From March 2016

welcoming spring: recharge, reset, rejuvenate

Oh Spring! That time of year when the world awakens from the cold, dreary winter and everything becomes alive again. I always feel so rejuvenated when spring finally arrives that I can hardly wait to get out there and enjoy it. Along with excitement for this new season, welcoming spring also means transitioning out of winter hibernation-mode. Part of this transition involves making changes that reset your body, mind, and your surroundings to help you embrace spring in the most refreshing ways possible. Here are 3 fun and easy ways to reset for spring:

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March 31st 2016 – Marina Downtown Kelowna

1. nourish your body

I think we can all agree that healthy eating is probably the most challenging in the winter months (at least for me, it is). In order to give your body a spring detox, transition your diet to allow for more seasonal fruits and vegetables instead of the go-to comfort food of winter. One of the best places to take advantage of fresh, seasonal produce is your local farmer’s market. Green smoothies all the way!

Another way to rejuvenate your body for spring is to get outside! Depending on where you live, Spring might be pretty wet, but is otherwise boasting with sunshine and warmer temperatures. My favorite way to enjoy the spring sunshine is to grab a coffee and take a walk along the lake. If you’re a real go-getter, you can go for a hike with a buddy or take your workout routine outside. Even if it is raining, what a perfect excuse to wear some super cute (and practical) wellies!

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2. free your mind

This one is a big one for me personally. One of my favorite mind-clearing activities for spring is cleaning my car from top to bottom. I don’t know about you but my car always needs a little TLC after winter. Spending a few hours outside cleaning, vacuuming, buffing, and sometimes even scrubbing car to make it sparkle and shine again is not only rewarding, it also clears your head AND gives you a little fresh air. Total win.

Another great way to ease the mind into all that is spring is to create a spring to-do list or bucket-list. This is the perfect way to organize your thoughts and reminders for the upcoming season. Maybe you plan to visit family for Easter, take your car in for a service, or finally check out that cute coffee shop that just popped up in town. Last week Alex and I drove 30 minutes to check out a new coffee shop and have a #DonutFriday date together. It was somewhere we hadn’t been before which was the perfect way to switch up a date routine. FYI, mine was the powdered donut with nutella-mousse filling. It’s the little things that count.

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3. de-clutter your surroundings

Two words: SPRING CLEANING!

Call me weird but ever since I was a kid I loved when it was ‘spring-cleaning’ time. Spring-cleaning is one of the most effective ways to reset for spring, which is why I saved the best for last. I’m going to make a bullet list here because there’s just too much to say:

  • Clean out that closet! Put all your winter clothes into plastic Rubbermaid containers (like this one) and get rid of any clothes you haven’t worn in the last year.
  • Make a pile of everything you’re parting with and donate it to your local Salvation Army or other charitable organization
  • Now go through the rest of your house and PURGE! You don’t need to keep that broken shoe rack. That extra Brita water jug isn’t doing anything by collecting dust. Anything that is either broken, taking up space, or could be donated to someone else needs to go.
  • Make those cleaning supplies WORK! Dust off the blinds, sweep the porch, Windex ALL the windows, and clean until your house smells better than a Lysol commercial. Okay don’t go too crazy but you get my point. They don’t call it spring-cleaning for nothing, folks.

Now that you’ve inhaled more cleaning chemicals than usual, it’s time to bring back some Spring feng shui into your home! What better way to welcome the new season into your home than with fresh flowers? Flowers have got to be one of my most favourite ways to spruce up any room in the house and not to mention they smell delightful. I spotted these beauties at the grocery store and it took every fibre of my being to not buy the entire lot.

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There you have it! I would LOVE to hear if you have any of your own traditions or things that you like to do to embrace the spring season. Let me know in the comments! xo

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Travel Review: 4 Tips for Short-Haul Trips

Okay so who doesn’t love to travel, right? I think we can all agree that a well-deserved trip away from home is one of the best things in life. Especially when it includes a nice hotel, some shopping and good eats. I mean… it doesn’t get much better than that! On a recent trip to Vancouver, Alex and I planned each day from morning until night making sure we got to do ALL the things. And like all plans, they don’t always work out how we expect them to. Thus, here are 4 tips for getting the most out of short haul trips:

 

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1. Always Make Reservations

Okay so this one seems like a no brainer right? Well not always. For me, I get waaaay to excited about first getting to the destination, then the hotel and ALL the activities in between that before you know it… it’s dinnertime and you’re STARVING and you haven’t made any dinner reservations in town. Sure enough, this was exactly what happened. On Saturday night we had plans to meet up with some friends and go to one of our favourite restaurants in Yaletown. When we finally met up after getting super excited (and also pretty hungry) you guessed it… the restaurant was full for the night. Thus we resorted to finding ANY restaurant at this point with the quickest wait list – not the best scenario on a Saturday night with growling stomachs. My advice: do a quick Google search while you’re on the road, or at your hotel, and give the restaurant a quick call to reserve a spot. That 5 minutes will save you later on and will ensure a seamless dinner date with your pals.

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2. Budget, Budget, Budget

Again, a no brainer right? I’ll admit something to you… I have yet to master this thing called budgeting and whenever I rely on paying by debit or credit, I almost always spend more than I should. I could be wrong but I don’t think I’m alone on that one either. From food, to parking, to coffee, to shopping, to snacks, to tips… it’s incredibly difficult to keep track of it your finances on a holiday. So what is my solution? Change jars! Get a plain jar or even a piggy bank and promise yourself to put any loose change and bills into that jar for the months leading up to your trip. The less you put in, the less you can spend on that new Chloé satchel you’ve been eyeing from Nordstrom. Although this tip might be kind of difficult for trips planned on shorter notice, it sure helps the bank in the end.

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3. Luxury Doesn’t Always Win

Like many people, I want to feel a sense of luxury when it comes to staying in hotels. On our trip we ended up booking with the Pan Pacific Vancouver – luxurious right? Wrong. Long story short, we didn’t do our research and booked spontaneously, thinking that the Pan Pacific will be the nicest hotel we’ll ever stay in. The room was outdated, the baseboards were banged up, we hardly saw any hotel staff except for the front desk thus the customer service was minimal to none, parking was $20 more expensive than its competitors, the bathtub was exceptionally small, and the duvet looked quite old/yellow…. Our advice: do your research, read online reviews, and choose wisely. Don’t solely rely on the name of hotel for your booking decisions.

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3. Be Practical

Packing for trips and vacations is one of those subjective topics because everyone has a system that works for them, making packing advice so personal. That being said, when I’m traveling I usually opt for packing practical items for both my beauty routine and my clothes. For makeup and hair I only bring what I need to get the job done. For example, 1 styling tool, 1 styling product (usually hairspray) and that’s it. For makeup, I (try to) limit myself to a small makeup bag. It might be tough but you’ll be glad you kept your chunky eyeshadow palettes at home. For clothing, I plan my outfits for each day and specifically choose items that are versatile and can serve both day and evening looks. Depending on the length of the trip, I’ll usually bring one comfy outfit for traveling and the rest I make sure I can easily mix and match depending on my mood that day. My go-to picks for Vancouver? Waterproof tall black boots, black leggings/pants, oversized top/blouse, trench coat, and an umbrella. Always.

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There you have it! I hope you can apply some of these tips to whatever trips you having coming up this year. Do you have any go-to tricks while traveling? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear!

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#FemmeSquad Interview with Meg White // The Life of a Freelance Designer

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Lets start with the basics. In a nutshell, can you tell us what you do?

Simply put, I’d say design, but that can mean a few different things.

I assist most of my clients with graphic design, from creating a unique style and brand for print materials, to website design, where I can help create an online presence for clients (hello, it is 2016!). I’ve had the pleasure of working with a large variety of clients, from cupcake shops, quilting magazines, wedding photographers, and large corporations. I’m also so lucky to work with lots of other girl bosses and go-getters from across the world, who have helped influence me as well.

Can you tell us how you got to where you are now? What has the journey been like? 

I’ve always loved being a creative, especially as a kid (“crafternoon” is my favourite time of day after all) and was intrigued with the idea of technology, and felt design was a perfect way to merge the two. When looking at universities after high school, I was drawn to Thompson Rivers University for a few reasons. It was far, but close, from my hometown, had the university “lifestyle” I wanted to experience with dorms and students from all over, and, surprise, a design program. I walked away from those two years with great technical skills and amazing connections.

From there, I was in limbo land, I had a design diploma and felt my life could go so many different directions. I decided to do a mix of “this real-world-thing” and “getting my school on”. I was so fortunate to start working part time at a small design company, where I immediately began learning the ins and out of working directly with clients. I worked alongside some like-minded ladies and quickly realized that running a business as a woman was not only do-able, but was the route I wanted to go.

Alongside working part time, I was also completing my degree at Emily Carr University, where I had the chance to see the design world in a different, more conceptual way. The mixture of all of these opportunities has been a huge influence in the designer I am today.

After a few years of balancing both school and work (no sugar-coating here, it’s tough, but worth it) I decided to travel for a few months, and came back refreshed and ready to give just freelance a try. I’d realized that the lifestyle I wanted to live was one filled with travel and independence, and freelance design has allowed me to do so.

I’m a big believer of not thinking too much into the future, but for now, this is exactly where I want to be (or back on a beach in Spain, I’ll take either of those options).

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www.classiccreationsfd.com

 

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www.heatherly.ca

What types of obstacles have you experienced on your journey? How did you overcome these obstacles in order to keep your dream alive?

A few months ago, I’d come across a podcast where the speaker, Sean Wes described this one concept as a freelancer that has really resonated with me.

As a freelancer, you no longer have free time, but you have freedom time, and I quickly learned this when I started off. It was so easy to work evenings and weekends, I couldn’t tell the difference between a Tuesday and a Sunday, and taking a two-week vacation meant checking my emails daily. It was difficult to find a time to completely separate myself from work, as my life and job had all blended together (good thing I love what I do).

However, what this meant was I now had freedom time… I had the flexibility to take Tuesday morning off for brunch with a friend, even if it meant me working later into the evening. Or I was now able to pack up my laptop (+ work) and explore a new country for two months, but understanding that I’d have to work a few hours a day. I’ll take that over a 9-5 any day.

Tell us what a typical day looks like for you:

Currently, I have a little office set-up in my place, which really allows me to separate my work from everything else, and it’s where I spend the majority of my morning in. Whether I’m checking up on emails while having my morning breakfast, or finishing up a few to-do’s while drinking tea, it’s me + and my laptop having a P A R T Y (+ music constantly playing, or course!). Everyday is different, but most afternoons I’ll head out (and to make sure I leave the house) whether it’s to run errands or set up a coffee/work session with a client, freelancer friend, or just myself.

If I’m working the majority of the day from home (depends on the to-do list) I tend to designate one larger job for the afternoon. By the time dinner comes around, I’m normally ready to socialize and try to meet up with a friend or two. While most people have been out and about the whole day and want to go home and relax, I feel the complete opposite and enjoy getting the most of my day.

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What do you value most about your career as a freelance designer?

One of my favourite parts of being a designer is the broad range of people you get to work with and meet. You get the insider scoop on so many industries, and it’s a great opportunity for collaborations between different people. I’ve also had the chance to do design work for many of my friends (reminds them why they keep me around!) and also become friends with new clients as well.

I think Emily McDowell said it best, “Being an artist is like being yourself for a living”.

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www.emilymcdowell.com

Do you ever experience “creativity blocks” or the feeling of being uninspired? How do you overcome these frustrations?

Totally! I’ve found that if I’m starting a logo and need to be on top of it creative-wise, there are a few things that help. I don’t want to feel like I have to stop in the middle of another project “to just get it done”, so checking off some to-do list items first makes me feel like I’ve already been productive. I also find that I’m the most creative in the early afternoons, so don’t have to pressure myself to work on those in the mornings or evenings. Lastly, sometimes it’s great to just step away from the computer, whether it’s just to grab a quick coffee, and realize that if it doesn’t get done today, it’s ok.

What advice can you offer to us about pursuing creative ambitions in both our personal and professional lives?

Go for it.

But realistically, know that it takes a certain kind of motivation to pursue creative jobs. Your work ethic is so important in not only getting things done, but also showing others that you’re committed to doing a great (+ efficient) job. So much of me being able to do what I do, is because of word of mouth. If you do great work, others will want to promote you, and the cycle keeps on going (high fives and happy dances).

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photo credit: Kezia Nathe

 

Okay and finally, what guilty pleasure can you not live without?

I am obsessed with BOOMCHIKAPOP popcorn, it may have been the branding (+ naming) that first had me intrigued, but once I opened up a bag, I was hooked. Whether I’m having a mid-day snack break, or bringing it along for a girl’s night, it’s my go-to. (I also won’t admit how many bags I’ve finished solo….)

 

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Say hello to Meg:

website: www.megwhite.ca

email: hello@megwhite.ca

instagram: www.instagram.com/megwhitee

 

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