The temperatures are really starting to drop here in Vancouver, so I thought I would share my MUST haves to survive winter!
1. Lined, waterproof boots
Your extremities, aka hands and feet, get cold the quickest and take the longest to heat up again. This is because they are furthest from the heart and have relatively large surface areas that are exposed to the cold. The number one thing I cannot live without in the winter is my pair of Sorel boots! They are lined with fur (vegan options available) and waterproof. When I wear them, I don’t dread going out in the cold because I know they keep me warm and dry. I’ve had mine for nearly 3 years and they are still in great shape. The second I need to replace them, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy them again.
2. Fleece Lined Gloves
For years I would buy basic knit gloves because I didn’t realize how important a good pair of gloves were. I also bought knit gloves because I thought they just looked cuter than the bulky, heavy duty winter gloves. I also personally don’t like the look of leather gloves or the feeling of synthetic gloves. Finally, I realized I could buy knit fleece line gloves that looked cute and were much warmer! I bought mine last year at Aldo, but I can’t find them anymore, but check out Ardene’s for a functional and affordable pair!
3. Fleece lined leggings
I only discovered that fleeced lined leggings were a thing 2-3 years ago, and since then, I have been obsessed! They keep me so warm to the point I start sweating from how warm I get if I’m also wearing multiple layers os sweaters and shirts. Of course, not all lined leggings are made equal, so make sure you try out a few. I have a pair that is really thick and warm, and another pair that is thin and lets the cold through. Make sure you look at how close knit the fibers are before you buy! The pair that keep me the warmest are from Simons (but I don't think they sell the ones I have anymore!).
4. A Humidifier
Surviving winter is not just about surviving the cold. It gets really dry too. Vancouver typically isn’t as dry as the interior, but lately, I notice there are some especially dry days. I have thin and sensitive skin, so it’s really hard to be in ultra-dry weather. I have woken up in the middle up the night because my skin hurt from the dryness. I also know some people will get nosebleeds when it’s too dry. To combat this, I bought a humidifier. Actually, I bought 2 humidifiers, one for home, and a portable one for the office. I didn’t know there were portable humidifiers, but here we are! To be honest, the portable one doesn’t help too much because it is quite small, but it was only $20 and every little bit helps when you have skin like mine.
5. Thermal Clothing
I’m obsessed with thermal clothing because I can throw them on under EVERYTHING. They do a good job with keeping me warm without all the bulk. I have them in a few neutral colours so I can always match it to what I’m wearing. Mine are from Uniqlo and I got them for $15 CAD on sale!
Stay warm everyone!
I’ll be the first to admit that I adore online shopping. What’s not to like? I don’t have to leave the house and drive to the mall. I don’t have to walk around for hours hunting for the right item. It’s all delivered right to my door, and most of the time delivery is free. Everything is just a few clicks away and the convenience is just second to none.
Today I received a delivery for an order I placed just 3 days ago. When I got my package, I was happy to have gotten exactly what I wanted with no hassle at all. But then, when I opened the box, I was hit with a HUGE feeling of guilt over how much waste had been created.
I ordered three things. Two of them came together, but in separate boxes. Since one item was awkwardly shaped, they put it in a large box AND filled it with plastic bubble wrap. The second item that came was in a different box, with yet again, more plastic bubble wrap. The third item did not come with this delivery, so there will be a third box with more plastic bubble wrap, and the delivery truck will have to drive it to me, wasting more gas and resources.
Even if I recycle everything that I can, there’s no way to balance the negative environmental output.
Did you know that much of what we recycle ends up in a landfill because of “contamination”? Something as simple as a coffee stain on paper makes it un-recyclable, and if it gets mixed in with other recyclable items, that gets contaminated, too. Even a small amount of peanut butter left in a container can contaminate a tonne of paper.
Another really interesting thing I learned was that we (as in Canada) do not do most of the actual recycling ourselves. We collect recyclable material and sort them to be bought by countries like China, who then recycle the materials into new products. If the recyclable material is not purchased by anyone (due to policy changes or contamination levels), it will eventually go to a landfill.
It saddens me to learn how ineffective recycling can be, but I really believe that knowledge is power. So knowing all this, I’m going to make sure I clean my recyclable materials better AND think twice before making online purchases .
Here are 3 easy things to start doing that will reduce waste when holiday shopping:
Read more about recycling in Canada from CBC or watch VOX as they examine the environmental cost of 2-day shipping and some potential solutions!
Have you guys heard of the Law of Attraction? The belief that by focusing on positive thoughts, one brings about positive experiences into one’s life. Do you believe this to be true? I do.
I believe that our choice of words impact our mindset and can change our perception of life. If we choose to focus on the positives, then our experience will be positive. Likewise, if we choose the focus on the negatives then our experience will be negative.
Do you ever catch yourself saying, “I am happy when I get XXX amount of salary" or "I am happy when I get a new car"…etc?
I find myself saying this frequently. For example, before I started this blog, I would say: "I will be happy when I start blogging because it would help me get better at writing." After starting this blog, I still found myself putting conditions on my happiness. I found myself saying: “I will be happy when I can write more fluently or fluidly.” Why is happiness so conditional? Why am I not celebrating my progress because the fact is I did make the first step in being a better writer?
Simply put, it was because of my words. Words are powerful. They can change our view of life so seamlessly and effortlessly. Words also impact our mindset. If you have a positive mindset, you’re happier. If you have a negative mindset, then you’re always be stuck in the rut. It’s up to you whether you want to be positive or negative. In my experience, the more I decide to take on the challenges, the more positive things come into my life.
Using my blogging as an example, I often feel anxious about writing and negative words would flow through my mind and mouth. These words would permeate my mind and negatively impact my writing experience. Over time and after learning about the Law of Attraction, I changed my thought process and learned to appreciate all my small victories.
Since this, my words have changed from “I am happy when…” to “I am happy that…”. I am happy that blogging has helped me become a better writer. By changing my choice of words and mindset I am simply happier. Yes, I know what we say cannot change our lives, but the words can help you perceive a better reality. You naturally attract better things in life if you are happier and more positive.
Happiness is my choice and if changing my words can create more positivity and happiness in my life, then hit me up!
How I Learned To Love My Body
I think in general people are very critical of themselves, me included. We all come in different shapes and sizes and we recognize that we are all different, but we still try to obtain someone else’s body. We want to be taller and skinner so we can look a certain way. We want an athlete’s body or a ballerina’s body so that we can perform the activities they can. Most of us want someone else’s body so much that we forget to love our own body, well at least that’s how I feel.
I am 29 and is 5 feet tall. My weight stays about the same, but fluctuations 10-15 pounds. I was never an active child, and even into my early adulthood years, I didn’t do much exercise either. I remember saying I wish I can do this and that but I’m too fat and short. Maybe, it’s maturity, but boy, was I ever foolish to think that way. I have learned to love my body, and I am going to tell you why.
My Body Is Powerful
Age of 27 was the most active year for me, and it was the year I discovered how powerful my body was. Some of you may have heard of the Grouse Grind. It’s an incredibly steep hike, or some would call it Man Made Stairmaster. When I first started this hike in the summer, it took me 1 hour and 27 min, and after doing a few more times throughout the summer, I ended with 1 hour and 28 seconds. This achievement helped me recognize that my body is powerful and I can do much more.
The moral of the story is not to make an assumption of your body’s inabilities until you try it. Hence, I love my body because it is reliable, capable and powerful.
My Body Is Capable of Change
I practice yoga, and it has taught me that my body can learn to change through persistence, consistency, and patience. I remember the first time attending a yoga class, the feeling of intimidation and awe for the other yoga practisers. I was thinking, my body is not flexible and strong to work in those poses. These people were bending in weird shapes, and some were doing headstands, I’m like “Wow.” Well, I am still practicing yoga, and I can say I can do some of these poses now. I now know that my body will continue to be a work in progress and with a little more effort it will continue to get better.
So, for all the readers, try out an activity you don’t think you can do. You will be amazed by what your body is able to do!
It’s All In Your Mindset
“Your body is a strong machine, but you got to fuel it with a powerful mind.” – Gymaholic.
It’s always what I think I can’t do that I don’t do. Your mindset plays a crucial role in how you feel about your body. If you believe that your body is incapable of doing something, then you’re probably right. You have already had a mindset that you can’t, so, you’re naturally unwilling to try. You have also given up trust in your body. We only have one body, if you don’t trust and believe in your body, then you will never learn to love your body. You will end up just hoping and wishing on something that is intangible
So, all in all, why I love my body is because I know my body is a powerful machine and can adapt to change. I can do more than all the things I say I can’t do, it just takes persistence, consistency, and patience to get there. The key is to think positively with your mind, and your body will do wonders.
So, do you guys love your body? If you do, great! If not, take the time to ask yourself why not? What will you do about it to change it? Remember we only have one body.
Message from writer:
After posting this blog, I was given feedback on the negative message it is projecting. It was not my intention to do so but obviously I should be been more thorough with my writing. As such, I have made edits to the original. If you have any questions, please comment below or email us directly!
A report which pulled data from 9000 people found that higher physical attractiveness correlated with better grades in school and higher paying jobs. Attractive people are seen as friendlier, more competent and more social. When people see you as possessing all these good traits, they automatically treat you better, and when they treat you better, you start becoming that friendly, and social person they think you are, and you end up getting more opportunities. It’s all very cyclical, and the sad truth is that decades worth of studies all show these results.
It’s easy to blame these effects on men and the society we live in, but the truth is that this unfair effect is rooted deeper than societal inequality. It’s actually rooted deep in our most basic instincts - the need to procreate. Attractiveness is a sign of good physical and mental health, which are two important traits we want to pass on to our offspring. Actually, to say that attractiveness is a sign of good physical and mental health might be misleading. Attractiveness is a construct, they are traits that just happen to correlate with the traits we want to pass on to our offspring. So again, it’s all very cyclical.
As unfair as this is - either you’re born with certain traits or you’re not - there is a silver lining. The media influences and tells us that certain body types and facial features are ‘better’, but their version of beauty is not the be all and end all. It turns out that many attractive traits are attained through a healthy diet and exercise, which are within your own control (unless you are confined by social economic constraints…which we don’t have time to address in this post).
The more whole, natural and balanced your diet, the more ‘attractive’ you become. A good diet leads to clear and even skin tone, it manages your weight to what your body weight is meant to be (not under or overweight), and it improves posture through a strong and healthy musculoskeletal system. Back in January, I tried to the Whole 30 challenge which is a 30 day challenge that’s like a reverse elimination diet. I started it because I wanted to know if I had any food sensitivities I didn’t know about, but the result was me starting a better and healthier relationship with food. I really liked the Whole 30 because I didn’t see it as a diet, I saw it as a challenge. I don’t love diets because I know they are not long term solutions, but this one, like I said, changed my relationship with food. Do some research on it and see if it’s something you want to try too!
We don’t need to work out like action movie stars or like Victoria Secret models, but we do need physical activity. Physical activity boosts your mood which makes you more approachable and seem friendlier. Physical activity also helps in the department of clear and healthy skin, maintain a healthy body weight and improve musculoskeletal health. Again, these make you ‘attractive’ because it increases your perceived reproductive health and actual reproductive health. I’m not a professional, but my advice is to find activities you actually enjoy! I’m 29 now and I spent years and years trying to be more active. It took me 27 years to find something I really like doing (yoga), so keep trying new things until you find the one you can, and want to stick with.
Of course what’s on the inside matters (that goes without saying), but ancient and pesky biological biases still give ‘attractive people’ an unfair advantage. If you take care of yourself with a healthy diet and enough physical activity, you can minimize these biases to some extent. Let’s also remember that many of these biases are unconscious, rarely does someone say “I’m going to give so and so a bigger raise because she’s more attractive”. We shouldn't blame the media or the world either because there are never any winners when we play the blame game. It’s much more productive to shed light on a problem and work towards a solution.
Even though I don’t have any real solutions here, know that you don't just have to accept the status quo. For example, we are starting to see less photoshopped images in media because people are demading for it more and more. Companies like Dove even have campaign around it. In some countries, it's illegal to ask for pictures with resumes and coverletters. There will always be biases that are driven biologically, but knowing this allows you to challenge yourself and others when you see it happening.
Lastly, if you feel like you want to take advantage of these biases and make yourself more 'attractive' with makeup or whatever else, there are tons of youtubers and instagrammers out there on the web who can show you how to look like your best self. Never feel ashamed for wanting to conform to societies pressures to look a certain way. You have every right to do what you want to feel good about yourself.
For those interested, here’s a list of what research has found to be ‘attractive’ features: click here.