Overcoming Anxiety Triggers

Let me preface this post by saying I’m not a mental health professional, nor do I have any real expertise on this subject. I’m merely writing about my own experiences and what has worked for me and my own anxiety.

I’ve always been a relatively anxious person. Despite not having a clinical diagnosis, it’s something I’ve had to cope with for most of my adult years, and even some aspects of my teenage years, to a lesser extent. I’d say my anxiety is mild. I’ve only had maybe one or two panic attacks in my life, but whenever I have medical testing or procedures done, I get my blood pressure taken and it’s perpetually high due to anxiety. Once I calm down, it goes back down, but the fact it can get so high is proof that my mental health can have a serious impact on my physical health and I feel the symptoms of anxiety in my body.

With this being said, I think the most important part of coping with anxiety is being aware of your triggers. And since I’m astutely aware of mine, I thought I’d share them with you today and talk a little about how I cope with them, or even how I’ve overcome them.

1. Winter driving anxiety

In 2007, I had a pretty bad car accident on Valentine’s Day. I was driving downtown to meet my boyfriend (now husband), and it was snowing. I sped up to pass someone who was going at a snail’s pace, and I hit a guard rail, went OVER it, and essentially drove down into a ditch next to a ravine. I was fine, but I’ve forever had winter driving anxiety and PTSD from the incident. For many years post-accident, I’d have my husband drive me to work on snow days because I just. could. not. BUT – here’s my tip for overcoming this anxiety. Just get back in the saddle. Literally. Avoidance strategies won’t help in the long run, and recognizing that you can still drive safely in the winter is so integral to overcoming your anxiety. It was probably last winter when I started driving myself to work on snow days, and I haven’t looked back (except to check my blind spots and rear view mirror). The key is to drive slowly, defensively, and recognize that you’re not in a rush. Especially given that if you’re late, everyone else will likely be too. Snowy conditions are just not a time to let that type A urge of punctuality consume you. But if you don’t take that initiative to attempt the winter driving again, you won’t get better. The end.

2. Social anxiety

Never in my life had I previously gone to an event or party alone. EVER. The thought of it made my heart palpitate and my palms sweat profusely. But since I started this blog a year and a half ago, I’ve been invited to multiple events and tastings without a plus 1. GASP. Sans plus 1 was initially something that instantly triggered me. But I’m happy to say I’ve since overcome this fear and now attend events solo. Don’t get me wrong, I’m awkward af once I get there, but I still go. How? With the help of my BFF; CBD.

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I take a few drops under the tongue about 45 mins to an hour before the event, and it helps me to be more even keeled and rational about what I’m about to do. CBD doesn’t make you drowsy and doesn’t contain THC, so it’s safe to drive on, and it helps immensely with clarity and focus. When I take CBD before an event, I feel more calm and ready to tackle social situations. Overall, I highly recommend it to help with sleep after a long day, and also when you need a little extra help with staying afloat during the day. My preferred brand is CBDMove, because it’s flavoured. I love the mango, and they also have watermelon and a couple other flavours. You can order CBDMove on CBD Cargo and use the code CARGO15 for 15% off your order. You’re welcome!

3. Sick kid anxiety

This is the one trigger I don’t cope well with, but I’m working on it. Despite being a mom for almost 8 years, the times when the kids get sick are still really hard for me. Specifically with regards to fever and puke, I don’t tend to handle it well. I can mutter “this too shall pass” to myself over and over all day, but it doesn’t seem to help. When the fever spikes, or the vomit starts spewing, you can just stick a fork in me, because I’m done. Witnessing your children when they’re miserable is really hard. If anyone has tips for overcoming this anxiety, I’m all ears!

I’d love to hear some of your own coping strategies in the comments or DM me on Instagram; @theathleisureteacher!

 

Recent Tings

Happy 2020 my babes! Everyone I know has been all over their social media screaming from the rooftops, “NEW DECADE, NEW ME,” but I’ve just been over here doing the same ish, different year. I’m not sure I grasp this “new decade” mania. Like I get it’s the Roaring 20s, or something like that, and we’re supposed to have evolved into genetically modified superhuman zombies, but I don’t feel any different. Do you?

Anyway, this Christmas break was actually the bomb.com for me. We usually go to Mexico during this time, but I was so tired of going when 1. It had barely snowed yet and we didn’t “earn” the tropical weather, and 2. My kids were perpetually fevered up with some virus or infection. So we decided to go over March break this year, and by then, I can assure you that we will have earned it weather-wise. This Christmas break was unseasonably warm, thankyouglobalwarming, and the kids were perfectly healthy for all two weeks. Hallefreakinglujah!

We went to Niagara Falls for two nights with some friends, and hit up a local waterpark for one of those two days. The chlorine and offensive bathing attire stung my eyes, and we couldn’t get outta there fast enough. But we had a great time regardless, because tbh, it was just nice to get away as a family. The kids also went to a sports camp for 3 days, which was perfect for me to have some quiet downtime to myself. Normally I’d be running around town trying to shoot content and “influence,” but my word for 2020 is “tranquility” (of body *and* mind), and I’m making peace with saying no to things and not overextending myself to the point of exhaustion. I actually rested so much over these two weeks and feel mentally and physically rejuvenated af. I also was able to read an entire novel in 24 hours, which is unheard of for me, and hit the gym 3-4 mornings a week for each week. I’m going to miss my AM exercise like crazy when I go back to work next week. Le sigh.

Other than that, here are a few photos of restaurant and hotel collabs I’ve done over the last month. I’ve definitely still been eating good, despite not attending many group media tastings anymore (if I go, I go solo), and I’m very fortunate for the opportunities that have presented themselves. I think 2020 will still be a great year of growth for me and this little blog, and I’m excited to see what awaits!

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In a New York Minute

Last weekend, me and my sis took a three night trip to NYC. It was her first time, and I wanted to show her around (because, yannow, I’m basically a local at this point), and I thought I’d share some of our trip highlights with all you cuties (AKA, my mom, best frand who lived in NYC, and the two other blog readers who might have still stuck around for some gd forsaken reason).

Our trip began around 9 pm on Friday night. We stayed right in midtown Manhattan, and were fortunate enough to have a great bar (and rooftop bar) right in the hotel. So we immediately got a drink, relaxed a little, and then wandered around our neighborhood.

We awoke the next morning relatively refreshed, and headed to Ess-a-bagel to carb load for our lengthy day ahead of us.

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Requisite New York bagel shot, because duhhhhhhh.

We then took the subway up to Central Park for the morning. I’ve learned to navigate the subway system there like a mfin boss, and I’m pretty proud about it. My sister picked it up quickly too because she’s got good navigation skills due to being a seasoned traveler.

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The morning was a bit chilly, but it warmed up quickly. We wore a lot of layers and I went from jacket and hoodie to tank top in a matter of like 8 hours. Anyway, Central Park is nice and quaint, and it never gets old. I mean, it got a bit old, but she wanted to see it, so there we were.

We then subwayed back down south to Soho for an afternoon of brunch and shopping. In hindsight, we should have done the shopping in the AM so we actually had energy to try things on, but our bank accounts thanked us for not doing it correctly. We had a boozy brunch in Nolita at Pietro, where I met my awesome Instafriend @thepizzakween, AKA Jenna, and we had the nicest time. Until we got rudely kicked out because the table was needed for a reso. The food was actually so good, and the company was even better. PK is a real one, and I’m basically obsessed with her! Go follow her. She’s hilarious and genuine and so cool!

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She cute af.

After lunch and shopping, we went back to the hotel to relax before dinner and a night out. We had dinner at Koi in Bryant Park, which is the most incredible Japanese resto, with locations in NYC, Vegas and LA. Cocktails were on point, as was the food.

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Sis snapped this in front of the carousel in Bryant Park.

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Crispy rice with spicy tuna. NO WORDS.

We then head out to 230 Fifth Rooftop, because every damn tourist needs to go there for a drink to see the Manhattan skyline lit up at night. It got a little messy, not gonna lie, so here’s the requisite tourist shot and I’ll end this night here.

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The next morning, I did a quick photoshoot with the most incredible photographer, @wildnyc. I wasn’t feeling my best, but I think the shots turned out incredible. Here’s my fave one:

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On Instagram, I dubbed this one “2019 Blair Waldorf.” Outfit is entirely from Aritzia, obvs.

We spent the rest of the day exploring different neighborhoods in Manhattan, and then went to check out Brooklyn, because I had never been.

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Iconic.

Overall, it was a whirlwind long weekend, but as always, I left my heart there and will have to return ASAP. There’s just something magical about this city. I get butterflies every time I fly in, and my heart sinks every time I fly out. Thank you for the fun times NYC; ILYSM!

A Very Athleisure Teacher Summer

Good morning friends and happy Monday! I hope you’ve enjoyed the first two weeks of summer! I wanted to check in and let you know what I’ve been up to, because it’s been a minute, and truthfully today is the first day I’ve actually had some downtime to reflect on the last couple of weeks.

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My summer began with a surprise delivery of the most incredible charcuterie/grazing box from Savourly Society. I don’t know what I did to get it, but I felt like the luckiest girl alive, and devoured that beautiful baby that evening!

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We’ve also had a lot of quality family time, going to splash pads and Wonderland almost every weekend! It’s been fun, because the kids are becoming a lot more independent and don’t need us as much, and my daughter has even become much braver and started going on coasters!

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Despite not having a spring at all, the weather the past few weeks has actually been super hot and sunny! I’ve been hydrating with my Welo watermelon lime cucumber probiotic drink, and it’s the perfect summer drink (other than say, margaritas or mimosas on a patio). I don’t think I’ve ever shared this before, but I’m an ambassador for this incredible Canadian company, and have a coupon code for you all if you want to order any of their delicious probiotic beverages or bars. They make adult sized bars AND kids one, and my kids are obsessed. To get 30% off your order on their website, use my code THEATHLEISURETEACHER30. Their products are already very well priced, but 30% off can’t hurt. I highly recommend the spicy pineapple drink, as well as the matcha almond bars. They’re both my personal favourites.

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Another incredible opportunity I had was shooting a campaign for EATABLE, a line of alcohol-infused popcorn. We shot it at the waterfront down in Etobicoke, and it was such a fun experience! I haven’t seen the photos yet, but I’m excited for how they turned out!

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I’ve also finally been able to try some of the restaurants on my extensive list of places I’ve wanted to go, but couldn’t, because…well, teacher life. I had brunch at Bluestone Lane, which is a really cool Aussie-inspired restaurant chain from NYC. They do iced matchas and coffee, as well as avo toast and bowls, so clearly it’s the restaurant of my dreams. I also went to KOST, which is some next level exciting ish for me. It’s on the rooftop of the Bisha hotel, and you dine poolside with legitimately the best view of the city. It was a gorgeous day, I had frose, and obviously endless photo ops, so clearly I was the happiest basic b*tch in the world. Funny story about my “belt bag” (euphemism for fanny pack, let’s be real). It’s from Aritizia (duh, obvs, sponsor me you cows), and it was “on sale” from $128 to $118. BUTTTTTTT some moron labeled the sale price as $75, and they had to honour it, so SCORE FOR THE ATHLEISURE TEACHER. Don’t be jealous.

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Aaaaaand a summer roundup blog wouldn’t be complete without me addressing my self care routine. I’ve honestly felt so relaxed this summer. I’ve been working out 3-4 mornings a week, gone for a massage, and just generally been taking very good care of myself. There’s been no partying (yet…I feel like it needs to happen), and I’ve stayed consistent with my early ass bedtimes. The one thing I’ve been slacking on is my meditation, but I intend to resume that as well.

So there you have it. 2 weeks of my life, all shared in my typical mediocre way. I hope you enjoyed and see you again in another 2 weeks, k thx bye.

In Anticipation of Summer Break

OMGGGGGGGG hi friends. I’m well aware I am legitimately, certifiably, the world’s worst blogger. I don’t want to know how many months it’s been since I last posted. BUT, here I am, June 25th, just a few more exams to mark, and then I’m free for two whole months! I promise to be present and post often. Promise. Pinky promise.

I swear the anticipation of summer break is sometimes better than the actual summer break. People have been asking me if I have a lot of plans, and other than the August long weekend in Prince Edward County, I do not. I made a conscious effort to keep the summer open to be spontaneous. On weekends, we’ll go to Wonderland and the park and splash pads with the kids, and during the week while they’re in camp, I’ll do my standard morning workout followed by leisurely lunch thang. And hopefully I’ll have a lot of tastings and events lined up, in light of the momentum my Instagram has gathered over the last few months. These pictures are some highlights of the last couple of weeks, which scream SUMMER to me.

Exhibit A: Dinner at Rosalinda – margs, shorts (American Eagle outfitters for those who like), wedges, and a cute aesthetic. The embodiment of summer.

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Exhibit B: Watermelon macaron from my SPOT (it’s a wholesaler called the Bakehouse in Markham, but they do allow walk ins). It actually tasted like watermelon and dang, it was cute to boot!

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Exhibit C: Ice cream cones from Chocolats Favoris – OUR favourite ice cream place. We only go when we’re celebrating (in this case, it was both kids getting their swimming badges), because it’s stupid indulgent and rich, but it was the first of many ice cream dates to come this summer, and I’m here for it.

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Exhibit D: Mimosas on the patio at a brunch tasting – This restaurant is called King Rustic, and having attended this tasting with all my friends this past weekend, I can honestly say this is the epitome of summer anticipation. My goal is to drink a summery beverage on a patio at least once a week. I know I’ll exceed that goal, but best to set the bar low for me so I can actually follow through. (Dark pic, but shorts are Aritzia, top is Lululemon x Soul Cycle.)

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So there you have it. What I’m most looking forward to in July and August. What are YOU looking forward to? Leave me a comment or hit me up on my Insta @theathleisureteacher and let your girl know! XO, worst blogger ever.

Spring Fashion Trends

Guys, I forgot I had a blog. True story. The other day I got an email notification reminding me that my auto-renew was coming up for my domain name because it’s almost been a year, and I was all like “Oh right, the place where I used to put the words, and sometimes the photos. That thing.” I almost decided not to let the auto-renew happen, because DUH, writing’s hard y’all, but you know what? I’ma leave it, because an Instagram blog and a podcast need a domain name to support them. ALSOOOOOO, maybe this summer I won’t be so cool and actually have time to rediscover my roots. Don’t bank on it. Okay, so here we are. Easter long weekend and I’m writing. Well, mostly posting photos and sharing some insight into my spring fashion choices, but enjoy anyway, here you go, and ok bye.

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First look up. I dub this one “2019 Peggy Bundy.” I’m sorry, I just really love leopard print, and also the look of a fitted shirt tucked into a baggier jean. If I had topped this one off with a heel, for sure I would have been Peggy Bundy 2.0, but alas, I think the dad shoes give it a more modern feel, and hey, I’m into it. I’m in the mood for taking risks and elevating my game a bit.

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I am LOVE LOVE LOVING neons for spring. My wardrobe is usually so dull; my closet filled with neutrals like black, gray, and white. But NO MORE. A friend persuaded me to go brighter, and I dug this old yellow shirt out of the back of my closet, and the world raved (and by world I mean 15 of my 3400 Instagram followers). The positive encouragement prompted me to head out to Aritzia and purchase this neon pink sweatshirt, along with the bicycle shorts, and honestly I’m thrilled that I did. I rocked this outfit in 12 degree weather, got some stares, some DMs questioning my sanity, etc., but #whatever.

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By far the best purchase I’ve made for this spring is this hat from Aritzia. Blair has dubbed it my “influencer hat”, but I guess it’s a fedora in layman’s terms, or something. I’m totally not a hat person, and I usually look like trash in ’em, but this one is versatile and I pair it with almost anything, so I’m basically obsessed. Also, the jeans in the second picture are also from Aritzia, from their new denim line called Denim Forum, and they were legitimately reasonably priced. Like $120 I think, which is way less than I’d usually spend on jeans there.

Annnnnyway, I hope you enjoyed my spring line-up, where I actually did you no service at all, because I didn’t hyperlink to any of the items, mostly because I’m way too lazy, but also, not doing it til Aritzia sponsors me. Aritzia, sponsor me please?

Media Tastings, Collabs, and Podcast Promotions

Hey boo! It’s been about 6 weeks, and I felt it was important to write something here for the 1 person left who actually looks forward to my blog posts. My absence is entirely my fault. I’m learning that maintaining an Instagram page, blogging, AND podcasting, realistically cannot coexist and is not sustainable. Something had to fall by the wayside, and unfortunately it’s the writing. This obviously saddens me, because it’s my passion, but when there’s so much momentum elsewhere, and sometimes blogging feels like a dying art, you have to accept defeat and realize where the casualty will lie.

Anyway, I wanted to fill you in on where I’ve been. In the last couple of months, my Instagram has really taken off. I’ve been invited to media tastings, been given products to promote and giveaway, and just generally have grown a very active and organic following that feels really special. I wanted to share some of these highlights here.

Feng Cha Canada Media Tasting

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Feng Cha is the cutest little bubble tea and fruit tea spot in Scarborough. The aesthetic was adorable, with a floral wall and a giant stuffed bear. We got to sample a bunch of their teas, as well as their pastries and buns, and I had so much fun meeting other foodies in the city and partaking in all things cutesy and Asian.

Podcast Promotional Photoshoot

A few weekends ago, me and Blair (along with her boyfriend in tow as our photog) went to Lov’t Studio (cutest little studio with amazing sets and props) to take some podcast promotional photos. Our podcast has really taken off, and we’re having so much fun spreading our message of self-care and self-love! We decided to take some photos to help promote it and increase our listenership (is that a word?), and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the way they turned out.

Welo collaboration

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Welo (short for We Love) is my favourite Canadian brand of organic, vegan probiotic bars and beverages. My kids love their kids’ bars, and I love the ingredients in their products. So naturally this was an organic (pun intended) pairing, and I thoroughly enjoyed everything they sent to me, and doing a product giveaway with them! Hilariously enough, the winner of this giveaway was a new follower and someone I didn’t know, but it turns out he lives around the corner from me!

Revive Organics collaboration

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Revive Organics is also a Canadian company, selling ready-made organic and vegan smoothies that just require adding liquid and blending. I LOVE the concept, and felt like this partnership was very on-brand and made sense as a busy working mom of two. They sent me some of their smoothies, as well as their new overnight oats product, and me and the kids thoroughly enjoyed all of them. The company was also kind enough to send me a coupon code for my followers and readers, so if you’re reading this and want to try them out, you can use my code LAUREN50 for 50% off your order!

Imperfect Fresh Eats Media Tasting

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A couple of days ago I attended a media tasting at Imperfect Fresh Eats, a new restaurant at 318 Adelaide St. W. The concept is amazing. They use imperfect/slightly flawed produce in order to keep costs down and reduce food waste. The bowls were beautiful and full of fresh, delicious ingredients, but for a very reasonable price (small bowl is $9.50, a large is only $11)! You pick from a base of forbidden black rice, Asian sweet potato noodles, spring mix or spinach, add your protein (chipotle chicken, tofu, shrimp or kalbi beef), and then you can add unlimited toppings and dressings. I tasted the chicken and had a base of all four options, and honestly, it was amazing. I love what they’re doing there. Stay tuned for a giftcard giveaway!

Anyway, this is where I’ve been. Yes I’ve been neglecting my OG baby, but I’m out there hustling and I promise to give this blog more loving in the coming months.

XO,

The Athleisure Teacher

Cancun 2018

New year, who dis?

Happy 2019 friends! As I look back and reflect on 2018, I’m honestly so grateful I was inspired to start this blog in June. It’s opened the door to so many opportunities for me on Instagram. I’ve met so many wonderful new people, said yes to things that were waaaaaay outside my comfort zone, and even began a podcast all about self-care! Having a voice and a creative outlet has been so wonderful for my mental health, and it’s lead to me conquering so many of my fears and anxieties. I socialize and go out more often, drive downtown (where as I used to say no to things because downtown driving scared me shitless), and it’s just generally made me less self conscious in public (hello taking food photos with a ring light while other patrons stare at me). It’s also brought me and the hubby closer together, as he’s often my partner in crime on my foodie outings. He’ll take the photos (he has more of an eye for the aesthetics and plating), and then I edit and post. We’re quite the duo!

Anyway, this post isn’t about my year in review. It’s about our trip to Mexico over Christmas. We stayed at a resort on the Cancun strip called Panama Jack, and it ended up being a solid choice. It was a last minute booking, and we weren’t disappointed at all!

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When we first arrived, we asked for a larger suite. The rooms are quite small, and we needed to accommodate both kids on separate beds, because we just knew they wouldn’t sleep well together in the same bed. So we opted for a room upgrade for about $50 USD a night. Pricey, yes, but worth it I think. It was still a smaller room, but we fit two beds in for them, had an ocean view, and also had 24/7 access to a VIP buffet that served tons of delicious food and top shelf alcohol. The room itself was super clean, modern, and had solid amenities. The only downside was it didn’t have a bathtub, so the kids had to shower, which isn’t their favourite, but it was massive and we made it work.

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The food and the drinks were amazing. Generally speaking, the staff at the resort are very eager to please and provide amazing service. Everyone seemed happy and friendly, and the chefs were really into presentation of the food. Most of the food tasted as good as it looked. I mostly had omelettes made every morning for breakfast, and tacos for lunch. I drank mango margaritas mostly, but they also had this drink that I think is called a Miami Vice or something and it’s green, red, and yellow, and it was delicious as all heck. My daughter ate relatively well, but my son did not. He survived on fries, boxed cereal, ice cream, and mac and cheese. Some things they just couldn’t do, like Asian food night. It wasn’t working for me. Also, full disclosure, we did get food poisoning one night, which is pretty common in Mexico at an all-inclusive where the water can be contaminated, buffets have lots of hands touching things, and food might not be kept at the required temperatures. My other complaint is they only had 2 a la carte restaurants, neither which took reservations, which meant long line ups if you didn’t go as early as 5:15 pm! Other all-inclusives we’ve been to have had upwards of 10 a la carte restaurants with ample seating. But on the plus side, this was a smaller resort, with everything in close proximity, and we liked not having to walk far to the pool, restaurants, our room, etc. Especially because our bellies (okay just mine) were constantly full of tacos and margaritas, so frankly we were lazy af most of the time.

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They also had an amazing coffee shop in the lobby where I was able to get hot coffee and cold brew daily. This might’ve been my favourite feature of the hotel. The weather wasn’t great (extremely windy, overcast and rainy some of the days), so I’d often just sit at the coffee shop or get over-caffeinated and work out at the indoor gym.

The best part of this resort was how kid-friendly it was. EVERYONE there had young children, and those who didn’t chose the wrong hotel. They had so many amazing activities geared towards kids, and there was an amazing water park with tons of water slides that my kids had a blast going on. The kids club was for children 4+, but we lied about our 3 year old son’s age (let’s pray no one from the hotel reads that), and they took him along with my daughter. So every afternoon between about 1 and 3 or 4 pm, we’d drop them off and have some time to ourselves by the pool. They’d come back from the place with candy, face paint, arts and crafts, and other awesome things that made us confident with our decision to drop them off daily.

Overall, despite our illness (there was a doctor visit in there too in addition to the food poisoning, because my son got a high fever for a couple of days), we had a really great time. Because he was ill, he was pretty sleep deprived and miserable for a lot of it, and badly behaved, but we made the best regardless. Going to all-inclusives with kids isn’t easy, but I’m glad we did it, and I think we’d probably go back to one…

….without them.

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10th Anniversary of the Weird But True! Series

As an English teacher, I’ve always valued instilling a lifelong love of reading within my students. When I became a mom 6 years ago, I knew that it was so important to start reading with my daughter at a very young age, to ensure that she too fell in love with reading and books. Now, I read every evening with her and my 3 year old son, and it’s something we all look forward to after our busy days. Reading helps us decompress, allows us crucial bonding/quiet time, and just generally makes us all happy.

So when I was approached to review National Geographic’s Weird But True! series, I obviously felt it was a perfect partnership, as my values align nicely with theirs. This review is timely too, because it’s the 10th anniversary of the series, and 10 recently updated volumes have been released to celebrate! They’re available for purchase here.

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My children had such a blast reading all the fun facts from the four volumes we received! In particular, they both enjoyed ones related to animals, including facts like, “a gorilla at a zoo in Germany can walk on a tight-rope,” and “male pandas sometimes do handstands to mark trees.” Pandas are clearly adorable animals, but apparently they’re a little crazy too. Also, my son is dinosaur obsessed, so he really enjoyed facts such as, ” a t. rex could bite with 8,000 pounds of force – the equivalent of being crushed by three stacked cars,” and “the meteorite that most likely killed off the dinosaurs was the size of San Fransico, California, USA.”

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All the books in the series are so visually appealing and engaging. They’re vivid and uniquely laid out to keep the attention span of young children for quite a long time. Every night we read these, my children were able to stay focused and engaged for 10-15 minutes of reading, and they never got bored or lost interest. That’s a huge accomplishment for them, considering they’re relatively young.

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Personally, I was most interested in the food related facts, because obviously I’m a foodie, and that’s what captures my attention. After reading this page, all I can think about is someone needs to order me a bouquet of roses made from bacon ASAP. K, thanks.

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Overall, we really loved reading these books, and we think you will too! Generally I think they’re geared for children 8-12 years old, but we got a lot out of them as well! Oh also, National Geographic is currently running a contest for kids ages 6-14. Your son or daughter can submit their own accurate but weird facts about their hometown, province, or country here through January 31, 2019!

 

 

Toronto Christmas Market

This past weekend I visit the Toronto Christmas Market in the historical Distillery District (55 Mill St.). This year it runs from Thursday November 15th to Sunday December 23rd, and is free on weekdays and $6 per person on weekends. The market has a bunch of vendors and pop-ups with gifts, little chotchkes (I totally spelled that wrong), amazing food, and other fun things (shout out to Beekeeper’s Naturals for having a vendor there so I could stock back up on my lifesaving bee propolis throat spray).

The highlight of our visit was these cookies and cream donuts from Holey Dough.

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There were 6 mini donuts ($9) in there, and we split them halfway. They were perfectly light and airy, and went down a little too easily because they weren’t too rich. We both agreed we could have easily eaten all 6 ourselves.

Other than that, we mostly just strolled around and window shopped, stopping periodically for a photo op (PSA: It’s much prettier at night with all the lights, but alas my grandma lifestyle does not allow for evening outings much lately). If you’re looking for a meal beforehand or after, I highly recommend El Catrin, which serves amazingly authentic Mexican street food and cocktails.

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Name a more iconic duo. I’ll wait.

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Obligatory lifestyle blogger photos.

Coat: Aritzia

Jeans: Gap

Shoes: Town Shoes

Headband: Saks Off Fifth

Purse: Marc Jacobs