Blogmas | Free & Cheap festive things to do in TO

Toronto is a great city and there are no end to the fun, festive and free things to do around the city during the holiday season!  Be sure to bundle up and be sure to check out the list below on some ideas on how to enjoy the season (on a budget)! 

*NOTE* images are not mine and have been referenced below.

Distillery District

The last time I went to the Winter Village was 2019, and the photographer in me wants to re-create this magic through my lens! This place is full of beautiful sights (every corner is perfect for a selfie) and tastes (thank you coffee and chocolate)! Entrance is free on weeknights before Dec 27th + children under 9 are free of charge!

Image from BlogTO

Holiday Yorkville Village

Yorkville is beautiful any time of year, but having it all lit up makes it amazing. The best photo op would be in the light tunnel! And the christmas tree totally gives Rockefeller Center vibes!

Image from BlogTO

Skating at Nathan Phillips Square

This rink is ALWAYS jam packed so keep the little ones close to you and on the edge of the rink. The best part about skating here (other than – it’s FREE as long as you bring your own skates and snacks) is the MUSIC. Whether it’s 90s christmas pop or top 40, you’ll have a great time whipping across :)

Image from Curiocity

Hudson’s Bay & Fairmount Royal York Hotel Windows

Miniature displays and twinkling lights? Sign me up! I’ve yet to check our the Royal York windows but I’ve heard that they are enchanting. Grab your mocha or hot chocolate and enjoy the stroll past these beautiful displays!

Image from Torontoist

Want more? Follow my Blogmas 2022 journey here!

Blogmas | 50 ways to level up

I love reading productivity and lifestyle hacks!  But when they are written in the form of lists – they make it easier to follow!  It’s almost like a mental checklist that I can create in my head and tick off the things that I am already doing and then plan for the things I want to try.

Sharing a list of 50 ways to LEVEL UP.  From accessorizing your outfits to planning your week, this list includes tons of ways to do and be better.  And even though it’s not in your face obvious, all of these activities help to nourish your mind and soul so you can show up and be your best self!

Would love to hear if you try any of these out!  Or maybe what you’d add to the list?

  1. Practice Gratitude
  2. Invest in quality, not quantity
  3. Read 1 book a month
  4. Develop a skin care routine that works for you
  5. Dress well, always! (even at home)
  6. Pick and use a signature scent
  7. Learning everyday is a must
  8. Focus on your mental health
  9. Plan your day, week, month & year to focus on your goals
  10. Listen to podcasts or Ted Talks
  11. Pamper yourself regularly
  12. Make your home cozy
  13. Prioritize your friendships
  14. Meditate
  15. Wear clean shoes (whitest whites, polished or stained)
  16. Use a silk pillow case
  17. Clean your makeup brushes regularly
  18. Create > Consume
  19. Regular face massages
  20. Cut out toxic people and activities
  21. Take yourself out on a date, be comfy being on your own (without feeling alone)
  22. Have a hair care routine
  23. Get 6-8 hours of sleep
  24. Habit stack, time block and batch create
  25. Work on building your confidence & self-esteem
  26. Organize your home
  27. Watch TV shows/movies that inspire your sense of style/fashion
  28. Build your online brand (personal & professional)
  29. Buy yourself some flowers
  30. Be your own stylist with what you have in your closet (take pictures and create outfits)
  31. Maintain good posture
  32. Don’t think about other people’s opinion of you (it is their own reflection)
  33. Wear a natural make up look
  34. Elevate any outfit with 1 luxury handbag
  35. Do things that you are afraid of
  36. Schedule in “self care days” 
  37. Exfoliate your skin
  38. Try one extravagant accessory (gloves, channel broach, beret)
  39. Train yourself to relax without a screen
  40. Wake up before 8am and go to sleep before 11pm
  41. Start a yoga or pilates practice
  42. Challenge yourself
  43. Do 2 face masks weekly
  44. Progress > Perfection
  45. Keep your space tidy
  46. Journal daily
  47. Create a vision board
  48. Build a morning routine
  49. Accessorize your outfits!
  50. Walk & Exercise daily

Want more? Follow my Blogmas 2022 adventure here

5 personal growth quotes that will make you rethink your purpose

I know I’ve stumbled upon these quotes multiple times, but just recently they hit different.

It made me reflect on my purpose, direction and priorities.  And also gave me more motivation. Though,  I must say, quotes are flaky and can’t always provide inspiration.  On occasion they can make you stand up, re-evaluate and take action.

So please feel free to reflect on the words and enjoy the sunflower pics I took at Robintide Farms

What we fear of doing most is usually what we most need to do.

We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.

It’s Never Too Late To Be What You Might Have Been

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

 

Be productive when you are not motivated

We all have those days (heck maybe weeks) where productivity wains and we feel less than stellar about the work we aren’t getting done.  I have a few thoughts on that, one being that productivity ebbs & flows – it’s all part of the process.  Secondly, I ALWAYS say no to hustle culture.  I mean, like the rest of us …I want it all (progressive career, great marriage, be a loving mother, hang with my friends, drink 3L of water and workout daily) – but I remember that REST will help me accomplish all the things.

  1. Take a break from your workplace 
    Essentially you want to remove yourself from you current situation. Whether that means taking a walk, going to a coffee shop or sitting on your deck.  Changing your environment (and in short order) will provide a new perspective as well as a break so you can come back with a fresh mind.
  2. Put your phone in another room
    Staying off your socials, not constantly checking chat/emails or other apps  will help to eliminate distractions (which when providing a false/high dopamine fix will further prevent one from getting work done).  I’m yet to master this …let alone try it… But we all know mindless doom scrolling and social media comparisons, can put you in a funk. So an easy way to remove distractions is to time block your phone breaks.  
  3. Complete the smallest – easiest task: 
    What is important here is create the impression of progress on our minds.  One small task could be finishing a bottle of water or sending an email you are dreading.  Once you complete that task, and mark it off your list – it will create an automatic momentum and willingness to keep going!
  4. Use the momentum and a focused playlist to keep going:
    Once you’ve completed one task, use the that feeling to keep you going on to something else.  Sometimes it helps to play your favourite music or a brown noise playlist. Keep on single tasking till you get three of your top priorities completed.

Outfit details:
Dress: Old | Shoes: Aldo | Purse: Chanel | Sunnies: Amazon

August Reset and Monthly Goals

I’m back with another tiktok inspired trend: monthly goals!

Well technically I’ve always been making monthly goals.  But even more so, I just back from a vacation… vacations have a way and making me more inspired to review my habits & goals. And sometimes you need to write down your intentions and get re-acclimatized to your dreams.

Here are my August Goals & my current status as of the first full week of the month.

Drink 3L of water: I added a habit tracker (little water drops to track every water bottle of 500mL) to my planner for every day.  So far I’ve gotten to 2.L a few days.

Make art daily: not hitting this one yet.  The plan was to either paint, photograph, use procreate or blog.  And so far all I have excuses.  Will try again this week.

Forrest walks: again not there yet. My workday is a little crazy (side note: talking to my leadership about that this week to make sure I’m putting my career goals and professional brand first – and to have more space in my day to take walks in a forrest)

Daily Journaling & Mediation: 7 for 8 so far!

Read 2 books: I recently finished Verity and I’m now reading The Secret.

Share my art weekly: Promising myself that I will share a procreate piece this week!

The one about crystals and the power of the new moon

I’ve always been interested (read: obsessed) with the night sky.  However, since we’ve been home more the last few years, I found myself staring at the night sky more often.  I began to recognize the location of the moon in the sky at different seasons.  We as a family would appreciate the moon phases.  On clear nights, I’d also try to locate the constellations

And obviously with my eyes looking up, my camera and all my lenses soon followed.  

Learning about astronomy, naturally led me to astrology, which led me to other wellness tools (meditation, journalling).  Enter crystals. *nervous laughter*

I would normally not share something that is considered so woo woo, but with age comes wisdom (and the awareness that “everyone is more concerned with their own lives to care what you think” and I’m learning not to care about people’s opinions)

I recently learned that Jun 28th (10pm EST) is the new moon with influence from Jupiter.  The new moon itself is another time to set goals/intentions and just to generally harness new moon energy to support yourself (look it up: indigenous & asian culture, time keeping, and all things famine).  From an astronomy standpoint, the new moon occurs when the sun is positioned behind the moon so with no light on the moon, it is not visible on earth.

But with Jupiter: it’s all about bounty and abundance.

If you don’t believe/agree with any of this – just remember:  Energy is every where

So with this new moon I’m setting intentions/re-focusing on my goals, starting something new and make detailed list.  If there is good energy out there – why not tap into it :)