Three ideas to gear up for spring

With the time change in full swing, we’re finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There’s day light beyond 4:30; it’s brilliant. For those of you who can’t venture to a tropical destination, I have a few solutions to help you gear up for spring.

Bring spring inside:
One thing we tend to neglect is bringing fresh flowers inside. Even if things fall off the rails throughout the week, a floral arrangement seems to make everything look better. As many would agree, tulips are always a spring favorite. Plus, they’re so many colours to choose from. My personal favorite is coral. I love this arrangement in grey or neutral painted rooms.

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A more affordable alternative to tulips, is babies breath. Not only is it a pop of freshness but they also have a longer lifespan than most flowers.

Ditch the boots:
Aren’t we all sick of carrying those heavy sluggers around? Even if the weather suggests boots, bring your flats inside. You’ll be the envy of the office as the first to sport a flirty flat. We’ve almost forgot the fun of pairing shoes with tapered trousers.

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Be practical and cute:
Noting screams spring like carrying an umbrella. The benefit, you’ll be prepared for the days when snow turns into rain. A great place to purchase a new umbrella is at Halifax’s General Biscuit.

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Sochi 2014: the good, the bad and well the just plain ugly

The winter chaos of 2014 has really hit us poor bloggers. Despite the winter blues, the  Winter Olympics have really brightened days and well maybe given us an excuse to sit bad and veg. It’s the one time every four years where we can cheer for the same team–Canada.  Day one of the Games sparked an interest for us fashion lovers from Halifax.

The Opening Ceremonies have always been an exciting moment, as the Olympics showcases 88 winter looks.

The Good:

Canadian HBC swag:

Our only beef with our 2014 attire is how much it resembled Vancouver 2010. Check out the 2014 Team Canada Collection, now available at Hudson’s Bay.

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HBC’s 2010 Team Canada Collection

Similar…

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HBC’s 2014 Team Canada Collection

My absolute favorite piece, as seen by the Canadian Olympians is the infamous starlet red Wool Duffle Coat.

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The Red Duffle Coat, available at Hudson’s Bay.

Dufour Lapointe Sisters:

The Today Show Gallery of Olympians

The three Canadian Dufour Lapointe sisters: Chloe, Justine and Maxime. How could one family produce that much beauty? Jealously in inevitable with these talented sisters. Loving the locks as well.

The Bad and Ugly:

Team USA’s Olympic Collection:
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The worst part is that there are so many better looks from the Raulph Lauren’s USA Olympic Collection.

Our overall favorite moment thus far…

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Shout out to Ashley Wagner from Team USA, “BULLSHIT.” 

Jump-start your workout

If you’re anything like me you’ve grown tired of cardio routines. A great way to kick up 2014 is to incorporate skipping as a part of your workout.

Ladies, this activity doesn’t happen over night and it’s going to come with practice. Skipping not only makes you sweat, it increases your heart rate, it’s affordable and you don’t need a gym to feel the burn. Plus, it’s a lower impact activity to running, making it easier on your joints with minimal risk of injury. Try not to go over board on your first try. Skipping 60-70 times per minute is a great starting place.

Calories burned: 10 minutes= 115+ calories burned

Targets:

  • Calves (pushing off the ground)
  • Quadriceps (front leg)
  • Hamstrings (back leg)
  • Glutes

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How to re-use your holiday dresses

C’mon ladies, we went out and sported new dresses this holiday. With boxing day sales, we went over board, spent our gift money on sparkles and a new attire for parties. With that in mind, it’s always nice to re-use our dresses by changing our look or toning down our cocktail dresses. Here are a few suggestions to change up your holidays looks:

Going Out
1.  Statement Necklace: If your dress was a neutral colour, try adding a bright, chunky necklace.  I bought a gold statement necklace that works with many looks.
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Available online at RW & Co  for $9.99 .

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2.  Scarf: Is a great way to town down an outfit. Winners has great selection of infinity scarfs. I bought a snazzy Calvin Klein infinity that pairs nicely with many items.
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Calvin Klein chevron gold scarf available at Winners or Macy’s for only $29.99.

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3. Blazer: A blazer is always a great option for toning down a look and turning them into business appropriate. Remember to stick to solid colours if pairing with print. Buyers note is to buy a slimmer fit to not add extra bulk to your middle section.

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Available on clearance at Target for $19.99 or $5.00 (boxing week sales).

May your days be merry, green and bright

Trending this holiday season are electronic and personally designed cards. A few colleagues and close friends have been jumping on this bandwagon. This is the easiest way to send loved ones a holiday card where they can open anywhere around the world.

Sending an electronic card doesn’t have to be expensive. This season I sent holiday greetings using both Mail Chimp and Punchbowl. They’re both free and you can add your own touches and images for a small cost. The great part is that you can track how many people have opened your card, add recipients at anytime and even attach gift certificates. Save the worry and ‘go green’ this season.
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Birch-Wood

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Holiday Thank You

We’re INTO IT: flawless finish-Marcelle, Maybelline & Vichy

Between work, the gym, meal planning and Christmas errands the December stress can add up and have a major effect on our skin. Figuring out what products work best is always a challenge, especially when there are always new options. We’ve figured out some reliable cosmetic options to help you have flawless coverage.

Primer
Marcelle Hydra-C Ultra Light Matifying Fluid

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Hydra-C Ultra Light Matifying Fluid nourishes your skin without shine. It’s a fantastic primer for a soft finish. Whether this is your only product or the first step of your routine it’s a definite MUST try.It retails for $23.95.

Concealer
Maybeline SuperStay 24HR Concealer

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Maybeline SuperStay 24HR Concealer  evens skin tones, hides redness and covers blemishes. It really does last a good 8 hours and retails for $11.99.

Foundation
Vichy DERMABLEND

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Vichy DERMABLEND  this is by far the best foundation I’ve tried in years. This product lasts, provides full coverage and feels light. It retails for $29.00.

Spruce up your holidays

Sprucing up your winter wardrobe can be fun and easy. It’s a great time to jazz up your closet with sparkles, metallics and wool. With that being said, one must remember to balance with neutrals and be tasteful. Here are some pieces to add to your winter attire. I’ve kept things on the affordable end to keep us on budget.

The Family Picture: a wool scarf
Adding a wool scarf with a touch of glam can bring any outfit from fall to winter in a matter of seconds. It’s nice to have a couple options on hand to change up your look for holiday pictures. Our favorite colours are beige, cream and black. Infinity or the classic wool scarf can be a tad on the expensive end so take your time with this purchase. We’ve both had success at Target, RW & Co. and Joe Fresh.

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Cream and black striped sequin scarf only $16.99, now available at Joe Fresh.

The Kitchen Party: a statement sweater
For the past two seasons, Amanda and I have rocked the statement holiday sweater. They seem to have grown in popularity and are a perfect touch to any party. A blush, cream or black paired with black tapered leggings remains timeless.  Take this look to the next level by pairing your sweater with a semi leather legging. We’ve had success at a number of stores the past two years. I found some great metallics and neutral sweaters online at Joe Fresh and they’re sale.

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Black sequin sweater from $39.99 now $19.00, now available at Joe Fresh.

The Post-Christmas Party: a winter headband
A winter headband remains one of my favorite looks this season. This timeless piece has yet to go out of style for 2014.  Not only does it keep our ears toasty but it’s a great way to add a pop of colour, especially when we’re suffering from a lack of vitamin D. (It’s also an option for a post Christmas party hair day). I recently purchased this fuschia coloured band from Target.

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Winter band only $12.99, now available at Target.

The Cabin: anything plaid
Okay, maybe it’s our Scottish roots but we love, love, love our plaid. This is a look that can transfer from fall to winter. Is you’re out an about for some outdoor fun, heading to a cabin or grabbing a beer with the guys this looks rocks. You’ll look low key and feel warm at the same time. When buying a plaid button up remember to find a tailored fit.  I stayed on budged for 3/4 items but this J Crew button-up is simply perfect. plaid
Deep Ivy Plaid shirt now available at J Crew.

Don’t let yourself squeeze into the sparkle

Let’s face it, over the holidays we’re going to indulge. It’s the one time of the year you can buy sausage rolls, have a supply of cookies and be stocked with Bailey’s ® Irish Cream. There’s no hiding it, we’re going to eat, drink and try to be merry.

Unfortunately the holidays does not allow us to completely fall off the rails. Instead of trying to drag yourself to the nearest gym, we’ve created a list of activities to keep you moving until New Year’s Eve. You’ve worked too hard to not look your best in your gold sparkly, sequin dress.

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CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
Remember your grandparents use to nag you to try it?  Gather up a few friends and hit the hills. Did you know that one-hour of moderate cross-country skiing can burn over 500 calories? This makes getting outside with a tea worthwhile. Even if you’re in a rural area, try looking up a local ski lodge.  Typically, cross-country skis rentals are much cheaper than downhill.

Minutes: 60
Calories burned: 500

RUNNING A HOCKEY ARENA
If all else fails and a snowstorm hits and there’s no gym within 185 kilometers try running a hockey arena. My mom’s friends use to do this and would have a killer workout incorporating the stairs. The bonus, you get to watch hockey and it’s FREE.

Minutes: 30
Calories burned: 500

HOUSEHOLD IMPROVEMENTS
Instead of trying to think of a typical workout, try painting a small room. It will only take a half-day and you’ll instantly see results. Did you know that one-hour of painting burns over 300 calories? If painting is too messy, try reorganizing a room or shoveling a driveway.

Minutes: 60
Calories: 300

BOXING DAY SHOPPING
If you’re really not digging working out, grab your closest friends and get out to the closest mall. Spending a day walking from shop to shop is not only fun but a great cardio workout.  How many times have you left the mall exhausted and said “I must of walked five miles!” You don’t have to think outside the box, just get yourself moving.

Minutes: 60
Calories burned: 160

Regardless, enjoy the holidays and try to make some time for yourself.