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Dieting can be super tough. Two weeks ago, I embarked on my “self-care” journey and teamed up with Dr. Allana Polo to help me lose weight on the HCG diet. The diet itself is very simple and very restrictive, but thanks to the HCG hormone that’s taken daily, I am not hungry. I eat my meals throughout the day, starting with a small snack mid-morning, and as long as I’m eating every few hours, I’m never hungry. Keep in mind, our calories are restricted to 500 calories per day! Shocking right?

How does it work? The HCG hormone is what they call the ‘pregnancy hormone’, and it causes your body to eat away at the fat stores on your body, so although I’m only ingesting 500 calories per day, my body is actively eating away at the fat on my body, up to an extra 4,000 calories daily. Insane, right?

I’m currently on day 17 of the diet, and am really pleased with my results so far. But what’s really put my head in a spin is how connected my emotional wellbeing is to food. When I’m feeling amazing, I don’t have cravings, I’m excited and full of energy. But if something doesn’t go right, or I have a really horrible, no good day, I immediately turn to food for comfort.

I’ve been practicing trying to allow myself to just sit there and feel these emotions. Allow myself to feel bad or sad, or upset with myself, instead of just turning to some type of sugary goodness to shove in my mouth and make me feel better. This diet has turned into a huge learning experience for me, about myself, and what I’m capable of.

Here are my five tips to making your diet a success:

// Tell Your Family + Friends

Let’s face it, you need to tell the most important people in your life about your plans. Why? Isn’t talking about dieting boring as hell? Of course it is! However having your mom shove cake in your face or having your friend guilt you into happy hour can doom your diet! Tell your friends about your planned life changes, and make hangouts more fun by not basing activities around food or alcohol! Instead, take a bike ride, go for a walk or a hike, or have some herbal tea and a chat. Your family and friends should understand your reasonings behind the diet, and if not, tell them why it’s important to you. Family and friends should have your back during this time, not try to steer you wrong!  View Post

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Last week I got a pretty sweet little camera, an Olympus OM-D E-M10, a mirror-less camera that’s smaller than a DSLR but still allows you to change the lenses. It’s perfect for a beginner like me who gets very overwhelmed with all the knowledge that a DSLR entails – especially since I don’t really have the time to learn!

This past weekend I finally got a chance to play with it a little bit. Sunday morning we marvelled at the fog that shrouded the ocean and our little town. I dropped my big girl off at ski club, then hit up a kid’s birthday party with my little guy, who had a great time. I stopped to take a picture of a small waterfall in town, and the sunset, although overcast, begged to be photographed.

The weekend flew by in a flurry of activity. It seems that as time goes on this year, we are getting busier and busier – with work and activities for the kids, life is non-stop! And I kind of like it that way! How was your weekend?

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My theme for 2015 is self-care. It took some soul-searching to really see what would benefit me the most and what I was really lacking in my life, and it seems that somewhere along the way I’ve forgotten to take care of myself. I run businesses, a manage a household, take care of my family, I blog when I can – so what about little old moi? When is there time to make sure I’m healthy, happy, and that all my needs are being taken care of?

I’ve been trying to read more, and I’ve started a weight-loss program and have lost ten pounds so far – which I am ecstatic about! The changes I’ve made in my diet has made me reassess what my family is eating as well. It’s hard to look at the life you’ve made and point out your mistakes – but mostly these mistakes are easy to fix!

Tips for a Healthier You

January comes and we’re all ready to make HUGE changes – we’re motivated and ready to go. But that quickly wanes and we’re left with regrets and disappointment. Making LITTLE changes along the way may not provide crazy results at first, but taking it one step at a time with minor adjustments will help you achieve your goals in the long run.  View Post

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I have long lusted over the beautiful canal-inspired Amsterdam collection from Kast van een Huis. Based on the 17th-century architecture of classic canal houses found in Amsterdam, these cabinets are a modern and stylish way to add storage and charm to a child’s bedroom.

Imagine how much fun it would be to play in these closets? The cabinets are made-to-order, and can be customized to include shelving, file storage, and closet rods in one of ten colours to choose from. I have always envisioned my son’s bedroom with a couple of these houses, but alas I fear they are a bit out of my price range (I can always dream!).

Now they have added a darling Amsterdam-inspired bed, in both toddler and standard twin sizing, and a computer cabinet to their furniture offerings, and I’m officially in love.  How much do you love these gorgeous closets?

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Black.

That’s how I take my coffee, just in case you were wondering.

I prefer a dark and smoky French Roast, but I also love a double-shot espresso, or an Americano. I like my coffee strong, but not too hot. I’m a wimp when it comes to drinks that are too hot! Take notes – this will come in handy on our upcoming coffee date!

But aren’t I on a diet, you might say? Ah, oui! However, a black coffee or tea is always allowed in moderation, ensuring I drink enough water to stay hydrated, as well. Thank goodness, since coffee is just one of those things I can’t live without! Check out this cute wallpaper I found online, created by Vanessa Heim! It’s currently my desktop wallpaper, too!

I’m excited to share this $30 Starbucks Giveaway with you! It’s part of the Welcome Winter Giveaway Hop and is open from January 16th – 30th! Enter the giveaway below!  View Post

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I haven’t taken care of myself in a long, long time. That’s not to say that I don’t allow myself to indulge in a fancy macaron or that I don’t do my hair or my nails – no, it’s that I haven’t truly cared for my health and, in turn, my self. I’ve learnt the hard way the term “self-love” is not the same as “self-care”, and telling yourself that you’re beautiful the way you are doesn’t necessarily help when the way you are is overweight and unhealthy.

I’ve been living in denial, to put it bluntly. My house of cards has just blown over and I’m left with the ruins of my health. I didn’t need to hear that I was beautiful the way I was, I didn’t need to hear that my self-worth isn’t dictated by a number on a scale – I know all of this. It’s just hard to accept the truth about my weight when the lies were exactly what I wanted to hear.

I wanted to think I was healthy by adding an avocado to a taco, which was accompanied by beer and chips. I wanted to think I was being sassy by getting rid of my scale and not living life according to how much I weigh. I was kidding myself. I was lying to myself. Self-love and acceptance wasn’t helping me lose weight or get healthy.

I needed perspective. I needed to confront the reality of my bulging situation – clothes that haven’t fit in a long, long time, a body that feels more mushy than muscle, a tired, stressed out mind of a women, who would rather trick herself with indulgences like dinners out and craft beer tastings than exercise and food diaries.

A large part of this, I see now, is that I still have such a hard time with really putting myself first and taking care of myself and my health. I sometimes feel like I’m pushing my family aside if I focus on myself. That they will somehow be wronged and feel upset because I’m taking care of myself first. Even writing this, I’m not fully convinced that putting myself first is the right thing to do. But I know that it’s something I have to, for my health and for my happiness. View Post

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January has traditionally been known as the best time to purchase bed linens and towels and, since 1860, the Italian brand Frette has been providing luxurious bed linens, bath towels, home accessories, and loungewear. Frette linens can be found in the finest hotels worldwide, and their linens were also used on the Titanic and the Orient Express – that’s some history for you!

I’ve long lusted over the beautiful bedding from Frette. There’s nothing like getting into a freshly made bed, with soft, crisp linens and buttery blankets. Quality always trumps quantity for me, and I’d rather invest my hard-earned money into something that will last and is truly beautiful.

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Not only does Frette make the finest linens in the world, they provide cashmere blankets, cozy bathrobes, deliciously scented candles, and even gifts for baby in their lovely shops and on their website. I love a good sale, especially when it’s on quality items, so I’ve chosen some of my favourite items from Frette.com to share with you. They’re not all on sale, but they’re so beautiful I couldn’t resist sharing these finds with you!

A well-made bed is created with layers of fine linen, plump pillows, airy duvets, and topped with soft blankets and a few well chosen throw pillows. A decorative pillow in a bright colour or pattern can bring interest and whimsy to your bedding. My favourites are this beautiful peacock-coloured pillow (sold out; similar here), the ornamental tile embroidered pillow is simply lovely, and the geometric-patterned cushion is a modern choice in a gorgeous colour. Bonus – they’re all on sale!

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I am in love with the ornate motifs on the Parisienne Throw & Pillow, it looks so cozy and chic! The heavy wool Chevron blanket would fit perfectly in my home, which is very monotone and grey-on-grey, but I can’t help lusting over this delicious Bliss Throw in Aqua, which is made of the finest cashmere. The colour is divine, n’est pas? The mid-weight Minimal Throw has a subtle design and is perfect for cozy nights around the fire with a glass of wine. View Post