7 tips to get your skin ready for a special event

I have mentioned on my social media that this month I was focusing my blog on some lifestyle and beauty features. With a wedding coming up I have really been focused on taking care of myself, whether it be through fitness and eating healthy to taking proper care of my skin and today I wanted to share some of my skin care secrets with you.

As an on air TV reporter, I wear a lot of makeup. Working for the Weather Network takes me outside a ton so it is really important for me to take good care of my skin when it comes to both protecting it outside and keeping it clean. A challenge for most of us after a long day but something that your future self will no doubt be thanking you for.

I have worked with many makeup artists throughout my TV career. I am also working closely with my wedding makeup artists to get me ready for the big day. Over the years from makeup artists and dermatologists I have picked up a few tips and tricks that I wanted to share with you.

 

1. Drink lots of water

Trust me, I know this one can be tough. You are rushing to the office, to your workout classes, to cook dinner. It seems that in this day and age we are always rushing somewhere and to do something but it is so important to remember that in between rushing places, chug some water. I really started focusing on this when I had my makeup consultation for the wedding and the first thing my makeup artists asked me was; “how much water do you drink? Your skin is a bit dehydrated.”

We tend to forget that a big portion of our body is made up of water, including your skin cells and without water they cannot function and repair properly. Because of this I start every morning by chugging a glass of water and make sure I constantly have a full water bottle (even if I am going out for a story).

Since focusing on drinking more water not only has my skin started to look healthier, but I also feel like I have more energy during the day and it has also helped me curve food cravings. Win, win, win.

 

2.Follow the routine, no matter how tired you are

After long days at work and the gym, sometimes I just want to crawl into bed with my face still covered in makeup, but it is so important to keep those pores clean. It is also so important to make sure you find a routine and products that work for your skin type. My skin is fairly neutral so I don’t have to worry about products for oily or dry skin, but recently I started using Dermalogica. My mom has always sworn  by their products and now I do to.

  • Every day and night no matter how tired I am and even when I am traveling I start with the Precleanse balm, a deep cleansing balm to oil which helps melt the makeup off my skin.
  • I then use the multi activate toner to help keep the moister locked in.
  • Next I slather on my secret weapon. It isn’t a Dermalogica product but I picked up a wonderful facial oil in the Yukon made with all natural ingredients including carrot seeds and vitamin E. I use this as my serum. Serums are great because they are made up of smaller particles that can dive deeper into the skin
  • Don’t forget those eyes. After serum I throw on the Mac cosmetics fast response eye cream. This eye cream has caffeine in it which helps with de-puffs and firms skin
  • Lastly I finish it all off with a moisturizer. I use the Dermalogica skin smoothing cream. What I really love about this moisturizer is that it protects for 48 hours against environmental stress which is important when you spend your days working outside.

3.Wear Sunscreen

This one is super important to me for so many reasons. Firstly, a few of my family members have suffered from melanoma. Secondly, as I have mentioned working with the Weather Network I am outside a lot. Protecting my skin from sun damage is super important, not only because of skin cancer but also sun can lead to aging. No matter what the temperature is or if it is raining I always put at least SPF 30 on my face. I also try and find makeup that includes SPF for some extra coverage.

4.Collagen is key 

I have spoken about my love for Biosil in my previous piece for hair care, however the product fits in with skin care as well. Biosil helps create collagen, which creates elasticity in your skin. In return it helps promote glowing, vibrant skin. I take two tablets daily for skin, nail, and hair benefits.

5.You are what you eat 

Eating well doesn’t just have health benefits for your physique but also for your skin. More and more studies that have been done on the connection between skin and diet show that a poor diet can age your skin. Some foods that are good for your skin include:

  • Omega 3: Fatty fishes help keep skin healthy and moisturized. I take a fish oil vitamin daily to help with this.
  • Avocado: Avocado has compounds that can protect your hair from skin damage. It also is an excellent source of vitamin E.
  • Sunflower seeds: Seeds are great for skin health. They help produce vitamin E and Zinc, all excellent products for your skin’s health.

 

6.Get your beauty sleep 

Your sleep time is also your skins time to recover. Also when you are sleep deprived, that produces more stress hormones, which directly impacts the look of your skin. Also, if you don’t get proper rest collagen and hyaluronic acids break down and so your skin looses that glow. I know it is cliche but a good nights rest really has health benefits for your skin.

7.Splurge on a deep cleanse 

No matter how much you scrub and clean and clear sometimes you just don’t have the tools in your tool box. My wedding makeup artist suggested getting regular facials leading up to the big day. I love that the work is all done for you. From hydration to extractions they take care of it all and can also recommend some products that will work well for your skin. Now I know facials can be expensive but sometimes there are Groupon deals (just read the reviews) or membership plans. I joined Skoah’s membership and now my facials cost $60 instead of $90!

Whether you are getting ready for your wedding, a special event, or just want to have beautiful skin these 7 tips can help you get the glowing skin you want.

xo

Mia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Hair care tips I swear by

 

As a TV journalist my hair takes a serious beating. I am constantly colouring it, curling it, and straightening it, but yet somehow every time I go to my hairdresser she cannot believe how “relatively” healthy it is based on the damage (so sorry hair) I put it through on a daily basis.

I will be the first to tell you I am not happy with where my hair is right now. I have been trying to grow it out for the past eight years since an old news director forced me to cut it so I looked more professional during my news reporter days. I tried to buy a wig and fool her, it didn’t work, so chop it I did. While I may not think my hair has changed much, everyone that hasn’t seen me in a while comments on how much it has grown and how healthy it looks so I guess I am doing something right.

Right now I am more motivated than ever to get the silky locks, I mean I am getting married in Sept after all and I really want those lifelong pictures to look amazing so I have been following quite an interesting hair routine with tips I got from pros and other on air personalities and I decided to share my top 5 with you.

1) Find a low maintenance colour that fits you

The old saying goes everything is bigger in Texas. I also learned everything is blonder in Texas. However the blonder I went, the more frequent I would have to get my hair done. My ends were starting to frizz and my bank account started to feel the hit too. I figured there had to be a better way. I decided to stay blonde, but go a little darker and more of a balayage look. I was still blonde, but I had found a more happy (and affordable) medium. This means I only have to make a trip to my hairdresser for colour every 3-4 months instead of ever 4-6 weeks and my hair has been pretty thankful.

2) Take your vitamins

I have been taking vitamins since I was a child for things like bone health but little did I know there were also vitamins that would help my hair. For the past eight years I have been taking Biosil and fish oil every day. Biosil helps produce collagen, which is essential for smooth skin, strong nails, and thick hair. While taking this vitamin I have not only noticed stronger and healthier hair, but I have also seen improvements when it comes to the strength of my nails as well as the smoothness of my skin. This is truly my secret weapon.

3) Chose your weapon of style carefully

 

 Ok, this is one I definitely need to work on myself. I am not a morning person and so I usually wake up late and am forced to turn on the dreaded flat iron because that is the quickest method of styling my hair. However, I am really trying to make an effort to wake up a little earlier and turn on the curlers instead. I find they produce less heat and cover a larger volume of hair. I am also a firm believer in air drying my hair, who has time to blow dry nowadays anyway.

4) Hair masks for the win

At least once a week I throw on a hair mask on damp hair for at least 15 minutes before my shower. The masks are filled with nutrients that are so good for your hair and I will spend about 5 minutes rubbing it into my scalp and all the way down tot he ends. Also when I am done washing my hair, I throw on a good leave in conditioner and Aveda’s total repair daily hair serum. I find adding these elements to the routine has me waking up with silky smooth hair.

5) Skip the shampoo

Ok, it might not sound that attractive, especially if you try and get a workout in every day but I only wash my hair 1-2 times a week. Now, I mean really wash my hair with shampoo, conditioner, purple shampoo etc. If you shampoo everyday, it strips your hair of its natural nutrients.
These are just a few tips that I have for you when it comes to taking care of your hair, but I am sure there are hundreds of other amazing tips out there and would love if you would share some of them with me below.
xo
Mia

My experience with HelloFresh

Disclaimer, I should start off by telling you I am a terrible cook. I burn rice, I overcook fish, don’t even ask me what sauté is. My go to meal is mac and cheese.  I am hopeless in the kitchen, or at least that is what I thought.

This year, I decided that even though I am no Gordon Ramsey I wanted to start to develop some basic cooking skills. With an upcoming wedding I wanted to start eating healthier, with a new house I wanted to save money by cooking at home, and with a fiancé that is a whiz in the kitchen I wanted to contribute more. It was time.

However I was off to a bad start when I realized how overwhelming the dark web can be. Millions of “simple” recipes that require dozens of ingredients and endless marinating hours. Just when I had accepted that Uber Eats would continue bankrupting me monthly I was told by a friend to check out HelloFresh.

Discovering HelloFresh

HelloFresh delivers “cook from scratch” fresh meal plans straight to your door. What I liked about the idea of their meals, is that they also provide you with easy-to-follow recipe cards. The cards have step by step instructions and all the delicious ingredients pre-portioned ready to go. I also loved that the meals were quick to make (the ones I chose took about 30 minutes), and you know everything that is going into your meal so you know that it is not just delicious but also healthy.

So many options to fit your needs 

After doing some more research I found out that there are so many different options with HelloFresh, so it is easy to find something that fits your food preferences and budget.  You can order the Pronto Plan, which provides you with 3-4 quick, easy, and delicious recipes for 2-4 people. For the vegetarians there is the Veggie Plan, which offers three amazing vegetarian recipes. The third option is one for the kids too, the Family Plan makes sure the little ones will enjoy their meals and maybe even want to help out in the kitchen. It offers 3-4 recipes for four people. 

I decided to give the Pronto Plan a try since I was planning to cook for just two people. Even though I don’t eat red meat, there was such a variety of options to chose from. Some of the options were a little outside of the box like the Roasted Veggie Tagine. Others, more simple like the Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti and Parmesan.  I ended up choosing these two along with the Chili Chicken with Green Bell Pepper and Basmati Cumin Rice.

A few days later there it was right on my doorstep, a HelloFresh box. Inside the box I found icepacks that were there to keep the food fresh as well as all three of my meals. Just as advertised it came with simple instructions and perfect food portions ready for cooking. 

The Experience 

Meal #1 Roasted Veggie Tagine 

The first meal that I decided to make was the Roasted Veggie Tagine with Nutty Couscous Pilaf. While the cooking level for this one is only a 1 it was such a unique dish with such amazing flavours. I can’t say that slow cooked stews are my go to in the kitchen so I loved that I had a chance to try something new. The combination of the sweet potatoes, homemade fig jam, and the nuts was so different but they all fit together so perfectly. The best part of it all was that the portions were so big I had left overs for days.

Meal #2 Chili Chicken 

Next up was the Chili Chicken with Green Bell Pepper and Basmati Cumin Rice. I knew I would love this dish because it was described as ‘a spicy food lovers dream’ and I sure love spice. This dish consisted of the perfect combination of fresh peppers, chicken, ginger, and garlic to add a little extra flavour. The homemade sauce was mouth watering and the best part when you break it down the actual cooking time was only about 10 minutes.

Meal #3 Classic Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti and Parmesan

Last up was the Classic Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti and Parmesan. I loved the twist on this traditional meal. As I had mentioned one of my main goals was to start eating healthier and so by switching up the ground beef meatballs for turkey ones I could enjoy the pasta guilt free. The homemade tomato sauce was simple yet delicious.

I absolutely loved cooking with HelloFresh. Not only did it help keep my busy life a little less busy by delivering the food right to my door and providing me with easy and fast recipes, but the food was also delicious. I never thought I would be able to make a tasty Tagine dish, but thanks to the easy to follow directions of HelloFresh and their ever changing unique menu options I now feel like a bit of a whiz in the kitchen.

For more information and to check out some of the delicious recipes make sure to visit their website at HelloFresh.ca

Happy cooking my friends,

xo

Mia

The most creative Christmas gifts in Vancouver

One of my favourite parts of the holiday season is finding the perfect gift to put under the tree. As much as I love opening up my own presents, there is something so satisfactory when someone you love opens up a gift that you found especially for them.

One of my least favourite parts of the holiday season is trying to deal with crowded malls, lines, and finding gifts that anyone can purchase. If you are like me, you pride yourself in finding that unique truly special gift.

Unique local gift ideas 

I wanted to share some of my favourite and creative finds in Vancouver  for this holiday season that are sure to impress everyone on your list.

ChopValue

I came across Chopvalue while on a work assignment. I was trying to find creative gifts that were made from recycled goods.

Chopvalue is a Vancouver based company that uses recycled chopsticks to create beautiful furniture and art. The company actually recycles more than 350,000 chopsticks weekly from Vancouver alone.

I was so impressed with the beautiful tables, shelves, and even coasters. I had to pick up a few pieces for myself and my boyfriend.

Price:  Depends on what you are looking for but you can spend between $20-$2000

Pangea Maps

This is actually a gift I received this year and I am absolutely in love with it. Pangea creates custom hand made 3D maps revealing iconic waterscapes.

The custom made map that I received marks where I live in Vancouver now, and where I will be living in Squamish as well as the important lakes, and of course Ocean that outline my home.

Price: from $480

The Liberty Distillery

There is something special about shopping at Granville Island, particularly around the holidays. The lights, the decorations, the spirit, it is all so amazing. I also love that a lot of the gifts here are hand crafted and one of a kind. You can get everything from beautiful ceramics to customized jewelry.

One of my favourite spots at Granville Island is is Liberty Distillery. When you step inside the doors you will automatically be enchanted by the 110 year old antique bar. In the back of the bar is the distillery, where you can see the spirits being made and you can even try samples.

While bringing a bottle of wine for the holiday parties is always a great idea, why not make your gift more unique award winning bottle of whiskey.

Price: $70

Saje Natural Wellness

I have been a huge fan of  the Vancouver company Saje for years now. I love their travel products that really helped me when I am on the road.

This holiday season I received the most amazing gift from Saje, a diffuser. The one I chose is from their partnership with Jillian Harris and I am actually obsessed. I love how amazing my house smells and how calm the natural oils make me feel during even the most stressful work days

Price: approx $90

Ufeast Vancouver 

Sure, gifts are great but experiences last a lifetime. One of my favourite gifts was actually a ufeast dinner. Ufeast is a company that partners with local restaurants to create unique dining experiences. They combine delicious meals and hand crafted cocktails for a fun night out.

Price: around $50

Happy holidays and happy shopping my friends,

xo

Mia

 

 

 

 

New Years Resolution with the Practice Studio

I know that a few of you followed along as I shared by journey with the Practice Studio. For three months I worked with the amazing during my Whole Life Practice Journey. The journey, as I have mentioned in a few of my previous blogs focuses on four main pillars; fitness, nutrition, meditation, and life coaching.

The Journey 

While I shared the journey along the way, the lessons I learned, the changes I made, and the obstacles I overcame. I have yet to share the actual results of the experience. You know, sometimes life gets in the way and all.

Pillar 1: Fitness

When I started my fitness journey I was taking three to four classes a week and one day of personal training. Before we started the journey we set aside some personal goals that we were going to work towards over the next three months.

  • Loose 5 pounds
  • Loose 2% body fat
  • Work out at least 4 x a week
  • get involved more in outdoor activities and workouts
  • tone arms and abs

During the three months we mixed up our training routines so that I wouldn’t get bored (something that tends to happen when I go to the gym). We did workouts outdoors in the sunshine, different classes, and cardio & weight training.

By the end of the experience not only did I find workouts that I enjoyed, get a variety of training through incredible classes, and find more confidence in myself but I also reached the majority of my goals.

By the end of the three months, I lost 3 pounds, was down 1.7% body fat (the majority of the weight loss was in my arms and abs), was working out 4 to 5 times a week,  and was doing more outdoor hikes and bike rides.

While I didn’t reach every goal, I came close and was definitely taking steps in the right direction. Most importantly though, I gained confidence that I never had before and learned skills that I can apply to my everyday workout routines.

Pillar 2: Nutrition 

Before starting my journey with the practice studio I can tell you I sure struggled in the nutrition department. Of course I would order french fires with my burger, and yes I will have the dessert menu.

I knew that this was going to be my biggest challenge of all, but in my first meeting with Jackie I was surprised that instead of telling me what I can and cannot eat, she told me to create a food diary and also helped me come up with some goals for our journey.

  • Cut down on carb and sugar intake
  • Loose 5 pounds and 2% body fat
  • Become more confident with my eating habits
  • Cook more meals at home

One of the most memorable moments of my experience was going to the grocery store with Jackie and actually reading the labels and ingredients. I have always been a visual learner and so going through the store and learning how to make better choices was a big part of my journey.

It was also amazing to have an entire team holding me accountable, but in the most positive way possible. I would keep my food journals, and when I would slip up or cheat I wasn’t yelled at, instead I was told it was ok to indulge as long as it wasn’t every meal.

This was the biggest change in my lifestyle. At the end of the day I came close to my weight loss goals, but I have been cooking more at home, making healthier choices, and feeling better about my overall well being. I have more energy and am once again more confident in myself. Oh and about the cooking, it has become one of my biggest hobbies.

Pillar 3: Mindfulness & Meditation

As someone who is constantly on the go between work, my blog, vlogs, and then trying to have a social life in between, I struggle to find a healthy balance. Focusing on mindfulness and meditation has never really been  a priority for me.

Through the practice studio program though, I realized how important it is to focus on this aspect of my life more. During the three month period we came up with a few goals when it came to mindfulness and meditation.

  • Meditate every morning for at least 10 minutes
  • practice breathing exercises to help keep me calm and relaxed in stressful situations
  • Journal daily

I was able to reach all of my goals that I set and I must say I saw an incredible difference in my lifestyle and overall health. With the help of calming meditation practices and breathing techniques I have found ways to relax even when I have stressful events going on in my life.

Pillar 4: Life Coaching

When I first sat down with Jackie for our coaching sessions, it was a huge wake up call for me. I had never really taken the time to evaluate my life and what I was doing and if it was making me happy.

In just one sessions, I realized it wasn’t. I was working none stop to make ends meet while neglecting relationships with friends, family, and myself. We started to come up with goals on how to change this.

  • See my parents at least once every two months
  • Spend time with friends at least once every two weeks
  • Take at least one full day off a week for myself (while freelancing)
  • Try and find a job that allows me to do what I love, but also have quality time for myself.

Right away we started working towards those goals by creating schedules and calendars and really allocate my time to the right areas of my life. I was practicing better communication skills, and taking the time to figure out my true passions.

By the end of my coaching, I was having a better time with my partner, I was feeling more rejuvenated because I was acually taking time for myself, and I landed my dream job with the Weather Network. It is amazing what you can achieve if you actually set your mind to it (cliche I know but oh so true).

Next Step: New Year’s Resolution 

Now that I have shared my results, it is time to share my goals, and there is no better time to set some new goals then the new year right?

Goal setting was a huge part of the Practice Studio Whole Life Program because it truly holds you accountable to reach your goals, and it is something that I want to continue to focus on now that my time in the actual program has ended.

With an upcoming wedding and career as a national weather reporter, my physical appearance is really important to me. My goals are of course to continue to be healthy, eat right, and hey if I do lose some body fat along the way that would be great too.

My true goal though is to continue to focus on my fitness more so for my overall confidence. When I am staying active, working out, and feeling healthy I feel better about myself overall. I tend to have more energy, and that confidence shines in other aspects of my life.

I want to continue to push myself in my fitness and in my career. Strive to continuously be a better version of myself. Continue to grow strong relationships, and learn to love and forgive myself even on tough days.

And the best part is, I won’t be working on reaching these goals all alone. I am excited to announce I will be working once again with the Practice studio. Hey, pushing yourself to workout harder and to be the best version of you is always more fun with friends by your side right.

Cannot wait to continue this journey in the New Year, but in the meantime would love to hear some of your New Year’s resolution.