Five Faves

Hi Everyone!

I hope that your fall is off to a great start! Here in Montreal we are back on a partial lockdown which means spending a lot more time at home. Thankfully being in lockdown has given me a new appreciation for my home and it has forced me to actually work on my space rather then just dream about it.  It has also forced me to learn how to prioritize my mental health and incorporate methods to relax and unwind into my lifestyle. This weekend is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada but due to the lockdown there are no gatherings allowed. While I normally enjoy a holiday meals with loved ones I have never been a fan of the standard turkey dinner. Seeing as how I am alone this year I decided to do something different, so I am channeling my inner Samin Nosrat of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and having beef ribs, jasmine rice and green beans along with a glass of my favourite red wine. I am looking forward it even if it is unique as a Thanksgiving meal. This year has been challenging in many ways, which has made me incredibly grateful for things that make me smile, that I enjoy and make me happy.  Here are five faves that I am currently loving:

84A2B29C-0F86-4AFD-BC2F-417356D84CE8

I have been a fan of Tracy Tutor since she first debuted on Million Dollar Listings Los Angeles. I have always been a fan of the show but it needed some powerful feminine energy and Tracy Tutor was the perfect addition. She has endless hustle, an incredible sense of style and is nobody’s pushover which makes for great television viewing. While her and I are in a similar age group she is who I want to be when I grow up. When I heard that Tracy had written a book I immediately ordered it. It’s an easy read, written with Tracy’s honest, hardworking, no nonsense attitude and encourages the reader to push forward despite the fear that they may be facing. And the cover is absolute goals. She looks strong, powerful and in control which is exactly how she wants the reader to feel all the while embracing their own personal fears. I enjoyed this book and will be referring to it often when I am having doubts about myself.

My best friend recently gifted me this notebook. I love the pretty mint green colour and the Coco Chanel quote is always a perfect reminder. The notebook sat on my counter for a couple of days while I thought about how I wanted to use it. One morning while listening to a podcast while getting ready for work the practice of having a gratitude journal was mentioned. I had heard of this practice before but I had never really connected with it previously. This time though, the idea of gratitude journaling sounded like just what I needed, and I now had the perfect notebook to journal in. It’s too soon to call it a habit just yet, but so far I am really enjoying this practice. I find that for me the best time to journal is right after dinner. Everyday I think about my day and find ten things that I am grateful for. Some days are easier then others, but I have found that even taking some time to consciously think about how fortunate I am to live in a safe and comfortable home, that I have clean running water and food to eat and even the fact that I woke up in the morning. These are all things that I am incredibly grateful for and have often previously taken for granted.

I love listening to podcasts in the morning and I enjoy reading Domino magazine so I was thrilled when I heard that they now had a podcast. The first guest was one of my favourite designers Kelly Wearstler so of course I was immediately hooked. My favourite episode though was the recent one with design genius Jenna Lyons. I love Jenna’s work, from her time at J Crew to her swoon worthy homes that have been featured in Domino and in Athena Calderone’s Live Beautiful. I am so excited for Jenna’s upcoming projects which include a show on HBO Max and designing hotels. This episode in many ways reinvigorated my love of design and desire to learn and grow. Love it!

All of this extra time at home has me spending a lot of time in front of the television. While this is not ideal, and I am making a conscious effort to do other things like cook and read more, there are a few shows that I am loving at the moment. Emily In Paris has gotten a lot of buzz since it was released last week. While there is a lot about this show that could use some work (how exactly is she affording all of that Chanel on her salary?), there is also a lot to enjoy. Like many, I have dreamed about moving to Paris and experiencing all the magic that the city has to offer, and this show has helped to fill my travel dreaming heart while I am in lockdown. And while I didn’t love Emily’s outfits, her boss and Camille’s wardrobes more then make up for it.
Bad Boy Billionaires India popped up as a Netflix recommendation for me this past week and I was intrigued so I added it to my list. It is only three episodes with each one profiling a different Indian billionaire’s downfall. It’s eye opening and interesting and I binged all three episodes in two days. If you are interested in seeing how people around the world got too big too fast and were unable to sustain it then this show may be of interest to you.

This is Paris is a YouTube documentary that has gotten a lot of attention. I had heard that it was quite good and thought that I would check it out for myself. I loved it. The behind the scene insight on a celebrity that is often written off or badly characterized was intriguing and a great reminder that there is often more to people then what they seem or what they are willing to show you. While my life couldn’t be more different then Paris Hilton’s I connected with the subject matter in many levels and appreciated the insight that the documentary provided. It is a worthwhile watch.

All of this time at home has me focused on my environment and how to make it as enjoyable and comfortable as I can. One thing that many overlook is the scent of a home. I have been searching for many years to find a home fragrance that I loved. The standard ones from Glade and other popular brands seemed artificial, and I have lost count of the different brands of candles that I have tried in the hopes that something would stick. While browsing a home goods shop earlier in the summer I came across Laboratorio Olfattivo’s Zen-Zero fragrance and decided to give it a try. I love the combination of ginger, cedar wood and sandalwood and it leaves my home smelling fresh, cool and comforting. I will be picking up the Zen-Zero diffuser next to help to elevate the fragrance of my home even further. The scent makes me happy and has elevated my home environment, love it!

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

Five Faves While Social Distancing

Hi Everyone!

It feels really weird to be writing this post today.  Regardless of where you are in the world right now, you have been touched in one way or another by the global pandemic that we are currently experiencing.  While the situation is frightening and anxiety inducing, it has also really given me some perspective and allowed me some time and space for some much needed clarity in my life.  I wanted to share my five faves at the moment that are helping me to stay sane, keep my anxiety at bay and smile a little bit brighter as we take the steps necessary to flatten the curve of cases  of COVID-19.  Here are my Five Faves while practicing social distancing and self isolation:

fullsizeoutput_2446

Working out with Melissa Wood Health

Like most people I have been forced to modify my workouts.  I am a bit of cardio junkie so not being able to hop on the treadmill or elliptical trainer at the gym has been a huge change.  I decided to embrace this as an opportunity to switch up my work outs and I purchased a subscription to the fitness app Melissa Wood Health.  The moves are low impact and seem so simple but it is so hard!  It is a great way to challenge my body and keep me active while I practice social distancing.  If you are looking for less expensive ways to work out then hop onto Youtube, there are a ton of videos there that will help you to get moving and relieve some stress.

A9091F46-C560-4AE0-817C-2E673648227A

Cooking with Jennifer Fisher Kitchen

I have always been a fan of Jennifer Fisher.  If you are unfamiliar with her, she is a very talented NYC jewelry designer who is also a really good cook.  I have been loving all of the recipes that she posts on her website and she walks thru a lot of her recipes on Instagram Stories which really helps to keep me motivated to try new things.  Over the past week and a half she has been posting more recipes and videos and everything looks so good!  Since I began self isolation I have made her banana bread recipe twice, sautéed artichokes and her recipe for twice baked potatoes.  Whole roasted cauliflower, pantry soup and more banana bread will be a part of my meal planning for this next week.  If you are looking for some delicious and easy recipe inspiration check out her recipes on here Instagram page @jenniferfisherkitchen or on her website here

IMG_7656

Jennifer Fisher’s My Mom’s Da Bomb Banana Bread – it is sooooo good and addictive!!!!!

A014D3FB-8C47-41FA-AF3B-FEDA78425D18

Live Beautiful by Athena Calderone

If you have been following this blog for a while then you know that I am a total design junkie.  Athena Calderone is the creator of the gorgeous blog Eye Swoon (www.eye-swoon.com) and she just released her second book Live Beautiful in early March.  Within this book, Athena goes into the homes of incredible designers around the world and shows us their spaces and their design choices.  The homes are gorgeous and endlessly inspiring.  If you are searching for a gorgeous design book to get lost into for a few hours or if you are searching for some fresh inspiration this book is for you.

BC260D3F-8015-465C-9332-131361843AC2

Breathing App

My job in manufacturing has issued temporary layoffs during this uncertain time and I live alone so there have been moments that I feel a little uneasy and anxious.  I think that it’s important to acknowledge these feelings rather then suppress them, sit with them and unpack them to really understand why I am feeling the way that I do in that moment, so that I can move forward in a healthy manner.  A part of this process is learning to take moments to focus on my breathing.  Some people are trying meditation during this challenging time but I have had better luck with consistently taking moments to focus on my breath so this is the method that I am sticking with right now.  The Breathing app is something that I heard about last year and immediately downloaded it.  Developed by Eddie Stern and is inspired by resonance which is “the scientific name that describes what happens when our heart rate, heart rate variability, blood pressure and brainwave function come into coherent frequency.”(via http://www.eddiestern.com). It helps to regulate your breathing so that you instantly feel calmer and more relaxed.  You basically follow a ball – as it expands for a count of 4 you inhale and as it contracts you inhale for a count of 6 for a total of one minute.  You can adjust the breath counts to what you feels what works best for you. The app is free and I have been using it at least twice a day (morning and night) and I cannot recommend it enough.  If you feel that you need some help taking a moment to help regulate your breathing and feel calmer in the moment then this app is worth trying.

image

Ugly Delicious Season 2 on Netflix

I love food shows and Ugly Delicious is no exception.  Season 2 dropped on Netflix earlier this month and it is soooo good!  This time off has allowed me to catch up on a ton of shows that I have been meaning to watch but this series really stands out.  I especially loved the episode about Indian food which featured the supremely talented chef Floyd Cardoz who sadly passed away last week after being diagnosed with COVID-19.  I love learning about cultures thru food and Ugly Delicious does a great job showcasing both the similarities and subtle nuances between cultures.  If you are searching for a cool, fun and interesting show to binge on then Ugly Delicious should definitely be on your list.

Thank you for stopping by Stylishly Zen today.  Please feel free to share in the comments things that you are currently loving, and tips that you are using to stay sane during this crazy time in the world.  Please stay safe and take care and I look forward to hearing from you! XXS

Five Faves

Hi Everyone!

It’s hard for me to believe that it is almost Christmas!  It feels like the past few months have flown by and I am not even remotely prepared for the holidays! Nonetheless, I am looking forward to sleeping in and enjoying delicious food over the next few weeks so my countdown is on!  Here are the five things that I am loving right now:C54281B2-A78A-45AD-9B68-1F3D7609ACD8

I have been a Mindy Kailing fan for many years, and when I first heard about her movie Late Night earlier this year I was really excited to watch it.  Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to the movie theatre to see it so I was thrilled when it was released on Amazon Prime earlier this month.  This past Friday after a long day at work, I poured myself a glass of wine and settled in to finally watch this movie.  It was just what I needed!  Funny, smart and well written I expected nothing less from Mindy Kailing.  If you are looking for a great movie to watch I highly recommend this one.

66E05459-4E78-4EF7-93E2-4552808926CD

I am always on the hunt for a great smelling candle and I especially love it if I don’t have to pay a ridiculous amount of money for it.  While doing a bit of Christmas shopping the other day, I discovered Capri Blue candles.  All of the candles that I tried smelled amazing but I finally settled on Exotic Blossom and Basil which has a light clean fragrance.  Once lit my home smelling fresh and welcoming, love it!72840045-7050-47CA-9D2E-E59073CAFB03

There are always such delicious baked goodies around the holidays but my absolute favourite is always gingerbread.  I have been on the hunt for some over the past couple of weeks and FINALLY this past weekend I found my favourite holiday treat!  It was soooo good and I am planning to enjoy a few more before the holidays are over.  CBED167C-9B71-464E-BA6B-4A597588284C

I made the decision at the beginning of 2019 to listen to more podcasts.  I really enjoy listening to them as I get dressed in the morning or even while I eat breakfast.  I consider podcasts a great way to learn about subjects and people that interest me.  One of my favourite podcasts is the Goop podcast and last week the host chatted with Melody Hobson about being colour brave rather then colour blind.  As a visible minority I really connected with the subject matter, and I strongly feel that anyone that is interested in this issue listen to this podcast as Melody Hobson is a articulate, incredible woman who is really interesting to listen to.F80DB4EE-655A-4BAD-AA3C-494E73D47938

Maybe it’s the colder temperature and my desire to nest in a chic space, or my love for marble and contrasts but I have absolutely fallen in love with this kitchen.  The colour of the statement foliage on the counter contrasts well against the marble, cabinetry and floor and helps to elevate the chicness of the entire space. Bright, beautiful and welcoming this kitchen is definitely going on my mood board!

Thank you for stopping by today!  What are you currently loving right now?  Let me know in the comments below and Happy Holidays!!!!!!  XXS

Photo credits: http://www.IMDB.com, http://www.goop.com, @ashleystark, http://www.simplyrecipes.com, http://www.capri-blue.com