Friday, March 30, 2012

De-Stressing 101

So things have been a little crazy lately and by  “crazy” I mean that kind of awesome crazy! All these amazing things are happening at the same time, and I have been unbelievably busy, but totally loving it.

The great thing about being busy is that I’m never bored. There’s always a new challenge to tackle, and something new to learn. Yeah, that might sound cheesy if it wasn’t true. But as much as I love all the exciting new things going on in my life, there are still those moments when I feel a little overwhelmed. You know, those butterflies in your stomach (and not the cute first date kind) when you start to think about just how you’re going to get everything done. This happened to me the other day, and then instead of getting all the work done, I sat around worrying. Such a total waste of time and energy! So really, it’s all about learning to deal with stress.—
Here are a few of my favorite stress-busting ideas.

1.    Choose a Song
Select a tune that will put you in the right place mentally.Here are some of my favorite “de-stress and pump me up” songs:

Call me Maybe” By Carley Rae Jepsen – seems to be my theme song lately, and she’s Canadian! Beware: this song is catchy beyond belief.
“Feel So Close” – Calvin Harris
“Good Feeling” – Flo Rider  
“Levels” – Avicii
“Starships” – Nicki Minaj
“Wild One”—Flo Rida (feat Sia)
“Shake It Out”—Florence and the Machine
“Dog Days Are Over”—Florence and the Machine
“Young Blood”—Naked and Famous
“Drive By”—Train
“Stronger” – Kanye West
I’ve Got a Feeling” - Black Eyed Peas
So What” – Pink

 and of course... two from the history books –
“I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor

So yeah, the other day if you were to peer into my window you would have seen me dancing around my house singing along to “Call me Maybe” with my oh-so-fabulous chic buds in my ears… you have to look good when rocking out!

And while I’m definitely no Carrie Underwood, at least I have fun! (sorry neighbors…that’s not a cat dying, it’s just me de-stressing)

2.    Go for a Run, Work Out or Hit a Yoga Class
I love the feeling after a great work out. It’s called endorphins people, and boy do they help! And when I”mlifting weights, it feels really great to put all my pent-up frustration into getting that last rep – pushing myself to the limit.

3.    Take a bath or a nice long shower
Nothing like sitting in the tub, listening to some nice slow music (check out “Breathe” by Anna Nalick or “Holocene” by Bon Iver- also one of the most beautiful music videos), and letting the worries of the day wash away.

Sometimes I like to give myself a little extra treat, and throw in a bath bomb or some bath salts (or both!).

4.    Get Ready for a night of Fun
You know how the saying goes “work hard, play hard.” So when I’ve spent the whole, day searching for new products, dealing with customers, and rushing to meetings, I like to call up a few of my favorite girlies and head to our favorite bar for some de-stress martinis. It’s fun to take a little bit of time to get all dressed up in my new LBD, and slip on my lucky hot pink heels (of course putting my “damn heels” in my purse for later. Sore feet are not part of my de-stress routine).

Finish off my look with a little pale pinkgloss from Dalish, and I’m all ready for girl’s night out!

5.    Flirt a Little or Flirt Alot
You know, just because it’s called “girls night out” doesn’t mean you can’t have a little boy fun. So yeah, I’ll admit that nothing de-stresses like some good ol’ fashioned flirting. I always run into some pretty smooth guys with the quick and witty compliments, as well as the usual few duds… there is always a great laugh and good stories from a fun night out with the gals!  Now if only we could find Ryan Gosling at the bar.,.. what a story that would be!

Everyone has their own relaxation rituals that they do, so please share yours with me in the comment section!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Feeling & Looking Good in your Own Skin

Well this has certainly been a lovely week, with unexpectedly gorgeous weather! (if this wasn’t the case where you live….I’m so very sorry for your circumstances) But for me, I got to break out my  skirts and shorts way earlier then expected! Love that I can wear my sexy heels again and pack the boots away for another season!

image from Pinterest

The surprise weather meant that I never even had the chance to start doing a few extra squats and lunges to get my legs back in summer shape. And while the weather might say it’s summer, my skin is still suffering from the winter blahs. All these changes in temperature are giving my skin a complex!

I hate when you’ve picked out the perfect outfit, you’ve got fabulous accessories, you’ve styled your hair with a few fun curls, and you should be looking and feeling  amazing!  

What is that saying?  Oh right… “You should feel great in your own skin.”  But sometimes, I think my skin and I just aren’t on the same wavelength. Nothing can ruin a great outfit better than dry skin. You’re probably nodding right now, and that’s because we’ve all pretty much experienced this at one point or another. And when I start to get frustrated with my skin, I swear it knows, and it starts getting worse just to make me even angrier!. Dry elbows, knees, and lips are my skin’s specialty, and these things always seem to come up the day before an important event or a hot date. It is especially gross when your skin is so dry that is starts to bleed.  I try to cover it up with a cool fun band aide (like the leopard print one) so people won’t see how gross it is but really I don’t want it to happen in the first place.

So this week I’ve been testing some new products to make sure they live up to their claims, and what do you know, I think I may have just found the perfect weapon against my ever-annoying dry skin problem. This line of products is so great because they:

a) Support local beekeepers (yay for equitable labour practices!),
b) Are filled with all natural ingredients (yay for things that don’t sound like some freaky science experiment!),
c) Work (and isn’t that the most important thing?)

The first product I tried was the lip balm, because even if the weather gets colder again (fingers crossed this doesn’t happen) and I have to force my legs back into jeans, my lips will still be on display. I love all the organic ingredients, and how I really feel like it’s going to stay on my lips and actually work.

My favorite product has got to be the Rescue Putty. Seriously, this stuff is like magic in a jar. I really wish I had discovered this so long ago. I use is mostly on my knees and elbows, but you can pretty much use it on any extra-stubborn part of your body. You’ll be rocking softer skin sooner than you can say “hot shorts!”

There’s also various kinds of lotions, treatment sticks, and bars for any of your other skin needs. Take a look here to find your skin solution and start feeling confident in your own skin – the skin your fabulous self deserves.

Have a great weekend and I hope you get outside to enjoy some of the fabulous weather!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Planning a European Adventure - From Hairstyles to Safety

So Spring is slowly but surely creeping up on me, and so I’m getting closer and closer to the day I leave for my oh-so-fabulous Europe trip. I’ve got my hotels and flight booked, my list of must-see museums and art galleries, and of course every time I go shopping I just end up adding a new scarf, shirt, or dress to my European wardrobe (at this rate, I’m going to need a bigger bag!) Those are the fun things to plan for when going away. But then there’s always the not-so-fun things including budget (blech!), travel insurance, and overnight trains. One of my best friends is going on a business trip around the same time  I leave for my Europe trip, and despite the fact that our experiences are going to be quite different (backpacking vs. corporate conference) we still share some of the same thrills and woes of planning a trip. Yes, I’ll admit that I’ve gone so far as to researching creative hairstyles appropriate for humid climates (wearing long hair down is just a recipe for disaster in the Italian heat).

Images courtesy of Pinterest

Can you tell I’ve been spending a lot of time on Pinterest. I also happen to be watching quite a large number of Hollywood films set in Europe. This has, of course, not helped my addiction to looking for pinterest hairstyles because, no matter what shenanigans the characters get into, their hair ALWAYS looks perfect! How do they do that?! Oh right…they sit in a chair for hours with a team of hairstylists.

So I was talking about watching all these films with my friend and she gave me a list of films NOT to watch. She said watching any of these films (including Taken with Liam Neeson) would just freak me out, and make me not want to be adventurous in Europe. And that kind of got me thinking…I’d been spending so much time worrying about my wardrobe and hair, but I hadn’t really considered something as simple as safety. I have no interest in being paranoid just because some movie plot was freaky. But I do think it is an empowering feeling to know that you’re prepared – no matter what! So I set about looking for handy gadgets made for traveling women and stumbled upon this fabulous line of stylish safety products. Yep…you read that right! Apparently now even safety devices can be totally cute! I couldn’t be happier!

The first thing I picked up was one of these. Believe it or not, they’re personal alarms! Clip it to the outside of your purse, and if you ever feel endangered, just pull the string and the alarm will emit a piercing female scream.

A similar personal alarm comes in a keychain form to clip onto your keys. This is especially great if you live or work in a large building where you have to walk through underground parking lots (those things are freaky!)

Another awesome gadget I picked up was this door wedge alarm. This is perfect if you’re ever traveling in a hotel that maybe makes you a little nervous or even if you’re home alone and want to feel a bit more secure in your bedroom. Just slip the door wedge under the door, and if anyone tries to get in it will sound an alarm and also keep the door shut at the same time. And the fun colours and design make it part of your d├ęcor as well! Now you don’t have to worry about staying up all night, waking up to the slightest noises. You need your beauty sleep so you can enjoy everything the next day has to offer. You really can’t put a price on a good, comforting sleep and peace of mind.

So now, I have 2 months left to go and I’ve got my clothes and hairstyles figured out, my sightseeing list planned out, and my personal safety covered! Bring it on Europe!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Girl's Weekend on the Slopes

So it’s about time for a ladies weekend. We’ve all been so busy with work and life in general that we haven’t quite kept up with our weekly girl’s nights. So time to make up for it in one crazy, fun packed weekend! First question, besides “what am I wearing on the plane” and “how can I pack my whole shoe wardrobe in this suitcase” is “where should we go?” There’s the typical warm weather holiday, to some all-inclusive resort in a place where the sun doesn’t stop shining, and the daiquiris are strong. We decided that we’d already done that a few times, so why not shake things up this time around! We decided to bring out our inner adrenaline junkies, and embrace all the cold, wintery fun Canada has to offer. So, time to hit the slopes with all my fav girlies!\

So I have to admit, it’s been a while since I’ve been skiing. Here I was thinking I was going to embarrass my friends with my not-so-stylin skiing skills (more like wipeout skills), but then I took a look at my skiing wardrobe. Oh boy. Admittedly, Ski boots aren’t exactly my favorite accessory, but that doesn’t mean the rest of my ensemble has to be equally sad. Unfortunately, It had been a while since I updated my skiing ensemble. I figured that the nice wool peacoat I rocked daily in the city just wasn’t going to cut it on the slope. And my ski jacket…well let’s just say it left a lot to be desired. It was more boring then Sunday tv, and oh-so nineties. Feel free to be embarrassed for me and the fact that I was actually going to wear this.

Time for an update! And here’s the fun part, fashion on the slopes is full of exciting chances to experiment! It’s all about being unique, colourful, and letting your personality shine (literally! The more you stand out, the easier it is for your friends to find you). So I picked up a new ski jacket in a fab colour and I was set! I packed my bag (or bags…), headed with the girls to our fabulous chalet, stocked the fridge with delish snacks and some good ol’ Canadian beer, and went out to scope the slopes for the best runs (okay…and maybe we scoped for some cute guys too). I kept spotting these awesome hats everywhere, on kids, and adult women and men alike! Even though I saw that the brands were the same, there were so many different styles that everyone looked totally different. There was a cat to my left, a zebra on the lift, a bear sipping on a beer at the bar, and a penguin over by ski rentals. The inner fashionista in me recognized that here was a trend that I had somehow totally missed out on!

Well that just wouldn’t do. So I picked out my favorite one (I love the ultra fuzzy and warm Ice Caves hat). And my ensemble was finally complete! I swear, even my skiing improved once I was properly attired. What’s that saying again… “the right tool for the rights job.” Well if you ask me, an effective hat (in my world effective = warm+cute ), is just as important as working skis and boots that fit. So in the end, maybe I didn’t totally tear up the slopes like an Olympian…but I only fell a couple (dozen) times, and at leats I looked stylish doing it! And I had fun! Oh, and if you were wondering, yes, I did find some cute boys (I give credit to my new hat).

I wanted to show these great hats to all my lovely Orangefish fans. So we just had to hook them, and feature them on  Check them out here!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tea + friends= clarity + lots of laughs!

I hate it when I am feeling a little overwhelmed.  It could be work, family, or god forbid, boy troubles but when I am feeling that way there’s usually only one thing to do—call up one or more of my besties! Nothing is better than huddling up on the couch with my best friends, a couple yummy snacks, and a nice warm cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Well, the only thing that is better is if it was a yummy martini or an amazing full bodied red wine but we can’t do that every day can we?

Anyone who knows me knows I have the most ridiculous tea collection.  I love David’s Tea and all the fun flavours that are available.  I also love steeping my tea in Audrey, the beautiful flower tea strainer… she also makes having a cup of tea delightful but most importantly I love looking at my crazy collection of mugs. 

I have mugs for every situation and when having friends over it is always important to choose the best one depending on the mood of the visit.  I have that lucky mug I got on vacation, the one from my best friend, or the one from the day I got that big promotion – although that one is really ugly because it has the company name on it so I only use it when I am desperate!

As a child I used to have this totally awesome mug that I got when I went to see Disney on Ice (back when those things were cool). It looked just like my favorite character Chip from the Beauty and the Beast and I remember always begging my mom to put my drinks in that mug. Fast forward a few years and things aren’t too different. Sure, the mug isn’t modeled after a Disney character, but I still definitely play favorites.
My current favorites are the cute mugs from Hope Springs… they have such amazing inspiring quotes on them and are perfect for a good girlfriend sesh.

And of course, whenever the tea comes out, so does all the chatting. For some reason, even if that issue I was having with my boss or latest date seems to be infinitely complicated in my head just telling my friends about it makes me feel so much better. Cue the long conversation where we will begin to overanalyze everything that was said during the meeting or on the last date. This process of dishing date gossip is sometimes more entertaining then the best episode of Sex and the City. 

My girlfriends always get a good laugh at the antics of the men I meet for example when I tell them “He showed me his suit collection! Who does that?” and then that’ll trigger a story about the time one of my friends dated someone who thought “brown rice was white rice with soya sauce” or when “Fun Matt” turned into “Mad Matt”, or do you remember that guy you thought was a gay hair dresser and then he called you at 4am to profess his love… so many fun stories to share!

It’s crazy how one minute I could be feeling totally stressed out about a situation, and in only a few hours of soul searching and silly conversation I feel so much better and am able to put everything into perspective!

It is okay to get friends to help you brighten your day sometimes!  They bring you hope and laughter.  The magical equation… Tea + friends= clarity + lots of laughs!

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