful including ingenious “money at your fingertips” program, where you scan your fingertip and load whatever prepaid amount you what so you and your children can pay by scanning your fingers at the restaurants, no need to carry cash or cards while on the rides, that was very handy (no pun intended). We also opted to stay in a private cabana that had a fridge (for the outside food we were allowed to bring in), water, wifi, covered table and chairs and attentive staff. There were a many restaurants and snack shops as well as lots of chairs and picnic areas around throughout the park. Taking advantage of the “splash back” program is a great option, where you can pay $12 per person to come back within 6 days, wish we lived closer we would get a seasons pass for sure. Calypso also recommended on their site a charming, kid-friendly, century farmhouse Bed & Breakfast called “La Galerie D’en Avant” in the town of Casselman about 20 minutes away and the owners Lynda, Christian & their dog Nikey were wonderful as was the delicious breakfasts that were included. We will definitely make this an annual family trip!
With the arrival of spring comes the renewed sense revitalization, a fresh start to a new season in life and a chance for us to make those changes that can help us grow physically, mentally and spiritually. This can apply to all we put our minds to, doing things with a purpose and with positive intentions. I am a firm believer that our environment we live in has a dramatic effect on our attitude and well-being. Just as a beautiful spring day with that freshness in the air and the sounds of nature awakening can give a sense of inner peace so can the changes we bring into our homes. We can begin to create the transformations in our spaces that we aspire to in our own lives. The common rite of spring when it comes to our homes is the overwhelming task of cleaning. However, this could be less daunting of an undertaking if we looked at it as change that can have a wonderful end result on our mind, body and spirit. For example, reorganizing and de-cluttering has so many benefits like finding things that have been once thought long lost, giving yourself the peace of mind of a mental inventory of what you have, but also taking stock of why you have it. Determine whether you really need those things you have; don’t just re-organize them to give them a proper place let them go completely if they don’t have a proper purpose. We have to get to the place spiritually we feel equally satisfied and fulfilled getting rid of some we don’t need as we do bringing something new and wonderful into our home.
Most of us grew up in a monochromatic home; the walls were painted neutral shades because that is what may have been trendy or acceptable and I’m sure it was great for resale value. Girl’s rooms may have been the traditional pink and the boys perhaps a blue hue which in the past may have been deemed “acceptable”. Today as we look to nurture a child’s imagination and empower them to be inspired individuals with their own unique personality, we have to let them have creative autonomy of the space they use the most. Now of course the control of the room’s look is within reason, it should be age appropriate, meet their needs and still be clean to certain extent, but though the young tenants don’t pay a dime, they should have the biggest sway in the area that ultimately influences them most.
I am a huge believer in a space helping empower and motivate your feelings. If the child’s room is inspirational to their specific dreams and likes, then that is what they will focus on. In the short term, it will give them a sense of accomplishment and ownership which may have them actually taking responsibility of their space and long term it will instill confidence, self-fulfillment and pride in what they had a hand in creating. Not to mention they will remember how cool their parents were to let them have free reign on their living environment.
Unfortunately, sometimes we as parents are a little controlling because we obviously think we know what is best for our child, and usually we do. We love to “snow plough” the way clear for them to give them the easiest life path, to “learn from our mistakes”, to give them what “we didn’t have” yadda, yadda, yadda. We all know the righteous mantras we tell ourselves as parents and I’m sure we mean well but sometimes we have to let go. Our children are not mini replicas of us as much as we want them to be because we are awesome. They have unique thoughts and perspectives that have to be cultivated; we have to let them make their own choices and mistakes.
When it come to their room decor it’s only paint and as your child grows their needs and interests change; so should their surroundings to help support those desires. Let them be proud of what makes them different or special instead of trying to conform to what is deemed the norm. Ultimately as parents, we are to nurture our children to be the best they can be and that means creating the optimal environment for your uniquely gifted child.
We volunteer with various children’s charities to help make a child’s dream space come to life. We love doing this and witnessing the child’s spirit just light up when they are in their glory. It makes us as parents realize we shouldn’t wait to let circumstances force us to do what makes our children happy, confident and inspired.
The master bathroom is one of the main hubs of the home and adds value to any home if updated to included a large shower, corner tub, double sink vanity with garnite countertop and closet space adjacent to the bathroom. Here are some before and after shots of this master bathroom renovation to show you how to make some valuable changes to this area whetere you are staying or selling.
AFTER & BEFORE
Star Wars is the most popular movie franchise of all time and loved by fans of all ages. We always enjoy creating interesting, themed spaces that bring out someone's passion for what they love so we channelled the force and brought out our inner Jedi master to design an out of this world space that even a Sith would appreciate.
The first step is painting the walls for that galaxy far, far, away....look complete with a nebula, constelations and twinkling stars; a detailed how-to video is located on this page. Next we added awesome lisenced, Star Wars removable decals to create epic space battles and life-sized characters. Check out the Death Star battle, and Hoth scene below as well as the imposing Kylo Ren. We also used the decals to re-create a cool (literally frozen) Han Solo in carbonite and a space mural to create a cosmic window into a deep horizon.
The finishing touches are what bring the room together with lighting, books, collectibles, toys, linens and cushions. You're never too old to design a space around something you love and let your imagine have no boundries! "Truly wonderful the mind of a child is."- Yoda