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Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Friday, July 22, 2016

8 Inspiring Women Share Their Self Care Rituals & Tips ~ International Self Care Day

Self care is much more than just having a bubble bath - though I admit that is one of my favourite ways. Self care is about taking care of you mind, body, spirit and taking action to being the person you want to be and creating the life you want to live.

Those who have been long time readers of HHL already know I'm a HUGE advocate for Self Care, imagine my excitement when I discovered since 2011 countries such as: China, Mexico, South Africa, Switzerland, the United States and Vietnam have been organizing Self Care day - UK and Canada have been organizing Self Care week. 

Why July 24th? according to the International Self Care Foundation "The International Self-Care Day, 24 July, symbolises that the benefits of self-care are experienced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In other words, the benefits of self-care are life-long and do not just relate to a single day. ISD on 24 July simply provides a good focus and opportunity to publicise or report on self-care in action programmes"

In celebration of International Self Care Day - I asked some amazing, inspiring women to share how they practice self care on the daily and nurture mind body spirit. Whether you are an empty nester, single mom, city or country gal, corporate/entrepreneurness/CEO of your home, or a little potpourri of all the wonderful things women do, I am certain you will find a little of yourself in all these ladies.

Here is what they had to say:

Thursday, July 14, 2016

5 Things I'm Loving Right Now ...


Summer is in full force here in Toronto! Temperatures have held steady in the high 20s feeling like low 30s and this past week 30s feeling above 40s. Toronto has had the driest couple of months, according to the weather reporters. Here is what I'm currently loving:

1. Quenching Coconut Curls - OGX: With these crazy temps - blow outs are often forgone for au natural curls. To keep my curls looking their best I have found this little shampoo and conditioner duo are gentle and nourishing on my locks, but mighty at protecting it from the dreaded frizz. Oh, and let me tell you - the coconut smell is out of this world!!

2. Pumice Stone - Revelon: Is it just me, or do your heels and big toe seem to need a little more exfoliating in the summer? Maybe it's just that we see our feet more - with sandals and open toe shoes being our go to. In either case I find using a pumice stone in the shower is a quick way to keep my feet looking smooth. This one has been doing a great job at keeping my feet sandal ready.

3. Shea Butter Ultra Rich Lip Balm L'Occitane: It's not just the coldness of winter that can dry out your lips. Being outdoors in the hot sun can also cause your lips to be dry and flaky. I keep this fav around all year - and after a day at Toronto's waterfront or just being out about the city - I make sure I'm giving my lips a little extra nourishing attention. I love this because, you don't need to use a lot and the creamy texture easily glides on. Perfect for wearing alone, under lipstick and for after sun care.

4. Toronto Sunrise & Sunsets- Time & Date: Loving that there is day light before 6 am and until 9 pm! I find with the nicer weather and extra day light hours I am more productive, my mood is happier and with longer day light hours - after a long day writing  I can still enjoy being outdoors. If you are wanting to get out and enjoy both the sunrise and sunset - look up times for your area Here.

5. Intense Curl Cream - Moroccanoil: This is a real curl and time saver. This leave-in conditioner moisturizes and helps fight stubborn frizz without being sticky or weighing my hair down. It is great for refreshing curls - in the morning I spray my hair with a little Evian water and apply a couple pumps of the intense curl cream - my curls look defined, hydrate and bouncy.

What are you loving right now?

You are the curator of your life so live it luxuriously ,

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Take Your Downward Dog to the Beach ...

When the temperatures start hitting the high 30s the thought of heading to the yoga studio (especially if they have no a/c) can have you saying "not today" it's a beach day. So, why not make the most of it head down to the water's edge and bring your yoga essentials. It's a great way to relax, balance mind body spirit and connect with mother nature ...
outfit/products: 

Old Navy Womens Go Dry Mid Rise Yoga Crop; Good Charma Women's Buddha Charm Bracelets - Blue; Sanuk Yoga Sling 2 Prints (Burgundy Multi Radio Love) Women's Sandals; messy bun mom shirt; Women's Apera Yoga Tote;

Click here for YOGA at the BEACH product details

How are you keeping up with your fitness activities in the summer?
You are the curator of your life so live it luxuriously ,

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer is not all sunshine for some people ... Summer SAD

Most of us are familiar with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) in winter - I wrote about my own experience with it here and spoke about it on HuffPost Live here ... but SAD can also happen in the sun filled long days of summer - most commonly referred to as reverse SAD, because it occurs during the summer months. 

The pressure to "have fun" can be overwhelming - after all everyone else "seems" to be having such a great time. The symptoms of SAD are the same as those of depression, but occur during a specific time of year.

Some of the most common reasons summer can be a difficult time for some people:

Unstructured Days: Routine seems to go out the window when summer is in full swing. This can be overwhelming for those of us who rely on structure to keep us organized and productive. If you have children you now may find yourself having to fill their day with activities as well as your regular day-to-day stuff. 

Unplanned/expected Expenses: With the hot temperatures we have been experiencing in Toronto - it's too easy to get caught up in hitting a patio after work with colleagues to cool off and enjoy the fleeting summer. Once in awhile may not be so hard on the budget - but it can quickly become a regular thing - and then there goes the budget. The pressure to host BBQs - can also become draining if your friends are joyfully showing up empty handed - both in the food and beverage departments. Oh and the summer vacation; and the added electricity cost of running the A/C; the list goes on and on.

Self Conscious: With summer comes heat - and one of the most common ways to escape it is to head to the closest beach or waterfront park area. This also translates into shorts, short sleeves and bathing suits. When you are not feeling comfortable with how you look the thought showing any skin can lead to stress and anxiety.

The Summer Heat: Just like the cold of winter can be isolating - the heat of summer will have people staying close to their air conditioner to avoid the heat. And if the high temperatures last for days at a time - this can lead to feelings of isolation and little interest to participate in activities outside of their home such as going for a walk or meeting with friends for outdoor fun.

Eating Habits: When the temperatures rise our desire turn on the stove can vanish - turning instead to quick take out meals (that may or may not be healthy options). This can lead to unwanted weight gain and feelings of depression.

Some tips for dealing with SAD in the Summer:

Plan Pot Luck/BYOB: If things are a little tight with finances, or the thought of hosting a gathering is overwhelming and stressing you out - suggest a pot luck and bring your own beverages gathering with friends. This will help keep you social without stretching your budget or feeling like you have to do it all.

Free Summer Fun: During the summer cities such as Toronto offer a whole assortment of free festivals and activities. Check your city's website for free summer fun. This is a great way to have fun all summer long without feeling like you can't do anything without spending large amounts of money.

Plan Meals: Cook extra food and turn it into other meals throughout the week. When I cook pasta or rice - I always make extra. On days that I'm running late or let's face it we all have those days when it's so hot out we just don't feel like cooking - I can add vegetables to either and have a healthy meal in no time.

Speak to Someone: We all experience not so good days - but if your not so good are more frequent than your good days - consider speaking to your family doctor, psychologist or another medical professional who may be able to help you figure out why you are always tired, or lacking interest in things you once enjoyed.

Sleep: With endless activities in can be easy to over do it - and not get enough sleep. Make sure you are getting your required about of sleep each night.

Mindful Movement: Consciously ensure you are moving your body daily - through yoga, stretching, walking or via an other form of exercise. Exercise is key to keeping your mind and body fit.

HYDRATE: Make sure you are drinking plenty of water - the summer heat can really dehydrate you. Too often we think we are hungry - but what our body really need is a glass of water.

Have you experience SAD during summer months? 
How did/do you deal with it ?

You are the curator of your life so live it luxuriously ,

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Summer Bucket List -Why & How To- FREE PRINTABLE

As we transition from the cold grip of winter and soggy spring days visions of EVERYTHING we could be doing if it was only summer already! dance in our minds. But, before you know it - time passes and we are looking back and saying "wish I had done (fill in the blank) this summer". How could I have forgotten "I wanted to do that" or "how did time pass so quickly" are too often asked, as the days darken earlier and the crispness of fall begins to fill the air. 


Well the answer Resilientistas is: life happens -and unless things are written down and scheduled into your planners - it's too easy to forget - put it out of your thoughts. And when you think of it - you realize your weekends are already filled doing things other people want to do - or you get so caught up in the moment that whatever is suggested you participate in, again putting your wants out of mind or without a plan (list) you sit around doing nothing. 

Just the other day: there was an event I had been wanting to attend - "I won't forget about it" ... I thought to myself - well the day came and went and it wasn't until after the fact that I remembered about it (I had not scheduled it in my planner). So, I quickly got out my Summer 2016 Bucket List and began to make note of the things I REALLY would like to do, see, experience this summer.

How to create a Summer Bucket List:

1. Print the Summer Bucket List FREE printable 
2. Grab your favourite beverage, a treat if you like and sit in a comfy place
3. Take a few moments to think about what you want to do, see, experience this summer
4. Start making your list
5. Pin your list where you will see it regularly
6. Schedule the activities into your planner. 
    You can schedule them all at once or add a few each week when you sit down to plan/review the          week ahead.
7. Pat yourself on the back and go HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!!!



- EXTRA TIPS:

* if an annual summer event has passed - that you wish you had attended make note of it for next year
* not sure whats going on - spend a few moments googling summer activities of interest to you for ideas
* remember there are only so many days and weekends in summer - if you find yourself with an enormous list pick 6-8 things you really want to do - schedule those first. 
 I keep my list on the cork board in my office at High Heeled Life HQ so that it's a daily reminder.

Here are some of the things on My Bucket List 
I'm hoping to do, see and experience this summer:

- attend a Blue Jays home game
- hotel pool day at the Hyatt
- have a picnic in the park
- see the animals at Toronto Zoo
- take in a play at High Park
- host a girls backyard soiree
- a weekend away to Muskoka
- have a beach day building sand castles
- boat cruise Toronto waterfront
- read 4-5 books


inspire others - share in the comments ...
What's on your Summer Bucket List?

You are the curator of your life so live it luxuriously ,

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Monday, July 4, 2016

Afternoon at the ROM - Chihuly Exhibit

Friday was Canada's 149th birthday ... visions of out door BBQing and walks along Toronto's waterfront where literally dampened with the buckets of rain that pour down most of the day. If you follow HHL on Instagram, you may already know that the weather did not spoil our day. Instead we CHOOSE to have a brilliant day - despite the change of plans.
As you can see we added some brightness to the rainy, gloomy Canada Day 
with a visit to Dale Chihuly's colossal glass sculptures at the ROM
While all the sculptures were gorgeously breath taking in their own right, I was mesmerized by the Persian Ceiling ...
The bean bags were a great treat ... to fully take in the beauty that was happening over head. Some mindfulness time was spent as my mind took in all the colours, shapes - it was a visual symphony of colour.


Mr. G. may have had to coax me from this tranquil spot ...
like a parent does a small child from the candy displays at  the check out.

Did you notice the Putti in the first ceiling photo?
Putti were popular figures in European art of the sixteenth and seventeenth
 centuries and represent Cupid, the Roman god of love.

Have you attened a Chihuly Exhibit? 
would love to hear your thoughts on his work.

For information on where to find 2016 Chihuly Exhibitions click here

Outfit details: t-shirt - J. Crew; jeans - Bluespice; sneakers - Converse; eye wear - Chanel

You are the curator of your life so live it luxuriously ,

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Stay in Step with High Heeled Life ...
Don't Miss a post get HHL Email Updates 
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