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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My staycation at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle

I love to travel and I am so fortunate that I get to travel quite a bit for both personal and work reasons, however this month has been a busy one to say the least. With short trip to Toronto and Merritt I was pretty wiped. When the long weekend rolled around I felt like I wanted a vacation but at the same time I felt like being close to home, so a staycation offered the perfect solution.

I decided to book a night stay at the Downtown Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel. Located right in Coal Harbour the hotel is just a short 15 minutes away from my house but with the ocean front views, downtown shopping, and nearby attractions it seemed like I was miles away.

The hotel

When I checked into the hotel the first thing I noticed was the beautiful lobby and the jar filled with cookies at the check in desk (a treat while you wait, I love it). I was also so impressed with the friendly staff who wanted to make sure we had everything we needed.

The room 

We made our way to our room on the 31st floor. I cannot believe the incredible ocean front views that we got to look out onto right from the comfort of my bed. You could see all of downtown Vancouver, the Lions Gate Bridge, the boats in the harbour, and the stunning North Shore Mountains. I have never seen such a beautiful view from a hotel window before.

Speak of the bed, I was so impressed with how comfortable it was. You truly just drowned in the pillows.

 

Dinner at Showcase

While it was hard to leave the beautiful hotel room, we did have reservations at Showcase restaurant. The hotel lobby restaurant has just launched a brand new menu right in time for summer and Chef Jesse Hauchhuasen was giving us a little taste.

We had  a little booth in the back and started off with some delicious refreshing cocktails. The first thing that I noticed was the wide variety of cocktails, wines, beers, and even food. While I thought a restaurant like the Marriott would be pricey, I was impressed with the reasonably priced menu for such a creative selection.

Chef Hauchhuasen came out to explain some of the dishes we were going to eat. What I loved is that he told us a lot of his inspiration comes from his Japanese background and his wife’s Korean heritage. He added that he has traveled to these places a ton to get inspiration for the dishes.

Appetizers

First up were two appetizers, the Albacore Tuna Tataki and the Seared Scallops and Pork Belly. I loved that the food was made with sustainable seafood approved by Ocean Wise. The Tuna Tataki was seasoned with delicious ginger soy vinaigrette and the savoury taste was matched with sweet mango. The Scallops and Pork Belly were seasoned with the most delicious carrot puree. I literally was scooping up the leftover sauce with my fork.

Main course 

Next up, the main course. We were treated to Miso Grilled Sockeye Salmon and Seared Ling Cod. The cod  was possibly the best dish I have ever tasted. The broth was perfectly seasoned with crispy onions and chili oil, while the baby bok choy was the perfect side to compliment the asian inspirations. As for the salmon I loved the sweet soy sauce and the rice crackers added a perfect crunch to the dish.

Dessert

Lastly, dessert. We were treated to the Chocolate Pecan Tart. I couldn’t think of anything better, chocolate and pecan tarts are my favourite sweets and so combining them together was genius. I also loved the added ice cream infused popcorn. It was such a unique and tasty treat.

Overall experience 

After a delicious and filling dinner and a few cocktails, it was back up to the room for bed time. I couldn’t believe the amazing views at night time as well. The whole city lit up as far as the eye could see. It was a beautiful sight and the perfect way to end the day.

The next morning I woke up feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. Just what the doctor ordered. I wasn’t ready to leave the comforts of the room but was thankful for a relaxing and wonderful stay.

If you would like to find out more about what the Marriott Pinnacle has to offer make sure to visit their website.

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

My experience with Pure Barre

My Experience with Pure Barre

I have been an athlete my entire life, but as a tennis player a lot of my focus was on speed and endurance. Since quitting tennis, I have been trying to keep my fitness up, but to me a  workout always meant cardio. That is why I was a little skeptical when a friend of mine invited me out to a barre class at Pure Barre fitness in Yaletown.

When I thought of barre classes, I thought of them as a sort of ballet class that wouldn’t really be much of a workout. I was completely wrong.

While I might not of gotten the sweat that I get in cardio classes, I got a workout unlike any other. The barre class was so much harder than I thought it would be because the class focuses so intensely on specific areas like core strength, stabilizing muscles in the shoulders and hips, and enhancing flexibility. This is reached by isometric exercises and continuous small moments that “burn out” the muscles. Because you are constantly moving and engaging small muscles you that you are really working deep in the muscle and targeting trouble zones like your hops, thighs, glutes and core.

Within just minutes of my first class my legs were shaking uncontrollably and the next day my body was so sore. As I said, it was so much more of a workout than I originally expected.

After a few weeks of combining barre into my weekly cardio routine, I started to notice a difference. I was already looking more toned in my arms and thighs and my posture was noticeably better (something that I thought was impossible). I have really fallen in love with my barre classes.

What to expect from class

You start the class with a light cardio warm up that targets everything from your toes to your fingers.

Once the warm up is done, it is straight to weights to target your arm muscles. You use one set of lighter weights and one heavier and again constant movement targeting shoulders, triceps, biceps, and upper back, while also moving into lunges and squats to make sure your entire body is engaged.

After weights it is straight to thigh work. To really “burn out” your thighs you use a combination of band work, ball work, and resistance against your own body weight.

This will be the moment when your legs really start to shake as you focus solely on one side of your body for several minutes before giving it a break.

There isn’t much rest for your legs as you transition quickly into seat work, targeting the glute muscles again using the band and ball for resistance.

Once you have really got a shake going in your legs (and as they say, embrace the shake), you make your way down to the floor for a very intense ab workout.

While it might be short, it is anything but sweat. You will once again use the ball to target both your lower and upper abs.

Finally you end the class with some back work and bridges before a very thorough stretch.

Types of classes 

Pure Classic 

The class that I have been doing the most and what I described above is the classic barre classic. The classic class is the original barre class that utilizes the ballet barre to perform the small, isometric movements I spoke about which are good for burning fat and sculpting muscles.

Pure Empower 
Looking for a bit more of a cardio workout? Look no further than the empower class. This is a more fast paced and dynamic workout that is 45 minutes long. It is definitely a challenging class that is more cardio centric but at the same time there are modifications for all fitness levels.
Pure Reform 
This really is a total body workout and is focused on more resistance based strength training as oppose to just body weight. I loved that it combined elements from Pure Barre classic, but had the added element of resistance bands and sliders to just give you a bit of a different workout.
Overall I am really loving my Pure Barre classes. After just a month of taking these classes I am seeing a difference when it comes to my arms and glutes. I am seeing my body becoming more toned and lean, and again my posture has improved ten folds. I am excited to see where these classes take me as I continue to mix them into my weekly workouts.

For more information about their classes make sure to check out their website;  http://purebarre.com/bc-yaletown/

Happy workouts my friends,

xo

Mia