Dear Diary

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Of all the phrases that can be used to describe me as a human being, none is more true than “No Chill”. I am the opposite of chill in every capacity, from emotional stability to the way I workout, and above all things I have the hardest time slowing down and learning to just be still.

I am not zen, I am not relaxed and sometimes I worry I’m going to grind my teeth down to tiny stubs in my sleep.

I mentioned my attempts to take on a more “chill” demeanour in my previous post about LA (the land of the chill), but I wanted to do an update and share what’s been working best for me now that I’ve been home for a bit and the seasons are finally starting to shift. It’s the perfect time to make changes, to adapt healthy habits and switch from comfort food to clean food. Here’s what’s working for me:

Scroll down for the list!

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Stay Hydrated // I know everyone says this for pretty much everything, but I can’t stress staying hydrated enough. The infused water trend is a Pinterest favourite right now, but if you don’t have time to infuse with 100 kinds of fancy fruit or you’re on the go, Oasis Infusion does the job! Infused with fruits, herbs and flowers, and then topped off with a hint of fresh juice, these beauties have no sugar added and can be found at grocery stores everywhere you turn. My favourite flavour is obviously Strawberry Hibiscus Basil, but all 3 are seriously refreshing.

Grow a Green Thumb // I’ve been loading up my new apartment with plants and I’m hoping at some point it starts to look more like a scene from Jumanji than a Toronto condo. My good friend Tellie from Hunt and Gather helped me out with picking out some “hard to kill” houseplants, and I’ll be sharing my green thumb wisdom here soon!

Back to the Books // Getting lost in the mind of someone else is the easiest way to take a step back from your own busy life. I’m currently reading “One Day We’ll All be Dead and None of This Will Matter” by Scaachi Koul, and it’s the perfect book for taking in snippets of wisdom and laughter when you don’t have too much time on your hands.

On a Roll // Exercise always automatically takes my stress-level from 1000 to 0, and this Spring I’m investing my time mainly into Climbing and Cycling. With brand new gear from my pals at MEC, I’ve been heading up to Basecamp Climbing to test my strength on the walls, and now that the weather is warming up I can start to bike to and from the gym too! Seeya stress!

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This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please emailΒ jess@shineinfluencers.com

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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It feels like Spring is finally peeking through the clouds, but I think I speak for all of us Canadians when I say we’re all feeling a bit vitamin and nutrient deprived. As the season switches, it’s more important than ever to refuel and get back to our fit, sun-kissed summer selves. Our favourite way to charge up on those vitamins comes from our sunny southern neighbours: Florida Orange Juice!

When Jo and I headed to OrangeTheory fitness last week for a we were in for a rude Spring awakening. This crazy intense workout class involves all sorts of different machines and maneuvers, but most importantly, heart rate monitors that show how hard you’re working on a screen (visible to your instructor and everyone in class!)

Needless to say we survived, but we were pretty much killing ourselves to keep our heart rate healthy the entire hour. Both dizzy and a bit disoriented when we left the big orange gym, we were greeted with the best surprise: fresh, crisp Florida Orange Juice.

Growing up we always got slices of orange after soccer games, and it wasn’t without reason – oranges are full of vitamin C, folate and potassium, which makes it the perfect addition to your workout recovery. Inspired by our day at OrangeTheory, Jo and I went home and whipped up our new favourite smoothie, inspired by (healthy) orange creamsicles and Florida Orange Juice.

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Ingredients //

Florida Orange Juice
Unsweetened almond milk
Vega’s vanilla protein powder
Fresh oranges, peeled
Ice cubes

Recipe //

Start by peeling and cutting up an orange into small cubes, place in the freezer overnight or for a few hours.

In a blender (we used a Vitamix for extra ice-crushing power), combine 2 cups orange juice, 1 cup almond milk, 2 tablespoons protein powder, the frozen orange pieces and two handfuls of ice.

Blend until smooth and garnish with a fresh orange slice!

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This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please emailΒ jess@shineinfluencers.com

Oh so Pretty

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Love in in the hair! Ermmm, I mean, air! Since we’re celebrating love all month long (and time is almost up) we didn’t want to miss the chance to get creative with a love-themed beauty look as well! Putting on a swipe of red lipstick can add confidence, style, and an element of fun to any old day, so we came up with a mega cute red lip look with Annabelle that literally lets you wear your heart on your kisser!

Scroll down to get the tutorial!

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What we used //

Blush in Rosebud
Twist-up lipstick in Flirtini
Big Show lip lacquer in Adore Simply
Big Show lip lacquer in Love Fiercely

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Start with your usual primer and foundation routine, apply this directly onto lips as well.
Now apply Rosebud to just the apples of your cheeks. You’ve set the stage for the perfect doll-like Valentines lip look!

Use the twist-up lipstick as a crayon, luckily it’s perfectly shaped for the job, starting in the centre of the lip working outward start to draw a heart shape onto your mouth. Use the top points of your lip as the top of the heart and colour just the centre of the bottom lip in. Don’t go all the way to the outer edge of the lip. Now use a cotton swab to blend around the edges.

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Add a swipe of the Simply Adore lip lacquer to the whole lip, this will help blend as well. Now finish it off by dabbing some Love Fiercely lip lacquer back into the middle of the lip to make your heart lip more bold and glossy! We recommend finishing off the look with a simply cat-eye.

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Party TimeSips, Sweets & Snacks

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Alyssa: We firmly believe that all Canadians deserve a sunny vacation when the cold weather rolls around, but it’s not always an option for everyone between finances, busy jobs, and well, life in general really. I was lucky enough to escape most of the winter chill this year, but the rest of #TeamRAOP back home had to get a little more creative. Queue Couch Island, our go to strategy for winter survival:

Jo: It’s a rough time here in Canada – we’re right in the middle of the coldest time, Christmas is long gone behind us and ‘the most depressing day of the year’ just breezed by. The obvious answer is to get away; Mexico, The Bahamas, Costa Rica, LA (in Alyssa’s case) but we know it’s not always that simple, so we’ve created an oasis inside our own home, and you can too!

This ultimate stay-cation themed lounge fest always helps us fight off those winter blues, and it’s inspired by one of my favourite places to visit: couch island (a close second to bed island). Inexpensive, close to home, safe, warm and filled with friends and loved ones, there’s really no better place to be when the temperature drops. Our version includes Malibu Rum Frozen Pina Coladas served in pineapples, tropical snacks, colourful decor and of course RAOP’s go-to in the ultimate guide to staying at home: a selection of our current favourite music and reads via Playster. Through the glow of the pink flamingo neon light and the sounds of our favourite tunes we can hardly tell we’re not actually in a beach cabana…

You can find our custom RAOP playlists here:
RAOP’s Sunshine Station
RAOP’s Couch Island Book Club

Looking to make your own perfect Malibu Rum Frozen Pina Colada? Scroll down for the recipe!

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Malibu Rum Frozen Pina Coladas

What you’ll need //

2 oz malibu original
3 oz pineapple juice
1.5 oz coconut cream
1/4 oz lime juice
1 dash simple syrup
1 cup ice cubes
coconut flakes
fresh pineapple

We used a core-er to hollow out pineapples as cups. Simply blend on high until smooth and garnish with coconut flakes, fresh pineapple and a cute straw. Now grab some snacks BFF’s and strand yourself on your very own Couch Island!

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A special thanks to Society 6, Sunnylife & ShopRAOP for providing our comfy-tropical decorations.
And thanks to our models Meghan Yuri Young and TeamRAOP members Kelsie & Olivia

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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We took a bit of a break over, well, the holiday break, in part because we needed it, but also because we had a lot to figure out re: me taking off to La La land! With half the team (aka me) keeping toasty down here and the rest of us freezing their tails off back in Toronto, content has become a bit challenging.

Nothing wrong with a little challenge though, right?

The way I see it, our distance only means we can inspire each other in new, unexpected ways. One of my favourite things about the city of angels is the incredible food – so much fresh produce and so many amazing vegan options! Inspired by the dreamy menus I’ve seen here, and a potential upcoming trip to Hawaii (fingers crossed) I thought up this tropical veggie burger with the team, and they made it happen back home in the studio!

Taking a cue from some of the burgers I saw served to tables on trips to Hawaii as a kid, we topped our veggie patties with grilled pineapple rings, avocado and sweet bbq sauce. For a pop of pink, simply add a handful of pink pickled onions or turnips!

Scroll down for the recipe

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Ingredients //

Veggie burger patties (we used St.Yves because they’re vegan!)
Burger buns
Lettuce
BBQ sauce
Pineapple slices
Avocado
Pink pickled turnips or onions
Umbrellas for decoration (optional)

Steps //

We started by grilling our toppings! Lightly oil your grill and allow it to heat up fully. For the pineapple, make sure you press as much water as you can out of it first with paper towels. Then place on the grill and wait for those dark brown grill marks to appear, flip and grill the other side as well.

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To grill the avocado, lighting oil your grill again, cut the avocado in half length-wise and carefully peel away the skin from each half. Place the halves flat side down on the heated grill until you see the desired grill marks.

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Now grill your veggie burger patties and assemble! Start with the BBQ sauce, burger patty, lettuce, turnips, pineapple and finally avocado. Top your burger off with a fun umbrella and fries and you’re ready to eat like the islanders do!

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Plates from the Cheeky Home + Brit & Co collaboration!