Holiday Fit Tips

In the colder months it's always hard to stay on top of clean eating and fitness. Besides no one can see how you look under layers upon layers of clothing. In the Winter we can cover up with bulky sweaters, loose fitting long sleeves and jackets. On top of this there is a constant reminder everywhere you go about how it's the Holiday's and special treats are here. For all those Starbucks lovers out there- you know this feeling. New pretty red cups, new drinks that are "limited" and hey...it's the holiday's so why not enjoy it right?

*google images*

Better yet..let's add a contest. If you can get through this Holiday Star Dash, you'll get a gift card...

*google images*

Let's top that off with an amazing contest for Free Starbucks For A Year....nope.. FOR LIFE!

*google images*

But what happens when you are 12 latte's deep, one step closer to that e-gift card, and one entry more to the life supply? You might end up like this...

*google images*

Keep in mind, Starbucks is probably the least of your worries. There is holiday parties, dinners, and all kinds of goodies coming into the office. So what exactly can you do to make sure you aren't repeating that e-card after New Years? 

Create A Challenge

If you are competitive like me then creating a challenge is perfect for you. Currently I'm competing with a friend to see who can get better results by Christmas. This started back in September, but you can still start one now. The trick is make to make sure whoever you are challenging is going to be accountable- even if it is just yourself. Better yet, jump on to those social media sites and challenge yourself with the support of people all over the world. 


Cheat meals are OKAY! Please realize that I said MEAL and not day. It's important that you don't cheat all day, but instead have one full cheat meal. For me I make my cheat meals dinner. This way I can have anything I want plus one small dessert. Since it's at the end of the day I'm not inclined to eat bad all day. Cheat meals are actually good for you and do the body some good, specially if you are only doing this once a week. The trick: Plan your cheat meals for those important dinners and parties. You'll enjoy yourself a lot more. You can also get some clean eating dessert recipes and make those for potluck parties. You can eat your own dessert- guilt free! 

Limit Yourself

The one way I stay healthy during the holiday's is to make sure that I don't deprive myself. Instead I use self-control (incredible self-control that sometimes fails) to limit my holiday food intake. For example: At work when tons of baked goods come in and everyone is enjoying them, the last thing I say is "I can't, that's too fattening." Instead, I look at the options and pick one. No one in the office bugs me and I enjoy that baked good so much more because I know it's all I get. 

Work Out

You are probably telling yourself right now that my next point is going to be "WORK OUT HARDER"- but you are wrong. I know it's hard to squeeze in gym days over the holiday's. We spend too much time preparing ourselves for the parties and wrapping presents. Instead, if you can't make it to the gym do some at homework outs.  There are plenty of amazing social media fitness guru's who will take you through the sweat of a life time at home. You have to remember that even though it is the holiday's you need to take time for you. So take that time to work out- even if it is just twenty minutes of abs and jumping jacks! Oh yeah...and all that extra walking you do for shopping still counts as cardio....but not all of it.

Be Prepared

This is probably the biggest one that I have learned. When I go to work or out with friends I always make sure I have my food. If I have enough food for the meals I know I need to eat, I don't feel pressured to eat the goodies. Usually if I don't have food, I just fill up on the goodies and at least I ate and maybe saved some money. This season I always make sure I have my meals with me. I even bring my after dinner snack with me if I'm going out for coffee just incase I get hungry. Either way, don't ever substitute your clean eats for goodies if it's not your cheat meal.  Keep yourself prepared and it will be less likely to happen. 


No matter what you eat or drink this holiday season, make sure you are enjoying it. Yes you should continue to make healthy decisions, but don't turn down those mashed potatoes at your in-laws dinner just because you think they may have put a pound of butter in them. Savour them instead. 

What are your Holiday Fit Tips that help you get through the season?


Book Review #2

Although I haven't been reading as much as I have wanted lately, I was still able to finally finish some more books. November seems to always be a busy month. Prepping and planning for the Holiday's and then of course Black Friday & Cyber Monday.

I've mentioned before that I LOVE non-fiction books, so I hope you are all ready to start indulging in some great reading about amazing people around the world. The two books that I will be reviewing today involve mental health.

Sickened- Julie Gregory 

Most people don't know what Münchausen Syndrome is, let alone Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy. Julie Gregory uses her memoir to shed light on a psychiatric disorder that can be damaging in so many ways. Münchausen Syndrome is when an individual craves medical attention and finds ways to make themselves sick or to make others believe they are sick. Click here to read about an extreme case. Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy is when a parent (usually the mother) insists their child is constantly sick and seeks the attention of medical care for their child.

Julie takes you through her troubled childhood and allows you to become emotionally involved with her hardships. It took me a while to get into this book as I was expecting bigger situations to happen faster. When the bigger situations did occur, it almost seemed like it was written to not sound like a climatic point. However, one of my favourite things in this book is how Julie was able to reflect back on her life when she figured out (by a complete fluke) what happened to her as a child. Second to that is how she is able to reach out and help/support others. I was completely shocked by the end of the book and was very inspired by her courageousness.

I don't recommend this book to anyone who has an issue with child abuse. Some of the experiences Julie has had are morbid, shocking and not humane. If you can get through that you will enjoy this book of hard times, good times and overcoming hardships.

Brain On Fire- Susannah Cahalan

This is one of those books that you when you read the first page you know you aren't putting it down. Every word has you hanging on and craving more. The entire time I read this book I was constantly trying to figure out the answers to the question that Susannah was asking to herself, but I had no answers- no one had any answers. Susannah tells about her month of of madness which starts of as possible exhaustion and ends with a solution that was far out of reach for a long time. Not to ruin the book or anything, but she was diagnosed with Anti-NMDA-Receptor: AutoImmune Encephalitis (click the name to learn more!). Essentially this is the immune system attacking receptors in the brain.

The way that Susannah recalls her experience is brilliant. As you read each word you can practically put yourself in her shoes and imagine the pain, confusion and frustration she was going through. I loved that she included photos and quotes from her experience which allows you to connect even more with her. The love and support that is shown throughout this book is extremely touching. I loved knowing that she wrote this book after she was better and that you were able to read about how she is now! To learn even more about Susannah and to see how she is check out her page here! ]

P.S. I would LOVEEEEE to see this turn into a movie, it would be extremely riveting!

Have you read any good mental health books?


Weekly WTF #1

I cannot count how many times a week a particular situation causes me to go "What The Fuck?" There are angry ones, confused ones, and hilarious ones, but each one I always have to pass on to the first person who will listen. For example, a while back I saw a unicorn outside KFC having a smoke. I couldn't snap a photo, but you better believe I passed that weird image on to as many people as possible. I wish I could have seen what their imaginations drew up.

So today I bring to you my first Weekly WTF moment. I must warn you I could have played a role in "Something About Mary" with this situation.

One thing I CANNOT live without in the winter is a hot bath or shower. Every night I always have one before bed. Not only are they relaxing, but they get my blood flowing to ensure I'm warm. Best part is the steam from my skin heats up my bed (even though the heated blanket is on high).

So after a long day at work, I came home to a nice relaxing bubble bath (no LUSH products here... I've yet to try them. #shameonme) and ended up with a special surprise at the end. It wasn't one of those surprises floating around the bath like when you were a kid, or a little critter crawling on the wall. It wasn't even as special as all the fun stuff I see come out of those LUSH bath bombs (can you tell I really want to try LUSH). 

I couldn't get the body wash out of the bottle so I shook it a few times, got what I needed and moved on. I noticed some on the side of the bath and thought that was the only place it landed when I shook it. 

WRONG! The body wash landed in such a convenient location and in such a good form I couldn't help but snap a picture. The funnier part, is it took me at least 5-10 minutes before I even noticed what had happened. When I did notice I laughed so hard I thought I was going to wake the house up! You better believe the first words that left my mouth were "What The Fuck?" I couldn't even figure out at first how it happened. I must say, I'm pretty happy it wasn't a "Something About Mary"situation and is just body wash. I'm still laughing while I write this just picturing the moment I noticed what had happened. 

NOTE TO SELF: Invest in LUSH products and stop shaking the bottle!! 

What was your Weekly WTF moment? 


Facing Your Fears

This is Hallowe'en, This is Hallowe'en, Hallowe'en, Hallowe'en..... Yes I'm still singing, but I can't help it. The song is such a perfect transition from Hallowe'en to Christmas and it's addicting.

This past Hallowe'en, I got inspired by the lovely Nicole Guerriero and her Killer Clown Couple Make-up Tutorial. Here's the catch.... I'M AFRAID OF CLOWNS!!!!!! I know, I know, who in their right mind would be what they are afraid for Hallowe'en. Seems crazy, but it just felt right. As soon as I told my friends and family they thought it was completely ironic.

I have to mention that the Bloody Scab Makeup I used did me one better! Half way through the night this happened....

Which resulted in this by the end of the night...

Basically the blood took on a mind of it's own and it looked like I was actively bleeding. I absolutely LOVE that this happened! **see the pluto in the back...he gets mentioned later :)**

This is a terrible picture, but it's the only half decent one of my outfit! I'm wearing TuTu's around my ankles because well why not? My hair was done up in a faux mohawk. You'd think it would be easier with A LOT of hair, but it's not. 

Last year I was super stoked about how well I did my make-up that I thought I would share two shots of the killer cracked doll :) 

Now on to the point... I'm not writing this post about Hallowe'en or about how crazy it was that I actually pulled off this make-up with my sister's assistance. What I want to talk about, is facing fears.

Sharon from Under The Blush wanted to show me the tutorial, but was worried it would scare me. Fortunately the complete opposite happened, I fell in love.  I got thinking about why I was afraid of clowns and how I could find a way to push on from the fear. I know for a fact, that I hate how I can't read the emotions on their face. They could be beeming with excitement and have a painted on sad face. They could be narcissistic and have the biggest smile you've ever seen. What's worse is these creepy faced clowns are randomly produced ALL YEAR ROUND. Hallowe'en is one thing, but I can't seem to figure out what possesses someone to want to look like that and act weird for entertainment. Couple that with all the killer clowns that have been made in Hollywood over the years and you have yourself a great concoction for fear.

This next fear should come as NO surprise, but I don't like mascots and I don't like masks. Again with the exception of Hallowe'en. If I can't see your eyes or read your expressions, I'm mortified. AT my first job I was chased around the football stadium by the mascot and I've never let that memory go. There is also a picture of me from my first trip to Disney World as a child with Pluto and I look terrified. The sad part I was SOOOO excited to finally meet Pluto (or Plulu as I called him) since I've always loved him. I have at least ten different pluto's kicking around my house. He's quite the security blanket (dog).

So you're probably wondering how I deal with this since clowns, mascots and masks are actually a part of everyday culture and not just Hallowe'en. I face them head on. Mascots are still a bit tricky, but I don't freak out unless they are within an arms length to me. If they touch me or get close to me I start to feel a bit vulnerable. Plus since they are still human they can sense fear and will act on it since their identity is protected. I still work with the same company from time to time and have small run in's with the pesky Ti-Cat, but it's tolerable.

As for masks, it's same idea. It's a little strange for someone to randomly be wearing one, but even just taking a walk down the strip at Niagra Falls can create a run in. I can now walk by the entertainers without freaking out, I just can't interact with them. I used to have to stay across the street, but I challenge myself each time I see them.

Clowns however were/are more challenging, which is why I took Hallowe'en as the perfect opportunity. I'm going to be what I'm afraid of and show myself they are just "normal" people too. I would like to say this worked...but at one point during the night someone with creepy clown mask scared the shit out of me. I guess I didn't realize that by being a clown I was participating in some type of "ALL CLOWNS UNITE" party as they all kept coming to me. Regardless I think I did a great job getting through the night with only one minor (major!!) scare.

My best advice is to face your fears dead on if you can. I know for me I'll probably never face the fear of spiders (especially big ones), but that's okay. I can handle the little house spiders and I think that's good enough for me.

What are you afraid of and how do you handle it?


The Liebster Award

Last week I was extremely surprised to see that I was nominated for a Liebster Award. Thank you Megan from See You In Seven for nominating me. Megan is a blogger from the UK who is coming over to Canada (only 45 minutes from me) and I am so excited for her.

Now on to the award :)

11 Random Facts About Me

1. I was a competitive figure skater for most of my life.
2. I am obsessed with exotic cars.
3. My cat is 20+ years old and I love her to pieces.
4. Ice-cream is my all time favourite food- deserves its own food group.
5. I have two university degrees which completed one of my childhood dreams.
6. I have never broken a bone (knock on wood).
7. I've had the same best friend since grade 1.
8. I am a lucid dreamer. 
9. I play football (soccer) year round.
10. I am fascinated by criminology (second honours degree). 
11. I have 2 tattoos (for now) and 7 piercings. 

Megan's Questions

1.Why did you start blogging?

I wanted to share my thoughts with the world with the hope of inspiring at least one person. It's a great outlet and something positive to concentrate on. I love writing and have always wanted to use it to inspire others.

2. What is your favourite item of clothing for Autumn/Winter?

Boots and scarves. I love them both equally and always miss them when they are gone.

3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Canada. I wouldn't trade the unity, love, compassion and support this country offers for anything. 

4. What's your favourite lyric?

I'm not sure I can pinpoint one lyric that I would consider my favourite. 

5. Tea or coffee?

Green Tea, Ice Coffee & Lattes. Just no HOT coffee. I know it's weird 

6. If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?

Do you understand now, why I always said "everything happens for a reason" ? 

7. What are your three favourite internet sites?

Mirror.co.uk -- I am constantly reading this site for news. It's always full of fascinating stories. 

Bloglovin' -- My new favourite because it holds all the blogs I want to read in one place. It's like pinterest for blogs :) 

Google -- My favourite place for anything and everything from scholarly journals, silly questions, inspiration, and blogs. Yes, it's a search engine, but it's my go-to for everything and it never dissapoints me.

8. What was the last present you received?

My sister went to Mexico to shoot a wedding and brought me back a small sailboat pendant. Check out her photography blog Scarlet Lens Photograpgy .

9. What makes you feel nostalgic?

The smallest part of any memory can make me feel nostalgic. A scent, a color, a particular place, a car, an object, a person's voice, a specific word, a song, and even just a movement. My mind can place all of these things to a memory and I often reflect in my mind right then and there.

10. Who is your favourite blogger?

I cannot choose. I love all the blogs I read for individual reasons.

11. What would your dream job be?

My dream job would be to carry out my restorative justice program for bullying within the schools and show the world you can make a difference, it just needs to be done right. 
I would also love to be the author of my own book about a tragedy I have been through. 

My Nomination

Chloe @ Chloe's Concept

* All other bloggers I wanted to nominated have already been nominated * 

My Nominee's Questions

1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What is your favourite book and why?
3. Who or what is your inspiration in life?
4. Favourite memory from summer 2014?
5. One food you could live off the rest of your life?
6. What is your dream vacation?
7. Where do you want your blog to be by next year this time?
8. What's the makeup item you can't live without?
9. Favourite holiday and why?
10. What are you most afraid of?
11. Favourite thing about yourself?

The Rules

1. Post 11 random facts about yourself
2. Answer 11 questions by the person who nominated you
3. Nominate 5 bloggers to do the same (with less than 200 followers)
4. Let your nominee's know they have been nominated


DIY Masquerade Mask

Not only is fall amazing for the layers upon layers of clothes, pumpkin spice everything and boots, it's also amazing for DIY projects! This is my first DIY project that is going on the blog and I hope it's not my last. You'll learn quick that I'm not overly artistic, but at times I seem to amaze myself.

Today is my good friends' (yes, plural. Twins and the one's fiance all have the same birthday- Epic). They decided to head out on the town to a Masquerade party this coming weekend. Of course, me being me, I can't just buy a mask because 1. that's not being thrifty and 2. someone else is bound to have the same one. So I bring you my own DIY Masquerade Mask complete with pictures. :) 

Gather your supplies! 

Michaels:  Mask, Black Glitter, Purple/Black Feathers
Dollarama: Black Paint, Brushes, Glitter Glue, Ribbon 
Walmart: Gemstones 
Home: Hot Glue Gun, Mod Podge, Small Brushes, Tweezers, Glitter, Newspaper 

Lay out some newspaper so you don't glitter bomb your surface or paint it! Now paint your mask black! Make sure you get all the edges and inside the eyes. You don't want to see any white poking through, but don't worry about the back. Use a thin coat so this dries faster. 

Once the paint dries (about 5 minutes later) add a thin layer of mod podge to one side of the mask.

Add your glitter to the mod podge. Make sure to cover the entire area the best you can. Shake off the excess and repeat. I chose black glitter so that it enhances the black, but still makes it girly. You can do any colour you wish. 

Repeat step three and four to the other side of the mask. Then let the mod podge dry for about 5 minutes. While you wait, heat up your glue gun and look through your feathers. Some might come bent or they may not be the shape you want.

I almost forgot to do this crucial step and let me tell you, it would have really sucked if I did. Add your ribbon so you can wear your mask now. Insert the ribbon through the hole and tie it into a knot around the back. Repeat on the other side. You will have one string on either side now.

Start adding your feathers where you want them. I held them on the mask where I wanted them BEFORE I glued them down. It really sucks to pull them off if misplaced and makes it super messy. Yes, I had to pull one off :(! You want to apply them in layers to cover any of the stems and to make it look full. 

I wanted to add some depth to the purple, so I chose to add some black feathers. Make sure to wrap the feathers into the eye hole so that you can still see. I glued and trimmed some of them. I also trimmed some by the nose as breathing in feathers is not a nice feeling (sneeeeeze fest). 

Time to add some rhinestones :) I chose to outline the other eye with my rhinestones creating a cat like line. To do this, just follow the eye cut-out and extend each corner with a few extra stones. I also changed the size of the stone near the outside of the eye. I used tweezers to hold the rhinestone and put the glue on the back. If they get stuck to the tweezers, use a toothpick to help push them down onto the mask. 

Once the eye is complete, I added glitter glue to only the black feathers. I later added some silver glitter that I had on hand to make them stand out more. Apply both of these with a smaller paintbrush. Use a small amount and go slow. You don't want it to look like Ke$ha threw up on your mask.

My Masquerade Mask

My Friend's Masquerade Mask

If you complete this DIY- show me your pictures below. :) 


Staying Fit On A Business Trip

This past weekend I was sent on a 4 day business trip to help train a new area for the company. I said yes immediately, as I was excited for the opportunity and experience. After all the details were worked out, I realized I had no idea how I would eat healthy all weekend and work out. To top it off, it was Thanksgiving weekend so all stores had weird hours. Needless to say I figured it all out and made sure my weekend was full of healthy and fit choices. 

*first day selfie after a morning workout* 

First of all, I just wanted to point out that this was my first time ever staying in a hotel alone. Here are the steps I took to make sure I was safe at all times. Yes, I know... some of these might seem a little crazy, but hey...it works.

1. Put the "do not disturb" sign on your door and don't take it off the entire time you are there. If you need fresh linen, towels or anything- be a trooper and go to the front desk yourself! 

2. Always put the deadbolt lock on when you are inside your room and keep the blinds closed when you are changing/sleeping. 

3. If you have a parking pass hanging in your rearview, always remove it when you leave the hotel. The last thing you need is someone seeing where are you staying and stopping by later to feast on the goodies in your car. 

Now the good stuff! I was fully prepared to use the gym at the hotel, but that was false advertising. "Fitness Centre" turned out to be a treadmill and a bike. As much as I love my treadmill HIIT workouts, this wasn't going to do it. I'm lucky enough to have access to my gym all across Canada, but I know some of you don't, or the hours just don't work with your schedule. I had the schedule problem as I was working 13 hour days and it was a long weekend. So I created 3 HIIT workouts to do while I was in the hotel. 

Find some space in your room, even if it means moving some stuff around and tone your body with these workouts. BEST PART.... it doesn't matter what you wear, you can even do these naked if you please! :)


My next concern was what to eat. I was only 3.5 hours away from home and wasn't able to find any of the grocery stores I usually go to for fresh food. I picked up a case of water, some tea and popcorn at target and went on an adventure for good food. 

 I was lucky enough to come across a local market that prepared fresh food daily. They had a make your own salad bar, fresh soups, pastas, sandwhiches and anything else you can think of. I was in food heaven!! 

This is an AWFUL picture, but it's the only one I was able to snap quick before rushing back to work. From left to right: yogurt covered pretzels, pasta salad with chickpeas, fruit bowl, yogurt and granola, veggie bowl, banana, chicken soup and a turkey sandwhich! 

Since I was spending Thanksgiving weekend alone, I thought it was appropriate to get myself a turkey dinner. Let's just say I'll never get to eat turkey dinner in bed with no pants on again. Probably the highlight of my trip! 

Left to right: bumbleberry pie, broccoli, mashed potatoes, turkey and gravy, stuffing, veggies and cranberry sauce!

All the food I had was INCREDIBLE. Very fresh and way better than your fast food outlets. I did however indulge in a frosty and fries my first night as I needed some comfort food.

My best advice here is to always know some good bodyweight workouts and scope out a market if possible. You never have to lose your motivation or routine of being healthy when you are out of town. All you need is a little bit of space and a market! :)

How do you stay fit and healthy while away from home?