Now having been on the Keto diet for over two months I have dropped from 127lbs at Christmas to now 116lbs! I was never an overweight person but through eating Keto I have extremely low inflammation, I don't experience bloating the same way, I can eat a lot of delicious tasty foods and I find that I am not always hungry.Read More
Hey everyone! Guest blogger @stylemajeur here sharing our awesome road trip from Toronto to the New Farm Festival - a Farms for Change fundraiser. Thanks again to Soheila for having me contribute to her blog!
One of my favourite things to do is to take road trips! I'm a big advocate of road trips for so many reasons. The pressure and anxiety of airports is non-existent, it can be super cost-effective when splitting gas with your friends or when driving a hybrid, it's a fun way to thoroughly discover new areas while also having the flexibility to be spontaneous! When Soheila asked me to join her and some fellow blogger friends on a road trip with Ford Canada to drive up to The New Farm for the Farms for Change fundraiser, I jumped at the chance! Farms for Change is an incredible fundraising initiative that raises money to purchase locally grown organic produce for Community Food Centres Canada in an effort to increase access to healthy foods. Several top restaurants from Toronto set up shop for the day at The New Farm and give the opportunity to try delicious dishes from each! I can’t forget to mention there was also ice cream and other tasty treats. I buy organic and support local businesses whenever I can and thought this was a great way to get to know a lot of the restaurants in the city that buy organic produce from Ontario farms.
The biggest component of a road trip is obviously the vehicle you drive. Don’t underestimate the importance of a comfortable car with adequate space, otherwise you’ll find yourself needing to stop frequently to stretch! The back pain could surpasses the length of your trip. Trust me, I’ve had less than stellar road trips with tiny cars!! My first ever car was a Ford Explorer Sport Trac, and I have so many fond memories of it reliably getting me to and from London, Ontario when I was in University, taking my friends and I to Montreal for a weekend trip and getting me to the mountains with my snowboard gear in the cab. I feel a lot of nostalgia for Ford Canada and they were awesome in providing us with two vehicles for the road trip. Both were very different but completely suited our needs. I had the opportunity to drive the Ford C-MAX Energi SE the whole way up north. Before this road trip I had never driven a hybrid but the concept had always interested me, so I was super excited to get the chance to test it out. To me, hybrids are the perfect vehicle that offer the best of both worlds. Eco-friendly and incredibly efficient on gas, you feel great knowing you are making a smaller footprint but you have the security of knowing you can rely on the gas if you don't get a chance to re-charge! I can tell you this is a huge factor especially when driving long distances because electric cars are totally reliant on finding charging stations and when taking a road trip through the country, that isn't something I'm willing to gamble on.
The drive over to The New Farm was smooth and with a huge windshield giving us unobstructed views of the country, it felt like we were driving a convertible. The hands-free texting feature was one I had never used before and actually was quite ‘handy’ (pun fully intended). Since we were simultaneously driving up with a larger group of friends in two separate vehicles, it was neat to be able to easily communicate our locations via text message with just the sound our voices. But I think my favourite feature had to be hidden compartments under the backseat floor mats for valuables! This feature actually blew my mind because anyone who knows me, knows I am always paranoid about leaving anything valuable in my car and go through semi-crazy lengths to conceal any valuables. This feature would give me the peace of mind to leave my watch, wallet or cell phone locked in the car without an iota of a worry that my car would be targeted because of exposed valuables. And it felt so cool to know you have hidden compartments in your car!
On the way back from The New Farm to the resort, all 6 of us were more than comfortably able to fit in the other vehicle Ford provided us, a 7 seater Ford Flex. The sunroofs (yes that's plural for the 4 sunroofs found on the Ford Flex) gave us unparalleled views of the sky and we all enjoyed singing along to the Sirius XM satellite radio. It was the perfect vehicle to allow us to share a single car when needed.
The road trip was a total success! We got to and from without a hitch and came home with our pockets heavy and our stomachs full! That’ll happen when you stuff your belly with amazing food and barely use any gas in the Ford C-MAX Energi SE!
Although Ford Canada provided the vehicles and experience, opinions are all my own!
2017 has been one crazy-kick ass-whirlwind of a year. If you told me a year and a half ago when I was just starting my blog that I would work with one of the largest car companies in the world I would never have believed you! As a content creator I often have these crazy big ideas. Little did I know it would be those crazy big ideas that would lead me to where I am today.
So to put things in perspective of how big this was for me, a couple months ago while at an event, I shared one of my crazy big ideas with this lovely gentleman that I met. As it turned out he was the right guy to talk to because next thing I know I'm submitting a topline proposal. Can you believe it!? I wasn't kidding when I said it’s been a kick ass-whirlwind of a year. Anyways, next thing I know my crazy idea is actually happening – Ford Canada wants to work with me!
As you can imagine I was (and totally still am) ecstatic about receiving this news! Although I have never owned a Ford personally I can clearly recall numerous memories from my high school and university years when I would cruise around the suburbs of Toronto in my bestie’s Ford Escape (dubbed the ‘Xena Warrior Princess’ because it literally kicked ass) listening to music, tailgating with friends, and of course road trips up north! Now my crazy big idea of a road trip to a festival with a couple of my influencer besties was now becoming a reality and I couldn't of been happier! Not only was Ford Canada supporting my dreams and giving me, as a content creator, the ability to show the full scale of my capabilities, but they also were supporting a festival with a great cause and provided us with two amazing vehicles!
The New Farm Festival is an annual festival fundraiser that supports ‘Farms for Change’; a partnership between Canadian organic farmers and community food centres. This year the New Farm festival featured many of Toronto’s top restaurants including Momofuku, Cafe Boulud, Colette, The Drake Hotel, and Planta just to name a few. On top of feasting from over a dozen delicious restaurants there were also many music performances throughout the evening including this year’s headliner Joel Plaskett and the Emergency.
To head up the festival Ford provided us with two of their most coveted vehicles – the Ford Flex a seven passanger SUV known for its spacious and comfortable interior, and the Ford C-Max Energi, Ford’s most fuel efficient, clean energy, multi active vehicle! Having never previously driven either one of these vehicles before I am happy to report that Ford continues to be in line with my ideals of what makes a good vehicle and reinforces the standards of comfortability, reliability, and safety I already associate with their brand!
The Ford Flex first premiered 10 years ago and is made right here in Canada. This vehicle is not only one of Ford’s more stylish cars, but its bold boxy design is very in-vogue today. The features in this car are outstanding and definitely set it apart from its competition. From the Ford SYNC 3 technology (making it easy and simple to sync your phone for a hands-free drive) to the active park assist, and the voice activated navigation this vehicle not only insures you will arrive safely to your destination but also enjoy the ride. It is definitely safe to say that this vehicle is the ultimate road trip vehicle! With seven-passenger seating and all climate control settings it’s easy to ensure everyone has a comfortable journey. I was amazed with the design of this vehicle; it felt bright like you were outside thanks to its multi panel vista roofs. The cooling function in my seat was so clutch and came in handy during the long drive up to the festival especially now with the summer heat. It wouldn’t be a road trip without some great tunes to sing along to and the Ford Flex’s Sony stereo system with Sirius XM kept the good times a-rollin!
Although the Flex does make the perfect road trip vehicle I still would have to say that the Ford C-Max Energi was my favourite out of the two vehicles. The Ford C-Max, although compact, feels very spacious. It has a massive windshield making it truly feel like a vehicle from the future. It was so quiet I had to double check that the engine was even on and after an entire weekend of driving I still had a half a tank of gas! Although it was a much smaller vehicle then the Ford Flex it was still very comfortable and had a lot of the same features like the Sony Stereo system with Sirius XM, the Ford SYNC 3 technology and voice activated navigation. It wasn’t the design that necessarily made me favour this vehicle, but instead the thought of how it was helping the environment. As much as I enjoy going on festival road trips (especially ones that have to do with sustainable farming) I almost enjoyed the whole experience more knowing that we were using a green vehicle. All the worries about climate change and the environment aside, the Ford C-Max is still a perfect car for any young adult or college student who may struggle with raising gas prices. For me personally it’s definitely a vehicle I will consider purchasing in the future.
Whatever your budget, adventure level, family size or environmental/social beliefs Ford Motors Canada is a great company making great cars. They not only helped make one of my big crazy ideas a reality and took a chance on me, but their standards on performance, safety, design and technological are among the highest in the automotive industry. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity and would definitely recommend anyone looking to purchase or lease a new vehicle to head straight to your closest Ford dealership and test drive one of these models!
Although this post has been generously sponsored by “pHemme”, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect “pHemme”
Although this post has been generously sponsored by “pHemme”, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect “pHemme”.
Everything I have gone through has led me to be the super empowered woman I am today. By overcoming my past mental and emotional challenges, by taking control of my anxiety, knowing my triggers and the base of all negative inner thoughts I am able to not only empower myself but others around me. My ability to be open and vulnerable, to feel energized and motivated, encourage and support others, be poised and emotionally in control, and be daring to try new things empowers me.
When I was young my eldest sister committed suicide. As you could imagine this changed my family dynamic forever. It felt like everyone in my family split in a different direction like an atom in an atomic bomb. Her passing led me to be filled with a lot of anger that I didn’t and couldn’t deal with for a long time. Without even knowing it, I grew up over night. I was dissatisfied with my life because as much as I felt emotionally and physically independent I was angry at what was taken away from me (my sister, my idea of a family, my care-free childhood). I didn’t know it then, but I would later battle with depression and a ton of anxiety.
I am not a psychiatrist. I cannot tell you how to overcome your own emotional and mental issues. I can tell you what empowers me so that maybe you can change your perspective, feel good about yourself and your relationships and maybe start to be super empowered and motivated as well!
I don’t like to be vulnerable and I think most people can relate. It’s hard to put yourself out there when you know that the world will instinctively judge you for it. I think we have all heard someone say it’s hard to love someone and be open to love if you don’t love yourself. Allowing myself to be open and vulnerable and sharing personal information with you takes a lot of courage. At this point in my life I have accepted my past, I have developed the tools to deal with my anxiety and depression and I know that I am a strong person. My strength and courage comes from knowing that there isn’t really anything negative you could say about me that I haven’t already said to myself. I have been on dark and stormy self-destructive seas, but I am a seasoned captain now.
Although fully accepting who I am was one of the hardest steps to empowerment for me, and took a long time to do successfully, it was so emotionally cleansing that it made all the challenges I faced worth it.
Being physically strong also empowers me. Taking care of myself through physical exercise pumps endorphins into my brain and body making me feel invincible. Eating healthy, and making sure I am getting enough protein and vitamins helps my body function so that my brain can function. This may sound like a ‘no brainer’ but it’s important because if I’m physically not well, it takes a big toll on my emotional wellbeing and my ability to be motivated and productive. Take care of your body, treat it like a temple. You may even be surprised how physically exhausting yourself can actually help you deal with anxiety and stress and leave you more energized, motivated and help you think clearer.
Empowerment also comes from surrounding yourself with authentic people who truly care about you. I have a good core group of friends who support me emotionally and who I equally support. My boyfriend once said to me, “Not everyone is going to like you, and if they do it’s because you are boring” - and he makes a good point. So, I spend my time with women who are like minded and encourage and support me like I do them. If I can contribute to their success and not feel threatened by their achievements but instead celebrate their hard work and allow it to motivate me to work on my own goals - I become even more empowered.
What I love about Sophia Amoruso, is that “#girlboss knows when to throw punches and when to roll with them.” I am 100% a #girlboss but what sets me apart from many others is how I get things done. I don’t need you to like me or see things my way or force my opinion onto you to feel empowered. As I said before, part of being empowered is knowing yourself. Walking away from an explosive situation can be even more empowering then engaging in one. And, you can save yourself from the added anxiety and stress of dealing with the aftermath.
Push your boundaries and take some risks. My daring nature has allowed me to try new things and learn about new hidden talents I never knew I had. I feel for people who have anxiety when it comes to doing things alone or being placed in situations where you know nobody - it can be really hard. But some of my solo missions have led to some of the most empowering self discoveries of my life. When I went to university in Australia at age 18, I didn't know anyone! Introducing myself to people all over again allowed me to make my ‘realized self’ work in tandem with my ‘idealized self’ until it became the same. You want to feel empowered? Work through a fear or try something new, you may just discover something you never knew you were good at… in any event, it’s empowering.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, empowerment comes from within. If it wasn't for my tough past, the challenges I had to overcome, and the tools I developed to battle through my depression and anxiety I would not be the super empowered woman I am today. That is why when I was approached to take on this assignment from a sponsor whose product many may not openly talk about using, I knew I had an opportunity to talk about how being vulnerable, being honest with yourself, and being supportive of others can lead to empowerment. So I took this assignment on and fully embraced it with the main purpose of empowering others. That is why I am donating all of my earnings from this post to Indie 88 and Lana Gay’s ‘Up All Night’ campaign in support of CAMH. I hope this post will empower you to say yes when it comes to talking about mental health or any taboo issues because although its hard it will always get you to a better place.
As Mother’s Day approaches many of us will start to scramble to find the perfect most thoughtful gift worthy of our ever so generous and loving mothers. This year I spoke to 7 moms both new and experienced to finally clarify what a good Mother’s Day gift is. If you’re like me and believe that any tangible gift couldn’t possibly be sufficient enough to demonstrate your appreciation for your mom then you are right. As a matter of fact every mom I interviewed said a good Mother’s Day gift would be to just spend time with her kids.
Here’s the breakdown of my research:
7/7 Spend time with all their kids together or in a one on-one activity (biking, galleries, movies) and a meal (home cooked meal or dining out)
6/7 Hand written letter, card, song, poem drawing or a handmade gift
5/7 Time at the spa or a haircut/blow out
4/7 Nicely framed family photo or a tangible gift (cookbook, jewelry, gift card to favorite store)
3/7 A complimentary house clean and flowers
If you are looking for something special to make for your mom check out my DIY Gift Basket Idea below:
- A bottle of Rosé I selected for her on my recent trip to Osoyoos BC.
- Artisan Jams from a farmers market
- Chocolates from Soma (best truffles in Toronto)
- DIY Lavender Rosemary Body Scrub (see recipe below)
- A notebook from NYC (my mom is always writing down notes)
- A hand written letter
If you are interested in making the Lavender Rosemary Body Scrub you will need:
7-10 drops of Lavender Essential Oils
1.5 Cups of Epson Salts
1 -2 TBSP of Dried Rosemary
2-3 TBSP of Coconut Oil
3-4 drops of Food Colouring (blue and red = purple)
per 350 ml jar
Mix all ingredients together so they are evenly and well blended. Scoop and fill in the jars
I hope you had as much fun making these and giving them away as I did! Please let me know your comments below or if you have any request!!!!! Id love to hear from you ♥ ♥ ♥