Blog · Health & Beauty

Summer Self-Care With Jolene Antle

I love the Summer just as much as the next person BUT sometimes I have a hard time adapting my self-care routines to changing needs during the heat and humidity of July and August. My skin becomes different, I’m bored of drinking gallons of water to stay hydrated and the heat waves make me cranky and tired.

A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to meet Jolene Antle – an amazing female entrepreneur from Niagara. Jolene is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and founder/owner of Garden City Essentials and has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the latest and greatest in skincare and self-care.

jo-serum-hands

She began researching and formulating natural skincare products as part of her own journey to lead a healthier lifestyle when all-natural skincare and wellness products weren’t as easy to come by as they are today. In early experimentation with botanicals, clays and oils, Jolene discovered happiness in her kitchen and sustainable self-care rituals that promoted feelings of peace, self-love and awareness.

I visited Jolene’s store this past week and we had a great conversation about her favourite products that can help enhance your self-care routines during the Summer months.

Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Water – $44

This all-natural Collagen Beauty Water supplement should be added to everyone’s daily health and wellness regime – especially in the Summer months. Collagen helps to enhance skin, hair and nails and also provides a boost to joint health during many people’s busiest time of the year. The Lavender and Lemon flavor is refreshing without being overpowering and can be added to water, smoothies and tea!

beauty-collagen-10oz-canister-lavender-lemon-front_1800x

Onyx Air Tight Containers – $11.99 to $32

Made with food grade stainless steel these air tight containers are the perfect option for a waste-less lifestyle. Take these containers on your Summer picnic or use them as to-go containers when dining out! Write your name on the lid with a non-permanent marker to make sure fellow employees don’t snatch your homemade lunches at work. Available in a variety of sizes. Complete your Summer picnic set with the Onyx Black Cutlery Set for $8.99 and their Stainless Steel Straw for $4.50.

zero waste

Garden City Essentials Nourished Hydration – $56

Sea Buckthorn and Camellia Facial Serum, our super “skin-food” blend provides a generous dose of antioxidant Vitamins C, E and A to target free radicals, fight the signs of aging and environmental damage and promote collagen production. It will leave your skin feeling soft and nourished without feeling greasy.
You will love using the Serum in combination with the Rose Geranium Facial Toner to boost the hydration, balance pH and accelerate the absorption of oils into the skin. It’s such a perfect pairing that Jolene created a bundle that will save you $10 when you purchase these two together.
toner+serum

Province Apothecary Radiant Body Oil – $58

Jolene recommends this luxurious body oil for all skin types! The blend of plant-based essential oils quickly absorbs deep into the skin without leaving a greasy film behind. The fresh fragrance of this body oil makes it a great option to use after your morning shower. The avocado oil is rich in antioxidants, Vitamins A, D, and E and omega-3 fatty acids which deeply penetrate skin to fight dryness, dullness, and dehydration (when you haven’t been drinking as much water as you should be – hello patio cocktails).

eef9ab25892a789df7c68104c72cf314_ra,w403,h806_pa,w403,h806

Garden City Essentials Honey and Clay Mask – $39.95

Hot Summer months can really dry out your face not to mention more than usual sweating leaves us with pesky blemishes we aren’t always used to. The honey in this mask is a natural humectant – which means it helps to draw moisture to the skin and the kaolin clay provides gentle, non-drying cleansing. Touches of Frankincense and Myrrh provide powerful anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits!

honey&clay-hands

Consonant’s The Perfect Sunscreen – $45

We cannot stress this enough – every skincare routine MUST include a high-quality SPF. What sets this sunscreen apart is that it is 100% natural and has a non-greasy formula that leaves behind no white residue. With an SPF of 30 and no fragrance it is literally the perfect sunscreen for everyday use.  The best part? This sunscreen has a hint of mica tint which helps to give you a healthy glow!

73a95730719d66338f6290ad2c076690_ra,w380,h380_pa,w380,h380

Garden City Essentials – Deodorant Cream – $22

Has your natural deodorant been coming up short this Summer? This is the answer! Garden City Essentials Deodorant Cream uses kaolin clay and arrowroot powder to keep you dry and fresh all day long. It is super easy to apply and has a light, gender-neutral scent. It is available in a 1oz jar for $6 and a 4oz jar for $22.

garden-city-essentials-deodorant-cream

Garden City Essentials has expanded from a primarily online business, to a sweet boutique and community hub in downtown St. Catharines. Focusing on natural wellness, beauty and lifestyle, GCE offers an in-house created, small batch skincare line, as well as a curated collection of the best in green beauty and lifestyle products.

31820680_1211268445677046_2715302024160739328_n.jpg

Blog

Everyday Tips For Busy Moms

This week we are featuring a Guest Post by Jessica, a self-employed Mother of five and Grandmother of two. Read on below as she shares her top 5 tips for navigating the busy and hectic life of Motherhood.

22712550_10155302621892636_949658230639114634_o
Jessica and her husband Billy

When we enter the role of Motherhood the hopes and dreams of what we thought it would be like are soon replaced with worry, overwhelm, guilt, and exhaustion. Each of us evolve into the new role in our own way, leaving behind pieces of ourselves that gather dust in the background, while creating the “supermom” we all believe we should be.

As a Mother of five, and a Grandmother of two, I have spent many years trying to create a balance between who I was and who I have become, all while battling crazy schedules, time limits, daily tasks and everyday “holy shit” moments that come along with being a busy Mom.

I have discovered a few tips that I would love to share with my fellow busy Moms:

1. Start your day for you
It has taken me many years to learn to fit myself into the life I have with a large family. Going to the gym is something I love to do but working full time and caring for all these little humans has left the treadmill and weights in a untouchable space. I joined my favourite gym to once again try and make this work. The early mornings are not always pleasant but after that workout, I feel like the day can hit me with anything and I am good to go.

2. You are not alone
Married, divorced, or single from the start, we are never alone. Do not carry that dirty feeling of guilt because you ask for help. Just ask, someone is always there. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I rely on my village and praise them for every moment of breath they give me to get through the next day.

3. Leave it for tomorrow
The dishes, the sticky kitchen floor, the laundry that may or may not be clean (sniff test) will all be there tomorrow! I will admit, I am one who struggles with this daily, and I try and remind myself, it is OKAY if its not finished before I close my eyes hours after everyone else. It will get done!

4. Love on your partner
For those of us who have a partner, whatever shape that appears, love hard on them. When you are tired, can’t remember when the last shower happened, or if you have eaten that day, take a moment to connect with your partner. They will give you that extra boost you need to push on.

Lastly, for the time being –

5. Teach your children
A busy Mom tends to forget they have little humans that once at an appropriate age can help with all kinds of things! It can be as simple as making their beds or wiping down the kitchen table after meals. Not only are you teaching them real life skills, they are also easing the load you carry.

 

Blog

Delicious Summer Reads

Summer is the perfect time to lay out with a cold beverage and dive into a fantastic read!

Here are my Top 5 reads this season:

1501151835

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

y648

He has a type: all his victims look the same. And they all look like you. Kate returns from a post break-up holiday with her girlfriends to news of a serial killer in her home town – and his victims all look like her. It could, of course, be a simple coincidence. Or maybe not.

40389527

Anna is recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times and spying on her neighbors. But when Anna sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare. What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control?

33026842

When an old friend gets in touch, Sarah Havenant discovers that there are two Facebook profiles in her name. One is hers. The other, she has never seen. But everything in it is accurate. Photos of her friends, her husband, her kids. Photos of her new kitchen. Photos taken inside her house. And this is just the beginning. Because whoever has set up the second profile has been waiting for Sarah to find it. And now that she has, her life will no longer be her own…

23783496

When reclusive writer Leonora is invited to a hen party in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. But as the first night falls, revelations unfold among friends old and new and a haunting realization creeps in—they are not alone in the woods.

Is there a book you think I would love to read this summer? Send me a message or leave a comment below!

Blog · Health & Beauty

Namaste B*tches

Happy Summer Everyone!

We are in the middle of a heatwave here in Niagara and temperatures continue to soar each day. You would think that the only place I want to be is in the central air and believe me that is definitely true but I have also found a place I am absolutely comfortable – it just happens to be 98 degrees F there.

Yoga has always been a great match for me, it requires me to slow down and focus and blocks out the noise of life. I have tried many different types of yoga and studios over the last decade but have never been able to stick to a particular type or location for more than an 8 week session.f109f707f3f27f230fb32e28cdb06c99

Regular gym memberships just weren’t my thing and I could never get past how physically uncomfortable working out felt. I know so many people who love their gym memberships and find amazing success there but for whatever reason I always left feeling defeated and like I really hadn’t accomplished much.

Then a few years ago I found Hot Yoga at Moksha Yoga here in Niagara. But once again I took classes off and on and didn’t manage to stick with it.  After my Dad’s health scares this winter and after settling in at my new job it really felt like it was time to finally commit and do something for myself. Moksha Yoga had a fantastic membership offer for the summer and I am so glad I took advantage of it. I have been consistently going 3-4 times a week and I cannot believe how quickly I started to feel the positive changes in my body and my mind.

The benefits of Hot Yoga are endless but here are just a few:

  •  practicing yoga in a hot room gives your body an amazing opportunity to SWEAT i.e. get all the crappy stuff out and let the good stuff in!
  • the heat of the room helps to warm your muscles up and create a better range of motion for your poses
  • you’ll find that the heat creates an amazing “mind over matter” situation and therefore helps you to focus on your breathing and your movement

Moksha Yoga in Niagara is a beautiful studio filled with the most encouraging and accepting group of teachers. The studio schedule is extremely accessible – there are even 6:30AM classes for the early risers. Moksha Yoga offers over 12 different class types as well as private lessons. They accept all skill levels and offer modifications to your practice whenever needed.

If you are interested in trying out a class I suggest their Friday night Karma Class which is a donation-only 60 minute class with funds going to local/global charities.

Have fun and get sweaty!

Screen_Shot_2018-04-20_at_1.27.54_PM_2048x2048

Blog · Health & Beauty

This is Thirty…One

Last Thursday was my thirty-first Birthday.

I was born on Sunday March 29th 1987 at 2:10PM to Debbie and Jim. After being born approximately twenty-one days late of my estimated due date (sorry Mom) and even though Spring had sprung, I brought with me the snow.

1929089_1133726142785_4249260_n
Catherine Elizabeth circa 1988-ish

In most recent years I always find myself asking my Mom the same question “Do you remember how you were feeling in the days before I came” and her responses are always very similar alternating between “Dear you had me so worried” and “I thought my baby was never going to get here”. The conversation always ends with us agreeing on the fact that I never really do anything until I am completely ready – just like in birth so I am in life.

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to write. But I never knew really what that meant for me. Sitting down and attempting to write a book seemed far too intimidating for me, and a blog seemed to be a great way to practice putting my words out into the universe and in turn put myself out into the universe. I had no idea how inspired this whole process would make me and how amazing it would feel to receive such positive feedback.

Thanks to a recent blog post I was asked to participate in a podcast recording for Our Minds Matter. The episode features a chat with host Janice Arnoldi about my experience with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and the tools I use to help alleviate my struggle. I was absolutely honored to sit down with Janice and be able to use my voice, and my words to shed light on mental health.

18920582_1138280633046133_2728511595436533905_n

So here I am having just celebrated my thirty-first Birthday and what better way to start a new year than to be able to share my podcast with you. I hope that by continuing to move further into a space of complete authenticity someone else will feel compelled to do the same.

Authenticity isn’t something we have or don’t have.
It is a practice — a conscious choice of how we want to live.
Authenticity is a collection of choices we make everyday.
It is about making the choice to show up and be real.
The choice to be honest.
The choice to let our true selves be seen.
–Brene Brown

 

Blog · Essential Oils · Health & Beauty

Let’s Talk

I started noticing some emotional changes in myself about eight years ago. Some medical professionals have suggested it was a change in my hormones after I stopped taking birth control pills, some have suggested it was my body’s response to traumatic situations and a lot have suggested the changes were a combination of both.

In most recent years I have been extremely honest and forthcoming about my struggles with anxiety and my mental health. Thanks to a breakdown in the stigma surrounding these issues it has allowed a free-flow of information regarding all kinds of mental health difficulties and ways to combat them.

Today I am going to talk a bit about the different tools I have discovered that help me to “work” my mental health. Meaning – methods I use on a regular basis to take an active role in feeling better both mentally, physically and spiritually.

**WARNING** I am not suggesting my way is the ONLY way to combat mental health issues — I am only presenting what I found has worked for me. I am not a health professional and these opinions are my own.

Meditation

About three years ago I went through some pretty undesirable health issues (undiagnosed food allergies, adrenal fatigue, anxiety) and for anyone going through health issues it can be very difficult to keep a positive outlook as you are waiting to hear what your diagnosis’ are. Add anxiety to the mix and it can be pretty much impossible to control negative thoughts. I needed to find a way to train my brain to switch gears from negative thinking and self-talk to positive, and strength-filled self motivation. Thankfully I found guided meditation. The amazing thing about guided meditation is just that – it is guided! Step by step it teaches you how to move your thoughts to something more positive. A friend of mine suggested the Calm app – which ended up being an absolute life line! You can set up the app on your mobile device and work through meditations whenever and where ever. It also has amazing sleep stories that help you drift off to restful sleep at night.

img_0059.jpg
My meditation space

Essential Oils

By the time  you are reading this blog entry you have probably heard about essential oils once or twice in your day. Well here is number three. I discovered the AMAZING benefits from my friend Allie. She is a Wellness Advocate for dōTERRA and brought to my attention this wonderful company. I was so impressed with the quality of oils and the company itself I decided to become a Wellness Advocate. I purchased The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils and set to work on some trial research of my own. There really isn’t enough time in the day or room on the blog to tell you about all of the essential oils I utilize so if you have any questions please comment below.


Cannabidiol Oil (CBD)

What is CBD Oil you ask? Let me break it down for you! CBD Oil is a cannabis compound that has HUGE medial benefits but doesn’t make you feel “high” or “stoned”. The most important quality of CBD is its lack of psycho-activity. All of the 60-plus cannabinoids unique to the Cannabis plant interact with our bodies thanks to our network of neurons called the endocannabinoid system. Without getting too Bill Nye the Science Guy – basically humans are wired for the benefits of CBD!The endocannabinoid system runs deeply through and touches all of the major systems in our bodies. That is how CBD can do so many awesome stuff for us like regulating moods, stimulating appetites and reducing pain. For me personally – CBD has helped to curb my anxious feelings, regulate my moods and get restful sleep at night. I have found an amazing Canadian company based in British Columbia called THC Delivery. Their products are of the highest quality and their customer service reps are outstanding and it’s Canadian!!

Whatever you choose to do in respect to your mental health issues – I feel the most important piece of advice I can give is to do your research and be open to suggestion. Keep talking about your struggles and work together to continue to fight the stigma.

Blog

Here I Am

It has been such a long time since I have sat down to write. Well to be honest, I have sat down to write — it just seems I have had trouble putting the last few months of my life into words. Even that statement sounds dramatic, but it hasn’t been an easy period that is for sure!

To begin with I made a huge career change and headed back to a company I worked for almost five years ago. The hours are predictable and the work environment is really conducive to this stage in my life. I had kept in touch with so many people there and it has proven to be exactly what I needed – a place to regain my confidence, a safe place to land and a supportive environment to succeed.

22137029_10155086210491089_8759859300898837551_o
My very brave Dad and his love – my Mom.

As many people close to me know, my Dad has been dealing with some ongoing health issues for the better part of the last two years. It all came to ahead when we were paired up with a renowned orthopedic surgeon at Sunnybrook Health Centre in Toronto.  To give you some very QUICK background my Dad had suffered two failed shoulder replacement surgeries here in St. Catharines and had developed a potentially life-threatening infection. Our new surgeon at Sunnybrook began the extensive journey to repair the damage and get my Dad’s health back in good standing.

Since December of 2017 (yes just over two months) my Dad has undergone 4 major surgeries.  One of which was to fix a random perforated vein that was bleeding out through his almost-healed shoulder incision. He has spent countless weeks in Sunnybrook recovering and a few days in the hospital here. Our family has literally been through hell this winter but now that he is home again, as of two days ago, we are hoping that he is finally on the road to good health and a new normalcy.

Throughout my Dad’s medical journey I have found myself feeling hopeful only to have the rug pulled out from under me with another setback. Every day we have had to put our complete trust and faith in our doctors and nurses and specialists that they are doing the absolute best they can with my Dad. And believe me it is not easy.

I am an Aries through and through. Google the characteristics of an Aries and you might as well just find my picture alongside the results. Independent, courageous, impulsive, impatient. You can probably assume that leaning on other people isn’t our strongest suit. Anyone who knows me well knows that I pride myself on being reliable and stable – the person you can ALWAYS count on no matter what – I will always come through, I will always deliver. Yet here we are, my Dad and I, both Aries of course, completely and utterly leaning on other people with our vulnerability in full view for the world to see.

There are always a million life lessons flying at you from all different directions your entire adult life. Articles and television and blogs – everyone giving you every bit of knowledge you could ever need. As my 31st birthday draws closer, more and more I am encountering situations where I have no guidebook. I’m relying more and more on my intuition and my gut instinct. And truthfully – that has become more valuable than any wisdom I could receive from anyone else.