Monday, July 28, 2014

Bathroom Inspiration For A Spa Retreat

Been looking at a lot of home renovation magazines and between the bedroom and the bathroom, there are so many updates to yearn over. Recently, earthy themes with stone and greenery are all I can think about. The slate backsplashes create such wonderful texture and the series of plants just make me feel like I'm on vacation in the tropics somewhere. If you've watched any home reno shows, you know it's a costly investment, but think about how much time you spend in your bathroom - waking up from a long night's sleep, washing your hair, taking a relaxing bath...Imagine if it was an uplifting and refreshing space! Wouldn't you say it's money well spent?

Hunting through Pinterest, I can't seem to make up my mind. Do you prefer a modern bathroom with slate and grey tile, or do you prefer a more rustic approach with wood and warm bricks?

Photos from Pinterest

Thursday, July 24, 2014

7 Steps To A Better Sleep

1. Make a to-do list for tomorrow and leave it for tomorrow. I know there's the age-old saying "Don't leave for tomorrow what you can do today," but let's be serious - there are only 24 hours in the day and you should be spending 7-8 hours of them sleeping (for good reason too!) What that means is, make it a habit to mentally run through what you'd like to accomplish tomorrow, write it down, and then forget about it until the next day. Just because you're choosing to let go of the worry this way does not mean you're procrastinating, it means you're making the purposeful effort to prioritize. You'll automatically sleep better knowing you won't forget anything important and that you already have guidelines for how to start the next day.

2. Soak in salts. Bath salts that is. Find your favourite - there's tons of artisan salts out there in the market. I personally am a fan of lavender, lotus, and jasmine scents for the nighttime. When you're in the bath, double-up the relaxation by clearing your mind of the day's activities. If it helps with your meditation, try finding an app or playlist that will create the backdrop for your spa moment. I'm currently using Ambio with Thunderstorm and Ocean Waves on repeat. It's one of the best feelings in the world to just centre with yourself and let your stress melt away.

3. Slow down. It all begins when you start telling yourself it's time to hit bed. Turn down the music, shut off your computer, and put your cell phone to sleep too.

4. Get a warm drink. Chamomile and lavender teas are the tried and true drowsy drinks. But many Indian households will also tell you that a warm cup of milk with a little bit of honey is not only a source of comfort, it's done the trick many times for those who aren't fans of floral teas.

5. Try a tale as old as time. It's happened to you when you didn't even want it to, but having your eyes move from left to right on a page when you're reading helps to calm your nerves and prepare your brain to rest. Just make sure it isn't too thrilling a novel, otherwise you might be up turning pages until morning. I personally like to close off the night with a positive-thinking, non-fiction kind of read.

6. Turn off the lights. Invest in good blinds so you can block the nighttime street lights and prevent waking too early at the first signs of sunrise. If that's just not cutting it, try a cute sleep mask like this Holly Golightly one.

7. Cool down. Experts say that sleeping in a cool environment will help you drift off and stay asleep. From what I've read, most studies agree that a temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for sleeping, with temperatures above 75 degrees and below 54 degrees disruptive to sleep.The simple science behind it is that when you sleep, your body’s internal temperature actually drops to its lowest level, generally about four hours after you fall asleep. That's why it's believed that a cooler bedroom may be most conducive to sleep, since it mimics your body’s natural temperature drop. Just make sure your hands and feet are warm!


What are some tips you have for falling asleep and feeling refreshed in the morning? Leave a comment below!

Photo from Pintrest

Sunday, June 29, 2014

5 Links to Love This Week

1. What Jim Carrey Explains In 1 Minute Will Change Your Life Forever So many nuggets of wisdom in this speech that will compel you to lose all your hang-ups.
2. Body Dry Brushing A great addition to your beauty routine that's said to have lasting effects. Need a brush, but I can't wait to try!
3. Scandal's teaming up for a clothing line It had to be done. Rejoice, Olivia Pope fans!
4. 30 Smart Career Moves You Should Make By 30 Enough said.
5. Wedding Highlights from Marco Caputo One of the most beautifully done wedding videos I've ever seen. Beautiful venue. Beautiful d├ęcor. Can't say I know the couple, just stumbled across the video and fantasized about how dreamy the whole event must have been.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

3 Desserts to Try This Spring

Almond Flour Apple Pie
Almond flour really gives this pie a different taste from your average apple pie. It's lighter, which is why I think it's perfect for the Spring season. A definite recommendation for gluten-free diets. It can be your warm, caramel-flavoured apple delight that doesn't feel too heavy when you're sipping some tea, watching the rain come down outside.

Chia Seed Pudding
If you don't want ice cream, and yogurt isn't doing it for you, give chia seed pudding a try. Imagine a cold vanilla pudding with a fun texture! My friend from Aim to Win got me hooked since she posted the recipe. You can play with the portions to get a sweeter or more tart flavour. Plus, vary your toppings for a fruity or nutty kick. A favourite of mine that I can't seem to make enough of. 

Mixed Berry and Angel Food Cake

I haven't personally attempted this one yet, but with only a 30 minute recipe, I'm bound to bust out the trifle bowl sometime soon. In Spring, you may have guessed that I I like cool, light and airy desserts which usually means a combination of fruit and whipped cream. If you happen to try making this one, sub in the berries for another fave - I'd probably do spin-off with peaches!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

5 Things You Should Know As An Entrepreneur in the Fashion Space

This week I had the pleasure of attending Fashion Group International's Profit is Not a Dirty Word panel and networking event. The panel hosted a diverse selection of entrepreneurs who started in Canada and found success in their respective fields.

The night started off with casual networking at the Thompson hotel (a chic spot for any fashion networking event), moved to an hour and a half of panel discussions, and closed with a round of speed networking. Speakers included Jennifer Ger, Co-Owner of Foxy Originals Inc., Victor Casale, CIO of Cover FX, Katherine Hague, Co-Founder of Shoplocket, and Will Poho, Founder of Moose Knuckles. Of particular interest to me was chatting with Katherine Hague - a startup successor who had countless amounts of advice to share with eager attendees. Without reading a profile and just hearing her speak for the first time, my guess was that she was a well-experienced tech-startup founder who knew the ins and outs of building a personal brand. And that's exactly what she is, but she's gotten all of these achievements under her belt by age 23. Being of this age myself, I am amazed at her story and how quickly she's been able to learn her strengths, outsource activities which are not her area of expertise, and build a successful brand that continues to be a source of inspiration for many budding entrepreneurs alike. She is one of many that we can learn something from.

From my notes to yours, here are 5 things to know about being an entrepreneur in the fashion space...

5. Start small and increase in scale as you see growth 
Many entrepreneurs will tell you that they went through lists of ideas for their first business before they settled down with one that ended up going places. It's important to do your market research so you're not draining your funds on a plan that won't take you in the direction you'd like to head. Once you've got a solid plan, build your business to a point where if an opportunity presents itself, you're ready and able to take it. Increasing in scale can be an intimidating process, but this article in the Globe and Mail really articulates some expensive mistakes that others have already made that you don't have to repeat.

4. Network, network, network
Attend as many events, trade-shows and networking nights as you can. It's the only way you're going to connect with your consumer or connect with potential partners. Meeting people is a great way to start a dialogue that you can continue later on and possibly convert into a loyal supporter.

3. Find your competitive advantage
In a saturated market where it seems like everything has been done already in some form or another, find out how your product or service stands above the rest. It can be something as simple as being produced locally, cruelty-free, or with a specific customer in mind. Whatever it is, make sure it's the focal point of your value proposition.

2. Find the right partners or brand ambassadors
All it takes is a partner that doesn't have the same goals for the business as you do for everything to fall apart. It speaks volumes that Sarah Jessica Parker waited years before she decided to produce her own shoe line with the CEO of Manalo Blahnik, all because she was waiting for the right partner. If you want to weed out the loyal from the temporary, try putting your full-time prospects on contract. You'll see who's truly passionate about and dedicated to delivering. If they don't work out - it's okay, better you know sooner rather than later.

1. Develop Your Personal Brand
If your product is the exact same as someone else's (although I hope there's a competitive advantage in there somewhere), there is still a way for you to differentiate your offerings - your brand. Whether you're attributing yourself to being fun, sophisticated or practical, you're going to find a market that relates. Here's a great exercise: make a list of 20 words that you think describe your brand. Narrow it down to 10. Now narrow it down to 3. These should have their own place in your brand mantra. What do you want your brand to stand for? How can you leverage all of your channels (website, blog, social media, ads, etc.) to showcase that? These are the kind of questions you want to ask so you can ensure what you're projecting is exactly what you want it to be. You've specified what you want to be. Now dress the part.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fancy Shoe Friday: Sophia Webster x J. Crew

Pale browns and pretty pastels? I don't think so. These are a far cry from "neutral," but are sure-fire ways of turning heads this summer. I challenged myself to pick a favourite. Couldn't do it. Can you?

Shop the collection which launched online April 23rd at J.Crew. Shop more Sophia Webster over at Net-A-Porter.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

5 Links to Love This Week

  1. The 8 Hour Project: Apps If you're not sleeping well, here are some great apps to help you get rested. I'm always open to new apps that boost productivity and learning, but sleep apps will always have a special place in my heart.
  2. 9 Crucial Tips for Self-Editing Your Blog Posts for any of my blogging readers out there!
  3. 73 Questions with Sarah Jessica Parker because you've seen her shoe collection. Carrie is my fave!
  4. Curry Butter Popcorn. Popcorn. And. Curry. You'd be crazy not to try this.
  5. 10 DIY Ways to Make Cheap Wardrobes Look More Expensive because I too am obsessed with making my wardrobe both beautiful and functional.