Blog · Health & Beauty

Deaf Leopard …… What?

“Catie you have profound hearing loss in both your right and left ears. You are hearing with the capacity of a 70 year old person.” I couldn’t believe what Dr. Lo was telling me – well I kind of could – maybe I was just in denial. Tears streamed down my face. “You really need hearing aids”.

Okay okay let’s back up the bus a bit here. You’re probably asking yourself how I got myself to this point. To be honest I never really gave much thought to my hearing. As silly as it sounds I kind of just assumed my straining was normal. Despite some people in my life casually mentioning my hearing, it never occurred to me that I was different than anyone else. That continued until I had been at my current job for almost a year. I spend the entire day on the phone and I started to notice I was misunderstanding more and more conversations. I was also finding myself to be extremely exhausted by the time 5PM rolled around. It wasn’t a physical exhaustion really it was more a mental exhaustion – if that makes any sense. So I asked my family doctor to send me to an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT) for a hearing test.

I saw Dr. Shirley Lo at the end of November for my appointment. During my hearing test the audiologist stopped all of a sudden to ask me “Have you ever worn hearing aids before?” YIKES I thought to myself – this isn’t going well. After the test was complete I was taken to another room to meet with Dr. Lo about the results.

And now we find ourselves where this post started off. “Catie you have profound hearing loss in both your right and left ears. You are hearing with the capacity of a 70 year old person.” Dr. Lo informed me that she had never seen results so poor from a person of my age. She told me that I definitely needed hearing aids in both ears and felt that due to my age I would respond extremely well and would be able to take great advantage of the advancements in hearing aid technology. I started to cry. Dr. Lo looked completely heartbroken for me and grabbed me a Kleenex box from across the room – I guess she wasn’t used to this kind of response from her patients.

Every single instance where I had to say pardon to someone or nod because I had already said pardon twice, every joke I felt I didn’t understand, every time I felt awkward in a social situation came flooding back to me. Holy shit I couldn’t hear! Based on my hearing test results Dr. Lo drew the conclusion that my hearing loss was likely hereditary and that I had probably been learning to adapt to it since my mid-teens. She was extremely impressed with my diction and clarity given the level of my hearing loss.

I made an appointment at Connect Hearing Clinic about a month later for another hearing test and to be fitted for my new aids. As I sat once again in that sound-proof booth I actually thought to myself “hmmm maybe they were wrong the first time” knowing full well that wouldn’t be the case. The results were the exact same as the previous test. That day I picked out my two hearing aids.

About a week later my aids were ready to be picked up. The audiologist took great care in making sure I had chosen aids that were suited to my lifestyle and as streamlined as possible. They matched my hair and honestly, it was love at first sound. Since that day, it has been almost 3 months with my hearing aids – I still cannot believe everything I was missing. Coach’s nails on the hardwood floor, the rustling of papers at work, I even heard the rain for the first time in who really knows how long.

Of course there was that part of me, that very small part, that worried what people would think of me once they noticed I was wearing hearing aids. But when I went to my parents house that first day wearing my new aids – my Dad told me how proud he was of me for facing my hearing impairment head-on and I thought to myself “I am who I am” hearing aids included.

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.


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!


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.

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).


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!


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!


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 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.


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!


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.

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.


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


Health & Beauty

All About The Brows

I’m pretty sure one of the worst trends that came out of the early 2000’s were super-thin brows. So many females were sporting over-plucked face framers and believe me I also fell victim to this short lived trend. Unfortunately, by the time I decided that I needed to grow those babies out, my brows had already suffered for years at the hand of my overzealous tweezers. I have tried my hardest over the last few years to grow my brows into the full and luscious beauties I knew in my heart they could be however they had definitely fallen short (or bare shall I say).

After spending so much time trying to find the best brow products on the market and filling in my brows everyday I was ready for a more permanent solution to my brow woes. I started to research the technique of microblading.

“Microblading originated in Asia and is known as eyebrow embroidery, 3D brows, micropigmentation, or microstroking.  It is the least invasive form of cosmetic tattooing and considered to be semi permanent makeup.  The procedure is done using a handheld device that uses a very fine blade to deposit safe, plant based pigment in to the skin.  The result is natural and fuller looking eyebrows that you won’t have to fill in with makeup every day”

My sister Jessica was over visiting and was telling me about Brow Envy Niagara owned and operated by Lindsay Noaman – microblading extraordinare. I hopped onto her website and the before and after photos spoke for themselves! I knew I needed to book an appointment with this clearly talented woman.


A week or so later I was in Lindsay’s salon being prepped for my new brows! Lindsay was comforting and very knowledgeable, taking the time to explain the procedure and show me every tool she was going to use. She continuously checked in with me throughout the session to make sure I was comfortable and kept me completely relaxed. The best part was when she said to me “okay now I’m going to nit pick”. Hello!! That was music to my ears. I knew she would not let me leave without giving me the absolute best brows she could!



I am currently 6 weeks post-microblading and will return to Lindsay for my touch-up in about 2 weeks. I am already so happy with the results and cannot wait to enjoy hassle free brows! Here is my before and after picture which totally speaks for itself:


If you are interested in microblading or want more information you can visit Lindsay’s website Brow Envy Niagara Trust me you will not regret it!

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.


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.

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.

Health & Beauty

Top 5 Beauty Products

A very wise woman once told me that taking care of your skin is one of the most important self-care rituals you can do. This bit of knowledge set me on a great path to find amazing products that help me to take care of my skin head to toe and my hair. Some of my favourite products are local (Niagara/Ontario/Canadian based) and some I’ve found from larger beauty retailers. I feel like there is a place for everyone! I’ve compiled a short list of my Top 5 products that I use everyday or at least almost every day 😉

Number One:

My number one beauty product that I use every single day is Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser. Before finding this product I was lacking seriously in the exfoliating department even though I knew how important it was! An amazing representative at Sephora lead me to this glorious cleanser and scrub in 1. My skin looks brighter and feels squeaky clean! The price isn’t bad either, at $27 for 150ml it lasts me over a month (with two uses every day).

Number Two:

My second favourite beauty product comes from right here in Niagara – Sarah’s Soaps Carrot & Oatmeal all natural vegan soap. Sarah handcrafts every piece of soap using the finest herbs, essential oils, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Her all natural and vegan line also includes body butters, lip treatments, masks, bath salts and facial skin care items. My favourite is the Carrot & Oatmeal soap  because the soothing oatmeal helps to calm my sensitive skin which is sometimes suffering from Eczema. Each bar is $6 for approximately 113g and can be purchased online at

Number Three:

My third favourite beauty product is for all of my volume-seeking girlfriends! Bumble & Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish spray has answered all of my prayers and helps me fulfill my BIG HAIR dreams. It’s a translucent dry spray that provides instant fullness and workable texture. I was a huge fan of Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo but like other users I was always concerned about the powdery look it would leave if I wasn’t SUPER careful. Alas I found the Bumble & Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish spray and thanks to its translucent appearance I never have to worry. While the price isn’t cheap and cheerful at $37 for 125ml it is definitely worthy of every single penny!

Number Four:

Consonant Skincare’s all natural organic body lotion in scent 002 steals the title of my favourite everyday body lotion and number four of my top five beauty products. I found this lotion via Garden City Essentials here in St. Catharines. What I find so amazing about this body lotion is that when you are using it, the lotion is actually working to improve the condition of your skin, not just cover up your dryness. The scent is so fresh – notes of peppermint, citrus and white sage – but most importantly is achieved only using certified organic oils and extracts. The lotion is $27 for 250ml and is also available in an unscented version.

Number Five:

The number five spot on my list is Lush’s Sleepy lotion. There has been a TON of hype floating around about this night time lotion and believe me it lives up to the very high expectations! Upon using it for the first time I noticed right away the intoxicating scent – I recognized Lavender but there was another note I just couldn’t put my finger on. I hopped online to the Lush website to find that the mystery fragrance is called Tonka – it shares some of the same characteristics as tobacco and amber and pairs amazingly well with Lavender. The combination of an amazing scent plus the luxurious feel of this lotion is the perfect addition to any bedtime routine. The Sleepy lotion can be bought online or in store for $9.95 for 90g or $19.95 for 210g.

If you have any questions about the products listed here or know of amazing products you think I should try leave a comment and let me know!