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MONTHLY FAVOURITES

September Favourites

September is always one of my favourite months. Aside from getting nervous about the upcoming winter weather, I just love everything about fall. The changing leaves, the fashion and the idea of hitting restart with plans and goals.

This September was particularly meaningful for DC and I as we moved into our first house. I’m not going to lie, I had really mixed emotions about leaving the condo life. It’s just so easy. Underground parking, garbage chutes, no alarm. I was overwhelmed with the responsibility that comes with a house.

Now that we are in, however, I’ve never felt happier. Yes, the chores are already endless and don’t get me started about my anxieties of having to clean the snow off my car at 4:30 AM, but there is something about our new space that has me feeling so calm. Which brings me to my Monthly Favourites and as you scroll down, you’ll understand that transition! 

 Favourite Beauty Product:

The Original Beauty Blender

Okay okay I know I am so  late to this game but I am obsessed with my original Sephora Beauty Blender. I had seen girls using this so many times – in person and on Youtube etc, etc. So a few months ago I went to Sephora looking for something other than the Beauty Blender, can’t remember what it was, but walked out with that little hot pink teardrop sponge that has completely changed my makeup game. Not that my makeup game is anything to write home about but it does an amazing job blending my concealer and helping cover up those dark circles under my eyes that seem to get bigger and stronger every day. 

Favourite Workout Gear:

Ultracor High Lux Knockout Tights

If you’re into working out and don’t live under a rock, chances are you already own, or covet or are on the 1000-person waiting list for these star printed leggings. Why are they so popular? Well it’s not just that they are super trendy because Something Navy wore them. They actually feel amazing when you put them on and are so flattering on everyone. Up until last week you pretty much had shlep to the Flatiron district to snag a pair but now, my Toronto friends, all you have to do is make your way to Bloor for the Bandier pop-up store at Holt Renfrew. Try not to freak out when you get there – the selection is out of this world (pun intended). 

Favourite Supplement:

Natural Calm Magnesium 

As a full-time fitness instructor, I am pretty much on high adrenaline mode all day long. And when I say “all-day” it’s not a 9-5 thing. I start at 6 am and end around 9 pm at least three days a week. This means that I’ve had to learn how to shut-off and calm down as soon as I get home in order to get to sleep in a timely fashion and wake up again at 5 the next morning. The problem is, when you teach a spin class until 8:30 at night, it’s kind of hard to wind down after an hour of screaming your head off and blasting beats in a disco-ball lit room. I was complaining about this problem to a couple friends of mine when they suggested I take a magnesium supplement. Magnesium helps regulate the nervous system and balance stress hormones. It is also beneficial to muscle repair. Sounded like a win-win for me in terms of helping my muscles rest overnight and calming myself down so I could get to bed earlier and be ready for the next day. I started using Natural Calm Canada in the lemon raspberry flavour and have been loving it. I put a tablespoon in  large glass of water every night, which also ensures that I hydrate one last time before bed. As with any supplement, be sure to speak to your dr first so you know it is safe for you to take!

Favourite Snack:

Protein Popcorn from Square Organics 

Be warned. This stuff is like crack. I’m a huge popcorn fan to begin with and can literally eat a Costco-size bag of Skinnypop in one seating so when Square Organics came out with a popcorn that had protein I shed a small tear of happiness. You mean I can eat an entire bag of popcorn and get 10 grams of protein and consider it a healthy snack? Sold. The popcorn comes in three flavours: sea salt, lightly sweet and spicy (mild) which is my personal fave. The ingredients are on point too – organic coconut oil and a brown rice protein powder. Now I just need to find a way to make my own version because it’s such an easy and delicious snack. 

Favourite Podcast:

The Skinny Confidential Him & Her 

I spend a lot of time sitting in traffic and I the fact that I haven’t completely lost my mind already is in a large part due to Lauryn Evarts and Michael Bostick, the fabulously hilarious duo behind The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast. Between the best couple banter you have ever heard, this husband and wife talk about everything from girls who shave their face to building your online business. Lauryn, after all, is one of the OG bloggers and someone I have been following along with since before Instagram even existed. With each episode I get in quite a few laughs but also ideas and inspiration on how to build my own business plus amazing tips for entrepreneurs just starting out. They also often have amazing guests on the show. A must-listen is their episode interviewing The Fat Jewish. You need to give it a listen asap!

 

July & August Favourites

Seriously, how is it September tomorrow? Can we just have 5 more minutes of summer, pleeeaaasseee? I know I am not alone when I say the summer flew by! So fast, in fact, that I totally forgot to publish my July faves post! I honestly feel like I blinked once and now it’s Labour Day weekend.

As much as I love summer, I am a huge sucker for fall. Colourful trees, chunky sweaters, pumpkin-spice everything. It almost makes living in our crazy Toronto climate worth it…almost. But seeing as it is still hot out and slightly light out (unless you’re me and wake up at 5 am), I am going to hang on to summer for a few more moments and give a list of the products that I absolutely loved using in July and August.

Favourite Beauty Hack:

5 Minute Face Kit by Haley Bogaert Face

The insanely talented Haley Bogaert has done my makeup so many times for different events, including my wedding, and every single time she does it, I’ve just never felt prettier. So when she came out with her own makeup line, I knew it was going to be genius. I had the pleasure of trying out her 5 Minute Face Kit this summer and now it is my go-to not just for every day, but for special events as well. Available in light, medium and dark shades, the complete kit comes with blush, lipstick, eyeliner, bb cream, highlighter, a flat brush and brow gel, which Haley is famous for. With a quick and easy application of these key products, you can achieve a fresh and glowy look in no time. This is perfect for the on-the-go person like myself and with the cutest packing, it makes for the perfect gift.

Favourite Pantry Staple:

Trader Joes Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

I know photos of this little bottle of seasoning have been flooding your Instagram lately, but it is for good reason. It actually tastes exactly like an everything bagel. I have been putting it on pretty much anything savoury these days; from eggs to avocado toast to salad. I’m a huge fan of spices as they are an easy and calorie-free way to add a ton of flavour to your meal without the use of heavy, sugary sauces. We don’t have Trader Joes in Canada so I picked up a bottle last time I was in New York. Now if there was only a way to make an actual calorie-free bagel for me to eat!

Favourite Face Mask:

Origins Flower Fusion Sheet Masks

Just like a bouquet of flowers, Origins has created a face mask for any occasion. If your skin is dry, go for the rose. If it’s oily, try the orange-radiance. Too much sun? Try the lavender. These no-mess masks are super easy to apply and work quickly. Best part is you actually see the results right away. Also, if you are a sucker for cute packaging, then these masks don’t stand a chance against you. I love masks in the summer as the warmer months are pretty harsh on my skin. Between the sweat and sun and I also love giving my face some extra TLC and a mask is one of the easiest ways to do it.

Favourite Purse Staple:

Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Organic Hand Sanitizer 

 

I have been looking for a good, clean hand sanitizer for a while. It sort of sounds like an oxymoron though. How can something that clean really kill bacteria off our hands? Well, the answer is, I’m not sure how clean it really is. I mean, the hand sanitizer only has three ingredients: ethyl alcohol, water and essential oils so I’d say it’s a pretty good option. I use it often as I am always in my car, using my phone, handling equipment at different gyms, touching clients’ sweaty bodies – you get the picture. So I keep one in my car and one in my purse. My favourite thing about this is the smell, though. Anything with laender immediately calms me down and, I’m not going to lie, sometimes I just spray it and breath it in (is that really bad?) if I’m having a stressful moment in the car and can’t reach my roll-on essential oils fast enough. 

Favourite Hair Product:

Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Dry Shampoo

You may know I just had the chance to try this product only about a week ago but I have used it almost every day and am kind of obsessed. Here’s the deal. Redken came out with a dry shampoo that has dark pigment in it. What does that mean? For all of us dark-haired ladies, it won’t leave a white residue at the tops of our head! Can I get an amen? I also learned something interesting about dry shampoo in general. Did you know that, like a deoderant, you are supposed to apply it before you go workout or do whatever it is that’s going to mess up your fresh hair? I had no clue. For me personally, since I wash my hair a lot due to the constant working out and sweating situation, I have been applying it to my just washed and dried hair, before I style it. Not only do I get a good amount of volume but I also find it helps prevent it from getting greasy faster. 

 

 

 

June Favourites

I’ve just returned from a week-long trip to Iceland which is why this post is a little late going up. Actually, it feels like my past few ‘Monthly Favourites’ posts have started with some excuse as to why they are late going up on the blog. It’s funny how when you quit your 9-5 job to pursue fitness and blogging you find it hard to make the time to write and workout.

Anyhow, I will soon be putting up a blog post all about Iceland and I’m so excited to share more about the trip with you. But before I do that, I need to first tell you about all my go-to products for the month of June:

Favourite Skincare Product:

Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleansing Pads

When I was in Miami, Bianca introduced these pads to me while we were grocery shopping at Whole Foods. I was complaining to her about my bad breakouts and how I thought they were from constantly sweating and not having time to properly cleanse my face in between teaching classes and training clients. I purchased the 50-pad package and tried them out at after a boxing class. I then continued to use them while we were lying out in the sun and then traveling back home on the plane. Now they come everywhere with me. Each pad contains herbal extracts and essential oils combined with tea tree oil that is considered an antiseptic plant. You can feel the pads working their magic right away as they leave your face tingly and cool. I am completely addicted to them. I still wash my face after a workout but I will use these pads after I cleanse and then throughout the day for an extra boost. 

Favourite Hair Product:

Garnier Fructis Moisture Lock 10-IN-1 Rescue 

I went through a phase this year where I decided there was no point in washing my hair because it was just going to get sweaty the next day. But then my skin was getting bad and I was having to constantly change my pillow case and I just never felt that clean. So now I’m back to washing it a lot. I haven’t quite figured out my “hair schedule”  but what makes me feel good right now is a daily wash. If you’re a stylist or a hair person, I know you are probably cringing right now. Sorry! Anyhow, my hair is of course drying out a lot due to the over-shampooing so I’ve resorted to using Garnier’s Moisture Lock 10-in-1 detangler after I shower. I spray it over my ends and for the most part, just let my hair air dry. It smells incredible, which is what got me hooked at first. But it also does not leave my hair greasy at all and protects it from heat damage when I do get to styling it with an iron later in the day. I also brought it with me to Iceland and it proved to save my hair as I didn’t pack my own shampoo or conditioner (I know, you’re cringing again) and hotel products just don’t cut it. 

Favourite Workout Accessory:

Nike Hyperfuel Water Bottle

Finally! A water bottle that is perfect for working out. I know this may seem like a strange product to pick but I have been through dozens of water bottles and, for workout purposes, they just never seem to quite get it right. Swell’s are amazing because they keep the water cold but try unscrewing those caps in the middle of teaching a spin class. There’s just no way to make that look cute. I got to try this Nike water bottle at an event a few weeks ago and (unless I lose it, which is super likely to happen) I cannot see myself working out with anything else. First of all, it holds just under a liter of water. Way more than the average bottle. Secondly, there is no cap. Just squeeze and suck. (Get your mind out of the gutter). Lastly, no leakage. It’s kind of like the Dairy Queen thing where you turn your Blizzard upside down to see if the ice cream falls out. Well, in this case, the water stays in. They aren’t the cutest looking bottles, like My BKR, and they are plastic (the horror!) but as long as they are reusable I think it’s a fair deal. 

Favourite Gift Idea:

Fab Fit Fun 

I posted about my summer box from Fab Fit Fun on Instagram a couple of days ago but I wanted to give a little more information on it. It is a quarterly subscription service that sends boxes each season filled with full-sized samples of products in the health, wellness, beauty and fashion sphere. I’ve received two so far and fell for every item in the box. Whether it’s a new exfoliating face scrub, a pair of earrings or package of protein powder, Fab Fit Fun is on point with their curating skills. I’m not the biggest beauty or fashion buff so I love receiving new products in those industries as I rarely go out and buy new makeup or non-workout clothes. For example, in this past summer box they included a highlighter and bronzer that is already a staple in my “beauty routine.” After I posted about my spring box, several people told me they ordered a subscription for someone else as a gift and I think that is the best idea! It’s more personal and creative than a gift card and takes the guessing game out of what to actually get someone. Plus it will be the gift that keeps on giving. I have a code ‘KALE’ that will get you $10.00 off your first box. If you use my code, I do receive a very small affiliate commission, just to be completely honest with you, but I want to spread the love on these boxes anyways because I love getting them and really think they are an amazing gift option!