Since making exercise part of my life over the last few months, I’ve started to crave the feeling I get from working out. Each night I lay out my gym stuff and look forward to going each morning. I wrote a bit about my fitness journey here and once I started to see results, it motivated me to keep going.
I’m committed to not letting this winter give me seasonal affective disorder like last year, I never want to get that way again. I’m sure there will be sad days here and there (there deff are), but I know I can fight it with fitness.
Today’s tip to beat Winter SAD is to SWEAT. Find a class, get a YouTube video going, download Nike Training club, dance, or jump around.
Do something to get yourself moving, create endorphins, get your brain high on body moment.
My Fav Apps & Fitness Resources
I like the NTC app for exercises and the NRC app for running. I often do Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube or find workouts on Pinterest. There are so many free resources available online if you don’t have a gym membership.
If you are in GTA and want a workout buddy to try a class, ask me anytime! I love hanging with friends and movement makes us all feel good.
I’m on another podcast! A couple of weeks ago I hung out with Heather Loduca and we recorded an episode of her podcast, Coming Up in My Sneakers. On each episode, Heather talks to industry leaders about their ‘come-up’ story of who they are and how they got to where they are today.
In this ep, I go right back to the beginning and share about my family, my first business, publishing, high school, and more. We laugh a few times in the first 6 minutes so I hope you enjoy it lol.
I’m not sure I’ve ever shared this much about my personal life before so if you’ve got time, hit play below or find the podcast on your favorite service here.
The podcast is available on all podcast streaming services, find your fav way to listen here.
Casie Stewart is THE original influencer. Before Instagram, before Tik Tok, Casie was blogging and connecting with brands and using unique business tactics that are completely applicable today. She started back in the 00’s when people didn’t even know what an influencer did or how it could help their company. In this episode Casie offers real advice, amazing stories from working with Much Music and Virgin Airlines and a colourful come up story that any 2020 influencer can greatly benefit from.
Self-care can legit mean just about anything these days. For me, there are a lot of things I like to do and sometimes it’s as simple as putting away that pile of clothes or saying no to leaving the house. I made a list of things I like to do for myself, usually on a Sunday to prep for the week. Self-care is taking a few moments to yourself to do something for yourself, which makes you feel good and alleviate stress.
Thankfully this winter hasn’t been as brutal as last year’s super cold months where everything was covered in ice. The 2019 winter blues really got me down and I am trying to best to make this winter not seem as dark, lonely, and depressing.
It may seem like I am out on the town quite a bit but I assure you, it’s usually not for long. I love staying at home. I love hair masks, face masks, exfoliating, nice lotion, naps, cooking, and doing things inside the house.
I started this list to make 10 things but kept going and now there are 50. Most of these you can do without leaving your house of opening your wallet. I added a shoppable section at the bottom in case you want to grab any of my favorites via Amazon Prime.
If you are feeling down, do one little thing each day to bring happiness into your life. You DESERVE it. Treat yourself!
Cleaning the house at any time of year can be a challenge. When you have the long dreary winter where it’s dark before work and dark when you get home, it’s even harder. Also, how do we go through so many dishes and kid’s clothes in a week? IDK.
We have been meaning to do a deep clean on everything for longer than I care to admit.
AskForTask gave me two hours of free cleaning to try the service and let me tell you, IT WAS AMAZING. I booked the cleaning via askfortask.com and was able to list the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and share comments. The whole process took about 5 minutes and I paid the difference (after my discount) with PayPal. I booked the recommended 3 hours and our Tasker arrived Sunday morning and cleaned for the requested time. They require you to be home for the cleaning so I booked a time that worked for us.
Starting the week knowing the work is done has me feeling grateful. I can’t believe how much she deep cleaned! At one point I went to our first floor and she had completely moved our furniture to clean behind the couch. Our while place looks great. Highly recommend Maria with AskforTask, very thorough.
For all the work you do in a day, a week, a month, treat yourself and hire a cleaner. There’s a handy app that allows you to communicate with your Tasker and add more hours if need be.
This week, I’m sharing an AWESOME recommendation for a staycation. Sean and I spent a relaxing ~24-hours at Hotel X Torontoin downtown Toronto and it was a really nice mini-getaway. If you’d like to see more of my stay in video, check out my Staycation highlight on Instagram.
I magically picked the BEST day for a staycation because we had a major snowstorm that morning. I arrived at noon for a hot yoga class and to see the amenities before checking in at 3pm.
From the moment you walk in the hotel, it feels luxurious. It makes for a great staycation because there are lots of plants, several restaurants, a great gym, and amenities, meaning you don’t have to leave the hotel. There’s also a kid’s play center if you have little ones. I have added the Guerlain Spa to my ‘must visit‘ list for next time.
Hotel X Toronto definitely has a resort-type feel. There’s a pool on the roof that I imagine is absolutely stunning in the summer. Yes, I did test it out in the winter. Scroll down!
Last winter was really hard, we had one of the coldest seasons in ages, there was ice everywhere, and my arm was messed up. I spent most of the winter inside our house going Marie Kondo through every cupboard and drawer. This winter, I’m determined to find joy in simple things and actively make an effort to warm myself up and beat winter SAD.
I wrote a few posts with ways I’m trying to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder with the hope it will help make our days a bit brighter. Some take a little more money/planning but others you can do at home right now. I’ll update this post with a link to each so you can scroll once they’re live.
The easiest way to boost your mood in winter? Take a vacation. I know this isn’t an option for everyone with work/family/finances but if you can do it, it’s so nice. This year, I took a 7-day all-inclusive trip to Cuba with a friend. We have been talking about doing a low-key beach getaway at the start of January for 2+ years and finally did it! Cuba was a good option because we were not going for luxury, our conditions for the trip were affordable, beach, sun.
The beach was beautiful and the sun was hot. The food wasn’t luxe but we managed to eat simple, the main things I ate were bread, rice, fruit, pasta, and eggs. I read an entire book, took heaps of photos, and finished the week well-rested and refreshed. We went to bed early (and sober) most nights. I stuck to Amy’s 1K a day challenge and did some type of activity each day (long walk, dance, NTC). It was just what I needed and a perfect reset to start the year. I feel more creative, inspired, and ready to show 2020 WHO I AM.
I went to Cuba for the first time about 10 years ago and when I tried to blog or access the internet, it was a no-go. If I could access, it was expensive and super slow. Luckily, things have improved a bit! With Telus EasyRoam, I was able to have full 3G/LTE and access my data plan from home for $12/day. It allowed me to keep up on emails and share my vacation via social media.
If you are looking for somewhere to go. Here are a couple of vacation spots I’ve been to and recommend.
Anamaya Resort, Costa Rica
A couple of years ago I took Sean to Costa Rica for a much needed digital detox. I absolutely LOVE Costa Rica, it’s my favourite country to visit (so far). Over the last decade, I stayed at Anamaya Resort twice for a full week of yoga and surfing. It’s located on the southern Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean, near Montezuma, about 30min drive from Santa Teresa. If you are looking for a super relaxing getaway with great organic food, fitness, nice people, and a great vibe, go here. Highly recommend.
All-Inclusive in Mexico
One January, Sean and I spent a week in Cabo at Sheraton Los Cabos Hacienda Del Mar. The resort was really nice, beautiful beaches, buffet, spa, pools, and several restaurants on-site. We rented a jet ski in town, surfed a small beach, and went on a boat adventure. We really appreciated having (pretty good) wifi included in our stay. I’ve also been to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico which has a lot of beautiful resorts. Mexico is a nice winter getaway, just remember to be smart and safe.
Online Deal/Last Min Getaway
If you need to GTFO and soak up the sun ASAP, Cuba is pretty affordable. We stayed at an all-inclusive on the beach that had multiple pools, bars, restaurants. We went off the resort a couple of times to eat and overall each spent ~$100 the WHOLE WEEK. It was not fancy but I was grateful to be in warm air, sun, and sand.
There are some pretty good deals online today for Blue Monday. I highly recommend signing up for Rakuten before buying online because they are partners with TripAdvisor hotels.com, Expedia, a bunch of airways, and car rental companies. Save yourself some $ and get cashback on your purchases. I earned over $200 last year from stuff I bought online (hello, Amazon). I hope you find a good deal! I’m heading to breakfast with Sunwing at YD Square where they’re giving away a couple of trips today.
My next post in this series is STAYCATION and I’m excited to share about our awesome day with Hotel X Toronto this past weekend. Together we can beat SAD!
You only live each day once, tomorrow is a new day. How are you spending your time?
A few months ago I was feeling really burnt out and over everything. I had no energy to go out, write, do anything creative. May was a really stressful month and by the time June/July rolled around I was stressed TF out. All I wanted to do was stay home, watch Netflix, my room was a mess, I’d piled up boxes and paper that needed to be processed. I didn’t have the energy to do it.
So I rested. I took time to chill. I’m grateful for the privilege to mostly work from home, to work on myself, and to breathe. I started spending a bit less time on asocial, taking breaks. I began to really love seeing the + beside my name on IG Stories, showing I hadn’t posted anything in 24 hours. That felt like a win with me. I’ve been updating the internet for 15+ years about my life and what I’m doing, burnout is real and it’s ok to take a break. I thought about what I wanted (even though I’m constantly trying to figure out exactly what that looks like!) and I focussed on it.
Made some other changes too. I got serious about drinking less and explored being sober curious. I even spoke at an event where I shared some stuff I’ve never talked about. I was hesitant at first but I figure, if I can make this change in my life, it might be helpful to someone else going through the same things. It was the first TIFF in 10 years where I didn’t get drunk, I didn’t even drink at parties. And y’ know what? IT WAS AWESOME AND I STILL HAD FUN.
I started intermittent fasting and stopped the late-night snacks. I’d been stress eating at all hours but the night munchies before bed were making me slow and tired during the day. I started going to bed earlier. Drinking more water, eating more plant-based meals. I cook on weekends. It’s been a gradual life change vs a diet or restrictions. I want to live happier and healthier. Today I fit into a pair of Ted Baker pants that have been in my closet for years, they’re a size 2!
So, here I am three months later and I can say, I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER! Over the next few months, I’m planning to up my exercise to combat the winter SAD. Sean has been running every day and it’s really inspiring.
I guess my message is you can make a change any single day, you don’t have to wait for a new year, new month, new moon. September always feels like a new start for me. I like to make a plan to work on over the winter so I have things to look forward to in the spring. Change is good, baby.
On a side note, I ordered these glasses from smartbuyglasses.ca and was telling one of my BFFs that I got them. I’d been looking at them for a while but she didn’t know that. She had recently just purchased a pair of Chloe glasses in Germany (that I hadn’t seen) and guess what, they were the SAME ONES! Ha! She’s the kind of friend where we are always doing the same things without knowing. Little things like this give me so much joy. 😁
I shot this in an alley with my tripod (aka Julia), notice how one photo doesn’t even have a doorknob or leaves. Wtf? I feel into the damn IG trap! I edited my photo for Instagram to take out imperfections but like why?
Can you spot all the differences???
It’s easy to get looped into thinking you need to edit to make things seem more perfect for the gram but it’s really not necessary. What is perfect anyways?Perfect is honest, authentic, being true to yourself.
I love posting Stories bc they’re real and raw. Sharing that side of my life and being real has been my MO for the past 15 years of my internet life and it’s worked out a-ok.
Don’t feel you need to put internet gloss over those human parts of your life, people want to see THE REAL YOU.
Today we’re going to the cottage for 5 days. I can’t wait to make a fire, read my book, make elaborate meals, and sous vide some weed to make cannabis oil. 😁✌🏼🍃 There’s also a full moon on Sunday! 💎🌚 See here for some rituals I like to do.
This weekend I had a lovely, relaxing time at the cottage w/ Sean. It was just the two of us and I made time for yoga, stretching, reading, naps, and drinking heaps of water.
Friday was a full moon and Friday the 13th, a special day for divine connection, with numerical significance (palindromic number date 9-13-19) and magical energy. The next Friday 13th + full moon isn’t until 2049. I don’t even want to think about how old I’ll be then!
I’m not super religious or spiritual but I definitely believe in the power of the universe. I made this video on Friday with some of my rituals. I haven’t been doing these each month but I was inspired by Friday’s date and decided to give it a go. I’ll take any suggestions to bring good vibes and light into my life! 🌚⭐️
Put water out in the path of the moon to charge up
Light candles (white, yellow, purple)
Light a fire
Write things you want to leave behind, burn them
Manifest your dreams, write them down
Write a letter to the universe, burn it
Give thanks to the universe
Make 6 wishes on the moon (mum says to make one for world peace! ☮️)
Burn incense and/or sage
Dance (naked!) in the moonlight
Charge your crystals in the moonlight
Eat good food
Healing Energy of The Moon
This past full moon signified BIG female energy it was the 13th moon and females typically have 13 cycles in a year. The full moon signifies the end of turmoil, renewal, new beginnings. It’s a time for growth expansion, a new cycle, a time for cleansing, where the truth is revealed, signifying positive change.
On Saturday morning I woke up early, feeling refreshed, drank some moon water, and read my book in the hot tub. It was magical! Who knows 100% if moon rituals work, but for me, going through the motions brings clarity & joy. I also heard that Victoria Beckham is really into moon water so it can’t hurt!
This week I’m feeling energized and ready for the changing seasons!
A couple of months ago, the guys at Occupied VR and I got really into AR filters on Instagram. The first one approved in the app was for The Holy City VR at Cannes Film Fest. The Spark AR program is now out of Beta and now anyone can submit filters to Instagram to be approved.
Monday I submitted my first filter to the app! IT IS NOW LIVE!!!
I had been wanting to make one for ages but hit a couple of roadblocks as developing a filter involves learning Spark AR, a program from Facebook. About a week ago I decided to send Sean some text I’d made on iPad to see if it would work for a filter. It totally does! He made the background pink and they added the same hearts you see on this very blog. I was so excited to try it for the first time! Big thanks to Sean & Daeve for helping me. Check out Daeve’s other filters here!
Earlier this month, I started a blog post called ‘make the thing’. For the past few months, I’ve been very tired, uninspired. I needed to take a break to get my mojo back. I spent heaps of time at the cottage this summer and also declining events to stay home. It feels good.
September feels like a new start. There’s 4 months till Christmas and 2020. What’s your 2020 plan?
Last week I took a couple mystery disposable cameras to be developed and one was from Australia in 2004 while I was at university. It’s crazy to think how many apartments and places this camera has been. My life has changes to much but this year was such an important time of my life.
Let’s go back in time, this is pre-blog and social media, I was 21.
I decided to go to Australia because it was the furthest place away from Canada. I’d always felt a down under connection my family is from NZ and I am New Zealand citizen. My BFF Cheryl and I both had no idea wtf we wanted to do after college so this was a really great option. We could drag out school for another year, spent it in Australia (hello beaches & babes!), and turn our marketing diploma into a degree. Australia is just full of amazing beaches and the best way to experience them is to hire a campervan from somewhere like campervan hire Brisbane, so that you can park up metres away from the sand and sea. That way, you’ve always got everything you need and you save so much money on accommodation, as well as having some amazing views.
I think this exact day was the first time we went to Bondi Beach. These were taken at the top of the hill before you go around the bend and see the water. It’s so beautiful, if you haven’t been, I highly recommend it. One of the most beautiful and magical places. Cheryl and I ended up making friends with some people who lived in the white building overlooking Bondi Icebergs. There were so many internationals living there, it was like nothing I’d ever seen. So many people in their 20’s, different accents, young, hot, and having fun.
Cheryl and I eventually moved to Bondi from the suburb of Paramatta after finding a way to get out of our residence agreement. We went through two shitty apartments and worked part-time in different stores. My shop sold cute outfits on Hall Street and Cheryl worked at the shoe store down the road closer to the beach. I remember going into the kitchen in our second place and seeing the hugest cockroach in my life. Nobody ever cooked in there. Cheryl and I shared a bedroom with two beds, there were clothes everywhere. Through the magic of great scheduling we only had classes Monday-Wednesday, leaving us with plenty of time to spend all our money, make heaps of friends, and tan tits out on the topless beach. It really was A TIME.
When I think back to who I was then, I was so green, so new. I thought I had it together but when I got to Australia, realized I was really in for a real adventure. That year defined a lot of who I am today. It was the first time I was on my own, solely responsible (or irresponsible) for every decision I made. I made a lot of dumb choices, was bad with money, and drank too much but it was really fun. I learned so much about myself, what I wanted, who I was, where I wanted to go.
That’s the thing about growing up, nobody really knows what they’re doing at the time but if you know what you want, you can make a path in that direction.
It took me years to pay for university in Australia but even that taught me a few lessons. It was an investment well worth it. By studying in Australia, I learned so much outside the classroom about life, love, and taking chances.
I’m often not sure where my path is going on the day-to-day but I try to stay in line with my values. It was such a treat to find this camera and the photos brought back heaps of memories. Even before I had a blog I loved to document.
Here’s to digging up old memories and whatever the future may bring!
I’ve been finding just about anything to distract me from doing the things I should be doing today.
Last week I went to Vancouver a day before my meetup so I could be ready and rested before spending the week with Telus creators from across Canada. I love what I do but it takes a lot out of you to be present online AND in real life while creating content in real-time. On influencer trips, there’s always a camera around, you’re posting to the internet with the proper hashtags, making sure your outfit is cute, and talking to people face-to-face. It can be pretty taxing!
One of my favourite moments last week was walking around downtown Vancouver w/ Cory Lee and stopping by Pink Alley. It was such a beautiful day to be outside surrounded by bright colours, making memories.
Would you believe I spent 15+ hours on Instagram last week? I’m due for a digital break but there’s always something exciting to do and I want to share it with you and the world. I know I should disconnect and take time away from screens but then again I have heaps of things to get done and they all involve being ON A SCREEN. Ahhhh!
Over the years I’ve learned it’s good to take breaks, to let your mind rest, thoughts wander. Years ago before Instagram, I had 40+ posts month over month. These days I find myself writing a ~10 blog posts a month when I’m in the mood or have a due date. I love documenting my life but don’t put the pressure on myself I used to.
Over the years, the mediums have changed and the content is in different places but I think the message is still the same: You’ll never be younger than you are today so make the most of each day.
Last night I walked all the way home from the office, spent some time reading on our patio, and got a good sleep.
Give yourself a break tonight, this weekend, whenever you need it, take some time for yourself. Love this little rest reminder I discovered via Meghan Yuri Young.
Last week I spoke at the graduation for Conestoga College. There were 15 programs graduating and hundreds of students. I got to wear a gold cape as a ‘special guest’. I checked the colour of the cape before the event and came prepared with gold shoes. It was pretty cool!
The top photo above is me with Conestoga College president John Tibbits at the presentation of my Alumni Award last year. I was in shock when I found out I’d been nominated for the Premiere’s Award then Conestoga surprised me with an Alumni Award. [The highest award from a college delivered by the president!]
This isn’t the kind of award you can apply for, and I am so honored to be recognized. I took my mum, and her BFF (aka my second mum & Fairy Godmother!) to the ceremony. We had a great time!
I’ve spent the last decade working in social media as the industry grew and developed. I’ve had my blog for 14 years. When I went to Conestoga College for Marketing, social media was not invented. Blogs were not invented, there was no Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. I was into marketing as soon as I knew what it was. I chose to study it in college because I had a *feeling* the internet would be something big. SMART THINKIN’ EH!
Honestly, in college, I used to skip class and I hardly ever bought textbooks. I didn’t have much money in college or university, but I always did the work. I worked well in groups when I was the leader, I liked writing, I was really into presentations. I didn’t really know what I wanted to be when I left Conestoga College, so I went to university, in Australia. I liked business but I had no clue about a job. I needed to escape and find myself.
When I finished school, I wanted to work in fashion, something I was passionate about. I did that for a few years and also worked in tech. I was a promo model and a tv/film background extra. I did a lot of jobs to get to where I am today and a big part of my journey comes from taking chances.
I followed my gut. Believed in myself. I took the road less traveled and it really made a huge difference. I’ve always done things my own way, a little different, and been kinda weird, but as I’ve gotten older THOSE ARE MY BIGGEST STRENGTHS.
If you’re younger than me and graduating this year, or in a job that’s not your giving you life, don’t worry. You have the power to change your path. Your life is YOUR movie and you’re the director. Take charge of it. We live in a world where technology is driving innovation and new industries are emerging all the time.
You can’t control the cards you are dealt but you decide how to play them.
You ALWAYS have a choice in how to react and what you do with every situation. I wrote a post a while back around the thought that there’s nothing wrong with Monday, Monday doesn’t suck, you just hate your job. You have the power to change your situation. You got this. Change your attitude, change your life.
Find something you love and go confidently in that direction.
Do something each day that brings you closer to your dream.
Learn as much as you can about the thing you love, be the best at it.
If you’re looking for something else to scroll, read this post on my advice to the graduating class when I was inducted into my high school hall of fame.
I’m on another podcast! In this episode of the Legit Lady Podcast, I join host Julie Federman to talk about my life and career path. I talk about my entrepreneurial spirit, the importance of innovation, and the power in believing in yourself. I also love that I am episode #18, a number which has a lot of numerical significance in my life. I think you’ll enjoy listening to this!
This podcast features women who are “nailing it” in life. From artists to professionals, they’re sharing unfiltered real talk and tough life lessons. The Legit Lady Podcast is a platform for impressive women to inspire the world. Hosted by Julie Federman.
Thank you, Julie, for asking me to be on your show and hosting me at your place! It was so lovely to sit down and chat and meet you IRL. Here's to many more episodes and inspiring women around the world!
Over the past 2 years, I’ve been on a mission to be healthier, both mentally & physically. Ever since I took that solo trip to LA I’ve been paying more attention to my body and taking more time for myself. My next quest is to learn about gut health.
Did you know that your overall well-being, including your weight and immunity, may be tied to your gastrointestinal health?
In the summer I went to a workshop hosted by Koena, an over-the-counter probiotic supplement to promote gastrointestinal health. This was my first introduction to gut health and got me thinking about my family. Last month I went to another workshop focussing on food sensitivity, leaky gut, and overall gut health. I’m learning but there’s so much to know.
A key takeaway is you really are what you eat and your gut is connected to your brain which is connected to everything else.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria that live in the gastrointestinal track and help maintain and protect gastrointestinal health.
This week I’m starting with Koena Probiotic Supplement for adults. Their products have no GMOs, are vegan, gluten free, preservative free, with no dyes or artificial flavours. The adult formula has a blend of probiotics and a prebiotic (fibers).
Koena’s also offers certain blends for women and children’s individual needs. Their products are crafted from naturalmedicinal ingredients to promote healthy gut flora.
Our intestines are populated by a large number of various bacterial strains: a well-balanced and rich intestinal flora, also called the microbiota, is able to protect us from many disorders. Its activity helps with everything from digesting food, to fighting infections and protecting the body from toxins.
If you have any tips for gut health (or remembering to take your vitamins) I’m all ears! I’ll be sharing an update in a few weeks on how I’m feeling and my recommendations on probiotics.
I started drinking kombucha this summer, I wonder how long till I start making it myself?!
In partnership with koena.This product may not be suitable for you. Always read and follow label instructions. TM: Trademark owned or used under license by Sandoz Canada Inc.