WOW Wednesday with Crystal Reia - Success: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Thought I would try and inspire our readers with a little added motivation this week, since I’ve been feeling like I need a little myself! I have been running several “Eat Clean” Challenges for myself and my clients, but it’s not always easy to stay the course. I got hit with a major flu bug two weeks ago and have fallen off the wagon with my diet so-to-speak. Trainers are not perfect; we get tempted too with sweets and treats!  So what do I do when I’m in a slump?

1. Understand the fact that I’m going to fall a few times. I am by nature a perfectionist; so this is not always easy for me. We (maybe women more so then men? Which might be up for debate by our counterpart’s lol) beat ourselves up! Too much! We are our own worst critics when it comes to our successes and failures. With your health and fitness, you don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be consistent. So if you have a bad day “one step back”, then get back on track the next two days “two steps forward”. It might take you a little longer to get where you are going, but you will get there if you have more forward days than back days. But try not to dwell on the past. Too many people wallow in their yesterdays. Shake the dust off your feet and move on.

2. Do not deprive yourself... ALL the time. Honestly the 80/20 rule will help keep you sane. If you are constantly depriving yourself, you are going to end up miserable. It’s okay to treat yourself now and then. The emphasis being on “it’s okay”. If you are doing really well the majority of the week then treat yourself to something you have been craving on the weekend, It’s not going to wreck your whole diet. Just do it and enjoy it and do not beat yourself up over it!

3. Find your inspiration. I’ve talked about this in previous posts. You need to know your WHY. Why do you want to be healthier? Is it because eating healthier makes you feel good? So how does eating bad make you feel? I really try and think about this when I’m tempted to reach for unhealthy foods. I can be my own worst sabotage some days! When I’m in a slump, I often look up inspiring stories of others. There are so many fitness sites on-line: Facebook, Twitter etc. where regular people like you or I are sharing their stories of what works for them, what didn’t, their trials and challenges. I love reading about others who have overcome major defeats and challenges and come out the other side victorious. They also had their good days and bad days.

4. Still in a slump? Call a friend or your trainer! They say the friends we choose to hang out with can reflect our own decisions and choices. Call your girl bud who loves to walk or go to the gym. Chances are she will help you and make some sense out of what you are feeling that day. We all need help and support... and there’s no shame in asking your friends or loved ones on a day you might need it the most. They will understand more than you think they will, but if you don’t speak up, they will never know you are struggling. That goes for each and every one of my clients by the way! My door is always open! Put the cookie down and call me! ~grins~

Crystal Reia
Your Health-Your Choice


Jonathan Liang

My favorite social media tool is Instagram. I love looking at other people's lives and sharing images from my own and I have always found it to be a great way to get to know people and companies. A few weeks ago I exchanged likes with the team behind Jonathan Liang. I was intrigued by the bio "Jonathan Liang is a designer label based in Paris. A novel approach to adaptability and feminine grace" and wanted to learn more about their Spring/Summer collection. 

For S/S15 Liang stuck to a somber color palette, which most people associate with Paris street style, and reimagined classic sportswear. I found the designs appear to be comfortable, yet strong. There is a true sense of celebrating the strength of women in this collection. A few of my favorites...

Love this blazer, the perfect neutral for workdays and weekends. 

J'adore this skirt! I've always dreamt of walking through Paris with a full flowing skirt and chic black top while sipping lattes by the Eiffel Tower and this is the one! I love the subtle sparkle on it and think it would look great with a fitted black top and black pumps. 

I'm very intrigued by this gown. It feels so modern to have a dress as separates and I love the drape of it. It's perfect for those dressy affairs when you just really want to feel comfortable and still remain polished looking. Another plus is this looks so warm! It would be great to wear on those iffy spring days. 

Now this is a gown to wear when you want to turn heads! The beading detail is incredible and the deep neckline is daring and yet tasteful. Just the perfect amount of sexy for your big evening. 

Visit the Jonathan Liang website to find more information on this very talented designer, view past collections and learn where to buy. I'm so excited for my favorite season, Fall/Winter, I'm dying to see what Liang is dreaming up! 

Summer Reading List

We are less than a month away from the first official day of summer and I am busy prepping my summer to do list. I can't wait for days spent at the beach, picnics in the park, BBQ's and summer reading!

A few titles I am looking forward to reading this summer

The highly anticipated Go Set A Watchman - Harper Lee

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins. This is being touted as the next Gone Girl and a film is already in the works. 

Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty. Another one with a film already in the works (Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman bought the rights to the book), this should make for a fun beach read! 

Instagram @Celebr8thislife

Waltzing at the Piggly Wiggly - Robert Dalby. If you follow me on Instagram you know I found this little book sitting in the most beautiful country library a few weeks ago. I can't wait to spend some more time there this summer while visiting family! 

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? - Mindy Kaling. I recently Netflixed (I bet that will be the next word added to the dictionary!) The Mindy Project and I can't get enough Mindy! I will be reading this one, probably with a glass of wine outdoors somewhere, and waiting for her next book to be released in the fall. 

I love to read and I'm always looking for recommendations. What are you planning on reading this summer?

WOW Wednesday with Crystal Reia - You Can't Have One Without the Other

You have to be so careful! Our media is flooded with fad diets and exercise equipment every which way you turn! Too good to be true promises of “Get slim in 4 weeks”, “No exercise required!”, “Eat all you want, when you want”... and the list goes on and on! So why are people falling for such nonsense? I think it has to do with an extremely miscued portrayal of reality that society has tried to sell us. Period. And who’s benefiting from it? Not us! Only their bottom lines are growing richer and we are all getting fatter!

Here is the harsh reality folks. Diet and exercise go hand in hand. You cannot do one without the other. You can workout till the cows come home but if you are constantly fueling your body with garbage you will look and feel like garbage. Capeesh?

Everyone’s body reacts differently to diet & exercise so you have to do and find what is right for you. Here are my top tips that I share with my clients for the most success.

1. First and foremost your diet will be 80-90% of your weightloss endeavors. Think of your body as a well oiled machine. You need the cleanest fuel to run properly and efficiently for a longer period of time.

Your most efficient fuel should be comprised mainly of: Non-starch Vegetables, Lean Proteins & Whole Food Fats. Small amount of dairy & fruits as treats.

Garbage that slows down your body: Sugar, Sugar, Sugar. It hides in everything! Processed foods & grains / starches. Avoid or limit these food sources. They will impede your progress and slow down your system.

2. Exercise. Find something you enjoy and get moving daily. There are so many activities you can do to improve your health! Even just power walking and getting outside will do your body a world of good! For the more adventurous there is biking, jogging, hiking, swimming, skating, organized sports, variety of fitness classes, dance class, Zumba, Bootcamp style classes, weight training, yoga, Thai Chi, Kick Boxing, etc. Figure out if you prefer to work out alone? Or in a group setting? Get your friends and / or family involved. Know what keeps you motivated and going back for more. It is a proven statistic that most people tend to stay more consistent when working out with a friend or in a group. Keeps you more accountable. Mark the class etc. as an appointment in your calendar and keep that 30-60 minutes aside for you each day.

3. Variety is the spice of life. Keep exercise challenging by mixing up your activities. Doing the same old thing gets boring and you will plateau. So be bold! Be adventurous and try new things! That also goes with food; try new recipes and or new foods. Maybe each week you try a new vegetable you haven’t tried before. There are so many wonderful healthy combinations to try that will keep your diet delicious and exciting. Our wonderful world of internet makes recipes fast and easy to look up in seconds.

4. Do not be glued to your scale. Your numbers are not who you are! Measure your successes in tangible things such as: the way your clothes fit, your energy levels, your stamina, your strength, everyday activities feeling easier. Make your fitness goals functional and apply them to everyday and you will see how many amazing gains you are making! You won’t even need to focus on your weight. It will just come off naturally.

5. Goals are good and will help keep you on track. Set small and big goals for yourself (short term & long term). Each time you achieve one, recognize it and celebrate those successes! It will help keep you motivated to keep going for those longer term ones.

Thanks much for reading my post today! If you have any questions or are looking for fun and inspiring fitness classes, nutritional help, I’m always happy to help! Have a fit & fab week all!

Crystal Reia
Your Health-Your Choice


Flamingo Fashion

Many thanks to my good friend, and fellow blogger Jordana of White Cabana, for sending me a link to this Kate Spade flamingo clutch via twitter. And just like that my flamingo obsession has gotten worse! 

A quick search on the word "Flamingo" on the Kate Spade site brought up a multitude of flamingo items I want! This is going to be the summer of Flamingo Fashion! 

Are you seeing any flamingo fashion in stores or online? Share in the comments! 

Dior and I

Dior and I is a fascinating look at haute couture and the inner workings of a design house. The movie starts with Raf Simons taking over as Creative Director for Dior and ends with his glorious Fall/Winter 2012 showing. 

I realized during this movie how little I actually knew about how a design house works. I truly enjoyed watching the creative process and was surprised at how much of a collaborative process it is. There are so many people involved in every stage, from conception to the minute the dress ends up down the runway. 

My favourite dress from FW 2012 - Via Vogue UK

The dresses were amazing but it was the way they were presented that blew me away. Raf decided to rent a private home in Paris and had each room decorated in flowers! Added to my bucket list is a flower wall. Don't know what I would do with it, other than photograph it like crazy, but I want one. 


An interesting element to this movie is the fact that we hear from founder Christian Dior as an actor reads excerpts from his book. He shares some thoughts on how he started the fashion house and his take on womens fashion. I have always loved Dior as the dresses are always so classic and feminine. Before Raf starts his design process he visits the Dior archives and browses through original Dior designs and fabrics, the Fall/Winter 2012 showing is Raf's fresh take on those original designs. He combines modern and traditional elements in such a flawless way, you could picture a women today and 60 years ago wearing each dress.

I really enjoyed this movie and I am so thankful that I have a local movie house, Apollo Cinema in downtown Kitchener, that plays lesser known films like this one. Visit Dior and I to find opening dates and theaters in your area.

Flamingo Home Decor

During the Christmas holidays I developed a bit of an obsession with flamingos. We spent the holidays in Mexico and our resort housed a flamboyance of flamingos in the lobby. They were incredible to watch! Seeing them made me wish summer would hurry so I could accessorize with flamingo home decor. They are cute, pink and the perfect preppy animal! 

I decorate in neutrals because I love to change up accessories to match the seasons (best part of living in Canada is the distinct four seasons). This summer I am planning on decorating in black and white, with a hint of flamingos!

A few flamingo home decor items I am loving right now

Striped Pillow Cover from PBTeen  - $21

Flamingo Art Print 8x10 from Chapters - $25

Flamingo Welcome Doormat from A1 Home Collections LLC - $64

Pink Flamingo Serving Tray from - $67

Photo from my Instagram @Celebr8thislife

I found these amazing flamingo straws and plastic wineglasses from Dollarama last week for, you guessed it, a dollar! 

Have you seen any flamingo home decor in stores? Let me know what you find! 

WOW Wednesday with Crystal Reia - Proper Posture & Body Alignment

Proper Posture & Body Alignment

I think all of the many years of training in dance has been ingrained in me for so long to have good technique, proper alignment and posture...this is something I find utterly important and do my best to teach my clients about. Being body aware and understanding proper alignment will make you stronger in all things; day to day activities, less prone to injuries and better form while training and working out. In order to have the most beneficial and safe workout possible you must have proper posture and alignment before you can even begin to start your movement or exercise. Without it, you can easily get injured and nobody likes dealing with injuries! 

Here are some of my best tips for working on your posture and body alignment. I tried to find a picture that would show it best

1. Think of the centre of your body as a plumb line going straight up and down through the centre. In order to place your body in the best possible position for action or movement, you need to ensure all your major joints are aligned in the straightest way possible. See figure above. 

2. I always tell my clients to picture their shoulder joint over their hip joint, over their knee joint, over their ankle joint. Helps to give yourself a clearer picture or image. 

3. Your body weight should be evenly distributed through both feet with two thirds of the weight slightly forward over the balls of your feet. All ten toes connected with the floor, feeling strong and solid in your feet and ankles. You should easily be able to rise up onto the balls of your feet at any time. 

4. Feel your shoulders down and back with chest slightly lifted. Never round out your shoulder or upper back. Your tailbone/pelvis should feel like its pointing straight down, not tucked under. 

5. The most important to note is your core in all of this. Engaging your abdominal muscles will help straighten the pelvis and provide your ultimate base for all movements. Every movement comes from your core. 

6. No arching the back either and sticking out your tailbone. This will make your body weight go backwards and will put you in a bad position for movement. It can also cause back pain by not engaging your core and causing unnecessary stress in your lower back. Everyone has a natural arch but to over extend is terrible practice for good posture. 

7. And finally as you are standing, think of pushing your head into the ceiling and your feet into the floor at the same time; like a two-way elastic band stretching in two opposite directions. Do not sink into your hips; instead engage your core muscles and feel them pulling gently upwards away from your hips. You'll feel like you've grown two inches taller!

If you find yourself slouching during the day, think of these tips! It might seem to be a lot to think about...but once you've practiced it, it will become second nature. Taking in a good yoga class where you practice mountain pose can really help with the above tips, as well as your body awareness, learning more about your balance, transfer of weight and using your core in movements. 

If you have any questions or are looking for fun and inspiring fitness classes, I'm always happy to help! Have a fit & fab week all!

Crystal Reia
Your Health-Your Choice


Draper James

Exciting news! Reese Witherspoon has launched her new lifestyle site Reese says she created Draper James (the name is in honor of her grandparents) to be more than just a place to buy pretty clothing accessories and home decor, she wants to help showcase artisans and customs from the South. Well colour me smitten, I love the site! Thankfully they ship to Canada, now the hard part is trying not to buy it all!

Totes Y'all Vanderbilt With pinstripe lining and magnolia shaped hardware, whats not to love? 

Pleased as Punch Set of 20 paper coasters in "Pleased as Punch" or "Only count the happy hours". A perfect hostess gift.  

Skinny Enamel Bangle in Draper Blue. A little something special for a special lady in your life. 

Charlotte Lace Top in Draper Blue. A treat for yourself! This shade of blue is flattering on every skin tone and can be dressed up and down with ease!

Clicking on the heading Love, Reese brings you to the site's blog! There are only three posts up but I'm sure more are coming and I for one can't wait to see whats next!

5 Things to do in the Distillery District

Bring a lock to the Love art installation and share your photo using #DistilleryLove

Follow all side streets and enjoy the heritage buildings

Hunt for a one of a kind of a treasure at Blackbird Vintage Finds 

Pick up a growler (or two or three) at Mill St. Brewery

Bring a camera and snap away! The Distillery District is the perfect backdrop for photos.

Sakura Cherry Blossoms in High Park

One of the things on my extensive (and growing daily) bucket list is to see the Cherry Blossom trees in Washington DC. I started reading about the cherry trees in March and through the wonder of the internet I found a website devoted to the Sakura Cherry Trees at High Park in Toronto! Since I don't have any plans on visiting DC anytime soon, I decided to follow the Sakura Watch and wait until the perfect time to visit. Yesterday morning the husband and I were armed with our camera and headed to Toronto. 

On the High Park website it warns that this is the busiest time to visit the park, and they were not kidding. We had to navigate busy streets around the park and even busier streets inside the park! There are many sections of the park that have clusters of cherry trees, we went with the approximately 20 that are planted along Spring Road (from High Park Road turn left onto Spring Road). The other option is the largest, 50 trees planted along West Road (from High Park Road turn right onto Centre Road and then left onto West Road). Parking is extremely limited and after waiting in a massive line for 45 minutes, we decided to head out of the park. While waiting in this line I hopped out of the car and snapped as many pictures as possible while my poor hubby navigated the chaotic parking lot (hence the selfies I had to snap :)

It rained for about 10 minutes when we first got to Toronto and I was really worried that the blossoms would fall off or that the sky would be all grey and my photos wouldn't turn out. Luckily, the rain stopped and the clear blue sky I was hoping for showed up! 

The line up of cars in the background is everyone waiting to find a parking space that most never find. Also, there is no parking on many streets surrounding the park. The best option is to find a parking lot in the city and take public transit.

Just what I was hoping for, the perfect blue sky! Not a single photo I have on this blog post has been retouched, filtered or enhanced in any way. I just love my camera, she takes the best photos (Nikon D3200 which I am still learning how to use).

Close up of the cherry blossoms. 

High Park marker

Lots of people were out enjoying the trees, I am sure there are many more visiting today on Mother's Day. 

I walked the whole trail in about 5 minutes. I snapped a few more photos before heading back to my hubby who was still waiting in the line to get out of the jam packed parking lot. 

Last cherry tree of the Spring Road trail. The delicate blossoms on the trees are dazzling, I am so glad I got to see them! And I am lucky that my hubby suggested I get out and snap a few pictures while he got our car out of the parking lot. Visiting the cherry trees takes a lot of planning. When they finally bloom it only lasts a few days and after planning this day trip I know it would be a lot more work to visit DC. So I am crossing this one off my bucket list and going to find something else to do in DC.