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Holiday Glam Inspired Beauty at Rexall

The holidays are right around the corner and I always find this season a good time to step out of my comfort zone when it comes to my makeup, to help get me in the festive mood. I’m a low maintenance girl. Do I feel more put together when I leave the house with beautiful makeup? Absolutely. Do I have time to spend an hour and a half to achieve a party ready look before leaving the house? Definitely not.

Rexall Inspired Beauty

I am lucky to be surrounded by some extremely talented makeup artists on a regular basis on set, like Plutino Group Artist Angie DiBattista, who has taught me that achieving this flawless holiday look can not only be done in a pinch, but you also don’t have to break the bank to do it. On a quest to see if Angie’s theory was right, I recently made a trip to Rexall to find products easily accessible and affordable to the masses to help create the perfect look for the holiday season party circuit. If you’ve never stepped inside one of Rexall’s Inspired beauty departments, do so immediately. I know it’s the best kept secret for many beauty bloggers in the city and now I know why! With a plethora of amazing brands with diverse products to appease women of all colours, I was like a kid in a candy store. I felt no pressure from staff as I took my time browsing and testing as many products as I needed and when I had questions on some of the brands I was less familiar with like NYX, the cosmetician on duty happily educated me and guided me in the right direction to find items that would help me achieve my desired look.

Holiday Glam in 30 Minutes

I usually keep things pretty minimal when it comes to my makeup day-to-day, focusing on creating clean/flawless skin, preferring a  neutral shade on my lips and a hint of colour on my cheeks. But there is no reason to play it safe during the holidays and now is my chance to experiment with learning how to do a subtle, yet sexy smoky eye and play up on the drama with a very bold lip.

Rexall Inspired Beauty

I pick up so many useful tips when I’m in the makeup chair.  To be honest, I’ve always been fearful of doing my own eye makeup. I have shaky hands making it a bit hard when applying colour to my eyelids. One of the smartest things I’ve learned from Angie is that when you’re going for a more dramatic eye, such as a smoky look, it’s always better to start with your eye makeup first, before doing your foundation. Yup, you can thank us later! In case you make any mistakes while smoking out your lids, you don’t have to worry about wiping off your foundation too and starting over. A simple, smoky eye is all I really wanted, knowing I was going to go big on my lip, and was easily achieved with two shadow pots from NYX in Haywire and Euphoria plus a brilliant two sided eyeliner from Pupa. It has a blender on one side, allowing even the most novice peeps like as myself, to smudge and blend like a professional. To round out the eye, I applied two layers of Vamp mascara, also from Pupa.

Rexall Inspired Beauty

For my skin, I turned to the ultimate creamy foundation from L’Oreal. Normally, I have to blend three foundations to get the colour just right for my pigmented skin, but with L’Oreal’s True Match Lumi, I only needed a small dollop of a tinted moisturizer mixed in, to give my skin a fresh, clean finish. It was the most expensive item out of everything I purchased but a solid polished look starts and ends with good skin.

Rexall Inspired Beauty

I have fallen in love with this season’s lip trends; deep merlot/burgundy colours and the matte finish. There were no shortage of these in Rexall’s Inspired beauty department but I fell madly in love with NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen. My new fave lippy, which actually works well with all skin tones, goes on a bit creamy however surprisingly dries totally matte. Best part, the tip of the brush is small enough to make it possible for anyone to apply precisely without the help of a lip liner.

Rexall Inspired BeautyPhotography by JessBaumung.com with MUA @AngieDib

Items purchased for my look…wait for the drumroll, came in under $80, which could have easily run me a few hundred if I had bought them at a luxury department store. Starting December 2nd, 2016, Rexall Inspired Beauty is giving you a chance to win 1 of 2 $2,000 Rexall Gift Cards this holiday season. Click here tomorrow to enter and find contest rules and regulations. Best of luck!

4 Simple Tricks to Stay Motivated When You Work Out Alone #TasteVectory

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s® Vector®. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you’ve just begun to work out or have been working out for years, there is one thing I’m sure everyone can agree on…it can be insanely challenging to work out alone. I am certain that more than half of the people that spend big bucks on trainers and pricey group classes do so because they need the motivation and accountability, not because they don’t know what they are doing.  Over the years I’ve learned some slightly tactical ways that not only help me avoid skipping solo workouts but also push me a bit more while doing them.

1. Find a Community Challenge:

Vector 21 Day ChallengePhotography by JessBaumung.com

Challenges are good. Finding a community is also good. Combining both is great motivation. I’ve seen both the Adidas and Nike Women community execute this so well over the years. One of my favourite aspects of social media is that other people’s posts can easily inspire you. You can discover new workouts, learn new recipes and even share your own progress if you want. In case you missed it,  I recently posted details regarding this summer’s Vector® Challenge which is perfect for those trying to stay on track with their solo workouts. The Vector® 21-day Challenge acts as a form of accountability in a way, as you must post an image of yourself on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook that shows how you push yourself physically or mentally using the hashtag #TasteVectory for 21 Days. Participating in the contest allows you to be eligible to receive Vector products delivered to your home for 21 days and also gives you an entry for the grand prize, a $1,000 fitness prize pack.

Vector 21 Day Challenge

*You can find full contest details at the end of this post.

2. Listen to Audiobooks or a Podcast:

It is much more easier to get bored on a relaxed, easy run than it is when you have an intense interval or speed workout. Even for those who don’t love running to music, you may be surprised at how many more kms you’re able to run when you are entertained by an entertaining podcast or an audiobook.

3. Make Whatever You Do To Exercise Your Favourite Thing:

If you find an activity you love that counts as exercise, you are almost guaranteed to not miss a workout. And sorry loves, just because you love shopping – it unfortunately doesn’t count as cardio. I always giggle to myself when people say they hate running but have started doing it and find they struggle to stay motivated. Isn’t it a no-brainer that you will find every excuse in the book to get out of doing something you hate? Working out is a bit like a job. Find something you love and you will want to do it everyday. Just because everyone seems to be running or doing crossfit, don’t feel pressured to follow others. You may resonate more with rock climbing, kayaking, aerial/acro yoga or cycling.

4. Create Goals:

It’s not rocket science and definitely nothing new. When you work out day in and day out on your own with no coach or trainer to push you, it’s super easy to fall into a slump. Goals are something we should be setting for ourselves in all aspects of our lives and fitness should be of no exception. They can be big or small but in the best-case scenario, you are setting both. You may have a goal to do 10 pull-ups in a row without assistance or stopping or a goal of running a distance race (half-marathon or marathon). Whatever sounds fun and challenging to you and will make you proud of your accomplishment, set that as your target goal.

Vector 21 Day Challenge

To be eligible for the Vector® Challenge and make sure your entry is counted, please make sure that you tag the appropriate brand handles (Instagram/Facebook @Vector and Twitter @Vector_Ca) and ensure your profile is “public” on the platform you are posting on. Winners for the grand and secondary prizes will be chosen at random from those properly using the hashtag for the 21 days. *Contest is open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec and ends September 5th. Click Try Vector®, Taste Vectory® for more detailed rules and regulations. Good luck!

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Join me in Vector’s 21 Day #TasteVectory Challenge

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s® Vector®. All opinions are 100% mine.

In case you missed it, I recently announced my involvement in the Vector® Challenge. If you did, you can catch the first post here. For those who have been following me for a while now, you already know that I just can’t say no to a challenge and in an effort to not do it alone, I am inviting you guys to do it with me.

Most of us are aware of the importance of goal setting, but in the real world with demanding careers, personal commitments, health issues, family, etc, it’s sometimes difficult to see them through. I am always open and honest about the issues I encounter trying to stay on track, as I too find it challenging at times, which is why I happily accept challenges like these when they present themselves.

Vector 21 Day Challenge

Last week I talked about how speed work and weight training somewhat intimidates me, but as they say, great things never come from comfort zones. As of August 1st, not only am I tackling both during the Vector® 21-day Challenge, I’m also incorporating them in a 2-a-day workout program consisting of both a workout and run. 

Vector 21 Day Challenge

Haven’t tried any Vector products before? Perhaps this challenge is the perfect way to get you acquainted with their ridiculously delicious Vector® Meal Replacement, energy bars and granola. The cereal, aka the “meal replacement in a bowl” is not only a great option for breakfast, but because it contains proteins, carbs plus 22 vitamins and minerals, it becomes the perfect snack option when you’re too busy when there is not enough time to make something to eat.

Vector 21 Day ChallengePhotos by JessBaumung.com

Participating is easier than you think. Simply post an image of yourself on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook every day with the hashtag #TasteVECTORY for 21 days. To ensure your entry is counted, please make sure that you tag the appropriate brand handles (Instagram/Facebook @Vector and Twitter @Vector_CA) and ensure your profile is “public” on the platform you are posting on. These pictures should show how you push yourself physically or mentally. Everyone participating in the challenge will automatically be entered for a chance to win the grand or secondary fitness prize packs valued at $1000 and $500 respectively. Winners will be chosen at random from those properly using the hashtag for the 21 days. *Contest is open to Canadian residents only excluding Quebec. Click Try Vector®, Taste Vectory® for more detailed rules and regulations. Good luck guys!

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2016 Lolë White Tour Toronto Giveaway

Yoga has come in and out of my life over the last several years and played an integral role in keeping me injury free as a tennis player, helped me on my road to recovery after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and has allowed me to find a connection with my mind, body and breath. Although my practice hasn’t been as consistent as I would like, there is one thing that remains the same  – every time I get back into it my first thought is always, “I should have never stopped” because I just feel so amazing afterwards.

Lolë White Tour

Through yoga you’re body becomes stronger, leaner and more flexible. Most see changes in terms of their body fat, are able to cope with stress better, learn to slow down and be more mindful, and let go of things that no longer serve them. And interestingly enough, the more more you become in tune with your mind and body, you actually begin to listen to your intuition and inner voice more often.

Lolë White Tour

I’ve tried many yoga studios in Toronto and definitely have my favourites that I hit up; Moksha Yoga, Misfit Studios, 889 Yoga, Chi Junky and believe it or not, the yoga classes at Equinox are pretty damn great…but there’s nothing like doing a flow outside, especially close to water.

Lolë White TourPhotography by Tristan O’Brien (@tristancobrien)

On Thursday July 28th, Lolë brings back their cult fave “Lolë White Tour” yoga event to Toronto at Exhibition Place. This is one of the most unique yoga events you will ever experience, where guests dress in all white and are guided through an incredible session at sunset dedicated to inner peace by some of the Toronto’s leading Yoga instructors. Tickets are not easy to come by but thanks to the Lolë team, I am able to give away a pair of tickets to one lucky reader. Entering the giveaway is easy…you must follow @LoleWomen on Instgram and leave a comment on my most recent Lolë post on my Insta account (@SashaExeter) letting me know why the practice of Yoga is important to you. The winner will be announced and contacted directly on Wednesday July 27th at 8pm. *Please note, contest is open to Toronto residents only. Good luck!

#LoleWhite #LoleWhiteTour 

#TasteVECTORY For 21 Days with Vector

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s® Vector®. All opinions are 100% mine.

Vector 21 Day Challenge

Some say you can form a new habit or break a bad one in just 21 days. This summer, Kellogg’s has created the Vector® 21-day Challenge to help motivate people to push them to be the best possible version of themselves. I personally can’t say no to a challenge, so I’m definitely in and I hope you are game to be apart of this too. It really doesn’t matter whether your running 100+kms a week or just getting of the couch to learn to run a 5k – this challenge can work for anyone.

I have a comfort level with certain activities and workouts, which are usually the ones I resort to on a weekly basis. I am human so there are a few things that intimidate me a bit when it comes to working out; like weight training and speed work on the track, so I am going to use this challenge to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I think we would all be surprised at what we are capable of, if we just pushed ourselves a little bit more.

Vector 21 Day Challenge

Vector 21 Day Challenge

If you’re down to join in on the Vector® 21 Day Challenge you will be given 21 days of Vector® products (meal replacements, cereal and/or bars) sent to you in the mail. Plus you will automatically be entered into a draw for a chance to win the fitness grand prize pack valued at $1,000 CAD and two secondary prize packs valued at $500 each.

Vector 21 Day ChallengePhotography by JessBaumung.com

So how do you participate in the challenge and become eligible to win any of these amazing prizes? To receive 21 days of tasty Vector® products all you need to do is post a picture of yourself on a social media channel of your choice (your personal Instagram, Vector’s Facebook or own Twitter account, which should include the brand’s handle @Vector_CA) every day with the hasthag #TasteVECTORY, for 21 days. These pics should show you pushing yourself physically or mentally. The winners of the grand and secondary prizes will be chosen at random from the group of participants using the #TasteVECTORY hashtag for the 21 days. *Contest is open to Canadian participants excluding Quebec. Click here for more detailed contest rules and regulations. Good luck! Try Vector®, Taste Vectory®

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

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.

Give O.B. Tampons One Period. Period!

O.B.

As a lifestyle writer and blogger I cover a wide variety of topics but my bread and butter these days seem to be within the area of health and fitness. Covering so many topics that are inter-related to these two categories, I was shocked when one of my followers asked me why I’ve never talked about the topic of menstruation on my site. It doesn’t happen very often but in this instance I actually did not have a response for this young lady. For the next week or so, I asked myself and a few friends if the topic was a bit weird to cover here and especially on social media. Silly I know, because periods are not exactly “taboo” or are they? I mean, making sure I have adequate protection during that time of the month is crucial for me and other women who are running, working out, doing yoga and a slew of other physical activity.

IMG_9992

Our first experience with menstruation usually happens between the ages of 10-15 and for majority of our teenage and adult life we experience bleeding and potentially some other unpleasant side effects such as bloating, cramps, acne, fatigue, and moodiness. And as far as I’m concerned, most women, like myself, have probably spent several years trying to find the right protection for their flow and lifestyle, but still nobody has the gull to inquire and ask women what they use during their periods like they may ask another woman what facial cleanser or mascara they use. It never really occurs to us what other women are using until our little friend decides to pay us a visit two days early and we are stuck without a tampon requiring us to ask ask a friend (or a stranger in the bathroom) if they have one. Raise your hand if you have rolled your eyes when someone has given  you a generic tampon [insert raised hand emoji here]. I’ve vowed to never let that happen to me again so regardless whether I’m on my period or not, there are at least two tampons in my bag – which my girlfriends have become thankful for!

Give Us One Period. Period

So I am doing my part in break that cycle. I asked a few gal pals recently if they were satisfied with the products they use during their menstruation and 6/10 times I got a puzzled look followed by, “Not really”.  Funny enough, 40% of the women said they were satisfied with the tampon brand they use and take one guess what they were using. O.B.! I feel into the category of the 60% that weren’t overly content but I think we all could agree that we continued to use the brand(s) we used just because it was something we had got accustomed to.

This also sparked up some conversations of tampons vs maxi pads and I was stunned that some women still are afraid to use tampons these days. Not that there is anything wrong with maxi pads but with my active and busy lifestyle, tampons are just a better fit for me. For years I have been trying different brands that have promised to give me adequate protection, move with my body, perfect for when I am playing sports, blah blah blah. A few years ago I stopped searching for the “perfect tampon” and settled on one brand. However last month I stumbled across some advertising for O.B. Tampons as part of an interesting new campaign asking women to “Give Us One Period. Period.”  O.B. differs from other brands in that they don’t have an applicator so naturally for someone that has a moderate to heavy flow, I was somewhat hesitant to try it out. A few questions immediately entered into my mind. “How do I use it if it doesn’t have an applicator?”, “Is it going to be messy?”, and “OMG this thing is tiny, is it going to give me the protection I need?”

Give Us One Period. Period

I went away on vacation a few weeks ago and got my period the day before departing so I figured this may be the best time to give O.B. a shot. When I’m traveling, space in my purse/carry-on is limited and I also need the confidence that I will be protected while in transit. Not to mention while working out and on the beach wearing my favourite white bikini. Armed with optimism and two boxes of the brand’s tampons (one regular and one super), I headed to the Caribbean. Smaller than the size of my pinky finger, these tampons actually surprised me. Because of it’s size, they were super easy to use and were ultra comfortable. To be honest, so much so, I had almost forgotten I was wearing one a couple times. The design expands to fit each woman’s unique body. On the first I day realized early that I needed to use the Pro Comfort Super for the first two days of my period. With O.B.’s fluid-lock technology has grooves that pull fluid into the core for locked-in leak protection you can wear up to 8 hours – I highly suggest not waiting that long though. For the remainder of my cycle, I switched over to the Pro Comfort Regular, which is great for first time non-applicator tampon users or for women with a light to moderate flow. While on the beach and working out I didn’t want to take any risks and just stuck to the supers, just to be on the safe side.  Not having an applicator allows O.B. tampons to be ridiculously small making them extremely discreet. I was able to fit one into the pocket of my skinniest jeans and the tiny pocket inside my Nike running shorts. Even when my clear/see-thru makeup bag was pulled out of my carry-on at the airport security checkpoint, the couple tampons that were tossed in there went completed undetected by those around me – phew!

Are you willing to give O.B. Tampons a try? I’m giving away boxes to 50 lucky followers who tweet, “@SashaExeter, I want to give @ob_canada one period #GiveUsOnePeriod“. Contest begins today and ends Friday September 18th at 6pm. Winners will be announced and contacted on Monday September 21st – Good luck!

Head to GiveUsOnePeriod.ca to learn more about the campaign and click here for more information on O.B. Tampons.

All personal information will be used for product category and brand research purposes by Edgewell Personal Care.  Additionally, those consumers who enter may be contacted by Edgewell Personal Care with information, news and promotions regarding o.b. Tampons.  Information will not be used, released or sold to any third party companies for any reason.

Hydrate Your Hustle with Vitaminwater’s #TotalBoss Contest

Vitamin Water Total Boss

While living in the U.S. in the early 2000’s I was lucky to be one of the first All-American student athletes to trial Vitaminwater while playing university tennis in Washington, DC. Being able to stay hydrated throughout the day with a nutrient enhanced water beverage packed with vitamins is an athlete’s dream. For the last year or so, the brand has worked with me as an official water sponsor. From workouts to workshops (and everything in between) they always make sure I have the right tools to stay hydrated with their Vitaminwater Zero line of products, which are naturally sweetened with Stevia. My alignment with the brand doesn’t stop there though. Vitaminwater is a huge advocate of helping young people bring their business dreams to life and is encouraging young Canadians to realize their potential with their Think+Drink+Do campaign. To kick off the program and it’s accompanying “Total Boss” nationwide contest, I headed to Vitaminwater Headquarters last week to participate in a unique creative brand strategy session. Here, some of Toronto’s top young small business owners gathered with a special panel of guests where we learned how to grow our personal brands and achieve our business goals lead by Elaine Liu of Lainey Gossip and Co-Host on CTV’s “The Social”, JJ Thompson; Owner and Creative Director of Media Needs, Devon Brooks; Co-Founder of Blo Blow Dry Bar, and Canada’s newest and youngest judge on Dragon’s Den, Michele Romanow.

Vitaminwater Total Boss

Vitaminwater Total Boss

Vitaminwater Total Boss

Vitaminwater Total BossPhotos by Becca Lemire (SheDoesTheCity.com) and Robert Okine

If you have an idea on your mind, regardless of how big or small, there is no better time than the present to make it happen – and Vitaminwater may be able to help you bring that idea to life. From now until September 30th, 2015, the brand is giving Canadians a chance to make their next big idea a reality with their “Total Boss” social media contest. Entering is easy…simply share a photo that displays what inspires you on Twitter and/or Instagram and include the hashtag #TotalBoss for your chance to win. The lucky grand prize winner will receive a $10,000 plus private mentorship sessions with a leading Canadian business expert (approximate retail value $10,000). That’s a pretty motivating reason to Think+Drink+Do if you ask me. Click here for more info on the contest terms and conditions and to learn more about the brand head to Vitaminwater.ca . Let Vitaminwater hydrate your hustle and enter today!

Deciem Fountain’s Super Green Molecule Supplement Giveaway

Deciem Fountain Molecule

Regular exercise and eating clean are measures that I take to stay healthy but I do have a couple tricks up my sleeve in the form of supplements that are part of my daily regimen that help keep my body running at it’s optimal level. Since introducing Fountain Beauty Supplement’s into my routine six months ago, I have noticed dramatic differences and improvements to my skin, energy level, mood by using the brand’s Hyaluronic, Energy, Super Green, and Beauty and Happy molecules, with the latter being extremely useful during the cold winter months. Developed by the self proclaimed “Abnormal Beauty Company”, Deciem (whose products are manufactured in downtown Toronto) has been quickly gaining notoriety and showing up in beauty reviews in all the top glossy mags and has reminded consumers that although what we put on our bodies topically is important, it’s really what we put inside them that makes the difference.

Deciem Fountain Super Green Molecule

As amazing as all the molecules are, the stand out in the line-up to me right now is the Super Green Molecule, which contains over 40 minerals, 16 amino acids and 11 vitamins . I take the recommended dosage of one teaspoon everyday in either a glass of water or cold pressed juice (if taken directly the dark green colour could stain your tongue). This concoction is a super concentrated beauty and lifestyle supplement of alfalfa chlorophyll, kelp and Deciem’s hyaluronic acid matrix. Chlorophyll has many known benefits; its abundant in vitamins and minerals, has potent antioxidant properties, promotes cleansing, helps control hunger and cravings and enhances overall energy level and general well-being. Like Chlorophyll, kelp is another amazing green that is packed with tons of vitamins and minerals such as; iodine, potassium, iron, magnesium and calcium. It’s known most for its aid in weight management and it’s ability to deliver internal tissue hydration.

Thanks to my friends at Deciem, I am giving away four Super Green Molecules on Twitter to some lucky followers. All you have to do is make sure to follow me and Deciem Fountain on Twitter and tweet, “I want to go green with @DeciemFountain’s Super Green Molecule! #SoSashaxDeciem“. Contest begins today and ends Saturday July 11th at midnight. Winner will be announced via Twitter on Monday. *Contest open to Canadian residents only!

Click here for more information on the Fountain molecules. For more details on Deciem and their extensive portfolio of brands head to Deciem.com

 

 

 

Go Off Road with Mountain Equipment Co-Op + MEC Outdoor Nation

MEC Nation_1

As a street athlete and runner, I’m always looking for ways to challenge myself. That’s part of the beauty of running. No matter what level you’re at, you can always find ways to push yourself without being an Olympian or competing at an international level. Whether pursuing races of longer distances or working on increasing your overall pace per kilometre, the sport always presents a way for you to improve .This summer one of my goals has been to get off road and join the trail running movement.  Inspired by the influx of amazing photos I’ve seen on social media as of late, I jumped into my very first trail run about a month ago and got injured. Like most, I naturally underestimated how different it is from road running. However, after having more than a handful of trail runs under my belt, I have started to understand it’s appeal and added benefits.

First and foremost, the varying terrain combined with numerous obstacles create more muscle engagement than running on the street and specifically stabilizes muscles in the foot and the ankle. Whereas, road running’s one directional movement leaves stabilized muscles underworked. Trail surfaces are also typically softer than concrete or pavement, therefore there is far less impact to your legs allowing you to avoid injury due to overuse and impact. And one of my favourite benefits, it’s pretty much hill training in disguise. No matter what trail you run, there is a good chance that there will be some inclines. They may not be long, like a paved road might be, but they will typically vary in steepness, which will constantly challenge your legs and lungs.

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The burning question for most runners when they decide to try out trail running is whether or not the focus should be on perceived effort and overall course time, rather than pace time when doing a training run or race. According to Tim Lytle, from MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-Op in Toronto, overall course time and perceived effort should most definitely be the focus over pace time when hitting the trails, as they typically have more technical elements and ups and downs. I had a chance to chat with Lytle for a few moments and pick his brain on running essentials and safety tips for those new to trail running such as myself. According to Tim, “Footwear is the most important thing. I’d encourage a new trail runner to try on a variety of shoes and get to know what brands and models work for them. They also need to ask themselves where they will be wearing their shoes. The tread on the soles of trail running shoes can be very different from shoe to shoe. Some have an aggressive tread that would make running on pavement awkward, while others can be used on both road and trail. In the city you’re generally running on mixed surfaces so an aggressive tread won’t work.  As for clothing, go as simple as possible. I may carry a few gel packs so I like shorts with a zip-up pocket. If you want to get into longer runs like our MEC Ambassador, ultra marathoner and trail runner Luis Villgrain, you’d probably want a running vest or hydration water pack. In the summer, I like to wear a top that’s light and breathable like the MEC T1 ShortSleeved Crew and during colder seasons I’ll throw on a shell. The fabric on the MEC T1 breathes and is amazing at wicking away moisture from the body, a perfect combo.

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Tim also shared three useful tips for new trail runners to incorporate for safety and injury prevention; 1) Ensure you have the right footwear for the terrain you’re running and don’t hesitate to walk sections of the trail that are more technical 2) Pay attention to weather and be prepared because even yesterday’s weather can impact the trail today, so pay attention and 3) f you’re worried about running alone in more remote locations, ask a friend to join you. Otherwise pick times of the day when the trail is busy in case you run into any challenges.

IMG_2902Photography by Nathalia Allen www.amillionminds.ca

Where should trail enthusiasts head for the best runs? I have really been enjoying discovering some trails out east in Durham Region, typically Seaton Trails and Evergreen Brickworks area has provided some #BeenTrail run vibes as well. What’s Tim’s take on the best trails to hit up? “I really enjoy running the Lower Don River Trail starting from where Taylor Creek intersects with the Don River and ending at Flemingdon Park. The east Don Valley towards Flemington Park isn’t busy and is closer to a wild trail setting compared to a lot of the manicured paths you’ll find in the city. I also run the Beltline Trail that begins near Evergreen Brick Works. I’ll be taking a group of runners from MEC Outdoor Nation through this trail on Saturday and look forward to seeing all the work that’s been done on the trail this year, it’s looking great.”

SoSasha x MEC Trail Running Giveaway

MEC Trail Running Giveaway

Whether it’s your first trail run or you’re a trail running veteran, your experience is all the more better with dialled-in equipment. On my runs I like to wear clothes that look great but are also functional. Apparel with light, breathable fabric that also wicks away sweat from the skin, is key to staying dry on long runs. I love MEC’s Vitality Sleeves Tank and Agility 2 Shorts. The top is ultra light with flat seams for maximum comfortability with the ability to add a layer if you need and the shorts has storage – a back zippered pocket, plus two small drop-in pockets at the waist. Morning runs wouldn’t be complete without a supportive bra and long sleeve base layer that you can throw on to keep you warm. MEC’s Mission Possible Long Sleeve is brilliant. It has clever thumb holes to ensure your sleeves don’t ride up, reflective piping on the front and back for visibility and pockets located on the left bicep to hold keys and other personal items. Last but not least and probably the most important is trail shoes. The Nike Zoom Wildhorse GTX Trail Runners have a seam sealed GORE-TEX upper to keep water out but has a synthetic mesh that still allows your feet to breathe, reflective elements making them visible in low light, and specially designed rugged outer soles with Nike’s signature waffle tread for traction on varying surfaces.

Thanks to the amazing team at MEC, I am giving away this entire look to one lucky follower. Entering is simple. You must be following both me and MEC on Twitter and tweet the following, “@SashaExeter I want to take my trail running to the next level with @MEC! #SoSashaxMEC” for a chance to win. For an extra entry, you can leave a comment on this running lay down on my Instagram sharing your favourite trail to run. Contest begins Monday June 29th and ends Wednesday July 1st at midnight EST. The winner will be announced on Thursday at noon via Twitter. *Contest is open to Canadian residents only. Good luck!

MEC Outdoor Nation

On June 27th and 28th, MEC Outdoor Nation takes over Toronto. turning Evergreen Bricks into the coolest overnight adult campout where camp goers get to take in live music, outdoor activities, trail runs and campfires. The weekend’s festivities will all be about celebrating a shared love for being outside, while dreaming up projects that can help other young people experience the outdoors in brand new ways. MEC, Canada’s fave outdoor collaborator is making this all happen with Outdoor Nation, which is fully funded through their commitment 1% for the planet. What can you expect? Paddle boarding, live music, yoga, hands on workshops, and awesome speakers, its a weekend outdoor lovers won’t want to miss. For more information on MEC’s Outdoor Nation in Toronto click here. Stay up to date on MEC Outdoor Nation updates by following them on Twitter and Instagram.

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