Five Simple Self Care Ideas When You Only Have Five Minutes

Hi Everyone!

Self Care has become a very popular term over the past few years. There are a range of opinions on it from selfish to necessary, but in reality it simply means to care for ones self in whatever form that means to you. Normally self cares lists include suggestions like “take a bubble bath” or “read a magazine” which are great suggestions when you have the time and energy, but let’s be honest – lately I have neither the time or the energy. Over the past few months it has become increasingly important to me to have self care practices in life that work within any amount of time that I may have. They don’t need to take a huge amount of effort but they do require a bit of mindfulness so that the pay off is more than worth it. The past year has been incredible stressful for many people around the world, so here is my list of quick self care practices that helps me to feel better when I am feeling a bit low:

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  • The magic of a cup of tea. There is something very comforting about a cup of tea (any type). The ritual of steeping leaves in a bag in hot water, holding the warm cup and taking slow sips are all small activities that can give you a moment to just breathe. I have always loved drinking tea for its myriad of benefits, but stealing a few moments just for myself to enjoy a sip or two has done wonders in calming my mind when things feel like they are in overdrive.

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  • Find your scent. This may sound a bit odd to some people, but fragrance is a very powerful tool and finding one that you enjoy and reminds your body to relax and unwind when you smell it can have great long term benefits. Personally I lean towards relaxing scents such as lavender and camomile oil to help me to unwind before going to sleep at night. I keep a bottle next to my bed and I apply a small amount at night. The scent tells my brain that it is time to slow down, relax and go to sleep. Whatever you choose though, look for something that reminds you to breathe and helps both your mind and body to unwind. You will be surprised how beneficial this technique can be when things are stressful and overwhelming.

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  • Take a hot shower and learn the art of self massage. This may not seem like a big deal, but taking a few moments to enjoy a quick hot shower is a great mood lifter. Try to focus the water to the area along your neck and back where you hold tension. I have also found that using a simple hand held massager on my neck before or after a hot shower has helped me release a ton of tension that I hold within my body.

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  • Move! This doesn’t mean that you need to do a hard core workout but you need to move your body – whether that means a quick walk around the block, marching in place or holding downward dog for a few moment. This will help you to connect deeply with your body and take a deep (and most probably much needed) breath

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  • Discover the benefits of facial massage. I love a beauty tool more then most people and my most used ones are the tools I have for facial massage. Whether it’s gua sha, a facial roller , or face yoga, facial massage is a great way to relieve tension that you are holding in your face. The added bonus of this practice is better product penetration and glowing skin, it’s a total win win!

And there you have it! My quick self care practices list that I rely on regularly to get me through life’s challenging moments when I am feeling low or overwhelmed. What self care practices do you rely on in your everyday life? Let me know in the comments below.

I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS

Photo credit: http://www.stylishlyzen.com, http://www.pinterest.com

Style Spotlight – How to Style a Sweatsuit

Happy Monday Everyone!

It’s official, I am a sweatsuit convert. Pre quarantine I would NEVER have considered buying a sweatsuit. It’s not that I have anything against comfortable clothing, but I have always been more of a leggings girl and rocking a sweatsuit is something that I thought I had left behind in elementary school. But now after months of being in lockdown, the sweatsuit is my favourite item(s) of clothing in my wardrobe.

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I think that my reluctance to rock a sweatsuit pre-quarantine stems from the idea that it can look dowdy and sloppy but, as many fashion forward beauties have showcased via social media it’s actually quite the opposite. Sweatsuits are really easy to elevate to fabulous street style, and if you have been struggling with the dowdy vs. stylish dilemma of how to rock a sweatsuit this post is for you. Here are my favourite ways to upgrade a sweatsuit:

Accessorize Intelligently

There is no need to go overboard but elevating a your outfit with a few choice accessories is a great way to elevate your look. Adding a chunky necklace or a gorgeous bag is a great way to enhance your look with a touch of glamour. By accessorizing intelligently with a few accessories your entire look becomes thoughtful not just thrown together and sloppy.

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Add a Great Topper

I love how a sweatsuit looks when worn under a great wool coat. Whether the coat is plaid, solid, teddy, or puffer adding a coat over a sweatsuit make it looks styled, and the entire look deliberate even when paired with running shoes. I love a casual glam look and this is one of my favourites. Two of my favourite style inspiration stars Rosie Hunnington Whitely and Haley Bieber are queens at rocking this particular look. I especially enjoy the layered look when the top is a hoodie instead of a crewneck. You will frequently catch me rocking this look at the grocery store (it’s the only place we are currently able to venture out) as I am a true believer in practicing what I preach:)

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Footwear Matters

It turns out that sweatsuits look great with a wide range of footwear, from boots to sneakers and most in between. I love styling sweatsuits with boots as I feel like it elevates the overall look but sometimes you just need to throw on some sneakers and still look like a fashion superstar. I find that the best way to keep the look stylish is to create a little bit of space between the bottom of the sweatpants and the sneakers. This works by pulling your socks over the cuff of the sweatpants, if it’s warm enough show off a sliver of skin via your ankle or if your sweatpants has a thicker elastic cuff at the bottom keep it visible so that there is a slimmer line going into a chunkier shoe. This helps to keep the look sleek and not frumpy.

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Opt for a Sleeker Style

There is something very cool about dressy sweat pants, especially ones with pin tuck details. Pair it with a matching knit or sweatshirt. To keep things sleek, do a half tuck so that the entire look is more together.

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And there you have it – my favourite sweat suit looks and how I like to style them. Let me know what you think and how you like to style your sweatsuits in the comments below. Thank you for stopping by Stylishly Zen today, I hope that you have a beautiful and stylish day! XXS

Photo Credits: http://www.pinterest.com, @charlotteemilysanders, @rosiehw, @styleandthebeach

Inspiring Interior – St. Germain by Montana Labelle Design

Hi Everyone!

If you have been following my blog for a while, then you know about my love for all things marble. I love seeing how designers use marble with a space to create some very dreamy interiors. One designer whose beautiful use of marble gets me every time is Toronto based designer Montana Labelle.

Today’s Inspiring Interior is one of my favourite projects by Montana Labelle Design. The St. Germain project is a sleek and modern residential project. True to Montana’s design style, it is made up of a neutral colour palette with a heavy use of black and white. Various marble stone is used as statement pieces throughout the home elevating it to a modern, chic and inviting space.

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The marble used in the kitchen on the range, backsplash and hood (how gorgeous is the hood!?!?), is also carried thru to the living space where the same marble is used on the fireplace. White cabinetry paired with a sleek black kitchen island perfectly complement and showcase the beautiful stone.

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The plush grey velvet dining chairs paired with a statement marble top dining chairs set the tone for the luxe dining room. The dining room is further elevated with a vintage chandelier and oversized mirror. The beautiful chevron oak floor provides the perfect chic base for this space.

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A bold black and white marble is used in one of the bathrooms.  Pairing it with matte black hardware and an abstract shaped mirror keeps the marble from looking too heavy and overbearing.  Sleek white tiles and black hardware in the shower nearby ensure that focus is not pulled from the eye catching marble sink but complemented by its surroundings.  

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I love this home for it’s chic, modern, and minimalist style, neutral colour palette and fearless use of marble throughout the space. Vintage pieces such as the leather club chairs in the living room help to create a welcoming vibe throughout the home

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What do you think of this home? Let me know in the comments below! Thank you for stopping by Stylishly Zen today, I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS

All images from http://www.montanalabelle.com

Commercial Interiors Crush – STK Toronto

Hi Everyone!

It feels like the longest January ever and combined with the lockdown that we are currently in here in Montreal things seem a little bleak. One thing that I am doing to keep my spirits up is to research and plan all of the places that I would love to visit once things start to open back up. One mini getaway that I would like to take is to Toronto for some good food and great design.

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STK Toronto is the first Canadian outpost of the STK dining concept, that blends the qualities of an upscale steakhouse with a chic nightclub lounge. The Design Agency was commissioned to design the Canadian location. Located in the former Four Season’s Yorkville Hotel, The Design Agency did a beautiful job creating an incredible dining locale that is both welcoming and sultry making a dining experience here memorable like any other in Toronto.

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What do you think of the design of STK Toronto? Let me know in the comments below.

Thank you for stopping by Stylishly Zen today, I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS

All images from http://www.thedesignagency.ca

Heavenly Home – Ornamental Modern by Dylan Farrell Design

Hi Everyone!

I love a good house tour and today’s project is one home that I am completely in love with. Located in Melbourne and designed by the extremely talented firm Dylan Farrell Design, this home is exquisite. With it’s modern Italianate exterior, and grand interior proportions, it would be easy to for many design decisions to underwhelm, but by adding layers of warmth such as gorgeous timber chevron floors and a black and white repetition throughout the home the design elevates the overall mood of the home. Steel and glass doors framed by floor to ceiling wire brushed oak, help to create a sense of separation and flow throughout the home. The result is an urban edginess combined with a rustic farmhouse vibe, love it!

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Given all of the incredible features throughout the home it’s hard to pick a favourite, but the warm warm tones of the dining room next to a well stocked wine cellar create a welcoming and intimate vibe that I love. I am also completely smitten with the aged mirror panels on the steel framed closet doors.

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The warm tones of the interior are carried throughout the exterior spaces of the home. With a sprawling leafy garden, gorgeous lap pool and outdoor fireplace area this home is the perfect place to entertain indoors and out.

What do you think of this home? Let me know if the comments below. I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS

All images via http://www.dylanfarrell.com