Fitness and New Years Resolutions

Fitness is something that I never gave much thought to when I was growing up. I was always part of some sort of team, be it soccer, volleyball, partners tennis or even ultimate frisbee. Team sports felt more like fun activities with friends than strenuous work-outs.

Now being a 25 year old that no longer participates in team activities, I’ve realized my metabolism doesn’t appreciate the eat what you want when you want and don’t exercise diet. I don’t know if you’re like me, but it really takes me a lot to get motivated. At times I would tell myself ‘oh yea, I’m gunna start working out this week, run at least twice!’. However when it came down to it I would never actually exercise because I had nothing keeping me accountable.

This year was the first year I made New Years resolutions with 1 year, 5 year and 10 year goals. It was the first time I critically looked at what I wanted to accomplish and where I wanted to be in the future. One of those goals was to start a fitness program that kept me accountable. So I started Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide (BBG) the first week of January. The program gives you a weekly timetable of when you need to be exercising as well as different circuit exercises to perform 3 times a week. Not only is this great to keep you on a routine, it also makes you feel guilty if you miss a circuit or a day of cardio so you keep doing it! I am now on the last week of the 12 week program and feel great. I have gained muscle which is a pretty cool feeling when you can feel your muscles contracting when you run or exercise. I feel stronger and healthy and I have incorporated working out into my lifestyle. It is something that will be around for awhile (hopefully!).

Here are my week 11 progress shots. When I started this I definitely thought I would have a 6 pack by the end of 3 months, but as my friend Ray likes to remind me, fitness is a marathon not a sprint and I am happy with the results I am seeing so far.

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With the BBG it is recommended to follow a meal plan to cut out all the bad things for you including alcohol. I don’t agree with this. I agree that eventually you should tweak your diet, but I firmly believe that if you are changing too many things (diet and exercise) at the same time, you wont follow through with your goal. These past three months I haven’t changed my diet (maybe I would have a 6 pack by now if I didn’t eat that donut and ice cream bar yesterday!!) I have found this very effective as it has kept me doing the exercises as my lifestyle did not change drastically. Now that I have my exercise routine (experts say it takes 21 days of doing something for it to become a habit) I will be able to introduce a healthier diet with cutting out sugars adding healthier carbs and more protein.These next 3 months I am hoping to see the most change as now I have set a foundation.

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Now on to my favorite work out gear! Because Kayla recommends taking progress shots in the morning, and I work out at night, unfortunately none of my work out clothes are featured – but Joe Fresh work out gear is the best!

Here are some of my favorites:

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Baseball tee | Active Pants | Pink Sports Bra

xx Andrea

Good Things in Palm Springs

Last week I went to sunny Palm Springs for a bit of work and a bit of play. I was down here for the eTail conference but managed to sneak in a couple days poolside before all the festivities began. We stayed at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa which I had stayed in once before almost ten years ago. (TEN YEARS AGO. I CAN SAY THAT. I AM SO OLD.) Anyway, it was just as beautiful as I remember. The staff and service is friendly, the pools and grounds are beautiful and clean, and the bars and restaurants right in the resort are excellent. I’m not a dessert person but I am still dreaming about the most amazing vanilla bean crème brûlée we had at the Rockwood Grill.

I love Palm Springs, there is something about it that is so stunning.. I think it is the palm trees against the striking mountain backdrop, and of course the desert heat doesn’t hurt. I was running around like a bat out of hell for the majority of the time I was down there and didn’t have a chance to use my good camera so I apologize for the cellphone pics, but here is a quick photo diary of my favorite parts of Palm Springs and also all my must have poolside vacation essentials.

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I live out of my Herschel Pop Quiz Backpack. I have featured it before and I will feature it again, it’s the perfect travel companion all the way from the airport to my lounge chair, it has the perfect set of features not the least of which are the little lined sunglasses holder at the top and the lined laptop sleeve to protect my MacBook. I would have for sure trashed many pairs of sunglasses if it weren’t for this backpacks clever design.

I LOVE Maui Babe Browning Lotion. If someone can tell me where to find it in Canada I will be eternally grateful. I’ve noticed my friend To Vogue or Bust is in Hawaii at the moment and I may have to hit her up for refill! I also always carry L’Oreal Ombrelle SPF 30 Lip Balm with me when I am in the sun to protect my lips.

I carry two pairs of Ray-Bans with me, wayfarers and aviators, one of those two styles will always complete any look. And of course my converse sneakers, which get more wear than any shoe I own, I personally think they go with anything from jeans and a tee-shirt to a silk dress. They are a casual preppy classic. An essential by any standards.

There are more California posts on the way.. I was having so much fun in the heat I couldn’t wait to come back so I booked a trip to go see my girlfriend Whitney in LA at the end of April. Can’t wait! Also, I’m very excited for Andrea to share her review on Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Workout plan which she has been crushing and is now on week eight! Lots of exciting stuff coming up on The Big Water.

Xo

Wendy

Last Minute Valentines Day Gift Guide – For Her

It’s Valentines Day on Saturday and if you’re anything like me you will wait until… maybe tomorrow? to pick up something for your main squeeze. I’m habitually bad at buying gifts (I know I have said this before, but the point is so true it is worth reiterating) so I thought why not help out my fellow procrastinators with a gift edition part deux aimed at the ladies in your lives.

Gifts don’t have to be just for your significant other, or just for valentines day, these are items your Mom, bestie, sister, roommate, the list goes on.. is sure to love! I will be spending this Saturday, like women all over the city, with my boyfriend, his name is ‘my career’ and we will be crushing grape and crawling into bed early as I have a 7am flight the next morning heading to a conference for work. #truelove

Valentines Gifts for Her

This Jo Malone cologne in ‘Red Roses’ is the perfect Valentines day scent and the prettiest hue of blush pink. I am a huge fan of Jo Malone and wear the Lime Basil + Mandarin scent religiously.

There is nothing better than crisp cotton pyjamas, and this shorts set floral print pair from Plum Pretty Sugar is the perfect set as we creep closer to spring.

Chapters always has cute home stuff, specifically this gold painted stripe cushion, which hits two major wins on my current lust list, gold + stripes.

I love a good Essie polish and recently they have come out with a new Cashmere Matte line; I can’t wait to get my paws on this pale pink color, cleverly titled ‘just stitched.’

This Olive Oil was actually an idea from a girlfriend, she got this for her Mom for Christmas and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. It’s a company called ‘Nudo Italia‘ and the way it works is you adopt a tree in Italy and the company regularly delivers to you the olive oil it produces! How cool is that?! You can also adopt a tea garden in India or receive honey when adopting a beehive in the UK. I love it.

Lastly I have pulled this adorable Flamingo Print available locally at The Cross in Vancouver, one of my favorite decor stores. I have a Flamingo obsession and I think this print would look so chic mounted in a gold frame in a white wash apartment.

Hopefully you’ve found some inspiration here! And when all else fails wine, chocolate and flowers. (But mostly wine.)

xo

Wendy

Sweet Things for your Sweetheart

Now for a complete change in pace from my last post which was directed towards all my single ladies, this one is for chicks who are looking to buy something for their boo. If you are like me, you are a terrible gifter. I have been dating my boyfriend for a little over three years and his last birthday (which was two months ago in December) was the first time in our courtship I haven’t been embarrassed to hand over whatever shamble of a gift I had thrown together. Even after countless hours brainstorming, seconding guessing, last minute ordering, looking for a better deal etc. I always end up so unsure of what to get that it inevitably becomes a last minute gift. So this gift guide is as much for me as you. Hopefully I will remember it next time I am stressing and before I order a Lynch Seahawks jersey off a shifty Chinese website for half the regular price and it shows up spelt ‘LINCH’. A similar situation did take place a couple years ago.

Fortunately for me, Scott and I aren’t huge gift buyers. We exchange birthday gifts, but usually plan trips for Christmas and nice dinner dates for anniversaries and Vday. For me personally, the best gift I can get from him is a card with a sweet note. That could also be because he has the emotional capacity of a kidney bean so anniversaries and Valentines are the only days he really feels the figurative barrel to his figurative temple to spit out something sweet. But I love him none the less and will be missing him and our dinner date next Friday as he is in Brussels until the spring.

So here are a few ideas for your main man:

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1. I love Hershel backpacks. Scott and I actually both have camo print ones similar to this. They come with awesome features and are a local Vancouver company. Whether he’s a camper, a traveler, a student, whatever, he’s sure to get use out of this styley backpack.

2. Sperry Top-Siders may be a little bit too preppy for some guys. But I love them. With jeans or shorts, they are the perfect casual summer shoe. Also a little red for Valentines never hurts. These one’s are even on sale!

3. A portable speaker might seem boring but I actually use mine all the time. In my bathroom while I’m getting ready, in the basket of my bike while I’m seawall hustlin, at the beach, on the patio of my White Rock house, everywhere. I think they are just the best. This one is awesome, I actually got it for my Dad this Christmas. It plugs into your computer to charge and uses Bluetooth which is perfect when you want to be able to keep your cellphone on hand (AKA ALWAYS).

4. Apple TV. For the tech dork in all of us. Apple TV is awesome and if you need me to explain why GTFO.

5. Men’s shaving kit / travel case. Men’s accessories are so much sexier than women’s aren’t they? Our travel cases are hot pink and plasticy, even the top tier brands usual choose a vinyl type material, but men get leather. When men step up their game in the accessory department it makes a huge difference, I find those little details so refined and attractive. This Fossil Travel Kit in a rich cognac color is the perfect travel accessory the GQ aficionado in your man.

6. Socks. Not the six pack of champion tube socks your Grandmother gets your for Christmas (barf). These patterned socks are such a simple fun cheap gift, and they add an element of unique style to the otherwise fairly simple outfits that boys wear. A JCrew button down, good jeans and a pair of converse is really stepped up when you throw in a matching pair of polka dot socks. The BANNER sock from STANCE shown above, are the perfect example of a styley colored patterned sock that will boost your boys game (wait do you want that?). Joe Fresh has a few great picks on sale, also Urban Outfitters has a ton of awesome options and you can usually find a 3 for $20 deal.

7. We luuuhhhh coffee. I had always used a traditional coffee maker before meeting Scott who opened my eyes to this gem. These stovetop espresso coffee makers will blow your cute patterned socks off. It makes rich, strong and delicious coffee, you’ll never go back.

Of course I believe the  best gifts come from the heart, so whatever you choose to give your boo this Valentines, make sure it’s accompanied by a little love note, I think the loves in our lives appreciate that more than they let on. On the other hand if you are solo next Friday please refer to my last post and come find my girlfriends and I terrorizing the dance floors of London Pub and Fortune. You’ll be able to pick us out by the way we hunt in a pack and make our decisions according to the WWBD? principle. [What would Britney (circa 2007) do?] 

What are your Valentines day traditions? What are you gifting your significant other?

Pre-Spent Paycheques

As things start to really cool down in Vancouver I find myself firstly, cruising redtag for cheap last minute vacations, but more realistically cruising the internet for warm winter wear. This results in every payday being accompanied by a shopping list of almost equivalent value. Here’s what’s on my shopping list for October:

WEEKENDS –  When I say weekends, I don’t mean you’ll never see me in jeans on a Saturday, but this is my go to uniform for running errands, Sunday walks and coffee runs. The first layer would be my go-to Lulu Lemon Wunder Unders topped with the Karma Long Sleeve running shirt which is my base for any warm/active layering. After that I am lusting after new runners and at the top of my list are the Nike Free 5.0’s which are randomly available at Aritzia now. I also have my eye on a hooded puffer vest; this one available at H&M for only $34.95 fits the bill. Lastly topping any outfit with a good pair of Ray-Bans not only makes for an easier weekend make-up routine, but also steps up the style of an otherwise pretty basic and practical outfit!

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MONDAY-FRIDAY –  I work for an eCommerce company which is awesome for a million different reasons, but one for sure is the laid back dress code. Here is a standard weekday outfit for me, it’s pulled together enough for my office and easily transitions into drinks and/or dinner after work. On a day to day basis you will find me in my Mackage leather jacket but after this upcoming purchase that will change. This double-breasted coat from H&M is exactly what I have been looking for in a longer coat that will work perfectly with jeans and booties as well as over a dress and heels. Next, I’m lusting over light ankle-length destroyed denim and this pair of Current/Elliot’s is aces. My girlfriend Sharan purchased this top from Aritzia a couple weeks ago and it is the PERFECT Vancouver hybrid. Silk and plaid. Maybe it’s the West Coast (Best Coast) in me but I LOVE a good plaid top. I think I have gotten more wear out of my boyfriend flannel than any shirt in my life, and this silk version is the perfect way to step up my plaid game. (This top would also look awesome with leather leggings.) A good boot is necessary for the rainy winter months and because I am cursed with bigger calves, an expertly cut ankle boot is VITAL. This pair from Aldo is a great height and the slight dip in the front keeps my ankles looking like little baby deer ankles. Lastly I am obsessed with Jenni Kayne flats. They are SO chic and the perfect option for a day sans rain or a night out where I have a date with the dance floor that my heels can’t handle. This pointed flat shoe from Zara is an awesome, more affordable, option!

What’s on your fall/winter shopping list?

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Autumn Fashion Idols

I couldn’t figure out if I should write this on what I am wearing most this fall, what I wish I was wearing most this fall, or what I really really wish I was wearing most this fall (which I just accidentally wrote as “most of all” – touche subconscious) Anyway in the wise words of Drake “started from the bottom now we here,” Today I’ll share with you my creme de la creme fall inspiration and over the next week work backwards to what’s on my realistic wish list and then to what my current live in fall pieces are!

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Nicole Richie… she is always one of my go-to inspos. the sunglasses, the print, the shoes. aces.

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this is obviously not very wearable but i love the sheer with the heavy knit on top and the pockets. im also obsessed with high slits and any kind of asymmetrical skirt.

Imagespiced up skinny jeans and an oversized white button down. i love the hit of red and gold on this fall classic.

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 this is the perfect summer/fall crossover outfit. no further explanation necessary.

Who are your style icons?