Wednesday, January 31, 2018

If you notice that I'm more active on Twitter today, it's because it's Bell Let's Talk day. It's a day devoted to ending the stigma around mental health issues and promoting open conversation about mental health. I always look forward to this day because I believe mental health is just as important as your physical health. I personally have worked through mental health issues in my life, but I know there are so many people who suffer in silence and it should not be this way. 

My tweeting thumbs are ready!

I believe the most important thing in this world is self-care. It may sound like a cliche, but you really cannot pour from an empty cup - so it's imperative you take care of yourself. Self-care can manifest in many different ways; from staying in bed for a day to completing a task you have been dreading. For me, self-care is going to the gym, vacuuming or blogging. I have also started using Headspace for meditation. I have only been doing 2-3 minutes a day, but I have already noticed a difference in how I interact with my thoughts!

In addition to self-care - I also believe in using coping mechanisms to help in hard situations. I struggle with anxiety at times and my coping mechanisms help me immensely. For example, I have a lot of anxiety around driving. I understand it's necessary for me to drive because the public transit system in my city is not an efficient means of transportation for my lifestyle. Getting behind the wheel really stresses me out so I try to combat that by being as prepared as possible for the drive. I make sure to leave with extra time, I'll chew gum to help with teeth clenching, and I always make sure I have a good playlist ready to go. 

I know there is a long way to go when it comes to ending the stigma of mental illness. The world has certainly come a long way but there is always room for improvement. Many vulnerable people do not have access to good mental health care and that is devastating. I strongly believe that everyone who needs mental health care should have access to it. Therapy, medication and other specialized care should always be easily accessible and no one should have to worry that they can't afford to seek help. My hope this Bell Let's Talk day is that we continue to raise awareness and funds for the vulnerable so that everyone can receive the care they need and deserve. 

Please add #BellLetsTalk to your tweets today, as $0.05 will be donated every time you do so. If you are a Bell customer every text and call will garner a donation. There is a Facebook profile photo frame and Snapchat filter which will also garner donations. You can find more details on the Bell Let's Talk website.

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Galentine's Day Gifts

Monday, January 29, 2018

We're officially two and change weeks out from Valentine's Day and Galentine's Day. I have to reiterate my love for all things Valentine. The pink, the sparkle, the candy - there is so much to enjoy regardless of your relationship status. Today I'm focusing on gifts for your girlfriends. In recent years there has been a huge shift in culture and we as women are celebrating our fellow women more than ever. My female friends are all bright stars in my life and I definitely do not express how much they mean to me as often as I should. Galentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to do so. 

Material items may not fully express the gratitude you have for the women in your life, but they do serve as a nice reminder. Gifts represent time spent thinking about the recipient, which shows them you value the relationship you have. So friends, gift away! This gift guide is filled with fun ideas your favourite ladies are sure to enjoy! 

The silk pillowcase is perfect for your friend with curly/natural hair. Champagne bears can be enjoyed by all at your Galentine's day party, where everyone can rock the Babes Supporting Babes sweater!

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Weekend Links

Friday, January 26, 2018

This week has been super hectic. It started off with discovering that my car had a flat tire. Not the worst thing in the world, but it still knocked me off my game. I missed posting on Wednesday because I simply did not have the energy, plus I'm struggling with being organized. I'm taking this weekend off to really make some plans and get back on track. On the upside, I got to the gym 5 times this week (I can't believe it either) and I'm making great progress with the Minimalist Game. 

Here are my weekend links!

One // J. Crew Signet Bag

This new bag by J. Crew is so cute! It's the perfect size to make it a 'going out' bag, plus you can adjust the strap to make it a shoulder purse or crossbody. My favourite detail though - is that you can add a monogram to the bag! This would make a really cute Valentine's Day gift for a friend or your girlfriend! 

Two // Princess Eugenie Gets Engaged
I have to admit - I love the royal family. I remember waking up at 4 AM to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton get married. I'm so, so excited about Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle and now there is a second royal wedding this year! Princess Eugenie is a 'cool royal' to me. She worked as an art dealer in New York and her fashion sense is enviable. I really can't wait to watch her wedding!

Three // Ultra Repair Cream
I just started using this cream, but I already love it so much. I have incredibly dry skin and it only gets worse in the winter. We have been experiencing a rollercoaster of temperatures lately - and my poor skin cannot adapt. I read a number of reviews of the Ultra Repair Cream on Sephora's website - and they were all great so I decided to try it. I have only been using the cream for a few days, but I have noticed a huge difference in my skin. It doesn't have as many dry patches and my face doesn't feel tight like it used to. I definitely recommend this product! 

Four // Meryl Streep Joins Big Little Lies
I watched Big Little Lies only recently to understand the hype. I ended up loving the series and totally getting why the show has been winning so many awards. Even though I feel that there isn't more story to tell - I am interested to see that Meryl Streep is joining the show for season two. I'm sure she will make a wonderful addition to the story and I can't wait for season two!

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Three Winter Reads

Monday, January 22, 2018

I challenged myself to read 30 books this year, and while I started off strong my momentum has definitely slowed a little bit. I'm going to tackle my challenge by trying to a read a book per week. It seems like a lot, but I think doing that will force me to make time for reading instead of treating it as an afterthought. I've picked out three books I will read over the next three weeks and I'm rounding them here today!

What I Know for Sure // Oprah Winfery 
I have always been a huge Oprah fan. I'm not sure if it's because my mom wanted to name me Oprah at birth (yes, really) or simply because she is such a force in the world. I was so so moved by her speech at the Golden Globe awards and from that day on I was more obsessed with Oprah than ever before. What I know For Sure started out as an article in O magazine, which later transformed into this book. It's filled with Oprah's knowledge and advice for life's harder days. 

This Changes Everything // Naomi Klien
I picked this book up on a whim and I'm so glad I did! Naomi explores the intersection of capitalism and climate change. There is no doubt our climate is changing rapidly, and it's possible to slow it down - but we really need to address the way huge companies take advantage of our environment. 

The Little Book of Hygge // Meik Wiking
I know I am super late to the Hygge trend - but I did some research and I'd really like to adopt the way of life. Hygge is a Danish word not easily translated to English, which essentially means comfort and togetherness. The Little Book of Hygge teaches you different ways to incorporate the practice into your life. I'm excited to dig into this book and add some more happiness to my life!

What is next up on your reading list?

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Weekend Links

Friday, January 19, 2018

I'm bringing Weekend Links back! When you spend a significant amount of time online - it's easy to find links and videos you want to share, but running into the issue of it not quite being enough for its own post. 

This week as a whole was pretty unremarkable, minus the fact that I got to the gym 5 times this week. I'm really committed to my goal of climbing the CN tower and I count every work out as a small victory to making it there. 

One // Filmmaking Is A Sport 

Casey Neistat is one of Youtube's top creators and his newest video shows why. In the video, he explores why he began making videos on YouTube. The way he redefines what it means to be successful is truly inspiring and I really felt like I could do anything when the video was over! 

Two // Shay Mitchell's 'Shaycation' 

I am (not so) secretly obsessed with Shay Mitchell's YouTube channel. The videos she does with the PLL cast are so cute, but I stay for her Shaycation series. The videos are essentially high-quality ads for the places she visits, with a behind the scenes twist. I love that she shows actual activities you can do and that she makes an effort to interact with the locals wherever she goes. Her Greece video is my all-time favourite of the series! 

Three // Sherpa Sweater 

It has been so unbearably cold in Toronto for the past few weeks that I have gone crazy buying cozy sweaters. I picked this sherpa sweater up on a whim - and I'm so glad I did. It is SO cozy and layers perfectly under my coat. It's currently 20% off 

Four // Toronto Makes the HQ2 Shortlist 

Amazon recently revealed the 20 cities moving on to the next round of selection for it's newest Headquarters. The whole thing (bizarrely) feels like sorority recruitment - as I imagine they will cut the qualifying cities down to 10. I'm so happy Toronto made it to the shortlist because I think having HQ2 here would be awesome. I was also rooting for Detroit because their bid video was so powerful and I went to university in the area, but sadly they didn't make it. 

Five // Canadian Olympic Flag Bearers
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have been named as Canada's Olympic flag bearers. I am so happy for them and really excited to watch the opening ceremonies. They will be the first ever pair to lead Canada into the Olympics so it's a really special moment. Aside from being excellent ice dancers, Tessa and Scott are a fun, humble pair and a joy to watch on the ice!

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Valentine's Day Dress Ideas

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

This post may seem early - but it's just under a month until Valentine's Day! I didn't realize how soon the holiday was approaching until I saw a huge (and slightly creepy) Valentine's Day teddy bear display at Wal-Mart.

Though I have been chronically single for the past few (read: lost count) Valentine's Days, I still love the holiday. It's cheesy, it's fun and if you're in the same boat as me - it's a great day to show some extra gratitude to the people who love and support you. On Valentine's Day, I usually watch the namesake movie (I can't resist) and get dressed up for fun! I love anything pink, ruffly, sparkly and flowy! 

Whether you are having a date night, Galentine's Day party or just want to dress up for yourself - a fun feminine dress is necessary. 

Below you'll find some of my top picks for Valentine's day dresses!

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2018 Reset

Monday, January 15, 2018

I started off the year on the blog with an ambitious list of goals I'd like to accomplish. I'm still very committed to my goals, and excited to work on them - yet I've found the first few weeks of 2018 to be rough. The novelty of the new year wore off and I caught myself becoming overly frustrated because I was still stuck in the same habits I vowed to end in 2017. 

It's really easy to think the whole year is lost if you don't start it off with guns blazing on New Year's Day. The truth is, we have to unlearn many familiarities in order to press on and achieve our goals. Just because I'm having a few rough days, doesn't mean I will have a rough year. Instead of throwing my hands in the air - I will refocus on what I want to change and make decisions in the present that will pay off in the future. 

If you're in the same boat as me, just know that we may not always get to control what happens to us - but we can control our reaction and what we take away from different experiences. It's never too late to make a change - so consider today my (and your if you need it) 2018 reset. Let's bounce back and take the rest of the year by storm!

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