Lately on @Celebratingthislife

Five of my favourite moments from November...


Visiting Delhi, Ont. with my Bernese Mountain Dog, Colton White


The arrival of McDonald's ginger cookies and the Fornash earrings I won


Installing my kitchen shelves


The Youngest winning the door prize at the Delhi Tobacco Museum's annual Christmas dinner


Capping a day of Black Friday shopping off with a little bubbly!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @Celebratingthislife for more!

Guest Post - Crystal Reia from Your Health-Your Choice

Happy #WOWWednesday everyone! Today Crystal, personal trainer and owner of Your Health-Your Choice, is providing some sage advice in her blog post entitled...

Holiday "Battle of the Bulge" Plan



Hi everyone and happy Wednesday to you! It’s almost that time again! We are nearing that crazy busy month called “December”... where most are running around holiday shopping like chickens with their heads cut off! (Pardon the pun) So with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season it’s easy to fall into that temptation of skipping your workout or eating all of those office holiday treats everyone is bringing in and all those extra open-houses, parties and friend / family get togethers’ have already started! You eat your face off, feel guilty about it and then make that dreaded New Year’s Resolution to get your butt back into the gym again. That you’ll do better on January 1st!! The gyms are packed then and sadly seem to die out after the New Year’s Resolutioners fall off the wagon in February or March! So what better time to offer some sage advice to help you get through the next month with as less damage as possible! LOL Tips and tricks to help change your holiday “battle of the bulge” perspective!

1. Go in with a battle plan! If you fail to plan, you will usually fall into temptation easier. Put those gym shoes and workout clothes in the car ahead of time so you have no excuse like “time” or “I forgot my shoes”. Have plenty of healthy foods and snacks prepared in the fridge to grab and take on the run with you, so you don’t find yourself snacking at every local Starbucks or Tim Horton’s.



2. Eat a proper balanced meal before you go out shopping. This kind of goes with #1 above. If you fuel up properly with the right foods (Protein, plenty of non-starch veggies & healthy fats) it will keep you full and satisfied while you’re out running around. Crockpots can be handy at this time of year too! Throw your protein and veg into it and let it cook on low while you’re out at work and shopping all day. So you’ll have something healthy waiting for you at home when you’re hungry again! That extra few minutes in the morning will save you from binge eating at a local pub or drive thru!

3. Here’s I great tip I saw on-line - When fellow co-workers bring in treats tell them “you’re in training for a healthier lifestyle” – do not say “I’m trying to watch my weight”... they are more apt to razz you or push their treats on you when you make it about “weight loss”. Hey we all have these people in our lives!! Have healthy snack options at your office on hand.



4. Sometimes it’s hard to say no. I get it. So save your treats temptations for the ones you really, really love instead of eating all the ones presented to you. If you know you fall prey to certain treats then save your appetite to eat only those when you’re at your party – or better yet offer to bring a healthier version of said treat with you!!

5. Drinking plenty of water will help flush out any toxic treats you might eat; or at the very least help you fill up so you ultimately consume less food and/or alcohol. Having a bottle of water between drinks, will help slow things down. Alcohol can impair judgement and cause you to eat plenty of unwanted extra calories.



6. Make your family events less about food and more about fun! There are plenty of activities to do with your family other than just eating together! Go outside! A walk around the neighborhood to look at decorations and or Christmas lights either before or after dinner (always great to walk after dinner). Play games indoors or outdoors! A scavenger hunt around the neighborhood, ice skating at the park, tobogganing or tubing, skiing, board games, pool, darts etc. etc. Keep those hands busy so they aren’t grabbing food! Have a family outing to a local shelter and go serve food to others in need! A great way to give back and teach your children the true meaning of the season.



7. In a profession, where you’re given a tonne of chocolates or treats as gifts?? Consider donating some of those to a homeless shelter or giving them to someone in need. Here is the list of shelters in the KW area.

http://www.therecord.com/community-static/3907133-kitchener-waterloo-shelters/

8. If you workout regularly, keep your date with yourself! Hire a personal trainer if you need more accountability or join a class or get a workout buddy. But don’t miss. You’ll feel so much better that you did! And you’ll have plenty of energy to get through everything else you need to do or get done. Trust me you’ll get it done –do not use “I have no time” as an excuse”... that is BS. You make time for what is most important to you. That workout is only a half hour or hour of your day. Your mind, body, spirit will thank you for it! Or shorten your workout slightly, but do not skip it. Make time for you. Don’t let the hustle and bustle get the better of you.



9. Be sure to get proper sleep and rest. Staying up all hours can hinder you. You’ll enjoy the season more if you’re refreshed and energized.



10. Keep calm. Whatever that means to you. Don’t stress. Everything will work out. Put on your favorite music, meditate, do something fun with a friend. But remember the season is more than just finding that perfect gift for someone. Make memories that will last.

Peace and love everyone! Wishing you an amazing upcoming December!













Crystal Reia
PTS, PFS, OAS
Your Health-Your Choice
Email: yourhealth-yourchoice@live.ca

www.yourhealth-yourchoice.weebly.com
www.facebook.com/URHealth
www.twitter.com/URHealthURChoic
www.instagram.com/URHEALTHURCHOICE

Irresistible Me Hair Extensions


We have finally gotten our first snow fall and last weekend was the start of attending, and hosting, holiday parties. While planning out what to wear to each party (yes, I plan my outfits and mark them down in my agenda) I started thinking about trying something new with my hair. Which made think back to a conversation I had with a friend recently. 

My friend Amanda, who is blogging about her journey into gluten free here, and I started talking about how everyones hair seems to be getting thicker, while ours is going the opposite way. She is nearing her 30's and lamenting "middle age" while I'm in my mid 30's and naturally I worry about breaking a hip and never getting up again. It's at this time I should mention that we are both over exaggerators.



So when I received an email from Madison at Irresistible Me asking me if I wanted to try out their extensions, I jumped at the chance. Not only have I noticed that my hair isn't as thick as it once was, I also noticed it doesn't grow as long as it used to. I have been trying to grow my hair out for two years and haven't really added much length in that time.


Once I started asking people about hair extensions I was shocked to find out how many of my friends where already wearing them! I totally missed the memo on this one! A young coworker said they are her trick for thick, shiny hair, and a hairdresser friend, who has the most beautifully long thick hair, said she's been wearing extensions for years!


Enjoying the first snow fall in my new extensions!

Outfit details// Hair extensions: Irresistible Me (Early Black Friday sale 40% off!)
Dress: Issa London for Banana Republic, (Original Issa dress) Scarf: Restoration Hardware
Gloves: Danier Leather Boots & Socks: Hunter 
Lipstick:L'Oreal Color Riche 288 Intense Fuchsia


Madison asked me to watch this video and select my colour and size. After I gave Madison my colour and size they sent me a box by courier.


Don't you just love the chic packaging? 


On the right hand side you will see a smaller section of the package. This is your colour sample. It is a three clip weft for you to try out to ensure your colour matches before you open the rest of the packaging. My colour matched perfectly so I started clipping the wefts in. Bonus - the case doubles as a great travel pack for your extensions!


The very first time I put in my extensions. They were incredibly easy to attach and style. You can straighten or curl the hair as you would your own.



 Before

You can see my original length in the left photo and the lack of volume in the right photo. 


After 

What a difference! I love how natural the extensions are. They blend in with your hair so easily you can't even tell that I am wearing them! 


After (styled with a curling iron)



From the back - Before on left, After on right. You can see how much length and volume the extensions give to my hair. 


I wanted to show exactly how they look once they are in. I wore them all day at work, at night when I went to school and around the house for an entire day. I only took them out to sleep.


The clips are easy to use, you just need to part your hair at intervals and clip the extensions in. They do not hurt, tug, or weigh down your hair. The best way I can describe it is they feel like you are wearing a pony tail, but without pulling all your hair back. I am prone to headaches when I wear a pony tail but the extensions didn't bother me at all. 


I ordered the Silky Medium Brown 22 inch. They are 100% Remy human hair extensions that are conditioned to make them extra soft. They are called silky for a reason! They are incredibly soft, better than my own hair. I really do love them!


Your set comes with enough wefts to give you the long, thick hair you desire:

200 g sets (10 pieces) - 1 pc of 4 clips (7.5"), 2 pcs of 3 clips (6"), 5 pcs of 2 clips (4"), 2 pcs of 1 clip (1.2")

I am incredibly happy with the extensions and I can't wait to wear them to all the upcoming holiday parties! If you have been sitting on the fence about whether to try our extensions, do not wait any longer. Check out Irresistible Me this weekend to take advantage of the Black Friday deals!

This post is sponsored by Irresistible Me. All opinions are my own because I am a naturally opinionated person!

Celebrating Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. I still love Christmas and Halloween like crazy, but for me, Thanksgiving is the best. I love spending time with my family and cooking all my favourite comfort foods. Oh and the wine, there is always a lot of wine! I celebrate both Canadian and American Thanksgiving and since American Thanksgiving only a few short days away, today I am sharing my Thanksgiving Tablescape from this October (Canadian Thanksgiving).


I love that Canadian Thanksgiving is just before Halloween, so they decor can take on a little more spookiness. I also love that American Thanksgiving is before Christmas so it can take on a lot of the Christmas decor, like I said, I love Thanksgiving! For my tablescape this year I did a bit of "shopping" in my storage area. Tastes change over the years but I never throw anything out! I just store old decor items in my pantry area or in Rubbermaid bins as seen above. I also made a special trip to our local market to grab some fresh produce for dinner and to pick up some flowers. 


Once I grouped together a few decor items I noticed a trend, I was really leaning towards a more rustic look, with a lot of white, orange and gold. I searched everywhere for a burlap table runner and to my complete shock I couldn't find one anywhere! I had just purchased some burlap to wrap my outdoor plants and decided to cut a sheet to size. To minimize the smell (who knew burlap had such an earthy odor!?) I threw it in the dryer, with a dryer sheet, on delicate cycle for 10 minutes. Not only did this get rid of the smell and the majority of the fibers that were falling off, the tumbling perfectly frayed the edges!


One of the things I would like to work on is my flower arranging skills. There are some amazingly talented people on Instagram that I just love following! I wanted to keep the arrangements for the table simple and low as to not obstruct anyone's view. In keeping with the rustic theme I choose mason jars as my vases. To each mason jar I added one sunflower with a spray of greenery and wheat at the back. I then filled in the mason jar with white mums. 


I ended up with three mason jar flower arrangements and placed them at intervals along my table. I filled in the empty space with mercury candle holders, small glass tea light holders, my ceramic turkeys, a few white pumpkins and some red and orange faux leaves.


I used a set of gold chargers that my mom bought me many years ago. For plates I used plain white and brown transferware, added some cream linen napkins and wine glasses and I was done! 


All that was left to do was light the candles and wait for dinner to be ready. 


This Thanksgiving marked the first holiday meal that AMH played chef. I love having a chalk board in my kitchen and displaying the upcoming meal. Everyone was very intrigued to try AMH's tequila smoked turkey!


And just in case you were curious as to what a tequila smoked turkey looks like, here it is! AMH brined the turkey overnight and cooked the bird in the BBQ with tequila soaked wood chips. I have long considered myself the Martha Stewart of poultry, but after this bird my husband is now the poultry chef of the house! It was smoky, moist and incredibly delicious. Wishing all my American readers and friends an early Happy Thanksgiving! 

Neutral Waterways















Outfit details// Trench coat: Michael Kors (purchased at Nordstrom Rack) Top: Banana Republic 
Pants: Sloan wool pants Banana Republic Shoes: Payless
Bag: Hamilton by Michael Kors Silk Scarf: Vintage

Location Welland Canal // Photographer AMH

AMH and I spent a chilly but sunny morning watching the boats at the Welland lift locks. Lucky for us, as soon as we parked a giant ship, the Oakglen from Montreal, pulled in. While the caisson (the section that fills with water to elevate or drop boats) filled with water to bring this giant ship level with the remaining waterway we were able to snap some pictures and wave to the ship operators. I grew up on a lake and spend many summers visiting the lift locks north of Toronto. Seeing the lifts operate brought me right back to my childhood. What snapped me out of it was remembering I'm an adult who likes hot coffee and warm cars so off to Tim Horton's we went!