Oscars Best Dressed 2016

Let's all take a moment and let it sink in that Leo FINALLY won an Oscar

Leonardo DiCaprio in Giorgio Armani

On to my picks for "Best Dressed" ladies

Cate Blanchett in Armani PrivĂ©. This is my favourite gown this year. Love the colour and the detailing. 

Oscar winner, Brie Larson in Gucci

Emily Blunt in Prada

Patricia Arquette in Marina Rinaldi, who delivered the greatest acceptance speech last year highlighting the wage gap for women

Fellow Canadian, Rachel McAdams in August Getty Atelier

Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture

Actress, Draper James founder, #Askhermore supporter, and all around cool lady, Reese Witherspoon in Oscar de la Renta.

All photos via Popsugar

Saturday Morning Reads

Some suggested Saturday morning reads from around the web

1. Obsessed with Shay Cochrane's website and photography

2. White Cabana's review of the L.L. Bean 850 Downtek coat

3. Wallstreet Journal "How millennials are changing wine"

4. Lark & Linen's House & Home feature

5. Inc. "How to market to millennials (ask explained by some influential millennials)"

6. The College Prepster breaks down some of her favourite blogging tips

7. Travel & Leisure "Headed to Disney World for the first time? Here's what no one tells you"

8. A wonderful video from The Huffington Post "Why our definition of failure is all wrong"

9. Spoilers for Pretty Little Liars fans!

10. Influencers: To pay or not to pay?

From Celebrating this Life this week

National Margarita Day

Couples Getaway Ideas

Rest & Recovery. Are you getting enough?

Canadian Auto Show

Fashion post - Bow City

Bow City

Outfit Details: | Coat: Mendocino (Similar here & here Both under $100!) | Bag: Call it Spring (Similar, Love this!) | Shirt: J.Crew (On sale!) | Belt: Target | Jeans: GAP | 
Shoes: Prada (Similar, also love these & these!)

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog post, I was in The 6ix (insert eye rolls from my boys here)...fine, Toronto, to attend the Canadian Auto Show with AMH. After wearing these shoes around the convention centre, I changed into my new Prada flats to explore a little of Toronto. It was one of those odd warm February days, the temperature was +12, so with a pair of sunnies in hand, we decided to walk to the Distillery District for lunch at one of my favourite Mexican restaurants. It was nice while it lasted. Over the last two days we have been hit with freezing rain and a lot of the white stuff, so the Prada shoes I have been dying to wear for the last few months are back safely in their box, ready to return when the warm sun does. 

Even though we were at the car show, I wanted an outfit that would be comfortable but still...well...me! I am sure I was the only lady walking around the city with bows on both my shoes and my handbag! I cannot get enough of camel and navy blue right now and I fell in love with this jacket the minute I saw it. I immediately started thinking of all the blue outfits I could wear! I bought this J.Crew shirt on Black Friday and it has been in constant rotation ever since. I have previously professed my love of GAP jeans  and I will again. I just love the way these jeans fit, they feel great on! This little purse has been in the back of my closet forever, same with the Target belt. The Prada shoes, oh I am just so in love. I have always said I am more of a bag person than a shoe person, but I guess I just hadn't met the right pair of shoes. 

Canadian Auto Show

This past weekend was the Canadian Auto Show at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto. I live with a total "car guy" and it has been many, many years since we have checked out the new releases and concept cars.

I am not in the market for a new car, I actually bought a brand new Sonata Sport last summer, but it is always fun to test a few cars out and even get ideas for my next ride (I'm torn between two beauties)!

I'm guessing we saw around 100 cars and trucks. Here is a small sample of what we saw...

The first car you see when you enter the show area, the Forza. I don't know much about this car but every teenage boy was running over to see it and to try out the XBox 360's they had set up around it. My boys tell me it's a video game, or something. Video games are not my thing.

A Shelby Mustang. Ever since I was little I have loved the Shelby. I even have a Shelby poster up in my laundry room. Hey, maybe I'm a car person too...

The new Ford Explorer! My mom had a 1991 Eddie Bauer edition Explorer and it has always been my favourite car. I'd do anything to get my hands on one. 

Of all the cars we saw, it was the Lincoln's that took my breath away. The new front grill is so pretty and sparkly (I'm sure that's exactly what the engineers were going for: pretty & sparkly).

They had their top of the line model on a rotating display so we didn't get to sit in this one but I'm sure it is wonderfully comfortable like the other one.  

AMH inspecting the bottom of a GMC pick-up. 

Aston Martin, the James Bond car. They even has Spectre playing in the background!

In addition to new releases there were some cars on display for your viewing pleasure. 

Here's a car you don't see everyday, a 1930 Duesenberg! 

Or a 1928 Steyr 220!

I love the paint colour of this 1958 Pontiac. We have a 1966 Mercury and if/when it gets a new paint job I'd love to see it match this one!

I Snapchatted this photo to my Youngest. I figured he would get a kick out of seeing Nyan Cat on a car.

The Batmobile from the new Batman vs Superman movie!

And the two cars I am torn between...

The Land Rover!

If I move out to the country, this is the car I want. 

But if I end up staying in a city...

Then I want the CLA250 sport. Much easier to navigate city streets in. 

{Guest Post} Crystal Reia of Your Health -Your Choice - Rest & Recovery. Are You Getting Enough?

When we begin any new exercise regime, it’s very easy to get carried away and want to go gung-ho in the beginning. Most go full throttle...“I feel great! I’m working out again tonight! Let’s run another 10k!” C’mon, I know you’ve all been there. I’ve been there!

I love enthusiasm. I think it’s great when I see a new client come to me and they are ready to kick butt and take on the world. But at the same time, we need to use common sense when it comes to our body’s and our ability to withstand stress to them. Exercise is physical stress to the body.

Rest & recovery includes much more than just allowing the body to rest and your muscles to repair in between sessions. If you are working out 3-4x per week for let’s say an hour per session - what are you doing with those other hours in your day to aid in your recovery? Nutrition, hydration, stretching, posture, sleeping, hours spent standing vs. sitting - can really aid in proper recovery between workouts.

The majority of us are not elite athletes who train and sacrifice for hours and hours each day with their exercise and diet. So for those of us who are working out 2-4x per week you would be much happier following the 80/20 rule when it comes to workout/life/health balance. Instead of focusing on perfection, spend 80% of the time putting a conscience effort into both your training and healthy eating and 20% of the time enjoying life and having fun. You will still get awesome results with your fitness goals and be more inclined to stick with it for the long term. Nobody can maintain strict daily diet rules 100% of the time, you will go crazy after awhile and could crash hard.

So here are my quick tips for the best rest & recovery so you don’t have a pre-workout crash like this guy! (lol)

1. Time Management: Stay devoted to your workout schedule and be sure to get at least a minimum of 24 hours of rest in between workouts depending on your schedule. For beginners this time period could be anywhere from 24-72 hours depending on the intensity of your workouts. Most experience (DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) when they start up a new workout program, therefore you might need more rest in the beginning. Take things a little slower. Not every workout needs to be intense. You should feel pretty much fully recovered going into your next workout.

2. Hydrate: Water, water, water! Drink it up! Staying hydrated will help all of your body functions before and after training. It helps your body circulate and pump blood, aids in liver function and detoxing, flushing out the bad, nutrient uptake, helps with energy and recovery. To ensure you are getting enough, just check the colour of your urine. It should be light to clear in colour. If it is darker in colour you are definitely dehydrated. Also sipping on water throughout the day is better than gulping it down when you are thirsty. Because if you are feeling thirsty? It’s too late, you are already dehydrated. If you are lacking in this area, increase your water intake gradually in the beginning and work up to drinking about 2-3 litres per day depending on how often you exercise. If you are highly active your body will require more.

3. Nutrition: Nutrition can play a big part as you know – you can either help or hinder your performance and recovery! It’s best to eat whole, natural foods. Stay away from processed foods that will put toxins into your body. If you keep overloading your body with these toxins, after awhile it won’t know what do with them and then it just stores it to fat. In order for your body to run like a well oiled machine, you need to provide it with the best cleanest fuel you can. Be sure to get plenty of lean protein to help muscles repair and recover. Also inflammation is a terrible culprit of slowing down weightloss endeavors, but there are many foods/spices that can help fight inflammation. Cherries, turmeric and cinnamon to name a few, can help! Watch dairy and wheat products – they tend to be processed. Try to eliminate processed sugars from your diet as well, which will kill your energy and slow down your progress.

4. Stretching: After a workout it is better to keep moving and stretching on your off days even though you probably want to just hit the couch. Reduce the amount of sitting time vs. standing time can help you with this. A good brisk walk or light bike ride can help get stiff/sore muscles moving again. Do dynamic (moving) stretches to start and when your body is a little warmer try some static (held) stretches. Your legs are your largest muscle group and tend to take the brunt, so focus there. If you don’t know how to stretch properly seek the advice of a trainer or try some yoga classes on your off days. They are fantastic for muscle strength, range of motion and recovery. Rolling out with a foam roller can also help too! Ashley Borden Fitness has an awesome “Guide To Rolling Out” that will take you through a bunch awesome rolling out stretches. http://www.ashleyborden.com/rolling-out/

5. Sleep: As stated in last week’s blog post, you know how important sleep is to your general energy, well being and recovery. Try and get in your 7-8 hours, wake up with natural light. If you’re able to, wind down a little earlier with a nice Epsom salt bath to soothe tired achy muscles.

Take care and have a wonderful week everyone!


Crystal Reia
Your Health-Your Choice

Email: yourhealth-yourchoice@live.ca


Couples Getaway Ideas

I am very passionate about travel (who isn't, amirite?) and as much as I love vacationing with my boys, I especially treasure the moments where AMH and I drop them off at one of their Grandmothers houses and take off like a bat out of hell! I found it difficult to leave the boys when they were very young (let's just say there was once a very tearful, early departure from my first night away from the Oldest) but like all things, it gets easier as time moves on.

While doing one of my favourite past times, searching the internet for couples getaway ideas, I came across a few that I have already been on, one that I have planned for the very near future, and one I never even considered! I thought I would share and would love to hear what couples getaway you have coming up!

Holguin (Guardalavaca), Cuba

We visited Cuba a few years ago and it really combined everything you want in a couples getaway -- relaxation and adventure. The resort was nice (it was fine but 5 star in Cuba is not the same as 5 star in Canada or the US), the beach was beautiful and the weather was perfect! And because my hubby and I are always up for an adventure, we rented scooters, armed ourselves with a map, and some waters and away we went. We headed into the market of Guardalavaca, toured the city of Banes and spent a lot of time looking at the countryside. 

LA (Santa Monica, Beverly Hills), California

I listed these three cities in and around LA because I think they are the real draw when in Southern California. Beverly Hills is glamorous, the perfect getaway to Treat Yo' Self. Incredible restaurants, stellar hotels and the best shopping in the world. It's pricey but oh so worth it. I recommend a 3 or 4 day weekend. Santa Monica is exciting! Pretty beach hotels and the Santa Monica Pier has so much going on. The city itself has a lot to offer, perfect for lazy days strolling on foot trying to find the best ice cream shop. 

Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

This little Canadian city makes a great romantic escape. I follow a few travel deal websites and there is always a 'Niagara on the Lake escape' deal. The hotels are charming, the streets are picturesque. The world-class Shaw Festival is a big draw for theatre lovers and with Fort George, Fort Erie and Fort Niagara nearby, it's great for history buffs. Mostly, it's a quaint and quite place to enjoy each others company.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale is one of my favourite cities in the world. I've been twice, both times as a four day couples getaway, and I am always thinking about my next trip back. On both trips we rented a car and drive into Miami. There are some interesting things to see in Miami, but I wouldn't stay there for long. Fort Lauderdale is a quiet, pretty city that has everything you need; restaurants, shopping, entertainment, but my favourite thing to do is walk around the city. The beaches are the cleanest I have ever seen and I love all the boats and internal waterways, Fort Lauderdale is called the 'Venice of America'. Take a riverfront cruise and admire all the spectacular mansions along the water then grab a pina colada and some dinner at one of the restaurants across from the ocean on Seabreeze Blvd. 

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Another Canadian city that is known for being picturesque is Montreal. I predict there will be an influx of travelers to the city this summer. With the weak Canadian dollar Canadians will be spending more of their vacation dollars in their home country (I know I will be!) and with the great US to Canadian exchange, now is the time for American travelers to explore this old world city. What I love about Montreal, besides the fabulous architecture, is that it feels like it's worlds away but they speak English! I still remember the first time I visited it was quite a culture shock. All the signs are in French and everyone appears to be speaking french so I tried to put my grade 9 French skills to use only to have everyone reply in English. You won't find many English speakers outside the city, but everyone in Montreal is able to speak both languages. As with each pick in the list, the restaurants are top notch and there are a lot of attractions to fill your day, I recommend the BioDome.

Tulum, Mexico

I loved Tulum so much, I already have plans to go back! Ok, ok, it's because my bff is getting married next winter but still, I would have found a way to go back. We spent our first vacation here with the boys in tow, which was great, but we definitely said more than once we have to come here by ourselves. While I am staying at an all-inclusive on my next trip I want to try staying at some of the boutique hotels in Tulum. One of my favourite bloggers, Rosie of The Londoner, has recently stayed at a few boutique hotels but this one, Clifftop Treehouses, has to be the best and is at the top of my 'must stay' list. Tulum is a vacation with rest in mind. There are some of the best Mexican restaurants in Tulum, as well as nearby Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum is quickly becoming the place for be for yogis. Take a tour of the Tulum ruins, swim in a cenote and above all else, get some much needed rest. Take your time to enjoy the town together, turn off the phones (the wi-fi is spotty anyway) and spend some time reconnecting with one another. 

Savannah, Georgia

Here's the one I have not been to, Savannah, Georgia. I mean, look at that water fountain! The whole city looks like a living postcard. I have lived vicariously through many couples who have visited and I envy the genteel lifestyle everyone adopts when they visit. Long mornings of bottomless sweet tea on airy porches, horse drawn carriage rides after dinner learning the history of the city from your guide while the sweet smell of magnolias perfumes the air. I would be remiss if I didn't mention all the southern restaurants! I mean anywhere that serves corn bread with chicken fried chicken and sawmill gravy as a menu staple is ok by me.

London, England

And the other one I have not yet been to but...I will be in a few months! AMH and I are headed to London and a few other stops in the UK this spring. The London part of our vacation is going to be about seeing as much of the city on foot as we can. I've been following a few Instagram accounts that post photos of just how pretty the city is. I've read about some attractions and restaurants but this trip is really about just experiencing the city. I want to live like a local if only for a few days. I'll have my camera all set to go and I promise to give an update on how we fared as a couple touring London.

*Note* I didn't include Paris, France only because every couple either has already been, has it at the top of every trip list, or already has a trip coming up. I've never been and I fall into the category of "I'd love to go but it's so expensive and there are so many other places I'd like to see first" like Savannah and even New Orleans. Paris will come one day, as it will for all of us.

So what do you think of my list? I'd love to hear your thoughts -- do you agree, disagree, think somewhere else should have made the list? Have your say in the comments below!

National Margarita Day

Happy National Margarita Day! 

I would put the margarita at the top of my 'favourite drinks' list and (gasp!) I was very late to the party on this one. I first tried it on a trip to Mexico last Christmas! I know, I know. I still can't believe all the times I have turned down an offer of a margarita. But fear not, I am making up for lost time!

To celebrate this most excellent national holiday (National Margarita Day is celebrated every February 22) I am sharing my favourite recipe for margaritas. This is AMH's recipe and it is simple and delicious. Also, a little birdie once told me his recipe is healthier because he uses fresh ingredients. That was music to my ears!

celebrating this life

All the ingredients you will need for this fresh margarita -- kosher salt, limes, ice, triple sec and tequila.

I know nothing, probably less than nothing, about tequila but luckily, I live with an expert. AMH recommends silver tequila for his margaritas and he really likes Cazadores. He also recommends Don Julio but I drank that all last summer. Oops. 

celebrating this life

Juice a few (3-4) limes into a measuring cup (Williams Sonoma Lime Press $10 The most used gadget in our kitchen!)

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Spread some kosher salt onto a small plate

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Using a lime wedge, wet the rim of your margarita glass (Set of 4 margarita glasses JCPenny for $22)

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Salt the rim

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Add a few ice cubes to your cocktail shaker (Loving this gold polka dot one from Kate Spade for $50, and this Martha Stewart one for $28.99. My shaker with the F.Scott Fitzgerald quote is from Indigo (Chapters) 

Also add:
1oz. silver tequila
1oz. triple sec
1oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1 lime wedge

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Cover and shake like your in Cocktail. Mariachi music optional. 

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Pour into your salted margarita glass...

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and enjoy! 

Fresh Margarita

Juice 3-4 limes, cut another into wedges
Wet and salt a margarita glass

To a cocktail shaker add

-1 lime wedge
-1oz. silver tequila
-1oz. triple sec
-1oz. lime juice

Shake vigerously
Strain into margarita glass
Enjoy with nachos and guacamole and pretend your in Mexico soaking up the sun.