Travel Swellness: Back to Basics with Ford Canada

With Sasha as we hit the road with Ford Canada to Muskoka

It’s not often that I wished I owned a car, but a night away up north with Ford Canada made me wish I did.

Back in December, I headed up to the Sherwood Inn with Ford Canada with a small group, which included my friends Sasha and Kimberly (so I knew I’d be laughing up a storm no matter what, we always have fun together). Given it was still early in the season, I wasn’t quite drained by the brutal winter weather we had this year, but heading out of town to some fresh air and white snow always provides such a mental boost. Toronto gets so grey and dreary in the winter. Being up north with friends to hike and learn about nature provided a much needed mental refresh to my usual daily grind in the city.

at the beautiful Sherwood Inn

We learned about different trees and how to chop firewood (which I wanted to try, it looks like quite the workout — but I think they were afraid we’d hurt ourselves…), how to change a flat tire (I could maybe fumble my way through it if I had to now!), and I had a lesson in driving a stick shift. The first time I tried to learn, it was a nightmare and ended in many, many, many tears. Loads of tears. So I approached this lesson stressed out to the max. I stalled the car a few times, but at least there were no tears. We also got to try the Active Park Assist (which I love — parallel parking also stresses me out, so I’m more than happy to have the car handle it!).

I'm a parallel parking pro (when I'm using Active Park Assist!)

Along with a lesson from a survivalist (tip: carry some steel wool when hiking, it can help you start a fire), and some delicious s’mores by the campfire, a quick winter getaway getting back to basics is something I consider a must. It’ll help alleviate some of the blues Toronto winters can cause.

Leave a Comment March 25, 2015

Beauty Swellness: Beachy tribal nail art

beachy tribal eye nail art

These nails, though.

I’ve been Instagramming my nails more often rather than blogging (you can find me on Instagram under @healthandswellness, and I just joined Snapchat, by the way, under HealthSwellness), but I thought you loyal blog readers needed to see this nail art. Because, well, look at it!

I initially booked my manicure as I get “marathon nails” when I run a race, and I was set to run the Around the Bay 30k this Sunday. I’m now traveling to work to the Caribbean and am skipping the race, but I kept the manicure appointment as a treat to myself.

Since I’m heading to a beach, I wanted something tropical and bright and I love Mara Hoffman’s prints, so I showed the incredible Naomi Misu (you can find her on Instagram under @naomi_misu where she posts some of her incredible nail art) at Tips Nail Bar a few pics and noted that I wanted an eye as the main nail-art focus (and told her that the rest of the nails could be simpler — the Tips team spoils me by creating labour-intensive looks on my nails, but I realize, duh, they have other clients and can’t spend all day with me).

Mara Hoffman-inspired nail art

Well, I’ve always joked that my marathon manis take me almost as long as it’ll take me to run a marathon, but this time the manicure actually took longer than what I’d hoped to run Around the Bay in. Naomi started with a base coat of white, leaving some negative space chevrons. I got distracted replying to work emails at this point, and the next time I looked up, my mouth fell open. “Whoa,” I said. She’d painted on the intricate black lines on my pinkie. “Um, you remember I said you can do something simple on most of the nails, right?” I said to Naomi. “Yes, yes, I know,” she replied, but she assured me we were all good. It’s not that I didn’t love it (inside I was about as excited as I get at a NKOTB concert, which is to say VERY) but I didn’t want to throw off the schedule.

I let Naomi do her thing, letting her focus and only whispering, “This is bananas…” as she created the look on my nails. I’d tell you what colours she used but I was too distracted watching her work to even take note of that, haha.

And, no, I’m not a member of the Illuminati…

eye of providence nail art

Leave a Comment March 25, 2015

Beauty Swellness: Flight-friendly beauty tips from the Emirates cabin crew

#RedHatSelfie with Christiana and Alexandra of the  Emirates cabin crew

Even though I travel a fair bit, I haven’t completely got a beauty routine for flying down pat; I find I still step off the plane looking bleary (even if it’s a short flight). I now try to stick to drinking water to combat dehydration; I typically wear a moisturizing sheer lip colour (less maintenance required), and if I’m flying out very early in the morning or it’s a flight longer than three hours, I’ll wear my glasses and put on my contact lenses before I land to prevent my lenses from drying out my eyes.

Several weeks ago, though, I had the chance to learn about the beauty regimen of the Emirates cabin crew. (And I got to snap a #RedHatSelfie with the lovely Emirates cabin crew members Christiana and Alexandra). The crew has to look polished and professional and the look must be consistent for the crew, and stay on for some 16 hours or more some days. Some of their top tips that we can all apply to our travel beauty routine:

  • Adjust your makeup depending on the flight (consider the time of day your flying, the flight duration).
  • Wear non-waterproof mascara for when you’re traveling; the dry air on flights can already zap you of hydration and waterproof mascara are drier than regular mascara.
  • Skip the bronzer when you fly. Bronzers (with the unforgiving lighting on a flight) can draw your face down and make you look tired.
  • Keep a small Evian atomizer to spritz your face with during the flight for some instant hydration for your skin.
  • Try an eye gel (which you can easily tap on over your makeup) to give your face a quick pick-me up.

Emirates #RedHatSelfie Event 116

(Beauty products photo credit: Ryan Emberley) 

Leave a Comment March 24, 2015

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