Over the last couple months, I’ve been tuned into my skin and what makes it look beautiful. I’ve found drinking heaps of water, taking my vitamins, and exercise really help. Funny how that works, eh. I’ve gotten used to upping my water intake but taking vitamins was kinda a struggle, I’d always forget!

Bathroom selfie last night, minimal makeup!

When I got back from NZ, Sean had stocked the kitchen with chewable gummy vitamins and I really like them. I take Omega-3, B12, Fibre, and a multi.

I feel like my skin has been soft, clear, and clean the last couple weeks. My other secret to great skin is getting facials. I love to treat myself every now and then.

Before the holidays I was invited to Q Esthetics in Yorkville where I tried the Q Max Facial, a highly therapeutic facial treatment that instantly renews and revives your skin.

There’s two steps to the facial, the first part is where a nurse cleans your face and then goes over it with a small suction cup, the second part is a laser. The facial is non-invasive, it ‘exfoliates damaged skin cells, purifies pores and infuses your skin deep with of vitamins and nutrients’. The suction cup feels kinda weird at first but it’s super relaxing. I almost fell asleep!

The second part is done using a laser technology to ‘increase circulation, collagen production, and the lymphatic system to rid skin of toxins‘. I liked this part even though it made me kinda nervous when the nurse described it. It’s non-invasive and completely painless however you are laying in the treatment room with a light mask really close to your face for 5 whole minutes while it flashes colours. If claustrophobia is something that freaks you out, you might want to skip that part. I layed under it the laser light for 5 minutes in the name of beauty and was totally fine. I would 100% do it again.

The entire process including signing the waiver and talking about my skin was about an hour. My face was a little red after so don’t blame me for not posting! If you reallllllly want to see it, ask me. I still drove home and got gas lol.  I was very happy with my facial and my skin felt amazing AF after.


Visiting Q Esthetics piqued my interest in other services, I want to stay young FOREVER, OK!. They offer a wide range of procedures to make you feel beautiful and look young if you’re into it. They also have 3 locations around the GTA, get more info here.

I recommend drinking lots of water and exercise!

I was invited to try out the facial by Q Esthetics and this is my honest opinion. I will happily try beauty treatments in the name of staying young and looking fabulous!

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Tramping in New Zealand

OK, I know what you are thinking and I THOUGHT THE SAME THING.

When I arrived in NZ we picked up the rental car at the airport. Next, we pulled into a parking lot at the airport to change into summer clothes. I took a few laps of the airport to get used to right-hand drive and being on the other side of the road. I was fine.  I drove us down to the Viaduct in Auckland to look at the boats. [Mum is really into sailing and has a boat, sailed from Ontario to the Bahamas and lived there for a year.]

We went into a sailing shop and I saw this mug…

We walked out of the store and very serious I came close to mum, and whispered in her ear “mum, what is tramping?

I was so serious. Tramping?
What is a tramping club?

Mum, WTF IS TRAMPING?

Because to me, ‘tramping’ would be something to do with tramps or going out to find a man. Something you might have done in college that involved a lot of shots. Nothing I would ever do, now.

In New Zealand…
TRAMPING IS HIKING!

Tramping, known elsewhere as backpacking, rambling, hill walking or bushwalking, is a popular activity in New Zealand. Tramping is defined as a recreational activity involving walking over rough country. Wikipedia

“tramps, ranging from easy to difficult”


WELL, THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW.
Here I am thinking something bad and it’s totally hiking. 

So, I went tramping on Piha beach and it was AMAZING.

Black sand due to volcanic sand and iron oxide. Cool eh!

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I love being on vacation and I love coming home. I really like the start of the year for trying new things and organizing my life. I also love a good Saturday (or Tuesday, whatever!) any time of year to clean out drawers, closet, organize stuff, and purge. Post vacation is a great time to clean out your closet and stuff. Once you’ve lived out of a suitcase and still managed to pull together great outfits, you realize you don’t need so many things. [I didn’t have someone to take my photo in NZ so there are not a lot of outfits posts but it was still fun lol.]

Picked up my mail today from the office and these are my new glasses! Use code IFLZKADXK9 for $10 off at eyebuydirect.com. I love them!


I’m totally into the minimal movement and I know Monday I was all like “Marie Kondo your life” but my clothes are different. They’re a collection I’ve built over decades, dresses, accessories, vintage finds, and lots of shoes. I also have some books I’ll keep forever. There’s some things I just CAN’T get rid of. Over the last year of making changes in my life, I’ve drastically decreased the number of things I own. I have a lot more plants though haha. I put focus into having nicer things instead of more stuff and I feel really good about it.

New light I got before Christmas and yes, that is a mini-me on my phone.


I’m usually a pretty light packer and mostly do short trips. After being in NZ for 3 weeks, living suitcase life and a different nearly every other day, I feel like I have so much stuff! Sean left a pile of laundry in my room and as I was putting things away I was like “whoa you have so many yoga pants“, this drawer is already full“, “another one of those!“. I’m not sure how jet lag is going to affect me, I feel ok right now. I’m gonna try and go right back to my regularly scheduled programming, drink heaps of water, and use melatonin to regulate.

Feels good to be home and in my own bed.

 

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Rest in Peace, Betty

Last night when the plane landed I received a text saying that nana had passed away. Mum and I left SF and I guess around that same time in NZ, Betty passed peacefully.  In a message from my auntie, she said ‘we were all in-flight together’.

Mum and Betty with her freshly painted nails

It was hard being there and seeing her struggling to eat or sit up. Nursing homes have this old smell and it is sad seeing people in their last days of life. It was my first time experiencing that and I felt sad but I wanted to be there, yet part of me wanted to run away from it. It gives you all these conflicting feelings about life and death, sprinkle that with a bit of family drama and it would give anyone anxiety.

I’ve spent my whole life on the other side of the world from my family and not been there for any death or sickness. This trip was the first time I’d been there to experience something like this with relatives. We visited nana each day I was there in Palmerston North and mum stayed an extra week to be with her. I took photos and printed one of her and mum, then put it in a frame to put beside nana’s bed. Mum went through some of nana’s things and we all took a few mementoes to remember her. I painted her nails and did her lipstick. We told stories about Canada and our families here. Mum put some nice cream on her frail dry hands.

I’m so glad we were able to be there with her in those final days, especially mum. I can only imagine how hard it was for her. Seeing her, and also leaving her.

Betty was a strong woman. Always dressed well and wore lipstick. Her hair was always permed with a perfect curl. She always had her nails painted nicely. She had 5 children, 3 boys and two girls, including 1 set of twins, my mum and Jimmy. She was a sassy woman, known for saying exactly what was on her mind. A good listener. Very sweet but still a hard case. She liked to do things her own way.

Twins, Jimmy and mum at The Batch over the holidays

We felt a little bit like she was holding on just to see us. We first visited her on January 2nd and she passed away January 15th. Each day we were together we could see her health declining. I didn’t know what else to do but be there and tell stories. She was so happy when I did her nails. I always like to have my nails done too.

Mum and I were saying to her that she could ‘go anytime, it was ok‘ and she mumbled ‘bitch‘. Mum and I couldn’t help but burst out laughing, I think she’s been hearing that from people the last couple months and was like ‘I will damn well go when I please thank you very much‘.

This trip was special in so many ways but taking mum back to see her family and spend time with her mum before she passed away was priceless.

I’m going to get my nails done a bright red today for you Betty.
Rest in peace.

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You Can Achieve Anything You Want If You Work At It

I found this photo in a box of tax receipts and it gave me such a warm feeling. I’m pretty sure mum has this costume still hanging up in a closet at home. When I was about 9 my jazz class did a competition number to the Inspector Gadget song and to this day I still remember some of it.

I spent heaps of time at the dance studio as a kid. I started ballet around 3 and a half, had my first recital at 5, and spent a few years competing. I went all over Ontario, NY, and the National American Dance Championships in South Carolina a couple times.

First ballet Recital, 5 years Old, Fluffy Cloud


I distinctly remember times ballet was hard. Sometimes I hated it. I’d be crying after class, begging mum to let me quit. But she never did. And thank god for that.

Although it was tough, dance taught me so much.

It taught me hold my head high when I walk, how to enter a room, how to be on stage. I learned to not give up.

I’m so thankful for the decade I spent dancing as kid. For my teacher Miss Lisa at Meyerhofer Academy in Cambridge. I’m grateful for mum who taught me to persevere through all the tough times. Also thankful for all the late nights, mum sat at the kitchen table making ballet skirts for the studio to pay for it.

As I get older ,I appreciate more and more the hard work I put in when I was younger. This week Emily and I signed up for Tae Kwon Do. It’s her first go and my first time back in 20 years. [Side note: WHERE DID THE TIME GO, HOW AM I THAT OLD?] 


TDK is another thing I spent a few years doing that taught me so much.  I have my green belt, won an Ontario trophy for 3rd in sparring, and once broke a guys jaw with a roundhouse kick.

Before signing up this week I inquired about it twice over the last year and I’m glad I finally did it. Even after all these years, the five tenants of Tae Kwon Do have never left my memory.

Explanation of Tenets

1. Courtesy (Ye Ui)

2. Integrity (Yom Chi)

3. Perseverance (In Nae)

4. Self-Control (Guk Gi)

5. Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgool)


I’ve been working hard at yoga the last couple months and I feel so much stronger in  my muscles and my mind. I’m not sure if I’ve lost many lbs but I’ve for sure made some muscle and lost some of that muffin ’round the middle.

This post is a reminder: Don’t give up. When something is hard you have to push through to get to the next level. It’s like playing a really hard video game, and working hard to beat The Boss, and make it to the next level.

When you get there, it’s always worth it. And you can do it again.


Have a great weekend, 

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