3 Self Care Commitments That I Am Making

Hi Everyone!

It’s official, the past year and a half has kicked my butt. I have been challenged and stressed in ways that I could never have imagined and now I have hit a wall. I know that I am not alone in this. Almost every conversation that I have had over the past few months has highlighted that we have gone thru something major. And although there is now light at the end of the tunnel, many of us are coming out of the other side of this pandemic exhausted, stressed out and emotionally battered. If you are one of these people just know that you are not alone. Between increased work hours, attempting to achieve work/life balance, financial challenges, taking care of children and partners and homes (seriously why is there always so much laundry?!?!), we are all dealing with something and it is really stressing everyone out!

I have always held a lot of tension and stress in my body – relaxing is not a natural state of being for me at this point, but over the past few weeks my back has been tied up in painful knots thatI just can’t seem to shake. With my background in wellness, I tried every tool in my self care toolbox that I was able to but it made little difference with the pain. I finally booked myself in for a much needed massage and as I lay on that massage table with my masseuse painfully trying to loosen my stress knots I finally came to the realization that I need to make some changes or the impact of stress on my health could have detrimental results. I needed to make some self care commitments and stick to them if I want to be the person that I aim to be. Now it’s really easy at times like these to make bold proclamations, stay motivated for a short while then fall back into old patterns. My goal is to avoid this vicious cycle so I am making small habit and lifestyle changes that I can build upon while setting better boundaries with the things that are causing me the greatest amount of stress. I decided to put 3 self care commitments that I am making to myself in writing on the blog to help others that may be struggling, as Stylishly Zen is also a wellness blog. Here are the 3 self care commitments that I am making to myself:

Photo Credit: http://www.apple.ca

Make friends with and respect the Do Not Disturb

I bought myself an iWatch for my birthday this past January and I hate it. It tells me to stand when I am, it doesn’t count activity or calories accurately and it wakes me up in the middle of the night to either breathe or stand when I am fast asleep. Needless to say, I am not recommending this idiotic piece of tech to anyone. The one solution that I found for the middle of the night wake ups was to set a Do Not Disturb on my phone so the watch doesn’t wake me. I like that my watch no longer wakes me up but I am guilty of not respecting it. I am often still awake past my bedtime scrolling on social media dreaming about all of the glamorous lives that I am seeing. Sleep is important and I need to start prioritizing it for my body, mind and spirit. Making sure that I am in bed, lights out and phone down when the Do Not Disturb kicks in will go a long way in helping me get a reasonable amount of sleep for a clearer and well rested mind and body.

http://www.actionsportphysio.com

Crowd out bad foods with better ones

When I was studying to become a health coach, we were taught the concept of crowding out. It means that you don’t need to completely cut out the bad foods from your life but you can lower your intake of them by increasing the amount of healthier choices that you make. Since the start of the pandemic potato chips have become a food group for me, and the idea of going cold turkey makes me want to dive head first into a bag of them. Instead I am going to work on making better choices while not depriving myself of my favourite junk food. By increasing healthier options in my kitchen when I come home late, stressed out and hungry. will help me to make better choices Healthier choices will help me to feel better in my body and hopefully eliminate some bloating which will make me much happier and comfortable in my body over all – basically a win win.

Increase body work

Body work is a loose term that I use to get better in touch with my body and how I am feeling overall. When I incorporate more body work into my lifestyle I feel more in touch with my body – I am more relaxed and more aware when I feel a little imbalanced so I can react faster to remedy it. For me a combination of yoga, foam rolling and massages work best along with epsom salt baths to relieve any residual tension that I may be feeling. I have managed to maintain cardio workouts over the past few months but yoga and pilates have gone out the window and my foam roller has been gathering dust in the corner of my living room. So I have now pulled my yoga mat out, dusted off the foam roller and made a commitment to my masseuse to come more often and I am hopeful that the pain that I am currently feeling will disappear (but the lessons will stay as I never want to get back to this miserable and painful state of being).

I will let you know how this plan goes in a couple of months. Hopefully I will have positive news to report. How are you doing with everything? Are you making any self care commitments to yourself? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!

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

Dream Destination – Casa Aviv by CO-LAB

Hi Everyone!

It has been a really interesting almost year and a half since the world first shut down due to the pandemic. Here in Montreal, we have spent the better part of it in lockdown and with a curfew – a completely new way of life for most of us. While there have obviously been challenges there has also been opportunities for self discovery. I learned to enjoy the peacefulness of parts of my life and to lean into the slow down. The idea of rushing back into large and rowdy crowds hold little appeal to me at the moment. One thing that I am looking forward to is travelling and once I am able to do so, I plan to take a trip where I can breath, relax and enjoy my surroundings without feeling rushed or anxious…my current idea of heaven.

Until then though, I am dreaming about destinations that would fit the bill and today’s Dream Destination feature has been at the top of my list for months. Images of Casa Aviv by Co-Lab have made it’s way around social media these past few months. Surrounded by lush greenery, this minimalistic structure that leans towards austere simplicity offers both calm and privacy.

The 330 square metre home is located on the Yucatan Peninsula along the Caribbean coastline. Oriented east to west to take advantage of the prevailing winds and cross ventilation, this rental home was built with low maintanence durability in mind. I love the simple design choices such as hand polish cement covering the concrete walls and the double height ceiling in the living and dining area along with the black terrazzo flooring. My absolute favourite part of this home are the pivoting glass doors that open to create flow from the living area to small but gorgeous swimming pool and garden.

The home also has a rooftop terrace that can be enjoyed by guests. Many of the furniture and light fixtures throughout Casa Aviv were also designed and fabricated by Co-Lab. Both the styling and the colours used throughout the home help it to further connect with its natural surroundings. Love it!

What do you think of this vacation home? Would you like to experience it for yourself? Let me know in the comments below. All images via http://www.dezeen.com

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

Commercial Design Crush – Bath & Barley by WeWantMore

Hi Everyone!

Now that the warmer weather has finally arrived and measures are starting to loosen as more and more people get vaccinated, it is time to start exploring and enjoy commercial spaces again (finally!). Today’s Commercial Crush feature had me captivated from the get go. A Beer Spa?!?! Why have I never heard of such a divine place before? Where can I experience one? These were just some of the questions that quickly came to mind.

Bath & Barley is Belgium’s first ever beer spa. Located in Brussels and designed by the interior design studio WeWantMore (who also designed the branding), this spa has the ultimate cool vibe woven throughout its gorgeous design.

Located in the old city centre of Brussels, it’s clear that WeWantMore kept Belgiums’s medieval beer brewing culture in mind while designing this space. With a soothing and glamorous colour palette, gorgeous vaulted ceiling and using materials like copper, stained glass and straw along with other grains the spa feels authentic towards it’s beer brewing roots while keeping things luxe and feeling elevated.

I am captivated by the dried barley and hops hanging from the ceiling and I love the novel pairing of straw benches next to the infrared saunas along with the stained glass screens featuring church like images of monks and priests brewing beer. WeWantMore thought of everything including images of beer barrels and kettles in the steel frame of the stair case. Love it!

For spa lovers and beer lovers alike, this spa looks like a luxe and memorable wellness destination that I have certainly added to my list of places of visit. What do you think of this design? Let me know in the comments below.

All images via http://www.yellowtrace.com.au

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

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 – Jenna Lyon’s Loft

Hi Everyone!  

I hope that you are currently enjoying a much needed break filled with good food, laughter and relaxation.  The holidays are looking very different for me this year as I am unable to travel due to lockdown restrictions.  Like it has been for most of this year, life is just different than what I am used to but I am determined to make the best of it.  So despite spending the holidays alone (for the most part), I am enjoying getting back into the kitchen and trying new recipes, taking some time to work out everyday, watching some great shows (has anyone seen Bridgerton yet?) and working at getting both my mind and body in a more balanced state, as this has been a challenging year that I have let get the better of me on more than one occasion.  Taking the time to relax and unwind has also given me space to feel inspired and hopeful again.  One show that is currently providing inspiration on the creative front is Stylish with Jenna Lyons.  For those of you not familiar with this American fashion gem, Jenna Lyons was previously the creative director for J.Crew.  Her styling is both unique and inspirational and having binge watch the first six episodes I am now convinced that I too need to wear multiple shirts at once.
7D67A26D-DF19-4E91-9210-DFC6AE8977C6Aside from the inspirational fashion and interior design ideas that the show provides, I love that I get to see into Jenna’s home. I first saw images and fell in love with Jenna’s home in Althena Calderone’s interior book Live Beautiful.  The mix of metals and marble, textures and colours, unfinished herringbone floors and oversized crown molding are both dreamy and inspiring.  Seeing glimpses of her home throughout the show just further reiterates how fabulous Jenna’s style really is.  
2E9058AB-83BA-4BAC-8E75-1061ED8D8D3FThe elevator opens up to Jenna’s living room which is home to a gorgeous, modular pink velvet sofa.    Jenna has then layered in different styles of furniture and pieces resulting in a space that is both cool girl chic and inviting.  A cool feature of the space is the TV which slides out from behind the fireplace to the space between the mirror and art when in use.  Genius!
B367463A-78E4-4D8B-B1E3-42E4390E79B2The grand Venini chandelier in the kitchen is a showstopper that elevates the space.  Unlacquered brass backsplashes and honed marble countertops round out the space.  I never would have thought to combine all of these features but they work beautifully together.  
3422D0FE-291E-4A7E-87E4-9BCDFE743563E97B86A5-8E2B-4371-BAFC-4F5DD7D30F9FWhile I am enamoured with the entire home, the master bedroom and en suite bathroom are my absolute favourite space within the loft.  I have never really been a fan of wood panelling but it works perfectly in this bedroom and when combined with a warm and textured bed cover the bedroom becomes both elegant and cozy.  Floating brass bedside tables and an ornate chandelier further elevate the space.  Metal and glass doors allows views from the bedroom to the luxurious bathroom that is a marble lovers (aka moi) dream.  From the grand use of marble, to the herringbone floors and the brass detail, this is by far one of my most favoured bathrooms that I have seen.  The unlacquered baroque style bronze vanity legs were sprayed with salt water to speed along the oxidation process resulting in a beautiful green patina that complements the other features of the bathroom.  
F83A5DB6-6E27-4766-954B-8BEBFFD05DC3766B7D67-6C7B-47BA-9B07-AF3990118B82Last but not least, no home tour of a fashion superstar would be complete without a glimpse of the closet, and not surprisingly Jenna’s does not disappoint.  Being a total shoe lover myself, it’s clear that Jenna is my spirit animal.  There are about 300 pairs of shoes in there!  
2D819DB7-9D55-4C78-9F28-690C5EC03779Jenna Lyon’s style has always been inspirational to me and her home continues to provide further inspiration with my own living space.  Her style is the perfect mood for me to be entering 2021.  What do you think of this space?  Let me know in the comments below.

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

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