Mood

Let Go.

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Get to know me!

A little about me:
I am a 25-year-old, energetic, adventure lover.  I have been in school for far longer than I would like to admit, but will finally be graduating in 2017 with a major in Sociology and a minor in Psychology. Sociology is quite fascinating and not just an easy elective like people like to think. Studying it has really opened my eyes to why the world works the way it does. I consider myself an introverted extrovert, which I think would surprise a lot of people because most people know me as the girl with the big white teeth and the obnoxious laugh. I am a dance teacher, a member of the Rider Cheer Team and the co-coach of the U of R Dance Team.

Few things people don’t know about me:
-I will be applying to do an after degree in education.  It took me way too long to figure out that teaching and children were what I am passionate about, but I’m happy I got here!
-I am in recovery from an eating disorder.  I say in recovery instead of recovered because it is something I will probably struggle with for the rest of my life.  Unlike other mental illnesses like alcoholism or a drug addiction where the substance that is causing the issue can be eliminated from the person’s life, food cannot be.  I don’t like to talk about this, because I like the positive view that people have of me, and I never want something like this to distort that, but at the same time, I think it is important for me too because I want to be a role model.  I want people to understand that mental illness doesn’t mean you are broken, or unloveable or imperfect, it makes you a survivor, it makes you stronger and it makes you perfectly imperfect.
-I hope to one day write a book about my struggles in hope you inspire and encourage people to push through their struggles, and to know that anything they’re going through will only make them stronger in the end.

Thoughts on society’s concept of beauty:
I think society has created this unreachable concept of beauty, but I think our generation is doing a good job of changing it.  There are so many amazing people out there now a day, standing up against this mould that has been created.  I think beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colours, ages, genders, races etc.  I think everyone is beautiful in their own way and it’s just sad that society can’t acknowledge this.  I think it’s so so so important to love yourself first, because if you love yourself, then there’s no way you’ll ever let society tell you you’re not good enough.

Most valuable lesson I’ve learnt so far:
I think the most important lesson I’ve learnt is to love yourself first. I spent way too many years trying to be someone I wasn’t, trying to be the person I thought I had to be to make people like me, but in reality if those people didn’t like me for who I truly was, then those people didn’t deserve to be part of my life anyway. I would love to get the years and the sleepless nights back of wishing I was someone else, and that I had a different life, because now that I’m finally happy with myself and with my life, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Advice for others:
Never ever ever ever ever let anyone tell you you’re not good enough or make you feel like you need to change. Each and every one of us is unique for a reason and each of us deserves to be surrounded by people who will accept and cherish this about us.

🙂

-Ash

Friday Faves: MakeUp (Part 1)

Makeup, the one thing I could talk about all day long! I love buying it, applying it, watching YouTube videos on. In my perfect world, I am a makeup artist on all the hottest movie sets. I think you guys get it, I love makeup, haha! I’m going to share my favourite products with you, starting from the base and going from there. I had to split this post into two because I forgot how many products I love (whoops). I use a mixture of drugstore and high end, varying in prices. Let’s get into it!!

Primers:
I have three primers to share with you (well two for sure, one you will probably think is crazy!)

The first one is a new found love for me. I’ve been wanting to buy it for a while and I finally took the plunge and fell in love. It’s the Stila- One Step Correct. This stuff is amazing. It helps even out my skin tone and makes my makeup last. It is a more high-end product, so it’s on the pricey side, but so far I would say it’s worth the splurge.
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The second primer I love is Smashbox- Photo Finish Primer Water. I went into this one not wanting to like it. I mean it’s called a primer water, I can get water from the tap!! But I was proven wrong. This makes your skin feeling tacky, leaving the perfect base for makeup to stick too.  I also think it helps leave my skin looking more moisturized and glowy.  Again this is another high-end product. If you were to ask me if you should splurge or skip this one, I might say skip. Though it is a wonderful product, I won’t deny that!
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My final primer is the crazy one.  I first saw this on one of my favourite YouTube channels, NikkieTutorials. It’s Nivea Men’s-After Shave Balm (sensitive skin). I know, I know, this sounds crazy, BUT GUYS it works! It has something to do with the glycerin in it. It’s the perfect base for makeup to stick to and makes your makeup last all day long.  Another positive, it’s under $10.00. WIN. The only negative is the smell. It smells like, well, after shave. The scent is faint though and goes away quite quickly.
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**I use my fingers to apply primers

Foundations:
It took me a while to find a foundation I really like. I’ve tried a lot, and many either 1) broke me out or 2) made me as oily as an oil slick. You guys are in for a treat for this one because both my favourite foundations are drug store and so affordable! WOOHOO.

The first foundation I love and is the one I’m wearing daily right now, it’s Maybelline- Fit Me! Matte and Poreless Foundation.  This stuff really helps me stay oil free all day, gives me the coverage I want and doesn’t irritate my skin in any way. It really helps minimize my pores and gives me a matte, but not dull complexion. I love it!
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My second foundation favourite, which I love equally as the first one is L’oreal- True Match. This stuff literally comes in every shade and even gives you the option between cool, warm or neutral undertones. This foundation leaves your skin a little more dewy looking than the first, but at the same time does not make you oily. It’s very buildable and looks very natural. LOVE! I highly recommend!
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**I use my Beauty Blender to apply foundation

Concealers: 
Again, lucky for you guys (and my wallet) my favourite concealers are drug store, AKA affordable!! I actually have never dabbled into the high-end concealers, which is probably for the better haha.

My first favourite is Maybelline-  Instant Age Rewind. It wasn’t love at first site for this one, but I gave it another try and now I loveeee it. It’s a nice light formula that gives you an airbrushed looking coverage. Sometimes I even just use this and no foundation, it’s THAT GOOD. I do find I fly through it, though!
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My next favourite is the Maybelline- SuperStay Better Skin Concealer. This gives you great coverage for under eye darkness without looking cakey. This one comes in second to the Age Rewind but is definitely high on my list.
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**I use my Beauty Blender to blend out concealer

Powders:
Powder, us oily skinned friends’ favourite product. I have a huge list I could talk about because I’ve literally tried every type of powder out there, but I’ll keep it short for you.

The first powder I’m going to talk about, I had to put first because she deserves that position. It is the well known, always talked about, Laura Mercier- Translucent Loose Setting Powder. The gates of heaven opened when this lovely product was invented. It is definitely as good as people say it is, even though I’m currently trying to convince myself otherwise because I just ran out and she’s a pricey one I tell ya. Totally worth it though, I just really need to pay rent this month. This powder is great for setting the under eyes and not looking cakey, it’s good for baking and also for setting foundation. I can definitely tell the difference from when I use this, to when I don’t, just by the texture of my skin.  This is a lovely, lovely product. Props to Laura Mercier. I highly recommend.
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The next powder I want to talk about is another product I recently found in my collection again. I was actually given this powder and did not really have high hopes for it, but it surprised me. It’s Australis- Pressed Powder. This is an Australian drugstore brand, that here in Canada you do not hear much about.  With the low price on this one, it does a good job at what it says it’s going to do: keep you matte and set your foundation. I like to use this on top of my foundation, to help blend my bronzer and blush out more smoothly.
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**I use an E.l.f. Studio Complexion Brush to apply powder

That is all for the part one of my makeup obsession babble! Stay tuned for next Friday to hear more of my favourites!!

-A

My ‘Go To’ Fitness Tips!

Fitness has been my saviour for the past couple years, though for me it hasn’t always been a positive relationship. Growing up as a dancer and dancing professionally for a year had a toll on me and my relationship with my body.  Recovering from an eating disorder and regaining the appreciation for my body has helped a lot. I can also thank my current position as a professional cheerleader with regaining the love for myself and showing me that being strong and healthy is the most important thing.

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When is comes to eating I have tried every fad diet, weight loss trick in the books and let me tell you a secret.. they don’t work (or they’re only temporarily).  Here are some things I have found that work best for me.

  1. Eat simply.  You’re probably thinking: “What the heck does she mean!?”, but let me explain.  By this I mean eat whole, fresh foods and stay away from complex ingredients and processed foods.  Turn a package around and read the ingredients before you buy it.  If it includes something you can’t say or don’t know what it is, it’s probably not the healthiest choice.  Fill your meals with fruits and veggies, and cut back on the sugar.
    Some of my recent favourite recipes:
    Fresh Rolls (I subbed in chicken)
    Red Lentil Soup (I subbed in low-fat coconut milk and it’s TO DIE FOR)
    Banana Pancakes (3 ingredients, so simple! I add in a 1/3 cup of oats to keep me full longer, 1/2 scoop of vanilla protein and blueberries!)
  2. Make going to the gym or fitness class a priority.  If you write it in your schedule and make time for it in your day, you will more likely go instead of skipping out.  I like to go in the mornings best.  It’s a great start to the day, even though some mornings it’s hard to get out of bed, I’m always thankful I go.
  3. Include a mix of weights and cardio.  I use to think cardio was the best and only way to lose weight at the gym, but I was wrong. I now love lifting weights and the way it makes my body look. I try to do 20 minutes of cardio, which usually includes: 30-second sprint intervals, inclined walking or some kind of HITT warm-up. I then move on and do 45 minutes of weight training and then end with some kind of ab workout and stretching.
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    (my go to ab work out!)
  4. Drink water!  I use to HATE the way water tasted.. like HATE, but I quickly learned to love it while dancing in +40 weather in Mexico for a year.  Water has so many benefits for your body, I mean we are mostly made of water.  I literally can tell right away if I haven’t drunk enough that day, not only in how I feel but also in how my skin looks.  If I am ever not feeling well, I’m feeling bloated or having stomach issues, the first thing I do is go drink a huge glass of water and see if that helps me at all (and it usually does).
  5. Get enough sleep.  This one was huge for me.  I think I’ve preached about it before on other posts, but getting enough sleep is SO important. For your body and mind.  I never used to sleep enough and I definitely can tell the difference between then and now.  I just feel 100 times better.
  6. Jump OFF the booze cruise.  Cutting out (or minimizing) alcohol from my diet is the first thing I do when I’m trying to get in shape. Not only is alcohol full of sugar and empty/useless calories, it also leads to poor eating choices at the end of a night out drinking.
  7. Find a way to include fitness in your daily life.  This is another simple yet effective trick.  Choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Ride your bike to places instead of driving. Go for a walk with friends instead of chatting over coffee.  Making even these easy changes in your life will help a lot!
  8. Surround yourself with people who have the same goals as you.  Get a gym buddy! This helps a million.  If you have someone to motivate you to go to the gym with, you are way more likely to go. They’ll also help keep you on track and be there to motivate you on those off days.
  9. Find a type of workout that you love to do.  If you don’t like running (which I highly dislike), find another way to do cardio.  For me, I love spinning.  There’s an awesome spin club in my city called The Wheelhouse, that I love going to.  I literally leave this place dripping in sweat and feeling so motivated.  I also like mixing up my workouts. A friend and I recently went on a little rampage of trying out a bunch of different fitness studios and classes in our city.  One of my favourites was a barre class, and let me tell you, my butt was sore for like a week!
    Some other fitness studios and classes I really enjoy in my city:
    Level 10 Fitness
    Orangetheory Fitness
    Core Connection (Barre Class)
  10. My last tip for those of you who are still not bored of me is: Listen to your body. This is probably the most important one.  Working out is wonderful and makes you feel great, but make sure you’re not overdoing it.  Remember to take rest days and to stretch.  Remember that eating a chocolate or some ice cream is not ruining your body.  Everyone deserves a treat every once in a while. Massages are wonderful and naps are my best friend.  Treat your body like a machine and make sure you’re maintaining it the best you can!

I want to leave you by saying I am not by any chance an expert in fitness. I have not been trained in nutrient or personal training.  These are just the things that I have found over the years that work best for me! 🙂

Have a great Monday all! Make sure you do something today that makes you sweat! 😉

-A