Inspiring Interior

Happy Summer 2017 Everyone!

Well the warmer weather has finally arrived (let’s hope that it sticks around for a while). While I don’t have any vacation plans this year, a part of me is dreaming of taking off to a sunny and exotic locale with great food, a welcoming culture and beautiful beaches.  I recently came across this gorgeous vacation home that fits my vacation dreams to a T.  Located in Spain, this stunning villa was designed by Ana Bejar Interiorismo and offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.  Cleverly decorated with a bright white colour palette and Moroccan influences, this beautiful abode blends in seamlessly with its environment.  This vacation home is designer chic at it’s finest.  Love it!

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I hope that you have a beautiful and sunny day! XXS❤️

Sandals, sun, matcha and buns

We have made it to June! Hopefully the sun will come out a little bit more and we can begin to enjoy the new season! My mood board for June has me dreaming of new adventures, sunny memories, yummy food, gorgeous shoes and unfussy hair to help motivate me through the month.  Enjoy!

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Photo credits: Instagram (@alltrueist_btq, @pepamack, @city_fashion_blogger, @theclassbytt, @bodyism, @whatscooking, @oliviaculpo), http://www.theyallhateus.com, http://www.pinterest.com

I hope that you have a fabulous (and sunny) day! XXS❤️

Inspiring Interior

Hi Everyone!

Summer is FINALLY here…….well at least according to the calendar.  Now that we are officially into June I find myself daydreaming of sun, sand and vacations a little bit more then usual.  Today’s Inspiring Interior is the perfect modern beach getaway.  Located in Tel Aviv, this gorgeous abode perfectly blends minimalism, city living and beach dreaming all in one beautiful apartment.  With large windows, breathtaking beach views, clean lines and wide open spaces this home is a work of art.  I love the glass walls and shelving that seamlessly divides the rooms without forsaking the natural light that streams through the entire space.  Wood paneling, neutral tones and materials perfectly balance the glass walls and shelves.  It’s clear that the designer and architect thought very carefully about the layout of the space when designing this apartment, and successfully managed to bring the beauty of the outdoor views into the interior of the home.  It is absolutely stunning!

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I hope that you have a beautiful day! ❤️ XXS

Clean Beauty Product Review

It is becoming easier to be a clean beauty product junkie.  I discover a new line almost every week!  While not everything that I use is “clean”, I have made a concerted effort over the past few years to minimize my toxic load from chemicals in cleaning and personal products.  It’s not alway easy as clean beauty is a fairly unregulated industry, and the term is often just tossed around as a buzz word to attract attention.  Many products are not as “clean” as they pretend to be.  While I haven’t found all of the clean beauty products that I have tried to be effective, there are some great products out there.  I recently picked up two new clean beauty products to try out:  Herbivore’s Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask and Farmacy’s Honey Savior.

Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask

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Herbivore is a brand that has been on my radar for quite a while, but this was the first opportunity that I had to actually try a product from the line.  This beauty line is well known for it’s oils, clarity mask and body scrub.  Founded by a husband and wife duo in their Seattle kitchen, the line is made with organic, high quality and food grade ingredients.  I chose to try the resurfacing mask first because exfoliating has always been one of my favourite beauty rituals (seriously, I am obsessed).  The Blue Tansy Resurfacing Mask is advertised to exfoliate, smooth and resurface the skin and it’s active ingredients include Blue Tansy Oil  (natural anti-inflammatory), White Willow Bark (natural BHA), fruit enzymes (natural AHA) and aloe leaf (natural complexion soother).

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I was a little skeptical when I first applied the clarity mask.  There was not really any tingling and the texture was completely smooth.  I generally prefer a manual exfoliant so I was hoping for a bit of “grit” in the mask.  Nevertheless, I left the mask on for 20 minutes then washed it off with warm water and a clean wash cloth as per the directions.  My face felt smoother but the effect wasn’t anything spectacular.  There is a tip sheet that comes with the mask and it suggests to use the mask everyday for 3-4 days (on the website it says every other day) and then reduce usage to a few times a week.  I decided to use it everyday for four days in the hopes of seeing some great results.  By day three the results were noticeable and by day four my skin had a softness to it that I hadn’t seen in a very (very) long time.  I am so impressed with this product!  I am hopeful that it has positive long term effects as well – I will do a follow up post in a few months.  The price ($48 CAN) is fairly average for a chemical exfoliant from Sephora and a little goes a long way so the jar should last quite some time.  I can’t wait to try more products from this line in the future!

Stylishly Zen Beauty Rating:   4.5/5

Honey Savior by Farmacy

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I have been a a fan of the Farmacy brand since I first discovered it a Sephora early last year.  There is a lot of science behind this brand, and I absolutely love how much information they provide about the brand on the packaging.  According to the box the products are cultivated by farmers and activated by scientists (there is even a picture!).  Free of parabens, formaldehyde and artificial colours many of the Farmacy products are powered by their trademarked Echinacea Greenenvy Honey.

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Honey Savior is advertised as an all-in-one skin repair slave that is rich in amino acids and B vitamins to help smooth dry skin giving it a renewed, healthy and nourished appearance.  Honey is a great natural hydrator so it makes sense to have it in it a salve.  I love using a salve to moisturize my feet before bed, and given my love of the Farmacy brand I was more then willing to give this one a try.  In terms of quality, the texture of the salve is a slightly more liquid then others that I have tried which would make sense as it’s primary ingredient is castor oil.  The less viscous texture means that a little bit of the product goes a long way, and it’s easier to use then a thicker version. I found it surprisingly helpful with helping to revive my tired aching feet after a long day – within 15 minutes the aches and pains were a distant memory.  I am not sure why it was so helpful with this issue, but I am grateful nonetheless.   The one downside of this product is the price ($44 CAN)! That is a lot of money to spend on a salve even if it is clean beauty.  I am hopeful that this tube will last a long long time as you only need to use a very small amount at a time.

Stylishly Zen Beauty Rating:  4/5

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Overall I was happy with both of these clean beauty products aside from the price of the salve (clean beauty needs to be more affordable).  If the Blue Tansy Resurfacing Mask continues to be effective then I would definitely repurchase but I am not sure about the salve.  As much as I love the Farmacy brand, the higher price point a little hard to justify.  I am hopeful that this tube will last a long long time!

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

5 Self Care Practices You Should Be Doing

There comes a time in everyone’s life that they forget to take care of themselves.  With life moving at a frenetic pace and our ever increasing responsibilities, there are only so many hours in a day and it is easy to put your own needs on the back burner.  The problem with not making self care a priority is that you can only continue this way for a limited amount of time before your body forces you to start caring for yourself.  For many, this is normally a temporary wake up call as they eventually go back to living life at full throttle not taking the time to care for themselves.

Contrary to popular belief, self care is not a selfish act.  By not taking the time to nourish and rejuvenate yourself, you will eventually deplete yourself of the ability to do things for others.  The old adage “you can’t pour from an empty cup”  rings true in this situation.  Over the past few years I have tried to make self care a priority.  While I am not always successful, there are a few self care rituals that I frequently practice to centre and  rejuvenate myself.  They also help to remind me that I need to be on my priority list, and to schedule a larger chunk of time for myself in the (very) near future.    My top five favourite (relatively quick) self care practices are:

IMG_00401). Get outside

We spend way to much time indoors.  Being outside and enjoying the fresh air is good for the mind, body and spirit.  Take a few minutes to just sit and enjoy the view or go for a quick walk around the block to get your blood pumping.

IMG_00472) Meditate (or just breathe) or stretch

I used to think that meditation was not for me.  My mind is always racing and I am frequently multi-tasking, how on earth could I be expected to just sit and breathe???  It turns out that those reasons are exactly why I needed to develop a meditation practice into my life.  Ever since I started to meditate I feel more grounded and not nearly as scattered as I used to be.  Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to spend a lot of time meditating to reaps it’s benefits.  I normally meditate between 5 – 15 minutes first thing in the morning (before my to-do list kicks into high gear).  Some mornings when I am running late I take a moment to take five deep belly breathes then I head out to start my day.  I have met many people that are interested in beginning a meditation practice but they are overwhelmed with the amount of information given to them about how to practice successfully.  Don’t overthink it!  Find a quiet place, sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breath.  In and out, in and out.  If you find your mind starting to wander don’t worry about it, just calmly bring your awareness back to your breath.  Some people find it helpful to have a mantra.  If you feel that you would benefit from one  then just be sure to pick one that you can say/think with the flow of your breath.  Voila!  You are now a meditating superstar!

There are countless benefits to stretching or doing yoga.  It is good for the mind, body and the soul.  If you are to busy to take a class then roll out your mat and move through a few moves at home.  There are some great apps out there (my favourite is Yoga Studio) that will help you to achieve a successful yoga practice wherever you are.  Aside from the greater range of flexibility and the calming effect that yoga has on my mind, I love the rosy glow that I get from my yoga practice.

IMG_20393) Put your electronics down!  (Yes that includes your phone)

Chances are that this self care practice may take some well…….practice.  Most of us are overly reliant on our phones (yes that includes me most of the time), but taking some time away from our electronic lifelines is healthy.  While the idea of being away from our phones for even a second is frightening take baby steps.  Try leaving your phone in another room while you eat and don’t pick up your phone as soon as you wake up.  This will allow you to stay (and enjoy) the moment rather then mindlessly going through your day.

IMG_00504) Take a mini spa moment

In an ideal world we would all have the time (and the resources) to visit a spa for rest and relaxation.  This is obviously a far cry from reality but with a little effort you can have a mini spa moment in the comfort of your own home.  Apply a sheet mask while you relax. Light some candles, enjoy a glass of spa water or wine and read a leisurely magazine to achieve the full spa effect.  When was the last time you took a luxurious bubble bath?  Treat yourself to your favourite bubble bath and body oil and be sure to add in some epsom salts to help relax those tired muscles. It doesn’t matter how you choose to bliss out as long as you do it.  Even just 15 minute of spa time will rejuvenate your body and nourish your busy mind.

IMG_00375) Treat yourself to something that will make you smile

I don’t mean to go and splurge on a high price item and consider it self care.  It can be as simple as treating yourself to a bouquet of flowers or a picture that gives you a positive pause for thought.  Something as simple as flowers can brighten a room, bring the outdoors inside and encourage you (and those around you) to smile.  Small treats that you enjoy will help to remind you that YOU are worth making yourself a priority.

There are endless ways to practice self care but it is important that you take the time to do so.  What are your favourite ways to care prioritize yourself and nourish your mind, body and soul?  Let me know in the comments below

I hope that you have a fabulous day!  ❤️XXS