Friday, May 31, 2013

Fitness Friday: Stretching & Sweating Myths

Today I wanted to share some information that I've stumbled across that I thought was interesting. As you may have guessed, it's to do with stretching and sweating - both things that are part of the working-out package. 

Let's start with stretching. The information I'm about to share comes from celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak who's celeb clients include Megan Fox, Kate Beckinsale, Katy Perry, Robert Downey Jr., Nina Dobrev, Maria Menounos... basically everyone with a hot bod. So back to stretching. We all know that stretching is important. But do you know why? Or when you should/shouldn't stretch? You may think you do, but I'm gonna bet, you don't know the full story. Here are 6 quick myths/facts about stretching:

1. You should stretch before and after a workout. FALSE. What?! This is one I didn't really know. Basically a study came out that found static stretching (a stretch you hold without moving) can actually harm you. When you do static stretching on a "cold" muscle before a workout you are temporarily weakening the muscle, which diminishes the strength and can result in injury. What is OK is dynamic stretching - stretching with movement. Think leg kicks, crab-walks, lunges, and arm rotations/swings. This is the kind of stretching you will see athletes doing and now you know why!

2. Stretching reduces your chance of being injured. FALSE. It isn't stretching that prevents injury, but rather a warm-up that prevents injury. A warm-up is essentially a gentle aerobic activity, or a lighter version of your workout. What this does is warms up your muscles, tendons and liagments, making them more pliable and flexible. He used the example of pulling on a rubber band when it's cold vs warm. After your workout there is no evidence that stretching decreases your chance of injury, but if it feels good and helps you relax, then do it!

3. A good stretch hurts. FALSE. Stretching is meant to feel good, and the second that you feel any sort of pain you need to back off because you might be overstretching. This is something that makes me think of yoga and how one instructor said that it is ok to feel uncomfortable but never in pain.

4. Never bounce in a stretch. TRUE. This one drives me BONKERS! I feel like I've always known that bouncing during a stretch is the worst thing you can do. I see it every now and again in yoga class where one person starts bouncing to get deeper into a stretch. I can't stand it. Basically the repeated momentum of your body pushes your body to its limit and increases the chance of a serious (and painful) muscle strain or tear. If not a serious tear, it can also create micro-tears which leaves scar tissue and tightens the muscle further. Please, if you are a bouncer, cease and desist today!

5. Stretching prevents muscle soreness. FALSE. This one is the sister of #2. It's similar in that the key to reducing muscle soreness after an exercise is a good warm up at the start, helping to ease ourselves into new activites. Although stretching can help prevent stiffness, there is no evidence it can prevent soreness. With Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), it occurs as a result of microscopic "damage" to the fibers of the muscles involved in the exercise, and simply put, stretching can't undo damage or accelerate healing.

6. Stretching can relieve back pain. TRUE. Whatever the cause or reason, 80% of Americans have been bothered by back pain at some point in their lives, resulting in spending of $50 billion each year. Considering that, it's important to learn what you can do now to prevent it. Yoga and Pilates classes include exercises and stretches specifically designed for you back, so if you do either of those you're already ahead! If you don't, just look some up online that you can mix into your routine like the superman exercise or the cobra stretch. 

There you have it: Stretching 101. Now onto a quick, but important, fact about sweating that I learned from Jillian Michaels. Every one sweats, whether a little or a lot depends on the person, but during your workout you are likely prepared to sweat. The only problem here is that a lot of people think that the amount they sweat is directly correlated to the quality or intensity of their workout, or the amount of calories being burned. It is not. Sweating is just your body's way of cooling itself, so if you find you're sweating buckets, it's not always a good thing and probably means you're overheating. Kind of like I said at the beginning of this series, that it is SO important to listen to your body, it's also important to pay attention to how your body is reacting to your exercises. And whether you're working out or not, but ESPECIALLY when you're working out, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
fitness, water, hydrate, healthy, exercise
Previous Fitness Friday Posts:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Next Gigi

I got a pair, my first and only pair, of Sam Edelman Gigi sandals about a year ago. Prior to that I had never really liked the whole T-strap sandal on myself. I'm not sure what it was then that made me get this pair (it may have been that I was in love with one strap of snake skin, one strap of leopard and the pink details - basically neutral with a bit of colour) but I am sure glad I did! Not only do I love this particular T-strap on me, I can't get enough of it. It doesn't hurt that they are also the most comfortable sandal I own. My only dilemma now, is with summer (almost) upon us, which one to get next... because there WILL be a next!

Sam Edelman, sandals, shoes, summer

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Do you voice call?

Yes, that subject line says "voice call". Much to my friends' amusement, that's what I seem to have started saying instead of "call" or "phone call" as of late. I was inspired to discuss this because of a post I saw on the Girls Facebook page with some dialogue from the show:
phone calls, phones, texting.He never, ever texts you back.

Maybe I should call him? I mean, didn't you say texting is, like, the lowest form of communication on the pillar of chat?

The totem of chat. And no, the lowest: that would be Facebook, followed by Gchat, then texting, then email, then phone. Face to face is, of course, ideal, but, it's not of this time.
Man, I love that show. I love where she says face to face is not of this time, haha! That is EXACTLY how I feel when it comes to phone calls. I don't call up friends ever (and when I do they answer their phone in a hurry and ask what's wrong!). I will send them a text (LOVE texting) and stare and wait. If it's a time sensitive matter I will sometimes even think that calling would probably be more effective and garner an immediate response, but I just can't bring myself to do it! I still have just a couple of friends who do pick up their phones and call... IF I decide to answer, it pains me, and it is not without hesitation. Another problem is my ring tone - it's the James Bond theme song. To be very honest with my phone actually ringing so infrequently I'd rather listen to my ring play through than actually answer it, haha! It's just too cool. 
So now I am curious, do you voice call? Do you mind it or do you prefer another form of communication on the totem of chat?

Monday, May 27, 2013

I've Moved!

I moved this past weekend! I could not be more happy or excited about it. I moved into a beautiful house that one of my friends owns, in my most favourite part of town - where (save for the last couple of years) I've lived most my life. I am so happy to be back! Also, not only is my friends' house beautiful, but I've referenced it when talking about what kind of home would be a dream first home. I a little bit can't believe I'm actually there. At this point I only have a few things left to do to be fully settled, but it's already starting to feel like home! :) 

I didn't realize how stressful moving can be. Also tiring - I'm pretty much a walking zombie today. But it's oh, so rewarding too.  

In honour of my move, I thought I'd share this little ditty which also happens to be one of my favourite songs...

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fitness Friday: You are what you eat!

Well, we have reached an important segment in my Fitness Friday series: diet! When I say diet, I am referring only to what you eat and not an actual "diet" or "diets". I am not a fan of diets. I don't do them, I don't like hearing about them, I just... don't. If you want to clean up what you eat, then do so! But I think it's important to do so without restricting yourself (or at least feeling restricted) as that will more often than not backfire. No one likes it when things backfire, ESPECIALLY in the form of weight gain. Am I right? 

The reason your diet is so important is that it accounts for about 80% of your results. You might have heard that "abs are made in the kitchen". Well it's true!  

Food, exercise, diet, nutrition, fitnessSomething my mom has said that has stuck with me is that you can make a big impact by cutting out 5 things: sugar, butter, bread, cheese and booze. What kind of life would that be?!?! This is a case of "do as I say, not as I do" because you will NOT find me (or my mom for that matter) removing some of those things from our diets (*cough* cheese *cough*), BUT it is good to be aware of them and your intake of them. I think moderation is key here, or slowly cutting back. The easiest one for me? Sugar. I find that by removing bad foods from my diet I crave them less, and then when I finally have that food again, I enjoy it less. I'm sure you've heard that before, I had, but I never really thought it was true until I experienced it first hand. I should also note, this happens after not having something for a LONG period of time, not a week. It's not that easy.

When I'm on a kick I just try to eat healthy, clean foods all day everyday - much like how I try to work out everyday - if I try to do that then the days where I don't or can't, I don't feel bad about indulging! Another thing I've noticed though is some people think they're eating "healthy" foods but they aren't healthy at all. In fact instead of helping you lose weight they are potentially causing you to gain it! Check out the ingredients in your food to try and understand what you're putting in your body. I also want to explain what "clean eating" is for anyone who is unsure. For me, it is best understood as NOT eating foods that are processed, foods with preservatives, foods with added sugar or salt, or foods with bad (saturated or trans) fat. Not always easy or ideal to do, but worth an effort or a consciously thinking about when making food choices. If it's clean, it's healthy!

Let's also remember another key to success: portion control. If you're overeating healthy food, at the end of the day it's still overeating. I like the practice of only eating when you're hungry and eating at a pace that allows you to know when you're full.

Unless a good diet has been a part of your existence for a long time, it is another situation that requires a fair amount of motivation. What are your goals? You need to know what it is you want to achieve before you can effectively work your way towards it. Once you figure that out, what are you willing to do (or give up) to get it?

Previous Fitness Friday Posts:
*My Basics

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Still Alice

As I mentioned in Tuesday's post, this past weekend was a long weekend in Canada. Lots of fun to be had poolside, out with friends, etc. - but the best thing I did this weekend, was read the book Still Alice. I started it Monday morning and finished it Monday evening around dinnertime. I had not intended to zip through it in a day. In fact, I can't remember the last time I did that. Two or three days maybe, but one? I could not put it down. I was moved. I was riveted. I was utterly and completely invested. Obviously. 

Still Alice, book, book review, reading I was late to the party with reading this one so by now I would assume most have heard of it, if not read it. If not, this is the brief Google Books description: "Still Alice" is a compelling debut novel about a 50-year-old woman's sudden descent into early onset Alzheimer's disease, written by first-time author Lisa Genova, who holds a Ph.D in neuroscience from Harvard University. 

First of all, I can't believe this is a first novel by Lisa Genova. It is so beautifully and intelligently written. She manages to touch every emotion in you and make you feel strongly about Alice, as if you know her. Next, this book is an education. Before this book I was aware of Alzheimer's disease, but not necessarily early onset Alzheimer's, or that there was a difference between it and that which is commonly diagnosed in the elderly. I appreciated learning more, and I appreciated not just observing what Alice was going through, but those around her as well. Before I go on I should disclose I am ABSOLUTELY a crier (happy, sad, basically any emotion aside from neutral - my mom calls me her Kristin Bell if you know that reference). Although touched I didn't expect to cry in this book. The 60 or so pages didn't have me crying, they had me sobbing. Seriously sobbing. And I'm not giving anything way - it wasn't necessarily sad tears. I definitely got overwhelmed by the beauty in the story. 

If you have not read this book, I really think you should. I think it could be read and enjoyed by everyone in the sense that it is that kind of writing. I think it should be read by everyone in the sense that it is that kind of story.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Night and Day at Cannes

The stars are lighting it up at the Cannes Film Festival as we speak and I wanted to share some stellar fashion from over the weekend. There are so many great looks that I may have do a part 2, but for today, I wanted to showcase celebrities that got it right for their daytime photo calls as well as their evening red carpet walks. 

Carey Mulligan - I picked one day look and one night look here but Carey Mulligan had several of each to choose from! She is killing it at Cannes. I love the simplicity of her jumpsuit and hair, then she keeps that same simplicity at night time just with more elegance.

Carey Mulligan, fashion, Cannes Film FestivalCarey Mulligan, fashion, Cannes Film Festival

Isla Fisher - I think her day look is so pretty and cute. Her night look... THAT DRESS! I can't even handle that dress. Perfection.

Isla Fisher, Cannes Film Festival, fashionIsla Fisher, Cannes Film Festival, fashion

Jessica Biel - Mrs. Timberlake was seen rocking a seriously awesome graphic colour-block dress during the day. That dress is killer. And at night staying simple and neutral but with a lot of glitz and sparkle.

Jessica Biel, Cannes Film Festival, fashionJessica Biel, Cannes Film Festival, fashion

 Jennifer Lawrence -  I've said it before, but I love an all black (or monochromatic) ensemble with the "pop" and attention being in the shoes. She does just that for her photo call. At night rocking the black and white trend, Jennifer wears this incredibly flattering two tone column gown, with that same pop of colour on her lips!

Jennifer Lawrence, Cannes Film Festival, fashionJennifer Lawrence, Cannes Film Festival, fashion

Nicole Kidman - Not necessarily one of my fashion favourites, I thought Nicole Kidman looked absolutely lovely both in the day and the night. Again loving the simplicity of the LBD with the pop of colour via her shoes. Then that evening dress - very elegant, fun and flirty!

Nicole Kidman, Cannes Film Festival, fashionNicole Kidman, Cannes Film Festival, fashion

If you've been following Cannes fashion, who has stuck out to you as a style winner?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Odd and Imperfect

Happy Tuesday! Today is the first day of the week for me as yesterday was a holiday in Canada.  I love LOVE love short work weeks, but I love long weekends even more! :)

Today I'm sharing another designer quote I love - is it just me or do designers not say some of the most interesting things? I guess that's the "artist" in them! I love this Marc Jacobs quote because it supports the idea that beauty comes from uniqueness, which I always think is important for everyone to know and believe. If you're odd and imperfect (which, come on, most of us are likely a bit of each), instead think of it as being beautiful and interesting.

Marc Jacobs, quote

Friday, May 17, 2013

Fitness Friday: Yoga

Everyone is very different with what workouts they like doing, and most importantly, what actually works with their body. I've already shared that my best mix is running and yoga. Running is new-ish to me (the last 3 years) but yoga I have been doing for about 10 years now. I love it and can't get enough. I mentioned it already in a previous post, but one of my most favourite things about yoga is that no matter what is going on in your life or your day, it can absolutely be like hitting the reset button. I find it so calming and relaxing, while giving my body an amazing workout.

Yoga, fitness, health, fitness friday
One of my favourite yoga poses: wheel
People who don't do yoga often refer to it as glorified stretching. It's definitely more then stretching! But if we're going to mention stretching you might as well know when practicing yoga your muscles naturally get stretched in the sense of being elongated, which help you look longer and leaner. Who wouldn't want that?! Many workouts, especially ones involving weights, can stimulate your muscles in such a way that it tenses or shortens your muscles. My answer to that is to recommend mixing yoga in with your regular workout routine. People who don't do yoga also think that it's full hippie talk and deep symbolism... well, it can be depending on WHERE you do your yoga and WHO the instructor is, but it is really up to you to embrace or ignore. You don't need to pay attention to it in order to move through the poses. In fact, ignoring could actually help you enhance your concentration (I just made that up but it sounds right).I tend not to mind it because it can be encouraging or can stimulate different perspectives. BUT sometimes it's just weird and does make me shake my head (on the inside).

A big part of yoga is breathing. Breathing and focusing on your breath. They say focusing on your breath helps you stay in the present - your breath is not in your past nor in present, but in this very moment right now. Yeah, that's one of those "deep" facts, but a fact nonetheless! Another part of yoga is testing your physical limits. Yoga is not "hard" as there are multiple levels to every single pose and you can advance through them or stay within a level that works best for you! Just make sure to listen to your body and know your limits. There are many different styles of yoga but those two elements are always the same.  

I feel like I should mention hot yoga as it's really become huge in the last few years! Studios are popping up everywhere it seems. I think hot yoga is great because it just adds another element to the practice. You essentially work through the class while in sauna-like temperatures. It's not for everyone, and probably not the best way to start yoga, but if you are a fan of yoga I would recommend to give it a try (assuming you haven't already)! Oddly enough my favourite time to do hot yoga is in the summer. I realize that doesn't make much sense, but it is what it is! Like advancing through poses, the most important thing to remember is to listen to your body and if you get to hot, just stop. There's even an "I'm-too-hot-and-need-to-stop-for-a-minute" pose (aka child's pose if you speak yoga speak).  

Final fun fact: at the end of yoga classes is the meditation relaxation. This part of the class has many benefits as well, aside from the meditation and relaxing. Did you know if you do it correctly (clear your mind and resist the urge to move) you can change your metabolism, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and brain chemistry - all for the better of course! I always think about that when some people skip out on it. I personally also think of it as a great reward for the work that I've just done. 

Have you tried yoga? Is it for you?

Previous Fitness Friday Posts: 
- My Basics
- Running

Thursday, May 16, 2013

White Hot Heels

I don't know about you but up until maybe 5 years ago, when I thought about white pumps, I would think of something straight out of the early 80's. Were they even a thing in the 80's or am I imagining it? Maybe with some stirrup leggings? OMG, remember stirrup leggings?! Haha! With all the colours and shapes and designs of shoes nowadays I am definitely way open to more and thinking out side the "era" box. I remember at the end of the summer last year, white heels started really taking off. I remember wanting to buy a pair but it was my brief hesitation that did me in as when I was ready to pull the trigger, the pair I wanted were gonzo. Good news for fans of white heels (and good news for whomever bought those shoes I wanted), white heels are back this year and in full force! In the last few weeks, now that spring has sprung, almost every fashionable starlet has been seen wearing them. I cannot get enough...

celebrities, shoes, style, summer

They are so fresh and clean looking. They go with pretty much everything. They OOOOZE summer. What's not to love? I expect I will be picking up a pair to be my very own VERY SOON.

What do you think of the trend? Do you have a pair of white heels in your shoe closet (hopefully not because you saved them from the 80's...)?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


quote, Kata Spade

The above quote was used a while back when Kate Spade launched the Twirl fragrance and capsule collection. There is something I just totally love about it - it just makes me think of being free and having fun...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What Is Sexy?

This week Victoria's Secret has released their 2013 "What Is Sexy?" list, where they match celebrities with various "sexy" categories. This year the list includes: 
Victorias Secret, What is sexy,       Sexiest Actress: Jessica Chastain
     Sexiest Style: Nina Dobrev
     Sexiest Legs: Blake Lively
     Sexiest Bikini Body: Rihanna
     Sexiest Hair: Amanda Seyfried
     Sexiest Smile: Zoë Saldana
     Sexiest Eyes: Zooey Deschanel
     Sexiest Lips: Kerry Washington
     Sexiest Curves: Shakira
     Sexiest Sense of Humor: Jennifer Lawrence
     Sexiest Mom: Giuliana Rancic
     Sexiest Songstress: Beyoncé
     Sexiest International Import: Emilia Clarke
     Sexiest Summer Glow: Hayden Panettiere
     Sexiest Sporty Style: Ashley Greene

      Sexiest TV Cast: Revenge
     Sexiest Cyber Stars: Tone It Up Girls
     Sexiest Tweeter (fans): Elizabeth Banks
     Sexiest Up & Coming Bombshell (fans): Chloë Bridges 

So, how do we feel about their picks? I feel pretty good about them but there are definitely a few I would have chosen differently. I woudn't have given Sexiest Actress to Jessica Chastain - it's not that she's not sexy, she is and she's huge right now so it makes sense, but I would have chosen someone else like Gwyneth Paltrow even! She's pretty hot right now too, and in my opinion she's just killing it! I'm on board with Sexiest Style and Sexiest Legs. Bikini body, I don't mind giving it to Rihanna - I don't think I've seen any pictures of her this year but if last year is any indication, she's very worthy. I'm ok with Hair and Smile... For eyes, yes Zooey Deschanel has big blue eyes, but is it just me or do they look a little crazy sometimes? I think would have prefered Julianne Hough. Sexiest Sense of Humor is BANG ON with Jennifer Lawrence. Man, where did she come from? She's awesome. Sexiest Mom I am not necessarily on board with but that's also due in part that I am not a fan of either of her reality shows (not that I've given them much of a chance). I would lean more towards picking someone like Jessica Alba or Kate Hudson. I'd love to look like them when I'm a mom. Heck, I'd like to look like them now! The only other one I'm a bit unsure of is Sexiest Summer Glow. I know that's just because there is something about Hayden Panettiere that bugs me so maybe that's not fair. How about Jennifer Aniston? Her skin and hair always looks sun-kissed and aside from that, she looks amazing and incredibly happy right now. She's radiating!

How do you feel about this list? 

Here's the video with the Angels saying the picks:

Monday, May 13, 2013


The Great Gatsby, movie, movie review, soundtrackThis past weekend the much anticipated movie The Great Gatsby opened. I had been looking forward to it for a long, long time. And when I say long time, I mean back in the day when it was originally supposed to open this past Christmas! For what ever reason it was delayed, but this weekend the time came. Due to this extreme anticipation I felt like I absolutely must see it opening weekend, so I did just that with a friend of mine who felt the very same way. Prior to going in I didn't read any reviews for it, but I did know that the reviews out there were not good. It was an ok movie. Not awful but not fantastic. Certainly not all I had hoped it would be. It was visually beautiful and although I found some parts were great and exciting,  other parts just dragged a bit. But I will say I do not regret seeing it in the theater at all - when I'm that excited for a movie I like to see it regardless and make my own conclusions! Plus 3D movies are fun! And 3D Leo, well... that was worth it too. :)

BUT, on the (very) bright side, last Wednesday The Great Gatsby soundtrack came out. I had pre-ordered it so it automatically downloaded on my phone and the second I took a listen I was in love. THIS IS THE BEST SOUNDTRACK HANDS DOWN THAT I HAVE HEARD IN A VERY LONG TIME! I'm not even a big soundtrack kinda girl. Back in the day I kind of  was with movies like Cruel Intentions and Romeo + Juliet (another Baz Luhrmann movie funnily enough). When I saw the previews for the movie I was quite enchanted by the music. Later when they announced who would be on it, I knew it was a must buy. Bang Bang by, Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey, and Over the Love by Florence + The Machine are my favourites IF if MUST choose... because it's not easy. Five stars and a recommended buy from me! 

Did you get swept up in the Gatsby excitement? 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mom's are the best!

Mothers Day

mom, mother's day
Me and my mom last Mother's Day

This Sunday is Mother's Day so I wanted to wish all the moms a happy Mother's Day before the weekend begins. Aren't moms just the best?! I am such a lucky girl to have a wonderful loving mother who I am close with. We have always been super close.

I know everyone says their mom is the best, but I just wanted to let you know mine actually is! :)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Fitness Friday (Early Edition): Running

I love running! That is something I have only really been able to say the last few years. Sometimes, like any task, I dread it but the second my laces are tied and I'm out on the open road, I love it. The best part is the feeling I get afterwards! I just like it.

running, fitness, health, I've really only been running since 2010 when I starting to do a 5K route that goes around my neighbourhood. It is not easy to run and definitely was something I had to work up to. What I found worked for me was starting with a 5 minute warm up of speed walking, then intervals of 3 minutes of jogging and 3 minutes of speed walking (when I say "speed walking" I simply mean walking so as to keep the heart rate up, otherwise what's the point?). Once comfortable I would add a minute of jogging leaving the 3 mins of walking the same. Finally the jogging part was so long I removed the breaks and worked on my pace - keeping it reasonable so as not to get exhausted too soon. 

Last year I am pleased to say that I crossed "run a race" off my bucket list! In fact, I did not one, but two 5K races. Both of my races were Color Runs: the first in Boston, and then one in Montreal. It felt so good to get those under my belt, and staring with The Color Run was the best decision as it was more like running disguised as a really really good time. I'm planning to do another one this year too!

The thing I love about running is that it's all about working at your own pace. One day you can go slower or faster, one day you can go a little bit further or take an entirely different route - basically your run never has to be the same! 

In my last Fitness Friday post I touched on motivation. Although running is my favourite cardio (enjoyment-wise and results-wise), I still find it very difficult to motivate myself to do it. My mind says "nah, let's go tomorrow instead", or my mind will tell me to do yoga or something different altogether. I'll fight back and push myself, and once I'm out the door, I am so happy and proud I did it (knowing that "out the door" pride is coming is sometimes what gets me out the door). The other inner battle comes once I'm actually running. There comes a point on my run that my mind says I should walk or take a short cut. WHY does this happen?!?! I've tried to Google the psychology but nothing seems to come up. The first thing I do is a body analysis. I will continue running and think to myself "Why do I want to stop? Do I need to stop?". I then work from the bottom up to figure out: if my ankles hurt (I have bad ankles), do my knees hurt (running can be hard on your knees), do I have a cramp, am I able to breathe... usually this analysis tells me I'm fine and my mind is just wimping out. What I will do then is a few things: I concentrate solely on the music and the beat and just get right into it - I think about my goal and literally picture myself running towards it - I think about wearing a bikini all summer long - I think about my fitness inspiration board on Pinterest - literally ANYTHING other than stopping. Some of it is mood of the day, but I find the more I run, the less my mind gives up which is rewarding in itself! I also love using the Nike App when I run - it's cheesy but they have celebrities voices that cheer you on when you accomplish something (longest run, fastest run, etc.) and it actually excites me to hit those targets!  

As I mentioned, one motivator for me is simply music! I love nothing more than running to a soundtrack and having the music pump me up and push me farther. I change up my music all the time but my current "Running" playlist includes:
  1. Anything Could Happen - Ellie Goulding
  2. #thatPOWER - feat Justin Bieber
  3. Chasing Summers - (R3hab & Quintino Remix) 
  4. I Love It - Icona Pop
  5. Cinema - (Skrillex Remix)
  6. Greyhound - Swedish House Mafia
  7. Sofi Needs a Ladder - deadmau5
  8. Right Now (feat. David Guetta) - Rihanna feat David Guetta
  9. Scream & Shout - feat Britney Spears      
On a good day I'm done my 5K by song 8 but I threw in a 9th song just in case of varying pace. I'm not sure if anyone remembers MC Mario from their teen years, but he is still around and still putting out great mixes! His latest that I got is MC Mario Mixdown 2013 - loving it so far! Basically anything with a beat is my key.

What's your ideal cardio? What works for you to motivate or pump you up?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Drinking & Tweeting

The second book I've finished since rediscovering myself as a Book Worm is Drinking and Tweeting by Brandi Glanville. 
Drinking and Tweeting, Brandi Glanville, book, book review
If you like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, you will most likely like this book. If you love Brandi Glanville, then you will mostly likely love this book. If neither are true, well, I don't know how you'll feel about this book actually! I am a fan of both the BH Housewives AND Brandi, as is my mom, and we both agree that you might have to know her to enjoy this book or for it to make sense. Brandi is so crass, outspoken, blunt, but in my opinion, also hilarious. One of the things I liked about the book was that as I read each page and each word, I could almost hear her saying it all! Hence where the disconnect might come in if you are not familiar. 

But moving on, she is of course the scorned ex-wife of actor Eddie Cibrian, who famously had an affair and left her for country singer LeAnn Rimes. There you go! You have the foundation of the book. The affair happened before she became a Housewife and although you hear snippets of her talking about it on the show, I was mostly aware of what had gone down from the media frenzy that surrounded the whole situation. That being said, it was a very interesting read because she is very real, and took you through her experiences. Don't get me wrong, this is a VERY fluffy book, but it was a quick read and I also found it a lot of fun.

I've said it before and I will say it again, I can't guarantee you'll love it if you don't know her (but who knows, you might!) but if you do, I recommend you put this on your summer reading list! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Met Ball

Last night was The Met Ball. I absolutely love this event! This event, hosted by Vogue, celebrates the annual opening of the Metropolitan Museum's fashion exhibit at the Costume Institute (that's why it is also sometimes called the Costume Institute Gala). If the name and description doesn't tell you, it is more about the theatrics of fashion than anything. Always held around a theme, this year it was PUNK. Let me tell you, I could NOT wait to see how that was going to be interpreted! It did not disappoint. 

Because of the crazy array of fashion on the red carpet, I chose to split my selections into 3 categories:  
  1. Best Punk - best interpretation of the theme while still looking good
  2. Best Dressed - favourite outfits in general whether meeting the theme or not
  3. Worst Dressed - because those are always fun 
The Met Ball, fashion, punk
Sienna Miller, Nina Dobrev, Nicole Richie, Cara Delevingne, Emmy Rossum

Best Punk: To me each and everyone of these ladies went punk, but managed to stay elegant. Lots of soft and hard in the fabrics and textures. Lots of WILD and big hair - I mean, Nicole even spray painted her hair silver - that's commitment! I thought these were very on-point with the theme.

fashion, The Met Ball, red carpet
Jessica Alba, Kate Beckinsale, Emily Blunt, Cameron Diaz, Katie Holmes
Best Dressed: Whether at The Met Ball or not, I think these ladies rocked the evening! They've also added subtle punk accents to their looks as well! Loved each and every one.

The Met Ball, fashion, what not to wear
Elle Fanning, Joely Richardson, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Madonna

Worst Dressed: I would like to think that my reasoning for selecting each of these ladies as worst dressed is pretty obvious. No idea what Elle Fanning is doing with herself. Her tie-dye gown and makeup are more strange than punk to me. Joley Richardson is wearing a beautiful colour, in what looks to be a beautiful fabric, but those hips? Just distracting and unnecessary. Katy Perry... um, just didn't work for me. Beyonce is strange with her matching boots and gloves in that busy pattern. Just not flattering or beautiful. Last but not least, Madonna. Her look is 100% punk and she would win "Best Punk Costume" but it is still a Ball/Gala and it is still meant to be formal so she's just off the mark on this one.

I should also mention that there are WAY more than 5 for each category. It was hard to narrow these down. Last night was impressive! What did you think?

The Anna Mystery: with the theme of Punk and with the below cover of New York Magazine, I've got to say I was a little underwhelmed (surprised maybe?) with what Anna showed up wearing... 

Anna Wintour, The Met Ball, New York Magazine, PunkThe Met Ball, fashion, punk

Monday, May 6, 2013

Can'ts to Cans, Dreams to Plans

A little motivation for this May Monday morning! Let's make things happen! Let's make it count!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Fitness Friday: My Basics

You may not want fitness advice and tips, and I may not be "qualified" to give them, but one thing I love reading on other blogs is what other people are doing and what works for them. In general I find it motivating and can spark ideas! So with bathing suit season pretty much upon us, I will be starting Fitness Friday themed posts! I want to share some things that I've learned or that personally work for me when getting fit and being healthy, and hopefully I will get some comments about what works for you! 

I will start at the beginning and try to outline my fitness regime. It’s hard to define because it is never the same. On average I probably work out 4 times a week. At times it’s more and at times less depending on the season, or what I’ve got going on any particular week. I want to say it right now that I do NOT let the gym take priority in my life if plans happen or something comes up. I plan for the gym and make time for it (like anything else), but life first, then plan the gym around that. 

fitness, gym, workout, health, healthyWith summer approaching I am definitely on a fitness kick. The past few weeks I have been pretty strict with my workouts and they have been more like 5 or 6 times a week. I realize that might sound like a lot but they are not all intense workouts. I very much like to run (or rather jog - I rarely get up to 6 miles/hour which is technically what running is). It’s something I have to work up to (as far as distance, speed and consistency) but I enjoy being outside and working with different terrain. It’s my favourite cardio. I also love yoga. Yoga is a big one for me, not just physically but mentally too! I find it very calming and it can almost be like hitting the "reset" button after a busy day. There are many days I will just do yoga. Because it’s so excellent for your body when you mix in other workouts here and there, I try to do that whenever I can. My latest one in the mix is Jillian Michaels Shred class that my gym just started offering. I love it and I hate it. It's so intense but a perfect addition to my routine and it's timing couldn't be better! It’s a known fact that everyone's body responds to different things and different workouts, but through the years of trying different workouts and listening to my body, it’s definitely running and yoga that do it for me. 

On now to motivation. Motivation is hard. It can be the hardest part. Our minds are very powerful beasts and it’s about no longer being your own worst
critic and becoming your biggest cheerleader! Only you know what your ultimate personal goal/desire is, and only you can get yourself there. My thing is that I cannot wait to throw on a bikini for the first time this season, and I tend to live in bikinis all summer long. As a result my current goal is toning. It is so difficult, so tedious. I find toning to be the worst. It's a difficult change to spot since it's not an obvious, drastic, or quick change, and because of that, it can be hard to stay motivated. I really have to find an inner motivation by telling myself, "it's not for today, it's not for tomorrow, it's for a month from now", or two months from now! And YOU have to be the one motivating YOU. You can absolutely find supporters in friends and family, but at the end of the day it's personal. That's why I when I work out I tend to do it solo. Not necessarily on purpose but I think it’s important to march to the beat of your own drum. A friend of mine who's a trainer said that so many people HAVE to have a workout buddy and, more often than not, they use each other as a crutch (without realizing it) and end up not meeting their goals. That's not to say I don't ever workout with a friend - I will definitely join someone for their workout and I also share my workout plans with friends and welcome them to join me! It's just that I control my own routine. No coordinating with anyone, and no dependency. You get to work out at your own pace, and it's on your own when you can push yourself and your limits and meet those goals faster. I definitely do. Your own personal motivation is more powerful than anything else, and by finding it, you’re more likely to succeed!  

With summer approaching is anyone else on a fitness kick? Do you make plans and goals?