I truly didn’t know what I was missing in a phone until I was introduced to the Google Pixel 2. Besides its sleek and minimal design, this phone has it all. If you follow me on Instagram, or read this post, then you’ve likely seen some of what the mighty Google Pixel 2 phone can do. I still can’t believe I can snap such high quality, clear imagery with a PHONE!
I had the perfect chance to test out the Google Pixel 2’s abilities on my recent trip to Europe. My adventures to London, Malta, Amsterdam, and Ireland were noticeably simplified with such a cutting edge piece of technology.
I mentioned it briefly in this post, but read on below to find out just a few of the many reasons why I’m now #TeamPixel!
The Camera Is Insane
I cannot stress this enough. I am continually blown away by the imagery that the Google Pixel 2 can capture. Look at how sharp these photos are! How the colours translate so vibrantly. Thanks to OUI and HDR, the way the camera functions in low light settings often outperforms my DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Plus, Google was smart enough to gift us with a front facing camera with the exact same advanced denoising abilities. My selfie game has vastly improved LOL. In Amsterdam, the weather was cold and completely unpredictable, so I ended up leaving my mirrorless camera at the hotel and relying solely on my Pixel. I was able to take stunning photos and video, I am editing the VLOG now and can’t wait to share it with you guys!
The Built In Google Assistant
“Hey google, where’s the nearest coffee shop?” Being able to chat with the Google Assistant is super helpful (and sure cures some solo travel loneliness), especially while you’re on the go. Google can lead the way and answer those questions about your surroundings by researching while you move. It is the best! I love how my Google Home Mini connects to all things Pixel, I talk to Google every day and ask about the weather, my schedule, etc. I use it as a bluetooth speaker too, it’s such a perfect intro into a smart home!
It’s The Little Things
I have such an appreciate for the battery life on the Google Pixel 2. It lasts a decent amount and it also charges rapidly so you’re not stuck beside an outlet in the corner of a restaurant just so that your phone can gain 5% in twenty minutes. I love how it has unlimited storage for my photos. It operates quickly and is really user friendly. Since I use Google so much with work and my everyday life, the phone felt familiar from day one.
The Google Lens
Have you ever arrived home from a trip and spent a ton of time trying to figure out what some of the photos you took are of? Another travel feature I love, is that I can click on a photo I’ve taken and if it’s a notable building or spot, Google can tell me exactly where and what it is, as well as some history behind it. This works in the moment too, so you can almost do a self guided fun fact tour. How cool is that?!
Aren’t the Google Pixel 2 images unreal? I am telling you, that my photography game is forever changed. If you’re thinking of switching over to Google, let me know if you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them!
This post was in partnership with Google. As always, opinions are my own.
Back in the fall, I had a short stopover in London. Here is what happened in 24 hours.
My most recent visit to my favourite city was the starting point of a two week European adventure. You might recall that at the end of last year, I impulse purchased very inexpensive roundtrip flights that took me from Vancouver to Dublin via London, and then back home 14 days later. In order to make my budget-friendly Euro trip work, I had to deliberately “miss” my connecting flight to Dublin, which gave me 24 hours in London, before flying out to Malta the next day. This was really tough for me to do, as I’m a huge rule-follower and it really broke my heart to have to lie in any way. I did what I had to do though, and hopefully I never have to cheat the system ever again.
London In November
This was my first time experiencing Autumn in London and my goodness, what a combo. I flew in on a Thursday in the middle of November, and was quickly reminded how much Europe loves Christmas. They go mad for the holidays and I welcomed their enthusiasm with open arms. My biggest regret is that I’d packed my carry-on full and didn’t leave any room for shopping of any kind. Such a rookie mistake. Though, I was trying to be conscious of spending, so I suppose it was all for the best. The weather was chilly and a winter coat and gloves were required, but I was also, as I often am, greeted by a beautifully sunny day in the city.
24 Hours In The City
With such few hours in London, every minute was precious. I had to maximize my time from the very beginning. This started with my flight over. I was able, thanks to my new airplane sleep routine, to get some rest on the 9 hour journey across the pond. This is crucial for a red-eye flight and something I normally cannot achieve. It’s a game changer for these shorter trips, I tell ya! My next hack, was that I made plans with a friend that I had to head to straight from my flight. Having a restaurant reservation kept me accountable and gave me the momentum to push through any sort of jet lag.
My focus of my 24 hours there was to eat delicious food, walk as much as possible, browse the stores, and say hello to some of my favourite iconic London spots. Here is what I managed to accomplish in 24 hours.
My flight landed late in the afternoon and I was, as mentioned, on a mission to dinner with my cousin and her fiancé. From Heathrow Airport I loaded up my Oyster card and took the tube to Oxford Circus. When I emerged from the underground, the sun had just gone down. The bright lights and crowds of people brought a huge smile to my face. The pulse of a big city gets me every time.
I rolled my suitcase over to, Dishoom, one of my go-to London restaurants. My cousin had made an early dinner reservation for us at their Carnaby Street location. We had a great catch up and the loveliest meal. They introduced me to their specialty Black Dal dish, that I don’t know how I hadn’t tried before?! It was so delicious that we ordered two for the three of us to share and I still think about it sometimes months later. Yum! Everything we ordered was mighty tasty and we ended the meal with a round of chai teas, because we’re just crazy like that.
We wandered past Liberty London, en route to Oxford Street, as I needed to pop in to Marks and Spencer for a couple of things. We all parted ways and I took the tube to my accommodation. Thanks to a darling friend, I was able to score a free night’s stay at her flat. She was back here in Vancouver awaiting visa approval at the time, and I just so happened to be in town on the first day she was paying rent for a then empty room in London. Her roommates were kind enough to take me in for the night and I am so grateful for the amount of money they saved me and how welcoming they were.
In classic jet lag fashion, I woke up at 5 AM, starving and completely ready to start the day. Since it was still dark out and there were 2 other women in the flat (with jobs to get to that day), I didn’t want to wake up early and disturb anyone before their alarms went off. I decided to use my awake time productively, and researched healthy vegan breakfast spots and stumbled upon Farmacy Kitchen. I figured this beautifully decorated gem in Notting Hill would be the perfect starting point for a day of wandering. I eventually fell back asleep for a few more hours of rest before my big day in London!
Sitting in a booth along the wall, I ordered a coffee and my very first smoothie bowl, admiring my perfect people watching view at Farmacy. A small group walked in and were the last to be seated before the restaurant closed briefly in the afternoon. I made eye contact with the young woman and then my focus immediately darted to the adorable dog they brought in with them. “I wish they’d allow dogs at some restaurants in Vancouver,” I thought to myself, as I burned my mouth sipping the coffee, desperate for a caffeine lifeline. The group sat at a table across from me, my view of them partially blocked by the bar.
I continued editing some photos from the night before and utilizing wifi to map out the rest of my afternoon, when their little dog barked and it hit me. I knew this Daschund! The barking pup was Martha! I’d been in the UK for only a few hours, but that familiar woman I’d made eye contact with was none other than Tanya Burr. If you don’t know Tanya, she is a mega famous British YouTuber and someone I’ve watched online for years. There she was, having lunch with her husband, also YT famous, Jim Chapman. Did my best not to draw attention to the fact that I was having a major fan girl moment, so I only took a stealth, unnecessarily zoomed in blurry photo of her to send to Adam. Determined to play it cool, I was going to approach her when she got up for the washroom (she’d have to walk right past me) and I wanted to tell her that I was a Canadian fan and wish her congratulations on her newly released Christmas book. Unfortunately, when this exact scenario played out, she seemed completely unapproachable and I decided not to even bother. Really too bad that I didn’t get the chance to meet her, that would have really made the entire experience beyond epic.
I then made my way over to Portobello to browse the market stalls, which I hadn’t really visited since my first trip across the pond. My master plan was to be in the area to try the veggie burger at Honest Burger, but I was still full from my darn breakfast. This is the problem when you base you day around meals LOL. It was still fun to wander around and I decided to venture further in Notting Hill towards the beautiful colourful homes that Alex showed me last time we were in town. Find out which streets are the best here.
My walk continued towards greenery and I ended up on Bayswater Road, which runs alongside Hyde Park. I entered the park as soon as I could and continued the parallel path within the park itself, until I hit the Italian Water Gardens. If I’m being completely honest, after I took in the beauty of the gardens, this was my lowest few hours of the day. I was beginning to fade energy-wise, had to pee SO bad, and was starting to get a blister from this touristy trek. I powered down Hyde Park Place until I hit the McDonald’s across from the Marble Arch. I’ve never been so happy to find a clean and free restroom! I put a bandaid on my foot and honestly, I felt like a new person!
I only had a few hours left and decided to take a look around Primark. Which, was a special kind of retail torture, considering I had no room in my bags. That Oxford Street location is also madness, the crowds were truly next level. I ended up in a Primark vortex of sorts and spent far longer in there than I’d anticipated. I still wish I could have feasibly taken home a cream coloured teddy coat that was only £25 and looked/felt amazing. I settled on some small gifty things instead and quickly grabbed a veggie wrap at a takeaway spot nearby.
I took the tube and hustled to my friend’s place and stuffed my new purchases into my suitcase. In this tired moment, I deemed Uber the best means of transportation to Heathrow. Which, of course, ended up being the wrong choice. Rush hour and price surges made my trip to the airport beyond stressful and ridiculously overpriced. If I’d just put the effort into taking transit, I would have arrived about the same time and for a fraction of the cost. A good reminder that my mission of this trip was to be conscious of spending and to not automatically take the lazier option.
Ended up breezing through security and was still an hour and a half early – classic. I texted with Alex and found her buying sunglasses at the duty free. Which is where my London adventure ends and my Malta one begins. More from this trip will be on the blog soon!
This is my favourite 2018 winter coat – and it’s on SALE!
This is not a drill. I wrote this entire non-sponsored post gushing about how much I love this darn outerwear and just discovered that it is extremely discounted right now!!!! Run, don’t walk, to get this Noize Vegan Winter Coat! It’s the Jemma Coat with Fooler and comes in 4 delightful colours. There’s lots of other women’s styles to choose from as well and they’re all on sale and oh, happy day!
In the midst of winter, my puffer coats are realistically the ones I have to wear all day, every day. Especially having a cute little dog to walk, I just can’t risk being impractically dressed for the elements. And it’s not exactly easy finding trendy, figure flattering puffer coats that are cruelty free AND a reasonable price point. That was, until, I was introduced to Noize!
If you don’t know them, Noize is based out of Montreal, Canada. I got one of their basic black coats last year and fell in love. Their Canadian designed coats are made with faux fur, vegan leather detail, and cruelty-free insulation. All of which, do not compromise the quality of their products! Both of my Noize jackets keep me very warm, even in the most frigid temperatures, and the fabrics are so water resistant that I’d say they borderline on waterproof! The weight of them is substantial and probably what keeps you warm. They’re not heavy when you have them on though, it feels more like I’m wrapped in a perfectly tailored vegan duvet and it’s just divine! Thanks to thoughtful design, both of my Noize jackets also looks great done up or left open, and the Jemma Coat has an inside zip closure with rib knit collar for a semi open look. The hoods are large and provide lots of shelter from rain or snow (and I find they sit perfectly when you have a toque/beanie on as well). Oh, and they’re also machine washable!
I appreciate that their styles leave a comfortable amount of space for my bust and hips, but taper in at the waistline so you don’t feel like your figure is lost forever. In terms of fit, both my coats are a true fitting size Large that leave enough room for big sweaters and/or layers underneath. For reference, I am just under 5’5″ and the coats hit just above my knees.
I realize that we’re nearing the end of coat the season, but I cannot say enough great things about Noize and thought I should mention them now, so that you could either jump on the chance to get a puffer jacket on sale, or bookmark this post for next winter!
My friend Alex and I chose this small island country on a whim. We’d wanted a relatively inexpensive flight out of London in November, to a place with sunshine that we’d both never been. Somehow, we lucked out and ended up in beautiful Malta! We didn’t want to be overly researched beforehand, so we looked up the basics and decided to just explore. There is so much to see and do and learn. Malta is rich in history and fun facts (which, Alex and I love), and parts of it are so preserved that you feel transported back to medieval times. Everywhere you go, it’s a photographer’s dream. I left feeling completely creatively inspired and grateful for the experience.
This tiny European treasure absolutely captured our hearts. I cannot wait to share more about Malta with you, it’s a place that you should absolutely see for yourself! For now, here it is through my lens.
For some reason, this last photo is my absolute favourite. Though it doesn’t have an epic landscape, it’s so simple and beautiful and European with some Under The Tuscan Sun vibes. Which of the photos is your favourite? Any that you’re super curious to hear the story behind?
I’ll have tons more from my November Europe trip in the next few months, can’t wait to share!
That 5 things about me tag has been going around Instagram Stories and I thought it’d be fun to do an extended version here on the blog today! I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone else’s fun facts and getting to know them a bit better. So, here are a few things that you might not know about me!
I Grew Up At The Dance Studio
Heck yes, I spent my awkward phase in tight spandex! When I wasn’t at school, I was at the dance studio. Ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, I can do it all. Just not hip hop, I was too technical for hip hop. I went on to teach from high school up until just a couple of years ago. Being a dancer is such a large part of my identity, it wasn’t an easy decision to step away. You should check out this post I wrote about the emotion of my last day at the dance school if you relate!
I Have Been A Vegetarian Since I Was 2 Years Old
Now that I am grown up and have friends with toddlers, I realize how funny, and fiercely stubborn it was to decide, at 2 years old, that I didn’t like the taste and texture of meat. I also loved animals and couldn’t fathom that we ate them. My family are all very much carnivores, so it was a bold and unexpected stance. And yes, I’m still a veggie to this day!
I Am Half Chinese And Half Caucasian
I’m constantly asked “What are you?” which I know comes from a place of curiosity, but sometimes I want to answer with “I am a mermaid.” LOL. My dad is Chinese and his parents immigrated to Canada from China. My grandpa actually had to pay the head tax to come into the country and brought my grandma over after the Chinese Immigration Act was repealed. My mom’s parents immigrated here from England. My grandpa was sent to Canada, alone, as a child during the first world war to stay with an aunt. He returned to the UK to fight in WW2, which is where he met my Nana. After he came back, my Nana left her family and took a chance to make the long and traumatizing journey to Canada by boat.
In 2009, my mom, brother, and I did a ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ worthy adventure to England to look for information about distant relatives (my mom nerds out on ancestry stuff). Which was actually super fun and I wish I’d been into vlogging back then because it’d be really special to have captured it on video. I haven’t ever visited China yet, but I hope to one day soon!
My Teenage Obsession Was O-Town
I mean, of all the boy bands to have a massive crush on, it had to be something as obscure as O-Town? It began with Making The Band, of course, the show sucked me into adolescent obsession. Being as boy obsessed as I was, it was Ashley Parker Angel that I was determined to marry. Back in 2000-2001, I used to write fan fiction (which, as a pre-teen must have been the most cringe worthy stories) and ran a Yahoo Group for APA and O-Town fans. I recently found my diary from the time and I’d always be updating my stats and followers. It was basically a VERY early intro into running a blog and social media! Since finding the old diary, I tried to locate my online group, but no such luck. Of all my journal ramblings about the site, I never bothered to include the URL for future reference.
I Was Once Interview By HONY
That’s right y’all, I had the honour of being interviewed by THE Brandon Stanton from Humans Of New York. Not in the way you might be assuming, though. He didn’t pick me out on the street or anything cool like that. It was pre-arranged that I’d be pulled on stage during a presentation he was giving at an event in Toronto. To demonstrate his process, he interviewed me as he always does, except it was in front of a large crowd of intimidating strangers. You can read all about it in this blog post.
Why I finally went to see a counsellor and you should too!
A few years ago, I was sitting at a long table with a group of my girlfriends at our monthly Fake Book Club hangout. These girls are, to put it simply, the best. The 5 of us became friends as adults and were all on similar enough career paths in terms of skill set (well, except for one, because her level of intelligence is unreachable for the rest of us LOL) without being in a position of competition in the Vancouver job market. Since we didn’t feel as though we had to censor much, we began our hangouts by talking about EVERYTHING. We let it all out. I used to call it “girl church” because I’d leave feeling like I used to after a powerful church sermon. It was beyond therapeutic. We deemed ourselves the Fake Book Club/Real Wine Club because we’d meet monthly like a book club would, except that we’d only drink wine and rarely discuss literature. Anyway, there we were a few years ago, and therapy came up in conversation. Everyone at the table told a story referencing their therapist and I was in SHOCK. “You ALL go to therapy?” I asked in astonishment. It was a unified yes. “It’s really great, Alicia, you should try it.” They told me. I got the names of a few of their counsellors and saved them on my phone.
Regular, everyday people went to therapy? When did this happen? Why did no one tell me?! I was taught that therapy was just those who’d had something big and justifiable happen in life that required professional help. I was struggling, sure, but I’d never thought of therapy as an option for me. The narrative was that you were considered “weak” if you couldn’t just muscle through a rough patch, and/or compartmentalize things and move on. Considering that this happened in the height of an episode of depression (that I was semi in denial about/felt shame for), I sure wish I’d listened to them at the time.
The secret’s out. I’ve been. Therapy isn’t this big outrageous deal that everyone makes it out to be. In fact, I bet it’s something that a lot of people you admire the success of practice regularly. No matter your age, your financial situation or your struggles, I can assure you that help is available and that sitting on a couch across from a counsellor could potentially change your life for the better. You deserve that kind of happiness, you really do.
Don’t Expect A Miracle After Your First Appointment
You guys, Rome wasn’t built in a day. The first session is a bit awkward. I fumbled around my story, making choppy jumps to different thoughts and I’m sure my therapist still doesn’t quite get the full picture. It’s an introductory period, though. My first session was surprisingly emotional and I fought back tears the whole time and did end up crying at the end. I think it was the weight of everything I’d been carrying finally feeling a bit lighter, just by knowing I was sharing some of the burden with someone completely unbiased and non judgemental. I also didn’t have the courage in my very first meeting to REALLY share the whole picture, but that brings me to the next point.
You Have To Be Open and Honest With Yourself
This might not be something that comes naturally to you, but it’s time to be vulnerable and ready to change. Getting used to the idea of bettering yourself and digging deep down into what makes you tick. I think that counselling works best for those who are open to these ideas. A common misconception is that a therapist will give you all the answers to your problems. That is not what they do. They ask you questions, make you aware and curious about thoughts and patterns. They point things out about you that you hadn’t realized were there and sometimes, how much trouble they were causing you. It’s YOU that’s doing the work, they just guide you through it. They will provide you with exercises and tools to support you, but they cannot “fix” you.
It Is Uncomfortable
What I’ve recently realized about adulthood, is that you have to learn to be okay with discomfort. It happens a LOT and you simply have to face it. Sitting across from a stranger and talking about your thoughts and deepest shame isn’t natural. Also, talking only about myself is something I would never do as a people pleaser. It’s a completely foreign concept. But, this is how you get to the good stuff. The things that are buried deep down that you’ve kept filed away. Peel those layers away and begin your spiritual revolution, you are worth it!
There Is Nothing To Be Afraid Of
What’s the worst that could happen if you go to therapy? What are you actually afraid of? I was scared to ask for help, because it’s something I’ve never been good at. I was worried that I wouldn’t jive with the therapist. I also think that deep down, I was probably terrified about what might be uncovered. Turns out, I was letting fear rule a lot of things in my life. It’s about being brave and facing stuff you might find out about yourself that you don’t like, or that are tough to admit. The feedback is so valuable and my experience with counselling actually hasn’t been scary at all. Additionally, remember that your first session is an assessment of the counsellor as well. Experiencing therapy with someone you feel comfortable and safe with is essential to the process.
You Are Not Alone
I’ve been trying to shed this keeping up appearances mindset that’s so ingrained in me and share more with others about mental wellness. Every instance of vulnerability I’ve expressed has been met by positivity. People are either supportive and encouraging or they feel connection with my sentiment and relate somehow. And if you are to share with someone who judges you, that’s completely on them. That’s their own insecurities shining through. I would love if we could break down the stigma of admitting to our mental wellness struggles and normalize seeking help. Our world would be a much better place because of it.
One hour chats every few weeks have already led me to improve areas such as my confidence, career/work, dedication to fitness, and my relationships with friends and family. I’m now only 3 sessions in and can tell you that I will go for life. How great that when something big and overwhelming happens in the future (because you know it will, life is messy like that), I will already have the support and therapy experience in place to get help.
I hope that we can talk about this more. If this is something that speaks to you, then speak up. Share this post, share your experience in the comments, share your struggles with someone kind in your life that you can trust, and if you aren’t already, consider sharing your thoughts with a counsellor. You are deserving of happiness and clarity, and your journey doesn’t have to be so isolating. Love and light, my friends.
Because a lot of us are in need of a #winterwakeup!
Disclaimer – I am not a nurse, doctor, naturopath, wellness coach or an expert in energy of any kind. I am just a gal who feels a bit sluggish in the winter months and the following suggestions are things that have been helpful in my own experience. If you are suffering from extreme lethargy or possible Seasonal Affective Disorder, you should go see a healthcare professional for reals.
In a bit of a rut? Feeling kind of low energy lately? I am too! Which, I hate admitting because I feel like saying phrases like “I’m tired” out loud just feeds the exhaustion and manifests laziness. The truth is though, that winter is such a natural season of rest (I mean, bears are just like NOPE and straight up sleep through these months. I relate, bears, I relate). After the Holiday chaos, this time of year is meant for a slower pace of life. Which, if you’re like me and usually go-go-go, it’s an adjustment.
In an effort to use this time wisely and embrace what January has to offer all of us, I have been making testing some ways to combat the winter blahs and jotting them down the past month. And sure, I can tire a bit easier, and still fight to fully wake up some mornings, but in general, I feel so energized and healthy! I’ve compiled a list as a reminder to myself about what’s worked, and thought I’d share it here with you as well.
Hope this is useful to you. If I can help you infuse a bit more motivation and energy into these shorter days, then my work here is done!
Try Moving Your Body More
This is my new mantra: exercise is medicine. I know that when I sweat, I feel better, have more energy, and have a much easier time falling asleep, but have really struggled to embrace it as something I like doing. Maybe all you can handle right now is some walks, and that’s honestly great (and exactly where I started)! You can also add on small changes, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking to run an errand instead of driving or taking public transportation. At-home workouts can be effective and a wonderful way to build your strength without a room full of people. I’ve been finding classes to be what works for me right now and have been actually utilizing Class Pass. Just don’t forget to stretch when you can too!
A vegetative state in front of Netflix may seem relaxing, but it’s not necessarily giving your mind a break. I’m not a natural meditator, so I’ve been to a few yoga classes to get me back into it. For the first time all year, I actually felt grounded, turned my racing mind off, and was able to meditate. I’ve also re-downloaded the Headspace App, which a lot of people love for guided meditation. Do you meditate? What’s your secret to a calm mind?
Get A Good Sleep
I’m tired basically ALL the time in the winter, so sleeping isn’t my problem. It’s the quality of sleep that starts to become an issue. Sleep is so much better when I’ve worked up a sweat that day (remember, exercise is medicine) and have taken the time to meditate. I’ve also found that waking up at a similar time each morning, no matter how tempting that snooze button is, improves my energy levels all day.
Write, Write, Write!
Put pen to paper (or hands to keyboard) and jot down your thoughts. If you’re feeling stressed, write down everything that is causing you stress/guilt. If you’re feeling lost, reflect and write out what your goals for this year are (and if that’s too much, start with just your goals for this month or week). If you’re overwhelmed, write out the to-do list with actionable items so that you can chip away, ask for help, or give yourself deadlines. Sometimes it’s therapeutic to just have it all written out in front of you and feel like you have some kind of hold on things.
That crisp winter air is so delightful! If it’s sunny, you HAVE to get outdoors and feel the sweet rays of that glorious sun, even if it’s just for a 10 minute stroll. If you live near mountains, embracing winter and heading up to the snowy peaks is so much fun. There are plenty of winter activities and sports you can partake in, but even just a short walk through the snow is good for the soul.
My friend Alex had a beautiful take on shorter days, in that we get to see a sunrise AND sunset thanks to our condensed daylight. How awesome is that?! Fighting negative thoughts and low mood requires some extra effort in these winter months, but I know you can do it! Practicing daily gratitude can seriously help with this, as can limited screen time. Giving yourself something to look forward to, like a fun project, an upcoming trip, a relaxation day, etc, can really help you keep a positive mindset with a light at the end of the dark winter tunnel.
This is the time of year that I crave carbs and chocolate and Merlot. I also often feel too lazy to cook and want a quick cozy take-out fix. I’ve had to fight all of these urges to stick to my healthier snack and meal choices. I prioritized meal prep for Sundays and have been tricking myself into eating salads by adding warm ingredients like roasted vegetables to a bowl of greens. Cooking at home helps Adam and I keep control of ingredients and portions, and we are careful not to overindulge on heavy foods. We can really feel lethargic after a big, rich meal, which definitely won’t help with low energy levels. Limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption, but drinking more water is also going to set you up for success, trust me!
I work from home a lot, especially justified at this time of year, so it’s a miracle if I’m not in loungewear. Legit wore my pj’s to a movie last week but in fairness a) they were fresh out of the wash b) my pyjamas are leggings and a men’s crewneck sweatshirt, so it’s not THAT noticeable c) no one could tell anyway because my outfit was hidden under a giant puffy coat. What I’m getting at, is that if I can find an outfit that is comfortable and somehow salvages my standard leggings and oversized top into anything even remotely chic, then I must tell you about it.
Admittedly, I’ve worn this exact combo several times in the past few weeks because it is my new winter uniform. I love how this Vancouver designed and made Emma Knudsen wool jacket is in a warm, bright cream colour because it automatically cheers up the all-black ensembles I rock in the wintertime (it’s also on SALE right now at 40% off, so I’d scoop one of these up before they’re all gone). Plus, I saw Shay Merritt from Jillian Harris’s team rocking it, so you KNOW it’s good. I definitely want to recreate Shay’s look soon because pretty sure I own almost everything she’s paired with the jacket. I love when that happens! Emma just restocked this beautiful piece and in terms of fit, I’m wearing a size Large and like the oversized fit, but could have easily done a Medium comfortably.
I pair mine with, as I mentioned, all black, including these faux leather leggings. They’re one of my favourite winter capsule wardrobe pieces, as they’re actually fleece lined and equal parts function and fashion. The waistband is high enough that they don’t roll down my waist every time I move and the coated fabric has been surprisingly durable. I am so happy with them that I’m already thinking I should snag another pair before the season’s over. They also have fleece lined athletic leggings (on SALE!) here, here, and here. Ooh, and as I’m browsing I see that they also have maternity fleece lined leggings, if that’s your current (or future) need. Someone take my computer away before I’m buying maternity leggings just in case I ever decide to get pregnant LOL. I got the (non-maternity) faux leather leggings in my usual size Large and they fit really, really well.
Ultimately, everything feels a bit fancier with a touch of sparkle, which is why I love wearing my this cutie Rebecca Minkoff Mini Bag. It’s neutral but punchy and I found it on sale last month, such a score. It seems that Shopbop is currently sold out, but I’ll keep an eye out for you!