My workout during Self-Isolation

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It’s been over a month of self-isolation and I’m finally getting into the grove with a new workout routine. I always try to find the silver lining in difficult times because it’s good to keep a positive outlook. I’ve been telling myself for a for the past couple of years that I want to workout more and have discipline when it comes to self-care but I always let work and my passion projects take over (#workaholic). Our new normal has given me the opportunity to refocus, reset and to give myself some much need self-care. There are so many amazing tools, resources, streams out there right now but this is what I’ve been doing.¬†

Home “Gym”

Abs on the mat: There are a few ab workouts that I do on the mat that I really like – 3 sets of bicycle crunches (30 reps), Russian twist (30 reps), mountain climbers (20 reps) and bent-leg sit-ups lifting a 10lb weight (10 reps). Recently, I’ve discovered Emi Wong and have been challenging myself to do her 15-day lower abs & intense belly fat burn program. Her transformation is amazing and I love all of her other videos!

Arms & shoulders: I do a mix of this upper body pump and shoulder workout by @Kayla_itsines.

Legs & booty: I’ve followed @CaraLoren for a number of years now and she has some really great workout videos on her Instagram for legs. I also really like this @Meghanroup leg sculpting combo. When I want to switch it up, mix in a bunch of squats and lunges using my Peach Bands (love them!).

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Zumba: My sisters, cousin and I have been going to Zumba Ko for a while now. Karen (sister) was the first one to get on-board, I believe 8+ years ago, and end up bringing a following. We used to go every Wednesday together but ever since the self-isolation, Zumba Ko has now been streaming 40-minute Zumba workouts on Wednesday evenings & Saturday mornings. It’s so much fun to blast the music and dance around! You really work up a sweat.

MyBlancCanvas - Zumba.jpgNicole Steen: On Saturdays, we usually follow up our Zumba workout with some ab workouts on the mat but one day we had the energy to do some more dancing and stumbled across this 30-Minute cardio Latin dancing workout¬†on Youtube with Nicole Steen by POPSUGAR Fitness and loved it. It’s already a lot of the same moves that we know from our Zumba class so it was easy to get into it. Even if you’re just starting out, this one is a good pace and she gives clear instructions/steps that are easy to follow. Try it out!

Ryan Heffington: Been hearing his name for quite some time and so many of my friends have been raving about his #SweatFest virtual dance parties. I gave it a try for the first time today and I’m hooked! It was so much fun and Ryan just has the best energy. It was non-stop dancing for a solid hour. Catch his next one (Tues/Wed/Thurs at 1pm, Sat/Sun at 3pm) and dance like nobody’s watching.¬†

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Meditation, stretch, and recovery: I love doing some simple yoga poses on the mat after my workouts to wind down or when I need a light meditation break. It’s also nice to get in some stretches before and after a workout. Since I’ve been working out more and sitting around a lot too, I find that my muscles can get really sore so I use my foam roller to do some muscle recovery exercises throughout the week.

Outdoor Playground

I have a new-found appreciation for the things that we used to take for granted. 

Myblanccanvas - cardio.JPGWalk: It’s so important to go out for walks and get fresh air. I’ve been trying to keep up a 10k steps a day streak and over the past 5 weeks the longest streak I’ve had was for 5 days. I’m so happy that I got my Fitbit this year, it has really pushed me to stay active. I talk about my Fitbit in an earlier post here.

¬†Jog/Run: I’ve never been a runner but in the past years¬† I’ve always felt amazing and saw results the times that I’ve tried adding it to my workouts. The weather hasn’t been consistently warm yet but on the days that have been a bit warmer, I’ve gone out for a light jog/run – feels so refreshing!¬†

Skipping:¬†Got a skipping rope to do some skipping, it’s such good cardio. It’s way harder than I remember it to be.

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Couldn’t go to Jamaica this year, this was what we did instead.

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This time last year we were in Jamaica at the Excellence Oyster Bay all-inclusive, adults-only resort. We had such an amazing, memorable experience there. I took so many pictures and videos that I’ll be sharing in a separate post. We always talked about going back but of course, due to uncertain times with COVID19, it’s not something that’s possible in the near future. While we’re practicing social distancing, we’ve been trying to have a different routine for the weekend so that it feels like an actual weekend. How many of you are feeling like the days and weeks just blur together? The first couple of weeks were the transition period but now we’re getting into a bit of a routine which is so nice.

The fianc√© was planning a surprise date night for a while and this weekend he revealed what he has been planning. He said because we couldn’t be in Jamaica this year, he brought Jamaica to us instead! He is the biggest sweetheart and always so thoughtful. During our trip to Jamaica last year, we found out that April 6th is Jamaica’s Independence Day and there was a huge celebration at the resort with delicious Jamaican food and cultural performances. This was how we celebrated at home!¬†

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First, we wanted to set the mood, we put a beach scene on the TV with crashing wave sounds. The weather has been warming up here so we had all the windows opened with a breeze coming through the condo. It felt so nice and it even smelt like the beach with this Sand + Fog Sage & Sea Salt candle lit up. I added some greenery by decorated the place with my silk flower arrangements (check out my passion project account @myblanccuration).

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Drinks were served, Red Stripe beer and rum punch (I’ll share the recipe!) on the menu! When we were at Excellence, we had a lot of these drinks. It brought back so many memories. We started the night with some drinks and mini beef patties as appetizers (PC Mini Jamaican Beef Patties).

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Kicking Off 2020 with my Fitbit

Happy 2020!

How is it the beginning of a new decade!? Where did the last 10 years go?! As you get older, it just seems that time goes by faster and faster. I’ve been meaning to listen to Stuff You Should Know’s “Short Stuff: Why Does Time Speed Up As You Age?” podcast, maybe there’s a scientific reason why we feel this way the older we get?

My wedding is next year so this year I really want to take the time to focus on self-care. The fianc√© got a Fitbit and that motivated me to get one too so that I can keep track of my eating habits, water intake, the amount of exercise and sleep that I’m getting each week. The first Fitbit product that I started using wasn’t actually the tracker but the Aria Air scale. It gave me the hard facts and I knew it was just the right kick in the butt to get me back into a healthy lifestyle. I hop on it every morning to get a pulse on where I’m at with my weight before I start my day. I’m not super focused on my weight or the calorie count but overall I do want to be more conscious and try to get my calorie in and out to be balanced and keep track of the progress I’m making. It has definitely motivated me to hit the gym more and I’ve been feeling great!

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I thought about it for quite some time on which Fitbit would best suit my lifestyle and ended up getting the Inspire HR. This tracker along with the Fitbit app gives me motivation, just the right notifications and tracks everything in one place. Having a band that looks proportionate to my wrist was also important for me. I didn’t want anything too clunky as that may deter me from wanting to wear it. I’m so happy that I got the Inspire, it’s sleek and doesn’t feel like it gets in the way throughout the day or when I’m sleeping.

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The Body Shop Mini Haul

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As some of you may know, my skin is hypersensitive and I’ve struggled with eczema since I was a kid. Eventually, the worst of it passed and I grew out of it but every once in a while it would come back with a vengeance. If you have eczema as well, you know it is something you live with and you need to find ways to keep it under control. A couple of years ago my eczema flared up a lot around my face and neck, eventually realizing that I could no longer use a lot of the makeup and skincare products that I owned. I went for an allergy test and the only thing that I had a big reaction to was nickel. There are still many other things that I know I’m sensitive to but this was definitely something I needed to pay attention to. It was tough to let go of a lot of beautiful products but it was important for me to take care of my health.

When it comes to makeup I use eyeshadow every day so I tested many natural eyeshadows but nothing seemed to stop the irritation until I gave The Body Shop a try. It was much more affordable in comparison to other products and the irritation around my eyes started to go away. I’ve been using their “Down to Earth” eyeshadow palette for about a year now and I really like it! Recently, I noticed that The Body Shop was discontinuing them so this past weekend I went on the site to get the only 2 refills that were left. They also came out with a new palette so I give that a try too. The application is smooth and very easy to blend. So far I’ve only been using the neutral shades but I’ll give the bolder colours a try during the holiday season!

Eyeshadow Palette Refills in Essaouria Bronze and Amazonia Earth ($7 – on sale for $4)

Own Your Naturals Eye Shadow Palette ($28 – on sale for $16.80)

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One of the initial natural makeup brands that I moved to was Mineral Fusion. I loved their blush in “Pale”, it gave a natural glow to my fair skin tone. Unfortunately, after a few months, a reaction developed on my cheeks so I had to stop using it. I completely stopped using blush for a year just to let the irritations calm down. When I was about to check out and pay for The Body Shop eyeshadows, I decided to take a look at their other makeup. Their All-in-one Powder Blush in “Amber” caught my eye because it looked a lot like the Mineral Fusion blush colour in the pictures. The product is on sale right now but this specific colour is the only one that’s on some crazy sale for $2?! I’m not even going to ask questions as to why it’s only $2 but I’m going to stock up and get a few more! The colour is so similar to the Mineral Fusion one, except with a bit more shimmer. I thought I wouldn’t like it but you can’t tell once it’s applied. So far so good with no reaction!

While I was at it, I also picked up the Contour Kit because why not? The darkest bronzer is a little too dark for me but the lighter one works great! This one also comes with a blush and although it’s much darker than the “Amber”, it’s perfect when you want a little more drama. I’m super happy with all of their makeup and glad to know that it’s 100% vegan and not tested on animals.

All-in-one Powder Blush in “Amber” ($18 – on sale for $2)

Contour Kit ($22 – on sale for $8)

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Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear about some of the brands that you’ve tried that worked for you or if you end up trying The Body Shop makeup products.

MyBlancCanvas

My Obsession Monday: Mini Friday by JW Pei Haul

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Who doesn’t love a good crossbody bag? Friday by JW Pei has been creepin’ up on my Instagram for a few months and I finally went ahead and ordered a few items to see if the quality lived up to how the bags looked in pictures.

Friday by JW Pei is a sister brand of JW Pei and they offer vegan leather bags incorporating recycled plastic with sustainability in mind.

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The first bag that caught my eye is their Camera Bag, which is, unfortunately, all sold out. Not sure if they’re bringing it back but I’ve always wanted a camera bag, just haven’t found one that fits both the price and look that I want until this. I love that this one has a pretty chevron stitching pattern. When I got it in the mail and tested out the bag, the zipper ran very smooth. The strap is detachable and adjustable in length which makes it very versatile. I also added the tassel ornament to the order so that it can add a bit more personality to the bag.

Friday by JW Pei РTassel Ornament in Black 

Friday by JW Pei – Camera Bag in Black (Sold Out)

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My Obsession Monday’s: Sunnies & Glasses from BonLook

This is new territory for me as I’ve only left the 20/20 vision community in the last couple of years. Not sure if it’s the aging, starring at the computer (and my phone) hours on end or a mixture of both. Probably both.

When I started looking, I realized how difficult it was to find something that wouldn’t slide down my small nose. I probably tried on hundreds of frames before I stumbled across the Nadine at BonLook. The nose piece held up the frames, the medium size fit my longer face shape and the lenses were big enough that it covered the negative space around my eyes. I tried on all the colours that the Nadine had to offer and finally decided to go for the Pink Tortoise because it worked well with my fair skin tone. Fast forward a few months, last week I decided to go back to BonLook to get a pair of prescription sunnies too and went for the same style but in a different colour. I chose to go with the brown-tinted lense with the Bingal coloured frames. The Bingal is also like a tortoise-shell pattern but in yellow and brown. It matched really well with the brown-tinted lenses. If you have the same concerns as me, go into a BonLook next time you’re at the mall and give the Nadine a try!

Good for: Almond/oval face shape, small nose

Glasses: Nadine in Pink Tortoise 

Sunglasses: Nadine in Bingal

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Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

MyBlancCanvas

Nail Love: Coral Reef

The pop I needed to brighten up my monochromatic outfits.

Colour: ‘Coral Reef’ – applied 2 coats to get the full opacity.

Brand: Moov Cosmetics – it’s so long-lasting and they’re a vegan, 7-free nail polish. Ever since my skin got super sensitive, I’ve been only using vegan nail polishes.

Where to purchase: I got it at Whole Foods or you can get it online here.

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Have a great weekend!

MyBlancCanvas

Lace Cami & Loose Cardi

The warm weather can’t come soon enough! Even though it’s May, it’s still been so chilly here in Toronto. Seems like I’m always living in layers no matter what season it is because you can never be too sure when it comes to the Canadian weather! I came across Jean Wang’s (from Extrapetite.com) Insta story when she shared these two pieces from Abercrombie & Fitch. I haven’t shopped at A&F since I was a kid and it definitely took me by surprise. I love how versatile they are and you know I’m all about versatility.

The lace cami is such a staple and can be worn on its own or with a cardi whether you want to tuck it in or leave it out. I got this in the small because I wanted it to be a looser fit and liked it so much that I recently got two more in the satin and chiffon finish as well. For the cardigan, it is in such a soft, cozy fabric and the boxy shape makes it easy to layer on with various different outfits. This top is quite cropped so I went for the medium size so it gave a bit more length.

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Lace Cami : Abercrombie  Clipdot (small)  |  Satin (x small)  |  Chiffon (x small)

Loose Cardi: Abercrombie Cozy Button Up Top (medium)

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I bought these two items before my trip to Jamaica and wore the cami with two different outfits. I’ll be sharing some photos from my trip shortly along with the outfits that I brought with me. Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

MyBlancCanvas

KNOTTED SEQUIN SKIRT

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Happy Holidays!

It’s been so nice to take a little break over the holidays to spend time with family, friends and just let myself have some ‘me’ time. I’ve even been detoxing from social media too! How is 2019 right around the corner? Where did 2018 go? This year truly was a busy one and it flew by.

If you’re still looking for a NYE party outfit tomorrow or for the holiday parties that just couldn’t be squeezed into the last weeks of 2018, here’s a skirt that I love from Zara (act surprised!). It’s now on sale for $49.99 so drop by your nearest Zara store to pick one up or order online if you don’t need it until the new year. It is full of tiny sequins and let’s be real,¬† who doesn’t love a little sparkle! Scroll down below to see how I styled this skirt in 3 different ways.

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Look #1: Party Hopper

This is a great day-to-night look as it’s appropriate for work and then at night, you can throw on a statement necklace to dress it up.

Statement Necklace: J.Crew  |  Crisp Dress Shirt: Frank & Oak (favourite dress shirt)  |  Black Tights: Rachel Tights  |  Chunky Heels: Aldo

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Khaki Green & Swiss Dots

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The holidays are upon us! I’ve got all my Christmas presents done and even my cards are written too so I’ve been getting the house ready for the holiday parties and figuring out my festive outfits.

During Black Friday, I came across this khaki green shirt from Zara that I thought was cute for the holidays. It has swiss dot details all over that makes it fun and I can also wear it throughout the year for work, going out or even between seasons as well. The material is so soft and the roominess makes the holiday feasting more manageable (this shirt hides it all!). I paired it with these stretchy Uniqlo white legging pants (they are so comfortable) which I don’t need to reiterate why I need to wear stretchy pants over the holidays. This white and green holiday-themed outfit is great for the party where you don’t want to go too over the top and they’re pieces you can wear more than just once a year.

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