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Monthly Favourites

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. 

 

 

 

May Favourites

The fact that I’m only getting this blog post up now pretty much sums up all of May for me. It has been one crazy busy month. Actually, it’s really been one crazy busy year! These days I pretty much feel like I’m just keeping my head above water but that’s what you get for starting your own business. I also believe that if I didn’t feel like I was drowning, failing and riding a roller coaster all at once than I’m probably doing something wrong because this is what everyone told (read warned) me about being an entrepreneur. So this month’s ‘Faves’ post is all about the products and hacks that are keeping me alive and well during this insane time in my life. 

Don’t forget to scroll all the way to the bottom for your chance to win one of my fave products!

Favourite skincare product:

Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essense

I had the luxury of trying out and then getting to take home this spray only last week but have used it multiple times a day, every day since then. This miracle mist both moisturizes and hydrates the skin as it contains similar ingredients found in Tata’s well-known serums. I love that it can be applied on a fresh face or over makeup. Personally I’ve been using it later in the afternoon when I feel tired and in need of a little pick me up. I can definitely see this mist becoming my new favourite travel partner as well. 

Favourite healthy snack:

Chocolate Quinoa Coconut Nagi Bar

Although there are so many raw and vegan products on the market, it is actually rare to find a protein bar that fits within that criteria but still contains a good amount of protein and does not contain 20g of sugar. I was definitely surprised when I saw Nagi bars had 12 grams of protein and only 9 grams of sugar. I was even more surprised to find out how good they taste – especially the chocolate quinoa coconut flavour. I also really like the texture. It’s more chewy similar to a Lara bar and does not have any artificial aftertaste to it.  I also love that they are made in Canada and the founder Justyna is Polish (I’m half Polish) so these bars and I were pretty much meant to be.  

Favourite wellness hack:

Detox Water

I should really call this “spa” water because let’s be honest, you can’t actually detoxify your body by drinking naturally flavoured water however it does have a nice ring to it and there are so many benefits as well. Right now I am really into filling up a massive mason jar of water and throwing in half a lemon, one third of a large cucumber and a handful of fresh mint. Each ingredient has it’s own glorious benefits. While you make think of lemons as being acidic, they are actually one of the most alkaline-forming foods which helps to balance the acidity in our bodies.  Then we have cucumbers that are filled with tons of vitamins and minerals which are amazing for our skin and lastly mint is so good for our digestion. I make my jar at night and store it in the fridge so the water is really flavourful in the morning. I will then drink it first thing, before my coffee so I know I’m off to a great start.

Favourite new workout gear:

Joe Fresh Floral Active Popover 

June gloom has been real here in Toronto thanks to Mother Nature. It’s so easy to let the grey skies get the best of you but one trick that has been working for me is adding a pop of colour to my wardrobe. Whether it’s a neon colour sports bra, a bright sneaker or a fun pattern jacket like this purple floral piece from Joe Fresh, adding some brightness to my regular all black attire has certainly been mood boosting. I’m pretty much always in black leggings and either white or black running shoes so I love that this jacket goes with my normally neutral wardrobe. It’s pretty much impossible to be in a bad mood when you’re decked out in florals. (Photo from joefresh.com)

Favourite workout recovery product:

SKINORD muscle warming + cooling cream

While I don’t think you can replace a proper warm up and a good stretch pre and post workout, sometimes you need an extra boost in the recovery department, especially on those leg days. Lately I’ve been using Skinord’s muscle warming cream before my workout and cooling cream after, on the days where I know I am going really hard in the gym. I’m one of the people who really suffer from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). You know that day 2 feeling where you have to hold on to both sides of the toilet seat to sit down and get back up? That always happens to me.

Skinord uses only natural ingredients such as essential oils and vitamins to replicate the processes that occur in the body during warm ups and cool downs. For example the wintergreen oil in the warming cream helps increase blood flow and the peppermint in the cooling cream aids in soothing the muscles.

Best part is their products are produced right here in Toronto! And even better? Skinord is giving one of you lucky readers your very own set of pre and post workout creams. All you have to do is leave a comment letting me know the exercise that makes you the most sore! For me it’s always lunges. Winner will be announced on Friday via Instagram – good luck!

April Favourites

I always love when the first day of a brand new month falls on a Monday. There is something about seeing that number 1 on the calendar next to a Monday that inspires me to take a moment, think about my goals, check in to where I am and make a plan to get to where I want to be. Adapting to my new, self-employed job is still taking some time. I am feeling pretty disorganized and a little overwhelmed with keeping tabs on all the different things I have going on right now. So my intention for this month definitely subscribes to the season – spring cleaning and organization. I need to de-clutter, take better care of myself and my business, and stay on top of all the exciting stuff I have going on.

This past month was filled with lots of events, some exciting collaborations and more opportunities to try new products. Since April was Earth Month, I thought I would dedicate this month’s post to all my favourite products that I was given an opportunity to test out, which are not only good for our health but good for the earth! Check em out below.

Favourite Natural Shampoo, Conditioner + Mask:

Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Collection

As a spinning teacher, my hair is drenched in sweat almost every day. So basically my only options are dry shampoo or washing my hair every night. I used to lean towards the dry shampoo side but since I’ve tried Maui Moisture I started washing my hair a lot more and there are a few reasons for that. The first time I used the shampoo and conditioner, I let my hair dry naturally and loved the way it ended up looking. The less I have to do with my hair post-washing, the better since I am always strapped for time. And if I am forced to wash it more often, I can at least feel good about using products with ingredients that are actually good for you. The products are formulated with shea butter, coconut oil, and macadamia oil, which are so nourishing for my over-dried hair due to all the sweat. Plus every single Maui Moisture product has NO parabens, NO silicones, NO sulfate surfactants, NO synthetic dyes, NO mineral oils and NO gluten. This means they aren’t only good for our hair but they are making a less-harmful impact on the environment when those soapy remnants go down the drains in our showers. Win for us, win for the earth!

Favourite Natural Remedy:

Saje Wellness Peppermint Halo Headache Remedy 

Spring is here and while warmer days are certainly ahead, so are rainy days. This spring in Toronto has been particularly rainy which means one thing for me – more headaches. I’ve always been super sensitive to rainy weather. My head just kills when it rains. I try and stay away from taking any over the counter painkillers so when I found out about Saje’s Pepermint Halo I knew I had to give it a try. Pepermint Halo is an essential oil that you can roll on to your temples, back of your neck and behind your ears (or any other trigger points you want) that releases a strong, cooling sensation. It’s made with peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, cajeput, vetiver and rosemary essential oils. It smells amazing and works extremely fast. 

Favourite Natural Grab n Go Drink:

Flow Water 

I know what you’re thinking…isn’t this just water and shouldn’t you be using a reusable water bottle? Well yes and yes. But hear me out. Flow Water, isn’t just water. It’s actually locally sourced from a family-run artesian in Ontario that is replenished by rain and filtered naturally. Most spring waters use minimal treatments for bacteria yet Flow keeps it all pure with their unique renewal system, making it nutrient-rich and delicious. So it tastes good, and is good for us, but what about the earth? Shouldn’t we be using our own water bottles? I used to be so good at bringing my own water bottle with me to work and consistently filling it up. (It may or may not have been due to boredom). Now that I’m in a job where I’m constantly on the go, I have become pretty bad at hydrating, especially for someone who sweats for a living! Since having a case of Flow in my fridge, I’ve definitely gotten better at keeping up with my water due to the ease and convenience of the boxes plus the aesthetically appealing packaging that has me inclined to reach for a box every time I open the fridge. It’s also this packaging that makes Flow unique, and, surprisingly, eco-friendly.  You can read all about Flow’s production and packaging here since it is pretty technical but the gist is that their production process plus packaging stays true to their overall mission which is providing a clean and sustainable product while at the same time, limiting their carbon footprint. I you want to try Flow, you can find it at most groceries stores, some fitness studios or you can even order it online and have it delivered to your door – in an eco-friendly BMWi3 of course!

Favourite Natural Salad Dressing:

Raw Foodz Glorious Greek

I’m normally all for making my own salad dressings since it is a really easy way to cut calories, keep your meal clean and be aware of exactly what is going into your food. However, there is something to be said for finding a product that gives you clean and simple ingredients but where you don’t have to do all the work yourself. I had the opportunity to try a bunch of Raw Foodz salad dressings which are all: vegan, organic, raw, nut-free, soy-free, gluten-free and preservative-free. So what are they made with? Well, real ingredients. Things like avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, mustards and herbs that give it all the flavour without the additives. The greek has been my favourite so far but other flavours such as Purely Poppy and Japanese Joy are inspiring me to branch out and try some new salad recipes.

Favourite Natural Blogger:

Shut The Kale Up

I know you already know who she is, but Jeannette Ogdon of the Insta-famous @shutthekaleup is pretty much the queen of natural living. At the beginning of this year she decided to go as natural as possible in all realms of living: food, beauty, house cleaning products, hygiene, etc. While I don’t have the intention of doing that myself, I totally admire her dedication and determination to keep it as clean as possible. And she definitely keeps it real. It seems like she will pretty much try anything and give you her honest opinion. She will always admit when something she is using isn’t natural and I mean, she’s human, we can’t be perfect and keep everything clean, it’s just not possible. I like to try her recommendations for things like skin care products and natural deodorants but I don’t see myself going as far as oil pulling. But never say never – I did say I would never put yogurt on toast once upon a time after Jeannette did it and, well it turns out, greek yogurt is actually damn delish on bread.