Thursday, November 16, 2017

whole 30, round 2, completed!

{ 100% T R U T H }

Day 31: The day after completing 30 days of Whole30 is always filled with mixed emotions. I'm proud that I stuck to it, I feel better in my body, my clothes are looser and my body is cleansed from all the toxic foods I regularly fed it. Whole 30 is over - if I wanted to eat that mini chooclate bar that I've been hiding in my desk since Halloween I finally could, but it's almost nerve racking to start back into those bad habits and the potential rabbit hole of undoing everything we've worked at over the past thirty days! (Having a beach vacation starting in less then a week is also pretty darn good motiviation to extend this healthy eating thing and hang on for a few more days!)

If you're thinking about doing Whole30, here are some tips and tricks I've learned after doing it twice ::

 Prep, Prep, Prep
-This is the key to success. Doing a big grocery haul each week so your fridge, fruit bowls and pantry are stocked full of healthy options.
-On Sunday nights we would cut up a melon for breakfast, cut up veggie sticks for a day time snack and boil a dozen eggs for lunches. This way there are easy foods to each for in your fridge.
-The first round we actually bought some new tupperware too, so that we could cut, store and stack all the fruit and veg in the fridge!

Eating at Home & Doing the Dishes
- You will likely eat 3 homemade meals a day, and there will be a sink full of dishes each night
All of the cooking and cleaning is hard work, but it's worth it in the end!

Use Recipes
- The Whole 30 online community has a great following and there are so many wonderful, delicious recipes available to inspire your mealtime routines. You will tire of a plate full of veg and protein, so get creative!

Eating Out
- You don't have to give up going out with friends, you just need to plan ahead. Check the menu at the restaurant ahead of time to make sure there's options that are compliant. If the options are limited either suggest a different restaurant, or have a filling snack before hand. 
- A typical meal out will almost always involve an alcoholic beverage. During Whole30, I would instead order a bottle of sparkling water as a substitute.

Find a Buddy
- I would not have been able to do Whole30 if I hadn't done it with Drew. Doing it with a friend keeps you accountable and you have someone who understands the ups and downs that you experience throughout the month. Plus it's someone to share the cooking and cleaning with :) 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

holiday shopping guide

The weather has turned, the stores are in full blown Christmas mode and there is officially no way to avoid the fact that the holidays are fast approaching!!! (I am happy as a clam!)

We're off to the beach next week, but I've already started thinking about my shopping list and who we will have gifts to buy for. I truly enjoy gift giving and take the task of finding a perfect gift for each of my friends and family very seriously.

I've put together some gift giving ideas, inspired by some of my favorite things and small luxuries that are sure to brighten spirits... Happy shopping! xx

I have this product in 'beam' and its become a product I reach for daily. I had always been nervous about liquid blush, but it's subtle and build-able and leaves you with a rosy glow. 

Pair this with a bag of your favorite coffee and a cute coffee canister. It's pretty enough to leave on the counter top all day long.  

This simple beaded necklace would add an elegant flair to a classic holiday outfit. 

Soul Cycle is where it's at, but hey, those club-like spin classes are expensive! Give this to a friend who loves to get a good sweat on!

This is my favorite candle scent and truly the only scent you'll smell burning in our house come the holidays. The mercury glass  gives a lovely aesthetic and the three-pak of votives allow you to spread the candles throughout your home, so you can enjoy that cozy, woodsy smell in every room. 

Huge fan of this company based out of Brooklyn. The spicy honey is so heavenly (think warm, buttery cornbread... yup), that I can't imagine the maple syrup and sriracha would be anything less then stellar.  

Whether you frequent the beach, pool, cottage or park, this towel is an adorable way to mark your spot. 

Skin products are always on the top of my want/need list. Le Labo is known for their custom perfumes and high-end beauty products and a charcoal mask will work for all skin types (plus the jar will look gorg for your bathroom shelfies).  

The cutest little catch-all for jewelry at the end of the day. V de V on Ossington also sells adorable little earrings to pair with it, perfect for your girlfriends. 

I love these natural rope baskets, they'd be lovely filled with fresh tangerines in your kitchen over the holidays. 

Everyone loves sock, don't they?! This work week pack is clever and useful!

We bought one of these speakers this summer and it's the coolest - portable, loud and it even floats! It syncs seamlessly to your cellphone and has a great battery life. It's a bit of a splurge but truly, a neat gift for someone special. 

With our cold, windy winters, anyone would be happy to receive a warm, cozy hat. The key is to always combine warmth with style, which is achieved with this stylish yarn toque. 

We're big game players at our house and this is one of our favorites at the moment. It's easy for beginners to catch on and you can play with up to 8 people - a great gift for a fun couple. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

office artwork

The house is coming together swimmingly. Furniture is fitting into place and the home is taking on a relaxed, calm vibe. The only major thing left to do is place and hang artwork. We've saved some of our favourite larger pieces and new pieces for the living space on the main floor, but I wanted something for the walls in the office. The room will eventually be transformed into a nursery, so I wanted to keep it cheap and pretty. 

I came across my 2016 wall calendar with the most beautiful Garance Dore illustrations. I've been a huge fan of hers since the days back when she dated The Sartorialist. The calendar had large prints and I knew I could easily cut off the dates at the bottom of my favourite ones. I used a straight edge and exacto knife to cut away the calendar and top edge and was left with a stack of brand new prints. 

I had seen the idea online and searched the web for the dowel hanger system. I found some handmade cedar sets on Rug & Weave, a husband and wife run company based in Guelph. They provide such a simple aesthetic and allow me to easily change out the print. I am in love with the final finished look. 

Friday, November 3, 2017


{ a souvenir from our most recent B.C. trip }

I'm looking forward to a busy weekend hosting friends and family at the house (we're actually hosting dinner parties Friday, Saturday and Sunday!) Hopefully we manage to balance entertaining with a late sleep-in and finally shaking my case of the sniffles. 

Enjoy your weekend! xx

+ + + + + 

3 fun links from around the web...

:: A ginvent calendar {chocolate version reinvented for adults!)

:: A beautiful New York hotel that's major #designgoals

:: An expert shares tips to a successful marriage

{ some of my favorite go-to's that I carry in my makeup bag } 

{ inevitable downside to glass, the constant cleaning! }

We have a couple pieces of furniture that we've been patiently awaiting delivery of. Last week we picked up our coffee table! We ordered the Mix It Up table from Casalife with a brushed nickel frame and clear glass surfaces. Unfortunately the manufacturer came back and said they won't make it with clear glass, so we asked if they would just sell us the frame. We sourced glass elsewhere and I'm glad we stuck to our gut, because the table looks modern and 'light' in the space, the clear glass doesn't take up visual space in the room. Only thing left to do is style it, and I plan on picking up some pieces this weekend!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

prince edward county

Several weekends back we tagged along with friends on a trip out to Prince Edward County. We've visited the county several times and will always jump at any opportunity to return. The small towns have such an inviting vibe, there are lovely boutique shops and restaurants and we really love some of the vineyards and the wine. D and I have taken interest in wine - something we now have the space to slowly collect, so it was fun picking up some delicious Ontario wines to both enjoy and keep in the cellar for a couple of years. 

We visited a handful of wineries, some old favorites (Norman Hardie, Karlo Estates and Casa Dea) and some new ones that we hadn't been to before (Closson Chase, Old Third). The County is known for light but flavorful Pinot Noir and rich Chardonnays and we tried some tasty different varietals as well - including an orange wine and a Calcaire, a crisp white, the 'perfect with oysters' was the selling point.

We were a group of eight and spent the day biking around the county (hands down, the best way to explore), we stopped off at an alpaca farm (D bought me the wooliest socks!) and ended the day with a beer flight at County Road Beer Co

We had lunch at Norman Hardie on the patio. We enjoyed a glass of wine and ordered pizza from the on-site wood oven pizza. My pizza had creme fraiche, white onion, aged cheddar cheese and spec and it might have been the best pizza I've ever had! (I'm now in search of a Toronto pizza spot that will recreate it for me!) We got to have a chat with Norman, the winemaker, and had the nicest and most knowledgeable girl help us with our tastings. D and I ended up sneaking back in for a magnum of the Calcaire and plan on hosting an intimate oyster party with friends!

The group enjoyed breakfast together on Sunday morning then we all went our separate ways. D and I took the opportunity to drive out to Exultet Winery, who are known for their Chardonnay, but are off the beaten track. We typically don't have the luxury of exploring on our own before heading home, so we took full advantage. We got to chat with the husband and wife wine-making team and my favorite find from this spot was the white Pinot Noir, which will be enjoyed post Whole 30 :)

Happy to provide recommendations if you're planning an upcoming trip!

whole 30: round 2

Today marks Day 15 of Whole 30, Round 2 - we're half way through our second time following the eating program. You might remember we did Whole 30 in June and it left us feeling great (leaner and no bloating), reinvigorated our love of cooking together and we both lost quite a bit of weight (double digits). We're off to Hawaii in less then a month, and figured it would be a great way to reset after weeks of celebrating in the new home, and leave us feeling a bit more confident in our beach bods. 

{ curried sweet potato soup with coconut milk }

It's been a different experience starting the program for a second time - we're more familiar with the rules of what we can and cannot eat, so we've been able to get a bit more creative with our cooking.
We also are aware of the preparation and grocery shopping that is required to help us succeed. Little tricks like boiling ten eggs and cutting up a cantaloupe on Sunday nights, makes weekday mornings easier and leaves us with convenient, satisfying foods throughout the week.

{ seared tuna salad }

In a typical month, we might order in a couple of times and eat out for a date night or with friends 2-3 times. Eating out is something we enjoy doing together, so cooking and eating at home for 30 days straight gets a little tedious - also... the amount of dishes you create is insane!! That being said, we've figured out a couple of ways to enjoy getting out of the house, we went for a movie date night and had Five Guys burgers in lettuce buns (their burgers are 100% beef with no preservatives) and this past weekend, I met up with girlfriends at Carmen, I checked the menu ahead of time and picked out the items I'd be able to eat (I had ceviche and grilled shrimp).

I've halfheartedly tried some other diets/cleanses in the past and have never been able to stick to it. However, Whole30 seems to be the exception. We have the guide book and the cookbook, and if you're planning on trying the program, I would suggest getting at least one. There's so much information and some great tips for basic must-haves (like home made mayo, and we love the chicken wing recipe!).

Worst cravings: Halloween candy (ugh, worst timing), cappuccino (I'm looking forward to a hot, creamy coffee) and a glass of wine (duh).

Favorite Snacks: apple with almond butter, organic pepperette sticks, coconut chia pudding

Tastiest Meals: buffalo chicken wings, roasted spaghetti squash with veal bolognese 

Only 15 more days to go! (and let's get real - I'm very much looking forward to enjoying a cold beer on the beach in Maui!)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

it's all coming together

Henderson Armchair from Wayfair

We took possession of the new house on August 17th, so we're just over two months in, and considering that short amount of time that we've been in it (and the fact we're working full time) the house is looking pretty good. Slowly but surely, the rooms are coming together. We're waiting on a few pieces of furniture we've ordered and working at getting artwork placed and hung. 

We ordered our new sectional in between the purchase and closing, and luckily it was delivered the Saturday morning of our move. Having our main couch in the space has helped it feel put together from day one. We painted, got new bar stools and our gorgeous new dining table was delivered a few weeks back, which is a key piece in the open concept space. Our coffee table is on order and we're left hunting for two remaining pieces for the living space on the main floor - a rug and a chair. 

We've designed the space to feel bright and light, with warm wood tones throughout. The walls are a light blue-ish grey and our couch is a textured white/light grey fabric. The above floorplan gives you an idea of where the chair will sit - facing into the living area of the main floor, but the space is so open, it needs to be a good looking piece from all angles, because it is very much visible from the dining and kitchen space. 

(this style and frame, but with natural canvas and white leather cushions)

Nola Swivel Glider from Oilo
(I actually found this in a baby store - it's a nursing chair, but 1) it's Gorgeous and 2) so friggin' comfortable!)

Gualtieri Armchair from Wayfair

It's obvious from my inspiration picks, that I'm leaning towards something with clean, modern lines in a more neutral color that will have character but blend into the space. I'd love to add bold pops of color (my dream would be to have a sofa/chair in a jewel tone velvet), but will aim to do that in a less permanent way, with artwork and accessories. 

I'll work at putting together a post to show where we're at with the house so far! We have photos from the original listing, so it provides for a pretty fun before and after comparison!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

good as gold

Big, gold accessories are everywhere these days. I'm loving the trend and knew that holding onto my mom's hand-me-downs would pay off one day. You can count on J.Crew to nail the fall trends and each of these pieces would look great on their own, or layered with contrasting metals and colors. The orbit earrings have been on my radar for months.... Anthropologie also has some fabulous funky earring options - similar here, here and here.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

wouldn't have guessed

Remember Abercrombie & Fitch...? That store that we were all obsessed with at some point in our teenage years, but then it fell completely off the radar. Well it popped back up last week and I couldn't resist browsing their 40% off sale. And let me tell you... I'm sort of re-obsessed. Jeans for $45, sweaters for less then $40 and tops for $20-30 (and I'm quoting CAD prices too). Neutral colors, comfortable fits, simple and stylish. I placed an order online, so time will tell if the fit and quality is as good as I'm hoping it will be. I unfortunately, somehow missed these jeans.... Might just need place a second order, I mean common...