Five Faves – March 2021

Hi Everyone!

I has officially been one year since the world came to a screeching halt, and while lock down measures have loosened in some parts of the world, here in Montreal we have settled into a new normal. We are still under a curfew and restaurant dining is a distant memory, but hopefully with the vaccine roll out things will improve especially as we enter a warmer season. Maybe it’s all of the time that I have had to spend alone over the past year but the truth is that I am struggling. Some days are better then others but lately I have been feeling a little low. In order to counter these feelings, I have been searching for and indulging in things that I enjoy and brighten my day. Here are my five faves for March that I am currently loving:

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Bala Bands – I have been eating a lot of junk food over the past year (potato chips are practically a food group for me at this point) so naturally I haven’t been feeling my best. I have been working out, but without access to a gym (they are shut down) my workouts feel limited and uninspired. When the lockdown first started I purchased the Melissa Wood Health fitness app and I loved her workouts but eventually I got lazy. In order to motivate myself to get back to feeling good I treated myself to a pair of Bala bands which Melissa often uses in her workouts. These 1 lb weights are great for both lower body and arm workouts and I feel strong every time that I use them. If you are looking to add some weights to your workout I highly reccommend these bands as they are both functional and stylish.

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Sumo Oranges – My tastes have changed quite a bit over the past year. Black pepper and oranges are two items that I find myself gravitating towards on a regular basis. I had heard of Sumo oranges on Instagram a little while ago so I was curious when I saw them at the grocery store a short while later. They are not cheap but my curiosity got the better of me and I had to buy one to try. I am now completely hooked! For those of you who have never heard of a Sumo orange before, it is a cross between a mandarin orange and a naval orange. They are a larger seedless orange with a thick skin (which makes it super easy to peel). Sweet, juicy and filling and they re helping me to keep a lid on my previously mentioned chip addiction. Love it!

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Hermes Tokyo Store – Hermes has always been one of my favourite fashion houses. Despite the astronomical prices I love the the history behind it, the quiet elevated luxury and elegance of the brand and the traditions that they have carried forward. This past week, Hermes entered a new chapter in its history by announcing a new bag made with mushroom leather. I love that the traditional leather house is making strides to evolve with the times and work with new materials while still maintaining brand integrity. Hermes also announced the opening of their new store in Tokyo and it is gorgeous! It is the brand’s first street location in Japan since opening the Hermes Ginza location in 2001 (all of the other Hermes stores in Japan are located in a mall) and they did a beautiful job designing this location. Bright and welcoming and quietly luxurious I am in love with the design of this store.

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Stanley Tucci Searching for Italy – I have always been a fan of actor Stanley Tucci’s work so I was thrilled when I first saw the promo for this new show on CNN Stanley Tucci Searching for Italy. A great actor exploring one of my favourite countries sounded like a match made in heaven to me. Thankfully this show has exceeded my expectations. So far I have watched him explore Naples, Rome, Bologna and Milan and each episode has me dreaming of getting on a plane and exploring the world again. I can’t wait! If you are also suffering from a serious case of wanderlust, I highly recommend that you check this show out to help to tide you over until you can travel again.

F12AA0EE-0459-4348-98B2-E64E7F72C0A2Monday Girl – This past year has me seriously reconsidering my career path and what I would like to achieve in the future.  As I have been trying to figure out how to achieve my goals, I have been researching different career websites and support groups which is how I found the Monday Girl.  They have an inspirational Instagram account (@mondaygirlto), a bi-weekly newsletter filled with career tips, job posting and ways to connect with likeminded women.  I love it when women support other women both professionally and personally and I am loving this community that the founders of Monday Girl have created.  If you are looking for a little extra professional motivation or to join a community of like minded women this may be one that you want to check out (www.mondaygirl.ca).  

Thank you for stopping by Stylishly Zen today, I hope that you have a beautiful day and stay safe out there!  XXS

Inspiring Interior – Anine Bing’s Cali Cool LA Home

Hi Everyone!

I have been crushing on Anine Bing’s Scandi meet Cali cool style for years. Her designs are timeless and chic, and her Instagram account (@aninebing) is one of my favourite accounts to check out for style inspiration. A few years ago there was a lot of buzz and images of Anine’s Spanish style home in LA as she hosted many event there. The space was warm and welcoming while maintaining her signature cool girl vibe. Last year, Anine mentioned over social media that she had moved, and while she showed off parts of her new house I was always hoping for more. This past week, my design prayers were finally answered when Lonny Magazine did a profile of Anine’s new home. The home is everything and more that I imagined. It is a perfect combination of Scandinavian design with California cool – I expected nothing less from this Danish style star. With warm wood floors, a fabulous Hastens bed and gorgeous antique mirrored panels around the fireplace, to the beautiful marble shower and incredible vintage pieces throughout this home is a dreamy light filled modern sanctuary. I have never been a banquette girl but the one in this home has turned me into a convert – chic black leather perfectly paired with the vintage circular travertine dining table of my dreams, love, love, love! This home just shot to the top of my dream home design list! Here is a peek inside Anine Bing’s gorgeous 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 via http://www.lonny.com

Behind the Design with Thomas Cravero

Hi Everyone!

I am so excited today to re-start the Behind the Design series here on Stylishly Zen.  It’s been nearly a year since many of us around the world went into lock down, and in this time design and our spaces has become more important than ever before.  I first discovered today’s featured designer via Instagram, which many of you know is my favourite tool to learn, research and discover all things design.  Thomas Cravero is an incredibly talented Argentinian designer based in Buenos Aires.  His renders are absolutely captivating and discovering his work was eye opening to the infinite possibilities of what good design can achieve.  Here is Behind the Design with Thomas Cravero:

Did you always know that you wanted to work in architecture? Has it always been your passion?

Architecture in my life is a passion that was born from a very young age, I think that at 8 or 10 years old I already knew that one day I would be an architect

F065EBF1-3C73-423D-899F-3E726C332582How would you describe your design esthetic?

I would describe my aesthetic design as a dynamic architecture, something that activates all the senses when walking through it. That is, possibly my projects force the user to move, interact with the spaces. but also, I think it is a contemporary architecture that responds to the chaotic fluids of the modern era.

8C192F92-E0F2-49F6-8A5F-B6328944877FWhere do you find your inspiration from?

I find my inspiration, looking at great contemporary masters of architecture, masters who understand that architecture is not just a box, that there are different ways to enhance a space, a home, or a building.

What has been your most challenging project so far? Why was it so challenging?

I think that one of my most challenging projects was the project recently carried out in the city of Ibiza, I think the most difficult part of that project was being able to mark that beautiful landscape in an unusual way. Forcing the user to move within the space in order to find their perfect perspective towards the landscape.

B4A4D3FF-EAA9-4428-BA90-45D2CE84D296What is your favourite project to date?

I believe that the favorite project is always to come, one loves each project that he does, but without a doubt when you finish it, that project becomes one of the many that you execute, I think that the favorite project is born, when there is a client with give you the possibility of creating a new space, for me that is my favorite project from start to finish.

How long does it take for you to normally complete a project?

It all depends, the scale of the project, the client’s needs, on the other hand, also play an important role in the project stage, but I would tell you that a home can take approximately 6 weeks from start to finish, while a larger-scale project much more. weather. Anyway there are projects that are born in 1 week, all this depends on many factors.

57A2B6C9-8273-4B7C-9C37-FEF8A563CAC284619015-9341-4447-AA13-EBB6B4F419D9What is your favourite part about working in architecture?

I think the best part is being able to create and materialize something that exists in your mind and transform it into reality, it is created in the mind, it is born as a dream and it comes true.

Any favourite travel destinations that you like to escape too? Why?

In the last 5 years of my life, I dedicated myself to traveling through different countries, always trying to get to know new cities, cultures but fundamentally being able to visit emblematic works of architecture that many of us see in the world portals of contemporary architecture. I undoubtedly believe that much of the innovation of the project process is nurtured by traveling and understanding how the great masters act.In my case, I have dedicated my last trips to studying the architecture of Zaha Hadid.

How would you describe the design style/esthetic in Argentina?

I think Argentina had great masters of world architecture, Cesar Pelli, I think he was our last great master who left his legacy in many of the great cities. especially in Malaysia where I create the Petronas Towers. But I think that Argentina, fulfilled and fulfills a fundamental role both in the past, highlighting that the only house that the famous Le Corbusier built in Latin America was in Buenos Aires and emphasizing that the first tower of Zaha Hadid in Latin America will also be here

814C389A-EB8A-45A9-B300-17FEFEA8F737Do you have a favourite type of project to work on (private/commercial)? Why?

I don’t think I have something decided, I think that if architecture is necessary to improve the quality of life of any user, for me it is satisfactory to be able to execute it. but I would say that residential architecture is one of my favorites.

What wellness practices do you incorporate into your lifestyle to help you deliver such beautiful projects? (This can range from workouts, nutrition, meditation practice, etc)

Undoubtedly, I believe that the daily balance of rest, sport and physical activity, and mental relaxation is essential to be able to develop good projects, fundamentally I believe that the connection with nature opens the head in some way for new ideas.

0AA21B0E-1409-4CAF-99F0-21A573871B54Any words of wisdom for someone who is just starting out their design career?

I would advise them, to prepare, to study and to travel and look and experience different ways of projecting spaces, without a doubt it is a beautiful profession that gives you the freedom to make something that comes from a dream come true.

To see more of Thomas Cravero’s work please visit his Instagram profile @tc.arquitectura

Special thanks to Thomas Cravero for taking the time to be interviewed for Stylishly Zen.  All images courtesy of Thomas Cravero.

Thank you for visiting Stylishly Zen today!  I hope that you all have a beautiful day!  XXS

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