February 26, 2016

Spring-time is Fashion's Rebirth


As I sit down to write this post about spring, I'll admit I'm a bit depressed. That's only because when you live in a city like Ottawa, where the snow can last well into April, it's often difficult to see the winter relief of spring on the horizon. I am comforted, however, by the fact that every year it does eventually come. Just the thought of warmer days, longer days, sunnier and rainier days makes me smile. There is nothing quite like being out for a walk in May, apple trees blooming and filling my nose with their sweet fragrance, sun shining on my pale winter ravaged skin, birds chirping and nesting with their babies; it's like heaven for the senses.

The other thing I love about spring is the seasonal change of my closet; it's the time to dig out my capris, shorts, skirts and sandals. It's a time to wear white head to toe, (although I definitely wear white in the winter too) and to wear all those beautiful floral patterns. Typically, once the temperatures are over 20 C (68 F) I start putting away my knits, my warm jackets and my winter accessories (hats, mitts, and heavy scarves). I keep my blazers, light jackets, thin sweaters and jeans in my closet all year round because the temperatures in the spring and sometimes summer can be cooler in the mornings and at night, so it's nice to have those warmer pieces handy. My absolute favorite thing about the warmer weather is the absence of socks and the addition of sandals and ballerina flats; my feet have never felt so free.

The common dilemma every year; what do you do with all the winter stuff? I usually fold it all up and pack it away in a plastic container and stick it in my storage room in the basement. But what should you do if you don't have any extra space? Renting a storage locker is pricey and unless you have furniture and a lot of other crap to store it's not really worth it. Not to mention that driving down there every time you need to get something out is annoying and there's potential for dodgy characters hanging around. I recently found a cool solution (although they don't currently offer this service in Canada...) called MakeSpace. For a monthly fee, they send you a storage bin; you fill it up with clothing, shoes, boots, and accessories that you want to store; then they pick it up and take it to a storage facility for you. The best part is that if you need to retrieve something, all you need to do is go on their website or app and put in a request, it's just a click away. Pretty cool if you ask me.




Typically, come February, I am out at the malls scouting for my new spring wardrobe, but this year I am doing things a bit differently. I have had too much retail regret in the past, due to the amount of impulse shopping I have done while caught up in the excitement of spring fashion. I want to be more deliberate and intentional about my future purchases; to plan my wardrobe each season in advance, to purchase high quality items that I have saved up for, and to buy as many seasonally transitional pieces as possible (to get more milage out of my clothing). This may seem boring, not getting caught up in the whirlwind of spring shopping, and I'll admit that it doesn't strike me as all that exciting either. But I do think that the end result will be way more rewarding, and I will end up with more versatile pieces that will give me more outfit options.

Here are my top essential items for spring:

1. White Shirt     
2. Ruffled Blouse
3. Thin Knit Sweater
4. Floral Pattern Blouse
5. Striped Tee
6. Cropped Jeans
7. Slim Leg Chinos
7. Pleated Midi Skirt
8. White Denim Shorts
9. Pointed Ballerina Flats
10. Cutout Sandals
11. Leather Saddle Bag
12. Lucite Cuff
13. Gold Choker

Essentials For Spring

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February 25, 2016

Just the tip............... Tips on how to take better selfies


Hey there fashionmamaaquarius followers! My lovely sister asked me to write a post about how to take a good selfie. She asked me as I am clearly the more attractive sister of the three. Ok maybe not, BUT I do take the most selfies.  Am I a selfie expert? No, I'm just a photogenic person who enjoys taking selfies when I think I look good. When you're taking a selfie you should think; location, lighting, background and is this acceptable. You don’t want to be that person caught on the jumbotron at a baseball game taking selfies for 20 minutes with a churro in your face. Or maybe you do.......
“I’m a pretty big deal people know me”. If you are having a great hair day or just pass the mirror and think “damn I look good” TAKE A SELFIE! Too many woman and men are overly critical of themselves. Which is ridiculous. Be confident and it will show in your pictures.
"Do you come here often?" Location is important. There is nothing more lame then taking a selfie in the mirror and seeing your toilet or shower in the background. Keep your eyes peeled for awesome backgrounds that would help the photo out. Take the first photo for example. I was at a bar with my friends and I went to the washroom. The walls were brick and wood. PERFECT selfie background and it was in a private washroom where I could take a few moments to get the best picture possible. The B&W one is against a wall in my office.

 “One look I’ll give you one look”. So I basically have one face that I do when I take selfies. But it works, so why would I change it? Sometimes trying new faces or angles is fun and you can get a way cooler picture out of it.


Can you see me now? Rarely in a dark room such as a bar or dimly lit restaurant can you get a great selfie. So just don’t bother. Enjoy what you are doing and forget about taking a photo of yourself. Feel free to try if you want or ask a friend to take a picture with the flash but be realistic that 90% of the time it isn't going to work. The best lighting you can use in a picture is natural light. I usually stand looking out of my window and take the picture. Now this isn't direct sunlight so I'm not blinded by the sun. The black and white one is an example of this. If you are outside be careful of shadows and don’t face the sun straight on or have it directly behind you.
  









"Acceptance is the key"- Sometimes you've got to accept that some selfies just won’t work. If you take 10 photos and the lighting or location are off then just accept it’s not the best time for a selfie and move on.

Editing- Sometimes using apps for your pictures can help out a selfie a lot. Fashion Mama and I use B612 a lot. Seeing the filter when taking the photo really helps knowing what looks good and what doesn't.

I'm going to preach what I rarely practice but once you are done taking selfies delete any of the ones that look similar or aren't ones you’d post as a Facebook profile picture. 20 years from now when you are looking through old photos on your computer and you see these photos you’ll think “god why did I keep those”. So just do it now.



Most importantly have fun with it, be weird and enjoy life J
Thank you for taking time to read this, I hope it helps!




Megs
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February 23, 2016

Top Shop: New Collection

Top Shop: New Collection


Topshop jacket
105 CAD - topshop.com


Topshop slim fit jeans
77 CAD - topshop.com


Topshop white camisole
31 CAD - topshop.com


Topshop shoes
110 CAD - topshop.com


Topshop yellow handbag
48 CAD - topshop.com


Topshop multi strand necklace
27 CAD - topshop.com


Topshop filigree ring
14 CAD - topshop.com


Topshop earrings jewelry
13 CAD - topshop.com

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February 22, 2016

My Daily Energy Routine



Further to my previous post about Frugal Fitness, I thought I would also post a bit about how I get enough energy to get me through the day. Every person is different of course so just a quick disclaimer that this is my daily routine and what works for me; I am not a doctor, nutritionist or personal trainer, though I am now trained in CPR and First Aid (yeah that's right).

Morning:

Having a baby who still wakes up multiple times throughout the night means that I don't ever get a full night's rest and I'll be honest most mornings I'm friggin exhausted so coffee or tea first thing in the morning is my go-to drink to get going. I have gone without caffeine in the past, however, and after getting over the initial withdrawal and narcolepsy that follows for the first week (desk naps at lunch were my friend) I definitely had more energy mid-day than when I was drinking caffeine and it definitely helped with my anxiety. So if you dare to try it, go to David's Tea, get yourself some herbal varieties, something to keep your eyes in an opened position while you're at work and your sense of adventure then watch the magic begin to unfold. Unfortunately at this point, for me, it's coffee with 10% cream (not the healthiest, I know but at least I kicked the sugar habit).

A good brekkie is also essential if you want to last until snack-time (yes smaller more frequent meals are best to keep that blood sugar level ladies!) I go through phases with what I eat and I'm bad for eating the same thing every day but I like rye toast with coconut oil and jam or oatmeal with cinnamon and honey. I also take a super high quality multi vitamin by Honest Company, I am in love with these vitamins, they are IMO worth the brutal exchange rate (for us Canadians) and I also get the kid ones for my daughter.

Mid-Morning:

Snaaaaack time! This is when I get my smoothie going. I have recently gotten back into making smoothies for myself thanks to my hubby, the recipes are endless but here's what I put in mine: plain or vanilla yogurt, frozen fruit, juice, ice and then any super duper add-on you want (protein powder, Greens +, bee pollen, flax oil, honey, agave nectar, etc.) I have found that this mid-morning drink keeps me full and is easy to take with me if I need to run errands with the girls or make it to a playdate (ahem on time #lazymomproblems). Other snacks that I will have are apple slices, crackers with avocado, or poached eggs.

Workout:

I have been really trying to get out of the house every day for some exercise with or without the girls and, while it's ideal to workout first thing in the morning, this is not usually possible for me. I say just get that workout in whenever you have time, sometimes I go for a walk to the park before lunch or a run between lunch and naptime or sometimes I sneak out after the girls are in bed for a late night run with my bestie.

Another thing that I have been doing for awhile is 100 squats before bed, 40 pushups and 50 lunges. Most people would think that exercising before bed is a sure-fire recipe for insomnia but for me it tires me out and when I lay down my muscles are completely relaxed allowing me to fall asleep much quicker than I normally would.

Lunch:

This is always a dodgy meal for me being at home because it requires a bit more planning than brekkie, which I almost never do. All I can say is that I usually heat up leftovers, make a salad or a sandwich and some raw veggies, done.

Mid-Afternoon:

This is when I like to have a cup of tea (sometimes black sometimes green) and I usually get a small treat like a muffin or a few homemade cookies. (I've started making mini ones so I can feel like I'm getting more). My oldest daughter doesn't nap, so by this time of the day I am usually feeling sleepy and so I need a little bit of help to get motivated to clean...

Dinner:

I am incredibly lucky to have a husband who is a chef, he is also gracious enough to come home from work most evenings and cook for us but I have also started to learn how to cook meals other than Kraft Dinner and Delissio Pizzas; I still don't love it but I feel like I've come a long way in a short amount of time. My favorite thing to eat at home these days is anything Indian with naan or roti (I'm drooling just thinking about it).

Night:

I have to admit, that I am a bit of a night owl. I often stay up too late watching Youtube, writing blog posts and surfing social media, but really to give your body time to relax, unwind and then repair itself it is super important to get a good sleep. So turn all the tech off, wash your face, moisturize, brush and floss your teeth then hop into bed and get those zzzzz's.

Do you have any tips for getting energy throughout the day I'd love to hear about it! Please don't forget to like and share this post :)

Sincerely


Erin

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Can I Please Wear Shorts Soon?

Can I Please Wear Shorts Soon?


Mango blouse
68 CAD - mango.com


MANGO shorts
68 CAD - mango.com


Mango shoes
82 CAD - mango.com


Leather handbag purse
4,295 CAD - runway2street.com


Lulu Frost vintage style earrings
340 CAD - lanecrawford.com


MANGO beaded pendant necklace
39 CAD - mango.com


C√ČLINE celine glasses
485 CAD - superette.co.nz


Black Rivet band hat
90 CAD - wilsonsleather.com


Gucci shiny nail polish
39 CAD - gucci.com

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February 21, 2016

A Frugal Guide: Keeping Fit Without A Gym Membership

Photo Credit: Freeimages.com/Aaron Neifer

We all know that being physically active throughout our lives is important for our overall health and longevity but sometimes it's difficult to fit a workout into our already busy lives. It can also be tough to stay motivated; some of us are lazy girls/guys, some of us don't know where to start and some of us start out a year with a great vigor for exercise only to have our momentum peter out mid-year. Then there's the fact that while gyms are great; they offer classes to meet most people's taste, weights and cardio machines for the trail blazers and personal training for the clueless newbie; they are also expensive.

I have belonged to a gym in the past, and for many years I attended the classes either in the evenings or on my lunch hour, but I always ended up with the problem of lack of motivation and after awhile I would lose interest and stop going for awhile. Usually I would regain my groove and get back at it (usually thanks to my bestie who is a religious gym goer) but I always felt pretty guilty paying for something that I wasn't using to my full advantage.

This post is not intended to suggest that gyms or fitness classes are bad, or a waste of money because they are totally not. However, if you happen to be on a budget or are just too darn cheap please read on for some ideas on how to workout for free or at a very low cost.

Running:

I know this is not everyone's cup of tea (you have bad knees, ankles, etc.) and it may seem like an obvious one but I want to mention it because it has always been one of the sports that I was coordinated enough to be good at. This is a completely free exercise as long as you have all the necessary equipment; a good pair of running shoes (shoes should be replaced every 300-500 miles according to Runner's World, or once you start to experience any discomfort in your joints) and some comfortable clothing. Obviously you see runners who are all decked out with the latest dry-fit clothing and time-tracking watches but this is mostly for show and possibly comfort. Running can really be done any time of the year; I used to be very picky about what weather I would run in and typically I preferred to run in Spring and Fall but not Summer and winter; this has changed a bit because my bestie got me out running a few evenings this winter when it wasn't crazy cold or snowing and I actually quite liked it, I even have taken the girls out running in the Chariot stroller a few times. So I guess now I'm a winter running convert but if you live somewhere cold and you happen to have a treadmill you can always go that route.

Skating:

I'll admit I am not a big fan of ice skating but if you live somewhere that has a lake or canal (like in Ottawa) that freezes over for the winter and you own a pair of skates it's definitely a great workout. I think that the key to enjoying ice skating is having a warm, supportive, comfortable pair of skates. Another option is inline skating which I enjoy doing once the weather get nice; there is a long stretch of pathway that runs along the Ottawa river and is an awesome place to bike or inline skate during the non-snowy months.

Biking:

This is another obvious one but one that I have not really done a lot of over the last few years (riding a bike while pregnant isn't the safest I guess) but now that the girls are bigger and I'm not pregnant I plan to bike with the girls by attaching my Chariot to the back of my bike. In the event that you don't have a bike there are many ways to get a bike second hand or new on sale that won't break the bank.

Yoga/Pilates:

I first was introduced to yoga and pilates about 12 years ago and I pretty much had a love affair with it ever since. I started out doing videos at home and then eventually went to classes at my gym and local yoga studio. I haven't been doing this as much in the last year because I honestly have not had the time but although I prefer to go to a class and be led by an instructor it is totally possible to do at home. There are free drop in yoga classes at your local Lululemon which will give you a nice workout your wallet will love and your soul will appreciate. If you want to get your namaste on at su casa then you could look on You Tube for free yoga/pilates videos and follow along with those (although I found that most were quite short). Another alternative is to do a free trial of one of the many online yoga sites such as Yoga Anytime, most will let you try free for 14 days and then if you want to subscribe you can decide if it fits within your budget.

Sports Team:

This is something that might not be super cheap depending on the sport (hockey anyone?) simply because certain sports teams have registration fees and then there's equiptment but check if your workplace organizes any team sports; I played softball with my work team and all I had to buy was a glove and some cleats (the glove was really the only necessary item). There's also the option to be a spare for a friends team and then you only play when they are short players, thus saving yourself a ton of money! There's also a whole bunch of city programs that offer low-cost sports teams and fitness classes so be sure to check out your local recreation guide to see if there's anything that would get you out of the house and moving.

Swimming:

Everyone knows at least one person who owns a pool. Find that person and make them your new best friend for the summer. Or you can check out your local beach and do some laps in there. Either way, swimming is pretty inexpensive and it's a great workout.

Stairs:

This is a random one but I thought, why not? If you can find a long flight of stairs, preferably outdoors, you can come up with a great stair workout. Better yet get some friends to endure the torture alongside you, I promise your butt will look fabulous.

That's it ladies and gents! Hope that this was helpful, I know that none of these things are new inventions but they are tried and true ways to get your sweat on without spending a ton of dough and if you're really keen you could put away that $40 plus a month that you would have spent on a membership in a savings account and treat yourself to something nice at the end of the year or invest it for your future, you know whatever floats your boat!

Sincerely


Erin





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