#LoveMyHood East Toronto Neighbourhood Guide Sneak Peek

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LoveMyHood

I feel so grateful to live in a city rich and diverse in culture and with so many neighbourhood pockets, each so different and unique. I’ve lived in many areas of Toronto and in other cities all over the world, but recently I’ve been calling Leslieville home with my love. The area really has that “neighbourhood” feel and we enjoy the fact that our fave spots are within walking distance. With my busy lifestyle, I really appreciate anything that makes my life easier. Some days get so hectic with what seems like a million meetings, events and other commitments. This means I generally turn to easy basics that can be mixed and matched and see me through the entire day. This is one of the reasons I love Bench so much. Simple, oversized tees, classic sweatshirts and hoodies, outerwear plus cozy sweats that I love to wear with my custom Nike Huaraches.

LoveMyHood

LoveMyHood

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LoveMyHood

LoveMyHoodPhotography by Danielle Reynolds (@daniirey)

Since my move, I have been asked about some of the places I frequent in my new hood, so I am going to be teaming up with Bench Canada for their #LoveMyHood campaign next week to show you guys just how cool the east side is with all the details on my fave spots and staple pieces from Bench. Stay tuned!

Posted on by Sasha in FASHION, LIFESTYLE, UNCATEGORIZED Leave a comment

Hudson’s Bay Lifestyle Collaboration: 5 Winter Skin Care Solutions

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As seasonal temperatures take a nose dive, so does our skin’s moisturize levels. I am a firm believer that our skincare routine should change each season or during drastic temperature changes. While in Mexico earlier this week, my skin maintained a heavenly, dewy glow almost on it’s own but since my return only 48 hours ago, my skin has already returned to it’s lacklustre state. After living through more winters than I would like to admit, I finally got my winter skin care routine down to a science that consists of a few fool proof tips and cult fave products from Clinique found at The Bay.

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1. Maximizing your moisturizer is one of the keys to supple skin and this begins with proper cleansing and clearing away dead skin cells. It is imperative to have a cleanser that not only removes dirt and residue but doesn’t strip away moisture from the skin. The combination of Clinique’s Foaming Sonic Facial Soap and the brand’s Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush works wonders and prepares your skin for some exfoliation.

2. Clear away dead skin cells. They can actually stop moisturizer from sinking into your skin. Buff your face gently bi-weekly with a mild exfoliant like Clinique’s Exfoliating Scrub or bead scrub of your choice.

3. Apply lotion and moisturizers on damp skin. I used to think this was just an urban skin care myth but did you know you have a three minute window to apply in order to achieve best results? I read this little fact a few years ago and turns out it actually does work. Waiting any longer than that and the moisture begins to disappear from the skin before you can lock it in. During the winter months I don’t play around when it comes to moisturizing. Besides their iconic 3 Step System (which I religiously use during the summertime), Clinique is known for two moisturizers that go the extra distance; Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief   – a light gel that plumps skin with hydration for a full 24 hours and Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydration – a rich, oil free cream gel for dryer skin types. Also great when skin is extra dehydrated by air travel, indoor heating and dry climates.

HBNewYouPhotos by David A Pike for Hudson’s Bay

4. Don’t neglect your skin when your sleeping. It’s easier to think about our skincare during the hours we are awake, but how about when we’re sleeping? Nighttime is when our bodies, and subsequently our skin, does the most healing so why not give our faces some TLC while we get some shut eye. The Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask is brilliant. With it’s ultra creamy base, this penetrating night mask helps your skin replenish any moisture you lost during the day, plus builds reserves for the next day. I mean, who doesn’t want to wake up with glowing, dewy skin in the morning?!

5. Drink more water. We can only do so much with topical solutions. What we put inside our bodies is what matters most. There is still so much confusion as to how much water one should intake daily. Many like to just go with the regular rule of thumb of 8 of 8; meaning 8 glasses of 8 fluid ounces but over the years I have done extensive research on this topic and it’s turn out for women, we actually need 9-10 glasses a day. To stay on top of your intake, try to consume a glass every hour. Don’t wait until you are thirsty or parched, that means you are already dehydrated.

For more Beauty Bestsellers TheBay.com has a variety of product lines and brands for every skin type. For more lifestyle and beauty tips make sure to follow @HudsonsBay on social media or use the hashtag #HBNewYou.

Posted on by Sasha in UNCATEGORIZED Leave a comment

Hudson’s Bay Lifestyle Collaboration: Hearty Winter Recipes

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I think we’ve all had those days, or let’s be honest weeks, where the hours just seem to fly by. We are running around from meeting to meeting, picking and dropping of kids, chained to our computers trying to make yet another ridiculous deadline and barely have time to get around to eating, let alone cooking a healthy meal. Over the years I have learned the hard way how imperative it is to make this a priority because it’s the only way you will survive these kinds of super hectic days.

HBNewYou

Gone are the days where we need to slave over a stove for hours in order to prepare a hearty meal and as convenient as it is to purchase cold pressed juices from the store, you can do these things at home easier than you think. I love chilli’s, meatballs, and if I didn’t have to stay away from gluten 90% of the time I could eat risotto every single day. But I never had the time to make these things until now. A slow cooker, otherwise known as a crockpot, isn’t something I saw around my household growing up. My mother was a bit old school when she was in the kitchen and slaved in there for what seemed like hours to prep us well balanced meals. Let me just say a slow cooker, is a gift from above. The Mister and I are still finding it hard to believe how easy it is to prepare some of our favourite foods and trust me when I say the dishes prepared in this Kitchenaid Architect Slow Cooker yields the juiciest and most flavourful foods imaginable.

HBNewYou

HBNewYou

Although slow cookers do majority of the preverbal “heavy lifting”, cooking this way still requires some prep. For instance, meats and fish need to be browned or seared on the stove top first, veggies need to be washed, cut and diced. But seriously, after everything goes into the cooker and the temperature and timer have been set, it literally does the rest. This means you are free to carry on with your day, going to the office, working out at the gym and the other 101 things you do in a day. Anywhere from 5-10 hours later, your arriving home to a delicious home cooked meal.

Some other amazing benefits of using a slow cooker at home:

Easy Clean-Up: With the exception of a cutting board, utensils and perhaps a pan for browning, you’ll only be cleaning one pot.

Reduced Energy Usage: Crock pots use substantially less energy than a conventional oven.

Useful Year Round: We usually associate slow cookers with comfort food in the winter, but they are really great to use all year round and during the summer it can eliminate the need to use the over, which can generate unwanted heat making your house hotter.

Whether or not you’re following a Paleo diet, this chill recipe is to die for. Just prep the ingredients and let the slow cooker work it’s magic!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. of ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, both diced
  • 1 cup of carrots, finely diced
  • 1 cup of celery, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • (1) 28-ounce can of crushed or stewed tomatoes
  • (1) 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • (1) 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. of chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. of oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. of basil
  • 2 tsp. of cumin
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of cayenne

Garnish (Optional but highly recommended)

  • About 4 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 or 2 avocados, diced

Instructions:

  1. Sauté onions and garlic together in a large saucepan over medium heat
  2. Add in ground beef (or turkey) to the saucepan and cook just until browned. Drain excess fat
  3. Transfer the cooked onions, garlic and meat to your crockpot/slow-cooker
  4. Add all the above vegetables and spices (except garnish ingredients) to the crockpot
  5. Give the pot a good stir
  6. Set crockpot to LOW, cover, and slow cook for about 6 hours
  7. Spoon into individual bowls. Garnish with crumbled bacon and avocado slices
  8. Serve hot and enjoy!

HBNewYou Paleo Chili

 

 Winter Juicing Recipes

HBNewYou Juicing Recipes

The winter months can wreak havoc on our bodies – you name it; skin, energy and most importantly immune system. Besides nourishing my body with the right foods, I also add additional nutrients by pressing my own juice at home. This is the optimal time to experiment with juicing recipes if it’s something you’re in to as we are not in the season for summer produce. Whether you’re an avid juicer or just a beginner, Breville’s Juice Fountain Compact Juicer gets the job done. It’s extra wide 3 inch chute cuts down juicing time because it eliminates the need to finely chop fruits and veggies prior to juicing. And the bonus, it resembles effortlessly for a super easy clean up.

HBNewYou

HBNewYou Juicing Recipes

When people think of juicing, one often thinks of the standard green or beet based juice, but theres a whole world of other options you can try out at home that I tested out with the Hudson’s Bay team that are a tasty departure from your average juice blend. If you don’t mind tartness, you will love the “Hudson” fondly named after the HBC brand…

HBNewYou Juicing Recipes

The “Hudson” Ingredients:

  • 1 Large apple, rinsed and halved
  • 1 Large pear, rinsed and halved
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cranberries, rinsed

Our “We The North” blend is a unique mix of root veggies that turns into a creamy, frothy concoction that has a little kick thanks to the ginger.

“We The North” Ingredients:

  • 3 Medium carrots, rinsed
  • 1 Small parsnip, rinsed
  • 1 Medium apple, rinsed and halved
  • 1/2 Small sweet potato, rinsed
  • One 1-inch knob ginger, smashed

Even though our “Chic Canuck” is simple, it’s still power packed and it’s a juice that you can make at home even when you are low on groceries.

The “Chic Canuck” Ingredients:

  • 6 Medium or 4 large carrots, rinsed
  • 2 Oranges, halved and juiced into a glass using a reamer

HBNewYou Juicing RecipesPhotography by: David A. Pike

Shop the rest of my kitchen must-haves from The Bay Le Creuset Soup Bowl // Le Creuset Bowls // Kitchenaid 14 Piece Knife Set

Hudson’s Bay is your one stop for just about anything you need to complete your home while also making every day tasks a bit more easy. Head to TheBay.com right now to view the retailer’s household collections and to check out The Home Sale” for everything you need to make your house a home. Make sure to follow @HudsonsBay on Instagram and Twitter for more house wear inspiration and get more of our tips by following the conversation on social using the hashtag #HBNewYou.

Posted on by Sasha in FOOD, HEALTH & WELLNESS, LIFESTYLE Leave a comment

Los Cabos Travel Series: Mind, Body, & Soul Rejuvenation

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Los Cabos Series

Most think of vacations as a time to become a complete sloth, to eat and drink just about everything in sight and lay out until their skin colour is at least three shades darker than when they deplaned the aircraft at their destination. By no means is this considered a bad thing. Heck, I yearn for a couple days of nothingness from time to time, but there are a distinct few who look at their vacations as a strategic retreat where they can undergo a complete mental and physical overhaul, where luxury and comfort is not compromised. If you happen to fall within this niche category of travellers, you need to add Los Cabos to your bucket list.

Los Cabos

I recently crossed this dreamy destination off my bucket list and to be honest, I loved it so much I am heading back at the end of the month. Most, including myself until my visit, confuse this luxe locale with Cabos San Lucas, which has more a reputation for it’s clubs and party atmosphere. Los Cabos though is what I would consider it’s older, more sophisticated sister. The destination is referred to as “Lands End” for being situated at the tip of the southern Baja California Peninsula. Known for the warmth of it’s people, mind blowing food and deep rooted heritage, it’s varying landscapes of desert, sea and mountains also keeps visitors coming back for more.

For the Fitness Obsessed, Well Heeled Traveller

Esperanza Resort

For me, the dream vacation would consist of equal parts fitness, fun and relaxation. If you’re a Type A personality who takes their food, workouts and recovery seriously, Esperanza Resort is Mecca. Part of the boutique luxury hotel company, Auberge Resorts Collection, this unique property has managed to find the perfect balance between pure leisure and a variety of physical activities designed to challenge all fitness levels. Esperanza’s state-of-the-art fitness facilities allow guests to enjoy daily complimentary classes – everything from Beach Bootcamp to TRX, to Sunrise Yoga to a private running concierge service and everything in between. They take their programming so seriously, the hotel has created a “Trainer-in-Residence” program where they feature renowned guest fitness instructors from the best gyms and studios across the US. No matter your level or goals, this hospitality gem’s dedicated staff can customize a bespoke wellness experience to suit your needs.

Esperanza Resort

Esperanza Resort

Esperanza Resort

Part of this experience involves an exceptional culinary experience to accompany your desired workout regimen. With ingredients from local fishermen and farmers, Esperanza Resort’s Cabo dining will knock your socks off. For the foodie, Cocina del Mar’s sea-to-table fare will have you thinking you’re in heaven. Looking for an interactive food experience? There’s hands-on cooking classes with Resident Executive Chef Gonzalo Cerda and more much.

Esperanza Resort

Esperanza Resort

Esperanza Resort

Esperanza Resort

Esperanza Resort

Esperanza Resort

With all the fitness, activities, available excursions and phenomenal dining, you can only expect Esperanza wants it’s guests to be able to rest and rejuvenate – enter The Spa at Esperanza. Focusing on spiritual well-being, stress reduction, detoxification and revitalization, this world renowned sanctuary is sure  to restore your body to it’s intended, natural state. Highly trained staff turn to healing agents indigenous to the area to create treatments tailored to clients specific health and wellness needs. And if that’s not enough, there is no way you cannot sleep like a King or Queen in any of the property’s accommodations. With suite options ranging from 900 sqft casitas (starting around $2,500 USD per night) to Villas and Residences up to 4,000 sqft (approximately $11,000 USD per night) guests can expect that no luxurious detail is overlooked. Offering expansive layouts, indoor/outdoor living spaces, oversized bedroom and washrooms, infinity hot tubs or pools, plus full concierge or butler service, it comes as no surprise that Hollywood’s A-List chooses Esperanza as their favourite private getaway in Los Cabos. For more information or to book online, head to Esperanza.AubergeResorts.com.

Affordable Luxury for the Whole Family

Hilton Los Cabos

Hilton hotels are known globally for their first-rate yet affordable, family friendly facilities. After being severely damaged in the hurricane back in 2014, The Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort re-opened to both first time and returning guests. Situated on one of my favourite stretches  along the Sea of Cortez in Los Cabos, the Hilton boasts beautiful vistas from every single corner of the property. With six dining options plus 24 hours of in-room dining service, guests can enjoy the amazing pool views with farm-to-fork brekkie (my fave) or sea-to-table dinner at El Meson; sip from Cabo’s largest tequila collection inside Azul, feast on regional Italian cuisine at Vela or grab comfort food and bites from one of the various poolside grills. If you have food restrictions or prefer healthy options; you need not worry here. With plenty of options on the menus, those with even the pickiest of palettes will find something that will have you eager for the next meal.

Hilton Los Cabos

If relaxing poolside all day isn’t your thing, the Hilton is the place to be. However, laying out by one of their two deluxe pools isn’t too bad of idea here because the hotel has a pool concierge service that comes by to mist you with Evian, clean your sunnies and even provide you with iPods in case you need tunes while you sunbathe.

Hilton Los Cabos

You can discover so much of the Baja Peninsula’s beauty by staying at Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort. December to March is whale watching season and the optimal time to see these beautiful animals close-up. The resort gives guests access to an amazing whale watching safari but if you keep your eyes on the waves, you can actually see them from the hotel’s oceanfront view guest rooms, the restaurants and infinity pools.

Cabo Adventures

Cabo Adventures

Cabo Adventures

Cabo Adventures

If you’re the adventurous type, this could possibly be the vacation of your dreams. The Hilton’s concierge is always eager to help guests plan world class excursions that is very likely to be the highlight of any visitor’s vacation; think dolphin swim programs, outdoor zip lining, flyboarding, mountain bike tours, sailing, outback tours, camel safari’s and much more via Cabo Adventures. My choice of adventure was mountain biking through Cabo’s outback, which probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to most of you. Only a 30 minute drive from Cabo’s city centre, we ventured to Rancho San Christobal, a protected reserve overlooking the majestic Pacific. Our amazing tour guide led us through a stunning ride down cactus-lined tracks to a gorgeous hidden beach where the views literally took my breath away. Along our guided tour, our guide educated us about the area’s amazing flora and fauna plant life with natural healing properties, chilled with some camels, and visited the secluded habitat for baby turtles. Post ride, we headed to Rancho San Christobal’s “Casa Tipica” for the most flavourful and natural Mexican meal and tequila.

Hilton Eforea Spa

Hilton Eforea Spa

Eforea Spa

The only way to follow that kind of excursion was a full day at the Hilton’s Eforea Spa. Eforea takes relaxation practices from around the world to create a unique concept for it’s clients. But of course, honouring it’s Mexican heritage, the spa draws on native rituals and local ingredients, paired with traditional spa menu offerings. And if that’s not enough, guests can further customize their treatments by choosing natural herbs from the spa to be infused into their massages, facials or body treatments. Have kiddies with you on your stay? Being a parent doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some relaxation too. Here, children can enjoy the Cabo Kids experience at Eforea with kid friendly treatments and spa services. Rates per night start at only $319. For more information or to book online head to HiltonLosCabos.com.

For the Spiritual Wanderluster

Hacienda Encantada

For those who care less about catching sun rays or going on excursions and prefers to explore once in a lifetime spiritual experience, trying a Temezcal at Hacienda Encantada must be on your bucket list. I’ve had a lot of alternative spa treatments in my day, but until last November I had yet to experience anything quite like this before. Temazcal is a native health ritual that originated hundreds of years ago in Central America and Mexico. It’s direction translation, which stems from the native Nahuatl language means “House of Steam” and in this instance the translation is not an understatement.

Hacienda Encantada Temazcal

A Temazcal is a tiny stone chamber resembling a dome where super hot stones are placed in a hole in the centre on a brick. To create extra heat and steam, the hot stones are splashed with water infused with several healing herbs. One of the first things I discovered about these treatments is that when people enter the chamber, the environment replicates that of a mother’s womb resulting in a very powerful physical and mental experience for those partaking in the session.

Hacienda Encantada

What makes the Temazcal so unique is that it incorporates all four elements: earth, fire, wind and water – combined creates a powerful healing process that has been known to treat everything from arthritis, liver issues, circulatory problems, bronchitis, prostate issues while also reliving stress, muscle tension and most importantly negative energy; leaving you feeling so energized and refreshed.

Hacienda Encantada

Hacienda Encantada

Prior to entering the Temazcal, we were saved to clean our energies and bowed down just in front the entryway before stepping in. Inside, we were asked to sit or lay down in the extremely close quarters. There was only four of us during this session and it felt that one extra person would have made it too crammed but apparently often times there can be up to 20-25 adults inside at one time. For close to two hours we sweated profusely as the two leaders sang songs and started engaging conversations asking each of us what we would like to let go of both physically and mentally during the treatment. I am a lover of dry saunas but I had never felt this kind of heat before in my life and didn’t think I could make it through at first. But the process forced me to let go and to concentrate on my breathing to relieve my anxiety. Half way through, aloe vera was passed around for us to use the jelly to scrub our bodies down. We happily used ice cubes, which barely stood a chance, to wash the aloe jelly residue off our bodies.  After some closing meditation, our 90 mins of sweating was over and we excited the Temazcal feeling mentally cleansed and physically rejuvenation. For more on Hacienda Encantada’s Temezcal treatment check out HaciendaEncantada.com.

I left my heart in Cabo in November and was compelled to see what more this magical place has to offer. Stay tuned as I will be heading back this month on a culinary adventure. To learn more about Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas and surrounding areas head to VisitLosCabos.Travel.

Posted on by Sasha in HEALTH & WELLNESS, LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL Leave a comment

Quick and Clean Post Workout Fuel

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HBNewYou
It’s shocking how many people overlook the importance of nutrition when it comes to overall wellness and weight loss. Truth be told, what we put in our mouths is more crucial than the time we put in the gym. One of the most common questions I get asked is, “what should I eat post workout that won’t cancel out the calories I just burned?”. Actually, this may be the best news you will hear this month but you you can’t cancel out calories you just burned off during a workout. When you work out, your body burns fat to be used as energy. If you eat right after your workout, those calories won’t be used to replace the burned body fat. Truth be told, your body only stores food as body fat when it doesn’t have anything else to do with the extra calories you eat. Post workout, your body needs to start restoring and repairing itself from your training, so in other words, it needs the calories.

HBNewYou

Your body uses the protein you intake to repair and build the muscles that were broken down during your tough workouts. Eating immediately post workout has a few other benefits. The calories you ingest will be used by your body automatically instead of being stored as fat. Eating after a workout can also increase your body’s insulin sensitivity or its ability to use carbohydrates, which is super important for weight loss.

What I eat after I workout depends on how vigorous the exercise was and at what time of the day. Sometimes, if it’s very early in the morning I may not have a huge appetite, where a protein packed shake and a cold pressed juice will do the trick or if it’s later into the day or evening, my body craves something a bit heavier. Here’s some easy options you may want to incorporate into your post workout routine.

The Go-To Salad: Belmonte Raw’s Moroccan Kale Salad

HBNewYouThe above shot at Belmonte Raw for Hudson’s Bay by David A. Pike. Wearing Lole Women

When my time is limited post workout, I have several options close to Equinox located in “The Path” (or what I refer to as Toronto’s underground city). It’s kind of the best. Retail shops, liquor stores, restaurants, everything you could ever need and want without ever having to go outside into the freezing cold. My friends at Belmonte Raw recently opened a location there that services the Financial District and within 5 minutes I can scoop up one of my fave salads to go without skipping a beat. But when I have a little more time, I like to prepare something at home where I can also have the option of adding some sort of protein to the salad; tuna, salmon, chicken or steak; like this colourful Rainbow Chopped Salad (shown here without protein).

Rainbow Chopped Salad

Ingredients: 

1 large head romaine lettuce, cored and chopped

1 head red cabbage, thinly sliced

1 handful of parsley, stemmed and finely chopped

1 apple, chopped into cubes

1 asian pear, chopped into cubes

1/4 cup wakame soaked for 15 minutes, rinsed and drained

1 sheet nori, cut into thin strips

1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets

1 cup of pomegranate seeds

1 avocado, peeled and sliced into cubes

1/2 cup of dried apricots diced finely

1.2 cup of sunflower seeds (optional)

3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons of olive oil

salt and pepper and your choice of protein (fish, chicken or steak) to taste

*Yields 4-6 servings 

Directions: Don’t feel you have to use this exact recipe. Feel free to remove or add ingredients as you see fit. You can think of this as the ultimate bowl of nutrient dense goodness. Add the simple vinaigrette or your choice of dressing, toss everything together and let marinate for at least 15 minutes before eating. SSFitTip: Make before your workout so you can devour right after your sweat sesh.

HBNewYou

I don’t think I’ve met a smoothie I didn’t like. I mean, what’s not to love right? Quick to make, you can pack in tons of nutrients, usually on the sweeter tasting side, making it enjoyable to drink. It’s almost impossible to get the recommended amount of folic acid from greens, so blending and juicing dark leafy green veggies like kale and spinach makes things a bit easier. Even those who don’t like the taste of green based smoothies, will love this Stevia-Sweetened Green Tropical Smoothie.

HBNewYou

Ingredients:

1/2 frozen banana

1 medium tangerine, peeled

1.5-2 cups of coconut water, preferably from young coconuts but bottled is fine

2 cups of kale, chopped

1.2 cup of frozen pineapple

8-10 drops of Sweet Leaf tangerine stevia

*Makes 1-2 large drinks

Directions: Mix all of the ingredients in a high speed blender, like a Vitamix, until smooth.

HBNewYou

If it wasn’t considered to be ridiculous, I could easily eat breakfast food for every single meal. There’s always been a special place in my heart for pancakes, crepes and french toast, but for the most part when you eat them at restaurants they aren’t the healthiest. I have come determined to find or create healthy versions of my favourite meals this year and these Red Quinoa Pancakes are pretty delish.

Ingredients:

2 organic, free ranged eggs

2 cups of coconut or almond milk

1.5 teaspoons of lemon juice

4 tablespoons of coconut oil

1.5 cups of flour (I prefer to use unbleached wheat or spelt flour as a healthier alternative)

1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1 teaspoon of sea salt

2 cups of red quinoa, cooked

*Makes 20-24 pancakes

Directions: Place milk in a small bowl and pour in the lemon juice. Stir once and let sit for 5 minutes. Place flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix together. Place eggs in a mixing bowl and beat with a wire whisk. Add the coconut oil, dry ingredients and milk to the eggs and mix until combined. Add the quinoa to the batter and mix until combined (make sure to not over mix). Head griddle to medium-medium/high and grease with coconut oil. Pour batter onto the hot griddle (roughly 1/4 cup per pancake) and allow to cook for a minute or so, or until the top of the pancake has bubbled and the sides are cooked. Flip pancake over and finish cooking on the other side for another 30 seconds. Add desired fruit or other toppings and your fave syrup.

HBNewYou

When I workout later into the day, specifically in the evening, I finish feeling absolutely famished. If I don’t find something healthy and filling right away, it can lead to danger. I like to eat my dinner early so I need something that’s healthy and that will keep me satisfied until the next morning.Whether your a vegan or not, you must try this Green, Clean Lasagna with Kale Marinara Sauce.

Ingredients: 

olive oil cooking spray (for the baking dish)

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 yellow onion finely chopped

4 cups of sliced cremini mushrooms

2 cups of shredded lacinato kale leaves

2 cups part skim-ricotta cheese

3 cups of homemade kale marinara (recipe below)

6 no boil lasagna sheet noodles

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 ̊F. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil cooking spray and set aside. In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and shredded kale, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly. Put the ricotta cheese in a large bowl, and, using a spatula, gently fold in the cooled mushroom-kale mixture until completely incorporated. Assemble the lasagna

Using the prepared baking dish, assemble the lasagna in six layers as follows: 1 cup Homemade Kale Marinara, spread evenly; 3 lasagna noodle sheets (arranged in a single layer); 3⁄4 cup of the kale-mushroom-and ricotta mixture, spread evenly. Repeat the layering a second time, then top with the remaining kale-mushroom-and ricotta mixture, and finish with the grated Pecorino or Romano on top. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven, on the middle rack, for about 25 minutes.

After 20 minutes have passed, remove the foil from the baking dish and move the baking dish to the top rack. To finish, bake, uncovered, for another 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how you love your lasagna finished. Remove the lasagna from the oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Ingredients for Kale Marinara Sauce:

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped finely

5 garlic cloves, finely minced

Two 28-ounce cans of unsalted organic crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup of fresh oregano

1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 cup of finely julienned lacinato kale

Directions:

In a large stockpot, warm the extra-virgin olive oil over low heat. Add the diced onion and cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes on low heat. Add the crushed tomatoes and fresh oregano leaves and give the sauce a good stir. Cook on low for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When the sauce has reduced and thickened, finish with the sea salt, balsamic vinegar, and julienned kale. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes and serve or use in recipes as needed.

HBNewYouELXR Juice Photography by Danielle Reynolds

Cold pressed juices post workout can help your training through assisting you to stay hydrated and also offers essential nutrients to support muscle development, strength, and provides nutrients which can help reduce oxidation and inflammation due to strenuous exercise. Juicing is also ideal to alkalize your body after a heavy workout. The most significant thing to remember after a workout is that you have to get the vital nutrients back into your body in the easiest and fastest way possible. Then afterwards, have a meal which has fiber. I always turn to ELXR Juice Lab to nourish me with their cold pressed juices.

Post workout, my go-to’s are usually the Pina Vida). This refreshing blend assists with muscle recovery, it’s also an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidizing while providing an energy boost. Other faves is the brand’s Second Base; packed with tons of vitamins and minerals, Beta Rush because of it’s energizing properties that give me the extra push to get through the rest of my day and Support Group for it’s ability to stabilize blood sugar levels.

HBNewYou

There’s no better time like now to cleanse and detox. Want to start your new year with a 1, 3, or 5 day juice cleanse? Use my promo code “So Sasha” when you order your cleanse package from ELXRJuiceLab.com to receive 15% off your order.

For more lifestyle tips and style inspiration, make sure to follow @HudsonsBay on Instagram and Twitter or use the hashtag #HBNewYou for more of our wellness collaboration.

Posted on by Sasha in FITNESS, FOOD, HEALTH & WELLNESS, LIFESTYLE Leave a comment

Hudson’s Bay Lifestyle Collaboration: Street Friendly Activewear

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HBNewYour

Although I’m frequently doing checks and balances throughout the calendar year in regards to setting goals and making sure I stay on track to attain them, there’s something about the beginning of a new year that’s always extra special. It’s filled with so much hope and excitement of both the unknown and what’s to come. A few years ago I got in the habit of writing down my goals for the upcoming year on December 31st. Funny enough, when I started SoSasha.com I created a dream list of brands I wanted to work with and I’ve been extremely fortunate to collaborate with almost all of them. Until 2015, there were only a few that I had not yet knocked off my list and Hudson’s Bay, Canada’s iconic heritage department store, was on this short list. So naturally I was thrilled when they asked me to share some personal tips and tricks that I have up my sleeve to keep me inspired and motivated to achieve my overall wellness goals in 2016. For the rest of the month of January, you will discover what keeps me going from recipes, helpful fitness related apps and devices, beauty secrets, my go-to pieces for outdoor winter running plus my favourite workout and athleisure looks that get me to and from the gym in style. The timing couldn’t be better as Hudson’s Bay has just recently launched their active wear shop online.

HBNewYou

HBNewYou

HBNewYouLole Look: Kavita Cross Back Top // Printed Running Tight // Java Jacket // Deena Duffle Bag

During the winter months, I have a tendency to dress in more muted or dark colours. Most likely a reflection of my mood due to the dropping temperatures. I’ve decided to shake things up a bit and jump on this “New Year, New Me” bandwagon, so I am trying to take a brighter approach to my workout wear this winter (pun intended), which you may have noticed as of late on Instagram. I may have actually gone from one extreme to the next, but I have added a few new killer tights to my collection; think bold and colourful patterns that can put energy in anyone’s step, no matter how gloomy and cold it is outside. My styling tip…when getting a bit crazy with prints on the lower half of your body, remember to keep it super simple up top. I usually opt for solid coloured bras and tops in white, grey or black in order to not compete with the pants.

HBNewYou

HBNewYou

HBNewYou

HBNewYou

HBNewYouPhotography by David A. Pike for Hudson’s Bay

Adidas Look: Originals Mosc Printed Leggings // ClimaHeat Marled Zipped Hoodie // Aeroknot Burnout Tank // Arianna III Running Shoes 

 Need more tights-piration? Here’s a few more of my faves that can be found at Hudson’s Bay : Nike Dri-FIT Legendary Engineered Lattice Tights // Reebok Graffiti Yoga Tights // Stella McCartney Activewear Tights // YAS Graphic Cut and Sew Leggings

Head to TheBay.com for more legging and tights options and to preview the rest of Hudson’s Bay active wear collection. Make sure to follow @HudsonsBay on Instagram for more active wear trends and get more of my tips by using the hashtag #HBNewYou

Posted on by Sasha in FASHION, FITNESS, HEALTH & WELLNESS, LIFESTYLE Leave a comment

Home for the Holidays inside Shangri-La Toronto’s Winter Wonderland Suite

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ShangriLa Winter Wonderland

There is something very special about Shangri-La hotels. The Toronto property is one I frequent quite often whether it be for drinks in the lobby bar with friends, a meal at their signature restaurant Bosk, a leisure afternoon enjoying their famed high tea service or for a quick staycation when I’m in need of some R&R. All the guest rooms and suites are roomy and well appointed here but there is one suite that has a special place in my heart. The Garden Suite, which you may have seen covered here earlier this year, has become my “home away from home”. For the very first time, the suite has been transformed into a luxurious Winter Wonderland by the renowned design team at House & Home magazine and is the perfect oasis for visiting family members from out of town or the perfect gift to yourself, if you’re looking for our own personal retreat during this busy time of the year.

Winter Wonderland Suite Living Room

Close up of living room Winter Wonderland Suite

After an intense travel schedule over the last couple of months, my little family and I checked into the Shangri-La for some quality time and relaxation. Even with so much going on around the city during this time of year, we enjoyed just lazing around in our robes, watching Netflix, and using the properties amazing amenities and facilities. As per usual, there was nothing overlooked during our stay. The Shang staff pays extremely high attention to detail and never fails to surprise me when they go the extra distance during my stays. Even our pup was set up with an oversized plush dog bed, beautiful feeding bowls and bottled water to ensure she had the comforts of home.

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Close up of master Bed in Winter Wonderland Suite

ShangriLa Winter Wonderland

ShangriLa Toronto

ShangriLa Winter Wonderland

Private Patio Winter Wonderland Suite

Decorated in just the around amount of holiday accents; including a collection of books and decor from Indigo’s holiday collection, classic wreaths, pine cones, icy hues, faux fur with hints of inspo from the Great White North, makes this the perfect space to get into the holiday spirit. Every square inch of this Winter Wonderland suite oozes comfort and style and designed to make you forget that you are not a home. With an oversized walk-in wardrobe, four poster bed, chevron wood floors – usually a favourite of guests staying here, a master bathroom that drips in natural sunlight with floor to ceiling cararra marble and a secondary full sized washroom; I can guarantee that this suite is nicer than most condos in Toronto.  And if 800 Sqft of living space inside wasn’t enough, the re-styled accommodations also boasts a large private patio overlooking central downtown and features hints of festive magic. With this mild winter weather, one could easily host their own mini holiday cocktail party under the stars or enjoy a hot-toddy alone with their special person:

We are thrilled to be partnering with House and Home and Indigo to decorate the hotel’s first ever Winter Wonderland suite” says Shangri-La Toronto General Manager Richard Cooke. “We see this collaboration as an opportunity to delight our guests with a one of a kind experience whilst providing the unique Asian hospitality we are known for throughout the world.”

Check out the video below to get some behind the scenes access into the creation of the Winter Wonderland suite by House & Home’s Joel Bray (Editorial Design Team) and Reiko Caron (Stylist for House & Home Online TV)…

One of my favourite things to enjoy when I’m home and have a day off is high tea at Shangri-La. From now until January 3rd, their tea service is extra special  with a “Nutcracker” themed menu where each delicious item reflects a different a part of the famed ballet production. You can expect all the usual high tea extravagances such as clotted cream, house-made berry jam and honey, to go with classic and warm candied ginger scones. The selection of finger sandwiches is just incredible with my personal faves being the roasted turkey with cranberry preserve on herb country bread, truffle poached egg salad on granary bread and the lobster with herb mayonnaise on brioche buns. All followed by delish Nutcracker inspired pastries. You don’t need to be a guest of the hotel to enjoy this afternoon treat and it’s the perfect add-on to a day of holiday shopping or after taking in the Nutcracker ballet across the street at the Four Seasons Performing Arts Centre.

Winter Wonderland Shangri La

Winter Wonderland Shangri-La TorontoPhotography by Teddy Chau and Nathalia Allen

Want a chance to experience a night in this heavenly oasis for yourself? Throughout the month of December, to celebrate the launch of the newly re-designed Winter Wonderland suite, The Shangri-La Toronto has created the “Wish Me A Winter Wonderland Stay” contest on Instagram for a chance to win a luxurious weekend stay in this signature suite, that also includes dinner for two at Bosk. To enter all you will need to is:

1) Follow @ShangriLaTo on Instagram

2) Post a photo of your “Winter must-haves” and tag @ShangriLaTO and use the hashtag #OasisAtShangriLa

*Contest ends December 21st, 2015. Click here for additional contest details and best of luck!

Current rate for the Winter Wonderland suite is $3,030 CDN and includes breakfast for two and valet. For additional information on the Shangri-La Toronto property, pricing, and availability, head to Shangri-La.com/Toronto or call 647-788-8888.

Posted on by Sasha in CONTESTS, HOLIDAYS, INSPIRING INTERIORS, LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL Leave a comment

Full Sized Luxury | The 2015 Jaguar XJL Sedan

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Jaguar XJL

I’ve been behind the wheel of many luxury cars; Porsche’s, Mercs, Range Rovers, Cadillac’s Audi’s, BMW’s – you name it, I’ve probably driven it. However, it’s been quite some time since I have been in one of Britain’s automotive icons. If you were to take a look at Jaguar’s current (and may I add pricey)  line-up of vehicles, you would understand the difficulties I had choosing my first test drive car from the luxury automotive manufacturer. I prefer to stay away from most brand’s “entry-level” cars, even though Jaguar’s version of this, the XF, appears to be anything but that, I opted to get acquainted with the pinnacle of Jaguar’s sedan portfolio, the 2015 XJL.

Jaguar XJL

The XJ series has been knocking about since 1968 and most versions of the vehicle looked relatively the same until roughly 15 years ago when the Ian Callum designed model was first introduced. While many car enthusiasts may have mocked the vehicle’s new modern design, it truly marked the rebirth of the brand. I had my loaner, the long wheelbase version of the full size XJ, for about a week. Just long enough to get attached and not want to return it back to it’s rightful owners. With the standard edition starting in and around $89,490, mine was the base XJL with AWD starting around $96,490. If you’ve seen this car anywhere on the road, you are well aware of the intimidating length of it’s stately exterior.  The standard version is big, approximately 17 ft, but this beauty had five more inches in both wheelbase and legroom, so you can only imagine the space in the rear. Unless your a Head of State living at 10 Downing Street or a British pop-star, chances are you won’t have the luxury of being chauffeured so you can experience the outstanding comfort of the rear cabin. But as a consolation prize, both the driver and passenger seats have it’s own luxurious perks. The centre stack features an 8-inch touchscreen that houses the vehicles’s infotainment system where you will find the Nav, climate and seat functions – heating, cooling and yes even massage options with five different programs and intensities. The latter without a doubt was the most welcome interior feature, that made long commutes in traffic much more bearable.

Jaguar XJL

Jaguar XJL

Other notable mentions that may have a consumer justify the sticker price; soft grain perforated leather seats, Meridian 825 watt surround sound system with 14 speakers including two subwoofers, blind spot monitors with Closing Vehicle Sensing and Reverse Traffic Detection via rear cam, soft grain heated steering wheel, rear coat hooks, electric rear window sun blinds and manual side sun blinds, JaguarDrive Control with winter and dynamic modes, rear air suspension, hydraulic power steering and much more.

Jaguar XJL

Jaguar XJL

What I’m Wearing: Hooded Wrap Coat courtesy of Sentaler // Distressed Skinny Denim courtesy of Paige Denim // Turtleneck (old) courtesy of Banana Republic // Toque courtesy of Cosure Clothing Company

So here’s the skinny, the XJL looks premium and drives super smooth but for those of you who geek out on more detailed power train info, you may be disappointed to learn the basic XJ only produces 340 hp and 332 lb/ft torque. I will admit, I was shocked when I discovered this however I had to kindly remind myself that this sedan isn’t intended to rival a 911 and does have many other visual and auditory pleasures for both the driver and passengers to enjoy. For those craving a bit more power, the next model in the line-up has a 470 hp supercharged 5.0 litre V8 engine and the XJR has a 550 hp supercharged V8 and can sprint to 100km/hr in just 4.6 seconds but brings with it a hefty price tag of $122,990. Also, the rear camera quality and the dated graphics in the infotainment system wasn’t exactly what I expected from a vehicle at this price point and doesn’t compare to the XTS, Cadillac’s luxury sedan, which is also equipped with 4G LTE wifi. The fuel economy was right around where I thought it would be and where ratings predicted at 14.7/9.6 per 100 ams (city/hwy). The XJ does come with Intelligent Stop/Start technology which turns off the vehicle when you’re stopped at lights or in traffic to help conserve some fuel, but I found myself wanting to turn off the option after all the stopping and starting during rush hour traffic.  Plus, I think it’s safe to say that anyone who purchases a $100k + vehicle won’t really be concerned with these little savings.

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 presetPhotography by Jillian Botting

That being said, the plush carpets, leather covered everything and copious amounts of wood trim made every single one of my passengers fall in love with the car almost immediately. And as someone who loves being behind the wheel, the AWD system and wheel mounted paddle shifters made this beautiful behemoth a pleasurable and engaging driving experience. To learn more about the XJ series and Jaguar’s portfolio of vehicles head to Jaguar.ca

Posted on by Sasha in AUTOMOTIVE Leave a comment

Sentaler | Canada’s New Leading Luxury Outerwear

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Sentaler

If you live in a city that has sub arctic temperatures between the months of November and April, chances are you take your outerwear very seriously.  I used to believe I had to sacrifice fashion for function to keep warm during the winter, until I was introduced to Canada’s luxury outerwear brand, Sentaler. Over the past few years I have seen Sentaler’s beautiful coats made from Peruvian Alpaca, on women all over the city and started to become intrigued about this little Canadian brand that has started to make a splash internationally.

Sentaler

Sentaler

Sentaler

Fast forward a couple year’s and I had a chance encounter with the beauty and brains behind the brand, Bojana Sentaler, this past summer. Funny enough, our paths did not cross at a fashion event, but rather on a track day at Mosport Racetrack with Cadillac, where I was learning to race cars and Bojana was filming a video feature for the luxury automotive company’s Dare Greatly campaign. Not too long after the event, we connected back in the city at the designer’s minimalist office. Here we chatted all things Sentaler and discovered our joint love for fashion and cars. It’s not often do I meet another young lady who admires cars as much as they do clothes. Or better yet, prefers to drive a manual stick shift over automatic transmission vehicle. Similar to myself, Bojanna finds parallels in vehicle design as she does with clothing, part of why she agreed to collaborate with Cadillac on Dare Greatly. The Dare Greatly campaign  sought out Canadian leaders in their field who dare to drive the world in their field and naturally she made the cut as a hot, emerging designer. Here’s a sneak peek at the designer’s story shot earlier this summer courtesy of Cadillac.

As part of a way to get out of the office and get better acquainted, I took the beautiful Toronto designer for a spin in the new Cadillac ATS V Coupe, the same vehicle we both had on the track back in June. Finding similarities in different areas of design has always intrigued me. It’s interesting that the same level of care Bojana takes creating her designs, is very similar to what Cadillac’s design team does with the vehicle’s interior. The cut and sew treatment of the interior’s leather is an element the team borrowed directly from the fashion industry.

Sentaler

Sentaler

Sentaler

Cadillac ATS V Coupe

SentalerAbove in Sentaler’s long coat with baby alpaca fur collar (limited edition) 

In 2009 Sentaler was born. But not from the fashion educated roots of most designers. Pre Sentaler, Bojana was worlds away in Dubai working on economic investment reports (yep you read that correctly). While living way out in the luxurious desert region, she had an opportunity to meet and chat with Karl Lagerfeld and this conversation left her so inspired that she had decided that she wanted to finally pursue her passion within fashion. After leaving Dubai, Sentaler then headed to South America where she came across the alpaca fibre and spent time in Peru learning all about the alpaca fabrics amazing qualities and how to design with it. “When I launched my first collection six years ago, I loved my product and truly believed in it. I wasn’t considering failure as an option because I was so passionate about what I was doing”.

SentalerSentaler’s Shawl Collar Poncho Wrap 

So why has Sentaler’s outerwear been gaining so much notoriety as of late? Personally, I think consumers have dabbled in quick and fast fashion for such a long time and have so much access to trendy fashion at high street stores but are coming to understand again the importance of a proper investment when it comes to classic and chic outerwear. These coats are far from a seasonal fad and one can last you a lifetime. However, if you ask the likes of “Suits” actress Meghan Markle, “Sex and the City’s” Kim Cattral, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau and yours truly, one Sentaler coat is just not enough. I am already plotting on what I am going to acquire next after getting the label’s uber functional hooded wrap coat in grey. Sentaler’s full collection is ultra versatile and there is literally a style that suits any body type and style preference. The thing I love the most is that each piece can also be toned down into a more casual look depending on what you pair with it. On another note, alpaca seems to be trending as of late. On a recent trip to Quebec City I visited an Alpaca farm and learned a bit more about these cute animals that produce such excess soft fur that is now being used for everything from socks, sweaters, gloves and jackets. Like most, I always thought wool was the warmest fabric but surprisingly alpaca is much warmer but lighter in weight, making it an easier fabric to wear during transitional seasons. Bojana uses only baby alpaca for her Sentaler jackets which comes from the first shearing of a young alpaca.  This is the softest and most desired fibre – which makes Sentaler coats so silky and soft to the touch.

SentalerSentaler’s Hooded Wrap Coat

The future is bright for Bojana and I am excited to see what 2016 has in store for this young and super talented woman that I am now lucky to call a friend. Busy filling stock and custom orders for the current season, Sentaler is also keeping herself busy designing her next collection citing that she draws most of her inspiration from her travels, “Inspiration comes from everything around me. And when I step away from my everyday work, my mind is free and my creative thoughts arise.”

SentalerPhotography by Danielle Reynolds

Sentaler’s fabulous collection can be found at Holt Renfrew locations across Canada, the team’s Toronto showroom and online, where she ships internationally – thank God! For more information on Sentaler, to view the entire collection and to purchase online head to Sentaler.com.

Posted on by Sasha in AUTOMOTIVE, FASHION, LIFESTYLE, WOMEN IN BUSINESS Leave a comment

How To Get “The Shot” with Mogo Money

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How To Get The Shot

I field many questions about what I do but for some reason as of late most of the intrigue is around my Instagram. It’s a bit, odd but it seems as though everyone, regardless whether they are in my industry or not, appears to be interested in curating the perfect “grid”. I wish I could say that it’s an effortless task and that not much thought goes into the images I post, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I mean, it does sound ridiculous but with Instagram now having more than 300 million users (roughly the population of the United States), there are some crazy super users such as myself, who go out of their way to create an aesthetically pleasing grid layout.

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Anna Bediones of AnnaBediones.com

How To Get The Shot

How To Get The Shot

Alyssa Garrison of RandomActsOfPastel.com

How To Get The Shot

Kirsy Lovett of KirsyLovett.com

My squad (who is also equally as obsessive about their Instagram content) and I recently attended Mogo Money’s first influencer event here in Toronto hosted by Christian Thompson of ChristianConfidential.com with one goal in mind – to capture dope motion shots at Skyzone Trampoline in collaboration with Kastor & Pollux. Who is Mogo? In short, a financial institution for our generation based out of Vancouver who is helping it’s customers become more conscious with their spending habits via pre-paid credit cards in addition to low interest rates for personal loans. Quite brilliant in my opinion that they are teaching younger folk to be fiscally responsible while still using their products. The best part about Mogo is #MogoPerks, a growing community where the brand has been introducing cool events, activations and other exclusive card holder benefits.

How To Get The Shot

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Vanessa Cesario of TheBrunetteSalad

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Christian Thompson of ChristianConfidential.com

Without getting too technical and obsessive, here are some of the basics for improving your Instagram grid:

1. Do NOT use the Instagram app to take your photos.

This sounds elementary but I see it more often than you may think. I actually cringe when I see someone attempting to capture an image through the app’s camera as it doesn’t have the same functions as your phone’s camera; such as “zoom” and the “grid feature” – both help you to compose your photo better. If you have an iPhone, try to deliberately underexpose your shots to counter against the phone’s tendency to blow out some parts of the image. Last but not least, within the phone’s camera, you are also able to play with the focus to create a greater sense of depth before posting to Instagram.

2. Pay attention to composition.

Sure, symmetrical images are really appealing but majority of images are symmetrical. You don’t have to limit yourself by putting your subject in the middle of the frame all the time. It can sometimes create a boring with no sense of direction or energy. Try thinking “outside the box” (no pun intended) and attempt the rule of thirds. This form of photography technique means the frame is broken up into evenly into three horizontal or vertical sections with the subject oriented within these imaginary lines – and you will be surprised it results in a well balanced frame.

3. Hire a photographer.

If you are looking to enter into this crazy world of blogging, what you need to understand right away is “Content is King”. Having amazing imagery is what sometimes can set you apart from your peers. Although I am pretty decent working with my iPhone camera, I do have to call on some heavy hitter photogs at times to help me execute a vision or concept – especially when movement is involved.

The Kastor & Pollux team understands this all too well and hired famed photography duo Othello Grey and Neva Wireko to shoot movement images of our crew as we bounced around at Skyzone, which was probably the most fun I have had in years. Please do me and yourself a favour and check out their respective Instagram’s immediately. They are brilliant. The right photographer can execute an image effectively by understanding how to use light and the surroundings to ensure you get the perfect photo. More importantly, their post work and editing can bring a photo from 0 to 100 real quick.

4. Learn to edit like a pro.

Speaking of editing…capturing a good raw photo is important of course but everything lies in the edit my friend. Yes, Instagram has had several updates over the last few years and have added editing options that you can use prior to posting, but please do not rely on these. Every good blogger has their go-to editing apps that they literally swear by, I sure do! It has taken me longer than I would like to admit to develop an editing formula to create the aesthetic you currently see on my grid. I prefer to post groups of images within the same tones and colours, leaning towards bright, clean and slightly de-saturated shots. My fave editing apps right now – 1) VSCO 2) Photoshop Express and 3) FaceTune and 4) Snapseed. VSCO is probably the most important in my editing arsenal because I also pre-plan my Instagram posts there. By mirroring my grid within VSCO, I can strategically plan what to post next for the most optimal aesthetically pleasing appearance.

5. Learn to love light.

Good light can actually do wonders, trust me! Even the most novice of photographers can produce a great image with natural light. The type of ideal lighting you need really depends on the type of image being shot and more importantly whether it’s a shot being taken indoors or outdoors. For example, with outdoor photography, you may hear of people speak of the “Magic Hour”  or the Golden Hour which refers to that sliver of time in the day around sunrise or sunset where your images are bathed in the golden glow from the sun. Just after sunrise and late afternoon before the sun sets are also ideal times of the day to capture epic images because the light is not too harsh.

Want to join in on cool events like this? Click here to become a #MogoPerks member

 

Posted on by Sasha in EVENTS Leave a comment
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