Tuesday, August 30, 2016

When the Stars Align: Yoga and Life

Ever since the absolutely lovable, gorgeous, and smart (yes, I'm a complete fan) Anna Gardner -pictured above- behind The Anna Edit, recommended Adriene Mishler -pictured below- the beautiful voice, face, body, and soul (again, a fan) at Yoga with Adriene, my own well-being was destined to improve.

The way I see it, things tend to happen, most likely than not, for a reason.

I was barely withstanding my 3 times a week at the gym, doing power pump classes, writing posts like this one (ahem...yes...) and this one, when I came across Anna's blog post.  She was recovering from an injury,*stars aligning #1*,  so she was doing a lot of yoga, *stars aligning #2*, not just any yoga, but Adriene's yoga *stars aligning #3*.

When I read Anna's inspiring blog post I knew I had to find Adriene, I also knew that I would like her as well. After all, Anna is the ultimate enabler, but for all the right reasons. 

When I saw Adriene in action, I realized she was the answer to my prayers. Free yoga lessons galore! Most importantly, yoga lessons that I would actually like and want to follow on a daily basis. Yay!

I told you guys about Adriene, many times. But in case you missed previous blog posts, I'll sum it up for you: she... is basically magical, yep. Adriene's soothing voice combined with her "easy breezy" sense of humor, and out of this world teaching skills constitute this unique Yoga guide, called Adriene Mishler (did you know she is also an actress?).

One more alignment of the stars and I'm done...

This past weekend, I experienced headaches on repeat. It was one of those weekends when Ibuprofen saved my boys from dining daddy's rice three nights in a row. (However, I must say, today he made this salad, lucky me!).

So, yesterday, I did my usual yoga class, this time, it was Day 21 - Joyful Home Practice - 30 Days Of Yoga LOVED IT, again, as usual. When the class ended and I was enjoying my delicious Savasana (corpse pose), next video up on the play list started automatically, and it was, little did I know, Yoga for Headaches, *stars aligning #4*. Another genius video by this sweet Yoga Teacher.

Here's the video in case you ever need it.

Through yoga, and through Adriene, I'm learning to apply mindfulness to the every day, the power of consistency, and breathing, but most of all, I'm learning to trust the process, trust the unfolding of events in life, which in my case means less anxiety.

This video playing by itself, teaching how to prevent headaches, exactly at that specific moment, corroborates what I've been experiencing through yoga.  Find what serves you (#findwhatfeelsgood) and stick to it, then watch events unravel. Sometimes when you put your two cents, and the stars align, every thing tends to sort itself out.

As Adriene says..."Trust, my friend, trust!"

Thank you Anna and thank you Adriene

Psst! One last thing..in case you are new to Snapchat, or you don't already follow Anna over there, you are in for a treat @theannaedit 

P.S. Yoga My Feel Good Workout

Friday, August 26, 2016

How I Incorporated La Roche-Posay SPF Into My Make Up Routine + Video

Behold my new purchase! Actually, the one in the picture above, is for my mom who has dryer skin and doesn't care for tinted SPF. It was a good find. It's a cream but not heavy or dry, like many sunscreens. The application is very similar to a moisturizer. Win!

These are all the sunscreens I bought through this past year. My biggest finding is that #3 doubles as a nice coverage foundation!

1) Anthelios XL 50+ Matte Extreme Fluid: (I use it as an illuminating primer) The first La Roche-Posay sunscreen I ever bought. Still going strong! I was looking for a liquid texture, that wouldn't leave my face looking like a disco ball. This one is perfect for that. It leaves your skin as matte as it can possibly be. 

Perfect for normal/combination to oily skin. The only downside is that you end up looking a bit like Casper, the friendly ghost. But then again this is what makes it a great illuminating primer! If you will be wearing makeup, why not wear this one after your moisturizer, and before your foundation?

2) Anthelios XL 50+ Tinted Dry Touch Gel-Cream: (I use it as a foundation) I only bought it a few weeks ago but never stopped using it ever since. A mousse-like texture with a genuine tint. It's matte and anti shine. Perfection with a pump! The scent is a bit perfume-y but nice, plus it goes away during the day. So it's still in the perfection category...

3) Anthelios XL 50+ Non Perfumed Cream: Perfect for a dryer skin. Feels like applying moisturizer. Very soft and creamy, not tinted but it doesn't leave you looking ghostly either! Such a find for dry skin.

4) Anthelios XL 50+ Tinted Fluid: (I use it as a lighter tinted moisturizer)  Gives a tinted moisturizer effect without the shine. It's not as mattifying as #1 but in my opinion this SPF is still good for a combination skin because it's a bit drying and very light.

Have you ever tried any of these sunscreens? Which one is your favorite? 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Yet Another Short Vlog. Our Road Trip to the Mountains of Cordoba, Argentina.

Hello there! If you like nice music and beautiful scenery this may be the vlog for you. 

Can't get enough of these mountains.

"Panaderia" means Bakery and this one makes the most delicious stollen!

So yes, in a nutshell I'm back at vlogging! This time, it was our road trip to a German Town in Cordoba called Villa General Belgrano. We ate German food, read by the fire, and explored the countryside. Good times!!

Have you ever visited Argentina?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Beautiful Nail Polish Color

It's been a while since I wrote about a favorite nail polish color but this one deserved a post of its own. I've had it in my collection for a while, but the other day, my niece, very cleverly suggested me to wear it. And Oh! the admiration was back. 

It's Essie's Damsel in a Dress. A jewel toned rich color, with hypnotic powers! If you watched my July Favorites you saw it in action (and you know why there's a yellowish string of wool on the bottle, ha!). When the light hits it, burgundy / purple tones make an appearance showing exactly why this one's a winner.

What's your favorite burgundy/purple nail polish color? Do you have this color in your collection?

Friday, August 12, 2016

July Favorites 2016

In this video you'll find a few bits and pieces that I loved during the month of July. That sweater and clutch belong to an #OutfitConversations series: so comfy and beautiful. There's also some nail polish and shoes thrown in for good measure.

Have a lovely weekend!

Pssst... June Favorites,  May Favorites and Perfumes I like

Friday, August 5, 2016

Giving This Vlogging Thing A Try

As you may know by now, I'm having a good time filming videos over on my YouTube channel. I've also discovered Snapchat (@ eclecticalu, if you are interested in visiting me there) and it's been so much fun as well! No editing, and a straightforward connection (we can chat!!) with whoever is brave enough to add me as a friend over there!

Since I've always liked seeing transformations and new haircuts on people, I decided to vlog the before and after of my new do. A warning though, it's not that different from what I already had going on, but it does the trick of making me look a bit more put together.

That week of June, I had my youngest boy's birthday coming, so I had to make his favorite cake, which is a No-Bake Chocolate Cookie Cake. SO good! I also had to pick up presents for him, and for Father's Day, which always lands two or three days after his birthday.

So in a nutshell, the usual things moms do. Have a great weekend!


Psst... Have  you seen my Hummus Recipe Video

Monday, August 1, 2016

Outfit Conversations With Tanya Dawn

Tanya is a musician, and a writer of words that can make your soul dance. Her poems are empowering, and uplifting. I truly think that I could benefit from a daily dose of Tanya's poetry in my inbox. That would be perfect, thank you very much...Her work is just so heartwarming and encouraging. Here's one of my favorites

I was thrilled when Tanya agreed to share her thinking behind one of her favorite outfits. She also reveals a trick for getting rid of itchy scalp...

Tell us about yourself...

My name is Tanya Dawn, and I’m a writer, musician and music advocate from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I’m an avid TV watcher whose favourite shows include Parks and Recreation, Once Upon A Time, Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, Orphan Black and most recently Nashville.

I’ve been with my husband, who I consider to be the best man on the planet, for almost 11 years and we’ve been married for 7. We don’t plan on having children, but we do hope to have at least 2 dogs someday: a Corgi and a Westie who are sure to be besties. 

What do you love about your work? 

I’ve been a writer, a bookworm, a singer and a music-lover for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until this year that I decided to finally commit to building a fulfilling and sustainable career as an artist, a healer and an advocate. 

My mission as an artist is to share the story of who I am with my whole heart by writing songs, stories, essays and poems that encourage people to connect with their inner wisdom, honour their feelings and celebrate who they are through self-expression, creativity and love.

I’m currently in the process of writing an EP of children’s music inspired by the Pixar movie Inside Out, as well as the first in a series of short stories about The Dawn Squad -- a team girls who set out to heal their ravaged world by recovering mystical artifacts with their elemental magic. I like to say it’s Warehouse 13 meets Tinkerbell and the Disney Fairies.

Where can we see/listen to your latest creations?

The best way to stay up-to-date on the happenings in Tanyaland is to join the Fear Less Family Email list or follow me on Patreon 

Do you dress up for work or dress down? 

Right now I’m in the craft-building stage of my career, so most of my time is spent at home writing, practicing and connecting with people online. This means I have the freedom to choose what I wear without having to adhere to anyone else’s dress code -- and it’s one of my favourite things about being self-employed. 

And while I could absolutely show up to work wearing my pjs every day, putting on an outfit that I would wear outside the house has become an important part of my daily self-care routine. It helps me to feel pulled together and professional even if the only person I see that day is my husband. 

I may not dress as conservatively as I did when I was working in an office setting, but I do make a point of wearing clothes that make me feel confident and comfortable in my own skin. Typically this means I wear jeans, my favourite bralette, a graphic muscle tee and a sweater or scarf when it’s cooler out. 

I’ve also started to think about what kind of outfits I’d like to wear for my live performances, which is really fun because those can be more like costumes than everyday outfits.

Are you a homebody or outgoing? 

I’m very much a homebody, even though I love connecting with people and having intimate and meaningful conversations. As a highly sensitive person who struggles with social anxiety, it can be very overwhelming for me to be out in public, especially in large cities, where there are so many forms of external stimuli -- smells, noises, close contact, etc. 

That’s one of the things that makes the internet so wonderful. Not only can I meet people there, but I can share my work and build a business there too, all from the comfort and safety of my own home. And while it may not be a substitution for real world interaction, it is a forum that I can participate in while I heal my social anxiety and become more confident in taking my work out into the physical world.

Do you like wearing makeup on a regular basis? Which products do you recommend or always wear?

I experimented with makeup a lot when I was younger, but later in life I developed a soy allergy that makes it difficult for me to find products I don’t react to, so now I go makeup free every day. Although, I’ve heard that Lancome makes soy free lipsticks, so I’ve been thinking about dipping my toes back in, because I LOVE a sassy fuchsia lip.

I do have a couple of skincare products that I swear by -- Perricone MD’s Hypoallergenic Gentle Cleanser and Nourishing Moisturizer -- which helped me heal a severe burning sensation on my face that none of my doctors could diagnose and no other cream, oil, lotion, cleanser or product could fix. And I tried them ALL! The moisturizer can be a little heavy in the summer, but at this point I don’t dare use anything else.

What's your favorite scent? Do you have a staple perfume? 

Perfume is another thing I stopped wearing as I got older because my husband is scent sensitive and he finds most brands very overwhelming. I have started experimenting with essential oils, more for therapeutic purposes, but I really LOVE the smell of Frankincense. It’s very earthy and comforting with a hint of spice.

What clothes do you LOVE to wear when you want to feel comfortable but look nice at the same time?

When I left my corporate library job and started working for myself, I had a closet full of conservative clothing that was great for the office, but didn’t really express who I am. At the time I was also big into Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map -- a program that helps you decide what you want by first helping you discover how you want to feel, what she calls your Core Desired Feelings -- and I decided to try and apply her principles to come up with some Core Desired Feelings for my wardrobe.

Then I identified some style icons who I thought embodied those feelings -- edgy, confident, classic and bright -- and basically stalked them on Pinterest, pinning every outfit that had elements that resonated with how I wanted to feel. There were lots of skinny jeans and leggings, long tunics, muscle tees with bralettes and a mix of jewel tones and neon to pair with navy and black basics. 

I decided to call the style Cali Edge and the Pinterest board is still up if your readers are interested.

What's  your approach to beauty? Is it fun? Is it a necessity? 
There’s always room for me to add more fun to my routine, and as I transition my wardrobe I’ve also started adding extra little touches like rose tipped bobby pins in my hair. 

Even though my approach to beauty is pretty minimal, I like to see it more as an act of self-care than a necessity. I try to enjoy the moments when I’m engaged in a beauty ritual as much as possible by taking my time, noticing the textures and sensations and appreciating how I feel and look when it’s over. 

Of course some rituals are easier to enjoy than others, especially on a bad hair day when I have an appointment downtown. That’s when those rose tipped bobby pins transform from an adorable accessory to an absolute life saver.

Do you have any beauty icons or people that you consider truly beautiful and timeless, inside and out? 

When I was putting together my Cali Edge Pinterest board the first person who came to mind was Gwen Stefani. I’ve always admired her confidence, and I love how she mixes classic pieces with edgy ones. She does wonderful things with bright colours, and even her most casual outfits seem comfortable and pulled together.

I was also inspired by characters from some of my favourite TV shows, particularly Emma Swan from Once Upon A Time, Claudia Donovan from Warehouse 13 and Peyton Sawyer from One Tree Hill. They’re often dressed in slim fitting jeans or pants, lots of tank tops with the occasional sweater or concert tee, and they’ve all been known to rock cute boots and motorcycle jackets.  

Beauty secrets, or tricks?

My number one beauty tip is for people with dandruff, itchy scalp or seborrheic dermatitis. I’ve been using a 1 part apple cider vinegar to 2 parts water rinse at the end of every shower or bath for almost 5 years now, and as long as I’m consistent with it I have zero issues with itching or flaking.

So if you find treatment shampoos to be too harsh for your skin, or you don’t like what their ingredients lists have to say, I encourage you to try this rinse for at least a week and see if it might work for you too.

Final thoughts on body types and rules.

I want to thank Alina for starting this conversation and for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to it. (Thank you Tanya!!) When I was younger I spent so much time trying to figure out what body type I was so I didn’t end up wearing something I “shouldn’t” that I ended up with a wardrobe full of clothes that reflected the “rules of style” more than they reflected me. And as a result I was never truly comfortable in what I wore.

As I get older, I’ve stopped worrying so much about the rules and started exploring fashion as yet another medium of self-expression. I’m still in the early stages of figuring out what that means for me, so of course I still struggle, but it’s all about taking it one step at a time.

For example, I love crew-neck tank tops, so I wear them, even if the magazines say that girls with large breasts look better in v-necks. I also choose to wear bralettes because I find bras excruciatingly uncomfortable, which is traditionally unthinkable for women of my cup size. 

What I’m learning is that it’s not about what anyone else thinks, it’s about feeling good in my body and in the clothes I choose to adorn it with. And I think that’s a freedom that everyone deserves.

Thank you so, SO much Tanya!! I feel extra lucky to be able to share such a positive message here on my blog.

P.S. #2 If you (yes, you dear reader) want to be featured and share your thoughts behind your favorite outfits please e-mail little old me at eclecticalu.com@gmail.com Thank you for reading!