Mothers Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day is almost here! If you are looking for the perfect gift for the most important women in your life, look no further. Here are five gifts mom would love! 

Blue Paris Notebook from SS Print Shop. Perfect for mom to write her To-Do lists, notes and sketches. Also tell mom to follow shop owner Steph Sterjovski on Instagram for constant inspiration!

Peonies are a great Mother's Day gift. If mom has the room why not buy her a peony plant instead of a bouquet! The above peonies are from my garden last year, I can't wait for them to bloom again!

Pink Sands Striped Basket from Yankee Candle. Last year I bought Yankee Candle gift baskets for my mom and MIL and they were a real hit!

Afternoon Tea at Langdon Hall. I think everyone needs to visit Langdon Hall at least once in their life. (Cambridge, Ontario an hour outside of Toronto)

St.Anne Tote from Barrington Gifts. Moms love totes and this one comes monogrammed! 

Don't forget that moms also like handmade cards, letting her pick which movie to watch and extra long hugs. You can't never go wrong with hugs.

WOW Wednesday with Crystal Reia - Favorite Move of the Week

As you all know my favorite moves are usually full body exercises! This is certainly one that works the whole body and will not disappoint!

Downward Dog Push-Up with Rear Leg Raise

START POSITION/TIPS: Start by getting into your best downward dog pose. Feet should be about hip width apart and your hands will need to be a little wider than shoulder width apart to be able to perform a proper chest push up. Make a triangle shape with your body, feel your spine lengthen and your sits bones aiming high towards the ceiling. Engage your abdonimals by pulling them inwards away from the floor, gently working your heels into the floor at the same time. Most people's heels will not touch the ground in this pose and that is okay. This is your start position.

MOVE: While maintaining your downward dog shape above, bend elbows to the side (make sure you are pressing evenly through the arms) and nose dive towards the floor into your push up. Finish push up motion by stretching arms and coming back into start position. Next lift and extend your right leg reaching for heel upwards towards the ceiling with a nice straight leg, squeezing your glute and hamstring muscles. Return leg back down to the floor with control so that you can start again.

Repeat the push up and switch legs and raise your left leg next. Keep repeating and alternate legs as you do so.

Try a set of 10 and increase as your get stronger!

If you have any questions at all or are looking for a health & fitness coach, I'm always happy to help! Have a fit & fab week all!

Crystal Reia
Your Health-Your Choice


Expression Necklaces from Hudson's Bay

A quick visit to the mall turned into a necklace hunting adventure in The Bay. All of the Expression brand necklaces are 40% off in store right now. If there is a necklace you have been thinking about purchasing, now is the time. I picked up a few and found these other beauties online

Arrow Pendant Necklace $14
Great for layering. Delicate necklaces are very popular right now

Round and Teardrop Faceted Stone Necklace $30
Blue and green is one of my favourite colour combinations. This necklace would work in any season

Candy Bead Tassel Necklace $30
A nice long Tiffany coloured necklace. Perfect for casual Summer dressing

Multi Teardrop Necklace $25
This one screams elegance and would look really pop with a white dress

Two Piece Y Necklace Set $25
A simple, multi strand necklace. Would look great with a more minimal, sleek style such as jeans, heels and a silk blouse. 

Chickpea and Feta Salad

Last Sunday night I knew I was walking into a busy work week and that usually means it will be tough to eat a healthy lunch. I wanted to prepare something that I could leave in the fridge and grab on my way out the door in the morning, enter Chickpea and Feta salad! 

I only recently tried chickpeas and they are much better than I was expecting (frankly I thought they looked gross). They are full of protein and keep me full and energized until I get home, so no breaking down and buying something that is not good for me. I think this will make a great salad for BBQ's this summer. If only I could get my boys to try it, I know they would love it! #pickyeaters

Chickpea and Feta Salad
Makes enough for a crowd as a side salad or a weeks worth of lunches (approx. 2 cups a day)

2 cans of Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Half of a red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced (you can substitute any color of pepper)
1 bunch of parsley, finely copped
1/2 a small container of crumbled feta
Juice from 1 lemon
Salt (I use kosher) and fresh ground pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a bowl and stir, carefully, to combine. Place in a resealable container in the fridge and let sit overnight. 

That's all there is to it! Each day I try and change it up a bit to prevent lunch time boredom. Monday I had the salad with 2 cups of baby spinach, Tuesday by itself with a banana, Wednesday I added half a chopped english cucumber to add more crunch and Thursday by itself with some naan bread.  

It's such a simple recipe and one you can change easily to suit your taste. You can add chili flakes to add more spice, green onions for a little more flavour, diced fresh jalapenos (can't wait to try that!) the skys the limit!

I'm always on the hunt for new lunch recipes, what are you eating lately? 

WOW Wednesday with Crystal Reia - Know Your "Why"

We've all been there. Not every day is going to go as planned. Life is very good at throwing us constant roadblocks and curveballs which make even the best laid plans go sour. But! It’s how you deal with these day to day pain-in-the-butt inconveniences that counts; two steps forward and one step back I always say!

Actually this is one of my favorite quotes (below)!! LOL But in all seriousness, we are human and we tend to focus on the problem instead of the solution; or quitting when the going gets tough instead of the reason why we started our venture in the first place! You need to know and always remember WHY you started this adventure of yours and keep it at the forefront at all times. This could be a health goal, a business goal or a fitness goal... Whatever you want!

Goal Setting

You need to answer some very important questions when it comes to setting goals for yourself. This exercise below is designed to help you. So be honest and true!

1. Have a specific tangible goal. This can apply to any area of life not just fitness and health. Write it down. Be sure that it is measurable, realistic and attainable.

2. How important is this goal to you? Scale of 1-10 (10 being really important)

3. Timing: How long do you think it will take you to reach your goal? And be realistic!

4. On a scale of 1-10 how disappointed would you be if you didn’t reach this goal? (10 being most disappointed)

5. Have you tried to reach this goal before? What in the past has stopped you from achieving it? Road blocks? Identifying these will help you. Be proactive so that you do not set yourself up for failure. Learn from the past.

6. WHY (most crucial to identify) is it important to you? What will you get out of it if/when you do succeed?

For example / GOAL: “I want to lose 20 pounds & learn to eat healthier.”
SITUATION: “My doctor says I have high blood pressure and need to start medication right away and he says I need to change my eating because I’m on the verge of having type 2 diabetes.”

WHY: “I don’t want to be on medication for the rest of my life. I want to feel good, live longer and be the best example I can to my children. To even think about dying or leaving my kids at a young age breaks my heart. I need to take better care of myself. I need to do it for me and for them.”

You see... knowing your “why” is the only way to achieve your goals. Because once you relate it to something very personal, when you have a bad day, you can always come back to your “WHY” and know that each day can be better than yesterday and you are one step closer on the right path.

7. So now what are YOU going to do about it? Devise a plan! And be consistent and stay the course. When all else fails. Go back to #6. And review again. If you don’t know WHY you are doing what you are doing, then it shouldn’t be a major goal for you. Focus your energy, effort and attention on a new goal that does matter to you!

8. Know ahead of time that there will be good days and bad days. Do NOT beat yourself up! Shake the dust off and cha-cha yourself two more steps forward!! Success is not a straight path.

And finally, do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. That is why we have family and friends in our lives. To help lift one another up when we need it the most! Letting your friends and family in on your goals can help keep you accountable! Never give up!

If you have any questions at all or are looking for a health & fitness coach, I’m always happy to help! Have a fit & fab week all!

Crystal Reia
Your Health-Your Choice


Rain Coats for Women

I love a good rainy day, when I get to stay in my pj's with my boys and watch The Goonies for the millionth time. Heading out the door during a rainstorm is less fun. We have a few rainy days in the forecast and I'm in the market for a new rain coat. A few of my favorites

Bea Satin Heritage Trench Coat in Sky Blue from London Fog

Waterproof Hooded Jacket in Bright Green from Joules (Can also be purchased from Canadian company Raindrops located on the Concourse Level at Holt Renfrew Centre 50 Bloor St W. Toronto)

Short Trench in Fresh Praline from Gap

Trail Model Rain Jacket in Clear Emerald from L.L. Bean

Iconic Women's Rain Coat in Yellow from Petit Bateau 

Spring Cleaning Nail Polish

I love this time of year. The snow is gone, the sun is finally out, tulips are everywhere and it's the perfect time for Spring Cleaning. One area I have neglected over the last few years is my makeup. After reading this great article about the Do's and Don'ts of Nail Polish on Michelle Phan's blog I decided to take a look at my nail polish collection. Some of these polishes are much more than the 24 months expiry rule and when I opened them up I could tell. Lot's of clumping and very messy application. I'm using this opportunity to simplify and will only be keeping a few of my recent additions

My favorite red - Dior Vernis 751 Marilyn

The perfect soft pink Essie Ballet Slippers

Carousel Coral by Essie looks amazing in the summer with blue and white clothing

and Mint Candy Apple looks great in every season. You can keep it light with only 1 application, or apply 3 coats to intensify the shade. 

A few polishes I am looking to add

Chanel's Blue Boy

Estee Lauder Negligee (looks like a great nude)

Deborah Lippman Amazing Grace, the perfect white for the summer!

This will give me with a nice nude, pink, white and navy for work and a few bright colors for weekends. Any shades that you are currently loving for Spring?

Baseball Fashion

Regular season baseball games are in full swing and along with home opener festivities comes the release of each new teams sports wear. The womens lines have come a long way since I was a child, MLB understands that girls like sports too and want to show their team some love! A few of my favourite offerings this year are

Toronto Blue Jays pullover sweater by Majestic (We are still warming up here in the North)

Boston Red Sox David Ortiz tshirt by Majestic Everyone loves Big Papi!

Pittsburg Pirates slub jersey tshirt by 5th & Ocean A light and breezy shirt would be great for a game in the heat of the summer

Cleveland Indians boyfriend tee by PINK Victoria's Secret We visited the park last year and It's Tribe Time is everywhere! 

Los Angeles Dodgers pinstripe racerback by 5th & Ocean Games in LA are hot no matter what the season is! A tank top, and a lot of sunscreen, is necessary. 

What are your thoughts about game day fashion? Do you dress up, dress down, support the team, wear street clothes? 

WOW Wednesday with Crystal Reia - No Excuse Training


Do the above excuses look familiar? Have you caught yourself saying these things to your friends, your family, your trainer or worse... yourself? Yes I have heard them all folks! But I’m here to teach you that none of these are valid excuses when it comes to you and your health.

“NO EXCUSE TRAINING” or “Full Body No Equipment Training” as most call it, is my favorite way to train! Using your own body weight as resistance is not only free, good for any level, can be done in shorter time; but it is one of the most beneficial, effective training techniques out there!

There are hundreds of full body exercises you can do right in your very own home with very little or no equipment at all! Bottom line? No excuses.
You can find hundreds of exercises on-line; or if you are worried about form? Ask someone who knows!

Here are 4 of my top favorites (which seem like obvious choices to most) but I like them because they can be done anywhere, anytime and have a tonne of challenging variations. Perfect for all levels: beginner/intermediate/advanced options and maybe a few twists you never thought of?


Hands down, the best full body exercise you can do! It exercises your lower body, upper body and core muscles all at once! Using your own body weight as resistance, no equipment necessary. Also if you start moving your plank around, you can really challenge your core and get your heart rate up!

Quick Tips: Body alignment in plank is crucial. Your elbows must be aligned under your shoulders if in modified plank; or your hands must be aligned under your shoulders in full plank. Engage your abdominals by lifting them inwards and away from the floor. Do not arch your back and keep your spine elongated. Keep strong straight legs behind you engaging your quads, glutes and hamstrings making a straight line from your shoulder to hip to heel. Be careful not to allow your weight to go backwards into your feet. When you get tired, you will want to do this. Don’t! Keep weight forward into hands and pull those abs in tight! Breathe calmly, in thru the nose and out the thru the mouth. Keep your head and neck aligned with your spine. If you have wrist problems, stick to elbow planks, although full planks can be great for strengthening wrists.

Beginner: If you are just starting out, it may be necessary do a modified plank on elbows or hands from the knees. Once you get stronger, try lifting the knees off the floor and progressing to your toes. This can be done one knee at a time. Try holding it with proper form as long as you can and record your time. Each day try again and try adding 5-10 seconds onto your plank. Master both the modified and full plank.

Intermediate: Once you’ve mastered both above, you could try a side plank (This is very tricky for most people) or try adding a little movement into your planks. Plank with Rear Leg Lifts (keep them small); plank with side-to-side toe taps or hand taps and Spiderman Planks are a great way to ramp up your planking skills! Try a set of 10 of each!

Advanced: To really ramp up your strength you could try Plank-Ups or Plank-Downs (amazing for arms, back & shoulders), Superman Plank (strength & balance), Travelling Walking Planks, Plank Jacks and Triangle Plyo Planks (also challenge cardiovascular) are just a few of my favorites! Great ways to really challenge those muscles when you want to change things up! Put the stopwatch on and try these in tabata form! 20 seconds of work vs 10 seconds of rest.


A wonderful way to use your own body weight as resistance and work your full body strength! There are so many way to do a push-up, I will share a few of my favorites below!

Tips: Mastering the plank above really helps, because most push-ups are done in a modified or full plank position and can be tailored for any fitness level! Ensure you are pushing evenly with both arms at the same time. Keep your proper body alignment at all times (just like in plank) and do not arch your back. Again, if you have any wrist issues, you can use a pair of fitness handle bars or set of dumbbells to hold onto to keep your wrists in more of a straight position.

Beginner: Basic chest push-up from a modified plank on hands and knees. Fingertips should be forward and hands wider than chest. Once you get stronger, try with one leg straight onto the toe until you get onto both toes with full body weight and straight legs.
For someone who’s never worked out, you could also try a wall push up. It’s less weight into your hands.

Intermediate: You can try adding in Tricep Dips and/or Tricep Push Ups (my favorite). For push ups, hands should be at a narrower stance and aligned under your shoulders. As you bend elbows backwards, keep them tight into your sides or rib cage and push weight forward and down. In Yoga they are called Chattarungas. Wonderful exercises to do! You can do these holding onto handle bars or dumbbells as well to keep wrists in a straighter position.

Dips can be done off a chair, stairs or even the floor. Ensure hands close to sides gripping bench with fingers pointing forward and keeping elbows pointing back and narrow. Beginners can keep knees bent (leaving some weight into the feet) and progress to straight legs, or even raising both legs on a chair in front of you for more advanced dips (more weight into arms). I also encourage my intermediates to try moving wide chest push-ups alternating right and left, side-to-side.

Advanced: Making push ups tougher can be as simple as changing your hand position slightly in the ones mentioned above; to adding weight on your back; or combining any of the advanced planking techniques in #1 above with a push up in between or at the same time is a great way to ramp it up and really provide additional challenge to your muscles and co-ordination. I love doing Tricep push ups alternating with Oblique Twists into Side Plank. It’s a goodie!


Definitely a classic move good for all body types and levels. Learning to squat properly is essential as I talked about several weeks ago in the April 1 Wow Wednesday post.

Tips: Keep spine elongated and chest up and abs tight throughout squat. Keep weight back into heels as you bend both knees and push evenly through both feet and legs when standing back up again squeezing your glute muscles. Be sure your knees stay aligned over your feet and not fall in (I call it “friendly knees”... no friendly knees)

Beginner: Regular Squats (Parallel), Sumo Squats (Turned out, straight up and down), Goblet Squats (combo of the first two mentioned) Wall Squats or Ballet Plies are perfect for beginners to try. Any squat that is stationary (standing in the same spot).

Intermediate: You can try adding movement into your squats taking step to the side into your squat. This requires greater body control and understanding how to transfer your weight properly from one foot to two feet. They can be done several ways to add challenge and excitement to workouts. You could also add in a forward or side kick, or side straight leg abduction lift or rear straight leg lift in between each squat as well. This will also raise your heart rate!

Advanced: Adding any type of plyometrics (jumping) into your squats once you’ve mastered the different types, provide a huge challenge for not only strength but cardiovascular-wise too! Squat jumps (weighted and non-weighted); Travelling side-to-side (Step together Jump squat shots); Military jacks / Jack touchdowns crossing thighs on the return. I could go on all day! Love these! All great ways to work on your co-ordination, full body strength and balance! They can also be combined with #1 and #2 above (AKA: The Burpee) everyone’s move they’d love to hate!


I know you would love to hate lunges too ladies... but we all know they are awesome for shaping legs! Some call these split stance squats. Wonderful in working those quads, glutes, hamstrings etc. Also because it is a split stance it requires more balance and core work to keep yourself upright and maintain correct posture throughout the movement.

Tips: Ensure proper alignment always. Front leg should be positioned in front of the same hip and back leg behind your other hip with the back heel off the ground. Your body should be directly in the centre of both legs. Hip width apart distance works best for feet positioning. As you bend both knees, your front knee should be aligned above your ankle (think bone over bone) and your back knee should be aligned under your back hip joint. Try not to sink into the floor as you bend down but pull away from the floor feeling your head pushing into the ceiling even though the movement is downwards.

I won’t waste time separating them down into Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced because it basically follows the same rules as squats above. Stationary, Moving and Plyometrics (jumping). They can be done in different directions, forward, side, back, turned out (Curtsey Lunge) or parallel, with a towel sliding across the floor, off stairs a solid chair or bench, combine them with squats! You name it you can lunge it!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Always listen to your body first! When dealing with injuries, certain movements and exercises should be avoided. Be aware of what you should and shouldn’t be doing and find the best exercises that work for you and your body.


I didn’t break down every single exercise mentioned above into exact detail, however all of them can be found on-line. And the best part? You could literally do a whole full body workout incorporating all 4 of these moves and their variations in less than 30 minutes a day! No excuses right?!?

So next time you start trying to use those NO TIME, NO MONEY , NO EQUIPMENT EXCUSES... remember these are totally invalid arguments! Because anyone, anywhere, anytime can squeeze exercise and or movement into your day. You just need to find your
“WHY” and remember the reason you started making healthy changes in the first place. But that’s a whole other article! Maybe we’ll talk about that next week!

If you have any questions at all on execution or want to know more, I’m always happy to help! Have a fit & fab week all!

Crystal Reia
Your Health-Your Choice


{Profiles} Jessica Wakutz

I met Jess many years ago. I booked an appointment with her at Pure Hair Studio and was so nervous the day I met her. I hadn't seen a stylist in a little more than 3 years and my hair was showing it. I brought in a photo of Reese Witherspoon with long layers and bangs and half expected to be laughed at for it. Jess didn't laugh, she told me that's exactly what I should be doing! From that moment on, our visits felt more like old friends catching up rather than stylist/customer. Every time I leave the salon I know a little more about how best to care for my hair, new styling tricks and the occasional site or Pinterest pin I should be checking out (we are both addicted to Pinterest). Met my stylist Jess, or as I think of her, the person I am most likely to visit Coachella with.

Tell me what you do for a living?

I’m a hair stylist and make-up artist

How did you end up becoming a hair dresser?

I was working in another creative industry that I really enjoyed, but found that desk-work wasn’t for me. I needed more interaction. I’d always been interested in fashion, hair and makeup and figured why not do what I love…and here I am 5 years later.

What’s a typical day look like?

At the salon…it’s busy! First I make myself a coffee, stylists run on coffee! Then it’s time to get down to business by giving my clients the hair of their dreams, and educating them on how they can maintain their style at home.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get in the field?

I’d say, be sure you love what you do, and get ready to work hard.  Being a stylist is about building your own business (regardless of whether you rent a chair, or work for a salon-owner).  It is very fun, very rewarding but it’s also very hard work!  And save up for massages, your back will thank you!

What is your favourite part of your job?

Making people feel beautiful, both inside and out.  As a stylist I have the power to make someone’s day better, and I love that.

What is your favourite quote/motto to live by?

What is your favourite book

Love Does by Bob Goff

How would you describe your style (personal and interior design)

My personal style is a combination of things, depending on my mood.  Boho, girlie, punk/rock.  My style for design is a bit eclectic also…I love mid-century modern, but you can never go wrong with a white palette in a home, it’s so clean.

Who is your style icon?

Oh wow, that’s a really big question.  I don’t think I have one particular style icon.  I usually just wear whatever I feel good in.

What is your ideal Saturday night?

Dinner with friends.  A good movie and a glass of red wine! 

What is your favourite perfume?


Favourite drink?

Water, Red Wine, Diet Pepsi

What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

Be yourself, be confident in who you are, trust your gut.

What is one thing you are looking to accomplish in 2015?

To feel 100% happy with whatever the next year holds.  To live in the moment.  Also, to build my business as a stylist!  (I know I know, that was more than one thing….maybe I’m ambitious?)

Favourite song right now?

Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding

What is the last thing you bought for yourself?

A lime green mesh top for St. Patricks Day HAHA!

Life has a funny way of putting someone you need in your path when you need them most, Jess is that person for me. She is a constant source of positive energy and encouragement, one of those people that lights up the room when she enters. A true gypsy soul with a tender heart and strong girl power energy, and I havn't even told you how great a stylist she is! She's the absolute best, I trust her completely when it comes to my hair (as a Type A control freak, that says a lot) there are many times when I just let her do whatever she wants, I know I will leave looking and more importantly feeling beautiful! 

Visit Jessica Wakutz at Pure Hair Studio, 645 Westmount Road E Kitchener 519-744-4211
Make sure to let them know you saw her on Celebrating this Life!

Spring Arrivals at Island View - Lilly Pulitzer

Over the weekend I was invited to view the new Spring collection at Island View Lilly Pulitzer in Oakville. I was really looking forward to seeing the Spring line and visiting the store again. I did two laps around the store and quickly pulled out my "Dream Team" of dresses.

The Dream Team

We are seeing signs of Spring and that means we are finally in dress season (here in the North anyway). With Spring comes Easter dinners, Bridal Showers, Baby Showers, Garden Parties and the event of the Summer, The Queen's Plate

I love the color of this dress, it's the same color as my nailpolish! (Essie Mint Candy Apple) I picked this dress thinking it would be perfect for a spring party or a brunch out with the ladies. It is snug fitting and I suggest sizing up. The gold detail around the neck replaces a necklace, and gold accessories would really blend nicely.  

Delia Shift Dress in Bright Navy Johnny B 

I love this dress, a potential for the Queen's Plate! I would wear this to a baby shower or a nice dinner out with the husband. I love the flamingo print of this change room, so fun and bright! 

Briella Fit and Flare Cap Sleeve Dress in Bright Navy Johnny B

I have a few Briella's in different prints, it is my favorite Lilly style. I love the fit, it's very comfortable and very flattering! I love dressing up the Briella for weekends with lots of jewelry, heels and a great clutch or handbag. I even wear them to work with a cardigan and nude shoes. I love this print, a classic navy and white, with a pop of pink. This print looks great with minimal jewelry and the Kristin Leather Wedge in natural that I am wearing above. 

Janice Shift Dress in Resort White Clover Cup

This was the first dress I picked up. I know there is a Bride-To-Be out there trying to find the perfect white dress for her shower, well this is it! The Janice shift is a classic and looks good in any print, but this one is exceptionally beautiful. It is the perfect dress for someone looking for white with a little more interest and would look great at a garden party with a light pink or bright green clutch. 

Juliet Fitted V-Neck T-Shirt Dress in Shorely Blue Hippy Hippy Shake

I tried this dress on as well and was really surprised at the fit! On the hanger it appeared to be a free flowing tshirt dress, something I was thinking would make a great beach cover up. It is much more fitted then that! I felt like I walked onto the set of Mad Men in this number! Hugs all your curves and with the deep v-neck and short hemline I can see Megan Draper wearing this one, especially that she is still in California. 

New Arrivals include clutches, makeup cases, candles and wine glasses in your favorite prints. Also new shorts and polos, perfect for a visit to the golf course. 

Pinch Me clutches

Riviera Halter Top in Hotty Pink Day Breakers with white capris. A perfect weekend outfit! 

I can finally say it, Spring is here! Head over to Island View - Lilly Pulitzer at 181 Lakeshore Road East in Oakville. It's a great spot to visit for the day. Lots of great cafes, bakerys and restaurants on Lakeshore and Lake Ontario is right there! 

Many thanks to Island View for inviting me to see the new Spring collection. I can't wait to see what Summer has in store!