Categories
Beauty Lifestyle

My Summer Makeup Essentials: What I’m Loving Right Now

I love playing with makeup, but since the pandemic hit (and as I’ve been getting older), I’ve found myself wanting less full-face glam and more simple, dewy and quick looks. Something that will look good everyday on video calls, but also last all day to transition to night with just a few small additions.

After a lot of experimenting and spending a lot of time on tiktok and YouTube, I think I’ve found my perfect summer look and products. You can check out my tiktok video of how I put the look together.

Start With a Glowy Base

The most important piece to this whole look? Moisturizer and sunscreen. The Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer is cooling and gel-like consistency. I’m in love. I follow that with Supergoop Play Sunscreen (a must). Then to add some glow without putting on foundation, I use the Lumi Glotion and apply the Nars Radiant Concealer for spot concealing and adding brightness under my eyes.

Add Some Colour

For the summer I’ve opted to switch to cream products to help them melt into the skin. The cream bronzer and blush from Tarte blends so nicely. I finish off the base with setting my t-zone and under eyes with Flower Beauty Translucent powder. If you have more dry skin, you may be able to skip this step!

Finishing Touches

I love using the Wow Brow by Elf Cosmetics to define my brows and then put on some CoverGirl Mascara. I finish off the look with the Coconut Setting Spray (smells amazing) and a Milani Lip Oil in a fun colour.

The finished look is so summery and dewy, not to mention really quick to put all together and head out the door (or into a meeting). Have any other product recommendations for warmer weather? Let me know!

Happy (almost) Summer!

Categories
Life with dogs Lifestyle Travel

Our Trip to Blue Mountain Resort: The Perfect Ontario Winter Getaway

There’s something about a winter trip that I absolutely love! Considering Winter is one of my favourite seasons (I say this as it’s currently snowing in the middle of March here in Ontario while I write this), getting away for a weekend or week vacation is a great way to enjoy what winter has to offer. We have been to Blue Mountain in the Fall for our anniversary and definitely loved being there in the Winter even more!

Even though I’m a fan of winter, I had never been skiing. I had a snowboard when I was young and attempted tobogganing hills… but I honestly don’t think that actually counts. So this year, we decided to jump straight into it. Even if you’re not huge into skiing and snowboarding, there really is something for everyone at Blue Mountain Village (though I’d probably recommend a weekend trip versus an entire week). With all of that being said, here’s a breakdown of our trip!

Day 1

Checked into our dog friendly Airbnb, which was a large chalet just a 3 min drive from the Village. Our chalet had a private hot tub and steam room, which I highly recommend since our muscles were sore after skiing. We headed into the Village for dinner at Northwinds Brewhouse & Kitchen.

There are ski-in and out style condos for rent that are in the village, so if your trip is centred around just skiing and you’re a party of 2-4 people, that could definitely be a good option for you!

Day 2

Took the dogs for a walk around our Chalet and took in the views. The mountains are so beautiful. Unfortunately it rained our entire first day, so we moved our skiing to Day 3 and enjoyed the hot tub, lots of board games and had a really nice day to just relax!

Collingwood was just a short 8 min drive from our Airbnb, so we picked up some groceries the night before and made a big breakfast. We headed into the Village to visit Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and a few clothing stores, including the Christmas Store, of course!

Day 3

Our ski day! Since we had never been skiing before, we opted to do the Newbie Ski and Snowboard Program. Which was a self-guided course, where you followed the signs that showed you instructions and tips. The ticket included rentals and a lift ticket (and definitely more cost effective if you’re learning for the first time).

We picked up our ski rentals from the main office and our experience wasn’t quite what we were expecting… Feedback for Blue – newbie skiers don’t know how things are supposed to fit and we really didn’t feel supported or guided through the process. It felt chaotic and ultimately 3 out of the 4 of us had terrible fitting boots that resulted in slight bruising and blisters by the end of our morning. I will say that although that part was unfortunate, it did not take away from our experience skiing! I would definitely do it again as it made a good intro to skiing, but would opt for an instructor and/or to get my rentals outside of the village so that I could choose my equipment and find something that had more inclusive boot sizing.

If you’re going to do the Newbie Ski program, I highly recommend watching YouTube videos or to bring someone with you who knows what they’re doing. We went early to beat the crowd and didn’t have any staff there to help us other than the people operating the lifts. The goal is to do the newbie hill, then the undergrad hill and then to your first green. Though only my husband made it to the green (yay!) and that’s totally okay – there are plenty more winters to continue to learn. 😉

Yellow box is South Newbie Hills and the purple star is where the main Newbie Hill is (and the one that we did).

We learned at the Newbie hills at the heart of the village, but there are apparently even better circuits on the South side of the hill (yellow box) with more space. Keep that in mind when you’re going! If it didn’t rain the day before, we would have gone to the South side for a 2nd trip out.

We headed to Jozo’s Bar for Après Ski and enjoyed a well-deserved pitcher of beer and food! Then grabbed a Starbucks and headed back to the chalet. We decided to order in pizza for dinner from Firehall Pizza (mmm 🍍 on pizza), hit the hot tub and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Day 4

We checked out the Hike N’ Tube, which we thought was going to be much bigger…if you have a younger family, you will love it, but for the price of $26/adult, we decided it was not worth it. Instead we walked around the village, grabbed a coffee and some beavertails and sat by the fire pits.

In hindsight, we wish we would have brought our skates (we ended up not having room in the car), but will definitely visit the Woodview Mountaintop Skating Trail next time we are there. It’s a 1km loop with a stunning view. We were told to ensure it’s a good day, because the drive up the mountain in bad weather could leave you stranded.

We finished off the night at Rusty’s, a BBQ restaurant, but definitely want to try Magnone’s Italian Kitchen and Twist’s Kitchen and Cocktail next time! View the full list of their eateries here.

Day 5

Packed up and headed home!

Overall it was a really nice getaway and definitely crossed off some items from my bucket list. Though, there are still some things on my list I’d like to check out for next time! The Blue Mountain website breaks down activities to explore in each season, which is really helpful.

Some things I’d like to explore next year:

  • Breakfast/Brunch spots
  • South Hill Skiing
  • Mountaintop Skating
  • Snowshoeing and more hiking.
  • Scandinave Spa – book well in advance for this! We’ve been here before and loved our experience. Would be so nice after a couple days of skiing!

Have you ever been to Blue? If you have what’s your favourite activity there? Let me know in the comments below ❄️!

Categories
Growth Inspiration Lifestyle Mindfulness

How to Get Back On Track With Your Goals

It’s a new month, and a new opportunity to get back on track with your goals. Because if you’re anything like me…you may have let a few of those new year resolutions fall to the way-side. And, you know, Ontario was back in lock-down all of January – so there’s that. But, if you’re looking for some motivation to turn things around, here are some helpful ways to jump back on the horse and achieve the things you want in 2022 and beyond. 

1. Give yourself some grace

First things first, give yourself a break. Change isn’t going to happen overnight and creating new habits (and breaking old ones) takes time and consistency. If you restart your goals from a place of guilt, chances are you won’t keep them for long. Take a deep breath, journal about the challenges you had in the last month and give yourself some grace for doing what you needed to do and try again. 

2. Re-establish your “why”

I prefer writing out my goals on paper. There are studies that show the mind to hand connection with good ol’ fashioned pen and paper is more effective when it comes to recalling the notes you wrote. So, grab your favourite notebook and write down why you want to achieve your goals, what your vision for yourself is and how achieving these goals, along with the journey to get there, is important to you. If you find yourself falling off the wagon, refer back to this why. It should be a strong enough statement (or series of statements) to help you visualize why these goals are non-negotiable to you and help you get back to them. 

3. Create an updated vision board

I love a good vision board – whether it’s virtual or physical. Lately I’ve been creating monthly vision boards on Canva and then saving them to my desktop screen. That way, every time I open my computer, I am reminded of my goals and vision for myself. This month I’ve printed out my vision board and posted it in my office so that when I’m feeling uninspired, I can have a quick glance and be reminded of what I’m working towards! 

*All photos are either from Pinterest or Canva.

4. Pick one goal to focus on

Although you may have goals in different areas of your life, you can’t possibly change everything all at once. And if you attempt to, you’ll end up burning yourself out before you even get there. Take a realistic look at your goals and determine which one you want to tackle first. Maybe it’s a low-hanging fruit, a quick-win, or maybe you’re determined to work towards your longer term goal – it’s completely up to you! 

5. Create milestones

Whether you’ve chosen a longer term goal or a quick win, create a manageable work back schedule and key milestones you’d like to hit. Even if you don’t attach a time frame, have smaller steps in between that you need to hit to get you to where you want to go. Then CELEBRATE those small wins! You’ll be much more motivated to continue on your path if you take the time to celebrate your journey! It’s not just about the destination. If you spend your entire time waiting for the end result, you’ll miss all the good stuff, all the growth, all the life you’re living in between point a to point b. 

And if you find yourself back in the same place on March 1st, it’s okay. Restart steps 1-5, get back up and try again! You’ll surprise yourself when you see how far you actually have come in a month, even if it’s super tiny baby steps. Don’t forget to reflect on your previous month, what you’re grateful for, your successes and lessons you’ve learned along the way.

What is the one goal you’re going to tackle this month? Let me know below!

Categories
Holidays Lifestyle Travel

Our Evening at the Toronto Distillery Winter Village

Another holiday festivity checked off the list! We visited the Toronto Christmas Market, now known as the Distillery Winter Village. An annual family tradition – filled with lots of photo-taking, good food, yummy drinks and the usual chilly weather. Though, definitely not as cold or busy as years passed.

We went on a weekday after 5pm and was able to walk right in (after our proof of vaccination, of course!). But no line, and no hassle. A few years ago I remember waiting around the block just to get in and we had a TICKET! Thankfully this year, parking and entry was a breeze.

Though it was still a little too busy to bounce around from booth to booth with a group of 8, we managed to grab a bite to eat at the Mill Street Brewery and enjoyed some sightseeing, hot chocolate and hot donuts — basically tiny-toms but make it festive. We had cinnamon sugar (of course) and ginger molasses.

The red and gold decorations are my favourite, sometimes they’ve done the blue and silver, but it feels good to see the traditional colours this year. Something about this Christmas feels like it should be traditional. I definitely zero’d in on the red, plaid and gold at home, so I’m right there with the traditional decor. Next year we’ll be switching over to coloured lights! It always reminds me of my childhood. What’s your preference?

Whether you’re visiting the food, getting some Christmas shopping done or just enjoying the scenery and holiday atmosphere, it’s definitely worth the visit!

Overall, everyone was super respectful of space and it was great to have room to take photos in front of the tree. We had so much fun laughing with our family – and also strangers passing by! We had our very first photo-bomb of the season. Truly, the spirit of the holidays and just being back around people and being somewhat “normal” was refreshing.

Are you planning a visit to a Winter Village in your community? Let me know below!

Categories
Holidays Inspiration Lifestyle

25 December Bucket List Ideas to Make the Most of the Holiday Season

As excited as I am every year for the holidays, it can be overwhelming and emotionally challenging when you’re dealing with loss of loved ones. Pangs of excitement and sadness all at the same time. What I try to remember is that they would have wanted me (and you!) to enjoy it and live life to its fullest – to spend and treasure time with family and friends.

All of the decorations and bells and whistles are incomparable to the true meaning of Christmas: to spend time with the ones you love – family, friends, your community, your furry pet. So whether you’re going through a tough time this season or just excited to get the holidays started, here are 25 holiday bucket list ideas (many of which I’ll be checking off my list this season) to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Be Merry To Do List:

1. Visit a local community ice-rink and skate

2. Make your own Hot Chocolate and snuggle up to watch a Christmas movie.

3. Can’t be with friends and family in person? Schedule a virtual Gingerbread House making party!

4. Learn to bake your family’s tried and true recipes so that you can pass it down for generations!

5. Visit an outdoor Christmas Market.

6. Purchase a gift from a small business.

7. Buy an advent calendar – you deserve a festive treat everyday leading up to Christmas!

8. Pour a cup of Peppermint tea, snuggle up with a blanket, journal about what you’re grateful for presently, reflect on the last year and dream of what you want in the future.

9. DIY your Christmas wrapping paper. I LOVE a good potato stamp and some craft paper!

10. Go through your winter clothing and donate jackets and cold weather accessories you no longer wear to a local shelter or clothing drive.

11. Sing Christmas carols with family and friends. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is sing it loud for all to hear!

12. Send Christmas cards, whether you make them yourself or purchase them, it’s the thought that counts! Bonus – print out photos of you and the recipient, it makes them even more special.

13. Make a playlist of your favourite Christmas songs!

14. Put together a small self-care pamper kit and gift it to someone who needs it.

15. Watch your favourite classic holiday movie – Elf takes the cake for me!

16. Bake Gingerbread cookies and decorate them with family.

17. Go on a drive or a walk around your neighbourhood to see those Christmas lights.

18. Take family photos! Whether you set up your iPhone and tripod or get them done professionally.

19. Plan a festive day-trip or let the planning be done for you with Guess Where Trips.

20. Wrap your Christmas gifts while watching your favourite Hallmark Christmas movie (can you choose just one?).

21. Go through old family photos and organize them into photo albums.

22. Learn about your family’s ancestry and heritage with your parents or relatives.

23. Make a homemade gift, whether it’s food or a craft, it’s the thought that counts!

24. Try out a new cozy dinner recipe from scratch and pair it with a festive cocktail.

25. Plan a holiday get-together with family and friends and play some festive games.

What is one thing on your holiday bucket list you can’t wait to do this year? Let me know if the comments below 💌.

Categories
Gift Guides Holidays Lifestyle

Work From Home Gift Ideas for Her

What do you get the woman in your life who buys everything herself? Any of the above items that will make her every day, work from home life a little more cozy and a little less stressed. I definitely love working from home and would personally love any of the gift ideas listed above! I’ve even added a few of them to my list 😉.

Here are some of my top picks from the list:

Stress Release Relaxation Kit

Saje Natural Wellness


What are some of your wish-list items this year? Do you find gift guides like this helpful? Let me know below! Happy Shopping!

Categories
Growth Inspiration Lifestyle Mindfulness Wellness

Self-Care Journal Prompts for a New Month

Every month I try to take some time to reflect. Jot down my highs and lows from the month, what I’ve learned and what I’m looking forward to. I don’t believe that you need to be moving the needle forward all the time – then we wouldn’t truly appreciate and live in the moment. But it’s always a good idea to have dreams, goals and plans for getting to where you want to go, while being happy with what you currently have. 

I typically start with my monthly reflection by journaling and then I’ll finish by creating a mood-board on Canva or creating a new Pinterest board. Having a visual representation really helps me to zone in on what I’m looking forward to and sets the tone for the rest of the month. I usually create seasonal vision boards (check out how I created my spring digital vision board here), but lately I’ve been gravitating towards monthly inspiration like the one below!

If you’re looking for some guidance on where to start, here are some of my favourite journaling prompts for monthly self-reflection. Take what resonates, leave what doesn’t! 

Looking back:

  • What were the top 5 highlights from this past month? 
  • What are 3 things I’ve learned this past month? 
  • What do I wish I would have done differently?
  • Did you run into any challenges this month? How did you face them?
  • If I could describe the past month in one word or phrase, what would it be and why? 

Looking ahead:

  • What am I looking forward to this month? 
  • What are my top 3 goals for next month? What are some things I can do to achieve even just one of these?
  • What is one milestone I’d like to achieve this month?
  • How am I using what I learned from last month and paying it forward?
  • What affirmation, phrase or quote am I gravitating towards for inspiration this month?
  • What am I manifesting for next month?
  • Do I see any obstacles this month? If so, what are some ways I can face them?

Happy journaling! Are there any other prompts you like to use? Let me know in the comments below.

Categories
Lifestyle Productivity Wellness

How to Build a Digital Vision Board for Spring

Hey friends!

I love putting together vision boards to help set my intentions and goals for the future. Recently, I’ve been updating my vision board seasonally and have been loving it.

Instead of doing the classic magazine cutout method every season (because that’s a lot of work lol), I’ve built my own digital version using Pinterest and Canva! In the video above I’m sharing a tutorial on how I put mine together. See the final product below!

*All images you can find on my Pinterest board here.

If you’re still into the original method of putting together a vision board, check out my blog post about it here.


Categories
Lifestyle Wellness

5 Ways I Handle the Spring Forward Time Change

It’s funny. I was born in June, which means I was born when the clocks had already shifted forward, and therefore should be more accustomed to the Daylight Savings Time. I mean, if you believe in that kind of stuff. But there’s just something about turning the clocks back an hour that feels so right to me. So suffice it to say, I’m not looking forward to this year’s Spring Forward. Especially after the year 2020 has already thrown at us. Until the government figures out if Toronto, Montreal and New York will all agree to select a time and keep it there, I’ve come up with a few helpful tips to share so that you can avoid that first week of absolute confusion and not miss out on 1 (or more) hours of sleep. 

1. Go to sleep 15-30 mins early 4-7 days before the time change

While this may not completely reset your natural sleep cycle to adjust for the hour you’re losing, it will at least help lessen the blow by giving yourself some time back throughout the week. Adjusting by 30 mins is more gentle than a full hour. You could even start waking up 15-30 mins early so that you’re balancing out the time shift. 

I don’t know about you, but that first workday morning after the time springs forward is always the hardest. It may be especially difficult now that you’re working from home and rolling out of bed with not a lot of time to spare before logging in. Do yourself a favour and give your body the extra zzz that it will need. I know I definitely will be giving this tip a shot.

 

2. Get outside earlier in the day

…Or, if you’ve been cooped up in your home, get out even a little. Soaking in that vitamin D from the sun will not only improve your mood, but it will help with your circadian rhythm. The earlier you can get outside, whether for a morning or mid-morning walk – the better! 

This one is a hard one for me. I typically have the evening shift with the doggos, so I tend to only get outside around 5pm. In the winter it definitely sucked (unless it was snowy and beautiful and glistening, then it was magical ❄️). 

3. Move your body in the AM

Although we will technically be getting more sunlight in the evening, it’s still a good idea to get your movement in during the morning hours. It’s all about setting the tone for the day, and awakening your body to adjust to the new time zone (since that’s really what it is!). Not ready for a full on HIIT workout? I don’t blame you. Start with some low impact yoga, stretching or even a 20 mins cycle if you have an exercise bike. Once you feel like you’ve adjusted to the new time, then kick it up a notch or two. Bonus points for moving your body even during a pandemic. High five to you! 🙌

Movement is one of those things that I’ve really struggled with during the pandemic (and before that if I’m being honest). We recently purchased an exercise bike and downloaded the Peloton app on our phones and I can honestly say that it’s gotten me back into some sort of physical routine. My goal is to get at least 30 mins of movement in a day (on top of the 45min to an hour walk I have with the dogs). 

4. Take regular scheduled breaks throughout the day

I think back to elementary school and having recess. What I wouldn’t give now to have those mandatory minutes of movement and fresh air. And I thought – well, why not?! I am guilty of not stepping away from my computer (even when I’m not being that productive…). I feel like there’s a weight censored notification button under my seat and if I leave my desk, my boss will know and fire me immediately. Okay…well not that dramatic…but you know what I mean. 

While we’re acclimatizing to a whole new work schedule, give yourself some grace and take those 15 mins to step away from your computer, grab a coffee, go for a quick water break, get outside – or just get out of the area where you work. This is going to be a big area of focus for me. I’m even going to put a lunch break into my calendar so that I won’t be scheduled for meetings to give myself a true rest and recovery period during the day. I highly recommend you do too.  

5. Have a morning routine you’re excited to wake up to

We’ve checked off movement and sunshine for our morning to-do’s and although those are great, they may not be the thing that gets your butt out of bed in the morning. Find out what that is and incorporate it into your morning routine. 

I’ve been experimenting with different routines and trying to find one that sticks. Something that always gets me out of bed is… coffee. Yup. My husband is the earliest of early birds and brews coffee when he wakes up, and that smell definitely gets me out of bed. I try to sit down with my coffee (water first, obvs) and journal or read something inspiring on one of my favourite blogs or even watching one of my favourite YouTubers for a quick 5 min video. That piece of my morning makes me happy and it’s something that energizes my day. 

Find what works for you – and yes, it may take a few tries to figure it out, but that can also be exciting! 

I wish you all of the rest and ease heading into this spring forward period. I know it can be a challenging transition for some or a love/hate relationship for others. Whether you’re team #SpringForward or #FallBack (I’m camp Fall Back, that’s for sure!), I hope that you find these tips helpful. 

Categories
Lifestyle

5 Things You Can Do With Your Dogs During Social Distancing

Our two dogs, Ace and Koda, have been especially happy that both my husband and I have been home for the past month. Even though it’s been so nice to snuggle them and keep them (us) company all day, I have to say, it’s been challenging to keep up a routine that we’ll also be able to stick to when hopefully this is all over with. Our dog Koda, was particularly sensitive as a puppy and had bouts of separation anxiety, so routine is very important for us. If you’re looking for some ideas about keeping a routine and things to do with your pups during this time, I’ve put together a few things you can do with your pups while social distancing.

1. Groom, Trim, Bathe and Brush Those Teeth!

Just like humans, dogs need some self-care too. Specifically if you have a breed that needs daily brushing or maintenance. I shared a video of my husband and I blow drying and brushing Ace a few nights ago and had a few people reach out thanking us for the inspiration. It’s not an easy job. And with dog groomers closed, now is a great time to start doing something at home. We’ve also got into the habit of brushing the dogs’ teeth every evening. They both have plaque build-up (gross, I know). But it’s something that we need to manage and being in lock-down means we really have no excuse.

2. Daily Walks

Now this is obviously something you should be doing every day anyway, but my tip is to keep the timing of the walks consistent with your typical daily workday. If you usually walk the dog at 7am, try to keep that time frame. Same thing goes for daily feeding routines. The more you can keep consistent,  the better for you and your pet.

3. Subscribe to a Monthly Box

If funds allow, consider subscribing to a monthly box for your doggo. Something like Woof Pack could be a great way to get monthly treats and new toys without having to leave your home. These boxes also help to support local vendors in your community.

4. De-clutter Their Toys

We have a massive, massive, toy bin for our dogs and they probably play with 4 toys (2 of which are the exact same). Anyone else? Well…there’s a cute game you can play with your dogs to de-clutter. Pull a toy out one by one with your dogs, shake it or squeak it – anything to get their attention directed towards it – if they grab it and play or seem interested, it stays. If they couldn’t care less, it goes in the ‘wash and donate’ pile. Toss whatever is ripped or too worn.

5. Keep Their Mind (And Yours) Busy

This is a great time to teach your pet new tricks, work on existing behaviours and introduce new stimulating games. My absolute favourite game to play with the dogs is hide and seek. In our 2-bedroom apartment, we don’t have that many places to hide, so we have to get a bit creative. I have the dogs sit, stay and wait. I go hide and then give them to command to “find me” (once only). If you have another person in the house, as an added stimulant, you can get the dog to smell a piece of the other person’s clothing to pick up their scent. It’s so funny to watch them run around the house looking for you. Even better? Do this when it’s dark out and lights off (obviously don’t have any dangerous things laying about…).

What other ways are you keeping busy with your pups?