Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Getting & Staying Motivated.



Many of you message me asking how I stay motivated? How I plan out my content for the blog? How I keep the blog going? And how I gain my inspiration?

Before I even begin to dive into motivation, let me start off by saying that somedays, I definitely am NOT motivated.

Somedays, I'd rather just say 'f*uck it' and stay in bed. 

Somedays, I just DON'T feel like posting a blog post and instead, watch Grey's Anatomy. 

There are many days where I just don't feel like it. Trust me. But, I do it anyways. 

Why? Because I remember why I started blogging in the first place. I remember why I do it everyday. (Read the story here.) I also don't put too much pressure on myself. After all, not posting a blog post one week, isn't going to kill me. In fact, it's better to post nothing, than post something as a filler. This way you clear your mind, and come back with something great. Something you actually want to discuss.


So, how do I get/stay motivated? 

Well, there are so many ways one can do so. I'm going to share a few that help me wake up and want to blog.

Ultimately, the only thing that is going motivate you in life, is YOU.

You can seek inspiration, sure. But YOU are the only person that's going to get your butt outta bed and do shit. 

My blog is my business. It's something that has grown over the years. Something I am proud of everyday. The success of my blog did not happen overnight. In fact, it took years and is still no where near where I want it to be. There's a lot more I want to do/accomplish with it. Therefore, I need to stay motivated. 

This post isn't just for bloggers, btw. It's for everyone that has to wake up and hustle in the morning, doing whatever it is you do. Whether you're a student finishing college, or a single mom juggling two jobs, or a business owner, a doctor, a teacher, whatever. You get it. 

EVERYONE needs a little motivation sometimes.


So, how do I stay motivated?

Here are a few of my tips:

1) Start your morning off right: If you start your morning off being a Moody Maggie, then your entire day is going to be shit. I can tell you that much. Get up and be grateful for something. If all you're grateful for is waking up, then that's enough. I like to start my morning off with a little gratitude prayer. After all, I survived the night, and woke up to a gorgeous day. (Unless of course it's raining....that's a buzz kill). Some people write down things they are grateful for every morning. Trust me, I'd LOVE to do this. And maybe I'll work on this, but mornings are not my thing. You know this from reading this post

2) Content Planning: This one is a big one for me. With having a full-time job, it can be difficult to keep up with the blog sometimes. Between my FT job and the blog, this leaves very little room for a social life. Don't get me wrong. You can still have one. You just need to plan yourself out a bit better. This means, planning out your content in advance. I try to plan out my content a month in advance. This doesn't mean I have a months worth of blogs already written out. NO NO. This just means, I have planned out what I'd like to have posted this month. I like to spread out my topics on the blog, so I sticky-note my monthly editorial calendar with all my ideas. It can be a bit of a mess, but it works for me. Some people are very digital, and have everything online. My editorial calendar is very much hand-written. This way I can see everything, and where I need to fill in blog posts. If you're more of a digital planner, you do you!



3) Lists: You guys already know how much I love lists, so I won't go too much into this one. I like to create lists on lists. Really, these lists save my life. Time is extremely valuable, so don't waste it. Make your lists and cross shit off. In fact, always start with the most difficult task first. This way, you breeze through the rest. On Saturday mornings I ALWAYS start off my day with creating a list of things I need to get done. This can include editing photos, shooting a bunch of content, and then of course, groceries, laundry, vacuuming, etc. I rarely do any blog writing on Saturdays as there is usually too much else going on. 

4) Give Yourself a Break: This is something a lot of you don't know. When you're feeling uninspired, take a break. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself some time to recoup. We all need that from time to time. In fact, giving yourself a break, can give you a new perspective on things. When I'm constantly working, I can sometimes feel really uninspired. That's when I know my mind needs a break. Maybe it's just a few hours away from the laptop, or maybe it's a few days. Whatever you need to refresh your mind, do it.

5) Squash The Negative Thoughts: It's easy to get sucked into negative thoughts sometimes. There are negative people ALL around us, waiting for us to fall on our faces. Remember, it's okay to fall; just get back up when you do. Surround yourself with people who support your dreams and goals. In fact, talk to them and feed off their positive energy. Even though all they may say is something obvious like, "you're doing amazing things" or "great job" or "keep at it" it's still better than hearing nothing from a Negative Nancy. When you surround yourself with positive people, I PROMISE you, positive things will start happening.

Okay so what about you guys? What's your secret to getting/staying motivated? Share!

On another note, this two-piece is really one of my faves right now. I mean, it's a little out there, and we haven't had the best weather for this, buttttt cuuuute right?! It's also on sale for $8.99! I feel like I need to vacay it up in the South of France (rosΓ© in hand) and really rock this two piece to it's fullest, you know?

I cannot believe we're already in the middle of August. I'm slowly packing away all my maxi dresses... :(

Okay, I'm off to stalk some of my favourite bloggers for a little more motivation, today! Happy Wednesday you guys!! The week is almost over.

Xx, kim



This post was in collaboration with ROMWE. As always, all opinions are my own.

Photography by Victoria Jmourko.



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Monday, August 14, 2017

Wellness Tip: The Acupressure Mat.


Well, surprise surprise, I’m coming to you guys with another wellness tip.

This one is a GOODIE! It’s been tried and tested.

Just so you guys know, there are lotsssss of products/tips/tricks/hacks I try, and I don’t bring them to The Chic Confidential if I don’t 100% believe in them. In fact, many of them suck. But the few that are amazing, I feel like I obviously have to share.

Here, on The Chic Confidential, we’re ALL about sharing. If something is working for me, you can bet your ass I’m going to post about it. No secrets.

Okay, so let’s get to this wellness tip! If you’re following on Insta/Snap, you’ve probably seen me use the Acupressure Mat. I posted a couple days ago asking if you guys wanted a full blog post on it, and I had a ton of responses saying that you did. So voila, here I am.

Side note: I have a HUGE Amazon problem. Like, I buy everything. I see something weird on there, and I feel like I need it in my life. Eye masks, lip masks, facial oils, ice rollers, etc. You get it. So, when I came across the acupressure mat, I was intrigued. I started reading about it. Researching like a crazy person, and then immediately bought it on Amazon. (You should know, NONE of this is sponsored).

Before I get into the benefits, let me tell you wtf an acupressure mat even is…

It’s a self-applied acupuncture device commonly made of a foam mattress covered in cotton sacking and embedded with hard plastic disks containing protruding spikes.

So basically, it’s a bed of nails. Get on board.

A bed of nails with ENDLESS benefits though. Here me out before you close this blog post.

And before you think it’s going to hurt, I’ll tell you now that I’m pretty fucking fragile, and do not have a huge pain threshold, and I can handle the “pain” no problem. So, if I can, you can!




It actually only hurts for a few seconds. Maybe a minute at most. And then once you pass that, it’s nothing but relief. (Almost like a weird fetish? LOL).

Some major benefits: induces deep relaxation, stimulates energy, relieves pain and heightens happiness.

The mat is great for people with back pain. Now that I’m 30, you guys know I’ve been cracking the whip on certain things: I’ve been hitting the gym a lot more, taking ALL the vitamins possible, drinking more water, being mindful of unhealthy eating habits, & taking all the anti-aging precautions. (But who are we kidding, I hopped on the anti-aging bandwagon at 25…)


BACK PAIN:

Most mats have over 6000 points on them, which stimulates 100 acupressure point on your back. This starts to increase blood flow in your body which helps heal muscles and lets them relax to release pain and tension. Lay on the mat for about 20 minutes. Grab a book or listen to some relaxing music. You will instantly feel relaxed. Trust me. You can either lay on it with a very thin t-shirt, or completely naked if the pain isn’t too much. I like to wear a thin t-shirt, because I have sensitive skin, and I don’t want to irritate it. Most acupressure mats also come with a neck pillow, which helps with neck pain.

I sit at a computer ALL DAY. This is the worst thing for posture, back and neck pain. I try and get up every couple hours to stretch out my muscles, but realistically, it’s not enough. The mat really helps with the pain in my muscles.

STRESS, ANXIETY & ENERGY:

Many people find that it helps with stress and anxiety. Now the mat works differently for everyone. Some people find it relaxing, others use it for more energy. Personally, I think it’s also the time of day that you use it. A lot of people use it in the mornings for energy. Since I never have any time in the mornings for even make-up, I can’t be bothered to use this in the mornings. I like to use it first thing after coming home from work, or right before bed. It can really help with sleep, as it relaxes the muscles.

FEET & REFLEXOLOGY:

If you accidently step on this, it can be highly painful. Only because it was accidental, and you weren’t mentally prepared for it. If you mentally prepare yourself for stepping on this, it can relieve all kinds of pain. If you suffer from any kind of foot pain, try out this mat! I don’t suffer from foot pain, but stepping on the mat can also help with energy. When I lay on the mat, it’s more of a relaxing/de-stressing feeling. When I step on the mat, I get more of an energy burst. WEIRD, right?

HAPPINESS:

The rounded nails against the skin help the body release endorphins, the body’s very own “happiness drug” which provides a sense of joy. Endorphins are neurotransmitters, or peptides, and the word is short for endogenous and morphine, meaning a morphine-like substance created by the body itself. Endorphins reduce pain and create feelings of euphoria and well-being. Without getting too science-y on you, just know that the mat releases endoraphins. And endorphins = happiness. 

If you’re still not convinced, check out this list of benefits:
  • Improve circulation 
  • Increase energy level 
  • Reduce blood pressure 
  • Reduce stress and anxiety 
  • Alleviate headache 
  • Relieve tension and muscle aches 
  • Improve sleep and relieve insomnia 
  • Relieve chronic neck and back pain 
  • Activate the parasympathetic nervous system 
  • Benefit weight loss by reducing cortisol levels 
  • Improve heart rate variability 
  • Revitalize and rejuvenate 
  • Improve skin complexion 
  • Relieve constipation 
  • Alleviate malaise 
  • Helps with cellulite. (WHAT?!) 

Overall, I’m kind of obsessed with the mat. I want to take it everywhere with me. It’s actually very lightweight and easy to take anywhere. If you work in an office environment, you can even bring it to work and sit on it for back pain relief. People may look at you weirdly, but who really cares, right? Take it when you travel. Nothing is worse than airplane back pain.

The brand of the acupressure mat doesn’t matter at all. I bought mine off Amazon, and it was $26.99 bucks. It came with the neck pillow as well. Best $26.99 bucks I ever spent!

Okay, so what about you guys? Any wellness tips you want to share? Who uses the acupressure mat? Anyone?

Chat soon!

Xx, kim

You might also like these wellness tips: Get softer lips in 2 minutes, Natural deodorant, Saje Diffuser



Photography by Victoria Jmourko.



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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

My 5-Minute Face.


K, who else has ZERO time in the morning for a full face of make up?

I mean, between getting (decently) dressed, making breakfast, stretching and ice rolling, who the heck has time for make up? I don't. 

But, when you need to actually interact with people at your job, you kind of have to make an attempt to put on a little bit of make up. 

MINIMAL though...

I shot a little video outlining exactly what I do in the mornings for make up. It takes me 5 full minutes, it's super easy and quick and perfect for those rushed mornings. (Which in my case is every morning).




PRODUCTS USED:

AluimerMD Tinted Sunscreen: I always like to use a sunscreen as my base. This one is my absolutely favourite. If you guys don't already know that, check out this blog post. It's very light, and I love that it's tinted. I don't care for foundation, so this is actually quite perfect.

Maybelline Fit Me Powder: I like to even out my skin-tone with a little bit of powder. This just takes away any oils from the sunscreen, as it can be quite oily. I also LOVE this particular powder. It goes on very light, and it's not too matte. You know I love my dewy skin!

Essence Satin Touch Blush: I'll either use this, or some kind of bronzer. In the summer I get pretty tanned as it is, so I never really resort to a bronzer. I love a light shade of pink for my cheeks. It just adds a little something to the whole look. I'm not a contour person. Only if I'm shooting a blog post will I contour. (not this post though ;)

Rimmel London Eyebrow Kit: BROWSSSS ON FLEEK. I feel like if I was stranded in a forest, and was only allowed one thing from my make-up bag, it would be my eyebrow kit. (And my MAC eyebrow brush!) I absolutely love this little kit. I can't go anywhere without my brows done. I legit feel...naked? Anyone else? This eyebrow kit comes with a cream and a powder. So, first you layer on the cream, and then add the brown powder to your brows. #fleekasSHIT

Essence Mascara: I don't fuss with mascara too much. I'm in no way a brand snob when it comes to my lashes. Anything will do. This brand has a TON of different mascaras, and they're all like 4 bucks. I've been using this brand for a while, and love it!

THAT'S IT!!

No eyeliner or eyeshadows, no foundation, no conturing. EASY PEASY, guys!!

This little routine takes me 5 minutes, and I swear 3 out of the 5 minutes is solely brows. #fuckenbrows. LOL


K, K, how was everyone's weekend?

I hope it was as relaxing and fun as mine was. 

My parents celebrated 33 years of marriage on Saturday. YAY them! 33 years is a lifetime for some. I honestly don't know how they did it. What's the secret?! 

And on Sunday, one of my best friends got hitched. I love weddings. I love celebrating love. Especially when it's one of my closest friends. (And when the bar is stocked with some real good cocktails). The bride wore black. SO CHIC. We danced, ate, and drank...a lot. 

I popped a few charcoal pills that night before drinking, (courtesy of the bride) and woke up with NO hangover. Holla! I feel like I need to do some research on this, because I'm feeling like this could be a good blog post? Thoughts? 

Anyway, overall it was a fantastic long weekend. What did you guys get up to? 

SIDE NOTE: Is anyone else dying that Prince Harry and Meagan Markle went to South Africa for her birthday?? If she comes back engaged, I'm going to cry. A tad dramatic, I know. Wtv. The inner me is squealing. 

Okay, I'm off.

Chat soon babes! Xx, kim

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Do What Makes Your Soul Shine.


I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. Stop doing shit you hate doing.

GUYS, life is too short for that.

I came across this saying the other day while I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook.

“Do what makes your soul shine.”

Sometimes when I have a couple minutes, I like to just scroll through my newsfeed. You come across all kinds of things: Funny videos of babies, memes, and sometimes the odd inspirational quote. (I don’t care for cat videos) :/

Anyway, I read that quote and stopped to think about it for a moment. I asked myself, am I doing things that make my soul shine? I thought about all the things in my life - my career(s), my relationships, even my eating/shopping habits (LOL) and wondered if all the choices I was making in life, made “my soul shine.”

Now I realize that sounds a bit…cheesy. Like, WTF does ‘making your soul shine’ even mean?!



I like to think of it as putting a smile on your face most of the time. Not every single minute of every day, because that would just be fucking weird. If you’re happy and smiling every single minute of every day, you’re on some blue pills or are majorly faking it.

It’s okay not to be smiling ALL the time. Shit happens right? We get frustrated at life, work, people, etc. It’s all in how we handle it. (I like to handle it with a coffee before I speak to anyone in the mornings). But that's me. You do you.

Ok, I’m getting off track here. The point I’m trying to make, and the point of this post, is to quit what’s making you hate your life, and do something that puts a smile on your face.

If you’re not loving what you’re doing, it will reflect on your work. Trust me.

Nothing is worse than going into a job every morning where all you want to do is stab your eyes out with your own office supplies. I’ve been there. It wasn’t that long ago where I was sitting in a home office in a basement, with no windows working for a terrible boss who I also wanted to stab with office supplies, btw. There wasn’t one thing I enjoyed about working there. From the 2 hour commute, to the grueling 8-hour day, to the condescending tone of my boss' voice, it was all…torture. I stuck it out for almost a year. Point is, I realized how much I hated it, I knew my worth, and I KNEW this couldn’t be it for me. This was NOT going to be my life.

I knew I had to leave and find something that made me happier. MUCH HAPPIER. Like, make my soul shine and shit.

Today, I’m proud to say that I do what makes me smile most days. Will this be it for me? Who knows? But for now, I don’t feel like stabbing anyone with office supplies. So, I feel like that’s a GREAT thing.

I don’t mean quit your day job when you have a mortgage, bills, and kids to pay for. That’s just stupid. What you need is a plan. So create one. Maybe you can’t quit your day job today. But who says you can’t quit in a year? Two years?


Everyone who’s got a successful business had a plan. Their companies didn’t just fall into their laps. They had a vision, a strategy, a mandate, possibly a team of people they trusted, and then executed everything once there was a solid plan.

If you quit your day job without having a plan thinking you’re going to become a millionaire overnight, you’re setting yourself up for failure. That much I can tell you. Although, we all know failure isn’t always a bad thing. Just read my post on failure.

Also, I know I’m kind of focusing on jobs/careers here, but this doesn’t just go for that. This goes for everything in life. Relationships. Are you in one that makes your soul shine? Meaning, are you happy most of the days? Is he/she putting a smile on your face? GET OUT if that’s not the case.

Again, I’ve been there. 7 years in a toxic relationship. 7 years of fighting. 7 years of commitment issues. 7 years of unhappiness. Okay, well not a full 7 years of unhappiness. That’s unfair to say. Regardless, you know what I mean. Pulling the trigger is the hardest part. But once you’ve done it, mannnnn, you’ll feel good.

This also goes for the smaller things in life that make you happy. For instance, naps. Naps make me VERY happy. Sipping a coffee on weekends with no one disturbing me, makes me happy. Sitting on my balcony in silence while I read, makes me happy. Whatever it is, big or small, that makes you happy, make sure you do it.

Guys, life is too short to live unhappily. Quit that job you hate (but have a plan), leave that toxic relationship (and don’t make the same mistakes again), eat the extra slice of pizza (then take the stairs home) and for the love of God, BUY THE DAMN SHOES. ;) (But maybe sleep on it?) HAHA. I never sleep on it, I just buy them...

You get what I mean, right? So, I’m leaving this quote here for you:

Do What Makes Your Soul Shine. 

Take a minute, or a few minutes to ask yourself if you’re doing what makes your soul shine. Are you happy? Can you be happier? What needs to change?

Also, on another note, can we talk about how cute this dress is? I'm absolutely loving the palm leaves.

Stalk the dress here.

Okay, I'm off. Hope you guys are having an awesome week so far!

Xx, kim



This post was in collaboration with ROMWE. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Photography by Victoria Jmourko.




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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Stop And Smell The RosΓ©: Grape Escape Wine Tours.


GUYS, do you know what's more fun than getting drunk at beautiful wineries in Niagara with your favourite girlfriends?

...absolutely NOTHING.

Really, though. If you haven't been to Niagara-on-the-Lake and seen some of the amazing wineries we have, you're seriously missing out.

HOWEVER, I'm here to take you on a little journey of a wine tour I went on last week. If you were following on Snap/Insta, then you already know how much of a blast we had on this tour. 

If you weren't, no worries! I'm walking you through it now. 


What's that? -- Glad you asked. 

Basically, you rent bicycles, and ride from winery to winery, slowly getting more and more intoxicated as the day goes on. 

In other words...the MOST FUN EVER!



As Mother Nature had it, it didn't only just rain that day, it stormed like the muther f*cker. Like, thunder, lighting, maybe even some hail...who knows? It was NOT a day for a bike ride in the vines. 

Regardless, we were all booked and ready to go. Luckily, we didn't have to ride around in the rain. Thank God because my hair would've looked like Monica's when they were in Barbados. Not cute.

We had a lovely little shuttle bus that took us to each winery. Rich, our driver (English hottie, accent and all!) was so lovely, and more importantly patient, as we were seven, loud, drunk, and obnoxious girls. Margie, our ever-wonderful and sassy tour guide was hilarious, which made our shuttle rides the most fun ever. (I'm pretty sure I invited her back to our Airbnb for tequila shots later). I can't confirm if she actually came...

Margie, if you're reading this, maybe you want to confirm? HAHA.

Moving on.

First stop on the wine tour was Reif Estate Winery. This winery was small and intimate. Here we met Jason, a wine expert who walked us through three glasses of wine with cheese pairings. Every glass had a different cheese pairing. We tried a Merlot, a Riesling, and lastly an Icewine. He showed us how to sip each wine properly to get the most flavour out of it. Of course, I was too busy stuffing my face with all the cheese I possibly could. 

But that's besides the point. 

We we're given some time to walk around and shop if we wanted. I'm a huge fan of Riesling, so I immediately bought two bottles. I also picked up the chicest wine glasses, ever. 



Next up was Inniskillin Winery. This was where we spent a bit more time on an actual tour of the winery. The guide took us to where they make the wine, showed us the machinery used, walked us to the vines (so gorg) and explained the full process of wine-making. If you've never been on a wine tour before, this is really exciting stuff. I feel as though you appreciate wine more after knowing the details of how it's made. You know?

Anyway, after the tour, we of course did a tasting. This involved another 3 glasses of wine. Mind you, these aren't full glasses, they're tastings. But imagine if they were full glasses...? LOL. 

After the tastings, we headed back onto our shuttle for the next winery.



Our third stop was at Caroline Cellars

To be VERY honest, at this point things were getting a little blurry. I mean, I was 6 glasses deep, and I'm a total lightweight. 

But I do remember how charming this winery was. It was very farm-like. It had a rustic atmosphere and just seemed very intimate and cozy. Side note: I've always wanted to get married at a winery, and this spot was just SO beautiful for summer weddings. 

At this winery, we got to choose wines we wanted to taste. We each got a list of all their wines, and got to choose three off the menu. There was a blueberry wine that was to die for! SO GOOD. 

After the tastings, since we were ALL getting a bit blurry, we decided to have some food at this winery. They have a beautiful little patio spot to lounge out and grab some food. We ordered two massive poutines to share amongst the table (hello carbs!), and two pitchers of red and white sangria's. (Not that we needed anymore alcohol!) However, those sangrias were amazing and I highly recommend ordering them if you go. 

After this, we jumped back on the shuttle for the next and final winery.



The final winery we visited was, PondsView Estate Winery.

Yet another beautiful winery, but I can honestly say this about almost every winery I've ever visited in Niagara. You really can't go wrong when choosing which wineries you want to visit.

Here, we had another few glasses of wine. Our guide was very informative. She gave us a quick rundown of the wines they make here, and which ones were most popular. We took a little tour around the place before hoping back on our shuttle to end the wine tour.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the shuttle that Grape Escape provides, actually picks you up from whatever location you are at in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and drops you back there. I love this little touch, because they're obviously promoting no drinking and driving. And this way everyone can enjoy being...drunk.

Before heading back to our Airbnb, we obviously wanted photos on the bikes that we were supposed to ride on. So, Rich was kind enough to drive us back to the Grape Escape office, where we took a little bike ride and lots of photos. (see below).



Overall, I cannot say enough great things about the tour we got from Rich and Margie. If you guys book with Grape Escape Wine Tours, I would request the two of them. They were both such a pleasure to hang out with all day. When you are on a 3 hour wine tour, you want to make sure your driver and tour guide are the most fun. Which is exactly what they were!

A special thanks to Rich for organizing the whole thing.

Also, there are a variety of tours you can choose from! If biking isn't your thing, there are shuttle tours as well. So many options, too. And I also found that they were reasonably priced. Nothing too over the top. 

If you're planning a bachelorette party, birthday, or even a corporate event, these tours are great to get the party started.  

K, so who's visited Niagara-on-the-Lake? Share some wineries with me, because I'm obviously going back this summer, and need to visit some more. Check out this one I visited last year

Ps. I'm already looking to book my next bicycle tour with Grape Escape. 

Xx, kim



A special thanks to Rich & Margie at Grape Escape Wine Tours for making this experience amazing. This post was in collaboration with Grape Escape Wine Tours. As always, all opinions are my own.



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Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer Reads.


Okay, to be completely honest, I love to read, however, never get enough time to do it. I know, I know, “that’s just an excuse.” But, really though, with the blog (writing, editing, shooting), my full-time job, having an actual social life, cooking, cleaning, laundry, gym, keeping up with the countless social media accounts I have..., I can go on…

But I’m going to stop there.

Reading sometimes falls to the bottom of the list. I still make time for it. But, I’d like to make more time for it. And I know what you’re going to say: That I should schedule my time properly and therefore I’ll have time to do everything I want to.

Not quite, though.

If you know me, you KNOW I’m the biggest scheduler of all time. HELLO, event coordinator by profession. I schedule in time to take my vitamins and like, organize my lipstick tray...

But even after ALL the scheduling possible, 24 hours is NOT enough time in the day. Especially when you sleep for 8 of those hours. πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

Anyway. I’m trying to make more of an effort to read.

I picked out a few books that seem amazzzing, that I’m going to read this summer. I wanted to share them with you guys, because we haven’t done one of these posts in a while. I love, love, LOVE swapping book recos with people. I hardly walk into a book store and pick out something random. It’s usually a recommendation.

Here’s my list:


I LOVE a good mystery book. Not scary, just a nail biting, mystery novel. This one takes place in London, which is always fun, because then I can make up British accents in my head for all the characters. HAHA.

Here’s the synopsis:

Nothing can break the bond between sisters ...When Beatrice gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch to say that her younger sister, Tess, is missing, she boards the first flight home to London. But as she learns about the circumstances surrounding her sister's disappearance, she is stunned to discover how little she actually knows of her sister's life - and unprepared for the terrifying truths she must now face.The police, Beatrice's fiance and even their mother accept they have lost Tess but Beatrice refuses to give up on her. So she embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth, no matter the cost.

SO GOOD, RIGHT? I can’t wait to get into this one.



I mean, what blogger/company/brand wouldn’t love this book? I have heard SO many great things about this book, I cannot wait to read it. If you have a business, and are struggling with branding, you may want to read this. I’m constantly thinking, doing, improving on my branding for The Chic Confidential and obviously have a looong way to go. There’s nothing better than a company that’s branded well - what up Nike, Revlon, Coke, Louis Vuitton?!

Here’s what the book is all about:

THE BRAND GAP is the first book to present a unified theory of brand-building. Whereas most books on branding are weighted toward either a strategic or creative approach, this book shows how both ways of thinking can unite to produce a “charismatic brand”—a brand that customers feel is essential to their lives. A few things you might learn in this book:

• the new definition of brand
• the five essential disciplines of brand-building
• how branding is changing the dynamics of competition
• the three most powerful questions to ask about any brand
• why collaboration is the key to brand-building
• how design determines a customer’s experience
• how to test brand concepts quickly and cheaply
• the importance of managing brands from the inside
• 220-word brand glossary




Simon & Schuster sent me this book a couple days ago, and I finished reading it in a day. I couldn’t put it down! It’s an easy book to read because it’s all little poems - on life, love, heartbreak, etc. It’s such an honest and real book. While reading it, you almost get emotional, feeling like you’ve been in most situations at some point in you life. I absolutely LOVE relatable books.

Synopsis:

In Love Her Wild, Atticus captures what is both raw and relatable about the smallest and the grandest moments in life: the first glimpse of a new love in Paris; skinny dipping on a summer’s night; the irrepressible exuberance of the female spirit; or drinking whiskey in the desert watching the rising sun. With honesty, poignancy, and romantic flair, Atticus distills the most exhilarating highs and the heartbreaking lows of life and love into a few perfectly evocative lines, ensuring that his words will become etched in your mind—and will awaken your sense of adventure.



I haven’t read this book yet, but again, I’ve heard amazing things about it. It’s similar to the book I’m reading by Mark Manson – The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck. Also such a great book! So motivating, so inspiring. I definitely recommend reading this one. I’m not huge on “self-help” books because I think most of them are cheesy and boring, however, I saw this one on a blog I was reading, and ever since that I’ve seen it everywhere! It MUST be good.

Synopsis:

Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word. If you're ready to make some serious changes around here, You Are a Badass will help you: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, blast past your fears so you can take big exciting risks, figure out how to make some damn money already, learn to love yourself and others, set big goals and reach them - it will basically show you how to create a life you totally love, and how to create it NOW.

By the end of You Are a Badass, you'll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can't change, how to change what you don't love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.




Okay, we alllll know my sick obsession with anti-aging, so naturally when I came across this book, it was top of my list to read. (Yea, I plan to look 30 when I’m 50). Probably possible if I read this book. It’s all about anti-aging through lifestyle choices, diet, and inexpensive products. YASSSS. Who else is already adding this to their Amazon cart right now?!

Synopsis:

Renowned Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer is the expert on whom Hollywood's top celebrities rely to maintain their radiant complexions and to reverse the effects of aging. Now, he offers readers his groundbreaking, 3-Step Method to rejuvenate their skin at home. Based on years of clinical research, Dr. Lancer's regimen stimulates the skin's own transformative healing power for lasting results. He provides a road map to help readers navigate the mixed messages of today's dermatological advice, avoid expensive invasive treatments, and see through the empty promises of so many beauty products. He recommends the most effective skin care products for every budget from drugstores, department stores, and spas. He suggests surprising lifestyle choices in diet, exercise, and stress management that support beautiful skin.



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Ok, so that's my list! What about you guys? What are some books you're reading this summer. Share!

K, I'm off. Tea and then some reading in bed. Let's see how many pages I can get through before falling asleep. 

Hope your Monday was productive AF. 

Xx, kim




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Monday, July 17, 2017

How To Get Softer, Smoother Lips In Just Two Minutes.



I figured that since the last post was on stress, this one should be on the lighter side.

So, we're talking about LIPS. Smooooth, sexy, and soft lips. 

Nothing fancy, you guys. Just a tip I came across and I thought I'd share the deets. Because nobody wants crusty lips...right?

Okay, so I don't know if this happens to you guys, but after I wear "long lasting" lipstick all day, my lips start to peel. Like seriously peel. I'm thankful for all the long lasting lipsticks out there, really. But whatever they are using in them, really takes a toll on my lips. I'm all for them, but I'd really like to NOT peel of two layers of skin after. You know? 

So, needless to say, I tapped into my friend, Google for some tips on exfoliating my lips. 

And viola, a plethora of links on how to exfoliate your lips came up. Tons, and I mean TONS of ways to do so. Scrolling through, I liked all the 'home remedy' ones. 

So I'm sharing:

{ What you need: }

- A toothbrush (like any kind from the dollar store)
- Olive Oil
- Sugar

Mix together some olive oil and sugar with your toothbrush. (I like to use coconut sugar). Please DON'T use the same brush as you do for brushing your teeth. Buy a separate one for your lips. Rub the toothbrush with the olive oil + sugar in circular motions on your lips. Give it a good scrub, about a minute or so. Rinse your brush, and your lips. Apply some lip balm. I've been using this one for years, and I love ittttt. 

GUYS. You will instantly notice a difference. You don't need to do this everyday or anything. Maybe once a week? It all depends on how dry/brittle your lips are. I feel I only need to do this after I wear lipstick for a few hours. I'm not a huge lipstick girl, but when I do, I need to exfoliate.

Oh, and if you have sensitive lips, you don't even need the toothbrush. You can just rub the olive oil + sugar with your fingers. The toothbrush adds a little extra exfoliation. 

K, that's it. 

How was everyone's weekend? Mine was somewhat low key. I spent Saturday afternoon walking around in a beautiful park, lemonade in hand. The weather was so gorgeous. The evening was spent drinking too much champagne and rosΓ©, celebrating one of my favourite ladies' bachelorette parties. It was nothing short of classy, with the most fabulous girls. I love a small, intimate bach party with no penis', tiaras or pink boas. We did however, have prosecco-flavoured gummy bears, Veuve Clicquot, and A LOT of jalapeΓ±o cheddar Smart Food popcorn. (OMG, I must've eaten 4 bowls). I highly recommend these.

Also, no hangover, so I'm pretty fucking proud of that. So far, 30 has been okay...

On that note, I'm going to take my vitamins and carry on with my day. 

Hope you guys have the most productive week! 

Xx, kim






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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Life Lately: How Are We Handling Stress?


HELLO.

Yes I know, it's been a hot minute. I've been distracted by so many things lately. 

Mainly by Grey's, though. I'm totally hooked. ( and also just a ball of emotions! ) I've never cried so much in my entire life. And I'm not a crier, if that makes any sense. Anyone else? 

So, this week I've just spent all my time watching Grey's...anddddddd going to the gym. Remember I said I needed to work out more than once every two weeks? Well, since turning 30, I've been a bit serious about life. LOL. You know, taking all the right vitamins, getting in my daily walks, eating salads more often and now hitting up the gym at least three times a week. OKAY, twice this week. But, I also swam. Swimming is a legit work out. 

Tell me how YOU get motivated to go to the gym. Because, I need SOMETHING. I want to gouache my hair out after 5 minutes on the treadmill.

Anyway. What's everyone been up to? How's life? Tell me something juicy. 

Phone case  |  Book  |  Sunnies

K so, stress. 

The other day, I was chatting with one of my closest friends, and she tells me she's "so stressed that she can feel her heart beating outside her chest." ( or something along those lines... )

She goes on to say that her mind is constantly running, and that she can't seem to shut off her brain. 

Well, wedding planning can do that to you, sometimes. 

However, NO ONE should feel like their heart is racing and beating outside their chests. I know we can all get stressed out from time to time, but there's got to be a way to control that. Or else we'd all end up having heart attacks. No?

In my opinion, (and in no way am I an expert) I think stress comes from over-thinking. Over-thinking is HUGE with women. I don't know why we do this, but we do. For some reason it comes naturally for us to over-think. I definitely have to reign myself in sometimes when I catch myself over-thinking. 

And sometimes I don't even notice it, but luckily I have a few good friends that know me well enough to tell me to STFU when I'm doing it. 

Because really, what is the point? Why are we over-thinking? Why are we giving something that much thought? And the crazy thing is, that most of the time, we over-think something that hasn't even happened yet. So really, we're just psyching ourselves up for no reason at all. 

My girlfriend was saying exactly this:

"I'm trying to learn how to do one thing at a time and to focus on that. Take things one day at a time instead of thinking about something I need to do three days from now, or later that evening."

Because why are we even stressing over something three days from now?

Pointless if you ask me. Right?

Okay, so how do you guys handle stress?

I know I've talked about this on the blog before, but I feel like it's a reoccurring subject. We're always experiencing it, so I feel we need to talk about it more and more. 


Do you meditate?

Read?

Pour yourself a giant glass of wine and watch an episode of Sex and the City?

Tell me. Because I need to convey the message to my girlfriend. To a lot of my friends, actually. 

I rarely stress. I feel like stress ages me, and you know how I feel about aging. No thanks. 

But since stress is a natural, common thing, I do have it from time to time. Meditation doesn't work for me. I know it works for A LOT of people, and I really wish it did work on me, but unfortunately, my mind doesn't shut off like that. Candles and silence doesn't do it for me. Although, this is your most typical way of meditation. I know people who meditate with blaring rock music and zero candles. So, that's something.

I do love a good Sex and the City episode though. Maybe a facial mask? Or my ice roller? And a cup of tea. ( or wine? ) Either will do. 

I think a lot of our stresses will go away if we stop over-thinking. Try and catch yourself when you do it. And then STOP. Tell yourself there is no point in stressing over something that hasn't happened yet. Let it happen first. Because for all you know, it might NOT happen, and then you've been stressing for no apparent reason. And now you've probably caused yourself a new wrinkle. Haha.

Really though, take it one day at a time. Whether you're wedding planning, buying a house, finding a new job, or...turning 30. 

Ok, share how you guys handle stress!

I'm off to pour myself some mint tea, and obviously watch an EP of Grey's. #sendhelp

Xx, kim



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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Four Days In Vegas: Nightlife, Food, Outfits!


VEGASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

I feel like you have to start a post on Vegas like that…

Okay, so I’m a little late on this post as it’s been about two weeks since I’ve been back from Vegas, but what’s new? Better late than never, right?

So, Vegas. Sin City. City of Lights. Entertainment Capital of the World.

SO MUCH to see, so much to do. There’s never a minute you’re in Vegas when you’re not doing something. I honestly felt like I needed a full week of vacation after returning from Vegas. Anyone else feel like this when you get back from Vegas?



So, if you we’re following on Snap/Insta, then you know that I celebrated my 30th birthday there. It was special, because there really is NO better way to ring in 30 than being in Vegas with your best friend.

To be honest, we didn’t have a whole plan or itinerary of things to do in Vegas. (SHOCKER, I know!) This was very much a go-with-the-flow vacation. The ONLY thing we did pre-plan was The Backstreet Boys concert. (My teenage-self was DYING.) This was the whole reason for going to Vegas, actually. Nevermind my birthday. We HAD to see BSB in concert again. πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—

So, I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Vegas in June, but the second we landed, it was a HEAT WAVE. Like, actually. None of this 28 degree weather with a “heat warning” we get here. No, no. This was a full 47 degrees Celsius of extreme, dry heat. For me, this is slightly Heaven on earth. Canadian weather is probably my least favourite thing about Canada…


To most (normal) people, 47 degrees would put them into a heat stroke. But, not me. I enjoyed every last drop of sweat that came my way. HAHA. To give you an idea of what 47 degrees feels like, turn your blow-drier on the hottest setting and blow it onto your skin. That’s Vegas, 47 degrees for you. HOT.

Anyway. Enough about the weather. You get it. It was steamy hot, and I loved it. I’d go back in a heartbeat.

Let’s talk about some hot spots for nightlife, some delicious restaurants, and of course, outfits.


{ DAYCLUBS/NIGHTCLUBS }


Drai’s Beachclub at The Cromwell Hotel:



If you’re looking for something sassy, classy, and wildly Vegas, this is your spot. I absolutely loved the vibe here! Not only was the club SO beautifully decorated with palm trees, plush white seating everywhere, and a giant pool in the centre of venue, but they also had amazing music playing. Music is key for me. I’m not huge on the DJ scene, so just DJ music doesn’t really do it for me. I like a bit of everything from old school to new school, and I feel like this place had it all. I’m sure some nights they bring in DJs, so if that’s your scene, then definitely check out their website.


Jewel Nightclub at the Aria Hotel:

This was another beautiful venue. The atmosphere was on point, music not so much. The one thing I didn’t love about this spot was that there wasn’t seating available to anyone. You had to have bottle service to be seated. We were also offered free drink tickets here, which was great. So, we tossed back a couple of drinks and moved on. ;)

Lily Bar & Lounge at the Bellagio:

If you’re looking for more of a lounge-y atmosphere, I suggest this place. We didn’t stay too long here, but it was SUPER cute. Definitely a classier, high-end spot, so if you’re looking to get dressed up and sip on a martini, this is your spot. They had lots of seating, beautiful plush couches, gorgeous florals on the center of each table, and dim lighting. It’s a good spot for a pre drink as well!

The Beach Club Pool at Flamingo Hotel:


OKAY. This is more of a daytime thing, but MANNNN, this was probably my fave spot. I know what you’re thinking. ‘Do people even go to the Flamingo anymore?!’ Hold on before you judge. They’ve renovated. And the pool at Flamingo Hotel is SO CUTE. It’s also a wicked party, DJ and all, a couple bars, lots of delicious food & drinks, and overall, SUCH a great atmosphere. If you don’t like an area of the pool, pick up your shit and move to another end, because it’s HUGE. Make sure to get there early because spots go really quickly!


{ FOODIE SPOTS }

Okay, before I get into this, I want to point out that we actually didn’t have a whole lot of time to eat in Vegas. I wanted to do a few nice spots for dinner, but Vegas is SUCH a rush all the time, that we barely ate!

Flour & Barely Brick Oven Pizza in the LINQ Plaza:



If you guys like brick oven pizza, this is for you! We ordered the Verdure, which had zucchini, eggplant, artichoke, mushrooms & spinach with pecorino & mozzarella on it. SO GOOD. And we also ordered the Mushroom pizza, which had truffle cheese, roasted mushrooms, tomatoes, arugula, and truffle oil. If you’re going to get one pizza, THIS IS THE ONE. I was in actual Heaven. The pizzas are huge, so make sure you go when you’re really hungry!

Todd’s English Pub:

If you’re looking for a super chill spot with a patio, we loved this place. It’s right outside the Aria hotel. Of course, we sat outside in 47 degree weather. The sandwiches/burgers are so good here, and very gourmet. They give you WAY too many fries with your order. Like a bucket. No one needs to eat that many fries, ever. BUT YUM, regardless. So yea, chill spot, with great food and drinks.

Earl of Sandwich:

This was recommended to us, and mannnnn was it ever good! If you’re looking for somewhere quick and easy to-go, this spot is amazing. They have some really delicious sandwiches. I got the Chipotle Chicken Avocado. SO YUM. They also have good wraps and salads too. It’s located at the food court at Caesar’s Palace. I 100% recommend this place.

Eggslut:


GREAT place for breakfast, or even a mid-day snack. Be prepared for long line ups as this place is very popular. It's in the Cosmopolitan Hotel. I had a delicious breakfast sandwich with egg and arugula with their house dressing. UGH, so good.



{ OUTFITS }



Airport Attire:

I like to be as comfy as possible when traveling. I never ever wear jeans on a flight. I find it so uncomfortable and tight. I like lose clothing when traveling, so obviously I opted for this white crop top and these linen joggers. I honestly can't say enough good things about these joggers. They are such a staple in my life right now. Not only do I wear them when traveling, but also all day errrday on the weekends. Because they're comfy and chic. So, why the hell not?


Bodysuits:

Here's where you can go slightly out of control at Forever21. They have every kind of bodysuit under the sun! Really though. If you want to slut it up with a low-cut, backless, mesh-type thing, they probably have it. If you want something slightly subtle with sleeves, you can bet they've got it. I went for something in between slutty and classy. I'm obsessed with this white one with off-the-shoulder sleeves, and this black one, with mesh sides. SO CUTE. Rocked both these in Vegas.


All-Black Birthday Suit:

When it comes to a birthday suit, I live for an all-black moment. This little one-shoulder bandeau and high-rise black shorts were perfect for the night out. Again, it was 47 degrees in Vegas even at night. So, you really couldn't wear too much clothing.

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Okay, so that's my Vegas update for you guys! It was a short and sweet trip. Oh, and the concert was AH-MAZZZING. They still got it!!

HUGE-ASS shout out to my bestie, who I've pretty much spent every single birthday with in the last...10 years. If you guys follow along on Snap/Insta, then you know her. She's also the photographer behind The Chic Confidential. πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’— Thank you for all that you do!

Okay, how was everyone's weekend? Tell tell!

Xx, kim



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