black//white

Black and white outfit with red heels

|| blazer, belt (similar), heels, clutch by LeCHATEAU  || leather shorts by JESSICA SIMPSON  ||

I mentioned before that I bought this blazer right before I lost a bunch of weight, then it was too big for me to wear and I was sad!  Never one to give up a great piece over something simple like size, I decided to cinch the waist in with this kimono inspired leather belt.  Okay, its actually pleather… but guess how much it cost me? 50 cents – YEAH BUDDY.

Bold stripes and shoulders on this blazer tend to make a girl look boxy, especially when wearing a couple sizes too large – an obi belt cinches the waist and breaks up the stripes, giving the illusion of a tiny midsection.  I love the natural texture of the (faux) leather paired with the bold graphic stripes – leather shorts and an over-sized patent envelope clutch play it up even more. Black and white continues to be one of my favourite trends for spring, maybe its my inner Canadian but I love punching up this trend with a pop of red – these suede platform pumps are perfect.  My little brother gave me these shades after I complained and complained about how the nose piece of my aviators gets tangled in my hair, causing some serious white girl problems. He’s the best, I always steal his sunnies and he always lets me – I’ve never worn white sunglasses before but I like these ones, maybe because the arms are black, or maybe because they were free!

I mentioned before that I love jewelry with a story- I brought this panther bangle back from Punta Cana, then it broke!  Fortunately for me I have the most amazing grandfather- the man can fix anything, and he fixed my bangle for me with a little welding or soldering or something.  Every time I look at it I think of a beautiful trip and my sweet grandfather.  My Celtic knot ring is from Scotland, the turtle ring is from my uncle’s store in Kensington, the gold branch ring is from another local boutique, Purr.  I tend to fidget, so this way each twist of my ring takes me back to a memory with my family somewhere special.  Speaking of somewhere special, I leave for Denmark in just a few days- I am so excited you guys!  So much to do in the next couple days to prepare!

xo, aiyanajane

Healthy French Toast

One of my favourite breakfasts is French Toast. Its warm and delicious and most importantly, extremely quick and easy to make!

I use 2 slices of Dempsters Ancient Grain’s Bread, one egg, a splash of skim milk and cinnamon to taste. Combine all ingredients in a shallow bowl and whisk together. Dip bread and fry on medium heat for ~1 minute/side. Serve hot with butter and maple syrup. To cut calories use only the egg white.  

This is a good source of protein and fiber to start your day off with energy.  I feel very Canadian in my love for Maple syrup but there is honestly no substitute for it!  Same with real butter… Becel is NOT butter. I believe in dairy not petroleum products.

This is a quick, easy and yummy way to start the day, especially in the chilly winter!! It takes only minutes to make and devour!

ALSO BECAUSE I CAN QUOTE THIS

xo, a

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Resolutions

A few years ago I resolved to stop making New Years resolutions, and its been about the only New Years Resolution I ever stuck with..

What I realized when I made that resolution was that if I choose to attempt something out of an obligation, rather than a true commitment that I would always fail. Setting a goal on January 1st to change all your bad habits is a bad habit in itself. Something like 10% of people actually stick with their New years resolutions, an embarrassingly low figure but entirely understandable. The problem is setting goals for ourselves that doom us to failure- resolving to never eat chocolate again.. really, who are you kidding?

Rather than make a half-hearted New Years resolution to change, make a resolution to focus on living better in the day to day. Focus this year on small every day changes that build you as a person. Focus on attainable goals that will bring you joy, rather than extravagant resolutions that bring only failure. Focus on finding yourself- find what you love and run to it, surround yourself with positive people who treat you with respect, and treat other with the kindness you expect in return. In your every day dealings strive to act with integrity, empathy and understanding. Remember that every pair of eyes sees the world differently, and that some have seen terrible things. If the eyes are indeed the window to the soul then look for the good. Focus on the little things and suddenly then the big picture is no longer so daunting. Banish negative thinking with positive attitude, don’t complain, make the change- you are responsible for your happiness.

Life often seems to linear, but with each New Year it becomes clear that a life isn’t a line of choices made one after another leading to either success or failure, but a cycle of repeating patterns based on our actions as creatures of habit. Our success or failures are only defined by others if we allow them to be. You are an individual, and who but you could know what is best for yourself? Each of us is an amalgamation of our own personal history- we are who we are because of who we made ourselves, so rather than try to find someone to fix you, find the strength in yourself to be who you want to be. It okay if you make mistakes along the way, its okay to fail, as long as you do not define yourself by your failures. Its okay to be wrong, but have the strength to admit when it is so and the ability to apologize and move forward.

xo, aiyana

Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.

beat winter blues

Hello my lovelies,

Remember how I was all STAY POSITIVE, ITS FALL.. last month? Well I live in Alberta, and despite the fact that winter isn’t supposed to arrive until December 21st ITS WINTER NOW and I am super unimpressed. In fact I legitimately believe I have seasonal affective disorder.

There are a multitude of reasons why I hate winter but its mostly because every time it gets too cold, I get sick.  The snow and the cold combined make me hide in bed under the blankets. Then I sit on my computer and  I click though all these beautiful fashion blogs, and you know what, most of the time- ITS SUNNY AND DRY. ihatechu. Meanwhile I am inside, sick, stuffed up and hating the world through frosty windows.

The other problem is fashion takes the back burner when there are 2 foot snow drifts to wade through, cars to scrape and a high chance of getting stuck and having to dig yourself out in the freezing cold. Oh the joys of winter! So many cute clothes to wear, but its too cold to wear most of them! How I wish I lived in California, my style would be so much different if I wasn’t hindered by practicality.

I feel like winter just puts me into a funk. I feel angrier about every single thing, because suddenly the simplest tasks (like say, going to water my horses) are no longer enjoyable, but rather an unpleasant grueling battle against the elements. Alberta winters are mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting, and if you disagree, you are wrong. End of story.

When I find myself stuck in this mental quagmire of anger and irritation, I try to remember this:

work out and feel better

Make this your mantra then put on some tunes and get moving!
Music and endorphin’s are a killer combination to boost your mood! 
*

This last year I’ve been focusing a lot more on my fitness, and I’ve been much happier for it! Not just because the pounds have been coming off, but because I have more energy, feel better, and my body is under my control. I recently read a post that really resonated with me, I strongly encourage you to read Emma’s top five fitness tips here! I swear if she hadn’t put it down first, I would have written the exact same advice!

For me I try to work out at least 4 x a week. Often I do less, occasionally I do more, it just depends on what’s going on around me. One of my favorite ways to get active was doing yoga outside, if you live somewhere where this is possible then get out there and try it! Yoga and Pilates have been my go-to’s forever, there are lots of great online resources to use (blogilates is my favourite!) so you can get fit at home for free! I could go on for days about the benefits of yoga but it seems like everyone already knows about them! So the only question is, why isn’t everyone doing it?!

My other love is swimming, which is proven to be one of the best exercises for you and is an excellent skill to have just in case! For me personally, I saw the tremendous benefits this summer while I was recovering from my broken pelvis. I healed weeks faster than the doctors anticipated and I believe it had a great deal to do with the swimming I had been doing prior to my injury and as rehab afterwards. The first thing I asked my doctor was how soon I could be in the pool- as soon as it was clear I was hobbling to the pool on my walker four times a week!  Check out your local pool for lane swimming times, or lessons if you don’t know how- its never too late to learn!

Finally, one of the biggest things for my fitness motivation is having a buddy, my brother and I work out together at least twice a week! Make fitness a priority in your family to be healthy for life! Having someone there to push you, remind you of your goals, and just have fun with makes working out that much easier. My other main source of motivation is Pinterest where there are TONS of workout ideas and motivational quotes! I also follow some great fitness blogs like Joy Fitness and Style.

So even though I sometimes have to literally FORCE myself out of my warm blankies and into my workout gear, as soon as I get going I enjoy it, and as soon as I’m done I feel like a whole different person! If you haven’t found that motivation up until now, then make today the day!

xo, a