What’s On My Christmas List This Year

With Christmas approaching faster than ever, I’m getting asked for my Christmas list. Yes, I’m a professional in my mid 30’s and I still provide a list! The truth is that I would be happy with just spending some time relaxing with loved ones. I love everything about this season and one of my favorite things is when my husband and I have our annual Christmas date night where we dress up and go to a nice restaurant. I would honestly be happy with just that! But for those who need something more tangible, this is what I’m wishing for this year:


Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb Hair Mist – $65


If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that Flowerbomb is one of my favorite perfumes, so you can imagine my excitement when I saw that they make a hair mist with the same scent. I’m new to the hair mist party but I have a feeling I’m going to love it.

Barefoot Dreams Blanket – approx. $246 Canadian


The dream in the brand name is probably more likely where this blanket will be for me, but I can wish for it though right?! I wasn’t sure what the hype was with this blanket given the cost of it… until I tried it in store. It’s so incredibly soft and cozy that I keep thinking about it.

Just about anything from Lush

Bath bombs, lip scrubs, shower gels, massage bars, bubble bars, I love it all! Anything from Lush will make me deliriously happy. When all else fails when it comes to shopping for me, go with Lush.



Gift Cards – Nordstrom/Aritzia/Sephora

Gift cards are not given the credit they deserve. When you get a gift card for someone you’re not only giving them the freedom to pick out their own gift, you’re giving them the gift of a trip to their favorite store. How can you go wrong?! Answer: you can’t.


Does anyone else have a Christmas list? What are you hoping for?


Choosing Happiness Isn’t Always Easy

This post is going to be a little different to what I usually write about. I do have a list of posts I want to write but I feel as though I need to veer off track for a moment. Yesterday one of my favorite fashion bloggers, Kyrzayda Rodriguez lost her battle with stomach cancer and although she may no longer be with us on earth, her inspiration and positive attitude has made an impact on many, myself included. In her last IG Live post her words to her 300k followers were simple yet powerful:

“What you want to do in life do it now! Don’t wait until the next hour or tomorrow.. no, go do it now!” – Kyrzayda Rodriguez


That one simple statement is really making me think and reflect. I have am spending so much of my life unhappy lately and I’m so tired of it. I want a change and I need to make it happen. Or, I at least need to be open and honest about how I feel.

Fall always brings a plethora of emotions for me. I suffer from severe seasonal depression (SAD), so when most people are excited about the leaves changing color and the start of the season of all things pumpkin, I’m just focused on how to keep my head above water for the next 8 months. In addition to the SAD, I’m a true summer soul and pumpkin spice lattes and the boots/leggings/scarf obsession just makes me want to run away.

On top of the feelings that I get from the change in seasons I’m feeling especially overwhelmed with some other aspects of my life. On the surface my life seems like it’s perfect. I have an amazing husband and a great marriage, two awesome pets, a beautiful home, a nice car, a closet full of clothes, great vacations… you get the picture. But the truth is that on the inside I feel as though something is missing. I have felt like this for a long time and it also consumes me with guilt because it makes me feel like the things I do have aren’t good enough, which is so far from the truth. My reality is that both my job and the city I live in make me unhappy every single day.
My mental health suffers daily because of those two things and trust me, I’ve tried it all to feel better. I could go on and on about how they make me unhappy but I can’t go down that rabbit hole. I’m dealing with almost two decades of unhappiness caused by both of them because no matter how hard I try to make them work, they never will, because they’re not right for me. The only thing that will work for me is change, and the only person who can make that change happen is me. At this point in time I don’t know what this looks like so stay tuned I guess!

On the positive side, this is where fashion and beauty come in. I have always been interested in fashion and beauty and it has always been a passion of mine, but as I get older I realize that it’s much more than that. It’s an escape for me. A way for me to focus my mental and emotional energy in a positive way rather than the struggle I feel in my day to day life.

If you made it this far, thank you for listening and for accepting my little space in the world where I feel as though I can share this. I’m so thankful that I have somewhere I can go to share the things I care about where I feel free from the judgement I feel in my daily life.


How I Stayed Sane this Month

Remember how I said I had the busiest two weeks coming up on my last post? Well, that ended up being an understatement… those two weeks were INSANE! But, I had the best time enjoying my sister’s wedding, getting ready for the wedding, hosting a couple of events at our house, spending time with out of town guests. I’m almost ready to do it all again… after a break of course 😉 I now have just over a week to get myself rested up for our summer trip to Vegas (I am SO excited for this getaway!)


For the past two weeks my days looked something like this: wake up at 5:30am, go to work for 9 hours, some kind of appointment, go for dinner/BBQ, get home around 11pm, get everything ready for the next day, go to bed. And repeat. The wedding weekend was even busier. I was seriously non-stop, but I managed to keep on top of everything and surprisingly, not only did everything go to plan, I also didn’t feel too stressed! Unfortunately, I was too busy to really workout, which is usually my go-to when I need energy so I had to find other ways around it.


So, here are my top 5 tips for keeping yourself sane when you’re completely-out-of-your-mind-busy:


1. Music. Sometimes I feel like the power of music is underestimated. I created an “August 2018” playlist (I use apple music) with all of my favorite songs and I listened to it whenever I wanted a distraction. I mixed fast songs when I needed some energy, slow songs for if I started to feel a little overwhelmed and songs that are easy to sing along to when I needed a little pick me up. Whenever I create a playlist I always include songs that give me happy memories so I’m instantly transported back to that time. It really helped to keep me sane!




2. Food. It’s so hard to skip eating when you’re busy but it’s so important to keep your energy levels up and to give your body the fuel it needs to keep going. There was a lot of eating out, which can cause me a little stress sometimes but I didn’t let it bother me. Instead I tried to pick healthier options and not let myself go hungry. I also carried a water bottle around with me everywhere to make sure I was hydrated.



3. Caffeine Nap. When I’m really busy, sleep is always the last thing on my mind and my sleep cycles definitely suffer. I know that this will never change because it’s just the way I am, so I tried to fit in small naps whenever I could. My favorite way to nap is a “caffeine nap”. Caffeine takes a few minutes to kick in so what I do is I drink a coffee (usually iced), then have a quick 15 minute nap. By the time the caffeine kicks in it wakes me up and I feel refreshed from the power nap and energized from the caffeine.



4. Delegate. I realize that this one might not always be feasible but if it is, do it! We hosted two big events at our house over the past couple of weeks and I couldn’t have done them without the help of others. I made a list of what needs to be done and purchased/made and had almost everyone do something to help. It took a lot of pressure off me and gave me more time to enjoy the events, rather than just stress about them.

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5. Kopari Coconut Rose Toner. When nothing else had worked and I was starting to look a little tired, I resorted to a quick spritz of this toner. It’s meant for a facial toner but I used it just about everywhere. The scent is both relaxing and uplifting at the same time, it’s soothing on overtired skin and gives your face a quick pick me up throughout the day. Oh, and did I mention that it’s vegan, non-GMO, cruelty-free, noncomedogenic, and formulated without silicone, gluten, and synthetic fragrances. This will definitely become a summer staple for me!



Let me know if any of these tips work for you, or what you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed!


5 Ways to Stay Healthy & Fit on Vacation

Staying fit and healthy on vacation can be difficult. Sometimes it’s much easier to indulge and ignore all of the hard work that you put in at home. And while in no way am I suggesting that you get strict with diet and exercise on vacation, there are definitely things that you can do to maintain your current health and fitness state while also enjoying some well deserved time in the sun!

I am sharing my top 5 ways to stay healthy and fit on vacation:


  1. Don’t go overboard: It’s so tempting to eat all of the delicious local food and drink all of the local cocktails, especially when you’re frequently eating out. But keep your health and fitness goals in mind when deciding to indulge. Stop eating when you’re full and remember that you don’t have to eat it all. I try to limit my “unhealthy food” to only one meal a day when on vacation, and I try to add healthy sides and snacks.

    Bonus tip: start out the day with a healthy breakfast and black coffee. You will feel much less guilty about indulging later!

  2. Use the hotel gym or take a class: Depending on where you are staying, a lot of resorts have free fitness classes. For some reason working out on vacation feels so much better than at home. I actually really enjoy getting up early on vacation, working out and then having a coffee before starting my day. Also, free ocean-side yoga?! Sign me up!

    Bonus tip: even if your hotel/resort doesn’t have classes, a run along the beach or park will give you a great workout while also resulting in some serious sightseeing.

  3. Walk: Walking is such a great way to get your fitness in for the day and it’s always so much more interesting on vacation because there’s so much to see.  Exploring on foot allows you to experience someplace new and get your steps in.

    Bonus tip: track your steps with a FitBit, iPhone, or other steps tracker. See if you can beat your at home numbers!

  4. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Upping your water intake on vacation is even more important than when you’re at home (although you should always be well hydrated regardless of where you are). The climate on vacation is usually different than at home so your body will need some more hydration to help adjust. Don’t forget to drink one glass of water for each alcoholic beverage if you are partaking in some cocktails with a view, your body will thank you.

    Bonus tip: add some fruit into your water to make it taste better

  5. Don’t stress: This the whole point of vacation. Even if you’re having too much fun to do the other 4 things on this list, if you stress less than you do at home then your vacation was worth it.

    Bonus tip: treat yourself! Whether’s a massage or a fun souvenir, treat yourself with something that will make you instantly feel happy.

    Most of all, remember to have fun, it’s called a vacation for a reason!

    Does anyone else have any tips for staying fit and healthy while on vacation?


5 Things My Career Break Taught Me

If you are not new to my blog then you know that I have recently taken a break off from work, almost 5 weeks in total. I start my new job on Friday, which sadly means that my time off is now coming to an end, so I wanted to take some time this morning to reflect on the time off.

My career has caused me a ton of stress over the past few years to the point where it has turned into pretty severe anxiety and panic attacks and has even bordered on depression.

It has taken me a long time to get to a point where I can say that I know what is causing my unhappiness –  my career. It’s been so hard for me to admit that because I have been in this line of business my entire adult life and realizing that I have made such a huge mistake makes me feel like a failure. Not to mention that after 15 years of doing the same thing, I’m hardly qualified to do anything else. I literally have no other experience and that can be a pretty depressive feeling.


In addition to not liking my career, my last role was just not good for me. I was in an extremely toxic environment and every day felt like an uphill battle. Most days I was fighting tears on my way to work, I had no appetite, I was barely sleeping, I felt physically ill almost all the time and I just felt like a shell of the person I should be. With all this in mind, I’m sure you can understand why taking this break between positions has been so, so beneficial to me!


I wish I could say that I have spent my time off doing some great things, but the reality is that I haven’t done a whole lot of anything. I managed to check some things off my home chore list that I’ve been ignoring for a while but for the most part, I have just done what felt right that day – some days that included being busy and getting things done, other days it meant a yoga class followed by Sex and the City and puggle snuggles (the best, by the way!).


I know that a work break is not the answer to a larger problem, but it has helped me to clear my head and see things from a different perspective, which I so, so needed! Here are a few things that I was able to realize during this short break:


  1. How to slow down: you know that saying, “if you want something done give it to a busy person”? This has been me for years. No matter how much I have going on, I’m always adding more to my plate and it’s rare that I actually feel accomplished. During this break I have (mostly) thrown my to-do lists out of the window and allowed myself to just be and go with what feels right that day, rather than what I feel like I’m doing. It’s been great and such a strong learning experience! It’s really taught me that it’s ok to slow down, take care of myself and not always have a schedule.
  2. My work doesn’t define who I am: one of the major things I have struggled with in my career is knowing that I don’t fit it, feeling like I have to be someone else and despising the image because of the career I have. I have realized during this time off that my career does not have to define who I am and it’s just a small part of what I do. I definitely need to keep this in mind as I navigate through the next steps of my life and career.
  3. I am the person I want to be: this kind of goes hand in hand with the one above, but this time off has really made me see that career stuff aside, I like the person I have become and I’m happy with who I am and I don’t need to pretend to be something I’m not.
  4. I can (and will) feel better: the anxiety that I have been experiencing over the past few years has been nothing short of crippling and at times it has been really tough to feel like I will ever make it through to the other side. This break from work has made me see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s possible to sleep for more than 2 hours a night, to actually want to eat, and to not feel physically and mentally ill all day long.
  5. It doesn’t matter and it’s not worth it: I think this is the most important thing that I have realized over the past few weeks. It’s so hard to see this when you are in the middle of a situation, but life is way too short to be in a place that doesn’t make you happy! What you think is making that situation worth it, really isn’t. I thought that the money, the nice office, free parking, etc. made it too hard for me to leave, and now that I’m gone I can see that none of those things were worth it.


I’m nervous that I’m about to start a new job in the same line of work, I’m terrified of being caught up in the same kind of situation and I really don’t want to go back to feeling like I can’t be myself and I’m stuck. But! This break has given me a chance to see that there is life outside of anxiety and there is more to me than what I do for a living. If I can keep those thoughts at the forefront of my mind then I think I will be ok. And if not, then at least it’s only a one year contract!


My Sleep Routine

Sleep. Who doesn’t love sleep?! As I mentioned in my previous post about fighting anxiety, I have had some major sleep problems over the past few years. I used to be the type of person who would sleep all night, could fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, and I would wake up feeling happy and refreshed. Anxiety kind of destroyed that for me, and I ended up being someone who couldn’t fall asleep, stay asleep and I was waking up with a daily headache. Not fun.

I started to track my sleep habits using my iPhone and I was shocked to see that far too often, my steady sleep time was ranging between 20-50 minutes! No wonder I couldn’t function and couldn’t seem to ever get better, no one should be functioning every day on that little sleep. I knew I had to make some changes.

First thing I did was see my doctor to rule anything medical out. We were able to pinpoint the sleep issues down to anxiety so we came up with some sleep strategies to try. Over the past couple of years I have tried many, many different things and I found that the one thing that works for me is having a Sleep Routine. A sleep routine is a series of healthy sleep inducing habits that you adopt, which help you to fall asleep faster, easier and help with staying asleep.

Here is the sleep routine that works for me:

  1. Lotion. During one of my many Lush browsing sessions, I found Sleepy Lotion, and it has changed my life! This lotion is scented with a calming and soothing lavender and tonka, which smells kind of like lavender shortbread cookies. Not only does it smell delicious, but it actually does help to relax me enough to fall asleep. I also read that the process of putting on lotion can also be relaxing, which helps with calming down before bedtime. Another great bedtime lotion is Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Lotion (yes it’s technically for infants, but who doesn’t want to sleep like an baby?!)
    lush sleepy lotion
  2. Scents. As mentioned above, scents can be very beneficial when creating a sleep routine so I try to use them as much as possible. I diffuse essential oils throughout the day in the bedroom to create a relaxing environment (Saje Happiness Diffuser Blend Collection is my personal favorite) and then before bed I spray my pillow with a sleep inducing spray. The current one I’m using is This Works Deep Sleep pillow spray , which has been incredibly helpful in not only helping me to fall asleep but also with staying asleep. Another great one is the Lavender Vanilla Pillow Spray from Bath and Body Works.

    thisworks deep sleep pillow spray

  3. Sound. We live in a very dry climate so we have a small humidifier in our room and I have noticed that not only does it help with the dry air, but it also provides some white noise, which really helps with sleep. You can also use an essential oil diffuser, a white noise app on your phone, or you can actually purchase a white noise machine.
  4. Electronics. Full confession – I haven’t been able to get past not having my phone in the bedroom. I use the excuse that I use it as my alarm clock, but the truth is that I’m way too attached to it. The one thing I do though is once it’s plugged in for charging, I switch it to do not disturb and turn it over on my nightstand. At least this way I won’t be woken up by my phone until I’m supposed to.

    do not disturb

  5. Reading. When I’m really not feeling tired yet but I need to wind down, I read for a little while. At night I try to read something light and stick to no more than 3 chapters. I find it’s a great way to turn my brain off to prepare for sleep.


Does anyone else have a sleep routine?


Fighting Anxiety: What Works For Me

If you have been keeping up with my blog you should already know that I have suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. I experienced my first panic attack when I was in around 10 years old and and I had them on an off throughout my teens. Then, in late 2014 I was going through a stressful time at work and instead of taking care of myself, it all festered and resulted in the worst anxiety and panic experience of my life. For about 2 years I struggled through panic attacks at least 4 times per week, I felt awful almost all the time, I wasn’t sleeping, I felt ill all the time, I was so scared that another attack was going to hit that I was bordering on depression. Mental illness can be a dark, lonely place and my heart goes out to anyone else who is fighting this battle.


As of today I’m not where I was a couple of years ago, but I’m definitely not the same person that I was before. Anxiety and panic has definitely changed who I am, and that period of my life was so tough with it that I don’t think I will ever totally recover from it. I am, however, doing much better and I have found some ways to cope and not let the anxiety take over.


In hindsight I probably should have just taken medication, but I was too hesitant. I had convinced myself that it wasn’t just anxiety and there was something else physically wrong with me, so how would anxiety medication help?! I was also scared that medication would have negative side effects and change who I am. The latter is actually laughable now because the anxiety alone changed who I am. I have made the promise to myself that if I go through another time like this again, I will take medication. There’s no shame in it and it’s available for a reason.


Other than generally practicing self care, I found the following three things are the major contributing factors to helping myself feel better and finally finding a way to the light at the end of a very dark tunnel:


1. Changing the situation: while mental illness is not something you can remove yourself from, sometimes the situations that are exacerbating it can be removed from your life. I am an anxious person and always will be, but after a lot of soul searching and sleepless nights, I was able to realize and admit to myself (sometimes that can be the hardest part), that certain situations were making my anxiety a thousand times worse and I need to make a change. I have made those changes and they have helped tremendously! If I didn’t change the situation I was in, I would still be in that nightmare cloud of anxiety, guaranteed. It’s tough to make changes but sometimes you just have no choice. If something is detrimental to your mental (or physical) health, it is never worth it.




2. Sleep: Everyone knows how important sleep is for everyone, but for someone with anxiety sleep can be your worst enemy. My panic attacks started during the night so I reached a point where I was scared to go to sleep because I didn’t want an attack. This resulted in many, many nights of little sleep (like, 1-2 hours if I was lucky). I definitely still struggle with sleep but it’s become more of a 4-6 hour night instead of 1-2 hours. It’s amazing how much a few extra hours have done for my mental (and physical) health! I have been able to create a “sleep routine”, which has worked great for me. I will create a blog post on this very soon!




And last, but definitely not least, the one thing that has not only absolutely helped my mental health in the middle of a panic attack, but has also been able to improve my overall mental health in general;


3. Exercise: I cannot stress this enough, exercise has changed my life! Whenever I find myself feeling overly anxious or start having attacks, I can usually trace it back to me not exercising. I always thought that it was so cheesy when people talked about exercise helping mental health, but I take all of that back. Exercise has helped me to a point where I almost feel like my old self! I try to get in at least 30 minutes 4 times per week, that’s really all that I need! My go-to’s are hot yoga and workout videos at home, and nothing beats a brisk walk with the dog and some good music. Seriously, if nothing else works for you, try exercising!




Does anyone else have any tried and true anxiety/panic attack/mental health tricks that they want to share?


A Quote I Try To Live By

September Writing Challenge # 26 – A Quote I Try To Live By

I’m kind of a sucker for good quotes, I have a Pinterest board full of them and I find the right quote can sometimes make or break your mood, or change your perspective on an entire situation. As a result, there’s so many that I could pick for this post, but there are two that always stick in my mind that I think would be most fitting for quotes that I try to live by:


I always try to remember this when I feel sad about something (especially when I’m missing my Shandi). It doesn’t make the sadness go away but it definitely helps focus my mind on the good memories instead.

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This one is SO true and I try to share it with as many people as I can. Way too many people are so focused on what others think of them and at the end of the day, who cares?! What someone thinks about you is not a reflection of you!

What are some of your favourite quotes?


5 Weird Things That I Like

September Writing Challenge #24 – 5 Weird Things That I Like

The title of this one made me laugh, there’s so many different ways this could be interpreted, I mean if I like something then do I really think it’s weird?! Plus,

  1. Vacuuming: If I had time I would vacuum every day, I love how my house looks after it and I feel so satisfied when I see some lint getting picked up by the vacuum!
  2. Capers: I also love olives so my love of capers kind of goes hand in hand with capers. I just find them so delicious and I get super excited when a recipe calls for capers… I might always put way too many in there!
  3. Sneezing: I have some major sinus issues with pressure and so every single time I sneeze it feels like a huge wave of relief.
  4. Mornings: I feel like I’m always against popular opinion here but I love mornings and getting up early.
  5. Dipping fries in mayo: Because it’s tasty?! Need I say more?!

What are some things you guys like that other people find weird?


Highs & Lows of 2017

September Writing Challenge #17 – Highs & Lows of 2017

I have to be honest, as soon as I saw the list for this writing challenge I immediately wasn’t looking forward to this post. 2017 is not 3/4 over and it’s already been one of the strangest years of my life. I feel as though it has gone by so fast, yet sometimes it feels like time is going by way too slowly. I have experienced one of the worst days of my life and some of the best. I have grown in so many ways I didn’t know I could, and I have changed in so many ways I’m not sure I wanted to. 2017 has challenged me, pushed my limits, and rewarded me. Part of me wants to see what the next 3 months have in store, but another part of me just wants to stay here, in my home, and just ignore time going by.

I know that the usual protocol that you start with the bad news before the good, but the one of the lows I have experienced this year will far outweigh any high, and so I felt that it would be more appropriate to start with the highs.


All of my hard work for the past decade finally started to pay off this year when I received a promotion, finally I was able to move from the stagnant place that my career was in and take the next step.

We got the news that I have a niece on the way! SO, so incredibly excited for this!

My sister got engaged and I was asked to be maid of honor

I finally visited my absolute dream city – New York. It was everything I knew it would be and so much more! I feel like going there changed me and I can’t wait to go back!

We also went to California and Las Vegas in July, which are two other places that I absolutely adore


My promotion. I know I listed it as a high, and it definitely is and I’m so grateful and proud of myself, but it’s also somewhat of a low for me. I’m not sure if my career is what I want to do, I know I’m good at it and I know it’s a great career path, but it just doesn’t do much for me personally. I have always thought that I would eventually do something different, something I have interest in. My promotion just pushed my career to a different level and it will make it even harder to make a move out of it one day.

I experienced a weird situation at work this year, which resulted in my boss getting fired last month and I’m still really working through what happened and dealing with the after effects of it. It’s a long story, and not one that I’m sure I want to tell yet, but basically I was the victim of some strange psychological mind-play and I didn’t realize the damage that it had been doing to me until my VP finally started to figure it out and got rid of the director, which I am so incredibly grateful of her for doing! If she didn’t, I don’t know how much more damage my mental health could have taken! I will definitely write more about this later, but for now it’s enough to say it was definitely a low of 2017.

And now for the toughest low, not only of the year, but of my entire life…

On May 2nd, 2017 we had to say goodbye to my dog, my best friend and sidekick of 11 years, and my heart, Shandi. Nothing will ever compare to the feelings I have experienced over this and I don’t think anything could ever repair the broken heart I have been left with. She was my everything and even now, 4.5 months later, I feel completely lost without her. No high can ever replace the feelings from this low and despite everything else that has happened this year, 2017 will forever be “Shandi’s year”.

Forever loved and forever missed…