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MIA goes MIA: Black Wolves Home Opener

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This weekend was an exciting one. It marked the first time I had the opportunity to travel for a game with the National Lacrosse League as the New England Black Wolves hosted the Buffalo Bandits at their home opener.

One of my absolutely favourite things is being able to take in the atmosphere and excitement of a live sporting event, particularly with the NLL, so despite this not being a vacation, I was extremely excited to be able to experience a game at the Mohegan Sun.

The trip started early Friday morning, double checking to make sure I had all the equipment in tow. Camera? Check. Tripod? Check. Batteries? Check. The list goes on. Once I had checked for the zillionth time, it was time to head down to the Toronto City airport.

Since there are no flights that get you close to where Mohegan Sun is located, the trip consists of a flight and a drive. I jumped on a porter flight to Boston and from there rented a car.  I have only flown into Boston for work, so one day I will definitely have to come back to experience the city for itself.

I was definitely that annoying person on the flight with way too much carry on that wasn’t going to fit anywhere, but hey I am not checking a camera. A quick flight followed by an hour and a half drive and I was checked into the hotel down the street from the Mohegan Sun.

It was then time to prepare notes and have a concrete game plan for the next day. Being a videographer is one of the hardest yet most rewarding jobs because you are responsible for all aspects of the production. I needed to make sure I had my questions ready for the players, the camera batteries charged, the computer ready to edit.

After a long day of travel it was a hotel gym, followed by room service, followed by a movie kind of night. Mohegan Sun is one of the most incredible and fun casino’s I have ever been to with endless shops, restaurants, and bars, but I knew if I made my way over it would be a late night, and I sure needed my beauty sleep.

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An 8 am wake-up call, I was at the Mohegan Sun for the Black Wolves shoot around at 10am. At that time I also had my first interview of the Day with the NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz to talk about what is going on around the league with partners, expansion, etc.

I then had to gather b-roll and interviews for the game preview stories. Once I had gathered everything I needed I only had about 3 hours to head back to the hotel and edit the two stories and get them posted to NLL TV.

Once that was all done it was time to head back to Mohegan Sun for game time. I spent the majority of the pre-game upstairs getting some video of the crowds coming in. Fan after fan in their Black Wolves or Bandits gear. I was quite impressed with how many people packed the stands, but I didn’t realize I was in for a history making night.

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The clock ticked down to the final minutes and then it was go time. I had the chance to be on the field as the players ran out of the tunnel. I don’t know how to put that experience in to words. The arena went dark, and fans got their glow sticks out to light the stands , and then all of  a sudden bright lights and the players came running down the floor. I had goosebumps down my arms experiencing this from a front row seat.

The stands were full, the cheers were loud, the game was intense. The overall atmosphere can be summed up as electric. Fans with wolf heads on, or orange bandit hair. They were hard core, true lacrosse fans.

I had heard that after every Black Wolves goal, the crowd lets out a howl. It was amazing to experience this in person. The entire arena coming together and cheering on their beloved team.

The game was as tight as can be separated by one goal at half time. Both teams fighting for the ball, going back and forth with goals, back and forth with hits, back and forth with saves. It was impossible to decide who was going to come out on top.

The game wasn’t decided until less than a minute was left on the clock, and New England Black Wolves all star Kevin Crowely came up with a huge game winner. The crowd was on their feet roaring and howling.

It was at this point we were also informed that for the first time in franchise history, the New England Black Wolves had a sold out crowd. No wonder it was so loud, so energizing. It was amazing to see the standing ovation when this was announced. Fans on their feet supporting their team, supporting the game.screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-5-44-17-pm

It was an incredible experience to be a part of history and to see the growth of this game first hand. To talk to the fans who drive from hours away to cheer on their favourite team, to support their favourite player. It made me fall even more in love with this sport.

It was incredibly fun, but also incredible tired. Once the post-game interviews were done, it was time to head back to the hotel, pack my, bags, and hit the hay because I had a flight to catch the next day.

Work trips are always hectic. There is always so much to get done. They are also some of the most amazing trips, especially when you get to experience two teams battling head to head, when you get to talk to the incredible die hard fans, when you get to feel the cheers in your soul.

Thank you for the Black Wolves and Bandits for an amazing game and an amazing experience, I can’t wait for my next game.

Now first order of business, finding time to get a massage after luging that heavy equipment around!

Can’t wait to share my next adventure with you

Xo

Mia

The One Thing I Learned From My Makeup Artist: Smoky Eyes

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I should start this blog off with a disclaimer, I am no make-up expert or beauty expert and I am not going to try to pretend to be. As a competitive tennis player I was a bit of a tomboy growing up. I hardly wore makeup and when I did the blush was way too pink and the eye shadow way too blue.

Having worked in TV for the past five years, I have had the opportunity to work with various makeup artists and I have picked up a few tricks of the trade.

A few tricks to the point where I have been asked by friends, colleagues, and even strangers how I do my on camera smoky eye. So I decided to share my very easy, very simple steps to how I do it.

If you are a visual learner check out my YouTube video here:

 

Still reading? Well, the first step is finding the right colours for your eyes. I have green eyes, and so I have been told by makeup artists that the best colours to use to make the pop are purples and greys. Want to know what colour eye shadow would be best for your eye? Well it all goes back to the basics of the colour wheel and using contrasting hues that complement each other.

Enough of boring science, let’s get into the fun makeup. To create my smoky eye look I am going to use some beautiful Mary Kay products and colours including their two palettes Moroccan Dunes and Paris Starlight

Get your brushes ready ladies because here we go!

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I don’t know about you but no matter how much beauty sleep I get; I always seem to have dark circles or bags under my eye so the first thing I do is always conceal them. I use the Mary Kay Perfecting Undereye Corrector

 

Step 2: Primer

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It is very important to prime the eyes to make sure that the makeup will stay on all day. I love the Mary Kay Foundation Primer with SPF 15. All you need is a few dots and it covers your whole face. It is so light and goes on so smooth.

Step 3: Highlight

Now for the fun part, the actually colours. The first step is to highlight with the lightest colour you are going to use. For this I use the light highlight from the Moroccan Dunes palette. I sweep it just under the brow and also in the corners of my eyes to brighten them up and make them look bigger.screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-9-12-38-pm

Step 4: Colour your Eyelid

The next step is to choose the main colour you are going to use on your eyelid. Like I said since I have green eyes, I use a purple colour to cover my eyelids. I love the light purple from the Moroccan Dunes palette.

 

Now comes the va va voom. Again I am going to use a purple, but this time a darker colour from the Paris Starlight palette. I always start at the edge of my eye and then work my way with a soft line above my eyelid. I start at the end because I want to get rid of most of the colour so it doesn’t overpower the colour you have put on the lid. What I really love about the Mary Kay products is they go on so smooth and light, that you don’t really have to worry about making it too dramatic. I also like to take this darker shade under my eye like an eyeliner to really up the drama.

Step 6: A little more drama.

If I am going out with friends, I wouldn’t add this step, but when you are on air, you sometimes need to over exaggerate the colours so the camera picks it up. So just on the outside of my eye I am going to add a darker colour, usually a black or dark grey. I love the dark grey from the Paris Starlight palette.

 

Step 7: Liquid Eyeliner

Warning: go with the lightest line you can possible do on top of your lid. Because you are going with such a dark smoky eye, adding a cat eye or line would just be overpowering. Start small and build your way up. I love the thin line of the Mary Kay Liquid Eyeliner Pen

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Step 6: A little more drama.

If I am going out with friends, I wouldn’t add this step, but when you are on air, you sometimes need to over exaggerate the colours so the camera picks it up. So just on the outside of my eye I am going to add a darker colour, usually a black or dark grey. I love the dark grey from the Paris Starlight palette.

 

Step 7: Liquid Eyeliner

screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-9-22-16-pmWarning: go with the lightest line you can possible do on top of your lid. Because you are going with such a dark smoky eye, adding a cat eye or line would just be overpowering. Start small and build your way up. I love the thin line of the Mary Kay Liquid Eyeliner Pen

 

Step 8: Eyeliner Pencil

You may not even need this step, especially if you used eye shadow underneath the eye in step 5, however if you haven’t figured it out yet, I love a more dramatic look so I will also just line my lower lash line with eyeliner, the Mary Kay Eyeliner to be exact. Again what I love about this eyeliner is it goes on so smooth and not too dark.

 

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Step 9: Mascara

In my opinion this is the most important step in any eye look. The bigger your lashes the bigger and wide your eyes look, which is a necessity for any look you are going for. Even if you don’t wear any makeup at all, use mascara! I use the Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara. I always coat my top lashes twice for extra lift and my bottom lashes once.screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-9-23-24-pm

Step 10: Finishing Spray

Congrats, you survived my smoky eye steps. Now to finish it all off you just need to spray so it stays in place all day long. I use the Mary Kay Makeup Finishing Spray. You just hold it an arm’s length out and spray twice and you are ready to hit the town!

Well ladies congrats, you are all expert makeup artists now! Just kidding but I really do hope this helps simplify the smoky eye for you all.

Xo

Mia

Spin in Your Skin

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I hate my jiggly arm fat. I hate my wide shoulders. I hate my thunder thighs from years of professional sports. I hate that my six pack is forever hiding under layers of skin. Just like most people in this world, I have my insecurities, my doubts, my concerns, and working in a profession where your physical appearance is an important element, it just puts all those insecurities under a microscope.

I go to the gym at least 4 times a week, I try and eat healthy but my chocolate addiction sometimes gets in the way of that. Yet no matter what I do, or diet I try, or work out trend I kill myself at, I am forever a size 6.

A few days ago I was invited to partake in Spin in Your Skin. An event put on by Spokehaus spin studio and Knixwear in support of CAMH. For every woman that took part in this spin class, Knixwear would donate a sports bra to women who have been affected by abuse and mental illness. The catch, you had to spin in a sports bra and boy “shorts” and I use the term shorts very lightly.

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I was a little nervous to say the least. I mean it is rare you will find a picture of me in a bathing suit at the beach let alone at a fitness class in downtown Toronto wearing just my underwear, but it was for a good cause and I love the Spokehaus classes so I decided to give it a try.

When we got there, we were given some bright body paint and told to write one word that we were hoping to get rid of this year, one word we would sweat off and out of our lives in this class. My word was self-doubt. For so many years I had doubted myself and my abilities. Doubted whether I was a good enough tennis player to get a scholarship, doubted if I was a good enough journalist to land a job. While I doubted myself, it seemed the world was showing me signs to stop all along since I did land a full NCAA division 1 scholarship, and since I work for a national sports league as a lead reporter. Today was the day that I was finally going to start believing in myself like the rest of the world already seemed to.

It was incredible to walk into the class with 30 other women, all with body paint, all with their words. A lot of “insecurities” written, and “fear” a few other “self-doubts” along with mine. Before the class started we had a very special guest of honour talk to us. Elly Mayday is a model and a public speaker. She isn’t your typical model, she has a full, beautiful figure. As she started to share her story, her voice started to break. Recalling the time, she was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, and had to fight for her life. Recalling how it had come back and she had to battle this terrible disease again. Telling us that despite what she had gone through, she loves and embraces every scare, every imperfection. It was in this moment that I realized it is my imperfections that make me who I am, that make me unique, that make me perfect in my very own imperfect way so thank you Elly for that lesson.

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The class was led by Melissa, who worked us hard for 45 minutes. Continuing to inspire us throughout the entire class, pushing me to peddle faster and work harder than I had ever worked before because I was strong and I was capable. When the class came to an end I looked down at my arm, and the word self-doubt was indeed gone, replaced by a messy paint circle of blues and purples.

As the class ended and I looked around at everyone it was an incredible realization. Everyone was a different shape, a different size, different fitness level, all one mission. To learn to accept themselves, appreciate themselves, and love themselves for exactly who they are. It was in that moment that I realized it was truly time to shed the self-doubt, not just in the form of the writing on my arm, but in how I feel about myself.

I realized it is ok to sneak a chocolate when it isn’t cheat day, do have a few extra pounds, to not have perfectly white teeth or curled hair. What is most important is that I am healthy, and take care of myself. That I am happy and honour myself. That I am loved, and that I love myself.

Life isn’t measured by the number on the scale, but rather by your experiences, your moments, your happiness. Life is measured by how loud you laugh, how big you smile, and how much you feel.

To think, it took just one simple spin class in my undies to realize this life lesson! You are beautiful, you are special, you are unique, you are loved and don’t you ever forget that

Xo

Mia

 

MIA goes M.I.A. : Los Cabos

Los Cabos, the municipality of Mexico located at the southern end of the Baja California Peninsula. It is an area where desert meets the sea and the Gulf of California meets the Pacific Ocean. Where the land is covered in overall beauty from the turquoise waters of the ocean to the red volcanic rock covered mountains. Unlike the row of all-inclusive resort covered beaches in other parts of Mexico, Los Cabos is different. Still not as developed as other tourist locations, Los Cabos has a unique combination of nightlife and art institutions, and activities that the whole family can love.

On my recent trip to Los Cabos we stayed at the Secrets Resort in San Jose, the side of town my catered towards art lovers. A beautiful resort with 24-hour service to ensure you don’t have to lift a finger while on vacation. What I also loved about the location was that we had a swimmable beach just a 10-minute walk, a rare commodity in Los Cabos due to their strong rip currents (the only drawback I can think of).

While on the trip we explored, adventured, ate, and drank all that Los Cabos has to offer. While there wasn’t a minute of this vacation I didn’t enjoy to the fullest. There are so many things to do and see and try in Cabo. Here I share my top 5 must do’s if you intend to visit the Los Cabos region.

A Visit to the Arch 

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The Arch of Los Cabos is a distinctive rock formation at the southern tip of Cabo San Lucas. It is probably the most famous landmarks of Los Cabos and it is a must see for anyone visiting. While there are plenty of boat tours that take you out to see the Arch, we decided to do something a little different and booked a stand up paddle boarding tour with High Tide Sea Expeditions. The tour included both paddle boarding and snorkeling out by the Arch. What I loved about boarding to the Arch was that you really had a chance to take in the beauty surrounding you, from the clear blue ocean to the stunning rock formations that lead up to the Arch. I even had a chance to paddle right beside a family of sea lions. Once we got to the Arch, it was even more beautiful than the pictures had made it out to be. With the sun beaming down on the rock it lived up to its Golden Arch title. We then had a chance to jump into the water and mingle with the beautiful sea life underneath. Our tour guide brought out some bread, and some fish even nibbled on my hand. We were able to get very close and personal with the beautiful life under the water. It was an amazing experience to paddle right beside this well-known landmark.

For more  information visit their website; High Tide Los Cabos

A Sunset Ride 

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Los Cabos is famous for its environment and terrain with half of it consisting of desert and the other half consisting of beach, and in my opinion the best way to see the best of both unique worlds is through an ATV or RZR tour. We went on our adventure with Cactus ATV’s. They have a sunset ride that allows you to explore both the desert terrain and the beach all while driving on off-road vehicle as fast as you can (or feel comfortable). I had never driven one before, but the guides made it very easy for first timers, and always made sure the group was together. It was beautiful to navigate through the plants and cacti and to breathe in the sea air from the open windows. We were even lucky enough to see a whale breach not far off the shore. I had always heard about the beautiful Los Cabos sunsets, and we were fortunate enough to experience this one on while riding along the waves. Truly a magical moment that anyone can enjoy.

For more information visit their website; Cactus ATV Tours

Sip on the Beach in Luxury 

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Enjoy a drink with a view. Everyone had told me about the party that is Cabo Wabo, but if you are looking for a more secluded, quieter spot with amazing food and even better drinks than why not stop by the Thompson Cape Hotel. The new boutique hotel is the spot to be in Los Cabos. We were fortunate enough to visit on New Year’s Eve and the hotel offered a party in pure Thompson fashion complete with world class DJ’s that kept us moving and grooving well into the new year, entertainers, and an incredible firework show that rivals that of Medano beach. But this hotel offers plenty even when there isn’t a party going on. Just take a trip up to their rooftop bar, six stories above the beautiful beach which the hotel is located on for a view that can’t be beat. When you are up there order their famous live oysters or chocolate infused clams but I must warn you, they are addictive. With the beautiful view of the beach and Los Cabos San Lucas you will truly feel like you have left the real world and entered paradise.

For more information or to make reservations visit their website; The Cape A Thompson Hotel

A Swim with the Biggest Fish in the Sea 

It has always been a dream of mine to swim with sharks, the only problem is I am petrified of them so when I heard that Cabo is home to friendly whale sharks I knew I had to give this a try. We went with Cabo Adventures which guarantees you a face to face experience with these friendly sea giants. As the sun got up so did we to head out to La Pas, a quaint town with plenty of markets and sea side restaurants. We then hopped in a small boat and rode about 15 minutes before we slowed down. Giant brown spots appeared in the water below us, apparently the signs of whale sharks. How it works is you get on your snorkel gear and sit on the edge of the boat. When the guide tells you to jump, you better be ready. Once you dip into the murky water your heart starts beating a million times per second with anticipation. Out of nowhere this giant beautiful spotted 24-foot creature swims past me. I literally froze in admiration. We had the chance to dive three times and all three times we were lucky enough to see a shark whale each time. I still have to pinch myself to believe it was real. Post swim, we were greeted with a delicious buffet of tacos and quesadillas. This was a once in a lifetime, unforgettable experience.

For more information visit their website at; Cabo Adventures

A Cultural Walk 2690916_orig

A cultural art stroll. It was actually a tour guide on another excursion that informed us of Thursday night art walks in San Jose. The Gallery District in the area is a cultural hub. A great combination of contemporary and traditional artists line the streets and every Thursday from November until June the streets of central Alvaro Obregon Street are closed off and you can walk among live painters and stunning galleries.  I love how the painters on the street brought not just the Mexican culture, but the culture that is so specific to Cabo to life in their art right in front of our eyes. Combining the beauty of the Arch with that of the mountains. Cactus and whales coming to life on the paper. We were amazed at an interactive art gallery where the paintings literally came to life.   A quick stop into Mi Casa, an authentic Mexican cuisine with a beautiful back patio is the perfect place to end the night with a sweet margarita in hand. We had to buy a beautiful hand painted piece to remember our incredible trip.

For more information visit their website; Los Cabos Art Walk

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I have to say that Los Cabos exceeded my expectations. Between the beautiful terrain of mountains, desert, and beach, to the friendly people, and delicious authentic food I found it difficult to leave. It was one for the books and a location I highly suggest to outdoor adventurers, to cultural lovers, to the foodies and the night life enthusiasts, Los Cabos has something for everyone and I hope that you will also be able to experience one of their magical sunsets.

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MIA Goes M.I.A

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As you may know from reading my blog, I have decided to start a bucket list. I have decided to write my goals, dreams, activities I want to do and try down on paper. I want to ensure myself. Promise myself in fact that I am going to live every single day to the fullest. Today is the day I start crossing items off, isn’t that exciting.

A few months back I planned a trip to Cabo. A five-day getaway filled with sand and sun, rest and relaxation, but no real plans. That all changed when I decided to start this bucket list. So I sat down and asked myself, what scares me? Excites me? Thrills me? What do I really want to do and see, taste and feel? I came up with a list of activities for my first bucket list getaway trip. It looks a little like this.

Day 1 

The travel day. The least exciting part of all, but the 11 hours of travel is all part of it right? Sitting on a plane with a stop in Vancouver that will then be followed by a three-hour layover before arriving at the final destination. Secrets Resort Cabos San Lucas. A luxury all-inclusive destination as the website tells me.

Day 2

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 We are being picked up bright and early from the hotel by High Tide Adventures;  High Tide Website . They specialize in adventures in Cabo, and that is exactly what I was hoping to do. They are taking us out to the arch for a day of paddle boarding and snorkeling. I love snorkeling because every underwater world has its own unique life and beauty. I also love paddle boarding. There is something majestic and relaxing about being out on the open water, one with nature. After that workout, we are set to have a picnic on Lovers or Divorce beach. Preferably Lovers, but both of the beaches are considered the most beautiful in Cabo by locals and tourists alike and I can’t wait to experience it for myself.

Day 3 

 A birthday surprise, I have no idea what is planned for me on this day, however I know it is another adventure. I love surprises and so I am trying not to pry too much in fear that I may use my brainpower and get to the bottom of it.

Day 4 

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Day four of the trip happens to be New Year’s eve, and the day I am looking most forward to for several reasons. Firstly, we are going on a sunset RZR tour. I had no idea what an RZR was until I saw the video of people driving what looks like dune-buggies through the desert and onto the beach. We decided to go with Cactus ATV Tours; https://www.cactusatvtours.com/ As mentioned earlier my list consists of things that both excite and scare me, and an RZR tour sure fits the bill. As a young girl I was scared of go-karts. I hate driving fast and furious and here I will be trekking through the terrain on one of these. I am mostly looking forward to the scenery, the animals and wildlife that make Cabo so unique. My last sunset of 2016 will be on a beautiful Cabo beach, doing something that I have always been afraid of and loving every minute of it.

Then the night is followed by a luxury New Year’s Eve bash at the Thompson Cape Hotel. What I love about this trip falling on New Year’s Eve is not having to plan with friends and compromise. As soon as I saw this party I knew there was no better place to ring in 2017. Why? Well if the classy luxury hotel setting wasn’t enough to sell you on the idea then the rooftop venue with ocean views, exquisite firework show, world class DJ, and the idea of dancing 2016 away and right into 2017 should. I have visited the Thompson hotel in Toronto and each party is so well planned to ensure that the visitors have an unforgettable experience and I am sure that this party will be no different.

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The Cape New Year’s Bash

Day 5 

 The day where rest and relaxation will finally be a thing. On the last day of the vacation I want to do absolutely nothing besides using my remaining energy to swim up to the bar, grab a margarita and swim back on repeat. I want to even out any tan lines by the pool and reflect on the amazing trip that I just had.

I am so excited to embark on my first bucket list trip and am so thankful for everyone that has helped along the way. I cannot wait to share the moments, adventures, pictures, and videos with you. Make sure to check out my blog and Youtube page to follow along. I would also love to hear about your very own bucket list. What does 2017 have in store for you? Go out and kick ass and make sure to comment and share below.

Happy 2017 y’all

xo

Mia